Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Gradual Doom
Al-Araf (The Heights) - Chapter 7 : Verse 182
"But those who deny Our signs - We will progressively lead them [to destruction] from where they do not know."
When a person chooses the path of virtue and patiently perseveres in it, taysir or facilitation usually takes him into a new phase where his wise choice finds Divine support and help. If on the other hand a servant chooses an evil course in life, misusing his freedom, and persists in it, then the phenomenon of facilitation takes on a rather terrible form, against which we should always seek Allah's refuge. It is termed istidraj or driving someone to destruction gradually, by degrees or little by little. It is difficult to tell when facilitation actually takes on the form of divine help or emerges as istidraj, gradually drawing a sinner to his final doom.
Man moves forward with great zest and force of his own free volition either in the direction of the good or on the path to disaster. In the one case, man is helped and supported by Allah, whereas in the other he is encouraged to keep on his chosen course until he meets his doom. But in both cases, whether one receives divine help or is gradually drawn to his final punishment, it is man himself who makes his choice and decides which way he is going to follow. Thereafter he is either helped along the course of his choice or simply encouraged and drawn on towards his final doom.
Compiled From:
"Freedom and Responsibility in Quranic Perspective" - Hasan Al-Anani, pp. 111-114
Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Bedtime Recitation
When going to sleep it is recommended to recite Ayat al-Kursi, Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Falaq, Surat al-Nas, and the end of al-Baqara (2:284-86). This is something to give particular attention to and is emphasized to heed, since rigorously authenticated hadiths concerning this have been established.
Abu Masud al-Badri, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that the Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said, "The two verses at the end of al-Baqara are sufficient [in their blessings] for anyone who reads them in one night." [Bukhari]
Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I have not seen any rational person who has entered Islam sleep until he had recited Ayat al-Kursi (Quran, 2:255). [Darimi]
Uqba ibn Amir, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of God said to me, 'Do not let a night pass you unless you recite therein al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq, and al-Nas.' Thereafter, not a night passed me unless I recited them." [Ahmad]
Compiled From:
"Etiquette with the Quran" - Imam al-Nawawi, pp. 107, 108
Meal Manners
Spiritual masters traditionally have focused on hunger. The goal is not to create a nation of anorexics but to cut the knot that binds self-discipline.
Ramadan is a time to experience hunger with good cheer and renewed gratitude. It is divorcing oneself from the world and being reminded of our spiritual soul. But a person can rob Ramadan of an important benefit by overeating at night in order to make up for what was missed during the day. The night become night-long buffets and worship vigils become secondary (or ignored).
People who have a problem with eathing should start at least by lessening the portion of what they normally eat, which is the beginning of discipline.
The combination of overeating and a breakdown of meal manners impairs a person's ability to build fortitude. A Muslim begins each meal in the name of God. The purpose of this, in addition to sanctifying a mundane act, is to consciously remember the source of the provision. And if one eats alone, he tries to find company to share the meal with. When the meal is complete, he praises God. If one is hosted, he thanks the host and offers prayers.
Compiled From:
"Purification of the Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 146, 147

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