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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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:
  • 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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