“Purity has 4 levels:
1) Purifying the external body from impurities
2) Purifying the limbs from the disobedience of Allah
3) Purifying the heart from bad habits and character
4) Purifying the soul from everything besides Allah.’
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi
Ahkam al-Islam, pg 21
“Purity has 4 levels:
A very poor newly wedded, young couple lived in a small farm. One day the husband made the following proposal to his wife:
Honey, I will leave the house: I will travel faraway, get a job and work hard in order to come back and give you the comfortable life that you deserve. I do not know how long I will stay away, I only ask one thing, please wait for me, and while I am away, you should be faithful to me, because I will be faithful to you.
So the young man left. He walked many days until he found a farmer who was in need of someone to help him. The young man offered his services. He was accepted. Therefore he discussed the terms with his boss: Let me work for as long as I want and when I think I should go home, please relieve me of my duties. I do not want to receive my salary. I ask you to save it for me, until the day I leave. The day I decide to go, please give me the money and I will go my way.
They agreed on that. So, the young man worked for twenty years without holiday and without rest. After twenty years, he came to his boss and said: – Boss, I want my money, because I am returning to my home.
The boss replied:
– All right, after all, I made a deal with you and I will stick to it. However, before you go I want to offer you something new: I will give you all your money and send you away; or I will give you 3 pieces of advice and send you away. If I give you the money, I do not give you the 3 pieces of advice. And if I give you the 3 pieces of advice, I will not give you the money.
Now, go to your room and think about your answer.
He thought for two days. Then he went to the boss and told him:
– I want the 3 pieces of advice. The boss stressed again:
– If I give you the 3 pieces of advice, I will not give you the money.
And the man replied: I want the 3 pieces of advice.
The boss then told him: No. 1: Never take shortcuts in your life, shorter and unknown paths can cost your life.
No. 2: Never be too curious, for curiosity towards evil can be deadly.
No. 3: Never make decisions in moments of anger or pain, because when you repent, it could be too late.
After giving these 3 pieces of advice, the boss said to him: Here, you have 3 loaves of bread, 2 are for you to eat during the journey and the last is for you to eat with your wife when you get home.
So, the man went his way, after twenty years away from home and from his wife, whom he loved so much.
After the first day of travel, he found a man who greeted him and asked: Where are you going?
He replied: To a distant place which is about 20 days away if I continue walking.
The man said to him: Ol’ boy, this path is too long! I know a shortcut that is very safe and you will arrive in 5 days only.
The man began to follow the path suggested until he remembered the first piece of advice. Then, he
returned and followed the long path. Days later he learned that the shortcut led to an ambush.
After a few more days of travel, he found an inn by the roadside, where he could rest. He paid for a room and after taking a bath he lay down to sleep. During the night he woke up as he heard a terrifying scream. He rose to his feet and went to the door to check what happened. As he was opening the door, he remembered the second piece of advice. Therefore he returned, lay down
again and slept.
At dawn, after breakfast, the owner of the lodging asked him if he had not heard the scream at night. He affirmed that he heard. Then, the host said: Were you not curious to see what happened?
And he replied: No, I was not.
Then the host said: You are the first guest to leave this inn alive. My neighbour is completely crazy. He usually shouts at night to call someone’s attention. When some of the guests come out, he kills them and buries their bodies in the backyard.
The man continued his long journey, eager to arrive soon. After many days and nights walking, he was very tired, but he finally saw his house far away. It was night. He saw some light coming out of the window of his house and was able to see the silhouette of his wife. But he also saw that she was not alone. He came closer and saw there was a man with her. She softly caressed his hair.
When he saw that scene, his heart was filled with hatred and bitterness. He decided to rush at and kill them both mercilessly. However, he took a deep breath and he remembered the third piece of advice. Then he stopped, reflected and decided to sleep
outside that night. He slept in the midst of the bushes, determined to make a decision the next day.
At dawn, he was calmer and thought: I will not kill my wife and her lover. I am going back to my boss to ask him to take me back. But before I go, I want to tell my wife that I have always been faithful to her.
He went to the front door and knocked. When his wife opened the door and recognized him, she cried and embraced him warmly. He tried to push her away, but he was not able. Then, with tears in his eyes he told her: I was faithful to you but you betrayed me.
She was shocked, so she replied: How did I betray you? I have never betrayed you. I waited patiently for you for twenty good
Then he asked: How about the man that you were caressing yesterday?
And she said: That man is your son. When you left, I discovered I was pregnant. Today he is twenty years old.
Hearing that, the man asked her forgiveness. He met and hugged his son. Then he told them all the things he had experienced while away. Meanwhile, his wife prepared some coffee for them to eat together, the last bread given by his boss.
After a prayer of Gratitude, he broke the bread. When he looked at it, he found all his money inside. In fact, there was even more than the right payment for his twenty years of dedication and hard work.
Our Creator is like this boss. When he asks us to make a sacrifice, he wants to give us more than what we give Him. He wants us to have His unique wisdom as well as the material blessings.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him, He becomes shy to return them empty.”
Imam Raazi rahmatullahi alayhi has written a story narrated by a pious person. The person narrated, “One evening I was walking along the riverbank, suddenly my eyes fell upon a scorpion walking in front of me. A thought occurred to me that this is also the Creation of Allah Ta’ala and Allah Ta’ala has created it out of some wisdom and reason. I did not know where it was coming from and where it was going to, or where it’s home was. I thought in my heart that I have got time; I have come out for a walk, so I will follow this scorpion. Therefore, I followed it. The scorpion stopped at one point on the riverbank and I stood near it.
After a short while I saw a tortoise swimming towards the scorpion. To my surprise, the scorpion jumped on to the back of the tortoise and mounted itself on it. As this was an extraordinary occurrence, I was determined to see where the scorpion would go. I also tagged along to see what happens.
The scorpion jumped off the tortoise’s back at the other side of the riverbank and hurried along in a certain direction. Further on I saw a man sleeping under a tree. I thought to myself that the scorpion might bite the man; therefore, I should quickly awaken him. Just as I reached him, I saw a poisonous snake with its mouth wide-open standing by the head of the man. Suddenly the scorpion confronted the snake and stung it so decisively, that the snake fell onto the ground helpless.
As this amazing incident unfolded before me, I thought to myself that this must be a very pious man. I approached him to request for duaas but was astonished to find him in a state of drunkenness. Just then the man woke up, and I narrated to him the incident that had just taken place. The man was very touched by what he heard and immediately repented.
Allah’s Mercy is always directed towards His bondsmen, only if we were to turn towards him.”
Money has very little to do with it, otherwise all the rich would be blissfully happy and the poor totally miserable. Money can buy medicines but not health, acquaintances but not friends, servants but not faithfulness, food but not appetite.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has very aptly said that : “Riches are not from an abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind.”
With all the scientific and technological advancement, man is still living a life of continued misery and unhappiness. Everywhere we look we find turmoil and confusion, people don’t know how to solve their problems, how to achieve true happiness. Most don’t even know what their function is in this cycle of Creation.
If we want to achieve true happiness then we have to look towards our Creator and Source of happiness where He says in Surah Asr: ‘By the token of time Man is in loss, except such as have faith and do righteous deeds and join together in the mutual teaching of truth and of patience and constancy.’
As long as we attach our happiness to material things it will always elude us. We reflect on the life story of the wealthy Christina Onassis who owned fleets of ships, lakes, real estates. For weeks her story dominated the papers as Christina was the only legal heiress of her father Aristotle Onassis besides her late father’s wife Jaqueline Kennedy.
What an inheritance she gained! Someone inheriting such a huge fortune should certainly be the happiest person in the world. Was this true for Christina? She married an American but after a few months the marriage broke up. Thereafter she married a Greek but only for another few months. Then she decided to stay out of marriage searching for happiness, it did not materialize. A few years later she married again to a Russian communist. She divorced him after one year. Then a French industrialist.
When the marriage broke up she vowed never to marry again. – Four husbands from four different countries over a period of two years! At a party the press asked: ‘How do you feel being the richest woman in the world?’ She replied, ‘Yes I’m the richest woman but I’m searching for happiness.’
Then we consider the man whom Allah Ta’ala gave an incurable disease. The doctors who gave up hope of his recovery, as a last resort, advised him to proceed to England for an emergency operation. The man asked for three days to organise his things and see to his family in case he died. Then he was sitting with his friend in his office which was next door to a butcher. While he gazed out of the window he saw a woman picking up awful pieces of meat and bone from the bin. He went down and asked her ‘What are you doing?’
She said, ‘Son, Allah has given me five daughters and they haven’t tasted meat for a year. I’m just picking up these bits and pieces for them. The man broke down into tears and went to the butcher and told him that the lady would collect meat from him every week, he should give her whatever she needs. She turned and said, ‘But I only need one kilo’. He said, give her two kilos and paid one year in advance.
The woman could not believe all of this, she just burst into tears and raised her hands to Allah to make this man happy. When he went home he felt so much better, he felt he had so much energy. He met his daughter who was pious, she said, ‘Father, you look so well, you’re moving so well.
I see so much light in your face, where did this come from? He told her about the old woman. She cried and lifted her hands and made Du’ah to Allah to cure him from his heart disease because he had made the poor old woman and her daughters happy. Allah accepted this and when he went to England the doctors were stunned at his remarkable recovery and asked him which doctor had cured him. He cried and said, ‘I only did business with Allah’.
- Man is aware about his inevitable death, yet he indulges in laughter and merriment.
- Knowing that this world will come to an end, man still hankers after it.
- Man knows that everything has been predestined yet he laments over the loss of something.
- Man has been warned and has the full knowledge about the fire of hell but he continues to sin.
- Man believes in the Reckoning of the hereafter but still he persists in amassing wealth.
- Declaring his belief in the Unity and Oneness of Allah, yet man remembers others besides Allah.
- Man believes in Jannah but still finds pleasure in the idle pursuit of this fleeting world.
Source: ‘DEATH’ by Husainiyah Publications Estcourt
Do not consider yourself great for doing a good deed. Consider Allah great for granting you the ability to do a good deed.
Ibn-ul-Qayyim mentioned ten ways through which love for
Allah could be inculcated. They are:
- Recitation of the Qur’aan.
- Engagement in nawaafil (optional acts of ‘ibaadah) after
performance of the faraa’id (compulsory acts of ‘ibaadah).
- Constant dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.
- Giving preference to His likes and desires over one’s own.
- Pondering over His names and attributes.
- Pondering over His benevolence and favours.
- Crying to Him with total humility.
- Sitting in solitude in order to speak to Him, read His speech
(the Qur’aan) and express one’s servitude to Him. This
should be done at night when Allah descends to the skies
and it should be terminated with taubah (repentance) and
istighfaar (seeking of forgiveness).
- Sitting in the company of true lovers of Allah.
- Abstention from anything that could be a barrier between one’s heart and Allah.
Ibn-ul-Qayyim, Madaarij-us-Saalikeen Pg. 732. https://moulanakarolia.wordpress.com