How Are You Doing?

Young Muslims Conference 2014

What follows is an analysis of Imam Siraj Wahhaj’s speech given at this conference. Please listen to the talk and let us know your feedback as well.

You can order Imam Siraj’s daughter’s book here.

A person cannot be a leader whether that’s an Imam, principal, teacher or parent without making an assessment of how we’re doing.

Are we doing the job that needs to be done?

We will never change until we admit where we are. Muslims in American and throughout the world will never improve until we look at the model from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said the best generation is his and then the one after that and then the one after that. These early generations fought oppression, and struggled to establish Isalm.

How were those early generations able to do what they did? They followed the Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger.

Too many of us have been blinded by the life of this world. We think that this is all there is to it. But no matter how long we live, at some point, we will stand before and be judged.

So it is important to reflect on the Hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn Umar, when the Prophet advised him to be in this world like a stranger.

While we’re on this topic, it is important to note just who exactly Abdullah Ibn Umar was.

There is a story of how he and another young companion, Usamah Ibn Zayd, both wanted to participate in the Battle of Uhud. However, they were only 13 years old at the time and the Prophet would not allow them.

But the fact that these young boys were willing to put their lives on the line for Islam is an amazing thing.

And to further illustrate how blessed and dynamic Abdullah Ibn Umar was, there is another story about his knowledge about the ranks of our parents.

what-have-you-doneThis story takes place many years later when Abdullah ibn Umar is an adult and a scholar. He was at the Kaaba where he saw a man carrying his mother on his back while making Tawaf.

The man asked Abdullah ibn Umar if he had repaid the debt to his mother, since he was now carrying her.

Abdullah replied that the man had not even paid back one contraction.

Many of us are not aware of the blessings we have, especially our parents.

Many young Muslims take for granted the fact that go to a full time Muslim school. Their parents often have to pay high tuition fees in order for them to go.

And let’s not forget the teachers at these schools! Most of these teachers suffer a serious pay cut compared to what they would make in the public schools.

This brings us back to our initial question.

How are we doing? It is pleasing to see the Muslims who attend the conferences, but there are so many more who never go.

And furthermore, they are not in the Masjid either.

Imam Siraj says that he’s come to the conclusion that Allah wants us to have a certain feeling when people ask us “How are we doing?”

He then related a story about a companion named Hanzalah who was also a friend of Abu Bakr. When Abu Bakr asked him how he was doing, Hanzalah responded that he felt like a hypocrite.

Hanzalah had the nickname “Washed by the angels” and it’s important that we understand how he got that name.

The story behind that was that he left to fight in Uhud after being with his wife without making Ghusl. The Prophet then mentioned that Hanzalah was killed in the battle and saw him being washed by the angels.

In that same report, Abu Bakr confirmed that he felt the same way and so they both went to see the Prophet and ask him about it.

The Prophet then mentioned that if they had the same feeling all the time, the angels will shake their hands and that there was a time for this and a time for that.

Another story was about a man who had met over 30 companions of the Prophet and that all of them were afraid of hypocrisy on themselves.

So, when somebody asks us “how are we doing,” Imam Siraj Wahhaj says he believes Allah wants us to feel anxious and scared.

The Imam told about an experience when he was in Ohio and asked the Muslim students were they more inspired by the love or fear of Allah?

Several students said the love of Allah motivated them. The Imam challenged that assertion. He then went on to say how the Prophet said he feared Allah more than anyh of us did.

Now let’s take a look at the Day of Judgment.

There is a hadith that makes it seem like the disbelievers who go to hell will be extremely big. Why is that?

Even those in the hellfire will be fed, but it will be very bitter. But despite how bad it is, they will still want more.

The fact is, this world is a deception and it just wants to get us to succumb to our base desires and passions.

The things we want that are not permissible now, we will have in the next life in paradise.

We must study the verses of hellfire and heaven. That way we will know that we should have a healthy fear of Allah, but still always hope for His Mercy.

You can order Imam Siraj’s daughter’s book here.

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