Travelers on the Path of Knowledge

Knowledge is an ocean and a few drops just aren’t enough. -Unknown

Don’t be Fooled- Part I March 22, 2010

Filed under: Islam,Reflections — musaafir @ 3:01 pm

Bismillah.
More than a few years ago, my brother mentioned to me a book recommended to him called The Screwtape Letters. He said though it was a work of fiction written by C.S Lewis, it was an interesting look into the way Shaytan works at trying distract us from our Deen. I purchased the book and after I read it, recommended it to others. This year, when MIST-NY had a festival, one of the prizes we awarded to the students was a copy of this book. Though it had been my intention to read this book again for a while, I only just recently committed to it again and feel like there are gems hidden beneath the writing that help us to learn from it. Hence, insha’Allah this will be a multiple part series about the tricks of Shaytan and how to avoid being fooled. In case you don’t know anything about the book, it is a collection of “letters” from the older devil- Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood. What follows will just be some tips and advice to follow to avoid falling into sin.

1. Do not allow yourself to be distracted– Often when a good thought comes to mind or when we start to reflect upon ourselves, our states, we allow something to get in the way. The book mentions someone who starts to reflect on an issue that would encourage him to think about faith and is inspired, but the Shaytan quickly comes in to dissuade him by telling him to come back to his thoughts after lunch, knowing fully well that this moment is fleeting and unless it is catered to at the moment, it will be gone. Part of the man knows that the issue at hand it too important to be delayed, but the Shaytan agrees and says, “In fact, much too important to tackle at the end of a morning…Much better to come back after lunch and go into it with a fresh mind.” In this way, the man is effectively dissuaded.

We fall into these types of cycle often. Habib al-Jifri mentioned that when a person is reminded of their faith and called to good works, it is something we should hold onto lest the metaphorical rope be drawn away. It is through Allah’s mercy that we are being called to guidance and turn our backs on that is hugely detrimental to us. We have to nurture these moments and act upon them. If someone is reminded of a charity that they want to give to an organization, they should give it at that moment. The few seconds of hesitation allow Shaytan to open that door and dissuade us from action. If a thought about putting a good work off comes into our mind, we should just make our intentions firm and not sway from them. Intending a good act is rewarded, but there is more reward in actually completing that act.

2. When in an area of worship, focus on that worship and do not let your mind wander– Though this book is written by a Christian writer who talks about what happens when people visit the Church, I think the same thing is applicable to Muslims and masjids. The book mentions someone walking into a church and his mind wandering to what the other church goers are wearing or doing. The book says, “your patient…is a fool. Provided that any of those neighbors (the churchgoers), sing out of tune, have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous. At his present stage, you see, he has an idea… in his mind which he supposes to be spiritual but which, in fact, is largely pictorial.”

Essentially, the point is that Shaytan deludes us into placing an importance on things that are in fact NOT that important. It is simply a tactic to divert our attention and allow us to trap ourselves. The first thing is distracting us from ibadah, the next is getting us to judge others and perhaps even think ourselves better than the next person. Small steps away from our goal can completely derail us. It is important to recognize that those thoughts that come to our mind during worship are the very things that are distancing ourselves from Allah. Once we focus and hone in on removing those distractions, then we can reap the benefits of khushoo and the reward of ibadah.

To be continued insha’Allah…

If there is anything that I have said that is wrong, I ask that you and Allah forgive me for it is due to my own errors and nafs. If there is anything that has been said that is truthful and correct, then it is from Allah.

W’Allahu ta’ala a’lam.

 

Wordly Effect of Sincere Obedience March 11, 2010

Filed under: Gems,Islam,Reflections — Lena @ 7:59 pm

An Answer from Seekers Guidance:

“The scholars of Islamic spirituality say that the one guaranteed (though not obligatory) worldly effect of sincere obedience (such as prayer) is the tawfiq, or divine facilitation, to do more good deeds. This is much more beneficial than any worldly thing to ask for, and of course, the rewards in the Hereafter are permanent.”

What a beautiful and beneficial effect.

 

Keeping Time Alive

Filed under: Dhikr,Gems,Imam Al-Haddad,Islam — Lena @ 2:09 pm

“The time following the dawn prayer, when kept alive, has a powerful and specific effect in attracting material provision, whereas, the time following the afternoon prayer, if kept alive, has a powerful effect in attracting provisions of the heart.”
Imam Al-Haddad (rahimahuAllah) in his treatise on Good Manners

Something I need to improve on, inshaAllah. May Allah ta’ala grant us the tawfiq to make the most of our time. Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallimu tasleema. Allahumma ameen.

 

Al Qadir March 6, 2010

Filed under: Allah's Names,Reflections — Lena @ 7:37 pm

Allah ta’ala chooses where we are at each moment. Need to learn contentment with Allah’s (Exalted be He) decree.

May Allah ta’ala make us content with His Decree. Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallimu tasleema. Allahumma Ameen.

Al Qadir is one of Allah’s 99 Names that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam shared with us (however, He is of course not limited to only these names). A translation for it could be The Omnipotent, The Able.

 

Seeing the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in Our Dreams

Filed under: Gems,Islam,Reflections,sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam — Lena @ 5:30 pm

“There are those that go to visit the Prophet, sallAlahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,
and there are those the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, comes to visit.”

SubhanAllah. Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallimu tasleema.

May Allah ta’ala grant us the great blessing of seeing His Beloved, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in this life and the next. Ameen, Ameen ya Rabb-al-‘aalameen.

 

Islam is Timeless part II. March 5, 2010

Filed under: Forgiveness,Islam,Qur'an,Reflections — Lena @ 2:31 am

Bismillah wAlhamdulillah wa salaatu wa salaam ‘ala Rasulillah.

Alhamdulillah for the blessing of Islam and sufficient it is as a blessing. SubhanAllah.

I forgot to mention something on the last portion of the ayah (49:2) in my previous post.

Allah ta’ala ended the verse with:

“…lest your deeds became null while you do not perceive.”

Allah ta’ala is warning and informing us that we could lose all of our deeds and we would not even be aware of it. SubhanAllah…this is the reality of our actions. Not at any moment are we fully aware of the effects of our actions and often times we are completely heedless of this. Sometimes we even belittle the effects of our words. It may be that we can say something to someone and harm them in some manner with our word and we may think nothing of it but that word can weigh heavily on our scales and cause us to be dragged into hellfire.

But at the opposite end of this, there is always positive–it may be that we say a good word and think nothing of it but that word will weigh so heavily on our scales that it will raise us levels into Paradise.

SubhanAllah this is truly part of the beauty of our deen and of our Generous, Compassionate Lord–throughout the Qur’an He warns of His punishment and tells us His Punishment is Severe, but He ta’ala follows after with words of reassurance for us and tells us of His Forgiveness and Mercy–and how indeed, He is the Most Merciful and we should never lose hope in this fact.

The fact that we would not even perceive this loss of deeds should wake us up, bring our hearts to set on carefully watching what we say and do and to never take things too lightly. If you find you did something wrong, immediately follow it with good and inshaAllah that wrong or disobedient act will be wiped out. However, never despair–while we aim to be careful with actions and words, do not allow it to ever lead you to losing hope.
(And know that Allah ta’ala loves those who turn to Him often in repentance and never tires of it.)

We constantly have to strike a balance between fear and hope and inshaAllah this will lead us to attaining the Pleasure of Allah ta’ala.

May Allah ta’ala allow us to realize the weight of our words and actions; may He ta’ala grant us the tawfiq to constantly spend our time and effort in serving Him and growing closer to Him, and may He allow us to place our trust in Him and never fall into despair for He is the Best of Providers and indeed the Most Generous and Merciful. May He ta’ala forgive me for anything incorrect and allow me to put to practice what I write. Allahumma salli ‘ala sayidna Muhammad wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim. Allahumma Ameen.

wassalaamu alaikum.

 

Ar-Razzaq

Filed under: Allah's Names,Islam,Reflections — Lena @ 1:57 am

Allah ta’ala sustains us at every, single moment.

Just think about it.