Words of wisdom from a few amalgamated reminders from the esteemed Shaykh/Dr. Haitham al Haddad (May Allah bless and protect him) to university students
Let us come back to the reality of the situation and internalize the truth of the matter. Why are you here? Whats your purpose? Whats your goal? Whats your target? Whats your aspiration? Whats your aim? What is it that you seriously want to achieve?
If we analyse the time spent by the average human being with the benign engagements of life we extrapolate that the average person spends most of their day revolved around sleeping, eating, driving, talking and family life yet without any type of internal goal as to why they engage in such activities only to come to the conclusion that it is for the sake of doing it and nothing more! Why spend 5,6,7,8….10,15 years in study only to then get a job and work until you die? Why study medicine, Islamic studies, engineering et al? why oh why? Whereas other Muslims are doing the exact same physical actions yet they are earning mountains of righteous deeds and building high palaces made of Gold and Silver in paradise. Why dear brothers and sisters?
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. [The Winnowing Winds: 56]
“Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner.” [Al-An’am 06:162-163]
People would never engage in anything except that it has direct affirmation in the remembrance of Allah The Most High. The food on our table will be consumed for nutritional value to continue worshiping Allah, Our sleep with be enough (not exhaustive nor too miserly) to re freshen energy for our day to day transactions, every free moment that we obtain shall be used to remember Allah The Most High. A person who acknowledges this and affirms it practically will never become tired and will always be cautious in questioning their inner self whether this act is for the sake of Allah The Most High or not and reminding that every single act will be accountable for on the day of judgement!
A scholar by the name of Ibn Abi Jamir once stated that he wished that there were scholars whose single sole job it was to remind people to rectify their intentions. In order that they may revisit this premise about whether or not this act is truly devoted to raise the word of Allah The Most High to the highest and to solely seek His pleasure hence de-facto ensuring that we consistently renewing this premise.
Imam of the Muhadditheen, Sufyan ath-Thawri once said;
“I have not treated anything more difficult then my intention, because it keeps changing.”
The scholar of the Salaf, Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak said:
“Maybe a small action is made great by its intention, and maybe a great action is made small by its intention.”
There are many examples of contemporaries who strove to achieve this dream and are now praised by the Muslim Ummah. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen, Shaykh Bin Baz and Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (May Allah The Most Merciful bestow mercy upon them all) were known mostly for their humbleness, refined etiquettes and chivalrous attributes more than their extensive knowledge, yet none of them ever considered themselves to be scholars. One of the heads of the Haramain (Makkah and Madinah) known by the name of Saleh Al Kusair (May Allah The Most Merciful bestow mercy upon him) was also man of intentions, a man with his merits could have inherited any top class salary post of his liking in Saudia Arabia but was so humble that he published a book under a pen name to hide his good deeds, a story of the Shaykh was that once he traveled to South Africa via plane and upon arrival the invitees were frantically looking for him until they gave up their search, they later found out that he arrived to South Africa not adorned as a ‘Shaykh‘ but with simply sub-Indian style clothing so as to not show himself of someone of importance.
We need to constantly remember that failure to comply to this imperative trajectory faces the most destructive ramifications imaginable as stated by The Prophet Muhammad (Upon whom be peace):
“Whoever seeks knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, or to debate with the foolish, or to draw people’s attention, Allah will put him into the Fire.” (Narrated from Tirmidhi as taken from Mishkat).
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Upon whom be peace) say:
The first of people against whom judgment will be pronounced on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who died a martyr. He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognize them. [ The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I fought for you until I died a martyr. He will say: You have lied – you did but fight that it might be said [of you]: He is courageous. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. [Another] will be a man who has studied [religious] knowledge and has taught it and who used to recite the Quran. He will be brought and Allah will make known to his His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I studied [religious] knowledge and I taught it and I recited the Quran for Your sake. He will say: You have lied – you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you]: He is learned. And you recited the Quran that it might be said [of you]: He is a reciter. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. [Another] will be a man whom Allah had made rich and to whom He had given all kinds of wealth. He will be brought and Allah will make known to his His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I left no path [untrodden] in which You like money to be spent without spending in it for Your sake. He will say: You have lied – you did but do so that it might be said [of you]: He is open-handed. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire.
It was related by Muslim (also by at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i).
”….It must be noted that if Allah knows that a person is committed to achieving his goal He will help him to achieve it. It is amazing to read the stories that establish this point. Once Abdullah ibn al-Zubair, Musab ibn al-Zubair, Urwah ibn al-Zubair and Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab gathered together in al-Hijr next to the Kaʽbah and they said to each other let us wish. As for Abdullah ibn al-Zubair, he wanted to be the caliph over the Hijaz, Musab ibn al-Zubair wanted to be the governor of Iraq and to marry beautiful women. Urwah ibn al-Zubair desired to be a scholar of hadith and Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab wished for paradise. al-Dhahabi, the great historian said that everyone received what they desired (we pray that Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab will receive paradise)”
Which reminds me of the final ayah that we recite at least once a week on Fridays. When Allah The Most High, The Most Merciful states:
“So whosoever hopes for the meeting with His Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of His Lord.”
We ask Him by His Beautiful Names to bless with with that blessed meeting to see His Blessed Face. Ameen