The Most Intelligent of People

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

The world we are in treats people based on their intellect. The education system grades is centered on intelligence. Certain professions are attributed to be for only the ‘intelligent’. 

Being called ‘smart’ ‘sensible’ ‘intelligent’ is something we all crave for, and aspire to have these titles added to our names. But this is a temporary title, and it will fade away with time whether we like it or not 😦

The Prophet ﷺ informs us of the most intelligent person. We can aspire and strive to be like this person regardless of our worldly status, our social status, irrespective of people’s opinion of us. I am sure you are wondering what is the attribute of this person and what does the person do that makes him/her intelligent?

This question was put forward by a man to the Prophet ﷺ: ‘Who is the most intelligent of people?’ He replied: ‘The one who remembers death most often and the one who is well prepared to meet it; these are the wise; honorable in this life and dignified in the Hereafter’. Another narration reads slightly ‘Those who remember death the most frequently and those who prepare for death in the best manner, before they pass away. These are from the intelligent ones.’” (Ibn Majah, Tabarni).

“Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty constructionQur’an 4:78

Death is a topic we don’t like to talk about. It’s a discussion that is usually brushed aside. We don’t like to think about it because we are busy pursuing the fleeting life, amassing wealth and status. Look around you and see if there is someone that has been living in eternity? Sadly, some even pray against it. This is one thing that is guaranteed to happen. Allah ﷻ says: “Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection… And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.Qur’an 3:185  Therefore, Death is an inevitable reality. No one can escape from it because this life is temporary. We will all die ONEDAY.

“Remembering death is not an invitation for depression and grief, nor is it gloomy, bleak advice favoring pessimism and passiveness. It is just a reminder of an absolute fact, a fact that we all tend to forget while immersed in this transient, falsely embellished world and cheated by its charming coquetries. We are all one breath away from death. We usually do not remember that and we do not like to be reminded, either. Nevertheless, it is an inescapable fact”

Amira Ayad, Healing Body and Soul.

Another aspect I would like to touch upon is that death is not an end in itself. It is the beginning of another journey. We all want to go to Jannah, but without dying we can’t get to Jannah. No one can change the time of their death. The best thing to do in a situation you cannot change is to accept and prepare yourself by making the best of the situation. In another Hadith the Prophet ﷺ informs us to pray as if it’s your last prayer: “When you stand for your prayer, pray as if you are saying farewell. (Ibn Majah) By praying as if it is your last prayer you will gradually learn not to be scared of death knowing that you can die anytime.

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You may be wondering why do I have to remember death to be an intelligent person?
  • Remembering death forces us to reflect on the purpose of our creation and this involves preparing for it by abstaining from prohibitions and increasing good deeds. Accepting that life is temporary and thread it cautiously.
  • Remembering death also make a person reflect on what they have prepared for tomorrow (hereafter). If death comes are we ready to die?  The thought of leaving this world makes one fearful but truth be told we are in this world for a short period and by remembering death we are conscious of our actions. So, an intelligent and wise person will have it at the back of their mind they can leave this world anytime. Strive to please His Rabb to be among the successful ones.
  • Remembering death is a journey towards detachment. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Remember (death) often the destroyer of pleasures” (Tirmidh̄i 2307) This results in the urge to prepare for the eternal life (hereafter) by performing good deeds. By doing this we gradually learn to be unattached to the false worldly desires

I am sure you are wondering how to implement this Hadith?

  1. Attend funerals. This is an environment that opens your eye to be reminded that life is short and temporary. Besides, there are rewards for attending the (janazah) funerals of a Muslim. Abu Huraira s رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said “Whoever follows the funeral of Muslim, in faith and seeking reward, and he remains with it until the prayer is offered and the burial ceremony is finished, then he will return with two great rewards. Each reward is like the size of mount Uhud. Whoever offers the funeral prayer and returns before the burial, then he will return with one great reward.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
  2. Visit graveyards. Similar to the above but different in the sense that, you do not need to visit the graveyard during a funeral. My first visit to the graveyard was unusual. I have always heard or saw it in movies/documentary. But actually going there was deep. Seeing how people were buried in 6 meters, so small. Everyone had the same grave space signifying equality. Taking no worldly possession with them. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un ‘Verily we belong to Allah, and verily to Him do we return.

(These are just 2 I can think of, feel free to add to it in the comment section)

POINT OF REFLECTION.

Don’t wait for a certain time to act upon this Hadith.

“Remembering death is not about denying the joy of living, on the contrary, it is about enjoying the freedom of flowing with life, knowing that it is a temporary residence”

Amira Ayad, Healing Body and Soul

We are constantly reminded when we hear of people dying. Death is inevitable. It can come to anyone, at any time. Irrespective of whether you are young or old, sick or healthy, rich or poor. No one can escape it. It is a reality that will catch up with us sooner or later. And the best thing we can do is to PREPARE. ‘But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.’ Qur’an 63:11 – when the time of death comes, no one will be granted respite. (use as a quote) May Almighty Allah make it easy to implement this Hadith, make us die upon the faith and allow us to be reunited in Jannah where death is inexistence.

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Share with the intention to be rewarded by Allahﷻ. Sharing is caring:)

Till next time Fi Ammanillah! 🙂

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BE YOU

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

A heart-felt letter to remind you of what matters most. Get in the right mood by being in a comfortable space before reading.

“And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours. Surely in this are signs for those of ˹sound˺ knowledge.” ( Qur’an 30:22)

‘You are a unique entity among creation: nothing is exactly similar to you, nor are you exactly similar to anything, because the creator had brought diversity to the creation’ (Anonymous)

It’s a new Gregorian calendar year and everyone is on the move to make the year as eventful as possible. Dreams and goals from last year have been pushed forward and everyone wants to achieve so much. New businesses here and there (if you are like me without a business you may feel you are lagging behind, but you’re not!) Marketers are capitalizing on the change people want to see in themselves and so many emails and posters are flying around on how to make this the year one of immeasurable breakthrough.  People are money driven, result oriented and in all honesty, I can tell that people are trying to work on themselves (personal development) Who doesn’t? But the way to go through it matters and that is what this letter seeks to address. I hope you are in a right and comfortable mood to keep reading.

 I am here to tell you and me to Calm Down. Take a deep breathe. And relax. Take it easy on yourself… one step at a time.

Calm Down. Take a deep breathe. And relax. Take it easy on yourself… one step at a time.

Investing in yourself in a prudent manner is a wise advice I can give to anyone reading. Investing in yourself does not cover finances alone – it includes anything you do to be a better person fi dunya wa aakhira: read books, listen to podcasts, use free tools out there before paying, widen your horizon by trying out new things and talking to people, keep learning… (The list is endless you can add to it by commenting. You never know who it may help.) Be careful and cautious of what you engage in and do not look for quick fixes. I want you to know and accept that the effect of change takes time but begins gradually. If you are a goal setter, set holistic goals to achieve them. And as you do all that do not lose hold of your priority.

As Muslims we must build our relationship with Allah in the journey of our personal development. Because without Him, we can’t grow. We can’t develop. We can’t achieve all our dreams, goals and aspirations. WE ARE IN NEED OF HIM TO GROW AND BE OUR TRUE SELF.

Remember this life is a means to an end. The end we all want to attain is JANNAH. So, use this life, set your goals, aspirations and make all you have as resources to get to the end.

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Here’s a short excerpt from a dear sister’s book.

“On the journey of being you, you must know that Allah comes first. You will never reach your full potential without the assistance of Allah. You will falter in your efforts of being your best-self when your heart is void of Allah. So to be your best self, you have to give importance to the Best.”

Kulsoom Kazim in Be You.

I love the wordings so much that I can’t do any analysis. It sums up perfectly and passes a compelling message to us.

You may choose to follow me on twitter 🙂

In being you, know that you must work on yourself. Don’t say “this is the way I am” when you know you have a negative trait. Continuously work on yourself and your mindset. Mindsets are very important and can serve as a barrier to limit us, thinking that we are incapable. Read about perspective of a Muslim here: PERSPECTIVE OF A MUSLIM

I’m keeping this really brief and I hope it makes you reflect and take things easy as you aspire to be a better person.

Here are some of the things you can do to build your relationship with Allah in your journey of personal development:

  • Find and Clarify your Whys. This is an important step to be done in anything you want to embark on. Ensure that whatever you are doing transcends beyond worldly reasons and that it is serving a greater purpose. Make your goals meaningful to you and that you want it to lead you to your End Goal – Jannah!. Be clear. Precise. And Intentional in what you do and why you do them. A practical way to get started is to preferably get a journal, write things you do and ask yourself why you do them. To aid anyone who wants to practice this I’ll be vulnerable to share one of my Whys. Why do you write? I write to teach, to inspire. To improve myself as a Muslim and carry others along in the journey. To earn Allah’s love. Make people see the beauty of Islam and aspire and really practice it. The value of my intention means that if it is right and sincere, Allah will accept it as an act of Ibadah! And I will be rewarded. Also, attaining Allah’s love is what I seek. (I typed it up strait from my journal, and I hope you will engage in some exercise too. If anyone needs some help with clarifying their whys you can send a private message here or here and I may be able to help)
  • Learn and practice detachment. As we pursue the dunya it may enter our heart, and this is not what we want as Muslims. Learn how to inculcate detachment as you grow. Simply put, “Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” (Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه) Hold materialistic things in your hand, not in your heart. They are temporary things and I implore you not to fill you heart with what is transience as it does not last. Whatever you have (be it intellect, materialism, appearance etc) is a gift from Allah. Know that it can be taken. In Sha Allah I hope to cover this topic in detail sometime.
  • Have a secret good deed between you and Allah ﷻ.
  • As you practice detachment, detach from result. When I learnt this, I must say it was challenging to implement, but Alhamdulillah, I am able to practice it more. What this means is that you don’t worry about the result of an action, rather you put in your best. It is a beautiful aspect of our deen to know that Allah rewards us for effort not result. Putting in your best effort is important to achieve anything. The result depends on Allah ﷻ. Don’t misinterpret this to not doing your best as you must put the work to be rewarded by Allah. Remember the Hadith on Tawakkul: tie your camel and put your trust in Allah. (Paraphrased: (Tirmidhi 2517) The two elements are intertwined, and you must have both. Do your best, use all you have and don’t forget that you must rely on your Rabb. Your Creator – Allah ﷻ.
  • Improve your personal relationship with Allah. Ask yourself, what can I do to improve in my religious obligations. Maybe you want to pray all your prayer at the right time, pray more nawafil, recite more Qur’an, pray Taajjud, fast more, give charity, reflect more etc. Write an action plan and begin to implement them

PS: Ramadan is less than 99 days. Prepare for it – RAMADAN PREP

If you’ve enjoyed reading, share with someone you know will benefit and don’t forget to subscribe too.

Share with the intention to be rewarded by Allahﷻ. Sharing is caring:)

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

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You may be interested in reading other related post – JOURNEY TO DRESSING MODEST A PROMISE FROM ALLAH  |  BARAKAH ACTIONS | RAMADAN PREP  |FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE  |PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET  | SELF-REFLECTION

WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  |THE ROLE MODELS: THE YOUTHS IN THE CAVE

ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA  | DUA OF AN OPPRESSED | THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…

EASE IN RELIGION/WORSHIP

“Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.” (Qur’an, 2:185)

Allah ﷻ has given us the gift of ease in every step of this beautiful religion. Let’s have a look at one vital example. A condition of Salah is that a person performs wudu (ablution).  Now we know that Tayammum is an option in some circumstances. How did tayammum come as an alternative?

During the time of the Prophet ﷺ, He ﷺ went on an expedition with his beloved wife Aisha رضي الله عنهما realised her necklace was missing and told the Prophet ﷺ about it. The Prophet ﷺ relieved her and stopped the entire army. They all began to search for the necklace and night fell upon them still searching. They waited in that place till morning. However, the companions complained to her father, Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه,  that his daughter made them stop in a water-less place and were wondering how they would perform ablution for Fajr. Side note: We see here that they were not complaining about waiting, but due to the inability to fulfil a command of Allah.

Fajr time came and the companions panicked and were worried about how they’ll fulfill their salah. Then the verses of Tayammum was revealed:

“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favour upon you that you may be grateful.” (5:6)

The ending of the above verse emphasizes that Allah ﷻ made this religion one of ease. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه, reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the religion is easy, and no one burdens himself in religion but that it overwhelms him. Follow the right course, seek closeness to Allah, give glad tidings, and seek help for worship in the morning and evening and a part of the night.” (Bukhari 39)

From the ease of the religion is in obligatory worship: we pray 5 times a day, yet they are equal to 50 in reward. We fast compulsory during Ramadan with the reward for fasting an entire year (with Shawwal added.) Despite the obligation of fasting, the ills and travellers have concession to repay it later so as not to inconvenience them. Giving Zakah is only 2.5% and is only compulsory for those who are able, and Hajj for people able to have sufficient means and capability to make the journey. From this we see that the obligations in Islam are easy and achievable. Allah ﷻ does not overburden us in fulfilling His commands.

This is not to say we should not strive to do more Ibadah, but we should maintain and try to perfect the minimum before increasing our acts of Ibadah. ‘Indeed, you will not attain this matter (Islam) with exaggeration, and the best of your religion is ease.’ (Musnad Imam Ahmed) Therefore, do not thread the part of exaggeration so as not to wear yourself out, as the most beloved deeds to Allah are those done consistently even if they are little.

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Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “O people, beware of exaggeration in religion, for those who came before you were ruined by exaggeration in religion.” (Ibn Majah 3029)

Seek a balanced way and fulfill the obligation as the way to exerting what we do as the way to come closer to Allah ﷻ is through what He has obligated upon us. “My servant does not grow closer to me with anything more beloved to me than the duties I have imposed upon him. My servant continues to grow closer to me with extra good works until I love him…” (Bukhāri 6137)

In addition to the above verses there are various ahadith that are in line with ease in Islam.

The extraction below is adapted from the book: The Journey to Allah by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali

“Some examples of the ease that resulted through his ﷺ blessings is that the one who prays Isha in congregation, it is as if he has prayed half the night, and the one who prays Fajr in congregation, it is as if he has prayed the whole night. Hence, the night prayer is recorded for him while he lies asleep on his bed, and more so if he goes to sleep in a state of purity and remains in the remembrance of Allah until his eyes close.

Whoever fasts three days of every month it is as if he has fasted the whole month [Bukhari 3418 and Muslim 1159/2729]. Hence he is regarded to be fasting the remaining days of the month in the record of Allah even though he is eating and the one who is eating and grateful has the reward of the one who is patiently fasting.” [Tirmidhi 2486 and Ibn Majah 1765]

Whoever has the intention of waking up to pray by night but is overcome by sleep will have the reward of the night prayer recorded for him and that sleep of his would be a charity from Allah. [Abu Dawud 1314 and ibn Majah 1344]

Abu’l-Darda’ said, ‘Excellent indeed is the sleep of the intelligent and their breaking of fast! Look how they outstrip the night vigil and the fasting of the obtuse! [Abu Nu’aym, vol. 1, p. 211.] It is for this reason that the authentic hadith mentions, “It is well possible that one who prays by night gets nothing from it save weariness and a person fasting gets nothing from it, save hunger and thirst.” Recorded by Tabarani and Ahmad.”

It is vital to always have it at the back of our minds that Allah has simplified Islam for so there’s no need to over complicate it. May Allah ﷻ enable us to be consistent in our acts of Ibadah, Amin.

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Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

You may be interested in reading other related post 🙂

JOURNEY TO DRESSING MODEST |A PROMISE FROM ALLAH  |  BARAKAH ACTIONS | RAMADAN PREP |FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE  |PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET  | SELF-REFLECTION

WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  |THE ROLE MODELS: THE YOUTHS IN THE CAVE

ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA  | DUA OF AN OPPRESSED | THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…