RIS2011 – “The Goodly Life”
The Goodly Life -by Sheikh Muhammad Mukhtar Ash-Shinqitee
The above clip was highly recommended Sh. Bilal Ismail at the RIS Convention 2011, taking place in Cape Town from 6th May 2011- 8th May 2011. Listen to and read these words of advice and instruction by the amazing Sheikh Muhammad Mukhtar Ash-Shinqitee and feel the emotion that his words evoke, tears will flow from your eyes, your heart will wrench with regret at all the times wasted in trivial pursuits, far from the remembrance of Allah. May Allah grant us the true understanding, open our hearts to awareness of Him in all moments of our daily life and grant us strength to take lesson and act upon all that we learn. Ameen.
The transcript of the words are as follows:
“Life is either for a person, or against him. It’s hours and seconds, days and years pass him by. Leading him (by his actions) to the Love and Good Pleasures of Allah until he is amongst the people of Ultimate success and the Garden of Paradise. Or they are against him, leading him by his actions) to the fires of Hell and the anger of the One, the Just Ruler [Allah]. Life, either it will make you laugh & rejoice for an hour over which you will cry for an eternity (in the Hereafter). Or it will make you cry for an hour over which you will laugh & rejoice for an eternity (in the Hereafter). Life is either a blessing for a person, or an adverse affliction against him. This is a life which was lived by the earliest generations by our fathers and forefathers. All of them, returned to Allah with what they used to do [their deeds].
“Life” refers to every single moment that is lived within it and every hour spent within it. And within all of these, we live a life that is either for us or against us. Thus, the successful and happy person is the one who sees life, and recognises it’s reality and true nature. For by Allah, it is a life that frequently causes some people to weep, their tears never drying. And frequently makes others laugh, their laughs and joys then never to return. My beloved, Allah has made this life as a trial, a test, an exam in which is made apparent the true nature of His slaves. Thus happy is the one made successful (in this exam) by the Mercy of Allah. While miserable and driven away is the one upon whom the Pleasure of Allah becomes forbidden (through this exam). (Know) for every hour that you live, either Allah is pleased with you in this hour (by your deeds) or the opposite, we seek refuge in Allah from that. Therefore (by this hour) either you come closer to Allah or stray further from Him. Thus it maybe, that you live a single moment of love and obedience to Allah by which are forgiven the inequities of your life and a lifetime of sins. And it may be that you live a single moment in which you deviate purposely from the Path of Allah. Distancing yourself from His obedience, which then becomes a cause of misery & distress for the rest of your life.
We ask Allah for His safety and Pardoning. In this life there exist two separate ‘callers’: The first, is anything that calls to the Mercy, the Good Pleasure, and Love of Allah (be they thoughts or actions). The second type of caller, is anything that invites to the opposite of that, (such as) a desire or lust that incites one to evil. Or a sudden sinful whim that may result in an evil ending (dying in bad or sinful circumstances). Thus it may be, that a person within a moment of his life, weeps, a weeping of regret and repentance over his negligence towards his Lord. And by (these tears) Allah changes his evil deeds into good deeds (on his record). But, how many a people continue to commit sins? How many a people still indulge in evil? How many a people continue to distance themselves (from Allah), frequently travelling away from their Lord (by their actions)? Thus all of them are distant from the Mercy of Allah. Unbeknown to them, strangers to the Good Pleasure of Allah. Then come upon them that hour, that exact moment (of penitence), which is what we are referring to, by “the goodly life”, in order that they shed tears of regret and remorse, and that reason for anguish in the heart may be ignited, Such that the person realizes how long his alienation from Allah has been and how long his absence from, his Lord truly has been. So, that they may then say, “Indeed I am turning to my Lord repentant, remorseful, and in hope of His Mercy & Good Pleasure!” This time of (penitence) is a person’s key to happiness and contentment, the time of regret.
It is as the scholars say, “Indeed man sins a great deal, but if he is truly sincere in his regret and repentance, Allah will change his sins into good deeds.” Thus his life too then becomes pure and goodly, by the purity and truthfulness of that regret and repentance and by the sincerity in the very distress and pain felt within himself. We ask Allah the Most Great Lord of the Honorable Throne, to give life to this blessed caller to His Mercy, within our hearts, and to the pain we should feel when we are neglectful towards Allah and His Commands. My beloved, every single one of us needs to ask themselves a question, we need to ask ourselves day and night, How many nights are spent awake in activity? And how many hours are passed (in this way)? How many have laughed in this life? And (most importantly) was Allah Pleased with this laughter? How much time was spent in entertainment & enjoyment in this life? Was this enjoyment one that Allah was Pleased with? How many night were spent awake (in activity)? Was this staying awake (and what you did) pleasing to Allah? And so on and so forth, (These are) questions that he should be asking within himself.
But, a person may wonder why he should be asking these questions (i.e. what’s the point)? Yes! You must ask yourselves these questions, as passes not the instant of a blinking of an eye, nor a fleeting moment in your life, except that you are living in and experiencing the Blessings of Allah! Thus it is form great respect and humility towards Allah that a person remain constantly aware of the greatness of the Blessings bestowed upon him. From this humility is to truly feel and acknowledge that the food we eat, belongs to and is provided by Allah. And that we quench our thirst with a drink created by Allah. And that we are shaded and sheltered by a roof provided by Him. And that we walk forth upon a ground provided by Him. And that without doubt we are living in and experiencing his every Bounty and Mercy. So what could we possibly have to offer Him in return? (So it’s important) A person asks himself these questions.
(For example) doctors say that there exists a person’s heart, a substance that if it were to increase or decrease by 1%, he would die instantly…So (think) in which courtesy and kindness, which mercy and compassion from Allah does mankind enjoy, experience and live in! (Even if) a person asks himself about the Mercy of Allah alone; when he wakes up in the morning, possessing his hearing, possessing his sight, and possessing his physical strength. Who is the one who actually safeguarding his hearing? Who is the One safeguarding his sight? Who is the one safeguarding his intellect? Who is the One safeguarding his very soul? He must ask himself, who is the One protecting all of these things? Who is the One who Bestowed him with good health and well being? (Think of) those who are sick, lying on white beds (in hospital), sighing and in pain. By Allah, through these great blessing Allah conveys His Love for us. The great blessings of good health, well being, security, and safety. All of these are provided purely so that we may live a goodly, wholesome life.
Allah, praised & exalted is HE, desires two things from His slave: The first is that he carry out his obligatory duties (e.g. prayer), and the second is the abandonment of all Allah has forbidden and held him back from. As for the one who claims that closeness to Allah entails a life of suffering or limitations. Then such a person without doubt last erred greatly in how he perceives Allah. For, by Allah, if you do not purify and make good your life by closeness to your Lord, you will never be able to do so by way of anything else. And if you do not purify and adorn your life by carrying out your obligatory duties to Him, and abandoning all that He has forbidden. Then by Allah, you will never be able to so by way of anything else. A person may experience every single pleasure of life has to offer but, by Allah he will never experience anything more pleasurable, more beautiful than servitude to Allah. By carrying out his obligations to Him and leaving all that He has forbid him from. (In life) you are subjected to two choices, whenever you are faced with a matter, you have the choice to either do it or not do it. If you decide to go forth and do anything in this life, ask yourself, “Has Allah permitted you to do this thing, or not?” For anything at all you wish to do. Since the human being himself is owned by Allah and the hearts are owned by Allah and the souls are all owned by Allah.
Thus a person should, whenever he wants to do something or hold back from it, ask himself, will Allah be pleased with you (by this action)? If so, then he can proceed. Or will Allah not be pleased by this action? If not then he should hold himself back. For, by Allah, a person does not proceed with an action nor hold back from it, requesting Allah’s Mercy (and counsel in the decision), except that he pleases his Lord in the process. Therefore, true happiness and a goodly life are only found in the closeness to Allah. Closeness to who? To the King of Kings, the Controller of the Heavens & the Earth. To whom belongs the Ultimate Command, all creation and the perfect arrangement and measure of all that exists. Thus you may find that man is always in a state of anxiety and weariness. You may find an individual who has everything he desires. But, by Allah, you will find most of those who have all they desire suffer from mental or psychological problems, from anxiety and depression, most of them are extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives. Go and look for the wealthiest person, you’ll most likely find him to be from the most miserable people in life. Why because Allah has made the comfort and ease of the soul to be found, in being close to Him. And has placed the key to a pleasurable, amiable life, in a pleasurable, amiable relationship with Him. (If we look at just) one prayer that a person performs from the 5 obligatory daily prayers; at the moment of completing his bowing and prostrating and completing his servitude to his Lord, then at leaving the place of prayer, he feels a great sense of ease and peace within himself! By Allah, even if he were to spend all the wealth on the earth (in attempting to buy this feeling) He would be unable to seek a way to it.
Thus the goodly life is found only in closeness to Allah. A pleasant, comfortable life will only be found by a closeness to Allah. If a person does not purify and make good his life through this close relationship , then by who (or what) will he…??