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Rulings on Khushoo November 27, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in Heart Softners, Imaan, Islam, Khushoo.
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According to the most correct view, khushoo’ is obligatory. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah], may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Allaah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): And seek help in patience and al-salaah (the prayer), and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-khaashi’oon’ [al-Baqarah 2:45]. This implies condemnation of those who are not khaashi’oon. Condemnation only applies when something obligatory is not done, or when something forbidden is done. If those who do not have khushoo’ are to be condemned, this indicates that khushoo’ is obligatory (waajib). The fact that khushoo’ is obligatory is also indicated by the aayaat (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their salaah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.These are indeed the inheritors, who shall inherit the Firdaws (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.’ [al-Mu’minoon 23:1-2, 10-11] Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, tells us that these are the ones who will inherit Firdaws (Paradise), which implies that no-one else will do so. Khushoo’ is obligatory in prayer, and this includes calmness and khushoo’ [the original says ‘khushoo’; perhaps what is meant is khudoo’ meaning submission, humility]. Whoever pecks like a crow in his sujood (prostration) does not have khushoo’, and whoever does not raise his head fully from rukoo’ (bowing) and pause for a while before going down into sujood is not calm, because calmness implies doing things at a measured pace, so the person who does not do things at a measured pace is not calm. Whoever is not calm does not have khushoo’ in his rukoo’ or sujood, and whoever does not have khushoo’ is a sinner. Another indication that khushoo’ in prayer is obligatory is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned those who do not have khushoo’, such as the one who lifts up his gaze to the sky (in prayer), because this movement and raising of the gaze goes against the idea of khushoo’” (Majma’ al-Fataawa, 22/553-558).

Concerning the virtues of khushoo’ and as a warning to the one who neglects it, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Five prayers which Allaah has made obligatory. Whoever does wudoo’ properly for them, prays them on time, does rukoo’ properly and has perfect khushoo’, it is a promise from Allaah that he will be forgiven, but whoever does not do this, has no such promise – if Allaah wishes, He will forgive him, and if He wishes, He will punish him.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 425; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3242).

Concerning the virtues of khushoo’, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Whoever does wudoo’ and does it well, then prays two rak’ahs focusing on them completely [according to another report: and does not think of anything else], will be forgiven all his previous sins [according to another report: will be guaranteed Paradise].” (Al-Bukhaari, al-Bagha edn., no. 158; al-Nisaa’i, 1/95; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6166).

When we look at the things that help us to have khushoo’ in prayer, we find that they may be divided into two types: things that help you to have and to strengthen khushoo’, and warding off the things that reduce and weaken khushoo’. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) explained the things that help us to have khushoo’:

“Two things help us to [develop khushoo’]: a strong desire to do what is obligatory, and weakness of distractions.

With regard to the first, the strong desire to do what is obligatory:

[this means that] a person strives hard to focus on what he is saying and doing, pondering on the meanings of the Qur’an recitation, dhikr and du’aa’s, and keeping in mind the fact that he is speaking to Allaah as if he sees Him, for when he is standing in prayer, he is talking to his Lord.

Ihsaan means ‘that you worship Allaah as if you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, He can see you.’ The more the slave tastes the sweetness of salaah, the more attracted he will be to it, and this has to do with the strength of his eemaan.

The means of strengthening eemaan are many, and this is why the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, ‘In your world, women and perfume have been made dear to me, and my joy is in prayer.’ According to another hadeeth, he said, ‘Let us find comfort in prayer, O Bilaal’ – he did not say, ‘Let us get it over and done with.’

With regard to the second, weakness of distractions:

This means striving to push away all distractions that make you think of something other than the prayer itself, and warding off thoughts that keep you mind off the purpose of the prayer. This is something which differs from one person to another, because the extent of waswaas has to do with the extent of one’s doubts and desires and the heart’s focus and dependence on what it loves, and its efforts to avoid what it dislikes.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 22/606-607)

TBC…

*sigh* November 22, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in Arabic, General, Qur'an.
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I’m almost in tears. I am in tears thinking about how much I am losing out.

How at loss I am at because I don’t know Arabic.

It’s not the same is it; reading a translation vs. the actual words of Allah. You can’t even compare the two.

I meet Arabs and I envy them because their mother tongue is Arabic. I meet non Arabs that are fluent in Arabic and I envy them because they managed it but I have not.

Then looking at it from another point of view, I have spent a life time in education, studying. Sitting bored out of my mind in most of my classes with nothing really ever interesting me. Then finally I find something that actually interest me, something that is so amazing to study but I can’t even carry it on.

My dream is to be fluent, to be able to read the Qur’an and understand it. To be moved to tears not by translations but by the actual words of Allah in Arabic!

O Allah make me fluent in the best of languages – Arabic, and make me able to understand (fully) the best of words – your kalaam.

Make dua…

Wa ‘Alaikumusalaam

The Power of Dua November 22, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Heart Softners, History, Imaan, Islam.
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As Salaamu ‘Alaikum

Insha’Allah you are in the best of health and Imaan.

An example of pure faith and dua…

Ahmed Ibn Hanbal’s was imprisoned during the time of al Ma’mun due to his rejection of the idea that the Qur’an was created. He was taken to the palace of al Ma’mum in Syria to be executed by the khaleefah himself. Ahmed stopped just outside the palace. where he prayed two rakah. When he got up for the second rakah he raised his hands and made the following dua:

 

“Oh Allah, your clemency has made this sinner (al Ma’mun) so arrogant and he has become so bold and daring by transgressing all bounds (i.e. his oppression of the Ulamaa.) Oh Allah if this Qur’an is your speech, uncreated then take all his evil away from us”

 

No sooner had he finished his salaah, that people in the palace began to shout and a huge commotion followed. After inquiring about what was happening, Ahmed found out that al Ma’mum who was due to execute him with his very own sword had died. Ahmed’s dua had been accepted.

Taken from the lecture series The Story of Imam Ahmed, by Safi Khan

Dead Hearts November 20, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in Heart Softners, Ibn al Qayyim, Islam.
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Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

While thousands of Muslims are killed all over the world, and while tens of thousands are imprisoned and tortured for calling to the path of Allah and for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, most Muslims remain remarkably silent and have no worry except for the material things of life. Their hearts have been filled with the love of this life and the forgetfulness of the Hereafter.

Allah says in the Qur’an:“You will indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life, even more than those who do not believe in Resurrection. Each one of them wishes he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from due punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do” (Al Baqarah, 2:96).

Many Muslims today have become so much attached to their life that their desire is to dwell among their family, house, money and commerce. They have forgotten that matters of the Hereafter should come before matters of this life and that we must strive to follow the orders of Allah, not just those we find easy and convenient to follow. Some Muslims today claim that it is better to perform extra prayers and extra fasting rather than enjoin the good and forbid the evil or defend the lives of weak Muslims. Such people would even blame the Muslims who strive to perform these obligations.

This is what Ibn al-Qayyim had to say about such people: ”The Shaitan has misled most people by beautifying for them the performance of certain voluntary acts of worship such as voluntary prayers and voluntary fasting while neglecting other obligatory acts of worship such as enjoining the good and eradicating the evil, to the extent that they do not even make the intention of performing them whenever they are able to. Such people are considered by the scholars to be on the bottom of the scale of religion: For the essence of our religion is to perform what Allah ordered us to do. The one who does not perform his obligations is actually worse than the one who performs sins. Anyone having some knowledge about the revelation of Allah, the guidance of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and the life of the companions would conclude that those who are pointed at today as the most pious people are in fact the least pious. Indeed, what kind of piety is there in a person who witnesses Allah’s sanctities being violated, his religion abandoned, the Sunnah of His Messenger shunned, and yet remains still with a cold heart and a shut mouth’ Such a person is like a dumb Shaitan! In the same way the one who talks falsehood is a speaking Shaitan. Isn’t the misfortune of Islam due only to those who whenever their life and food are secure, would not care about what happens to the religion? The best among them would offer a sorry face. But if they were challenged in one of the things their heart is attached to like their money, they would spare no efforts to get it back. These people, besides deserving the anger of Allah, are afflicted with the greatest calamity without even knowing it: They have a dead heart. Indeed the more alive a person’s heart is, the stronger its anger for the sake of Allah and the more complete his support to Islam and Muslims.” (A’alaam al-Muwaqqi’een, volume 2, page 176).

Concealment of Khushoo November 18, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in Heart Softners, Islam, Khushoo.
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Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to say: “Beware of the khushoo’ of hypocrisy.” He was asked, “What is the khushoo’ of hypocrisy?” He said, “When the body shows khushoo’ but there is no khushoo’ in the heart.” Fudayl ibn ‘Ayaad said: “It was disliked for a man to show more khushoo’ than he had in his heart.” One of them saw a man showing khushoo’ in his shoulders and body, and said, “O So and so, khushoo’ is here” – and he pointed to his chest, “not here” – and he pointed to his shoulders. (al-Madaarij, 1/521)

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, explaining the difference between the khushoo’ of true faith and the khushoo’ of hypocrisy: “The khushoo’ of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the greatness and glory of Allaah, and is filled with awe, fear and shyness, so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allaah and broken, as it were, with fear, shyness, love and the recognition of the blessings of Allaah and its own sins. So no doubt the khushoo’ of the heart is followed by the khushoo’ of the body. As for the khushoo’ of hypocrisy, it is something that is put on with a great show, but there is no khushoo’ in the heart. One of the Sahaabah used to say, ‘I seek refuge with Allaah from the khushoo’ of hypocrisy.” It was said to him, ‘What is the khushoo’ of hypocrisy?’ He said, “When the body appears to have khushoo’ but there is no khushoo’ in the heart.’ The person who truly feels khushoo’ before Allaah is a person who no long feels the flames of physical desire; his heart is pure and is filled with the light of the greatness of Allaah. His own selfish desires have died because of the fear and awe which have filled his heart to overflowing so that his physical faculties have calmed down, his heart has become dignified and feels secure in Allaah the remembrance of Him, and tranquillity descends upon him from his Lord. So he has become humble (mukhbit) before Allaah, and the one who is humble is the one who is assured. Land that is “mukhbit” is land that is low-lying, in which water settles, so the heart that is “mukhbit” is humble and content, like a low-lying spot of land into which water flows and settles. The sign of this is that a person prostrates to his Lord out of respect and humility, and never raises his head until he meets Him. The arrogant heart, on the other hand, is one that is content with its arrogance and raises itself up like an elevated portion of land in which water never settles. This is the khushoo’ of true faith.”

As for overdoing it, and the khushoo’ of hypocrisy, this is the attitude of a person who tries to make a great show of khushoo’, but deep down he is still filled with desires. So on the outside he appears to have khushoo’, but the snake of the valley and the lion of the forest reside within him, watching for prey. (Al-Rooh, p. 314, Daar al-Firk edn., Jordan).

“Khushoo’ in prayer happens when a person empties his heart for it (prayer), and focuses on it to the exlusion of all else, and prefers it to everything else. Only then does he find comfort and joy in it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘… and my joy has been made in salaah.’” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/456. The hadeeth is in Musnad Ahmad, 3/128 and Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3124).

Allaah has mentioned al-khaashi’eena wa’l-khaashi’aat (men and women who are humble (before their Lord)), and described this quality as one of the qualities of those who are chosen. He tells us that He has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e., Paradise). [See al-Ahzaab 33:35].

One of the benefits of khushoo’ is that it makes prayer easier for a person. Allaah tells us (interpretation of the meaning): “And seek help in patience and al-salaah (the prayer), and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-khaashi’oon [i.e., the true believers, those who obey Allaah with full submission, fera much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise and in His Warnings]” [al-Baqarah 2:45]. The meaning is that the burden of prayer is heavy indeed, except for those who have khushoo’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/125). Khushoo’ is very important, but it is something that is easily lost and is rarely seen, especially in our own times, which are the last times. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing to be lifted up (taken away) from this ummah will be khushoo’, until you will see no one who has khushoo’.” (Al-Haythami said in al-Majma’, 2/136: It was reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, and its isnaad is hasan. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb, no. 543. He said it is saheeh).

Developing Khushoo in Salaah: Introduction November 16, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in Heart Softners, Islam, Khushoo.
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As Salaamu ‘Alaikum.

Insha’Allah you are all in the best of health and Imaan.

One of the hardest aspects of Islaam for me, is perfecting my salaah. To stand before Allah with full humilty, shunning away the dunya and all it’s false enjoyments is so difficult, especially when shaytaan’s sole mission is to distract you from ibaadah and make you indulge in sin . I have found that the state of my prayer reflects the state of my Imaan. If my prayer is solid, my Imaan is solid. However unfortunately my prayer is seldom solid and so this has severe consequences for my Imaan.

For this reason I will Insha’Allah posting extracts from one of the bests books I have read about developing khushoo; 33 Ways of Developing Khushoo in Salaah, by Sheikh Salih al Munajjid. As well as this, I will be posting various other articles regarding khushoo.

May Allah make us one of the khashi’oon.

33 Ways of Developing Khushoo in Salaah

by Sheikh Salih al Munajjid

Introduction

Bismillaah il-Rahmaan il-Raheem

In the Name of Allaah, Most Gracious Most Merciful

Praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds, Who has said in His book (interpretation of the meaning), “…and stand before Allaah with obedience” [al-Baqarah 2:238] and has said concerning the prayer (interpretation of the meaning): “… and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-khaashi’oon…’ [al-Baqarah 2:45]; and peace and blessings be upon the leader of the pious, the chief of al-khaashi’oon, Muhammad the Messenger of Allaah, and on all his family and companions.

Salaah is the greatest of the practical pillars of Islam, and khushoo’ in prayer is required by sharee’ah. When Iblees, the enemy of Allaah, vowed to mislead and tempt the sons of Adam and said Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left…” [al-A’raaf 7:17, interpretation of the meaning], one of his most significant plots became to divert people from salaah by all possible means and to whisper to them during their prayer so as to deprive them of the joy of this worship and cause them to lose the reward for it. As khushoo’ will be the first thing to disappear from the earth, and we are living in the last times, the words of Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) are particularly pertinent to us: “The first thing of your religion that you will lose is khushoo’, and the last thing that you will lose of your religion is salaah. There may be a person praying who has no goodness in him, and soon you will enter the mosque and not find anyone who has khushoo’.” (al-Madaarij, 1/521).

Because of what every person knows about himself, and because of the complaints that one hears from many people about waswaas (insinuating thoughts from Shaytaan) during the salaah and the loss of khushoo’, the need for some discussion of this matter is quite obvious. The following is a reminder to myself and to my Muslim brothers, and I ask Allaah to make it of benefit.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their salaah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” [al-Mu’minoon 23:1-2] – i.e., fearing Allaah and in a calm manner. Khushoo’ means calmness, serenity, tranquillity, dignity and humility. What makes a person have this khushoo’ is fear of Allaah and the sense that He is always watching. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Daar al-Sha’b edn., 6/414). Khushoo’ means that the heart stands before the Lord in humility and submission. (al-Madaarij, 1/520).

It was reported that Mujaahid said: “’…and stand before Allaah with obedience” [al-Baqarah 2:238 – interpretation of the meaning]’ – part of obedience is to bow, to be solemn and submissive, to lower one’s gaze and to humble oneself out of fear of Allaah, may He be glorified.” (Ta’zeem Qadr al-Salaah, 1/188).

The site of khushoo’ is the heart, and its effects are manifested in the physical body. The various faculties follow the heart: if the heart is corrupted by negligence or insinuating whispers from Shaytaan, the worship of the body’s faculties will also be corrupt. The heart is like a king and the faculties are like his troops who follow his orders and go where they are commanded. If the king is deposed, his followers are lost, which is like what happens when the heart does not worship properly.

 

TBC…

Remembering the Destination of Mankind in the Hereafter November 12, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in Heart Softners, Hereafter, Ibn al Qayyim, Islam.
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Remembering the Destination of Mankind in the Hereafter – a Cure for Weak Iman

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

 

When one’s mind is clear, he will be able to see clearly, thus giving such a person a light in his heart that will allow him to almost witness the Warning and the Promise, Paradise and Hell, and what Allah has prepared in this (Paradise) For His Awliyaa` (loyal friends) and in that (Hell) for His enemies. He will then witness people rushing out of their graves following the call of the Truth (Resurrection). The angels in the heavens will descend and will surround them (creation). Allah will then come to judge (between creation) and His Kursi (literally a footstool or chair) will be raised. The earth will shine with the Light of its Lord (Allah, when He comes to judge between His creation), the Book (of Records) will be opened and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward. The Mizan (Scale) will then be established, the books of (individual) records will fly around and the foes will converge, each holding to its foe. Al-Houdh (the pool that runs outside the gates of Paradise from a river inside it) will then appear and its cups will appear close by. Thirst will intensify, but those who are allowed to drink are few. Al-Jisr (the bridge over Hell that everyone must pass over into Paradise) will then be laid (over Hell) so that (mankind and the Jinn) can pass over it (as for the disbelievers and those whose sins outweigh their good deeds, they will fall into Hell, where only the disbelievers will reside for eternity). People will then be gathered in its direction. The Fire (Hell) will appear, each part harshly consuming the other parts beneath it. Those who fall into it are far more than those who are saved from it. Then, an eye will be opened in his (the man who is thinking about these scenes) heart with which he will be able to see clearly. His heart will then witness some scenes of the Last Life, along with imagining the various stages of the Last Life which will last for eternity, as compared to this Dunya (the life of this world) and its briefness.

Why the ‘War on Terror’ is a war on Islaam November 9, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in Activism, Politics, War on Islam.
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As Salaamu ‘Alaikum

Reason One

If you speak the haqq you get put into prison.

What can my enemies do to me? I have my paradise and garden in my heart, wherever I journey, it is there with me, never departs from me. My imprisonment is seclusion, my murder is martyrdom, and expulsion from my homeland is tourism.-Ibn Taymiyyah

May Allah grant the Muslim prisoners sabr and may their suffering be a means of attaining jannah in the hereafter.

Healing the Weak Iman Through Qur’an November 6, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Heart Softners, Islam.
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By Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid

 

Thinking about and trying to understand meanings of the Glorious Quran, which Allah has sent down for His slaves to clarify all things and as a Light that He gives to whom He wills among His slaves.

 

Indeed, the Quran contains tremendous medicine for all ills of the heart, as Allah said, what translated means,

 

“And We sent down from the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism).” [17:82]

The Quran contains Islamic Monotheism; Allah’s promises, warnings and Commandments; stores of previous nations; and codes of the best conduct and behavior. These various subjects in the Quran have different effects on the heart. Some Surahs (chapters) of the Quran are more frightening than others. The Messenger of Allah said, what translated means, “Hud (chapter 11) and its sisters (chapters 56, 77, 78 and 81) have brought me white hairs before their due time.” [As-Silsilah As-Sahihah]. Hud and its sisters brought white hairs to the Messenger of Allah because of what they contain of matters of Iman. These Surahs, and the rest of the Quran, showed their effect on the Messenger of Allah and his companions, exactly as they were ordered in the Quran,


“So stand (ask Allah to make) you (Mohammad) firm and straight (on the religion of Islamic Monotheism) as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you.” [11:112]

 

The companions would also be deeply moved with emotions when they recited the Quran. Abu Bakr, for example, who was a soft-hearted man, used to cry while reciting the Quran when leading Muslims in prayer. Once, Umar became ill as a result of his reciting the Ayah, “Verily, the Torment of your Lord will surely come to pass. There is none that can avert it.” [2:7-8]


On another occasion, Umar wept when he was reciting the Ayah, “I (Prophet Jacob) only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah.” [12:86], and he was clearly heard by those who were standing behind him. Furthermore, Uthman ibn `Affan said, “If our hearts were pure, they will never have enough from reciting Allah’s Speech (the Quran).”


As for later generations, Ayyub said, “I heard Sa`d ibn Jubayr recite the Ayah, “And be afraid of a Day when you shall be brought back to Allah.” [2:281], repeating it more than twenty times.” This is the last Ayah that was revealed to the Messenger of Allah, and it ends with, “Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.” [2:281].


Also, Ibrahim ibn Bashshar said, “If you could but see where they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say, ‘Would that we were but sent back (to the world).'” [6:27], was the Ayah that Ali ibn al-Fudhayl died while reciting. I was among those who prayed the Janazah (funeral) prayer on him, may Allah grant him His Mercy.” Furthermore, when our Salaf would reach a portion of the Quran were Sujud (bowing down) is warranted, they treated this incident different than ordinary people. A man once recited, “And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility.” [17:109], and then fell in Sujud. Then, he said to himself, “Here you are, you do the Sujud, so where is the crying?”


Ibn Al-Qayyim said with regards to what one should do to cure his weak Iman using the Quran, “First you should remove your heart from the life of this world and settle it in the Last Life. Then, pay your full attention to pursuing the meanings of the Quran, and try to comprehend and understand them and what they were sent down to accomplish. Then, offer these meanings to the sickness that your heart feels, and when they touch the disease, they will cure the heart, Allah willing.”