New Year. Painting the Town Red!
In the Hadith we are cautioned about the harms of imitating other nations and customs.
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "You will imitate the nations before you very closely to the extent that if they went into a lizard's hole, you would enter it as well” his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, inquired: “(Do you mean) the Jews and Christians, O Messenger of Allaah?” He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied: "Who else?” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam also said: "The Day of Judgment will not come until my Nation closely imitates the nations before them.” It was asked: “Like the Persians and Romans, Messenger of Allaah?” He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied: "Who are the nations (I could mean) except those?”(Bukhaari).
Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam “He who imitates a people will be from among them (on the Day of Judgement).” (Abu Daawood) and in another narration he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The one who imitates people other than us (i.e., in faith) is not from us. Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians” (Tirmithi).
In Aap Beti Vol 6 of Hazrat Sheikh rahmatullah alayhi we come across the following stories that we should take heed of.
Story No. 4:
Another example of how the environment affects people, is something I have seen in my own house. When my own children were between the ages of four and seven years, and musical sounds from the street processions were heard, they used to put their fingers into their ears in order to avoid listening to the trumpets and drums. They also used to make a lot of noise while shouting that the noise from outside, was the voice of the Shaytaan speaking. They would then ask their mother or elder sisters whether the Shaytaan had gone or not.
But now I see when my grandchildren hear this same noise of trumpets and drums, they call each other to come and see what is going on. I try to make them feel ashamed, that this new trend is as a result of their mothers doing and that their acts will have an effect upon their own children.
Story No. 5:
I have also seen a practise in our whole family, that during the time of Holi (a hindu festival of colouring), no one would wear any coloured clothing. Even bride-grooms, would only wear white kurtahs and black trousers, avoiding red at all times. Nowadays this practise is not strictly adhered to.
There is another story which in my childhood, I had heard from the womenfolk of our household quite often. I do not recall having ever hearing it being related by any men: There was once a very pious man, very punctual and diligent in his performance of salaah, zakaat and his wazeefas. After his death someone saw him in a dream, where he was seen sitting comfortably on a honoured platform in a finely decorated place. However on his lips was a small snake attached.
The person seeing the dream, asked him: "Hazrat, how is it that together with this great honour afforded to you, there is a snake attached to you?" He replied: 'During the time of holi, I was eating paan. It so happened that a lean donkey passed in front of me. In jest, I spat at the donkey, and jokingly remarked: "This is holi-time. Everyone is being coloured. No one coloured you. Let me colour you also."
This story was very widely known in my family circle and I know that even the paan-eaters, used to become frightened. The ladies of the family made a special point of making bridal couples and young children aware of it.
Therefore, dear readers, parents and ulema, please do refrain from celebrating New Year and caution our family and friends to do the same.
Stories of Repentance #9
MERCY AND FORGIVENESS FOR THE ONE WHO REPENTS
When Mansur bin 'Ammar رحمة لله علیھ once entered the court of Abdul-Malik bin Marwaan, the latter said, "O Mansur, I have a question for you, and I will give you respite for an entire year to answer it: Who is the wisest of people, and who is the most ignorant of people?"
Al-Mansurرحمة لله علیھ left the castle and spent some time in contemplation in a nearby courtyard. Then the answer came to him, and so he quickly hurried back to Abdul-Malik. "O Mansur, why have you returned?" asked Abdul Malik.
"The wisest of the people, O Leader of the Believers, is the doer of good deeds who fears not having his deeds accepted," said Mansurرحمة لله علیھ." "And the most ignorant of people is he who does good deeds and feels safe in that his deeds will be accepted." Upon hearing these words, Abdul-Malik began to cry until his garment became soaked in tears. He then said, “You have done well, O Mansur. Now, recite a part of the Quran to me, for the Quran is a cure for what is in the breasts of men."
Mansurرحمة لله علیھ then recited this verse:
یَوۡمَ تَجِدُ کُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتۡ مِنۡ خَیۡرٍ مُّحۡضَرًا ۚۖۛ وَّ مَا عَمِلَتۡ مِنۡ سُوۡٓءٍ ۚۛ تَوَدُّ لَوۡ اَنَّ بَیۡنَہَا وَ بَیۡنَہٗۤ اَمَدًۢا بَعِیۡدًا ؕ وَ یُحَذِّرُکُمُ اللّٰہُ نَفۡسَہٗ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ رَءُوۡفٌۢ بِالۡعِبَادِ
On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there was a great distance between him and his evil. And Allah warns you against Himself and Allah is full of Kindness to His slaves.
[Aal-Imraan : 30]
"You have killed me, O Mansur," said Abdul-Malik. "O Mansur, what does, 'And Allah warns you against Himself' mean?"
"It means His Punishment," said Mansurرحمة لله علیھ.
"And what is the meaning of, 'every person will be confronted with all the good he has done,'?" asked Abdul-Malik?
"It means that every person will be confronted on the Day of Resurrection by all of his deeds, the largest of them and the tiniest of them. Allah Ta’ala will not leave out or forget any of it."
Abdul Malik then continued to cry until, being overcome with fear, he fainted.
Stories of Repentance #8
Everything that is going to happen is near at hand
The following is one of the famous sayings of Hazrat Hasan (R.A)
"Before Allah Ta’ala created us, Allah knew that we would sin and disobey Him, yet He still made us Muslims. O sinners, hurry to repent before the pangs of death overcome you, before the time of utter regret is upon you. Work, for death is coming, and everything that is coming is near at hand. Death hovers over you day and night; it will not come late, not even for one who has lost track of time."
Death may come upon us at any time, and it is our last deed that counts most. Put together, these two realities make it clear that we must continually repent for our sins and that it is utter foolishness to put off repentance for another day.
There is an interesting story related about two brothers. One of them, who lived on the top floor of a house they shared together, was a pious worshipper; the other, who lived on the ground floor, was a prolific doer of evil deeds. The former was confident- in fact, a little too confident and self-complacent for his own good. He actually desired that Shaytaan should try to tempt him, so that he could resist temptation and soar to higher levels of righteousness.
One day, Iblees did appear before him, perhaps in the form of a man. Shaytaan said, "So very sad that you have spent 40 years inhibiting the satisfaction of your desires and tiring your body in worship. You have 40 more years left to live, why don't you enjoy yourself and follow your lusts for a while. Then you can always repent and return to worship later on. After all, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Most-Merciful."The worshipper thought to himself, "I will go down to my brother on the first floor, and I will join him in the pursuit of pleasure for 20 years. Then, in the last 20 years of my life, I will repent to Allah Ta’ala and worship Him." He then began to descend the stairs to the first floor.Meanwhile, his brother was going through a transformation of his own. He thought to himself, "I wasted away my entire life in sin. My brother, the worshipper, will enter Paradise, while I will enter the Hell-fire. By Allah, I will indeed repent, go up to my brother and join him for as long as I live, in the worship of Allah. Perhaps Allah will then forgive me."
He ascended the stairs, with the intention of repenting to Allah Ta’ala, while his brother was descending with the intention of leading a life of sin. The latter slipped on one of the stairs, tumbled down, and knocked down his brother. Both of them passed away.It is, of course, the last deed that counts most.
Stories of Repentance #7
It was reported on the authority of Hassan Al Basri رحمة لله علیھ .
There was a prostitute who had a third of the beauty of Adam عليه السلام . She would not allow anyone to have relations with her unless she was paid 100 dinars. There was a slave man who saw her one day and her beauty amazed him so much that he went and worked and toiled with his hands until he collected 100 dinars.
So he went to her and said: “Your beauty amazed me so much that I went and worked and toiled with my own two hands and immediately collected 100 dinars!” She said to him: “Enter!” So he entered and to his amazement she had a bed made of gold.
He said: “So I sat on her bed and she said to me: “Come on!”
So when he sat between her legs he remembered his standing in front of Allah! His heart began to tremble and quiver and he said to her: “Let me leave and you can keep the money!” She said to him: “What is wrong with you?! You were the one who said that you saw me and my beauty amazed you so you worked and toiled hard and quickly with your bare hands until you collected 100 dinars and now that you have the ability to take what is rightfully yours this is what you do?”
He said: “I am afraid of Allah and my standing in front of Him! I was once the most hated person to you (because he was a poor slave) and now you are the most hated person to me!” (because he now realizes the sin she is allowing him to commit) She said: “If you are honest in what you say, then you are the only husband for me!” He said: “Let me leave!” She replied: “No! Not until you marry me!” He said: “No! Not until you allow me to leave!” So she said: “If you leave and I go out in search of you, do you promise that if I find you, you will marry me?” “Perhaps!” was the reply.
So she let his garment go, and he left and returned to his city. She set out in search of him remorseful and repentant for what she had done until she found the city where he resided. She asked around town about his whereabouts and she was directed towards where he lived.
Someone said to him in passing: “The queen has come!” (He said this because her clothing was like that of a queen). When he saw her he began crying profusely and began to gasp for air (as he never expected to see her again and now to his amazement, believed that she was a queen!) and he died while falling into her arms!
She said: “As for him, I have lost this one! Does he have any relatives?”
It was said to her: “He has a brother but he is poor!”
So she said with sincerity: “Thus I will marry him because of my love for his brother, who changed my life!” And so she married the brother.