Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Pious Do Not Die

A prominent shaikh is reported to have said, “Jaala Allah-o ahl-li-taat ahyaun fi hayatihim” (God has made his obedient servants alive in the state of death, and the disobedient dead in the state of life).

That is to say the obedient even if he is dead physically, is alive spiritually, and the angels go on blessing him till the Day of Judgement.

Once an old man came to him (the shaikh) and said, “O shaikh I am a great sinner. I have come to repent at your hands.” He said, “It is too late.” The old man said, “No, it is too early.” The shaikh said, “How?” He said, “Because I have come before death, and he who repents before death repents in time.”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Curse of Selfishness

Being the selfish one is deprived of God’s blessings and is led astray. Selfishness brings two curses to a person. If he succeeds, it would be the success of the nafs (lower or beastly self) which is bound to bring destruction and land him in hell. If he fails, he also gains nothing. He should have abstained from it in the first place, as his failure is due to nothing but selfishness. And the key to Paradise is nothing but abstention.

Says God in the Holy Qur’an:

“Those who abstain from the cravings of nafs (beastly self) surely find their place in Paradise.” [79:40-41]

Refraining from the cravings of nafs means, that whatever one does his motive should be nothing but pleasure of the Almighty, and the avoidance of Hell fire. In short there is no end to the machinations of the nafs which are indeed imperceptible.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Importance of Pure Intention

Man can only intend to do something and leave the result to God Almighty. If he fails, he is not to be blamed.

For the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has said:

“Intention of the believer is better than actual completion.”

It is better to begin something with true motives than to complete it without any motive. Determination of correct motives is of tremendous importance in Islam, in that it leads to higher and higher objectives.

For instance, if a man abstains from food and drink with no intention of religious fasting, he is entitled to no reward. But if he intends to fast he becomes one of the inmates of Divine Presence although there is no apparent difference between the one who fasts with the intention of fasting and the one who fasts without it.

Similarly, a person who goes to Mecca without the intention of visiting the Holy Shrine deserves no recompense, but if he has that intention and dies on the way before visiting it, he is rewarded immensely.

This shows that the fixation of true motive in the beginning is tantamount to good performance itself.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Allah Ta'ala has said in the Holy Quran:

"Your Allah is one." [16:22]

He has again said:

"Do not worship two gods, verily He is one." [16:51]

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has said, "There was a person who believed in oneness of God and did not do anything else as far as prayers and worship were concerned. He told his relatives to burn him to ashes after his death, and then throw one half of the ashes into the sea and another half into the winds so that no trace of him would be left. When he died his will was duly fulfilled. God Almighty bade the winds and oceans to preserve his ashes so that when he would be raised again on Resurrection, God would ask him why he made that will. He will reply: 'O Lord, because I was a great sinner I could not face you due to shame.' God Almighty will then forgive him."

Tauhid literally means being one or unifying. Since God is one both in His Essence and Attributes, is indivisible and has no sharer, the unitarians know Him as such, and this knowledge is called tauhid.

So that when man is gnostic (arif) he believes that God is one in the sense that He is indivisible; that He does not admit duality; that He is not numerically one in the sense that by the addition of another He becomes two, so that He is one of the two.

The Ahli-Sunnah-wal-Jamaah have affirmed the oneness of the Divine Lord by witnessing His wonderful creations, amazing arts and countless subtleties in this world which cannot possibly come into existence without a Creator.

Since everything in the universe is transitory, there must be a Creator to bring into existence what was non-existent. That is to say this earth, the skies, the sun, the moon, the deserts, seas, mountains together with their motions and rests, knowledge and expression, life and death, all these things cannot come into being without one Creator for one universe and not more than one, in which case one Creator would have been dependant on another.

The Creator is, therefore, one and only one without shadow of doubt, who is Perfect, the Living, the Sustainer, the Powerful, the Potent. He is without partner or partners and is absolutely independant.

This topic on tauhid is one of the most difficult to understand since it deals with the conception of God, while the Creator cannot possibly be conceived by the creature. God knows best.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Wounded Sahabah

When the Muslims were engaged in the battle of Uhud near Madinah, a pious lady of the Ansar tribe rushed to the battlefield with a bucket full of water.

Seeing this, a dying soldier shouted for water. As the lady stepped forward to give him water another wounded soldier cried for water. On this the first soldier refused to take it and bade her to give it to the other.

When she went there, a third wounded soldier cried for water. The second soldier refused to take it and asked the lady to give it to the third soldier. In this way she offered water to seven wounded soldiers and every one refused to take water in preference to his brother lying next to him.

When the lady looked around, she found all of them dead and the water was still there. It was at that time that the verse, "And they give preference to others while they are in dire need themselves," [59:9], was revealed to the Prophet (s.a.w).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Nature of Lust

We must know that according to some shaikhs, lust (hawa) is one of the attributes of nafs, while other maintain that it is a natural instinct controlled by nafs just as human soul is controlled by intelligence. The soul which is not aided by intelligence is weak. Similarly, the nafs which is not aided by lust is weak.

So man is constantly subjected to 2 pulls in the opposite direction. One from the side of intelligence (aql) and the other from lust (hawa). If the former is stronger he lands in the realm of spiritual prosperity; if the latter gets the upper hand he ends up in heresy and destruction. Therefore lust is a veil and man is commanded to disregard it.

Allah has said, "There are people who regard their passions as deity." Ibn Abbas has said in his tafsir (commentary) that, the phrase "regarding passions as deity" means that they worship their passions as they should have worshipped God. How miserable is he who worships his passions, and exerts all his powers to obey them and be a slave of them!

Passions are of 2 kinds: passion for eating, drinking and sex, and passion for power and position. He who yields to the former resorts to wine-houses and mankind is free from his mischief. But he who is the slave of the latter is a terror to mankind. He is misguided and tries to misguide others. May God save us from him.

Satan dare not enter man's heart and lead him astray unless he detects a streak of lust therein, and decorates it to ensnare us. This is what we call waswas (satanic suggestions). But it originates from lust.

When Satan vowed that he will mislead all mankind, Allah said to him, "But you will not be able to mislead my servants." [15:42] So Satan is, in reality, man's nafs (lower self) or lust.

That is the reason why the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said, "There are none who is immune from being overpowered by his shaytan (Satan) except Umar who has overpowered his shaytan." That is to say everybody is overpowered by his passions except Umar who has gained mastery over his passions. This shows lust is ingrained in the very nature of Adam, and is a source of pleasure to mankind.

The seeker of God is, therefore duty-bound to exercise strict control over himself to work hard day and night to keep his passions under control, refrain from being overambitious, and pray to God that he is spared the mischief of his lower self. For he who is overmastered by his passions is veiled from God and is ruined.

Man has no power to change his nature, but he can change his habits by total submission (taslim) to the Almighty and by seeking His help in all matters of life. When he submits to God he comes directly under Divine protection and succeeds in warding off the impending calamity better than his own effort. The flies can be driven away with a fly-net better than a fan.

God's protection is the remedy for all calamities and the best cure for all ailments. God is the Sovereign of the universe, and man is just a pawn in His hand.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sacrifice of Abdullah bin Umar

Nafia (one of the servants of Abdullah bin Umar) related that once ibn Umar desired to eat fish, but it was not available in the market.

At last it was found after several days. It was cooked and presented to him.

When a beggar came and asked for food, ibn Umar ordered the fish to be given to him.

Nafia intervened saying, “Sir, you have been wishing to have fish for the last several days and now it is available to you want it to be given to the beggar. He is not particularly interested in fish and would be glad to get anything instead.”

Ibn Umar said, “No, I have decided to give it to the beggar in obedience to the Hadith of Prophet ( s.a.w), ‘Whenever a man has a desire for something and then subdues that desire for the sake of others he is forgiven.’ Now the fish is haram (unlawful) for me."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Follow Your Heart

One beautiful spring morning, a farmer and his son were taking their donkey to sell it.

The father and his son were walking along together and the donkey was following them.They had not walked far when they passed a group of girls coming fron the opposite direction.

"Just look at that," laughed one of the girls, pointing to the farmer. "What foolish people! They walk along the road when they can ride on their donkey!"

The old man quietly told his son to get on the donkey's back and they continued walking towards the market. Next they passed a group of men sitting by the side of the road, talking among themselves.

"See what I mean?" said one of the men, as the farmer and his son passed by. "The young have no respect for their old parents anymore. Get down you lazy boy, and let your father rest his legs!"

The son jumped down from the donkey's back and his father rode on the donkey. Soon they came across some women and children.

"Look at that cruel man!" they exclaimed. "He is riding so fast that the poor boy can hardly keep up with him."

The farmer stopped and lifted the boy up behind him. They continued on their way and had almost reached the market when they met the shopkeeper on the road.

"Is that your own donkey?" asked the shopkeeper.

"Yes," replied the farmer.

"Then I'm surprised at how you are treating him," said the shopkeeper.

"Two people on the back of a donkey is too many. He is sure to die from the strain. You should carry him instead!"

By this time, the farmer was getting used to taking other people's advice. He and his son got off the donkey and tied its legs together. Then they tied the rope to a long pole and carried the donkey upside down.

But the donkey refused to be carried. By kicking and struggling, the donkey broke the rope holding his feet. He fell into a river near the road and was drowned. There was nothing the farmer could do except to return home.

"Next time," the farmer said angrily, "I'll please myself."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

How To Achieve A Happy Life

An American psychologist said: Living a happy life is a fine art which entails 10 things:-
  1. Do a work that you love. If you cannot do that, then find a hobby that you love and do it in your spare time and reinforce it.
  2. Take care of your health for it is the spirit of happiness. This means being moderate in eating and drinking, exercising regularly and avoiding bad habits.
  3. Have a goal in life, for this will give you motivation and energy.
  4. Take life as it comes, and accept the bitter and the sweet.
  5. Live in the present, with no regret for the past and no anxiety about tomorrow that has to come yet.
  6. Think hard about any action or decision, and do not blame anyone else for your decision or its consequences.
  7. Look at those who are worse off than you.
  8. Have the habit of smiling and being cheerful, and keep company with optimistic people.
  9. Strive to make others happy so that you may benefit from the atmosphere of happiness.
  10. Make the most of occasions of happiness and joy, and regard them as necessary to renew your own happiness.
"Allah burdens not a soul (with that within) its capacity..." [2:286]

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Despair & Frustration

A young man was jailed and his mother had no one else but him. She could not sleep and distress took hold of her completely. She wept until she could weep no more, then Allah guided her to say, "La hawla wa la quwwata illa Billah (there is no power and no strength except with Allah)."

She repeated these great words, which are one of the treasures of Paradise, and only a few days after she had despaired of her son ever coming out of jail, he was knocking at the door and she was filled with joy.

Such is the reward of the one who puts his trust in Allah, calls upon Him constantly and delegates all his affairs to Him.

So we should recite this dhikr, "La hawla wa la quwwata illa Billah," for these great words, are the secret of happiness and success. Recite them a great deal, chase away the specters of grief and distress with them, and receive the glad tidings that Allah will soon grant us happiness and a way out.

Beware of losing hope or becoming frustrated, for there is no hardship but it is followed by ease. This is how it has always been and there is no need to discuss it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Knowledge of Attributes

It is necessary to believe that God has Attributes which exist by Him, but are neither Him nor a part of Him. He had these Attributes since eternity (azal) and will have them up to eternity (abad).

These are Knowledge (ilm), Power (qudrat), Existence (hayat), Will (iradat), Hearing (sama'), Seeing (basr), Speech (kalam) and Everlastingness (baqa).

These attributes are based on these following verses.

  1. "Verily He knows what is in your mind." [67:13]
  2. "Allah has the power to do what He wills." [2:284]
  3. "He is all hearing and seeing." [6:13]
  4. "He does what he intends to do." [85:16]
  5. "He exists and nothing but Him exists." [40:65]
  6. "He is the Truth and His is the Universe." [6:73]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heredity of Soul

Children inherit their parents’ nature and soul characteristics, their convictions mixed with social tradition.

The soul is the living energy of the body. Originally, all humans came from one soul and body inheriting the same natural and instinctive capability; imprinted in the subconscious of the soul. A child inherits from his parents the physical characteristics as well as become heir (to some extent) their psychological potential at various stages.

The sanctity of marriage has an effect on the offspring, the good from good and wicked from wicked at variant degrees.

God command believers, to choose believers, “And do not marry untrue believers till they believe” [2:221] for the sake of inheritance of purity of the soul.

The characteristics of the soul are like two poles, the good and the bad at either ends. Adapting a quality can result in a different quantity of positive and negative. Inheritance factors in not only during formative stages but in mannerism as well.

If the soul is initiated with attitudes towards negative side; it could be trained and modified to the positive side in early childhood just as we can train the wild animals to be tamed animals.

The soul has the ability to adapt itself within its surrounding, and wearing the outfit of whom it desires. Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish the fundamental nature of a person; it might mislead us by outward appearance and talk.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


“The hypocrites seek to deceive God, while it is He Who causes them to be deceived (by themselves). When they rise to pray, they rise reluctantly, only to be seen and praised by man, remembering God but seldom.” [4:142]

The hypocrite, assuming false appearance of sincerity, causes people to think he is following God’s principles, while actually he is not. Many people in every religion and society suffer from some sort of inability to do what they think they ought to do.

The hearts of such people are bereft of faith. In their hearts they have a disease that is augmented by their bad actions until it becomes second nature to them without their realizing it.

These are not true believers but hypocrites who are believers only by outward manifestation. In their actions they are in reality driven by selfish needs for the sake of appearance rather than to win the approval of God.

The Qur’an has a chapter devoted to the problems caused by the hypocritical element in a community and the need to guard against it.

The Prophet (s.a.w) defined the character of a hypocrite as follows:

“The signs of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies; when he promises something he does not fulfill his promise; and when he is trusted he does not keep faith.”

So the hypocrite visibly presents himself as a true believer but he is a deceiver and his action cause disturbances in society, yet try to cover this by religious devotion.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Tongue

Luqman, who was a wise person, served an officer when he was a young boy. One day, his master said: “Slaughter one of the sheep and roast the best part of its meat for me.”

Luqman obeyed his order and roasted the tongue of the sheep for his master. The next day, the master called Luqman and said: “Roast the worst part of a sheep today.”

Luqman again roasted the tongue of a sheep for his master. When the officer sat down to eat, he was startled to see the roasted tongue again. He felt curious and wanted to know the reason.

Luqman said: “If a tongue is truthful and honest, then it is the best part of the body. But when a tongue lies and utters dishonest words, then it is the worst part of the body.”

God has said in the Holy Qur’an:

“What word is better than calling mankind to His court and doing good deeds.”

This shows that man must do good deeds and invite mankind to obey God, and praise Him. The power of speech is a great blessing of God for man. It is by this quality that man is distinguished from animals. God has said:

“We have honoured the sons of Adam….” [17:72]

Some interpreters think this refers to the power of speech. However, like its merits, speech has its demerits as well. The Prophet (s.a.w) has said: “The worst I fear for my people is the tongue.”

In short, speech is like wine which intoxicates the mind and the one who gets the taste of it cannot leave it.

Therefore, the Sufis, for example, abstain from talking more than is necessary, and keep a close watch over their tongue from the beginning to the end. They speak only when it is for God’s sake, otherwise they keep silent. They firmly believe that God knows their secret thoughts. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

“Do they think We are not aware of what they think and discuss. We are aware of it and Our angels take it down.” [43:80]

The Prophet (s.a.w) has said: “He who keeps silent is saved.” In silence there are many advantages and blessing; while in speech there are many evils.

Speech can be truth or falsehood. If speech is truth, it is better than silence. If it is falsehood, silence is better than speech.

Someone has beautifully said, “He whose silence is because of modesty, his speech is full of life.” When they are with themselves, they love silence, but when they are with God, the people love to write their speech on their heart.

A Sufi sheikh has said: “He whose silence is gold, his speech is alchemy.”

That is to say, his speech makes gold of dust. Therefore, the seeker who is absorbed in God must keep silent so that the Divine tongue speaks out and captivates the hearts of listeners. He should never tell a lie or backbite or offend anyone with the tongue with which he has recited kalimah-i-shahadat and proclaimed God’s unity.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Noah & the Ark

Back in my university days my lecturer often said, “If you want to be rich business owner or investor, you need to understand the story of Noah and the Ark.”

Being a Costing lecturer, he did work diligently on improving his ability to see the future. In training his students to be business owners and investors who could also see the future, he would often say, “Do you realize how much faith it took for Noah to go to his family and say, ‘God told me there is a great flood coming, so we need to build an ark.’”

He would then chuckle and say, “Can u imagine what his wife, kids and investors must have said to him? They might have said, ‘But, Noah, this is a desert we live in. It does not rain here. In fact, we are in the middle of a drought. Are you sure God told you to build an ark? It’s going to be tough to raise capital for a boat-building company in the middle of a desert. Wouldn’t building a hotel, spa and golf course make more sense than an ark?’”

In teaching us the importance of having a vision of the future, he would often say, “Always remember that Noah had vision…but more than vision he had faith and courage to take action on his vision. Many people have vision, but not everyone has the sustainable faith and courage to take action on their vision…so their vision of the future is the same as their vision of today.”

In other words, people without faith, courage and vision often do not see the changes that are coming…until it is too late.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Understanding Al-Fatihah

The first chapter of Qur’an, which is repeated during the prayers, includes a remarkable summary of the criteria of a Muslim’s life and needs. Half of it consists of praises to God and the other is a prayer seeking God’s Guidance and help to avoid becoming one of those who have gone astray.

The Prophet (s.a.w) in Hadith Qudsi, a direct quotation of God’s Words, said:

“I have divided prayer between Myself and My Servant, two halves, and My Servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says, ‘Al-hamdu lillahi rabbi ‘l-`alamin (Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds)’, God says, ‘My servant has praised Me’. And when he says, ‘Ar-rahmani ar-rahim (the Merciful, the Compassionate)’, God says, ‘ My servant has extolled Me’. When he says, ‘Maliki yawmi ‘d-din (Master of the Day of Judgement), God says, ‘My servant has glorified Me’. And when he says, ‘Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in (It is You we worship and it is You we ask for help)’, He says, ‘This is between Me and My servant and My servant shall have what he has asked for’. And when he says, ‘Ihdina ‘sirata ‘l-mustaqim; sirata ‘l-ladhina an amta ‘alayhim, ghayri ‘l-maghdubi, ‘alayhim wa la ‘d-dallin (Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your Favours, not that of those upon whom You are Wrath, nor of those who are astray)’, He says, ‘My Servant shall be guided’.”

May He guide us all. Insya-Allah.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What is Ridha?

Know that ridha is a well established doctrine validated by both the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah (practices) of Holy Prophet (s.a.w). Says the Holy Qur’an:

“The true believers (mu’minin) are pleased with God.” [5:122]

It is also said in the Holy Book:

“Verily, Allah is pleased with true believers.” [48:18]

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has said:

“He who is satisfied with God gets real taste of iman.”

Ridha is of two kinds. Ridha (pleasure) of Allah with His servant, and ridha of the servant with (the decree) of Allah.

God’s pleasure with the servant is manifest in His bounties and gifts both material and spiritual; and the servant’s pleasure with God is the name of his obedience to God’s commands and submission to His Will. Actually man’s pleasure is the result of God’s pleasure, since, unless God is kind to him he cannot be obedient to God.

Ridha on the part of man is really his determination to accept God’s decree irrespective of whether it is favourable or unfavourable, and whether it is in the shape of fire of God’s Wrath (jalal) or it is illuminated by the rays of His Beauty (jamal). Being burnt or illuminated does not make any difference to him because both spring from God Almighty and whatever comes from the Beloved is welcome. That is to say whatever happens to him, he should regard it as his destiny and be pleased with it.

He who is pleased with the decrees of God lives in peace and bliss. Says the Holy Prophet (s.a.w):

“He, who is not pleased with God, has a worried soul and a troubled body.”

It is ridha which removes sorrows and cures negligence. It banishes the thought of any other than God from the hearts and cuts across the shackles of hardships. Therefore, ridha can be exercised only by the man who believes that the author of good and evil is the Almighty and that He has an eye on him in all circumstances.

It is said that once a dervish fell into a river. Someone shouted from outside, “Should I bring someone to rescue you?” He said, “No.” The man said, “Do you wish to die?” He said, “No.” The man asked, “What do you wish?” He said, “I wish what God wishes. I have nothing to do with wishing.”

There are many more sayings about ridha which I cannot deal within this article for the sake of brevity.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blindness of the heart is real blindness

There was a blind man who lived happily with his loving wife, his devoted son and his good friend. The only thing that bothered him was the darkness in which he lived. He wished that he could see the lights and the things that made him happy with his own eyes.

A brilliant doctor came to the city in which this blind man lived, so he went to him and asked him for medicine that would help him to see. The doctor gave him some drops and told him how to use them, and warned him that he may see suddenly, at any moment.

The blind man continued to use the drops even though no one else believed that they would work, but after a few days he saw the lights suddenly, whilst sitting in his garden. He was filled with joy and ran into the house to tell his dear wife, but he saw her in his room, betraying him with his friend, and he could not believe what he saw. Then he went to the other room and saw his son stealing something from his cupboard.

The blind man retraced his steps, screaming, “This is not a doctor, this is an accursed sorcerer!”

Then he took a pin and pierced his eyes, and nervously went back to the happiness that he was used to.

The moral of this sad tale is that we should accept the lot that we have been given in life, with whatever limitations have been decreed for us, because as the saying goes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

al-Hayyul Qayyum

God is a potent force. He is al-Hayyul Qayyum (which means that God is living and self-subsisting. He is living by His own self, without any external aid. He does not derive His powers from any external or foreign source; and apart from maintaining His own existence, He makes others exist by infusing life into them and by maintaining them throughout their existence) and nothing escapes Him.

After creating the universe He has not retired into oblivion and has not become impotent or lost all interest in His creation. He is as potent as ever and His creatures cannot lose sight of Him without impairing their own position in the scale of creation.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I urge everyone including myself to keep busy, not to give in to laziness and idleness, for these will lead to worries, anxiety, devilish whispers and doubts that nothing can relieve except hard work.

In the lap of idleness, immorality is born and the germs of death and oblivion are generated. But if the mission of the living is to be active, then the idle are dead.

If this world is a preparation for a greater life that is to come hereafter, then the idle deserve to be gathered penniless, with no harvest but loss and doom.

The Prophet (s.a.w) pointed out that there are thousands who are unaware of the blessings of wealth and free time that have been bestowed upon them. He said: “There are two blessings of which many people are careless; good health and free time.”

How many sound-bodied people go about in life with no goal to drive them, nothing to occupy them, no mission to devote their life to and try their best to make it succeed?

Life was created for a purpose, so were the heavens, the earth and everything in between. Man should understand the purpose (behind this creation) and live for it.

But if we dwell in the shadow of our narrow desires and hide away blinkered by their limitations, then what a bad choice that is for our present and future.

Our life is a precious jewel whose value cannot be valued in material terms. Every minute of our life that passes can never come back. These minutes are our capital in this world, with which we can buy whatever we want of the delights of Paradise.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Take Care of Today Only

A happy person once said:

“The beautiful day is the day on which we have control of our affairs and our affairs do not control us. It is the day on which we control our desires and we are not controlled by them like slaves.

Some of these days I can remember and will never forget.

Every day on which I managed to save myself from the vicious cycle of worrying about what I can and cannot do is a wonderful day.

How wonderful is the day on which I was hesitating whether to do a deed for which people would praise me or a deed for which no one would praise me, and no one would know about it, so I forsook the praise of people and was content to do an action which I will remember as long as I live, but which no one will hear about.

How wonderful is the day on which I felt my pockets were filling with money but my conscience was devoid of dignity, so I decided that I would rather be penniless and have a clear conscience.

These days are wonderful, and the most wonderful thing about them is that my worldly gains on these days were very small, but the fact that I gained self-respect from my actions far outweighs that, and what I gained on such days is great, praise be to Allah, the Exalted, All-Merciful.”

There is one way that leads to happiness: stop being worried about the things beyond our control.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sincerity in Deeds

Hadhrat Malik bin Dinar, the herald of love among men and jins, is one of the disciples of Hadhrat Hasan Basri and ranks as one of the greatest shaikhs of the path. He is known for his karamat (miracles) and riyazat (struggle for truth).

Once he was traveling in a boat, when somebody’s jewel was stolen. As he was poorly dressed everybody suspected him, and demanded the jewel from him. He looked up to the heavens and all of a sudden many fish came out with dinars in their mouths. He took a dinar, and giving it to the owner, walked over the surface of the water and disappeared.

He is reported to have said, “Ahhabal aamali allaya-al-ikhlas fi aamal” (The thing I love most is sincerity in deeds).

This is because a deed is valued only when there is sincerity behind it. Sincerity (ikhlas) in deeds is like the soul in a body. A body without a soul is dead like a stone. Sincerity is the inner aspect and deeds the outer. It is only when the inner and outer are coalesced that perfection is assured. Both are complementary or interdependent.

If a man cherishes sincerity for a thousand years but does not exhibit it by deeds, he has gone nowhere. Again if he does deeds without sincerity for a thousand years, he has gone nowhere.

Deeds count as deeds only when they are founded on sincerity.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


People are the mirror of the individual. If he behaves well towards them they will behave well towards him, so his nerves will be calmed, and he will be content, and he will feel that he is living in a friendly environment.

But if a person treats others badly and is harsh towards them, he will find that people treat him badly and in a rough and harsh manner. Whoever does not respect people will not be respected by them.

The one who has a good attitude will have more peace of mind and is less likely to be anxious and distressed or find himself in painful situations. In addition to that, having a good attitude is an act of worship to Allah, the Most High, and is something that He encourages a great deal.

God Almighty has said in the Holy Qur’an:

“There are servants of God who walk humbly on the earth and when an ignorant one converses with them, they pray for his welfare.” [25:63]

This shows that it is not desirable for a mu’min (true believer) to unnecessarily quarrel with those ignorant folk who walk arrogantly on God’s earth.

The Prophet (s.a.w) has said:

“Good manners (adab) are part of faith.”

He has also said:

“My Lord taught me the best of manners.”

People should learn manners from Zulaikha who covered the face of her idol when she was alone with Yusuf. When Yusuf asked her to state the reason she said, “I do not want my deity to witness the scene of impropriety. It is against good manners.”

But when Yusuf had met her father, and Zulaikha has embraced Islam and was properly married to him, she was hesitant to go in privacy with Yusuf.

At this Yusuf said, “What is the matter with you? Don’t you love me?” She said, “I love you now even more, but you see, when I was an idol worshipper I did not like to be in privacy with you in front of my deity, who could not see, but now that I am a Muslim and my God can see what we do. I do not know how I should conceal my act of impropriety from Him.”

It must be remembered that the beauty of all affairs, religious or temporal, lies in good manners and decorum. It is unanimously agreed upon by all men whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims that good behaviour is one of the most essential qualities in every walk of life.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The soul deserves more care than the body

When ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz was caliph, he ordered a man to buy him garment for eight dirhams. The man bought it and brought it to him.

‘Umar placed his hand on it and said: “How lovely and soft it is!”

The man who had brought it smiled, and ‘Umar asked him, “Why are you smiling?”

He said: “Because, O’ Amir al-Mu’minin (Leader of Believers), before you became caliph, you ordered me to buy a silk cloak for you, and I bought it for one thousand dirhams, but you put on it and said, ‘How rough it is!’ Today you find an eight-dirham garment soft.”

‘Umar said: “I don’t think that a man who buys a garment for one thousand dirhams fears Allah.”

Then he said: “I have an ambitious soul. Every time it attains one position, it looks for something higher. I became governor, then I wanted to become caliph. Now I have become caliph, and my soul is longing for something greater than that, namely Paradise.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Importance of Knowledge

The Prophet (s.a.w) says, “The search of knowledge is obligatory for all Muslim men and women.” He also says, “Seek knowledge even if it is in China.”

We should know that knowledge is boundless and life is short. It is therefore not incumbent on man to perfect all branches of learning such as astronomy, mathematics and other sciences except to the extent necessitated by shariat.

For instance man has to learn that much of astronomy which enables him to determine the time (of prayer) by stars in the night; of medicine to preserve health, and of mathematics to calculate share of inheritance and iddat (duration of the period of divorce and menstruation).

The conditions of knowledge are determined by their utility to act rightly. God Almighty has deprecated the sort of knowledge which is harmful and useless. Says He: “They teach what is harmful and useless” [2:102]. The Prophet (s.a.w) has said: “I seek God’s protection against useless knowledge.”

We should know that one can achieve great success through a little knowledge. But knowledge should always be followed by practice. For the Prophet (s.a.w) has condemned knowledge without good deeds in the following words, “The worshipper without the knowledge of fiqh (Islamic law) is like the donkey driving a flour mill, which is at the same place in the evening where it started work in the morning.”

One of the signs of the ignorant is that they seek knowledge for worldly fame. This is not knowledge. It is ignorance. In short, the greatest virtue of knowledge is Truth of God and all the stages and states of nearness of God can be attained only through knowledge.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wealth & Prosperity

I have read the biographies of dozens of rich and famous people worldwide, who did not have faith in God, and I discovered that their lives ended in misery and disgrace. Where are they now? Where is the wealth and treasure that they accumulated? Where are the palaces and mansions that they built?

It has all come to an end. Some of them committed suicide, others were killed, some were imprisoned and the rest were arrested and taken to court for their sins, crimes, foul play and mischief. They became the most miserable of people, when they imagined that their wealth could buy them everything – happiness, love, health and youth – then they found out real happiness, real love, perfect health and real youth cannot be bought with money.

Yes, they could buy imaginary happiness, false love and health in the marketplace, but all the wealth in the world cannot buy a heart, generate love or create joy.

There are people who spend their youth and health to accumulate wealth, then they spend the rest of their lives spending all that they have acquired in an attempt to buy happiness, but all they get is misery. Or they try to reclaim their youth, but old age overtakes them. Or they try to get their health back, but incurable disease overtakes them.

Please don't misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with making money. In our country, people are free to pursue wealth. And for that matter, some of God’s choice people enjoyed great wealth: for instance, Abraham and King Solomon. Many people think that “money is the root of all evil” but to my simple mind it is actually “the love of money which is the root of all evil”.

So, what really is the distinction between wealth and prosperity?

Wealth is a mere accumulation of money and treasure. Prosperity, however, is when blessings flow. We prosper when we have money, or sometimes when money is scarce! We also prosper when our lives flourish in love, security, family, self-worth and a peace that passes understanding.

Nowadays many of us are obsessed with material wealth. And material wealth is not in itself a bad thing; in fact, it can be a good thing when it comes with the full-orbed understanding of God’s blessing. This understanding of wealth includes wholeness of spirit, soundness of mind, and generosity of heart and is grounded on an authentic love relationship with God Himself.

The abundance for which the human heart longs will never be experienced by emitting thoughts into the Universe in hopes they bounce back with a new BMW, as wonderful as a new BMW might seem. I have always believed that a meaning-filled life means we walk in conformity with the purpose for which we were made.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Smile at Life

When we smile even though our hearts are filled with worry, we reduce our suffering and open a door to the way out. Do not hesitate to smile, for inside us there is a kind of energy full of smiles. Beware of suppressing it, for that means that we are strangling ourselves with pain and suffering. It will not harm us if we smile, even when we are talking to others about serious matters from the depth of our hearts.

How wonderful it is when our lips speak the language of smiles!

A westerner once said: “Smiling is a social obligation,” and he was right, because if we want to mix with people, we have to be nice to them. We have to understand that social life requires human skills at which we have to be proficient, one of which is smiling.

This is a social phenomenon which is common to all people. When we smile at people, we are giving them glad tidings of the best that they can hope for. But if we meet them with a face that is devoid of compassion, we are tormenting them and disturbing them with such appearance.

How can you accept to be the cause of other people's misery?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Poison Thoughts

We can poison our minds. There are many more people with sick minds than there are with sick bodies. Many sick minds are sick because they are mentally undernourished. Many sick minds are sick because of lack of mental exercise. They are not given enough thought-stimulation to keep them healthy. But most sick minds are sick because they are given a daily dose of mental poison in the form of POISON THOUGHTS!

How do POISON THOUGHTS get into our minds? We think them! That’s all we have to do to mentally poison our minds, and to make ourselves sick – just think of POISON THOUGHTS. That’s all. It’s just as simple as that.

POISON THOUGHTS may or may not kill us physically. They may not even kill our entire minds – not all of it – they kill the cybernetic (goal-reaching) part of our minds.

When POISON THOUGHTS first sicken…then weaken…then kill…the cybernetic (goal-reaching) part of our minds, we become a ship without a rudder…easily blown off course by the wind…buffeted about by the sickening waves…finally crashing, smashing, helplessly into the rocks by the inevitable storms.

The tragedy of insecurity and instability is happening – in some degree – to many people whom we know, or see in person or in television, or about whom we read in the daily newspapers. We may not realize that their minds have been poisoned – made sick by POISON THOUGHTS.

Violence and hate are the two most deadly POISON THOUGHTS.

Violence is an insane form of ego expression – the last mind explosive resort of those who cannot intelligently cope successfully with personal problems. Violence is the complete collapse of ability to deal rationally with life.

Hate is a mental poison which instantly distorts the mind. It transforms admirable people into evil demons bent on destruction of the object of hate by whatever means their twisted minds devise.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get rid of hate in our lives?

Hate is an emotion. The more violent the emotion, the more violent the hate. So get rid of the violent feeling and the hate feeling is gone. When we don’t feel hate, we feel clean inside. Don’t we? Relieved…relaxed…free!

Enjoy feeling free of hate. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Relax. Smile. Laugh. Laugh again. And again.

Let’s laugh hate out of our lives!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

World's Greatest Lovers

Love is of two kinds. Firstly, man’s love for human being which is really the desire of touching and embracing the beloved. Secondly, the love for the non-homogenous Creator, in which the lover finds peace of mind, and tries to achieve His vision. The existence of love for God is unanimously agreed upon by all sections of people and in all books of etymology and none of the intellectuals have denied it.

It has been said that there is not a single human being who has not tasted the fruit of love, or has not experienced its charms, or has not been intoxicated with it, or has not been annihilated by it. This is because love is ingrained in the very nature of man. It is food for the heart. The heart with no love is a lump of flesh. Love is a force which cannot be subdued or suppressed by effort. It has charms unknown anywhere in the world.

The Prophet (s.a.w) has said: “Allah loves to meet those who love to meet Him and dislikes to meet those who dislike to meet Him.”

He also said: “When Allah loves a man, he says to Jibrail: ‘O Jibrail, I love such and such a man, you love him as well.’ So Jibrail starts to love him and tells all the angels to love him as God loves him. And then all the angels love him; and God blesses him so much that all the inhabitants of earth love him too. The opposite is the case with the hated ones.”

It must be remembered that the love of God for man, and the love of man for God, stands proven by the Qur’an and Hadith. Undoubtedly, God is the possessor of such beautiful qualities that He really deserves to be loved and loves those who love Him.

This is the love He wants to flow through all of us in order to help each person realize that he or she has a value, a purpose and significance. All persons on earth matter to God and they should matter to each one of us.

Once people discover and experience God’s love, they become some of the world’s greatest lovers. The world’s greatest lovers are not Hollywood celebrities on the big or small screen. The world’s greatest lovers are not featured in magazines and on showbiz news shows. The world’s greatest lovers are often well below the radar. They are too busy truly loving people to attract much attention.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Divine Knowledge

A wise man said, “Ever since I started to act upon the knowledge of four principles, I got rid of all knowledge in the world.” When asked what those principles were, he said, “One is when I know for certain that what I am destined to get can neither be increased or decreased by my desire to get more, I feel satisfied. Secondly, I know that I have a duty to God which cannot be discharged by anyone except me and therefore I set about it. Thirdly, I know that I cannot escape death. Fourthly, when I know that whatever I do never escapes the sight of my Lord, I refrain from all evil deeds, since when the servant of God knows that He is aware of everything, he abstains from evil deeds for fear of punishment in the hereafter.”

Briefly speaking, knowledge is a good attribute and is the full understanding and explanation of one who is known (ma’lum). The best quality of knowledge is this: That it turns the ignorant into the wise. God’s knowledge comprehends everything existent or non-existent, and there is none to share that knowledge. It is neither divisible nor separable from Him. And the proof of His knowledge is incidence of His action, because action necessitates knowledge on the part of the actor. Divine knowledge embraces everything hidden and manifest. We should believe that God sees whatever we do and nothing escapes Him.

This is evident from the story of a rich man who went to his garden and saw the beautiful wife of his gardener sitting with her husband. He managed to send the husband away on some pretext and told the woman to close all doors. She said, “I have closed all doors except one which I cannot close.” “Which one?” asked he. “The one between us and our Lord,” she replied. As soon as he got this reply, he felt ashamed and prayed to the Almighty for forgiveness.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Religion is a Necessity

A man’s success in life depends upon the amount of knowledge he acquires of the universe and upon the proper use of that knowledge. The wider his knowledge, the greater are his chances of success. Knowledge of creation can never be complete without sufficient knowledge of the Creator and the principles and policy upon which the universe is created and run. This is what science is searching for.

There are people who do not feel inclined to believe the existence of God. But they cannot disprove Him either, for it is more difficult to disprove than to prove God. That is to say they ignore rather than deny the existence of God. We cannot possibly disprove God, because by doing so we disprove the whole universe including ourselves. We are obliged to believe in the existence of superior intelligent force controlling the universe.

To be able to control and regulate the various conflicting forces in nature, the guiding-force ought to be stronger and more intelligent than everything else in the world, for a weak and blind force cannot function properly. Willingly or unwillingly, they are all united on one point, namely, the existence of a supernatural, intelligent force guiding, directing, regulating and controlling the entire universe.

So, man, as the highest subordinate force in creation will never be able to carry on his duties properly unless he is properly attached to the Creator. Detachment from the central power can only end in disaster. No unit in an institution, no soldier in an army and no officer in a state can do without maintaining proper connection with the central superior force. Without this connection, everything is doomed to confusion and chaos.

To maintain proper relations with God one has to behave properly in all walks of life. To affect this, one stands in need of religion. It is religion which guides us in this direction and regulates our relationship with God. And our relationship with God embraces our relationship with everything else in the world.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Anatomy of Rage

Say someone in another car cuts dangerously close to you as you are driving on the highway. If your reflexive thought is “You bastard!” it matters immensely for the trajectory of rage whether that thought is followed by more thoughts of outrage and revenge:

“He could have hit me! That bastard – I can’t let him get away with that!”

Your knuckles whiten as you tighten your hold on the steering wheel. Your body mobilizes to fight, not run – leaving you trembling, beads of sweat on your forehead, your heart pounding, the muscles in your face locked in a scowl. You want to kill the guy.

Then, should a car behind you honk because you have slowed down after the close call, you are apt to explode in a rage at that driver too. Such is the stuff of hypertension, reckless driving, or even highway shootings.

Contrast that sequence of building rage with a more charitable line of thought toward the driver who cut you off:

“Maybe he didn’t see me, or maybe he had some good reason for driving so carelessly, such as a medical emergency.”

That line of possibility tempers anger with mercy, or at least an open mind, short-circuiting the buildup of rage.

I guess anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Get Hot

A mountain is an impressive sight – when we see a mountain for the first time.

But after we have seen a mountain, or a lot of mountains, with what becomes a sort of monotonous frequency, even a mountain becomes just part of the landscape. A mountain…is a mountain…is a mountain.

There it is. Another mountain. Just there. Doing nothing.

Not so, a VOLCANO!

When a mountain becomes a volcano, it turns on! It comes alive! It becomes a shaker and a mover! It lights up! It radiates a glow! It is a something! It is a happening! It is somebody!

So, let us be a VOLCANO!

Don’t just be part of the landscape. Or just part of a crowd. Or just a member of a group. Or just one of the employees.

Let us be something special! Like a VOLCANO!

People pay attention to a VOLCANO! It is a one-mountain spectacular! If you want people to pay attention to you, you are going to have to be a one-person spectacular!

Turn on! Come alive! Be a shaker and a mover! Light up! Heat up an inner glow so that you can radiate an outer glow! Be something! Be a happening! Be somebody!

People respect a VOLCANO! It is simply too hot to handle! A VOLCANO does more than flame and glow. It spreads heat! Red-hot lava spreads out from the blazing center. Woe unto any person or any thing which dares to stand in its way! It is nature’s proof of the devastating power of ever-expanding, uncontainable heat! So people respect it. No one dares to oppose the oncoming, unstoppable, constantly spreading, all-consuming heat.

Do you want to attract attention? Do you want to command respect? Do you want to be unstoppable?

Then, be a human VOLCANO!

And remember the source of its power…HEAT!

So, get HOT!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We Who Have Chosen Evil

If one is capable of believing in God and all that is good, then one should be capable of believing in an evil one and all that is bad.

Having said this I recalled the momentous incident involving Adam and Eve. They originally lived in a spectacular paradise. They could have continued to experience paradise. They chose not to. They were given permission to enjoy the wonderful fruit of all the trees in the garden (except one). They even enjoyed the tree of life. In other words, they savored life itself.

However, there was one tree from which they were instructed not to eat. They were essentially instructed not to eat of this tree as a way of saying they were not to make themselves God. God is God, they were not. It is He that would determine what was good and it is He that would declare what was evil. They should not.

Tragically, they chose to violate the prohibition. In violating it, they attempted to make themselves God. They attempted to define what is good and what is evil, what is bad, what is right, what is just, what is true.

If one understands human heart is drawn toward that which is wrong, then it brings to the fore the reality that any authentic good can come only from reconnection with and submission to God, the source and definer of all that is good.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gratitude is Golden

One of my favorite teachers in school used to emphasize about the importance of not focusing on “what you don’t have”. He admonished his pupil by saying, “start to be grateful for all the things you feel good about.”

When I was a kid, my parents would notoriously admonish me, “Be thankful for what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have.” Grateful people simply receive more in life. Nobody likes whiners. It has been said that whiners are not winners. Ungrateful people are turn-offs and they drive people away. People are drawn to those who have a spirit of gratefulness.

Why is gratefulness so important? Because gratefulness is much more than simply saying “thank you.” Saying “thank you” means that we are acknowledging someone has provided something wonderful for us. It’s a way of acknowledging that we are not the epicenter of our universe. Someone else has provided for us. In other words, gratefulness is actually a form of humility.

Humility is not saying, “Oh, I’m nothing. I’m really nothing.” That’s false modesty. Humility is having a spirit of gratitude for all that’s been given to us and the blessings of life. Humility is expressed by gratefulness, and gratefulness results in, or finds its source in, humility.

We all appreciate humble, grateful persons. And that is precisely what God calls us to be. I properly acknowledge that we have the capacity to choose in life. It is called free will. We can choose to have thoughts of gratefulness. We’ll be happier if we do. Everyone around us will be happier if we do.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Meaning of "Unveiling the Veiled"

In naming the blog Unveiling the Veiled the object in my mind was the name itself should be expressive enough to indicate the contents thereof. For, those whose inner eyes are open can easily understand from the title what the blog is mainly about.

Having cleared my mind of all motives, I pray to the Almighty to grant me success and save me from attributing this work to myself, for I am quite certain that the ability to perform all deeds comes from the Lord Himself and no one else!

I seek pardon from God for my sins and I implore Him to save me inwardly and outwardly from all calamities and ask the readers to pray for me to be vouchsafed by His Vision by His Grace.

Blessings (salawat) of Allah be on the Holy Prophet Muhammad, his posterity, his companions and his wives.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Body & Soul

Human greatness, or human perfection, if you so call it, depends very much upon the highest possible development of all the outer and inner qualities and upon the proper use that he makes of the qualities so developed.

Everything has two sides, the exterior and the interior. Its value depends, not so much upon its exterior, as upon its interior side. A box full of diamonds and precious stones is certainly more valuable than a similar, or even better looking box, full of ordinary stones and dust.

A human being has likewise two sides, the external and the internal. He is a combination of body and soul. One is necessary as the other, his ultimate superiority over the rest of the creation depends more upon his inner merits, his intellectual capabilities, his spiritual attainments and the polish and the brilliance of his soul, than upon his exterior form and appearance and qualities of his body.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Know Thyself

A belligerent samurai, an old Japanese tale goes, once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. But the monk replied with a scorn, “You’re nothing but a lout – I can’t waste my time with the likes of you!”

His very honor attacked, the samurai flew into a rage and, pulling his sword from its scabbard, yelled, “I could kill you for your impertinence.”

“That,” the monk calmly replied, “is hell.”

Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in its grip, the samurai calmed down, sheathed his sword, and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight.

“And that,” said the monk, “is heaven.”

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Aristotle's Challenge

Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – this is not easy.