Diseases of the Heart part 3

So in this post I’m going to share what we learnt about the next disease of the heart: kibr.

Kibr is the Arabic word for pride or arrogance, when someone considers themselves superior to others.

The prophet (saw) defined kibr in this narration: “No one will enter paradise who has an atoms of pride in his heart.” A man said: “What if a man likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” [Muslim]

Allah describes in many places in the Quran how much Allah detests pride and the consequences of having pride in your heart.

“I will turn away from my signs those who are arrogant upon the earth…” Quran (7:146)

“…Thus does God seal over every heart (belonging to) an arrogant tyrant. Quran” (40:35)

“Indeed He, does not love the arrogant.” Quran (16:25)

These are just some of the places that Allah speaks about how displeased he is with those who have pride in their hearts. These ayahs show that Allah will not allow someone with pride to have understanding of the Quran and He will seal their hearts from the light of emaan.

The types of Pride

There are 2 types of pride:

1) Having pride and arrogance in accepting the truth in the oneness of Allah and Islam. So this person rejects Allah, the one who created him.

2) This is the pride people have towards other people. They think they are better than others and look down on them, whether it’s in regards to deen or dunya.

The causes of Pride

There are many reasons why someone may have pride some of which are:

1) Knowledge: People of knowledge can fall into this sin as they may be admired for their knowledge and start looking down on those who don’t have as much knowledge as them.

2) Practice and Worship: When people look down on those who may not be practicing their faith. They also look down on those who sin and feel like they are better than them.

3) Lineage: People who come from a noble lineage/tribe look at those who come from a lower tribe with scorn and behave as if these people are here to serve them.

4)Wealth: Allah describes wealth as a fitna in the Quran. So it can be used for good or it can cause harm. Someone who is wealthy may start to look down at those who have less.

Qualities of a person who has Pride

1) Likes people to stand up for him

2) Wants others to walk behind him

3) Believes that he doesn’t need to visit people only that people should visit him

4) Doesn’t want others to be on his level

5) Does not help in chores

The opposite of pride is humility. The prophet (saw) was always humble.

Cures of Pride

1) Realising the greatness of Allah and realising the weakness of man.

2) Contemplate and reflect over the ayah and Hadith which speak about pride.

3) Think of others as better than you, it doesn’t matter who they are.

4) Increase in ibadah and seek refuge in Allah from this disease.

5) Surround yourself with people who remind you of Allah and of your place.

6) Engaging in chores

When you see someone who is older than you; think they’re better than you because they’ve had more time to do good.

When you see someone who is younger than you; think they’re better than you because they’ve had less time to commit sins.

Hope this has been of benefit, my next post will cover backbiting.

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Justice in our Relationships

Amongst many families today especially where in laws are involved there is something very important lacking. That is justice.

It is so important for each member of the family be just in their treatment. The main issue generally arises between the mother/sister in law and the daughter in law. These isues can lead to a lot of hurt and stress for those involved. It can cause stress between son and mother and between husband and wife relationship.

If everyone was just in their treatment of others there would be much more harmony in these relationships.

The daughter in law is not inferior or the maid of the family. She should be treated with respect. She is not obliged to serve her in laws and should not be forced to do so. In the same way the mother in law should be respected and treated in a kind manner.

Most importantly it is necessary for the husband to be just in his treatment especially when problems arise. He should not blindly just side with one or the other. But look at both views and ensure that no one is treated unjustly. Speak to both of them kindly but do not allow one to transgress the other.

Although it may be difficult at first to do this it will eventually become easier and in the long term allow people to live more harmoniously with one another.

An Explanation of Allahs Beautiful Names and Attributes part 13

Al Khaaliq, Al Khallāq, Al Bari, al Mussawir
These Names are truly appreciated when taken together. They are all to do with Allah having the characteristic of creating.
 
26) Al Khaaliq
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an 8 times. It is mentioned in the singular form.
For example Allah says:
 
O mankind, remember the favor of Allah upon you. Is there any creator other than Allah who provides for you from the heaven and earth? There is no deity except Him, so how are you deluded? [al Faatir 35:3]
It is mentioned twice in the form of tafdeel – Khaliqeen. The plural khaaliqun is mentioned once. Altogether it has been mentioned 11 times.
27) Al Khallāq 
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an twice. Allah says:
Indeed your Lord He is the Knowing Creator [al Hijr 15:86]
Allah also says:
Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes, [it is so]; and He is the Knowing Creator. [Ya seen 36:81]
 
Linguistic meaning:
comes from root word khalaqa, meaning to create when there was nothing like it before. Both the Names have this meaning.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Al Khataabi says; al-Khaaliq is the Name of Allah, and means Allah creating something from the very beginning, the very first thing for example, creating the pen, creating Adam. Al-Khallāq is creating everything else from that category – the exaggerated form of creating.
 
Then is He who creates like one who does not create? So will you not be reminded? [al Nahl 16:17]
 
The product of Allah
Allah azza wajal mentions in the Quran that He is ahsaanul khaaliqeen, the best of creators. This is meant metaphorically there are no other creators. When we look at tawheed our belief in the oneness of Allah we see two aspects: the unity of Allah and the unity of the creation. They are not mixed in any way. The creation is the product of Allah Al-Khaaliq. For example a chair: the cotton fabric comes from plants, the metal from rocks, and the wood from trees; all that people did is reassemble these sources into a piece of furniture. Human beings manipulate or reassemble that which already exists we cannot and will never create anything.
 
A mind-blowing argument
Most ayaat of the Quran are a reminder for those who believe in Allah azza wa jall, reminding them of Him as Creator and how to praise and be thankful to Him. In a few ayaat Al-Khaaliq powerfully presents the truth to atheists:
Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain. [al Tur 52:35-36]
The argument starts with Allah azza wa jall giving the atheists a first option: if they don‘t believe in a creator then were they created from nothing? Nothing cannot produce something, that‘s the first option cancelled. Allah gives them a second option: then, did you create yourselves? If you didn‘t exist then you can‘t do any creating. Allah azza wa jall continues: did you create the heavens and the earth? Even if they claim to have created themselves, did they create the vast heavens and earth? Indeed, they are uncertain; somebody had to create them. Al-Khaaliq leaves mankind with these two options to think about. That is the logic of belief in Allah azza wa jall, and the believers should be able to convey these ayaat or verses.
 
Benefits we can learn from these Names
1. True belief in the Oneness of Allah. He created and continues to create. He is unique in being the creator. The one who creates deserves worship. The very fact that He created us and everything else is a sign that Allah deserves to be worshipped. Affirm that Allah has true control over us. Have muhabba for Him.
2. Strengthen your relationship with al-Khaaliq. If there is anything you desire, ask the One who creates everything; if you desire children ask Al-Khaaliq, but also turn to Him for the smallest matters. The Messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wa sallam said: Each of you should ask for his needs from Allah, even if the strap of your sandal breaks, because if Allah does not facilitate it, it will never be possible. [At-Tirmidhi] No evil eye, magic, or any force on earth can prevent what Al-Khaaliq has destined to come into existence. Fir’awn tried his best to prevent Musa alayhi sallam from coming into being and growing up to destroy his kingdom, but when Al-Khaaliq decides to create something, it will be. So ask Him for all your needs and wishes.
3. Don‘t fear created things. Don‘t fear the creation, only fear the Creator. Stop fearing people‘s opinions, poverty, failure, etc., and focus on pleasing Al-Khaaliq. He will suffice for your needs. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said: Whoever sought the pleasure of Allah though it was displeasing to the people then Allah becomes pleased with him, and will make the people pleased with him, and whoever sought the pleasure of the people though it was displeasing to Allah then Allah becomes displeased with him and will make the people displeased with him. [Ibn Hibban, At-Tirmidhi]
4. Don‘t call people creator. In the English language to create is also used in the senses of forming, producing, or making. However, referring to creating we must not use it for people in the sense of making something existent from nothing, calling people creator.
5. Look at nature. Allah al-Khaaliq says: [And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks? [al Mulk, 67:3]
And the earth We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah]. [Qaaf 50: 7-8] Remember Al-Khaaliq by looking at and pondering over His creation.
 
Al Khaaliq and other Names 
Allah says Khaliq al-Aleem the Knowing Creator. These Names are mentioned together because Allah created everything and knows everything that the creation is doing and all that they will do. He is the Creator and Only He knows what’s best for creation. So when He commanded or prohibited something then it‘s with His full knowledge that He has and He knows what’s good and what’s not good for the creation.
28) Al Baari’
 
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Quran 3 times. For example Allah says:
 
He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best Names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. [al Hashr 59:24]
 
Lingustic meaning: 
something that is far away. Something that it is free from another thing. Something that could be similar. Something that differs.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
The One who makes species, likens things, puts into categories, makes things similar. When He does this, He makes it so that every single creation/species is different from one another – being far from each other. Khaaliq creates initial creation, Khallāq extended creations and Al Baari sorts out the creation.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name:
1. Appreciate who Allah is and how great He is. Every single creation is different. For example everyone has a different fingerprint. When we understand these 4 Names, we can understand how great Allah is. Greatness in the field of creation. Perfect In everything.
2. Have firm belief in Allah as creator. A Bedouin who lived in the desert and who expressed it most eloquently, when he was asked, How do you know your Lord? He said: If you see the camel dung you know that a camel has passed this way, and if you see a footstep you know that a person has passed this way, so the heaven with its stars and the earth with its mountain passes and the oceans with their high waves all point to the existence of the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.
 
3. The Messenger of Allah salallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: There is no obedience to the creation, in disobedience to the Creator. Obedience is only in what is good. [al-Bukhari]. Be very honest with yourself and look at how many occasions in your life you‘ve actually tried to please the creation instead of pleasing al-Baari‘. Then renew your intention (niyaa) to strive for the pleasure of Him only.
4. Ponder over the creation. Look at the morning or evening sun, at tiny insects, flies, plants, and flowers. Study science and do so with the intention of pondering His creation. Also seek cure in the places Al-Baari‘ revealed to His Prophet.
29) Al Musawwir
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qu’ran once. Allah says:
 
He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best Names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. [al Hashr 59:24]
 
Lingustic meaning: 
to fashion, to design, to complete.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Allah designs how each creation looks like, and fashions them and completes them in appearance inside/out. Al Musawwir gave everything its own distinct shape and inclination or desire despite the great variety of the creation every single creature is unique. Linguistically, khaaliq, baari‘, and musawwir are interrelated in meaning and deal with the aspects of Allah azza wa jall as Creator; all the rest is creation. Al-Musawwir bestows forms and not by way of copying He is far above that. Al-Musawwir says Be! and it is, with the Attributes and the form that He has chosen for it. He does what He wills and creates what He wills in the form that He wills.
 
The Relation of Al Khaaliq, Al Baari’ and Al Musawwir
In Surah al-Hashr, Al Musawwir is mentioned after al-Khaaliq (The Creator, The Maker) and al-Baari‘ (The Originator). Some scholars have said that in this ayah the attribute of creation refers specifically to Allah‘s determination of what He creates, so it comes first. The Name Al Baari‘ refers to the creative act of bringing about what Allah wills to create. Finally, the Name Al-Musawwir (the Fashioner) refers to giving each created thing its particular form. So Allah decrees what He creates, brings it into existence, and specifies its particular, unique form.
Scholars also have differentiated between these three Names as follows: Al Khaaliq is the One who created from nothing all creatures that exist, according to their decreed qualities. Al Baari‘ is the One Who made man from al-baraa, i.e., clay. Al Musawwir is the One Who creates various forms and shapes. So Al Khaaliq is a general word, Al Baari is more specific and Al Musawwir is even more specific.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Be happy with how Al Musawwir shaped you. Allah azza wa jall says:
It is He who forms you in the wombs however He wills. There is no diety except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. [Ale Imran, 3:6] Be content with how Al Musawwir shaped you by His ultimate wisdom. For example, if we were as beautiful as the Prophet Yusuf alayhi salam, would we be able to withstand the temptations he faced? When you look at yourself in the mirror, say Alhamdulillah. If Shaytan tempts you to complain about any of your facial or body features, remember those who are blind, sick, or disabled.
2. Live up to your potential. Know your position.
Indeed, We have created the human being upon the best of forms. [at Teen 95: 4] Al-Musawwir created and formed you with a particular brain, heart, face, and limbs, which differentiate us from the animals. How do you use them? You will be questioned on the Day of Judgement as to how you use your hearing, your sight, and your hearts. So use these faculties to do as many good deeds as you can and don‘t use them to harm yourself or others by sinning, nor by going to forbidden places.
3. Worship Al-Musawwir alone. Allah azza wa jall alone deserves your worship. This is the Creation of Allah.
This is the creation of Allah. So show me what those other than Him have created. Rather the wrong-doers are in clear error [Luqman 31:11] Remember this ayah when you feel tempted to turn to others for your desires instead of to Al-Musawwir.
4. Ask Al-Musawwir. Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them? Yes Indeed! and He is the Superb Creator (of all), the Ever-Knowing.
His Command, is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‗Be‘ and it is! So exalted is He in whose hand is the realm of all things, and to Him you will be returned. [Ya Seen 36:82-83] Al-Musawwir perfected everything you see around you; don‘t you think He can solve all your problems? So remember when you supplicate: nothing is impossible for Al-Musawwir.
5. Understand the prohibition of making pictures of living creation, those with a soul. What is meant by soorah – means face as pertained in another hadith. Reason is that it could lead to shirk. Allah is Al-Mussawir so we are taking right of Allah by doing this.
Side note: The greatest comfort for the heart is Qur’an. Ayah before the Names and Attributes in Surah Hashr is one about mountain crumbling if the Qur’an was revealed on it, out of fear and awe of Allah. We should remember this when we read and listen to the Qur’an.