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The Tsunami of Time

April 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Listen Here: “The Tsunami of Time” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

In this lecture, Shaykh Husain compares the power and effects of a tsunami with that of time.

The tsunami that occurred in Japan was so massive that we can’t even appreciate how large it was, for every one story of loss we hear, there are 100 others we didn’t hear. When the earthquake hit, the world was given a universal tsunami warning, they were posted on all major websites; Google posted it beneath their search engine.

In the same way, we are all undergoing the tsunami of time, which grabs everyone and drags them off the face of this earth.  The deception of time as opposed to a tsunami which comes and goes quickly is that time appears to move slowly. It deceives us to make us think it is slow, but in reality it will hit us just the same. The tsunami of time doesn’t care who you are, what you have, or who you know. You have a very limited window in which to spend your time. There isn’t even a question of survival.

If you just look at your own self you’ll see the effects of time, you’re not able to do the things you were able to do once before, your children are becoming as tall as you, your hair used be black but now it’s turning white.  These are all signs that the tsunami has come to your knees but hasn’t sucked you away yet, the next wave will certainly take you.

For the Muslims, we have been warned, this tsunami will not take us by surprise. Just like these governments and websites blew a whistle warning people of the tsunami, so too were we blown a whistle by our messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.

Don’t be deceived by this life, the one who acts like this life is permanent will be the biggest loser in the end. The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم in the early days of Islam gathered his people and asked them, if I warned you that over this hill is an army ready to attack you, would you not believe me? They said, of course you are truthful and honest, so he warned them of something greater, that there is death, that there is an afterlife, and a final judgment.

So the only thing left is to take advantage of this time. On the final day there will only be Allah and your deeds. Are we doubting the word of Allah, are we doubting the veracity of our Messenger صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم who said be like a traveler because we are. We have no excuses. What a blessing of Allah swt that it won’t be a shock to us, we’re fortunate; we’ve been warned and told of the reality of this life.

It’s amazing the gamble we take every day, we say we’ll worry about our salah another day, we’ll worry about reading the Quran another day. Life doesn’t work this way, there will be a day after which there won’t be any other days. There is no guarantee that you’ll have those 20-30 years for which you’re leaving your worship, there’s no guarantee of a tomorrow.

We have to be thankful and sensible, we are standing in the face of a tsunami that no human being has ever or can ever avoid. If a person says to you, there is a tsunami you will be raised in front of your Lord, you will be judged and you will be placed in Jannah or Jahannam, there are only two options -I believe you, a believer, or I don’t believe you, a non believer. The believer will change his life accordingly and that is a sign of belief.

We KNOW the reality and we have to prepare for the hereafter, to do anything else would be like playing at the beach on the day of the tsunami!

My thoughts: Subhan’Allah what an amazing lecture! The believer should always be this keenly aware of reality. Time is such a deception, sometimes when you look at elderly people, with deep lines running across their faces and you can’t help but think where did their life go?  Most of it has been spent, they’ve lived their lives, I look like this right now, I’m young, but there was a time when they looked just like me. It’s so short subhan’Allah, we’re all just here travelling, waiting, to see the real world. Hearing this lecture puts a heavy rock on your gut and asks you, where have you been spending your time? It makes the asal, the true, nature of this life so real and so right in front of you that you just want to pull the covers over your head and hide your face.

By the essence of all time. Verily, all humankind is in deep loss. Except those who believed (in the oneness of Allah) and performed good work and reminded each others of the truth and reminded each other to be patient.

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Serving Others

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Listen Here:  “Serving Others” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

There are two types of worship for the Muslim, Ibadat (worshipping Allah through the prescribed prayers) and Mu’amalaat (justly interacting with mankind, which translates into worshiping Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎).

The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم created a perfect balance for the Muslim; he fulfilled the worship of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ and fulfilled the rights of his family and community. Aisha (ra) reported that the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم would always be busy in the service of his family when he was home, he would never wait to be served. Much of his interaction with people was centered on khidmat (serving). He would actively seek out opportunities to serve others, whether it was through visiting the sick or helping the poor etc. However when it came down to the two ibadaat, he would always drop everything and focus on Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎. The same Aisha (ra) tells us that when it was time for prayer, the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلمwould not even recognize his family.

There were two times the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم solely reserved for the worship of Allah, the nights and salaah times. All the times in between would be spent on serving humanity. This is an especially important lesson for us; American society is centered on consumerism. Every consumer expects and demands to be served, rarely do we serve others, much less seek out opportunities for it.

We must establish a balance and schedule our day according to the sunnah. Some people never serve anyone, they wait to be served by the people around them, even by their parents and especially by their wives. Other people just want to spend all their time in service while neglecting Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ altogether. They justify missing salaah because they were helping someone. Another group of people want to spend all their time in the masjid. If we even just glance at the sunnah, it’ll be evident that this is not how the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم did things.

My thoughts: Shaykh Husain reminded us that whenever we lower ourselves, Allah raises us. The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was a force of nature, people were ready to do anything for him at any time, but he chose to do things for himself and furthermore he chose to dedicate his life to doing things for other people. I love this lecture because when you’re so focused on your studies, or work, or what you have to do, it’s really easy to forget serving others. Subhan’Allah when I first heard this lecture a few years ago, my mind immediately went to how I drag my feet when asked to make tea. Granted, I’m asked a lot, but these simple little things are great opportunities, especially if they’re for your parents. Service starts foremost with family and those around you. Every time I hear this lecture, I can think of new things to do, and these things become habits, and alhamdulilah when they become habits- your set! There’s so much wisdom behind this because not only will fulfilling a sunnah make one feel closer to the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, but relationships also strengthen through service.


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Waking Up For Allah

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Listen Here: Waking up for Allah by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

What an epic lecture. This is one of my favorite lectures by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar. What I love about this lecture is that he reminds us to recognize the most obvious things (which we often forget), the occurrence of a sunrise and sunset and the division between day and night. These are beautiful manifestations of Allah’s majestic power. The idea that we can have a fresh start anytime, that the troubles of the previous day seem less significant after a night’s sleep, that each day is an opportunity, are all the mercy of Allah سبحانه و تعالى.

Shaykh Husain begins the lecture by recognizing the awesome power of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, something as great as the sunrise occurs every day and yet we are oblivious to it. Don’t begin your mornings being heedless of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, consciously recognize the fact that Allah سبحانه و تعالى bought you into the morning and be thankful for it.

A dua from hadith: We entered the morning and the entire universe entered the morning because of/for the sake of Allah. (The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم recited this in the mornings)

The fact that we have an opportunity to reset every night produces two new circumstances:

  • The sinner gets a completely new chance to change and repent to Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
  • The believer gets a new opportunity to worship Allah سبحانه و تعالى. Yesterday’s successes don’t necessarily mean future successes. Every day is a new chance to take advantage and develop oneself.

To produce the perfect day is the goal, a day in accordance with the sunnah, just one day spent being a true Muslim. Above all, the last day will be the most important, a day that has to end in a state of imaan.

My thoughts: If I truly understand what a mercy every new day is (It’s like a fresh new energetic start), then undoubtedly the next step is to actually take advantage of the day. Shaykh Husain advises us to be consistent and determined, to plan out every hour of the day and to not let it be random. Why don’t I even have a planner? Aside from planning most of the day, it’s good to have a list of small beneficial things to do when free (Key read: Easy Good Deeds by Mufti Taqi Usmani).