Thursday, 5 November 2009

So why do we not cry today?

So why do we not cry today?

 Hadith - Qudsi 22

Let not any one of you belittle himself. They said: O Messenger of Allah, how can any one of us belittle himself? He said: He finds a matter concerning Allah about which he should say something, and he does not say [it], so Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says to him on the Day of Resurrection: What prevented you from saying something about such-and-such and such-and-such? He say: [It was] out of fear of people. Then He says: Rather it is I whom you should more properly fear.

The Signs of Fear:

Know! Dear Muslim brothers and sisters. We can find out whether we fear Allah or are oblivious of him through some simple tests. Here are some of them:

   1. The tongue informs us: if we talk evil, backbite and engage in frivolous gossip, it shows that there is very little concern. We should engage our tongues in the remembrance of Allah, in the recitation of the Quran and in circles of knowledge.
   2. In the heart we should expel hatred, enmity and jealousy and replace them with well-wishing and care for Muslims
   3. We should be careful of what we put in our stomachs.
   4. Our eyes should not wander off to look at haram objects.
   5. Our feet should not walk towards haram places.
   6. We should not extend our hands for haram purposes.
   7. We should be concerned in our good deeds that we don't perform them for anyone else except Allah.

At this point, you are not alone in the room where you are reading this. Even at times when you think you are alone you have never really been alone. Allah's appointed angels are constantly monitoring and inscribing everything that you do. The moment you say a word they write it down. Your every step, every thought, everything that you do, including obligations which have been postponed, are all recorded without omission.
These angels do not discriminate between minor or major actions. Even when you are asleep they are constantly with you. They fulfil their obligations without error. They are never forgetful or erroneous, they carry out their task faultlessly. By the same token, your appointed angels of death are also waiting. What are they waiting for? For your predestined time to be fulfilled. When your appointed time of death reaches you, it is they who will take delivery of your soul.

As well as these, there are other witnesses which we have not yet mentioned, the ones you do not think about, these are your secret witnesses; your hands and skin. On the Day of Judgment, all these witnesses will congregate, and with Allah's permission they will speak and give their testimony about you. If you happen to be one of those who did not fear Allah, or if you were not a cautious person they will, testify against you.

Humanity has been created to worship Allah and is constantly being tested. A person's temporal existence on average is about sixty years, it is not much time before one is eventually brought before Allah to give account for every second of one's life. When everyone learns of what they have earned on Earth through the evidence provided by these witnesses, Allah will then decide on the kind of eternal life appropriate for them. If a person possesses good deeds he will be given his Book in his right hand and that person will be eternally saved. However, if he is among those whose Books are given in their left hands, he will then say:

… If only I had not been given my Book and had not known about my Reckoning! If only death had really been the end! My wealth has been of no use to me. My power has vanished. (Surat al-Haqqa: 25-29)

From here on he will be apprehended, dragged facedown and taken to Hell, never to be released.

The reason behind this terrible end, is that people never imagined that their every action would be recorded and would one day be revealed and accounted for, hence they passed their lives carelessly without fearing Allah or His warnings. A person such as this who does not possess a definite form of belief in the Hereafter, in the Day of Judgment or in a terrorizing place of punishment for wrong actions and careless behavior, like Hell, will not mind ignoring Allah's boundaries.

This is why fear of Allah is a very strong indicator of faith in Allah and an important indicator of what to expect in the eternal Hereafter. The only way to safety is founded upon fearful awareness of Allah and scrupulous caution.

The Day of Judgment is a fearsome reality to be reflected upon with awe so that it becomes impossible to remain unaffected by it. However, this fear is only applicable to people of faith and is a particular type of fear because Allah has described what will happen on the Day of Judgment in numerous Qur'anic verses; the scribes, witnesses and the enormous congregation of people. This is an absolute certainty, which is unconditionally accepted by true believers who are fearful of facing such a terrifying ordeal.

Everything you do is immediately recorded, even as you are reading this book. You are fast approaching the day when you will be called by Allah to account for your actions. So we hope to be amongst those who have earned Allah's pleasure through fearful awareness of Him:

... Take provision; but the best provision is taqwa of Allah. So have taqwa of Me, people of intelligence! (Surat al-Baqara: 197)

(Taqwa means consciousness, awe or fear of Allah, which inspires a person to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions which please Him.
The concept of taqwaa is always linked to ibaadah in the Qu'raan. 'Ibaadah can be defined as: to do what Allah has commanded and to avoid what He has prohibited. 'Ibaadah has also been defined as a concept that includes all actions that Allah loves and approves of, whether they are actions of the heart, the tongue or the limbs. So taqwaa is linked with doing what is correct and avoiding that which is wrong. Taqwaa is the fruit of doing the actions of 'Ibaadah. In other words, if one does what Allah has commanded him to do, and abstains from that which he has been forbidden, he will achieve taqwaa. Allah mentions in His Book ( that means ):

" O you who believe ! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become muttaqoon ( those who have taqwaa or piety )." [ Al-Baqarah 2:183 ].

In this aayah and in many others, Allah has shown us that taqwaa is the result or fruit of doing actions of ibaadah.  

Taqwaa means: to cleanse or purify the heart and the soul. This fact is proven by some ayaat in Suorat ush-Shams in which Allah (SWT) says (what means)

" By the sun and its brightness, by the moon as it follows it, by the day as it shows its brightness, by the night as it conceals it, by the heaven and its wondrous make, by the earth and all its expanse, and by the soul and He Who perfected it in proportion, then He showed it what is wrong for it and what is right for it - indeed he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails who corrupts it." [ Ash-Shams 91:1-10 ].

Allah begins this soorah by taking seven oaths. Whenever Allah begins a soorah or an ayaah with an oath, He (SWT) does so to bear witness to the fact that whatever follows this oath is very important and essential for us to understand. Therefore, we should pay very close attention to what is being said, and reflect upon its meanings. To cleans one's heart and to purify the soul, one must perform righteous actions that Allah has enjoined upon us, and our destruction lies in doing the actions that Allah has forbidden. As Allah is the Guardian and Protector of the Soul, we should do every good deed hoping for Allah's Mercy and fearing His Punishment, having full reliance and trust in Him .

The Fruits of Fear:

Ghazali (rahmatullahi `alayhi) sais: ‘Fear rips away desires and muddens luxuries so that cherished sins become reprehensible, just as a honey lover is repelled by it when he learns that it has poison in it. This is how fear burns desires; disciplines the organs; subordinates the heart and gives it tranquility. It also enables the heart to rid itself of pride, hatred, and envy; and it leaves it absorbed in it (fear). Hence, the heart becomes preoccupied with its own worries and looks towards its best interest in the long run. It is then engaged in only matters like meditation, self-analysis and struggle. It cherishes its time and moments.’ [Ihya: 4/160]

Weeping of the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam

The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said to `Abdullah ibn Mas`ood, "Read to me the Qur'an." He said, "O Messenger of Allah! Should I recite to you and it was revealed to you?" He said, "Yes, for I like to hear it from others." "I recited Soorat an-Nisaaa' until I reached the ayah,

    "How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?" [An-Nisaa' (4):41]

He then said, 'Stop now.' I found that his eyes were tearful." [Fath al-Bari 8:712]

Abdullah ibn ash-Shikhkheer, radhiallahu `anhu, said: "I saw the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, praying with us, and I heard the sound of his weeping coming out of his chest, which was like the sound of a boiling pot." [Abu Dawood, An-Nasaa'i, and At-Tirmidhi in ash-Shama'il, authenticated by Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim]
The righteous have cried, the worshippers have cried and the believers have cried. And in this time there are people by whom a complete year passes and they do not drop a single tear from the fear of Allah.

O Allah we seek refuge with you from hard hearts. O Allah soften our hearts to Your remembrance!

    "Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." [Ar-Ra'd (13):28]

    "The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'an) are recited unto them, they increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone)." [Al-Anfaal (8):2]

Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that “Allah’s Messenger (sallallâhu  ‘alayhi wasallam)  was asked, “Who are the most honorable of the people?” The Prophet (sallallâhu  ‘alayhi wasallam)  said, “The most honorable of them in Allah’s Sight are those who keep their duty to Allah and fear Him…”  (Bukhari 6/211)

Verily, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the Only One Who deserves our fear.  We should fear Him Alone as He knows the secrets of our hearts and is well acquainted with all that we do (5:7-8). Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.  And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves...” (3:102-103)

“It is only the Evil One that suggests to you the fear of his votaries: be not afraid of them but fear Me if you have faith.”  (3:175)

So why do we not cry today? We do not cry from the strength of the hardness of our hearts and our hearts' attachment to this world. So our hearts have hardened and our eyes have dried.

We are distant from our Lord. Had we been close our hearts would not have hardened. So he, who spends a whole week without his eye dropping a tear, let him sit and supplicate and humble himself. Maybe his heart would soften and his eye would drop a tear. And if his heart doesn’t drop a tear, then let him open the Book of Allah and read its ayat with contemplation, humility and submissiveness. So if his eye cries, his heart fears and his soul humbles he has succeeded; and if he continues in the state of the hardened heart, let him sit in a dark room and weep over his state, for his heart has died.

Abu Said (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallâhu  ‘alayhi wasallam)  mentioned a man from the previous generation or from the people proceeding your age whom Allah had given both wealth and children. The Prophet (sallallâhu  ‘alayhi wasallam)  said, “When the time of his death approached, he asked his children, 'What type of father have I been to you?' They replied: 'You have been a good father.' He said, 'But he (i.e. your father) has not stored any good deeds with Allah (for the Hereafter): if he should face Allah, Allah will punish him. So listen, (O my children), when I die, burn my body till I become mere coal and then grind it into powder, and when there is a stormy wind, throw me (my ashes) in it.' So he took a firm promise from his children (to follow his instructions). And by Allah they (his sons) did accordingly (fulfilled their promise). Then Allah said, 'Be!' and behold! That man was standing there! Allah then said, 'O my slave! What made you do what you did?' That man said, 'Fear of You.' So Allah forgave him.”   (Bukhari 8/488)

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