Saturday, August 25

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids arguing even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good. (Abu Dawud : Book 41 : Hadith 4782)

Friday, August 24

On Their Deathbeds

Al-Fudail bin 'Iyad

On his deathbed, Fudail fainted, and when he regained consciousness, he opened his eyes and said, "
How far my journey is! Yet how little do I have in terms of provisions (i.e., good deeds)!"

Amir bin 'Abd-Qais

Amir bin 'Abd-Qais too was crying on his deathbed. And when he was asked for the cause of his crying, he said, "I am not crying because I fear death or because I desire more from this world; rather, I am crying because of what I will now miss out on in terms of thirst during the heat of midday (i.e., the thirst of fasting on a hot day) and of standing up at night (to pray) during the winter.

Bilal bin Rabah

Bilal's wife leaned over her husband while he was on his deathbed and said, "How much sadness this brings!" Bilal cheerfully replied, "How joyful this is! Tomorrow, I will meet my loved ones: Muhammad (saws) and his party (i.e., followers)."

Haroon Ar-Rashid

It is reported that, as he was taking in his final breaths, Ar-Rashid selected a shroud and, staring at it, recited:

"My wealth has not availed me, My power and arguments (to defend myself) have gone from me!" 69:28-29

Ibn Al-Munkadir

During his final illness, Ibn Al-Munkadir began to cry. "Why are you crying," he was asked.

"By Allah," he said, "I am not crying for the sins I know I perpetrated, but instead because I fear that I did something I considered to be minor, when with Allah (i.e., in His Judgment) it is (a) huge (sin)."

Ibn 'Umar

When Ibn 'Umar was on the verge of dying, he said, "There are only three things from this world that I am sad to miss: the thirst of the noon heat (i.e., when he is fasting on a hot day), the striving of the night (i.e., performing voluntary prayers at night), and that I have not fought this transgressing faction that has come to us (i.e., the faction of Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf Ath-Thaqafi)."

Ibrahim An-Nakha'i

When Ibrahim An-Nakhai was seen crying on his deathbed, someone asked him, "Why are you crying?"

"And why should I not cry,"
he began to exclaim, "when I am waiting for the Messengers of my Lord 'Azza wa-Jall (the Possessor of might and majesty), not knowing whether they will bring me tidings of Paradise or of the Hell-fire!"

Mu'adh bin Jabal

When Mu'adh was about to die, he said, "O Allah, I have feared You my entire life, yet today I am hoping from You (i.e., hoping for Your mercy). 0 Allah, You indeed know that I did not love the world for a long stay in it, for the flowing of rivers, or for the planting of trees; but rather for the thirst of the midday heat (i.e., for fasting on a hot day), for striving hours at a time (in worship), and for sitting near scholars in circles of remembrance (i.e., gatherings wherein You are remembered)."

Mu'awiyah bin Abu Sufyan

Lying on his deathbed, Mu'awiyah asked those around him to help him up to a seated position. After his wish was complied with, he began to glorify Allah and praise Him. Then he cried and said, "Remember your Lord, 0 Mu'awiyah, after having experienced decrepitude and decline; at one time, this body was young and flourishing." Through loud and uncontrollable weeping, those nearby heard him say, "O my Lord, have mercy on this old sinner whose heart is hard. O Allah, pardon me and forgive my sins for me. And show Your leniency to the one who hopes from You only, and who trusts in none save in You."

Muhammad bin Wasi'

Muhammad bin
Wasi' was on his deathbed, and all around him many visitors were gathered, some of whom were standing, while others were sitting down. He said, "Show me what benefit all of these people will be to me tomorrow when I will first be seized by my forelocks and my feet, and then thrown into the Hell-fire."

"The Mujrimun (polytheists, criminals, sinners, etc.) will be known by their marks (black faces), and they will be seized by their forelocks and their feet." 55:41

Sa'd bin Abu Waqqas

When Sa'd was on the verge of dying, he requested that someone should bring him a tattered, wool garment that he had been keeping safe for many years. "Enshroud me in it," he said. "For indeed, I was wearing it when I fought the disbelievers on the Day of Badr, and I have been saving it just for this very day."

Sabr: refrain, stop

Sabr means to stop ourselves from despairing and panicking, to stop our tongues from complaining to people and to stop our hands from striking our faces and tearing our clothes at times of grief and stress.

Scholars say:

“The one who has patience is the one who has trained himself to handle difficulties.”
- Abu Uthman

” Patience means to keep close to Allah and to accept calmly the trials He sends, without complaining or feeling sad.”
- Amr ibn Ithman al-Makki

“Patience means to adhere to the rules of the Quran and Sunnah.”
- Al-Khawwas

“Patience means to seek Allah’s help.”
- Ali ibn Abi Talib

“Patience means not seeing any difference between times of ease and times of hardship, being content at all times.”
- Abu Muhammad al-Hariri

Source: "Patience and Gratitude" - Ibn Qayyim al -Jawziyyah

Wednesday, August 22

Easy Actions Equal in Reward to Hajj

Muslim reported that the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, "…Hasn't Allah made for you Salat Al-`Ishaa' in congregation equal to Hajj, and the Fajr prayer in congregation equal to `Umrah."

"Whoever walks to an obligatory prayer in congregation, it is like Hajj, and whoever walks to a voluntary prayer, it is like a voluntary `Umrah." (Saheeh Al Jaami`, 6432)

"Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the Sun rises, then prays two units of prayer, he will receive the reward of Hajj, and `Umrah - complete, complete, complete." (Saheeh Al Jaami`, 6222)

It is authentically reported that people said, "O Messenger of Allah! The rich took the reward of akhirah, they do Hajj and we do not; they engage in jihaad, and we do not. So the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, "Shall I not guide you to something that, if you stick to it, you will come with what is better than what one of them will come with: that you say Allahu Akbar 34 times, and Subhan Allah 33 times, and Alhamdulillah 33 times, at the end of every prayer."

"When one prays for one's brother, the angel says: 'Amin, and for you the same.'" (Saheeh Al Jaami`, 2143) So pray for your brother pilgrim that Allah accepts his Hajj and gives him its reward.

Saturday, August 11

Twenty 'Firsts' of Islam

1 - Hashim, the great-grandfather of the Prophet (peace be upon him), was the first to institute the two caravan journeys of Quraysh, summer and winter, and the first to provide tharid (meat broth) to the pilgrims in Makkah.

2 - Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the wife of the Prophet, was the first to accept Islam.

3 - The first male who bore witness that Allah was One, and that Muhammad was His Messenger, was Ali bin Abi Talib.

4 - The first meeting place in Islam was the house of Arqam bin Abu al-Arqam in Makkah.

5 - The family of Yasir was the first "whole family" to accept Islam (outside the family of the Prophet himself). Yasir, his wife, Sumayya, and their son, 'Ammar; all three accepted Islam as soon as they heard the call of the Messenger of Allah. Some people have claimed that it was Abu Bakr who was the head of the first "whole family" which accepted Islam. This claim lacks evidence. Abu Bakr's son, Abdur Rahman, was an idolater, and he fought against the Muslims in the battle of Badr. Abu Bakr's father, Abu Qahafa, was also an idolater who became a Muslim only after the conquest of Makkah in 630.

6 - The pagans in Makkah tortured Yasir and his wife, Sumayya, and their son, 'Ammar, day after day, for accepting Islam. All three of them were the first Muslims whom the Prophet gave the tidings that they would enter Paradise.

7 - Sumayya, the wife of Yasir, was the first martyr in Islam. Her husband, Yasir, was the second martyr. Both of them were tortured to death by the disbelievers. Their son, 'Ammar, was also destined to win the prize of martyrdom, though he did so in the battle of Siffin in 657 H.They became, in this manner, a family of martyrs in Islam - a distinction which no one else has ever shared with them.

8 - The first man to read Qur'an out aloud at the Ka'bah was 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud.

9 - The first man to be killed in the precincts of the Ka'bah was al-Harith bin Abu Hala, the nephew and adopted son of Khadijah. When the Abu Hala proclaimed his Islam at the Ka'bah before an assembly of the disbelievers, they subjected him to physical violence. al-Harith entered the fray to defend him. They stabbed him repeatedly, and he fell dead on the ground.

10 - 'Ammar ibn Yasir was the first man in Islam to build a mosque. He built his mosque in Makkah itself.

11 - Mus'ab bin 'Umayr was the first official in Islam. In 621, a group of the citizens of Madinah came to Makkah. They met the Prophet at 'Aqabah, accepted Islam, and requested him to send with them to Madinah a teacher of Islam. The Prophet sent Mus'ab bin 'Umayr, a cousin of his father, with them. This was the first time an official of any type was chosen in Islam.

12 - 'Abdullah bin Abd al-As'ad, was the first man to migrate from Makkah to Madinah in 622.

13 - Bilal was the first mu'adhin of Islam, and he was the first to be in charge of the Bayt ul-Mal (state treasury)of Madinah. This made him the first treasurer of the Muslims. He made allocations of all funds. He was also responsible for distributing funds to the widows, orphans, the wayfarers and other poor people who had no means of supporting themselves.

14 - Hamzah bin 'Abd al-Muttallib was the first military commander in Islam. The Messenger of Allah had sent him at the head of 30 Muhajirin to intercept a caravan of the Quraysh, led by Abu Jahl. But there was no action, and the expedition returned to Madinah.

15 - The first governor of Madinah was Sa'd bin 'Ubadah al-Ansari. In the second year of Hijrah, the Prophet personally led an expedition to Waddan. During his absence, Sa'd was placed as the temporary ruler of Madinah.

16 - The first military commander whose men were involved in bloodshed, was 'Abdullah bin Jahsh, a cousin of the Prophet. He led an expedition of seven men to Nakhlah.

17 - The battle of Badr, fought in 624, was the first encounter on the battlefield between Islam and disbelief. Walid bin Utbah, a military hero of the disbelievers, challenged the heroes of Islam to a duel. His challenge was taken up by 'Ali bin Abi Talib. 'Ali killed Walid bin 'Utbah after only a few minutes of dueling.

18 - 'Ubaydah bin al-Harith was the first Muslim to be killed in battle. He was a cousin of the Prophet, and he was the first martyr of the Battle of Badr.

19 - Zayd bin Harithah was the first Muslim to be killed on foreign soil. In September, 629, the Prophet sent him as the general of the army which was to fight the Romans in Syria. The two armies met in the battle of Mu'tah, and Zayd was killed in it.

20 - 'Akib bin 'Usayd was the first governor of Makkah. It was the first permanent civil appointment made in Islam. 'Akib took charge of his duties as governor of Makkah in January, 630.

And Allah Knows best.

[Taken from the 'Sirah' of Ibn Ishaq]

Wednesday, August 8

"O you who believe, respond to Allah and His messenger as they call you to that which gives you life" Chapter 8: Verse 24 (Partial)

The Quran came to change the beliefs, behavior and outlook of all who are astray. It came to guide them to the true happiness and the way of life that one should follow in this life. Al-Suddi, an early commentator on the Quran, stated that this verse means that Islam gave the Companions true life after they were truly dead in disbelief.

The difference between faith and disbelief is truly comparable to the difference between life and death. Knowing the Quran, that source of life to which Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) is calling every human, as opposed to not knowing it is also comparable to the difference between life and death.

The effect of the Quran can clearly be seen in the first generation of Muslims. These were the people who were given life by the Quran. They were taken from darkness into light. The example they set is the example that all later generations who believe in the Quran must aspire to.

The Change in the Arabs Brought about Through the Quran

Perhaps one of the best descriptions of the change that took place among the Muslims can be seen in the famous statement of the Companion Jafar ibn Abu Taalib who was asked by the Negus of Abyssinia about the mission of the Messenger. He told him:

“O king, we were an ignorant people, worshiping idols, eating carrion and indulging in sexual pleasures. We teased our neighbors, a brother oppressed his brother, and the strong devoured the weak. At this time a man rose among us, who had already been known to be truthful, noble and honest. This man called us to Islam. And he taught us to give up worshiping stones, to speak the truth, to refrain from bloodshed, and not to defraud the orphans of their property. He taught us to provide comfort to our neighbors and not to bring a slander against chaste women. He enjoined upon us to offer prayers, observe fasts and give alms. We followed him, gave up polytheism and idolatry and refrained from all evil deeds.”

That generation, in turn, took the message to the rest of the world. They were clearly a people who were taken from darkness into light and to the straight path of Allah. When asked by the Emperor of Persia what brought the Muslims to their lands, two different Companions answered in similar terms: "Allah has sent us to take whoever wishes from the servitude of mankind to the servitude of Allah and from the tightness of this world to its expanse and from the injustice of the ways of life [in this world] to the justice of Islam."

Why Doesn't the Quran Have the Same Effect Today?

The reason why the Quran does not have the same effect today has nothing to do with the essential nature of the Quran— as it will always be the true guidance that is ever available to take mankind from darkness into light. The source of the problem is in the way that many of today's believers approach the Quran. The possible reasons for this kind of situation could be many. In general, though, four, which were mentioned in the introductory chapter, stand out glaringly:

(1) Some Muslims emphasize secondary aspects of the Quran while ignoring its more important primary aspects;
(2) Too many Muslims do not recognize and understand the primary goals of the Quran; therefore they read it but do not get out of it what it desires
(3) In addition, some Muslims do not approach the Quran in the proper manner, missing the essential link between what it teaches and how it is to affect mankind; and
(4) Even when the above obstacles or problems are overcome, still some Muslims do not interpret the Quran in the proper manner and, hence, although they read it they do not get its correct teachings from it.

Source: “How to Approach and Understand the Quran” - Jamal ad din Zarabozo

Monday, August 6

Going to extremes

Ibn al-Qayyime wrote,

Allah never orders anything except that Satan takes two contradictory stances towards it: either shortcoming and negligence or overzealousness and exaggeration. It does not matter [to him] by which of these two mistakes he becomes victorious over the slave. He comes to the heart of the slave and examines it. If he finds in it listlessness and looking for loopholes, he deals with him from that vantage. He impedes him and makes him sit. He strikes him with laziness, listlessness and lethargy. He opens for him the door to reinterpretations hopes and so forth until the slave may not fulfill anything of what he is commanded.

If he finds in the slave’s heart alertness, seriousness, desire to work and potential, Satan despairs from attacking him through the above means. Instead, he orders him to strive even harder. He convinces him that what he is doing is not sufficient for him. His ambition is to be greater than that. He must work more than the other workers. He should not sleep when they sleep. He should not break his fast when they break their fasts. He should not rest when they rest. If one of them washes his hands and face three times, he should was them seven times. If one makes wudhu for prayer, he must make ghusl. [He orders him to] similar other acts of exaggeration and extremism. He makes him go to extremes and beyond the limits. He makes him stray from the straight path in the same way that he makes the first person [described above] fall short of the straight path and not approach it. Satan’s intention for both is to keep them from the straight path: the first by making him not come close or near to it and the second by making him pass it and go beyond it. Many of creation are misled by these two strategies. There is no escape from them except deep knowledge, faith and the strength to fight Satan and stay along the middle path.’

Friday, August 3

The Story of Barseesa

The story of Barseesa, this is a man from the Children of Isreal who was a worshipper, famous worshipper, aabid. He had his temple and he devoted himself to worship in his monastery.

Three men from the Children of Israel wanted to go out for jihad, al-ghazwa. They had a sister. They didn't know where to leave their sister, so they said "Where should we leave her, we can't leave her alone, where should we leave her?" They asked around, they said the best place to leave her is with that aabid, that worshipper, he's the most righteous person, he's the most trustworthy, leave your sister with him and he'll take care of her.

They went to the aabid, the worshipper, Barseesa. They told him this is the situation, we want to go out for ghazwoo, can you please take care of our sister? He said "I seek refuge in Allah from you", stay away from me. Then Shaytan came to him and said, "Who are you gonna leave her with? If you don't take care of her, an evil person may take care of her and then you know what will happen. How come you're gonna (let) this good slip out of your hands?" Shaytan is encouraging him to do good, so he called them back and he said "Ok, I'll take care of her. She's not gonna stay with me in my monastery, she's gonna stay in that home over there", he had a house, you stay there, I stay in my temple.

So she would stay in that house in the room, and he would carry the food for her and he would leave the food on his doorstep, he doesn't even want to go to her house, he would leave on the doorstep and she would have to come and pick up the food. He doesn't even want to see her. And then Shaytan came to him and said "What are you doing? Don't you know that when she walks out from her room and comes to your temple, people can see her? You have to the deliver the food to her doorstep." He said "Yes, that's true." Shaytan is not speaking to him face to face, this is was'wasa, inspirations. He said "That's true." He started taking that food and he would drop it on her doorstep. That continued for a while and then Shaytan told him "She's still opening the door and coming out to take the plate, somebody can still see her. You have to deliver the plate into her own room." Shaytan is telling him to do good things. So he started taking the plate and he would put it in the room and then he would leave.

And that continued for a while and these three brothers were late, these ghazwa took a while. So Shaytan came to him and said "You're gonna leave her alone with nobody to take care of her, nobody to speak with" - she's been in there like she's in prison, speaking to no one - "so why don't you take that responsibility and go and speak with her - just socialize just a little bit to take care of her because she could go out and find another man and start having a relation with him." So he would speak from outside her room and she would be speaking from in her room and they would be screaming at each other to hear each other. Shaytan told him "Why don't you make it a little convenient for yourself, instead of screaming and hollering at each other from far distances, why don't you go and sit in the same room?" So he started sitting with her in the same room, spending some time with her, and then slowly and slowly they started spending hours and hours together, and they started getting closer and closer and closer until the great aabid committed zina. She became pregnant, the story didn't end yet.

She became pregnant, she delivered a child. Shaytan came to him and said "What have you done? Do you know what will happen when the brothers come back? They're gonna kill you. Even if you say this is not my son, they're gonna say 'Even if it's not your son, you're supposed to take care of her, it's your responsibility, we don't care who the father is, we left her as - you are the person responsible for her.' The only solution for this problem is that you kill - murder - the child and bury it." The aabid chopped out the head of the infant and he buried him. Shaytan came to him and said "Do you think that the mother will keep the secret after you killed her son? Do you think she will keep that secret?" What should I do, "You should kill her too." So he killed her. And he buried them both in that room.

The brothers came back, they came and said "Where is our sister?" He said "Inna lil'lahee wa inna ilayhee ra'jee'oon, she became ill and she died and she's buried in that place", and he went and showed them a fictitous grave. So they said "Inna lil'lahee wa inna ilayhee ra'jee'oon", they made dua for her and they went home.

At night time, one of the brothers saw a dream. Who came to him in that dream? - Shaytan. He told him "Did you believe Barseesa, did you believe him? He's lying. He committed zina with your sister and then he killed her and her son, and the evidence to prove that is that she's not buried in the place he showed you, but she's buried in her room under the rock." So he woke up and he told his brothers about the dream, they said "We saw the same dream, it must be true." They went the next day, they dug the fictitious grave, they found nothing. They went into her room, they uncovered the earth and they found their sister buried with an infant.

They grabbed Barseesa and said "You liar. This is what you have done", and they took him to the king. While they were draggin him to the king, Shaytan came to Barseesa, but now Shaytan didn't come in the form of inspiration, he came in a human form. He told him "Barseesa, do you know I am? I am Shaytan, I am the one who cause you all of that mess, and I am the only one who can deliver you out of it" - I'm the one who caused it, and I'm the one with the solution for it, it's up to you, if you want to go and die that's fine, if you want me to save you, I can. Barseesa said "Please save me." He said "Make sujood for me." Barseesa made sujood for Shaytan, what did Shaytan say, he said "Thank you very much, (it's) been a pleasure meeting you" and he never saw him again.

Barseesa made sujood for Shaytan and that was the last thing he did in his life because shortly afterwards he was executed. The last thing he did in his life was sujood for Shaytan. Aabid, on the righteous path, but because he chose to take turn, even though it was a very very very small turn - in the beginning it was very insignificant - in the name of mas'laha, in the name of the benefit, in the name of mas'laha he did it. And it was a very small diversion that he took but look at where it ended. Look at the final destination.

That is the danger of following desire. Because sometimes we feel confident because of knowledge and because of the Qur'an we know and because of the ibaadah we are doing - subhan'Allah we should always be afraid on ourselves. We should never be overconfident, we should always be worried, and that is the khash'ya of Allah SWT and that is the true knowledge - "The ones who have the fear of Allah are the scholars." If you are a scholar then you have khash'ya of Allah, otherwise it is just memorization of verses in the mind that have no meaning in the actual world.

A side not on this story, what policy was Shaytan using with Barseesa? If Shaytan came to Barseesa from the beginning and told him "Make sujood to me", would Barseesa have done that? No he wouldn't. He took the step-by-step policy.

Transcribed from a lecture by Imam Anwar al-Awlaki

Who should be followed?

A judge from khurasan wanted to marry of his son, so he sought counsel with a man who was a follower of the Majus religion. The man said, "People come to you seeking judgment, and here to are coming to seek counsel from me!" The judge said, "You must advise me." He said, "Our leader, Khosrau (Kisra), would choose wealth (when seeking a wife); the leader of the Christians, Ceaser (Qaiser), would choose beauty; and the pre-Islamic arabs would choose based on ancestry and status, and your Prophet would choose based on religion - so choose which among them you will follow."

Thursday, August 2

When the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was mentioned...

al-Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have Mercy on him) said:

"I have seen Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir - and he was the leader of the Reciters of the Qur'aan - that he would never be asked about a hadeeth except that he would weep, until we had calmed him down.

And I have seen Ja'far ibn Muhammad who used to smile alot, yet whenever the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would turn pale. I have never seen him narrating the hadeeth of Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam except in a state of purification. And when times deteriorated, I never saw him except in one of three conditions: either praying, observing silence, or reciting the Qur'aan. He never uttered a word having no significance, and he was one of the scholars and worshippers who had great fear of Allaah.

Whenever 'Abdur-Rahmaan ibn al-Qaasim mentioned the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, he turned pale as if the blood had been drained from his face, and his tongue dried-up due to reverence for Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

I went to 'Aamir ibn 'Abdullaah ibn az-Zubayr, and whenever the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would weep so much, until he was unable to weep any longer.

I saw az-Zuhree - and he was from the kindest of people, and closest to them - that when the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would not be able to recognise you, nor would you be able to recognise him (from his intense weeping).

I came to Safwaan ibn Sulaym - and he was one of the mujtahid scholars and worshippers - that whenever he mentioned the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam he would weep, and he would not stop weeping, to the extent that the people would have to get up and leave him."

[narrated by Ibn Taymiyyah in 'Kitaab al-Waseelah' , pg. 92]

Wednesday, August 1

The Excellence of Reciting the Qur'an

Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "Read the Qur'an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.'' [Muslim].

An-Nawwas bin Sam`an (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "The Qur'an and its people who applied it, will be brought on the Day of Resurrection preceded with Surat Al-Baqarah and Surat Al-`Imran arguing on behalf of those who applied them.'' [Muslim].

`Uthman bin `Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur'an and teaches it.'' [Al-Bukhari].

`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur'an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur'an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The believer who recites the Qur'an is like a citron whose fragrance is sweet and whose taste is delicious. A believer who does not recite the Qur'an is like a date-fruit which has no fragrance but has a sweet taste. The hypocrite who recites the Qur'an is like a colocynth whose fragrance is so sweet, but its taste is bitter. The hypocrite who does not recite the Qur'an is like basil which has no fragrance and its taste is bitter.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

`Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Verily, Allah elevates some people with this Qur'an and abases others.'' [Muslim].

Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Envy is justified in regard to two types of persons only: a man whom Allah has given knowledge of the Qur'an, and so he recites it during the night and during the day; and a man whom Allah has given wealth and so he spends from it during the night and during the day.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Al-Bara' bin `Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: A man was reciting Surat Al-Kahf, and a horse was tied with two ropes beside him. As he was reciting, a cloud overshadowed him, and as it began to come nearer and nearer, the horse began to trample voilently. The man came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) in the morning and mentioned the incident to him. He (PBUH) said, "That was tranquillity which descended as a result of the recitation of the Qur'an.''

Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.'' [At-Tirmidhi].

Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who does not memorize any part from the Qur'an he is like the ruined house.''[At-Tirmidhi].

`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The one who was devoted to the the Qur'an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: `Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite.''' [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Relieving Distress of Others

One of the greatest things that will relieve a person's distress on the Day of Resurrection is his efforts in this world to relieve the distress of those who are in distress, and to help those who are in need, and to make things easy for those who are in difficulty, and to overlook the mistakes of those who err. In Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Whoever relieves a believer of distress in this world, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever makes things easy for those who are in difficulty, Allah will make things easy for him in this world and in the next. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim in this world, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah will help the slave so long as the slave helps his brother." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1/71, hadith no. 204.]

Bukhari narrated from Abdullah ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The Muslim is the brother of his fellow-Muslim; he should not mistreat him or let him down. Whoever meets the needs of his brother, Allah will meet his needs, and whoever relieves a Muslim of some distress, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and the next." [Bukhari: Kitaab al-Mazaalim, Baab laa Yazlim al-Muslim al-Muslim, Fath al-Baari, 5/97.]

"The Day of Resurrrection in the Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah" - Umar Al Ashqar

10 Signs of Scrupulous Piety (al-Wara`)

The sign of scrupulous piety (al-wara`) is considering ten things mandatory upon oneself:

1. Guarding the tongue from backbiting due to the saying of the Most High:
“Do not backbite one another.” [49:12]
2. Shunning suspicion due to the saying of the Most High:
“Avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin.” [49:12] And also due to the saying of the Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, “Avoid suspicion, for airing suspicion is the most lying form of speech.” [Musnad Ahmad]
3. Shunning mockery due to the saying of the Most High:
“Let not a people ridicule another people; perhaps they may be better than them.” [49:11]
4. Lowering gaze from forbidden things due to the saying of the Most High:
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze.” [24:30]
5. Truthfulness of the tongue due to the saying of the Most High:
“And when you speak, be just.” [6:152]
6. Recognizing the blessings of Allah the Most High upon oneself in order to avoid conceitedness due to the saying of the Most High:
“Rather, Allah has conferred favor upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if you should be truthful.” [49:17]
7. Spending one’s wealth on good rather than bad things, due to the saying of the most High:
“And those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly.” [25:67] Meaning, they do not spend on sinfulness and do not prevent obedience, “but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate.” [25:67]
8. Not seeking haughtiness and pride for oneself, due to the saying of the Most High:
“That home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption.” [28:83]
9. Maintaining with care the five prayers on time, with proper bowing and prostration, due to the saying of the Most High:
“Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle [`asr] prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.” [2:238]
10. Steadfastness upon the way of Sunnah and Jama`ah, due to the saying of the Most High:
“And, this is My Path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.” [6:153]

Imam as-Samarqandi