The Answer to the Heat Wave of Fitnah: Grab the Umbrella of Taqwa
Advice for Summer by Ustadh Suhaib Webb
I hope all of you are well and pray that everyone is in a state of being close to Allah. Just 10 short years ago I was struggling as a new convert to Islam and one of the greatest hurdles was the ladies. My college days were rough in many regards. Before my conversion I was a successful DJ (I had just got my hands on a really nice four track mixer. Okay so you know I'm old school. But, in those days I could make it fly) and was about to walk the Burning Sands and pledge Alpha Phi Alpha. All praise be to God that instead I became Muslim and slowly started to pull out of those things. It was rough but the most difficult part was dealing with the other gender.
Young brothers and sisters I feel your pain man. It is difficult and as the summer months roll up it gets more and more difficult to manage as the clothes roll up as well. We all know the routine: "Lower the gaze! Lower the gaze! Lower the gaze!" But, if the heart is not lowered in awe of Allah's magnificence and His tremendous bounties, then how can we expect the eyes to lower?
Tonight I attended a reading of the Shamail Muhamadiyah with Sh. Ibrahim al-Khalifa from Saudi Arabia. He is visiting Egypt for a few weeks and I had just finished my exam and decided to go and listen to his dars. The streets in Cairo are a mix of cars, buses, donkeys, cows and pollution that, seriously, when you make wudu slides off your face. I can only liken the air to a full vacuum bag that spews its contents creating a small cloud of dust. However, in the heat I remembered the homies in the West: My Boyz in Chicago, the brothers in L.A and most importantly the brothers in the Bay. I miss them all. The love for brothers is something that we should cherish and hold on to like we hold on to our checkbooks.
Anyways, after reading from the Shamail, the Sheikh moved on to al-Muhasibi's Risalat Mustarshidin with the tahqiq by Sh. Abdul Fatah Abu Ghuda who is considered one of the greatest scholars of hadith from the last century. The Sheikh was talking about worshiping Allah as though you see the Hereafter close and understand that your time is up. "Be ready! Don't let this life delude you! Be good people. Treat others with respect and worship your Lord as though you are going to leave this life soon." It was a real masterpiece to watch the Sheikh tie vice with the rope of responsibility and knowing that one is going to die one day and answer for his time. Imam al-Muhasibi's text is intense and I felt a buzz in my chest as the Sheikh started to get into the flow.
This is for the all the young brothers and sisters struggling:
The Sheikh, after talking about this responsibility linked it to a very interesting story. That, for me, is the sign of a good Imam,teacher or Sheikh that they can tie things into our daily lives. Thus, such a style gives the din fresh legs, opens up one's heart and soothes the coals of sin. He said that during the time of 'Umar there was a young man who's desires got the best of him. It all started with the look and the next thing the young man was alone with a woman. Suddenly, as the clock was starting to turn, the young man heard a verse of Qur'an being recited that reminded him of Allah's greatness. He left the young woman, stood up shaking from the fear of Allah and fell dead from this fear. 'Umar (may Allah have mercy on him) buried this youth and after hearing how he died walked over to the fresh grave and recited the following verse from Surah al-Rahman, "And for the one who fears the meeting with Allah there are two gardens." Suddenly a response came from the grave reciting the verse, "We have found the promise of our Lord to be true."
Dear brothers and sisters,
The summer is upon you and it is no joke. Statistics show that as the barometer rises that evil rises as well. One of the most important things you can take with you is Allah's awesome nature and bounties. Reflect! Turn off the PS3! Put down the I-Pod and think for a minute! Put handcuffs on your Internet use and know that you will be asked about your youth. Where are you headed? What are you doing and how are you going to use this summer? Take some time away from the gadgets and turn on your heart. Make some goals for yourself to do some good things in your community. Remember that when you see something that causes your temperature to fly that Allah is watching you. He knows what is in your heart and understands that it ain't easy. Ask Him for His help and try to withstand the attacks of Iblis. I have a lot of faith that our young brothers and sisters can do loads of wonderful things in their communities!
Cool the heat of summer with the following:
1. Good friends who take you to good places. The Prophet (sa) said, "A person is on the faith of his friend." One nice note about the hadith of the three people stuck in the cave: if they had not been together then they would have not been able to help each other get out. However, since they were all decent guys they were able to work together and use their good to remove the rock from the cave.
2. Have some goals for this summer:
1. Community (volunteer with any number of Muslim/Non-Muslim organziations and do something good for your neighborhoods
2. Spiritual (get those five prayers rocking and if you are real with it you will throw in some night prayers and extra fasts)
3. Educational (try and attend some lessons or educational programs that will boost your faith)
4. Family (spend some time with the wife/husband (find one) kids and close relatives
3. Have some nice activities:
2. B-Ball tourneys (all nighters) followed by Qiyam, Fajir and some Aunties phat spicy eggs
3. Sleep overs
5. Weekly 'Itikaf (inshallah, when I'm back in the states I'm down)
I ask Allah to help us, bless us and let us use our time well. I would appreciate it if whoever reads this could help us generate a list of things to do this summer.