April 13, 2011

Beautiful Reminder: Luqman's Advice to His Son, Part 2

Lessons to Take, cont.
3. Having Taqwa
How often do we commit small sins, thinking that they're no big deal or that no one will know? As Luqman points out so beautifully, Allah knows EVERYTHING that we do and He will hold us to account.

Explaining verse 16, Ibn Kathir says in his tafsir, "If a wrong action or sin be equal to the size of a grain of mustard seed, He [Allah] will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, when it is placed in the Scales of Justice and everyone is rewarded or punished for his actions -- if they are good, he will be rewarded, and if they are bad he will be punished. This is like the ayat...'So, whoever does good equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it (Qur'an, Al-Zalzalah: 7-8).'"

Because of this, we should have taqwa, fear of Allah. To have proper fear of Allah is to leave all acts of disobedience to Him for those acts that are in obedience to Him, all while hoping for Allah's mercy.

In his book, The Fruits of Taqwa, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-'Uthaymeen mentions the advice a righteous person once gave regarding taqwa: "One of the righteous, wrote to his believing brother: 'I advise you with taqwaa (fear) of Allaah who knows your secrets and sees your open actions, so remember Allaah at every time of the night and day, and fear Allaah according to His nearness, and the power He has over you. And know that He always sees you. And do not leave His Rule for another rule, nor His Dominion, for another dominion, So glorify Him, by fearing Him immensely.'"

Shaykh 'Uthaymeen also quotes Umar ibn Al-Khattab as having wrote to his son, "To proceed: Verily 1 advise you to have taqwaa (fear) of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, for whoever fears Him, Allaah will protect him, and whoever gives a loan to Him, Allaah will reward him, and whoever thanks Him, Allaah will increase him."

Some of the benefits of having taqwa as outlined in 'Uthaymeen's book include: protecting oneself from the Shaytan, increasing in blessings and good actions, easing difficulty, increasing in Allah's love, attaining knowledge, attaining Allah's mercy, and being amongst those who enter Paradise. May Allah make us among those who have taqwa, ameen!

4. Encouraging Good and Forbidding Wrong
After speaking of Allah, Luqman goes into the next portion of his advice, telling his son to pray, enjoin Al-Maruf and forbid Al-Munkar.

In his work, Enjoining Right and Forbidding Wrong, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah, defines Al-Maruf as including everything internally and externally that has been allowed by Allah, the Most High, and the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. Al-Munkar, by default then, is everything that Allah and his Prophet have forbidden.

According to Ibn Taymiyyah, enjoining right and forbidding wrong is an obligation to be fulfilled to the best of one's ability, sometimes by the tongue, sometimes by the hand, and other times by the heart.

In a hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said, "Whoever of you sees wrong being committed, let him rectify it with his hand, if he is unable, then with his tongue, and if he us unable, then with his heart, and this is the weakest of faith."

Ibn Taymiyyah quotes a saying from Ibn Masood, radiAllahu anhu, where he was once asked, "Who are the living dead?" His response was, "He who does not acknowledge the right as such, and does not reject the wrong."

An important concept to note is that in our efforts to enjoin good and forbid evil, we must ensure to the best of our ability that what we allow and what we forbid is in accordance with what Allah and His Messenger have set down for us.

Ibn Taymiyyah says, "...the love of a believer for what is good, and his hatred for what is evil, and his desire for the accomplishment of the good and his desire for the avoidance and prevention of evil should be in harmony with what Allah loves and hates.

It is also imperative that in doing these actions, we do them purely for the sake of Allah, to seek His pleasure.

Ibn Taymiyyah says, "It is a requirement of righteous deeds that they be done solely for the Face of Allah ta'ala, for Allah does not accept any actions except for those with which His Face alone was sought. This is as in the sahih hadith narrated by Abu Huraira that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: 'Allah ta'ala says: I am the partner least in need of any partner. Whenever someone does an act, partly for me and partly for an imagined partner, I am completely free of that action, and it is wholly for the partner which was associated with me.'"

None of this can be done without proper knowledge, compassion, and patience.

To be continued...

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