The Advice

I am reading a small booklet by one of our great scholars, Muwaffaq ad-Din Ibn Qudama Al-Maqdisi, better known as Ibn Qudama.  The title of this booklet is called Al-Wasiyyah (The Advice) and it is the kind of writing so typical of our great scholars (may Allah have mercy on them all).  A few statements and paragraphs when read slowly and contemplated on, carry such a deep and beautiful meaning.  One can really appreciate the magnitude and depth of their words, as they spread the fruits of their wisdom and Taqwa.  It reminds me of the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam), where there was so much power and meaning behind what seemed to be a simple statement Subhan’Allah.

I had to share with you all just a few paragraphs of this work. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. At the least I found quite a few great reminders in it, where we can remind ourselves, our kids, family, students, and those around us.  I just love the wording and can only imagine how much more beautiful it is read in the original Arabic language.  May Allah help us all to learn Arabic for His sake; Ameen.

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Excerpts from Al-Wasiya
The Advice of the esteemed scholar Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi
Section I: Hastening to Act

I say, and Allah is enough for us, and an excellent guardian.  The world is an opportunity, so gain benefit from it.  Know, may Allah have mercy on you – that this world is the field whose harvest is the next world, the market where it is gained, and the place where provision and profitable goods are obtained.  In it the forerunners emerge, the Godfearing win, the true are successful, those who work reap profits and the falsifiers lose.

This abode is the place of the hopes of the people of the Garden, and the people of the Fire.

Allah, exhalted is He, says about the people of the fire,

They will shout in it, ‘Our Lord, take us out and we will act rightly, differently from the way we used to act.’  ” (35:37)

He, exhalted is He, says,

If only you can see when they are standing before the fire and saying, ‘If only we could be sent back again, we would not deny the signs of our Lord and we would be among the believers.’ ” (6:27)

It is related that Ibn Masood said,

The souls of the martyrs are like green birds which go about in Paradise wherever they wish and return to the lamps hanging from the Throne.  When they are like that, your Lord will look at them and say, ‘My slaves, ask Me for what you wish,’ and they will answer, ‘Our Lord, we ask you to return our souls to our bodies, and then return us to the world to be killed again.’  When He sees that they do not ask for anything else but that, they are left.” (Muslim)

Know my brother, may Allah have mercy on you, that Allah, exhalted as He, knows that they will ask that and yet they will not be returned to this world.  Rather, so that they become desirous of it He wants to inform the believers in this world that in the Garden their wish will be to be killed in His cause.

Ibrahim At-Taymi (one of the great Imams and Jurists in Kufa) said, I imagined myself in the Garden eating from its fruit, embracing its virgins, and enjoying its bliss, and then I asked myself, “My self, what do you desire?”  It replied, “I want to return to the world to do more of the deeds by which I attained this.”  Then I imagined myself in hell burning with its fire, gulping down its hot water and eating its bitter fruit.  I asked myself, “What do you desire?”  It answered, “To return to the world and perform actions by which I can deliver myself from this.”  So I told myself, “My self, you have what you wished, so ACT!”

Know, may Allah have mercy on you, that in the graves people wish that they can say a single glorification of Allah to increase their good actions, or to repent some of their bad actions, or perform a single rakah to elevate their degree.

If you were to compare this life to unending eternity, you would know that every breath is equal to more than a trillion years in bliss beyond number, or the opposite of that.  Something like this is priceless.

So do not squander the gems of your precious life doing nothing, and do not waste them without achieving recompense.  Strive to take no breath except in an act of obedience or an act by which you draw near to Him.  It would sadden you to lose one of the gems of this world after possessing it.  Indeed, if you were to lose a dinar, it would trouble you, yet you waste your hours and minutes without grieving for your life that is passing by without recompense!

Make your heart reflect on the blessings of Allah for which you should be thankful, on your wrongdoing so that you ask forgiveness for it, on your neglect so that you repent, on the creations of Allah and His wisdom, so that you recognize His immensity and wisdom, on what is before you so you seek to prepare for it, or on the judgment respecting something you need to learn.

Moisten your tongue constantly with remembrance of Allah, supplication to Him, asking for His forgiveness, reciting the Quran, reading or teaching knowledge, commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong, or in putting things right between people.

Occupy your limbs with acts of obedience and let the most important of them be performing the obligatory prayers in their times in the most complete form – and then in what will be of benefit to people.  The best of that is what will be beneficial to their deen, like teaching people deen and guiding them to the Straight Path.

The Muslim Woman and Herself

She keeps company with righteous people and joins religious gatherings

In order to attain this high status, the Muslim woman chooses righteous, Allah-fearing friends, who will be true friends and offer sincere advice, and will not betray her in word or deed. Good friends have a great influence in keeping a Muslim woman on the Straight Path, and helping her to develop good habits and refined characteristics. A good friend – in most cases – mirrors one’s behaviour and attitudes:

  • “Do not ask about a man: ask about his friends, / for every friend follows his friends.”47
  • Mixing with decent people is an indication of one’s good lineage and noble aims in life:
  • “By mixing with noble people you become one of them,/ so you should never regard anyone else as a friend.”48
  • So it is as essential to choose good friends as it is to avoid doing evil:
  • “If you mix with people, make friends with the best of them,/ do not make friends with the worst of them lest you become like them.”49
The Muslim woman is keen to attend gatherings where there is discussion of Islam and the greatness of its teachings regarding the individual, family and society, and where those present think of the power of Almighty Allah (SWT) and His bountiful blessings to His creation, and encourage one another to obey His commandments, heed His prohibitions and seek refuge with Him. In such gatherings, hearts are softened, souls are purified, and a person’s whole being is filled with the joy of faith.
  • Abdullah ibn Rawahah (RAA), whenever he met one of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH), used to say, “Come, let us believe in our Lord for a while.” When the Prophet (PBUH) heard about this, he said, “May Allah have mercy on Ibn Rawahah, for he loves the gatherings that the angels feel proud to attend.”50
  • The rightly-guided khalifah `Umar al-Faruq (RAA) used to make the effort to take a regular break from his many duties and the burden of his position as ruler. He would take the hand of one or two men and say, “Come on, let us go and increase our faith,” then they would remember Allah (SWT).51 Even `Umar (RAA), who was so righteous and performed so many acts of worship, felt the need to purify his soul from time to time. He would remove himself for a while from the cares and worries of life, to refresh his soul and cleanse his heart.
  • Mu`adh ibn Jabal (RAA) would often say to his companions, when they were walking, “Let us sit down and believe for a while.”52
The Muslim is responsible for strengthening his soul and purifying his heart. He must always push himself to attain a higher level, and guard against slipping down: ( By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and by its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right – truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it!) (Qur’an 91:7-10)
 
So the Muslim woman is required to choose with care the best friends and attend the best gatherings, so that she will be in an environment which will increase her faith and taqwa:(And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.) (Qur’an 18: 28)
47. See ‘Adiyy ibn Zayd al-‘Ibadi by the author, 172.
48. Anonymous.
49. See ‘Adiyy ibn Zayd al-‘Ibadi by the author, 172.
50. Reported by Ahmad (3/265) with a hasan isnad.
51. Hayat al-Sahabah, 3/329.
52. Ibid.
[Taken from “The Ideal Muslimah – The True Islamic Personality of the Muslim Woman as Defined in the Quran and the Sunnah” by Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi]

Don’t Be Sad

In dedication to Ah Ying

Do not be sad: for Allah defends you and the angels ask forgiveness for you; The believers share with you their supplications in every prayer; The Quran is replete with good promises; And above all is the mercy of He Who is the Most Merciful.

Do not be sad: the good deed is increased so that its value is multiplied tenfold or seven hundred fold or even much, much more.  Meanwhile, the evil deed is valued without increase or multiplication, and your Lord can forgive even that.  How many times do we witness Allah’s generosity, generosity that is unmatched by any! 

Do not be sad: you have the ability to supplicate to Allah and thus excel at humbling yourself at the doorstep of the King of kings.  You have the blessed last third of the night to invoke Allah and to rub your head upon the ground in prostration.

Do not be sad: Allah has created for you the earth and what is in it.  He has caused gardens of beauty to grow, filling them with many kinds of plants and flowers in pairs, both male and female.  And He has made tall palm trees, shining stars, forests, rivers and streams.

Do not be sad: for do you not see how the black clouds disperse and the violent winds subside?  Your hardships will be followed by comfort and your future is bright.   

An Arab poet said:

“Some eyes are restless while other are in sleep, In meditating that which may or may not occur, So leave worrying as much as possible, As carrying the burdens of anxiety is madness, There is your Lord, who provided you with solutions to yesterday, And He will similarly provide for what is to come tomorrow.”

Another said:

“Let events flow in their predestined path, And do not sleep except with a clear mind, Between the period of the blinking of the eye and its opening, Allah changes things from one state to another.”

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

“How wonderful is the affairs of the believer!  His affairs in their entirety are good for him…”

[Excerpts taken from: “Don’t Be Sad” by ‘Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni]

To Be The Most Beautiful Woman In The World

With your beauty, you are better than the sun; with your morals you are more sublime than musk; with your modesty you are nobler than the full moon; with your compassion you are more beneficial than rain. So, preserve your beauty with faith, your tranquility with contentment, your chastity with hijab. Remember that your adornment is not gold, silver or diamonds, rather, it is two rak’ahs at Fajr, going thirsty when you fast for Allah, concealed charity which no one knows except Him, hot tears that wash away sin, a lengthy prostration born of utter submission to Allah, shyness before Allah when the inclination to do evil overwhelms you. Clothe yourself with the garments of taqwa (piety) for you are the most beautiful woman in the world, even if you are barefoot. Beware of the life of bewitching immoral disbelieving women, for they are the fuel of the fire of Hell.

“None shall enter it save the most wicked” Surah al-Lail (92:15)

Whenever you go and find darkness in your life; what you have to do is to light the lamp within yourself.

Excerpt (1) from “You Can Be The Happiest Woman In The World” by Dr. A’id al-Qarni.