Print Page | Close Window

Taqwa (God Consciousness)

Printed From: WhyIslam.org
Category: Learn About Islam
Forum Name: Learn about Islam
Forum Discription: Information on Islam
URL: http://www.whyislam.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=25349
Printed Date: 16 July 2019 at 5:14am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.03 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Taqwa (God Consciousness)
Posted By: a well wisher
Subject: Taqwa (God Consciousness)
Date Posted: 30 May 2009 at 6:35pm
What is Taqwa?
 

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azîz (rahimahullâh) used to say, “None can reach the station of taqwâ until he possesses neither action nor words that can be exposed to his embarrassment either in this world or the Hereafter.” He was once asked, “When does the worshipper reach the peak of taqwa?” He replied, “If he put all his thoughts and desires in his heart on a plate and then wandered around in the market, he should not feel ashamed of anything there.” He would frequently say, “The sign of the muttaqî (pious person) is to bridle oneself from speaking just like one in ihram bridles himself from speaking. The muttaqî need to be a scholar of the Sharî‘ah, all of it, otherwise he leaves taqwa without realizing.”

Abû Dardâ (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) said, “From the completion of taqwa is that the slave fears from his Lord even with regards to things the weight of an atom.”

Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) was asked about taqwa. He said, “It is a road full of thorns. One who walks it needs to have extreme patience.”

Sufyân ath-Thawrî (rahimahullâh) said, “We met a people who loved it when it was said to them, Fear Allah the Most High. Today you find that people only become annoyed at this.”



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah



Replies:
Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 30 May 2009 at 6:44pm

http://islamiology.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/sudan19.jpg -  Taqwa according to Ali bin abi Talib RA

“When Ali (ra) returned from the Battle of Siffin, he passed by a graveyard outside Kufa and said:
 

‘O you who live in houses that create loneliness and in deserted places! You who live in darkening graves! O people of dust and alienation! O people of isolation and loneliness! You are, for us, scouts and we, for you, followers. The houses? Well, they have become inhabited again. The wives? They have remarried. The wealth? It has been distributed.


This is the news we have for you. What news do you have for us?’

Then Ali (ra) turned towards his army and said: ‘If they were permitted to speak, they would inform you that the best provision is taqwa.’”


Hammam bin Shuraih, a companion of Ali RA,  asked him  to narrate the qualities of the people of taqwa so that he would be able to see them in front of him. 
 

Ali RA replied:  When Allah created His creation, He did so while He was completely independent of their obedience towards Him and of their disobedience towards Him. No disobedience can hurt Him and no obedience can benefit Him. Then He distributed amongst them (the creation) their means of sustenance and placed them on earth.

 
The people of taqwa on earth are those of virtue: their speech is correct (true); their garments are of moderate nature and their walk is one of humility. They lower their gaze when they see something that Allah has forbidden them to see, and they give ear to beneficial knowledge. They maintain their integrity in both adversity and prosperity.
 

Had it not been for the appointed time that Allah has written for them (death), their souls would not remain an extra second in their bodies out of yearning for reward and fear of punishment. The Creator ranks Supreme in their eyes, so everything else becomes immaterial to them. They are with Paradise as if they had already witnessed it and enjoyed its presence. They are with Hell as if they have already seen it and tasted its torment. Their hearts grieve and their evil (if any) is non-contagious. Their bodies are lean, their needs are few and their souls are chaste.

 
They observe patience for a few days and experience everlasting comfort. This is a profitable exchange that their Lord has made pleasant for them. The world tempts them, but they do not succumb. It imprisons them, but they ransomed themselves in exchange.
 

During the nights they stand in rows and read portions of the Qur’an. They recite it with proper recitation which grieves their hearts and drink it (the Qur’an) like medicine. If a verse of yearning comes along, they reach for it and believe it is their destination. If an intimidating verse comes along, they pour their hearts towards it and believe that Hell and its screams are in their ears. They sleep on their foreheads and elbows (i.e. they engage in prayers so much that it is as if they sleep in those postures) and implore Allah to deliver them.

 
In the day they are tolerant and learned, kind and God-fearing. Fear has chipped away at their bodies as if they were arrows. Anyone looking at them would think that they were sick. But they are not sick. Some will say that they are confused. A great fear has made them look like that. They are never content to do only a few actions (during the day), nor do they ask for a great deal. They condemn themselves and are apprehensive about their deeds.
 

If one of them is called ‘pious’ he fears what will be said of him and says: ‘I know myself better than you do. My Lord knows me better than I do. O Allah! Do not take me to task for what they are saying about me and (O Lord) make me better than they think. Forgive my sins which they do not know about.’ Their signs are that they are strong in Islam, resolute in their softness, firm in their belief.

 
They crave for knowledge and are knowledgeable with tolerance; moderate in richness; pleasant in hunger; forbearing in distress; seeking halaal; active in (pursuing) guidance and they abhor greed. They perform good deeds in fear (of rejection). They spend the evening in gratitude and the morning in remembrance. They sleep in alarm and they awake in joy. If their carnal selves make it difficult for them to fulfill that which they dislike they deprive them (their selves) of that which they like. The apple of their eyes is in what does not perish and their abstemiousness is in what disappears. They combine knowledge with tolerance and speech with action.
 

You will find their hopes are realistic, their mistakes few, their hearts humble, their selves content, their diet meager, their matters simple, their deen safe-guarded, their desires killed and their anger subdued. Goodness is expected from them and evil is shielded against them. If they are among those who are oblivious, they are counted amongst those who remember (Allah). If they are among those who remember, they are not written among the oblivious. They pardon those who wrong them; they provide for those who deprive them and meet those who sever ties with them. They are never profane and always lenient. Their wrong doings are almost non-existent and their good deeds are always present. They are resolute when the earth quakes, steadfast in calamities and grateful in prosperity. They are not prejudiced against those they dislike nor do they favor those they love.

 
They acknowledge the truth before it appears and do not lose anything they are entrusted with. They do not call anyone names nor do they hurt their neighbors. They do not curse at the time of difficulties nor do they venture into falsehood. Silence does not bother them and if they laugh they do not raise their voices. If they are treated with injustice they remain patient until Allah vindicates them.
 

Their own selves live in toil while others are comfortable around them. Their abstinence from those who stay away from them is their exoneration (from malice). Their proximity to those who are close to them is a means of mercy (for those who are close to them). Their remaining aloof is not out of pride and arrogance and their being close is neither a ploy nor a scheme.

 

 



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 30 May 2009 at 9:28pm
Jazakum Allah Khairan sister for the reminder
 
The purpose of one of the five pillars of Islam (fasting Ramadan) is to increase in taqwa, as a fasting person is more conscious that Allah is watching every move he makes, and every word he says
 
One of the important issues also to remember about taqwa is that Allah loves those who have taqwa, as mentioned in the Qur'an
 
If a Muslim wants Allah to love him/her, gaining more taqwa is a guaranteed way ......
 


-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 31 May 2009 at 7:46pm
Wa Iyyakum Brother
 
 
There was an asian writer Qudrat ullah Shahab(may Allah rest his soul) who had these thoughts on Taqwa...

…..I was also confused about the true meaning of taqwa (piety, God-consciousness), tawakkul( reliance on God) and tawba(repentance). I had read somewhere that in order to understand the Quran one must have a wholesome disposition, a wholesome intellect, breadth of vision and the “light” of understanding and these come about through taqwa. What is taqwa though? How is it attained? At that time I had no idea.

The Quran describes the person of taqwa thus:

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the Allah-fearing. (2:177)

The Quran also tells us:

Deal justly, that is nearer to piety. (5:08)

O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. (7:26)

Apart from outer raiment there is also spiritual raiment, that is the raiment of taqwa which is even more needed than the outer garments. Just as the outer garment covers the nakedness of the body and adorns it, so does the garment of taqwa cover our bad traits and adorn our good ones.

After reading the descriptions of the people of taqwa in the Quran my heart was set free from the fear of those “righteous folk” who are often seen carrying the staff of their own righteousness and pouring scorn on their “weaker” fellows in a remorseless manner. Such people truly deserve to be pitied. The real people of taqwa are people of beauty and grace; of good character, clean hearted, full of faith, generous, just, truthful, soft-hearted, able to control their anger and their desires; free of arrogance, searching out the faults of others or being sarcastic and derogatory towards them.

Their outer garments are beautiful and pleasing and their inner garments are even more beautiful. This is the raiment of taqwa. Their outer form does not proclaim their righteousness and if their inner self ever entertains the idea that they are people of taqwa, this inner raiment is ripped to shreds leaving them stark naked in the valley of arrogance. This is a two-edged sword. Only that fortunate one  survives its blow whose taqwa is for God alone.

 Source:Shahabnama



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 03 June 2009 at 4:34pm
 
 
Although many will say that Taqwa is to the fear Allaah, the term and its usage actually cover a much broader meaning than that. It literally means to place in between you and what you fear a ‘wiqaaya’ (a protection or a preventative measure), so to have taqwa of Allaah subsequently means to place in between yourself and what you fear from Allaah some form of protection. In a nutshell, it is to act only in His obedience and steer away from disobeying Him, performing that which is beloved to Him and abandoning whatever displeases Him, – it is to love Him, fear Him and have great hope in Him.

Taqwa reflects off a person in their lives and without realising it, many people will show what they possess of taqwa – whether great or small – in their day-to-day business. Hence it is an act of the heart which is deeply built within a person and it has the ability to grow, establishing itself firmly or slowly decrease until very little of it is left.

When the Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) was asked, “What is the thing which enters people into Paradise the most?” he replied “Taqwa and a good character” – two extraordinary traits that I find often take time to build up and perfect.

When asked about taqwa and what it meant, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azeez would say “Taqwa is not fasting by day and standing for prayer by night… but taqwa is to desert what Allaah has forbidden and to fulfil what He has commanded – and whoever puts forth goodness after that, then that is khayr upon khayr.”

Talaq ibn Habeeb would also say, “Taqwa is to be obedient to Allaah upon a Light from Allaah, hoping for reward from Allaah, and it is to abandon sins upon a Light from Allaah fearing the punishment of Allaah.”

Taqwa enters into a believer’s general alertness about his/her actions and it acts as the guard over their good deeds before and after its fulfilment. It is the shield which the believer uses to protect himself from the plots of the Shaytaan and his whispers. It is that which saves a person from the brink of destruction in this life and in the Hereafter.

Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allaahu `anhu) was once asked about Taqwa to which he replied, “Have you ever trodden along a thorny path?” ‘Yes’ said the questioner. “What did you do?” asked Abu Hurayrah. He replied, “If I saw a thorn, I moved away from it or crossed over it or held back from it.” – “That is taqwa” said Abu Hurayrah.

From the signs that a person has little taqwa is the belittling of sins and disregarding the accumulation of bad deeds – even if they are small. Ibn al-Mu’tazz said in a few lines of poetry,

خل الذنوب صغيرها *** و كبيرها ذاك التقى
و اصنع كماش فوق أر *** ض الشوك يحذر ما يرى
لا تحقرن صغيرة *** إن الجبال من الحصى


Abandon sins, big and small – that is Tawqa
And be like the one who walks on a thorny path, he is cautious of what he sees
Do not belittle the small sins; truly mountains are made from pebbles

‘Ali ibn Abee Taalib (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) would also describe Taqwa saying,

تقوى الله –
الخوف من الجليل
و العمل بالتنزيل
و الرضاء بالقليل
و الاستعداد إلى يوم الرحيل

He (ra) says that it is:


Fear from the Allaah, the Majestic,
And to do deeds according to the Revelation,
To be pleased with little,
And to prepare for the Day of Departure

One of the companions of Abul-‘Aaliya relates: I once saw Abul-‘Aaliya making wudhu and the water was dripping from his face and hands. I greeted him and said, ‘Indeed Allaah loves the Tawwaabeen (those that turn to Him in repentance) and the Mutatahhireen (those who purify themselves).’ He said, “Ya Akhi, the Mutatahhireen are not those who purify themselves from dirt, but it is them that purify themselves from sins with Taqwa.”

Abul-‘Aaliya (Rufai’ ibn Mihraan) was a Taabi’ee known for his piety and ground knowledge of Qur’aan. It is said that out of his deep taqwa and in preparation for the Hereafter, he would dress up in his kaffan (shrouds), at least once a month. He also wrote out his will seventeen times in his life – even though he was perfectly healthy. He would set a date for each will and if that date came to pass while he was still alive, he would look back at the will and alter what needed to be altered and set another date. All this was his preparation for the great journey that every soul must undertake from this Dunya to the Hereafter.

Piety is something that we must all aspire to attain and really seek to build within us. With taqwa were the Muttaqoon (those who have taqwa) able to supersede the norm, go against extreme odds, witness magnificent miracles and keep going when the world fell to its knees. Taqwa leads one to success in this life and the Next; it provides a way out for the believer in every difficulty, it remits sins, makes matters easier and continues to be the guiding light for its companion. The pages of the Qur’aan are filled with verses where Allaah ‘azza wa jall has declared His Love for them and how many times has Paradise been promised to them?

In the words of the Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam),

اتق الله حيثما كنت
“Have taqwa of Allaah wheresoever you are…”

May Allaah make us from amongst them, forgive us for our mistakes and enter us into Paradise, ever-lasting gardens, a delight to the eyes of its dwellers. Ameen

http://fajr.wordpress.com/2007/02/05/taqwa-the-ultimate-safeguard/ - http://fajr.wordpress.com/2007/02/05/taqwa-the-ultimate-safeguard/


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 05 June 2009 at 4:35pm
 
Hadith On Taqwa
 
 
Abu Dhar Jundub bin Junadah and Abu Abdul Rahman Mu’adh bin Jabal, radiyallahu anhuma, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:

“Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.”

[Al-Tirmidhi relates it, saying: It is a good (hasan) Tradition. In some copies he says: It is a good and genuine (hasan and sahih) Hadith.]

background

Taqwa is one of the most important and comprehensive Islamic concepts. The term is derived from its root “waqayya” which means “to protect.” Taqwa therefore means to protect one own self from the severe punishment of Allah by following His guidance.

Some translate Taqwa as “to fear Allah”. However, fearing Allah is only one aspect of this comprehensive concept. Ali ibn Abi Talib, radiyallahu anhu, defines it as: “Fearing Allah, adhering to His commandments, being content with what He provides one with, and getting ready for the Day of Judgement.”

Mohammad Asad translates it as “to be conscious of Allah.” It might be better according to some Muslim linguist to use the transliteration of this Qur’anic term and keep it as it is.

The term has been mentioned many times both in Qur’an and Sunnah. Allah the Almighty says:

“O believers! Have Taqwa of Allah as is His right to have Taqwa. And die not except while you are Muslims”
[Surah Al-Imran (3): ayat 102]

By realization of Taqwa a Muslim is granted many bounties and blessings which he/she may gain. Among them are: the Love of Allah, a criterion by which to judge and distinguish between right and wrong, a way out of difficulties, matters will be made easier for him/her, sins will be remitted, guidance, help to acquire beneficial knowledge, prosperity and success.

lessons
According to Ibn Rajab’s view as well as other scholars, Taqwa is to fulfill obligations and avoid prohibitions and doubtful matters. It is the advice of Allah to all humankind, and it is the advice of all prophets, alayhim al-salam, to their people. Prophet Mohammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, used to advise and continuously remind his Companions about Taqwa in all his talks and on different occasions.

Those who define Taqwa as “fearing Allah” look at the concept as a motive, because according to early scholars the minimum level of fearing Allah is what motivates a Muslim to fulfill obligations and keeps him/her away from prohibitions.

Taqwa does not imply perfection. Those who have Taqwa are subject to commit sins. However, if they do so, they repent right away and follow up the bad deed they have done with a good deed to wipe the bad one out as mentioned in this hadith. This clarifies the debatable issue between some scholars: whether or not avoiding minor sins is considered an aspect of Taqwa.

Allah the Almighty and all Merciful has left the door of forgiveness opened to many means by which the punishment for a sin might be removed. To do good deeds right after bad ones to wipe them out is one mean. This is mentioned in Surah Hud, ayat 114: “Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds.”
There are other ways and means by which sins are forgiven as stated in the Qur’an and Sunnah such as:

  • Istighfar (seeking forgiveness by supplication)
  • Tubah (repentance)
  • Du’a’ of Muslims for one another
  • The intercession by the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam
  • The intercession of pious Muslims
  • Performing the daily five prayers regularly and on time
  • Afflictions
  • The torment in the grave
  • The horrible scenes and events of the Last Day
  • The mere Mercy and Forgiveness from Allah

If we do a good deed, Allah will reward us by guiding us to do another good deed. Hence, doing a good deed will lead to doing another good deed. Doing a bad deed without regretting it or without istighfar or wiping it out by doing a good deed will most likely lead to doing another bad deed, whether of the same type or of a different type. By doing a bad deed with that attitude makes the person subject to repeat it again and again and doing other bad deeds becomes possible until the heart of that person is “sealed” and the person turns into a transgressor.

It is an obligation that every Muslim should treat others, deal with them, and interact with them in a good manner. Ibn Rajab says in his commentary: “Having good character is a characteristic of Taqwa. Taqwa cannot be complete without it. It was mentioned here by itself due to the need for explicitly explaining that point. Many people think that Taqwa implies fulfilling the rights of Allah without fulfilling the rights of humans. Therefore, the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, explicitly stated that he/she must deal with people in a kind manner.” This ruling is stressed in many other hadiths, of which the following are some:
“Piety and Righteousness is being of good character.” [Recorded by Imam Muslim]
“The believer with the most complete Iman (faith) is the one with the best behavior.” [Recorded by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud]
“There is nothing heavier in the scales than good character.” [Recorded by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud]
The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, made Iman (faith) and good character as the main basic criterion whether or not to accept a man for marriage.


conclusion

To fear Allah the Almighty, to adhere to His commandments, to follow doing a bad deed with a good deed to wipe it out, and to deal with others in a good manner and good character are all aspects of the concept of Taqwa.

 
 


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 16 June 2009 at 2:56pm

Servants of the Most Gracious

Lessons from Surah Furqan

Although they may be seen to be few, true servants of Allaah will never cease to exist. In every place, there will always be righteous and obedient believers who have taken it upon themselves to fulfil their promise to Allaah. They are the ones who are engaged in working righteousness and in constant personal reform – developing and improving themselves, never content with their current state. They are the sincere Muslims who exert themselves in their submission to Allaah, regularly keeping in check the contents of their heart, the reality of their thoughts and the course of their actions. They are from amongst the ‘Ibaadur-Rahmaan – the true servants of the Allaah, the Most Gracious.

 “And the slaves of the Most Gracious (Allaah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness and when the foolish address them, they reply back with words of peace.”

[Surah al-Furqan: 63]

     

Throughout the Qur’aan, Allaah regularly mentions their characteristics. Characteristics such as patience and piety, gratitude and steadfastness, humbleness and courage, justice and equity to name but a few. 

|  |

In the above verse, the first trait mentioned by Allaah as belonging to His servants is one of tawaadu’ – humbleness and humility. It is an extremely important attribute sprouting from a pure and believing heart, having a direct affect on one’s action. It is an attribute which totally eliminates any presence of arrogance and false pride, leaving ground for only goodness to grow. A well-known human trait is that people often respond fiercely to verbal abuse as they see it to be an attack on their personal self. It pierces their pride and ego – hence the backlash. However, for the Muslim, when the ignorant addresses him in such a manner, it holds no weight in his sight and little does it affect him for his main concern is not the ignorant, but rather his Lord. He thus replies back with words free from any evil or sin.

 |  |

“And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing.” [v.64] 

The night prayer also termed ‘the prayer of the righteous’ is never found missing from the life of the believer. The servants of Allaah are those who are found awake when the masses are asleep, they are found engaged in prayer and supplication, out of their love for their Lord at a time when He descends to the lower heaven. They realise the great opportunities that lie here and so they hasten to perform much good. Their imaan has taken them beyond establishing the obligations of Islam in their life to establishing and being steadfast upon the performance of the nawaafil (supererogatory deeds) – and as Allah mentions “My slave continues to draw near to me with supererogatory works (nawaafil) until I love him”. [1]

 

|  |

“And those who say: ‘Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily, its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.”  [v.65] 

Recalling the humbleness of such ‘ibaad (servants of Allah), it is only a natural quality of theirs that they never feel safe from the punishment of the Hereafter. Despite the good deeds they have sent forth for themselves, they never reach a state of false self-confidence wherein they are at ease with regards to the Aakhira (Hereafter). They realise that deeds alone do not guarantee one a dwelling place in Paradise as is narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (s.a.w) when he said, “Know that the deeds of one of you will not save him (from the hell-fire)” The sahaabah replied, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allaah?” He (s.a.w) said, “Not even I, except if Allaah bestows upon me His Mercy and Favour” [2]

 

|  |

“And those who when they spend are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium way between those.”  [v.67]

Imam Ash-Shaafi’ee mentions interestingly that “extravagance is to spend wealth in other than its right.” In other words, were one to spend pennies in something useless, than one may be guilty of extravagance despite the little he or she has spent, as Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “Whoever spent a hundred thousand in due right (i.e. in good), then he is not a spendthrift. Whosoever spent a dirham (i.e. small amount) in other than its right, then he is a spendthrift…” [3]It’s not for a believer to waste and be careless with wealth, which is itself a blessing and a trust from Allaah, the Provider. Whilst many people have made acquiring wealth to be their goal, the reality is that it is simply a means for one to reach the ultimate goal of acquiring the Pleasure of Allah. It is a characteristic of the believer that he or she is never found to be abusing this trust of wealth, but rather is always spending it in its due right and in goodness.

 

|  |

“And those who invoke not any other god along with Allaah, nor kill such life as Allaah has forbidden, except for a just cause, nor commit fornication – and whoever does this, shall receive the punishment.”  [v.68]

 

There is no doubt that to associate others in the worship of Allah is the greatest sin by which one leaves the fold of Islam, and so it is made clear that the servants of the Most Gracious are they who purify their worship for Him Alone and do not call upon other than Him. They stay away from anything that can possibly jeopardize their belief, including the rest of the major sins mentioned in the verse. However, for those who may have committed the sins (with the exception of shirk), Allah says shortly afterwards:

“Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”  [v.70]

The characteristics of ‘ibaadur-Rahmaan continue:

|  |

“And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.”  [v.72]

Justice. A known element within the true Muslim character and an attribute to be observed by all claimants of Islam, regardless of where the interest lies. Hence, to bear false witness only amounts to lies, often resulting in social chaos and injustice. Inner strength often needs to be developed to keep our soul away from doing injustice to ourselves or to others and also to keep it away from engaging in idle or evil talk which it may be unsurprisingly attracted towards. The servants of Allaah naturally find dignity in their faith which allows them to not only avoid evil, but to be unaffected by it altogether.

|  |

“And those, when they are reminded of the Ayaat of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat.”  [v.73]

They do not turn away from the Revelation of Allaah, but rather they rush to listen to it attentively. They are not from amongst those about whom Allaah has said, “They are the deaf, dumb and blind, so they return not (to the Right Path).” [4] Instead they are counted as being amongst those mentioned in the verse, “Only those believe in Our Ayaat, who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.” [5] They are the ones who turn their ears and hearts fully in acceptance to what their Lord has to say.

The characteristics of the servants of Allaah in the passage of Surah Furqan draw to an end with:

“And those who say: "Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqoon" [v.74] 

“Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.”  [v.75] 

May Allaah make us from amongst His true, believing ‘Ibaad.

________________________________________

Footnotes: 

[1] Related by al-Bukhari

[2] Al-Bukhari

[3] Al-Jaami’ li-‘ahkaam al-Qur’aan by al-Qurtubi

[4] Surah al-Baqarah, verse 18

[5] Surah as-Sajdah: 15

http://fajr.wordpress.com/2006/05/24/servants-of-the-most-gracious/ - http://fajr.wordpress.com/2006/05/24/servants-of-the-most-gracious/


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 06 July 2009 at 11:51am

 Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

Among these fundamental principles is the principle of taqwaa. This is a term with which many people are familiar. Taqwaa is usually translated as the fear of Allaah, of having this quality. It comes from an Arabic verb, waqa’a yaqee, which means to protect oneself. A shield is a wiqaayah coming from the same verb, something to protect yourself with.

Taqwaa also becomes the basis by which people are considered superior to others in Islaam. Allaah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa in the Qur’aan has informed us that he has favored some people over others. Sustenance is an example. In 16:81, Allaah says, "Allaah has favored some of you over others in sustenance." This is reality. That is, in this life people are not all equal. Allaah has favored some over others in a variety of different capacities. However these favors are part of the tests of this life.

They are not favors on the basis of which we should feel proud or we should feel superior because feelings of pride and superiority are cursed. They are something hated in Islaam. As the Prophet has said, "Whoever has a mustard seed worth of pride in his heart will never enter paradise." Pride is something which is particularly despised in Islaam. This is so to such an extent that if we were to identify, within the lslamic context, an original sin, that original sin would be pride.

Pride, of course, was the sin of Satan when he was commanded by Allaah to bow before Adam, along with the other angels, he refused to bow, and when Allaah asked him, not because Allaah did not know, but When Allaah asked him why he refused to bow to bring what was inside of him, Satan replied that "You made me from fire and made him from clay. I am better than him, because you made me from fire and you made him from clay."

Of course, when we look at issues of racism and nationalism, we see similar feelings. People feel they are better than others because they belong to a particular race, or because they belong to a particular nationality. These feelings obviously have no place in Islaam at all, feelings which are fundamentally opposed to the teachings of Islaam with regards to Allaah creating mankind from a single soul, dividing them into various tribes and nations, as Allaah explained, in order that human beings may know each other.

In that verse, Allaah goes on to identify what in fact is the basis under which certain people are considered superior to others, objectively, in the sight of Allaah . He said that the most noble of persons in the sight of Allaah are those who have greater taqwaa. Allaah has therefore defined that as being the factor which elevates people over others. As such, Allaah advises us that we should not wish for those things in which He has favored some over others.

Taqwaa is not something which Allaah favors some over others in the sense that he gives so and so taqwaa and He does not give so and so taqwa. Taqwaa is earned. He gives so and so much money and he gives so and so less money, but taqwaa is something which we earn by an act of faith. In the material world what Allaah has favours us with is grants which He gives, trusts which He puts in our hands and as such he has said, "Do not wish for what Allaah has favored some of you over others." [4:32]

That is, we should not wish for those things in which Allaah has favored some of us over others, because Allaah, knowing the capacities of people, has given them certain tests which are suitable for them. We may desire these things but if we had them they may be beyond our capacity so Allaah advises us not to wish for them. Of course, they may look as though they would be nice and good, however we can not predict what the end result will be for us. Allaah has destined for us to have what we have because that is what is suitable. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam has reinforced this in the hadeeth found in Bukhari and Muslim, in which he said "look at those below you and not those above you. It is better for you so that you do not deny Allaah’s blessings upon you."

Look at those below you. This means, in the material world, Allaah favors some over others materially. Don’t look at those who have been favored over you, because it will only create in your heart discontent and jealousy, which can destroy your own deeds. Good deeds that you intend to do can be destroyed by these feelings, so we are advised not to look to those above us who have been favored over us.

Instead we look to those below us, because no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, there are always some people who are below us economically, in greater difficulty and hardship. By doing so, we will realize that, yes, we are not so badly off after all. Allaah has favored us in this way and that way and the other way, and in thinking so we will protect ourselves from Allaah’s displeasure.

The Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam had said on the final pilgrimage, as well as on other occasions when he spoke about the halal being clear and the haram being clear, pointing to his heart, that taqwaa is in the heart, fundamentally. Meaning that it is not something which one can measure. I cannot measure your level of taqwaa, you cannot measure my level of taqwaa. We may judge in general by the outer actions of people saying that well so and so does not seem to have very much taqwaa because they are doing a lot of things which are displeasing to Allaah and so and so seems to have more taqwaa because he or she seems to be doing a lot of things which are pleasing to Allaah.

However these are superficial judgments, we really don’t know what is going on inside of a person. There was a particular incident which is recorded in Saheeh Muslim, during the battle of Khaibar, `Umar was quoting the people as saying so and so is a martyr. People who had been killed were lying on the battlefield. `Umar was walking with the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam and saying as people were saying that this one is a martyr, that one is a martyr. He came across a person and said so and so is a martyr. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said "By no means, I have seen him in hell in a cloak which he took from the spoils dishonestly." He then told `Umar ibn al Khattab, "Go `Umar announce to the people three times that only the true believers will enter paradise."

This hadeeth serves to clarify the point of who truly believes and who doesn’t. Normally we would assume that the person who gives his life for the sake of Allaah, that this is an ultimate act of taqwaa, giving one’s own life for the sake of Allaah in jihaad. However this individual was fighting not for the sake of Allaah, in fact he was fighting for the spoils of war and as such, when he had an opportunity to steal, to take more than his share from the spoils, he stole.

His act, though on the outside, led everyone, including `Umar ibn al Khattab, to judge the man to be a martyr possessing among the highest of levels of taqwaa, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said that he saw him in hell. This is to let us know that taqwaa is not something that we can ultimately judge from outside, it is something which is an internal factor.

When we look at the various practices and teachings of Islaam with regards to acts of worship, we find most of them, if not all, guiding people towards this state of taqwaa. For example, with regards to fasting, Allaah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa is saying, "O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was for those before you in order that you may be of those who have taqwa."

This concept of taqwaa, wherein one seeks to protect oneself from the wrath of Allaah by doing the things which are pleasing to Him, one can only do so if one is conscious of Allaah. This is why the term taqwaa is also expressed in English as God-consciousness. And when we look with regards to salaah, we find Allaah saying, "Establish the prayer for my remembrance." So salaah, and virtually all aspects of `ibadaah, serve to keep us in a state of consciousness of Allaah in that when a person is conscious of Him, aware that He is watching, then that person would not seek to do the things which would not be pleasing to Allaah. It is when we forget Allaah that Satan finds the opening, he is able to approach us, suggest evil and we fall into evil.

In the end, we are in that state of constant struggle between the remembrance of Allaah and the forgetfulness of Allaah. Remembrance of Allaah ensures righteousness, forgetfulness of Allaah opens the door for sin. Taqwa is therefore a concept having to do with the remembrance of Allaah, fearing Allaah, protecting ourselves form the wrath of Allaah. All of this is related to taqwaa and all of it represents the goal or the basic principle, which Islaam seeks to develop in us and which, ultimately, is the foundation of righteousness.

When a person develops these principles, or works towards them, their achievement earns one the status of being a friend of Allaah. Those are the friends of Allaah. In common belief a friend of Allaah is walee, or waliyullah, this is the term used by Allaah in the Qur’aan and the Prophet in his Sunnah. This term is, however, also translated in common parlance as saint. But in fact from the Islaamic point of view, we have no saints. And the qualities or the things which distinguish the so-called saint in the common people’s eyes is that such an individual performs miracles.

However from the Islaamic perspective the friend of Allaah is one who has developed taqwaa. As Allaah said in Soorah Yunus, 10:63, "Behold certainly no fear and no grief shall overcome the awliyaa’ of Allaah, the friends of Allaah, those who believe and have taqwaa." These are the friends of Allaah.

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam has explained this in more detail. As is always the case when we go to the Qur’aan, we have to look to see what the Sunnah has to say on the various issues that are addressed in the Qur’aan. For it is really in the Sunnah that we find the details identified for us. And there we find a particular hadeeth reported in both al-Bukhari and Muslim, in which the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam quotes something to us from Allaah. This hadeeth is reported from Abu Hurairah and he quotes the Prophet Muhammad as saying, "Verily Allaah Almighty said, ‘Whoever seeks to harm a friend of mine, I have declared a war upon him.’" This is the status of the walee of Allaah, the friend of Allaah, that whoever seeks to harm that individual, Allaah has declared war against that person. This is obviously a state which we all should seek, this is ultimate protection.

Allaah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa goes on to explain through the words of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, in this hadeeth qudsi, meaning that it is not from the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam himself, he is actually conveying to us the words of Allaah. Allaah goes on to say that "My servant does not come closer to Me by anything more beloved to Me than the things which I have made compulsory for him." That is, to come closer to Allaah, to achieve the state of friendship, of being a friend of Allaah, the route to it is through the basic compulsory things which Allaah has set. Anyone who has not established this can never be a friend of Allaah. In other words, there are no shortcuts to taqwaa.

There are people who offer shortcuts. You do this, if you say that, and you will be there. But Allaah explains that the only route is through the compulsory things. He goes on to say that the slave, after doing the compulsory things, continues to come closer to Allaah by doing voluntary acts of worship until Allaah loves him.

Each and every one of the compulsory acts of worship has a voluntary aspect to it. The compulsory is supposed to engender in us, should develop in us a desire to do the voluntary, because the voluntary, when a person is completing voluntary aspects of worship, then their acts of worship are transformed from mere ritual into a way of life. They become part and parcel of a person’s lifestyle.

Salaah is compulsory five times daily, but then we have what we call sunnah prayers before and after and also a variety of others. For example, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam had said concerning salaatul istikhaarah that whenever we have an issue to deal with and have to make a decision, we should make two rak`aat and make this du`aa. Voluntary salaah for us to do include witr and tahajjud at night. All of these different voluntary acts, when made a part of our life, built out of the compulsory, allow salaah to take on a living quality. It is shifted from the level of ritual to the level of lifestyle.

Similarly with fasting, one fasts the month of Ramadaan because it is compulsory. The goal is not just that we fast Ramadaan every year, but that fasting becomes a way of life for us. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam encouraged us to fast six days in Shawwal. Combine that with Ramadaan and you get the reward of fasting the whole year. This still leaves us with the middle three days of every lunar month, the 13th, 14th, 15th; then he used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays, as he said, "Mondays and Thursdays the gates of paradise are open." These are some of the voluntary fasts that we are encouraged to complete. What we are trying to develop therefore, is a consistent attitude towards fasting, where fasting is something that we are doing on a regular basis. Fasting is developing self-restraint, personal control over desires, whether for food, or for sexual relations, or control over our tongues. All of this, this control is not something that we need only one month in a year, it is something that we need throughout the year. This does not become a reality until fasting becomes a way of life for us.

Similarly zakaah is compulsory on a yearly basis, once a year. However, again, zakaah is there to develop in us an attitude towards sadaqa, develop in us generosity, where it is something which is automatic. Whenever we have an opportunity to share with others, to help others, we reach out. This is a way of life, these are the aspects of taqwaa. We develop this through the implementation of the fundamental principles of Islaam and then build on top of them the voluntary acts of worship. Allaah then went on in the hadeeth quoted by the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam to say that when a person acts this way then Allaah will answer any prayer that he asks, and if such a person seeks Allaah’s protection, Allaah will protect him.

If we seek the love of Allaah - and Allaah loves those who are His friends, as well as those who in general do good, but there is a special love for those who are His friends - then we have to attain and achieve that love through establishing the things which are compulsory for us. That’s the bottom line.

And Allaah had said in the Qur’aan, clarifying this point, saying, "If you love Allaah, then follow me (the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), and Allaah will love you." Following him is by doing the things which are compulsory, then building on top of it the recommended acts so that they become a way of life. Now once that becomes a reality, then in fact we will achieve happiness in this life. This is the bottom line to happiness, something that everybody struggles for.

Materialist society offers a variety of different paths to achieve happiness. However, in reality, we should be aware that the happiness achieved by material pastimes is limited - holidays, for instance, begin and end. The car runs for so many years and it breaks down. A house may be nice at one time, then it may become less attractive or inadequate.

The things which are associated with happiness in this life, material things, are passing things. Once you have them then you seek other material things because in fact this happiness is only a fulfillment of a physical desire. And when you fulfill a physical desire, there are other desires to replace it soon afterwards.

And even that physical desire, when you fulfill it, it is likely to increase itself in the same area. As the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam has said, "If a man were given a valley of gold, he will desire another one." In the West we say, the grass is always greener on the other side, this is our desire. There is no end.

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam has said, our desire does not end until we are in the grave. We can never achieve happiness through fulfillment of material desires. Happiness only comes with taqwaa. As Allaah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa says, "It is only with the remembrance of Allaah that the hearts find rest."

When a person achieves taqwaa, then his or her heart comes to rest, meaning that they are not driven constantly to want more. Whenever problems arise they are not in a state of confusion and fear and doubt because their hearts are at rest. They understand the vicissitudes of life, the ups and the downs, they understand that it is part of the test, that ultimately the whole of their life is reward, blessings. As the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam has said, the whole of a believer’s life is good, and this is only the case of a true believer, if a good comes to him, he thanks Allaah and Allaah rewards him for that good, he doesn’t forget Allaah with it. And if harm comes to him, a calamity strikes, he is patient and Allaah again rewards him for it.

The Prophet mentions the whole of life, because life is between these two, isn’t it? Calamity and success. Difficulty and ease. As Allaah says in the Qur’aan, "With every difficulty comes ease". What happens is that both sides of the coin are tests, in the good times, when ease is there, it’s a test. Do we become so happy with our success that we forget Allaah and our responsibility, or do we thank Allaah remembering that it is really from Allaah, even though yes, we strove, we tried, but ultimately achieving that was from Allaah, because we cannot guarantee the results of any of our acts. We can strive, we can decide, make decisions, we can move, but whether we are successful in our efforts or not this is according to the destiny of Allaah, what Allaah grants us. If we get something, this is a blessing of Allaah so remember that it is a blessing, thank Allaah and whatever good is in there we try to share with others.

In a time of difficulty, we realize yes, it is a result of some evil that we have done and whatever harm befalls us, whatever pain we feel, it is a purification for our sins, so it is about being patient. We patiently bear it knowing that it is not going to last forever, calamity, difficulty does not come to a person and just remains, but it is raised after some time, so if we are patient then Allaah rewards us even in the time of calamity. But as the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said, patience is exercised at the time of calamity, not afterwards.

On one occasion when he said that statement, he had passed by a woman who was crying, tears, screaming, wailing. He asked the woman what the problem was and advised her to control herself. She didn’t know who he was so she turned to him and said what do you know what has befallen me, it has not befallen you, you don’t know. Maybe, in other words, if this happened to you, maybe you would be screaming just like me, maybe even worse. So the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam went on. This obviously was someone he could not communicate with at that moment. Then other people told her, that was the Prophet of Allaah. So she ran to him and said, "sorry, sorry…I shouldn’t do this, I shouldn’t have said this..." Patience is at the time of calamity. That is when patience is required.

Keeping this in mind, we need to approach our worship with renewed vigor. After we have been Muslims for a while or after we have returned to Islaam, sometimes it is very easy to fall back into a routine. When obligations are done routinely, again though we might be fulfilling the ritual, the real reward is lost because it is only when we do that ritual with full fervor, really from our heart, sincerely, that we are getting reward. Otherwise, just the physical movements of salaah, fajr, dhuhr and `asr, these remove the obligation of prayer but do not earn for us reward.

Without sincerity in our worship we don’t grow, and we should constantly be seeking growth, because none of us has prayed the perfect prayer. This means that there is room for improvement, constantly. We know that there is so much more we can do, so we should strive to look back in our prayer and ask ourselves to what degree are we in fact praying as we should. The Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said, "Pray as you saw me praying," but he is not only talking about the physical movement, which is a part of it, he is also talking about the spiritual aspect of that prayer.

He is encouraging us to try to seek fundamentally that complete prayer. This is what we have to work for. And whenever we lose that desire to work for it, then we know that we are in trouble, we have slipped backwards, we have to constantly check ourselves and step up again.

The same is true with fasting, the first time we fasted in Ramadaan. Whether it is for those of us who have converted to Islaam or those of us who reverted by becoming aware of their Islaam again, we know that the first fast, based on a conscious choice, had a certain greatness and power that each subsequent fast seems to have lost. In fact we should be going from strength to strength. We should be striving to maintain that level. It is maintainable, not as a constant, there will always be ups and downs, that is how our faith is, our taqwaa. Taqwaa is not such that you reach a certain level and you are there 100% all the time. Taqwaa is going up and going down, it increases and decreases. We have to work for that increase, to keep it increasing. Fundamentally, what increases taqwaa are righteous deeds, and what decreases it are evil deeds.

That is the bottom line, there are no secrets in Islaam on how to increase taqwaa. There is no secret formula. It is very clear and well-known that righteous deeds increase taqwaa. To do a righteous deed is to consciously seek that which is pleasing to Allaah. We should constantly be seeking the pleasure of Allaah. Naturally that means increasing our awareness of Allaah. When we fall into evil, when we are weakening our faith, the wrongful act itself weakens our faith, because what is connected with it is forgetfulness of Allaah and what comes with that forgetfulness ultimately is misery, a state of misery.

As we have said, with the remembrance of Allaah comes true happiness, the happiness that can remain with us, happiness in the sense of contentedness which can remain with us through times of ease as well as times of difficulty.

What comes with forgetfulness of Allaah is a state of misery, it is a state where we are mostly concerned with material things, trying to fulfill our endless quest for them, trying to achieve happiness through them and being incapable of doing so.

This is why Allaah says in the Qur’aan, "Whoever turns away from my remembrance will find himself, or herself, in a miserable life". And the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam emphasized that by saying, "The slave or worshipper of the Dirham and Deenaar (in our context, the Dollar; the worshipper of money), will always be miserable." One who makes money the entire purpose of life will never be satisfied, he said the more they have they more they want. Also, when they attain so much they cannot use it because they are worried about people trying to steal it. Therefore, there is just a constant state of turmoil that a person gets caught up in. That’s the state of those who have forgotten Allaah.

We must always therefore strive to establish the fundamentals. We cannot build closeness to Allaah without the fundamentals. If the fundamentals are not in order, then no matter what additional things we do, they will not bring us closer to Allaah. We cannot give precedence to secondary acts over the fundamental acts as in the case, for example, of salaat al fajr.

We have the practice among some people that if they come to the masjid and the jam`aah has begun, they will still seek to do the two rakah sunnah before joining the jama’ah, believing that this sunnah is a sunnah mu’akkadah - an emphasized sunnah that the prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam never left. It is true, he never left these sunnah, even when he was traveling, when he would drop all of the sunnah, he would always pray the two rakkah before fajr, emphasizing that it is very strongly recommended.

However if the compulsory prayer has begun then this is not the time to do those sunnah. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam had said whenever the compulsory prayer has been called for no other prayer is acceptable except that prescribed prayer. There is a principle drawn from that in Islaamic law, that you do not give precedence to sunnah over fard, voluntary over the compulsory.

We always have to build our base first and foremost, by concentrating on the compulsory. This is where our greatest emphasis should be. And the sunnah is in addition, to help us. If we look at sunnah practices they are there to help us with the compulsory. They help to fill the void created by laxity or deficiencies in our compulsory and at the same time give us more fervor and prepare us in the best manner for the compulsory. When we do sunnah before the fard, what are we doing is preparing ourselves to deal with the fard. This is why it is important to keep that sunnah there to help us, because if you jump straight into the fard coming out of a work situation, usually you are carrying all of your environment, all of your experiences there with you.

Whereas if you do sunnah first, you have to start bringing yourself into a correct frame of mind. This is worship. This is why we are instructed whenever we go to the masjid we should pray two rak`ahs before sitting down. When you sit down, your friend next to you, you start talking about this and that and the other - you forget you are in the masjid. By praying before sitting down, you put yourself in that proper frame of mind, help prepare yourself for the compulsory.

The two are there, side by side, but our primary emphasis should be on the compulsory. With all the various acts which we are trying to build on top of that, by engaging in the voluntary, inshaa’ Allaah we will achieve that status, that high status that Allaah has identified as being a "friend of Allaah". This is something worthy for each and everyone of us to seek.

Courtesy Of: Islaam.com



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 09 July 2009 at 11:29am

‘Abdullah ibn Hakeem reported that Abu Bakr radiyallaahu `anhu delivered the following sermon:

“To proceed, I indeed advice both myself and you to fear Allah, to praise Him as he deserves to be praised, to combine hope and fear, and to unite persistency with supplication (and prayer). For indeed, Allah praised Zakariyyah and the members of his household by saying:

“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” (Qur’an 21:90)

And know, O slaves of Allah….that Allaah has taken covenants from you, and that He has purchased (from you) that which is little and fleeting for that which is plentiful and everlasting. Here among you is the Book of Allah, whose wonders never run out, and whose light never extinguishes. Believe in Allah’s speech, be sincere to His Book, and seek light from it for the Day of Darkness. Indeed, you have been created only to worship (Allah). And Allah has entrusted you to noble scribes [the blessed angels who record our deeds] who know what you do. Also know, O slaves of Allah, you come and go (on this earth) for an appointed time, and when it is that your time will come you do not know. If your are able to coincide your appointed time with a deed that you are performing for the sake of Allah, then do so. But you will not be able to do so except with Allah’s help…There are people who spent their lives for others, all the while forgetting themselves (i.e. their duties towards their Lord); I forbid you from becoming like them. So hasten, hasten (to perform good deeds), and then there will be salvation, salvation! Verily, you are being pursued from behind by that which travels with greet speed (ie, the time of your life).”

According to another account, Abu Bakr radiyallaahu `anhu also said,

“Where are the brothers you once knew? Where are the companions you once knew? They have reached where they were meant to go, having been met by the deeds they performed in their days gone by. They reside there (in the Hereafter) either in misery or happiness. Where are the arrogant tyrants who built the townships and encircled them with walls? They are now underneath stones and wells. Where are those whos faces were beautiful and full of light, those who were impressed by their youth? Where are the kings? Where are those who were granted victory on the fields of war? Time has caused them to decay, and they are now in the darkness of their graves. There is no goodness in saying that which is not spoken for the countenance of Allah, There is no goodness in wealth that is not spent in the path of Allah. There is no goodness in a person whose ignorance has overcome his forbearance. And there is no goodness in a person who, when it comes to doing something for the sake of Allah, fears the blame of a blamer. Between Allah and any person there is no familial relation, and so none can hope to receive anything from Him through such a relationship ( i.e. since no one is related to Allah, none can hope for the kind of help they receive from relatives on this earth based on family loyalty and love), nor can one hope that Allah will save him from evil (based on the same reason.) He gives goodness and saves from evil only through obedience to Him and the following of His commands. there is no such thing as something that is good if it leads to the Hellfire, and there is no such thing as something that is evil if it leads to Paradise…Because you are needy and poor (to Allah), I advice you to fear Allah, to praise Him as He deserves to be praised – and to ask for His forgiveness; for indeed, He is oft-forgiving. I have said what I needed to say, and I ask Allah for forgiveness, for both myself and you.”

*****

“There are five dark matters and five lamps (to illuminate them (or in some cases, to counteract them)). Love of this world is darkness, and At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness, the fear of Allaah) is its lamp. Sin is darkness, and its lamp is repentance. The grave is darkness, and its lamp is (the phrase) ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’ The Hereafter is darkness and its lamp is the good deed. The Siraat (the bridge over Hellfire that every person will have to cross in the Hereafter) is darkness, and its lamp is certainty of Faith.”

*****

Ausat ibn Ismaa’eel (may Allah have mercy on him) reported that, one year after the Prophet’s Death, he heard Abu Bakr radiyallaahu `anhu deliver the following sermon:

“The messenger of Allah stood among us the previous year just as I am standing here before you today.”

Abu Bakr radiyallaahu `anhu then began to cry; according to one account, he cried so uncontrollably that he was not able to speak for a while. Finally, after a long pause, Abu Bakr radiyallaahu `anhu continued,

“O people, ask Allah for well-being (physical, but especially spiritual well-being; and also, well-being in the hereafter), for with the exception of certainty of Faith, there is nothing better that He gives to anyone than well-being. Always be truthful for truthfulness is the companion of piety – and both of them are in Paradise. And beware of lying, for it is indeed the companion of wickedness, and both of them are in the Hellfire. Do not break off ties of family relationships; do not plot against one another; do not despise one another; do not be jealous of one another – but instead be slaves of Allah, brothers unto one another.”

*****

Az-Zubair ibn Al-’Awwaam radiyallaahu `anhu reported that Abu Bakr radiyallaahu `anhu said during one of his sermons,

“O group of Muslims, be shy of Allah (the Possessor of Might and Majesty), for by the one Who has my soul in His Hand, I seek cover when I go out to relieve myself in the wide-open desert by using my robe as a veil. I do so out of shyness to Allah, the Possessor of Might and Majesty.”

 
 


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 17 July 2009 at 8:56pm
In The Qur'an, Allah says that He loves believers who are patient, and believers who have taqwa
 
Gaining more taqwa is an important key to earning God's love, and an important way to achieve sincerity and peace
 
This quote is from IOL:

In its very beginning, the Qur’an opens its door to the pious: “This is the Book about and in which there is no doubt, a guidance for the pious (Al-Baqarah: 2), and calls on people to live in accordance with it so that they may be pious: “O men! Worship your Lord, Who created you and those before you, so that you may be pious” (Al-Baqarah: 21) (and protect yourselves from His punishment)

The most lovable act in Allah’s sight is piety (Taqwa (piety)), His most purified servants are the pious, ...........

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503545552 - Tips and Steps to Increase Taqwa (Piety)
 


-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 17 July 2009 at 9:00pm
Recommendations to Increase in Taqwa:

1- Be alert to whatever may divert you from Allah.

2- Be alert to the carnal pleasures that may lead to the realm of the forbidden.

3- Ascribe all material and spiritual accomplishments to Allah.

4- Never consider yourself as higher and better than anyone else.

5- Long for Allah’s pleasure and satisfaction in all affairs.

6- Renew the fountains of your Iman by studying and reflecting on Allah’s creation.

7- Remember death, and live with the conscious knowledge that it may happen at any time

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503545552 - http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503545552
 


-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 17 July 2009 at 9:57pm

Jazakh Allah Khair ...great recommendations

This video is also a moving reminder...
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkEBUC0APMg&feature=related - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkEBUC0APMg&feature=related


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 21 July 2009 at 1:14pm

 

 
 
 
 
The ignorant people complain to people about Allah and this is the highest degree of ignorance , for if he had known his Lord, he would not have complained about Him, and if he had known the people, he would not have complained to them.

One of the predecessors saw a man complaining to another man about his poverty and dire necessity. He said to him,

“O you! By Allah, you have done nothing but complain about He Who has mercy for you, to the one who has no Mercy for you.”

The following verses have been mentioned about the meaning of the previous statement of the predecessor.

When you complain to a son of Adam

Verily you complain about the Most Merciful

to the one who does not pity

 

On the contrary, the person who is profoundly knowledgeable about Allah complains to Allah alone. And the most knowledgeable person about Allah is the one who complains about himself to Allah and never to people. He complains about the causes that made people do wrong to him.

Therefore, there are three levels:

  1. the lowest one is to complain about Allah to His creatures
  2. the middle one is to complain about His creatures to Him
  3. the highest one is to complain about yourself to Him.

Taken from Imam ibn al-Qayyim’s al-Fawa`id                   



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 22 July 2009 at 10:43am
 

 
 
The jurist of Samarkand says that the person who does one good deed should be weary of four things:
  • The fear of not being accepted because Allah says:
    ‘Allah only accepts from those who fear.’ [Maidah: 27]
  • The fear of showing off, for Allah says:
    ‘They have been instructed to worship Allah sincerely; religion is for him Alone.’ [Bayinah: 5]
  • The fear of preserving the good deed because Allah says:
    ‘Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times its reward.’ [An`am: 160]
  • The fear of being deserted in performing good deeds, for Allah says:
    ‘And my guidance cannot come except from Allah, in Him I trust and unto Him I repent’ [Hud: 88]

Excerpted from;
The Signs of Fear of Allah; Its Reasons; Its Fruits and Some Poems



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 25 July 2009 at 10:30am

The Prophet's Advice to Mu`aadh ibn Jabal

http://www.islaam.com/Scholar.aspx?id=37 - Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-`Uthaymeen

Mu’aadh bin Jabal reported from the Messenger of Allaah(SAW) that he said,

"Fear Allaah wheresoever you may be, and follow up and evil deed with a good one, it will efface it (the evil deed). And deal with mankind with good manners." Reported by at-Tirmidhi.

This hadeeth is one of the Forty Ahaadeeth of the author, may Allaah have mercy upon him, and in it is that the Prophet(SAW) gave three great and important pieces of advice:

THE FIRST: He said, "have taqwaa of Allaah wheresoever you may be." Taqwaa means to stay away from the forbidden matters and to enact the obligatory matters – this is taqwaa! That you enact what Allaah has commanded you, sincerely for Allaah and in compliance to the Messenger of Allaah(SAW), and that you leave what Allaah has forbidden due to His prohibiting it and to steer clear of it.

For example that you establish the greatest obligation that Allaah has imposed upon you after the testimony of faith – the prayer, and you establish it completely - fulfilling all of its conditions and pillars and obligations, fulfilling all of these perfectly. So whosoever leaves off any of these conditions, pillars or obligations then he has not feared Allaah (to the best of his ability), rather he has been deficient in this to the extent of what he left out.

In Zakaah, the Taqwaa of Allaah lies in your calculating all of your property on which the zakaah is due, and your giving the zakaah as a means of purifying yourself without any miserliness or tightfistedness, or delay. And whosoever does not do this than he has not feared Allaah.

In fasting, the Taqwaa of Allaah lies in your establishing the fast as you have been commanded, distancing yourself from idle speech, obscene words and mannerisms, boisterous behaviour, backbiting and spreading tales and other such things that would make the fast deficient and remove the spirit of fasting. The true meaning of fasting is to fast from that which Allaah, Azza wa Jall, has made forbidden. The same applies to all of the obligations that are used to establish obedience to Allaah, and compliance to His command, sincerely for Him and in following His Messenger. Likewise all the forbidden actions are to be left in compliance to His prohibition.

THE SECOND: "and follow up and evil deed with a good one, it will efface it (the evil deed)." Meaning that when you perform an evil action then follow it up with a good action for the good action effaces the evil. And from the good actions to be performed after the evil is that you repent to Allaah for this evil action, for indeed repentance is from the most noble and excellent of the good actions as Allaah has said, "indeed Allaah Loves those who repent and those who purify themselves." (2:222) And He said, "and repent to Allaah all of you, O believers so that you may be successful." (24:31)

Similarly righteous actions expiate the evil actions as the Prophet(SAW) said, "the five daily prayers and one Jumu’ah to the next Jumu’ah, and one Ramadaan to the next Ramadaan, is an expiation for what lies between them as long as one refrains from the major sins." [Muslim], and he said, "one Umrah to the next is an expiation for what is between them." [Bukhaaree].

Therefore the good actions efface the evil.

THE THIRD: "and deal with mankind with good manners." The first two pieces of advice were those related to relationship with the Creator, this third relates to relationship of the creation to the creation. This being to deal with mankind with the best manners such that you will be praised and not blamed. This by having a cheerful complexion, being truthful in speech, speaking to others nicely and other such good manners.

There are a large number of texts concerning the excellence of having good manners to the extent that the Messenger(SAW) said, "the most complete believer with respect to faith is the one with the best manners." And he informed us that the most deserving of mankind to him(SAW) and the closest to him in ranking on the Day of Judgement would be those with the best manners.

So noble manners, along with their being a way to beautify gatherings and the person who possesses them being beloved to the people, contain a huge reward which will bestowed upon the person on the Day of Judgement.

So preserve these three pieces of advice from the Prophet(SAW) and Allaah is the Grantor of Success.



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 27 July 2009 at 10:12pm
 
 
 
 
THE HEART’S CAPTIVATION AND IMPRISONMENT BY SIN

By Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim

From Al-Jawab al-Kafi

He (rahimahullaah) said: And among its effects is that the disobedient (sinner) is constantly in the shackles of his Shaytaan and the prison of his shahwa (desires) and the chains/fetters of his hawaa (whims). So he is a captive, one who is imprisoned and who is tied up.

There is no captive in a worse state than the one who is captivated by his worst enemy and there is no prison which is tighter than the prison of hawa and there is no bond/fetter more strong than the bond of desire.

How, then, will a heart which is captivated, imprisoned and fettered travel unto Allaah and the Home of the Hereafter. How will a person take a single step forward when the heart is bound and harmful things approach it from every direction. The harmful things approach it to the extent that it is tied up [i.e. imprisoned by its desires and whims..].

The example of the heart is like the example of a bird. Every time is ascends it becomes distant from the harmful things and every time it descends the harmful things hurt it. In a hadeeth there occurs that Shaytaan is like a wolf to people. Just as when a sheep has no Protector and is in between many wolves, they are quick in causing damage and injury; likewise the servant who does not have guardianship from Allaah, then his wolf [i.e. his desires, whims etc.] is to him a predatory animal.

[Thus] there is no escape for the servant from having protection from Allaah. Taqwaa is a safeguarding for him and a strong shield between himself and the punishment of this world and the Hereafter.

Every time the sheep is close to its shepherd it is more safe from the wolf and every time it becomes distant from its shepherd it is closer to destruction. So its sanctuary is when it is close to its shepherd because the wolf takes the lonely one from the flock and this is the one which is the furthest one of the flock from the shepherd. The basis of all of this is is that every time the heart is distant from Allaah the harmful things are quick in approaching it and every time it is close to Allaah the harmful things become distant from it.

Remoteness from Allaah has levels/degrees, some of which are more severe than others. Heedlesness distances the servant from Allaah and some acts of disobedience are greater than some acts of heedlesness. Some innovations are greater than some acts of disobedience and some things from Hypocrisy and Shirk are greater than all of what has preceded.



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 11 September 2009 at 11:50pm
 
Khutbah by Br. Nouman Ali Khan on Feb. 13, 2009 at IIOC titled: Who Are the People of Taqwa (Muttaqeen)?
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNn6NgOTKpU - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNn6NgOTKpU
 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e5Pc3XCZFo&feature=related - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e5Pc3XCZFo&feature=related
 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te687T3iJCI&feature=related - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te687T3iJCI&feature=related
 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBLOhsdKh0c&feature=related - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBLOhsdKh0c&feature=related


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 11 December 2009 at 2:44pm
Character of the People of the Qur’aan
 
“…It befits him to employ…taqwa of Allaah secretly and openly, by exercising caution (wara`) with regards to the sources of his food, drink, dress and earnings. He is perceptive about his time and the corruptions of its people, that he may beware of them regarding his religion. He concentrates on his own situation, having the aspiration to reform whatever is corrupt in his affairs, guarding his tongue and choosing his words. If he speaks, he speaks with knowledge when he sees speech to be correct. If he remains silent, he remains silent with knowledge when he sees silence to be correct. He rarely delves into that which does not concern him. He fears from his tongue things more severe than he fears from his enemy. He imprisons his tongue the way he imprisons his enemy, so that he may be safe from its evil and bad consequences…He is accomodating in countenance, pure in speech. He does not allow himself to be praised for qualities he has, how then for qualities he does not have? He is wary of his self, that it should overcome him for what he desires, of the things that will anger his Master. He does not backbite anyone. He does not look down upon anyone. He does not abuse anyone. he is not happy at the afflictions of others. He neither transgresses upon anyone, nor envies him.

 

 

…He has made the Qur`aan, Sunnah and Fiqh his guide to every good and beautiful quality, guarding all his limbs from what has been forbidden. If he walks, he walks with knowledge. If he sits, he sits with knowledge. He strives hard so that people may be safe from his tongue and hand. He does not behave ignorantly: if someone behaves ignorantly towards him, he is forbearing. He does not oppress: if he is oppressed, he forgives. He does not transgress: if he is transgressed upon, he has patience. He restrains his fury to please his Lord . He is humble in himself: when the truth is presented to him, he accepts it, whether from one younger or older. He seeks status from Allaah, not from the creatures. He despises arrogance, fearing for his self from it…If the people wear fine luxury, he wears of the halaal . If his circumstances eases, he eases. If they tighten, he tightens. He is content with little, so it suffices him…He follows the obligations of the Qur`aan and the Sunnah: he eats food with knowledge, he drinks with knowledge, he dresses with knowledge, he sleeps with knowledge, he accompanies his brothers with knowledge, visiting them with knowledge, seeking permission to enter upon them with knowledge, and greeting them with knowledge; he treats his neighbor with knowledge.

 

He imposes strictly upon himself the honouring of his parents…He prays for their longevity and is thankful for them in old age….He maintains family relations and despises breaking them. If someone breaks off relations with him, he does not break off relations with them. If someone disobeys Allaah regarding him, he obeys Allaah regarding him. He accompanies the believers with knowledge, and sits with them with knowledge. He benefits those who accompany him, being an excellent companion for those whom he sits with. If he teaches another, he is gentle with him. He is not harsh with the one who makes a mistake and does not embarrass him. He is gentle in all his matters, extremely patient in teaching goodness. The learner finds comfort in him, and the one sitting with him is joyous at his company. Sitting with him brings goodness. He educates his companions with the ettiquettes of the Qur`aan and the Sunnah.

 

If he is afflicted with a difficulty, the Qur`aan and the Sunnah are two educators for him. He grieves with knowledge. He cries with knowledge. He is patient with knowledge. He purifies himself with knowledge. He prays with knowledge. He gives zakaat with knowledge. He gives charity with knowledge. He fasts with knowledge. He performs Pilgrimage with knowledge.He earns with knowledge and spends with knowledge.

 

He looks through the pages of the Qur`aan in order to teach himself manners and is not pleased for himself to fulfill with ignorance the obligations imposed by Allaah. He has made knowledge and understanding his guide to every goodness…When he studies the Qur`aan his aspiration is not: when will I complete the surah? His aspiration is: when will I be enriched by Allaah, so that I am in no need of other than Him? When will I be of the pious? When will I be of those who excel? When will I be of those who have total trust? When will I be of those who humble themselves? When will I be of the patient ones? When will I be of the truthful ones? When will I be of the fearful ones? When will I be of the hopeful ones? When will I have  non-attachment to the world? When will I have yearning for the Hereafter? When will I repent from sins? When will I recognise the widespread favours? When will I be grateful for them? When will I understand from Allaah His address? When will I understand what I recite? When will I overcome my self regarding its base desires? When will I strive in Allaah with a true jihaad? When will I guard my tongue? When will I lower my gaze? When will I guard my chastity? When will I be ashamed before Allaah with true shame? When will I be preoccupied with my faults? When will I reform the corruptions in my life? When will I call myself to account? When will I take provision for the day of my Ressurection? When will I be pleased with Allaah? When will I have trust in Allaah? When will I be admonished by the warnings of the Qur`aan? When will I be preoccupied with His rememberance away from rememberance of other than Him? When will I love what He loves? When will I hate what He hates? When will I be sincere to Allaah?  When will I purify my deeds for Him? When will I reduce my vain hopes? When will I prepare myself for the day of my death, when my remaining term shall have vanished? When will I build the life of my grave? When will I reflect upon the Standing and its severity? When will I reflect upon my solitude with my Lord? When will I reflect upon the Return? When will I beware that which my Lord has warned me of?

 

…He, the Mighty and Majestic said, ‘O you who have believed! Fear Allaah and let each soul see what it has sent forth for tomorrow; and fear Allaah: truly, Allaah is aware of what you do.’ [59:18]“

~ The Character of the Bearers and People of the Qur`aan | Imaam abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Aajurree (360AH)



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 16 February 2010 at 2:06pm
Taqwa: Between Love & Fear
By http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1154526130349&pagename=Zone-English-Discover_Islam%2FDIELayout#**1 - Dr. Jamal Badawi

Taqwa is a central concept that has been frequently mentioned in the Qur’an, especially in verses that deal with individual behavior in social relations.

Some of the common English translations of the word taqwa are “piety” and “heed” or “God-fearing.” Each of these translations gives only a partial understanding of this word’s true meaning because it is an attitude that combines many feelings, such as fear of God, heeding, and above all being God-conscious.

 Is Taqwa Simply Fear?

The term fear, when used to refer to God-consciousness in the Islamic context, does not mean being scared of God because being scared excludes any feeling of love or respect.

Fear of God means to fear His disobedience and punishment, on the Day of Judgment, and to fear forgetting Him and losing His blessings.

Another partial meaning of fear, which is nobler, is the fear of displeasing God, the One Whom you love. For example, when two people love each other, you find each of them trying their best to please the other and to avoid even forgetting their anniversaries or birthdays. If this is the attitude of humans towards each other, then it is more appropriate that people fear God’s displeasure. People should love God most because they owe everything to Him: their lives, property, and, above all, His guidance to know and worship Him.

So, fear of God is not founded on a vengeful concept of hate and fear of God. It is actually based on love, which leads to a feeling of fear of God’s displeasure

Taqwa and Divine Love

For centuries, philosophers and writers have tried to explore divine love but found that there are some feelings that just cannot be translated into words, especially when a person moves to higher degrees of divine love.

Divine love in Islam is not a type of superficial love but it is considered a mutual genuine feeling between God and man, which is referred to in the Qur’an: [ Then Allah will bring a people, He shall love them and they shall love Him] (Al-Ma’idah 5:54).

The Qur’an connects divine love to taqwa in a verse that says what means[ For lo! Allah loveth those who ward off (evil)] (Aal `Imran 3:76). This shows that divine love is not only manifested in pure acts of worship like prayers, but it is also reflected in different aspects of life. That is why following the path of God is the real test for the genuineness of divine love.

This is beautifully expressed in the Qur’an, while addressing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):[Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful] (Aal `Imran 3:31).

Following this path that God has established for man results in a sense of dependence upon God and a sense of gratefulness to God for all His bounties.

Divine love requires commitment and steadfastness so a person can be prepared to face the different trials and tribulations in life.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also mentioned that one of the things that a person must achieve in order to feel the sweet taste of faith in his heart, is to love God and His Messenger more than anything else.

This divine love is also the foundation of love for other creatures in the universe because the deep and profound love for humans and other creatures would not be felt by someone who does not truly love God.

Translating Love Into Good Deeds

Various verses in the Qur’an explain the characteristics that a person should have in order to receive God’s love. One of those traits is taqwa or God-consciousness, which is referred to in the Qur’an:[For lo! Allah loveth those who ward off (evil)](Aal `Imran 3:76).

Also, people who constantly repent to God deserve His love:[For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean] (Al-Baqarah 2:222), which means that the door for repentance is open if a person sins, and not only does God accept those who repent, but He also loves them.

A third characteristic is constant self-purification. The Qur’an says what means[And Allah loves those who purify themselves] (At-Tawbah 9:108).

People who do good were also mentioned in several verses:[Surely Allah loves the doers of good] (Al-Baqarah 2:195).

God also loves those who have trust in Him. He says what means[For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)] (Aal `Imran 3:159).

Those who are steadfast and persevering also deserve divine love:[And Allah loves the patient] (Aal `Imran 3:146).

People who are just or judge in equity are also mentioned in the Qur’an as receiving God’s love:[Surely Allah loves those who judge equitably] (Al-Ma’idah 5:42)...
 
http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1154526130349&pagename=Zone-English-Discover_Islam%2FDIELayout - http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1154526130349&pagename=Zone-English-Discover_Islam%2FDIELayout


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 23 August 2010 at 4:42pm
Ramadan and Taqwa
 
 
Talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 1 Aug 2010 - 36 mins 48 secs

In this talk, Sheikh Abdal Hakim discusses how to prepare one's body, mind and soul to reap the most benefit from the holy month of Ramadan. He expands on the concept of taqwa and goes on to explain how this enables one to understand the wisdom behind the Divine Commandment of fasting.

http://www.box.net/shared/static/qb5c1hhiyy.mp3 - Listen to this talk

http://www.box.net/shared/qb5c1hhiyy - Download this talk
 
http://cambridgekhutbasetc.blogspot.com/2010/08/preparing-for-ramadhan.html - http://cambridgekhutbasetc.blogspot.com/2010/08/preparing-for-ramadhan.html


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Meriam
Date Posted: 24 August 2010 at 6:13pm
Salamouallaykom sister well wisher,
I really appreciate your posts ...They are like the pearls  or the  stars on the sky coming to enlight our life.
What you report here about Taqwa is magnificient and so valuable to know..
I don't really find the suitable words to say you sister: thank you for your great efforts here to give us the precious usefulness.
God bless you inchallah and all your family.
Go ahead and my prayers.
My best regards.


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 24 August 2010 at 7:55pm
Waalekumassalaam Sister Meriam:)
 
Thank you for your thank you:)....Jazakh Allah Khair for your kind words and prayers
 
May Allah make all of us benefit from these teachings and help us in implementing it in our lives Aameen
 
May Allah bless you and your family too
 
Take Care Sister....My best regards to you as well.
 
Fi Aman Allah
 
 
 
 


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 31 August 2010 at 1:14am

Taqwa, Ramadan and the Quran: The Triangular Link of Our Ethical System

Most of us have encountered many months of Ramadan in our life. Unfortunately, it is a reality that our lives most often have not been touched or affected by this month of fasting, even though every ceremonial aspect of Islam - that is, http://www.islamicity.com/IslamicGlossary/action.lasso.asp?-database=Services&-Table=IslamicGlossary&-noresultserror=SearchGlossary.asp&-Response=SearchGlossary.asp&-MaxRecords=10&-SortField=Term&-SortOrder=Ascending&-op=cn&fsearch=Ibadah&-find - Ibadah in a limited sense - has special purpose and significance. Indeed, there is no aspect of Islam that is without a purpose or significance. It is either the lack of understanding or negligence to understand that renders our Ibadah into mere rituals. One reason that explains the stagnation of our individual and collective Muslim life is our weakness in building our life in light of the "purpose and significance" of Ibadah...

http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=IC0510-2830 - http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=IC0510-2830

 


-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 10 October 2010 at 8:47am
Fearing Allaah (SWT)-Imam Suhaib Webb
 
Part 1 of 7
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qx47vLdsa4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qx47vLdsa4 &
 


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 21 December 2010 at 2:21pm
Khutbah: The True Meaning of Taqwa by Dr. Ahmad Soboh
 
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/2214079/6987281 - http://video.yahoo.com/watch/2214079/6987281
 
(24 mins)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 07 January 2011 at 3:07pm
This "Messy Business" of Culture and Islam
 
Dr.Abdal Hakim Sherman Jackson
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBw6gb0JgwY - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBw6gb0JgwY &
 
(About 5 mins)
 
 
 


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 13 February 2011 at 4:09am
Arrogance & God-Consciousness by Sh. Hamza Yusuf
 
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AqG712SnUk - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AqG712SnUk &
 
(10 mins)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 13 April 2011 at 6:45pm
Yaqeen (Certainty)
 
Truly yaqeen (certainty) is the soul of faith.
 
Shaytan makes us doubt – that is the best he can do. And that is precisely what we must fight, because the first description of those who have taqwa (God-consciousness) in the Qur’an is:
 
 “Who believe in the unseen…” (Qur’an, http://quran.com/2/3 - 2:3 )
 

Our faith should be as strong as if we can see. If you visited a certain place and saw it with your own eyes, chances are no matter what, no one can tell you it doesn’t exist, especially if you have souvenirs. The Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet(pbuh) should be as true to us as though we have visited a place – it should be that real. Many of us have experienced the bounty of Allah (swt) – these are our souvenirs. So when things go wrong in our life, we need to be able to go back to that place and hold onto those souvenirs as our anchors – and for that certainty, the reward is immeasurable.

Does that mean nothing bad will ever happen? Of course not. But you will able to see beyond the immediate. Your certainty in Allah (swt) means you know; when bad things befall you, you will reflect on why tests happen and try to learn from the experience. When things turn out well, you know to fall into prostration because that result could not have occurred except by the will and grace of Allah (swt).

There is a beautiful du`a’ (supplication) in this regard. The Prophet(pbuh) used to supplicate:

“O Allah! Grant us such fear of You as will come between us and acts of disobedience to You; such obedience to You as will bring us to Your Garden; and such certainty that the calamities of this world will be made easy for us by You. http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/yaqeen-certainty/#fn-17066-1 - 1 [Tirmidhi]

Calamities without doubt test our faith, and this is why the Prophet(pbuh) taught us to pray for certainty – so that these calamities are made easier.

Be like the companions. Their faith never wavered because they were certain in Allah’s Words in the Qur’an, and they were certain in what the Prophet ﷺ taught them. They never stopped asking Allah, because they knew it is only Allah that responds to the du`a’ of the distressed. http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/yaqeen-certainty/#fn-17066-2 - 2 They never stopped seeking forgiveness, even when they felt their sins were like mountains, because they knew that Allah’s Hands are open to accept the repentant sinner, over and over again. http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/yaqeen-certainty/#fn-17066-3 - 3 They knew to work hard even if they never saw the fruits of their labor, because they knew that every drop of sweat was recorded with Allah and would never ever go to waste. http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/yaqeen-certainty/#fn-17066-4 - 4 They didn’t let other people’s rudeness get to them, because if they were patient and said words of peace, they were of the people that http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/part-3-forbearance-and-composure/ - Allah praised in the Qur’an . http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/yaqeen-certainty/#fn-17066-5 - 5

They fled from Allah, only to Him.

Be like the companions. Have faith.

http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/yaqeen-certainty/ - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/yaqeen-certainty/



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 08 May 2011 at 12:43pm
The Balance
 
“No obedient person should be self satisfied, and no disobedient should lose hope.”

~Ahmad Sam’ani


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 12:21pm
Constants on the Path: Five levels of Taqwa and 3 Ways to Acquire it!
 
Being mindful of one’s relationship with God is an individual obligation whose foundation is knowledge, and whose life is practice according to Islam. Allah call’s the believers, ordering them to be cautious: “Oh you who believe, be cautious of Allah.”

5 Stations of Taqwa (God-consciousness)

Ibn Juzay al-Maliki a great classical scholar, wrote, “The degrees of taqwa are five:

1. Being cautious of falling into disbelief. This is the station of submission to God (الإسلام).

2. Being cautious of falling into sin and evil. This is the station of repentance (التوبة).

3. Being cautious of doubtful things. This is the station of carefulness(الورع).

4. Being cautious of the permissible. This is the station of indifference (الزهد). Ibn al-Qayyim said, “There are some people who will observe the obligations and avoid the prohibited. However, Shaytan will busy them with the permissible acts until the fail to make use of their extra time.”

5. Being cautious of letting anything enter the heart save Allah. This is the station of witness (المشاهدة).”

Taqwa in Practice:

Once ‘Umar radi Allahu ‘anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) asked a companion, describe for me taqwa.” The companion responded, “If you were to walk through a thorny pathway with a flowing robe, how would you walk?” ‘Umar answered, “I would gather my garments, squeezing them tight, and walk carefully.” The companion responded, “That is taqwa.”

How to Gain Taqwa?

If you were born a Muslim, or accepted Islam, then you already possess taqwa. This is great news and should serve as a spring board to preserve and develop your existing relationship with Allah! There are some pretty clear ways to do this. However, knowledge and practice are two very different entities:

1. Make a sincere intention to improve your taqwa.

2. Ask Allah to increase your tawqa. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) used to supplicate:

اللهم إني أسئلك الهدى والتقى والعفاف والغنى

“Allahum Inni asalukal huda wa ttuqa wal ‘afaaf wal ghinaa.”

“Oh Allah, I ask You for guidance, piety, virtue and sufficiency.”

3. To increase your worship. Allah says, “Worship Allah…you will obtain taqwa.”

4. Observe the sunnah whenever possible. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “I am the most God fearing person.” Thus, following him is a guarantee, if one’s intention is right, that one is on the ways of taqwa. Imam Malik said, “The Sunnah is like the Ark of Noah. Whoever got on board was safe. Who didn’t, drowned.”

At the end of the day, these steps are like tools hanging in our garages. If we use them, we will build something. If we neglect them, making excuses, being lazy or having bad feelings about our Lord, then we have none to blame but ourselves. Start by observing the obligatory acts, increase the number of sunnah, charity and civic engagement. All of those, if done for Allah alone, are Red Bulls for taqwa without the withdrawal!

Taqwa is a quality whose virtues are astounding. Imam al-Faruzabadi mentioned 22 virtues of taqwa mentioned in the Qur’an! Look for them here in the future, God willing.

~Imam Suhaib Webb
 
http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/constants-on-the-path-five-levels-of-taqwa-and-3-ways-to-acquire-it/ - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/constants-on-the-path-five-levels-of-taqwa-and-3-ways-to-acquire-it/


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 24 May 2011 at 9:08am
The Reality of Taqwa, its Scope and 10 of its Causes
 

An Abridgment of Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Mayara’s Writings

Its Definition

Taqwa means to abandon religious prohibitions and observe religious injunctions. It is defined by Shari’ah as, “A person’s protection from what will harm him in the Hereafter.”

Its Scope

Abandoning the prohibitions and observing the injunctions implies an inner and outer reality. Thus, its application falls under four types:

1. Abandoning the outer prohibitions (like leaving prayers or smoking weed)
2. Abandoning the inner prohibitions (like envy or despairing His mercy)
3. Observing the outer injunctions (like prayer and being good to one’s neighbors)
4. Observing the inner injunctions (like the love of God and fearing Him)

Gaining Balance

Based on what was mentioned previously, it could be said of a person who observes religious acts, but harbors arrogance in his heart, that his taqwa is unbalanced. The same could also apply to a person who has no malice in his heart towards others, but fails to observe certain ritual acts.

It is also possible that a person’s heart is balanced, but his outer worship is not. For example, he attends rally after rally, meeting after meeting and class after class, but fails to observe the dawn prayer regularly. This common disease is a sign of an imbalance in a person’s taqwa. The same could also apply to a person who observes the ritual acts of worship, but fails to take part in his share of community work. Ponder this, because its possibilities are mind boggling.

The Causes of Taqwa are 10:

1.  Fear of worldly punishment
2.  Fear of punishment in the Hereafter
3.  Hope for rewards in this life
4.  Hope for rewards in the Hereafter
5.  Fear of being audited in the Hereafter
6.  Realization that God sees you
7.  Being thankful for His blessings with obedience
8.  Knowledge
9.  Extolling His magnificence
10.  Sincerely loving Him

We ask Allah to make us from the people of taqwa.Aameen

~Imam Suhaib Webb
 
http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/the-reality-of-taqwa-its-scope-and-10-of-its-causes-an-abridgment-of-muhammad-bin-ahmad-al-mayaras-writings/ - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/the-reality-of-taqwa-its-scope-and-10-of-its-causes-an-abridgment-of-muhammad-bin-ahmad-al-mayaras-writings/


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 24 June 2011 at 9:50am
When Are ‘Good Actions’ No Longer Good?
 

Good actions are supposed to make us good people. Bad actions usually have the opposite effect. Yet what if ‘good’ actions do not have this positive effect? If doing good can have the opposite result to what was intended, are such good actions really good?

Look at the following verse:

“Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing.” (Qur’an, http://quran.com/2/263 - 2:263 )

If one is not wholeheartedly willing to help a poor person or is unable to, kindly turning down the offer is better than to give charity followed by spiteful words. This is stated despite the fact that giving your wealth in charity is outwardly better and usually harder on the ego than simply offering kind words; Imam Fakhr al-Rāzī mentions why. The first case of charity is from pure goodness, whereas in the second case there is a mixture of good and bad, which can easily be predominated by the latter http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#_ftn1 - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fn-18561-1 - 1 . Then to encourage charity without feeling bitter Allah reminds us that He is free of need, whilst we rely on him. By the same logic, we should give to those who look up to us.

To further confirm the fact that spiteful words can destroy the reward of giving charity Allah says:

“O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day…” (Qur’an, http://quran.com/2/264 - 2:264 )

Thus the two causes that invalidate charity are:

1) To follow it with egotistical reminders and spiteful words (al-adhā)

2) To give charity with the intention of showing off (al-riyā’)

In the science of Tafsīr however, there is an agreed upon principle which states it is better to keep the application of a verse more general than to restrict it http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#_ftn2 - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fn-18561-2 - 2 . Based on this, as well as keeping in spirit with reflecting upon the Qur’an ( http://quran.com/4/82 - 4:82 ), we can generalise the above verse.

Firstly, we can apply this verse to any good deed. This is obvious in the case of showing off (riyā’). There are several Qur’anic verses and sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) mentioning the destructive effect riyā’ has on our actions http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#_ftn3 - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fn-18561-3 - 3 . As for spite (al-adhā), then we can take this as an indication (juz’ī) to any verbal form of inflicted harm as a result of a good deed we have done. For example, after studying an area of Islam, we can feel very confident in our own opinions and thoughts, leading to ridiculing others or calling them innovators etc…

We can also apply this verse a step further. The specific form of verbal harm can be understood as alluding to any form of harm emanating from someone’s limbs, not necessarily the tongue. As for riyā’, it can be understood as symbolising any harmful action of the heart. For instance, feeling a “holier than thou” complex indicates a problem on both aspects. Here, one carries oneself arrogantly due to the conviction that one is somehow better at being Muslim than others, which is predicated on one’s perceived ‘good actions’.

As for defining what a good deed is has three aspects:

1) The outward form of the action itself,

2) The inward state of the person who performs it, and

3) Whether or not Allah accepts it.

Therefore while some actions may outwardly appear good, they are cancelled out due to the negative state of the person they emanate from. And in that sense a good action can seize to be good, especially when it leads to an evil end. This is a dangerous situation for us for if the very means which Allah gave us to purify our egos of spiritual blemishes become avenues which we use to only strengthen them, how than can we be from those believers described by Allah as having a “sound heart http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#_ftn4 - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fn-18561-4 - 4 “?

For those of us who do manage to (1) purify the outward form of the action as well as (2) our inner states, there exists a third level for that action to qualify as wholly good. This depends on whether or not Allah is pleased with that action. And because we can never be entirely sure of our judgment from Allah, we can never have certainty that what we have done is ultimately good or bad. It is this last humbling aspect that helps a Muslim keep their feet on the ground.

Since in the end, the value of our outward action ultimately depends on its connection to our hidden inward. Thus, when we fully understand this, we are all in a better state of hope and fear http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#_ftn5 - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fn-18561-5 - 5 .  Hope: because of the All Merciful nature of our Lord Who accepts our actions even though they don’t befit His majesty, and fear because we are aware of our own shortcomings and weaknesses.

May Allah help us to act and create with goodness throughout. Ameen.

  1. Tafsīr al-Kabīr http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fnref-18561-1 -
  2. see Fatḥ al-Qadīr of Imam Shawkānī http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fnref-18561-2 -
  3. For examples, See Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fnref-18561-3 -
  4. Quran 26:88-89 http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fnref-18561-4 -
  5. Link to Salah article of taqwa- on ‘khawf/khushu’ http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/#fnref-18561-5 -

http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/ - http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/when-are-good-actions-no-longer-good/



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 10 July 2011 at 11:44pm
A Talk on Taqwa - Chantal Carnes

A brief talk on taqwa by sister Chantal Carnes in a MAS video from the series in the Shade of Ramadan


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB5mHrDWMZE - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB5mHrDWMZE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB5mHrDWMZE


-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 17 July 2011 at 7:50am

Taqwa in Ramadan

Imam Zaid Shakir's Eid Khutbah on October 1, 2008 at the Lighthouse Mosque in Oakland, California

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyBdAcEmH-w - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyBdAcEmH-w

(39 mins)



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 03 September 2011 at 6:57am
Ramadan, Counterculture, and Soul
 
Each religion has a history. Among the aspects common to most of them is the fact that seasons of fast have long been part of their spiritual regimen. For millennia sages of diverse experiences have offered insights, esoteric and practical, on the benefits associated with voluntary deprivation for a specific time and for a transcending purpose. They have expanded on how the molecular realm of food and drink, for example, connects with the intangible realm of will and choice and of gratitude and conscience, and how certain sublime knowledge comes only to those who have mastered their desires. But nestled among the insights there may also be an indictment especially germane today: apparently, there is something corrupting about going through a full year in this life without some major interruption in habit, a break from conformity, that helps us to step outside our cartoon world. Ramadan, the Muslim season of fast, is such a disturbance. 
 
In one month we're given the peculiar assignment to defrock the ephemeral world of its authority over us and to reinstate a spiritual bearing that, if unsuppressed, is competent in perceiving where permanence lies and privy to the sham of postmodernism and its strobe-light logic. In contemporary terms, fasting the month of Ramadan is a countercultural movement that confronts an ethos that tries to cancel the interior of religion and discount the importance of rituals in human life. What the modern aspirant does in Ramadan is hardly subtle. In depriving ourselves of food and drink from dawn to dusk, we implicitly defy a despotic marketing imagination that has deputized nearly all of us to serve a culture of "buy and dispose and buy more." This depletes resources, darkens the sky, and melts Arctic glaciers. But it also dulls our sense of the sacred. 
 
We each have a body, a fact we're constantly reminded of, and a body does have needs, organic and sensual, which we cater to day and night. But to submit to the curriculum of fundamentalist secularists that "body" defines humanity is a dereliction that revealed religion has always warned of. We are created from the clay of the earth but are also infused with a soul that has no material correlate in this world. Religion has recognized this duality, not as a glitch in our creation, but as a trial. Somewhere in the teachings of all the great ones (including Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad), there's an un-asterisked point: in negotiating the material and spiritual selves, one brushes up against salvation. The choice, they have stressed, comes down to the question: what aspect of our humanity do we devote ourselves to? 
 
For the Muslim, the nurturing of the soul is paramount and is guided by what we offhandedly call in pamphlets the "five pillars of Islam," essential rites of worship that have been passed down from the Prophet Muhammad. These pillars start to lose their meaning when we forget a baseline understanding of religion: Islam insists that each of us is born into this world with a pure condition, a state of grace, in fact. While humans may be feeble, sometimes foolish, belligerent, and forgetful, our center was made uncorrupt. This is equally true for men and women. The rites of worship and the way of life they engender are meant to bring us closer to our original state because it is not confused about God nor indifferent to our role in His world. 
 
During this time, our devotions are supposed to help us reclaim the organizing principles of revealed religion, which cannot really happen without regaining control over our desires. If the coup is successful, scholars say, then there's spiritual manumission, a kind of freedom in which we "remember." Interestingly, the Arabic word for "humanity" is related to the Arabic term that means "forgetfulness" (as some Arab linguists have suggested). What this implies is that the human being's chief hurdle in his salvation-quest is to actively remember the ultimate drama of life: we have a Maker; our lives are brief and with purpose; we are accountable for what we do; and after our earthly lives, we all shall live again and be brought back to God. 

The religion project has always sought to help us remember, not something new, but what we all know intuitively. In each of us there is this soul, a spiritual master, originally very close and aware of God. In the tumble of a crowded life, however, we are prone to silence or ignore that spirit. This is especially true when there is subtle pressure to forget our unseen origins. Ramadan mitigates this pressure. The spiritual aspirant is freer to see gain through subtraction: more faith through emptying, eloquence by learning silence, and honor in being humble. 

It is an axiom of Islam that matters of salvation and faith involve choice and effort, everyday. Faith in God and purity of heart do not survive a passive relationship. God-consciousness is not a state per se, but a course and always so. God by His very nature is forgiving and merciful. He does not need an event in history or violence to forgive. What He asks of us is to remember Him and have this remembrance honorably expressed in what we do. And in the event of failure, there is recourse in asking for forgiveness, supplicating with a penitent heart that rejects despair. In the Quran, despair is severely censured and associated with disbelief itself. The reason for this is self-evident: without hope, faith is simply not possible. 

I remember a conversation with a zoology professor of mine during my undergraduate days. He said that it is unlikely that creatures deep in the sea have any kind of awareness of what it means to be wet, not even an awareness commensurate to primitive brains. But the irony is not restricted to fish: the greater the immersion the less aware we become of it. There is an observation generally agreed upon among religious folk, that there is indeed an immersion in the fleeting realm, and it's nearly impossible to escape it without help. It is before our senses, from billboards to broadcasts. And after a while, we're disabled from even noticing. Ramadan is help, a knock on a door, an invitation to walk out of the cave.
 
http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=IC0510-2828 - http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=IC0510-2828


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 17 September 2011 at 5:18pm

Taqwa or God-Consciousness After Ramadan

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf offers reflections before the sermon and prayer on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, 2011.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS9GZBB_D8M - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS9GZBB_D8M

(29 mins)



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 24 September 2011 at 10:57am
Taqwa in the Shade of Ramadan

Dr. Imad Bayoun talks about taqwa in the MAS series (In the Shade of Ramadan)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvKyZ1Jmbxc - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvKyZ1Jmbxc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvKyZ1Jmbxc -



-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 19 October 2011 at 1:51pm
Tafsir Surat Al Hashr verse 18 by Imam Suhaib Webb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xxq4dODdC0 - &
 
(About 11 mins)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 14 November 2011 at 1:57am
Keeping up with Mentioning Allah

In his well-known book, Al-Hikam (Words of Wisdom), sheikh Ahmad Ibn `Ataa'illah As-Sakandari says:

Do not stop mentioning Allah just because your heart is not present. Forgetting Him completely is worse than being inattentive while you are mentioning Him; perhaps He will elevate you from being inattentive to being attentive, and from being attentive to being fully present with Him, and from being fully present with Him to being fully absent from anything but Him. {This is not difficult for Allah} (Fatir 35 :17).

Along the path of our journey, we are still going though the stage of clearing up, searching for our flaws and attempting to get rid of them. This word of wisdom tackles a serious flaw of the soul which is ‘forgetfulness’; that is, the lack of the remembrance of Allah. We often fall to this mistake throughout the day, and the way-out is to remember Allah, by tongue or by heart.

{O you who have attained to faith! Remember Allah with unceasing remembrance. And extol His limitless glory from morn to evening} (Al-Ahzab 33: 41-42), and {so remember Me, and I shall remember you} (Al-Baqarah 2: 152).

Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Always keep your tongue busy with Allah's remembrance". (Reported by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

These are clear and direct advices to remember Allah at all time and in every situation. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to mention Allah in all situations, and for every situation, he had a special supplication which is in itself a form of mentioning Allah.

In the light of this, mentioning Allah brings about a state of rest in the heart which draws one closer to Allah. We read in the Qur'an: {Those who believe, and whose hearts find their rest in the remembrance of Allah - for, verily, in the remembrance of Allah hearts do find their rest.} (Ar-Ra`d 13: 28)

Mentioning Allah is the ultimate goal of any act of worship. Allah says: {And be constant in prayer, so as to remember Me!} (Ta-Ha 20: 14) This means that the objective of the prayer itself is Allah's remembrance.

Ibn `Ataa' says: "Perhaps He will elevate you from being attentive to being fully present with Him". Being fully present with Him is a degree higher than being attentive, i.e., the servant's heart is present while mentioning Allah.

This presence of the heart is what `Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) described in his famous sermon about the characteristics of those who are conscious of Allah.

http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/refine-your-heart/454566-keeping-up-with-mentioning-allah.html -


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 25 November 2011 at 12:52am

Laws alone cannot bring about peace and security. 

This is a very important factor that sets Islam apart from all human attempts at peace and security. 

The first and most important factor that contributes to security has to do not with laws but with what is in the hearts of the people

The ultimate goal of Islamic law is to establish, strengthen and support the faith in individuals and in the community as a whole.  This faith brings peace into the heart, which immediately curtails violent feelings towards others.

Furthermore, part of this faith is the implanting of taqwa. taqwa brings him peace but it also restrains his actions.  He must behave only within a set of general principles and one of the goals of those principles is the establishment of peace and security...
 
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/growing-in-faith/454784-peace-and-security-god-consciousness.html - http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/growing-in-faith/454784-peace-and-security-god-consciousness.html



-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 24 February 2012 at 10:28am
Taqwa Between Love and Fear

Is Taqwa Simply Fear?

The term fear, when used to refer to God-consciousness in the Islamic context, does not mean being scared of God because being scared excludes any feeling of love or respect.


Fear of God means to fear His disobedience and punishment, on the Day of Judgment, and to fear forgetting Him and losing His blessings.
Another partial meaning of fear, which is nobler, is the fear of displeasing God, the One Whom you love.

For example, when two people love each other, you find each of them trying their best to please the other and to avoid even forgetting their anniversaries or birthdays. If this is the attitude of humans towards each other, then it is more appropriate that people fear God’s displeasure.

People should love God most because they owe everything to Him: their lives, property, and, above all, His guidance to know and worship Him.
So, fear of God is not founded on a vengeful concept of hate and fear of God. It is actually based on love, which leads to a feeling of fear of God’s displeasure...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/ethics-and-values/439939 - http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/ethics-and-values/439939



-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 10 April 2012 at 5:09pm
The Prophet’s counsel to pray to God “as if” we saw Him, “for, though you see Him not, yet He sees you”, has a wide application, indeed it might be applied to almost everything we do.  The words “as if” are a key to the good life.  In a sense they even compensate for our apparent absence and make a break in the veil which cover us.  In the deepest darkness, we can still act as if we stood in the light and, of course, imagine that we are in the light. 
 
The man of bad character may decide to act as if he were better than he is and perhaps become better by doing so.  Those whose faith is no more than a flickering candle can still worship as if there were an unquenchable radiance in their hearts.  Even those who have fallen into the pit of despair may transform their situation as if all were well.  For a bad man knows that goodness exists, the doubter knows that faith exists, and the victim of misfortune knows that happiness exists.

Here again there is a contrast between the possibility open to the Muslim and the corresponding attitudes in the contemporary West.  The Westerner emphasizes what he calls “honesty” and “sincerity”, having no use for “as if”.  We should not, he believes, pretend to be other than we are – or other than we think we are – and we should always face up to the facts: our bad character, our lack of faith or our misery.  Once again, he will accuse the Muslim of hypocrisy.  I think he is wrong.  This is not hypocrisy but an aspiration towards the heights as an alternative to wallowing in the depths.
 
Charles Gai Eaton in Remembering God: Reflections on Islam


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 31 May 2012 at 7:36am
“I have this memory of my father when I asked him to give me a certain sum of money. It was ten Swiss francs. And I asked him that, and he looked me in the eyes and I was not sure why. He did not ask me, “where are you going, what is it for, when are you coming back” like many parents would do. He said something very important. He gave me the money and he said, “Here, take it. But do not do something that displeases God.” What did he say? He told me all I had to know. He told me, I trust you and if I am not here, God accompanies you, and this is between you and God.
 
This is Trust. But it is only when someone tells you that, that you know that he loves you and understands you.”
 

— Dr.Tariq Ramadan


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 18 June 2012 at 11:20pm

Cashing in on Taqwa

Some of us may not understand what to do next and we may get stuck in the abyss of hopelessness because we no longer know how to fulfill our needs.

How do we call onto Allah to help us?

What changes do we make in our life so that He is pleased and grants our duaas?

Duaa is like a weapon, and a weapon is only as good as the person who is using it; it is not merely the matter of how sharp it us. If the weapon is perfect and free of faults, and the arm of the person using it is strong, and there is nothing stopping him, then he can lay waste the enemy. But if any of these three features are lacking, then the effect will be lacking accordingly. [Ibn al Qayyim]

We must really internalize that He is our Lord and we are His slaves. If He wishes, He has the full capability to keep His blessings away from us. Yet He doesn't do that. Allah has provided us with a solution that will take care of all our needs in this dunia (worldly life) and Akhira. It is that thing you hear in almost every Friday Khutbah and lecture. It is that beautiful provision of Akhira which makes you independent of His creation but so very dependent on Him. Do you know what that is?

A man once came to Hasan al Basri (Rahimullah) and sought help from him in financial matters. He (Rahimullah) replied, "Have Taqwa of Allah! I haven't seen a Taqi (one who has Taqwa) who is in need.

What is Taqwa really?

The Arabic word taqwa comes from the root word 'Waqi' (wow, qaaf, ya) which means to build a shield or a protection against something. Taqwa is, therefore, the feeling that saves the person from sinning: (1) out of fear of punishment and (2) resulting in the slave always being conscious of his actions.

Imagine this world and Akhira (Hereafter) as a huge grocery store where only Taqwa is accepted as the currency. You can only buy what you need through Taqwa. Why not then adopt the Taqwa lifestyle?

It has multiple benefits and there isn't even an electron's weight of loss...

http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=HH1206-5140 - http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=HH1206-5140




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 01 August 2012 at 9:14pm

Abdur Rahman Al-Qumash reported: Some wise people used to say,

“A man has not reached the peak of Godfearingness(TAQWA) until the point that if he were to put what is in his heart upon a plate and he went around the marketplace, he would not be ashamed of anything on it.”

[Al-Qumash, Al-Hawi fi Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Kareem]



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 18 September 2012 at 7:17am

Sometimes, I have a certain need (that I wish to ask) Allah, so I ask Him earnestly. Then, I find that the door of dialogue opens up for me, and I recognize Allah more (I become more aware of Him), and feel humbled before Him, and feel a great sense of joy and happiness, due to which I prefer that the answer to my prayer be delayed, so that this joyous state may continue.

 
 
~Ibn-Al-Qayyim (ra)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 09 November 2012 at 2:08pm

"There are two kinds of action in this world: the successful and the unsuccessful. Now unconsidered, hasty action, driven by passion rather than wisdom, tends to be unsuccessful, and the more emotionally involved one is in a particular action, the more likely one is to fail. To put this in its simplest terms, action must be rooted in contemplation. Contemplation in its turn demands detachment, that detachment which every Muslim should have at his disposal if he is fully aware of life’s brevity, aware of Divine Judgment, aware of the overwhelming presence of Allah (SWT). Here, it seems to me, virtue and practical necessity come together. The more we act as we should, the more likely we are to succeed."

 
- Hasan Gai Eaton (ra)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 02 December 2012 at 3:44pm

  The most important thing is not to start with “Allah seeing our mistakes”, but “Allah is close to our intentions”. And it’s not the same. Your intentions might be good even though the people can’t see them. Ihsan, the highest level of faith. That you worship God as if you are seeing Him, or that He’s seeing you. He is not monitoring your mistakes, He is welcoming your intentions.

~Dr Tariq Ramadan
    


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 14 December 2012 at 12:25pm

Prayer of the Mind

Muslim spirituality is demanding and, through the Islamic teaching, touches all the dimensions of life. It begins, at the very moment when one becomes aware of one's human responsibilities before God and among humanity, by finding in oneself "the need of Him." The return to one's self gives birth to a feeling of humility that characterizes the human being before God. This humility should spread wide and deep through all the areas of life: at every stage of working on one's self there wiil be a struggle against complacency, pride, and the pretentious human desire to succeed alone, using one's own resources (on the social, professional, political, or intellectual level). This truly spiritual exercise goes beyond the framework of ritual religious practice or rare moments of contemplation, and its effect should be visible in every aspect of life - in the way which one treats one's body, manages one's possessions, carries out one's professional activities, lives with other people, and interacts with the whole of creation: in everything, those who reflect on the signs and are indwelt by "the need of Him" are invited to distance themselves from forgetfulness and arrogance.

To this state of recollection and humility must be added another concrete dimension of spiritual teaching that requires the establishment of a constant link between the demands of conscience and life choices. To ask ourselves, in every situation in life, the three fundamental questions (What is my intention in this action? What are the limits set down by my morality? What will be the consequences of the action?) will inevitably change not only our way of being but also our way of living. Our spirituality must be intelligent and question the ethical nature of all our activities, even those that appear to be the most natural and simple. This active, intelligent spirituality makes us attentive to the apparently "neutral" aspects of our life, which may sometimes have serious ethical consequence.

To ask the three questions with regards to one's profession means never to consider that any work is ethically "neutral," however scientific it may appear to be. To work for a multinational that plunders the planet, or in an armaments industry that produces death, or for banks that fuel a murderous economic order is not "to say nothing." And beyond these basic questions, the way in which one goes about one's work, and identifies with it and carries out one's responsibilities to perform the activity and to follow the rules in the best possible way, is an active and consequential spiritual undertaking with which everyone's conscience must engage.

~Dr Tariq Ramadan


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 20 December 2012 at 5:50am

If you want the veil between you and God to be lifted in the next life, lift that veil first in this life. Your sins, your false attachments, your loss of hope in Him, are all holding you back from seeing Him with your heart in this life…and seeing Him with your eyes in the next.

~Yasmin Mogahed


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 06 January 2013 at 3:12pm

Spirituality, from an Islamic point of view, is the way in which the believer keeps his faith alive and intensifies and reinforces it. Spirituality is remembrance - recollection and the intimate energy involved in the struggle against the natural human tendency to forget God, the meaning of life, and the other world. All the practices prescribed by Islam, especially prayer, are in fact a means of recollection (dhikr).

Excellence, defined as the ideal behaviour of the Muslims, would be to attain a state where there was no forgetfulness. Excellence (al-Ihsan), the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, is "to worship God as if you could see Him, or even if you cannot see Him, He sees you. [Bukhari]" that is, to try to be with God in every situation.

 
 
~Dr Tariq Ramadan


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: CINDY
Date Posted: 19 February 2013 at 4:26pm
amen



-------------
I AM PRAYING


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 06 March 2013 at 6:33am
“If you ponder on your own weakness it means He is not far.
 
If you forget, it means He is leaving you”
 
 
—Dr.Tariq Ramadan


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 08 March 2013 at 1:34pm

Muhammad Abdul Latif Finch on "To know Me is to trust Me"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSTBFkFUMXE - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSTBFkFUMXE

(About 13 mins)



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 09 March 2013 at 4:55pm

Once you begin to address the essence of your own being, you can begin to understand who you are.

If you don’t know who you are, you’re certainly not going to know whose you are.
 
That is why self-knowledge is foundational in our religion.
 
 
— Sh.Hamza Yusuf


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 21 March 2013 at 7:11am
 
 
“I liberate myself from all the idols, money, power, everything for His sake.”
 
“How much time do you give to your heart? To your mind?
 To your neighbour?
 
Ask yourself what you are giving.”
 
 
—Dr.Tariq Ramadan


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 24 March 2013 at 4:28pm

There is a Turkish story of a spiritual teacher who sent his pupils to gather flowers for the house. All but one returned with the finest blooms they could find. One, however, was gone for a long time and, when he returned, held in his hand only a single, faded flower.

“When I went out to pick the flowers,” he said, “I found them all singing the praises of their Creator and I dared not interrupt them. Finally I saw one that had finished her song, and this is the one that I have brought you.”
 
 
—-Charles le Gai Eaton (ra),
The Earth’s Complaint


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 07 April 2013 at 3:51pm

“Whoever realizes faith is from speculative theology, or through abstract proofs, or academic provisions, is an innovator.” This is important because this is not what iman is. Faith is a light, it’s a noor that allah places in the hearts of his servants. It’s a gift, and it’s an act of grace from Allah SWT.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said “None of you will enter paradise because of their actions.” Faith is actually in the heart, not on the face. It’s impossible to express, ineffable. Sometimes it’s made stronger by a vision during sleep. Other times by witnessing the state of a righteous man: you don’t know why, but when you’re in the presence of that person, your faith gets strengthened.”
 
 
~Shaykh Hamza Yusuf


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 30 April 2013 at 6:24am

Placing spirituality, the intimate quest for meaning, light, and peace, at the centre of the religious experience makes it possible to overcome the formalistic reductions that turn religion into a closed, restrictive Universe of norms, limits, and prohibitions.

There are, to be sure, rituals, obligations, and morals, but they pertain to a conception of life and death that imparts to them a meaning and substance that one must perpetually recall to avoid becoming deluded by the presence of a formal set of rules emptied of the heart of their meaning.
 
This is what the Prophet of Islam indicated in a tradition that should be understood both literally and figuratively: "God does not look at your bodies or at your image but God looks into your hearts." [Bukhari, Muslim]
 
 
~Dr Tariq Ramadan


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 05 May 2013 at 3:32pm

Dr.Tariq Ramadan-The Echoes of God's Word 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzSiHDUDA4U - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzSiHDUDA4U

(About 22 mins)



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 13 May 2013 at 11:12pm

Even The Prophet Feared Allah

The Prophet's fear of Allah was very obvious in his lifestyle.

He was always conscious of Allah's watchfulness and his heart was constantly vigilant to be in total submission to Him.

His fear and love of Allah dominated all his heart and hence he set the perfect example for humanity in every aspect of life as minutely recorded by His loving Companions.

His heart was so soft that he would weep at the recitation of the Qur'an, the word of Allah, reacting to its overpowering admonitions.

When asked about the gray hair in his head, he answered that Surat Hud and its sisters, which portray the events and horrors of the Day of Resurrection, had caused his hair to turn gray... http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/muhammad/manners/462623-prophet-mohamed-islam-fear-love-spiritual.html -

http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/muhammad/manners/462623-prophet-mohamed-islam-fear-love-spiritual.html - http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/muhammad/manners/462623-prophet-mohamed-islam-fear-love-spiritual.html




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 18 May 2013 at 6:41pm

Transformer of Hearts

The Prophet, peace be upon him, asked all those around him who were not convinced of the truthfulness of his message to seek, to observe signs, to search for meaning while fighting the illusions of the self and its conceit. He taught Muslims - those who had recognized the presence of the One - to carry on their inner struggle, to remain humble and aware of their fragility, to seek to derive spiritual nourishment from dhikr (the remembrance of God), and to ask God to keep their hearts firm. The Prophet used to pray to God and say, "O Transformer of Hearts, keep my heart firm in Your religion!" [Ahmad, Tirmidhi]

Thus, in peacetime, some were searching for truth and some were searching for sincerity, while they all experienced a new form of inner conflict that required effort, patience, and a perpetually awake consciousness. At a time when the prospect of the final establishment of the last religion seemed to be opening up , each of them was sent back to his or her own inner universe to seek light or forgiveness, to find peace and the clemency of He Who constantly returns to those who come, or come back, to Him.

 
 
"In The Footsteps of The Prophet" - Dr.Tariq Ramadan


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 29 May 2013 at 12:22am
Taqwa Leads to God's Love

One of the important reasons for a believer to focus on the increase in taqwa is not only it is the path of salvation in the Hereafter, it is also the path to God's Love.

God tells us in the Qur'an that He loves pious believers who have taqwa.

The Qur'an is described at the start of Chapter 2 as a guidance for those who have taqwa. If you really want to benefit from the Qur'an and get its full benefit, you must fear God and have taqwa.

Another meaning of fearing God is fearing to displease Him in any way.

If you are really searching for salvation and searching for God's Love, do your best to increase in taqwa each day.




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 29 May 2013 at 11:45pm
Is Taqwa Simply Fear?

The term fear, when used to refer to God-consciousness in the Islamic context, does not mean being scared of God because being scared excludes any feeling of love or respect.

Fear of God means to fear His disobedience and punishment, on the Day of Judgment, and to fear forgetting Him and losing His blessings.


Another partial meaning of fear, which is nobler, is the fear of displeasing God, the One Whom you love.

For example, when two people love each other, you find each of them trying their best to please the other and to avoid even forgetting their anniversaries or birthdays. If this is the attitude of humans towards each other, then it is more appropriate that people fear God’s displeasure.

People should love God most because they owe everything to Him: their lives, property, and, above all, His guidance to know and worship Him.


So, fear of God is not founded on a vengeful concept of hate and fear of God. It is actually based on love, which leads to a feeling of fear of God’s displeasure...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/ethics-and-values/439939.html - http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/ethics-and-values/439939.html



-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 30 May 2013 at 7:23pm


The realization I took home from Umrah

Allah withholds a portion of what is desired to keep you needy, to keep you at His door. To keep an empty place in your heart. That only He can fill. The slave keeps begging for what is desired, not knowing that His Lord is preparing for him what is greater. And then when Allah gives, there are different types of currencies. And they are not equal.

There are lesser currencies and greater, more valuable currencies.
 
Some people are paid their recompense in Dunya currency. And this is from among the favors of Allah. But there are others who are paid in a different currency: the currency of Divine nearness.

The one who is paid in *that* currency can never be satisfied with only the lesser currency again.
 

Yasmin Mogahed


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 03 June 2013 at 4:51pm

People are on an evolutionary journey. We believe in evolution in a different way. People in this culture associate evolution with moving from lower order creatures to higher order creatures. But evolution of the soul is something very real. There are people at different levels.

There are Arabs that say “the good actions of the righteous are the bad actions of the people in the divine presence” because the evolution is different. So somebody might be a very good Muslim but he does not even know that his actual state, there are many Muslims  that outwardly everything is fine but there is an inward fiqh and an outward fiqh.
 
 There are inward rules for the prayer. You could do a perfect prayer outwardly so your fiqh of the Dhuhr is perfect but your inward fiqh, the khushoo in the prayer, the sakinah in the prayer, the hudoor in the prayer, the presence of mind in prayer, you could be thinking about whether the Giants won the game yesterday. There are Muslims in the Bay area that are concerned about that right now.
 
 But that might be where the heart is and where your heart is that is where you are. So your body might be in prayer but your heart is in sin. That is Bani Adam.

—Shaykh Hamza Yusuf



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 16 June 2013 at 2:45pm

Signs of Allah Have Distracted Many From Allah - Sh.Abdal Hakim Murad


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOzhMtFvbK8 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOzhMtFvbK8

(6 mins)



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 11 July 2013 at 4:59pm

What if every single stumble, every challenge, every experience in our life was only intended for one purpose: to bring us back to our origin?

What if every win, every loss, every beauty, every fall, every cruelty, and every smile was only intended to unveil another barrier between us and God? Between us and where we began, and where we are desperately seeking to return?
 

What if everything was only about seeing Him?”
 

  Yasmin Mogahed


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 13 July 2013 at 10:15pm

The Lifetime of a Hardship

Allah tell us in the Quran that for all things He has created an “appointed term’. This includes our hardships and struggles. They all have a birth and a death. They all have an appointed term. Every situation in our life has an appointed term, after which they come to an end and/or change.

There have been a few periods of my life when this particular ayah has comforted me so much. It is ‘simple’, but so profound:

“And be patient for the decision of your Lord, for indeed you are in Our eyes.” (52:48)

So many powerful lessons:

1. Allah has your situation covered. So just be patient. Everything has an appointed term. So does this hardship. It will not last forever. And Allah is in charge (the decision of Your Lord).

2. “Indeed you are in Our eyes.”: Even *during* the ‘appointed lifetime’ of the hardship, you are in His eyes. He is taking care of you *during* it. What a comfort!

3. Not only should you have patience because: 1. Allah’s command is controlling the situation (and when it will come to an end/change), but also *because* 2. You are in ‘His eyes’: He is your Guardian even throughout the hardship’s ‘lifetime’. It is actually by way of the fact that you are in His eyes and protection, that you can be patient. Your ability to be patient, in and of itself, is one of His greatest provisions and gifts.

Summary: It is through the knowledge that God sees what we are going through and is in control that we are able to be patient.

 
http://www.yasminmogahed.com/2013/02/20/the-lifetime-of-a-hardship/ - http://www.yasminmogahed.com/2013/02/20/the-lifetime-of-a-hardship/


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 15 July 2013 at 11:40pm
Seeing and Being Seen (1)


The Prophet(pbuh) made use of three terms to define our religion: first, islam, meaning submission to God and to His law; then iman, meaning faith in God and in what He has revealed to us, and finally ihsan, which is usually translated as “excellence”, in other words “submission” and “faith” brought to their highest point, perfected. And he defined ihsan in this way: It is to worship God as though you saw Him; for, though you see Him not, yet He sees you”.

The Quran – the sacred Scripture of Islam – speaks again and again of God as al-Basir, the All-Seeing, and also as al-Khabir, He who is totally aware of everything. “Not a leaf falls but He knows it”, says the Quran; and “He knows the secret thoughts and what is even more hidden”.

So He sees us at every moment, and He sees into the most secret recesses of our being. Now here, I think, we are on dangerous ground. I have known people brought up in a Christian environment who have turned against religion precisely because they were taught, as children, that God is some sort of super-Spy. They were told that a fearsome Old Man in the Sky sees everything that they do; he was just waiting to catch them out when they were naughty, and he would punish them even for those shameful secret thoughts which they hardly dared acknowledge to themselves. No wonder they rebelled against this. Most of us have an impulse to duck when we come into a building and notice a security camera pointing in our direction. Surely we have a right to a bit of privacy?

This is not – I believe – the way Muslims understand God’s all-seeing presence. They find it reassuring, comforting. They are glad not to be alone in an alien universe. They want to be understood, and they know that they are understood. The sense of loneliness which haunts many people, just below the threshold of everyday life, cries out for love, friendship, companionship and is not easily satisfied; cries out, in truth, for the divine Presence. In our personal relationships in this world we seek to be understood, at least by the people we love and by our friends; but also, perhaps, by our enemies for, if only we could explain ourselves to them, they would not be our enemies. Even if we are embarrassed to admit it, we do look for the ideal lover, the ideal friend, even the reconciled enemy.

What a relief, then, to discover that – in the only way it really matters – we are totally understood because we are totally known. What a relief also to be aware that there is one Person in whose presence we no longer have to pretend or deceive or protect ourselves. One of the Names given to God in the Quran is “The Friend”; the Sufis – the “mystics” of Islam – have gone further and dared to call Him “The Beloved”. Whether we are Muslims or Christians we know – or should know! – that our God is no tyrant, and that He who made us as we are is in the best position to know us and to forgive us. The Quran insists constantly upon the divine Mercy; His Mercy, it tells us, “embraces all things” – and He can hardly wait to forgive us for our sins and our stupidities. But He has to wait, if only for a moment, to give us time to understand, in other words to “repent” and to acknowledge, in the light of the truth, that we have fallen short of what could reasonably be expected of us. “Repentance” does not imply self-indulgent and self-pitying guilt; it means turning back to God when we had turned away from Him and admitting the simple truth of our situation. As we turn – at the very moment at which we turn – He turns to us, and the barriers which we had wilfully erected between Him and us are dissolved. He was always there, waiting; it is we who had made ourselves absent from Him. We have come back where we always belonged. We are known, understood, seen and forgiven.
 
Gai Eaton(ra)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 16 July 2013 at 1:38pm
Seeing and Being Seen (2)


I talked last week about the Muslim’s conviction – based upon what the Quran teaches – that we are seen by God at every moment of our lives and that even our most secret thoughts are exposed to Him, which is one way of saying that we live constantly in the divine Presence. It could even be said that awareness of this Presence is at the very heart of the Islamic way of life. “When My servants question thee concerning Me”, says the Quran, which is – for us – the Word of God revealed through Muhammad, “then indeed I am close. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he cries unto Me. So let them hear My call, and let them trust in Me”.

There are certain sayings of the Prophet, quite separate from the Quranic revelation, in which God spoke directly through his mouth. Let me quote to you one of the most important of these inspired sayings: “I am with (my servant) when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in company, I make mention of him in a better company than that; and if he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length; and if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him speedily”.

A whole book could be written – in fact books have been written! – by way of commentary on that saying, but let us consider just one point. “I am with (my servant) when he makes mention of Me”. But isn’t He always with us? Yes, of course He is. But are we aware of the fact? Probably not, most of the time. That is why we behave the way we do. We are busy, everyday life occupies our attention to the exclusion of everything else. We forget; and the Quran refers again and again to man’s forgetfulness. But isn’t there something rather foolish and incompetent about people who keep forgetting where they are and in Whose Presence they stand, each day and every day? Well, perhaps if we acknowledge our own foolishness and incompetence, we may already have taken a step towards God. The next step is to do something about it, and that is to “mention” Him, whether “in ourselves” or “in company”.

That might not seem to amount to very much, but – in Islam – it is the key both to faith and to practice. The Arabic word dhikr has two meanings: “mention” and “remembrance”, and God tells us in the Quran: “Remember Me, and I will remember thee!”. What we are doing when we “mention” His Name is reminding ourselves of His Presence, waking up from the dream in which we live so much of the time and recollecting where we are. This, you see, is simply a matter of realism. If I am in London but, for some stupid reason, I think that I am in Paris, then I’m likely to get everything wrong and make a fool of myself. And if, as Islam teaches, everything that we do and everything that we think is seen and known by God, then to forget this is to forget where we are.

But this raises another point, with which I hope to deal in my next talk. If we don’t know where we are, then it’s very likely that we don’t know who we are. And what could be worse than that? There is a verse of the Quran which says: “They forget God, therefore He has caused them to forget themselves”. To understand ourselves means to know ourselves in relation to reality; it is to see ourselves as we are in the light of the truth. If we have forgotten what the truth is and if we therefore live in a fantasy world, we cannot even begin to know who we are. Self-knowledge depends upon knowledge of the Presence of God.
 
Gai Eaton(ra)
 


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 17 July 2013 at 7:55pm
Seeing and Being Seen (3)


Last week I quoted to you a verse from the Quran which tells us that, if we forget God, He makes us forget ourselves. Another way of putting this, also derived from the Quran, is to say that He leaves us to wander this world like blind men. The Book speaks of those who have “hearts wherewith they understand not, and eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not”, and it compares such people to “cattle”.

But let us consider, for the moment, one particular kind of blindness: the inability to see or know or understand ourselves. There is a line from a poem by the Scots poet, Robbie Burns which has probably been quoted more often than any other line of poetry. I can’t do a Scots accent, but it goes like this: “Would the good Lord the giftie gie’ us to see ourselves as others see us”. Perhaps that should be taken with a grain of salt. If we could really see ourselves as others see us, we would be in the position of someone standing in front of a whole row of distorting mirrors, each showing a different image; we might become so confused that we would be paralysed. But supposing we change the poet’s words and say: “Would the good Lord the giftie gie’ us to see ourselves as He sees us”? That is quite a different matter.

What is it that makes us so unwilling to look at ourselves calmly and objectively? Fear, I suppose, and defensiveness. If we were to admit our weaknesses to ourselves we would – so we think – be weakened in the face of the world and less able to cope with the dangers and the problems that surround us; and, if we don’t build up our own “image”, no one else is going to do it for us. Of what use is a deflated balloon, even if there is a fierce-looking face painted on it? We must blow the balloon up and present that face to the world.

But there’s a problem here. The more we try to live a lie, the more vulnerable we become. We’re afraid of being caught out by other people; above all, we’re afraid of being caught out by ourselves. A lie always needs to be supported by further lies, and then by still more lies, until we find that we have constructed a house of cards that may be blown down at any moment. What happens then? A nervous breakdown, perhaps, or what the psychiatrists call an “identity crisis”. Self-deception has its dangers, to say the least.

But, to be able to do without self-deception, we have to feel secure, and, speaking as a Muslim, I believe, that this sense of security can come about in only one way. That is from the knowledge that, even here and now in this turbulent world, we are living in the presence of God, who see us objectively, and yet with mercy and loving-kindness. In that all-seeing Presence there is no longer any point in lying or in pretending to be other than we are. This, surely, is what we call “serenity”; to be oneself, to recognise oneself, in the calm certainty that He sees us as we are and accepts us as we are.

If we are aware of living in that Presence, then we are aware of living face-to-face with the truth: a bright, clear light that encompasses everything. In that light we are free, not only to see ourselves, without false pride or false guilt, but also to look around us, no longer hampered by tunnel-vision, and see things as they really are. And what they are, in the Presence of God, is something quite different to what they appear to be when we consider them only in terms of self-interest – in the way cattle see them. They have become symbols of what exists above and beyond them.
 
 
Gai Eaton(ra)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 18 July 2013 at 5:06pm
Seeing and Being Seen (4)

“Seeing and being seen” was what I had thought of calling this series of “Reflections”. So far I’ve talked mainly about “being seen”, being aware that we live in the Presence of God. But in every aspect of religious life there’s a kind of reciprocity between God and man; there are two sides to every coin. There’s a connection between “seeing” and “being seen”, as is clearly suggested by this verse of the Quran: “We” – and this is God speaking through revelation – “We shall show them Our signs on the horizons and within themselves until it is evident to them that this is the truth. Are they not, then, satisfied with their Lord in that He is the Witness over all things?”

The fact that things point beyond themselves – but for which they would be dead ends – is a recurrent theme of the Quran. “Truly”, the Book tells us, “in the heavens and the earth are signs for those who believe; and in your own creation and in the animals He scatters in the earth, are signs for people whose faith is sure; and in the alternation of night and day and in the provision that God sends down from the heavens, quickening the earth after her death, and in the ordering of the winds, are signs for people of understanding”. Even the colours of this colourful world have something to tell us; they have, says the Quran, “a message for people who are aware”. And then again:- “God does not disdain to coin the similitude even of a gnat, or of something still smaller…..” Well, that is a fairly comprehensive list: the wind, the rain, the animals – even a gnat – the plants, light and darkness; you and me. In other words everything – every single thing, great or small – points towards its Creator and says to us: “Don’t look just at me, look at Him who made me!”

One of the greatest philosophers of Islam, al-Ghazali, said that everything we see here, and that includes ourselves, has two faces; a face of its own and a face of God – or we could say, a “sign” of God.

He adds that, so far as its own face is concerned, it is nothing; in relation to the “face of God” it is being – it’s real. Modern science can tell us a lot about the “nothingness” of things, but their meaning is beyond its range; and that is what really concerns us. But how do we discover meaning? First through Revelation; secondly through “seeing eyes”.
 
Revelation – and I’m thinking particularly of the Quran – reminds us of what we so easily forget. It says: “See! God is”; and then it explains all that follows from that overwhelming fact. But what about “seeing eyes”? You and I can’t tell ourselves: “At midday, on the dot, I’ll start to see the signs of God in everything around me”. That kind of vision is a gift, but we can at least do something to fit ourselves to receive this gift, which brings me back to what I said earlier about living in the divine Presence. It is actually in our power to remind ourselves again and again of this simple fact of life.

The Prophet was asked once what was the best cure for forgetfulness – or for what the Quran calls “rust on the heart” – and he said it was to think frequently of death and to remember God constantly. You see, if we forget how soon we shall have to die, and if we overlook the fact that everything around us is perishing before our eyes, then we’re living in a fantasy world. It is only when we wake up to the truth that the perishable, once it is recognised as such, points towards the Imperishable, and things lost in time point towards the Timeless, that our vision pierces through surface appearances. I spoke earlier of the “tunnel vision” of people who forget these truths. Our religion convinces us that there is light at the end of the tunnel; and that is all that really matters.
 
Gai Eaton(ra)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 19 July 2013 at 5:55pm
Seeing and Being Seen (5)


I reminded you last week that everything around us is perishable, here one moment and gone the next, and that we ourselves are short-lived creatures. When the end comes, says the Quran, “you will think that you tarried for no more than an hour”. According to another verse, God will ask us: “How long did you live on earth, counting in years?”. We will answer, in confusion: “We lived for a day or a part thereof – ask those who can count!”, because we ourselves will have lost all sense of time. Then our Creator will ask: “Did you think that We created you for no purpose and that you would never come back to Us?”

That question seems to me to indicate a paradox. If we live for such a short time, then does anything matter? Do we matter? After all, the Quran tells us at one point that life is made up mainly of trivialities, and the Hereafter “is better and more lasting”.
 
Let us take a simple, everyday comparison. Suppose you find yourself spending a few days in a strange place: you could, of course, say, “I’m here such a short time, it doesn’t matter what happens”. But then again, you might say the opposite, you might say: “I’ll be gone so soon, every moment I spend here is precious”. And if you knew that the rest of your life depended on what you did in those few days, I think I can guess what you’d say. The Quran emphasises life’s brevity, but it speaks also of “a life long enough for those who are prepared to take thought to do so”; to take thought, to reflect, to see and to understand. That is the point. We are given the time we need.

For Muslims, the Quran is God’s final revelation, His last word. This is why it conveys such a sense of urgency. Don’t waste time – it seems to tell us – you have none to spare!
 
And a Muslim philosopher wrote: “Neither eat nor drink nor sleep without presence of heart and a seeing eye”. In other words, remember where you are and observe God’s “signs” scattered all around you. There are a thousand different ways in which this could be illustrated. I could take examples of heroism and self-sacrifice, or talk of saints whose utter devotion to God dazzles us. But sometimes it’s the small things that demonstrate most vividly what it means to be constantly aware. So let me take a very humble example of “presence of heart and a seeing eye”.

A few years ago travellers in North Africa often stopped to stare at rather a strange sight. They would see a man bend down, pick something up from the road, put it for a moment to his forehead and then place it safely on the nearest wall. What was it that this man treated with such respect? Usually a crust of bread, dropped by a passer-by; nothing more than that, but then our nourishment comes from God. Or it might have been a scrap of paper with writing on it, possibly the name of God. That too deserved better than to be trodden underfoot.

What a small gesture, and yet – what a momentous acknowledgement! An acknowledgement of the fact that the sacred surrounds us and that we can never be too busy to recognise it. And what is this recognition of the sacred if not a practical sign of awareness that we live, every moment, in the presence of God, amongst things which come from Him and belong to Him – though we are allowed to borrow them, - things which bear His signature upon them.

I mentioned earlier that, according to the Quran, “God disdains not to coin the similitude even of a gnat”; so why not a crust of bread, a scrap of paper? If He is indeed present with us, wherever we may be – and the Quran tells us that this is so – then everything is in his Presence. For those who have “hearts that understand and eyes that see”, things shine and glitter with a light that is not their own. It is said that the Prophet used to pray: “Lord, increase me in marvelling!”; and those who see do, indeed, marvel – and increase through out their lives in marvelling.
 
Gai Eaton(ra)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 20 July 2013 at 9:42pm

"Orientation" - Yahya Rhodus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUXrr3oTHvE - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUXrr3oTHvE

(About 11 mins)



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 21 July 2013 at 5:21pm
Beauty (1)


I returned the other day from a holiday in France, staying for a while with friends in the South. They have bought an old farmhouse, right up in the mountains, and rebuilt it with space for a dozen or more people. Both husband and wife are trained psychologists, and they hold courses for townspeople who've lost all sense of purpose in their lives. They try to help people who are not exactly sick, but who are empty, and I'm sure they do help them. But I'm equally sure that the astonishing beauty of the landscape in which that farmhouse is set also contributes to the healing process, for healing is related to wholeness and, in such a place as that, you begin to feel "whole", at home in the world (because it's so beautiful) and at home in yourself.

Speaking as a Muslim, this is just what I would expect. The very word "Islam" comes from a word meaning "peace". The most basic principle of the religion is Unity:- first the unity of God, who is One without equal, without associate, then the unity of His creation in which every element, however tiny, has its place and its function, and finally the unity achieved in every man and woman once they know who they are and where they are going, at peace with their Lord, at peace in the world, at peace with themselves.

That peace is closely bound up with the awareness of beauty. In one of his most famous sayings, the Prophet Muhammad told his people: Allahu jamilun yuhibbu'l-jamal – "God is beautiful and He loves beauty!". Now that is not a statement about feelings or impressions. It is a statement about the nature of Reality. And that, in turn, suggests something very important. It suggests that ugliness – and, Yes!, there's plenty of that in the world in which we live – is not on an equal footing with beauty. It's not one of a pair, like hot and cold, black and white; it represents the spoiling of beauty, the unmaking of what had been well made, the denial of God or His seeming absence. You might compare it to a hole in the pattern, a stain on the fabric, and it belongs to that class of things which, so the Quran tells us, last for but a short time and are then wiped away, while beauty endures.
 
To know this is to possess a sense of the sacred and so to be aware of the radiance that illuminates unspoilt nature from within and which may be found also in the things we make, when these are well and lovingly made. The tragedy of modern man, in the midst of his riches and his technological achievements, is that he has lost this sense of the sacred and lives in a world drained of light.

No wonder the people who come to my friends' farmhouse need help. They live in cities from which beauty has been banished as an irrelevance, as though it were a luxury which we can do without, and this is an environment in which it is difficult to believe in God since it has been constructed in forgetfulness of Him; and – in Islam – to forget God is the greatest sin, or the root of all other sins. Those who have told us, over the past century, that "God is dead" should have had the honesty to complete the sentence:- "God is dead, therefore man is dead!" When nothing in our surroundings reminds us of Him, then He does – in a sense – die in our hearts, and all that makes life worth living dies with Him.

But those visitors to the farmhouse are fortunate. Not everyone has such opportunities, to say the least. Of what use is it to suggest to the majority of city dwellers that they should turn to the empty spaces of virgin nature, where the sacred is nakedly apparent and where souls are healed? Their lives are restricted to the narrow streets in which no one has the time to say "Good day!" and in which the roar of traffic drowns the human voice. Is there no escape for them, no possibility of healing? God willing, I hope to take up this point next week.
 
 
Gai Eaton (ra)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 24 July 2013 at 10:42pm
Beauty (2)

Is anyone totally cut off from the good things that God has given us? Surely not! But, while those who are lucky enough to live in the midst of beauty need make no effort to enjoy what they have been given, the rest of us have to get down to work and teach ourselves to appreciate the gifts that come our way. No one need make an effort to see God's presence in mountains, rivers and forests, but to find joy in a single flower or to feel respect for a crust of bread is a different matter. It requires what is called – in Islam – the unceasing "remembrance of God", and it requires an understanding of the simple fact that everything created praises its Creator and reminds us of Him.

"Do you not see", asks the Quran, "that everything in the heavens and all that is in the earth adores God, as do the sun and the moon and the stars, and the hills and the trees and the beasts, and many of mankind...?"

The tale is told of a Muslim Sufi Master who sent his youngest disciple to gather flowers for the house. The young man was gone a long time, and he finally returned with one miserable bloom in his hand. The Master raised an eyebrow – perhaps both eyebrows – and asked for an explanation. "When I went to pick the flowers", said the disciple, "I found them all singing the praises of their Lord and Creator, and I dared not interrupt them; but then I saw that one had finished her song. This is the one that I have brought you".

Until fairly recently, when the habits of modern life began to get a real grip on the area, travelers in North Africa used often to be struck by rather a puzzling sight. They would observe a man walking down the street – going about his business – stop suddenly, bend down, pick up a discarded crust of bread and, after touching it to his forehead, place it safely on the nearest wall.

What does that story tell us, and what is the significance of this act of respect and gratitude for the nourishment God gives us – even for a dry crust? Both the story and the action demonstrate, in the first place, a true sense of the sacred and an awareness that this sense of the sacred embraces all that God has made, all that He has given for our sustenance or for our delight. Everything we see when we open our eyes, everything we grasp when we hold out our hands comes from Him and – when rightly used – reminds us of Him. Muhammad used to pray: Oh my Lord, increase me in marveling!

But we also have to understand that everything in existence has certain rights, and our own rights do not extend to misusing these things, squandering them, exploiting them. I can imagine someone saying: "This is really too much! Women's rights, animal rights, even plant rights, and now you talk about the rights of sticks and stones! Where will it end?" It has no end – that's the only possible answer.
 
We didn't make the world. You cannot, the Quran tells us, even create a fly. And the Quran assures us also that the whole universe is like a vast picture-book filled with the "signs" of God, if only we have eyes to see and the sense to understand. In other words, nothing is merely what it seems. Appearances – as people so often tell us – are deceptive and, if we float only on the surface of the world around us, then we are indeed deceived. There is always more to it than that, and then more and more, until you have plumbed the depths and found – behind the seventy thousand veils of light and darkness, the face of God.
 
 
Gai Eaton (ra)
 


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 26 July 2013 at 4:28pm
Beauty (3)

I said last week that, from the Muslim point of view, even the little things which surround us or of which we make use in our daily lives can serve to remind us of God and therefore deserve to be treated with respect. These things form part of the material world, and how often have you been told – how often have I been told – that we are "too materialistic" in this modern age? If that means simply that we are too greedy for material possessions, then it's a fair criticism; but I'm going to suggest to you that – in one very important sense – we are not materialistic enough. You and I – unless we are either mystics or scientists – see the material world as a solid, inert lump. We seldom bother to look beneath the surface. For the Muslim mystic however it is a tapestry into which the "signs" of God are woven. But how does the contemporary physicist see it? He too is obliged to probe beneath the surface and, the deeper he penetrates, the greater the mystery which faces him. This solid table in front of me is, he says, a space in which minute quanta of energy move at incredible speeds: particles, he calls them but then he corrects himself and says that they are waves which sometimes behave like particles – or particles which sometimes behave like waves. It is all very confusing, and so it should be, for it reminds us that nothing is as it seems and that mystery surrounds our little enclosure of "common sense".

Is this unsettling? If it is, then I am sure we need to be "unsettled". Earlier in this series of "reflections" I spoke of those people who have lost all sense of purpose, who live in a grey, monotonous world and who need contact with the splendours of virgin nature if they are to be healed. But what we have to understand – and perhaps what they need to understand – is that their "grey" world is an illusion. The fault is not in their surroundings but in themselves. "It is not the eyes that grow blind," says the Quran in this context, "but the hearts within the breasts that grow blind".

There is a story which crops up in several different traditions; I first came across it in Hinduism, but then I discovered it again in a Muslim book. It goes like this:- A man living at a certain address in Baghdad (let's say "Baghdad" for convenience, but it could be any city) has a vivid dream in which he learns that a vast treasure is hidden under the floor of a certain house in Cairo. He sets out to seek this treasure, and it's a hard journey; he gets mugged on the way, he nearly drowns and he comes close to starvation, but in the end he arrives at the address in Cairo. The owner of the house says: "You've just caught me – I was about to set out for Baghdad, for I dreamed the other night that a great treasure was hidden under the floor of a certain house there". I think you can guess whose house that is! The traveler returns home – no doubt getting mugged again on the way – and, sure enough, the treasure is under his own living-room. Did he make a wasted journey? The moral of the story is that we sometimes have to venture out and travel far in order to find the treasure which was always ours.

We have all that we need – you and I and anyone else you care to name. That's one of the basic principles of the spiritual life. But we need help, a great deal of help, to discover what we already possess. That help comes, obviously, from God provided we ask for it eagerly and in all sincerity. But, as Muslim, Jew and Christian will agree, He uses many instruments, and in fact – in His hands – anyone or anything can become an instrument of guidance: men and women, the beauties of nature, true works of art, the little things we handle each day – even sticks and stones.
 
But we have to do our part. We have to ask!
 
Gai Eaton (ra)
 


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 28 July 2013 at 5:22pm
Beauty (4)

In this series of short reflections I’ve been talking about beauty – its healing properties – and about the praise which rises from every created thing towards its Creator. "Have you not seen", asks the Quran, "that God is He whom all in the heavens and the earth praise, and the birds in their flight? He indeed knows the worship and the praise of each, and God is aware of all that they do". And the pious Muslim, when things go badly for him, says: "al-hamdu lillahi 'ala kulli hal"; "Praise be to God under all circumstances"; not just on the bright day, but on the dark one too.

But what is really meant by this much abused word, "praise"? It may have different meanings for different people, but – for the Muslim, anyway – it suggests that what is given by God is transmuted on earth into praise of the Giver, just as the falling rain is transmuted into a vapour which returns to the clouds. Men and women praise consciously when they are aware of the source of their existence; sticks and stones praise by their very existence, for existence is itself a miracle. According to the Quran, God "says unto a thing 'Be!', and it is"; and however humble its situation here, among the people of the earth or among the stones of the earth, it is the direct product of God's command and therefore participates, in some way, in the mystery of His being. This – precisely – is why it can serve as a "reminder", inviting us to focus our attention, not upon what has been made, but upon its Maker. "He scatters His mercy", says the Quran, just as the rain is scattered over the dry land, and we – you and I – take and use as much of this as we may be capable of absorbing. Listen to the Quran once again: "God sends down rain from the sky so that the valleys flow according to their measure, and the flood bears away swelling foam ... thus does God indicate the true and the false. As for the foam, it passes away as scum upon the banks, while – as for that which is of use to mankind – it remains in the earth".

But, in talking of beauty and praise, the healing powers of nature and the meaning hidden in sticks and stones, have I left out something important? What about the "do's" and "Don'ts" of religion? They have, ultimately, one purpose, and that is to establish harmony, balance, order within the individual personality as also in society; the same harmony, balance and order visible in creation as a whole, maintaining the birds in their flight, turning the growing plant towards the life-giving sun, and bringing the fruit to ripeness on the tree. In the disordered personality and in the disordered society, the "Do's" and "Don'ts" may have to be imposed, but those are conditions under which the equilibrium inherent in creation has already been disturbed as happens when people forget who they are and where they are going.

There is another word for equilibrium in the human domain, and that is "sanity", bearing in mind its derivation from the Latin sanus, which means neither more nor less than "healthy". Health is what those unhappy townspeople (whom I mentioned in the first talk of this series) are seeking when they take refuge with my friends in the French mountains. Perhaps that is what we all seek, at the level of the spirit as also at the bodily level? And "health", understood in its deepest sense, relates to the most fundamental principle of the religion of Islam. This is Tawhid: unity, unification, wholeness, the inter-connectedness of every single thing from the highest to the lowest; the Oneness of God reflected in the oneness of being.

When we are aware of this unity, then we are at home wherever we may find ourselves; when we forget it, we are isolated even in the warmest embrace. It is then that we need help, and help in offered through the thousand-and-one things we see and touch. But we have to reach out, we have to ask. The answer comes with the asking.
 
 
Gai Eaton (ra)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 14 September 2013 at 4:19pm
At the end of the day all we have is God. If we can recognize that fact then we will realize that if we have God, we have everything; and if we do not have God, we have nothing. The Prophet, peace upon him, reminds us,“If you place your trust in anyone, place it in God. And if you ask for anything, ask it of God.”
 
 
We claim that we seek God’s help every time we recite the Fatiha, "You alone do we worship, and from you alone do we seek assistance." (1:5) However, we have to work to translate that claim into reality.

One who is conscious of God realizes that at the end of the day no one can help or assist him save God. If God determines that someone will be a means to bring you some help that God has ordained for you, then that help ultimately has come from God. This is true in all of our affairs. If you believe that anyone or anything in God’s creation can ultimately help you, independent of God, then you will be placed in the care of that person or thing. Hasan al-Basri wrote the following words to ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, “Do not seek the help of anyone other than God, for if you do, God will leave you in the care of that other.”
 
Everything ultimately comes from God. God is most quick to help us. Sometimes He withholds from us what we ask of Him and that is the best help we could receive. However, oftentimes we fail to realize this. Reliance on God is one of the greatest practical expressions of real belief, for its essence lies in being surer of the bounty and grace possessed by God than we are in our own personal resources. For the believer, reliance on God is sufficient. God says in the Qur’an, "Whoever places his reliance on God, He will suffice him." (65:3)

Imam Ahmad said that the happiest of his days was when he woke up and found nothing in his cabinets. That was a day he had to rely totally upon God.
 
 
~Imam Zaid Shakir~


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: CINDY
Date Posted: 27 November 2013 at 1:39pm
Originally posted by a well wisher

At the end of the day all we have is God. If we can recognize that fact then we will realize that if we have God, we have everything; and if we do not have God, we have nothing. The Prophet, peace upon him, reminds us,“If you place your trust in anyone, place it in God. And if you ask for anything, ask it of God.”
 
 
We claim that we seek God’s help every time we recite the Fatiha, "You alone do we worship, and from you alone do we seek assistance." (1:5) However, we have to work to translate that claim into reality.

One who is conscious of God realizes that at the end of the day no one can help or assist him save God. If God determines that someone will be a means to bring you some help that God has ordained for you, then that help ultimately has come from God. This is true in all of our affairs. If you believe that anyone or anything in God’s creation can ultimately help you, independent of God, then you will be placed in the care of that person or thing. Hasan al-Basri wrote the following words to ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, “Do not seek the help of anyone other than God, for if you do, God will leave you in the care of that other.”
 
Everything ultimately comes from God. God is most quick to help us. Sometimes He withholds from us what we ask of Him and that is the best help we could receive. However, oftentimes we fail to realize this. Reliance on God is one of the greatest practical expressions of real belief, for its essence lies in being surer of the bounty and grace possessed by God than we are in our own personal resources. For the believer, reliance on God is sufficient. God says in the Qur’an, "Whoever places his reliance on God, He will suffice him." (65:3)

Imam Ahmad said that the happiest of his days was when he woke up and found nothing in his cabinets. That was a day he had to rely totally upon God.
 
 
~Imam Zaid Shakir~
ameen

-------------
I AM PRAYING


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 14 March 2014 at 4:06pm

God, says the Qur'an, is "the Best of Providers". The only one, in the long run. Whether we are aware of it or not, we live and die in the palm of His hand, and our poor efforts to cope with our problems on our own would be hilariously funny if they were not - only too often - so sad.

But to know this, not just in theory but in our flesh and our bones, we do have to lift our heads now and then, forget ourselves and our absurd anxieties, and trust in what we cannot see but know is there, everywhere present, always and forever.
 

(Gai Eaton (ra) - REFLECTIONS)


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 25 March 2014 at 4:01pm

The follower of Islam is called a Muslim (‘one who submits’), not a Mumin (‘one who believes’), and with good reason, ‘The Arabs say: We believe! Say rather: We have submitted! For the faith hath not yet entered your hearts’ (Q.49.14).

The first of Muhammad’s titles — his ‘titles of Glory’ – is not ‘Messenger’ or ‘Prophet’ but ‘slave’ (abd) for man must be a slave to the truth before he can be its messenger, and the slave is, by definition, one who submits body and soul to his master, claiming no rights, asking no questions and owning nothing that he can call his own. It is for the master, if he will, to raise him to a higher status.

A great deal of misunderstanding has surrounded these images of submission. Partly from prejudice, but partly also from the genuine difficulty that one culture has in grasping the deepest motivations of another, the West has often pictured the Muslim as cringing before a tyrant Lord and submitting as a beast submits to its incomprehensible fate. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Muslim fears God because he is a realist; he knows that there are things to be feared and that all things — the bitter as well as the sweet — have but one Creator. He submits because he believes that there exists a divine pattern or scheme of things which is both intelligent and beautiful, and he wishes to find his place in this pattern and conform to it; he knows that he cannot do so without instructions — which must be followed meticulously in view of their sacred origin. He does not simply resign himself to the divine Will; he seeks it eagerly and, when he finds it, delights in it.

Muhammad is ‘abdu llah’ the ‘slave of God’. Modern translators usually prefer the word ‘servant’ because of the ugly and even sinister connotations which the word ‘slave’ has in the West, due on the one hand to the racialism which was the basis of slavery in the Americas, and on the other to the cruelty and exploitation associated with it. Slavery in the simple society of ancient Arabia had none of these features and was not therefore a term of dishonor. Although the word ‘servant’ has obvious advantages in this context, it weakens and even falsifies the meaning of the Arabic term ‘abd’, A servant works for his wages, he may depart if the conditions of his service do not please him, and he may, if he chooses, set his will against that of his employer. But God is not an employer, nor are His messengers employees. The ‘slave of God’ surrenders his will to that of his Master, exemplifying the quality of spiritual poverty (fiqr) which lies at the very root of Islam.

This quality of ‘slavehood’ —of obedient passivity —is a pre-condition of the messenger’s activity in the world. The truth of the message itself would be brought into doubt if there were the slightest suspicion that a human will had intervened in the process of revelation. In his recorded sayings Muhammad spoke as the man he was and, except when he was directly inspired, acknowledged his own fallibility, but as the instrument by which the Quran was conveyed from heaven to earth his aim was to be an attentive and accurate ‘scribe’. He said: ‘A simple verse of the Book of Allah is worth more than Muhammad and all his family,’ and because his conduct in every aspect of daily life exemplified these qualities of receptivity and attentiveness, he was himself an aspect of this message from God to man. Seen from an unprejudiced Christian point of view, ‘in its finest form, as exemplified by the Prophet himself, this relation of the ‘abd’ to his Lord means a constant quality of consciousness and will unique to Islam’ ; and in his translation of the Quran, Muhammad Asad renders the key word taqwah usually translated as ‘fear of God’ as ‘God-consciousness’, thereby emphasizing the qualities of constant awareness, recollectedness and readiness which characterize the Muslim who is true to his faith.

 

Gai Eaton (ra)----Islam and destiny of man



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 27 March 2014 at 6:20pm

The Spirit of Islam - Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKefp_jhN5g - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKefp_jhN5g

(35 mins)



-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 24 May 2014 at 4:15pm
A word that is coming very often in surat al Hujurat is “Taqwa”. In traditional translations, Taqwa is fearing God, or piety through fearing God. In others, it is about being mindful and yet it is deeper than that.


The Prophet (sws) said “at-taqwa ha-huna/taqwa is here” pointing to his chest, which means that in the journey of life, the best provision is Taqwa. The end of verse 13 says “inna akramakum ‘inda Allahi atqakum/In God’s eyes, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him”. Therefore it isn’t fear, it is something that has to do with reverence, love, and fear out of love and love out of this fear. It is more than mindfulness, it is a loving reverence towards Allah (swt). Mindfulness is from the mind, Taqwa is the heart. It is the heart when your mind is open to God’s presence. It is about being mindful with your heart.

It is very difficult to get this. You have in the first verse “wattaqullah”—meaning, be aware, be mindful, get this loving reverence towards Him because if you love Him, you don’t act a certain way with Him. Love is essential in this equation because Allah is the Rahman. Rahma is a love that comes from very deep in your being. It is, for instance, why many psychologists have said that there is something which is specific between the mother and the child; it’s coming from within. Al Rahman is something which is coming from this. What He is expecting us to get is that Taqwa is about remembering Him not with our mind, but something that is as deep as you get from Him.

You’re not going to change your behavior if you don’t get this from the very beginning. What “wattaqullah” means is to get this relationship, this adab, which is coming from your heart, from your mind, and from yourself. This is a process, and it is going to come. The more you behave, the more you look at yourself, the more you control, the more you master, the deeper this is going to be in your heart. Through this behavior you will get an understanding of what Taqwa is.


~Dr.Tariq Ramadan~


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 28 August 2014 at 4:26am
Taqwa Between Love & Fear (by Dr. Jamal Badawi)

Is Taqwa Simply Fear?

The term fear, when used to refer to God-consciousness in the Islamic context, does not mean being scared of God because being scared excludes any feeling of love or respect.

Fear of God means to fear His disobedience and punishment, on the Day of Judgment, and to fear forgetting Him and losing His blessings.


Another partial meaning of fear, which is nobler, is the fear of displeasing God, the One Whom you love. For example, when two people love each other, you find each of them trying their best to please the other and to avoid even forgetting their anniversaries or birthdays. If this is the attitude of humans towards each other, then it is more appropriate that people fear God’s displeasure. People should love God most because they owe everything to Him: their lives, property, and, above all, His guidance to know and worship Him.

So, fear of God is not founded on a vengeful concept of hate and fear of God. It is actually based on love, which leads to a feeling of fear of God’s displeasure...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/ethics-and-values/439939.html - http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/ethics-and-values/439939.html
 

-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 28 January 2015 at 7:21pm
God In Transit


Away from the classroom environment, amidst the hustle and bustle of the Newark International Airport, I was engulfed in a soufflé of the senses. Passing through security, I proceeded to my designated gate. I checked the time, realizing it was time for one of the daily prayers. I searched for signs with any sort of religious symbol, but found none. I stopped an airport cleaner to ask for the quiet room or chapel. His weary face took in my headscarf and the corners of his mouth went up slightly. He directed me back towards the way I had come to a nondescript door. I walked into a small dimly lit room and the door swung shut behind me, blocking out the cacophonous noises of announcements, wheels dragging across the floor, and the shuffling of shoes that are unique to the airport. A navy industrial carpet lined the floor. A few steps into the room on the left stood a metal sign that read “Please remove shoes.” The small enclave in the back left of the room had a rectangular prayer mat on the floor. The geometrical patterns beckoned me.

Two sets of chairs, three rows of chairs face the front of the room, against the sides an aisle down the middle. A cross sits at the end of the aisle affixed to the top of the room facing the chairs. The edifice of Jesus rests atop it, the light beaming across the face.


Dropping my bag, I pulled off my shoes and placed them against the side of the wall. Stepping to the bottom of the mat, back to the wall, I raised my hand, my thumbs reaching slightly below my covered ears, fingers outstretched. The intimate conversation began...

As I stroll to my gate I couldn't help but think of all the journal articles I read over the previous year about the absence or resurgence of religious practice in the West and the global south. What does it mean to practice, to be religious? Who is unchurched or unmosqued in America? What does it mean in our everyday? What made those people come into that room for those few stolen moments in the middle of all the chaos? I won't get any answers from them, but I found one of my own...

The journey, the steps, the people, and the uncertainty, was where the connection took place. My religious tradition says that one should be in the world as a traveler. I've heard this during various stages of my life. Preachers talk about the importance of not living for this world. Of avoiding being enamored with all that glitters because such gold has no meaning in the afterlife. They encourage abstinence from the material trappings of life. Ascetics are therefore revered for their ability to live a minimalist lifestyle. Yet, neither on the groundings of the everyday nor up in the air was where the revelation occurred. It was in transit.



All of us who passed through that room shared recognition of the fragility of life and acknowledged the one who kept it all together in an unknown way. This meaning of being in the world as a traveler resonated. It isn't just eschewing the consumerism of life alone. Life can be exhilarating, happy, dangerous, complicated, just plain messy., Being home with loved ones, in familiar surroundings provides a sense of comfort and maybe a false sense of ultimate security. When we're thousands of miles away the comfort is thrown off and return isn't guaranteed. This instability, this lack of certainty forces one to reckon with a higher power.It is in the fragility where comfort resides. So as my life as a socially accepted stalker comes to an end, I embrace the lack of familiarity around me, with a plan to always be a traveler.



http://almadinainstitute.org/blog/god-in-transit/ - http://almadinainstitute.org/blog/god-in-transit/

-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 05 February 2015 at 4:05pm

At the end of the day all we have is Allah. If we can recognize that fact then we will realize that if we have Allah, we have everything; and if we do not have Allah, we have nothing. The Prophet, peace upon him, reminds us, “Whenever you seek help, seek the help of Allah.” We claim that we seek Allah’s help every time we recite the Fatiha, "You alone do we worship, and from you alone do we seek assistance." (1:5) However, we have to work to translate that claim into reality.


One who is conscious of Allah realizes that at the end of the day no one can help or assist him save Allah. If Allah determines that someone will be a means to bring you some help that Allah has ordained for you, then that help ultimately has come from Allah. This is true in all of our affairs. If you believe that anyone or anything in Allah’s creation can ultimately help you, independent of Allah, then you will be placed in the care of that person or thing. Hasan al-Basri wrote the following words to ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, “Do not seek the help of anyone other than Allah, for if you do, Allah will leave you in the care of that other.”

~Imam Zaid Shakir


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 06 February 2015 at 4:44pm
“The Messenger (BPUH) conveyed to women the twofold requirement of spiritual training and of asserting a womanhood that is not imprisoned in the mirror of men’s gaze or alienated within unhealthy power or seduction relationships.



Their presence in society, in public space and in social, political, economic, and even military action was an objective fact that the Prophet (PBUH) not only never denied or rejected, but that he clearly encouraged. In the light of spiritual teachings, he guided them to asserting themselves, being present, expressing themselves and claiming the real freedom of heart and conscience.


They had to choose it by themselves and trace it out for themselves, trusting in the Most Gracious.”

“The loving fear of the One frees us from the fear of all others. It arises from an inner journey that gives roots to our presence, it is the daughter of a withdrawal that prevents us from escaping, it is our weakness before the Divine which gives us strength before humans.”

—Dr.Tariq Ramadan


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 21 March 2015 at 5:00pm
True Dependency

Jafar al-Sadiq said once to a devout atheist, "Have you ever been on the sea?" The atheist told him of one time when he was on a ship during a storm that tore apart his ship and drowned the sailors on board. "I was left clinging to a board. Then the ocean took the board from my hands, and I was left with nothing. An ocean wave then carried me to the shore, and I survived." Jafar said, "When you first boarded the ship, did you place trust in that ship? Didn't the sailors also? Then God took those away from you; then you put your trust in the plank. And when you lost that plank, where did you place your trust? Did you hope that you would survive?" The man told him, "Yes, I did have hope." Jafar al-Sadiq said, "There must be an object of hope. Who did you hope for?" The man didn't know how to answer. So Jafar told him, "The one who took away all your means and saved you despite them - that was God."

Even believers become complacent about where they place their trust. We often trust the material things around us, the shelter, the stream of paychecks, cupboards full of food, and so on. We can forget that all of this can be swept away, leaving us with the realization of our only true dependency. How many times have we seen storms take away everything from people: their homes, cars, clothing, and savings?

There is an overriding religious ethic in Islam whose truth is self-evident. If people are serious about living the covenant with God then there is no choice but to keep our trust in God alive and to affirm our faith and belief in Him. This is not an activity for one day of the week or special sacraments performed a few times a year. This is not the way humans were made. We require a constant and conscious connection with God the Exalted. Supplication is an excellent way to enliven our spiritual growth. When we ask of God, we should do so with trust and certainty that God will answer it.


"Purification of the Heart" - Sh.Hamza Yusuf


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 02 April 2015 at 8:45am
Taqwa is sometimes translated as “God-consciousness,” and sometimes it is rendered, “piety.” In reality, it is a combination of both. It is a degree of God-consciousness that manifests itself in piety. Piety in turn lies in avoiding those things that Allah has forbidden and doing those things He has commanded.

Devotion is closely associated with piety. The difference between the two lies in the fact that devotion speaks more of our motivation for undertaking our actions. Devotion can arise from many different sources such as seeking Allah’s reward or good pleasure, fleeing from his punishment, out of thankfulness to Him, or simply as an expression of our love.

Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi mentions ten ascending motivations that push believers towards righteous actions:
Fear of an otherworldly punishment.
Fear of a worldly punishment.
Hope for a worldly reward.
Hope for an otherworldly reward.
Fear of a [difficult] reckoning.
Shyness before Allah’s all-encompassing gaze.
Thankfulness for His blessings with obedience.
Acknowledging His ontological uniqueness.
Magnifying the majesty of Allah.
The truthfulness of one’s love for Him.

We should always endeavor to move to a higher motivation until we readily implement all of His commandments and prohibitions based on the depth of our love for Him.

~Imam Zaid Shakir


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 05 June 2016 at 6:31am

How Does the Quran Define Taqwa?

Dr. Jasser Auda answers this question in a lecture he recently gave at Abrar High School, in Ottawa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2OYrUx_KFg - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2OYrUx_KFg

(36 minutes)




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 14 July 2016 at 6:35am

God Consciousness After Ramadan

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf reflects and offers profound insights into Ramadan and what comes after it and the need to maintain God-consciousness after the blessed month has passed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvfWKoyHRPc -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvfWKoyHRPc

(28 minutes)




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 08 September 2016 at 3:45am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvfWKoyHRPc -
What's for Taqwa

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf mentions 15 benefits of fearing God and having taqwa:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLv3euX2JuY - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLv3euX2JuY

(8 minutes)




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 11 May 2017 at 3:29am
8 Ways Ramadan Enhances Your Taqwa

The purpose of fasting is not to make us hungry and thirsty, or to deprive us some of our comfort and conveniences.

The real purpose of fasting is that we learn taqwa

Taqwa is highly emphasized in the Qur’an and Sunnah. There are more than 158 verses in the Qur’an on taqwa, and there are hundreds of hadiths on this subject.

Taqwa is Islam itself. It is the sum total of all Islamic values and virtues. If one has taqwa one has achieved everything.

Taqwa is the consciousness of Allah. It is to do one’s best efforts to live by His commands and to avoid His prohibitions.

The Qur’an has used the word taqwa to mean consciousness of Allah, fear of Allah, worship of Allah, sincerity in faith, and avoidance of disobedience to Allah.

Fasting builds the character of taqwa if it is done in the right way...
http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/8-ways-ramadan-enhances-taqwa/ -
http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/8-ways-ramadan-enhances-taqwa/




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 22 May 2017 at 1:25pm
The Triangle of Bliss: Ramadan, Quran and Taqwa

One who is interested to achieve taqwa may ask themselves: “Can I achieve this without the Quran?”

The answer is clear no.

The next question is “What if I incorporate the Quran into my life. Can I achieveTaqwa without fasting?” the answer is most likely no. And obviously the best time to fast is in the month of Ramadan.

Allah gives us clear signs how to achieve Taqwa...

http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/triangle-bliss-ramadan-quran-taqwa/ - http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/triangle-bliss-ramadan-quran-taqwa/


-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 03 June 2017 at 10:24pm
Towards Taqwah in Worship: Applying Reflection into Action

These methods are something that has worked for me, and has heightened my faith, piety and worship- and I merely post them in the hope that it might set others upon the same path I have trod, though I cannot in any way guarantee the success of this method, nor can I truly claim this to be some truth that is universal for all.

My hope, therefore, is that I can at the very least set others upon a similar path to that I have taken myself- even if it is never necessarily identical, and will necessarily be taken, by each individual, in their own way.

All they need to do, to begin- is to open their hearts to God, and to ask for light, guidance and piety.

1. Praying to God with an Open Heart for Taqwa & Guidance

And so that is precisely the first point, and the first step towards achieving this elevated state of worship and connection– and Salah, the Arabic word for prayer, means literally that: a connection, which is made with God- and so the five prayers a day are, then, our deepest, and most pervasive connection to our Lord and Creator.

But, in order to heighten this connection, to truly feel its depth, and to feel the fullest benefits of it, it is my opinion that the first thing any who seek to achieve these ends- is to pray. To make dua’a, from the bottoms of their hearts, that God guide them to serenity, and piety, and faith, and connection...

http://beyondtime2017.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/towards-taqwah-in-worship-applying-reflection-into-action/ - https://beyondtime2017.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/towards-taqwah-in-worship-applying-reflection-into-action/




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 04 January 2018 at 2:58am
Is Taqwa Simply Fear?

The term fear, when used to refer to God-consciousness in the Islamic context, does not mean being scared of God because being scared excludes any feeling of http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/understanding-islam/came-know-love-real-god/ - love or respect.

http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/why-should-i-fear-allah/ - Fear of God means to fear His disobedience and punishment, on the Day of Judgment, and to fear forgetting Him and losing His http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/countless-blessings-god/ - blessings .

Another partial meaning of fear, which is nobler, is the fear of displeasing God, the One Whom you love...

http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/taqwa-should-we-love-god-or-fear-him/ - http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/taqwa-should-we-love-god-or-fear-him/




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 15 April 2018 at 3:34am
Do You Have Taqwa? Take the Test

Taqwa has nothing to do with judgment or perfection. We can leave these connotations out.

Taqwa comes from the Arabic word “weqaya”, meaning protection. We protect ourselves, our physical and spiritual existence, through taqwa, through living an examined life, through http://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/taqwa-reward/ - being conscious of God .

Having or struggling to have taqwa is an act of selfishness that God asks from us.

God tells us what will harm us and therefore to stay away from it. And God, having created us and knowing us better than we know ourselves, tells us what will benefit us and therefore to run to it...

http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/do-you-have-taqwa-god-consciousness-take-the-test/ - http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/do-you-have-taqwa-god-consciousness-take-the-test/



-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 19 June 2018 at 6:19am
Taqwa – Should We Love God or Fear Him?

http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/finding-peace/remembering-allah/5-steps-help-us-increase-in-piety-video/ - God-consciousness is the core of taqwa because God-consciousness is acknowledging, feeling, and realizing God’s presence at all times, and knowing that He is looking after you and knows what you are doing and even what your soul whispers to you.

This feeling results in trying to go through life according to God’s orders and being ashamed of doing wrong in His presence, which is at all times.

So http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/do-you-have-taqwa-god-consciousness-take-the-test/ - a person who has taqwa tries to avoid both things that displease God and things that may harm himself or others.

Taqwa and Divine Love

For centuries, philosophers and writers have tried to explore http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/tips-building-divine-love/ - divine love but found that there are some feelings that just cannot be translated into words, especially when a person moves to higher degrees of divine love.

Divine love requires commitment and steadfastness.

Divine love in Islam is not a type of superficial love but it is considered a mutual genuine feeling between God and man, which is referred to in the Quran...

http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/taqwa-should-we-love-god-or-fear-him/ - http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/taqwa-should-we-love-god-or-fear-him/




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage




Print Page | Close Window

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums version 8.03 - http://www.webwizforums.com
Copyright ©2001-2006 Web Wiz Guide - http://www.webwizguide.info