Friday, June 12, 2009

Do you ‘see’ Allah?

Who doesn’t enjoy beholding something beautiful? So much of our time is spent in beautifying things, places and our bodies, that it must indeed be worth the extra effort to incorporate beauty into any endeavor. Whether it is a bunch of cilantro leaves adorning a dish, a long-stemmed rose in a vase accentuating a dining table, a scenic watercolor painting giving life to a bland room, or blooming flowers livening up a lush green garden during spring, a thing of beauty, as they say, is “a joy forever.” So much so that, one of the best traits of a believing Muslim wife is that when her husband beholds her, he is pleased.

This point – beauty in people – invites us to ponder on what really beautifies a human being? Apart from physical appearance and inherent qualities of character and etiquette, it is Ihsan, as our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained in the Hadith of Jibreel:
“(Ihsan) is that you should serve Allah as though you see Him, for though you cannot see Him, yet He sees you.” (Sahih Muslim)

The root of the Arabic word “ihsan” comprises of the letters ‘ha-seen-noon’, which also forms the root of the word “husn”, or ‘beauty.’ Allah says in the Qur’an, that “He loves those who do ihsan.” (Qur’an, 2:195). Ihsan is, therefore, the epitome of good Islamic behavior and action. If a believer were to truly incorporate ihsan in himself, the first and foremost requirement of that would be, to live as though they “see” Allah.

The obvious question that crops up is, “But Allah can never be seen in this life?!” True. Since Allah cannot be seen by anyone in this world, a believer’s actions reach the lofty state of ihsan when he worships Allah at such a high level of consciousness that it is as if he sees Allah. For more read here.

Sheikh Uthaymeen: Humor while answering

Some humorous tidbits from the Fatwas of Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Al-Uthaymeen (d. 2001):

Q – Sheikh, my question is: what is the ruling about a young lady who has not reached adulthood with regards to the following three situations: covering the face outside the house? And wearing pants in any form, situation, or reason? And the khimar in the Salah?

A – This man is intelligent. He combined three questions in one, may Allah forgive us and him…. (Baab Al-Maftooh, 139)

Q – Is it allowed for a man to be with his female servant, and what can he see of her?

A – If he marries her, then she can uncover her face in front of him, and this is the solution….

...But I am afraid that if she becomes his wife, she will demand a female servant, and then this will be a problem! (Al-Liqaa Al-Shahri, 3)

Q – Is it allowed for me to buy a rooster so that when it crows, I ask Allah of His bounty?

A – I don’t know about this. It’s ordained for a person that when he hears the crowing of a rooster he asks Allah of His bounty, but I am afraid that your rooster will be silent! Alhamdulillah, you ask Allah for His bounty if you hear the rooster or not. Ask of His bounty always. (Al-Baab Al-Maftooh, 200)

For more read this.

Hope is to strive By Umm Haneefah

IBN Al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy on him) said while explaining the distinction between true hope and mere wishful thinking (tamanni):

“The difference between it and mere wishful thinking is that mere wishful thinking involves laziness wherein the person neither exerts himself, nor strives (to achieve what he wishes for).

Hope, however, entails striving, exertion and beautiful reliance. The first is like the one who wishes that the field would itself plant and sow its own seeds for him. The second is like the one who (actually) tills the soil, plants the seeds and then hopes that crops will grow.

This is why the the people of knowledge are agreed that hope is not correct except if accompanied by action.” – SG