Importance of Seeking Knowledge
No other religion or institution gives as much importance to knowledge as the religion of Islam. The religion has made seeking knowledge incumbent upon all Muslims and has deemed that not doing so as a sin. The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said in an authentic narration (hadeeth):
“Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
This obligation is not limited to a certain sex or class, but rather it is as much as an obligation upon women as it is for men, the young and the old, and the poor and the rich. Allah has raised the ranks and status of those who have knowledge, and has praised them in many places in the Quran. Allah says:
“Allah raises of those who believe and those who have been given knowledge many levels.” (Quran 58:11)
There is a great difference between a Muslim who has knowledge and one who does not. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him ) described this in his saying:
“The excellence of a scholar over another (ordinary) worshipper is like the excellence of the full moon over the rest of the heavenly bodies.” (Abu Dawood)
He also said:
“The excellence of a scholar over another (ordinary) worshipper is like the excellence of me over the least of you.” (Al-Tirmidthi)
Remembrance of Allah
Almost every person in the modern world is involved in some basic worldly activity like earning a living, going to school, eating, sleeping, and socializing. Naturally, we forget Allah and the obligations due to Him. When we forget Allah, this life and its worries become the central occupation of the human mind. Desires run wild. A person begins to ‘chase his shadow’, something he can never catch. For many, money becomes the sole goal of life. The more you make, the more you spend, the more you want.
Allah has set times to break regularly from the daily chores of life for a few minutes and worship Him. First thing in the morning before we begin our day, in the middle of the day, in the late afternoon, in the evening, and at night before we go to sleep. When done with concentration and properly, it awakens and stimulates the soul. A Muslim reminds himself that Allah is in charge of everything, he is Allah’s faithful servant, and Allah’s pleasure is His aim. For a few minutes, five times a day, a Muslim leaves this world and meets His Lord:
“And establish the prayers (salah) in order to remember Me.” (Quran 20:14)
Supplication ( Du'a)
The Arabic word "du'a" means to ask your Lord for His help and support. It can be translated as supplication or prayer. It is a form of worship because Allah orders us to make du'a to Him:
"Indeed, your Lord has said, 'Make du'a to Me, and I will answer you!'" (Quran 40:65)
Since du'a is an act of worship, the way it is made, the procedure to be followed, and the manner to be observed when performing this worship must be from the Quran and Sunnah.
Du'a is closely related to one's faith. 1: it is an open declaration that you believe in Allah and Allah alone. 2: it makes you feel that you are not in control of your life, Allah is. This is why you are going to Him and begging Him for your needs. 3: it reminds you that Allah truly hears your du'a and will respond to it.
Since du'a is an act of worship, making du'a to someone other than Allah is an act of Shirk. Du'a can only be directed to Allah and Allah alone. One verse from the Quran is sufficient to illustrate this point:
"Say (O Muhammad), 'I make du'a only to my Lord (Allah), and I associate none as partners along with Him.'" (Quran 72:20)
Suppose a person makes du'a to other than Allah, be it an idol or a saint, while believing that that being can hear him like Allah, and can answer his du'a, then doing so is equating that object or person with Allah. That is precisely shirk.
Sickness according to Qur'an and Sunnah
Ever wondered why a Muslim is allowed by Allah, subhana watallah, to get sick?
I visited Allah's Apostle while he was suffering from a high fever. I touched him with my hand and said, "O Allah's Apostle! You have a high fever." Allah's Apostle said, "Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you have." I said, "Is it because you will get a double reward?" Allah's Apostle said, "Yes, no Muslim is afflicted with harm because of sickness or some other inconvenience, but that Allah will remove his sins for him as a tree sheds its leaves." Hadith - Bukhari 7:564
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri r.a. reported that the Prophet said: Whenever a Muslim is afflicted with a hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression --even a thorn's prick, Allah expiates his sins because of it. Hadith - Muslim & Bukhari
"Expect good, because Allah (s.w.t.) makes a believer's sickness an expiation (for his sins) and a period of repose. As for a disbeliever falling sick, he is like a camel whose owner ties it and then lets it loose --it does not understand why it was tied, nor why it was freed." Recorded by Bukhari in al-Adab ul-Mufrad (no. 493), verified authentic by al-Albani
Modern Stress And Its Cure From Qur'an
Stress is the most common aliment of modern age. It has been implicated in the causation of peptic ulcer disease, coronary heart disease, depression, auto immune disease, hypertension, diabetes and even cancer. In milder form it manifests in form of unrest, violence, at work, school and home. Common medical problems like tension headache, insomnia, and obesity are also attributed to unusual stress. None of us are free from stress but some deal with it better than others.
Stress results from the following factors:
a. Fear of the unknown and trying to see through and control the destiny.
b. Losses in our life of people and things dear to us and our inability to recover those losses.
c. Inner conflict between our heart and mind between what is known to be the truth and our failure to accept it as truth. Acceptance of truth may require changing our habits and way of life which we may adhere to for some reason like pleasure, joys, taste, pride in race or heritage etc.