Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Uttering the intention out loud for salaat al-Taraaweeh and other prayers is bid’ah

During Ramadan we pray salat al-taraweeh, what is to be said in the beginning of the prayer. for example nawatu asalee lillah al atheem fe ta'at rubee al kareem rika'tein sinit........

Praise be to Allaah

Uttering the intention out loud when one is going to pray is bid’ah (an innovation), whether that is for Taraaweeh prayers or any other prayer.

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/201):

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up to pray, he would say: “Allaahu akbar,” and he did not say anything before that, or utter the intention (niyyah) out loud at all. He did not say, “I am going to pray such-and-such a prayer, facing the qiblah, four rak'ahs, as an imam or following an imam.” And he did not say “ada’an (on time)” or “qadaa’an (making up a missed prayer)” or “fard al-waqt (the obligatory prayer of this time).” These are all bid’ahs which were not narrated by any scholar with any isnaad, be it saheeh, da’eef, musnad or mursal … Neither was this narrated from any of the Prophet’s companions, and none of the Taabi’een or the four imams described it as mustahabb.

So the Muslim should have the intention of praying Taraaweeh in his heart only, and not utter anything out loud.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Uttering the intention out loud for salaat al-Taraaweeh and other prayers is bid’ah

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Scholarly Explanation of Some Signs of Lailatul-Qadr, by Shaikh 'Ubaid al-Jaabiree


[Can you] Explain some of the signs of Lailatul Qadr [the night of Decree]?


Answer: The signs which indicate Lailatul Qadr which have been mentioned by the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa Sallam), I can recall at this moment the following:

1. The first of them or number one is that Lailatul Qadr is a peaceful, tranquil quiet night. Within that night or the night of Lailatul Qadr you do not hear the barking of dogs, or the sound of the cockerel.

2. The second sign is that in Lailatul Qadr the people experience a pleasant breeze or a pleasant wind which they enjoy which they like.

3. Thirdly, in Lailatul Qadr there is rain. This is one of the signs of Lailatul Qadr that during the night of Lailatul Qadr the rain falls.

4. Fourthly, is that when the sun rises on the following morning the disc of the sun is seen without strong rays or is without any rays. The disc is a clear disc when it rises in the morning.

The shaikh said many of these signs the people notice them or they see them and if we notice these signs, then we should have glad tidings in the hope that we have coincided with Lailatul Qadr.

Shaykh 'Ubayd ibn 'Abdullaah al-Jaabiree

Scholarly Explanation of Some Signs of Lailatul-Qadr, by Shaikh 'Ubaid al-Jaabiree

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Verily, After Hardship Comes Relief

By: Fu'ad Lawal

“Fa innama al usri yusra”

The lump in his throat makes it difficult for him to recite any further. For days, weeks, months, this verse was the thin thread holding his faith together. It wasn't a sore throat, or cancer, or whatever. It was the lump holding back the tears that could flood his eyes any moment.

“Innama…” he continues, his jaws tightened, “al usri yusra,” he recites, just as a tear makes its way down the left side of his face.

He remembers the first time he learnt this verse. It was in this very mosque. The imām was giving a tafsir on the surah.

“Allāh tells us in what means… 'then, surely after hardship comes relief',” the imām had said as the noise of children playing at the back of the mosque threatened to drown his voice.

“Allāh goes on in the next verse to emphasize that SURELY!” the imām screamed as if trying to make the congregation understand the gravity of Allāh's emphasis. Maybe he was trying to intimidate the children into silence. If it was the latter, then he failed miserably.

“…after hardship comes relief,” he sighed, as if remembering that his seventy-something year old body was not as strong as it used to be.

That was a few years ago.

Today was different. The mosque was emptier, the children didn't play like they used. Even the imām who taught him these verses had chosen eternal ease over the present hardship. Not that he had much of a choice.

He stepped outside and looked at the few people who were strong enough to make it to the mosque. Everybody seemed to do everything gently and calmly as if their lives depended on it. Actually, their lives did depend on it.

All the beauty was gone. Even the golden sky didn't look as beautiful as it used to be. Maybe it was just as beautiful and he just chose to believe beauty was dead.

Sunset was a few minutes away.

He remembered something he had heard somewhere sometime ago.

One of the best moments for a believer is the time he breaks his fast.

He didn't remember where he had heard it or who had said it to him and didn't want to try to —that would cost him precious energy.

He tried to peek into the near future a few minutes away, just to see what it had to offer. It stared back at him —almost mockingly.

It's hopeless.

He knew there would be no iftar for him —just like there wasn't any the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that. Sahoor was better today since he had some water –it wasn't clean, but at least it was water.

“Allahu Akbar…Allahu Akbar.”

The melancholic rhythm to the voice of the mu'azzin sounded like it was the adhān for a janazah. Although, he knew from having attended some that there is no adhān to be made for janazah prayers.

He remembers the last janazah he attended. It was a child's.

They say his body had lost all hope of getting nourished. He had died in his mother's arms as she watched life slip away from her beloved —the hopelessness driving her to silence. It seemed like she had promised him not to speak till she joined him. If she did, then she kept her word for a week and a few days –twelve days exactly. He couldn't remember why he had not attended her janazah, neither did he try to.

He sees a man he knows well sitting in another part of the mosque compound. He had just discovered a date fruit he thought he never had.

Like a gift from one's self to one's self.

The man shares the dried date fruit with as many people possible, breaking it into the tiniest bit possible.

He gets a tiny piece of the date —the last piece. He looks at the man beside him who had lost all hope knowing the date couldn't be divided any further.

This is iftar but it's definitely not relief.

He hands the tiny bit to the man beside him who smiles. It was a forced smile, obviously.

Ya Allāh, I hope you understand.

Keeping the hopes of his stomach up was one risk he wasn't willing to take. He inhales deeply with his mouth as if hoping the air would morph into a morsel somehow.

Nope. it didn't.

He looks at the other people who hadn't got any of the date fruit and imagines them having a conversation almost similar to his in their heads.

He walks back into the mosque, hands clasped, as he rises from where he had made tayammum —in a corner of the compound where the dust seemed undisturbed.

As they form rows for prayer, he remembers the janazah again.

“Allahu Akbar,” he said with the congregation as he pushed the thought of off his mind and drowned himself in the recitation of the young imām leading the prayer.

“Assalamu alaykum warahmatullah,” he says with the congregation, to end the prayer just as they all return to their individual silent supplications.

A few minutes later, he hears a rumbling of engines in the distance and tries to ensure he isn't hallucinating. There are murmurs of people asking questions about the rumbling which would normally sound stupid, but doesn't at this point in time.

There is a sudden eruption of “Allahu Akbars” and “Alhamdulillahs” as the rumbling of the engines draw closer.


A tear rolls down his right cheek as he smiles and remembers the old imām.

“Innama al usri yusra”


He watches as ease draws closer —in the form of relief trucks.

Verily, After Hardship Comes Relief

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Not Praying the Sunnah Prayer Directly after the Obligatory Prayer

By Muhammad Nasir- Deen Al-Albaani (d.1420A.H)-Rahimullaah-

From Abdullaah bin Rabaha from a man who was from the Companions of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- that the Messenger of Allaah had prayed the Asr prayer, and this man stood up to pray. Umar saw him and said to him sit down, since indeed the people of the book were destroyed because they did not leave a gap after their prayer.

The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said to him:

أحسن ابن الخطاب

‘You have done well O Ibn Khattab!’

[Collected by Ahmad, its Isnad is Saheeh.]

Shaykh Albaani said: ‘This hadeeth is a clear text in that it is prohibited to hasten to pray the Sunnah prayer after the obligatory prayer without speaking or leaving the Masjid, like many of the non-Arabs do, and especially the Turks. Indeed we see them in the Haramain Sharafain (the holy Masjid in Makkah and the Prophet’s Masjid in Madina), the Imaam is about to give the Salam from the prayer, except that these people hasten, from over here and over there standing to pray the Sunnah!

[From: 'Silsilah Saheehah' No. 2549 6/105]

Not Praying the Sunnah Prayer Directly after the Obligatory Prayer

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Murji’ah and their corrupt understanding of Taghut

My beloved brother, the Salaf u Salih [pious predecessors] may Allah be pleased with them, had true knowledge about the Taghut and it’s types. And that’s why you didn’t see deviation from the Sirat al-Mustaqim [Straight Path] amongst them.

Indeed true deviation from the Sirat al-Mustaqim only occurs when there is ignorance about the reality of the Din [religion]. And that’s why, when the situation of the Umma changed, after the three blessed centuries, and innovation got stronger (spread), the ignorance about the Taghut emerged.

My brothers in Islam… The Mutakalimeen [philosophical theologians] of the Mu’tazillah, as-Sha’irah, the Matarudi’s and others, and also from among the Murji’ah, had the worst impact on the Islamic Umma In disturbing the serenity of ‘Aqeedah [Islamic creed and belief], in corrupting it’s nature, and in serious deviating it. Which has led to the ignorance about about the reason why Allah sent His Messengers, and revealed His Books; It is Tawheed [the Oneness of Allah] which stands on two powerful pillars:

Believing in Allah exclusively [without associating partners to Him]

Declaring disbelief in Taghut [anything worshipped, obeyed or followed besides Allah]

The traces left by the Mutakalimun [philosophical theologians] were bad, as they explained the meaning of ‘La illaha illa Allah’ as Tawheed ar-Rubbubiyah only.. So they said it means: That Allah is the Creator and that there is no one capable of creating/inventing besides Him.

So according to them, the one who believes this; that Allah is the Creator, and the Provider and the other Actions of the Almighty Lord, is the true Muwahid [monotheist] who perfected his Tawheed [Oneness of Allah]. So this is Tawheed according to them

And according to this saying/fundament, Abu Djahl and Abu Lahab would be considered to be Muwahideen! Because they didn’t deny the fact that Allah is the Creator and Provider. Allah says:

وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ

{And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: “Allah.”} [Quran 43:87]

Verily the Shirk [polytheism] of Abi Djahl and Abi Lahab was in [Tawheed] al-Uloohiyyah, that means directing all acts of Worship to Allah Ta’ala. It is then when the Ummah strayed/deviated; I mean: After those Mutakalimum [philosophical theologians] appeared, and spread in the width and length of the Lands of Islam.

So the Umma deviated in the understanding of “La illaha illa Allah”, and that led to the worship of graves! And those graves are from the Tawagith. It also led to directing many of all kind of worships to the fortune tellers, magicians, astrologers, saints, righteous people and others.. And [those people we call] a Taghut!

That also leads to leniency when it comes to seeking the Judgement with other then the Shari’ah of Allah Ta’ala. Because according to them this is more practical.

As for the Murji’ah: they are the people who had the biggest traces on the Muslims! They have corrupted the Believes and deeds of the Muslims and they’ve corrupted their morals and behaviour..

Al-Irjaa means: That Iman [believe, faith] is: confirming the Truth of what the messenger of Allah Sallalahu ‘Alayhi Wasalam came with, with the heart..

This means that Abu Taalib [uncle of the prophet] was a believer, because he believed that the messenger of Allah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasalam was on the Truth, and that he was Sincere. Despite that he refused following him and he refused obeying him. And the last words said at his deathbed: “He is on the Millah of Abdul-Muttalib [grandfather of the prophet].”

The same Abu Taalib said in a poetry belongs to him:

I knew the religion of Muhamad (pbuh) * was the best of all wild religions

وَلقَدْ عَلِمْتُ بِأَنَّ دِينَ مُحَمَّدٍ مِنْ خَيْرِ أَدْيَانِ الْبَرِيَّةِ دِينَاً

If it wasn’t for the Blames, Warnings and insults * You would have seen me convert to it

لَوْلاَ الْمَلاَمَةُ أَوْ حَذَارُ مَسَبَّةٍ لَوَجَدْتَنِي سَمْحاً بِذَاكَ مُبِينَاً

So he knew that the messenger of Allah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasalam was sincere! That was how the all the Kufar of Quraysh were: they knew that the messenger of Allah was sincere in what he said [the message he conveyed], but they refused and acted arrogant when it came to obeying him, so therefore they became Kufar.

Therefore the Murji’ah have made the deeds separate from Iman. So the one who believes in his heart is a Muslim according to them, even if he doesn’t confirm with his tongue, and even if he doesn’t act according to the teaching of Islam at all.

Therefore the Ruling with other than what Allah has revealed in most of the Muslim Lands, while the Ulama [scholars] of the Murji’ah were silence, [i.e didn't forbid the Munkar].

So according to them, that doesn’t affect the meaning of Iman. And, I swear by Allah, that is deviation from the Truth!! And deviation from the methodology of Ahlul Sunna Wa’l Jama’ah [i.e. the path of the messenger of Allah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasalam].

All this my beloved ones led to ignorance of the nullifiers of Islam, and ignorance of the rulings of apostasy among the Muslims, which led to the Ruling with “at-Taghut“, and the spread of worshipping “at-Taghut” in the Lands of the Muslims, while they thought that they were still on the fold of Islam, and doing good.

To read the full lecture in Arabic visit:

Murji’ah and their corrupt understanding of Taghut

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How Zakat Impacts Productivity

Deep down, you may think of zakat as a tiresome once-a-year event that simply involves a quick online payment of 2.5% of your cash and a bunch of gold weighed on scales in your kitchen! But there is a lot more to it. Fully understanding and practising this beautiful pillar of Islam can lead to a more productive and successful existence at both an individual and community level. How?

Paying your zakat correctly triggers some marvellous productivity boosters that you probably have never thought of! Here’s what actually happens to you and your life when you pay your zakat:

1. Purifies Your Soul

Nothing prevents us more from reaching the heights of productivity than our sins. Day and night, we disobey Allah (glorified and exalted be He) in all sorts of ways, knowingly and unknowingly, blotting our hearts and blocking the light of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) from entering them. One critical way of clearing out the junk from our hearts is to pay zakat.

Linguistically, zakat carries meanings of cleansing and purification, originating from the same root as the word Tazkiyah. In fact, when Allah (glorified and exalted be He) commanded the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to collect zakat, He (glorified and exalted be He) specifically mentioned its purifying power:

“Take from their wealth a charity to cleanse and purify them through it and pray for them. Indeed your prayer gives them tranquility. And indeed Allah is All Hearing, All Knowing.” [Qur'an: Chapter 9, Verse 103]

2. Blesses Your Wealth

Apart from purification, zakat also carries meanings of growth and enhancement. Paying your zakat means that what is left of your money will be more blessed and more productive for you. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) emphasised this by warning against delaying the payment of Zakat or not paying it at all:

“Zakat is never intermingled with any amount of wealth without destroying and rotting it.” [Bukhari]

It is said that zakat represents the ‘filth’ within our wealth, i.e. an amount that we may have incurred through some form of sin or dishonesty, however small or great. For our money to remain blessed, it is vital to get rid of the ‘filth’ as soon as possible. This is akin to the dross that is filtered from a blast furnace, leaving a pure, pristine metal behind.

3. Creates Opportunities for the Poor and Needy

Although paying Zakat online in the way we do nowadays is extremely efficient, it has also disconnected us from the benefits of what our zakat does for its recipients.

One doubtless benefit of zakat is to help the poor and needy become more productive. By freeing them of the immediate stress of meeting their very basic needs, distributing zakat effectively allows those in need to pursue opportunities to help them turn their lives around.

For example, in December 2012, the National Zakat Foundation was contacted by a Turkish Muslim man who had recently left prison, penniless and homeless. He didn’t even have a toothbrush! By providing him with short-term financial support for his food, clothing and shelter, the foundation helped him to become presentable and go out to look for a job. Alhamdulillah, within a fortnight of having contacted the foundation, he had found a job at a restaurant and was then able to look after himself.

4. Incurs the Mercy of Allah (glorified and exalted be He)

In a powerful verse in the Qur’an, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“…I afflict with my punishment whomsoever I choose, but My mercy encompasses everything. So I will prescribe it (i.e. My mercy) for those who are God conscious, pay Zakat and believe in Our signs.” [Qur'an: Chapter 7, Verse 156]

This verse is one of just two in Qur’an where zakat is not mentioned in conjunction with the obligatory prayer. Notice how Allah (glorified and exalted be He) mentions the fulfillment of zakat in such an amazing position: between the qualities of taqwa (God consciousness) and iman (belief) in His signs. At the same time, He (glorified and exalted be He) makes paying zakat a direct cause for incurring His mercy, without which being productive would be utterly impossible.

5. Brings Endless Rewards

Just after one of the most famous verses in the Qur’an, the verse of light, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) mentions a special group of people:

“Men who are not diverted by business or trade from the remembrance of Allah, establishing the prayer and paying zakat, fearing the day (of judgement) in which hearts and sights are turned upside down.” [Qur'an: Chapter 24, Verse 37]

Here Allah (glorified and exalted be He) extols the virtues of those who are busy, productive and successful in a worldly sense but at the same time do not allow themselves to forget the most important aspects of their faith: remembering their Lord, establishing the prayer and paying zakat.

Allah then promises them an amazing outcome:

“Allah will recompense them according to the best of what they have done and He will grant them increase out of His bounty. Allah provides for whomsoever He wills without measure.” [Qur'an: Chapter 24, Verse 38]

May Allah (glorified and exalted be He) make among those mentioned in the above verse! May He enable Muslims everywhere to understand and fulfill their obligation of zakat, thereby incurring His mercy and pleasure, Aameen.

Have you noticed the transforming power of paying zakat in your life? Share your experiences with us below!

About the Author:

Iqbal Nasim is the Director of the National Zakat Foundation (, an initiative dedicated to providing the British Muslim community with a complete Zakat service, encompassing awareness, education, collection and distribution of funds to eligible recipients within the UK. Iqbal holds an MA in Economics and Management from Cambridge University, where he served as President of the Islamic Society. Prior to joining NZF, Iqbal worked for over five years in the investment banking industry as an equity research analyst in the City of London.

Click to read more:

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How Zakat Impacts Productivity

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How abundant are the blessings of Allah

The intelligent person knows that his real life is the life he lives in happiness and tranquility, and that it is very short indeed. Therefore, he should not make it shorter by allowing grief and moaning over troubles to get the better of him, because that is the opposite of real living. He should be very covetous of his life, so that most of it does not become the loot of worries and troubles; and in this, there is no difference between both the good and the bad people. Except that the believer has a more complete and perfect realization of this fact, and makes better use of it for the good of both this world and the hereafter.

When something unpleasant happens to him, or he is afraid that it will happen to him, he should remember the other blessings of Allah on him in his religion and worldly life, and compare them with the unpleasant thing. If he does that, he will realize how abundant are the blessings of Allah on him, and how insignificant are the troubles that befell him.

[Transcribed from: Useful Ways Of Leading A Happy Life, Chapter 8 Pages 34|By: Shaykh Abdur-Rahman bin Nasir As-Sa'di (rahimahullaah)]

How abundant are the blessings of Allah

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A Briefing on Salaat At-Taraaweeh

All praise is for Allah alone and may prayers and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, his family and all of his companions.

“Know! May Allah give you and I success, Indeed from the things that the Prophet of guidance Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, may prayers and peace be upon him, has legislated for you in this blessed month is Salaat At-taraaweeh.

This salaat is a highly emphasized Sunnah and it was named At-taraaweeh because the people used to rest during this salaat between every four units of the prayer (i.e. between every four rakaat). The reason for this resting was because they used to stand in prayer for extended periods of time.

It is better to pray At-taraaweeh in congregation in the masjid, for indeed the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him led his companions in the At-taraaweh prayer for numerous nights, and then he didn’t lead them in this prayer fearing that it (i.e. Salaat At-taraaweeh) would be made obligatory upon the Muslims. This is mentioned in the Saheehayn (i.e. al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) on the authority of Aiesha, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him prayed at-taraaweeh in the masjid one night and led some of the people in the prayer. Then he came to pray the following night and many more people gathered to pray with him, may prayers and peace be upon him. Then the third or fourth night the people gathered for the prayer and the Messenger, may prayers and peace be upon him, didn’t come out to lead them in the prayer. The following morning he, may prayers and peace be upon him, said, ‘I saw what you did (i.e. gathering for the taraaweeh prayer every night) and nothing prevented me from coming to lead you in the prayer except that I feared that it would be made obligatory upon you’.

The companions of the Messenger prayed At-Taraaweeh after his death, may prayers and peace be upon him, and the Muslim nation has accepted the validity of this prayer. The Messenger, may prayers and peace be upon him, said, ‘Whoever stands with the imam until he departs, it will be written for him (i.e. the person who prayed behind the imam) that he stood the whole night in prayer’.[1] He also said, may prayers and peace be upon him, ‘Whoever stands in prayer during Ramadaan believing in Allah and hoping for hisreward from Allah, he will be forgiven for his previous sins’.[2] Therefore Salaat At-taraaweeh is a well established Sunnah, and it isn’t befitting for a Muslim to abandon this prayer.”

We ask Allah, The Most High, make us of those who rush to perform righteous deeds seeking His reward during this great month and outside of this month, and may prayers and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, his family and all of his companions.

[1] Recorded by Ibn Majah #1327. Graded saheeh by Sheikh Al-Albaanee.

[2] Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim

A Briefing on Salaat At-Taraaweeh

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Virtues of As-Siyaam (Fasting)

“Know my brothers that fasting is from the best acts of worship, and it is from the greatest acts of obedience, in which its virtues have been mentioned in the narrations. From the virtues of as-Siyaam:

Indeed Allah, The Lofty and Exalted, has made fasting an obligation on all of the nations. Allah, The Most High, said, ‘O you who believe! Fasting has been obligated for you, as it was obligated for those before you, that you may attain at-Taqwaa’(al-Baqarah: 183).

Fasting during the month of Ramadaan is a reason for sins to be forgiven. As is mentioned in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that verily the prophet, may prayers and peace be upon him, said,‘Whoever fasts during Ramadaan believing in Allah and hoping for his reward from Allah, he will be forgiven for his previous sins’. This means whoever fasts believing in Allah, The Most High, and he is pleased with the obligation of fasting seeking the reward from Allah, he doesn’t fast disliking the fact that it is an obligation upon him, or doubting that he will be rewarded for his fast; indeed Allah will forgive his previous sins. And as is reported in saheeh Muslim also on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the messenger of Allah said, ‘The five prayers and from Jumuah to Jumuah and from Ramadaan to Ramadaan, are expiations of sins committed between them as long as the major sins are avoided’.

Indeed a person’s as-Saum (i.e. fast) will intercede for him on the Day of Judgment. It has been reported on the authority of Abdullah bin Amroo, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger, may prayers and peace be upon him, said, ‘as-Siyaam and the Qur’aan will intercede for the servant on the day of judgment. As-Siyaam will say, ‘My Lord I prevented him (i.e. the servant) from food and his desires, so allow me to intercede for him. The Qur’aan will say, ‘My Lord, I prevented him from sleeping through the night, so allow me to intercede for him. He said (i.e. the Messenger of Allah), so they will be allowed to intercede.[1]

My brothers the virtues of fasting will not be attained until the individual observes the proper etiquettes of fasting. So work hard in perfecting you fast, and guarding your fast by staying within its boundaries, and repent to Allah, The Most High, for your shortcomings when seeking to do so.”[2]

We ask Allah, The Lofty and Exalted, to give us and you the success in perfecting our fast, and that he makes us of those who turn to him sincerely seeking forgiveness, and may the prayers and peace be upon Muhammad, his family, and all of his companions.

[1] Recorded by Ahmad and at-Tabaraanee

[2] Al-Uthaymeen, Muhammad bin Saaleh. Sittings in the Month of Ramadaan. Riyaad: Daar al-Thurayyah 1424H. / 2004 pgs. 13-17

The Virtues of As-Siyaam (Fasting)

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The Virtues of the Month of Ramadaan

“Indeed this (i.e. the month of Ramadaan) is a great opportunity in your lifetime. O’ fellow Muslim take advantage of the opportunity and ask Allah, The Lofty and Exalted, to aid you in performing righteous actions during the month of Ramadaan. Ask Allah, The Most High, to accept from you and to increase you in His favor. For indeed whoever reaches the month of Ramadaan, and Allah makes possible for that person to benefit from it, then Allah, The Most High, has bestowed a great blessing on that person that nothing can compare to.”[1]

“Indeed Allah, The Most High, has specified Ramadaan from other months with great virtues, and he has distinguished this month with many distinctive features. Allah, The Most High, said, ‘The Month of Ramadaan in which the Qur’aan was revealed as guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the Criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever from amongst you sights the month, he must observe As-Saum (by fasting)that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, (then he makes those fasting days up) the same number from other days’ (al-Baqarah-185). In this noble aayaah, Allah, The Most High, mentions two great distinguishing characteristics for the month of Ramadaan:

The first: The revelation of the Qur’aan took place in Ramadaan in order to guide mankind from the darkness to the light. This book (i.e. The Qur’aan) enlightens mankind as to what is truth and what is falsehood. Also contained in this book is that which will bring mankind goodness, success, and happiness

in this life and the hereafter.

The second: The obligation on the nation of Muhammad, may prayers and peace be upon him, to fast this month, due to the fact that Allah ordered(his slaves) with fasting when He said,‘So whoever from amongst you sights the month, he must observe As-Saum that month’(al-Baqarah-185).”[2]

We ask Allah, Ar-Raheem, to have mercy on us and allow us to live to see the month of Ramadaan, and to benefit from this great month with righteous actions, and may the prayers and peace be upon Muhammad, his family, and all of his companions.

[1] Al-Fawzaan, Saalih Fawzaan. Sittings in the Month of Ramadaan. Riyaad: Daar Al-Aasimah 1422H./2001 pg. 7

[2] Al-Fawzaan, Saalih Fawzaan. Sittings in the Month of Ramadaan. Riyaad: Daar Al-Aasimah 1422H./2001 pg. 135

The Virtues of the Month of Ramadaan

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For Those Who Seek Laylatul-Qadr

How to Seek Laylatul-Qadr

Laylat ul-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.

Praying Qiyaam

It is recommended to make a long Qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadeeths, such as the following:

Abu Dharr (radhiallaahu 'anhu) related: "We fasted with Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) in Ramadaan. He did not lead us (in qiyaam) at all until there were seven (nights of Ramadaan) left. Then he stood with us (that night - in prayer) until one third of the night had passed. He did not pray with us on the sixth. On the fifth night, he prayed with us until half of the night had passed. So we said, 'Allaah's Messenger! Wouldn't you pray with us the whole night?' He replied: 'Whoever stands in prayer with the imaam until he (the imaam) concludes the prayer, it is recorded for him that he prayed the whole night.'…" [Recorded by Ibn Abi Shaybah, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmithi (who authenticated it), an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and their isnad is authentic]

«صمنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فلم يصل بنا حتى بقي سبع من الشهر فقام بنا حتى ذهب ثلث الليل ثم لم يقم بنا في السادسة وقام بنا في الخامسة حتى ذهب شطر الليل فقلنا له يا رسول الله لو نفلتنا بقية ليلتنا هذه ؟ فقال إنه من قام مع الإمام حتى ينصرف كتب له قيام ليلة ...»

رواه اصحاب السنن الأربعة وابن شيبة

[Point of benefit: Abu Dawud mentioned: "I heard Ahmad being asked, 'Do you like for a man to pray with the people or by himself during Ramadan?' He replied, 'Pray with the people' I also heard him say, 'I would prefer for one to pray (qiyaam) with the imaam and to pray witr with him as well, for the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "When a man prays with the imaam until he concludes, it is recorded that he prayed the rest of that night." [Masaa`il]]

Abu Hurayrah (radhiallaahu 'anhu) narrated that the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylat ul-Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allaah's reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim; the addition "and it is facilitated for him" is recorded by Ahmad from the report of 'Ubaadah Bin as-Samit (radiallaahu 'anhu); it means that he is permitted to be among the sincere worshippers during that blessed night.]

«من قام ليلة القدر [ ثم وفقت له ] , إيمانا واحتسابا, غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه»

رواه البخاري ومسلم والإمام أحمد والزيادةله

Making Supplications

It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. 'A`ishah (radhiallaahu 'anha) reported that she asked Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), "Oh Messenger of Allaah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?" And he instructed her to say: Allaahumma Innaka 'afuwwun tuHibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee - O Allaah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me." [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmizi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albaanee, rahimahumullaah]

« قلت يا رسول الله أرأيت إن علمت أي ليلة ليلة القدر ما أقول فيها قال قولي اللهم إنك عفو كريم تحب العفو فاعف عني»

رواه أحمد، ابن ماجه، الترمذي وصححه الألباني

Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship

It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allaah. 'A`ishah (radhiallaahu 'anha) reported: “When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer), and wake up his family.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, rahimahumullaah]

«كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا دخل العشر شد مئزره ، وأحيا ليله ، وأيقظ أهله»

رواه البخاري ومسلم

And she said: "Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights." [Muslim]

«كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يجتهد في العشر الأواخر ، ما لا يجتهد في غيره»

رواه مسلم

The signs of Laylatul-Qadar, by Imam al-'Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)

Question: What are the signs of Laylatul-Qadar?

Response: "From amongst the signs of Laylatul-Qadar is that it is a calm night and the believer's heart is delighted and at peace with it, and he becomes active in doing good actions, and the sun on the following morning rises clearly without any rays."

- Fataawa Ramadhaan - Volume 2, Page 852, Fatwa No. 841; Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-Uthaymeen - Volume 1, Page 563

Subhanak Allaahuma wa bihamdika ash-hadu anlaa illaaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk

If I said anything correct, then it is from Allaah (subhanahu wa taa'ala), and if I erred, then that is from me and shaytan.

Author: Shaykh Muhammad Nasir-ud-Deen al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah)

Adapted from "The Night Prayers: Qiyam & Taraweeh from works by Muhammad Nasir ud-Deen al-Albaanee (and other scholars)"

For Those Who Seek Laylatul-Qadr

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Shaykh Saalih Aal al-Shaykh on The Ruling on Requesting the Prophet's Supplication After His Death

This is an answer given by the Shaykh to the issue of requesting the supplication of those who have passed away and entered the barzakh. The Shaykh was asked (during his explanation of Aqidah al-Tahaawiyyah), in the print version 2/1029 (Dar al-Mawaddah, Egypt):

من سأل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يدعو له وأن يطلب له المغفرة من الله بعد موته، هل هذا شرك؟

The one who asked the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to supplicate for him and to ask for his forgiveness from Allaah after his (the Prophet's) death, is this shirk?

The Shaykh's answer:

نعم، هو شرك أكبر لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يُدعى بعد موته، فطلب الدعاء من الميت، وطلب الدعاء بالإغاثة أو الاستسقاء؛ يعني أن يدعو الله أن يغيث، أو أن يدعو الله أن يغفر، أن يدعو الله أن يعطي ونحو ذلك، هذا كله داخل في لفظ الدعاء والله - عز وجل - قال {وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا} [الجن:18] ، والذي يقول إنّ هذه الصورة وهي طلب الدعاء تخرج عن الطلب الذي به يكون الشرك شركًا فإنه ينقض أصل التوحيد كله في هذا الباب، فكل أنواع الطلب؛ طلب الدعاء يعني طلب الدعاء من الميت، طلب المغفرة من الميت، أو طلب الدعاء من الميت أن يدعو الله أن يغفر، أو طلب الإغاثة من الميت أو طلب الإعانة أو نحو ذلك كلها باب واحد هي طلب، والطلب دعاء فداخلة في قوله تعالى {وَمَنْ يَدْعُ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ لَا بُرْهَانَ لَهُ بِهِ فَإِنَّمَا حِسَابُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْكَافِرُونَ} [المؤمنون:117] ، وفي قوله {وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا} ، وفي قوله {وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ مَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِنْ قِطْمِيرٍ} [فاطر:13] ، ونحو ذلك من الآيات، فالتفريق مضاد للدليل، ومن فهم من كلام بعض أئمتنا التفريق أو أن هذا طلب الدعاء من الميت أنه بدعة لا يعني أنه ليس بشرك بل هو بدعة شركية, يعني ما كان أهل الجاهلية يفعلونه، وإنما كانوا يتقربون ليدعوا لهم، لكن أن يُطْلَبَ من الميت الدعاء هذا بدعة ما كانت أصلًا موجودة لا عند الجاهليين ولا عند المسلمين فحدثت فهي بدعة ولاشك، ولكنها بدعة شركية كفرية وهي معنى الشفاعة، إيش معنى الشفاعة التي من طلبها من غير الله فقد أشرك؟ الشفاعة طلب الدعاء، طلب الدعاء من الميت هو الشفاعة.


Yes, it is major shirk because the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is not to be called upon after his death. Requesting supplication from the dead and requesting (their) supplication (for them to) request rescue and sending of rain, meaning, that he supplicates to Allaah that He grants relief or he supplicates to Allaah to forgive (the person making the request), that he supplicates to Allaah to give (to that person) and what is like this, all of it is enters into the word "du'a" (supplication) and Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic said, "And the mosques are for Allaah, so do not invoke anyone alongside Allaah" (72:18).

And the one who says that this form, which is to request the supplication (of the deceased) is excluded from that (type of) request through which shirk is actually shirk, then he has demolished the entire foundation of Tawheed in this particular topic.

For all types of request (talab), requesting supplication, meaning requesting supplication from the dead or requesting aid and what is like that, all of it is included within the same subject area, which is (making) request (talab), and requesting is supplicating (du'a), so it is included within His, the Most High's saying, "And whoever invokes besides Allah, any other ilah (god) of whom he has no proof then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, the disbelievers will not be successful." (23:117) and it is also included within His saying, "And the mosques are for Allaah, so do not invoke anyone alongside Allaah" (72:18) and into His saying "And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even the thin membrane over the dateýstone" (35:13) and other similar verses.

Hence, making this distinction clashes with the evidence and whoever understood from some of the speech of our Scholars (this) separation or that this requesting of supplication from the dead is a bid'ah (innovation), this does not mean it is not (at the same time) shirk, rather it is an innovated (form) of shirk, with the meaning that the people of Jaahiliyyah did not used to perform this (particular type of shirk). They used to seek nearness to (their deities) so they in turn would supplicate for them. However, that the dead are requested to supplicate, this is a bid'ah, it was not present originally, neither with the people of Jaahiliyyah and nor with the Muslims, then it occurred, and so it is an innovation no doubt (from this angle), however it is an innovation of shirk and kufr. And this is the (very) meaning of shafaa'ah (intercession), what is the meaning of intercession, that (intercession) which if a person seeks from other than Allaah he becomes a mushrik? intercession (means) to request supplication, requesting supplication from the dead, this is (the meaning) of intercession.

Shaykh Saalih Aal al-Shaykh on The Ruling on Requesting the Prophet's Supplication After His Death

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When a Man of the House commits a sin, has he ruled by other than what Allah revealed?

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa salam) said:

قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: كلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته

{“All of you are shepherds, and all of you are responsible over their flock..”}

In this we can understand that a father is responsible for his family and he will be asked about them. Due to this, the neo-Murji’ah of today use this misconception against us that if the man of the house rules with something other than what Allah reveals, and starts to judge according to his desires, it means that he becomes an disbeliever just like the ruler who judges with something other than what Allah has revealed.

He says, for example, that we say that the ruler has changed the rule of law and exchanged it with something else, and the man of a house wants to divide his inheritance according to his desires, shave his beard, or commit other sins. By this they have rules with something other than what Allah has revealed and changed his laws and exchanged them with something else, and thus according to our stance has become a disbeliever. We ask our respected scholars to give us a response firm rooted in the Quran and Sunnah.


In the Name of Allah. All praise is due to Allah, and may peace and blessings be on His Noble Prophet, and upon all his family and companions. To proceed:

Because these con-artists are unable to prove their stance with clear and evident proofs, they resort to this method of trying to distort concepts and play around with religious terminology. In this fallacious misconception, they have tried to generalize the concept of hukm (judgement, ruling), forcing it to include even a’maal (actions), so that there no longer remains any difference between judgement and actions! If we were to say this, it would mean that whoever committed any type of sin would become a disbeliever, because he has judged with other than what Allah has revealed. This is the exact ideology of the Khawaarij!

The Khawaarij, either due to their ignorance or their deviance, do not differentiate between the concepts of judgement and actions, and thus they declare anyone who commits sin as disbelievers, seeking evidence in the saying of Allah:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

{“Whoever does not judge and rule with what Allah has revealed, it is them who are the disbelievers.”} [al-Maidah 5:44]

As these people are like the Khawaarij in that that do not differentiate between the concepts of judgement and action, both of them have come to incorrect conclusions.

The conclusion drawn by the Khawaarij is that anyone who commits a sin is a disbeliever, because he has ruled with something other than what Allah has revealed, while the conclusion drawn by these others is that one who judges with other than what Allah has revealed is not a disbeliever, because he has committed a sin, and the creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah is that a person does not become a disbeliever by merely committing a sin! To clarify the misconception of the neo-Kharijites, we say that there is a difference between judging with other than what Allah has revealed and other sins about which there is no evidence to prove that it is disbelief. The first is considered disbelief which takes a person out of the fold of Islam due to the evidence found in this regard, while the second is not considered disbelief because there is no evidence to prove so.

Also, to be able to clearly differentiate between the concepts of judgement and action, we must exactly define what judgement is. Judgement is that one judges and rules between people by setting laws, and in matters of dispute and the affairs of the general masses by the rulers. Thus, the concept of judgement is limited to the actions of a judge, ruler which is enforced upon the general masses. The judgement mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah is only of this type, and this is been mentioned in over one hundred places in the Quran. The obligation of ruling with what Allah has revealed is addressed to the judge and the ruling Imam. It is not inclusive of the rest of the people. Thus, the ruling of the verse in Surah al-Maidah is not inclusive of them, because they are not being addressed in this obligation of judgement.

As for them seeking evidence in the hadeeth:

قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: كلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته

{“All of you are shepherds, and all of you are responsible over their flock..”}

It is nothing but more proof of their paying around with the textual evidence. Ibn-ul-Atheer said in explanation of this hadeeth: {“All of you are shepherds, and all of you are responsible over their flock. This means that they are entrusted guardians, and the flock are all those who fall under his guardianship.”} [An-Nihaayah fee Ghareeb Al-Aathaar, 2/581]

An-Nawawi said: {“The scholars have stated that the shepherd is the entrusted guardian who ensures the well-being of that which he has been tasked and those under his guardianship. It also means that he has been commanded with justice in regards to those under his guardianship and to do what is required to fulfill their best interests in this life and the next.”} [Sharh An-Nawawi alaa Muslim 12/213]

Ibn Battal said Al-Mulhib said: {“A slave entrusted with the wealth of his master. He is required protect what he has been entrusted like all other shepherds, and that he not do anything the majority of the time except by the permission of his master.”}. [Sharh Saheeh Al-Bukhari by Ibn Battal 6/531]. The meaning of the hadeeth, thus, is that all people, whether the Imam, a man, a woman or slave, are required with that which they have been entrusted. This is the reason they have been compared with shepherds, while each has their own specific responsibility and rulings.

Ibn Hajar said Al-Khattabi said: {“The Imam and other men have both been called this term, described as shepherds, but their meanings are different. The flock of the Imam is the religion, by establishing the Hudood and being just in his rulings. The flock of a man is his family, running of their affairs and fulfilling their rights. The flock of the woman is to look after the affairs of the house, her children, her servants, remaining loyal to her husband in all this. The flock of the servant is to protect what he has been entrusted with and to fulfill what he has been tasked with.”} [Fath-ul-Bari 13/113]

The specific role of the Imam is judgement amongst his flock, and the specific task of the man of the house is to take care of his family, and the specific role of the woman is to take care of the house. Thus, we do not call the man of the house a ruler or judge, just like we do not call the ruler or judge the man of the house. With this, it should be clear that all of them are similar that they have been called shepherds, but each is different according to their tasks. And Allah knows best.

And all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all that that exists.

Answered by Sheikh Abu al-Munthir as-Shinqitee.

When a Man of the House commits a sin, has he ruled by other than what Allah revealed?

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Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah on Those Requesting Supplication and Intercession From Inhabitants of Graves

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said in Majmoo al-Fataawaa (27/72):

وأما من يأتي إلى قبر نبي أو صالح ، أو من يعتقد فيه أنه قبر نبي أو رجل صالح وليس كذلك، ويسأله حاجته مثل أن يسأله أن يزيل مرضه، أو مرض دوابه ، أو يقضي دينه، أو ينتقم له من عدوه، أو يعافي نفسه وأهله ودوابه، ونحو ذلك مما لا يقدر عليه إلا الله عز وجل ، فهذا شرك صريح ، يجب أن يستتاب صاحبه فإن تاب وإلا قتل . وإن قال أنا أسأله لكونه أقرب إلى الله مني ليشفع لي في هذه الأمور، لأني أتوسل إلى الله به كما يتوسل إلى السلطان بخواصه وأعوانه ، فهذا من أفعال المشركين والنصارى ، فإنهم يزعمون أنهم يتخذون أحبارهم ورهبانهم شفعاء ، يستشفعون بهم في مطالبهم ، وكذلك أخبر الله عن المشركين أنهم قالوا : (مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلاَّ لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَى) الزمر : 3


As for the one who comes to a grave of a prophet, or a righteous person or to what he believes to be a grave of a prophet or righteous person when it is not like that, and asks his need from him such as asking him to end his illness or his beast's illness, or fulfil his debt, or take vengeance from his enemy, or to heal him, his family or his beast and what is like this, from those matters that none but Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic has power over, then this is clear shirk, it is obligatory for (the one falling into it), that his repentance to be sought (so either he repents) otherwise he is killed.

And if he says, "I ask him because he is closer to Allaah than me so that he intercedes for me in these matters, because I seek a means to Allaah through him, just as a means to the ruler is sought through his special counsel and helpers" then this is from the actions of the pagans and the Christians, for they claim that they take their priests and rabbis as interceders, who intercede for them in their requests, and thus did Allaah inform about the pagans that they said, "We do not worship them except that they bring us closer to Allaah" (39:3). And He, the Sublime, said, "Have they taken others as intercessors besides Allah? Say: "Even if they have power over nothing whatever and have no intelligence?" Say: "To Allah belongs all intercession. His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, then to Him you shall be brought back." (39:43-44)...

Requesting the dead to supplicate entails making them as intermediaries between Allaah and them, from whom intercession is sought - since asking for the supplication of another is the meaning of intercession, so when they go to the dead and ask them to supplicate for them, this is making them intermediaries and soliciting their intercession.

In the writings of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah when he speaks of matters that are major shirk, he often describes them with numerous terms, such as "innovations", "a means towards shirk", "not practiced by the Salaf" and so on - which has led some to claim that Ibn Taymiyyah does not hold asking the dead to supplicate to Allaah to be major shirk. In this article, Shaykh Saalih Aal al-Shaykh deals with the issue of Ibn Taymiyyah describing some of these actions as "bid'ah" and explains that this does not mean these acts described as "bid'ah" cannot be major shirk.

During his explanation of Kashf al-Shubuhaat, Shaykh Saalih Aal al-Shaykh was asked a question regarding some statements of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah):

ما رأيك فيمن ينسب لشيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية أن سؤال الميت أن يدعو الله لك ليس من الشرك الأكبر بل هو بدعة؟

What is your view regarding the one who ascribes to Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah that asking the dead to supplicate Allaah (for him) is not from the Major shirk but only an innovation?

The Shaykh answered:

هذا جاء في كلام شيخ الإسلام صحيح لكن البدعة يريد بها البدعة الحادثة؛ يعني التي حدثت في هذا الأمة، وليس مراده رحمه الله بالبدعة أنها البدعة التي ليست شركا لأن البدع التي حدثت في الأمة منها بدع كفرية شركية ومنها بدع دون ذلك فإذن قوله: وأما سؤال الميت أن يدعو الله للسائل فإنه بدعة. يعني هذا حدث في هذه الأمة حتى أهل الجاهلية ما يفعلون هذا، ما يقولون أدعو الله لنا، إنما يقولون اشفع لنا. فمسألة أن يطلب من الميت الدعاء هذه بدعة حدثت، حتى المشركين ليست عندهم، وأهل الجاهلية ليست عندهم بل حدثت في هذه الأمة، وإنما كان عند أهل الجاهلية الطلب بلفظ الشفاعة اشفع لنا، يأتون ويتقربون لأجل أن يشفع، يتعبدون لأجل أن يشفع أو يخاطبونه بالشفاعة ويقولون اشفع لنا بكذا وكذا، أما أدع الله لنا هذه بدعة حدثت في الأمة. فكلام شيخ الإسلام صحيح أنها بدعة محدثة، وكونها بدعة لا يعني أن لا تكون شركا أكبر، فبناء القباب على القبور وسؤال أصحابها والتوجه إليها على هذا النحو الذي تراه من مشاهد والحج إلى هذه المشاهد وجعل لها مناسك كلها بدعة، نقول بدعة حدثت في هذه الأمة، وهي يعني سؤال أصحاب هذه المشاهد والذبح لها وعلى هذا النحو الموجود لم يكن موجودا في الجاهلية على هذا النحو، وإنما كانت عبادتهم للأموات على شكل أصنام وأوثان والتجاء للقبور وأشباه ذلك؛ لكن ليس على هذا النحو، فلم يكن أهل الجاهلية يحجون كالحج إلى بيت الله الحرام يحجون إلى مشهد أو إلى قبر أو ما أشبه ذلك.نقول هذه بدعة؛ لكن هل يعني أن هذا ليس شركا أكبر؛ لا؟ لأن البدع منها ما هو مكفِّر

Correct, this (wording) has come in the speech of Shaykh al-Islaam, however, innovation (bid'ah), he intends by this the newly arising innovation, meaning that which occurred in this ummah [i.e. he intends to show that it is newly-arising affair in the ummah not known prior] and it is not his intent (rahimahullah) through the word "bid'ah" that it is the bid'ah that is not shirk, because the innovations that occurred in the Ummah, from them are innovations which are kufr and shirk and amongst them are those which are less than that. Hence, his saying, "As for asking the dead to supplicate to Allaah for the questioner, then it is a bid'ah" he means that this is a newly-arising affair in this ummah, until even the people of Jaahiliyyah did not used to do this. They would not say, "Call upon Allaah for us," they would say, "Intercede for us." Hence, the issue of asking the dead to supplicate, this is an innovation that arose, until even amongst the pagans, it was not something (found) with them. The people of Jaahiliyyah, it was not (found) with them, rather it arose in this ummah (as something new). With the people of Jaahiliyyah it used to be a request through the word of "shafaa'ah" (intercession), "intercede for us", they would come, seek nearness (to the deity) so that he intercedes (for them), they would give devotion so that he would intercede for them, or they would address him with the issue of intercession, "intercede for us with such and such and such and such."

As for "supplicate to Allaah for us", this is an innovation that occurred in the ummah. Hence, the saying of Shaykh al-Islaam is correct in that it is a newly-arising innovation, and that it is a bid'ah does not mean it is not major shirk. For building domes upon graves and asking their inhabitants and turning towards them upon this manner that you see in the various shrines (mashaahid) and making pilgrimage to these shrines and setting up rituals all of it is an innovation, we say it is an innovation that occurred in this ummah, and he means that asking the inhabitants of these shrines, sacrificing to them, upon this manner that is present, it was not present in Jaahiliyyah in this manner. Their worship of the dead represented by idols and statues and turning to their graves and what resembles that, but it was not upon this (innovated) way.

The people of Jaahiliyyah would not make pilgrimage to a shrine, or a grave or what resembles this just like Hajj (is made) to the Sacred House of Allaah, we say that this is an innovation. However, does this mean that it is not Major Shirk? No, because from the innovations are those which expel from Islaam.

Cassette: Sharh Kashf al-Shubuhaat.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah on Those Requesting Supplication and Intercession From Inhabitants of Graves

Shared from #Downsum


Al-Wala’ Wal-Bara’

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said,

“The heart will not find complete happiness except by loving Allah and by striving towards what is dear to Him. It is not possible to achieve this love except by rejecting all things that compete with it. This is what the words, ‘There is no god but Allah’, mean; this is the spirit of the Millah of Ibrahim “al-Khalil” (the friend of Allah), peace be upon him, and of that of every other Prophet, may Allah’s peace be upon them all.” (Kitab Majmu’ al-Fatawa, Vol. 28, p. 32 [Riyadh])

The Shaykh also said,

“The declaration of faith, ‘There is no god but Allah’, requires you to love only for the sake of Allah, to hate only for the sake of Allah, to ally yourself only for the sake of Allah, to declare enmity only for the sake of Allah; it requires you to love what Allah loves and to hate what Allah hates. It also requires you to ally yourself to the Muslims wherever you find them and to oppose the disbelievers even if they are your closest kin.” (Al-Ihtijaj bi’l-Qadar, p.62)

In the current modern age, we find the Muslims in a pit of darkness. The Muslims of today have adopted the ways of the enemy. They forbid the good and enjoin the forbidden. They imitate the disbelievers and choose them as their friends and trustees. They mock believers who oppose the ways of the disbelievers and hypocrites. They help to deviate people from the Path of Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). They have left jihad for the pleasures and pursuits of the material world. They have abandoned Shari’ah and adopted Jahiliyyah. These people have strayed from the Straight Path and they have turned away from al wala’ wal bara’, and as a result, have fallen into the trap of Shaytaan.

One of the aspects of iman is al wala’ wal bara’ - loving and hating for the sake of Allah Alone. It is one of the most important beliefs of Islam after Tawheed. Allah says in His Book:

Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliya (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return. [Qur'an 3:28]

The reason why al wala’ wal bara’ is so important in Islam is because, if it is taken into practice, it can remove all the characteristics of Jahiliyyah from the Muslim Ummah, it guarantees the preservation of the Ummah, and it distinguishes the believer from the disbeliever. When one loves and hates for Allah’s sake only, they are raised degrees higher than those who love, hate, and act based on their own desires or fake gods or for other meaningless things. Allah states in His Speech:

Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taghut (Satan, etc.). So fight you against the friends of Shaytaan (Satan); Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytaan (Satan). [Qur'an 4:76]

This verse is speaking of al wala’ wal bara’. Those who have iman and belief and act upon al wala’ wal bara’ fight for Allah’s cause and do battle with His enemies to preserve His Deen, while those who disbelieve fight for gods that do not even exist. Allah commands:

And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.) [Qur'an 2:193]

Only the people who love and hate for the sake of Allah will act upon this command. These are the people that understand the meaning of al wala’ wal bara’, which will be discussed below, In shaa Allah.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The strongest bond of faith is loyalty for the sake of Allah and opposition for His sake; love for the sake of Allah and enmity for His sake.”

But what does this love and enmity exactly mean? Loving for the sake of Allah means to love Allah and to show loyalty to Him by following His Shari’ah. It means to love all that is good and permissible in the Qur’an and Sunnah. This type of love requires one to defend Allah’s deen and to preserve it. It is to love those who are obedient to Allah and to defend and assist them. These are the party of Allah. Enmity for the sake of Allah signifies showing anger towards those who oppose Allah, His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), His deen, and the believers. It is to struggle and fight against them in order to uphold and spread the way of Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). There is a brilliant example of this in Ibrahim (alaihis-salaam), as narrated by Allah in the Qur’an:

Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah Alone” [Qur'an 60:4]

Al wala’ wal bara’ requires one to ally oneself with Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), and the believers wherever they are found against the disbelievers even if it is against their own relatives. We see this in the example of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), who fought against his own relatives and his own clan, all for the sake of Allah.

Al wala’ wal bara’ aims to purify the society and rid the people of all vices. For example, we are required to oppose the way of the disbelievers. One of their habits is wasting their time in pursuing their own material desires. A Muslim who does not act upon al wala’ wal bara’ will imitate this habit and therefore become neglectful of his duties to Allah. This will lead to a corrupt person, who will end up raising a corrupt family, which will corrupt the community in whole.

If we look at the situation today in Afghanistan, how many Muslims today are willing to leave their worldly pursuits and come to the aid of Islam and their Muslim brothers and sisters and fight for Allah’s cause against His and our enemies? How many of them will act upon al wala’ wal bara’, which is called for today? The religious situation of the Muslims of today is very pitiful and sad and the answer is that only a handful will run out to assist Allah and the faithful believers.

We call ourselves Muslims, but what exactly is a Muslim? We can not just expect that belief in Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is enough to be qualified for Jannah. Allah says:

Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near! [Qur'an 2:214]

If we believe that belief in Allah is enough, then there is no difference between us and the pagan Arabs of the pre-Islamic period, who claimed to believe in Allah and at the same time, worshipped hundreds of other gods. Al wala’ wal bara’ is what distinguishes a believer from a disbeliever. A believer allies himself with Allah only and with his final Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and with the believers. Allah says:

The believers, men and women, are Auliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. [Qur'an 9:71]

O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower. (Qur’an 5:54)

In order to be considered a believer, one must believe in Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as well as show and prove that belief by assisting them and allying oneself with them against the enemies of Islam. The plans of the disbelievers are clearly exposed in the Qur’an:

They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Auliya’ (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah (to Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Auliya’ (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them. [Qur'an 4:89]

We are warned to beware of the kaafireen, for, they say with their mouths what is not in their hearts (3:167). They secretly plot against the believers to get rid of them and their divine religion Islam. They attack the Muslims, and the people without the belief in al wala’ wal bara’ will support them against the believers and this is what we see in today’s situation.

If the believers join together as one brotherhood, sharing a mutual love and hate for the sake of Allah, Islam will come out on top regardless of how powerful their enemies may be. When the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and his companions (radiallahu anhum) fought their battles, their enemies were always more in number and had better armor, but the Muslims were victorious as in the Battle of Badr. They shared one cause: fighting for the sake of Allah. Today, we need Muslims to do the same for their brothers, but where are they?

Al wala’ wal bara’ is something which is lacking in the hearts and actions of Muslims worldwide. It is one of the more important aspects of Islam. It was because of this aspect that the companions and their Leader Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), together, conquered lands and hearts all over the globe by the will and grace of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Al Wala’ wal Bara’ in Islam

By: Shaykh Muhammad Saeed Al-Qahtani

Al-Wala’ Wal-Bara’ and the Declaration of Faith

Love is the source of wala’ and hate is the source of bara’; it is by this that both the heart and the hand are moved to act. Wala’ inspires intimacy, concern and help. Bara’ provokes obstruction, enmity and rejection. Wala’ and Bara’ are both related to the declaration of faith and constitute essential elements in it. The evidence of this from the Qur’an and the Sunnah is considerable.

As for the Qur’an, consider the following ayat: “Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoever does this has no connection with Allah unless you are guarding yourselves against them as a precaution. Allah bids you to beware (only) of Himself. And to Allah is the journeying.” [3:28] And He says: “Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind), If you love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your wrong actions. Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate. Say, Obey Allah and the Messenger. And If they turn away, then surely Allah does not love the disbelievers.” [3:31-32] Speaking of the aims of the enemies of Allah, He says: “They long for you to disbelieve even as they disbelieve, so that you may be the same (as them). so do not choose friends from among them until they go out in the way of Allah.” [4:89]

And also: “O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends of one another. And whoever of you takes them for friends is (one) of them. Surely Allah does not guide wrongdoing people.” [Qur'an 5:51]

And lastly: “O you who believe! Whoever of you becomes a rebel against his Deen, (know that in his place) Allah will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble towards the believers, harsh towards the disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah, and not fearing the blame of any blamer.” [Qur'an 5:54]

We will mention only a few of the many hadith and reports of the Companions on this subject. Imam Ahmad reports from Jarir ibn Abdullah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made him swear an oath to ‘offer counsel to every Muslim and to steer clear of every disbeliever.’ Ibn Shayba reports that the Prophet said, “The strongest bond of faith is love for the sake of Allah and enmity for His sake.” Ibn Abbas reports that the Prophet said, “The strongest bond of faith is loyalty for the sake of Allah and opposition for His sake, love for the sake of Allah and enmity for His sake.”

Ibn Abbas is also reported to have said, “Whoever loves for the sake of Allah, and hates for the sake of Allah, and whoever seals a friendship for His sake, or declares an enmity for His sake, will receive, because of this, the protection of Allah. No one may taste true faith except by this, even if his prayers and fasts are many. People have come to build their relationships around the concerns of the world, but it will not benefit them in any way.” Shaykh Sulaiman ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab explained the words of Ibn Abbas by saying that the meaning of ‘to seal a friendship for the sake of Allah’ indicates the obligation of establishing relationships of love and trust for His sake; this is friendship for the sake of Allah. It also indicates that simple affection is not enough here; indeed what is meant is a love based upon alliance. This entails assistance, honour, and respect. It means being with those whom you love both in word and deed.

As for ‘enmity for the sake of Allah’, it includes the obligation to declare enmity for His sake: opposition for the sake of Allah. it is to declare opposition in deed, to take up arms against His enemies, to shun them, and to stay far from them both in word and deed. This proves that simple opposition of the spirit is not enough, and that it must be a complete honouring of your commitment, for Allah says: “There is a good example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they told their people: ‘Surely we disassociate ourselves from you and all that you worship beside Allah. We have done with you. And there has arisen between us and you enmity and hate for ever until you believe in Allah only’.” [Qur'an 60:4]

All this leads us to conclude that loyalty for the sake of Allah really means to love Allah and to come to the assistance of His Deen; it is to love those who are obedient to Him and to come to their help. Opposition for the sake of Allah is to feel anger at the enemies of Allah and to struggle against them. Because of this Allah has called the first group the “party of Allah” and the second the “party of Satan”: “Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.” [2:257] And Allah says: “Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the friends of Satan. Surely Satan’s strategy is always weak.” [4:76] It is well known that Allah has never sent a Prophet on His mission without also raising up opponents against him. Allah says: “Thus have We appointed for every prophet an adversary – devils from mankind and the jinn who inspire in one another plausible words that are deceiving.” [6:112] It may be that opponents of Divine Unity possess some learning, a part of Revelation, and proof.

As Allah says: “And when their Messengers brought them clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty), they exulted in the knowledge which they (themselves) possessed. And that which they had become accustomed to mock befell them.” [Qur'an 40:83]

It is the obligation of every Muslim to learn from Allah’s Deen whatever may serve as a weapon for him in the struggle against the friends of Satan. In this he should have no fear and no misgivings, since the devil’s strategy is always weak. Allah says: “And surely that Our host would be the victors.” [37:173] To the host of Allah shall be the victory in discussion and in debate, as in war and strife. In this way an ordinary man from the party of the One God will overcome a thousand scholars of the disbelievers.

If the aim of the enemies of Islam – whether they are atheists or Jews, or Christians or modernists, or Zionists or Communists – is the emasculation of the Aqeedah of the Muslims, and the erosion of their unique character in order to make them ‘the ass of the chosen people’, (as it is put in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion), then the urgency of this issue should become clear to every Muslim. We should all take heed, for ourselves and for those who are with us, so that we may warn all the Muslims who are slipping away into the abyss of apostasy, warn them of the treacherous call of the disbelievers to what they call ‘brotherhood and equality’, warn them of the false claim that religion is for Allah but that nationhood is for the masses. We will return to this point in more detail later.

For the present, the evidence is clear from the Qur’an and the Sunnah that allegiance is demanded by the declaration of faith since this is an essential part of its meaning. As Ibn Taymiyyah has said, “The declaration of faith, there is no god but Allah, requires you to love only for the sake of Allah, to hate only for the sake of Allah, to ally yourself only for the sake of Allah, to declare enmity only for the sake of Allah; it requires you to love what Allah loves and to hate what Allah hates.” It also requires you to ally yourself to the Muslims wherever you find them and to oppose the disbelievers even if they are your closest kin.

The Declaration of Faith: On the Tongue and In the Heart

According to Ibn al-Qayim, belief in Divine Unity is not simply saying that Allah is the sole Creator and that He is Lord and Master of all things. This was what the pagans used to say, while at the same time worshipping many gods. Belief in Divine Unity does not only mean love of Allah, but also submission to Him, humility before Him, complete obedience to Him, and devotion to Him in all our words and deeds, in what we hold on to and in what we give, in our love and in our hate. It can never be confused with the urge to disobey, or to do as you please in misguided self interest.

Whoever takes this to heart will understand the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “Certainly Allah has forbidden the Fire from taking whoever says ‘There is no god but Allah’, and who says this for the pleasure of Allah.”; and in another hadith, “whoever says ‘there is no god but Allah, shall not enter the Fire.”

So what do these reports really mean? Many people have misunderstood them, going so far as to say that these statements were later abrogated, and that they were made before the completion of the Shari’ah, before we knew what we must and must not do. Others have said that the fire they refer to is the hell of the disbelievers, while others still interpret the actual entering of the fire to mean entering it for eternity; thus “..shall not enter the Fire (for eternity).” These are just a few of their baseless interpretations.

In fact, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not say that this would occur merely by pronouncing the declaration of faith; this would contradict our entire understanding of Islam. The hypocrites say these words with their tongues, but they are bound for the deepest pit of Hell, and will be punished even more severely than those who actively dispute the fact that there is no other god than He. What is being referred to is, of course, a matter of both the heart and the tongue.

While the heart must believe, it must also realise the truth: it must realise the meaning of the words of the declaration of faith, of what they deny and what they affirm; realise that there is no other divinity than Allah; and realise that the attribution of divinity to anything else is quite impossible. Thus its meaning must be taken to heart consciously and deliberately, with certainty and urgency. This is what protects you from the Fire.

This recalls the story of the man who had murdered a hundred men, and though faith arose in his heart he took no notice of it, pushing it out of his breast; but when he came to death’s door it again entered his heart and so he was one of those who entered Paradise. And also the account about the prostitute whose heart was moved by the sight of a dog dying of thirst by the side of a well, eating the dust in desperation. With no higher purpose or hope of reward, she filled her shoe to the brim and gave it to the dog. Though people usually beat it she took it by the paw and stilled it until it had drunk, knowing that it could neither reward her nor even thank her in any way. Her supreme act of love wiped out all her previous sins and this is how she was forgiven.

Imam Muslim reports a hadith in which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, says, “Whoever says, ‘There is no god but Allah’, and denies whatever he used to worship beside Allah, will find that his life and his property are protected, and his reward is with Allah.” Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab points out that this is the greatest proof we have of the real meaning of the declaration of faith, since neither life nor property are protected simply by pronouncing these words; indeed there is no significance at all in just saying them, nor in advocating them, nor in calling on Allah alone. Your life and your property are not protected until you actually deny whatever you used to worship beside Allah; and if you have any doubt or hesitation about that, then you are still outside Islam.

This should make clear the error of the Murji’a sect, who said that faith was equivalent to knowledge, and disbelief to ignorance, and who in this way severed deeds from belief. Everyone knows that the pagans of Makkah understood what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, meant by saying, “There is no god but Allah”. They understood it and they believed it, but they arrogantly refused to acknowledge it; so their faith in the One God, the Provider, the Bringer of Life and Death, did not benefit them at all. When the Prophet told them, “Say there is no god but Allah”, they said: “Does he make the gods One God? Surely that is an astounding thing.” [38:5]

The strange thing is that while the disbelievers know that the declaration of faith is more than just saying the words, some think that these reports mean that a simple utterance of the words ‘there is no god but Allah’, with none of their meaning entering the heart, is all that is required. But wiser people understand that it means that there is no creator other than Allah: no other provider, giver of life, bringer of death, and no other who holds all things in his hand. However, there is still no benefit to be gained by knowing what the declaration of faith means if you are without any belief. This throws new light on the meaning of those reports in which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, mentions the simple repetition of these words, such as, “I have been ordered to struggle against people until they say ‘There is no god but Allah’.”

Some people hope to imply by this that whoever recites the declaration of faith is not a disbeliever, and that we should not oppose him, regardless of whatever else he does. These people should recall that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, fought the Jews and cursed them even though they said, ‘There is no god but Allah’. Not only this, but also the Companions of the Prophet fought the Bani Hanifa who not only said, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”, but also prayed and claimed to be Muslims; this was the same for the people whom Ali ibn Abi Talib burned alive for saying that he was an incarnation of Allah.

However, when you ask these people about the case of someone who denies the rising of the dead, they say that he has disbelieved and that we should fight him, even he says, ‘there is no god but Allah’. They agree that whoever disputes any of the five pillars of Islam has disbelieved and should be opposed with the pen and the sword, even though he may pronounce the declaration of faith.

The contradiction here is that none of these denials involve the central tenet of Islam, which is the affirmation of Divine Unity, and yet these people are prepared to go to war over them; but when it is a matter of someone who denies the very essence of belief, the Diving Unity of God, then they provide him with an excuse for its denial, even though it is the very source and foundation of the Deen. So it becomes clear that these people are the enemies of Allah, and that they have not understood at all the meaning of what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has said: It is well known that when a man declares himself to be a Muslim we should act prudently towards him until he does something that clearly contradicts his claim. Allah says: “O you who believe! When you go out (to fight) in the way of Allah, be careful, and do not say to one who offers you peace: ‘Your are not a believer’, seeking the chance profits of this life (so that you may despoil him). With Allah are plenteous spoils. You too were like this once, and Allah gave you hope, so be careful; surely Allah is well aware of what you do.” [Qur'an 4:94]

This verse indicates the necessity of restraint until such time as you are sure about the situation, since Allah says: “be careful”. If it becomes clear that someone is at odds with Islam, then fight him. If this were not the case, then the command to verify the situation before fighting would meaningless.

Similarly the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said of the Kharijites, “Wherever you find them fight them, for were I to discover them I would destroy them utterly, as the people of Ad were destroyed.”

He said this even though they were meticulously observant in their dedication and in their worship, so much so that the companions, with whom they studied, felt humbled before them. Their declaration of faith, however, did not benefit them, and neither did the fullness of their worship, nor indeed their service to Islam, once they had abandoned the Shari’ah.

Any intelligent person knows that if this whole matter hinged upon a single word, a mere word, then it would have been a simple thing for the Quraish to say it. They would have said, ‘There is no god but Allah’, saving both themselves a lot of trouble and their gods from ridicule. But they knew that the declaration of faith also involved a commitment, and it was this commitment that threatened their power and status in the land.

The point here is that Islam is a force that liberates all people from the unjust slavery of one to another, and places mankind at the service of the One, the Victorious. The degree of their fear of Allah became the measure of their worth and excellence among people. Thus the habits and customs of the jahiliyyah, inherited from parents and grandparents, had no place. Every good-hearted, sincere Muslim must strive towards the full realisation of the declaration of faith, in order that each and every one of us may worship Allah with insight, knowledge, and certainty. This is the real challenge of Islam.

The Effects of the Declaration of Faith on the Heart

Abu A’la al-Mawdudi mentions in his book, Fundamentals of Islam, nine effects of the declaration of faith upon the heart.

First, as a believer you are not narrow-minded like those who believe in many gods or who dispute the existence of God altogether.

Second, as a believer you feel a sense of your own worth and dignity, since it is Allah alone who brings benefit and harm, and He alone who brings life and death. Wisdom, power and authority are His. Because of this the heart feels no fear of anything other than Him. No head bows to another, no one is humbled before anyone else. No one may fear another or be intimidated by human power or majesty, since Allah is the Majestic and the Omnipotent over all things. In contrast to this we see the subjugation of the disbelievers, the Christians and the Jews, and the pagans and the atheists, to one another.

Third, as a believer your sense of honour and self esteem are inspired by faith. The Muslim knows humility without humiliation, and pride without vainglory. Shaytaan can not affect his pride or inspire conceit in him since he is well aware that it is Allah Who has given him all that he has and Who is capable of stripping him of everything at any time. Yet you see the atheist bursting with pride whenever some worldly benefit comes his way.

Fourth, as a believer you have the knowledge and the certainty that it is only through purification of the self and the performance of good works that success may be had. As for the disbelievers they have only the false hope that the ‘son’ of God will wash away the sins of the world, or that since they are themselves the ‘sons’ of God and His high priests they will not be punished for their sins, or that they will benefit from the intervention of the noble and pious, or that their offerings and sacrifices to their gods will give them licence to do as they please. As for the atheist who supposes that his existence in this world is without purpose and unguided by any higher plan, his gods are his own passions and desires. To these things he has dedicated his life.

Fifth, the believer in this Aqeedah will not know hopelessness or despair, because he believes that Allah is Master of all that the heavens and earth contain. So his heart is reassured in peace and in hope. Even when weak in himself and defeated, when life closes in around him, he knows that those whom Allah takes into His protection will not be neglected or abandoned so long as they depend upon Allah and trust in Him. The disbelievers prefer to depend upon their own feeble resources, yet how quickly despair overtakes them, plunging them into desperation, and even driving them to suicide.

Sixth, belief in this Aqeedah develops in the individual great determination, fortitude, patience, confidence and trust, since you are engaged in the greatest of enterprise, the quest for the pleasure of Allah. Indeed you feel that what supports you is the power of He Who possesses the heavens and the earth. In this way the strength and determination of the believer, with his resolute will inspired by this confidence, becomes like a mountain that no human force may move. Could there ever be such a strength and confidence as this to inspire a person’s disbelief?

Seventh, the believer derives both strength and support from the declaration of faith, since it puts you out of reach of the two things that can undermine your strength, love of the world and fear of it. Love of the world is to place love of yourself, your spouse or your money before love of Allah. Fear of the world is fear of an unknown force, not under the power of God, waiting to destroy you. The believer knows that there is no god but Allah, and so neither of these things can gain any power over the heart, because it is reassured by the fact that Allah is the Sole Possessor of both life and property. Once you dedicate yourself to the pleasure of your Lord regardless of the cost, you suddenly realise that no one can deprive you of your life, neither man nor beast: the gun, the sword and the stone do not kill; it is God alone Who brings death.

There is no stronger determination than that of someone who believes in Allah. No man can intimidate him and no army frighten him, neither flashing swords nor bullets falling like rain. Whenever a believer presents himself for battle in the path of Allah, his strength is multiplied tenfold. So where does this leave the Christians and the Jews, the disbelievers and the atheists.

Eighth, by believing in the declaration of faith you can take command over your own life, take pride in yourself, in your confidence and determination, and in this way purify your heart from the influence of avarice, jealousy, cowardice, spite, and all other vices.

Ninth, and by far the most important of these effects on the heart, is the knowledge that the declaration of faith guides you to understand the law of Allah, and helps you to keep carefully to it. Thus you are awakened to the fact that Allah is totally aware of every thing, and that He is nearer to you than your jugular vein; and although you may be able to escape from most kinds of danger, there is no escaping from Allah. The degree to which faith pervades the human mind determines in turn the extent of the believer’s obedience to the laws of Allah, his keeping to Allah’s limits and not coming near to what Allah has forbidden, and his hastening to do good works and to fulfill Allah’s commands.

The declaration of faith is the first of the five essential pillars of Islam. It is also the most important of these when it comes to ascertaining the extent of a person’s faith. The Muslim is the obedient servant who keeps near to Allah. We can not do this until we believe from the depths of our hearts that there is no god but Allah. The declaration of faith is the source of Islam and the basis of its strength. Regardless of the details of our belief or the different shades of legal opinion, everything ultimately rests upon this one statement: the power of Islam relies upon nothing else. If this should ever be lost, then nothing at all would be left of our Deen. Ibn Rajab, when commenting on the declaration of faith, quotes Sufyian ibn Uyaynah: “Allah did not bestow upon His servants a greater blessing than the knowledge that there is no god but Allah. For the people of Paradise these words are the same as fresh water is to a people who live on the parched Earth. By it the scales of Heaven and Hell are set. Because of it the Messengers were sent into battle. Whoever declares it to be so, his wealth and his life are protected, but whoever denies it shall find himself destroyed. It is the key to paradise, and the single call of all the Messengers.”

Al-Wala’ Wal-Bara’

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