Small Thought #5 – Start With Yourself Before Others

Who to start with?
In Da’wah (call to Islam), start with yourself before the members of your family and other people and look at what is lacking in you in order that you may start treating it.

So if there is a common deficiency between you and one of your companions or family members, then join him with you in resolving this problem because the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever from amongst you sees an evil he should change it with his hand and if he is not able to, then with his tongue and if he is not able to, then he should hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.” [Narrated by Muslim and Ahmed]

How is your humbleness in prayer?
When our hearts are overloaded with the pressures of life and at the point of exploding, comes the prayer as an outlet where souls can breathe the taste of tranquility, throw the troubles of life away and become happy and calm. However, for prayer we have to provide it with what makes us Humble. Allah Says (what mean): “Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive” [Quran 21:90]

How is your relationship with Allah?
Are you one who’s supplications are answered or do you notice most of your supplications not being answered?

Look into your Aqeedah (Faith) and the level of your certainty and reliance upon Allah, and observe closely your food and drink – are they from that which is Halal (lawful) or Haram (unlawful), or is there some doubt about their source?

If the situation was one that requires enjoining good and forbidding evil, what would you do? Prophet Muhammad said: “By Him in Who’s Hand is my soul, you will enjoin good and prohibit evil or (else) Allah will soon send upon you a punishment from Him, then you will call upon Him and He will not answer you.” [Ahmed and At-Tirmithi]

Maybe you would benefit from reading Hadeeths (Prophetic narrations) pertaining to the punishment of the grave and that of its bliss, about the terror of the Resurrection, and the torment of the Hell-Fire. You could well continue reading for days, weeks or months, accompanying that with good actions and self-struggle.

Are you prepared for the meeting with Allah?

  • Have you fulfilled the rights of the creation, one to another? Or are you in a constant state of postponing and deferring?
  • Have you converted your knowledge of repentance into crying and penitence?
  • Have you turned whatever you have read about loving Allah into real love for your Muslim brothers?
  • Do you often visit them, and overlook their faults? Do you aid the needy from amongst them, feel delighted for their happiness and grieve for their sorrow?

It is better for you if you were to meet death whilst trying to improve your own condition than to die whilst striving to improve others’, being held accountable at the same time for leaving off obligatory actions just like the lantern that burns itself out and gives light to others, as in the Hadeeth: “The example of the scholar who teaches the people good things but forgets himself is that of a lantern, it gives light to the people but burns itself out.” [At-Tabarani]


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Giving Food

Giving Food in Surah Al-Insan (No.76):

This is a good gesture of Allah’s Mercy to Mention giving food in a Surah that is entitled “Al-Insan”. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive…} [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Insan, verse 8]

Ibn ‘Abbas and Mujahid said, “This verse denotes that they feed the needy, the orphan and the captive despite the scarcity of food and their need and love for it.”

What about you and your food?

How great a deed is feeding the hungry in our time!

Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Or feeding on a day of severe hunger…} [Quran 90:14]

An-Nakha‘i commented on this verse saying, “They feed the hungry at times when food is not ample.”

Mohammed ibn Al-Munkadir said, “Feeding hungry Muslims guarantees the forgiveness of sins.” He also said on another occasion: “Feeding the hungry and saying kind words to others usher you to Paradise.”

Dear brother and sister, you may notice how our days – in some Muslim countries – have turned into days of severe hunger. Food has become scarce and meat has also become scarce as well as being too expensive for the poor.

What about you, dear readers? What about your food?

An Explicit Command:

Feeding people in general and a hungry person, in particular, has been explicitly mentioned in the command of the Messenger of Allah SAW. Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet SAW said: “Feed the hungry, pay a visit to the sick and free the captives.” [Saheeh] A reported saying reads, “The best charity is to satisfy a hungry person.” Alas, a Muslim may sit at an Iftar table with delicious and tasty dishes while his neighbors break their fast with a few morsels of food if they can be found!

The Righteous Predecessors

Our righteous predecessors were keen to feed people and favored this act of worship over many others, whether it was for a hungry poor person or feeding a righteous Muslim. Poverty is not an essential condition in this regard. The Messenger of Allah SAW said: “O people! Spread the Islamic greetings amongst yourselves, feed the hungry, maintain kinship relations, observe prayer at night while people are asleep and you will peacefully enter the Paradise.” [Saheeh]

Some of the righteous predecessors said, “It is better for me to invite ten of my friends and feed them delicious food that they like than freeing ten slaves from the children of Isma‘eel (i.e. Arabs).”

Abu As-Siwar Al-‘Adawi said, “Some men from the ‘Uday tribe used to pray in this mosque and none of them would break his fast alone. If one found someone to eat with, he would eat. If he could not find someone to eat with, he would take his food and go to the mosque to share it with the people in the mosque.”

Fruits of Feeding the Hungry:

The act of worship of feeding the hungry gives rise to many other acts of worship such as showing affection towards one’s fellow Muslims whom he feeds and this can be a reason for him being granted Paradise. The Prophet SAW said: “You shall not enter Paradise as long as you do not affirm belief (in all those things which are the articles of faith) and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another.” [Muslim]

It also gives rise to (the act of worship) being in the company of righteous people and hoping for the rewards of Allah The Almighty in offering them food as they gain strength to perform acts of worship.

Food Baskets:

Some righteous predecessors used to send their friends a basket full of sugar or other such food.

Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd Yahdi said, “I gave a basket of sugar to Al-Hasan Al-Basri as a gift and I have not seen any sugar better than this one. He opened the basket and said to his companions, “Eat and enjoy.”


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Tolerance in Islam.

Islam was sent down as mercy and guidance to mankind. In a world that has become smaller and interdependent, in a world seeking peace and stability, mankind are in crucial need, now more than ever, to learn the true principles and essence of Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)….

Allah has chosen a man, has favored him and has fully endowed him. He has sent down to him Messengers and Holy Books. He also set rules and commands. Allah, the Almighty, says:

“And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.” (Al-Quran, surah Al-Isra [17], verse 70).

Islam was sent down as mercy and guidance to mankind. In a world that has become smaller and interdependent, in a world seeking peace and stability, mankind are in crucial need, now more than ever, to learn the true principles and essence of Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). His Noble history represents the best practical model of coexistence in society and among different communities on the basis of fraternity and righteous cooperation. Islam asserts and recognizes diversity and multiplicity as part of the Divine intention and purpose in creation. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ. Except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them. But the word of your Lord is to be fulfilled that, “I will surely fill Hell with jinn and men all together.” (Al-Quran, surah Hud [11], verse 118‐119)

Islam has laid the foundations of peaceful coexistence in society and even in the world at large. Islam calls for peaceful cooperation which leads to a better life for everyone. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was exhorting Muslims to support the newly established Muslim community in Medina, He signed the Constitution that embodied the Islamic principle of reaching contractual peaceful coexistence with adherents of other religions. Based on the Islamic principles, Muslims all over the world live in peace in diverse societies irrespective of differences in religion, race or culture.

Islam prohibits any form of coerced (forced) conversion to Islam. Indeed, Allah, the Exalted, says in the Holy Quran: “There is no compulsion in religion” Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) called for Islam with gentle approach and wisdom. “It is reported from Abu Huraira that the Prophet, may Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, sent riders towards Najd. They brought a man of the bani Hanifa, whose name was Thumama ibn Uthal, and tied him to one of the pillars of the mosque. Then the Holy Prophet came out to him and asked him three times to cover. When the man refused, the Prophet asked them to let him go. The man went to a date tree close to the mosque, had a bath and came back and said: ‘I testify that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger.’”

Islamic teachings call for Muslims to respect and cooperate with people from all walks of life regardless of difference in religion. Islam stands firm for the principle of non‐coercion. It even emphasizes the importance of honoring one’s parents irrespective of their faith. Asma’ bint (daughter) of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with them, said:”My mother came to visit me at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and she was a nonbeliever. I inquired from the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said:”Continue to do good to your non‐believing mother.”

Islam stands firm for justice in society. The reluctance of some people to convert to Islam should not be by any means a pretext to assault or hurt them or forgo their rights. Allah, the Almighty, says in the Holy Quran:

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Al-Quran, surah Al-Ma’idah [5], verse 8).

Muslims must keep and honor their treaties, covenants or agreement because disloyalty and betrayal are two abhorred attributes in Islam. We ask Allah, the Almighty, to help us obey Him and obey those He has ordained us to obey. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (Al-Quran, surah An-Nisa’ [4], verse 59).