Saturday, July 30, 2016

Despair and Hope: Our Emotions

Despair corrodes the Soul

Despair is a very bad trait that is found in the heart of man. Once its presence is manifested, the individual feels suffocated, trapped and feels that there is no more hope. At that moment, his life becomes very bland, his path darkens and he has the feeling that everything is over for him. In such a situation, the servant resigns from any effort since he is psychologically conditioned that all has now become impossible for him (to achieve). So no question to fight because according to him this would be useless! 

The examples below illustrate this fact:

(i) A student who despairs in ever succeeding shall certainly hate school, books, teachers, private lessons/ tuitions etc. His despair caused by failure shall take away from that environment and push him to live a carefree without realizing the catastrophic results ahead.

(ii) An individual who is affected by an incurable disease - his despair shall make him lose confidence in the care and treatment given to him, and thus develop distaste for hospitals.

(iii) A person who is heavily indebted feels crushed by the weight of him debts. His despair overwhelms him with loneliness and he lets himself be dominated by anxiety.

So when the servant does so, he ignores the harm and damage that despair shall bring in his life. Indeed, this is one of the biggest obstacles to progress. It is a poison that corrodes the soul and kills it, a hurricane that destroys all energy. 

Cultivate Hope and Trust in God

A true believer is one who cultivates hope in his heart and never despairs; whatever happens. This is due to the fact that Allah (swt) is always there for him in his life. A good believer never acts in this way because despair is a characteristic of infidelity. Hope sustains the believer, illuminates his heart, enlightens his way, makes him taste happiness and feel the joy of life, and it also gives him the chance to succeed. In short, hope is the elixir of life. It motivates action which enables him to forget the pains and sorrows of life and inspires him joy. 

The Envoys of Allah, even while being perfect elects, faced extreme difficulties that no one among ordinary human beings would have suffered (to that extent). Despite this, through the many reassuring revelations from God, they never despair of His infinite Mercy. Although through their humane weakness they may come to despair in a particular situation, but God does not take long to raise hope in them. The following verses prove this:

“O my sons, go and find out about Joseph and his brother and despair not of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” (Yusuf, 12: 88).

“Until when the messengers despaired and the people became sure that they were indeed told a lie, Our help came to them and whomsoever We willed was delivered; and Our punishment is not averted from the guilty people. (Yusuf, 12: 111).

So, O servants of Allah! stand up vigorously, hoping and trusting in Allah (swt), for it then that you shall taste the joy of life, whatever the circumstances.

The Despair of People under Oppression 

I especially address myself to all believers of the Muhammadan Ummah (pbuh) who are presently being persecuted and boycotted in several countries, and even in our little island where we live. You currently live in despair and fear, but O my brothers and sisters, have you not heard of Pharaoh (Ramses II), the famous tyrant who continually transgressed his people in Egypt? He was an unprecedented rebel, who even forged the biggest lie against God by taking himself as god. His crimes were so atrocious that history cannot deny his extreme cruelty and hardness of heart towards his fellow men. Allah (swt) confirms all this in His Holy Book and He said:

“Indeed, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people into factions,
oppressing a sector among them, 
slaughtering their sons and keeping their females alive. 
Indeed, he was of the corrupters. 
And We wanted to confer favour upon those who were oppressed in the land
and make them leaders and make them inheritors, 
And establish them in the land 
and show Pharaoh and (his minister) Haman and their soldiers 
through them that which they had feared.” (Al-Qasas, 28: 5-7)

Pharaoh as we know very well, died in humiliating conditions. He became the very sign of the curse of Allah because he had stood up against Allah and His Prophet Moses (Musa), peace be on him. And Allah (swt) ordained the sea to throw his body so that he can remain a sign to the people after him. But unfortunately, instead of cursing him constantly, many people take him as the perfect model and the best example to follow.

The Tactics of the Tyrants

The Pharaoh of that time (during the life of Prophet Moses) died but several others were born. After him, many countries have been led and are still being governed by power-hungry pharaohs. They follow the same principles adopted by the cursed Pharaoh so as to rule at ease. Among others, there are the system of “Divide and Rule”, the restriction on freedom of expression, and grabbing all wealth. And there is also the use of force in case of the uprising/ rebellion of the people. 

And what is stranger still, we find that among the leaders, there are those who have crossed the age of seventy or even eighty years, but who prefer continue their routes (as leaders) and do not wish to finish their careers. There are even some among them who cannot even walk and who arrive in parliament or at official functions in a wheelchair. The ardent love for the throne or chair of power prevents them from accepting the sentence: “It’s time to go” and is disgusted with the very idea (of renouncing to their power). When they hear this sentence from the mouth of their peoples they explode with rage as if they are entitled to everything and are untouchable.

Tyrants will be Destroyed; Injustice will Wash Away

The pharaohs of our time and all future Pharaohs (if there shall be still some time before the Last Day of Judgment occurs) should all know and bear in mind that injustice is only for a while. Allah will come quickly to the aid of His oppressed servants, such is His promise.

“Surely Allah defends those who believe. Allah does not love anyone treacherous and ungrateful.” (Al-Hajj 22: 39).

These tyrants persist in their rebellion and their injustice, and thus Allah has manifested His divine favour in this century in the form of His Caliph (Khalifatullah), the Messiah of this century to establish peace and justice. Insha-Allah, the authority of the Pharaohs will be destroyed and their injustices will disappear without doubt. 

Be confident and patient, that day will come certainly. Ameen.

---- Friday Sermon of 29 July 2016 ~(24 Shawwal 1437 AH) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.  

Friday, July 29, 2016

Islam on Protection of the Environment

Cleanliness is not a secondary issue. Islam has placed much importance on cleanliness as it is considered an integral part of our faith. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “Purification is half of faith.” (Muslim).

It is also said in the Quran: “Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you; He only wants to purify you and complete His favour upon you, that you may be grateful. (Al-Maida, 5: 7).

And it also mentions that “Allah loves those who repent and who purify themselves.” (Al-Baqara 2: 223).

However, cleanliness applies not only to the body but it also relates to our environment. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) challenges us: Keep clean the area in front of your house so as not to offend passersby.”

Then we understand how important it is to properly maintain one’s interior, not only that, but also to respect the environment in which we live, that is to say, our neighbourhood, our city and above all, nature. This is an order of our beloved Prophet (pbuh). Therefore, as Muslims, we must comply to this instruction if we do not want to incur the wrath of Allah (swt) upon us. 

Also, do not forget that our behaviour is a reflection of Islam. Others judge our religion through our behaviour. Some believe that a well-kept house is a waste of time and is quite unimportant in the eyes of Allah (swt). Now we have just pointed out that it is not.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

'Make the Most of Your Time'

Certainly, time is the most valuable factor of our global temporal life, as it represents to each of us a treasure bestowed by Allah (swt). Indeed, there is no day that starts without it saying: “Oh son of Adam, I am a new creation, I am a witness to your actions, use me because I will never come back until the Day of Resurrection.”

In other words, time, in a clearer term is the days that we live everyday in this world. Allah (swt) has given it to us so that we can discharge the heavy burdens/ duties and responsibilities that He has imposed upon us. We must accomplish the tasks which are meant for us so as to be victorious in this world as well as in the hereafter.

To make the most of our time, we must know that there are five types of days: The day which is lost, the witnessing day, the promised day, the forthcoming day/ Hour, and the extended day. The first is a day which passes without (the person deriving) any benefit. The second is the most grievous of all. It is a day when the servant has wronged him and reaped that which is bad accordingly. The third day is the final day, the day of account which he shall meet at his death. The fourth is the Day of Resurrection. And the time lapse between past days is called the extended day. A further consideration of these days will help the believer to understand in any depth the value of time.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

'Respect the Privacy, Dignity and Rights of People'

Allah (swt) says: 
وَ  اِذَا  الۡمَوۡءٗدَۃُ  سُئِلَتۡ ۪ۙ۝ ۝بِاَیِّ ذَنۡۢبٍ قُتِلَتۡ ۚ  ۝
Wa ‘izal - maw - ‘uudatu su’ilat; Bi - ‘ayyi zambin - qutilat?

“Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread [or publicized] among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know.” (An-Noor, 24: 20)

In a Hadith Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) has said:

“He who sees something which should be kept hidden and conceals it will be like one who has brought to life a girl buried alive.” (Abu Dawud, Kanz al-’Ummal, Tabarani)

This Sahih Hadith teaches us that he who finds a defect/ weakness, whether physical or moral in a Muslim and who conceals it, that is to say, he does not spread it among the people, but rather keeps the matter a secret, then he shall have a reward comparable to the one who saves a girl buried alive from her grave, for this practice was widespread among the Arabs at the time of the Jahiliyya (ignorance, before the advent of Islam), as well as among the pagans and the ignorant ones before the advent of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). We need to advise people to improve their conduct (to atone for their wrongdoings) but it is illegal for us to reveal their flaws to those who are not concerned (with that matter).

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Eid: Celebration of 'Taqwah'

The first thing I would like to highlight is that all the efforts which we, Muslims have made in the right way during the month of Ramadan had only one objective: Taqwa (fear of Allah, piety). If this fear is now part of us, it means that the month of fasting was a total success and that we can now reap all year round the fruits of this valuable win. 

Ramadan is not an end in itself; it is the beginning for some and a continuation for others, of the consolidation of this state of fear of the Lord (Rab) so that the harvest is perpetual. To live or to die depends solely on the decree of Allah, but He advises us to ensure that at the time of the departure of our soul that we are in a position of total submission to Him. It means, therefore, that we need to be in this position permanently. The believer must also honour the sacred bond that unites him to the Almighty and should not create circumstances that could cause any dissension within the community of Allah. 

Let us now see some sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the subject by raising some subtle points.

(1) Hazrat Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (ra) narrated that he heard the Holy Prophet (pbuh) say that Allah (swt) loves those who control their passions, those who have no vile desire, those who do not seek the glory of this world and those who lead a secluded life. (Sahih Muslim).

(2) Hadhrat Aisha (ra) said that nothing and no one has more value in the eyes of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that he who has the fear of Allah. (Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal).

This Hadith complements the first, that is to say, one who is loved by Allah is also loved by the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Islamophobia: Change Perceptions

If we define Islam correctly like it should be defined, we shall be able to grate Islamophobia from the mindset of people of the different cultures and races around the world. Islamophobia has taken root deep into sections of the world population. To avert this deep fear of Islam itself as a way of life, as a religion, we, Muslims must portray the correct teachings of God Almighty (Allah), of His Holy Book (the Quran) and His Holy Prophet (Our Master Muhammad) – peace be upon him.

Islam is in no way a threat to world peace, but in fact invites to world peace, just like - or even more so than - the rest of the grand religions of the world: Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity etc. Now, we can hardly say that every Christian or every Hindu is a terrorist despite the fact that we know that there are terrorists throughout the world who claim to be Christians, or Hindus while committing heinous acts against humanity. Now, why blame Islam for the heinous actions of some people who claim to be Muslims whilst doing unislamic acts and using Islamic slogans to commit such acts?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Quest for 'Laila-tul-Qadr'

The Night of Decree

If the Night of Destiny, which is found in the last ten days of Ramadan is different from the other nights of this blessed month or even the other nights of the year, it is due to its preeminence as mentioned in a chapter of the Holy Quran which has been revealed on its very subject, i.e. Chapter 97, Verses 1-6:

“In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. 
Surely We revealed it on the Night of Majesty; 
And what will make you understand what the Night of Majesty is? 
The Night of Majesty is better than a thousand months. 
The angels and the Spirit descend therein by the permission of their Lord for every matter. 
Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Al-Qadr, 97: 1-6).

Traditions report that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) was on his way to inform Muslims of the date of the Night of Destiny, when because of a quarrel between two people the knowledge thereof was taken from him. He expressed the wish that it was (indeed) good for the Muslims (that the specific date of this Night has been made to be forgotten).

Hazrat Aisha (ra), the wife of the Messenger of Allah (sa) informed us: “The Messenger of Allah (sa) used to retreat in the Mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan, in the odd days of the last ten days of Ramadan.” (Bukhari & Muslim).

Therefore, the possible nights are the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th & 29th.