This poem was written to create awareness for mental health illnesses.
By Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Saheb (Hafidhahullah)
All praise for Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and His forgiveness and we believe in Him and rely on Him. We seek refuge with Allah from (the evils of ourselves and the vices of our deeds. There is no one to misguide whom Allah guides and there is no one to guide whom Allah lets go astray. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Alone. He has no partner. I also bear witness that our authority, our Prophet and our Master, Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger. May Allah have mercy on him, his household and on his Companions and bless them and send peace on them in great abundance.
This Hadith is narrated by Abdullah bin Abu Aufa (RA), who was a jurist companion of the Prophet (saws). He quotes the Messenger of Allah (saws) as saying. “If anyone needs something from Allah, or from a fellow man then he must first perform ablution punctiliously and offer two rakat prayer’. Then he should praise and glorify Allah and invocate blessings on the Prophet (saws). Then he must make a supplication in these words:
There is no one worthy of worship except Allah, the element, the Bountiful. Glory to be Allah, Lord of the Magnificent. Throne! I do seek all causes of the (grant of) Your mercy, and the purposes of (securing) Your forgiveness, a full share of all virtuous deeds, a safety from every sin. Leave none of our sins unforgiven. no anxiety unrelieved and no need, wherewith you are pleased, unfulfilled. O you, the Most merciful of those who show mercy!”
The Holy Prophet (saws) has described the method of a prayer which in common parlance is called Salah Al Hajah or ‘prayer for fulfillment of a need’ whenever a Muslim has a need or faces an anxiety or desires something which seems difficult to achieve then he must ffollow the advice of the Holy Prophet (saws) and offer the salah Al-Hajah, and make the supplication of his Hajah, then he may present his need or desire before Allah in his own words. If there is good for him in that, the merciful Allah will surely fulfill his Hajah. or need. Thus, it is the sunnah, (practice) of the Holy Prophet (saws) to offer the Salah Al-Hajah, at the time of need.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MUSLIM AND A DISBELIEVER
When a man needs something. He employs the worldly means available to him and there is no bar in Shariah to use such means. However, a Muslim and a disbeliever differ in their faith, for an unbeliever relies wholly on the means he employs to achieve his end.
SEEKING A JOB
Let us take the example of a man who is unemployed and tries to get himself an employment. He would look out for job opportunities and submit his applications there and he would’ request someone to. recommend him. These are the apparent means that he uses to achieve his objective. An unbeliever places all his reliance on these means and sees to it that his application is well written and the recommendation worthy.
On the other hand, a muslim also sends in an application and gets someone to recommend him in a proper way but he does not rely entirely on these means. He knows that his application and the recommendation are meaningless unless Allah makes them effective. He uses the means available and then begs of Allah and says to Him, “O Allah! It is your command, so I have adopted the means but only you can make them effective. I ask you alone to fulfill my desire.”
THE CONTRIVANCE OF THE SICK
Let us take another example. A person gets sick. The apparent means that he will adopt are to get the advice of a doctor and follow his prescription. Again, a disbeliever who does not believe in Allah will place reliance on the doctor and the medicine he has suggested. However, the advice of the Holy Prophet (saws) to a believer is that although he may adopt all the means available to him yet he must not depend on them to cure him. He must place his faith in Allah who is the one to cure. If he will not make the medicine and other means effective then these will not cure him. We know that a medicine cures a sick person but the same medicine is detrimental to another patient who suffers the same sickness as the first. This is because only Allah makes the medicine effective. If he wills, he may put cure in a pinch of dust, and if he wills he may render the most costly medicine inefficacious.
The Holy Prophet (saws) has taught us, as we have seen, that while we may employ the means, we must not count on them to help us out but we must have full faith in Allah. We must pray to Him:
“O Allah! I have done the best I could by contriving as I could. O Allah! Only You can give efficacy to my efforts. Only You can make me successful. 0 Allah! Make them efficacious and make me successful.”
EFFORT COMBINED WITH SUPPLICATION
A very appropriate and brief phrase of supplication is known from the Holy Prophet (saws) which he made after employing available means or even if those means were in the form or even if those means were in the form of supplications. “O Allah! This is the effort but reliance is placed in You alone”
VIEW POINT MUST BE CORRECTED
Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (rah) used to say that religion is actually to correct one’s angle’ of observation. Change the angle a little bit and that is religion, otherwise it is materialism. For instance, every religion requires a patient; to get treatment; even Islam tells us that if we are ill, we must get a doctor to treat us. However, it depends on how we observe it. While we must treat ourselves when we are unwell, we must not put faith on the treatment but we must trust in Allah to cure us.
HE IS THE CURER
This is what had prompted earlier Muslim physicians to write Hua Ash Shafi (He is the one to cure) ‘ on the prescriptions they wrote down. It is a practice of the Muslim. In those times, they were very careful to observe minutest details of Islamic belief and teachings in all their actions and in what they said. A physician when he begins to write down his prescription with Hua Ash Shafi, actually confides that the treatment he prescribes would not give the results unless the one who cures gives the cure. The believing doctor thus confesses his inability on the very first step. Besides, by writing Hua ash Shafi, he is also credited with an act of worship of Allah.
THE CURES OF WESTERN CULTURE
However, ever since we have imposed on ourselves the standards of western culture, we have forgotten our Islamic identity. The physician, today, docs not trouble himself to write the words (In the Name of Allah) before writing down the prescription, neither does he need to write Hua Ash Shafi. He examines his patient and prescribes the medicine. The reasons for this attitude is that our knowledge of science is taught to us by the unbelievers who have no concept of Allah as the one who cures. They rely on the medical means and their theories, and they only employ their ideas.
PROTECTING ISLAMIC VALUES
Allah has not disallowed us to acquire knowledge of science. Knowledge is not the property of any people or religion. Muslims too must learn science, but they must preserve the Islamic values and symbols. They must protect their faith and creed and reflect Islamic belief in their lives. A man who qualifies as a physician is not forbidden to begin writing the prescription with Hua Ash Shafi and it is not improper for him to concede that Allah is the only one who cures. He should also not fear being classed as a backward person if he writes Hua Ash Shafi on the prescription, neither is it against medical ethics to do so. Rather, he must realise that he is a Muslim doctor who believes in Allah, so he must make it known beforehand that whatever he does is not helpful if Allah does not make it efficacious.
ANYTHING AGAINST A PLAN IS COINCEDENCE!
Almost every day recognised physicians come across cases which go against their expectations. They concede that the treatment that they were giving to their patients brought results quite contrary to what they had expected. Their plans go haywire but they term what happens in this way as a ‘coincidence.’
NOTHING IS EVER COINCIDENTAL
My respected father, Mawalana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (rah) used to say, “It is wrong to say – as people often exclaim – that it was a coincidence because nothing in this world was a coincidence.” Everything happens, as Allah desires it to happen. It is our habit to describe anything that we do not expect as a coincidence. The fact is that He who is the Master and the Creator of this universe maintains and sustains it and every thing happens as He wishes. Nothing can happen against His wish. So, the truth is that the medicine has no curing power by itself. Only when Allah gives it that power does it provide relief but when He does not give it the curing ability. It is not advantageous. What then is the meaning of
REMEMBER THE PREPARER OF MEANS
We must not, therefore, count on our strategy or the means available to us but we must put faith in Musabbib al Asbab (is an epithet of Allah which means Appointer of Preparer of Means or causes, or causer of causes.[Lane’s Dictionary])’ Not only has He allowed us to plan and employ means but He has actually ordered us to use them. He is the one Who has created them for us. He examines us and sees whether we depend on our plans and the means available to us. Or we depend on their Creator, too. The Prophet (saws) had trained the companions (ra) in such a way that they always counted on the Musabbib Al-Asbab. They used the means only because Allah had commanded them to do so and when anyone evinces perfect faith in Him and unflinching reliance. He displays unique miracles to them.
KHALID BIN WAL1D TAKES POISON
Sayyidina Khalid bin Walid (ra) had once laid siege to a strong fort in Syria. When the people inside the fort had grown exhausted of the siege, they sent their chief to Khalid bin Walid (ra) to negotiate peace. He carried a small phial in his hands which Khalid bin Walid (ra) observed and asked him about its contents. He said that there was a very strong poison inside the phial and he would consume it and commit suicide if the talks failed for he could not return to his people with the bad news. The foremost aim of all the Companions (ra) was to preach Islam and Khalid bin Walid found an ideal opportunity to further the objective. He asked the chief of the enemy, “Are you confident that you will die immediately you swallow the poison?” He replied, “I am sure of that. This poison is so strong that no one has so far described its taste because the moment anyone sips it, he dies. He does not live long enough after that to say how it tastes. So, I am very sure that I will die immediately after I put it on my tongue”.
Khalid bin Walid (ra) requested him to let him have the vial. Taking it into his hands he remarked, “Nothing in this world is efficacious unless Allah provides it with efficacy” He took the name of Allah and made this-supplication:
“In the name of Allah with which nothing on earth or in the heaven can harm. And he is All hearing, All-knowing”.
And he said, “I swallow this poison and you observe whether I die or not.”The chieftain exclaimed, “You are tormenting yourself. The poison is so strong and rapid that if a little of it is placed on the tongue. The man will perish, while you intend to swallow all of it. “Sayyidina Khalid bin Walid said, “Insha Allah, nothing will happen to me. “So saying he washed down his throat the contents of the vial and Allah revealed His Power. The chieftain observed the miracle of Allah’s Power and submitted himself before Allah, that is, he embraced Islam.
EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON THE WILL OF ALLAH
The companions (ra) had a firm belief that whatever happened in this world happened because Allah willed it to happen. Nothing happens without His will. They had grown such a strong faith that the means and strategies were meaningless in their eyes. When any one shows this degree of faith then Allah lets him observe. His marvelous Power. It is the way of Allah: “the more you depend on the means and agencies, the more He will leave you tied to them, and the more you rely on Him the more He will relieve you of those things and show you the marvels of His Power”. “The lives of the Holy Prophet (saws) and his companions (ra) were a practical demonstration of this fact.
AN INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET (saws)
Once the Prophet (saws) had returned from a battle and had broken journey in transit. There, he rested himself in the shade of a tree and no one was with him. An unbeliever happened to find him alone and with his sword drawn he stood over the Prophet (saws) head, he said, “O Muhammad who will save you from me today? ” He had imagined that the Prophet (saws) would be alarmed on seeing him with the sword and finding no one around. But, there was no sign of alarm on the Prophet’s countenance and he replied calmly. “Allah! He will save me”. The unbeliever was taken aback and Allah caused him to be overwhelmed by the Prophet’s composure. His hands shook and the sword fell down from his hand. The Prophet (saws) picked it up and asked him, “Tell me now. who will protect you?” In this way, the Prophet (saws)let him realise that while he relied on his sword, the Prophet relied on the Maker of the sword who provides it with its potency. It was this way of life that the Prophet (saws) presented before his companions (ra). The result was that every companion although he employed the means available to him yet relied on Allah.
MEANS BEFORE RELIANCE
One of the companions asked the Prophet (saws), Messenger of Allah! I go to the forest on my camel. When the time of prayer approaches, should I tether the animal or leave it to itself, placing trust in Allah? The Prophet (saws) said:
“Tie its legs with a rope and trust in Allah.” Once, the animal is tied, rely on Allah and not on the rope which might snap.
Mawlana Roomi has expressed this idea in his poetry.
That is bind the legs of the camel on tawakkal A believing man, therefore, adopts available means as well as placing reliance on Allah. He uses the means and says to Allah:
“O Allah! I have adopted the means and put in the efforts as far as I could but beyond that I trust in You.”
RELY EVEN WHEN THE MEANS ARE AVAILABLE
Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanavi (rah) used to say, “People suppose that one relies on Allah only when the chances of his wish being fulfilled through apparent means are equal either way – he might or might not get what he wants. In that case, he may adopt the means and pray to Allah. But, they imagine that when anyone is confident of getting what he wants then he need not pray to Allah for his wishes or rely on Him. For instance, when food is laid before anyone, he is sure that he would eat that and so he does not pray to Allah to feed him and he does not rely on Him.”
THAT IS THE REAL TIME TO RELY ON ALLAH
However, Mawlana Thanavi (rah)., has said that was the real time to place reliance on Allah and the true opportunity to pray to Him. Such an attitude will confirm that he does not rely on apparent means that are within his grasp. He would seem to be saying, “I have faith in You as a Sustainer and Nourisher, as a Creator and in Your Power and Mercy. “When food is before anyone, he should make this supplication, “O Allah! Feed me and give me health through it”. For, although it seems possible to consume food easily yet it will be possible to eat it only if Allah so wills. There have been innumerable instances of men who were about to partake of food before them but failed to do so because of one or other obstacle or accident. So, even when food is ready one must pray to Allah to feed him.
In short one must always pray to Allah to help him out even if it seemed obvious what he would get what he wants.
ASK ALLAH TO FAVOUR IN EITHER CASE
We have read the words of the Prophet (saws) in the every first hadith “If you need something from Allah or from a fellow man”. There are times when there is no intermediary and we get something from Allah directly, children, for instance. Be that as it may, whether we require something from Allah or from a fellow man, we must ask Allah for it, in either case.
PERFORM ABLUITION PUNCTILIOUSLY
If we have enough time with us and that task we desire is not very urgent then we must offer Salah Al Hajah, for that. The Prophet (saws) has instructed us to perform ablution, and perform it very carefully paying attention to every detail. We must not perform ablution merely to discharge an obligation but we must realize that it is the first step to an important form of worship. The Prophet (saws) has recommended certain etiquette’s and sunnah, procedures in ablution which we must take care of. Often, we perform ablution in a hurry and although the obligation is discharged, we miss the blessings that accrue from a carefully performed ablution.
SINS ARE OBLITERATED THROUGH ABLUTION
We learn from a Hadith that the Prophet (saws) said, “When “a servant of Allah performs ablution and washes his face, the sins committed by him through the face are washed away. When he washes his right hand, the sins committed -by him with his right hand are washed away and when he washes the left hand his sins with the left hand are washed away. Similarly on washing the other limbs, his minor sins perpetrated by that limb are washed away”.
My mentor. Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (rah) used to say, “When you perform ablution, imagine to yourself: I am washing my face and the sins attached to it are washed away according to the glad tidings of the Prophet(saws). I wash my hands now and their sins are obliterated. Imagine in the same manner when you wipe your head and then wash the feet. There is a gulf of a difference between an ablution performed in this manner and one which is performed without such imagination. You will sense the blessings of the former kind.”
SUPPLICATIONS DURING ABLUTION
Anyway, we must perform ablution very carefully and observe its sunnah and etiquettes. For instance, we must sit facing the Qiblah, wash each limb three times carefully, and make the recommended supplications during ablution.
“O Allah, forgive me my sins and make my home spacious for me and bless what you provide me of sustenance.
I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is the warshipper and His Messanger.
“O Allah, cause me to be among those who repent and cause one to be among those who purify themselves.”
NO SET PATTERN FOR SALAH AL-HAJAH
The Prophet (saws) is then quoted in the hadith as advising us to offer two rak’at prayer called Salah Al-Hajah, which is no different than any other prayer in observation. Some people have suggested methods of observing it and prescribed surah, that should be recited in different rakaat, but this is no more than their own innovation. The Prophet (saws) has not prescribed any distinct method of its observation or any surah, to be recited.
Nevertheless, some of our righteous elders have suggested from their experience that certain chapters (surah) of the Quran produce extra blessings. But, we must not consider that as sunnah, and follow it because if we adopt it as sunnah, then we will be guilty of innovating a practice. Thus although Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy suggested surah Ai-Inshirah, for the first rak’at and Az ‘Ziizal for the second yet he made it clear that it was not sunnah, to do so it was only the experience of elders that they are more beneficial. If anyone recites these chapters without believing that to be sunnah, or he recites any other chapter then he is not violating the sunnah.
In short, there is no special procedure to offer the Salah Al Hajah, and one may begin it by forming an intention.
It is common notion these days that the intention differs from prayer to prayer and unless particular words are repeated the prayer is not valid. This is why they ask often how they may form an intention for each prayer. They regard the intention as part of the prayer. It must be understood that intention is not repetition of a set of words, but it is the resolve in the heart to offer prayers. When anyone goes out of his home to offer the Zuhr, (afternoon) prayers, for instance. Then that is his intention, and when he prepares to offer the Salah Al Hajah, then that is his intention. To repeat the words by the tongue is neither Wajib, (obligatory) nor sunnah, or mustahabb, at the most one can say is that it is allowed to do so. Thus, not only is there any particular procedure to offer the Salah Al Hajah, there is also no prescribed intention to be repeated.
PRAISE AND GLORIFICATION
After the two rak’at are offered, we must make a supplication. The Prophet (saws), has taught us the etiquettes of making a supplication. It is not that the supplication is made straightway after completing the prayers. We must first recount the praises of Allah and glorify Him ,”O All all! All praise belongs to You. Thanks are due to You and we are indebted to You for Your favours.”
WHY PRAISE & GLORIFY HIM?
The question arises, why must we praise and glorify Allah? The scholars point out to us that when anyone presents, a petition to an authority in the world, he begins by lauding him in the hope that he would be pleased and approve his petition. Thus, when this is done for a mortal, it must also be done for the most just of the judges. “O Allah! Praise belongs to You. I am grateful to You for your favours. Grant me my wish!”.
Another reason for praising Allah is that man is selfish and a slave to his own desires. What he needs is all he thinks of and he asks Allah for that. There is the risk that he might become ungrateful and show that in his supplication. At that time, therefore, he must remember the blessings of Allah which have submerged him deeply.
Anyway, we have the advice of the Prophet (saws) that we must ask Allah to give us what we need. But before we ask Him, we must look about and see how many of His bounties He has showered upon us which we cannot count. We must acknowledge them before we present our supplication, “O Allah! I am grateful for Your bounties and favours, which you have bestowed on one through Your mercy. I praise You for that. I have one more need, one more desire! O Allah! Be bountiful to me and grant me my desire”. This will offset possibility of our being ungrateful.
GRIEF AND DIFFICULTY IS ALSO A BLESSING
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (rah) said to a gathering of his disciples that the sorrow, grief and hardships which a man encounters are – if he thinks about that – actually blessings of Allah. Sickness is a blessing from Allah and so is poverty and need. If man observes with an examining eye, he will realize that these things are blessings of Allah.
We are told in a hadith that when, on the day of judgement, Allah will reward without limit and without reckoning those people who were patient in the face of affliction then those who had not suffered much difficulty and hardship in the world would wish that their skins were peeled off with scissors in the world and they had endured that patiently. They would then have received the reward which the patient would get on that day. So, the hardships are a blessing in disguise which our weak sights do not distinguish.
A STRANGE SUPPLICATION OF HAJI IMDADULLAH
When he was delivering this sermon, a handicapped man arrived in the assembly. The unfortunate man was afflicted with a number of maladies. He appealed to the honourable Mawlana to pray to Allah to relieve him of his affliction. Mawlana Thanavi (rah) who was one of those who were listening to the sermon said that they were all surprised that while Haji Imdadullah (rah) had spoken about the blessings of affliction this man asked him for his affliction to be removed. “If the mentor prays for the removal of his hardship, it would be tantamount to be asking for removal of blessings.” But, the mentor raised his hands in prayer and made this supplication,”O Allah! These hardships and afflictions are truly blessings, but, O Allah, we are weak, look at our weakness and change this blessing of hardship into a blessing of health!”
RECALL BLESSINGS WHEN IN DIFFICULTY
It is the nature of man that when he is in difficulty, he forgets the bounties he enjoys. For instance, if he has a stomach-ache, he will complain loudly about it but will not be grateful for the blessings he enjoys for he has no difficulty with his eyes, his ears, his tongue, his teeth -nay, the entire body. He has only a stomach ache. He will surely pray for the pain to be removed but he should remember to praise and thank Allah before making the supplication, “O Allah! You have granted me innumerable blessings. I am thankful to You for that. And, O Allah, there is this pain now. I beg of You to remove it.”
GRATITUDE FOR FAVOURS
My respected father, Hadhrat Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (rah) had a teacher, Mian Asghar Husayn (rah) He was a born wali (friend of Allah, a man of Allah). He was a very marvelous religious man. My respected father recalled an incident about him. “He was taken ill once, and had a fever. I paid him a sick-visit and found him burning with high temperature. He was restless because of the high fever. I greeted him and asked how he was. He replied, ‘Praise be to Allah! My eyes are sound, my ears can hear well, my tongue is faultless. “And he recounted all things that were sound in him. He said that he only had fever and asked me to pray that Allah cure him of the fever.”” This is how a grateful slave of Allah remembers His favours even in difficulty and because of this attitude the pain mitigates.
THANKFULNESS FOR BLESSINGS RECEIVED
Hence, the Prophet’s (saws) advice that we must praise and glorify Allah before we make our supplication means that we must recoil His blessings on us that we continue to enjoy and we must thank Him for those.
INVOKING BLESSINGS ON THE PROPHET (SAW)
After we have offered praise to Allah, we must invocate blessings on His Messenger (saws). The wisdom in invocating the blessings is that the Prophet (saws) is very compassionate and kind to his Ummah and he wishes that. The supplication of anyone of his people is not rejected. Of all the supplications, it is only the invoking of blessings on the Prophet (saws) that is assured approval at all time. What do the words of invocation mean when we say.
“ O Allah shower blessings on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad, the unlettered Prophet.”
There is no possibility of this prayer being rejected. Allah has given assurance of approving it. Mercy is already being showered on the Holy Prophet (saws) and they continue to be showered so he is no need of our efforts in this regard.
SUPPLICATION ACCEPTED WITH INVOCATION OF BLESSIN
The prophet (SAW) wishes that his people invoke blessings on him before they make their supplication. When the invocation of blessings will gain approval, the supplication of the person will also be approved. It is not expected of Allah that He grant a part of anyone’s supplication and reject another. Hence, the supplication that is made after the invocation of blessings stands more chance of approval.
RECIPROCATE A GIFT.
Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (rah) used to say that it was the life long practice of the Holy Prophet (saws) that he reciprocated a gift in some way. Then, the invocation of blessings on his is also a gift. A hadith tells us that the Prophet (saws) said:
“If anyone invokes blessings on me from a far off place, that blessing is brought to me. If anyone comes to my grave and offers one salutation and invokes blessings on me then I hear him.
The invocation is a gift of the person that the Prophet (saws) receives. So, when it had always been the practice of the Prophet (saws) to reciprocate a gift, it is hoped that when he receives the gift in the Barzakh (the intervening period between death and resurrection.) he will reciprocate as was his habit. It will be in the form of a supplication for the person concerned. He will pray to Allah to grant the person his desire. So, we must praise Allah and invoke blessings on His Prophet^ before making our supplication.
Words of the supplication can be found in books of supplications. [List of Duas] Every Muslim must memorise it. After making this supplication, the supplicant must present his petition in his own words. We hope Allah will grant him his request.
OFFER SALAH AL-HAJAH, FOR ALL NEEDS
The Prophet (saws), when he faced a worrying situation, would hurry, first of all, towards prayer. He offered the Salah Al Hajah, and made the supplication. “O Allah! There is this problem. Do remove it.” Thus a Muslim must offer this prayer often.
IF THE TIME IS SHORT
The foregoing procedure is recommended when a person has enough time on hand to offer prayers and decide but if he is pressed for time and cannot offer the two rak’at, then he must only make the supplication and ask of Allah. Nevertheless, he must present all his needs before Allah, minor or major. The Prophet && has said, “Ask Allah for all your needs even for the thong of your sandal when it is cut.” Thus, we must ask Allah for our major needs often. The fact is that something is minor or major in our perspective, the thong of the shoe is minor, Kingdom is major. But, in the sight of Allah, there is no difference and everything is minor. Our most major demand is small in His eyes (surely, Allah is Able to do all things). His ability, His power is uniform and nothing is difficult for Him.
OUR WORRIES AND OUR REACTION
Our city (Karachi) is going through difficult times these days. Every one is worried and restless. Almost every house faces a problem either directly or indirectly. In spite of that our position is that we only discuss the situation and comment on it. But, are there any among us who are really concerned and who turn to Allah and pray to Him to correct the situation? “O Allah! We are faced with difficulty. The consequences of our sins have overwhelmed us. O Allah! Be merciful to us and remove the worrying condition from us”.
NO POINT IN COMMENTING
In 1971. East Pakistan was lost and Pakistani Muslims suffered an unparalleled disgrace. Ninety thousand of their army were taken captive. They surrendered arms before the Hindus. All Muslims were sad because of that. At that time, I had the honour to visit Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (Rah) with my elder brother Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani (rah). We found there that people who were present discussed the situation and passed comment blaming someone or other. When they had discussed the situation for some time. Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (rah) asked them if they had arrived at a decision. Did the discussion provide them any advantage in this world or the next?
INSTEAD, MAKE A SUPPLICATION
He said to them, “You could have spent the time making a supplication to Allah – O Allah! We face a difficulty because of our misdeeds. O Allah! Forgive us! Remove this difficulty from us! Remove the consequences of our misdeeds from us! Convert the ignominy into an honourable situation – If you had made the supplication, it is not unexpected of Allah that He would have approved your petition. Even otherwise, you would have earned reward for making the supplication, and a blessing for the Hereafter. You only wasted your time.”
It was then that we realised that we are involved in this wasteful behaviour every day. We only discuss and comment. We have forgotten to pray to Allah for our needs. How many of us can we count who turned to Allah and implored Him to remedy the situation, how many offered the Salah Al Hajah, the prayer for fulfillment of need, and petitioned Him:
“O Allah! I offer my prayers. Let your Mercy remove the punishment from us.” Perhaps, someone may have done that. Most of us are involved in commenting and in backbiting and slander. As a result, we are being more sinful.
TURN TO ALLAH
In such circumstances, we must all turn to Allah and make our supplications. If anyone has any means in his power and authority then he must employ that. If he does not have authority over the means then let him pray to Allah. That is within the ability of all of us. We are forgetting to turn to Allah. We must recall that when Pakistan was being created, there was much turmoil and mischief in the land. At that time, in every house in Deoband and other cities people recited the verses of the . Quran (the ayateKarimah)[LaLailaha illa anta subhanaka inni khuntu min Az Zalimeen] without any one having appealed to them to do so. Every Muslim did it on his , own finding it necessary to do that. Women recited the verses and made supplications within their homes, “O Allah! Let the Muslims come out of this difficulty!”
The result was that Allah rescued the Muslims from their predicament.
WE DO NOT OPEN OUR EYES
We see today turmoil in our city. Dead bodies lie before our eyes. But, we are unmoved. We do not turn to Allah. We do not know of people reciting the verses of the Quran within their homes or making supplications to Allah. On the contrary, dead bodies are everywhere, death is before us, but our Muslims are in their homes, ties down before their television sets.
Under the circumstances, are we not inviting punishment from Allah? We arc unwilling to stop sinning, and reluctant to give up disobedient behaviour.
BE MERCIFUL TO YOURSELVES AND DO IT
For the sake of Allah, have mercy on yourselves. Turn to Allah, every Muslim can do it. Let each of them offer two rak’at, prayer for the fulfillment of needs’, ft will not lake much time, say two minutes. Then, it will take another three minutes to make the supplication. Let us” give these five minutes for our people, our nation and stand before Allah. If we cannot do that, why do we say that we are saddened by the situation?
Let us resolve to continue praying two raka’at Salah Al Hajah, and making supplication to Allah as long as this situation lasts. Further, let us be merciful to ourselves and remove the instruments of disobedience from our homes and save ourselves from sin. Let us stop disobedience and sin, and pray to Allah humbly weeping. Let us recite the noble verse of the Quran: O Allah, there is no god but You. You are without blemish. I have been of the wrongdoers. Let us, repeat again and again,
Instead of wasting our time on discussing the situation and commenting on it, let us turn to Allah. May He grant us that ability! Aameenl
Taken From: Discourses on Islamic Way of Life ( Vol:10)
And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. (4:29)
Recently, I came across an article which made my hair stand and gave me goosebumps, as I live just next door: http://www.blogpreston.co.uk/2016/02/preston-has-highest-suicide-rate-in-the-uk/
A horrifying statistic about Preston has emerged in new figures about suicide. Preston has the highest suicide rate in the UK compared to other towns and cities. There are nearly 19 suicides each year in the city per 100,000 people. The figures, which come from the Office of National Statistics, are based on the period from 2012-2014. It also shows the suicide rate in Preston has been rising sharply in the last few years.
The highest level of suicide in UK towns and cities
Preston – 18.6
Middlesborough – 17.6
Hastings – 17.4
Blackpool – 17
Warwick – 16.6
A few points we all need to consider, as we all go through hardship, pain and suffering:
“Allah burdens not a soul more than its scope.” (2:286)
Allah only gives you what you can handle, in simple terms. If you cannot deal with it Allah will not give it to you. Because as Muslims we believe Allah is al-Hakeem (The Wise), al-Aleem (All-Knowing). Allah knows the past and the future.
So why do we feel we can’t cope anymore?
There are numerous reasons to this, first being our sins weigh us down. Excessive sinning leads one to become despondent. Secondly, we have become ungrateful. Instead of counting our blessings, we as humans tend to count our problems more.
“And He giveth you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” (14:34)
Suicide is increasing in Britain and in Muslims, but it is a major sin in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated that the one who commits suicide will be punished with something like that with which he killed himself.
Why do people commit suicide?
They have had enough of life or they have no hope left that they can carry on. Sometimes Muslims lose hope in Allah SWT and in their religion. They pray, they fast, give charity but Allah’s help doesn’t seem to come or is delayed. This happens to every single one of us in life, some more than others. But is suicide the solution? More importantly, is it permissible to end our own life?
At some point or another we all think about suicide, we all have bad days and ‘very’ bad days. Problems and difficulties are temporary but remember suicide is not temporary. Do you want to commit suicide to end your life or end the problems you have?
Suicide is not the solution AT ALL. A person must remain positive at all times, life is not perfect. Allah did not promise us a perfect life, otherwise this world would be Jannah.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The world is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever.” (Tirmidhi)
Life is short and temporary, so are the problems and trials and calamities we face in life. Whether you are currently in a state of bliss or depression, “this time will pass.” Nothing lasts forever, not your happiness nor your sadness. This world does not even last forever, it will surely end.
If you think that nobody cares, or is there for you, then you have a loving Lord. Allah SWT loves you.
In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)
It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’” (Agreed upon)
So do not despair in the mercy of Allah, rather turn to him and remember Him. Obey Him and His help will come. If we knew the wisdom behind Allah’s orders and decisions for us, our hearts would burst out of love for Him SWT. We have to understand and accept Allah always does what is best for us.
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (2:216)
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be in the Fire of Hell, throwing himself down therein forever and ever. Whoever takes poison and kills himself, his poison will be in his hand and he will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell forever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron, that piece of iron will be in his hand and he will be stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell, forever and ever.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5442; Muslim, 109.
It was narrated from Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5700; Muslim, 110.
From these Hadith it is apparent that suicide is not permissible in Islam – it is Haram.
Suicide is not kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam as some people think, rather it is a major sin that is subject to the will of Allah on the Day of Resurrection: if He wills, He will forgive it, and if He wills He will punish for it. So do not neglect to make du’aa for them and be sincere in doing so; perhaps that may be the means of Allah forgiving them.
It was narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Among those who came before you there was a man who was wounded and he panicked, so he took a knife and cut his hand with it, and the blood did not stop flowing until he died. Allah said: ‘My slave hastened to bring about his demise; I have forbidden Paradise to him.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3276; Muslim, 113.
A FEW MORE FACTS:
Myth: People who are suicidal want to die.
Fact: The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. The distinction may seem small but is in fact very important and is why talking through other options at the right time is so vital.
Myth: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it.
Fact: Suicide can be a taboo topic in society. Often, people feeling suicidal don’t want to worry or burden anyone with how they feel and so they don’t discuss it. By asking directly about suicide you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it is to be able to talk about what their experiencing. Once someone starts talking they’ve got a better chance of discovering other options to suicide.
Myth: If a person is serious about killing themselves then there is nothing you can do.
Fact: Often, feeling actively suicidal is temporary, even if someone has been feeling low, anxious or struggling to cope for a long period of time. This is why getting the right kind of support at the right time is so important.
Myth: You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide.
Fact: Most people have thought of suicide from time to time and not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time of death. However, many people who kill themselves do suffer from their mental health, typically to a serious degree. Sometimes it’s known about before the person’s death and sometimes not.
Myth: People who talk about suicide aren’t serious and won’t go through with it.
Fact: People who kill themselves have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die. While it’s possible that someone might talk about suicide as a way of getting the attention they need, it’s vitally important to take anybody who talks about feeling suicidal seriously.
“The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have.”
Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure).
Key facts (2017)
- In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
- Of these, 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
- In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women.
- In the Republic of Ireland, men are four times more likely to take their own lives than women.
- In the UK, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49.
- In the Republic of Ireland, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
- In Northern Ireland, suicide rates for both men and women are higher than other UK nations – however, rates are not necessarily directly comparable.
Key trends (2017)
- In the UK, there has been a significant decrease in male suicide. The male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
- In Scotland, the overall suicide rate decreased between 2016 and 2017 – this appears to be driven by a decrease in the female suicide rate.
- In Scotland, suicide in young men increased for the third consecutive year in 2017.
- In Northern Ireland, the suicide rate has remained relatively stable between 2016 and 2017. There was an increase in the male suicide rate and a decrease in the female rate.
- In the Republic of Ireland, suicide has continued to fall in both men and women.
- In the Republic of Ireland, rates have fluctuated more than in the UK in recent years, but they are currently at their lowest since 1989.
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Bullying is against Islam as it entails injustice being done towards an individual by another. Those that engage in bullying actually have a weak nature and want to compensate for that weakness by trying to be ‘superior’ to others that they deem inferior to themselves.
Bullying is a form of oppression. Islam explicitly forbids all forms of oppression and injustice. Sayiduna Jabir Bin Abdullah (Radiallahu Anhu( narrates that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam) said “Be on your guard against oppression, for oppression is a darkness on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Muslim)
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah (SWA) has said: ‘I shall take revenge on the oppressor in this life and the next. I shall take revenge on someone who saw a person being oppressed and was able to help him but did not help him.’ (Tabraani)
If you are being bullied, especially at school, you should not remain silent but instead inform those who have authority.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
Noora runs into the house and slams the door behind her. She bounds up the stairs and her mother hears her bedroom door slam. She audibly sighs sadly thinking to herself, “She had another bad day at school. I wish she would talk to me about it.” Noora curls up on her bed and cries quietly wondering what she did to deserve what she goes through at school everyday. Sometimes she even finds herself wishing she could just get a physical “beat down” rather than suffer through the daily emotional torment of being teased, ostracized and singled out for abuse. She feels as though her mother won’t understand what she’s going through and she also doesn’t want to disappoint her by confessing that she just doesn’t know how to handle the bullies. She feels hopeless and she doesn’t know to whom to turn so she cries quietly in her room, and each day holds in more and more of the torment she faces.
Bullying was once viewed as a necessary rite of passage of childhood, something children simply must endure. However, bullying is not simply something children will mature out of; rather, bullying can result in serious harm and long-term consequences. Bullying can take different forms, including:
- Physical bullying: includes hitting, punching, kicking and other types of physical harm, as well as destruction of a child’s property.
- Verbal bullying: includes teasing, name-calling, taunting and racial slurs, as well as spreading gossip or malicious rumors.
- Cyberbullying: includes harassing emails, instant messages and text messages, as well as intimidating or threatening websites, blogs or posts.
Parents often feel completely powerless as they witness their child’s tears day-after-day, as much a part of the afterschool routine as homework. Bullying has reached a new peak in our society and with tragedies such as the shooting at Columbine, bullying has received a great deal more attention than it used to. With the advent of technology, bullying no longer occurs exclusively within the walls of schools. Rather, social media has provided another opportunity to bullies who seek to demean others. Home is no longer a safe haven for victims of bullying; a Facebook status can hurt just as much, if not more, than hearing the typed words spoken aloud.
The Victims of Bullying
Being the victim of bullying can evoke a great deal of shame in children and teens (and in adults as well, since bullying is not an epidemic that exclusively targets children). Therefore, your child may not confide in you and may go through great pains to hide the fact that s/he is being bullied. The signs may not be as visible as a black eye; although children are often physically intimidated, bullying can be also be targeted in a way that leaves psychological and emotional bruises. Some things to keep a lookout for, which may signal that your child is being bullied includes (but is not limited to): damage to personal belongings, unexplained injuries, a decline in academic performance, physical complaints (i.e. stomach aches, headaches, tiredness, etc.), reluctance when going to school or riding the bus, few friends, or a noticeable change in sleeping or eating habits.
There are certain qualities that may make some children more susceptible to bullying. These include the following characteristics: cautious, sensitive, quiet, withdrawn, shy, anxious, insecure, low self-esteem, unhappy, lack of a close friend, relate better to adults than peers, physically weaker than peers. Bullying is a cycle, so these characteristics can be just as much a consequence as a partial cause of being victimized. There is also another subset of people within this bullying cycle who are characterized as bully/victims, who are both bullies and victims of bullying simultaneously. Bully/victims tend to experience a greater variety of symptomology including both internalized (anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts) and externalized (hyperactivity, rule-breaking) issues.
Although the focus of prevention and interventions are often on victims of bullying, it is important to provide support to bullies as well. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is oppressed.” The Prophet was asked: “It is right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” He replied: “By preventing him from oppressing others.” (Ṣahīh Bukhāri, Volume 3, Ḥadīth 624)
From this ḥadīth, we learn the importance of helping those who are oppressed but, even more profoundly, the need to assist oppressors by stopping them from committing this infringement on the rights of others. Bullies are often misconstrued as people who simply take pleasure in the pain of others. However, research has found that some are quite complex and somewhat of a mystery. Many research studies have found that bullies are more likely to exhibit behavioral issues including aggressiveness, hyperactivity, attention deficits and conduct problems. However, contrary to what is normally considered of bullies, one research study found that they suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders, and eating disorders to the same extent as those who were victimized by their bullying. Some things that may signal that your child is bullying others include: being aggressive with others, gets sent to detention often, has unexplained new belongings or extra money, quickly blames others, refuses to accept responsibility for actions, and has a need to win or be the best at everything.
Verbal, Emotional & Psychological (Nonphysical) Bullying
Interactions between individuals, from an Islamic point of view, are governed by the fundamental right of sanctity of life, honor, and property. Therefore, anything that compromises these rights should be stopped. In Sūrat’l- Ḥujurāt (49:10-12), Allah says, “Verily, the believers are brothers…
- let not some people mock others, for they may be better than themselves,
- nor (let) women (mock) women who may be better than themselves.
- And do not slander yourselves, nor revile by (offensive) nicknames…
- O you who believe, avoid (indulging in) much suspicion; truly, some suspicion is a sin.
- And do not spy or backbite one another; would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor that.
- And be conscious of Allah; indeed, Allah is Relenting, Merciful.”
These verses emphasize the non-physical face of bullying. Verbal and emotional bullying can have even greater and longer-lasting negative effects on the victims than physical bullying. Many of us may have grown up asserting the maxim, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” however, we soon realize that sometimes words can hurt more than anything else.
According to Rachel Simmons’s Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, this type of bullying is particularly common among girls and often goes unnoticed by non-participants (such as teachers and parents). Due to the expectation of girls to be sweet, nice and caring, direct aggression is deemed unacceptable in them. However, girls are just as likely as boys to experience anger, a natural human emotion, so they engage one another in nonphysical, alternative forms of aggression. This includes:
- Relational aggression: acts that harm others through damage (or the threat of damage) to relationships or feelings of acceptance, friendship, or group inclusion.
- This is seen through behaviors such as ignoring someone to punish them, excluding someone socially for revenge, using negative body language or facial expressions, sabotaging someone’s relationships, etc.
- Indirect aggression: the bully avoids confrontation using covert behaviors. In this way, it may seem as though there was no intent to hurt anyone and others may be used as vehicles to cause pain to the targeted person.
- This is seen in the spreading of rumors, backbiting, “accidentally” knocking over someone’s books, etc.
- Social aggression: intent to damage the self-esteem or social status of a targeted individual.
- This can include rumor spreading, backbiting, and social exclusion.
Rather than using physical intimidation as a weapon, relationships are used for leverage. What could be worse than the threat of loneliness and social isolation as you wander friendlessly through the halls of school? Hearing lies spread about you to cause you to lose your friends and fall into a downward spiral of lowering self-esteem? One of the issues inherent in these forms of alternative aggressions is the fact that they can easily be committed under the radar of others. Teachers are often caught unaware when their students speak with them about this type of bullying and don’t know how to deal with it since it is not easily spotted. When engaging in covert aggression, the bullies often seem like the type of people who would never mistreat someone; it’s the perfect disguise for accomplishing as much damage as possible while ensuring their actions are undetectable to others.
Girls in this type of situation often have nowhere to turn; they may feel too ashamed to speak to their parents or teachers about the torment they’re enduring because they may feel as though they have failed at a fundamental rite of passage – making friends. There is also a great deal of uncertainty regarding these alternative aggressions; girls may question, “Did she just bump into me on purpose?;” “Did she roll her eyes at something I said?;” “Is that note she’s passing about me?” It’s easy to know when someone gives you a black eye, but if you’re uncertain whether others are shutting you out or teasing you behind your back, it becomes much more difficult to discuss it with others. By the same token, many girls withstand emotional abuse from their close friends in order to maintain the inclusion as a part of a group; they fear that the creation of any conflict (including voicing their concerns) will cause them to lose a relationship. Due to this, anger continues to simmer and issues pile up and are rarely addressed.
Practical Tips & Possible Solutions
It is incredibly important to arm our children, our students, and ourselves with the proper methods of coping with bullying. This is not simply a rite of passage that children must endure. Furthermore, the issues brought about by bullying can quickly, and dangerously, spiral out of control. In the next segment, practical tips and possible solutions will be offered to promote healthy relationships.
 Mayo Clinic Staff (2010, August 24). Bullying: Help Your Child Handle a School Bully. Children’s Issues. Retrieved January 19, 2012, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bullying/MH00126
 Olweus, D. (1999). Sweden. In P. K. Smith, Y. Morita, J. Junger-Tas, D. Olweus, R. Cata- lano, & P. Slee (Eds.), The nature of school bullying: A cross national perspective (pp. 7–27). London: Routledge.
 Kaltiala-Heino, R., Rimpelä, M., Rantanen, P., & Rimpelä, A. (2000). Bullying at school. An indicator of adolescents at risk for mental disorders. Journal of Adolescence, 23, 661–674.
 Simmons, Rachel (2002). Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. San Diego, CA: Hartcourt Trade Publishing.