Indispensable Reality

death ready
LOOKING for equality? Death does not discriminate between the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak. Everyone is equal in front of death, because no one has any means to escape it or use intercession to avoid it or even delay it.

“Say: Indeed, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to Allah, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. And He will then tell you what you used to do.” (Qur’an, 62:8)

“Every one is going to taste death. And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us will you be returned.” (Qur’an, 21:35)

Our hearts tremble with fear on the thought of this indispensable reality. A person’s actions are sealed with death and what comes after that is more fearful, because will there be a place where one can flee to in order to escape the afflictions suffered in the grave?

What will our reply be when we are questioned in the grave? None of us know where we will end up. Will it be Paradise whose width is like the heavens and the earth or will it be the Fire whose fuel is of men and stones?

Ibrahim ibn Adham (d. 160H) was asked about the verse, “Call upon Me and I will respond to you” [Ghafir/40: 60] and how people have called upon Allah but that Allah did not respond. Ibrahim replied thus:

“You know Allah; yet you do not obey Him.
You recite the Quran; yet you do not act according to it.
You know Syaitan; yet you continue agreeing with him.
You claim to love Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him); yet you
abandon his Sunnah.
You claim to love Paradise, yet you do not work for it.
You claim to fear the Fire; yet you do not stop sinning.
You say, ‘indeed death is true’; yet you have not prepared for it…
You busy yourselves with the faults of others; yet you do not look at
your own faults.
You eat the sustenance that Allah provides for you; yet you are not
grateful to Him.
And you bury your dead; yet you have not heeded its lesson.”

Ideal Muslimah

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Friday, 19 December 2014



Staying Sharp

ONCE upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. The woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees. “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated by the encouragement, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring 15 trees.

On the third day, he only could bring back ten trees. Day after day, he was bringing fewer

“I must be losing my strength,” he thought.
“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.
“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy
trying to cut trees.”

Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the axe. There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work. We are supposed to stay active and not idle. But Allah doesn’t want us to get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, such as taking time to pray or to read and sharpen our
minds. We all need time to relax, to think and contemplate, to learn and grow.

If we don’t take time to sharpen the axe, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness. So start today.

Islamia/The Brunei Times

Paid in full


THIS is not a new story circulating in the Internet, but it is still a heart-warmer.

Hunger pangs forced the poor boy, selling goods door-to-door to pay his way through school, to stop and check his pocket. Only one thin dime left. He decided to ask for something to eat at the next house, but soon lost his nerve upon being greeted by a young woman at the door.

So he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry, so she brought him a large glass of milk.

He drank slowly, and asked, ‘’How much do I owe you?’’
‘’Nothing. Mother taught has never to accept pay for a kindness.’’

The boy left the house not only feeling stronger physically but also in his faith. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later, that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled and finally sent her to the big city for specialists to study
her rare disease. Doctor Faisal Ahmad was called in for consultation.

When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled her eyes.

Immediately he rose and went down the hospital halls to her room. He recognised her at once. From that day on, he gave special attention to her. By the grace of Allah, the battle was won. Doctor Ahmad requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room.

She looked and read these words on the side of the bill, “Paid in full with one glass of milk. Signed, Dr. Faisal Ahmad.’’

The Brunei Times/Mutma’inaa
Fri, 23 May 2014

Keeping Secrets


FROM among the teachings of Allah’s Messenger (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) is to keep sins a secret matter. If someone commits a sinful act that is
against the Commandments of Allah, or is against the moral character, or is such an act that may cause harm to one’s honor, then he should keep it a secret and seek forgiveness from Allah in the darkness of night.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “My entire nation is safe, except al-Mujahirin (those who boast of their sins). Among the Mujaharah is that a man commits an (evil) act, and wakes up in the morning while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret, he says: “O so- and-so! Last night I did this and that.” He goes to sleep while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret but he wakes up in the morning and uncovers what Allah has kept a secret!” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (May allah be pleased with him) related, ‘A man came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I have mingled with a woman in the far side of al-Madinah, and I fulfilled my desire short of actually having sexual intercourse with her. So, here am I, judge me according to what you decide.’ Umar Ibn al-Khattab (May allah be pleased with him) then said: `Allah had kept your secret, why did not you keep your secret?’ [Sharh Muslim]

Similarly, if one becomes aware of somebody else’s sin, he should keep it a secret. Allah’s Messenger (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “He, who relieves a hardship of this Dunya (world) for a believer, Allah will relieve (from him) a hardship of the Day of Resurrection; he who makes easy an indebted person, Allah will make it easy for him in the Dunya and the Hereafter; he who covers a Muslim (meaning his mistakes and shortcomings), Allah will cover him in the Dunya and the Hereafter …” [Sahih Muslim]

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Fri, 13 july 2012

Nice Apps

doaMAKING doa (supplication) and engaging in the remembrance of Allah is one of the ways of gaining barakah (divine blessings) in our lives. Our pious predecessors made the habit of engaging in Zikir and making doa an integral part of their life; as a result, they moved mountains and achieved so much within the same short lifespan that people of our time live through!

It was this barakah, this divine blessing from Allah, that aided them and allowed them to achieve more in their lives. By taking on this productive habit ourselves and making it a part of our lives, we too can increase in our productivity, accomplish more in our time and move mountains by Allah’s permission.

So where do we start? Let’s get ourselves the pocket-sized book called Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of the Muslim) which is a compilation of authentic doa from the Quran and Sunnah. Keep this book within your reach all the time so that you can read and benefit from it.

Alternatively, if you do not prefer to carry a book with you all the time then good news for you! You can download a doa application onto your smartphone and read doa from there.

Among the best doa apps are the Dua & Azkar app by Ahsanul Haque, the Muslim Kids Series ‘Dua’ by Yufid Inc, and Hisnul Muslim Collection.

Productive Muslim

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Fri, 21 March 2014

Reaping, Sowing

homeA BUILDER working for a company building homes now wanted to retire. He was feeling his old age in his bones. He went to the manager of the company and informed him of his intention to retire. The manager said he could retire, but under condition that he build one final home for the company.

The man accepted the condition and began building the home as quickly as he could so he could fulfill the condition and finally retire.

So the home was built shabbily; the doors were poorly hung and the walls were flimsy. But he did not care. He rushed to the manager and handed him the keys to the newly built home.

“This house is a gift to you from the company that you have served for so many years,” the manager said.

The man was truly shocked. He thought to himself, “Why didn’t I build that home well, why didn’t I make that the best home I ever built?”

The builder reaped what he sowed.

Our Solat and our good deeds are for Allah alone. He asks us to do them but on the Day of Judgment they will be ours to benefit from.

Surely we have a need to perfect them now because they will be the only thing that we will bring with us on the Day of Judgment.

“This worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – that is the home of [permanent] settlement.” [Ghafir/40:39]

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Fri, 4 April 2014

Our Economy

econWHO was it who said that men are economic animals?

Muslims are never ‘animals’ even in their striving to attain a financial profitable livelihood! In fact, the following are some characteristics of the Islamic economy.

First, it begins with faith in the Oneness of Allah and that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the
universe. He gave humankind a code of life that guarantees their wellbeing in this world and in the life hereafter.

It is also the characteristics of the Islamic economy that it upholds cooperation – instead of focusing on competition all the time. Human beings cannot live independent of each other. They have to live together and cooperate for the maximization of welfare and warding off evils.

A member of the Islamic society is one with the goal of earning the pleasure of Allah through right actions and service to his fellow human beings. Good intentions and right action thrive when they receive a positive response from others. Ultimately, competition in good deeds results in benefits to all concerned.

As well, generosity and benevolence must prevail in the society. Lust for money, and miserliness is condemned in all cases. In the society, there
must not be monopoly, exploitation, fraud or ususious transactions. Good should be enjoined and evil should be forbidden. The state has an active role to play in economic life. It should intervene if freedom is abused or people are not fulfilling their obligations.

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Fri, 21 Feb 2014