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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Friends of Allah

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah Most High says, ‘He who is hostile to a friend (wali) of Mine I declare war against. My slave approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory for him, and My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks Me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him.’” [Sahih Bukhari]

Allah’s friends are those who are constant and sincere in obedience to Him. A friend (wali) of Allah is one who is close to Him because of his devotion to Him, through obeying His commands and shunning the acts which he has forbidden. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) declares war, a very severe threat, against those who harass people only because of their Islam. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says that He will fight such people Himself. And whoever such a thing should happen to should expect only the worst possible things to happen to him or her.

This hadith also tells us that the Obligatory deeds (Faraid) are the most beloved to Allah. Nothing makes Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) happier than performance of Faraid and keeping away from the forbidden (Haraam) deeds. This is what makes a person a friend of Allah. We must keep the performance of Obligatory (Fard) and Recommended (Sunnah/Nafl) deeds in perspective. It is said that the Recommended amount to but one-seventieth of the value of an Obligatory act. [Reliance of the Traveller]

Thus, whoever draws near to Allah through what is Obligatory, and then through the Recommended deeds, Allah draws him nearer and elevates him from the level of true faith (iman) to the level of perfection of faith (ihsan). The consequence of this is the preservation of the individual’s whole person, so that he forsakes selfish desire and is wholly absorbed in obedience. This hadith is also a metaphor for Allah’s help and assistance, so that Allah Most High helps the Momin to perceive what He wants him to perceive and do through his limbs what He wants him to do.

When a Momin becomes a friend of Allah’s, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) grants the Momin what he asks for. This happened to many of the early Muslims. And Allah protects such a person from whatever he fears. Whoever draws near to Allah through the above will not have his duas rejected.

Quoting and Creating Animosity

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He who stirs up enmity among people by quoting their words to each other will not enter Paradise.” [Sahih Bukhari]

It is scary to think how casually we do those deeds for which Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) forbids Paradise. Jannat is an extremely beautiful and pure place. It must not be defiled by anything impure. Its reward must not be tarnished by anything ugly. That is why all such impure and dirty acts, such as backbiting and helping Muslims to dislike one another must be removed from a person before they can enter Jannah.

Impurities are removed from metals by burning in fire. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has given us the much easier option of asking for Allah’s forgiveness with sincerity, repentant of the deed and determined to try one’s best not to do it again. This will remove the stain of the sin from us and purify us so we can go to Paradise without needing to be purified by Fire.

Knowledge of Religion

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever Allah wishes well, He gives knowledge of religion.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Eesa (alaihis salam) is reported to have said,
“There are many trees: not all of them bear fruit.
There are many fruits: not all of them may be eaten.
Many, too, are the kinds of knowledge: yet not all of them are of value to men.”

Useful knowledge is like the tree that bears edible fruit. If the knowledge can be used to please Allah, then it is useful. If the utility of that knowledge ends with your death -- in the bigger picture of our never ending existence -- it is useless.

A trait of hypocrisy

bu Hurairah (radi allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sal allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever dies without having participated in jihad or having prepared himself for jihad, dies on one of the traits of hypocrisy.” [Sahih Muslim]

Imam Nawawi (rahmatullah alaihi) writes in his commentary of this hadith: “And this means that whoever does this, in reality in this attribute he has become like the munafiqeen (hypocrites) who used to stay behind from participating in jihad, because to abandon jihad is one of the traits of hypocrisy.” [Sharih Muslim]

Allama Sindhi (rahmatullah alaihi) writes in his commentary of this hadith: “(and did not prepare himself for jihad) This means that he did not even say in his heart, ‘I wish I were a Ghazi’. And this means that he did not even make the intention to participate in jihad. And the sign of having such an intention is that one should have prepared things that one needs for jihad because Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says: ‘And if they had intended to set out they would surely have made some preparation for it. [Quran 9:46]’” [As-Sindhi ala Sunan An-Nisai]