Lesson 6: Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest

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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Lesson 6: Authentic Adhkār from the Qur’an & Sunnah:

Sat 24 Feb 2018

✏️ Lesson 6: The Virtues of verse Ayatul-Kursi (2:255), Suratul Ikhlaas (The Purity) and other chapters

  • Brief Recap of previous lessons
  • This lesson will cover the virtue of Ayatul Kursi (the verse which mentions the footstool of Allah, 2:255), Chapter Al-Ikhlaas (The Purity) and other chapters
    • Previous lessons have mentioned that certain chapters of the Qur’an have specific virtues, e.g. we covered Chapter Al-Fatiha (The Opening) in lesson 5
  • The greatest verse of the Quran is Ayatul kursi (Chapter Al-Baqarah (The Cow), verse 255)
    • Ubayy b. Ka’b said: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: O Abu’ al-Mundhir, do you know the verse from the Book of Allah which, according to you, is the greatest? I said: Allah and His Apostle (ﷺ) know best. He again said: Abu’l-Mundhir, do you know the verse from the Book of Allah which, according to you, is the greatest? I said: Allah, there is no god but He, the Living, the Eternal. Thereupon he struck me on my breast and said: May knowledge be pleasant for you, O Abu’l-Mundhir!” [Sahih Muslim]
    • What is the reason for the high status of Ayatul kursi? This is due to the meanings of tawhid (Islamic monotheism) and praise upon Allah that it carries. It mentions the attributes of Might and Majesty of Allah.
    • Ayatul kursi has 5 names of Allah and over 20 attributes of Allah and this is more than any one verse in the Qur’an
    • Shayk ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said there is not a single ayah of the qur’an which incorporates that which ayatul kursi incorporates
    • Due to this great virtue of this verse, a person who reads ayatul kursi at night, then Allah will place a guardian upon him/her until dawn and no shaitan (satan) will approach him/her:
      • Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle ordered me to guard the Zakat revenue of Ramadan. Then somebody came to me and started stealing from the foodstuff. I caught him and said, “I will take you to Allah’s Apostle!” Then Abu Huraira described the whole narration and said: That person said (to me), “(Please don’t take me to Allah’s Apostle and I will tell you a few words by which Allah will benefit you.) When you go to your bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi, (2.255) for then there will be a guard from Allah who will protect you all night long, and Satan will not be able to come near you till dawn.” (When the Prophet heard the story) he said (to me), “He (who came to you at night) told you the truth although he is a liar; and it was Satan.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
    • Hadith of Abu umamah that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “whoever reads Ayahtul kursi at the end of each the obligatory prayers, nothing prevents him from entering Paradise except that he dies”  [Reported in Sunan an-Nasa’i]
    • Ibnul Qayyim mentioned that Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah would always recite Ayatul kursi at the end of each of the obligatory prayers
  • Chapter Al-Ikhlaas (The Purity) also has a great virtue;
    • The reward for reciting this chapter is equal to that of a third of the qur’an
    • How is this (i.e. Suratul Ikhlas being equivalent to a 1/3 of the Qur’an) the case?
      • There are generally 3 topics in the Qur’an, these are; tawhid (monotheism), rulings (e.g. halal, haram) stories of the Prophets or those of the past. Some of the scholars say since Suratul-Ikhlaas purely incorporates tawhid then this is why is has the reward for reciting a third of the Qur’an.
    • It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed Al Khudri that: A man heard another man reciting “Say: He is Allah, (the) One” and repeating it. When morning came he went to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and told him about that. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, it is equal to one-third of the Quran.” [Related by Sunan an-Nasa’i]
    • Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to his companions, “Is it difficult for any of you to recite one third of the Qur’an in one night?” This suggestion was difficult for them so they said, “Who among us has the power to do so, O Allah’s Apostle?” Allah Apostle replied: ” Allah (the) One, the Self-Sufficient Master Whom all creatures need.’ (Surat Al-Ikhlas 112.1–to the End) is equal to one third of the Qur’an.” [Related by Al-Bukhari]
    • Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said Suratul Ikhlas being a third of the Qur’an can be explained by the explanation above (regarding the 3 topics), however it should not be said Suratul Ikhlas is better than Suratul Fatiha, or that reciting it 3 times is equivalent to reciting the entire Qur’an. The Qur’an is to be recited as it is. Reciting it provides equivalent reward as though reciting a third of the Qur’an however these acts themselves are not the same and a person should not abandon reciting the rest of the Qur’an.

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✏️ Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest | Lesson 5

Sunday 18 Feb 2018

Lesson 5: The Light of Eemaan Prevails over the difficulties of this World

  • Recap of Lesson 4:
    • The cause and means of Allah saving you from your own evil could be just one dua
    • Tawhid is the greatest cause for alleviating the tight chest
    • Shirk is the greatest cause for tightening the chest
    • The noor (light) of Eemaan (belief)
    • For Summary of Lesson 4 go to: http://alhudabolton.com/2018/02/04/lesson-4-remedying-heavy-tight-chest/
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami (may Allah have mercy on him) says the light of Eemaan expands the chest and as a result of that, a person does not attach significance to this world and isn’t worried by the toils of it nor does he/she take delight in its luxuries
    • However, this must be correct Eemaan, free from shirk
    • Eemaan must be based on what the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught us
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami continues that perhaps there is a person who has Eemaan but is in a state of poverty or does not have much wealth, or perhaps he has enemies whom Allah has placed in a state of authority (as Allah has done in the case of many Prophets, Messengers and those who strive to bring about rectification in order to test them). Such people, Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says, they find within themselves love of Allah and being in a state of happiness
  • Shaykh Ibnul-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) says the believer has an expanded and alleviated chest in this world despite the difficulties he faces, and when his Eemaan becomes intensified, then he will have an more expanded chest when facing the difficulties of life more so than what expansion he would find in a state of ease.
    • When such a person departs this world (dies), his/her heart becomes even more expanded, just as one who leaves a state of confinement as, in reality, this world is a prison for the believer
    • When the believer dies, he/she will experience bliss in the life of Al-Barzakh. However, when Allah raises him on the day of resurrection he/she will experience such a degree of relaxation which cannot be compared to what came before it
  • Allah may cause the enemies of those who strive to bring about rectification (e.g. the Propehts) to overpower them as a trail
    • Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 AH may Allah have mercy on him), the teacher of Ibnul-Qayyim, was tested greatly however despite these difficulties Allah provided him with bliss, happiness and an expansive chest
    • Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (when imprisoned) said: “What can my enemies do to me? My garden is in my chest, wherever I go it goes with me, it does not leave me, my imprisonment is seclusion, my being killed is martyrdom, and my being driven out of my land is tourism”
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says can your enemies do any more than this (to imprison, to kill, or to expel)?
    • Ibn Qayyim reports regarding the imprisonment of Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah in the fortress of Damascus that he said “If I was to spend this fortress worth of gold, it would not equate to the gratitude and thanks I wish to give for this blessing (of being imprisoned in this fortress)”
  • Regardless of what others may do, if a person has the light of Eemaan then his/her heart is protected from the difficulties of this world
    • Ibn Qayyim says that he had not seen anyone live a life happier than Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah despite the difficulties he endured. Whenever fear increased with them they would go to Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, seeing him and listening to him speak would replace the fear with relaxation, certainty and tranquillity
  • Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah: “Indeed in the world there is a paradise, whoever does not enter into this paradise, he will not enter into the paradise of the Hereafter”
    • The paradise of this world is the delight of obeying and worshipping Allah.
  • Eventually such a person who obeyed Allah will die and his/her soul will be in bliss

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