Man is amazed by the advancement in technology yet fails to see his own amazing self that he had no hand in creating.
“O man! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Most Generous? Who created you, fashioned you perfectly, and gave you due proportion; In whatever form He willed, He put you together. “ [Translation of The Holy QUR’AN 82:6-8]
SubhanALLAH ! Allah’s COUNTLESS blessings!
But we are still ungrateful..
‘O Allah help us to remember You, thank You & worship You in the best manner ! ameen !
Is it the material it is made of; the concrete, the bricks or the wood? People may live in tents yet their homes are Islamic.
And “He followed his own desire. So his example is like that of a dog: if you chase him he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants.”
And about the person who controlled the passion of his soul/self God says: “But as for he who feared the standing before his Lord and restrained the soul from [his] desire, then indeed, Paradise will be his refuge.” (Translation of the Holy Quran, 79:40-41).
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May Allah raise the rank of our master Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alahi wasallam) and his Ahl and Companions and protect his nation from that which he fears for it.
The One Who has the Godhood, which is the power to create the entities
The One Who has an abundance of mercy for the believers and the blasphemers in this world and exclusively for the believers in the Hereafter.
The One Who has an abundance of mercy for the believers.
The One with absolute Dominion, and the One Whose Dominion is clear of imperfection.
The One Who is pure from any imperfection and clear of children and adversaries.
The One Who is clear of every imperfection.
The One Who witnessed for Himself that no one is God but Him; and Who witnessed for His believers that they are truthful in their belief that no one is God but Him.
The One Who witnesses the saying and deeds of His creatures.
The Defeater Who is not defeated.
The One for Whom nothing happens in His dominion except what He willed.
The One Who is clear of the attributes of the creatures and of resembling them.
12. Al- Khaliq
The One Who brings everything from non-existence to existence.
The Creator Who has the Power to turn the entities from one state to another.
The One Who forms His creatures in different pictures.
The One Who forgives the sins of His slaves time and time again.
The Subduer Who has the perfect Power and is not powerless over anything.
The One Who is Generous in giving plenty without any return.
The One Who makes the Sustenance reach His slaves. Sustenance is everything that benefits, whether halal or haram.
The One Who opens for His slaves the closed worldly and religious matters.
The Knowledgeable; the One for Whom nothing is hidden from His Knowledge.
21-22. Al-Qabid, Al-Basit
The One Who constricts the sustenance by His Wisdom and expands and widens it with His Generosity and Mercy.
23-24. Al-Khafid, Ar-Rafi^
The One Who lowers whomever He willed by His Destruction and raises whomever He willed by His Endowment.
25-26. Al-Mu^izz, Al-Mudhill
The One Who gives esteem to whomever He willed; hence there is no one to degrade him. The One Who degrades whomever He willed; hence there is no one to give him esteem.
The One Who Hears all things that are heard by His Eternal Hearing without an ear, instrument, or organ.
The One Who Sees all things that are seen by His eternal Sight without a pupil or any other instrument.
He is the Ruler, and His judgment is His Word.
The One Who is entitled to do what He does.
The One Who is kind to His slaves and endows upon them.
The One Who knows the truth of things.
The One Who delays the punishment for those who deserve it and then He might forgive them.
The One deserving the attributes of Exaltment, Glory, Extolement, and Purity from all imperfection.
The One Who forgives a lot.
The One Who gives ample reward for a little obedience.
The One Who is clear of the attributes of the creatures.
The One Who is greater in status than everything.
The One Who protects whatever and whomever He willed to protect.
The One Who has the Power.
The One Who gives the satisfaction.
The One Who is attributed with greatness of Power and Glory of status.
The One Who is clear of abjectness.
The One from Whom nothing is absent. Hence its meaning is related to the attribute of Knowledge.
The One Who answers the one in need if he asks Him and rescues the yearner if he calls upon Him.
The One Who is correct in His doings.
The One Who loves His believing slaves and His believing slaves love Him. His love to His slaves is His Will to be merciful to them and praise them: Hence its meaning is related to the attributes of the Will and Kalam (His attribute with which He orders and forbids and with which He spoke to Muhammad and Musa. It is not a sound, nor a language, nor a letter)
The One Who is with perfect Power, High Status, Compassion, Generosity, and Kindness.
The One Who resurrects His slaves after death for reward and/or punishment.
The One from Whom nothing is absent.
The One Who truly exists, i.e., the One Whose Existence is confirmed.
The One Who gives the satisfaction and is relied upon.
The One with the complete Power.
The One with extreme Power which is un-interrupted, and Who does not get tired.
The praised One Who deserves to be praised.
The One Who knows the count of things.
The One Who started the human being, that is, He created him.
The One Who brings back the creatures after death.
The One Who took out a living human from seminal fluid that does not have a soul. He quickens the dead by giving the souls back to the decayed bodies on the Resurrection Day and He makes the hearts alive by the light of knowledge.
The One Who renders the living dead.
The One Who is attributed with a life that is unlike our life and is not that of a combination of soul, flesh, and blood.
The One Who remains and does not end.
The Rich Who is never poor. AlWajd is Richness.
The One Who is Majid.
The One without a partner.
The Master Who is relied upon in matters and is resorted to in one’s needs.
The One Who is attributed with Power.
The One with the perfect Power from Whom nothing is withheld.
71-72. Al-Muqaddim, Al-Mu’akhkhir
The One Who puts things in their right places. He makes ahead whatever He wills and delays whatever He wills.
The One whose Existence is without a beginning.
The One whose Existence is without an end.
75-76. Adh-Dhahir, Al-Batin
The One above Whom nothing exists and underneath Whom nothing exists; hence He exists without a place. His Existence is obvious by proofs. He is clear of the delusions of bodily attributes.
The One Who owns things and manages them.
The One Who is clear of the attributes of the creation.
The One Who is kind to His creatures, Who covered them with His sustenance and specified whomever He willed among them by His support, protection, and special mercy.
The One Who grants repentance to whomever He willed among His creatures and accepts his repentance.
The One Who victoriously prevails over His enemies and punishes them for their sins. It may mean the One Who destroys them.
The One with wide forgiveness.
The One with extreme Mercy. The Mercy of Allah is His Will to endow upon whomever He willed among His creatures.
The One Who controls the dominion and gives dominion to whomever He willed.
85. Dhul-Jalal Wal-‘Ikram
The One Who deserves to be Exalted and not denied.
The One Who is Just in His judgment.
The One Who gathers the creatures on a day there is no doubt about, that is, the Day of Judgment.
The One Who does not need the creation.
The One Who satisfies the necessities of the creatures.
The Supporter Who protects and gives victory to His pious believers.
91-92. Ad -Darr, An-Nafi^
The One Who makes harm reach to whomever He willed and benefit to whomever He willed.
The One Who guides.
The One with Whose Guidance His believers were guided, and with Whose Guidance the living beings have been guided to what is beneficial for them and protected from what is harmful to them.
The One Who created the creation and formed it without any preceding example.
The One for Whom the state of non-existence is impossible.
The One Whose Existence remains.
The One Who guides.
The One Who does not quickly punish the sinners.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
It should be the desire of every Muslim to draw nearer and closer to Almighty Allah the most compassionate and the most merciful. By drawing closer and near to Allah we gain his help in every aspect of our lives in this world and to be merciful to us so that we may gain mercy in the hereafter in order to enter Jannah in the next world.
When we call upon him he would answer our calls and when we ask of him for anything he would give it to us and when we draw nearer to him then our sincerity and intentions will enable us to become closer to him.
So we should strive to draw nearer to Allah, the Glorified the Exalted, who is the majesty of honour and generosity and the giver of peace, the most high and the most honoured.
So what can we do to draw closer to him? The following are 10 steps for us to draw closer to our Almighty Allah:
1. Fulfilling obligatory duties and abstaining from prohibited matters
The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) has guided us. And Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, has guided us how to draw near to Him. As He said According to Hadith Qudsi:
“Whoever draws near to Me among those drawn near by fulfilling what I have made obligatory on them….
You do not draw near to Allah except by fulfilling the obligatory duties which Allah has made obligatory on you; (that is) the obligatory duties from the obligatory duties (Faraid) such as Prayers, and Zakat (obligatory charity), and Hajj, and Fasting and being good to Parents and all these obligatory duties on you draw you near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted.
The faraid (obligatory duties) are the first things that draw you near to Allah. You do not reach the door of nearness nor do you reach to the presence of nearness except by fulfilling the obligatory duties. This is the first thing that draws you near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, and you are in His Presence.
2. Nawafil prayers (superogatory prayers)
Allah says in Hadith Qudsi:
….and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection, I will protect him…” [Sahih Bukhari]
The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Ask (anything).” Rabi’ah said: “I ask of you to be your companion in paradise.” The Prophet said:“Anything else?” Rabi’ah said: “That is it.” The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said to him: “Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e., supererogatory prayers).” [Muslim]
Praying Tahajjud (Mid Night Prayer) to get closer to Allah
Allah Most High said, “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17: 78-79]
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]
Abu Umama al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” [Tirmidhi, and others] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”
And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntary worship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.
So let us make the habit of reading as many Nawafil prayers as we can for more prayers means more prostrations and one is truly the closest to Allah in prostration.
3. Zikr (remembrance of Allah) and glorification of Allah
“…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)
Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue. (29:46).
O ye who believe, remember Allah much. And glorify Him morning and evening (33:42-43)
Remembrance of Allah is the foundation of all good deeds. Whoever succeeds in it is blessed with the close friendship of Allah.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to make remembrance of Allah at all times and also encouraged all of us to do the same. When a man complained, “The laws of Islam are too heavy for me, so tell me something that I can easily follow,” the Prophet told him, “Let your tongue be always busy with the remembrance of Allah.” [Ahmad].
Remembrance of Allah the best of deeds
The Prophet, peace be upon him, would often tell his Companions, “Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the sight of your Lord, about the one that is of the highest order and is far better for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you than meeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at their necks and they at yours?”The Companions replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Remembrance of Allah.” (Tirmidhi,Ahmad)
Heart of those who don’t remember Allah is dead whereas those who do is alive
Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The similitude of one who remembers his Rubb and one who does not remember Him, is like that of the living and the dead.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Some very rewarding dhikr include:
Subhan’Allah- ‘Praise be to Allah’
Al-Hamdullilah- ‘Thanks be to Allah’
Allahu Akbar – ‘Allah is the Greatest.’
La ila ha illallah- There is no worthy of worship except allah
Subhanallahi Wabihamdihi – I deem Allah free of any resemblances to anything whatever in any repeat, and I glorify his praises
Read much of this zikr:
Subhaan-Allahi walhamdu-lillaahi, wa laa ilaa-ha illa-la ill-lal-lahu wallahu Akbar, walaa haula wala quoow-wata illa billa hil-Aliyyil-azeem.
“Glory is for Allaah and all Praise is due to Allah. There is none worthy of worship except Allaah. Allaah is the greatest. There is no power and no strength except with Allaah the Most High, the Great.”
Zikr done in places where others don’t remember Allah
Remember: in a place where people are oblivious to dhikir, remembrance of Allah is like being steadfast in jihad, when others are running away.(Targhib, p. 193, vol. 3 ref. Bazar and Tibrani)
Zikr can be done anywhere and anytime
A person may ask, ‘How can we do Zikr all the time whilst we have so many things to do in life such as we go to work, feed the family, pay bills, etc.? Well, the answer to this is that, firstly, it is the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger to work and feed the family which is rewarded by Allah and, secondly, that when a person is working or at school or wherever a person may be this does not mean that he should stop remembering Allah while he is working, while he is serving his customers or while he is programming his computer.
In fact the heart of the believer should be attached to Allah’s remembrance throughout his day to day activities such that he protects himself from falling in love with the materials and temptations of this world and that his love for Allah and his Messenger grows stronger and stronger as time goes by. When a person begins to remember Allah all the time it is then that he becomes conscious of his actions. His heart also gains peace, tranquility, contentment and happiness!
“… And the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e., Jannah).” (33:35)
4. Calling upon Allah in Dua (supplication)
In order to build a close relationship with Allah we should always call upon him in all situations and circumstances whether we are happy or sad and we should ask him for all of our needs aswell as help and guidance in all aspects of our lives.
Allah the most compassionate says in the Holy Quran, “Call on Me. I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to serve me will surely find themselves humiliated in Hell” (40:60).
Allah the Exalted, has said: “And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and I will hear your prayer” (Quran 40:60),
“Call upon your Lord Humbly and in secret” (Quran 7:55),
“When My servants question thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me” (Quran 2:186),
“Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering.” (Quran 27:62)
Aisha radhiallaahu anha said, “No believer makes Dua and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated.”
In fact, it is even wrong to never make Dua, “Whosoever does not supplicate to Allah, He will be angry with Him.” [Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer #2414]
Rasullullah is reported to have said, “Dua is the weapon of a Muslim”.
“The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.” [Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi]
So let us build a close relationship with Allah by making much dua to him. He loves it when his slave calls upon him and it angers him if his slave does not call upn him.
Let us have full hope that our dua’s will be accepted and if you think they won’t they know Allah is keeping the rewards for you in the hereafter and those rewards are so great that one would wish that none of there duas were excepted in this world just so that one can gain all the rewards for their duas in the next world.
Recite the Holy Qur’aan as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement [Muslim]
Learn the Qur’an and recite it, because the example of one who learns the Qur’an, reads it and recites it in Tahajjud is like an open bag full of musk whose fragrance permeates the entire place. And the person who has learnt the Qur’an but sleeps while the Qur’an is in the heart is like a bag full of musk but with its mouth closed.
“There is no envy (acceptable) except in two (cases): a person whom Allah has given the Qur’an and recites it throughout the night and throughout the day. And a person whom Allah has given wealth, that he gives out throughout the night and throghout the day.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the hasanah is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (considered as) a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darimi]
The Prophet said, ‘In the Fatiha of the Qur’an, there is a cure for all maladies(illnesses)’ [Darimi 3236, also narrated by Ad-Darmi in his Al-Masnad and Al-Bayhaqi in Shu’bul Imaan, Tafseer Mazhari 1:30]
Surah Al-Fatihah is equivalent to two thirds of the Qur’an [Al-Bayhaqi and Al-Haakim, Tafseer Mazhari 1:31]
Virtues of Surah Mulk
It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: Whoever reads Tabarakallahi Biyadihil Mulk [i.e. Surah al-Mulk] every night, Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) we used to call it al-mani’ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah it is a surah which, whoever recites it every night has done very well. (an-Nasa’i)
Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Ra) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. (At-Tirmidhi 2818/A)
The virtues of reciting the Qur’an are too numerous to list. In order to get closer to Allah we need to recite the Qur’an, understand it and implement it in our daily lives.
We should make a target of reading at least a chapter a day. If one can’t manage that then at least half a chapter. If one still can’t manage that then recite at least quarter of a chapter or even a page a day. However much we can manage we should try to recite each day with its meanings and implement what we learn into our daily lives.
Reading a little each day is better than reciting a lot once in a while. We should build a close relationship with the Qur’an which is in fact building a close relationship with Allah!
“Verily Allah raises nations by this book (the Qur’an) and puts down (i.e. destroys) others by it.” [Muslim]
6. Keeping good company
One of the most important things we must do, which sadly many people neglect, is that we should avoid bad company. People we should avoid taking as friends those who speak too freely, who miss Salah, who do not dress modestly, who backbite, slander etc.
The company of such people is poison; just even sitting and talking with them will lead one to commit sins. Just as a person who sits for a long time with a perfume seller begins to smell nice, and a person who sits by a gutter cleaner begins to smell awful, similarly a person who spends time in the company of the wicked eventually gets affected badly by them.
Rather, we should seek out pious friends who fear Allah taala and who have the qualities of humility, charity, compassion, modesty and knowledge. If we sit with them we will always benefit and they will be a means for us to get closer to Allah taala!
The Prophet (saws) said, “The case of the good companion and the bad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower of the bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will either give you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, or at least you will come away having experienced its good smell. Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, or at least you will come away having experienced its repugnant smell.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
Remember: “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day (Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (al-Qur’an 43:67)
7. Having fear and hope in Allah
Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people. (Surah Yusuf 12:87)
One must be hopeful of Allahs mercy and forgiveness and fearful of His punishment. It is this fear that should lead one to seek Allahs forgiveness with hope. Allah says:
Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Surat al-Maaidah 5:98)
In the above verse, Allah gives us reason to fear because His punishment is justly severe, as well as good reason to have hope, since He is the Most Forgiving and Merciful. There should be a balance between fear and hope and not too much or too less of one or the other.
We should always remain between fear and hope. For, the right and the approved kind of fear is that which acts as a barrier between the slave and the things forbidden by Allah. But, if fear is excessive, then the possibility is that the man will fall into despair and pessimism.
On the other hand the approved state of optimism is of a man who does good in the light of the Shari’ah and is hopeful of being rewarded for it. Or, conversely, if a man committed a sin, he repents sincerely, and is hopeful of being forgiven. Allah (swt) said:
“Verily, those who believed, and those who migrated and fought in the way of Allah, it is they who are hopeful of Allah’s mercy. And Allah is very Forgiving, very Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah, 218)
In contrast, if a man indulges in sins and excesses, but is hopeful that he would be forgiven without doing anything good, then, this is self-deception, mere illusion and false hope.
Abu ‘All Rowzbari has said, “Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death.”
Allah has praised the people of hope and fear in the following verse:
‘Is one who worships devotedly during the night, prostrating himself or standing, fearing the Hereafter, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (is equal to him who doesn’t do these things)?’ (Al Zumar, 9)
Hope then also demands fear. If that was not the case, one would be in a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. Without that it would be despair.
Fear and hope, both should be equally proportioned in our hearts, in our worship, and in our dua to Allah. Allah says:
Call out to Him with fear and hope. (Surat al-Araaf 7:56)
They forsake their beds to call their Lord in fear and hope. (Surat as-Sajdah 32:16)
8. Voluntary fasting for the pleasure of Allah
Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadhan, but it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection.
Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:
`Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays”. [An-Nasaa’i; Sahih]
Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: “The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other. He says: “leave them for later.” [Ahmad; Hasan]
Intention for voluntary fasting
As opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be made before dawn. The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] after dawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything.
`Aa’ishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, “Do you have any [food]?” We said “No”. He said: Therefore, I am Fasting”. [Muslim and Abu Dawood]
Fasting three days of every month(White days):
Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: “The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said “O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]”. [Ahmad, an-Nasaa’i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]
“Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.’ He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘And they will (be allowed to) intercede.’” [Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih]
So let us get closer to Allah by fasting Mondays and Thursdays or at least 3 days every month on the 13th,14th and 15th. If we leave something for the pleasure of Allah then we will get MUCH greater in return!
9. Sincerely repenting to Allah
Allah says: O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you.
When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates:
And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa 4:110)
Everyone commits sin and does wrong, but Allah is always willing to forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seek His forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah is so forgiving. If Allah had willed, He could have held everyone accountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shall allow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in fact forgive who and what He wills. In fact, Allah commands that His servants seek His forgiveness:
And seek Allahs forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20)
Repentance is an act, which purifies the soul and brings the servant closer to Allah. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects one from falling prey to his desires and lusts and increases his faith.
We must ask ourselves this question:Would we be willing to forgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily as Allah is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no. But our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect.
Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks. (Surat al-Baqarah 2:143)
In Hadithi Qudsi, mankind is encouraged to seek Allahs forgiveness and repent, but there are five conditions of repentance, which must be met for ones repentance to be accepted. They are:
The first and most important is that the act of repentance be sincerely for Allah alone.
Secondly, the person must feel remorse and guilt over his actions so much so that he wished he had never done it in the first place.
The third condition is that the person must immediately cease performing the wrong and sinful act.
Fourthly, the repentant person must have a firm intention to never commit the sin again.
And lastly, the person must repent before it is too late, meaning before death approaches.
However, there is a condition. One must not associate any partners with Allah, which is shirk. And Allah does not forgive shirk and if one dies without believing in Allah alone as ones Creator, then he will be doomed to the Hellfire for all of eternity.
So, Allah emphasizes the importance of calling on Him alone. He has no and needs no partners, associates, wives, children, etc. There is no god, but Allah. None forgives sins except Him, so one who is seeking forgiveness should seek it only from Allah.
Allahs forgiveness and mercy is far greater and vaster than the sins of the creation. One must always have trust and hope in Allah in both good times and bad times and especially when seeking Allahs forgiveness. And the believer who calls out to his Lord for forgiveness demonstrates his true weakness and that he is totally dependent on the Creator.
When one confesses his sins to Allah and sincerely repents with hope in Allahs mercy, the heart should come to peace and the soul should feel rest. When a person has hope, he has no reason to despair because it only leads to destruction. Allah gives hope to all, especially those who despair that there is no reason to despair because Allah is the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.
Allah praises those who repent and turn to Him:
And those who, when they commit a lewd act or wrong themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins and who forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what (wrong) they were doing while they knew it. For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens with rivers flowing through, wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is the reward of the doers (of good)! (Surah Ali Imran 3:135-136)
10. Having good manners, character and being humble
Many of us think that “a perfect Muslim” is simply one who is correct in the observance of the salah (ritual Prayer), the fasting, the zakah (payment of a certain portion of one’s wealth to the poor), and the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). This indeed is not the case.
If the ritual observances do not help the person to be humble, virtuous and truly God-fearing, then he or she is not a real Muslim. A Muslim should be good and just in dealing with others, no matter their religion, and take special care to keep away from all the shameful and sinful things Allah has forbidden.
One can never get close to Allah by being arrogant, full of pride and having a bad character and manners. Those who have humility and are humble and have good character and manners are the closest to Allah and Allah raises their ranks in the hereafter. The best person is the one who is best towards others.
Hadrat Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Nothing is heavier in the scales of a believer on the Day of Judgement than his good behaviour. Allah detests a person who is obscene and shameless”. (Tirmidhi)
The best friend in the sight of Allah is he who is the well-wisher of his companions, and the best neighbour is one who behaves best towards his neighbours. (Tirmidhi)
Having humility and being humble:
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “He who was humble for the sake of God by one degree, God (SWT) would then elevate them to a degree till they reach the uppermost of high Orders, and he who was arrogant to God (SWT), God (SWT) would then lower him for a degree till he reaches the lowest of low Orders”, (Narrated by: Muslim (Hadeeth: 6535).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:“And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him (in status).”
Humbleness is to know the value of oneself, to avoid pride, or disregarding the truth and underestimating people. As the Prophet sallallahu`alaihi wa sallam said, according to Muslim and others, “Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and looking down upon people” [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].
Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act in arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through.
Remember that there might be some riyaa’ or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.
Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah ta`ala through an act of obedience, your deed may still not be accepted, “Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa (fear of Allah).” (Surat al-Maida: 27)
Humbleness is that, when you are advised, if Shaytaan calls you to reject the advice, you must negate him. Because the purpose of advice is that your brother points out the defects that you have.
The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention five defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. This is why it is among man’s moral integrity to accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness.
We can summarize the teachings of Islam about the Muslim character in the following list:
Be truthful in everything, don’t lie.
Be sincere and straightforward, don’t be hypocritical.
Be honest, don’t be corrupt.
Be humble, don’t be boastful.
Be moderate, don’t be excessive.
Be reserved, don’t be garrulous.
Be soft-spoken, don’t be loud.
Be refined and gentle in speech, don’t curse and use foul language.
Be loving and solicitous to others, don’t be unmindful of them.
Be considerate and compassionate, don’t be harsh.
Be polite and respectful to people, don’t be insulting or disrespectful.
Be generous and charitable, don’t be selfish and miserly.
Be good natured and forgiving, don’t be bitter and resentful.
Share and be content with what Allah has given you, don’t be greedy.
Be cheerful and pleasant, don’t be irritable and morose.
Be chaste and pure, don’t be lustful.
Be alert and aware of the world around you, don’t be absent-minded.
Be dignified and decent, don’t be graceless.
Be optimistic and hopeful, don’t be cynical or pessimistic.
Be confident and have deep faith, don’t be doubtful and wavering.
Be spiritually oriented and not materialistic.
Be confident of the mercy of Allah, don’t be despairing and lose heart.
Be diligent and vigilant of your duties, don’t be negligent.
Be thankful to Allah and constantly pray to Him, don’t be forgetful of His innumerable blessings.
Finally as the righteous say, “The love of Allah is the axis around which all good revolves.” If you fall in love with Allah, and then strive to be true in your love–in accordance with the way of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), then you’ll find nothing but increasing light and contentment in your life.
And Allah alone gives success.
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
ALLAH Almighty says:
“When the Believers saw the Confederates, they said, ‘This is what ALLAH and His Messenger promised us. ALLAH and His Messenger told us the truth.’ It only increased them in faith and in submission.” (The Holy Quran 33:22)
“Those to whom people said: ‘The people great army have gathered against you, so fear them.’ But that merely increased their faith and they said: ‘ALLAH is enough for us and the best of Guardians.’ So they returned with blessings and bounty from ALLAH and no evil touched them. They pursued the pleasure of ALLAH. ALLAH’s favour is indeed immense.” (The Holy Quran 3:173-174)
“Put your trust in the Living who does not, die” (The Holy Quran 25:58) and the Almighty says, “So let the believers put their trust in ALLAH,”
“Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in ALLAH.” (The Holy Quran 3:159)
“Whoever puts his trust in ALLAH ¬ He will be enough for him.” (The Holy Quran 65:3)
“The believers are those whose hearts tremble when ALLAH is mentioned, whose faith is increased when His Signs are mentioned to them, and who put their trust in their Lord.” (The Holy Quran 8:2)
Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A) said, “The Messenger of ALLAH, may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘All the nations were shown to me and I saw a Prophet with a small group, and a Prophet with one or two men, and a Prophet with no one at all. Then an enormous mass was shown to me and I thought that they were my community.
I was told, “This is Musa and his community, but look to the furthest horizon,” and there was an enormous mass. It was said to me, “This is your community. Among them are seventy thousand who will enter the Garden without reckoning or punishment.”‘ Then he got up and entered his house and the people discussed concerning those who would enter the Garden without reckoning or punishment. Some of them said, ‘Perhaps it is those who were with the Messenger of ALLAH,’ while others said, ‘Perhaps it is those who are born in Islam and do not associate anything with ALLAH,’ and they mentioned various things.
The Messenger of ALLAH came out to them and said, ‘What are you discussing?’ They told him and he said, ‘They are those who do not make charms or ask others for charms, and do not seek omens.
They trust in their Lord.’ ‘Ukkasha ibn Muhsin stood up and said, ‘Ask ALLAH to make me one of them.’ He said, ‘You are one of them.’ Then another man stood up and said, ‘Ask ALLAH to make me one of them.’ He said, “‘Ukkasha beat you to it.'” [Agreed upon]
Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A) reported that the Messenger of ALLAH (saw) used to say, “O ALLAH, I submit to you and I believe in you and I have relied on you and I turn to you and I have argued by you. I seek refuge with Your might, there is no god other than You, from Your misguiding me. You are the Living who does not die while jinn and men will all die.” [Agreed upon. This is the version in Muslim.]
‘Hazar Umar Bin Khitab (r.a) said, “I heard the Messenger of ALLAH (saw) say, “If you were to rely on ALLAH as He should be relied on, He would provide for you as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning hungry and return in the evening full.” [at-Tirmidhi]
Abu ‘Umara al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib reported that the Messenger of ALLAH (saw) said, “O so-and-so! When you retire to your bed, say, ‘O ALLAH, I submit myself to You and I have turned my face to You. I have entrusted my affair to You and taken shelter with You out of desire for You and fear of You. There is no shelter nor rescue from You except with You. I have believed in Your Book which You sent down and Your Prophet whom You sent.’ If you die during the night, you will die in natural submission, and if you are still alive in the morning, your morning will be good.“ [Agreed upon]
Anas reported that the Messenger of ALLAH (saw) said, “Whoever says, i.e. when he leaves his house, ‘In the name of ALLAH. I have relied on ALLAH and there is no power nor strength except by ALLAH’ will be told, ‘You have been guided, spared and protected,’ and Shaytan will be kept far from him.” [Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i and others]
Abu Dawud added, “He, i.e. Shaytan, says to another shaytan, ‘How can you get at a man who has been guided, spared and protected?'”
The outlook of people of faith on death
“Every soul shall taste death. You shall receive your rewards only on the Day of Resurrection. Anyone who is spared the Fire and admitted to the Garden will surely triumph. The life of this world is just the enjoyment of delusion.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 185)
Death will come upon every man existing in this world at a predestined time in compliance with the verse, “Every soul shall taste death. In the end you shall return to Us”. (Surat al-’Ankabut, 57) Nothing a man possesses, neither property, fortune, status, fame, grandeur nor good looks can ward off death. Death is a law of Allah; no one can escape this absolute and unavoidable fact. As the verse, “Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you are in impregnable fortresses…” (Surat an-Nisa’, 78) reminds us, there has never been anyone who could succeed in escaping from death.
This fact is an issue about which people of faith attain a profound understanding. Once they comprehend the certainty and closeness of death, they understand that they need to prepare for the life after death. Fearing an imminent death that may come upon them before attaining the moral perfection Allah demands from His servants and earning His approval, they embrace the religion of Allah with great sincerity and enthusiasm. They lose no time in drawing nearer to Allah and earning His approval, since they realise that they may meet death at any moment. The prayer of believers in the Qur’an is as follows:
… Originator of the heavens and earth, You are my Protector in this world and the Next. So take me as a Muslim at my death and unite me with those who are sincere. (Surah Yusuf, 101)
The people of faith accept death with full submission, since it is a law of Allah. Over and above this, they consider it as a gate through which to attain paradise. Meanwhile, they never forget that they must strive hard to avoid the punishment of hell and earn the approval of Allah. Believers unceasingly feel fear and hope until they meet death. They hope for paradise because they believe. Likewise, they fear hell since they never find themselves self-sufficient.
The severity of the pain and punishment experienced in hell is incomparable to any pain suffered in this world. The torment of fire is of various kinds. The people of hell constantly scream to be saved from fire, they are crammed into narrow places; their hands tied to their necks, they writhe in pain. They are whipped with iron whips. Their hunger and thirst become unbearable. Their pain never abates. This dire situation is exacerbated by profound regret, a feeling of desperation and hopelessness. They wish to disappear for all eternity but to no avail. They are addressed as follows:
Roast in it! And bear it patiently or do not bear it patiently. It makes no difference either way. You are simply being repaid for what you did. (Surat at-Tur, 16)
People of faith continuously contemplate the torment of hell depicted in the Qur’an and turn towards Allah. One of perfected faith always keeps in mind that he can, at any moment, meet the angels of death and thus pass on to the hereafter. His decisions, attitudes, behaviour and the way he speaks reflect his commitment to being worthy of paradise and staying away from hellfire, because no one in this world can be exempt from divine retribution.
Aware that “scales of justice” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 47) will be set up on the Day of Judgement, he does not want to miss an atom’s weight of good. Allah has warned people on this subject as follows:
That Day people will emerge segregated to see the results of their actions. Whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it. Whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. (Surat az-Zilzal, 6-8)
Similarly, he strictly abstains from any act that would incur the disapproval of Allah, because each act he commits will draw him closer either to paradise or to hell. Nothing exists beyond these two places.
Believers who have a certain awareness of these facts feel constant “fear and hope” throughout their lives. They never forget the state of people awaiting to be taken either to paradise or to hell on the Day of Judgement.
How would someone behave if he were at the crossroads of paradise and hell right at this moment and realised that his eternal life would begin in earnest after his being judged?
Being right on the verge of hell, would he ever dare to display a displeasing attitude, which would immediately be taken into account?
Certainly not! On the contrary, anybody in such a dire situation would do anything to attain paradise and would draw on his wisdom and conscience to display the attitude most pleasing to Allah. Even a person who had never engaged in such a serious effort throughout his life, deeming the Day of Judgement distant from himself, would feel great panic and strive to make up for his misdeeds. But on that day, no time is granted to make amends. The time granted terminates with death and records are thereupon finalised. From that moment on, no one will be requited for anything other than what he has done.
Having an unshakable faith in the hereafter, paradise and hell, and keeping their minds occupied with the remembrance of death, account for the unflagging efforts of people of perfected faith. To avoid fear and regret in the hereafter, they consider themselves as if awaiting Allah’s verdict on them on the Day of Judgement at every moment of their lives. They prepare themselves for the afterlife with clear consciousness and faith, in the manner of one who has seen the beauty of paradise and the horrors of hell with his own eyes and returned to this life. Therefore, in the face of each situation, they strive to display the best attitude, since they know that any minor heedlessness or unscrupulousness may set them on a course of regret for which there is no remedy.
To conclude, the utter conviction of those of faith ensures an unswerving commitment to draw nearer to Allah and to stand in fear of Him. In the light of the verse, “So fear Allah, as much as you are able to…” (Surat at-Taghabun, 16), believers fear Allah as much as they can and hope to be worthy of paradise.
By Harun Yahya