Our only true enemy… ‘The whisperer’

MashaAllahu ta’ala the past few weeks have brought fresh illumination as in our study circle we’ve been learning about the real enemy. The one and only enemy. As told by God to us in His book, we have only one enemy very clearly;

O you who believe! enter into submission one and all and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan; surely he is your open enemy.
Quran 2:208

While I don’t want to paraphrase all I’ve been learning about the shayateen (devils) in the past weeks in to a few words on one post, I think there certainly is a simple take-home message. That really there is evil, but that evil is only the devil and all he can do is whisper. He tempts, deceives, confuses and moves man to great sin thereby. But in the end, he is not to be feared but only treated with contempt. And our Lord we seek refuge in from his devious whispers. But more importantly that all this cause of hatred/anger/jealousy really is not people but the one real enemy. How many wars are being fought, where brother kills brother, each pandering some truth as a truth above another’s truth. The US Army over the VietCon (Vietnam war), Iraq over Iran (Iran-Iraq conflict), the Gulf war…the list is endless… and now the situation in Libya. Fast deteriorating in to an all out civil war, one wonders what happened to the truth in this conflict.

As someone so wisely said (I forget who, was it Bernard Shaw?) ‘truth is the first casualty in war’.

So hate the sin, but not the sinner. If we hate the oppression wrought by an oppressor, we do not hate the oppressor himself, but only wish for him the same salvation we yearn for ourselves. The vital hadith again;

‘None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself’
– look at how strong this hadith is, recorded by al-Bukhari (13), Muslim (45), Ahmad (3/176), at-Tirmidhi (5215), Ibn Majah (66), an-Nasa’i (8/115), and Ibn Hibban (234)

Wanting that same salvation, that same peace for everyone is essential to training our hearts to that state of purity demanded by the fact that only those with a sound/serene/peaceful heart will be saved on that day

وَلَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ يُبْعَثُونَ
يَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ
إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّـهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ

And do not disgrace me on the Day they are [all] resurrected
The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children
But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.”

Quran (26:87-89)

So hate the sin but not the sinner. This was beautifully expanded on by Sh. Hamza in his article expounding on Divine Love as understood by the Muslim tradition. An article very much worth reading and passed on. It can be found here

Without going on too much about it, here is in verse form some of that which mashaAllah I’ve learned about all this. I hope it is of benefit inshaAllah. Called ‘the whisperer’

The whisperer

Whispers have brought down empires
From Shakespearan tragedies to real life
Desdemona and Othello to
every day in some every day home
some husband walks out on his wife

A neighbour has whispered
On the streets a rumour spread
Brothers do not speak with brothers
for years. Nor their sisters
fathers, mothers
They are afraid to allow
the possibility that the human errs
Afraid to forgive lest it reduce ‘honour’
or display weakness?

Fools proclaimed in self righteous glory
Sit on your high seat till you taste that same sloth
of the sinner when sin you commit unknowingly
or in a moment of weakness, that you do not forgive in another

The devils can only whisper
And we have no other enemy
No other. Remember Abu Sufyan? Not an enemy but in the end
the Muslim brother. And that great sword of the deen
Khaled, once the attempted excutioner of the prophet

A mercy to the worlds

O Patient man. Teach us your patience
Your people are in disarray
They kill each other inventing enemies
Spurring on deeds of fresh bloodshed
While screaming ‘Allahu akber’

Only a heart serene will be saved on that day
Didn’t you read your book? Held aloft while you screech.
Ah, what are you screeching for?

Perhaps a little silence will lift that veil of ignorance
The constant cacophony of mad passion
Drowned out the whisperer so close to your ear
who has never ceased whispering…
stop the gun so you can hear

A vile enemy that is whispering
Just a whisperer. Just a doomed whisperer

Then love your brother
Your messenger honour. Worry eradicate
All the burdens of the earth fall away from heavy shoulders
You can now fight, knowing what you are fighting for
Just one enemy. Remember.

O my Lord, I seek refuge in Thee
And Thou art sufficient for me.

Copyright – Joymanifest’s blog. 2011

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Signs of the last day

Peace be with you all, Assalamu alaikum,

The news continues to be bad. Not just bad in one sphere, but in many ways and at the same time it seems. The conflicts and political disturbances seem to be growing and the number/scale of natural disaster increasing. I don’t want to seem to be ‘scandal mongering’ or trying to make this post sensational in anyway, but I do wonder what you feel about how all this works in terms of the signs of the last day?

I grew up in a country in conflict (but relatively sheltered from the worst of it masha’Allah) and am not a stranger to hardship, both physical and emotional. Now masha’Allah living in this protected western country sometimes I wonder if I am becoming immune to the suffering of others. Whether the ‘unfamiliarity’ of the suffering keeps me away from a real empathy. Sometimes I wonder if I am really living here. For in the east, it seemed life was more real and consequently death was more real. Suffering and joy was real and empathy was real. And knowing how fragile life really is, our awareness of our place in the universe more real… and somehow, in some strange way, instead of depression by all this, what was the outcome was peace in the heart. Like we didn’t have to wonder, only to live. Only to live. I miss those days and hope I am not too accustomed to the ‘luxury’ of life in the west (e.g., hot water showers, affordable food and a variety of it). On another note, perhaps the east is now full of these luxuries too :), and like here, the people are being rocked in to a false somnambulant state.

I feel that the need to distribute the wealth of the world evenly is becoming urgent and extreme. Having experienced first hand the incredible rift between ‘haves’ (typified by the West) and the ‘have-nots’ (typified by the East) and now with this knowledge so widely spread (that is more people becoming aware of this, or one hopes that is what is happening) that more is not done is a sign of the depravity of the times? Allah protect us. I do however also feel that the good are getting ‘gooder’ and the bad, left to their devices often becoming ‘worse’. The former is a source of strength, hope and joy and should not be underestimated in any way.

It really does seem that things don’t make sense anymore and can’t be made sense of in any comprehensive manner. And that, more than anything else, is why I wonder if the signs of the last day are coming one after the other with increasing frequency. I would love to know anyone’s thoughts on this.

For your reference here is a site that has the signs of the last days with references at least for many of them. Not all the ahadith quoted are sahih, and they don’t confirm if they are hasan. But most seem to be from the ‘sihah sittha’ (the six most rigourous/well regarded books of hadith).

To end, a few lines below, hoping it makes some sense :), but only really wanting to say that prayer is refuge at these times.

Peace through the night in prayer,
My heart feels yet I am unable to utter,
Struck dumb by terror
A glimpse of the immensity of Thy power
Of what could be of us all.
Yet the prayer, unjolted
continues, somehow in my heart, it continues
and soon swells to words on the lips
O Lord, only because of the hope
that knowing You are ar-Rahman brings.
Peace through the night in prayer.

Allah (God) protect and forgive and teach us all.

Copyright 2011. JoyManifest’s blog. F R Zahir