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 the series 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.

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

Advertisements

Helping The Family With House Chores (especially for the sons & husbands)

‘Aishah r.a. was asked:
“What did Rasulallah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used to do inside his house?”
She r.a. answered: “He used to keep himself busy helping members of his family,
and when it was the time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer. [1]

Sheikh Ibn ul-Uthaymeen rahimahullah explained:
“So for example, if a person is in his house,
then from the Sunnah is for him to make tea himself,
cook if he knows how,
and wash what needs to be washed.
All of this is from the Sunnah.
If you did that, you will receive reward like the reward of Sunnah
in emulating the Messenger sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam
and out of humility to Allah.” [2]

Subhanallah. House chores are not a burden, they’re not trivial, mundane or insignificant – we just need to correct our intention when doing them. And not only will we be rewarded for emulating the Sunnah, but through these actions, love and affection can also be nurtured between the spouse and family members. We gotta stop idolizing celebrities in dramas and movies that have a very skewed definition of what a real man/person is. Because the complete definition is in the Sunnah and the seerah of our beloved Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam.
_______________________
References:
[1] Sahih Bukhari
[2] Sharh Riyad as-Saliheen 6/224

How To Inspire Manners to Your Children 👶🏻

1. When entering the house, greet your children with salaam and kisses. This should help develop their sense of love and mercy.

2. Be good to your neighbours and never backbite. Never speak ill of other drivers when on the road. Your children listen, absorb and emulate.

3. When calling your parents, encourage your children to speak to them. When visiting your parents, take your children with you. The more they see you take care of your parents, the more they will learn to take care of you (and learn to respect elders!).

4. When driving them (eg. to school), don’t play CDs, rather tell them the stories yourself. This will have a greater impact – trust me!

5. Read to them a short hadith a day – it doesn’t take much time, but very impactful in creating strong bonds and wonderful memories.

6. Comb your hair, clean your teeth and wear presentable clothes, even if sitting at home and not going out for the day. They need to learn that being clean and tidy has nothing to do with going out!

7. Try not to blame or comment on every word or action they say or do. Learn to overlook and let go sometimes. This certainly builds their self-confidence.

8. Ask your children’s permission before entering their rooms. Don’t just knock and enter, but wait for a verbal permission. They will learn to do the same when wanting to enter your room.

9. Apologize to your children if you made a mistake. Apologizing teaches them to be humble and polite.

10. Don’t be sarcastic or make fun of their views or feelings, even if you “didn’t mean it” and “was only joking”. It really hurts them.

11. Show respect to your children’s privacy. Its important for their sense of value and self-esteem.

12. Don’t expect that they will listen or understand the first time. Don’t take it personally. Rasulallah ‏ﷺ never did. But be patient and be consistent.

Dr. Hesham Al-Awadi

Lifelong Iman Rush – Tip #4 Create the ‘Right Wind’ For The Heart

In life, we experience something amazing that makes us feel compelled to come closer to Allah, where we feel a sense of iman-rush. But after a while, dunya gets to us and our reality check makes us feel that we cannot be spiritual consistently. Here’s a tip on how to remain consistently on the path towards the pleasure of Allah. 

To read the series 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
Pg 11 | Pg 12 | Pg 13| Pg 14

———-🌸———-

“Ya Muqallib al-Quluub, thabbit qalbi ‘ala Deenik”
O Controller of the hearts, make my heart steadfast in Your Deen.
[At-Tirmidhi]

“The likeness of the heart
is that of a feather blown about by the wind in the desert.”
[Ibn Majah]

Taqallub; the heart constantly changes. The above hadith gives an imagery of a feather going upside down, side to side because of the wind. In essence, we have to create the RIGHT type of wind to propel our hearts. If we merely allow circumstances to carve the way, we cannot expect our hearts to remain firm. So choose the right environment, the right source of inspiration, the right circle of friends, how we spend our days, and be patient in enjoining good and forbidding evil / trying to make people around us better – THIS is your wind. THIS is your steady and healthy environment that will help develop your heart and your iman in a consistent manner, insya Allah.

For example, the yearly Twins of Faith or IlmFest is a great program. But there is a huge difference between someone that only attends once a year program, with someone who attends weekly halaqahs because the latter has a steady, consistent wind.

But at the same time, remember to have moderation in your life – a time for our family, for ourselves, for work etc. It’s important to have balance or we won’t be able to keep up. So try building a conducive environment at home with your family members and involve them in your spirituality improvements. Rasulallah s.a.w. said:

“May Allah show mercy to a man who gets up during the night
and performs Salat, awakens his wife to pray
and if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face (to make her get up).
May Allah show mercy to a woman who gets up during the night
and performs Salat, awakens her husband for the same purpose;
and if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.”

[Abu Dawud]

“When a man himself wakes at night and wakens his wife
and they pray two rak’ahs together, they are recorded among
‘those who remembered Allah most.”

[Abu Dawud]

May Allah s.w.t. grant us a family who will lovingly help each other to attain His pleasure, mercy and forgiveness.

Divine Speech | Verbal Idiom #2 “To Lower Wings”

When someone said that person is “raising his wings” or “lowering his wings”, an imagery of a bird comes to mind. When a bird raises its wings, it means it’s about to go up and fly off. And when it lowers its wings, then it’s about to go down and land. Obviously when the bird has wings, it has the ability to raise them anytime it wants. Yet this bird still chooses to lower them.

And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility
through mercy [rahmah], and say: “My Rabb! Bestow on them Your Mercy
as they did bring me up when I was young.”
[Surah Al-Israa’17:24]

This Ayah is about our relationship with our parents – that we should lower our wing of humility out of love and mercy towards them. What does this actually mean?

1. The bird can fly, but it chooses to stay down

As time goes by, as we get older, our parents get older too. But they don’t just get weaker, they sometimes become more sensitive and emotional. Perhaps some parents become more difficult to speak with; they become angrier or easily agitated. By now, we would have our own job, money, and family. We have a pair of strong wings which we can raise anytime we want.

But the lesson from this Ayah is this: Even though you have powerful wings, you need to learn to lower them when it comes to your parents. To act like the wings don’t work, meaning to refrain from saying hurtful things like, “You know dad, I’m a grown up now. You can’t talk like that to me anymore!” The Ayah teaches us to be humble with our parents. Remember: The bird can fly, but it CHOOSES to stay down.

If we think our parents are unusually exasperating – then realize that these are all tests from Allah s.w.t.

2. Lowering the wing out of rahmah (love and mercy)

The word “rahmah” in this Ayah has 3 implications:

  1. When the bird was young, its parents would gather food and bring it to the chicks because they couldn’t survive on their own. Similarly, we were completely dependable on our parents too. They showed us love and care, they did everything for us. Now is time for us to do the same for them. Some may complain that our parents don’t understand us, ask too many questions, get agitated towards us to the point that we become tired and weary. But you know what, when we were little, WE made them tired and weary too, didn’t we? They put up with us. Why is it that we can’t put up with them?
  2. Secondly, we ourselves should genuinely have love and care for our parents. A sign of humbleness in a person is in the way how he treats his parents. We can’t raise our voice to our parents, yet say we love them.
  3. Thirdly, and the most powerful of them all is: If we want Allah’s Rahmah, we’d better show rahmah to our parents!

3. Sacrifice

Do you see how birds would lower their wings over their nest to defend it from being attacked by predators? Their wings will be attacked, but the chicks are protected. The parents are willing to sacrifice for the well-being of their chicks. But this Ayah is about the children sacrificing THEMSELVES for their parents. Our parents protected us – it’s time for us to protect them.

As we grow older, Allah s.w.t. reverses our roles and we find this reversal in the du’a in the last part of the Ayah:

“My Rabb! Bestow on them Your Mercy
as they did bring me up when I was young.”

[Surah Al-Israa’17:24]

Allahumma, show our parents love and care like how they showed us love and care when we were small.

Reference:
Notes extracted from the Divine Speech Seminar by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan.

Divine Speech | Verbal Idiom #1 “Coolness of the Eyes”

Language is dynamic. Sometimes it is impossible to do word-by-word translation of certain phrases without losing their actual meaning. This is particularly true for figures of speech, for example someone who asks me, “What’s up?” isn’t asking me in a literally sense, but he is asking how I am, not what’s up there over my head. Similarly, Ancient Arabic has figures of speech and the Qur’an uses them too. In order for us to understand the actual meaning of the Ayat, we have to know how these idioms were used in ancient times.

VERBAL IDIOMS PART 1 – COOLNESS OF THE EYES

Literally, coolness of the eyes would probably mean placing banana peels over our eyes 🙂 What does it actually mean in Ancient Arabic?

  1. Tears of immense joy – There are 2 expressions in the Arab idioms: The eyes becoming cool, and the eyes becoming warm. “May Allah warm his eyes” is actually a curse which means may that person suffer so much sadness the he shed tears out of sorrow. Whereas “Cooling the eyes” is the opposite, to mean shedding tears out of happiness and joy.
  2. Finding refuge & relief – The Arabs when travelling in the desert would wrap their face as a protection from sandstorms. But they couldn’t afford to cover their eyes without losing their vision, so they would say “My eyes are becoming warm.” And when they finally found a cave, they would say “My eyes are becoming cool.”
  3. The word also means when something stays in one place.

We find this figure of speech several times in the Qur’an:

1. [Surah Al-Furqan 25:74] “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our spouses and our offspring the coolness of the eyes…”

What this du’a means is that we ask from Allah for our spouses and children to be the coolness of our eyes from the outside storm. The outside world is full of stress, problems and difficulties, and our refuge and relief from that storm is our home. But sadly, how opposite is the state of our homes today? The storm isn’t happening outside of our homes, rather it’s happening inside. This du’a teaches us to ask from Allah for peace, tranquility and not just a happy home, but a home that makes us so happy that it makes us cry. What a beautiful du’a.

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

When Fir’aun’s soldiers were approaching, the mother of Musa a.s. put her baby (i.e. Musa) in the river to save him. She saw her baby floating away from her, and her heart became so deeply distraught and distressed, not knowing what would happen to him. So when she was finally reunited with her baby, by the will of Allah, she began to cry… And that cry was not a cry of sadness, it was out of immense happiness. This reunion between a mother and child is captured beautifully by this phrase in the Qur’an.

3. [Surah Al-Qasas 28:9] “And the wife of Fir’aun said: “A comfort [coolness] of the eye for me and for you. Kill him not, perhaps he may be of benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a son…”

Fir’aun’s wife was in an abusive relationship, perhaps both psychologically & physically. She didn’t have any place to turn to, except Allah s.w.t., because the police, government – in general everyone – was owned by Fir’aun. When she discovered Musa a.s. in the river, she picked him up, brought him to Fir’aun and said [paraphrasing]: “When I look at the baby, my eyes stay on him.” She couldn’t take her eyes away from Musa a.s.; she found her relief. Even Fir’aun, the same tyrant who ordered for a military campaign to kill thousands of babies, experienced the same and they ended up adopting Musa a.s.

4. This figure of speech is also found in hadith. Remember when Musa a.s. spoke directly to Allah s.w.t.? There can never, ever be anyone else more important and more beloved than our Rabb. So we know for sure that this is a memory that Musa a.s. will never, ever forget! But what did Allah s.w.t. command? Allah s.w.t. said to Musa a.s.:

Verily! I am Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me,
and perform As-Salat for My Remembrance.”

[Surah Ta-ha 20:14]

The REAL way to remember Allah s.w.t. is through prayer. And our beloved Rasulallah s.a.w. said The coolness of my eyes is in Salah.” [1]

Those who have a clean heart are more sensitive than others; it really hurts when someone speaks to them in a foul language. Our beloved Rasulallah s.a.w., the best of mankind, heard foul language, curses, allegations, being mocked at, being made fun of by the Quraish every-single-day. But he s.a.w. never stopped making da’wah to the same people, and their hatred and aggressiveness only got worse each day. He s.a.w. was in this storm all the time, but when he enters Solah… that is when he found his relief. The coolness of his s.a.w. eyes is placed in the Solah. It completely changes our perspective what Solah should really mean to us.

The idea about crying in our prayers is true. Usually we cry when we listen to Ayat about the Hellfire or Judgment Day. But the Qur’an should also make us cry that cools our eyes… When we listen to Ayat about Allah’s gifts and rizq, His Mercy and forgiveness, how Allah s.w.t. protects us… they should move us to tears of joy.

References:
[1] Sunan an-Nasa’i | http://sunnah.com/nasai/36/2
Notes extracted from the Divine Speech Seminar by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan.

[Ali Imran 3:35] Set Goals for Your Children

(Remember) when the wife of ‘Imran said:
“O my Rabb! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb
to be dedicated for Your services, so accept this, from me.
Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.”
[Ali Imran 3:35]

The mother of Maryam a.s. set goals for her child even before Maryam was born, that she will dedicate her child for Allah – to serve the Deen. This teaches us that, when it comes to children, it is not just about giving birth, see them grow up etc – or in the worst case scenario – letting the society dictates or molds our children, but that we should have goals for our children – goals that will be pleasing to Allah s.w.t.

Do you think this is strange? We see couples in Western countries listen to classical music or do mathematical problems during pregnancy in hope to increase the intellect of their child – they clearly have goals for their children. Thus why can’t we as Muslim mothers recite the Qur’an during our pregnancy as part of that goal?

The mother of Maryam is mentioned by Allah s.w.t. in the Qur’an because of the goal that she set lillahi ta’ala. This is an honor given to her, thus we should emulate that as well.