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Happens for a Reason…Happens for the Best….
By Maryam Amir-Ebrahimi

There was a bus blocking the right turn lane and its emergency lights were flashing. “I need a quick detour!,” thought the woman driving. She turned into a parking lot to cross through to the adjacent street. As she made the turn, she felt her car heave forward heavily and realized she had not seen the curb. Embarrassed, she continued to the street and felt her car was driving differently. She swung into a side road to check on it.

A flat tire! Subhan’Allah (glory be to God). She immediately thought of the dua`a’ (supplication) that the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) had taught to the ummah (Muslim community) for times of difficulty: “If a servant of Allah is afflicted with a misfortune and says:Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un, Allahumma ajirni fi musibati wa akhlif li khairan minha‘ (Verily we belong to Allah and truly to Him shall we return. O Allah! Protect me in this calamity that has befallen me and replace it with something better), Allah will accept his prayer, grant him reward for his affliction, and replace it with something better.”1 And so she made this dua`a’, knowing full well she had been the one to cause the misfortune to happen in the first place, but hoping that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) would bless her in some way because of it.

She then sat there, after having called for help, dazed and wondering why this had happened. Why was that bus stopped where it had been stopped? Why was it meant for her to be on this specific road at this specific time, when she usually would never have been in that place, at that time? Why didn’t she wait and go around the bus, instead of turning through a parking lot? She began to contemplate the verse, “And whatever strikes you of disaster—it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much” (Qur’an, 42:30). And finally, perhaps—perhaps—this happened because something better should happen. There had to have been a reason for this situation. But what was the reason? Where was the wisdom?

After some time, her husband came, changed the flat with a spare, and directed her to go to a specific tire company to take advantage of a warranty. This tire company was much further out, in a city which she had never traversed due to its distance and decentralized location. Upon reaching the company and waiting for her tire to be fixed, she realized she needed to pray dhuhr (the afternoon prayer) and wondered if there was a masjid nearby. Mapping it, she found one only a few miles away, so as soon as her car was ready, she was headed for the mosque.

There was only one other car parked in the parking lot. Having never been to this masjid before, she searched for an entrance and walked in. There, she found an older man sitting at a table. She greeted him and as he looked up, she asked if he could point out the direction of the prayer area.

He looked at her, almost in a daze. “Aren’t you… Aren’t you that woman who spoke at the conference recently?” She confirmed as he continued, “What brings you here?” He realized she had come to pray and pointed out the direction of the prayer hall. After she had finished her salah (prayer), she headed back towards the entrance to leave. He beckoned her, “Would you mind waiting just a moment?”

He then explained that while she was speaking at the conference, he was listening to her and thinking about the future generation. He was thinking about young adults and the way they need someone to connect with them. He began to think our cultural and age gap as parents sometimes makes it difficult to convey the message of Islam in a way which is culturally relevant to their lives. If only I could somehow come in contact with this woman. Perhaps she could speak to the up-and-coming generation. But Allah—how? How will I come to connect with her? “And now,” he finished, “Here you are. Subhan’Allah.”

At that moment, the woman realized that perhaps the flat tire she had experienced—perhaps the bus with its emergency lights, the miscalculated curb, the need to go to a specific tire company so far away from her own locality—had all taken place so that she could be there, in that place, in that moment of time, where she would be connected to a person who was seeking to call youth back to Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala.

The woman stared at the man, incredulous at the situation. Subhan’Allah, she thought. Maybe this simple man, a man without a hugely outward “Islamic” appearance, a man who sat humbly in the masjid, was someone near to Allah (swt), dear to Allah (swt)—so much so that Allah (swt) would create a situation where the person this man was seeking to speak with came to his door.

It reminded the woman of the story of Imam Ahmad and the Baker. Imam Ahmad radi Allahu `anhu (may God be pleased with him) once was traveling and needed to stay somewhere overnight. When he went to the masjid, the guard (not recognizing Imam Ahmad) denied him entrance. Imam Ahmad (ra) tried numerous times, but the guard did not accept his requests. Frustrated, Imam Ahmad (ra) resolved to spend the night in the masjid yard. The guard became furious and dragged him away, despite the old age and frailty of Imam Ahmad (ra).

A baker, whose shop was nearby, watched this scene and took pity on Imam Ahmad (ra), also not knowing who he was. The Baker thought of the man who needed a place to stay as a simple traveler without lodging. He invited the Imam to stay with him for the night. While there, Imam Ahmad noticed that the baker continually made istighfar (asking for Allah’s forgiveness) while working, and in the morning, the Imam eagerly asked his host about the latter’s continual seeking of forgiveness. The Baker said it had become second nature to him, and Imam Ahmad (ra) then asked whether the man had experienced any reward from this practice.

The Baker answered, “By Allah! No dua`a’ I made except that it was answered but one.” “And what is that dua`a’?” asked Imam Ahmed. “To be able to see the famed Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal!”

Imam Ahmad (ra) interjected, “I am Ahmad ibn Hanbal!” He then went on to add, “By Allah! I was dragged to your place so that you can have your dua`a’ (prayer) come true.”2

Perhaps this man, just like the Baker, was not some conference speaker, not some widely famed Imam, not some enormous Islamic activist, but someone who was sincere in their relationship with Allah (swt), and so Allah (swt) blessed them with acceptance and the answering of their passing wishes and dua`a’.

Days later, she continued to contemplate her encounter. Subhan’Allah, she kept thinking, everything for a reason. Sometimes, “bad” things happen to “good” people. But sometimes, those “bad” things are truly only outward moments of difficulty in comparison to the good Allah (swt) has in store and is preparing for that person to experience, when the time and moment are right.

As Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahu Allah (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “When Allah tests you, it is never to destroy you. Whenever He removes something from your possession, it is only to empty your hands for an even better gift.”

What is stopping us from working to become of those who are beloved to Allah (swt)?

Source: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/happens-for-a-reason-happens-for-the-best/

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Al-Jabbar- Mending the Broken Heart by Jinan Bastaki

Taken from Imam Suhaib Webb’s blog

In our journey to gain tranquility of the heart, we explored what we need to know when faced with difficult situations. We need to understand that Allah has told us we will be tested, that these tests are for a reason, and that there will be relief insha’Allah (God willing). When we are worried thinking about the future, we need to work hard but have full trust in Allah that He will not leave us, and we must always think well of Allah because that is what we will find.

Yet in certain circumstances we just feel… broken. Perhaps it is the death of someone close, perhaps a hurtful word, or perhaps a reason we can not pinpoint. Yet this feeling of brokenness can be an invitation to be better acquainted with al-Jabbar.

But isn’t al-Jabbar one of the Names that indicates Majesty and Strength, not Mercy and Beauty?

The root of al-Jabbar is ja-ba-ra and has a wide variety of meanings indicating Allah’s strength and majesty, which Sr. Amatullah explained to us in this excellent article. One of the basic meanings of this name is the One who compels and restores, and demonstrates Allah’s Majesty and Strength over His servants. This is a Name for the tyrants and oppressors to be aware of, because their misdeeds will not go unpunished.

Yet this Name has another dimension: al-Jabbar is the One who is able to restore and mend what is broken. Some of the great scholars would supplicate “Ya Jaabir kul kaseer” when they were faced with overwhelming difficulty, meaning “Oh You who mends everything that is broken.” The Arabic word for a splint that is used to help an arm heal when it is broken is “jibeera” from the same root ja-ba-ra. Thus, when we feel broken, we need to go to the only One who can mend our state–al-Jabbar. Sometimes when we get this broken feeling, shaytan (satan) tells us not to go to Allah because we are being hypocritical by only going to Allah when we are down. Yet this is untrue– Allah has named Himself al-Jabbar and given Himself this attribute; you cannot go to the One whose attribute is mending what is broken, and not be healed by Him.

The example of the Prophet ﷺ is a beautiful one. Imagine being 50 years old, having just lost both your wife of twenty-five years and your uncle who took care of you as a child. Imagine walking into a town in order to ask people for their protection, and instead have them throw stones at you until your feet bleed. How would you have felt? How exhausted, both spiritually and physically, would you have been? And yet, the Prophet ﷺ calls out to Allah in one of the most beautiful and heartfelt du`a’ (supplication):

“O Allah! To you alone I complain my weakness, my scarcity of resources, and the humiliation I have been subjected to by people. O Most Merciful of those who have mercy! You are the Lord of the weak, and You are My Lord too.

To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair?

But as long as You are not angry with me, I do no care, except that Your favor is a more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descend upon me.

Yours is the right to reproach until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.”

Read those words carefully. The du`a’ of  the Prophet ﷺ was not “O Allah, please give me x and y.” It was literally the call of someone broken– complaining to Allah of his situation and expressing to Allah how he felt. What did Allah give him? A young boy by the name of Addaas saw the Prophet ﷺ, came to him with some grapes and kissed his bleeding feet. That is al-Jabbar. Imagine how the Prophet ﷺ must have felt after that, the relief he must have felt after the cruelty he was subjected to. And al-Jabbar healed the broken heart of the Prophet ﷺ  in another way – He bestowed upon him the miraculous journey of al-Israa wal Mi’raaj (when the Prophet ﷺ traveled from Makkah to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem to the Heavens in one night).

If we think about the journey, it did not accomplish a great victory nor did it help to convince the Quraysh that he was a rophet. Rather, Allah honored him after all the hardship he had gone through. Think of the resolve the Prophet ﷺ must have had in his heart and the tranquility he must have felt after such an experience.

Therefore, we have to always remind ourselves of this blessed name al-Jabbar; Allah will mend your broken heart. It may be through a kind word from someone that brightens your day or it may be a talk that you attend. It may even be something greater. But call on Allah like the Prophet ﷺ did, recognizing this attribute, and know that He will manifest this Name in your life.

Highly recommend reading “How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart Series” on Imam Suhaib Webb’s blog.

” If you see God withholding this world from you, and inflicting more and more hardships and suffering upon you, you must therefore know that you are noble in His sight, that you hold a lofty rank in His presence, and that He is making you tread the path of His saintly friends, for He sees you and He does not need that (withholding of this world…). You have surely heard His saying: “So wait patiently for your Lord’s decree, for you are surely in Our sight” (52:48)”

~ Imam al-Ghazali (May Allah increase his rank)

( The Path of the Worshipful Servants to the Garden of the Lord of all the Worlds)

Title : You Are With Those Whom You Love

Date/Location: July 2007  – Talk delivered in Rochdale, Jamia Chistia

Speaker:  Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Yahya Al Ninowy

NoteTaker: Anonymous (itb075@hotmail.com)

The shaykh talked about the very famous Ayah in the quran:

“Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline: or the dwellings in which you delight – are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His punishment: and Allah does not guide the fasiqeen.” [Surah At-Tauba Verse 24]

If we are to summarise this religion of Islam, then we can say that it is a religion of  love.

Allah (subhanahu wa’tala) encourages us through the Quran to love our parents and informs us not to even say ‘uff’ to them [Surah Al Israa].

The Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) informs us about love of the family, where he says “The best amongst you is he who is best to his family and I am best to my family”.   He (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) also teaches us about loving our daughters, when he says “Fatima is part of me”, showing his deep love and affection for her. He also expresses his love for Imam Hassan and Husayn (Radiallahu Anhum) ,when they are on his shoulders and he is kissing them and a man comes and says , “Do you love them? I have 10 sons, I don’t kiss any of them.” The Prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) replied “What can I do if Allah has taken away mercy from your heart?”.

He also teaches us love for our neighbours, where he says “Gibreel keeps coming to me and keeps saying neighbours, neighbours, as though he is inheriting from the neighbours”.

Allah (subhanahu wa’tala)  orders us Ihsaan (be good) towards our society by saying in the Quran… “Allah orders you to be just and  to do Ihsaan …” We should be positive contributors to society, because our beloved (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) came as a mercy to the entire worlds, therefore we should be an extension of his mercy to the entire creation of Allah.


The more you learn about his beautiful qualities (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), the more hostage you become to his love and his beautiful qualities…

Furthermore, the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)  also taught us about love of his companions. Loving the family of Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)  is also talked about in the Quran where Allah says “Tell them , I am not asking of you any reward in return, expect that you are kind to my offspring”.  This is the wasiyah of the beloved, so don’t neglect it. There are Hadith that also emphasize this.

The Quran also teaches us to love the mothers of the believers… One should love their mother. The Quran also teaches of love of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta Alaa)  and his Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) . This is all contrary to the saying of those who say that Islam is a religion of violence and hatred, but in reality, it’s a religion of love and forgiveness.

Note that the verse which is the theme of the talk says “That if you do not love Allah and his Prophet more than your family, your parents etc…” you shall await the punishment of Allah. This is actually waajib and fard upon you. Allah finishes the ayah by saying “Allah does not love the Fasiqeen”. Fisq from a Fiqh point of view is a “major sin” not a minor sin…

We need to ask ourselves the question “What number on the list of your priorities is the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)?” If he is not number one , then make him number one!

If you have hardships in life, in your marriage, in your work, in your rizk, then take a look at where the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) is in your list of priorities..


Allah says in the Quran “whoever avoids my Dhikr , then we will fill their life with difficulties… and in the akhira they will be assembled blind…” The person shall ask “I had my vision in the duniya? “. Allah will say, “Our ayahs came to you , you forgot them, so today you shall be forgotten”.

Dhikr is amongst the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) as Allah says in the Quran “Zikran Rasoolan”…

Allah also puts his own name with the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), in the same verse that we are talking about, therefore, Allah is glorifying the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam). If you put the love of the Prophet second, that’s not good enough, because in a race, the one that comes number two, is the first looser followed by many others.

There is usually a sign for everything, similarly, there is a sign for his love. One of the signs for his love is “Shauk (yearning) ”  which we will focus on today….

When you hear his name (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), your heart moves, you think about him, you dream about him, he is in your heart, your mind, your thoughts all the time….

A poet says “If you are far away in distances to me, you are in my heart, present and with me. Your image is in my head, your dhikr is always on my tongue, your dhikr is in my heart, where will you go?” We need to check our hearts to see if we have the yearning for the beloved (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam).

The Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said “By the one who has the Nafs of Muhammad, there will be a time when one of you will not see me, then one of you will wish that you will give your whole family and everything you own , just to see me” [Sahih Muslim]

Lets look at some examples of Shauk, so that we can see the love of the Companions (Radiallahu Anhum) towards the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam).

In one of the battle, a woman was waiting, a man came to her and told her “Your husband was next to me in the battle, and he was martyred”… She asks about the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) instead  and asked “How is he?”
Another man came and said to her  “I was next to your son and husband, both are marytred”… She asked “How is Rasoolullah?
Another man walked by and told her that her brother is also martyred. She just marched on and looked for the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), and when she saw him eventually, she said “Every calamity happening to other than you is insignificant”.

When Bilal (Radiallahu Anhu) was on his death bed and his family was next to him crying saying “how sad will we be when you are gone”. Bilal (Radiallahu Anhu) said “I have been waiting for this day for a long time, tomorrow I will be with Muhammad and his companions”.

A man from the Shawk of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) every night before he went to bed, he repeated all the names of the Sahaba and then said the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam). He then said “Those are my origin, oh Allah my heart falls for them, do not make me leave without seeing them .”


Abdullah Bin Zain (Radiallahu Anhu) was told that the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) passed away and he then made Sujood to Allah and said, “The last thing i saw was your Prophet, take my vision away, so i don’t see anyone other than him”… and Allah accepted his dua…

If there is no Shawk, then the heart does not move when you hear the name of the beloved sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam, then it’s time for resuscitation of the heart, otherwise it’s a sign of Fisq..

Why should we love him ?

1) You should love him because he loves you as Allah mentions in the Quran.

2) He guided us to the path of success, without him we would be perished. He did not leave a good single thing, but showed us how to do it and he did not leave a single bad thing, but showed us how to avoid it.

3) The Prophet recited the verses that Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam) recited and he cried “Oh my lord, my ummah , my ummah”… Allah sent Gibreel to ask him why he was crying after sending his Salams… Allah informed Gibreel “Go and tell Muhammad, that we will give you until you are pleased (Surah Ad-Duhaa) ” . Ask and you will be granted, interceed and you will be granted…

4) Love him because he would have loved to be with you, he would have loved to meet you… He said  “I loved to meet my brothers who believed in me, yet who did not see me”… Allah says in the Quran that he is caring about you more than you care about yourself. He use to say , “If any of the believers who die, and they owed people, tell them to come to me and I will pay them back on their behalf”.

5) Loving him in the world has a special effect on the believers. There is a Hadith where a companion asks him about how much time he should spend on making Salah and Salam on him, he said, “Then you will be sufficed from all your hardships in the duniya”.

6) He will benefit you on the day of judgement, his love will help you in the Akhira. As he said “those of you who have the closes seats to me on the day of judgement, will be the one who sends the most Salah and Salam on me”.

 Anas (Radiallahu Anhu) said “Allah is my witness that I love Abu Bakr, Umar, the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)

All the companions present said we have never been so happy about a Hadith,  if you do your Faraid and you love the Prophet, you will be with him. We should check our heart and see who we love.

 
7) A Bedouin came and asked the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) when the day of judgement is, he replied “What have you prepared for it?”. This is an important point and should give us the realisation that we should not waste our time on secondary non important issues and focus on preparing for the Akhira. Our priority list is confused, we are giving other things high priority, we indulge in secondary issues, indulging for the sake of argument. Your Qiyamah is when you die… The Bedouin replied, “Nothing, except I love Allah and his Prophet”. The Prophet then replied “You will be with those whom you love” and I pray that Allah assembles me with them..”

Ibn Ata’Allah said “The heart is either filled with Haqq or Batil, not both, the love of Quran and love of Shaytaan can not be in the same heart.”
 

The Quran will come as a witness for some, the Masjid will come as a witness for some on the day of judgement. It is natural to feel comfortable at your own house, regardless of where you are, the Awliya of Allah feel most comfortable in the house of Allah, the Masjid..

The lecture should enable us to understand the high status of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), so that we can remember him day and night, so that his image is in front of us all the time, so his Dhikr is on your tongues and in your hearts all the time…..  

N.B If you have any questions regarding these notes, please contact the note taker on the e-mail address provided above. All credit and du’as should go to the note taker- I’ve just posted them on this blog in order for people to benefit from them.  

shhy_17_tn17 Benefits of Tribulation” is a remarkable talk given by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf many years ago, based on the treatise of the seventh century scholar Al-`Izz Ibn `Abdus-Salam – Sultan of the `Ulama’ (may Allah be pleased with him).

This must be one of the talks I actually listen to quite often, especially when I’m feeling down. All of Shaykh Hamza’s talks leave a strong impact on one’s heart; however after listening to this specific talk, it leaves the person with a deeper sense of inspiration and himmah to snap out of the “feeling low” state and to invigorate the high aspirations one has set themselves.

One of the profound analogies Shaykh Hamza makes in the talk, and which I love is:

…we/you are all in the ocean of this duniya; if you panic or have anxiety about things or situations, you will drown. Just RELAX, and you will float because you are in good hands!…. [Paraphrased]

Shaykh Hamza focuses on the hardships the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam went through but never allowed any of those afflictions to perturb him. After listening to this lecture, I can say for sure that one will have a different attitude and outlook on calamities and hardships; and it will heal the broken or agitated heart no doubt.

The 17 Benefits of Tribulation are listed below:

  1. You realize the power of Lordship over you.
  2. You realize your object servanthood and your complete state of resignation and brokenness before the will and power of God.
  3. Sincerity to God; one has no place of return in putting off or defending against the calamity except to Him.  It makes you sincere because the muhsin is the one who call on God without any shirk. A moment of ikhlas in this world is enough to save a person.
  4. He returns to God and suddenly is fervent in his desire of his Lord.
  5. It leads to a humbled state before God and it leads to prayers (du’a) that you call on God.
  6. You’re forbearing towards the One who has afflicted you.
  7. You forgive the one who has wronged you.
  8. To be patient during the tribulation.
  9. To be happy about what’s happening because of those benefits.
  10. To be grateful for it.
  11. Purification that these calamities have towards peoples’ wrongs and sins.
  12. Compassion that God enables you to show to people who are in tribulation and to help them.
  13. Tribulation gives you the blessing of having true knowledge of the extent of well-being.
  14. God has prepared rewards for the calamities that you’ve beared patiently or with contentment.
  15. What is hidden inside the folds of these calamities are blessings.
  16. Tribulations prevent you from arrogance.
  17. Contentment.  Tribulation afflicts the good and the evil (people), whoever doesn’t like it, it’s on Him, he’s lost the dunya and the akhira.  Those who are pleased with it, it’s because he knows it, because paradise is better than anything in this world and if these tribulations are what it takes for him to get to paradise, then he’s content with it.

[Courtesy of ihsaan.wordpress]

I strongly recommend everyone to buy a copy of this lecture and listen for themselves.

May Allah elevate Shaykh Hamza’s rank in both worlds, and protect him from all harm and evil. May we use each trial and tribulation as a means of reaching closer to Him Ta’ala.

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