Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest: Lesson 12

Sunday 29th Rajab 1439/15 April 2018

Lesson 12: The Kind and Generous vs. the Miserly

  • Recap of lesson 11
    • The Two types of love (beneficial and harmful)
    • When does loving something besides Allah or at the expense of his duty to Allah, become shirk?
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami mentioned the harmful (sadness, loss of perfection etc) effects of loving something/someone besides Allah
    • NOTE: the above harmful love is when someone loves something/someone in a way only befitting to Allah, or with humility, or such that this causes deficiency in his duty to Allah. Natural, normal love towards one’s spouse or child or an inclination towards one’s wealth which does not decline his duty to Allah is not what is meant.
    • How are the above cured?
      • Remembrance of Allah
        • Qur’an
        • Adhkar such as from the Fortress of the Muslim
      • The importance of being kind, Ihsan
    • “Ihsan” literally means to perfect, in this context kindness and generosity is meant
    • The one who is stingy and tight fisted lives a sad and constricted life
    • Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “The example of a miserand an almsgiver is like the example of two persons wearing iron cloaks.” Allah’s Apostle also said, “The example of an almsgiver and a miser is like the example of two persons who have two iron cloaks on them from their breasts to their collar bones, and when the almsgiver wants to give in charity, the cloak becomes capacious till it covers his whole body to such an extent that it hides his fingertips and covers his footprints (obliterates his tracks). (1) And when the miser wants to spend, it (the iron cloak) sticks and every ring gets stuck to its place and he tries to widen it, but it did not become wide. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, also found in Sahih Muslim]
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says from the avenues of alleviating the chest is to be kind to creation and benefitting them with what one can.
      • Ihsan is of two types, literally means to “perfect” and so the first type is to have Ihsan in the worship of Allah, i.e. to perfect it. The second category is Ihsan towards creation, i.e. goodness and kindness towards creation.
    • Being kind and having mercy towards other people and creation is a form of showing thankfulness towards Allah as he is the one who blessed you in the first place and placed you in the position of being able to spend and help others. Therefore one who is in that position, then that act of spending is an act of gratitude towards Allah.
      • Helping others and showing mercy can be in many forms, you can help them physically with a task, you can help someone in need financially, you can put a good word in for someone who needs a reference if you are in a position to do so etc.
      • Therefore the generous is NOT just someone with money; kindness itself is a mercy to others. One can be generous with even just a smile.
      • Examples of such kind and happy people
    • Ibn Qayyim says as for the miser, in whom there is no ihsan, he is the one who has the heaviest chest and lives the most bitter life and possess the greatest amount of distress.
      • Why is this? He has gone against the word of Allah and gone against the fitra (Natural disposition of a human
      • This type of person is in a state of uneasiness, continuously trying to satisfy his greediness and niggardliness, whilst his heart reproaches him all the while, and for that reason he lives in a state of grief as he is unable to extend the hand of kindness to the other servants of Allah.
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says stinginess necessitates and is inseparable from cowardliness, just as generosity and kindness necessitates and is inseparable from courage. Therefore when you see a generous person, know that he is brave and courageous, and when you see a miser know that he is a coward.
    • Recap so far of causes of achieving relaxation of the chest:
      1. Tawhid (Islamic monotheism)
      2. Huda (guidance)
      3. Noor of eemaan (Light of Belief)
      4. Inaaba (turning towards Allah in repentance)
      5. Ilm (knowledge)
      6. Loving Allah
      7. Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah
      8. Ihsan, kindness and generosity
    • Next Part: Ibn Qayyim says from among the means of relieving the heavy and tight chest is bravery, because the brave one has an expanded chest and is someone who is easy going, has a big heart. As for the coward, he has the most heavy heart, no happiness or delight does he experience, he only experiences the pleasure which the animals derive, however he is denied from true happiness of the heart.
    • Principle: the state of your heart whilst in this life, that is how the state of your grave is going to be in the next life
      • Indeed the one who is kind and generous, the bliss which his soul experiences in his life transforms in his grave into a garden, and in a similar fashion the tightness experienced by a miser and coward converts into confinement and torture in the grave.

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Authentic Adhkār from the Qur’an & Sunnah Lesson 12

Sat 14 Apr 2018

✏️Lesson 12: Understanding the names of Allah correctly and acting on them, + are they limited to 99?

  • It is clear that the need for the servant to know his lord and creator is from the greatest of his needs
  • The servant therefore needs to carefully ponder over the names of Allah and focus on them one by one
  • The servant believes the perfection of Allah is infinite
  • The servant must make this issue (i.e understanding the names and attributes of Allah) from the most important of issues
  • Anas said: One of the Ansar used to lead the Ansar in Salat in the Quba’ mosque and it was his habit to reciteQul Huwal-lahu Ahad whenever he wanted to recite something in Salat. When he finished that Surah, he would reciteanother one with it. He followed the same procedure in each Rak’a. His companions discussed this with him and said, “You recite this Surah and do not consider it sufficient and then you recite So would you recite it alone or leave it and recite some other.” He said, “I will never leave it and if you want me to be your Imam on this condition then it is all right ; otherwise I will leave you.” They knew that he was the best amongst them and they did not like someone else to lead them in Salat. When the Prophet (saws) went to them as usual, they informed him about it. The Prophet (saws) addressed him and said, “O so-and-so, what forbids you from doing what your companions ask you to do ? Why do you read this Surah particularly in every Rak’a ?” He repiled, “I love this Surah.” The Prophet (saws) said, “Your love for this Surah will make you enter Paradise.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
    • Recap of the Virtue of Suratul-Ikhlaas (Chapter Sincerity)
  • It is upon every Muslim to understand all of the names and attributes of Allah having acceptance, satisfaction and pleasure regarding them
  • Imam Zuhri said: From Allah is the revelation, upon the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is the duty of dissemination, and upon us is submission.
  • It is not permissible for a Muslim who has understood the rights of Allah and his status, to ever approach any of his names and attributes with rejection or dissatisfaction.
    • NOTE: The Qur’an has muhkamaat (clear) and mutashaabihaat (ambiguous) verse. The people of innovation claim that the names of Allah are all mutashaabihaat, however this is false, the names and attributes of Allah are clear, and those who may hold more than one meaning should be understood in the context of the muhkamaat, and thus they become clear. However they (the people of innovation) do not return to the muhkamaat, instead they apply their own mind and logic, thereby going further astray.
    • Note: common Muslims who have not learnt or studied, when they delve into the attributes of Allah
    • This is why when learning the religion, this should be done step by step
    • Saying: Whoever attempts to gain knowledge in one go, looses it all in one go (due to a lack of grounding)
    • It is an obligation that we submit and accept
    • A Muslims should be extremely careful from going into the error of the Mulhiduun (those who distort the names of Allah, see lesson 11)
    • The Methodology of Ahlu-Sunnah in this field is to affirm what Allah has affirmed for himself, and to affirm that which his Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has affirmed for him, without any distortion, nor rejection nor giving descriptions of making resemblance. And at the same time to negate that which Allah has negated for hismnelf, and that which his messenger has negated for him. Ahlu-Sunnah do not go beyond the Qur’an and Sunnah.
    • In comparison, the people of innovation go beyond the qur’an and Sunnah, and instead try to use their logic to work out what to believe instead of following the texts
    • No doubt there are great affects upon a servant in terms of his righteousness , uprightness, and his fear of Allah (knowing he sees and hears him), the greater he becomes in his knowledge, then the greater he becomes in his fear of Allah, and the greater he becomes in his asking of Allah, and in his being closer to Allah.
    • As for the one who deviates from this methodology, and instead moves off this path and traverses upon the path of the people of deviation, then how far will he stray from understanding his lord and creator? Such a person will become the weakest in their understanding in his lord, and the least in fearing and having awe for his lord.
    • Ibn Qayyim mentioned that the people’s level differs in their understanding of Allah, and that this difference stems from their difference in their understanding of the texts. He said you will find the weakest of the people in insight are the people of philosophy, those who speak false in deviation in regards to the names of Allah, that which the Salaf criticised and disparaged them due to their lack of their understanding of the texts and because of their false doubts taking hold of their hearts. In fact, Ibn Qayyim says the commoners are in a better state in their understanding of the names and attributes of Allah, greater in their submission and belief than the people of philosophy.
  • NEXT CHAPTER: The number of names Allah has

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Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest Lesson 11:

Saturday 22 Rajab 1439/8 April 2018

Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest

Lesson 11: Curing the heart, the Effect of making Dhikr of Allah often and the Importance of being kind

  • Recap of Lesson 10
    • Ibn Qayyim says a person in whose heart the love of Allah has settled, then such a person’s chest becomes tight only when he sees the people who are idle, lazy and heedless in returning to Allah, those who do not relish in his Worship become an eye sore and mixing with them troubles him as though he has been struck by a fever.
    • Ibn Qayyim says from the greatest causes of suffocation of the chest is to turn away from Allah and the heart being attached to someone/something other than him, and being heedless of his remembrance
    • Permissible forms of love, e.g. loving one’s spouse, child or loving someone for the sake of Allah
    • However, it is possible that permissible love can go beyond bounds such that a person end’s up loving something/something more at the expense of loving Allah, then it becomes impermissible. E.g. someone loving his business or someone at the expense of his duty to Allah. This is impermissible but not shirk.
    • There is another degree of impermissible love where someone loves someone or something and shows lowliness/humility, then this becomes shirk (Associating partners with Allah).
  • Why is shirk the greatest of crimes?
    • Because Shirk decreases love of Allah, and love of Allah is the spirit of Eemaan (Belief) and without Eemaan the heart becomes dead
    • A person who commits shirk has shared the love that was only belonging to Allah, he has divided it amongst others
  • Ibn Qayyim says that love is of two types:
    • One form is the love that is paradise on earth, delight and nourishment of the heart, life and cure of the soul, indeed this is loving Allah with all of one’s heart
    • The second form is the torture of the soul, the sadness of the spirit, the imprisonment of the heart and the tightness of the chest. Indeed this is to love others besides Allah, with love that belongs only to him
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says that whoever has been given love for Allah with all his heart, then he is the one who is in a paradise in this world and will enter the Paradise of the Hereafter. Whoever dies upon that state then it is hoped that he is upon good.
  • When a person loves Allah with all his heart, then the creation becomes like inanimate objects since he/she realises nothing can harm or benefit him in and of themselves. He/she realises that the command is ONLY in the hand of Allah and turns ONLY to Allah for whatever need.
  • When a person loves someone/something other than Allah (in an impermissible way), then his heart becomes weary, bitter, and tight.
    • NOTE: This is referring to impermissible love, whether or not shirk is present, see above.
  • Ibn Qayyim says that Allah has created the sons of Adam and has given them a state of completion to each of their faculties and organs (e.g. the eye and sight), and that when such a part of him loses its completion, then the person feels uneasy about that. Ibn Qayyim says the king of all the organs is the heart and was created in order to recognise and remember its creator, to love and hate for its maker, and that when it loses its completion and perfection such a heart becomes agonised.
  • So how do we cure the heart?
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami this is via the Prophetic medicine and that ordinary medical knowledge (anatomy, physiology etc) is not sufficient as medical doctors themselves are sometimes afflicted with diseases of the heart.
    • The cure is to become preoccupied in the remembrance of Allah
    • One can learn about and study his religion, the sayings and life of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), what dua to make when you eat food or go to the mosque etc.
    • Making dhikr (remembrance) often means you will not forget Allah
  • NEXT PART: From the means of bringing relaxation of the chest is making Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah in all situations. Likewise, being heedless is a potent means of tightening the chest
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says making dhikr of Allah is easy for those whom Allah makes it easy for
    • It is physically easy, yet only a few people do it
    • For example, there are specific adhkaar (remembrances) for different situations e.g. when waking up, going to bathroom, eating, wearing new clothes, going out of the house, going on a journey, going to the mosque etc
    • The book “Fortress of the Muslim” is a good book for dua and Dhikr.
  • What is the best way of making Dhikr?= Reciting the Quran
  • When a worldly issue makes you busy, you will not find any type of comfort or company except when you go back to remembering Allah. Being heedless of Allah
  • What are the causes of becoming absent-minded from remembering Allah?
    • being attached to money, wealth, etc
    • Turning away from Allah
  • Recap so far of causes of achieving relaxation of the chest:
    • Tawhid (Islamic monotheism)
    • Huda (guidance)
    • Noor of eemaan (Light of Belief)
    • Inaaba (turning towards Allah in repentance)
    • Ilm (knowledge)
    • Loving Allah
    • Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah
  • NEXT PART: From the means of bringing relaxation of the chest is being kind, generous and benevolent towards other humans as well as towards creation (e.g. animals)
    • Indeed the generous and kind person has the most relaxed form of chest and has the most pleasant spirit
    • Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Wealth does not diminish by giving Sadaqah (charity). Allah augments the honour of one who forgives; and one who serves another seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah will exalt him in ranks.” [Muslim, Riyad as-Salihin]
  • Next week insha Allah: What does Ibn Qayyim say about the generous person vs. the stingy person?

 

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