Want to increase Barakah in Time?

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Advice from the Salaf for the one who finds little barakah in his time

One of the Salaf once said,

“Everytime I increased upon my (daily) portion of Qur’aan, my time would increase in barakah (blessings). I kept on increasing up until my daily portion reached ten Juz’ (a third of the Qur’aan)!”

Ibraaheem bin ‘Abdil-Waahid al-Maqdisee said, whilst advising ad-Diyaa’ al-Maqdisee who intended to go out on a journey to seek knowledge,

“Recite much Qur’aan and don’t abandon it, for verily that which you want to learn will become easier in accordance with how much you recite.”

ad-Diyaa’ said,

“So I noticed this and experienced it much. If I recited a lot of Qur’aan then listening to many Hadeeth and writing all of them down would be easy for me, and if I didn’t recite then it would become difficult.”

Dheelu Tabaqaatil-Hanaabilah of Ibn Rajab (3/205)
Translated by Abul-Husayn Yusuf

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4 Categories of People

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: When you confuse one of these groups with the other, you will find yourself in evil.

The First of them:

They are those whose company is like nourishment that one cannot do without in the morning and evening. One leaves it after fulfilling his need from it, and then returns to it when he is in need. This is how it is on a permanent basis (with such nourishment). This similitude is more precious than red brimstone. The ones (intended in this similitude) are those who know Allaah, His commandments, the plots of His enemies, the diseases of the hearts and their remedies. They are sincere to Allaah, His Messenger and His creation. In this similitude (regarding) keeping their company, there is an all-embracing benefit.

The second category:

They are those whose company is similar to medication that is needed during illness. So, as long as you are healthy, you are not in need of intermingling with them. They are those you cannot do without in (seeking after) the beneficial things of livelihood and fulfilment of various dealings, partnerships, consultation, medication and the likes.

The Third category:

They are those whose company is similar to the diseases in their various classes and types, and the differences in their severity and mildness. Amongst them is one whose company is similar to chronic illness. It is this one who does not benefit you-neither in the religious nor worldly affairs, alongside the fact that you might either incur a loss in both your religious and worldly affairs or in one of them. So if intermingling with him is made possible, then it is that disease that is feared will lead to death. And amongst them is the one whose company is similar to a tooth ache whose pain becomes severe upon you, but when it leaves you the pain abates.

The Fourth category:

It is the one whose company is absolute destruction and intermingling with him is similar to eating poison. How common is this similitude within the people! May Allaah not make them numerous, and they are Ahlul Bidah Wad Dalaalah (The people of innovation and misguidance). They are those who hinder (people) from the path of the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) and call to that which is in opposition to it. They are those who hinder (people) from the path of Allaah and seek to make it cooked; so they present innovation as Sunnah and Sunnah as innovation, and they present virtue as evil and evil as virtue. And when you established Tawheed amongst them, they say: You have degraded the Awliyaa (friends of Allaah) and the righteous people. And when you establish ittibaa (correct adherence to the path of the messenger with evidence) they say: You have invalidated (the affair) of the followed Imaams. And when you command that which Allaah and His Messenger command and forbid that which Allaah and His Messenger forbid, they say: You are from those who put people to trial.

[Source: بدائع التفسير الجامع لما فسره الإمام ابن القيم الجوزيةVol: 3, Page: 467-469]

How to Approach the Qur’an

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

The Quran contains a great deal of information about the prophets who appeared before the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them) as well as the different peoples who were destroyed because of their refusal to obey Allah’s laws.

If someone wanted to learn about such people as a matter of culture and learning, one can find this needed information in the Quran. Obviously, the historical information stated in the Quran is not meant to teach the Muslims history but is meant for much more than that, as shall be noted below. As Murad advised,

Do not read it merely for intellectual pursuit and pleasure; even though you must apply your intellect to the full to the task of understanding the Quran. So many people spend a lifetime in studying the language, style, history, geography, law and ethics of the Quran, and yet their lives remain untouched by its message. The Quran frequently refers to people who have knowledge but do not derive benefit from it.

[Khurram Murad, Way to the Quran (Leicester, UK: The Islamic Foundation, 1 985), p. 28.]

Included in this category of people could be those who read the Quran simply for its linguistic and artistic beauty. They tum to the Quran to read pure and beautiful Arabic and to study the prose of the Arabic language. Or, perhaps, they study the Quran as a type of art. Their Quranic study does not go beyond that; therefore, they miss the true purpose of the Quran.

HOW TO APPROACH THE QUR’AN – SHAYKH JAMAAL ZARABOZO:

For those who don’t know who sh. Jamaal is, here is an introduction by one of his favorite student, sh. Yasir Qadhi:

“Shaykh Jamal Zarabozo is a rare breed – a self-taught scholar of Islam who has achieved a profound command of the original sciences of our religion.”

Thinking of the fact that the Qur’an is the Book of Allah ta’ala, which was revealed for the guidance of mankind, we realize how amazing it is for the Muslim Ummah to possess such a book. There are people who read it daily, many of which have actually memorized it in its entirety, or at least large portions of it. Yet despite all of this, we see the state that the Muslims are in—not just the political state, but also the state with respect to what the Qur’an is telling us to do. The basic commandments and teachings of the Qur’an have been abandoned by the Muslim societies today. This, in itself, shows us that there are major problems with how we perceive the book of Allah.

Allah, in the Qur’an, tells us of an example of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah and then failed in its obligations. They are compared to a donkey that carries huge loads of books. Allah ta’la is talking here about the Jews who have the book—they recite it—they memorize it, but they do not apply it. Allah says it is just like a donkey. You put books on the donkey, but what does the donkey benefit from those books? We have to take this lesson and take head so that we do not fall into the same situation that the Jews fell into. If we are simply reading the Qur’an for the sake of barakah, then in reality, we are not reading it properly.

Those to whom We have given the Book recite it with its true recital [2:121]

While pronouncing the Qur’an properly is a part of haqqa tilaawatih, it is not the only part that needs to be focused on.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ood swore by Allah and said that haqqa tilawatih, or the proper recitation, is to treat permissible that which the Qur’an states as permissible, to treat impermissible that which it states to be impermissible, to recite it in the way Allah revealed it, not to distort a word from its proper meaning, and not to misinterpret it.

The Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa salam, said that the Qur’an and its people will be brought together on the day of judgement. Who are its people? Alatheena kaanu ya’maloona bih, those people who used to act according to it. Also, Allah ta’la says the Qur’an is shifaa li ma fis-sudoor or a cure for that which is in the chest. The real disease that the Qur’an is curing for us is not simply from Jinn, but the diseases of the heart (shirk, kufr, ignorance and kibr that prevent us from worshipping Allah the right way)—this is the healing that we should get from the Qur’an.

You must approach the Qur’an with an open mind so to allow the Qur’an to speak for itself. You cannot approach the Qur’an with the mentality that you already know the truth, as this will cause you to try and twist the Qur’an to meet what you want to believe. If you approach the Qur’an in such a manner, you will miss some of the intended guidance of the Qur’an.

Lastly, let’s look at the importance of living in the shade of the Qur’an. As you experience what Allah ta’ala is telling you to do, you will understand what the Qur’an is talking about. It will no longer be a theoretical thing, but it will become part of your life. If you do not take the steps to strive in any of these directions, you will not understand the Qur’an. You will begin to understand more and more lessons of the Qur’an when you begin to live the Qur’an. On the other hand, one of the things that will take away your guidance and knowledge is the committing of sins. The more sins you commit, the less you will understand the Qur’an. It is a dynamic relationship. The more you turn to Allah, the more Allah turns towards you.

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Rectify your Speech

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Have you not considered that Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is on the earth? There is in no private conversation of three but that He is the fourth of them, nor are there five but that He is the sixth of them – and no less than that and no more except that He is with them [in knowledge] wherever they are. Then He will inform them of what they did, on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is the All-Knower of all things.” [al-Mujadilah: 7]

This is *the* verse which we should all carry with us whenever we sit and talk with friends, family, and even strangers. If ever we find ourselves getting comfortable and gossip comes up, or it leads to things like back-biting and just generally godless speech, then this is the verse to remember. Subhan’Allah, you are never alone. And this can be the most comforting thing to know, and yet it can also be the most fearful thing to realise; that you are not alone.

The verse doesn’t just talk about normal conversation between people… it specifically mentions the ‘najwah‘ – those secretive talks, or emails, or messages which you think no-one will read, or you hide so much from other people. Those very private dialogues, be they with close friends, or be they with people who you really shouldn’t be having that private and personal relationship with. Allah let’s you know that He is part of that conversation and that He’s right there with His knowledge; He knows the intentions, thoughts, and emotions of all those who are present. Hence the verse ends with Him being the All-Knower of *all things*.

Then it all comes back on the Day of Judgement. A report. A file. A Witness. Allahul-Musta’an.

There is no good in most of their secret counsels except (in his) who enjoins charity or goodness or reconciliation between people; and whoever does this seeking Allah’s pleasure, We will give him a mighty reward. [an-Nisa:114]

May Allah rectify our speech, our circle of friends, and also rectify our ‘najwahs’ if we ever have anything like it. May He fill it with khayr, islah (goodness), and words of remembrance, ameen.