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Cambridge Khutbas- Love for Allah’s Decree

A great sermon by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad which is well worth the listen (as are all his lectures mashaAllah!)

“In this sermon, Sheikh Abdal Hakim discusses the difference between having patience (sabr) during the struggles of life, and taking pleasure or having contentment (rida’) in them. By Allah’s Mercy, accepting what He decrees with patience for us is a route to salvation, but it is a higher degree for us to embrace and love that decree. By another inspiring aspect of Allah’s guidance, the latter is initially harder but actually makes the path toward Him easier. Instead of religion just being a set of duties or things we have to put up with, it becomes an on-going source of wonder and contentment. May Allah grant us the state of being contented with His Decree.”

Cambridge Khutbas- Love for Allah’s Decree

May Allah increase and bless Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, and may we continue to benefit from his teachings. Amin.

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Storms occur unexpectedly; some last for a few minutes, some last a few hours and some last a few days.  Regardless of the duration of each storm, we know that they pass and come to an end eventually. Storms are like the trials and tribulations of this life. Each situation passes and moves onto the next. We may face a certain trial or a series of trials suddenly, abruptly and simultaneously. Often we cannot predict how long we will be under that specific trial for, but knowing that just like storms eventually come to an end, the trial(s) we face also come to an end eventually. 

“If you want to be a true follower of Abraham, then do as he did: I do not love that which wanes and vanishes [6:76]. Every circumstance wanes and vanishes. It is ephemeral and will pass away. One poet has said:

 

Coming from nothing
Going to nothing
It’s called circumstance
Because it circles.
Everything that appears
By necessity disappears.
Look at the shadow as you stand
To what end does it come?
No matter how long it is,
It inevitably grows less and less

As I said, whatever circumstance you find yourself in, whether you enjoy it or despise it, will without a doubt pass away.” ~ Excerpt from The Book of Illumination by Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari
 
Dealing with one trial is extremely testing and demands incredible sabr (patience), but having a serious of trials one after the other makes one realise Allah’s Lordship over them and that no matter what they do, they have no control over their affairs. Allah is the One who can and will ease things when He wants, not when we have had enough and can’t cope.  We must never forget the beautiful words of our Lord ta’ala when He says in the Qu’ran al-Karim:

“On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear” (2:286).

When placed under those circumstances, we have no choice but to submit ourselves to the Lord of the worlds and endure everything, regardless of the excruciating pain we may feel, whether emotionally or physically.  Submission is not as easy as it sounds and the heart is in constant turmoil with preconceived thoughts of what the outcome may be, or the length we have to be in that state for. But regardless of how we may feel, we are powerless to do anything about the situation and just have to wait until the Lord most High pulls us out of the situation, because only He has the Power to do that. We all get tested but in different ways; whatever the case, we must know that Allah ta’ala will never leave us and is fully aware of our situation.  People may turn their backs, but Allah ta’ala will never leave us. Allah ta’ala knows our state, situation and what we carry in the hearts and only He can bring the ease and fulfil our needs when He wills. As the great Gnostic Ibn Ata’Allah said eloquently in his Book of Illumination:

“Knowing that Allah knows our condition gives us patience with Allah’s decision.”

And

“Knowing that divine goodness’ subtleties hidden in every difficult gives us patience in high degrees to endure all divine decrees.” 
  
May Allah alleviate the sufferings of all those Muslim brothers and sisters who are going through trials and tribulations, and may each trial be a means of seeking His forgiveness and salvation on the day of judgement. Allahumma amin! 

Photo credit: David HR http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdr400d/1517884823/

I was going through my journal (I basically keep a book where I jot down any gems, words of wisdom, profound quotes/stories etc I pick up from influential writers, scholars, poets etc) and came across some points I had noted whilst listening to one of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar (may Allah preserve him) lectures a few years ago. I thought I’d share the points here as it’s something which I’ve been currently reflecting on.

“Understanding Sabr”

The noble Shaykh begins the talk quoting the following verse from the Qur’an al-Karim:

In Allaha ma’a al-sabireen (Verily Allah is with those who have sabr).

The Shaykh talks about the people of Sabr (patience). He mentions that there are three types of patience that a person who believes in Allah ta’ala exhibits; and when they exhibit all three types of patience, irrespective of the situation that they face, that is when the truest meaning of the verse (In Allaha ma’a al-sabireen ) comes within their lives.

Types of patience:

1.    Sabr on the good deeds that we do. If we are doing good deeds for the sake of Allah ta’ala, we need to be patient on the deed itself, and be regular in how we do it. We find this in the Sunnah of the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam; if he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam prayed a particular prayer, he would continue with that and not give it up. The Shaykh advised that we must be careful in what we add to our schedule; once we add it, we need to be consistent and keep up with it until we meet our Lord ta’ala.

2.    Once we have implemented a certain deed and have added it to our schedule, we continue and wait patiently for its effect. For example, if we decide to do tasbi after Fajir, we must be patient with the results of it.

3.    We must have Sabr when Allah ta’ala bestows a difficult situation on us, and that we are content with it. We shouldn’t complain, instead realise that the difficulties that undergo in this world are to purify us. We cannot worship all the time or stay away from so much sin; however if we remain patient, Allah ta’ala draws us closer to Him!

Overall, we must remember that whatever we are going through is from Allah ta’ala. Permanent difficulty is distance from Allah ta’ala, and that is what we have to complain about! Thank Allah ta’ala for the difficulties, and know that Allah ta’ala is with the people who have Sabr!

The above is just food for thought and reflection for myself (first and foremost.), and may it benefit all those who read this blog entry, inshaAllah ta’ala. Please note that these are just some of the points which I made whilst listening to the lecture, therefore please do not take them as direct quotes from the Shaykh- I’ve paraphrased! I would strongly recommend listening to the actual lecture which can be found here.

A beautiful reminder from Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah al-Iskandari’s Hikam:

“If you make intense supplication

and the timing of the answer is delayed,

do not despair of it.

His reply to you is guaranteed;

but in the way He chooses,

not the way you choose,

and at the moment He desires,

not the moment you desire.”

Also, a while back, one of our beloved teachers’ (may Allah bless and increase him) inspired me with the following:


“Al-Habib Ali al-Habashi said in one of his poems:
If your request is delayed there is no doubt
that in that delay maybe all you wish for. “

Allah subhanahu wa’ tala works in mysterious ways, and we must know that our call to Him is guaranteed. The fruits of being patient can indeed be beyond our imagination, as long as we endure the period Allah subhanahu wa’ tala wants us to be patient.  However, being patient can be very tough, and as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (may Allah bless and preserve him) said in one of his talks that patience can be very bitter and we shouldn’t expect to see the fruits straight away!


May Allah subhanahu wa’ tala grants us the best of patience in all our affairs. Amin!

 

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