Importance of knowing Allah’s Names: Sunday 22nd Jumada Al-Awwal 1435 (23rd March 2014)
Posted by Enlightenment into Islam Center
Narrated Abu Darda’ that the Prophet said, “Allah will resurrect people on the Day of Judgment, in whose faces there is light, on pulpits of pearls, the people will envy them. They are neither Prophets nor martyrs”. A Bedouin kneeled on his knees and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Describe them to us in order to know them”. He said, “They are the ones who love each other for the sake of Allah, from different tribes and countries. They gather upon remembrance of Allah and remember Him” [Authenticated by Al-Albani in Saheeh at-Targhib no.3025 and graded it Hasan]
Remembering the virtues of attending the gatherings of remembrance will help you collect your heart and help you to understand what is being discussed and taught in the class. The more you purify your intention, the more Allah will grant you the blessing of understanding the knowledge. Every time we come we should remind ourselves of these virtues, that we are coming for the sake of Allah hoping he will grant us that position on the Day of Judgment.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING ALLAH
On the Day of Judgment Allah will set the balances in which our deeds and utterances will be weighed. We will also be weighed. Some will be heavy and some will be light.
This difference in weight is according to what? We need to ask ourselves: What is my weight with Allah? Who am I with Allah?
These are very difficult questions to answer. Most of us try our best to beautify our outward appearance to others; especially women. They like to beautify themselves for people so they can hear praise. Yet we neglect the beautification of our inner selves, which which Allah is looking at. Allah looks at our hearts.
We always judge the people from their appearances. This is the criteria upon which we judge people. Our eyes are always on the defects of the people. We don’t know that maybe the person we criticise has a heavier weight with Allah than ours. So why do we look down at people?
The mindful person is always concerned about his reputation with Allah.
The Prophet said, “Everyone has a reputation with Allah. Whoever has a good reputation in the heavens then it will be put for him on earth and whoever has a bad reputation in the heavens then it will be put for him on the earth”
Once you hear that you have a reputation with Allah then you need to focus on it. You shouldn’t wait for the praise of the people.
For every step you take towards any good deed, are you hoping that Allah will reward you for it and add it to your scale?
Every week we come and go yet forget to bring our intention. Are you not hoping for reward for your effort?
Whoever is worried about his reputation with Allah will always be alert and concerned.
The people are not concerned about their weight in front of Allah because they are concerned with beautifying themselves in front of the people.
We tell our children not to do things because their teacher, father, etc. will not be pleased with them. By doing this, we are increasing the riyaa’ in them.
THE CRITERIA OF MEASURING PEOPLE WITH PEOPLE
Narrated Sahl bin Sa’d as Sa’adi: “A wealthy man passed by Allah’s messenger and Allah’s Messenger asked (his companions), “What do you say about this (man)?” They replied, “If he asks for a lady’s hand in marriage he ought to be given her in marriage, and if he intercedes (for someone) his intercession will be accepted, and if he speaks he will be listened to.” Allah’s messenger kept silent, and then a man from among the poor Muslims passed by and Allah’s Messenger asked (them), “What do you say about this man?” They replied, “If he asks for a lady’s hand in marriage no one will accept him, and if he intercedes (for someone) his intercession will not be accepted, and if he speaks he will not be listened to.” Allah’s Messenger said, “The poor man is better than the former by an earth full” [Al-Bukhari, The book of Nikah]
Our weight with Allah is not according to beauty or amount of children but according to faith and piety.
How faithful are you to Allah? This is your weight with Him.
Reported Ahmed that the Prophet ordered Abdullah ibn Mas’oud to climb a tree and bring him something (it is said it was a branch of the Arak tree). When he climbed the tree, the companions laughed at the thinness of his legs. The Prophet said, “Why do you laugh?” They said, “From the thinness of his legs.” He said, “By the One in whose hand is my soul, they are heavier than the mount Uhud on the scale” [Adab AlMufrad]
Al Bukhari reported a Hadith on the authority of Abu Hurayrah who said, “Allah’s Messenger said, “On the Day of Resurrection, a huge fat man will come who will not weigh the weight of a mosquito before Allah.” Then the Prophet Muhammad added, “If you wish you can recite the verse, “And on the Day of Resurrection, we shall not give them any weight “(18:105) [Kitaab At-Tafseer]
The criteria of people are other people’s appearances. A man may come with a proposal for your girl. He may be rejected immediately because he is poor, unknown or from a different tribe.
The Prophet said, “Many a person disheveled in hair, laden in dust, and driven away from doors (because of their poverty and shabby clothes) swear by Allah (to make something happen); Allah will certainly make happen” [Muslim]
Mohammed ibn Munkadir was one of the Tabi’een who was born in the year 30 and died in the year 130. He was a trustworthy man about whom Bukhari and Muslim narrated many Hadith. It is important to know the Tabi’een and read their biographies because when you know how they lived, your eeman will increase.
Muhammad ibn Munkadir says:
Madinah was once affected by a severe drought. The inhabitants went out to perform Salaatul Istisqa, but it did not rain. There was one particular pillar in the Masjid of the Prophet, Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam, behind which I would sit and also perform Salaah. One night I performed ‘Isha Salaah and then came to sit and recline against the pillar, as was my habit.
After a while I noticed a black person with a slightly yellowed face arriving. He had a cloth covering his legs and another covering his back. He proceeded towards the pillar in front of me and performed two rak’aats of Salaah. He then sat down and raised his hands in prayer saying, “O my Rabb, those who frequent the Haram of Your Prophet went out to ask you for rain but you did not cause it to rain! I entreat You to grant them rain.”
When I heard him say these words I assumed that he was insane, but no sooner did he drop his hands when I heard thunder and rain began to fall. When he heard the rain he praised Allah in such glorious words which I had never heard before. He then said, “Who am I and what am I that my prayer was accepted? But I have turned to Your praise and Your might.”
He then stood up, placed his clothing over his body as before and began performing Salaah for the duration of the night. He then performed Fajr Salaah in congregation and I did likewise. After the Imam had completed the Salaah, he stood up to leave and I followed him. When he reached the door of the masjid he raised his clothing and proceeded to wade through the water. I did the same but he disappeared from my sight.
The next night I again performed Salaah and came to recline against the pillar. The stranger again arrived, drew his clothing like the night before and continued to perform Salaah till dawn. After we had performed Fajr in congregation he rose to leave and I followed him. This time I succeeded in keeping up with him and noticed him entering a house in Madinah which was familiar to me. I returned to the masjid. When the sun had risen and I had performed my Salaah, I proceeded to the house. The man was sitting and stitching a piece of leather. He was a cobbler by profession. When he saw me he recognised me and asked, “Abu Abdullah, welcome! What can I do for you? Do you need a pair of leather socks sown?”
I sat down and asked, “Are you not the same person I saw last night?” His expression changed and he cried out in anger, “Ibn Munkadir, what do you have to do with that?”
I noticed his irritation and I said to myself, “I should leave him alone and depart immediately.”
That night I performed my ‘Isha and again came to my pillar but the pious man did not arrive. I said to myself, “What have you done?”
After the sun had risen the next morning I went to see him at his home. The door was open and the home was empty. The residents asked me, “Ibn Munkadir, what happened between you and him yesterday?” I asked, “Why?” They explained, “When you left him he laid open his cloth, packed all his leather and tools therein and left. We do not know where he has gone.”
I searched all the homes in Madinah that I knew but I could find no trace of him. May Allah have mercy upon him! [Sifatus Safwah]
The weight of this poor unknown person with Allah is very heavy.
Sa’d bin Mu’adh, the leader of Aws tribe, died and the throne of Allah shook for him.
Allah’s Messenger said, “The divine Throne (of Allah) shook at the death of Sa’d bin Mu’adh when his funeral procession was carried” [Al Bukhari and Muslim]
The Heavens and the earth compared to the Kursee are like rings in a desert. And the Kursee compared to the throne is like a ring in a desert. We cannot imagine the greatness of the throne.
The Prophet Muhammad said, “I was permitted to talk about one of the angels of Allah from among the bearers of the throne. The distance between his earlobe and shoulder is equal to the distance of walking by 700 years” [Authenticated by Al-Albani in Mishkat al-Masaabeeh no.5661]
This indicates that the throne of Allah is so great. Imagine, this throne was shaken with the death of Sa’d bin Mu’adh. He is precious with Allah.
Therefore, we have to understand, how many poor people we come across wherever we go, we see how people treat them and look down upon them. You cannot repel the feeling that he is miskeen and you are better than him. This feeling comes from the Shaytaan and dominates the heart. Bear in mind that money, provision and blessings is not an indication of the love of Allah. Rather abundant blessings make a person forget Allah. He will always be busy with his life. Abundant wealth causes hardness of the heart. You will hardly collect your heart when you pray. Abundant blessings will make a person feel at rest towards the Dunya and he will forget the Aakhirah. In the end he will feel better than others so he will look down on others. He reached that state over a period of time. As money increases, the heart becomes harder.
Anas narrated that a man (Bedouin) whose name was Zahir used to come to the Prophet to give him gifts and the Messenger of Allah used to give him what he needed before coming out from Madinah. The Prophet used to love him and he was ugly. One day he came to the Prophet selling his goods. The prophet embraced him from his back and he didn’t see the Prophet. Zahir said, “Leave me alone, who is this?” When he looked behind, he saw the Prophet so he kept his back touching the chest of the Prophet. The Prophet said, “Who will buy this slave?” Zahir said, “O Messenger of Allah! You will find me unsalable (because he was ugly and no one would buy him). The Prophet said, “But you are with Allah so precious, so expensive” [Reported by Ahmed]
The heaviness on the scale of Allah is according to the heart, the eeman and piety that is in it.
The previous hadiths indicate that we shouldn’t let our concern be about people; our concern should be our weight with Allah. If you are heavy with Allah, Allah will elevate you and make the people accept you, even if you are poor, not noble, etc. But Allah will test you. People may mock and criticise, but don’t let this bother you, let your concern be Allah; Then Allah will make the people accept you and listen to you.
The weight with Allah is according to what is established in the heart.
The balance on the Day of Judgment will weigh the eeman of the person.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HEART IN THE WEIGHT OF THE PERSON
1) Prophet Muhammad said, “A slave’s faith will not be upright until his heart is upright.”[Al-Albani in Saheeh at-Targhib no. 2865]
This means that the eeman of the person will not be correct unless his heart is upright.
Ibn Rajab said, “The actions of the limbs should be correct and this depends on the uprightness of the heart.”
If the heart is correct and upright, the eeman will be upright. Our weight with Allah depends on our eeman, and our eeman depends on our heart. Therefore we should focus on our heart.
Ibn Rajab said, “There are three indications that the heart is upright: If the heart is filled with the love of Allah, if the heart is filled with love of obedience to Allah and the heart hates disobedience to Allah.”
Does this mean that the person doesn’t commit sins? He hates disobedience, but if he happened to commit a sin he will hate himself, will be upset with himself for committing the sin and he will rebuke and take account of himself. This is the indication that he loves Allah and hates committing sins.
By knowing Allah one can fill their heart with the love of Him.
Many people have a paper and card with the names of Allah, reciting them daily thinking that they will enter Paradise because of this. When we say ‘knowing’ Allah we are not referring to the knowledge of recognition but more than that. We need detailed knowledge about His names and attributes. We have to know the meaning of each name and we need to worship Allah according to each name in every situation we go through. We need detailed knowledge, not superficial knowledge.
The Prophet linked the reformation of the heart with the reformation of the body.
The Prophet Muhammad said, “Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body, if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good and if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” [Al Bukhari]
The heart is like a commander which gives order to the limbs.
Muttirrif Ibn al-Shakheer was one of the biggest Tabi’een because he was the son of the Sahabah ‘Abdullah ibn Shakheer. This Tabi’ee was born in the lifetime of the Prophet. Al Hasan Al Basri was his student.
Muttirrif said, “صلاح قلب بصلاح العمل و صلاح العمل بصحة النيه“
The heart will not be reformed unless the actions (of the heart) are reformed. The heart has قول + عمل (Statements + Actions)
قول ->The statement of the heart are the beliefs: What a person believes of Allah, His angels, His names and attributes, etc.
عمل ->The actions are love, fear, Tawakkul ( seeking help from Allah) etc.
These actions depend on beliefs. If the belief is correct the action will be correct.
The reformation of the actions depend on your belief.
We want to know how much we love Allah and how much belief we have, and Allah will show us as soon as we go through any situation in our life.
An accident happens. The first thing you do is take your mobile to call someone.
Who is your first resort at times of difficulty? Your action shows the first person that comes to your mind. When nobody helps you, then you go to Allah. But it is your first action which indicates how much you believe, resort and rely on Allah.
Will Allah be the first one who comes to your heart when you are in trouble? How much do you know Allah is الصمد (The One who is sought during difficulties)?
Nowadays, what is our feeling when we leave the house and we remember that we forgot our mobile phone? We feel afraid, worried, etc. All the whispers of the Shaytaan will come to our heart and mind. This is not the correct fear, it is a delusive fear.
Allah is showing you how much you rely on the mobile phone in your life. This indicates defective eeman. In the past people would leave their house without carrying anything, relying on Allah.
When we go through any problem in life we may complain to everyone, forgetting that Allah is Al-Jabbar who will mend our hearts.
For instance, your secretary was late. You look at her expressionless but your heart is boiling with anger and your thoughts may be that she is careless, negligent. Allah is watching your heart and because of this He may make the secretary defend herself by saying, “I was late because there was an accident.” You will feel that you wronged her.
Thoughts may come to our minds, but once they are established in our hearts we will be responsible for them. If you didn’t repel these thoughts by seeking refuge with Allah but went on with these thoughts, you will be accountable for them and they will be written against you.
You should be concerned with your heart, which will be reformed if you take care of reforming its actions; but you will not be able to reform its actions without reforming the belief.
We need abundant knowledge such that our heart will be purified from the sicknesses that affect the actions of our heart.
For example the water was cut off from your apartment. The first person you think about is the caretaker. Everyone will do this, except those whom Allah has mercy with.
If we want our weight to be heavy with Allah, we need to have strong faith in our heart.
“How can I strengthen the actions of my heart?”
1) By having abundant knowledge of Allah
2) By training your heart.
Train your heart just like you would train a child. If a child is afraid you would tell him, “Don’t be afraid, Allah will take care of you, He is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem.”
When you reflect on the creation, you will love Allah such that when you go through any situation, no one will come to your mind except Allah.
3) By taking account of yourself. When you fail and resort to your mobile phone first, you need to rebuke yourself. Ask yourself why you didn’t run to Allah first, why you ran to your mobile phone first.
In the beginning you may fail but Allah, by his mercy, will make you go through the same situation again and again. We wonder why the same problem happens to us, it’s because we didn’t pass the test with Allah.
The first time we may fail, the second time we may not remember Him as a first resort . . . until the situations strengthen our heart and actions such that our resorting to Allah will be immediate. After resorting to Allah, we can go and take the means. But the first resort should be Allah.
We say that Allah is First and nothing is before Him yet He isn’t the first we run to. We are lying to ourselves. We need to remind ourselves every time that the first one we should run to is Allah.