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The Reality of Muraqabah

dark ocean 2No single leaf falls from a tree nor does exist a tiny grain below the deepest bowels of the earth except that it is in Allah’s perfect knowledge and awareness. Take an introductory look at the the concept of Muraqabah based upon a series of moving verses of the Qur’an, from Imam Nawawi’s Riyadh al-Saliheen. [click to listen]

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Prophetic Training in Sabr

207421353Having concluded our lessons this week in the Chapter of Sabr in Riyadh al-Saliheen, we present a summary of these valuable gems and lessons. [Click here for a pdf version of these]

الصبر

Prophetic Training in Ṣabr

from Imām al-Nawawīʼs Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn

  • Life is accompanied by ups and downs, health and illness, prosperity and adversity
  • The teachings of Sabr orient and train the believers to deal with day-to-day life
  • There are 4 levels of human response to calamity and tragedy, arranged in order of closeness to Allah:
  • Displeasure/annoyance [natural default reaction, most common]
  • Patience [advised for believers]
  • Contentment [only real believers can experience this]
  • Gratitude [the highest stage of belief]
  • 3 basic types of Sabr: In dealing with tribulations (lowest level), in refraining from sin, and in the obedience of Allah (highest level)
  • Allah commands sabr in the Qur’an, gives glad tidings to its practitioners, and rewards it without limits
  • The Prophet described sabr as illumination and warmth for our lives (ḍiyā), and the absolute greatest provision granted to a believer
  • The Prophet advised sabr over begging for those in need, pointing out that real poverty and richness is that of the heart
  • Sabr allows the believer to always be in a good state, for he/she adopts gratitude (shukr) in prosperity and sabr in adversity, the 2 states of life
  • The Prophet endured harsher trials than other human beings in every aspect of his life (including illness and disease), and the only wisdom behind that is to earn the great reward and status of sabr
  • Natural crying does not negate sabr, for the Prophet cried and attributed it to the natural mercy created by Allah
  • The Prophet taught us to place things in perspective when dealing with calamities- the comforting reality that all things belong to Allah and that everything, no matter how difficult, is temporary, and advised us to be patient and anticipate its reward
  • Importance of intention in sabr (anticipating reward brings additional rewards above atonement of sins, but bearing difficulties because you have no choice is not necessarily the sabr that is rewarded-although Allah may reward it if He chooses)
  • Sabr must be voluntary and conscious
  • Sabr must be at the first strike
  • The Prophets were the most patient people on earth
  • Every iota of suffering, however big or small, serves as atonement for a believers sins; the Prophet likened it to leaves falling from a tree; it is even possible for some to wind up meeting Allah with no sins at all due to their suffering
  • Don’t consider any aspect of your life insignificant, for good comes out even a thornprick
  • It is a good sign that one is afflicted with suffering
  • Wishing for death prohibited, for it is a sign of extreme impatience and questioning the wisdom of Allah’s decree; if one cannot help it, then it should be in vague terms that as for good and resign one’s trust in Allah
  • What leads to success, victory and achieving ones goals is sabr, along with long-term strategic planning
  • The Prophet would remind his tortured Companions in Makkah to have sabr and assure them that victory and peace would surely prevail one day
  • Anger is the opposite of sabr, and sabr demands that one avoid anger to the best of one’s ability
  • Among the tools that mitigate anger is the istiadhah supplication (seeking refuge in Allah from Shaytan)
  • Those who restrain their rage while having the capacity to act it out will have tremendous rewards in the Hereafter
  • The Prophet advised us to avoid anger
  • Avoiding anger has 3 meanings- avoid the means that lead to it, restrain it when it does occur, and never act out of anger
  • When your rights are deprived, be patient and don’t let that hinder you from fulfilling the rights of others
  • Don’t ask for suffering and don’t desire to meet the enemy in battle but always ask for peace and safety and health; but when you do meet your enemy be firm and steadfast, knowing Paradise awaits you

Prophetic Guidance in Anger Management

fire1Consider this:

  • The US has the highest homicide rate of any industrialized Western nation
  • Anger is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds
  • Anger is a leading cause of domestic violence
  • Anger is behind the rising “Road-Rage phenomenon”
  • Anger is even behind many physical diseases, such as heart disease (e.g. “type A personalities”)
“America is suffering from a kind of internal terrorism that is killing more of our citizens than any external threat from our enemies. The violence resulting from out collective inability to manage anger is having a devastating toll on our country, in terms of both damage to property and loss of lives.” -Leonard Ingram, president Chicago Anger Institute

[click here for audio]

In this session, we look at Prophetic narrations dealing with anger from the beautfiul Riyadh al Saliheen collection and conclude with 8 principles of  Anger Management from the Qur’an and Sunnah:

ANGER MANAGEMENT FROM THE SUNNAH

1. Istiadha

  • The Prophet said after seeing a man overcome with rage, “I know a word, the saying of which will cause him to relax, if he does say it. If he says: ‘I seek Refuge with Allah from Satan’ then all his anger will go away.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

إنّي أعلمُ كلمة ً لو قالها لذهبَ عنه ما يَجِد –

لو قال أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

2. Water/Wudu

  • “Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry, he should perform ablution.” [Abu Daud, Ahmad, authenticated by al-Arnaut but weak as per Albani]

إن الغضبَ من الشيطان ، و إن الشيطان خلِقَ من النار ، فإذا غضبَ أحدكم فليتوضأ

  • Wudu as an activity takes your mind off anger; water has calming effect

3. Change Positions

  • Abu Dharr narrated: The Apostle of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said to us: “When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.” [Abu Daud, Ahmad, authenticated by Albani]

إذا غضب أحدكم و هو قائمٌ فليجلس فإن ذهبَ عنه الغضبُ ، و إلا فليَضطَجِع

  • Physical change likely to lead to a mental change
  • Modern Techniques:
    • Find quiet place, lie down and relax.
    • Physical time out: change activities.

4. Remain silent

  • Hadith: “If one of you becomes angry then he should be silent.” [Ahmad, authenticated by Albani]

إذا غضب أحدكم فليسكت

  • Modern techniques: Mental Time Out.

5. Never Act on Anger

  • Narrated ‘Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakra: Abu Bakr wrote to his son who was in Sijistan: Do not judge between two persons when you are angry, for I heard the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, saying: “A judge should not judge between two persons while he is in an angry mood.” [Al-Bukhari; Vol. 9, No. 272]

6. Remembering Allah

  • Al-Toofi: The strongest means of preventing anger is understanding the reality of tawheed; when one realizes that there is no mover or controller of affairs other than Allah, and all persons and actions are His instruments, then one accepts His will with calm
  • Ibn Hajar: This is the secret behind isti‘adha: draws your attention to Allah and His tahweed.
  • Modern techniques: Think pleasant thoughts.

7. Humbling yourself

  • Among the most powerful precipitants of anger is Kibr- arrogance, the one who humbles himself and rids himself of arrogance will be protected from anger

8. Forgiveness

  • Islam proposes forgiveness and giving up your rights as a remedy [See al-A’raf 199, Al-Shura 40-41]
  • Also see al-Nisa 148-149: theseverses revealed in early days of persecution, when natural and justified feelings of rage and anger were developing in the Muslims; Allah encourages them to take the higher moral ground: continue practicing virtue even in the face of evil and at least refrain from reciprocating evil [Maududi]

The Story of a Serial Killer

knifeblood_11Ted Bundy killed 40 women in the 1970s, Jeffrey Dahmer killed 12 in the 90s (and ate them), and Jack the Ripper- perhaps the most famous serial killer of all time, has 11 official victims attributed to him from the late 1800s. Yet all of these paled in comparison to our depraved murderer. This is his story . . .

Click on . . . [if you dare]

Reliving the Sunnah: Ongoing Commentary on Riyadh al-Saliheen [MCMC]

The greatest Muslim generation was that of the Noble Companions of the Prophet. The secret to 1754534their greatness? In their daily lives, they heard two things: the words of Allah and the words of the Messenger of Allah. In our communites and masajid today, we hear the words of Allah in the daily prayers but seldom here the Prophetic traditions. With Allah’s grace, we are embarking on a grand project of weekly readings from the Prophetic Sunnah, utilizing the text Riyadh al-Saliheen of Imam Yahya bin Sharaf al-Nawawi, here at MCMC NJ.

There are 1896 hadith in the text, and if we read 3 per week it would takes us 12 years, at 5 per week 7 years, and at 10 per week about 3 1/2 years. We seek Allah’s assistance in making this a reality. I will be uploading the weekly audio.