The Straight Path

Surah al-A’la
(The Most High)

” Glorify the Name of your Lord, Most High, Who has created and then proportioned it. And Who has measured and then guided. And Who brings out the pasturage (plants), And then makes it dark stubble. We shall make you to recite, so you shall not forget it, Except what Allah may will. He knows what is apparent and what is hidden. And we shall make easy for you, the easy way. Therefore, remind (men) in case the Reminder profits (them). The Reminder will be received by him who fears (Allah), But it will be avoided by the wretched, Who will enter the great Fire. There he will neither die nor live. Indeed, whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success, And remembers the Name of his Lord. Nay, you prefer the life of this world, Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting. Verily, this is in the former Scriptures– The Scriptures of Abraham and Moses”

All the Praises are for Allah and Salutation is for the Messenger and his family and all those that follow him doing good works until the Day of Resurrection. The very first generation of Muslims that lived and established Islaam in their lives with Muhammad , the son of Abdullah, had glory and triumph that no nation that existed before them or any that came after them achieved. This is a reality which no one denies. Thus we find that every conscious Muslim dreams about this reality and so in his own way tries to work for this glory to return within his life and the life of those around him. However, to dream is one thing and the reality is another. The Muslims although they are now the fastest growing nation, are also the most divided. This division was predicted by the messenger , who said: The Jews were divided into seventy one (71) groups and the Christians were divided into seventy two (72) any my ummah (nation) will divide into seventy three (73), each of which would be in the Fire except one… Although this prediction is established in the Hadeeth above, yet it is not approved by Islaam. On the contrary, Allah had commanded the Muslims to unite, He said: Hold fast all together to the rope of Allah and be not divided.. [Al Quraan 3:103] The division of this ummah started very early after the death of the messenger of Allah . After Islaam became strong and its enemies found that they could not defeat it physically they started to attack it by undermining the faith of the common people and those newly converted to Islaam by introducing new concepts that were alien to the Islaam brought by Muhammad . This wave of attack brought about an almost total standstill to the quest for sound knowledge and facilitated the easy spread of deviant concepts and new innovations in this deen. The vast majority of Muslims are now totally lost and their understanding of Islaam was very much diluted with deviant ideas which allowed anyone who wanted to captialize on the ignorant to do so with ease. People now lost the correct way and so they did not know what method to use to understand this deen. Therefore, instead of referring matters of belief (‘Aqeeda) to the Quraan and the Sunnah they turned to the books of philosophy which, although written by Muslims, were all affected by the Greek, Persian and other prevelant thoughts of that time. Issues of fiqh on the other hand were completely restricted to the four Imaams. And so as time went by the people became totally fanatical about their Madhab (school of thought). This caused the noble Imaams to be treated by their followers as the prophets ought to be treated (i.e. as if they were protected from errors). Whatever any of them said was taken as totally correct by those who followed them (as if it were revelation). Even if a verse from the Quraan or an authentic saying of the Messenger was brought as an argument against what the Imaam said, their followers left what Allah or the messenger said and followed their Imaams. This dangerous state of affair led to blind following (Taqleed) of humans at the expense of revelation. Blind following of other than Allah and His messenger along with widespread ignorance was definately the major sources of all the division that occurred in the Deen. This was now what Islaam became to the people. And this attitude closed the doors of Ijtihad. Proof were no longer looked into to understand anything in the Islaam and the Quraan and the sunnah of the messenger which must be used for our guidance now became means for the Muslim of acquiring blessings (Barakah). This further led to the state where anyone could now give Fatawas (Legislative rulings in Islaam) and also say anything he felt like saying about Islaam because there was no threat that anyone would ask for proof from the Quraan or the Sunnah. On the other hand the people who were listening to him had no basis to determine whether what they are hearing is correct or not because they themselves have lost any attachment to sources of Islaamic law. This condition of ignorance and blind following was also predicted by the messenger , who said: Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people, but (this is done) by causing (the death) of the scholars until none of them is left alive. People would then appoint ignorant leaders for themselves who would be consulted in matters of religion and they would give Fatawas without knowledge, falling into misguidance and misguiding others. [Muslim]. The Solution The messenger of Allah said: O mankind, I am leaving two things with you, if you cling to them you will never go astray. The Book of Allah and my way of life. [Al-Haakim and Al-Baihaqi]. This hadeeth is laying the bases for the Muslim if he does not want to go astray. It follows, therefore, that if at anytime some one finds himself going astray, then he is not holding on to one or both of these sources. The problem we face, however, is that every Muslim stand by this claim that they are holding on to the Quraan and the Sunnah So how can anyone determine whose claim is correct? The messenger of Allah left this way very clear for us as he said: I am leaving you on a clear way, its night is like its day and none turns away from it except that he would be destroyed. He told us that the way he left is very clear and then in the following Ah-Hadeeth he explained for us what it is. He said: The Jews were divided into seventy one groups and the Christians were divided into seventy-two and my ummah will be divided into seventy three and each of them will be in the fire except one. The companions asked: “Who are they, O messenger of Allah?” He said: They are those who are on the like of what I and my companions are on. And in another Hadeeth, he said: The best people is my generation then those that follow them, then those who follow them. In the above hadeeth the prophet is telling us the way to understand the Quraan and the Sunnah is the way the sahabas understood and practised it. If the understanding of the Quraan and the sunnah of any group coincides with the understanding of the Companions in all issues, then that group would be the one that is on the truth. It must also be very clear that only one group of all the groups that are existing is on the correct way as is explained in the hadeeth. One way The saying of Allah further emphasises that there is only one way. He said: Whoever opposes the messenger after the guidance has been clearly shown to him, and follows other than the way of the believers, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in hell, and what an evil destination. [Al-Quraan 4:115] Who were the believers during the time the Quraan was being revealed? Were they not only the messenger and the first generation of believers? So Allah is also making it very clear that there is only one way i.e. the way of the messenger and his companions. My brothers and sisters, life is short so we must make sure that before we die we serure the key that will take us to Al-Jannah(Heaven). Let us not follow Allah’s religion based on customs and based on our desires but let us keep an open mind and beg Allah to guide us to the Truth that was left very clear for us by Him and His messenger . May Allah guide us all to the straight way of Islaam. Ameen!

TAQWA…what every soul craves!!

What every soul craves…


“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the Prophets; and gives his wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observes proper worship and pays the poor due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God fearing (those with taqwa).” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:177)

The concept of taqwaa is always linked to ibaadah in the Qu’raan. ‘Ibaadah can be defined as: to do what Allah has commanded and to avoid what He has prohibited. ‘Ibaadah has also been defined as a concept that includes all actions that Allah loves and approves of, whether they are actions of the heart, the tongue or the limbs. So taqwaa is linked with doing what is correct and avoiding that which is wrong. Taqwaa is the fruit of doing the actions of ‘Ibaadah. In other words, if one does what Allah has commanded him to do, and abstains from that which he has been forbidden, he will achieve taqwaa. Allah mentions in His Book ( that means ): ” O you who believe ! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become muttaqoon ( those who have taqwaa or piety ).” [ Al-Baqarah 2:183 ]. In this aayah and in many others, Allah has shown us that taqwaa is the result or fruit of doing actions of ibaadah. The meaning of Taqwaa Now that we have clarified how to achieve taqwaa, we define what the concept of taqwaa means. Taqwaa means: to cleanse or purify the heart and the soul. This fact is proven by some ayaat in Suorat ush-Shams in which Allah (T) says (what means) ” By the sun and its brightness, by the moon as it follows it, by the day as it shows its brightness, by the night as it conceals it, by the heaven and its wondrous make, by the earth and all its expanse, and by the soul and He Who perfected it in proportion, then He showed it what is wrong for it and what is right for it – indeed he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails who corrupts it.” [ Ash-Shams 91:1-10 ]. Allah begins this soorah by taking seven oaths. Whenever Allah begins a soorah or an ayaah with an oath, He (T) does so to bear witness to the fact that whatever follows this oath is very important and essential for us to understand. Therefore, we should pay very close attention to what is being said, and reflect upon its meanings. To cleans one’s heart and to purify the soul, one must perform righteous actions that Allah has enjoined upon us, and our destruction lies in doing the actions that Allah has forbidden. As Allah is the Guardian and Protector of the Soul, we should do every good deed hoping for Allah’s Mercy and fearing His Punishment, having full reliance and trust in Him (T). Purification of the Soul Among the missions of the Prophet. Allah sent him with the command to purify the souls of the Muslims in particular, and of mankind in general. Allah (T) says (what means) ” He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His ayaat, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Hikmah, while before they had been in error.” [ Al-Jumu’ah 62:2 ]. In this ayaah the word Hikmah is often translated as wisdom. Imaam ash-Shafi’, one of the greatest scholars of Islaam, said that when Allah mentions Hikmah in the Qur’aan it refers to the Sunnah of the Prophet. In addition to this ayaah, we see that the Prophet, was sent with three tasks: 1) To teach the Qur’aan. 2) To teach the Sunnah. 3) To show the means of purifying the soul. This purification is obtained by doing the proper acts of ‘ibaadah and by avoiding sins and disobedience. Conditions for Attaining Taqwaa How does a person know that his acts of ‘ibaadah are helping him to achieve taqwaa ? To develop taqwaa, one must fulfill the following conditions:- 1) Ikhlaas, sincere intention that the act is performed purely for the pleasure of Allah, out of love for Him, while hoping for His reward and mercy, as well as fearing His anger and punishment if He is disobeyed. 2) To do the deed in accordance with the authentic Sunnah. To have the necessary knowledge of the ‘ibaadah that is being performed. To know how the Prophet. ..performed the action and proper times for the performance of that action. Concerning Ikhlaas (sincerity), it must be present both before and after performing the deed, with no riyaa (showing off) or sum’ah (doing things to be seen or heard by people). For instance, after doing a good deed, someone tells others, ” Look at all the good I have been doing “, or ” I’m such a marvelous person because I do such and such”. This formula, if used to achieve taqwaa, is scientific, in that if you follow it, while fulfilling all of its conditions and their rights, you will achieve taqwaa Insha Allah. The Effect of Taqwa A person once asked the Prophet SAW, “O Messenger of Allah! Give me some advice!” He replied, “I advise you to fear Allah because it is the head of everything.” The likeness of one who has the awareness of the reality of Allah’s existence in every single act, in every single decision, in every single word and thought is the likeness of a dry, curled up desert plant that receives a drop of moisture, which will make it spread out its leaves and sink its roots and flourish and blossom. Similarly, one who feels Allah in their heart at every breath they take and in every aspect of their lives and in everything they do, from the important and profound to the everyday, simple tasks becomes aware of the great thirst, the Great Dependence, and the great joy his/her life had been lacking without this devotion, without this urge to serve (the Creator). And with it, they strive for the pleasure of their Lord, finding fulfillment and happiness in this world and the next.