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Monetary Matters

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

A talk on money is not exactly the first thing I go for, one because I have none and two because, like most of you I’m sure, the first talks I go for are the more juicier ones. Nonetheless this is an incredibly important lecture for anyone who ever earns or buys anything as it would be foolish to do so without understanding it in light of the shariah and sunnah.

Listen Here: “Key Islamic Concepts Regarding Monetary Matters” by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

Concept # 1: Quality is More Important than Quantity

Barakah is what makes all the difference. If you have barakah in the little money you have, it will take you very far and vice versa. We need the blessings of Allah سبحانه و تعالى ‎ and should specifically ask Him to put barakah in our wealth as well as our time.

Concept # 2:  Halal Gaining and Spending

This is the central part of all monetary issues. You have to make sure your income as well as where you spend it are both halal. If there is any evil or haram involved, it will have extreme consequences. The food you buy with that money will become haram and your prayers will be invalidated. Sometimes you have to embark on the more difficult path to earn a halal income but when you do it with sincerity Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ will make a way for you (sometimes out of nowhere).

Spending: Do not engage in interest, no matter what. It is also better to avoid credit cards. If you have one, be insidious about making payments on time. Carry cash with you at all times because it will make you spend less which will lessen your love of dunya (it will also make it easier for you to quickly give in sadaqa in the masjid or on the streets).

Concept # 3: Save it

If you want more money, you can either earn more or spend less. Earning more money is rarely an option so you have to spend a lot less than you can afford in order to truly save money. Muslims have a dignity and should not be put in a position to beg for money.

Concept # 4: Seek Forgiveness 

If you are having difficulty in earning halal rizq then you should first make astaghfar (the same applies when trying to have children). Truly repent to Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ and have sincerity in your search for a halal income.

Concept # 5: Give it Away (aside from Zakah)

People think giving money away decreases wealth but in fact it increases it (not to mention what it does for you in the aakhirah). It increases wealth on a qualitative and quantitative basis. It also creates barakah in your wealth which will make you content with what you have.

If these basic guidelines are followed, you will see a great effect in the quality of your life. May Allah give us barakah in our wealth and time, and every aspect of our existence. Ameen.

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The Tricks of Shaytaan

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here: The Tricks of Shaytaan (Devil) and How to be Safe  by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

I thought it would be a good idea to do this lecture since Shaytaan has been roaming free ever since Eid. It gets a little tough in Ramadan though, realizing that it’s actually your Nafs that loves to play games…

The Main Tricky Tricks:

  • Shaytaan tries to trick us into believing that we don’t have to preform any supererogatory good deeds. If you try to wake up for Tahajjud, Shaytaan will whisper that you always pray the mandated prayers and that there’s no need for more: you have work in the morning!
    • How to be safe: Anytime you want to buy some commodity, you need currency. Remind yourself that you need the currency of good deeds to attain Paradise. You cannot get it for free. Everything we do is part of our effort to earn Jannah, that is our full time job.
  • He tries to make you procrastinate. He makes you think that you will have more time tomorrow. But in reality, your busyness changesbut never ends (i.e I will do this or that when I get out of college, but then you have a stressful job and kids taking up your time). You will never be completely free, something will always come up.
    • How to be safe: You never know if you will live to see another day. People think they have time, but how many people do you know that died in their youth? Anything can happen, you cannot leave your Jannah to chance by living in the delusion of eternal time.
  • He tells you to rush salah so you can get to your other duties. Even though salah can’t be much prolonged, Shaytaan gets you to finish it in as few minutes as possible.
    • How to be safe: Realize that worrying and being in a hurry will never get you anywhere. The deen emphasizes controlled and conscious acts of worship. To Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎, a few quality actions are better than a lot of actions done without any quality.
  • You do something initially for Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ but right after it, you get the urge to share it with others. The Shaytaan convinces you tell others so they can “benefit.” Sometimes you do sincerely want to benefit others by detailing some aspect of worship, like when trying to rub off on children. However…
    • How to be safe: If there is some sort of inner debate in your mind as to your intentions for sharing, then all your hard work likely went down the drain. Remember to keep the reward with Allah. The One who should know about your deeds, already knows.
  • You hide your good deeds hoping someone will find out later.
    • How to be safe: This is similar to the last one in the sense that you are doing things for people. Remind yourself that people can’t give you anything. Seek reward with the Creator, not the creation.
  • Once you start becoming somewhat religious, Shaytaan puts the seed of arrogance in your heart by highlighting all the people who are not doing everything you’re doing.
    • How to be safe: When you meet someone and you immediately think yourself better: know that Shaytaan is creeping in your heart. Once you realize that any righteousness you have comes from Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎, you will never be arrogant. We have no greatness in ourselves.
  • The last tricky trick of Shaytaan is that he manipulates the concept of destiny and oversimplifies it so that you begin to think, “What’s the point?” He makes you think that your actions don’t matter and that you cannot control where you end up.
    • How to be safe: Even if that were true, a person destined for hellfire would only benefit from good deeds and one destined for paradise would be hurt by bad deeds. Recognize that Allah has given us free will, his knowledge of events does not compel us to act in a certain way. And Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ is just. He does not do anything except what is just. He is even looking for excuses to put us in paradise.

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Repentance and Laylatul Qadr

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here:Repentance and Laylatul Qadr” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

Ramadan is going by so fast, tonight is already the 27th! It is the second to last night odd night, so it might be Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). Accordingly, here are some quick notes on a talk about Laylatul Qadr by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad. It actually goes well (yes, certain talks go well together like biryani and raitha) with a recent talk by Shaykh Omar Hussaini called The Importance of Working Hard and Keeping Busy because he energizes you and motivates you to work hard, which is especially key in the last couple of days of Ramadan.

In the first half of this lecture, Shaykh Zulfiqar highlights the parts of the Quran in which Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ establishes himself as forgiving. Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ is the Most Forgiving, he loves to forgive. We should spend the nights of Laylatul Qadr in deep repentance. However, achieving forgiveness has conditions:

  • The person should be ashamed and regret his sin.
  • The person should not engage in that sin again even though he his capable of it.
  • The person rids himself of that sin for the sake of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ (someone may seek forgiveness for gambling after losing a ton of money, but his aim is not Allah, he is just afraid of losing wealth)
  • If the person has done something against another, he should first seek forgiveness from that person (if you engaged in backbiting, it is not proper to tell the person what you said about him, rather ask forgiveness in generalities: “Please forgive me for my mistakes”).
  • The person should perform good deeds similar to the sins he committed (If he used to drink alcohol, he should spend extra time providing water to the thirsty. If he used to hurt others, he should spend time making them happy).

Preparation and Progress

June 14, 2012 1 comment

As part of my efforts to attain consistency, readers can now expect to find at least three posts per month, a post in the beginning, middle, and end of the month inshaAllah.

The following two lectures go very well together because one deals with preparation while the other discusses progress. I happened to listen to them one after the other and the combinations of the two had an extremely strong impact on my daily actions…

Listen Here: The Power of Preparing by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

Preparation is the key to progress in the deen.

There are two types of people:

  • One person will come late to the masjid and leave fast. He will gain minimal benefit because of his lack of preparation.
  • The other person sees salah as an event and goes to the masjid having prayed the sunnah. He does dhikr on the way and prepares his heart. This process maximizes his benefit.

This applies to everything in the deen, to Ramadan, to Hajj etc. (Ramadan can meet you, or you can meet Ramadan). This applies to everything in the dunya as well. Preparation is what distinguishes people and their progress.

Always be prepared for the big event that is salah.

Listen Here: Dhikr: an Indispensable Tool for Progress by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

Dhikr prepares the heart. It is the light that cleanses the soul. Many students try to progress in the deen. They have their hands in various activities but fail to take time out for the dhikr of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ which makes their spiritual progress stagnate.

Beautiful Points:

  • The word “bored” should not be in the vocabulary of a Muslim, “When the dhikr of Allah is there, how dare you say you’re bored?”
  • If it is possible to be engrossed in the dunya, then undoubtedly there is state of obsession in the remembrance of Allah.
  • The similitude of one who remembers Allah and one who does not is the similitude of the one who is alive and the one who is dead (hadith).
  • What lover is there that does not remember his beloved?

Put in at least an hour of dhikr. You have to dedicate serious time in order to progress in anything in the dunya as well as in the deen.

Getting Rid of Laziness

May 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here: “Getting Rid of Laziness” by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

I found out about Shaykh Omar Hussaini a few months ago, and the one thing I can unequivocally say is that he can read my mind. I’ll be listening to a lecture and I’ll think of something that I tend to do which hasn’t been addressed and less than five minutes later, there it will be (ex: He was advising to get rid of the internet and the whole time I was thinking “What about my research papers?” Then he was like “For those students worried about their research papers…”)

On to a much need lecture… Getting Rid of Laziness!

Shaykh Hussaini started the talk by describing the ways in which people desire comfort. People often aspire to be in a state where they don’t have to work too hard. They want to take things easy. However, if you want to have a high status in the hereafter, then you have to strike the word easy from your mind. You have to work hard, and there is great pleasure in working hard. People have this misconception that when they have nothing to do/no responsibilities, they will be happy. Having nothing to do is actually very torturous. Who are the people in society who have nothing to do and no responsibilities? Prisoners.

The Prophet  صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to seek refuge from laziness and sloth.

When people become accustomed to sloth, society starts to lose respect for them and they start to lose respect for themselves. If you are part of a system and you’re taking advantage of it, then you’re taking a toll on that system. Muslims are not supposed to be takers, they are meant to be givers.

Hard work is a haven that prevents you from engaging in sin. You should be so tired by the end of the day that you fall asleep before your head hits the pillow. This is a blessing from Allah سبحانه و تعالى.

We have to be very careful about laziness. When a person is too lazy to do anything, he does nothing. There won’t be any progress and everything will be a chore (praying salah and reading the Quran become chores).

You should always have a fire and passion in your heart. There are many people who want this passion but don’t know how to get rid of their laziness. Here are two ways:

  1. Try to find enjoyment: It’s easy to be passionate and enjoy something when you’re interested in it. We have to start enjoying the deen. Everyone knows there is a pleasure and “sweetness” in th e deen. The way to attain that sweetness is by avoiding sin. The more you avoid sin the more you will enjoy the deen. It’s a reciprocal relationship.
  2. Erase the idea within yourself that you have a lot of time: People always think that they’ll have time. They want to go out with friends and have a “good time.” They have these “long hopes” but this misleading idea will come crashing down one day. The person who thinks that he is breathing one breath right now and expects to breathe the next is sinful because he is passing judgement on the unseen. Even if you hope to do good deeds, you never know when your time will run out. Instead of having long hopes, you should make the right intentions with the understanding that only Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ can make it true if He so wills.

Whoever fears the warning of Allah, that which is far becomes close.   Whosoever has long hopes, his actions become bad. (Arabic poem)

Long hopes make a person forget the next life. They create a sense within you that you have all the time in the world and that death is far away. Make the most of every moment and remember death often.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى prevent us from being among the lazy and give us pleasure in our work and give us the passion, drive, and focus to make us successful in this life and the next. Ameen.

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