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Why On Earth Are We On Earth?

Quran

“There is no good in her, she is one of the people of hell.” That was a statement said by Allah’s Prophet ﷺ about someone who got it all wrong. It was about a person who extensively used to pray, fast and give in charity yet they were disrespectful and harmful to their neighbors. Later on, we’ll cover the rest of hadith which ends on a positive note, in shaa Allah. But first let’s remind ourselves as to why on Earth, we are on Earth.

Upon the completion of the creation of Earth with its oceans, rivers, trees, mountains and all that which is on it, Allah told His infallible obedient creation, the angels, that He will assign a khalifah on Earth for whom He created all things on it for.

A Khalifah is a steward, a successive human authority, on Earth. That steward is assigned to worship and obey Allah which includes constructing on Earth and dealing with Allah’s creation in ways that are pleasing to Him.

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Of the grave mistakes many of us have fallen into is not knowing or forgetting that the value of much of our acts of obedience and worship to Allah, The Creator, is tied to how we behave towards His creation. Many have perhaps forgotten that being conscious of The Creator includes being conscious of our behavior towards His creation as well. Just like how Allah has rights over us His creation has rights over us to the extent that at times Allah’s right would not be fulfilled correctly until the rights of His creation are fulfilled! One can clearly see this understanding in the advice given by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to Mu’ath (may Allah be pleased with him) when he said:

“اتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْت، وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقْ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ”

“Have taqwa of Allah (be conscious of Him and fear His punishment) wherever you may be and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out and behave well towards the people.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also said:

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“…فمن أحبَّ أن يزحزحَ عن النارِ ويدخلَ الجنةَ ، فلتأتِه منيَّتُه وهو يؤمنُ باللهِ واليومِ الآخرِ. وليأتِ إلى الناسِ الذي يحبُّ أن يؤتى إليهِ…”

“…He who desires to be rescued from the fire of Hell and to enter Paradise, should die in a state of complete belief in Allah and the Last Day, and should do unto others what he wishes to be done unto him…” [Muslim]

Let’s all get it right and realize it is not one or the other; it is both. Take the example of the grandest act of worship and a pillar of Islam, the five daily prayers. It is implemented best when we keep in mind that we are caretakers of Earth and are to be respectful to the rest of God’s creation.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“مَنْ أَكَلَ ثُومًا أَوْ بَصَلاً فَلْيَعْتَزِلْنَا، أَوْ لِيَعْتَزِلْ مَسْجِدَنَا”

“Whoever has eaten garlic or onion should keep away from us (or should keep away from our mosque).” [Al-Bukhari]

It is not prohibited to eat raw garlic or onion, but one should be aware of when they eat them and how they can freshen up their breath after having them. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is teaching us how we should be aware of our breath, body odor, smell of our clothes and so on, especially while attending the mosque for prayer, so we do not harm the rest of Allah’s surrounding creation on Earth from among the humans and angels.

Of the most amazing narrations that shows the real meaning of being a khalifah, a steward, on Earth, is the fact that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ rebuked Sa’ad (may Allah be pleased with him) for the amount of water he was using while performing wudu’, ablution, a prerequisite action for someone’s prayer to be accepted! Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“مَا هَذَا السَّرَفُ يَا سَعْدُ ؟ قَالَ : أَفِي الْوُضُوءِ سَرَفٌ ؟ قَالَ : نَعَمْ ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ عَلَى نَهْرٍ جَارٍ”

“What is this waste, O Sa‘ad?” Sa’ad replied: “Can there be any wasting in (performing) wudu’?” Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) then said: “Yes, even if you are on the bank of a flowing river.” [Ahmad]

Allah says: “وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ” “do not waste. Surely He does not like the wasteful.” [Qur’an 7:31]

The real steward on Earth is one who constructs and seeks to make this world a better place during their lifetime and beyond! Prophet Muhammad ﷺ encouraged us to view our life in such way when he said:

“إِذَا مَاتَ الإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ ثَلاَثَةٍ إِلاَّ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ”

“When the human dies, his acts come to an end (and would no longer be able to accumulate any good deeds), except (through) three (ways): (leaving behind a) recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious child, who prays for him (after he passes away).” [Muslim]

Did you notice how all three actions that would help us accumulate good deeds even after our death have a direct relationship with continuing our stewardship and caring for those who come after us?

‘Amarah, the son of Khuzaymah said:

“سمعت عمر بن الخطاب يقول لأبي : ما يمنعك أن تغرس أرضك ؟ فقال له أبي : أنا شيخ كبير أموت غدا ، فقال له عمر : أعزم عليك لتغرسنها ؟ فلقد رأيت عمر بن الخطاب يغرسها بيده مع أبي”

“I heard Omar the son of Al-Khattab saying to my dad: “Why are you not utilizing your land with planting things? So my father replied: “I am an old man who will soon die.” Omar replied: “I urge you to plant things on it.” I then saw Omar, the son of Al-Khattab, planting things in the land with his own hands along with my father.” [As-Silsilah As- Ṣaḥīḥah]

Indeed, Omar the son of Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) knew what it meant to be a khalifah on Earth and construct on it. After all, no wonder he was among those promised paradise.

What if we were the last generation? What if as we were constructing on Earth, seeking to make this world a better place according to the way of Allah, we saw with our own eyes the day of judgment was about to take place and life on Earth was coming to an end? Would it not make sense to stop constructing on Earth? Never!

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“إِنْ قَامَتْ عَلَى أَحَدِكُمُ الْقِيَامَةُ ، وَفِي يَدِهِ فَسِيلَةٌ فَلْيَغْرِسْهَا”

“If the day of judgment took place during your lifetime and in your hands was a small palm tree (which still has a long way for it to be fruitful and grow) then plan it (regardless)!” [Ahmad]

We are in desperate need to revive the understanding of being stewards on Earth where we are to worship The Creator and deal with the creation in ways that are pleasing to The Creator.

“She is of the people of paradise.” That was a statement said by Allah’s Prophet ﷺ about someone who got it right. It was about a person who used to perform their obligations from prayer to fasting to giving in charity yet was respectful and peaceful with their neighbors.

I would like to thank Allah for giving me the ability to write up this article and then would want to thank my family, friends and colleagues who helped in the process of publishing it. The verbalization of my gratitude does not just stem from my consciousness of feeling blessed but was also reinforced by my belief in what the messenger of Allah ﷺ, the greatest khalifah and steward of all time, said:

“لاَ يَشْكُرُ اللَّهَ مَنْ لاَ يَشْكُرُ النَّاسَ”

“He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.” [Abu Dāwūd]

Jazakumullahu khairun.

 

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Majed completed a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Windsor, a Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies in Islamic Jurisprudence and Legal Theory from Al-Madinah International University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Wayne State University. As he travels worldwide lecturing about different aspects of Islam, Majed works full-time as a mechanical engineer and teaches with Al-Maghrib Institute. He currently lives in Michigan with his wife and children.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hena

    February 21, 2018 at 5:34 AM

    Loved this, jazakAllah khair!

  2. Avatar

    paket umroh desember

    April 6, 2018 at 10:47 PM

    masyallah I like the article

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#Current Affairs

This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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#Islam

30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 9: A Good Word

Now that we have learnt about the life of this world, let’s talk about a good word.

I want you all to close your eyes and think of a beautiful tree. 

Question: Who can tell me what their tree looks like? Is the tree big and strong? Does it have lots of branches and leaves? Does it have fruit?

Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something really nice to you.

Question:  What are some of the nice statements you remember people telling you?

Question: How did those statements make you feel?

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Yes, they fill us up with a warm feeling. We may have felt proud of ourselves and we may have felt loved. Do you know that Allah [wt] describes a good word to a good tree? 

In Surah Ibrahim, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ 

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تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ 

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? [Surah Ibrahim; 24]

It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. [Surah Ibrahim; 25]

Question: Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something mean to you. How did that make you feel?

It’s not fun to remember the mean stuff right? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) continues in Surah Ibrahim and says:

وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. [Surah Ibrahim; 26] 

Question: What do you think are good words we can use to build strong, firmly rooted trees?

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History and Seerah

Podcast: Five Historic Events That Rocked The World During Ramadan | Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter

We all know that Ramadan is the month of fasting, abstinence and reflection. Ramadan also just happens to be a month of awesome history defining events that shaped the world we live in today.

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