Monday, December 18, 2017

Obedience To One’s Deceased Parents

Obedience To One’s Deceased Parents

Sayyiduna Abu Usaid Malik bin Rabi'ah As-Sa'idi Radhiyallahu Anhu reports: We were sitting with Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam when a man of Banu Salamah came to him and asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Does there remain any form of obedience which I may show to my parents after their death?" He Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam replied, "Yes, to pray for them, to supplicate for their forgiveness, to fulfill their promises after their death, to maintain the ties of kinship which cannot be maintained except through them, and honour their friends." [Abu Dawud]

 When a parent passes away remember that you have begun a new phase of birr (dutifulness) to that parent. 

Birr after death is the truest and most sincere forms of birr because birr during their lifetime could be tainted with doing for show, or being polite (as opposed to sincere) and expecting praise from the parents or others. As for after their death, then only Allah hears and sees you. 

A deceased parent is in greater need of his/her children - even more than when the parent was alive. What children do for the parents during the parent's lifetime is for the worldly needs. 

But after death only Allah knows what good and bad is in store for the deceased in the grave.

Dua'a for rahmah (mercy) and asking Allah to shower the deceased with His mercy is invaluable for the deceased.

Through the child's Dua,  Allah - through His grace and mercy - enlightens the grave removing the darkness and expands  the grave thus removing the suffering. And Allah makes the grave a garden from the gardens of Paradise.

Therefore, always remember your deceased parent/s, and always ask Allah to shower them with His mercy, enlighten their grave and expand it.

For example as you are about have a meal, think about the many wonderful meals your mother had prepared for you and how she took care of you all your life. Your heart will surely soften and at that point, let it drive you to offer a similar meal to an orphan, widow, divorced or needy person on behalf of your deceased parent/s and asking of Allah to reward them for it. Give charity on their behalf, recalling the many favours they did for you.

Never forget parents. Irrespective of how harsh they may have been with you, only Allah knows the love they had in their hearts for you. 

Give charity on their behalf privately, wipe away the tears of orphans, widows and divorced (through charity) on behalf of your parents, quench the thirst of the thirsty on their behalf. (for example by having a well dug.) 

Go out of your way to be the best child to your parents for they have sacrificed much to raise you.

This is the Dua'a mentioned in the Quran for one’s parents:

رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

Rabb-ir-ham-huma kama rabbayaani sagheera


My Lord, Bestow thy mercy on my parent/s as they cherished and raised me in my childhood.

Lastly, let us teach our children this Dua'a for one day we all shall also need it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Safeguarding the Secret

Imagine a woman who possesses an exquisite piece of jewellery. She values it, cherishes it and guards it, always fearful for its safety.

One day, in a moment of negligence, she confided in a person whom she had wrongfully regarded as a friend, informing her of the jewellery, its location and even its worth! Shortly thereafter, the home was burgled and her precious jewellery was stolen. In the aftermath of this tragedy, she wrung her hands in regret, lamenting to herself, “Why did I reveal the secret?”

Similarly, all women associate and interact with other women. As Allah Ta‘ala has created all people uniquely and blessed them differently, one woman may have some feature that is exceptionally attractive, while another may be attractive and blessed with beauty in a different aspect, and a third woman may be blessed with beauty in all aspects!
One of the greatest treasures that a woman can possess is the attention of her husband, where he finds her attractive and is satisfied with her. Having said that, one of the quickest ways to lose this treasure is to ‘reveal the secret’ by speaking of other women to one’s husband, describing their features, habits, manner of speaking, clothing, figure, walking or anything else related to them for that matter. 

If one wishes to enjoy the undivided attention of her husband, then why does she discuss and describe other women to him, intentionally drawing his attention away from herself and towards these women and their beauty?

Thereafter, when he begins thinking about these women, or even worse – fantasizing over the picture that his wife painted on the canvas of his imagination, she will naturally become upset and feel betrayed. While he is answerable for his actions and will be taken to task for it, however she fails to realize that she has nobody to blame but herself for her own misery, as she personally ‘introduced’ these women to her husband by speaking about them and describing them to him.

Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) himself taught us that a woman should not interact with another woman, thereafter describing her to her husband in such a vivid manner that it is as if he can actually see that woman. (Saheeh Bukhaari #5240)

This beautiful teaching of Islam not only safeguards the husband from sin, but also serves as a means of protection for the marriage by allowing the husband to remain satisfied and content with his wife. 

May Allah (swt) save us from calamaties which we in our control, Aameen

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cling to the feet of your mother, for Paradise lies there....

Cling to the feet of your mother, for Paradise lies there


Let us for a while turn the clock backwards to a point some 25 years back. 

Time: 2.15 am

On an unpleasantly cold, mystifying night the moon is sheltered by the murky looming clouds.  The night’s eerie silence is punctuated only by an occasional bark of a dog or by a cacophony caused by two cats fighting. 

Suddenly the oppressive regime of the night is sharply interrupted by a very shrill scream…

And what happens next?

A woman suddenly gets up from her deep slumber and throws her blanket aside…

Please do not take this to be the beginning of a horror story or a thriller. This is the narration of a scene of reality that you would witness in every home where there are babies. The scream in this particular story is that of a baby boy and the woman who gets up instantly on hearing this scream is none other than his mother. Like all other infants this boy too has absolutely no sense of timing and neither is he bothered about the fact that his mother badly needs a good night’s sleep after a hard day’s work. The most amazing thing, however, is that the mother wakes up from her sleep at such an odd hour, nurses her baby and attends to all his needs, including changing his nappy, with all her heart and without even a sign of irritation.
- - -
And now, twenty five years later, let us witness what transpires between the same boy and his mother.

Time: 10 pm

It is a very pleasant cloudless night with the full moon radiating a soothing glow of light.

The young man and his wife are in their bedroom. Both are engrossed in their Smartphones. Suddenly they hear the gentle voice of the husband’s mother. She is calling her son from her bedroom and her voice is reflecting pain. The man asks his wife to go and see why she is calling. The wife refuses to go. She says she is busy chatting with her friend in WhatsApp.

The man stands up and proceeds towards his mother’s bedroom. Standing on the doorway, he says in an irritated voice, “Mom, what is wrong? Why are you calling me?  You know that after a hard day’s work, this is the only time we get to relax.”
“I am sorry I could not help calling you. I have an unbearable pain in my head and since your father is away, I was wondering if you or your wife could massage my head.”

“But Mom, why don’t you take some painkillers?” says the man.  

“It’s okay, my love, don’t worry. Go back to your room. I will manage somehow,” says the mother.

Narrated above is one of the scenes taking place in many homes, with slight variations here and there. It is a pity that the man in the above narration forgets that it is the same woman who, with the grace of Allah, has brought him to this world after suffering all kinds of pains and discomforts for more than nine long months; it is the same woman who used to wake up at odd hours just to attend to his needs and to see that he remained at ease, it is the same woman who fed him with her milk; it is the same woman for whom he meant the entire world so much so that she was prepared to suffer any kind of hardship just to see that her ‘bundle of joy’ was happy and comfortable.

Allah, the most glorified, the most high, has placed a unique and a very strong magnetic bond between the mother and her baby. This is the relationship that, when felt to its deepest degree, causes the mother to feel that the baby is a part of her. This feeling is so strong that the mother feels complete when she is with her baby and incomplete when they are apart.

The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, a guide and very close friend for her child. A mother is a selfless, loving human who is ready to sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure her child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make it as a competent human being. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most rewarding job a woman will ever experience.
In Islam motherhood has been given a very high status. Allah, the Most High, says in Noble Qur’an:

“We enjoined man to treat his parents kindly. His mother bore him with hardship and delivered him with hardship and his bearing and weaning are in thirty months…” (Qur’an 46:15)

The emphasis on obedience and kindness to parents is of such a high and prior degree that the Qur’an couples the sin of disobedience to parents to disobedience to Allah the Most High. It is, in fact, likened to shirk (associating partners with Allah), hence the Qur’an Majeed says in a number of places:

“Do not commit shirk with Allah and be kind to parents…”

After prohibiting shirk, the Qur’an prohibits disobedience to parents. A disobedient child lives under Divine curse.

Between our two parents, our mother has obviously been accorded a much higher status as we can see in the following hadeeth:

Abu Huraira reported: A man asked the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, “Who is most deserving of my good company?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said “Your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said, “Your father.” (Bukhārī, Muslim)

The golden pages of Islamic history has a very inspiring example of a man called Owais Qarni who secured a very high position after serving his mother. 

‘Usair Ibn ‘Amr relates that Umar Ibn Al-Khatab, Allah be pleased with him, whenever reinforcement came from Yemen, would ask them whether ‘Uwais Ibn Amer was among them.

This continued until he met ‘Uwais Ibn Amer, Allah be pleased with him. He asked him are you ‘Uwais Ibn Amer?” When he answered “Yes,” Umar asked him, “Are you from the tribe of Murad from the clan of Qaran?” He answered “Yes.” Then he asked him, “Did you suffer from leprosy and you were cured of it except for the spot as large as a dirham (coin)?” He answered in the affirmative. Then he asked him “Do you have a mother (who is still living)?” He also answered in the affirmative. Then Umar said he had heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying, “A man called ‘Uwais Ibn Amer will come to you with reinforcements coming from Yemem. He is from Murad then from Qaran; he used to suffer from leprosy but he was cured of it except for a spot as large as a dirham; he is benevolent with his mother; [he is so close to Allah that] if he swears, Allah will fulfil his oath. If you can ask him to supplicate to Allah to forgive you, do.” Umar asked him to supplicate to Allah to forgive him, and ‘Uwais Ibn Amer did. (Gardens of the Virtuous complied by Al-Imam Al-Nawawi)

As long as your mother is around, love her and serve her as much as you can. A time will come when your mother will have gone very far from you and you will never be able see her even for a moment.

In conclusion here is a hadeeth that very appropriately illustrates the rightful status of a mother:

Mu’awiyah ibn Jahima reported: Jahima came to the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, I intend to join the expedition and I seek your advice.” The Prophet said, “Do you have a mother?” He said yes. The Prophet said, “Stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.” (Sunan al-Nasā’ī 3104)

So revere your mother and cling to her feet, for Jannah lies there!

May Allah grant my mum and all mums ease and ultimately Jannat-ul-Firdowse, Aameen!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Letter from Rohingya

MYANMAR - A Letter from Rohingya

More than 270,000 Rohingyans, a large percentage of them women and children, have fled Myanmar in the last two weeks[Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

A resident of Myanmar's Rakhine State discusses daily life and the abuses and attacks Rohingyans endure.
“For all my life, all 24 years of it, I've been a prisoner in this open air jail you know as Rakhine State. I was born in Myanmar, as were my parents, but my citizenship was snatched away before I was even conceived. We're facing extinction, and unless the international community stands with us, one of the most persecuted people in the world, we will face genocide and you, you will all be a party to it.

My movement, education, access to healthcare and career have been heavily restricted because of my ethnicity. I'm banned from working in the government, denied the right to pursue higher education, barred from visiting the capital, Yangon, and even stopped from leaving northern Rakhine State. I'm subjected to the worst form of discrimination, all because I'm a Rohingyan Muslim.
For years, my people, who have been denied their most basic rights, are killed on a near daily basis. Shot dead in plain sight, forcibly and systematically made homeless, our homes razed in front of our very eyes; we're the victims of a brutal state.
For you to fully appreciate what our conditions are like, I'm going to use an analogy: imagine a mouse stuck in a cage with a hungry cat. That's what it's like for the Rohingyans. Our only method of survival is to run, or hope someone helps us get out.
For those of us that have remained, there's a systematic campaign to separate us from the wider Rakhine community. We're called "Kalar" [a slur often used against Muslims] by Buddhists to our faces. Whether you're a child or an old man, no one escapes the abuse. We face discrimination at schools and at hospitals, and there's been a boycott campaign by Buddhists to avoid us at all costs.
"Only buy from Buddhists," they say. "If you give a penny to a Buddhist, they'll help build a Pagoda (temple), but if you give a penny to a Muslim, they'll build a mosque." These kinds of comments, they've become the norm and helped encourage Buddhist extremists to attack us.
When Aung San Suu Kyi, a Noble Peace Prize winner, won parliamentary elections in 2015 and ended half a century of dominance by the military, we had high hopes change was coming. We were confident that this woman, hailed as a beacon of democracy, would end our abuse and oppression. Sadly, it soon became clear that not only would she not be our voice, she would ignore our suffering. Her silence showed she was complicit in the violence.
In the end, she failed us; our last hope, failed us.
In 2012, a huge number of the Rohingya were slaughtered in one of the worst bouts of communal violence. Around 140,000 were internally displaced, an event that would repeat itself in 2016. Shot, slaughtered, and burned alive in front of their families, the violence last October would give rise to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a small group of men who decided to defend themselves and fight back. Armed with just sticks and stones, they knew they couldn't fend off the well-equipped Myanmar army but they tried nonetheless.
Still, now our sisters and mothers are forced to give birth in paddy fields as we run for our lives in this violence that you say is between two equal sides. It is not. Children being shot at as they flee and women's bodies floating in rivers is not an equal fight.
We're facing extinction, and unless the international community stands with us, one of the most persecuted people in the world, we will face genocide and you, you will all be a witness to it.
The author of this letter has requested anonymity due to fear of attacks from the government.
He spoke to Al Jazeera's Faisal Edroos. 
The plight of the Rohingyan Muslims has reached critical levels. Our URGENT appeal is to assist in providing aid to the refugees fleeing persecution. Kindly assist our Rohingyan brethren in their desperate hour of need. Jazakallah Khayr! 

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