Bismillah hirrahman nirrahim
“Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! Not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.” (Quran- 3:191)
“They said, "Be You glorified! We have no knowledge, except that which You have taught us. You are the Omniscient, Most Wise." (Quran- 2:32)
"Oh I have really solid iman, I just have trouble practicing. But I mean my iman is still good."
Iman has two parts and means to accept in your heart (Tasdiq Bil Qalb) and bear witness verbally (Iqrarun Bil Lisaan). Though both of these seem quite simple and easily established, there is a slight problem: Human beings are MASTERS at self-deception.
We are constantly making cognitive blunders and our self-perception and ability to pinpoint true motivation is seriously lacking in accuracy. Every mediocre Muslim sees himself as the hero of some grand motion picture where he must make jihad against all of the universe. As the ‘hero’ of the flick, he forgives himself before he forgives others and is constantly finding a million excuses for himself and far far less for others. The self-love of his nafs blurs his vision and his judgment—his physical faculties as well as his mental. We tell ourselves that we believe one thing, while in our core, in our deepest of hearts, we believe something else. The nafs values and fears for the safety of our idols so much that it hides them deep within, far from even our own view; after all, exposure to our aql, or intellect, could endanger them. It is much safer to keep the idols in the background, in the unflickering shadows, so that they can influence without ever being detected. So given our difficulty in accurately knowing our ‘true’ motivations and beliefs, how do we really know if we have the one thing that is worth anything in Creation, our iman?
“O believers! Obey Allah and obey His Rasool” (47:33)
The Quranic verse above is not addressing the kaafirs (disbelievers) or the munaafiqs (hypocrites). It is addressing those who claim to have belief. Who claim to be of those with iman. Oh Ummah, it is addressing you and I.
Allah, Glorious and Exalted, in the above ayah added an additional condition to being of the ‘Believers’—one must obey Allah and obey His Rasool, may Allah bless him and give him peace. We MUST make our actions correspond with our words and with that which we think are our beliefs; THAT is the proof of iman. You can say you believe in Allah, Glorious and Exalted, and His Rasool, may Allah bless him and give him peace, but until you have passed this test how do you really know for sure? How can you be so sure that you really have iman and aren’t just fooling yourself? And if you aren’t sure, when do you plan on evaluating yourself and figuring your status out? You better be pretty darn confident that you have iman because you could die at ANY moment, and if you die without it then you might be in a bit more trouble than you anticipated. As the saying goes, “check yourself before you wreck yourself”.
“By him in Whose hand is my life, you shall not enter Paradise unless you believe”
“Know ye (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children…And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception?”(57:20)
The most valuable thing that we have been given, the defining feature of success or failure, is our iman and we are CONSTANTLY compromising it for the sake of temporary benefits and tastes. We are unceasingly jeopardizing it for that one tiny ‘last’ glance, that one juicy gossip item, that one ‘minor’ cheat-sheet. An eternity rests upon this one quality, this one fruit that must be nurtured, and we for some crazy reason think that our two-minute rushed prayers will erase the entire day of ghafla and disobedience that we indulged in and wipe our hearts and iman clean?
“…for the prayer of those without Faith is nothing but (futile) wandering (in the mind).”(13:14)
“They will say: "Did there not come to you your messengers with Clear Signs?" They will say, "Yes". They will reply, "Then pray (as ye like)! But the prayer of those without Faith is nothing but (futile wandering) in (mazes of) error!"”(40:50)
We run about chasing one play and one amusement after another, deluding ourselves and deluding others, loving and hating for the sake of our own fancy, and THEN we complain to Allah, Glorious and Exalted, for His not having given us every silly thing that pops into our silly spoiled brainwashed heads! What in the hell do we think we are anyway?!
Yes he IS Forgiving, there is no doubt of that, and He forgives who He wills, but it is important to keep the following in mind:
“Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief, - Allah will not forgive them nor guide them nor guide them on the way.”(4:137)
“And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.”(3:135)
You can’t just have hope and no fear. This is also true for the converse. Abu 'All Rowzbari has said, "Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death." We must ask ourselves, is our attitude towards Allah, Glorious and Exalted, balanced?
Allah has praised the people of hope and fear in the following verse:
”Is one who worships devotedly during the night, prostrating himself or standing, fearing the Hereafter, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (is equal to him who doesn't do these things)?” (Al Zumar:9)
We can see from this that hope then also demands fear and goes hand in hand with it. Hope without fear leads one to a false sense of security. Conversely, fear without hope leads one to an unislamic sense of despair. Furthermore, it should be remembered that love and fear are NOT two opposite points on a spectrum—hope and fear are. We are commanded to LOVE Allah, Glorious and Exalted, and His Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, more than all of creation, including ourselves. Its all part of the slave hood package. So, it should not be assumed that one who fears the Creator does not have a loving relationship with him; rather it is the slave’s fear of displeasing his Beloved that causes him to constantly try to strive towards the Sunnah of the Beloved’s beloved. We are commanded to love Him and with that love comes an inevitable intense urgency for reciprocation, for that love to be requited. We then spend the rest of our lives trying to model ourselves after he, peace and blessing be upon him, who was the most beloved to Allah out of all of Creation in all of Time. This is the understanding of ishq-e-ilahi from the slave’s point of view.
If we look at this love from the point of view of the Creator for whom the words “la hawla wa la qoowata illah billah” (there is no power or motion save Allah) apply, then one finds that He loved the slave first and so the slave loved Him. For if He had not loved the slave, the slave could never have found the all-consuming thirst for His Pleasure and Love within his breast. Allah, Glorious and Exalted chooses who to give His ni’mas to, love for Him and iman being the highest of them. Unfortunately, we are human and cannot grasp how the two diff. points of views of ishq-e-ilahi can coincide on one plane of reality (see ‘On Human Understanding’ parts I & II), but to those whose understanding has transcended the aql (or intellect) and now sees with the qalb (or spiritual faculty), the constraints that bind the aql no longer bind their understanding.
"And know that among you is Allah's Messenger. If he were to obey you in many affairs you would experience difficulty. But Allah has caused you to love iman and has made it something beautiful in your hearts and He has caused you to hate rejection, corruption and disobedience. These are the ones who are guided." (45: 7)
It is reported on the authority of Anas that the Prophet of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) said: There are three qualities for which anyone who is characterized by them will relish the sweetness of faith: he to whom Allah and His Messenger are dearer than all else; he who loves a man for Allah's sake alone; and he who has as great an abhorrence of returning to unbelief after Allah has rescued him from it as he has of being cast into Hell. (Sahih Muslim)
…To be continued…
The next installment shall discuss:
• The juxtaposition of aql and qalb and the relationship between the two.
• The difference between iman and mushahida.
• Lives of Nazr and Khabr.
• Choosing the King.
I seek forgiveness of Allah, Glorious and Exalted, for my presumptiveness and hypocrisy and seek His Refuge. All good is from Him.
All errors are a result of my own weaknesses.
My own stupidity.
My own insincerity.
My own arrogance.
My own nafs.
“Astaghfirul lahal adheema lladhee la ilaha illa huwa al-Hayyal Qayooma wa atubo ilayh”
I seek forgiveness of Allah, the Living, the Ever-subsistent, through Whom all subsists, and I repent to Him.
“Allahumma innaka Afoowun Kareemun tuhibul afwa fa’foanni ya Ghaffur.”
Oh Allah, surely You are Forgiving, Merciful. You like forgiving. So forgive me Oh Forgiving!
MashaAllahon October 8, 2004 2:39 PM
As Salaamu Alaikum
MashALLAH a great reminder for us all,may ALLAH give us true Imaan and cure all our spiritual ills.Ameen.
Was Salaamon October 8, 2004 4:24 PM
Mashallah, Such a beautiful article. The Quranic verses you picked are so apt and thought-provoking Mashallah.on October 8, 2004 4:43 PM
Well written mashaAllah and thought provoking. Unfortunately, the application of this is not just superficial but rather deep. we must get rid of cultural arrogance so many of us have instilled in us by being brought up here and looking down upon brothers and sisters brought up back home in terms of their religious committment and in terms of marriage. True iman lies in being humble. And your actions are a part of iman and reflect on the level of your iman.
Sheikh Yusuf Estes said if you wanna know if your iman is in check, take a hammer and pound on a nail, if you get hurt, the words that come out of your mouth will be indicative of your iman. I know many a sisters that have refused proposals from Muslim countries on the pretext of cultural barriers when they know how to speak the language of their parents and watch Indian movies more than the guys back home. Or because they have this narrow definition of being religious means "learning the deen and not being tolerant of relatives or having patience" or "I really have to get to know the person and talk to them for a million days just to see how he is and then refuse". This is in itself hypocrisy. Many girls brought up here think that they have become the most righteous women on the planet by wearing hijab and reading salah and Qur'an when in fact they are rude to their parents and give them a hard time in accepting marriage proposals because no one on the planet is good enough for them accept American people. We have to get rid of this foolishness among the ummah. So many parents I have seen that are troubled by this. If you are going to marry a religious guy, you have no control over that. A guy could pretend to be religious and he isnt really. And you cant expect to reach for the stars that is if you consider yourself a star or something big. Where's the iman?
Brother Muhsin, you wouldnt happen to be the father of a disobedient arrogant hijaabi would you?
I am just kidding...you arent my Abu...
Anyway, I agree with you that sometimes a lot of cultural issues and arrogance in general can hinder one from perfecting one's iman. Iman involves a complete submission of self in all its dimensions. JazakAllahu khair brother for that comment, its a good reminder.on October 9, 2004 2:43 AM
no, but I have seen many religious and non-religious girls give their parents a hard time in marriage issues and wa iyaki. Sometimes it takes outsiders to show children to respect their parents and not to be adamant on their ideas.on October 11, 2004 2:24 AM
on the other hand, to be fair to the sisters out there ... there are cultural differences, sometimes, that may, albeit inadvertantly, cause problems b/w couples. I've seen it happen many times. It's not so much that neither is compromising, or willing to work, but you have to keep in mind, we're all human.
The way we're brought up, the society we're brought up in, the schools we go to and the friends we have all lead us to have certain expectations, opinions, and desires on how we want our lives to be. These vary over cultures, and sometimes for two ppl in a close relationship, such expectations can be contradictory.
I've seen friends struggle through this, many times. If only their parents would've seen that the basic perception of life, spousal responsibilities, etc. that their children possess are starkly different from the other's, there would be less misery.
The 'spousal roles' (without sounding like a feminist) that "some" (not all) parents (and the guys in question), from Asia, have in mind, are quite often contradictory to that what the girls of Europe and America have in mind. I only speak from experience, having seen 4-5 bad marriages, unfortunately.
Hope didn't offend anyone, that wasn't my intent.
Regardson October 11, 2004 6:25 PM
i completely agree with passerby, why it is that girls always seem to be problem?and why is it that girls are always considered to be the wrong ones if martial problems arise? What is so wrong with marrying an American Muslim that all the girls want, some one they can relate to and understand. Look at the life of the Prophet (SAW) hadrat zaid and zainab were from two very different cultures and thought processes, which is why their marriage didnt work...there needs to be compatability....
"If you are going to marry a religious guy, you have no control over that. A guy could pretend to be religious and he isnt really."
I am just wondering, are you implying that a brother's outward practice and reputation shouldnt be taken into account when considering him for marriage?
Also, would you take any issue with a sister who practiced her deen, respected her parents, and preferred to marry a western-raised muslim? Would there be anything wrong or inconsistent with that? I think you might be assuming in parts of your message that all parents want someone from 'back home' for their daughters.
Btw, we ARE allowed to disagree with our parents on issues so long as we do so reasonably and respectfully. Having respect and good form does not equate to blind obedience.on October 12, 2004 12:10 AM
It was a really good article..esp in light of Ramadan coming up i'A. But, just splain me this..how did this end up as another marriage discussion??
Lets concentrate on our ownselves before we keep bringing up spouses (that aren't even there yet for most!)on October 12, 2004 12:23 AM
ok I 'splain you this.
This ended up being another marriage discussion because that is the natural order of things. I stopped fighting it years ago. Just surrender. Islam is about submission.on October 12, 2004 1:01 AM
keep your articles brief and, inshallah, we'll stop talking about the "m" word.on October 12, 2004 1:43 AM
"keep your articles brief"
Brother, we dont all have witty cartoon drawing skills.
I am a bit confused regarding the connection between the length of my article (which I thought WAS brief) and discussions on the 'm' word (which, in this instance, was initiated by brother Muhsin). Maybe its the late night hour or maybe its my valley girl ditziness, but I just dont get it. Anyone want to explain the logical flow slowly to me?on October 12, 2004 2:02 AM
Beautiful Naseehah backed up with solid evidence.
Ma sha Allah.on October 12, 2004 4:31 AM
There need not be any logical connection between marriage and any other topic. Marriage is half our deen and we will talk about it whenever we want. Anybody got a problem with that?
Justoju is right, I don't get the flow either. Perhaps, one sign of perfection of Iman is obedience to parents and thats why Brother Mohsin brought it up? Explain Brother Mohsin, we are confused.on October 12, 2004 1:32 PM
when one zones out/daydreams while reading a long article, they can only think of the one thing that's always on their minds (marriage).on October 12, 2004 1:34 PM
Gillette your comments always amuse me!on October 12, 2004 1:46 PM
i think muhsin is prob. one of those rejected fobbios from asia that the american girls wudnt marry :P (Just kidding man)
btw, marriage will always enter the discussion, cuz every weekend when we muslim youth go home, we get drilled about rishtas/proposals and how we are getting to old...etc my favo all time quote "ur getting too old bata, all the good was will be gone by the time u want to get married"lol
Cook college in da house woohooo. Representin
A fellow cook colleg student.on October 12, 2004 6:51 PM
yea man @ faisal cook rocks,the cows, the dung, the farm, the enviromental organic junkie...thats the life, did i mention the horses that sleep infront of the student center, and u dont know they are there till you see those huge eyes peering at you from the woods...lolon October 12, 2004 8:02 PM
"when one zones out/daydreams while reading a long article..."
It was two pages. Maybe "Hop on Pop" would be more to some people's fancy...bunch of music majors...
Let it be known that I welcome all comments related to marriage, cows, br. Muhsin, cook campus, cooking, and just about darn near anything else on my comment board. Let this be your safe haven. You dont need to be afraid anymore.on October 12, 2004 9:17 PM
welcome all comments related to me? LOL!
well anyways, yes
it is about iman and obedience to parents,
and the example given about Zaid ibn Haritha and Zainab RA is not very complete. If you recall, Rasool SAW was the one that got them married in first place and the reason why this marriage did not work out was for the infinite wisdom to show that adopted sons are not the same as real sons. The reason why the marriage did not work out was not because they were from different cultures, they were raised in the same area and spoke the same language. Zainab felt she could not marry an ex-slave. that was the reason even though he was from a good tribe, but this example is inadequate and does not prove your point, if anything it proves that different socioeconomic or inter-racial marriages in USA cant work out because both Zaid and Zainab were from Makkah and lived there all there lives: one an ex-slave and very poor the other rich and from the powerful tribe of Qureish. And your extropolating this example to marrying people overseas is almost implying that they are inferior like Zainab deemed Zaid was somewhat inferior, and if this is the case, then yes it is an issue of arrogance and iman.
True a lot of marriages dont work out becasue their basis is different, such as green card wanting or etc, or money and that is why. Also, whether you like it or not, American girls dont have much patience and preserverance( and IN every damn culture of the world, women have to establish their household whether you like it or not, college dude). Also, there is nothing wrong with wanting to marry a guy from here but rejecting proposals based on that or giving your parents a hard time just because you feel you cant be happy marrying someone overseas, that is a sign of following desires and weakness of iman, baby!
Yes, I guess you can say I am one of the people rejected but that is not my point to write about this. Justojo was agreeing with me until this college dude came up and messed everything up with INADEQUATE example.
If your parents are religious and know to search a guy who is religious what is the harm in listening to your parents. And if the people in America, boys and girls are so wise then why do they have high divorce rates, I'd like to know.
It is true culture makes a lot of difference but what if you are open minded. You can marry someone from another city in USA and they might not be open minded.
By the way in Islam, the factors you look at is education and lineage and practicing religion not whether the person is from the same culture or not(and mind you, someone from your parent's culture can speak with you and stuff, for crying out loud you guys speak the same language)
And you dont necessarily have to have the same exact friends in order to get along. If expectations are different then that is something you find out.
in the old days, girls would get married at the direction of their parents, they were not like, well I dont know if I can relate to him and I dont know if I can get along, we are from different cultures, this and that, that was not an issue. If a person asked and had sound religious character, prays five times day etc and that is it. No questions asked. yes you can have opinions but what if you dont get what you want, what does iman say about that? think about it? is it better to wait until you are 30 to marry someone from USA or marry at 20 just to preserve your iman even if the person is not the charming handsome American guy you want to marry?
FYI: I am already married so if any sisters were wondering and at the moment I am not taking 2, 3, 4th wives. okay I have said enough.
I love you all.
In response to Justojo, no I am not saying what you wrote as me saying, yes you should consider the religious reputation of the muslim guy. And
to college dude, it is usually the girls that have a cow with marrying someone from overseas not American boys.
All I am saying is the disparity or inequality in terms of how some American girls can pick and choose and other girls such as from overseas even to this day do not pick and choose(or cannot do so because of societal and family pressure, a whole myriad of other reasons, etc, etc); is one necessarily more happier than the other, is one left out of the gold mine, or the treasure? is one going to jannah faster? is one doomed to hell? who knows. Maybe one of those sufi's protecting the four corner's of the earth can answer our question. O wise one, what IS the truth?
"Justojo was agreeing with me until this college dude came up and messed everything up with INADEQUATE example. "
You all do realize that I am not giving out prizes to the people whose comments I agree with right?
Anyway, my original comment to your post was "I agree with you that sometimes a lot of cultural issues and arrogance in general can hinder one from perfecting one's iman. Iman involves a complete submission of self in all its dimensions".
I still stand by my response. But it doesnt necessarily mean that there wasnt 'other' stuff that I didnt have questions about. You have to admit though that your comment does raise some interesting questions.
firstly im a girl :) a hijabi cookie lol maybe i shud change my name to cook college muslimah
2ndly zainab and zaid are perfect examples because they were not compatable for each other and it didnt work out...they were both pious ppl but u can see that its not just about piety its about compatablility aswell..and if ur gonna question hadrat zainab's iman, she was later the wife of the holy prophet....i dont think u have a right to question her iman....
and compatablity is about culture and socieconomic status etc...obvious a middle class muslim in pakland is not equally well of as a middle class muslim in the USA...
theres cultural barriars as well, language? and the expectations in a relationship differ too...for example a friend of mine married a pakistani girl from pakland and there were hugeeee problems with her view on certain crucial parts on marriage to the point of frustration for the poor guy.........i dont think we need to elabrate here but there are different views and a different environment in which u are raised there and here....which causes a lot of problems...i know if we all had perfect iman we wudnt have these problems but WE DONT....we need to except that and make rational descions concering a vvv important step in out life...
btw im not one of those girls whoese got the ish with my parents, Allahumdolliah my parents are of the educated breed that actually know me and know
wut i want....thank God...
I should have known you were a girl because of your stubborness even now, the Zaid and Zainab example does not imply here but since girls dont know how to accept that they can be wrong and I so buy it that you are a girl. First of all you being friends with a guy is very unislamic, how can you call a married guy your friend and he is talking about his wife with you, that is a little sad. and very unislamic, I guess people living here loose many of their values and your way of talking sugggests you think that being educated, you parents will do the right thing. knowing what you want is not necessarily good for you, but whatever. I still think college dudette needs to be more humble like Justajo.
anyways I am sick of coming here on this website and I do not intend to come here anymore.
a word of advice:
publicly singling someone out to bash them is very inappropriate. muhsin announced that he never intends on coming back, but i hope no one else uses the same tactic.on October 13, 2004 3:40 PM
lol...he just proved every judgemental american muslim girl right... i mean the way he reacted being a asin fobbio ...ur just as bad at us american girls because ur judging sum1 ur dont know...
and to imply all girls are stubborn is saying that ur sexist aswell, so i hate to say this to u but stop worrying bout the iman on american muslim girls and worry about urself...i think thats the way everyone shud act, and thanx for critizing my male friends ill work on it inshallah :)
Oooooooookkkkkkkkkk....I guess the Ramadan peace vibe is hitting people a bit late this year...
"needs to be more humble like Justajo"
THATS RIGHT! FINALLY some SENSE on this board! I am the humblest person of anyone I know! The elite of the humble humble-een! I am so humble that people call me the humble bee. I am so humble that I am not even going to tell you all the many many many humble things I have done in my humble life of humility. I have been sitting here humbly being humble with my humble writing waiting for someone to wake up and smell the humility. Some recognition at last!
Oh yeah, and please, no more violence. The humble-een do not like the violence.
on October 13, 2004 9:12 PM
Oh boy,no comment, but I sorta agree with Br. Muhsin. Are you gonna call me prejudice against women? Yes, ramadan is here and we should focus on saving ourselves from jahannum especially the females, since there will be more of them in jahannum and especially the arrogant ones, LOL!
As always Abdullaahon October 13, 2004 10:50 PM
Wasalam br. Abdullaah,
i didnt call him "prjudice against women" based on his views on marriage, but he clearly stated that i must be a girl because in his mind all girls are stubborn,basically he made a sterotypical and closed minded statement against all females, forgetting that the person who loves him most and brought him into this world, beneath whoese feet is heaven is a woman.
and i dont feel i said anything that showed arrogance :S....i dont get why this place is so against women :s
on October 14, 2004 5:47 PM
Cookie, I love you and all of womankind. Ramadan mubarak! :)on October 14, 2004 11:48 PM
awww thanx girl :) Ramadhan Mubarik to you too :)
and everyone else, May Allah bless us and may we be able to reach higher levels of spirtuality this year.
Without sounding cliche, please caution yourself before using the word 'kafir.' It might interest you to know that Rasulullah himself never once used that word to call somebody else.
But I dont want to take away the underlying benefit of your piece - it was really quite spectacular, mashaAllah.
May Allah swt reward you and bless us all. ameen.on August 3, 2008 9:35 AM
"It might interest you to know that Rasulullah himself never once used that word to call somebody else."
"Amir bin Malik bin Ja'far, the one who was known as 'Malaa'ib al-Asnah,' came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and he was a mushrik.
"The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) presented Islam to him, but he refused to accept Islam. He gave a gift to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam):
"'I don't accept the gift of a mushrik.'"
(Al-Bazzaar in his "Zawaa'id", Al-Bayhaqee in "Dalaa'il An-Nubuwwa," authentic according to Al-Albaanee).on August 23, 2008 9:16 AM