What Is the Best Way to Put the Ego in Check?

What is the best way to attain beneficial knowledge in such a way that puts the ego in check?

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Seeking Knowledge With Excellence

The best way to attain beneficial knowledge that puts the ego in check is: sincere focus, with humility, attentive listening, and concentration upon what is imparted to one, of the words of Allah or the words of the Chosen One (may Allah peace and blessings be upon him and his folk), assuming you find a teacher who is a “possessor of heart,” i.e. one who imparts this knowledge from his heart and soul.

Connecting to the Inheritors of Prophetic Guidance

This, along with connecting oneself to a chain of transmission that goes back to the Prophet and observing good manners, is the way we are familiar with from the Successors of the Companions (tabi’in), those who followed them, and those who followed them, until this day and age.

Knowledge is the Prayer of the Soul

For knowledge is not perfected with caprice or pride. Nor is the reality of knowledge acquired by studying, “so and so said”, or mastering legal scenarios. It is rather acquired through sincerity to the Most Great and Most High, and through approaching this endeavor with veneration, love, and longing to draw close to Allah (Mighty and Majestic) thereby, while also connecting one’s self to a chain of transmission to the Chosen One, Muhammad (may Allah peace and blessings be upon him and his folk). This is indeed the way to acquire beneficial knowledge that puts the ego in check and elevates it to high stations.

Translated by: Abdullah Alrajhy. (Link to the original answer)


Habib Umar bin Hafiz is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

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Why Are All the Companions the Most Virtuous After the Prophets?

Q. I often hear that, despite the very broad definition of a companion of the prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) , the lowest ranking person who falls under the definition of companion surpasses anyone until the day of judgement in piety vitrue and righteousness in the sight of Allah. Could you please shed some light on the this matter?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

There are a large number of proofs establishing that the companions radiyaLlahu anhum are the most virtuous of Allah’s creation after the Prophets and Messengers. Before presenting these proofs however, it’s important to understand that the companions were not infallible. They were guiding stars and the best of Allah’s creation, but were not free from error. I mention this so that an objector may not quote an error of a companion and thus attempt to strip them of their virtue.

Another important clarification is that not all companions were equal. Those who embraced Islam after the treaty of Hudaybiyah were not equal to those who accepted prior to that. Similarly, those who immigrated from Makkah to Madinah were considered more virtuous than others. Thereafter, those who fought at the battle of Badr were more virtuous, then those who attended the bay’ah al-Ridwan, then the ten companions who were given the glad tidings of Jannah, then sayyidina Ali ibn Talib and sayyidina Uthman, then sayyidina Umar and finally sayyidina Abu Bakr al-Siddiq may Allah be well pleased with them all.

Here follows some verses of the Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam establishing their precedence over others.

And why do you not spend in the cause of Allah while to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth? Not equal among you are those who spent before the fath [treaty of Hudaybiyah or conquest of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought. But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]. And Allah, with what you do, is Acquainted. [57:10]

Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhajireen and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful. [9:117]

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers – so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward. [48:29]

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The Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said,

“Do not swear my companions, for should any of you spend the weight of mount Uhud in gold, it will not equal their spending of a mudd (750 grams) or half thereof.” [Agreed upon]

“The best of generations is mine, then those who follow, then those who follow.”

“Whoever loves them (my companions), loves them because of his love for me; whoever dislikes them, dislikes them because of his dislike of me; whoever harms them (with his words or action), has harmed me, whoever harms me, harms (angers) Allah, and whoever harms Allah, it is near that Allah strikes him.”[al-Tirmidhi]

Statements from our pious predecessors:

Abu Zur’ah al-Razi said, “Whoever criticizes any of the companions is a zindiq (enemy of Islam). This is so, because the Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam and the Quran are true. The Quran and his Sunnah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam was only conveyed to us via these companions. They (the enemies of Islam) only criticize the companions as they wish to find fault in the Quran and Sunnah.”

AbduLlah ibn Mubarak said when asked who is more righteous between the pious caliph, ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz and Mu‘awiyah radiyaLlahu anhu, “The dust that settled in the nose of the horse of Mu‘awiyah with the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam, is better than several ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz. In another narration he said, “is better than all the good deeds of ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz.

This was his words regarding Mu‘awiyah radiyaLlahu anhu and he was from the companions that entered Islam after the treaty of Hudaybiyah.

His Mercy is our only constant

“Allah Guides to His Light Whom He Wills.”

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir Raheem.

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Allah’s (Most High) Rahma is infinite. In less than the blink of an eye, His Rahma (mercy) renews itself and further penetrates existence.

Take a moment.

Look at your hands – touch them. What do you feel? Smooth skin, bones, joints, and veins. Look how Allah (Most High) constructed your hands. The small veins of your hands lay on the service, while larger veins lay deeper. His Rahma is reflected in this, as if it were that your larger veins lay on the surface, you would be in grave danger of injury.

Take another moment.

Think about your sight. Allah (Most High) has limited your sight, but this limitation is His Rahma. If you were to see all that there was to see, you would not be able to even drink spring water from a store bought bottle, as all the microscopic elements of water would be transparent to you, moving around in the bottle.

Take yet another moment.

Think about your hearing. Allah (Most High), from His Rahma, has limited your hearing as well. Every process in your body makes as sound, but yet we are unable to hear the closest sounds to us! If our hearing was not limited, we would constantly imbued with sounds from within our own body.

We must think and reflect on His endless Rahma. His Rahma is our only constant, and the only constant that increases consistently; the more we think and reflect, the more we will begin to realize His all-encompassing Rahma.

May Allah (Most High) raise your maqam, and May He envelope you always in His Rahma.

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

 

Can a Muslim call a non-Muslim ‘Brother’?

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Yes, it would be permissible to refer to or respond to a non-Muslim as a ‘brother’ referring to the common brotherhood of humanity.

According to some scholars, it would also be permissible to greet a non-Muslim with ‘Assalam ‘alaykum’ and respond to their greeting with ‘Wa’alaykum assalam’. The permission is more desirable if one hopes for their Islam. And Allah knows best.

[Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Brotherhood

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“There are certain people amongst the servants of Allah, who are not prophets, nor are they martyrs, yet on the Day of Judgement they will have attained to such a position that even the prophets and the martyrs will look at them in admiration”.

The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, asked:

“Who are these people and what sort of good deeds will they have done? Let us know so that we can love them and be close to them, o Messenger of Allah”. The Prophet ﷺ answered:

‘They are such people that though there are no blood relations amongst them, nor any business or trade relations, yet they love each other for the sake of Allah. By Allah their faces are radiant with light and they are upon pillars of light. When others fear, they do not fear, and when others feel sorrow, they do not feel sorrow”.

He ﷺ then recited the following verse:

‘Yes, the friends of Allah will feel no fear and will know no sorrow: 

those who have faith and are conscious of Allah, there is good news for them in the life of this world and in the afterlife. There is no changing the words of Allah. That is the great victory!’ (Yunus, 10:62-64)

The Blessed Prophet ﷺ narrated the following story as an demonstration of how loving one’s fellow Muslim for Allah will allow one to attain to Allah’s love.

“One time a man set out to visit his Muslim brother who lived in another village. Allah Most High appointed an angel with the duty of watching him on his way. When the man came to the angel, the angel asked him:

‘Where are you going?’

The man replied:

‘My Muslim brother lives in that village. I am going to see him.

The angel asked him:

‘Is there something that you wish to benefit from that friend?’

The man replied:

‘No, no. It is just that I love him for the sake of Allah and I am going to visit him’.

The angel then said:

‘Just as you love him, so does Allah love you. I am a messenger sent to you by Allah in order to give you this good news’ (Muslim, Birr, 38; Ahmad, II, 292).

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Abu Idris al-Hawlani (may Allah have mercy on him) narrates:

“I had gone to the mosque of Damascus, where I saw a young man there with a smiling face. A group of people had gathered around him. Whenever they fell into dispute about some matter they would immediately go to that young man and ask for and accept his opinion. I asked who this young man was. They told me it was Muadh ibn Jabal .

The next day I ran to the mosque as early as I could. When I got there I saw that that young man was there already performing his prayer. I waited until he had finished and then approached him and greeted him with the greeting of peace and then said to him”:

“By Allah! I love you”.

“Do you love me for the sake of Allah?” he asked.

“Yes for Allah” I said. Then he asked me twice:

“Do you really love me for the sake of Allah?” Both times I answered:

“Yes I truly love you for the sake of Allah”. Then he held me by my robe and pulled me towards him and said:

“I congratulate you. I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say:

“Allah Most High has said: ‘Those who love each other merely for My sake, and those who gather together to please Me, and those who visit each other for My sake and who give charity and do good for My sake… They will be the ones who (will) have earned my love” (Muwatta, Sha’r, 16).

 

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Charity, the healer of hearts and the joy of both worlds

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It is said in the Qur’an:

And spend out of what We have given you before death comes to any of you, so that he should say: My Lord! why did You not respite me to a near term, so that I should have given alms and been among the doers of good deeds? (Munafiqun, 63/10).

Inspired by this verse, Hadrat Mawlana (Alaihi Rahma) said:

• “Unfortunate souls are like dwellers in a house full of smoke. Give ear to their cries and respond by opening a window for ventilation. That will refine your soul!”

• “What have you got? What have you treasured up? What kind of pearl did you draw from the bottom of the sea? All this will be clear on the day of your death.”

• “Visiting friends without a present is like going to the mill without wheat.”

“One should pay back what one owes before death takes it by force.”

The following couplet by Necip Fazil puts this point elo- quently:

O stingy jeweler, get another purse!

Save up a currency valid in the grave…

Wise advice is fundamental to the revival of hearts. Those who appreciate the treasures of wisdom become wise themselves. Those who follow wisdom rightly will surely perfect faith.

May our Lord give us the opportunity to live in an atmosphere of wisdom and to perceive the mysteries of reality. May He help us to comprehend the meaning of the Qur’an, of the universe, and of being human.

Amin…

  • Excerpt from the book, “Such a mercy he is”

Sincerity in Charity

Sincerity shows its effect in everything. As long as it is given out with a sincere intention, the one who gives charity will be rewarded to the degree of their sincerity, even if the charity goes to one who is unworthy of it. According to the degree of one’s sin- cerity there arise positive tendencies towards goodness in those who are given the charity. The Messenger of Allah  has indicated this truth as follows:

“One time a man said: “I am going to give charity”.

That night he left his home with his charity and placed it in the hands of a thief without realising who it was. The next day the people of the town started to talk:

“What an amazing thing! Last night someone gave charity to a thief !”

The man said:

“O Allah! Praise be to you. I am going to give charity today as well”.

Again he left his home with his money and this time without realising it, he placed it in the hands of a prostitute. The next day the people of the town began to talk once more:

“It cannot be! Last night somebody gave charity to a prostitute”.

The man said again:

“O Allah! Praise be to you even if I have given charity to a pros- titute. I am going to give charity again”.

Again that night, the man took what he had set aside for chari- ty and left his house, this time placing it in the hands of a rich man. The next day the people of the town began to chatter again in amazement:

“What is this! Last night charity was given to a rich man!”.

The man said:

“O Allah! I am grateful to you for being able to give charity whether it be to a thief, a prostitute or a rich man.

As a result of the sincerity of this man, he saw someone in his dream say to him:

“Perhaps the charity you gave to the thief will embarrass him and stop him from stealing. And perchance the prostitute will regret what she had been doing and become a chaste woman. And maybe the rich man will take heed and give out to the needy from the wealth that Allah has given him”. (Bukhari, Zekat, 14)

And so these are the blessings of sincerity and true devotion… What is indicated in this hadith is the necessary sincerity and devotion that needs to be within the heart of the person who is giving charity. It also expresses the idea that intentions are better than deeds. However, let it not be assumed from this that it is a virtuous act to give out charity carelessly. On the contrary, when giving out charity and alms-giving, the believer should give it to those who are truly in need, and must search out the most worthy person if possible and give it to them.