Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest : Lesson 9

Sunday 18 Mar 2018

Lesson 9:  To Love Allah with all the heart, different types of love, and a statement of Imam Muqbil

  • Recap of Lesson 8:
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami’s advise on how to prepapre for death
    • Balancing between love, fear and hope
    • The example of how physical light illuminates a room and expands the vision, likewise the light of Eemaan expands the chest. The opposite is also true
    • Ibn Al-Qayyim says from among the means of bringing about relaxation of the Chest is “Al-‘Ilm”;The Religious Knowledge.
    • Essential vs supererogatory knowledge
  • Ibn Al-Qayyim says from among the means of bringing about relaxation of the Chest is Inaaba (turning to Allah in repentence) and to love Allah with all your heart;
    • To love Allah such that your heart does not love anyone else alongside him
    • NOTE 1: Love is of two types. Loving for the sake of Allah and Loving someone alongside The latter is prohibited as it is Shirk (associating partnes with Allah) and this nullifies one’s Islam.
    • NOTE 2: Besides the above two types of Love, there is also the love that comes from the natural inclination someone has e.g. for his/her family, their wealth etc. However, this type of love is not considered Shirk as long as it is not submissiveness and humility
    • NOTE 3: Love for the sake of Allah is a righteous deed, and Loving the awlia (allies) of Allah is considered good, however we do not call the awlia of Allah those sufi leaders who claim to have “Kashf” (pretend to know the unseen), or those who instruct their followers to make dhikr a thousand times in one sitting, or those who believe they have control over the affairs of the world etc. We find that sufi followers love their Imams with submissiveness and humility
    • NOTE 4: It is better to love the one who is a faasiq from the people of sunnah than the worshipper from the people of innovation

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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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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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Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest: Lesson 6

Sunday 25 Feb 2018

✏️ Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest

Lesson 6:  This world is not a Yardstick, Who is the Shrewd person? and the Example of the 3 Brothers

  • Brief recap of previous Lesson (Lesson 5):
    • What does the Noor (Light) of Eemaan (Belief) do when it enters the chest of a person?
    • The story of Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) and the difficulties he faced, yet he had a happy outlook to his life
    • What were some of the statements of Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah which showed his attitude to facing difficulties of life
    • To listen to Lesson 5 or read its’ Summary go to: AlhudaBolton.com/2018/02/18/Remedying-Heavy-Tight-Chest-Lesson-5/
  • Ibnul-Qayyim continues regarding the Noor of Eemaan, that it expands the chest and causes the heart to be delighted
    • If this light is lost from the heart of the Slave, then the heart becomes the most constrained and hard prison
  • The luxuries of life are not a yardstick for measuring how close someone is to Allah or what the state of their heart is
    • Some people (e.g. a disbeliever/sinner who has some of the luxuries of life) may seem to be in a state of ease/relaxation outwardly, yet they are in a state of being constrained in their heart due to their bad relationship between themselves and Allah
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says that a sign that Allah has placed the noor of Eemaan in one’s heart is that such a person shuns this world, and so this person does not have an attitude of seeking the luxuries of this world nor does he/she fear its difficulties and instead recognises that this world is one of delusion.
    • NOTE: It should be mentioned that this should not be a complete shunning (e.g. not eating/not drinking/not marrying deliberately) as the world does have uses, i.e. in aiding a person to get to their desired destination (Paradise) through nourishment, work, having a family etc and these are things that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not shun. The main point is that the world is insignificant, and should never be our goal, our goal should be greater (The Hereafter and Paradise) and this world should be a stepping stone.
    • NOTE 2: Some people say “I should work towards my Akhira (Hereafter), but also my worldly life, so I will take out a mortgage/interest loan and make the most out of it”, this is foolishness. A person should neither shun the world completely nor should he/she disobey Allah in seeking it, one should live in a balanced way.
  • The Shrewd person is one who sees the TRUE value in something, thereby seeing the low and insignificant value of this world compared to the greatness of Paradise
    • Imam An-Nawaawi in his introduction to Riyaadh-us-Saaliheen makes a mention of some lines of poetry regarding who the Shrewd slaves of Allah are. They are those who:
      • They have detached/divorced the Worldly Life while fearing its temptations
      • They glimpsed into it (the world), however they came to know that it is not for the living person a homeland
      • they considered chasing after it is nothing except an ocean and they took their righteous deeds in this World as Ships
      • Note: The above are paraphrased from the poem and discussed in the Lesson
  • Ibnul-Qayyim gives us a clear example of the reality of this worldly life. He mentions 17 examples, one of them is the example of the three Brothers.
    • The likeness of man in this worldly life and his wealth, family and deeds (whether good or evil), is like the likeness of a man with three brothers. The man must embark on a long and far journey which he cannot avoid (he has no choice about it), and so he approaches his three brothers and mentions to them this journey and that he needs their help. The first one of the brothers says to him “I was your brother until this moment, however now I am no longer your brother nor am I your friend and I cannot help you with this” and so the man says to him “You have not been any avail to me whatsoever”. He then turns to his second brother with the same request, and the second brother says, “I was your brother and companion until now, and I will help you and prepare you for your journey up until you mount your riding animal, however after that I am not a friend nor companion for you” and so the man mentions to him that he is in need of his companionship, and the second brother says “There is no way for you to get that”, and so the man says, “You have been of no use to me”. The man approaches the third brother with the same request, the third brother says “I was your companion in your health and in your sickness, and I am your companion now, and your companion when you embark, so if you go on a journey I will go with you, if you disembark I will disembark with you, when you reach your destination I will accompany you there; I will never leave you” and so the man says “Indeed you used to be the most insignificant out of all my companions, and I used to give more precedence to your companions (i.e. the first two brothers) over you, so Woe on to me! would that I had recognised your right and preferred you over them”.
      • The inescapable Journey is death since it is sudden, and inevitable and unavoidable
      • The first brother is your wealth which becomes completely useless instantly at death. It is also the boasting people make to compete.
      • The second brother is your family who will prepare you for the journey after death by washing, shrouding, and burying you. After this they too cannot be of any use to you
      • The third brother is a representation of your deeds, they go with you wherever you go; to the grave, Paradise or Hell.

 

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