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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 26 January 2010 at 2:16pm

Perfect Equilibrium

It does not befit a Muslim to overburden himself with work to the extent that it violates the rights of his soul, the rights of his family, and the rights of his society. This applies even if such exertion is in the worship of Allah, be it by way of fasting, Salah, sacrifice, or abstinence.

It is for this reason that the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he saw his Companions ever congregating behind him for the night vigil, said to them: "Take from work what you can, for verily Allah does not stop (rewarding you) until you get fed up (in worshipping Him); and verily the most beloved of works to Allah is that which is most constant even if it is meagre." [Bukhari, Muslim]

In another instance he said: "Verily this Religion (of Islam) is very easy. No one ever challenges this Religion but it overcomes him. So be moderate, and try to approach perfection, and receive the glad tidings." [Bukhari]

This, therefore, is the sunnah (i.e. constant practice) of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and this is his method: an open, plain, easy road of moderation and observance of balance between spiritualism and materialism; an equilibrium between the requirement of the self and the right of the Lord.

Time in the Life of a Muslim - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

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Seven Sunnas of Giving Gifts

1) To give gifts regularly, even if small gifts

2) To be moderate in giving gifts

3) To give without takalluf (making things difficult) for the person receiving the gift

4) To be sincere and not have ulterior motives

5) To give gifts that are beneficial

6) To give something that they like

7) Don't give a gift that imposes hardship upon a person that would be difficult to reciprocate

"Islamic Manners" by Shaykh Abdal Fattah Abu Ghudda
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The Excellence of Generosity

Generosity is a virtuous trait that every Muslim should strive to attain. As for the believer who closely adheres to the teachings of Islam, kindness and giving from what he has become part of his good character.

Generosity is the opposite of stinginess, as stinginess is a disease of the heart. The Muslim should avoid this bad quality, for it is a source of corruption. The Muslim’s faith and righteous deeds purify his heart, so his hands should be outstretched, giving to those who are in need.
 
A generous man will share what he has with others, thinking about other people as he thinks of himself. He benefits by helping others and solving their problems. He makes people happy and prevents them from doing wrong, which is often a direct result of poverty. This is a great service to society, and there are some people who spend their life in this service, establishing valuable foundations which remain after them such as hospitals, libraries etc.
 
Whatever is given for Allah’s Sake will never decrease one’s wealth in the slightest; rather, it will bless, purify and increase it, as the Prophet peace be upon him said:
 
“Charity does not decrease wealth.” [Muslim]
 
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Inter-Personal Relations
 
Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
 
Each person's every joint must perform a charity (Sadaqa) every day the sun comes up:
  1. to act justly between two people is a charity;
  2. to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it is a charity;
  3. a good word is a charity;
  4. every step you take to prayers is a charity;
  5. and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.

(Collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
 

In this Hadith the Prophet (peace be upon him) has given us a few examples of acts of 'charity' (Sadaqa) that we should perform on daily basis. Charity in this Hadith doesn't refer to the act of giving money in Allah's way only, but in fact, it is a comprehensive term that includes any act or gesture that would help the community and would increase our awareness of Allah and His bounties. There are many out there in this world who think whatever power and material gains they possess today are due to their own efforts. However, Islam teaches us to reflect upon even the smallest of Allah's favours that we often take for granted, such as the smooth and proper functioning of our joints and organs in the body. We are taught to be humble and to thank Allah by being kind, helpful, and charitable towards our brothers and sisters, as well as to anyone in the society, regardless of their faith and culture. In addition, we realize from this Hadith that "Ibada" (worship of Allah) doesn't only include the devotion through acts of worship, but it also includes any action to help and support the community, done to please Allah, such as, visiting the sick, saying a word of advice or kindness, giving someone a ride to the Masjid or school, uniting two sisters or friends after an argument, etc.
 
Positive Criticism

It is the duty of a Muslim to keep an eye on the deeds and conduct of fellow Muslims and to try to help them to stay on the straight path. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) enumerated the conditions to be met in the task of advising others: "Each one of you is like a mirror to the other. You should rectify the wrong you note in him." (Tirmidhi) In another hadith the Prophet said: "Every Muslim serves as another Muslim's mirror. He safeguards his rights in his absence as well." (Abu Dawud) The following norms emerge in light of the above ahadith:

1. One should not look for the lapses and weaknesses of others. For a mirror does not seek defects. Only on coming face to face does a mirror reflect you.

2. One should not be criticised in one's absence. Once again the similitude of the mirror should be kept in mind; it does not reflect someone in absentia.

3. One should not exceed limits in criticising someone else. For a mirror does not magnify or diminish any feature.

4. Criticism should be forthright and free of any ulterior motive. For, once again, a mirror does not entertain any revenge or grudge.

5. One's criticism should be made with sincerity, genuine concern, pain and love. Sincerity in this context signifies one's concern for the ultimate accountability in the Hereafter. One should help a fellow brother in order to avoid any punishment for him on the Day of Judgement. Nor should one entertain any superiority complex. Rather, one should take oneself as weaker than and inferior to the person criticised by him .
 

Khurram Murad
 
 
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Greatness through Gratefulness

There is much more to gratitude and Shukr (thankfulness) in Islam than a mere “Thank You” that our ears have become so used to ignoring. Discover how you can be more thankful to Allah and His creation.

1. Say “Al-hamdulillah” (All thanks and praise belongs to Allah) often: A constant utterance of this phrase reminds you of the source of all blessings and happiness in this life. This practice of attributing all good actions to Allah keeps you humble and content and has a positive effect on your relations with people.

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, has instructed us to say “Al-hamdulillah” on daily basis: Allah is pleased with His servant if, when he eats something he thanks Allah for it, and when he drinks something he thanks Allah for it(Muslim).

2. Recite and memorize the Duas of Prophet Muhammad: The most natural and beautiful way to thank Allah is the words of the Prophet himself.

The Prophet told Muadh, By Allah, I love you, so do not forget to say at the end of every prayer, ‘O Allah, help me to remember You and to give thanks to You and to worship You well’ (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhî).

3. Use and display Allah’s blessings moderately: Part of being grateful to Allah is to look presentable and clean, and spend money on yourself with moderation.

Abul-Akhwas narrated that his father said: “I came to the Messenger of Allah looking dishevelled and scruffy. He asked me, ‘Do you have any possessions?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He asked me what sort, and I told him, ‘I have all sorts. Allah has given me camels, horses, slaves and sheep.’ The Prophet said: ‘If Allah has given you all of that then let Him see His blessing on you.’”

4. Thank people for littlest things: People like to be appreciated for little favours they do for us, which often get ignored in our busy routines. When was the last time you thanked your little son for taking care of simple chore for you? Has your husband heard a compliment from you lately?

Take the time to thank them for their thoughtfulness. As the Prophet stated,The one who does not give thanks for a small blessing will not give thanks for a great blessing, and the one who does not give thanks to people will not give thanks to Allah(Abu Dunya).

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The Importance of Reflection (Tafakkur)

"O our Lord, You did not create [all] this without purpose!"

( 3: 191)

Secret of High Spiritual Status

The secret of the high spiritual and collective status, which was attained by the Companions of the Prophet (Sahabah) was that their strong relationship with Allah was based on love. They did not feel, as many others do, any sort of 'inconvenience' or 'discomfort' in remembering Him or striving in His way, nor did they suffer from any 'distraction of confusion'.

You Do Not Stop Appreciating...

In human nature two qualities are not unknown to us: (1) the admiration of greatness, and (2) the acknowledgement of kindness. When you see a precision instrument or a latest appliance, or an exquisite picture, or an eloquent article, you do not stop talking of its beauty until your praise extends to its creator. The deep wisdom or skill of the individuals makes you bow your intellect to them involuntarily in respect and admiration. Likewise, when someone does you a favor, you always remember it, and your tongue expresses gratitude just as your heart is filled with praise and awe! A poet says: "Your favor has gained you three things from me: My hand, my tongue, and my hidden heart."

The Messenger of God (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) came to arouse these two qualities in the hearts of humans towards the One Who is most deserving of them. Do you not admire the greatness and salute its possessor? Do you not appreciate kindness and show gratitude to its doer? You surely admire the inventor of the aeroplane, and every time you see it streaking through the atmosphere your praise of his genius increases. So what do you think, therefore, of the One Who causes the thousands of stars to move in space without stopping or deviating? What do you think of Him Who created the mind of that inventor and deposited intelligence in the folds of his brain so that he could produce such things that arouse our admiration?

Is not your Lord and the Lord of all things more deserving of your praise for His greatness and favors? When you truly recognize His Mercy and Greatness through the magnificence of His creation and blessings to us, you would be ashamed to attack Him, or disobey Him, or neglect His guidelines for leading our worldly life, or to attribute anything unworthy to Him. You would surely exclaim, together with the people of knowledge and intelligence, the above verse: Rabbana, ma Khalaqta hazha Baatilan!

Worship Through Love & Reflection

Muhammad (peace be upon him) indeed united the people with their Lord on the basis of deep reflection. Thus when they rose to obey Him they were impelled to perform their duty by their heartfelt desire to pay their respects to the One who is truly Merciful. Worship in Islam is not obedience by force and anger, but obedience by will and love. Worship is not obedience from ignorance and negligence but obedience with knowledge and awareness.

That is why all the early predecessors of Islam used to emphasize reflection and understanding in order to come closer to Allah. Abu Sulayman al-Darani once said, "When I come out of my house my eyes fall on nothing but either there is a blessing for me in it, or a lesson."

Imam Hassan al-Basri says, "An hour of reflection is better than the prayers of a whole night." Similarly, Abd bin Qays narrates that he heard from several of the Companions that "reflection brightens the faith."

Fiqh-us-Seerah- Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ghazali (ra)

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Treatment of the Non-Muslims

Every Muslim has been made responsible to employ good manners in dealing with all the citizens of the land unhesitatingly. For every Muslim it is necessary that he should be truthful in dealing with the Non-Muslims. Similarly good qualities like charities keeping one's promise, tolerance, decency, generosity, co-operation, etc. are to be brought into play while dealing with Muslims and Non-Muslims alike.

It is a famous incident of the biography of the Prophet that he owed something to a Jew, The Jew demanded repayment and in a very harsh tone said: “O Sons of Abdul Muttalib! You people unnecessarily delay the repayment of your loans.” At that place Hazrat Umar bin AI-Khattab was also present. He decided to teach the Jew, who insulted the Prophet, good manners, and drew his sword from the scabbard. But the Messenger of Allah silenced Umar saying: “I and he deserve better treatment, Teach him to demand his money in a better way and advise me to repay it in a refined manner.”

Islam has commanded to deal justly and fairly even if the opponent may be a wrongdoer or an infidel. Allah’s Messenger has said: “The prayer of the oppressed is answered, If he is wicked and wrongdoer, its ill effects will go against him.” (Ahmed)

In another Hadith it is stated: “Even if the oppressed person is an infidel, there is no obstruction between his prayer and its answer.”

In the light of these authorities and the commands, Islam has advised its followers not to mal-treat their ideological and religious opponents. Similarly Islam has ordered that its followers should be kind to their relatives, even though they may have rejected this religion, which they have made their own.


"Muslim's Character" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali(ra)

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Seeking Forgiveness

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was reciting the Names of Allah and remembering Him all the time. But sometimes due to being too busy in the affairs of the public or due to human needs, there was a pause in this eternal remembrance. Although such a pause was only momentary, this momentary pause was very much disliked by him; and considering it slackness on his part, he prayed for forgiveness from Allah. In this there is an important lesson for us.

In spite of our many sins and negligence on our part, we do not turn to Allah and seek forgiveness; while, although our Prophet had all his past and future sins forgiven by Allah, he sought forgiveness very often. Al-Agharr Al-Muzani (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah said:

"Sometimes I perceive a veil over my heart, and I supplicate Allah for forgiveness a hundred times in a day.'' [Muslim]


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Keep away from Mutual Enmity

When the quarrel intensifies and its roots go deeper, and its thorns become branches and branches increase in number, then the freshness of the fruits of faith is adversely affected. Softness, sympathy, satisfaction and peace which are encouraged by the Islamic teachings receive a setback. Performance of worship loses its righteousness, nor does the self get any benefit from it.

When a man is displeased, his eyes become prejudiced and ignore the camel and object to gnat. Such eyes do not appreciate the beauty of the peacock, for they only see its ugly feet and claws. If a slight defect is present, it turns the molehill into a mountain.

And sometimes the internal rancour and jealousy affect them so badly that no hesitation is felt in inventing imaginary stories. Islam disapproves of all these manifestations of ill-feeling and advises to abstain from them. It declares their avoidance as the most virtuous form or worship.

The Prophet has said:

"Listen, may I not tell you something more important than salat, fasting and charity.” The people requested him to do so. He said: "To keep the mutual relationship on the right footing, because the defect in the mutual relationship is a thing which shaves a thing clean, I do not mean that it shaves the hair, but that it shaves (removes) the religion." (Al Tirmidhi)

The best method adopted by the devil to drive people away from God is to sow the seeds of enmity in the hearts of the people. When this enmity develops into a fire and open hostilities result, he enjoys the scene. This fire burns man's present and future into ashes and totally destroys their relationship and virtues.

When wickedness takes roots in the hearts, and people start hating love and brotherhood and when these are destroyed, people revert to cruelty and enmity, and break all those relations and connections for which Allah has given commands to join; and thus they spread corruption on this earth.


"Muslim's Character " - Muhammad Al-Ghazali

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Relieving the Distress of Others

On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) who said, "Whoever relieves a believer's distress (kurbah) of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter." [Muslim]

A Kurbah is that which distresses the soul and preoccupies the mind. In this world, many aspects can be described as kurbah. A person could face difficulties, problems and challenges almost every day in his life.

This hadith demonstrates the importance of fulfilling the needs of one's brother. This type of deed, with its great reward, is open to any Muslim. This is so because it can be accomplished by using one's knowledge, wealth or authority. It may be by simply advising him to what is best or guiding him to something good. It could also be by praying to Allah to help the other person and relieve his plight.

The word translated as "relieves" is actually naffasa. This means to lighten or relieve the burden. It comes from the expression, giving breath to one who is about to suffocate. It is as if one relaxes the suffocating person and opens a passage for him to breathe so that he is able to take a breath.

One can only imagine what society would be like - indeed, what the world would be like - if every Muslim would take this approach to life. The Muslim would go out in search of those who are in need and troubled because he knows that by helping them, he is actually helping himself and, Allah willing, saving himself from great hardship in the Hereafter.

Incidentally, according to al-Haitami, the mentioning of relieving a believer's stressful situation was simply for the purpose of honouring believers and emphasizing the importance of their good treatment. Otherwise, he says, the reward stated in this hadith applies to relieving a distressful situation of any human.


"Commentary on the Forty Hadith" - By Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo

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Never in Vain

There is this stigma involved in giving charity. It's that fear and doubt that whatever money we give will not be spent properly. We have to get over this. This hadith addresses this issue:

Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "A man said that he would give something in charity. He went out with his object of charity and unknowingly gave it to a thief. Next morning the people said that he had given his object of charity to a thief. (On hearing that) he said, "O Allah! All the praises are for you. I will give alms again." And so he again went out with his alms and (unknowingly) gave it to an adulteress. Next morning the people said that he had given his alms to an adulteress last night. The man said, "O Allah! All the praises are for you. (I gave my alms) to an adulteress. I will give alms again." So he went out with his alms again and (unknowingly) gave it to a rich person. (The people) next morning said that he had given his alms to a wealthy person. He said, "O Allah! All the praises are for you. (I had given alms) to a thief, to an adulteress and to a wealthy man." Then someone came and said to him, "The alms which you gave to the thief, might make him abstain from stealing, and that given to the adulteress might make her abstain from illegal sexual intercourse (adultery), and that given to the wealthy man might make him take a lesson from it and spend his wealth which Allah has given him, in Allah's cause."

Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 24, Number 502

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Prophetic Wisdom on Neighbours

A slight nod of the head, a brief hello in the hallway or perhaps helping with a car stuck in the snow during winter. That's usually the most communication many of us have with those who are physically closer to us than most of our relatives, our neighbours.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) once said, "Jibril kept recommending treating neighbours with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of inheritance" (Bukhari and Muslim).

Wow, our inheritance.

But let's think of something smaller. How about food? It's been said that food unites. While we all have our own tastes, "American" food (i.e. fruits, veggies, chips, cookies, chocolate cake, frozen pizza, etc.) can be found in virtually all of our homes, even those who staunchly cling to their ethnic identities. When was the last time we offered a bag of chips or cookies to the kids downstairs? When was the last time we cut up some watermelon on a hot day and offered it to our neighbours?

"O Abu Dharr! Whenever you prepare a broth, put plenty of water in it, and give some of it to your neighbours," the Prophet advised his Companion in a Hadith in Muslim.

It's not just about hunger. In America, the land of plenty, Alhamdu lillah, we won't find the shortage of food we would in many Muslim countries. Here, food really is about uniting people, sharing what's common to our humanity. It's also about building neighbourly relations through small acts of kindness.

"By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer,'' the Prophet said. It was asked, "Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?'' He said, "One whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil" (Bukhari and Muslim).

Maybe we're not so bad. At least we don't yell and scream at our neighbours, threaten them, cheat them or lie to them. But we're reminded of our negligence towards our neighbours when we realize that how we treat them relates to our relationship with God, which is the very core of who we are as Muslims.

The Prophet said, "the best of companions with Allah is the one who is best to his companions, and the best of neighbours to Allah is the one who is the best of them to his neighbour" (Tirmidhi).

Our very faith and connection to Allah is reflected in how we treat our neighbours. Perhaps this is the push we need to start connecting with them so we can better our relationship with God.


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Salam – A Word from the Most Merciful

Ibn Mas’ud: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Indeed Al-Salam is one of the Names of Allah which He has placed on the earth. So spread it amongst yourselves. * Indeed if a man passed by a people and greeted them with the Salam and they returned it, then he has a rank of goodness over them because he has reminded them of the Salam. If they do not return it, then it is returned to him by one who is better and nobler than them.’ -  [Majma' al-Zawa'id 8/32; al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib 3/416]

* i.e. To spread the greeting of peace by saying: As-salamu `alaykum (wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh)

Abu Hatim: It is only befitting for the wise one to adhere to spreading the Salam in general because the one who gives the Salam to 10 people gains reward equal to that of freeing a slave. The Salam is from the things that remove the intricacies of grudge and enmity (between people), it does away with the hatred in the hearts, it removes the breakage of ties and it purifies the brotherhood.

The one who initiates the Salam has 2 rewards: The first is that Allah blesses him with a rank (of goodness) over the one who is greeted because he reminded him of the Salam and (the second is) the Angels’ response to him when the person does not respond.

Zubayd al-Yami : ‘The most generous person is the one who gives out wealth without desiring reward (from people), the most forgiving of people is the one who forgives when he is a position of power (to punish), the most virtuous person is he who joins ties with one who has cut them and the most miserly of people is the one who miserly with the Salam.’

‘Ammar ibn Yasir (radhiallahu `anhu) said, ‘There are 3 things which whoever gathers them in his personality, has gathered faith itself: Spending out one’s wealth even though he has little, justice even against oneself and striving to give the greeting of Salam in this world.’

Abu Hatim: When a Muslim meets his Muslim brethren, he should greet him with a smile because that will eradicate sins from them both just as the leaves of a tree fall in the winter when it becomes dry. Whoever smiles at the people and meets them with a beaming face gains their love and affection.

Al-Abrash recited the following lines:

The one who smiles is a beloved one due to the beauty of his face
The miserliness of a person only hastens his dishonour
And I have not seen anything protect a person as much as kindness

Hisham ibn ‘Urwah relates from his father: ‘I have been told that it is engraved in the words of wisdom (the following): ‘O my son, let your face always beam and let your words always be sweet, for that is more beloved to people than giving them gifts.’

Habib ibn Abi Thabit: ‘It is from a man’s good character that he should converse with his friends whilst he is smiling.’

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Acquire Beneficial Knowledge
 
 
God said: "God will raise in rank those of you who believe as well as those who are given knowledge."

The Prophet said, "The best of men is the learned believer who, if he is needed, he will be useful; and if dispensed with, he will be self-sufficient." The Prophet also said, "God said unto Abraham, 'O Abraham! Verily I am knowing and I love every knowing person'." Again he said, "Should the day come wherein I increase not in knowledge wherewith to draw nearer to God, let the dawn of that day be accursed."

Concerning the superiority of knowledge to worship and martyrdom, the Prophet said, "The superior rank the learned man holds in relation to the worshipper is like the superior rank I hold in relation to the best of men." See how he placed knowledge on an equal footing with prophethood and belittled the value of practice without knowledge, despite the fact that the worshipper may not be ignorant of the worship he observes. Moreover, without this knowledge there would have been no worship.

'Ali ibn abi Talib said: "Learning is the glory of mankind, The wise are beacons on the road to truth; Man is worth his knowledge, nothing more- The fool will be his inveterate foe, Knowledge is man's hope of life immortal, Man may die but wisdom liveth ever."

Umar said, "O men! Seek ye knowledge. For verily God has a mantle of love for which He casts upon him who seeks knowledge even of a single section. Should he then commit an offence, God will remonstrate with him thrice in order not to rob him of his mantle, even tough that offence may persist with him until he dies."

Fath al-Mawsili said enquiring, "Would not the sick die if he is given no food or drink or medicine?" They said, "Yes". To which he said, "Similarly the heart will perish if it is cut off from wisdom and knowledge for three days." He did indeed speak the truth, for the nourishment of the heart, on which its life depends, is knowledge and wisdom, just as the nourishment of the body is food.

The Book of Knowledge, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali

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