Two Things That Change Your Life
English Bayan, 30 mins
12th November, 2020

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allah hu akbar
19th Nov, 2020
Two That Change your Life

It is stated in a narration that when Allah subhana wa ta'ala took Hadhrat Adam alayhi salam out of Paradise, shaytan implemented a unique trick. Now shaytan had so many qualities, and was a big Alim with wide knowledge, and he was aware about the Ma’arifah of Allah and the Qurb of Allah due to the nearness to Allah that he had enjoyed for so long. And because of this, he was aware that Allah ta’ala does not reject anyone’s Dua, SubhanAllah. Even if an enemy makes supplication, Allah ta’ala is so Merciful, Gracious and Beneficent that He listens to that Dua, and shaytan had this knowledge. So when he was expelled from Jannah, he knew that the outcome would be bad for him and that his punishment was due to his mistake, so he utilized the tool of Dua.

So he presented himself and put forward a request in the form of a Dua to Allah whilst he was leaving Paradise, knowing that Allah ta’ala would not reject it. He said ‘Oh Lord! Oh Allah! You have sent me out of Paradise’ – now what was the first thing that he asked for? He said ‘Allow me to overcome and overpower the children of Adam.’ Allah ta’ala replied, saying ‘I have given you power over them, but the Ambiya alayhimus-Salam are innocent, so you will not be able to influence or attack them. But as for all the rest of the children of Adam, I give you power by which you can try to overpower them.’

At this, shaytan knew that whatever he asked for, he would get, so he said ‘Oh Allah ta’ala, could you please give me a little bit more power and ability?’ And in reply, Allah ta’ala stated ‘Well then, in addition, I will give you offspring as many as the children of Adam, which will be a resource that can work with you in your efforts to overcome them.’

And then shaytan asked again, saying ‘Oh Allah ta’ala, can you give me just a little more than this?’ In reply, Allah ta’ala said ‘I will make the inside of their hearts your abode. You will be able to inhabit the hearts of Bani Adam and reside therein. And on top of this, you will be able to flow through them just as blood flows through their veins and their bodies.’ Allahu Akbar!

Then he said ‘Allah ta’ala, can you give me little bit more still?’ So then Allah ta’ala stated ‘You will be able to overcome them and overpower them in all scenarios and situations. You have the power to convert their earnings into Haram, and you will cause them to become occupied with all types of weird sins, so much so that you will even take them from being parents of lawful offspring to being parents of unlawful offspring, so that children arising from unlawful cohabitation will be unlawful children. You will have the power to cause their earnings to become Haram earnings, and you will have the power to make them do immodest actions, and you will be able to present to them all sorts of ideologies and practices, whispering into their brains that these are correct. You are allowed to do this, you have permission. You will make them give false promises and misguided encouragement, and you will make them submit to idols. They will make long false pledges and will commit so many other wrongful actions.’

All these sins that we find in people are due to that permission and power that shaytan was granted by Allah in order to be able to grab hold of and overwhelm human beings. So he flows in the blood and the arteries, and the sinful actions that the human being commits morning and evening, his misdeeds and his unlawful behaviour, are all due to this. He has been given free rein and the power to try to overwhelm whoever he wants. And the biggest thing that he requested from Allah was the ability to insinuate himself into our Tawbah. He tries to contaminate a person’s Tawbah, telling him to delay it and that the right time will be soon, and he keeps saying this from a person’s young age to his middle age to his old age, until he gets to the grave and then his life has gone!

Now Hadhrat Adam alayhi salam also put in a request to Allah. He said ‘We are imprisoned, surrounded – shaytan has got total power over the children of Adam alayhi salam!’ So then Adam alayhi salam requested ‘Ya Rabb-ul-Alameen, oh Lord of the Universe and of all Mankind! You have given Iblees so much power and influence over my children that there is nowhere that he cannot reach human beings, and he will try in every way and method. So please, Allah ta’ala, grant me Your Grace and Rahmah and give us an opportunity and a means to combat this.’ So Allah ta’ala accepted his Dua and stated ‘Listen: for you, whenever a child is born, a protecting angel will be assigned who will protect that child.’ In other words, Allah ta’ala assigns an angel to every human being when they are born with a mission to protect that person.

Then Hadhrat Adam alayhi salam said, ‘Allah ta’ala, can You give a bit more, because You have given a lot to shaytan?’ So Allah ta’ala replied, saying ‘I will multiply the reward of each good deed. Each one will be multiplied many times over.’ SubhanAllah! Then Hadhrat Adam alayhi salam said ‘Oh Allah ta’ala, can You please grant us some more?’ SubhanAllah, Allah ta’ala then said ‘I will give such a resource to your children that by means of this resource and method, shaytan’s hardest efforts to make your children do evil actions will be countered. Oh Adam, I will give your offspring a resource of such value that it will not allow him to go into Jahannam!’ SubhanAllah! ‘So even though shaytan will attack from many angles and with such a variety of techniques, this is such a fantastic and superb resource that I am giving to you that a person from your offspring who uses it will never enter the hellfire.’ ‘Oh Allah ta’ala, what is this resource?’ Allah stated ‘It is Tawbah, repentance! Whenever one of your children pleads to Me for forgiveness and repents and does Tawbah, I will forgive all his sins. Every single one will be forgiven!’

In this regard, Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam stated ‘I swear by Allah in whose Hands is my life, if you gather all of your deficiencies, defects and sins, such that the distance between the heavens and the earth is filled up with these, and then you make Tawbah to Allah ta’ala, Allah will wipe away every single one of them. He will clean the slate.’ Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam took an oath by Allah before making this statement.

This is how powerful and great is this resource that Allah ta’ala has given to the children of Hadhrat Adam alayhi salam. Allah ta’ala has gifted this to us - He has bestowed this Tawbah upon us. However, we must remember that set against this Tawbah are the means that shaytan acquired for his opposing purposes. He will try to delay our Tawbah, to become involved in our Tawbah, to block our Tawbah, and he has the permission and the license to try to influence human beings to delay our Tawbah. But what a great power Allah ta’ala has given to Ibn Adam. No matter how many sins shaytan influences you to commit, even so many as would fill the space between the earth and the heavens, if a human being comes to Allah in repentance, Allah ta’ala says that He will forgive all of those sins. When this reward was given, Hadhrat Aadm alayhi salam was heartened and he said ‘ Now that this has been bestowed, I have no worries about my children being deviated or attacked or overwhelmed by shaytan and dragged towards Jahannam.’

This is such a brilliant and powerful resource and method that Allah ta’ala has given to us, my friends – Tawbah and Astaghfar. Why don’t we do Tawbah and Astaghfar? Because shaytan has promised to put us into laziness and ignorance. That is why a human being doesn’t do Tawbah – because he is influenced negatively by shaytan. Ok, agreed, he does attack. He plots and plans and makes us sin, and tries to destroy our good deeds, intentions, thoughts and practices. But Allah ta’ala has given us such a great resource and tool to combat this that even if we sin, we can ask Allah ta’ala for forgiveness and be spared from the fire of Jahannam.

A person should never lose hope, and a person should never despair - never. Never give up! Look, we must now reflect inside ourselves as to the greatness of this tool that we have. We think to ourselves ‘Oh I sin – what can I do? I can’t help it.’ Ok, agreed, we do sin. But Allah ta’ala has given us a great tool and resource, so why don’t we utilize this tool?

It is stated in Hadith that Allah subhana wa ta'ala has assigned two protecting angels, who go to Allah daily and present the deeds of that person. They go to Allah’s Court every day and say ‘These are the deeds of that servant of Yours, oh Allah.’ This happens for every human being. Now when Allah ta’ala sees those deeds, when they are presented to Allah by those protecting angels, then what does Allah ta’ala say? ‘Look here. I see Astaghfar at the beginning and at the end of this list of deeds, so be in no doubt that I have forgiven all the sins of this person.’ There is Astaghfar present among his list of deeds, so those sins of the sort that we commit during the day, whether of the eyes, of the mouth, verbally, or of the hands – those sort of sins that shaytan makes us do – if they are preceded by Astaghfar at the beginning and Astaghfar also comes at the end, then Allah ta’ala says that He will forgive those sins that come in between. Allahu Akbar!

So let us learn one deed to implement from this Hadith - and it is not difficult. It is simple, very simple. We learn that in the morning, when we start the day, we should start with Astaghfar and plead, seeking forgiveness. When the sun is rising and the day is emerging, make this compulsory upon yourself. Reflect that all the deeds in the whole day ahead will be presented to Allah, as explained in the Hadith that I have just narrated to you, and that Allah ta’ala has given us a let-off for those deeds in which we have erred and stumbled during that day– not purposely, though. No, that is a different issue and subject. We are not talking about sins done on purpose with the thought that ‘Oh, I can do what I want – I just have to do Astaghfar later and then Allah will forgive all my sins.’ No. no. no – that is not the concept here, that is not the thought process. That is extreme disobedience to Allah if a person flagrantly sins and tries to play games with Allah.

No, this is about the situation where we try our best to leave sins, but even then, we happen to commit a sin. For example, you intend that you will not lift your eyes towards a Ghair Mehram, but shaytan is in the blood, in the veins and in the arteries, so he tries to control and influence you. His children attack you and they make you do a sin. It is not your Niyyah to do sin in the morning. You are not thinking ‘Oh, let’s do Zina and then I will do Astaghfar in the night and Allah will forgive me.’ To think like this is incorrect and is not acceptable and is quite different from one who errs and makes a mistake. If a person purposely sins and says ‘Oh it is alright, I can sin and then do Astaghfar later, at the end of the day’, there is a big punishment for this thought, a very big punishment.

But if a person promises ‘Today I will protect myself and try to avoid sins’ and does Astaghfar in the morning, he may well still make mistakes and commit sins during the day. You have to go to the marketplace, there are challenges at home, with children, in business, at work – there are thousands of things you have to do in a whole day. If it so happens that unintentional mistakes are made, and this occurs with human beings through the tongue, misplaced words and the like – these are the sorts of things I am referring to – so if that person has started the day with Astaghfar and has tried to avoid and leave sins, but has unconsciously committed a sin with no premeditation, then he should make a habit, before going to sleep in the evening, of doing Astaghfar one hundred times. So there should be one Tasbeeh of Astaghfirullah in the morning and one Tasbeeh before you go to sleep.

If we do Astaghfar like this, then when a person goes to sleep, his deeds are sealed. A person does not commit sins once he has gone to sleep, does he? Sleep is like a small death, which does not allow for any actions, and after the small death of sleep, Allah ta’ala gives you life after that. But during sleep, a person does not sin or do wrong deeds, so his book of deeds is closed, and as I said, the Hadith explains that his book of deeds is then presented to Allah. And then, when Allah ta’ala sees that this person both started and ended the day with Astaghfar, with repentance, He forgives all the sins.

So this is a great tool, a great resource that Allah ta’ala has given to us. Astaghfar is a brilliant resource, and there is also a great reward for doing this. This is the Adheem Sunnah of Allah ta’ala’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam stated that he did Astaghfar seventy times a day – and in one narration one hundred times is mentioned. Now Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam was entirely innocent and free from sin, so why was he doing Astaghfar? This is a big point, so listen carefully to this. What was he doing Astaghfar for? In one Hadith, it is related that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘I do Tawbah in front of Allah ta’ala. I do Astaghfar one hundred times during each day.’

So what is this? This is a great Sunnah of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam - he stated himself that he did Astaghfar one hundred times every day. This is Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam, who is innocent, the greatest – what sin had he committed? None! So what we learn here is that the Astaghfar of Allah ta’ala’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam was to elevate his status, rank and grade. This Sunnah Sharifah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam teaches us that you get two rewards for Astaghfar. Firstly, the sins are atoned for. The sins that we have committed are atoned for, eliminated, removed. In addition, a reward comes with this, which is that Allah ta’ala says that your Darajaat, your rank, rises step by step. Suppose that you don’t commit any sins all day long – no fraud, no lies, no wrongdoing – but you continuously do Astaghfar. What will happen? The Astaghfar that you recite will elevate your rank; your status will increase.

So if a person doesn’t commit sins, then he should still do Astaghfar abundantly. Every Astaghfar, every call for forgiveness, will elevate the status of a person, in the same way that the status of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam increased and rose ever higher. He wasn’t sinning, na’oodhu bi’llah. He was not sinning – the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was innocent. He was the beloved Nabi of Allah – he didn’t sin. But this was a hint and a lesson to the Mu’min that in every situation and at every time, he should be doing Astaghfar. When you sin, do Astaghfar so that the sins are forgiven, and also do Astaghfar when you don’t sin, in order that your status may increase.

Don’t just think ‘If I sin, then I will do Astaghfar.’ Some people think like this, believing that Astaghfar should only be done when they commit a sin or do wrong. This is the case, isn’t it? This is our mindset. Here again, shaytan has influenced us to think incorrectly. We think that we will do Tawbah only when we sin and not otherwise. This is wrong. We say ‘Why should I do Astaghfar if I have not committed a sin?’ No – this is totally incorrect; don’t think like this. Do Astaghfar in abundance so that your Darajaat keep increasing. This will make shaytan run away and will diminish his power, which will mean that he cannot do what he wants to do. This is what happens if you do Astaghfar.

And the next point? Allah ta’ala has given a great reward to the children of Adam alayhi salam. Shaytan asked for a very powerful tool - he took the power to be able to reside in the heart of a human being. He said ‘Let that be my abode, ya Allah! Let me reside there.’ This is stated in Hadith and the Qur’an also gives us this knowledge. Shaytan said ‘I will flow in the body just as blood flows in the body.’ Imagine! But Allah has given the solution to this; He has given us the means to crack this power. Shaytan will put the Wasawis and negative thoughts into your heart, so Allah says that firstly we should do Astaghfar if we commit sin, for this will eliminate the sins. He will try his best to make you sin, but we just have to do Astaghfar.

The second teaching that we have been given will eliminate sins totally, effectively sealing yourself in advance so that shaytan will not dare to influence you. Allah ta’ala has given a great tool to you that is deployed in that place where shaytan resides, that heart from which you perform Ibadah, that heart from which your love for Qur’an springs, that heart from which springs the desire to pray Salah. So if shaytan sits in our heart, then tell me, all of our actions will become a waste. That is why people say ‘I don’t feel like it - I don’t enjoy it. I try, but I don’t want to do it – what can I do?’ This is because shaytan is sat on the heart; he is swimming, flowing through the arteries and veins. That is why we complain, saying ‘I want to pray but I don’t feel like praying. I want to do good, but I don’t feel like doing good. I want to pray Salah, but I can’t pray Salah.’ The reason for this is that shaytan has taken permission from Allah to reside in the heart of a human being, in his Qalb, in his chest, and to flow inside him, in his eyes, in his hands, in his blood, in his private parts. He says ‘I will flow everywhere in a human being and will make sure that I enable this human being go towards Jahannam through his actions. Come on, do this! Come on, do Zina with your hands, do Zina with this organ of your body, do this sin, do that sin!’

But Allah ta’ala gave the solution for this to Hadhrat Adam alayhi salam, a second reward and gift and method that will break shaytan’s efforts. It is Dhikrullah! Say SubhanAllah! SubhanAllah, Allah ta’ala has given us the ability by means of His Name:

{ٱذۡڪُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ڪَثِيرً۬ا لَّعَلَّكُمۡ تُفۡلِحُونَ}

There is no condition here. It is an open, unfettered playing field. So just as Allah has given shaytan the freedom to flow in our blood and sit on our hearts – that is where he does everything from – in the same way, Allah has given us an open playing field. ‘Oh human being, do Dhikr as much as you want!’ No other Ibadah is unlimited in this way. There are limitations to all other Ibadaat – Salah is five times daily, Hajj is once in a life, fasting is a set number of days. Everything has a limit, but as regards Dhikrullah, Allah has said ‘This is an open playing field – no upper limit. Do it Katheeran Katheera.’ Shaytan will make his home in your heart and will flow in your blood, but Allah ta’ala said to Ibn Adam ‘Don’t worry! What have I given you to counter shaytan? Dhikrullah! When you do Dhikr on your heart and recite My Name on your heart, you print My Name there and the Noor of My Name will destroy shaytan. It will destroy the home shaytan has made in your heart and will expel him from there. He will flee from your heart and from your mind and from your body.’

People have seen the reality of this Hadith in Kashf. The Friends of Allah have witnessed this when they do Dhikr. They have seen how shaytan sits upon the heart and then runs away. It is shaytan who makes us get angry and instigates divorces and gives us the methodology to do Haram actions, disrespectful behaviour, rudeness and so on. When you see that you are acting against Deen, against Shari’ah and against Tasawwuf, or when, for example, a student says ‘I have got Waswasah and negative thoughts against my teacher, against my Sheikh’, then who is causing all this? Shaytan.

Shaytan is the pillar of sin; he is the fountain of sin. But to oppose shaytan, Allah ta’ala has given us the brilliant practice of Dhikrullah. Dhikrullah! Remember this, just as Allah ta’ala has given us Astaghfar in the morning and evening to atone for the sins, in the same way, Dhikrullah is also prescribed every morning and evening.

{وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكۡرَةً۬ وَأَصِيلاً}

Allah says ‘Do My Dhikr in the morning and the evening. Do Muraqabah, remember Me in your heart in the morning, and also do My Dhikr in your heart before you go to sleep at night.’ The first action should be Dhikrullah and the final action should be Dhikrullah. When you do these two actions in the morning and the evening, and in between, you make effort to do Astaghfar in abundance, this confers protection. Do Katheera Dhikr, abundant Dhikr, during the day, and you will get both rewards. Firstly, shaytan’s house will be destroyed and will crumble. He will try to come back into your heart but if you are doing Dhikr, he will run away again. If you are doing Dhikr again, he will run away again. He will keep on coming - he will keep knocking on the door. It is not just a matter of doing Dhikr once and then he has run away permanently. He will return. Waswasah will come again. People say ‘Hadhrat, I do Dhikr but then I get bad thoughts again’ - remember: { ٱذۡڪُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ڪَثِيرً۬ا }. Allah says ‘Do a high quantity of Dhikr’. He will attack time and time again – that is the job of the enemy. He attacks repeatedly; he doesn’t give up.

Once you have had a skirmish with the enemy, he doesn’t give up. He goes away, he makes a plan, he adjusts his tactics – have we not seen this? You see this in history. When there are clashes and fights, the opposing parties say ‘Where are their weak points? Where are the cracks in their armour? How can we penetrate their defences?’ Shaytan is the same. You are sitting in Dhikr now, destroying his home, so he will come out of your heart. But when he sees an opportunity, when a person is Ghafil, lazy and ignorant, he will go back into that heart, make his abode there again and start to influence him again. That is how we get deceived. We do Dhikr in the morning and then think ‘Oh that’s fine, I don’t need to do Dhikr again during the day. I did Dhikr in the evening, so I don’t have to do it again.’ You have got protection, alhamdulillah, for Allah ta’ala has given that Hukm and given you that power, but during the day, do Dhikr Katheeran Katheera. Don’t leave it. You have to do it persistently, continuously.

Now you have to work in the Dunya and go out, going here and there, and that is why Allah says that Qalbi Dhikr is such a great resource. It becomes Dhikr Katheera when the lessons on your Lata’if are always being implemented. Make a habit of doing lengthy Muraqabah, lengthy silent Dhikr, so that your heart is focused on Allah. How then will shaytan be able to enter your heart? So let your hands be occupied with the tasks of the Dunya and keep your heart directed towards Allah. While working in your shop, business, driving a taxi or working in employment, don’t let your heart become lazy. As soon as you leave your heart and don’t pay attention, shaytan will come back in.

So these are the two things that Allah ta’ala has given as a great reward and resource. Today, we are Ghafil and lazy from both, and that is why we are destroyed. The root cause of our destruction - Haram actions, immodest actions, fraud, lying, cheating, quarrels, disputes – they are all due to this, that these two actions have come out of our lives. We do not do Astaghfar, we do not have the Tawfeeq to do Astaghfar, we do not want to do Astaghfar, and nor do we want to do Dhikrullah. The day should begin with Dhikr and Astaghfar, and this should also be our practice in the evening. In the night, the final action should be Tawbah, Astaghfar and Dhikr. And the whole day this should continue as well – Astaghfar should be on your tongue and Dhikrullah should be in your heart. With Astaghfar, your rank will increase and your sins will be eliminated, and with Dhikrullah, shaytan’s attacks on the heart will end and he will flee and run away.

May Allah give us all these two Amal that we have discussed. May Allah ta’ala give us the Tawfeeq to practice upon these, and inshaAllah we will see that so much beauty will come into our lives, like a new spring.

وأخر دعوانا أن الحمد لله رب العالمين

18th Nov, 2020