A group of people were arguing about the strongest thing that Allah created when Sayyidina ‘Ali (Radiallahu Anhu) walked in. So they asked him, “What is the strongest thing that Allah created?” Sayyidina ‘Ali began with the obvious:
A mountain, but a mountain can be broken down by metal,
so metal must be stronger, but metal can be melted by fire,
so fire must stronger, but fire can be extinguished with water,
so water must be stronger, but the clouds carry water,
so clouds must stronger, but the clouds are directed by the wind
so the wind must be stronger, but the same wind if a man holds firm to his ground will not be moved by this wind,
so man must be stronger, but if that same man is intoxicated he loses he loses control over himself,
so intoxicants must be stronger, but if that intoxicated man goes to sleep it takes care of the intoxicants…
but a man with anxiety will never go to sleep. The strongest thing Allah created is anxiety.
There’s nothing else that can freshen you up in the morning and wipe away the sleepiness. There’s nothing like a warm shower on a cold day, or a cold shower on a hot day. There’s nothing like standing there and gasping as the cold waves hit you on the beach. There’s nothing pure as ice water, or as satisfying as when you’re opening your fast. And even though you can make wudhu with dust when you have no water, there’s simply nothing nicer than making wudhu with water.
So, in gratitude, may I always treasure it and never waste a drop more.
While I see Bahrain’s issue as a Sunni vs Shia fight because it is only the Shia’s standing up in the protests and they are not united with other oppressed people in their country, I also see it as a oppressed vs oppressor issue. In Egypt, our brothers and sisters who were suffering at the hands of a Sunni government, were Sunni themselves. In Saudi Arabia, the ulama who are in prisons while some are Shia, there are overwhelming number that are Sunni. Same with Tunisia, Libya (that is, if Gaddafi is even Sunni, but his population definitely are), Pakistan, and I don’t want to sit here naming the endless stream of countries. So, I won’t. I can’t help but be perplexed that people are choosing this moment to be ashamed of themselves being Sunni. The stance the governments are taking against their people is not a reflection of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jam’ah, it is only a reflection that they are high on power.
That said, I am saddened that the same people who are defending the lives of the Shias, are not giving the same respect to the Pakistani Sunnis in Bahrain. If they were killed by government thugs, it proves that the government is blindly killing people. If they were killed by the Shias, I can only wonder what possesses an oppressed person to oppress another.
When we think about the times of Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn Khattab (Radiallahu Anhu) we don’t remember simply strength and power, but the humility and compassion that accompanied it. He was a great ruler not merely because he conquered a vast amount of land, but because he personally owned little and did everything to ensure that his subjects lived respectably. The amount of years he ruled was not a matter of concern, because really, who wants the demise of a just ruler who looks after their interests instead of his own?
One day while he was khaleef, Sayyidina ‘Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) was pondering on the fact that he had become khaleef and who could be better than him. In order to remind himself who he was and where he came from, he called out the adhaan, as was done to gather the people in the masjid so that one may deliver an announcement. The people assembled in the masjid and said takbeer, and Sayyidina ‘Umar ascended the minbar and praised and glorified Allah as He deserves, and sent blessings and peace upon His Prophet.
Thereafter he said: “O’ people, I remember when I used to tend the flocks of my maternal aunts of Banu Makhzoom, they would give me handful of dates or raisins, which would be sufficient for a day, and what a day that was!”
Then he came down, and Sayyidina ‘Abdul Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf (Radiallahu Anhu) said to: “Ya Ameer al Mumineen, all you did was denigrate yourself!” Sayyidina ‘Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) replied saying “Woe to you, ya ibn ‘Awf! I was alone and I started to think. I said to myself “You are the khaleef, who is better than you?” so I wanted to remind myself of what I am.” According to another report, he stated “I noticed something in myself, and I wanted bring myself down a rung or two.”
Nothin more needs to be said for that.
Saudi Arabia. The worst country in the Middle East. *shock* Yes, women can’t drive or vote, women who want to be doctors ultimately have a hard time getting married, women who are raped often face lashes, women who go out without a mahram get stared at. Basically, just like about every other country on this gorgeous planet: it’s a man land. I cannot and will not stand in defense of any of these things, because it is repressive.
It is well known that Sayyida Asma (Radiallahu Anhu) was walking alone once in the desert heat when Sayyidina Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and some companions (Radiallahu Anhum) crossed paths with her. Seeing that she was carrying a heavy burden, they offered a ride. She rejected, presuming that it would displease her husband, who in turn felt shame that his wife had to walk with a burden and would have much rather she accepted their offer. They did not question her for being alone. Some of the companions did not linger around to harass her. [Yes. Duh.] Her husband even felt embarrassment for hardships she underwent. They all had the sentiments that Muslim man is supposed have. It can never cease to amaze that us in the 21st century have fallen behind those in the 7th century.
The problem with Saudi Arabia is that it has driven itself into a brick wall. Niqaab is regarded as fardh by the ulama, but not by the people. We’ve all seen the princesses who once out of the Kingdom, yes even when visiting France prior to the niqab ban, dress like any other Western girl. Better yet are the girls who have web cams in their rooms for pleasure of random men in chat rooms. The manner they live in Saudi Arabia is for an outward show. It is who they are culturally, and culture always comes first before Islam. It’s funner that way. Due to a lack of true attachment to Islam, they cannot appreciate the laws of the Quran and Sunnah. They use the excuse of “times have changed and we need to progress” while citing other laws of Islam that suit them do keep with the times.
So, are these rights being demanded because Islam has granted them the rights? Or are the rights being demanded as pathway to shedding away the niqaab, wearing the hijaab in a weird way for the funky highlights to show, and for the abayas to be more tight and glamorous? Are they going to attempt seeking liberation from oppressive men while further falling into the trap of those same men? Is it the typical case of seeing other people’s lives and simply wanting it withing realizing the richness of their own history? Everybody deserves freedoms, male and female. Allah created us with free will, but everybody also has to have the sense of responsibility of treating those freedoms with care. Denying them of their freedoms does not solve any of the issues, but neither does letting men and women get away with their base desires.
Funny thing about Saudi Arabia is that they allowed a Saudi woman to fly. Flying before you can even drive. Genius.
Disclaimer: I am not painting the entire society with one brush stroke. I am certain there are many amazing Saudi women who uphold their traditions and wish for progress without letting go of who they are.
Regrettably, at some point or another we have all become lazy with regards to acts of ibadah, even that which is fardh. Despite the fact that the Sahaabah (Radiallahu Anhum) never failed with their salaah, even in the heat of battle and in moments of fear when facing one-on-one with an enemy, the inspiration gets lost on us. It’s assumed that sure, the Sahaabah did it, because they were pretty near perfect. Today’s masses aren’t like that; they won’t drop everything for salaah, which in turn is of course the reason they deserved their tyranny. For that reason alone, I’m grateful to have witnessed the recent events in the Arab world. Whenever I think of Egypt and Libya and remember their fight for freedom, the main memory I will always have is of them remaining strong in salaah as water was harshly sprayed at them. Or right in the middle of the protests, they’d stop pushing the security forces away and they’d just form their rows and start praying. Or when Suleiman announced the resignation of Mubarak during Maghrib, and while everybody surrounding the Muslim in Tahrir Square breaks in cheers, the Muslims fall into sujood. What a perfect moment.
It was narrated by Ma’qil ibn Yassaar that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Worship at times of tribulation (fitnah) is like Hijrah to me.”
It also a moment that puts me to shame. There is nothing sadder then while Muslims are struggling for their basic necessities and all the while remember Allah, there is a person like me who has so much more than they do and barely does anything for the sake of Allah. I often wonder how it is that royalty behave in the manner that they do, but unfortunately, we all lack the Sayyidina Uthmaan (Radiallahu Anhu) quality. Unlike his spending his money to buy off the well in Madeenah for benefit all Muslims in Madeenah, ours is spent towards things that will take us away from reality. Movies, pets, makeup, clothes, cars, houses, iStuff, and the list goes on. Even when it is spent on those in need it is done for the headlines. Because we love to praise people for doing things that they’re supposed to do. Money is worshipped, while the One who has given us money? Well, that’s where the excuse of “He is All-Merciful and we can worship Him in different ways” kicks in. Somehow, I think the Egypt and Libya way is the way to go with…
In 763, al-Mansur, the Abbasid monarch offered Imaam Abu Haneefah (Rahimahullah) the post of Chief Judge of the State, but he declined to accept the offer, choosing to remain independent. His student Abu Yusuf (Rahimahullah) was appointed Qadi Al-Qadat (Chief Judge of the State) of al-Mansur regime instead of himself.
In his reply to al-Mansur, Imaam Abu Haneefah (Rahimahullah) recused himself by saying that he did not regard himself fit for the post. Al-Mansur, who had his own ideas and reasons for offering the post, lost his temper and accused Imaam Abu Haneefah (Rahimahullah) of lying.
“If I am lying,” Imaam Abu Haneefah (Rahimahullah) said, “then my statement is doubly correct. How can you appoint a liar to the exalted post of a Chief Qadi (Judge)?”
Incensed by this reply, the ruler had Imaam Abu Haneefah (Rahimahullah) arrested, locked in prison and tortured. He was never fed nor cared for.
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Despite his reluctance to render religious verdicts, Imaam Maalik (Rahimahullah) was outspoken. He issued fatwas against being forced to pledge allegiance to the Caliph Al-Mansur, and received a flogging for his stance. Because the flogging had not been ordered by Al-Mansur, he did apologize to Imaam Malik (Rahimahullah), and offered him money and residence in Baghdad, but Imaam Maalik (Rahimahullah) refused to leave the city of Madeenah an Nabawi. Later, Harun al-Rashid asked Imaam Maalik (Rahimahullah) to visit him while Harun was performing the hajj. The Imaam refused, and instead he invited the new caliph to his class.
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It is said that, when told that it was religiously permissible to say what pleases his persecutors without believing in it at the time of mihna, Imaam Ahmad (Rahimahullah) said
“If I remained silent and you remained silent, then who will teach the ignorant?“
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It is written that Al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf once entered a city. There was an elder cleric whose prayers were widely believed to bring blessings. He asked the cleric to recite a prayer for him.
The cleric prayed: “O Allah, take his life away!”
Al-Ḥajjāj, startled, burst out: “Old man, what kind of prayer is this that you recite for me?!”
The old man replied: “It is for your own good and the benefit of the people.”
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You claim that you are Muslim and you have with you Mu’adhdhins, Muftis, Imams and Shaykhs but you invaded us and reached our country for what? While your father and your grandfather, Hulagu were non-believers, they did not attack and they kept their promise. But you promised and broke your promise.
-Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah)