Controlling Desires (Hadith No. 299)
Today’s Hadith is very much relevant to Kitaab-ul-Haydh, but my discussion will be a bit off-topic..
Narrated ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Aswad:
(on the authority of his father) ‘Aisha said: “Whenever Allah’s Apostle wanted to fondle anyone of us during her periods (menses), he used to order her to put on an Izar and start fondling her.” ‘Aisha added, “None of you could control his sexual desires as the Prophet could.”
Prophet (SAW) had nine wives at once. He didn’t have to control his desires. Yet, we find that his own wives testify to his amazing hold on himself. It’s a Sunnah that we need to follow. We need to control all sorts of desires, from food to sex. Even when we’re leading a Halal lifestyle, we can’t have everything we want, as much as we want and whenever we want. It’s a great quality to possess: control.
Don’t like what you read? Tell me, what’s the main purpose of the month of Ramadaan? What does being deprived of food, drink and sex teach you? Even though the food you eat is Halal, the stuff you drink is very much Halal as well, and you fulfill your desire with your very own spouse: totally Halal! Why are you then asked to restrain yourself from all these Halal things for a specific time period everyday for a month each year? Simple: to teach you self-control. That 30-day training is enough to last you the whole year. YES! You have to practice it outside Ramadaan as well. :)
As to the question ‘How?‘, it’s very simple.
- Start denying yourself your favorite food, hobby, pastime etc. You don’t have to do it all the time and every time. It could be a punishment you give yourself for not waking up for Fajr on time, for example. Personal experience: I deny myself breakfast (which I can’t live without) if I wake up late for Fajr. So I don’t have that habit Alhamdulillah.
- Voluntary Salah (prayer) and Sawm (fast). A very good way to achieve self-restraint! You’re so caught up in ‘Ibadah (worship), that you don’t really get time to think about other stuff. Or better, you don’t feel right when you think about other stuff. ;)
- Make du’a (invocation). Indeed a very useful tool for a believer. When nothing else works, du’a shows it’s miracles.
- Be firm with yourself. No excuses, no ‘going easy’. Tit for tat. And that’s it!
Hadith No. 37 – Sahih al-Bukhari
Once again, something about Ramadaan is related to Faith. :) And you’d be surprised to know what it is..
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.”
Fasting in Ramadaan. Who doesn’t do it? But does this Hadith mean that every person who observes his fasts during Ramadaan will get his sins forgiven? Clearly not. There’s a condition prescribed: whoever does it out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards. It sounds easy. Doing is otherwise.
Fasting is something that only Allah can reward us for. No one else can measure our sincerity and Taqwa that we achieve from it. Because no one watches over us the whole day except for Allah. We might take a sip/bite when there’s no one around and still pretend to be fasting. Nobody will even doubt us. But Allah knows, right? That thing that keeps us from doing so is called Taqwa. Fearing Allah even when you’re alone. So fasting is for Allah, and only Allah will reward us for it.
About keeping our intentions straight, here’s a checkpoint:
Do you fast JUST because it is mandatory? Because if you don’t, Allah will punish you? And people will think such and such about you? OR do you fast because you love the one-month drill that gives your Imaan a rush that lasts the whole year? And you want to do something that’ll please Allah, hoping that He’ll forgive you your sins?
Well, we all need to check ourselves in this. And hopefully, when next Ramadaan comes (may Allah keep us alive till then), we’re ready to take maximum benefit from it, inshaAllah. =)
Hadith No. 36 – Sahih al-Bukhari
Ramadaan and its excellence. Praying in it, fasting in it, doing any good deed in it earns us extra reward than normal days. That’s why it’s known as the best month of the year. <3
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said: “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.”
This Hadith is not a repeat. It’s almost the same as No. 34., where it talked about praying on the night of Qadr. But here, it talks about praying in all nights of Ramadaan.
So, praying during the nights of Ramadaan with sincerity and hoping for Allah’s rewards gets all your sins forgiven. It sounds easy. Doing might not be so.
First problem we face during Ramadaan is staying up late for ‘Ibadah. Because we’re so busy, we work so hard during the day, we get so tired that we need to sleep during the night. Solution: take a bit of rest during the day, eat less in Iftar and more in Suhoor. =)
Second problem: we do force ourselves to stay up, but when we start praying, we’re too distracted. Mostly because we’re sleepy and also because we don’t understand what we or the Imam is reciting. We don’t understand Quraan! Solution: take the Fehm-ul-Quraan classes in Ramdaan that are held for this very purpose. Do a little digging. Find out the places and the timings.
Third problem: intention. We just can’t seem to keep it on the right track! If we’re praying with congregation or even alone, twisted thoughts come to mind. I don’t need to give examples, do I? :P
Anyway, the solution is to keep putting yourself back on the track. Keep reminding yourself that you’re doing it for Allah’s sake ONLY. Not to show off or any other material benefit. Because sincerity is a condition mentioned in the Hadith. We have to keep a check on it.
If you did it this Ramadaan, Alhamdulillah. Otherwise, pray to live till next Ramadaan so you can practice this Sunnah as well, inshaAllah. =)
Hadith No. 34 – Sahih al-Bukhari
I miss Ramadaan! Especially the last odd nights. Sigh.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven.”
Now we know why those last odd nights of Ramadaan hold so much importance. Why people arrange for ‘Ibadah especially in those nights. And even the people who can’t make it to Taraweeh the whole Ramadaan, try their best to acquire the blessings of these nights.
The night of Qadr is to be found in the last 5 odd nights of Ramadaan. We all know that. We have to look for it. So we establish Salah, do dhikr and all kinds of ‘Ibadah that we can think of. Here, the Hadith tells us to rectify our intention and have faith in our hearts. Because the reward is awesome.
The only intention acceptable is: sincerity, meaning: doing it for Allah’s sake only.
And the awesome reward will be: getting all our past sins forgiven.
So, if you established prayers on this year’s night of Qadr, rejoice and be hopeful.
Otherwise, pray that you live to see the coming Ramadaan so you can benefit the most from it, inshaAllah.
May Allah accept our ‘Ibadah, the little that we do. And may He grace us with His Bounty by rewarding us in this world and the Hereafter. Ameen.
Hadith No. 7 – Sahih al-Bukhari
We’re done with one part of Sahih al-Bukhari – Book of Revelation. Alhamdulillah. Now, Book of Iman (Faith) starts.. This is the introductory Hadith:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad (SAW) is Allah’s Apostle.
2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) .
4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)
5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
Sounds easy, right? Alhamdulillah. =)
We all know about these principles of Faith, I’m sure. But let’s check ourselves once more..
1. Shahadah: To testify that there is no God but Allah.. Do I testify? If I had to say it in front of a 1000 anti-Islamic people, would I be able to say it fearlessly?
To testify that Muhammad (SAW) is Allah’s Apostle.. Meaning he was sent by Allah to complete the Religion. Do I take his words and actions seriously? Do I follow him completely? Or is my reaction like this: ‘Miswak? That’s just a Sunnah. I don’t HAVE to do it, right?’ Allah says in the Qur’an:
“…. and whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah. (Surah Al-Hashr, 7)
2. Prayers: Am I regular in them? Do I pray five times a day? ON TIME? Because:
Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: “If anyone abandons prayer deliberately he has no claim upon Allah” (Sunan).
3. Zakat: If I’m obligated to pay it, do I do it honestly? If I’m not eligible yet, do i plan to pay it when the time comes inshaAllah? Let’s make the intention now.
4. Hajj: Once in a lifetime. InshaAllah!
5. Fasting in Ramadaan: Do I complete them? All 30 or 29? Do I try to achieve the purpose – Taqwa?
These are very basic principles. To complete our Faith, we need to pay attention to all of them. We can’t just take them lightly.
So, this is my checklist for today:
- Renew Faith – testify/proclaim.
- Act upon at least one Sunnah – Recite Surah al-Mulk before going to sleep.
- Pray on time.
- Make the intention to do Hajj, inshaAllah.
- Give Sadaqah (since Zakat isn’t obligatory yet)
- Fast 6 days of Shawwal, and wait for next Ramadaan. ;)
Make your own checklist.