An aalim shared an experience whilst sitting in the company of Ārif Billāh Hazrat Moulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib رحمه الله; a brother dropped a tumbler which resulted in water being spilt across the Dastarkhān (tablecloth). Upon hearing the disturbance, Hazrat Hakeem Sahib رحمه الله asked; "What happened?" Someone responded; "The glass fell." Hazrat Hakeem Sahib رحمه الله thereafter posed the question; "Did the glass fall on its own?" In correcting the disciple, Hazrat Hakeem Sahib رحمه الله advised; "Learn to take responsibility for your actions. Say: 'I dropped the glass.'"
This is a great lesson for everyone in that Hazrat Hakeem Sahib رحمه الله was bringing our attention to the need to bear the responsibility of whatever we do. Until and unless we do not take responsibility for our actions, our islah (reformation) will not take place. Unfortunately, we don't, rather we don't want to take responsibility for our actions. At times, we refuse to acknowledge our wrongs or there may be some weakness in us which causes us to be in denial. There are people who are addicted to alcohol, substance abuse, gambling, adultery and a host of other evils but if the problems are acknowledged and assistance sought; the issues can be rectified. If an individual is ill but he does not acknowledge the severity of his illness, the illness becomes worse. Similarly, if one is spiritually diseased but he says that he doesn't have a problem, this makes islah (reformation) very difficult. Acknowledgement of the problem is a sign of progress and when one goes to a spiritual mentor to rectify the malady; a cure will be achieved proportionate to the commitment and courage of the Saalik (seeker of Allah Ta'ala جل جلاله).
In most instances, if there is an argument between the husband and wife, the husband will apportion the blame to the wife and the wife will blame the husband. Can we not reflect for a few moments and with sincere hearts say; "I am to blame. I am the problem." Due to the fact that we are not prepared to take responsibility, we blame others - the result is that the problem becomes worse. Another weakness in people is that if anything goes wrong, we are quick in blaming others whereas if anything goes right, we desire to take credit. This is a common spiritual illness which can cause havoc in the spiritual path. This attitude of playing the blame game is indicative of pride.
If we will assume responsibility, there will most certainly be the need to adopt and display humility. But contrary to our perceptions, acknowledgement will result in the enhancement of our respect and reputation in the hearts of others. It is essential for us to resist the advances of Shaitān and the treachery of the Nafs; adopt determination and display good character. If we are going to forgive, overlook the faults of others, stay away from arguments and open the door of reconciliation; Allah Ta'ala جل جلاله will cause unity, mutual love and happiness in our lives. Allah Ta'ala جل جلاله says in the Kalaamullāh:
ولا تستوى الحسنة ولا السيئة. ادفع بالتي هي احسن فإذا الذي بينك وبينه عداوة كأنه ولي حميم.
'The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with that which is better (to be patient, forgive, etc), then verily, he between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.'
(Surah Fussilāt 41:34)
Success can only be attained through displaying good character and observing the demands of social etiquettes.
8 POINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE SACRED MONTH OF MUHARRAM
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
1. Why is this month sacred?
Alhamdulillah, we thank Allah Ta’aala for blessing us with the opportunity of opening another new year of the Islamic Calendar. The month of Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Calendar and is one of the four sacred months.
A true believer is one who is ceaselessly searching for a means to atone his wrongs and to gain closeness to his Sustainer, to achieve the esteemed and elite favor and pleasure of his Creator. The true believer is he who respects and holds sacred what Allah, Most High has decreed as sacred. Allah, Most High announces in the Holy Qur’an,
“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” [Surah At-Tawbah 9:36].
The sacredness of Muharram is expounded in this hadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Bakr Radiallahu anhu, that Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth; the year is twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them are in succession: Dhul-Qa`da, Dhul-Hijja and Al-Muharram, and (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar (named after the tribe of Mudar as they used to respect this month) which stands between Jumad (ath-Thani) and Sha`ban."
It was also narrated that Abu Hurayrah Radiallahu anhu said that Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
“The best fast after Ramadan is in the month of Allah, Muharram.”
2. How do we show reverence to the sacredness of this month?
Follow the Sunnah
The path leading to gaining proximity to Allah is based on our deeds. Our deeds must be in conformance to the Sunnah practice of the beloved of Allah, His final messenger Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Allah, Most High addresses His beloved in the Holy Qur’an that,
“Say (oh Muhammad to your people), if you love Allah then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your sins.”
Allah, Most High further instructs him that,
“Say, obey Allah and the Messenger, then if they turn away verily Allah does not love the non-believers.”
Do not follow your nafs
The sanctity of this month and deeds which give practical expression to its sanctity have been explicated to us in numerous unambiguous narrations of the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. It is now upon us to express our love to The Almighty and His beloved Messenger by ensuring that our deeds are in strict conformity to the Sunnah. We should seek sufficient knowledge and counsel from the Ulama to ensure that our deeds are not polluted by our base desires and that we don’t end up wasting our time and efforts by falling into the trap of Shaytaan, succeeding in nothing but to promote a trend flavored with Islam but which is irreconcilable with the Sunnah.
* Once Hadhrat Junaid’s eyes were paining severely. The physician who was a Christian advised him to abstain from applying water to his eyes. Hadhrat Junaid said: “Then how shall I make wudhu?” The physician said: “If you wish to retain your eyesight, then abstain from applying water. It is now your choice.” After the physician left. Hadhrat Junaid made Wudhu. He ignored the advice of the physician and applied water to his eyes as usual. After Salaat he went to sleep. When he woke up he found that his eye ailment had been completed cured. He heard a Voice saying: “O Junaid! For the sake of Our pleasure you forsook your eyes. If you had supplicated to Us by the Waseelah (medium) of your intention for Us to forgive all the inmates of Jahannam, it would have been accepted.”
When the physician came again, he was surprised to find that Hadhrat Junaid’s eyes were cured. He asked about the remedy used. Hadhrat Junaid explained what had transpired. The physician embraced Islam and commented: “This is the treatment of The Creator, not of the created. In reality, my eyes were ailing, not your eyes. You are the physician, not me.”
* Once a Buzrug was on his way to meet Hadhrat Junaid (Rahmatullah alayh). As he neared Hadhrat Junaid’s residence, the Buzrug saw shaitaan running in leaps and bounds away from the house of Hadhrat Junaid. When the Buzrug arrived, he saw Hadhrat Junaid venting extreme anger on a man. The Buzrug said: O Shaikh! I have heard that when the sons of Aadam (i.e. human beings) become angry, then that is the time when shitaaan overwhelms them. But her I have seen shaitaan fleeing from you. What is the reason? Hadhrat Junaid said: “Have you not heard that when anger is for the sake of Allah Ta’ala, Iblees flees.? Our anger is for Allah’s sake, hence you saw Iblees fleeing. Others vent anger for the sake of their nafs.”
* Someone asked: “When is the heart happy?” Hadhrat Junaid responded: “When HE is in the heart.” (i.e. Allah Ta’ala)
* Hadhrat Junaid narrated: “I learnt the meaning of Ikhlaas from a barber. Once when I was in Makkah Muazzamah, I went to a barber to have my head shaved. While the barber was still engaged in cutting the hair of another man, I said to him:” For Allah’s sake, shave my head.” The barber immediately abandoned the other client and said to him: “I have to leave everything since the Name of Allah Ta’ala has come in between.” He kissed the head of Hadhrat Junaid. After having shave his hair, the barber gave Hadhrat Junaid a gift of some money.
After a few days, someone presented a bag of money to Hadhrat Junaid. He went with the money to the barber and presented it to him. The barber said: “Have you no shame! You had asked me to shave your head for the sake of Allah now you want to give me this money in exchange.”
* Once a wealthy man came to the khaanqah and took with him one of the mureeds. After a short while the mureed was returning with a basket of food on his head which was intended for the mureeds. The wealthy man was walking behind the mureed. Hadhrat Junaid instructed the mureed to put down the load. He refused to accept it and said: “He (the wealthy man) is extremely disrespectful. Are there only Durwaishes to carry his burdens? While the Durwaish has no wealth of the dunya, he has the Aakhirat.”
* A mureed gained the impression that he had attained a lofty stage of spiritual accomplishment. He therefore left the khaanqah and went into seclusion elsewhere. Every night it appeared to him that angels arrived to take him to Jannat. A beautiful camel was brought and on it he would be led to a beautiful garden where streams flowed. There were many people in the garden. This scene was enacted for him every night. The mureed spread this information and believed that he was being taken every night to Jannat.
When Hadhrat Junaid heard of this, he went to the mureed and enquired about his condition. The mureed explained in detail what was transpiring. Hadhrat Junaid said: “Tonight when you reach there recite Wala houla wala quw wata il laah bil laahil azeem thrice. That night, although the mureed had not attached any importance to Hadhrat Junaid’s suggestion, he nevertheless, recited merely to test what Hadhrat Junaid had said. As he recited, there was much screaming and chaos, and everything vanished. He found himself sitting on a grave and the bones and skeletons were scattered. He realized his folly and went back to the khaanqah and remained in Hadhrat Junaid’s company.
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عن أبي عبد الرحمن عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه قال: سألت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : أي العمل أحب إلى الله تعالى؟ قال " الصلاة على وقتها" قلت: ثم أي؟ قال: " بر الوالدين" قلت: ثم أي؟ قال: " الجهاد في سبيل الله" (متفق عليه).
'Abdullah bin Mas'ud Radiallahu Anhu reported:
I asked the Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam , "Which of the deeds is loved most by Allah?" Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Salat at its proper time." I asked, ''What next?" He replied, ''Kindness to parents." I asked, ''What next?" He replied, ''Jihad in the way of Allah."