Belief COVID-19 Islam

Character defines relationships.

DAY 32. MONDAY 27 APRIL 2020.

03 Ramadaan 1441. Taking a cure from Taraweeh

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character. And the best of you are those who are best to their women.”(At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani)

Our character determines our relationships and our relationships defines our society. When there are sound relationships there is harmony and problems are solved with kindness, compassion so much so that anger is not aroused. Allah, the High the Great, has put great emphasis on relationships in سورة البقرة (The Cow) especially on the issue of husband and wife relationships including divorce. The greatness of Allah’s wisdom cannot be fathomed however, we are given a glimpse of that. 

The glimpse Allah, the High the Great, is giving us here relates to how much sweetness there is in harmonious relationships because in it lies the pleasure of Allah, the Merciful. A Hadith highlights the rank and importance of this duty: “Rahim (family ties) is a word derived from Allah’s special quality, Ar Rahman (The Compassionate One). And Allah says: ‘I shall keep connection with him who maintains you and sever connection with him who severs you.’” (Bukhari) This hadith is instructive because it shows us that compassion is a guiding trait we should establish in ourselves to extend it to all of creation too. 

We are living in world of great challenges because human relations have done more harm than good. If you look at the wars, oppression, forced land occupations, COVID-19 pandemic and a whole lot more, you will see that we have strained relations and therefore, we are in so much of distress and social dislocation. When you look into the seerah (Life of Nabi Muhammad s) you will find that he always stressed on keeping good relations because in the times of ignorance, human relations were so strange that men used to bury their daughters alive as it was seen as a bad omen. Our aim then is to build relations with the intention of assisting the Deen of Allah. Think on this example in life of Nabi (s) when his (s) wife was slandered. The most striking example in this regard is that of Sayyidana Abu Bakr (may Allah have mercy upon him). There were  many people who benefited from his generosity .  Mistah (may Allah have mercy upon him) was his relative. Unfortunately he became involved in the slander related to the Mother of Believers, Ayesha (may Allah have mercy upon her). It was a whole month of aggravation and utter heartache for all involved, after which ayahs of Surah Noor were revealed exonerating her and prescribing punishment for those involved in the false accusation. Feeling disheartened  and betrayed, Sayyidna Abu Bakr vowed never to help Mistah again. But the Qur’an asked him to forget and forgive and continue helping his relative, which he did. This incident should give us reason to refine our character so that we can behave in this way. If we do not then, we will not be able to have Ihsan (excellence) in our actions. 

The issues raised here are based on ayahs (evidence) that reflect the need to refine character because that is our legacy. We tend to forget the importance of our interpersonal relationships and what defines it. This LOCKDOWN has really made us reflect on ourselves because our families are watching us so closely. We are spending so much time together therefore, each one of our actions are monitored and observed to the extent that it is brought to our attention in more ways we can imagine.

سورة البقرة

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

﴿١٨٠﴾ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِنْ تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ

180. It is decreed for you: when death approaches one of you, and he leaves wealth, to make a will in favor of the parents and the relatives—in fairness—a duty upon the righteous.

﴿١٨١﴾ فَمَنْ بَدَّلَهُ بَعْدَمَا سَمِعَهُ فَإِنَّمَا إِثْمُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يُبَدِّلُونَهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

181. But if anyone alters it after hearing it, the guilt is upon those who alter it. Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

﴿١٨٢﴾ فَمَنْ خَافَ مِنْ مُوصٍ جَنَفًا أَوْ إِثْمًا فَأَصْلَحَ بَيْنَهُمْ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

182. Should someone suspect bias or injustice by a testator, and then reconciles between them, he commits no sin. Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Concentrate on the word الْوَصِيَّةُ. Literally, al-wasiyyah means an order to do something i.e. in this lifetime of the person preparing his last will and testament or after his death. The reason why we are mentioning this under the topic of refinement of character is that if you have strained family ties, and if you cut them out of your will, you will earn Allah’s displeasure. Think about it. You have not been denied one breath of fresh air amongst the millions of Allah’s favours on you yet, you want to deny what Allah wants you to leave for your family. What you and need to know that Allah says if you have some خَيْرًا (wealth) then you leave a portion to partners and next of kin because they are the ones who were responsibility. Again the understanding is that you have to do this because Allah commands so. Therefore, if you maintain good family ties, you will have no problem to follow the shariah ruling on your will and last testament. If you don’t maintain family ties, you will go against the rules of Allah.

Please consult with the Ulema (religious scholars) to find out more about preparing a will because Ibn Umar (ra) said: “No night passed but my will was written with me.”

The anecdote:

Heirs are left trying to find everything: “As wise as my own father was, he never got around to creating a will, or documenting his assets and their locations. He died one day before 9/11 and all these years later, I am still trying to finish up his estate. It was a monumental detective work just to try to figure out exactly what he had and where. To make matters worse, the assets were in multiple countries, and continents.” –Kashif Ahmed, CFP, Woburn, MA (Jun 30, 2016) 

This is the real nature of affairs so please don’t let those suffer more after you die to solve your problems too. You have to take responsibility for you life. 

The featured image to this article is a manifestation of just how brittle our life is. I wondered looking at the picture about the life of the soldier – does he not miss his children? Is he not lonely? The children that he gives a gift too, are they in awe of his presence and uniform? All these questions point to character – the real you. The boys in the picture made my heart ache. They are innocent and have this great admiration for the soldier yet, knowing that they have done bad things to their own people, still look upon the soldier with hope. Fast forward this image twenty years ahead and the boys are probably twenty five years old and they see this very image. How would that act of kindness of the soldier shape their reality now? I think there will be a positive judgement and the emotion too will be good. In that moment and act of small kindness changed the worldview of things. Therefore, reflect on your character and note if you refuse small kindnesses, refuse the feed the orphan and the needy, pay little attention to your afterlife and give more attention to yourself. If this is the case its time to take stock because character weighs the heaviest of the scales before Allah, the Kind the Merciful.

A small exercise to end, ask yourself this question: WHO WANTS TO BE ME? WHY?
If you can write an answer to the above, it will surely open the door of your own character to yourself.

DAY 33 is inviting you to refine your character.

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