Friday, June 15, 2007

The Hajj - A Poem

The Hajj - A Poem
by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah Translated by Usama Hasan

The Hajj[1] - The Journey

By Him whose House the loving pilgrims visit,
Responding with ihram at the appointed limit,
Uncovering their heads in total humility
Before One to Whom faces bow in servility.
They exclaim in the valleys,
"We have responded to You -All Praise is Yours, and Kingdom too!"
He invited and they answered, with love and pleasure;
When they called upon Him, nearer came the Divine treasure.
You see them on their mounts, hair dusty and dishevelled,
Yet never more content, never happier have they felt;
Leaving homelands and families due to holy yearning,
Unmoved are they by temptations of returning.
Through plains and valleys, from near and far,
Walking and riding, in submission to Allah.
At the Ka’bah
When they see His House - that magnificent sight
For which the hearts of all creatures are set alight -
It seems they’ve never felt tired before,
For their discomfort and hardship is no more.
Now the eye of the Lover drowns in its streams,
It sees through its tears the goal of its dreams;
Now for Allah, how many tears are issued,
Each one being followed by a multitude?
When the eye perceives the House, its darkness clears,
And from the sorrowful heart, pain disappears;
Vision cannot encompass this beautiful sight:
Each glance returns with greater delight!
No wonder at this, for when the Merciful preferred
The House for Himself, it became most honoured.
He clothed it in Majesty, a magnificent garment;
Embroidered it with Beauty, a wonderful ornament!
The hearts all love the House therefore,
Awed and humbled, in respect and honour.
Now to ‘Arafat, hoping for Mercy and Forgiveness
From the One overflowing with Generosity and Kindness;
Now for Allah is that Magnificent Standing
Like, though lesser than, the Day of Reckoning.
The Irresistible draws near, His Majesty manifest,
Boasting to His angels, for He is the Mightiest,
"My slaves have come to Me so lovingly,
I’ll be Generous and Merciful, willingly.
I have forgiven their sins, – to this you are witness –
Fulfilled their hopes, and showered them with goodness.
" So joyous news! O people of that standing,
When sins are forgiven and Mercy is spreading;
How many slaves are set completely free?
Whilst others seek a cure, and heal will He.
Now Satan is never known to lose such face:
He’s blameworthy, rejected, in utter disgrace.
For he sees a matter that enrage him must:
He flees, slaps his face and covers it in dust!
Such Forgiveness he never did seeAs granted by the Lord, and such Mercy!
He built his edifice from every temptation available
Till he thought it was complete, unassailable;
Then Allah struck his building at its very foundation,
So it fell upon him, tumbling in devastation;
What worth has his structure, this evil ploy,
That he does build, and the Lord does destroy?
Muzdalifah & Mina
Now to Muzdalifah, to spend the night
In the Sacred Area, then Prayer at first light;
Now on to the Great Pillar, which they need
To stone at the time of the Prayer of ‘Id;
Now to their tents for the sacrifice prepared,
Reviving the tradition of a Father revered.
If sacrificing themselves were Allah’s demand,
They would respond, submitting to the command;
Just as they’d expose their necks in Jihad
To Allah’s enemies, till these stream with blood;
They discipline themselves, presenting the head for a shave:
Bringing humility and happiness to the obedient slave.
The Tawaf of Ifadah/Ziyarah
So when they’ve removed those natural growths,
Completed their rites, and fulfilled their oaths,
He invites them again to visit His House:
What honour and welcome this visit allows!
By Allah, they visit it in so much splendour,
Receiving their rewards and plenty of honour;
There Allah bestows Grace, Favour and Kindness,
Showing Generosity, Mercy and Forgiveness.
Then they return to Mina, each to his tent,
Every minute wish is granted, and they are content;
They stay there a day, then another, then a third,
They’re allowed to depart early, but to stay is preferred;
They stone the pillars daily after the sun’s decline,
With a slogan of Takbir in the presence of the Divine!
If only you could see their standing there:
Palms outstretched, hoping for Mercy’s share!
"O Lord! O Lord! Knowing as You do
That we hope for no-one, only You!
Then grant our wish, O You All-Knowing,
We pray for Your Mercy overflowing."
The Farewell Tawaf
When they’ve achieved at Mina all their gains,
Once more they fill the valleys and plains:
To the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, by the end of the day,
To circle it seven times, and then to Pray.
When departure nears and they are certain
That the bond of proximity is about to loosen,
There’s only a last stand for a final farewell:
Now for Allah are the eyes that swell,
And for Allah are the heavy hearts that turn
Into cauldrons of desire where fire does burn;
And the passionate sighs whose heat so vigorous
Nearly melts the Lover, ecstatic, rapturous!
Now you see those bewildered, perplexed in the throng,
Whilst others chant their sorrowful song:
"I depart, but there remains for You my yearning,
My fire of grief is raging and burning;
I bid farewell, but longing pulls my reins -
My heart is encamped in Your eternal plains!"
No blame today for saying what you feel:
No blame for expressing what you used to conceal!
(1) Taken from: Awdah al-Masalik ila Ahkam al-Manasik by 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Muhammad al-Salman, Riyadh, 12th edition, 1403 H, pp. 265-272.

Rendered into English, with apologies for not doing justice to the Arabic original, by Usama Hasan. Many thanks to 'Abd al-Rahman al-Helbawy and Shaykh Suhaib Hasan for their help with some difficult words.

Polishing the Hearts

Polishing the Hearts
Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d.751 H), rahimahullaah 1
From al-Istiqaamah magazine Shawwal 1418H/ February 1998

Allaah - the Most High - said:

"O you who believe! Remember Allaah and remember Him a lot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:4I].

"Those men and women who remember Allaah a lot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:35].

"So when you have finished the rights of your Pilgrimage, then remember Allaah as you remember your fore-father, or with more intense remembrance." [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:200].

These verses contain a command to remember Allaah intensely and abundantly, since the worshipper is in dire need of [remembering Allaah] and cannot do without it even for a twinkling of an eye. This is because every moment that a person does not spend in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah will not be of any benefit to him. Rather, the harm entailed in being neglectful of the dhikr of Allaah is far greater than any benefits that can be gained. One of the 'aarifeen (those who are knowledgeable about Allaah) said:"If a person were to spend such and such number of years engaged [in the dhikr of Allaah], then he turns away from it for just a moment, what he will lose is far greater than whatever he has already gained."

Al-Bayhaqee relates from 'Aaishah radiallaahu 'anhaa that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "There is no time in which the son of Aadam does not remember AIIaah in it, except that it will be a source of regret for him on the Day of Judgement" 2

Mu'aadh ibn jabal radiallaahu 'anhu relates that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The people of Paradise will not have any regrets except for those moments in which they were not engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah." 3

Mu'aadh ibn Jabal also relates that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was asked: What action is the most beloved to Allaah? So he replied: "That you continue to keep your tongue moist with the dhikr of Allaah, until you die." 4


Abu Dardaa radiallaahu 'anhu said:"For everything there is a polish and the polish for the heart is the dhikr of Allaah".

Al-Bayhaqee relates from Ibn 'Umar radiallaahu 'anhu that AlIaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "For everything there is a polish, and the polish for the hearts is the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah. There is nothing more potent in saving a person from the punishment of Allaah than the dhikr of Allaah." It was said: Not even Jihaad in the path of Allaah. So he replied: "Not even if you were to continue striking with your sword until it breaks."5

There is no doubt that hearts becomes rusty just as copper and silver coins become rusty. The polish for [this rust] is the dhikr of AIlaah. This is because [dhikr] is like a polish [which polishes the heart] like a shiny mirror. When dhikr is left, the rust returns. But when dhikr resumes, then the heart is [again] polished. And hearts become rusty due to two things:-

(i) neglecting remembering Allaah, and
(ii) committing sins.

The polish for these two things is:-

(i) seeking Allaah's forgiveness and
(ii) dhikr.


Whoever neglects [remembering Allaah] most of the time, then his heart will become rusty in accordance with how neglectful the person is. And when this [filthy] rust accumulates on the heart, then it no longer recognises things as they really are.

Thus, it views falsehood as if it is the truth, and truth as if it is falsehood. This is because this rust darkens and confuses the heart's perception, and so it is unable to truly recognise things for what they really are. So as the rust accumulates, the heart gets blackened, and as this happens the heart becomes stained with this filthy rust, and when this occurs it corrupts the heart's perception and recognition of things.

The heart [then] does not accept the truth nor does it reject falsehood, and this is the greatest calamity that can strike the heart. Being neglectful [of dhikr] and following of whims and desires is a direct consequence of such a heart, which [further] extinguish the heart's light and blinds its vision. Allaah - the Most High - said: "And do not obey him whose heart We have made to be neglectful of Our remembrance, one who follows his own whims and desires and whose affairs are furat [have gone beyond bounds and whose deeds have been lost]." [Soorah al-Kahf 18:28].


So when a worshipper desires to follow another person, then let him see: Is this person from the people of dhikr, or from the people who are negligent [about remembering Allaah]? Does this person judge in accordance with his whims and desires, or by the Revelation? So, if he judges by whims and desires then he is actually from those people who are negligent; those whose affairs have gone beyond bounds and whose deeds are lost.

The term furat [which occurs in the above verse] has been explained in many ways. It has been explained to mean:-
(i) losing the rewards of that type of action which is essential to do, and in which lies success and happiness;
(ii) exceeding the limits of something;
(iii) being destroyed;
and (iv) opposing the truth. Each of these sayings are very close in meaning to each other.

The point is that Allaah - the One free from all imperfections, the Most High - has prohibited following all those who possess such attributes. So it is absolutely essential that a person considers whether such attributes are found in his shaykh, or the person who's example he follows, or the person that he obeys.

If they are, then he should distance himself from such a person. However, if it is found that the person is, in most cases, pre-occupied with the dhikr of Allaah and with following the Sunnah, and his affairs do not exceed the limits, but rather he is judicious and resolute in his affairs, then he should cling to him very firmly.

Indeed, there is no difference between the living and the dead, except with the dhikr of Allaah; since [the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] said: "The example of one who remembers Allaah and someone who does not, is like the example between the living and the dead."6

Dead Hearts

Dead Hearts
Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullaah
Taken from Al Jumuah, Vol 8 Issue 4

While thousands of Muslims are killed all over the world, and while tens of thousands are imprisoned and tortured for calling to the path of Allah and for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, most Muslims remain remarkably silent and have no worry except for the material things of life. Their hearts have been filled with the love of this life and the forgetfulness of the Hereafter.

Allah says in the Qur'an: "You will indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life, even more than those who do not believe in Resurrection. Each one of them wishes he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from due punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do." (Al Baqarah, 2:96)

Many Muslims today have become so much attached to their life that their desire is to dwell among their family, house, money and commerce. They have forgotten that matters of the Hereafter should come before matters of this life and that we must strive to follow the orders of Allah, not just those we find easy and convenient to follow. Some Muslims today claim that it is better to perform extra prayers and extra fasting rather than enjoin the good and forbid the evil or defend the lives of weak Muslims. Such people would even blame the Muslims who strive to perform these obligations.

This is what Ibn al-Qayyim had to say about such people: ''The Shaitan has misled most people by beautifying for them the performance of certain voluntary acts of worship such as voluntary prayers and voluntary fasting while neglecting other obligatory acts of worship such as enjoining the good and eradicating the evil, to the extent that they do not even make the intention of performing them whenever they are able to.

Such people are considered by the scholars to be on the bottom of the scale of religion: For the essence of our religion is to perform what Allah ordered us to do. The one who does not perform his obligations is actually worse than the one who performs sins. Anyone having some knowledge about the revelation of Allah, the guidance of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and the life of the companions would conclude that those who are pointed at today as the most pious people are in fact the least pious.

Indeed, what kind of piety is there in a person who witnesses Allah's sanctities being violated, his religion abandoned, the Sunnah of His Messenger shunned, and yet remains still with a cold heart and a shut mouth' Such a person is like a dumb Shaitan! In the same way the one who talks falsehood is a speaking Shaitan.

Isn't the misfortune of Islam due only to those who whenever their life and food are secure, would not care about what happens to the religion? The best among them would offer a sorry face. But if they were challenged in one of the things their heart is attached to like their money, they would spare no efforts to get it back. These people, besides deserving the anger of Allah, are afflicted with the greatest calamity without even knowing it: They have a dead heart. Indeed the more alive a person's heart is, the stronger its anger for the sake of Allah and the more complete his support to Islam and Muslims." (A'alaam al-Muwaqqi'een, volume 2, page 176).

Gratitude in the Qur’ân

Gratitude in the Qur’ân

by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Patience and Gratitude. By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. An abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat by TaHa Publications


Allâh tells us:

“Then remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject Me” (al-Baqarah 2:152).

And He has told us that only those who are grateful to Him truly worship Him:

“... and be grateful to Allâh, if it is Him you worship” (al-Baqarah 2:172)

Allâh has mentioned gratitude alongside îmân, and has made it clear that He gains nothing from punishing His people if they give thanks to Him and believe in Him:

“What can Allâh gain by your punishment, if you are grateful and you believe?...” (an-Nisâ’ 4:147)

In other words: if you carry out the duties for which you were created, namely gratitude and îmân, why should Allâh punish you?
Allâh has divided people into two categories, the people of gratitude (shukr) and the people of ingratitude (kufr). The thing most disliked by Him is kufr and the people of kufr, the thing most liked by Him is gratitude and the people of gratitude:

“We showed him (i.e. man) the way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).”(al-Insân 76:3)

According to the Qur’ân, the Prophet Sulaymân (AS) said:

“... This is by the grace of my Lord! - to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is free of all needs, Supreme in honour!” (an-Naml 27: 40)

And Allâh said:

“And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): ‘If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed’” (Ibrâhîm 14:7).

“If you reject (Allâh), truly Allâh has no need of you; but He likes not ingratitude from His slaves: if you are grateful, He is pleased with you...” (az-Zumar 39:7).

There are many âyât in the Qur’ân where Allâh makes a contrast between gratitude (shukr) and ingratitude (kufr). For example:

“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allâh, but Allâh (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:144).

The rewards of gratitude
The reward of gratitude is unlimited:

“ ...If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you...” (Ibrâhîm 14:7)

In contrast, other rewards and divine favours are conditional upon His will, for example, relief from poverty:

“... but if you fear poverty, soon will Allâh enrich you, if He wills...” (at-Tawbah 9:28)

answering prayers:

“Nay – on Him would you call, and if it be His Will, He would remove (the distress) which occasioned your call upon Him...” (al-An‘âm 6:41).

rizq (sustenance, provision):

“... He gives Sustenance to whom He pleases” (ash-Shura 42:19).


“... He forgives whom He wills, and He punishes whom He wills…” (al-Fath 48:14).

Divine mercy:

“Again will Allâh, after this, turn (in mercy) to whom He will...” (at-Tawbah 9:27).

But Allâh has made the reward for gratitude free from any conditions, as in:

“... And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve Us with) gratitude” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:145).

“But Allâh will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:144).

Iblîs and gratitude
When the enemy of Allâh realized the virtue of gratitude, he made his main aim to keep people away from it:

“‘Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: nor will You find, in most of them, gratitude (for Your mercies).’” (al-Ā‘râf 7:17)

Allâh has described the people of gratitude as being very few:

“... But few of My slaves are grateful!” (Sabâ’ 43:13).

Gratitude and ‘ibâdah
Allâh explained in the Qur’ân that the only people who truly worship Him are those who give thanks (gratitude) to Him, so those who are not among the people of gratitude are not among the people of ‘ibâdah:

“... and be grateful to Allâh, if it is Him you worship” (al-Baqarah 2:172)

He instructed His slave Mûsâ (AS) to accept what He had be­stowed upon him with gratitude:

“...O Mûsâ! I have chosen you above (other) men, by the mission I (have given you) and the words I (have spoken to you): take then the (revelation) which I give you, and be of those who give thanks.” (al-Ā‘râf 7:144)

Allâh has told us that His pleasure may be attained through gratitude:

“... If you are grateful, He is pleased with you...” (az-Zumar 39:7).

Allâh praised Ibrâhîm (AS) for being grateful for His favours:

“Ibrâhîm was indeed a model. Devoutly obedient to Allâh, (and) true in faith, and he joined not gods with Allah. He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allâh, Who chose him, and guided him to a straight way.” (an‑Nahl 16:120‑121)

Allâh mentioned that gratitude is the purpose of creation:

“It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affection: that you may give thanks (to Allâh).” (an-Nahl, 16:78)

“Allâh had helped you at Badr, when you were a contempt­ible little force; then fear Allâh; thus may you show your gratitude.” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:123).

As well as being the purpose of creation, gratitude was also the purpose of sending the Prophet (SAAS):

“Then remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject Me.” (al‑Baqarah 2:152).

Patience and Gratitude. By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. An abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat by TaHa Publications

How Do You Benefit From the Qur'aan

How Do You Benefit From the Qur'aan

Author: Ibn al-QayyimSource: Al-Fawaa'id

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said in al-Fawaa’id:

Allaah the Exalted said:
Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. (Qaaf 50:37)

When you desire benefit from the Qur’an, then bring your heart together during its recitation, listen heedfully and have the presence of the one who is being addressed and spoken to, since it is a speech from Him, the Sublime, to you, upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).

This is because the best and most complete effect is suspended between the following:
1. That which produces the required effect,
2. A place which receives this effect,
3. The condition which is necessary to receive such an effect and
4. The absence of that which prevents this effect from being obtained.

This verse has included all of the above with the most concise and clear of wording, which is most direct in expounding the intended meaning.

His speech: (Verily, therein is indeed a reminder...) is an indication of what has preceded from the beginning of Surah Qaaf to the present and this constitutes that which produces the desired effect.

And His speech: (...for him who has a heart...) this is the place which receives the effect and what is desired by it is: a living heart which understands from Allaah, just as the Exalted has said:

It is but a Reminder and a Manifest, Clear Qur’an, that he (Muhammad) may give warning to him who is alive (i.e. the healthy and live heart of the believer.) ( YaaSeen 36:69-70)
And His speech: (...or who gives ear...) the one who directs his listening and the perceptive faculty of his hearing to what is being said to him, and this is the condition of benefiting and receiving the desired effect from the words (that one hears).

And His speech: (...while he is heedful) meaning his heart is present and witnessing, not absent and unmindful.

Ibn Qutaibah said: "Listen to the Book of Allaah, while your heart and understanding are present, not while you are unmindful and forgetful."

And this is an indication of that which prevents the desired effect [from the Book of Allaah] from being obtained and that is the forgetfulness and absence of the heart from understanding what is being said to it, looking at it with care and pondering slowly and carefully over it.

So when that which produces the effect and that is the Book of Allaah; a place which receives the effect and that is the heart; the necessary condition, which is paying attention; the absence of that which prevents the effect and that is the hearts occupation and distraction away from the meaning of the speech and its turning way to something else are all present, then the effect will be obtained and realized and that is benefiting from the Qur’an and its remembrance.

The Four Poisons Of The Heart

The Four Poisons Of The Heart

Taken from the book “Purification of the Soul”, one of the great books on the matters of the heart. The book is a compilation of the works of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalî, Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawzî and Abî Hamîd al-Ghazalî...

You should know that all acts of disobedience are poision to the heart and cause its sickness and ruin. They result in its will running off course, against that of Allâh, and so its sickness festers and increases.

Ibn al- Mubârak said:

I have seen wrong actions killing hearts, And their degradation may lead to their becoming addicted to them. Turning away from wrong actions gives life to the hearts, And opposing your self is best for it.

Whoever is concerned with the health and life of his heart, must rid it of the effects of such poisons, and then protect it by avoiding new ones. If he takes any by mistake, then he should hasten to wipe out their effect by turning in repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allâh, as well as by doing good deeds that will wipe out his wrong actions.
By the four poisions we mean unnecessary talking, unrestrained glances, too much food, and keeping bad company. Of all the poisons, these are the most widespread and have the greatest effect on a heart's well-being. Unnecessary Talking It is reported in al-Musnad, on the authority of Anâs, that the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"The faith of a servant is not put right until his heart is put right, and his heart is not put right until his tongue is put right." [1]

This shows that the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam has made the purification of faith conditional on the purification of the heart, and the purification of the heart conditional on the purification of the tongue.At-Tirmîdhi relates in a hadîth on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar:
"Do not talk excessively without remembering Allâh, because such excessive talk without the mention of Allâh causes the heart to harden, and the person furthest from Allâh is a person with a hard heart." [2]

Umar Ibn al-Khattâb, may Allâh be pleased with him, said:
"A person who talks too much is a person who often makes mistakes, and someone who often makes mistakes, often has wrong actions. The Fire has a priority over such a freqent sinner." [3]

In a hadîth related on the authority of Mu'âdh, the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said,
"Shall I not tell you how to control all that?" I said, "Yes do, O Messenger of Allâh." So he held his tongue between his fingers, and then he said: "Restrain this." I said, "Oh Prophet of Allâh, are we accountable for what we say?" He saw said, "May your mother be bereft by your loss! Is there anything more than the harvest of the tongues that throws people on their faces (or he said 'on their noses') into the Fire?" [4]

What is meant here by 'the harvest of the tongues' is the punishment for saying forbidden things. A man, through his actions and words, sows the seeds of either good or evil. On the Day of Resurrection he harvests their fruits. Those who sow the seeds of good words and deeds harvest honour and blessings; those who sow the seeds of evil words and deeds reap only regret and remorse.

A hadîth related by Abû Huraira says,
"What mostly causes people to be sent to the Fire are the two openings: the mouth and the private parts." [5]

Abû Huraira also related that the Messenger of Allâh sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said,
"The servant speaks words, the consequences of which he does not realise, and for which he is sent down into the depths of the Fire further than the distance between the east and the west." [6]

The same hadîth was transmitted by at-Tirmîdhi with slight variations
"The servant says something that he thinks is harmless, and for which he will be plunged into the depths of the Fire as far as seventy autumns." [7]

Uqba ibn Amîr said
"I said: "O Messenger of Allâh, what is our best way of surviving?' He, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, replied: "Guard your tongue, make your house suffice for sheltering your privacy, and weep for your wrong actions." [8]

It has been related on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa'd that the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said,
"Whoever can guarantee what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I guarantee him the Garden." [9]

It has also been related by Abû Huraira, may Allâh be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, said,
"Let whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day either speak good or remain silent." [10]
Thus talking can either be good, in which case it is commendable, or bad, in which case it is harâm.

The Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Everything the children of Adam say goes against them, except for their enjoining good and forbidding evil, and remembering Allâh, Glorius and Might is He." This was reported by at-Tirmîdhi and Ibn Mâ'jah on the authority of Umm Habîba, may Allâh be pleased with her. [11]
Umar ibn al-Khattâb visited Abû Bakr, may Allâh be pleased with them, and found him pulling his tongue with his fingers. Umar said "Stop! may Allâh forgive you!" Abû Bakr replied; "This tongue has brought me to dangerous places." [12]

Abdullâh ibn Mas'îd said: "By Allâh, besides Whom no god exists, nothing deserves a long prison sentence more than my tongue." He also used to say: "O tongue, say good and you will profit;desist from saying evil things and you will be safe; otherwise you will find only regret."
Abû Huraira reported that Ibn al-Abbâs said: "A person will not feel greater fury or anger for any part of his body on the Day of Judgement more than what he will feel for his tongue, unless he only used it for saying or enjoining good."

Al-Hassan said: "Whoever does not hold his tongue cannot understand his deen."
The least harmful of a tongue's faults is talking about whatever does not concern it. The following hadîth of the Prophet saw is enough to indicate the harm of this fault: "One of the merits of a person's Islâm is his abandoning what does not concern him."[13]

Abû Ubaida related that al-Hassan said: "One of the signs of Allâh's abandoning a servant is His making him preoccupied with what does not concern him."

Sahl said, "Whoever talks about what does not concern him is deprived of truthfulness."

As we have already mentioned above, this is the least harmful of the tongue's faults. There are far worse things, like backbiting, gossiping, obscene and misleading talk, two-faced and hypocritical talk, showing off, quarrelling, bickering, singing, lying, mockery, derision and falsehood; and there are many more faults which can affect a servant's tongue, ruining his heart and causing him to lose both his happiness and pleasure in this life, and his success and profit in the next life.
Allâh is the One to Whom we turn for assistance. Unrestrained Glances The unrestrained glance results in the one who looks becoming attracted to what he sees, and in the imprinting of an image of what he sees in his heart. This can result in several kinds of corruption in the heart of the servant. The following are a number of them:

It has been related that the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam once said words to the effect: "The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaytân. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allâh, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness which he will find in his heart on the day that he meets Him."[14]

Shaytân enters with the glance, for he travels with it, faster than the wind blowing through an empty place. He makes what is seen appear more beautiful than it really is, and transforms it into an idol for the heart to worship.
Then he promises it false rewards, lights the fire of desires within it, and fuels it with the wood of forbidden actions, which the servant would not have committed had it not been for this distorted image. This distracts the heart and makes it forget its more important concerns. It stands between it and them; and so the heart loses its straight path and falls into the pit of desire and ignorance. Allâh, Mighty and Glorious is He, says:

And do not obey anyone whose heart WE have made forgetful in remembering Us- who follows his own desires, and whose affair has exceeded all bounds. (18:28)

The unrestrained gaze causes all three afflications. It has been said that between the eye and the heart is an immediate connection; if the eyes are corrupted, then the heart follows. It becomes like a rubbish heap where all the dirt and filth and rottennes collect, and so there is no room for love for Allâh, relating all matters to Him, awareness of being in His presence, and feeling joy at His proximity-only the opposite of these things can inhabit such a heart. Staring and gazing without restraint is disobedience to Allâh:

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and quard their modesty; that is more purifying for them. Surely Allâh is aware of what they do. (24:30)

Only the one who obeys Allâh's commands is content in this world, and only the servant who obeys Allâh will survive in the next world. Furthermore, letting the gaze roam free cloaks the heart with darkness, just as lowering the gaze for Allâh clothes it in light. After the above ayah, Allâh, the Glorious and Mighty, says in the same sûrah of the the Qur'an:

Allâh is the light of the heavens and the earth: the likeness of His light is as if there were a niche, and in the niche is a lamp, and in the lamp is a glass, and the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it. Light upon light. 'Allâh guides whomever He wants to His Light. Allâh strikes metaphors for man; and Allâh knows all things. (24:35)

When the heart is a light, countless good comes to it from all directions. If it is dark, then clouds of evil and afflictions come from all directions to cover it up. Letting the gaze run loose also makes the heart blind to distinguishing between truth and falsehood, between the sunnah and innovation; while lowering it for Allâh, the Might and Exalted, gives it a penetrating, true and distinguishing insight.

A righteous man once said: "Whoever enriches his outward behaviour by follwing the sunnah, and makes his inward soul weathy thorugh contemplation, and averts his gaze away from looking at what is forbidden, and avoids anything of a doubtful nature, and feeds soley on what is halâl-his inner sight will never falter."

Rewards for actions come in kind. Whoever lowers his gaze from what Allâh has forbidden, Allâh will give his inner sight Abundant light. Too Much Food The consumption of small amounts of food guarantees tenderness of the heart, strenghth of the intellect, humility of the self, weakness of desires, and gentleness of temperament. Immoderate eating brings about the opposite of these praiseworthy qualities.

Al-Miqdâm ibn Ma'd Yakrib said: "I heard the Messenger of Allâh sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam say: "The son of Adam fills no vessel more displeasing to Allâh than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing."[15]

Excessive eating induces many kinds of harm. It makes the body incline towards disobedience to Allâh and makes worship and obedience seem laborious- such evils are bad enough in themselves. A full stomach and excessive eating have caused many a wrong action and inhibited much worship. Whoever safeguards against the evils of overfilling his stomach has prevented great evil. It is easier for shaytân to control a person who has filled his stomach with food and drink, which is why it has often been said: "Restrict the pathways of shaytân by fasting."[16]

It has been reported that when a group of young men from the Tribe of Israel were worshipping, and it was time for them to break their fast, a man stood up and said: "Do not eat too much, otherwise you will drink too much, and then you will end up sleeping too much, and then you will lose too much." The Prophet saw and his companions, may Allâh be pleased with them, used to go hungry quite frequently.
Although this was often due to a shortage of food, Allâh decreed the best and most favourable conditions for His Messenger, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace. This is why Ibn ‘Umar and his father before him-in spite of the Abundance of food available to them- modelled their eating habits on those of the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam.

It has been reported that ‘Aisha, may Allâh be pleased with her, said: "From the time of their arrival in Madina up until his death saw, the family of Muhammad sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam never ate their fill of bread made from wheat three nights in a row."[17]

Ibrahîm ibn Adham said: "Any one who controls his stomach is in control of his deen, and anyone who controls his hunger is in control of good behaviour. Disobedience towards Allâh is nearest to a person who is satiated with a full stomach, and furthest away from a person who is hungry."

Keeping Bad Company Unnecessary companionship is a chronic disease that causes much harm. How often have the wrong kind of companionship and intermixing deprived people of Allâh's generosity, planting discord in their hearts which even the passage of time-even if it were long enough for mountains to be worn away-has been unable to dispel. In keeping such company one can find the roots of loss, both in this life and in the next life. A servant should benefit from companionship.
In order to do so he should divide people into four categories, and be careful not to get them mixed up, for once one of them is mixed with another, then evil can find its way through to him: The FIRST category are those people whose company is like food: it is indispensable, night or day. Once a servant has taken his need from it, he leaves it be until he requires it again, and so on. These are the people with knowledge of Allâh-of His commands, of the scheming of His enemies, and of the diseases of the heart and their remedies- who wish well for Allâh, His Prophet saw and His servants.
Associating with this type of person is an achievement in itself. The SECOND category are those people whose company is like a medicine. They are only required when a disease sets in. When you are healthy, you have no need of them. However, mixing with them is sometimes necessary for your livelihood, businesses, consultation and the like.
Once what you need from them has been fulfilled, mixing with them should be avoided. The THIRD category are those people whose company is harmful. Mixing with this type of person is like a disease, in all its variety and degrees and strengths and weaknesses. Associating with one or some of them is like an incurable chronic disease. You will never profit either in this life or in the next life if you have them for company, and you will surely lose either one or both of your deen and your livelihood because of them. If their companionship has taken hold of you and is established, then it becomes a fatal, terrifying sickness.

Amongst such people are those who neither speak any good that might benefit you, nor listen cloesly to you so that they might benefit from you. They do not know their souls and consequently put their selves in their rightful place. If they speak, their words fall on their listeners' hearts like the lashes of a cane, while all the while they are full of admiration for and delight in their own words.

They cause distress to those in their company, while believing that they are the sweet scent of the gathering. If they are silent, they are heavier than a massive millstone-too heavy to carry or even drag across the floor. [18]

All in all, mixing with anyone who is bad for the soul will not last, even if it is unavoidable. It can be one of the most distressing aspects of a servant's life that he is plagued by such person, with whom it may be necessary to associate. In such a relationship, a servant should cling to good behaviour, only presenting him with his outward appearance, while disguising his inner soul, until Allâh offers him a way out of his affliction and the means of escape from this situation. The FOURTH category are those people whose company is doom itself.
It is like taking poision: its victim either finds an antidote or perishes. Many people belong to this category. They are the people of religious innovation and misguidance, those who abandon the sunnah of the Messenger of Allâh saw and advocate other beliefs. They call what is the sunnah a bid'a and vice-versa. A man with any intellect should not sit in their assemblies nor mix with them.
The result of doing so will either be the death of his heart or, at the very best, its falling seriously ill. What Gives the Heart Life and Sustenance You should know that acts of obedience are essential to the well being of the servant's heart, just in the same way that food and drink are to that of the body. All wrong actions are the same as poisonous foods, and they inevitably harm the heart. The servant feels the need to worship his Lord, Mighty and Glorious is He, for he is naturally in constant need of His help and assistance.
In order to maintain the well being of his body, the servant carefully follows a strict diet. He habitually and constantly eats good food at regular intervals, and is quick to free his stomach of harmful elements if he happens to eat bad food by mistake. The well being of the servant's heart, however, is far more important than that of his body, for while the well being of his body enables him to lead a life that is free from illnesses in this world, that of the heart ensures him both a fortunate life in this world and eternal bliss in the next.
In the same way, while the death of the body cuts the servant off from this world, the death of the heart results in everlasting anguish. A righteous man once said, "How odd, that some people mourn for the one whose body has died, but never mourn for the one whose heart has died-and yet the death of the heart is far more serious!"
Thus acts of obedience are indispensable to the well being of the heart. It is worthwhile mentioning the following acts of obedience here, since they are very necessary and essential for the servant's heart: Dhikr of Allâh ta'âlâ, recitation of the Noble Qur'ân, seeking Allâh's forgiveness, making du'as, invoking Allâh's blessings and peace on the Prophet, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, and praying at night.
1. Dâ'îf hadîth, Al-Mundharî, 3/234; and al-Irâqî in al-Ihyâ, 8/1539.
2. Dâ'îf hadîth, at-Tirmdîhî, Kitâb az-Zuhud, 7/92, gharib; no one else has transmitted it other than Ibrahim ibn Abdullâh ibn Hatib, whom ath-Dhahabî mentions, 1/43, stating that this is one of the gharib hadîth attributed to him.
3. Dâ’îf hadîth, Ibn Hibbân and al-Baihaqi, and al-Irâqî in his edition of al-Ihyâ, 8/1541.
4. Sahih hadîth, at-Tirmîdhî, al-Hâkim, ath-Dhahabî.
5. Sahih hadîth, at-Tirmîdhî and Ahmad; also al-Hakîm and ath-Dhahabî.
6. Al-Bukhârî in Kitâb ar-Riqâq, and Muslim in Kitâb az-Zuhud.
7. At-Tirmdihî, Kitâb az-Zuhud; he said the hadîth is hasan gharîb.
8. At-Tirmdîhi in Kitâb az-Zuhud with a slightly different wording; he said the hadîth is hasan. This wording is reported by Abû Nâ'im in al-Hilyâ.
9. Al-Bukhârî , Kitâb ar-Riqâq, 11/308 and Kitâb al-Hudûd, 12/113.
10. Al-Bukhârî , Kitâb ar-Riqâq, 11/308; Muslim, Kitâb al-Imân, 2/18. The complete hadîth is: "Let whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day either speak good or remain silent; and let whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day be generous to his neighbour; and let whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day be generous to his guest."
11. The hadîth is hasan and is reported by at-Tirmdîhî in Kitâb az-Zuhud and by Ibn Mâjah in Kitâb al-Fitan. At-Tirmîdhî classifies it as hasan gharib. We have no report of it other than from Muhammad ibn Yazid ibn Khanis.
12. Hasan according to Abû Yâ'la, Baihaqî and as-Suyutî. Musnad, 1/201; as-Sâ'ati.
13. Sahîh, at-Tirmdîhî, Kitâb az-Zuhud, 6/607; Ahmad, al-Musnad, 1/201; as-Sâ'atî, al-Fath ar-Rabbâni, 19/257; hadîth number 12 in an-Nawawi's Forty Hadîths.
14. Da’îf , at-Tabarânî, 8/63; al-Hâkîm, al-Mustadrak, 4/314; Ahmad, al-Musnad, 5/264.
15. Sahîh, Ahmad, al-Musnad, 4/132; as-Sa'ati, al-Fath ar-Rabbâni, 17/88; at-Tirmîdhi, Kitâb az-Zuhud, 7/51.
16. Dâ’îf ; it does not appear in most of the sources of the sunnah, but is mentioned in al-Ghazzâlî's al-Ihyâ, 8/1488.
17. Al-Bukhârî , Kitâb al-At'ima, 9/549; and Muslim, Kitâb az-Zuhud, 8/105.
18. Ash-Shâfî', may Allâh be pleased with him, is reported to have said, "Whenever a tedious person sits next to me, the side on which he is sitting feels lower down than the other side of me."

Love of Allah

Love of Allah

by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah


The love of the Belovedmust
be unconditionally returned.

If you claim love
yet oppose the Beloved,
then your love is but a pretence.
You love the enemies of your Beloved
and still seek love in return.

You fight the beloved of your Beloved.

Is this Love or the following of shaytaan?

True devotion is nothing
but total submission
of body and soul
to One Love.

We have seen humans claim to submit,
yet their loyalties are many.

They put their trust here, and their hope there,
and their love is without consequence.