Saturday, 30 July 2011

Hadhrat Ali (r.a.) once stood up to deliver a lecture saying, "All praise belongs to Allaah Who has created creation, Who breaks the dawn, Who will resurrect the dead and raise all within the graves. I testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allaah and I testify that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the servant and Rasul (messenger) of Allaah.

I emphatically advise you to adopt Taqwa. Remember that the best means of attaining proximity to Allaah is by Imaan and Jihaad in the path of Allaah. It is also most effectively attained by the Kalimah of Sincerity that is most natural, by establishing salaah, which is part of the true creed, by paying zakaah, which one of the obligatory duties and by fasting during the month of Ramadhaan, which happens to be a shield against Allaah's punishment. Furthermore, it is attained by making Hajj at the Kabah, which eliminates poverty and obliterates sins. Fostering good family ties is also a means (of attaining proximity to Allaah) since it causes one's wealth to increase, one's lifespan to be extended and love within the family to grow. Sadaqah should also be given in secret because it erases sin and extinguishes the wrath of your Rabb. Good deeds need also be carried out because it thwarts a bad death and safeguards one against being floored by abject circumstances. Engage abundantly in Allaah's Dhikr because it is the best thing to engage the toungue with. You must look forward to the promises Allaah has made to the people of Taqwa because Allaah's promises are the most truthful of all promises.

Follow the guidance of your Nabi because it is the best of all guidance and adopt his way of life because it is the best of practices to follow. Learn the Book of Allaah because it is the best of all speeches and develop a deep understanding of Allaah's Deen because it is the spring of the heart. Treat (physical and spiritual) illnesses with its light because the Qur'aan is definitely a cure for all that hearts contain. Recite the Qur'aan beautifully because it is the most beautiful of all narratives and when it is recited to you, listen attentively and remain silent so that mercy may be showered on you. When you have been inspired to study the Qur'aan, practise what you have learnt so that you may receive guidance.

Remember that the practising Aalim who does not practise his knowledge, he would be just like the tyrannical ignoramus who cannot be straightened because of his ignorance. In fact, I feel that the regret is more lasting and the case stronger against the Aalim who forsakes his knowledge as opposed to the ignoramus who is confused in his ignorance. Both these persons are astray and destroyed.

Never entertain doubts because it will plunge you into misgivings and it is such misgivings that will lead you to kufr. Do not also practice on concessions because you will then soon become too compromising and as soon as you compromise on the truth, you will lose plenty. Bear in mind that it is an act of intelligence that you rely on Allaah but this reliance should not be such that it leads you to deception. The person who most wishes well for himself will be the most obedient to his Rabb whereas the one who is most deceived will be most disobedient to his Rabb. The person who obeys Allaah will remain safe and happy while the one who disobeys Allaah will remain in fear and have regrets. Furthermore, you must also pray to Allaah for conviction and always show Him your desire for well-being. In fact, conviction is the best of all things that remain entrenched within the heart. The best of all matters are those that are the most resolute while the worst of them are those that have been fabricated. Remember that every fabricated matter is a Bid'ah and every person who fabricates is engaging in Bid'ah. Such a person will be destroying (the Deen) because whenever he fabricates a Bid'ah, he is forsaking a Sunnah.

Those truly at a loss are those whose Deen is at a loss and who have put their own souls at the losing end (by disobeying Allaah). Verily ostentation is a part of Shirk, while sincerity is a part of good deeds and Imaan. Gatherings of futility make one forget the Qur'aan, are attended by Shaytaan and invite people to misguidance. Remaining in the company of (non-Mahram) women causes the heart to stray and captivates the eyes because women are indeed the traps of Shaytaan.

Be true to Allaah because Allaah is with those who are true and abstain from lying because lying is the antithesis of Imaan. Always bear in mind that the truth stands at the peak of salvation and honour while lying stands at the peak of destruction and devastation. Listen well! Always speak the truth and you will be known for it, practise it and you will be amongst its worthy bearers. Always return trusts to those who have entrusted goods with you. Join ties with those family members who have severed them and be gracious to those who deprive you. Fulfil the pledges you undertake with people, ensure that you exercise justice when passing judgement and never boast about your ancestors before each other. Never call each other names, never make fun of each other and never make each other angry. Assist the poor, the oppressed, those in debt, those striving in the path of Allaah, the beggars and slaves and always show mercy to widows and orphans. Make Salaam common amongst you and reply to the Salaam of those who greet you/ using the same words or words that are better. (He then recited the verse:) {Assist each other in good works (virtue and piety) and Taqwa and do not assist each other in sin and transgression (oppression and injustice). Fear (the punjshment of) Allaah! Most surely Allaah is severe in punishment.} [Surah Maa'idah, verse 2] Entertain guests, be good to your neighbour, visit the ill, accompany funeral processions and, 0 servants of Allaah, behave like brothers.

Furthermore, I wish to add that this world has turned its back and bid farewell, whereas the Aakhirah has arrived and is straining its eyes to look. Today (this world) is the time for the race while tomorrow it will be seen who has gone ahead. The winner will have Jannah while at the other end is Jahannam.

Behold! You are passing through days of respite which are followed by your death that is approaching very fast. Therefore, whoever does good deeds sincerely for Allaah during the days of respite before his death, has really done well and will have what he hopes for. On the other hand, whoever is neglectful of doing good will be at a loss for good deeds, will have shattered hopes and will actually come to harm because of his hopes. You must do good deeds with hope of reward as well as in fear (for punishment). If you are overcome with hope, then be grateful to Allaah and couple it with fear. Then, if you are overcome with fear, remember Allaah and couple it with hope because Allaah has announced that men shall have Jannah in return for their good deeds and will have an increase (in bounties) for their gratitude. I have never seen a place like Jannah yet its seeker is asleep. I have also not seen a place like Jahannam, yet the one who ought to be running away from it is also asleep. I have also not seen anyone earn as much as the one who earns for the day when treasures will be accumulated, when secrets will be exposed and when all major sins are collected together. Take note of the fact that whoever does not benefit from the truth will still be harmed by falsehood and the one whom guidance does not put on the straight path will certainly be led away (from the straight path) by misguidance. The one whom conviction does not benefit will be harmed by doubt and the one who does not benefit from what is before him will be one-eyed when viewing something far off and even more helpless when it comes to things that are not present. You have been instructed to travel (to the Aakhirah) and have been shown where to find the provisions for the journey. What I fear most for you people is that you follow the dictates of your passion and that you entertain long hopes of the future. As for entertaining long hopes, it makes one forget the Aakhirah, whereas following one's passions distances one from the truth.

Listen well! While this world has already embarked on its return journey, the Aakhirah has just commenced its arrival. Both these places have their sons, so as far as possible, you should endeavour to be amongst the sons of the Aakhirah and not amongst the sons of this world. While today you have the opportunity for actions without reckoning, tomorrow you will face reckoning without the
opportunity for actions." (1)

1) Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah (Vol. 7 Pg.30). Haafidh Ibn Katheer states that this lecture is most  eloquent and comprehensive in enjoining good and forbidding evil and has been narrated through
many unbroken chains of narrators.

(From 'Hayatus Sahabah' by Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Khandhlawi)