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Necessity of Good Akhlaq

The Holy Prophet (S) has said:
"I have been sent by Allah to teach people good manners"
The above hadith shows us how important good Akhlaq (manners) is considered in Islam.
A person once came to the Holy Prophet (S) and said that there was a woman who observed fast during daytime and spent her nights in prayers, but she was ill-mannered and hurt her neighbours with her tongue.
The Holy Prophet (S) said that the old woman was worthless and that she would be one of the inmates of hell
The above incident tells us that your good deeds do not count for much if your Akhlaq is bad.
Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A) has said that someone with good Akhlaq gets the same thawaab as someone who fast during daytime and pray at night.
The Holy Prophet (S) and our Holy Imams (A) managed to convert a lot of people to Muslims through their good Akhlaq.
Remember that when you are behaving badly out in public, people will not say look at that boy/girl behaving badly. People will say look at that Muslim behaving badly. You are therefore not only letting yourself and your parents down but also Islam.
Our 12th Imam has left all of us as the caretakers of Islam!

MANNERS OF DRINKING
When drinking do not gulp it down at once, but sip it in three parts, starting the drinking with:
and stopping the drinking with :
Say 'Bismillah' drink, stop, say 'Alhamdulillah', Say 'Bismillah' drink, stop, say 'Alhamdulillah', Say 'Bismillah' drink, stop, say 'Alhamdulillah'.
When drinking water remember Imam Husain (A) and his family, and their thirst in Kerbala.
When you finished drinking, ask Allah to send His blessings on Imam Husain (A), his family and companions, and curse on his murderers and enemies.
Try not to drink from a glass that has a crack. If you do, do not drink from the side that has the crack, nor should you drink from the handle side.
During the day drink standing up and at night drink sitting down. Do not drink too much.
Nothing is better to drink than water. All creatures of Allah drink water to survive.
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an in Sura Al-Anbiya, verse 30:
"We made every living thing from water."

MANNERS OF TALKING
The first impression of a book is by it's cover, then the person reads it and makes his final and lasting impression of the book. In this same way people's first impression of you will be on your appearance but their final and lasting impression about you will be on what you say.
Prophet Isa (A) has said that you should think of your words like gold and find the right time to say what need be, as you would find the right thing to spend your gold on.
So think before you open your mouth and do not let the words pour out uselessly leaving a bad and lasting impression of yourself.
Imam Husain (A) has said that you should never begin a conversation without first saying Salaam to the person.
After Salaam speak what is useful, what is truthful and what is not harmful to anyone.
Do not slander or back-bite anyone, do not even listen to others doing it.
Do not hurt anyone's feelings even jokingly.
Never use bad language.
Think before you speak, that if our 12th Imam (A) was standing next to you, would you still say what you are going to say.
If you are not sure whether you should say what you are about to say, then better you do not.

FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH ONLY
Your actions should be for the sake of Allah only. Only then will you get the result you deserve.
In the time of Prophet Musa (A) there lived a pious man, who used to remember Allah day and night.
One day this man heard about a tree which was being worshipped by some people. This news made him so angry that he went to find the tree and chop it down.
As the man reached the tree Shaitan appeared in front of the man disguised as an old man.
Shaitan asked the old man what he was going to do.
The old man said that this tree was being worshipped by some people, so he was going to chop it down.
Shaitan asked the old man that if Allah wanted the tree to be chopped, would He not have sent a Prophet to do it.
The pious man did not listen.
They began to argue and shout at each other until finally they began fighting.
The pious man managed to knock Shaitan down on to the floor and sat on him.
Shaitan begged him to let him go and told him that he had thought of a solution which would help the man in this world and the next. The man listened.
Shaitan continued that he would pay the man 2 Dinars everyday, of which the man could partly spend on himself and partly on the poor. In exchange the man should leave the tree uncut till Allah commanded whether it was right or wrong to cut it.
The pious man was misled by Shaitan. He thought the suggestion was a good one and agreed.
The next day when the pious man woke up he found 2 Dinars under his pillow. He was delighted and spent some on himself and some on the poor.
But the following day there was no money to be found. This made him very angry, so he again took his axe and went to cut the tree.
On reaching the tree he again met Shaytan disguised as an old man, who asked him what he had come to do.
The pious man replied that he had come to chop down the tree. To which Shaitan answered that he had no power to do this and it was better for him to go back home.
They again fought but this time Shaitan succeeded in overpowering the pious man and knocked him down.
The pious man was very surprised and asked Shaitan why it was that last time they fought he managed to overpower him but this time he could not.
Shaitan replied that it was because the first time they fought the man had come for the sake of Allah only, but the second time the man had come for the sake of money.
Moral: If you do something for the sake of Allah only, then Allah will give you special strength to carry it out.
(Anecdote from the life of Imam Ali (A))

THINK THE BEST OF OTHERS
Allah is the only judge as He sees everything and is aware of everything.
We have no right to judge other people whether these people are Muslims or not.
Imam Zainul 'Abideen (A) said:
You should think more of a person younger than you as he has had less time to do bad deeds.
You should think more of a person older than you as he has had more time to do good deeds.
You should think more of a person the same age as you because you do not know what he has done but you know exactly what good and bad you have done.
The above saying teaches us that we should always think the best of others.
Prophet Ibrahim (A) was very fond of guests. He knew how much thawaab one gets for looking after a guest.
He liked to invite travellers to his house for food and a bed to sleep in.
Every morning Prophet Ibrahim (A) stood by the main road near his house and waited for travellers to pass so that he could invite them to his house.
Once it so happened that no traveller passed on that road for three days. This made Prophet Ibrahim (A) very sad indeed.
Then on the fourth day an old man passed along that road. Prophet Ibrahim (A) was very happy and invited the man to come to his house for some food. The old man agreed.
When they sat down to eat, Prophet Ibrahim (A) said "Bismillah" before starting to eat but the old man did not say anything.
Prophet Ibrahim (A) asked the old man why he did not begin in the name of Allah, as it was Allah who had provided this food for them.
The old man replied that he did not believe in Allah, instead he worshipped fire.
Prophet Ibrahim (A) was very angry and asked the old man to leave his house at once.
As soon as the old man had gone the angel Jibrael came to Prophet Ibrahim (A) from Allah and told him that Allah had been feeding this unbelieving old man for 70 years.
Could Prophet Ibrahim (A) not tolerate him for just one meal?
Prophet Ibrahim (A) was very sorry and ran after the old man and persuaded him to return to his house so that they may eat together.
Moral:
Do not judge anyone - only Allah can do that.
Everyone has rights whether they be Muslims or non Muslims
Allah loves for you to take care of guests.

RESPECT FOR OTHERS
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an in Sura Al-Hujurat verse 11:
"O you who believe, let not (a group of) people laugh at another (to scorn) who may be better than they are…"
Islam teaches us that you should respect other people and not think you are better than them as only Allah can be the judge of that.
One day when the Holy Prophet (S) was sitting alone in the mosque. A man approached him. The Holy Prophet (S) immediately moved aside.
The man asked the Prophet (S) why he had moved aside when there was so much room for him to seat next to the Prophet (S) as the whole mosque was empty.
The Prophet (S) replied that a Muslim has a right on an other Muslim that when he wants to sit near him the first should move aside as a way of respect.
Next time you are at mosque saving that space for your friend and someone else wants to sit there, remember that that person has a right on you for you to move aside and make space for them.
All human-beings are equal.
No matter what colour you are.
No matter where you are from.
No matter how rich you are (how nice your clothes are).
No matter if you look different (defect in your body).
Each has the right of respect from the other.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said :
" Do not despise and belittle any Muslim, because a Muslim how ever small he may be, is great in the eyes of Allah."
(Anecdote from the life of the Holy Prophet (S)).

TRY AND TRY AGAIN
Allah says In the Holy Qur'an, Sura An-Najm verses 39-41
"And that there is nothing for man except what he tried, And that his efforts shall soon be seen, Then shall he be rewarded to the fullest measure" (53:39-41)
The above ayat tells us that we will not get anything unless we try to get it.
Constant effort is the key to success. If at first you do not succeed then try and try again until you do. You should never give up.
And if for some reason you do not succeed even after trying again and again remember you will have earned the thawaab for all your effort - as Allah has promised in the Holy Qur'an in the verse written above.
Amir Timur was a great Mongolian king, who was well known for his bravery. He had conquered nearly half of the world known at that time. He said his success was all due to an ant, who had taught him never to give up.
Once long ago before he had become such a great warrior he was fighting a battle and was losing.
He decided to run away and hide himself in the mountains. Here he sat quietly, when he noticed an ant working.
The ant was carrying a grain of rice much bigger than itself. With this grain the ant was trying to climb a wall.
The grain fell, and the ant came down for the grain once again.
Again the grain fell and again the ant went down to get it.
The ant tried and tried again never giving up.
The King counted that the ant tried 33 times until it finally succeeded in taking the grain up the wall.
Seeing the effort that the ant put into getting what it wanted the king went about collecting his run-away soldiers and rebuilt his army.
After this event with the ant the king never gave up in any battle and became a great warrior.
Moral: To succeed in anything you have to try and try again.

FRIENDSHIP
Everyone needs friends, but friends are only worth having if they are true friends.
Two travellers were on the road together, when a robber suddenly appeared. One man ran for a tree and climbed up and hid in the branches. The other was not as fast so threw himself onto the ground pretending to be dead.
The robber came to the man on the floor, whispered something in his ear and went away.
When the robber had gone the man in the tree climbed down and asked his friend what the robber had whispered in his ear.
His friend replied that the robber had told him to find a better friend who would not leave him at the first sign of danger.
Friends influence each other in the matter of conduct, thoughts and belief.
As the Holy Prophet (S) has said:
"The conduct of everyone will be according to the belief and principles of his friend."
Even if you think your friend will not influence you, but you will influence them, (very unlikely). People will judge you according to the friends you have.
As Prophet Sulayman (A) has said:
"Do not form an opinion about a person being good or bad unless you have seen his friends, because everyone is known by the company he keeps and is thus identified by his friends and associates."
Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A) was walking in the market with his friend, who had brought his servant with him.
Imam's (A) friend turned to tell his servant something, but he had been left behind talking to someone.
When the servant finally appeared, Imam's (A) friend was very angry and shouted abuse at the servant. He also said abusive things about the servant's mother.
On hearing what his friend had said Imam (A) got very angry and told him that he should not have said such abusive things, especially about the servant's mother.
The friend replied that the mother was not a Muslim.
To which Imam (A) answered that it made no difference.
Imam (A) then told his friend that their friendship was no more, and walked away from him.
Our 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) has said that you should not make friends with people who are in the following five groups:
Liars, because with their lies they deceive you from the right path.
Sinners because their friendship is not dependable.
Stingy people because at the time of need and difficulty these people will not be your friends.
Foolish people because they may try to do you good but will cause you harm due to their ignorance.
Those people who have broken relationships with their family because these people have been cursed by Allah.
It should not be forgotten that making friends is not enough, but it is also important to keep the friendship.
This is only possible if we treat our friends like we would want them to treat us.
Imam Ali (A) has said:
"A man who has no friends is poor, but poorer than him, is he who can not keep the friendship and loses his friend.

TO GAIN KNOWLEDGE
For any community to survive and go forward in this world, the people of that community have to have knowledge.
Islam has made it Wajib to gain knowledge.
To gain knowledge is not only to learn like a parrot, but to understand and act upon what you have learnt. Then to teach it to others, so they may benefit from it as well.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said that it is wajib for every Muslim, man and woman to acquire knowledge.
Once when the Holy Prophet (S) entered the Mosque there were two groups of people sitting there. One of the groups was busy praying while the other group were discussing religious topics.
The Holy Prophet (S) was very pleased and said that both the groups were doing something good but he preferred the group which was busy discussing. Saying that he went and joined that group.
The above incident does not mean that prayer is not important, as the Holy Prophet (S) was pleased with both groups. The group that were praying, were doing Sunnat prayers not Wajib.
The knowledge that we are to acquire is in all matters, religious and academic. It is possible to do both, as Allah has made us He knows what we are capable of.
If your knowledge in religion increases you will became closer to Allah because you will understand a lot more of what you are doing and why.
We are told that if two people are offering the same prayer, one with understanding and the other without; then the one with understanding will get more thawaab.
Islam is the only religion that tells you to ask questions and find out about everything, including Islam, and not to just follow blindly.
On the day of Qiyamat if you are questioned about something wrong that you had done in your life, you will not be able to say you did not know! You have no excuse. There are so many books you can read, so many people you can ask.
Therefore, if there is anything that you are unsure about, especially in your Wajib acts please ask now as you may not live till tomorrow.

SABR - PATIENCE
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura Al-Baqara, verse 153 :
"…Indeed Allah is with those who have Sabr." (2:153)
In the above ayat we are told that if we have sabr (patience) then Allah is there with us, and we know that if Allah is with us then we have nothing to worry about.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said: Sabr is in three parts:
Sabr in times of hardship - when something goes wrong for you.
Sabr in regards to obedience - performing all the Wajibaat correctly.
Sabr in regards to disobedience - not committing any Haraam acts
The perfect example of Sabr is the life of Prophet Ayyub (A). He was blessed with so much (health, children, wealth, land and sheep), then Shaitan asked Allah for power over Prophet Ayyub's (A) affairs saying that while Prophet Ayyub (A) had all these blessings he would remain grateful but if they were taken away then he would turn away from Allah.
Shaitan then destroyed all of Prophet Ayyub's (A) animals and property and worse of all, he killed his children as well.
Then he caused Prophet Ayyub (A) to get a horrible disease, and his people forced him to leave his town.
Even with all this hardship Prophet Ayyub (A) remained faithful to Allah, praying and thanking Him for everything.
Not only did he have Sabr but also Shukr (thankfulness).
The Holy Prophet (S) has said that faith is divided into two halves, one half is patience (Sabr) and the other half is thanksgiving (Shukr).
The above hadith tells us that to have true faith in Islam not only should we be patient but also thankful. So next time when something bad happens to you not only should you be patient but also thank Allah because Allah knows best.
Once a group of people came to our 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) and said that they were his Shias.
Imam (A) asked them what they did when they got something nice. They replied we say "Alhamdulillah".
Imam (A) asked them what they did when something nice was taken away from them. They replied that they got upset then they would come to terms with it.
Imam (A) asked what they did if they did not get anything. They replied that they did nothing.
Imam (A) replied that these were not the actions of his Shia. These actions were the same as the actions of the dogs of Madina:
When the dogs were given something they would wag their tails in Shukr (thanks).
When something was taken away from them they would bark a little (complaining) and then walk away.
When they got nothing they did nothing.
Imam (A) continued that Shia are those who say:
"Alhamdulillah" when they get something,
"Alhamdulillah" when something is taken away and
"Alhamdulillah" when they get nothing.

PRACTISE WHAT YOU PREACH
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura Al-Baqarah, verse 44:
"What! Do you enjoin others to do good deeds, and forget your own selves…?" (2:44)
In the above ayat we are warned about telling others to do good while we our selves do not.
People will not listen to you telling them to do something when you yourself do not do it. In fact you have no right to tell someone to do or not to do something unless you yourself are doing it.
Imagine if our Prophets (A) or Imams (A) taught us all about Islam and what Allah likes us to do and not to do yet they themselves did none of these things, would anyone have listened and followed them ? No! of course not.
The best method to teach people what is right and wrong is by your actions first, then your speech.
This is one of the reasons why our Holy Prophet (S) spent 40 years of his life living with the people showing them how to act and how not to act before announcing his Prophethood.
Once a man was listening to a Alim reciting a Majlis in which the Alim said that the power of "Bismillah" was so great that if a person truly believed then he could walk on water.
That evening when the man was going home (on the other side of the river) he decided that he would try what the Alim had recited. So with full belief in the Power of Allah he said "Bismillah" and stepped on the water.
He was able to walk on the water because of the faith that he had in Allah.
The next day the man went to the Alim and invited him to his house for dinner, as a thankyou for teaching him the power of "Bismillah". The Alim accepted.
The two of them set of to the man's home. When they reached the river the man said "Bismillah" and began walking on the water, expecting the Alim to do the same, as he was the one who had taught him.
The Alim just stood at the edge of the water, not daring to step into it. He did not truly believe in the power that he had preached so much about. He could not practise what he had preached.
So think before you tell your friends, or younger brother / sister what to do or not to do. Do you do it yourself ?

TO KEEP YOUR PROMISE
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura Bani Israil, verse 34:
"…Keep your promise; you will be questioned about it." (17:34)
The above ayat tells us that if we make a promise to someone than we have to fulfil it as we will be asked about it on the day of Judgement.
Our first Imam, Imam Ali (A) has said that you should not make a promise at the very outset if you cannot fulfil it and you should not undertake initially to perform a job which is beyond your control. He further said that you should not make a promise about which you are not certain whether it will be possible for you to fulfil it.
The above hadith tells us to think before we make a promise, will we be able to fulfil it, if not then do not promise, there is no sin in that. Yet there is a sin in making a promise and then breaking it.
Once a man was taken prisoner accused of attacking a Muslim, and revolting against the government.
This man asked his prison officer if he would allow him to go and see his family, as they did not know what had happened to him, if he promised to come back the next morning.
The man said that he had not attacked anyone, nor had he revolted against the government, he was totally innocent of all of the charges against him, but as he believed in the mercy of Allah, he would not run away and promised to come back early the next morning.
The prison officer was so taken back by the man's words that he agreed.
Only after the man had gone did the prison officer realise what he had done. What would he tell the king ?
That whole night the prison officer tossed and turned wondering how he was going to tell the king that he had let the prisoner go.
Morning came. The man kept his promise and came back.
The prison officer surprised to see him asked him why he had come back and not escaped when he had had the chance.
The man replied that he had promised to come back and could not break that promise, as he would have to answer to Allah for that.
When the king was told of what had happened in the night, he realised that a man with that much faith in Allah could not have committed the crimes he was accused of and set the man free.
Always remember that to fulfil a promise is Wajib. No matter what it concerns (big or small) or to whom it is made (Muslim or non-Muslim).
So think before you Promise !

PRIDE
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura Al-Baqarah, verse 34:
"And when we said to the angels "Prostrate (do Sajdah) to Adam!" they all prostrated save Iblees. He refused and he was rude with pride, and so he became one of the unbelievers." (2:34)
Iblees was a jinn who had been taken up to the heavens because he was so good, but when Allah made Adam and told all in heaven to do Sajdah to Adam, Iblees refused. He said he was better than Adam as he had been made from fire and Adam was made from clay.
Iblees had disobeyed Allah because of his pride and because of this not only was he thrown out of Heaven but he will go to Hell and burn there for ever.
What is pride ?
Pride is something that makes a person think highly of themselves.
When someone thinks highly of themselves they consider others below them. They forget their own faults and are not thankful for Allah's blessings.
To cure oneself of pride you should think of Allah and realise that He alone is the All -Powerful Creator, deserving of praise and worship.
Our Holy Prophet (S) has said that Allah says, Greatness is My special right, and whoever tries to share it with Me (becomes proud) I will put him in Hell.
If ever you feel yourself becoming proud, think of yourself at the beginning, when you were born - a little baby, unable to do anything for himself, then think of yourself at the end - in a grave.
We are nothing compared to Allah so we have no right to feel pride. Only He can.
TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura Az-Zumar, verse 53:
"…. Do not despair of the mercy of Allah; indeed Allah forgives all sins. Indeed He is oft-forgiving, most merciful." (39:53)
In the above ayat we are told never to despair, give up hope, as Allah will forgive us, as He is the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful.
This does not mean that we commit a sin, ask for forgiveness then commit that same sin again and again each time asking for forgiveness and expecting to be forgiven.
Allah will forgive us but only if we are truly sorry.
Our 5th Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) has said that one who leaves sinning totally and asks for forgiveness, is like one, who has not committed any sin at all. However, one who, continues to commit sins and at the same time prays for forgiveness is like one who jokes and jests.
We are often told to do "Taubah" for our sins.
Taubah means return - return from past sins and following the path of truthfulness in future.
Taubah is not just asking Allah to forgive you, it is returning back to Him.
When doing Taubah you should:
Truly regret your sin.
Sincerely apologise and show a feeling of shame for the sin that you have committed.
Promise never to do it again and obey all the commands of Allah.
Ask for Allah's mercy, as He is the most merciful.
We are told that we should always pray to Allah that on the Day of Judgement He should judge us with His Mercy and not with His Justice.
Once there was a man who was a very pious man and so sure that he had led a good life that he used to pray to Allah that he should be judged with His Justice and not with His Mercy.
One night that man had a dream that it was the day of Judgement and there in front of him was a scale with all his good deeds on one side and on the other side was an apple.
What amazed the man was that the side with the apple was so much heavier than the side with all the good deeds.
When the man asked why there was an apple there he was told that once he had gone to the shops and tasted an apple to see how sweet it was intending to buy it if it was to his liking, but he had not asked the permission of the shop owner.
As that man had asked Allah to judge him with His Justice that one small apple outweighed all his good deeds.
Remember Allah is All-Merciful and All-Forgiving so always ask Him to forgive you but be sincere.

TO FORGIVE OTHERS
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura At-Taghabun verse 14
"….If you forgive, overlook and cover up (their faults), then indeed Allah is oft-forgiving, merciful." (64:14)
The above ayat tells us that if we forgive, and not just forgive but overlook and also cover up others faults then Allah will do the same for us and remember Allah is the Most Forgiving.
To forgive someone is to let someone of the hook, to pardon someone for their mistake towards you.
Allah not only tells us to forgive but also overlook - let things pass: And to cover up - not to tell others what that person had done.
Our 1st Imam, Imam Ali (A) has said that at times when you can have revenge on someone, when you have the power to pay back and then you forgive that is called true forgiving.
The above hadith tells us that it is truly forgiving when you have the means to get revenge for what that person had done and you do not use these means but instead forgive.
To forgive someone is then to forget about it, not to
remind the person of it, nor to tell anyone else of it.
Imam Ali (A) has said "Punish your enemies with kindness and do them a good deed in return for the harm that they have done to you.

BROTHERHOOD & UNITY
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura Al-Hujurat, verse 10:
"The believers are surely brothers; so make peace among your brothers…" (49:10)
The above ayat tells us that all Muslims are brothers to each others and that they should all care for each other.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said that a Muslim is he from whose hands and tongue other Muslims remain safe.
The above hadith tells us that if a Muslim hurts another Muslim in anyway, physically with his hands, or emotionally with his tongue, by what he says, then that Muslim is not a Muslim.
The idea of brotherhood was introduced by the Holy Prophet (S) after the Hijrat, when the Makkans had to leave their homes and belongings to move to Madina. The Holy Prophet (S) made one Makkan a brother to one Madinite, so that they may help each other.
Islam considers the Holy Prophet (S) as the father of all the Muslims, connected and joined with each other through Islam.
The whole of the Muslim community is like one big family and what one person does in that family affects the rest of the people in the family.
Once there was a group of people in a boat who were arguing that there was no need for brotherhood (unity) and that each one could do as they pleased without it being the concern of anyone else.
The person who was saying that there was a need for brotherhood went to one corner of the boat and started making a hole in the bottom of the boat.
The rest of the people who were saying that there was no need for brotherhood asked the man if he had gone mad, because if he continued they would all drown.
The man replied that they should not worry about what he was doing as they themselves had said that every person could do what he liked without worrying about anyone else.
The people then realised that it was true, to live happily with each other you had to care about others and have a form of unity through some sort of brotherhood.
Remember each and every Muslim has a right over you as a brother, and we are all united together through Islam.

SELF ACCOUNTING
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura Al-Qiyamah, verse 2:
"And I swear by the self-accusing soul." (75:2)
In the above ayat we are told that there is a part of our soul which is called the self-accusing soul and that this is such an important part that Allah swears by it.
What is the self-accusing soul ?
The self-accusing soul is our conscience, it is the part of us that makes us feel guilty when we do something wrong
Self - accounting is to listen to this conscience. If you ignore your conscience enough times then you will no longer hear it and then the next time you do something wrong, you will not feel guilty.
Once our Holy Prophet (S) was travelling with his followers when he stopped at a deserted place where there was nothing growing.
The Holy Prophet (S) told his followers to go and collect wood. They replied that they would not be able to find any wood in such a deserted place. The Holy Prophet (S) told them that they should still go and try to find some.
So they went and brought back whatever little they could. In a short while there was a big heap of wood laid before the Holy Prophet (S).
The Holy Prophet (S) then told them that their sins could just as easily be searched for and collected.
The Holy Prophet (S) was teaching them about self - accounting. In the same way that the wood was collected although it could not be seen before collecting, people's sins are not easily seen or remembered. But when they are looked for and accounted, they make a long list.
Is it not better to self - account and find that long list now while you can still ask for forgiveness rather than on the Day of Judgement when it will be too late.
You should get into the habit of self - accounting every day (at night, or after Salaat) where you think of the whole day and everything that you have done in that day.
What good thing have you done ? If none then think of something good that you can do the next day.
What bad things have you done ? How are you going to put them right (do Taubah).

MANNERS OF TRAVELLING
One of the many blessings of Allah to Prophet Sulaiman (A) was that he had control over the wind. He would sit on his carpet and command the wind to take him wherever he wanted to go.
Once when Prophet Sulaiman (A) on his carpet was floating through the air being carried by the wind, a pious man saw him and said " Glory be to He, who has subjected this to Sulaiman (A)."
Allah liked this praise so much that he sent an angel to Prophet Sulaiman (A) telling him that a certain person had praised Him in such a beautiful manner and pleased Him greatly.
Prophet Sulaiman turned back and went to the man to ask him what he had said, and the man told him.
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Sura Az-Zukhruf, verse 13:
"….Glory be to Him who subjected these to us, because we were not able to do so ourselves." (43:13)
The above ayat tells us that Glory belongs to Him who has allowed for us to have power over certain things and without this blessing we would not be able to.
This is why it is recommended to say this ayat before travelling, as it is due to the blessings of Allah that we have such wonderful means of travel.
Other things recommended to do before travelling are:
- Take out Sadqa
- Walk under the Qur'an as you are leaving you house.
- Carry ˝ of Sura Ikhlas, with the other half left at home (We are told that these two halves will come together again).
- Recite the above ayat from the Holy Qur'an (43:13).
(Anecdote from the life of Imam Ali ar-Ridha (A)).

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