Category Archives: Education

“Wealth” A Formula For Us & Our Children

If a surgeon and janitor work 40 hours per week what determines the income disparity between them?

The surgeon earns $20,000.00 for the week. The janitor earns $200.00 for the week. They both only work 40 hours. What, then, separates them if both work the same hours every week? Why the huge disparity in incomes?

A notable author said when describing worth,

“A person is worth: The job they do, their ability to do ‘what’ they do AND the DIFFICULTY in replacing them.”

Type of work + Abilities + Difficulty of work= Wealth level

(School teachers are some of the hardest working people I know yet the least paid for their labors. There are exceptions to every rule by man. So our formula is empirical.)

Using this formula what is the level of difficulty in replacing a janitor? How long will it take? Answer: It would take less than a day. How long will it take to replace a surgeon? Answer: Sometimes they are hardly replaced.

And this is our formula and by it how man judges man. So what then separates our janitor from our surgeon? Answer: Knowledge.

To become a surgeon requires:
1. 12 years to high school.
2. 4 years of college
3. 4 years of Medical school
4. Then 3-8 years of Residency
That averages 25 years of learning.

To become a janitor requires:
1. Less than 12 years of high school

What separates and distinguishes fundamental differences between peoples is not the color of their skin but the differences in their acquisition of knowledge. And that knowledge affects how they see themselves in society and how others see them. Indeed Allah, The One, we worship is the Giver to all, Muslim and non Muslims alike.

The formula above is no indication that the janitor is any less human or productive in life than the surgeon. Moreover the janitor may be the football coach, bus driver and restaurant owner. His life’s impact upon humanity, as a whole, may be greater than that of the surgeon’s. But when it comes to servicing humanity the surgeon’s knowledge allows him to offer a greater service to mankind than the janitor’s. Yes the janitor can also get in the bus and drive your child home. But if an accident occurs it’s the surgeon fighting to keep that child alive if the child is harmed in a bus accident and we ask Allah for safety.

As a parent you would not want the bus driver operating on your child to keep him alive. You would want the surgeon in that operating room digging in your child, cutting your child and ordering everyone around in triage on what they should be doing. At that moment he’s the most important person alive. His knowledge allows him to rise above all of mankind even if only for 4 hours a day or less.

So when his job is done, as he walks out to you, looks you in the eyes and says, “He’s fine. Let’s watch over him for a few days and he can go home. We’ve stopped the bleeding so we’ll keep his food intake low.”, you would think-there could never be a better voice than his at that moment. You would be thankful to Allah and tremendously relieved. Because his acquisition of knowledge over 25 years has made a profound impact on your life and the life of your family by the decision of Allah.

Later on you get the medical bill from the surgeon. 4 hours of work for $18,000.00. The last thing you think about is, “Why did the surgeon charge me so much?”, no, you only think, “How much will my insurance pay and what am I left to pay on my own?” It never comes to your mind that he’s not worth what he charged.

No one likes to be called dumb or stupid. Everyone likes to be known as being smart wether they are smart or not. Knowledge and its acquisition is fundamentally important. We get what we give. There is opportunity for many to excel yet most don’t take it. Because knowledge comes at a price in mostly time and sacrifice.

Using this example we don’t need to talk to our children about money or making money. That’s the language of people who have truly missed the point. They’re either broke or on their way to it. People who “make” money don’t talk about “making” money and that’s not what we as parents should really be talking to our children about. What we need to discuss with our children is, “What do you want in your life and how will you service mankind to get the life you want for yourself?”

Allah has decreed that we trade amongst one another. We trade in our time and labor as a service. Our service to others decides our wealth, nothing more. There is no income/money without service. “Even a thief works.”

Service is that utility that generates wealth. Focusing upon our service to others is focusing upon that which brings about our better welfare through wealth generation. Allah blesses the one who does honest, equitable trading with others seeking His help, His face.

Now the paradox:

Understanding “service as a utility” that generates wealth is where the janitor can beat the surgeon. How? Who said the janitor only worked at one location? Why can’t he be the owner of a janitorial company who has service contracts with most of the hospitals our surgeon labors at? By having contracts our janitor has turned his labor into a utility of service that now serves masses of people. He now hires others to do his job. He replaces himself with 40 or more employees working at many hospitals cleaning floors and removing trash.

Now both men, the janitor and the surgeon enjoy the same levels of lifestyle. Each goes to Hajj paying the way for relatives and friends alike to take the blessed journey. Each have their families within homes that give them the stability a family needs. Each have their children in better schools to give his child the advantage needed in their years to come when they become adults and must carry the family name forward.

The surgeon liked school and the one who became a janitor wasn’t too fond of it. But they both wanted things in life and had visions of a better life their parents could not afford. Each are happy with the choices they made.

Most people are more afraid of being successful than they are annoyed and distrubed by being failures. Most people don’t succeed or achieve happiness because they simply do not place themselves in the circumstances that would bring happiness about. They will do whatever they can to sabotage any chance of becoming successful and achieving happiness. For people like these if happiness is a road, they take the river instead.

Life is about choices and choices decides one’s life. “We are where we are because of the decisions we alone have made.”

Making the right choices and choosing the right people who can help you reach your destination in this life and the next is what it’s all about. Don’t waste your time with those who waste time and place little if any value on it. Alas time is all any of us truly have.

Beware of the Vampires. They are those who spread doubt, darkness and offer no encouragement. They desire that you sit, wait and die. If you smile they run to put it out like your hair were on fire.

But for those who worship Allah, single Him out for all worship and put their trust completely in Him, very little impact does the creation have upon these people. They look to the One above the heavens as they seek their daily need. They are happy in failure because they truly know they tried. They’re happy with success because they truly know Allah, supported them and decreed it to be. They give their wealth in private and seek none and no groups for favors.

When fitnah is around they are not-except to advise in private and keep it moving. They want good for the Muslims and give rights due to all, Muslims and non Muslims alike. They thank mankind for what’s done to them because they believe that is also thanking Allah. They know without doubt that good character is from eemaan, faith in Allah, The Alone. So they strive to be good especially when the creation threatens to abandon them for doing it.

Focusing our time on offering our services to others or using it to get knowledge, many don’t have, is that road which can lead to higher ground where happiness can be found with the help of Allah.

Put your trust in Allah, be with those who are smarter than you are and rise to benefit firstly yourself, your family, then others.

And Allah knows best.

-Abu Muhammad Abdullah al-Looweesi’aani

Zakaatul-Fitr

Zakaatul-Fitr.

 Al-Waalid (The Father), The Noble Shaykh Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Marzouq Al-Bannaa – hafidhahullahu ta’aalaa – says in his book “As-Siyaamu Junnah (Fasting Is A Safeguard/Protection)”.

Ibn Umar – ridhwaan Allahi alayhi – said: Allah’s Messenger – salallahu alayhi wa sallam – obligated Zakaatul-Fitr (Charity to the poor after the completion of the fast of Ramadhaan) as a Saa’an (Note: A measure which equals 4 mudds or 3 to 4 kilograms (approx.)) from Tamr (Dates), or Saa’an from Sha’eer (Barley), upon Al-Abd (The Slave), Al-Hurr (The Free Person), Adh-Dhakar (The Male) and Al-Unthaa (The Female); as well as As-Sagheer (The Small i.e. Child), and Al-Kabeer (The Big i.e. Elderly) from Al-Muslimoon (The Muslims).  He – salallahu alayhi wa sallam – ordered that it be dispersed before An-Naas (The People) leave for As-Salaah (go to Salaatul-Eid).

Al-Allaamah Al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullahu ta’aalaa) said, and the statement of Ibn Umar (radhiyyallahu anhumaa), ((Allah’s Messenger obligated – salallahu alayhi wa sallam – )) proves that indeed it is an Fardh Ayn (an obligation upon all of the Muslims (male and female, young and old).  (Al-Jaami’ Li Ahkaam, Fiqhus-Sunnah – by the Esteemed Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullahu ta’aalaa).

Shaykh Uthaymeen contiues by saying, and the foundation in regards to it being Fardhul-Ayn:  That it is upon the Mukallaf (the one who must adhere to this obligation) himself,  which is who this obligation has be placed upon.  Therefore, the person is obligated to disperse Zakaatul-Fitr for himself.  The son is obligated to disperse Zakaatul-Fitr for himself.  Just as every Mukallaf is obligated to disperse Zakaatul-Fitr for himself because he has been addressed with it.

However if the Rabbul-Usraah (head of the household) disperses  Zakaatul-Fitr upon the scene on behalf of his family and his children, and if they agree that he will be the one to disperse for the Zakaah, then there is no sin in this.

Added in other narrations from Aboo Sa’eed Al-Khudree – ridhwaan Allahi alayhi -: Saa’an from Ta’aam (Food) or Saa’an from Aqit (Cottage Cheese) or Saa’an from Zabeeb (Raisons) or Saa’an from Daqeeq (Flour) or Saa’an from Sult (Rye). (Note: This narration is not sound, but the meaning and the ruling are correct). Allah knows best.

In Al-Bukhaaree – rahmatullahi alayhi waasi’an -: Ibn Umar used to give it to those who accepted it, and they would give it out a day or 2 days before Al-Fitr and As-Sunnah is that you give out (Zakaatul-Fitr) as Ta’aam (Food). (Note: Partitioning off what comes from Al-Ardh (The Earth) (by the command of Allah) of Qoot Ahlul-Balad (the regular food which is eaten by the people of that country) like Oorz (Rice) or similar to it).

 

 

In Al-Mulakhusul-Fiqhiyyu by The Noble Shaykh  Saalih Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan – hafidhahullahu ta’aalaa .

 Chapter: Regarding Zakaatul-Fitr.

Ash-Shaykh says: As for giving out Al-Qeemah (the worth/value) of Zakaatul-Fitr, in that he pays substituting it (Zakaatul-Fitr) with money/cash.  For this opposses As-Sunnah.  Thus there is no dividing or allocating (Zakaatul-Fitr).  Because it was not transmitted from An-Nabeey – salallahu alayhi wa sallam –  and not from anyone from his Companions – ridhwaan Allahi alayhim – (that) gave out Al-Qeemah (the worth/value) in regards of Zakaatul-Fitr.

 Imaam Ahmad – rahmatullahi alayhi waasi’an – said: Do not give out Al-Qeemah.  It was said to him: Qaum (a group of people) say: Umar Ibn Abdil-Azeez used to take Al-Qeemah.  He (Imaam Ahmad) said: they are challenging the statement of Allah’s Messenger – salallahu alayhi was sallam – and they said: So and So said.  (Imaam Ahmad said): Ibn Umar has already said:  Allah’s Messenger – salallahu alayhi wa sallam – obligated that Zakaatul-Fitr be Saa’an (4 mudds which is equal to 3 to 4 kilograms and Allah knows best)… Al-Hadeeth?!

 

Translated by:  Aboo Abdir-Rahmaan Abdur-Raqeeb

 

A visit to Shaykh Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Marzouq Al-Bannaa (May Allah preserve him and his family upon good).

As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.  May Allah have mercy upon me, you and all of the Muslims.  Ameen.

(This happened some years back but I decided to share it). 

 

I hope and pray that all is well with each and everyone of you.  A some time ago I had the opportunity to have lunch with our father, our Shaykh, Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Marzouq Al-Bannaa, may Allah preserve him.  His wife invited my wife and myself to eat with them and their family at their home.  Maa Shaa Allah.  When we arrived at the the home of the Shaykh (actually its his son’s home, but the Shaykh and his wife stay there, its easier for them), which is on the 5th floor, I thought about how he gets up and down these stairs.  Mind you the Shaykh is 85 (88 now) years young, may Allah preserve him.

 

When we finally made it up the stairs and knocked on the door, the Shaykh opened the door and greeted us with a smile and kind welcoming words, the Shaykh hugged me and I kissed his forehead.  My wife went to an area where his wife and daughter in-law were waiting for her.  I went into another room with the Shaykh, who already had 2 visitors.  Mind you that this was after Salaatul-Jumu’ah.  I greeted the visitors and they returned their greetings. I sat on the side of the Shaykh and I never took my eyes off of him.  I watched how he listened attentively to his guests and how he wouldnt interrupt them while they were speaking.  He would quietly sit and wait until they were finished, before he would speak.  I asked him some questions about becoming a man in Islaam and being a better husband to my wife.  He encouraged me to read the Qur’aan and to read about the life of the Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him.  He told me to read Saheehul-Bukhaaree, often. 

 

When it was time to eat.  I watched this 85 (88 now) year old “inheritor of the Prophet(s)”, serve his guests with the vigor and energy of a young man.  I watched him bring in trays of food from his wife and refuse anyones help.  All the while his lips never stopped praising Allah.  I noticed that whenever the Shaykh was silent in speech, his lips would be moving in the remembrance of Allah.  Glorifying Him, Praising Him, Extolling Him, Honoring Him.  He was always reminding himself of his Lord.  I watched all of this.

 

I watched how he didnt touch his food until after we began to eat.  I watched as he would feed his two small grand-daughters, with his hands. He would always remember to put food in their mouths when he would feed himself.  I watched how he would pick up any morsel of food which fell to the floor and eat it.  When the guest finished eating, I was still working.  So the Shaykh took the food and put it in-front of me and told me to eat.  I didnt disappoint him (how could I, he’s a Shaykh.  I gotta listen).  When I finally finished, he took my plates and ate whatever was left within them.  I watched him cleaning the plates with his fingers and licking his fingers after that (I thought of a brother named

Abdur-Rahmaan Yoosuf after seeing this, knowing that I learned of this sunnah from him during one Ramadhaan night back in Kentucky, in the basement of the 4th. Street Masjid.  May Allah reward him with good and greet him).  I watched him not leave any food for the shaytawn.  I watched him wipe his grand-daughters hands with the peel/skin of an orange.  He told me that the acid in the skin would kill germs on their hands, Allah knows best.  He said you can do this if no water is present.  Just a little tip.  Maa Shaa Allah.

 

When the call of prayer was heard, I watched how the Shaykh prepared himself to go to the masjid.  He didnt sit around like we do, and continue to talk or waste time.  He made it clear that we are leaving now, and are heading for masjid.  The Mother of the Believers, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her said, “when the Messenger heard the Adhaan, he leave from whatever he was doing with us, as if he didnt know us and prepare himself to go to the masjid for prayer”.  We Gloryfied Allah as we made our way down the five flights of stairs.  I held the Shaykh’s hand going to the masjid, as well as when we returned.  Upon returning, I was taught a lesson in patience.  Now as I told you the Shaykh is 85 (88 now) years young and he lives on the 5th floor.  We all walked behind the Shaykh as we walked up each stair, one at a time.  Al-Hamdulillah.  The Shaykh told me that he has had this apartment for at least 60 years.  He said, when he was a young man, he would run up the stairs, after saying that we both laughed.

 

Back in the house, I watched the Shaykh continue to be in the service of his family.  Never complaining like we do.  When the guests had left.  I felt like the Shaykh was tired and I told him that my wife and I were leaving.  The Shaykh’s wife wanted us to stay longer.  But he looked like he needed rest and I didnt want to oppress him (plus I want to return).  The Shaykh said, may Allah bless me for this.  Ameen.  Upon leaving I gave the Shaykh a gift we had purchased for him, my wife presented his wife with a gift as well.  The Shaykh once again hugged me and I kissed his forehead again.

 

Then the Shaykh reminded me of somethig I had told him, over 3 1/2 (almost 8 years now) years ago.  I told him that I had a dream that I visited a shaykh in his home and I ate with him.  I didnt know who he was, but I knew that he was a shaykh, Allah knows best.  The Shaykh reminded me that I told him this over 3 1/2 (almost 8 years now) years ago.  Then he tells me, see Abdur-Raqeeb, dreams do come true.  Dont disbelieve in dreams.  That was the end of my visit.  I called the Shaykh a few days ago, and he was sick with a minor, small cold.  So make du’aa that Allah cures him and returns him to a better condition.  May Allah preserve him and greet him and us all.  Ameen.

 

Aboo Abdur-Rahmaan Abdur-Raqeeb

I love each and eveyone of you in the path of Allah.

 

Salah In Its Finest Sense

The following is a summary of Sheikh Raslan’s Khuttbah:

1- The first thing you should know about prayer: You stand in absolute desperation for it; why?

It’s the one thing most beloved to Allah, it represents the ultimate expression of obedience to Allah, and nothing gets you closer to Allah than Salah. It purifies the heart and the soul, it sharpens ones humility (Khushoo’) to Allah, and it restructures your understanding of life.

2- The finest sense of prayer: Humility is the heart of well-performed prayer. You must enter Salah with an attentive heart. At this point, sheikh Raslan made a very interesting comment quoting an early scholar, “Your heart must be hungry for prayer in order to achieve humility otherwise if your heart were full of earthly distractions, it would have no room for humility to Allah.”  Each element that makes up prayer is an expression of true obedience; standing, kneeling, prostrating, and placing your forehead and your nose on the floor would express your submission to Allah. Nothing is more delicious than submission to Allah; it arouses the feeling of Freedom.

Humility in Salah is a must condition otherwise Salah is useless; imagine you’re bringing a dead pet as a present to a king, how his reaction would look like because he thinks you mock him?! Therefore, Salah without humility is dead with Zero benefit.

Summarized by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

Allah granted us Al-Jumu’ah (The Day of Gathering).

Allah granted us Al-Jumu’ah (The Day of Gathering).

Narrated by Aboo Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said:  The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said:  ((Allah misguided/sent astray those who had come before us from Al-Jumu’ah (The Day of Gathering/Friday).  So Al-Yahood (The Jews) were guided to yaumus-Sabt (Saturday), and An-Nasaaraa (The Christians) were guided to yaumul-Ahad (Sunday).  So Allah presented to us, therefore guided us to Al-Jumu’ah.  Furthermore, they will follow us on yaumul-Qiyaamah (The Day of Standing and Reckoning).  We are last from amongst Ahlud-Dunyaa (The people of this life), and first on yaumul-Qiyaamah)).  (Muslim 856).

Translated by:  Aboo Abdir-Rahmaan Abdur-Raqeeb.

Remember To Do This Before You Sleep

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “When any of you goes to bed, he should shake off (or dust off) his bedsheets because he does not know what might have fallen on it after he had left it. Then he should recite: ‘Bismika Rabbi wada’tu janbi, wa bika arfa’uhu, in amsakta nafsi farhamha, wa in arsaltaha fahfazha bima tahfazu bihi ‘ibadakas-salihin [With Your Name, my Rubb, I place my side (upon the bed) and with Your Grace I will raise it up. If You withhold my soul (cause me to die), have mercy on it but if You let it go (let me live), guard it against which You guarded Your pious servants].”‘

[Al- Bukhari and Muslim].

Sheikh Raslan commented, “People, unfortunately, are not aware of the Prophet’s life; he taught us every little thing. However, those bestowed with success strive to investigate the Prophet’s life (peace be upon him); the follow the knowledge they acquire and implement it, and thereby they are rewarded with the best of rewards. On the other hand, those who claim loving the Prophet (peace be upon him) while being ignorant of his life and how did he managed to live it; their claim must be revisited and reconsidered.

The reason for shaking off the bedsheets lies in the potential possibility that there could be something harmful on the bedsheets  you’re not aware of its presence; this thing could harm you. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) teaches you to check your bedsheets before you go to sleep. He guides you towards what is best for you even in this life. Not only you get to benefit from doing so, but also top this with the benefit Allah confers upon you as a reward for the Dhikr (remembrance) you recite when you get to sleep.”

Source: Sunnan Mahjoorah [Deserted Sunnan of the Prophet (?)] by Sheikh Muhammad Said Raslan: pages: 27-28.

Khutbah: “Don’t Have Ill Thoughts Of Allah”

Sheikh Muhammad Raslan discussed in his Khuttbah today a very critical topic: “Having Good Thoughts Of Allah” He began his Khuttbah, “We live in a time where disobedients, innovators, and immoral individuals have polluted this life and left us in a disgusting swamp. Nothing is left for us to adhere to than having good thoughts in Allah. We ask Allah to bless us with entertaining good thoughts in Him.”
   He noted that plenty of the Muslims entertain ill thoughts about Allah. They blame al-Qadr (pre-destination) and hang their failures on it. Others misunderstand the wisdom of Allah in that they believe if they are obedient, they deserve a better life financially. However when they see the disobedient ones whom Allah has tested with an abundant life and authority, they start entertaining ill thoughts of Allah; like believing, but not necessarily speaking about it like, “Why the disobedient one blessed with a better life than mine?! There must be something wrong.” Such belief is a stark accusation of Allah’s wisdom.
The Sheikh quoted ibn al-Qayyim’s speech that eloquently addresses this topic followed by a list of ahadiths like the following one:
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah the Exalted says: ‘I am as my slave expects Me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e., in the assembly of angels).”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

A brief of the Sheikh Raslan’s khuttbah; the audio of this khuttbah will be uploaded on the sheikh’s official website later today inshaallah.

Summarized by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

 

DON’T LET YOUR EMOTIONS OVERRIDE YOUR MORAL VALUES.

Umar may Allah be pleased with him was once told by a man “I want to divorce my wife.” Umar asked the man why. He replied, ‘Because I no longer love her.’ ’Umar said to him, ’Are family ties built only on love? If houses and families were to be broken on the grounds of so-called lost love, how about care and kindness.”

Shiekh Raslan commented, “There should never be a preference to one’s deeply influential emotions over human values regardless how powerful and imposing those emotions are. One’s emotions must stop at its normal limits and never cross them. The man in this report expresses a fact that he can no longer keep to himself; he simply doesn’t love her anymore.” Shiekh Raslan continued, “Notice the balance in Umar’s response; care and kindness versus a lost love. Allah has favored him with marrying her, so he is obliged to provide her with kindness, care, and protection. This stands against his overwhelming desire that he no longer loves her and his heart is searching for love he cannot find.”

Note: Umar’s advice teaches us: despite our overwhelming emotions that sometimes manipulate our decision process and other times cloud our judgment, we should never allow them to override any human value we have; in this case, the man should stay with his wife although he doesn’t love her otherwise anybody who no longer loves his wife and vice-verse will be driven to ask for divorce; and therefore, most of the families will be disunited and destroyed and ultimately the society will be weak and nonresistant to the challenges of present day life.

Translation and additional notes by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

ASPECTS OF THE QURANIC I’JAZ (INIMITABILITY)

There are four aspects that wrap up the inimitability of the Qur’an:

1- The perfection of its authorship and the cohesion of its structure along with its ultimate eloquence and conciseness.

2- The elegance of its style; it is composed of a significantly different style than that of the leaders of eloquence among Arabs in both poetry and prose. Its style has blown up the minds of those leaders who couldn’t bring forth anything similar to it despite the well-conditioned circumstances to do so.

3- The rich reports it has about the previous nations and their respective legislations whose knowledge was only known by a very few people among the people of the Book.

4- Its rich content that foretells future events; some of them occurred during the Prophetic period and others after it.

Source: Fath al-Bary fee sharh Sahih al-Bukhari: (8/623)

Translated by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.