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  • Do not lose hope of the Mercy of Allah!

    Feeling down in the dumps, depressed, having the blues… These are just some of the terms used to describe a feeling of hopelessness and despair that can hit even the most positive of us at some point in our lives. However when sadness, gloom and unhappiness becomes a permanent mark of our lives, when it creates a feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness, when it interferes with our ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and mix with people we may be suffering from abnormal levels of despair otherwise called depression.

    Prophet Muhammadsaid taught us a du’a against despondency which, in amazing brevity, also reveals the consequences of acute depression. The du’a reads as follow:

    “O’ Allah I seek your protection from anxiety, sorrow, inability, laziness, cowardice, stinginess, overpowering debt and subjugation by fellow man”

    This du’aa speaks about the eight emotional traits of a person overcome by severe dejection:

    1. Anxiety:An unexplained cloud of constant worry, fear, a boding that something bad is going to take place. You feel agitated, restless, and are on the edge all the time.

    2. Sorrow: A sense of dejection that crushes both your body and mind. You almost believe that it is not possible to be happy. Feeling of not being cherished and respected by anyone

    3. A feeling of uselessness:A Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation. You are locked into victim mode. This drops your tolerance levels. Everything and everyone gets on your nerves.

    4. Laziness/fatigue:Neither interest nor any willingness to pick yourself up. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.

    5. Cowardice:Lack of self-confidence. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.

    6. Stinginess:No interested in the welfare of others. You are too preoccupied in your own gloom to even think of the happiness of other people.

    7. Overpowering debt:Trouble focusing, making decisions, you become financially reckless in the hope of buying yourself out of misery. You engage in escapist behavior

    8. Subjugation by fellow man:Under the control of other people. You feel pressured by those around you. You no longer believe in yourself and feel compelled to toe the line.

    A Muslim should always assume the best about Allah. He should strive to do his best and expect the best outcome: that Allah will accept his good deeds; that Allah from His grace will forgive him; and that Allah will bless him to live out his life, until its conclusion, upon faith. Prophet Muhammadsaid “None of you should die except while assuming the best about Allah.” (Muslim)

    Our challenge under all circumstances is to act as best as we can with the firm conviction that whatever afflicts us was never meant to miss us and whatever misses us was never meant for us. We believe that our life ultimately unfolds in accordance to the will of Allah!

    “No calamity befalls the earth and neither your own selves unless it be laid down in our decree long before we bring it into being – verily that is easy for Allah. So that you may not despair over whatever good escapes you nor become arrogant over whatever good has come your way”[Quran 57: 22]

    May Allah grant us the ability to turn each anxiety, each fear and each concern into an opportunity for making du’a and turning to Him with repentance.

  • Miracles cannot be denied

    Miracles cannot be denied

    The One Who created the universe and made its operation dependent on certain laws that He established, is certainly able to change those laws for His special, beloved servant and envoy


    Remembrance of Allah

    Almost every person in the modern world is involved in some basic worldly activity like earning a living, going to school, eating, sleeping, and socializing. Naturally, we forget Allah and the obligations due to Him. When we forget Allah, this life and its worries become the central occupation of the human mind. Desires run wild. A person begins to ‘chase his shadow’, something he can never catch. For many, money becomes the sole goal of life. The more you make, the more you spend, the more you want.

    Allah has set times to break regularly from the daily chores of life for a few minutes and worship Him. First thing in the morning before we begin our day, in the middle of the day, in the late afternoon, in the evening, and at night before we go to sleep. When done with concentration and properly, it awakens and stimulates the soul. A Muslim reminds himself that Allah is in charge of everything, he is Allah’s faithful servant, and Allah’s pleasure is His aim. For a few minutes, five times a day, a Muslim leaves this world and meets His Lord:

    “And establish the prayers (salah) in order to remember Me.”(Quran 20:14)

    God-consciousness (Taqwa in Arabic)

    The prayers (salah) also makes a person God-conscious. When a person prays five times a day, he becomes accustomed to feeling the presence of God and develops the sense that Allah is watching Him at all times. He is never hidden from Allah, even when alone. A sense of God-consciousness keeps the heart suspended between fear and hope. Fear of Allah keeps a Muslim away from the prohibited and encourages him to do the obligatory; a mix of divine love and devout reverence that keeps him religiously observant. Regular performance of the prayers increases one’s awareness of Allah.

    Seeking Forgiveness

    To err is human, and even the most pious of Muslims sin and need to repent. We all need to constantly ask for Allah’s forgiveness and try our best not to repeat our mistakes. Without regular contact with Allah, a person is unlikely to feel guilty for his sins and repent. Sometimes if a person has not asked Allah to forgive him in a long time, he might become insensitive to sinning and may even forget that he fell into it, thus not even seeking forgiveness for it. Certain prayers in the formal prayers (salah) reminds the Muslim of his sins and makes him seek forgiveness for them This in turn causes Muslims to feel guilty for their sins and seek repentance as soon as they are committed. A Muslim learns to constantly seeks forgiveness for his sins and never feels too distant from his loving Lord. The prayer places man directly before Allah seeking pardon for his short-comings.

    The prayer itself is a means of erasing sins, albeit the lesser ones[1].

    Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked:

    “What do you think if there was a river by the door of any one of you and he bathed in it five times a day, would there be any trace of dirt left on him?”

    They (his companions)(may Allah be pleased with them) said, “No trace of dirt would be left on him.”

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “This is like the five daily prayers, through which Allah erases sin.”(Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

    Control and Discipline

    The prayer has the capacity to catalyze change for the better in people’s life. The fact that we give up whatever we are doing and line up behind a prayer leader (called imam) five times a day in the mosque, or find room to pray in at work or school by ourselves, instills discipline in life. People join the army to learn discipline and everyone admires it. Similarly, the prayer trains us to go through specific motions and utter special words at specific times. All the body parts are under control, obeying and worshipping Allah, and if this discipline is broken, the prayer may have to be repeated.

    Islam recognizes that we are all different, so it allows flexibility in many cases. The prayer leader (imam) should keep the prayer short. Women are not required to attend the prayers in the mosque. A sick person may pray sitting, and if unable, he may even pray laying down. The discipline learned in the prayer is to be acquired in other aspects of one’s religious and mundane life as well. Just as we should not look around when praying, we should control our eyes outside of the prayer not to fall on forbidden objects. Just like we use our tongue to praise Allah, outside of the formal prayers we should not let it backbite or lie. Just as our hands and feet perform controlled motions, outside of the prayers we should not use them to steal, buy or eat what is forbidden. We should not walk towards the forbidden, but away from it. This is the essence of which Allah tells us:

    “…Surely, the prayer (salah) prevents evil speech and bad deeds...” (Quran 29:45)

    Calmness and Serenity by Developing Focus in the Prayers

    A very important ingredient of the prayer is the state of calmness and tranquility coupled with humility achieved by deep concentration. Allah says in the Quran:

    “Successful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers.” (Quran 23:1-2)

    The purpose of the prayer is not just to fulfill an empty ritual. For the prayer to be acceptable, it must be done with a passion. Learn the meaning of the Arabic words used in the prayer, focus on their meaning and whatever portions of Quran you will recite. Know that Allah responds to prayers and He is listening to you. Focus your eyes on the place of prostration, or shut them if something present causes you to be distracted and can not focus otherwise. By concentrating on the words of the prayer said in different postures, by raising one’s consciousness of being in front of Allah, by choosing a comfortable, clean place with no distractions, one can increase their presence of mind in the prayer. There will always be room to improve it. Remove the clutter in the mind and focus on Allah’s blessings in life, feel your insignificance in front of the Magnificent Creator, feel guilty for your sins. It will help you reduce stress, worries, and anxiety. There is only so much our mind and body can take. The prayer is relaxing and will help regain lost focus in life. The prayer is healing for the soul. But for your salah to reach this state of concentration it requires patience, practice, and asking Allah for help. The postures of the prayer are important. For example, in prostration the believer is closest he can be to Allah, and thus he should feel this closeness and supplicate even more.

    To reach a high level of concentration and humility in prayer requires constant work, and struggle. There will be lows - but one should never give up the prayers (salah). Remember! It connects you to your Creator. You don’t just pray while you feel it is working for you and easy to do. Frequently, a new Muslim is over charged with zeal on accepting Islam, reading a lot, listening to tapes, surfing the web, talking to friends, but after some time they burn out. It is at that critical moment when the real test comes, one feels weak in faith and it is difficult to pray. Take some good advice for those times, and keep on praying.



    Whoever relies on Allah (has Tawakkul), He is sufficient for him. (At-Talaaq 65:3)

    Tawakkul is another attribute that results from a true Iman in Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`ala. It is an attitude that emanates from the conviction that:

    Allah has put me in this world temporarily for a test and all of my good and bad circumstances are part of the test.

    The test is about my performance in given circumstances, not about how good or bad my circumstances are. Regardless of what circumstances I encounter, the test is about how well I exhaust all my efforts in achieving the objective of the Deen Allah has prescribed for me for His pleasure.

    My success depends on the quality (in terms of relevance, wisdom, propriety, tactics, strategy and sincerity) and quantity I put in, not on the material results they appear to produce, regardless of what kind of good or bad circumstances I happen to encounter.

    Whatever Allah has commanded us to do and the objectives He wants us to achieve are the best things for us in this world and in the hereafter. My duty is to continue steadfastly on the job Allah has assigned to me utilizing every tool humanly possible and doing my earnest best, without worrying about the results, but instead leaving the results totally to Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`ala.

    The real success is attaining the pleasure of Allah, not the results in this world. Whether my efforts bear any visible result in this world or not, I must continue on my course steadfastly.

    Whatever hardships, test, trials and sufferings I endure during my servitude to Him are all part of His plan for my ultimate success. Enduring them with contentment without a word of complaint or without being disheartened in any way is a part of my job as His slave that I am doing for His pleasure.

    These convictions produce a winning state of mind and a believer feels that because I truly believe in Allah and am doing what He wants me to do, He is with me, watching me, and accepting my efforts; and He is not going to let my endeavours go in vain, let me fail or leave me unsupported. No one can do anything to me that is not part of His plan for me as His slave. Regardless of what transpires in this world, the ultimate success is mine, as long as I am truly committed to His work. If I keep the right attitude, come what may, I will be successful:

    The Messenger of Allah, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,"How wonderful it is for a believer that he always ends up with goodness: If he suffers and remains steadfast, it is rewarding; if good things happen and he thanks Allah, that is also rewarding." (Suhaib in the Muslim)

    It is a totally liberating, very empowering state of mind that a true believer attains because of his trust in and reliance on the power, authority, help and support of Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala and because of the contentment he feels in serving Allah without being concerned about the results that Allah provides for his untiring efforts. This kind of resolute trust in and reliance on Allah– Tawakkul – provides such a tranquility to one’s heart, such a courage in one’s psyche and such a resilience in one’s nature that a believer cannot be scared, pressured into giving up, made to compromise, compelled to give in, bought out of his Islamic mission, or forced into submission by any enemy, tyrant, power or authority. For those who have Tawakkul, Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala says:

    Whoever relies on Allah (has Tawakkul), He is sufficient for him (At-Talaaq 65:3)

    Thus, Tawakkul is a natural corollary of true faith and is one of the evidences (Shahada) of faith. A person with true faith will always rely on Allah / have Tawakkul. Lack of Tawakkulindicates lack of true faith. This was true for previous Ummah's as it is for us:

    The believers are only those who: when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful; when His verses are recited to them, they increase their faith; and only on their Lord they rely(have Tawakkul). (Surat Al-'Anfāl 8:2)

    When Musa `alayhissalam invited Bane Israel to enter Palestine , they refused to do so, being scared of the strength of the enemy. Two of the believers endowed with true faith spoke up and said,

    Enter upon them through the gate, for when you enter it, you will be the dominant. And rely upon Allah (have Tawakkul), if you are believers.(Al-Ma'idah 5:23)


    But no one believed in Musa`alayhissalam except the offspring (youth) of his people, because of the fear of Fir’awn and his establishment that they would persecute them; and indeed, Fir’awn was arrogant in the land and indeed, he was of the transgressors.

    And Musa said, “O my people, if you have believed in Allah, then rely on Him (have Tawakkul in Him), if you are Muslims.” So they said, “Upon Allah do we rely (have Tawakkul). Our Lord! Do not make us (object of) trial (persecution) of the unjust/wrongdoers. And save us by Your mercy from the disbelievers.” (Younus 10:83-85)

    As is evident from the verses quoted above as well as those quoted below, Tawakkul is closely related to the untiring struggle that a Muslim undertakes to achieve both the personal and collective goals of Deen -- Iqaamah of Deen in personal life to achieve personal excellence as a Muslim and in collective life to achieve the establishment and dominance of the Islamic system of peace and justice.

    Personal struggle and Tawakkul:

    Indeed, there is no authority for him (Shaytaan) over those who believe and rely upon their Lord(have Tawakkul). (An-Nahl 16:99)

    If Shaytaan tries to sow doubts in the mind of a believer, a believer with Tawakkul is protected by Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala:

    The Messenger of Allah, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,“The human mind keeps wandering and branching away into different valleys. If someone follows his mind in all those wanderings, Allah does not care which valley ruins that person. On the other hand, whoever has Tawakkul in Allah, He will be sufficient to save him from those wanderings.”(Ibn Maajah from ‘Amr Ibn Al-’Aas)

    A person without Tawakkul will fall prey to many un-Islamic practices in the face of adversity that a true believer with Tawakkul on Allah will avoid at every cost. Those who have Tawakkul will be appropriately rewarded in the Hereafter:

    Seventy thousand of my Ummah will enter Jannah without reckoning. They will be those who did not seek cure through mantras, who did not take omens and who had Tawakkul in their Lord.(Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn ‘Abbas)

    Islamic work and Tawakkul: A person with tawakkul on Allah will bravely, unflinchingly and steadfastly continue working for Islamic objectives regardless of the impediments, threats and hardships encountered. When Nooh `alayhissalaam was rebuked and threatened, this is how he responded:

    And recite to them the news of Noah, when he said to his people, "O my people, if my residence and my reminding of the signs of Allah has become burdensome upon you - then I have relied upon Allah . So resolve upon your plan and [call upon] your associates. Then let not your plan be obscure to you. Then carry it out upon me and do not give me respite.(Younus 10:71)

    During resistance from his people, the Messenger Hood `alayhissalaam said to them:

    I put my Tawakkul in (I rely on) Allah, my Lord and your Lord. There is not a creature but He holds its forelock (controls it).(Hood 11:56)

    Shu’aib `alayhissalaam said to his people:

    I do not want to do the things from which I stop you. I only desire reform as much as I am able. My potential and inclination is only through Allah, upon Him I rely (in him I have Tawakkul) and to Him I turn. (Hood 11:88)

    Ibrahim `alayhissalaam and his people’s struggle and Tawakkul are presented as a model:

    Indeed there has been for you an excellent model in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily we disassociate from you and whatever you worship other than Allah We have rejected you and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone… Our Lord upon You we have relied (have Tawakkul), to You we have turned and to You is the destination. Our Lord, do not make us (object of) persecution for the disbelievers, and forgive us, our Lord. Indeed, only You are the All-Mighty, the Wise.”(Al-Mumtahinah 60:5-6)

    In fact, that has been the way of all prophets, messengers and Islamic workers:

    Their messengers said to them: True, we are human like yourselves, but Allah bestows His grace on whom He pleases of His slaves. It is not for us to bring you a miracle except by Allah’s permission. And on Allah should the believers rely (have Tawakkul). How should we not rely upon (have Tawakkul in) Allah when He has indeed guided us in our ways? Certainly we would persevere against the persecution that you may inflict on us . And upon Allah must the reliant rely (have Tawakkul). (Ibrahim 14:11-12)

    For our Ummah:

    Thus have We sent you to a community, before whom other communities have passed away, in order that you recite to them what We have revealed to you, but they disbelieve in the Most Gracious. Say: He is my Lord; there is no deity except Him; upon Him I rely (in Him I have Tawakkul) and to him is my return in repentance.(Ar-Ra’d 13:30)

    When commenting on Uhad, Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala said,

    When two parties among you were about to lose courage, while Allah was their ally; and upon Allah must the believers rely (have Tawakkul). (Aali-‘Imraan 3:122)

    And when you have made a decision, then rely upon Allah (have Tawakkul). Verily, Allah loves those who rely on Him. If Allah helps you, no one can overcome you; but if He forsakes you, who is there who can help you after Him. And upon Allah must the believers rely (have Tawakkul). (Aali-‘Imraan 3:159-160)

    On the Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam’s concern for enemies’ attacks over his marriage to Zainab radhiallahu `anha on Allah’s command, Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala admonished:

    O Prophet! Fear Allah and do not obey disbelievers or hypocrites, certainly Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise; follow what is revealed to you from your Lord, certainly Allah is fully aware of what you do; and, (have Tawakkul) rely on Allah, He is sufficient as a Trustee.(Al-Ahzaab 33:1-3)

    If at any point, a believer feels powerless or hopeless, he should refresh his faith and tawakkul in Allah and continue his personal or Islamic struggle with hope and a winning attitude. The Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:

    Allah Ta`alaa condemns powerlessness / hopelessness. It is incumbent upon you to take a stand with hope and intelligent resolve. If you are overpowered in a matter, then say, “Sufficient is Allah for my means and He is the best supporter.”(Abu Dawood )

    Otherwise, a true believer knows that the best of the successes is for him in the hereafter, if he relies only on Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala:

    As for those who emigrated for Allah after they had been persecuted, We will certainly settle them in this world nicely, but their reward of the Hereafter will be greater, if only they knew. They are those who persevered and relied in their Lord.(An-Nahl 16:41-42)

    With the degeneration of the Ummah, Tawakkul has also taken on wrong connotations. Some people think that Tawakkul entails only sitting like monks and doing nothing, hoping that Allah will do something. That meaning is from Shaytaan to make Muslims inactive and indolent. The real Tawakkul, as evidenced by the verses of the Qur'an quoted above, is such a strong conviction of Allah’s approval and mercy being with you in your Islamic struggle that no problem in the world is able to dampen your spirit or make you feel defeated or helpless. The life of the Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam was a superb example of Islamic tawakkul. In every move he made and at every stage of his mission, he used the best tactics and strategies at human disposal, and then fully relied on Allah without having even a bit of worry of the consequences.

    For example, while migrating to Madeenah, he took all the precautions that were humanly possible for his safe departure from Makkah and safe arrival in Madeenah: Planning the migration secretly, leaving when least expected, asking ‘Ali to sleep in his bed so that his departure is not noticed, selecting a hiding place on an opposite direction to Madeenah, arranging of survival provisions for three days of hiding and a week of traveling, arranging of a faithful guide, arranging for the camels to be brought only when leaving the hiding place, selection of route least traveled, etc. But once he had done whatever was humanly possible, he had such trust in Allah that he was never worried about the consequences even when everything seemed to fall apart. It was the remarkable demonstration of his Tawakkul, when enemies reached at the mouth of the Thowr cave and Aboo Bakr, radhiallahu `anhu became worried, he calmly assured him, “Do not worry, Allah is with us.” Even in basic matters of the world, one has to do his best and then leave the results to Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala.

    A person asked,“Should I tie my camel and have Tawakkul (trust in Allah for her protection) or should I leave her untied and have Tawakkul.” The Messenger, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam replied,“Tie her and then have Tawakkul.”(Reported by Tirmidzi from Anas)

    ‘Umar Bin Khattaab, radhiallahu `anhu heard the Messenger of Allah, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam saying,“If you trust All ah with right kind of Tawakkul, He will provide you sustenance as He provides for the birds – they go out in the morning with empty stomachs and come back in the evening with full stomachs.” (Tirmidzi)

    A bird sitting in his nest, praising Allah, will not have his stomach filled. It has to go out to seek food. It is only the one that goes out and does its best to find food, comes back full.

    Tawakkul, as described above, is related to one’s efforts and results of those efforts for the matters that fall under the area of human endeavour. A person with right concept of accountability to and tawakkul on Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala puts in his best possible efforts to do what Allah expects him to do in those matters and does not worry about the results. He positively and constructively deals with whatever he encounters and continues with full force doing his level best regardless of the results or consequences. Another matter closely related to Tawakkul is being content with matters that are beyond our power and influence.

    There are many things in our life that are decided for us without our input or approval. The examples are the parents we are born to, our genes that determine many things in our life, our physical features, the circumstances of the society we are born in or we live in, etc. The Muslims who understand that our life is a test of how we live and do the best with whatever we got and whatever situations we have been put in, they are fully content and happy with the circumstances, putting all their efforts and energies in making the best of their situations and making the correct Islamic decisions in those situations.

    They know that their personal success is not dependent on circumstances but in doing their best in the given circumstances. If they find themselves in bad circumstances, they work hard to do better, and keep seeking Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala’s help, mercy and bounty through Du’a and Istikharah to go with their best of the efforts. On the other hand, the losers concentrate on their circumstances and on the things beyond their control. They neither seek Allah’s help, mercy and bounty, nor do they take the circumstances as given and work on performing the best they can in those given situations. They end up being unhappy, miserable complainers always complaining about what they do not have, rather than making the best of what they do have. They end up being the utter losers. This is what was expressed in the following Hadith:

    “One of the factors that indicate blessedness (Sa’adah) of a person is his being pleased with Allah’s decision for him, while two of the attitudes indicating wretchedness / despondence (Shaqawah) of a person are: his not seeking goodness from Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala or his being unhappy about Allah’s decisions for him.” (Sa’ad in Musnad of Ahmad and Jaami’ of At-Tirmidzee)


    There is no question that the mere saying of, "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is His servant and messenger," is not sufficient for salvation. In fact, the hypocrites used to make this statement quite often yet Allah describes them as liars and says that they shall abide in the lowest abyss of the Hell-fire.

    As many scholars state , though, this statement or testimony is the key to Paradise. The famous Follower Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked, "Isn't the statement of La ilaha illa-llah the key to Paradise?" He answered, "Yes, but every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges the door will not open for you." That is, it is saying [while meeting] certain conditions. These conditions are what will differentiate the person who will benefit from his making of that statement from the one who will not benefit from that statement, no matter how many times a day he may have made that statements.

    If we study the verses of the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), we will find that the conditions of the shahadah are seven, eight or nine in number depending on how we look at them. It is important that all of us make sure that we are meeting these conditions in our own lives and in our own testimony of faith. We must do our best to satisfy these conditions before it is too late and our testimony will be no avail whatsoever. It is not simply for the sake of teaching these conditions. Indeed, there is no benefit to that. But it is, instead, for all of us to look to ourselves and to make sure that we are actually meeting these conditions so that, by Allah's mercy, the doors to Paradise will be open for us by our key of La ilaha illa-llah.

    The first of these conditions is knowledge. That is, one must have the basic and general knowledge of what is meant by the shahadah. One must understand what the shahadah is affirming and what the shahadah is denying. Allah says in the Quran, "So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin"(Qur'an, Muhammad 19). Similarly, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,"Whoever dies knowing that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah shall enter Paradise." (Recorded by Muslim.)

    In fact, the shahadah itself is a testimony. When one testifies to something, one must know what it is that he is testifying concerning. Obviously, a testimony about something that one does not have any knowledge about is absolutely unacceptable. Allah says in the Quran, "And those they invoke besides Him do not possess [power of] intercession; but only those who testify to the truth [can benefit], and they know."(Qur'an, al-Zukhruf 86).

    Now this condition probably sounds obvious. If someone said to you, "There is no God except Allah," and then said that what he meant by Allah was Jesus, you would immediately tell him that this shahadah is nonsense. Yet can you imagine that there is a Muslim country in the world that until recently used to have a yearly week-long celebration to "the gods of the Sea"! All along they call themselves Muslims and they make shahadah numerous times a day. This clearly shows that they have no idea what the meaning of their shahadah is. Do you think that this kind of shahadah will open the doors to Paradise for them?

    Today, there are many Muslims who wonder why we should not accept secularism. They think that there is nothing wrong with secularism! Many of these Muslims pray five times a day and utter the shahadah repeatedly. Yet they see nothing wrong with accepting a Lawgiver other than Allah? What kind of shahadah are these people making?

    All of us do our best to learn at least the basics of Islamic beliefs. The basics of what shahadah means. In this way, Allah willing, we will be making the correct shahadah. We will be witnessing to the truth as we are supposed to be witnesses to it.

    The second condition of the shahadah is certainty (or al-yaqeen). This is the opposite of doubt and uncertainty. In Islam, in fact, any kind of doubt is equivalent to Kufr or disbelief. We must, in our hearts, be absolutely certain of the truth of the shahadah. Our hearts must not be wavering in any way when we testify to the truth of, "There is none worthy of worship except Allah."

    Allah describes the believers in the Quran as those who have belief in Allah and then their hearts waver not. Allah says, "The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere" (Qur'an, al-Hujurat 15). Similarly, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "No one meets Allah with the testimony that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and I am the Messenger of Allah, and he has no doubt about hat statement, except that he will enter Paradise."(Recorded by Muslim)

    Indeed, Allah describes the hypocrites as those people whose hearts are wavering. For example, Allah says, "They alone seek leave of thee (not to participate in jihad) who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and whose hearts feel doubt, so in their doubt they waver " (Qur'an, al-Tauba 45).

    Many scholars have stated that the diseases of the heart, or the doubt and suspicions that one allows into one's heart, are more dangerous for a person's faith than lusts and desires. This is because lusts and desires may be satisfied at some time yet the person still knows them to be wrong and he may control himself and repent and give up that evil deed. On the other hand, the doubts and suspicions may linger in the heart, with no cure, until the person finally leaves Islam entirely or continues to practice Islam while, in fact, in his heart he does not have the true faith.

    The greatest cure for these doubts is seeking knowledge. It is through sound knowledge of the Quran and the sunnah that most of these doubts will be removed. By study and understanding, one will attain certainty. And as one studies and learns more, his certainty will be made firmer and firmer.

    I will give you just one example on this point. This is related to all of the doubts, suspicions and misconceptions that are circulating about the authenticity of the hadith literature. For example, some Muslims even claim that hadith were not recorded until at least 200 years after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Indeed, there are Muslims who seem to have a great deal of doubt about hadith and are very quick to reject hadith on that basis. But, in fact, if one actually takes the time to study the history and preservation of hadith, one will immediately recognize that all those claims and charges against the hadith are not based on anything scientific whatsoever. They are nothing but false claims that come from Satan and which Muslims with poor understanding and knowledge have allowed to creep into their hearts.

    Let me make one last point about this condition of certainty. As I alluded to earlier, doubts and misconceptions are very dangerous for a person's faith. Doubt and wavering are tantamount to apostasy in Islam, as I mentioned earlier. Hence, every Muslim should do best to safeguard himself from such doubts and remain away from the sources of doubts- especially if they are not well grounded in the Islamic sciences and do not have the knowledge to refute such doubts and misconceptions. Hence if a person has an associate or friend, even if he be a Muslim friend, who is always making him doubt Allah or the religion, then he should remain away from that person in order to safeguard his own religion. Many Muslims nowadays study courses on Islam taught by Orient lists and because of their weak backgrounds in Islamic studies, they are influenced by the nonsense that some of these Orient lists are teaching in the name of "science".

    Similarly, many brothers and sisters nowadays are spending hours at a time with the computer news groups and bulletin boards. A lot of nonsense and falsehood are posted on those news groups and bulletin boards. Again, the one who is not very knowledgeable of his religion may easily be influenced and affected by the misconceptions and false arguments that he reads in those bulletin boards. He should remain away from those things and get a deeper knowledge of Islam through the authentic sources of the religion.

    Again, the greatest counterforce that can defeat doubts and misconceptions, after the bounty and guidance of Allah, is sound knowledge and understanding of the religion. When a person has that, he will not be affected by the weak arguments put out by the enemies of Islam and he will be, Allah willing, from among those described in the Quran, "It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear All ah" (Qur 'an, Fatir 28)

  • Who Created Allah (God)?

    Who created AllahPeople with no inner spiritual life sometimes ask: If God created everything, who created God? The Prophet said that some people would ask this very question: "A day will certainly come when some people will sit with their legs crossed and ask: 'If God created everything, who created God?'" [1]

    At best, the question is based on perceived "cause and effect" relationships. Everything can be thought of as an effect and attributed to a prior cause that, in turn, is attributed to a prior cause, and so on. However, we must remember that cause is only a hypothesis, for it has no objective existence. All that objectively exists is a particular sequence of circumstances that is often (but not always) repeated. If such a hypothesis is applied to existence, we cannot find a creator of the first cause, because each creator must have had a prior creator. The end result is a never-ending chain of creators. [2]

    The Creator must be Self-Subsistent and One, without like or equal. If any created being "causes" anything, that capacity was created within that being, for only the Creator is Self-Existent and Self-Subsistent. Only the Creator truly creates and determines possible causes and effects for His creation. Therefore, we speak of God as the Sustainer, who holds and gives life to all of His Creation. All causes begin in Him, and all effects end in Him. In truth, created things are "0"s that will never add up to anything, unless God bestows real value or existence by placing a positive "1" before the "0".

    In the sphere of existence, what we call causes and effects have no direct or independent influence. We may have to use such words to understand how a part of creation is made intelligible to us and available for our use. But even this confirms our dependence upon God and our answerability before Him. God does not need causes and effects to create; rather, we need them to understand what He has created.

    [1] Bukhari, I'tisam, 3.

    [2] The futile notion of a never-ending chain of creators was one of the arguments used by Muslim theologians to explain the necessity of believing in God.


    Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺ said,“Should I not tell you of such a thinga which are the best and purest deeds in the court of your Lord, high in ranks (darajat), better for you then spending gold and silver (in Allah’s path), and better than slaying the neck of the enemy during war? The Sahaba said, “Yes, Oh Rasool Allah!” He said,“It is Zikr of Allah.” (Tirmizi)

    Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺ said, “Any gathering in which people sit and do not do Zikr of Allah and do not send Durood upon their Prophetis of loss for them. If Allah wills, give them azab (punishment) and if wills, forgive them.”(Tirmizi)

    Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺsaid, “Allah Tabaraka wa Ta’ala says when a person moves his lips for Zikr of Allah, I am with him.”(Bukhari)

    Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺ said, “Allah Tabaraka wa Ta’ala says I am closer to my slave than his supposition of which he keeps of me. And when he/her does Zikr of Allah, I am with him/her. If he does Zikr in his heart, I do his Zikr near MY proximity (closeness) and if he does Zikr in a gathering, I mention him in a gathering Afdhal (better) than it. (Bukhari)

    Abu Musa Ash'ari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺ said,“He/She who does Zikr of Allah and he/she who doesn’t, their example is of like an alive and a dead.” (Bukhari)

    Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said that Rasool Allah ﷺ said, “The angels look for those who do Zikr of Allah on the paths. When they find those who are doing Zikr of Allah then they call each other, “Come, your desired has been found.” Then those angels cover those are doing Zikr of Allah up to the skies of this world with their wings. And Allah Rabbul Izzat says about them to those angels “What are my slave doing?” Though Allah knows more than those angels. The angels say, “Those people are doing your Tasbeeh, Tahmeed, and Tamjeed.” Allah says, “Have they seen me?” The angels say, “We swear by your pure Entity, they have not seen you.” Rab Ta’ala says to them, “If they had seen me then what would be their state?” The angels say, “If they could’ve seen you then they would do your Tamjeed and your Tasbeeh even more."

    Allah says, “What slaves are asking from me?” The angels say, “They are asking for Jannat from you.” Allah says, “Have they seen Jannat?” The angels say, “We swear by Your Pure Entity, they have not seen Jannat.” Allah says, “If they had seen Jannat then what would be their state?” The angels say, “If these people had seen jannat then their greed, desire, and inclination for it would increase. Allah says, “What else are they doing?” The angels say, “They are seeking refuge.” Allah says, “From what are they seeking refuge?” The angels say, “They are seeking refuge from Hell.” Allah says, “Have they seen Hell?” The angels say, “Oh Rabbi, we swear by Your Pure Entity, they have not seen it.” Allah says, “If they had seen it then what would be their state?” The angels say, “If they had seen it then they would run even further away from it and fear it even more.

    Allah says, “angels, Be witnesses that I have forgiven them.” An angel says, “There is one person amongst them who is not part of those who do Zikr, he is there for some necessity of his/her.” Allah says, “These are such people that even those sitt ing among them are not deprived.” (Bukhari)

    Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺ said, “When you pass by gardens of paradise, eat fruits of them. The Sahaba said, “What are the gardens of Paradise?” He said, “The gatherings of Zikr.” (Tirmizi)

    Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated Abu Saeed Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said that Rasool Allah ﷺ said, “Whenever a Jama'at (a group of people) sits for Zikr of Allah, the angels surround it. Blessing covers that Jama'at. And peace and calm descends on them. And Allah mentions them to the angels present in HIS court.”(Muslim)

    Ameer Muaviah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Rasool Allah ﷺ passed by a Jama'at and asked them,“Why have you gathered here?” Some people of the Jammat replied, “We have gathered here for the Zikr and Hamd of Allah because by guiding us towards Islam He did favor on us.” Rasool Allah ﷺ said, “By Allah, have you gathered only for this (purpose)?” They said, “By Allah, we have gathered here only for such purpose.”

    Rasool Allah ﷺ said,“I did not give you oath because of any imputation (doubt) rather it is because Jibraeel came to me and told me that Allah boasts of you in the gathering of the angels.” (Muslim)

    Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺ said,“The Shaitan sticks to the heart of the child of Adam. When he does Zikr of Allah, he (the Shaitan) runs away from him. And when the child of Adam becomes careless from the Zikr of Allah, the Shaitan begins to put was-wasah (evil suggestions) into his heart.” (Bukhari)

    Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺ said,“Don’t have a conversation [without] Zikr of Allah. Because talking too much without Zikr of Allah is the reason for the heart’s hardness and wretchedness. And that person becomes distant from Allah in whose heart there is wretchedness.” (Tirmizi)

    Abudullah Bin Bisr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that one person asked, “Ya Rasool Allah! There are many commands on me of Islam. Tell me of such a thing which I may hold on to steadfast.”Rasool Allah ﷺ replied, “Always keep your tongue wet from Zikr of Allah.” (Tirmizi)

    Abdullah Bin Bisr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a villager came to the Holy Court of Rasool Allah ﷺ and asked, “Which man is the best?” Rasool Allah ﷺ said, “It is the luck and good-fortune of that person whose life is long and his deeds are good.” He asked, “Ya Rasool Allah! Which deed is the best?” Rasool Allah ﷺ said,“Your tongue be wet from Zikr of Allah when you part from this world.”(Tirmizi)

    Muaaz bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasool Allah ﷺ said,“The people of Jannat will only regret that moment which had been empty of Zikr of Allah.”(Beihaqi)




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