The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi’ one hundred times, his sins will be forgiven even if they were like the foam of the sea.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
“Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi” means that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is pure of defects and praise belongs to Him alone.
To really understand that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is pure of defects implies not ascribing any shortcomings to Him. We think that we don’t ascribe any shortcoming to Him but when we question fate, when we talk about “untimely deaths,” or when it comes to adopting a Hukm Shari and we don’t, justifying our stance with “We know our situation better” we are in fact attributing defects to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). With such statements we are implying that Allah doesn’t know better, that His wisdom is not infinitely more than ours, that His love of us isn’t infinitely more than our love of ourselves. With such statements we negate the Subhan Allahs that roll off our tongues.
Nothing is worthy of praise except Allah, since anything praiseworthy is so because He made it so. It is only a minute fraction of the good and beauty that is with Him.
Thus, when we say “Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi” we should keep its meaning in mind and feel it in our hearts. We should stop for a moment to think about what we are saying, so that we don’t live our lives in contradiction to it.
Saying “Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi” a hundred times causes minor sins to be forgiven no matter how many they are in number. For the expiation of major sins it is necessary that we be aware of the mistake we are asking forgiveness for and intend to avoid committing the same in future.
I wonder what people would’ve looked like if we had been allowed to decide on our own looks, yet not being allowed to see what others chose.
What the heart holds is most important, followed by what the tongue carries. How could you judge a person by what’s worn on their head?
Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The two feet of the son of Adam will not move from near his Lord on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five (matters) concerning his life - how he spent it; about his youth - how he took care of it; about his wealth - how he earned it; and where he spent it; and about that which he acted upon from the knowledge he acquired.” [Tirmidhi]
So there is no escape from being questioned about:
1. Your life - how you spent it. Was it in righteousness and piety or in sin and transgression?
2. Your youth - how you spent it. Was it in acts of obedience or acts of disobedience to Allah?
3. Your wealth - how you acquired it. Was it from that which is halaal or from that which is haraam?
4. Your wealth - how you spent it. Did you give others their rights in it - your relatives, the needy, the orphans, the mujahideen… or did you squander it on yourself alone?
5. Your knowledge - how you acted upon it. How much of your knowledge of Allah’s Deen did you put into practice? Did you study Islam to live by its teachings or did you acquire knowledge of the Quran and hadith to appear knowledgeable with it or gather wealth with it?
These things we seldom think about or question ourselves over. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has promised us our sustenance, but not promised us forgiveness. Yet we fret over the acquisition of wealth but not over acquiring Allah’s forgiveness. Doomed is the person who does not question himself, but waits to be questioned!
A blessed Juma’h to all. To all my brothers and sisters: at some point during this day, take a moment to reflect on your family. Our families are the biggest blessing from Allah after our own selves. If we have a good relationship with our family we should cherish and nurture it; if we don’t we should mend and repair it. Our Prophet (s) taught that honoring our family is one of the paths to Paradise. May Allah answer all of your prayers.
“We ask from our Lord: “Grant that our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes, so that we may be among the foremost who are conscious of (God).” Thank you to our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our wives, and our aunts for that spiritual connection from which affection flows.” Happy Valentine’s Day :-)
“On this blessed day of Jummah try this: Close your eyes. Imagine for one minute having no sight. Imagine not being able to read this, not being able to see the face of a loved one, of a sunset, of a scene of great beauty. Now open your eyes and acknowledge the gift of sight. Know that you are blessed to be able to see. In fact, just know that you are blessed.”
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The intelligent person is the one who brings his self to account and acts in preparation for what lies beyond his death; and the foolish person is the one who abandons himself to his desires and cravings and expects Allah to fulfill his futile wishes.” [Tirmidhi; Kitab Sifat al-Qiyyamah]
The self/nafs is a single entity, although its state may change: from the self that urges evil (an-nafs al-ammara), to the reproachful self (an-nafs al-lawwama), to the self at peace (an-nafs al-mutma’inna), which is the final aim of perfection. In the Quran, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has described these three states of the self.
Qatadah described the self at peace (an-nafs al-mutma’inna) as “the soul of the believer, made calm by what Allah has promised.” When the self can rest at peace in the Presence of Allah, and is made tranquil when His Name is invoked, and always relates all matters to Him, and often turns to Him, and is impatient to meet Him, and experiences the intimacy of His nearness, then this is a soul at peace. It is the soul to whom it is said at the time of death: “O soul at peace, return to your Lord, well pleased and well-pleasing. Enter with My servants, enter into My Garden.” [Quran: Surah al-Fajr, Ayaat 27-30] The self at peace has an angel to help it, who assists and guides it.
The reproachful self (an-nafs al-lawwama) is the one that blames itself because of its shortcomings in obeying Allah. This is the self that endures criticism from others in its quest to please Him, so that no one can find fault with it as regards his worship of Him. This one has escaped being blamed by Allah.
The self that urges evil (an-nafs al-ammara) is inside each person and must be curbed because by its very nature it directs its owner towards every wrong action. “And I do not say that my self is free from blame: surely the self urges evil.” [Quran: Surah Yusuf, Ayat 53] This is the self that brings punishment on itself. It has Shaytaan as its ally who leads it on with hope after hope and presents falsehood to it in a form that it will accept and admire.
Welcoming the month of Rabi al awwal, the month of the birth of the Messenger of God, our master Muhammad, God bless him and give him peace. A month of glad tidings, light, renewal, purification, and realignment. Be cheerful, there is a lot to be happy about.
May it be a day of blessings for you. May every Jummah on 2013 be one of reflection, and may the year ahead be one in which you grow in faith, and in nearness to the Divine Creator of us all.