Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad COSAN

AKRA FM Friday Discourse

October 20, 2000

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WORKING FOR THIS WORLD AND FOR THE HEREAFTER

As-salâmu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhû!

Dear Brothers and Sisters! May Allah's peace, mercy and bounty be with you.

a. The Prayer of the Sick

I would like to read three of the ahadith from a page of the book Ramuz al-Ahadith. One of our brothers arbitrarily opened this page. The first one is related by Abu'd Darda RA. Our beloved Prophet SAS said:

RA 75/8 (Ightanimû, da'watal-mu'minil-mubtelâ) "Take the advantage of the prayer of a believer who has been hit by an illness."

When a believer gets ill, his prayers are answered. One of the rewards granted to the ill person is that his prayers are answered and accepted by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'alČ). His sleep is worship, moan is tasbeeh. He gets the reward of the worships he is not able to perform as if he had done it. As we always say, the ill should be patient and not lose these rewards. They should know that illness is an opportunity.

The prayer of a Muslim is already acceptable, yet the prayer of an ill Muslim is particularly precious. Therefore, visit your ill brothers and sisters. These visits are especially encouraged on Fridays. One of the things you could do on Fridays could be to visit the sick. Another could be to visit cemeteries; you may visit your deceased parents and relatives and read Fatihah for their souls.

Visit the sick! You should take the prayer of the sick as an opportunity and ask how he feels. When he sees you, he will be pleased and elated, and his morale will be better. You will say " How are you?", hold his hand with affection and put your hand on his forehead. You will say "Pray for me" Then, he will be pleased and will pray for you. Since he will be pleased with you, he will sincerely pray and say "May Allah be pleased with you."

We know from other ahadith that giving away for charity on Fridays is very advantageous and profitable. You obtain loads of rewards if you visit cemeteries and the sick, give away for charity, have ghusl, come to the prayer earlier, and perform the Jum'a prayer. I always tell about this and remind you. Try and do these every week and earn the rewards.

Visit sick brothers! Tell them our salaam too, and ask them to pray for us. Try to have them pray for you and keep them pleased. You may take gifts with you which will make them happy. A sick person gets better more quickly when his spirit is high. Therefore, consider every kind of visit as a religious obligation and requirement of brotherhood and tasawwuf. Visiting the sick is one, visiting healthy friends is another. Just say "I have this brother who used to be my classmate or who used to be an old friend in the military or who I met in Hajj" and go and visit him.

A brother was leaving here for a trip. I asked if he would call at another brother of us on his way. He replied, "No, I would rather travel non-stopping." If he had stopped there instead of travelling directly, he would have gotten his reward. He had plenty of time to do so although he had no worldly interest in doing this but only pure pleasure of Allah. When one visits a brother for Allah, he earns His pleasure.

Visiting the elderly is excellent. Visiting living friends of one's deceased parents is also quite meritorious.

Perform this kind of visits as a part of your life. When you can not do it, use the telephone. When you have no access to a phone, send a card or write a letter. Try and please the hearts. In this futile world one of the most beautiful actions to do is to please the hearts.

b. Things to Consider in a Battle

The second hadith is related by Safwan Ibn 'Assâl RA and quoted by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. The Prophet SAS advises his army while he sends them to a battle:

RA. 75/10 (Ughzû bismillâhi fî sebîlillâh, lâ taghullû, wa lâ taghdirû, wa lâ tumeth-thilû, wa lâ taqtulû walîden. Wa lil-musâfiri thelâthu mes-hun alel-khuffayni, wa lil-muqîmi yawmin wa laylah.)

(Ughzû) "Go to war, go to jihad, do ghaza (bismillâhi) in the name of Allah, for Allah's sake, (fî sebîlillâh) in Allah's way." That is, make ghaza in the name of Allah, to gain his pleasure.

Hidden intentions, bad thoughts, anger, bad temper, secret plans and all alike are futile. Only one plan is valuable: Trying to earn Allah's pleasure, being a beloved servant to Him and going to Paradise.

Some even don't think about going to Paradise but solely consider Allah's pleasure. For example there are four levels of tark in our Naqshî order: "tark" means to abandon, to leave something. It has however, another meaning: each part of a special hat [qawuq, a quilted turban] worn in the past by Muslim people especially in the Ottomans is also called "tark." Such a hat used to have 4, 8 or 12 tarks and was called accordingly. Naqshi order followers used to wear one with four tarks, and it is said that these four represents four main abandonment levels suggested in this order.

1. Abandonment of the world: This means to leave the world with its futile and temporary interests; thus not doing the things towards worldly gains.

2. Abandonment of the Hereafter: to stop calculations for the Hereafter, not to say "if I do this I earn that much reward" and so on.

3. Abandonment of the possession: One should leave out all possessions from his heart and mind. He should disregard all what he possesses in the form of social status, prosperity, knowledge etc. He should not be proud of what he possess but disregard them.

4. Abandonment of the abandonment: He should not think about what he has left. He should not ponder "what great things I have done." He should clean this thought out of his mind and do everything for Allah's pleasure.

Then, our beloved Prophet SAS said "by Allah's order, for Allah's pleasure make ghaza -- go to war!"

We are receiving sad news from the Afghanis, whom we like because they fought to save their lands. For example, a brother confronted another brother and shot him dead. Some knowledgeable told them not to do this, yet they martyred some of these sheikhs.

How should a war be fought? It should be in Allah's way-- not with bad intentions, not by being deceived by the Satan.

The Prophet continued on his advice: (Lâ taghullû) "Do not steal from the spoils of the war!" The spoils acquired in a war belongs to the army. It is gathered by the commander's order. One fifth of it is reserved as the share of the state, and the rest, the four fifths, is equally distributed among the fighters. If somebody takes something from the spoils before the distribution, puts it into his pocket and walks with it, this is considered as theft which is a major sin.

The Prophet also advised: (Wa lâ taghdirû) "And do not oppress or mistreat people." Oppression could be of two kinds:

1. Breaking an agreement. If you have made an agreement, you must obey it.

2. It also means cruelty. We know from another hadith that the Prophet stated the rules of the war: (La taqtulû sheikhan fâniyâ) "Kill no elderly (wa la tifla) nor a little child, (wa la sagheeran) nor an under-aged young child, (wa lamra-atan) nor a woman." Neither an elderly, an infant, a young child, nor a woman could fight. In another hadith the Prophet ordered: "Do not cut trees!" Thus one must try not to give damage to property. Of course during the course of a war this may happen inevitably, but it shouldn't be deliberately committed. Thus, it is advised in various ahadith that neither trees nor the nature in general should be harmed.

The Prophet continued in the hadith: (Wa lâ tumeth-thilû) "Don't do muthla!" Muthla means cutting somebody's nose or ears to torture, hence mutilation. The Prophet prohibited this too. He prohibited doing this at a time when people fight with each other with rancor.

(Wa lâ taqtulû walîdan) "Do not kill children either!" Thus you see that even during a war Islam requires nobility.

Those who ask mercy are not harmed either. In other ahadith the Prophet SAS ordered: "Do not harm priests worshiping in chapels." Only those who do not submit and who oppose stubbornly are fought against. With this hadith, we learn the moral rules concerning wartime.

After stating these, the Prophet SAS informs the listeners about another matter: (Wa lil-musâfiri thelâthu mes-hun alel-khuffayni) "It is permissible for a traveller to do masih on the boots he wears for three days without taking them off. [After a person makes wudu, he can put on his boots. Next time he makes wudu, he does not wash his feet but wipe the boots with wet hands without taking them off.] (Wa lil-muqîmi yawmin wa laylah) A person who is not a traveller can also do masih but for only one day and one night." So, after 24 hours one should wash his feet and then wear the boot again.

[In Muslim countries special leather boots are produced for continuous wear. They come in different thickness. Some can be worn just like a pair of socks inside the shoes. Some have a stronger structure and are worn with waterproof rubber galoshes. The galoshes are removed while indoors. It is popular among people who live in cold climates.]

During a travel, available water may be limited. There may be other problems, too. The Prophet SAS reminded these important points to those travelling with the boots on their feet.

This information will be useful our brothers and sisters in Turkey, especially in the upcoming days. [These boots are known as masts in Turkey.] Masts are worn when weather gets cold. I am wearing masts in Sweden at the moment.

c. Working for This World and for the Hereafter

The third hadith is related by Abdullah ibn-i 'Amr ibnul-'As RA and quoted by Dailami in Muthnad-ul Firdaws. The Prophet SAS said:

RA 75/1 (I'mal 'amalamri-in yazunnu annahû lan yamûta abadâ, wah-dhar hadharamri-in yakh-shâ an yamûta ghadâ.)

(I'mal 'amalamri-in yazunnu annahû lan yamûta abadâ) "Work, struggle, do deeds like somebody who considers himself immortal! (Wah-dhar hadharamri-in yakh-shâ an yamûta ghadâ) Fear with the fear of a person who will die the next day!"

Now, what could this mean? This means "perform your actions as somebody who thinks that he will not die, who is unaware of death." How will an immortal man behave? Of course, first of all he works to make a living. He may run a business, work in an office, assemble machines in a factory, or raise crops in a farm.

(Wah-dhar hadharamri-in yakh-shâ an yamûta ghadâ) "Fear with the fear of a person who will die the next day!" What does this imply? A person who will die the next day leaves out small worldly concerns and turns to the actions beneficial for the Hereafter. He is not engaged in useless stuff. He offer repentance and prayers.

The first advice, "Work, struggle, do deeds like somebody who considers himself immortal!", is also interpreted as follows: An immortal person does not hurry while worshipping but acts relaxed and peacefully as he has no fear of death and, his life is secured. By this way he worships with the maximum pleasure.

On the other hand, we are always told by the elderly: "work for the world as if you will never die; work towards the Hereafter as if you will die tomorrow." Thus, we have to perform our daily activities too. Our beloved Prophet even orders:

"Plant the sapling you are holding even if you see that the end of the world has arrived"

We need to be keen on the actions beneficial to ourselves and to other people. We need it just to earn halal and not to be dependent on anybody. You may have the chance to give away for charity from your earnings. If you are poor, you become a burden on others.

Some people from Yemen used to set out for Hajj without any preparations for water and food and would say: "We put all our trust in Allah." Almighty Allah commanded: "Don't do that, (wa tazawwadû) take your food with you!" Why? It is because they should not be burden to others, not beg and not live off others.

Working is essential for each person, first of all, not to be dependent on others, second, to provide for the family. Third, if a person earns enough, he can do good deeds with money such as giving away for charity, building fountains, mosques, bridges, and spending in conveying the message of Islam. For example how wonderful it would be if, for Allah's pleasure, a rich man send his son to a country in Africa, supporting him financially, and order him to spread Islam there just like the companions of the Prophet did.

One needs money to be able to perform such good actions. Therefore, working is necessary and praiseworthy.

In addition to these I have a personal experience that working keeps one fit and young. Working is like a medicine good for health. Contrary to what is wrongly believed, those who don't work become more vulnerable, weaker and get older more quickly. You see people in their 70's, 80's working in fields, hunchbacked, white-bearded but like steel -- masha-Allah. Others at their homes, on the other hand, being looked after with maximum care and fed with milk and honey, could be ailing and grouser. Working is good for you. Hard work and the tiredness that follows, therefore, are very good.

We have to love work but not the idling or laziness. We have to try not to waste even a minute. We should read a lot. Every book is a life. It conveys us all the experience of a life. All the books on the shelves should be read and more should be looked for.

May Almighty Allah grant us the chance to be from those who attain knowledge and benefit Islam in many aspects. May He grant us His pleasure and honor us with His Beauty in His Paradise in the Hereafter.

As-salâmu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhû!

October 20, 2000 -- Sweden