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July 24, 2012

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 23

by Umm Muawiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 22.]

f) “I’m too sinful to ask Allah.”

I discussed this issue on Day 21 with regards to grave worshippers i.e. that they use this as an excuse to call out to dead people.

However, there are others who don’t call out to other than Allah – but they don’t call out to Allah either, under the false premise that they are too “sinful” to do so. This is yet another example of Shaytan (the devil) fooling people due to their lack of knowledge of Allah.

Another variation of the above statement is “Oh my dua (supplication) won’t be accepted.”

I was talking to an acquaintance of mine and she got something that she had wanted. The conversation proceeded as follows:

“It was thanks to your duas,” she says to me.

I was confused. MY duas??

“Erm, how do you know it was my duas? Perhaps it was YOUR duas?” I asked, puzzled.

“Oh please, it’s not my duas!” she scoffed.

She didn’t even believe that her duas would get answered and she thought this way because she considered herself very sinful.

This issue is very, very, very common. Shaytan defeats many people before they even begin.

There are several replies to the people who say this:

1) Firstly, who of us is sinless? Is there any human that fits this category?

Short answer: No.

[Oh, you thought “religious” people don’t sin?]

So, we are not required to be “sinless” in order to do dua because then nobody would qualify.

2) Did Allah make a condition that only “good” people can do dua?

Or did he order anyone and everyone to call out to Him?

وَقَالَ رَ‌بُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ

“And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation).”” [Surah Ghafir (40) : 60]

Where is the proof that “sinful” people are excluded from this ayah (verse)???

3) Who is the only One who can forgive our sins?

Is there anyone other than Allah who can do this?

So shouldn’t we turn to Ar-Rahman (the Most Merciful) before we meet Him on the Last Day to ask Him to forgive us for all our sins?

Look at what Allah has asked us all to do:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَ‌فُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّ‌حْمَةِ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَغْفِرُ‌ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ‌ الرَّ‌حِيمُ

وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُ‌ونَ

Say: “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islamic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him, (in Islam), before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped.” [Surah Az-Zumar (39) : 53-54]

[Note: If a person dies on shirk (worshipping other than Allah), he will NEVER be forgiven as is shown by many proofs (I covered this last year on Day 7). However, if he repents before death, he will be forgiven. So this should be an incentive for us to invite non-Muslims to Islam, because if they die upon other than Islam, they will never enter Paradise. Of course, entering Islam is very simple. A person is required to utter the two testimonies of faith (“I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger”) and then they need to start practicing the basics i.e. praying the obligatory prayer 5 times a day. A person might believe that Islam is the truth but until he utters the Shahaadataan (the two testimonies), he will not be a Muslim.]

Shaytan knows this very well. He sinned and he did not repent, whereas our father, Adam (alaihissalam) made a mistake and repented to Allah immediately after that. He (Shaytan) knows that if a person turns to Allah sincerely and asks for forgiveness, Allah will forgive him.

He (Shaytan) doesn’t want that to happen, of course. He doesn’t want us to go to Paradise. He “loves” us so much that he wants us to spend eternity in Hell with him.

So, no matter what a person’s circumstance is, no matter what his previous sins are, he should try to make a fresh start (like the man who committed 99 murders did) and ask Allah to forgive Him and call out to Him for all his needs. 

[Of course, we should not forget to have BOTH hope and fear. It’s not correct to have one without the other.]

4) Do sins stop duas from being answered? Yes, they can.

However, that means that one should strive to repent, rather than stop doing dua.

g) “Allah knows what I want.”

That’s a statement of pure arrogance.

Yes, Allah knows everything that our hearts conceal.

So what? We still have to beg Him for what we want.

Imagine the following scenario. An employee wants a promotion. He knows that his boss knows that, so he doesn’t bother to ask and says “He knows that I want a promotion so I won’t ask.”

Would anyone accept this reply? Or would everyone advise him to go to the boss and request a promotion? Wouldn’t that be more befitting?

And with Allah is the Highest example.

This is something that many people say because they don’t understand that the purpose of dua is to show our Creator how dependent we are on Him. Rather, these foolish people see themselves as being self-sufficient!

h) “I just want a little house in the corner of Paradise.”

To anyone who has ever thought or said this: Shame on you.

When it’s about dunya (the worldly life), which lasts all of 60-70 years for most people, we want the highest-paying jobs, the PhDs, the most beautiful exotic homes, the most handsome/beautiful spouses (Oh, just admit it. We never got over those silly fairytales), the most adorable children, a great status in society, etc.

When it comes to the hereafter, which lasts for eternity, we want a “little house”? And we don’t care if it’s in the lowest level of Paradise?

Words fail me.

What is this? It doesn’t make ANY sense.

Apart from that, it goes against the command of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

من آمن بالله ورسوله ، وأقام الصلاة ، وصام رمضان ، كان حقا على الله أن يدخله الجنة ، هاجر في سبيل الله ، أو جلس في أرضه التي ولد فيها ) . قالوا : يا رسول الله ، أفلا ننبئ الناس بذلك ؟ قال : إن في الجنة مائة درجة ، أعدها الله للمجاهدين في سبيله ، كل درجتين ما بينهما كما بين السماء والأرض ، فإذا سألتم الله فسلوه الفردوس ، فإنه أوسط الجنة ، وأعلى الجنة ، وفوقه عرش الرحمن ، ومنه تفجر أنهار الجنة

Narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu):The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger, offers prayers perfectly and fasts (the month of) Ramadan then it is incumbent upon Allah to admit him into Paradise, whether he emigrates for Allah’s cause or stays in the land where he was born.” They (the companions of the Prophet) said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Should we not inform the people of that?” He said, “There are one-hundred degrees in Paradise which Allah has prepared for those who carry on jihad (fighting) in His Cause. The distance between every two degrees is like the distance between the sky and the Earth, so if you ask Allah for anything, ask Him for Al-Firdaus, for it is the middle part of Paradise and the highest part of Paradise, and at its top there is the Throne of Ar-Rahman (the Beneficent), and from it gush forth the rivers of Paradise.[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 9, Hadeeth No. 519] 

So, what are you and I going to do?

We’re going to be asking for Al-Firdaus, the highest level of Paradise, that’s what we’re going to do.

I never want to hear this “I want a little house in the corner of Paradise” thingy ever again.

Please delete that statement from your mind. Don’t even dream of asking for that. Ask for the best.

Don’t say “Oh, I’m not worthy of such a high level.”

Who knows, perhaps your dua will be accepted and the doors of good will be opened for you so that you can reach that level.

i) Asking Allah only for the best in this life OR the best in the Hereafter.

Notice the “or”? That’s the problem. It’s supposed to be an “and”.

I’ve discussed this issue in this post, so I won’t go through it here.

This section was just a brief overview into some aspects of dua. For more information, you should check this book and audio.

12. He is Al-Mutee (the Giver), Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the Taker / the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly/ the Extender).

[Someone guessed that the Names that I would discuss would be Al-Baseer (the All Seer) and the like as it is linked to As-Samee (the All-Hearer), and that was a good guess. I will cover that aspect and those Names in a future post, insha-Allah. I chose these Names for now as it pertains to an aspect of dua.]

As usual, let’s go through this step by step:

1) He is Al-Mutee (the One who gives).

من يرد الله به خيرا يفقهه في الدين ، والله المعطي وأنا القاسم ، ولا تزال هذه الأمة ظاهرين على من خالفهم حتى يأتي أمر الله وهم ظاهرون

Narrated by Muawiyah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “If Allah wants to do good for somebody, he makes him comprehend the Religion (i.e. Islam), and Allah is Al-Mutee (the Giver) and I am Al-Qasim (i.e. the distributor), and this (Muslim) nation will remain victorious over their opponents, until Allah’s Order comes and they will still be victorious” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 346]

He is the One who gives to whomever He wills and withholds from whoever He wills, in accordance with His Wisdom and Mercy. And He is Just with regards to both His Giving and His Withholding.

قُلِ اللَّـهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاءُ ۖ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ‌ ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ‌

تُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ‌ وَتُولِجُ النَّهَارَ‌ فِي اللَّيْلِ ۖ وَتُخْرِ‌جُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَتُخْرِ‌جُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ ۖ وَتَرْ‌زُقُ مَن تَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ‌ حِسَابٍ

“Say (O Muhammad): “O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things. You make the night to enter into the day, and You make the day to enter into the night (i.e. increase and decrease in the hours of the night and the day during winter and summer), You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give wealth and sustenance to whom You will, without limit (measure or account).” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 26-27]

Ponder over this ayah (verse), especially the last part.

We find this attribute of giving mentioned in one of the prescribed adhkar (remembrances) that can be said after the fard (obligatory) prayers.

إن نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقول في دبر كل صلاة : ( لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، له الملك وله الحمد ، وهو على كل شيء قدير ، اللهم لا مانع لما أعطيت ، ولا معطي لما منعت ، ولا ينفع ذا الجد منك الجد ) . وكتب إليه : إنه كان ينهى عن قيل وقال ، وكثرة السؤال ، وإضاعة المال . وكان ينهى عن عقوق الأمهات ، ووأد البنات ، ومنع وهات

Narrated by Warrad (the clerk of Al-Mughira): Muawiyah wrote to Al-Mughira: ‘Write to me what you have heard from Allah’s Messenger’. So he (Al-Mughira) wrote to him: Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to say at the end of each prayer: “Laa ilaaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul mulku, wa lahul hamdu wa huwa alaa kulli shaiin qadwwr. Allahumma la mani-a lima ataita, wala mutiya lima manata, wala yanfau dhul jadd minkal-jadd. (‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allah alone, without partner, to Him belongs all sovereignty and praise and He is able to do everything. O Allah, none can withhold what You given and none can give what You withhold, and no wealth or majesty can benefit anyone, as from You is all wealth and majesty.)’”  He also wrote to him that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to forbid (1) Qeel (it was said) and Qal (he said) (idle useless talk or that you talk too much about others), (2) Asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters); (3) And wasting one’s wealth by extravagance; (4) and to be undutiful to one’s mother (5) and to bury the daughters alive (6) and to prevent your favors (benevolence) to others (i.e. not to pay the rights of others) (7) And asking others for something (except when it is unavoidable). [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 9, Hadeeth No. 395] 

The red portion of the dua also appears in other dhikr (remembrance) said during prayer – during the standing after rising from rukoo (bowing). [Here’s the link to it. It’s the third one on the page.]

Do you remember how this part of the prayer was linked to Allah’s Name As-Samee (the All-Hearer)? I discussed it on Day 19. Read it again and then look at the dua I linked to. You’ll be amazed.

[The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wasallam) said the red portion in another dua during the Battle of Uhud. However, I’ll put that up in tomorrow’s post as it also relates to two of the other Names in this section.]

As with many of the other Attributes, there are two types of giving: general and specific.

a) The general type refers to the fact that Allah gives to all His slaves, in this world, whether they are believers or disbelievers, pious or impious.

مَّن كَانَ يُرِ‌يدُ الْعَاجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَاءُ لِمَن نُّرِ‌يدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَاهَا مَذْمُومًا مَّدْحُورً‌ا

وَمَنْ أَرَ‌ادَ الْآخِرَ‌ةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورً‌ا

كُلًّا نُّمِدُّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ وَهَـٰؤُلَاءِ مِنْ عَطَاءِ رَ‌بِّكَ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاءُ رَ‌بِّكَ مَحْظُورً‌ا

انظُرْ‌ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَلْآخِرَ‌ةُ أَكْبَرُ‌ دَرَ‌جَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ‌ تَفْضِيلًا

“Whoever wishes for the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell, he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, ( far away from Allah’s Mercy). And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. do righteous deeds of Allah’s Obedience) while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allah), then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, thanked and rewarded (by Allah). To each these as well as those We bestow from the Bounties of your Lord. And the Bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.  See how We prefer one above another (in this world) and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preference.” [Surah Al-Isra (17) : 18-21]

قَالَ فَمَن رَّ‌بُّكُمَا يَا مُوسَىٰ

قَالَ رَ‌بُّنَا الَّذِي أَعْطَىٰ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَىٰ

“Pharaoh said: “Who then, O Musa, is the Lord of you two?” He (Musa) said: “Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.”” [Surah Ta-Ha (20) : 49-50]

[By “you two” he means Musa and Haroon (alaihimissalam).]

b) The specific type of giving refers to what Allah only gives His believing slaves.

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّ‌مَ زِينَةَ اللَّـهِ الَّتِي أَخْرَ‌جَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّ‌زْقِ ۚ قُلْ هِيَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

“Say (O Muhammad): “Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Taiyyibaat [all kinds of halal (lawful) things] of food?” Say: “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them).” Thus We explain the Ayaat (Islamic laws) in detail for people who have knowledge.” [Surah Al-Araaf (7) : 32]

1. In this world:

He gives His believing slaves halal (lawful) provision, righteous offspring, taqwa (piety), iman (faith), clear guidance, etc.

إن الله قسم بينكم أخلاقكم كما قسم بينكم أرزاقكم ، و إن الله يعطي الدنيا من يحب و من لا يحب ، و لا يعطي الإيمان إلا من أحب

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah has shared out your attitudes among you just as He has shared out your provisions. Allah gives dunya (the worldly life) to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He gives iman (faith) only to those whom He loves.” [Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah, Hadeeth No. 271. I got this reference from Dorar, as I don’t have this book.]

2. In the Hereafter:

This is the greatest kind of giving.

Allah informs us of what the believers get:

جَزَاءً مِّن رَّ‌بِّكَ عَطَاءً حِسَابًا

“A reward from your Lord, an ample calculated gift (according to the best of their good deeds).” [Surah An-Naba (78) : 36]

In contrast, look how the recompense of the disbelievers has been mentioned in the same surah:

جَزَاءً وِفَاقًا

“An exact recompense (according to their evil crimes).” [Surah An-Naba (78) : 26]

Did you notice something? Hell is an exact recompense but Paradise is basically a generous gift.

To be continued…

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