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 the series 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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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

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[Al-Kahf 18:109] Al-Kahf Challenge (19/20)

If you have been following the Al-Kahf Challenge Series,
you should have memorized and learned the first ten ayat of the Surah – alhamdulillah!
From this post onwards, the series will be focusing on the last ten ayat of Surah Al-Kahf.

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 11Pg 12Pg 13 | Pg 14Pg 15 | Pg 16 | Pg 17 | Pg 18 Pg 19 | Pg 20  | Pg 21

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Say: “If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Rabb,
the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Rabb were exhausted,
even if We brought the like of it as a supplement.”
[Al-Kahf 18:109]

This Ayah addresses the power and might of Allah’s Words. If the entire ocean was the ink for a pen to write down the words, wisdom, and signs of Allah, the sea would run dry long before all could be written down.

How many decades and how many generations of Muslims have taken upon themselves to study the Qur’an? Yet none of us can say that we have fully finished studying it. None of us can say that we have truly and extensively understood the meaning of the Qur’an.

This is because no one can comprehend the greatness of Allah, or praise Him as He deserves to be praised. The blessings of this world, in comparison to the blessings of the Hereafter, are like a tiny mustard seed compared to the entire world.

Indeed Ar-Rabi’ ibn Anas said, “The parable of the knowledge of all of mankind, in comparison to the knowledge of Allah, is that of a drop of water in comparison to all of the oceans.”

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For the article written in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah & mp3 of the Ayah, please click here.

[Madaarij us-Saalikeen] The Station of Toma’aneenah (Tranquillity)

“O you the one in complete rest and satisfaction [toma’aneenah]!
Come back to your Rabb, well-pleased and well-pleasing unto Him!
Enter you, then, among My (honoured) slaves, and enter you My Paradise!”
[Al-Fajr 89:27-30]

Many of us have memorized these ayat by heart, but how far have we truly understood what they mean? A short reflection on these ayat has been posted, alhamdulillah. However in this particular post, we will focus on the writing of Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah.

He rahimahullah wrote that [toma’aneenah] means tranquility. It is the satisfaction of the heart with whatever circumstances that befall a person, without any feeling of anxiety or restlessness. How can one attain such peace and tranquility? Allah s.w.t. says:

Those who believed,
and whose hearts find rest [toma’aneenah] in the remembrance of Allah,
verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest [toma’aneenah].
[Ar-Rad 13:28]

The only way we can truly attain such tranquility is by the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. Nothing else will cut it. There are two opinions regarding the meaning of this ayah, and the more sound opinion holds that the meaning of the remembrance of Allah is the Qu’ran – that only through the study, pondering, and deep understanding of the Qur’an will allow a person to attain toma’aneenah. This is because the heart can’t have toma’aneenah except by faith and certainty, and there are no means of attaining faith and certainty except through the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the means to attain certainty and firmness in faith, and to remove doubts. However, the benefit from the Qur’an will not be sound unless one’s heart perceives the reflections of His Rabb’s Names and Attributes, and His Laws, within himself and in everything around him within this universe. Those who refuses, Allah s.w.t. says:

And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of Ar-Rahman,
We appoint for him a Shaitan to be an intimate companion to him.

[Az-Zukhruf 43:36]

Again, the sound opinion here is that Allah’s Remembrance is that which He sent to His Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam – i.e. the Qur’an. Whoever turns away from this, Allah will appoint a shaitan for him, who will misguide and deter him from the straight path even though the person may think that he is righteously guided.

But whosoever turns away from My Remembrance,
verily for him is a life of hardship
and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.
[Ta-Ha 20:124]

This is why the one that turns away from it will say, “O my Rabb! Why have you raised me up blind while I had sight (before)?” [Ta-Ha 20:125] And Allah s.w.t. will respond by saying, “Like this, Our Ayat came unto you but you disregarded them, and so this Day you will be neglected.” [Ta-Ha 20:126]

Therefore, the believers who ponder on the Qur’an, who study the Qur’an, Allah s.w.t. will deposit toma’aneenah in their hearts and souls. It is these people with toma’aneenah whom Allah s.w.t. will grant the joy, the delight, and the good news of admission into Jannah, and to be with those with toma’aneenah. So we return to the ayat:

“O you the one in complete rest and satisfaction [toma’aneenah]!
Come back to your Rabb, well-pleased and well-pleasing unto Him!
Enter you, then, among My (honoured) slaves, and enter you My Paradise!”
[Al-Fajr 89:27-30]

The ayah “O you with toma’aneenah! Come back to your Rabb…” therefore indicates that the soul will not return to Allah unless it is characterized by toma’aneenah. Meaning, to be eligible to be one of the righteous souls that will receive such a call from his Rabb, one needs to attain toma’aneenah first in this dunya. And for these people, there will be great happiness and a beautiful place for their final return: they will return to their Rabb, the Most High, and they will be from among His honored slaves, and they will be allowed to enter His Paradise. May Allah s.w.t. make us and our loved ones one of them – Allahumma ameen!

After internalizing the above, there are three hard-hitting lessons that I wish to focus:

Lesson #1
Attaining toma’aneenah is only through the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. i.e. the Qur’an.
If you do not strive to attain toma’aneenah in this dunya, then do not have the wishful thinking you will be that righteous soul whom Allah s.w.t. calls: “O you with toma’aneenah! Come back to your Rabb…”
Do not have the wishful thinking of ever achieving such high status in the Sight of Allah s.w.t. and ever receiving this prominent invitation from your Rabb if you yourself refuse to give time to ponder and study the Qur’an.
And if you turn away and neglect the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. while you’re still alive, then be ready to be neglected on the Day of Resurrection.
This is the most hard-hitting lesson of all, and it is a strong reminder for myself foremost.

Lesson#2
In order to attain such toma’aneenah, and all other benefits through studying the Qur’an, one of the essentials that a person must strive to learn is the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah s.w.t., and then apply this knowledge in our everyday lives – meaning, for example, it’s not sufficient for one to know that Allah s.w.t. is Ar-Razzaq (The Provider) yet abandons his prayers to chase sales and profits. This person has not truly understand and internalize this knowledge. This person will not be able to attain toma’aneenah, and will not be qualified as the righteous soul mentioned in the ayat above.

Lesson #3
Those who refuse to give time for the Qur’an, those who turn away from it, not only will he never attain toma’aneenah, and not only will he never be the righteous soul whom Allah s.w.t. calls out in His invitation, but Allah s.w.t. will also appoint a shaytan for him as his close companion in this dunya. He will think that he is rightly guided, he will think he is safe, yet the shaytan has already misguided and deterred him from the straight path. May Allah s.w.t. protect us and our loved ones from ever be misguided – Allahumma ameen.

The Benefits of Attaining Toma’aneenah in the Dunya

Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah continued to write that toma’aneenah is more than tranquillity. It includes knowledge, faith and the attainment of what is known.

If the slave of Allah has toma’aneenah with Allah’s Commands, then he knows that Allah’s religion is the truth and that Allah will certainly support him and is sufficient for him and his family.

If the slave of Allah has toma’aneenah with Allah’s Decrees, then he knows that nothing will reach him except what Allah has already written for him. He knows that whatever Allah wishes will come to pass, and whatever Allah doesn’t wish will not not come to pass. Nothing will happen unless it is written, and if it is written, then nothing can stop it. Therefore, there should be no fear, worries, or concern for those with faith.

If an adversity occurs and the believer can do something, then he should do so. However, if he cannot, then he should not be annoyed or dismayed.

May Allah s.w.t. grant us all toma’aneenah.

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Reference:
Madaarij us-Saalikeen, by Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah

[Al-Hashr 59:21] The Greatness of the Qur’an

Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain,
you would surely have seen it humbling itself
and rent asunder by the fear of Allah.
Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.
[Al-Hashr 59:21]

In this ayah, Allah s.w.t. emphasizes the greatness of the Qur’an, its high status and of being worthy of making hearts humble and rent asunder upon hearing it, because of the true promises and sure threats that it contains.

Then if this is the case with a mountain which is hard and massive – that if it was made able to comprehend and understand this Qur’an – will feel humble and crumble from fear of Allah the Exalted, then what about you, O mankind? Why do your hearts not feel softness and humbleness from the fear of Allah, even though you understand Allah’s command and comprehend His Book?

If the solid mountains feel humble and are rent asunder from the fear of Allah, if it heard Allah’s Speech and comprehended it, what about you O mankind – who heard the Qur’an and understood it?

Allahumma, revive the state of our hearts!

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Reference:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir

[Al-Kahf 18:101] Al-Kahf Challenge (11/20)

If you have been following the Al-Kahf Challenge Series,
you should have memorized and learned the first ten ayat of the Surah – alhamdulillah!
From this post onwards, the series will be focusing on the last ten ayat of Surah Al-Kahf.

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 14Pg 15 | Pg 16 | Pg 17 | Pg 18 Pg 19Pg 20  | Pg 21

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(To) those whose eyes had been under a covering from My Reminder (this Qur’an)
and who could not bear to hear (it).
[Al-Kahf 18:101]

In this Ayah, Allah s.w.t. describes some of the characteristics of the disbelievers who would be exposed to the Hellfire prior to their judgment. Those characteristics are:

1. They are blind to Allah’s Signs in this world, or blind to the Noble Qur’an and unable to ponder on its meanings nor benefit from its lessons and wisdom.

2. They are completely deaf to the truth of Allah’s Words and that of His Messenger ﷺ. It could also mean that they do not wish to hear it.

What it means is that the people who will be exposed to the Hellfire are:

  • Those who refuse to acknowledge the existence of Allah, the Creator of the dunya, the universe, and everything around them,
  • Those who refuse to accept the Qur’an, including those who refuse to study and ponder on its meanings, or refuse to follow the commandments and prohibitions of Allah s.w.t.,
  • Those who refuse to accept and follow the Sunnah of Rasulallah s.a.w.

So beware o Muslims, for if we are negligent, we can fall into any of these categories as well. May Allah s.w.t. protect us and not make us one of them.

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For the article written in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah and mp3 of the Ayah, please visit The Ideal Muslimah website.

True Independence

My wise husband once said: “Kemerdekaan yang sebenar ialah merdeka daripada mengharap kepada makhluk.” As us Malaysians celebrated Independence Day, let’s remind ourselves what true merdeka really is.

All the praises and thanks are to Allah [Alhamdulillah],
Who has sent down to His slave (Muhammad SAW) the Book (the Qur’an),
and has not placed therein any crookedness.
[Al-Kahf 18:1]

The word [Alhamdulillah] means all praise & gratitude to Allah s.w.t. for everything. But sometimes Allah s.w.t. highlights a specific matter in the Qur’an for us to reflect upon, and upon that reflection, the word that should come out from our mouth is Alhamdulillah.

In this ayah, Allah s.w.t. says there is no room for any deviation in the Qur’an. What it means is that no matter how political, ideology, economy, technology, fashion, or culture changes – one thing will not change – and that is the Qur’an. Its values, principles & truth are straight and clear as how it was first revealed.

Because when humanity itself dictates what is normal, common standard will always deviate. What was used to be detested or unacceptable by the society several years ago, have been accepted as normal today. If we are blind consumers, we will follow whatever and however the society defines what “normal” is. But Allah s.w.t. says: “If you obey the majority of those on earth, they will make you lose the way of Allah…” [Al-An’aam 6:116]

So alhamdulillah, the Qur’an teaches us that we are not those who keep changing our standards when the world changes.
Alhamdulillah, we are freed from slavery to fashions & trends, from wanting to become popular, from being like anyone else.
Alhamdulillah, Allah s.w.t. has removed these unnecessary pressures from us.
Alhamdulillah, our Deen teaches us that true merdeka is freedom from all false attachments, but to rely on Allah s.w.t. solely.
And because of that, and more than we can possible imagine, we say:

Alhamdulillah.