Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Have sobrun jamil" - Habib Ali Zainal Abidin


The sun is down, but I feel like I am walking on the sunshine. Why? I just got back from majlis ta'lim with my qurrata a'yun (one who is pleasing to the eyes) oh so jamil he is - Habib Ali Zainal Abidin. Jamil not just physically but more importantly akhlak (good manners), knowledge and good humor.

Habib Ali continued from the last tafsir lesson beginning from verse 8 of Surah Yusuf. Yusuf's elder siblings, ten of them who were from a different mother, were of a stronger lot (usbatun). Yusuf and another brother Bunyamin were young so Ya'kub preferred them. Yusuf's brothers thought that it was unbecoming of their father to display such unfair preference/favoritism.

إِذْ قَالُواْ لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىٰ أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِي ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِينٍ
"Some of Yusuf’s brothers, said, to some of the others: ‘Surely Yusuf and his brother, his full brother Benjamin, are dearer to our father than we are, though we be a [hardy] band, a group. Lo! our father is in plain aberration, in manifest error, for preferring those two to us." (Tafsir al-Jalalayn)

So the big brothers plotted an evil plan thinking that it would be for a good reason.

ٱقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ أَوِ ٱطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضاً يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ وَتَكُونُواْ مِن بَعْدِهِ قَوْماً صَالِحِينَ
"Kill Yusuf or cast him away into some land, that is, into some distant land, so that your father might be solely concerned with you, so that he might turn [his attention] to you and not be distracted by anyone else, and that thereafter, that is, after killing Yusuf or casting him away, you might be a righteous folk, by repenting."
(Tafsir al-Jalalayn)

Habib Ali said: It is not possible to do one act that is both evil and good at the same time. Yusuf's brothers knew their father Ya'kub was a prophet, yet they thought he was wrong and misguided. But Yusuf had no mother. He was young and needed attention. Ya'kub loved him and love is like Sultan, it cannot be controlled. So they devised an erroneous scheme wanting to do good by doing evil. They were influenced, they were tazzayin minas shaytan, they were deceived by shaytan who inspired them to do bad and repent afterwards. We cannot hear shaytan speak loudly and openly like, 'do this, do that'. Shaytan merely cast doubt in our nafs and the nafs direct our brain to follow its scheme. That's how it works. Yusuf's brothers were acting out of hasad. They wanted to harm Yusuf. In fact what they did was wrong for four reasons. They tried to break silatur ar-rahmi (relationship); they were disobedient towards their father Ya'kub - they lied to him. They had no mercy. They deliberately separated Ya'kub from his beloved son. Ya'kub was old, yet they were merciless towards him.

People who have hasad wish that the enemy would lose whatever blessings that he is envious about and wish that the blessings would come to him instead. Hasad could be on dunya matters or religious matters. The latter is worse. There are 'religious' people who do not like other ustaz/mu'aleem to be better than them; to be more eloquent or to have more followers. Hasad is haram. That is why we seek refuge from it as in the verse al-Falaq:
wa min shar riha sidin iza hasad
 وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ
'from the evil of an envier when he envies'

We should not be envious towards other people because the zat/essence who grants a person more or better things is the same zat who grants us less (relatively). If we are envious, it shows that we are not satisfied with qada and qadar. It is as though we want to play God in apportioning rizq. Like you wish to take more than what is decreed.

How do we protect ourselves from hasad? There are three things we could do.
i. To have knowledge on remedies for the heart.
ii. tafakkur (contemplate) on the knowledge e.g. understand what constitutes a good act and what is not based on the knowledge that we have.
iii. Have patience towards people who have hasad against us.

We must not only have sabur, but our sabur must be of sobrun jamil (a high degree of patience). We should neither confide in Allah nor people about anything bad that befall us, be it sickness or calamities. Allah knows our conditions very well, so there is no need to lament. If we complain to people, it shows that our patience is not good enough, we have sabur all right, but not sobrun jamil.

What is the the greeting of people in heavens? They say salamun alaykum bima sobartum. Peace be upon you as a result of your patience. Notice, it's not because of prayers, donations, hajj etc Well yes those deeds are required of us but what counts more is patience. One act that is liked the most by Allah is patience for He has created the world as an arena to test us, to see who has more patience.

Therefore, prove that you have patience by not telling people about your sickness. Nowadays people have a habit of telling others their condition. When they are being asked, 'how are you', they would say, 'Oh I have high cholesterol', 'I am suffering from ghout' and so on. No, don't do that. Secondly, don't reveal to people any musibah that comes your way. Thirdly, don't boast to people about your ability to handle God's challenges for you. Don't say, 'I have gone through a very bad experience, but I was patient.' Don't do that either. Lastly, know that our worst enemy is not shaytan but our own nafs. Our nafs is the place for shaytan to orchestrate its ugly scheming.
Wallahu a'lam.
The above majlis was hosted by:
May Habib Ali forgives me for any mistakes in my note taking ;-)


  1. Salam Sister E

    I try to read Surah Falaq regularly so I think the following belongs to this surah, by no means am I checking your work, for one I do not possess the knowledge to, its just something I noticed.

    May Allah swt bless you this Shaban and continue to strengthen your pen.

    JKhair, with much love and dua

    P.S. A friend in islam provided me with a beautiful read, I would be interested to know what you think, it is a lengthy read but worthwhile, there are 6 parts, its part 6 that touched my heart and soul.

  2. Forgot to include what I was referring to:

    wa min shar riha sidin iza hasad
    وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ
    'from the evil of an envier when he envies'


  3. Salam sweety R,

    Thanks very much for pointing out the unintentional mistake. I have immediately rectified it. May Allah bless your kind heart always and forever.