[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.

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

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Lifelong Iman Rush – Tip #12: Ask Allah To Renew Our Iman

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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Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Faith wears out in your heart as clothes wear out,
so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” [1]

No matter what level of piety we’re currently at, our iman can wear out, so we should never take it for granted. This is why we need to constantly make supplications to Allah to renew iman in our hearts, because only He s.w.t. can nourish it back.

What causes iman to fade?

One of the reasons why people become weak in their iman is because they allow themselves to become heedless (ghaflah) with the reality – the reality that we will one day stand before Allah s.w.t. and will be held accountable for each of our deed – or the lack of it. We become so engrossed in our dunya affairs, that our work and leisure / the latest movie / the latest celebrity gossips become our priorities over our responsibilities in this Deen. We are so heedless with the accumulation of our minor and major sins, as though we have been given a hundred percent guarantee that they will be forgiven. These are some of the common reasons why one’s iman becomes weak.

Another reason is because Shaitan constantly tries to throw doubts in one’s iman. This happens when we do not have sufficient knowledge of our Deen, making us easy to be swayed by false perceptions and deceptions. We will have issues with our faith if we don’t know how to counter questions that attack Islam.

“Shaitan misleads man due to his lack of knowledge.”
Sheikh Ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah)
(Kitab al-Sarim al-Maslul alaa’ Shatim ar-Rasul, p. 401)

One of the ways to combat this is to seek authentic knowledge, and intellectual proofs about our religion that conform with the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Knowledge is important – this Deen teaches us to be intellectual. Notice that out of all of the du’as in the Qur’an, Allah s.w.t. instructs us to only ask for an increase in one thing. It’s not status, wealth, family or even happiness. It’s knowledge:

“My Rabb, increase me in knowledge.”
[Ta-Ha 20:114]

“Whoever takes a path upon which to obtain knowledge,
Allah makes the path to Paradise easy for him.”
[At-Tirmidhi]

What are the du’as from the Qur’an and hadith that we can make to protect our iman?

1. From Surah Ali-Imran 3:8

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغۡ قُلُوبَنَا بَعۡدَ إِذۡ هَدَيۡتَنَا وَهَبۡ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحۡمَةً‌ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡوَهَّابُ
(Our Rabb! Let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us,
and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.)

2. From a hadith collected by At-Tirmidhi

Umm Salamah was asked: O Mother of the Believers! What was the supplication that Rasulallah ﷺ said most frequently when he was with you?  She answered:

“Ya Muqallibal-quloob, thabbit qalbi ‘alaa deenika.”
(O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion.)

When asked why, Rasulallah ﷺ said: “O Umm Salamah! Verily, there is no human being except that his heart is between Two Fingers of the Fingers of Allah, so whomsoever He wills, He makes steadfast; and whomever He wills, He causes to deviate.”

3. The du’a that we make everyday, so important that we recite it in our 5 daily prayers – Surah Al-Fatihah

These are three important du’as that we should consistently make every day, if we truly care about our iman. Yes, we should strive hard to take care of our iman by obeying what Allah has commanded us to do, and steer clear from all that He has forbidden. But do not rely on efforts, rather rely only on Allah s.w.t. who is the only One that can nourish our iman back to health again.

May Allah s.w.t. make us love iman, beautify it in our hearts, and cause us to hate disbelief, wickedness, and evil deeds, and make all of us among the rightly guided ones. Allahumma ameen.

———–
🖊 Reference:
[1] Narrated by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak & al-Tabarani in his Mu’jam with a sahih isnaad

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 the social media, so we shared and retweeted them manifold …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.

Knowledge should and must benefit ourselves foremost before anyone else. 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)

So practice what you learn. Practice what you preach.

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 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