[Inspired from a talk by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed. Taken from HERE]
If you look in the Qur’an Al Kareem, Allah (swt) has given so many stories of how people searched for Allah. Even the prophets (as) used to turn to Allah (swt) in their youth, in the age of around 14 and 15. It comes about Hadrat Ibrahim (as) the famous story that all of us know that he first looked at the stars, then he looked at the moon, then he looked at the sun while searching for his Lord.
Now what was this?
This was a period of intellectual curiosity. For Hadrat Ibrahim (as) in his youth, all of a sudden something occurred to him and he tried to search for his Lord. Just like that those of us who are in our youths, this is the age when we are supposed to think about Allah (swt). This is the age when we are supposed to wonder about Allah (swt). We are supposed to turn to Allah Ta’ala. We’re supposed to turn to those who can guide us to Allah (swt).
Instead we spend our youth wondering about the pleasures of the world
We spend our life inquiring about the pleasures of this world and seeking help in attaining the pleasures of the world. When we are supposed to make Allah (swt) our friend, a young man makes all these other people his friends. He picks the worst people in his college to make his friends. He picks the coolest person in school to be friends with, picks the person who dresses in the most hip way to be friends with.
It’s because he thinks that that person has more of the dunya than me. That person has tasted more of the dunya than me, and if I become friends with him, then he too will introduce me to all the pleasures of the dunya.
Story of Hadrat Musa (as) in his youth
It comes about Hadrat Musa (as) that at the time of his youth he left his land and he migrated. It happened right after that famous story we all have heard when he punched out one of the people of his community. Thus he fled and he fled into the protection of Allah (swt). He fled in search of Allah (swt).
Just like that there’s the famous story of the As’haab e Kahf, it comes in the Qur’an Al Kareem that they used to look at the society around them and they felt that the society at that time was a society of fitnah, a society of sin. So they decided in order to worship Allah (swt), in order to maintain a bond with Allah, they would have to leave their society, they would have to seclude themselves in a cave.
This is the strength of youth, this is their energy that if the youth turns toward deen then their life will be like the life of Prophet Ibrahim (as), Prophet Musa (as), they will be like the youth of the cave. But if youth turn themselves towards the dunya, since youth is the time of energy, a time of vigor, if they turn towards the dunya then they will fall into each and every sin that this world has to offer.
Youth is a time when not only do we have the strength of intellect; we also have a physical strength. It is a time when our physical bodies are so strong that they have a demand on us. They make a request on us. Unless a person has a strong heart, he will be unable to restrain his physical body from falling into the temptations of this world.
In an ayah of the Qur’an Allah (swt) says:
يَوْمَ لَا يَنْفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ
إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ
Only that person who has a purified heart will be safe on the Day of Judgment. What we should know is that there are doors to this heart. Whatever you see comes into your heart. Whatever you hear comes into your heart. Whatever you say affects your heart. And whatever you do with your hands, whatever you do with your organs will affect your heart. So when shaytaan wanted to trap the youth of this world, he gradually made an entire syllabus for every young Muslim man in all four corners of the world. First shaytaan would make his ears go into sin. Then shaytaan will make his eyes go to sin. Shaytaan will see to it that his hands go into sin. And finally shaytaan will see to it that his organs go into sin.
The Shaytaan Network
What did shaytaan develop?
1. The first thing that shaytaan developed is music.
Shaytaan has the radio invented. Why? So that young men all over the world will hear the sound of women through lyrics, hear the sound of love; listen to songs of lust, love and desire. As they hear these songs about women, hear these words about love, hear these words about relationship, as they listen to music more and more, the more and more they would think that I too want to have that type of love which is described in that song. I also want to have that kind of a relationship being described in that song.
So first, shaytaan filled the ears of the Muslim men with the songs of the beautiful sounding women singers of the world.
2. Then shaytaan invented the television.
Now that the person has this desire in his heart, he has heard this beautiful voice, he’s heard these beautiful songs of romance and love, a desire has come up in his heart. The next stage is to make him see with his own eyes the beautiful objects of desire. So shaytaan invented the TV. Such that in every home of every Muslim in four corners of the world any man if they wants to, can turn the TV on and see any type of women.
3. Shaytaan developed the cable.
Shaytaan developed special channels that start after midnight. Now the young man has his own TV in his bedroom, right? When the young man grows up his parents ask him that what do you want?
He says O father I want my own TV in my own bedroom with my own cable connection with my own remote control where I can sit back and relax in my bed and just flip through the channels at night. O father, when you go to sleep at 11.00 pm, I look underneath the cracks of the door. When I see that the lights are off, I turn my TV on and I sit there and watch all these beautiful images coming in front of me until 2 or 3 in the morning. I watch it till I expel my physical energies, until I lie there in a state of weakness, in a state of sickness, in a state of impurity, and finally sleep comes over me. And then I wake up at 10 or 11 in the morning and then I start my day again.
So shaytaan created the TV and then brought the TV into the house, brought the TV into the boy’s bedroom, put the remote control in his hands and said sit back and relax on your bed and enjoy the show.
But shaytaan wasn’t content with this. He said fine I have made him sin with his ears, I have made him sin with his eyes, I have even made him sin with his organs but I want him to commit the ultimate sin. I want to lead him even further and further into the sin.
Enter the net of Shaytaan…
4. So shaytaan then created the internet.
By virtue of the internet the son doesn’t even have to wait till midnight. He doesn’t even have to wait till the lights are turned off. That young man has a 24 hour access to each and everything that he wants. Sins that were probably never even available to be shown on cable TV, a man can now watch all of that right on his computer screen.
Then again when he goes to school or goes to college he says O dad, you have your computer in the room, I want my own computer. I want a laptop that I can take with me wherever I go, that I can keep right here on my lap so I can have access to all those things 24 hours a day. I want an internet connection. As fast as I can get the information, I want that information delivered to me right on my lap on my laptop as fast as possible.
Every youth can relate to this.
What happens is that a young man who doesn’t even want to sin, shaytaan uses that TV and the internet connection to cause him to sin.
When the young man turns on the TV he only wants to watch CNN. But when he turns on the CNN, he turns on news, there’s a beautiful woman telling him the news. Then that beautiful woman all of a sudden is quiet and these beautiful advertisements come in front of him. Then all of a sudden the regular news ends and it’s time for the sports news. And in sports news all of sudden there’s a swimming contest, or it’s time for music and fashion news. And that young man sees all these women all these beautiful models and he remembers the names of the models.
Then that same young man turns the TV off. Later on, at some other time of the day, or some other day the young man goes on the internet and he only wants to look at the news. He goes on CNN website and he sees the picture of that same model. That same fashion news comes up and he sees a small picture at the corner of the website. And now what he sees from his eyes it affects his heart. He feels a direct signal into his eyes, into his heart there’s a lust that’s coming, a desire that’s coming. His fingers start typing away.
He goes to the yahoo search engine and types the name of that model. When he types the name of that model and presses enter, all types of websites come in front of him; websites the like of which he had not even imagined before. That young man when he had turned on the computer he only wanted to read the news.
But shaytaan made sure that O young man, you will get anything but the news.
You will get anything and everything but news. I have developed this internet to take him from one place to another within a matter of seconds.
It’s just a matter of seconds in which a person goes from halal to haram. In earlier times, it used to be so hard for a person to even look at a woman. Imagine, one hundred years ago you couldn’t even hear the voice of the same woman. There was no radio. Or 60 years ago you couldn’t even see the same woman because there was no TV. Let alone, now on your laptop with an instantaneous speed you can see anything that you want.
So that young man then goes and looks at that small website. And then he gets into what shaytaan ultimately wanted to lead him towards and then he lies there in a state of shame. He lies there in a state of embarrassment. He lies there in a state of weakness, in a state of tiredness and he gets depressed. He feels an emptiness inside of him.
The Muslim man, the believing young man, a person who has the light of imaan in his heart, he knows that he has done something wrong. Now that he has fulfilled his desires, now that he has regained his senses, his heart cries out to him. But what does he do? He just lies there passively and the next day he does the same thing again. Each and every day he does the same thing again, over and over and over again. Every night, every day, anytime he wants, he commits the sin.
This is the internet. Or as our Shaykh calls: enter net. In other words, enter the net, enter the web, become ensnared in the path of shaytaan.
Majority of those who have an internet connection, another thing that they do is that they go to an internet chatroom.
Then again, some of them may have very noble intentions.
I once had a friend in America who told me that he goes to Islamic chatrooms to make da’wa. And there are many different types of people in that chatroom. Mashaa Allah this friend of ours had several people getting da’wa from him. I don’t know what Allah Ta’ala put in his heart, but he had a special ability to give da’wa to young women over the internet. They would ask him about theda’wa, ask him about the deen of Islam. And naturally, he became worried about them. He wanted to take care of them. He became their friends. He wanted to see to it that they should not only get the beauty of Islam, but they should get the beauty of the world and the beauty that he had to offer them.
So then he would start e-mailing them; having an e-mail relationship. An internet love connection, right?
Falling in love over the internet
It sounds so foolish, but I can tell you that not dozens, not hundreds, not thousands, thousands and thousands of our young Muslim men are into this. They chat on the web. There are so many different types of chatrooms. If you walk into an internet café you will see that a young Muslim has 5 or 6 windows up simultaneously. He is chatting with 5 or 6 women. Even on the phone he wouldn’t have been able to do this.
First one girl gives him an answer. He’s busy writing her back and within that time three more messages pop up. Three or more windows pop up. He quickly types in them. His typing speed is incredible. He would surpass the greatest secretary of this city. He’s typing away, chatting up with three, four, five women at a time.
5. Then shaytaan introduces a video camera on the internet
You can send your picture over the internet and you can view the picture of one another. You can e-mail digital pictures to one another. So now, whole new types of images are popping up on his screen. Window after window after window is popping up, and he keeps upgrading his computer so he can keep handling the theme of information. He keeps increasing his hard-drive, he keeps increasing his ram. He’s buying a new video card.
Why is he buying that video card? What types of images does he want to see in his computer? So then shaytaan opens up this world for him. Streaming. Live stream videos… on the internet; live conversations on the internet.
Then what does shaytaan do?
Shaytaan says that this is still not my ultimate victory because this person is a cyber sinner. First he was a radio sinner. Then he was a TV sinner. And now by putting him on the computer he is now a cyber sinner. But my ultimate goal is to make him an actual sinner. So first shaytaan had put the radio in his bedroom, then he put the TV in his bedroom, shaytaan put the remote control in his bedroom. Shaytaan put the computer in his bedroom. Shaytaan put the internet connection in his bedroom. What next?
6. Shaytaan puts a cell phone in his hands.
Shaytaan puts the cell phone in his pocket. Shaytaan gives him the ultimate way to connect with a real live human being. This is what our Hazrat calls a hell phone. Not a cell phone, it is a hell phone because by virtue of what you do with that phone is going to lead you to the fire of the hell. So what does that person do? Now he gets the numbers of the girls in his school; girls who have their numbers up on the wall, girls who exchange their numbers with boys, he even takes the number of a girl from his friend.
It doesn’t even occur to him that if this friend of mine has her number then obviously he must have already called her. He must have already seen her and done so many things with her, but it doesn’t bother him. He is totally lost in his desires. He’s willing to take any number that he can get. Even a stranger’s. He has no idea of anything about her, but if he gets her number he will feed it into his cell phone and he’s going to call. Maybe the first girl would turn him off. But he won’t be discouraged. He will get another number. Maybe the second girl will turn him off. But he will keep calling, keep calling until he gets so much confidence that sooner or later some poor girl would fall to his whims and his vile.
Then he will start talking to the girl
He will chat her up like he’s just a friend of hers. And he would say nice things to her and he will befriend her. And he will talk normally. But all the time he is feeding his ears with the voice of that girl, and feeding it to his heart which is now filling up with desire. And as he praises the girl, the girl hearing the praises her heart also starts to swell up in desire. Then gradually, so cleverly he takes one step at a time. Then he arranges a time to meet with her that ok so why don’t you come to that restaurant at 10 am. And just sms me when you get there. I’ll be driving around that area in my car. As soon as I get the sms I will show up at the restaurant, or show up at that book store.
After the exchange of sms, then they meet. They first meet in a public place, they sit next to one another and they start chatting. And at that night he calls her up on the phone. And at that night they talk even more on the phone.
If the girl wants to hear her boyfriend’s calling at night, what she does is she puts her phone on a vibrating alert. And she’s sitting with her parents, enjoying the meal, talking to her parents. All of a sudden she feels a little buzz in her pocket. The parents have no idea. The daughter slightly excuses herself from the gathering and she goes in her room and she locks the door. She takes that phone and then she turns it on so that she can talk to that male friend of hers. Then they set up another meeting time.
Every time the places are less and less public than before.
Before, they met in a public park where dozens of people were around. Now they will pick a corner in that park where there’s no one around. After they meet on the bench in the park, then maybe he has a place where his relatives are out of town, or maybe his own parents are not at home so finally he asks the girl to come to his own home.
Then when she comes to his own home, he will lock the door. He will draw the curtains. He will still be scared. A part of him will still be crying out. Until he commits the final sin, there will always be a part of him that is crying out, begging him that
O young man, think of what you are doing. Think of what you are about to do. Think about that Lord who is watching you at all these times. Think about that Allah Ta’ala who is with you at all times.
But no, he will finally take her to that bedroom.
Now shaytaan has succeeded. That bedroom where he had managed to get the radio in, managed to get the TV in, managed to get the laptop and internet in, now by virtue of the cell phone shaytaan has managed to get a girl into his bedroom. Now he doesn’t even need the radio. He doesn’t even need the TV. He doesn’t even look at the internet. This phone that is his hell phone he can use to arrange a meeting with that girl whenever he wants.
The majority of Muslim youth only have this one sin.
There’s nothing else about the dunya that attracts them. If it is then it’s just a small thing like maybe there’s a kid who likes to wear jeans, or some boy likes to play some sports. This is the real sin that has captured all of our Muslim youth. If there’s anything else that they do it is in fact just to attract the women. If he gets a particular haircut style, it’s just because he thinks he will look more attractive to that girl.
If he wears a particular dress of fashion, or a cut off T-shirt, it’s just to attract that woman. Each and everything he does, day and night, all he thinks about, all he dreams about, all he plans about, all he tries for, all his efforts, all his heart, his mind, his brain, his body, his hands, his feet, his eyes, his ears each and everything has been sacrificed for this opposite gender, for the other half of the creation.
Imagine had that same boy sacrificed his whole self for Allah (swt), what height he would have reached. Imagine, had that person had as much love for Allah (swt) as he did for that girl, what height he would reach.
All of this, you would be surprised that although I’m from New York but I’m not telling you a story of New York. I’m telling you the story of Musaka, I’m telling you the story of Johannesburg, I’m telling you the story of Lahore, Pakistan. I’m telling you the story of Karachi, Pakistan. I’m telling you the story of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This is not a story of London or New York. These stories have come into the realities of the Muslim world, into the most sacred of Muslim countries, into the most sacred cities of the Muslim world. Cell phones and internet are common to Makkah and Medina. And these activities are happening in every place of the world. So much so that people come and tell that O Hadrat, this is happening even in Makkah, even in Medina.
A sinner who couldn’t control his gaze even in front of Baitullah
A person once came to Hadrat Saab, and said that O Hadrat saab, make dua for me I’m unable to guard my gaze. Even when I go for Umrah and for Hajj, even in the Haram, while making Tawaaf I’m unable to guard my gaze. In fact, my condition is such that [at that time there were stairs that went down to the well of Zamzam water] I would go and stand at the stairs apparently waiting for my wife but what I would do is I would look at all the faces of all the women who climbed up the stairs.
Now all of you who have ever been to Makkah Mukarama and have seen that the part of the stair path, the khanika is right in front of you. Imagine that you can see the house of Allah (swt) but instead of looking at that house, you lower your gaze from that house and stand there looking at the women climbing up the stairs. How fallen is that person, how overcome is he by his desires? Otherwise, the truth is that the eyes of one who has seen the khana ka’aba of Allah (swt) won’t even have the desire to look at anything else. The eyes that were blessed with the vision of the house of Allah (swt), those eyes that even saw the streets of Medina, those eyes that even saw the gutters of Medina should never even dream of looking at anything else.
But in those very holy places a young man uses his eyes to look at those strange women. Even in these holy places a young man is not able to control his gaze. Why? It’s because he spends his whole life, every day of his life in his room on the internet. If he spends every day of his life on the phone with a girl then how can he hope to save himself even if he is in Makkah or Medina?
Then by virtue of cell phone the boy and girl meet one another. They go to parties, they go to concerts. They meet at all types of sins.
I have heard of things that you can never even imagine because New York City is the king of the cities of the world.
It is a city that never sleeps. It means it is a city in which shaytaan never sleeps. It is a city of party that means it is a city where shaytaan parties all night long. All of shaytaan’s dreams are fulfilled in New York City. And everything that is done in New York City is broadcasted in every place of the world. Every Muslim young man today loves America. And they love New York City, they love Manhattan. When they see the sky line, the sky scrapers of Manhattan in the movies, when they see these things at the MTV music videos, when they hear the rappers in Brooklyn, when they hear of and see each and everything of Manhattan, they sow their hearts to Manhattan city. Many of them have never even seen New York City and majority of them will never even see New York City in their life.
Well, today I’ve come before you, who was born and raised in New York City
Who has spent the first 25 years of his life in New York City, who lived amongst New Yorkers, who lived amongst Americans. Who lived amongst the people whom the Muslim youth loves today. Who has lived amongst the people who the Muslim youth copies today. And I can tell you honestly that those people have no shame. They have no modesty. But more, and above all, they have no happiness. They are entirely empty inside. They are not happy with what they are doing. They are not happy with their life.
In the morning they wake up and go to work. From work they go to the bar with friends. They drink two, three, four, five drinks with their friends and then they meet whoever and whatever they can. Then they go to sleep. The next morning they wake up again and they do it all over again such that weeks, months, years pass away of their lives. And if you ever ask them if they are happy you will see that they are entirely unhappy.
If you look at them in the morning in the New York City subway, their faces are drawn, their faces look haggard. They seem as if someone had squeezed out any and every last drop of life, of spirituality that could have been in them.
They live miserable lives. They live like ants in large apartment buildings; 60 – 70 stories high, each one with a small compartment. And then they go down in the elevators, and then they go one mile below the surface of the earth and like ants they enter the subway car in the darkness. This is how Allah Ta’ala has made their lives. This is a terrible, a despicable, a sick and a tragic life. And the few blessed ones from that life who realize this, Allah Ta’ala blesses them with the hidaya.
But our Muslim young men, we don’t realize. We love their life. We wish we too could go to New York City. I have my own cousin in Karachi; he’s crazy about New York. His greatest dream in life is that someday I can make it to New York. His room is full of posters of all the pop stars, of all the sports stars, of each and every famous personality in America. I always tell him that you’re more American than me. I never once put such a poster in my room.
Why are they crazy about New York?
It’s because they are crazy about the desires, they are crazy about the lust. They want to go to that place where they think each and everything they want will become fulfilled. So young man, know that you’re a young Muslim man. When you walk into a masjid it’s only because you have some feelings for Allah (swt). You have some belief in Allah Ta’ala. You should think that O Allah, what am I doing with this computer? What am I doing with this cell phone? What type of life have I earned for myself?
A while ago Hadrat Sahab (Hadhrat Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmed damatbarakatuhu) gave an entire bayan just on the punishments that a person who commits zina will have in hellfire; an entire hour long lecture on all the different types of punishments that a person will get in hell who commits this sin.
1. A person who rises on the Day of Judgment having committed this sin will be en-cloaked and smothered with burning hot coal, with burning hot tar. He will be smothered with burning hot coal from all four sides, on each and every atom of his body.
2. He will be crawled over by scorpions. The scorpions will sting him on each and every atom of his body. They will keep forming over him, keep forming over his body and stinging him on each and every atom of his body.
Why? It’s because the punishment fits the crime; when he committed the crime at that moment of climax each and every atom of his body shivered with pleasure. So for the pleasure that he got in this world, shaytaan will give him a special tingling, a new type of tingling; the tingling of the fire of hell, the tingling of burning hot lava… the tingling of burning hot tar and coal; the tingling of the scorpions stinging his body on the Day of Judgment. That would be his punishment.
Imagine that what is it that we are earning? Just with one gaze against Allah Ta’ala what do you pay? If you even look at a strange woman, what is the price that you pay?
Hazrat Shaykh Ahmed Sirhindi, Imam e Rabbani Mujaddid (rah) writes in his maqtoobaat that when a person misdirects his gaze, when a person looks at woman he wasn’t supposed to look at, then Allah (swt) takes away from him his vision in the Afterlife.
For every Muslim who thinks he will eventually make it to Heaven; that’s true.
The thing we should worry about is that how long will it take?
A person may make it there after 1 year in hell, or 100 years in hell, or 100,000 years in hell.
It comes in Hadith that the last believer will be taken out by Allah (swt). First Allah (swt) will command the believers if there’s anyone you find in hell with even a drop of imaan, then intercede with them and take them out of hell. So the believers will search from the inhabitants of the hellfire, from the people who are burning and burning crisp, so they will find anyone who they can recognize with even a drop of imaan and they will take them out.
Then Allah (swt) will say if there’s anyone left? And they will say no. And then Allah (swt) will say are you sure? They will say that Allah Ta’ala anybody we with even an atom of imaan we have taken them out. But Allah (swt) will say no and He will figuratively scoop up a hand full of people and then Allah Ta’ala will take out another hand full of people from the hellfire.
What will be the condition of those people?
It is narrated in Hadith that they will be burnt to such a crisp that they would be unrecognizable even as human beings. The last people would almost be like corpses when they will be taken out. And then Allah Ta’ala will bring them into heaven and even in heaven they will have something like a stamp on their foreheads that would say that these are one of the people who used to be in hell. Then these people will make dua to Allah (swt) that O Allah Ta’ala, out of Your mercy You took us out of the hellfire, after years, after decades, centuries of punishment. Allah Ta’ala we make one final request that You remove this stamp from our foreheads as well. We still remain humiliated; we still remember that time of the hellfire. So then Allah Ta’ala will remove that sign from them and then they will live like all the other inhabitants of the heaven.
This is how we know from 100% certain proof that there will be some Muslims who will go to hell. And we know for certain that there will be some Muslims who will be amongst the last people to be taken out from the hell. Now we have to think that who could those Muslims be? If they aren’t the Muslims who watch the internet, if they aren’t the Muslims who from their cell phones meet women, if they aren’t the Muslims who commit this sin then what other Muslims can they be?
So without a doubt, if a Muslim does all these things and if he dies before repenting, if he meets his Lord in a state of sin, if he meets his Lord in a state of impurity, if he meets his Lord when he was living his life following his lust and desires then he too will face all these punishments. And these punishments aren’t just hearsay, these are a reality. We have to fear that we too may be amongst the people who face these punishments.
A light in the darkness
Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an Al Kareem:
اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ
“Allah (swt) is a protecting friend of the believers. He takes them out of the darkness of disbelief. He takes him out of the darkness and oppression of their sins. He takes him out of the darkness of his desires, and brings him into the life of belief, in a light of purity, in a light of His obedience.
And this is what happens to all those of us who have managed to escape. This is the story of my life that I managed to escape America.
I truly think that this was the mercy of Allah (swt) that He took me out of the darkness of New York City, took me out of the darkness of the colleges and the universities that I used to attend, took me out of the darkness of the dormitory life that I used to be a part of and brought me to Pakistan and gave me the ability to study His deen. He gave me the ability to live in the Madrassah dormitory. I cannot even explain, it is beyond me to describe in words this difference between darkness and light.
This difference is described by Allah (swt) as being absolute pitch black oppressive darkness where a person is lost. He doesn’t even recognize his own self. He’s completely clueless about what the meaning of life is. Then Allah Ta’ala brings into him a pure white light. Allah Taa’ala shows him the light of faith. Allah Ta’ala unites him with his pure, beloved ones. Allah (swt) makes him sit at the feet of the Muslim scholars. Allah Ta’ala can do this for anyone and everyone. Allah Ta’ala is always waiting to bring his servants out of darkness and into the light.
A person has to not even make any action, he just has to make an intention. He just needs to have a desire in his heart, he just has to cry out from his heart that Ya Allah I have spent all the years of my life in sin. Allah Ta’ala You said that that person who spends his youth in My worship, who spends his youth in My remembrance, I will grant him the shade of My throne on the Day of Judgment; on that day when there is no other shade other than the shade of My throne.
So imagine that youth who instead of spending his life in worship, spends his life in sins, spends his life in disobedience, spends his life chasing the women of the world, spends his life following his desires, spends his life on the internet; instead of shade of His throne he maybe cast into the depth of the hellfire.
Story of a young man who overcame his desires
There was a story in early Muslim times of a young man who was spending a night in the masjid. And there was a young girl from a very rich family who was making her way home when all of a sudden a fight started to erupt on the street. She became worried for her own safety. She looked here and there and didn’t know where to go. She saw a masjid, the house of Allah (swt), and she thought being a pious servant of Allah (swt) that let me go inside the masjid and let me just spend the night there until all the chaos passes away.
When she entered the masjid she saw that there was a young man there. When the young man saw this beautiful, fine, young, woman enter the masjid he also became afraid. And she sat in one corner of the masjid and he went and sat in another corner of the masjid.
At that time there was no electricity, no lights or bulbs. He was reading the Qur’an or studying some book with a candle. And all night long what he used to do was that after every 2 or 3 minutes he would stick his finger into the flame of the candle. And then he would take his finger out and then he would again resume reading the Qur’an and again resume reading his book. 5 or 6 minutes later he would again stick his finger in the flame of the lantern.
The young woman saw this all night long that the young man is doing this. So when the morning came, when fajr broke and the time had come for her to go to her home, she asked that young man can I just ask one thing why throughout the night you kept sticking your finger in the flame of the lantern?
So he said that the reason I did this was because throughout the night I was allured, even though I was in the masjid, even though I was in the house of Allah (swt) I felt a desire towards you. I thought that me and you are alone in this masjid, that there is no other person here with us, so every time I would feel even a slight desire I would stick my hand into the fire to remind myself O young man, if you even dare to take a step towards this girl, you will earn yourself the hellfire, you will be burnt in the hellfire so see to it that you can’t even handle the flame of a worldly fire. I would burn myself and then I would remind myself of the fire of the hell and then I would take it out and then again I would go back to my studies.
Then again, the pious young man, in the masjid said that a while later this desire would come up in me. Then I would burn my finger again in the flame. Then I would take it out and resume my studies. Then 15 minutes later again I would feel a desire inside of me so again I would burn my finger in the flame and again I would take it out. Just like that I passed the whole night that every 10 to 15 minutes later I had to burn my fingers in the fire of the lantern.
Now imagine a pious young man who had secluded himself in the masjid to worship the whole night, still he himself can be tempted by shaytaan, he himself can fall a prey to his desires. But what was the wisdom of this man, what was the brilliance of this young man is that rather than letting his desires take control of him, he took control of his desires. He taught himself a lesson by sticking his finger into the fire.
Just like that a young man if he wants to stay away from sin, he’s going to have to turn off his cell phone. He is going to have to disconnect the internet connection.
We had a friend in Karachi who once confessed to us of the sin
That he would always fall into the sin of surfing on the internet and seeing what he was able to see. After trying many different things, after diving into fasts, because that young man was unable to marry so he was told that in order to control his desires he should fast, but even after fasting he was not able to fully control his sins. The only result was that I had told him you are going to have to take the modem out of your computer and bring me your modem. So the next day he took the modem out of his computer and he placed his modem in my hands. And that was the only way he was able to save himself from sin.
Remember one golden rule that will make it easy for you to save yourself from each and any sin that you want. Our shar’iah has a philosophy, which in English we call nip the evil in the bud. You have to stop the sin at the first step.
Don’t try to make your battle line that last moment. Don’t try to go on the internet, look at the news, even go on that bad website and then say that at the final moment I will take myself out at that last clip. You have to save yourself from the first clip. You have to save yourself from the first button. You have to save yourself from even turning that computer on or plugging the phone cord in.
If you fight the battle in the beginning of the sin, at the very origin of the battle it is very easy to win. It is very easy not to turn the internet on. It’s very easy not to turn the TV on. But if you think that no I will consume and go into that sin further until I’m at the brim of that sin that I’m there looking at the clip and right at the last moment I will save myself. It’s impossible. It’s practically impossible that you can bring yourself up to that very moment of sin, you can walk through the door of the sin and then you can save yourself from going in.
The way to save yourself from sin is to
-> save yourself from the opportunity of sin.
-> Save yourself from the people of sin.
-> Save yourself from the thoughts of sin.
Don’t even pick up the phone and talk to that girl. Don’t even write that e-mail. Don’t even go into those chatrooms. And better yet, don’t even have that internet connection at home.
To be honest, today a Muslim young man can’t even save himself from sin unless he disconnects himself from the internet. He cannot save himself unless he turns back and cancels that cell phone account. Otherwise, these two thing; the internet and the cell phone, shaytaan has so ensnared the Muslim young men that even that young man who comes in atikaaf and spends last 10 days in the month of Ramadan and cries to Allah (swt) in dua his condition is such that if he goes back to that same home, if he goes back to that same internet connection, if he turns on that same cell phone then he is just inviting himself back into sin.
True taubah, true repentance means that you leave all those things that lead you to that sin.
If you truly want to repent, it means that you must make a sincere intention now that when you go home you will turn off that connection. When you go home you will turn off that phone. When you go home you will disconnect that cable service. When you go home you will cut off all the relationships with any and every girl that you ever may have had. Until you have that intention now, if you go back to the same old life then shaytaan will ensnare you in the same old ways. But if you attach yourself to Allah (swt), then He will send His special mercy on you, His special gaze will be upon you.
Who does Allah (swt) love more; the pious or the one who has repented?
Once, two men were arguing with one another and an old man walked by. When they saw the old man, they called him over and said that O old man, maybe you can resolve our argument. He said well I’m no Shaykh, I’m not a scholar, or an an Aalim but why don’t you tell me what you are disagreeing about and maybe I can help you out.
So the two men said that we are have a disagreement about that whom does Allah Ta’ala love more. Does Allah Ta’ala love that servant of His who never sins, who always remain pure, who always are modest, who always safeguarded his chastity.
Or does Allah (swt) love that servant more who sinned in his past, who committed the oppression on his soul, who may have lost his chastity but then he repented and rejoined himself with Allah Ta’ala. Who does Allah Ta’ala love more, the person who never sins or the person who sins and then turns back to Allah Ta’ala?
The old man said that well, I cannot tell you any answer from the Qur’an Al kareem, but I’m a weaver and from my own life experience I can tell you that whenever I’m weaving I have so many threads and I have to carry all these threads across the room till the end. If one piece of thread or a piece of yarn breaks off, I have to go back and attach that yarn. And when I attach that yarn and start weaving again, I always keep a special gaze at that yarn that broke off.
The yarn that had first broken off and I had knotted back together so now I keep my special gaze on that piece of string lest it breaks again. So it seems to me that Allah (swt) also keeps His special gaze, sends His special mercy on that servant who once broke off with Him but then he joined himself again. Allah Ta’ala takes special care of this weak and needy servant, of his hapless and his hopeless servant.
If we too turn to Allah Ta’ala, if we say that Allah Ta’ala truly we are disconnected from you. Truly we broke our cord from you. Truly we let go of Your rope and fell into the pit of sin, we fell into the habits of our desires. O Allah Ta’ala, today we call out of that sin. We once again grab that rope, we once again make that connection with You. Allah Ta’ala , we know we are weak. We know that we might even slip from that rope again, but we count on Your mercy, we count on Your Kindness, on Your Rehmah that Allah Ta’ala You will keep us attached to You. You will keep us attached to this rope and You will forgive us for our sins.
A sinner who became the Wali of Allah (swt)
At the time of Hassan Basri (rah), one of the greatest Auliya in the history of the Muslim world, he had a female mureed who used to attend his lectures and talks with a lot of sincerity. That female mureed of his had one son. Her young son, that young man in the height of disease used to sin so much. He never observed the beauty of Islam. He would leave his prayers and he would lead a life of sin. He used to commit each and every sin that was available at that time.
The mother used to cry, his mother used to pray for him, she used to give him many advices. She even used to ask her Shaykh Hassan Basri (rah) to make dua for her son. She even used to sometimes drag her son to the gatherings of Hassan Basri (rah). And Hassan Basri used to give her son advices, he used to make dua for him and he used to try his best to reform him. But her son would not change his ways. She kept trying and trying but the son remained stubborn. He was known in his whole community as the most sinful person of that time.
Then what happened was that Allah (swt) sent him a punishment in this world. Allah Ta’ala inflicted him with a sickness; a deep and mortal sickness. As that young man became more and more sick, he began to realize that this is my final sickness and death would soon overcome me. Then finally the words of his mother, the prayers of his mother had an effect on him and he called his mother.
He said O mother, now I have realized that I have led a life of sin. I have followed my desires. I ignored your advices, I ignored the advices of the Wali of the time. I didn’t do qadar of the Wali of the time. And now I know that Allah (swt) has sent this sickness on me as a punishment for my sins. Allah Ta’ala is punishing me. Allah Ta’ala is angry at me and now I’m scared that if death overcomes me then I will meet Allah Ta’ala in a state that He is angry with me.
So O my mother today I pledge to return to Allah Ta’ala. Today I seek forgiveness for all of my sins. And mother my last request to you before I die is that you call Shaykh Hassan Basri (ra) and you tell him that I have repented for my sins. And ask him to come here and accept my taubah so that he can testify on the Day of Judgment that I have repented to Allah Ta’ala and so that he can also make dua for me before I pass away that Allah (swt) forgive my sins.
Imagine, how happy that mother’s heart was. All her life it was her dream that her son leaves his life of sins. And she was so scared that her son was sick and he was about to die. So when her son called her and said these words, there was no limit to her happiness. Immediately, the mother went to the place of Hassan Basri (ra) and knocked on his door. Hassan Basri opened the door. She saidO woman, why have you come? She said O Shaykh, my son wants to repent for his sins. He says that he’s sincere. He wants you to come to the house and he wants to repent to Allah (swt) at your hand.
At that time Shaykh Hassan basri (ra) was busy with some other duties. He said O woman, your son is nothing but a deceiver. He’s nothing but a liar. He’s nothing but a sinner. How many times will you let your son break your heart? How many times will you let your son fool you? O woman, know that there’s nothing that you can do for your son. Allah Ta’ala has hardened the heart of your son. Allah (swt) has sealed the heart of your son. He is just fooling you again. I no longer have any time left for him. And he shut the door on her.
Now image that woman whose joy and happiness knew no bounds, all of a sudden now imagine her sadness, her depression that how can I go back to my son? How can I tell my son that Hadrat Hassan Basri (ra) the Wali of the time, even he has lost hope in you. The mother starts to go home and she starts to shiver at the thought that maybe if Hassan Basri (rah) is saying that her son is not sincere then maybe Allah (swt) has not accepted his repentance. Maybe the fact that the wali is not accepting his repentance is a sign that my son is not qabool. She started to cry and she came back to her son.
The son when he saw his mother come home, he looked up expectantly, he looked up hopefully thinking that his mother would have brought Hadrat Hassan Basri.
When he saw his mother come alone he asked O mother, what happened? His mother cried and couldn’t think of anything to tell her son. But the son insisted. So the mother finally told him that O son I went to Hadrat Hassan Basri (ra) but he has refused your request. He has refused to come and accept your repentance at his hands.
The son looked at his mother and he too became scared that maybe truly this means that Allah Ta’ala has not accepted me. Maybe Allah Ta’ala has decreed that I should die in a state of sin. That I should die in the same way as I lived. He said that O mother truly I have sinned so much that I’m beyond any hope. That I’m beyond any hope of even the wali of the time.
O my mother when I pass away then take my corpse out into the city and wrap a rope around my corpse. Then drag my corpse in front of all the people and make an announcement that O people, that young man who persisted in sin, that young man who failed to repent to Allah (swt) this is the end that he meet. He is dragged in front of the people.
Even the Auliya of time refused to look at him. Even the Wali of time refuses to come to him. O my mother, maybe then Allah Ta’ala will have mercy on me. Maybe if you drag me in front of the people and make me look like a wreckage as a despicable, as a sinning as a lonely person, maybe at that moment Allah Ta’ala will have mercy on me. Maybe Allah Ta’ala will see my face being dragged, maybe He will see the blood stains on my face when I’m being dragged, maybe then Allah ta’ala will send his mercy on me.
Saying this that son passed away.
Imagine the condition of the mother she started weeping, she started crying. And just after a few moments there was knock on the door. When she heard the knock on the door, she opened the door and saw Shaykh Hassan Basri (ra) with tears in his eyes. The woman said O Hassan Basri (ra), how is it that you have come, how is it that you yourself have come to my door?
He said O woman, know that after you left I laid down to take a nap. When I laid down for the nap, Allah (swt)’s voice came to me in my dream and He said O Hassan Basri, you claim to be the wali of mine? Yet you deny to go to the door of My wali. You deny to take repentance of My wali?
I woke up all of a sudden and I realized that I had made a grave mistake. Allah Ta’ala had accepted the repentance of that young man. Allah Ta’ala had made that young man His wali. Allah Ta’ala had included that man in the ranks of His Auliya. O woman, I’m here as your servant. I’m here as a servant of that young man. I come as a slave of that young man. It would be my honor if you let me read the jannaza of that young man.
So my friends, no matter how much you sin, no matter how low we may go, if we turn to Allah Ta’ala sincerely, Allah Ta’ala will not only forgive us our sins, He can turn our sins into good deeds. He can even raise us amongst the ranks of the Auliya. Because that young man who turns to Allah (swt) in his youth, that young man who gives his heart and cries out to Allah (swt) in repentance, Allah (swt) loves that young man and Allah (swt) makes that young man His wali.
May Allah (swt) give all of us the taufeeq to repent from all of our sins and to lead a life that is pleasing to Allah (swt).
Wa aakhiru daa’waana anil hamdu lillah hi rabbil aalameen