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Taqwa

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I was just listening to Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar’s tafsir lesson on Surah Al-Baqarah and he made an interesting point on taqwa that I never thought about before. Taqwa means to have God-consciousness, to be aware of Allah All-Mighty and to have a love and fear in your heart that prevents you from doing wrong. But people also have this taqwa in relation to this life. If someone is studying to be doctor for example, and he gets an assignment in class but he’s not sure whether it was to read pages 120-130 or 120-135, he’s going to read it all. He also related a story of someone who had a cut on his lip and went to the doctor just to make sure it wasn’t cancer. These things show that we’re very concerned when it comes to our desires or health. We’d rather be safe than sorry. Just imagine employing these safeguards when it comes to the deen.

I unfortunately can’t put up notes on tafsir lessons just because they would be too long, but I highly recommend you listen to them (Shaykh Husain is up to Surah Al-Imran, and, before you start congratulating yourself for getting in at the right time [like I did] Surah Al-Baqarah’s commentary is massive and started in 2004).

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Signs and Effects of Our Sins

December 18, 2011 1 comment

Listen Here: “Signs and Effects of Our Sins” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

This was truly a great lecture that benefited me the way most talks on sins do: It scared me, made me analyze myself, and motivated me to be better.

Shaykh Zulfiqar started the talk by discussing the first sin ever committed by the infamous Iblees, or Satan. He refused to prostrate to Adamعليه السلام  justifying it by claiming his own superiority. In doing so he committed the following sins:

  • Went against the direct command of Allah
  • He tried to present justifications for his sin
  • He did not seek forgiveness from Allah and shut himself completely from His mercy
The person who commits a sin and seeks forgiveness is forgiven by the All Merciful. The worst thing Iblees did was to make justifications and not seek forgiveness. The person with true ilm (knowledge) is he who can refrain himself from sin. There are no small or big sins, “Don’t look at the sin but look at who you are disobeying.”

3 Effects of Sins:

  1. If a person doesn’t seek forgiveness right away, he will experience immediate retribution for his sin in this life. The punishment will be enough so the person comes back to Allah.
  2. The effect of the sin will not be apparent. Allah will let the person keep committing sins and opens the door to every blessing. The person starts believing he is right and then there will be sudden and swift recompense, in this life or the next.
  3. The punishment is delivered but the person does not realize there is any punishment. For example, a person did a sin and Allah keeps him from praying tahajjud prayer. The person will think it’s his own fault that he is not praying, but it’s really because Allah does not want to see his face. Only those closest to Allah get to reap the blessings of tahajjud and Allah prevents that person from being close to Him.
3 Signs of Sinful Heart: 
  1. The person no longer hesitates before committing the sin. He has no worries, no modesty, no qualms. There is nothing in his heart that tries to stop him
  2. He doesn’t have the desire to do good. Allah takes away his love and desire to perform good deeds (like the times when you have high energy and read every prayer in the mosque and recite Quran throughout the day)
  3. He hates getting advice. If a father tells his son he shouldn’t be doing something, the son doesn’t even consider the advice at all but rather worries about who told the father. He is more concerned with how the news was spread or why it was discussed.

If you cannot stop yourself from committing a sin, then beg Allah to stop you. Turn yourself over to Him and constantly seek forgiveness. NEVER make justifications for your sins! It’s common for us to reason our way out of a sin (“I don’t really need that much, but I have have a wife and kids to feed so I had no choice but to do it).

My thoughts: Effect #3 is scary, if Allah punishes you by preventing you from being close to Him, then I cannot fathom a worse consequence. In this scenario, you don’t even realize what’s going on and you’ve lost the greatest pleasure of this world while thinking you still have it. I was listening to this lecture on my way home and I thought to myself that if Allah ever had to punish me in some way, let it happen immediately in this life so I can go back to being close to Allah. And readers, I kid you not, my CAR BROKE DOWN. If I had a bed at that point, I would hide under it. [Update: I was told not to think this way, and I never do, it was just an odd passing thought. But we should always pray for forgiveness and pardon rather than retribution from the All-Merciful and Ever-Forgiving]

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