Forgive me?

As Sha’ban draws to an end, we will swiftly approach the blessed, holy and spiritual month of Ramadhan.
A month of mercy.
A month of blessings.
A month of forgiveness.
On the topic of forgiveness, many will be sending “mass” texts to their contacts asking for forgiveness and to overlook any mistakes made throughout the year. People generally start this on 15th Sha’ban (a night of forgiveness) or just before Ramadhan.
In oversight, this all looks good and well. And in a day and age of arrogance and ego where people hardly accept and apologise we should appreciate these messages. I have no qualms with that.
My gripe is that this is becoming a fashion, a trend. Most of us don’t even write our own messages, we just copy and paste from the last sender. No, I’m not judgemental, I know because the wording and emojis are all the same? Just replace the name with yours.
Sometimes the messages are bereft of sincerity and remorse. You really are calling me judgemental now. No again, I’m not. Many times people send the messages when they have wronged you, and when you bring up their hurtful words and actions…. they get defensive and haughty. Huh?!
Why apologise then if you’re not sincere and don’t really mean it. Brothers and sisters, my point is don’t just copy and paste. Please. For the love of Allah, if you really have wronged someone approach them, visit them, make efforts to see them. If they’re in another town or country “call” them and settle the issues. Lastly, if all else fails text them. Matters can be dealt with (easily) in this world or harshly in the hereafter. Remember, there are rights of Allah (Huqooqullah) and rights of the servants (Huqooqul Ibaad). Allah will forgive you if you don’t pray Salah and Fast in Ramadhan. But if you abuse the rights of any human; your wife, children, family members or neighbours they will be able to take revenge on Qiyamah, In Sha Allah.

Let’s stop these ‘meaningless’ broadcasts!

Abu Huraira reported (Allah be pleased with him): The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

Do you know who is bankrupt?” They said, “The one without money or goods is bankrupt.” The Prophet said, “Verily, the bankrupt of my nation are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, and charity, but also with insults, slander, consuming wealth, shedding blood, and beating others. The oppressed will each be given from his good deeds. If his good deeds run out before justice is fulfilled, then their sins will be cast upon him and he will be thrown into the Hellfire.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2581

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Muslim

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ أَتَدْرُونَ مَا الْمُفْلِسُ قَالُوا الْمُفْلِسُ فِينَا مَنْ لَا دِرْهَمَ لَهُ وَلَا مَتَاعَ فَقَالَ إِنَّ الْمُفْلِسَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَأْتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِصَلَاةٍ وَصِيَامٍ وَزَكَاةٍ وَيَأْتِي قَدْ شَتَمَ هَذَا وَقَذَفَ هَذَا وَأَكَلَ مَالَ هَذَا وَسَفَكَ دَمَ هَذَا وَضَرَبَ هَذَا فَيُعْطَى هَذَا مِنْ حَسَنَاتِهِ وَهَذَا مِنْ حَسَنَاتِهِ فَإِنْ فَنِيَتْ حَسَنَاتُهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُقْضَى مَا عَلَيْهِ أُخِذَ مِنْ خَطَايَاهُمْ فَطُرِحَتْ عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ طُرِحَ فِي النَّارِ

2581 صحيح مسلم كتاب البر والصلة والآداب باب تحريم الظلم

Ismail Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).
15th Shaban 1438
Shaykh Saleem Dhorat

Advice for Intending Holiday Makers

16th Jumadal Akhirah 1437 AH ~ Friday 25th March 2016

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

It is a common trend in this day and age for people to take a break for recreation, including going on holiday. Undertaking leisure activities, such as travel, are regarded as promoting general wellbeing. This concept is not inconsistent with our Dīn, as from amongst the commands of Allāh ta‘ālā is the safeguarding of one’s health, both physically and mentally. Alhamdulillāh, as with all areas of life, we find guidance in our Dīn for this aspect too, so we can make our actions a means of acquiring the pleasure of Allah ta‘ālā.

Be a Healthy Believer

Health and strength are from the blessings of Allāh ta‘ālā that help us to excel in Dīn and in this worldly life. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated:

A strong believer is better than a weak believer. (Muslim)

We can understand from this Hadīth that a believer who looks after his health and wellbeing, will be able to perform those good actions, which a believer weaker in health will not. Health is of such importance that we find in another Hadīth Rasūlullāhsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam lamenting a sahābī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu who was neglecting his health:

Verily your body has a right upon you (Al-Bukhārī)

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has encouraged us to give our bodies rest and relaxation, so that a person remains motivated and does not fall prey to boredom or exhaustion. This will enable one to maintain enthusiasm and energy to carry out the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and perform good deeds. It is related by Anas ibn Mālikradhiyallāhu ‘anhu that once Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam entered the masjid and found a rope hanging between two pillars. He sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked, “What is this?” The Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum replied, “It is for Zaynab. When she feels tired (whilst praying), she holds onto it.” Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “No, untie it (i.e. this is incorrect). Pray as long as you feel energetic; when you become tired, you should sit down.” (Al-Bukhārī)

Stay Focused

Like the need for a good balanced diet, sleep and exercise, a break from one’s daily routine, if spent in line with the principles of Sharī‘ah, can help to enhance a person’s health both physically and mentally. However, it is important to remember that in fulfilling this necessity, we do not take a break from our religious obligations, nor cross the boundaries laid down by the Sharī‘ah. Precautions must be undertaken to ensure that whilst engaging in any leisure activity, a person does not become heedless of the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā and compromise his religious and spiritual obligations, thereby causing harm to his eternal life of the hereafter.

The following advices will inshā’allāh help us achieve a balance and make our ‘time out’ fruitful in this world and the hereafter.

1. Intention and Objective

The intention for taking a break must be correct; it should not be to merely follow the prevalent culture of the day. Our every action should be to fulfil the objective of our existence and creation, the worship of Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship me. (56:51)

In light of this, if one’s objective for taking a break is to rest and refresh the body and mind, in order to return home and thereafter exert more effort to perform good deeds and fulfil the rights of the Creator and the creation, then this will be a rewarding action. Similarly, the aim to spend quality time with the family is also a worthy intention.

2. Ensure Suitability

We must ensure that the trip we are undertaking is in compliance with Sharī‘ah. Many are those who, without having undertaken research, book a holiday package. Only after arriving at their destination do they realise that they have arrived at an unsuitable place; an environment of irreligiousness, obscenity and nudity. On returning home, they are regretful and concede that the environment was such that they were unable to refrain from sin.

If one intends to travel abroad for a holiday, then it is not necessary to visit those places where everyone else is going. To avoid finding oneself in an unsuitable situation, thorough research should be undertaken on the proposed destination and to only proceed to such places wherein the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā is not taking place.

3. Shaytān’s Ploy

As stated earlier, during any leisure activity or holiday we should not overlook our obligations. Shaytān places into the mind this thought, ‘We have come here for rest and relaxation, there must be total freedom from every type of restriction’. Those on holiday therefore absolve themselves from tilāwah of the Glorious Qur’ān, dhikr, ma‘mūlāt etc. Only salāh remains and that too is of the lowest standard. In this respect, we should ask ourselves the following questions: Do I reduce the hours of my sleep while on holiday? Do I reduce the amount of food that I consume? When we do not reduce our sleep nor food intake, there is no excuse for reducing or altering one’s ‘ibādah.

It is therefore of paramount importance to prepare a timetable, so that one will remain punctual in all of one’s a‘māl. It should also be noted that, just as supplications made during travel are more accepted, similarly there is greater barakah in the dhikr and ‘ibādah performed while on a journey.

4. Avoid Extravagance

We should avoid unnecessary expenses and extravagance. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely, squanderers are brothers of satans, and the Satan is very ungrateful to his Lord. (27:17)

As it has become common to take a break by travelling abroad, all too often people go on holiday packages that they cannot afford by taking out loans. In their desire for a luxury holiday, they become embroiled in unnecessary extravagance. It is incorrect to believe that rest and relaxation can only be achieved by travelling abroad for a holiday. Even if one cannot afford a holiday due to financial difficulty or is unable to identify a suitable destination, then what is the harm or loss? People in the past did not go on such holidays, yet arguably had greater peace and happiness in their lives in comparison to ours.

Beneficial Guidelines

In order to safeguard one’s time and a‘māl, in particular during a holiday journey, some further beneficial guidelines should also be borne in mind:

1.  Always remain engaged in the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā. Keep this thought in mind that my Allāh ta‘ālā is watching me with love.

2.  Maintain modesty and be mindful about unlawful gazes, dressing appropriately in accordance with Sharī‘ah and injunctions relating to contact with non-mahrams.

3.  Take out some time for muhāsabah (taking account of one’s past actions) daily. In particular, ponder over how much of life has passed and how much more remains.

4.  Make firm resolutions for the future by thinking about what one needs to and what one intends to do from now to make amends for the past.

5.  Refrain from the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā at all times. Stay away from places of sin and indecency and avoid unnecessary extravagance in spending.

6.  Abstain from all non-Islamic practices.

Spend your time in such a way that when you return, it is with both a healthy body and a healthy soul. May Allāh ta‘ālā safeguard us all and grant us the correct tawfīq. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 3, Mar 2016)

• Please forward this message on to all your contacts