Will we be punished for doing a “good” deed?

Imam Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyib rahimahullah once saw a man praying more than 2 raka’at after the beginning of Fajr (i.e. before the Fajr prayer), making many bows and prostrations, and so he forbade him.

The man said: “O Abu Muhammad, is Allah going to punish me for praying?”

Sa’eed said: “No, but He will punish you for contradicting the Sunnah.” [1]

Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyib rahimahullah was a tabi’ee (i.e. a student of the Companions), and his narrations are reported in both Bukhari and Muslim.

The point here is a lesson and a warning against doing bid’ah with the excuse of doing a good deed. For this ummah, there is absolutely no one else who knows ‘ibadah that is beloved and accepted by Allah s.w.t. than Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself. So adhere to the Sunnah as much and closely as possible, and leave the ones that contradict it.

قُلۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحۡبِبۡكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ ذُنُوبَكُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

Say (O Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to mankind):
If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah),
Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.
And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
[Ali Imran 3:31]

May Allah s.w.t. help us live upon the Sunnah and die upon the Sunnah.

____________
Reference:
Al-Bayhaqi in As-Sunan Al-Kubraa, graded as saheeh by Sheikh Al-Albani

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Lifelong Iman Rush – Tip #13: Fight That Laziness!

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

———-🌸———-

Have you ever woke up one morning and just straight away feel lazy? Not only do you feel lazy, but you also get irritated easily over every single thing? In this tip, we’ll discuss how to avoid laziness (and bad mood!) – this fight starts from the moment we wake up! Rasulallah ﷺ said:

When any one of you goes to sleep, the shaitan ties 3 knots at the back of his neck, sealing every knot with: ‘You have a long night, so sleep.’
So if one awakes and mentions Allah, a knot will be loosened;
if he performs ablution, two knots are loosened;
and if he prays, (all) knots will be loosened,
and in the morning, he will be active and in good spirits;
otherwise we will be in bad spirits and sluggish in the morning.”
[Sahih Muslim]

Did you know that this is one of THE BEST tips for a Muslim to avoid laziness and become productive?

Rasulallah ﷺ said that when any of us goes to sleep, Shaitan will seal 3 knots at the back of our neck, lulling us to keep on sleeping “It’s okay… Just another 5, 10, 15 minutes…” until we wake up realizing that we have completely missed Fajr prayer.

But not only does Shaitan want us to abandon our obligatory duties, he wants us to waste our morning and the rest of the day as well. He wants us to become LAZY. There are so many obstacles that Iblis has set up for mankind to distract a person from accomplishing any act of obedience for Allah s.w.t.

Rasulallah ﷺ said in the aforementioned hadith:

“So if one awakes and mentions Allah, a knot will be loosened;
if he performs ablution, two knots are loosened;
and if he prays, (all) knots will be loosened,
and in the morning, he will be active and in good spirits;
otherwise we will be in bad spirits and sluggish in the morning.”

The hadith teaches us that if a person wakes up and remembers Allah, 1 knot will be undone. And when he performs wudhu’ properly, 2 knots will be undone. And if he prays, then all of the knots will be undone. And Allah s.w.t. will make this person feel energetic, in good spirit and mood, and be productive insya Allah! But if he does not untie all 3 knots, then he will wake up in a bad mood and feel lazy throughout the day.

This is a very crucial advice from the Sunnah of Rasulallah ﷺ. So let us go in detail on what we should be doing upon waking up, based on this and other authentic ahadith:

📌Step #1: When we wake up, immediately remember Allah to undo the first knot.
A personal litmus test: The first thing that comes to our mind when we wake up is the thing that occupies our life the most. Untie that first knot by remembering Allah and reciting:

الحمد لله الذي أحيانا بعدما أماتنا وإليه النشور
“Alhamdulillahil-ladhi ahyana ba’da ma amatana wa ilaihi an-nushur.”
All praises are for Allah, Who has made us alive after He made us die (sleep)
and unto Him is the Resurrection.
[Sahih Bukhari]

Sleep is a minor death – there are those who passed away in their sleep. So when you wake up, exclaim alhamdulillah! Then force ourselves to get up from our beds and step into the bathroom. For many of us, this may be the hardest part. So it’s good to have an alternative bathroom further from the bedroom because Shaitan can still tempt us to go back and sleep. Quickly go to step #2:

📌Step #2: Make Wudhu’ properly to undo the second knot.
In another hadith, Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“If anyone of you performs ablution he should put water in his nose and then blow it out and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do so with odd numbers. And whoever wakes up from his sleep should wash his hands before putting them in the water for ablution, because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

From this hadith, we learn:
(1) It is Sunnah to wash both of our hands after waking up and before making wudhu’ because we don’t know where our hands were when we were asleep. Alhamdulillah, this Religion truly teaches us the importance of purity and cleanliness.

(2) When making wudhu, one should put water in his nose and then blow it out. In another hadith, it is mentioned that it is Sunnah to do this 3 times:

“When any one of you wakes up from sleep and performs ablution,
he must clean his nose three times,
for the shaitan spends the night in the interior of his nose.”

[Sahih Muslim]

After making wudhu, end it with this du’a:

“Ash-hadu alla ilaha illallah, wahdahu la sharika lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluhu.  Allahummaj-‘alni min at-tawwabin, waj-‘alni min al-mutatahhirin.”
I testify that there is no true god except Allah Alone, Who has no partners and that Muhammad (ﷺ) is His slave and Messenger. Allahumma, make me among those who repent and purify themselves.
[Riyad As Salihin]

📌Step #3: Pray (preferably catch Qiyamul Lail) to undo the last knot.

After we remove all these 3 knots, we will begin our morning in a happy and refreshed mood, and our nafs will be able to handle any difficult or irritating situation in a good and peaceful manner – insya Allah. This is THE tip to enjoy your morning – and life! If we don’t, then not only will we feel lazy, but our nafs will also get agitated and irritated easily even over small things.

In essence, what we learn from the first hadith is that the fight against laziness starts from the moment we wake up. Fighting laziness is a process to undo these knots one by one, and Ibn Qayyim rahimahullah commented that if a person does step 1 properly and sincerely, then he will find step 2 easy, until all three knots are undone.

📌Extra Tips: What else can I do to stop being lazy?
Rasulallah ﷺ taught us this supplication as a daily adhkar that should be recited once every morning and once every evening:

“O Allah! I seek refuge with You from worry and grief,
from incapacity and laziness,
from cowardice and miserliness,
from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by (other) men.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

My last tip is: Do not abandon your voluntarily ibadahs whenever you feel lazy! I cannot emphasize how important our acts of voluntarily ibadah really is! A lot of Muslims say: Oh it’s just Sunnah, it’s not wajib. Subhanallah, belittling acts of Sunnah will gradually cost one’s iman.

“Guard your acts of Sunnah, for indeed it is a wall, and if it is destroyed,
Shaitan would enter your obligatory acts and make you lazy upon them.”
– Sheikh Rabee –
[Explanation of the book of Iman from Sahih Al-Bukhari]

“Whoever persists upon leaving Sunnah prayers,
then that is a proof of his weakness in religion.”
– Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) –
[مجموع الفتاوى]

I pray that these tips will be beneficial to the readers, and I pray that these writings benefit the writer foremost. Allahumma ameen.

[Al-Kahf 18:110] Al-Kahf Challenge (20/20)

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 19Pg 20  | Pg 21

———- 🌺 ———-

al-kahf-110-r

Say (O Muhammad ﷺ): “I am only a man like you.
It has been revealed to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (Allah).
So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Rabb,
let him work righteousness
and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Rabb.”
[Al-Kahf 18:110]

In this ayah, Rasulallah ﷺ was commanded by Allah s.w.t. to declare his ﷺ humanity to the people – and this is a very important information. Even today, there are many sects that overpraise and elevate Rasulallah ﷺ above his humanity. In a sahih hadith, it was reported that Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Do not praise me excessively like the Christians praised Jesus, the son of Mary.
I am but a servant, so call me Allah’s servant and Messenger.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

It is very common, yet very far astray, for someone to say that it is okay to make du’a to Rasulallah ﷺ after his death. This is an example of overpraising him ﷺ and overstepping the boundaries that have been set by Allah s.w.t. This is truly shirk.

Rasulallah ﷺ said:
Supplication (du’a) is itself the worship (‘ibadah).
(He then recited:) “And your Rabb said:
Call on Me, I will answer you (Ghafir 40:60).”

[Sunan Abi Dawud | Graded Sahih]

This is why it is beautiful, that after mentioning this, Allah s.w.t. highlights Tawheed in this ayah:

“So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Rabb,
let him work righteousness

and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Rabb.”

Allah s.w.t. says whoever wishes to meet his Rabb with a true, genuine hope, they must fulfill two basic criteria:

(1) Righteous deeds – Deeds done according to the ways of Rasulallah ﷺ and are done sincerely for Allah, and
(2) Tawheed – Having correct belief.

Notice that these 2 criteria have been mentioned multiple times in the previous Ayat in Surah Al-Kahf alone, highlighting their importance. It is also important for us to safeguard our deeds from minor shirk, for Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Verily, what I fear most for you is the minor shirk.”
And he elaborated, “It is showing off (Ar-Riya’).
Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection,
when the people are rewarded or punished for their deeds:
Go to the one for whom you were showing off in the world
and see if you will find any reward with him.”
[Musnad Ahmad]

May Allah s.w.t. safeguard us from any element of shirk, and help us preserve our Iman until the Day we are brought to him.

Alhamdulillah, this is the end of the Al-Kahf Challenge. Praise be to Allah, the Rabb of all that exists. If you would like to read the previous Al-Kahf Challenge posts in chronological order, please click the links provided at the beginning of the article.

May Allah s.w.t. accept this from you and me.
Jazakumullah khayran.

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

[Al-Kahf 18:107] Al-Kahf Challenge (17/20)

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 19Pg 20  | Pg 21
———- 🌺 ———-

al-kahf-107-r

Verily! Those who believe and do righteous deeds
shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaus (the Paradise)
for their entertainment [nuzul].
[Al-Kahf 18:107]

After describing the true losers in this life, Allah s.w.t. then describes the characteristics of those who will truly be successful. This ayah teaches us the two conditions that must be fulfilled in order to be in the successful group:

Correct Belief
and Righteous Deeds. 

These two are the total opposite of the characteristics of the losers, because the losers are those who not only do not have correct belief, but also all of their works are in vain and not accepted.

What is Righteous Deeds?

We need to really understand that for a deed to be accepted by Allah s.w.t. must be (1) done only for the His sake and (2) in accordance to the Shari’ah i.e. as the teachings of Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. This is what it meant by Righteous Deeds.

1. Must be done only for Allah’s Sake i.e. Sincerity – The intention of any deed that we do must be only to seek the pleasure of Allah, and not for any other purpose even if it might seem good in our eyes. For example, a person attends a knowledge circle with his friend because he wants to be seen as pious to his friend. Attending a beneficial class and pleasing a friend do seem like good deeds. However, if this was his sole intention, then he will not be rewarded.

One of the things that is so important, yet always forgotten by us, is to tie each of our good action with the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah.
So if we are going to a knowledge circle – make the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, for He has commanded us to seek knowledge.
If we are pleasing a friend – make the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, for He has commanded us to behave well with others.
If we are cooking, cleaning, doing “mundane” chores in the house – make the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, for He has commanded us to treat our family with ihsan, and that He loves cleanliness.
Even if we’re eating or sleeping – make the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, to revitalize our bodies so that we may continue to worship Him in the best manner.

Every single, minute good deed that we do – tie them with the intention to please our Rabb.

2. According to the Shari’ah i.e. the Sunnah – Religious innovations (bid’ah) will not be accepted by Allah s.w.t. for they do not follow the Sunnah. This is why Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has warned us:

“He who innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e. Islam) that is not of it,
will have it rejected (by Allah).”
[Bukhari & Muslim]

Therefore, any deed that lacks sincerity and are not done according to the Sunnah, is not considered as a righteous deed. May Allah s.w.t. enable and facilitate us to constantly do righteous deeds for His sake.

What has been prepared for those who believe and do righteous deeds?

So what has been prepared for such believers? It is the Gardens of Al-Firdaus al-a’laa! Qatadah said that Al-Firdaus is a hill in Paradise, at its center, and the best of it!

One might feel how can I attain Jannatul Firdaus? Isn’t that only for the Messengers and Prophets? What did our beloved Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam taught us? He sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

“When you ask Allah (for something),
ask for Al-Firdaus which is the best and highest part of Paradise.”
[Bukhari]

Always aim high! Remember that our goal is not just about getting in Jannah – It’s about getting in and at the HIGHEST place!

May Allah s.w.t. make us one of the inheritors of Jannatul Firdaus, Allahumma ameen!

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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 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.”
  4. Another narration includes 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.
___________
Reference:
Madaarij us-Saalikeen, by Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah

[Revive a Sunnah] Ruqyah For Pain

flower shape pattern background

When you feel pain, it’s recommended to put your hand on the area of the pain and supplicate to Allah s.w.t.

Uthman ibn Abu al-‘As Al-Thaqafi reported that he made a complaint of pain to Rasulallah (ﷺ) that he felt in his body at the time he became Muslim. Thereupon Rasulallah (ﷺ) said:

(1) Place your hand at the place where you feel pain in your body
(2) and say Bismillah three times
(3) and seven times “A’udhu billahi wa qudratihi min sharri ma ajidu wa uhadhiru”
(I seek refuge with Allah and with His Power from the evil that I find and that I fear).

_____________
Reference:
Sahih Muslim | https://sunnah.com/muslim/39/91

[Al-Kahf 18:106] Al-Kahf Challenge (16/20)

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 19Pg 20  | Pg 21
———- 🌺 ———-

al-kahf-106-r

“That shall be their recompense, Hell;
because they disbelieved and took My Ayat
and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery.”

[Al-Kahf 18:106]

In the previous ayat, we have discussed two characteristics of those who Allah s.w.t. say will be the greatest losers in the Hereafter. Those characteristics are:

(1) They lost or wasted their deeds, and
(2) They deny the Ayat of Allah s.w.t, His messengers, and the Hereafter.

In this Ayah, Allah s.w.t. tell us the ultimate consequence for these worst losers – they will be thrown into Jahannam. These people do not only disbelieve, but they ridicule the clear signs of Allah and His Messengers in the worst possible way. Allah s.w.t. promises that their abode will be Jahannam.

Even though Allah s.w.t. is referring to the disbelievers in this ayah, notice the warning:

“…they took My Ayat and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery.”

This warning is super important to us Muslims. We should not mock the commandments and prohibitions of Allah s.w.t., nor should we make fun of the Sunnah of Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. Even though we know it’s totally haram from doing so, but we might just fall into this sin unknowingly. How many of us do or say the following:

❌ “Hudud is so outdated in this time of ours. We need to be progressive!”
❌ “I know alcoholic drinks are haram, but my business is just about selling them, I don’t drink! So what’s the fuss!”
❌ “Bro, cut off the beard, it doesn’t look good on you.”
❌ “Sis, why don’t you take off your hijab once in a while. You’d look prettier without it.”

These are some examples of belittling and making fun of the Ayat of Allah s.w.t. and His Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. So beware o Muslims, lest we mock the Deen unknowingly, due to our ignorance and arrogance. Be aware the gravity of our words.

Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:
“A slave (of Allah) may utter a word
which pleases Allah without giving it much importance,
and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward);

a slave (of Allah) may utter a word
which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity,

and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

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