|Shaykh Muhammad Ismail Az-Zein of Makkah|
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, knowledge seekers at the majlis ta'lim organized by Darul Murtadza were blessed to have a guest from Makkatul Mukaramah last Friday (18 Jan 2013).
Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein is a lecturer at the Umm al-Qura University in Makkah. His father Shaykh Ismail az-Zein is a renowned scholar of the haramain.
Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin al-Hamid urged the audience to open their hearts and listen attentively to the honorable guest speaker and likened Shaykh Muhammad's presence as a gift from Makkah.
Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein said [as interpreted by Habib Ali]:
Praise be to Allah for having blessed me with His bounties. I was in Makkah last night and here I am in Malaysia this evening. Allah has facilitated this, that we are able to foster relationships with people from the East and the West, that we are able to visit one another, all this is due to His generous bounty and tawfik.
In a hadith Qudsi, we learned about the obligation to love one another for Allah's sake, to visit each other and to give to another for His sake. The Prophet sallallah alaihi wasalam told us that those who pay one another a visit and who love one another for the sake of Allah will receive a great bounty from Allah. Also as stated in a hadith, when two Muslims meet and exchange handshakes, Allah will pardon their sins. That indeed is a great blessing.
Allah says: "A person's good deeds may replace his bad deeds." So we learned, someone who meets and greets another person with a smile for the sake of Allah, is considered an act of charity (sadaqah). The Prophet s.a.w reminded us not to take a small act of kindness lightly. Showing a happy face when meeting people, is one small act that we should not take for granted. Rasulullah s.a.w said we should not think that Allah will disregard a simple/insignificant act such as that. Every good word uttered and every kind gesture offered to people, will be rewarded.
A'ishah was once approached by a poor person when she didn't have anything much to offer except a date. So she gave the date away but the poor person seemed disappointed about it. A'ishah then said: 'Do you know how much atom contains in a date?' As stated in the Qur'an, anyone who does a good deed even if it be as small as an atom, would be counted and rewarded. So do not belittle a small act as it might in fact be something significant for Allah.
Shaykh Muhammad then mentioned about Muadz bin Jabal being chosen by the Prophet to go to Yemen for dakwah. The Prophet praised him as one who is 'aleem on matters of halal and haram. He salallah alaihi wasalam said to Muadz: "O Muadz, the fact that Allah makes you a source of guidance for people, that is worth so much more than any amount of wealth and camels."
If Allah makes us a conduit of hidayah for people, be it through our words, actions, wealth, smile, knowledge etc. - through which people could benefit from us, that is better in the sight of Allah than any wealth which we may wish for.
A wise man says: "If this dunya were gold which is fleeting and akhirah is like khazaf (something permanent) I would choose akhirah." Those who are intelligent would prefer something which is lasting than that which is fleeting.
We learned a similar analogy from Rasulullah s.a.w, the leader of ahlul hikmah. The Prophet brought home a lamb and asked A'shah to cut and distribute it. A'ishah did as told and kept the front leg for the Prophet as it was his favorite piece of meat being farthest from the rear/tail. When the Prophet came home asking about the lamb, A'ishah told him that all of the meat had been taken except for the front leg. Rasulullah then said: "Everything will last, except this piece that we are eating."
Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein then talked about ikhlas. He said, Imam al-Ghazali defined ikhlas as the state of a person who is in motion and who remains motionless, all for the sake of Allah. Sleeping is an example of being motionless/at a standstill. If we sleep with an intention to rest so that we could perform ibadah afterwards, our sleep will be rewarded.
The Prophet was asked about ikhlas. He asked Jibril, who in turn asked Allah. The reply from the Almighty as related by Jibril was this: "Ikhlas is a secret between me and the person on whom I wish to grant hidayah."
Saidina Ali Abi Talib said: "The kalimat (phrase) which ascends from the earth to the heavens is ikhlas. The kalimat which descends from the heavens to the earth is tawfiq." Allah says in the Qur'an: 'Tawfiq is from Allah.'
One who performs a deed sincerely will receive Allah's blessing. We learned from a hadith that Allah will give a good reward to a person's sadaqah and make it grow like a young horse which grows very fast. Likewise, a sadaqah which is made with ikhlas, though small, will earn plenty of barakah from Allah.
Shaykh Muhammad then talked about the virtues of attending majlis 'ilm. He commended the majlis led by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin where he teaches tafsir al-Quran and hadith from Riyadus Solihin. The shaykh said those present will receive much bounties in both dunya and akhirah. In dunya, the angels will write their names and their prayers will be answered; Allah will shower them with His blessings. Furthermore, majlis 'ilm will uphold and spread Islam.
A person can only be honorable through knowledge. There is a hadith where the sahabah asked the Prophet about the strength and weakness of Islam. Rasulullah answered: "In a place/state where majority of its people is a faqih (learned) Islam is strong. Islam is weak at a place where a majority of its people lacks knowledge."
Shaykh Muhammad said knowledge is an important symbol of Islam. There are many benefits of attending majlis 'ilm. People sit together out of love and bonding for the sake of Allah. That will be something for them to cherish in akhirah. In the Qur'an, we are told about people being enemies in akhirah except those who befriend one another out of taqwa towards Allah.
A learned person will be allowed to grant syafaat to 70 people whom he/she likes. A person who is 'aleem can take people to the heavens. That is a bounty of Allah for them. Those who visit one another happily in this world will miss their friends and visit them in heavens just like what they do here in this world.
Shaykh Muhammad advised the audience to hold on to the salafus soleh and to choose our friends wisely - friends who will ensure our safety in dunya and akhirah. If we become a friend to someone who sells perfume, we too will smell good. If we befriend a blacksmith, we might someday get burned.
Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein ended his tausiyah with a heartfelt du'a and gave ijazah for Hadith Musalsal al-Awwaliyah [Hadith of Mercy].
The shaykh read out the sanad as follows:
"I heard it from my teacher Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani and I heard it from my own father Shaykh Ismail az-Zein. I heard it from my teacher Shaykh Soleh al-Arkani and I heard it from muhaddith Shaykh Abdullah Sirajjudin. And the sanad reached Suffian Ibn Uyainah and so on until Prophet Muhammad s.a.w who said:
"Those who are merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Be merciful to those on earth and all those in the heavens will be merciful on you."
Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein prayed so that Allah would accept our ibadah and that we will be gathered under the banner of Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam.
May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions in my notes.
Credit: Darul Murtadza.com