A collection of words of wisdom and excerpts from the spiritual gatherings of Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq

Reconciliation through Positivity

Reconciliation does not happen if you keep on digging up old dirt. If you wish to resolve a dispute, you should not repeatedly go over what has happened before. You have to bury the past.

In order to reconcile, forgive and forget, and to tolerate others you have to focus on the positives and overlook the negatives. This is what we learn from the Qurʾān and hadīth and this should be our approach in everything.

[This short excerpt is based on a lecture delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Friday 22nd November 2019]


Richest Man in the Cemetery

Abū al-Dardāʾ رضى الله عنه used to say “We eat and drink and the rich eat and drink. We dress and the rich dress. The rich have excess wealth and they look at their excess wealth and we look at their excess wealth. But they will be questioned about it, and we will not.”

These are real words of wisdom from Abū al-Dardāʾ رضى الله عنه.

In the Holy Qur’an, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى addresses His Messenger ﷺ and says:

Your Lord will give you until you are content [Sūrat al-Ḍuḥā, 93:5]

We should remember that this verse is to do with the ākhirah. The truth is that insān, on earth, is never content, unless he trains his mind, soul and heart. No matter what we achieve in the dunya, we are not satisfied and do not stop. This is the very nature of man. Steve Jobs once said ‘Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me’. That is ultimately what it is; no matter how wealthy we may become, we must ultimately enter the grave. At that point, what does all our wealth account for? It is meaningless.

We should therefore shift our gaze and focus from the dunya to the ākhirah. One way of training our minds is by reflecting on the profound statement of Abū al-Dardā. What does his saying mean? No matter how rich you become, there is only so much you can consume, wear and benefit from. Any excess wealth will just be on display.  

[This short excerpt is based on a lecture delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Friday 22nd November 2019]


Sunnah beyond Worship

We should be endeavouring to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ and follow him in every aspect of our lives.

We should remember that his sunnah is not just in his worship. Sunnah is in our dealings with each other, in the softness of his words, his akhlāq, in the way he behaved with others, in the way he treated others, in the way he treated women and children, and even the way he treated his enemies. All of this is part of his sunnah. It was not just his salāh, zakāh and Hajj. His sunnah is in everything. This is what the ʿulamāʾ always try and adopt.

[This short excerpt is based on a lecture delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Friday 15th November 2019]


Emulation

The life of the Prophet ﷺ should be emulated not just celebrated.


The Final Message

What was the last verse of the Qur’an to be revealed? Many people believe it to be:

On this day I have completed my blessing and favour to you and I am content with Islam  as a deen and religion for you [ Surah al-Māʾidah 5:3]

However this was not the case.The last verse to be revealed is in Surah al-Baqarah (Surah 2:Verse 281) in which Allah reminds mankind that they will be returned to Him:

And be wary of a day in which you shall all be returned to Allāh. Then each soul shall be repaid in full, whatever it has earned. And they will not suffer any injustice. [Sūrat al-Baqarah, 2:281]

Ponder on the fact that the entire Quran with the stories of the Prophets, stories of the pious, all its laws about marriage, divorce, transactions, children, with all its teachings about worship and life, after all that this is the final verse that was revealed. After all that, we are told to ‘be wary of a day in which you shall all be returned to Allah.’ That is the final verse and the final message of the Quran for us to ponder over.

[This short excerpt is based on the lecture, ‘The Purpose of Life’ delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Friday 27th January 2017]


Utter Devotion

Allāh told the Prophet ﷺ at the beginning of Prophethood ‘Read by the name of your Lord.’ [Sūrat ul-ʿAlaq].

We look at this verse and think look how much the Qurʾān has emphasised learning and education. It is true. But, has the the Qurʾān focussed on, and emphasised, learning and education purely for the the sake of reading, or learning for the sake of learning? Or is there a greater purpose?

If we think the Qurʾān has emphasised learning and reading, for the sake of learning itself then we have misunderstood the verse. Following revelation of this verse, Sūrat ul-Muzzammil and Sūrat ul-Muddaththir were revealed. In Sūrat ul-Muzzammil, Allāh says

Oh one wrapped in a shroud. Rise at night except for very little. [Sūrat ul-Muzzammil, 73:1-2]

(meaning spend as much of the night in prayer as possible leaving only a little time not spent in prayer).

Later Allāh says:

And Remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself unto Allāh with an utter devotion. [Sūrat ul-Muzzammil, 73:8]

The purpose even for the Prophet ﷺ was not reading for the sake of reading, or learning for the sake of learning . The Prophet ﷺ did not have to learn anything. Allāh taught him everything.

Hence, for the Prophet ﷺ the meaning of reading here is not reading a script for the purpose of learning. Reading here is recital of what Allāh gave him . Of course the duty of the Prophet ﷺ was rising and warning the people and conveying the message of Allāh (as mentioned in Sūrat ul-Muzzammil and Sūrat ul-Muddaththir). We know about that duty.

But, what about his personal relationship with Allāh? Of that, Allāh says ‘Remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to him with an utter devotion.’ That was right at the beginning of his Prophethood, long before he had a band of followers, long before Hijrah and before he had a position of power , influence, or authority.

[This short except is based on the talk ‘The Spirituality of the Prophet ﷺ’ which was delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 17th December 2017]


Success and Wealth

We think money will buy us everything – power, love, influence, recognition, peace, joy, happiness and so on. Money cannot necessarily buy these things. We think success is in wealth. We often say that he or she is ‘successful’ meaning that they are wealthy. If someone does well in business, they are considered successful. Hence, we equate wealth with success and success with wealth.

We think success lies in gaining wealth. Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ says success lies in giving away wealth.

We think success is acquiring wealth. Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ says success is in distributing wealth.

We believe success is in gathering, collecting and hoarding wealth. Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ says success is in giving away that wealth. That is why Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ says in a verse of Sūrat Ar-Rūm:

“So give the relative his due and the poor and the traveller.[Sūrat Ar-Rūm 30:38]

Remember, this is over and above zakāh.  Zakāh is obligatory but Allāh سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ‎ has told us that zakāh is the bare minimum that you should give. Over and above zakāh, you should give as much wealth as possible. To whom? To all kinds of categories of people as in this verse.

[This short except is based on the talk ‘True Success’ which was delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Friday 3rd March 2017]


Rise and Fall

We want perfection in everything around us. We would all want the weather to be perfect, for example, but we have to learn that we have no control over it. When the weather is not the best, how do we react? If we accept, we may see beauty in what we accept. If not, there will be bad weather outside and there will be bad weather inside us.

If things are not perfect, we are aggrieved, agitated, unhappy and disillusioned. As a result our spirit suffers, our rūḥ and religion suffers. Allāh has told has what we need to do – to remember Allāh, to focus on Allāh, to accept that the world around us was never meant to be perfect. It is organised chaos. There are always highs and lows.

The Prophet ﷺ had a very beautiful and prized camel, Qaswa, which would always win in a race. Once Qaswa lost and the Sahabah became very saddened. The Prophet ﷺ said to them that it is a duty on Allāh that nothing rises in the world except that Allah brings it down again. This is the reality of the world. There are highs and lows. Everything that rises in the dunya, rises to fall. That is the cycle of life. We rise and we fall by the end of our life. Nothing lasts forever. Even the greatest of structures in the dunya have collapsed and will collapse. This is not a world of permanency and perfection. It is how we deal with things around us that is important.

[This excerpt is based on a talk entitled ‘The Pursuit of Perfection’ delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 16th December 2018]


Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 29: Decompression

A sudden transition from the intense spirituality of Ramadan to a less devotional atmosphere can result in ‘spiritual bends’ (decompression)


Ramaḍān 2019 – Day 28: Avoid Distraction

Let not the fatigue of our month’s endeavours or the excitement of the pending Eid distract us from the last few blessed moments of Ramadan.



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