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Transcript of The True Happiness Khutbah by Yasir Qadhi

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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.

 

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.

[istighfaar…

… 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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14 Comments

14 Comments

  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
    Kulsum/Maldives

    • Avatar

      car

      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

    UmA

    June 3, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Jazakumullahu khayra for volunteering to type up the khutbah!

  4. Avatar

    Sunie

    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

    Ardit

    June 3, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    Salam

    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

    Bismillah..

    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

    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:
    http://muslimmatters.org/contact-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

    abu

    June 4, 2008 at 8:40 PM

    salam

    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.

  12. Pingback: How we find happiness «

  13. Avatar

    Twinkle

    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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He Catches Me When I Fall: A Journey To Tawakkul

Tawakkul- a leaf falling
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While discussing an emotionally-heavy issue, my therapist brought up the point that in life we can reach a point of acceptance in regards to our difficult issues: “It sounds cliche, but there’s no other way to say it: it is what it is.”

Okay, I thought, as I listened. Acceptance. Yes, I can do this eventually. She went on to add: “It is what it is, and I know that everything will be okay.””

Tears had already been flowing, but by this point, full-blown sobs started. “I…can’t….seem…to ever…believe that.” There. I had said it. I had faked being confident and accepting, even to myself. I had faked the whole, “I have these health problems, but I am so together” type of vibe that I had been putting out for years.

Maybe it was the hormones of a third pregnancy, confronting the realities of life with multiple chronic diseases, family problems, or perhaps a midlife crisis: but at that moment, I did not feel deep in my heart with true conviction that everything would be okay.

That conversation led me to reflect on the concept of tawakkul in the following weeks and months. What did it mean to have true trust in Allah? And why was it that for years I smiled and said, “Alhamdulillah, I’m coping just fine!” when in reality, the harsh truth was that I felt like I had not an ounce of tawakkul?

I had led myself to believe that denying my grief and slapping a smile on was tawakkul. I was being outwardly cheerful — I even made jokes about my life with Multiple Sclerosis — and I liked to think I was functioning all right. Until I wasn’t.

You see, the body doesn’t lie. You can tell all the lies you want to with your tongue, but after some time, the body will let you know that it’s holding oceans of grief, unshed tears, and unhealed traumas. And that period of my life is a tale for another time.

The short story is that things came to a head and I suddenly felt utterly overwhelmed and terrified daily about my future with a potentially disabling disease, while being diagnosed with a second major chronic illness, all while caring for a newborn along with my other children. Panic attacks and severe anxiety ensued. When I realized that I didn’t have true tawakkul, I had to reflect and find my way again.

I thought about Yaqub (Jacob). I thought long and hard about his grief: “Yaa asafaa ‘alaa Yusuf!” “Oh, how great is my grief for Joseph!”

He wept until he was blind. And yet, he constantly asserted, “Wallahul-Musta’aan”: “Allah is the one whose help is sought.” And he believed.

Oh, how did he believe. His sons laughed and called him an old fool for grieving over a son lost for decades. He then lost another dear son, Binyamin. And yet he said, “Perhaps it will be that my Lord will bring them to me altogether.”

There is no sin in grief Click To Tweet

So my first realization was that there was no sin in the grief. I could indeed trust Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) while feeling a sorrow so profound that it ripped me apart at times. “The heart grieves and the eyes weep, but the tongue does not say that except which pleases its Lord. Oh, Ibrahim, we are gravely saddened by your passing.” These are the words of our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for a lost infant son, said with tears pouring down his blessed face, ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

I thought of the Year of Grief, Aamul-Huzn, when he, Allah’s peace be upon him, lost the woman who was the love of his life and the mother of his children; as well as an uncle who was like a father. The year was named after his grief! And here I was denying myself this human emotion because it somehow felt like a betrayal of true sabr?

Tawakkul, tawakkul, where are you? I searched for how I could feel it, truly feel it.Click To Tweet

Through years of introspection and then therapy, I realized that I had a personality that centered around control. I expressed this in various ways from trying to manage my siblings (curse of the firstborn), to trying to manage my childbirth and health. If I only did the “right” things, then I could have the perfect, “natural” birth and the perfect picture of health.

When I was diagnosed with a chronic disease, these illusions started to crack. And yet even then, I thought that if I did the right things, took the right supplements and alternative remedies and medications, that I wouldn’t have trouble with my MS.

See, when you think you control things and you attempt to micromanage everything, you’ve already lost tawakkul. You’ve taken the role of controlling the outcome upon yourself when in reality, your Lord is in control. It took a difficult time when I felt I was spiraling out of control for me to truly realize that I was not the master of my outcomes. Certainly, I would “tie my camel” and take my precautions, but then it was a matter of letting go.

At some point, I envisioned my experience of tawakkul as a free-fall. You know those trust exercises that you do at summer camps or company retreats? You fall back into the arms of someone and relinquish any control over your muscles. You are supposed to be limp and fully trust your partner to catch you.

I did this once with a youth group. After they fell–some gracefully and trusting, some not — I told them: “This is the example of tawakkul. Some of you didn’t trust and you tried to break your fall but some of you completely let go and let your partner catch you. Life will throw you down, it will hit you over and over, and you will fall–but He, subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), will be there to break your fall.”

I am falling. There is a degree of terror and sadness in the fall. But that point when through the pain and tears I can say, “It is what it is, and no matter what, everything will be okay”, that right there is the tranquility that comes from tawakkul.

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The Day I Die | Imam Omar Suleiman

Janazah, funeral, legacy, Omar Suleiman, Edhi
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Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (may Allah be pleased with him) in the midst of the torture he endured at the hands of his oppressors used to say: baynana wa baynahum aljanaa’iz, which means, “the difference between us and them will show in our funerals.” The man who instigated the ideological deviation that led to his torture was an appointed judge named Ahmad Ibn Abi Du’ad. At the moment of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal making those remarks, it appeared Imam Ahmad would die disgraced in a dungeon but Ahmad Ibn Abi Du’ad would have a state funeral with thousands of mourners. Instead, Imam Ahmad persevered through his struggle, was embraced by the people, and honored by Allah with the biggest Janazah ever known to the Arabs with millions of people pouring in from all over. Ahmad Ibn Abu Du’ad was cast aside and buried without anyone attending his janazah out of revulsion.

Now sometimes righteous people do die in isolation, and wicked people are given grand exits. There are people like Uthman Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) who was murdered by the people of fitnah, then buried at night far away from the people out of fear of the large numbers that would’ve poured out to his janazah and potentially mobilized against his oppressors. But it may be that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) inspired Imam Ahmad with the vision to see his victory in this life before the next. To elaborate a bit on his statement though, allow me to reflect:

A wise man once said to me,

“Always put your funeral in front of you, and work backwards in constructing your life accordingly.” 

With the deaths of righteous people, that advice always advances to the front of my thoughts. When a person passes away, typically only good things will be said of them. But it’s important to pay attention to 2 aspects about those good things being said:

1. Is there congruence in the particular good quality being attested to about the deceased.

2. Are those good qualities being attested to actually truly of the deceased. 

The first one deals with consistency of character, the second one with sincerity of intention which is only known by the Creator and His servant. In regards to the first one, take our sister Hodan Nalayeh (may Allah have mercy on her) who was murdered tragically last week in a terrorist attack in Somalia. Everyone that spoke of her said practically the same thing about how she interacted with them and/or benefitted them. There is complete harmony with all of the testimonies about her. And in that case we all become the witnesses of our sister on the day of judgment, testifying to her good character.

For many that pass away, neither the deceased nor the community fully appreciates the way they benefitted others until that day. It was narrated that when Zainul Abideen Ali Ibn Al Husayn (may Allah be pleased with them), the great grandson of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) passed away, he had marks on his shoulders from the bags he used to carry to the doorsteps of the poor at night when no one else was watching. The narrations state that the people of Madinah used to live off his charity not knowing the source of it until his death.

How many people will miss you when you die because of the joy you brought to their lives? How many of those that you comforted when they were abandoned by others? That you spent on when they were deprived by others? That you advocated for when they were oppressed by others? 

Will your family miss you because of an empty bed in the home or a deep void in their hearts? Will it be the loss of your spending only that grieves them, or the loss of your smile? Will it be the loss of the stability you provided them only, or the loss of your service and sacrifices for them?

But Zainul Abideen didn’t care for the recipients of his charity to know that he was the source of it, because He was fully in tune with it’s true Divine source. He didn’t want to be thanked in this world, but in the next. He didn’t want the eulogy, he wanted Eternity. 

He understood that if you become distracted by the allure of this world, you may merely become of it. Focus on bettering the future which you cannot escape, rather than the present that you cannot dictate. Focus on the interview with the One who needs no resume, rather than the judgments of those who are just as disposable as you. 

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ خَيْرَ زَمَانِيْ آخِرَهُ، وَخَيْرَ عَمَلِيْ خَوَاتِمَهُ، وَخَيْرَ أَيَّامِيْ يِوْمَ أَلقَاكَ

“O Allah, let the best of my lifetime be its ending, and my best deed be that which I seal [my life with], and the best of my days the day I meet You.”

Which brings us to the second aspect of your funeral, the sincerity of the good you’re being praised for. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “increase your remembrance of the destroyer of pleasures.” Death only destroys the temporary pleasures of this world, not the pleasure of the Most Merciful in the next. Keeping that in perspective will help you work towards that without being distracted. If it is the praise of the people you seek, that is as temporary as the world that occupies both your worldly vehicle ie. your body, and your companions in this world who shall perish soon after you.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned the one who passes away with the people lavishing praise on him that he is unworthy of. In a narration in Al Tirmidhi, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “No one dies and they stand over him crying and saying: ‘Oh what a great man he was! Oh how honored he was!’ except that two angels are appointed for him to poke him and say: Is that really you?”

But if it is Allah’s praise that you sought all along, the deeds that you put forth shall await you in your grave in the form of heavenly ornaments. Those that were known to the community, those that were known to only a select few, and those that were known by no one but Allah and you.

May Allah give us all a good ending, and an even better eternity.

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The Spirituality Of Gratitude

Gratitude
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The Quran tells the reader of the importance of gratitude in two ways. First, worship, which is the essence of the relationship between man and the Creator, is conditional to gratitude “and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship” (2:172). The verse suggests that in order for an individual to truly worship Allah then they must express gratitude to Allah and that an ungrateful individual cannot be a worshiper of Allah. The second verse states the following “And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me” (2:152). The Arabic word used, translated here as ‘deny,’ is kufr which linguistically means to cover up. The word was adopted by the Quran to refer to someone who rejects Allah after learning of Him. Both the linguistic and Quranic definitions are possibly meant in this verse and both arrive at the same conclusion. That is, the absence of gratitude is an indicator of one’s rejection of Allah; the question is how and why?

What Does Shukr Mean?

Understanding a Quranic concept begins with understanding the word chosen by the Quran. The word shukr is used throughout the Quran and is commonly translated as gratitude. From a purely linguistic definition, shukr is “the effect food has on the body of an animal” (Ibn Qayyim v. 2 p. 200). What is meant here is that when an animal eats food it becomes heavier which has a clear and visible effect on the animal. Therefore, shukr is the manifestation of a blessing or blessings on the entirety of a person. From here, spiritualists understood the goal of shukr and added an extra element to the definition and that is the acknowledgment that those blessings are from Allah. Thus, the definition of shukr as an Islamic spiritual concept is “the manifestation of Allah’s blessings verbally through praise and acknowledgment; emotionally on the heart through witnessing the blessings and loving Allah; and physically through submission and servitude” (Ibid).

Based on this definition, the goal of shukr can be broken into five categories. First, gratitude that brings about the submission of the individual to his benefactor. In order for an act to be worthy of gratitude, the beneficiary must conclude that the benefactor’s action was done for the sake of the beneficiary – thus making the benefactor benevolent. In other words, the benefactor is not benefiting in the least (Emmons et al 2004 p. 62). When the individual recognizes his benefactor, Allah, as being completely independent of the individual and perfect in of himself, one concludes that the actions of the benefactor are purely in the best interest of the beneficiary resulting in the building of trust in Allah. The Quran utilizes this point multiple times explicitly stating that Allah has nothing to gain from the creations servitude nor does he lose anything from because of their disobedience (Q 2:255, 4:133, 35:15, 47:38). Through shukr, a person’s spirituality increases by recognizing Allah’s perfection and their own imperfection thus building the feeling of need for Allah and trust in him (Emmons et al 2002 p. 463).

Gratitude in Knowing That Allah Loves Us

The second category is love for the benefactor. Similar to the previous category, by identifying the motive of the benefactor one can better appreciate their favors. “Gratitude is fundamentally a moral affect with empathy at its foundation: In order to acknowledge the cost of the gift, the recipient must identity with the psychological state of the one who has provided it” (Emmons 2002 p. 461).[1] That is, by recognizing Allah’s perfection one concludes that his blessings are entirely in the best interest of the beneficiary despite not bringing any return to Him. Thus, the Quran utilizes this concept repeatedly and to list a few, the Quran reminds the human reader that he created the human species directly with his two hands (38:75), he created them in the best physical and mental form (95:4), gave him nobility (17:70), commanded the angels to prostrate to him out of reverence (38:72-3), made him unique by giving him knowledge and language (2:31), exiled Satan who refused to revere him (7:13), allowed him into Paradise (7:19), forgave his mistake (2:37), designated angels to protect each individual (13:11) and supplicate Allah to forgive the believers (40:7-9), created an entire world that caters to his needs (2:29), among plenty of other blessings which express Allah’s love, care, and compassion of the human.

The remaining three categories revolve around the individual acting upon their gratitude by acknowledging them, praising Allah for them and using them in a manner acceptable to Allah. In order for gratitude to play a role in spirituality the blessings one enjoys must be utilized in a manner that connects them with Allah. Initially, one must acknowledge that all blessings are from him thus establishing a connection between the self and Allah. This is then elevated to where the individual views these blessings as more than inanimate objects but entities that serve a purpose. By doing this one begins to see and appreciate the wisdoms behind these created entities enlightening the individual to the Creators abilities and qualities. Finally, after recognizing the general and specific wisdoms behind each creation, one feels a greater sense of purpose, responsibility, and loyalty. That is, engaging the previous five categories establishes love for the benefactor (Ibn Qayyim v. 2 p. 203). Observing the care and compassion of the benefactor for his creation establishes the feeling of loyalty towards the one who has cared for us as well as responsibility since He created everything with purpose.

Blessings Even in Hardship

One may interject by referring to the many individuals and societies that are plagued with hardships and do not have blessings to appreciate. No doubt this is a reality and the Quran address this indirectly. Upon analysis, one finds that the blessings which the Quran references and encourages the reader to appreciate are not wealth or health; rather, it is the sun, the moon, trees, and the natural world in general. Perhaps the reason for this is what shukr seeks to drive us towards. There are two things all these objects have in common (1) they are gifts given by Allah to all humans and all individuals enjoy them and (2) humans are dependent upon them. Everyone has access to the sun, no one can take it away, and we are critically dependent upon it. When the Quran draws our attention to these blessings, the reader should begin to appreciate the natural world at a different level and Surah an Nahl does precisely that. This chapter was likely revealed during the time of hijrah (immigration); a time when the companions lost everything – their homes, wealth, and tribes. The chapter works to counsel them by teaching them that the true blessings a person enjoys is all around them and no matter how much was taken from them, no one can take away the greater blessings of Allah.

In sum, these verses bring light to the crucial role shukr plays in faith. It serves as a means to better know Allah which can be achieved through a series of phases. First, the individual must search for the blessings which then leads to a shift in perspective from focusing on the wants to focusing on what is available. This leads to greater appreciation and recognition of the positives in one’s life allowing the person more optimism. Second, the person must link those blessings to the benefactor – Allah – which reveals many elements of who He is and His concern for His creation. Once this is internalized in the person’s hearts, its benefits begin to manifest itself on the person’s heart, mind, and body; it manifests itself in the form of love for Allah and submission to him. Shukr ultimately reveals the extent of Allah’s love and concern for the individual which therein strengthens the trust and love of the individual for Allah and ultimately their submission to Him.

Allah knows best.

Emmons, Robert A., and Charles M. Shelton. “Gratitude and the science of positive psychology.” Handbook of positive psychology 18 (2002): 459-471.

Emmons, Robert A., and Michael E. McCullough, eds. The psychology of gratitude. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Jawziyyah, Ibn Qayyim. madārij al-sālikīn bayn manāzil iyyāka naʿbud wa iyyāka nastaʿīn مدارج السالكين بين منازل إياك نعبد وإياك نستعين [The Levels of Spirituality between the Dynamics of “It is You Alone we Worship and it is You Alone we Seek Help From]. Cario: Hadith Publications, 2005.

[1] Islamically speaking, it is not befitting to claim that Allah has a psyche or that he can be analyzed psychologically.

Download a longer version of this article here: The Sprituality of Gratitude

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