Reality vs perception.

It was related that when Ibn Taymiyyah was being transported by the ruler’s representative to prison in Alexandria, a bystander saw him and said: “My master, this is the time for patience.”

So, Ibn Taymiyyah looked at him and replied: “Rather, this is the time to be thankful. By Allah, such joy and happiness are descending upon my heart at this moment that if it was divided between the people of Sham and Egypt, there would be some left over, and if I had that amount in gold and distributed it, it would not equal even a tenth of the blessing that I am experiencing.”

Later on, on Monday the 6th of the month of Sha’ban 726 AH, he was again arrested on orders from the ruler, and was ordered transferred to the Citadel Prison in Damascus. When he first learned of this, he said: “I was waiting for this, and this contains great benefit.” When he was later in the prison, he said: “If this prison was exchanged for its weight in gold, I would not consider this to be enough to repay this blessing I am in and the good that it has brought me.”

When he entered the grounds of the Citadel Prison in Damascus, he stood and looked at its walls, reciting the verse: {“…So a wall will be put up between them with a gate therein. Inside it will be mercy, and from the outside, it will be torment.”} [al-Hadid; 13]

[See Ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi’s ‘al-‘Uqud ad-Durriyyah’; p. 177-178, 365, as well as p. 44 of Ibn al-Qayyim’s ‘al-Wabil as-Sayyib’]

Three Distinctions Often Confused.

There are certain things that the soul often confuses and mixes up, and only those with deep insight and wisdom are able to properly distinguish between them. Ibn al-Qayyim points out some of these fine details and distinctions that should be made.

i) Self-Respect vs. Vanity

“Self-respect is to make your soul rise above the petty and insignificant things that cause people to bend their necks pursuing. So, he prevents himself from this.

This is different from arrogance, which is a characteristic that is born from two things: being impressed with oneself and belittling others. So, arrogance is born from these two things, and the first (i.e. self-respect) is born from two things: honoring oneself and making it noble…

The basis for all of this is to prepare and condition the soul, and to place preference for its Owner over it. So, if one fails in his preparation and conditioning, he has failed in everything.”

ii) Protection of Self vs. Arrogance

“The one who protects himself is like the man who puts on some new clothes, pure and white, and expensive. So, he enters upon the kings and those below them in these clothes. He strives to protect these clothes from any stains or dirt that could affect its whiteness and purity. So, you see him looking noble and constantly escaping from the places where he fears could make his clothes dirty. He does not allow any stain or speck of dirt to come onto his clothes.

This is the likeness of the one who strengthens and builds his heart and religion: you see him avoiding any stains of sin, as they stain the heart and dirty it more than any blot of dirt can dirty a pure, white garment. However, the eyes are covered from seeing these stains. So, you see him running from any potential stain, being cautious around the people, seldom mixing with them out of fear that the same thing would occur to his heart that occurred to his white clothing when he was around the butchers and cooks.

This is different from the one who elevates himself, as even if he is similar to the above in his avoidance of these things, he intends with this to step over the people’s necks and to put them under his feet. So, this is a color, and that is another color.”

iii) Humility vs. Humiliation

“Humility is born from a) knowledge of Allah, His Names, His Attributes, and His Loftiness, as well as loving and elevating Him, and b) knowing himself and his faults well.

So, from these two comes the characteristic of humility, and it is the subduing of the heart to Allah and lowering the wing of submission and mercy to His servants. So, he does not see any virtue that he has over others, and he sees no rights of his over others. Rather, he sees the virtue of others over him, and he sees their rights before his own. This is a characteristic that Allah gives to those He Loves and wishes to make noble and close to Him.

As for humiliation, it is lowliness and exertion of the soul in acquiring what it desires, like the humility of the low ones in fulfilling their desires, the humility of the victim to his oppressor, and the humility of anyone who seeks something from someone else to that person. This is all lowliness and inferiority, and has nothing to do with true humility. Allah Loves humility, and He hates lowliness and humiliation. It is reported in the ‘Sahih’ that the Messenger of Allah said: “It was revealed to me that you should be humble such that none should boast over others, and none should transgress against others.”

[‘ar-Ruh’; p. 313-317]

Source.

The best reciters.

 

Indeed the best of people who recite is one whom when you hear his recitation you can see that he Fears Allah.

Truly, the one who has one of the finest voices among the people for reciting the Qur’aan is the one whom you think fears Allaah when you hear him recite. [1]
“The one with the best voice with the Qur’an is the one that when you hear him, you feel that he fears Allah,”
“The best of people in recitation are those who when they reciteyou see that they fear Allah.” [Bayhaqi, Sahih]

[1] A saheeh hadeeth transmitted by Ibn al Mubarak in az-Zuhd (162/1 from al-Kawaakib 575), Daarimi, Ibn Nasr, Tabaraani, Abu Nu’aim in Akhbaar Isbahaan and Diyaa’ in al-Mukhtaarah.

Slow to anger and swift to cool down.

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 5145  Narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri:

Allah’s Messenger (saws) mentioned anger, saying, “Some are swift to anger and swift to cool down, the one characteristic making up for the other; some are slow to anger and slow to cool down, the one characteristic making up for the other; but the best of you are those who are slow to anger and swift to cool down, and the  worst of you are those who are swift to anger and slow to cool down.” He continued, “Beware of anger, for it is a live coal on the heart of the descendant of Adam. Do you not notice the swelling of the veins of his neck and the redness  of his eyes? So when anyone experiences anything of that nature he should lie down and cleave to the earth.”

Real love has implications.

You have attained complete faith when you love Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam more than everything, including yourself.

Now today our understanding of love is that it is an abstract feeling that you have in your heart and there are no implications to it, but that is not how they used to understand love.
For them, love was a feeling and also it was an action.
For them, when you love somebody it means that you would put them in high esteem, you will think about them a lot and when you love someone more than yourself it means that you would sacrifice yourself for them.
Love was not lip service. It’s not a thing that you say. It’s not something you claim that you feel. There are implications to it.
When you are confronted with a situation where you have to make a choice between your interest and the person you love, that is a test on whether you are more important or the other person
So if you love Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam more than yourself and you are confronted with a situation where you have to sacrifice for the Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam yourself, if you sacrifice for Rasulullah that means you love him. If you don’t, that means you really love yourself more.
Now, we try to get away from the real implications of loving Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam by praising him and reciting poetry and feel good things to make us feel that we love him and when we’re put to the challenge and it’s time to really sacrifice for him, we bail out.
If you love Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, you would consider his Sunnah to be more important than what the people think. You would consider his path to be more important than your own interests and when Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam asks you  in a Hadith to do something, you would be willing to do it no matter what the consequences are.
That is how you improve your love of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Not by singing a song about him.
I’m not saying praising Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is Haraam. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes people will jump to conclusions. I’m just saying that might be an easy way out for you to feel good that you love Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
Making salah on Rasoolullah salallahu alaihi wasallam and in the form of poetry or in the form of a nasheed is absolutely fine. but that is not the criteria that proves whether you love him or not.
It is the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam that proves that. Not only loving Rasoolullah. If you love Allah, Allah azza wa hall says, if you love Allah….
If you claim that you love Allah, -in Surat aal-Imraan- if you claim that you love Allah, then follow the messenger of Allah, Allah azza wa jall will love you and forgive you. So even if you want to show your love of Allah azza wa jall you are going to have to follow the way of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
And when we think about the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, we shouldn’t just think about Sunnah as the outward Sunnah, which is also part of the Sunnah, but also how did he live his life. What did he spend his time doing? We should want to do the same.
If we want to talk about Sunnah, this is the Sunnah of Rasoolullah salallahu alayhi wasallam.
Imam Rahimahullah