How the Believer Relaxes

…The stronger a person’s connection with his Lord becomes, the more he will feel relaxed. This is why they said to Ibn al-Mubarak: “Who are the kings?” So, he replied: “Those who abstain from the worldly pleasures.” They asked him: “Who are the lowest of people?” He replied: “Those who eat with their religion,” meaning they are hypocritical with the people. So, they do this for a bite of food or a badge of honor, or any other worldly gain. They asked him: “Who are the lowest of the low?” He replied: “Those who ruin their religion in order to gain wordly benefit for others.”

One of them would describe himself, saying: “We are in such a state of happiness that if the kings and their sons knew of it, they would fight us with swords over it.” So, our happiness is greater than the happiness of the kings! And if they knew of this happiness that we had, they would fight us with weapons for it!

When Ibn Taymiyyah came into conflict with the ruler, the ruler said to him: “I know that you see the people gathering around you, and this made you greedy for my kingdom.” So, Ibn Taymiyyah replied: “Listen! By Allah, I would not pay a single dirham for your kingdom!” Not a single one! But, the ruler is fearful for his throne, and Ibn Taymiyyah is relieving him by telling him that he would never buy his kingdom…

This is all the result of the happiness and honor that they were immersed in. Of course, the people of the dunya do not understand any of this. They only understand things in the context of the world they are living in, the cars they drive, the money they have, etc…

Then, in addition to the happiness that immerses such a person…why does a person become relaxed? A person becomes relaxed as the result of worship, because this fills the empty space inside. That empty space that is reserved specifically for worship becomes filled with it. So, a person becomes relaxed when he fills himself with worship, just like when a motor is filled with oil…”

 

Source.

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Living Together

“You cannot live alone. Do not live alone, as the wolf eats up the lone sheep, and Satan is close to the one who is alone and is farther from two who are together. So, if you live somewhere, live with at least one other person, and this one person should be righteous.

Friends are like a row of connected test tubes: if liquid overflows in one tube, the excess flows into the other tubes until there is an equal amount of liquid in all the tubes. Likewise, if you live with corrupt people, they will take away many of your good deeds, and you will decrease and decrease and decrease until you are all equal in status. You will definitely end up like these interconnected test tubes. A group of friends are all like each other, and the longer the friendship lasts, the closer the character and manners of each person in the group will be to the others. Do not believe that a good person can live for long with a corrupt person, unless the corrupt person improves and follows the example of the good person.

This is why you should look for the good people, and a friend is like a chain: he will either drag you into Paradise or drag you into Hell. He will either cause you problems or he will help you solve your problems…

After this, work on guarding your tongue, because most of the torture in Hell is because of the tongue: “And will people be dragged on their faces into Hell because of anything other than what their tongues have brought forth?”

After this, work on making good use of your time. Do not waste your time. Always try to bring about some benefit from your social gatherings. So, if you see people talking about food, drink, telling jokes, etc., tell them: ‘Guys, I read a story today to tell you about something that happened in Syria, or something that the Afghans did,’ or say: ‘What do you think about this hadith? I read the tafsir of this verse to tell you about,’ etc. Benefit them in this gathering, and occupy them with something that will benefit them. Sit down together and read the Qur’an, read the biographies of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and the Companions, a simple explanation of the Qur’an such as ‘Tafsir al-Jalalayn’ – a simple, general explanation – and read a simple book of Fiqh, especially regarding how to pray. Read the entire section on how to pray, such as ‘Fiqh as-Sunnah.’ Read in detail how to make wudu’, because it doesn’t make sense to sit for thirty years not knowing the proper way of making wudu’, performing prayer, etc. – you pray while not knowing the fundamentals of the prayer and wudu’, and you do not know the details of optional fasting, etc. So, do all of this combined with good friends and a pure, truthful intention.

And stay away from women (and likewise, women should apply the same for men), as this is the source of all tribulation for those at your age, and in fact for those at any age. Stay from women who are forbidden for you. It is an obligation for you to stay away from them. Of course, all of the women in this land are forbidden for you. It is forbidden for you to look at them, it is forbidden for you to sit with them, it is forbidden for you to chat with them, and it is forbidden for you to be alone with them. The heart cannot bear these things because the glance is one of Iblis’s poisonous arrows. Whoever lowers his gaze from what Allah has forbidden will be given a sweetness by Allah that he will feel in his heart. But to look, to continue looking, and to allow this arrow to strike you in the heart – not just an arrow, but a poisonous arrow that poisons your heart – to let an arrow strike you day after day after day, this will make your heart weak and unable to face the problems of life. This is why you find a person who is drowning in desires to be weak-hearted…As for the heart of the believer, his heart is strong and he isn’t affected by anything. His heart is strenghtened by worship, and therefore does not become scared or shaky. As for the heart of the sinner, you see it shaking. Why? Because the arrows have killed him just like someone who has an ulcer in his stomach and cannot eat because of it.

Work for Allah and stick together, and the more you work for Allah, the more your souls will become strong and rise, and you will ascend rapidly upon the path of those who are ascending towards Allah. I advise you to recite the Qur’an everyday, because the Qur’an is like water for a plant. It is the life of the heart, and the water and life for the heart is the Qur’an…”

[‘at-Tarbiyah al-Jihadiyyah wal-Bina”; 5/35-36]

The Muslim Knows the Way

“…We are living a blessing.

One of us is raised from childhood to know that, for example, the unrestrained glance is forbidden. So, for the rest of his life, the unrestrained glance is forbidden, seclusion with the opposite gender is forbidden, adultery and fornication are forbidden, interest and usury are forbidden, speaking badly about others behind their backs is forbidden, etc. That’s all it takes! So, a personality is developed that is mature and balanced, thanks to its Lord.

However, in America, one day, it’s OK to drink alcohol, the next day it isn’t. Sometimes, the government allows alcohol, and at other times prohibits it. Sometimes, it penalizes those who sell it, and it doesn’t at other times. No. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, and we learn this from when we are two years old, and we learn that it is objectionable from that point onwards. Everything that is forbidden in Islam is inherently objectionable, and everything that is permitted is acceptable and there is no problem in doing it. Because of this, we have the hadith“If you have no shame, do what you wish,” and this has two possible interpretations. The first is that if something you want to do doesn’t contradict the Shari’ah, do it. The second interpretation is that the person with no shame will do whatever he wants.

So, we’re truly relaxed. It’s enough that we know the way. The European, what is his path? Where is he going? For us, everything is solved mentally and spiritually. We know our path, its start, its purpose, and its end:

Where did we come from? Allah Created us.

Where are we going? He will cause us to die, and then gather us on the Day of Resurrection, in which there is no doubt.

Why did He Create us? Only to worship Him.

Who controls the Universe? The kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth belong to Allah.

The God we worship is Dominating, Colossal, Wise, Merciful, Generous to His slaves. In Europe, what do they have? Who do they deal with? Who do they turn to? Who do they rely on? What do they fortify themselves with? What do they seek refuge with? The concepts of Satan, the Jinn, God, the Hereafter, etc. – all of these things have been wiped from the dictionary of the West. The traveller’s check, the value of the mark, the value of the dinar, the value of the dollar – this is their life.

Because of this, a person who lives without a set of rules will oppress others when given the chance. He will cheat people out of their wealthwhen given the chance. He will fornicate when given the chance. He will steal when given the chance…”

[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’; p. 505-506]

Source.

Our Inner vs. Outer Condition

“…And the believer – subhan Allah, glory be to You, O Lord – is liked by everyone no matter what.

Why?

The believer isn’t fake. There is nothing you can hold against him. What he does in secret is what he does openly. There aren’t secret acts and public acts. He doesn’t have a personality in secret and a different one in public. They are both the same. So, if you were to peek into his life when he’s alone, you’d find him even better than he is in public. If you were to see him at home at night, you’d find him either praying, sleeping, eating suhur, or reciting the Qur’an. There is nothing you can hold against him. There is no girl he has snuck in to his home to commit indecent acts with, nor does he have stolen money that he is counting.

His outer condition is like his inner condition. In fact, his inner condition is even better than his outer, and the early Muslims would say ‘O Allah, make our inner condition better than our outer condition, and make our outer condition good.’ There is nothing you can hold against him. He has inner confidence, is sure of himself, and is relaxed.

As for the hypocrite, he fears that everyone will discover his faults and that they are privy to his sins. This is why it’s as if the suspicious person wants to tell people ‘Take me away, take me away.’ Why? He is filled with faults, and he suspects that this person knows of them, that person found out, etc. So, his whole life is full of anxiety and constriction.

As for the believer, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab nullified his ablution while on the pulpit. He said: “O people, I’ve passed gas, and I am going to make ablution and return.” He is sure of himself. So, why would he care what people think? On a day other than Friday, he ascended the pulpit and gathered the people and said: “O people, a few years ago, I used to herd sheep for people in Makkah for a few copper coins.” So, ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin ‘Awf took him aside and said to him privately: “Commander of the Believers, you did nothing but belittle yourself in front of everyone.” So, ‘Umar said: “That was exactly my intention. I felt impressed with myself, and therefore wanted to humble myself in front of everyone.””

[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’; p. 489]

 

Source.

“The problem is NOT with my Lord”

Ibn al-Qayyim related from al-Jariri:

“I was told of a man from the Children of Israel who had a need that he wanted fulfilled by Allah. So, he engaged in constant worship and then asked Allah for his need. When he did not see that his need was fulfilled, he spent the night blaming himself, saying: “O self! What is wrong with you that is preventing your need from being fulfilled?”

And he spent the night sad and holding himself to account, saying: “By Allah, the problem is not with my Lord. Rather, the problem is with myself,” and he remained in such a state of holding himself responsible until his need was finally taken care of.”

[‘Ighathat al-Lahfan’; 1/77]

Source.

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’]