Time to Reflect
“I asked Umm al-Darda (radhiallahu anha): “What action did Abu al-Darda do most?” She said: “Al-Tafakkur (reflection upon the signs of Allaah)”. [Hilyat Al-Awliya, 1/208].
In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, contemplation and reflection is one important tool of purification (and an act of worship in itself) that is often neglected. Indeed, it seems as though Satan and his troops have a major plan for the humans of the Twenty-First Century: Keep them so busy and preoccupied that they have no time to reflect upon what they are truely here for, what they should be doing and what their priorities should be.
Nowadays, in a world in which technology is supposed to make things easier for people, people are flooded with information, most of it useless,trivial or simply time-consuming. Furthermore, in order to keep up with the pace of life, many have to work overtime or take on two or three jobs as everything is looked upon as a necessity of life: everyone has to have a cell phone, a newspaper delivered, internet access, cable TV, at least two cars and so forth.
All of these cost money and, for the majority of people, they cannot be obtained save through sweating more and more hours at work. Then when the person finally has some free time, he only has the mental and physical energy to seek entertainment, relaxation and fun. And the modern world is ready to fill that desire and need in so many various ways that once again the person feels exhaused and has no mental energy left to simply comtemplate and think.
Shaykh Sayyid al-‘Affani’ quotes the below statements of our salafs in نداء القمم في كيف تعلو الهمم
Ka’b al-Ahbar (rahimahullah): ‘Whoever wishes to attain the honour of the Hereafter, let him increase in contemplation/reflection for he will then become knowledgeable.’
Al-Hasan said to Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah (rahimahullah): ‘Tafakkur (reflection) is the key to Mercy. Don’t you see how a person contemplates and consequently repents?!’
Al-Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullah): ‘Contemplation is a mirror that shows you your good and bad deeds.’
We present before you few points and beneficial reminders to ponder and reflect upon, hoping that it benefits you, Insha’Allaah.
The best of both the worlds
‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood radiallaahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would supplicate: “O Allaah! I ask You for guidance, piety, safety and well-being, and contentment and sufficiency.” (Allaahumma innee as’alukal-hudaa wat-tuqaa wal-‘afaafa wal-ghinaa). [Related by Muslim (no.2721)]
Imaam as-Sa’dee (d.1376H) – rahimahullaah – said:
This du’aa (supplication) is from the most comprehensive and beneficial du’aas (supplications), since it includes asking Allaah for well-being with regards to both the Religion and the world.
Thus, al-hudaa (the guidance) is beneficial knowledge, and at-tuqaa (i.e. taqwaa or piety) is righteous actions and leaving-off what Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden; and this is (asking) for correctness and well-being of a person’s Religion.
For indeed, the Religion comprises of beneficial knowledge and recognising the truth – which is guidance – and standing firm upon obedience to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – and this is piety.
And al-‘afaafa (well-being and safety) and al-ghinaa (contentment and sufficiency) comprises of being safe from (the harms of) the creation and that the heart is not attached to them. And it also comprises of being contented with Allaah and what He provides, and seeking whatever will cause the heart to be satisfied with Him. So with this, happiness in this worldly life is completed, and the heart tastes true sweetness and delight – and this is a goodly life.
So whosoever is granted the provisions of guidance, Piety. well-being and contentment has indeed achieved true happiness, and has acquired all that could be possibly sought after, as well as being saved from all that is dreadful and frightening.” [Bahjatul-Quloobul-Abraar (p.198).]
Knowledge and Humility
From the morals and manners of the Salaf and people of knowledge was that they had humility, how they had eagerness to convey knowledge to their students, those who hastened towards them from the different parts of the earth to drink from their pure streams.
Al-Hasan said, “It used to be the case that a man would seek knowledge and would not remain for long before its effect would be seen in his humility, in his manners, upon his tongue and in his sight and in his hand.” [Al-Jaami’ li-Akhlaaqir-Raawee wa Aadaabaais Saami’, (1/184~185) and Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm,(1/127).]
Imaam adh-Dhahabee (d.748H) – rahimahullaah – said:
“Whosoever seeks knowledge for actions, then his knowledge makes him humble and fearful, and causes him to weep at (the deficiencies in) himself. But whosoever seeks knowledge for the sake of merely teaching, giving verdicts, in order to brag, or to show-off; becomes foolish, arrogant and looks down in contempt at the people, and is destroyed by pride, and the people hate him. “Truly he succeeds who purifies his soul, and he fails who corrupts it.” [Soorah ash-Shams 99:4-5]. Meaning that it is corrupted with sin and disobedience.” [Siyar A’laamun-Nubulaa (18/192).]
It is reported that Abu Al-Darda – Allaah be pleased with him – said:
“You will never be pious (a person of taqwa) until you become knowledgeable, and you will never be beautiful with your knowledge until you act [by it].” [Ibn Abd Al-Barr, Jami’ Bayan Al-‘Ilm wa Fadlihi article 1239.]
Remembering the Guidance [Weeping on hearing Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)’s name]
From the morals and manners of the Salaf was that they possessed tender hearts and would weep much because of their deficiency in their duties towards Allaah the Most High, so that He may have mercy upon them. Their faces used to turn pale when the name of Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was mentioned and they used to weep.
Al-Qaadee ‘Iyaadh (d.591H) – rahimahullaah – relates: “Mu’sab ibn ‘Abdullaah said:
When Imaam Maalik (d.179H) would mention the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his colour would change and he would have to lean down, and those in his gathering would feel disturbed. So one day, on being asked about this, he said: If you had seen what I have seen, you would not have rejected what you had seen.
I have seen Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir (d.130H) – and he was the leader of the Reciters – that he would never be asked about ahadeeth (Prophetic narration), except that he would weep, until we had mercy upon him.
And I have seen Ja’far ibn Muhammad (d.148H) who used to smile alot. Yet whenever the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would turn pale.
I have never seen him narrating the hadeeth of the Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, except in a state of purification. And when times deteriorated, I never saw him except in one of three conditions: Either Praying, observing silence, or reciting the Qur’aan. He never uttered a word having no significance, and he was one of the Scholars and worshippers who had great fear of Allaah.
Whenever ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn al-Qaasim (d.126H) mentioned the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he turned pale, as if the blood had been drained from his face, and his tongue dried-up due to reverence for Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
I went to ‘Aamir ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn az-Zubayr (d.123H), and whenever the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would weep so much, until he was unable to weep any longer.
I saw az-Zuhree (d.124H) – and he was from the kindest of people, and closest to them – that when the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would not be able to recognise you, nor would you be able to recognise him.
I came to Safwaan ibn Sulaym (d.132H) – and he was one of the mujtahidScholars and worshippers – that whenever he mentioned the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam he would weep, and he would not stop weeping, to the extent that the people would have to get up and leave him.” [Related by Ibn Taymiyyah in Kitaabul-Waseelah (p.92).]
And it is from the likes of such humble and weeping souls that we have inherited the knowledge of our Religion!