The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (9/10) – Asking From Allah for “Coolness of the Eyes”

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3| Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9 | Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-

ibadur-rahman-9

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who say: “Our Rabb!
Bestow on us from our spouses and our offspring the coolness of our eyes,
and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.”
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:74]

🌸 Ninth (Last) Characteristic: They Always Make Du’a That Their Spouse and Lineage Are The Coolness Of Their Eyes

Alhamdulillah, today we will be discussing the ninth and final characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman.

In this ayah, we learn that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are those who ask Allah s.w.t. to make their spouses and their offsprings the coolness of their eyes. This is an Arabic idiom, so let’s first understand how the phrase [the coolness of the eyes] is used in Arabic.

This phrase is used to depict:

1. Tears of immense joy – When someone says “the eyes becoming warm” or “may Allah warm his eyes”, then it means to say “may that person suffer so much sadness the he sheds tears out of sorrow.” But “the eyes becoming cool” or “cooling the eyes” is the opposite, it means to shed tears out of happiness and joy.

2. Refuge and relief – The Arabs, when travelling in the desert, would wrap their faces as a protection from sandstorms. However they can’t afford to cover their eyes without losing their vision, so they have to keep their eyes exposed. When they finally found refuge, interestingly they would say “My eyes have finally become cool.” So this expression equates to finding refuge from a storm.

These are some of the meanings of the idiom [coolness of the eyes] – to depict tears of immense joy and refuge or relief from storms. Yet sadly, for many of us, that storm is INSIDE the home. Many Muslims’ homes are broken – there are so much anger, sadness, depression, yelling and insults between the spouses, children and their siblings, so much so that people run away from what is supposed to be their refuge from the outside storm!

This is one of the most beautiful and eloquent du’as to ask from Allah s.w.t. for peace and tranquility in our homes, that when we return home to our spouses and children, our mood and morale are uplifted, and our worries disappear.

Before we continue with the next part of the ayah, I want to depict how powerful and super important this du’a is:

Know that there is absolutely no stronger bond between a mother and her baby child. So imagine the state of panic and desperation when Musa’s mother put him (when he ‘alayhi salaam was a baby) in the river to save him from Fir’aun. There must had been a thousand thoughts that came to her mind: Will he be ok? Will the water overturn him? Will he drown? Will he get dehydrated? Will he be picked up by Fir’aun’s soldiers? Will I see him again? So many desperate questions that she didn’t know the answer to any! So can you imagine her state of emotion when she was finally reunited with her beloved Musa ‘alayhi salaam? Look how Allah s.w.t. describes that emotion:

So We restored you to your mother,
that she might cool her eyes and she should not grieve.
[Surah Ta-Ha 20:40]

Allah s.w.t. describes THE MOST amazing joy and relief, THE MOST indescribable feeling in the heart with “the coolness of eyes”. And this is precisely what we ask from Allah from this powerful and beautiful du’a.

But what exactly are the traits of our spouses and offsprings that will bring such coolness of the eyes? What exactly are we asking for our spouses and offsprings from Allah s.w.t. in this du’a?

They are the love of Tawhid and the love of ‘Ibadah.

Ibn Kathir rahimahullah wrote in his tafseer that in this du’a, we are actually asking from Allah s.w.t. to grant us spouses and offsprings who will strive to obey and worship Allah, absolutely without any form of shirk – because it is these traits that will bring the coolness of one’s eyes. Families that will bring one’s joy in this Dunya and the Hereafter are those whose family members, as well as its generations to come, that absolutely love Tawhid and are obedient to Allah s.w.t.

Subhanallah.

Look at the priority of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman! They are not asking Allah s.w.t. for a beautiful, wealthy, or powerful family and lineage, even though there is nothing wrong to ask that from Allah – but the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman want a family and lineage that absolutely uphold the purity of Tawhid, and love to perform ‘ibadah for the sake of Allah s.w.t. alone. They want a family and lineage that aspire to improve their acts of ‘ibadah, and do not desire to commit evil. They want a family and their future generations whom Allah s.w.t. bestows hidayah in Islam upon them.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri rahimahullah said:

“By Allah, there is nothing that brings the coolness of the eyes to a Muslim
than the obedience to Allah that he sees in his children, grandchildren,
relatives, and close friends.”

The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Want To Be Leaders of the Muttaqun
The ayah continues:

And those who say: “Our Rabb!
Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the coolness of our eyes,
and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.”
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:74]

Muttaqun means believers who are pious, who have taqwa of Allah s.w.t.

Scholars said that this part of ayah means that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman love to supplicate to Allah s.w.t. that He makes them leaders who would be taken as examples in good, or as guides who would call others to goodness. They want to leave a legacy behind – a legacy of pious lineage whom Allah loves, whereby their examples and guidance will go beyond themselves and benefit others. They want a lineage that will bring khayr even after their death, for indeed, this is a much more rewarding and a better end. Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three:
(1) a continuous charity,
(2) knowledge by which people derive benefit,
(3) pious child who prays for him.”
[Sahih Muslim]

Parents who teach and guide their children and their descendants in goodness are whom Rasulallah ﷺ referred to in this hadith. May Allah s.w.t. facilitate us to do the same – Allahuma ameen!

Conclusion of this Ayah
In this du’a, we ask Allah s.w.t. to grant us spouses and children that will be the coolness of our eyes. We ask Allah for a place of refuge and tears of joy – that when we look at our spouse who loves you and advises you for the sake of Allah, or how he or she raises your children so that they grow up to love the Deen, or when you look at your children who love to pray, love the Qur’an – and all other things that indicate their obedience to Allah s.w.t. – make you so happy and grateful that they make you cry.

And just like any du’a, we need to exert efforts as well. We can’t supplicate this du’a and expect everything to magically change the next day. We have to spend quality time and have the patience to rectify, teach, and protect our family. Don’t forget to rectify ourselves as well – we need to aspire in becoming a better parent / husband / wife. With effort, consistency and patience, Allah s.w.t. will grant us that du’a – insya Allah!

Some short practical advice:

💎 Parenting was very different 20 or 40 years ago, and they might be the practical approach in those times, but we can’t use those same methods for our children in this age. We need to be both the authority AND a friend to our children. The biggest priority of a parent is the Islam of his/her children. And the best person who can instill the love of Islam to our children is ourselves, but we will not be able to instill it if we keep yelling at them, or have no time to talk and listen to them.

💎 For the spouses – Wives, there is enough fitnah outside your home. So smile to your husband. Dress up for your husband, not for the public. Your husband should find beauty in you and peace with you. Husbands, stop complaining about everything your wife does. Give compliments and say nice things to her. Help her with the chores. Both spouses should learn about the rights of each other and fulfill them. When we are good parents/husbands/wives, insya Allah so will our children. This is how we can become leaders of the muttaqun.

A short, beautiful du’a – yet it packs so much khayr! This is not only an important du’a for both married AND single Muslims (i.e. for their future spouse and family). May Allah s.w.t. grant us spouses and children who will be the coolness of our eyes, and that He makes us leader of the pious and righteous – Allahumma ameen.

Insya Allah, the next post will be the last article in this series, and we will be talking about the reward for those who have these beautiful traits of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristic Recap 🌸

Last Characteristic
They always make du’a for Allah to grant them spouses and lineage who will be the coolness of their eyes, meaning a family who loves and upholds the purity of Tawhid, and who are obedient to Allah s.w.t.
They also make du’a to become leaders of the righteous because they want to leave a legacy behind that will not only benefit the ummah, but a legacy that will bring khayr to them even after their death.

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References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Rumaysho.com
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (8/10) – Respond To The Ayat of Allah s.w.t.

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

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ibadur-rahman-8

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat of their Rabb,
fall not deaf and blind thereat.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:73]

🌸 Eighth Characteristic: They Respond To The Ayat of Allah s.w.t.

Alhamdulillah, today we will be discussing the eighth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. This next category could include you who are reading this right now!

Before we proceed, let us think back: How many of us have read the Qur’an, or listened to heartfelt reminders regarding the Deen, or read something that is absolutely beneficial that we just gotta share with everyone – yet at the end of the day, we’re like: “Yeah it was a nice speech / post, but I’m still gonna do what I’m gonna do anyway.” So we close our computers, we return to our homes, and nothing changes.

This attitude has got to change.

Because Allah s.w.t. tells us that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are nothing like this. When they read, listen, or are reminded of the ayat of Allah, they do not pass or trip over the ayat like the deaf or the blind. They are not those who like to read and keep on reading, or listen and keep on listening, or share and keep on sharing, yet nothing of themselves have truly changed. The hearts of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are attentive and moved by the ayat of Allah – its commandments, its prohibitions, its reminders, its stories – and their limbs carry out the good actions that they have learned.

This is like the ayah:

The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts
and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their Faith;
and they put their trust in their Rabb.
[Surah Al-Anfal 8:2]

The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are nothing like the disbelievers, who are not affected nor want to change their ways when they hear the Words of Allah. So they continue as they are, as though they have not heard the ayat, and persist in their disbelief, wrongdoing, ignorance and misguidance. This is as Allah s.w.t. says:

And whenever there comes down a Surah, some of them say:
“Which of you has had his Faith increased by it?”
As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice.
But as for those in whose hearts is a disease, it will add suspicion and doubt to their suspicion, disbelief and doubt, and they die while they are disbelievers.
[Surah At-Tawbah 9:124-125]

Indeed, how many have read the ayat of Allah, but they remain deaf and blind. How many have looked at the signs of Allah, yet they do not see. How many have heard, but they do not comprehend. These are certainly not the characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman.

Qatadah said:

“The believers (‘Ibad-ur Rahman) are not those who are deaf from hearing nor blind from seeing the truth. By Allah, they are those who want to think,
and those who benefit from the Qur’an.”

We all love attending Islamic seminars or classes, or watch Islamic youtube videos, or listen to Islamic podcasts, or read Islamic articles. But sadly, some have turned these khutbah, classes, seminars, posts – and even recitation of the Qur’an – as entertainment. They have been reduced to just becoming something fun to do or participate. We’re not guilty for enjoying them of course, but these reminders should be taken as something more serious – because the ayat of Allah is not about casual listening, it’s about taking decisive actions. When Qur’an enters our hearts, there must be significant changes within us.

So here’s an advice for me and you: When we read an article, or listen to a podcast, a youtube video, or an Islamic dars, say to ourselves that these are lessons for life which I will not pass them over like the deaf or the blind. Remember the advice by Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah:

The people of the Qur’an are those who read it and act upon it,
even if they haven’t memorized it.

May this reminder motivate us to become the people of the Qur’an.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸

8th Characteristic
The hearts of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are attentive and moved by the ayat of Allah – its commandments, its prohibitions, its reminders, its stories – and their limbs carry out the good actions that they have learned. They listen to the ayat of Allah with khushoo’ and are determined to implement the commandments, prohibitions, and reminders that they learn in their everyday lives.

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References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Surah Al-Furqan by Dr Abdullah Yasin
Rumaysho.com
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (7/10) – Refusal To Attend Immoral Gatherings

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-

ibadur-rahman-7

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who do not witness to falsehood [az-zur],
and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.
[Al-Furqan 25:72]

🌸 Seventh Characteristic: They Do Not Associate Themselves With Immoral Gatherings and Activities

Today, we will look at the seventh characteristic of the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman, which Allah s.w.t. describes in this ayah as “those who do not bear witness to falsehood [az-zur].” [Az-zur] refers to a gathering of immoral activities. Ibn Kathir rahimahullah wrote in his tafseer with regard to this ayah: “they do not attend it, and they are not present when it happens.”

So what this ayah means is that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman never attend gatherings of lewdness, immorality, indecent, and disbelief. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman will never associate themselves with these sort of gatherings as well as gatherings that consist foul speech and false words. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman also does not give false testimony, i.e. deliberately lying to someone. This is similar to the following authentic hadith:

Rasulallah (ﷺ) said thrice,
“Shall I not inform you of the biggest of the great sins?”
We said, “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).”
He said, “To join partners in worship with Allah, to be undutiful to one’s parents.”
He (ﷺ) was lying down, then he sat up and added:
“And I warn you against giving forged statement and a false witness;
I warn you against giving a forged statement and a false witness.”
The Prophet (ﷺ) kept on saying that warning until we thought that he would not stop.
[Sahih Bukhari]

Immoral Gatherings and Activities: [Az-Zur]
According to Ibn Al-Jawzi rahimahullah, there are 8 scholarly opinions regarding [az-zur]:

  • It means idols belonging to the mushrikun. This is the opinion of Adh Dhohahk from Ibnu ‘Abbas.
  • It means music. This is the opinion of Muhammad ibn Al Hanafiyah and Makhul.
  • It means shirk. This is the opinion of Adh Dhohak and Abu Malik.
  • It means games in the times of jahiliyyah. This is the opinion of ‘Ikrimah.
  • It means lies / falsehood. This is the opinion of Qatadah and Ibnu Juraij.
  • It means false witness i.e. to lie deliberately. This is the opinion of ‘Ali ibn Abi Tholhah
  • It means the festivity and celebration of the mushrikun. This is the opinion of Ar Robi’ ibn Anas.
  • It means treacherous or treasonable assemblies. This is the opinion of ‘Amr ibn Qois.

All of these opinions support each other to mean that [az-zur] refers to a gathering of immoral activities. From these, we can conclude that:

  • The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman will not attend any gathering that promotes shirk – this includes non-Islamic celebrations such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
  • The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman will not attend gatherings that promote vice, lewdness, and falsehood such as music concerts and treacherous assemblies.

Are we of those who think it’s okay to celebrate Christmas and its ilks? Are we of those who love to go to concerts? Are we of those who attend treasonable rallies? There are sufficient evidences in the ahadith as well as consensus among majority of our righteous scholars that all of these are prohibited in Islam, and all of them are rightfully and beautifully summed up in this characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. Suffice to say that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are not those who blindly follow society’s philosophies, but they are those whose actions are defined by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Truly, they should be our aspirations!

How The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Responds To [Laghw]
The ayah continues:

…and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk [laghw],
they pass by it with dignity.
[Al-Furqan 25:72]

[Laghw] means
1. Shirk
2. Sin
3. Statements of indecency
4. Any word, talk, or conversation that is thoughtless (done without thinking), and of no benefit
5. Meaningless and useless actions or pastime

The ayah says that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman do not attend where [laghw] occurs, and if it so happens that they pass by it, they do not let it contaminate them in the slightest. If they pass by shirk, sinful and/or useless conversations and activities, they leave them in a dignified way.

My brothers and sisters in Islam, ‘Ibad-ur Rahman do not hang out until 2 in the morning, or spend hours and hours on non-beneficial matters, or love gossiping. Indeed it is difficult to avoid gossip circles nowadays, because it has become a societal norm. But if we want to be one of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman, we have to learn to remove ourselves from such situation and not let them contaminate us. Don’t let football matches, video games, movies or TV dramas make you waste hours and hours of precious time.

I want to share with you something that I heard in a khutbah: We usually would make a 5 or 10 years plan to accomplish certain goals in life – be it for career, wealth, etc and there is nothing wrong with that. But we always forget to plan the same for our last, yet greatest, destination ever – the Hereafter. How do we practically plan for it?

It all boils down to:
How will I spend my time today?
What am I going to do afterwards?
How am I going to spend tomorrow?
What am I doing with my free time?
When am I going to stop watching so much TV?
When am I going to erase those useless games?
When am I going to stop wasting time?
When am I going to hold myself to a higher standard – if not today?

We have very little time on this earth, half of our life is spent sleeping, another 8 hours at work, a few more hours spent in commuting, and so forth… so what little time do we have left? A day will come when a janazah announcement will be made – and it’s going to be mine and yours. It’s going to happen and it’s not like we’re getting further away from that day – we’re only heading closer.

O Muslims, make the best of this world in order to earn Jannah. Make serious commitment to live our days differently. Hold ourselves to a higher standard. Heed this advice by Ibn Al-Jawzi rahimahullah:

“This world is the harvest field of the Hereafter;
and in it there is business, the profit of which will be visible in the Hereafter.
So whoever utilizes his free time and good health in the obedience of Allah,
he is the blessed one.
And he who utilizes them in the disobedience of Allah,
he is the one who is unjust to himself,
because the leisure time is affected by busyness and health is affected by sickness.”
[Fath al-Bari 11/230]

May Allah s.w.t. give us the understanding on the value of time – Allahumma ameen.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸

7th Characteristic
They do not give false testimony. They do not attend sinful and immoral gatherings, such as gathering that promotes shirk and foul speech, music concerts, or treacherous assemblies. They do not participate useless conversations and past time. If they come across such gathering, they will stay away and leave in an honorable manner

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References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Rumaysho.com
Islamqa.info
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (6/10) – Not Committing Shirk, Murder, and Fornication

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-

ibadur-rahman-6

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah,
nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden except for just cause,
nor commit illegal sexual intercourse
– and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.

The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection,
and he will abide therein in disgrace.

Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds,
for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds,
and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds,
then verily, he repents towards Allah with true repentance.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:68-71]

🌸 Sixth Characteristic: They do not commit shirk, murder, and zina (adultery)

The ayah that we will be discussing today is another characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. It also talks about the absolutely immense virtue of those who sincerely repent – who may have fallen into so many sins, but they regret for committing them, and they desist from committing them, and they firmly decide not to commit them ever again.

Notice that all of the sins mentioned in this ayah are major sins: shirk, murder, and zina. Similarly, there is a hadith that speaks about these same types of sins:

Narrated ‘Abdullah: I asked the Prophet ﷺ, “What is the greatest sin in the Sight of Allah?”
He said, “That you set up a rival unto Allah though He Alone created you.”
I said, “That is indeed a great sin.” Then asked, “What is next?”
He said, “To kill your son lest he should share your food with you.”
I asked, “What is next?”
He said, “To commit illegal sexual intercourse with the wife of your neighbor.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

The above hadith teaches us that some of the greatest sins in the sight of Allah are three: Shirk, Murder, Zina. All of these major sins destroy something in one way or another: shirk is a sin that destroys one’s Deen, murder is a sin that destroys a soul, and zina is a sin that destroys honor.

What we learn from this ayah, together with the context of the above hadith, are the following:

  1. Shirk, Murder, and Zina are 3 major sins that are very heavy in the sight of Allah s.w.t.
  2. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are those who avoid these 3 major sins.
  3. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman may also include those who have actually committed these sins in the past, but they have sincerely repented to Allah (we will discuss about sincere repentance at the end of this article).

Severe Penalty: ‘Athama’ and Doubled Torment
Allah s.w.t. next gives us a severe warning to those who commit these sins:

And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah,
nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden except for just cause,
nor commit illegal sexual intercourse
– and whoever does this shall receive the punishment [athama].
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:68]

Scholars said that [athama] is:
(1) a valley in Hell; or
(2) a valley in Hell exclusively for those who commit unlawful sexual acts where they will be punished; or
(3) punishment.

The passage continues:

The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection,
and he will abide therein in disgrace.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:69]

How can a Muslim do shirk, murder, or zina, when it is already clear in this Deen that all these three things are forbidden? How can a Muslim know all of these, yet still does it? Those who commit these sins will be punished heavily, severely. Their torments will be doubled on the Day of Resurrection, meaning that their torments will be repetitive and will be intensified. These people will be thrown into Jahannam in disgrace and humiliation. They will constantly be humiliated because shirk, murder, and zina are themselves humiliating crimes – they take away the dignity of a human being one way or another.

Subhanallah. May Allah protect us from these torments.

Allah s.w.t. is extremely angry at these people. He has given us a very intense warning so that we steer clear from these three major sins. This harsh warning is actually a Mercy of Allah s.w.t.; He is informing us in advance of the consequences of committing these sins. Indeed, the wise Muslims will take heed of the warnings of their Rabb.

Making Sincere Repentance
What if one of us had committed these sins in the past?
What about those who have truly regretted, and have abandoned the sins completely?
My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, do not despair the Mercy of Allah, for He s.w.t. says immediately in the next ayah:

Except those who repent, and believe,
and do righteous deeds [‘amila ‘amalan solihan]…
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:70]

Allah s.w.t. says that those who did shirk, or murdered someone, or did zina – or all three of them – but after that, they do the three conditions, Allah s.w.t. will forgive all of their sins. Those three conditions mentioned in this ayah are: Repent, Believe, and Do Righteous Deeds:

Condition #1: Make repentance
When someone fell into shirk, murder, and zina, he or she must repent sincerely [tawbatun nasuha] to Allah s.w.t. from those sins. Allah s.w.t. says in another surah:

O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance [tawbatun nasuha]…
[Surah At-Tahrim 66:8]

[Tawbah] means to return or to turn to Allah, i.e. to repent, while [Nasuha] means sincere or true. Therefore, [tawbatun nasuha] means sincere repentance. According to Imam Al-Nawawi rahimahullah, there are 3 conditions of tawbatun nasuha:

1. One must give up the sin
2. One must regret having done it
3. One must resolve never to go back to it.

If one of these three is missing, then the repentance is not sincere. If the sin has to do with the rights of another person, then there are 4 conditions: the three mentioned above and restoring the rights of that person.

Do you still remember the definition of the word [‘Ibad] from our first post? [‘Ibad] means slaves of Allah s.w.t. who do sin, who do make mistakes, but they always repent to Allah whenever they fall into sins, and have a strong desire to constantly rectify themselves in becoming a better slave of Allah. Indeed, even ‘Ibad-ur Rahman make mistakes. But what sets them apart is that they do not take any of their sin lightly.

Thus, the ones who have sincerely repented are those who immediately desist completely from committing that sin, and regret for committing that sin, and have a strong resolute not to return to the sin ever again!

Condition #2: Strengthen our Iman
Fix our iman, become a good believer again.

Condition #3: Do Righteous Deeds that conform with the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Notice that Allah s.w.t. did not say [‘amila solihan] in this ayah, but He s.w.t. says [‘amila ‘amalan solihan] This is a grammar to emphasize the verb. What it means in simple English is that: Do not be wishy-washy, you need to be very serious and be very keen on doing righteous deeds from now on.

These are the three conditions that one must fulfill in order to attain Allah’s Forgiveness.

Replacement of Ugly Sins Into Good Deeds
The ayah continues:

Except those who repent, and believe, and do righteous deeds
– for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds,
and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:70]

Subhanallah, what an amazing promise of Allah! Not only will Allah s.w.t. accept the repentance of those who have sincerely repented, but He s.w.t. will change their sins into good deeds!

Ibn al-Jawzi rahimahullah said that scholars have differences of opinions in regard to the meaning of this ayah:

The first opinion
“Allah will change their sins into good deeds” means that Allah will replace their previous acts of shirk with iman, their previous acts of murder with refraining oneself from doing it, and their previous acts of fornication with being chaste. All of these show that the replacement of good deeds happen in the dunya. Scholars who hold this opinion are Ibn Abbas, Sa’id bin Jubair, Mujahid, Qatadah, Adh Dhohak, and Ibnu Zaid.

The second opinion
The second opinion is that the conversion of sins into good deeds will happen in the akhirah. Scholars who hold this opinion are Salman r.a., Sa’id bin Al Musayyib, and ‘Ali bin Al Husain.

Regardless of the differences of opinions, both show how truly remarkable the virtue of believers who sincerely repent to Allah.

Hence, if we did any of these three sins, we must make sincere repentance to Allah, and we must fix our faith and become good believers again, and we must take our actions very, very seriously – really keen on doing good deeds from now onwards. If we do these, Allah will not just accept our repentance, but He s.w.t. will convert those mountains of sins into mountains of good deeds – subhanallah!

Do Not Despair The Mercy of Allah
The passage continues:

And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds,
then verily, he repents towards Allah with true repentance.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:71]

Here, Allah s.w.t. tells us how His Mercy extends to all of His creatures, and that whoever among them sincerely repents to Him, He will accept his repentance for any sin – great or small. This offer is for all sinners! This is like the Ayat:

And whoever does evil or wrongs himself
but afterwards seeks Allah’s Forgiveness,
he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Surah An-Nisa 4:110]

Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His slaves…
[Surah At-Tawbah 9:104]

Say: “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds & sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins.
Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
[Surah Az-Zumar 39:53]

This passage of Surah Al-Furqan that we’re discussing today is so beautiful, because it tells us that at one point of time, the people who committed these major sins were the furthest away from Allah due to their transgressions. But the fact that they turn back to Allah and sincerely repent to Him, Allah s.w.t. in return will make them as those whom He calls Ibad-ur Rahman. Look at the Mercy of Allah s.w.t. to those who were once so far away, but have returned to Allah s.w.t.

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, know that no sin is greater than Allah’s Mercy. All we need to do is return to Allah and repent sincerely. Those who sincerely repent to Allah in this world from all of sins, Allah s.w.t. says that He will accept their repentance. So never, ever despair of Allah’s Mercy, and never give up on yourselves.

But just remember one thing:
If your sins are a big deal to you, then they are small in the sight of Allah.
Allah will forgive them if you worry about your sins, take them seriously, and repent.
But if your sins are no big deal to you, then they’re a big deal to Allah.
If you don’t care about your sins, no matter how small that mistake may be, know that it will become a very big thing on the Day of Judgment.

Suffice that I end this article with the following quote:

“No sin remains minor when accompanied by persistence,
and no sin remains major when accompanied by the seeking of forgiveness.”

May Allah s.w.t. forgive all of our sins and shortcomings – Allahumma ameen.

Alhamdulillah we have covered the sixth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. We will continue with the subsequent characteristics in the next posts, insya Allah.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸

6th Characteristic

The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are those who avoid Shirk, Murder, and Zina. They may also include those who have actually committed these sins in the past, but have sincerely repented to Allah i.e. they regret for committing them, and they desist from committing them, and they decide firmly not to commit them ever again. After making sincere tawbah, they strengthen their iman, and they become serious in doing good deeds from there on.

________________
References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Surah Al-Furqan by Dr Abdullah Yasin
Rumaysho.com
Islamqa.info
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (5/10) – Neither a Spendthrift nor Stingy

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-

ibadur-rahman-5

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly,
but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:67]

🌸 Fifth Characteristic: They are not spendthrifts, nor are they stingy

This ayah tells us the fifth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman: they are not excessive, wasteful, or flamboyant in their spending. They do not spend more than what they need. At the same time, they are also not stingy. They are not negligent of their obligations toward their family nor are they miserly. They follow the best and fairest way. And the best of matters are those which are moderate – neither one extreme nor the other. This is like the ayah:

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck,
nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift),
so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.
[Surah Al-Isra’ 17:29]

If we want to be like the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman, then we need to learn to not spend our wealth extravagantly. Realize that one of the reasons of our economic problem is due to irresponsible spending. People get approved for loans that are far more expensive than what they can afford, and end up building their lives around debts and more debts.

Our Deen teaches us not to spend what is not within our pockets. Learn how to do a monthly budget, spend within our means. Don’t be addicted to credit cards!

For those of us who are doing really well financially, alhamdulillah. But just because we can afford to buy overpriced and really expensive items, doesn’t mean we should spend our money carelessly on those things.

“What’s the most expensive car do you sell? I’ll take it.”
“I don’t buy that sort of bags! I don’t buy non-branded stuff.”

We are not put on this earth to show off.
We are not put on this earth to compete pompously with one another.
We don’t have to get the newest decked-out car.
We don’t need to pay 5 times the price of the same kind of handbag just because of the brand.

Muslims, don’t be duped by these things!
We can use our wealth for so many other good deeds!
We can help our family or community who are not doing financially well.
We can help people get out of their debt.
We can channel charity to the oppressed – both Muslims and non-Muslims!

We have to be responsible with the wealth that Allah s.w.t. has given us. We shouldn’t be overspending on things, nor should we be cheap and stingy in regard to our obligations as well.

In conclusion, the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman do spend, but they are always responsible when they spend. They always make wise spending decision. They spend their wealth beautifully right in between these two extremes.

May Allah s.w.t. grant us this beautiful trait of the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman – Allahumma ameen!

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap🌸 

5th Characteristic
They are not excessive and wasteful in their spending – they do not spend more than what they need. They are also not stingy – they are not negligent of their obligations toward their family nor are they miserly. They spend their wealth right in between these two extremes.

_________________________________________________________
References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (4/10) – Seeking Refuge From Jahannam

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3| Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-

ibadur-rahman-4

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who say: Our Rabb! Avert from us the torment of Hell.
Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.
Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25: 65-66]

🌸 Fourth Characteristic: They seek refuge from the Jahannam (Hellfire)

This ayah tells us the fourth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman: they are those who constantly make du’a to Allah asking for refuge from Jahannam. They firmly believe and understand that the torments and penalties of Jahannam are so monstrous, so heavy, they just can’t bear the thought of it. They know it is a terrible and horrifying place to be, whether for a little while or a long time. They understand that the torment of Jahannam is ever-present, and never ending. Al-Hasan Al-Basri rahimahullah said concerning this ayah:

“Everything that strikes the son of Adam, then disappears, does not constitute an inseparable, permanent punishment. The inseparable, permanent punishment is that which lasts as long as heaven and earth.”

Subhanallah! Yet there are a few Muslims who say: “Sure I do some bad stuff and will go to Hell because of my sins. But it’s only temporary because I’m a Muslim. I’ll go to Jannah eventually anyway. So what’s the big deal!” This is the exact mentality of Bani Israel of the past as stated in the Qur’an:

And they (Jews) say, “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:80]

This is clearly not a characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman fear of being thrown into Jahannam either for a long time, or even a short time – not for a minute, not even for a second!

Is doing good deeds out of fear of Jahannam considered insincere acts of worship?

There are Muslims who think that doing acts of ‘ibadah out of fear of Jahannam and hoping for Jannah is insincere. They think that all acts of worship must only be done out of love for Allah s.w.t. and nothing else.

This belief is incorrect and contrary to the teachings of Islam. The proof is in this ayah that we are studying, where it clearly shows that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are those who seek refuge from Jahannam. There are several ayat showing that the worship of the Prophets, scholars and pious people is based on both fear and hope, and it is not devoid of love of Allah at all. Allah s.w.t. says, describing the Prophets:

Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds,
and they used to call on Us with hope and fear,
and used to humble themselves before Us.
[Surah Al-Anbiya’ 21:90]

And in another ayat, Allah s.w.t. says:

Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides,
and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying):
“Our Rabb! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You!
Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.
Our Rabb! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him,
and never will the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) find any helpers.
[Surah Ali Imran 3:191-192]

Hoping for Jannah and fearing Jahannam are the results when one has the correct understanding of Tawhid. They are the results when one truly understands that it is Allah s.w.t. Himself Who has promised Jannah for those who are obedient, and Jahannam for those who are not.

And do you know what is the greatest punishment of the inhabitants of Jahannam? They are veiled, forever, from looking upon Allah s.w.t. Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah wrote in his Madaarij as-Saalikeen:

“…one of the greatest joys of Jannah is that of gazing upon the Countenance of Allah and hearing His Words, and the delight of being close to Him and attaining His pleasure. There is no comparison between what it contains of delightful food, drink, clothing and images and this sublime joy. The least of His Good Pleasure is greater than Jannah and all that it contains of such things, as Allah s.w.t. says:

“Allah has promised the believers – men and women – Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of ‘Adn. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme success. “[Surah At-Tawbah 9:72]

…Similarly, with regard to the Fire – we seek refuge with Allah from it – for those who enter it the pain of being veiled from Allah, and of being disgraced by Him, and feeling His anger and wrath, and being far away from Him, will be greater than the pain they suffer because of the flames burning their bodies and souls. In fact the flames of this fire start in their hearts, and this is what causes the flames to torment them physically.”

What we can learn from these evidences is that ‘Ibad-ur Rahman absolutely fear Jahannam, and seek refuge with Allah s.w.t. from His Anger and Punishment. We also learn that our acts of ‘ibadah should be done out of fear of Allah’s Punishment while hoping for His Mercy – both of which are themselves indicators that we love Allah s.w.t. because we want to look upon Allah s.w.t., and we hate and are afraid of being veiled from this greatest blessing ever!

Selected du’as to seek refuge from Jahannam

The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman always make du’a to Allah for protection from Jahannam. If we want to be one of them, we need to make such supplications constantly in our everyday lives. There are many beautiful supplications in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, these are three selected du’as that are short and easy to memorize, insya Allah.

1. Surah Al-Furqan 25:65-66 (the du’a by the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman)

رَبَّنَا ٱصۡرِفۡ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ‌ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا
إِنَّهَا سَآءَتۡ مُسۡتَقَرًّ۬ا وَمُقَامً۬ا
Our Rabb! Avert from us the torment of Hell.
Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.
Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.

2. Surah Al-Baqarah 2:201

رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةً۬ وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً۬ وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ
Our Rabb! Give us in this world that which is good
and in the Hereafter that which is good,
and save us from the torment of the Fire!

A golden advice from my teacher: Keep this du’a close to our hearts, for it is a supplication that covers everything that we need – a good worldly life, and good Hereafter as well as protection from Jahannam. It is a short yet comprehensive du’a, so recite it often, and recite it from the depths of our hearts.

3. From the following hadith recorded in Sunan an-Nasa’i (graded sahih)

Rasulallah ﷺ used to say in his supplication:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hell,
and I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave,
and I seek refuge in You from the tribulation of the Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal,
and I seek refuge with You from the trials of life and death.

Allahumma ameen!

Alhamdulillah we have covered the fourth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. We will continue with the subsequent characteristics in the next posts, insya Allah.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸

4th Characteristic
They constantly make du’a to Allah asking for refuge from Jahannam. They firmly believe that the torments and penalties of Jahannam are so monstrous and heavy. They know it is a terrifying place to be, whether for a little while or a long time.

__________________________________________________________
References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Surah Al-Furqan by Dr Abdullah Yasin
Rumaysho.com
Islamqa.info
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (3/10) – Diligent and Consistent in Their Tahajjud

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3| Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-

ibadur-rahman-3

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who spend the night in worship of their Rabb,
prostrate and standing.

[Surah Al-Furqan 25:64]

🌸 Third Characteristic: They are diligent and consistent in their Tahajjud

This ayah tells us the third beautiful characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman: they are dedicated, consistent and diligent in their night prayers i.e. Tahajjud. They love to wake up for Tahajjud for nothing else but for the pleasure of Allah. They will do their absolutely very best to never miss Tahajjud.  This is like when Allah s.w.t. says:

They used to sleep but little by night.
And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness.
[Surah Adz-Dzariyyat 51:17-18]

Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Rabb in fear and hope…
[Surah As-Sajdah 32:16]

There is hardly a night that would pass by that ‘Ibad-ur Rahman do not pray to Allah s.w.t. even if it’s just a little part of the night. They will forsake their sleep and comfortable beds just to seek the pleasure of Allah, invoking Him in fear of punishment, hoping for His reward, and seeking His forgiveness right before dawn.

What is the difference between Tahajjud and Qiyamul-Layl?

Linguistically, [qiyam] means to stand. Therefore Qiyamul-Layl means to stand in the night, and it was understood by the ulama’ that it also includes all types of worship performed throughout the night.

Tahajjud comes from the word [hujood] (ha-ja-da) which linguistically means doing the opposite of something. So in essence it means going to sleep, and then doing the opposite by waking up. Therefore Tahajjud means waking up after sleeping and it became a name for prayer, because a person wakes up for it.

Heart-rendering encouragements by Rasulallah ﷺ and righteous predecessors to pray Tahajjud

Our Rabb admires two men: a man who leaves his mattress and cover,
and slips away from his wife and lover, to go and pray.
Allah says, “O My angels, look at My slave.
He has left his mattress and cover and slipped away from his lover and wife to pray,
out of hope for what is with Me and out of fear of what is with Me.”
[Ahmad | Grade: Hasan]

Our Rabb, the Blessed, the Superior,
comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us
when the last third of the night remains, saying:
“Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation?
Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request?
Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri rahimahullah was asked why are the faces of those who perform night prayers shine more brightly than others? He answered:
“It’s because when they are alone with the light of the All-Merciful,
He clothes them with light from His Light.”

Ibn ‘Abbas r.a. said:
“Every night, they would worship Allah, even during a little part of the night.”

There is no more intimate conversation between a slave and his Rabb than waking up from sleep and pray Tahajjud for no other reason than to seek the pleasure and forgiveness of his Rabb.

“But this is too difficult for me…”

The thought of waking up for Tahajjud can be pretty overwhelming at first. But if we truly want to pray Tahajjud, all we have to do is just give it a try! I’m not even talking about spending a third or half of the night praying, but just get up 10 minutes before Fajr because that third of the night is still there in those last 10 minutes. From then on, we work our way up insya Allah.

Do not immediately set ourselves difficult goals like: I want to pray 3-hours of Tahajjud! We only end up burning ourselves out. If we over exhaust ourselves, we won’t be able to maintain consistency.

So start with humble steps and build the momentum little by little. Sleep early. Then on the first night, wake up 10 or 15 minutes before Fajr and just do 2-raka’ats, or recite short Surah like Surah Al-Asr or Surah Al-Kafirun. Then the next month (not the next day!), increase the numbers of raka’ats, increase the time spent in prayer, or recite longer surah. Keep on increasing on the following months. Of course, we should strive twice as hard in the month of Ramadhan – especially on the last 10 nights!

Insya Allah, it is doable. You may also read Qiyam: 14 Tips to Consistently Pray the Night Prayer for more awesome tips.

Alhamdulillah we have covered the third characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. May Allah s.w.t. make it easy for us to be diligent and consistent with our Tahajjud – Allahumma ameen. We will continue with the subsequent characters of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman in the next posts, insya Allah.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸

3rd Characteristic
They are dedicated, diligent, and consistent with their Tahajjud. They love to wake up for Tahajjud to seek the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah s.w.t. They will do their absolutely very best to never miss it.

____________________________________________________
References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Surah Al-Furqan by Dr Abdullah Yasin
The Right Belief Series by Imam Karim AbuZaid
Strangers In The Night by Sheikh Omar Suleiman
IqraSense.com