Category Archives: Purifications of the Soul

If You Feel No Shame Then Do As You Wish

On the authority of Abû Masûd Uqbah bin ‘Âmir al-Ansâri [radî Allâhu ‘anhu] who said: “The Messenger of Allâh [sall-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: ‘From the words of the previous prophets that the people still find are: If you feel no shame, then do as you wish’.” [Al-Bukhârî]

This portion of the hadîth [i.e. “If you feel no shame, then do as you wish.”] is in the form of an imperative or command. For that reason, it has been interpreted in a number of different ways. Each interpretation shall be discussed separately.

The First Interpretation

Some scholars say that although this phrase is in the form of an imperative, it is actually not meant to be an order. Instead, it is a form of threat or warning. Its meaning is, in other words: “If you have no shame or modesty, then do whatever you wish and Allâh will recompense you – punish you – for what you do.”

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Ingratitude To Allâh

Due to ignorance, people have a very narrow view on divine blessings, disregarding whatever blessings they have in their life. Thus, the do not express their gratitude therefore. Seeing that all humans enjoy the same blessings, they do not regard them as such, since all people share them. Hence, they do not thank the Almighty for giving them air, even though if it does not reach them for a moment, they will die. They are not grateful unless they suffer such an adversity then become rescued. This is sheer ignorance.

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True Contentment, Peace And Honour In This Life

Allâh has stated:

“Whoever does righteous deeds – whether male or female – while a believer, We shall certainly give them a good life and We will certainly grant them their rewards in accordance to the best of what they used to perform.” [An-Nahl 16:97]

In his commentary to this verse, Ibn Kathîr notes that this means that whoever performs the righteous deeds, which are acts of obedience in accord with the Qur’ân and Sunnah, will be given a good life in this world and in the Hereafter he will receive rewards according to the best of what he used to perform. He stated that “the good life” implies all forms of contentment and tranquillity. Such has been reported from ‘Ali, Ibn ‘Abbâs, Ikrimah and Wahb bin Munnabih. It is also recorded from Ibn ‘Abbâs that it means happiness. Ad-Dhuhâk states that it refers to lawful provisions and worship in this life. [1]

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The Means To Istiqâmah

There are many forces and pressures upon a person that attempt to drive him away from the path of istiqâmah. Satan and his allies will do their utmost to make believers stray from the Straight Path. Therefore, before concluding the discussion of this hadîth concerning istiqâmah, some of the ways and means that help a person remain along the Straight Path should be mentioned.

Briefly stated, the following, Allâh willing, are beneficial to keep a person along the Straight Path:

1. Turning to the Qur’ân, reading benefiting from its teachings: Reading the Qur’ân strengthens a person’s îmân, reminds him of Allâh and of the Hereafter. It reminds him of his real purpose in life and the fleeting nature of this world. All of these aspects are very important in helping a person stay along the Straight Path. They will make the person realise that there is nothing in this world that is so desirable or necessary that one should risk straying from the Straight Path. Furthermore, reading the Qur’ân will show the person what the Straight Path actually is so that he may avoid swerving by avoiding innovations, heresies and incorrect beliefs or practices.

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Why Do I Need To Ask Allâh [SWT] for Guidance?

If it is asked why is one supplicating for guidance to the Straight Path when a Muslim is already regarded to be on the Straight Path? Shaykh-ul-Islâm ibn Taymiyyah says:

…The case mentioned above is similar to what some of them ask concerning His saying: “Guide us to the Straight Path” [Al-Fâtihah 1:6] saying: ‘Allâh has already guided the believer, so what benefit is there in seeking guidance?’ Then some of them reply by saying that the meaning is ‘Keep us firm upon guidance’ as the Arab would say to the one who is asleep, ‘Sleep until I come to you’. Others say that the meaning is, ‘Keep our hearts firm upon the guidance’ and that the request for firmness has been omitted. Yet others from amongst them say that it means, ‘Increase me in guidance.’

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Devotion To Allâh

The Gnostics have no business other than their Master, and they have no desire for anything besides Him…

…One of them said: “Whoever tells you that Allâh is his Master, yet he has a desire for other than Him, do not believe him.”

Dâwûd at-Tâ’î used to say during the night: “My desire for You has negated all other desires, and it has come between me and the desire for sleep. My longing for looking on at You has destroyed all worldly delights and has come between me and carnal lusts. I am in Your prison, O Kind One [Al-Karîm]!”

What business have I with other than Him?
What business have I
With a partner who would turn my heart from loving Him?
What would I do if turns He away and all hopes are frustrated?
He can replaced me but I have none to replace Him!

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The “Challenge” Of Istiqâmah

Concerning istiqâmah, Fakhr ad-Dîn ar-Râzi stated:

“Istiqâmah is a very difficult matter since it encompasses: (a) beliefs, as one must be free of likening Allâh to any of His creatures or denying any of His attributes; (b) deeds, as one must keep from changing or distorting deeds in any way; and (c) behaviour, as one must avoid the path of exaggeration as well as that of lack of action.” [1]

Similarly, al-Ghazzâli stated:

“Being steadfast along the path in this world is as difficult as being steadfast on the path that is over the Hellfire. Both of them are finer than a strand of hair and sharper than a sword.” [2]

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