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Ramadan Challenge: Seeking Forgiveness

By Dr. Sonia Mohsin 

Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself giving up, letting go and just forsaking the idea of worship, or being righteous, or thinking of Allah; just because there lies upon your shoulders a heavy burden of sins? How many times have you wondered that this is it? I am just not good enough? If like all other human beings, you too have ever been on that stage where you felt that there can never be a sinner greater than you – then congratulations! You have arrived at the gates of salvation – the door to istighfaar (seeking forgiveness).

This is Allah talking to you:

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (39:53)

And what can get better than the fact that the month of Ramadan is here! The month of seeking forgiveness! This was  the advice given by our beloved Prophet ﷺ in his sermon before Ramadan* :

“Do repent in this month to Allah for your sins, and supplicate with raised hands at the time of prayer as these are the best times, during which Allah Almighty looks at his servants with Mercy. Allah answers if they supplicate, responds if they call, grants if He is asked, and accepts if they entreat. O People! You have made your conscience the slave of your desires. Make it free by invoking Allah for forgiveness. Your back may break from the heavy load of your sins, so prostrate (sajdah) yourself before Allah, for long intervals, and make this load lighter.”

Let’s shed our excess baggage this Ramadan, because we are never too bad, never too impure, never too late to say those powerful words of repentance. Here are a few practical things that can be done to bring in istighfaar (seeking forgiveness) into our lives:

allah-love-forgiving-so-forgive-me-iquotepics-com

It only takes a moment. Close your eyes and think of the sins that you did today. Do it right now and utter the word “astaghfirullah” with all your heart accompanied with the thought of each sin.

Find yourself some quite time each day when there is no one to disturb you. Evaluate yourself in that time. Repentance is your cleanser. Seek Allah’s forgiveness for all the things you think you should not have done and promise yourself never to do them again. It might be just words but if delivered with emotions & commitment, it can work wonders. Try it for yourself!

When repenting remember the three tenses – past, present and future. Past: regret the time you sinned in the past and feel the remorse. Present: abandon the sin immediately. Future: Promise to never do it again.

Do the 100 Istighfaar. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to say astaghfirullah 100 times each day! Even though he didn’t have any sins. Make it a regular part of your routine – while going or coming back from work/school, before or after any obligatory prayer, while driving or cooking. A scholar once told us that it only takes 1 minute to say it a 100 times! Can you believe that? So little effort to gain a clean & healthy soul for the entire day.

Cater to the big ones. There is always that one big sin that bogs us down the most. Either we did it in the past or find it hard to let go of in the present. Either ways, big things require big measures.  Arrange to offer the 2 rak’ah dedicated to that one big sin.

Cry your eyes out! It’s about time that something other than the sloppy soap operas and movies made us cry. It is time to shed our tears for our Lord. Prophet ﷺ said that the two eyes that shed tears for the fear of Allah will never be touched by the hellfire [al-Nasaa’i]. What more incentive do we need? When you think of your sins, think of the dominion of Allah Almighty. Think how small & insignificant you are as compared to the entire universe & galaxies that Allah owns, and yet you dared transgress? And although Allah could have crumbled you when the first time you faltered, yet He nurtured you, fed you, took care of you, why? Because of His Mercy. “When Allah created the universe, He decreed for Himself: ‘My Mercy prevails over My Wrath.’[Sunan Ibn Majah: 4436]

Remember to never leave a bad deed without an astaghfirullah attached with it. Repent as soon as possible. We don’t know how long we will live, do we?

Make “astaghfirullah” a regular part of speech replacing it with the often used, meaningless bad words that crowd our vocabulary. So next time your shoe breaks or your car has a flat tire, what come to you should be “astaghfirullah”, implying that all bad that comes my way is the result of my own bad deeds and hence I need to repent.

Challenge yourself this Ramadan to break free from the vicious cycle of sinning. Drop those sins before they engulf your life and drown you into neglect. Make that change and move forward because life is too short to waste it on remorse. With the power of repentance – not even the sky but Jannah is the limit. No sin is too big or too small to be forgiven by the Almighty. All you need to do is ask!

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*[It is reported in At-Tirmizi, An-Nisaa-i and in Mu’jam At-Tabaraani, upon the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (ra) that Muhammad (ﷺ) said to his companions (during the last few days of Sha’baan)]

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.

To Be Sinless, Or To Sin Less

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sin-less

By Zaynub Zafar

Attitude 1: ” Oh no! I’ve done it yet again. And after all those promises to Allah- there’s no point trying to stop.!…”

Attitude 2: “It’s OK, no big deal really. I mean sure, it’s bad, but it’s a minor sin. Besides, everyone does it. I will repent later. Can’t be that bad…”

We have two groups of people (not just these two…), when it comes to the concept of sinning. Because it is Shaytan’s way, always, to either make the believer very laid-back about sinning regarding deen (as in the case of attitude 2), or extremely zealous (attitude 1). Needless to say, both are unhealthy for our religious commitments; moderation, my dear readers, is the key.

At times, for that mental satisfaction of ‘saving’ ourselves from sinning, we feel it is alright to commit minor sins here and there. Our attitude is very relaxed; we do them comfortably and don’t even cringe. Au contraire’, such a phenomena can also have reverse effects, by making us extremely conscious about sinning, which is good, of course. But, it becomes a nuisance when even a single slip leads us to hopelessness and despair, and shatters our resolve. Because we want to be perfectionists. Flawless. Angelic. Impeccable- something that is quite impossible.

What then, should be the behaviour of a Muslim towards sinning? Well, simply put, we are required to ‘sin less’ and not be sinless.

Confused?

 Let me explain further.

Allah never asked us to be perfect, all we were told to do was to TRY. So as long as we try our very best, with pure intentions, that’s all that matters really.

“Say: O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Quran; al-Zumar:53].

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who, when they have committed fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” [Quran; al Imran:135-136]

Ibn Katheer said:

The words “and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done” mean: they repent from their sins and quickly turn to Allah, and they do not persist in their sins, rather they give it up, and if they do it again, they repent to Him again. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

Where major sins are concerned, we do need to run away, like we would normally run away from something disastrous. Dangerous. But every once in a while, everyone slips. To err is human after all, and while this shouldn’t be used an excuse to commit minor sins on and off, our nips and slips should lead us to REGRET and remorse- not DESPAIR. There is a difference between the two feelings. Regret is repentance. Regret will make us give up the sin, infuse the feeling of guilt and motivate us to do better next time. Despair will lead us to frustration, hopelessness and, in some cases, even to adopting evil as a lifestyle, because we see “no point” in trying…

And again, with minor sins, we need to be careful. We have to avoid them as well, because perpetual minor sinning continues to decrease our resistance towards the major sins and takes away the feeling of repentance, from one’s heart.

“Beware of minor sins, like a people who camped in the bottom of a valley, and one man brought a stick, another man brought a stick, and so on, until they managed to bake their bread. There are some insignificant sins which, once (they accumulate) and a person is questioned about them, they lead to his doom.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 2/223. Its isnaad is hasan)

To conclude, bear in mind, that you will commit minor sins from time to time. Don’t let that get you. Repent every time, plan again, refuel yourself with a new motivation and move on more intelligently. And don’t lose hope, even if you repeat the same sin a 1000 times. Just make sure you follow it up with SINCERE regret and repentance each time and the resolve to never go back to it again. Avoid sinning as much as possible. If it happens again, repeat the process. They say practice makes perfect. Practice good deeds, practice conscious efforts to diminish bad deeds and sins, and before you know it, you’ll be like that beautiful butterfly that left its gooey (and ugly) past behind.

It was said to al-Hasan al-Basri: ‘Would not any one of us feel ashamed before his Lord to seek forgiveness from his sin then go back to it, then seek forgiveness then go back to it? He said: The shaytan would like you to feel that way; never give up seeking forgiveness.’

Uplifting, isn’t it?


The Bottom line:

Being defeated by Shaytan every now and then is not defeat. Defeat is when we refuse to try. Keep trying. Because it’s hard to defeat someone who never stops trying.
Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

When I asked for forgiveness..

When I asked for forgiveness..

imagess

Bismillah.

“Ya Allah! I’ve lost my wallet! Where did it go? It was right here in my room.”

I nearly screamed while looking for my wallet in my totally messed-up room.  From morning till evening, I searched, searched and searched but could not find it.  Seeing my frustration, my sister advised me to ask forgiveness, and said that the problems that we face are usually a result of our sins.  I sarcastically said, “Yeah, right!”.

Seeing that I was unconvinced, my sister told me to listen to a lecture of Ustadh Raja Zia ul Haq which was based upon these verses:

“And (Noah a.s) said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur.” (Surah Nuh :10-13)


Listening to the lecture, I got my concepts cleared that whatever evil comes our way is actually the result of our sins, and that asking for forgiveness is the way out.  We like to blame our tough situations on others, when we ourselves are the ones to be blamed in reality.  As I resolved to seek forgiveness from Allah sincerely, I remembered the Hadith:

“Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than anyone of you would be on losing his camel in the desert and then suddenly finding it in front of him.” (Bukhari:6309)

I planned to spend the night seeking forgiveness and nearness of Allah.  I was about to perform ablution when I remembered that sleeping with my sister, I wouldn’t be able to keep the light on; so I went to grab the torch from my drawer to read Quran and duas (supplications) at night.

As soon as I opened the drawer of my side table, my eyes nearly popped out.  I had looked for the wallet, like five times in this drawer during the day, and there it was now, lying in the drawer.  I was stunned and mesmerized.  I showed the wallet to my sister as tears fell from my eyes.

I told her how only on resolving in my heart to ask for forgiveness, I had gotten the wallet back. All she said to me was:

“Remorse is repentance.”


which is actually a Hadith. (Ibn Majah:4252)

I would also like to share another incident with the readers.  I had been hearing since about four or five days that everywhere around our city, it had been raining and the weather was pleasant, but our city remained hot and dry.  My sister reminded me of a sinner at the time of Prophet Moses (‘alaihis salam) whose entire city was deprived of rain; but as soon as he asked for forgiveness, the rain came pouring down.

I also asked for forgiveness and slept.  That night, it rained heavily till the morning.  My sister woke me up, ecstatic that it was finally raining. Subhan Allah, it is a maxim:

“And (Noah a.s) said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers” (Surah Nuh: 10-11)

Allah has taught us the way of asking forgiveness in Quran. He tells us how our parents (Adam and Eve ‘alaihimus salam) asked for forgiveness:

“They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If you do not forgive us and do not have mercy upon us, surely we are from the lost people.” (Surah al-‘Aaraaf: 23)

Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu alaihi wasallam) taught us the best words for seeking forgiveness (Syed-ul-Istaghfar):

“O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no God but you. You created me and I am your slave, I keep your covenant and my pledge to you so far according to my ability. I seek refuge in you from the evil of creation. I recognize your blessings upon me and I recognize my misdeeds. Forgive me for surely, there is no one who may forgive sins but you.”
Whoever says it in the morning and dies before evening, he is in the people of Paradise; and whoever says it in the evening and dies before morning, he is in the people of Paradise. (Bukhari:6306)


There are 4 steps to seeking forgiveness:

1. Accepting your mistake and feeling remorseful.
2. Apologizing.
3. Replacing the bad deed with a good one.
4. Making a sincere intention not to do it again Insha Allah.

Is this too much to ask for?  Allah does not hold grudges and is ever ready to forgive.  He knows every sinner (who repents) has a future, and He does not care if the pious person had a past.

In a nut shell:

“Glad tidings for one who finds abundance of seeking forgiveness in his Book of deeds.” (Ibn Majah: 3818)|

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