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Message of the Week

Friday, 5 February 2010

In the name of God, Compassionate, Merciful بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم









In the name of God, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم

This week's Hadith on = Doing Good constantly. Hard, but once you're mind's set to it, not that hard. Here we go...

"Righteousness (BIRR) is good character, and sin is that which shivers in your heart and which you do not want people to know about."
[Muslim]

"...Righteousness (BIRR) is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and sin is what creates restlessness in the soul and moves to and fro in the breast, even though people give you their opinion (in your favour) and continue to do so."
[A good hadith transmitted from the Musnads (CHAIN OF NARRATORS) of the two Imams, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Al-Darimi]

Background
The first thing that should be pointed out is that even though the second hadith is weak by itself, due to supporting evidence it is raised to the level of hasan (authentic). These two Ahadith state the meaning of righteousness and sinfulness.

Lessons
BIRR (Arabic GOOD) means we should--->
  1. Treat others in a good manner, and
  2. Increase all acts of good deeds and worshipping Allah.
Now ask yourself: Do "I" have a good character? Am I deliberately doing stupid things and proud of them? Do I treat everyone I meet, in reality, online, over the phone as I want to be treated?

Good character can be interpreted as all good manners mentioned in the Qur'an. Allah has created us with a pure innate or natural disposition that is called
fitra. This means to love the truth and the good and to hate lies and evil. Consequently, good believers with pure fitra should never confuse truth with falsehood.

The second hadith guides us to consult our heart regarding doubtful matters. If the heart is in tranquility, that implies that it is birr or righteousness. If the heart is not tranquil, one should abstain from carrying out such an act or doubtful matter. However, it should be noted that fitra is subject to corruption and can be spoiled due to the influence of bad environment - this is when a person starts to like and appreciate whatever is bad 'it feels good, man', and they dislike truth and goodness. Here, the heart is diseased or even dead. Such a person cannot use his heart as a measure to judge what is good and bad because the fitra is already corrupted!

Sin is what wavers or trembles your soul. Ustad Jamaludin Zarabozo (French Sheykh) stated that in this second hadith the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, gave very important signs of sin:
  1. The first one is an internal sign within the human being. It is the feelings of the soul with respect to any particular act.
  2. The second sign is also about the internal feelings but it deals with the outward reaction to the act itself. Sin causes a wholesome soul to be uneasy and troubled. The soul is unhappy and worried about sin and its consequences.
Ustad Jamaludin remarked that these signs occur because the person is naturally disposed to favour what leads to positive results and avoid what leads to negative results.

The two hadiths reveal a significant aspect of Islam that is an internal controlling and guiding system that is established as a result of several factors:
  • The pure fitra (natural disposition). Allah created everybody with a pure fitra, not just Muslims.
  • The realisation of tawhid. This means practicing all the essentials of tawhid like loving Allah, seeking His Help as the only refuge FIRST, depending on Him (tawakul), asking for His Mercy, and many other essentials associated with the idea of tawhid.
  • Adhering to shari'ah instructions.
  • Seeking knowledge.
  • Tazkiyah and tarbiyah - that is the purification of the soul and the heart of the Muslim.
The above mentioned factors and many others are interrelated and altogether lead to the establishment of the internal controlling system. However, this system needs to be 'updated' and 'upgraded' regularly. It is very important that educators pay attention to the individual's and the community's "built-in system".

Conclusion
Always create awareness and be aware about contemporary challenges. Plan for future strategies to deal with such challenges inshaAllah.This internal system is very important for Muslims today. We should know about it in order to re-activate it. Muslims need to be aware of this fact and have to activate their system in order to be sensitive towards doubtful acts and sinful matters. Unless this system is 'upgraded', the person may not act in the right way. It is like 'installing' an 'anti-virus software' within ourselves. With such a 'software' in place, our internal system will prevent 'viruses', i.e. bad/evil acts, from entering our thoughts or hearts.

Without a 'fully functioning' internal controlling system, people will have different attitudes which may lead to insane problems (hello, they already exist). Muslims may end up with multiple personalities. They are wholly Muslims but they may commit haram (forbidden) actions. "These people are victims of the new system of globalisation". The Muslim strategy is to face such challenges head on to 'activate' and 'upgrade' our internal system with the Quran and continuous small deeds. Muslims can then live their lives in tranquility and without confusion inshaAllah.

Time for some BIRR says I! Who's with me?!

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MuslimFirst said...

Jazak'Allahu Khairan for this Sr. Zaufishan. Great commentary/explanation. Good way to start Jumu'ah.

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