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The Truth Requires Patience

The Truth Requires Patience

To acquire peace and tranquility through submitting yourself to the will of the One and Only God, the Creator of us, humans, and of the whole universe is the very meaning of Islam. Thus, to me Muslim is to to bear witness to the unique Oneness of God, worship Him alone following the teachings of His last Prophet (peace be upon him).

Islam in principle is a reference to the pure meaning of monotheism. This is the first logical basis to start from. And the prophets (peace be upon them) came as guidance to humans to show them how to live their life in accordance with the Will of God.

But today, after Prophets, and in a world full of temptations and contradictions, how could we determinedly stay away from Satan temptations and the evil things which are calling us day and night?

This is what the Qur’an warns us about in the words of God Himself:

Did I not enjoin on you, O you Children of Adam, that you should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed? (Ya-Sin 36:60)

To acquire this peace we need to get closer to God; to have deep and true faith in Him. And on the way to that we need patience.
So how could we acquire patience? And how would patience help protect us from Satan and evil?

Listen to Sheikh Ibrahim Zidan in this show as he talks about the definition of patience, the different types of patience, and how to maintain patience when calamity strikes.

Watch to know more.

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 Taken with kind permission from: thedeenshow.com.

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The Moral System of Islam

The Moral System of Islam

Whatever leads to the welfare of the individual or the society is morally good in Islam.

Whatever leads to the welfare of the individual or the society is morally good in Islam.

Islam has laid down some universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole, which are to be observed and respected under all circumstances. To achieve these rights, Islam provides not only legal safeguards, but also a very effective moral system.

Thus, whatever leads to the welfare of the individual or the society is morally good in Islam and whatever is injurious is morally bad. Islam attaches so much importance to the love of God and love of man that it warns against too much formalism. We read in the Qur’an:

It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God and the Last Day and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the freeing of captives; to be steadfast in prayers, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which you made; and to be firm and patient in pain and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-conscious. (Al-Baqarah 2:177)

We are given a beautiful description of the righteous and God-conscious man in these verses. He should obey salutary regulations, but he should fix his gaze on the love of God and the love of his fellow-men.

We are given four directions:

a) Our faith should be true and sincere,

b) We must be prepared to show it in deeds of charity to our fellow-men,

c) We must be good citizens, supporting social organizations, and

d) Our own individual soul must be firm and unshaken in all circumstances.

This is the standard by which a particular mode of conduct is judged and classified as good or bad. This standard of judgment provides the nucleus around which the whole moral conduct should revolve. Before laying down any moral injunctions, Islam seeks to firmly implant in man’s heart the conviction that his dealings are with God, who sees him at all times and in all places; that he may hide himself form the whole world, but not from Him; that he may deceive everyone but cannot deceive God; that he can flee from the clutches of anyone else, but not from God’s.

Thus, by setting God’s pleasure as the objective of man’s life, Islam has furnished the highest possible standard of morality. This is bound to provide limitless avenues for the moral evolution of humanity.

By making divine revelations as the primary source of knowledge, it gives permanence and stability to the moral standards which afford reasonable scope for genuine adjustments, adaptations and innovations though not for perversions, wild variation, atomistic relativism or moral fluidity. It provides a sanction to morality in the love and fear of God, which will impel man to obey the moral law even without any external pressure. Through belief in God and the Day of Judgment, it furnishes a force which enables a person to adopt the moral conduct with earnestness and sincerity, with all the devotion of heart and soul.

It does not, through a false sense of originality and innovation, provide any novel moral virtues, nor does it seek to minimize the importance of the well-known moral norms, nor does it give exaggerated importance to some and neglect others without cause.

Rather, it takes up all the commonly known moral virtues and with a sense of balance and proportion it assigns a suitable place and function to each one of them in the total scheme of life. It widens the scope of man’s individual and collective life – his domestic associations, his civic conduct, and his activities in the political, economic, legal, educational, and social realms. It covers his life from home to society, from the dining-table to the battle-field and peace conferences, literally from the cradle to the grave. In short, no sphere of life is exempt from the universal and comprehensive application of the moral principles of Islam. It makes morality reign supreme and ensures that the affairs of life, instead of dominated by selfish desires and petty interests, should be regulated by norms of morality.

It stipulates for man a system of life that is based on all good and is free from all evil. It encourages the people not only to practice virtue, but also to establish virtue and eradicate vice, to bid good and to forbid wrong. It wants that their verdict of conscience should prevail and virtue must be subdued to play second fiddle to evil. Those who not respond to this call are gathered together into a community and given the name Muslim. And the singular object underlying the formation of this Ummah (community of Muslims) is that it should make an organized effort to establish and enforce goodness and suppress and eradicate evil.

Here we furnish some basic moral teachings of Islam for various aspects of a Muslim’s life. They cover the broad spectrum of personal moral conduct of a Muslim as well as his social responsibilities.

God-Consciousness

The Qur’an mentions this as the highest quality of a Muslim:

The most honorable among you in the sight of God is the one who is most God-conscious. (Al-Hujurat 49:13)

Humility, modesty, control of passions and desires, truthfulness, integrity, patience, steadfastness, and fulfilling one’s promises are moral values that are emphasized again and again in the Qur’an:

And God loves those who are firm and steadfast. (Aal `Imran 3:146)

And vie with one another to attain to your Sustainer’s forgiveness and to a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which awaits the God-conscious, who spend for charity in time of plenty and in times of hardship, and restrain their anger, and pardon their fellow men, for God loves those who do good. (Aal `Imran 3:133-134)

Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong; and bear patiently whatever may befall you; for this is true constancy. And do not swell your cheek (with pride) at men, nor walk in insolence on the earth, for God does not love any man proud and boastful. And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; for the harshest of sounds, indeed, is the braying of the ass. (Luqman 31:18-19)

In a way which summarizes the moral behavior of a Muslim, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“My Sustainer has given me nine commands: to remain conscious of God, whether in private or public; to speak justly, whether angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich; to reunite friendship with those who have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses me; that my silence should be occupied with thought; that my looking should be an admonition; and that I should command what is right.”

Social Responsibility

The teachings of Islam concerning social responsibilities are based on kindness and consideration of others. Since a broad injunction to be kind is likely to be ignored in specific situations, Islam lays emphasis on specific acts of kindness and defines the responsibilities and rights within various relationships. In a widening circle of relationships, then, our first obligation is to our immediate family – parents, spouse, and children – and then to other relatives, neighbors, friends and acquaintances, orphans and widows, the needy of the community, our fellow Muslims, all fellow human beings, and animals.

Parents

Respect and care for parents is very much stressed in the Islamic teaching and is a very important part of a Muslim’s expression of faith.

Your Sustainer has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. whether one or both of them attain old age in your life time, do not say to them a word of contempt nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say: My Sustainer! Bestow on them Your mercy, even as they cherished me in childhood. (Al-Israa’ 17:23-24)

Other Relatives

And render to the relatives their due rights, as (also) to those in need, and to the traveler; and do not squander your wealth in the manner of a spendthrift.(Al-Israa’ 17:26)

Neighbors

The Prophet has said: “He is not a believer who eats his fill when his neighbor beside him is hungry”, and: “He does not believe whose neighbors are not safe from his injurious conduct.” (Al-Bukhari)

Actually, according to the Qur’an and Sunnah, a Muslim has to discharge his moral responsibility not only to his parents, relatives and neighbors, but to the entire mankind, animals and trees and plants. For example, hunting of birds and animals for the sake of game is not permitted. Similarly, cutting down trees and plants which yield fruit is forbidden unless there is a pressing need for it.

Thus, on the basic moral characteristics, Islam builds a higher system of morality by virtue of which mankind can realize its greatest potential. Islam purifies the soul from self-seeking egotism, tyranny, wantonness and indiscipline. It creates God-conscious men, devoted to their ideals, possessed of piety, abstinence, discipline and uncompromising with falsehood. It induces feelings of moral responsibility and fosters the capacity for self-control.

Islam generates kindness, generosity, mercy, sympathy, peace, disinterested goodwill, scrupulous fairness and truthfulness towards all creation in all situations. It nourishes noble qualities from which only good may be expected.

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Source: islamweb.net

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Islam & Individual Responsibility

Islam & Individual Responsibility

By Zahid Aziz

Each individual bears his or her own responsibility and is treated by God as a person in his or her own right.

Each individual bears his or her own responsibility and is treated by God as a person in his or her own right.

A profound way in which Islam has dignified the individual is by making him or her responsible for his or her own beliefs and actions. The Qur’an says:

No bearer of a burden can bear the burden of another. (Al-An`am 6:164)

Each individual bears his or her own responsibility and is treated by God as a person in his or her own right. The individual is not treated as just one member of a group, with no identity of his own. Even if you belong to a group or nation whose members are committing wrong, you are not held responsible for their misdeeds if as an individual you do not commit those wrongful acts.

Likewise, if you are a wrong-doer you cannot escape responsibility for your actions by claiming to belong to a group of good and righteous people, and no one, however good and holy, can volunteer to bear your responsibility upon his shoulders. This principle means that each one of us matters as an individual.

Blind Following

Blind following of leaders is also condemned in the Qur’an. It says that if a wrong-doer puts forward in his defense the plea that he was only following and obeying orders, that is not an acceptable defense. Although the leaders do bear responsibility for misleading their followers, nonetheless each individual is expected to use his own sense and reason, to the extent of his capacity.

Similarly, blind following of one’s ancestors and of inherited beliefs and values is condemned by the Qur’an. It teaches that you should apply sense and reason to test whether your inherited beliefs are right or not. Again, these teachings of the Qur’an dignify the position of the individual because he is told not to blindly follow his leaders or forefathers.

Group Following

Another principle the Qur’an teaches is that an individual must not join in acts of wrong-doing with his community or his fellow-countrymen or brethren-in-faith. It says:

Help one another in righteousness and goodness, and help not one another in sin and aggression. (Al-Ma’idah 5:2)

It is not befitting a human being that he should just follow the crowd, even the crowd of his own people, without thinking about the right or the wrong of the matter. Rather, the individual should stand up for the right, even against his own people.

Principle of Consultation

In making decisions in the nation or the community, the Qur’an has taught the principle of consultation. It says that the affairs of the Muslims must be decided by consul among themselves.

Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation… (Ash-Shura 42:38)

Even the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was instructed to consult his followers, “so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs.” (Aal `Imran 3:159), and he was given this revelation when a decision about a battle which had been made on the basis of majority opinion had proved to be wrong.

The Prophet and some of his followers had been in favour of one course of action but the majority had been in favour of another course of action. The majority view was followed but it nearly led to disaster. Nonetheless Allah revealed to the Prophet to pardon his followers, and still consult them in decision-making as before.

The process of consultation dignifies the individual because each person has his or her view taken into account, while autocratic rule degrades the individual because one man’s opinion is supreme.

Value of the Least Individual

I will mention now two incidents recorded in the Qur’an which show the value attached to the most ordinary individual. In the early days of his mission, Prophet Muhammad was once explaining Islam to some chiefs of his tribe when a blind man came to him and interrupted him with a question. The Prophet frowned and turned away from him, as he was addressing important men. God then sent revelation to the Prophet, which is contained in the eightieth chapter of the Qur’an, expressing disapproval and telling him that may be it would be the blind man who would have benefitted from his teaching.

The revelation told him that those chiefs whom the Prophet was addressing did not even consider that they had any need to follow Islam, but the blind man had made the effort to come to him and was God-fearing. The blind man, according to the revelation, was more deserving of the Holy Prophet’s attention than the assembly of the chiefs of the tribe of Quraish. This shows how much an individual, even the most insignificant individual, is valued.

The other incident is of a woman who complained to the Prophet that her husband, following an Arab custom known as zihar, had broken off all relations with her but still she was not free to leave him. According to that custom, a man would place his wife in a state where she lost her position as wife but was not divorced from him either.

The woman pleaded with the Prophet to do something, but he was reluctant to interfere without a revelation. God then revealed to the Prophet, saying that He had heard the plea of the woman, and that He condemned husbands who indulged in that custom and prescribed a punishment of community service for any man maltreating his wife in that way.

Allah has heard the saying of her that disputes with you (Muhammad) concerning her husband, and complains unto Allah. And Allah hears your colloquy. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower. (Al-Mujadilah 58:1)

The complaint of an ordinary woman was heard by God Himself and He sent revelation in her favour to His Prophet.

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Source: muslim.org

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Practical Ways to Acquiring Knowledge about Islam

Practical Ways to Acquiring Knowledge about Islam

By Abu Umar

Arabic callegraphy

Remain consistent in seeking knowledge even by just a little bit on a regular basis and Allah will increase your love for knowledge.

 

Thanks to God, we have been informed, by many sources, about the importance of seeking knowledge and knowing more about our beautiful deen (religion).

Wouldn’t it be great if we could sit down and dedicate ourselves fully to acquiring knowledge about Islam so we can reap some of the vast benefits that can be achieved?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” (Ibn Majah)

We know we have to seek knowledge, but how exactly do we do it? The majority of us just don’t have the time to dedicate ourselves to seeking knowledge (or so it seems). Therefore, we have compiled a few tips to help you acquire knowledge about our beautiful religion.

1. Time management

This is a classic and common theme for productive Muslims but it’s used often because it is so ‘effective’! This involves firstly looking at your schedule to determine where you can allocate time for seeking knowledge.

For example, it may be that on Saturday afternoons you have a few hours free. If this is the case, then fill that time by attending a course, listening to a lecture or two, spending time with a knowledgeable person of Islam, etc. If you simply ‘go with the flow’ and ‘see what  happens’ then it’s very likely that seeking knowledge will be pushed to the side and you will find it difficult to make any progress with this.

Therefore, planning is very important (just as is the case with other activities in life). As they commonly say in the business world, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’.

A point to remember: If you have free time, the Satan will be more than happy to fill that time with something frivolous. So, it’s better you fill your time with something beneficial before Satan gets a chance to distract you.

If you have many responsibilities and are struggling to find time, then it’s a good idea to look at your weekly schedule, scrutinize it and be honest with yourself. For example, if you use up a whole day for shopping and socializing and find no energy to do anything else later, then the day is not likely to be a productive one. Ask yourself, ‘Do I really need so much time for this activity?’ After cleaning up your schedule with this exercise, you should find free time to utilize for seeking knowledge.

Furthermore, we can take a look at the life of the Prophet who is the greatest example for us including in time management. This can be seen from how he allocated time to his wives, children, grandchildren, friends being a general and fighting in the way of Allah (Exalted be He), giving da`wah, managing the different Islamic states, etc. Despite these many responsibilities and more, he was the best in every aspect of his life and was able to give his full attention and never neglected any of his duties.

2. Invest in a CD or Other Electronic Device

This is a very practical method of increasing your knowledge about the religion with little effort. ‘Other electronic device’ can be an mp3 player or your mobile phone that allows you to download lectures and programs that you can listen to on the go. This is very useful for those who have little time available. Invest in some earphones if you don’t have any already. This also helps with your time management as you look to free up some time. For example, if you travel to work/university, read Commuting Productive Muslim Style for tips.

There are also many reliable websites that offer download services so take advantage of those. If you’re not able to find any then resort to YouTube and use a Youtube converter download files. Things that you can look to download are inspirational lectures, history stories like The Great Men and Women of Islam and even a series of a particular topic. Look for a beautiful recitation of the Qur’an to listen to regularly. This should increase your love for the Qur’an, help correct your recitation of Qur’an and help prevent us from sin. Peace and contentment is one of the greatest blessings we can receive through the recitation of the Qur’an.

3. Pick out a Small Area to Focus on

This means focusing on the one part you are seeking knowledge of and not trying to master all the different topics on Islam. This will be especially important if you’ve just set foot on the path of knowledge. Islam really is like an ocean that has no depths and knows no boundaries. Therefore, take your time and take small, baby steps if you are a beginner, as you could find trying to understand lots of different information overwhelming and this may cause you to give up. Thus, remain consistent in seeking knowledge even by just a little bit on a regular basis and Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) will increase your love for knowledge, His religion and you will be of those that are loved by Him and the angels. This is supported by a hadith narrated by `A’ishah (may God be pleased with her):

“The Prophet was asked: “What deeds are loved most by Allah?” He said: “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few”. He added: “Don’t take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability”. (Al-Bukhari)

Therefore, keep at it and don’t give up.

4. Stay Connected with the Muslim World

This entails signing up to different websites/media that can give you regular emails and advice, for example Productivemuslim.com. You may also receive information from a regular service such as a hadith for the day, a Qur’an verse of the day, dhikr or an interesting fact about Islam which you didn’t know before.

This is useful as you can quickly and easily access your emails anywhere these days with the latest technology. Now your lunch break and travel time can be used for valuable knowledge seeking. The benefits from this are that it allows you to keep yourself close to Islam through hearing and seeing it in different media and thus Allah will never be far from your mind. This is especially important for those of us not living in an Islamic society.

Furthermore, this point can also be applied to life offline. This means ensuring you’re with good company and those that are likely to remind you of Islam. This can be done informally when you see your friend eating with three fingers only. If he is a righteous companion, he will relate to you that is a Sunnah.

I saw the Messenger of Allah eating with three fingers (i.e., the thumb, the index finger and the middle finger) and licking them after having finished the food. (Muslim)

5. Dedicate a Specific Time for Acquiring Knowledge

This can be done daily or a few selected days in the week, depending on your schedule e.g. the weekend. However, be realistic about how much time you can give but try to ensure you are constant with this. If you’re a beginner with seeking knowledge then it’s a good idea to start with about 15-30 minutes and build yourself up from there.

Seeking knowledge will take a variety of forms so you may prefer to listen to a lecture for a little while or alternatively read a book but try to have this fixed in a routine. A practical way of carrying this out is reading a book aloud in group. The first person can read for about 10 minutes before letting someone else have a go. This method of gaining knowledge offers many benefits for the household; not only does it create unity and strengthen relations between family members. It also prevents you from feeling alone in seeking knowledge. If you are seeking knowledge with others, you can feed off their energy when your own motivation level dips.

6. Pick an Entertaining Topic to Start with

This is particularly aimed at those who are starting to seek knowledge. This is to help you find enjoyment in seeking knowledge and keep you interested in learning about Islam.

Personally, I find learning about the prophets entertaining and beneficial. Not only will you learn about the miracles that they experienced, you will also learn about the great abilities and attributes God gave His different prophets i.e. the great size of Prophet Adam  (peace be upon him), the way Prophet Ibrahim  (peace be upon him) was saved from the heat of the fire he was thrown into, etc. From this, we hope Allah will give us a thirst for knowledge which brings us closer to Him and Islam.

Children’s story books are small and informative with many colours and pictures. They are designed this way, on purpose, to attract readers and to help retain their interest; so this may also be a useful place to start (if you don’t find them too childlike).

7. Keep on Making Du`aa’ to God to Help You Achieve this Objective

This is vital for the believer in every aspect of his life. Subsequently, it is important you keep on making du`aa (supplication) to Allah that He helps you to seek knowledge, understand it correctly, retain that knowledge (whether you have a weak memory or not) as well as make the path of knowledge easy for you. This will be significant as without the help and will of Allah you will not be able to achieve anything. For those blessed to be on the path of knowledge already, always thank Him for what He has allowed you to do.

Also, try to be specific and honest in your du’aa; for example you may not have a desire for seeking knowledge. If this is the case then call on Allah by His beautiful names and attributes to remove your block and to bless you with an enthusiasm for seeking knowledge. A du`aa you can constantly recite to help with this is:

‘O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men’.

Another du`aa’ which will offer great benefit is:

’Rabbi Zidni `Ilma‘ (‘O my Lord! Increase me in Knowledge’).

These are just a few techniques that can allow us to productively seek knowledge. There are many alternatives to obtaining knowledge, which include: sitting in the circles of knowledge, enrolling into a course, etc. but not all of us have the capacity to do this. I hope from these points mentioned, you’ve gained a better idea on how to bring this noble task of seeking knowledge into your life. May give us the blessing to walk on the path of knowledge and stay on that path until we meet Him.

Ameen.

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Source: productivemuslim.com

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How to Be Muslim and Modest? (Part 1)

How to Be Muslim and Modest? (Part 1)

By Naiyerah Kolkailah

Allah’s Love of Modesty

When we have modesty with Allah, our manners and behavior with His creation will naturally exude more modesty.

Think about haya’ (modesty), what comes to mind? It could be wearing hijab and dressing modestly. Or maybe it is using decent and clean speech. Or it might be conducting ourselves with dignity and self-respect around the opposite gender.

If we know we’ve fallen short in our modesty, we feel the need to change in some way. So, we try to wear more loose-fitting clothes, for example, or wear less make-up. Or we might try to curse a little less, look at lewd images less often, or flirt a little less with a guy friend or girls at work. But sometimes we find it difficult to change these habits and behaviors. Why is that?

Part of the reason is that we overlook the inner spiritual dimensions of modesty; we try to cure the symptoms without dealing with the problem at its root. It is almost like trying to save a dried out plant by dipping its leaves in water or fertilizer.

Maybe what needs our attention is less apparent. Maybe it is our attitude towards Allah (Exalted is He), or the purity of our hearts, or the depth and strength of our faith in Allah. If we develop modesty and shamefulness in our hearts, it becomes easier for our thoughts, desires, conversations, and actions to reflect that modesty. When we have modesty with Allah, our manners and behavior with His creation will naturally exude more modesty. So, outer modesty is a byproduct and manifestation of the God-consciousness and modesty we nurture within.

I recently read a book almost entirely on the inner dimensions of modesty. It is called Fiqh Al-Haya’ (Understanding Modesty) by Muhammad Al-Muqaddim. I’ve translated some excerpts that I felt capture the essence of haya’ and how it relates to imān and our relationship with Allah. The last translated portion includes ways to adorn our character with more modesty, both internally and externally. May it be of benefit to all Insha’Allah (God-willing).

What is Haya’?

Linguistically, haya’ is derived from the root hayiy, which comes from the word hayah (life). Heavy rain is referred to as hayyan because with it comes the life of the earth, and plants and animals. Similarly, the worldly life and the afterlife are defined through haya’; whoever does not have haya’ would be (spiritually) dead in this life, and also miserable in the afterlife. Some linguists have said: ‘The life in one’s face comes from its haya’, just as the life of a planted seed comes from watering it’.

The level of one’s haya’ is based on how much life is in the heart…so the more alive the heart, the more complete the haya’.

Technically, haya’ is defined as a change or a state of humility that overtakes a person out of fear of being blameworthy. Ibn Al-Qayyim says: ‘haya’ is a state that emerges from combining exaltation with love, so when the two are coupled, haya’ is born’. Some scholars say that it stems from feeling shameful in the heart about something and feeling averse to it.

It can also emerge when the servants know that Allah (the Truth) is looking at them, making them more patient with a certain struggle, or making them feel uncomfortable with their own sin, or making them refrain from complaining.

Haya’ can also come from recognizing the bounty and graciousness one receives. This is because a generous person would not return favorable treatment with mistreatment.

Imam Al-Junayd (may Allah have mercy on him) said: ‘Haya’ is seeing the signs, and being aware of one’s shortcomings. Out of these two will arise a state of haya’. In reality, haya’ is a character trait that encourages a person to avoid shameful things and prevents one from neglecting the rights of the One Who deserves them most’.

Haya’ and Iman

It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Haya’ and iman are two companions, so when one increases, the other also increases”. (Al-Hakim)

He also said: “Haya’ is a part of iman (faith)”. (Muslim)

Imam An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) reported that Al-Qadi `Iyad said: ‘Haya’ was made to be a part of iman– even if it is innate- because it can either be acquired and adopted like all other acts of righteousness, or it can be one’s natural disposition.

However, practicing haya’ according to Islamic legislation requires that being acquired with the right intention and with sound knowledge. That is why haya’ is a part of iman. Another reason is that haya’ encourages one to do acts of righteousness and it prevents one from committing sins’. (An-Nawawi’s Commentary on Sahih Muslim)

Allah’s Love of Modesty

It is narrated that the Prophet said: “Verily, Allah the Exalted is Modest and Concealing (Sittīr); and He loves modesty and concealment. So, when any of you bathe, let him conceal himself”. (Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i, Al-Baihaqi, and Ahmad)

Al-Mubarakfuri said: ‘(The Prophet’s statement’s ”Allah is Modest” means He is Modest in practice, or shows a lot of Modesty. Describing Allah with the Attribute of Modesty is to be understood in a way most befitting for Allah, just like all His other Attributes; we believe in them but do not delve into how (the traits are manifested)’.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

‘…Whoever has a trait similar to one of Allah’s attributes, that trait will lead him to Allah, and will bring him closer to Allah’s Mercy, and will make him/her beloved to Allah; for Allah is Most-Merciful, and He loves the merciful; He is Most Generous, and He loves the generous; He is All-Knowing, and He loves the knowledgeable; He is strong, and He loves the strong believer, who is more beloved to Him than the weak believer; He is Modest, and he loves the people of modesty; He is Beautiful and He loves the people of beauty; He is One (witr) and he loves the people of the witr (Witr Prayer)’.

Who Deserves Our Modesty?

A person should be modest with Allah (the All-Mighty and Exalted) with the angels, and with oneself. Whoever is modest with people but not with oneself has belittled his self because he does not see it as worthy of his own modesty. Whoever is modest with oneself but not with Allah does not truly know Allah, the All-Mighty and Exalted.

As such, the Prophet told a man he was advising: “I advise you to have shame with Allah as you would have shame (in the presence) of a righteous man from your people”. (Ahmad)

In the words of Allah (the All-Mighty and Exalted): “Does he not know that Allah sees (everything)?” (Al-`Alaq 96:14) there is an implied warning to the servant; if he knows that Allah sees him, then he should be ashamed of committing sin.

Whoever knows that the One he worships is observing his worship will be more inclined to adorn it externally with humble reverence and internally with sincerity and presence. Surely, Allah knows the secret glance of the eyes and what the hearts conceal.

To be continued…

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Source: suhaibwebb.com.

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How to Be Muslim and Modest? (Part 2)

How to Be Muslim and Modest? (Part 2)

By Naiyerah Kolkailah

How could a Muslim develop a modest character?

Islamic legislation calls for adopting beautiful moral traits and eliminating bad character traits.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) has made modesty a standard and measure for a person’s actions. An-Nawwas ibn Sam`an (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he asked the Messenger of Allah about righteousness and wrongdoing. So the Prophet responded: “Righteousness is good character and wrongdoing is what makes you feel discomfort, and that you would hate for people to see (what you are doing)”. (Muslim)

One of the areas where modesty, i.e. shamefulness, should be avoided is in seeking knowledge and in educating. `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “One who does not know should not be ashamed of asking until he has knowledge, and one who is asked about something he does not know should not be ashamed to say ‘I do not know’”. (Ibn Hajar, Fath Al-Bari; commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Al-Bukhari said that Mujahid said: “The one who is shy or arrogant does not gain knowledge”. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “How great were the women of the Ansar; their modesty did not prevent them from seeking knowledge about their religion”. (Ahmad)

How Do We Become More Modest?

If a person’s character traits were completely innate, they would be difficult to change, or replace, or adjust.

Islamic legislation calls for adopting beautiful moral traits and eliminating bad character traits. If it was not possible to do so, Islamic legislation would not obligate it. Allah (the Most-High) says:

He has succeeded; the one who purifies it, and he has failed; the one who corrupts it. (Ash-Shams 91:9, 10)

Despite that, people vary in their ability, capability, or willingness to adopt or change certain character traits. So, if a person is naturally disposed to express a specific quality, it is easier to develop that character trait even further. This is because his fitrah (innate disposition) is assisting him. As related to modesty as a character trait, it can be innate, and it can also be acquired. These are some ways to help in acquiring and developing modesty:

1- Refrain from shameless words or actions, such as foul or evil speech. This will aggravate Satan, who beautifies these actions, and tempts people with them. So, not engaging in such actions would actually make him hopeless, and he would in turn retract in disgrace.

2- Continuously learn about the benefits of modesty, and expose one’s heart to them repeatedly. Also, make a commitment to gaining the highest levels of modesty, and actively adorning oneself with it.

3- Strengthen iman and belief in the heart, because modesty is a fruit of iman and knowing Allah (the All-Mighty and Exalted).

4- Worship Allah (Exalted is He) by reflecting on His beautiful names and attributes, which bring about Allah-consciousness and excellent (character and behavior). Examples of such names would be: the Witness, the Overseer, the All-Knowing, the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, the All-Encompassing, and the Protector.

Hatim Al-Asam said: “Make a pact with yourself in three (areas): when you do something, remember that Allah sees you, and when you speak, remember that Allah hears you, and when you are silent, remember Allah’s knowledge of your inner (thoughts, feelings, and being)”.

5- Consistently observe the obligatory and recommended worship, like prayer. Allah said: “Verily, prayer prevents lewdness and evil deeds”. (Al-`Ankabut 29:45)

It was said to the Messenger of Allah: “So and so prays all night, but when he wakes up he steals!” So, he said: “What you mentioned (i.e. his prayers) will (eventually) prevent him from that”. Or he said: “His prayers will prevent him”. (Ahmad)

Zakah is another example. Allah says regarding zakah: “Take a portion of their wealth as charity [zakah] to purify them and increase them with it”. (At-Tawbah 9:103)

6- Always be truthful and avoid dishonesty. This is because truthfulness will guide a person to righteousness, and modesty is a part of righteousness. The Prophet said: “You should be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to paradise…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

7- Actively practice modesty on a regular basis so that it becomes a natural disposition. This will require beautifying oneself with patience.

8- See righteous people, intermingle with them, listen to them, and learn from their modesty. Some scholars have said: “Enliven your modesty by sitting with those whom you would feel shameful around”. Mujahid said: “If all that a Muslim benefits from his brother is that his feeling of shame with him prevents him from sinning, then that would suffice him”. (Makarim Al-Akhlaq)

9- Bring to mind the modesty of the greatest example for mankind, the Messenger of Allah, and learn about his Seerah (biography of the Prophet) and his noble traits.

Also, bring to mind the modesty of his Companions and their lives, especially the righteous caliphs, the ten given glad tidings of paradise, those who witnessed Badr, and the Bay`at Ar-Ridwan (a covenant of fealty), and the rest of the Muhajireen and the Ansar, and those who followed in their footsteps from the people of knowledge and faith.

10- Remove oneself from a corrupted environment that keeps one away from good character. Do not accompany those who show little modesty; befriend righteous people instead. In the Prophetic narration about the man who killed one hundred souls, the knowledgeable man said: “…And who can stand between you and a sincere repentance? Go to so and so land, for you will find people there who worship Allah. So, worship Allah with them, and do not return to your land because it is a land of evil…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

We seek Allah’s forgiveness for every misstep, and for every mistake we made with the pen; and we seek His forgiveness for any words that do not match our actions; we seek His forgiveness for anything we showed or revealed of knowledge despite our shortcomings; we ask that He makes us act upon what we know, for His sake only, and that He places this knowledge on our scale of righteous deeds when our deeds are presented before us. Verily, He is Most-Benevolent and Generous.

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Source: suhaibwebb.com.

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