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

 

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Ramadan Kareem


The moon has been sighted in Saudi Arabia. Ramadhan 1437 will begin tonight. 
May we all be blessed with Allah’s mercy on this first night of this month, may He forgive all of our sins, accept all of our fasts and worship, and may this month be a means of gaining nearness to Him and His beloved salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam. 

Please keep me and my loved ones in your blessed prayers.

#RamadanKareem #RamadanMubarak #Ramadan

An Introduction to Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a time for Muslims to submit themselves further to Almighty Allah whole-heartedly by way of fasting and worship. It is ultimately the month of divine guidance and mercy. The Arabic term ramadan literally means heat & dryness, which could be attributed to the struggle of fasting or sawm. Sawm of Ramadan was first prescribed in the second year of hijri.

Allah says: “Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may attain righteous.” [Qur’an 2:183]

And He, Most High, says: “That whoso of you find this month, necessarily, he should fast in it…” [Qur’an 2:185]

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Ramadan is also the month wherein the first revelation or wahi of the Qur’an was sent down to the Beloved Messenger of Allahﷺ, thus assigning the duty of Prophethood to him so the truth of la ilaha illallah, ‘there is no God but Allah’, could be established.

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an…” [Qur’an 2:185]

The first verse to have been revealed is: “Read, in the name of your Lord who created.” [Qur’an 96:1] It is interesting to note how the first word revealed of the Holy Qur’an was ‘Iqra’ meaning, ‘Read’. In this is a command for the people to read, to seek, to obtain knowledge. In this word alone is a great command of faith, and the verses following it confirm the guidance of Allah upon mankind:

“Read, in the name of your Lord, Who created; Created man, out of a clot of congealed blood: Read, and your Lord is Most Bountiful, He Who taught you to write, Taught man that which he knew not.”[Qur’an 96:1-5]

In this blessed month also comes that night of excellence i.e. Laylat al Qadr, or the Night of Power, which is the actual night when the firsr wahi was sent down to the Messenger of Allah whilst he meditated in the cave of Hira.

Allah says: “Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree.” [Qur’an 97:1]
The significance of this night is so immense that it excels in virtue even a thousand months. Allah Most High says:

“We have indeed revealed this in the Night of Power, And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” [Qur’an 97:1-3]

This is part of the spiritual treasures of the blessed month of Ramadan. The gates of Allah’s Mercy are opened to the believers in a way unlike any other time of year. Allah’s love for His servants is so apparent in Ramadan that goodness is merited in abundance; with the duration of the believer’s fast, with the beginning of the fast (suhoor), with the breaking of the fast (iftaar), and even in the breath of the fasting believer. Anyone who ponders upon the love for Allah towards His believing servants should reflect upon the manifestations of this love during Ramadan.

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The Messenger of Allahﷺ said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell emitting from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person): He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” [Muslim]

Ramadan is ultimately a time for reflection, forgiveness and seeking Allah’s Pleasure. It is a time to clear the heart of the distractions and weaknesses which have accumulated over the year, and renew the strength of the believer’s faith. Ramadan also brings communities together in a truly loving and harmonious way, strengthening the brotherhood of the Muslim Ummah. It is the time of year when every masjid is full, and every pure heart is quenching its thirst to please Allah. The believers share with each other in not just food and gifts, but in faith, in love and in good-hearted company.

The aspect of self-restraint during Ramadan is not just from food and drink. Sayyidina Abu Hurayra (May Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Beloved Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Fasting is a shield (or a screen/shelter). So the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting (Arabic: inni sa’im, inni sa’im).’” [Muslim]

Ramadan is a time for, as the above hadith indicates, sincere striving towards goodness and away from wrongdoing. Sawm or fasting screens us from ills, as it increases our awareness of Allah and inclines us towards only doing that which is pleasing to Him. This is why we are advised to react calmly to one who provokes us especially when we are fasting, by saying: “I am fasting.” This reminder is first and foremost for ourselves when we are being provoked into anger, as a way to restrain our temper and keep our fasting pure from evil.

A catalyst for personal development and the strengthening of community ties, Ramadan is also a huge asset for the believer striving for both external and internal purity. The act of sawm, packed with great spiritual virtue, is also a great medical aid which allows the body to detox and cleanse itself of excess and impurity. The 13th century Islamic scholar and sufi, Mawlana Jalal uddin Rumi (Alaihi Rahma) said, “Fasting is the first principle of medicine.”

Sawm also allows us to empathise with the struggle and difficulties of our impoverished brothers and sisters around the world, many of whom barely manage a meal a day due to circumstances. During Ramadan, many of us fast and look forward to a lavish iftaar yet the same cannot be said for those in deprived circumstances who cannot even break their fast at all. Sawm addresses us with the harsh reality of those less fortunate than us, causing us to humble ourselves and reflect upon how utterly dependant we are upon the generosity of Allah towards us. It opens our eyes to the truth of suffering and poverty which we are otherwise so oblivious to, commanding us to undergo a small share of this struggle first-hand. Through it, we may be humble before our Creator, and through it, we may be grateful to Him for our sustenance.

Due to the generosity of our Creator, this struggle does not go unrewarded. His kindness upon the fasting believer extends, as mentioned above, to meriting even the breath of the one observing sawm. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell emitting from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk.” [Muslim]

This is usually interpreted as: Allah’s love for his fasting servant is so immense that even the smell of his breath is sweeter and more fragrant to Almighty Allah than the scent of musk. It is also interpreted in two other ways; the second interpretation is that Allah will reward the fasting servant with breath as fragrant as musk, and the third interpretation is that Allah will cause the fasting servant to rise with breath as fragrant as musk on the Day of Judgement.

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Beloved Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, also said: “When there comes the month of Ramadan, the gates of Mercy are opened, and the gates of Hell are locked and the devils are chained.” [Muslim]

The hadith above elaborates further on the other favors bestowed upon us by our Lord in the month of Ramadan, mainly:

“The gates of Mercy are opened…”: indicates that, for those seeking forgiveness and mercy from Allah, is the opportunity to ask for it and to strive towards it so that they may be blessed with it through the open gates. Therefore, mercy and forgiveness is granted to those in search of it.

“…the gates of Hell are locked and the devils are chained”: indicates that the devils are locked up during this month so that the believer is protected from their evil. Some scholars say that the major devils are chained; others believe that all the devils are chained.

However this point often raises a curious question; if the devils are chained, why is evil still committed during this holy month? This is easily explained; those who have acquired the characteristics and ways of evil are not chained themselves. The ego or nafs is still present within each person, so the evil of it is still present. This is the battle which remains for each believer, the only battle which he must fight during the auspicious month. This struggle is completely within oneself. The devils may be locked up but the character and the ways of the people are still present with them.

This month should be spent in sincere effort to better ourselves, abandon bad habits and to improve our characters in accordance with the sunnah of the Prophet of Mercy, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. True, this striving is not just for Ramadan, yet Ramadan is a perfect opportunity with which Allah has favoured His servants so that they may use it as a means to strengthen their faith further and turn their lives completely towards His Pleasure. It is up to us, as individuals, to accept this Divine Gift.

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Mercy and Compassion

Usually our good deeds, sacrifice and donations appear to be substantial to us. This mistaken impression deceives us and engages our mind. It fills us with contentment. A mere urn of water appears to be an ocean to us.

Our mundane desires never cease. We presume that what we own is our natural birthright. When we are asked to make a sacrifice our behavior changes as if we have been asked for something from our own personal possessions. Consequently, the bright, crystal clear and delicate mirror of trustworthiness and generosity becomes stained.

However, as Almighty Allah has revealed in the Qur’an: “As to the orphan do not oppress him. Nor refuse the one who asks for help” (Duha, 9-10).

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Mawlana Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said:

Just as physically beautiful people search for bright and clear mirrors, for generosity to be seen poor and powerless people are required. As a beautiful person’s face may be reflected in a mirror, so too the beauty of those who help the needy through their generosity is reflected in the poor and the miserable.

Mawlana Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said: “Thus, the poor are the mirror of divine mercy and generosity. Those who are with Allah or lost in the existence of Allah are in a state of continuous generosity.”

*

Tafsir-i Hazin, a commentary on the Qur’an, reports the following from the great companion Jabir (RadiAllahu Anhu):

A small child came to the Prophet Muhammadﷺ . He told him that his mother had asked for a shirt. At that time the Prophet Muhammadﷺ owned only the shirt that he was wearing. He told the child to come back another time. The child returned to his home. But, soon he came back and told the Prophetﷺ  that his mother wanted the shirt he was wearing. The Messenger of Allahﷺ went to his room, took off his shirt and gave it to the child.

At that moment, Bilal (RadiAllahu Anhu), the muadhdhin of the Prophetﷺ  began reciting the Adhan, or the call to prayer. The Messenger of Allahﷺ  could not come out of his room to lead the communal prayer because he did not have a shirt. Some of the companions came to his room since they were worried about him and they discovered that the Prophet  no longer had a shirt to wear.

*

Wealth is a trust of Allah given to our care. The only way to enjoy it and feel happy about it is by sympathizing with the suffering of the needy by opening a window of mercy and compassion from our heart to them.

 

The great Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said:

Act like the sun in mercy and compassion!

Act like the night in covering the mistakes of others!

Act like a river in generosity and sacrifice!

Act like a dead one in anger and fury!

Act like the soil in humility and selflessness!

Act in accordance with the way you look!

Look in accordance with the way you act!

We should keep in mind that regardless how one presents oneself, what will come out of him is what he has in the urn of his heart. It is true that many urns that have claimed to be full of love have only produced eventually the water of indiscretion and heedlessness. Likewise, many people who have spoken about the elixir, or the water of life, could not drink a drop of it nor could they offer any to others. On the other hand, many people who hide themselves in humility and externally look like empty urns are special servants of Allah and carry endless oceans in their hearts. And they unhesitatingly offer water to burning lovers like the water of al-Kawthar, a river in Paradise.

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May Allah raise all of us to be of His sincere and pure- hearted servants, so that we may too offer to all of humanity drops from the water of al-Kawthar and Tasnim(*) while still in this world.

Amen!

(*) al-Kawthar (literally, ‘The Abundant’) is a river of Jannah and Tasnim (literally, ‘Nectar’) is a spring of Jannah.

-An excerpt from the book, “Tears of the Heart’

Who is Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Below are some short remembrances about the Beloved Prophet ﷺ which were originally written as tweets for the recent Twitter trend ‘#WhoIsMuhammad ﷺ’.

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Prophet Muhammad : The Forgiver: When the people wronged him, he returned it with patience, kindness and a generosity like no other.

Prophet Muhammad : The Cheerful: He would jest and joke with his friends, though never in a hurtful manner. He had a smiling countenance 🙂

Prophet Muhammad : The Helper: He would settle injustices or problems others faced with a profound level of peace, wisdom and fair justice.

Prophet Muhammad : The Friend: He would sit amongst his Companions, share his food & wealth with them, and help them when they were in need.

Prophet Muhammad : The Grandfather: He would seat his young grandsons on his lap whilst delivering a sermon to the Muslims from his pulpit.

Prophet Muhammad : The Father: He would stand up when his daughter Fatima entered the room, give her his seat and kiss her forehead.

Prophet Muhammad : The Advocate of Women’s Rights: He ended the burial of newborn girls in Arabia, and established women’s rights to education.

Prophet Muhammad : The Physician: Prophetic medicine is so vast that it constitutes an entire field of medicine beyond modern science.

Prophet Muhammad : The Conqueror: When he conquered Makkah, all those who had harmed him & his family feared his revenge. He forgave them all.

Prophet Muhammad : The Neighbour: When his elderly neighbour, who’d place thorns on his path everyday, fell critically ill, he took care of her.

Prophet Muhammad : The Lover of Cats: His cat once fell asleep on the robe he wanted to wear. He cut off the sleeve to avoid waking the cat.

Prophet Muhammad : The Advocate of Animal Rights: He forbade animal cruelty, even so camels wouldn’t be overburdened beyond their strength.

His last words were advice for his Ummah. He loved us even before we were born, and we love him without yet seeing him. (Prophet Muhammad )

He commanded justice in every circumstance, for every person. (Prophet Muhammad )

He rejected offers of wealth, power and elite status, and instead preferred humble lodgings and a bed of date-palm fibres. (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

He showed respect and generosity to the poor, honour to leaders and the elite, and goodness towards all. (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

He ﷺ never insulted nor mocked another person. (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

He was generally cheerful. If anything displeased him, he would simply turn away from it or advise gently in regards to it. (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

He disapproved of harshness and he himself was always gentle, compassionate and calm. (Prophet Muhammad )

He never complained or showed disgust. He was forbearing, kind and appreciative and always considerate of others’ feelings. (Prophet Muhammad )

He never refused anyone who asked of him, nor did he ever say “No” to them or turn them away empty-handed. (Prophet Muhammad )

If a child began to cry during prayer, he would shorten it out of concern for the mother and her distress. (Prophet Muhammad )

When shaking a person’s hand or embracing them, he would allow them to withdraw first – out of respect. (Prophet Muhammad )

He said, “I have not been sent to curse people but as a Mercy to all mankind.” (Prophet Muhammad )

He never took revenge for himself, instead preferring Mercy, tolerance and patience. (Prophet Muhammad )

He was so trustworthy, those plotting to kill him were the same people who entrusted their wealth to him for safekeeping! (Prophet Muhammad )

Even his enemies were enthralled by his beauty, conduct, honesty and wisdom. His manners and nobility knew no bounds. (Prophet Muhammad )

His generosity was unmatched. The Bedouins would seek his wealth and return saying, “Muhammad is the Generous one!” (Prophet Muhammad )

He was known for his honesty. The Arabs had nicknamed him ‘Al Amin (The Trustworthy)’ even before he announced Prophethood. (Prophet Muhammad )

He loved the poor and kept the grief-stricken close to him. His Mercy extended to all, even those who swore to kill him. (Prophet Muhammad )

He lead a simple life of basic provisions, delighting his heart in prayer and the pleasure of Allah. (Prophet Muhammad )

His speech was pleasant, never harsh, yet concise and to the point. It was beautiful & elegant “like pearls on a necklace”. Prophet Muhammad

Those who saw him from afar were struck by awe of his Beauty; those who neared him loved him more than existence itself. (Prophet Muhammad )

He was always concerned for those around him. (Prophet Muhammad )

“You are the sun, you are the full moon. You are the quintessence of existence, you are the lamp within every breast!” (Prophet Muhammad )

He  spent much time in silent reflection but always made time for his Companions, greeting them with a smile and good cheer. (Prophet Muhammad )

No one was insignificant in his eyes. If someone was absent from his gathering, he’d notice & enquire about their well-being. (Prophet Muhammad )

He ﷺ was the most hospitable host to his guests. He would greet them at the door and see them at the door when they’d leave. (Prophet Muhammad )

He ﷺ accepted every gift out of courtesy. (Prophet Muhammad )

Prophet Muhammad : He is not made praiseworthy by words, but rather words are made praiseworthy by him! He is the Perfect Man .

An inclination to love.

The unique and final goal of life is a love through which our souls can find peaceful settlement is Allah the Almighty, who breathed from His soul into ours. Every kind of ephemeral love that is directed to a mistaken object wanders in blind alleys. If our love does not reach Allah, it ends in nothing but exhaustion for the soul.

Our nature and welfare require us to make the love of Allah the center of our lives. Therefore all other transitory loves should build a ladder for us toward divine love. This is a primordial goal of the creation of humanity.

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The shortest way to reach divine love is through the love of the Prophet ﷺ􏰂, the beloved Messenger of Allah. This goal can be achieved by following him in every aspect of life. Our response to him is required by a basic principle of love: a lover must love everything that the beloved loves. Such staunch commitment to Allah’s preferences is the bedrock of loving Allah.

Love of the Prophet ﷺ􏰂 reveals itself through peacefulness in worship, courtesy in personal relations, politeness in morality, ten- derness of heart, radiance of face, spirituality in conversation, and depth of perspective. The only fountain from which all these beauties may be drawn is Prophet Muhammadﷺ.

Indeed, our hearts can fully benefit from the heart of the Prophet 􏰂ﷺ only when we become moths turning around his light. Mawlânâ Jalaluddin Rumi (Alaihi Rahma) gives us several examples of how divine love disseminates into the universe. These examples allow us to measure our love of the Prophetﷺ:

Innumerable moths jump into fire for the sake of love. They flutter in flame and burn, saying in the language of their state, “You become like me!” ….

The candle flames and weeps. It submits itself to the fire and suffers gravely. It gives out light while dissolving in tears. The candle says: “It is useless to spend gold and silver wildly in order to bring yourself profit. If you want spiritual profit, burn and melt like me!”

The Prophet 􏰂ﷺ whom we love dearly wept again and again, repeating “My community, my community!” His love and compas- sion for his community were incomparably stronger than those of a loving and affectionate mother for her children. He was anxious about what his community would be facing on the Day of Judgment, and he suffered much to save his people. He said, “In the way of Allah I was subjected to much suffering that no one had faced before.” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamah 34/2472).

The Prophet 􏰂ﷺ said to the Companions: “Be careful! I am a protection for you on earth while I am alive, and I will continue in my grave. I will keep praying for you to Allah the Almighty, saying ‘My community, my community!’ until the last trump of doom.” (Ali al-Muttaqi, al-Kanz al-Ummah, vol. 14, p. 414).

For the sake of our eternal life, we should truly love the Prophet 􏰂ﷺ more than we love ourselves, since he told us, “A believer will be together with the one he loves.” (Bukhari, Adab 96). All Muslims should show loyalty to the Prophet’s community because of his love for it.. That loyalty is an indicator of how much we love him.

-An Excerpt from the book “Such a mercy he is”