reading the quran

 My dear respected brothers, sisters, and children in Islam,  AsSalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.

 While on my second pilgrimage to the House of Allah (Ka’ba), the Ameer of our group, Brother Yusef Murshideen, asked me this question during our stay at Al Azizia, a large suburb outside of Mecca, “Brother Khalil, have you given your jinn shahadah yet?”  Needless to say, I was speechless because, at that time, I wasn’t aware that I had a jinn, let alone any method with which to give it the shahadatain (“La ilaha illallah wa Muhammadar Rasulullah”).  Our discussion lasted well into the night, albeit, a sleepless night for me as I contemplated on how to do this wonderful thing.

 It wasn’t until I asked ALLAH (subhana wa Ta’alaa) for some help in this matter that I was guided to books of knowledge regarding the jinn, the nafs (from the Arabic:  nafasa – the soul, self, spirit, mind, inner desire and feeling) and their relationship to each other that I began to gain some understanding.

 There are, at least, 298 references to the nafs in the Qur’an Kareem.  And we all can read about the well-known hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa salim) in which he calls “Jihadul nafs” (the struggle with the self) “Jihadul akbar” (the greater jihad or struggle).  This struggle, the struggle with the self, is greater than any struggle or striving that we can perform.

 Consequently, I understood “giving my jinn shahadah” to mean struggling with my nafs, myself, my inner desires and feelings, my mind and my soul and to bring them all into the fold of Islam, to have them all submit to the Will of Almighty ALLAH, Glorified and Most High is He!

 Jihadul nafs involves adorning the outside to edify and purify the inside – the outside being actions and deeds; the inside being the heart.  We must obey the commands of ALLAH and his Messenger.  We must respect the prohibitions of ALLAH and his Messenger.  And, most of all, accept with good grace (sabr) ALLAH’s decree for us no matter what it may be.  These are the essential (wajib) tasks or duties of every believer (mu’min).  Others include:  Do things that are healthy (halal) for the body, mind and spirit (ruh).  Perform sincere (khalasa) and consistent worship (ibadat).  Say more of “us” and “we” and less of “I” and “me”.  Help, care for, protect and love one another (wa’laa) for the sake of ALLAH alone.  This is a beginning.

 And know for a certainty (yaqeen), my dear brothers, sisters, and children in Islam, that this struggle is a continuing effort that only ends when we return to ALLAH, Glorified and Most High is He.  AsSalaamu Alaikum

 Imam Khalil Markham


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