Ramadhaan is the time for intensive spiritual training. Allah mentions in the Quraan the wisdom behind this training. “O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)”[al-Baqarah 2:183] . Therefore the wisdom of fasting is that the fear of Allah can be created within a person. Allah teaches us in these acts of worship which He has made Fardh upon us, the purpose of it is so that our souls may be purified and the hearts be raised and a person may be elevated through his manners and conduct and to the highest level of character.
For example, Allah made giving Zakat an individual obligation. Why is that? so that a person can be purified of miserliness, greed and holding back. So that a person continues to give and spend until he becomes generous and that he thinks of his poor and needy Muslim brother. The same applies to fasting. In fasting, Allah teaches us Taqwa. It teaches a person to be aware of Allah and fear Allah regarding every small and large matter. Because of this, Ramadhaan can be considered a period of intensive training.
Many people out of the month of Ramadhaan say ‘ I am not able to perform Fajr Salaah in the Masjid’ and is lazy and weak in performing the Salaah. However, you will find this person having the determination and resolve so much so that you will find this person performing all his Salaah with Jama’ah which he had found to be difficult before Ramadhaan.If you ask those who are in the habit of smoking, 'why don’t you stop smoking?’, he will reply, i am unable to do so. Yet once the month of Ramadhaan arrives, you will find him not in this habit. So we regard Ramadhaan as something which reveals to man what they are capable of doing.
For example, a person claims he is unable to stop doing a certain act, the prohibition (during Ramadhaan) causes this person to have patience. Not being able to smoke for more than ten hours! By his own choice and not by force. He is not forced because he is able to hide and commit that act, but he knows that Allah see’s him. So he leaves off smoking for the sake of Allah. Thus, he is able to control himself and force himself to do good deeds and other ibadah which he regarded as difficult before Ramadhaan.You will find him lowering his gaze during Ramadhaan, you will find him holding his tongue from swearing and insulting during Ramadhaan, you will find him, Subhan’Allah leaving a lot of that which is Haraam. If you ask him why, he will say ;because it is the month of Ramadhaan’. Therefore, what do we say that Ramadhaan teaches a person? It teaches a person good deeds and ibadah. It develops within a person strength, resolve, determination and resolve.
That is why it is necessary for us to take advantage of this period, a learning period for us to train ourselves in doing ibadah and increasing in good deeds. A learning period where a person can train himself to doing good deeds and carry with him this habit after Ramadhaan. The month of Ramadhaan makes a Muslim accustomed to deeds which he was not in the habit of doing before, so when Ramadhaan comes you will find this person performing Qiyamul layl, setting a time for reciting the Quraan and staying away from prohibited actions. You will find his complete state has changed! His character and behaviour has changed, what is the reason?! Therefore, this is the time for you to persevere in doing these good deeds and staying away from Haraam because you have gained from this period of intensive training which you have become accustomed to during this month of Ramadhaan.
- (Transcribed from 'Ramadhaan lessons' by Sh Mufti Husaynan Rahimahullah)
Indeed we are in dire need of Tawbah. If we were to ponder the life of our Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), we would find that this subject, that of Tawbah, was a part of his daily life. A part of is daily life. Thus, it has been narrated in the Saheeh that our Messenger said: "0 People! Repent to Allah and seek his forgiveness! For indeed I repent to Allah in one day a hundred times," and in another narration, "seventy times." Not ten, not twenty, not thirty... rather a hundred times, may peace and blessings be upon him.
If you were to say to someone now, "Have you repented to Allah today?" He would give you a strange and look with objection, and say, "Are you accusing me of some evil? Have you seen me commit adultery? Have you seen me eating usury? Have you seen me leaving prayers? This poor person has no idea that his Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), in one day, would repent to Allah how may times? A hundred times, may peace and blessings be upon him, his family and companions.
What's even more amazing is that in one sitting, like this of ours, one sitting, the Messenger would repent in one sitting more than a hundred times. In one sitting, take note, not the whole day. In a hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi, in the hadith of Ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhu), he said, "We would," look at the companions, how they paid detailed importance, even to the lips of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). "We would count Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) in one sitting a hundred times: '0 my Lord, forgive me, and accept my repentance, for indeed you are are the Oft-Accepter of repentance, the Most Merciful'."
Everyone can ask themselves, "How many times have I implemented this hadeeth in my life?" That I am sitting in a gathering, and I seek Allah's forgiveness a hundred times. Subhanallah! For this reason, Ali (radi Allahu anhu) said, "Allah does not inspire a person to seek forgiveness, and at the same time punish him." He is saying that Allah Most High will not punish this person, if he is always seeking forgiveness from Allah. This is based on Allah's saying,
"...and Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness."
So here Allah Most His is addressing the Believers. He is not addressing the disbelievers.
And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, 0 believers, that you might succeed.
So repentance is a means of success, and a means of salvation.
From the means of success is repentance to Allah. What is indeed strange is that some people are fooled by Satan. When he sins, for example, and you ask him why he does not seek Allah's forgiveness, he says, "I did it yesterday, and I may do it again. I don't know, Allah knows best. It's not right that I sin, then repent, then sin then repent, etc."
A man came to Hasan Al-Basri and said to him, "Is any one of us not ashamed of his Lord, sinning, then repenting, then sinning then repenting? What did Imam Hasan Al-Basri say? He said something very profound. Words of gold. He said, "Satan seeks to defeat you with this mindset."
This is the dream of Satan This is Satan's goal, that he succeeds in making you despair of the mercy of Allah Most High. This is what some people say. They say to you, "It's over, there's no hope. Forget it... just keep on sinning."
No! This is not correct. Rather, when you seek Allah's forgiveness for a sin and seek repentance, Satan is overcome. You demolish and destroy him.
Shaytan doesn't want you to repent to Allah Most High. Fine, for now, repent to Allah and seek forgiveness. He says, "Maybe I will do it again after a month or so, I don't know." Fine, but for now repent to Allah. You may die in these coming days, and you will have died after having repented. You will have died after having repented.
For this reason, it has been related in some hadeeth, in a hadeeth related by Abu Dawud and Al- Tirmidhi, and Hakim who said it is authentic according to the conditions set by Muslim. The hadeeth is Hasan according to some scholars, related by Abdullah bin Masood , mentioned by Imam An-Nawawi in Riyadh-us-Saliheen, and this is a nice saying, that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, "Whoever says, 'I seek the forgiveness of Allah, besides whom there is no deity, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer, and I repent to Him,' his sins will be forgiven, even it be fleeing from a battle." You know that fleeing from a battle is from the greater sins.
So seek much forgiveness and repent much, and as some our our righteous predecessors have said, "Wake up repenting to Allah, and go to sleep repenting to Allah." This is necessary, as a person may be deprived of worship and good works due to his sins. Thus it is necessary that this issue of repentance becomes a part of our lives.
We should not believe that repentance is something only for open sinners and criminals. No. All Muslims are in need of repentance. From the time you wake until you go to sleep, you need to train your tongue, as Luqman the Wise said to his son, "0 my son! Make your tongue in a habit of saying, '0 Allah, forgive me!' Make your tongue in a habit of saying, '0 Allah, forgive me!' For indeed Allah has fixed times in which He does not turn down one who asks of Him."
Imam Hasan Al Basri left us some advice, some golden advice. "Seek forgiveness much, in your homes, and at your table spreads," In other words your dinner tables. "...and in your marketplaces, and on your way,"
Even on the way and in the market, at work, and... Seek much forgiveness. "...for you don't know when the forgiveness of Allah descends." Make your tongue in the habit of seeking forgiveness. And look at yourselves as if you are in need of seeking repentance, that you are sinful, that you are deficient. Don't think that you are perfect. "Alhamdulillah, I'm better than others!" "Alhamdulillah I pray, I read the Quran, I pray at night, I fast, I do this and that, and I give charity!" No! Rather, we are in dire need, every day, of repenting to Allah Most High and seeking forgiveness of Allah Almighty.
This is what I had to say, and I seek forgiveness for me and you. And our final prayer is that all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.
- Sh Mufti al -Husaynan (Rahimahullah)
My dear brothers, we will discuss a disease. This is a disease that afflicts both righteous and reformers, both men and women, the educated and uneducated, and the young and the old. This disease accompanies people wherever they go, maybe even into the houses of Allah Most High. It may be with them while they are offering an obligatory act of worship such as Hajj, a pillar of this religion. You may find them afflicted with this disease while they are fasting Ramadan, another pillar of Islam. We find this disease is a plague which has afflicted most Muslims, except those upon whom Allah has had mercy. What is this disease?
Indeed it is the disease of backbiting. What is backbiting? Backbiting, as related by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh, that the Messenger (Sallalahu alayhi wasallam) said to his companions, "Do you know what backbiting is?" They replied, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He explained to them, "Backbiting is that you mention about your brother something which he would not like." It is to mention something about your Muslim brother which he would not like to hear. They said, "0 Messenger of Allah, if what we say about him is true?" It is present. What you say about him is true, for example. He said, if this trait actually exists, of course. He (Sallalahu alayhi wasallam) said, "You have backbitten him. And if it is not true then you have slandered him." This is the hadeeth narrated by Muslim.
Many people take the matter of backbiting very lightly, thinking it to be a simple matter. We will pray Dhuhr or Asr and the matter is finished. We make wudoo and its over. No my dear brothers. Are you aware that backbiting is from the greater sins? It's not from the lesser sins. The greater sins, as the scholars have stated, are not forgiven through prayer and fasting according to many scholars. One must repent to Allah Most High from it.
A person must turn to Allah and seek his forgiveness; he must regret what he has done and resolve never to repeat it. To mention about your brother something which he would not like to hear. We shall give some practical examples, because some people take this matter lightly, he says, "Brother this is not backbiting." For example, you mention your brother Muslim, and say, "So-and-so is stingy." This is backbiting, due to this principle given to us by Allah's Messenger (Sallalahu alayhi wasallam): to say about your brother something he would not like to hear. So anything you say, which when it is heard by your Muslim brother and he is bothered, pained and hurt by it, you can regard it as backbiting. So you say: so-and-so is - we mentioned stingy - so-and-so is a coward. This is backbiting. So- and-so sleeps too much - backbiting. So-and-so can't take a joke - backbiting. So-and-so eats a lot - backbiting. So-and-so is heavy blooded - backbiting. So-and-so did not teach his children how to behave - backbiting. So-and-so did not teach his wife good behavior - backbiting. Someone says to you, "Forget about him." Look at this derogatory manner. So-and-so doesn't know what he's talking about. This is backbiting because he is saying it in a derogatory manner.
Some scholars mentioned something peculiar. They said that some people backbite in the form of supplication! You ask someone, "How is so-and-so?" They reply, "Him? We ask Allah safety and well-being!" Some scholars have said that this is backbiting. They said this is backbiting, why? Because people have understood that there is a question mark about him.
Some people even say, "How is so-and-so?" They say, "By Allah brother leave his matter. We don't want to backbite." The scholars have said this is backbiting. We don't want to backbite, meaning that we don't want to backbite this person. This is backbiting. Or, "We ask Allah safety and well-being." Someone is mentioned and another says, "We ask Allah safety and well-being." They said this is backbiting.
Leave it brother! Did the Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wasallam) not say, "Leave what causes doubt and stick to that which does not?" This is what he said. I have even read from some scholars who have said that if you say so-and-so is miskeen (helpless), it is backbiting, because he does not want other to say this about him. So-and-so is a dervish. So-and-so is simple.
We must be careful from all these words my dear brothers so that we don't backbite. Thus, when the Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wasallam) was taken to the heavens in the Miraj, he saw some people... some people ask what the punishment of backbiting is. We say that backbiting is from the greater sins. He said. "The Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wasallam) saw people with fingernails of lead..." imagine... "scraping their faces and chests." The Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wasallam) asked Jibreel who they are, and what their crime was, and what they did, to which he replied: "These people ate the flesh of others and desecrated their honor." This is the punishment of those who backbite: they will have fingernails of lead with which they will scrape their faces and chests. There is no might nor punishment except by Allah!"Do any of you wish,"
Look at this example, this abhorring example. Allah Almighty likened the backbiter,
"Do any of you wish to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would detest it?"Imagine, your brother is dead and you are eating his flesh! How abhorring! Also it is as if this backbiter - we ask Allah safety and well-being, is eating the flesh of his dead brother.
Be very careful about those gatherings where people are backbiting. Some people may not have that strong of a personality to speak about against backbiting, and this is a problem we face. Another problem is that we hear people backbiting, yet we appease those present in the gathering. We don't want those present to become upset at us, so you find them keeping silent... once, twice or thrice, until they find nothing wrong with it any longer, until this disease takes root in his system, until its over... it becomes something normal; he hears people backbiting and has no problem with it.
Thus my dear brothers, be very careful from gatherings in which people are backbiting. Do you know of a gathering in which there is always backbiting? Those of women. I warn women from this because this trait, we ask Allah safety and well¬being, may be more common amongst women than men. So-and-so was divorced, so-and-so did this or that, so-and-so is like this or that. Women always mention the news of others in their gatherings, and thus they are more prone to backbiting than others.
Thus we severely warn against this dangerous and deadly disease which eat away a person's good deeds. On the Day of Judgement, the person you backbit will come and take from your good deeds if you don't repent to Allah. For this reason, Imam Ibn-ul¬Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, mentioned a wondrous point of benefit. He said, you find some people, this is a paraphrase of what he said in his book The Disease and the Cure; he said: you will find a religious person who is an ascetic and a fervent worshipper, avoiding much of the forbidden vile sins, from fornication, from theft and from unlawful wealth, but he does not take caution froth backbiting.
He cannot control his tongue, so you find him, and refuge is sought from Allah, rambling, desecrating people's honor, both living and dead. You my find this amongst righteous worshippers, as I mentioned, who leave other greater sins, but when it comes to backbiting, which is from the greater sins, he cannot leave it. It has taken root in his system and become part of his personality. He has to mention people in every gathering.
This is a disease... that one becomes accustomed to mentioning people's faults and seeking out their mistakes. This is a disease. A person must resist himself.
It takes resistance for a person to control his tongue so that he doesn't talk about others, except, between parenthesis in the conclusion of this lesson, if there is some interest served or some need.We do not wish to widen this issue more than needed. Sometimes there is some need or some interest served. Yes. For example, I am warning others about an evil person. Yes. Like a person who is asked about another in regards to marriage. What do you think about so-and-so? Yes, so- and-so... he seeks to marry your sister or your daughter for example. You say, we know this and that about this person. Yes, this is due to some need or interest. As for other reasons, then it is impermissible to mention people's faults.
- Sh Mufti al- Husaynan (Rahimahullah)
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