Knowledge Should Lead To One’s Improvement

“O my son,
when you have written down ten Ahadeeth,
look and see if you notice an improvement in the way you walk,
in your level of patience,
and in your degree of self-dignity.
For if you do not see any such improvement,
then know that your knowledge harms you and does not benefit you.”

Sufyan At-Thawri
advice from his mother rahimahullah
(The Biography of Sufyan At-Thawri, pg 21)

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How many of us have attended classes and listened to heartfelt reminders regarding the Deen, or read something really beneficial on FB, so we shared and retweeted them manifold on the social media …but 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.”

We close our FB, we return to our homes, and nothing changes.

So this is a reminder for me, and then to others. Knowledge should and must benefit ourselves foremost before anyone else, and something is seriously wrong if we’re gaining knowledge, but there is no improvement in our akhlaq. Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak rahimahullah said:

“One doesn’t become noble with any type of knowledge
if he doesn’t beautify his knowledge with good conduct.”

(Adab Shar’iyyah 4/208)

#PracticeWhatYouLearn
#PracticeWhatYouPreach

The Remembrance of Allah s.w.t.

Therefore remember Me, I will remember you,
and be grateful to Me and never be ungrateful to Me.
[Al-Baqarah 2:152]

“Therefore remember Me, I will remember you.”

There is a beautiful relationship that is being described here. We remember important people most of our time, we make mention of them in our conversations. Sometimes we talk about politicians, artists, or our CEOs – but they don’t remember you. They’re too big and too busy, or they even don’t care or want to know about you.

But who is more important, more akbar, than Allah s.w.t.? The Rabb of the worlds is giving you an amazing honor: that you remembering Him, and as a result, He will remember you ❤

Allah s.w.t. said:

“If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself;
and if he remembers Me in a group of people,
I remember him in a group that is better than them…” [1]

One of the best ways to remember Allah s.w.t. is to sit in a gathering in which Allah s.w.t. is remembered, such as ilm classes, for Allah s.w.t. loves and praises His slaves who attend such gatherings. In a famous hadith, Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said that Allah s.w.t. has teams of angels who go about on the roads seeking those who remember Allah. At the end of the hadith, Allah s.w.t. says to the angels,

“I call you to witness that I hereby grant pardon to them and confer upon them what they ask for; and grant them protection against what they seek protection from.” [2]

Another beautiful hadith describes 3 people who came to Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam, who was sitting in the mosque with his Companions. Two of them stepped closer, but the third went away. One of the two men found a space in the circle and he filled it, while the other sat behind him. Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said,

“Shall I not inform you about these 3 people?
One of them sought refuge with Allah and Allah gave him refuge;
the second one felt shy and Allah showed kindness to his shyness
(and so he was accommodated in that meeting),
and the last one averted, and so Allah turned away His Attention from him.” [3]

In another beautiful hadith, Mu’awiyah r.a. said that Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam went to a circle of his Companions and asked them, ‘What has made you sit there?’ When they replied that they are sitting together to remember Allah, to praise Him for guiding them to Islam, and bestowing favours on them, he sallallahu alaihi wasallam said, “I adjure you by Allah to tell me that nothing else has made you sit together.” When they replied that indeed there was no other purpose, he sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said,

“I did not adjure you because I suspected you, but Jibril came to me and told me
that Allah was talking proudly of you to the angels.” [4]

When our parents say that they are proud of our accomplishment, we feel tremendously happy and exalted for making them proud. But when Allah s.w.t. says that He is proud of YOU …then, that is something far greater, far higher, on a much different level.

Subhanallah.

My dear brother and sisters in Islam, this is an advice for myself foremost, and then to you, to always find the time to attend (authentic) ilm classes, or to be in a gathering of scholars and righteous people who remind you of Allah s.w.t. If we could make time for hanging out with friends or go shopping, why can’t we make time to seek what is far more beneficial and far more greater than all of that? Don’t we want Allah s.w.t. to remember us, to pardon us, to give us what we ask, to grant us protection?

Don’t we wish that the Rabb of the heavens and earth, and everything in between,
is proud of us too?

And indeed, nothing gives us calmness of the heart than the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. Allah s.w.t. says:

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

May Allah s.w.t. makes us of those who always remember Him sincerely.
___________________________________
🖊 References:
[1] Bukhari
[2] Bukhari & Muslim 
[3] Bukhari & Muslim 
[4] Muslim

10 Reasons That Cause The Love of Allah to Develop

For our self-reflections ❤

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) says that there are 10 reasons which cause mahabbah (love) of Allah to develop:

“First: Reciting the Qur‘an, reflecting, and understanding its meaning and its intent.

Second: Drawing closer to Allah s.w.t. through optional deeds, AFTER fulfilling the obligatory duties.

Third: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah, with the tongue, the heart, and the limbs – under all circumstances. The more constant the dhikr, the more mahabbah develops and intensifies.

Fourth: Giving precedence to what Allah loves over personal loves, when being overcome by desires.

Fifth: Contemplating and deliberating over the Names and Attributes of Allah.

Sixth: Recognising and remembering the favours and bounties of Allah – both the manifest and hidden.

Seventh: To be humble and submissive before Allah – and this is the greatest matter.

Eighth: To be in seclusion reciting the Qur‘an during that time in which Allah descends to the lowest heaven (which is the last third of every night), finishing this recitation with seeking Allah’s forgiveness and repenting to Him.

Ninth: To sit in the gatherings of true and sincere lovers of Allah, reaping the fruits of their speech, and not to speak except if there is benefit in it, and that you know that such talk will increase you in goodness and that it will benefits others.

Tenth: To stay clear of all those causes which distances the heart from Allah.

So these are the 10 reasons which cause the person to develop true love for Allah and to reach the rank of al-muhabbah, by which he reaches his Beloved.”
______________________
Madarijus-Salikin (3/17-18)

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

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“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, be patient in enjoining good and forbidding evil, try 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 / 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. 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]