I’d like to take this as an oppurtunity to bring to everyone’s notice the weekly tazkiyah lessons of Habib ‘Umar, broadcast live every Sunday at 1:30 pm GMT.
Presented to you is a selection of questions and answers, prepared by the Wayfarers to Allah team, taken from some of the recent lessons. I felt these were particularly pertinent to our societies, and thus decided to share it:
Questions from Habib `Umar’s Internet Lessons on Tazkiyah
A Selection of Questions from Recent Lessons
(Rabi` al-Awwal – Rabi` al-Thani 1433/ February – March 2012)
Answered by Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us
Is friendship between men and women permissible?
If what is meant by friendship is mixing between men and women and them joking with each other and looking at each other then there is no doubt that is impermissible. What is permissible is for them to seek to benefit each other and benefit from each other and for them to love each other for the sake of Allah, without shaking hands, mixing, without a man being alone with a woman and without them looking at each other in a way that is impermissible. Allah says: The Believers, men and women, are protecting friends, one of another. He thus legislates ties of love, friendship and allegiance between male and female believers, without anything prohibited entering. If someone considers friendship to be doing things which are prohibited then his understanding is warped and he has no proof to support his case.
We find some people in the West claiming to be shaykhs who can guidepeople and help them reach Allah. However, they have never studied any ofthe Islamic sciences at the hands of scholars but rather they have read bookson their own. When we try to give them sincere advice they reject it. Howshould we deal with people like this?
These are people who have betrayed the trust of this religion. One of the greatest causes of a bad ending is for someone to claim a spiritual station or a state that he has not attained. We should have sympathy for these people. We should give them sincere advice if they are ready to listen. If not, we should pray for them. We should also advise those who are searching for a shaykh that they choose someone who has received knowledge through a true chain of connection (sanad). One of the calamities which has befallen the Ummah is for people to claim knowledge which they do not possess, whether it be outer knowledge of the Sacred Law or the ability to offer spiritual guidance. This is extremely harmful to the person making this claim and if it leads to him harming someone else then he will bear a sin similar to the sin of that person. If he is able to take true knowledge and does not do so, he will accountable but if he is unaware of his ignorance those who have led him astray will be accountable. The Prophet said about the end of time that when the true scholars die, people will take ignorant people as their leaders. When they are asked, these ignorant people make judgements not based on knowledge, so they go astray and lead others astray.
This should not be confused with the duty of giving sincere advice in affairs of the religion which are clear. This is praiseworthy and everyone should work together in doing this.
How can someone be connected to the people of Allah while living in a country where the majority of people are non-Muslim? How can he prevent himself from being deluded by their worldly possessions?
Remember the reality. Allah says of the disbelievers: Do not be impressed by their wealth an children; Do not strain your eyes in longing for things We have given for enjoyment to groups of them, the splendour of the life of this world, through which We test them; the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring and Let not the movement of the disbelievers in the land deceive you. You should see their worldly possessions as being completely insignificant things which cause them to lose out on their portion in the next world. You should feel sympathy for those who have been deceived by this contemptible world and you should wish that they are given insight. They are like children who are promised sweets and toys in exchange for being slaughtered. Not knowing the meaning of being slaughtered, they happily accept the sweets and toys. So look at these disbelievers with sympathy just as you would look at those poor children. Save them if you are able to. Do not be deceived as they have been deceived but wish that they be guided and have sympathy for them.
You should also focus on your attachment to the Master of the People of Allah, Muhammad and his Family and Companions and the friends of Allah. This connection can be strengthened through reading their books and learning more about them on websites and other means so that you live with them even if you are in a country where the majority of people are non-Muslim. The whole earth was created for the pious and not for the disbelievers, but Allah tests His slaves through the existence of disbelievers: Such days (of varying fortunes) we give to men in turns but the pious Muslims will eventually inherit the earth: We wrote in the Zabur (Psalms), after the Message (given to Musa) that My pious slaves will inherit the earth. Wherever you are on the earth, even if most of the people living there are disbelievers, you are in a place to whose people Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was sent. The land where you are is also a place of prayer and prostration (masjid) because the Messenger of Allah said: “The whole earth was made a place of prostration for me.” So whatever place in the earth you live in you are in the masjid of your Prophet. This is why he said: “If the time for prayer comes and any member of my Ummah is in any place on the earth then he should pray in that place.” The whole earth is his masjid, which has been given to him by Allah. If you are aware of this you will be connected to the people of Allah.
I work in a restaurant which serves alcohol. I run the finances so I do not actually handle the alcohol. I am looking for another job but it is not easy. What should I do?
Try to leave that place as quickly as possible for if someone leaves something for the sake of Allah, Allah replaces that thing with something better. It is obligatory for you to avoid handling the alcohol, as you are doing. However, as the hadith informs us, Allah’s curse falls upon the one carrying the alcohol and the one to whom it is carried, as well as the one buying it and the one selling it. Since you are running the finances you are at risk of being included in that curse. So leave that place as quickly as possible and Allah will open to you a door to obtaining provision. I counsel you to recite Surat al-Waqi`ah every day and to read one hundred times:
La ilaha illa Llah, al-Malik al-Haqq al-Mubin.
“There is no god but Allah, the King, the Real, the One Who makes things manifest.”
I also counsel you to read one hundred times:
Subhan Llahi wa bihhamdihi, subhan Llahil ‘Azim, astaghfiru Llah.
“Transcendent is Allah, and praise be to Him; transcendent is Allah the Almighty; I seek the
forgiveness of Allah.”
The best time to read this is before praying the two sunnah rakats of Fajr. These are some of the best means of attaining provision. Having taqwa is another means. Allah says: If someone has taqwaof Allah, He gives him a way out and provides for him from (sources) he could never expect.
The manager of a hotel which served alcohol once met Shaykh al-Sha`rawi. The Shaykh advised him to leave the hotel immediately but the manager complained that he had debts to pay back. The Shaykh mentioned this verse: If someone has taqwa of Allah, He gives him a way out and providesfor him from (sources) he could never expect.
Then he said: “Did Allah mention taqwa first or the way out first?”
He said: “He mentioned taqwa first.”
“You want a way out before having taqwa. You have to have taqwa first, and then Allah will give you a way out.”
The Shaykh’s words had a profound effect on the man, and he duly left the hotel. After a short time he was asked to manage a hotel in Medina. To this day, thirty years later he is managing that hotel next to the Noble Sanctuary. His affairs were taken care of due to his taqwa.