Room In Your Heart

A short explanation of the words يَشْرَحْ ,ضَيِّقاً ,حَرَجا from ayah 125, Surah Al An’am

(Notes from an online lecture by Huda Institute, Canada.)

So whoever Allah wants to guide – He expands his breast to [contain] Islam; and whoever He wants to misguide – He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allah place defilement upon those who do not believe.

The word yashrah [يَشْرَحْ] is from the root sheen-ra-ha ش ر ح which literally means “to cut something, to open up, enlarge, expand or uncover”, meaning that when Allah سبحانه و تعالى wishes to guide someone, He expands his heart to accept Islam. It becomes easy for him to submit to the commands of Allah سبحانه و تعالى.

Then Allah سبحانه و تعالى talks about another condition of the heart. The word dayyiq [ضَيِّقاً] is from the root ض ي ق dad-ya-qaf which means “narrow, choked or overfilled with something”. When Allah wishes to send someone astray, his heart closes up, meaning he is unable to accept guidance, thus being deprived of faith. The bigger your container, the more you can contain. The narrower your container, the lesser you can contain.

One meaning of the word dayyaq is “overfilled with something”. What is the heart overfilled with? With the desires of dunya. If it is already filled, it doesn’t have any room for the love of Allah or Islam.

The word haraja [حَرَجا] used in the ayah means “everything gathered at one place”. For example, you gather all your furniture and put it in the garage. The garage becomes constricted. You can’t access the things inside, and perhaps the real purpose of the garage for which it is made – your car – won’t be able to fit in.

`Umar رضي الله عنه once asked a Bedouin as to what the word haraja حرجا meant. He replied, “[We use] the word haraja for a tree that is in the midst of other trees (meaning surrounded by other trees) and because of that, no one can reach it.” `Umar replied, “Such is the heart of a munafiq that no khair reaches it.” This heart is distant and surrounded by the desires and deception of dunya. The person has filled his heart with so many things that he doesn’t have time to pray or read the Qur’an and act upon it.

LESSONS:

  • In this ayah, we learn about two types of people:
    1. one whose heart is OPEN to Islam
    2. and the other, one whose heart is CONSTRICTED
  • The one whose heart has opened up, he loves the word of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, and is welcoming to every command.
  • On the other hand, the condition of him whose heart is constricted is such that he gets bored upon hearing the words of Allah. He does not want to listen. His heart becomes tight every time he listens to the Quran.
  • When a person is constantly concerned about his eternal abode (آخره) and abstains from the world of deception, then it is a sign that such a person’s heart has been opened up by Allah سبحانه و تعالى for guidance. It’s not that he is anti-social, but he is not attached to things, which is why he finds time to act on the commands of Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
  • The Quran and Sunnah are the only true guidance. We must hold on to them to receive خير from Allah.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى open up our hearts to guidance, may Allah سبحانه و تعالى help us walk on the right path, may Allah سبحانه و تعالى choose us to be the residents of Jannah. Ameen.

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We Return To Him Alone

Lessons from Surah Al An’am, Ayah 93-94

(Notes from an online lecture by Huda Institute, Canada.)

And who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about Allah or says, “It has been inspired to me,” while nothing has been inspired to him, and one who says, “I will reveal [something] like what Allah revealed.” And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands, [saying], “Discharge your souls! Today you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation for what you used to say against Allah other than the truth and [that] you were, toward His verses, being arrogant.”

[It will be said to them], “And you have certainly come to Us alone as We created you the first time, and you have left whatever We bestowed upon you behind you. And We do not see with you your ‘intercessors’ which you claimed that they were among you associates [of Allah ]. It has [all] been severed between you, and lost from you is what you used to claim.”

  • We learn that there are three great crimes which are extremely severe.
    1. Lying against Allah سبحانه و تعالى whether it is by associating partners or any other way. For example, the mushrikeen of Makkah considered angels to be the daughters of Allah.

    2. Claiming Prophethood

    3. Challenging the Qur’an

  • At the time of the death, a person is made aware of how his end will be.
  • We learn that fabricating statements against Allah leads to disgrace and humiliation. This is a severe warning as sometimes, we utter statements casually stating this is from Allah.
  • We learn the consequences of being arrogant towards the ayaat of Allah. How is a Muslim arrogant towards the ayaat of Allah? We don’t bother to read, understand or act upon them. We spend our time talking or daydreaming about many irrelevant things, but when it comes to the Qur’an we don’t have the time.
  • In Ayah 94, we learn that we will return to Allah سبحانه و تعالى alone. No one can accompany us. In the dunya, we look for supporters who can help us pass through difficulties. If our relationship with Allah سبحانه و تعالى is severed then nothing can save us.
  • On the Day of Judgment, people will have no belongings. In the dunya, people cannot be separated from their phones, gadgets, cars or other belongings. They take up most of our time and attention. On the Day of Judgment, we will be standing there without time or the belongings we spent our time on.
  • In the Hereafter, there will be no relationship. This summarizes the fact that a person is alone. He will be answerable for his actions alone. We should remember that we will be alone and empty handed. Many times we don’t obey Allah سبحانه و تعالى or follow His commands because of the fear that we will be alone, but we need to think: which loneliness is better? The loneliness in the dunya because we follow the truth or the loneliness in the Hereafter when we will be locked up in columns of Hellfire?

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى guide us all to make right choices while we are alive. Ameen.

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Live For The Next Life

Lessons from Surah Al Anam, ayah 70

(Notes from an online lecture by Huda Institute, Canada.)

And leave those who take their religion as amusement and diversion and whom the worldly life has deluded. But remind with the Qur’an, lest a soul be given up to destruction for what it earned; it will have other than Allah no protector and no intercessor. And if it should offer every compensation, it would not be taken from it. Those are the ones who are given to destruction for what they have earned. For them will be a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment because they used to disbelieve.

  • We learn about the prohibition of taking our religion as play and amusement. We should have a serious attitude towards Deen. Sometimes people who come to halaqahs and study circles complain, “Why do we have to be so boring?” They want fun and amusement in the religion as well. Watching a three-hour movie is not burdensome for us, but offering ten minutes Salah is heavy on us.
  • This ayah also tells us that the company of people who are heedless to the akhirah and are content with their life in this temporary world is fatal for everyone.
  • Don’t be impressed by the people of dunya by their jobs, by their homes and by their lifestyle. They are deluded. Their ultimate goal is the success of this life. Our ultimate goal should be the success of the hereafter. We are commanded not to stay in their company but this doesn’t mean complete boycott. We should limit our meetings with them but when we meet them we should remind them of the correct ways. If someone is doing wrong we shouldn’t praise them. We should choose for others what we choose for ourselves.
  • In the dunya, we are accustomed to relying on three kinds of sources to escape a punishment: power, influence/reference of influential people, and wealth. On that Day no source besides Allah would be of help to man.

The essential objective of these ayaat [68-70] is to save Muslims from evil environment and bad company, which can be as deadly as poison. History shows that the root of all evils and crimes is the evil society and the environment in which one grows up. Once snared into it, one slides into evils… then there comes the stage when, once habituated, the sense of evil dies away – reaching the limit when one starts taking evil as good and good as evil.

In a hadeeth, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has been reported to have said when a person gets involved in a sin for the first time, there appears a dot on his heart. This is like a black dot on a white dress which everyone dislikes and gets disturbed with. So, this person too feels the distaste in his heart. But when he, after having done the first, goes on doing the second and the third sin and does not repent from the past sin, black dots, one after the other, keep appearing on the heart, so much so that the radiant tablet of the heart turns jet black. The outcome is that this person is deprived of the very ability to distinguish between good and bad.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى keep all of us protected. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى keep us and our children safe from such society and environment. Ameen

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Of People & The Trials They Pose

Lessons from Surah Al An`am, Ayah 53 & 54

(Notes from an online lecture by Huda Institute, Canada.)

And thus We have tried some of them through others that the disbelievers might say, “Is it these whom Allah has favored among us?” Is not Allah most knowing of those who are grateful?

And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, “Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.”

  • People are fitnah for one another. Allah سبحانه و تعالى puts us in trial through people in our lives and He puts others in trial through us. Man becomes a test for another man. It could be our family, friends, teachers, boss, co-worker or anyone. Everyone is a trial for another.
  • The majority of the people who respond to the call of emaan are poor and weak people. It is because usually the poor people know how to sacrifice while the rich people have made this dunya their Paradise.
  • We should greet all the believers whether they are known to us or not, rich or poor, famous or unknown, we like them or not, whenever we see them we should say Salaam to them. Generally, we greet only those who we know.
  • Positive words should be said to struggling Muslims.
  • Every disobedient person is ignorant no matter how educated he is. If one does not know how to obey Allah, his knowledge is not going to help him. Therefore, our focus should not be on how much knowledge we have acquired but rather how much we have reformed ourselves.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى guide us all. Ameen

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Stay with what is pure

Lessons from Surah Al Maidah, Ayah 90

(Notes from an online lecture by Huda Institute, Canada.)

“O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are a filth of Shaytan’s handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful.”

By starting this ayah with “O you who believe” Allah سبحانه و تعالى asserts that if you are believer than listen to this. We should stop here and think that if our emaan is weak, the ayah will have no impact on our heart; but if we truly consider ourselves to be believers and our hearts are attached to the commands of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, then we will surely be more attentive and in shaa Allah will act upon what’s being said.

  • khamr خَمْرُ  is that which covers the intellect.
  • The word maysir مَيْسِر  in the ayah is used for gambling, literally it means any game of chance or betting through which people acquire some wealth.
  • The word ansab اٌّنصَاب means a stone altar. This is where the mushrikeen used to offer their sacrifices to their idols.
  • The word azlam اٌّزْلاَمُ means using arrow to find out your fortune. When people were not sure about a matter, they would take three arrows. One said, “Do it”. The other said, “Don’t do it”. And the third didn’t say anything, which meant, “Try again”. These arrows were used to take decisions. This is similar to using dice or cards today.

All of these things mentioned above are filth رِجْسٌ and رجس is applied to both physical and intangible filth.

So khamr, maysir, ansab and azlam are all works of Shaytan. He has beautified them for the people. He incites and encourages them to do these things. Therefore, we have been instructed to stay away from them and be successful. فلاح means that a person attains his goals and he is saved from that which is مکروہ or disliked so that he may become successful in this world and the hereafter.

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Courage in Conveying

Lessons from Surah Al Maidah, ayah 67

(Notes from an online lecture by Huda Institute, Canada.)

O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind. Verily, Allah guides not the people who disbelieve.

In this ayah, Allah سبحانه و تعالى addresses, comforts and encourages Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم:

  • Allah سبحانه و تعالى commands him to convey all that He has sent him without any hesitation to the people whether someone likes or dislikes, takes or rejects it. This should not become a hurdle and a worry in his mission.
  • He then comforts him, by giving the good news that disbelievers will not be able to bring any harm to him in his mission and that Allah سبحانه و تعالى will protect him Himself.

وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ

“And if you do not, then, you have not conveyed His Message.”

This is worth pondering. It means that if he had failed to convey even ONE command to the Muslim ummah, he would not have fulfilled the responsibility of Prophethood completely. This was the reason why the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم strived so hard with his full courage and strength throughout his life to fulfil this huge obligation placed on his shoulders and he did not leave out anything, not even the most minute detail that was commanded to him to convey.

The Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم testified that he had delivered the Message and fulfilled his duty, when he asked them on hajjatul wida’a.

LESSON

  • We should firmly believe that whatever Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has conveyed us was what Allah سبحانه و تعالى instructed him. We should not have any doubt whatsoever in his preaching or his Sunnah. We should also not ask if he left anything out because he was a Messenger of Allah, he could not back out of his responsibility.
  • In it, there is a message for us that if we are striving for the cause of Allah solely for His sake and not to look good in the eyes of the people then we should not worry about what people are going to say. We should strengthen our efforts and leave the matter to Allah سبحانه و تعالى. If we are sincere ,in sha Allah, Allah سبحانه و تعالى will make out a way.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى give us the ability and strength to work sincerely in His cause. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى accept our efforts and strengthen our Iman. Ameen

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