MERITS OF MODESTY AND HUMILITY.
The Prophet said: God increases the honour of a man by virtue of his pardon. God raises him up who takes to modesty for pleasure of God.
The Prophet said: There is no such man with whom there are not two angels. They fix reign to his mouth. When he raises up his head, they lower it. When he is modest, they say: God, raise up his head.
The Prophet said: He who shows modesty being powerful, spends what he earns lawfully, shows kindness to the helpless and the destitute and keeps company with the wise and the learned is blessed.
The Prophet said: God humiliates him who takes pride. God makes him solvent who takes middle course in spending. God makes him poor who is extravagant. God loves him who remembers him most. Once the Prophet was taking meal with some of his companions. At that time, a beggar came and stood at his door. he was crippled being attacked with paralysis and the people began to hate him. The Prophet gave him permission to come in and kept him seated on his thigh and said: Take food. A man of the Quraish saw this and prohibited him being greatly hateful of him. It was seen that he died afterwards of this disease. The Prophet said: My Lord gave me option of either of the two things - slavery with the office of prophethood or reign with the office of prophethood. I could not determine as to which of these two I should choose and therefore I raised my head towards my friend Gebriel who said: Be humble to your lord. I said: I choose slavery with prophethood. God sent revelation to Moses I accept the prayer of one who humbles himself before My glory, who does not boast over My servants, keeps My fear attached to his heart, spends the day in My remembrance and deprives himself from passions and desires for My sake, The Prophet said: There is honour in God-fear, pedigree in humility and real wealth in faith. Jesus Christ said: those who are humble in this world are blessed. They will gain'high rank on the resurrection Day in the highest heaven. Those who keep their minds pure in this world are blessed. They will gain the sight of God on the Resurrection day.
The Prophet said: When God gives a servant guidance of Islam, fine figure, does not put him to any place of dishonour and gives him the quality of humility, he becomes dear to God. He said; Modesty does not increase but progress. So be modest, God will bestow mercy on you. Once the Prophet was taking his meal. At that time a black man being attacked with small pox came and was trembling before him. The neighbouring men were going away from him. The prophet kept him seated by his side: The Prophet said: God gives four qualities to a man whom He loves -
(1) silence n divine service.
(2) reliance on God,
(3) modesty and
(4) renunciation of the world.
The Prophet said: God raises him to seventh heaven who takes recourse to modesty. He said: He who carries himself the necessary things of his family, destroys his pride. The Prophet once said to his companions: Why do I not get from you the pleasure of divine service? They asked: What is the pleasure of divine service? He said: Modesty. He said: When you find the humble among my followers, be humble to them. When you find the proud, treat them with pride, because they will then feel humiliated and humble.
Wise sayings. Hazrat Omar said: When a man takes recourse to modesty for God, He raises his wisdom. When he takes to pride and enmity. He drowns him underneath the earth. It is then ordered: Be off, God has removed you. He is great to himself, but small to the people, even he is worse to them than a pig. Eusof-b-Asbat said: God-fear is sufficient for more divine services. A little modesty is sufficient for great labour. Ibnul Mobarak said: To treat with modesty with a person who is inferior to you in wealth is the root of modesty. The latter will then understand that superiority is insignificant to you. Treat with superiority with one who is superior to you in worldly riches, he will then understand that worldly superiority is insignificant to you. God revealed to Jesus Christ: When I give you wealth, I will give you in full if you accept it humbly. Ka'ab said: If God gives a man worldly wealth and if he expresses gratefulness for it to please God and becomes humble. He will give him its benefit in the world and will increase his rank in the Hereafter. Hazrat Abdul Malek was asked; Who is good? He said: that person who is modest inspite of his power, who gives up his low desires and who pardons inspite of his strength. The sage Ibnus Samak went to Caliph Harunur Rashid and said: Commander of the Faithful, the modesty which you show inspite of your unsullied power is more honourable than the honour of your lordship, He said: What a good word you have uttered? Ibnus Samak said: Commander of the Faithful: If one who has been given by God the beauty of physique, the quality of modesty and wealth and prosperity acquires the quality of God fear, removes the wants of others by his wealth and earns the attributes of modesty, his name is enrolled along with the friends of God in the special record of God. Then the Caliph kept these instructions written with his own hand. It was the habit of Hazrat Solaiman that at dawn he received the rich and the honourable persons and then he took seats with the poor and said to them: He who is poor sits with the poor.
A certain sage said: The more one is humble to himself, the more he is raised up to God. The more one is great to himself, the more he is mean to God. Jayad Noman said: A worldly renunciated man without humility is like a tree without fruits. The sage Fazil said: He who loves power will never be successful. The sage Shibli said: My humility has made the humility of the Jews void. A certain sage said: He who considers himself an asset has got nothing of humility in. him. The saint Abu Yezid said: So long as there is this thought in one;s mind that others are worse than him, he cam be called a proud man. He was asked: When will he be modest? He said: When he will not find,for himself any rank or honour. Hazrat Urwah said: Modesty is a means of earning pedigree. For every gift, there is a person of envy except for modesty. A certain sage said: It is good for every man to take to modesty but it is better for a rich man. To take pride is bad for everyone but it is worse for a poor man. A certain sage said: He who thinks himself modest for pleasure of God, there is honour for him. There is progress for one who is modest for pleasure of God. There is safety for one who fears the Almighty God. There is gain for him who sells himself for God. The sage Abu Ali Jayad said: Nature is filled up with pride, greed and envy. God deprives one of modesty, admonition and contentment whom He wishes to destroy. God gives those qualities to one for whom He wishes good. The sage Junaid said that the Prophet said: The worst men will be leaders in latter days. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq said: We have found honour in God fear, contentment in firm faith and pedigree in modesty. We pray for God’s mercy.
How quiet the great is!
Sunset, Feb 25, 2021.
Before answering this question, one needs to determine well the purpose of creation of the realm of substance. Allah (SWT) created this world as the realm of reflection of His names and attributes and exhibited His art, skill, sovereignty with the universe. He (SWT) created the world as a farm for the eternal life of man, a field of testing for his abilities to develop, an exhibition and a fair for him to gaze upon the matchless wonders of art of Allah Almighty.
Human beings, who do not know and accept the nature of the world in this way, are enamored with its transient and deceptive face. They expend their minds and hearts on the worlds transient pleasures, which have actually been given them for the Hereafter. They think that material and spiritual pleasures which have been given to them for the sake of fulfillment of their improper desires. They expect the applause and appreciation of people rather than Allahs pleasure. They seek high ranks and positions pertaining to the world in place of high ranks and positions in the Hereafter. Since they consider the world only a place where they could derive pleasure, they soon lose their ability of thinking and decision-making correctly. In the course of time, they form a philosophy of life out of this kind of way of life. They first remain indifferent to the religious points and then take sides against it. Consequently, their minds become narrower in the face of the divine truths, they come to poorly evaluate them, and they become impotent to handle a point or an exterior superstition, which could be resolved even by little consideration. They are deceived by tricks, which bear no truth.
Doing nothing for Lent
I’ve been awfully busy lately. Even on a lazy day, I’m busy busy busy, accomplishing this, working hard at avoiding that, distracting myself with this, putting a lot of effort into putting off thinking about that, praying this devotion, avoiding that one. In between activities, I was scrolling through Facebook on my distraction machine, and came across a short essay that smacked me right between…
It was narrated from ‘Ali bin Abu Talib that:
The Messenger of Allah forbade on the Day of Khaibar, the temporary marriage of women and (he forbade) the flesh of domestic donkeys.
Sunan Ibn Majah, The Chapters on Marriage, Hadith 1961/2015
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“Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.” Chapter 2 Al Baqarah, verse 3.
As indicated by the previous verse a muslim will only be rightly guided by the Holy Quran after they adopt piety. Chapter 2 Al Baqarah, verse 2:
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.”
Therefore, the second characteristic of righteousness mentioned in verse 3 is establishing the five daily obligatory prayers. This has been extensively discussed over four audio/video podcasts titled PodHadith: Establishing Belief, which are available via the following links: https://youtu.be/Zym6epsSwes and https://fb.watch/3HIaKuspii/
But to sum up, the first part of verse 3 refers to the inner aspect of a muslim, meaning belief in the unseen. The next part of the verse moves outwards and includes all physical acts of worship the greatest of which is establishing the obligatory prayers. This is indicated in a Hadith found in Jami At Tirmidhi, number 2616.
In fact, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, has clearly advised that establishing the obligatory prayers is the thing which differentiates a muslim from a non-muslim. This is confirmed in a Hadith found in Jami At Tirmidhi, number 2618. Establishing the prayer is a command which includes fulfilling all its etiquettes and conditions correctly, such as valid ablution. Unfortunately, some muslims who perform the prayer do not fulfil these etiquettes and conditions which, in some cases, can invalidate their prayer. An example is when one does not pause in between each position of the prayer correctly and instead rushes through the movements. This is warned in a Hadith found in Sunan An Nasai, number 885. Another important condition is to offer the obligatory prayers on time. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, has warned in a Hadith found in Jami At Tirmidhi, number 160, that delaying the obligatory prayer without a valid excuse is a sign of hypocrisy. Many believe the following verses of the Holy Quran curses those who unnecessarily delay their prayers. This has been discussed in Tafseer Ibn Katheer, volume 10, pages 603-604. Chapter 107 Al Ma’un, verses 4 and 5:
“So woe to those who pray. [But] who are heedless of their prayer.”
As establishing the prayer is the most important physical action the command in verse 3 can also mean that a muslim must strive to sincerely perform all the physical righteous deeds obligated and advised by Islam. In addition, performing righteous deeds can be considered one half of faith and establishing the prayer will inspire one to fulfil the other half, namely to abstain from sins. Chapter 29 Al Ankabut, verse 45:
“…and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing…”
PodTafseer: Al-Baqarah - Part 4: https://youtu.be/oZZ6MmUzzic
PodTafseer: Al-Baqarah - Part 4: https://fb.watch/3HJaScFW9Q/
Matthew puts the Lord’s Prayer right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, interrupting his long passage on doing good works in secret. Since the Sermon on the Mount is Matthew’s gathering of Jesus’ teaching on conditions for entering the Kingdom of Heaven, one could say that he deliberately puts this in the very centre of the conditions… The prayer begins with an invocation, and then divides into two halves, each of three requests, the first three regarding God, the second three regarding Christian disciples… The three different petitions about God are really variants of the same prayer. The central petition, ‘may Your kingship come’, is a prayer for the completion of God’s plan: ‘may the kingship of God be fulfilled’, an eschatological yearning that God’s sovereignty over the world be totally accepted and unimpeded. The Pharisees thought this would be the case when the Law was perfectly obeyed. Christians might well agree, though with a different interpretation of what this obedience would be. The first petition, ‘may Your Name be held holy’, is similar, a prayer that the sacred, unpronounceable Name, the LORD, may be honoured and revered as it should be. It is the… complete vindication of God’s name and honour at the re-establishment of God’s people in a free Jerusalem… The third petition (not given by Luke) is a typically Matthaean formula; he often stresses that it is not enough to cry ‘Lord, Lord’ without actually doing the will of the Father. It also forms Jesus’ second, heartfelt prayer in Gethsemane, ‘may your will be done’. Then we turn to human needs. First, to keep us fed… Second, that dangerous prayer for forgiveness on condition that we forgive others – a petition which must always be accompanied with searching our own consciousness for forgiveness of others. This again is the central petition of the three… Finally, the two complementary prayers, ‘lead us not into trials’ and ‘deliver us from evil’ – this may be understood either of the abstract entity ‘evil’ or the personification of evil, ‘the Evil One’.
Dom Henry Wansbrough; Commentary on Matthew 6:9-15
Pausing To Spotlight…My Family
Pausing To Share…MY BLACK HISTORY MOMENT – A Slave, Midwife and Legacy: Dr. Judy Simmons – uncovered by my cousins Cleo and Melvin Graham
Who are your ancestors?
Have you thought about your connection to them lately?
Is slavery and freedom a part of your family’s legacy? If so, what impact did it have on your family’s life?
Here is a story about one of my ancestors, who played a remarkable…
The mind is one of the most powerful tool, that we have in our arsenal. It houses the beginning of most things… as our actions usually are manifestations of our thoughts. It is the epicenter of our creativity and when combined with our hearts, produces much beauty.
Hail to She who was at the Beginning and shall be after the End of all things
Hail to the Queen of Mysteries that leads us through the labyrinth
Hail to the Dark Mother who knows all fates but speaks through silence
Blessed and holy are your endless, secret Names, may they ever reside in the mouths of your children
Bless and guide us this day, oh holy Deam Mysterium, though we are blind, may it be that you take us by the hand and lead us unto our heart’s true home and healing of all ills.
Both the individual right of controlling one’s wealth and the right of the collectivity vis-à-vis each person’s wealth, inasmuch as one is a member of society, have to be satisfied simultaneously. Individual temperaments differ enormously, and sickness or other accidents may affect a person all out of proportion to the norm. Therefore, a certain discipline should be imposed upon the individual in the interest of the collectivity.
Thus Islam has taken two steps: distributing a deceased person’s goods among his or her close relatives according to a method that cannot be challenged, and restricting the freedom of bequest through wills and testaments. The legal heirs require no testamentary disposition and inherit the property in the proportions determined by law. A testament is required only for those who have no right to inherit.
Parents and grandparents inherit, and one cannot award to one son (elder or younger) more than to the other, regardless of age. Before the property is distributed, however, the burial expenses have to be paid first, and then the creditors, as paying debts has priority over the inheritors’ rights. After this, the will is executed in such a way that it does not exceed one-third of the remaining property. Only after satisfying these obligations are the heirs considered. The surviving spouse, parents, and descendants (sons and daughters) are the first-class heirs and inherit in all cases. Brothers, sisters, and more remote relatives (e.g., uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, and others) only inherit if there are no nearer relatives.
-Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (may Allah sanctify his secret.)
It is Awesome That Its
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:8 The Holy Bible, The New Living Translation
The Bible is the most incredible book, which no other can compare with.
It is amazing that even after drinking in its knowledge for many decades now, it still…
RELATION OF TIME WITH THE ACT OF CREATION
Long before revolutionary changes in the view of physical time at the beginning of the twentieth century there were always metaphysical explanations for what time really is; one of these was that of René Descartes. In his meditation on God’s existence, he argues that God must and does continually recreate the world at each instant. Therefore, time is a divine process of recreation. There are two points in Descartes’ statement. One is that creation is a continuous act and the other is its relation with time. We are all aware that the continuity of creation is found in the teachings of the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur’an. It is not that God created the universe at the beginning and left it to evolve according to laws. When it comes to the relation of creation to the essence of time, Descartes view, at first, may be considered to be a metaphysical speculation. But it may also be an inspiration which Descartes received from a divine scripture.
Many Muslim scholars as well have taken Qur’anic verses on creation as references for their meditations on the nature of time. Ibn al-Arabi, in his Kitab Ayyam al-Sha’n writes about the structure of time and takes the Qur’anic verse Every day (yawm) He is in a new manifestation (sha’n) (Rahman 55:29) as a reference. The Arabic word “yawm” which means day is interpreted not as a time period that we call “day” but as a day in God’s Divine Presence. In Qur’an, the special word “sha’n” is used while talking about God’s acts to distinguish these from human acts. Besides sha’n (God’s act of creation) is always associated with the smallest and finest of times that leads to the fact that His acts happen with an incredible speed. There are few Qur’anic verses about the incredible speed of creation. One is:
God creates whatever He wills; when He decrees a thing, He does but say to it “Be!” and it is (Al Imran 3:47).
And the other is:
Our commands are done within the blink of an eye (Qamar 54:50).
Both verses imply not only that God creates whatever He wills without any difficulty but also the speed which His acts and His commands are carried out. Therefore, most scholars interpreted verse 55:29 as “God is in a new manifestation or at an affair at each instant.”
Now going down to sub-atomic levels where we come closer to the recreation at each instant and reading the following lines from The Words by the Turkish Islamic scholar Said Nursi we are better able to understand the essence of time:
“Indeed, the transformations of particles are the motion and meaningful vibrations that proceed according to the dictation and principles of “The Clear Record” (Imam-i Mubin) which is a title of Divine Knowledge and Command and is the arrangement of the past origin and future progeny of everything in the World of the Unseen. They proceed by means of transcription from “The Clear Book” (Kitab-i Mubin), which is a title for Divine Power and Will and is formed of the present and the Manifest World and consists of the free disposal of that power and will in the creation of things. Thus, this motion and meaningful vibration proceed from the writing and drawing of the words of Power in ‘The Tablet of Effacement and Reaffirmation,’ which is a metaphorical page, and the reality of the stream of time.”
The terms Imam-i Mubin and Kitab-i Mubin are used in the Qur’an in the following verses respectively.
And we have vested (the knowledge and authority) of everything in the manifest record. (Ya Sin 36:12)
The unbelievers claim, “The Last Hour will not come upon us.” Say: “Nay, but, by my Lord, Who is the Knower of the unseen, it will most certainly come upon you.” Not an atom’s weight of whatever there is in the heavens or in the earth escapes Him, nor is there anything smaller than that, or greater, but it is recorded in a Manifest Book. (Saba 34:3)
The term Imam-i Mubin, which is interchangeably used with Lawh al-Mahfuz by many Islamic scholars, is associated with Divine Knowledge and Command. Since Divine Knowledge encompasses everything, the Imam-i Mubin includes the past, present and future as well as the world of unseen. Time from azal (eternity in past) to abad (eternity in future) are found in Imam-i Mubin. Kitab-i Mubin, however, embraces only the present. We understand from the above Qur’anic verse that, Kitab-i Mubin accommodates the inward (batin) meaning of creation as well as the outward (zahir). The passage of time lies in a close relationship between Imam-i Mubin and Kitab-i Mubin. Time passes when God’s command proceeds from the Sphere of Divine Knowledge to the Sphere of Divine Power. Since we are restricted in time and are only witnesses to the Book of the Universe, that is, Kitab-i Mubin, we see only the present, instant after instant. In a way, we witness recreation instant after instant, a creation that continues completely unnoticed due to the incredible speed of God’s commands from Imam-i Mubin to Kitab-i Mubin. The interpretation given by Ibn al-Arabi to the Qur’anic verse Nay, (although they admit that We were not so,) they are in a confused state of mind about a new creation (after destruction) (Qaf 50:15) is that: There is continuous renewal of creation in every instant. What people see in the first instant is not identical to what they saw in the previous instant. So people are in confusion about this. Actually, through the manifestation of His Names, God continuously creates, annihilates and re-creates the universe.
CREATION, TIME AND THE CONTINUITY OF PHYSICAL EVENTS
Keeping in mind the connection between Imam-i Mubin and Kitab-i Mubin and the renewal of creation at each instant, we can now contemplate on another puzzling issue: The continuity of physical events. Even before quantum mechanics revealed the discontinuous nature of sub-atomic particles, some philosophers argued that it is the mind’s apprehension of discrete events as being continuous that leads us to conclude that things around us are continuous. The best known macro scale examples are watching a motion picture in cinema which is actually seeing 60 images one after another in one second, and looking at a burning light bulb which is, in fact, light that is flickering many times. Even though these processes are discrete in nature, our mental snapshots one after another gives the impression that these processes are continuous. How about the discontinuity in the micro world? Professor Whitehead nicely explains the discreteness of the (motion of) electron in the following lines:
“It is not wrong to assume that an electron does not continuously traverse its path in space. The alternative notion as to its mode of existence is that it appears at a series of discrete positions in space which it occupies for successive durations of time. It is as though an automobile, moving at the average rate of thirty miles an hour along a road, did not traverse the road continuously, but appeared successively at the successive milestones remaining for two minutes at each milestone.”
At this point it is agreeable to look further down to the distances that are smaller than Plank length, the smallest physical arena we can think of, where physics meets metaphysics and the act of creation takes place. This locus may well be the realm of discontinuity as well, as it is at this locus that materialization takes place. At this locus we may be able to witness God’s repeated acts of creation and annihilation and re-creation again, if we were able to probe down so far. So at the sub-atomic level, the transformation of particles can all be viewed as the vibrations that occur while God’s command is carried out from Imam-i Mubin to Kitab-i Mubin and back to Imam-i Mubin. Hence, there is the continuous cycle of coming into existence and dying in the Book of the Universe, if we call not appearing in the universe for a fraction of a fraction of a second dying, of course.
Taking the Qur’anic verse 28:886 as a reference, Nursi says “Existence continuously comes from God and returns to and perishes in God’s Knowledge”7 and he claims that there is no absolute nothingness (‘adam) since nothing can escape from God’s Sphere of Knowledge. In other words, even if something ceases to exist in the physical universe, or something that has not been even created or seen yet has some mode of existence, as it exists in God’s Knowledge. Because in God the ideas of all things are fixed, Imam-i Mubin, the title of His Knowledge, is also associated with a’yan thabita, which means fixed prototypes, where the latent realities of things exist.
TIME VERSUS DAHR
Other than the term “zaman”, meaning time, the term “dahr” is also used in some Qur’anic verses (45/24).8 Scholars give different views on the use of the latter word; the widely accepted one is that “dahr” means a long period of time, an eon. Sadruddin Konevi calls God “Dahr-i Daim” meaning “everlasting dahr” and identifies this as the eternal time which does not have relative aspect but includes relative and temporal time (zaman). According to him, dahr is the essence of time. This helps us to understand the Prophetic saying: “Curse not dahr, for God is dahr.”
We have seen what physics has to say about time, but we will never know if science can grasp the whole truth. Moreover, science cannot tell anything about the nature of time for and smaller than “Plank era.” We either stop at that point and do not question further or break the tenets of positivism. Islamic scholars and intellectuals have always linked time to God’s act of creation. Said Nursi further linked the passage of time to the relation between Imam-i Mubin and Kitab-i Mubin. Being a creation in space-time we are bound to relative time and have only the perception of events in time. But it may well be that innermost essence of time lies not in the material world but in the Unseen.
It has been narrated on the authority of Bara’ who said:
When the Qur'anic verse:“ Those who sit (at home) from among mu'min” (iv. 94) was revealed, the son of Umm Maktum spoke to him (the Holy Prophet). (At this). the words:“ other than those who have a trouble (illness)” were revealed.
Sahih Muslim, The Book on Government, Book 33, Hadith 207
Thank you dearly to everyone who took of their time to pray for my husband. He is back home today from the Emergency Room. May God bless you always.
Beyond Forgiveness - Daily Gospel Reflection for Friday, February 26, 2021
February 26, 2021
Friday of the First Week of Lent
Readings for Today
“Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5:26
Was our Lord here…