FAQs



  • 1.Salaat
  • Can a Masjid have two Jummahs?

    admin02-07-2014

    If Salat has been performed in a masjid which has an imam, then it is makrooh tahrimi to make a second jama'at of the same Salat inside the same masjid . It is permissible to perform it in jama'at outside the masjid.The reason for this karahat (dislike) is that the permissibility of second jama'ats leads to a decrease in the number of people coming for the first jama'at, while one of the objectives of jama'at is to gather the Muslims together at one time.In addition to this great harm, by granting permission for second jama'ats the door is opened for discord and disunity to set in, as any group that has slight differences with the Imam on any issue will then begin performing their own jama'at in the masjid.

    The evidence about this is that At-Tabaraani reported that the Prophet Sal Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam came from the suburbs of Madeenah in order to pray in the  Masjid but he found that the people have already prayed. So he returned to his home and prayed with his family. Since he did not pray in the  Masjid, this means that it is disliked to form a second congregation in the same  Masjid.In addition to this, saying that it is permissible to make another congregation in the  Masjid may decrease the first congregation in number, because, if people know that if they miss the first congregation they would join the second congregation, then they would not hasten or be keen to pray with the first congregation and there is harm in this, but if they know that there is only one congregation they would hasten to join it and hence this congregation will be bigger in number.

    One of the main reasons mentioned by Allah for Masjid-ud-dirar being built was to cause disunity between the Muslims, thus our pious predecessors (the Sahaba, Tabieen and A'immah), on the basis of what they learnt from Nabi Sal Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam made sure they closed this door on those who want to break the unity of the Muslims. Thus we find that the practice of the Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhum, was that if they came to the masjid after the Salat was over, they would perform Salat individually. (Ibn Abi Shaibah Vol.2 Pg.113)

    This was the practice of the salaf, thus we find it narrated from many of them that the second jama'at is makrooh, thus their practice was to perform Salat individually. Amongst those from which this is narrated is:

    1. Qasim ibn Muhammad , the grandson of Sayyidna Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhuma, and the great faqih of Madinah. (Ibn Abi Shaibah Vol.2 Pg.113)
    2.Hasan Basri (Ibid)
    3.Abu Qilabah (Ibid)
    4.Hafs ibn Sulaiman (Abdul Razaaq Vol.2 Pg.293)
    5. Sufyaan Thawri (Ibid)
    6. Abdul Razzaaq San'aani (Ibid)
    7. Ibrahim Nakha'i (Abdul Razaaq Vol.2 Pg.292, Ibn Abi Shaibah Vol.2 Pg.112)

    The practice of the Sahaba and the fatwa of all these luminaries is sufficient to establish karahat.

    Now the narration about Nabi Sal Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam also points to the same, thus we have used it as well. Our opinion regarding our beloved Nabi Sal Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam is that he would not have left the great reward of performing Salat with jama'at in Masjid-un Nabawi, unless of course it was makrooh. Now when all the above proofs concur with this interpretation of the hadith, it is specified that this is its meaning.

    A second Taraweeh Jamaat in the same Masjid should not be performed for this will be reverting to the situation before the ruling of Hazrat Umar (radhiallahu 'anhu). Hazrat Umar(radhiallahu 'anhu) ruled for the termination of small jamaats in a Masjid. A second Taraweeh Jamaat will be against this ruling. (Fatawa Darul-Uloom vol.4 pg.300 as in Kabiri pg.383)

    The above Fatwa relates to the hadith below :

    Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 32, Night Prayer in Ramadaan (Taraweeh)
    Hadith no: 227

    Narrated: Abu Huraira
    Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." Ibn Shihab (a sub-narrator) said, "Allah's Apostle Sal Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam died and the people continued observing that (i.e. Nawafil offered individually, not in congregation), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of Umar's Caliphate."
    Abdur Rahman bin Abdul Qari said, "I went out in the company of Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the  Masjid and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, Umar said, 'In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)'. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Kab. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, Umar remarked, 'What an excellent Bida (i.e. innovation in religion) this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.' He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night."

  • How can Muslims make up for missed prayers?

    admin06-07-2014

    Praise be to Allah.

    Firstly:

    Allah has allocated specific times for acts of worship for reasons that are known to Him. We know some of them, but some of them are hidden from us. Whatever the case, we are enjoined to adhere to them and it is not permissible to transgress against that except for reasons permitted in sharee’ah.

    If a person misses the prayer, one of two scenarios must apply:

    1 –

    He missed it for a reason, such as falling asleep or forgetting it. There is no sin on him in this case, but he has to make it up when he wakes up or remembers it.

    It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever forgets a prayer, let him offer it as soon as he remembers, for there is no expiation for it other than that.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (572) and Muslim (684); Muslim narrated an additional phrase: “or sleeps and misses it”.

    Muslim also narrated (684): “If one of you sleeps and misses a prayer, or forgets it, let him offer the prayer when he remembers, for Allah says ‘and perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah) for My remembrance’ [Ta-Ha 20:14].”

    2 –

    He missed the prayer with no excuse; rather he ignored it until the time for it ended, out of laziness and carelessness. This person is sinning according to the consensus of the Muslims, and has committed a major sin.

    It is not valid for him to make it up according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, rather he has to repent and regret it, and resolve not to do that again, and he should do a lot of good deeds and offer a lot of voluntary prayers.

    Ibn Hazm said:

    As for the one who deliberately omits to pray until the time for the prayer ends, he can never make it up, so he should do a lot of good deeds and offer a lot of voluntary prayers, so that his balance (of good deeds) will weigh heavily on the Day of Resurrection, and he should repent and ask Allah for forgiveness. End quote.

    Al-Muhalla (2/235).

    This is also the view of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab and his son ‘Abd-Allah, and of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas, Salmaan, Ibn Mas’ood, al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, Badeel al-‘Aqeeli, Muhammad ibn Sireen, Mutarrif ibn ‘Abd-Allah and ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez. It was also the view of Dawood al-Zaahiri and Ibn Hazm, and was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and al-Shawkaani. Among contemporary scholars it was regarded as more correct by al-Albaani, Ibn Baaz, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen and others.

    They quoted as evidence the following:

    (i)

    The words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning):

    “Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”

    [al-Nisa’ 4:103]

    They said: There is a set time for prayer and it is not permissible to do it at any other time except with evidence.

    (ii)

    The words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever forgets a prayer, let him offer it as soon as he remembers, for there is no expiation for it other than that.”

    The words “let him offer it as soon as he remembers, for there is no expiation for it other than that” mean: If he is slow in offering the prayer after he remembers it, then it is not an expiation, so how about the one who neglects it deliberately without forgetting or sleeping? It is even more likely that it will not be an expiation in that case, and making it up will be of no benefit.

    (iii)

    Because Allah has allocated a specific time for each obligatory prayer, specifying the beginning and end thereof, so it is as if it is not valid to do it before that time just as it is not valid to do it afterwards.

    Al-Muhalla (2/235).

    (iv)

    Ibn Hazm said:

    Also, making it up should be based on evidence, and it is not permissible for anything to be prescribed other than by Allah on the lips of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). We ask those who say that the one who deliberately omits the prayer is obliged to make it up to tell us about this prayer that you are telling him to do – is it the prayer that was enjoined by Allah or some other prayer? If they say it is the one that was enjoined by Allah, then we say to them: Then the one who deliberately omits it is not a sinner, because he has done what Allah commanded him to do and there is no sin according to what you say, and there is no blame on the one who deliberately omits to pray until the time for it ends. But that is something that no Muslim can say. If they say that it is not the prayer that Allah has enjoined him to do, then we say: You are right, and that is enough, because they have admitted that they told him to do something that was not enjoined by Allah. End quote.

    Al-Muhalla (2/236).

    Those who say that he has to make it up did so by analogy with the one who forgets or falls asleep, and they said that if the one who forgets has to make it up, then it is more likely that the one who deliberately omitted it should do so.

    My response is that there is no comparison between the two scenarios, because the one who omits it deliberately is sinning, which is not true in the case of the one who forgets, so how can an analogy be drawn between the one who is sinning and the one who is not sinning?

    Al-Shawkaani (May Allah have mercy on him) said:

    Ibn Taymiyah said: Those who disagree – i.e., those who say that he should make up the prayer – do not have any proof to support their argument. Most of them say that he does not have to make it up unless there is a clear command (based on evidence), but there is no such command in this case. We do not disagree that it is obligatory to make it up; rather we disagree as to whether the made-up prayer will be accepted from him and whether prayer offered at the wrong time is valid. He discussed this matter at length and he favoured the view that was mentioned by Dawood and those who agreed with him, and the matter is as he put it, because I made a thorough study of this matter and I did not see any reliable evidence that obliges the one who misses a prayer deliberately to make it up.

    Nayl al-Awtaar (2/26).

    The more correct view – and Allah knows best – is that the one who deliberately omits the prayer should not make it up, rather he has to seek forgiveness and repent.

    Ibn al-Qayyim (May Allah have mercy on him) discussed this issue at length and examined the evidence of both sides in his useful book al-Salaah (p. 67-109).

    Note: Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

    The scholars who say that he should make up the prayer do not say that by making it up he is absolved of sin, rather they say that by making it up his burden of sin is reduced, but the sin of missing and delaying the prayer beyond its prescribed time is like any other sin, it needs either repentance or good deeds that will erase it or other things that will waive the punishment.

  • What to do if an Imam makes mistakes in a fard (mandatory) action of the salat?

    admin06-07-2014

    In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

    If Imaam makes mistake in basic actions like Ruku' and Sujood, the follower should correct him by saying out loud "Subhanallah". If the mistake is realised by a female follower, she can alert by clapping.

    Sahl b. Sa'd al-Sa'idi reported:

    The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) went to the tribe of Bani Amr b. Auf in order to bring reconciliation amongst (its members), and It was a time of prayer. The Mu'adhdhin came to Abu Bakr and said: Would you lead the prayer in case I recite takbir (tahrima, with which the prayer begins)? He (Abu Bakr) said: Yes. He (the narrator) said: He (Abu Bakr) started (leading) the prayer. The people were engaged in observing prayer when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) happened to come there and made his way (through the people) till he stood in a row. The people began to clap (their hands), but Abu Bakr paid no heed (to it) in prayer. When the people clapped more vigorously, he (Abu Bakr) then paid heed and saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) there. (He was about to withdraw when) the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) signed to him to keep standing at his place. Abu Bakr lifted his hands and praised Allah for what the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had commanded him and then Abu Bakr withdrew himself till he stood in the midst of the row and the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) stepped forward and led the prayer. When (the prayer) was over, he (the Holy Prophet) said: 0 Abu Bakr, what prevented you from standing (at that place) as I ordered you to do? Abu Bakr said: It does not become the son of Abu Quhafa to lead prayer before the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said (to the people) around him: What is it that I saw you clapping so vigorously? (Behold) when anything happens in prayer, say: Subhan Allah, for when you would utter it, it would attract the attention, while clapping of hands is meant for women.

    Sahih Muslim.

    While, if the mistake is made in the recitation of Qur'an, the follower should point out the mistake by reciting the correct Ayaah.

    If the Imaam still doesn't realise, he should be explained after finishing the prayer. If the meaning of recitation made by the Imaam had contradicted the meaning of actual Ayah, the prayer has to be repeated.

    If a female follower detects the mistake made by the Imaam, she can alert the Imaam by clapping.

  • What is the reason why Qur’aan is recited out loud in some prayers and silently in others?

    admin06-07-2014

    Praise be to Allah.

    Firstly:

    Reciting out loud in the prayers in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited out loud, and silently in the prayers in which he recited silently, is one of the Sunnahs of prayer, not one of the obligatory duties. But it is better for the worshipper not to go against the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

    Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

    Reciting out loud in the prayers where this is done is not obligatory, rather it is what is better. If a person recites silently in a prayer in which it is prescribed to recite out loud, his prayer is not invalid, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no prayer for one who does not recite the Essence of the Book (al-Faatihah).” He did not specify whether this recitation is to be out loud or silent. So if a person recites what he is required to recite, silently or out loud, then he has fulfilled his duty. But it is better to recite out loud in the prayers where doing so is customary, as in Fajr and Jumu’ah prayers.

    If a person deliberately does not recite out loud when he is leading the prayer, his prayer is valid but it is lacking.

    If a person is praying alone, he has the choice between reciting out loud or silently. He should look at what is more likely to increase his focus and humility in prayer, and do that.

    Secondly:

    The basic principle is that a Muslim is obliged to adhere to the laws of Allah, without making that dependent on whether he knows the reason or wisdom behind it. That does not mean that he should not try to find out the wisdom behind it, after following the command and adhering to the guidance.

    Thirdly:

    The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked:

    Why do we pray Zuhr and ‘Asr silently and Maghrib and ‘Isha’ out loud?

    They replied:

    We do that following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). We recite silently in the prayers in which he recited silently, and we recite out loud in the prayers in which he recited out loud, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow”

    [al-Ahzaab 33:21]

    And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Pray as you have seen me praying.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh.

    Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz was asked:

    Why is it prescribed to recite out loud in Maghrib, ‘Isha’ and Fajr, and not in the other obligatory prayers? What is the evidence for that?

    He replied:

    Allah knows best the reason why it is prescribed to recite out loud in those prayers. The most likely reason – and Allah knows best – is that at night and at the time of Fajr prayer, people are more likely to benefit from recitation that is done out loud, as there are less distractions around them than at the time of Zuhr and ‘Asr. End quote.

    Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (11/122)

    Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (May Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

    What is the reason for reciting out loud in Jumu’ah prayer?

    He replied:

    The reason why it is recited out loud is – and Allah knows best – firstly so as to unite the people behind one imam, because if they are united behind one imam and listening attentively to him, that is a better form of unity than if each one of them were to recite to himself. In order to achieve this the people must all be gathered in one place, except in cases of necessity.

    The second reason is that the imam’s recitation out loud during the prayer is a completion of the two khutbahs. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite in Jumu’ah prayer soorahs that were appropriate, either al-Jumu’ah and al-Munaafiqeen, because the former mentions Jumu’ah and encourages us to attend the prayer, and the latter describes hypocrisy and denounces its people; or he would recite al-A’la and al-Ghaashiyah, because the former mentions the beginning of creation and describes various creatures and the beginning of divine laws, and the latter describes the Resurrection and rewards and punishments.

    The third reason is so as to distinguish between Zuhr and Jumu’ah.

    The fourth reason is so that it will be similar to Eid prayer, because Jumu’ah is the weekly “Eid”.

  • Can you explain Salaat al-Awwaabeen?

    admin06-07-2014

    Praise be to Allah.

    Salaat al-Awwaabeen is also known as Salaat al-Duhaa, and may consists of 2, 4, 6 or 8 rak’ahs, prayed after the sun has risen and before the time for Zuhr approaches. It is better to delay it until the day is hotter, the evidence for which is as follows:

    “From Zayd ibn Arqam who said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out to the people of Qubaa’ and found them praying. He said: “Salaat al-Awwaabeen is when the young camels lift up their feet (because of the heat of the sand).”’ (Reported by Muslim, 1238).

    According to a report narrated by Imaam Ahmad from Zayd ibn Arqam, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came or entered the mosque at Qubaa’ after the sun had risen, and found the people there praying. He said:“Salaat al-Duhaa should be prayed when the young camels lift up their feet (because of the heat of the sand).”

    Allah knows best.

  • What are the benefits of “Salat Al-duha

    admin06-07-2014
    1.  Salatudh-Dhuha is a recommended Sunnah done when the heat of the day begins to increase, as reported in the Hadith: “ Salatul-Awwabin is when the hooves of the young camels are burnt by the heat of the sand”
    2.  It is also permissible  after the sunrise (ending of the prohibition of prayer) until half an hour before the Athan of Zuhr, or less.
    3. The number of rak’ahs should be between two and twelve.
    4. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said: “whoever prays Salat-ul-Fajr in Jammah could stay in the Masjid glorifying Allah until after the sunrise. Then if stands up and pray two rakkahs (Nafela called Al-duha), he will have the reward of performing a complete Haj and Umrah with me…” and the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) repeated, “complete, complete, complete (meaning fully with me)".  This can also be done in your house, Insha’Allah, you will have the same reward.

    To increase the iman:

    1. We must pray our salah on time, regularly and perfectly.
    2. Perform the salah in Jammah.
    3. Perform all the Sunnah and Nafelah salah.
    4. Avoid committing sins and if you do, quickly go back to Allah in repentance and seeking forgiveness.
    5. Gain from halal and avoid all haram.
    6. Make du’aa to Allah to increase your iman.

    Allah knows best.

  • Should Salatul Tasbih be performed at least once in a lifetime?

    admin06-07-2014

    Our Beloved Prophet Muhammed (Sallallaho Alihiwassallam) is reported to have prayed Salatul Tasbih and then said that this salah should be prayed once a day, if you can not pray once a day then every Friday, and even if this is not possible then once a month and even if this is not possible then once a year and even if this is not possible then at least once in a lifetime.

    Is it necessary that this prayer must be performed at least once in a lifetime? Is it a sin if someone doesn't pray this prayer at all during his life?

    There is dispute among Sunni scholars over the validity of Salatul Tasbih. The root of this dispute comes from differing views over the authenticity of this hadith:

    The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said to al-Abbas ibn AbdulMuttalib: Abbas, my uncle, shall I not give you, shall I not present to you, shall I not donate to you, shall I not produce for you ten things? If you act upon them, Allah will forgive you your sins, first and last, old and new, involuntary and voluntary, small and great, secret and open. These are the ten things: you should pray four rak'ahs, reciting in each one Fatihat al-Kitab and a surah. When you finish the recitation of the first rak'ah you should say fifteen times while standing: "Glory be to Allah", "Praise be to Allah", "There is no god but Allah", "Allah is most great". Then you should bow and say it ten times while bowing. Then you should raise your head after bowing and say it ten times. Then you should kneel down in prostration and say it ten times while prostrating yourself. Then you should raise your head after prostration and say it ten times. Then you should prostrate yourself and say it ten times. Then you should raise your head after prostrating and say it ten times in every rak'ah. You should do that in four rak'ahs. If you can observe it once daily, do so; if not, then once weekly; if not, then once a month; if not, then once a year; if not, then once in your lifetime.

  • How to perform Salatul Tasbeeh (Prayer of Glorification of Allah)

    admin06-07-2014

    For forgiveness of All Sins

    Benefits of Salatul Tasbeeh

    Our Beloved Prophet Mohammed (Sallallahu Alaihiwassallam) said to his uncle (father’s brother) Sayyiduna Abbass (may Allah be pleased with him) Oh uncle shall I not give you Shall I not grant you Shall I not award you Shall I not have mercy upon you When you do 10 things Allah will forgive your sins: of the future and of the past; new and old; those you have forgotten and those you did knowingly; big and small; hidden and revealed. Then he (Sallallahu Alaihiwassallam) explained the way to pray Salatul Tasbeeh and then said if you can pray this salah once a day, if you can not pray once a day then every Friday, and even if this is not possible then once a month and even if this is not possible then once a year and even if this is not possible then at least once in a lifetime (Abu’Dawood & Tirimzi)

    When to Pray the Salatul Tasbeeh?

    This Salah (namaz) is offered in four rakkahs at any part of the day or night besides Zawal (Dawn) and Sunrise and Sunset makrooh times, keeping in mind the forbidden times for performing Salah (namaaz). But is preferred before Zuhr (Fatawa Alamgeeri)

    The following Tasbih (recitation) is to be read in Salatul Tasbeeh:

    " Subhaan Allahi Wal Hamdulillahi Wa Laa ilaha illal Laahu Wallahu Akbar "

    How to perform Salatul Tasbeeh?

    In “The Way Our Beloved Prophet Mohammed (Sallallahu Alaihiwassallam) Offered His Prayer”, Make intention of 4 rak’ahs salah. The Goal is to recite the above Tasbih 300 times in Four Rakahs in the following method.

    1. In the first rakaat Say “Allahu Akbar”, fold the hands together, Recite Sana "Subhaana Kallahumma...", after that..

    ** Recite the above tasbih 15 times.**

    2. Now Recite ta’uwuz, tasmiyah ("Aoozubillah... and "Bismillah..."), Then Recite Surah Fatiha and a Surah or 3 small Ayats, after that..

    ** Recite the tasbih 10 times again.**

    3. Go into ruku saying Takbeer (Allah Hoo Akbar) and recite “Subhana Rabiyal Azeem” 3 times. after that...

    ** Recite the tasbih 10 times in Ruku.**

    4. Saying "Samee Allahu Liman Hamidah Rabbana Lakal Hamdh" get up from ruku to qiyam (standing) position.

    ** Recite the tasbih 10 times.**

    5. Go to Sujood saying Takbeer (Allah Hu Akbar) and recite “Subhana Rabiyal A’ala” 3 times, after that..

    ** Recite the tasbih 10 times in Sajdah.**

    6. Now go after first Sujood go to Jalsa (sitting position) saying Takbeer (Allah Hoo Akbar), Sitting in Jalsa...

    ** Recite tasbih 10 times.**

    7. Go to Sujood saying Takbeer (Allah Hu Akbar) and recite “Subhana Rabiyal A’ala” 3 times, after that..

    ** Recite the tasbih 10 times in Sajdah again.**

    8. Get up to begin 2nd rakat saying Takbeer (Allah Hu Akbar).

    9. For the Second Rakat repeat the tasbih same like in the first Rakat (without Sana) and after second Sajdah of Second Rakat sit in Qaidah Oola (first sitting) Recite Athahiyat and Durood and then get up for 3rd rakaat without saying Salam.

    10. Follow the rest third and fourth Rakat as you did in first Rakat untill you sit for Qaidah Akihra (last sitting) after second sajdah of fourth Rakat. In Qaidah Akihra Athahiyat, Durood, Dua finish Salah with Salam.

    Special notes for Salat-Ul-Tasbih:

    1. Do not count loudly, this will break your Salah

    2. Do not count on fingers or by holding rosary beads (a Tasbih) in the hand. It is Makruh.

    3. You may count by pressing the fingers as a reminder. For example if you are in Rukuh. You may press the little finger of your right hand first for the first count, then the finger next to it for second count, then the middle finger for third count, following this method until you reach the little finger of the left hand that will give you an exact count of ten. Use the same method in Qiyam, Sajdah and Jalsa.

    4. If missed a count then make it up in the next posture. For example if forgot to recite Tasbih after Surah in Qiyam. Then you may recite Tasbish 20 times instead of 10 in Rukuh after "Subhaana Rabbiyal Azeem". Missed Tasbihs cannot be recited in Qiyam after the Rukuh and Jalsa between Sajdah. If you missed the Tasbih in Rukuh then recite 20 in the first Sajdah instead of the Qiyam after Rukuh. Similarly if missed the Tasbih in first Sajdah then do not make it up in Jalsa. Instead recite missed tasbih in the second Sajdah. If Tasbih has been missed in last Sajdah of second or fourth Rakah then you can recite the missed ones before Attahiyat in the Qa'dah.

    5. If you miss a Wajib in Salah and have to do Sajdah-e-sahw. You don't have to recite Tasbih in Sajdah-e-sahw, since the 300 count has been established. But if you had missed Tasbih in any of the postures and remeber it at this point, then you may recite the missed Tasbih in the Sajdah-e-sahw.

    6. It is preferable to recite Surah-tul-Takathuur after Surah-tul-Faatiha in the first rakah', Surah Wal A'sr in the second rakah', Surah Kaferoon (qul ya aiyuhal Kafiroon) in the third and Surah Akhlas (Qul hu Allah-hu ahd) in the fourth rakah'. If one does not remember these Surahs, can read what is easy for them.

    May Allah accept this Du'a (supplication) for the sake of the trustworthy PROPHET MOHAMMED (Sallallahu Alaihiwassallam)...

    Aameen... Aameen Ya Rabbal Aalameen..!!!

    Please Include Me and My Family in Your Dua's Insha Allah...

  • What is the best way of offering Witr prayer?.

    admin06-07-2014

    Praise be to Allah.  

    Witr prayer is one of the greatest acts of worship that draw one closer to Allah. Some of the scholars – the Hanafis – even thought that it is one of the obligatory prayers, but the correct view is that it is one of the confirmed Sunnahs (Sunnah mu’akkadah) which the Muslim should observe regularly and not neglect.

    Imam Ahmad (May Allah have mercy on him) said: Whoever neglects Witr is a bad man whose testimony should not be accepted. This indicates that Witr prayer is something that is confirmed.

    We may sum up the manner of offering Witr prayer as follows:

    Its timing:

    It starts when a person has prayed ‘Isha’, even if it is joined to Maghrib at the time of Maghrib, and lasts until dawn begins, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has prescribed for you a prayer (by which He may increase your reward), which is Witr; Allah has enjoined it for you during the time between ‘Isha’ prayer until dawn begins.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 425; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

    Is it better to offer this prayer at the beginning of its time or to delay it?

    The Sunnah indicates that if a person thinks he will be able to get up at the end of the night, it is better to delay it, because prayer at the end of the night is better and is witnessed (by the angels). But whoever fears that he will not get up at the end of the night should pray Witr before he goes to sleep, because of the hadeeth of Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fears that he will not get up at the end of the night, let him pray Witr at the beginning of the night, but whoever thinks that he will be able to get up at the end of the night, let him pray Witr at the end of the night, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed (by the angels) and that is better.” Narrated by Muslim, 755.

    Al-Nawawi said: This is the correct view. Other ahaadeeths which speak of this topic in general terms are to be interpreted in the light of this sound, specific and clear report, such as the hadeeth, “My close friend advised me not to sleep without having prayed Witr.” This is to be understood as referring to one who is not sure that he will be able to wake up (to pray Witr at the end of the night). Sharh Muslim, 3/277.

    The number of rak’ahs:

    The minimum number of rak’ahs for Witr is one rak’ah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Witr is one rak'ah at the end of the night.” Narrated by Muslim, 752. And he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The night prayers are two (rak’ahs) by two, but if one of you fears that dawn is about to break, let him pray one rak’ah to make what he has prayed odd-numbered.”  Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 911; Muslim, 749. If a person limits himself to praying one rak’ah, then he has performed the Sunnah. But Witr may also be three or five or seven or nine.

    If a person prays three rak’ahs of Witr this may be done in two ways, both of which are prescribed in sharee’ah:

    1 – To pray them one after another, with one tashahhud, because of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used not to say the tasleem in the (first) two rakahs of Witr. According to another version: “He used to pray Witr with three rak'ahs and he did not sit except in the last of them.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 3/234; al-Bayhaqi, 3/31. al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (4/7): it was narrated by al-Nasaa’i with a hasan isnaad, and by al-Bayhaqi with a saheeh isnaad.

    2 – Saying the tasleem after two rak'ahs, then praying one rak’ah on its own, because of the report narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him), that he used to separate the two rak'ahs from the single rak'ah with a tasleem, and he said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do that. Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan (2435); Ibn Hajar said in al-Fath (2/482): its isnaad is qawiy (strong).

    But if he prays Witr with five or seven rak’ahs, then they should be continuous, and he should only recite one tashahhud in the last of them and say the tasleem, because of the report narrated by ‘Aa’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray thirteen rak’ahs at night, praying five rak’ahs of Witr, in which he would not sit except in the last rak’ah. Narrated by Muslim, 737.

    And it was narrated that Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray Witr with five or seven (rak’ahs) and he did not separate between them with any salaam or words. Narrated by Ahmad, 6/290; al-Nasaa’i, 1714. al-Nawawi said: Its isnaad is jayyid. Al-Fath al-Rabbaani, 2/297. and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.

    If he prays Witr with nine rak’ahs, then they should be continuous and he should sit to recite the tashahhud in the eighth rak'ah, then stand up and not say the tasleem, then he should recite the tashahhud in the ninth rak’ah and then say the tasleem. It was narrated in Muslim (746) from ‘Aa’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray nine rak’ahs in which he did not sit except in the eighth, when he would remember Allah, praise Him and call upon Him, then he would get up and not say the tasleem, and he would stand up and pray the ninth (rak’ah), then he would sit and remember Allah and praise Him and call upon Him, then he would say a tasleem that we could hear.

    If he prayed Witr with eleven rak’ahs, he would say the tasleem after each two rak’ahs, then pray one rak’ah at the end.

    The less perfect way of praying Witr and what is to be recited therein:

    The less perfect way in Witr is to pray two rak'ahs and say the tasleem, then to pray one rak’ah and say the tasleem. It is permissible to say one tasleem, but one should say one tashahhud not two, as stated above.

    In the first rak’ah one should recite Sabbih isma rabbika al-‘a’la (“Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High” – Soorat al-A’la 87). In the second one should recite Soorat al-Kaafiroon (109), and in the third Soorat al-Ikhlaas (112).

    Al-Nasaa’i (1729) narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka’b said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite in Witr Sabbih isma rabbika al-‘a’la (“Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High” – Soorat al-A’la 87), Qul yaa ayyuha’l-kaafiroon (“Say: O disbeliever…” – Soorat al-Kaafiroon 109) and Qul Huwa Allaahu ahad (“Say: He is Allah, the One” – Soorat al-Ikhlaas 112). Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.

    All these ways of offering Witr prayer have been mentioned in the Sunnah, but the best way is not to stick to one particular way; rather one should do it one way one time and another way another time, so that one will have done all the Sunnahs.

    And Allah knows best.

  • How to perform “Tahajjud – The Night Vigil Prayer

    admin06-07-2014

    There are many evidences in Qur’an and Sunnah proving the excellence and merits of praying Tahajjud – the night vigil prayer. This article explains the benefits, when and how to pray it.

    Allah Most High said,

    “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17: 78-79]

    Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said,

    “Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: ‘Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?’” [Bukhari (also by Muslim, Malik, at-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud).]

    Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said,

    “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.”[Muslim]

    Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) was asked, “What prayer is most virtuous, after the obligatory prayers?”

    He said, “Prayer in the depths of the night.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah]

    Abd Allah ibn Salam (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “O people! Spread the salams, feed others, maintain family ties, and pray at night when others sleep and you will enter Heaven safely.”[Tirmidhi, Hakim]

    Abu Umama al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” [Tirmidhi, and others] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”

    Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The virtues of night prayer over day prayer is like the virtue of secret charity over open charity.”[Tabarani] The scholars explain that this refers to voluntary prayers.

    Imam Saffarini, the Hanbali faqih and sufi, explained in his Sharh Mandhumat al-Adaab:

    “Night prayer is superior to day prayer because:

    It is more concealed and closer to sincerity. The righteous early Muslims (salaf) used to strive hard to hide their secrets [f: i.e. the actions between them and Allah].

    Hasan [al-Basri] said, ‘It used to be that a person would have guests staying over and he would pray at night without his guests knowing…’
    And because night prayer is harder on the lower self, because night is a time of rest from the tire of day, so leaving sleep despite the lower self being desirous of it is a tremendous struggle (mujahada). Some have said, ‘The best of works are those the lower self is forced to perform.’

    And because recitation in night prayer is closer to contemplation, because things that busy the heart are mostly absent at night, so the heart is attentive and is with the tongue in understanding, as Allah Most High said, ‘o! The night vigil is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain. [Lo! You have by day a chain of business. So remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself with a complete devotion.]’ (Qur’an, 73: 6-7) It is because of this that we have been commanded to recite the Qur’an in night prayer in a steady recital (tartil).

    And it is because of this that night prayer is a shield from sin…

    And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntary worship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.

    And because it is a time when the doors of the sky are opened, supplications answered, and the needs of those who ask fulfilled.
    Allah has praised those who wake up at night for His remembrance, supplication, and to seek forgiveness and entreat Him, saying, ‘They forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of what We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid from them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.’ [Qur’an, 32: 16-17]

    And He said, ‘Those who pray for pardon in the watches of the night.’[Qur’an, 3: 17]

    And, ‘[The (faithful) servants of the Merciful are they who walk upon the earth modestly, and when the foolish one address them answer: Peace;] And who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing…’[Qur’an, 25: 63-64]

    Allah most negated similitude between those who pray at night and those who do not: ‘Is the one who worships devoutly in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, fearful of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, (to be accounted equal with a disbeliever)? Say: are those who know equal with those who know know? But only people of understanding will pay heed.’ [Qur’an, 39: 9]” [Saffarini,Ghidha al-Albab Sharh Mandhumat al-Adaab,

    Imam Abu Sa’id al-Khadimi said,

    “There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that among the best of virtuous acts is the night vigil prayer.” [al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya]

    The scholars derived the following from the Qur’an and prophetic hadiths:

    1. The minimal night vigil prayer is 2 rakats. [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]

    2. Its optimal recommended amount is 8 rakats, because this was the general practice of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions). [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]

    Narated By Ibn Umar : Once a person asked ALLAH’s Apostle about the night prayer. ALLAH’s Apostle replied, “The night prayer is offered as two Rakat followed by two Rakat and so on and if anyone is afraid of the approaching dawn (Fajr prayer) he should pray one Raka and this will be a Witr for all the Rakat which he has prayed before.” Nafi’ told that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar used to say Taslim between (the first) two Rakat and (the third) odd one in the Witr prayer, when he wanted to attend to a certain matter (during that interval between the Rakat).

    3. Lengthier recitation is superior to a larger number of rakats prayed. [Durr al-Mukhtar, Radd al-Muhtar]

    4. If one divides the night in thirds, then the final middle third is most virtuous. [Durr al-Mukhtar]

    5. If one divides the night in half, then the second half is more virtuous. [ibid.]

    6. Voluntary (nafl) prayer at night is more virtuous than voluntary prayer during the day. However, the full reward mentioned in the Qur’anic verses and Prophetic hadiths refers to worship that was preceded by sleep. This is also understood from the very linguistic meaning of tahajjud, which is to struggle rid oneself of sleep. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Ibn Amir Haajj’s Halba]

    7. Ibn Nujaym and Haskafi both affirmed that night prayer is recommended. [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, and al-Durr al-Mukhtar; chosen in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya] Kamal ibn al-Humam, the brilliant mujtahid who was the greatest Hanafi faqih of the latter half of Islamic history, however, wavered between it being recommended or a confirmed sunna. This is because while the spoken hadiths indicate recommendation, the continued practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) would seem to indicate it being a confirmed sunna. This was also chosen by Ibn al-Humam’s student, Ibn Amir Haaj in his Halba. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

    8. It is disliked to leave the night vigil prayer for one who has made it their habit, unless there is an excuse, because the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him), “O Abd Allah! Do not be like so-and-so. He used to pray at night and then left it.” [Bukhari and Muslim] Therefore, one should take on an amount of works one can sustain, for the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The most beloved of actions to Allah are the most constant, even if little.” [Bukhari and Muslim] [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, from Ibn Amir Haajj’s Halba]

    9. It is recommended to start the night vigil with two short rakats, because of the hadith of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “It you get up for night prayer, start with two short rakats.” [Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawud]

    10. Supplications in the depths of the night are answered, as the hadiths have mentioned.

    Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) was asked, ‘I cannot pray at night.’ He said, ‘Your sins have prevented you.’

  • What is Taraweeh Prayer?

    admin06-07-2014

    The Taraweeh Prayer is an emphasised Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah( peace be upon him ) during the month of Ramadan.
    Both al-Bukhaari (1129) and Muslim (761) narrated from ‘Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed one night in the mosque, and the people followed him in prayer. Then he prayed the next night, and many people came. Then they gathered on the third or fourth night, and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not come out to them. The next morning he said: “I saw what you did, and nothing kept me from coming out to you except the fact that I feared that it would be made obligatory for you.” And that was in Ramadan
    These hadith show that praying Taraweeh in congregation is prescribed in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).  Umar during his Khilafah restablished this Sunnah of prayer in congregation.
    It was narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would forgo doing something that he liked to do lest the people do it and it become obligatory upon them. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1060; Muslim, Salaat al-Musaafireen, 1174).
    al-Bukhaari (2010) narrated that ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Abd al-Qaari said: I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) to the mosque one night in Ramadan, and the people were scattered, each man praying by himself. Some men would pray and have groups of people behind them following them. ‘Umar said: “I think that if I unite all these people with one reader, it will be better. Then he resolved to gather them behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b.
    al-Haafiz said: Ibn al-Teen and others said that ‘Umar based this decision on the Prophet’s approval of those who prayed with him on those nights. Although he disliked that for them, that was based on the fear that it might be made obligatory for them. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) died, there was no longer any fear of that happening, and ‘Umar thought, because of the potential division that might arise from people praying separately, and because uniting them behind one reader is more motivating for many people. The majority agreed with ‘Umar’s decision.

  • What is the difference between Qiyam ul Layl and Tahajud? Also, What are the rewards for he who prays these prayers?

    admin06-07-2014

    Praise be to Allah.

    Qiyaam al-layl means spending the night, or part of it, even if it is only one hour, in prayer, reading Qur’aan, remembering Allah (dhikr) and other acts of worship. It is not stipulated that it should take up most of the night.

    It says in Maraaqi al-Falaah: What is meant by qiyaam is spending most of the night in worship, or it was said: spending one hour of it, in reading Qur'aan, listening to hadeeth, glorifying Allah (tasbeeh) or sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

    Tahajjud means specifically praying at night, and some scholars limited it to prayers that are offered at night after sleeping.

    Al-Hajjaaj ibn ‘Amr al-Ansaari (May Allah be pleased with him) said: One of you thinks that if he gets up at night and prays until morning comes that he has done tahajjud. But in fact tahajjud means praying after sleeping, then praying after sleeping. That is how the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah upon him) prayed. Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in al-Talkhees al-Habeer (2/35): Its isnaad is hasan; it includes Abu Saalih, the scribe of al-Layth, and it is somewhat weak. It was also narrated by al-Tabaraani, whose isnaad includes Ibn Luhay‘ah, whose report is supported by the one that came before it.

    Thus it becomes clear that qiyaam al-layl is more general than tahajjud, because it includes prayer and other actions, and it includes prayer before and after sleeping.

    But tahajjud is exclusively praying, and there are two opinions concerning it. The first is that it means praying at any time of the night, which is the view of the majority of fuqaha’.

    Al-Qurtubi (May Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salaah (prayer) with it (i.e. recite the Qur’aan in the prayer) as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer Nawâfil) for you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم). It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqâm Mahmûd (a station of praise and glory, i.e., the honour of intercession on the Day of Resurrection)” [al-Isra’ 17:97]:

    Tahajjud comes from hujood, which is doing one thing and the opposite, it so the word hajada may mean he slept or it may mean he stayed up at night, which are opposites.

    Tahajjud means waking up after sleeping, and it became a name for prayer, because the individual wakes up for it. So tahajjud means getting up to pray at night. This meaning was given by al-Aswad, ‘Ilqimah, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn al-Aswad and others.

    Ismaa‘eel ibn Ishaaq al-Qaadi narrated from the hadeeth of al-Hajjaaj ibn ‘Amr, the Companion of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah upon him) that he said: Does one of you think that if he gets up and spends the entire night in prayer that he had prayed tahajjud? Rather tahajjud is praying after sleeping, then praying after sleeping, then praying after sleeping. This is how the Messenger of Allah (blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) prayed.

    And it was said tahajjud means sleep, as it is said in Arabic, Tahajjada al-rajul, meaning the man stayed up, and alqa al-hujood, i.e., sleep. And the one who gets up to pray is called mutahajjid.

    Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the difference between Taraweeh, Qiyaam and Tahajjud? Please advise us, may you be rewarded.

    He replied: Prayer at night is called tahajjud or qiyaam al-layl, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salaah (prayer) with it (i.e. recite the Qur’aan in the prayer) as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer Nawâfil) for you”

    [al-Isra’ 17:79]

    “O you wrapped in garments (i.e. Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)!

    2. Stand (to pray) all night, except a little”

    [al-Muzzammil 73:1-2]

    “They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope]”

    With regard to Taraweeh, the scholars use this word to refer to qiyaam al-layl in Ramadan at the beginning of the night, which should be made light and not lengthy. It may also be called tahajjud or qiyaam al-layl.

    And Allah is the source of strength.

    And Allah knows best.

  • Types of Prayers

    admin08-07-2014

    The Friday (Juma) Salaat

    • The Juma (Friday) Salaat is obligatory upon all Muslim male residents of a town or city. Juma Salaat takes the place of Zuhr Salaat.

    • The time for Juma Salaat is the same as that for Zuhr.
    • The Friday Khutba is a condition for the validity of the Juma Salaat. Without the Khutba, the Juma Salaat is not valid.
    • The Juma Salaat consists of a total of fourteen Raka’ats as follows:

    Sunnate Muaq Qad’ah

    4

    Fardh

    2

    Sunnate Muaq Qad’ah

    4

    Sunnate Muaq Qad’ah 2
    Nafil 2
    • The first ones to arrive for Friday congregation get maximum reward, which is reduced with each arrival.
    • The angels stop recording of arrivals as soon as formal Arabic Khutba commences.
    • When the Imam rises to deliver the formal Khutba in Arabic, it is not permissible to recite, to make Dhikr, to perform Salaat or to talk. It is Wajib to listen attentively to the Khutba.
    • If, after commencing with the four Raka’ats to Sunnatul Muaq Qad’ah, the Imam starts with the Khutba, one should complete the Salaat.
    • The Khutbas are recited before the Fardh Salaat. These Khutbas are Fardh. The Sermons in the local dialect are not Fardh.

    Qad’ah Salaat (Missed Salaat)

    Qad’ah with regard to Salaat, means to fulfil or perform a Salaat after expiry of the time of that Salaat.

    If a Fardh Salaat has not been performed and its time has expired, it is obligatory to make Qad’ah of that Salaat without any delay. To delay in performing the Qad’ah Salaat is also a sin.

    It should be remembered that the Shariah (Law of Allah) never waives the obligation of the Fardh Salaat. No amount of repentance can secure exemption from Salaat, which have not been performed in the past. Even a lifetime of Fardh Salaat not performed must be fulfilled by means of Qad’ah.

    Questions Pertaining to Qad’ah

    • It is not necessary to wait for any particular time to perform Qad’ah Salaat. For example, if Zuhr Salaat was missed, it is not necessary to wait for another Zuhr time in order to make Qad’ah of the missed Zuhr Salaat. Several Qad’ah Salaat can be performed all at once. However, one should not perform Qad’ah during Makruh times.
    • It is not permissible for him to perform an Adaa Salaat before performing the Five Qad’ah Salaat for which he is liable. However, if the time remaining for the Adaa Salaat is so little that if he engages in fulfilling the Qad’ah Salaat his Adaa Salaat will also become Qad’ah, then in such a case he should perform his Adaa Salaat, and thereafter engage in the performance of the Qad’ah.
    • If one is liable for six or more Fardh Salaat, i.e. six or more Salaat were not performed in their due times, then one’s Adaa Salaat may be performed before performing the Qad’ah Salaat.
    • When the number of Qad’ah Salaat exceeds five, then the observance of Tarteeb is not Wajib or necessary. In this case one may perform Qad’ah of the Salaat in any order.
    • Witr Salaat is an obligatory Salaat, hence, if it is missed its Qad’ah must be performed. If one missed the Ishaa Salaat: Qad’ah of both the Fardh and Witr will have to be performed before engaging in the performance of Fajar Salaat.
    • Only Qad’ah of Fardh and Witr Salaat is made. Besides the two Raka’ats Sunnat of Fajap, Qad’ah of Sunnat and Nafil Salaat is not necessary. If the Qad’ah of Fajar is being performed before Zawal (mid-day) then Qad’ah of the Fardh, as well as the Sunnat, should be performed: However, if the Qad’ah of Fajar Salaat is being made after Zawal, only the Qad’ah of the Fardh should be made.
    • If so little of Fajar time remains that only two Raka’ats could be performed in that time, then in such a case only the Fardh of Fajar should be performed, and about twenty minutes after sunrise, Qad’ah of the two Fajar Sunnats should be performed.
    • If one is liable for several Qad’ah Salaat one should stipulate in the Intention when making the Qad’ah which Qad’ah Salaat is being made. For example, if Fajar, Zuhr and Asr Salaat have been missed, then when making Qad’ah it should be intended:

    "I am making Qad’ah of Fajar Salaat - or Zuhr Salaat" as the case may be.

    If it is not stipulated in the Intention which Qad’ah is being performed, the Qad’ah will not be valid.

    • If one did not perform Salaat for a number of years, then too, Qad’ah of all the missed Salaat must be performed. If it cannot be remembered how many years or months, Salaat were not performed, one should continue making Qad’ah Salaat (making Qad’ah of Fajar, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Ishaa - Fardh and Witr) until one is fully satisfied that all the Qad’ah Salaat have been discharged.

    Salaat ul Musaafir (Traveller)

    A Musaafir (traveller) in the terminology of the Shariah is one who undertakes a journey of forty-eight miles (80km) with the express intention of travelling. The Shariah bestows certain concessions on the Musaafir, and with regard to Salaat. These concessions are:

    • Instead of Four Raka’ats Fardh he offers only two Raka’ats.
    • He may not perform all the Sunnat Salaat if he so desires.
    • A Musaafir performs two Raka’ats Fardh Salaat instead of four Raka’ats. The reduction of two Raka’ats from a Four-Raka’at Fardh Salaat is compulsory. It is, therefore, not permissible for him to perform four Raka’ats Fardh Salaat.
    • As regards Maghrib Salaat, three Fardh Raka'ats must be performed by the traveller.

    Salaat ul Mareedh (Sick)

    As long as one enjoys sufficient health or strength, the Salaat shall be performed standing. However, if due to illness the Namazi finds that he is not able to stand and perform Salaat then he must sit and perform it. If he is unable to even sit and perform his Salaat, he may lie down and discharge the obligation of Salaat.

    • The way of making Ruku whilst performing Salaat in the sitting position, is to bow the head to almost reaching the knees.
    • If the Namazi, due to illness, is unable to make Ruku and Sajda he should make the Ruku and Sajda by means of signs of the head, viz., bending the head for Ruku and lowering it a bit more for Sajda.
    • If the illness is so serious that one does not have sufficient strength to even sit, and perform Salaat, one may in such a case lie down and perform it. Pillows should be placed under the head or back enabling the head to be raised. The legs should be outstretched towards the Qiblah, but if possible, the legs should be drawn up. Salaat should then be performed in this position making Ruku and Sajda by the indications of the head.
    • If the illness is such that it is not possible to perform Salaat by even signs of the head, then in this case Salaat cannot be performed. Should the condition of the sick person remain in this state for more than twenty-four hours, the obligation of Salaat is waived. Even after recovering, no Qad’ah is to be performed for missing any Salaat under such extreme conditions of illness.
    • Unconsciousness for more than twenty-four hours is a factor, which waives the obligation of Salaat. In this case, even after regaining consciousness, no Qad’ah is to be offered for the Salaat missed in the state of unconsciousness. If, however, the state of unconsciousness lasted less than twenty-four hours, Qad’ah of the missed Salaat will have to be made upon regaining consciousness.
    • While performing Salaat, if the Namazi becomes sick and cannot continue the Salaat in standing position, he may sit down and complete the Salaat or he may even lie down, if unable to sit.

    Tahyatul Wudu (Salutation for Ablution)

    Tahyatul Wudu consists of two Raka’ats and is performed after the Wudu has been made. The Hadith has stated much significance of this Salaat. However, one should be careful that this Salaat is not performed at a Makrooh time, as no Salaat is permissible in the Makrooh (un-desirable time) timings.


    Tahyatul Masjid (Salutation for Mosque)

    Tahyatul Mosque is the Salaat, which is performed to honour Allah upon entering His House, viz., the Mosque. Tahyatul Masjid consists of two Raka’ats, which is usually performed upon entering the Mosque and before sitting down. The Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ordered that two Raka’ats Salaat be performed upon entering the Mosque and before sitting down. This Salaat is thus Sunnat.

    • This Salaat should not be performed at a Makrooh time.

    If one enters the Mosque and it happens to be a Makrooh time then recite only the following (4 times):

    (Allahu-akbar Allahu-akbar Laa-ilaaha Il-lal-laa-hu Wal-laa-hu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa-lil-laa-hil Hamd.)

    Allah is great. Allah is great. There is no one worthy of worship besides Allah and Allah is Greatest and all praises is for Allah.

    After having recited this, recite Durood.

    Intention for this Salaat is to intend the performance of Tahyatul Masjid. As has been mentioned before, Intention is the intention of the heart.

    • Tahyatul Masjid is not restricted to two Raka’ats. One may perform four Raka’ats as well.
    • If one enters the Mosque and the Juma Khutba has commenced or is about to commence, then one must not perform Tahyatul Masjid.
    • If one enters the Mosque and the Fardh Jama’at is in progress, then one should not perform Tahyatul Masjid; the Fardh Salaat in which one will join in will take the place of Tahyatul Masjid as well. One will obtain the Reward of Tahyatul Masjid in this case even if Intention was not made.
    • If, after entering the Mosque, one sat down and there after performed Tahyatul Masjid, the Tahyatul Masjid will be valid although it is best to perform it before sitting.
    • If one visits the Mosque several times during the day, it will suffice if one performs Tahyatul Masjid once only.

    Salaat Ishraaq

    Salaat Ishraaq is performed about fifteen minutes after qunrise. Regarding this Salaat, the Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

    "He who performs Fajar Salaat with jama’at and remains seated in the same place engaged in Dhikr until after sunrise and thereafter performs two Raka’ats Nafil Salaat, will obtain the Reward of one Hajj and one Umrah".

    Although the best way to perform Ishraaq is as described in the above-mentioned Hadith, nevertheless, the Ishraaq Salaat will also be discharged if one did not remain in continuous Ibaadat after Fajar Salaat. Where the Ishraaq is performed after having engaged in some other activity, the Reward, however, will be less.


    Salaat ul Dhuha (Chaasht)

    The Hadith (sayings of the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace) explains great significance of Salaat ul Dhuha. The time for this Salaat commences after one-third of the day has passed. Its time remains until Zawal. Salaat ul Dhuha consists of up to twelve Raka’ats. One may perform two, four, six, eight, ten or twelve Raka’ats.

    AyeshaR.A (wife of the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to perform eight Raka’ats Salaat ul Dhuha. She said that even if her parents arose from the grave, she would not leave Salaat ul Dhuha to go and meet them. From this emphasis the importance of this Salaat is evident.


    Salaat ul Awaabeen

    The Nafil Salaat performed after Maghrib Salaat is called "Salaat ul Awaabeen". The minimum number of Raka’ats of this Salaat is six Raka’ats and the maximum number is twenty Raka’ats. It is better to perform it in two Raka’at units. The Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that whoever performs six Raka’ats after Maghrib will have his/her sins forgiven even if such sins are as much as the foam on the ocean.


    Salaat ul Tahajjud

    Of all the Nafil Salaats, the greatest in rank is the "Salaat ul Tahajjud". The Hadith speak much about the great significance of this Salaat. The time of Tahajjud is greatly efficacious for the acceptance of Dua. This Salaat is commended in the Holy Qur'an.

    Salaat ul Tahajjud is performed in the latter part of the night. After having gone to bed one should rise late in the night and engage in this wonderful Dhikr, which has always been the practice of the great and pious people. The minimum number of Raka’ats in Tahajjud is four and the maximum is twelve Raka’ats. This Salaat can also be performed in two Raka’at or four Raka’at units. The Intention for this Salaat is simply to intend that one is performing Tahajjud.

    If one lacks the courage to get up late in the night then one should at least make an effort to perform four Raka’ats with the Intention of Tahajjud after the two Sunnatul Muaq Qad’ah of Ishaa. Although the Reward will not be same as Tahajjud being performed in its proper time.

    The Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that Tahajjud Salaat is a medium (i.e. a very great and efficacious medium) of gaining nearness to Allah. At the same time it is expiation for sins while it strengthens one’s will power in the fight against the lowly nafs. Every Muslim should, therefore, make the greatest of effort, combat the laxity of the nafs and compel it to submit to the performance of this Salaat. Tahajjud is the time when the servant is closest to Allah.

    There are no specific Surahs to be recited in this Salaat. Any Surah may be recited in any Raka’at. The practice of fixing Surah Ikhlas for the Tahajjud Salaat is contrary to the Sunnah and should not be adhered to.


    Salaat ul Tauba

    Salaat ul Tauba consists of two Raka’ats, which should be performed after one has committed a sin. After performing these two Raka’ats one should raise one’s hands sincerely and humbly in Dua and repent abundantly.


    Salaat ul Hajaat

    This Salaat is performed when one is in need or in difficulty. The Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that whoever is in need of something should make a perfect Wudu (i.e. observing all the rules of Ablution) and perform two Raka’ats Salaat. After the Salaat recite the praises of Allah and recite Durood. One may recite any amount and any formula of praises - Tahmeed and Tasbeeh - as well as any amount of Durood. Thereafter make a fervent Dua for the fulfilment of the need. This Salaat is called "Salaat ul Hajaat".

    (Subhaanallaahe Walhamdulillaahe Walaa Ilaaha Illallaaho Wallaaho Akbar. Wa Laa Hawla Walaa Quwwata Illaa Billaahil a’liyyil A’zeem.)

    Glory to be Thee my Allah, and Praise to Thee my Allah, and there is no god same Allah and Allah is great. There is no strength or power except from Allah, the High, the Majestic.

    (La-illaha Illah Anta’ Subhan-ka Ini-kuntum Min-al Zaleemin)

    O Allah! There is none worthy of worship besides you. You are pure. Definitely I oppressed my soul by sinning.

    (Allah-humma Ina-ka Afwo-an Tuhib-ul Afwo’a Fa-afwo Annee)

    O Allah! You are the most forgiving, You love forgiving, thus forgive me


    Salaat ul Tasbeeh

    The Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said to his uncle, Abbas Bin Abdul Muttalib:

    "O Abbas! O my uncle! Should I present to you a gift? Should I bestow something to you? Should I inform you of something greatly beneficial? Should I show you such an act which, if you render it, Allah will forgive all your sins - old and new, those committed in error and those committed deliberately, sins committed publicly or privately? That act is to perform four Raka’ats (Salaat Tasbeeh).

    After this, the Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught him the way of performing this Salaat, he said:

    "If possible, perform this Salaat daily; if you are unable then perform it once a week! If you are unable then perform it once a month; if you are unable, then perform it once a year and if you are unable to do even this, then perform it at least once in your whole lifetime."

    This Salaat consists of four Raka’ats. It is called "Salaat ul Tasbeeh" because the following Tasbeeh is recited repeatedly in this Salaat:

    (Subhaanallaahe Walhamdulillaahe Walaa Ilaaha Illallaaho Wallaaho Akbar. Wa Laa Hawla Walaa Quwwata Illaa Billaahil a’liyyil A’zeem.)

    Glory to be Thee my Allah, and Praise to Thee my Allah, and there is no god same Allah and Allah is great. There is no strength or power except from Allah, the High, the Majestic.

    The above Tasbeeh is recited three hundred times in Salaat ul Tasbeeh.

    There are two ways in which this Salaat may be performed.

    • The First Method

    First Raka’at: After reciting Surah Fatiha and a Surah, remain standing and recite the Tasbeeh 15 times. Make Ruku. After the normal Ruku Tasbeeh (i.e. Subhaana-Rabbiyal-Azeem 3 times) recite the above Tasbeeh 10 times. After Ruku, recite the Tasbeeh 10 times in Qauma (i.e. the standing position after Ruku). In Sajda recite the Tasbeeh 10 times after the normal Sajda Tasbeeh (i.e. Subhaana-Rabbiyal-Aalaa 3 times.) In jalsah (i.e. the sitting position between two Sajdas) recite the Tasbeeh 10 times. In the second Sajda recite the Tasbeeh 10 times after the normal Sajda Tasbeeh. After the second Sajda do not stand up immediately. Sit and recite the Tasbeeh 10 times. Thereafter commence the second Raka’at.

    The Tasbeeh is recited 75 times in one Raka’at as outlined above. The same procedure will be followed in every Raka’at. The total Tasbeeh recited will thus be 300.

    • The Second Method

    In this method also 300 Tasbeeh are recited. The only difference is that the Tasbeeh will be recited 15 times after Sana but before Surah Fatiha. After having recited a Surah, the Tasbeeh will be recited 10 times. After the second Sajda of every Raka’at the Tasbeeh will not be recited 10 times as is the case in the first method.

    The following table will assist you in grasping the occasions when the Tasbeeh has to be recited.

    FIRST METHOD

    TIMES

    SECOND METHOD

    TIMES

    After Qiraa’at but before RukuIn Ruku

    In Qauma

    In first Sajda

    In Jalsah

    In Second Sajda

    After Second Sajda while sitting

    15

              10

    10

    10

    10

    10

    10

    After Sana, but before Qiraa’atAfter Qiraa’at

    In Ruku

    In Qauma

    In first Sajda

    In Jalsah

    In second Sajda

    After Second Sajda Tasbeeh is not recited in sitting position

    15

              10

    10

    10

    10

    10

    10

    Total

    75

    Total

    75

    • In the first method the Tasbeeh will be recited 10 times before Tashah-hud in the second and fourth Raka’at.

    In the second method the Tasbeeh will not be recited before Tashah-hud in the second and fourth Raka’at.

    • Intention for this Salaat is to merely make the intention that one is performing Salaat Tasbeeh.
    • There is no specific Surah to be recited in Salaat ul Tasbeeh.
    • In counting the number of Tasbeehs recited, the tongue should not be employed. If the counting is done verbally the Salaat will be nullified. The Tasbeeh should be counted by pressing the fingers in the position in which they are. After the Tasbeeh has been recited once, one finger should be lightly pressed. In this way, the number will be remembered.
    • If the Tasbeehs of a particular occasion in this Salaat are omitted in error, then recite the missed Tasbeehs in the next Ruku or part of the Salaat. For example if the Tasbeehs before Surah Fatiha were omitted, recite these after the Qiraa’at if the Tasbeehs between the two Sajda (Jalsah) were omitted, then recite these in the second Sajda: if the Tasbeehs of Qauma were omitted, recite these in Sajda. However, do not recite omitted Tasbeehs in Qauma, Jalsah and after the second Sajda in the first and third Raka’at. Hence, if you forgot to recite the Tasbeehs in Ruku then do not recite these in Qauma. In Qauma recite only the Tasbeehs of Qauma. The Tasbeehs missed out in Ruku should be recited in the first Sajda.
    • If for some reason Sajda-us-Sahw became necessary and if some Tasbeehs were omitted at some stage, and not as yet fulfilled, then recite the omitted Tasbeehs in the Sajda-us-Sahw. However, remember that Sajda-us-Sahw has not Tasbeehs of its own; hence do not recite additional Tasbeehs when making Sajda-us-Sahw. The number of Tasbeehs for the four Raka’ats of Salaat ul Tasbeeh is 300. Therefore, it is possible to recite only such Tasbeehs in Sajda-us-Sahw, as were missed out earlier and not fulfilled.

    Salaat ul Istikhaarah

    "Istikhaarah" means to seek goodness. Here it means the way of seeking advice and goodness from Allah. Salaat ul Istikhaarah consists of two Raka’ats. When one intends to embark on any project, e.g. trade, journey, marriage, etc. then one should seek the advice of Allah, and make Dua for protection and goodness. According to the Hadith of our Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) it is only an unfortunate person who fails to seek the aid, advice and goodness of Allah when intending to embark upon something. The Hadith has exhorted much the observance of Salaat ul Istikhaarah. Insha’Allah, you will not regret if you make this Salaat and only thereafter decide whether to proceed with the intended project or cancel it.

    Salaat ul Istikhaarah consists of two Raka’ats. This Salaat is performed at night just before going to bed. Once the Salaat has been performed, go to bed immediately. Do not indulge in any activity after Salaat ul Istikhaarah. Recite any Surah in these Raka’ats. It is performed as any other Nafil Salaat. After the Salaat make a fervent Dua, with much concentration. The Dua, which should be recited after this Salaat, is as follows:

    (Allahumma Innee Astakheeruka Bi I’lmika Wa Astaqdiruka Biqudrateka Wa As-aloka Min Fadhli-kal A’zeem. Fa Innaka Taqderu Walaa Aqderu Wa Ta’lamu Wala Aalamo-wa Anta Allaamul Ghoyoob. Allahumma Innee Kunto Ta’lamu Anna Haa Zal Amr Khayrul Lee Fee Deenee. Wa Ma-aashee Wa Aaqebate Amree. Faqdurhu Lee Wa Yassirho Lee Thumma Baarik Lee Feehee. Wa Inkunta Ta’lamu Anna Haazal Amr Sharroon Lee Fee Deenee Wa Maa aa’shee Wa Aaqebate Amree. Fa'srifhu Annee Wa srifnee Anhu. Wa-qdor Liyal-khayra Haytho Kana Thumma Ardhinee Bihi.

    O Allah! Behold I ask You the good through Your Knowledge, and ability through Your Power, and beg (Your favour) our of Your infinite Bounty. For surely You have Power: I have none. You know all; I know not. You are the Great Knower of all things unseen.

    O Allah! If in Your Knowledge this matter be good for my faith, for my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then ordain it for me, and make it easy for me, and bless me therein.

    But if in Your Knowledge this matter be bad for my faith, for my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then turn it away from me, and turn me away therefrom, and ordain for me the good wherever it be, and cause me to be pleased therewith.


    Salaat ul Istisqaa (Salaat for rain to end draught)

    Two Raka’ats will be performed in Jama’at. Salaat ul Istisqaa has neither Azan nor Iqaamat. The Imam will recite the Qiraa’at audibly (jahr). The Imam will thereafter recite two Khutbas as on the Day of Eid. After the Khutbas the Imam will stand and face the Qiblah. He will raise his hands and petition Allah for rain. All those present should also make Dua for rain.

    This procedure of Salaat should be repeated for three consecutive days. Salaat ul Istisqaa should not be performed for more than three days.

    • If after having performed Salaat ul Istisqaa on the first day, it rains, then too, complete the three days.
    • It is best (Mustahab) to fast on these three days.
    • Drought is the effect of sin committed in abundance. It is a form of Allah’s punishment. Hence, during a drought, everyone should resort to istighfaar and Tauba in abundance and discharge whatever rights are unfulfilled or usurped, be such rights in regard to Allah, e.g. Salaat not performed, Zakat not paid, or be these rights in respect to people, e.g. debt deliberately not paid, wealth of others usurped or taken in a Haraam way etc.
    • It is Sunnat for the Imam to invert his outer sheet which he wears i.e. he should turn the inside out. This is to be done while making the Dua for the rain after the two Khutbas have been recited.

    O Allah! Give us rain, abundant, wide-spread, producing herbage, benefiting without doing injury, in haste without delay.


    Salaat ul Taraaweeh

    Taraaweeh is the special Salaat, which the Shariah has ordained for the month of Ramadan. Taraaweeh Salaat consists of twenty Raka’ats and its performance is Sunnatul Muaq Qad’ah. It has to be performed each night during the month of Ramadan. Deliberate omission of Taraaweeh Salaat is sinful.

    Traditionally the whole of Holy Qur’an is recited by Hafiz of Holy Qur’an.

    Taraaweeh Salaat commences on the first night of Ramadan and ends on the last night of Ramadan.

    The most preferable method is to perform Taraaweeh in units of two Raka’ats. Taraaweeh Salaat is performed in Jama’at for males after the Ishaa Fardh and Sunnatul Muaq Qad’ah, but before the Witr Salaat (with females in segregated sections or behind the male congregation).

    Intention of "Taraaweeh" or just "Sunnat" should be made, e.g. say:

    "I am performing two Raka’ats Taraaweeh (or Sunnat) behind this Imam."

    There is no specific intention formula to recite. The intention may be made by uttering it verbally or merely making the intention in the heart.

    After every four Raka’ats there will follow a pause which should preferably last as long as it would take to perform four Raka’ats Salaat. However, it is permissible to shorten the pause. During this interval, which is known as "Taraweehah", everyone should engage in some form of Dhikr, e.g. Dhikr, Tasbeeh, Istighfaar, Durood, etc. The Dhikr during the Taraweehah (the pause after every four Raka’ats) is to be made individually and silently. The Shariah has not ordered any specific and collective form of Dhikr for the Taraweehah (pause).

    After the twenty Raka’ats Taraaweeh Salaat have been completed, a collective Dua will be made silently. After the Dua, the Witr Salaat will be made in Jama’at.

    It is Sunnatul Muaq Qad’ah to complete the recitation of the whole Qur’an once during Taraaweeh of the whole month of Ramadan. If a Hafiz of Qur’an is not available, the Taraaweeh could be performed by reciting any Surah or verses of the Qur’an.

    Questions Pertaining to Taraaweeh Salaat

    • Although it is best to perform the Witr Salaat after Taraaweeh, it is permissible to perform it before Taraaweeh.
    • It is Mustahab for the pause (Taraaweeh) after every four Raka’ats to be the duration of four Raka’ats Salaat.
    • During the recitation of the Qur’an in the Taraaweeh, the Verse:

    (Bis-Millah-Hir Rahmanir-Raheem)

    In the Name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful

    should be recited once aloud in the beginning of some Surah so that the Qur’an is properly completed. If this is not done, the recitation will not be complete, but will be one verse less.

    • The Shariah does not require that the recitation of the Qur’an be completed on the 27th Night or any particular night. The Qur’an in Taraaweeh Salaat can be completed on any night.
    • The custom of making collective Dua after every four Raka’ats Taraaweeh as well as the custom of reciting aloud in unison some forms of Tasbeeh and Dhikr after every two Raka’ats and/or four Raka’ats Taraaweeh are contrary to the Sunnah. Such innovatory practices should be shunned.
    • If after having performed Taraaweeh Salaat it transpires that the Ishaa Fardh was not valid for some reason, e.g. Ishaa was inadvertently performed without Ablution, then both the Ishaa and the Taraaweeh will have to be repeated.
    • If a group of people did not perform the Ishaa Fardh in Jama’at for some reason, but performed it individually, then Taraaweeh too must be performed individually. This group cannot on its own perform Taraaweeh in Jama’at. However, if they join a Taraaweeh Jama’at in which there are people who had made the Ishaa Fardh in Jama’at then their (i.e. those who did not perform Ishaa in Jama’at) Taraaweeh will be valid.
    • If someone arrives in the Mosque after the Ishaa Fardh has been completed and Taraaweeh commenced, then he should first perform his Ishaa Fardh and then join the Jama’at in Taraaweeh. He should perform the Taraaweeh Raka’ats which he had missed, after the Witr. This person shall perform the Witr in Jama’at.
    • If the Imam erroneously omitted Qad’ah (sitting) in the second Raka’at and proceeded into the third Raka’at, the muqtadees should call his attention by exclaiming "Subhan Allah!" However, if for some reason the Imam continues, he can and should return to the Qad’ah of the second Raka’at as long as he has not entered the Sajda of the third Raka’at. If before making the Sajda of the third Raka’at the Imam realises his error, he should return to the Qad’ah, make Sajda-us-Sahw as usual and complete the Salaat. But, if he completes the third Raka’at (the third Raka’at will be considered completed with the first Sajda) then he should add a fourth Raka’at as well, and make Sajda-us-Sahw and complete the Salaat. In this case, the four Raka’ats will be considered as only two Raka’ats for Taraaweeh purposes.
    • It is not permissible to appoint a naa-baaligh (a child who has not attained puberty) to lead the Taraaweeh even if he happens to be Hafiz of the Qur’an. Salaat performed behind a minor is not valid.
    • It is Makrooh Tehrimi (forbidden act) for women to perform Taraaweeh in Jama’at. They should perform it individually and at home: not in the Mosque.
    • In some places Surah Ikhlas (Qulhuwallaah) is recited thrice in every Raka’at of Taraaweeh. This is contrary to the Sunnah. This method is Makrooh Tehrimi.
    • A collective Dua (Dua by the whole Jama’at) will be made after the twenty Raka’ats Taraaweeh.
    • Intention for the twenty Raka’ats Taraaweeh could be made only once in the beginning when commencing the Taraaweeh. It is not obligatory to renew the Intention after every two Raka’ats although it is best to do so (to renew the Intention).
    • The time of Taraaweeh Salaat commences after Ishaa Fardh and lasts until the expiry of Ishaa times, viz. until just before Fajar.

    Takbeer-e-Tashreek

    • This Takbeer is known as Takbeer-e-Tashreek. It is Wajib to recite this Takbeer aloud once after every Fardh Salaat starting after the Fajar Salaat of the Day of Arafat (9th Zil-hajj) and ending after the Fardh Salaat of Asr on the 13th Zil-hajj.
    • Women must recite this Takbeer silently, although its recitation is not Wajib for them.
    • The reciting of this Takbeer aloud after every Fardh Salaat as mentioned is Wajib only if the Salaat is performed in Jama’at.
    • It is not Wajib upon the Musaafir to recite this Takbeer.
    • Those upon whom this Takbeer is not Wajib (viz. women and traveller) if they happen to be the Namazi of one upon whom the Takbeer is Wajib then its recitation will be compulsory upon them as well, but the women shall recite it silently.
    • If the Imam forgets to recite the Takbeer the Namazi should immediately recite it and not wait for the Imam to commence.

    The Eid Salaat

    On the way to join the congregation, recite Takbeer Tashreek silently for Eid ul Fitr and recite loudly for Eid ul Dhuha.

    (Allahu-akbar Allahu-akbar Laa-ilaaha Il-lal-laa-hu Wal-laa-hu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa-lil-laa-hil Hamd.)

    Allah is great. Allah is great. There is no one worthy of worship besides Allah and Allah is Greatest and all praises is for Allah.

    • The performance of two Raka’ats of Salaat on the occasions of Eid ul Fitr and Eid ud Dhuha is Wajib.
    • The two Raka’ats Salaat of Eid is followed by two Khutbas which are Sunnat, but to listen to them is Wajib.

    How to Perform the Eid Salaat?

    Intention:

    "I intend to perform two Raka’ats Eid ul Fitr (or Eid ud Dhuha) Salaat with six Wajib Takbeers behind this Imam."

    • After Intention the Imam will proclaim "Allaho-Akbar". Reciting "Allaho-Akbar" silently the Namazi raises his hands to the ears and folds them as usual. Recite Sana in this position.
    • After Sana, the Imam will proclaim "Allaho-Akbar" thrice, each time raising the hands to the ears and then releasing them along the sides. Reciting "Allaho-Akbar" silently each time, the Namazi follows the Imam and raises his hands with each Takbeer to the ears and then releases them on the sides.
    • After the third Takbeer the hands are folded as is usual in Qiyaam, and the Imam will now commence the Qiraat - i.e. Surah Fatiha and some verses of the Qur’an.
    • After Qiraat, the Raka’at will be completed as usual with Ruku and two Sajdas.
    • In the second Raka’at after the Qiraat, the Imam will proclaim "Allaho-Akbar" and raise his hands to the ears and release them. The Imam will recite altogether three Takbeers after the Qiraat in the second Raka’at. When the Imam says "Allaho-Akbar" the fourth time, (in the second Raka’at) then do not raise the hands, but go immediately into Ruku. The rest of the Raka’at is completed as usual.

    What to do When Joining the Eid Salaat After it has Already Begun?

    • If one joins the Eid Salaat after the Imam has already recited the Eid Takbeers of the first Raka’at, then
    1. If one has confidence that after reciting the Takbeers one will be able to unite with the Imam in Ruku, then make the Intention for the Salaat and recite the Takbeers in Qiyaam.
    2. If one fears that by reciting the Takbeers in Qiyaam one will not be able to unite with the Imam in Ruku then immediately after Intention, join the Imam in Ruku and recite the Takbeers (silently) in Ruku instead of the normal Ruku Tasbeeh, but do not raise the hands (in Ruku) while reciting the Takbeers.
    • If the Imam emerges from Ruku before you could complete the Takbeers, join him. The balance of the Takbeers are waived.
    • If one has missed a complete Raka’at of the Eid Salaat, it should be fulfilled as follows:
    • After the Imam makes the Salaams, rise and recite Qiraat. After the Qiraat recite the Takbeers and complete the Salaat as usual.

    The Eid Gah

    The Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

    "Whoever adheres to my Sunnah at the time of the corruption of my Ummah, will obtain the reward of a hundred martyrs."

    The above Hadith of the Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as well as many others inform us of the great Reward and merit in reviving the Sunnah practices of Islam. It is obligatory upon Muslims to accord special attention to the restoration of forgotten and lost, practices of our Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). One such lost and forgotten practice of Islam is the performance of the Eid Salaat in the Eid Gah.

    The Shariah commands that the Eid Salaat be performed in an open field near the outskirts of the town or city. The regular practiae of the Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Companions and all the great learned men of Islam as well as of the Ummah down the corridor of the centuries of Islamic history was to perform Eid Salaat in a open field. In the books of Islam it is recorded:

    "The Holy Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to perform the Salaat of both Eids at a place in the open plain outside Madinah". (Ibn Hajar)

    "The basis and proof for this is that, verily, the Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would go out to the Musallaa. He did not perform the Eid Salaat in his Mosque (i.e. Masjid-e-Nabawee) despite the elevated rank of his Mosque, excepting on one occasion because of rain".


    Salaat ul Janaazah (The Funeral Salaat)

    • The Funeral Salaat is in fact a Dua (Salaat and supplication) on behalf of the dead.
    • The conditions of other Salaat are applicable to Funeral Salaat as well.
    • The Mayyit (the dead) should be placed in front of those performing the Funeral Salaat. The Imam should stand in line with the breast of the Mayyit.
    • Two things are Fardh in Salaat ul Janaazah, viz.

    • To recite "Allaho-Akbar" four times.

    • Qiyaam - to perform Funeral Salaat standing.

    There is no Ruku, Sajda, etc. in Salaat ul Janaazah.

    • Three things are Sunnat in Salaat ul Janaazah, viz.
      • Hamd - to recite the Praises of Allah.
      • Durood upon Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
      • Dua for the Mayyit.
    • Jama’at (congregation) is not a condition for the validity of Salaat ul Janaazah. Hence, if even one person - man or woman - performs it, the Fardh obligation is discharged. But, the need to perform this Salaat in Jama’at is of overriding importance since it is a Dua for the Mayyit.

    How to Perform Salaat ul Janaazah?

    The Mayyit should be placed in front with head on right and legs on left side the Imam standing in line with the Mayyit’s breast. It is Mustahab to form three rows behind the Imam. If there are only seven people - one of them being the Imam - three should stand in the first row, two in the second row and one in the third row.

    The following Intention is then recited (or an intention is made in the mind):

    (Nawaitu an U’addiya Lillahi Ta’ala Arba’a Takbirati Salat-il-janazati athana’u Lillahi Ta’ala was-salatu-lir Rasooli Waddu’a’u lihadh-il-mayyiti (au lihadh-il-mayyiti-if the deceased is a female), Iqtadaitu bihadh-al-imami Mutawaj-jihan il-ila-jihatil Ka’abati Sharifah)

    I make Intention for performing four Takbeer Salaat-e-Janaazah for Allah, for Durood upon Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and for Dua for the Mayyit, behind Imam and facing the Qiblah.

    Sana

    (Sub-hana-kal-laa-humma Wa Bi-hamdi-ka Wa Ta-baa-rakas-muka Wa Ta-aala Jad-du-ka Wa Jalla Sanaaoka Wa Laa-ilaa-ha Ghay-ruk)

    Glory unto You, O Allah! All Praise unto You. Blessed is Your Name and Most High is Your Majesty shining with glory. There is none worthy of worship but You.

    After Sana, recite again 'Allaho-Akbar' once, but do not raise the hands. After this Takbeer recite Durood-e-Ibrahim.

    Durood-e-Ibrahim

    (Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammadin Wa-ala Aali Muhammadin Kama Sal-laita Ala Ibrahima Wa-ala Aali Ibrahima In-naka Hamidum-Majeed.

    Allahumma Barik ala Muhammadin Wa-ala Aali Muhammadin Kama Barak-ta Ala Ibrahima Wa Ala Aali Ibrahima In-naka Hamidum-majeed.)

    Oh Allah! Shower Thy mercy on Muhammad and on his seeds as Thou hast sent Thy mercy on Ibrahim and his seeds. No doubt! Thou art Great and Praiseworthy! Oh Allah! Send Thy blessings on Muhammad and on his seeds as Thou hast blessed Ibrahim and his seeds. No doubt! Thou art Great and Praiseworthy.

    After Durood-e-Ibrahim recite "Allaho-Akbar" again once (but do not raise the hands), and recite a Dua for the Mayyit. If the Mayyit is a baaligh (of age) male or female recite the following Dua:

    (Allahummagh-fir-li Haiy-yina Wa Mait-yiti-na Wa Sha-hidi-na Wa gha-ibi-na Wa Sagheer-rina Wa Kabee-rina Wa Zaka-rina Wa Un-sana Alla- humma Man Ah-yai-ta-hu Min-na Fa-ah-yihi A-lal Islam Wa Man Tawaffai-tahu Min-na Fatawaf-fahu Alal Imaan.)

    Oh Allah, forgive our living and dead, present and absent, big and small, men and women. Oh Allah whoever among us, is kept alive, by Thee, be kept alive on the path of Islam and whomever Thou cause to die let them die as believers.

    If the deceased is a Na-baaligh (under age) boy, recite:

    (Allahummaj-al-hu Lana Faratau Waj-al-hu Lana Aj-rau Wa-zukhrau Waj-al-hu Lana Sha-fi-au Wa Mushaf-fa-a.)

    Oh Allah, make this child a source of our salvation and the pain of his parting a source of reward and benefits for us. Make him a recommendation for us and the recommendation, which Thou hast accepted.

    If a Na-baaligh girl; recite the same Dua as for a Na-baaligh boy but recite on all the three places "Aj-Alhu Lana"

    (Sha-fi-atau Wa Mushaf-fa-ath)

    Instead of

    (Sha-fi-au Wa Mushaf-fa-a)

    After the Dua, recite again once "Allaho-Akbar". Again do not raise the hands. After this fourth Takbeer make the Salaams as is done in other Salaats by looking at each shoulder and saying Assalamo-alaikum wa rahmatullah.

    • The Imam recites the four Takbeers and the Salaams aloud and the Namazi silently.
  • Ritual Prayer: Its Meaning and Manner

    admin08-07-2014

    Prayer is one of the central elements of Islamic practice and worship. Indeed, it is the second of the Five Pillars of Islam and, along with the testimony of faith, the pilgrimage to Mecca, fasting the month of Ramadan and paying the poor tax, forms the essential framework of religious life for Muslims. More than that, the observance of the ritual prayer forms the framework of each Muslim’s day, from the pre-dawn morning prayer to the night prayer that precedes sleep.

    Prayer’s Importance in Islam

    Prayer, in the ritual sense, is an obligation of the faith, to be performed five times a day by adult Muslims. According to Islamic law, prayers have a variety of obligations and conditions of observance. However, beyond the level of practice, there are spiritual conditions and aspects of prayer which represent its essence.

    In the Holy Qur’ān, Allah says:

    وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

    I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.

    Thus, prayer first and foremost, is the response to this Divine directive to worship the Creator. Prayer represents the individual’s affirmation of servanthood before the Lord of Creation and submission to His Omnipotent Will. It also represents a willing acknowledgment of our weakness and neediness by seeking Divine Grace, Mercy, Abundance and Forgiveness. Prayer, then, is a willful, directed action by the believer, seeking direct, unmediated communication with Allah, for Muslims believe that every human being is of interest to the Divine. It also represents a concrete manifestation of the Islamic conception of freewill, in that the decision to pray is one that must be made by each individual. In this way, prayer is a uniquely “human” form of worship, for all other creatures submit without question to Allah’s Will and are engaged in His praise, glorification and remembrance, as the Holy Qur’ān asserts:

    تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا

    and there is not a thing but hymneth His praise; but ye understand not their praise.

    Prayer, by its very nature, is a form of request or entreaty, and thus requires the full conscious participation of the one praying, with will, intellect, body and soul. The one engaged in prayer is in direct connection with the Creator Who hears everything the supplicant says and responds – though not necessarily in the affirmative – to each request. This is the concrete manifestation of Allah’s role as The Hearer, The Aware and The Responsive, which represent three of the ninety-nine Holy Names and Attributes of Allah that form the basis of the Islamic conception of the Divine.

    In Islam, there are two forms of prayer. One has ritual, formal requirements and manners, which are essential to its correct observance. This is called šalāt. The other form is supplicatory prayer, and in its more general sense, represents an open-ended conversation with Allah, which may occur at any time or place, with few restrictions or requirements. It is called du¿a.

    Supplication

    The term du¿a is derived from the Arabic verb meaning “to supplicate” or “to call upon.” Other similar terms for such prayer are munājah, nidā, and aļ-ļaru¿a.

    Munājah means “a secret conversation with Allah,” usually with the intention of seeking delivery and relief. Referring to this form of prayer, Allah says in the Holy Qur’ān:

    قُلْ مَن يُنَجِّيكُم مِّن ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ تَدْعُونَهُ تَضَرُّعاً وَخُفْيَةً لَّئِنْ أَنجَانَا مِنْ هَـذِهِ لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ

    Say: Who delivereth you from the darkness of the land and the sea? Ye call upon Him humbly and in secret, (saying): If we are delivered from this (fear) we truly will be of the thankful.

    Nidā means “to call upon Allah while withdrawn from people.” The Holy Qur’ān relates the story of the prophet Zachariah who, having no son, beseeched Allah in his old age to give him a successor to inherit his prophetic knowledge and duties:

    ذِكْرُ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّكَ عَبْدَهُ زَكَرِيَّا إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ نِدَاء خَفِيًّا قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَهَنَ الْعَظْمُ مِنِّي وَاشْتَعَلَ الرَّأْسُ شَيْبًا وَلَمْ أَكُن بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيًّا وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِيَ مِن وَرَائِي وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا

    A mention of the mercy of thy Lord unto His servant Zachariah. When he cried unto his Lord a cry in secret, Saying: My Lord!... give me from Thy Presence a successor who shall inherit of me and inherit (also) of the house of Jacob… (It was said unto him): O Zachariah! Lo! We bring thee tidings of a son whose name is John; We have given the same name to none before (him).

    Aļ-ļaru¿a means “a loud entreaty to Allah for safety,” as mentioned in the Holy Qur’ān:

    وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلنَآ إِلَى أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِالْبَأْسَاء وَالضَّرَّاء لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَضَرَّعُونَ

    Before thee We sent (apostles) to many nations, and We afflicted the nations with suffering and adversity, that they might submissively entreat (Him)!

    Salat - Ritual Prayer

    The Linguistic Root of Prayer: Salat

    Ritual prayer in Islam, is called šalāt, a word whose full meaning is best understood by examining its linguistic roots. One of the origins of šalāt is the root word šilat which means “connection” or “contact.” One of Islam’s most renowned philosophers, Ibn Rushd, said:

    It derives from the word “connection” (šilat) in that it connects the servant with his Creator, meaning that the prayer brings him near His Mercy and connects him to His Generosity and His Heavenly Paradise.

    This word is also used in the context of close relations (šilat ar-raħim) whose connections with an individual are due to blood ties and are therefore imperishable in the eyes of the Divine. In this sense, prayer is seen as the unseverable bond between the individual and his or her Lord.

    Commenting on this, another renowned Qur’ānic exegete, Al-Qurtubī said:

    The word šalāt derives from the word šilat, one of the names of fire as when it is said, “The wood is burned by fire.”

    Al-Qurtubī attributed six different meanings to the word šalāt in his commentary of the Holy Qur’ān:

    Prayer is the invocation of Allah; it is mercy, as when one says, “O Allah, bestow prayers on Muhammad”; it is worship, as when Allah says, صَلاَتُهُمْ عِندَ الْبَيْتِ “And their worship at the (holy) House”; it is a supererogatory prayer, as when Allah says, وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاة “And enjoin upon thy people worship”; and it is Allah’s praise, as when He says, فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَان مِنْ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ “And had he not been one of those who glorify (Allah)...” Prayer is also recitation.

    Salat in Shari‘ah

    Ritual prayer is bound by detailed obligations and structure. It encompasses both obligatory (farļ) prayers, which are observed five times daily at specified intervals, as well as voluntary prayers, which are performed by the worshipper before or after the obligatory prayers as well as at other times.

    The Obligatory Aspect of Salat

    Prophet Muhammad (s) called prayer “the pillar of religion.” No fundamental element of Islam has been stressed as much as prayer in the Holy Qur’ān. Indeed, Allah mentions it in over 700 verses of the holy text. Among those that define its role in the religion of Islam are:

    إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا

    Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers.

    حَافِظُواْ عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ والصَّلاَةِ الْوُسْطَى وَقُومُواْ لِلّهِ قَانِتِينَ

    Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer.

    وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَى

    Enjoin prayer on thy people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not to provide sustenance: We provide it for thee. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for righteousness.

    اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ

    Recite that which has been revealed to thee of the Book, and observe Prayer. Surely, Prayer restrains one from indecency and manifest evil, and remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue. And Allah knows what you do.

    فِي جَنَّاتٍ يَتَسَاءلُونَ عَنِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ

    (They will be) in Gardens (of Delight): they will question each other, and (ask) of the sinners: “What led you into Hell Fire?” They will say: “We were not of those who prayed”

    عن بن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال : قال رسول  : “ بني الإسلام على خمس : شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمداً رسول الله ، وإقامة الصلاة ، وإيتاء الزكاة ، والحج ، وصوم رمضان

    The Messenger of Allah made ritual prayer the second of the five pillars of Islam:

    Islam is built on five: testifying that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing ritual prayer, paying the poor-due, pilgrimage and fasting Ramadan.

    Thus, the ritual prayer is an obligation from Allah on every sane, adult Muslim.

    قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( أول ما يحاسب به العبد يوم القيامة عن الصلاة ، فإن صلحت ، صلح سائر عمله ، وإن فسدت ، فسد سائر عمله

    The Prophet said:

    The first thing about which a person will be questioned on the Day of Judgment is prayer. If it is found to be sound all his other actions will be sound as well. If his prayer is not sound all his remaining actions would be spoiled.

    قال رسول بين الرجل والكفر ترك الصلات

    The Prophet also said:

    Between a man and unbelief is giving up of ritual prayer.

    من فاتته صلاة العصر فكأنما وتر في أهله وماله

    He also said:

    The one who missed Šalāt al-¿Ašr, just one of the ritual prayers, is as if he has lost all his family and property.

    افضل الاعمال الصلاة لوقتها،

    And he said: Ritual prayer in its proper time is the best of deeds.

    وكان آخر وصايا النبي قبل انتقاله إلى الرفيق الأعلى: الصلاة الصلاة وما ملكت أيمانكم

    It is reported that the Prophet’s last words were:

    Prayer! Prayer! And fear Allah regarding those who you are in charge of.

    Abū Bakr bin al-Jazā’irī states:

    Among the wisdoms in the implementation of prayer is that it purifies and welcomes the worshipper to converse with  Allah and His Messenger, and, while he or she remains in the material world, brings him or her into proximity with the Divine in the next life and wards off indecency and manifest evil.

    مثل الصلوات الخمس كمثل نهر عذب غمر بباب أحدكم يقتحم فيه كل يوم خمس مرات فما ترون ذلك يبقي من درنه قالوا لاشيء قال صلى الله عليه وسلم فإن الصلوات الخمس تذهب الذنوب كما يذهب الماء الدرن

    Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (s) said:

    The simile of the five prayers is like a flowing river of sweet-water in front of the door of one of you, in which he plunges five times a day. What dirt will remain on him? They said, “None.” He said, “Surely the five prayers eliminate sins just as water eliminates dirt.”

    عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَقُولُ ‏"‏ الصَّلَوَاتُ الْخَمْسُ وَالْجُمُعَةُ إِلَى الْجُمُعَةِ وَرَمَضَانُ إِلَى رَمَضَانَ مُكَفِّرَاتٌ مَا بَيْنَهُنَّ إِذَا اجْتَنَبَ الْكَبَائِرَ

    Allah’s Messenger (s) also said:

    The five prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer are expiation [for what occurred between them] and Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between if one abstained from the major sins.

    One of the primary aims of prayer is to prevent iniquity and vice.

    من لم تنهه صلاته عن الفحشاء والمنكر لم يزدد من الله الا بعدا

    The Prophet of Allah (s) said:

    The one whose prayer does not prevent him from iniquity and vice, gains nothing from Allah except remoteness.

    While the five prayers are an obligation, Muslims are also enjoined to perform other prayers in accordance with the practices of the Prophet Muhammad (s). These include:

    • Witr (The final prayer to end the day)
    • The two festival (¿Eid) prayers
    • The Eclipse Prayer
    • The Prayer for Rain

    All the above are termed established traditions of the Prophet (s). Other than these are what are classified as voluntary (at-taţaww¿u) worship.

    In addition, there are a number of supererogatory prayers (sunan) which were part of the normative practice of the Prophet Muhammad (s), and which remain part of the everyday worship of many traditionalist Muslims.

    History of Salat

    After the Prophet Muhammad (s) was commissioned with prophethood in his fortieth year, the first order he was given by Allah was to pray. It is related that the archangel Jibrīl came to him, and a spring of water gushed out from the rocks in front of them. Jibrīl then showed the Prophet how to perform the ablution that is a prerequisite of the ritual prayer in Islam. Jibrīl then showed the Prophet how to offer the ritual prayer to Allah. The Prophet (s) then went home and showed his wife Khadījā ¯ what the archangel Jibrīl had taught him.

    After that, the Messenger of Allah began to pray two cycles (raka¿ts) of ritual prayer twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. From that time forward, the Prophet never went through a day without praying. In the ninth year of the Prophet’s mission, he was taken by the archangel Jibrīl on a miraculous journey by night to Jerusalem and, from there, ascended to the heavens and the Divine Presence. During this tremendous journey, Allah commanded the Prophet and his followers to observe the ritual-prayer fifty times a day. Returning from the Divine Presence, Prophet Muhammad (s) met the prophet Moses who said, “Seek a reduction for your people can not carry it.” The Prophet did so and it was granted. After many such dialogues the command was reduced to observe five prayers, which would be the equivalent of the original command to observe fifty.  For this reason, Muslims feel a great debt to the Prophet Moses for this intercession on their behalf.

    Conditions of Salat

    In Divine Law (Shari¿ah), there are a number of requirements for valid ritual prayer:

    • Purification
    • Time
    • Direction
    • Covering
    • Fundaments of prayer

    In addition to these essentials, there are a number of normative practices of the Prophet which are strongly recommended as part of the ritual prayer, known as sunnah:

    • Congregation/Imāmate
    • Humility before the Divine (Khushu¿)
    • Place
    • Attire

    Prayer is Based on the Sunnah

    The practice of the Prophet (s) is essential to understand the Holy Qur’ān. Allah said:

    وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ

    Establish prayers (salat) and pay the poor-due (zakāt).

    From this, it is clear both prayer and the poor-due are obligations. However, to find the necessary details to complete the prayer, i.e. the manner and timing of the prayer and upon whom it is obligatory, etc., we must turn to the practice of Prophet Muhammad (s). Islamic doctrine states that for every single event in his lifetime Allah revealed to the Prophet’s heart what to say and what to do. The Qur’ān and the Prophetic Narrations (aħādīth) both derive from revelation and are thus inseparable sources for understanding and implementing Islam’s divine guidance.

    The Prophet (s) said, “Pray as you see me pray.” What is meant here is to follow the method of observing prayer, both in form and in its inward composure and states.

    The Prophet (s) used to practice the ritual prayer constantly, outside the obligatory times. In doing so he was observing Allah’s recommendation:

    وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ

    Nay, seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit.

    According to the scholars of Divine Law recommended acts are divided into three categories: those acts whose demand is confirmed, known as the “confirmed normative practice of the Prophet” (sunan al-mu¿akkadah). According to Aħmad Ibn Naqib al-Masri, “Someone who neglects such an act ... deserves censure and blame.” Second are those acts that are rewardable in Divine Law, but the one who neglects them deserves no blame. These are called the extra sunnah (sunnah nāfilah). The third category is the superlatively recommended, “meaning those acts considered part of an individual’s perfections.” These are called the desirable acts (mustaħab) or decorum (adab).

    Taharah - Purification

    A precondition of ritual prayer in Islam is that the worshipper be in a ritually pure state and perform his or her prayer in a ritually pure location.

    There are two levels of ritual impurity, each with its own remedy:

    1) Major impurity. This occurs as a result of menstruation, childbirth and sexual intercourse or emission. Its remedy is ritual-bathing, as prescribed in the Holy Qur’ān:

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلاَ جُنُبًا إِلاَّ عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىَ تَغْتَسِلُواْ

    O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say,- nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (Except when travelling on the road), until after washing your whole body.

    2) Minor impurity. This occurs due to answering the call of nature, bleeding, vomiting and sleeping. Its remedy is ritual ablution. This, too, is mentioned in the Holy Qur’ān:

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ

    O you who believe! When you get ready for ritual prayer [šalāt], wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.

    عن جابر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مفتاح الصلاة الوضوء ومفتاح الجنة الصلاة‏.

    The Holy Prophet said:

    Ablution is the key to prayer as prayer is the key to Paradise.

    The various schools of Islamic jurisprudence differ slightly in the precise details of ritual ablution and bathing. Emphasized in all, however, is the need to use pure water, free from all contamination, for pure water contains the secret of life and of revivifying what is dead. Allah says in the Holy Qur’ān:

    وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ

    We made from water every living thing,

    And:

    وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاء مِن مَّاء فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الأرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا

    In the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead…

    If water is unavailable, extremely scarce or its use would harm the worshipper, it is permitted to perform substitute ablution using dry earth. The Holy Qur’ān says:

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُواْ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاء أَحَدٌ مَّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهَّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

    And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it. Allah would not place a burden on you, but He would purify you and would perfect His grace upon you, that ye may give thanks.

    Besides cleansing the body, the worshipper must also take care to ensure that his or her clothes are free from impurities that would nullify the prayer. Traditionally, shoes are removed before the prayer because of their tendency to retain impurities.

    The Spiritual Significance of Tahara

    Ibn Rushd states that the word for ablution, wuļū, derives from the word for light in Arabic, ļaw, signifying the resultant spiritual light that accrues to the one who performs it.

    عَنْ نُعَيْمٍ الْمُجْمِرِ، قَالَ رَقِيتُ مَعَ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الْمَسْجِدِ، فَتَوَضَّأَ فَقَالَ إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏"‏ إِنَّ أُمَّتِي يُدْعَوْنَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ غُرًّا مُحَجَّلِينَ مِنْ آثَارِ الْوُضُوءِ، فَمَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يُطِيلَ غُرَّتَهُ فَلْيَفْعَلْ ‏"‏‏.

    The Messenger of Allah said:

    On the Day of Resurrection, my Community will be called “those with the radiant appendages” because of the traces of ablution. Therefore, whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so.

    عَنْ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، قَالَ كُنْتُ خَلْفَ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ وَهُوَ يَتَوَضَّأُ لِلصَّلاَةِ فَكَانَ يَمُدُّ يَدَهُ حَتَّى تَبْلُغَ إِبْطَهُ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ مَا هَذَا الْوُضُوءُ فَقَالَ يَا بَنِي فَرُّوخَ أَنْتُمْ هَا هُنَا لَوْ عَلِمْتُ أَنَّكُمْ هَا هُنَا مَا تَوَضَّأْتُ هَذَا الْوُضُوءَ سَمِعْتُ خَلِيلِي صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏"‏ تَبْلُغُ الْحِلْيَةُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِ حَيْثُ يَبْلُغُ الْوَضُوءُ ‏"‏ ‏.

    Abū Hurayrah ¦ related:

    I heard my intimate friend (the Messenger of Allah) saying, “The radiance of the believer reaches the areas that the water of ablution reaches.”

    Ablution signifies spiritual purity, which the Prophet was granted when the angels washed his heart, both in his youth and again, later, when angels washed it with the water of the holy well Zamzam on the Night of Ascension.

    To gain the full benefit of ablution, the worshipper must perform it with the realization of its inner aspects, washing away the burdens and darkness of worldly life that distract him or her from Divine service. By removing both the physical and mental filth that accumulates through the day, one ignites and seals the latent spiritual energy of one’s being by means of the special attributes of water. The extremities washed during ablution are the primary means of interacting with the worldly life, and these must be cleansed of the taint left by that contact.

    Ablution begins with washing the hands, signifying that the first level of spiritual energy is in the hands. Human hands contain a Divine Secret, for they are a reflection of the Divine Attribute of Power, which Allah has bestowed in a limited degree on humankind. They provide the means for the outward manifestations of humankind’s will to change its circumstances. Thus, hands are a source of change, control and healing. No other creature has been endowed with so great an ability to manipulate its surroundings, and the hands are the main physical instrument of that ability.

    The hand can act as a receiver of positive energy. The circle of the body, so clearly illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci, is reflected on a smaller scale in the circle of the hand. Energy can be drawn in through the hands and channeled throughout the body. When one rubs the hands together during ablution, one activates a spiritual code that Allah has given us within our hands: the power of the ninety-nine Beautiful Names and Attributes that Allah has inscribed on every person’s palms. The friction between the two hands creates energy in the form of heat and rubbing them together under water locks in that energy, preventing it from escaping. The water keeps the energy that is generated by rubbing the hands together within the body, where it can be released later.

    During the process of ablution the hands are used to convey the water to each other limb and organ, thereby functioning as a dispenser of that divine energy. As the limbs and organs are washed in ablution, each undergoes similar spiritual alterations based on the water, the hands and their energy, and the various movements and recitations that are part of the ablution. For the believer to benefit from the water, it must be pure and clean, otherwise its secret blessings do not reach the body.

    On an esoteric level, ablution becomes a metaphor for purifying the heart. Water is always clean in its essence, so the degree of spiritual reception is dependent on keeping the water free from external impurities. If we expand the spiritual metaphor, the water symbolizes the remembrance of Allah. That remembrance is pure, in and of itself, but can be tainted by the darkness of negativity which derives from wrong intent, wrong will and wrong action.

    The most powerful energy we carry as human beings is our spiritual energy. Second to that is the physical energy of creativity, which manifests during the act of procreation. In the course of physically expressing this creative energy Allah has placed within us, we enter into a state similar to the spiritual state of annihilation, but not related to the Divine Presence, on the contrary, it is related to the lower self. When this occurs, it is essential to wash the body completely, with the intention to restore the spiritual state of purity lost during the act.

    Purification of the heart blocks the influence of Satan on the believer. For this reason, the Prophet is reported to have said:

    Ablution is the weapon of the believer.

    Ablution protects the believer from four enemies of the soul: the lower self or ego (nafs), worldly desire (ħubb ad-dunyā), lust (hawā) and Satan. However, only through the remembrance of Allah can the believer maintain this defense throughout the day. When the heart begins to beat with Allah’s Holy Name, “Allah,” Satan is prevented from entering, and the gossips and insinuations of the lower self are gradually reduced until they are no more than a whisper.

    At an even higher level of understanding, ablution signifies the state of dissolving the self in the Divine Presence. According to the Sufi master Al-Jilī:

    … the requirement of using water signifies that purity is not achieved except by the emergence [in the worshipper] of the manifestations of the Divine Attributes, which is the water of life, for water is the secret of life. Dry ablution (tayammum) as a substitute [for ablution with water] is the station of purity by necessity, and is thus a symbol of purifying one’s self by opposing one’s lower-self, combating the tyrannical selfish ego and spiritual exercises. However, even after someone is purified, there is still a chance for him to exist. This is what the Prophet alluded to when he supplicated, “O my Lord give my self its piety and its purity, for You are the best one to purify it.” His saying “Give my self its piety,” is an indication of [the need for] combating the lower-self by means of spiritual exercises. His saying “ …and its purity, for You are the best one to purify it,” is an indication of  the heart’s attraction to the Divine, for this [attraction] is far more effective than purifying by means of action and opposing the lower-self.

    Timing

    The five times of obligatory ritual prayer are:

    Fajr: From dawn to sunrise;

    Dhuhr: From noon until mid-afternoon;

    ¿Ašr: From mid-afternoon to sunset;

    Maghrib: From sunset to early evening;

    ¿Ishā: From early evening to the middle of the night.

    These times coincide with the significant temporal changes that are part of each day’s cycle on earth as this planet moves through its various stations in relation to the Sun. The Sun, which is the focal point of the solar system, thus becomes a guiding light for the worshiper, indicating the beginning and ending of each prayer’s interval. In this way, Muslims are reminded of the story of Abraham, as mentioned in the Holy Qur’ān.

    In his yearning and seeking for Allah, Abraham holds a metaphorical debate within himself. His first inclination is to bow before a bright star that shines forth at night, taking it as his Lord. However, when that star sets, his intellect rejects it, seeking something greater as Lord. Seeing the Moon, he determines it to be his Lord until it too sets and he seeks something greater still. Seeing the Sun rise, he supposes it must be his Lord, but despite its blazing glory, it too sets. Finally, Abraham concludes that none of these heavenly bodies – and by inference, no created thing – could be his Lord, and thus sets himself firmly on worship of the Unseen Lord:

    فَلَمَّا أَفَلَتْ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ إِنِّي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

    …when [the sun] set he exclaimed: O my people! Lo! I am free from all that ye associate (with Him). Lo! I have turned my face toward Him Who created the heavens and the earth, as one by nature upright, and I am not of the idolaters.

    Muslims consider the day to begin at sunset, with the evening (Maghrib) prayer. This holds tremendous significance on an esoteric, or spiritual, level. The masters of the science of Islamic spirituality, Sufism, see the cycles of prayer as symbolic of the cycles of creation itself. The sunset prayer represents the station of leaving existence. The night prayer, which follows it, represents the station of darkness and death, annihilation and nonexistence.

    In some Islamic traditions, funeral prayers for those who have passed away during the preceding day are read immediately after the sunset prayer, indicating this time’s correlation with death and the afterlife.

    The Holy Qur’ān says:

    اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا فَيُمْسِكُ الَّتِي قَضَى عَلَيْهَا الْمَوْتَ وَيُرْسِلُ الْأُخْرَى إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

    It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: Those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed.

    Awakening to pray just before dawn represents the return to life, the descent through the darkness of the womb to emerge into the light. Metaphorically, the worshipper moves from the station of nonexistence and annihilation back to the station of existence and rebirth. A new day has come, and with it the worshipper is reborn.

    The apex of existence is marked by the noon prayer, which begins just as the Sun reaches the peak of brightness. At the zenith, two kingdoms are present and the prayer joins them: the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of earth.

    The afternoon prayer takes place in a time that signifies the approach of the end, autumn and the last era of worldly life. According to Islamic tradition, the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the community of believers he raised appear at the end of humanity’s spiritual history, just prior to the Day of Judgment. The coming of the afternoon prayer thus represents the approach of Judgment Day and the Divine Reckoning that it brings. With the setting of the sun, life comes to an end. The worshipper returns to Allah, taking with him an account of his deeds. With the darkness comes annihilation in Allah’s Endless Mercy Oceans. It is for this reason that Islam places a strong emphasis on the afternoon prayer.

    Thus, each day is a full life cycle, from creation out of nonexistence to Judgment Day and annihilation. Each day has its birth, life and death. In similar fashion the prayer times reflect the five major stages of life: infancy, childhood, youth, maturity and old age.

    Facing Qiblah

    The worshipper faces the Ka¿bah, the holy shrine of Islam, as determined to the best of his or her ability by simple means. This directional focus is called the qiblah.

    The Ka¿bah is the House of Allah, located in the holy city of Mecca in present-day Arabia. It is the goal of the pilgrimage, which is the fifth pillar of Islam. In Islamic teachings, the Ka¿bah is said to mark the location where the Divine House in the Seventh Heaven, beyond which stands the Supreme Throne, which angels constantly circle in praise and worship of Allah, descended to Earth after the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were cast out of Paradise for their mistake. In the time of Noah’s flood, this heavenly sanctuary was taken up to heaven again. Millennia later, Abraham and Ishmael built the Ka¿bah in the same location, where it stands until today, the first house of worship dedicated to Allah. By facing this location in prayer, each Muslim aims and hopes to reach that holy location at some point in her or his life.

    Initially, in the early days of Prophet Muhammad’s mission, the believers faced Jerusalem when they prayed, out of respect for the Temple there. This direction represented respect for the previous Divine dispensations brought by Moses and Jesus and the Israelite prophets. Later, Divine legislation altered the direction of prayer to face the Holy House in Mecca:

    قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاء فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوِهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ

    We see thee (O Muhammad) turning of thy face for guidance to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a prayer-direction that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque [Ka¿ba]: Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction.

    Thus, wherever Muslims live, their prayers have a common focus: the Ka¿bah.

    Because of the presence of this blessed shrine, the area surrounding the Ka¿bah is holy. These environs are called the Ħarām, literally “prohibited,” meaning a place where sins are prohibited. The Ka¿bah itself is located within the “Prohibited Mosque,” Masjid al-Ħarām. The name Prohibited Mosque was given because no one may act on bad desires there. While it is called a mosque, Allah made it more than that. In reality, it is a place where sins are utterly rejected, not only in their outward forms but also in their inner realities. There, even negative thoughts and intentions are considered blameworthy. Only pure, positive desires and good thoughts are accepted. Indeed, within the confines of that holy sanctuary, no hunting is allowed; even the cutting of trees and vegetation is proscribed.

    Allah said in the Holy Qur’ān:

    سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

    Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who Heareth and Seth (all things).

    This verse describes the important journey that Prophet Muhammad (s) made between the Prohibited Mosque in Mecca and the Temple in Jerusalem (referred to as the Farthest Mosque, Masjid al-Aqsā), a journey that in one moment bridged three divinely-revealed religions.

    Significance of the Ka¿bah

    One of the distinctive characteristics of Islamic ritual prayer is that the worshipper is obliged to keep his vision, both external and internal, concentrated upon the qiblah. The focus of every worshipper is, and must be, a holy place. People whose understanding is purely external believe facing the Ka¿bah is of intrinsic value.

    Those with a mystic understanding know that the Ka¿bah represents the spiritual pole of this world, around which all creation turns. Looking at photographs of the Ka¿bah taken from above, we see the worshippers moving around it in perfectly arranged concentric circles. This assembly gathers in imitation of the heavenly kingdom, for all these circles have one center regardless of their distance from it. At the spiritual level, that center is the Divine Presence. While each worshipper faces the Ka¿bah’s walls of stone and mortar, these are not the focus. If we remove the four walls, what do we find? Each person facing someone else. In this is a deep and subtle secret that we leave for the reader to ponder.

    When the spiritual seeker realizes his station on the circle of the People of the Qiblah, he enters what is known as the Circle of Unconditional Lovers (dā’irat al-muħibīn). That is the circle of Muslims at the first level in the way of Allah: the level of love. Such love is not related to any desire, but is a purely Platonic, spiritual love between the believer and his or her Lord. Allah is the center of the circle, and the believers are each a point on its circumference. Each has his or her own connection to the center. That means each has his own direction, qiblah, towards the Divine Presence. As that connection becomes apparent to the believer, that radius becomes like a tunnel into which the seeker begins to step from the circumference of the circle. Upon making his first steps into that tunnel, he begins to discover countless negative characteristics within himself. As he discovers one characteristic after another, he begins to eliminate them, progressing down the tunnel to become a “seeker in the circle of lovers on the spiritual journey,” progressing ever nearer to the qiblah at the center. In the metaphysics of Ibn ¿Arabi, the renowned mystic scholar speaks of a spiritual hierarchy in which the emanations from the Divine are received by a single human receptor who is the leader of all these circles of lovers and through him spreads to the rest of humanity, each according to his or her degree or station. This individual represents the Prophet in his time as the perfect servant of Allah. Thus, under one spiritual leader, all are moving constantly closer to the Divine Presence.

    In the Sufi understanding, which delves deeply into the mystic knowledge and symbolism of Islam’s outward forms, it is said the Prohibited Mosque represents the heart of the believer. Thus, the inner direction of prayer is towards the sanctified heart. What is the sanctified heart? At the first level of spirituality, the sanctified heart is the heart that is purified of all wrong thoughts, negativity and dark intent. This level is called the Level of the Secret (sirr). Once that secret is opened within the sanctified heart, the seeker moves to the heart of the heart, known as Secret of the Secret (sirr as-sirr). That is the level of purification from any attachment to worldly desires. Beyond these levels of the heart are “the Hidden” (khafā) and “the Innermost” (akhfā) levels, representing further stations of purity, in which the heart becomes ever more removed from attachments, turning away from all that is worldly to focus instead on the spiritual realm of the Hereafter. At the highest level, the heart turns away from even that and begins to focus solely on the Divine Presence.

    These are levels of achievement. On the spiritual dimension, the believer’s focus is to reach a perfected level of character, to learn from it and to be enlightened from it. In order to progress beyond our state of ignorance we must strive to learn and educate ourselves. This can only be accomplished by keeping the company of enlightened individuals who have successfully traversed the Path of Allah, to Allah, and who are granted the ability to guide others.  Allah says:

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

    O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true (in word and deed).

    Allah is aware of every heart. The Holy Qur’ān states:

    وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

    Those who struggle for Us, We will guide them in the right ways, the ways that are suitable to them.

    The polished heart of the sincere and true believer (šādiq) is a receptacle for Allah’s Heavenly Lights and Divine Blessings. Such a person is like the sun. When the sun rises, the whole world shines from that source of energy and light, the light of mystical gnosis that makes all things visible. For that reason, the Prophet said, “The heart of the [true] believer is the House of the Lord.”

    Covering

    The Islamic schools of jurisprudence concur that it is essential (wājib) for both men and women to cover those parts of their bodies during prayer which should ordinarily be kept covered before strangers. For men, this includes what is between the navel and the knee. For women, it is the entire body, except the face and hands.

    As we have said, the purity of what covers the body is essential for the prayer to be acceptable. In one of the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad (s), Allah says:

    وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ وَالرُّجْزَ فَاهْجُرْ

    And thy Lord do thou magnify! And thy garments keep free from stain! And all abomination shun!

    The body is not the only thing that must be covered in prayer. During šalāt, the worshipper is commanded to look only at the location where he or she will prostrate, not to the left or right. In this way, one covers one’s gaze and directs oneself to the Vision of Allah, for the Prophet said:

    The perfection of religion (al-Iħsān) is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him and if you do not see Him, know that He sees you.

    Thus, the gaze of the believer must be veiled at the time of worship from everything other than Allah. This derives from a spiritual understanding of the Verse of the Veil in the Holy Qur’ān, in which Allah says:

    قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ

    Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty …

    The emphasis in these verses on lowering the gaze, meaning to guard the eyes from looking at what is forbidden or impure. In the outer sense, this means to refrain from looking with lustful desire at other than one’s spouse, for the Prophet said, “The two eyes are two adulterers.”

    In this regard, a renowned contemporary Sufi saint, and my teacher and guide on the spiritual path, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, relates the story of a judge (qāļī), called by a woman to annul her husband’s marriage to a second wife. The judge asked the plaintiff, whose face was hidden by a face-veil (burqah), “Why are you asking me to prevent something permitted in Islamic Divine Law?” The first wife replied, “Your honor, were I to remove my face-veil you would wonder how someone married to so stunning a beauty could seek another woman’s companionship?” Upon hearing this the judge swooned. When he came to, his associates asked him what had happened. He replied, “On hearing this woman’s reply, I had an epiphany. How is it that our hearts turn to all manner of worldly interests, when Allah Himself is asking us to be with Him alone?”

    The next verse says:

    they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty …

    calling on women to veil their beauty from other than the men in their immediate family, to protect them from men who are all too easily overpowered by desire, and to protect men from their own weaknesses.

    Esoteric commentators state that “women” here symbolize attachments to the worldly life. The spiritual meaning of this prohibition then is that, when coming before the Lord of Creation, the seeker must veil himself from all distractions of the worldly life and focus on the One to Whom prayer is directed.

    At an even higher level of spiritual understanding, the word “women” refers to the Divine Attributes of Beauty. Thus, the worshipper, is advised to call to mind the Divine Attributes of Majesty, and not become lost in the Attributes of Beauty, which may lead the seeker to lose his or her balance in approaching the Divine Presence.

    In the Holy Qur’ān, Allah also said:

    يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ

    O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer (masjid).

    Here, believers are called upon by Allah to wear their best and most attractive garments when going to pray. The call to manifest “beautiful apparel” at the “place of prayer” can be interpreted as well to be an instruction to adorn the mosques and beautify them, keeping in mind that:

    وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهًِا

    The places of worship (masājid) are for Allah (alone).

    The three major holy mosques of Islam: the Ka¿bah in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, are all highly ornamented with gilding, decorative calligraphy, mosaic tiles, inlaid wood, brilliant lamps and other decorations. All other mosques are connected to these for, as we have said, when worshippers stand to pray in any mosque, they must face the Ka¿bah, Allah’s Holy House.

    ما وسعني سمائي ولا أرضي ولكن وسعني قلب عبدي المؤمن

    Allah said, “Neither My heavens contain Me nor My earth. But the heart of My Believing Servant contains Me.”

    The heart, too, then is a mosque, and for this reason it also must be decorated. The ornamentation of the heart involves removing everything that distracts one from the worship of Allah and replacing these impurities with love of the Divine, as we have described earlier. Anything that brings impurity to the heart extinguishes the light that Allah has placed there. This is a form of tyranny, for the Arabic word for tyranny (Ƹulm) also means darkness. Thus, any darkness which veils the heart from Allah’s Holy Light is a form of oppression. This darkness cannot be removed except through repentance and seeking the intercessory prayers of the Prophet. This is why the aforementioned verses about modesty are followed closely by:

    ‎اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونِةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

    Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp: the lamp enclosed in glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth parables for men: and Allah doth know all things.

    “Allah is the Light” does not mean that Allah is light, rather The Light is His while Allah’s Essence is unknown. The created cannot know The Creator except by means of His Beautiful Names and Attributes, His Descriptions. Allah’s saying He is the Light of the heavens and earth means that whatever is found in the heavens and earth contains that light. Since we are from earth, that light is within each of us, for Allah, being the Just, bestows on all with Divine Fairness. Shaykh Ibrāhīm Hakkī (1703-1780), a renowned Ottoman scholar of Qur’ān, said:

    Without a doubt the complete potential for perfection is found within every human being, because Allah the Most High has placed His own Divine Secrets within the essence of man, in order to manifest from the Unseen His Beautiful Names and Attributes.

    قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ، كَمَثَلِ الْبَهِيمَةِ تُنْتَجُ الْبَهِيمَةَ، هَلْ تَرَى فِيهَا جَدْعَاءَ ‏"‏‏

    Therefore, as the Prophet said, “Human beings are born on a natural disposition,” meaning each human being carries that light of primordial faith and predisposition to submission before Allah.

    Therefore in Prophet Muhammad (s), being the epitome of humankind and its highest standard bearer, is found the perfect manifestation of the human embodiment of Divine grace and the corporeal manifestation of Divine Attributes. It is due to the Prophet’s utter submission, in the state of perfect servanthood, that made him the perfect receptacle for Divine Appearances. That is, the Muhammadan Reality, (al-ħaqīqat ul-Muħammadīyya) reflects the Heart of the Divine Essence, since the Prophet’s heart moves without restriction in the orbit of the 99 Divine Names and Attributes. He has been blessed by being adorned by the 99 Names inside of which is a glowing pearl which has yet to appear. Thus many commentators assert that the “Light of the heavens and earth” referred to in the above verse, is the Light of Muhammad (s), whom Allah created from His own Divine Light, and it is this light which shines in the hearts of believers, for the Light of the Prophet is the source of the light of all believers.

    Adornment

    Allah says in the Holy Qur’ān:

    يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ

    O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer…

    قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللّهِ الَّتِيَ أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالْطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ

    Say (O Muhammad): “Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His devotees?”

    Nafi¿ related:

    ¿Umar ¦ entered upon me one day as I was praying in a single garment and he said, “Don’t you have two garments in your possession?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “In your opinion, if I sent you to one of the people of Madina on an errand, would you go in a single garment?” I said, “No.” He said, “Then is Allah worthier of our self-beautification or people?”

    An adjunct to proper covering is proper physical appearance. The most direct method for establishing one’s identity as a traveler upon the path of self-purification is to adopt the correct outward appearance, abandoning the dress of the worldly life and putting on instead the apparel of the hereafter. This is an outward indication of rejecting servitude to the material world (¿abd ad-dunyā) and asserting one’s true identity as a servant of the Divine (¿abd Allah).

    The dress most conducive to spirituality is the garb of Prophet Muhammad (s), the traditional clothing worn by all the prophets and messengers of Allah. For men, this includes wearing the turban, the cloak (jubbah) and a ring, and using perfume and a tooth-stick (miswāk). For women, it involves wearing loose clothing, covering the hair, arms and legs, with white clothing being the most preferable. Such is the honored dress of the ascetics and lovers of Allah and His Prophet (s), those who reject the illusion of the material world and will settle for nothing less than the perfection and truth of reality.

    Fundaments of Prayer

    The first and foremost fundamental part of the ritual prayer is intention (niyyah).

    As in all Islamic worship, the worshipper intends the prayer as a fulfillment of Allah’s Order done purely for God’s sake. The Prophet Muhammad (s) established this as a paramount rule of worship when he said, “Verily all deeds are based on their intention.”

    The prayer is initiated by the consecratory magnification of Allah (takbīr), followed by multiple cycles, each of which follows the same series of postures and recitations: first standing, then bowing, brief standing, prostrating, a brief sitting, a second prostration, and in the even cycles, sitting after the second prostration. Each of these positions also involves specific recitations. While standing, the first chapter (Sūratu ’l-Fātiħa) and other portions of the Holy Qur’ān are recited, either silently or aloud, depending upon the time of prayer.  In bowing, the brief standing, prostration and the brief sitting, Allah is glorified and praised in short formulas. While sitting, the testimony of faith (tashahhud) is recited, along with greetings to and prayers for Prophet Muhammad (s), Prophet Abraham and their families. In addition, there are a variety of supplemental invocations and recitations that are traditionally part of the practice of most worshippers. The basic essentials of ritual-prayer number about fifteen, depending on the school of jurisprudence followed.

    Each obligatory prayer has a prescribed number of cycles to be observed. These are:

    Prayer # of cycles
    Maghrib (sunset) 3
    Isha 4
    Fajr 2
    Dhuhr 4
    Asr 4

    The Stations of Salat

    The movements of the prayer identify the one praying with all other forms of creation, for the prayer’s postures are designed to remind the worshipper of mortality and the traversal through the different stages of life. They also resemble the rising and setting of the celestial bodies, as well as the rotation of the planets upon their axes and the orbits of the moons, planets and suns. These are signs which demonstrate the hierarchical nature of creation and its submission to Divine regulation at every level, for as the Holy Qur’ān states:

    وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهَارُ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ لَا تَسْجُدُوا لِلشَّمْسِ وَلَا لِلْقَمَرِ وَاسْجُدُوا لِلَّهِ الَّذِي خَلَقَهُنَّ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

    Among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Adore not the sun and the moon, but adore Allah, Who created them, if it is Him ye wish to serve.

    Allah further draws our attention to their submissive nature, saying:

    أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ

    Hast thou not seen that before Allah prostrate whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the hills, and the trees, and the beasts, and many of mankind...?

    The postures of prayer, then, are symbolic of humanity’s relationship to the Divine, moving as they do from standing in assertion of existence and strength, to the bowing of humility and servitude, to prostration in the face of Allah’s overwhelming Magnificence and Power and the corresponding realization of one’s own utter nonexistence. From this station of utter abasement, the worshipper returns to the intermediate position, between annihilation and independence, to sit between the hands of the Prophet Muhammad (s), greeting the one who is the intermediary between the Divinity and His creation. The Prophet stands at the Station of Perfect Servanthood and is the ultimate exemplar of the condition of servanthood to Allah. Unlike all other creations, Prophet Muhammad (s) was divested of all selfhood, dissolved in the Presence of Allah.

    وَلِلّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

    Whithersoever ye turn, there is the presence of Allah. For Allah is all-Pervading, all-Knowing.

    The Peak of Prayer is Sajdah

    ما تقرب العبد إلى الله بأفضل من سجود خفي

    The Prophet (s) said, “Nothing brings the servant of Allah nearer to the Divine Presence than through his prostrations in secret(al-khafī).”

    مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَسْجُدُ لِلَّهِ سَجْدَةً اِلَّا رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً اَوْ حَطَّ عَنْهُ بِهَا خَطِيئَةً‏.

    The Prophet (s) said, “There is no Muslim who prostrates himself but he will be raised one degree by Allah or one sin is taken from him.”

    As for what that degree consists of, know that it is not something small, for each heaven might consist of one degree. For that, the Prophet (s) said about the Last Days:

    ‏...حتى تكون السجدة الواحدة خيرا من الدنيا وما فيها‏

    One prostration will be better than the world and all that is in it.

    For these reasons, many among the pious observe extra voluntary prostrations to Allah after completing their obligatory prayers. Whenever they encounter a difficulty, whether spiritual or worldly, they seek refuge in their Lord through prostration to Him.

    One must cut down self-pride and make the inner-self prostrate, for one who truly submits to his Lord can no longer submit to his or her self. Once that state is reached, prayer is purely for Allah. That is why the Prophet (s) said:

    الا اخبركم بما هو اخوف عليكم عندي من المسيح الدجال‏؟‏ قال قلنا‏:‏ بلى، فقال‏:‏ الشرك الخفي ان يقوم الرجل يصلي فيزين صلاته لما يرى من نظر رجل‏.

    “Shall I inform you of what I fear for my Community even more than the Anti-Christ?” They said, “Surely!” He said, “Hidden polytheism.”

    He feared for his community not the outward polytheism of idol-worship, for he was informed by Allah that his community was protected from that forever, but the secret polytheism, which is to do something for the sake of showing-off.

    حَدَّثَنِي رَبِيعَةُ بْنُ كَعْبٍ الأَسْلَمِيُّ، قَالَ كُنْتُ أَبِيتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَتَيْتُهُ بِوَضُوئِهِ وَحَاجَتِهِ فَقَالَ لِي ‏"‏ سَلْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ أَسْأَلُكَ مُرَافَقَتَكَ فِي الْجَنَّةِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ أَوَغَيْرَ ذَلِكَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ هُوَ ذَاكَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَأَعِنِّي عَلَى نَفْسِكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُود

    A man came and asked the Prophet (s), “O Prophet of Allah, pray for me to be under your intercession on Judgment Day and grant me to be in your company in Paradise.” The Prophet replied, “I will do so, but assist me in that.” The man asked, “How so?” The Prophet said, “By frequent prostration [before God].”

    The Prophet (s) related that, on the Day of Judgment, as the believers emerge from their graves, angels will come to them to brush the dust from their foreheads. However, despite the best efforts of the angels, some of that dust will remain. Both the resurrected believers and their angelic helpers will be surprised that this dust cannot be removed. Then a voice will call out, “Leave that dust and do not try to remove it, for that is the dust of their prayer-niches, thus will it be known in Paradise that they are My [devout] servants.”

    This Prophetic Tradition indicates the spiritual value of the prostration of the believers, making as it does even the dust touched by their foreheads hallowed. The power of prayer has a similar effect on the place of prayer itself, as exemplified in the story of the Virgin Mary, as mentioned in the Holy Qur’ān:

    فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا وَكَفَّلَهَا زَكَرِيَّا كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقاً قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَـذَا قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ إنَّ اللّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

    Whenever Zachariah went into the prayer-niche where she was, he found that she had food. He said: O Mary! Whence cometh unto thee this (food)? She answered: It is from Allah. Allah giveth without stint to whom He will.

    It was there, in the Virgin Mary’s hallowed sanctuary, where she used to find her daily provision in the form of fruits out-of season, that the Prophet Zachariah went to prostrate himself before Allah and beseech Him for a child, and it was there that Allah granted his request.

    The places where a Muslim prostrates will bear witness to his or her devotion on the Day of Judgment. It is for this reason that one often sees Muslims changing the location of their prayers, praying the obligatory cycles in one spot and then moving to another area to observe the voluntary cycles (sunan).

    Ibn ¿Abbās ¦, a cousin of the Prophet (s) and the greatest early exegete of the Qur’ān, said:

    When Allah commanded Adam to descend to Earth, as soon as he arrived, he went into prostration, asking Allah’s forgiveness for the sin he had made. Allah sent the archangel Jibrīl to him after forty years had passed, and Jibrīl found Adam still in prostration.

    He had not raised his head for forty years in sincere and heartfelt repentance before Allah.

    The Holy Qur’ān tells us that, after Allah created Adam, He ordered the angels to prostrate before the first man.

    وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى

    When We said to the angels, “prostrate yourselves to Adam", they prostrated themselves, but not Iblis [Satan]: he refused.

    Imām al-Qurţubī, one of the great commentators on the Holy Qur’ān, writes in his exegesis, at-Tadhkira, that one of the four Archangels, Isrāfīl (Rafael), had the entire Qur’ān written on his forehead. Allah had given Isrāfīl knowledge of the Holy Qur’ān and wrote all of it between his eyes, and he is the angel who inscribed the destinies of all things in the Preserved Tablets before they were created. Rafael’s name in Arabic, which differs from his Assyrianic name Isrāfīl, is ¿Abd al-Raħmān, servant of The Merciful. This theme of mercy pervades Islamic thought, for it was through Allah’s Mercy that the Holy Qur’ān was sent down to the Prophet, about whom The Merciful said:

    وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

    We sent thee not but as a Mercy for all creatures.

    When Allah ordered the angels to make prostration to Adam, Rafael was the first to obey, making prostration and placing his forehead, containing the entire Qur’ān, on the earth, out of respect and honor for Adam, for he perceived the whole of Qur’ān written on Adam’s forehead. Other commentators say the angels fell prostrate before Adam for they perceived the Light of Prophet Muhammad (s) shining from his form. There is in reality no discrepancy here, for Allah said in the Holy Qur’ān:

    يس وَالْقُرْآنِ الْحَكِيمِ

    Yasin, By the Qur’ān, full of Wisdom.

    The Prophet Muhammad (s) said that YāSīn, the thirty-sixth chapter of the Holy Qur’ān as well as one of his own blessed names, is the heart of the Holy Qur’ān, the very Qur’ān that the Prophet was carrying in his breast. Thus, the light that shone forth from Adam was the Light of the Prophet within him, who in turn was blazing with Allah’s Holy Words.

    The Hidden -Meanings of the Stations of Salat

    Shāh Walīullāh al-Dehlavī said:

    Know that one is sometimes transported, quick as lightning, to the Holy Precincts (of the Divine Presence), and finds one’s self attached, with the greatest possible adherence, to the Threshold of Allah. There descend on this person the Divine transfigurations (tajallī) which dominate his soul. He sees and feels things which the human tongue is incapable of describing. Once this state of light passes away, he returns to his previous condition, and finds himself tormented by the loss of such an ecstasy. Thereupon he tries to rejoin that which has escaped him, and adopts the condition of this lowly world which would be nearest to a state of absorption in the knowledge of the Creator. This is a posture of respect, of devotion, and of an almost direct conversation with Allah, which posture is accompanied by appropriate acts and words... Worship consists essentially of three elements: (1) humility of heart (spirit) consequent on a feeling of the Presence of the Majesty and Grandeur of Allah, (2) recognition of this superiority (of Allah) and humbleness (of man) by means of appropriate words, and (3) adoption by the organs of the body of postures of necessary reverence…

    Still greater respect is displayed by laying down the face, which reflects in the highest degree one’s ego and self-consciousness, so low that it touches the ground in front of the object of reverence.

    Al-Jīlī says:

    The secrets and inner-meanings of prayer are uncountable so what is mentioned here is limited for the sake of brevity. Prayer is a symbol of the uniqueness of the Divine Reality (al-Ħaqq), and the [position of] standing in it is a symbol of the establishment of the uniqueness of mankind in possessing something from the Divine Names and Attributes, for as the Prophet said, “Verily Allah created Adam in His Image.”

    Then the standing towards the Qiblah is an indication of the universal direction in the quest of the Divine Reality. The intention therein is an indication of the connection of the heart in this direction. The opening magnification of God’s Greatness (takbīr) is an indication that the Divine Proximity is larger and more expansive than what may manifest to him because nothing can limit its perspective. Even so, it is vaster still than every perspective or vision that manifests to the servant for it is without end.

    The recitation of the Opening Chapter, al-Fatihah, is an indication of the existence of His Perfection in man because man is the opening of creation, for Allah initiated creation by him when He brought from nothingness the first creation.

    What al-Jīlī is referring to here is the Light of Muhammad (s), known also as the First Mind, the Universal Man, and the Microcosm of the Macrocosm. He continues:

    Then there is bowing, which is an indication of acknowledging the nonexistence of all creation under the existence of divine emanations and power. Then standing in the prayer is an indication of the station of subsistence (al-baqā). Therefore, one says in his prayer, “Allah hears the one who praises Him,” … an indication of subsistence in that he is the Vicegerent of the Divine Reality. In this way, God relates about Himself by Himself by relating on hearing its truth through the praising of His creation. The prostration is an expression of pulverization of the traits of humanness and their extermination before the unending manifestation of the sanctifying essence. The sitting between the two prostrations is an indication of obtaining the realities of the Divine Names and Attributes. This is because the sitting is being firmly positioned in a place as indicated by the verse where Allah says:

    الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى

    The Merciful was established on the Throne

    The second prostration is the indication of the station of servanthood and it is the returning from the Divine Reality to creation. The salutations [upon the Prophet] are an indication of the attainability of human perfection, for they are an expression of praising Allah, His Messenger and His righteous servants. This is the station of perfection, for the saint is not complete except by his attainment of the Divine realities, by his accord with the Messenger and accord with all of the servants of Allah.

    The two sections of the testimony of faith are Lā ilāha il-Llāh, “there is no diety except the one God” and Muħammadun rasūlullāh, “and Muhammad is the Prophet of God.” Scholars say that Lā ilāha il-Llāh represents the Creator and Muħammadun rasūlullāh symbolizes the entirety of creation.  The prayer is considered a dual communication: one is between worshipper and Allah, the second is between the worshipper and Allah’s perfect servant, Prophet Muhammad (s), the archetype of all the prophets and messengers. Thus one part of the prayer is a communication with the Divine, by means of Allah’s Holy Words revealed in the Qur’ān and through bowing and prostration, reciting Allah’s glorification, magnification and praise. The other part is the salutation on the Prophet, in which the worshipper addresses the Prophet personally and directly, as leader of the worshippers and the believers, followed by invoking the Lord’s blessings on him and on his family.

    These realities in fact reflect the doctrine of the Prophet’s having attained the zenith of servanthood (¿ubūdīyyah) to Allah, and thus the entirety of prayer in itself is built around his person. For the Words of Allah recited are the words revealed to the Prophet and the remainder of the prayer is acknowledging his leadership and spiritual primacy in both this life and the next. Thus scholars assert that even the positions of the prayer are an indication of the Muhammadan Station, for the physical positions reflect the shapes of the letters of the Prophet’s heavenly name, Aħmad, where the first letter Alif is represented by the standing position, Hā by the bowing stance, Mīm in the prostration and Dāl in sitting for salutation.

    Salat in Daily Life

    One may pray individually or communally, in the home, outside, at the mosque or in virtually any clean place. However, observing the prayers at the mosque and in congregation is strongly encouraged. In addition to the regular daily prayers, there is a special Friday noon prayer, called Jum¿ah. It, too, is obligatory, and must be performed in a mosque, in congregation. It is accompanied by a sermon (khutbah) and replaces the normal noon prayer.

    Since ritual prayers are performed throughout the waking cycle of the day, they influence the rhythm of the entire day in many Muslim nations. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world, where the call to prayer, adhān, is made publicly from every mosque at the onset of each prayer time, are often struck by the centrality of prayer in daily life.

    Traditionally, the call to prayer is the first thing a newborn baby hears after birth, as the father or a person of piety recites the prayer-call in the infant’s right ear and the call to start the prayer (iqāmah) in the left.

    Mosques

    Allah says in the Holy Qur’ān:

    قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ وَأَقِيمُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ

    Say: “My Lord hath commanded justice; and that ye set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and mosque, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere as in His sight: such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return.”

    When performed in congregation, prayer provides a strong sense of community, equality and brotherhood. All Muslims are welcome in every mosque, regardless of their race, class or nationality. There is no minimum number of congregants required to hold communal prayers. Traditionally, mosques were the centers of their communities, where believers gathered five times daily or, at minimum, once a week. There, the poor found food and assistance; the homeless, shelter; the student of religion, learning. Because of the centrality of prayer in Muslim religious life, mosques are often the dominant structures in Muslim villages, towns and cities. Traditionally, great attention was paid to making these houses of worship more than just halls for prayer. Governments, individuals and communities invested huge sums to make their mosque the visual focus of its neighborhood. In particular, the great mosques, in which the Friday obligatory congregational prayer was held, often became magnificent examples of architecture and art.

    The faithful take off their shoes before entering the house of worship out of respect for its sanctity and in keeping with the commandment to the Prophet Moses, when he entered the hallowed ground around the burning bush:

    فَلَمَّا أَتَاهَا نُودِي يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى

    When he came to the Fire, a voice was uttered: O Moses! I am thy Lord, therefore put off thy shoes, for thou art in the sacred valley of Ţūwā.

    Sincere Salat

    Ibn ¿Ata Allāh, a renowned Egyptian Sufi scholar of the 14th century wrote:

    The ritual prayer is the focal point of heavenly discourse, the source of purity by which the avenues of secrets expand and the gleams of lights radiate. So, if you want to know yourself, it is all by the prayer how you would weigh it. If it causes you to desist from worldly influence, then you know you are one who is given happiness. Other than that, you should be aware of what your feet have dragged along to your prayer, and then you will know that you have not obtained the secrets of prayer. Have you ever seen a lover that does not desire whom he loves?

    This is what you take from the prayer of discourse with Allah: when you say:

    ‎إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ “You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek assistance” – and from the discourse with the Messenger, when you say in your prayers, “Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessing.” You say this in every prayer, whereupon you are cleansed of your sins, only to return to them yet again after receiving the blessings with which the Lord has favored you, which is meeting with your Lord, the highest of blessings.

    If one wishes to know his reality and to see his state with his Lord, let him look at his prayer. Either it will produce humility and tranquility or heedlessness and hastiness. So, if your prayer is not of the first type, then seek to throw dirt on your head out of neglect and sorrow. The one who sits with a perfume maker is given the fragrance of his perfume. The prayer, therefore, is the association with Allah, so when you attend it and you do not obtain from it anything, it indicates a sickness that resides in you, which is either pride or the absence of proper manners. Allah says:

    سَأَصْرِفُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ

    I shall turn away from My revelations those who magnify themselves wrongfully in the earth.

    It is not desired that one rushes from the mosque after his prayer. Rather, he should remember Allah after it and seek His forgiveness from his shortcomings in doing so. For perhaps his prayer is not in a state for it to be accepted. But if you were to seek Allah’s forgiveness, thereafter it will be accepted.

    Ibn ¿Atā Allāh’s warning not leave the mosque too quickly after performing the ritual prayer also has an esoteric meaning. The mosque, in the symbolism of Sufism, signifies the heart, while prayers signify the connection between the worshipper and the Divine Presence. Thus, Ibn ¿Ata Allah here calls on the faithful to maintain that connection with the Divine Source in the heart and not be too quick to push it aside to return to worldly concerns. This means one should strive to keep that connection with the Divine Presence that has been built up through remembrance and prayer, and not fall into heedlessness.

    كان الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم اذا سلم من الصلاة قال: “استغفر الله ، استغفر الله ، استغفر الله ، اللهم انت السلام و منك السلام تباركت يا ذا الجلال و الاكرام “

    After the Messenger of Allah (s) used to pray, he would seek Allah’s forgiveness three times. This was related by Thawban, who said:

    When he finished from prayer, he would seek Allah’s forgiveness three times and say, “O Allah, you are the peace and from you is peace. Blessed you are, O Owner of Greatness and Honor.”

    Ibn ¿Atā Allāh also wrote:

    The simile of some who had performed his prayer without tranquility and humility of heart or presence of contemplation is like the one who presents to the king one hundred empty boxes. Thereafter, he deserves the admonishment of the king because of his lack of intelligence and thought, which the king will utter about him when ever he is mentioned. But the one who prays with tranquility and presence of heart is like the one who presented the king with boxes of precious jewels, for surely the king will delight in that and will return the favor on him and he will always mention to others about the gifts he had received from him. This is because the one who gave has purity of heart, perfection of thought and high aspiration.

    I say to you, O servant of Allah, when you enter prayer you are conversing with your Lord and speaking with the Messenger of Allah in the Witnessing, because you are saying, “Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings.” It is not said, “O you,” or, “O so and so,” in the language of the Arabs, except to someone who is present in the assembly. So, in your prayers, you should summon in your mind his greatness.

    If you wish to know how you will traverse the Bridge on the Day of Judgment, then look at your state in proceeding to prayer in going to the mosque … for in this world, the prayer is the bridge of uprightness that is not seen by the eyes, but by the enlightened hearts and clear vision. Allah says:

    وَأَنَّ هَـذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

    This is my straight way, therefore follow it.

    So, the one for whom the path is enlightened follows thereon, but the one for whom his path is darkened does not see where he is stepping and is not able to travel the way; therefore, he will remain in his place standing and bewildered.

    يدخل فقراء المسلمين الجنة قبل الأغنياء بنصف يوم، وهو خمسمائة عام

    Abū Hurayrah ¦ related that the Messenger of Allah (s) said:

    The poor of the Muslims will enter Paradise before the rich by half a day, and each day is five hundred years.

    This is because they were foremost in the world in worship and constant in the Friday prayer and the congregation.

    Nawafil - Voluntary Worship

    In addition to the fixed, obligatory ritual prayers (fara¿id as-šalāt), Muslims consider supererogatory prayers of great importance. Great emphasis is placed on observing the prayers that the Prophet, upon whom be peace and blessings, used to observe in addition to the five prescribed prayers.

    In addition to the obligatory prayers, the Prophet observed certain sets of supererogatory ritual-prayers just before and after them. These confirmed sunnahs are well-documented. In addition to these, the Prophet would add on additional prayer cycles known an-nawāfil. Each of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence classifies these cycles slightly differently, but all agree on the merit of performing these supplemental acts of devotion. Finally, the Prophet would pray additional ritual prayers independent of the obligatory ones. These include:

    Prayer just after sunrise (ishrāq)

    From four to twelve cycles in the forenoon (duħā)

    Six cycles after the evening prayer (awābīn)

    The night vigil (tahajjud or qīyām al-layl).

    أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم صلى حتى انتفخت قدماه فقيل له أتكلف هذا وقد غفر الله لك ما تقدم من ذنبك وما تأخر فقال أفلا أكون عبدا شكورا

    When asked why he used to pray so much, to the point that his feet were swollen, the Prophet replied, “Should I not be a thankful servant of Allah?”

    In saying this, the Prophet expressed the essence of supererogatory worship, to show gratitude to the Lord and thus to draw nearer to the Divine Presence. The Prophet related regarding the words recited in every prayer from the Opening chapter of the Holy Qur’ān, الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ “Praise is to Allah, the Lord of the universe,” that Allah responds by saying, “My servant has praised Me.”

    Qiyam al-Layl - Night Vigil

    One of the most important supererogatory prayers is that of the Night Vigil (Qīyām al-layl). The ideal time for voluntary prayer, and indeed for spiritual endeavors in general, is at night—preferably after midnight. This is the time when the world is asleep, but the lovers and seekers of God (al-¿ibād) are awake and traveling towards reality and their divine destinations. It is under the veil of the night that the plane of consciousness is clear from the chaos of worldly affairs (dunyā), for it is a time when the mind and heart operate most effectively.

    Prayer before midnight, whether supplicatory or ritual, is very slow; after midnight, it is very fast.

    In one of the first revelations, Allah ordered His Messenger:

    قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا نِصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا

    Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night, half of it or a little less. Or a little more; and recite the Qur’ān in slow, measured rhythmic tones.

    وقال صلى الله عليه وسلم “ركعتان يركعهما العبد في جوف الليل خير له من الدنيا وما فيها ولولا أن أشق على أمتي لفرضتهما عليهم"

    The Messenger of Allah said:

    Two cycles of prayer in the late hours of the night are more valuable than all the riches of this world. But for fear of overburdening my followers, I would have made these obligatory.

    And:

    عليكم بصلاة الليل ولو ركعة واحدة

    The Prophet said:  Pray the night prayer, if only one rak¿ah.‏

    Salman, a renowned Companion of the Prophet, in describing the observance of the night vigil said:

    The man who considered the darkness of night and people’s unmindfulness a boon, stood up and said the prayer till the morning, he is a man for whom there is all gain and no loss… adopt those medium-type of supererogatory prayers (nawāfil) which you may put up with perpetually.

    عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ، اَنَّهُ رَاَى رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُصَلِّي مِنَ اللَّيْلِ ... ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَصَلَّى اَرْبَعَ رَكَعَاتٍ فَقَرَاَ فِيهِنَّ الْبَقَرَةَ وَالَ عِمْرَانَ وَالنِّسَاءَ وَالْمَائِدَةَ اَوِ الاَنْعَامَ شَكَّ شُعْبَةُ ‏.‏

    Hudhayfa related that he saw the Prophet’s pray the night vigil and I used to stand with Allah’s Messenger throughout the night... He prayed four cycles (raka¿ts) and he would recite Sūrat al-Baqara, Sūrat Āli ¿Imrān and Sūrat an-Nisā, Sūrat al-Mā’idat and Sūrat al-Ana¿m in them (i.e. the five longest chapters of the Qur’ān).

    It is related that the third caliph, ¿Uthmān ibn ¿Affān, would recite the entire Qu¿ran in one prayer during the night.

    So much stress did the Prophet put on the importance of the night vigil (šalāt al-layl) that if he missed it he would make it up.

    عن سعد بن هشام أن عائشة قالت كان رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- إذا صلى صلاة أحب أن يداوم عليها وكان إذا شغله عن قيام الليل نوم أو مرض أو وجع صلى من النهار اثنتي عشرة ركعة هذا

    The Prophet’s wife ‘Ā¿ishā said that the Prophet if he initiated any prayer he loved to be constant in it and if his something kept him from the night vigil, sleep or illness or pain, then he used to pray twelve cycles (raka¿ts) during the day.

    A renowned contemporary Sufi saint, and my teacher and guide on the spiritual path, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, says:

    The last third of the night is the best of times to pray at night because Allah the Most High is looking therein at His servant. Our master ¿Abd-Allāh ad-Dāghestānī, may Allah always elevate his stations, used to invite me to his association during the last third of the night because it is the time of heavenly manifestation. He would say that, in this time, there is no veil between Allah and His servant. So, each of you should awake in the third part of the night to pray and be present in the hour of heavenly manifestations. O Allah, make us among those who stand in prayer at night, seeking the vision of Your Face.

    There is no possibility to receive sainthood without the night vigil. The night vigil is ordained for the Prophet, also for the Friends of Allah it is considered obligatory and, as related to the community, it is a strong practice (sunnah). Without a doubt, the servant will not receive the station of sainthood if he is not connected to Allah. And a token of the one who is connected with the Lord Almighty is the night vigil. This is the greatest means of sainthood, by which Allah adorns His servant with the secret of sainthood during the last third of the night. Therefore, be awake at this time of the night, whether engaged in your prayer or in something else, so that nothing will obstruct you from being present in this time for which you will obtain this special mercy.

    The renowned Egyptian Sufi Ibn ¿Atā Allāh as-Sakandarī said:

    Two cycles of ritual prayer before Allah during the night is better than thousands of cycles of prayer during the day.

    عن أبي أمامة الباهلية عن رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال عليكم بقيام الليل فإنه دأب الصالحين قبلكم وهو قربة لكم إلى ربكم ومكفرة للسيئات ومنهاة عن الإثم

    The Messenger of Allah (s) says:

    Keep to observing the night prayer for it is the devotion of the righteous before you, it brings you closer to your Lord and it wipes away offenses, replaces sins and removes sin.

    Without a doubt you do not pray two cycles in the night except that you will find its rewards on your scales on the Day of Requital. Is a servant purchased for any reason other than to serve? Do you see a servant who is purchased merely to eat and sleep, who does not perform his duties? You are nothing more than a servant that Allah has brought into existence for His worship. He created you for His obedience; your purchase is for His service:

    إِنَّ اللّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الجَنَّةَ

    Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because for them is Paradise.

    We conclude this section with the words of Shaykh ¿Abd Allāh al-Fā¿iz ad-Dāghestānī, may God preserve his sanctity, who said about the night vigil:

    Even if a servant rises in the time of heavenly manifestations and he is a non-Muslim in faith, and he does something in that hour, because of that he too would obtain the level of belief before passing from this life. He will be guided and safe because he was awake during the hours of heavenly manifestations, and he would consequently receive that special mercy. It is not possible for anyone who receives even a drop from that mercy, to remain wretched or to remain in unbelief. He is safe even if a tyrant; in time he will turn back to Allah, and if he is a sinner, he will repent. There is no ambiguity that this mercy will change his state.

    The Perfection of Salat

    In reality, šalāt is a state of heedfulness that must be kept constantly and perpetually throughout the day. Those committed to this path seek to maintain a state of mindfulness in each breath, not forgetting their Lord for even a single moment.

    The perfection of prayer means to be aware of Allah’s Presence, “as if you see Him,” and to demonstrate one’s devotion and servitude to Him. Allah said:

    وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ

    I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. No Sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me.

    Allah initially commanded Prophet Muhammad’s follower to observe fifty prayers a day, but with His mercy this obligation was reduced to five.  In the Divine Balance, the five prayers are thus considered as fifty.  Calculating the time required to observe fifty prayers, it would require all of a worshipper’s waking hours, less time to eat and make ablution. Thus those who observe the five prayers perfectly, with complete submission to Allah and complete presence before Allah will be in fulfillment of the above verse. For those, Allah provide sustenance without their needing to work, for they are fulfilling the Divine Directive properly.

    The Pinnacle of Worship

    Ritual prayer is known as the “pinnacle of worship,” for it contains the essential aspects of all five pillars of Islamic worship: the testification of faith, prayer itself, charity, fasting and pilgrimage.

    The first pillar, the testification of faith is observed in each ritual prayer, when one bears witness to the Oneness of God and the Prophethood of Muhammad (s) during the sitting phase (at-tashahhud).

    Charity (zakāt), the third pillar consists of giving 21/2 percent of one’s wealth to the needy for the sake of Allah. Ritual prayer encompasses this pillar in the sense that the most important thing that one possesses is the body and spirit. In ritual prayer one give one’s whole person and time to Allah.

    The fourth pillar, fasting (šawm) is accomplished immediately on entering the prayer, for one must withhold from all worldly actions, including eating, drinking, relations with others, and, even more stringent than the ritual fast, one may not converse except with the Lord.

    The last pillar of Islam pilgrimage (hajj) is encompassed when the worshipper directs himself or herself to the Ka¿aba the focal point of the pilgrimage.

    Prayer is Ascension to the Divine

    الصلاة معراج المؤمن

    It is said: “Ritual prayer is the ascension (mi¿rāj) of the believer.

    The Prophet therefore had, according to Islam’s Gnostic scholars, not just one, but 24,000 ascensions during his life.

    When the worshipper begins a sincere prayer, saying “Allah is Greatest,” the ascension begins. If one is truly observant of the rights and duties of the prayers with their perfection, this will be apparent for as soon as you enter the prayer inspiration of Divine knowledge will begin to enter you heart along with increased yearning for the Divine Presence. If these secrets are not coming to you, it signifies your prayers are not ascending to the Divine Presence, and that that you are falling into Satan’s traps.

    Sayyid Ħaydar ¿Amūlī writes:

    His [the Prophet’s] words, “I have been given coolness of the eye in prayer,” refer to nothing else but the contemplation of the Beloved by the eye of the lover, who draws near in the stillness of the prayer… On seeing the Beloved, the eye too becomes stilled and it ceases to look at anything other than Him in all things.

    Thus the worshipper attains the state, related in the Holy Tradition:

    عَنْ اَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ اِنَّ اللَّهَ قَالَ مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقَدْ اذَنْتُهُ بِالْحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ اِلَىَّ عَبْدِي بِشَىْءٍ اَحَبَّ اِلَىَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ اِلَىَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى اُحِبَّهُ، فَاِذَا اَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطُشُ بِهَا وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَاِنْ سَاَلَنِي لاُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنِ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لاُعِيذَنَّهُ، وَمَا تَرَدَّدْتُ عَنْ شَىْءٍ اَنَا فَاعِلُهُ تَرَدُّدِي عَنْ نَفْسِ الْمُؤْمِنِ، يَكْرَهُ الْمَوْتَ وَاَنَا اَكْرَهُ مَسَاءَتَهُ ‏"‏‏

    …My servant shall continue to draw nearer to Me by performing the supererogatory acts of virtue until I love him; when I love him, I become his ears with which he hears, his eyes with which he sees, his hands with which he grasps, and his feet with which he walks; if he were to ask of Me, I will grant his request, if he were to seek refuge in Me, I will protect him…

    As to the Messenger’s state during prayer, his wife ‘Ā¿ishā reported:

    He would weep continuously until his lap became wet. He would be sitting and keep weeping until his auspicious beard became drenched. Then he would weep so much the ground became wet.

    Abū Bakr aš-Šiddīq, the first caliph of the Prophet, would stand in prayer as if he were a pillar. Commenting on this, one of the early transmitter of traditions, Mujahid, said, “this is the fearfulness (khushu¿) in prayer.”

    صلوا كما رأيتموني أصلي

    The Prophet said, “Pray as you see me pray.

    He did not say, “Pray as you have heard I prayed,” nor “Pray as I taught my companions.” This hints at something very profound. The vision of the Prophet (s) is something that is true, and this is witnessed by countless Friends of Allah.

    قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏من رآني فقد رأى الحق‏"‏‏

    Thus, the Prophet’s saying, “Who saw me in a vision, in truth saw me,” to the Sufi commentators carries the meaning, “Whoever saw me in a vision will see me in reality.” For Sufis, the first level of witnessing (mushāhadah) is to sense the Prophet present before them. The final stage of witnessing, which is “to worship God as if you see Him,” was achieved by the Prophet during the Ascension when he was brought to the station of nearness (qurb), “two bow’s lengths or nearer,” to the Divine Presence. The Sufis affirm that true prayer brings the worshipper to the state of witnessing Allah and His Prophet, thereby attaining true unity with the Beloved. For this reason, prayer is compared to the union of marriage, wisal. Indeed, they explain the two salutations of peace, made to end the prayer, as a return from extinction, to greet the world as a new person.

    It is said of the Prophet’s fourth successor, his cousin ¿Alī  ibn Abī Ţālib ¦, that when he prayed, he was utterly oblivious to his surroundings. Once he was injured by an enemy arrow, which penetrated his foot. It could not be removed without causing immense pain. He said, “I will pray, at which time remove it.” They did as he directed. Upon completing the prayer he asked his companions, “When are you going to remove the arrow?” ¿Alī ibn Abī Ţālib ¦ used to say, “Even if the Veil were lifted, it would not increase my certainty,” referring to his state of Witnessing the Divine Presence.

    We conclude with a story, related about the great Sufi master Shaykh Abū ’l-Ħasan ash-Shādhilī.

    The scholars of Alexandria came to him to test him and he read what was in their hearts before they spoke and said, “O pious scholars, have you ever prayed?”

    They said, “Far be it from any of us to leave prayer.”

    He then recited the verse:

    إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الْخَيْرُ مَنُوعًا إِلَّا الْمُصَلِّينَ

    Lo! man was created anxious, Fretful when evil befalleth him, And, when good befalleth him, grudging, except those who (really) prays.

    “So,” he asked, “do any of you all pray like this?” They were silent. Then the shaykh said to them, “Then, none of you has ever prayed!”

    The real prayer is performed purely for the pleasure of Allah, conversing with Him in variations of delight, humbleness and awe which is void of hypocrisy and repute. No doubt it brings about the remembrance of Allah and the heart inherits awe of Him.

    Conclusion

    Salat as Divine Service

    While the ritual prayer we have just examined in detail is one of the five pillars of Islam, in reality all of Islam is essentially a form of prayer. For the meaning of prayer is worship and the essence of all worship is to seek Allah. Seeking the Face of Allah is the goal and the means are the Divinely-prescribed forms of action as well as voluntary forms of bringing the worshipper closer to the Divine Presence.

    Allah says:

    وَلِلّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَظِلالُهُم بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالآصَالِ

    And to Him prostrate all that is in the heavens and on earth; willingly or by compulsion.

    وَلِلّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مِن دَآبَّةٍ وَالْمَلآئِكَةُ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

    And He says: and to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and the earth.

    And He says: and there is not one thing except that it glorifies with Allah with His praise.

    These verses indicate that all of creation, regardless of form or substance, are in fact in a state of prayer, for prostration and glorification are the essence of prayer. They cannot be in other than that—even those who disobey, in their disobedience—are in fact submitting to the ultimate Holy Will of Allah and the Destiny prescribed for them.

    However the key to the Lord’s Bounty is to seek Him and submit willingly with one’s entire being. To become a Muslim means to accept saying, “O Allah! I admit that You are the Creator and I am your slave.” This is the first level of submission, slavery, but it is not servanthood.  Servanthood is higher.

    True servanthood of Allah means to become obedient. The servant has no will of his or her own, but is subject to the will of the master at all times. Islam does not ask human beings to serve a cruel and whimsical master, but rather the Creator of all things, Who is the Aware, the Subtle, in His all-encompassing knowledge of both the needs and desires of His servants.

    One who attains this level of submission in Islam becomes ¿abd, servant to the Lord. In Islam this is considered the highest achievement—the state of servanthood, known as ¿ubudīyyah. For that reason the Prophet said:

    عَنْ خَيْثَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إِنَّ مِنْ خَيْرِ أَسْمَائِكُمْ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ وَعَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ‏.

    The names dearest to God are ¿Abd Allāh (servant of God) and ¿Abd al-Raħmān (servant of the Most Merciful).

    Allah says:

    سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

    Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs.

    Allah specified Prophet Muhammad (s) in this verse with the title “servant,” ¿abd, and again, relating to Prophet Muhammad’s ascension to the Divine Presence, when He says:

    فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى

    So did (Allah) convey the inspiration to His Servant- (conveyed) what He (meant) to convey.

    لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى

    … For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest!”

    Of the station Prophet Muhammad (s) attained in that rapture, Imām Nawawī, one of the great scholars of Islam, says, “Most of the scholars say that the Prophet saw his Lord with the eyes of his head.”

    The unique greatness of Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad (s), is that he saw the Lord of Creation, thus making him the perfected monotheist (muwaħħid). Prophet Muhammad’s grasp of Divine Unity, tawħīd, was perfected by ascension to the Divine Presence. Everyone else’s understanding of Divine Unity falls short of the Messenger’s. Despite this, the Prophet maintained absolute humility, never seeing himself as important, but rather as a servant, honored by the Master of masters.

    It is related that when the Prophet reached the highest levels and most distinguished stations Allah revealed to him, “With what shall I honor you?” The Prophet said, “By relating me to You through servanthood (¿ubūdīyya).”

    Thus true prayer is nothing less than Ascension to the Station of true Servanthood, which is the Station of Submission. In that station, Divine Unity becomes manifest, and there, the servant reaches the state where he hears what no ears have heard, sees what no eyes have seen and tastes the reality of Divine Oneness. In this state of witnessing, the servant perceives only the Lord. He sees all existence through His Existence and the realization that all proceeds from the One. That is known as the station of annihilation, in which the servant no longer sees herself or himself, no longer sees anything, but only sees, feels and is immersed in the Presence of the Lord without any partner and with no likeness.

  • 2.Fasting
  • Does vomiting violates the fasting?

    admin07-07-2014

    It does not violate the fasting. This is because the Prophet (swa) said: “Whoever is overcome by vomiting, he does not have to make up that day of fasting and whoever makes himself vomit, he must make up for the day of fasting”.

    Among other things that could happen unintentionally to a fasting person besides vomiting and that do not invalidate the fast are: wounds, nosebleeds and water going into his throat against his will.

    Allah knows best.

  • Is it better for one who is sick not to fast in Ramadaan?

    admin07-07-2014

    Praises be to Allaah.

    If fasting will be too difficult for the one who is sick, it is better for him not to fast, and to make up the days that he did not fast later on. It is not mustahabb for him to fast if it is too difficult. The evidence for that is as follows:

    1 – Ahmad (5832) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah loves His concessions to be accepted just as He hates for acts of disobedience to be committed.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 564.

    2 – al-Bukhaari (6786) and Muslim (2327) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was never given the choice between two things but he would choose the easier of them, unless it was a sin. If it was a sin he would be the furthest away from it.

    Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This shows that it is mustahabb to choose the easier and gentler option, so long as it is not haraam or makrooh. Rather it is makrooh for one who is sick to fast if fasting is too difficult for him. His fasting may be haraam if there is the fear that he may be harmed because of fasting.

    Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: (2/276) "In the case of one who is sick, two scenarios may apply:

    1 – He is not able to fast at all, so he has to break his fast and it is obligatory for him not to fast.

    2 – If he is able to fast but that will cause him harm and be difficult for him. In this case it is mustahabb for him to break his fast and not to fast; in this case only an ignorant person would fast.

    Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni, 4/404: If a sick person is able to put up with fasting and does so, then he has done something which is makrooh, because of the harm that results from that and because he has neglected the concession granted by Allaah.

    Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (6/352): From this we realize the mistake made by the mujaahideen and sick people for whom fasting is difficult and may even cause them harm, but they refuse to break the fast. We said that they are making a mistake when they do not accept the kindness of Allaah and the concession He has granted, and they are harming themselves. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):“And do not kill yourselves[al-Nisa’ 4:29]

    And Allaah knows best.

  • Can we use the “Miswak” while fasting?

    admin07-07-2014

    In the name of Allah, The Most Merciful,

    Yes, we can use it but, we have to make sure that no saliva goes through your throat. According to the Hadith of the Prophet (s.w.a.) that says:”Because I know it is difficult for my Umah other way I would command them to use the miswak every salat".

    Allah knows best.

  • Does a person who throws up lose his fasting ?

    admin07-07-2014

    In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Most Kind,

    In It depends. If the person provoke the vomiting, then the fasting is broken and the day will have to be made up. But, if the vomiting is involuntary, due to an illness, InshaAllah, he can continue with his fasting.

    Allah knows best.

  • Can we extract a tooth or go to the dentist while fasting?

    admin07-07-2014

    Yes, if it is an emergency and recommended by the dentist.Nothing should go through the throat.

    Allah knows best.

  • Food in the mouth during the Adaan invalidates the fasting?

    admin07-07-2014

    All praises be to Allah, Lord of the Universe,

    The majority of the Ulamah, agrees that the person will lose his day. But,some of the Ulamah like Abu Hanifah (may Allah be pleased with him), say that if the size of the piece of food is smaller than the size of a chick pea, it is okay to eat it because that piece food was considered as already eaten on time.

    Allah knows best.

  • Breaking the fast during the day in Ramadan intentionally

    admin07-07-2014

    In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful,

    He must make repentance to Allah and make up for the day of fasting. There is no expiation due on him according to most correct opinion between the scholars. There’s no punishment or expiation on a person other than for the person who has sex during the day during Ramadan.  This is because there is a specific hadith reported concerning this issue.

    Allah knows best.

  • Is a sick person allowed to break his fast in Ramadan?

    admin07-07-2014

    In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful,

    If a sick person is not strong enough to fast Ramadan and he is not expected to recover from his illness, then fasting is not mandatory on him. Instead, he must feed a poor person for each day that he does not fast. He must feed the poor person the regular food eaten in a day. This is also the case of an extremely old person upon whom fasting is too difficult.

    In addition, I would like to mention that in the case of a pregnant or nursing woman who fears about her baby could break her fast. She should make up her missing days before the next Ramadan. Otherwise, in addition to fasting the missing days, she will have to feed one poor person for each day missed.

    Allah knows best.

  • What about if the menses come during a fasting day?

    admin07-07-2014

    If the menses come during a fasting day, she has to break her fasting right away and must eat. It is haram to fast even one minute. Additionally, she must repeat the fasting day.

    If the menstruation stops during a fasting day, she should take a shower (gusul) and stop eating until Maghrib and repeat the fasting day.

    Allah knows best.

  • What to do if one hears the Adaan and food is still in the mouth?

    admin07-07-2014

    If the food is already in the mouth, he could swallow it, same thing with the drink; otherwise stop.

    Allah knows best.

  • 3.Belief
  • Is man’s fate pre-destined or does he have freedom of will?

    admin06-07-2014

    Praise be to Allah.  

    Belief in al-qadar (the divine will and decree) is one of the pillars of faith, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, when he answered Jibreel’s question about faith: “(It means) believing in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day and to believe in al-qadar (the divine decree) both good and bad.”

    What is meant by al-qadar is that Allah has decreed all things from eternity and knows that they will happen at times that are known to Him and in specific ways and that He has written that and willed it, and they happen according to what He has decreed.

    Belief in al-qadar is based on four things:

    1 – Knowledge, i.e., that Allah knows what His creation will do, by virtue of His eternal knowledge.

    2 – Writing, i.e., that Allah has written the destiny of all creatures in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz.

    3 – Will, i.e., that what Allah wills happens and what He does not will does not happen. There is no movement in the heavens or on earth but it happens by His will.

    4 – Creation and formation, i.e., that Allah is the Creator of all things, including the actions of His slaves. They do their actions in a real sense and He is the Creator of them and of their actions.

    Whoever believes in these four believes in al-qadar.

    The Qur’an affirms these things in numerous verses, such as the verses in which He says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record”

    [al-An’aam 6:59]

    “No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al‑Lawh Al‑Mahfooz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah”

    [al-Hadeed 57:22] 

    “And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allah wills the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”

    [al-Takweer 81:29] 

    “Verily, We have created all things with Qadar (Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation as written in the Book of Decrees Al‑Lawh Al‑Mahfooz)”

    [al-Qamar 54:49]

    Muslim (2653) narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Allah wrote down the decrees of creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth.” He said: “And His Throne was upon the water.”

    Hence it should be clear to you that the view that al-qadar was invented by al-Jahm ibn Safwaan is a view that has no sound basis. Al-qadar was not created, rather creation comes under the heading of belief in al-qadar. Al-Jahm went to extremes in affirming the divine will and decree, and claimed that people are compelled to do what they do and have no choice. This is a false view.

    The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah is that a person has freedom of will and hence he will be rewarded or punished. But his will is subject to the will of Allah and nothing can take place in the universe that is not willed by Allah.

    What some people say, that we have the choice to follow whatever path we want but at the end of this path you will find what Allah has decreed for you, is a correct view. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “Verily, We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful”

    [al-Insaan 76:3] 

    “And shown him the two ways (good and evil)?”

    [al-Balad 90:10] 

    “And say: “The truth is from your Lord.” Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve”

    [al-Kahf 18:29]

    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (May Allah have mercy on him) said, explaining the view of Ahl al-Sunnah with regard to man’s deeds:

    People act in a real sense and Allah is the Creator of their actions. A person may be a believer or a kaafir, righteous or immoral, he may pray and fast. People have control over their actions and they have their own will and Allah is the Creator of their control and will, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight.

    And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allah wills the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”

    Marriage is one of the things that Allah has decreed. The person whom you will marry is known to Allah: He knows who he is, when he was born, where and when he will die, how he will be towards you, and other details. All of that is known to Allah and He has written it in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz (the Book of Decrees) and it will inevitably come to pass as Allah has decreed.

    If Allah has decreed that you will marry one person, but you choose someone else, then no matter how long it takes, you will marry that person. But your marriage to someone else is also decreed, because there is nothing that is not decreed by Allah. It may be decreed for a woman to marry So and so the son of So and so and he comes to propose marriage but she refuses him, and marries someone else, then he (the second man) dies or divorces her then she accepts the first one. All of that is decreed and it is decreed for her to marry So and so the son of So and so after initially refusing him and after some experience or trials etc.

    It may be decreed for a woman that a righteous man will propose marriage to her but she will refuse him and he will never come back to her and she will marry and live with someone else who is more or less righteous according what Allah has decreed.

    Because man does not know what is decreed for him, what he must do is to adhere to sharee’ah and abide by its commands and prohibitions and to seek the help of Allah and pray to Him for guidance (istikhaarah) concerning all his affairs, whilst implementing the means, one of the most important of which is consulting sincere people who have relevant experience.

    If a righteous man proposes marriage to a woman, she should pray to Allah for guidance (istikhaarah) and agree to marry him. If things then go smoothly, this is an indication that what is good for her is to marry him.

    In conclusion, man should study the sharee’ah of Allah and follow the commands of Allah even if he feels reluctant and avoid what Allah has forbidden even if he is attached to it. All goodness is to be found in obeying sharee’ah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “Jihaad(holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know”

    [al-Baqarah 2:216]

    He should not look at al-qadar as an excuse to ignore commands and do forbidden things, rather he should look at it in a way that will make him content with whatever painful experiences happen to him.

    And Allah knows best.

  • Belief in al-Qadr (Fate)

    admin06-07-2014
    The Saved Group-the people of the Sunnah and of the Community- believe in Qadar (Divine Decree) whether good or bad. It is the belief that everything that happens was predistined by Allah and that only He has the power to bring good fortune of bad fortune into one's life. Belief that fate has two parts, each part includes two things: The first part is belief that Allah ,The Exalted, knows what the creatures will do in accordance with His Knowledge, which He described as being of Eternity; He has known all their states of obedience and disobedience, all their sustenance and their life span.Allah wrote in al-Lawhal-Mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet) the fate of creatures:"The first thing He created is the pen (al-qalam), He said to it: 'Write'. It said: 'What shall I write?' He said: 'Write what will take place until the Day of Judgement.' Whatever is to strike a human being will never miss him, and whatever is to miss him will never strike him. The pens had been dried and the scrolls had been folded as Allah, The Glorified, The Exalted, said: "Did you not know that Allah knows (all) what in heaven and earth? Verily, all put down in a record. Indeed, that is very easy for Allah." (Surah al-Hajj 22:70)

    And He said:

    "No disaster befalls earth but it is in a record before We created it. Indeed, it is easy for Allah." (Surah al-Hadeed 57:22)

    This predestination which belongs to His Knowledge--May He be Glorified--is in some places summarized and in others detailed. He has written in the Preserved Tablet whatever He has willed: When He creates the body of the fetus and before blowing the soul into it, He sends an angel to it and orders him to write four words, his livelihood, his life span, his deeds, and if he is happy or miserable and so forth. This kind of predestination was rejected by extremist Qadariyah of the past. But these days very few reject it.

    The second step is the executed Will of Allah and His Inclusive Ability. The belief in that whatever Allah wills, will come to pass and whatever He does not will, will never occur, that whatever motion or silence is in heaven or earth is by the will of Allah, The Glorified. Nothing takes place in His dominion except what He wills, and He, The Glorified, The Exalted, is capable of all that exists and all that does not exist.

    There is no creature on earth or in heaven except Allah The Glorified, is his Creator. There is no creator beside Him and there is no Lord other than Him.

    With all that, He ordered the creatures to obey Him and His Messengers and He forbade them to disobey Him.

    He, The Glorified, loves the pious, the doers of good and the just. He is pleased with those who believe and do good deeds; He does not like unbelievers; He is displeased with transgressors; He does not ordain immorality; He does not wish disbelief for His creatures; And He does not like corruption.

    Creatures are the performers in reality, but Allah is the Creator of their deeds; The 'abd (human being) is the believer and the unbeliever, the righteous and the wicked, the praying and the fasting; The 'ibad (human beings) have power over their actions and they have their own will; But Allah is their Creator and the Creator of their power and their will, as He, The Exalted, has said:

    "To whomever of you wills it, follow the Straight Path. You have no will unless Allah ,The Lord of the Universe, so wills." (Surah at-Takwir 81:28-29)

    This degree of predestination is rejected by most of the Qadariyah - those whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) called the Fire Worshipers (Majus) of this Ummah (Islam). Others who affirm this Attribute of Allah exaggerate it to the extent of stripping the human being of his power and his choice, taking the wisdom and advantage from Allah's acts and rules.

     

  • Belief in Allah's Angels

    admin06-07-2014
    Lately, Hollywood has come out with a spate of movies on Angels. There was 'Meet Joe Black, City of Angels' and 'Michael', to name a few. There are indeed Angels all around us, but they are not visible to the human eye. Apart from the Prophets (A.S), no human being has the ability to see the Angels in their original form.

    Religious history has recorded several instances where Angels appeared in the form of pleasant-looking men to certain individuals, including Muhammad (SAW), Maryam (a.s.), Ibraheem (a.s.) and Lot (a.s.); and also to communities, such as the inhabitants of the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
    Neither male nor female, these intelligent beings do not eat, drink, sleep nor have desires. They are created in such a way that they always obey and never go against Divine commands and never tire of serving Allah (SWT). For Muslims, the second Article of Faith stipulates that they must believe in the Angels, whose population is infinite. This command is contained in the Qur'anic verse:
    "Uprightness is not to turn your faces towards east or west, but uprightness is to believe in Allah (SWT) and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets,." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:177)

    As a rule, Muslims are required to know the names and functions of the 10 leading angels (a.s.).

    Jibreel:   To deliver the Divine Revelations from Allah (SWT) to His chosen Messengers from among the Prophets (a.s).

    Mikaaeel:  To manage man's mundane necessities, bring forth rain and oversee the cultivation of crops.

    Israafeel:  To blow the Trumpet: once, for the destruction of the universe; and again, for the Resurrection of all accountable beings to face Judgement Day.

    Israaeel:  Angel of Death, the most fearsome of them all, who does not delay nor expedite the hour of claiming the soul.

    Maalik:  Guardian of Hell, an unwelcome sight, for the unfortunate and wretched dwellers of the eternal fire.

    Ridhuan:  Guardian of Heaven, who welcomes the Prophets (a.s.) and the righteous who have been blessed by Allah (SWT).
    Munkar :To question the dead on issues relating to his/her God, Prophet, religion, belief, deeds, etc.

    Naakir: To question the dead on issues relating to his/her God, Prophet, religion, belief, deeds, etc.

    Raqeeb:  Sits on man's right shoulder to record his/her good deeds.

    Ateed:  Sits on man's left shoulder to record his/her evil deeds.

    Apart from the 10, there are numerous other angels whose duties are:

    1. To carry the throne of Allah (SWT).

    2. To glorify Allah (SWT) and to continuously prostrate to Him.

    3. To beg forgiveness from Allah (SWT) for believers and those who have repented.

    4. To beg for goodness for those human beings doing good deeds, and to beg for the destruction of those reluctant to donate a portion of their wealth in the way of goodness.

    5. To say 'Ameen' together with those praying to Allah (SWT) in congregation.

    6. To take turns guarding humans all day and night, with the changing of the guard occurring in the late afternoon and at dawn. In a hadeeth narrated by Aishah, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

    "The Angels are created from light, the Jinn from the burning fire, and Adam (a.s.) from what has been expounded to you (i.e. fashioned out of clay)." [Muslim]

    Although man is created from clay and Angels from light, the Qur'an categorically states that Man is the jewel of creation. Evidence of these is seen in the following Qur'anic verse:

    "Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould)" (Surah at-Teen 95:4)

    The Angels were commanded to prostrate to Adam (AS) to show their respect because his level of degree in the sight of Allah was greater. They all fell down prostrate, except for Iblees, aka, Satan, Lucifer. (7:11) Allah asked:

    "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?" He said: "I am better than he: You created me from fire, and him from clay." (Surah al-Aa'raf 7:12)

    The reason for Iblees's capacity to disobey Allah (SWT) can be learnt from the following verse:

    "And (remember) when We said to the Angels; "Prostrate to Adam." So they prostrated except Iblîs (Satan). He was one of the jinns; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord.." (Surah al-Kahf 18:50)

    Here we see that although Iblees was a dweller of Paradise, he was not from the angel community. He, is a jinn who is created from fire whereas the Angels are of light. Unlike the Angels, who are bound to serve and obey Allah (SWT), the jinn are not free from sins (ma'soom). In this respect, they are more like humans: they may be obedient or disobedient to their Creator.

    As the jinn are also generally invisible to the human eye, some people falsely regard them as gods. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur'an:

    "Yet they make the Jinn equals with Allah, though Allah did create the Jinn; and they falsely, having no knowledge, attribute to Him sons and daughters. Praise and glory be to Him! (for He is) above what they attribute to Him!" (Surah al-An'aam 6:100)

    The Angels are nothing like we see in the movies. We only know about them what Allah revealed in the Qur'an and how the Prophet (SAW) described them in the ahaadith. But we do know that they are pure, sinless beings created from light with the mission to faithfully obey and serve their Lord, Allah.

  • Belief in Allah's Books

    admin06-07-2014
    A Muslim believes that the Qur'an is the word of Allah (God), but not the only word. Allah sent many Prophets before Muhammad and He spoke to them as He spoke to him. So a Muslim also believes (in fact he would not be a Muslim if he did not believe) in these earlier books, like the Torah and the Gospel, since the true believers are those who "believe in what has been sent down to thee (Muhammad) and what has been sent down before thee" (Surah al-Baqara 2: 4).

    "Say: We believe in Allah, and that which has been sent down on us, and sent down on Abraham and Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the Tribes, and in that which was given to Moses and Jesus, and the Prophets, of their Lord; we make no division between any of them." (Surah al-Baqara 2:136)

    Allah (God) created men so that they may serve Him. His being a servant of Allah constitutes the essence of man. Man cannot therefore attain to his true humanity and acquire peace of mind unless he realises this aim for which he was created. But how can he do this! Allah, being Merciful and Just, has helped him in many ways. He granted him as we said before an originally good nature that is inclined to know and serve its true Lord. He granted him a mind that possesses a moral sense and the ability to reason. He made the whole universe a natural book full of signs that lead a thinking person to Allah. But to make things more specific, to give him more detailed knowledge of his Lord, and to show him in a more detailed manner how to serve Him, Allah has been sending down verbal messages through His Prophets chosen from among men, ever since the creation of man. Hence the description of these messages in the Qur'an as guidance, light, signs, reminders.
    All these books advocated basically the same message.

    "And we sent not a Mesenger before you (Muhamad) except that we revealed to him, saying,'there is no god, but I so serve Me.'" (Surah Ambiyaa 21:25)

    And the religion which they all expounded is Islam i.e. surrender to God,

    "The true religion with God is Islam." (Surah Ali Imran 3:19)

    Thus Noah (10:72) Abraham (3:67), Jacob and his sons (3:133), the Apostles (5:111), etc. were all Muslims. Islam in this sense is in fact the religion of the universe.

    "What! do they desire another religion than Allah's and to Him has surrendered (aslama = became a Muslim) whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and unto Him they shall be returned." (Surah Ali Imran 3:83)

    If the religion of all Prophets is the same in its essence and basic foundation, not so are the ways of life based upon it. (Surah al-Ma'idah 5:48) One last important point about books is that with the exception of the Qur'an they have not been preserved intact, but have either been completely lost or else suffered distortion and corruption. As to the Qur'an, Allah has decreed that it shall never be subjected to such distortion but shall be preserved by Him. (Surah al-Hijr 15:9) Therefore, Allah revealed the Qur'an, His last Revelation.

    It is the final book of guidance from Allah (SWT) to mankind sent through His final Prophet, Muhammad (SAW). Revealed over a period of 23 years, it contains a total of 114 chapters covering a vast range of topics and subjects. It is the complete guide for living one's life in this world and seeking the pleasure of Allah (SWT).The teachings of the Qur'an are universal and suitable for all times and places. Indeed, it is the shining beacon that guides humanity to overcome the darkness of ignorance. Allah (SWT) also informs us that He in His Absolute Power will substitute His revelations when He so wishes. He expressedly puts this forth in the following Qur'anic verse:

    "None of Our Revelations do We abrogate nor do We cause to be forgotten, but We substitute with something better or similar. Do you not know that Allah (SWT) has power over all things?" (Surah al-Baqarah 2:106)

    The Qur'an is the the Word of God par excellence. It is the eternal miracle that Allah (SWT) in His All-encompassing Mercy and Grace will preserve forever so that mankind, as long as we are here, will be able to uphold it and abide by its teachings, hence elevating ourselves to the noblest of destinies.

     

  • Belief in Allah

    admin06-07-2014
    A Muslim believes in ONE GOD, ALLAH, Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider. The word "Allah" simply means "God" in Arabic and is a more unique name than "God," since it cannot be changed into "gods"-plural or "goddess"-feminine. He has neither father nor mother, neither sons nor was He fathered. None equal to Him. He is God of all mankind, not of a special tribe or race.Allah (God) is High and Supreme, but He is very near to the pious thoughtful believers; He answers their prayers and helps them. He loves the people who love Him and forgives their sins. He gives them peace, happiness, knowledge and success. Allah (God) is the Loving and the Provider, the Generous, and the Benevolent, the Rich and the Independent, the Forgiving and the Clement, the Patient and the Appreciative, the Unique and the Protector, the Judge and the Peace. Allah's (God's) attributes are mentioned in the Quran. Allah (God) creates in man the mind to understand, the soul and conscience to be good and righteous, the feelings and sentiments to be kind and humane. If we try to count His favours upon us, we cannot, because they are countless. In return for all the great favours and mercy, Allah (God) does not need anything from us, because He is Needless and Independent. Allah (God) asks us to know Him, to love Him and to enforce His law for our benefit and our own good.

    At the very primal beginning, before the advent of pre-mordial time, the universe was one. Then, it was cloven asunder by a mighty Force to form the heavens and the earth and all the galaxies and planets that swim in between.

    In Islam, this Force is known as Allah (SWT), the true God of Creation. The term 'Allah' has no plural or gender. This is its uniqueness when compared with the word 'god' used by many other religions that can be made into the plural or feminine forms, gods and goddess respectively.Belief in Allah (SWT) is the core tenet of Islamic teachings, and it heads the six Articles of Faith, namely belief in:
    . Allah (SWT)
    . His Angels
    . His Revelations
    . His Messengers
    . The Hereafter, and
    . Fate & Destiny.

    Allah (SWT) is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. This He explicitly states in the Qur'an: ".

    "There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things)." (Surah Ash-Shoor42:11)

    Allah's (SWT) rights upon His creation are absolute. He is the sole Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, the Almighty who created everything with absolute wisdom, the One who initiated every being from nothing.

    "And Allah (SWT) has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight and hearts that you might give thanks to Allah (SWT)." (Surah an-Nahl 16:78)

    Allah (SWT) has complete control over his slaves and His bounties are countless. He demands that His Creation, including mankind, to worship Him alone without ascribing any partners to Him, and be His true slaves.

    "And I (Allah SWT) created not the jinn and mankind except they should worship Me (alone). I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah (SWT) is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong." (Surah Az-Dhaariyaat 51:56-58)

    In order to be among those who are blessed with His guidance, one should make every effort to learn more about Allah (SWT). We can know more about Him from His Beautiful Names and Attributes and from the teachings of His Prophets (a.s.) who are receivers of Divine Revelations. All of them preach the same message that:

    "He is Allah (SWT), the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colors). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names." (Al-Hashr 59:24)

    Those who have been shown the Light are very fortunate as their hearts and minds are very receptive to His Words, and they readily accept the Reality as it comes. This power of guidance lies with Allah (SWT) alone as He says:

    "Allah (SWT) guided whom He will to a path that is straight." (Surah al-Baqarah 2:213)

  • Belief in Allah's Prophets

    admin06-07-2014
    Messengers are human beings chosen by God who have the honor of conveying God's message to other men and women. Being such a Messenger is not a position that one attains by any consciously designed effort. It is a grace from Allah, but Allah grants this grace to those who are deserving of it. Messengers are not then, like the rank and file of us. True, they are men but they are men of an extremely high moral, spiritual and intellectual standard that qualifies them--in the eyes of Allah--to be the bearers of His light to the world. When Allah chooses any of them, He supports the Messenger with a clear 'sign' (Surah al-Hadeed 57:25) that proves the truth of his claim, and distinguishes him from false Prophets, sorcerers and soothsayers (Surah at-Taghabun 64:41-42), Surah Taha 20:69). None of them betrays the message or falls short of being exemplary in practicing what he preaches. (Surah Hud 11:88)

    Asked about Prophet Muhammad's conduct his wife Ayesha said, "He was the Qur'an," meaning that he embodied all the ideals which the Qur'an presents.

    Two related points about Messengers which the Qur'an stresses, and which therefore deserve some elaboration are the humanity of Prophets and the nature of their task.

    Despite the vast spiritual, moral and intellectual difference between them and ordinary men, and despite the special relation with God that they enjoy, Prophets are nonetheless humans with all that this term implies. They beget and are begotten; they eat and drink and go about in market plates (Surah Furqan 25:20); they sleep and they die (Surah Ambiyaa 21:34); they forget and they err (Surah Taha 20:121)(Surah Kahf 18:34).

    Their knowledge is limited; and can therefore tell only that part of the future which God reveals to them (Surah al-Jinn 72:26-27). They cannot intercede with God on behalf of any person except with His permission (Surah al-Jinn 72:26-27) and it is not left to them to cause people to go in the right path (Surah al-Qasas 28:56). In short, they have no part to play in the running of the affairs of the universe [(Surah Ali lmran 3:128). Many early Muslim scholars have observed that to emphasize the humanity of the Prophet the Qur'an called him 'Servant of God' on the three occasions on which he was honored.

    "Blessed be He who has sent down the Salvation [Qur'an] upon His servant." (Surah al-Furqan 25:1)

    "Glory be to Him, who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque to the Further Mosque the precints of which We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs."

    "When the servant of God stood calling on Him, they were well-nigh upon him in swarms." (Surah al-Jinn 72:119)

    A Prophet whose humanity is specially emphasized is Jesus. He was created in the same manner as Adam was created, from soil (Surah Ali Imran 3:59); he is the son of Mary not of God (Surah an-Nisa 4:157) he and his mother used to eat food (Surah Ma'idah 5:75) he is indeed the word of God (Surah al-Baqarah 2:45) but since he is a human being in the full sense of the word, this should not be interpreted to mean that there is a Divine element in him. He is the word of God only in the sense that God said 'Be' and he was. But in that sense everything is the word of God. Why then is he in particular called the word of God! Because, as many scholars have, rightly explained, he came more directly as a result of this word. Jesus is thus a loyal servant of God who never claimed that he was in any sense divine. (Surah al-Ma'idah 5:116-117)

    Messengers are entrusted, we said, with the task of conveying Allah's word to other people. But this is not as simple as it looks. It implies many things which are not at first sight clear, and which the Qur'an therefore expounds and elaborates.

    The most important point of which all Messengers are reminded, and which is very easy to forget or be heedless of, is that since their duty is only to convey the message they are not responsible for peoples' reaction to it, once they have made it clear to them. God has given man the power to understand the difference between truth and falsehood, especially in matters religious, once this has been explained to him. Allah has also given him the ability, by reason of his free-will, either to accept or reject this truth. And since it is only Allah who knows what goes on in people's minds, it is only He who can judge who is worthy of being guided and who deserves to be left groping in the dark; and it is God who according to this knowledge guides whom He will and withholds His guidance from Whom He will. A Prophet has no such power, and cannot, therefore, guide whom he loves. (Surah al-Qasas 28:56)

    "Then remind them you are only one who reminds, you are not charged to oversee them."

    (Surah al-Gashiyah 88:21-22).

    He should not, therefore feel sad if people turn away from him, or impute falsehoods to his message (Surah al-An'aam 6:33-34). But this is a most difficult rule to abide by. We love to be accepted by the community in which we live; many of us must have experienced that strange feeling of sadness, loneliness, and being lost when we come to live as aliens in a new community. We undergo a similar but more intense feeling, when as a result of our intellectual convictions we come to hold about life views that are entirely different from those of our own community. One easy and usual escape from the psychological and other hardships of such a life is to live in seclusion from society. Those who, for some reason cannot afford such a withdrawal, more often than not, sacrifice intellectual honesty for conformity with their community. Prophets have of course to live in the midst of the people for whom they are sent and they do not of course go to the extent of betraying their message. To have to cling tenaciously to the word of God, and yet live in the midst of people, is perhaps the greatest difficulty they have to put up with. This is made evident by the fact that most of the few occasions on which the Qur'an expresses God's disapproval of a certain line of behaviour taken by the Prophet Muhammad are related to his being so keen to win adherents as to verge on exceeding the desirable limits.

    "Yet perchance if they believe wilt consume thyself, following not in this tiding, thou alter them of grief." Surah al-Kahf 18:6).

    "Indeed they were near to seducing thee from that We revealed to thee, that thou mightest, forge against Us another, and then they would surely have taken thee as a friend. hnd had We not confirmed thee, surely thou were near to inclining unto them a very little; then would We have let thee taste the double of life and the double of death; and then thou wouldst have found none to help thee against Us. (Surah Bani Israel 17:73-74).

  • Belief in the Hereafter

    admin06-07-2014
    The belief in the Hereafter is a belief in all that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told of what will happen after death, belief in the grave trial, in the grave punishment and in the grave delight, belief in the Day of Judgement, Paradise, and Hell.

    As for the trial, people will be tried in their graves Every one will be asked: "Who is your God? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet?" Allah will affirm the believers with the true words in this life and in the Hereafter, so the believers will say: Allah is my Lord, Islam is my religion, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is my Prophet."

    But the doubtful will say: "What? What? I don't know. I heard the people say something, so I said it." Thence will he be beaten with an iron bar until he sends out a loud scream which all but human beings will hear, because if they would hear it, they would faint.

    This trial will be followed either by delight or punishment, until the Big Resurrection (al-Qiyamah al-Kubra) will take place. The souls will be returned to their bodies and the Resurrection, which Allah has told of in His Book (the Qur'an) and through His Prophet, and about which all Muslims agree, will occur. The people, naked, barefoot, uncircumcised, will rise from their graves to face The Lord of The Universe, while the sun moves nearer to them and their own sweat overwhelms them. Then the scales will be set so that people's deeds may be weighed.

    "Those whose scales are heavy (with good deeds) will be successful and those whose scales are light (lacking sufficient good deeds), will lose their souls eternally to Hell." (Surah al-Mu'minun 23:102-103)

    The Records of the People's Deeds

    The records will be distributed-the records of deeds. Some will receive theirs in their right hands, and some in their left or behind their back.

    For The Glorified, The Exalted, has said:

    "Every person is held responsible for his or her deeds. On the Day of Resurrection We shall bring out for him a scroll which he will see spread open. (He will be ordered): Read your own record; It is sufficient that you judge yourself today." (Surah Bani Israel 17:13-14)

    Allah will remind the people of their deeds, talk privately to His faithful 'abd (worshipper) and remind him of all his faults. So it has been described in the Book (the Qur'an) and in the Sunnah.

    As for non-believers, they will not be reminded in the manner of the one whose good deeds and bad deeds are balanced, because they will have no good deeds. Rather their (evil) deeds will be counted, verified and presented so that they admit to them, and will be punished for them.

    Al-Hawd (The Prophet's Pool)

    In the Court of Judgment is the Prophet's Pool (Hawd) with its water whiter than milk and sweeter than honey, its drinking vessels as numerous as the stars, and its length a (travel for) a month and its width a (travel for) a month. Whoever drinks from it will never thirst.

    As-Sirat (The Bridge Over Hell)

    The Sirat is stretched over Hell. It is the bridge between Paradise and Hell. People cross it in accordance with their deeds. Some cross as quickly as the eye winks; Some cross as if a flash of lightening; Some cross as if wind; Some cross as a noble horse would; Some cross as a camel rider might; Some cross it running, some walking; Some cross it crawling; And some are snatched and thrown into Hell. The bridge has hooks to snatch the people according to their deeds. Whoever passes over it enters Paradise. If they cross the Sirat, they will be halted over a bridge between Paradise and Hell to settle accounts between themselves; If they are cleared and purified, they are permitted to enter Paradise.

    Ash-Shafa'ah (The Prophets Intercession)

    The first to knock at the gate of Paradise will be Muhammad (peace be upon him); And the first Ummah to enter Paradise will be his Ummah.

    And he (Muhammad) (peace be upon him) has three intercessions to perform on the Day of Resurrection:

    His first intercession will be on behalf of the people still held for judgement, after all Prophets, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, the son of Mary, have passed over intercession and it reaches him (Muhammad).

    His second intercession will be on behalf of the people of Paradise in order that they may enter it. These two intercessions are unique to him.

    His third intercession is to be on behalf of those who warrant Fire. This intercession is for him (Muhammad), for all prophets and saints and for others, so that they may intercede on behalf of those who deserve Fire, preventing them from entering it, and on behalf of those who have entered into the Fire, taking them from it. Allah, The Exalted, out of His Generosity and Mercy, sends some people out from the Fire without intercession. Space will be left unfilled in Paradise, so Allah will create more people for it, and bring them into it.

    The Hereafter includes judgement, reward, punishment, Paradise and Hell. These are mentioned in detail in the Revealed Books from heaven, in the tradition of the prophets, and in the inherited knowledge from Muhammad (peace be upon him) what is sufficient and satisfactory (in this regard), and whoever wishes to seek it can find it.

  • Taqwa

    admin06-07-2014

    bismillahwithkaaba

    "It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels and the Scripture and the Prophets; and gives his wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observes proper worship and pays the poor due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God fearing (those with taqwa)." (Surah al-Baqarah 2:177)

    The concept of taqwa is always linked to ibaadah in the Qu'ran. 'Ibaadah can be defined as: to do what Allah has commanded and to avoid what He has prohibited. 'Ibaadah has also been defined as a concept that includes all actions that Allah loves and approves of, whether they are actions of the heart, the tongue or the limbs. So taqwa is linked with doing what is correct and avoiding that which is wrong. Taqwa is the fruit of doing the actions of 'Ibaadah. In other words, if one does what Allah has commanded him to do, and abstains from that which he has been forbidden, he will achieve taqwa. Allah mentions in His Book ( that means ):

    " O you who believe ! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become muttaqoon ( those who have taqwa or piety )." [ Al-Baqarah 2:183 ].

    In this ayah and in many others, Allah has shown us that taqwa is the result or fruit of doing actions of ibaadah.

    The meaning of Taqwa

    Now that we have clarified how to achieve taqwa, we define what the concept of taqwa means. Taqwa means: to cleanse or purify the heart and the soul. This fact is proven by some ayat in Surat ush-Shams in which Allah (SWT) says (what means)

    " By the sun and its brightness, by the moon as it follows it, by the day as it shows its brightness, by the night as it conceals it, by the heaven and its wondrous make, by the earth and all its expanse, and by the soul and He Who perfected it in proportion, then He showed it what is wrong for it and what is right for it - indeed he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails who corrupts it." [ Ash-Shams 91:1-10 ].

    Allah begins this surah by taking seven oaths. Whenever Allah begins a surah or an ayah with an oath, He (SWT) does so to bear witness to the fact that whatever follows this oath is very important and essential for us to understand. Therefore, we should pay very close attention to what is being said, and reflect upon its meanings. To cleanse one's heart and to purify the soul, one must perform righteous actions that Allah has enjoined upon us, and our destruction lies in doing the actions that Allah has forbidden. As Allah is the Guardian and Protector of the Soul, we should do every good deed hoping for Allah's Mercy and fearing His Punishment, having full reliance and trust in Him (SWT).

    Purification of the Soul

    Among the missions of the Prophet. Allah sent him with the command to purify the souls of the Muslims in particular, and of mankind in general. Allah (SWT) says (what means)

    " He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His ayat, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Hikmah, while before they had been in error." [ Al-Jumu'ah 62:2 ].

    In this ayah the word Hikmah is often translated as wisdom. Imaam ash-Shafi', one of the greatest scholars of Islam, said that when Allah mentions Hikmah in the Qur'an it refers to the Sunnah of the Prophet. In addition to this ayah, we see that the Prophet, was sent with three tasks:

    1) To teach the Qur'aan.

    2) To teach the Sunnah.

    3) To show the means of purifying the soul.

    This purification is obtained by doing the proper acts of 'ibaadah and by avoiding sins and disobedience.

    Conditions for Attaining Taqwa

    How does a person know that his acts of 'ibaadah are helping him to achieve taqwa ? To develop taqwa, one must fulfill the following conditions:-

    1) Ikhlaas, sincere intention that the act is performed purely for the pleasure of Allah, out of love for Him, while hoping for His reward and mercy, as well as fearing His anger and punishment if He is disobeyed.

    2) To do the deed in accordance with the authentic Sunnah. To have the necessary knowledge of the 'ibaadah that is being performed. To know how the Prophet. ..performed the action and proper times for the performance of that action.

    Concerning Ikhlaas (sincerity), it must be present both before and after performing the deed, with no riyaa (showing off) or sum'ah (doing things to be seen or heard by people). For instance, after doing a good deed, someone tells others, " Look at all the good I have been doing ", or " I'm such a marvelous person because I do such and such".

    This formula, if used to achieve taqwa, is scientific, in that if you follow it, while fulfilling all of its conditions and their rights, you will achieve taqwa Insha Allah.

    The Effect of Taqwa

    A person once asked the Prophet (SAW), "O Messenger of Allah! Give me some advice!" He replied, "I advise you to fear Allah because it is the head of everything."

    The likeness of one who has the awareness of the reality of Allah's existence in every single act, in every single decision, in every single word and thought is the likeness of a dry, curled up desert plant that receives a drop of moisture, which will make it spread out its leaves and sink its roots and flourish and blossom. Similarly, one who feels Allah in their heart at every breath they take and in every aspect of their lives and in everything they do, from the important and profound to the everyday, simple tasks becomes aware of the great thirst, the Great Dependence, and the great joy his/her life had been lacking without this devotion, without this urge to serve (the Creator). And with it, they strive for the pleasure of their Lord, finding fulfillment and happiness in this world and the next.

    The Reality

    Taqwa--fear of Allah. There was a time when this actually meant something. There was a time when Umar bin al-Khattab merely said a two-word khutba. He said, "Ittaqullah!" Fear Allah! And with that, he led the Friday Jum'ah prayer. But today, we are in a situation in which these two words alone hold no weight as it did at the time of the Prophet SAW and his companions. There was a time when fearing Allah, the One, the True, was a type of advise in which people did take heed, but today it means absolutely nothing to us.

    Instead of having fear of He whose hands hold our very lives, instead of having fear of He Who holds our destinies, instead of having fear of He who takes not our sight nor our hearing nor our ability to feel, but gives us hundreds of chances daily to turn to Him, who do we fear? We fear our friends, our 'peer' group. We fear them so much that we disobey that same God who loves us so much that He forgives all our sins if only one tear falls from our eyes onto our cheeks. One tear! We go our with our friends, even our relatives, to make them happy and to 'fit in.' We go to the movies, we go out partying, miggling with the opposite sex as if it were no sin, no danger, earning the pleasure of Satan and the displeasure of the Creator. "Here just have a sip of this. It's not gonna do nothing," or, "Smoke a joint, man, what's wrong with you, mama's boy?!" or, "Come on baby, just once if you really love me." These phrases might sound familiar to some of us. Instead of realizing that one day, on a day in which there is no doubt, we will be called up one by one to answer for every deed we committed and then either be thrown into the raging fires of Hell or welcomed into Paradise, we obey the disbelievers (kuffar) and the hypocrites (Muslims by name only):

    "O Prophet! Keep your duty to Allah and obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Verily Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. And follow that which is inspire to you from your Lord. Verily, Allah is well aquainted with what you do. And put your trust in Allah and Sufficient is Allah as Trustee." (Surah al-Ahzaab 33:1-3)

    Instead of fearing the One who have us life, the One who provides and takes care of us, the One who bestows upon us food to keep our stomachs full, clothes to keep us warm, and houses to protect us, who do we fear? We fear our employers and our teachers. And because of fear of them, we choose to commit the sin of the kaafir, we choose not to worship that One, Powerful Lord. We fear them!?!? Them, who, Allah, Himself, created--created them as He created us, the believers, out of the dust of this earth?!! Yet, we fear them, who, themselves, will have no protectors nor friends, nor helpers, nor any interceders against Allah on the Day of Resurrection. And, in reality, we fear everything, but Allah, Allah, Allah. Do we even know who Allah is?

    "It is only Shaytaan that suggests to you the fear to his friends and supporters, so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are, in truth, believers." (Surah Ali Imran 3:175)

    "Truly, Allah is with those who fear Him, keep their duty to Him, and those who are doers of good for the sake of Allah only." (Surah an-Nahl 16:128)

    Once taqwa settles into the heart of a believer, life is not seen in the same light again. Life becomes more than the daily grind, the gradual process from life to death. One's life is seen with having a special goal: the pleasure of the Lord in eternal Paradise. A person with taqwa strives for goodness, which will lead him to happiness in this world and the Hereafter, Insha Allah. The Prophet SAW said that taqwa is the head of everything. This is because taqwa encourages good and refrains one from committing sin.

    The Noble Prophet (SAW) said:

    The most common reason for people to enter Jannah is taqwa and good manners and the most common reason for people to enter the Hellfire is the mouth and the private part!

    "Truly, the muttaqoon (those with taqwa) will be amidst Gardens and water springs (in Paradise)." (Surah al-Hijr 15:45)

    May Allah turn our hearts towards taqwa and towards His obedience. Ameen.

  • Dhikr

    admin06-07-2014
    Remembrance of Allah

     

     

    Surah ar-Ra'd 13:28
    "Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allâh, Verily, in the remembrance of Allâh do hearts find rest" (Surah ar'Ra'd 13:28)

     

    "O you who believe! Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do so often; and glorify Him morning and evening." (Holy Qur'an 33:41-41)

    Allah (SWT) has commanded us to remember him always. He says: "Remember Me, I shall remember you." (Qur'an 2:152) Thus it is very important for us, as Muslims, to perform dhikr, or remembrance, of Allah (SWT).

    The purpose of dhikr is to purify our hearts and souls and uplift our spirits. All words of praise and glory to Allah (SWT), whether spoken out loud, or silently in one's heart, are known as dhikr. When people do dhikr, their hearts turn to the highest ideals and are free from the temptations of sin. Obviously this is true only if the words come from the heart and not just from the tongue.

    The Qur'an says:

    "And establish regular prayer, for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds, and remembrance of Allah is the greatest thing in life, without doubt." (Surah al-Ankabut 29:45)

    In other words, dhikr has an even greater impact in protecting us from shameful and unjust deeds than regular prayers do. This is because when a person opens his heart to Allah (SWT) and utters words in His praise, Allah (SWT) fills him with strength and inner peace, comforting his minds and his heart. The Prophet (PBUH) once said, "When any group of men remember Allah, angels surround them and mercy covers them, tranquillity descends upon them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him." (Reported by Abu Hurairiah)

    The Prophet (PBUH) has described many forms of dhikr and their importance. Among them is what is described in this hadith: "And whoever says subhan Allah wa bihamdihi (Glorified is Allah with all praise due to Him) a hundred times during a day, will have all sins wiped off even if they were as numerous as the foam on the surface of the sea." (Narrated by Abu Hurairiah) The Prophet (PBUH) has also said, "When a servant of Allah utters the words la ilaha illa'Allah (there is none worthy if worship except Allah (SWT)) sincerely, the doors of heaven open up for these words until they reach the Throne of Allah, so long as it utterer keeps away from the major sins." (Reported by Abu Hurairiah) It is better to count the phrases on the fingers than counting beads because the fingers will be questioned and will speak on your behalf on the Day of Judgment.

    The Prophet SAW said, "The contrast between a person who glorifies Allah and one who does not remember Him is like that between the living and the death." One who does not remember Allah, though he may be alive physically, he is dead spiritually and his life is but worthless. When one keeps away from the remembrance of Allah, Shaytaan becomes his remembrance and guidance (to Hell).

    Dhikr has been given much importance in Islam, and thus it is better to follow a certain etiquette of dhikr. One should face the Ka'bah when doing dhikr, for the best assemblies are those that are facing the qiblah. There is a verse in the Qur'an which implies that it is preferable to do dhikr in silence rather than out loud; the verse says: "And do bring your Lord to remembrance in your very soul, with the humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in the morning and evening, and be not of those who are unheedful." (7:205) The Prophet (PBUH) once happened upon a group of Muslims doing dhikr out loud. He then said, "Give yourselves a respite, you are not calling upon someone deaf or absent. Surely He Whom you are calling upon is near you and He listens to all." This hadith also emphasizes the love and closeness to Allah (SWT) that a person should feel when doing dhikr.

    Doing dhikr in a group is even better than doing it by oneself. Ibn Umar has narrated that "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, 'When you pass by a garden of Paradise, avail yourselves to it.' The companions asked, 'What are the gardens, O Messenger of Allah?' The Prophet, peace upon him, replied "The assemblies or circles of dhikr. There are some angels of Allah who go about looking for such assemblies of dhikr, and when they find them they surround them.'" Often times people gather in a group and talk about trivial and irrelevant matters. Participating in such vain conversations is clearly looked down upon in Islam. Therefore, we should constantly remember Allah (SWT) and do dhikr. The Prophet (PBUH) said: "If people sit in an assembly in which they do not remember Allah nor invoke blessing on the Prophet, it will be a cause of grief for them on the Day of Judgment." (Narrated by Abu Hurairiah)

    In conclusion, to feel the importance and see the benefits of dhikr, this hadith has been provided: The Prophet narrated: "Allah (SWT) says: 'I am to my servant as he expects of Me, I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than his, and if he draws nearer to Me a hand's span, I draw nearer to him an arm's length, and if he comes to me walking I come to him running."

     

  • Salah--The Broken Pillar

    admin06-07-2014
    The Beautiful Ka'bah
    When the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) ascended to the heavens on the night of Al Me'raj, which is mentioned in the first verse of Surah Bani Israel, he ascended each of the seven heavens and upon ascending each, he met with the Prophets (alaiyhimus-salam) before him. They all expressed their faith in his prophethood. When he finally reached Allah, He prescribed fifty daily prayers for the believers. Musa (alaiyhis-salam) said to the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), "Your followers will not be able to perform so many prayers, you must go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce the number." The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) discussed this matter with Jibreel (alaiyhis-salam) who said, "Yes, if you desire," and ascended with him to the Highest Heaven to speak to Allah again, Who, then, reduced the prayers to ten. Again, Musa (alaiyhis-salam) advised for Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) to go back and ask Allah for another reduction. So the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) again begged his Lord for another remission. Allah, Praise and Glory be to Him, then reduced the daily prayers to five. And when the Noble Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) went back to Musa (alaiyhis-salam) for the third time, he insisted him to go back to Allah and ask for further reduction, but this time the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) refused and said, "I feel ashamed now for repeatedly asking my Lord for reduction. I accept and resign to His will." When the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) went further, a Caller was heard saying, "I have imposed My ordinance and have alleviated the burden of My servants." (Ar-Raheeq-al-Makhtum, p.148) Thus was the salah made obligatory upon every Muslim believer, male and female.

    Statistics show that there are approximately 6 billion people on Earth. Of these 6 billion people, 1.2 billion are Muslims. That is twenty percent or one-fifth of the world population. In this twenty percent, only 5 people out of every 100 offer their salah! Out of the 6 billion people, twenty percent being Muslim and eighty percent non-Muslim, only five percent offer their prayers! Therefore it is vitally important to discuss the importance of Salah: the reason for it, the rewards of guarding them, and the punishments for discarding this essential pillar of faith.

    Creation of Man

    When Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) decided to create man, He informed the angels of His plan and said,

    "So when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down prostrating yourselves to him." (Al-Hijr 15:29)

    So the angels all fell prostrate except for Iblis, or Satan. He refused through pride and said,

    "Why should I prostrate myself to a mortal whom You have created out of potter's clay of dark putrid mud?" (Al-Hijr 15:33)

    The All-Mighty then banned him from Paradise, but Satan begged to be reprieved until the Day of Resurrection. Allah granted his low request and caused him to be of those who fall under His curse and wrath. As told in the Qur'an, Iblis replied,

    "He said: 'My Lord! Because You have sent me astray, I shall verily adorn (make fair-seeming) the path of error for them in the earth and shall mislead them everyone, except for your perfectly devoted slaves." (Al-Hijr 15:39-40)

    "Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them, from their left and their right and You shall not find most of them thankful." (Al-A'raaf 7:17)

    The Plan of Satan

    In the Glorious Qur'an, Allah reveals to us the plan of Shaytaan--to lead mankind astray, despised, and banned from Paradise, away from the mercy of Allah, just as he is.

    Then Allah warns us how Iblis plans to do this:

    "O you who believe! Strong drink, games of chance (gambling), idols, and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork so leave it aside in order that you may succeed. Satan seeks only to cast enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and gambling and to turn you away from the remembrance of Allah and from (His) worship. Will you then have done it? Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and Beware!" (Al-Ma'idah 5:90-92)

    "...Do not follow the footsteps of Satan, for, he is an open enemy for you." (Al-An'am 6:142)

    Look at the mercy of Allah in these divine verses! How Great He is to warn us that Shaytaan is indeed the enemy of man, who only seeks to beguile mankind with his false promises, from his true goal in life, eternal Paradise,

    "The devil promises you destitution and enjoins on you lewdness, but Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself with bounty. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing." (Al-Baqarah 2:268)

    "He promises them and stirs up in them desires and Satan promises them only to beguile." (An-Nisaa' 4:120)

    "Satan says to him 'disbelieve', but when he disbelieves, Satan says, 'I am free of you! I do fear Allah, Lord of the worlds!" (Al-Hashr 59:16)

    The Shayateen are after the soul of every single human being, whether he be the "lowest of the low" or the most religious, pure and pious person of all of mankind. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "Verily an ifreet (strong and powerful evil jinn) from among the jinn spat on me last night trying to break my Salah. However, Allah let me overpower him..." So the devils were even trying to stray the best of all creation, the Blessed Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam).

    Protection Against the Accursed

    What can protect us from Satan? Allah gave us the answer in the previous verses of Surah Al-Ma'idah--the constant remembrance and worship of Allah. We do not pray because Allah needs our worship, for, He is Independent of all things, but salah has been enjoined on the believers for their own good as Allah says,

    "If you do good, you do good for your ownselves and if you do evil, it is for them (in like manner)..." (Bani Israel 17:7)

    "And whoever strives, strives only for himself, for lo! Allah is altogether Independent of all (His) creation." (Ankabut 29:6)

    As Al-Haj Muhammad Masoud said in his book, The Islamic Prayer Book, "Salah is the heart of faith. It saves from evil and helps to lead a pure life." It is also a means of safeguarding oneself from the temptations of the devil,

    "Recite that which has been inspired in you of the Scripture (the Qur'an) and keep up prayers regularly. Indeed prayers save from shameful and unjust deeds and remembrance of Allah is the greatest and Allah knows what you do." (Ankabut 29:45)

    "...Prostrate in adoration and bring yourself close (to Allah)." (Al-Alaq 96:19)

    The Pillars of Islam

    The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "A slave is closest to Allah when he is prostrating." We are given the recipe to success in attaining Allah's pleasure--the observance of salah, prayer. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said in a hadith, "Islam is founded on five pillars: bearing witness that there is no god, but Allah and Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) is His servant and messenger, establishing salah, paying zakah, performing Hajj, and fasting during Ramadan." The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), then, compared these pillars to a canopy which rests on five supports, the shahadah being the main support and the other four pillars standing in each corner helping to hold up the canopy. Without the main support (shahadah) the canopy will not be able to stand and if one of the other corner supports is missing, this will result in a collapse of the canopy. Let us judge how well we have been keeping up the canopy of Islam.

    Virtues and Rewards of Salah

    The Noble Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said the likeness of the five daily prayers is the likeness of a stream in which one bathes five times a day. Just as no dirt will remain on the body after bathing five times, likewise, one will become clean of his sins from the performance of the five daily prayers. A companion narrated that he (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "At the approach of the hour of a salah, an angel is deputed to proclaim, 'Arise, O Children of Adam! And extinguish the fire that you have (by committing sins) kindled to burn yourselves. So, the people rise, perform wudhu and offer their Dhuhr prayer. This causes forgiveness of their sins committed since day-break. The same is repeated at Asr, Maghrib, and Isha. After Isha, people go to bed, but there are some who busy themselves in good, and others in evil deeds."

    "Establish salah at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night.Verily, good deeds remove evil deeds. This is a reminder for the mindful." (Hud 11:114)

    What is implied is that the salah is a great blessing. One which has the powerful virtue of removing one's sins. Indeed salah is a favor and bounty, which Allah has bestowed upon His servants. It is as the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "The coolness of the eyes." It is the peace of mind and only through it can one attain peace in his mind, heart, and life:

    "Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah; verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (Ar-Ra'd 13:28)

    Salah is a means of communicating with the All-Mighty to thank and glorify Him, to cry to Him, to ask of Him. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), whenever a calamity occurred, always turned to his Lord in prayer. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said that Satan says, "Woe unto me! The son of Adam was commanded to prostrate and he prostrated and Paradise was entitled to him and I was commanded to prostrate, but I refused and am doomed to Hell." A companion once said to the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), "Inform me about an act which would entitle me to Paradise and remove me away from Hellfire." The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "You have asked a matter (which appears to be difficult), but it is very easy for those whom Allah has made it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him, establish prayer, pay zakah.....Should I not direct you to the highest level of the matter to the pillar on which (it rests) and its top?" The companion eagerly replied, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam)!" He (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "The uppermost level of the matter is Al-Islam. Its pillar is prayer and its top is Jihad..." Another companion inquired of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) which act was most dearest to Allah. He (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) replied, "Salah, at its fixed time." In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "Salah is the best of all that has been ordained by Allah."

    From the above narrations, we can conclude that salah is the most important act of a Muslim next to Iman (faith). Salah distinguishes a believer, a Muslim, from a non-believer, a kafir. It is the light of a mu'min. It is a mark of Islam and is the first thing one will be questioned about on the Day of Judgement. Only through the salah can one show true devotion and love for Allah. It is the key to paradise. It scares away the devil so long as one is regular in his salah. When a person stands in salah, the gates of Paradise are let open and all the veils between him and his Lord are lifted. A devotee of prayer is closest to Allah and the fire of hell will not touch the parts of the body, which touched the ground while performing prostration if he is thrown into Hell for some major sin. Allah says in His beautiful Kalaam,

    "Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord, establish regular prayers, spend out of that which we have bestowed for their sustenance secretly and openly and turn off evil with good; for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home. Gardens of bliss, they shall enter there, as wellas the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their children and the angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): Peace be unto you for that you persevered in patience. Now how excellent is the Final Home. But those who break the covenant of Allah after having plighted their world thereto and cut asunder those things which Allah commanded to be joined and work mischief in the land, on them is the Curse; for them is the (most) terrible Home." (Ar-Ra'd 13:22-25)

    The Discard of Salah

    When one rejects salah, it is like rejecting Allah, the Lord and Creator and, choosing Satan as a protector and friend. The Qur'an says,

    "Whoever forsakes Allah and takes Satan as a friend, has of a surety suffered a manifest loss." (An-Nisaa 4:119)

    "O Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he seduced your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame; for he and his tribe see you from a position where you cannot see them; We made the devils friends (only) to those without Faith." (Al-A'raaf 7:27)

    "Some He has guided; others have deserved the loss of their way; surely they took Satan as friend and protector instead of Allah and think that they are on the right path." (Al-A'raaf 7:30)

    The most severe punishment of neglecting salah is being thrown out of the fold of Islam, therefore, becoming a kafir and it is well-known that the abode of the kafiroon is in the Hellfire. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "Hurry up with your salah when it is cloudy (lest you miss the correct time), for, to discard salah is to become a kafir."

    Even after such stern warning, most people still discard salah. People most often use the excuse, "I can't pray at work!" And a whole list of other excuses will follow as to why they can't pray at work. This is one of the most lame excuses of missing salah one could make. Nowadays, non-Muslims employers are well aquainted with Muslim practices, including the salah, and most do not have a problem with it, especially if it is done during break or lunch time. Other reasons, which lead one to neglect salah, is being in the company of friends and family, who, themselves, do not perform salah and so one may become "embarrassed" to call out that it is prayer time. When people are out of the house, for example, when they go to weddings or other parties, they will intentionally neglect salah because they are having too much fun to leave the worldly pleasure for worship of their Lord or making wudu in elegant clothing becomes a "hassle" at such events. And others neglect salah because they are "too busy" or because they "have a business to run." Those who make excuses to get away with worship and prayer should know that the Blessed Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "A person who has missed one salah is like one who has lost all his family and wealth." The greatness and reward of salah is such that if a person misses even one prayer, it is like he has lost the two things which he holds most dear in his life. If we miss even one salah at its fixed time, our emotion and reaction should be such as we've lost our parents and spouses and children and siblings and all our money and property. But with the majority, it is the opposite.
    The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, while talking on the subject of salah, "For its votary, salah shall, on the Day of Judgment, be a light for him, an argument in his favor, and a means of deliverance. Whereas, there will be no light, no defense, no deliverance from doom for him who does not guard his salah and he shall meet the fate of Fir'aun, Hamaan, and Ubay bin Khalaf." Fir'aun was one of the worst and most rebellious transgressors against Allah. He was full of pride and persecuted the Children of Israel mercilessly. He killed his own wife by putting pegs in her body and placed a stone on top of her back, killing her for her belief in the God of Moses (alaiyhis-salam). His helper was Hamaan. Not only did they commit these heinous crimes, but Fir'aun called himself God!

    "And Fir'aun said: O chiefs! I do not know of any god for you besides myself..." (Al Qasas 28:38)

    "And (We destroyed) Qaroon, Fir'aun, and Haman." (Ankabut 29:39)

    "If front of the Fire will they be brought, morning and evening, and on the Day of Judgement when the Hour comes to pass (it will be said): Cast the people of Fir'aun in to the severest penalty." (Al-Mu'min 40:46)

    Ibn Hajar wrote:

    "Sharing the fate of these people on the Day of Judgement is due to the fact that it is so often the pursuits specific to those guilty persons, which cause neglect of salah. If, therefore, a person neglects salah due to craving for wealth, he will meet the fate of Qaroon; if due to love of power, then that of Fir'aun, if due to yearning of attachment to a ruler, then that of Haman, and if due to occupation in trade, then that of Ubay bin Khalaf (who was a businessman)."

    It is extremely sad that people do not realize the fact that on the Day of Judgment, there will be no protector or helper besides Allah and one's power, wealth, and family will, in no way, avert the doom which they will be faced with on that Day.

    A person who rejects the worship of Allah, their sole Creator and Sustainer, shall be inflicted with five types of punishments in the world, three at the time of death, and three after resurrection.

    In the world, he will not be blessed, he will be deprived of the special nur (light) that shines on the faces of the righteous believers, he will receive no reward for his good deeds, his prayers will not be answered, and he has no share in the prayers of the pious.

    At the time of death, he will die disgracefully, feeling hungry and thirsty. His thirst would be so great that all the water in the oceans of the earth will not be able to quench it. When he is laid in the grave to "rest," the earth will squeeze him so hard that the ribs on one side will pierce into the other side. Fire will be burned inside of him and he will be rolled in cinders night and day. A serpent with fiery eyes and iron nails equal to the length of a day's journey will attack him and shout with a thunderous voice, "My Lord has charged me with thrashing you till sunrise for neglecting Fajr, till 'Asr for neglecting Dhuhr, till sunset for neglecting maghrib, till dawn for neglecting Isha!" The serpent will keep on thrashing him in this manner until the Last Day. Each blow will push him to a depth of seventy arm's length and the punishments will last until the Day of Judgment.

    The punishments after the resurrection are that his reckoning will be a hard one, he will be incurring the wrath of Allah, and he will be thrown into the Fire. According to one report, he will have the following three lines inscribed on his forehead:

    'O you who neglected Allah's duty!'
    'O you who deserve Allah's wrath!'
    'Now despair of Allah's mercy as you neglected your duty to Allah!'

    In confirmation of the severment of missing one's salah even if he makes it up later, is in the following statement of the Blessed Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), "A person neglecting salah though he makes it up later, shall remain in hell for a period of one huqb. A huqb is equal to eighty years of 360 days each and a day in the hereafter shall equal to 1,000 years of this world." May Allah save the believers from such punishment! Imagine the punishment of one who rejects and neglects salah all together.

    Results of Observing and Discarding Salah

    The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "Salah is the cause of Allah's pleasure, is loved by the angels, is a tradition of the Prophets (alaiyhimus-salam), gives enlightenment about Allah, causes prayers to be granted, blesses the daily bread, is the root of Iman, refreshes the body, is a weapon against the enemy, shall intercede for its adherent, is a light in the darkness and a companion in the grave, is a reply to the questioning of the angels (in the grave), is a shade against the sun on the Day of Resurrection, is a protection against the hellfire, is a weight for the scales of good deeds, is a means of swift crossing over the siraat, and is a key to paradise."

    Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) said that the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "A prayer performed by someone who has not recited the Essence of the Qur'an (Surah Al-Fatiha) is deficient (and he repeated the word three times), incomplete." Someone asked Abu Hurairah, "(Even though) we are behind an imam?" He said, "Recite it to yourself, for I have heard the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) say that Allah had said, 'I have divided my prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says: 'Alhumdulillahi Rabbil Alameen (All praise be to Allah, Lord of all worlds),' Allah says, 'My servant has praised Me.' And when he says, 'Ar-Rahma-nir-Raheem (The Beneficent, The Merciful),' Allah says, 'My servant has glorified Me,' and on one occasion, He said, 'My servant has submitted to My power,' and when he says, 'Iyyakana' budu wa iyyakanas ta'een (You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help),' He says, 'This is between Me and My servant and My servant shall have what he has asked for.' And when he says, 'Ihdinas-siratal mustaqeema, siratalladhina anamta alaiyhim, ghayril-maghdubi alaiyhim walad-daalleen (Show us the Straight Path, the Path of those of whom You have favored, not those who earn Your anger, nor those who go astray),' He says, 'This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.' "

    How can a sane believer deny such a gift, such a blessing, and such a favor from his Lord? The blessings of salah are numerous and those who reject it are denied the favors.

    "Those who believe and do good deeds and establish regular prayer and give zakah, will have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Al-Baqarah 2:277)

    "As to those who hold fast by the Book (Qur'an) and establish regular prayer--never shall We suffer the reward of the righteous to perish." (Al-A'raaf 7:170)

    Undoubtedly, the discard of salah holds the most severest and painful of all punishments. It is the type of pain no one will want to endure and the fire of hell is seventy times hotter than that of the fire on earth, as stated by the Blessed Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam). The Quran says:

    "In the Garden, they shall ask each other about the guilty: What has brought you to Hell? They shall say: We were not of those who prayed and we used to not feed the poor." (Al-Muddath-thir 74:40-44)

    "The Companions of the Garden will call out to the Companions of the Fire: 'We have indeed found the promises of our Lord to us true. Have you also found your Lord's promises true?' They shall say: 'Yes.' And a Caller shall proclaim between them: 'The curse of Allah is on the wrong-doers.' " (Al-A'raaf 7:44)

    "The companions of the Fire will call to the Companions of the Garden: 'Pourdown to us water or anything that Allah does provide for your sustenance.' They shall say: 'Both these things Allah has forbidden to those who rejected Him.' " (Al-A'raaf 7:50)

    No one has any excuse in discarding, neglecting, and rejecting the blessing of salah. It is a mercy to the believers from Allah to His creation, and distinguishes one from the kuffar, the disbelievers. It protects its devotee from evil deeds and from the eternal torment of the Hellfire. Yet, still, people abandon and reject salah. As stated in the beginning of this writing, only five percent of the world population guards their salah. This means that if the world was to come to an end today, 95 percent of the Earth's inhabitants would be dragged into the raging fires of Hell! The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said that Allah said, "The first of his actions for which a servant of Allah will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If there is something defective in his obligatory (fard) prayers, the Lord (Glorified and Exalted be He) will say, 'See if My servant has any disproportionate prayers with which may be completed that which was defective in his obligatory prayers. Then the rest of his actions will be judged in like manner.' " The mercy and love of Allah is such that He even checks a person's extra prayers to make up for the obligatory prayers he missed. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) also said that Allah said, "O Muhammad! I have ordained five daily prayers on your followers. I have made a covenant with Myself that whosoever is regular in performing salah at its fixed hour (on time), he shall be admitted into Paradise. Those of your followers who do not guard their salah, are not included in this covenant."

    "Then which of the favors of your Lord will you then deny?" (Ar-Rahman 55:18)

    Ibn Hajar narrated a very beautiful and inspiring event, which occurred with the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), and his companions:

    "Once when the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) was sitting among his companions, he remarked, 'Three things of this world are very dear to me: perfume (ittar), women, and salah--the comfort of my eyes.' 'Quite true,' rejoiced
    Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu), 'and I cherish three things: a look at your face, spending my wealth on you (cause of Allah), and that my daughter is your wife, O Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam)!' 'Quite true,' said Umar (radiallahu anhu), 'And the three I love most are: enforcing that which is right,forbidding evil, and wearing old clothes.' 'Quite true,' said Uthman (radiallahu anhu), 'And the three I love most are: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and reciting the Qur'an.' 'Quite true,' said Ali (radiallahu anhu), 'And I love three
    things most: serving a guest, fasting on a very hot day, and smiting the enemy with my sword.' At this, Jibreel (alaiyhis-salam) appeared on the scene and said, 'Allah has sent me to tell you what I would love if I be one of the mortals.' The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) replied, 'Yes! Do tell us Jibreel.' Jibreel then replied, 'If I had been like you, I would have loved three things: guiding the people gone astray (to the straight path), loving those who worship in poverty, and helping the poor family men. And as for Allah, He loves three characteristics of His slaves: striving in His Path, crying at the time of repentance, and stead-fastness in the want and hunger.' "

    I would like to conclude this significant and important topic by providing a statement of Hafidh Ibn Qayyam and a few verses from the Glorious Qur'an:

    "Salaat ensures daily bread, promotes health, drives out diseases, strengthens the heart, brings light and beauty on the face, pleases the soul, refreshes the body, cures the indolence, relieves the mind, feeds the soul, illuminates the heart and guarantees Allah's favor. It grants protection against Allah's doom. It keeps the Devil away and brings us nearer to Allah. In short, salah is a guarantee for all that is desirable and a protection against all that is undesirable for both, the body and the soul, equally, in this world and the Hereafter."

    "Seek help in patience and prayer; it is indeed hard, except for the humble." (Al-Baqarah 2:45)

    "Establish regular prayers at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night and the recital of the Qur'an at Fajr; for the recital at Fajr is ever witnessed."

    "I have only created the jinn and men that they may worship Me." (Az-Zaariyaat 51:56)

     

  • The Last Sermon of the Prophet (SAW)

    admin06-07-2014
    Muhammad SAW is the messenger of Allah (Surah al-Fath 48:29)

    [This sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul-Hijjah 10 A.H. in the 'Uranah valley of Mount Arafat' in Mecca.]

    All Praise is due to Allah, so we praise Him, and seek His pardon and we turn to Him. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and from the evil consequences of our deeds. Whom Allah guides aright there is none to lead him astray.

    I BEAR WITNESS THAT THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH (La Elaha Ella Allah), the One, having no partner with Him. His is the sovereignty and to Him is due all praise. He grants life and causes death and is powerful over everything. THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH ( La Elaha Ella Allah), the One; He fulfilled His promise and granted victory to His bondsman, and He ALONE routed the confederates (of the enemies of Islam).

    "O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

    O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib [the Prophet's uncle] be waived.

    Every right arising out of homicide in pre-islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that i waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al Harithibn.

    O People, the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calender in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to forbid that which Allah has made permissible. With Allah the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban.

    Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope of that he will be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

    O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right, then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste. O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

    All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belogs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware: do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

    O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.

    All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed Your message to Your people."

  • Those Who Despair

    admin06-07-2014
     

    Bismillahir-Rahma-nir-Raheem

    "Truly Allah does not guide a people until they change what is in themselves."
    (Suratur-Ra'd 13:11)

    There are some of us who have gone away from the path of Allah and are afraid to return. We, who are afraid to return to Allah's path, we, who are rejecting Allah's friendship, we, who are very naïve, are also very foolish. We must not let Shaytaan deceive us. He promises us fun in this world, enjoyment of the worldly life, full of wealth, popularity, women/men, parties: plain enjoyment of the life of the world. Those who believe his promises have been trapped. For, Allah says in verse 268 of Suratul Baqarah, "The devil promises you destitution (extreme poverty) and enjoins on you lewdness (indecency), but Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself with bounty. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing."

    "He promises them and stirs up desires in them, and Satan promises them only to beguile." (Suratun-Nisaa 4:120)

    As Sheikh Riyadh al-Haq said in his lecture: There are some of us who have a Satanic perception. For example, we think, 'Oh, because I'm a very bad person, I shouldn't pray salah. Because I'm a very bad person, I shouldn't observe sunnah. Because I'm a very bad person, I shouldn't keep a beard in trying to follow the sunnah of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) because people will think I'm holy and I may appear to be holy, but I'm not.' This type of person thinks, 'I am so holy that I have this great understanding of myself to be evil and sinful. And I'm very humble. I'm very honest about myself.' This is Satanic perception. (The same could go with a sister's hijab.) A person should never stop doing something good simply because a person thinks of what others may think and fears that, 'I am so evil that even this little (good) thing will not be accepted.' This is despair and despair is haram in the deen of Allah. One who despairs in Allah's mercy, Allah will despair him of His mercy, but if one is hopeful in Allah's mercy and forgiveness, Allah will deal with him accordingly. He will not deprive him of His forgiveness. Allah says:

    "O my servants, who have transgressed against their own souls! Do not despair in the mercy of Allah; for Allah forgives all sins; He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Suratuz-Zumar 39:53)

    Abu Sa'id (radiyallahu anhu) reported a narration in which he said that the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said: "Truly the devil said, 'By my honor, O Lord, I shall never stop misguiding Your servants so long as life remains in their bodies.' The Almighty replied, 'By My Honor, I shall never stop forgiving them so long as they ask forgiveness from Me.'"

    Sheikh Shibli (rahmatullahi alaiyh) narrates an incident in which he was involved: "Once we were traveling in a caravan of travelers and were set upon by a gang of thieves and they surrounded the caravan and threatened us. All were Muslim men. They took our belongings and dragged us along to their hideout. They took us to their leader. The leader was in the hideout with the rest, so when they came to their leader, the thieves made a display of all the spoils of war and a display of everything they had gained in the raid and a lot of the things they had were dried foods, since travelers take dried foods on journeys, so the thieves were presenting these dried foods to their leader. The leader said, 'No, no, I'm fasting.' I couldn't contain myself, so I said, 'Subhannallah! You raid, you loot, you steal, you are the leader of a gang of thieves and you say you are fasting?' The leader replied (to me), 'Listen, I always try and keep something in which I could have the hope and mercy and forgiveness of Allah. I do not cut myself off totally from Allah azzowajal and I know how evil I am and despite my evil and despite my sins, I always try to hold on to something and for me, it is the fast.'" Sheikh Shibli continues, "Later, we reached the holy land of Makkah and I saw a person doing tawaaf around the Ka'bah and he had become extremely thin and frail because of excessive worship and ibaadah. And he was doing the dhikr of Allah and he was doing tawaaf around the Ka'bah with much fervor and with great feeling and devotion. When I looked at him closely, it was the same leader of the gang of thieves, so I went up to him to inquire and he said, 'Exactly as I told you, I always hold on to something in which I could have the hope in the mercy of Allah and through these fasts, Allah azzowajal gave me the towfique to repent and change.'" (End of part of lecture delivered by Sheikh Riyadh al-Haq.)

    Subhannallah! Look at the mercy of Allah! How He accepted a good deed from a man who was terrorizing his own Muslim brethren by raiding and stealing from them. Allah gave him the ability to repent and change.

    Another Satanic idea we shouldn't have in our heads is, "Oh, I'm not ready to change now because I want to enjoy life or when I do change I want to change all at once." Firstly, how do we know that in the future we will be given the chance to turn our lives around and devote ourselves to being true Muslims? How do we know when Izrael (alaiyhis-salam), the angel of death, will come to take our souls, instead of just visiting everyday, praying and hoping to take us to Allah soon? It is wrong to think 'I will do this, I will do that' without the will of Allah and we know not what the will of Allah is. Secondly, let it be known to those who wish to change all at once, it is impossible. The Qur'an, itself, came at a very gradual process, a period of twenty-three years. Let me give an example to show the process of gradual change. The example I'll use is alcohol. In the Qur'an (2:219), Allah says: "They ask you (Muhammad) about strong drink and games of chance (gambling). Say: In both is great sin and utility for men, but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness" This ayah says that intoxicants, such as alcohol, have advantages and disadvantages, but the disadvantages are greater and that using intoxicants is a great sin. After a period of time, a second verse was revealed about alcohol (4:43): "O you who believe! Do not pray while you are drunk, until you know that which you utter" In other words, do not approach salah while you have had alcohol or other intoxicants. This verse sets limitations, while the first verse only warned. Finally, a third ayah (verse) was revealed and this time, it prohibited alcohol (5:90): "O you who believe! Strong drink, games of chance, idols, and divining arrows (fortune-telling) are only an infamy (disgracefulness) of Satan's handiwork. Refrain from it so that you may be successful." The revelations of the Holy Qur'an were finally completed after twenty-three years. Why didn't Allah just reveal the Qur'an all at once? There are many reasons. One of them is that the Arabs of the time were so far astray that if they were told to refrain from a sin, like alcohol, all of a sudden, they would not have done it. This was even confirmed by a saying of A'isha (radiyallahu anha).

    While the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) was in Makkah for thirteen years, the verses that were revealed, during that time, mostly dealt with the iman and Islamic behavior of a Muslim and after that was set, Allah revealed laws and regulations, because then, they would be able to handle it and obey. So, the Sahaba, themselves, changed gradually and Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) spent thirteen years in Makkah perfecting their iman before he migrated to Madinah. So, even the beloved companions of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) changed step-by-step and not all at once. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "If you were to put the acts of Abu Bakr on one side and the acts of my whole Ummah on the other side, the acts of Abu Bakr would outweigh the whole Ummah." This is how strong the iman of this Sahabi was after so much devotion, time, and effort, and love he had for Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam).

    Remember the story of the man who killed 99 men. For those who cannot recall or don't know the story, a man had mercilessly killed 99 men. He, at a time in his life, started to feel remorse and guilt over what he had done. He went to a religious man and asked him if he could repent over what he had done and if he would be forgiven. The man told him, "No." So, he killed him, and the total he had now murdered was 100 men. He then visited another religious preacher and this man told him, "Yes, you can repent, but you must go to this place." So, the killer, set out on his trip to his destination. On the way, he died. The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment came at the same time to take the soul. The angels of mercy argued that he had a pure intention of repenting and would've done so and deserved to be forgiven, but the angels of punishment added that he had mercilessly killed 100 men! So, Allah sent a third angel to settle the dispute. This angel came up with a solution: Measure the distance from where the man set off from to his body and then measure the distance from his body to his destination. If he is closer to his destination, the angels of mercy will take his soul. If not, the soul will be in the hands of the angels of punishment. By the will and mercy of Allah, the man was only a few inches closer to his destination and, Alhumdulillah, the angels of mercy took his soul. Look at the great kindness of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. He forgave a man, who had pitilessly killed one hundred men. Why? Because he had a firm, pure intention of asking for Allah's forgiveness without despair and, "Allah loves those who turn to Him." (2:222) What more could one say to convince a person of how forgiving the Lord of Kindness, the King of all kinds, the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, truly is?

    "Allah is Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind gives not thanks." (Suratul Baqarah 2:243)

    If, by the will of Allah, we make the intention of changing ourselves, we must try to change gradually with the hope of Allah's mercy and forgiveness. There will be times when it will seem like we will be astray forever, but this is a thought from Satan to discourage us, so always remember Allah's mercy and how much He loves to forgive and never give up. For some, the change takes only months, for others it takes longer, but we can do it as long as we have confidence in ourselves as well as confidence and faith in Allah, our Creator. It can be done by following the guidance of Allah's words and by the teachings and examples of His final Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam).

    In conclusion, we must try our best to change ourselves from the level of the animals to the heights of the angels and we must be hopeful of Allah's forgiveness, His kindness, His mercy, and His guidance. And we must help each other, as Muslim brothers and sisters, in reaching to become the highest of the high, Insha Allah.

    May Allah bestow upon us His mercy and His forgiveness. May Allah give us the towfique to want to change, to repent, and to turn our hearts to Him. May He give us the towfique to shake off the Shayaateen that hold us back from taking His path, the path of success. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala give us the towfique to become such servants that strive for His pleasure in all that we do. Ameen.

    Ash hadu alla ilaha illallahu wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa Rasooluh.

    I declare that there is no God, but Allah, and that Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) is the servant and the final messenger of Allah.

     

  • Dhikr: The Most Virtuous Act

    admin06-07-2014

    Bismillahir-Rahma-nir-Raheem

    "Therefore, remember Me; I will remember you. Give thanks to Me and reject Me not."
    (Suratul Baqarah 2:152)

    Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) has warned of us a day that will come, a day in which there will be no soul left on earth to hymn the name of Allah and it is only by the name of Allah that the system of this world is running. This most regretful day will come nearing the timing of the end of the world. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "The world and all its contents are cursed and devoid of Allah's mercy, except for three things: (1) the dhikr, or remembrance, of Allah (and all other worships near it), (2) the religious (and truthful) alim, and (3) the student, who is a seeker of religious knowledge.

    If we look at the world we live in today, how many people, in just our families, will we find, who are engaged in the dhikr, remembrance and glorification, of Allah? Most likely, we wouldn't find many. This, in most cases, it is a well-known fact. We see it with our own eyes and in our own relatives, if not within our ownselves. All we care about nowadays is the world: money, careers, have a "name," big houses, expensive cars--all the worldly materialistic things. This is a major deceit of Shaytaan to the believers and the believers easily fall into Satan's trap, except those who are true to Allah. These are they who are devoted to Allah's worship, who engage in His remembrance, 'sitting, standing, and reclining,' as Allah says in Al-Qur'an (3:191).

    The dhikr of Allah carries immense reward and vast and unlimited blessings, which we often neglect. The peace of mind one attains with the remembrance of Allah is the sweetest experience felt in the heart. The sacred name of Allah is so full of blessings that it, alone, has the power to save one from the punishment of the grave. Khawaja Muhammad Islam narrates a story in his book, The Spectacle of Death--Glimpses of Life Beyond the Grave, an incident of a dying man. Hadhrat Abu Qatada (radiyallahu anhu) went to visit his ill nephew, Majan, who was on the verge of death. Two "black" angels appeared with hammers in their hands. One of the angels told the other to go to the patient to make certain if he had done any good deed. So, the angel came down and smelt Majan's head, belly, and feet and reported to his companion that he had smelt his head and found it empty of the knowledge of the Holy Qur'an; he had smelt his belly, but had found no sign of him keeping fasts; and he had smelt his feet and found no evidence of his standing in worship for even a single night. Therefore, the other angel came to Majan and did the same and found nothing until he squeezed the tip of his tongue and reported that he had found a Takbir (i.e. Allahu Akbar) that Majan had very sincerely uttered. And as soon as the angel wrung his tongue, the smell of musk spread in all directions and, just then, the soul was extracted. So, the dhikr of Allah has many virtues as described in the verses of the Holy Qur'an and the collections of ahaadith.

    The dhikr of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is the most admirable and virtuous and rewardful act in the sight of Allah, not to mention the easiest deed that one could perform. Our Beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "Those who are admitted in to Paradise will not repent over anything of this world, except the time spend without dhikr in their lives." Dhikr has so many merits that it would be difficult to list all without publishing a book about this topic.

    Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) once asked his companions, "Shall I tell you something that is the best of all deeds, constitutes the best act of piety in the eyes of your Lord, will elevate your status in the Hereafter, and carries more virtue than the spending of gold and silver in the service of Allah or taking part in jihad or slaying or being slain in the path of Allah?" The companions (radiyallahu anhum) begged to know, whereupon the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) replied, "It is the dhikr of Allah, the Almighty." In another hadith, the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "Keep your tongues moist with the dhikr of Allah," meaning to keep busy in the dhikr of Allah so that way, it will prevent one from committing the major sins of telling lies, backbiting, talking unnecessarily, etc. Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) also said, "Do dhikr so much that people will think you are a maniac."

    Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) narrated: "Paradise has eight gates, one of which is exclusively reserved for those engaged in dhikr." Dhikr is the source of one's spiritual elevation, whether done in bed at night or in the market, whether in good health or in sickness, or even when one is making most of the pleasures of life. Nothing, but dhikr, can take a man to such spiritual heights, the heights of the angels, whereby one's heart is so illuminated with the light of dhikr that even asleep, he is more wakeful than the one who is neglectful of Allah's remembrance, who is awake all through the night. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "The contrast between a person who glorifies Allah and one who does not remember Him is like that between the living and the dead."

    There is a sort of hardness in the human heart and this hardness can only be softened by the remembrance of Allah, the Exalted. One whose heart is void of Allah's remembrance is as if he is dead. His heart becomes harder than the rocks, for, as Allah says in the Qur'an, even rocks fall down to the fear or Allah (2:74). Allah says:

    "Then woe unto those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah. Such are in plain error." (Suratuz-Zumar 39:22)

    Dhikr is the remedy of all the ills of the heart. There is a corner in the heart of man, which cannot be filled with anything, but dhikr. When dhikr controls the heart, not only does it fill up this empty space, it leads one to contentment, which all the wealth in the world would fail to produce. On the other hand, the indolent comes to disgrace in the sight of Allah through neglect of Allah's remembrance, despite the fact that he may contain much wealth and riches, family and friends, strength and power.

    Dhikr is also the main source of nourishment for the ruh, the soul. Allah says:

    "And be not you as those who forgot Allah and therefore He caused them to forget their own souls. Such are the losers." (Suratul Hashr 59:19)

    Dhikr is the key to nourishing and strengthening the soul and a nourished and healthy ruh is the key to reaching the heights of the angels, who are ever engaged in Allah's dhikr.

    The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "Everything has a polish, which takes away rust. The polish of the heart is dhikr." Therefore, one who has forgotten Allah, the Creator of all that is in the heavens and the earth, has a heart whose sins surround it and veil it from the nur of Allah entering.

    Dhikr is so virtuous that it can save one from the punishment of the grave. In a hadith, Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) stated, "No other action of a person can surpass dhikr of Allah in saving him from the punishment of the grave." Dhikr is so easy to perform and for his most effortless deed, we receive such immense reward. We, in turn, should not be neglectful of it because it will help us in many many ways. If we remember Allah in our happy times, He will remember us in our afflictions. Dhikr is the key to the nearness of Allah, the Merciful, the Wise, the Mighty. The greater the amount and quality of dhikr, the greater the nearness to the Creator. And the greater the neglectfulness of dhikr, the greater the distance from Him.

    Abu Hurairah (radiyallah anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said that Allah said, "I treat My slave according to his expectations from Me and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My heart. If he remembers Me in a gathering, I remember him in a better gathering (i.e. the gathering of the angels). If he comes closer to Me by one span, I go towards him a cubit's length. If he comes towards me a cubit's length, I go towards him an arm's length, and if he walks towards Me, I run towards him." If one increases his devotion to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, the increase in Allah's mercy and kindness is far greater, as mentioned in his hadith by "getting near" and "running." If one wants to be successful in this world, in the akhirah, and in the eyes of Allah, he should increase his devotion to Him.

    On the other hand, one who is devoid of dhikr and remembrance of Allah, becomes dry and stiff and as lifeless as a dried up leaf. If you step on it, it will crumble into pieces, but if you moisten it, it will revive.

    Dhikr is the one act, which is not performed at prescribed times, as are salah, zakah, fasting, and hajj. This is one of the reasons why it is one of the most virtuous and significant acts of worship in the sight of Allah. Its rewards carry much weight. It keeps Shaytaan away and weakens his strength. Abu Sa'eed Khazaz (rahmatullahi alaiyh) stated that once, he saw in a dream that Shaytaan attacked him and he also fought back by beating him with a stick, but Shaytaan did not care for this beating. Then he heard a heavenly voice saying that the devil is not frightened by the beating. He is only frightened by the spiritual light in one's heart.

    This most favorable act is the cause of Allah's pleasure, the source of happiness and joy felt in the heart, the reason for success in the Hereafter. Some brothers, who go in jamaat to different locations of the world, say that even when they are the most tired, hungry, and exhausted, they are still the happiest in the world because they know they've got Allah. If only we all could feel this! It relieves the mind of anxieties and worries and brightens the face and heart with nur and peace. It induces love for Allah, which is the spirit of Islam, the pivot of deen, the source of success and salvation in the akhirah. It helps one realize the Greatness and Grandeur of Allah, the All-Knowing, and strengthens the consciousness of his Presence and Existence. It is the key to Paradise. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "When you pass the Gardens of Paradise, graze in your heart's content." Someone asked, "O Prophet of Allah! What is meant by Gardens of Paradise?" He replied, "Gatherings for performing dhikr." If a person is fortunate enough to get access to such gatherings, he should not hesitate to join and should take full advantage of this, as these are the Gardens of Paradise on Earth, as the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) explained. In these gatherings, the angels of the heavens descend to also join the gathering of the dhikr of their Creator, the All-Embracing.

    Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "Jibreel (alaiyhis-salam) laid so much emphasis on doing dhikr that I felt, without dhikr, nothing can benefit whatsoever." Dhikr is an act most loved by Allah. It is what strengthens a person's iman, belief, and faith. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) advised for us to keep renewing our faith by reciting 'La ilalah illallah,' and this kalimah is the most rewardful and most heavy on the scales of justice on the Day of Resurrection. It is most blessed and the one who performs dhikr and remembers Allah, the angels pray for his forgiveness. When a person does dhikr often, the angels become familiar with his voice and pray on his behalf when he is in afflictions, but if a person does not engage in Allah's glorification, the angels are unfamiliar with his voice, and therefore, do not pray on his behalf. Dhikr is a very auspicious act, which is tremendously stressed in many ahaadith and verses of the Qur'an, some of which have been mentioned in this reading.

    May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala include us among the most fortunate servants who engage in His dhikr and who are included in the 'Gardens of Paradise' on Earth. May He give us towfique to practice such a favorable, rewardful, and easy act habitually and abundantly throughout our lives. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala bless us with Jannatul Firdaus through this most virtuous and meritful act. And may we be included among those of whom He has favored, not those who earn His anger, nor those who go astray. And may we be included among the successful in attaining the pleasure of our Lord. Ameen. Alhumdulillahi Rabbil Alameen.

  • What are the Main Beliefs of Muslims?

    admin08-07-2014

    Monotheism: The main message of Islam is monotheism. Belief in monotheism is the cornerstone of the Islamic faith. Muslims believe that all the Prophets sent by God to humanity shared the same central message, and that was the message of monotheism. Monotheism is a term used to refer to the belief in the existence of only one diety (God). Muslims believe that there is only one God who created the universe and everything within it. This one God created the heavens, the earth, the stars, the mountains, the oceans, humans, animals, plants and everything else in existence. Muslims also believe that this one God sustains us by His mercy by continuing to bless us with the essentials of life.

    For example, we plant seeds and water them and simply watch the plants as they grow. When the time comes, we harvest the crops and eat from them. Who created these seeds for us? How do they continue to bloom year after year providing us with the food we need to survive? Who created the process of growth for these seeds that allow them to work the way they do? Who put in place the laws of nature that make all of this possible? It is God, the one God who is sustaining us by His mercy. If all seeds stop growing one day, would humans be able to manufacture a seed from nothing and make it grow and provide food? This is not possible. Humans are able to improve seeds, cross breed plants and invent ways to make plants grow faster, but we cannot create anything new from nothingness. We work from the materials which God provided for us. Without these basic materials, we would not be able to invent, create or manufacture anything.

    Muslims believe that since there is only one God who created us and who continues to sustain us, then it follows logically that only this one God is worthy of worship. If we want to thank someone for the blessings we have, it should be this one God. If we want to ask someone for more blessings, it should be this one God. Only this one God is able to truly help or harm us. Therefore, we must dedicate our true and pure love only to this one God, and we must reserve our true fear only of this one God. Of course, we are asked to love our family, friends and all humans. However, our love for God should be at a higher level, since it is God who created our family, friends and everyone else around us. Similarly, since only God can truely harm us, then we should only fear God and not fear anyone or anything else more than we fear God. Of course, it is natural for a human to fear fire, in fact this fear is a blessing from God. God created this fear in us to protect us, because without it many humans would stumble upon fire and burn themselves without realizing what they are doing. However, our fear of God should be a higher level since God not only controls our life in this world, but He will judge us in the afterlife. Therefore, Muslims believe that all acts of worship should be directed to the one God.

    Muslims also believe that all the best qualities and attributes are reserved for God. For example, God is the most merciful. A human being may be merciful, but the mercy of God is many times greater. The mercy of God is the most perfect and complete mercy. The same applies to any other good quality or attribute. God is the most just, most powerful, most wise, most honest and so on.

    Belief in the Angels: Muslims believe that just as God created human beings, He has also created angels. However, humans were given free will, whereas angels are always obediet to the will of God. Angels are not able to disobey God, and they carry out all the tasks entrusted to them by God. Muslims do not delve into useless details of how angels were created or where and how they exist. This is knowledge that is beyond our understanding as human beings. We were created within this universe, and everything we observe around us is a creation of God. God created the laws of physics that govern our existence. Even though these laws apply to the entire universe as we know it, they do not apply to God because He is the one who created them in the first place. It is impossible for us to understand something that falls outside the normal laws of physics that we know. All knowledge we have of angels was revealed to us by God through the Prophets and Messengers He sent to humanity. For example, we have been told that angels were created before humans, and that they were created from light. We have also been told about specific angels and their tasks. For example, the angel Gabriel is responsible for transmitting the revelations from God to the Prophets and Messengers.

    Belief in the Prophets and Messengers: Muslims believe that God created humans and that He wanted us to be able to live a good life. He does not want us to be misguided or to live miserable lives. He also does not want us to harm other humans or to do other morally evil actions. Therefore, God will hold every human being accountable for every action they have done in their life. In order to teach humanity what is right and what is wrong, God has sent Prophets and Messengers to guide us. These Prophets and Messengers are human beings just like the rest of us. But they were selected to take on the role of receiving guidance and revelations from God through the angel Gabriel and to spread the message among the rest of humanity.

    So what is the difference between a Prophet and a Messenger? Messengers are those individuals to whom God sent new revelations constituting a new message for humanity. For example, Moses was a Messenger whose message was the Torah. Jesus was a Messenger whose message was the Bible. Mohammad was a Messenger whose message was the Quran. On the other hand, Prophets were assigned the task of calling people to an existing message. For example, Prophets David and Solomon did not come with a new message, but were calling their people to abide by the existing message of their people.

    As you could probably already tell from the previous paragraph, Muslims do believe in Moses, Jesus and many of the same Prophets mentioned in the Bible. However, Muslims believe that all of these Prophets, including Jesus, were normal human beings. Jesus was not the son of God, he was simply a Messenger from God. God gave many of the Prophets and Messengers signs to prove to their people that they are truly Prophets. For example, Jesus was given the ability to heal the sick and even to revive the dead by the will of God. Muslims believe that Jesus never claimed to be a God or the son of God.

    Belief in the Holy Books: As mentioned in the previous section on Prophets and Messengers, Muslims believe that God revealed certain messages to guide humanity and to teach them right from wrong. The goal of all of these messages was to guide people to worship God only, and to liberate humanity from the oppression of worshipping false Gods such as idols or kings. Also, the messages were sent to help humans establish a set of laws that would enable them to minimize injustice and evil actions and to make them live happy and fruitful lives. These messages are known as the Holy Books. They include the Torah, Bible and the Quran.

    Belief in the Day of Judgement: Muslims believe that God will hold every human being accountable for each of their actions no matter how small. Since God is the most just, He will not allow someone who lived their entire life stealing, cheating and hurting others to escape with no punishment. God is able to punish these people in their life here on earth, and can punish them even more severely on the Day of Judgement. Also, God will reward those who were patient and who prevented themselves from hurting others for their own personal gain. Although they could have joined others in stealing and cheating to increase their wealth and material possessions during their life, they instead were kind to others and volunteered to help the less fortunate. How can these people and the first group have the same fate in the end? Indeed, when the time comes, the world will end and the Day of Judgement will arrive. Every human being will be held accountable for every action they did, even if it is an atom weight of goodness or evil, they will be rewarded or punished for it.

    Belief in Predestination: Muslims believe that God is all knowing. He knows what actions we will take before we take them. In fact, God knew before we were created how we will live our lives and every action that we will do. This does not mean that God controls us. Humans were given free will and they have full control over their actions. However, God simply knows all events that have occured in the past or will occur in the future. As mentioned earlier, the laws of physics, and the laws of space and time as we know them do not apply to God. In fact, God created those laws. Therefore, even though it is very difficult for us to understand, God is all knowing. Even though we have free will, God is aware of what we will do. Muslims believe that if God wanted to stop something from happening or force something to happen, he is certainly able to do so. Therefore, everything that happens occurs because God has allowed it to happen.

    Because this is a difficult concept to deal with, many people have gone astray by going to one of two extremes. The first extreme is to believe that God actually has control over the actions of every person and that people have no control over what they do. This reduces humans to simply being live pieces in a game of chess with no control over their fate. Some people use this logic to justify why they are committing sins or doing evil acts. They say that it is God who predestined them to be this way and it is out of their control. This is clearly illogical. If this was true, then why would God hold us accountable for our actions? If we have no control over our actions, it would indeed be very unfair for us to be held accountable for them.

    The other extreme is to believe that God is not aware of our actions before they occur. Because they were not able to understand the concept of the ability of God to know all events, past and future, this group disbelieved in the attribute of God that he is all knowing. This is also a false and illogical argument. The Muslim belief falls in between these two extremes. God knows all our actions before they occur, but we are free to do any action we want to do.

  • What Are The Main Practices And Rituals Of Islam?

    admin08-07-2014

    One misunderstanding that some people have about Islam is that they believe that Islam is simply about practicing a set of rituals. It is common to see and hear about the outwardly expressions of Islam such as prayers, fasting and the pilgrimage. It is also common to hear about the various restrictions Islam imposes such as prohibition of alcohol and pork, and the requirement for women to dress modestly. It is less common to hear about other aspects, so it may seem as if Islam is solely focused on rituals and restrictions. However, the reality is that Islam is meant to be a complete way of life for its followers. It includes a complete and logical set of beliefs, rituals, and a moral code that covers every action that a Muslim takes in their life. Since this question specifically asks about practices and rituals, only the physical, outwardly expressions of Islam will be discussed in this answer.

    You have probably seen pictures on TV or on the Internet of Muslims bowing and prostrating in prayers. You might have also seen pictures of the black, cube shaped structure that millions of Muslims visit and walk around during the annual pilgrimage. You probably also heard about how Muslims fast from dawn to sunset for one month a year, during Ramadan. Surely, you have seen women wearing the Hijab, or the veil covering their hair. You have probably wondered what are these people doing? Well, if you devote enough time to learn more about Islam, you will find that all these things are a small part of a complete way of life. There is a very logical explanation for everything that Muslims do. Islam does not require Muslims to blindly perform actions or rituals for no reason and with no explanation. Muslims believe that all requirements that God asks them to do or refrain from doing are for their own good. Muslims believe that following the complete way of life taught by Islam is the only way to attain real happiness in this life and afterwards as well.

    So after this long introduction, what are the practices and rituals of Islam? The following is a summary of some of the most important practices.

    1. Prayers: The Muslim prayer is a combination of physical actions, verbal sayings, and an internal feeling in the heart. Muslims are required to be in a state of calmness, serenity and humbleness while performing their prayers. Once the prayer is started, a series of sayings and actions are performed. The sayings include reciting parts of the holy Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, as well as other sayings glorifying God and thanking Him for all of His blessings upon us. It also gives Muslims the opportunity to ask God for anything they desire. This could include asking for help in getting a job, passing an exam, having a child, asking God for forgiveness of sins or anything else. Muslims are required to pray at least five times every day, and are encouraged to pray extra prayers if they can. The required prayers have specific times that they are to be performed at. These are dawn, noon, mid afternoon, sunset and at night.
    2. Fasting: Fasting means to refrain from having all kinds of food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset. Muslims are required to fast during the month of Ramadan every year. Ramadan is a month based on the lunar cycle, as opposed to the solar calendar used today by most people. Therefore, the start and end of the month of Ramadan change each year according to the lunar cycles. Ramadan can be either 29 or 30 days. Muslims are also encouraged to fast on other optional days. It is viewed as a way to cleanse the soul of all worldly desires and devout oneself completely to the obedience of God. It is also an opportunity for wealthy Muslims to experience life without food and drink for a day, which is meant to remind them of the poor and encourage them to have sympathy and to be generous in donating to help the poor and the needy.
    3. Pilgrimage: Also known as the Hajj, the pilgrimage is a physical and spiritual journey that every financially and physically able Muslim is expected to make at least once in their lifetime. Muslims travel to the holy city of Makkah, located in what is known today as Saudi Arabia, to perform the required rites of the pilgrimage. There, they are expected to spend their days in complete devotion to worship and to asking God for forgiveness and for anything else they wish to ask for. They also perform specific rituals, such as walking around the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped building located in Makkah.
    4. Charity: A very important aspect of Islam is giving charity to the poor. Muslims are required to give certain percentages of any type of wealth that they have accumulated. For example, Muslims must give 2.5% of the money they have saved each year. It is important to note that this is not based on income, it is based on savings. A small portion of the money that is sitting in the bank accounts of wealthy people and not helping anyone is used every year to help the poor. This ensures some re-distribution of wealth among Muslims. Also, Muslims are strongly encouraged to make charitable giving a habit. Most Muslims donate to charity on a weekly basis when they attend Friday prayer services at the Masjid, the Islamic place of worship.
    5. Purification: Before performing certain rituals, most importantly before prayers, Muslims are expected to perform a form of purification, known as ablution or "wudu" in Arabic. This involves washing the hands, face, arms and feet with water. Since Muslims are required to pray at least five times every day at various times throughout the day from dawn until the night, this ensures that Muslims maintain a high level of hygiene.
    6. Animal Sacrifice: The term "Animal Sacrifice" may sound weird, unusual or shocking to some people when they first hear or read it. But the reality is that the majority of people in the world do eat the meat of many different kinds of animals. Muslims believe that it is God whom has given us the right to kill these animals and eat them. Therefore, Muslims are required to mention God at the time the animal is killed. This reminds us that these animals were created by God and that God gave us the permission to benefit from them. This is why it is called a "sacrifice", and this is why it is considered a religious practice. Muslims are encouraged to perform animal sacrifice at special occasions in the Islamic calendar. In these special occasions, it is expected that part of the meat of the animal would be donated to the poor.

     

    This was just a quick overview of some of the main rituals and religious practices of Muslims. Although many people have heard about at least some of these practices, this is usually everything they have ever heard or learned about Islam. These practices are just a very superficial and physical aspect of Islam. A deeper study of the beliefs of Muslims would reveal the true beauty of Islam. It is hoped that the reader will continue to study this great religion, the fastest growing religion in the world today. With understanding comes tolerance, and with tolerance comes love and peace, all of which we need more of in our world today.

  • 4.Marriage
  • Is it allowed to marry a Jewish woman?

    admin07-07-2014

    yes, we are allowed to marry from the People of the Scriptures (Christians & Jews). The evidence for this can be found in Surah Al-Ma’ada (5:5). But, there are some conditions that must be followed:

    1. The woman has to be a chaste woman.
    2. The marriage must be carried out according to the Islamic Shari’ah, not according to their religion. (i.e. ceremony celebrated at a church or temple).
    3. The children born from the marriage will have to be raised as Muslims.
    4. The woman must also understand and agree that no violations to the Islamic way living should occur. For example, she must know and agree that gambling, drinking alcohol, taking the children to church or temple, allowing strange man in the house in the husband’s absence is strictly forbidden in Islam.
    5. Husband must work hard to help her become Muslim.
  • What are Requirements of Islamic marriage?

    admin07-07-2014

    In the name of Allah, The Most Merciful.

    Requirements needed:

    • A Muslim woman needs her Wali to be from the righteous Muslim believers (Father, Grandfather, uncle, Brother or Son if she has one otherwise a righteous Muslim believer male). But, for the Non- Muslim woman her Wali should be any Non- Muslim relative such as: her father or any other male close relative.
    • At least two righteous male witnesses
    • Mahr (dowry) for the bride.
    • Identification card for both.
  • Is it allowed for someone to get married over the phone?

    admin07-07-2014

    Nikah conducted over the telephone is not permissible since it does not fulfill the criteria of a valid marriage according to Islam.

    In order for nikah to take place and be valid, both ijaab (the proposal) and qabool (the acceptance) must take place in the presence of at least two witnesses. These witnesses must be at least two Muslim, sane, mature male witnesses or one male and two female witnesses. Even if the witnesses are present at the nikah, they will not be there to physically witness both the proposal and acceptance.

    If you are in a real desperate situation, then an alternative is for you, the groom, to appoint someone else as an agent to physically go to the bride’s family on your behalf to contract the marriage and to pronounce the proposal and acceptance on your behalf in front of the witnesses.

    And Allāh knows best.

  • Is it allowed to have excessive talking with a father-in-law?

    admin07-07-2014

    According to Islam, It is allowed for the wife to converse with her father-in-law the same was as she would converse with her own father; meaning in a respectful and honorable way. Conversations excessively open (inappropriate topics) or excessive laugh in privacy with the father-in-law are not proper for any Muslim woman.

    Here some facts we need to study together:

    • Allah Soub-hanahu- Watalla said in suratul-Ahzab(33-32): “If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease(evil desire for adultery, those who have sickness in their hearts, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner”.
    • The Prophet Salla Allahu Alihi wassalam said in authentic hadith:

    ((إن الله يبغض الفاحش المتفحش)[رواه ابن حبان5694]، وقال: (إن الله لا يحب كل فاحش متفحش, “Allah dislike every excessively speaking and even the one who loves it”.

    Therefore, the relationship between the father-in-law (Mahram) and the wife should be in good manner, with full respect and not to be excessively.  Also, I must remind you that relationship or treatment between you and your parents should be with full respect as Allah commands us to be dutiful to them. As a result, in order to avoid any harsh feelings with your father, I think the best way to control this kind of relation is to advice your wife to eliminate these kinds of conversations.

    May Allah make it easy for you and He knows best.

  • Is it allowed for a Muslim woman to marry a Non-Muslim man?

    admin07-07-2014

    Now, in Islam, as you may know, a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man. It is totally forbidden, therefore, the marriage is not valid. For the marriage to be valid, first the man would have to truly become a Muslim and state the Shahada (the Islamic declaration of faith). Otherwise, the relationship is considered as fornication (Zinah).

    My advice to you is that this man should be encouraged to study about Islam and maybe Allah will guide him to become a Muslim. And, YOU, you should find out where you are standing with Allah and fear Him. This relationship (of being boyfriend and girlfriend as viewed in this country) is considered as adultery in Islam; therefore a great sin.

    May Allah help you and guide you. Allah knows best.

  • Is it allowed a man not to tell his second wife about having a first wife?

    admin07-07-2014

    Please note that the second marriage is valid according to Islam if the required conditions were followed in the nikah which are: Two male witnesses, wali for the bride and the prescribed Mahr for the bride. This is true even if he did hide to the second wife about having a first wife or vice versa; unless he was directly and specifically questioned about having another wife before the contract of marriage and he concealed the information deceiving the bride and the contract of marriage.

    Therefore,  I advise you to be patient with him if he is a practicing Muslim who supports you financially and gives your rights.

    May Allah help you and make it easy for you.

  • Is it okay for a woman to marry without a wali?

    admin07-07-2014

    The Prophet PBUH said: “ La Zawaj ella bi-wali wa-shahiday addl”   - No marriage will be valid except with Wali and two witnesses and that is for both ( virgin & woman who married before).

    Imam Abu- Hanifa mentioned in his fatwa that a woman who had been married before is able to marry herself . This fatwa is rejected from the majority of the Oullama because the hadith from the Prophet (swa) is very clear “no marriage will be valid without a Wali and this is for both.

    Allah knows best.

  • Is it okay to marry two sisters at the same time in Islam?

    admin07-07-2014

    According to the Islamic law, man can marry more than one and up to four wives.  That is if he  treats  them equally and with fairness,  but if he is not able to do so it will be only one wife.  Also, in Islam it’s forbidden to have two sisters in marriage at the same time. Review Surat Al-Nisa(4-23) “Wa-An tajmaou bayna Al-Okhtayn Ella ma- qad salaf inna Allah kana ghafouran Rahhima” {And two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed, verily, Allah is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}

    If you want to convert to Islam you are welcome, but you will be allowed to keep only one as wife and the second one as your sister inshaAllah (God willing).  According to the law of Allah, the one who you choose to leave will become forbidden to you in marriage or as a wife, but you could still financially support her until she marries someone else. Also, you may need to renew the contract of marriage (marry according to Islam) with whom you want to keep. The children you have from both women are still your children and you will be responsible for the financial support of them.

  • Is it haram to change your last name when getting married?

    admin07-07-2014

    Please review Surat Al-Ahzab (33-5): Allah said : “Call them by fathers: that is more just with Allah. But, if you know not their father’s (names, call them) your brothers in faith and Mawalium (your freed slaves). And there is no sin on you if you make a mistake therein, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”.

    We understand from the previous ayat that every person should be called by his father’s name. The reason as to why Allah sent down this ayat is that the Prophet (pbuh) took Zayed Ibn Thabet as adopted child and the people used to call him son of Muhammad. Then, Allah Sobhana-Hu sent down the revelations to forbid the adoption and mandate that a child should carry his or her father’s name and so this will be just.

    Also, in the Day of Judgment everyone will be called by his father’s name. Besides we should not follow the system of the disbelievers.

    Allah knows best.

  • A Happy Marriage

    admin08-07-2014

    Tips to ensure your wife's happiness

    We should all strive to be the perfect husband, yet as human beings we are not perfect and are, therefore, prone to making mistakes. Likewise, our wives cannot be perfect and by expecting them to be so, we are merely setting ourselves up for disappointment. Knowing how to act when you have made a mistake and learning to forgive your wife for hers is essential advice for a realistic marriage. A happy marriage needs to be constantly worked at and nurtured by both spouses. Read on for some ways in which you can bring contentment to your wife.

    Kindness

    Your wife is the closest person to you in the whole world, yet many of us show our best side to people outside the home. We make such an effort to impress and to make the right impression, yet we do not do this at home. Who is most deserving of your best side? Surely it is your spouse.

    Muslim men are required by the teachings of the Qur’an and the ahadith of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) to show kindness to their wives. Smile when you return home, speak kind words and use positive language. Praise your wife when she pleases you and show gratitude for all she does for you. Make the most of her best points and do not dwell on those aspects of her character that may be less pleasing to you.

    “A believing man should not have any malice against a believing woman. He may dislike one characteristic in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing.” [Muslim]

    Unfortunately, some Muslim men, who do not have a full understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah, believe that it is acceptable to use violence against their wives. Islam allows a symbolic beating but using an item that will not bring harm, such as a toothbrush or a handkerchief. You are not permitted to try to control your wife, intimidate her or act violently towards her. This is termed as abuse and it is punishable by law. It is also a shameful act, committed by weak individuals who are unable to control their anger.

    Friendship

    Become your wife’s best friend, not just her husband. Spend time together doing things that you both enjoy. Share your interests and your thoughts. Be open with one another and show that you can be a trusted confidant.

    Sense of humour

    Have a sense of humour. Smile, have fun. Ensure that your home is a happy place. Life is hard enough so let in a little humour to ensure that any challenges you face do not get you down.

    Personal appearance

    Take care with your personal appearance. Keep yourself clean and make an effort to look good for your wife. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you no longer need to make yourself attractive to her now that you are married.

    Sexual relations

    Respect your wife’s likes and dislikes and stick to what is halaal. Remember that foreplay is an essential part of intercourse and that intercourse is not over until your wife has been satisfied too. Do not pressure her to do anything that she does not feel comfortable with.

    Never reveal your bedroom secrets to others. Intimate acts between a husband and wife should remain private.

    Finances

    Muslim men are told:

    “Provide for them (your wives), the rich according to his income and the poor according to his means, the provision according to the custom, this is an obligation for those who act kindly.” [2:236]

    Men are advised to spend generously on their wives and family, yet live within their means. Give to your wife before she needs to ask you for anything, yet do not be wasteful.

    Household

    Although Islam tells us that household duties are usually the wife’s responsibilities, a little help goes a long way. The Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) helped his wives and sets a shining example to us. Don’t expect your wife to do it all. An offer of help will be greatly appreciated by your partner, especially when she is unwell. Most of all, show your wife how much you appreciate everything she does for you.

    Consultation

    Consulting your wife on family, household or financial matters will help to cement your relationship. Listen carefully and consider her opinion. Feeling that her views are important to you will help your wife to feel valued and increase her trust in you.

    Respect for family and friends

    Treat her family and friends respectfully. Pay them visits and invite them to your home. Help them out when they need it. They will do the same for you. Take time to get to know them and learn to love what your wife loves about them. Your wife will love you all the more for it!

    Disagreements

    Be careful of what you say. In the heat of the moment we often say hurtful things that we don’t really mean. A spiteful word or insult may stay with your partner for a long time. Let your anger die down first. Wait until you are alone and do not bring shame upon yourselves by arguing in the company of others.

    Do not bring up past arguments or mistakes. Reopening old wounds only leads to bitterness. Leave them in the past.

    Finally, always settle an argument before going to sleep. Do not allow your anger to persist into the following day as this will only make matters worse.

    Forgiveness

    If you make a mistake, admit it and ask for forgiveness. Be prepared to forgive your wife’s mistakes too. Honesty is essential in a relationship. We ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) for forgiveness, so why not our spouses too? Forgive each other and move on.

    Support

    As a husband, you should be your wife’s greatest supporter. Encourage her in her activities and give her a shoulder to lean on when she is upset. Be a counsellor and a source of inspiration to her when things go wrong.

    If you have married a wife who has ambition, it is up to you to let her know that she does not have to spend her life doing housework. There have been many well-known women scholars and many women have played important roles in Islam. Allow your wife the freedom to accomplish her goals in life and your lives will be all the richer for it.

    Islamic education

    Help your wife to grow as a Muslim. If she was less practising than you prior to marriage, then teach her the basics of Islam, Islamic rules and Sunnah. Teach her to pray and spend time praying together. Make du’a for Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) to bless your marriage. You can encourage your wife to attend lessons or Islamic social events (halaqahs) in your community or at the masjid.

    If you are on a par in your worship then devise ways in which you can further your Islamic knowledge and commitment together. This will strengthen your relationship with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) as well as with each other.

    If you have married a woman who has recently converted to Islam then you will need to be patient. Offer support and encouragement and help her with her understanding of Islam but do not try to force the pace of change. A change of faith and lifestyle is a lot to adapt to straightaway. Let her take her time and to adopt new aspects of Islam as she becomes comfortable with them.

    Nurture your relationship

    Keep your relationship fresh by surprising your spouse occasionally. Give little gifts, flowers or send a card. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) told us that giving gifts increases mutual love. What better reason do you need?

    Make your marriage an act of worship

    Finally, remember that by marrying you are completing half your deen. When both spouses strive to please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى), their marriage becomes an act of worship. This will please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and He will reward you with happiness and stability in your marriage.

  • Tips to ensure your husband's happiness

    admin08-07-2014

    We should all strive to be the perfect wife, yet as human beings we are not perfect and are, therefore, prone to making mistakes. Likewise, our husbands cannot be perfect and by expecting them to be so, we are merely setting ourselves up for disappointment. Knowing how to act when you have made mistakes and learning to forgive your husband for his is essential advice for a realistic marriage. A happy marriage needs to be constantly worked at and nurtured by both spouses. Read on for some ways in which you can bring contentment to your husband.

    Kindness

    Your husband is the closest person to you in the whole world, yet many of us show our best side to people outside the home. We make such an effort to impress and to make the right impression, yet we do not do this at home. Who is most deserving of your best side? Surely it is your spouse?

    Muslim men are required by the teachings of the Qur’an and the ahadith of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) to show kindness to their wives. Ensure that you do the same in return. Be ready with a smile when he returns home, speak kind words and use positive language. Show gratitude for all he does for you. Make the most of his best points and do not dwell on those aspects of his character that may be less pleasing to you. Remember that only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) is perfect.

    Friendship

    Become your husband’s best friend, not just his wife. Spend time together doing things that you both enjoy. Share your interests and your thoughts. Be open with one another and show that you can be a trusted confidant.

    Sense of humour

    Have a sense of humour. Smile, have fun. Ensure that your home is a happy place. Life is hard enough so let in a little humour to ensure that any challenges you face do not get you down.

    Personal appearance

    Take care with your personal appearance. Keep yourself clean and make an effort to look good for your husband. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you no longer need to make yourself attractive to him now that you are married.

    Sexual relations

    Respect your husband’s likes and dislikes and stick to what is halaal. Remember that intercourse is not over until both partners have been satisfied. Do not be afraid to try out anything new that your husband may suggest as long as it is halaal.

    Never reveal your bedroom secrets to others. Intimate acts between a husband and wife should remain private.

    Finances

    As your husband is the provider for the family, try not to ask him for things that are unnecessary and ensure that you live within your husband’s means. Do not compare possessions with other women and be satisfied with what your husband can afford.

    Obedience

    Islam grants the husband the position of head of the family: “Men are protectors and maintainers of women” [Qur’an 4:34] and a wife’s role is as support and consultant. Therefore, a wife is expected to obey her husband unless what he asks of her is haram.

    The Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎)said: “When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of paradise she wishes.” [Mishkat]

    This quotation shows that, under these circumstances, her place in paradise is guaranteed.

    Respect for family and friends

    Treat his family and friends respectfully. Pay them visits and invite them to your home. Help them out when they need it. They will do the same for you. Take time to get to know them and learn to love what your husband loves about them. He will love you all the more for it!

    Disagreements

    Be careful of what you say. In the heat of the moment we often say hurtful things that we don’t really mean. A spiteful word or insult may stay with your partner for a long time. Let your anger die down first. Wait until you are alone and do not bring shame upon yourselves by arguing in the company of others.

    Do not bring up past arguments or mistakes. Reopening old wounds only leads to bitterness. Leave them in the past. Communicate clearly, calmly and directly. Your husband is not a mind reader and he will not know that something is wrong unless you tell him.

    Finally, always settle an argument before going to sleep. Do not allow your anger to persist into the following day as this will only make matters worse.

    Forgiveness

    If you make a mistake, admit it and ask for forgiveness. Be prepared to forgive your husband’s mistakes too. Honesty is essential in a relationship. We ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) for forgiveness, so why not our spouses too? Forgive each other and move on.

    Support

    As a wife, you should be your husband’s greatest supporter. Encourage him to achieve his goals in life and give him a shoulder to lean on when he is upset. Be a counsellor and a source of inspiration to him when things go wrong. Allow him to help you too.

    Islamic education

    Help your husband to grow as a Muslim. Spend time praying together and encourage him to partake in Islamic groups or activities if he does not already do so. Make Du’a for Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) to bless your marriage. If you are on a par in your worship then devise ways in which you can further your Islamic knowledge and commitment together. This will strengthen your relationship with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) as well as with each other.

    If you have married a man who has recently converted to Islam then you will need to be patient. Offer support and encouragement and help him with his understanding of Islam but do not try to force the pace of change. A change of faith and lifestyle is a lot to adapt to straightaway. Let him take his time and to adopt new aspects of Islam as he becomes comfortable with them.

    Nurture your relationship

    Keep your relationship fresh by surprising your spouse occasionally. Give little gifts, flowers or send a card. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) told us that giving gifts increases mutual love. What better reason do you need?

    Make your marriage an act of worship

    Finally, remember that by marrying you are completing half your deen. When both spouses strive to please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى), their marriage becomes an act of worship. This will please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and He will reward you with happiness and stability in your marriage.

     

  • Marriage Etiquette

    admin08-07-2014

    Marriage is a gift, a special bond between man and woman, husband and wife.  Much has been written about how we should behave towards a spouse after marriage, but no texts are more appropriate than the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.  Within this article, we have attempted to bring together information on marriage etiquette from a variety of sources, which we hope will guide and inspire you in this most wonderful relationship.

    A spouse has been described as “a partner, companion and best friend”.  The closeness between spouses is unlike any other relationship.  The following verse from the Qur’an sums it up perfectly: “They are your garments and you are their garments” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:187].  This illustrates how “spouses provide one another with the protection, the comfort, the cover, the support and the adornment that garments provide to humans”.

    The first few years of marriage are often the most challenging as this is the period when husband and wife are getting to know each other better and adjusting to each other’s habits and personalities, as well as to their new roles in society.  There are, however, a number of matters of etiquette for married couples to observe which will help to ensure harmony and understanding during this time of transition, as well as in the long term.

    Expectations

    Everyone has different expectations of marriage but it important that these expectations are realistic.  The “happy ever after” portrayed in many Hollywood and Bollywood films is achievable but we must remember that it takes time, patience and effort to build and maintain this strong marital bond.

    First and foremost, do not expect your partner to be perfect.  Only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) is perfect.  All of us have our good points and our bad points, and husbands and wives must learn to delight in the good points and accept the bad.  We cannot expect to always agree with our spouses.  They are not an extension of ourselves; they are their own person with their own personalities, views, likes and dislikes, which we should try to understand rather than change.

    A happy marriage cannot be taken for granted. It requires constant giving from both sides.  Be mindful that even small things can make a huge difference to the relationship.  Be honest with your partner.  Both partners in marriage should feel free to speak their mind but must be careful not to hurt the other’s feelings.  Pay each other compliments and show appreciation for the things that your spouse does for you.

    Problems between couples may arise from a lack of information before marriage.  Therefore it is important to discuss your future expectations beforehand.  Such issues could include whether the wife will work outside the home, when the couple plan to have children, where and with whom (if anyone) they should live, how they will work together to ensure a happy marriage, etc.

    In marriage, the husband takes the lead.  However, according to Islam, marriage is a partnership.  Rather than being a dictator in the relationship, the husband is seen more as a shepherd who is responsible for and to his flock.  In Islam, a leader is one who serves, manages, provides and nourishes and does so with humbleness and humility.  The husband is expected to consult his wife (Shura), especially in relation to family matters, and to respect and value her opinion.

    Spending time together

    It is important to make time for each other and to enjoy spending time together.  It is only through being together that we can learn to communicate effectively with our spouses, to share our hopes and fears and to feel responsible for each other.  When this bond is strong, the couple becomes a “team”, working together for the same ends.

    Establish your own rituals.  Set aside time together.  This is especially important if both partners are working.  This time can be spent praying together, deciding upon finances or a weekly menu, pursuing a hobby together or simply taking time to enjoy each other’s company. Show interest in your spouse’s hobbies and encourage your spouse to take interest in yours.

    Your marital bond will enable you to build a close relationship, both physically and emotionally.  However, giving each other sufficient space in the relationship will bring balance.  In addition, show forgiveness  if your partner makes a mistake and do not hold grudges.  Develop closeness and fondness by laughing and having fun together.  Plan for your future together. This will bring peace of mind and cement your relationship.

    Sexual relations

    Time and effort are required to establish a sexual relationship in marriage, which is in tune with the needs of each partner.  It is essential that both are informed about Islamic sexual etiquette, especially what is permissible (halaal) and what is forbidden (haram).

    Before intercourse, it is recommended that spouses indulge in foreplay in order to make penetration more comfortable.

    The Prophet (all Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said that, before intercourse, a husband should make Du’a to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) so that if He granted the couple a child, then it would not be affected by Shaitan. “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (in the name of Allah), O Allah! Protect us from Shaitan and protect the sustenance (child) you give us from Shaitan.”

    He also told men not to leave before their wives are satisfied. If a husband wishes to have intercourse again then he should first do Wudhu(ablution) just as he would for prayer. Not only will it cleanse him, but also invigorate him. (An explanation of Wudhu can be found at the end of this article.) However, taking a bath is preferred and it is required before prayer, using the Qur’an or entering the masjid.

    A couple is permitted to take a bath together and intercourse can be in any position that they choose. However, it is haram for a man to enter his wife anally.

    It is also forbidden to have intercourse while the wife has her menstrual period (Haidh or Mahidh). During this time, the couple may kiss or touch but the woman must cover her groin area so that it does not touch her mate. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “Do everything except the intercourse.” [Muslim and Abu Dawood]

    The above also applies for the first forty days after childbirth or until the bleeding stops, whichever comes sooner. Intercourse can then resume once she is clean, having performed wudhu or taken a bath.

    Couples must refrain from intercourse from dawn till dusk during the month of Ramadan while they are fasting. They may kiss or hug but it should not be taken further or their fasting will be invalid. This is also relevant when they are fasting voluntarily. And, for those fortunate enough to go on Umrah to Mecca, it is important to abstain from intercourse and all intimate relations, including kissing, hugging and also talking about them. As Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) said: “But do not associate with your wives while you are in retreat in mosques.” [Qur’an: Al-Baqarah 2:187]

    Intimacy between a husband and a wife should always be done privately. Revealing secrets is unIslamic.  Therefore, partners should never discuss bedroom matters with others. If discussion becomes necessary, for example, due to medical matters or where there is a need for a marriage mentor, this should take place only with an authority figure that has both partners’ interests at heart.

    Our Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) recommends that husbands and wives make themselves physically attractive to each other and to pay even more attention to this after marriage.  Spouses should take care of themselves, to look good and stay clean in order not to cause offence to the other.  Elegance and beautification are encouraged in Islam.

    Family and friends

    Islam demands that a special effort should be made to show kindness and respect to your spouse’s family.  A bond with your in-laws does not develop overnight.  It requires regular, healthy contact, openness and a willingness to accept your differences.  Acceptance of your spouse’s family and showing them hospitality can only strengthen the bond between you and your partner and help to make marital relations easier.

    In line with Islamic rules of social relations we should avoid sarcasm, backbiting and calling each other offensive nicknames.  Instead, we should make a special effort to respect each other as family members.  Everyone is different.  Therefore, do not compare your partner to members of your family and do not compare in-laws to your parents.  This can lead to friction and resentment.

    Friends are important to married couples and it can be useful to schedule a “friends time” where husband and wife can meet privately with friends.  The couple should also make an effort to make family friends, friendships with other married couples.  However, of the highest importance is to develop a deep and lasting friendship with your spouse.

    Taking an active role in the Islamic community is something that married couples can do together and that will heighten your commitment to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى). It is also a good way of making new friends together. Invite friends, and family, to dinner at your home and cement these relationships.

    Commitment to Allah

    As Islam is a way of life, it is an integral part of the couple’s relationship.  They are bound by their common faith and in their desire to please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى).  Each should be responsible for enhancing their partner’s spiritual development.  Support each other in your obedience to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and make time to pray together.  This will strengthen your relationship with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and, in turn, ensure that your marital bond remains strong.

    Performing wudhu

    Wudhu is a form of cleansing oneself ready for prayer to be carried out in the following order:

    • Wash the hands to the wrists three times
    • Rinse the mouth with water three times
    • Cleanse the nostrils three times. This is done by sniffing water through them.
    • Wash the face using both hands three times
    • Begin with the right arm and wash the arms to the elbows three times
    • Wipe the whole head once with a wet hand
    • Wipe the inner sides of the ears with forefingers and the outer sides with thumbs
    • Begin with the right foot and wash feet to the ankles

    It is compulsory to wash the face, hands and arms, head and feet as described. The other steps are Sunnah.

  • Marriage Types

    admin08-07-2014

    Marriage, in Islam, is defined as a sacred contract between a man and a woman, and it requires three components to make it legal. These are: the agreement of both the bride and the groom; the presence of two witnesses; and the giving of mahr (dowry). Any alliance between a couple that does not have all three is invalid. Let us now take a look at various types of marriage and how they are viewed by Islam.

    Temporary marriage

    A Muslim is not permitted to enter a marriage, where it has been agreed that the marriage will last for a fixed period of time only. This type of marriage (mut`ah) is not valid in Islam, where marriage is regarded as a life-long commitment.

    Arranged marriage

    Islam allows the concept of arranged marriage as it is tradition that parents play an important role in finding a compatible marriage partner for their son or daughter. However, an arranged marriage is only valid if it has been agreed to by both the bride and the groom.

    The Offer and Acceptance (Al-Ijab wal-Qubul) part of the nikah (marriage ceremony) ensures that this is the case. Each party is asked whether they consent to the marriage and the ceremony can only continue if both agree. It is important to note that the bride’s silence is understood to mean her agreement.

    Forced marriage

    Forced marriage should not be confused with arranged marriage. It is true that in both cases the parents of the couple find a partner for their son or daughter; however, if the bride or groom (or even both) does not agree with the marriage, then it is classed as a forced marriage.

    Islam strongly disapproves of this. All individuals have the right to decide upon a marriage partner; no one can make that decision for them. The Islamic marriage is based upon, among other things, understanding and compatibility. This is what keeps a marriage strong and ensures that the bond between spouses lasts a lifetime.

    This problem may arise where sons or daughters are not able to speak up against their parents’ wishes. It is a sin to force marriage upon someone for whom you have responsibility and it is also a sin to allow the marriage to go ahead if, as the bride or groom, you do not agree with it. Perhaps by involving other family members or an Imam, who are able to speak to the parents on the bride or groom’s behalf, then the marriage can be avoided.

    This is not solely a problem in Islam; it is a phenomenon that other religions, such as Hinduism and Sikhism, also experience. If a brother or sister has been forced into marriage, then the union is invalid and should be annulled.

    Secret marriage

    Although they are recognised by Islam for fulfilling all the necessary requirements of nikah (consent of both parties, two witnesses and mahr), secret marriages are strictly disapproved of. They can even be haram if the parents of the bride or groom (or both) are against the marriage. In Islam, the will of the parents is highly respected and, whilst it is recognised that sometimes parents may need to be steered in the right direction, there are ways of doing this without resorting to marrying in secret.

    Again, asking relatives or an Imam to mediate can give the desired outcome without the couple having to go against Islam. A secret marriage that is not blessed by the parents can only lead to problems and it will not experience the true extent of comfort and tranquility that characterizes an Islamic marriage.

    Love marriage

    Love marriages, which come about when a man and woman fall in love, are accepted by Islam, but the behaviour of the couple before the marriage takes place is, in the majority of cases, against the laws of Islam. Just as happens in Western culture, a man and a woman meet and begin a relationship before deciding that they want to marry.

    Dating is prohibited in Islam and so the couple must realise their wrong-doing and marry immediately or they should separate and repent. Parents of the couple, if they are aware of the relationship, should investigate the compatibility of the couple and ensure that marriage or separation takes place as soon as possible.

    Marriage to more than one person

    Polygamy (having more than one spouse) is possibly one of the most misunderstood aspects of Islam, especially amongst followers of other religions. There are two types of polygamy: polygyny (having more than one wife) and polyandry (having more than one husband). According to the laws of Islam, limited polygyny is permissible whereas polyandry is forbidden.

    The Qur’an states: “Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then marry only one.” [Al-Qur’an 4:3]

    The Qur’an is the only religious book to state that a man should “marry only one”.  Before the introduction of the Qur’an, polygyny was commonplace and it was not unheard of for a man to have hundreds of wives. The Holy Qur’an places a limit on the number of wives a Muslim man may have, which is four, as shown in the quote above.

    However, Islam does not recommend marrying more than one woman. Men are advised that they should only have more than one wife if they can afford to keep them comfortably and that they are able to deal with each wife fairly, spending equal amounts of time with them and equal amounts of money on them, and not favouring the offspring of one wife over another. The Qur’an warns: “You will not be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much you wish (to do so). But turn not altogether away (from one), leaving her as in suspense. If you do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” [Qur’an 4: 129]

    There are several arguments for polygyny which should be addressed in order to better understand this practice.

    • Life expectancy
      Women have a higher life expectancy than men; they have fewer accidents and fewer female lives are lost in times of war.
    • Population issues
      Women outnumber men and so, if polygyny were not permitted, there would be many women who could not get a husband.
    • Protection of modesty
      Being able to marry a man who is already married allows a woman, who would otherwise not find a husband, to enjoy a respected position in society and to receive the protection that marriage grants to wives.
    • Inability to conceive
      The primary aim of marriage is to produce children in order to ensure the continuance of Islamic society. In other societies, a husband may divorce his wife if she is unable to conceive. In this case, the woman would be seriously disadvantaged as few men would want to marry someone who is infertile. By allowing the husband to take another wife, the first wife retains all her marriage privileges with an equal status to the second wife.
    • Illness/old age
      If a woman develops a permanent illness, or has reached old age, and is unable to carry out her duties as a wife, then she can continue to receive the love and support from her husband if he is able to then marry a woman who is able to support her in these duties.
    • Sexual appetite
      The husband’s sexual appetite may be much stronger than his wife’s, leaving her unable to fulfill his desires. In this case, the husband may take another wife in order to satisfy his sexual urges.

    Each wife is entitled to her own house of equal value to those of her husband’s other wives, or to a private apartment in the same house. A husband cannot insist on his wives living in the same house where they have only a room to themselves unless the wives are in agreement.

    Interfaith marriage
    Interfaith marriages are permitted between a Muslim man and a Christian or Jewish woman under the same conditions as he would marry a Muslim woman. In addition, it is essential that she is Muhsanah (chaste) and that she refrains from sex before marriage. She must also be practising her religion at the time of the nikah.

    The Qur’an reports that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) said: “This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who have received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when you give them their marriage portions and live with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denies the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.” [Al-Qur’an: Al-Ma’idah 5:5]

    However, a Muslim man is not encouraged to marry a non-Muslim if he is not living in a Muslim state. This is because his right to bring up his children according to the teachings of Islam is unlikely to be recognised.

    In contrast, Muslim law does not allow a Muslim woman to marry any non-Muslim man as it would compromise her faith. Her children would naturally bear the name and religion of their father and, as a consequence, would not be Muslims.

    A Muslim man or woman may marry a partner who has accepted Islam, regardless of their race or their previous faith. However, their intentions must be pure and the acceptance of Islam must not be a temporary measure in order to secure his or her desired partner.

    Marriage to a Kuffar (non-believer)

    Neither Muslim males nor females are permitted to marry a non-believer. If marriage is desired, then it is essential that the atheist man or woman accepts Islam before a nikah can take place. Islam teaches us both the physical and spiritual importance of marriage. True harmony can only be achieved when both spouses have the same point of view with regard to religion as it plays such an influential role in their everyday lives.

    Same sex “marriage”/relationship

    While a proliferation of same sex relationships takes place in other societies, some of which allow same sex “marriage” in the form of civil partnerships, study of the Qur’an and the ahadith show that there is no place for homosexual relationships in Islam.

    Under Islamic law, committing a homosexual act is haram and is indeed regarded as a punishable crime. There is no set punishment (hadd) in the Shariah; rather it is decided at the discretion of local authorities on Islam. To demonstrate how seriously Islam views homosexual practices, suggested punishments for the perpetrators include stoning and death, with the death penalty enforced in five officially Muslim states. Both the Qur’an and the ahadith condemn sexual relations between members of the same sex. However, some Muslims question the authenticity of these ahadith.

    As we have already learnt, the family unit is the sound base of Islam. Marriage sets up this family unit, into which, Insha’Allah, children are born and then brought up in the Islamic way. A marriage is defined as a contract between a man and a woman, thus leaving no leeway for the acceptance of civil partnerships from which no children can be borne. Also, as Islam forbids sexual relations outside of a marriage, any sexual acts carried out by homosexuals are therefore strictly haram.

  • The Islamic Marriage Ceremony and Beyond

    admin08-07-2014

    Once a couple has accepted each other as a marriage partner, there is much to plan. This article describes the components of an Islamic wedding with the intention of providing those who are about to marry with an idea of what they can expect and the meaning of each event.

    First of all, they need to consult their families and set a date! The couple should discuss their wishes and expectations with both families before setting to work, deciding upon a budget, and organising all that is required. Do you wish to hold the nikah at home or at the masjid? Will you require a separate civil ceremony? Who will you invite? Where will you hold the Walima? All this, and more, requires careful consideration.

    Al-Nikah: the Islamic Marriage Ceremony

    The nikah is a simple ceremony in which a man and woman declare their commitment to one another as husband and wife. It is a holy contract to which both must agree and it is considered an act of worship (ibadah).

    In the very simplest form of the ceremony, there is the Al-Ijab wal-Qubul (offer and acceptance) only, when the Wali (woman’s guardian in marriage) offers the bride to the groom, who then accepts. The Wali may say: “I give you my daughter/the girl in my guardianship in marriage in accordance to the Islamic Shari'ah in the presence of the witnesses here with the dowry agreed upon. And Allah is our best witness.”

    The husband-to-be replies with: “I accept marrying your daughter/guard giving her name to myself in accordance to the Islamic Shari'ah in the presence of the witnesses here with the dowry agreed upon. And Allah is our best witness.” The ceremony is then complete.

    However, Islam encourages its followers to announce a marriage and to celebrate this wonderful relationship between a man and a woman. The nikah is also a social activity. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “Declare this marriage, have it in the mosque and beat the drums.”

    Despite being a religious ceremony, the nikah does not need to take place in a mosque. That is a matter of personal choice. However, you will be required to hold a separate civil ceremony. Sometimes, men and women sit separately at the nikah. They may be in a separate room or there may be a partition between them. Again, this is a matter of preference.

    All that is required for nikah is:

    • the consent of both parties;
    •  two witnesses (Ash-Shuhud ), who have attained adulthood and are good Muslims of sound mind (usually two males or a male and two females); and
    •  the payment of mahr (dowry or marriage gift) by the groom to the bride. Mahr will be discussed in greater detail later in this article.

    Also important to the nikah, but not required by law, are:

    • the presence of the bride’s legal guardian (wali);
    • a written marriage contract (Aqd-Nikah) which is signed by the bride, groom and witnesses;
    • a responsible person to officiate the ceremony, most often an Imam;
    • a sermon (Khutba-tun-Nikah) to bless the marriage

    The marriage contract documents are recorded with the mosque and registered with local government, thus fulfilling the civil obligations of the marriage. Without this, the marriage would not be recognised under British law and the legal rights of the spouse, such as inheritance, would not be valid.

    Sermon

    The marriage sermon (Khutbah-tun-Nikah) is a way of blessing the marriage and begins by praising Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى). “There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger”, the Muslim confession of faith, is then declared. The main body of the sermon comprises three verses from the holy Qur’an (Quran 4:1, 3:102, 33:70-71) and one hadith:

    “By Allah! Among all of you I am the most God-fearing, and among you all, I am the supermost to save myself from the wrath of Allah, yet my state is that I observe prayer and sleep too. I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry woman also. And he who turns away from my Sunnah has no relation with me.” [Bukhari]

    The ceremony draws to a close with Du’a (prayer) for the bride and groom, their families, the local Muslim community and the Muslim community as a whole (ummah).

    Mahr

    It is written in the Qur’an that mahr must form part of the marriage contract. The groom gives mahr to his bride as a demonstration of his commitment to her and to providing for her. It can take the form of money, property or possessions. There is no set amount, although moderation is recommended, and the gift is agreed between the bride and the groom.

    “And give the women their dowries as a free gift, but if they are pleased to offer you any of it accept it with happiness and with wholesome pleasure.” [Qur’an 4:4]

    The groom may pay the mahr before he marries, at the time of marriage, or at a later date, as agreed with his bride. The mahr can even be postponed indefinitely. However, it will become payable immediately in the case of divorce or death. The amount and method of payment is written into a contract, which is signed by the bride, groom and their witnesses. Following this, the Aqd-Nikah is announced to all who attend the nikah.

    Traditionally, mahr would reflect the social status of the bride’s family. However, these days, the giving of mahr is seen mainly as a symbol. No one wants to begin married life burdened with debt and, equally, Islam does not wish to prevent men from getting married simply because they cannot afford an expensive dowry.

    Walima: the marriage banquet

    The wedding banquet (Walima) is traditionally held by the groom after the nikah has taken place. It may take place immediately following the nikah, on the following day, the following week or at a future date, but the purpose of the banquet is for family and friends to share in the groom’s happiness on the occasion of his marriage and to give thanks to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى).

    The Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) encouraged Muslims to accept invitations to attend marriage ceremonies and marriage feasts: “…and he who refuses to accept an invitation to a marriage feast, verily disobeys Allah and His Prophet”. [Ahmad & Abu Dawood]

    The Walima need not be wildly expensive. Islam emphasizes moderation and it is sensible to keep this in mind. Beginning married life with a huge debt, or to burden the families with debt, owing to an extravagant Walima, is unlikely to give you the best start. It is an occasion to celebrate the happiness of the newlyweds and competing with what you may have experienced at a friend or relative’s Walima will most likely lead to escalating costs and detract from the occasion. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed.” [Mishkat]

    The Walima gives family members and friends the opportunity to congratulate the happy couple: the bride is congratulated by the women around her and by her family and friends; the groom receives the congratulations of men. The newlyweds are also presented with gifts. It is believed that gifts given willingly will strengthen the relationships between people. Therefore, it is important to keep gifts affordable. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “Exchange gifts, strengthen your love of one another.” [At-Tirmizi]

    Other traditions

    A mangni (engagement ceremony) may take place once the couple has accepted each other for marriage. It is provides an opportunity for the two families to come together and for the couple to exchange rings, if they so wish. The outfit of the bride-to-be is traditionally provided by the groom’s family.

    It is traditional for the bride to hold a mendhi ceremony, usually at home, shortly before the wedding. The groom’s family provides the henna, which is applied to the bride’s hands and feet. Following the application of mendhi, the bride does not leave the house until the nikah. Her wedding clothes are also provided by the groom’s family.

    It is not a religious requirement for the bride and groom to exchange rings in marriage; however it has become tradition. Gold jewellery is acceptable for women only, although silver rings may be worn by men or women.

    The wedding night

    Anticipation of the wedding night can be a cause of wedding day nerves for most newlyweds, but do try not to let any apprehension spoil your special day. If you know what is expected on this special night, you can reduce the feelings of uncertainty. The Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) has described for us ways in which the wedding night can be fulfilling and enjoyable.

    The Sunnah encourages the groom to place his hands upon his wife’s head and to pray for her. In the words of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎): “O Allah, I ask You her goodness, and the goodness of the inborn dispositions which You have given her, and I solicit Your protection from her evil, and the evil of the inborn dispositions which You have given her.” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]

    It is preferable that the groom leads his wife in two raka’at (units of prayer) before asking of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) what they wish for themselves. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) suggested: “O Allah, bless my wife for me, and bless me for her. O Allah, unite between us in good, and if You separate us, separate us in good.” [Abu Shaybah]

    The groom should treat his bride with kindness and it is the Sunnah to offer her something to eat or drink. Foreplay is essential: take time to kiss and touch. The Prophet said: “One of you should not fall upon his wife like the way an animal does, let there be a messenger between them.” [Daylami]

    Nakedness is allowed but, to preserve modesty, it is preferred if the couple is covered by a sheet, as described by the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎): “Verily Allah is modest and discreet and He likes modesty and discretion.” [Ahmad, At-Tirmithi and Abu Dawud]

    Take things slowly and gently. Listen to each other and discover what feels good. Like most things in life, sex gets better with practice, so take comfort in the fact that you will soon discover what your partner likes and dislikes. When a woman loses her virginity it may be a bit painful and there may be some blood, but this is not always the case. If you ensure that there has been sufficient foreplay before intercourse, this should make penetration more comfortable.

    It is a Sunnah to pray before intercourse: “In the name of Allah. O Allah, keep Satan away from us, and keep Shaytan away from (the offspring) that which You grant us.” [Bukhari]

    You are free to have intercourse in any position you choose and as often as you choose.

    After sex, couples are advised to bath or shower (ghusl) or, at the very least, wash themselves (wudhu). The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) also said: “If one of you had intercourse with his wife and then wants to come to her again, it is better for him to perform wudhu, for it gives him vigor to come again.” [Muslim]

    More information on intercourse can be found in our article on marital etiquette. This also covers what acts are considered haram.

    Conclusion

    This article has provided an overview of the most important elements of the occasion of marriage. Many communities have their own traditions and perhaps different ways of doing things, which you will learn of as you go about your planning.  Do not forget that relatives will prove to be a mine of information and of great help to you at this exciting, yet busy, time.

  • Finding a Partner

    admin08-07-2014

    Why Islam does not permit boyfriend-girlfriend relationships

    Islam clearly divides members of the opposite sex into mahram (relatives that, by law, you cannot marry) and non-mahram (those who are marriageable). It is haram to mix freely with non-mahram and, therefore, having a relationship before marriage (boyfriend or girlfriend) is strictly forbidden.

    There is no such thing as “dating” in Islam. When young Muslims are able to marry, they are encouraged to find a suitable partner for marriage, following strict rules of courtship, and always keeping the intention of marriage at the forefront of any interaction.

    This article takes a look at why boyfriend/girlfriend relationships are at odds with the teachings of Islam and at the benefits of a society where sexual relations are between spouses only.

    Western influences

    Western society is rife with problems related to sex outside marriage as the following list shows:

    • Teenage pregnancies (the rate of teenage pregnancies in the UK is the highest in Europe);
    • A high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and AIDS;
    • Unwanted pregnancies and abortion;
    • High divorce rates;
    • Couples co-habit with little commitment to each other;
    • Pornography.

    The attitude towards free sex which has become part of Western culture is spread by the media and is taking effect on Muslim teenagers. Teenage relationships may begin as friendship but, as curiosity and peer pressure get the better of these youngsters, the temptation to sin becomes greater and greater and can eventually lead to sex.

    Many Westerners, in their search for “love” and the right partner, move from one relationship to another with little commitment to their partners. This constant meeting and parting leads to heartache, let downs, lack of self-respect and some come to equate happiness with having a boyfriend or girlfriend.

    A side effect of having many relationships is tendency to compare your spouse or most recent partner with previous partners, which often leads to a lack of satisfaction (including sexual).

    Islam’s stance

    By forbidding relationships outside marriage, Islam experiences a significantly lower incidence of those problems associated with societies that have a relaxed attitude to sex.

    Islam places great importance upon the values of modesty and chastity on both men and women and, therefore, sex outside marriage is one of the biggest sins that a Muslim can commit. Indeed, the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “When two people are (illegally) together alone then the third is Shaitaan.” [Bukhari]

    Muslims of opposite sexes are not permitted to be alone together before marriage, let alone have any physical contact. Therefore, the trial and error approach to finding a suitable spouse, as practised in West, has no place in our society. Physical relations can take place only within the security of a marriage.

    “(Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time, when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends.” [Al-Ma'idah]

    Expected behaviour

    According to the Shariah, all Muslim men and women should wear modest and loose clothing, which does not show nor emphasize their body shape so that they do not attract members of the opposite sex who are non-Mahram. In addition, a woman wears hijab as her head and hair are classed as Awrah (parts which must be covered).

    “It is not permissible for a man to look at a woman who is not his wife or un-marriageable relative except for her face and hands (because of the necessity of her need to deal with men in taking and giving and the like). If a man is not safe from lust, he may not look at her face except for when it is demanded by necessity.” [Quduri]

    Muslims are also required to lower their gaze when coming into contact with a non-Mahram, as stated in the Holy Qur’an: “Tell believers to lower their gaze, and tell the believing women to lower their gaze.” [Qur’an 24:30, 31]

    Islamic “courtship”

    Islamic “courtship” is focused and involves more people than just the prospective spouses. Choosing a marriage partner is a huge decision and it is one where involvement from experience family members should be welcomed. This ensures that the decision is carefully considered and that long-term compatibility is thoroughly evaluated by people who have your best interests at heart.

    If a Muslim brother or sister is ready for marriage it is usual for them to ask friends and family if they know of anyone suitable. If a potential partner is found, then meetings between the couple take place in a chaperoned environment. The Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said, “Not one of you should meet a woman alone unless she is accompanied by a relative (mahram).”

    This rule is to protect the couple from temptation as they are getting to know each other. Islam is all too aware of our weaknesses as humans and states that Muslims should follow the directions of the Qur’an in lowering their gaze and guarding their modesty.

    If the couple agrees to marriage and become engaged, this does not mean that they can then begin a Western-style courtship. Those who believe that they can be alone with their fiance/fiancée have misunderstood the rules of Islam or have accepted foreign influences. Until the marriage takes place, the rules regarding non-mahram relationships still applies and both partners should be aware of this. It is recommended that the couple see each other in the presence of a mahram so that they can find out more about each other and develop feelings for one another. However, no relationship is permitted between the couple until the nikah.

    Conclusion

    Islam regards the family as the building block of society and, to enable the creation of a family, it requires the commitment of a man and a woman to one another in a lawful and life-long relationship. Because of this, dating, and all the associated problems it brings, is completely at odds with Islamic society.

  • What to look for in a marriage partner?

    admin08-07-2014

    Your choice of spouse will almost certainly be one of the biggest decisions that you will have to make; a decision that you make for life, indeed for eternity. Therefore, much care and consideration is needed.

    In this article, you will find guidance on what to look for in a marriage partner, what you should find out about a prospective marriage partner and general advice on ensuring that you make the right decision.

    First of all, ask yourself what qualities you would like to find in a wife and keep these in mind throughout your search. Be clear about what Islam has to say about the most important traits to look for and beware that focusing on the wrong characteristics can only lead to unhappiness.

    Remember that your search must be halaal and follow the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Do this and you will receive Allah’s blessing. Ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) for guidance, for He rewards those who put their trust in Him.

    Good Islamic character

    Most importantly, you should seek someone of good Islamic character to become your spouse, someone of high moral and religious standards. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “A woman is normally sought as a wife for her wealth, her beauty, her nobility or her deen, so choose a religious woman and you will prosper.” [Muslim]

    The importance of piety also applies to the groom: “If someone with whose piety and character you are satisfied comes to you, marry to him.  If you do not do so, there will be trials in the earth and a great deal of evil.”  [At-Tirmidhi]

    This hadith encourages a woman’s Wali to place piety above all other traits in a potential husband.

    Only a spouse who practises Islam and fulfils the wajib will provide a strong foundation for an Islamic house hold and a religious family. However, outward signs of piety are not enough – simply wearing hijab, attending the masjid, or having a beard do not ensure that he or she will be a good marriage partner. This is just part of the overall package.

    Although it is of lesser importance, beauty can also be a consideration. It can provide a strong attraction between partners in a marriage. Our faith allows a prospective husband one look at his prospective wife. It is recommended that this takes places once a marriage proposal has been intended. He is allowed to take a good look, rather than averting his eyes after the first glance. However, the sister must be covered except for her face and hands. She is also permitted to look at her prospective husband.

    Mahram

    When looking for a partner, remember that you cannot marry:

    • Someone who is mahram to you (unmarriageable kin). This includes family lineage (qarabah), foster relationships (radha’a) and relationships through marriage (sihriyya);
    • someone who is already married;
    • someone in her iddah;
    •  a woman that another Muslim has asked in marriage unless she has already refused him;
    • a disbeliever ( with exception of Jewish or Christian women), although it is haram for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man;
    • a prostitute, unless she has repented her sins.

    Practical advice

    You will need to find out as much as possible about your prospective partner in order to ensure compatibility. In these days of high divorce rates, seeing a potential partner just once or twice in the company of others is not enough to enable brothers or sisters to decide whether they will be content to spend their lives with this person.

    If possible, try to spend some time with your potential partner (this could be by phone or email) without breaching Islam’s restrictions on being alone together, and ideally where you are free from the pressures of others who may want this marriage to take place and who may, therefore, influence your decision.

    Talk to others about your potential partner and listen to what they have to say. Do their answers to specific questions match what he or she has told you? Seeing how he or she speaks to and treats others will tell you a lot about him or her. Ensure that you feel good about the partnership. Above all, don’t be pressured into a marriage - after all, it is you who will be spending your life with this person, not your Wali or your parents.

    Regularly pray Salaah al-Istikhara, Islam’s special prayer for guidance, and seek advice from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى). “Put your trust in Allah, for Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.”[Qur’an s.3; v.159]

    What to ask a prospective spouse

    There will be many questions, covering a range of topics, which you will want to ask a potential partner. You will find a summary below of issues you may want to cover. However, this is by no means exhaustive and you should prepare more questions based on your own circumstances. You may feel that some of the questions seem “unIslamic”, yet they reflect the society in which we live today.

    Important themes:

    • Marriage in general
      Why do they want to marry now? What are they looking for in a spouse? If they are from abroad, why do they want to marry someone from this country? Do you speak the same language?
    • Family
      Do they enjoy good relationships with their parents, brothers and sisters? What obligations do they have towards them? Do the parents give their blessing? It is also worth asking about extended family to gain a more rounded picture.
    • Deen
      Is their understanding of Islam compatible with yours? How many times a day do they pray? Are they involved in the Islamic community? How are you expected to practise after marriage? What is their attitude to fasting,  Zakat, or Umrah?
    • Education and achievements
      What school did they attend? What subjects did they enjoy/not enjoy? What success did they have? Have they been to university or do they intend to study further? Did you reach a similar level of education?
    • Work
      What is their profession? How many hours a week do they spend working? How much time will you be able to spend together? What is their attitude towards wives working?
    • Hobbies and interests/social life
      Do they attend any clubs or take part in any events? Do you share any common interests? Would your spouse be happy for you to continue with your hobbies? Do they have non-Muslim friends?
    • Where will you live?
      With your or their family? Alone? Will you need to move around the country or to a new country? What sort of home will you have?
    • Financial issues
      Are they financially independent?
    • Children
      Do they want children? If so, when and how many? What would happen if you were unable to have children? Who will take responsibility for child-rearing and discipline?
    • How do you plan to resolve any differences between you?
    • Future
      What are their goals and ambitions? How do they expect to live their life?

    General advice

    The above advice should enable you to build a picture of the person that you are considering marrying. However, do not rush things. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) has given you an inner voice. Listen to it and let it guide you in your decision-making. Does it feel right? Remember that marriage is for life and for the establishment of a family. Above all, put your faith in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and you will be rewarded.

  • Marriage

    admin08-07-2014

    Marriage is highly respected in Islam and can be looked upon as a form of worship.

    Indeed, brothers and sisters can complete half their faith through marriage, and marriage itself brings many benefits. Young men are encouraged to marry as soon as they are in a position where they can support a wife, and parents of young women are encouraged to allow them to marry as soon as a proposal is made by a suitable man. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said,

    Young men, those of you who can support a wife should marry, for it keeps you from looking at women and preserves your chastity.” [Bukhari]

    Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) has given men and women sexual urges. Such feelings are recognised in Islam and are channelled through the institution of marriage. Indeed, procreation within marriage is considered a good deed, worthy of reward. However, sex outside marriage is strictly forbidden.

    Sisters, choose a Wali

    A Wali is a guardian, usually the closest male relative to a woman (a father, or in his absence, an uncle or brother), who will advise, support and protect her in her search for a marriage partner.  A Wali should have a firm understanding of marriage and the importance of compatibility, and must be able act responsibly and give sound advice.
    Men do not need a Wali as the Wali’s main role is to protect his guard from enquiries from men who may be unsuitable or whose intentions may not be pure. In this way, enquiries from males are first screened by the Wali, who is able to advise the woman according to his wealth of experience, although she retains the right to make the final decision.
    The presence of the Wali will also be required at the Nikah, where he agrees to the wedding contract on behalf of the bride.

    Finding a companion

    Finding a marriage partner is a huge step – you are looking for a life-long companion, so no decision can be taken lightly. Traditionally, the family was responsible for searching for a suitable partner for the son or daughter and women often played a passive role, although, thanks to the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎), a girl has the right to express her views on a prospective partner:

    "The permission of the virgin is to be sought. And if she does not object, her silence is her permission." [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and others]

    Modern life is quite different; Muslim girls now meet boys at school or at Islamic groups, and communities are no longer static as young people often move away to university or in search of work. This has led to the proliferation of more modern ways of finding a partner.

    There are a number of methods, approved by Shariah law, which brothers and sisters can use to search for a partner. You may choose one or a combination of methods; however, you should ensure that your conduct is halaal. Remember: if one route proves unsuccessful, others may yield more success.

    Parents

    The most common way of finding a partner is still through ones parents. Give your parents as much information as possible on what you are looking for in a spouse and encourage them to  ask friends, family and acquaintances in the Muslim community if they know of a potential partner who is looking to marry. If you have a good relationship with your parents, they can be guided by you and you can have the final say.

    Community leaders

    Community leaders, such as the Imam or a scholar, will know of other brothers and sisters in the community who are looking for a partner.

    Friends

    Friends can also be of help in your search. Your friends’ spouses may have friends or relatives who are looking to marry. However, make sure that you choose a trusted friend, who will have an idea of what you seek in a companion, and ensure that you involve the Wali as soon as you find someone with potential.

    Meeting someone at college/work/in the community

    These days, brothers and sisters mix at college, work and at community groups. If you know somebody who you think could be a potential partner, arrange for them to meet your Wali so that the matter of marriage can be discussed. Meeting a partner in this way is allowed; however, both parties should behave modestly.

    Matrimonial agencies

    There are many matrimonial agencies that claim they will find your “perfect match”. Ensure that you research any agency thoroughly before signing up. Find out about their reputation, how contact is made by potential suitors, and what it costs? Whereas some agencies undoubtedly provide a successful service, others are unmonitored and do not respect your privacy; they may give out personal phone numbers so that you are inundated with calls from unsuitable men or women.

    Matrimonial websites

    The use of matrimonial websites is becoming more and more popular. To many young Muslims, it’s the “new” way. However, it is important to choose a website that has sound Islamic principles at its heart in order to ensure that your search for a marriage partner is halaal.

    Before registering, make sure that you read the website thoroughly; a good matrimonial site will publish a code of conduct, confidentiality and privacy statements, which will be easy to find, and the site will be closely monitored, so that any user that abuses the service can be removed from it. The best sites will encourage you to create a username that is different from your own name and will warn you about giving out personal information until you are sure about the person you are in contact with.

    Some websites have a live chat facility. Use this rather than other channels such as MSN as it will be monitored and therefore safer. Check out the website’s success rate; the best sites will publish success stories. Read them and get a feel for the type of people who use the service.

    When they find somebody who could be a potential match, sisters should encourage them to contact their Wali, and brothers should ask to speak with the Wali. The first meeting should be made with the Wali present, although it is permitted for you to meet without a Wali if it is in a public place and the rules of modesty are followed.

     Trust in Allah

    Put your trust in Allah, for Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.” [Qur’an 3:159]

    Ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) for guidance and make Du’a. Trust in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and your search will be successful.

  • Preparation for Marriage

    admin08-07-2014

    What does it mean to be a wife?

    In Islam, marriage is highly regarded, and a righteous woman is considered both a joy and a blessing to her husband.  This blessed and uplifting relationship has been described in the Qur’an as fostering tranquillity, love and understanding between the spouses in order that they may live together in harmony; loving, supporting, advising and tolerating each other.

    The bond shared by a husband and wife is best summed up as follows:

    “They are your garments and you are their garments.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:187]

    Contrary to the views of many who do not follow Islam, our religion both values and cherishes femininity. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) taught us that there was nothing better in life than a good wife: “This world is just temporary conveniences, and the best comfort in this world is a righteous woman.” [Muslim]

    An Islamic wife keeps her name after marriage and, in this way, is able to keep her identity. Islam protects the interests of both spouses, and promotes equality between the sexes through the laying down of clear roles for each partner.

    So, what does it mean to be a wife? How should a wife behave and how should she treat her husband? The Qur’an shows us the standards expected from an ideal Muslim wife, the most important of which are summarised below.

    Rights

    First and foremost, a wife has the right to be treated kindly by her husband and to be protected from harm.  Like her husband, she has a right to sexual satisfaction. A wife also has the right to living and household expenses for herself and, later, Insha’Allah, for her children according to her husband’s means.

    It is also a right that a wife receives a Mahr (dowry) from her husband when they marry.  The Qu’ran describes this as a show of goodwill to his new wife, an appreciation of her rights and a welcome into his household as his life partner. The Mahr is hers to use as she wishes; however she may wish to share some or all of it with her husband, although she is not required to do so.

    Duties

    A wife’s most important duty is to contribute to as much as possible to the success of her marriage. She should be a source of comfort for her husband, a devoted supporter and adviser.

    Our Lord! Grant us wives and offspring who will be the joy and comfort of our eyes, and guide us to be models of righteousness.” [Qu’ran 25. 74]

    A wife should obey her husband but this does not mean that she should be subservient to him. As Islam places upon the husband the role of head of the family, so the wife is the head of the household. Such an arrangement makes for a partnership of co-operation and a man is expected to consult his wife for her opinion on household and family matters.

    An Islamic wife is expected to be faithful, to her husband and to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى), and also trustworthy. A wife should make herself attractive to her husband, just as he should make an effort to look his best for her, and not deny her husband sexual relations unless she has a reason for doing so.  Physical intimacy is as important as emotional intimacy.

    A wife’s obedience to her husband does not mean at all costs, particularly if he goes against the teachings of the Qur’an. Also, a husband is obliged to treat his wife kindly, and if he does not do so, if he is controlling or abusive – whether physically or emotionally – it is no reflection on how good a wife you are. You have the right to protection and you should not have to suffer in silence.

    Getting on

    Naturally, there may be times when your marital relationship does not run smoothly. It is a part of life, and overcoming difficulties together is an important part of marriage life.

    You should not dwell on aspects of your husband’s personality that you may not like. If they do not go against Islam, then do not try to change them. Equally, he will find traits in you that are less pleasing to him. It is important to work around these and to focus on each other’s good points.

    Ultimately, both husband and wife have the right to be treated with kindness and tenderness by their spouse and the right to intercourse and enjoyment of one another. For a truly successful marriage, however, you should make time to pray together and make Du’a to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى).

     

  • What does it mean to be a husband?

    admin08-07-2014

    Becoming a husband will change your life – for the better, of course! The very special relationship between spouses is a wonderful and humbling experience: your wife is the person that you have chosen to spend and share your life with, through all its ups and downs. When things go well, she is there to celebrate with you; when things go wrong, she gives comfort and support. She does not judge you on your failures and is all too often working behind the scenes to ensure that your life together runs smoothly.

    The bond shared by a husband and wife is best summed up as follows:

    “They are your garments and you are their garments.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:187]

    So, what does it mean to be a husband? How should a husband behave and how should he treat his wife? The Qur’an shows us the standards expected from an ideal Muslim husband, the most important of which are summarised below.

    In Islamic custom, men are regarded as “guardians” of the family – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) has made them stronger and they are expected to expend of their means to provide for the family. This does not mean that they are superior to women; rather they are expected to act as protectors and providers:

    “Men are protectors and maintainers of women.” [Qur’an 4:34]

    Duties

    Above all, a husband’s duty is to provide for his wife and family. This means food, clothing and shelter according to his means. A husband is also expected to bring financial security to the relationship as women have no financial duty to the family.

    A husband should protect his wife from harm and provide support and comfort. She should be treated with respect and kindness.

    “House women wherever you reside, according to your circumstances, and do not harass them in order to make life difficult for them.” [Qur’an 65:6]

    An exemplary husband spends time with his wife and enjoys her company. He smiles and shows affection. Although there are times when intercourse is forbidden, and this includes Ramadan, do not let these times become a barrier to affection.

    A husband is responsible for his wife’s Islamic education. If she comes from a family where this has been neglected, then he must find a way to ensure that she is educated about Islamic customs and to encourage her to adopt Islamic principles. He may choose to teach her himself. Of course, if your wife’s faith is on a par with yours, then undertaking further Islamic study together and escalating your faith is a wonderful thing to do as a couple.

    Although the husband is regarded as the head of the family; this leadership is not in any way expected to be a form of dictatorship, resulting in the suppression of your wife. Consult your wife regarding family matters and take her advice if it is sound. Follow the Qur’an and Sunnah in ensuring that your family behave in an Islamic way.

    “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian who is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards.” [Bukhari]

    The wife is the head of household, although it shows good manners to help with household chores, especially when your wife is sick, pregnant or has recently given birth. Show appreciation for all she does for you and in the household.

    The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) as a husband

    There can be no better role model than the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) himself. There is much information and guidance laid down in the Ahadith and the Sirah (biography of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎)), which is of benefit to all husbands who endeavour to be the best they can be. And the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) encourages them to be the best that they can be:

    “From among the believers are those that have the kindest disposition and are the kindest to their families – such are those who show the most perfect faith.” [Aishah (Radhiallâhu anha)]

    “The best among them are those that are kindest to their wives.”  [Bukhari and Muslim]

    Aisha (Radhiallâhu anha), wife of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎), related that he was pure and clean in thought and deed. He helped in the home, especially when Aisha was ill, and he was not ashamed to show his love for his wife. He sought her opinion and he spent time with her, often “playing games” – Aisha recounts that they sometimes had races. The Prophet never regarded women as second-class citizens.

    Getting on

    Naturally, there may be times when your marital relationship does not run smoothly. It is a part of life, and overcoming difficulties together is an important part of marriage life.

    You should not dwell on aspects of your wife’s personality that you may not like. If they do not go against Islam, then do not try to change them. Equally, she will find traits in you that are less pleasing to her. It is important to work around these and to focus on each other’s good points.

    Remember also that Islam does not give a man the authority to beat his wife. Domestic violence occurs in all societies and should not be tolerated. Some Muslims give their religion as an excuse for their actions but this is not the case. Husbands, who abuse their wives, whether physically or mentally, are merely weak and quick to anger. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said:

    “He is not strong who throws people down, but he is strong among us who controls himself when he is angry.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

    Ultimately, both husband and wife have the right to be treated with kindness and tenderness by their spouse and the right to intercourse and enjoyment of one another. For a truly successful marriage, however, you should make time to pray together and make Du’a to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى).

  • Introduction of Marriage

    admin08-07-2014

    In Islamic society marriage is of the utmost importance and an intrinsic part of Muslim life. So much so, that the Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “When the servant of Allah marries, he has fulfilled half the (responsibilities laid on him by the) faith; so let him be God conscious with respect to the other half.” [Mishkat]

    Marriage is considered “half the faith” as it protects us from sin. By choosing the sanctity of marriage, we turn away from wrongdoing, such as fornication, adultery and homosexuality. This also protects society, providing the right conditions in which to bring up a faithful Muslim family.

    Unlike other religions, Islam does not support celibacy as an expression of faith. Instead, marriage is seen as an act of worship in itself. Islam acknowledges that human desires are natural and sanctions marriage as an outlet for them.

    Men and women have been created in such a way that they are attracted to each other, and marriage provides them with a legal framework in which to enjoy each other’s company, fulfil their sexual desires and to ensure the continuity of the human race. The Qur’an tells us: “One of His signs is that He created for you spouses of your own species, so that you might find comfort with them. And He put mutual love and affection in your hearts. Surely in this there are lessons for the thinking people.” [30:21]

    So that we may get the best out marriage, it is essential that we fully understand this great institution, with which Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) has blessed his followers. Therefore, Singlemuslim.com has compiled a number of articles to help you develop knowledge and understanding of the subject of marriage. The articles are divided into five sections: preparation for marriage; finding a partner; the Muslim marriage; a happy marriage; and family issues.

    Section One: Preparation for Marriage

    Marriage is a serious and permanent commitment, which brings together a man and a woman in order that they may form an everlasting bond. This offers them the opportunity to enjoy a sexual relationship, gain support and companionship and to form a family.

    It is recommended that young Muslim men marry as soon as they are able to support a wife. This ensures that their sexual desires are channelled into a lawful relationship and prevents the weaker among them from committing zinaa (fornication). The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “Young men, those of you who can afford to get married should do so, for it helps you lower your gaze and preserves your chastity; but those who cannot should fast, for it is a means of cooling the sexual passion.” [Al-Bukhari]

    Are you ready to experience the most wonderful feelings, a gift from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى), by preparing for marriage?
    This section looks at what it means to be a spouse. What is expected of a husband and a wife? What do the Qur’an and Sunnah say about their roles in a marriage?

    Section Two: Finding a Partner

    Now that you are ready for marriage, it is time to take those important first steps. First of all, there are conditions that need to be met before a marriage can be considered. A man needs to be mature and have the means to support a wife and, ultimately, a family. A wife needs to have reached puberty and possess those skills necessary to run a household.

    In this section, you fill find advice on how to set about looking for a marriage partner and what you should look for in a partner in order to ensure your compatibility. Careful searching for a like-minded spouse and consultation with parents and elders ensure that relationship failure and divorce remain a rarity in Islam.

    We also explore Islam’s reasons for prohibiting boyfriend-girlfriend relationships and show how potential marriage partners should act in each other’s company before the “big day”.

    Section Three: The Muslim Marriage

    In this section you will learn more about the Islamic marriage contract (nikah), a legal commitment that is approved by Allah and witnessed by those close to you. This contract is both civil (recognised by law) and religious.

    The wedding ceremony and beyond describes what you can expect from an Islamic wedding ceremony and the celebrations and traditions that accompany it. We then take a look at different types of relationships and how they are viewed by Islam.

    Section Four: A Happy Marriage

    The teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah describe how spouses should behave towards each other. They call for kindness, fairness, compassion, love, companionship, patience and mercy between husband and wife. By following the lessons of the Qur’an spouses will be a comfort to one another and their relationship will blossom.

    The love between Muslim spouses also includes the love of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and a strong, mutual desire to serve him. This provides the couple with strength when times are hard and a source of comfort, leading to tranquillity in their relationship.

    The following articles demonstrate how this advice can be carried out in a practical way in order to help your relationship with your spouse run as smoothly as possible by behaving in such a way as prescribed by Islam.

    Section Five: Family Issues

    The family is regarded as the centre of Islamic society and, as marriage is the only way to form a family, it is essential that we also take a look at the importance of family life. One of the main purposes of marriage is to raise pious children, who are faithful to Islam, in order to continue the Muslim Ummah. And, just as Islam sets standards of behaviour for husbands and wives, so it also grants children a number of rights and duties, which we will investigate in this section.

     

  • CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM

    admin08-07-2014

    MARRIAGE IN ISLAM.

    Islam, unlike other religions is a strong advocate of marriage. There is no place for celibacy like, for example the Roman Catholic priests and nuns. The prophet (pbuh) has said "there is no celibacy in Islam.

    Marriage is a religious duty and is consequently a moral safeguard as well as a social necessity. Islam does not equal celibacy with high "taqwa" / "Iman". The prophet has also said, "Marriage is my tradition who so ever keeps away there from is not from amongst me".

    Marriage acts as an outlet for sexual needs and regulate it so one does not become a slave to his/ her desires.

    It is a social necessity because through marriage, families are established and the family is the fundamental unit of our society. Furthermore, marriage is the only legitimate or halal way to indulge in intimacy between a man and a woman.

    Islam takes a middle of the road position to sexual relations , it neither condemns it like certain religions, nor does it allow it freely. Islam urges us to control and regulate our desires, whatever they may be so that we remain dignified and not become like animals.

    The purpose of Marriage.

    The word "zawj" is used in the Qur'an to mean a pair or a mate. In general it usage refers to marriage. The general purpose of marriage is that the sexes can provide company to one another, love to one another, procreate children and live in peace and tranquility to the commandments of Allah.

    * Marriage serves as a means to emotional and sexual gratification and as a means of tension reduction. It is also a form of Ibadah because it is obeying Allah and his messenger - i.e. Marriage is seen as the only possible way for the sexes to unite. One could choose to live in sin, however by choosing marriage one is displaying obedience to Allah.

    Marriage is "mithaq" - a solemn covenant (agreement). It is not a matter which can be taken lightly. It should be entered into with total commitment and full knowledge of what it involves. It is not like buying a new dress where you can exchange it if you don't like it. Your partner should be your choice for life. One should be mature enough to understand the demands of marriage so that the union can be a lasting one. For a marriage to be valid certain conditions must be met.

    1) Consent of both parties.

    2) " Mahr" a gift from the groom to his bride.

    3) Witnesses- 2 male or female.

    4) The marriage should be publicized, it should never be kept secret as it leads to suspicion and troubles within the community.

    Is Marriage obligatory?

    According to Imams Abu Hanifah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Malik ibn Anas, marriage is recommendatory, however in certain individuals it becomes wajib/obligatory. Imam Shaafi'i considers it to be nafl or mubah (preferable). The general opinion is that if a person, male or female fears that if he/she does not marry they will commit fornication, then marriage becomes "wajib". If a person has strong sexual urges then it becomes "wajib" for that person to marry. Marriage should not be put off or delayed especially if one has the means to do so.

    A man, however should not marry if he or she does not possess the means to maintain a wife and future family, or if he has no sex drive or if dislikes children, or if he feels marriage will seriously affect his religious obligation.

    The general principle is that prophet (pbuh) enjoined up in the followers to marry.

    He said "when a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion , so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half." This hadith is narrated by Anas. Islam greatly encourages marriage because it shields one from and upholds the family unit which Islam places great importance.

    Selection of a partner:

    The choice of a partner should be the one with the most "taqwa" (piety). The prophet recommended the suitors see each other before going through with marriage. It is unreasonable for two people to be thrown together and be expected to relate and be intimate when they know nothing of each other. The couple are permitted to look at each other with a critical eye and not a lustful one. This ruling does not contradict the ayah which says that believing men and women should lower their gaze.

    - The couple, however are not permitted to be alone in a closed room or go out together alone. As the hadith says "when a man and a woman are together alone, there is a third presence i.e. shaitan.

    - There is no concept of courtship in Islam as it is practised in the west. There is no dating or living in defacto relationship or trying each other out before they commit to each other seriously. There is to be no physical relationship what so ever before marriage. The romantic notions that young people often have, have proven in most cases to be unrealistic and harmful to those involved. We only have to look at the alarming divorce rate in the west to understand this point. e.g. the couple know each other for years, are intimate, live together and so on yet somehow this does not guarantee the success of the future marriage. Romance and love simply do not equal a everlasting bond between two people.

    Fact: Romance and love die out very quickly when we have to deal in the real world. The unrealistic expectations that young people have is what often contributes to the failure of their relationship.

    - The west make fun of the Islamic way of marriage in particular arranged marriage, yet the irony is that statistically arranged marriages prove to be more successful and lasting than romantic types of courtship.

    This is because people are blinded by the physical attraction and thus do not choose the compatible partner.

    Love blinds people to potential problems in the relationship. There is an Arabic saying: which says "the mirror of love is blind, it makes zucchini into okra". Arranged marriages on the other hand, are based not on physical attraction or romantic notions but rather on critical evaluation of the compatibility of the couple.

    This is why they often prove successful.

    Consent of parties.

    There is a halal arranged marriage and a haram one. It is OK to arrange marriages by suggestion and recommendation as long as both parties are agreeable. The other arranged marriage is when parents choose the future spouse and the couple concerned are forced or have no choice in the matter.

    One of the conditions of a valid marriage is consent of the couple.

    Marriage by definition is a voluntary union of two people.

    The choice of a partner by a Muslim virgin girl is subject to the approval of the father or guardian under Maliki school. This is to safeguard her welfare and interests. The prophet said "the widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until she has consented and the virgin shall not be married until her consent is obtained. The prophet did revoke the marriage of a girl who complained to him that her father had married her against her wishes.

    The husband/wife relationship.

    -The wifes rights - the Husbands obligations.

    (1) Maintenance

    The husband is responsible for the wifes maintenance. This right is established by authority of the Qur'an and the sunnah. It is inconsequen tial whether the wife is a Muslim , non-Muslim, rich, poor, healthy or sick. A component of his role as "qawam" (leader) is to bear the financial responsibility of the family in a generous way so that his wife may be assured security and thus perform her role devotedly.

    The wifes maintenance entails her right to lodging, clothing, food and general care, like medication, hospital bills etc. He must lodge her where he resides himself according to his means. The wifes lodge must be adequate so as to ensure her privacy, comfort and independence.

    If a wife has been used to a maid or is unable to attend to her household duties, it is the husbands duty to provide her with a maid if he can afford to do so. The prophet is reported to have said: The best Muslim is one who is the best husband.

    (2) "Mahr "

    The wife is entitled to a marriage gift that is her own. This may be prompt or deferred depending on the agreement between the parties. A marriage is not valid without mahr. It does not have to be money or gold. It can be non-material like teaching her to read the Qur'an. " Mahr" is a gift from the groom to the bride. This is the Islamic law, unlike some cultures whereby the brides parents pay the future husband to marry the daughter. This practice degrades women and is contrary to the spirit of Islam. There is no specification in the Qur'an as to what or how much the Mahr has to be. It depends on the parties involved.

    (3) Non-material rights.

    A husband is commanded by the law of Allah to treat his wife with equity, respect her feelings and show kindness and consideration, especially if he has another wife. The prophet last sermon stresses kindness to women.

    The wife obligations - the Husbands rights.

    One of the main duties of the wife is to contribute to the success and blissfulness of the marriage. She must be attentive to the comfort and wellbeing of her husband. The Qur'anic ayah which illustrates this point is:

    "Our lord, grant us wives and offspring who will be the apples of our eyes and guide us to be models for the righteous"

    The wife must be faithful, trustworthy and honest she must not deceive her husband by deliberately avoiding contraception. She must not allow any other person to have access to that which is exclusively the husband right i.e. sexual intimacy. She must not receive or entertain strange males in the house without his knowledge and consent. She should not be alone with a strange male. She should not accept gifts from other men without his approval. This is meant to avoid jealousy, suspicion and gossip. The husband possessions are her trust. She may not dispose of his belongings without his permission.

    A wife should make herself sexually attractive to her husband and be responsive to his advances. The wife must not refuse her husband sexually as this can lead to marital problems and worse still - tempt the man to adultery. The husband of course should take into account the wifes health and general consideration should be given.

    Obedience.

    The purpose of obedience in the relationship is to keep the family unit running as smoothly as possible. The man has been given the right to be obeyed because he is the leader and not because he is superior. If a leader is not obeyed , his leadership will become invalid -Imagine a king or a teacher or a parent without the necessary authority which has been entrusted to them.

    Obedience does not mean blind obedience. It is subject to conditions:

    (a) It is required only if what is asked from the wife is within the permissible categories of action.

    (b) It must be maintained only with regard to matters that fall under the husband rights.

  • An-Nikah The Marriage _____________________

    admin08-07-2014

    Mutual Agreement of Bride and Groom

    Marriage (nikah) is a solemn and sacred social contract between bride and groom. This contract is a strong covenant (mithaqun Ghalithun) as expressed in Quran 4:21). The marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable.

    Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. Both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract.

    Mahr

    The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract.

    'And give the women (on marriage) their mahr as a (nikah) free gift" (Quran 4:4)

    Mahr is a token commitment of the husband's responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself. The amount of mahr is not legally specified, however, moderation according to the existing social norm is recommended. The mahr may be paid immediately to the bride at the time of marriage, or deferred to a later date, or a combination of both. The deferred mahr however, falls due in case of death or divorce.

    One matrimonial party expresses 'ijab" willing consent to enter into marriage and the other party expresses 'qubul" acceptance of the responsibility in the assembly of marriage ceremony. The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and their two respective witnesses. This written marriage contract ("Aqd-Nikah) is then announced publicly.

    Sermon

    The assembly of nikah is addressed with a marriage sermon (khutba-tun-nikah) by the Muslim officiating the marriage. In marriage societies, customarily, a state appointed Muslim judge (Qadi) officiates the nikah ceremony and keeps the record of the marriage contract. However any trust worthy practicing Muslim can conduct the nikah ceremony, as Islam does not advocate priesthood. The documents of marriage contract/certificate are filed with the mosque (masjid) and local government for record.

    Prophet Muhammad (S) made it his tradition (sunnah) to have marriage sermon delivered in the assembly to solemnize the marriage. The sermon invites the bride and the groom, as well as the participating guests in the assembly to a life of piety, mutual love, kindness, and social responsibility.

    The Khutbah-tun-Nikah begins with the praise of Allah. His help and guidance is sought. The Muslim confession of faith that 'There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger" is declared. The three Quranic verses (Quran 4:1, 3:102, 33:70-71) and one Prophetic saying (hadith) form the main text of the marriage. This hadith is:

    'By Allah! Among all of you I am the most God-fearing, and among you all, I am the supermost to save myself from the wrath of Allah, yet my state is that I observe prayer and sleep too. I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry woman also. And he who turns away from my Sunnah has no relation with me". (Bukhari)

    The Muslim officiating the marriage ceremony concludes the ceremony with prayer (Dua) for bride, groom, their respective families, the local Muslim community, and the Muslim community at large (Ummah)

    Marriage (nikah) is considered as an act of worship (ibadah). It is virtuous to conduct it in a Mosque keeping the ceremony simple. The marriage ceremony is a social as well as a religious activity. Islam advocates simplicity in ceremonies and celebrations.

    Prophet Muhammad (S) considered simple weddings the best weddings:

    'The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed". (Mishkat)

    Primary Requirements
    1) Mutual agreement (Ijab-O-Qubul) by the bride and the groom
    2) Two adult and sane witnesses
    3) Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar), or a combination of both

    Secondary Requirements
    1) Legal guardian (wakeel) representing the bride
    2) Written marriage contract ("Aqd-Nikah) signed by the bride and the groom and witnesses by two adult and sane witnesses
    3) Qadi (State appointed Muslim judge) or Ma'zoon (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony)
    4) Khutba-tun-Nikah to solemnize the marriage

    The Marriage Banquet (Walima)

    After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walima. The relatives, neighbors, and friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor of the family and community are invited to the marriage feasts.

    Prophet Muhammad (S) said:

    'The worst of the feasts are those marriage feasts to which the rich are invited and the poor are left out". (Mishkat)

    It is recommended that Muslims attend marriage ceremonies and marriage feasts upon invitation.

    Prophet Muhammad (S) said:

    "...and he who refuses to accept an invitation to a marriage feast, verily disobeys Allah and His Prophet". (Ahmad & Abu Dawood)

  • Nikah: An Ibaadah

    admin08-07-2014

    Bismillahir-Rahma-nir-Raheem

    Nikah (marriage) is a great Ibaadah in Islam. It is a social obligation, an act which is highly admired by Allah SWT and a Sunnah of the Blessed Prophet SAW.

    But, Subhan Allah, in this western cultured society, we have no idea what marriage is. We have no idea how to live with one's spouse, how to treat one's spouse, how to respect one's spouse, or, in short, how to be a spouse according to Islamic Shariah. Marriage in the western world is quite meaningless. People marry, but within a few years, we'll see that the couple has split up for one reason or another. Today, there is no limit to the affairs between men and women, which weakens the marriage bond. In the modern age, western civilization has beset many problems. One of the major ones being divorce. This is due to lack of understanding and lack of knowledge of what marriage exactly is, especially according to Islam.

    A good example would be the recent news story of the TV show, which is now off-air, called "Who wants to marry a millionaire?" Why did the women come on the show? Was it to seek kind, loving, caring men, who will love and cherish them for the rest of their lives? Or was it because they had the chance to become millionaires themselves? The answer is obvious--it was the money. Muhammad SAW, himself, said the fitna of his Ummah will be wealth. And the men--why would they come on TV to look for someone to marry? Most likely, to gain popularity, or maybe even because they were desperate. So, what does the western society tell us about marriage? It simply teaches us that the union of a man and woman through marriage is no big deal. One can easily go into it and easily come out of it, if one desires.

    On the contrary, marriage in Islam means more that just false promises that one could break this bond anytime one pleases without serious thought and consideration. Rasoolullah SAW, regarding divorce, stated that it is the most hated act of all lawful things in the sight of Allah.

    Marriage is a life-long commitment and partnership. It is a natural and inevitable relationship filled with mutual love, respect, and benefit. Marriage is a beautiful institution, which makes the solitary lives of two people a partnership in the Garden of Jannah. It provides solace and comfort to two people in the hearts of each other. It stabilizes society and guarantees well-being for the community. It is an Ibaadah, a type of worship. The sweet moments a husband and wife share are more rewarding than Nafl Ibaadah. It is an Ibaadah that can lead one to Jannah, where a pious couple will be happy companions for eternity. What a blessing from Allah, Most Compassionate!

    Unfortunately, because of our short-mindedness, stubbornness, pride, and ignorance in the UN-Islamic influential society that we live in, some marriages turn out to be a disaster filled with bitterness, enmity, sorrow, and regret, which is also mostly due to lack of knowledge of a successful Islamic marriage. What we must understand is the individual duties, responsibilities, and roles of the Muslim husband and the Muslim wife.

    The first point which should be made is that, in Islam, the man and the woman are of equal human status. No one, whether male of female, is superior to another, except in piety. Allah does not favor a man over a woman or a white over a black, but He favors those who are righteous and obedient (to Him).

    'Men and women who have surrendered (to Allah),
    believing men and believing women,
    obedient men and obedient women,
    truthful men and truthful women,
    enduring men and enduring women,
    humble men and humble women,
    men and women who give in charity,
    men who fast and women who fast,
    men and women who remember Allah in abundance--
    for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.' (33:35)

    When Allah created Adam alayhis-salaam, he was given all the pleasures of Jannah (Paradise), but Allah sensed an emptiness inside His new creation. To fill that emptiness, Allah created, as a companion for Adam AS, Hawwaa (Eve) alayhas-salaam, whereby, he then found complete happiness and fulfillment. Muhammad SAW was reported to have said that women are the twin-halves of men. When a man and woman have joined through marriage, they are complete. Allah describes the importance and significance of men and women to each other in the Holy Qur'an.

    'They (women) are your garments and you (men) are their garments.' (2:187)

    Without clothing (garments), a body is meaningless. One's clothing is one's modesty, one's protection, one's security, one's respect, one's comfort, one's reputation even. Likewise, clothing is meaningless without a body. The two must go together. If apart, their is little reason for their existence. This parable that Allah uses, defines how a husband and wife relate to each other. Just as one takes much care a protection for their most expensive garments, the spouses, who are each other's garments, should do the same. The only way they could do this is to understand that, though they are of equal status, each has different duties, responsibilities, and roles as Muslim husband and Muslim wife.

    Muhammad SAW was a perfect model and a perfect example to all people in every aspect of life, including marriage. He loved all his wives dearly and treated them all equally. He knew what made happiness in marriage. He loved feeling welcomed by them and appreciated the fact that they respected him and would never go against them. He also appreciated that they did so many things to please him and he knew he could trust them not to let him down, in any way, while he was absent. The mere sight of them made him happy.

    The messenger of Allah SAW was an example to all men on how to treat their wives and he always encouraged his followers to treat them kindly and lovingly: 'A good Muslim husband should treat his wife in the best possible manner.' The Qur'an states:

    'Live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them, it maybe you dislike a thing in which Allah has meant for your own good.' (4:19)

    In regard to treating women kindly, Rasoolullah SAW also said: 'Fear Allah with regard to women because you have taken them in the trust of Allah and made their private parts lawful with the word of Allah.'

    In Islam, the husband has no right to treat the women cruelly and unfairly. The husband should never regard his wife as a servant, but as a partner in life. The wife was regarded by Rasoolullah SAW as the best safeguard for the husband against sin. And he SAW brought a complete change in the status and position of women. The ideal of wifehood was declared to be love and affection and not subordination and inferiority.

    Muhammad SAW taught that no matter how provoked a man may feel, he shall never slap his wife on the face. He discouraged this by saying: 'The best of you is he who is best to his wife.' He further said: 'Never hit your wife like the hitting of your slave.' In other words, never beat them in a way as to injure her. In some extreme cases, though, mild hitting is allowed, but even in the Qur'an, Allah says that preliminary steps should be taken before automatically looking to hitting her, which are admonishment (warning) or separation from the bed.

    Our Blessed Prophet SAW also taught that it was wrong for a husband to speak abusively to her or rudely neglect her whilst out in public. The husband should also not be too strict on his wife in order to change her. Upon this, Muhammad SAW said: 'Admonish (criticize) women with good, for they have been created from the upper ribs and the most crooked thing about the rib is its upper part. If you try to straighten it, it will break. If you leave it, it will remain crooked, so give advise to women accordingly.'

    A man should also not be suspicious of his wife on false grounds, for this is sin on his part and he shall not accuse her without proof. This will take him to a level of almost being regarded as a kufr. But the husband should regard his wife as a safeguard against immorality and as a consolation and comfort in times of distress.

    A husband and wife are to be the best of companions. They should be each others support and comfort, "a shoulder to lean on." There was an occasion, where the Non-Muslims of Makkah would not allow the Muslims to perform Hajj. Sacrificing the animal is a part of the holy pilgrimage. So, Muhammad SAW told his followers that they would have to sacrifice the animals in the jungle, but the followers did not agree and did not obey. He asked them a couple more times, and still they thought it was not allowed to do that, so they didn't obey. In distress, Muhammad SAW went back to his wife and narrated the story to his wife, who advised him to go out, shave his head, sacrifice an animal, and his followers would do the same. He did just that and the followers, upon seeing the Prophet SAW doing what he had commanded them to do, finally obey him, with much regret of course. (May Allah forgive me if I've got the story wrong in any way.) This is an example of the love and respect of the special relationship of a husband and wife.

    Another important duty of the husband is to provide his wife with finance from his wages, so that she could successfully run the household. The Prophet SAW said: 'You shall give her food when you take your food and you shall clothe her when you clothe yourself,' meaning he should take care of his wife as well as he takes care of himself, without neglecting her. Aysha RA narrated that Hind, wife of Abu Sufyan, complained to Muhammad SAW: 'Abu Sufyan is a miserly person. He does not give adequate maintenance for me and my children, but I take from his wealth without his knowledge. Is this sin on my part?' Allah's messenger SAW replied: 'Take from his property the usual amount that would suffice you and your children.'

    A wife is to be loved, cherished, treated with kindness, cared for, and protected. She is not a toy or plaything for the enjoyment of the man. She is a spiritual and moral being like himself. Therefore, the husband should build a moral and spiritual relationship with his wife. This will help in establishing family units that knit together with ties of love and affection and will finally lead to the growth and development of a civilized life in communities all over the earth, but in accomplishing this, the cooperation of the wife is also essential, which leads us to the duties, responsibilities and role of the wife in a successful marriage.

    The husband has been granted the God-given right as the 'head' of the family, the organizer, the supervisor of the social unit of marriage, as all social units need a 'head.'

    'Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given one more strength than the other and because they support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in the husband's absence what Allah would have them guard.' (4:34)

    So, the righteous woman, according to Allah, is one who is obedient to her husband. Rasoolullah SAW said to his companions: 'Shall I tell you about the best treasure a man can have? It is the virtuous wife who always pleases him whenever he looks at her, who obeys him when he orders her, and who guards herself when he is absent from her.' But if a wife is rebellious and cannot accept this situation, the marriage will, undoubtedly, be unsuccessful.

    A righteous woman, who is fearful of Allah will have the naturalness of being a pleasing wife instilled in her. She will know that pleasing her husband is pleasing Allah and bring displeasure to her husband is bringing displeasure to Allah. Rasoolullah SAW said: 'When a man calls his wife for his need, let her come to him, though she may be cooking.' He SAW also said: 'Whenever a man calls his wife for his need and she refuses and he passes the night in an angry mood, the angels curse her until she gets up at dawn.'

    The responsibilities of women, as regards to men, is described in the Qur'an and Sunnah according to feminine nature. If a woman's nature is alive and she wishes to live her life as do the pious, she will not find any difficulty of strangeness in abiding by the laws of Qur'an, Sunnah, and Islamic Shariah.

    The Qur'an states: 'Therefore the women are devoutly obedient (to their husbands).' It is only natural for the husband, who is entrusted with the maintenance of the wife from her family, to expect obedience from her. The men are the benefactors. Muhammad SAW warned: 'Be not ungrateful to your benefactors.' The husband is like the ruler of a country. If the citizens do not respectfully obey him, then, no matter what he does, he will be unsuccessful in running the country. The home is the basic unit of the larger organization. It is only when the smaller units are in order that the larger unit will function smoothly. Therefore, it is essential for the home to be in an atmosphere of obedience and conformance along with love and affection. Rasoolullah SAW said: 'There is nothing better than marriage between partners who love each other.' So, the wife should feel happy to serve and please and obey her husband, even at the cost of her own comfort. For example, if the husband does not like her to go to certain people's houses, she should not go without his permission. For, this will cause him to be displeased and will put tensions between the two. Regarding this, Rasoolulah SAW said: 'No woman shall keep optional fast except with the permission of her husband.'

    Woman is man's garment. Just as the garment is closest to man, the woman is closest to the man. In marriage, there are no secrets between the husband and the wife. This is the close companionship between the two, where no other relationship contains such closeness. The man is most reluctant in sharing his secrets with anyone, except his wife. The close relationship the husband has with his wife enables him to trust her with his confidentialities as well as to guard them safely. And it is the duty of the wife to not carelessly reveal her husband's secrets and confident feelings and emotions to anyone so long as she is alive. The Qur'an states that if a woman holds a grudge against her husband, it would still be unlawful for her to reveal his secrets.

    Addressing women, Allah says in the Qur'an: 'Stay in your homes.' (33:33), meaning that the woman's duties should be related to and around the home. In modern times, the woman has become an external showcase for a broader audience, where in Islam, a woman has an important internal duty of caring for her home, her family, and her children. Some may refer to this as being a "housewife," which, in today's society, holds no respect. Now, what would be more respectable--cooking at a restaurant for hundreds of strangers or cooking for one's family and children? The wife and mother are the role models for the success of the future generations. They have the power to make a home or break a home. With this much power, is it fair to say that the "housewife" is useless in society? She is like the head of state, devoting herself to making her home an ideal one. She has the major responsibilities of housekeeping, taking care of everyone else's needs before her own, management of all affairs, and most importantly, raising the children as devout, pious, righteous Muslims, which, today, in this western-influenced society is difficult.

    Muhammad SAW was once asked: 'O Messenger of Allah! Who is best of all women?' He SAW replied: 'One who makes her husband happy when he sees her, who obeys her when he asks her for something, and who does not to anything against his will in regard to either herself or his wealth.' He SAW also said: 'If the wife performs her 5 daily prayers, restrains herself from adultery, and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise through whichever of its doors as she wishes.' On the other hand, the Prophet SAW also said to a group of laughing and cheering women: 'O assembly of women! You should give as much as you can in sadaqa (charity) for, I have seen that there are more women in the Hellfire than men.' When inquired as to why, the Prophet SAW said: ' You grumble and curse often and you are ungrateful to your husbands!'

    So, the wife should try to please her husband in whichever way she can, according to Islam, and should not be unwilling or undesiring in obeying him and serving him through much love and careness for him. This is the secret of a successful married life as well as the means of pleasing Allah and attaining Paradise.

    What is intended in making women obedient to their husbands is to cultivate in them the type of temperament and character that will make them the true partners to their husbands. An obedient wife wins the heart of her husband, therefore, gaining the upper hand. Hers is the highest place at home and in the eyes of her husband. On the other hand, a disobedient wife who quarrels with her husband and is ungrateful and unloving to him, will spend her life filled with bitterness and a rock-hard heart, not to mention the displeasure of her Lord.

    As for men, Islam aims to cultivate fair-mindedness, love, and kindness on all occasions. Being the maintainer of the house, the man should not abuse his right in a displeasing and UN-Islamic manner. If he makes this sinful mistake, he should know that he will have to meet his Lord and answer for his deeds. Rasoolullah SAW said: 'The man is ruler over his wife and children and is answerable to Allah for the conduct of their affairs. The woman is the ruler over the house of her husband and children and is answerable for the conduct of her affairs.'

    May Allah give all believing men and women, married or looking to marry, the towfeeq to be the ideal Muslim husband and the ideal Muslim wife with His Divine help and guidance. May He bless all present and future marriages with love, happiness, peace, and success. Ameen. Alhumdulillahi Rabbil Alameen.

     

  • Why Does Islam Allow Polygamy (a man marrying more than one wife)?

    admin08-07-2014

    One of the most frequently asked questions about Islam is regarding the topic of polygamy. Polygamy is the practice of a man marrying more than one woman. Islam allows a man to marry up to four women at any one time, and there are important reasons for this, which we will try to explain in the following paragraphs.

    However, one of the most important concepts we must first understand is that Muslims believe that this is a ruling from God. When God prohibits a certain thing or allows a certain thing, the sincere and practicing Muslim does not argue with the rulings of God. This is because if a person really does believe that there is a God who created everything in existence, and that this God is the most wise, all knowing and most merciful, and that this God has sent us a religion to follow that contains instructions on how we should live our lives, then this person will not hesitate to follow these instructions. This is because God, being the most wise, all knowing and most merciful, certainly knows what is best for us as humans, since God is the one who created us. God wants us to live a happy and peaceful life, and so anything that is prohibited or allowed is made to be so because God knows that it will improve our live and enable us to achieve happiness and fulfillment.

    Of course, as human beings, we are always searching for the meaning of things. God created us with a free mind and made us question everything. This is what makes us intelligent beings, and this is what makes us different than animals, as they are driven purely by their instincts and are not able to question or reason. Therefore, Islam encourages Muslims to try to find the wisdom behind all of the teachings of Islam. In fact, in many verses of the Holy Quran, God tells us to ponder upon the verses, and to try to find signs of the wisdom and knowledge of God from these verses. So the answer to this question is simply an attempt to understand the reasons and wisdom of why Islam allows polygamy.

    One of the most important questions that we must first answer is this: Does Islam encourage polygamy? The answer is no. Islam merely allows it, but does not encourage it. In fact, Islam discourages from polygamy, because it teaches that a man who is married to more than one woman must achieve a perfect balance between his wives financially and in terms of his time. The Quran explicitly instructs Muslim men that if they are afraid they will not be able to be just between their wives, then they are to marry only one woman. This justice is only achieved if the man is able to provide the same amount of time to each of his wives, and the same material lifestyle. For example, they must live in similar accommodations, have a similar amount of financial support, and the same level of material possessions. Islam prohibits polygamy if a man is not able to achieve this, or if he even fears that he will not be able to achieve this.

    But the question remains, even after these restrictions and conditions, why does Islam allow men to marry more than one woman? The fact is that Islam recognizes the reality of the human existence. Islam does not ask people to do something that they are not able to do. This is one of the basic principles of Islam, because it is a religion that is to be fully implemented in a Muslim's life. It is a complete way of life that covers every aspect of the life of the Muslim, and it is suitable for every person, living in every place and in every generation and period of time.

    The reality of life is that there are a lot of men who are not monogamous, regardless of their faith. Monogamy is the practice of having only one partner. According to some recent researchers, up to 70% of men cheat on their partners. The rates of women cheating on their husbands were lower. But what is very interesting is that most researchers find that men who cheat on their wives usually give the reason as being a craving for more sex and sexual variation. On the other hand, women usually cite a lack of emotional connection to their husband, or that a stronger emotional connection has developed with the man they are cheating with. In a recent survey in the African country of Togo, 37% of married men admitted to having more than one sexual partner in the past year. If this is carried over 10 years, it is likely the percentage approaches 100%!

    So what does all of this mean? Islam recognizes that men have a stronger drive to have multiple partners than women. This does not apply to all men equally. Some men do not have such a desire, other men are able to control it and live happily with one partner, while others are not able to. Islam wants every man, regardless of which category they fall into, to be able to practice Islam fully and not fall into sin. Once a person falls into a life of sin, and if they feel that they will not be forgiven and there is no way out, they will continue to commit other sins, thinking that they have nothing to lose. In order to prevent this from happening to anyone, Islam allowed polygamy. It is only allowed, not obligated. So those men who are content with one wife can live happily without committing a sin. Those who are able to control this desire, are discouraged from polygamy because it comes with a heavy burden of having to ensure justice and equality between wives, which if it is not achieved will result in sin and punishment on the Day of Judgement. However, for those men who feel it is necessary for them to marry more than one wife, Islam permits them to do so without feeling guilty about it, so they can live a life of honour and dignity like everyone else. They do not have to hide, and they do not have to have secret relationships. They do not have to lie to their first wife or live a second hidden life that no one is to find out about.

    At the same time, by making polygamy prohibited except for those who are just between their wives, Islam protects the rights of the wife. If a man finds no other way but to marry a second wife, he must be just with the first wife. He must divide his time equally between the two, meaning that he must spend one night with his first wife, and one night with the second, and alternate in this way. He must provide both wives with similar housing, and the same amount of financial support. If he has children from either or both of his wives, he is fully responsible for them financially and socially, and must be a good father to them and a good husband to their mother. The first wife is not devastated by finding out that her husband has been secretly having an affair for many years. In fact, Islam gives the first wife the right to ask for the divorce if she is not willing to continue with the marriage.

    In most societies, affairs do happen, though they happen secretly. As mentioned by the research cited earlier, the majority of husbands in most societies will cheat on their wife with at least one other woman. However, all of this happens secretly. The wife does not find out, unless she discovers some evidence of the affair, which leads to feelings of betrayal and hatred. The other woman having the affair has no rights. The man can have an affair with her and not give her any of his time, emotional or financial attention. He can simply stop seeing her at any time. If he has children from her, he may deny that fact and she may have to go to court to prove he is the father. All these problems do not exist when the Islamic system of polygamy is implemented.

    So what about women? Research shows that women also cheat on their husbands, although it happens at a much lower rate. However, as mentioned earlier, women usually cite emotional issues as a reason for them to cheat. Usually, their husbands have lost interest in them, frequently due to their husband having an affair, or being too busy with their work, or travels frequently. In order to take care of this aspect, Islam makes it an obligation on the husband to spend sufficient time with their wife. This is one of the rights of a wife upon her husband in Islam, and nothing justifies taking it away from her, not even spending the time in worship and prayer. Islam also makes it obligatory upon men to treat their wives with the utmost respect, dignity and love. In fact, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) teaches us that: "The best of you are those who treat their wives in the best way". By this, Islam tries to eliminate the reasons for cheating and to maintain the most loving and merciful relationship between the spouses. When such a relationship is maintained, it is very unlikely that either the husband or wife will want to damage it by cheating or by the husband taking a second wife.

    But why does Islam not allow women to marry more than one man? Doesn't research show that there is also a high rate of women cheating on their husbands? Well, these statistics simply reflect the fact that the cheating men need partners to cheat with. It is quite often that a man will initiate an affair. Rarely does a woman make the first move, especially if the woman has a strong emotional relationship with her husband. On the other hand, men are usually driven to commit adultery by their sexual desire, even if they have a good relationship with their wife at home. This is also one of the reasons for Islam requiring both men and women to dress modestly, and not to flirt with each other, because this is how the majority of affairs begin.

    Another point to consider is the complexity of the family structure that would result if women were also allowed to marry more than one man. First, it would be difficult to determine the father of any children that such a woman would have. Recently, DNA testing can be used to determine this. However, it is inevitable that conflicts will arise disputing DNA test results, and some will even forge DNA results to prove their case. Polygamy does not have this problem, because the mother can always be easily determined, and each mother is married to only one man. This makes it easy to determine with full certainty whom the two parents of the child are. Also, conflicts between the multiple husbands of a single woman would frequently turn to violence, which would likely lead to increases in violent crime. This is less common between multiple wives of a single man, because women do not usually resort to violence as quickly or as frequently as men. Additionally, the family structure becomes impossibly complex if both men and women are allowed to marry multiple spouses. Endless chains of people could be engaged in a huge marital relationship. For example, if a man marries four women, and each of those women marries four men, there would be 21 people in this family! If those men are also married to four women each, the family gets even bigger! And this marital chain can continue with no end, resulting in a complex situation that would not be manageable. Would all of their children be considered step-brothers and sisters? Would it be appropriate for those children to marry amongst each other? Who would inherit from whom? Clearly, the disadvantages of such a system would be immense, and would clearly outweigh any possible benefits.

    Some may ask, what about the emotional distress that polygamy causes for women, specifically for a woman whose husband has just married a second wife? As mentioned earlier, Islam obligates upon men to treat their wives with the utmost of kindness, love and mercy. However, there are situations that occur where the husband and wife are simply not getting along. There are situations where irreconcilable differences arise between the husband and wife. This is why Islam permits divorce, even though in Islam divorce is considered to be the most frowned upon of all permissible actions. It is strongly discouraged, but Islam realizes that in some situations, it is really for the best. Similarly, Islam does recognize that in some cases, a man will want to have a second partner. Instead of resorting to secret affairs, Islam allows the husband to legally marry a second wife. This second wife must be made aware that the husband is already married, and she is free to accept his marriage proposal or to reject it. Similarly, the first wife must be made aware that her husband married a second wife, and in that case she has the option of asking for a divorce.

    Therefore, although it is a painful situation, the woman does have the choice whether she is willing to accept this arrangement or not. It is similar to a man divorcing his wife to marry another woman, it is still a very painful situation. However, Islam allows the option of keeping the first marriage. This may be beneficial for both the first wife and the husband. The first wife can maintain the marital relationship, and will still have all the rights of a wife. The children, if there are any, can still continue to have a family where both parents are present and are still in a loving relationship. And the husband is able to marry the second woman, while not losing his family and his first wife whom he may still love and respect.

    In fact, when you consider the complexity of life and the relationships between people, you will find that there are certain cases where polygamy is really the best answer. Nothing in this world is ideal or perfect, and everything has advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, polygamy may be the best answer for some people, in some places and at some times. Since Islam is a religion meant for all people, living in all places and at all times, it allowed polygamy in order to take those cases into account where it is really the best solution.

    Consider for example a case where a husband and wife get married, and then it becomes apparent that the wife is not able to have children. Some men may be able to live with this situation. Others may wish to try other medical solutions such as "test tube" babies or having another woman carry the baby for the couple. Others may pursue adoption of an orphan. However, some men will want to have children by a natural birth. This is just a basic human desire and instinct. Without polygamy, such a man either has to live the rest of his life having been deprived of this opportunity to be a father, or would have to divorce his wife and marry another woman who is able to have children. Both are very painful options, especially if he and his wife love each other very much and do not want to be apart. In such a case, polygamy may be a good solution. The man and his wife can maintain their loving marriage. The man can enjoy the feeling of having natural biological children. The wife can also enjoy having children in her life. The second wife that the man will marry and who will bear children for him, she will also be happy to be in a loving marital relationship and for having children of her own. Generally, a woman who has many opportunities for marriage will not accept to be a second wife, and will wait for a proposal from a man who is not yet married. So the second wife will probably be either divorced or widowed, or having other issues that would make it difficult for her to get married. So for her being a second wife is also a great option because she may otherwise have not had the opportunity to get married at all.

    Another situation to consider is a man whose wife becomes seriously ill, such that she is not able to have sexual relations with her husband. It is difficult for a man to continue to live for a long period of time without satisfying his sexual needs. In such a case, without polygamy the man will either have to suppress their sexual desire, or they will more likely have an affair, or they will simply have to divorce their sick wife and get married to another woman. All of these options are bad. Polygamy provides an option where the wife can continue to get the love, emotional and physical support of her husband. The husband can continue his loving relationship with his sick wife and provide her all the support he possibly can. At the same time, he is able to fulfill his sexual desire. The second woman, as mentioned previously, will be happy to be married because she may not have had this opportunity otherwise.

    One has to also remember that the world is a vast place, and living conditions are completely different between a small village in Africa and life in modern city in North America or Europe. In some societies, children provide support for their tribes and their parents, and so maximizing the number of children is essential. Polygamy is used in those societies, regardless of their faith, in order to achieve this. In fact, some Christian churches in Africa have allowed polygamy or at least have not made it a major issue, because they realize that the societies they are preaching in are not at a stage where it can be given up. There are also other places in the world where brutal wars have been going on for many years, and the life expectancy of men is many years less than that of women, and many young men are killed every day. This results in large numbers of widows and orphans. In those places, it is sometimes not easy or even possible for a woman to work in order to support herself and her children. The only option they have is to practice polygamy in order for those widows and orphans to be taken care of.

    Given the previous discussion, it can be seen that the basic rule in Islam is monogamy, which means that each man marries a single woman. However, Islam does permit polygamy in order to accommodate certain circumstances where it is a better option, and as a way to reduce the number of secret affairs and illicit relationships that exist in every society. Islam simply allows these relationships to become legitimate and open, if certain conditions are met, and if the rights and interests of all parties are protected. Therefore, although polygamy is not the ideal situation and in fact may be harmful if not practiced in the proper way, Islam allows it in order to avoid the greater harm of keeping such relationships secret and illegitimate. Polygamy protects the rights of women by giving them the full rights of a wife. Instead of being a secret "mistress" involved in an affair with a man, where the woman whom has no rights, and is in fact kept a "dirty secret" that no one is allowed to find out about, she becomes an honoured wife with all the rights and privileges that come with being a wife. Instead of any children being "illegitimate" and having to possibly resort to the court system to prove who their father is and to get alimony or child support, these rights are protected by the institution of marriage. For these reasons, Islam regards polygamy as being preferable to adultery. So even if polygamy has many disadvantages, it is still a better option than having adultery become common in the society. This is why Islam allows polygamy.

  • 5.Women Issues
  • Adoption or abortion ?

    admin08-07-2014

    According to Islam, both abortion and adoption are haram and not an option. You should give birth to the child.

    As you know pre-marital sexual relations are considered zinah (adultery) which is a great sin in Islam. Additionally, if a man committed fornication or adultery and then fathered a child/children then these children do not take his name according to the majority of the scholars and they do not inherit the man or vice-versa. But they can be named after their mother and they can inherit her and vice-versa as long as they are of the same religion. If she was a non-Muslim and later embraced Islam then they do not inherit each other. However, if the children are young then the ruling is that they are Muslims as their mother and so they can inherit her and she can inherit them.

    Allaah knows best.

  • How Islam views birth control, abortion and adoption

    admin08-07-2014

    Birth control (Tanzim Al-Haml)

    As procreation is the main objective of marriage, and Islam encourages having many children, birth control is permitted for valid reasons only. These reasons include:

    • if pregnancy or delivery of a baby would threaten the life of the mother;
    • to allow an appropriate gap between children, especially if the mother is still breastfeeding a child. Islam considers the ideal period between having children to be thirty months, or thirty-six months if the mother breastfeeds until her baby reaches two years old, the maximum period of suckling an infant;
    • if the married couple are very young and not yet mature enough to start a family;
    • if one or both spouses are students and having a child would cause them difficulties.

    However, the use of birth control can be deemed haram under the following circumstances:

    • if birth control is intended as a permanent solution and any form of birth control that can lead to permanent sterility is forbidden. Permanent sterilisation, such as hysterectomy or vasectomy, can only take place if medically necessary;
    • if it is used because the couple fears that they will not be able to afford to provide for a child for this suggests a lack of faith in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) to provide for couple and their offspring;
    • if a method of birth control is used that allows conception but causes an early abortion, such as the morning-after pill.

    Whilst it is not haram, Islam looks unfavourably upon spouses who wish to delay starting a family merely for enjoyment of each other.

    Birth control has been used since Islam began, the most common method being withdrawal (azl, coitus interruptus). Azl is permitted by all Islamic schools of law; however a man’s wife should consent to this, because it may impair her sexual satisfaction. A number of Ahadith indicate that the Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) knew that birth control was being practised and approved of it in appropriate situations.

    Abortion (Al-Ijhadh)

    There is some discussion as to whether the Qur’an allows or prohibits abortion; however all Islamic schools of law agree that abortion should be permitted if the life of the mother is in danger and most agree to termination of the foetus should it have a defect or deformity which would compromise its ability to lead a normal life. In the latter case, two medical opinions confirming this are required before the abortion can be performed.

    Abortion without good reason (for example, as a method of birth control) is considered a sin, which increases as the length of time since conception increases. Although it is not a punishable sin, those who carried out the procedure and the parents who allowed it to take place or even requested it are considered guilty of it. An exception to this rule applies to women who have been raped and have become pregnant as a result of the crime against them.

    Even in permitted cases, Islam forbids abortion once the Ruh (soul) has been given to the foetus. There is some argument about when this is; some schools say 120 days; some say 40 days; others say that the Ruh is given at conception; and others suggest that it takes place when the foetus first begins to move voluntarily. In any case, 120 days is the latest point at which an abortion can be legally performed.

    Adoption (At-Tabanni)

    Although Muslims are permitted to look after and provide for children who are not their own, the adoption of these children is prohibited.

    In Western countries, where adoption is common practice, the adopted babies or children take the name of the family that adopts them. The majority of these children have no contact with their real parents and do not know who they are. They may, unknowingly, come into contact with their birth families and, in some cases, can end up marrying a sibling because they are unaware of their true heritage.

    Islam prevents this problem by placing great significance on the name of a child and thus ensuring that lineage is traceable. Names are important in Islam as many laws relate to blood relationships; these include marriage, custody and inheritance, among others. This is also one of the reasons why women keep their names after marriage, unlike their Western counterparts.

    Thus, the relationship between guardian and child is more of a foster relationship, where the adults do not replace the biological family but perform an extremely valued role in looking after a child who will always belong to someone else. The child who is raised by “parents” who are not blood relations is not permitted to inherit from them; however he or she may marry “relatives” created by this bond.

    Even if a child has been abandoned and its father is not known, he or she may not be named after the family that takes him or her in.

    “Nor has He made your adopted sons your (biological) sons.  Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths.  But Allah tells (you) the Truth, and He shows the (right) Way.  Call them by (the names of) their fathers; that is juster in the sight of Allah.  But if you know not their father's (names, call them) your brothers in faith, or your trustees.  But there is no blame on you if you make a mistake therein.  (What counts is) the intention of your hearts.  And Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” [Qur'an 33:4-5]

    However, the extended Muslim family is usually very large in size and it is rare that an orphaned child cannot be looked after within the family.

  • Family Issues

    admin08-07-2014

    Having Children

    We concentrate on raising children in the context of the influences exerted on them when being brought up in Western society, where attitudes to sex are lenient, and where modesty and chastity often seem to be far from the norm.

    We all want our children to grow up to be good Muslims but, unfortunately, success can never be guaranteed. No matter how well we fulfil our roles as parents, our children are also open to a vast number of influences from outside the family unit. Western society raises many temptations for our young; this article looks at how we can ease their way through certain stages of their development by introducing relevant information and explanations in order to educate them Islamically about relationships and sex.

    Successful parenting

    The most important ingredient in successful parenting is a strong parent-child relationship, where love and respect provide open channels of communication. As parents, we should be accessible; available to answer questions and address any fears that may concern our children. A good, honest relationship will help to pave the way when the time comes to introduce sexual education.

    By having a strong Muslim identity and by instilling this in your children, you will find it easier to keep them on the right path. However, do not simply label Western ways as wrong as this will lead to curiosity and possible experimentation. Take time to explain to your child how our ways differ to those of Western society and show them the benefits of the Islamic faith and what it does better. Allow them then to embrace the good things that the West has to offer and, through informed choice, reject the bad.

    The support of a strong Muslim community is of great benefit to parents. Here your children can find role models and friends who share the same beliefs and standards and who will not encourage your child to deviate from the chaste path of Islam.

    Sex education

    The thought of talking to our children about sexual relationships is likely to fill most of us with dread, yet if we consider what could happen to our children if we don’t take this embarrassing step, not telling them could be so much worse. It is important to give our children the right kind of sexual education; the kind that comes from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Do not leave it to the media, which seems to promote fornication, or to your children’s friends as promiscuity, teenage pregnancy and so many other social problems could be the consequence.

    So, take a deep breath and go for it! A child’s sex education should be staged out according to his or her age and at each of the key stages of sexual development.

    Age of discernment

    By this age children should ask permission before entering their parents’ bedroom, in particular when the parents may be undressed.

    The Qur’an tells us: “O you who believe! Let your slaves and the children among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer (salatul Fajr), and when you put off your clothes for the noon rest, and after the late-night prayer (salatul Isha). These three times are of privacy for you, outside these times, there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending to each other.” [24:58]

    Children should also learn the rules about looking at others: lowering the gaze. Muslim men and women are required to lower their gaze after a first glance at the opposite sex and adolescent boys should be taught this important rule, which will protect them from sexual arousal. This applies to all who are non-mahram to the child.

    There are a number of Ahadith on this matter:
    The Prophet (saws) said: “No Muslim whose eyesight falls inadvertently on the beauties of a woman and then he lowers his gaze, but Allah will credit for him a worship he will appreciate its sweetness in his heart.” [Ahmad, at-Tabarani]

    And also: “O Ali! Do not let the second look follow the first. The first look is allowed to you but not the second.” [Tirmithi, Ahmad and Abu Dawud]

    In addition, Muslim men and women are not permitted to look at another man or woman’s awrah (the area between the navel and the knees). This can prove difficult in a society where the women seem to wear fewer and fewer clothes and where the media delights in displaying pictures of semi-naked figures. Lowering the gaze becomes even more important here.

    Adolescence

    Adolescence usually begins at around ten years of age and, during this stage, it is important that children are protected from any influences which may cause sexual arousal. There are a number of ways defined by Islam, which can ensure the safety of our children.

    • Children of this age should practise the rules concerning looking at the opposite sex.
    • Parents should pay close attention to what their children watch on television and ensure that their reading materials are appropriate.
    • Adolescent children should not share the same bed; this includes children of the same sex. The Prophet said: “Enjoin your children to perform salah when they are seven, and spank them for it when they are ten, and let them sleep in separate beds.” [al-Hakim and Abu Dawud]
    • Adolescent boys should not enter places where women are assembled.
    • From this stage of development, do not allow your child to become friends with a member of the opposite sex.
    • Teach your child the importance of modesty and chastity as prescribed by Islam. Make them aware of, and proud of, their Islamic heritage.

    Puberty

    Puberty can be a difficult time in a young person’s life. As hormones kick in, young people can become emotional and experience mood swings or even changes in behaviour. This is a confusing time for them and so parents must ensure that they are a reassuring presence for their child and that they give their child the explanations they need regarding the great physical and emotional changes that are taking place.

    When children reach puberty, they become answerable to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) for their deeds in the same way that adults are. They should then worship in the same way as men and women. For boys, this follows their first ejaculation. For girls, it is when they experience their first menstrual bleed.

    At this stage you will need to teach your child the role of Ghusl and the correct way to practise it . If he or she experiences wetness due to sexual arousal, whether intended or otherwise, or awakes wet following a dream, then he or she must perform Ghusl.

    In these cases, before Ghusl is performed, men and women are considered to be junub (in a state of janabah/sexual impurity). Men and women are not permitted to touch or read the Qur’an whilst junub, neither should they pray, enter a mosque or have sexual intercourse. This also applies to females who are having their monthly period or women who are bleeding following childbirth.

    The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “The menstruating woman and the one in a state of sexual impurity must not read anything from the Qur’an.” [Tirmidhi]

    When children reach puberty, they should ask permission at all times before entering their parents’ bedroom. They should also be informed about sexual relationships.

    Young adults

    There is a lot of pressure placed on our young people by their peers to lose their virginity. However, as parents, we should encourage them to study their faith and to understand why modesty and chastity are so highly regarded in Islam.

    “And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste until Allah enriches them of His Bounty.” [Qur’an 24:33]

    Young people, who are unmarried, need to be told about sexual abstinence and how to dampen any desires that they may experience.  They must also be taught the rules concerning fornication (zinaa), adultery and homosexuality, and the dangers of masturbation. Methods of preserving chastity include:

    • lowering the gaze;
    • avoiding situations where they may become sexually aroused;
    • choosing chaste, Islamic friends to spend their time with;
    • studying Islam, especially those verses of the Qur’an regarding zinaa;
    • participating in sports and physical activity;
    • fasting voluntarily.

    Our Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) teaches us that: “Those who cannot (marry) should fast, for it is a means of cooling sexual passion.” [Burkhari]

    Performing Ghusl

    First, make the niyyah (intention) for Ghusl, for example, “I am performing Ghusl to become clean” then perform Ghusl in the following order:

    • Wash both hands, including the wrists.
    • Wash the private area.
    • Remove any visible dirt from the body.
    • Perform Wudhu.
    • Pour water over the head three times.
    • Pour water three times over the right shoulder and then three times over the left shoulder.
    • Pour water over the entire body and rub.
    • Wet hair completely.
    • Rub all parts of the body with hands to ensure that nothing remains dry.
    • When complete, dry the body with a clean towel and dress.

    Ghusl should be performed in privacy without speaking and the water used must be clean.

    Conclusion

    As with most things, communication with your children plays a key role in their development, especially when they are such a vulnerable age. Be open in these matters and provide explanations and examples in your answers. Your child will appreciate your honesty and your attitude will lead him or her to make sound and informed choices when faced with life’s many temptations.

  • Children's rights and duties

    admin08-07-2014

    We were all children once and, one day, our children will become adults. They way they treat us, their parents, and their own children has its foundations in the way we treat our children from birth, through their childhood, and into adulthood.

    Children are a blessing, and without question they strengthen the family bond. In Islam, bringing children into the world is a religious obligation, which ensures that the community of the faithful is broadened, and that the family line may continue. Many people look on households where there are no children to be lacking God’s blessing, and every family should look on children as a source of light and joy.

    Islam holds children to be both vulnerable and dependent, and therefore in need of protection – spiritually, physically, and materially. Consequently, Islamic law sets out a series of rules and guidelines that parents should abide by to provide their children with the love and support that ensures their development within the faith.

    All children born within a marriage are legitimate and their paternity cannot be called into question. Islam does not permit adoption because of the importance of ensuring that family lines can be continued down the father’s (patrilineal) line.

    Who is responsible?

    Both parents must be involved in their children’s upbringing. However, the child’s father has primary responsibility in providing for his or her care. Islam recognises that this is not always possible – for instance because the father has died or because the father has insufficient means to provide for the child. Under these circumstances, the child’s paternal grandfather must care for the child. If this is not possible, then the child’s other paternal relatives must take care of him. Finally, if no paternal relatives are able to care for the child, another relative will suffice.
    Where the parents divorce or separate, the mother will generally have custody of the children, and maternal relatives will care for the children in the absence of the mother. However, all children who have not reached maturity have the right to a guardian. This can be the father, or an honourable and trustworthy person appointed by the father to protect the child’s interests.

    Rights of the children

    Children have the right to:

    1. Be nourished, clothed, and protected until they reach adulthood
      This is normally the father’s duty, although the mother should also take a role in providing physical, emotional, and material support.
    2. Receive an education
      Parents must ensure that their children are taught at school or college, and that they receive a good education (including a moral and religious education). Parents should also take an interest in their children’s schooling, spending time with them to help with homework, reading, or project work. Most importantly, the best moral and religious training can often come from the parents themselves – not from teachers, sermons, or well-intentioned advice from friends or family. Parents set the best example, the example their children will follow. A Hadith notes: “The best of you is one who gives a good intellectual and moral education to his children”. Above all, parents should fill their child’s heart with faith.

      As mentioned above, parents have a duty to ensure their children’s religious, moral and spiritual development. Boys receive their religious education from their fathers, and girls from their mothers.  Children are welcomed into Islam from birth and will begin to appreciate the foundations of their faith at an early age, but their true religious learning only begins at the age of tamyiz (the age of discernment). Religious education is nowadays generally offered as part of the state education system, although some parents prefer their children to attend Qur’anic schools.

    3. Love and affection
      All children need to be nourished emotionally as well as physically. They need to be hugged, kissed, and to experience affection, and they need to understand that their parents love them deeply.  Once, a Bedouin witnessed the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) kissing a child. He remarked in surprise: “I have eight children but never kiss them”. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) answered the Bedouin by saying: “What can I do if Allah has emptied your heart of love and compassion?”

      Love and leniency, if offered correctly, can be the best methods of raising children. Use strictness rarely as enforcing discipline this way can be counter-productive. But be wary of being over-protective: your children need to find their own feet, and cannot do so if you do not give them the chance to develop as free-thinking individuals.

    4. Be well provided for
      Parents, naturally, want to give their children the best of everything where possible. But it is important to remember that material wealth must be tempered by religious devotion. Parents should also not sacrifice their own material well-being for the sake of the children - as the Hadith says: “It is better for parents to leave their children well-provided for financially than to leave them in poverty”.  Neither overspending nor miserliness is to be tolerated.
    5. To be treated equally with their siblings
      All children in a family should be treated fairly and with equality. A son should not be preferred over a daughter, nor should a daughter receive more gifts, love, or attention than a son. Parents should also be aware that withholding part of an inheritance from a child is unjust in the eyes of Islam. Injustice, of course, leads to hate, anger, and a discontentment that affects the whole family unit. There are no circumstances when a child can be singled out for preferential treatment – only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) can reward kindness, devotion, and a child’s duty.

      However, if a child falls ill and cannot afford medical care, or is to marry but cannot afford the cost of a wedding, then parents may choose to provide financial support as this would be classed as providing for the child’s essential needs.

      But let us not forget that, whilst the rights of the children are a reflection of the parents’ duties, Islam also provides for the rights of parents, which can be seen as duties required from the children.

    Rights of the parents

    Parents do not just provide food, clothing, and shelter for their children. They give them spiritual and moral guidance, and they help them to grow into young adults who are well-equipped to make a valuable and useful contribution to society. To do so, parents often sacrifice their own comforts, sleep, and time to provide for their children, and they work hard to ensure that all their needs are met. The mother has more rights than the father, in recognition of her efforts to bear the child, to deliver the baby, and to nurture the infant. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) declares that a mother is worthy of three times the good treatment that a child offers his father. A Hadith also describes that “Paradise lies under the feet of the mother”. [Ibn Majah]
    Parents have the right to:

    1. Be respected and obeyed
      Parents always have the best interests of their children at heart, and children must remember that this is the case. Children must not disobey their parents’ wishes, even if they disagree with what they are being asked to do. To act against one’s parents is disrespectful and incurs God’s anger.
    2. To admonish (scold)
      Children must remember that their parents have a duty to protect and encourage their religious and intellectual growth, and to help them grow rounded, well-informed characters. As a result, children should not resent any strictness displayed by their parents; they should instead recognise that their parents are doing their duty, in the best interests of their offspring.
    3. To be cared for
      Just as parents care for children when they are vulnerable, so children, as adults, must care for their parents – financially as well as physically – when they grow old and infirm. The Qur’an says: “People ask you (O Prophet) how should they spend. Say, ‘whatever you spend should be spent on Allah (in good cause), on parents, near relatives, on orphans, destitutes and travellers (who fall short of money in foreign lands)”.
    4. To be treated with kindess
      Children must not be rude to their parents, nor must they forget the sacrifices and support their parents offered them. Parents have a right to be treated with respect, and without harshness.
    5. To be aided when necessary
      It is a fact of life that, the older people get, the less capable they become. Parents have a right to expect support from their children whether in terms of helping with the shopping or cleaning, repairing or decorating property, or any other tasks that the parent can no longer manage by themselves. Children have a duty to help willingly where they can.

    Rights of infants

    It is also worth noting that there are some traditions and rituals that should be completed with the birth of a new child. Generally speaking, the father or appointed legal guardian must oversee the fulfillment of these rituals, which include:

    1. When a child is born, the Azan (Muslim call to prayer) must be whispered in both its ears;
    2. Chewing some dates or sweets then putting them in the baby’s mouth and rubbing the paste on the child’s palate. This is to train the child to eat;
    3. Cleaning the baby;
    4. Choosing a good name for the child – both parents can choose the name, but if they cannot agree on a name for their child, the father will decide;
    5. Seven days after the child’s birth, the aqiqa ceremony takes place, where a sheep is slaughtered and the child's hair is shaved. Tradition also suggests that a donation of silver equivalent to weight of the shaved hair is given to the poor;
    6. Between seven and fifteen days after the birth of a male child, circumcision (Khitan) may take place. (The Qur’an does not permit female circumcision.)

    When does a child reach adulthood?

    In Islam, childhood is a special period in every life, but just as infancy gives way to childhood, so childhood must give way to maturity.

    Scholars and legal experts do not always agree about the precise age when boys and girls come of age. For girls, the age of majority (bulughin Islamic law) is normally the age when menstruation starts. For boys, the age of majority may be seen as 18, when boys come into manhood. However, sometimes it is enough for the child to declare that they have reached puberty for them to be declared bulugh.

  • Glossary of Arabic Terms

    admin08-07-2014
    Term Meaning
    Ahadith Collection of traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎), which may be sayings, actions or approvals
    ʿAlayhis salaam (Arabic: عليه السلام)      Peace be upon him. This phrase is spoken after naming any Prophet other than Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎). It is also used for the archangels.
    Anti taliq You are divorced (written or spoken when performing talaaq)
    Aqd-Nikah Written marriage contract
    Aqiqa Ceremony that takes place seven days after a child’s birth, where a sheep is slaughtered and the child's hair is shaved
    Ash-Shuhud Witnesses (at marriage)
    Awrah Parts of the body which must be covered
    Azan Muslim call to prayer
    Azl Withdrawal method of birth control (coitus interruptus)
    Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim In the name of Allah
    Bulugh Age of majority according to Islamic law
    Coitus interruptus Withdrawal method of birth control
    Deen Religion, religiousness, faith
    Du`a Prayer
    Faskh Revoking a marriage because of flaws in the marriage contract or because there are other issues that prevent the marriage from succeeding
    Fiqh (1) the understanding of the Shari’ah Laws, and the capacity to discover and derive newer meanings and applications beyond the apparent textual meaning
    (2) intensive and extensive knowledge of Islam.
    Ghusl bath performed following a state of janabah (see below)
    Hadd Punishment
    Hadith Traditions of the Prophet Mohammed (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎), which can be sayings, actions or approvals
    Haidh Menstrual period
    Halaal Legal
    Halaqah Islamic social gathering
    Haqq-i-faskh The right to annul a marriage, given to a wife, if the husband is unable to have intercourse
    Haram Illegal, forbidden
    Hijab The type of head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women, but can also refer to modest Muslim styles of dress in general
    Ibadah Act of worship
    `Iddah/Iddat Waiting period of a woman who has been divorced or widowed
    Ijab wal-Qubul Offer and acceptance part of nikah ceremony, where the bride’s wali offers the bride in marriage and the groom accepts
    Ijhadh Abortion
    Imam Islamic leader, often the leader of a mosque and the community
    Insha’Allah Arabic phrase, which translates as “God willing” and used when referring to future events
    Janabah State of sexual impurity (following intercourse, or during a woman’s period or bleed following childbirth, and before ghusl is performed
    Junub Describes a man or woman when in a state of janabah (see above)
    Khitan Circumcision
    Khutba-tun-Nikah Sermon which blesses a marriage ceremony
    Kuffar Non-believer, atheist
    Khul` Menstrual period
    Mahr Dowry – paid by the husband to the wife as a show of goodwill to his new wife and as a sign that he honours her
    Mahram Unmarriageable kin
    Mangni Engagement ceremony
    Masjid Arabic name for mosque
    Mehendi The application of henna to a bride’s hands and feet before marriage
    Muhsanah Chaste and virtuous woman
    Mut`ah Temporary marriage
    Nikah Muslim wedding contract
    Niyyah Intention to perform an act of worship to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى)
    Non-mahram A person that one can marry and should therefore obey the rules of modesty with
    Qadhi Muslim judge who renders decisions according to the Shari'ah
    Qarabah Kinship
    Qur’an The Holy text of Islam, containing the words of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى)asrevealed to Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) by the angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) over a period of approximately twenty-three years
    Raa Abbreviation of Radhiallâhu anha or Radhiallahu 'anhu (see below)
    Radhiallâhu anha May God be pleased with Her. This phrase is usually spoken after the name of a righteous woman.
    Radhiallahu 'anhu (Arabic: رضي الله عنه‎) may God be pleased with Him. This phrase is usually spoken after the name of a righteous man.
    Rahmah Mercy
    Rak’at Portion of a prayer
    Ramadan The Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured; from dawn until sunset.
    Ruh Soul
    Sadaq See Mahr
    Salaah al-Istikhara Special Islamic prayer which asks Allah, swt, for guidance
    Salah Prayer
    Salatul Fajr Morning prayer
    Salatul Isha Late night prayer
    Sall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam (Arabic: صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) May Allah bless him and grant Him peace. This is spoken after mentioning the Prophet Muhammad.
    Saws Abbreviation of ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam (see above)
    Shaitan Satan
    Shari’ah Islamic law
    Shari’ah law Islamic law
    Shaytan Satan
    Shura Consultation
    Sihriyya Relationship through marriage
    Sirah Biography of the Prophet Mohammed (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎)
    Subhaanahu Wa Taala (Arabic: سبحانه و تعالى) This phrase is uttered following mention of Allah and means “Glorious and exhalted is He (Allah).”
    Sunnah The manner or deeds of Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎), which have been validated by His companions
    Tabanni Adoption
    Talaaq Divorce whereby a man says to his wife, or writes it down for her to read, that he is divorcing her. It must also be made in front of two witnesses.
    Talaq mughallaz Irrevocable divorce
    Talluqtuki I have divorced you (written or spoken when performing talaaq)
    Tamyiz Age of discernment
    Tanzim Al-Haml Birth control
    Ummah Community of believers/ the Islamic community as a whole
    Umrah Pilgrimage to Mecca
    Wajib Islamic duty
    Wali Male guardian,who has responsibility for a woman seeking a husband
    Walima Wedding banquet
    Wudhu Ablution to prepare oneself for prayer
    Zakat The giving of a small percentage of one's surplus wealth to charity
    Zawaj Marriage
    Zinaa Fornication (sex outside marriage)
  • Is plucking of the eye brows is acceptable for a Muslim woman?

    admin08-07-2014

    There is an authentic hadith narrated by the Prophet PBUH saying "WaLa-Ana Allah Al-Namessa Wal-Mutanamessa" and Allah has cursed the "Namessa and Mutanamessa" - the one who remove her eyebrows completely and replaced them with fake ones; or the one who pluck them so much and make them very thin. This haram because is considered a change to the creation of Allah. Also Allah has cursed the one who helps her.

    The woman in Islam is permitted to clean the hair between the two eyebrows and all around slightly without any changing Showing her beauty to her husband (only) is very important, it is part of his rights a command for the wife. Please review Surah Al'Nour (24-31).

    Allah knows best.

  • What is Islamic rule of hair fixing or hair extensions?

    admin08-07-2014
    1. Fixing the hair in a normal way is fine as long as you do not act like the disbelievers (i.e. drawing designs with the razor).
    2. Styling the hair normally or make it short or long is also okay.
    3. Coloring the hair is okay, except to color it with black.
    4. To use hair extensions either from human or from animal hair (for both female and male) is haram in Islam. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said:” Allah curse those who (Wasela & Mustawsela) those who attach to their original hair any other hair partially or entirely”.

    Allah knows best.

  • Is it okay to command my wife do not wear Niqab?

    admin08-07-2014

    It is not okay to tell your wife not to cover her face. It is the general ruling that once a Muslim woman starts to wear niqab willingly and with the intention to satisfy Allah, that she cannot take it off unless she is in danger of being hurt or due to an illness that does not allow her to cover her face.

    Now, regarding the issue whether the covering of the face is obligatory or not, let’s review what Allah says in surah Al-Noor (24: 31) - you can also review later Surah Al-Ahzab (33:28) and Surah Al-Hujrat (49:1-3) :

    *{And say to the believing women to lower their gazes and guard their chastity, and let them not display of their charm - except what is apparent.}* (An-Nur 24:31)

    In its commentary or explanation on the phrase: *{what is apparent}* Ibn `Abbas (r.a), the famous Companion of the Prophet (swa), said: “It means face and hands.” In other words, according to Ibn `Abbas, a woman must cover all her body except her face and hands while in the presence of men who are not related to her directly.

    The majority of the Ulamah - including those of the four schools, share the above interpretation of Ibn `Abbas, by saying that a woman is not obliged to cover her face and hands. They also use this concept in their general consensus that a woman is not required to cover her face and hands while performing salah; as well as, agreeing that a woman must show her face while she is in a state of ihram during Hajj and `Umrah.

    On the other hand, there are few scholars that believe that a woman must cover her face and hands as well. They base their opinion in the famous hadith of the Prophet (swa): “Woman is all `awrah (private)” narrated in Bukari and Muslim. Therefore, they take from this that a woman needs to completely covered up. They also reason by saying that the most attractive parts of a woman’s body capable of enticing men are her face and hands.

    In conclusion, I am with the opinion that a Muslim woman is required to cover all her body except her face and hands, as agreed by the majority of scholars belonging to all schools UNLESS her face (her beauty) may cause fitnah. Then it would be mandatory for her to wear niqab. In regards to your wife, if your she has reached such a great level of iman to decide to wear niqab, I advise you that you should be proud of her and to do not discourage her as she is following the great example of “the mothers of the believers” - the wives of the Prophet (swa). Allah knows best.

  • Child conceived of zina wedlock.

    admin08-07-2014

     

    • Although the baby itself will be absolutely innocent of the crime of its parents, if it was conceived out of marriage, it will be considered a child born out of `zina` in the Sight of Shariah Law and a few restrictions will apply in the sight of Shariah Law:
    • The baby will be called and recognized by the name of its mother.
    • The baby will legally inherit only its mother; and the mother will inherit from its baby.
    • The baby will not be a legal heir of its biological father and thus it will neither inherit its father, nor will its father inherit from the baby.
    • Neither the baby nor its biological father in such a case would have any rights due from each other; basically the child would have no legal obligation towards its biological father, nor would the biological father have any legal obligations towards its illegitimate child.
  • Women of Paradise

    admin08-07-2014

    'The Black Woman'

    Paradise is for believing men and women.

    We often hear speakers in Friday prayer or in admonitions talking about Paradise and all of us find our hearts, minds and thoughts tuned on to that 'frequency'. However, majority of the speakers talk about Paradise as if it were a house for men only. Reality is not like that. Paradise is for the believing men and women. The only price for it is sound belief in Allaah, love of Allaah and His Messenger salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam, and obedience to Allaah and His Messenger salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam.

    In what follows are the glad tidings given by the Messenger of Allaah salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam, to some of the women among his companions.

    * Narrated 'Aisha radhiya Allaahu anha: I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija (although) she died before he married me, for I often heard him mentioning her, and Allaah had told him to give her the good tidings that she would have a palace of Qasab (i.e. pipes of precious stones and pearls in Paradise), and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would send her women-friends a good share of it. [Sahih al-Bukhari]

    * Anas reports that the Messenger of Allaah, salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam, said: 'The best women of mankind are four: Mariam daughter of `Imraan, Assiya wife of Pharaoh, Khadija daughter of Khuwailid, and Fatima the daughter of the Messenger of Allaah.' [Bukhari and Muslim]

    * Narrated Abu Huraira: Jibreel (Gabriel) came to the Prophet and said, 'O Allaah's Apostle! This is Khadija coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (i.e. Allaah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a Qasab (palace in Paradise) wherein there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue (trouble).' [al-Bukhari]

    * Narrated 'Ata bin Abi Rabah: Ibn 'Abbas said to me, 'Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?' I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'This black woman came to the Prophet and said, 'I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please invoke Allaah for me.' The Prophet said (to her), 'If you wish, be patient and you will have (enter) Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allaah to cure you.' She said, 'I will remain patient,' and added, 'but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allaah for me that I may not become uncovered.' So he invoked Allaah for her.' [al-Bukhari]

    The aforementioned ahadeeth clearly state the stature of some of the women given the glad tidings of Jannah (Paradise). What can the women of today do in order to achieve that pinnacle of success, Paradise?

    To do so one MUST learn how these women lived, how they behaved, how they spoke, how they dressed, how they walked, etc. In this issue of al-Mu'minah we will try to learn from the black woman mentioned in the last Hadith, insha'Allaah. The black woman is not even known by her name, or her exact whereabouts, rather she is known by her deeds, her faith, her modesty, her chastity, and for her being an inmate of Paradise. And, in the end, that is what matters most. When Abdullah Ibn Abbas radhiya Allaahu anhu said 'this black woman', he did not mean to point at her race or to belittle her in any way. Indeed, he but meant to teach the people around him a great principle of Islam which is mentioned in the verse, [in the meaning of] : 'O people! We have created you from a man and a woman and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may know each other, verily the most honorable among you in the sight of Allaah are the most pious.'

    The same principle is mentioned in the Hadith: 'Allaah does not look at your pictures (shapes) and bodies but He looks at your hearts (and your deeds).' [Muslim] She (the black woman) was physically sick, yet she sought cure in the du`a of the Messenger of Allaah, salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam. She knew that the one who cures, ash-Shaafee, is Allaah, and Allaah would answer the du`a of His Messenger salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam. We conclude from that that du`a heals all diseases be they of the body or of the heart. When commenting on this Hadith, al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar said: 'It is inferred from this hadith that the cure of diseases through du`a and supplication to Allaah (wa al-iltijaa' ilaa Allaah) is the most successful way of healing, but this cannot be fulfilled unless two conditions are satisfied: pure intention and sincere trust in the effectiveness of the du`a, and righteousness and reliance on Allaah.

    The fact that the Prophet salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam said: 'If you wish, be patient and you will have (enter) Paradise' is a proof for the virtue and reward of patience during sickness. In another Hadith, he, salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam, says: 'Whenever a hardship affects the Muslim, he will be forgiven for it even when he is picked by a spike.' [Muslim]

    And in another Hadith, also narrated by Muslim, Ummu as-Sa'ib cursed fever, to which the Prophet salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam told her: 'Do not curse fever, for it takes away the sins like the blaze [fire] takes away the impurities of iron.' The black women preferred the suffering of this world to getting the eternal reward of Paradise! She suffered from sickness, yet her pain and discomfort did not force her to forego pleasing Allaah! And no matter who one is, if one is in the path of Allaah, one will encounter difficulties, because Paradise is rounded by hardships. If things are easy and life is rosy, then one must check oneself; are we following the true Islam? Especially in this western environment it may be difficult for a young woman to wear the dress of modesty, the hijab (even though it is mandatory), not to talk to men and keep away from them (which is also mandatory), except if necessary.

    All these may be difficult to achieve for some in the beginning, but when one overcomes herself for the sake of Allaah, then all the other obstacles become baseless. So, how to overcome oneself? By knowing Allaah by His names and attributes; by loving and obeying Allaah and His Messenger, salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam; and then the help of Allaah will come, insha'Allaah. She (the black woman) preferred being patient, but could not tolerate that her honor, her modesty and her chastity be damaged or even touched, nor that any part of her body be uncovered, though she had no control over it. Indeed she was a real slave and servant of Allaah; she was a faithful, a believer, a Muslimah, a righteous and pious woman, a truthful woman, and she was loyal to Allaah and His Messenger, salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam. Not only having these awe-inspiring qualities, she was also a wise and a great woman, as her memorable words rang ...: '... but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allaah for me that I may not become uncovered.'

    If words are to be written in Gold, these words should be written in gold ... Remember this simple equation: Iman + Suffering + Patience = Paradise It can also be inferred that the righteous Muslim woman inherently loves to be covered, loves modesty and chastity and hates revealing her body and her beauty. The black woman, radhiya Allaahu `anha could sustain being so sick but could not bear to be uncovered in front of people.

    The issue, one must understand, is not of black or white or Arab or non-Arab, rich or poor, noble[with lineage] or not, it is rather of a creed so deeply rooted in the hearts of Muslims like blood flows in the arteries and veins of people. They are those who are totally committed to Islam. Fourteen Hundred years of history showed that Muslim women could sustain hunger, poverty, sickness but could never sustain disobeying Allaah. The wife would tell her husband when leaving for work: 'Fear Allaah in us, for we can sustain hunger and thirst but we cannot sustain Hell fire [i.e. do not acquire unlawful earning].'

    Dear sisters, ask yourself what made Khadija radhiya Allaahu `anha be greeted by Allaah Subhanahu wa Ta`ala and by Jibreel alaihi as-Salaam. Ask yourself what made Khadija be rewarded a Palace in Jannah as no one can imagine. Reading the biography of Khadija and others like her in greatness, one would wish to be at their service; to carry their shoes, wash their clothes, to serve them in any possible way and get du`a from them. It is sad that we just don't know the great personalities of this Ummah. If only we strive to study the lives of the righteous that preceded us, we would find in them immense guidance for our existence, and if we know them and follow them we could be in the forefront of mankind ...

    It is said, 'Iman (faith) is not by hope, it is rather what occurs in the heart and is proved by the deeds [maa waqa`a fil qalbi wa saddaqahul-`amal].' We leave you to think about this and pray to Allaah to make us all among the dwellers of Paradise and to bestow upon us the faith and the patience that lead us to Paradise. And to bless the present Muslim Ummah with many women like the black woman, radhiya Allaahu `anha (may Allaah be pleased with her), who help us focus on the straight path ...

  • Revelation of Al-Hijab

    admin08-07-2014

    Hadith - Bukhari 1:148

    The wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) to answer the call of nature at night. 'Umar used to say to the Prophet "Let your wives be veiled," but Allah's Apostle did not do so. One night Sauda bint Zam'a the wife of the Prophet went out at 'Isha' time and she was a tall lady. 'Umar addressed her and said, "I have recognized you, O Sauda." He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allah revealed the verses of "Al-Hijab" (A complete body cover excluding the eyes).

    The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ahzab 33:59

    O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils)* all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way).  That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed.  And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    *the arabic word here is Jalabeeb (plural of Jalbaab), which is the loose outer garment that covers all a woman's body.  It says here to use the Jalabeeb to cover all, and scholars say this means to use it to cover her head (agree upon by all scholars) and her face (agreed by many scholars, not all) and one or both eyes, in order for it to be known that she is a free woman and so not to be exposed to any harm.

    Hadith - Bukhari 6:282

    'Aisha used to say: "When (the Verse): 'They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,' was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces."

    Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin

    When the verse "That they should cast their outer garments over their persons" was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.

    The lower half of the hijab is a garment that does not show the woman's figure. Jeans and certain obvious garments do not meet this requirement.

    Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi
    The Apostle of Allah was brought some pieces of fine Egyptian linen and he gave me one and said: Divide it into two; cut one of the pieces into a shirt and give the other to your wife for veil. Then when he turned away, he said: And order your wife to wear a garment below it and not show her figure.

    Prescribed Methods of Covering

    Tafseer - Ibn Katheer
    "Allah commanded the muslim women to cover this sheet on top of them to cover their bodies except one eye, when it is necessary for them to come out of their homes."

    Tafseer - Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.III, p.457
    Imam Muhammad bin Sirin said: "When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith (ra) the meaning of this verse and how the jalbaab was to worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was also the explanation of the word 'Alaihinna in this verse"

    Tafseer - Alu'si, Rul-ul-Ma'ani, Vol. 22, p. 89
    "Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Al-Mundhir described the method of wearing the jalbaab according to Ibn Abbas (ra) and Qatadah (ra). The sheet should be wrapped around from the top, covering the forehead, then bringing one side of the sheet to cover the face below the eyes so that most of the face and the upper body is covered. This will leave both eyes uncovered (which is allowed in necessity).

    Color of Garment

    The female companions were known to wear black and dark colors (such as the hadith above, "crows on their heads"), but other colors are also permissible for a woman to wear. She must not wear any color, however, in vanity.

    Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.715
    ...'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil ...

    Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.733
    that he had seen Um Kulthum, the daughter of Allah's Apostle (saaws), wearing a red silk garment.

    Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.713
    The Prophet (saaws) was given some clothes including a black Khamisa. The Prophet said, "To whom shall we give this to wear?" The people kept silent whereupon the Prophet said, "Fetch Um Khalid for me." I (Um Khalid) was brought carried (as I was small girl at that time). The Prophet took the Khamisa in his hands and made me wear it and said, "May you live so long that your dress will wear out and you will mend it many times." On the Khamisa there were some green or pale designs (The Prophet saw these designs) and said, "O Um Khalid! This is Sanah." (Sanah in a Ethiopian word meaning beautiful).

    Hadith - Sunan of Abu Dawood #4055, Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As
    We came down with the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) from a turning of a valley. He turned his attention to me and I was wearing a garment dyed with a reddish yellow dye. He asked: What is this garment over you? I recognised what he disliked. I then came to my family who were burning their oven. I threw it (the garment) in it and came to him the next day. He asked: Abdullah, what have you done with the garment? I informed him about it. He said: Why did you not give it to one of your family to wear, for there is no harm in it for women.

    Must a Woman Wear Niqab (Veil)?

         The general understanding in Islam regarding Sunnah, is that if the Prophet or any of his wives (RA) or companions (RA) are recorded in authentic hadith to have engaged in an act that is not haram (prohibited) as defined by Qur'an or Sunnah, then the act is declared halal (permissible).  If the companions engaged in an act that the Prophet was aware of and did not speak out against, it is halal.

         It is well-known that the wives of the Prophet covered their faces any time non-mahram men were near.  A woman named Asma, who was not a wife of the Prophet , was also recorded as covering her face.  Easily, one can conclude that wearing veil is halal (permissible).

         However, Muslims and Muslimahs across the world have been in "hot debate" for centuries, over the issue of whether or not covering the face is obligatory upon a Muslimah.  Those who argue that it is not required, point to the use of the word khimar in the Qur'an, and explain that today's modern khimar does not cover the face, and argue that khimar has never referred to the covering of the face, but only to that of the hair, neck, and bosoms.  While one cannot deny the support of Hadith that indicate that the Prophet's wives wore khimar, one must realize that they also covered their faces at all times in the presence of non-mahram men.  

         The group of scholars agree that it is a highly recommended act to cover the face.  The scholars also agree that a woman must cover her adornment, yet some scholars argue that this does not include the face.

         BASING ON CULTURE VS. QURAN AND SUNNAH. ...Most Muslim men, even in America, would be pleased if their wives veil, but some state that a veil draws too much attention, causing men to look upon her more than normal.  However, one must realize that when men 'look', they have nothing of her to see!  Regardless, this issue must stick to understanding and implementing Qur'an and Sunnah, and not making excuses based on the current culture.  Muslims are ordered not to imitate the dress of any non-Muslim culture, so, surely, we cannot make the choice to wear Niqab based on the pressures of modern day society; instead, we choose, insha'Allah, to fear Allah, swt, and not mankind!

         When in a state of ihram, the muslimah cannot wear niqab.  However, according to several scholars, such as Sheikh ibn Baz, even when in a state of ihram, "she should lower her headcovering or outer cloak over her face when she is in the presence of non-mahram men."  So, it is to say that she should not cover her face around the other women during ihram, but that she should cover it if a non-mahram man approaches.  He bases this on the hadith below, narrated by 'Aisha .

    • In Fathul Bari, chapter Hajj, a tradition reported on the authority of Aisha (RA) says:

      • "A woman in a state of Ihram (during Hajj and Umrah) should stretch her head - cloth over to her face to hide it."

    • Hadith - Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and ibn Majah, Narrated 'Aisha. [In his work Jilbab al-Marah al-Muslimah, al-Albani states (p. 108) that it is hasan due to corroborating evidence.  Also, in a narration from Asma, Asma also covered her face at all times in front of men.]

      • Narrated 'Aisha (RA) who said, "The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah ).  When they got close to us, we would draw our outer cloak from our heads over our faces.  When they passed by, we would uncover our faces."

         According to Shaikh ibn Uthaimin, "she is not required to cover her face during the prayer unless there are non-related men around her. She must then cover her face from them, as it is not allowed for a woman to uncover her face except to her husband and her male relatives i.e., mahram."

         If a woman is not around any non-mahram men and does not fear that any will enter her area of salah, she may reveal her face and hands.  This is agreed upon by the group of scholars.

         So, whether agreeing that niqab is required or not, one must surely acknowledge that it is a desirous sign of piety.  What better example of sunnah to follow for a muslimah than that of the Prophet and his wives RA.  Every Muslimah is encouraged to cover to the fullest, showing only one or both eyes.  

         A woman does not have to wear a niqab (affixed veil), but she should emulate the female companions by using her hijab or other items, to lift and cover her face when a non-mahram man approaches, even during ihram (hajj), as this is in accordance with sunnah.  

    Hadith - Muwatta 20.16
    Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that Fatima bint al-Mundhir said, "We used to veil our faces when we were in ihram in the company of Asma bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq."

    The following Fatawa is from Sheikh Ibn Uthaimin:

    "The Islamic hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover.

    "The first of those bodily parts that she must cover is her face. It is the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her.  Therefore, the woman must cover her face in front of those men that are not Mahram (i.e. father, huband, etc.).

    "As for those who claim that Islamic hijab is to cover the head, shoulders, back, feet, shin and forearms while allowing her to uncover her face and hands, this is a very amazing claim. This is because it is well-known that the source of temptation and looking is the face. How can one say that the Shariah does no allow the exposure of the foot of the woman while it allows her to uncover her face?

    "It is not possible that there could be in the Esteemed, Wise and Noble Shariah a contradiction. Yet everyone knows that the temptation from uncovering the face is much greater than the temptation that results from the uncovering of the feet. Everyone also knows that the most sought after aspect of the woman for men is the face. If you told a prospective groom that a woman’s face is ugly but her feet are beautiful, he would not propose to such a woman.

    "However, if you told him that her face was beautiful but her hands, palms, or shins were less than beautiful, he would still propose to her. From this one can conclude that the face is the first thing that must be covered.

    "There are also evidences from the Book of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of our Prophet (SAW). There are also statements from the Companions, the leading Imams and the great scholars of Islam that indicate that it is obligatory for the woman to cover all of her body in the presence of non-Mahram men. This obviously indicates that it is obligatory upon the woman to cover her face in front of such men."

    Refutation For those who claim niqaab is not wajib and the face and hands of a woman can be seen by (ghairMahrrum) strange men.

    Refutation from Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen

    This is taken from the book "Hijaab" by Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen from Saudi Arabia. Printed by Madrasah Arabia Islamia Azaadville- South Africa.

    Translated by Hafedh Zaheer Essack, Rajab 1416 (December 1995)

    The Ulamah who are of the opinion that it is permissible to look at the face and hands of a strange woman (who is not mahrrum) say so mainly for the following reasons.

    The hadeeth of Ayeshah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) when Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) the daughter of Abu Bakr came to the Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands. But this hadeeth is WEAK because of 2 main weaknesses.

    1. There is no link between Ayeshah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) and Khalid bin Dareek, who narrated the hadith from her. And in every chain of narrators Khalid bin Dareek is mentioned.

    2. In the chain of narrators Sa'eed bin Basheer appears, who is known by most of the Muhaditheen as being a weak narrator.

    This has been mentioned by Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Rahimahullah), An-Nasai (Rahimahullah), Ibn Madeeni (Rahimahullah) and Ibn Ma'een (Rahimahullah). This is also why Imaam Bukhari (Rahimahullah) and Muslim (Rahimahullah) did not except this hadeeth to be in their books. (From Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen in the book "Hijaab" pages # 17 and 18.)

    We also have to see that the Muhadith Abu Dawood when he quoted this hadeeth put with it that it is Mursal (with a broken chain that does not lead up to the Sahabah).

    (From The Book "Hijaab wa Safur" under the fatwaa of Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Bazz on Page #61. Also stated as being weak by Shaikh Nasiruddeen Al-Albaani in his Daeef Sunan Abu Dawud in Kitab-ul-Libas under hadeeth number 4092 (which is the original hadeeth number.)

    An other thing that shows the weakness of this hadith is that after the ayah for hijab (Surah Al-Ahzaab – Verse #59) was revealed then the women of Sahaba wore a complete veil and covered the faces and hands. This includes Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) the daughter of Abu Bakr, who is supposed to have narrated this hadeeth. Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) covered herself completely including the face, this has been narrated in authentic hadeeth in Imaam Malik's "MUWATTA Book 20 Hadeeth # 20.5.16."

    What Age Must a Female Wear Niqab?

         It is unquestionable that a female must begin covering by the age of puberty. In all situations, Muslims are to use the Prophet's example for guidance.  The Prophet married 'Aisha before she had reached puberty and consummated the marriage when she was approximately 9 years old.  Getting married at such an age was not uncommon until recent times.

         Puberty begins two weeks before the onset of the first menstrual period, i.e. this is the time in which she is capable of becoming pregnant.

         May Allah swt guide each parent to adequately prepare the daughter for hijab and their other responsibilities, in time for puberty. Amin.

         If a mother or father recently converts to Islam and has a daughter who has reached puberty, s/he should immediately begin covering the daughter.  The parents should educate the daughter to understand and appreciate the reasons and advantages for covering as a Muslimah is instructed to. The new revert to Islam should not feel apologetic for covering a daughter who was not previously covering. It is as much of an advantage to her as to the new adult muslimah revert, and children do not always know what is best for them, so, like other decisions you make daily for your children, do not leave the issue of wearing hijab up to your children. Make the transition as a family, not you first, then just hoping the children follow suit on their own.

         Some guidelines for preparing a child for hijab.  

    • It is encouraged that as soon as the child is able to walk, she does not wear clothes that resemble the kafr, and that she should always have her knees and as much as possible of the arms and legs covered when leaving the house or having guests over.  

    • She should be taught modesty in behavior and dress from the cradle.  

    • It is ideal to sew small jilbabs (light overcoats) and khimaar (head/neck/chest covering) for the young muslimah, properly preparing her for full coverage at puberty.  It is actually less fitnah on the parent to dress her in the simple attire of a muslim, as compared to looking for fashionable clothes in a shopping mall.  

    • At the age of 7, the parent should order her to pray salah, and of course, she must be wearing hijab (the entire head and body covering) for the salah.  

    • By the age of 10, her parents may and should punish her for missing fard (obligatory) salah, and once again, she must be wearing hijab to perform salah.  

    • When she reaches puberty, insha'Allah, she will wear niqab (literally: draw the khimaar over her face).  

    • By the age of puberty, she should already be used to wearing hijab (which is in her fitrah [natural state] to be covered).  

    • She may have already chosen to veil prior to reaching puberty, and with the proper instruction, she will look forward to and embrace this step in becoming a young woman.

    • Hijab is not something a muslim parent gives as an option to a child.  The muslim parent is responsible for seeing that the young muslimah is properly covered according to Qur'an and Sunnah.  

    • Parents will have to determine when their daughter has reached puberty, not the child, unless of course, she is a muslim revert with non-Muslim parents, in which case she should seek the counsel of a Muslim wali.  

         Depending on a woman's environment, she may simply keep her face uncovered and then draw the khimaar up over her face on the rare occasion of a non-mahram's presence; or, if this is too much fitnah to constantly draw it over her face, such as circumstances when men are frequently present, she may choose to affix a screen (i.e. the Niqab) that does this for her without her needing to use a hand to hold it over her face.

    Hadith - Bukhari, Narrated Hishams father

    Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumated that marriage when she was nine years old.

    Hadith - Abu Dawud, narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin
    [Also recorded al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and ibn Majah.  Al-Albani says it is sahih.  Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1280.]

    The Prophet said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar.

    Hadith - Dawud, Narrated As-Saburah
    [Also recorded by Ahmand and al-Hakim. Al-Syuti has give in a notation signifying that it is authentic. Al-Albani has graded it hasan. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1021.]

    The Prophet said: Order your children to pray at the age of seven.  And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by the age of ten.  And separate them in their bedding.

    Who Can She Uncover in front of?

         A Muslimah should not uncover her adornment in front of any non-Mahrahm male.  Muslimahs should especially be careful and remain covered, modest, and quiet around in-laws.  

         If a gay male is aware of female body parts, he should not be allowed to view a woman uncovered.  And, of course, a bi-sexual male should not be allowed to view a woman without proper covering.  

         In addition, a Muslimah should not uncover that which she normally uncovers, in front of any non-Muslim female whom she fears may describe her to others.  She may also choose to remain covered around any Muslim female whom she fears may describe her physical attributes to their husband or others.

    The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:30-31

    Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do.

    And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils* all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.

               * the arabic word here is Khumaar, which is the plural form of Khimaar.

    Hadith - Bukhari 7:167

    The Prophet said, "A woman should not look at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as if he was actually looking at her."

    Hadith - Muslim, narrated Aisha

    A eunuch used to come to the wives of Allah's Apostle and they did not find anything objectionable in his visit considering him to be a male without any sexual desire. Allah's Apostle one day came as he was sitting with some of his wives and he was busy in describing the bodily characteristics of a lady and saying: As she comes in front four folds appear on her front side and as she turns her back eight folds appear on the back side. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: I see that he knows these things; do not, therefore, allow him to enter. She (Aisha) said: Then they began to observe veil from him.

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #3109, narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud  [Tirmidhi transmitted it.]

    The Prophet said, "A woman should be concealed, for when she goes out the devil looks at her."

         Muslimahs should not socialize with non-mahram men, and should only speak out of necessity to non-mahram men.  Allah swt knew that mankind would be tempted to let their guard down and their hijab down, around in-laws.  Surely Allah swt is all merciful to provide us the guidance we need in every aspect of our lives.  In reference to socializing with in-laws, such close relations can easily lead to adultery which has the death penalty.

    Hadith - Bukhari and Muslim

    The Prophet said, "The in-laws are death."

    Shaking Hands

         Men and women should not shake hands outside the mahram ties.

    Hadith - Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, al-Nasai, al-Tirmidhi and ibn Majah.
    [Al-Albani has graded it sahih.  Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 494.]

    The Prophet said, "I do not shake the hands of women."

    Hadith - Bukhari 9:321 (& 7:211)

    The Prophet used to take the Pledge of allegiance from the women by words only after reciting this Holy Verse: (60.12) "..that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah." (60.12) And the hand of Allah's Apostle did not touch any woman's hand except the hand of that woman his right hand possessed. (i.e. his captives or his lady slaves).

    Hadith - Sahih Muslim, narrated 'A'isha  

    By Allah, the hand of the Messenger of Allah never touched the hand of a woman.  By Allah, the Messenger of Allah never took any vow from women except that which Allah had ordered him to take, and his palm never touched the palm of a woman.  When he had taken their vow, he would tell that he had taken the oath from them orally.

    Speech

         Wearing hijab must be accompanied by the proper mannerisms and speech befitting a modest, pious woman.  She should not draw attention to her voice or use it in a soft, pleasing manner that may tempt a man.  

         Similarly, a muslim man should avoid being around women who speak soft (i.e. speak "sweet", flirt, are excessively thankful, etc), should definitely turn his eyes downward his eyes if viewing (even briefly) such a woman on t.v., and should not listen to female singers.

    The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ahzab 33:32

    O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allâh), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.

         Muslim men and women should speak calmly and controlled, not raising the voice, except out of necessity, such as yelling 'stop!' to a child who is about to cross a busy intersection without looking, etc.

    The Noble Qur'an - Luqman 31:18-19

    And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allâh likes not each arrogant boaster.

    And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass.

    Ridiculing a Woman in Niqab

    The Noble Qur'an - At-Taubah 9:64-67

    The hypocrites fear lest a Sûrah (chapter of the Qur'ân) should be revealed about them, showing them what is in their hearts. Say: "(Go ahead and) mock! But certainly Allâh will bring to light all that you fear."

    If you ask them (about this), they declare: "We were only talking idly and joking." Say: "Was it at Allâh (swt), and His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?"

    Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimûn (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.).

    The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islâm has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al-Ma'rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and they close their hands [from giving (spending in Allâh's Cause) alms, etc.].   They have forgotten Allâh, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).

    Women past child-bearing age who do not expect wedlock

    The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:60

    And as for women past child-bearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment.  But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them.  And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

  • Women in Islam

    admin08-07-2014

    The Value of Being Pious

    Hadith - Muslim, #3465

    'Abdullah b. 'Amr reported Allah's Messenger as saying:  The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman.

    When Permission is Needed

     

    Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.123, Narrated Abu Huraira  

    Allah's Apostle said, "It is not lawful for a lady to fast (Nawafil) without the permission of her husband when he is at home; and she should not allow anyone to enter his house except with his permission; and if she spends of his wealth (on charitable purposes) without being ordered by him, he will get half of the reward."

    Protecting Muslims

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #3978, Narrated AbuHurayrah  

    The Prophet said, "A woman acts for the people," i.e. she gives protection on behalf of the Muslims.

    [Tirmidhi transmitted it].

    Advice for Men

    "They ask your legal instruction concerning women, say:  Allah instructs you about them..." [Qur'an 4:127]

    The Prophet said:

    "The best among you is the one who is the best towards his wife"

    Hadith - Muslim, #3466

    Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: Woman is like a rib.  When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it.  And if you leave her alone you would benefit by her, and crookedness will remain in her.  A hadith like this is reported by another chain of narrators.

    Hadith - Muslim, #3468

    Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle as saying: He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet.  Act kindly towards woman, for woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is its top.  If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, its crookedness will remain there.  So act kindly towards women.

    Hadith - Muslim, #3469

    Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: A believing man should not hate a believing woman; it he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.

    Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.117 Narrated 'Aisha, r.a.

    The eleventh one said, "My husband is Abu Zar and what is Abu Zar (i.e., what should I say about him)? He has given me many ornaments and my ears are heavily loaded with them and my arms have become fat (i.e., I have become fat). And he has pleased me, and I have become so happy that I feel proud of myself. He found me with my family who were mere owners of sheep and living in poverty, and brought me to a respected family having horses and camels and threshing and purifying grain. Whatever I say, he does not rebuke or insult me. When I sleep, I sleep till late in the morning, and when I drink water (or milk), I drink my fill."

    ....'Aisha then said: Allah's Apostle SAAWS said to me, "I am to you as Abu Zar was to his wife Um Zar."


    Accusations Against a Chaste Woman

     

    The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:23-24

    Verily, those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be a great torment, --

    On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their legs or feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do.

    Hadith - Bukhari 8:840, Narrated Abu Huraira  

    The Prophet said: "Avoid the seven great destructive sins."  They (the people) asked, "O Allah's Messenger!  What are they?"  He said,

    1. "To join partners in worship with Allah,

    2. to practise sorcery;

    3. to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause (according to Islamic law);

    4. to eat up Riba' (usury);

    5. to eat up the property of an orphan;

    6. to show one's back to the enemy and fleeing from the battle-field at the time of fighting and

    7. to accuse chaste women who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers."

    Hadith - Bukhari 8:840, Narrated Abu Huraira  

    Hilal bin Umaiya accused his wife before the Prophet of committing illegal sexual intercourse with Sharik bin Sahma. The Prophet said, "Produce a proof*, or else you would get the legal punishment (by being lashed) on your back." Hilal said, "O Allah's Apostle! If anyone of us saw another man over his wife, would he go to search for a proof." The Prophet went on saying, "Produce a proof or else you would get the legal punishment (by being lashed) on your back." The Prophet then mentioned the narration of Lian (as in the Holy Book). (Surat-al-Nur: 24)

             *the proof required is four witnesses (see next Ayat)

    The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:4-9

    And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fasiqun (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allah).

    Except those who repent thereafter and do righteous deeds, (for such) verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    As for those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. testifies four times) by Allah that he is one of those who speak the truth.

    And the fifth (testimony) (should be) the invoking of the Curse of Allah on him if he be of those who tell a lie (against her).

    But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allah, that he (her husband) is telling a lie.

    And the fifth (testimony) should be that the Wrath ofAllah be upon her if he (her husband) speaks the truth.

    Marriage

     

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #605, Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib Transmitted by Tirmidhi.

    Allah's Apostle said: Ali, there are three matters which should not be deferred: the Prayer when its time is due, the funeral as soon it is ready, and the case of a woman without a husband, when there is a suitable (spouse) for her in her class.

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #605, Narrated Aisha  

    The Prophet said, "The marriage which produces most blessing is that which involves least burden."

    Bayhaqi transmitted it in Shu'ab al-Iman.

    Wives

     

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #3095, Narrated AbuUmamah , Transmitted by Ibn Majah

    The Prophet used to say, "After fear of Allah a believer gains nothing better for himself than a good wife who obeys him if he gives her a command, pleases him if he looks at her, is true to him if he adjures her to do something, and is sincere towards him regarding her person and his property if he is absent."

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #3254, Narrated Anas ibn Malik  

    Allah's Messenger said, "When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of Paradise she wishes."

    [AbuNu'aym transmitted it in al-Hilyah.]

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi 3257, narrated Talq ibn Ali  

    Allah's Messenger said, "When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire she must go to him even if she is occupied at the oven."

    [Tirmidhi transmitted it.]

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi 3272, narrated Abu Hurayrah

    When Allah's Messenger was asked which woman was best he replied, "The one who pleases (her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves." [Nasa'i and Bayhaqi, in Shu'ab al-Iman transmitted it.]

    Jamharah Khutah al-‘Arab, 1/145

    ‘Abd al-Malik (RA) said: “When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi, she was made ready to be taken to the groom, then her mother, Umamah came into her, to advise her and said:

    ‘O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you posses these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise.

    ‘O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her father’s wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them.

    ‘O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you.

    ‘Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you.

    ‘The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allah.

    ‘The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.

    ‘The fifth and sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry.

    ‘The seventh and eight of them are: take care of his servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.

    ‘The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you.

    ‘Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment whilst the latter will make him unhappy.

    ‘Show him as much honour and respect as you can, and agree with him as much as you can, so that he will enjoy your companionship and conversation.

    ‘Know, O my daughter, that you will not achieve what you would like to until you put his pleasure before your own, and his wishes before yours, in whatever you like and dislike. And may Allah choose what is best for you and protect you.”

    Mothers

    The Prophet said,
    "Paradise lies at the feet of your mothers."

    The hadith with this wording is da'if, but its meaning is contained in the hadith of Ibn Majah and al-Nasa'i that a man came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I intend to go on a (military) expedition, but I have come to ask your advice." He said, "Is your mother alive?" He said, "Yes." He said, "Then stay with her, for the Garden is under her feet." This latter hadith is declared to be sahih by al-Hakim, al-Dhahabi and al-Mundhiri.  --Kashf al-Khafa', no. 1078; Al-Da'ifah, no. 593.


    Hadith - Bukhari 8.2, Narrated Abu Huraira  

    A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?"  The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your father."

     

    Hadith - Bukhari 1:675, Narrated 'Abdulla bin 'Abi Qatada

    "My father said, "The Prophet said, 'When I stand for prayer, I intend to prolong it but on hearing the cries of a child, I cut it short, as I dislike to trouble the child's mother.' "

     

    Hadith - Bukhari 1:3:591, Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba

    The Prophet said, "Allah has forbidden for you, (1) to be undutiful to your mothers*, (2) to bury your daughters alive, (3) to not to pay the rights of the others (e.g. charity, etc.) and (4) to beg of men (begging). And Allah has hated for you (1) vain, useless talk, or that you talk too much about others, (2) to ask too many questions, (in disputed religious matters) and (3) to waste the wealth (by extravagance).

    *please note that if your mother is kuffaar, you are not commanded to allow yourself to be oppressed if that should occur.

    Praying in the Masjid (Mosque)

    Hadith - Bukhari 1:832, Narrated Salim bin 'Abdullah ,also in 7:165

    My father said, "The Prophet said, 'If the wife of any one of you asks permission (to go to the mosque) do not forbid her."
             Note: Women are not required to attend the Masjid... in fact, it is an extra blessing to do Salat at home.  However, a woman should not be denied attending the Masjid upon asking for permission, even for the night prayers.  

     

    Hadith - Muslim, Ahmad and Nisaa'ee, Narrated Zaynab Ath Thaqafiyyah

    "If one of you attends Ishaa*, then do not touch perfume."

    [Shaykh Al Albaanee makes the takhreej for it in Silsilah Al Ahaadeeth As Saheehah no. 1093.  He declares it authentic in Saheeh Al Jaami' Vol. 1 no. 634]

    * The evening salah (obligatory prayer)

    Jihad

    Hadith - Bukhari 2:595, Ibn 'Aisha

    I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shouldn't we participate in Holy battles and Jihad along with you?" He replied, "The best and the most superior Jihad (for women) is Hajj which is accepted by Allah." 'Aisha added: Ever since I heard that from Allah's Apostle I have determined not to miss Hajj.

    Femininity

    Hadith - Bukhari 7:773, Narrated Ibn 'Abbas

    Allah's Apostle cursed those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of women and those women who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of men.

     

    • Tattoos, plucking eyebrows, cosmetic surgery, etc.

    Hadith - Bukhari 7:815, Narrated 'Abdullah

    Allah has cursed those women who practise tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those who remove their face hairs, and those who create a space between their teeth artificially to look beautiful, and such women as change the features created by Allah. Why then should I not curse those whom the Prophet has cursed? And that is in Allah's Book, i.e. His Saying: "And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad ) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah." (59.7)

    The Muslim Woman: Her Status in Islam

    by the noble Sheikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullah)

    The status of the Muslim woman in Islam is very noble and lofty one, and her effect is very great in the life of every Muslim. Indeed, the Muslim woman is the initial teacher in the building of a righteous society, providing she follows the guidance from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet .

    Since adherence to the Quran and the Sunnah distances every Muslim - male or female - from being misguided in any matter. The misguidance that the various nations suffer from, and their being deviant, does not come about except by being far away from the path of Allah - the Most High, the Most Perfect - and from what His Prophets and Messengers, may Allah's peace be upon them all, came with. The Prophet said: "I am leaving behind me two matters, you will not go astray as long as you cling to them both, the Book of Allah and my Sunnah." [1]

    The great importance of Muslim woman's role - whether as wife, sister or daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the obligations due from her - have been explained in the purified Sunnah.

    The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed on her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder - responsibilities and difficulties some, which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligation upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father. Allah - the most High - says:

    "And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness and hardship upon hardship, and his weaning is in two years. Show gratitude and thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination." [Soorah Luqmaan 31:14]

    Allah - the Most High - said: "And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship, and she brings him forth with hardship. And the bearing and the weaning of him is thirty months." [Soorah al-Ahqaaf 41:15]

    A man came to Allah's Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother". The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: then who? So he replied: "Then your father." So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the likes of kindness and good treatment then the father. [2]

    As regards to the wife, then her status and her effect in making the soul tranquil and serene, has been clearly shown in the noble ayah (verse), in His - the Most High's saying:

    "And from amongst His Signs is this: That He created from you wives from amongst yourselves, so that you may find serenity and tranquility in them. And He has put between you love and compassion. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect." [Soorah Ar-Rum 30:21]

    Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.774H) - rahimahullaah - said, whilst explaining the term mawaddah means love and affection, and ar-rahmah means compassion and piety - "since a man takes the hand of a women either due to love for her, or because of compassion and piety for her, by giving to her a child from himself…" [3]

    And the unique stance that the prophet 's wife Khadeejah took, had a huge effect in calming and reassuring Allah's Messenger , when the angel Jibreel - alayhis-salam - first came to him in the cave of Hiraa. So the Prophet returned to his wife Khadeejah with the first Revelation and with this his heart trembling and beating severely, and so he said to her: "Cover me! Cover me!" So they covered him until his fear was over, after which he told Khadeejah - everything that had happened, and said: 'I fear that something may happen to me." So she said to him: "Never! By Allah! Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good ties with relations, you help the poor and the destitute, you serve your guests generously and assist those who have been afflicted with calamities." [4]

    And do not forget about Aaishah and her great effect. Since even the great Sahaabah (Companions) use to take knowledge of Hadiths from her, and many of the Sahaabiyaat (female companions) learn the various rulings pertaining to women's issues from her…

    And I have no doubt that my mother - may Allah shower His mercy upon her - had a tremendous effect upon me, and has a great excellence over me, in encouraging me to study; and she assists me in it. May Allah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me.

    And there is no doubt also, the house in which there is kindness, gentleness, love and care, along with the correct Islamic tarbiyah (Education and cultivation) will greatly affect the man. So he will become - if Allah wills - successful in his affairs and in any matter - whether it be seeking knowledge, trading, earning a living, or other than this. So it is Allah Alone that I ask to grant success and to guide us all to that which he loves and is pleased with. And may the prayers of peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad , and upon his Family, his companions and his followers.

  • 6.Talaq (Divorce)
  • Divorce

    admin08-07-2014

    Divorce

    The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) declared that “Among lawful things, divorce is most hated by Allah”. Divorce leads to unhappiness, the break-up of families, and the breakdown of traditional values, but Islam recognises that refusing an unhappily married couple the opportunity to divorce risks greater damage to their faith and long-term happiness.

    Even though divorce is permissible in Islam, there are certain restrictions and limitations that husbands and wives must be aware of.  The Qur’an and the Ahadith describe all the laws of divorce as well as the laws of marriage, but remind us that divorce must be a last resort.

    It must also be remembered that reconciliation may be possible. The Qur’an requires that the couple appoint an honorable and reliable person from each of their families to work together to seek reconciliation

    “Should you fear that division will arise amongst them, appoint an arbitrator on the husband’s side and an arbitrator on the wife’s side from amongst their relatives and send them to them.  As soon as they desire peace and reconciliation, the Lord will vouchsafe it to them for he is all-knowing and wise.” [Qur’an 4:35]

    There is also a chance that, in time, a divorced couple will find that their separation has helped them to rediscover the reasons why they married in the first place, and they subsequently enter a new, stronger marriage with each other.

    The right of a husband to divorce his wife

    In Islam, the right of divorce is given only to the husband (except in certain situations described below).

    A husband can divorce his wife by saying or writing a phrase that cannot be misinterpreted and leaves no room for doubt, for instance “I have divorced you” (talluqtuki),  “You are divorced” (anti taliq) or “I am your husband no longer”. This method of divorce is known as talaaq and can only be effective if the wife hears or reads the phrase. It must also be made in front of two witnesses:

    “Two just persons from amongst yourselves shall bear witness to the evidence before God when a divorce is settled.” [Qur'an 65:2]

    Once the talaaqhas been made, the husband and wife may continue to live in the same house for a waiting period, or ‘Iddah (or `Iddat), of three months, but they cannot touch each other or have intercourse during this time. If they do, the divorce cannot take effect. ‘Iddah is not possible if a couple marry but divorce without having had intercourse. The husband must continue to support his wife financially during the `Iddah, but she is not obliged to do anything for him.

    During the `Iddah the husband can cancel the divorce and the marriage can continue, but if there is no reconciliation by the end of the ‘Iddah, the marriage is terminated.

    It is important to recognise that it is not necessary to say the talaaq three times; once is enough to instigate divorce proceedings. This is often the source of some confusion upon which even the opinions of judges differ. Many people think that the divorce will not be effective unless talaaq has been said three times. Some think that this constitutes only one divorce; some count it as all three divorces. Some will allow the fact that the husband used the triple talaaq for emphasis and did not mean talaq mughallaz. Consequently, it is advisable to only say talaaq once. In any case, the triple talaaq is considered unIslamic as it is likely to have been repeated in anger.

    A husband who has divorced his wife once may reconcile and divorce her twice more, but the third divorce (also known as the irrevocable divorce or talaq mughallaz) cannot be undone. After the talaq mughallaz, a couple can never be together again (and are probably not meant to be together anyway).

    “A divorce (Ta’alaq) is only permissible twice: after that the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness.” [Qur’an, Surah Baqarah, v 229]

    The right of a wife to divorce her husband

    Contrary to popular belief, especially in the Western world, Islam recognises the wife’s right to end the marriage under certain circumstances, and a husband can grant his wife the right to divorce him in the same way as he can divorce her (by saying or writing it), although it is called Khul` when the wife divorces the husband in this way. Khul` is irrevocable and requires the wife to return her marriage dowry.

    A wife can seek a divorce from the courts if her husband has failed to meet the terms of their marriage contract, perhaps by treating her badly, refusing to support her financially, taking another wife without consultation or committing adultery, regularly making sudden journeys with no explanation, or because they simply cannot tolerate each other.

    Alternatively, if a wife becomes stubborn, demanding or mean-spirited, or deliberately dissatisfies her husband socially, sexually, or within the family, she may leave her husband no option but to divorce her.

    Other circumstances when a wife can present herself to the courts to seek a divorce include situations when her husband has neglected her by failing to provide for her maintenance, or when she or her husband have refused the other their marital rights. In such cases, the Qadhi (Muslim judge) may require the husband to treat his wife correctly, to pay her maintenance, and for the couple to be reconciled with each other. If he refuses, the judge will require the husband to divorce his wife.

    In other situations, the judge may require the husband to separate from his wife if he cannot prove claims he has made against her, for instance if he has accused her of being unchaste or unfaithful, or of giving birth to a child that is not his. Likewise, if the husband is away from his wife for more than six months the wife can seek to divorce him.

    A wife does not always need to go to court to get a divorce. If her husband has a chronic disease, has been declared insane, or has a physical defect that prevents him from having intercourse, the wife can be given haqq-i-faskh, the right to annul the marriage, by the Feqh.

    Please note that haqq-i-faskh is different from the khul` divorce, mainly as it does not require the wife to give up her claim to financial support.

    The `Iddah

    The `Iddah is a period of time agreed by the Feqh in which a divorced or widowed woman is unable to marry another man. The `Iddah also offers a “breathing space” for the husband to be reconciled to his wife and to continue with the marriage.  If during this time the husband decides he does not want to divorce his wife, he only needs to say so. There are no legal or religious requirements.

    However, if the couple is not reconciled by the end of the `Iddah (three months following talaaq, one month following kuhl’), the divorce is deemed complete.  The husband is no longer responsible for the maintenance of his former wife and they become non-mahram to each other.

    In some cases – such as experiencing hatred towards her husband - the wife can end the marriage quickly during the `Iddah simply by repaying a large part of her marriage portion (or giving her husband some of her own property) and not accepting any money from her husband as part of a divorce settlement. However, this type of divorce can be reversed during the `Iddah if the wife changes her mind and the husband agrees.

    When divorce is not granted

    Divorce is not granted if:

    • the husband or wife who issued it was drunk, angry, or forced to do so;
    • the husband issued it during his wife’s menstruation period;
    • the couple has had intercourse between the wife’s latest menstruation and when the divorce was issued, in case a child has been conceived and the wife would need to calculate her `Iddah;
    • the wife is pregnant – divorce cannot take place until after the child has been born.

    Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) said: “Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah has created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last day. And their husbands would do better to take back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them.”

    Al-Faskh

    Al-Faskh means revoking the marriage, perhaps because of flaws in the marriage contract, or because there are other issues that prevent the marriage from succeeding.  Examples of situations that may result in Al-Faskh include:

    • if either of the couple renounce their Muslim faith to become non-Muslim (committing apostasy) the marriage contract is instantly revoked;
    • if a non-Muslim husband comes to Islam and his wife remains an unbeliever (unless she is Christian or Jewish);
    • if a non-Muslim wife comes to Islam while her husband remains an unbeliever, no matter what his religion is;
    • if the marriage contract was signed by a father or grandfather on behalf of their son or daughter. In these circumstances, the child can revoke the contract when they become of age.

    After the divorce

    If a divorce takes place, the husband and wife keep their property and money separate after marriage. Younger children will generally stay with their mother if she chooses (and if she is Muslim). However, if one of the parents is unfit to raise the children Islamically, the other parent will have custody of them. The father should continue to pay for his children’s upkeep.

    Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) said: “The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a seemly manner is upon the father of the child.”

    Conclusion

    Remember: every marriage will go through a rocky patch now and again, and most couples can resolve their differences by talking to each other and understanding how each other feels. Even so, Islam acknowledges that even the strongest of marriages may fail for any number of different reasons. However, divorce should always be the last resort for any couple.

  • Divorce in Islam

    admin08-07-2014

    Divorce is permitted in Islam as a last resort if it is not possible to continue a marriage. Certain steps need to be taken to ensure that all options have been exhausted and both parties are treated with respect and justice.

    In Islam, married life is described as one filled with mercy, compassion, and tranquility. Marriage is a great blessing. Each partner in the marriage has certain rights and responsibilities, which are to be fulfilled in a loving way in the best interests of the family.

    Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When a marriage is in danger, couples are advised to pursue all possible remedies to rebuild the relationship. Divorce is allowed as a last option, but it is discouraged. The Prophet Muhammad once said, "Of all the lawful things, divorce is the most hated by Allah."

    For this reason, the first step a couple should make is to really search their hearts, evaluate the relationship, and try to reconcile. All marriages have ups and downs, and this decision should not be arrived at easily. Ask yourself, "Have I really tried everything else?" Evaluate your own needs and weaknesses; think through the consequences. Try to remember the good things about your spouse, and find forgiveness patience in your heart for minor annoyances. Communicate with your spouse about your feelings, fears, and needs. During this step, the assistance of a neutral Islamic counselor may be helpful for some people.

    If, after thoroughly evaluating your marriage, you find that there is no other option than divorce, there is no shame in proceeding to the next step. Allah gives divorce as an option because sometimes it is truly the best interest of all concerned. Nobody needs to remain in a situation that causes personal distress, pain, and suffering. In such cases, it is more merciful that you each go your separate ways, peacefully and amicably.

    Recognize, though, that Islam outlines certain steps that need to take place both before, during, and after a divorce. The needs of both parties are considered. Any children of the marriage are given top priority. Guidelines are given both for personal behavior and legal process. Following these guidelines may be difficult, especially if one or both spouses feel wronged or angry. Strive to be mature and just. Remember Allah's words in the Quran: "The parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness." (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:229)

  • Arbitration

    admin08-07-2014

    The Quran says: “And if you fear a breach between the two, appoint an arbiter from his relatives and an arbiter from her relatives. If they both desire reconciliation Allah will affect harmony between them. Verily Allah has full knowledge, and is aware of everything.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:35)

    A marriage, and a possible divorce, involves more than just the two spouses. It affects children, parents, and entire families. Before a decision is made about divorce, then, it is only fair to involve family elders in an attempt at reconcilation. Family members know each party personally, including their strengths and weaknesses, and would hopefully have their best interests at heart. If they approach the task with sincerity, they may be successful in helping the couple work their issues out.

    Some couples are reluctant to involve family members in their difficulties. One must remember, though, that a divorce would affect them as well -- in their relationships with grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. and in the responsibilities they would face in helping each spouse develop an independent life. So the family will be involved, one way or the other. For the most part, family members would prefer the opportunity to help while it is still possible.

    Some couples seek an alternative, involving an independent marriage counselor as arbiter. While a counselor may play an important role in reconciliation, this person is naturally detached and lacks personal involvement. Family members have a personal stake in the outcome, and may be more committed to seeking a resolution.

    If this attempt fails, after all due efforts, then it is recognized that divorce may be the only option. The couple proceeds to pronouncing a divorce. The procedures for actually filing for divorce depend on whether the move is initiated by the husband or the wife.

  • Filing a Divorce

    admin08-07-2014
    When a divorce is initiated by the husband, it is known as talaq. The pronouncement by the husband may be verbal or written, and should only be done once. Since the husband is seeking to break the marriage contract, the wife has full rights to keep the dowry (mahr) paid to her.If the wife initiates a divorce, there are two options. In the first case, the wife may choose to return her dowry to end the marriage. She forgoes the right to keep the dowry, since she is the one seeking to break the marriage contract. This is known as khul'a. On this topic, the Quran says, "It is not lawful for you (men) to take back any of your gifts except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. There is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by Allah so do not transgress them" (Quran 2:229).

    In the second case, the wife may choose to petition a judge for divorce, with cause. She is required to offer proof that her husband had not fulfilled his responsibilities. In this situation, it would be unjust to expect her to also return the dowry. The judge makes a determination based on the facts of the case and the law of the land.

    Depending on where you live, a separate legal process of divorce may be required. This usually involves filing a petition with a local court, observing a waiting period, attending hearings, and obtaining a legal decree of divorce. This legal procedure may be sufficient for an Islamic divorce if it also satisfies Islamic requirements.

    In any Islamic divorce procedure, there is a three-month waiting period before the divorce is finalized.

  • Waiting Period (Iddat)

    admin08-07-2014

    After a declaration of divorce, Islam requires a three-month waiting period (called the iddah) before the divorce is finalized.

    During this time, the couple continues to live under the same roof, but sleeps apart. This gives the couple time to calm down, evaluate the relationship, and perhaps reconcile. Sometimes decisions are made in haste and anger, and later one or both parties may have regrets. During the waiting period, the husband and wife are free to resume their relationship at any time, thus ending the divorce process without the need for a new marriage contract.

    Another reason for the waiting period is as a way of determining whether the wife is expecting a child. If the wife is pregnant, the waiting period continues until after she has delivered the child. During the entire waiting period, the wife has the right to remain in the family home and the husband is responsible for her support.

    If the waiting period is completed without reconciliation, the divorce is complete and takes full effect. The husband's financial responsibility for the wife ends, and she often returns to her own family home. However, the husband continues to be responsible for the financial needs of any children, through regular child support payments.

  • Child Custody

    admin08-07-2014
    In the event of divorce, children often bear the most painful consequences. Islamic law takes their needs into account and makes sure that they are cared for.The financial support of any children — both during marriage or after divorce — rests solely with the father. This is the children's right upon their father, and courts have the power to enforce child support payments, if necessary. The amount is open for negotiation and should be in proportion with the husband's financial means.

    The Quran advises the husband and wife to consult each other in a fair manner regarding their children's future after divorce (2:233). This verse specifically holds that infants who are still nursing may continue to breastfeed until both parents agree on the period of weaning through "mutual consent and counsel." This spirit should define any co-parenting relationship.

    Islamic law stipulates that physical custody of the children must go to a Muslim who is in good physical and mental health, and is in the best position to meet the children's needs. Different jurists have established various opinions of how this might best be done. Some have ruled that custody is awarded to the mother if the child is under a certain age, and to the father if the child is older. Others would allow older children to express a preference. Generally, it is recognized that young children and girls are best cared for by their mother.

    Since there are differences of opinion among Islamic scholars about child custody, one might find variations in local law. In all cases, however, the main concern is that the children are cared for by a fit parent who can meet their emotional and physical needs.

  • Divorce Finalized

    admin08-07-2014
    After the waiting period is over, the divorce is finalized. It is best for the couple to formalize the divorce in the presence of the two witnesses, verifying that the parties have fulfilled all of their obligations. At this time, the wife is free to remarry if she wishes.Islam discourages Muslims from going back and forth about their decisions, engaging in emotional blackmail, or leaving the other spouse in limbo. The Quran says, "When you divorce women and they fulfill the term of their iddat, either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms; but do not take them back to injure them, (or) to take undue advantage. If anyone does that, he wrongs his own soul..." (Quran 2:231) Thus, the Quran encourages a divorced couple to treat each other amicably, and to sever ties neatly and firmly.

    If a couple decides to reconcile, after the divorce is finalized, they must start over with a new contract and a new dowry (mahr). To prevent damaging yo-yo relationships, there is a limit on how many times the same couple may marry and divorce. If a couple decides to remarry after a divorce, this can only be done twice. The Quran says, "Divorce is to be given two times, and then (a woman) must be retained in good manner or released gracefully.” (Quran 2:229)

    After divorcing and remarrying twice, if the couple then decides to divorce again, it is clear that there is a major problem in the relationship! Therefore in Islam, after the third divorce, the couple may not remarry again. First the woman must seek fulfillment in marriage to a different man. Only after she is divorced or widowed from this second marriage partner, would it be possible for her to reconcile again with her first husband if they choose.

    This may seem like a strange rule, but it serves two main purposes. First, the first husband is less likely to initiate a third divorce in a frivolous manner, knowing that the decision is irrevocable. One will act with more careful consideration. Secondly, it may be that the two individuals were simply not a good match for each other. The wife may find happiness in a different marriage. Or she may realize, after experiencing marriage with someone else, that she wishes to reconcile with her first husband after all.

  • Types of divorce (Talaq)

    admin08-07-2014

    The Arabic word for divorce is talaq which means "freeing or undoing the knot" (Imam Raghib).In the terminology of the jurists. Talaq signifies the dissolution of marriage, or the annulment of its legality by the pronouncement of certain words.

    Divorce is of three kinds: the Ahsan, or most laudable, the Hasan, or laudable, and the Bid'a or irregular.

    Talaq Ahsan or the most laudable divorce is where the husband repudiates his wife by making one pronouncement within the term of Tahr (purity. when the woman is not passing through the period of menses) during which he has not had sexual intercourse with her, and she is left to observe her 'Idda.

    Talaq Hasan or laudable divorce is where a husband repudiates an enjoyed wife by three sentences of divorce, in three Tuhrs

    Talaq Bid'a or irregular divorce is where a husband repudiates his wife by three divorces at once. According to the majority of the jurists, the Talaq holds good, but it is against the spirit of the Shari'ah, and, therefore, the man who follows this course in divorce is an offender in the eye of Islamic Law.

    The right of woman in demanding the dissolution of marriage is known as Khula' (meaning, literally,the putting off or taking off a thing).It is a kind of facility provided to the wife in securing Talaq from her husband by returning a part or full amount of the bridal gift.

    We have described before that, according to Islam, marriage is a civil contract; yet the rights and responsibilities consequent upon it are of such importance to the welfare of humanity that a high degree of sanctity is attached to it.But, in spite of the sacredness of the character of the marriage tie,Islam recognises the eternity of divorce in cases when marital relations are poisoned to a degree which makes a peaceful home life impossible.But Islam does not believe in unlimited opportunities for divorce on frivolous and flimsy grounds, because any undue increase in tht facilities for divorce would destroy the stability of family life.Therefore, while allowing divorce even on genuine grounds, Islam has taken great care to introduce checks designed to limit the use of available facilities. The French legists Planiol and Ripert have explicitly emphasised Islam's point of view in regard to divorce in these words: "Divorce is a mischief.However, it is a measure that cannot be avoided for the welfare of the community, because it is the only remedy for another harm which may be wore dangerous The prohibition of divorce, whatever harm it may imply, is like the prohibition of surgery, because the surgeon is compelled to amputate some of the limbs of the patient's body.However, there is no danger whatsoever, in legislating for divorce (in accordance with the practice established by Islam) since it is not divorce that spoils married life and dissolves its sacred tie, but the misunderstanding that arises between the married couple and hinders the strengthening of this (union by marriage) and demolished it.Divorce alone puts an end to the hatred that may occur between the husband and his wife before it is aggravated and becomes an intolerable mischief to society" (quoted by Hasan Ibrihim Hasan, Islam, Religious, Political.Social and Economic Study, p. 274).

  • Ruling on divorce at a moment of anger

    admin08-07-2014

    Praise be to Allah.

    Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a man whose wife treats him badly and insults him, so he divorced her at a moment of anger. He replied:

    If you uttered the words of divorce at a moment of intense anger and without realizing it, and you could not control yourself, because of her bad words and insults etc., and you did that at a moment of intense anger and without realizing it, and she acknowledges that, or you have a witness of good character, then divorce has not taken place, because the shar’i evidence indicates that divorce does not take place if the words are spoken at a moment of intense anger – and if it is accompanied by not realizing what is happening then the ruling applies even more so.

    For example, Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no divorce and no manumission in the event of ighlaaq.” The majority of scholars said that ighlaaq means compulsion or anger, i.e., intense anger. For his anger made him unaware of what he was saying, so he is like one who is unconscious, insane or drunk, because of the intensity of his anger. So divorce does not take place in this instance. If he does not realize what he is doing and cannot control his words or actions because of the intensity of his anger, then divorce does not take place.

    Anger may be of three types:

    1 – When a person is angry and is no longer aware of what he is doing. This is likened to the insane, so divorce does not take place according to all scholars.

    2 – Where a person is very angry but is still aware of what is going on, but his anger is so intense that it makes him say the words of divorce. In this case too, divorce does not take place according to the correct scholarly opinion.

    3 – The ordinary type of anger which is not very intense. In this case, divorce takes place, according to all the scholars.

    What the Shaykh mentioned about the second type of anger is also the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and his student Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on them both). Ibn al-Qayyim wrote an essay on that entitled Ighaathat al-Lahfaan fi Hukm Talaaq al-Ghadbaan, in which he said the following:

    Anger is of three types:

    1 – That which is not so intense as to affect a person’s mind or rational thinking; he knows what he is saying and what he means. There is no dispute that in this case divorce, manumission and contracts are valid.

    2 – Where his anger reaches such a limit that he no longer knows what he is doing or saying. There is no dispute that in this situation divorce does not take place. If his anger is so intense that he does not know what he is saying, there is no doubt that none of his words should be implemented in this case. The words of the mukallif (adult of sound mind) are only to be implemented if he knows what he is saying and what it means, and if the speaker really means that.

    3 – The kind of anger that falls between the two categories mentioned above, where the anger goes beyond the ordinary level but not so far as to make him behave like a madman. This is an area of scholarly differences of opinion. The shar’i evidence indicates that divorce, manumission and contracts in such cases are not valid, and this is a kind of ighlaaq as the imams explained.

    From Mataalib Ooli al-Nuha, 5/323; see also Zaad al-Ma’aad, 5/215.

    The husband has to fear Allaah and avoid using the word of divorce (talaaq) so that this will not lead to the disintegration of his family.

    We advise husband and wife alike to fear Allaah and heed His limits, and to look at what the husband said to his wife in a fair manner: is this the ordinary kind of anger, which is the only case in which divorce can take place, and this is the third type in which divorce does take place according to scholarly consensus. They should be cautious and not transgress the limits of their religion, and they should not let the fact that they have children make them describe the husband’s anger at the time he spoke the words of divorce to the mufti as intense so as to get the fatwa they want, even though both parties know that this was not the case.

    Based on this, the fact that the couple have children together should motivate them to avoid using the words of divorce recklessly; it should not cause them to try to find a loophole in the shar’i rulings after divorce has taken place and look for a way out or seek concessions from the fuqaha’ with regard to that.

    We ask Allaah to bless us all with understanding of His religion and help us to venerate His laws.

    And Allah knows best.

     

  • What are the conditions to divorce in Islam?

    admin08-07-2014

    In the name of Allah the Ever-Merciful.

    To divorce  a woman in Islam is to say clearly with Nyat (Intention) “Anty Talek” -(Go you are divorced) and you need no witnesses.

    The divorced woman will be in Eddah until she has cleaned from the menses three times (surah 2:228). If the woman is pregnant, then the eddah will end when the child is born. (please read surah Al-Talaq (65:4)

    She doesn’t need  or should not  leave her house because she wil be still his wife until the eddah  has expired.

    The husband is allowed to take her back during the time of eddah and  even without any approval from her. If she doesn’t want him and wants to be free from him, then she will have to wait until the eddah expires; then the divorce would be effective.

    If they want to come back together after the divorce, they would have to have a new contract of marriage with Dowry, Wali and witnesses as it was done in the first marriage.

    Allah knows best.

  • Is the talaq pronounced three times in one instance valid?

    admin08-07-2014

    In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful.

    Pronouncing divorce three times in one instance is strictly forbidden (according to the majority of Ulamah) and it would count as one divorce.

    Here are some hadiths that support this view and opinions of the scholars on this issue:

    • According to a very famous book of Hanafis, Hidayah (part 2/355 chapter on Attalaqu Assunnah), three divorces pronounced in one sitting are regarded as innovation and the one who divorces like that is a sinner. The husband has full right to return to his wife even after uttering triple Talaq in one sitting during one period of purity (Tuhar)
    • Imam Ibne Taimiya (r.a) says: “Allah does not say that they are two divorces but they are two when occurring at two different times. If someone says to his wife “I give you two divorces or ten divorces or thousand divorces; all will be counted equal to one.” (Fatawa Ibne Taimiya ra 47/3 Ancient Egypt)
    • Hafiz Ibn Qayyam (r.a) says “in Arabic “marrataan” means marratan baa’d marratin (one after another) rather than only a verbal repetition. This is manifested in the holy Quran and the Hadiths.
    • Allama Abu Bakr Hisas Hanafi says that “Attalaqu marratan” means two divorces given at two different times. Whosoever has pronounced two divorces at the same time, in fact has opposed to the commandment of Allah Almighty.
    • Abdullah Ibn Abbas (Radi Allahu Anhuma) narrates that Abd Yazid Abu Rukanah (Radi Allahu Anhu) gave three Talaqs to his wife in one sitting and then became saddened. The prophet (peace be upon him)asked him “how did you divorce” He said “I have given three Talaq” the prophet pbuh said “did you do so at the same time” Yazid Abu Rukanah ra said “yes” the prophet said that only one Talaq occurred so you can go back to your wife if you wish. Abu Rukanah (ra) returned to his wife. (Bukhari and Muslim)

    Allah knows best.

  • 7.Islamic Manners
  • 7 Tips for understanding the Quran

    admin08-07-2014

    7 tips understanding quran

    7 Tips for Understanding the Quran

    1. Always purify your intentions
    2. Use a reliable translation if you dont understand arabic
    3. Never study a verse in isolation from other verses and hadith on the topic
    4. Prioritize the explanation of the Prophet and his companions
    5. Check if there is a reason for revelation and understand its relevance
    6. Always clarify Fiqh and Aqeedah verses with a scholar
    7. Familiarize yourself with the sciences of the Quran (Uloom Al-Quran) for a deeper understanding
  • What is the ruling on talking during the Jummah Khutbah?

    admin08-07-2014

    In the name of Allah, The Most Merciful

    It is Makrooh to talk while the imam delivers the sermon. If the noise created prevents other from listening to the sermon, then it is Haraam and will nullify your Jummah prayer. Therefore,

    • You cannot speak during the khutbah.
    • You cannot even say “salam” to anyone (not in initiation or as a reply).
    • All the attention has to be paid to the imam making khutbah!
    • If someone is speaking and they're causing an annoyance or a big distraction, all you can do is give them a stern look (for example). If they don't get it then wait until the khutbah and the prayer are over and politely tell them that it is not allowed to speak during the khutbah
    • Offering Sunnat and Nafl Salat (with the exception of Tahiatul-Masjid salat, which should be short).
    • Reciting or reading the Quran.
    • Eating.

    Dalil (proof):

    Narrated by Abu Huraira (r.a.) that Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, "When the Imam is delivering the Khutba, and you ask your companion to keep quiet and listen, then no doubt you have done an evil act." Narrated Salman-Al-Farsi (r.a.): The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Whoever takes a bath on Friday, purifies himself as much as he can, then uses his (hair) oil or perfumes himself with the scent of his house, then proceeds (for the Jumua prayer) and does not separate two persons sitting together (in the mosque), then prays as much as (Allah has) written for him and then remains silent while the Imam is delivering the Khutba, his sins in-between the present and the last Friday would be forgiven."

    Allah knows best.

  • Reflections on doing good deeds

    admin08-07-2014

    Do good deeds not because you are righteous, but because you want righteousness to enter your heart. Give in charity not because you are rich, but because you are truly poor (in the Sight of Allah). Love others and seek the good in them not because they treat you well, but because it’s your nature to love and not hate. Live & do things because you want to be a greater person not because you currently are.

    Leave a trace of your kindness wherever you go.
    Leave a mark of goodness wherever you traverse.
    Leave a legacy behind and keep walking on.

    It’s incredible to know how much Allah loves us despite our shortcomings, how much He guides us despite our stubbornness, how much He forgives and overlooks despite our persistence, but most of all, it’s amazing to know how much He protects us from all different kinds of evil and crises because He knows just how weak and powerless we are. Without Him, we would’ve been destroyed a long time ago by our very surroundings.

    Surah al-Hajj is the only Surah where there are 2 points/verses of sujud (prostration). This is interesting because the sujud is a significant mark of submission, and the entire story of Ibrahim (as) and the rites of Hajj that we perform today are all about submission and submitting to a Command Allah.

    May Allah accept the Hajj of the Hujjaj, and accept our acts of worship and submission although we may are not in the sacred vicinity.

    “And proclaim to Mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel. They will come from every deep and distant mountain highway.” [al-Hajj: 27]

    “When his Lord said to him (i.e. Ibrahim), “Submit”, he said “I have submitted to the Lord of the Worlds.”” [al-Baqarah: 131]

    “Do not accompany three: the arrogant, the ignorant, and the one who betrays you. Give people three: love, fulfillment (of promise), and sincerity. Strive for three: to love, to laugh, and to forgive. And avoid three: that you should hurt, that you should hate, and that you should betray.”

  • Good Manners: A Key to Paradise

    admin08-07-2014
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    Good manners helps undo divides, bridge differences and bring out the best in people

    “Say ‘please’, Amina.”

    “Please, may I have...”

    “Remember to say thank you!”

    “Thank you..!”

    The first social skills a little child is taught are more often than not, the magic words: “Please” and “Thank You”.

    Why are parents so adamant to teach these few special words to their children?

    Well, it is part and parcel of our fitrah (nature) to do right by our children and bestow them the best manners. And it also goes without saying that little children jump at this opportunity to be polite and well-mannered.

    “Please!” they would chime loudly.

    “Thank you!”

    Having good manners transcends a lot more than just a few words, but it is a strong foundation for those who wish to build good character as they grow older. Whatever imprints we have in our minds as children will be seen through to adulthood, so it is important to understand why good manners is strongly lauded by Islam.

    The Man with the Best Manners

    The virtues of good manners are seen in various hadiths, which points to good character that is pleasing to God and His messenger.

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reminded that:

    "The most beloved of Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners." (Al-Bukhari)

    Having good manners when socializing isn’t just a plus factor when dealing with people in this temporary abode of this life, but even more so, it is part and parcel of pleasing God in His Grandiosity.

    In a hadith in Al-Bukhari’s Book of Manners, Abu Darda' reported that Prophet Muhammad said:

    "Nothing is weightier on the Scale of Deeds than one's good manners." (Al-Bukhari)

    Scales and weight play a recurring role when it comes to good deeds in Islam. Good manners therefore are an important realm in building a character of a true Muslim, one who continuously wishes to emulate Prophet Muhammad for the sake of God.

    Even amongst the youth, Prophet Muhammad was very respectful. He never spoke down to the youngsters around him.

    Prophet Muhammad was one of the mildest mannered icons in history. For someone who was chosen to mould the final faith for mankind in the form of Islam, and to put a helm onto it by championing the faith to perfection, it only makes sense that the Prophet would do so mindfully, with care and compassion. He was very well-mannered in his speech and mannerisms.

    Abdullah ibn Amr said:

    "The Prophet of Allah was never obscene or coarse. Rather, he used to tell us that the best among us were those with the best manners." (Al-Bukhari, Muslim & At-Tirmidhi)

    Even amongst the youth, Prophet Muhammad was very respectful. He never spoke down to the youngsters around him, even if they asked a lot of questions or made mistakes, like many youngsters often do. Instead, he would treat them like adults, appreciate their hard work and ideas and gently advise if he felt advice was needed.

    Anas ibn Malik related:

    "I served the Prophet of Allah for ten years. During that time, he never once said to me as much as 'Oof' if I did something wrong. He never asked me, if I had failed to do something, 'Why did you not do it?' and he never said to me, if I had done something wrong, 'Why did you do it?'" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Prophet Muhammad explained that:

    "He who does not show mercy to the young and show esteem for our elders is not one of us." (Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi & Al-Hakim)

    The Prophet was always all-encompassing when addressing different walks of life.

    Good Manners in a Corrupt World

    In other narrations, having good manners is equivalent to spending the nights in prayer and such behavior is also known as one of the keys to Paradise, besides being conscious of God.But despite its importance, having good manners is not always easy especially when having to deal with all sorts of people in today’s world. It takes a heartbeat to snipe at another person or to behave in a condescending manner without realizing it. The Prophet, being as human as he was, was also conscientious of how he behaved in public. He made sure he remained humble by supplicating to God to bless him with the best of manners:

    "O Allah! I ask You for good health, for trust, for self-control, for good manners, and to be satisfied with the divine decree." (Al-Bukhari)

    Good manners encompasses a wide range of social etiquette, from speaking to groups in public; to avoiding backbiting or fault finding; to speak pleasantly of others but to avoid excessive flattery. The Prophet also encouraged giving gifts to one another, as long as it was done fairly and not in excess. Speaking in humility was also equally important.

    When speaking in public or addressing a group of people, the Prophet reminded to not whisper, while leaving out another person. This was fine if the other person left out of the conversation had someone to speak to.

    Abdullah ibn Mas'ud reported that the Prophet said:

    "If they are three, two of them should not carry on a conversation from which the third is excluded, for surely that will be distressing to him." (Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud, Muslim & Ibn Majah)

    Sometimes, mindless chatter leads to gossip, which could lead to intentional or unintentional defamation or backbiting. Ibn Abbas said on the following verse of the Quran: {Nor defame one another} (Al-Hujurat 49: 11)

    "Do not spend your time finding fault with one another." (Al-Bukhari)

    Causing suspicion when speaking to others is also frowned upon in Islam, especially in today’s age where technology causes the world to lose its borders, spying on each other, competing and despising one another can sometimes arise without realizing it.

    "Be careful of suspicion, for it is the most mistaken of all speech. Do not spy on others, compete among yourselves, envy one another, or despise one another. Rather, be servants of Allah and brothers! (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Gifts are yet another way to foster relations based on kindness for each other

    Flattery too is something that is abhorred when it comes to speaking to others. Praising a person for the sake of God, i.e., praising God first, is most certainly allowed. However, excessive praise and flattery needs to be mitigated with wisdom.  Abu Bakr reported that a man was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet, and another praised the man. The Prophet then said:

    "Woe to you, for you have broken your friend's neck!, repeating the same several times. "If any of you simply must praise another, let him or her say, 'I think the person is this way or that...' if you genuinely think the person to be that way. The Final Reckoner is Allah, and no one can tell Allah anything about anyone." (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

    In a twist on good manners, the Prophet did encourage gifts for one another. Gifts are yet another way to foster relations based on kindness for each other. Prophet Muhammad advised:

    "Give gifts to one another and you will love one another." (Al-Bukhari)

    He never discriminated between Muslim and non-Muslim and when with children of a family, he advised parents to fear God and to ensure each child received a gift to shun favortism or rivalry between siblings.

    However we look at it, good manners helps undo divides, bridge differences and bring out the best in people. When one thinks of a person with good manners, he or she would think of someone who speaks kindly and truthfully with an air of humility. Saying “Please” and “Thank you” are important beginnings for a humble Muslim – one who is blessed with shyness for the sake of God, and the best role model of all times would be none other than Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who was guided by God Himself. Of his many characteristics in dealing with others, Prophet Muhammad always remained humble. AbuHurairah reported that the Prophet said:

    "Modesty (shyness) is one branch of faith." (Muslim)

    As Muslims, we should follow Prophet Muhammad in order to become amongst the best of Muslims with the best possible manners as a stepping stone closer to God and a permanent resting abode in Paradise.

  • What Does Islam Teach On Manners And Dealing With Others?

    admin08-07-2014

    Islam places great emphasis on manners and on the proper way to deal with others, whether they are Muslims or not. Relations between people are very important in Islam, and maintaining good relations with others should be a main priority of a practicing Muslim. In fact, Islam teaches that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said: "I have been sent to perfect the best of manners". He summarized the goal of his entire message into the perfection of the best of manners. The following is just a sample of some of the teachings of Islam regarding manners and relationships with others.

    Kindness to the Neighbour: Islam greatly emphasizes the relationship with neighbours. Muslims are expected to treat their neighbours in the most kind and gentle way, and are strictly forbidden from harming them. In fact, the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said that a person who hurts their neighbours is not a believer. He also said that if a person does not hurt their neighbours, they will enter paradise, even if the rest of their acts of worship are not numerous. On the other hand, a person who performs plenty of worship but hurts their neighbours will enter hell fire.

    Removing Obstacles From The Way: Can you believe that Islamic teachings extend even to clearing an obstacle from a path? Yes, it is true. The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) taught us that one of the traits of a true believer is that they remove obstacles and harmful things from a public path or street.

    Kindness to Parents: Islam has raised the importance of kindness to parents to the highest possible level. In numerous verses of the holy Qur'an, kindness to parents is mentioned immedeatly after belief in God. This shows that it is perhaps the most important action a Muslim must take after belief in God. Muslims are also instructed to take care of their parents, especially in their old age, just as their parents took care of them when they were young and weak. Muslims are forbidden from uttering even a single word of displeasure towards their parents.

    Kindness to Spouses: There is a lot of emphasis in Islam on kind and fair treatment of spouses. The Qur'an describes marriage as tranquility and contentment, and teaches that God has created feelings of love and mercy between the spouses. In fact, the Qur'an further describes spouses as being garments for each other, in a reference to the sense of protection and warmth that spouses should provide to each other. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) forbade Muslims from mistreating and being unjust to their spouses. He went even further by saying that the best of men are those who treat their wives in the best way.

    Honesty: Islam teaches us that we are to be honest in all our dealings with all people. There is no justification for lying and being deceitful. Islam teaches us that honesty leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to heaven, while lying leads to sinfulness, and sinfulness leads to the hell fire. The Prophet (pbuh) explicitly said that a person who cheats others is not a believer.

    Mercy: Mercy is an important trait of any Muslim. Islam teaches us that mercy and kindness in every matter only makes things better, and the lack of mercy and kindness in any matter only makes it worse. In fact, the Qur'an teaches us that even with the person with whom we have an enmity, we should deal kindly and in the best possible way, as this will help to change this person from an enemy to a close ally. Muslims are even instructed to be merciful to animals. Although Muslims are allowed to eat the meat of certain animals, they are instructed to minimize the suffering of animals during their life and even during their slaughter. This is done by using a sharp knife to cut the throat and the main blood vessels to the animal's head, which ensures that the animal feels the least possible amount of pain. Muslims have been following these teachings for over 1400 years!

    Smiling: Islam even goes to the extent of rewarding Muslims for smiling in the face of others! Smiling when others look at you is regarded as a form of charity for which Muslims get rewarded. This is why Muslims usually smile and shake hands when they meet, and they hug if they have not seen one another for a long time. Muslims are also instructed to greet each other when they see each other with the best possible greeting.

    No Backbiting: Islam forbids backbiting, which is to talk about others behind their backs. The Qur'an compares backbiting to eating the flesh of your friend, which shows how hated this action is in Islam. The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) taught us that mentioning anything negative about a person when they are not present is backbiting. One of his followers asked: "What if this negative thing is really true about this person?" The Prophet (pbuh) replied by saying that even if it is true, this is considered backbiting. But if it is false, it is even worse than backbiting because it is also a lie.

    Do Not Curse or Ridicule: Muslims are forbidden from ridiculing or cursing others. The Qur'an teaches us that we should not do this because the person we are cursing or ridiculing may be better than us in many ways. Also, engaging in these types of actions casts doubt on the strength of the belief of a Muslim. Islam teaches us that God despises those who use foul language and continually curse and ridicule others.

    Generosity: The Qur'an teaches us that we should be generous and give the needy and share our wealth. In fact, Islam teaches us that the poor have a share in our wealth, so it is not optional to give charity. It is their right. Also, Islam teaches us to be generous and to give others from what we have, even if we have a real need for it. When the early Muslims of the city of Al-Madinah received refugees from the city of Makkah, they divided their entire wealth with them in half, sharing with them their houses, farms, animals and money.

    Friendship: Islam takes friendship to a higher level, referring to Muslims as brothers and sisters, and expecting them to treat each other as such. A Muslim is expected to wish for others that which they wish for themselves. Also, a Muslim is expected to give honest advice to friends and to be there for them and help them whenever possible. Muslims are forbidden from abandoning or boycotting a friend with whom they have had a disagreement for more than three days. After the three days, they are expected to forgive their friend and resume the friendship.

     

  • The Islamic Etiquette of dealing with people

    admin08-07-2014

    Islamic teachings put great emphasis in how we deal with people in our daily lives. The prophet (S.A.W.S.) summed up his message by stating: “I have been sent to perfect the best of manners”. As Muslims, we, therefore, have to be aware of how each one of us deals with people in our circles. Our good dealings not only will ensure that we are not violating other people’s rights but can also make us accepted, loved and appreciated by others. Luqman once said to his son, “O my son: Let your speech be good and your face be smiling; you will be more loved by the people than those who give them provisions.” – (Mentioned in the stories of ibn Kathir.)

    Experience shows that life becomes pleasant when we can manage our work and relationships well. Quranic wisdom and the example of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)’s dealings with people should help us steer our relationships and keep them on the right track. This post highlights certain essential principles of Islam that guide us in this matter.

    Not showing pride and arrogance

    It is so easy to get carried away by whatever we may possess of wealth and the good things of life. It is so easy and common to credit ourselves with our achievements and feel proud of them, and then, as a matter of course, to look down upon others who haven’t been able to make the same effort or reach the status we might have achieved. What makes all this happen is our own ego and the ever opportunistic Satan who knows our vulnerability. And so The One Who cares for our well being the most, Allah the Most Merciful, has warned us against falling into the trap of pride and arrogance.

    He Says in the Quran (interpretation of the Arabic meaning):

    And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster. (Surah Luqman:18)

    The way to avoid pride and arrogance is to remember Allah as much as we can till it becomes a habit to instantly thank Him for any good that comes our way. Thankfulness to Allah creates humility in us and makes us aware that we’re not entirely responsible for all the good things of life. We wouldn’t have gotten them if He hadn’t willed them for us, nor can we retain them if He decides to take them away from us.

    Not to mock others

    We often see people taking pleasure in making fun of others or mocking them. Is it that the ego craves for the satisfaction of proving oneself better than others by looking out for others’ weaknesses and laughing at them? But Allah admonishes us:

    O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. (Surah Hujrat, 11)

    Allah tells us that our knowledge is restricted by our limited perception. Since we’re not aware of any one’s real worth, wouldn’t it be foolish to laugh at those who might actually be better than us? We can curb this tendency by opening our eyes to the fact that when we think that others deserve to be ridiculed, we’re actually fooling ourselves and no one else (though we might find a few thoughtless and insensitive people to give us company in our foolish pastime).

    Not addressing people with undesirable titles

    A general misconception about sense of humor is the so called ‘ability’ to make others laugh. Giving nicknames to others on account of some negative characteristic that is noticed in them or even some disability that they might be suffering from is a crude form of entertainment. Making fun of those who stammer, or are very short or lean, is obviously some form of indecency practiced by callous people, and enjoyed by others who lack sensitivity to human feelings. Allah warns us against such behavior and practices. He says:

    . . . Nor defame yourselves, nor insult one another by nicknames. Evil is the name of wickedness after faith. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed wrongdoers (Surah Hujrat: 11)

    Refraining from ‘tajassus’ (spying)

    Imam Al-Nawawi (rh) said that scholars have differentiated between ‘tahassus’, which means ‘snooping’ and listening to other people’s conversations, and ‘tajassus’, which means ‘spying’, seeking out other people’s faults and looking for secrets. Both activities are considered evil and have been forbidden. Allah Says:

    O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicion is sin. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it. And have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (Hujrat 49:12)

    Is it for want of a better activity to keep ourselves busy, that we enjoy peeping into others’ lives?

    Seeking out information about other people’s state of affairs, searching and disclosing their secrets has been strictly forbidden. (Hence, to eavesdrop upon somebody while hiding or pretending to sleep is like spying on others.) Spying done with the intention of exposing the faults or unveiling the secrets of others, is a sin. It also leads to backbiting which is Haram. Allah has closed every door that leads to the evil of backbiting and has made spying Haram.

    Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said:“Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others’ faults and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; and O Allah’s worshipers! Be brothers (as Allah has ordered you!). (Bukhari)

    Our relationships should always have only a positive outcome. That’s the only way to seek Allah’s favor when in the company of others. We should say what’s good or refrain from saying anything. We should also have the moral sense and courage to stop others from backbiting for even if we don’t contribute to it, we become guilty of the sin by being silent listeners and participants. The best means of avoiding it is by changing the topic or saying sensibly that we don’t really know the whole truth of the matter so that we shouldn’t be unfair to any one.

    Resolving differences with people

    According to Abu Hurayrah (RA), the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h) said:

    The gates of Paradise will be opened on Mondays and on Thursdays, and every servant [of Allah] who associates nothing with Allah will be forgiven, except for the man who has a grudge against his brother. [About them] it will be said: ‘Delay these two until they are reconciled; delay these two until they are reconciled.’” [Muslim (also by Malik and Abu Dawud)]

    As long as we nurture any kind of enmity in our heart and prolong any conflict with a Muslim brother, we’re giving evidence of the weakness of our faith. For Faith in Allah is expressed through obedience to Allah. And Allah has said this in the verses of the Quran:

    The believers are but a brotherhood. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and have Taqwa of Allah so that you may receive mercy. (Surah Hujrat:10)

    So have Taqwa of Allah and settle all matters of difference among you, and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you are believers. (Surah Aanfal:1)

    Whatever be our differences in opinions or feelings, we’re expected to set them aside and maintain good relations with each other. Ego ‘nafs’ is never to be allowed to supersede true faith. The whole purpose of our life is to prepare ourselves for the hereafter, and with this long term goal in mind we have to overcome pettiness and trivialities. Our constant struggle is with two real enemies. One is Satan who keeps making the world and worldliness more and more alluring for us. The other is our own ego that inflates our importance in our eyes beyond any sensible measure. It is these that cause conflicts and misunderstandings.

    Controlling your hands and tongue

    How do we resolve differences that have unwittingly or even intentionally cropped up? The best way is to control our tongues and hands that might be too eager to express those feelings! Discretion in speech and actions is the hall mark of a sensible person. We need to consciously practice patience; we need to learn to talk to ourselves, to introspect, before we give freedom to our tongue to have its way. Especially when it comes to speaking about others or voicing our opinion about them, we need to be extra careful that we don’t mislead anyone. Speaking thoughtlessly, or on hearsay, amounts to slander about which we have been warned strictly. Allah Says:

    And those who abuse believing men and women, when they have not merited it, bear the weight of slander and clear wrongdoing. (Ahzaab33:58)

    Giving the benefit of doubt – Attributing positive motives to others’ actions

    It would help to keep away form slander if we could cultivate the habit of thinking well of others so that even when we hear something negative about them we don’t just get carried away by it but try to see what could have gone wrong. Attributing positive motives to others’ actions helps in understanding them better. Let us also remind ourselves whenever we attempt to judge others, that no one is perfect. We too have our own drawbacks which we wouldn’t like being mentioned or discussed. Hence fairness requires that we do unto others what we expect them to do to us. Moreover, we’ve been assured protection and covering of our faults by Allah the Most Merciful on the Day of Judgment, if we’ve been careful to cover the faults of a Muslim brother / sister here on earth.

    Expressing gratitude to others

    Expressing gratitude for favors done and help rendered is not only the basic requirement of social etiquette but has far reaching effects. It strengthens our relationship and adds warmth to it. On the other hand, taking others for granted, however close the relationship might be, causes disappointment and conveys the impression that we don’t know how to value people, that we just know how to use them! Thanks and appreciation expressed sincerely with a smile gives off a bright glow which is felt by the heart.

    Smiling at others is charity

    Allah All Knowing considers smiling at others a charity. We know very well what a smile can convey – absence of ill feeling, acceptance, warmth, and the willingness to share our time or space. Let us not be miserly about brightening our face with a cheerful smile.

    Visiting the sick

    Great merit has been attached to the act of visiting the sick. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) showed concern for a (Jewish) woman who’d throw waste on him whenever he passed her house. The day she failed to throw it, he enquired about her and came to know that she was sick. He tended to her through her sickness and when she recovered she instantly accepted Islam, seeing what character it develops in its followers.

    Being kind, gentle, caring and concerned

    The prophet (p.b.u.h) has given us excellent examples in forgiveness, kindness and tenderness. An old woman who intended to leave Makkah since she did not like the idea of a new religion being preached by a young man named “Muhammad” didn’t realize that he was the one helping her by carrying her belongings and accompanying her till the outskirts of the city. Complaining all the way about a new faith being preached, which required giving up old customs and practices, she finally asked the Prophet his name just before parting. On coming to know that this was the man on account of whom she was about to leave Makkah, she not only retraced her steps and changed her decision of leaving, but also accepted Islam seeing its exemplary representative and a living ideal!

    Conclusion

    Bad habits picked up over the years in dealing with people can sometimes be difficult to let go and may not even seem that bad. However, we need to strive in changing the undesirable so our families, friends, peers, and others can see the better of us.

  • Practising Good Manners

    admin08-07-2014

    The human soul is in need of developing educationally in order to become characterised by the best of morals and refrain from evil doings. This can be achieved by teaching ourselves the following points:

    1. Following in the footsteps and copying the examples of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (s), his infallible household (Ahlul Bayt) and the most righteous among his companions. Studying their biographies and considering all aspects of their virtuous behaviour are essential ways of being led on the right path.

    2. Practice makes perfect and we should practise conducting ourselves with the best of morals, like truth, courage, generosity, mercy, benevolence and forgiveness. Whoever repeatedly does good deeds and behaves in a principled manner, such conduct will undoubtedly become habitual, whereas whoever commits misdeeds and ill-natured vices like hypocrisy, lying, deceiving ...etc. will accept them to such an extent that they will not feel their abomination and the damage they cause.

    3. Avoiding people characterised by bad manners and not making them friends, because not mixing with such people removes the danger of being misled and should also discourage their unprincipled behaviour.

    4. We should also ask the forgiveness of Allah in case of committing sins or doing evil deeds and should regret and repent for such actions. This can be done through reprimanding ourselves and feeling that such action is bad and should not be repeated.

    To Summarise

    1. Good manners surely indicate the goodness of the upright human soul while bad manners indicates that the soul of that man is evil and wicked. A good human soul is like a sweet flower from which fragrant perfume is emitted. Conversely one which is wicked can be likened to a poisonous smell that harms people.

    2. Allah bids us towards the best morals and will reward us accordingly on the Resurrection Day and also forbids us against bad morals for which He will duly punish us.

    3. Bad morals cause the destruction of society and the spread of corruption; he who has vices, his personality will be disliked and he will be liable to punishment, and people will avoid and humiliate him.

    4. The man with good morals is considered the foundation on which the structure of a sound Islamic society is built, and is among the causes of giving strength to Muslims.

    5. But if Muslim communities lose their good morals of justice, mercy and benevolence, they will be destroyed, and all the scientific progress and abundance of wealth can not prevent it. When moral principles are abandoned, the quality of life is disrupted and led astray.

    Thus we see war, gross injustice and rising crime spreading in immoral societies.

    Vices like lying, selfishness, greed, deceit and hypocrisy fester in the same way as germs destroy the human body.

  • Manners and Traits Every Muslim Should be Adorned with

    admin08-07-2014

    Islam prescribes certain manners and traits for every Muslim to adorn his / her character. Some of these are:

      • Truthfulness: ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “It is obligatory for you to tell the truth, for truth leads to virtue and virtue leads to Paradise…and beware of telling of a lie for telling of a lie leads to obscenity and obscenity leads to Hell-Fire...” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]. Hence, truthfulness is a praiseworthy virtue and people should adhere to it. They should not say that, “The conditions forced me to avoid speaking the truth”, since truth is salvation and this is borne by experience as well. For example look at the story of Ka’b Bin Malik about whom the following verses were revealed:

    And (He did forgive also) the three (who did not join the Tabook expedition (whom the Prophet) left (i.e. he did not give his judgement in their case, and their case was suspended for Allah’s Decision) till for them the earth, vast as it is, was straitened and their own selves were straitened to them, and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allah, and no refuge but with Him. Then, He accepted their repentance, that they might repent (unto Him). Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” [Al-Tauba 9:118]

    This story is very clear to illustrate this point [Ka’b and his other two companions did not lie to the Prophet (peace be upon him) by making up false excuses for staying behind the battle. In the words of Ka’b reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari: “By Allah, I do not know whether anyone amongst the Muslims was put to more severe trial than I by Allah because of telling the truth. And since (then)… up to this day I have not told any lie and, by Allah, I have decided not to tell a lie and I hope that Allah would save me (from trials) for the rest of my life.”]

    Similarly, telling lies is forbidden by consensus of Muslim, save a few exceptions like trying to reconcile hostile parties, false appreciation etc for one’s wife to endear her heart etc. However, generally telling lies is prohibited. There are different levels of lying. Lying to people is of course not allowed, but an even more serious crime is lying against Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). One of the forms of lying against Allah is to give fatwa (Islamic legal verdict) without Islamic knowledge, may Allah protect us from this. Allah says, “And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely: ‘This is lawful and this is forbidden’, so as to invent lies against Allah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allah will never prosper.” [Al-Nahl 16:116], and He also said: “And on the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied against Allah their faces will be black. Is there not in Hell an abode for the arrogant ones?” [Al-Zumar 39:60]. The most deserving one to enter in the heading of “those who lied against Allah” is the person who gives fatwa and ascribes opinions to Allah (and His religion).

     

      • Trustworthiness (Amanah): An obligatory quality of character is trustworthiness and being untrustworthy and treacherous is forbidden (haram). Deceiving Muslims, cheating them and not returning what they entrusted you with or lent to you is forbidden by the Qur’an, Sunnah and the consensus of Muslim scholars. Allah says, “Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due” [Al-Nisa 4:58]

    Allah also said, “Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allahs Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).” [Al-Ahzab 4:72] It is obligatory to discharge this trust and duty which Islam entrusts to a Muslim: prayers (salah) is a trust, Saum (fast) is a trust, Ghusl (ritual bath) after ritual impurity (janabah) is a trust. Hence it is not permissible for a Muslim to betray this trust in any case.

     

    • Purity and Chastity:A person should be pure in everything that the word pure can be applied to. He should have a pure, unpolluted heart so that it does not contain envy or spite. He should have a pure tongue which does not speak unjustly about anyone and does not attack the honor of Muslims. He should also not be boisterous and rowdy in the markets. He should be pure from all things forbidden by Islam. The most obvious form of purity is chastity, i.e. not having sexual relations except with whom a Muslim is lawfully permitted to have them. 
    • Modesty (Haya): As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Modesty brings forth nothing but goodness.” [Sahih Muslim] And it is also authentically reported that the Prophet said, “of the sayings of the early Prophets which the people have got is: If you don't feel ashamed do whatever you like.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] So, modesty which does not bring forth anything except goodness, is a trait which should adorn and perfect the character of every Muslim. What is meant by modesty is the sense of shyness which prevents one from doing what is forbidden by Islam or what is customarily viewed as improper in the society. However, the sort of modesty which prevents one from doing what is obligatory in Islam or forces him to do what is forbidden by Islam, prevents him from ordering good and forbidding evil or correcting an ignorant person, then this is not modesty at all. This is timidness which is condemnable, may Allah protect us from it. 
    • Bravery: Cowardice is an condemnable trait, from which the Prophet (peace be upon him) sought Refuge from Allah [Sahih Al-Bukhari] and every Muslim too should seek Allah’s Refuge from it. On the contrary, every Muslim should adorn his character with bravery and courageousness. Islam prescribes that ever Muslim should be brave, courageous, stand up and speak out for the truth. He should be brave in the battlefield, show courage in speech and openly speaking the truth when needed. . 
    • Generosity: Stinginess too is a condemnable trait. Hence, every Muslim should be generous and should spend what he is required to as long as it does not harm him or become too cumbersome for him. 
    • Fulfilling promises and pacts: Allah says, “O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations” [Al-Maidah 5:1] Hence, a Muslim must always fulfill his obligations to others and the pacts or promises he made to them. He must fulfill all that the agreement entails. 
    • Avoidance of all that Allah forbade: A Muslim should always stay away from whatever Islam prohibited for him / her and avoid committing it whether alone or openly in front of other people. No doubt, committing sins openly is a more serious offence, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those of the Mujahirin (those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] However, even doing a sin alone secretly may result in Allah’s Punishment which He may or may not forgive. 
    • Good neighborliness: There are many rights to which a neighbor is entitled to. He has the right as a brother in Islam and as a neighbor. If he also happens to be a relative, he also has the right of kinship. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Gabriel continued to recommend me about treating the neighbors Kindly and politely so much so that I thought he would order me to make them as my heirs.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]. Once, he said "By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!" It was said, "Who is that, O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "That person whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil." [Sahih Al-Bukhari] Hence, a person should be good to his neighbor and should not harm them in any way. 
    • Helping those who need help as much as possible: For example helping a worker do his job or doing it for him. This is one of the best deeds. Similarly a blind man who needs a guide, you can hold his hand and act as his guide. Take him to the mosque, shop, to his workplace or wherever else he needs to go. However, you should not overburden yourself by affecting your own wellbeing. For example, if you have to go to your job and on the way you find a blind man whose workplace is in the opposite direction. Should you go and drop him there? No, unless it is not difficult for you and does not affect your job. People needing help should be helped according to one’s ability. 

    There are many other manners and traits that Qur’an and Sunnah recommend for a Muslim to have.

    Allah knows best and may His Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and all his Companions.

  • 8.Islam
  • What is a fatwa? What does fatwa mean?

    admin08-07-2014

    The word "fatwa" has become well known around the world. People often hear that a Muslim cleric or scholar has issued a "fatwa". In some cases, this word has been associated with very negative things, such as a death sentence on a person or a severe punishment. The word "fatwa" has been made popular by media outlets looking for more sensational stories in order to capture the largest possible audience. In their pursuit of ratings, the media need to find an enemy that they can portray as evil and vicious, because such stories trigger fear in viewers and make them interested in following such stories in the media. Media outlets love to find words such as "fatwa" that they can use in their reports. This gives the report a more serious tone, and makes it appear as if the reporter is an expert on the subject, because no one knows what this word means and no one has heard it before. However, the media turns such a word into a keyword that catches the eye and the ear or the average person, all in the pursuit of more viewers and higher ratings.

    So what does the word "fatwa" actually mean? It is an Arabic word, and it literally means "opinion". Related words in Arabic are "afta", which means to give an opinion, and "yastafti", which means to ask for an opinion. In fact, in Arabic countries, an opinion poll is called an "istifta", which is simply a different form of the same word. As you can see, there is nothing sinister or scary about the word itself. So why do media outlets not just say "opinion" so that everyone can understand what they are talking about? Would you care about the opinion of some cleric in Iran or Afghanistan? Probably not. But the use of a foreign sounding word such as "fatwa", along with all of the negative and evil connotations that it carries, will catch the attention of a good number of people. This translates into more viewers, higher ratings and more advertising dollars.

    This was the linguistic meaning of the word "fatwa". In a religious context, the word "fatwa" carries more meaning. This is because when a Muslim has a question that they need to be answered from an Islamic point of view, they ask an Islamic scholar this question, and the answer is known as a "fatwa". This "fatwa" carries more weight than just the random opinion of any person on the street. Muslim scholars are expected to give their "fatwa" based on religious evidence, not based on their personal opinions. Therefore, their "fatwa" is sometimes regarded as a religious ruling. Here is an example of a fatwa: As you know, Muslims are expected to pray five times every day at specific times during the day. A person who is going to be on a 12 hour flight may not be able to perform their prayers on time. So they might ask a Muslim scholar for a "fatwa" on what is the appropriate thing to do, or they might look up the answer in a book or on the internet. The scholar might advise them to perform the prayer to the best of their ability on the plane, or to delay their prayer until they land, for example. And they would support their opinion with evidence.

    It is interesting to note that in Islam, there are four sources from which Muslim scholars extract religious law or rulings, and upon which they base their "fatwa". The first is the Quran, which is the holy book of Islam, and which is the direct and literal word of God, revealed to Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). The second source is the Sunnah, which incorporates anything that the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, did or approved of. The third source is the consensus of the scholars, meaning that if the scholars of a previous generation have all agreed on a certain issue, then this consensus is regarded as representing Islam. Finally, if no evidence is found regarding a specific question from the three first sources, then an Islamic scholar performs what is known as "ijtihad". This means that they use their own logic and reasoning to come up with the best answer according to the best of their ability.

    It is also interesting to note that different scholars frequently have different opinions regarding any given question. This is why there is usually more than one "fatwa" regarding any one question. In fact, there are a number of methodologies for how to understand evidence gathered from the previously mentioned sources of Islamic law. Scholars who follow different methodologies will frequently arrive at different answers to the same question. It is well known that in Islam there are four "schools of thought", and each of them differ with respect to certain aspects. However, it is important to know that these differences are usually about minor issues. For example, in terms of beliefs, the vast majority of Muslims agree on most aspects of belief, most importantly the concept of monotheism, and belief in the angels, Prophets, holy books and the day of judgement.

    Muslims believe that any given action that they perform in their lives falls into one of five categories:

    1. Obligatory
    2. Commendable
    3. Permissible
    4. Despised
    5. Not Permitted

    All actions fall into the "permissible" category, unless there is evidence from one of the four sources previously mentioned (Quran, Sunnah, Consensus, Ijtihad) that proves otherwise. Here are some examples:

    • The five daily prayers are obligatory upon Muslims. Those who do not perform them are committing a sin, and they will be accountable for that on the day of judgement.
    • Performing additional voluntary prayers is commendable. Those who perform them will be rewarded, but those who do not are not committing a sin.
    • Driving a car is permissible, meaning that the action of driving is not good or bad in itself. There is no sin or reward attached to it. Most things fall under this category.
    • Divorce is a despised action. Although there is no sin associated with it, it must only be considered as a last resort when all other means of solving the problems between the spouses have been exhausted.
    • Drinking alcoholic drinks is not permitted. Those who do so are committing a sin, and will be held accountable for it on the day of judgement.

    When someone asks a Muslim scholar about performing a specific action, the reply will be a "fatwa" explaining which of these five categories this action would fall under. So if you ask a Muslim scholar to give a fatwa about adultery, they would tell you that it is "Not Permitted". If you ask about fasting in Ramadan, they would answer that it is "Obligatory". Muslims are usually encouraged to ask for reasoning and evidence behind any fatwa, and should avoid blindly following the opinions of Muslim scholars without understanding the reasons behind them. This is because Muslims should always feel that they are practicing Islam to gain the pleasure of God, and not to gain the pleasure of acceptance of any human being.

  • Does Islam Approve Of Honour Killings Of Women?

    admin08-07-2014

    Islam strongly prohibits the killing of any person without lawful reasons. Islamic teachings do not allow any person to take the law into their own hands and to commit murder, no matter what justification is used. Although Islam does impose the capital punishment for certain crimes, no one person can act as the accuer, judge and executioner. This would lead to a complete breakdown of society, as any person would be able to commit murder and then claim that they had valid reasons for doing so. Therefore, Islam has instituted a very specific system of implementing the law. Islam requires that a judge hear the case of both the accuser and the accused, and to listen to witnesses before making any judgement. This ensures that society operates based on the rule of law such that justice is established.

    The following statements from the holy Quran demonstrate how strongly Islam prohibits murder:

    "Whoever kills a believer intentionally, their reward will be Hell, to abide therein forever, and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon them, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for them." (Holy Quran, Chapter 4, Verse 93)

    "On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if they killed all people. And if any one saved a life, it would be as if they saved the life of all people." (Holy Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 32)

    The practice of so-called "honour killing" is in reality an act of murder. It is usually carried out against a female family member who is seen by relatives as dishonoring their family through real or perceived acts of indiscretion, such as premarital sexual relations or unapproved dating. In many cases of "honour killing", the accused woman is innocent, and is killed purely based on suspicion. In other cases, the issue of "honour" is used as a cover to justify a murder that was really committed for other purposes. No matter what the reason is, "honour killing" is a despicable crime.

    There is absolutely no justification in Islam for "honour killing" of women or men. Those who commit these crimes can expect hellfire as their punishment, in addition to the wrath and anger of God, as the previous verse from the holy Quran describes. These types of killings are quite simply murder crimes, and should be prosecuted as such. No society, Muslim or otherwise, should tolerate such extrajudicial murder. This is especially true if these murders are carried out in the name of Islam or any other religion. There is no justification or leniency in Islamic teachings for such murder crimes. Those who commit these crimes are either ignorant of Islamic teachings, or they try to invoke religion to get lenient treatment. In both cases, they must be punished as murderers in order to establish justice and in order to act as a deterrent to those who would consider committing such crimes.

    There is no historical background in Islam for "honour killing". No verse in the holy Quran and no saying of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) sanctions such crimes. There were no cases of "honour killing" during the early period of Islam. This is a concept that seems to have appeared only recently, and is based only upon ignorance of the true teachings of Islam, and perhaps some ancient customs that pre-date Islam.

    Islam does prescribe strict and sometimes even severe punishments for certain crimes (Please review the question: Why Does Islam Impose Strict Punishments On Crimes Such As Adultry And Robbery?). However, Islam places a great burder of proof on the accuser to prove their accusations. Otherwise, no conviction and no punishment can occur. Proving a case of fornication or adultery in court under Islam is extremely difficult. Islamic law requires either a confession by those who committed the crime, or the testimony of four witnesses. These four witnesses must have seen the act of fornication by their own eyes. This makes it extremely difficult if not impossible for a court of law under Islam to find people guilty of fornication or adultery.

    Islam has prescribed these punishments as a deterrent, and as a way to demonstrate to people how ugly these crimes are and how hated they are in the sight of God. Islam intended to prevent crime from happening in the first place, as much as possible, rather than punish people after it is too late and the crime has already occured.

    Therefore, although Islam does prescribe 100 lashes for fornication (sexual relations between unmarried people), and death by stoning for adultery (married people who have sexual relations outside of marriage), these punishments are not really meant to be performed as much as they are meant to make these crimes hated in the eyes of the society in order to minimize their occurance. The only practical way for these punishments to be performed in Islam is by confession of the guilty person. In these cases, Islam teaches that those who receive these punishments during their life will have their sins wiped away and will not have to face punishment for these crimes in the afterlife. However, Islam strongly recommends that Muslims who commit crimes repent, regret their mistakes and not to tell others about what they have done. Those who truly and sincerely repent to God, regret their sins and commit themselves to never repeating them again, God will forgive their sins and wipe them away. This is demonstrated by the following verses:

    "Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor kill lives which Allah has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication, and any person that does this meets punishment, and their penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled, and they will dwell therein in ignominy, unless they repent, believe and perform righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Holy Quran, Chapter 25, Verse 68)

    Of course, the question arises that if Islam does not sanction or justify "honour killing", then why does it occur? There are many reasons. As stated earlier, in religious societies, religion is invoked by people in order to gain sympathy from others in their society. Therefore, murderers may try to invoke religion to justify their actions. However, this does not mean that their religion approves of their action. It is just a desperate attempt by them to justify their horrible action and to get lenient treatment.

    Another reason may be ignorance. Many cases of "honour killing" are carried out by people who are ignorant of Islam. They are not aware of the teachings of Islam, and they confuse local customs and traditions with Islam. It is likely that these people commit their crimes due to anger, outrage, and a perceived loss of honour, and then try to justify their barbarity to themselves and to others using religion.

    Perhaps the most common reason for "honour killings" is jealousy, by men who discover that their wife has committed adultery or is having a relationship with another man. In these instances, rage, jealousy and revenge are the real motives for the crime.

    These "crimes of passion" are not limited to Muslims only. As an example, in the United States there are approximately 1,200 women killed every year by their husbands or intimate partners. This demonstrates that these crimes occur in every nation and in every society, regardless of religion, race or language. These crimes must be condemned and punished by every society, and especially by Muslim societies, as one of the main aims of Islamic law is the protection of the sanctity of life.

  • Who is Allah and is He different from God?

    admin08-07-2014

    The word "Allah" is an Arabic word that means "The God". It originally consisted of two words: "Al Ilah". The word "Al" in Arabic means "the". The word "Ilah" means God. Saying the combination of the two words "Al Ilah" is somewhat awkward, so with time the Arabs combined the two words and dropped the middle vowel "i", resuling in "Allah". Since Allah means "The God" and not simply "God", it actually incorporates the concept of monothiesm (belief in one God). Monothiesm is the central and most important message of Islam. Everything else comes secondary to that.

    Interestingly, the word Allah is not only used by Muslims. It is used by people of all religions who speak the Arabic language. Not all Arabs are Muslims. In fact, there are significant minorities of Arabs who are Christian (including Coptic, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and many others) and Jewish. Some of these minorities do not consider themselves ethnically Arab, while others do. Regardless of ethnic origin, they are citizens of the Arab countries they live in, and their first (and sometimes only) language is the Arabic language. These minorities refer to God as Allah. In fact, Bibles translated into Arabic refer to God as Allah. Even non-Arabs who have learned to speak Arabic would use the word Allah to refer to God.

    However, the word Allah does have some special attributes that differentiate it from the word God as used in the English language. The most important, as mentioned earlier, is that Allah translates into "The God" and not simply God. Allah refers to the one true God, the creator and sustainer of mankind, and of the heavens and earth and everything else in the universe. People have taken many false dieties as Gods through the centuries. Some people have taken fire as a God. Others have taken a specific human being as a God. Others may regard an animal as a God. Some people worship many different Gods. The wo