Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Me and my father

When I was 4 Yrs Old : My father is THE BEST

When I was 6 Yrs Old: My father seems to know everyone

When I was 10 Yrs Old: My father is excellent but he is short tempered

When I was 12 Yrs Old: My father was nice when I was little

When I was 14 Yrs Old: My father started being too sensitive

When I was 16 Yrs Old : My father can't keep up with modern times

When I was 18 Yrs Old : My father is getting less tolerant as the days pass by

When I was 20 Yrs Old : It is too hard to forgive my father, how could my Mum stand him all these years

When I was 25 Yrs Old : My father seems to be objecting to everything I do

When I was 30 Yrs Old: It's very difficult to be in agreement with my father, I wonder if my Grandfather was troubled by my father when he was a youth

When I was 40 Yrs Old: My father brought me up with a lot of discipline, I must do the same

When I was 45 Yrs Old: I am puzzled, how did my father manage to raise all of us

When I was 50 Yrs Old : It's rather difficult to control my kids, how much did my father suffer for the sake of upbringing and protecting us

When I was 55 Yrs Old: My father was far looking and had wide plans for us, he was gentle and outstanding.

When I became 60 Yrs Old: My father is THE BEST

Note that it took 56 Yrs to complete the cycle and return to the starting point "My father is THE BEST "

Let's be good to our parents before it's too late and pray to Allaah that our own children will treat us even better than the way we treated our parents

Allah(SWT) says: "Your lord has decreed that you worship non but him and show kindness to parents. If one or both reach old age with you then do not say uff! To them nor repulse them, but speak graciously to them" {Surah Al-Isra: Ayah 23}

O our lord, forgive me and my parents and believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass. {Surah Ibrahim: Ayah 41}O my Lord, have mercy on them (parents) just as they nourished me when I was small.{Surah Bani Irail: Ayah 24}


Fighting your nature

In ‘Hilyat al-Awliya” (10/287), it’s related that al-Junayd said:
الإنسان لا يعاب بما في طبعه إنما يعاب إذا فعل بما في طبعه
''A person is not to be blamed for his nature. Rather, he is to be blamed if he acts according to his nature.”
This is a very deep statement.A person should not bring his status as an imperfect human being to serve as an excuse for manifesting blameworthy characteristics and actions. Yes, we were fashioned with varying degrees of negative attributes within us, such as envy, greed, lack of gratitude, arrogance, the desire to commit certain sins, etc.
However, we were also fashioned with the ability to repel, change, and strive against the inclinations to openly manifest them.
It is possible to abandon negative traits you find in yourself and change your character for the better. You just have to know what you want to become, and want it badly enough to put up a fight whenever the negative traits that get in the way begin to surface.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Worshipping idols and dead people

QUESTION: Why is it that we find people worshipping the idols that they have in their room or in their temples, when it is obvious that a piece of stone cannot do anything for them?

ANSWER: One of the scholars from several hundred years ago called ibn ul Qayyim explained this phenomenon. He mentioned in his book Ighaathatul lahfaan (2/220):

“The setting up of an idol was originally in the form of an object of worship which was hidden. So (the people) made the idol in its image, set it up and shaped it, so that it could be a representation of the hidden deity and take its place (ie the place of the hidden god).”

The idols that people have are supposed to be representations of god or gods that people cannot see or sense – so they make a physical form of their deity in order to have something tangible to direct their worship to. Muslims do not accept this idea, and idols are strictly forbidden in Islam (as indeed they are in the Bible, although we still see certain branches of Christianity encouraging statues of saints and of Jesus).

Muslims believe that they should direct their worship to Allah alone without needing any tangible representation of Allah to do so. To make a statue and direct any worship towards it constitutes an act of shirk (polytheism) which is the gravest sin in Islam.

QUESTION: Similarly, what excuse do people give for worshipping dead people who are lying in graves, when they cannot help or harm them?

ANSWER: This practice is found in many countries of the world in some way shape or form. It was also a common practice in the time of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The Quran mentions the answer that the people give when they are asked why they do this worship of the dead:

“And they worship besides Allah (those things or people) which can neither hurt them nor benefit them – and they say “These are our intercessors with Allah!” Surah Yunus (the 10th chapter) ayah 18 “We worship them only so that they can bring us closer to Allah!” Surah Zumar (the 39th chapter) ayah 3.

People think that these dead people can ask Allah for things on the living people’s behalf. Islam completely rejects this idea and says that Muslims should call on Allah directly. Allah says in the Quran: Call on Me, I will answer you. Surah Ghafir (the 40th chapter) ayah 60 Despite this, sadly we see some Muslims calling on dead ‘saints’ and dead relatives if they have a need to be fulfilled e.g a serious illness to be cured. This also constitutes an act of shirk in Islamic law and as such is a very serious matter.