Haroon Al Rasheed

February 22, 2011

I received this message and thought it so profound that I wanted to share it:

Hârûn Rashîd – one of Bagdads Khalifahs on year 200 after Hijrah – said:”I looked after four and I found them in four; I Looked after Kufr and I found it in Jahmiyyah. I looked after ‘Ilm ulKalaam and I found it in Mu’tazilah. I looked after lies and I found it in Rafidhah. I looked after the truth and I foundit in Ahl-ul-Hadeeth”(Sharaf Ashhâb-il-Hadîth, p. 75, by Imâm al-Khatîb al-Baghdâdî)

Haroon al Rasheed was one of the earlier Abbasid Khalifah’s and is known to be one of the better and more righteous amongst the Abbasid rulers.
His rule is legendary – so much so that he appears in several places in the infamous “1001 nights” (aka Arabian Nights) despite this book being a piece of literature set in pre-Islamic times.

His time was the peak of the Abbasid rule: the Muslim Ummah was at its zenith militarily, politically, economically and socially – it spread from Andalusia in Spain to what is now considered Afghanistan and trading communities (which were also “accidental daa’ees”) were established on the west coast of India.

And yet despite all this, the words of the Khalifa are so profound because spiritually this ummah was being divided. All this great wealth and power without correct aqeedah only set the course for oppression against Allah. And for those that take this path, they have no qualms on doing oppression against the people.

Thus the seeds of destruction are often sown when the ummah is at its worldly peak.

In other words we can tell the future of our community by the strength of the dawa’a and the aqeedah and that is ‘in vogue’. Given the state of our dawah and aqeedah of the masses, what would you say our future holds?

You reap what you sow

January 13, 2009

Have you ever wondered why the Qur’anic term for “Success” comes from the same root as the word for “Farmer”? Sister Amatullah wrote a very beautiful and detailed piece on this here.

Below are a few real examples from the lives of Tabi’een – the generation that learnt directly from the Sahabah.

Story One ‘ Tales of The Sour Pomegranate 

 Once, the a guard was asked by his master (the owner of the garden) to go and pick out for him a pomegranate that is sweet in taste.The guard went away and came back with one which then turned out to be sour. The master frowned upon his guard and said, ‘this was sour,I want a sweet one!’. The guard ventures off to the garden and again
 returns with one that is sour. The scenario repeats itself three times until the master exclaims in disappointment, ‘you have been guarding my gardens for an entire year now. Have you still not learnt to differentiate between a sweet and sour pomagranate?!?” The guard replied ‘when you hired me, you instructed me to guard your fruits, but you gave me no permission to taste them- how then do you expect me to learn how they taste?”  The master was astonished by this simple man’s conduct and trustworthiness, and offered to marry him to his daughter, and the guard accepted very happily. The fruit of this marriage was the birth of no other than the great tabi’i (second generation of Muslims, who met the Sahabah but not Rasul Allah), Abdullah ibn Al Mubarak, one of the greatest scholar and ascetics of this Ummah.
 
 Story Two ‘ The Apple on The Walk Path’
 As he walked by the garden, he saw an apple on the walk path.It had fallen off the tree whose branch extends beyond the fences to shade the way. He picked it up and ate it. Shortly thereafter, he was struck by guilt, thinking he had consumed an apple that didn’t belong to him. He set out to find the owner of the garden to inform him that he ate one of his apples without permission, in order to pay the monetary value of it, or be forgiven for this sinful deed.

 

 The owner was amazed and cleverly responded, ‘I will not
 forgive  you unless you accept my one stipulation: that you marry my daughter. But she is deaf, blind, mute and paralysed’
. The man was gobsmacked, and juggled his thoughts
 in his head for a moment. He then surrendered to the stipulation, knowing that persevering with such a misfortunate wife would be less horrific than the torment of Allah for ‘stealing’ an apple. The night of the marriage came, and the groom walks in to his brides’ room with deep feelings of sorrow – only to find a woman of immense beauty awaiting him. Not only that, but  she  could speak, hear, see and walk freely. Moreover, she was very well learned in Islam, exceptional in piety. She said to her now husband, ‘I know you are surprised. My father described
 me as blind, and that is because I have blinded my eyes away from any sight which displeases Allah; he said I’m mute, because I’ve muted my tongue from all speech but the rememberance of Allah; I’m paralysed because I endulge in no forbidden activity; and I’m  deaf because I refrain from hearing all vain speech. My father wanted to ensure my husband was a very pious man, one whom deserves me.”
  The man who ate the apple was none other than the great Imam Abu Hanifa rahimahullah.
 
 Story Three ‘ The Milky Water drink
 
 The famous story of the woman who sold milk during the era of Umar Ibn Al Khattab radhi Allahu anhu. The woman would mix the milk with water at night to increase it’s volume and generate greater revenues from her trade in the morning. As Umar Radhi Allahu anhu walked by her home during his routine nightly inspections, he overheard the daughter of this woman proclaim, ‘Oh mother! If you’re assured that Umar does not see you cheating in the secrecy of your home in the middle of the night, then be certain that the Lord  of Umar sees and records all actions.’ Umar Radi Allahu anhu heard the words of this god-fearing young woman , and asked his son [Asim] to marry her. Their child was Layla, mother of Ameer-ul Mu’mineen Umaribn Abdul-Aziz, the Umayyad caliph described by most Islamic historians as the 5th of the 4 rightly guided caliph’s, due to his exceptional knowledge, conduct, justice and piety.

From this we learn that our mistakes could often be a blessing in disguise, as long as we always remain truthful and honst in our conduct, even if it means submitting to a less than pleasing situation.

Taken from an email, sent by an amazing sister!

About this page

January 4, 2009

Image the scene:

You are walking alone in the desert. As you stand on a sand dune to watch the splendor a a clear sunset, something catches your eye. It sparkles and for a moment, you think it is a mirage.

As you scramble down the dune, you get to the bottom and reach out to the sparkling object, glistening in the last rays of light.

It is a necklace – with diamonds and emeralds as big as walnuts, and surrounded by clusters of other precious stones.

As you hold it up to the last rays of sunlight, the reflected shadows bounce around on your clothes.

Where did this come from? Who does it belong to? Is it real? How much is it worth? How did it get here?

Questions buzz around in your head, but there is no other clue. Putting it safely in your pocket, protected by the cover of your hand, you make your way back to the rest of your travelling group. Tomorrow, the journey starts to find out the answer to these questions….

Our history, and therefore our identity, is that precious, beautiful and lost necklace. This website, inshaAllah is that tomorrow.

There are so many amazing stories and anecdotes in Islamic History, but for the most part, at least in the English language, there is very little that has been written about them. Quite often, in talks and lectures, there are examples given about personalities, or the great works of scholars, but they remain fleeting reference.

This site aims to change that. InshaAllah, I hope that whenever you hear of an amazing story, you take the time out to write down whatever you heard, and send it to me, so it becomes one more story that has found a home.

From there, inshaAllah the personalities and context of the story can be set out clearly – and its lessons and examples for us in our lives today can be explored and implemented.

It is an ambitious task, and if done well, would make for a perfect book of inspirational stories, and amazing legacies. There are only 2 rules that I ask:

1) The story is real, and holds great moral lessons                                                        

2) All the people connected to the story are no longer alive

With that, it is time to start with the stories….