Friday, August 30, 2013

What Does “May Allah Have Mercy Upon You” Really Mean?

Shaykh `Abdullāh al-Bukhārī, may Allah preserve him, said:(1)

If Allah truly has Mercy upon you, He will open way for you, guide you, and grant you success; and this is what the seeker of the Hereafter hopes for.

Hence, al-Imām ash-Shāfi`ī, may Allah have mercy upon him, stated: “No good can be attained except through Allah’s Aid. If Allah bestows His mercy upon you, He shall aid you. If He aids you, He shall guide you and grant you success.”

This is the meaning of tawfīq (success).

Tawfīq is as Ibn al-Qayyim has defined it: “It is that Allah directs you to obedience and aids you in conforming to it.”

Thus, success is that you are guided to obedience and aided in implementing it.

And al-khidhlān(2) is that Allah entrusts you to yourself, we ask Allah for safety and security.

Translated by Umm Sufyaan Faatimah


(2) TN: Allah abandoning an individual…

What Does “May Allah Have Mercy Upon You” Really Mean?

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The Return to a State of Darkness

Imam al-Aajurree, rahimahullaah, said:

“Consider – may Allah have mercy upon you – a path thwarted with great dangers, yet people need to traverse it, even in the darkness of the night. If there were no light upon this path the people would be terrified. However, Allah gave to them a guiding light with which they were able to traverse this path in peace and safety.

Then came groups of people who also needed to traverse this path, so they traversed it. However, during this time the guiding light became extinguished and the people returned to a state of darkness.

So what would your opinion be about their condition? This is the example of the scholars and the people. Most people do not know how to fulfill their obligatory duties, nor how to avoid forbidden matters, nor how to worship Allah correctly; all of this they learn from the scholars.

So with the death of the scholars, mankind returns to a state of anxiety and terror, the teaching of knowledge dies, whilst ignorance prevails; what an enormous calamity this is for the Muslims. Indeed to Allah we belong and to Him will we all return.”

The Return to a State of Darkness

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Knowledge: The Superiority of the Scholar Over the Worshipper

Katheer ibn Qays rahimahullaah reported:

“I was sitting in the company of Abu Darda (radiallaahu anhu) in the mosque of Damascus when a man came, and said:

‘Abu Darda, I have come to you from the City of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam); I have not come for any need (but to ascertain a hadeeth) for I have been told that you narrated it from Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).’

Abu Darda said I heard Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“He who treads a path in search of knowledge Allah will direct him to tread a path from the paths of Paradise, and the angels would accord welcome to the seekers of knowledge and all that is found in the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the water seek forgiveness for the scholar, and the superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like that of the full moon at night over the rest of the stars. And verily the scholars are the heirs (inheritors) of the Prophets who leave behind neither dinar nor dirham. They only leave knowledge as their heritage: so whoever acquires it has acquired a huge fortune.”

Reported by Imam Ahmad, Imam Abu Dawud and Imam Ibn Majah (graded authentic).

To what extent is Islam concerned with knowledge?

Allah created man and provided him with the tools for acquiring knowledge, namely hearing, sight and wisdom. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And Allah 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)” [al-Nahl 16:78]

Islam is the religion of knowledge. The first ayah of the Qur’an to be revealed enjoined reading which is the key to knowledge. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).

He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).

Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.

Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.

He has taught man that which he knew not”

[al-‘Alaq 96:1-5]

In Islam, knowledge comes before action; there can be no action without knowledge, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So know (O Muhammad) that Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women” [Muhammad 47:19]

Allah warns every Muslim against speaking without knowledge, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And follow not (O man, i.e., say not, or do not, or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allah)” [al-Israa’ 17:36]

Emphasizing the status of knowledge and the scholars, Allah calls upon the scholars to bear witness to His Oneness, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allah bears witness that Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He always) maintains His creation in justice. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All‑Mighty, the All-Wise” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:18]

Knowledge and fear of Allah may be attained by knowing His signs and creation. The knowledgeable are those who know that, hence Allah praises them by saying (interpretation of the meaning):

“It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah” [Faatir 35:28]

The scholars occupy a noble status in Islam, and which is higher than the position of others in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge” [al-Mujaadilah 58:11]

Because of the importance of knowledge, Allah commanded His Messenger to seek more of it. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge’” [Ta-Ha 20:114]

Allah praises the scholars, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: ‘Are those who know equal to those who know not?’ It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses)” [al-Zumar 39:9]

Those who have knowledge are the quickest of people to understand the truth and believe in it:

“And that those who have been given knowledge may know that it (this Qur’an) is the truth from your Lord, so that they may believe therein, and their hearts may submit to it with humility” [al-Hajj 22:54 – interpretation of the meaning]

Islam calls us to seek knowledge. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, and he explained that the superiority of the one who has knowledge over the one who merely worships is like the superiority of the moon over every other heavenly body. He said that the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets and that the Prophets did not leave behind dinars and dirhams (i.e., money), rather their inheritance was knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share. And he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that seeking knowledge is a way to Paradise. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allah will make a path to Paradise easy for him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, Kitaab al-‘Ilm, 10)

Islam calls us to learn all kinds of beneficial knowledge. Branches of knowledge vary in status, the highest of which is knowledge of shari’ah, then knowledge of medicine, then the other fields of knowledge.

The best of all branches of knowledge are the sciences of shari’ah through which man comes to know his Lord, and his [His?} Prophet and religion. This is the knowledge with which Allah honoured His Messenger; He taught it to him so that he might teach it to mankind:

“Indeed, Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur’an), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur’an) and Al‑Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet (i.e. his legal ways, statements and acts of worship)], while before that they had been in manifest error” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:164 – interpretation of the meaning]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah wishes good for a person, He makes him understand the religion.” (Agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhari, 69)

Concerning the matter of paying attention to the Qur’an and learning and teaching it, the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhari, 4639)

There is no goodness in knowledge which is not confirmed by action, or words which are not confirmed by deeds:

“O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do” [al-Saff :2-3]

The Ummah needs knowledgeable people at all times and in all places. A nation without knowledge and scholars will live in illusions and sink in darkness. If a person knows what Allah has prescribed….. Whoever conceals this knowledge and deprives the Ummah of it, Allah will place on him a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection, and he will deserve to be cursed, except for the one who repents. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.

Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful”

[al-Baqarah 2:159-160]

Knowledge brings a great reward. The one who points the way to something good is like the one who does it. When the knowledgeable person dies, his reward with Allah does not cease when he dies, rather it continues to increase so long as people benefit from his knowledge. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When a man dies, all his deeds come to an end except for three – an ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge or a righteous son who will pray for him.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1631)

If the scholar spreads his knowledge among the people, he will have a reward like that of those who follow him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever calls people to right guidance will have a reward like that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in the slightest, and whoever calls people to misguidance will have a burden of sin like that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their burden in the slightest.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2674)

Proper understanding of Islam is one of the best of good characteristics with which a Muslim may be honoured, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah wishes good for a person, He makes him understand the religion.” (Agreed upon).

Reading Qur’an, learning it and teaching it, are among the best deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There should be no envy (hasad) except between two people, a man to whom Allah has given (knowledge of?) the Qur’an, so he recites it night and day, and a man to whom Allah has given wealth, so he spends it (in good deeds) night and day.” (narrated by Muslim, 815)

From Usool al-Deen al-Islami by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Tuwayjri

Knowledge: The Superiority of the Scholar Over the Worshipper

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Ten Points Concerning the Salafi Manhaj

1. We worship Allah by way of Tawheed. So we do not supplicate to anyone besides Allah nor do we seek refuge in anyone besides Him in matters of bringing about good or repelling some harm. We perform worship by having hatred and enmity for the polytheists. However, we are obligated to call them to Tawheed first and clarify to them that there is no Islam without Tawheed and that whoever calls unto other than Allah has committed disbelief. So whoever persists after that, then at that point we are obligated to distance ourselves from him and hate him for the sake of Allah.

2. The Creed of the Salaf is established upon the principle that “Allah is described with what He has described himself with in His Book and upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), without resorting to tahreef, tamtheel, tashbeeh, tateel or taweel.” [1]

3. We affirm for Allah the best of Names, which He has affirmed for Himself and which He has praised Himself with, whether they are mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah.

4. We believe that there is no path towards achieving Allah’s contentment, or a way towards Paradise, except through the Way of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). And whoever seeks a way towards gaining Allah’s contentment through other than the Way of Allah’s Messenger, then he has gone astray and been blinded from the truth. And he has lost in this world and the next.

5. We believe that the Legislation of Allah is what has been brought down through the two revelations: The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). This is what our Lord has indicated in his saying: “Then we placed you on a Shari’ah (Legislated System) based on Our Command, so follow it, and do not follow the desires of those who have no knowledge.” [Surah Al-Jaathiyah: 18]

6. We believe that the Quran is the Speech of Allah, which was revealed and not created, and that the Sunnah is what explains and clarifies it. The Quran is interpreted by the Sunnah and by the interpretations of the Sahabah (Companions) and those who followed them in goodness. So the interpretation of the Quran is by way of the narration, meaning by way of the Sahabah, the Tabi’in and the Ahadeeth concerning it. And the books that contain these interpretations are the ones we are obligated to acquire and read, such as the Tafseer of Ibn Jareer, the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer, the Tafseer of Al-Baghawee, the Tafseer “Ad-Durr Al-Manthoor” of As-Suyootee and so on.

7. We are obligated to take the Sunnah according to the way of the Muhadditheen – in terms of their authenticity or weakness. So we take what is found to be authentic and leave off what is weak.

8. We worship Allah by obeying the rulers, as long as they are Muslims who seek judgement through Allah’s Legislation and who establish the prescribed punishments, and as long as they establish the prayer. Obeying them is an obligation even if they commit oppression. And whoever says something contrary to this and makes it permissible to revolt against the Muslim leader, even if he may be oppressive, then he is an innovator and a deviant. And it is obligatory on the Muslim scholars to refute this statement of his and to expose his deviance.

9. We hold that it is not permissible to spread the faults of the leaders, because doing this influences and brings about trials and afflictions (fitan), and causes them to spread.

10. We are obligated to worship Allah through the Sunnah, by following it and by loathing innovations and the innovators. This is based on the Prophets saying: “Whoever does a deed, which is not in accordance to our affair (i.e. the Sunnah) is rejected.” And in another narration: “Whoever introduces into our affair (Sunnah) that which is not part of it is rejected.”

This is a summary and some brief words on the Creed of the Salaf, which we are obligated to accept and follow if we truly want salvation and the truth. And we must renounce those opinions of men, which cannot be traced back to any source of evidence, since men are known by way of the truth and the truth is not known by way of men. Lastly, we must beg and implore Allah to show us the truth as true and enable us to follow it, and to show us the falsehood as false and enable us to avoid it. Indeed Allah is Responsible for that and Able to make it happen. And may the peace and blessings of Allah be on Muhammad – the best, most dutiful, most pious and purest of creation – and on his family and his Companions.


[1] Translators Note: These are forbidden acts committed against Allah’s Names and Attributes. Tahreef means to change or distort the wording of Allah’s name or attribute. Tamtheel and tashbeeh means to give a like resemblance to a name or an attribute. Tateel means total denial of a name or an attribute. Taweel means to misinterpret a name or an attribute, thus changing its meaning.

By Shaikh Ahmad bin Yahyaa An-Najmee - Source Al-Fataawaa al-Jaliyyah anil-Manaahij Ad-Dawiyyah (pg. 56-57)

Ten Points Concerning the Salafi Manhaj

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The Transformation of Those who Intermingle with the People of Desires

Abdul-Hameed al-Jazaa’iree, may Allah bless him, wrote:

The great imams of the Salaf sternly warned, with great emphasis, about sitting with the people of desires and intermingling with them. However, some people don’t listen to these directives, and they don’t consent to these advices.

Rather, he thinks he is from the ranks of the firmly grounded, those whose feet are planted in knowledge! So, he feels safe about himself [in going around them], deceived by what he possess from knowledge.

Thus, he sits with the people of desires, listens attentively to their speech, and [begins to] use their doubts as proof. Then, he begins to make excuses for them by way of far-fetched and futile interpretations [of their falsehood]. Furthermore, he defends them and aids them; and after some time goes past, he begins to sound like them and speak with their principles

The Transformation of Those who Intermingle with the People of Desires

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Advice For Brothers Regarding Intimacy

“Women also have desires, emotional and physical. It is not immoral of her to ask for intimacy, it is only her innate nature.”

Introduction: Realize that women also have sexual desires. Although their main desire is emotional, they also have that sexual urge. Don’t ignore this as it could cause her harm. She is not immoral if she asks you for intimacy. Nor is she immoral if its continuous, it just means she has a strong urge for it, and this is the way she is. One of the purposes of marriage is to save ourselves from fitnah. And if you are not responding to her call, then this could cause her major problems. Indeed it could be that by you continuously refusing her call, not only would you damage her, but you could cause her to think of doing the haraam. So, due to the “boil up” of desire within her, she could start to think about haraam acts. If she has this huge build up of desire which has no halaal avenue, then, when a good looking guy walks past her on the streets or elsewhere, she may start to think of haraam things. And indeed the Shaytaan will use her sexual frustration and exploit it in any possible way. O husbands, realise that by you continuously refusing her call, you could damage her chastity. How sad that she dies of thirst while water was available to her! Just because the Angels do not curse you for not responding to her call to bed, it does not mean you can take the matter lightly. If you want her to respond to your call, then lead by example and respond to her call.

Also, If you expect her to give up what she is doing and come to you for intimacy, then know that her mind will not be on the act, and her sole intention is just to quickly get the act over and done with and then rush back to her chores, which will now take even longer due to her having to do ghusl. And this may cause stress to her, and you! So instead of this downhill slope which has many negative knock-on effects, take into consideration that she may be busy or not in the mood for intimacy.

I will give advice about intimacy in three phases; before intimacy, during intimacy and after intimacy.

Before Intimacy: Know that it is from good manners to dress up for your wife. Ibn Abbaas said: “I love to beautify myself for the wife in the same way that I love for her to beautify herself for me because Allaah said, ‘And they have rights similar to those over them according to what is reasonable.’ [2:228].” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

It is a shame how some brothers desire their wives to be in perfect shape and to always look good yet show no concern to their wife’s physical desires. If your wife sees that you are taking care to look after yourself and look appealing to her, then this will naturally make her do the same. Is it logical that you wish your wife to be slim and in shape while you are out of shape and unhealthy?

And is it logical that you wish for your wife to have the “ideal” body shape that you like while you ignore her request (hints) of muscular shoulders and muscular thighs? Realize that women too need to be turned on by your body. You may be fit and have a strong endurance, but you might have a marathon runner’s figure as appose to the sprinter that she adores.

You desire to be intimate with your wife and expect her to always be ready for you, yet you are never in good looking shape for her? No woman would like to be intimate with a man who has his hair unkempt, whose breath smells like fish, and who she never gets to see wearing decent, gentlemen’s clothes in the house besides his sluggish and lazy looking pyjama pant or izzar. Why is it that when you go out for work, or for an interview or even to spend time with the brothers, you dress well, apply attar and do what you can to look good, yet when you’re at home with your wife, you take none of this into consideration?! Dress up for your wife and make her be attracted to you both emotionally and physically. If you wish for your wife to be toned and in perfect shape then know that she also likes the same from you. Its a shame how some men cannot see the logic in this. Women also have sexual desires, and at times it could be stronger than one thinks. Dress well for her, comb your hair, and be physically attractive for her as you would expect her to be for you.

Dress like a gentleman, wear the clothes she would like to see you to wear (ask for her opinion when you shop), comb your hair the way she likes it, keep your beard tidy, shave you hair in unwanted areas regularly, brush your teeth often and keep your breath fresh throughout the day especially when you plan on approaching her, be a charmer! No woman likes to be intimate with a man who has not made the effort to look good, especially with so much unwanted hair in areas which should be kept clean. How can you expect your wife to enjoy it when it is in an ugly/unhygienic state?

During Intimacy: During intimacy she may like a specific way or a specific approach. Take this into consideration. Allow her to investigate and explore other methods, and don’t force your way upon her all the time. If she asks for intimacy, allow her to approach you and enjoy you in the manner she likes. Even if her way is not as enjoyable to you, do not speak against it showing your dislike for it. Leave her be and let her enjoy it the way she likes. Let her be in the zone and allow her to enjoy it the way she likes. When she is enjoying it, rest assured you will be having a good time!

Intimacy is not just about you fulfilling your desire, it’s also about her.

Also, don’t force anything upon her which she is not comfortable with. She is a fragile vessel, so treat her with kindness and softness even in these delicate areas/topics. Men translate intimacy as sexual pleasure and women translate it as an emotional connection and sexual pleasure.

Do not shy away from reading about intimacy and ways to arouse her, there are plenty of books on the shelves that do not include haraam pictures. You can always ask your wife to scan through and get one for you. Of course, you would have to read and filter the information according to the Qur’an and Sunnah and not try out anything that is prohibited. Or even better, ask her! Ask her how she likes it and what approach she enjoys the most. Ask her what she enjoys and what arouses her, and use such charming methods when approaching her.

And lastly, don’t pounce on her like a bull. Find out ways to create that romantic atmosphere. Don’t just pounce on her and fulfil your desire in an impatient way without first arousing her desire. Send the messenger, and the messenger is a kiss. Get her excited for it as well before you do the specific act. One way this is done by being romantic with her. A gentle stroke, sweet words, a kiss, a soft cuddle, gently rubbing your nose against hers while holding her in your arms, or even brushing her hair to one side to give her a soft kiss on her neck. Use techniques to arouse her desires and get her in the mood. Remember that women are emotional beings, so arouse her desire by sweet and affectionate words. By getting her in the mood for intimacy, she will enjoy it much more but if you just pounce on her, this may break her.

After Intimacy: After intimacy, don’t leave straight away once you have finished (especially if she initiated the act), allow her to finish and fully let out her lust and desires. It would be great if you could hold it a little longer as women usually take more time to finish off. Just as you would not like her to leave you during the act, don’t leave her. Just because you have ejaculated and finished that does not mean she has finished. It is important that you practice holding it in at least until you know she is about to reach climax. There are a few methods which one can use, like concentrating on things unrelated to intimacy, such techniques help in preventing a quick ejaculation. Know that women also have sexual desires, and some women have a stronger sexual desire than others. She is not an object of desire who you go to just to fulfil your desires and whom you leave once you are done. She is a woman with feelings and desires just like you, so do not make her feel like a bowl you go to empty yourself in. It is important that you allow her to finish and be fully satisfied before leaving.

Gentleness Not Cruelty: Many men make the mistake of being cruel with their wives on the first night. Just because it is not forbidden to be intimate on the first night, it does not mean you force yourself upon her. Anger generates within her and she could have some hatred for you due to this forced act.

Yes, there may be some who would enjoy it and desire it on the first night, but I am referring to those who force their wives to be intimate and do not use a soft approach during the act. If she is not comfortable with it, leave it until she is. In the mean time, try to arouse her with sweet words, hinting with the eyes, or a cheeky smile and by making her feel desired. Sooner or later, she will be ready.

Never force her to do anything she does not wish to, as this may cause her to have some hatred towards you. Forcing a woman to be intimate with you can cause her much emotional damage. There will be times when she is not in the mood for intimacy, whether this be due to her health, being heavily pregnant, not in the mood or busy schedule. Although she has to respond to your call even when busy, realise that you forcing her is never good.

Another cruel act some men do is beating their wives during the day and having intimacy with them during the night. Even if some men may not do this, they do something very similar which is having intimacy with her while being angry with her, or just after an heated argument. Indeed having intimacy with her during such scenarios is similar to forcing her, as she may be scared to say no, and a woman being intimate with someone who she fears is a scary thing for any woman.

The best of you are those who are best to their wives, so fear Allaah as to how you treat her. Intimacy is a very sensitive area so be gentle with her and never force yourself on her nor cause her pain during the act. This pain could be emotional as well as physical. And no descriptions or details are needed to explain what a man does which causes her physical pain, its obvious. So be gentle with her. The most evil of characteristics is when a man combines between both; causing her emotional pain (forcing himself on her, especially during times of anger or after a heated debate) and causing her physical pain (not being gently while doing the act).

Although she is your wife, remember that she is someone’s daughter and someone’s sister. She grew up in a house and has now moved far from her parents love to live with you in a strange house. Be soft with her. And for the third time, never make her do something she does not wish to!

Advice For Brothers Regarding Intimacy

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The Wisdom In Washing the Specified Body Parts During Wudu’

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said:

“As for His obligating the washing of limbs from which gas is not passed, and not obligating the washing of the organ from which it is passed (during wudu’) – then, how much is this in accordance with wisdom, and how compliant is it with the fitrah! So, if it is asked: ‘Why is wudu’ performed for these limbs, which are apparent, and not for the hidden buttocks, considering that the buttocks are more deserving of the wudu’ than the face, hands, and feet?’

This is a backwards question from a backwards heart, as from the virtues of the Shari’ah is that wudu’ is for the outer, apparent limbs, and that the one most deserving of it is the leader of these limbs in contemplating and acting, and that is the face, whose cleanliness and brightness is a sign of the cleanliness of the heart. After it come the hands, and they are the instruments of of grasping, giving, and taking. Therefore, they are the most deserving organs after the face of being clean and pure. And since the crown of the head is the focal point of emotion, and the most elevated and honored of organs, it is most deserving of being clean. However, if washing it was legislated during wudu’, this would be a cause of great hardship and trial. So, it was legislated to simply wipe over it, and this was a light and merciful substitute for washing it, just as wiping over footwear took the place of washing the feet.

Someone might ask: and how does wiping over the head and feet bring about any washing or cleanliness?

Such a questioner does not realize that touching a limb with water – in fulfillment of the Command of Allah, obedience to Him, and worship of Him – affects it’s cleanliness and purity in a way that would not occur by washing it with water and soap without this intention. This is all referred back to one’s sound taste and straight nature, just as rubbing your face with dirt (during tayammum) – in fulfillment of the Command of Allah, obedience to Him, and worship of Him – increases it in purity, cleanliness, and gracefulness that is obvious to any onlooker.

And since the feet are what usually touch the ground, and are in contact with filth that the rest of the limbs do not come into contact with, they are most deserving of being washed, and the one who limits himself to wiping over them without a valid excuse has not been granted understanding of Allah and His Messenger.

So, these are the logical and material reasons for specifying these limbs in exclusion to all other limbs for wudu’. As for the spiritual perspective, these limbs are the instruments by which the servant carries out what he wants to do, and by them, Allah – the Exalted – is disobeyed and obeyed. So, the hand is used to grab, and the foot is used to walk, and the eye is used to look, and the ear is used to listen, and the tongue is used to speak. So, in washing these limbs – in fulfillment of the Command of Allah, and establishing the worship of Him – we are removing the muck and filth of disobedience and sin.

And the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) indicated what is close to this meaning, as in the authentic hadith reported by Muslim in his ‘Sahih’ (# 832), on the authority of ‘Amr bin ‘Abasah, that he said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me about wudu’!” So, he said: “There is none amongst you who begins the wudu’, and washes his mouth and nose, except that the sins committed by his face, mouth, and nostrils are washed out. Then, when he washes his face as Commanded by Allah, the sins of his face are washed out with the water from the sides of his beard. Then, when he washes his hands up to elbows, the sins of his hands are washed out through his fingers with the water. Then, when he passes his wet hands over his head, the sins of the head are washed out through the ends of his hair with the water. Then, when he washes his feet up to the ankles, the sins of his feet are washed out through his toes with the water. Then, if he stands up for prayer and praises Allah, glorifies Him, proclaims His Greatness as He deserves, and devotes his heart wholly to Allah, he emerges free from sin, just as the day he was born.”

…and what can be derived from this is that the purpose of rinsing the mouth is just like the purpose of washing the face and hands, and that the need of the tongue and lips to be washed is just like that of the remaining organs and limbs. So, there is none with a more backwards heart, corrupted fitrah, and invalid logic than the one who says that the buttocks are more deserving of being washed than these limbs…? This is in addition to the fact that washing these limbs with the intention of worshipping Allah leads to the widening and strengthening of the heart, joy of the soul, and energy of the limbs, and this is why these limbs have been designated out of all the other limbs, in that they are to be washed in exclusion to the others, and Allah is the source of success.”

['I'lam al-Muwaqqi'in'; 2/58-60]

The Wisdom In Washing the Specified Body Parts During Wudu’

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His imam said three takbeers in the funeral prayer, and forgot the fourth; should he follow him?

Some people offered the funeral prayer, and the imam said three takbeers, but did not say the fourth because he forgot. What is the ruling on his prayer?

Praise be to Allah.

In the answer to question no. 159418 we stated that the number of takbeers in the funeral prayer is four, all of which are pillars or essential parts of the prayer.

Based on that, if the imam says only three takbeers by mistake, he should not be followed, and it is essential to alert him to that. If he then says the fourth takbeer, his prayer is valid, but if he does not do that, then the people praying behind him have to complete the fourth takbeer, then say the salaam.

Al-Bahooti (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If a worshipper omits one of the four takbeers deliberately, his prayer becomes invalid, because he has omitted an obligatory part deliberately; hence it becomes invalid, as in the case of all other prayers. If he omitted it by mistake, he should say it; this is similar to the case if he says the salaam in an obligatory prayer before completing it by mistake – he should (correct his mistake) if it is soon afterwards, and his prayer is still valid.

End quote from Daqaa’iq Ooli an-Nuha, 1/362

Al-Bukhaari narrated, in the chapter on saying takbeer in the funeral prayer: Humayd said: Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) led us in offering the (funeral) prayer, and he said takbeer three times, then he said the salaam. It was pointed out to him, so he turned to face the qiblah, then he said the fourth takbeer, then he said the salaam.

Al-Haafiz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq narrated from Ma‘mar, from Qataadah, from Anas, that he said takbeer three times in the funeral prayer, then he ended it by mistake. They said: O Abu Hamzah, you only said takbeer three times. He said: Get back into your rows. So they did so, and he said the fourth takbeer.

End quote from Fath al-Baari, 3/202

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: If the imam says the takbeer three times (in the funeral prayer) then says the salaam, what should the one who is praying behind him do? He replied: He has to alert him to that.

Question: What if he is not alerted to it?

Shaykh: If he is not alerted to it, then the one who is praying behind him should say the takbeer, and thus the communal obligation will have been fulfilled.

End quote from ash-Sharh al-Kaafi.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

His imam said three takbeers in the funeral prayer, and forgot the fourth; should he follow him?

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Will the repentance of one who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) be accepted?

Will the repentance of one who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) be accepted? And is it better to admit it to the qaadi (judge)?

With regard to the Muslim who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in secret and conceals that: if he repents before he is executed, will Allah accept his repentance so that he becomes a Muslim, because he had become a kaafir? Or does he have to announce what he did so that he will be executed before Allah will accept his return to Islam?

Praise be to Allah.


Testifying that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah is one of the pillars of Islam. The Muslims are commanded to venerate and love their Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and he is deserving of that, because of the lofty status he has before Allah, and because of the favours he has done to this ummah, for he was the cause of their being brought out of their state of ignorance and he was the cause of their attaining all that is good. How could any Muslim have the audacity, in spite of that, to impugn the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)?

Hence the scholars are unanimously agreed that the one who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is a kaafir and apostate who has gone beyond the pale of Islam.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Impugning Allah or impugning His Messenger is kufr both inwardly and outwardly, regardless of whether the one who does that believes that it is haraam or he thinks that it is permissible for him, or he was not thinking of the ruling when he did that. This is the view of the fuqaha’ and all of Ahl as-Sunnah who say that faith is comprised of both words and deeds.

As-Saarim al-Maslool, 1/513

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (40/61):

The Holy Qur’an tells us that it is a grave sin to disparage the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or belittle him, and the one who does that is cursed. That is in the verses in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger (SAW) Allah has cursed them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment”

[al-Ahzaab 33:57]

“If you ask them (about this), they declare: We were only talking idly and joking. Say: Was it at Allah and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger (SAW) 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 Mujrimoon (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.)”

[at-Tawbah 9:65-66].

The fuqaha’ are of the view that the one who does any of these things is to be regarded as a kaafir. End quote.

It also says (22/184):

The ruling on the one who impugns him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is that he is an apostate, and there is no difference of scholarly opinion concerning that. End quote.

If the one who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is an apostate, then the punishment prescribed for him in sharee‘ah is execution; there is no difference of scholarly opinion concerning that.

Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The majority of scholars are agreed that the one who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is to be executed. End quote.

See: Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 8/82

Al-Khattaabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

I do not know of any of the Muslims who differed concerning the obligation of executing him. End quote.

Ma‘aalim as-Sunan, 3/295


If the one who impugned the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) repents and regrets what he did, and he comes back to Islam, that repentance will benefit him in his relationship with Allah. So before Allah he will be a believing Muslim. But with regard to his execution, the obligation of executing him will not be waived. So he will be killed as a Muslim, and he should be washed, the funeral prayer should be offered for him, he may be inherited from and he should be buried in the Muslim graveyard. As for the apostate who did not come back to Islam, he is to be executed as a kaafir.

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

Will the repentance of one who impugned Allah, may He be exalted and glorified, or who reviled the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) be accepted?

He replied:

There is a difference of scholarly opinion concerning that, and there are two opinions:


The first opinion is that repentance will not be accepted from the one who impugned Allah or His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). This is the well-known view of the Hanbalis. Rather he is to be executed as a kaafir, and the funeral prayer is not to be offered for him and supplication is not to be offered for mercy for him, and he is to be buried in a place far away from the Muslim graves.


The second opinion is that the repentance of one who had reviled Allah or His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) will be accepted if it is known that he has sincerely repented to Allah, and he admits that he made a mistake and speaks of Allah, may He be exalted, in a way that reflects the veneration He deserves. This is because of the general meaning of the evidence that indicates that repentance is accepted, such as the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins” [al-Zumar 39:53]. There are some of the kuffaar who impugn Allah, yet despite that their repentance is accepted. This is the correct view. The repentance of one who impugned the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is accepted, but he must be executed. This is unlike the one who impugns Allah; his repentance is accepted but he is not to be executed, because Allah has told us that He forgives transgressions against His rights if the person repents, and that He forgives all sins. As for the one who impugns the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), there are two matters to be taken into consideration:

(a) The first is a shar‘i matter, because he is the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). From this angle, he repentance will be accepted if he repents.

(b) The second is a personal matter. From this nagle, repentance will not be accepted, because it has to do with the right of a human being, and it is not known whether he would forgive it. On that basis he is to be executed, but if he is executed, we should wash him, shroud him, offer the funeral prayer for him and bury him with the Muslims.

This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, who wrote a book on that entitled as-Saarim al-Maslool fi Tahattum Qatli Saabb ar-Rasool. That is because he has transgressed against the rights of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). By the same token, if he were to slander the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), he is to be executed and not flogged.

If it is asked: Has it not been proven that some of the people impugned the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) during his lifetime and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) accepted their repentance?

The answer is: This is true, but that was during his lifetime (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and he waived what was due to him. But after his death, no one has the right to waive what is due to him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). So we must do what is required if he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is impugned, which is to execute the one who impugns him and to believe that the repentance of the one who does that is accepted with regard to the relationship between that person and Allah, may He be exalted.

If it is asked: If it was possible that he (the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) would let him off if that happened during his lifetime, doesn’t that dictate that we should refrain from passing judgement on him?

My response is: That does not dictate that we should refrain, because evil has occurred by his impugning him, and it is not known whether the effect of that impugning will be removed; the basic principle is that it remains.

If it is asked: Wasn’t it usually the case that the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) let off those who impugned him?

My response is: Yes indeed, and perhaps letting them off during the lifetime of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was done to serve a purpose, which was to soften people’s hearts towards Islam, as he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) knew the identities of the hypocrites but he did not execute them, “lest people say that Muhammad kills his companions.” But nowadays if we know that a specific individual is one of the hypocrites, we should execute him. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Refraining from killing a known hypocrite was only done during the lifetime of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). End quote.

Majmoo‘ Fataawa ash-Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen, 2/150-152

But… So long as the matter has not reached the qaadi (judge), what is prescribed is for the Muslim to conceal himself (his sins) and not go to the judge to confess his crime; rather he should strive hard to repent and seek forgiveness, and do a lot of good deeds, so that Allah will forgive him. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, I am indeed Forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them, (till his death)”

[Ta-Ha 20:82]

“Then, verily! Your Lord for those who do evil (commit sins and are disobedient to Allah) in ignorance and afterward repent and do righteous deeds, verily, your Lord thereafter, (to such) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[an-Nahl 16:119].

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Will the repentance of one who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) be accepted?

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The Signs of the Hour

The Noble Quran and Prophetic narrations contain many references to the Hour (Day of Judgement) and both the major and minor signs which foretell its coming. Herein is a brief summary of the signs of the Day of Judgement. There are many books, articles, cassettes, etc., which discuss these in greater detail. These Signs are roughly listed in a chronological order, although this order is not necessarily precise, especially for those to happen in the future.

May Almighty Allaah enable us to recognize and heed these Signs, and strengthen us in the times of tribulation. Allaah Says (what means) "Are they waiting for anything except the Hour, to come to them suddenly? But its Signs have already come!" [Quran 47:18]

Past Sings:

· The splitting of the Moon.

· The prophethood of Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ).

· The death of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ).

· A form of death, which will kill thousands of Muslims. (Understood to refer to the plague of Amwas during the caliphate of 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab may Allaah be pleased with him.

· A major fighting in Madeenah (understood to refer to the battle of Al-Harrah during the caliphate of Yazeed may Allaah have mercy upon him 63 AH).

· A great fire in the Hijaz (in Saudi Arabia), seen by the inhabitants of Busra (in Syria). This took place in 654 H (Hegira)

· The Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 1187 AD.

· The Muslim conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

· Two large groups of Muslims fighting in war.

· A war between the Muslims and a reddish people with small eyes, wearing sandals made of hair (understood to refer to the Mongol Tatar invasion of the Islamic lands).

· A peace agreement between the Muslims and non-Muslims from the yellow race (Chinese, Mongols, etc.)

· Thirty impostors will appear, each one claiming to be a prophet.

Present signs:

· Naked, destitute, barefoot shepherds will compete in building high buildings.

· The slave-woman will give birth to her master or mistress (this refers to children disrespecting their mothers).

· A tribulation which will enter every Arab household (this may refer to TVs, satellite dishes and the internet-when misused).

· Knowledge will be taken away (by the death of scholars), and ignorance will prevail.

· Wine (intoxicants, alcohol) will be drunk in great quantities.

· Illegal sexual intercourse will become widespread.

· Earthquakes will increase.

· Time will pass more quickly.

· Tribulations will prevail.

· Bloodshed will increase.

· A man will pass by the grave of another and wish he was in the latter's place.

· Trustworthiness will be lost, i.e. when authority is given to those who do not deserve it.

· People will gather for prayer, but will be unable to find an Imaam (leader) to lead them in prayer.

Future Signs:

The following are signs that did not take place yet, but the listing below does not reflect the sequence in which they will take place.

· The number of men will decrease, whilst the number of women will increase, until each 50 women will be looked after by one man. (According to a narration in the book of Imaam Al-Bukhaari may Allaah have mercy upon him)

· The Euphrates will reveal a treasure of gold, and many will die fighting over it, each one hoping to be the one who gains the treasure.

· The Romans (Europeans) will come to a place called A'maq or Wabiq, and an army of the best people will go forth from Madeenah to face them.

· The Muslim conquest of Rome.

· The Mahdi (guided one) will appear, and be the leader of the Muslims. 'Eesaa (Jesus) may Allaah exalt his mention will descend in Damascus, and pray behind the Mahdi.

· Jesus will break the cross and kill the swine, i.e. destroy the false Christianity.

· The Antichrist will appear, with all his tools of deception, and be an immense trial. He will be followed by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan (present-day Iran).

· The appearance of Gog and Magog, and the associated tribulations.

· The emergence of the Beast who will speak to the people, telling them they did not believe with certainty in the Divine Signs. This sign is among the major signs, and the scholars say that it will occur in the day where the sun will rise from the west.

· A major war between the Muslims led by the Leader Al-Mahdi, and the Jews plus other non-Muslims led by the Antichrist.

· Jesus will kill the Antichrist at the gate of Ludd (Lod in present-day Israel, site of an airport and a major Israeli military base).

· A time of great peace and serenity during and after the remaining lifetime of Jesus.

· Wealth will come so abundant that it will become difficult to find someone to be eligible for alms (Zakaah).

· The Arabian Peninsula will become a land of gardens and rivers.

· Society will then decay.

· The buttocks of the women of the tribe of Daws will again sway in circumambulating (Tawaaf) around the idol Thul-Khulasah.

· Three major armies will sink into the earth: one in the east, one in the west, one in Arabia.

· An Abyssinian leader with thin shins will destroy the Ka'bah (Sacred House in Makkah).

· The huge cloud of smoke.

· The sun will rise from the west (its place of setting).

· A gentle wind, which will take the souls of the believers.

· There is no one left on the earth saying, "Allaah, Allaah" or "There is no god except Allaah."

· Eventually the Day of Judgment is established upon the worst of the people, who copulate in public like donkeys.

· The blowing in the Trumpet by the Angel Israafeel upon which everyone will die.

· The second blowing in the Trumpet, upon which everyone will be resurrected.

The Signs of the Hour

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Do Not Attach Your Heart to Other than Allah by Ibn Taymiyyah

Imam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah said:

“Anyone whose heart is attached to the creation, hoping for someone from the creation to help him or provide for him or guide him, then his heart submits to them and to the degree that his heart submits to them, he becomes their slave. This holds true, even if he is outwardly a ruler or guardian over those whom he treats as masters. The wise one looks at realities and not at appearances. So if a man’s heart is attached to his wife, even though that is permissible, his heart remains a prisoner to her and she may rule over him as she pleases – though outwardly he is her master and her husband. In reality, he is her prisoner and her slave, especially if she knows how much he is in need of her and how much he is in love with her and how much he feels she cannot be replaced by anyone else. At that point, she rules over him as the tyrant master rules over his subjugated slave, who cannot escape of go free. Indeed for the heart to be taken as a prisoner is a much greater matter than for the body to be taken as a slave or prisoner. Even a body that is a slave can have in it a serene and peaceful and happy heart. As for the heart that is a slave to other than Allah (the Exalted), then that is true humiliation, imprisonment and slavery.”

Do Not Attach Your Heart to Other than Allah by Ibn Taymiyyah

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The story of Saba’

All perfect praise is due to Allaah; I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger; may Allaah exalt his mention as well as his family and all his companions.

Allaah Says (what means): “There was for [the tribe of] Saba’ in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told]: 'Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [you have], and a forgiving Lord.' But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam [i.e. the overwhelming flood that caused a break in their dam], and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with gardens of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees. [By] that We repaid them because they disbelieved. And do We [thus] repay except the ungrateful?And We placed between them and the cities which We had blessed [In the lands of what is now southern Syria and Palestine] [many] visible cities. And We determined between them the [distances of] journey [i.e., We placed the intermediate settlements at calculated distances for the convenience of travellers.], [saying]: 'Travel between them by night or by day in safety.' But [insolently] they said: 'Our Lord! Lengthen the distance between our journeys,' and wronged themselves, so We made them narrations [i.e., their story became a tale related amongst people to take an example from] and dispersed them in total dispersion. Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful. And Satan had already confirmed through them [i.e. the people of Saba’] his assumption [i.e., that mankind could readily be misled by him.], so they followed him, except for a party of believers. And he had over them no authority except [it was decreed] that We might make evident who believes in the Hereafter from who is thereof in doubt. And your Lord, over all things, is Guardian.” [Quran 34: 15-21]

The people of Saba’ were the kings of Yemen and Balqees, the wife of Sulaymaan may Allaah exalt his mention was from them. The people of Saba’ lived happy and joyful lives that were full of blessings; their sustenance was abundant and their trees and plants very fruitful. Allaah sent messengers to them, instructing them to eat from what He had provided for them and show gratitude towards Him, as well as to worship Him alone and believe in His oneness. They adhered to these instructions for a while, but then shunned His commandments, and were thus punished by a flood on their land.

Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him narrated that a man came to the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )and asked him whether Saba’ was a name of a man, a woman or a land; the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) answered by saying: “It is the name of a man who had ten children from his progeny, all of whom were Arab; six of them later lived in Yemen and four in Shaam (i.e., ancient Syria). The ones in Yemen were later known as the tribes of Mathhij, Kindah, Al-Azd, Al-Ashaa’iriyyoon, Anmaar and Himyar. As for the ones who lived in Shaam, they were to be the known tribes of Lakhm, Juthaam, ‘Aamilah and Ghassaan.”[Ahmad]

Imaam Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy upon him said: “The meaning of the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ): “…who had ten children from his progeny, all of whom were Arab”is that these ten descended from his offspring, to whom all the Arab tribes originate. It does not mean that they were his direct children, because between him and some of them were two or three generations, and more in some cases. After the flood of the dam hit their area, some remained in their land, while others left to other locations.” End of quote.

The sign that Allaah gave to them refers to their land, which was blessed with fields of gardens, as well as being protected from afflictions, all of which necessitated gratitude. These gardens yielded enough fruits to suffice them, so they were overwhelmed by the happiness of being free from need. Allaah commanded them to express gratitude for these favours, namely:

1. The abundant provision He provided for them from these two gardens.

2. Good land, a beautiful climate and few cases of sickness (i.e., they rarely became sick due to the nice weather Allaah blessed them with).

3. The forgiveness they were promised in return for expressing gratitude towards Allaah.

Instead of continuing to be thankful, they turned away and shunned the commandments of Allaah; they shunned monotheism and His worship, and refused to be thankful; they began worshipping the sun instead of Allaah, as the hoopoe bird informed Sulaymaan may Allaah exalt his mention saying, as Allaah informs us what means: “… 'I have come to you from Saba' with certain news. Indeed, I found there a woman ruling them, and she has been given of all things, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people prostrating to the sun instead of Allaah, and Satan has made their deeds pleasing to them and averted them from [His] way, so they are not guided.” [Quran27: 22-24]

The flood that Allaah sent upon them comprised of a huge amount of water, which resulted in the total destruction of their gardens; their fruitful trees were rendered into others that were useless, bearing bitter fruits.

Look what happened to them! Look how their gardens, with their fruitful trees, pleasant shade and fine natural views, were rendered into thorns and trees with bitter fruits, all of which resulted from their ungratefulness, their refusal of the truth and their association with Allaah. What was the result? “…That We repaid them”meaning that they were punished.

Allaah knew that these people needed to travel in order to conduct trade with people of other villages, so He facilitated for them the means to reach these places for trade in a very easy manner, without them having to encounter any difficulties or feeling fearful in the least whilst on their journeys. This was another of the favours that Allaah had bestowed upon them. There were villages along their way which were close in distance, so that they would not have to carry much provision and water for their trips; also, the way to their destination was simple and well-known so that they would not get lost. Their travel was safe, regardless of whether they travelled during the day or by night, as an additional bounty.

Nonetheless, they did not appreciate these bounties and favours from Allaah, and instead of being grateful, they requested that Allaah make their trips lengthy. They became very ungrateful and supplicated for distances that demanded large amounts of provision for their trips; therefore, their journeys became frightening ones, which also required much effort to complete. These people acted just as the children of Israel did with Prophet Moosaa, may Allaah exalt his mention when they requested him to provide them with green herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils and onions instead of having the bountiful provisions and life that Allaah had provided them with; this is why Allaah addressed the children of Israel saying what means: “…'Would you exchange what is better for what is less? Go into [any] settlement and indeed, you will have what you have asked.' And they were covered with humiliation and poverty and returned with anger from Allaah [upon them]…” [Quran 2: 61]

The punishment that befell them was exemplary; an illustration for people of how they would instigate the punishment of Allaah if they were to ever act with ungratefulness. Also, it is a lesson for the afflicted to persevere through hardships; it is also proof that punishment befalls the disobedient in this life prior to the one they will face in the Hereafter. Mutarraf, may Allaah be pleased with him used to say: “The best slave is he who when blessed gives thanks and when afflicted, perseveres.”

Suhayb ibn Sinaan, may Allaah be pleased with him narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “How wonderful is the case of a believer! There is goodness for him in everything, and this is not the case with anyone except for a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allaah, and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently, and that is also good for him.”[Muslim]

Satan has taken a vow to mislead mankind, as Allaah informs us, saying what means: “[Satan] said: 'By your might, I will surely mislead them all. Except, among them, Your chosen servants.'” [Quran 38: 82-83] Satan was not certain of what he would do, because he could not have been; this is due to the fact that what would happen in the future was something of the unknown and unseen for him, and thus it was merely an assumption on his part. The people of Saba’ in general are amongst those for whom Satan’s assumption came true, and they indeed followed his way. On the other hand, there was a group of them who did not follow Satan, and these were thus included in the exception mentioned in the abovementioned verses of Chapter Saad.

Allaah affirms that Satan has no power or authority over people to force them to do anything; Imaam Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allaah have mercy upon him said: “I swear by Allaah! Satan has no stick with him with which he hits people to (force them to) follow his way; this is nothing but whispers and self-delusion on the part of people – he simply calls people, and they respond.” End of quote.

The wisdom behind allowing Satan to do what he does and whisper to people is to test them and make evident those amongst them who are truthful, and those who are liars.

There are many lessons one can derive from this great story, the following are but some of them:

· The people of Saba’ are a real life example to anyone who even contemplates being rebellious to the commands of Allaah, or ungrateful regarding His favours. Allaah warns people, especially the rich amongst them, to not follow in the footsteps of the people of Saba’ or imitate them, lest the same punishment befalls them.

· It is mentioned in many places in the Qur’aan that certain disbelievers enjoyed gardens and fruits, but these gardens were squandered and eventually faced destruction; this story is one such example. Another example concerns Pharaoh and his people, about whom Allaah Says

(what means): “So We removed them from gardens and springs. And treasures and honourable station – Thus. And We caused to inherit it the Children of Israel.” [Quran 26: 57-59]

· Allaah is the only Provider and Sustainer.

· The punishment of Allaah follows very quickly when people are rebellious and shun His commands. It is the way of Allaah that whenever people shun His commandments He sends punishment down upon them, and there are numerous verses in the Qur’aan addressing this issue, such as the saying of Allaah which means: “And Allaah presents an example: a city [i.e., Makkah] which was safe and secure, its provision coming to it in abundance from every location, but it denied the favours of Allaah. So Allaah made it taste the envelopment of hunger and fear for what they had been doing.” [Quran 16: 112]

· If the slave does not thank Allaah for a favour, his punishment could be through that very favour. Water was one of the favours that the people of Saba’ had been bestowed with, and they were punished with it when they were ungrateful for it and shunned the commands of Allaah.

· Allaah never punishes people without them being deserving of it due to their sinning and disobedience, as Allaah Says what means: “…And We would not destroy the cities except while their people were wrongdoers.” [Quran 28: 59]

· Only those who persevere and are grateful would benefit from the lessons of the Qur’aan and the signs of Allaah, despite the fact that all people observe these signs, yet the heedless never benefit from them, as Allaah Says what means: “And how many a sign within the heavens and the earth do they pass over while they, therefrom, are turning away.” [Quran 12: 105]

There are three types of perseverance:

· In performing acts of obedience

· In refraining from prohibitions

· During decrees of Allaah that are painful

There are three ways of expressing gratitude to Allaah:

· By the heart: through having it devoted to the One bestowing the favours, and acknowledging that He is the source of all favours.

· By the limbs: through continuously being obedient to Him and using His favours in ways that please Him.

· By the tongue: through the repeated mentioning, praising and glorification of Him.

The story of Saba’

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‘Do not abuse ad-Dahr (time), for Allah is ad-Dahr.’

It is a common practice among the people to curse, degrade or attribute evil to time, if something displeasing occurs at a certain time. They will curse that day, month or year. Time, however, is not responsible for the occurrence of events. Deeds are only performed in it (i.e., the time). The One, Who Controls and Decrees all events is Allah. When one curses time, he is either, actually cursing Allah, Who governs all events, or he is ascribing occurrence of events to the time – and in doing so, he commits Shirk. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Allah said, ‘The son of Adam wrongs me for, he curses ad-Dahr (the time); though I am ad-Dahr (the time), in My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari] in another narration, ‘Do not abuse ad-Dahr (time), for Allah is ad-Dahr.’ [Saheeh Muslim]

Ash-Shafa’i, Abu Ubaydah, and several other Imams of Tafseer explained the meaning of the above Hadeeth saying, ‘During the time of Jahiliyah (ignorance), when an affliction, a calamity or disaster struck them, the Arabs used to say, ‘Woe to ad-Dahr (time)!’ So they used to blame such incidents on ad-Dahr, cursing ad-Dahr in the process. Surely, it is Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, Who causes these (and all) things to happen. This is why when they cursed ad-Dahr, it was as if they were cursing Allah, Himself, since truthfully He causes all incidents to happen. Therefore, abusing ad-Dahr was prohibited due to this consideration, for it was Allah, Whom they meant by abusing ad-Dahr,…’ This is the best explanation for this subject, and it is the desired meaning. And Allah knows best. We should mention that Ibn-Hazm and those of the Zahiriyyah like him made an error when they used this Hadeeth to include ad-Dahr among Allah’s most beautiful Names.’ [See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer under the Tafseer of the verse, (45): 24]

‘It is not considered cursing time to describe the years as difficult or to describe the day as black (i.e. dreary, sad), or the months as unfortunate, and similar statements. The reason is that this is restricted, meaning this is the day that he (the person) was unfortunate, or this is the day that he was bleak or dismal. Thus, the meaning of this is to describe what happened in that time, and that from his description was such-and-such, meaning, this person who is speaking. So actually, he is describing his condition and he is not describing the time with praise or reviling it.’ [Ghayatul-Murid fi-Sharh Kitab at-Tawheed by Shaikh Ibn Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem Aali Shaikh]

‘Do not abuse ad-Dahr (time), for Allah is ad-Dahr.’

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And worship is the right of Allah upon His creation…

And worship is the right of Allah upon His creation. It’s benefits come back to the creation. So the one who refuses to worship Allah is mustakbir (arrogant, has pride). And whoever worships Allah whilst associating partners with Him is a mushrik (polytheist). And the one who worships Allah alone but not upon the legislated way is a mubtadi (innovator). And the one who worships Allah alone upon the way it has been legislated is a mu’min muwahhid (monotheistic believer).

Taken from: Lectures in Belief and calling to Allah, by Shaykh Dr. Saalih Al-Fawzaan. - page 76, volume 1 (arabic print)

“Worship Allah (Alone), and fear Him, that is better for you if you did but know.” [Qur'an 29:16]

And worship is the right of Allah upon His creation…

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Women's Scholarship: Remembering a Fading Heritage

Women have had a strong presence in society since the beginning of Islam.

Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid may Allaah be pleased with her was the first person ever to believe in the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ). She was a great support for the Da‘wah (Islamic propagation) until her demise in the tenth year after the Bi‘thah (the beginning of the mission of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), as a prophet and messenger sent by Allaah The Almighty to convey His message). The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), called that year “The Year of Grief”.

The first person to sacrifice her soul in the cause of Allaah The Almighty was a woman. She was the first martyr in Islam: Sumayyah bint Khabbaat may Allaah be pleased with her.

The first one to emigrate in the cause of Allaah The Almighty was a woman: Ruqayyah may Allaah be pleased with her the daughter of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ). It is said that she and her husband, 'Uthmaan bin 'Affaan may Allaah be pleased with him were the first people to emigrate in the cause of Allaah after Prophet Loote (Lot) may Allaah exalt his mention. She emigrated to Abyssinia to escape persecution in Makkah.

Muslim women did not only achieve great feats in terms of faith, emigration and sacrifice. Rather, their achievements cover the fields of scholarship and education as well. There were among them scholars of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Hadeeth (narration) and Muftis (scholars entitled to issue religious verdicts) who were the center of attraction for seekers of knowledge and some great and prominent Muslim scholars. They were even consulted about public affairs. There were women scholars who held assemblies of knowledge in the largest Islamic mosques and who attracted students from all over the world.

There were some women scholars of Fiqh and narrators of Hadeeth who traveled a great deal in pursuit of knowledge, to many of the centers of knowledge in Egypt, Ash-Shaam (the Levant) and Al-Hijaaz (Western Arabia) such that they became well-versed in knowledge and the narration of Hadeeths. Many of them wrote books and contributed to literature.

Their rooms were beacons of light

During the early stage of Islam, the Mothers of the Believers and a number of women Companions were the pioneers of women’s education and scholarship. The rooms of the virtuous Mothers of the Believers were beacons for knowledge, culture and literature. ‘Aa’ishah may Allaah be pleased with her was the greatest in this regard. She was eloquent, well-versed in genealogy and poetry. The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), himself would listen to some of the poems that she narrated.

In the field of narrating the Prophetic Hadeeths, she occupies the third rank among Hadeeth narrators, for she narrated 2210 Hadeeths. Some reported citations stated that she alone was the repository of half of the religious knowledge. Hence, the Companions used to refer to her to find an answer for some difficult issues of knowledge and Fiqh, especially those which are relevant to the life of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ). She used to urge her questioner not to be bashful by saying, “Ask! I am your mother.” About 299 of the Companions and the Taabi‘oon (successors of the Companions),including 67 women, were taught by her.

Umm Salamah may Allaah be pleased with her

Ath-Thahabi may Allaah have mercy upon him described her saying that she was one of the scholars of Fiqh among the women Companions. She narrated many Hadeeths on the authority of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ). About 101 Companions and Taabi‘oon, including 23 women, narrated Hadeeths on her authority.

There were many women Companions and Taabi‘oon renowned for their knowledge and narration of Hadeeths. The books of Hadeeth, narration and biographies abound with the names of women who narrated Hadeeths and on whose authority Hadeeths were narrated; such as Asmaa’ bint Abu Bakr, Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays, Juwayriyah bint Al-Haarith, Hafsah bint ‘Umar and Zaynab bint Jahsh may Allaah be pleased with them all.

Producing scholars

Great writers of biographies did not overlook the biographies of Muslim women especially in the field of narrating Hadeeth. Muhammad ibn Sa‘d may Allaah have mercy upon him mentioned many of the female Companions and Taabi‘oon who narrated Hadeeths in his book At-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra. In his book Asad Al-Ghaabah, Ibn Al-Atheer may Allaah have mercy upon him specified one whole volume for the biographies of women. In Taqreeb At-Tahtheeb, Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalaani may Allaah have mercy upon him mentioned the names of 824 women who were known for narrating Hadeeths at the beginning of the third Hijri century.

Women participated in raising and bringing up great scholars. The celebrated scholar of Hadeeth and historian, Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadi may Allaah have mercy upon him the compiler of Taareekh Baghdad studied under Taahirah bint Ahmad ibn Yoosuf At-Tanookhiyyah may Allaah have mercy upon her (d. 436 A.H.). She was a scholar of Fiqh and Hadeeth.

Amat Al-Waahid bint Al-Husayn ibn Ismaa‘eel may Allaah have mercy upon her (d. 377 A.H.) was among the most knowledgeable scholars about the Shaafi‘i school of Fiqh. She was well-acquainted with the knowledge of distributing the shares of inheritance, mathematics and Arabic grammar (Nahw). She used to issue Fatwas (religious verdicts) and her narrations of Hadeeth were written down by her students.

Jaleelah bint ‘Ali ibn Al-Hasan Ash-Shajari may Allaah have mercy upon her lived in the fifth century of Hijrah. She traveled seeking the knowledge of Hadeeth in Iraq and Ash-Shaam. Some of the great scholars; such as As-Sam‘aani may Allaah have mercy upon him studied under her. She used to teach Quran to the children.

Zaynab bint Makki ibn ‘Ali ibn Kaamil Al-Harraani may Allaah have mercy upon her (d. 688 A.H.) was among the female scholars who spent their whole life seeking the knowledge of Hadeeth and narrating it. Students gathered at the door of her home at foot of the Mount Qasiyoun in the city of Damascus. They heard Hadeeths from her and read before her many books.

Zaynab bint Yahya ibn Al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abdul-Salaam may Allaah have mercy upon her (d. 735 A.H.) was the only person to narrate the Hadeeths of Al-Mu‘jam As-Sagheer through an uninterrupted chain of narrators. The celebrated Muslim historian, Shams Ad-Deen Ath-Thahabi may Allaah have mercy upon him said about her that there was goodness in her, love of worship and of narrating the Hadeeths. Many parts of Hadeeth compilations were read before her on the day of her demise.

Zaynab bint Ahmad ibn ‘Umar Ad-Dimishqiyyah may Allaah have mercy upon her (d. 722) was among the remarkable narrators of Hadeeth, such that many students headed for her in pursuit of knowledge.

Female scholars earning their living by sewing

The great traveler Ibn Battootah mentioned that he visited Al-Masjid Al-Umawi in Damascus and heard Hadeeths from some of the female scholars of Hadeeth in that age; such as Zaynab bint Ahmad ibn ‘Abdul-Raheem may Allaah have mercy upon her. She was well-versed in knowledge and Hadeeth. ‘Aa’ishah bint Muhammad ibn Al-Muslim Al-Harraaniyyah may Allaah have mercy upon her held a session for teaching knowledge at the Masjid. She used to earn her living by sewing. Ibn Battootah read before her some books.

Some women, who were narrators of Hadeeth, were the only persons to narrate certain versions of Hadeeths; such as Zaynab bint Sulaymaan ibn Ibraaheem may Allaah have mercy upon her (d. 705 A.H.). Taqiyy-ud-Deen As-Subki was one of her students.

Some female scholars in the field of narrating Hadeeths gave Ijaazah (licence) to a number of great scholars. Zaynab bint ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abdul-Haleem ibn Taymiyyah may Allaah have mercy upon her (d. 725 A.H.) gave Ijaazah to Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalaani may Allaah have mercy upon him. He also narrated on the authority ‘Aa’ishah bint Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Haadi may Allaah have mercy upon her. She had a sound uninterrupted chain of narrators and many people narrated on her authority. She never prevented anyone from listening to the Hadeeths from her and she was kind. She narrated Hadeeths on the authority of two female narrators: Sitt Al-Fuqahaa’ bint Al-Waasiti and Zaynab bint Al-Kamaal may Allaah have mercy upon them.

In his book, Al-Mu‘jam Al-Mu’assas lil-Mu‘jam Al-Mufahras, Ibn Hajar may Allaah have mercy upon him mentioned many of the women teachers under whom he studied, and those who learned with him under the same Shaykhs (teachers). He described one of them as Musannifah (compiler); she was ‘Aa’ishah bint ‘Abdullaah Al-Halabiyyah may Allaah have mercy upon her.

Imaam Ath-Thahabi may Allaah have mercy upon him also mentioned many of his women teachers in his book, Mu‘jam Shuyookh Ath-Thahabi.

Women played a prominent role in teaching and raising the great scholar of Fiqh, Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi may Allaah have mercy upon him. They taught him the Noble Quran, reading, writing, poetry and he remained under their care until the age of puberty. He related his experience, saying, “I was brought up by women and I did not know other than them or sit with men until I reached the age of my youth. They taught me the Quran and many poems. They taught me writing.” This upbringing and education had a great effect on his taste and personality.

Qualified for Fatwa and wife of a scholar of Fiqh

The respected scholar, Faatimah bint Muhammad ibn Ahmad As-Samarqandi may Allaah have mercy upon her assumed a high rank in the fields of Fiqh and Fatwa. She used to teach and compiled many books. The just king, Noor Ad-Deen Mahmood, used to consult her on some domestic affairs of the state and some issues that were related to Fiqh. Her husband, the renowned scholar of Fiqh, Al-Kaasaani may Allaah have mercy upon him the author of Al-Badaai,‘ used to listen to her corrections when he fell short to reach the right opinion. She used to issue Fatwas and her husband used to respect her Fatwas. The issued Fatwa used to be signed in her name, and that of her father or husband. When her father died, she and her husband used to sign the Fatwa because of the broad and reliable scope of her knowledge.

In his large encyclopedia, Adh-Dhaw’ Al-Laami‘ li-Ahl il-Qarn At-Taasi‘, As-Sakhaawi may Allaah have mercy upon him mentioned the biographies of more than 1070 women who were prominent in that century; most of them were scholars of Fiqh and narrators of Hadeeth.

The encyclopedic scholar, Jalaal ud-Deen As-Suyooti may Allaah have mercy upon him said his women teachers played a prominent role in his acquiring knowledge. He learned from Umm Haani’ bint Al-Hooreeni may Allaah have mercy upon her. He called her ‘Al-Musnad’; she was also a scholar of Nahw (Arabic grammar) and he put her biography among the scholars of Nahw in his book Bughyat Al-Wu‘aah fee Akhbaar An-Nuhaah. He also learned from Umm Al-Fadhl bint Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, Khadeejah bint Abu Al-Hasan Al-Mulaqqin, Nashwaan bint ‘Abdullaah Al-Kanaani, Haajar bint Muhammad Al-Misriyyah, Amat Al-Khaaliq bint ‘Abdul-Lateef Al-‘Uqbi and many other female scholars may Allaah have mercy upon them.

Some of these female scholars assumed charge of some centers of knowledge such as Zayn Al-‘Arab bint ‘Abdul-Rahmaan ibn ‘Umar may Allaah have mercy upon her (d. 704 A.H.). She assumed charge of Ribaat As-Saqlaatooni and then Ribaat Al-Haramayn.

The women Muslim scholars did not stop at imparting knowledge and teaching during times of peace and welfare. Rather, she played a prominent academic role during the hardest times of crises. When the forts of Islam fell in Andalusia and the Muslims were forced to become Christians and there were the worst ever Inquisitions and torture against Muslims; some Muslims had to show that they were Christians and practiced Islam in secrecy. Despite coercive Spanish policies, Muslims continued their pursuit of knowledge. There were two women scholars who were the highest referential authorities for Muslims in the knowledge of Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation). They taught many Muslim scholars who bore the flag of Islam for years. Those two women were Muslimah Abdah and Muslimah Ablah.

The Morisco scholar of Fiqh ‘the Young Man from Arévalo’ (Mancebo de Arevalo) compiled many books of Tafseer (exegesis) and Sunnah (tradition) in the Aljamiado language which was invented by Muslims there.

To conclude, Muslim women had a prominent presence in the Islamic scholarly society. They used to learn, teach and travel seeking knowledge. They were sought by knowledge seekers, compiled books, issued Fatwas and were consulted on public affairs. Women were not confined to their homes or restricted to certain professions. They had a broad field of activity and achievement under the aegis of the true spirit of Islamic Sharee‘ah which protected their chastity and modesty while enabling them to achieve great feats of scholarship.

Women's Scholarship: Remembering a Fading Heritage

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Whom must we worship?

The submission of man to His Creator is the essence of Islam. The name "Islam" is chosen by God (Allaah) and not by man. It is the same unifying Message revealed to all the Prophets and Messengers by Allaah, and which they spread amongst their respective nations. It was revealed in its final form to Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as a complete Message to humanity.

The Lord, Allaah, is the True and Only Creator that deserves to be worshipped. No worship is worthy of being given to a stone, statue, a cross, a triangle, Krishna, Guru, Buddha, Mahatma, sun, moon (not even to the namesake from Korea!), light, fire, rivers, cows, Rama, temples, saints, priests, monks…all these are created beings or things.

Allaah, is the Name of The One True God. His Name is not chosen by man and does not have a number or gender. It is known that Allaah is the Name of God in Aramaic, the language of our beloved Prophet 'Eesaa (Jesus) may Allaah exalt his mention and a sister language of Arabic. The Name "Allaah" has been used by all previous Prophets starting with Aadam (Adam) may Allaah exalt his mention and by the last and final Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ).

The innate nature in man recognizes what is good and bad, what is true and false. It recognizes that the attributes of Allaah must be True, Unique, and All Perfect. It does not feel comfortable with any kind of degradation of His Attributes. Many who became "discontent with God" did so because of the practices of the Church in medieval Europe, and because of the claims of "god dwelling in a son" and the concept of "original sin".

However, they "escaped" into worshipping a new theory called "Mother Nature" and the material world. With the advancement of materialistic technology, others from different religions adopted the concept of "forgetting about God" and "let us live this life and enjoy it!", not realizing that they have chosen to worship the original god of Rome: Desire! As a result, the ‘enjoyment’ is turning to ‘suffering’ from AIDS.

It is now clear that this materialistic and secular progress produced a spiritual vacuum that led to complex social, economical, political and psychological problems. Many of those who "fled" their "religions" are in search again. Some try to "escape" the complexity of their daily lives by various means.

Those who have had the chance to examine the Quran and Islam, proceed with a complete way of life that leads man to establish a purpose for his presence on earth. This is well recognized in the Attributes of Allaah, and what He requires from man. Allaah Almighty does not want man to be enslaved to any false deity: nature, drugs, lust, money, other men, desire, or sex. He provides man with the proofs that He is the One Who can redeem, so that man can free himself from the slavery to any form of creation and to turn to his Creator Alone.

This Creator Has Perfect Attributes. He is the First, nothing is before Him, the Ever Living. To Him is the Final Return where everyone will be dealt with in the Most Perfect and Just way. He does not begot nor is He begotten.

Those who attribute Divinity to ‘Eesaa (Jesus) may Allaah exalt his mention forget or ignore the fact that he was born from a mother's womb, he needed nutrition and grew up to be a man. He was trusted with the Injeel as a Message to the Children of Israel: "For there is One God, and one mediator (i.e. a messenger) between God and men (the Children of Israel), the man Christ Jesus” [I Timothy 2:5].

Jesus may Allaah exalt his mention was a man-messenger calling his nation not to worship him: "But in vain they do worship me!" [Mathew 15:9]. A man who needs to eat, walk, sleep, rest, etc. cannot have Divine Attributes because he is in need and God (Allaah) is Self-Sufficient.

In all the other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Marxism and Capitalism, there is the devotion of worshipping created beings or things in one form or another. Jews had attributed a nationalistic sense of belonging to God. They labeled Him ‘the tribal god’ for the Children of Israel. Men and women following these religions were born with the natural inclination of submission to their Creator, Allaah. It is their parents who drove them into their respective traditions.

However, once people are exposed to the Signs of Allaah around them, or in the Quran, or to someone who triggers their Fitrah (natural inclination to worship Allaah Alone), the reverting process begins and that is why we see Islam spreading universally.

In the West, despite many distortions of Islam in the media, many admit that Islam is the fastest growing faith. No sense of fairness can be achieved without a genuine attempt to know the Word of Allaah in the Quran, and not just on the 30-minute Evening News. This is the real challenge for those who seek the Truth.

Man is created for a purpose: to live a life in accordance with Allaah's way. And why not? Do we possess the air we breathe? Did we create others or ourselves? Or were we ourselves the Creators? We are limited and weak. So, do we have the right to ignore our Creator when we all need Him?

Islam is the submission in worship to Allaah Alone and it is the essence of all the Messages sent to all nations before us. Allaah is All-Just and All-Wise. He does not intend confusion for His Creation. The religion acceptable to Him is the one chosen by Him. Its essence must be One, because He is One. It is free from geographical, racist, and status oriented concepts. It is Perfect and it is the complete way of life.

All these qualities are chosen by Allaah in His Only Religion: Islam. Its details are in the Quran, read it and come with an open heart because none can expose better than the Word of Allaah. The Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ). He did not author it; he was unlettered. Its translation is available in many languages in bookstores or in an Islamic center close to you. Take the time to read it and come to, or call the Islamic center, or speak to someone who reverted and submitted to Allaah Alone.

Whom must we worship?

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