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Transcript of The True Happiness Khutbah by Yasir Qadhi

This is a transcript of the True Happiness Khutbah by Yasir Qadhi which we posted earlier. One of the sisters who reads the site, Bint AbdelHamid, took this project on and sent it to us, may Allah (swt) reward her immensely for her efforts.

الحمد لله – الحمد لله الذي خلق السماوات والأرض، و جعل الظلمات والنور ثم الذين كفروا بربهم يعدلون، لا يحصي عدد نعمه العادون، ولا يؤدي شكره المتحمدون، و لا يبلغ مدى عظمته الواصفون. بديع السماوات و الأرض، إذا قضى أمراً فإنما يقول له كن فيكون. و أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله، و أعتقد أن لا رب إلا إياه، شهادة من لا يرتاب في شهادته، و اعتقاد من لا يستنكف عن عبادته، و أشهد أن محمداً عبده الأمين و رسوله المبين، أرسله الله تعالى إلى الخلق أجمعين، بلسان عربي مبين، بلغ الرسالة، و أدى الأمانة، و نصع الأمة و كشف به الغمة، و جاهد في سبيل الله المشركين، و عبد ربه حتى أتاه اليقين. فصلى الله عليه و على آل بيته المطهرين، و على أصحابه المنتخبين و على من سار على نهجهم و سلك طريقهم إلى يوم الدين.

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أما بعد،

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, it is a common fact of existence that each and every living being, each and every breathing organism has but one ultimate goal. In each and every thing that it does – in its sleep and its wakeful state, in its movement and its rest, in its eating and drinking and socializing – in whatever action that ANY living organism does – animal or man, inse or jinn, Muslim or Non-Muslim, male or female – there is but one ultimate goal.

And that goal is to find an inner happiness. That goal is to be fulfilled, is to feel sakeena and tuma’neena, is to feel peaceful within themselves.

So, whatever every person does, that person believe that through this thing, “I will be happy. It will bring me comfort; it will bring me pleasure; it will bring me joy and peace.” This is what motivates every single living organism, every single being – this is what motivates it.

Now, the goal is one, and that is the goal to feel happy. But we find that the paths to find this happiness are different. We find that various people take different goals, different methods, different paths, different roads. And they all think that they will arrive at the same destination.

So we find that one group of people believes that happiness will be found through possessions, through money, through wealth, through owning the best houses and cars. And so, you find [that] this person, all that he does or she does is to figure out, “How can I get the most money? What degree should I get; what education, what university, which job, which firm, which company? How can I climb the corporate ladder?” Their entire life becomes achieving wealth, because of which they think they will become happy…

Another group of people think that happiness will be found through fame, through recognition. And so you find this group, all that they do [is], “What can make me famous? How can society recognize me?” So they become actors/actresses, go into music and singing. Or, if they’re into Arts and Sciences, they think of discovery: “What can I discover to make me famous, to win a Nobel Prize, or to win this award? When everybody knows who I am, that is when I will achieve happiness and satisfaction…”

Yet another group of people believes that happiness is found through satisfying one’s animal desires – sensual instincts. And so, you find this group of people turning to women and wine, to drugs and cheap luxuries. And they think that by numbing out their animal senses, by making sure each and every bestial desire inside of them is met, they will find happiness…

And most of us, most of us, sadly, believe that happiness is a combination of the above factors. A little bit of wealth, with a little bit of fame and a little bit of sensual desires.

This is how we find “happiness.”

But the reality is, when you look at the people who have spent their lives following these various paths, when you look at the people whom society considers have reached the upper echelons of wealth, of fame, of sensuality – the most evil people in terms of sensuality, the most richest people in terms of wealth, the most famous people in terms of recognition – the rest of society considers they have arrived –

If you were to interview this elite, if you were to get to know them and ask them, “You have spent your life hoarding this wealth, amassing fortunes, you’re on the Fordes list of 100 richest people or 50 richest people; you’re one of the most influential people according to Times Magazine; you’re one of the most famous actors and actresses – everybody knows you; your pictures appear on the magazines; you fall, you sneeze, you laugh, it becomes a national news item; you enter the hospital, you come out of it, the whole world knows… Fine, let me ask: have you achieved… happiness?

“Sure, you’re rich, you’re famous, you’re wealthy, you’re the most evil in terms of sensuality, sure – [but] have you achieved this inner happiness? Because the rest of society looks up to you. The rest of society believes you have, they take you as their role models, they take you as their gods and goddesses that they have to worship. Each and every thing that you do becomes a religion for them, they follow your statistics, your marriages and divorces – you become their role model!

“But let me ask you: are you happy in your personal life? Have you achieved what the rest of the people think you have achieved?”

And if these people could be honest with you (and many of them have, if you read their interviews, and many of them are not – but if they could be honest with you), they would say, ALL of them, “Not yet…”

For many people, they very thing that they were desiring becomes a curse. For many people, the fame, the recognition, becomes a curse that they cannot get out of it, they cannot live normal lives anymore. They were the ones who didn’t want to live normal lives, they were the ones striving to get famous. Once they reach there, they regret it. They can’t enjoy a normal life anymore… and they have no one to blame but themselves.

When they become rich, their entire thinking, their entire day and night becomes worrying about the stock going up and down, my company floundering or getting more money, this transaction, that business, that deal going through. In other words, their time becomes locked up with that money, not with their family, not with the joys of life, not with the happiness.

So what if they wear a fancier suit and they drive a better car?! In their hearts they are more busier, they are more filthy. In their hearts they have nothing to enjoy that with, because their minds are always thinking about this money and how to get more and how to make sure it doesn’t go away. They become slaves to the money that they were worshipping besides Allah.

And the same goes for sensuality, and the same goes for satisfying your bestial desires. Ask anybody – anybody – and many of us, unfortunately, have fallen also into these types of sins, and so you know from your own self – do these desires bring about infinite happiness? Whatever they are, do they bring about genuine joy and sincerity? Do they bring about fulfillment, inner sakeena?

Or – or, is it like a poisoned sweet, that you enjoy something for a while. You enjoy something for a while, and then as soon as that enjoyment finishes, the outer layer dissolves, [and] what is left is bitter poison; what is left is that which rots the heart?

This is something we experience in our daily lives, when we commit a sin, whatever that sin might be. Sure we enjoy it, that’s why we committed the sin. Let us not fool ourselves and say there is no pleasure in sin. Of course there is pleasure in sin – that is why we commit sins; because we enjoy doing them. But let me ask you, when we finish that sin, even during, while committing that sin and as soon as we finish it: Do we feel proud? Do we feel good? Do we feel happy inside of ourselves?

On the contrary, we feel disgusted. We feel evil, we feel dirty – a type of dirtiness, you can take a thousand showers, it won’t wash away the dirt that you feel because it is an inner dirt. It is an inner garbage that you have put into yourself and your own system.

All of this shows us that the paths to happiness that mankind has chosen are not the ultimate paths to happiness. They are not. We don’t need Qur’an and Sunnah to prove this – life proves it. Life itself proves it to us. Of course, the Qur’an and Sunnah adds to this, but we don’t need to quote evidences, because human experience, human interaction, is enough of an evidence that the paths to happiness are not found in the ways that most of mankind are doing them.

So the question arises, if the paths to happiness are not as we have mentioned before, what, then, IS the path to happiness?

This goes back to a very interesting point, brothers and sisters. This goes back to a very profound point. And before I answer the question, “What is happiness and how do we get there?”, let us ask another question that will help us get to the answer of the final question. And this initial question is: “Who are we, and what are we made of?”

What are you composed of? You will respond: “I am composed of body and soul. Rooh [soul] and Jasad [body]. I have a body, this physical body, and I have an inner soul, a rooh, and the two put together form life as we know it.” The rooh and the jasad put together forms life as we know it.

So I ask you, “Ok, what is this body made of?” You will say: this body is made of earth, clay, tdeen – which is the earth around us – Allah fashioned this clay, and then blew life into it. So since the body is made of earth, in order to feed the body, we need to feed it with nutrients that come from the earth. The body is made from earth – how to feed the body? From nutrients made from this earth. Allah azza wa jel caused plants to grow, animals eat the plants, water is stored in the soil, comes down form the skies and we find it in the lakes and rivers. So we eat and drink from the source of our body, and that is: the land around us.

You have taken care of your physical side. But you see, most people consider pleasure only to be composed of body. So they find pleasure through bodily experiences. They forget, what makes them really human is the rooh. What makes them above other beings, other creatures, is the intelligent rooh that Allah gave us. This intelligent rooh is what makes us above animals, it makes us above everything else.

Allah gave us a mind, a rooh, an active mind to think – and this rooh, where did it come from? Did it come from this earth? No? Allah says,

وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي

– [“…and I have breathed into him of My Spirit…” (15:29 and 38:720)] –

Allah ‘azza wa jel blew His rooh into Adam alayhi assalam. Now, when Allah says His ‘rooh’, it doesn’t mean – a’oothu billah – [that] there’s an element of divinity. Many Muslims misunderstand, and you have some groups saying we have – every one of us has – divinity inside of us – a’oothu billah. This is not the belief of Muslims. When Allah says “Our spirit,” Allah ‘azza wa jel is saying: We created and blew it into the people. Just like the house of Allah is a created house, just like the rasool of Allah is a created rasool…

Similarly, when Allah says, We blew from Our spirit into man, Allah created a rooh, Allah created something that He blew into us, and this rooh is form Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala. And Allah says: you will never know much about this rooh:

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن الْعِلْمِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

– “They ask you: what is the rooh?” – what is this thing? – “Say: the rooh is from the command of Allah and you don’t have any knowledge except a little bit about it” (17:85) –

You don’t have much knowledge. But we do know it is from Allah. So the question is, what will we nourish the rooh with? And when we answer this question, that is when we will answer “how to gain happiness.” How so? Because as we said, what makes us human, more than the jasad, is the rooh. What makes us truly human – the jasad comes and goes; the rooh will be eternal. The rooh will be, either in jahennam or in jennah, with the body, but the body is going to go through many phases. The rooh will not go through any phase. The rooh will always be the rooh.

So by feeding the rooh, we attain eternal life. And by neglecting the rooh, we suffocate the rooh. What is the rooh fed by? This is the question. The response: the rooh must be fed from substances that originate from its [own] origins, just like the body must be fed from substances that originated from where the body originated. Where did the rooh originate form? From Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Therefore, to feed the rooh, we need to sustain it via a connection with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We need a feeding tube, if you like, from all that relates to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Hence – how do we attain happiness? By feeding the rooh. How do we feed the rooh? By establishing a connection with Allah. How do we establish a connection with Allah? By doing what Allah wants us to do…

Fasting… praying… charity… thikr… every single act of worship that we do, it will feed the rooh; it makes the rooh grow stronger. It will make the rooh become more alive, and when the rooh is alive, even if the body is week – subhan Allah, even if the body is dead – when the rooh is alive, it will enjoy blessings from Allah in the hereafter. Even when the body is dead, because the rooh is alive, it will be happy.

But if the body is alive, and the rooh is not fed – if you don’t feed the rooh – no matter how “alive” your body is, your rooh will be dead. And if your rooh is dead, you don’t feel any purpose of living, you don’t have enjoyment of life. You don’t enjoy life because you don’t have a real rooh inside of you. You have a half-dead rooh, you have a rooh that is not alive, and that is why Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala calls the person who does not worship Him – He calls him dead:

أَوَ مَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ

– “Give the example of the one who was dead” – Allah says – “and We gave him life” (6:122)-

The scholars of tafseer say: this verse applies to the one who was not worshipping Allah, and Allah called him dead. And then Allah says: “We gave him life” by bringing him into My worship, by bringing him into the sphere of connecting himself with Allah.

So the point is, this verse calls the person who does not worship Allah dead. Even though he is living – he’s walking on the face of this earth; but Allah calls him dead: “awamen kaana maytan.” Then Allah says: “fa ‘ahyaynaah” – “We gave him life” – by guiding him to Islam, We gave him life by giving him a reason to live, a reason to feel that happiness and joy.

Brothers and sisters, ultimate happiness, ultimate happiness comes from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. And in order to get that happiness, we need to establish a connection with Allah. Once we establish a connection with Allah, the world becomes secondary – what we have, alhamdulillah, what we don’t have, alhamdulillah!

The world does not become our ultimate goal. And when the world seizes to be our ultimate goal, then all of a sudden we are content with what we have. Our money, our wealth, our fame, our family, our health – everything: we have it, alhamdulillah, we thank Allah, we don’t, we are still thankful and our attitudes are optimistic and hoping for the best form Allah.

So the point being, when we correct our inner state, our rooh, the outer state becomes truly irrelevant. When we don’t correct our inner state, no matter how much we feed the outer state, the jasad, it will never be satisfied. No matter what we do with the jasad, the body, it will never be satisfied, it will always want more and more and more. But if we feed the rooh, then the body becomes content, and when it becomes content, then and only then is where we find ultimate happiness.

بارك الله لي و لكم في القرآن العظيم، و نفعني و إياكم بما فيه من الآيات و الذكر الحكيم. أقول ما تسمعون، و أستغفر الله العظيم لي و لكم و لسائر المؤمنين، إنه هو الغفور الرحيم.


… followed by second khutbah:]

الحمد لله، الحمد الله الواحد الأحد، الفرض الصمد، الذي لم يلد و لم يولد و لم يكن له كفوا أحد… و بعد

What I have just said, brothers and sisters, is not something that I need to back up with Qur’an and Sunnah, even though it can be backed up with Qur’an an Sunnah. Because, as I said initially, this is something that we experiences in our lives. It is something that is a fact, that each and every one of us has tasted. We don’t need to prove it through external sources, because we are living proofs of it.

Let me ask you a question, and answer yourself in your own mind this: how do you feel on a day that you’ve read your five prayers? How do you feel on a day that you woke up for Fajr and you prayed Fajr at its proper time? How do you feel when you recite the Qur’an and you close that book and you put it back? How do you feel for the rest of the day? How do you feel after a LONG day of fasting in Ramadan, and you break your iftaar, you’ve been tired physically – how do you feel inside? How do you feel after doing ‘umrah or hajj? How do you feel after giving charity to a poor person and nobody knows except Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and you fed that person and you gave him money – how do you feel inside of you?

I ask you this question: this feeling of joy, of happiness, of fulfillment – can you purchase the feeling by all the money in the world? Can you buy it, can you go to the shop and say: GIVE me this inner happiness that one day’s fasting gave me! Give me this feeling that reading the Qur’an gave me. Can ALL the money in the WORLD purchase that happiness inside of you? By Allah, YOU know the answer: no, it cannot.

You feel fulfilled and happy because of what you have done, because you established a connection with Allah, because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has become a part of your life. Your goal, your ultimate destiny is to please Allah, and when it becomes to please Allah, you feel fulfilled. Why do you feel fulfilled? Because this is why Allah created you:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُون

– “I have only created men and jinn to worship Me” (51:56) –

When you do what Allah wants you to do, of course you will feel fulfilled. Of course! Allah made you for this purpose. When you do it, you feel fulfilled because you are fulfilling your purpose of life!

But when you neglect Allah – when you neglect Allah, when you neglect the religion, when you neglect the spirituality, what happens? Wallahi, you can eat, you can feed yourself, you can follow every passion in the book – it would increase you nothing by disgust, nothing but feeling bad, nothing but regret, nothing but remorse. You can do each and every sin in the book, and yet at the end of all of that, you have not attained – forget happiness – you have attained ultimate sadness. You have wasted your life, you have neglected what Allah ‘azza wa jel has created you for, and you feel it in your heart.

And again, I ask you: when you commit a sin, that feeling that you get after committing that sin, that feeling of guilt, that feeling of distancing yourself from Allah, that you have done something that displeased Allah – can ALL the money in the WORLD get rid of that feeling? Can ALL the money in the world get rid of that feeling that you have that YOU have gone against the purpose of creation?

No, it cannot.

So, my brothers and sisters, now my question now comes to myself and all of you: if this feeling is a feeling that we know from our lives, without even reading the Qur’an and Sunnah (I can quote you dozens of verses, dozens of ahadeeth, dozens of aathaar of the scholars of the past), but this is something I don’t need to do – why? Because I know it as well as you. You experience it, and I experience it, in our lives.

The question, then, becomes: if we experience it, if we know it, if this is a reality we have tasted and felt, we have SMELT this reality, then why have we neglected it?

يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ

– why are you so deceived about Allah SWT? [see ayah (82:6)] –

فَمَا لَهُمْ عَنِ التَّذْكِرَةِ مُعْرِضِينَ

– why do they turn away? [see ayah (74:49)] –

When you KNOW this reality, when you experience it, WHAT is the problem? You know it! Sins only increase your guilt, your feeling DISpleasure. Worshipping Allah only increases you in happiness. What’s the problem? What’s the problem? Why don’t you turn to the worship of Allah, and diminish your sins? You’re never going to leave your sins, you’re not going to become an angel – diminish them. The goal is to fight against sins, to lower them, to minimize them. The goal is perfection, but you know you’re never going to become perfect. You’re always going to commit sins. Okay. Commit sins. Repent to Allah. Continue to establish [a] relationship with Allah. TRY your best to minimize the sins. Always attempt to become a better person. Establish the five prayers. Oh Muslims, what will make you understand the importance of the five prayers? Establish the five prayers. Fast the month of Ramadan. Give zakat. Do the bare minimum. And wallahi your life will change upside down.

Let me leave you with one challenge. One challenge. And challenge yourselves this. Challenge yourselves for ONE WEEK. To be practicing Muslims. Five times a day prayer. And leave the major sins. One week, challenge yourselves this. You’re going to pray, five times a day, on the time. And leave the major sins.

After this one week, I challenge you. After you have tasted the sweetness of iman, I challenge you to go back to your old ways. You won’t be able to do it. After you have tasted how good it feels to worship Allah, you’re never going to go back to your old ways. You have to give yourself that encouragement – turn to Allah, make du’aa to Allah, and try your best, STRIVE to be a better Muslim, and when you’ve started feeling the TASTE of that sweetness of iman, it will become more addictive to you than ANY other sweetness on this earth. And once you do that, it will become easier to go higher and higher and higher.

I conclude this khutbah by quoting a simple verse in the Qur’an that summarizes all of this. Five words that summarize the entire khutbah. Allah SWT says:

أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

– “Know and realize that only through the remembrance of Allah – the worship of Allah – do the hearts achieve tranquility” (13:28) –

You’re not going to find tranquility through ANY other means.

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  1. Avatar

    Ms Kulsum Saeed

    June 3, 2008 at 3:55 AM

    Assalam Alaikum Dr Yasir Qadha

    I am deeply touched with what you had written. The Khuthba is beautiful and very impressive. I feel great relief after reading it. I have lost a 12 year old daughter in 2006. She had been everything to me, After that, I lost interest in the world and started yearning for AAkiraths happiness. Even before that i was regularly praying but after that sad incident, my life was changed completely. I lost interest in getting rich or achieving success. ALLAH KNOWS BEST and I believe that one day ALLAH will tell me why at such young age, a beautiful daughter had to die. This kept me going, I practised patient from day one, from moment one, I thanked ALLAH for giving me such a gift and keeping her with me for 12 years. I believe that one day I will meet her and be together eternally. Even as a child, I think constantly about death. and now i am trying hard to make that moment peaceful for me. No longer I pray to get rich or achieve success but now I pray to forgive my sins, and to bless my daughter. Can you elaborate me on the subject of a child’s death, what happens to children when they die, will it be painful for them. I would be very grateful if you could find some time from your worthwhile and busy schedule and tell me something from this topic.

    May ALLAH bless you..AMEN

    Your sister

    • Avatar


      October 17, 2015 at 5:35 AM

      may Allah reward you with Jennah dear sister. i love you for the sake of Allah. i am a mother too and can only imagine the pain you suffered. you are proof to us that Allah ta’ala gives us sabr with every test. he gives us tests to make us better humans and better muslims, and more worthy of Jennah, more worthy of seeing Him in Akhira and being His awli’a. subhanAllah my sis, may Allah make us all strong and patient to be attached to His rope at all times.

      may I propose a thought to help you? our prophet buried all his sons and daughters, except for Fatima. His boys all died before reaching even youth. they died as tiny kids or babies. he suffered and he loved them and he thanked Allah. so you have something in common with our prophet saas, our beloved Muhammad saas, our leader, our example, saas. you are tested and tried and you are succeeding inxallah. i keep you in my prayers, my hope is that we meet in Jennah inxallah.

  2. Avatar

    Zee 'G'

    June 3, 2008 at 8:24 AM

    Assalam u Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi,

    It was an awesome Khutbah indeed. May Allah reward all the Scholars like Yasir Qadhi and Muhammed Al-Shareef for bringing people like me closer to their Lord Bihamidillah.

    JazakAllah sis Bint AbelHamid for all the hardwork.

    Zee ‘G’

  3. Avatar


    June 3, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Jazakumullahu khayra for volunteering to type up the khutbah!

  4. Avatar


    June 3, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Wow. That’s how much speaking our Sheikh can get into ~30 Mins. MashaAllah.

  5. Avatar

    Dont be sad blog

    June 3, 2008 at 4:15 PM

    Asalaamu alikum,

    Subhan’allah, I was basically doing the same thing- got about half way through…but not with the Arabic! Such a pertinent khutbah was preparing something for the blog….

    Somehow I wish the history of Bath (the place it was given) was alluded to. It basically was a town where people went to find happiness in Georgian/Victorian England- the playground for those who had the wealth, the fame and sensuality- Royalty and aristocrats. But were they happy? Surely not.

  6. Avatar

    Abu Abdul

    June 3, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Sr Kulsum, I was touched by your experience. I pray Allaah to reward you for your patience both in this world and next.

  7. Avatar


    June 3, 2008 at 5:59 PM


    Jazakumullahun hayran for the transcript. Can any body transcribe the lecture “Debunking male biases” by Shaykh Yasir Qadhi? I feel that this lecture is far more beneficial and more needed at this moment. Thank you.

    As for Shaykh Yasir i wanted to tell him, May Allah bless you, for all your effort in the path of dawa.

  8. Avatar

    Abu Abdurrahman

    June 3, 2008 at 6:37 PM


    Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon to the brother/sister who lost their daughter. May Allah increase your reward, ease you pain, and you should know that there is great hope that she will be able to be- with the permission of Allah jalla wa’ala, an intercessor for you on the Day of Judgement.


    I didn’t get to read all the khutbah, but I think there is a typo in the Arabic intro – it should be [i”]man la yartabu fee shahadatih”[/i] and bit yaghtabu, as I doubt that Shaykh YQ could have said that. Allah knows best.

    May Allah reward all those involved in this noble effort.

    A REALLY good proj. would be to transcibe the Love of Parents khutbah of YQ. I think that it is greatly needed in the Ummah.

    Wassalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah

  9. ibnabeeomar


    June 3, 2008 at 6:49 PM

    as there’s been plenty of suggestions for transcribing of lectures – anyone interested in this effort can email us:

    and we will try to coordinate inshallah. jazakumallahu khayr

  10. Avatar

    Bint AbdelHamid

    June 4, 2008 at 3:51 PM

    Abu Abdurrahman, jazaka Allahu khayran, there is a mistake on my part in the Arabic text. On the third line, the word يغتاب should actually be : يرتاب.

    There may be other, hopefully less consequential, typos in the khutbah, so I apologize for those as well.

  11. Avatar


    June 4, 2008 at 8:40 PM


    does anyone know where i could get hold of the talk “In the Footsteps of the Prophet (SAW) – Shaykh Bin Baz (RA)” by Shaykh Waleed Basyouni online?? i heard its a heart softner too. if anyone has the link please post it here.

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    April 3, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    once after reading these articles i get lot of satisfaction later on i keep depresing n i try lot to get inner peace . Bt they al turn blank. Plz help me

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Aqeedah and Fiqh

Prosperity Islam And The Coronavirus Problem

Hadith: “Hasten to perform good deeds before seven events: Are you waiting for poverty that makes you forgetful? Or wealth that burdens you? Or a debilitating disease or senility? Or an unexpected death or the False Messiah? Or is it evil in the unseen you are waiting for? Or the Hour itself? The Hour will be bitter and terrible.

Islam encompasses all of human experience. We believe in the good and bad from divine decree. The ‘problem of evil’ is not a Muslim dilemma because the abode of this world is a test, and the next life is the abode of recompense. Those who do evil in this world may enjoy comfortable and pleasurable lives. Pious Muslims on the other hand may live in immense suffering and oppression.

One’s state with Allah is not known through worldly position.

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The Quran has lots of mention of suffering in this world and the reward for the pious is constantly in the hereafter. Distance from the Quran distances us from what our Creator told us about living in His world.

Habituation to feel-good religious programs and motivational talks has left us unable to know how to be serious. The Coronavirus pandemic should be all the motivation we need for serious learning and hasten to good deeds.

New-age religion and the prosperity gospel

Modern Islamic discourse intertwines notions of sulook (spiritual wayfaring) with new-age spiritual ideas which make spiritual progression a self-centering endeavor of ‘personal development.’ Missing from this discourse is submission to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), which entails doing what one is obliged to do- even if there is no apparent personal win. A self-centering religious perspective is antithetical to true religion, and ironically a spiritual pursuit becomes a selfish pursuit.

Within this approach, we see our practice of Islam not in terms of fulfilling obligations or understanding we must develop virtues we lack; rather we approach Islam as consumers and form identities around how we choose to be Muslim. This is visible on marriage apps where Muslims will brand themselves around how often they pray, whether or not they eat halal, and how practicing they are. Once this identity is formed, such Muslims are less likely to experience contrition and ultimately improve. The self is then a commodity on the marriage market.

When it comes to worship, for example, giving charity becomes an ‘act of kindness’ to fill the quota of selfless acts to becoming a better person. In other instances, acts of worship are articulated in worldly language, such as fasting in Ramadan being a weight-loss opportunity. One can make multiple intentions, but health benefits of fasting should not be used to articulate the primary benefit of fasting. In other instances, some opt to not pray, simply because they don’t feel spiritual enough to pray. This prioritizes feelings over servitude, but follows from a ‘self’ focused religious mentality.

Much like the prosperity Gospel, Muslims have fallen into the trap of teaching religion as a means of worldly success. While it is true that the discipline, commitment, and work ethic of religious progression can be used for material success, it is utterly false that religious status is on any parallel with material status.

Too many Sunday schools and conferences have taught generations that being a good Muslim means being the best student, having the best jobs, and then displaying the power of Islam to non-Muslims via worldly success and a character that is most compliant to rules. Not only does this type of religion cater to the prosperous and ignore those suffering, it leaves everyone ill prepared for the realities of life. It comes as a shock to many Muslims then that bad things can happen even when you work hard to live a good life. The prosperity gospel has tainted our religious teachings, and the pandemic of COVID19 is coming as a shock difficult for many to process in religious terms. There will be a crisis when bad things happen to good people if we are not in touch with our scripture and favor a teaching focused on worldly gains.

Why it leads to misunderstanding religion

Tribulations, persecution, and events that are outside of our control do not fit the popular self-help form of religion that is pervasive today. Islam means submission, and while we must avoid fatalism, we cannot delude ourselves into idolatry of the self. An Islam that focuses on our individual life journey and finding ourselves has no room for the ‘bad stuff.’ This type of religion favors well-to-do Muslims who are used to the illusion of control and the luxuries of self-improvement. Those who believe that if you are good then God will give you good things in this world will have a false belief shattered and understand the world is not the abode of recompense for the believer.

Islam means submission, and while we must avoid fatalism, we cannot delude ourselves into idolatry of the self.Click To Tweet

Tribulations may then effect faith because it questions the often subconscious teachings of prosperity gospel versions of Islam that we are in control of our own destiny, if we are good enough we will succeed. If this is the basis of a person’s faith, it can be proven “wrong” by any level of tribulation. Having one’s ‘faith’ disproven is terrifying but it should make us ask the question: “Does this mean that Islam is not true, or does this mean that my understanding and my way of living Islam are not true?”

My advice is do not avoid struggle or pain by ignoring it or practicing “patience” just thinking that you are a strong Muslim because you can conquer this pain without complaint. Running from pain and not feeling pain will catch up to us later. Learn from it. Sometimes when we are challenged, we falter. We ask why, we question, we complain, and we struggle. We don’t understand because it doesn’t fit our understanding of Islam. We need a new understanding and that understanding will only come by living through the pain and not being afraid of the questions or the emptiness.

Our faith needs to be able to encompass reality in its good and bad, not shelter us from reality because, ultimately, only God is Real.

Unlearn false teachings

Prosperity religion makes it much easier to blame the person who is suffering and for the one suffering to blame himself. As believers we take the means for a good life in this world and the next, but recognize that acceptance of good actions is only something Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows, and that life is unpredictable.

Favor from God is not reflected through prosperity. It is a form of idolatry to believe that you can control God or get what you want from God, and this belief cannot even stand up to a distanced tragedy.

Responding appropriately requires good habits.

Tribulations are supposed to push us towards God and remind us to take life very seriously. Even with widespread calamity and suffering, many of us still have a very self-centered way of understanding events and do not hasten to good actions.

For example, reaching old age is supposed to be an opportunity to repent, spend more time in prayer, and to expatiate for shortcomings. Old age itself is a reminder that one will soon return to his Lord.

However, we see many of today’s elders not knowing how to grow old and prepare for death. Most continue in habits such as watching television or even pick up new habits and stay glued to smart phones. This is unfortunate but natural progression to a life void of an Islamic education and edification.

Similarly we are seeing that Muslims do not know what to do in the midst of a global crisis. Even the elderly are spending hours reading and forwarding articles related to Covid-19 on different WhatsApp groups. This raises the question of what more is needed to wake us up. This problem is natural progression of a shallow Islamic culture that caters to affluence, prosperity, and feel-good messaging. Previous generations had practices such as doing readings of the Quran, As-Shifa of Qadi Iyad, Sahih al-Bukhari, or the Burda when afflicted with tribulations.

If we are playing video games, watching movies, or engaging in idle activities there is something very wrong with our state. We need to build good habits and be persistent regardless of how spiritual those habits feel, because as we are seeing, sudden tribulations will not just bestow upon us the ability to repent and worship. The point of being regimented in prayer and invocations is that these practices themselves draw one closer to God, and persisting when one does not feel spiritual as well as when one does is itself a milestone in religious progression.

While its scale is something we haven’t seen in our lifetime, it’s important to recognize the coronavirus pandemic as a tribulation.  The response to tribulation should be worship and repentance, and a reminder that ‘self-improvement’ should not be a path to becoming more likable or confident only, but to adorn our hearts with praiseworthy qualities and rid them of blameworthy qualities. Death can take any of us at any moment without notice, and we will be resurrected on a day where only a sound heart benefits.

Our religious education and practice should be a preparation for our afterlife first and foremost. Modeling our religious teachings in a worldly lens has left many of us unable to deal with tribulations to the point where we just feel anxiety from the possibility of suffering. This anxiety is causing people to seek therapy. It is praiseworthy for those who need to seek therapy, and noble of therapists to give the service, but my point is the need itself serves as a poignant gauge for how much our discourse has failed generations.

Benefit from Solitude

We should use solitude to our benefit, reflect more, and ponder the meanings of the Quran.  Completing courses on Seerah, Shamail, Arabic, or Fiqh would also be good uses of time. What should be left out however are motivational talks or short lectures that were given in communal events. In such gatherings, meeting in a wholesome environment is often the goal, and talks are compliments to the overall atmosphere. When that atmosphere is removed, it would be wise to use that normally allotted time for more beneficial actions. Instead of listening to webinars, which are not generally building an actual knowledge base that the previously mentioned courses would, nor is it a major act of worship like reading and reflecting upon the Quran. In other words, our inspirational talks should lead us to action, and studying is one of the highest devotional acts.

The pandemic should serve as sufficient inspiration and we need to learn how to be serious. I urge Muslims to ignore motivational and feel-good lectures that are now feel-good webinars, and focus on studying and worshipping. We should really ask if we just lack the capacity to move beyond motivational lectures if we still need motivation in the midst of a global pandemic.  The fact that after years of programming the destination is not the Quran for ‘processing events’ or studying texts for learning is symptomatic of a consciously personality oriented structure.

Muslims struggling to process a pandemic (opposed to coping with associated tragedies, such as loved ones dying or suffering) show the lack of edification feel good talks can produce.

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A Doctor And A COVID19 Patient: “I will tell Allah about you.”


By Dr Farah Farzana

I get bleeped at around 2.30am to review a patient. A Pakistani gentleman admitted with Covid19.

The lovely nurse on duty says, “He is on maximum amount of oxygen on the ward, but keeps on removing his oxygen mask and nasal cannula, very confused and is not listening to anyone.”

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I arrive as soon as I can to the ward. I stare at him through the glass doors of the closed bay, while putting on my inadequate PPE.

He looks like he is drowning, he is gasping for air, flushed and eyes bulging like someone is strangling him.

I immediately introduce myself, hold his hands and he squeezes my hand pulls it close to his chest. Starts to speak in Urdu and says he doesn’t know what is going on, he cannot understand anyone and he is so scared.

I give him my Salam and start speaking to him in Urdu. His eyes fill up with tears and hope.

I explain to him he really needs to have his oxygen mask on as we are trying to make him feel better. He tells me he is suffocating with the mask and he doesn’t like the noise. I grab his arm help him sit up in his bed.

We exercise synchronising his breathing and I put the mask and nasal cannula back on.

He asks me Doctor, am I going to die? I cannot hear the voices anymore, they don’t come to visit, everything is quiet and silent, like Allah is waiting to take me to Him. I am lost for words and tell him we are doing all we can to make him feel and get better. He tells me he has been speaking to Allah, he doesn’t care for himself just his family. I know he is scared and feels so alone. I tell him I’m here with him and am not leaving yet. I monitor his saturations and surely they come straight back up. I tell him I am going to give him medications for his temperatures and fluid in his lungs.

He agrees to take them.

He asks me why I didn’t come to see him until now, because I am his own. He says when he speaks to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) he will tell Him about me and that I am a good person and I cared for him.

I get a little choked up.

I can’t gather my thoughts before my bleep goes off again. I have to leave now though I tell him I have lots of patients who need my help. He begs me not to leave, but understands after a while and lets me go.I take off my inadequate surgical mask (PPE) before I leave the bay I look back at him to smile and he smiles back. We both wave goodbye. I can see tears rolling down his cheeks.

I don’t know how he will do, how he is now but I cannot stop thinking about him. I always assume positive outcome if I don’t get called back during the night to see the patient again. Plus it was such a busy night I had no time to stop to reflect, and I continued with a smile.

I speak fluent Bangla and my Urdu isn’t very good. But that night Urdu flawed so effortlessly out of my mouth without any hesitation and I was able to say exactly what I needed to him *SubhanAllah*.

My heart breaks for the minority patients, with language barriers. They are fighting this battle more alone and scared than ever.
Normally, they would rely on family members to translate for them, but given the current situation they must feel helpless.

It’s not just the suffering it’s the suffering alone that pulls on my heartstrings.

‘Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return’
Quran 2:156

When all this is over, please remember to appreciate the little things.

  • Appreciate your freedom.
  • Appreciate all the hugs and love.
  • Appreciate your health and your health service.
  • Appreciate your families and loved ones.
  • And just be grateful to be ALIVE.
  • Stay at home. Save lives.
    #stayhome #nhs #gratitude

Courtesy: Facebook post

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I Once Spent Ramadan Semi-Quarantined, Here’s How It Went

Even though it was over 10 years ago, the memory of that Ramadan is seared into my mind.

I’d just taken my first consulting job – the kind in the movies. Hop on a plane every Monday morning and come home late every Thursday night. Except, unlike in the movies, I wasn’t off to big cities every week – I went to Louisville, Kentucky. Every week.

And because I was the junior member on the team, I didn’t get the same perks as everyone else – like a rental car. I was stuck in a hotel walking distance from our client in downtown, limited to eat at whatever restaurants were within nearby like TGI Friday’s or Panera. This was a pre-Lyft and Uber world.

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A couple of months into this routine and it was time for Ramadan. It was going to be weird, and no matter how much I prepared myself mentally, I wasn’t ready for it — Iftar alone in a hotel room. Maghrib and Isha also alone in a hotel room. Suhur was whatever I could save from dinner to eat in the morning that didn’t require refrigeration.

Most people think that with the isolation and extra time you would pass the time praying extra and reading tons of Quran. I wish that was the case. The isolation, lack of masjid, and lack of community put me into a deep funk that was hard to shake.

Flying home on the weekends would give me an energizing boost. I was able to see friends, go to the masjid, see my family. Then all of a sudden back to the other extreme for the majority of the week.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that Ramadan with the prospect of a quarantined Ramadan upon us. I wish I could say that I made the most of the situation, and toughed it out. The truth is, the reason the memory of that particular Ramadan is so vivid in my mind is because of how sad it was. It was the only time I remember not getting a huge iman boost while fasting.

We’re now facing the prospect of a “socially distanced” Ramadan. We most likely won’t experience hearing the recitation of the verses of fasting from Surah Baqarah in the days leading up to Ramadan. We’re going to miss out on seeing extended family or having iftars with our friends. Heck, some of us might even start feeling nostalgia for those Ramadan fundraisers.

All of this is on top of the general stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 crisis.

Ramadan traditionally offers us a spiritual reprieve from the rigors and hustle of our day to day lives. That may not be easy as many are facing the uncertainty of loss of income, business, or even loved ones.

So this isn’t going to be one of those Quran-time or “How to have an amazing Ramadan in quarantine!” posts. Instead, I’m going to offer some advice that might rub a few folks the wrong way.

Make this the Ramadan of good enough

How you define good enough is relative. Aim to make Ramadan better than your average day.

Stick to the basics and have your obligatory act of worship on lockdown.

Pray at least a little bit extra over what you normally do during a day. For some, that means having full-blown Taraweeh at home, especially if someone in the house is a hafiz. For others, it will mean 2 or 4 rakat extra over your normal routine.

Fill your free time with Quran and dua. Do whatever you can. I try to finish one recitation of the Quran every Ramadan, but my Ramadan in semi-quarantine was the hardest to do it in. Make sure your Quran in Ramadan is better during the month than on a normal day, but don’t set hard goals that will stress you out. We’re under enormous stress being in a crisis situation as it is. If you need a way to jump-start your relationship with the Quran, I wrote an article on 3 steps to reconnect with the Qur’an after a year of disconnect.

Your dua list during this Ramadan should follow you everywhere you go. Write it down on an index card and fold it around your phone. Take it out whenever you get a chance and pour your heart out to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Share your stresses, anxieties, worries, fears, and hopes with Him.

He is the Most-Merciful and Ramadan is a month of mercy. Approach the month with that in mind, and do your best.

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