The Path

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar radiyalaahu anhuma had mentioned, "Whoever wishes to follow the way of another, should follow the ways of those who have passed away. These were the companions of Muhammad sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, who were the best people of this Ummah. Their hearts were most pious, their knowledge was deepest and they were least pretentious. They were people whom Allah Ta'ala had chosen to be companions of His Nabi sallalaahu alayhi wassalam and for the transmission of His Deen. You people should emulate their character and mannerisms. By the Rabb of the Kaabah! The Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam were correctly guided."

Monday, 8 February 2010

Three Nights in Bangkok

Back in 1984 Murray Head sings:

"One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
A little flesh, a little history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me"

I'm not interested to talk about Murray Head, the song or music, but the lyrics written by Tim Rice, pretty much suggest how the wicked, harmful and sinful environment of Bangkok could adversely affect a person. Mind you, it was written by a non-muslim. What could then be the effect on a muslim?

A scholar of Islam once said that there are four clear enemies of imaan or faith: Shaytaan, Nafs (desire), Duniya (worshiping worldly gains) and Mahul (environment). 

As my friend Saharudin Mohd Dan wrote, "...four days in Bangkok, without the proliferation of adzan calling everywhere makes me hastily wanna come home...Forget about the wicked lives..."

Another friend said, "In this period of time, our imaan is just like water. It becomes ice when put in refrigerator, and it melts when you take it outside."

To me, after three nights in Bangkok last week (not the first time for me) on business trip, I'd say do not under estimate the harmful effect of the environment around you. I felt like the solid fortress that was built around me came crumbling down.  The harmful environment of Bangkok, at least, could make you look at the people with sinful thoughts (albeit with worries). 

My first trip to Bangkok in 2007 was entirely different. Back then, even though my stay in Bangkok and northern part of Thailand was a lot longer than this, I was in a safe and sound company of tablighi jamaat. And the many masjids that we stayed in had become sanctuary and stronghold to our imaan. Last week was different. I had felt the harmful effect of sinful environment even though I was accompanied by the people closest to me.

"Whosoever does not guard his eyesight, Almighty Allah will remove the sweetness in ibadaat from him." - Hadith.

Thus, I realise that the only way to safeguard our imaan is to strive to make effort on our imaan until the strength of our imaan resembles the imaan of the Companions of the Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wassalam.  They are best among the people after the Prophets alayhimussalam. They would not allow harmful environment affected them, rather they had changed the environment around them whenever they marched to. Among the 500 strong jamaat that had been sent to routes leading to China, only 5 of them had reached mainland China. But out of this five luminaries, millions of Chinese had come into the fold of Islam! 

You and I ought to be aware! The enemies of Islam among mankind are striving to turn the sanctuaries of muslims in the sacred and holy Makkah and Madinah into the harmful and wicked places elsewhere in the world. They could not enter these holy cities, no doubt. But even now you could bear witness that sinful acts are shown on telly a few feet from the doors of Masjid ul-Haram and Masjid un-Nabawi in Makkah and Madinah.

So let us all strive to turn Bangkok, London, Paris and New York into Madinah Munawarrah during the time of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam. Impossible!? It's impossible if we think we are the one who do it, but certainly, it is not at all impossible if we believe Almighty Allah is the one who will do it.

P/s Let's start changing the harmful environment in our homes.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

On Duniya

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi R.alayhi explained:

Everything which diverts one's attention from Allah is "duniya". If a ruler is diverted from Allah by his governing, then the rule and governing is "duniya". If being poor makes one negligent of Allah, such poverty is also "duniya". It is possible for a person to be a ruler or a governor and still remain righteous and religious and it is also possible that one can be poor and still be irreligious.

Hence, the person who disregards the commandments of Allah, is a worldly person, even though he may be poor and destitute. On the other hand, if a king, inspite of being a ruler over a kingdom, carries out the commands of Allah, he is a "wali" and most definitely not a worldly person. Actually “duniya” means being neglectful of Allah’s commands. Its not a name for children, wife, wealth and possessions.

The example of “duniya” is like water. A ship sails on it. As long as the water is outside and underneath the ship, it is the means whereupon the ship sails. But when the water comes inside the ship, then it can be the cause for the sinking of the ship and its destruction. Similarly, if the “duniya” stays outside the heart, as in the case when love for Allah Ta’ala and love for Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasallam is above the love for wealth, children, wife and all relationships, then this “duniya’ is not harmful. On the contrary, it is a means towards Allah’s pleasure and nearness to Him. But when this “duniya” has entered the heart and the love for these worldly entities becomes uppermost over Allah’s love, then this “duniya” becomes a means towards his destruction because the heart has been created by Allah for Himself.

In a Hadith Qudsi Allah says: Heaven and earth cannot contained me. But into the heart of a believer I enter like a guest. Hence, the heart is like a royal palace which is only kept for the true King of all kings and not fro anyone or anything else. So if one allows a bhangi (remover of toilet buckets) with clothes soiled in filth to live in such a royal palace, then this will be a great injustice and the doer will deserve punishment. Therefore a person should leave this wretched “duniya” outside the heart and not allow it to enter inside.

But how can one ascertain whether “duniya” has entered the heart or not? If a person, at all times, is busy with the preparations for the hereafter, trying at all times to gain Allah’s pleasure and places every laws of the shariah above his personal gains, then you may take it that “duniya” is outside his heart, and that his heart is free from “duniya’s love”. For him, the “duniya” becomes the means of blessings and the means towards attaining the everlasting and true life. But if for the sake of his love for wife, or children, or wealth, or title, or business, or employment, a man casts the laws of shariah behind his back and make no distinction between halaal and haram, is not observant of preparing for the hereafter at all times, but at all times involve with earning wealth, then you may take it that “dunya” has entered his heart. This “duniya” will be a means towards his destruction.