Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest: Lesson 8

Sunday 11 Mar 2018

Lesson 8: Importance of having a Balance between Fear and Hope, Knowledge expands the chest

  • Recap of Lesson 7:
    • Signs of a person having the noor of Eemaan in their heart
    • What did Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami say about preparing for death
    • How the companions and Salaf would take their self into account
  • Ibn Al-Qayyim said that the believer has good opinions about his brothers and sisters (Husnudhan), but holds negative opinion regarding himself (Suu’udhan), this is so that he does not become complacent and content with his actions.
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami mentions to us the importance of having a balance between fear and hope
    • This is one of the ways of preparing for death
    • We have hope in the mercy of Allah and also fear his punishment
    • What will happen if one has just fear of Allah and no hope?
    • What about a person who has nothing but hope for Allah’s mercy and has no fear, “Allah will forgive me whatever I do”
    • What is the measuring stick for having fear of Allah, how does one know if his fear of Allah is lacking or extreme?
      • The criteria are the companions of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
      • At the time of death what did Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) say on his deathbed?
      • What did ‘Amr bin Al-‘as (may Allah be pleased with him) say on his deathbed?
    • Ibn Al-Qayyim mentions the principal cause of expanding the chest, i.e. Tawhid
      • NOTE: when we mention “Noor (light)” we do not refer to what the Sufis talk about when they say “noor”, rather we are referring to the Noor (light) of Eemaan.
      • NOTE: Where did Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami deliver this talk?
      • The light of Eemaan illuminates and relaxes the heart just as how the physical light relaxes a person as it expands his vision whereas darkness creates unease
      • The stronger that the Noor of Eemaan is, the greater the relaxation and expansion of the heart
    • Ibn Al-Qayyim says from among the means of bringing about relaxation of the Chest is “Al-‘Ilm”, The Knowledge.
      • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami comments that when Ibn Qayyim says “Knowledge”, he uses the definitive article “Al-(The)”, therefore the meaning of this statement is Knowledge of the Religion is intended, not any knowledge.
      • Why is this the case? Why is this Knowledge special?
      • Just as knowledge brings about relaxation to the chest, Ignorance regarding this knowledge of the Religion brings about tightness’ of the chest. This is because one who is ignorant of the religion does not know about Allah, the rights of Allah, who the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is, the manners of how to deal with other Muslims and with the non-Muslims and how to live life. Therefore, he follows anyone and everyone and so becomes a “yes-man” to whomever calls to him and remains ignorant of the essential parts of his religion. This type of person who has no knowledge and seeks no knowledge, he may eventually take a right which belongs only to Allah and give it to other than Allah (Shirk).
      • NOTE: The knowledge being discussed here is the “Essential” and mandatory knowledge which a Muslim has no excuse to be ignorant of. We are not intending by this Arabic grammar, or detailed fiqh, but rather we are talking about knowledge which Every Muslim must know, knowledge of Allah, his Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), the pillars and their rulings, rulings regarding marriage and other things which may affect a person and the Aqeedah which is essential. For example, see “The Three fundamental principles” and “The Book of Tawhid” by Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Abdulwahhaab, these books are short and easy to memorise.
      • Whoever is ignorant regarding these essential matters then his/her Islam is in risk
      • It is from Foolishness to not be keen to seek knowledge, especially in these days of ours. Unlike the prior days of old, Knowledge is readily accessible and the need for it is great. We have a great blessing of having knowledge available to us and we should be thankful for that and benefit from it.
    • Ibn Al-Qayyim says the more knowledge the slave acquires, the relaxed and expansive his/her chest
      • If a person wishes to learn even more, e.g. matters such as fiqh and more detailed knowledge of the religion, then his chest becomes even more expanded
      • NOTE: The above does not mean that studying fields such as Mechanics, IT, health etc is prohibited
    • Q&A:
      • Regarding having positive thoughts about Muslims as a default, what about if one knows an individual who is an known deviant.

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Authentic Adhkār from the Qur’an & Sunnah: Lesson 8

Sat 10 Mar 2018

Lesson 8: Respecting the Scholars, and the Virtue of remembering Allah with his names and Attributes

  • Recap of virtues of Seeking knowledge (Lesson 6):
    • It is a form of remembrance in itself
    • You are learning about Allah, your creator, about the pillars of Islam and the rulings of our religion
    • There is no doubt in preoccupying oneself with seeking knowledge, knowing what is halaal and haraam, studying the Qur’an and pondering over it and understanding the Seerah (biography) and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم,) that type of knowledge is the best type.
    • The gatherings of knowledge are the best types of gatherings and superior to gatherings of standard remembrance
    • Explanation of Fardhu ‘Ain (obligation upon each Muslim) vs Fardh Kifaayah (obligation upon the Muslims as a collective)
    • The hadith of the virtue of the Scholar over the worshipper
  • Statements from the Scholars regarding the virtue of seeking knowledge:
    • Ath-Thawri (may Allah be pleased with him) said there is nothing better which that brings one closer to Allah than seeking knowledge, and Knowledge has not been sought at a better time than now (i.e. today, do not delay seeking Knowledge)
    • Maymoon Ibn Mahraan (may Allah be pleased with him) indeed the example of the Scholar in a country is like the example of a fresh spring of water
    • Al-Hasan Al-Basri (may Allah be pleased with him) said the Scholar is better than a Zaahid (i.e. someone who lives a humble life) in the worldly life, and the scholar is better than one who continues to strive to worship Allah. Why is this?
    • Imam Ash_Shaafi’i (may Allah be pleased with him) said seeking knowledge is superior to the superogatory (optional) prayers. Why is this?
    • Imam Ahmed (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked “Which is more beloved to you, that I should pray the superogatory night prayer or that or that I should sit down seeking knowledge. Imam Ahmed replied that if one would sit down and write about the Religion then that is more beloved to him. Imam Ahmed also said that nothing can be equated to knowledge.
  • The Prophet (saws) said: “He is not from us who doesn’t have mercy for our young, and respects our old and knows the right of our scholar.”” [Saheeh Al-Jaami’-us-Sagheer (no. 5443)]
    • Therefore me must respect the Scholars
    • There are some people who do not respect the Scholars and instead speak about them in a mocking and belittling way
    • This ideology of disrespecting the Scholars and learned people, this started in the early people of innovation and desires.
    • The people who belittle the scholars are of two types:
      • Type 1: Those on a sufi methodology, they make these disrepectuful statement as their priority in everything is their innovated acts, claiming they do it out of love. For such Sufis, they cannot be content with knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah being spread to the people or their followers seeking knowledge, instead they would like their followers to be as though they are dead bodies (i.e. in complete obedience and blind following)
      • Type 2: These are of the ideological, “intellectual”, “modernist” and philosophical type of people. Again, they cannot be content with the religion of Islam to be practiced in the way Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم,) and his companions practiced it. Their objective is to draw people to their own way of thinking and in order to do this, they belittle the Scholars
      • Type 3: These are the khawaarij, renegades. Their objective is to take political power for themselves, and in order to do this they attempt to distance and separate people from the Scholars, this reduces knowledge of how Islam is to be practiced, then they attempt to convince the people of their own way which has no basis in reality.

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Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest : Lesson 7

Sunday 04 Mar 2018

✏️ Lesson 7:  What are the signs of having the Noor of Eemaan? Preparing for death before it arrives

  • Brief recap of previous Lesson (Lesson 6):
    • When the Noor (light) of Eemaan (Belief) departs from the heart, the heart becomes constrained
    • Some may be in an apparent outward appearance of luxury, but in reality, they live a life with a constrained heart:
      • Allah gives the world (comfortable lifestyle, luxury) even to the non-believers, therefore it is not something to be used as a yardstick or measurement of how content and expanded someone’s heart is.
    • When Noor enters the heart, the heart becomes expanded and alleviated
    • The Worldly life is a delusion
    • A Muslim should see the worldly life as a path towards the hereafter and his/her heart is not attached to it, therefore its luxuries do not tempt him/her nor do its difficulties worry him/her
    • Recap of Imam Nawaawi’s poem
    • Ibn Qayyim’s Example of the three brothers
  • What are the signs of a person having the Noor of Eemaan?, Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says:
    • Returning back to Allah in repentance
    • Keeping away from the abode of Delusion, i.e. withdrawing from the Worldly life
    • To Prepare for death before it arrives
  • How does a person prepare for death? Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says
    • By making Taubah (Repentance)
    • By Turning back to Allah
    • By going over and revising the pages of your deeds. Review your actions and take your soul into account.
  • By turning back to Allah and making Repentance for your sins, your soul will feel regret for that sin, as well as fear and apprehension as you do not know what your end will be and in what state you will depart this world
  • This fear and apprehension allows a person to prepare for death by examining their actions and making repentance
  • By preparing for death, the heart becomes relaxed.
  • The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to regularly ask for forgiveness, and he was the best of creation (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
  • Verse: “And I swear by the self-reproaching person (a believer).” [Surah Al-Qiyaamah (The Day of Resurrection) verse 2]
    • Allah takes an oath by the self-reproaching soul i.e. a soul which examines its actions and blames itself for its sins
    • Shaikh Hassan Al-Basri said concerning this, that you will not find a believer except that he blames his soul and takes it to account for its sin, however the sinner continues to move forward in his sin and does not contemplate or become worried about where he is headed.
  • How did the Salaf reproach themselves?
    • Ibn Shumasah reported: We visited ‘Amr bin Al-‘as (May Allah be pleased with him) when he was in his deathbed. He wept for a long time and turned his face towards the wall. His son said: “O father, did not the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)  give you the good news of such and such? Did he not give you glad tidings of such and such?” Then he (‘Amr) turned his face towards us and said: “The best thing which you can count upon is the affirmation that: La ilaha illallah (there is no true god except Allah), and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I have passed through three phases. I remember when I hated none more than I hated the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), and there was no other desire stronger in me than that of killing him. Had I died in that state, I would have definitely been one of the dwellers of Fire (Hell). When Allah instilled the love for Islam in my heart, I went to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and said, ‘Extend your right hand, so that I pledge allegiance to you.’ He (PBUH) stretched out his right hand, but I withdrew my hand. He said, ‘What is the matter, ‘Amr?’ I said, ‘I wish to lay down same conditions.’ He asked, ‘What conditions do you wish to put forward?’ I replied, ‘To be granted forgiveness.’ He said, ‘Do you not know that (embracing) Islam wipes out all that has gone before it (previous misdeeds). Verily, emigration wipes out all the previous sins, and the Hajj (pilgrimage) wipes out all the previous sins.’ Thereafter, no one was dearer to me than Messenger of Allah (PBUH), and none was more respectable than him in my eyes. So bright was his splendour that I could not gather enough courage to look at his face for any length of time. If I were asked to describe his feature, I would not be able to do so because I have never caught a full glimpse of his face. Had I died in that state I could have hoped to be one of the dwellers of Jannah. Thereafter, we were made responsible for many things and in the light of which I am unable to know what is in store for me. When I die, no mourner, nor fire should accompany my bier. When you bury me, throw the earth gently over me and stand over my grave for the space of time within which a camel is slaughtered and its meat is distributed so that I may enjoy your intimacy, and in your presence ascertain what answer can I give to the Messengers of my Rubb (the angels in grave).”[Muslim]
    • Malik related to me from Ishaq ibn Abdullah ibn Abi Talha that Anas ibn Malik said, “I heard Umar ibn al-Khattab, when I was going out with him to visit an orchard, say to himself, and there was a wall between him and me and he was inside the garden, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, amir al-muminin! Well done! Well done! By Allah, fear Allah or he will punish you.’ “ [Muwatta Malik]
  • Death does not wait for anyone


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Authentic Adhkār from the Qur’an & Sunnah: Lesson 7

Sat 3 Mar 2018

✏️ Lesson 7: The balanced position of the people of Qur’an, The Superiority of the Qur’an and Knowledge

  • The balanced position of the people of the Qur’an
    • We have already learnt that the best type of Dhikr is the Qur’an itself
    • The people who memorise it have a great virtue
  • Verse: “Thus We have made you [true Muslims – real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) be a witness over you.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) verse 143]
    • Allah made this Ummah to be balanced and just.
  • Verse: “Verily, this Quran guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad SAW, etc.). who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise).” [Surah Al-Isra (The Journey By Night) verse 9]
  • Allah did not reveal this Qur’an to cause misery to the people, rather it is to give them joy, happiness and guidance.
    • Verse: “Ta-Ha. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] We have not sent down the Quran unto you (O Muhammad SAW) to cause you distress, But only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah). A revelation from Him (Allah) Who has created the earth and high heavens. The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil. And if you (O Muhammad SAW) speak (the invocation) aloud, then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden. Allah! La ilahla illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)! To Him belong the Best Names.” [Surah Ta-ha verses 1 to 8]
    • This was revealed because the Mushrikuun (polytheists of Makkah) used to say that the Qur’an was revealed upon Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in order to distress him.
  • Therefore, every carrier of the Qur’an, and all Muslims, must stay within the boundaries of the Qur’an and respect the Halal and Haraam mentioned in it.
  • Allah has described the virtues of the carriers of the Qur’an

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