Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Certainty of Faith
Al-Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 4 (partial)
"And in the Hereafter they have certainty of faith."
The word translated as "certainty of faith" is yaqin. It means having no doubt about the truth of a matter and arriving at accurate doubt-free knowledge. This knowledge can come from either Revelation, or study and verification. Yaqin has three degrees: first, that which comes from knowledge (ilm al-yaqin); second that which depends on seeing and observation (ayn al-yaqin); and third, that which comes from direct experience (haqq al-yaqin). For example, rising smoke is the sign of fire and gives us some certainty about the existence of a fire where it is rising. This certainty is that which is based on knowledge. When we go to where the smoke is rising and see the fire with our own eyes, our certainty of the fire's existence is the kind coming from direct observation. If we put our hand into the fire and feel its burning quality, then we obtain experienced certainty about the existence and quality of fire.
One may acquire certainty about or certain faith in the Hereafter through Revelation or discovery; or through the seeing of the "heart" (the spiritual intellect); through intellectual deduction or reasoning; or through some sort of contact with the spirits of the dead (provided that this last is done through authentic ways); through true dreams; or through scientific studies. In all these cases, it will be certainty based on knowledge that is certainty of the first degree.
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Understanding the Prophet's Life
Remembrance gives to the one who practices invocation such strength that he is able to do what he does not have the strength to do without it. When Fatima, may Allah be pleased with her, came to ask the Prophet, peace be upon him, for a servant, and complained to him about the difficulty she suffered in grinding flour, running errands, and doing other chores, he taught her and [his son-in-law] Ali, may Allah be please with them, to recite the formula of glorification thirty three times (Subhan Allah), that of praise thirty-three times (Alhamdulillah) and that of edification (Allahu Akbar) thirty-four times - every night upon going to bed. He said, 'This will be better for you both than a servant.' It is said that anyone who is constant in this practice will find such strength in his body that he will have no need for a servant.
The first thing that Almighty God had created, when His Throne was upon the waters, was the bearers of the Throne. They said, "Our Lord, wherefore have You created us?" God answered, "To bear My Throne." "Our Lord, who is strong enough to bear Your Throne, when upon it lay Your greatness, might and honour?" He said, "For that I have created." And they repeated this several times, until He told them, "Say: There is neither strength nor power save in God." (hawla wa lâ quwwata illâ bi Allâh) And they bore the Throne.
These words - 'There is neither strength nor power save in God' - have the striking effect of helping one to accomplish difficult work, bear fatigue, and endure fear or dreadful experience. For according to a hadith related by Ibn Abil-Dunya, the Messenger of God said, 'For whoever says, "There is neither strength nor power save in God" one hundred times, no day shall be afflicted by poverty."
Compiled From:
"The Invocation of God" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, pp. 99-100
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Declaration of Faith
Did you know that there is one phrase said at least 17 billion times a day? It is called the Shahadah, or Declaration of Faith. It is said a minimum of 17 times each day within the daily prayers of each of the 1 billion Muslims on Earth. Anyone who says that people don't praise God enough obviously hasn't met a Muslim!
In Arabic, the most basic Shahadah formula is said this way: Ashahadu an la ilaha ill Allah, wa ashahadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah. The English translation is: "I declare that there is no god except God, and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." This phrase includes the two founding principles of Islam and is sometimes called the Muslim Creed. It is a very strong ideological statement in that it lays out the Muslim frontline position: There is Only One God, and Muhammad is his last Prophet.
What are the benefits of reciting the Shahadah so many times each day? Think about it: All Muslims have the chance to remind themselves about the reality of God in their lives. Whereas the hustle and bustle of the daily grind may cause us to forget that we are living through a big test and will have to face God one day, the Shahadah and its recitation focuses our hearts and minds on our ultimate purpose. We are here to surrender our wills to God and lead virtuous lives.
Compiled From:
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam, 2nd Edition" - Yahiya Emerick, pp. 125-126

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