Actions & Intentions 

Allah SWT will reward a person for what they intend and what they act upon. In the following hadith, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

“[People] in this world are of four types:

1) A person to whom Allah grants wealth and knowledge, so he fears his Lord with regard to it, upholds his ties of kinship with it, and acknowledges the rights of Allah concerning it – he is of the highest status.

2) A person to whom Allah grants knowledge but He does not grant him wealth, so he is sincere in his intention and says: If I had wealth, I would do the same as So and so does. He will be rewarded according to his intention and their reward will be the same.

3) A person to whom Allah grants wealth, but He does not grant him knowledge, so he squanders his wealth without knowledge; he does not fear his Lord concerning it, he does not uphold his ties of kinship with it and he does not acknowledge the rights of Allah concerning it – he is of the worst status.

4) A person to whom Allah does not grant either wealth or knowledge, so he says: If I had wealth, I would do the same as So and so does. He will be requited according to his intention and their burden of sin will be the same.”

[Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah – Classed as saheeh by Sheikh Albaani]

“Their reward will be the same” refers to the reward which is the basic reward for actions, but not with regard to the multiplication of that reward. Multiplication of reward is only for the one who actually does the deed.

Allah SWT says in the Quran: “Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward” [an-Nisa’ 4:95]

Ibn ‘Abbaas and others said: Those who sit (at home), above whom those who strive hard are preferred in grades are those who have excuses, and those who sit (at home), above whom those who strive hard are preferred by a huge reward, are those who do not have excuses.

Furthermore, Allah SWT will reward you for what you intend as mentioned in Surah Baqrah:

“but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned”

[al-Baqarah 2:225]

In another hadith, the Prophet SAW said:

“Verily Allah has written down the good deeds and the evil deeds”, and then explained it [by saying]: “Whosoever intended to perform a good deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed. And if he intended to perform it and did perform it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds up to seven hundred fold, up to many times multiplied. And if he intended to perform an evil deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed. And if he intended it [i.e., the evil deed] and then performed it, then Allah writes it down as one evil deed.”

[Reported by Bukhari & Muslim]

Therefore, always be sincere in your intentions when you wish to do a deed, so that you may receive the reward for it, even if you don’t get the chance to actually take action on it.

May Allah SWT make us from those who are sincere in faith ameen.

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​Who is a Scholar?

Who is a scholar?
We often translate the word Alim as a religious scholar or simply a scholar. But there is more to it than just the process of retaining or even analyzing information that say an academic scholar would be good at. 
We even demoted the requirement of a religious scholar in the last decade or two. If someone is able to tell a story (granted from Quran or authentic Sunnah), we call him/her a scholar. In the old days, they called those people Qussas (you guessed right, storytellers). Mind you, those people weren’t taken seriously at all. In fact, in many cases they were avoided altogether esp. by the Muhadithoon (scholars of Hadith)
Or we may think a scholar is someone who’s able to pull anecdotes from the Quran. Oh look if you add the letters here, look what you get. If you read this verse backwards, look what you get. I’m not denying the numerical miracles of the Quran, but I wouldn’t call something a computer can do better than me knowledge. 
In fact, if you were to ask me for a good definition of Islamic knowledge I would say, anything that Google cannot find. Yes you read it right, CANNOT!  This could take an article, but let me try to explain briefly. 
Sacred knowledge trickles in very slowly. This is why our predecessors used to say, “if you seek knowledge at once, you will lose it at once. Knowledge comes through countless days and nights”.  This is because it takes time to think through something. It takes time for a critical concept to sink in. Imagine if you have been thinking about the same verse for 30 or 40 years?  Many so called scholars haven’t even lived that long!!
Sacred knowledge is something you internalize.  It becomes part of you. This is why when you read the description of a “true” scholar of the past, your see something like “اختلط العلم بلحمه ودمه”. Knowledge became his flesh and blood. This is a far cry from knowledge on the tongue, which the Prophet AS even warned from ” منافق عليم اللسان”. 
In fact, have you noticed how some Companions faith and knowledge (because they’re not that much separate) were described?  They would say “بشيئ وقر في قلبه” or “Something settled in their hearts”.  Yes, knowledge eventually settles in the heart and turns into wisdom. It gives you peace and coolness of the heart. But we don’t even have the patience to wait. Like everything else, we want knowledge as immediate gratification.
Knowledge and fame don’t have to go hand in hand. Some scholars became famous only after their death. Take for example ibn Taymiyah. His books were banned during his lifetime. His students had to write his articles in other books in order to hide them. Imam Sarkhasi wrote an entire book while he was jailed down a dried well.  Many stories like that BTW. 
I hope from this post (or short article) you have gathered some idea about what true scholarship in Islam is. To sum it up, I can’t think of anything better than what Imam Ahmad said, “رأس العلم خشية الله”.   Something to the effect, “the peak of knowledge is fear of Allah”.  So when you see someone who’s called a scholar but doesn’t fear Allah, I hope you now have a better answer than just getting all confused.

-Sh. Anas Hlayhel

Salah n Sabr

Read carefully… Allah revealed: “Guard strictly the (five obligatory) prayers, especially the middle Salah and stand before Allah in obedience.” (alBaqarah 2:238)

حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ

The verses before deal with divorce. The verses after it deal with divorce. Why was this verse placed in the middle? The Ulama’ have suggested, Wa Allaahu a’lam, that in the hard times that a person goes through, they should not forget the remembrance of Allah – the Salah. And it is that Salah coupled with Sabr that will pull them through. (Al Baqarah 2/153)

-Sh. Muhammad Alshareef

Optimism: I am as my Servant thinks of Me

The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Allah, the Most High, said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’ ” [Hadith Qudsi]

Positive thinking is a great quality of any human being. In order to be stress-free and more effective, we will have to start thinking positively. Positive thinking does not mean that we should ignore life’s less pleasant situations. It means that our attitude towards unpleasant situations will be more positive and we will deal with them in a more productive way. We should think the best is going to happen, not the worst. There is a negative attitude that has spread across the Muslim world. If we have trouble finding a job, we will blame society around us for being racist. If someone is going through hard times, we will assume Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) is punishing them because they are bad Muslims. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an at many places that we should always expect the best of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will have mercy on us and will relieve us of hardship. He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will forgive us if we seek forgiveness, will accept our repentance if we repent, will answer us if we supplicate, and will suffice us if we ask for something. We should call upon Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) while we are certain that we will be answered by Him. The mindset for us, and for our children, must be to fulfill our obligations while we are certain that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will accept our actions and forgive our sins and make our matters easier for us. So, whoever performs such a deed and believes and expects that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will not accept it and that it will not benefit him, this is despair from the Mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) and is from the greatest of the major sins. Sometimes we assume the worst. We start to think that we are deprived of our rights, have bad luck, deserve more than what Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave them, and it is as if they are saying: ‘My Lord has wronged me and deprived me of what I deserve,’ and our soul bears witness to this while our tongue denies it and refuses to openly state this. So, let us ask ourselves, are we protected from this type of mindset? This type of attitude is very destructive and we should try our best to keep our children from negativity and always think positive in all situations.

‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “By the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, the believer is not given anything good better than his good expectations of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), and by the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, no servant of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) expects good of Him except that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives him what he expected, since all good is in His Hand.” [Reflections: Expecting the Best From Allāh, P.No:6]

Click to read more: http://productivemuslim.com

Upbringing of Sons 

Guiding Principles for the Upbringing of Sons 
Upbringing of sons is a difficult and tiresome task . Many a parent suffer grief due to the transgression of their offsprings and are in agony because of it . 
In respect of this issue Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawzi [may Allah be pleased with him] comments : 
” Sometimes the grief faced by man due to his children is the expiation of some of his sins and nothing else ! Hence there is glad tiding for the one who tried to bring up his children on the ways preferred by Allah The Glorious and Exalted. And good news is for the one who endured the ordeal  of bringing up his children and it becomes expiation for his sins. So, if you experience fatigue in rearing of your offsprings seek from your Lord forgiveness of your sins ” .
Maqatil bin Suleiman [may Allah have mercy upon him] visited Abbasid Caliph Mansur the day of his pledge of allegiance. Mansur said to him:
“O Maqatil! Admonish me about something.”
To which Maqatil said: “Do I advice you from what I saw or from what I heard?”
Mansur said : “From what you saw.”
Maqatil said : “Listen, O Amir ul Momineen!”
“Omar bin Abdul Aziz had eleven sons and he died leaving only eighteen dinars out of which five dinars were

 used to shroud him, four spent to buy his grave and rest were distributed amongst his sons.
And Hisham bin Abdul Malik too had eleven sons. He left for each son inheritance worth ten lac dinars.
By Allah! O Amir ul Momineen! In just one day I saw one son of Omar bin Abdul Aziz giving away sadaqah in the way of Allah one hundred horses and I saw the son of Hisham begging in the bazar (markets)!!!”
When Omar bin Abdul Aziz was on his death bed people asked him,”what are you leaving behind for your sons?”
To which he replied :
” I have left behind for them Taqwa [piety/fear] of Allah The Glorious The Exalted, so if they are righteous, Allah The Glorious and Exalted is Friend / Guardian of the righteous and if they are otherwise, I shall not leave wealth for them which is helpful for them in the ways of disobedience of Allah.”
Point to Ponder:
People usually work extremely hard to secure their children’s future; striving at great lengths; assuming, after their demise their offspring will only be well and at peace because of the wealth. Whereas they remain ignorant of the larger security which is in the Taqwa [fear / piety] of Allah.  They don’t gift their children the piety which Allah The Glorious, The Exalted has mentioned in His book by saying: [And let those fear as if they had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice]. [Al Nisa:9] 
When a man would see decline in the character of his son he would do sadaqah / charity, would feed people reciting this verse: [take from their wealth sadaqah to cleanse them and to purify them with it].

And would pray,”O Allah! this charity from me is so that my son develops purity in character because this distortion of his is more cumbersome/ painful for me than his physical disease would be.”
Similarly it is said about another person whenever he couldn’t do sadaqah due to his poverty and his son would annoy him, he would stand in nightly salah, recite Surah AlBaqarah and invoke saying:

“O Allah ! This is sadaqah from me. Accept it from me, and because of it, make him righteous.”
Turn towards Allah by worshipping him with the intention for the righteousness of one’s offspring . Even if they overcome your efforts still they are not able to overcome your intentions.
Our Lord! grant us from among our wives/ spouses and offspring, comfort to our eyes, and make us a leader/ example for the righteous.

Ameen .

-Ustadha Dr Farhat Hashmi