Seeking Divine Assistance During Difficult Times

Seeking Divine Assistance During Difficult Times

The world has become a very isolated and lonely place for many. Anxiety, uncertainty, and fear grip our hearts, as we wonder whether we will get the virus next and whether we (and our loved ones) will survive it. In early 2020, the world we took for granted turned upside down, and all of society were confined to their homes. This is where many of us remain as the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic remains real and all around us.

During this difficult time, many people have no clue how to make sense of all this, or how to move forward. For too long, we took our luxuries and freedom for granted, and now we are left puzzled and lost as the Divine Retribution grips the world, purifying us of our many sins. In all of this chaos, how do we move forward and what should we think.

Accepting The Reality of Divine Retribution

The first step towards moving forward is to accept reality for what it is. many people don’t want to say it because it is politically incorrect, but reality is what it is. The current pandemic is a Divine Punishment to the people of earth for our combined sins. It doesn’t mean that every individual who gets it is guilty. It simply means that enough people are sinning, justifying sin, and legalizing sin, to justify a global punishment.

It is very important for believers to accept this reality. We live in the only time in history that I know of that so many sins have been legalized and considered morally acceptable, on a global scale. Things that all religions agreed upon as immoral are now human rights that people fight for. Of course, in such a situation Divine Punishment should be expected, and the believer shouldn’t have a problem with this. If it purifies the earth of some of this immorality and brings people back to the truth and true morality, then it is a blessing for this earth.

So the first step is to accept that this is a Divine Punishment to the world, and we need to repent and purify our lives. Without acknowledging this, we will continue to sin and support wrong beliefs in ignorance and arrogance, and this will lead to more punishments. Like the example of Pharaoh, his people faced plague after plague but remained arrogant upon their evil until Allah took everything from them. Let us learn a lesson from this and repent at the sign of a first plague, before a second is unleashed.

Corruption has appeared on land and sea, because of what people’s hands have earned, in order to make them taste some of what they have done, so that they might return.

Quran 30:41

And beware of a trial which does not afflict the wrongdoers among you exclusively; and know that God is severe in retribution.

Quran 8:25

When adultery/fornication becomes common, bloodshed and plagues will become widespread.

Mustadrak Hakim, 4:504

The Divine Shelter

The believer accepts this reality but still finds peace in his/her relationship with Allah. Allah is the Divine Protector of every true believer. He protected Nuh (AS) from the flood, Lut (AS) from the punishment to his people, and Musa (AS) from the Pharaoh. The believer takes comfort in this Divine Protection but also takes the necessary steps to earn this protection.

The protection of Allah is earned primarily by fulfilling one’s obligations towards Allah. Then it is further built up through optional good deeds and recommended acts of worship. The believer uses periods of isolation as opportunities to build up these good deeds. If someone is not in the habit of praying five times a day, now is the time to start. For someone who only prays the obligatory (Fard) units of prayer, then this is a good time to build the habit of praying the recommend (Sunnah) units of prayer.

Our extra time should be spent in the worship of Allah. Morning and evening supplications, especially supplications for protection, should become habits during this time. Our remembrance (Zikr) of Allah should increase, as should our recitation of Quran and study of Islam. It is in the worship of Allah that the believer finds refuge and peace during difficult times.

Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of God. Surely, it is in the remembrance of God that hearts find comfort.

Quran 13:28

Allah’s friends have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve. (They are) those who believe and work towards attaining piety.

Quran 10:62-63

Allah said, “I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a friend of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have obligated upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing extra acts of worship till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 81:91

So Return To Allah

We must realize in all this chaos that sins do not go unpunished, and that every day is a new opportunity to repent and get closer to Allah. We are living through a unique opportunity to get close to our Creator. Now is not the time for mass panic and sadness. Now is the time to sincerely turn to Allah, and gain His Divine Protection. As it is only Allah’s Protection that can help us in both worlds.

This life is temporary and this world is simply a place to test us. As long as we are alive, we have an opportunity to pass this test. All that is needed is for us to recognize reality, embrace the truth, and dedicate our lives to the Creator. Immorality cannot go unchecked forever, sooner or later, the retribution comes and it affects all of society, except whom Allah wills to protect. Even if others double down on immoral ideas and secular beliefs, let us use this time in isolation to get closer to Allah, return to His path, and grow into the best versions of ourselves.

Those who believe and do righteous deeds will have gardens (in Paradise) beneath which rivers flow. That is the greatest success.

Quran 85:11
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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, 2 comments
The Spiritual Reality of Islamic Productivity

The Spiritual Reality of Islamic Productivity

What really differentiates Islamic Productivity from other theories of productivity? Definitions are something I always found fascinating. A word could mean three different things to three different people. The definition of productivity is a good example of this.

The materialist would see a day spent in theological discussions as wasted time and unproductive. Yet to the theologian, this is the most productive usage of his time. A businessman may fail to see the value of spending one’s time memorizing an ancient text in a foreign language. But for the Hafez, any time spent memorizing and revising the Quran is the most beautiful and productive usage of his time.

A clash of world views

Islamic ideas operate in a different paradigm from materialistic ideas. This paradigm of obedience to God and preparing for the Afterlife makes the Islamic definition of things very different from modern ideas. Words like success, productivity, time management, and destiny mean very different things to the believer.

Recently, I read some comments from people influenced by modern theories that got me thinking about this topic. One person commented that Muslims are unproductive in Ramadan because fasting causes them to perform poorly at work. Another commented that Muslim women who take care of their families are being unproductive because they are not out there working for money. It is very interesting that both these comments focused on the concept of productivity. This made me realize that our perspective on productivity is very different from other people.

Productivity: An Economic Concept

The standard definition of productivity in most dictionaries indicates the current worldview. Productivity is defined as “the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input” (Google) or “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.” (Dictionary.com)

These definitions limit productivity to the economic impact of a person’s actions. By such definitions, it is easy to understand why some people view taking care of one’s family or spending a week in a Masjid worshiping the Creator as unproductive. These tasks do not produce goods or services, or lead to the economic advancement of a community. Hence, they are viewed as unproductive by some segments of society.

As Muslims, however, we must be careful not to allow materialistic ideas to influence our understanding of things. A Muslim’s life does not revolve primarily around economic input and output. Work and wealth are simply tools to enhance the quality of life, and not the purpose of life itself. For the believer, there are things that are much deeper than one’s material status; things like piety, spirituality, family, and the Afterlife.

Productivity: A Spiritual Concept

Islam teaches us that this world is a testing ground for humanity. We are constantly being tested in a variety of ways. The primary test is to find the true religion of God, accept it and try one’s best to follow it. Obedience and worship of the Creator is the purpose of life for humanity and that takes precedence over everything else, including work and accumulating wealth.

In light of this, Muslims should not cling to materialistic definitions of productivity. Our goals are different and so our definitions should differ accordingly. For the believer, a life spent in pursuit of wealth and status, at the expense of the Afterlife, is a life wasted, an unproductive waste of existence. The deeds that contribute to our Afterlife, and especially the ones that keep on producing more rewards, these are the truly productive acts.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When the human being dies, his deeds end except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.”

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1631

This narration gives us some insight into the Islamic paradigm of productivity. A believer should strive to build up his or her streams of continuous good deeds i.e. deeds that continue to benefit long after one’s death. Based on this narration, a life spent in raising a righteous child, seeking beneficial knowledge then spreading it, and a life spent in charity, are all truly productive lives.

“Wealth and children are the adornments of the present life. But the things that last, the virtuous deeds, are better with your Lord for reward, and better for hope.”

Quran 18:46

This verse of the Quran conveys the same message. While wealth and children enhance the quality of life, true productivity lies in producing virtuous deeds that last, like raising righteous children or spending a large portion of one’s wealth in charity. The Quran and Sunnah are both full of reminders that the believer should prioritize the Afterlife. This prioritization affects our definition of productivity.

Conclusion: A Spiritual Definition

The life of of a Muslim revolves primarily around the worship of God, and investing in the Afterlife. This does not mean that a Muslim does not work for this world. Rather our religion encourages hard work, and frowns upon laziness. But everything has its place, and the Afterlife is a greater priority over this world.

A Muslim works hard in every aspect of his or her life but does so in proportion. More time and energy is spent in serving the Creator and building one’s Afterlife. Yet enough time is spent in earning income to provide a blessed Halal life for one’s family. The believer will work hard at his job but will take a break when it is time to pray. A Muslim will try his best to earn well, but will not compromise on Halal earnings, and will dedicate a portion of his earnings to charity. The believer will make time daily to worship the Creator, spend time with the family, contribute to society, and earn some income while prioritizing the Afterlife over this world.

A life spent investing the Afterlife is not unproductive. It is a blessed spiritual existence full of Barakah (Blessing) and Sakina (Inner Peace). The Muslim who chose seclusion in the Mosque while fasting during the last ten days of Ramadan is truly productive in the sight of God. The Muslim woman who invested her youth in raising her children to be righteous beautiful people is truly productive in the sight of God. The Muslim teenager who spends her evenings memorizing the Quran is truly productive in the sight of God. Never allow a materialistic person to convince you otherwise.

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Productivity, 3 comments
Focusing on the Hereafter as a Productivity Principle

Focusing on the Hereafter as a Productivity Principle

This article is an extract from my book Productivity Principles of ʿUmar II, available here.

Our life in this world is temporary. It is the everlasting life of the Hereafter that we need to set as our priority. This is exactly what ʿUmar did, and this mindset is what made him such an exceptional leader. ʿUmar II was always preoccupied with the next life and what he was preparing for it. As a result, every decision he made was to preserve and build a better Afterlife for himself.

Yazīd b. Ḥawshab said, “I never saw anyone more fearful of Allah than al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī[1] and ʿUmar bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz. It was as if the Hellfire had solely been created for the two.”[2]

This statement may seem strange for anyone who is not familiar with the Islamic beliefs related to the Afterlife, so a brief explanation is fitting at this point: 

Muslims believe that the Hellfire is a real place, and one of the reasons God created it was to motivate people to do good deeds and abstain from sin. Islam recognizes that different people are motivated differently. Some are motivated by aspirations to attain the love of God, others by the desire for Paradise and some by fear of Hellfire. Each of these rewards or punishments plays a role in bringing people closer to the Creator.

In this way, Muslims do not view the existence of the Hellfire in the same negative sense that many others do. Rather, it is seen as a necessary creation of God that serves a beneficial purpose. This fundamental belief in Heaven and Hell forms part of the fifth pillar of Islamic theology.

ʿUmar II once said, “Take care of your Hereafter and Allah will take care of your worldly life. Take care of your private life and Allah will take care of your public life.”[3]

In this quotation, we see the importance ʿUmar II gave to the Afterlife. He prioritized focusing on the Afterlife and working towards Paradise over worldly goals. He did this with the full conviction that Allah would help him achieve his worldly goals even though the Afterlife was ʿUmar’s primary focus.

In the second half of this quote, ʿUmar II gave another important piece of advice. He advised that we should focus on our private lives. This is crucial for developing sincerity and living a clean life free from hypocrisy. Too often people focus on their public image, while in private they commit many of the evils they publicly preach against. In doing so, they develop a two-faced personality that ruins their Afterlife. In order to meet Allah with a clear conscious, we must be more concerned with our private practice of Islam. When this is straight, everything else will follow.

ʿUmar’s statement is a clear example of the importance ʿUmar II gave to the Afterlife, and how he promoted prioritizing it over worldly goals and public image.

Further proof of ʿUmar’s focus on the Afterlife can be seen in his final sermon, which dealt entirely on the importance of prioritizing the Afterlife. In this sermon, he advised people, “You were not created in vain, nor will you be left without purpose. Verily, you have an appointed time in which Allah, the Most High, will come down to judge you. Wretched and ruined will he be who leaves the mercy of Allah and is denied a Garden whose width is that of the heavens and Earth.

Know you not that no one will be safe tomorrow save one who is wary of today and fears it; and sells the transitory for what will remain, and the little for the plenty, and fear in exchange for security [in the hereafter]? See you not that you are in the loins of the dead, to be taken by those who remain after you until all matters return to the Best of Inheritors?

Every day, [in the funerals] you accompany those returning to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, having spent their time, until you hide them in a crevice in the ground, in the belly of a bare and unfurnished hole, having parted from their loved ones, stroking the dirt and facing their accounts. Now, they are dependent on their deeds, free of what they left behind, in need of [the deeds] they put before them. So fear Allah before the time He appointed is up and death descends upon you. This is what I have to say.”[4]

Reflecting on the above words shows that his entire focus in this sermon was redirecting people away from chasing the gains to be had in this life and instead focusing on what would benefit them in the Afterlife. This was the final sermon that he delivered, and it shows the high level of priority he gave to attaining the good in the Afterlife.

A final story that indicates the importance ʿUmar II and his advisors gave to the Afterlife is related in the following narration. It is reported that ʿUmar b. ʿAbd Al-ʿAzīz once wrote to Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī to get some advice from him, so Al-Ḥasan wrote back, “The world distracts and preoccupies the heart and body, but Zuhd (asceticism, not giving importance to worldly things) gives rest to the heart and body. Verily, Allāh will ask us about the Ḥalāl things we enjoyed, so what about the Ḥarām!”[5]

Even in their private advice between each other, the focus was on accountability to Allah on the Last Day. This was the guiding force behind all the efforts, goals, and projects of ʿUmar II.

The Fifth Pillar of Faith

In Islam, there are six pillars of faith (iman). These are the six core beliefs of Islam. If a Muslim denies any of these six pillars, then that individual is no longer a Muslim. These beliefs are the belief in the Oneness of Allah, belief in the angels, the divinely revealed scriptures, the prophets, the Afterlife, and destiny.

The fifth pillar of faith or belief in the Afterlife includes the following doctrines. Muslims believe that God created the soul to live forever in the Afterlife. Our existence in this world is temporary and a test. After we die, our souls are transferred to the barzakh (world of the dead) where the soul is either rewarded or punished until the Day of Resurrection.

On that day, all souls will be resurrected in new bodies and will face judgment. Based on that judgment, the souls will either face eternal damnation, eternal bliss, or temporary punishment followed by eternal bliss. Muslims do not have the authority or knowledge to say which individuals will go to Heaven or Hell, rather we trust God’s Perfect Justice and Mercy and leave the judgment to His Perfect Attributes.[6]

But what do these beliefs have to do with productivity?

The Importance of Believing in the Hereafter 

Belief in the Hereafter is one of the fundamental beliefs of Islam, but it is also key to true productivity. Many people don’t see the point in setting goals and working hard if we are all just going to die anyway. This nihilistic attitude causes many people to simply waste their lives away.

However, when we embrace the idea that there is another life after this life, an everlasting life that can be full of bliss and happiness, it motivates us to work for a higher purpose and towards a nobler goal. It then doesn’t matter whether we necessarily see the fruits of our efforts in our lifetime or not.

What matters is that we leave behind beneficial projects that continue to make an impact long after we have passed away. It may seem like we might not see the fruit of our goals, but we will see it on the Last Day when we face our Creator and see the list of deeds we left behind.

Islam encourages us to focus on beneficial projects that last long after we pass away; these projects become a source of continuous reward for us, even centuries after leaving this earth. Such projects include charitable work, knowledge that benefits people, and even righteous offspring that make this world a better place.

Regarding this, Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “When the human being dies, his deeds end except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.”[7]

Narrations like this encourage focusing on life after death. Not just doing what we can with our present lives, but looking beyond to what impactful and beneficial legacy we can leave behind after we have passed on to the next life.

A Fuel for Productivity

Belief in the Hereafter forces us to think bigger. It makes us look beyond our lives at what impact we can have even after our deaths. Islam teaches us that certain good deeds continue to pile up on our accounts long after we have passed away.

Dr. Bilal Philips describes the Islamic Belief in the Hereafter as follows:

Those who believe in the Afterlife, resurrection, and the judgment, are obliged to consider carefully the consequence of their deeds. Belief in the Last Day causes them to think beyond their immediate needs and desires. It sets their goals beyond this temporal existence.[8]

When we embrace the concept of an Afterlife, we no longer work for the trivial rewards of this world. Our focus lies beyond the immediate horizon; we work for the everlasting rewards of the next world. In doing so, we elevate our goals and efforts to another level, and everything we do takes on a spiritual dimension.

Belief in the Afterlife also makes us more principled and less likely to violate these principles when facing desperate situations.

Dr. Bilal Philips explains this concept well:

Believers in the Judgement will not compromise the basic commandments of God in order to attain some limited measure of material success. They will be principled individuals, sticking to their beliefs and practices regardless of how odd they may seem or how lonely and isolated the society may make them.

Those who do not believe in the Judgement tend to be good as long as it is convenient. But when everyone else around them is cheating or stealing, or being honest will cost economic loss, they usually compromise their principles with appropriate justifications.[9]

This statement may seem like a generalization. There may exist people who remain honest in all situations even without belief in the Afterlife. However, it can’t be denied that belief that one will be held accountable or called for judgement does provide a stronger basis to remain firm on one’s principles even when things seem desperate.

Belief in the Afterlife leads to a more productive lifestyle in many ways. It causes us to focus on bigger goals that extend beyond our lifetime; it gives life purpose and meaning; and it makes us unwavering in our principles. The life of ʿUmar II is an excellent example of this belief in practice.

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[1] Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī was a famous Muslim pious ascetic and scholar that lived during the same period as ʿUmar II.

[2] As-Sallabi, ʿUmar Bin ʿAbd al- ʿAzīz, pp. 724-725

[3] Kitāb al-Ikhlāṣ, 50

[4] Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm Vol. 3 p343

[5] Al-Bayhaqī, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabīr, article 26

[6] Dr. Muhammad Khalil Harras, Ibn Taymiyyah, Sharh al-ʿAqīdat al-Wāṣatiyyah, pp. 163-179,

[7] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1631

[8] Dr. Bilal Philips, The Clash Of Civilisations, p. 141

[9] Ibid. P. 141

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Productivity, 1 comment
The Sunnah of Long-Term Thinking

The Sunnah of Long-Term Thinking

The life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is full of amazing lessons in leadership and growth. One lesson that can be extracted from multiple incidents in his life is the importance of long-term thinking. There are many incidents in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) sacrificed short-term gains for long-term goals. In each of these, history bears witness that he made the right decision.

The Case of Suhail Ibn ʿAmr

An interesting example from the early portion of Madinan history is the case of Suhail Ibn ʿAmr. Suhail was one of the leaders of the Quraysh and among the most outspoken enemies of Islam. When he was captured during the Battle of Badr, ʿUmar (RA) wanted to punish him for his venomous words against Islam by removing his front two teeth.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not allow this, stating that perhaps one day Suhail would use that same mouth to defend Islam. Fast forward ten years, after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the people of Makkah disputed with each other over whether they should apostate or not. Suhail, now a recent convert, stood up by the Kabah and delivered a moving sermon that encouraged the people to remain firm on their faith. In this case, the foresight of the Prophet (peace be upon him) saved a lot of people from potential apostasy.

The People of Ta’if

A few years earlier, before migrating to Madinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) tried to seek the support of the people of Ta’if instead. However, these people not only turned him away, but they also ridiculed him and threw stones at him, causing him both emotional and physical harm. The Prophet (peace be upon him) describes it as the most difficult day of his life.

In response to their aggression, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was offered a chance to allow Divine Punishment to fall upon them. He declined stating that perhaps someone from among their descendants might embrace Islam. Once again, the long-term thinking of the Prophet (peace be upon him) saved the souls of many people, as Ta’if eventually became a community of believers.

The Treaty of Ḥudaibiya

The best example of sacrificing short-term gains for long-term goals is the treaty of Ḥudaibiya. In this incident, the Prophet (peace be upon him) set out from Madinah for Makkah with the intention of pilgrimage. He was stopped outside Makkah in an area called Ḥudaibiya to negotiate. The result of the negotiation was a ten-year peace treaty between the Muslims and pagans.

However, the terms of the treaty were unfairly against the Muslims. They were not allowed to continue with the pilgrimage and would have to return a full year later to complete it. They were not allowed to accept into Madinah anyone who fled from Makkah, but the opposite was allowed. The terms of the treaty seemed very unjust but the Prophet (peace be upon him) signed it anyway.

Shortly thereafter, a verse of the Quran was revealed declaring the treaty a clear victory. The new peace between the pagans and Muslims allowed the Arabs to interact with the Muslims without seeing them as their wartime enemies. As a result, thousands of Arabs converted to Islam including many of the leaders of Makkah. The terms of the treaty caused Islam to spread rapidly across Arabia, accelerating the completion of the Prophetic mission. The treaty of Ḥudaibiya is a clear example of sacrificing short-term gains for long-term goals.

Conclusion

In each of these cases, we see how long-term thinking benefits society more, and leads to greater results. We can learn from this the importance of thinking ahead and planning long-term. If a sacrifice is needed today to accomplish something great tomorrow, we should be willing to sacrifice short-term benefits for long-term goals, especially when those goals are pleasing to Allah and beneficial for the community.

For more Productivity Lessons from Islamic History, check out my ebook Productivity Principles of Umar II, available here.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Goal Setting, 0 comments
Don’t Make Hatred Your Foundation

Don’t Make Hatred Your Foundation

Over the past twenty years, I have studied with a variety of scholars from many different schools of thought. During this period, I have noticed multiple trends that helped me identify good teachers. One of those trends is to look at the basic emotion the teacher inspires. When choosing a teacher, I am careful to avoid teachers whose primary purpose is spreading hatred of others.

Unfortunately, the internet has revived this culture of hate. It is easier for a young student of knowledge to gain a quick following by making hateful videos about other Muslims, than to actually teach the religion. As a result, we are once again flooded with messages of hate, refutations, and an unhealthy obsession with other people’s faults. In the process, we create a culture of hate and suspicion, devoid of spirituality and reflection.

Why People Love To Hate

This trend is nothing new. Every generation of Muslims produces a group or two that make hatred their foundation. The majority of deviant sects begin at a position of hatred; whether it is hatred for the companions, hatred for sinners, or hatred of other groups. Hatred is often the foundation of deviation and the beginning of a new cult. There are many reasons why people are attracted to cultures of hate, but in this modern age of individualism, one reason stands out; self-piety.

The various person is unaware of how much individualism has impacted their understanding of the world. Because of this, they fail to see how individualism impacts their understanding of Islam too. Islam in the eyes of such people is not seen as a system of purification and spiritual development. It is simply a tool through which one can profess one’s own piety by looking down upon others.

Individualism creates within a person a need to justify oneself constantly, a need to feel validated and better than others, and a need to be more famous than others. This leads to an obsession with refuting those who are more popular than oneself. The result is a culture of refutation and constant anger.

A Better Usage of Time

None of us will be on earth forever. We all have limited time on earth. Instead of wasting it in hatred, anger, and fault-finding, let’s use our time instead to worship Allah and purify our souls. Let us focus on doing good positive work that benefits the ummah and improves our own spiritual state in the process. Life is too short to waste on obsessing over other people and their faults.

My words don’t mean much, so I will leave you with a few hadiths to reflect on. These hadiths show us the importance of having a clean heart, and not holding ill-feelings towards other Muslims.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported; I said, “O Messenger of Allah, who are the best people?” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “One with a clean heart and truthful in speech.” We said, “O Messenger of Allah, we know truthful in speech. What is a clean heart?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “One that is mindful of Allah and pure, in which there is no sin, nor aggression, nor envy.” We said, “Who shows a sign of it?” The Prophet said, “One who hates worldliness and loves the Hereafter.” They said, “And who shows a sign of it?” The Prophet said, “A believer with good character.

Shu’ab al-Imān 4457

Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to me, “Young man if you are able every morning and evening to remove any ill-feelings from your heart towards anyone, do so.”

Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2678

Anas ibn Malik reported: We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and he said, “Coming upon you now is a man from the people of Paradise.” A man from the Ansar came whose beard was disheveled by the water of ablution and he was carrying both of his shoes with his left hand. The next day the Prophet repeated the same words, and the man came in the same condition. The third day the Prophet repeated the same again, and the man came in the same condition. When the Prophet stood up to leave, Abdullah ibn Amr followed the man and he said, “I am in a dispute with my father and I have sworn not to enter my home for three days. May I stay with you?” The man said yes.

Abdullah stayed three nights with the man but he never saw him praying at night. Whenever he went to bed, he would remember Allah and rest until he woke up for morning prayer. Abdullah said that he never heard anything but good words from his mouth. When three nights had passed and he did not see anything special about his actions, Abdullah asked him, “O servant of Allah, I have not been in dispute with my father nor have I cut relations with him. I heard the Prophet say three times that a man from the people of Paradise was coming to us and then you came. I thought I should stay with you to see what you are doing that I should follow, but I did not see you do anything special. Why did the Prophet speak highly of you?” The man said, “I am as you have seen.” When Abdullah was about to leave, the man said, “I am as you have seen, except that I do not find ill-feeling in my soul towards the Muslims and I do not envy anyone because of the good that Allah has given them.” Abdullah said, “This is what you have achieved and it is something we have not accomplished.”

Musnad Aḥmad 12286

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace, 0 comments