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Examples of good ends

Fear of an evil end had broken the hearts of our righteous Salaf (predecessors). Sufyaan Ath-Thawri cried one night until the morning, and when he was asked whether he cried due to his fear of his sins, he replied: “No, I am more scared of having an evil end.”
Ibn Katheer said: “People who are righteous inwardly and outwardly and whose actions coincide with their words, Allah willing, will not have an evil way to end their lives; and never was this reported about anyone before. It is only those who are evil inwardly and outwardly; those who are daring and indulge in major great sins and who are frequent in committing minor sins. This type of people, who are used to this practice will continue to do so until they die without repenting.”
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Verily, deeds are but by the way they end.” [Al-Bukhari]. This is why our right predecessors  feared their ends because no one knows how he will end his life and in which state he will depart.
For this reason, Huthayfah was happy to die before the trials about which the Prophet informed them and said: “All perfect praise be to Allah who has hastened my death before these trials”.
One of the signs indicating that the person died while having a good end is dying while performing a righteous deed. Anas narrated that he heard the Prophet saying: “Do not be impressed with someone’s actions (thinking they are righteous) until you see how his end is, because one would be performing a (righteous) deed for a long period of his life, and should he die upon such a deed he would enter Paradise, but he switches to performing evil deeds (before his death). The slave would be performing a (bad) deed for a long period of his life, and should he die upon such a deed he would enter Hell, but he switches to performing good deeds (before his death) and when Allah Wills good for a slave He uses him before his death.”
The companions  asked: “O messenger of Allah! How does Allah use him?”  He responded: “He enables him to perform a good deed, then ends his life upon it.” [Ahmad]
Huthayfah  narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “He who says ‘Laa ilaaha illallah’ (i.e., None is worthy of worship except Allah) seeking the pleasure of Allah, and it being his final statement, will enter Paradise; he who fasts sincerely, seeking the pleasure of Allah, and died whilst in this state, will enter Paradise; he who spends in charity, sincerely seeking the pleasure of Allah, and it being the last thing he did before dieing, will enter Paradise.”
Jaabir reported: “I heard the Prophet saying: “Every slave will be resurrected in the state upon which he died” [Muslim]. Imaam As-Suyooti  said: “This narration refers to the state of obedience or disobedience”. Maalik Ibn Deenaar  used to say: “If I can afford (physically) not to sleep ever I would not sleep.” He was asked about the reason, to which he said: “I fear that the angel of death would come to me whilst I am sleeping and I would like that he comes whilst I am engaged in a righteous deed”.
An example highlighting one of the best ways to die is for a disbeliever to embrace Islam then immediately die. Anas reported: “A young Jewish boy who was in the service of the Prophet fell ill. The Prophet went to visit him. He sat down by his head and said to him: “Embrace Islam.” The little boy looked at his father who was sitting beside him. He said: ‘Obey Abul-Qaasim (i.e., the Messenger of Allah ).’ So he embraced Islam and the Prophet  stepped out saying: “Praise be to Allah Who has saved him from Hell-fire.” [Al-Bukhari].
Recently Allah guided a man from the Philippines to the light of Islam in the city of Taif in Saudi Arabia, and he was taught some of the merits of Islam. The very next day after embracing Islam he started reciting some chapters of the Qur’an and on the following morning he passed away, after only two days of him becoming a Muslim.
Uttering the testimonies of faith prior to death is a good deed and another example for one’s good end. Mu’aath ibn Jabal narrated that the Prophet said: “He whose final words are ‘Laa ilaaha illallah’ (i.e., ‘None is worthy of worship except Allah’) will enter Paradise.”[Al-Haakim].
‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Aas  reported that when his father  was on his deathbed he said: “O Allah! You commanded me with many commands and I fell short in many of them. O Allah! You forbade me from many matters, but I transgressed. O Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but You” then he continued repeating this until he died.
Many of the Salaf  died while praying, which is another example for a good way to end life. ‘Abdullah Ibn Abi As-Sarh supplicated one night after having performed Qiyaam saying: “O Allah! Make my last deed in this life the performance of Fajr prayer.” Then he performed ablution and prayed Fajr and died while concluding his prayer.
Abu Tha’labah  used to say: “I hope that Allah will not make me suffer upon death like I see some people do.” Then he started performing Qiyaam and died while in the position of prostration. That night his daughter saw in her dream that her father died, so she woke up terrified and went to her mother asking about her father, so she told her that he was praying Qiyaam. They went to check on him and found him in the position of prostration and when they moved him he fell to his side.
A young man prayed the Fajr prayer with the congregation and sat in the mosque reciting the Qur’an and waiting for the sun to rise so that he may pray two Rak’ahs and he did not know that it was the last hour of his life, and died whilst in that state.
A 55- year-old lady was admitted into the emergency room as a result of getting a heart attack which made her heart stop beating completely. When the physicians were trying to make a heart massage with special equipment a very astonishing thing happened, which doctors had never seen before that day … the woman suddenly opened her eyes and spoke calmly saying a few words … she did not complain of any pain … she did not scream asking for their assistance … she did not ask for her husband or children … she simply uttered the two testimonies of faith … then the heart stopped again. She repeated this three times … then she died … and her face illuminated. When her husband was asked about the type of woman she was, he said: “I married her more than 35 years ago, and since then I have never seen her abandon the Witr prayer (i.e. the odd-numbered Rak’ahs after the optional night prayer) unless she was sick or during her monthly period”.
Dying while fasting is yet another example exemplifying a good end, like in the case of Asmaa’ bint Abu Bakr and her son ‘Urwah.
Some people die whilst in the state of Ihraam which entitles the person to a great reward, as in the narration about the Companion who died as a result of his animal kicking him whilst in the state of Ihraam (for either Haj or ‘Umrah), the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Wash him with water and lote-tree (leaves), shroud him in his own garments and do not cover his head, because he will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection uttering the Talbiyah.”.
There are some people who die whilst reciting the Qur’an, like in the case of ‘Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan¸ who was known to be a person who continuously recited the Qur’an day and night. He was martyred whilst reciting the Qur’an in his house.
Once Ibn ‘Abbaas  recited the saying of Allah which means: “Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]?” [Qur’an 39: 9] then he said: “I swear by Allah! This applies to ‘Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan”.
One of the best examples indicating a good end is being martyred. Al-Miqdaam Ibn Ma’di Karib narrated that the Prophet said: “A martyr has six bounties: He will be forgiven with the first drop of his blood that is spilt; He will see his place in Paradise (at the time of death); He will be saved from the ‘Great Horror’ (on the Day of Judgment): A Crown of Dignity will be placed on his head, which contains many corundum, each one being more precious than this life and all that it contains; He will have 72 Women of Paradise; And, he will be allowed to intercede for 70 of his family members (who would have otherwise gone to hell).”[At-Tirmithi]
Shaddaad Ibn al-Haad narrated: “A Bedouin came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, accepted Islam and said: ‘I wish to migrate (to Madinah)’. So the Prophet asked some of his Companions to take care of him. Then after a battle, the Muslims had gained some booty so the Prophet divided it and gave the Bedouin’s share to some of his companions to look after, as the bedouin was still at the rearguard.
When the bedouin returned, they gave him his share, so he asked them: ‘What is this?’ they replied: ‘It is your share from the booty which the Prophet gave us to hold on to for you.’ So the Bedouin took the booty and went to the Prophet and asked: ‘What is this?’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied: “Your share of the booty.” The bedouin said: “This is not why I believe in you and follow you; rather, I follow you so that I can get shot by an arrow right here, (and then he pointed to his throat) then die and enter Paradise.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If you are sincere then Allah will grant you your wish.”
After a short while, fighting resumed and the bedouin’s body was brought to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, with an arrow in his throat at exactly the spot where he had pointed to the Prophet. Thereupon The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He was sincere so Allah granted him his wish.”
Then using his own garment, the Prophet shrouded the bedouin, prayed the funeral prayer over him and was heard by his companions to say during the prayer: “O Allah! This is Your slave who migrated for Your sake and was killed as a martyr – and I testify to this”. Which testimony could ever be more honourable, sincere and truthful than this great one given by the Prophet?
A truck driver named Abu Dujaanah was known in his town to be an evil person who consumed intoxicants. One day, he got in a deadly car accident, but Allah saved him. Allah decreed that two righteous young men see the accident and rush to him whilst he was unconscious and took him with them and when he woke up they told him to perform Ghusl (ritual bath) which he did, then they instructed him to pray, and after he prayed they said to him: “Allah has rescued you from death and had you died upon the state you were in, it would have been the worse way to die and be resurrected. You should repent to Allah and shun all sins.”
Their words affected him deeply, and he shunned his evil company with whom he used to hang around, and started practising. A few months later, he travelled to Bosnia for Jihad, and Allah granted him martyrdom there. His body remained with the enemies thrown in an open field for two and a half months after he was killed, and then a swap of dead bodies happened between the Mujahideen and the Serbs, and when the brothers opened the plastic bag in which he was kept for this long period, they saw his face smiling and an extremely pleasant scent emanating from his body.
These were but some examples of how a good end may be, and we ask Allah to bless us and grant us a good way to end our lives.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

Rulings for mortgage

The linguistic meaning of the Arabic word ‘rahn’ is “settlement”, and “permanence.” The Islamic legal meaning for rahn is “a security of a debt by something with which the debt can be fulfilled.” In other words, it means mortgaging an item with monetary value or collateral as security against a debt.
Rahn is permissible as indicated in the Book, the Sunnah and by Ijmaa’ (consensus of scholars). Allah says, “And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then let there be a rihaan (mortgage) taken.” (2:283)
When the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, died, his armour was mortgaged.
Scholars are in agreement that rahn is permissible while travelling. The majority of scholars have held the opinion that it is also permissible in residence. The following points outline the rulings of mortgage:
1. The wisdom behind rahn’s validity is to preserve the wealth and protect it from loss. Allah also commanded us to document debts in writing. He says, “O you who believe! When you contract a debt for a fixed period, write it down … and if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then let there be a rihaan taken.” (2:282-283)
This is a sign of Mercy from Allah where He guides us to do good for ourselves.
2. For rahn to be valid, its amount and nature should be known. The mortgager should have the right to dispose of the item, whether he is owner or has permission to dispose of it.
3. It is permissible to mortgage from your money on behalf of someone else’s debt.
4. The mortgaged item should be sellable so that the mortgage can be paid off.
5. The rahn can be conditioned in the contract or after the contract. Allah made the rahn in lieu of writing a debt, as He says, “And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then let there be a rihaan taken.” (2:283)
6. Rahn is required from the mortgager only because the right is for someone else. But it is not required from the mortgagee (the lender) for he can cancel it at any time, because it is his right alone.
7. It is permissible to mortgage one’s share from a partnership. This is because the share can be sold at the time the debt is due and then it will be fulfilled. It is also permissible to mortgage something sold for its value. For example, if one buys a car or a house for a deferred price, then one can mortgage it until he pays the price.
8. Neither the mortgager nor the mortgagee can use the mortgaged (collateral) item without the permission of the other party. This is to protect both parties’ rights. If the mortgager uses it, then he nullifies the right of the mortgagee in securing the debt. On the other hand, if the mortgagee uses it, then he is actually using something owned by others.
9. Benefiting from rahn is permissible, but it should be agreed upon between both parties.
10. The growth of the rahn and the benefit derived from it becomes a rahn added to the original rahn that can also be sold to pay off the debt.
11. All expenses incurred from keeping the rahn is the liability of the mortgager, including storage, guarding the mortgage, etc.
12. If part of the mortage gets destroyed, then the remainder becomes rahn for the entire debt.
13. If the mortgager pays off some of the debt, the rahn remains as the entire collateral and none of it can be released until the entire debt is paid.
14. When the payment of the debt is due, the indebted party must repay the debt, just as one must repay a debt that does not have a rahn attached. Allah says, “Let then one who is entrusted discharge his trust (faithfully), and let him have taqwah for Allah, his Lord.” (2:283) and “Let him have taqwah for Allah, his Lord and diminish not anything of what he owes.” (2:282)
If the debtor refuses to pay, he will be accused of delay and the judge will then force him to pay. If he continues to refuse, then he should be disciplined by imprisonment or other means until he repays his debt or the mortgage is sold to pay off the debt.
The judge can also sell the mortgage in the debtor’s place, if the debtor refuses to do so. If there is money left after selling the mortgage and repayment of the debt, then the excess is returned to the debtor. If there is a portion of the debt that is not covered by the value of the collateral, then it remains as a liability of the mortgager that must be paid.
15. It is permissible for the lender to use the collateral (mortgaged item) in some cases, such as riding or milking the animal if it was mortgaged, but the lender should spend on it and feed it. This is based on the hadith, “The mortgaged animal can be used for riding, as long as it is fed and the milk of the animal can be drunk according to what one spends on it. The one who rides the animal or drinks its milk should provide the expenditures.” (Bukhari)
Imam Ibn al-Qayim said: “This hadith, together with the principles of Shari’ah indicate that the mortgaged animal should be treated with respect, and this is Allah’s right. Its owner has the right of ownership. And the animal is in the possession of the mortgagee, but does not milk it, then the milk is wasted. Therefore justice, qiyas, and the welfare of the mortgager, mortgagee and the animal require that the mortgagee benefit from the animal in riding and milking it. This is compensated for by providing the expenses. By benefiting from the animal and paying for its expenses, all rights will be fulfilled.”
Some scholars said: “There are two types of mortgage. One requires provision and the other doesn’t. The first type of mortgage is further divided into two different types. One is the animal which is ridden and milked, and the second is the slave. The latter cannot be used for benefit by the mortgagee without the permission of the owner. The second type of rahn that does not require provision includes a house, furniture, etc. The mortgagee cannot benefit from this type without the permission of the mortgager.”

Istikharaah – The Guidance Prayer
We are humans, powerless in this sphere of life, knowledgeable only enough to survive. So why shouldn’t we turn to Allah and seek His perfect help whenever we require it? Allah responds to the call of His servant when he asks for guidance, and we are after all seeking to do something in order to please Him.
Istikharaah means to ask Allah to guide you to the path best for you concerning an affair with two halal options. In matters that are waajib (obligatory), haraam (forbidden) or makrooh (disliked) there is no need to pray Istikharaah.
Salaat-ul-Istikharaah should only be used for matters that are mubaah (allowed) or in matters that are mustahabb (liked or encouraged), in which there is a decision to be made as to which one should be given priority.
Many wrong notions exist concerning istikharaah. Many Muslims will pray, read the du’a, and run to bed expecting to see a dream showing them their future wife, what her favourite colour is, and some other weird fantasy. That is not the purpose of this salaat.
The results of an istikharaah can take many forms. Basically, you go by your feelings, whether you now feel more favourable or not. Also, you may notice events have changed, either for or against you. Note that you must follow the results of an istikharaah, because not doing so is tantamount to rejecting Allah’s guidance once you’ve asked for it. Also, you should first clear your mind, not have your mind already decided, and then afterwards follow the results willingly.
It is a Sunnah that, if one must choose between permissible alternatives, one may pray two non-obligatory rak’at, even if they are of the Sunnah prayers or a prayer for entering the mosque, and so on, during any time of the day or night, and to recite therein whatever one wishes of the Qur’an after reciting Al-Fatihah. Then one praises Allah and sends salutations to the Prophet and recites the supplication in the Hadith below.
The description of Salaat-ul-Istikharah was narrated by Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah al-Salami (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
“The Messenger of Allah used to teach his companions to make istikharaah in all things, just as he used to teach them Surahs from the Qur’an. He said: ‘If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say:
Allaahumma inni astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi.
“O Allah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”
The Prophet, added that “then the person should mention his need.” [Sahih Bukhari]
Salaat-ul-Istikharaah is just two rak’ats of a non-obligatory prayer, prayed at anytime during the day, with a specific du’a at the end. While reciting the du’a, you should be thinking about the situation you want to be advised about with pure intentions and from the bottom of your heart. And Allah says that whenever he guides a heart aright it can never be misguided. Afterwards, you should “have a good feeling” about one of your options. Whatever option you feel is best right after you say the dua should be your decision. If you’re still in doubt, you can repeat.
Some people mistakenly wait for a dream to give a clear sign as to what decision to make, but this is not true, and often times it never really happens. In fact, dreams may lead you away from what Allah wants you to do, as Shaytaan might try to deceive you in your dreams.
Salat-ul-Istikharaah is for everybody. It’s a way for all of us to implore Allah for divine guidance and mercy. It is yet another invaluable resource from Allah to keep us on the straight and narrow Siraat al-Mustaqeem. The Prophet told all Muslims about Istikharaah, not just the scholars. Despite this gift, too many of us take the advice of our friends and parents, or accept the norms of our society and act without ever wondering what Allah wants us to do. We must stop looking to the dunya for guidance. We must begin to consult Allah.

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