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Tawakkul: The Third Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

Relying on God (tawakkul) is one of the important Islamic concepts that may be misunderstood and therefore might lead to undesirable results. This misunderstanding might also lead to some forms of deviation and introducing innovations in religion. Likewise, it might result in a state of failure in both religious affairs and worldly affairs.

When you leave worldly affairs to unreliable people, neglect the means, or quit your work completely, you are deviating from the path of relying on God and practicing apathy (tawaakul) not relying on God (tawakkul).

Ibn `Ata’illah says: (Save yourself from worrying (tadbir). Somebody else already took care of your affairs for you.) What is meant by tadbir here?

Tadbir in Arabic means considering the results and outcomes of a certain action. Therefore, tadbir is closely connected with outcomes. In their turn, the outcomes are connected with the concept of relying on God. God says:

… so that they answered, “God is enough for us; and how excellent a guardian is He! (Aal `Imran 3:173)

Then, when you have decided upon a course of action, place your trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him. (Aal `Imran 3:159)

In God, then, let the believers place their trust! (Aal `Imran 3:160)

Thus, the virtue of relying on God is mentioned and highly praised in many Qur’anic verses and what is mentioned frequently in the Qur’an is of profound significance and takes high priority.

There is a considerable difference between relying on God and worrying which is the same difference between the means and outcomes. By this I mean that there is a difference between work represented in striving to achieve the goals, exerting efforts and devoting time and the outcome of this work represented in events, figures, and results.

Your role is to strive and rely on God. You do not have to worry about the process of governing such affairs. It is God who governs everything. “And who is it that governs all that exists?” (Yunus 10:31) , this is a clear question raised in the Qur’an.

Take the Means, Leave the Outcomes to God

God governs all that exists. You have to take the means and leave the outcomes to God because taking the means and causes is part of relying on God. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to give an example of relying on God, he said: “If you had all relied on Allah as you should rely on Him, then He would have provided for you as He provides for the birds, who wake up hungry in the morning and return with full stomachs at dusk.”

You are like the bird. The bird does not stand on one branch of a tree all the time waiting for the grains. But it moves from one branch to another until it gets the grains. The bird has to do its best to get the grains, and providing the bird with the grains is God’s work.

Therefore, you should take the means and leave out the outcomes to God. Some Muslims- even those who are on the path to God- do not take the means, stay at the mosque all the time and ask people for food and clothes. They argue that governing things is not their task. Their argument is correct, but they have to rely on God and relying on God necessities having recourse to the means and the causes of achieving goals.

It is reported that a man used to stay at the mosque all the time arguing that he is devoting himself and his time to worship God. The Prophet asked about the one who takes care of him. The Prophet was told that the man’s brother takes care of him. The Prophet replied: “His brother is better than him.” `Umar ibn al-Khattab advised some people who stayed at the mosque and said “We are relying on God.” He said his common words: “The sky does not rain gold or silver.”

If one cannot attain success after having recourse to every necessary means, this is a proper situation to really rely on God. If the means you have taken fail you, you might say: O God, I have done my best and I left no stone unturned, what should I do? At this point, you are indeed putting your trust in God.

What is not conformable with relying on God is not to do anything or not to have recourse to every kind of means and causes of success. Some ignorant people ignore taking the necessary means intentionally. What is needed from you is to take all the means, and then rely on God.

Sometimes God might withhold form me the causes, the means and take from me my power so that I return to Him and rely on Him. This is a valuable God-given gift.

Relying on God is not inconsistent with what we call nowadays planning, making a feasibility study, studying the market, etc. All this is part of relying on God because by planning, organizing, studying, etc. we are having recourse to the means of success. If you are a trader, you have to make a feasibility study and do your calculations. If you lose, this is God’s decree. If you win, it is also God’s decree. You do not have to worry about the outcomes. To lose or to win, to succeed or to fail, is not your business.

Even in religious issues whether they have to do da`wah (Islamic call) issues, scientific issues, or worship issues, you do the thing and leave the rest to God. For example, you worship God by calling people to do good deeds but guiding those people is left to God. God says:

It is not for you (O Prophet) to make people follow the right path, since it is God (alone) who guides whom He wills. (Al-Baqarah 2:272)

Verily, you cannot guide aright everyone whom you love: but it is God who guides him that wills (to be guided); and He is fully aware of all who would let themselves be guided. (Al-Qasas 28:56)

Ibn `Ataillah says: (Save yourself from worrying. Somebody else already took care of your affairs for you.). What is meant by “somebody else”? Who provides you with the means of living? Who plans for your success? Who decides on the outcomes? It is God the Almighty. Therefore, if somebody else has done something for you, why you go and do it yourself?

This is a very simple rational issue. If there is a specialist in a certain field doing something for you, it is not proper to go and do it yourself. How about if the one who is taking care of this thing is God Himself!

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

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New Muslims Reflections

Reflection: The Fifth Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

“Bury yourself in the land of anonymity. A seed that is never buried underground will never produce. There is nothing more beneficial to the heart than an isolation that allows it to enter a state of reflection.”

If we want to understand well the meaning of awe, hope, relying on God, and sincerity and want to turn this rational understanding to a heart feeling, then the way, as Ibn `Ata’illah suggests, is to reflect.

Reflection is a marvelous form of worship that pushes people in their path to God. It helps people achieve their spiritual goals. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Reflection for one hour is better than worship for sixty years.”

This is because the one who spends his time reflecting on God, His creation, His universal laws, His religion, and His legislation, is really converting the mere rational information to sincere conditions and spiritual lights.

Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the succession of night and day, there are indeed messages for all who are endowed with insight, (and) who remember God when they stand, and when they sit, and when they lie down to sleep, and (thus) reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: “O our Sustainer! You have not created this without meaning and purpose. Limitless are You in Your glory! Keep us safe, then, from suffering through fire! (Aal `Imran 3:190-191)

Those who are endowed with insight reflect on the creation of the heavens and earth and on the day and the night based on the knowledge and information they know about the universe. Many people possess such information in their minds only without reaching their hearts.

On the other hand, those who reflect on the universe calling to their minds the Creator of the universe, or reflect on the heavens and the earth calling to their minds the Maker of the heavens and the earth, their reflection will eventually lead them to admit in their hearts “You have not created this without meaning and purpose.” Reflection will make them stand in awe of God, therefore they pray to God: “Keep us safe, then, from suffering through fire!”. Thus reflection has a significant influence on the heart. God says:

Only such as are endowed with (innate) knowledge stand (truly) in awe of God: (for they alone comprehend that). (Fatir 35:28)

True Isolation

In this word of wisdom Ibn `Ata’illah points to another concept that supports the concept of reflection that is of anonymity and isolation. This concept is one of the concepts that many people misunderstand and take them away from the true objectives of religion and the spirit of Islam.

By the Arabic word khumul, Ibn `Ata’illah does not mean laziness, however he means the state of obscurity from fame. This state is achieved when one isolates himself from people. This isolation is for a limited period, as isolation from the world for a long time without any kind of interaction is against the teachings of Islam. The Prophet is reported to have said: “There is no monasticism in Islam.”; “The Muslim who interacts with people and is patient when they harm him is better than a Muslim who doesn’t mingle and is not patient when people harm him.” (Al-Bayhaqi)

Therefore, a Muslim interacts with people, works, gets married, visits his relatives and his neighbors, enjoins good and forbids evil, befriend people, etc.

Then, what does Ibn `Ata’illah mean by “isolation”? Is there evidence in the prophetic tradition to support it? Or is it an innovation?

The clear origin of isolation, in addition to the Prophet’s isolation in the cave of Hira’ before and after the Revelation, is the Prophet’s staying in the mosque to worship God during the month of Ramadan and during other months.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet used to perform I`tikaf (staying in the mosque to worship God) every year in the month of Ramadan for ten days, and when it was the year of his death, he stayed in the mosque for twenty days.

`A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet used to perform i`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan until he died, then his wives continued to do i`tikaf after he died. She also reported that the Prophet performed i`tikaf for twenty days during the month of Shawwal.

Ibn `Ata’illah makes a connection between this prophetic tradition and a divine law which states that every plant or animal or even human being that is expected to grow and produce should be buried in the darkness and grow away from external factors.

Thus, a seed is planted in the darkness of the earth until its roots and branches begin to grow, then it splits the soil and comes to the surface. A fetus grows in the darkness of the mother’s womb until its organs and nerves are formed, then it comes to life.

Likewise, the heart and the mind grow through retreat in the mosque or through isolation from the creation until one gets into the state of spiritual and divine thoughts. When one reaches this state, he can travel from the world of the universe to the world of the Originator, from the word of the Creatures to the world of the Creator, from the world of the sings, rules and rituals to the world of meanings, wisdoms and objectives. How beneficial is this to the heart! How great is this isolation that takes one back to the purity of faith and the truthfulness of the connection with God!

Otherwise “a seed that is never buried underground will never produce”, as Ibn `Ata’illah says. This is a constant universal law that will never be changed.

Benefits of Temporary Isolation

Temporary isolation from the creation has other benefits. One benefit is that it helps one to avoid committing sins. This is because most sins are the result of mingling with people. He who is alone does not commit sins.

Another benefit of isolation is that it trains the servant to protect his tongue against its destructive vices. God says: “However, man is, above all else, always given to contention.” (Al-Kahf 18-54)

Isolation also trains the servant to purify his intention to God because he will not occupy himself with how people look at him and what they will say about him. Though showing off may find its way to one’s heart even if one is alone when one occupies himself with how people think about him.

Therefore, Ibn `Ata’illah says elsewhere: “Perhaps showing off in good works has entered upon you from where people do not see you.” At any rate, isolation involves a kind of training on how to make the intention purely for God and how to forget the people around you and how they think about it positively or negatively.

If the servant looks for what benefits his heart, he will make progress in his spiritual journey to God. Sometimes we forget the work of the heart and focus on the work of the organs. This hardens the heart and leads to forgetfulness, and puts some obstacles and difficulties in the course of one’s journey to God. However, temporary isolation from the people and reflection on God help one reach his destination quickly. There is nothing more beneficial to the heart than an isolation that allows it to enter a state of reflection.

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

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New Muslims Reflections

Distress and Need of Him: Nineteenth Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

The best way to ask Him is through your distress, and the fastest way to acquire good traits is through expressing your humility and need.

Distress and Need of God

When you are in distress and sincerely ask God for help, He will answer them.

The word of wisdom under discussion is about du`aa’ (supplication). It is not about the etiquette of supplication, but it is about the condition of supplication, i.e. the condition of the Muslim’s heart when he asks God in order that the supplication will be answered.

God asks the unbelievers saying: “Is He (not best) who responds to the distressed when he calls out to Him, and who removes the ill (that caused the distress), and has made you inherit the earth? Could there be any divine power besides God?” (An-Naml 27:62)

In this verse God makes it clear to the unbelievers that when they are in distress and sincerely ask God for help, He will answer them. So, what about if a believer is in distress and asks Him for help!

Therefore, distress gets the supplication answered quickly. The Sheikh says: “The best way to ask Him is through your distress.” If you are in distress and ask God feeling the need for His help after the causes have fallen you, then rest assured that God will answer you supplication.

This applies also to the acts of worship. Therefore, the best way to ask Him is through distress, need, humility, and hope in His mercy. This is best illustrated in the Prophet’s supplication is different situations. In the Battle of Badr the Prophet (peace be upon him) turned (his face) towards the qiblah then he stretched his hands and began his supplication to his Lord:

”O God, accomplish for me what You have promised to me. O God, bring about what You have promised to me. O God, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed. You will not be worshipped on this earth. He continued his supplication to God, stretching his hands, facing the qiblah, until his mantle slipped down from his shoulders.” (Muslim)

This is the supplication of one who was in distress, so his supplication was answered swiftly.

Humility

Then the Sheikh explains other useful conditions of supplication. He says: “And the fastest way to acquire good traits is through expressing your humility and need.” This means that one has to be humiliated before God and feel that he is in need of Him Some scholars comments on the verse “The offerings given for the sake of God are (meant) only for the poor…” (At-Tawbah 9:60) saying that the verse is applicable on anyone who feels the need for God and asks for His help.

This interpretation is a bit odd, but the meaning is correct. In normal cases you give in charity the poor person, so what about if you show your need for God! Surely He will give you what you ask for and better than what you ask for.

The Sheikh’s saying: “And the fastest way to acquire good traits is through expressing your humility and need” implies that God is the one who grants good traits, worldly or religious. But here the Sheikh refers to religious traits such as the condition of the heart and the acts of worship.

Conditions for Answered Supplication

In order for a supplication to be answered, it has to meet some conditions such as facing the qiblah (prayer direction), and not asking God for committing a sin or cutting off family ties.

It is recommended to stretch the hand while praying to God and to start the supplication with praising God and invoking peace and blessing on the Prophet. It is also recommended to invoke peace and blessing on the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the middle and at the end of the supplication. This is the fiqh aspect of supplication.

However, what is of more importance is the condition of the heart when praying to God which is the basis of the supplication and not one of the recommended acts associated with it.

In the Islamic rulings there are apparent and hidden conditions related to each rule. Therefore, facing the qiblah, stretching the hand, and invoking peace and blessings on the Prophet are the apparent aspects of supplication. On the other hand, feeling the supplication and feeling the need, humility, and distress are the hidden aspects of supplication which are shown in the Prophet’s supplication in different situations.

The Prophet used to recite certain du`aa’s at certain situation such as getting up, going to bed, wearing clothes, taking off clothes, looking at the mirror, washing himself, sleeping with his wives, seeing the new moon of the month, in the evening, in the morning, going out, and coming back home. If we utter these supplications, we are connected with God all the time.

The Prophet’s Supplication

If we trace the history of du`aa’, we will not find any person, even previous prophets, who had this strong relation with God like the Prophet Muhammad. We study the Psalms, the Torah, and the Injeel (Gospel) well, we not come across such supplications which show the depth of this relation between the Prophet and His Lord. The Prophet used to praise God with humbleness, surrender and awareness of God’s mighty.

From different traditions we learn that the Prophet’s supplication was accompanied by distress. `A’ishah reported that the Prophet used to spend the night with one of his wives. At the dawn time, Bilal (may God be pleased with him) used to wake him up for the prayer.

So the Prophet used to takes a shower, then goes out to prayer and I used to hear him crying. Therefore, the Prophet’s supplication is not merely words uttered by the tongue, but it was deeply felt in the heart.

Unanswered!

The du`aa’ may be answered on the spot and the answer may be may take some time. The Prophet is reported to have said: “A servant will be rewarded on the Day of Judgment for a supplication for God which has not been answered to the extent that he wishes that his du`aa’ was not answered.”

This means that on the Day of Judgment one will wish that none of his du`aa’ had not been answered by God. This is because the du`aa’, which had not been answered, had been postponed by God till the day of Judgment and now it is rewarded in the best from.

When God does not answer your du`aa’, make sure that God is choosing the best for you. God has always been choosing the best for you. God says about Himself, “In Your Hand is all good.” (Aal `Imran 3:26) If you pray to God but He does not answer your prayer, you should know that God is choosing what is good for you and He is not choosing what is bad for you. God allowed you to pray to Him because He wants to give you as the Sheikh says in this word of wisdom.

God’s giving may be in this world or in the world to come. So, we have to leave the choice for God. “And (thus it is) Your Sustainer creates whatever He wills; and He chooses (for mankind) whatever is best for them.” (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:68) God always chooses better that what we choose.

We pray to God to grant us the etiquette of du`aa’ and grant us the gift of praying to Him at times of distress so that we pray to Him in humility and need. We pray to God to reward us for our prayer both in this world and the world to come. God is the hearer and answerer of du`aa’.

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

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New Muslims Reflections

Certainty of Faith, Indifference about the World: Twentieth Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

If the light of deep faith shines on you, you will see the Hereafter before journeying to it, and you will see the trappings of this world vanishing before your eyes.

Certainty of Faith, Indifference about the World- Twentieth Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

Feeling the Hereafter is related to the degree of certainty of faith.

I cannot proceed in my journey to God while forgetting my journey to the Hereafter. One should not forget that death is a reality for all of us. All humans, believers or unbelievers, agree that death is the end of this life. One should not care for this world and forget his inevitable end, death.

What Is Your Goal?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us against striving only for this world. But this does not mean that we neglect the worldly affairs and leave them to those who do not use them the right way under the pretext that we are devoting our life to the Hereafter. This is a wrong understanding. What the Prophet means is that we should not forget the Hereafter.

The Prophet is reported to have said: “One whose main concern is this worldly life God will make his poverty between his eyes.”  (Ibn Majah)

When you open your eyes in the morning, ask yourself: what is your goal? Is it the Hereafter? Is it what is between you and God? If it is the case, God will grant you contentment and cause this worldly life to come to you despite your indifference about it.

On the other hands, if one opens his eyes in the opening thinking of so and so or such and such of worldly matters, or how to gain such and such of worldly matters, even it is lawful, the Prophet says about this person: “God will make his poverty between his eyes.” This means that he will not be satisfied with whatever he gains and achieves. Rather he will feel that he is still suffering poverty and need.

Between Faith the Hereafter

The Hereafter is an important concept that we should not overlook. The question is how to reach the level of thinking of the Hereafter? How to always call it to our minds?

The Sheikh is linking our thinking of the Hereafter with our certainty of faith. He says that the more our certainty of faith increases, the more we will care for the Hereafter. He sums up this meaning in the word of wisdom in which says: “If the light of deep faith shines on you, you will see the Hereafter before journeying to it, and you will see the trappings of this world vanishing before your eyes.”

The Sheikh links between the certainty of faith and remembering the Hereafter. It is as if the Hereafter is a reality that you can see. The question is how to reach this certainty of faith? The answer comes from the book of God, “ … and worship your Sustainer till death comes to you.”  (Al-Hijr 15:99)

When you worship God in all the various kinds of worship, the certainty of faith in your heart increases and you will remember the Hereafter as if you are living it. The Prophet’s companions experienced this feeling when they studied the Qur’an and worshipped God with him. It is reported that one of the companions said about the impact of worship, “As if we see the heaven and hell with our eyes.” (Ibn Majah)

Therefore, feeling the Hereafter is related to the degree of certainty of faith as the Sheikh says: “If the light of deep faith shines on you, you will see the Hereafter before journeying to it.” This means that you not need death so that you can see the Hereafter. Rather, you can see the Hereafter while you are still in this worldly life, and this is much better and beneficial for you before it is too late, isn’t it?

Balanced Life

Again, this does not mean that we isolate ourselves and renounce this worldly life. This is a wrong understanding which leads to wrong practices of the issue of remembering the Hereafter. It does not mean renouncing the world; rather it is a spiritual ritual. A balanced understanding parallels this worldly life to the Hereafter, i.e. you enjoy your life, but you do not forget your share in the Hereafter.

… without forgetting, withal, your own (rightful) share in this world; and do good (unto other) as God has done good unto you… (Al-Qasas 28:77)

Then the Sheikh says: “… and you will see the trappings of this world vanishing before your eyes.” This means that this world is of a continuous state of vanishment. Al-Hasan Al-Basri once said: “Son of Adam! You are nothing but a number of days, whenever each day passes then part of you has gone.”

The Sheikh says that if you have deep belief in the Hereafter, you will see this world vanishing before your eyes. This will make you indifferent about it and its pleasure and draws you nearer to the Hereafter and the rituals. We are in a much need of this proper understanding because we always forget the Hereafter and do not think about death.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) saw some companions praising a man because of his good deeds. The Prophet asked them if he used to remember death. They said: We did not hear mentioning death. Then the Prophet said: “Your friend is not there.” This means that he will not reach the high degrees of Paradise because he did not remember death as remembering death makes one ready for the Hereafter.

Success in Both Worlds

If we reflect on the meanings of the Qur’an and remember the Hereafter, we will succeed in this world. Striving for this world only leads to losing both worldly and religious affairs. Whereas remembering the Hereafter makes us successful in both worldly and religious affairs.

If one desires the rewards of this world, (let him remember that) with God are the rewards of (both) this world and the life to come: and God is indeed all-hearing, all-seeing. (An-Nisaa’ 4:134)

There is no harm if we care for the enjoyment of this life. But life should remain in our hands not in our hearts. This is the correct definition of zuhd (indifference about this world), i.e. to hold this world in your hand, but not letting it into your heart.

If you care for the Hereafter only and leave your share in this world, you are not serving Islam and Muslims. You will be easily tempted because you are indifferent about this world because you cannot get it not because you desire to get God’s reward in the Hereafter.

We pray to God to help us strike this balance between this world and the Hereafter. We also pray to God to help us remember the Hereafter and make us ready for it. We earnestly ask Him to save us from the punishment in the Hell.

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

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New Muslims Reflections

Dealing with People’s Praise: Twenty First Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

“When people praise you for what they assume about you, blame yourself for what you really know about yourself. The most ignorant is the one who denies what he really knows about himself and believes what others assume about him.”

While journeying to God we will be put to many tests. One of those tests pertains to people’s praise for what they assume about you. This word of wisdom answers the following question: how does one deal with people’s praise?

Dealing with People’s Praise

People’s praise may change one’s rituals from being done to please God to being done to please people.

People’s praise is a serious issue. A man was mentioned before the Prophet and another man praised him greatly. The Prophet said,

“Woe on you! You have cut the neck of your friend.” The Prophet repeated this sentence many times and said, “If it is indispensable for anyone of you to praise someone, then he should say, ‘I think that he is so-and-so,” if he really thinks that he is such. God is the One Who will take his accounts (as He knows his reality) and no-one can sanctify anybody before God.” (Al-Bukhari)

In another tradition, the Prophet said: “When you see those who shower (undue) praise (upon others), throw dust upon their faces.” (Muslim)

Negative Impact

People’s praise may change one’s rituals from being done to please God to being done to please people, earn their praise or avoid their criticism. It also discourages one to do more good deeds if he feels that he is perfecting his actions or that he has done many good deeds which attracted people’s praise.

Another negative aspect of praise is that it makes one overlook his flaws and, instead, look at his merits.

In this word of wisdom, Sheikh Ibn `Ata’illah says: “When people praise you for what they assume about you, blame yourself for what you really know about yourself.” People praise you based on their assumption about you. But you know yourself better. You know that you are suffering from many flaws.

Notice that when the Sheikh talked about the beginnings he advised us to discover our flaws. The Sheikh said: “Trying to discover the flaws within you is better than trying to discover the worlds hidden from you.”

One’s Flaws

If you are highly praised by people, you should discover your flaws and blame yourself for what you know about it. You should feel ashamed because people are praising you for things which are not in you. You should pray to God to forgive your sins and conceal your flaws.

This is reminds us of what Imam `Ali (may God be pleased with him) when he described the Companions (may God be pleased with them) in his famous sermon: Imam `Ali said: “If someone praises one of them, he says, “I know myself better than others (know me), and my Lord is more knowledgeable of me than myself. O God, don’t take me to task for what they say, and make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for those sins which they are unaware of.”

According to Imam `Ali’s description, when someone praised one of the Prophet’s Companions, he responded to him saying: “I know myself better than others (know me)”, i.e. I know myself and others think good of me. This is the same meaning given by Ibn `Atta’illah. Then the Companion adds: “And my Lord is more knowledgeable of me than myself”, i.e. God is more knowledgeable of my flaws, sins, and mistakes than myself. Finally, the Companion ends his response by praying to God: “Make me better than what they think of me.” They think good of me, so make me better than this. “O God, forgive me for those sins which they are unaware of.” God does not reveal things which we do not like and which we cannot tell people about.

Sometimes people’s praise takes away the reward promised by God for a certain good deed. Because this praise is actually the reward that one was seeking, as his intention was not to please God, but to please people. This is an utter hypocrisy.

The Sheikh says: “If the believer is praised, he should feel ashamed of God that people praise him for things which are not in him. The most ignorant is the one who denies what he really knows about himself and believes what others assume about him.”

Should I leave what I know for sure about myself and believe what people assume about it? This is a sign of ignorance and conceit.

Glad Tidings

In some other cases, people’s praise is glad tidings for the believer. Abu Dhar (may God be pleased him) reported: It was said to God’s Messenger (peace be upon him): What is your opinion about the person who has done good deeds and the people praise him? He said: “It is glad tidings for a believer (which he has received in this mortal world).” (Muslim)

Therefore, the servant should thank God for that, and should not be self-conceited. He also should not believe what people assume about him and forget his own flaws.

We pray to God to conceal our flaws, grant us humility, and give us glad tidings in this world and the next.

For them there is the glad tiding (of happiness) in the life of this world and in the life to come…  (Yunus 10:64)

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

 

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New Muslims Reflections

Mercy with People’s Faults: Twenty Second Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

A person, who learns of people’s secrets and does not have Godly mercy on them, brings upon himself great danger and disaster.

When one’s knowledge and awareness increase, he will find himself in situations and incidents where he learns of people’s secrets, faults, and problems.

Mercy with People’s Faults-Twenty Second Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

One should not feel that he is authorized by God to act as a judge among the people.

This happens when one applies his mind to the study of the outward appearance of a thing with a view to understanding its real nature and its inner characteristics. One comes to know people’s secrets when he is consulted or becomes an arbitrator in a certain dispute on individual, family, and collective levels.

Learning people’s secrets and their weaknesses is a chance for practicing some influence on them. If you come to learn people’s secrets, you should treat them in the proper way. The Sheikh says: “A person, who learns of people’s secrets and does not have Godly mercy on them, brings upon himself great danger and disaster.”

One should not feel that he is authorized by God to act as a judge among the people or that he will establish justice among them. What one should do is to have Godly mercy on them.

Godly Mercy

Having Godly mercy on people requires that you should not reveal people’s faults because God is the One who conceals such faults. A man called Maiz came to the Prophet confessing his adultery. So the Prophet ordered that he be stoned as a punishment for his act. Hazzal came and said, “I ordered him to confess.” The Prophet then said, “It would have been better for you if you had covered him with your clothes, Hazzal.” (Abu Dawud)

It is a major sin to reveal people’s faults or take them as a pretext to harm them. The Prophet is reported to have said: “The servant (who conceals) the faults of others in this world, God would conceal his faults on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)

Having Godly mercy on people also requires that you admonish people and call them to do good deeds with a view to correcting their faults. This is how the Prophet behaved with the hypocrites after God told him about what they hid in their hearts.

As for them – God knows all that is in their hearts; so leave them alone, and admonish them, and speak unto them about themselves in a gravely searching manner. (An-Nisaa’ 4:64)

When God Himself admonishes us He does so in the best manner. When He commands us to do something, His commandments are conveyed in a gentle way. God says in a hadith: “If they offer repentance, I will surely love them. If they do not repent, I will be like their physician (who helps them with their diseases until they are recovered).”

Personal Interests

A physician follows a gradual course in treating people’s diseases. He also tries different medicines until a certain medicine works out. A good physician resorts to surgery, amputation or cautery only as the last option. Cautery is recommended only as the last treatment option as the Arabian proverb suggests.

Besides, having Godly mercy on people requires that you free yourself from your personal interests when you handle people’s secrets or information which you learn about. As we said earlier, learning people’s secrets gives one an authority to exploit them for his own interests. This contradicts the concept of Godly mercy which urges one to overlook his own interests and aims only at fixing and correcting people’s behavior.

The servant, who does not have mercy on people after learning their faults, might have a feeling of pride, conceit, envy and suspicion. All these traits are dangerous and destructive to our moral system.

Also, the one, who does not have mercy on people, will be doing injustice to them. Injustice is punishable both in this world and the world to come. Therefore, the Sheikh says: “A person, who learns of people’s secrets and does not have Godly mercy on them, brings upon himself great danger and disaster.”  This word of wisdom is reinforced by the hadith in which the Prophet says: “No sin has a faster Divine punishment than the sin of injustice …” (Abu Hanifa)

The original situation is “do not spy upon one another” (Al-Hujurat 49:12)  But if one finds himself in a situation where people’s secrets are revealed before him, he should have Godly mercy on them as the Sheikh says. Otherwise, he will be journeying backward not forward to God.

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

 

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New Muslims Reflections

Witnessing God’s Bounty and Your Shortcomings: 23rd Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

The twenty third stop of your spiritual journey to God: “If you want the doors of hope opened, recall what He offers you, and if the doors of awe opened, recall what you offer Him.”

Hope & Owe

Sometimes our sins, forgetfulness, and lusts block our ways to God. Therefore, we do not feel an overwhelming longing to Him. The Sheikh here guides us to two doors which can be opened by reason, the tool that God granted us and that can be used at any time. The two doors are that of hope and awe.

The questions that the Sheikh is answering here are: how can the door of hope be opened while I do not feel this hope in my heart? How can the door of awe be opened for me while I do not feel this awe in my heart?

The answer is: try to calculate the bounties that God bestowed on you, and calculate the acts of worship and the good deeds that you offered for Him.

As for God’s bounties, they cannot be counted in any way. God says: “For, should you try to count God’s blessings, you could never compute them!” (An-Nahl 16:18) When you remember one of God’s bounties, you will realize how generous, merciful, and most forbearing He is. When you are preoccupied by these meanings, the door of hope in God’s generosity, forbearing, and mercy will be opened for you.

When you remember your shortcomings to ascend to the level of thankfulness, the level of mentioning God or the level of worship, then the door of awe will be opened in your heart.

A servant’s condition should vary between hope and awe so that he will become, as Ibn Al-Qayyim describes, like a bird with two wings; one wing for hope and the other for awe.

Striking a balance between the opposites is one of the invariable universal laws of God. Here we should strike a balance between hope and awe so that the bird can fly because it cannot fly with one wing.

One should be cautious that his hope does not turn to a feeling of being secured, i.e. one feels that he is saved from God’s punishment:

And they say, ‘The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days.’ (Aal `Imran 3:24)

The verse was revealed regarding some of the previous nations who had a belief that they are God’s chosen people, regardless of their actions. Nowadays, some Muslims think that as long as they are Muslims, they can do whatever they want and they will not be harmed. God says: “But none feels secure from God’s deep devising save people who are (already) lost.” (Al-A`raf 7:99)

Hope should not become a state of being secured or that there is a guarantee that God will bestow His mercy on you. The only guarantee is your actual admission to Paradise.

Without Despair

Awe should not lead one to a feeling of despair. God says: “Say: ‘Thus speaks God:’ ‘O you servants of Mine who have transgressed against your own selves! Despair not of God’s mercy: behold, God forgives all sins – for, verily, He alone is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!’” (Az-Zumar 39:53) In another verse, we read, “… and do not lose hope of God’s life-giving mercy: verily, none but people who deny the truth can ever lose hope of God’s life-giving mercy.” (Yusuf 12:87)

What we need is to strike a balance between hope and awe. We have to repent to God and seek His forgiveness. At the same time, we should worry that God may not accept our deeds or that He will not grant us forgiveness because of our sins and shortcomings. Our sins should not turn us away from having hope in God’s mercy. Likewise, hope should not keep us away from fearing Him.

We pray to God to grant us the good understanding and open for us the doors of hope and awe in order that our spiritual status is improved and that we follow the right path and do not go astray.

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

 

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New Muslims Reflections

Telling People about Their Lord: 25th Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

Every speech comes out with a cover from the heart of the speaker. If God allows a speaker to express himself, people will understand his words and comprehend his gestures.

Telling People about Their Lord 25th Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

Their speech deserved to be recorded by God in His Glorious Book, the Qur’an.

This stage on our journey to God relates to the servant’s speech in which he tells people about God. Every servant has a responsibility to call people to their Creator, to remind them of their Lord, and to set things right in the universe:

I desire no more than to set things to rights in so far as it lies within my power… (Hud 11:88)

Say (O Prophet): “This is my way: Resting upon conscious insight accessible to reason, I am calling (you all) unto God – I and they who follow me. (Yusuf 12:108)

There are different kinds of speech. God says: “However, man is, above all else, always given to contention…” (Al-Kahf 18:54) There is a certain type of speech which has a considerable influence on people. This speech, as the Sheikh explains, is not the fluent speech that comes out from an intelligent mind or an eloquent tongue, but it is the speech that comes out directly from one’s heart.

Here I recall the speech of the prophets, messengers, and righteous people. Their speech came out form pure hearts. Their speech deserved to be recorded by God in the Qur’an. There are many examples of this speech.

Read the speech of prophet Abraham (peace be upon him): {Said (Abraham): “Have you, then, ever considered what it is that you have been worshiping – you and those ancient forebears of yours? “Now (as for me, I know that,) verily, these [false deities] are my enemies, (and that none is my helper) save the Sustainer of all the worlds, who has created me and is the One who guides me, and is the One who gives me to eat and to drink, and when I fall ill, is the One who restores me to health, and who will cause me to die and then will bring me back to life, and who, (hope, will forgive me my faults on Judgment Day! “O my Sustainer! Endow me with the ability to judge (between right and wrong), and make me one with the righteous, and grant me the power to convey the truth unto those who will come after me, and place me among those who shall inherit the garden of bliss!

And forgive my father for, verily, he is among those who have gone astray and do not put me to shame on the Day when all shall be raised from the dead: (and when) only he (will be happy) who comes before God with a heart free of evil! (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:75-89)

Read also the speech of Prophet Noah (peace be upon him):

And convey unto them the story of Noah-when he said unto his people: “O my people! If my presence (among you] and my announcement of God’s messages are repugnant to you -well, in God have I placed my trust. Decide, then, upon what you are going to do (against me), and (call to your aid) those beings to whom you ascribe a share in God’s divinity; and once you have chosen your course of action, let no hesitation deflect you from it; and then carry out against me (whatever you may have decided), and give me no respite! But if you turn away (from the message which I bear, remember that) I have asked no reward whatever of you: my reward rests with none but God, for I have been bidden to be among those who have surrendered themselves unto Him. (Yunus 10:71-72)

All these speeches came out with a cover from the heart of the speakers.

The same holds true for Prophet Muhammad’s speech. Read, for example, his speech in the Battle of Tabuk:

“Verily the most veracious discourse is the book of God (the Quran). The most trustworthy handhold is the word of piety (taqwa). The best of religions is the religion of Abraham. The best of the sunan is the Sunnah of Muhammad. The noblest speech is the mentioning of God. The finest of narratives is this Qur’an. The best of affairs is that which has been firmly resolved upon. The worst religions are those which are created without sanction. The best of ways is the one trodden by the prophets. The noblest death is the death of a martyr. The most miserable blindness is waywardness after guidance. The best of knowledge is that which is beneficent. The best guidance is that which is put into practice. The worst blindness is the blindness of the heart. The upper hand is better than the lower (i.e. it is better to give than to receive). The little that suffices is better than the abundant and alluring. The worst apology is that which is tendered when death stares one in the face. The worst remorse is that which is felt on the Day of Resurrection. Some men do not come to the Friday prayer, but with hesitance and delay. And some of them do not remember God but with reluctance. The tongue that is addicted to false expression is a bubbling spring of sins. The most valuable possession is contentment of the heart. The best provision is that of piety. The highest wisdom is the awe of God. The best thing to be cherished in the hearts is faith and conviction; doubt is part of infidelity. Impatient wailing and fulsome praise of the dead is an act of ignorance. Betrayal leads one to the fire of Hell. Wine (alcohol) is the mother of evils. Each one of you must resort to a place of four cubits (the grave). Your affairs will be decided ultimately in the next life. He who pardons is himself granted pardon. He who forgives others, is forgiven by God for his sins. He who represses anger, God rewards him. He who faces misfortunes with perseverance, God compensates him. He who shows patience and forbearance, God gives him a double reward. He who disobeys God, God chastises him.”

This is a speech which came out from the Prophet’s heart so that it reached the people easily and it had a considerable influence on them. It is a prerequisite for anyone who tells the people about their Creator that his speech should come out from the heart.

If you want to offer advice to any one, you should mend your hear first. When you have a sincere intention in your heart, your influence on people will be stronger, i.e. people will understand your words and comprehend your gestures as the Sheikh says in this word of wisdom.

The Prophet’s companions also gave very fluent speeches which did not change the people only but changed the history. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may God be pleased with him) said: “I have been given the authority over you, and I am not the best of you. If I do well, help me; and if I do wrong, set me right.” `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may God be pleased with him) said: “When did you enslave people whose mothers bore them free?”  `Uthman ibn `Affan ((may God be pleased with him) said: “O people, you need a credible and an active ruler not a useless ruler.” Ali ibn Abi Talib (may God be pleased with him) said: “The keeper of a safe dies and what he guards and the treasures remain, however, a man of knowledge lives throughout the ages.”

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

Prophet Abraham and His Non-Believer Father

There’re two examples of da`wah of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim). One was when he presented haqq (the Truth) to his father and the other was when he addressed his people. There is a marked difference between the two.

Prophet Abraham dender nature

Paternal affection has been aroused in his address to his father.

The difference is not in the mode of discourse and clear presentation, but the deep knowledge shown of the prevailing conditions and psychology of the people addressed and how such discourse appeals to the hearts.

The son invites his father to Islam:

And make mention (O Muhammad) in the book of Ibrahim. Truly, he was a saint, a Prophet. When he said to his father: ‘O my father! Why do you worship that which does not hear nor see, nor can in any way avail you? O my father! Lo! There has come to me of knowledge that which did not come to you. So follow me, and I will lead you on a right path. O my father? Do not serve the Satan. Truly, the Satan is a rebel to the All Merciful. O my father! I fear that a punishment from the All Merciful will overtake you so that you become a comrade of the Satan. (Maryam 19:41-45)

Paternal affection has been aroused in these verses. Think over the repeated address: “O my father!” It shows obedience, love and humility. It requires an aesthetic taste to understand the eloquence of this address.

Mode of Address

Those who have a deep knowledge of the language of the Qur’an can really enjoy the spirit of this mode of address. It has been said that when such persons recite any ayah which delineates the punishment of Allah, their voices tremble and their faces redden with fear. When however they recite any ayah regarding Allah’s pardon and mercy, their hearts melt and their voices show mildness and the warmth of love.

When a son addresses his father thus: “O my father”, he arouses his paternal affection. If he had said the same thing with the voice of a preacher, he would have said,

“Exalted Sir! hear me, or O reverend priest! think it over.”

It would have then given an altogether different impression.

But he said: “O my father”. He adopted this mode intentionally so that his words might touch a sympathetic chord and arouse paternal affection, and thus open the way to his father’s heart. When a son addresses his father in this manner, however angry the father may be, his heart melts and he is inclined to hear what the son has to say.

The prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) touched the sympathetic chord in his heart before he discoursed. Because it has been seen that sometimes affection finds a place in the heart before faith finds acceptance with the person addressed.

It is also possible that a father may be affectionate but may not be a believer. If he is to be invited to true faith then one has to enter through the door which is open.

Hikmah

One who is inviting to the ‘way of Allah’ who is blessed with hikmah (wisdom) cannot lose sight of this aspect. If he does so, it may be harmful to him and his cause. If, however, he is bad-tempered he cannot succeed in his mission.

… if then (O Muhammad) you had been stern and fierce of heart they (the Companions) would have dispersed from around about you. (Aal `Imran 3:159)

When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) addressed his uncle Abu Talib, at a very critical juncture, he addressed him as “Dear Uncle”.

It was at a time when Abu Talib was afraid of a boycott by Quraysh.

“Dear Uncle! If they place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left and ask me to abandon this mission, still I will not give it up. I will continue to work for it until Allah makes it prevail or I sacrifice my life for it.”

The result of these soft-spoken words was that the natural emotion of sympathy and affection was aroused and, though Abu Talib remained attached to his ancestral religion, he said: “O my son! continue with your mission and do what you like. I will not hand you over to anybody.”

Prophet Abraham’s Invitation 

While speaking to his father the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) did not take to logic nor speak in the high-flown language meant only for the intelligentsia. He began his talk in the language used in common parlance which could be understood by any man with common sense.

He said, “My father! Why worship an idol which does not hear, see nor can it be of any help lo you. I have been revealed the truth of which you have no knowledge.” (Maryam 19:42-43)

It is also a matter of pleasure for a father that his son should excel him in knowledge and intelligence. That is not surprising.

It has sometimes been found that the father is illiterate and the son becomes a learned and proficient man.

The Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) said to his father, “O my father! I have been revealed the Truth of which you have no knowledge, so follow me. I will guide you to the right path. O my father! Do not worship the Satan. The Satan is disobedient to Allah.” (Maryam 19:43-44)

Each and every word in this ayah has a depth of meaning in it and is a treasure of wisdom. He spoke to him in a simple language because his father was a simpleminded sculptor. It was no use talking to him in a sophisticated way. He just said, “O my father! I fear that you may be taken as a follower of the Satan and the punishment of Allah may strike you.” (Maryam 19:45)

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 The article is excerpted from the book “Inviting to the Way of Allah”, by Sayyed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, Translated by Qazi Abdul Hamid, published by Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd. and UK Islamic Academy, 1996/1416 H.

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

Prophet Yusuf Inviting to Allah: Perfect Manners & Excellent Disposition

Here we present the method of invitation used by the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him). The relevant verses are:

And two young men went to prison with him. One of them said: ‘I dreamt that I was pressing wine.’ The other said: ‘I dreamt that I was carrying upon my head bread from which the birds were eating. Tell us the interpretation, for we see you of those who do good.’ He said: ‘The food which you are given (daily) shall not come to you but I shall tell you the interpretation before it comes to you. This is of that which my Lord has taught me. Truly, I have forsaken the religion of folk who don’t believe in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter. And I follow the religion of my fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq and Ya`qub. lt never was for us to attribute anything as partner to Allah. This is of the bounty of Allah to us (the seed of Ibrahim) and to mankind; but most men do not give thanks. 0 my two fellow prisoners! Are many lords better, or Allah the One, the Almighty? Those who in you worship besides Him are but names which you have named, you and your fathers. Allah has revealed no sanction for them. The decision rests with Allah only, Who has commanded you that you worship none save Him. This is the right religion, but most men know not. 0 my two fellow prisoners! As for one of you, he will pour out wine for his lord to drink; and as for the other he will be crucified so that the birds will eat from his head. This is the case judged concerning which you inquired. (Yusuf 12:36-41)

The Unusual Circumstances

Before I elucidate the meaning of these noble verses, I want you to visualize the unusual environment in which the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) had to carry out his mission.

First of all, think for a while about who the Prophet Yusuf was. He was the son of the Prophet Ya`qub(Jacob), and grandson of the Prophet Ishaq (Isaac) and great-grandson of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon them) all, – eminent in lineage, a prophet by heredity, noble in disposition, excellent in morals and manners, mentioned in revealed books, narrated in religious, literary and philosophical works and matchless in beauty.

Then go through the following verses, before enjoying the literary excellence of these verses:

And there came a caravan, and they sent their water drawer. He let down his pail (in the pit). (Yusuf 12:19)

And it seemed good to them (the menfolk) after they had seen the signs (of his innocence)to imprison him for a time. (Yusuf 12:35)

The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was imprisoned on a charge from which he had been acquitted. His innocence was as much established by Allah as was the wolf free from the guilt of killing him (an Arabic proverb).

Anyway, the Prophet Yusuf was sent to jail as a convict on a false charge. The prison staff had to carry out the orders of the higher authorities. They were not concerned with the facts of the case. They treated the inmates as chattels. They were not aware of the status of the Prophet Yusuf, the family he belonged to or the noble character he bore. The atmosphere in prison is different from the outside world and the inmates had a lot of time at their disposal.

Though all the prisoners were treated as equals, the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) became the centre of attention- other prisoners being impressed by his character.

Perhaps the fellow prisoners were attracted towards him on account of his devotion to prayers, dignified manners, strength of character, and broadmindedness. They were obliged to respect him for his sterling qualities of head and heart. It was all in accordance with the will of Allah.

The two prisoners had dreams which is nothing unusual, but their dreams were a bit strange. One of them dreamt that he was extracting wine (from grapes). He did not know what the dream meant and fear caught him as if it was a nightmare. The other man dreamt that he was carrying bread in a basket over his head and the birds were eating from it. It was also a strange dream.

They referred their dreams to the Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him. It shows that their instinct had not become dull. They had the faculty of observation and it is a common practice that people judge by their own experiences rather than depending on logic and reason. They told their dreams to the Prophet Yusuf and asked him for their interpretations saying, “We see you (to be one) of those who act excellently well”.

The Meaning of “lhsan

The two prisoners who asked for interpretation of their dreams said:

“ … for we see you (to be one)of those who act excellently well.”

lhsan thus signifies doing anything in a manner which is the highest degree of perfection.

When asked about lhsan the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

lhsan is that you worship Allah as if you see Him, because if you do not see Him, then He sees you.” (AL-Bukhari)

Ihsan here means that the Prophet Yusuf was perfect in every way. Because he was accused of an offense (which he did not commit) there must have been some talk about it in the prison. His co-prisoners must have thought at first that there must be some truth in the charge or else he would not have been in prison.

Others might have said that the charge was false. But all this loose talk ended in the prison when they saw him at close quarters and experienced his perfect manners and excellent disposition. The aura of guilt which preceded his coming to the prison disappeared and the prisoners instead saw a halo of glory around him.

A Thought-provoking Matter

The Prophet Yusuf, (peace be upon him) realized that the frightening dreams had brought these persons to him since they considered such matters important in their time.

They gave great importance to such incidents and prognostications and placed implicit faith in them.

But the Prophet Yusuf was brought up in the lap of prophethood, endowed with a rare insight and moulded for prophethood; he understood that these two prisoners were forgetting the grave realities which needed more attention than these dreams. He knew that the present life, however long it may be, is, in fact, no better than a dream.

These two prisoners were more in need of knowing the interpretation of the reality of life and death since their forgetfulness of Allah laid them open to a more serious loss and danger.

Yusuf who was blessed with sympathy for people and had their welfare at heart, knew that it was more important to warn them about the real danger to come. They ought to be told about the thing which was more profitable to them, especially when they had experienced a shock and were mentally prepared to heed his advice. He had now an opportunity to tell them what he wanted; there probably would be no other occasion.

Yusuf (peace be upon him) thought it better not to lose that chance as the interpretation of dreams had presented him with an opportunity to invite them to the way of Allah. He thought that their natural sense of reason ought to be awakened so that they might grasp the meaning of tawheed, the easy and natural belief in One God.

To be continued…..

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The article is excerpted from the book “Inviting to the Way of Allah”, by Sayyed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, Translated by Qazi Abdul Hamid, published by Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd. and UK Islamic Academy, 1996/1416 H.

 

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