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6 Tips For Practising Islam Better

By YC Street Dawah Team

Does Practicing Islam Mean Losing Friends? – 2

A question was posed, “Are there any tips for someone who wants to begin practising Islam?”

This is a big question and the answer probably deserves books upon books to answer. However, I will attempt to offer some ideas which could help in the ‘journey’ towards Islam as a way of life, Insha’Allah.

1- Righteous Company!

Probably the biggest barrier to fully immersing ourselves in the practice of Islam is the company we keep. You have to willingly change your company, and you can do that by the following:

By constantly sharing your thoughts on the purpose of life with the group of friends you hang around with. This might serve as inspiration to others and lead them to switch to a positive lifestyle too, so that you may not have to find new friends!

Alternatively, you can leave this group of friends and find new company. And since that is easier said than done, you can change your mindset, to start thinking along these lines:

“Do I really need friends that would only cause me harm? Can’t I survive and live a wholesome life without friends? When you begin thinking like this, you find all sorts of options.

We have this saying amongst those involved in dawah, “When you begin practising Islam, you may lose friends but you gain brothers/ sisters!”

There is an amazing Hadith on the matter:

“The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.”

[Muslim]

2. Invest in Alternative Hobbies or Interests

If you are someone who is addicted to drugs, smoking, clubbing, music, haram relationships, pornography or any other such activities and want to get away from them, don’t think that your life will become boring and dull without them. This is a huge misconception. In fact, having an Islamic lifestyle gives you all sorts of stimulation, which you won’t gain from haram activities. Islam brings peace to your heart, like nothing else. Not dance parties, nor flirting on Instagram.

Other than actively seeking knowledge by attending courses and meeting other enlightened souls, you can opt for hiking, sports, travelling, reading books and so many other activities that are perfectly allowed in Islam. With Islam embedded in your heart and mind, you begin to look at a universe of options, as opposed to the limited set available when away from an Islamic lifestyle.

3. Access to Knowledge

A few decades ago, or even 9, 10 years ago, you could argue that to gain access to Islamic knowledge, be it with scholars, short or long courses, halaqahs, one had to travel to the Middle East or to another locality. With that, came many other hardships & inconveniences.

However, now we have all sorts of mediums to begin our learning! There are thousands of hours of Islamic content available online. Be it YouTube or Facebook, essays, articles or audio recordings. We can access them all through our social media platforms.

So, start following beneficial & productive pages and scholars! You can also find and befriend a scholar or a specialist of their field and have Skype sessions with them!

Furthermore, you can also join numerous WhatsApp/ Telegram learning groups! There really isn’t any excuse to not learn. You can begin your journey of knowledge from the comfort of your own bed!

4. Unfollow/ Unfriend Boys/Girls

Yes, this may sound hard to do, but before actually unfriending those that share nonsense on your Instagram/twitter/ Facebook feeds, start by using the unfollow button. This will be a start to ‘cleansing’ your social media platforms and will directly impact your own thinking. You can filter out useless information and not be influenced by those that encourage non-Islamic content. Social media plays a huge part in forming our opinions in life, and you really do have to work on it!

5. Hang Around Du’aat

If and where you can, hang around those involved in Da’wah to those that are away from Islam. Even if you feel ‘hypocritical’ for still indulging in haram activities, hanging out with those who are practising and inviting towards Islam will be of great benefit to you. You will hear words like ‘destructive’ and ‘foolish’. You will listen to the anecdotal stories of how they changed and will gain great inspiration from their experiences!

6. Talk to Your Creator

If you truly are sincere about changing to begin practising Islam, then turn to Allah and ask him:

” Oh Allah, I want to change! I want to leave this lifestyle behind. I want to become close to you and follow your commands. But how? How do I do this? Where do I start? Can I change? Am I too deep into sin/kufr?! Please show me the way! Please guide me! Please fix my heart and remove these diseases.”

If you can ask this and have a deep conversation with the Turner of Hearts, then I am sure Insha’Allah, you will begin your journey of change.

 

A beautiful, encouraging hadith goes:

“Oh son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. Ask & I will not mind”

[Al-Tirmithi].

Have a strong intention, add will power and try your best to get on the path to Allah!

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Story of a Revert Muslimah

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YOUTH CLUB: Asalamualaikum, welcome to Islam, sister — may you introduce yourself?

REVERT SISTER: Walaikumasalam, thank you.  My name is Samiha. I was raised in Germany but I am originally from Hong Kong. I became Muslim in 2011 while I was a university student in the UK. I have, therefore, been Muslim for 6 years, Alhumdulilah. I became a Masters student for architecture in Australia but right now I am currently gaining work experience as an architectural assistant in Hong Kong before returning back to complete studies.

YOUTH CLUB: What was your life before Islam and what do you think was the turning point for considering to read about Islam?

REVERT SISTER: My life before Islam was nothing extraordinary and was rather very standard. I was a normal teenager who never really gave much thought about life. At the same time I was never into what my peers were doing. I abstained from dating, clubbing, drinking or other western lifestyle. I guess people would consider me as a studious teen that stayed away from trouble. The turning point for me considering Islam was when I started university in the UK. This was where I encountered Muslims for the first time. I was additionally going through personal issues and was thus in a very low period in my life. I hit rock bottom and was completely lost. I furthermore found my degrees in firstly chemistry and later mathematics totally unsuitable where that made me feel more lost. I was, therefore, really low and questioned a lot about my purpose and outlooks in life. This also led me to compare my Muslim friends’ lifestyle to my own where I surprisingly found many similarities. They were modest and disciplined and I really liked that so I started to dig deeper.

YOUTH CLUB: What caused you to embrace Islam?

REVERT SISTER: There were many factors that led me to embrace Islam. Firstly, reaching rock bottom certainly made it easier to accept the truth. I was in a state where I wanted to find meaning and make sense of the world. Islam, however, appealed me on a more rational level. I tend to observe things from a rational and calculated standpoint, especially with my background in chemistry, and mathematics. I, therefore, analyzed and compared Islam to other religions that I was exposed to — religions such as Christianity and Buddhism. I was previously an atheist, but the scientific accuracy within Islam was flawless, and undeniable. The scientific and logical approach in the Qur’an towards the meaning of life, therefore, struck me. I was even more awestruck over the cosmological explanations found within the Qur’an and it aligning with the opinions of modern day scientists. It was too undeniable to ignore and I also felt like Allah (swt) was protecting me in my teens in preparation for Islam. It was, therefore, easy to embrace Islam, Alhumdulilah.

YOUTH CLUB: How do you think Islam has transformed your life for the better?

REVERT SISTER: Islam has transformed my life for the better because it has given me a clear purpose in life and a sense of direction. The detailed teachings over how our intentions matter guides my actions and speech. Islam has, therefore, guided me into decisions fueled with purpose where I think that also led me to my current degree. I am passionate about architecture — more specifically sustainable architecture — because I hope to give back to humanity by building what is sustainable and good not only for mankind but Earth. Islam has thus made me conscious and has increased my accountability. The feeling of accountability has not only given me a clear sense of direction but pushed me to strive for excellence in whatever I do.

YOUTH CLUB: What in Islam helps you cope with life’s difficulties especially when facing non Muslim parents?

REVERT SISTER: Allah (swt) says in the Qu’ran that He will test every believer according to their sincerity and see if they are indeed true believers. This is a teaching that I cling to whenever going through difficulties. I know very well that my parents love me and that their opposition is due to this love. This is, however, a test for me and I know that Allah (swt) has promised not to give me tests beyond my capacity. The knowledge of how what we are going through is temporary helps me cope and the duty within Islam towards parents gives me direction on how to be towards them.

YOUTH CLUB: What message would you like to send Muslims that were born with Islam and that have Muslim families?

REVERT SISTER: Cherish and be grateful for your family whether they are religious or not. It is a tremendous blessing if your family is practicing, but if they are not, it often helps to think from the shoes of others because your family loves you at the end of the day. Allah (swt) will reward you for obeying His religion and being kind to your family — your family will see how Islam has transformed you for the better even if they do not fully understand why you are practicing Islam.

YOUTH CLUB: What further advice would you give born Muslims that start to become practicing but face opposition from cultural parents?

REVERT SISTER: My advice is to be patient. Be consistent when showering kindness and persevere for Allah (swt)’s sake. Allah (swt) will bless you and you will see the fruits. Your parents will ultimately appreciate how Islam has transformed you for the better.

YOUTH CLUB: How do you think born Muslims can be there for reverts and what can they learn from reverts?

REVERT SISTER: I think just being there makes a huge difference. There are many that are quick to judge when you are new Islam and also there are many that preach whatever they know about Islam without looking at your circumstance. There are few that are actually there especially when things get tough. Reverts tend to go through a huge change and face opposition from family. They sometimes do not feel safe at home that support from the Muslim community makes a huge difference. The simple act of reaching out to reverts to ask how they are or how to help makes a huge difference.

YOUTH CLUB: Jazaki Allah khair sister for your time and for sharing with us your experience — we are very pleased to have you as our sister and have lots of prayers for you.

The Cure to Diseased Hearts

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The Cure to Diseased Hearts

This is part 3 in a series of 3 posts under the category of:

انواع القلوب فى القرآن الكريم The Types of Hearts in the Noble Quran

There are a few simple points which can help you to check and cure your heart:

1 – Purify your intention, and a lot of these diseases will go away by the mercy of Allaah.

I would like to put only one question here for discussion: I want to do it, and you want to do it, so how do we make our intentions pure?

There are 4 ways of it:

First: If when someone praises you, you feel good, and when someone insults you, you feel bad or angry then know that there is a problem with your intention.

‘Adi ibn Arta’ said, “When one of the Companions of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was praised, he said in supplication to Allah:

اللهم لا تؤاخذني بما يقولون ، واجعلني خيرًا مما يظنون واغفر لي ما لا يعلمون

O Allah! Do not call me to account for what they say and forgive me for what they have no knowledge of – Allaahumma laa tu’aakhithnee bimaa yaqooloona, waghfir lee maa laa ya’lamoona

Reference: Al-Bukhari, Al-’Adabul-Mufrad no. 761. See Al-Albani, Sahih Al-’Adabul-Mufrad (no. 585). The wording is slightly different to the above  and is perhaps taken from another narration. Allaahu ‘Alam.

And whoever said it said the truth:

If people would know how sinful I am they would not even want to say Salam to me, they wouldn’t even want to sit near me. But O Allaah it is your Rahmah (mercy) that you have hidden my sins.

It is narrated in Saheeh Muslim from Miqdaad (may Allah be pleased with him) that a man began to praise ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) so Miqdaad proceeded (towards him) and went down on his knees and began to throw the gravel on his face. So, ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘What’s the matter with you?’ So, he said: Indeed, the Messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

“When you see those who praise people (to their faces), then throw dirt in their faces.”

Muslim in Az-Zuhd War-Raqaaiq…(Vol.4, No.3002, page 2297)

A person who loves to be praised can never be pious in his life.

 

Second: Do a good deed and forget it.

A sincere person hides his good deeds just like he hides his sins.

Remember this principle: In the worldly life, everything that has a witness is valued. But in the sight of Allaah, the most valuable deeds are the ones whom no one has witnessed on earth.

 

Third: Give the best of your things in charity.

Today when we want to gather charity, we have to give all the proofs to a person to convince him. People have forgotten that whoever spends in charity his wealth does not decrease, but only increases!

But the Sahabah were on a different mindset.

Imam Ahmad reported that Anas bin Malik said, “Abu Talhah had more property than any other among the Ansar in Al-Madinah, and the most beloved of his property to him was Bayruha’ garden, which was in front of the (Messenger’s) Masjid. Sometimes, Allah’s Messenger used to go to the garden and drink its fresh water.” Anas added, “When these verses were revealed:

لَن تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr unless You spend of that which you love,)

Abu Talhah said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Allah says,

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend of that which you love;) No doubt, Bayruha’ garden is the most beloved of all my property to me. So I want to give it in charity in Allah’s cause, and I expect its reward and compensation from Allah. O Allah’s Messenger! Spend it where Allah makes you think is feasible.” On that, Allah’s Messenger said,

(Well-done! It is profitable property, it is profitable property. I have heard what you have said, and I think it would be proper if you gave it to your kith and kin.)

Abu Talhah said, `I will do so, O Allah’s Messenger.’ Then Abu Talhah distributed that garden among his relatives and cousins.”

This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs.

 

Fourth: While working for a cause, if a person keeps working whether someone praises him or scolds him then that is a sign of sincerity. But if he works only when he is praised and sits down when he is scolded then he is not doing it with sincerity.

May Allaah allow us all to purify our intentions and make them sincerely for Him.

 

2 – Start respecting the scholars if you want your heart to be cured.

Ibn Al-Qayyim Rahimahullaah used to say that the religion is taught by 2 things: The mosque and the person in the mosque.

The day you get disgusted by the mosque or the scholar, then that day you have lost your Emaan.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said a beautiful thing (mentioned in Sahih Bukhari/Muslim) that out of the 7 people who will get the shade of Allaah’s Throne on the Day of Judgment, one is he whose heart is attached to the mosque.

What does this mean? This means that when he prays one prayer he is constantly waiting for the next one. This Hadith is about a person who stays outside the mosque. So what about those who dedicate their whole day to the mosque and stay in it all the time?

In fact I would like to say, if a person takes even a single step towards a scholar Allaah can grant him Jannah for this. You must be thinking this is a big claim? It is narrated in Sahih Al-Jami’ that a person did 99 murders. He then went to a priest asking if he could be forgiven. The priest said no there is no forgiveness for you. So he killed the priest as well. Then he went to a pious person who told him that yes you can be forgiven but for future you must leave this place and go to another town where there are pious people of Allaah. He was on his way when he passed away. Allaah sent angels to take his soul. The angels started arguing whether he would be an inhabitant of Heaven or Hell. Allaah sent another angel to measure the distance from where he had started to where he was going. If he was closer to his destination he would be forgiven but if he was closer to the starting point, he will go to Hell. Allaah ordered the earth to shrink and upon measuring he was only a span (approximately 9 inches) closer to the pious people and was forgiven because of this (ONLY a step!).

So until you have a good relation with the true scholars, you can never remove the diseases from your heart.

 

3 – If you can’t guard your tongue, you cannot cure your heart.

A person’s Emaan cannot be corrected until he corrects his heart, and the heart cannot be corrected until he corrects his tongue.

Lying, Backbiting, Slandering: these things cannot let you be pious.

Therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised a Sahabi to read this Du’a (mentioned by Imam Bukhari in Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadith 660):

اللَّهُمَّ عَافِنِي مِنْ شَرِّ سَمْعِي ، وَبَصَرِي ، وَلِسَانِي ، وَقَلْبِي ، وَشَرِّ مَنِيِّي

O Allah, protect me from the evil of my hearing, my seeing, my tongue and my heart, and the evil of my sperm.)” – Meaning his sexual organ.

Also see: Sunan an-Nasa’i 5484.

 

4 – You cannot cure your heart, until you have Haya (Modesty).

We know that Ayesha (radiAllaahu anhu) is the mother of the believers. It is Haram for any man to marry the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Even then when the Sahaba (radiAllaahu Anhum) used to go to her to study there would be a curtain between them.

Modesty is not only limited to interaction with other people. Today’s youth thinks that if we have closed the door of our room no one can see what we are doing on our computer. Have they forgotten that Allaah sees everything?

When Luqman Al-Hakeem’s son asked him for advice, he had him write this:

O my son: If you want to sin you may do it, but only those (sins) for which you have the strength to bear the punishment. If you want to sin you may do it, but only there where Allaah cannot see you. If you want to sin you may do it, but not on Allaah’s earth. Go to a place which does not belong to Allaah.

Everything belongs to Allaah, so where will he go?

Remember when you will stand in front of Allaah, and Allaah will talk to you. No one will be able to say that I cannot speak for myself so I want to hire a lawyer. What will be the answer there? How will we face Allaah if we are not modest?

Last thing I would like to mention is:

 

5 – A heart that has Jealousy and Malice cannot be cured.

Sa’d ibn Mu’az (radiAllaahu anhu) became a Muslim at the age of 30 and died at the age of 36. The ‘Arsh of Allaah shook when he died. How many years did he spend as a Muslim? Only 6!

What did he do? After the Prophet (peace be upon him) told the Sahabah that Sa’d is one of the inhabitants of Heaven, one Sahabi decided to stay with him at his home. He spent 3 days with him and at the end of the term said that I have seen you and every good deed you do, is done by me as well. When he was about to leave Sa’d (radiAllaahu Anhu) called him and told him that I have never kept jealousy or malice in my heart against a Muslim.

Let us decide today to take all sorts of jealousy and malice out of our hearts.

This brings us to the end of this series.

May Allaah cure the diseases of our hearts and allow us to enter Jannah. He who promised Jannah to Sa’d bin Mu’az (radiAllaahu anhu) is able to gives us Jannah as well. Ameen.

 

 

The Hearts that Allaah Dislikes

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The Hearts that Allaah Dislikes

This is part 2 in a series of 3 posts under the category of:

انواع القلوب فى القرآن الكريم The Types of Hearts in the Noble Quran

The 12 types of hearts that Allaah does not like:

1 – القلبُ المَرِيْضْ The Sick Heart

What disease does this heart have? Doubt about the Shariah, hypocrisy, debauchery, lust, the cacoethes to fulfill its desires.

Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’aala says in the Quran:

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ ۚ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا

O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech. [33:32]

Allaah tells the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to not speak softly with someone because if he has a disease in his heart, he might consider it to be something else and take the wrong meaning of her speech.

 

2 – القلبُ الأَعْمَى The Blind Heart

The heart that does not see the Haq (the Truth). If it sees then it does not think; if it thinks then it does not act upon it. That’s why Allaah says:

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۖ فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَـٰكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ

So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts. [22:4]

Some people have very good eyes and can see very well, but they are blind from the heart. The blind from the heart is he who does not accept the truth, and the truth is the word of Allaah and his Messenger.

 

3 – القلبُ اللَّاهِي The Distracted Heart

This is the heart that is negligent of the Quran. Such a person does not pay attention to the Quran or what is in it, but keeps himself busy with the world and its pleasures.

Let us be honest with ourselves. When we wake up in the morning, the first thing we ask is “where’s the newspaper?” (translator’s edit:  OR we check our Facebook. The Shaykh probably didn’t know how many times more addictive THIS is compared to a newspaper). Is a newspaper more important than the Quran? I’m not saying that don’t read the newspaper. Read it. But don’t give it priority over the Quran. Start your day by reciting the words of Allaah.

Allaah says in the Quran:

اقْتَرَبَ لِلنَّاسِ حِسَابُهُمْ وَهُمْ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مُّعْرِضُونَ

[The time of] their account has approached for the people, while they are in heedlessness turning away. [21:1]

Then after an Ayah Allaah says:

لَاهِيَةً قُلُوبُهُمْ

With their hearts distracted. [21:3]

 

4 – القلبُ الآثِمْ The Sinning Heart

It is the heart that conceals the truth.

Consider the case of a who has found out how the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to pray. He has read the Hadith:

Wa’il bin Hujr said:
“I said: ‘I am going to watch how the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) prays.’ So I watched him and he stood and said the takbir, and raised his hands until they were in the level with his ears, then he placed his right hand over his left hand, wrist and lower forearm. When he wanted to bow he raised his hands likewise. Then he prostrated and placed his hands in level with his ears. Then he sat up and placed his left leg under him; he put his left hand on his left thigh and knee, and he put the edge of his right elbow on his right thigh, then he held two of his fingers together and made a circle, and raised his forefinger, and I saw him moving it and supplicating with it.”
Sunan an-Nasa’i: 889
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)
 And in another narration:

Narrated Tawus:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to place his right hand on his left hand, then he folded them strictly on his chest in prayer.

Sunan Abi Dawud: 759

Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)

Once a Hadith has been proven, what will such a heart do? How will he hide this truth? This is the Sinning Heart. That’s why Allaah says:

وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ ۚ وَمَن يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ

And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it – his heart is indeed sinful, and Allah is Knowing of what you do. [2:283]

 

5 – القلبُ المُتَكَبِّرْ The Proud Heart

The disease of such a heart is that it is arrogant in regards to Tawheed of Allaah and His obedience. Whenever Tawheed is mentioned, it cannot bear it.

It is consistent upon oppression and aggression.

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) says:

الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ أَتَاهُمْ ۖ كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّـهِ وَعِندَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ قَلْبِ مُتَكَبِّرٍ جَبَّارٍ

Those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah without an authority having come to them – great is hatred [of them] in the sight of Allah and in the sight of those who have believed. Thus does Allah seal over every heart [belonging to] an arrogant tyrant. [40:35]

Whoever argues without proof, has a proud heart. Because of this disease Allaah has put a seal on this heart. Until he repents from his Shirk, he will never understand the truth.

 

6 – القلبُ الغَلِيْظْ The Harsh Heart

A heart that is devoid of compassion and mercy.

That’s why Allah SWT said:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ

So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. [3:159]

 

7 – القلبُ المَخْتُومْ The Sealed Heart

It is the heart on which Allaah has placed a seal. It does not listen to the word of guidance. It is because this person followed his own desires even though he had knowledge. Allaah will keep such a person misguided irrespective of the level of their worldly education.

Allaah says about such a person:

أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَـٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّـهِ ۚأَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah? Then will you not be reminded? [45:23]

May Allaah allow us all to act upon our knowledge.

 

8 – القلبُ القَاسِيْ The Hard Heart

A heart that has no effect of whatever is said to it. Allaah says about such a heart in the Quran:

بِمَا نَقْضِهِم مِّيثَاقَهُمْ لَعَنَّاهُمْ وَجَعَلْنَا قُلُوبَهُمْ قَاسِيَةً ۖ يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ ۙ وَنَسُوا حَظًّا مِّمَّا ذُكِّرُوا بِهِ ۚ وَلَا تَزَالُ تَطَّلِعُ عَلَىٰ خَائِنَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنْهُمْ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاصْفَحْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them. But pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good. [5:13]

 

9 – القلبُ الغَافِلْ The Heedless Heart

A heart that submits to its desires and does not do Zikr (remembrance) of Allaah. Allaah says about such a heart in the Quran:

وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ ۖ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا

And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect. [18:28]

Therefore we must be very careful whom we make friends with. Our friends should be those who remind us of Allaah, not those who take us away from His remembrance.

 

10 – الْقَلْبُ الأَغْلَفْ The Wrapped Heart

It is the heart which is layered with an outer covering due to frequent sinning and disbelief.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us about this is a Hadith in detail.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the Ran that Allah mentions in His Book: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.” [83:14]
Sunan Ibn e Majah, Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4244
Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)
Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) says in the Quran:

وَقَالُوا قُلُوبُنَا غُلْفٌ ۚ بَل لَّعَنَهُمُ اللَّـهُ بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَقَلِيلًا مَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ

And they said, “Our hearts are wrapped.” But, [in fact], Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so little is it that they believe. [2:88]

This غلاف or covering only comes off by sincerely repenting to Allaah.

 

11 – القلبُ الزَّائِغْ The Deviant Heart

It is the heart that turns away from the truth. Such a person would always go towards that which has doubt, just to create Fitna (trials and tribulations) and frustration among people.

Allaah says about such people:

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ

It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord… [3:7]

As the aphorism goes, a positive person will always see a solution in every problem; whereas a negative person will always see a problem in every solution.

 

12 – القلبُ المُرِيْبْ The Doubtful Heart

As the name suggests, it is a heart that is in doubt regarding Islamic principles and concepts.

These doubts can be the following: Will the Day of Judgement will come? Will I get anything if I practice religion?

إِنَّمَا يَسْتَأْذِنُكَ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَارْتَابَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ فَهُمْ فِي رَيْبِهِمْ يَتَرَدَّدُونَ

Only those would ask permission of you who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and whose hearts have doubted, and they, in their doubt, are hesitating. [9:45]

Just to give the context, the translation of the previous verse is this:

Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day would not ask permission of you to be excused from striving with their wealth and their lives. And Allah is Knowing of those who fear Him. [9:44]

Some people start to make excuses when you ask them to come for prayers. Excuses like: My clothes are not clean; I have to take a bath first; I’ll start from tomorrow et cetera. Whoever has a sincere intention does not make lame excuses.

May Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) not make our hearts into those He does not like. Ameen.

 

The Hearts that Allaah Likes

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The Hearts that Allaah Likes

Assalam u alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

This is part 1 in a series of 3 posts I will be making in shaa Allaah under the category of:

أنواع القلوب فى القرآن الكريم The Types of Hearts in the Noble Quran

(As heard in a lecture by Qari Suhaib Ahmad Meer Muhammadi Hafizahullaah in the annual conference – Jubail)

As a foreword I would like to mention that these “types” are actually different states of the heart which a single heart can have in different times. Shaykh Ibn e Uthaymeen Rahimahullaah said that every beat of “breath” of the heart is a state of it. When the heart remains in a single state for a long time, then that is what becomes its Creed.

There are many types of hearts that Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa has mentioned in the Quran. From them the ones that Allaah likes are:

1 – القلبُ السَّلِيْمْ The Sound Heart

It is the heart that is full of sincerity to Allaah and Taqwa and free of infidelity and hypocrisy and immorality.

As Allaah SWT says in the Quran:

إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّـهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart. [26:89]

 

2 – القلبُ المُنِيْبْ The Repentant Heart

It is the heart that is persistent in returning to Allaah in repentance and always returning to His obedience.

As Allaah SWT says in the Quran:

مَّنْ خَشِيَ الرَّحْمَـٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَجَاءَ بِقَلْبٍ مُّنِيبٍ ﴿٣٣﴾ ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلَامٍ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْخُلُودِ ﴿٣٤

Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance]. Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity.”[50:33-34]

 

3 – القلبُ المُخْبِتْ The Submissive Heart

The word “ikhbaat” in Arabic means a lot of focus.

It is the heart that focuses a lot towards Allaah, filled with the love of Allaah. Such a heart has peace in it and Allaah SWT says about such a heart in the Quran:

وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَيُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ فَتُخْبِتَ لَهُ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَهَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

And so those who were given knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord and [therefore] believe in it, and their hearts humbly submit to it. And indeed is Allah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path. [22:54]

 

4 – القلبُ الوجِلْ The Fearful Heart

It is the heart that creates in itself the fear that whether its good deeds will be accepted by Allaah or not. It is always thinking about this and wonders what will happen to it on the Day of Qiyaamah. Allaah says about such a heart in the Quran

وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ 

And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord. [23:60]

Imam Ahmad recorded from ‘Aishah: I said: “O Messenger of Allaah,

(And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear…) Are these the ones who steal and commit Zina and drink alcohol while fearing Allaah?”

The Messenger of Allaah replied:

(No, O daughter of Abu Bakr. O daughter of As-Siddiq, the one who prays, fast and gives in charity, fearing Allaah). This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded something similar in which the Prophet said:

(No, O daughter of As-Siddiq, they are the ones who pray and fast and give in charity while fearing that it will not be accepted from them, (It is these who hasten  in the good deeds.)) This is how Ibn ‘Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka’b Al-Qurazi and Al-Hasan Al-Basri interpreted this Ayah.

Hazrat Aamir bin Rabee’ah reports that he once saw Umar (RadiAllaahu Anhu) pick up a twig from the ground and say, “I wish I had been this twig. I wish that I had never been created. I wish that I had been nothing. I wish that my mother had never given birth to me. I wish that I had been something gone and forgotten.”

Ibn Mubaarak, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musaddad and Ibn Asaakir.

 

5 – القلبُ التَّقِّيْ The Pious Heart

It is the heart that sees and honors the signs of Allaah around it. Allaah SWT says about such a heart:

وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّـهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوب

And whoever honors the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts. [22:32]

The scholars are the inheritors of Prophets and due to their knowledge they are the most fearful of Allaah. (Reported by Ibn Majah, At-Tirmidhee and Ibn Hibbaan. Al-Bukhaaree mentioned in his Saheeh Collection in his Book of Knowledge, Chapter: Knowledge precedes Speech and Action, the part from it: “The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.”)

The scholars say that those who do not respect the people of knowledge cannot be pious.

At the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), a person such described the reciters of the Quran: When it is time to fight, they flee. But when it is time to eat, they are the first ones. One of the Sahaba (radiAllaahu anhu) heard this and said you have lied, and was on his way to communicate this to the Prophet (peace be upon him) when the following verse was revealed:

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّـهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ

And if you ask them, they will surely say, “We were only conversing and playing.” Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?” [9:65]

Allaah and His Messenger were not being mocked. But in reality the people of knowledge, the people of Quran, the scholars, were being mocked and Allaah related it to mocking Allaah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).

 

6 – القلبُ المَهْدِي The Guided Heart

It is the heart that is satisfied on the Qadr of Allaah and is satisfied with His decisions.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that whoever wants to know his status in the sight of Allaah should look at his heart and see how satisfied it is with the decisions of Allaah. Allaah said about such a heart in the Quran:

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۗوَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّـهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things. [64:11]

Whatever is decreed for you, you will get it even if it is buried under the mountains. Whatever is not decreed for you, you will not get it even if it is in your hands.

Imam Ghazali Rahimahullaah used to say that if man was told to write what he wants and the disadvantages of that are also written, then he is shown what Allaah has written for him he will tear apart what he has written for himself and will say I am pleased with what Allaah has written for me.

 

7 – القلبُ المُطْمَئِنْ The Satisfied Heart

It is the heart that, due to the remembrance of Allaah, is calm, tranquil, and satisfied. Allaah SWT says in the Quran.

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured. [13:28]

When we compare the number of suicides committed by Muslims as opposed to non-Muslims, the number is higher for non-Muslims. This is because their hearts are not satisfied. Even after doing and achieving everything in the world, they realize there is still an empty space that they cannot fill.

Likewise, billionaires, despite having an abundance of money, still take the aid of sleeping pills to fall asleep. In contrast, look at the people of the Quran and Hadith. They sleep so soundly that sometimes you have to try very hard just to wake them up for Fajr. 🙂

If you keep your tongue wet by the Zikr of Allaah you will be free from all the worries of the world.

 

8 – القلبُ الحَيَّ The Living Heart

It is the heart that listens carefully to the Quran. It ponders over how the previous nations were destroyed by Allaah. Allaah says in the Quran:

إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ

Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. [50:37]

These reminders only benefit those who have a heedful heart. Otherwise there were people who sat with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and yet the best of reminders did not benefit them.

May Allaah make our heart the way that He loves. Ameen.

The Healer of Hearts

The Healer of Hearts

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By Mariam Riaz

Bismillah.

For a long time now, I have searched for inspiration to write. What better inspiration than the Book of Allah (SWT) and the most blessed of months, Ramadan!

Every single one of us have reached a point in our lives when our heart suffered the deepest blow. The death of a loved one, a broken relationship, a scandal that ruined one’s life, failure of the acutest kind, and the list goes on. You reach a point where you feel like no one can understand your pain and it feels like it will never go away. A void in your heart that nothing can fill.

We go left, right and center, searching for shrinks, self-help books, or we wallow in despair and drown in drinks and drugs. Yet, nothing seems to fill that gaping void in your heart.

Why is that so?

Because we are searching in all the wrong places! Our Creator, the One who knows our every single thought before we even express it, says in His Book, the Qur’an:

“O mankind, there has come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.” (Surah Yunus: 57)

This Book that we take off from our shelves when someone is sick, dying or to hold it above the bride’s head during her Rukhsati – don’t leave it there to gather dust while you knock your head against people and other things to heal your heart. When you are breaking down and when the whole world seems to be falling apart, pick it up and read.

By reading I don’t mean reading out the Arabic without having a clue what the words say. I mean, try to understand what your Lord is saying to you. There is a reason why the Quran was revealed as a Spoken Word (Kalaam) and not in written form. It is the only Book where you feel like you are directly being addressed in speech. It is the only Book which, like a mirror, makes you feel like every word is about you.

Sink in the power of His Words and let them heal you. Because, Wallahi, there is nothing else in this world that can do the same. Take it from me, I have tried!

If you still feel like you don’t have a friend in the world who can protect you from its ugliness, read on in the same Surah, Allah (SWT) assures you:

“Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (Surah Yunus:62)

Of good company and positive attitudes

This post is an anonymous entry sent in by one of our readers for the theme #Sinless. We pray that Allah keeps the writer steadfast on her own journey.

no-road-is-long-with-good-company

How do people view practicing Muslims these days? Outdated? Orthodox? Old-school? Of course!

I mean, just imagine! How can those people live without listening to music? I can’t even picture myself sitting alone and not plugging my earphones into my ears (to listen to the latest beats).

And then there’s the whole covering up issue.  Personally I believe that the only modesty is that of the gaze- don’t stare, that’s all. These Abaya-clad girls are usually looked more keenly upon. Obviously they invite more glances. How can they claim to be modest when they stand out like that? How are they even comfortable being inspected so?  You can’t talk, walk, or act like a normal human being in that kind of dress- completely out of the question!

There’s so much in this world alone; so much to see, so much to do- so little time (and money). You are obliged to earn by whatever means you can. How can you possibly make time for the daily prayers, and that too 5 times a day, what with your otherwise hectic schedule?

Then there’s these Maulvis… Nothing but a bunch of the most deviant people imaginable. All they do is impose a new fatwa every now and then- make life hard for the rest of us.  And then they have the audacity to plead about immodesty in the community. I mean they should just focus on themselves. I’m fine the way I am. I don’t need someone dictating my life!


Is this you? I don’t know about you, but this is definitely me.

I’m sorry I’m mistaken.

This WAS definitely me.

Practicing religion to the old me was just like sticking to the most frustrating restrictions one could possibly think of. And I’m not the only young person I know who had this problem- so did most of the other young people I knew.

It was a great blessing that Allah blessed me with some amazing friends who were practical examples of people who practice religion, but remain down-to-earth and ‘normal’ at the same time. Pretty amazing, right? LOL. They would talk, walk and act normal. They had fun. They were fun to be around. And their positive outlook on life helped solve many of MY problems too!

They somehow managed to live without listening to the kind of messed up music that is popular nowadays. They prayed five times a day in spite of their busy routines. They weren’t modest about their gaze alone, but also in the way they dressed.

And I could not do anything but also get inspired! Unbelievable but true- all you need to do is spend some time in good company yourself to understand this.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.”[Sunan Abu Dawud: 4833]

Yeah! My company did change the way I viewed the world. My heart started to be more inclined towards Allah and His religion. I wanted to find the source of this goodness- I wanted to be one of them. I started perfecting my own Salah. And as it is mentioned in the Quraan:-

“Indeed Salah stops you from Immodesty and Munkar (That which is forbidden)” [Surah Al-Ankaboot, Ayah: 43]

My prayers helped me to  strive even further and take more steps towards my Lord. It felt like a relief when I wore my hijab for the first time in front of my male cousins. Believe it or not, it felt better than seeing myself in front of the mirror, dressed to perfection. I gave up music slowly and turned towards Quraan. It did feel better than that temporary happiness that would blow my ears away through those meaningless lyrics. These changes were not abrupt. It took time to make them impact my heart and mind.

But there was no other option for me when all of these things made complete sense to me. No ifs, no buts. The way forward was obvious.

Only then did I understand the importance of Hijab, giving up music, praying five times a day with the utmost devotion to Allah and doing all else that was required by my religion. They all made sense now that I was sincerely tuning into Allah’s commands.  But that only happened once I had decided that I wanted to understand-  with a true and receptive heart. Temptations struck me from all sides.  I surrounded myself with an even tighter circle of strong, righteous friends.

And even after that, the struggle was not over.

This struggle won’t ever be over as it is not possible for anyone to be completely sinless. The Prophet [Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him] said:

 “All human beings without exception are sinful, but the best sinners are those who repent the most.” [Tirmidhi]

But it’s definitely something worth striving for, especially with the help of good company. It’s time we all took out a moment to reflect. Allah is always ready to forgive. Can we expect any better?

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