Remember the destroyer of pleasures
June 12 2020 12:46 AM

Khutbah by Shaykh ibn Humayd

O People! I advise myself and you to fear Allah, for he who does not fear Allah will go astray. Allah says (which means): “O you who have believed, if you fear Allah, He will grant you a criterion,” (Al-Anfaal: 29), to judge between right and wrong.
Servants of Allah! He who fears punishment, then the furthest thing to him becomes within his reach and he who harbours false hopes and wishes to live long, his performance and actions become weak. Indeed, the future is near. Your Lord did not create you in vain and will not leave you unavailing, so take provision from this life by which you can protect yourself tomorrow.
The time of death is concealed and wishes are deceiving. Funerals pass by people, and they prepare them, pray over the deceased, accompany them and carry them to their final abode. You see people viewing them casually and perhaps they might get slightly saddened or grieved, but very soon they become overwhelmed again with the ravishment of this life and the heedlessness of living.
Respected brothers! Life is evidence against those who are heedless and their days lead them to wretchedness. How can one hope for the reward in the Hereafter without righteous deeds? How can someone wish to repent while being heedless and hoping to live longer?
Woe to the people of heedlessness! When they are given something, they are not satisfied and when they are deprived of anything, they become discontent. They enjoin that which they do not do themselves and forbid what they do not refrain from. They continuously criticise others and compromise with themselves.
O people of heedlessness! How many people trusted life but it betrayed them and how many were assured by it, that were let down? How many swindlers got deceived in it? And, how many arrogant people became degraded and honorable ones humiliated by it? Power in this life alternates, it is never stable. Its sweetness soon becomes bitter and its bitterness sweet. People of might become overpowered. Life is short, the great things in it are few in number and this life very soon turns out to be as though it never even existed. Its happiness eventually turns into sorrow, health into sickness, and wealth into poverty. Its days are deceiving and it commands people with evil. It consists of vanishing pleasures, afflicting adversities or death. Its structure is soon destroyed, people unite but soon separate, and everything on earth turns into dust.
People of heedlessness are never satisfied, regardless of how much they may accumulate. They do not achieve all they wish for and are not prepared for what they are approaching. They collect but do not benefit from it, build that which they will not live in and hope for things that they will never achieve. Allah says (which means): “Let them eat and enjoy themselves and be diverted by (false) hope, for they are going to know.” (Al-Hijr: 3)
One who wishes to live long, builds and demolishes and estimates but with a wrong estimation. He says something but does not do it, plans but does not implement them, and things happen which are the opposite to that which has been planned. He does wrong and delays repentance, then death comes and then he will not benefit from his deeds; his family and friends leave him and there are no longer any excuses. Allah says (which means): “Then have you considered if We gave them enjoyment for years. And then there came to them that which they were promised? They would not be availed by the enjoyment which they were provided.” (Ash-Shu’araa’: 205 - 207)
Oh people of heedlessness! O Muslim brothers and sisters! The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said in a Hadith: “Abundantly remember the destroyer of pleasures (meaning death)” (An-Nasaa’i). This is the advice of your Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, which consists of a few words but is concise; short but effective. Indeed, he who remembers death as it should be remembered will hold himself accountable and question himself about his deeds and aspirations. But one who has a heedless heart, as Imaam al-Qurtubi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Needs long speeches and embellished statements.” Abundantly remember the destroyer of pleasures, which will separate those who are united: “None will remember it (meaning death) while in hardship but will feel ease and while at ease but will feel disturbed”. (Tabaraani)
I swear by Allah! Each one of us will come to an end, and each soul will die. The earth will eat our flesh and drink our blood - just as we walk over it, eat from its fruits and drink from its water. Then it becomes like Allah says (which means): “And the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will fall dead except whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown again, and at once they will be standing, looking on.” (Az- Zumar: 68).
Your Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, stood at the edge of a grave and cried as related in a Hadith; he then said: “O my brothers! For this, prepare yourselves”. (Ibn Maajah) A man asked the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “Who is the most wise of people O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “The one who remembers death most often and the one who is well-prepared to meet it; these are the wise; honourable in this life and dignified in the Hereafter.” (Ibn Maajah & Tabaraani). In another Hadith, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The wise one is he who reproaches himself and acts in preparation for what is after death.” (Ahmad)
Al-Hasan, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “Death has exposed the reality of life and left no reason for one with a sound mind to be happy in it.” Yunus Ibn ‘Ubayd said: “The remembrance of death deprived us from enjoying our families and wealth.” Also, Mutarrif said: “Death spoils for the people of pleasure, their enjoyment. So look for pleasure in which there is no death. The people of Paradise do not die, so their lives will become comfortable, and they do not become sick, so they live a pleasant, eternal life.”
O Muslims! Remember death and all its hardships, the rattling of one’s soul in the throat and remember the terrifying screams one will give; for he who remembers death often, Allah will bless him with three things: immediate repentance, contentment of the heart, and vigour for worship. Moreover, he who forgets death will be afflicted with three things: delay in repentance, discontentment, and laziness in worship.
Death is enough of a reason to break hearts, shed tears, destroy pleasures, divide people and ruin all hopes. The dead are made to be lonely after having lived with their families; they live in darkness after having been in the light; in tightness after having lived in wide space, and under the soil after having walked the earth. They become bare-footed, naked and alone. The grave is their dwelling, dust is their shroud, and mortal remains are their neighbours, who cannot hear a call nor respond to it. They lived long and owned much, but it did not benefit them when the command of their Lord came. So their homes became graves and what they collected was lost. Their money went to their inheritors, their wives re-married and what they were promised came to them. Allah says (which means): “Then did you think that We created you uselessly and that to Us you would not be returned?” (Al-Mu’minoon: 115)
Have you ever thought, O servant of Allah, about the day that you will die? - The day that you cannot delay and in which regret will not benefit you? Remove the cover of heedlessness from your heart for you will soon be standing before the One who knows the whims and whispers of the hearts, Who asks about the actions of the eyes and holds one accountable for what he hears. Allah says that which means: “That Day, you will be exhibited (for judgment); not hidden among you is anything concealed..” (Al-Haaqqah: 18) 
Contemplate death, for it prevents one from disobedience, softens a hard heart, stops one from trusting this life and makes one feel ease at the time of hardships. Remember death so that you may be saved at the time of regret. Al Hasan, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “O son of Aadam! Fear Allah, and let two things not happen to you at the same time: the hardships and agony of death, plus sorrow and regret. Beware of agonies and regrets, for death will come to you suddenly and no one can describe to you what you will face and see. Beware, so as not to die while in a state of disobedience, otherwise you will meet Allah with no excuse.”
Respected brothers! Where are those who are afraid of not having enough provision? Where is he who is terrified of the lengthy distance of the journey and hostility of the road? All he took from this life is an old garment and a morsel of food. He was chaste through life, guided, and so little provision sufficed him. He was ashamed of himself in front of his Lord, remembered death, and therefore preserved his head (meaning his senses: eyes, ears and tongue) and stomach (meaning did not eat or drink except that which is lawful). He sought the reward of the Hereafter and gave up the adornments of this worldly life. He favoured that which is everlasting over that which is vanishing - this is indeed the wise and clever one.
So fear Allah, may Allah have mercy on you, and be aware of Allah, and watchful of that which He entrusted you with. Remember that you will be standing before your Lord, being judged according to your deeds and you will regret your negligence. Allah says (which means): “Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your (full) compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained (his desire). And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 185)
O Muslims, repent to Allah before death. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Hasten to do good deeds before you become busy. Are you waiting for such penury which will make you unmindful of devotion? Or such prosperity which will make you corrupt? Or such disease which will disable you? Or such senility which will make you mentally unstable? Or sudden death? Or the Dajjaal (Anti-Christ), who is the worst apprehended (sign of the hour)? Or (are you waiting) for the Hour? - that will be most grievous and bitter”. (At-Tirmidhi)
Now that you are aware of the suddenness of death, do not be like those who hoped for the reward of the Hereafter without performing righteous deeds, and who delayed repentance, due to the false hope of living longer. 
Visit the graveyards frequently for it reminds one of the Hereafter, and take a lesson from those who are under the earth and have lost connection with their families and loved ones; death came to them at a time which they did not expect and horror came to them in a way which they did not anticipate. Let he who visits the graves ponder and think of the situation of those who have passed away from his friends. They gathered money and had a high hopes, but suddenly they lost all their wishes and their wealth did not benefit them. The soil of the earth changed the nice appearance of their faces and their bodies became scattered in their graves. Their wives became widows and their wealth and homes were all distributed.
Allah says (which means): “(It will be said to them), “And you have certainly come to Us alone (i.e., individually) as We created you the first time, and you have left whatever We bestowed upon you behind you.”(Al-An’aam: 94) 
So, fear Allah, and work for the Hereafter, for it is a dwelling in which there is no death for its inhabitants. Its structure does not wear out, youth does not age and its pleasure is never-ending. Its beauty, enjoyment, and women do not change and its people live under the mercy of the Most Merciful. Allah says (which means): “Their call therein will be, “Exalted are You, O Allah,” and their greeting therein will be, “Peace.” And the last of their call will be, “Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!” (Yunus: 10)

Keeping up the good work
In Ramadan, people pray, fast, perform ‘Umrah (the minor pilgrimage), spend in charity, supplicate and recite the Qur’an, yet the question remains: have any of these good deeds been accepted? Allah The Almighty Says (which means): {…Indeed Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].} [Qur’an 3: 27]
Fudhaalah Ibn ‘Ubayd, may Allah have mercy upon him, would say, “If I knew that Allah had accepted from me (something) as minor as a seed’s weight of good deeds, then that would be more beloved to me than possessing this world and all that it contains, because Allah Says: {…Indeed Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].}.” Our righteous Salaf (predecessors)  would exert extra efforts in worship and then rebuke themselves and doubt that their deeds were even accepted by Allah The Almighty. They were described by Allah The Almighty as (which means): {And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful} [Qur’an 23: 60] They would be far more concerned about the acceptance of the deeds than the amount of good deeds they performed.
What good is left for those who miss out on the virtue of Ramadan? What greater disaster is there for them, than being deprived of the mercy and forgiveness of Allah The Almighty in the blessed month? Moreover, the pious people from whom Allah The Almighty accepts righteous deeds have one distinctive trait, which is refraining from sinning after the end of Ramadan.
Many people think that since they have performed scores of good deeds they can rely on these deeds, believing that they have enough good deeds in their record. However, the genuine pious people are those who continue to be devout worshippers even after the conclusion of the month. When Allah The Almighty describes the devout believers and worshippers, He does not restrict their devotion and obedience to a limited period; rather, He describes them to be this way always, not only during Ramadan.
He Says (which means): {Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive. And they who turn away from ill speech. And they who are observant of Zakaah. And they who guard their private parts.} [Qur’an 23: 1-5] 
Muslims are commanded to be devout worshippers until death. Allah The Almighty Says (whic means): {And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [i.e., death].} [Qur’an 15: 99] One must persevere in worshipping Allah The Almighty and being obedient to Him. This may be the reason why it was legislated for us to fast six optional days in the month of Shawwaal (which directly follows the month of Ramadan) and this was made equivalent in reward to fasting for the whole year, because the reward is multiplied tenfold. Therefore, the 30 days in Ramadan are equal to three hundred days, while the six that follow in Shawwaal are equal to 60 more days – which constitutes a full year, in terms of reward.
Many people are deceived by the acts of worship they perform during Ramadan. They exert great efforts in completing the whole Qur’an once in Ramadan – with some even completing it several times – and praying the Taraweeh (voluntary night prayers). However, although they perform all these deeds, they are not inwardly sincere and their intentions may become corrupted and impure. Shaytaan (Satan) may whisper to them, making them feel that, having performed all these good deeds, they have accumulated mountains of rewards, and that their balance is therefore very high. This makes them become arrogant and they may start slackening in their worship. 
However, if one recalls a single verse from the Qur’an, such thoughts and feelings would immediately cease. It is the Saying of Allah The Almighty (which means): {And do not confer favor to acquire more.} [Qur’an 74: 6] 
How can anyone possibly confer favours upon Allah The Almighty? How can one dare feel this way, simply because they performed a good number of deeds – as if they have bestowed a favour on Allah The Almighty by doing them? With this verse, Allah The Almighty addressed the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, warning him from being deceived with the worship he was performing, so that he would not become arrogant. If one should ever feel that they have performed plentiful acts of worship, then they should compare their deeds with those of the Prophet,  . In order to clarify the matter in people’s minds, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If a man was to be dragged on his face from the day he was born until he died, for the sake of pleasing Allah, he would belittle his deeds on the Day of Resurrection.” This means that one would find all he did insignificant and worthless in comparison to a single favor bestowed upon him from his Lord, like, for example, the favor of eyesight. 
Therefore, we should realise that people are not granted Paradise due to their own good deeds, but because of the mercy of Allah The Almighty. People’s deeds are not the price for Paradise; they are a means to gain the mercy of Allah The Almighty, by which one is admitted into Paradise. To conclude this point, we remind the Muslims that despite the obligation of continuing upon obedience and the performance of good deeds after Ramadan, one should not overburden himself by attempting to do more good deeds than he can bear.
There are great benefits for those constantly striving in obedience and worship. One cannot necessarily be as keen in doing acts of worship after Ramadan as they were during it, because, Ramadan is a magnificent and unique period, and there is none other like it. However, one should have acquired sufficient training during Ramadan to carry on the good work.
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What causes behavioural problems in children
There are several causes of behavioural problems and psychological disorders that befall our children, some of which afflict them throughout their lives - such as introversion, aggression and lying. Some of the following causes are fundamental to most of the problems:

Bad role models:
A child could fall into the habit of telling lies if he finds one of the adults telling him a lie or telling a lie to anyone else. A child could learn to cheat and steal when he gives his mother the sum of money that remains after buying bread, for example, and when she finds an extra pound or loaf, she neither rejects the child’s behaviour nor orders him to return it to the seller.
What does a smoking father expect from his child when he grows up? How could he order him not to smoke if he has been smoking in front of him for many years? Thus, a bad example is among the greatest causes of psychological and behavioral problems from which our children suffer.

Contempt and humiliation
To beat a child with a shoe, to kick him, slap him on the face, abuse him with the foulest words, criticise him, or humiliate him all lead to the same result: i.e., behavioural and psychological troubles. It will become easy for the child to tell lies, steal, transgress against others, abuse, curse and take what he is suffering from his parents out on other children. Humiliation also includes exaggerated blaming and reproaching, and misusing the reward-and-punishment approach: all of these lead to most behavioural troubles.

Family problems
What should we expect from children whose fathers and mothers quarrel day and night and probably for the most trivial reasons? Instead of mutual understanding and making arrangements to rear their children, they exchange abuse, insults and accusations. Moreover, the father might beat, drive away or divorce the mother. All of this will lead to psychological and behavioural distortion in the children’s character, particularly if a child loses the sense of security that his peers, who have happy parents and quiet homes, enjoy. This loss makes it easy for the child to steal, tell lies, and act aggressively. A child who lives with feuding parents feels inferior, resents and hates others.

Excessive cruelty
Some fathers and teachers have the misconception that they will only be respected if they beat the child severely, or if they appear stern, and gloomy, staring and frowning all the time. A father may feel that he will not inspire awe and obedience in the house unless he slaps his children severely on their soft cheeks, even for the most trifling mistakes, and do not contend themselves with maintaining absolute abstention from kissing and embracing them. He does this under the pretext that this might reduce his awe in the sight of his children. However, this reminds us of the man who saw the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), kissing Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with them, thereupon he said, “I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them.” On that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied decisively to this cruelty: “Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.” Such excessive cruelty with children develops within them a lot of behavioural disorders and psychological troubles in the future. Enuresis (involuntary urination), fear, introversion, telling lies, and other problems are mainly caused by cruelty.

Spoiling children
Spoiled children are the ones whose parents are over-protective, closely guard them, place them in an incubator-like environment and never let them leave it. Rather, they bring them everything they want or ask for, and such children turn into distorted characters who are indecisive and feel afraid of all that surrounds them, besides being excessively timid, telling lies and harboring feelings of inferiority. The spoiled child’s failure to bear any responsibility (since all his demands are answered); subjugating his parents (who, in turn, submit to him); his feeling of haughtiness and arrogance, as evidenced by his repeating the phrase ‘My parents never say no to me’; his rebellion against the authority of his parents, and disrespect for them or refusal to comply with their commands: all turn the spoiled child into a person who is incapable of social adjustment, since he always expects his friends and fellows to comply with his arrogance and demands. This is why he is always alone without friends.

The direct exaggerated observation assumed by the parents and caregivers to the child deprives him of a sense of security and independence, gives him a false feeling of inferiority, and may, sometimes, force him to tell lies. A child must be observed, but in an indirect, moderate way without interference in all that the child says and does. Excessively domineering parents and caregivers may ask the child, “Why are you looking out of the window? What are you doing in the kitchen? Why are you wearing that shirt?” And other similar questions which only indicate the clear domination of such parents and caregivers, since their children are not in need of that, and its contribution to the upbringing process is negative.
Dear parents and caregivers: let us contemplate the real causes of these problems, given that almost no house is free of them and that they have a negative impact on the upbringing process.
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