Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beware of what and where you eat!

O son, beware of what you eat. The food must not only be halal but the person who prepares the food must have wuduk (ablution). Avoid drinking/eating at sidewalk cafes. If you must, be sure to lower your gaze and not backbite at passers-by. These words of advice came from Shaykh Hisham Kabbani. Below is an edited version of his sohba given during the last week of Ramadhan 1430H (18 September 2009).

People are ignorant; there are thousands of ahadith beside what Imam Bukhari and Muslim wrote, every moment he was speaking to Sahaba, there are so many authentic ahadith out there. This one is from Sahih Muslim. Prophet (s) said:
إياكم والجلوس في الطرقات فقالوا : يا رسول الله ما لنا من مجالسنا بُدّ ، نتحدث فيها ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم (( فإذا أبيتم إلا المجلس فأعطوا الطريق حقه ، قالوا : وما حق الطريق يا رسول الله ؟ قال : (( غض البصر وكف الأذى ، ورد السلام ، والأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر )) متفق عليه
Iyyakum wa'l-juloosu fit'turuqaat - I am warning you, avoid sitting in coffee shops on the street. Are you doing that? Yes, we are not only drinking, putting one leg on another having a cigarette and blowing smoke on each other's face because you can smoke on street. In Muslim countries, they bring sheesha and smoking it, backbiting everyone. This is the reward for Eid because they fasted and now they have to do that. Prophet (s) said, I am warning you, don't sit on the street, but they said "O Prophet, we cannot stop that, this is our own meeting area, we have to sit and complain". Look, how dare they speak against (him), instead of saying sami'na wa aat'ana. They said, we cannot, then Prophet (s) lowered it because if Prophet (s) prohibited and they did, then (it would become) difficult for them. So the Prophet (s) said, "fa idha abayatum alaa al-majlis fa-`atoo at-tareeq haqqah" - if you insist that you want to stay and keep this meeting on the street by drinking coffee or anything, give the right of street if you sit there."
Many scholars say, 'don't sit in restaurant'. If a hungry person passes by, the negative energy will affect you - the jealousy, the envy that goes from one to one. You are eating and they are not. You are wasting food. This envy is reflected on you and that is why you get sick more often. They (tend to) eat out more. It is better to hire a cook than to go and cater outside. If you cater then know from whom you are catering. See if the cook has full ablution or not. If that person is junub, meaning he did not take shower, the food then is poisoned. If the cook is angry, your food become poisoned to eat. If the cook is hired, but the owner does not give him permission to eat, his eyes will wander and your food is poisoned. He might go to the toilet and not wash his hands so the food is poisoned. Shaitan says don't wash hand, for them ablution is not mentioned. It is a backward thing of Muslims.
There are many disciplines we have to follow in Islam. He said if you have to meet in cafe then give the walkway a right. "What is the right of someone walking on the street?" they asked. The Prophet said, "ghadu 'l-basar", keep your eyes down, don't backbite". Who can sit on walkways and keep their eyes down? You look at everyone and try to criticize all, which means you cannot sit on the walkway. Unless you are sincere and drink with a straw with head down. It is ridiculous trying to eat with your head bent down and you cannot look right or left. That means the Prophet (s) was giving them a hard time with sitting there.
Today you see people sitting on the streets everywhere. Apart from keeping your eyes down, make sure you don't harm anyone. Sometimes boys or girls are naughty, they want to pass comments to people, "Why this one is wearing high heels? Why this one is having a turban? Why this one is having a beard?" The Prophet said, don't harm and spread false rumours and he said give salaam and accept salaam back. People today don't say salaam or are afraid to say salaam to someone. Salaam is sunnah. They would only give salaam if they know you. How would I know you if you don't wear sunnah clothes? Some people put on hats like the white ones. People cover their head when they go to pray, at least for the sake of sunnah to identify you as Muslims. Now no one knows Muslim on the street, they have very different behaviours.
To call for good and avoid bad means you have to remind yourself of the bad desires and tell other people to avoid them. I will end with this: The Prophet (s) said, أفضل الجهاد كلمة عدل عند سلطان جائر - afdhalul jihad, "The best of jihad." Today they use this word for many things in a wrong way. In the hadith as identified by scholars there are fourteen different jihad, one is against aggressors and thirteen against yourself. Prophet (s) said, "The best of jihad is to say "kalimatu `adlin `inda sultanin jaa'ir - to say a just word in front of a tyrant;" to say a just word, a good word, to remind him of the bad things he is doing. Who is that tyrant? That is you first, as there is evilness in yourself, that small clot that Shaytan enters. It means we are doing things against what Allah (swt) and Prophet (s) ordered. So we have to say a just word against those who are attacking us. May Allah (swt) guide us to follow the way of the Prophet (s) and Sahaba (r) and give us our reward and change imitation fasting into real fasting. Ameen.

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