Monday, 1 September 2014

Al-Lateef






Sometimes there is that one moment when someone says something that you need to hear. Perhaps you are sad, and your friend texts you randomly saying, "You know, I really wish you the best," for no apparent reason. 
Or you are going through a difficulty and attend a talk, and the sheikh says something that particularly resonates with you - "Sometimes Allah tests you so you will call on Him." How did these people know to say these things, to remind you of Allah , when they had no idea what you were feeling or going through?
That is Allah al-Lateef - He who is Benevolent, Gentle and Subtle with His servants. In Arabic, the word lateef comes from lutf or the three-letter root l-t-f. Al-Ghazali says about this Name of Allah:

"Al-Lateef, the Benevolent. One is deserving of this name if one knows the subtleties of those things which are beneficial, as well as their hidden aspects, along with what is subtle about them and what is benevolent."
In the dictionary, it is frequently defined as gentleness and also as something that is too tiny or too subtle to feel.

So when we say that Allah  is lateef with His slaves, it means that while He is always with us, and knows everything that goes on within us from thoughts and emotions, His protection and His presence with us are subtle. As Sheikh Ratib an-Nabulsi says, 
"His being with us is not heavy."
Combine this meaning of lateef with its other meaning of being Gentle and Kind, and you have the Lord who knows what is going on in your heart, and sends you what you need out of His Mercy and Kindness in the most subtle way.
You may believe it is your friend that is comforting you, but in reality, it is Allah  who sent you that friend. Perhaps that one word was what you needed to uplift you. Perhaps your friend told you a joke that helped to get your mind off things. Perhaps that person who you met seemingly out of nowhere and recommended a certain class for you was what brought you closer to Allah .

The subtleties and kindness are not simply to do with our emotions and worries, but also in Allah's  dealings with the universe. Look at Allah al-Jameel, the Most Beautiful and the Source of Beauty, as He beautifies the universe with stars and breezes and sunsets-a subtlety and a kindness we take for granted, but are nevertheless there for us, and scientifically proven to lift our spirits.
When we see the way Al-Lateef treats us with benevolence and gentleness, we cannot but try to be a source of gentleness for others, as a way of being grateful to God for His kindness to us. As the Prophet  said:

"Show gentleness, for if gentleness is found in anything, it beautifies it and when it is taken out from anything it damages it." (Abu Dawud)
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Thursday, 28 August 2014

"Verily, After Hardship Comes Ease"




Life gets so tough sometimes but this hadith and ayat makes you feel so much better- Hadith: “Remember that there is much good in bearing with patience that which you dislike, and that victory comes with patience, and that with hardship comes a way out and with difficulty comes ease.”(Narrated by Ahmad)

Allah (swt) says: For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease. (Surat al-Inshirah: 5-6)

"...Bear with patience whatever befalls you...." (Qur'an 31:17) and "Be not sad, surely Allah is with us." (Qur'an 9:40)

Our Prophet (pbuh) said: "Verily, if Allah loves a people, He makes them go through trials. Whoever is satisfied, for him is contentment, and whoever is angry upon him is wrath." [Tirmidhi]

Being sad is not encouraged in Islam

"So do not become weak, nor be sad..." (Qur'an 3:139)
"And grieve not over them, and be not distressed because of what they plot." (Qur'an 16:127)



Sadness prevents one from action instead of compelling one towards it. The heart does not benefit through grief. The most beloved thing to the devil is to hinder the worshipper in the path of Allah. The Muslim must repel sadness and fight in any way that is permissible in Islam.

Allah is sufficient for us

"Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best Disposer of affairs. So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allah. No harm touched them; and they followed the good Pleasure of Allah. And Allah is the owner of Great Bounty." (Qur'an 3:173-174)

"And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed..." (Qur'an 5:23)
"O you who believe! Seek help in patience and the prayer..." (Qur'an 2:153)



By leaving your affairs to Allah by depending on Him, by trusting in His promise, by being pleased with His decree, by thinking favourably of Him, and by waiting patiently for His help, you reap some of the greater fruits of faith. When you incorporate these qualities, you will be at peace concerning the future, because you will depend on your Lord for everything. As a result, you will find care, help, protection and victory.

Pre-ordainment

"No calamity befalls on earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees – before We bring it into existence." (Qur'an 57:22)

The pen has dried, and the pages have been lifted: all events shall come to pass have already been written. Whatever has befallen you was not meant to escape you, and whatever has escaped you was not meant to befall you: if this belief were to be firmly ingrained in your heart, then all hardships and difficulty would become ease and comfort.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever Allah wishes good for, He inflicts him (with hardship)." [Bukhari]

For those who are afflicted with disaster, glad tidings await them: so remain patient and happy with your Lord. "He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned." (Qur'an 21:23)

Verily, with hardship, there is relief

"Verily, with hardship there is relief" (Qur'an 94:6)
"Perhaps Allah may bring victory or a decision according to His Will." (Qur'an 5:52)

Prophet Ibrahim ('alayhissalam) did not feel its heat because of the help he received from Allah. "We (Allah) said : O' fire! Be you coolness and safety for Ibrahim." (Qur'an 21:69)

The sea would not drown Prophet Moses ('alayhissalaam) because he uttered in confident, strong and truthful manner: "Nay verily! With me is my Lord, He will guide me." (Qur'an 26:62)

And the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said to 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas (radiyallahu 'anhu): "..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity... And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship." [Tirmidhi]

Accept life as it is

If you read the Qur'an you will see that all the Prophets went through trials and tribulations. Life is a test so let us learn from the best examples of our Prophets. "Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty, ailments and were shaken." (Qur'an 2:214)



We should know that if we are pleased with our Lord, He will be pleased with us. And if you are pleased with your Lord no matter what the situation is, then you will find that you have earned your Lord's pleasure. On the other hand, there are hypocrites whom Allah rejects their deeds. They are displeased with what Allah sends down and they hate seeking His pleasure; thus their deeds are performed in vain.


Your recompense is with Allah

When Allah, the Exalted takes something away from you, He compensates it with something better, but only if you are patient and seek His reward.

Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever loses a loved one from the people of this world and then seeks recompense with his Lord, will be compensated with Paradise."

Those who are in this world and are close to Allah will be raised in the highest of heaven: "Peace be upon you, because you peresevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!" (Qur'an 13:24)

Truly, the life of this world is short and its treasures are few. O' afflicted ones, if you are patient you lose nothing; and though you may not perceive it, you are profiting.
Extract honey but do not break the hive

"Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily! He, between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a close friend." (Qur'an 41:34)

"….and harm them not. And put your trust in Allah." (Qur'an 33:48)

Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Verily, Allah ordered me to keep relations with those that cut off, forgive the ones who does an injustice with me, and to give to those who withhold from me."

"Those who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the good-doers." (Qur'an 3-134)



Remembrance of Allah

"Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (Qur'an 13:28)
"Therefore remember Me and I will remember you…" (Qur'an 2:152)

We should not be surprised when we hear that people who remember Allah are at peace. What is truly surprising is how the negligent and unmindful survive without remembering Him. Allah says in the Qur'an, "They are dead, lifeless and they know not when they will be raised up." (Qur'an 16: 21)

Truly, He is near when supplicated: He hears when he is called and He answers when He is invoked, so humble yourself before Him and ask of Him sincerely. Repeat His beautiful names, and mention Him alone as worthy of worship. Mention His praises, supplicate to Him: you will find then – by the will of Allah – happiness, peace and illumination. “So Allah gave them the reward of this world and the excellent reward of the Hereafter.” (Qur’an 3:148)



Loving Allah, knowing Him, remembering Him, seeking peace in Him, singling Him out for complete love, fear, hope and dependence – these qualities when combined in a person, constitute a sort of heaven on earth.

These are qualities that bring peace to those who love Allah, a sort of peace that has no comparison in this world.It is important that a special relationship exists in the heart between the slave and his Lord, a relationship that allows the slave to feel so close to his Lord that he requires no other.

Thus, he finds company when he is alone, and he tastes the sweetness of remembering Him and supplicating to Him. Allah's slave will continually face hardship and difficulty until he dies, but if he has a special relationship with his Lord, all of the hardships of life will become easy for him.

The prayer….the prayer – we must return to our mosques

"O' you who believe! Seek help in patience and the Prayer." (Qur'an 2:153)

By earnestly performing the five daily prayers, we achieve the greatest of blessings: cleared off our sins and increase in rank with our Lord. Prayer is a potent remedy for our sickness, for it instills our faith in our souls.

As for those that keep away from the mosque and away from prayer, for them is unhappiness, wretchedness and an embittered life.

"For them is destruction and Allah will make their deeds vain." (Qur'an 47:8)

Take a moment to reflect

O whose mind has wandered in grief, O' you whose eyes are loaded with tears; relax and know that your Creator aids, and that His mercy will bring you peace. And know that your reward is secure with He Who doesn’t disappoint the one who seeks to please Him. Be at peace, for after poverty comes joyous meeting, and after sleeplessness comes sound rest. O you who are oppressed in the lands, who suffer from hunger, pain, sickness and poverty, rejoice in the knowledge that you will soon be satisfied with food and that you will be happy and in good health.

Let us make these supplications, their purpose being to eliminate hardship, anxiety and grief:

"There is no worthy of worship except Allah, the Ever Forbearing, the Most Great. There is none worthy of worship except Allah, the Lord of the Tremendous Throne. There is none worthy of worship One Who sustains and protects all that exists, there is none worthy of worship except You, and by Your Mercy do we seek Your aid."

"So be patient, with a good patience..." (Qur'an 70:5)


Source

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Can Muslims be friends with Jews and Christians?















O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another and whoever of you allies himself 
 with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide people who are unjust. (Quran 5:51)
This verse is often quoted to show that Islam is intolerant.
Quran is a complete book of guidance and while studying various issues it should be kept in mind that a particular issue may be discussed over several chapters or several verses in the same chapter. A complete understanding can only be achieved by understanding the whole issue as presented over all the verses and chapters and not by looking at only part of the Quran. God specifically warns us against doing just that, upholding part of the Quran while disregarding the rest.

.. Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do you reject the rest? but what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? - and on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For God is not unmindful of what ye do. (Quran 2:85)
To understand the issue of befriending the Jews, Christians or people of any other faith, we have to study all the concerned verses from the Quran collectively.

Let us look at some other verses about this issue. The following two verses regulate relations with any people, regardless of faith:

As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably. (Quran 60:8)
God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of [your] faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid [others] in driving you forth: and as for those [from among you] who turn towards them in friendship; it is they, they who are truly wrongdoers! (Quran 60:9)
From the above verses, we learn that we are only discouraged from befriending those who fight Muslims because of their religion. Now let's go back to the verse immediately after 5:51, to see if it sheds some further light on the issue.

And yet you can not see how those in whose hearts there is disease vie with one another for their good will (the hostile Jews and Christians), saying [to themselves], "We do fear lest a change of fortune bring us disaster." But God may well bring about good fortune [for the believers] or any [other] event of His own devising, whereupon those [waverers] will be smitten with remorse for the thoughts which they had secretly harboured within themselves-  (Quran 5:52)
During the time of the Prophet when the Jews and Christians were in open conflict with the Muslims, there were some Muslims who were more concerned about maintaining there alliances with the Jews and Christians at the expense of the Muslim community. The above verse is referring to such situations where Muslims with doubts in their hearts will ally themselves with the enemy.

Chapter 5 Verse 57 of the Quran makes it clear again, who are not to be taken as friends; O you who believe! take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport,- whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; but remain conscious of God, if you are (truly) believers. (Quran 5:57)

God teaches us throughout the Quran that there are righteous Jews and Christians. As such there is no prohibition for Muslims to be friends with Jews, Christians or people of any other faith who are of good character.

Quranic verses referring to the righteous Jews and Christians:
Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth. (Quran 7:159)
And We caused Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow in the footsteps of those (earlier prophets), confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah; and We sent him the Gospel, wherein there was guidance and light, confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance and admonition unto the God-conscious. (Quran 5:46)

Verily, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians - all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds-shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. (Quran 2:62)

Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. (Quran 3:113-114)
And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account. (Quran 3:199)
The following verse from the Quran capsulates this issue:
O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (Quran 49:13)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Zionist Charged With Hate Crime For Disrupting Ramadan Services at Williamsburg Mosque


A Williamsburg man allegedly disrupted Ramadan for Muslim worshipers in Bay Ridge, after he repeatedly drove by their mosque blasting Israeli music, law enforcement sources said Friday.
The 20-year-old Chaim Weiss decorated his 2013 Honda with a handful of Israeli flags and pumped up the music as worshipers were inside a mosque at 68th Street and Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge at 4 a.m. July 20, a criminal court document states.
Mohamed Elnashar, executive director of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, captured the whole thing on video surveillance, which shows the man driving by at least six times in the flagged ride, the court documents charge.
Weiss allegedly then parked in front of the mosque, which was filled with a large congregation of people who approached and tried to stop him, law enforcement sources said.
Weiss fled the scene and drove back and forth four more times with the Israeli hits playing as the religious ceremony was in session, the sources said.
He then set up shop in front of the mosque again, displaying the Israeli flags on his ride, all while Elnashar read from the Quran — though he had to stop because the music was too loud, the documents show.
According to a criminal court complaint, Weiss allegedly knew the neighborhood was predominantly Muslim and he intended to demonstrate “support for the Israeli people in Israel,” the documents state.
Weiss was cuffed in front of the mosque by Hate Crime Task Force members who responded, the sources said.
He later was charged with disruption or disturbance of a religious service, funeral burial or memorial service, and disorderly conduct, the documents show.