4 Rabi al-Awwal 1444


By Admin
In Articles
Oct 28th, 2015

Islam came to purify the hearts of people. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “I was merely sent to perfect the moral conduct (the characteristics of people)” which means that when the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was sent to us there were traces of moral conduct, of good behavior, of Akhlaq. Allah sent him to perfect this, not to bring something that is new. As we said before, Islam came to purify the hearts. Why; because Allah azza wa jal looks at your hearts: the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said in a hadith collected by Sahih Muslim, “Allah azza wa jal does not look at your bodies or your wealth. But He looks at your hearts and your deeds.” Therefore, if you are of a particular nationality, it makes no difference. If you are tall or short, if you are fat or thin, if you are black or white, it does not matter. If your bank account is big or small, if you do not have a bank account to begin with, it does not matter. Allah azza wa jal looks at your heart but not only that, he looks at your deeds as well. Why; because so many times, people think that they have good hearts, even when their actions are evil. When you go to a person who works in a place that serves alcohol where he is the bar tender, and you tell him, “Akhi, this is Haraam,” he would say, “Akhi, my heart is good.” Yes, but your deeds are bad. Allah looks at both, your heart and your deeds. They have to coincide together. That is why Allah azza wa jal wants us to purify our hearts; through means of protection and through means of good deeds that cleanse and wash the hearts.

The life we are living in is a temporary phase. As we stated before, we are not here to stay; we are not here forever. It is a transitional period. This life is a stage of testing, it is a life of trials and tribulations, and it is a life of calamities. Why, because it is short, yet in accordance to what we do in it, Allah azza wa jal would either reward us or punish us on the Day of Judgement (I pray to Allah that he rewards us all).

Allah azza wa jal says in the Quran, and this is in black and white; you can read it, you can understand it, and you can know the purpose of your existence, “But as for him who feared standing before his Lord and restrained himself from impure, evil desires and lusts, verily Paradise will be his abode.” It will be his shelter, it will be his home, when he fears standing in front of Allah azza wa jal, when he fears his position in front of Allah azza wa jal on the Day of Judgement and he forbid himself from the lusts, from the desires that dwell in his heart. Allah promises such a person Jannah, a Paradise. In addition to this, Allah promised you, in another Ayah, two Paradises. In Surat-ur-Rahman, Ayah Number 46, Allah says, “And for him who fears the standing before their Lord, there will be two gardens.” This is your reward, and bonus, but only if you pass the test, if you pass the exam. One would say, “Alhamdulillah, I have no problem. I pray, I fast Ramadan, I even go and make Umrah once or twice a year. Therefore, I have passed the test.” Well not fully, that is not sufficient!

The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam tells us, “The biggest and most dangerous tribulation on earth would be the Dajjal.” However after the Dajjal, immediately come women. The sisters would get mad and say, “You men are so chauvinistic!” Wait; let me explain. These desires are two ways, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam explains in an authentic Hadith {reported by both Bukhari and Muslim, this has the highest level of authenticity; nothing is more authentic than these except the Qur’an}, “I have not left behind me any Fitnah {temptation} more harmful to men than women.” We understand this clearly; this needs no elaboration because it is true that every man feels this temptation towards women, right? That is, every man who has his hormones level correct! Every normal person has this in him. Not only the Ummah of Muhammad salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam but the previous nations also had the same tribulations. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam tells us, “The first temptation of Bani Israel, the sons of Israel, was in women.” So this is what Satan works on, this is one of his greatest tools. Satan is smart; he is devious. He is very smart! If someone tells me, “Sheikh Assim, can I see your résumé?” I would give him like 2-3 pages of all the courses I took, the positions I assumed in the private sector and in different departments. However, when Shaitan comes and you ask him for his résumé, he can present millions of pages, “I managed to seduce this person; I managed to persuade this person to kill, to rob, to make Kufr, to do Shirk!” All this would go back until Adam alaihissalam. Therefore, his experience is unlike us, which is only around 30/40 years. Satan’s experience is hundreds and thousands of years! Satan is very patient, he does not rush things and therefore it does not matter to him if you take a lifetime to fall into sin or if you fall into it immediately. He has all the time and that is why he never comes to me for example and say, “Sheikh Assim, do you love women? Come on let us commit adultery!” What will I say? “Are you crazy? What is this?” and I would not do it. It does not happen like that. His modus operandi is very devious; he starts gradually. He will come to me and say, “How about watching this movie? People say it’s very nice.” I will be like, “Hmmm nobody is watching, let me watch it!” I see beautiful women, “This woman is so beautiful, that one is so pretty, she is so gorgeous; I wish I could have one like those!” After a while Satan would make it easy for me to listen to music and then I start hearing songs about love and I look at my wife and say, “Eeeks, what is this, compare this to that, wow, my wife is so ugly, I wish I could have those lovely women!” However, I am still away from the sin of adultery at this point and then people introduce me to these magazines, these pictures of celebrities. I start following the stories of movie stars and now my heart starts to harden and I am getting a little bit away from Allah though I am still praying and I am still fasting. Then, a situation comes in which a Non-Muslim woman comes and extends her hand for me to shake, cornering me. I start thinking, “Hmmm, Islamically, this is Haraam but I am doing this for the Sake of Allah because if I don’t shake hands with her, she would hate Islam!” So I would shake hands with her and start a conversation, “How are you, how are you doing?” Then I think, “Why don’t I invite her for dinner, for Da’wah. Only for Da’wah, do not get me wrong. I am trying to do my work for Allah azza wa jal!” Then it is dinner and then it is Allah knows what, and now he is ready for falling into sin of adultery. This may take few years. No problem, Shaitan is patient and he is waiting. He does not have anything better to do.

Allah tells us, “O you, who believe, do not follow the steps of Shaitan.” This is how Shaitan comes to you. Unfortunately, we do not find out, we cannot figure it out until it is too late. Unless there is someone to guide you, that Allah sends to you, “Akhi, watch out. Do not do this. This is going to take you to the wrong place.” That is why Allah azza wa jal wants us to purify the heart. How do we do this? Men love women. However, the case may not be exactly same with women loving men, even though it is there. The passion and love of men to women is far greater than that of women to men. Why, because men are a little bit lousy. Their eyes go left, right and centre. Their hearts are able to accommodate multiple wives (and Islam limits this number to four). On the other hand, a decent woman can only love one man, by nature. She cannot love more than one man. This is how Allah created them. They are chaste, they are honorable, and men have their hanky-panky ways {may Allah azza wa jal have mercy on us all}. That is why some people argue, and I will give you an example. If you have plenty of righteous men, or at least people who look decent and honest and you put one of the most beautiful women on earth in the middle of them, what would happen to them? If there are twenty men, maybe eighteen of them would look at her and say, “Wow!” and the remaining two would say, “Astaghfirullah!” Is not this right? Now turn the tables. Have twenty women, and put the most gorgeous and handsome man in the world in between them. Maybe one or two would look while the rest would not. Why; this is because the natures of men and women are different. May Allah have mercy on men. That is why Islam protected women more on these terms, ma sha Allah. That is why Islam came to put a barrier between men and sin, and between women and sin; to protect our hearts. Anything that leads to fitnah, to temptations, Allah made it forbidden. Allah says in the Quran, “Do not go close to Zina {fornication}” One would say, “Akhi, I would have expected Allah to say, ‘Do not fornicate.’” No. This is the last stage. Allah tells us that we should not go close to whatever gets us close to a major sin. Therefore, anything that gets you close to there, Allah azza wa jal made it forbidden. On the top of the list is sending your gaze here and there, looking freely. The majority of Muslims do this, if not all. They consider lowering their gaze something that only nerds do and they would say, “Akhi, we have evolved, we are educated!” When I go to the hospital and I speak to the nurse, I look down and then everybody is looking at me. They say, “Are you sick? Why are you talking to the nurse while looking down? Is something wrong with your shoes?” I say, “Ya akhi, I have to lower my gaze.” They say, “She is not beautiful! She is forty years of age. She is ugly.” Subhan Allah, if they are ugly, do they become Halal for us? People nowadays do not lower their gaze. Allah azza wa jal instructed both men and women to lower their gaze because it is the first arrow of Shaitan. You do not see Shaitan and you do not see his arrows! Nowadays, however, if you talk to someone and tell him or her to lower their gaze, they will laugh at you. Some of them even justify this with nonsense. They say, “How do you want me to walk in the street? While I am driving, there may be a woman driving, in front of me, on my right or on my left. I may have an accident, because I am lowering my gaze.” Ya akhi, are you joking? Are you serious? Allah azza wa jal told you to lower your gaze and you have to comply. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told you how. He told you that the first gaze is yours but the second gaze is against you, it is a sin (meaning that Allah will not hold us accountable if we look at a woman accidentally the first time. However, if you look again, it will become a sin). So one says, “Okay, I watch movies and I do this; I am not blinking. And I can watch the whole thing without blinking!” Allah azza wa jal knows what you are doing. Whom are you trying to fool?

Why does Allah not want you to look at beautiful women? What will happen? Will anything harm Allah azza wa jal? Of course not, it is all only for your sake. Someone might say, “For my sake? I enjoy looking at women. I enjoy their beauty. I enjoy figures, I enjoy colors, and I enjoy everything in a woman. How would it harm me?” It WILL harm you. It will corrupt your heart. Do you remember how I am always comparing my wives? This is part of the corruption. It corrupts my marriage. It corrupts how I see things. Not only that, does not Allah know what He has created? The only one who knows what He has created is Allah. Therefore, when He tells you not to do something, it is for your own good. Allah azza wa jal does not lose anything. He owns everything. He is doing this for your own protection. “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and tell the believing women to lower their gaze.” This is an instruction to purify your heart. Not only that, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Whenever a man is in seclusion with a woman, Shaitan is the third with them.” You know this, do you not? How many of you go into an elevator where there is a beautiful woman, and then you two will be alone in the elevator? What do you do? You might say, “Wallahi Sheikh, wallahi, I have been there. It took me ten floors to remember the Hukm until we reached the ground floor. Then I thought, ‘Yeah, this is Haraam.’” Jazak Allah khair, jazak Allah khair, it is good that it was only ten floors, Alhamdulillah that you were not in a skyscraper! (sarcasm intended). It is not permissible! Some of you might say, “Sheikh we are in a hotel, we are in a big building, there are cameras everywhere.” Subhan Allah, Allah is watching you! It is not permissible for you to be in seclusion with a woman. Are you not a Muslim? “But Sheikh she is with me in the car, there are windows all around us, so this is not seclusion.” This IS seclusion. Many sisters go with a driver, alone, and they say that they are in the streets. Yes, this is true, but what goes on between you and the driver? Wallahi, I have seen this in Jeddah. The woman was wearing the veil, the man was the driver, and of course, he was not relative of hers. He was speaking and laughing. I could not see the woman’s face, but I assume that she was replying to what he was saying and laughing with him. Subhan Allah, I was shocked! He was a stranger, not to mention a Non-Mahram. They were talking and laughing with each other, and to top it all off, people say, “So what? Doesn’t a woman have the right to laugh and do humor and to socialize?” We will come to this later, In Shaa Allah.

Hence, men should not look at women, and this is part of honoring the women. They should not stay with them in seclusion. They should not touch them because Islam forbids shaking hands with a Non-Mahram woman. One would ask, “Even if she is my sister-in-law?” Yes, even if she is your sister-in-law. Another would ask, “Even if she is my uncle’s wife? She is like my mother. She is ninety years of age.” Yes, even if she is ninety years of age. It is Haraam. In an authentic hadith, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “It is better for a man to be stabbed in his head with an iron nail than to touch a woman who is not permissible for him to touch.” That is why the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam did not touch a single woman when he conquered Makkah. When the women came to accept Islam and to give the pledge of allegiance, they said, “Give us your hand so we can shake hands with you.” Remember, this is the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam; he has exemptions more than we do. What did the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam say? He said, “I do not shake hands with women.” How are we today? How are the Muslims today? Some might say, “Sheikh we do not shake hands but we kiss.” Subhan Allah, are you serious? “Yes, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said no touching. I am not touching; I am just kissing. She is my sister-in-law.” Akhi this is Hell. This leads to punishment. This is something of which you should be scared. Usually, people do not think about this because this is from one side.

A brother sent me an e-mail today asking, “Sheikh, what is the ruling on having women friends on Facebook, chatting with them, but they are Non-Mahram?” I said, “If you allow this for your daughter, wife and sister, then this is ok.”(sarcasm intended). He said, “Oh Sheikh, why would I allow it for them?” Subhan Allah, why would you allow it for yourself and make it forbidden for others? What is the ruling? “Yeah, yeah but I am a man.” Ma sha Allah, if you are a man, you are allowed to do Haraam, and because they are your wife, your sister, and your daughter, they are not allowed to do it? No, it is the same for everyone.

Due to the attraction aspect in women, which is far greater than the attraction aspect in men, Allah azza wa jal made it more difficult for women and emphasized on the importance of women taking care in how they speak and in how they look and appear. Allah azza wa jal addressed the wives of the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, who are our mothers. Does anyone marry his mother? Does anyone have ill feelings towards his mother? Of course not, yet Allah tells them in the Qur’an that if you keep your duty to Allah then be not soft in speech. Whom is He addressing? He is addressing Aisha, Zainab, Hafsah, Umm Habibah and the other wives of the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam.{may Allah be pleased with them all} Do not be soft in speech. Why, because “Lest he, in whose heart is a disease, should be moved with desire; but speak in an honorable manner.” This address cascades down to all women of the Muslims.

Now, does a woman with a soft voice affect men? The majority say yes. That is why they choose women in call centres. I get two or three calls every day from women in marketing agencies, “Assalamu alaikum Sheikh Assim (in very soft and sweet tones).” I look at my wife and say, “I never heard my name spoken so beautifully before.” Once this happened, I could not use my right eye for 3 days but the fourth day, Alhamdulillah, it started to open after she had smacked me in my eye. Never tell your wife such a joke, ever! They use this; this is what they do. Because the voice of a man, no matter how masculine it is, you will never find a woman saying, “Ah! I love this voice!” On the other hand, men are captivated by beautiful, soft and nice voices of a woman. That is why Allah tells them not to do this, not to speak in a soft voice. When a woman talks to a man, she should be honorable and serious and should go straight to the point. She should not start with small talk like “How are you?” “How are the kids?” You go to the market and you find women negotiating the price; bargaining with the salesperson, “OK, make this for 10 Riyals, just for me.” What are you doing, sister? Moreover, she is wearing the Niqab and the gloves! This is completely unacceptable. She has to speak in an honorable and a good way.

Allah instructed women not to show their adornment, not to show their Zeenah except to their Mahram. Hence, a woman must not beautify herself except for her husband or in front of her Mahrams. I get so many complaints from men saying that they buy dresses for their wives only to see them wearing them only when they go to weddings or to parties but they never wear them for their men. Subhan Allah, you find the woman staying with her husband but there is nothing on her face. However, before she goes out, she spends 2 hours in front of the mirror putting make-up and beautifying herself. Why; it is because she wants other people to be impressed with her rather than her husband. The slightest thing that may trigger temptation in a man’s heart, Allah makes it forbidden. Even while walking, just imagine! Allah says, “And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal as to what they hide of their adornment.” When a woman wears something around her leg or her foot, the types of jewelry that makes a ringing sound, this is forbidden. Go to malls and watch the men. Do not watch women, watch only men (addressed to men), and laugh your head off. You will find people, respectable and decent people, married people, walking, and the minute they hear the high-heeled shoe sound, ‘click-clock click-clock’ immediately you find heads turning. It might be a man wearing a high heel! Nevertheless, the sound itself ignites something. Subhan Allah, Shaitan works in strange ways. His job is to tempt you.

The Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam went further to forbid women from wearing perfumes for Non-Mahrams, even if they are going to the Masjid. Abu Hurairah radi Allahu anhu saw a woman fully covered and he found a beautiful scent coming from her. He asked her, “Where are you going, ya Amatar Jabbar (O slave of Allah, The Almighty)? Are you going to the Masjid?” She said, “Yes.” He said to her, “Go back and have a full shower, because the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Whoever (from women) goes to the Masjid wearing perfume, Allah does not except her prayer until she goes back and has a full shower.’” This happens just because of that perfume. Biologists, in their recent discovery, have found that there is a gland in the noses of men, which provokes sexual desire. Not only that, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Whoever (a woman) wears perfume and goes out of her house and passes by men so that they can find the smell of the perfume, she is committing an act of fornication (adultery).” The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam instructed women that when they come to the Masjid, they should come without any sort of perfume. By the way, what is the Masjid? The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “The most beloved piece of land to Allah is the Masjid and the worst and most abhorred piece of land to Allah is the market.” How do our women go to the markets? They put on themselves half a bottle of perfume. Why, what are you doing? “It is because I am a Muslimah. I have to show people that Islam is beautiful and that it smells good.” Yeah, but you are doing it at the wrong place. You should do this, but you do not do this to Non-Mahrams. It does more harm than good.

Immorality, in our community, is something with which we cannot bargain. That is why the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam protected the community, even when you are leaving the community. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment to travel without a Mahram.” Therefore, here we put a full stop. “Where is she going?” “She is going to visit her parents in her home country.” “Does she have any Mahram with her?” “No.” “This is haraam. This is forbidden.” “But, her father is dying.” “It is still haraam. You go with her (addressed to her Mahram).” The Mahram might say, “I cannot take a vacation.” We say to him, “Send someone (Mahram) from her home country.” “I do not have money.” She sits. “Her father is dead.” She sits. It is not permissible at all for a woman to travel alone without a Mahram. “What about for Hajj?” Islam exempts her from Hajj (which is a pillar of Islam) if she does not have a Mahram. She cannot, even if she is the richest woman on earth (whom I would like to know her. Do not get me wrong, I am just joking.). She cannot travel without a Mahram. This is the beauty of Islam. Someone who is her Mahram has to accompany her, who would take care of her.

In the Masjid: we have to protect the community. We have to protect the morality of the Muslims. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam tells us, “The worst rows for the men are the last, and the worst rows for the women are the first.” Why, this is because Allah wants them to stay as far as possible from each other even in places of worship. Now I am shocked when I go to ‘Islamic’ gatherings. I am giving the lecture and I find the women intermingling with the men. Hence, this is a problem nowadays; the issue of morality in the Muslim community. Nowadays, our stands; the way we look at these things has changed drastically. People are so engaged in these Haraam things knowingly or unknowingly, and they find it a problem because everyone watches movies. If you tell someone, Akhi, lowering the gaze is obligatory, he laughs at you. “Yeah, yeah, lowering the gaze in the street, in the office, but watching TV…why is it wrong? I cannot touch it.” Many brothers say, “I cannot touch it, so what is wrong in that?” Okay, watch pornography! At this, they say, “Oh, pornography is Haraam!” Why is it Haraam, if you cannot touch it? Where is the line? Is showing the thighs okay? Is wearing a thong okay? Where is the line where we can say, “No, this is Haraam?” It is all Haraam. Allah tells you to lower your gaze, whether on TV or in the street.

If you look at the Muslims nowadays, they are shaking hands with Non-Mahrams, they are chatting, laughing, having this affection towards the opposite sex and if you tell them that this is Haraam, what will they tell you? They will say, “This is honest and pure friendship.” Is there anything honest and pure between a wolf and a sheep? When I see a wolf and a sheep walking together, I say to the wolf, “Stay away from the sheep”, and the wolf says, “This is honest. He is my friend. We are going training”, what do I tell him? There is not anything like this. If you even look at the strongest and most advanced countries in the world, the President, who had a beautiful wife, cheated on her with an intern who was half his age and working in his office. He cheated on her, which resulted in a big scandal. Where is the friendship now? We might get answers like, “It was a friendship, only cigars.” Again, this is Haraam and this is what happens in all communities.

Expanding a little more, almost everybody has a Facebook account or a Twitter account. If you go to Facebook, as some of the brothers said, it is not Facebook, it is Face Hell. It is Face Hell because you see so many things. In the beginning, I said that it is Haraam to use Facebook. However, recently, a year or so ago, I started my page, just to post things that I feel that people would benefit from. Sometimes, however, Shaitan comes to you and says, “Look at the profile of this person or that person.” Wallahi, you will be shocked! I visited the page of one of my Mahram relatives. I went into the photo gallery and I was shocked and embarrassed of the photos of free mixing, of liquor, of the parties, ‘Christmas 2010’, ‘New Year’ and so on. What is this? This was one of my Mahrams; but of course not living in Saudi Arabia. This happens! Some of the brothers give me some advice, “Sheikh, what you have said is wrong and this is wrong Fatwa.” Jazaka Allahu Khairan, it is your opinion. Then, when I click the brother’s page, I find a big list of movies, albums of songs, and pictures of actors-actresses! Moreover, at the end he says, “I love Islam”, along with a picture of the Qur’an! This is showing the people who you are and what you are. When Allah has concealed this, you are exposing it. Therefore, men and women having this communication, this friendship and saying that it is pure and honest friendship, there is nothing as pure and honest friendship between Non-Mahram men and women.

If you look at the Muslims, the perfumes, the fashion, and the things they wear! If you look at some of the men, I have seen youth going around in shorts, to malls and to public places. Would you like your sister to watch men wearing these things in the streets? Do you not have any modesty in you? I have seen sisters wearing an Abaya or a Jilbab but it actually looks like a nightgown. It is so tight at the waist, exposing everything that you can expose! This is not permissible for a Muslimah. Where is your morality? Where is your Deen? Where is your modesty? Moreover, where is the husband? Where is the brother? Why are they not supervising all of this? As a result, people are now in a dilemma. “Sheikh, we have been living like this for our entire lives so what should we do?” You have only one option: go back to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Now you get people saying, “Well, that would be too difficult. That would mean I would have to compromise 80% of my life. No, no, we have a TV set and we have the remote controls, so let us go to the Islamic channels and listen to one of the Sheikhs and get the Fatwa that would suit us.” We call this Fatwa shopping. You take your cart and go into the supermarket, “This is a shampoo, and this is a conditioner, but this is 3 in 1 so I will take this one.” Similarly, you go Fatwa shopping, open a satellite channel or Internet site, “Sheikh So-and-so or Dr. So-and-so said that it is okay to shake hands with women as long as your heart is pure.” Another one says, “It is okay for a woman to travel without a Mahram as long as she is in the company of trustworthy people.” Are you going to interview those other passengers to know who is trustworthy and who is not? “No, but they look okay so travel, Bismillah!” Another comes and says, “Sheikh So-and-so says that watching movies and TV programs is permissible because it draws you closer to Allah when you see the rapist being put in jail for 7 years. This is justice!” Is this justice? You are watching the raping and the things that are not permissible to watch, you are getting Shaitan playing with your mind, and you say that it is getting you closer to Allah! Wallahi, if the Qur’an and the Sunnah did not get you closer to Allah, nothing will. Everything else would draw you further away from Allah. You have so-called Shuyukh and other people who come and make everything Halal, and people who follow them may end up following them into Hell. We should only follow the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah. Once you do this, you are in safe hands In Sha Allah.

Now, how can we change? There are a number of steps. The first is that which should always come as a priority for all of us but you will only find someone doing this very, very rarely. It is extremely important for you as a Muslim to KNOW WHO YOU ARE WORSHIPPING. Whom are you worshipping? The answer is Allah. Do have any doubts? No. Okay, what Names and Attributes of Allah do you know? Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem, Al-Hakeem, Al-Azeem, Jabbar and we run out of names. The best we will do is 20, and even if I ask you what the meaning of Al-Lateef is, you will not know. Maybe you will give me the translation but you will not know how to worship Allah through this Name. If I ask you the meaning of Jabbar, you say, “Almighty.” However, is that all? No, Jabbar also means the One Who conceals your sins and forgives them. It is like when you break a bone you will make Tajbeer for Jabbar Azza wa jal Who amends your shortcomings and conceals them. If I ask you what the meaning of Al-Muqeet is, you think, “Muqeet? Is it a name of Allah?” “Al Mateen; is it a name of Allah?” You do not know Allah azza wa Jall. That is why, when you pray, you do not feel the connection. You recite so fast that you do not know what you are doing. You are not contemplating, you are not pondering on the beautiful names of Allah. That is why when you say, ‘Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen’, this word fills the universe in this life and in the hereafter, when you praise Allah azza wa Jall. Not only that, Allah answers you and says, “My servant has praised me.” When you say, ‘Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem,’ Allah says, “My servant has complimented me.” When you say, ‘Maliki Yowmi Ad-Deen,’ Allah says, “My servant has glorified me.” When you read the Qur’an, when you read the Salah, when you find this communication between you and Allah azza wa Jall, when you know Allah by His Beautiful Names and Attributes, only then you will think twice before sinning, because I know that he is As-Sami and Al-Baseer, The All-Hearing and The All-Seeing. So whenever I want to say something, I know that He is going to record it, so I will not say it. When I want to look at something and think, “Wallahi, Ya Akhi, this woman is beautiful, I have to look.” No, you do not. Allah is watching you. So many times, we neglect the fact that Allah is watching us because we do not know Allah azza wa Jall. However, if someone tells you that that is a beautiful woman, you want to look, but you see Sheikh Assim coming, what would you do? You would start saying Astaghfirullah. While you are looking down saying the Istighfar, I am taking my chance to look at that beautiful woman. Why, this is because I do not know Allah azza wa Jall. We have this ignorance of who Allah is. Hence, I call all of my brothers and sisters to study the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah, even if you do this once a day. The maximum you can collect is 99, if not less, because the Hadeeth in Tirmidhi is not authentic, the one you always see in the Masjid. Not all the Names in this Hadeeth are authentic, but the majority of them are. So, study the Names once a day and teach them to your children. Let them grow up knowing who they are worshipping, and they would feel the love for Allah azza wa Jall, not just the fear. We only teach our children, “Fear Allah or He will throw you in Hell. He will punish you. He will cut you in pieces.” No! Allah azza wa Jall has Beautiful Names and Attributes which make you hope and wish for His Mercy, and love Him.

Moreover, you have to ward off evil thoughts. To protect your chastity and to preserve the morality in the community, whenever you have bad thoughts, do not go to your bed and grab the pillow and start thinking. No! Whenever you have these thoughts, ward them off. Do something useful, do something that would draw you closer to Allah azza wa jal, though Allah will not hold you accountable for what goes through your mind, but this will corrupt your heart. By His Generosity, Allah will not hold us accountable for what we think. Only the things that we talk about or act upon; other than that Allah has forgiven our thoughts. Those who have a problem with these thoughts should get married as soon as possible. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam advised the youngsters to get married. If they are unable to get married, they should fast. Now, is it a problem for men or youngsters to marry nowadays? Is it? Is it difficult? Some brothers say yes while some say no. It is an issue of dispute among the Scholars, Alhamdulillah. {Whenever someone has a problem and asks you a question, “What is the ruling on this?” say, “It is an issue of dispute among the Scholars” and you will always be in the right.} Marrying someone who is not their age is an issue for youngsters. However, if there were a youngster, 22 or 23 years of age, who is unable to marry, would he not be able to find a 50-year-old woman who would marry him? Will he find someone? Definitely, you will. You will find many women who are over their forties and want to get married and nobody is interested. If a woman 40 years of age, who would propose to her; a 75 or an 80 year old, whose expiry date is approaching FAST (and he has to be recycled!). Nobody will propose to a 40-year old or a 50-year old. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam married Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, when he was 25 years old, with she being older than he was. She was 40-45 years of age. Hence, there is no problem. If you want to protect your chastity, do not start putting conditions like, “I like my wife to be this high and this color and this age…” No, no, if you want to stay away from Haraam, marry anyone that is available and Allah will protect you. If not, then fast.

Among the things that would protect your morality and your chastity is staying away from bad company. Your friends are the first to draw you into Haraam. Look at your roommate; look at your colleagues at work. What do they always tell you? “Come on, be a man. Come on; make a change, just one one-night stand. Let’s go and do this, let’s do that” and they usually call people to sin. Stay away from such company. Choose those who always come to the Masjid. Choose those who always accompany you to Qur’an circles or circles of knowledge because this sort of companionship, in sha Allah, will take you to Paradise.

Stay away from places of temptation. In Saudi, you usually find the youth in malls. Why; shopping? Yes, but different type of shopping! They are the wolves looking at the sheep. Nowadays, even the girls are as dangerous as the boys are. Nowadays, the boys have become the sheep and the girls have become the wolves by the way they dress, by the way they look. It is intimidating. I go into a mall and I see these girls looking at me, I say, “Astaghfirullah! Better wear the Hijab” and I feel like covering myself with my Shumagh. They have no shame, they are so outgoing and so forth coming. I feel scared. Hence, you stay away from these places.

Stay away from websites and from the Internet if you think that, “Okay, I am just going to answer 1 e-mail” and this drags you to 6 hours of browsing. When you open YouTube and you find so many clips on the side, you think, “This looks nice and this looks nice and this looks nice” and you keep doing this for 6-7 hours. No, avoid this. There is a link, I think, for a safe Islamic YouTube where you will not find any clips on the side whenever you open a clip. You should use this.

Stay away from TV, the worst companion. It brainwashes you. Television brainwashes you. Now, Muslims range from China and Indonesia up east to the USA down west. In between, if you go to Africa, you will find a black man thinking that a black woman is the most beautiful thing on earth. If you go to Indonesia or to China or to Malaysia, you will find the people there looking at the women in their own country to be the most gorgeous and beautiful. If you go to America, it is the same thing. However, nowadays, with the TV, with the media, it is all blending. Now, the beauty standards are what you see in movies, what you see in models (if you can call them models, that is, when they look like skeletons). If you find a woman who is a little bit chubby, men say, “No, no, I am not going to marry her. She has to be less than 50kg in weight.” You want her to be less than 50kg in weight! What are you doing, selling rice? Do you want to carry her on your shoulders or something? What are you saying? “No, no, no, she has to be this and her hair has to be that and she has to be like this actress or that one.” Ya Akhi, look in the mirror before you put conditions. Look in the mirror and then put your conditions. “Okay, about the weight, umm, no, sorry. About the hair, yeah, my hair is curly. About the color, I am dark.” Now you will end up with a good list. However, if you make this ‘dream-girl’ list, know that she is also thinking of a ‘knight in shining armor!’

Try your level best to spend your time in beneficial things. This takes Shaitan away from you. This kills Shaitan; when you spend your time doing beneficial things like acquiring knowledge like going through the Seera{biography} of the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. Wallahi, the more you read the Seera, the more your heart is softened and the closer you get to Allah azza wa jal. I ask people, “When did the Battle of Hudaibiyah take place?” and they start thinking, “Hudaibiyah? Was this a battle? I know Uhud and Badr. Oh, I should go back to reference books.” If I ask you about the names of the 10 Heaven-bound Companions, I get answers like, “Uh, Bilal” and I say Bilal is not one of them. “But he is in Jannah!” Yes, he is in Jannah but he is not one of the 10. Another says, “Amru ibn al-Khattab.” Amru- what is this? There is Amr ibn al-Aas. “Yeah, yeah, but they nicknamed him Amru ibn al-Khattab!” You will be shocked! However, if you ask someone, “Who is the goalie of Manchester United?” you will get the answer straight away and everybody will be able to tell you everything about him. On the other hand, when it comes to the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and his Companions, we do not have any knowledge! Go and study and you will find that your heart softens and you will become closer to Allah azza wa Jall.

Finally, one of the greatest means of helping you avoid these temptations is to remember paradise. Everything that you see is nothing, compared to what is in paradise. If you see someone and you admire her beauty; imagine what would be the beauty of the women of paradise be like! The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “If her headscarf falls on earth, the whole earth would fill up with her perfume! Can you imagine that! How far can the smell go if I put the best perfume in the world; maybe to the end of the Masjid? Your wife in Jannah, if her headscarf falls on earth, it will fill the whole earth with perfume. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam says, “If she just looks down at the people of earth, all earth would be lit by light because of her beauty.” The sisters might say, “What about us?” it is the same for them as well. The men are hundred feet tall, they are 33 years old and they do not have beards! Those who are struggling with the beards, in Jannah they will not have any beards Alhamdulillah! The men of Jannah will be very strong and handsome. Therefore, whenever you find these temptations, always think of what awaits you in paradise, if you are patient, if you are tolerant and once you start abiding by the Qur’an and Sunnah. May Allah azza wa Jall make us one of those who are admitted to Jannah and may Allah azza wa Jall preserve our chastity and morality and help us to make our community an Islamic community based on the Qur’an and Sunnah, Aameen!

The quotations from the Qur’an and Hadiths in this article are a rough translation of the meanings of the original text!

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