Sister’s Halaqa ~ Session ~ March 14, 2009
Always Remember: And whatever the Messenger (pbuh) gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, leave it. And fear Allah: truly Allah is severe in punishment. “[59:7]
Good Muslims = Good life:
- The world can only be a better place with better people in it.
- Change begins with the self.
- Each of us has to be committed to improve ourselves.
- If we learn to care for our minds, our hearts, our soul and build our characters then that makes us become better people.
- We have to want to improve our lives and better our potential.
- We have to want to leave a positive impact on the world around us as better people.
- All worldly things reach an end: beauty fades, wealth diminishes, friends and fame come and go.
- Only sincere acts last forever and benefit us in the afterlife.
- Whether in public or private, we must make ourselves better.
Characteristics of a good Muslim:
- Strong faith - "Modesty and faith are twins. One who gives up one has to lose the other too." (Bukhari)
- Hayyah - Muhammad (pbuh), said, “Nothing is heavier in the scales of a believer on the Day of Judgment than his good behavior. Allah detests a person who is obscene and shameless”. (Tirmidhi)
- Humbleness - “Charity does not decrease wealth, Allah enhances the honour of one who forgives, and one who humbles himself for the sake of Allah, Allah exalts him in rank”. (Muslim)
- Kind & Forgiving - “Any one who has no mercy for others will receive no mercy from Allah”. (Bukhari and Muslim)
- Sincerety in actions – Our Prophet (pbuh) said: "Love for your brother what you love for yourself."
- Give charity always - I asked the Prophet (for some money) and he gave me, and then again I asked him and he gave me, and then again I asked him and he gave me and he then said, "This wealth is (like) green and sweet (fruit), and whoever takes it without greed, Allah will bless it for him, but whoever takes it with greed, Allah will not bless it for him, and he will be like the one who eats but is never satisfied. And the upper (giving) hand is better than the lower (taking) hand."
- Truthful and trustworthy – like our Prophet (pbuh) He was known as Amin - "Surely there is for you the best example in the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), for whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah often (much)."
- Has Manners and is Polite
o “When one of you yawns, he should cover his mouth with his hand, otherwise Satan would enter”. (Muslim)
o When the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), sneezed, he covered his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth to reduce the sound. (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)
o Give Salam - "I swear to Allah in Whose hand my life is, that you cannot attain heaven and eternal happiness unless you have faith, and you cannot have faith unless you love each other. Should I not guide you towards some task, as a result of which, love and friendship will be created among you?" They answered: "Yes, O Prophet of Allah" He added: "So, salute each other (with peace) openly and clearly."
- Speak Kindly - "A person who believes in Allah and the Hereafter should speak about good things or else should keep quiet." (Bukhari)
- Don’t be a hypocrite - "There are four habits, in whosoever they are found, he will be a complete hypocrite. If any one of these habits is found in a man, he will have one habit of disruption till he gives it up, when something is given to him in trust he commits dishonesty, when he talks he tells lies, when he makes a contract he deceives, and when he quarrels he starts abusing.”
What can you do?
- Practice makes perfect. So keep trying to do good things.
- When you do something bad, scold yourself and promise not to do it again.
- Before you do anything ask yourself, “Will Allah approve?”
- Avoid things that might make you weak in your intentions.
- Guard against shameful acts.
- Recite Quran and do dhikr - The Prophet (pbuh) said, "The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur'an and teach it."
- Eat halal – Our Prophet (pbuh) said, 'Whoever does a good deed in order to show off, Allah will expose his intentions on the Day of Resurrection (before the people), and whoever puts the people into difficulties, Allah will put him into difficulties on the Day of Resurrection.'" The people said (to Jundab), "Advise us." He said, "The first thing of the human body to purify is the abdomen, so he who can eat nothing but good food (Halal and earned lawfully) should do so, and he who does as much as he can that nothing intervene between him and Paradise by not shedding even a handful of blood, (i.e. murdering) should do so."
And he who will appear before Allah as a faithful, who has performed good deeds--for all such people there are high positions, ever green paradise, beneath which canals will be flowing; they will live in them forever; who adopts purity. (Sura Taha, v 74-76)
How do the pillars of Islam fit into all of this:
o Whoever recites sincerely that there is no god but Allah enters paradise, and his sincerity should forbid him what Allah has forbidden.
o This truthful belief restrains man from doing forbidden acts; he neither wrongs nor deceives anyone, nor does he steal or drink alcohol; he is neither undutiful towards his parents nor does harm others.
o Prayer prohibits obscenity and evil (thoughts and deeds)
o Allah accepts the prayers of the person who adopts the policy of humility with it on account of Allah’s greatness, obliges Allah’s creatures, does not insist on sinning against Allah, spends his day in remembering Allah, and is kind to the poor, travelers, weak and the suffering people.
o To smile in the company of your brother is charity. To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is charity. To guide a person in a place where he can go astray is charity. To remove troublesome things like thorns and bones from the road is charity. To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is charity. To guide a person with defective vision is charity for you. (Bukhari)
o It is narrated by Imam Ahmed: "One person asked the Prophet: 'O Messenger of Allah ! a certain woman is very famous for her prayers, fasting and many charities, but she talks rudely with her neighbors. Tell me, what will be her fate ?' He replied that she would go to Hell. Then that person asked: "O Messenger of Allah! Another woman does not do much by way of prayers and fasting ; gives pieces of cheese in charity and does not harm her neighbors. He replied: 'She is of the Paradise.' "
o Fasting is not the name of merely keeping away from eating and drinking, but it is keeping away from wicked and obscene things. If in the state of fasting, someone abuses you or picks up a quarrel with you, say: "I am fasting."
o Fasting has been made compulsory for you, as it was made compulsory for those (followers of earlier prophets) who preceded you, so that you may become righteous. (Baqarah, v 183)
o The months of Hajj are well-known. In these months whoever intends to perform Hajj should not indulge in sexual act, wicked act, and Fighting during the Hajj. Whatever righteous act you will perform will be known to Allah. Take with you provision for the journey (for Hajj), and the best provision is righteousness. So fear me, 0 men of understanding !" (Sura Baqarah, v197)
So, what do we do when something bad happens to us even after we try our best to better ourselves?
Quran 2:216 – It is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows and you know not.
- It’s always difficult to look beyond the surface and what’s happening to oneself.
- Even the loss of a child can give us Mercy from Allah.
- Tirmidhi – Our Prophet (pbuh) said, “If the child of a servant of Allah dies, Allah says to His anges, “Have you taken the child of My servant?” The angels reply, “Yes”. Allah says to them, “Have you taken the fruit of his heart?”, The angels reply “Ye.”. Then Allah says to them “Wat did My servant say?” The angels reply, “He praised Allah and said, To Allah do we return.” Allah tells them, “Build a home for My servant in Paradise and call it Baytul Hamd (the House of Praise). “
- Bukhari – “Whenever a muslim is afflicted with hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm or depression, even a thorn’s prick, Allah expiates his sins becaue of it.”
- Stories of Musa (aws) and Ibn Khidr
Duas from Quran and Hadith
And (remember) Dhun-Nun (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him, then he called out in the darkness: 'There is no God but You. Glory be to You! I was indeed wrong.' So, We responded to his call, and rescued him from distress, thus do We rescue the believers." (21:87, 88) (Sura Anbiya)
La ilaha illa anta inni kuntu-minaz zwalimeen
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 492: Narrated Aisha: Allah's Apostle used to say very often in bowing and prostration (during his prayers), Subhanaka Allahumma Rabbana wa bihamdika; Allahumma-ighfirli," according to the order of the Qur'an. (I testify the Uniqueness of our Lord, and all the praises are for Him: O Allah, forgive me!")
Volume 8, Book 75, Number 338: Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said to the Prophet, "Teach me an invocation with which I may invoke (Allah) in my prayer." The Prophet said, "Say: Allahumma inni zalamtu nafsi zulman kathiran wala yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa anta, Faghfirli maghfiratan min indika war-hamni, innaka antalGhafur-Rahim."
How duas help our health: Whenever Allah's Apostle became sick, he would recite Mu'awwidhat (Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas) and then blow his breath over his body. When he became seriously ill, I used to recite (these two Suras) and rub his hands over his body hoping for its blessings. (Bukhari)