[These are the rough notes of a talk given by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed in IBA, Karachi on Wednesday, 19th sept, 2012]
This is a Hadith of Prophet sws that value 5 things before 5 things.
1. Value your youth before old-age.
There are 7 categories of believers who will be shaded by the shade of Arsh of Allah swt on The Day of Judgment when there will be no other shade. Amongst them one category is the youth who gave their life for Allah swt. It means that they gave their free time, their passion to Allah swt. It means that when you become farigh then turn to Allah swt. Ye tou hamein sharam aani chahiye k Allah swt farmaein k farigh time Allah swt ko dein. Jaise ammi kahein k beta jab farigh hou jao tou aana. Aap kahein gey ammi aap ne aise kaha hi kun? Mein abhi aa jaoun ga mein aap ka beta houn.
So turn to Allah swt when you become free, when you become a free resolve. This is because nafs and shaytaan attack when you are free. Just think about how much do you sin during exam-time and how much do you sin when you are free? And turn towards your Rabb when you are free. Our youth and life structure is also such that we have a lot of free time in this age. When we grow into old age we will have a family, a husband or wife and children maybe one, two or three, may Allah swt put barakah in children but the thing is that you will have less time then.
2. Value your health before you get sick.
This shows the spirit of Islam. Who is a momin? A momin is a person who is so efficient in his time that even if he gets sick for a day it is devastating for his efficiency. For example, there’s a person very poor materialistically. He drives a rickshaw and he gets sick. He goes to a doctor and the doctor tells him to take rest. He would say doctor I can’t afford to get sick. He would say I cannot afford this. It means that time is crucial for this person. Similarly, the momin is so spiritually poor that he cannot afford to get sick. He would think that I have to fill my life with so much dawah, ibaadah and I need those aimaal so badly that I cannot afford to get sick.
This could also mean value your wellness before you get sick. You go to Makkah in good health but you only do one two tawaf the rest of the time you spend shopping and chatting. Imagine that there will be a time your bones will get so weak you won’t be able to do more than one tawaf even if you wanted to. Have you looked at the people who can’t bend and they have to do sajdah on a desk? You should value this while you can still make long sajood and ruku.
3. Value your wealth before poverty overtakes you.
Everyone is not destined to get poor. What this means is that we all have ups and downs financially. Someone frauds you, in this country it happens a lot, or business goes down. This is an an ishara towards charity; give freely while you can. There might come a time you would want to give but you won’t be able to because your money might be tied up in so many haqooqul ibaad. Go for Hajj and Umrah while you still can. So many of us save for future, and don’t spend the money. You are not being asked to go to another extreme and give away everything.
One example is that Syedna Rasool Allah sws only took as much as was needed for the support of umahaat ul momineen for one year. So that can be taken as an example to follow. Shoh: Means you want to give but your nafs gives you second thoughts. When you think I will give this much in charity but give less. That’s shoh and it’s a specifically sinister thing.
4. Value free-time before you get preoccupied.
This is another big problem with us. You maybe BAs and MBAs but all of you are already PhDs in procrastination. You keep delaying and delaying till the last minute. Value your free time before you get busy. Time is a limited commodity. Everyone is just going to get busier and busier and busier.
5. And finally Value your life before you die.
This is all encompassing: value your life itself before you pass away. I’ll give the example which many ulema give and that is of a baby in the womb of its mother. Whatever happens in the 9 months determine the life of the baby. And if those 9 months an organ of the baby is not formed properly then it would remain like that throughout his life.
Just like that this dunya is your spiritual development stage. Once you die you will never be able to get back. You will not be able to get even a drop. Another thing you should know is that, and this might have happened in your own family, that many people die before life expectancy of 70 75 years. There’s nowhere near guarantee that we are going to live a certain age. We should live our life so much as if death is impending, inevitable. That’s why some ulema say live everyday as if it’s your last. It means not practically, but emotionally.
Ham zindagi mein achi zindagi jeenay k liye nahi bhaije gaye. Ham iss dunya mein achi maut marne k liye bhaije gaye hein. We have been sent to this earth to die a good death. These are the wise sayings of the wise people (HG). How much of our effort do we put in life and how much do we put in death? Death is absolutely certain, and life is uncertain. If I were ask you to write top 10 things to do you wouldn’t even write about death. It’s not even in our minds. It means we should value life – the price tag on life is of infinite value. How you live in this world will determine your eternity so that means we should infinitely value this life. Life – eternal life – every juz of it is also infinite. But all that would be decided upon a finite life.
It’s like I tell you how you spend 20 minutes will decide your career, think how will you spend those 20 minutes? If a professor was to tell you that the next 10 minutes would determine your entire GPA, how will you spend that time?
We are involved in so much fuzooliyaat. We eat so much fuzool. Talk so much fuzool. That’s another PhD that you have is in eating. If you knew the power of an hour, you would wake up earlier. Actually you all have experienced it during exams. We call it fanaa. You were so conscious of the exam during exam time. As conscious is a momin of Allah swt. There are some people so deeply aware of Allah swt that even commerce and business, finance cannot distract them from Alllah swt.
I want you to imagine spending a day – a full day like that. Imagine offering a namaz like that. Imagine making one sajda like that. Sahaba karam were the living embodiments of this awareness. Nothing less is worthy than the life of sahaba, siddiqeen Syedna Abu Bakr ra.
In jannah people will have only one hasra – not grief or sorrow – but regret that If only we could have said one more subhaanAllah. Even if we hope iA all of us make it do jannah – but everyday we would only be regretting our life.
So this hadith of valuing 5 things before 5 things is a starting point. I’m going to give you another beginning before we take the leave. Eik cheez hoti hai mehnat, eik hoti hai chahat. That’s another problem with us. We have lost our talab for Allah swt, lost our chahat. Of the 10 things you want for life – I don’t know how many of you would have written Allah. You should never let yourself lose this feeling that I want Allah. Why? Because as long as you keep wanting Allah swt, Allah swt will keep wanting you. But the second you stop wanting Allah swt, then there’s problem. He is Haleem and Kareem He would still keep wanting you but you are in danger.
Keep the mehnat alive and keep the chahat alive. Jo banda bandi kabhi mehnat kabhi chahat kare magar dono ko zero nahi hone deta tou chalte chalte siratul mustaqeem mein hoga. Agar aap mehnat aur chahat mein se eik ya dono ko chor do tou aap samjho aap ko nafs ne pakar liya shaytaan ne pakar liya.
- Allah swt in Quran e kareem mein ye baat wazeh ki hai pehle aap mehnat karein phir aap ko chahein gi. Raziatum marziya. Pehle tu razi hoga phir Allah aap se razi hou jaein gey. Desire to make yourself pleasing to Allah swt. Chahat to make yourself pleasing by first being pleased with Him.
- Those who strive in my path, surely I will guide them to many paths of hidaya. Mehnat, mushakat karein.
- Fazkuruni azkur kum. Aap mera zikr karo mein aap ka zikr karoun ga. Allah swt ya Allah aap tou Malik hein Aap hamara zikr karein gey? Ham tou naqis hein, najas hein, bewafa hein. Ham naqis zikr karein gey. Allah swt kamil zikr karein gey.
- Eik aisi ayat hai jis mein hamara tazkara pehle nahi kiya. Pehla qadam Allah swt ne uthaya. Yuhibbahu wa yuhibunahu. Allah swt emaan waloun se muhabbat karte hein phir emaan wale Allah swt se muhabbat karte hein. You are already the beloved of Allah swt when we take emaan. All we have to do now is become the lover of Allah swt. Iss ko kehte hein ik tarfa ko do tarfa banaein. Aksar ehkam ka khulasa yehi hai k eik tarfa ko do tarfa banana. Aap Allah swt k murad hein ab mureed ban jaein. Allah swt is such a loving and kind Rabb. Aap kahein gey ye tou kisi mutaqeen k liye hoga, ham tou gunehgar hein.
- Uss ki eik ayah hai jin logoun ne gunah karte karte apne upar zulm kiya: Jin logoun ne apne aap par zulm kiya don’t despair the mercy of Allah swt. Innalaha yaghfuru jamia: Allah swt forgives all sins entirely. How can you not seek the Allah swt whose mercy was seeking you even when you were sinning? Woh parwardigar jo gunehgar ko ‘Mera’ kehta hai who mutaqi ko kya kahe ga?
- Those who have imaan they are extremely intense in their love for Allah swt.
- Final chaht of Allah swt: What about non-Muslims? Insan? Allah swt tells that insan: O humanity, o person, what is it that has deluded you from your Generous and Kind Rabb? Ham tou phir bhi ahle imaan hein, chahe jaise bhi hein. Try to love Allah swt who already loves you. Trying to want Allah swt who already wants you.This is chahat. Jo log aise apni zindagi lagaien iA qyamat k din Allah swt un se naraz nahi houn gey.
1. Even we want Allah swt, but at the same time we keep getting involved in our work as well. How do we manage this?
Ans: In order to keep connecting to Allah swt, you have to keep disconnecting from the mundane. That can be on daily or weekly basis. How to disconnect:
- Suhbah: O you who believe you should have taqwah, simply join your qunu with the sadiqeen. All of you should know who sadiqeen if you pray salah. You make dua siratal lazeena an amta alahim. It’s a path of people, not just books and texts. What type of people? Who are blessed and favored by Allah swt. There are always people in our ummah who are blessed and favored. Shuhuda, and nabiyeen are not here with us anymore. Sadiqeen are those who truly love and fear Allah swt. When you put yourself in their company, an automatic disconnect happens because of the suhbah. The love for Allah swt and fear that is in their hearts gets reflected in your heart. Normally our dunya is not sadiqeen. To disconnect we have to connect with sadiqeen.
- Zikr of Allah swt: This is your individual way of disconnecting from the world and to connect to Allah swt. More you remember Him, the more you can easily disconnect. Zikr and suhbah you do then you will keep disconnecting.
- Baqa: to be so connected to Allah swt that you can never be disconnected from Him. This is sunnah of Prophet s. In tahajjad he s was such that he would have a fana that he s was disconnected from everything else around him. But rest of the day he spends with sahaba but still he is connected to Allah swt. Our business, studies etc will
2. How do we know Allah swt is pleased with us?
If you are pleased with Allah swt then it means He is pleased with you. But this is not enough. So I can explain this way if you are displeased with Allah swt then it means He is displeased with you.
If we are on good deeds then we should have rija that Allah is pleased otherwise we should have khauf.
3. What does it meant to value life before death?
Anything that’s limited you will value it and spend it carefully. That’s what it means to value life before death.
4. I need to get in good company. How should I keep doing it continuously?
You have to plug yourself in a system. If you say I need to listen to a bayan every night, you should do that. There are 2 ways of zikr: one is fard and one is nafl. If you miss your zikr and you fall in sin then it’s your biggest fard. Because staying away from sin is the biggest fard. Whatever you do for shariah will make your efforts forever.
5. How do we assure to wake up for fajr even with alarms?
You see science invented the alarm but shaytan invented the snooze button. First of all this is the right type of obsession. Some obsessions are good to have. Pick up something and obsess about it. You should not think that why didn’t I pray fajr. But you should think that why didn’t Allah swt want to see my face at fajr? Why didn’t He want my name written in the list of people who pray fajr? Sometimes we are too soft on ourselves. We have to be tough on ourselves. A lot of it is about attitude.
There are some practical things that you can do:
- Before sleeping make dua Allah swt I’m sleeping so I can restore my energy for fajr.
- Keep the alarm clock further away. Put it on the dresser. Put a janamaz and quran near the dresser. Then you will feel embarrassed about it when you look at that. If it’s so bad you might even have to put it in the bathroom.
What do you do if you fail at something in world? You change strategies. You have to change tactics. If you keep changing then Allah swt will also start smiling at you. You have to make some effort. Hath paoun marna hai. You just have to try harder ultimately its Allah swt who will accept you for fajr.
6. What is the ahkam on pardah?
Bottom line answer is – there is a physical pardah and an emotional pardah. They are both important. The guys would know what I’m talking about.
The thing is that co-education is haram. 100%, that’s the fatwah. But your society is co-ed. It’s not just education. Hospitals are like that. So lack of gender segregation is a society-wide problem. Even if our society is not structured that way, it is still possible to function in different domains. Men and women should by and large function is different domains. If you have to be in an interaction where you should not be in, then to keep that interaction minimal is your emotional parda. Don’t be long in your speech. Don’t go beyond the professional attitude. Don’t be rude, just be professional and to the point. Be curt.
Physical pardah is: there is one thing scholarly tradition agrees upon. Cover up till ankle and wrist. Then you must have another article called khimar it is the head covering. But some people say where is the word hair in Quran? If you go by that philosophy there are so many parts that are not mentioned in Quran, and you will end up exposing them.
Khimar means to draw a head-covering over the chests, It does not mean to draw dupatta over the chest. jis tarha sardi mein chadar orhtay hein.
Another item of clothing is Jilbab. What is it? Even Christian dictionaries agree it’s an outer garment. You can call it a robe, cloak, coat. Jilbab means what it means and khimar means what it means.
Another thing is in Quran women are told to hide your zeenat. Is it separate from this or within this? So this is the question:
Where does the beauty of the woman lie?
Let’s ask the experts of beauty: actress industries, fashion industries they buy and sell women’s beauty. Kehte hein na dunya k ulema ko kuch nahi pata hota. Ask the vogue magazine what will you put on a cover magazine? Will you put the face of a woman or her elbow? Zeenat means face that is absolutely incontestable. What does Allah mean by except for what is apparent? What is apparent are hands and feet. Do you put face under zeenat or the exception? If the woman is wearing khimar and jilbab then what else is left there to hide? Just feet hands and face. Which one of these is zeenat? One or two of these must fall under zeenat. This is barely a linguistic analysis. You tell me, are feet more important or face? Or are hands are more important than face?
If anyone say if all 3 are exception then ask them what is the zeenat that is being covered? Ask them. I have explained you in a completely logical way.
7. Will we be responsible if someone dies without imaan?
To some extent yes. To some extent no. If they are within your daira, you have to do dawah to them. If you didn’t do dawah: didn’t clearly invite them then yes you are responsible. For example you have a maid you have had her for all your life then she is in your dairah. If someone in your daira is Muslim but not practicing, you also have to do dawah to them. You have to have a LOT of sabr for this. Sometimes they will be surprised by your sabr then they will ask you how did you get this sabr and maybe they will change.
8. How important is it to know translation of Quran?
It’s not important at all. You should know the meaning of Quran. That’s the tafseer by the scholars of meaning. There are certain things you don’t need to know for example what is the difference between kursi and Arsh? You don’t need to know this because it’s not necessary for your hidaya. You won’t be asked this on the Day of Judgment. You should also have the feelings. You must know the meanings and you must know the feelings.
9. Recently there was a video on youtube and we are all deeply disturbed by it. We don’t know what to do. What should be our strategy?
First of all, it’s not permissible to make videos or pictorial representations of our Prophet sws, regardless of the intention (doesn’t matter if the intention was good or bad). If people have seen it you can ask them what was in it but it’s not allowed for us to watch it. Strategies can be many.
Yes, through non-violent activities we can protest. But one thing that surprises me is that everyone is protesting over the video but no one is protesting over the oppression and physical violence being conducted against many Muslims in different parts of the world. You need to question your passions and emotions. Our deen is a deen of wisdom and our Prophet sws is a prophet of wisdom. When you destroy cars, that is haram. You should be arrested. That’s the Islamic ruling. You should also be imprisoned. That is absolutely not allowed.
Regardless of the tape, the biggest ilzam against Syedna Rasool Allah sws is you and me. Hamesha apnoun se takleef hoti hai dusroun se nahi. Aap sws ki sunnat thi kabhi kisi ki insult par koi reaction nahi diya. Never reacted to insult.
You can do protest and all of that but what you should think is that Allah swt said that: to Allah belongs the izzat and to Prophet sws.
We have lost our izzat. When we behave different from sunnah we are the cartoons. We have a lifestyle that is a cartoon that we have drawn from our hands. We should look at the mirror and ask am I a cartoon? Do I have the sunnat ikhlaq, sunnat kaifiyaat?
Ideally it’s too late for that, but I would have told the same thing if everyone had listened to me. But that’s what they never do. I would have said that don’t even lift an eye at it. It’s not even worth your attention. If we hadn’t given it any attention, it would have disappeared after a 1000 hits on youtube. Now it’s like a world record. If a non-muslim does something sinister because of some reaction that a Muslim gave then we are a part of the action that they take.
Celebrate the Imaan and jazba . But you need to think what is the true manifestation of that love? If some white American actor portrays Prophet sws contrary to his sunnah then do you have a right to protest if your life is against the sunnah? He is an actor who is acting, but you are living your real life like that! So what you are doing is even worst.
We have to become people of dua. Begin with dua.