Saturday, 28 November 2015

Who is a Friend?

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

A FRIEND IS ONE who is concerned about his friend’s goodness, welfare and health. A friend wishes to see his friend progress in life, be happy, and enjoy respect and success in both worlds.

A true and sincere friend is a helper, supporter and protector of one’s spiritual well-being. He encourages towards what is good and discourages that which is evil and destructive.

An enemy, on the other hand, desires the destruction of a person’s life, health, wealth and respect. So can the ‘friend’ who encourages you or offers you drugs or alcohol, or takes you to the rave clubs, gambling dens, prostitute quarters or introduces you to pornography, be called a friend?

Nay, he is your enemy!

If you befriend such a person, you will then have shaytaan, nafs, as well as this ‘friend’ / ‘friends’ as your enemies!

Allah Ta’ala mentions the reality and outcome of such ‘friendship’ in the Qur`aan Shareef:
اَلْأَخِلَّآءُ يَوْمَئِذٍم بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِيْنَ
 “Friends, on that day, will become enemies to one another, except the God-fearing.”
[Surah Az-Zukhruf 43 : 67]

On the Day of Qiyamah, many a person will be extremely remorseful for having befriended a person who encouraged him to evil and sin.

One of our respected Scholars, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi (رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ) related in his Tafseer, Ma’ariful Qur’aan, an incident narrated by Hazrat Ali (رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُ) regarding two Muslim friends and two non-Muslim friends – which should make us reflect over the friends we are and the friends we have.

One of the Muslim friends died. When he was given the glad-tidings of Jannah, he remembered his friend and supplicated in his favour: “O Allah! That friend of mine would advise me to obey You and Rasulullah . He would direct me towards virtuous deeds and prevent me from evil deeds. He kept reminding me that one day I would have to meet You. So O Allah! Do not misguide him after me, so that he may also see the scenes of Jannah as You have shown to me. Be pleased with him, as You have been with me.”

In reply, it will be said to him: “Do not worry. If you know what reward I have stored for your friend, you will weep less and laugh more.” Later, when the friend will also have died, both the souls will meet and Allah Ta’ala will direct them to praise each other. Thereupon, they will say about the other: “He is the best brother, best companion and best friend.”

As against this, when one of the non-Muslim friends will die, and he will be told that he will go to Jahannum, he will recollect his friend and will supplicate thus: “O Allah! That friend of mine would insist upon me to disobey You and Your Messenger . He would direct me towards vices and prevent me from good deeds and would say that I would never meet You. So O Allah! Do not give him guidance after me, so that he may also see the scenes of Hell, as You have shown to me, and be displeased with him, just as You have been displeased with me.”

Later, when the other friend will also have died, their souls will be brought together and they will be directed to condemn each other. Each will say about the other: “He is the worst brother, worst companion, and worst friend.” [1]

Rasulullah cautioned us regarding our choice of friends: “A person is on the Deen (way of life) of his friend, so every one of you should look at who he befriends.”[2]

A friend in ‘Deen’ is a friend indeed!

…The most common cause of sins amongst the youth is peer pressure. Almost every person divulges being introduced to sins through ‘friends’.

When pressured to engage in sins, be firm on Deen and be courageous. Say: “I do not want to displease my Kind and Loving Allah Ta’ala. I do not want to walk the path to Jahannum. I do not want invite the fire of Jahannum in my life.”

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the courage and the Taufeeq, and make us good, righteous friends and grant us such friends who will benefit us in our Deen. (Aameen)

[1] Ibn Khatir
[2] Abu Dawood / Tirmidhi 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Prescription | Quit Smoking

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)

There are many who write to me, complaining of their addiction to smoking, and sincerely wanting to quit the bad habit. The prescription I give, which Alhamdulillah many have found effective as a remedy, is as follows :

1.)         As Muslims, we are always taking the pure name of Allah Ta’ala and praising Him in some way or the other. Consider the Salaam (or greeting) that we are encouraged to offer to others, in abundance: Beside the fact that it is a Dua and a form of Ibaadah (worship), it contains the pure name of Allah Ta’ala: ‘As-Salaam’.

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi (رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ), had quoted the following Hadeeth in his Tafseer (commentary) of the Qur`aan Shareef, ‘Ma’ariful Qur`aan’:

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُ) related that Rasulullah said: Salaam is one of the names of Allah Almighty with which He has blessed the people of the earth. So make Salaam a common practice among you because, when a Muslim goes to a gathering of people and offers his salaam to them, he is blessed with a station of distinction in the sight of Allah Ta’ala as he reminded everyone of Salaam; that is, reminded everyone of Allah Ta’ala…

Does it then befit a Mu’min (Believer) to utter the name of Allah Ta’ala with the accompanying odour of tobacco? …No.

2.)           In relation to the above point, we should keep in mind that the Qur`aan Shareef as well as the Ahaadeeth encourage us to occupy the tongue in the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala states in Surah Ahzaab:

يٰٓأَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللّٰهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيْرًا
“O you who believe, remember Allah abundantly.”
[Surah Ahzaab 33 : 41]

Rasulullah mentioned in one of numerous Ahaadeeth relating to the Zikr (Remembrance) of Allah Ta’ala: “Keep your tongue always moist (i.e. busy) with the Zikr of Allah.”[1]

We have to read Duas when wearing clothes, before and after leaving the toilet, when driving, entering and leaving home, before and after eating and drinking, etc. …On different occasions, Duas are to be recited. All of these contain the name and Hamd’ (praise) of Allah Ta’ala. Often, Aayaah (verses) of the Qur`aan Shareef are read in the form of Dua.

Furthermore, a Muslim has to sometimes say, regarding a future action: ‘Insha-Allah’[2], or sometimes congratulate by saying : ‘Masha-Allah’[3]; in his grief and sorrow he will say: ‘Inna Lillah…’[4] and for the bounties which he is blessed with, he will say: ‘Alhamdulillah[5], when thanking someone, he will say: ‘JazakAllah’[6], etc.

We have also been encouraged by Rasulullah to read Durood[7] and Salaam[8] upon him in abundance. In fact, the practice of conveying Durood is rendered by Allah Ta’ala, Himself.

Allah Ta’ala mentions:

إِنَّ اللّٰهَ وَمَلٰٓئِكَتَهٗ يُصَلُّوْنَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ  ط  يٰٓأَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا
 صَلُّوْا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوْا تَسْلِيْمًا

 “Verily, Allah and His angels send blessings on the Nabi: O you who Believe, send (you) blessings on him and salute him with all respect.”
 [Surah Ahzaab 33 : 56]

3.)  Consider the fact that when in the mother’s womb, Allah Ta’ala preserved our mouths from being polluted, by having us nourished with our mother’s blood, through the medium of the umbilical cord attached to the navel, and not the mouth. Why? …Because the Shari'ah classifies and catergorises blood as najis (filth).

Thus, from the inception of our physical creation, Allah Ta’ala preserved the mouth from impurity and reserved it for the Tilawah (recitation) of the Qur`aan Shareef, Zikrullah, Durood Shareef upon Rasulullah as well as Nasihah (advice) tended for the benefit and goodness of others.

When Allah Ta’ala took such care in protecting our mouths from filth, we too should take care in preserving the cleanliness of our mouths.  

4.)  Added to this, we should abstain from smoking out of respect for the Malaa`ikah (angels) who are exceptionally and extremely sensitive to smell. Our Beloved Nabi instructed that a person who has eaten garlic and onions stays away from the Masjid (mosque), until he rids his mouth of the odour, due to the fact that annoyance is caused to the angels as well as Musallies[9]. What then would be said of the smell of cigarettes and tobacco?

Some of the Sunnats of the Ambiyaa[10] (عَليْهِمُ السَّلام) are hayaa (modesty), itr (scent) and siwaak (tooth-stick). Why the ‘siwaak’ or miswaak? …Nabi used the miswaak in abundance, even though there was never any bad odour emitted from the mouth or even the body of Rasulullah . Beside the fact that Hazrat Jibra`eel[11] (عَليْهِ السَّلام) was delivering Wahi (revelation) from Allah Ta’ala, this practice of miswaak was to also teach us the importance of maintaining the cleanliness of the mouth.

5.)  Moreover, we should consider the fact that we generally cause distress and inconvenience to so many non-smokers, who find smoking a very disagreeable habit. This then is a violation of their rights.

So many women endure this offensive and bad habit of their husbands. Had these women been the smokers and the husbands, non-smokers, then they would know how unpleasant and disturbing the habit is.

I, personally, get a headache if I have to sit in a car, in which the driver or passengers or even the ashtray has a cigarette smell. Although I adopt Sabr (patience), the truth is that I feel like stopping the driver and getting off. If, in the Masjid, I happen to stand next to a person with the filthy smell of cigarettes, I feel like moving away if the Salaah has not commenced. …Just imagine how many others must be feeling the same way.

…An important branch of Shari'ah is Islamic Social life (Mu’aasharaat). Simply explained, it is to consider others before ourselves – i.e. by refraining from annoying, inconveniencing and hurting others. This is one of the branches of Shari'ah which the true Walis (friends) of Allah Ta’ala greatly emphasize and impress upon.

It is unfortunate that we do not give importance to such matters. Due to scant regard for Mu’aasharaat, we are losing the Noor of our Zikr and Ibaadat[12].

6.)  I always tell the persons interested : So much of money is saved in giving up smoking. …Consider as to how many Hajj you have already burnt. How many widows, orphans, poor and needy could have been sustained with that which you burnt... And the fact of the matter is that all those cigarettes were of no benefit to your physical health and well being.

When so many have given up drug addictions, what then are cigarette addictions?

The next time you take a cigarette, reflect over the following: I am burning money, harming my health, inconveniencing others, and my mouth is so filthy that no angel or human being wants to be near me.

Make Dua to Allah Ta’ala: I have got this weakness. Give me the strength to give it up. 

Request the pious ones to make Dua for you. Virtue and acceptance are realized with the Duas of the pious.

May Allah Ta’ala make it easy for us and all brothers and sisters to give up all bad and evil habits.

[The above advice will, insha-Allah, make a Muslim, conscious of Deen, quit the habit. To the others, all the arguments by anti-smoking activists should be sufficient.]

[1] Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah
[2] Insha-Allah : Allah Willing (This is said when intending to do something)
[3] Masha-Allah: As Allah willed (This is said when expressing appreciation or congratulation)
[4] To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. (This is said when some loss occurs)
[5] Alhamdulillah: All Praise is due to Allah
[6] JazakAllah: May Allah reward you. (This is said when expressing gratitude to someone)
[7]  Durood: Seeking Allah’s Blessings on Nabi .
[8]  Salaam: Salutation to Nabi .
[9] Musallies: The persons performing the Salaah.
[10] Ambiyaa: Messengers of Allah Ta'ala
[11] Jibra`eel: The Archangel who conveyed Divine Revelation to Rasulullah 
[12] Ibaadat : Worship