[Madaarij us-Saalikeen] The Station of Firasah

Have you heard the term [firasah]? In the Malaysian local dialect, it’s known to mean intuition.

Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah wrote that [firasah] is a sense of insight / perception / visual acumen. It’s the ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood via one’s eye, ear and heart. And this firasah is a light which Allah s.w.t. deposits in the heart of His slave, enabling him to distinguish between right and wrong.

Firasah allows a believer to know more about a speaker’s hidden intention from the speaker’s speech and tone of voice than from physical appearance. In general, the sahabah had the most accurate and sharpest firasah. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq r.a. is considered to be the one with the greatest firasah in the ummah, and Umar Al-Khattab r.a. was the second.

Ibn Mas’ud r.a. said:

“There are three people with the sharpest firasah. (1) The Egyptian who bought Yusuf a.s. and then said to his wife: ‘Make his stay comfortable, maybe he will profit for us or we shall adopt him as a son.’ [Q12:21]. (2) The other was the daughter of Shuaib, who said to her father with regards to Musa a.s.: ‘Hire him!’ [Q28:26] (3) And Abu Bakr r.a., for he appointed Umar r.a. as his successor.” Another narration includes (4) the wife of Fir’aun who said about Musa a.s.: ‘A comfort 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.’ [Q28:9]

Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah wrote that the strength of firasah is dependent on the strength of faith. A person with stronger faith has sharper firasah. Amr bin Nujaid said that Shah al-Kermani had sharp firasah and was never wrong. He also used to say that whoever does the following, then his firasah will never go wrong (insya Allah):

1. Lowers his gaze away from prohibitions,
2. Restrains himself from vain desires,
3. Constructs his interior according to muraqabah (knowledge that Allah is watching over us),
4. Constructs his exterior according to the Sunnah,
5. And accustoms himself to eat only halal.

Firasah is also connected with one’s sharp intellect. Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah wrote that there are two factors in firasah. (1) One is the quality of one’s mind, the sharpness of the heart and the intelligence. (2) The second is the appearance of the signs and indications on others. When both factors are present, then one’s firasah may not be wrong.

And Allah s.w.t. knows best.
Madaarij us-Saalikeen, by Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah


Transgressing the Limits of Allah When Alone

Be not those who curse Iblis in public, but obey him in private.

Thawban reported that Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said:
“I certainly know people from my nation
who will come on the Day of Resurrection with good deeds like the mountains,
but Allah will scatter them like dust.”

Thawban said:
“O Messenger of Allah,
describe them to us and tell us more, so that we will not become like them.”

The Prophet said:
“They are your brothers and from your race, taking up worship at night as you do,
but they will be people who will transgress the sacred limits of Allah
while they are alone.

Sunan Ibn Majah

Guarding One’s Eyes

Whoever allows his eyes to roam freely carries his soul to the places of destruction.

Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah
[The Sickness and the Cure, p.15]

Sheikh Omar Suleiman once wrote (paraphrased):

“Nudity and sexual activity creeping into parts of mainstream cable/satellite networks DOES NOT make it any less haram. Just because it isn’t called pornography, doesn’t mean it’s not. Be careful not to fool yourself because you won’t be able to stand before Allah s.w.t. on the DoJ and say: ‘But it’s on Astro! / Everybody watches it anyway!’ Know that you will be held accountable.

Pornography, even in its unrecognized forms, is destroying us as individuals, families, and communities. If you’re struggling privately, then seek forgiveness from Him and keep fighting it – but don’t unashamedly make reference to these shows publicly, thereby continuing to normalize what can never be deemed acceptable.”

When we see something shameful but don’t find it a problem anymore, then that’s an indication of a very deep spiritual problem – one that will jeopardize your Iman. You won’t be able to concentrate in your prayers, you won’t be able to cry when you ask Allah. Those things will disappear. The more we become desensitize to these things, the more spiritually bankrupt we will become.

So the term “lower your gaze” applies not just in real life, but on FB and other social media platforms, as well as what we watch on the screen. If we truly care the state of our heart, then GUARD our eyes. This is applicable for both men and women.

❝Allah has ordered us to lower the gaze because it is the path to a pure heart.❞

Ibn Jawzi (rahimahullah)
[تلبيس إبليس صحفة ٣٨٦]

[Al-Ahzab 33:33] Tabarruj

“…and do not display yourselves [tabarruj] like that of the times of ignorance…”
[Al-Ahzab 33:33]

This is one of the good manners which Allah s.w.t. enjoined upon the wives of Rasulallah s.a.w. as an example for the women of the ummah to follow.

Of tabarruj, Mujahid said: “Women used to go out walking in front of men, and this was the Tabarruj of Jahiliyyah.” Qatadah said: “When they go out of their homes walking in a shameless and flirtatious manner, and Allah, may He be exalted, forbade that.”

Muqatil bin Hayyan said: “Tabarruj is when a woman puts a khimar (head covering) on her head but does not tie it properly.” So her necklaces, earrings and neck, and all of that can be seen. This is Tabarruj, and Allah addresses all women of the believers with regard to the prohibition of Tabarruj.

[Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

Lifelong Iman Rush – Tip #5 Do Not Restrict Iman To “How I Feel”

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 catch up on the previous posts of this series, click here 📌


“I don’t feel any iman-rush right now.”

Stop. This DOES NOT necessarily mean that your iman has crashed because it’s impossible for us to constantly feel iman-high. Hanzalah Al-Usayyidi r.a. said to Abu Bakr r.a. one day: “Hanzalah has become a hypocrite.” He said this because whenever they were in the company of Rasulallah s.a.w., they would remember the Hellfire and Jannah as if they could see them. But when they were away from Rasulallah s.a.w., and attending to family and business, most of these things slipped out of their minds. Abu Bakr r.a. said, “By Allah, I also experience the same thing.” So they went to see Rasulallah s.a.w. Thereupon, he s.a.w. said:

“By Him in Whose Hand is my life,
if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your roads; but Hanzalah,
time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs)
and time should be devoted (to prayer)
He s.a.w. said this thrice.

[Sahih Muslim]

Iman is not restricted to a ‘feeling’ but it also includes action and this is what we often fail to realize. Rasulallah s.a.w. said:

“Iman has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches – the uppermost of which is the declaration: ‘None has the right to be worshiped but Allah’; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of Iman.”
[Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

We are taught in this hadith that the highest branch of iman is the shahadah (Tauhid) and the lowest is removing something harmful from the road – yes, this action IS part of iman! Why? Because all of the other branches of iman stem from the Tauhid / shahadah branch – meaning that without Tauhid, all other branches are meaningless. So even the lowest branch, i.e. the removal of something harmful from a road, is an expression of Tauhid because this person removes a harmful item with the conviction that Allah s.w.t. is watching him. Even though no one else sees him to praise him, or that people may think that it as a trivial act not worth mentioning, he does it to gain the sole pleasure of Allah s.w.t.

That is why, Rasulallah s.a.w. said that he saw a man strolling in Jannah because he removed something harmful from the road. [Sahih Muslim] Think about it: What got him Jannah was that “trivial” action that he did out of sincerity for Allah.

Rasulallah s.a.w. said there are over 60 branches, but only 3 branches were mentioned in the hadith: the highest branch, the lowest branch, and then there’s modesty / al-haya’. This indicates that haya’ is a critical branch of iman.

Modesty / haya’ is not just about shame or women’s hijab. But to have haya’ is to have shyness in disobeying Allah because we know that He sees everything that we do, and we are grateful for everything that He gives. Al-Haya’ comes from the same root as “Hayat” which means life. It implies that if we don’t have haya’, then it means we’re spiritually dead. If a person has no feeling of shame or modesty, then there is nothing to prevent him from doing almost anything.

“If you feel no shame, then do as you wish.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Scholars also mentioned that actions such as the abandonment of riya’ / jealousy / anger; or learning / teaching religious knowledge; refraining from evil talk; covering the awrah; showing generosity; entertaining a guest; show kindness to parents; raising children; or even saying ‘yarhamuk Allah’ when someone sneezes – ALL of these are examples of iman. So you see, iman is not restricted to just a feeling inside!

Therefore, don’t fall into the delusion of “feeling” low-iman. If you feel that way, just push yourself back up by doing good deeds for the sake of attaining the pleasure of Allah s.w.t.

Of A Higher Standard

“Men will be men.”
“Girls will be girls.”

How long do we plan to keep on using these same excuses? Why do we have to live according to these stereotypes?

We CAN choose to not use derogatory words. We can choose not to cuss. We can choose to not look at filthy stuff, nor subscribe to immodest pages. We can choose not to share certain posts or photos with the rest of the world to avoid fitnah.

We CAN choose to lower our gaze. We can choose to be modest. We can choose to live a life where there should be a certain limit with non-mahrams. We can choose to seek the attention and pleasure of Allah s.w.t., not friends who deviate us from the Straight Path!

We choose to do so because we fear the consequences of our action. Know that Shaitan will do whatever means necessary to call us towards temptation and shamelessness, and everything starts with something that seems harmless.

If we insist to still live by these stereotypes, then recall our lineage all the way back to Adam and Hawa a.s. who returned to Allah s.w.t. when they erred. The definition of real men and real women are of the akhlaq of the Prophets, Sahabah and pious predecessors. Not men or women on the glossy magazines.

We have to put ourselves at a higher standard. Because we CAN.

[Women of Paradise] Maryam bint ‘Imran

And (remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinn) (of her lifetime).” (Ali ‘Imran 3:42)

Maryam a.s. is the best woman of her time. Notice that she is never mentioned in the Qur’an as Maryam the mother of Isa a.s., although she is mentioned as Maryam the daughter of Imran [At-Tahrim 66:12]. The wisdom behind that is to show that her greatness is not necessarily tied to Isa a.s. She is great because of who she is.

She is a woman who has perfected her faith, who is so devoted to her ibadah, who has real tawakkul in Allah s.w.t. in her most difficult times, and she is an example of modesty for both men & women.

Every time when Zakariya a.s. visited Maryam, he always found her supplied with fruits that were out of seasons. So he asked Maryam, from where did she get them. Maryam said:

“This is from Allah. Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.” (Ali ‘Imran 3:37)

Notice that Maryam doesn’t claim to have a special relationship with Allah s.w.t., where only she can ask and will be given by Allah. She said Allah gives to whoever He wants and this was a beautiful advice given to Zakariya a.s. who was having difficulties having a child. Zakariya a.s. understood the depth of this response, and he made du’a to Allah to grant an offspring afterwards, no matter how impossible it may look at that time since he and his spouse were already at old age. And subhanallah Allah s.w.t. granted his du’a.

When Jibril a.s. came to Maryam, he was in the form of a beautiful man. Maryam was so modest that even before Jibril spoke to her, she said:

“Verily! I seek refuge with Ar-Rahman from you, if you do fear Allah.” [Maryam 19:18]

In this one sentence, she showed so much of her modesty and wisdom:
1. She said: I don’t know what you’re going to say, but you need to know I’m not interested.
2. She didn’t know who he was so she tried to scare him by mentioning the name of Allah s.w.t. But she chose to say Ar-Rahman. Why this name? Because she was implying that he can still turn around and make taubah.

Maryam is not just a devout woman, but holds a special rank amongst all men and women. May Allah s.w.t. bless us with her qualities and reunite us with her in Jannah  ❤

Please watch the video, you will find many amazing gems and lessons to ponder insya Allah.