Issue 138 » October 5, 2001 -



Surah al-A'raaf
The Heights (7) - Ayah 205

"And remember (wadhkur) your Lord in your mind, with humility and fear, and without raising your voice; remember Him in the morning and evening, and do not become of those who are negligent (ghafileen)"


The purpose of this reminder is to emphasize constant remembrance of God in all walks of life. It also indicates how heedless (ghafil) and heartless a person becomes without the remembrance of God. For every error and corruption in the society stems from the fact that man tends to forget that Allah is his Lord and that on his own he is merely a servant of God, and is being tested in this world.

The kind of remembrance which is sought here is not necessarily the movement of the tongue, but the movement of the heart; a movement that moves a believer to action, that moves one's eyes to tears, and that reminds one of the Majesty and Mercy of Allah.

Once the mother of Anas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said, "O Prophet of Allah! Give me some good counsel (nasiha)", to which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied:

"Emigrate from sin, for surely that is the best kind of emigration (Hijrah)! Be diligent in the performance of the obligatory duties, for surely that is the best kind of struggle (Jihad)! And remember Allah often, for surely you cannot meet Allah with anything better than His Remembrance (Dhikr)!"

The kind of dhikr recommended in this Hadith is not the same as that is commonly known as 'remembrance'. It's rather one's source of contentment and stability in the face of worldly adversities and hardships. In our own contemporary civilization, there are many educated people, each with his or her own set of intelligent acquaintances. Yet, in spite of all our sophistication, nervous disorders and depression are common ailments in our society. For the reason that the hearts of people are devoid of Allah.

And, after all, how can they remember someone they do not even know? When was the last time we opened the Book of Allah with the intention of learning more about Him and getting closer to the Merciful God? Indeed, for the most part, modern civilization is completely cut off from God. Yet man, regardless of how strong he may be, is essentially weak; and regardless of how knowledgeable he may be, is essentially inadequate. Indeed, one's need for his or her Lord is no less than that of child for its parent.

The moral and social framework established by our Last Prophet (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) can be supported only by those whose hearts are unblemished and pure. No wonder, why the Prophet himself pointed to his heart and said, "At Taqwa haa Hunaa!" ("Taqwa is here!" i.e. in the heart)

[compiled from "Remembrance and Prayer: The Way of Prophet Muhammad"
by Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazzali, pp. 156-158]


The Best Charity

The Prophet constantly emphasized the importance of spending on one's family and the greatness of it in the sight of Allah. A revelation came to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and informed him that, "You can never attain piety unless you spend (in the way of Allah) what you love most." [ale-'Imran 3:92]

Abu Talhah (radhi Allahu 'anh) went to the Messenger and said, "I love my land most. I want to give this land in the way of Allah. I want to get my reward from Allah alone. Please accept this property and use it in the manner you think is best." The Prophet advised him, "The best charity and most pleasing to Allah is the supporting of one's family and relatives."

Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allahu 'anh) also reported that the Messenger said: "Of the dinar you spend in the way of Allah, the dinar you spend for the freedom of a slave, the dinar you give away in charity to the poor, and the dinar you spend on your spouse and children, the highest in respect of reward is the one you spend on your family." [Muslim]

He, peace be upon him, further clarified: "Whatever you spend for the sake of Allah, even for a morsel of food that you put in the mouth of your wife, Allah will reward you!" [Bukhari]

This shows the mercy of Allah that He rewards even the act of providing for the needs of one's family as a great act of 'ibadah (worship) and a jihad (struggle) for His sake, which maintaining and nurturing a Muslim family truly is. The Prophet is laying the foundations of a happy Muslim household by emphasizing that the material and physical needs of the family members must be looked after. This, since the moral and spiritual development requires a stable Islamic household where spouses and children are able to live in comfort, security, and certainty of future.


Series continued from YMFN Issue #137

Last week we discussed the phenomenon of weak faith that has become widespread amongst Muslims. We saw that the root cause of this weakness of faith, doubt in the mind and inability to remain steadfast in the practice of Islam is a hardness of the person's heart due to forgetfulness of Allah. Now we will begin to look at signs and symptoms that one can use to assess whether he or she suffers from this spiritual disease.

There are a number of symptoms of the sickness of weak faith, including the following:

1) Falling into sin and committing Haram (forbidden) deeds: There are some sinners who commit a sin and persist in it, and some who commit many kinds of sin. When a person commits many sins, sin becomes a habit which he gets used to, and then he no longer feels that it is abhorrent. He gradually reaches a stage where he commits the sin openly, and thus becomes one of those referred to in the hadeeth:

"All of my ummah will be fine except for those who commit sins openly, an example of which is a man who does something at night, and when morning comes and Allah has concealed his sin, he says, 'O So-and-so, I did such and such yesterday.'His Lord had covered his sin all night, but he has uncovered what Allah had concealed!" [Bukhari]

2) Feeling that one’s heart is hard and rough: A person may feel that his heart has turned to stone which nothing can penetrate or reach. Allah says: "Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness…" [2:74]. The person whose heart is hard will not be moved by reminders of death or by seeing deceased persons or funerals. He may even carry a dead person to his grave and throw earth into the grave, but when he walks between the graves it is as if he is merely walking between rocks.

...to be continued...

[from "Weakness of Faith: Causes and Cures" by Shaykh M. Salih al-Munajjid]

"...Men have groped endlessly to translate faith and moral ideals into viable actions and deeds. Some have been tempted to separate the two, others have been led into a never-ending philosophical quest. They have not been able even to define what is ethical, moral or good. But can ordinary men and women wait for such definitions and answers? If man has to live a morally good life, if he has been created with a purpose, if he has to meet his Maker, the moment he opens his eyes and becomes aware and conscious, he must know what to do and what not to do. And he must act in the certain knowledge that what he is following is universally and absolutely true and will please his Creator. Who else, then, other than his Creator should he look to for those answers? Herein lies the beauty of the Shari'ah. Every man knows what his outward conduct ought to be to conform with his faith, his moral ideals. He has an answer to the eternal question: "what is good?" It matters not whether he is illiterate or a scholar, he can confidently act."

[Ustadh Khurram Murad (rahimahullah) in "Shariah: The Way to God"]