Defence Against Tribulation

 

Hb Umar 10

 

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) teaches us that our connection to Allah and His Beloved  ﷺ  are a defence against tribulation. He also helps us to understand some of the divisions among the Companions and the concepts of tawassul and service. Summarised from his speech in Dar al-Mustafa at the closing ceremony of the 22nd Dowra, 17th Dhu’l-Qa`dah 1437 / 19th August 2016.

All credit belongs to the Prophet ﷺ, our guide and teacher. The good works of anyone who reached any rank will be recorded in the Prophet’s book – from the Siddiqun and the greatest of them: Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman and `Ali – to the first of the Muhajirun and the Ansar, to the Ahl al-Bayt, the scholars and callers to Allah. Every mosque and institute of knowledge that Allah accepted will be recorded in his book.

The Valley of Hadramawt was blessed by the Companions, the Followers and the scholars that came after them and was then crowned by the arrival of Imam al-Muhajir. From his progeny came forth many shining stars, people of truthfulness and sincerity. This is our source of pride. Neither outward appearances nor empty ceremonies are a source of pride. This path is a path of removing all ceremonies and formalities. The people of this path paid no attention to outward appearances. They paid no attention to things that have no value in Allah’s sight and which are of no benefit in the next life.

Our Prophet ﷺ said: “A sign that a person has perfected his Islam is that he leaves that which does not concern him.” This is the path a person should take in this life, knowing that which concerns him in his religion and worldly life in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. That person then frees himself from the domination of disbelief which has numerous manifestations on the face of the earth. The Prophet ﷺ mentioned that tribulations will be presented to people’s hearts and this is exactly what we see today –in the name of movements or revolution or progress or other things.

When we study the lives of the Companions and the divisions that took place we only accept the narrations which are in accordance with how Allah describes them in the Qur’an. We do not allow anyone to tamper with our history. People tamper with our recent history and much of what is said is false. What the Prophet ﷺ informed us of is sufficient. He saw people having their faces torn with hooks made of fire. He asked who they were and he was told: “A man from your Ummah who lies and his lie then reaches the horizons.” Look at the precision of the Prophet’s description!

Sayyiduna `Ali said after the Battle of the Camel: “I hope that I and Zubayr and Talhah are among those who Allah described: We will remove from their hearts all rancour  – they will be brothers facing one another on couches.”[1] Sayyiduna `Ali made sure that Sayyidatuna `Aishah received the best treatment. He would pass by her tent to check up on her and he would address her as his mother. When she decided to return to al-Madinah he personally bid farewell to her. He arranged for his female relatives to accompany her and he walked not a few paces, but two miles, to see her off.

This is consistent with how Allah describes the Companions in the Qur’an: They are merciful to one another.[2]  This is appropriate for those who were taught by Muhammad. We do not accept other versions presented to us to divide us.

If we receive Allah’s light it cannot be extinguished regardless of the tribulations that come. The greatest tribulation will be the Dajjal, but the people of truthfulness, sincerity and humility and the people who love Muhammad will be safe from it. When Sayyiduna `Isa descends he will inform them of their stations in Paradise. The problem is that we have exposed ourselves to tribulations and we are deluded by what is presented to us.

If you want to be safe, enter the fortress of Muhammad. He brought us the fortress of la ilaha ill’Allah. Allah says in the hadith qudsi: “La ilaha ill’Allah is My fortress. Whoever enters My fortress will be safe from My punishment.” According to the strength of our connection to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, we will be safe from the greatest tribulation, not to mention the tribulations that come before and after it.

It is as Sayyiduna al-`Abbas said: “Tribulations only descend due to sins and they are only lifted by tawbah.” He said this when Sayyiduna `Umar put him forward to seek rain for the people at a time of drought. `Umar said: “O Allah, we used to use Your Prophet as an intermediary and now we are using the uncle of Your Prophet as an intermediary, so bless us with rain!” The whole region was then blessed with rain and Sayyiduna al-`Abbas became known as ‘the one who brought rain to the Haramayn.’ No-one said that this was an innovation or shirk. They knew that al-`Abbas was merely a means for the rain to come.

May Allah bless those who attended this Dowra, especially in the current conditions. Why did they come? Many people suffer hardships and long journeys for the sake of a qualification or a job but what was it that brought these people here? What do they want? “The one whose hijrah was for Allah and His Messenger..” Did they come to enjoy the parks or play games?

We also cannot forget the people involved in service, which is an arena of jihad. They will gain a greater reward than many people involved in jihad in our times and in previous times. Sayyiduna Abu Darda’ said: “If someone thinks that going out to seek knowledge is not jihad then his intellect is deficient.” These people served without expecting any worldly reward. Do you think that this will come to nothing? Allah says: We do not allow the reward of those who perfect their actions to go to waste.[3] Success is in truthfulness with Allah and working together to please Him.

May Allah bless the institutes of knowledge in Yemen and Sham and bring back their strength and vibrancy. May He bless al-Azhar al-Sharif and all the places and people of knowledge in the East and West. May He revive true knowledge among them. May He unite the Ummah and protect it from all harm.

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[1]  Al-Hijr, 15:47

[2] Al-Fath, 48:29

[3] Al-Kahf, 18:30

On Involvement in Protests

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Should those involved in dawah take part in protests which condemn things like police brutality or the oppression of the Palestinian people?

Oppression must be condemned whatever form it takes as long as this does not lead to greater oppression or some other kind of evil. Ordinary people are free to get involved in such protests if they wish, but the role of those involved in dawah is to clarify the Islamic position on such matters. They should not be directly involved in protests because this may have political and social implications and may lead them to neglect aspects of their dawah.

On Working With ‘Salafi’ Groups

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Can we work with ‘Salafi’ groups?

If these groups truly follow the Salaf (the Pious Predecessors) in the realm of tenets of faith then we are in agreement with them. If, however, they claim to follow the Salaf but in reality go against their methodology then we should avoid mixing with them so that confusion does not arise regarding how we call people to Allah. It may be possible to work with the moderate elements among them on things on which there is scholarly consensus and which benefit society. We may also work with them on projects which are run in the name of all Muslims in the region, not in the name of a specific group.

On Responding to False Claims About Sayyiduna Muawiyah

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we respond to those that claim that Sayyiduna Muawiyah is not one of the Companions and that we should not say ‘may Allah be pleased with him’?

The best response is to continue to say ‘may Allah be pleased with him,’ and to avoid any argumentation. This is just one of a number of issues that certain people bring up today to cause friction, disunity, to waste Muslim resources, to stop them from having an influence on others and to show them as being divided. So we should focus on that which is of benefit and not allow them to achieve these base goals.

Forbidding Evil, Maintaining a Good Opinion and Leaving What Does Not Concern Us

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we combine between forbidding evil, maintaning a good opinion of others and leaving that which does not concern us?

When we forbid someone from doing something wrong we do not believe that they will have a bad ending or that they will be punished. Rather we believe that Allah will forgive them and replace their bad deeds with good deeds and perhaps they will intercede for us on the Day of Judgement. At the same time we do not spy on them or pry into their private affairs. If we do this we have left that which does not concern us. If we do see someone committing an act of disobedience then it concerns us to stop them from them doing it as far as we are able. The Prophet ﷺ said that if someone falls into an act of disobedience they should seek Allah’s concealment but only if they expose themselves we carry out the hadd punishment.

On Difficulties for Muslim Women in France

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

The situation is very difficult for Muslim women in France. The hijab is banned in schools and in the workplace and attacks on Muslim women are on the increase. There is widespread Islamophobia in the media and in politics. How should we react to these attacks and how should we protect our religion and not allow hatred to enter our hearts?

The real essence of the believers becomes manifest in times of hardship. Women should retain their modesty as far as possible[1] and remain firm, show good character and patiently bear the hardships they are exposed to and the end result will belong to the people of taqwa. Allah mentions in the Qur’an the types of people who have hatred for Islam in every generation: You are those who love them, but they love you not… when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers in rage… if any good befalls you, it grieves them, and if any evil befalls you, they rejoice at it. Allah did not then say: “You should hate them, treat them harshly, plot against them or be happy if evil afflicts them.” Rather Allah said: If you have patience (sabr) and taqwa then their scheming will not harm you.[2] Our brothers and sisters should embody this Qur’anic character: we should wish goodness and guidance for them in spite of their harming and insulting us. Allah mentioned that the Messengers said to their peoples: We shall patiently bear the harm that you have inflicted upon us, for those who put their trust should put their trust in Allah.[3]

 

[1] Habib Umar mentioned that they may leave the niqab or face covering, since the scholars differ over whether it is compulsory. They may not, however, leave the hijab which covers the hair and they should avoid beautifying themselves and using perfume.

[2] Al `Imran, 3:119-20

[3] Ibrahim, 14:12

How Anyone Can Call to Allah

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

If someone is not a good speaker and does not have a lot of knowledge what can he do to call people to Allah?

Someone can be engaged in calling people to Allah through reflection and then giving advice to people based upon what he has reflected upon. He can spend his time and wealth, he can practically assist those engaged in dawah and he can make dua. He can distribute books and recordings to those who will benefit. He can call people to Allah on an individual basis and he can do so by showing good character to people generally.

On Discouraging Convert Sisters from Wearing Make Up

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What can we do to discourage convert sisters from wearing make up?

First of all we should strive to make faith firm in their hearts so that they taste the sweetness of faith. We should let them mix with other sisters who have left things like make up. We should teach them about the lives of the Mothers of the Believers and the daughters of the Prophet ﷺ so that they then come to venerate these great women. We should convey to them the true meaning of honour and nobility that Allah has accorded believers both male and female in what He has legislated for them. We should convey to them also that the hijab and modesty are a means of honouring and protecting a woman.

We should not talk about the issue directly in the first instance but rather we work on establishing the foundations of their faith. Each individual is different so we must take this into account. Some will take longer than others to leave these things. The Prophet ﷺ taught Mu`adh to call people in stages: first to call them to faith, then to prayer and then to zakat.

Reminding Believers of What was Sent with the Best of Messengers

This is a translation of a treatise by Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) entitled ‘Reminding Believers of What was Sent with the Best of Messengers.’ Although small in size, the treatise contains a comprehensive summary of the message which the Prophet ﷺ conveyed. Many people have tried and will try to summarise the teachings of Islam, but few have been able or will be able to do so in a way as complete and comprehensive as this great Imam, who combined inward and outward knowledge. May Allah allow us to be included in the prayer of Habib `Abdullah that ‘those who use it as a reminder or disseminate it will be people who commanded the good and forbade evil, and that they be beloved to the Best of Creation.’

 

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Helping New Muslims Struggling with Drug Addiction

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we help people who accept Islam but struggle with drug addiction?

We should be overjoyed by the fact that they have accepted Islam. Those who have strong determination will very quickly deal with these addictions, although they are a minority. We should use different means to deal with these addictions such as natural remedies, moving them from bad environments to good environments and developing their love and veneration for Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and the afterlife.