Sunday, December 6, 2015

Who are the ones who will be excused for their ignorance?

Shaykh ‘Abdul-Aziz bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) was asked ‘Who are the ones who will be excused for ignorance about ‘aqeedah and matters of fiqh?’, to which he replied:

grass.jpg?w=470Claiming that one is ignorant or using this as an excuse is a matter which needs further discussion. Not everyone can be excused for his ignorance. With regard to the things which were brought by Islam, which the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) explained and which were made clear in the Book of Allah and are widely known among the Muslims, no claim of ignorance will be accepted in these cases, especially in matters which have to do with ‘aqeedah and the basics of the religion.

Allah sent His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to teach the people their religion and explain it to them, and he conveyed the message clearly and explained to the Ummah the truths of their religion. He explained everything and left them with a clear path which is always obvious. In the Book of Allah there is guidance and light. If some people claim to be ignorant about things which are known to be essential parts of the religion and which are well known among the Muslims, such as claiming to be ignorant about shirk and worshipping anything other than Allah, or claiming that salah is not obligatory, or that fasting Ramadan is not obligatory, or that paying zakah is not obligatory, or that doing Hajj when one is able to is not obligatory – in these and similar matters, claims of ignorance are unacceptable from those who live among the Muslims, because they are matters which are well known among the Muslims. They are known to be essential parts of the Muslim religion and are widely known among the Muslims, so the claim of ignorance of these matters is unacceptable.

This is the case if a person were to claim that he does not know that what the mushrikeen do at the graves or idols is wrong, when they call upon the dead, seek their help, offer sacrifices to them and make vows to them, or offer sacrifices to the idols, stars, trees or rocks; or seek healing or help against their enemies from the dead or idols or jinn or angels or Prophets. All of these are things which are known essentially in the religion that they are major shirk (al-shirk al-akbar).

Allah explained this clearly in His Book, and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) explained it clearly. He remained in Makkah for thirteen years warning the people against this shirk, and he preached the same message in Madeenah for ten years, explaining to them that it is obligatory for their worship to be purely and sincerely for Allah Alone, and reciting to them the Book of Allah, such as the verses (interpretation of the meaning):

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him” [al-Israa' 17:23]

“You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).” [al-Fatihah 1:5]

“And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him).” [al-Bayyinah 98:5]

“So worship Allah (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah’s sake only. Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allah only.” [al-Zumar 39:2-3]

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Verily, my Salah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists). He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” [al-An'aam 6:162-163]

And Allah says, addressing His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We have granted you (O Muhammad) Al-Kawthar (a river in Paradise). Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only).” [al-Kawthar 108:1-2]

“And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah” [al-Jinn 72:18]

“And whoever invokes (or worships), besides Allah, any other ilaah (god), of whom he has no proof; then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, Al-Kaafiroon (the disbelievers in Allah and in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, pagans, idolaters) will not be successful” [al-Mu'minoon 23:117]

The same applies in the case of those who make fun of the religion, attack it, mock it and insult it – all of these are forms of major kufr and are things for which none may be excused on the grounds of ignorance, because it is well known in the religion that insulting the religion or insulting the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are forms of major kufr, as is making fun of the religion or mocking it. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: ‘Was it at Allah, and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?’ Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed” [al-Tawbah 9:65-66]

It is obligatory for the scholars in every place to spread this knowledge among the people and to make it known so that the common folk will have no excuse and so that this important knowledge will become widespread among them; and so that they will give up their attachment to the dead and seeking help from them whether that is in Egypt, Syria, Iraq or in Madeenah at the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or in Makkah or anywhere else; and so that the pilgrims and the people will be aware, and will know the laws and religion of Allah. The silence of the scholars is one of the reasons for the loss and ignorance of the common folk. The scholars, wherever they are, must convey to the people the religion of Allah and teach them about the unity of Allah (Tawheed) and the kinds of shirk, so that they will give up shirk out of understanding and so that they will worship Allah Alone with understanding. Similarly, they must speak out against the things that happen at the grave of al-Badawi, the grave of al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him), or at the grave of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qaadir al-Jeelani or at the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in Madeenah and at other graves. The people must know that worship is due to Allah alone, and no one else has any right to it, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him).” [al-Bayyinah 98:5]

“So worship Allah (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah’s sake only. Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allah only.” [al-Zumar 39:2-3]

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.” [al-Israa' 17:23]

i.e., your Lord has commanded. So the duty of the scholars throughout the Muslim world and in the areas where there are Muslim minorities and in every place, is to teach the people about the unity of Allah (Tawheed) and to educate them about the meaning of worshipping Allah, and to warn them against associating anything with Allah (shirk), which is the greatest of sins. Allah has created the two races (of mankind and the jinn) to worship Him, and He has commanded them to do that, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]

Worship means obeying Him and obeying His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), devoting worship sincerely and purely to Him, and focusing one’s heart on Him. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)” [al-Baqarah 2:21]

With regard to matters which may be unclear, such as some transactions and some matters of prayer and fasting, the one who is ignorant of them may be excused, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) excused the man who entered ihraam dressed in a cloak and wearing perfume. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him, “Take off the cloak and wash off the perfume, and do in your ‘umrah what you do in your Hajj.” He did not tell him to pay a penalty (fidyah) for his ignorance. By the same token, some matters which may be unclear should be taught to the one who is ignorant so that he will come to understand them. But as far as the basics of ‘aqeedah, the pillars of Islam, and things which are clearly haraam are concerned, claims of ignorance cannot be accepted from anyone who lives among the Muslims. If anyone who lives among the Muslims were to say, “I did not know that zina is haraam,” this is no excuse. If he were to say, “I did not know that disobeying my parents is haraam,” this is no excuse; rather he should be beaten and disciplined. Or if he were to say, “I did not know that homosexuality is haraam,” this is no excuse. These are matters which are clear and are well known among the Muslims and in Islam.

But if he lived in a land far away from the Muslim world or in a remote part of Africa where there are no Muslims around him, then the claim of ignorance may be accepted from him, and if he dies in that state his case will rest with Allah; he will come under the same ruling as those who lived during the fatrah (time between two Prophets). The correct view is that they will be tested on the Day of Resurrection: if they respond and obey they will enter Paradise, and if they disobey they will enter Hell. But the one who lived among the Muslims but did actions of kufr and neglected the well known obligations, has no excuse, because the matter is clear and there are Muslims around him who fast and perform Hajj. All of this is well known and widespread among the Muslims, so the claim of ignorance in this case is a false claim. And Allah is the One Whose help we seek.

[Shaykh Abdul-Aziz bin Baaz rahimahullaah - Kitaab Majmoo' Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutnawwi'ah li Samaahat vol. 7, p. 132]

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Is such a person not nourished night and day by his Beloved?

Ibn al-Qayyim: “…is such a person not nourished night and day by his Beloved?”

nourish.jpg?w=470&h=293There is an interesting section of ‘Zad al-Ma’ad’ (2/33 of the printing with al-Arna’ut’s checking) where Ibn al-Qayyim talks about sawm al-wisal, which is that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) would sometimes fast an entire 24-hour day without breaking his fast. When asked by the Companions why he had forbidden them from doing so while he himself would practice it, he replied: “I am not like anyone of you. During the night, my Lord provides me with food and drink.”

Ibn al-Qayyim mentions that there are two interpretations to what the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) meant when he said this. The first is that he is literally provided with food and drink, and the second is that he is being nourished spiritually by Allah. The stronger of the two interpretations is the second, because if the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was being provided with actual food and drink, he would no longer be fasting at all, let alone continuously.

He then proceeded with a beautiful exposition of how it is that the servant can be nourished by Allah without eating or drinking anything. Although Ibn al-Qayyim wrote this in regards to the Prophet’s continuous fasting, it is something that can actually apply to any fasting person, such as ourselves:

“…and those who have even the slightest bit of experience and longing know how little the body needs much physical nourishment when it is instead provided with the nourishment of the heart and soul, let alone when it comes to the one who is joyous, happy, and victorious because he has reached the One he has sought out, and whose eye is cooled by his Beloved, and feels blessed with His closeness, and is pleased with Him and the bounties and gifts of his Beloved.

And His protection showers him at all times, and his Beloved is constantly tending to his affairs, being as Generous as can be with complete Love towards him – is this not the greatest nourishment for the one who loves his Lord? So, how would it be when love of the Beloved – than Whom nothing is more exalted, and nothing is greater in might, and nothing is greater in beauty, and nothing is more complete, and nothing is greater in kindness – when love of Him fills the heart, and love of him takes over all regions of his heart and limbs, and love of Him is as firmly established as can be?

And this is his condition with the One he loves…

So, is such a person not nourished night and day by his Beloved?”

Benefits to be Achieved from Da’wah

When the word da’wah is mentioned, we are generally talking about enjoining the good (Al-Ma’roof: Islamic monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding the evil (Al-Munkar: Polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden) to Muslims as well as non-Muslims.

abdulkareem.jpgNow this da’wah can take a variety of forms including directly though a conversation with someone about Islam, and indirectly through distributing a leaflet, CD, or book about Islam. Therefore, it is not limited to one format or group of people. This is something we will, In sha Allah, address in a second article about how we as productive Muslims can give da’wah.

But first, I thought it would be good idea to look at some of the many benefits we can derive from taking part in giving da’wah to help boost our participation in this great act.
1. Fulfill an Obligation Upon Us

Da’wah is recognised by the majority of scholars as being obligatory upon every Muslim. Therefore, we can interpret that the act of da’wah is something of great importance within Islam and more importantly to Allah (glorified and exalted be He). Consequently, by fulfilling our obligatory acts we can look to achieve the pleasure of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and get close to Him. As it states in a hadith, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“…And My slave does not come close to Me with anything more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him. My slave continues to come nearer to Me through voluntary deeds until I love him, and when I love him, I become his ears with which he hears, I become his sight with which he sees, I become his hands with which he strikes, I become his legs with which he strides. If he asks Me, I shall surely grant his request.” [Bukhari]

This beautiful hadith highlights the massive reward of completing the obligatory acts that can motivate us to carry out this important duty. In contrast, it is worth considering the consequences of neglecting something that is obligatory upon us. For example, we understand Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has prescribed 5 daily prayers and the severe consequences we may face for missing just one of those prayers. Consequently, we should give great consideration to da’wah before abandoning or even neglecting this and therefore look to making it part of our lives in some way, shape or form.
2. Doing the Job of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)

The occupation of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) along with all other prophets was to be a Da’ee (caller to Islam). For us to be given the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the greatest man to have ever lived is a huge honour and favour given to us by Allah (glorified and exalted be He).

As we are followers of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), the responsibility of continuing this work falls on our shoulders, which is something worth remembering. So we should try to keep in mind of whom we are imitating by giving da’wah. In sha Allah, this will inspire us to continue with this important duty by following the one who should be more beloved to us than ourselves.

As stated in a hadith:

“None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.” [Bukhari]

It can be easy to say ‘I like or love that person’, but proving that affection can only be done through actions which can involve telling others about the qualities of that person and emulating the ways of that person. As they say: actions speak louder than words.
3. Be From Those Who are Remembered in the Supplication of Others

Through helping someone revert to Islam or return to practising Islam, In sha Allah you will find that person being a happier individual than before. As an expression of gratitude, it is often likely that a person will personally thank you. Hopefully they will also remember you in their supplications for being there to give them valuable advice, offer support and pass on beneficial knowledge to help direct them to the straight path.

Also, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) says:

“God, His angels and all those in the Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their ant-hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge.” [Tirmidhi]

This highlights the great rewards that can be achieved through giving da’wah and passing on useful knowledge to others. Being remembered in the supplication of others is something we should all want to have.
4. Be Part of the Change You Wish to See

It is a bit of a cliché when people talk about the state of the Muslim world and the attacks by the media etc. But for change to come about, we would need to change ourselves and look at what we realistically are able to achieve.

As Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves.” [Qur’an: Chapter 13, Verse 11]

This can involve little changes for example giving da’wah to a non-Muslim colleague about Islam or looking at our own areas of weakness as individuals and looking to rectify those weaknesses with the help and grace of Allah (glorified and exalted be He). We cannot change the world individually and Allah (glorified and exalted be He) is not expecting us to either. However, we should try to strive and impact positively on our local environment and society with whatever skills and abilities He has blessed us with.

I am sure we would wish to see those around us, such as our friends, family and neighbours, from being of those that are pious and righteous. In sha Allah sharing this beautiful way of life with others will go a long way to making this happen.
5. Strengthen Your Faith and Relationship with Allah the Almighty

It is commonly mentioned by those involved in da’wah that the first person to benefit from the knowledge passed on is yourself. Through continuously passing on the message of Islam and reminding others of the greatness of Allah (glorified and exalted be He), In sha Allah you indeed strengthen your belief and relationship with Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and His chosen way of life. Consequently, this helps to prevent you from becoming neglectful of Him.

Many Muslims are excellent when it comes to performing the rituals of Islam e.g. fasting, zakat and salah etc., which is great. However, continuously performing rituals without adding to them can cause you to become stagnant and possibly act as a barrier to strengthening your relationship with Allah (glorified and exalted be He).

Take the example of a person who always lifts 10kg with the same amount of repetitions each time. Is that person likely to get stronger?

The person may not become weak, but he will not become stronger either. We as Muslims should strive to push ourselves to do better. A higher level of faith is likely to lead us closer to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and therefore offer us greater rewards and as a result, make us winners in this life as well as the hereafter.

Furthermore, we can have a look at those who were strongest in faith in Allah (glorified and exalted be He) which includes the Prophets and the companions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for proof of this. Their lives were full of sacrifices for Allah (glorified and exalted be He) in terms of their time, health and wealth and this contributed to them being of the closest to Allah (glorified and exalted be He), and not necessarily due to the quantity of prayers performed and Qur’an read.

Just adding to the point of not being stagnant, a sheikh recently mentioned how the shaytan always looks to come close and catch up to us. To avoid being stuck on the same level of faith or have our faith decline, we need to continuously do good deeds to distance ourselves from him.

Giving da’wah should help us to avoid his clutches as not only are we performing good deeds, we are encouraging others towards good, presenting a real blow to the shaytan.
6. Find Yourself Leading a Happier Life

This is likely to be achieved through knowing you have helped somebody else to feel happier, which is a result of them coming close to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and following the way of his beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Giving da’wah can include giving advice to a fellow Muslim who is going through a difficult time and reminding them how Allah (glorified and exalted be He) is near and always there for them to turn to. Therefore, the da’wah given does not require you to be a specialist beforehand, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Convey from me, even one verse.” [Bukhari]

Also, if you are blessed enough to be used as a tool by Allah (glorified and exalted be He) to guide someone to Islam then that should provide you with a warm glow inside knowing you have helped to save a person from shirk.

Think about a non-Muslim neighbour or colleague you have and how you would feel if they accepted Islam on your hands with the grace of Allah (glorified and exalted be He). Again, it is worth thinking about that person and if they died in that state of disbelief. As Muslims, since we know where those that disbelief will dwell forever, would we wish that for them or any of the non-Muslims around us?

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in relation to this says:

“By Allah, if a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than the best of camels.” [Bukhari]

Additionally, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says Himself about the people that are successful:

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining Al-Ma’roof (Islamic monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (Polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are successful.” [Qur’an: Chapter 3, Verse 104]

Who would know better than Our Creator about what is success and those that are successful?
7. Continue to Achieve Good Deeds After You Have Passed Away

This would occur through the good deeds committed by others as a result of the knowledge you have passed on. This can be knowledge you pass on to your children, for example how to make wudu. Also, the knowledge you have passed on to a non-Muslim who has reverted as a result of your da’wah will offer enormous rewards In sha Allah.

Think of the following situation: you give da’wah to a non-Muslim friend who at the age of 19 or 20 becomes a Muslim with the guidance of Allah (glorified and exalted be He). After a few years, that friend may settle down with another Muslim and In sha Allah have children who are raised on this deen as well as themselves having a long and pious life. Then a portion of the reward achieved by all these individuals would come back into your book of deeds.

It does not stop there because this friend may become a scholar, or his/her children may become scholars or they themselves may invite many others towards Islam. In sha Allah, all of these actions will find a portion of the reward into your account for the initial da’wah you gave.

We know about the uncertainty of death and our short stay in this world. Unfortunately, some people miss the opportunity to do good deeds before passing away, after which it is too late to go back. This requires us to make an investment now for the hereafter so that we pick up good deeds in the grave even when we physically do not have the capacity to do good deeds.

As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) perfectly says:

“When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except three: on going charity, beneficial knowledge and righteous offspring who will pray for him.” [Muslim]
8. Help Your Cause Against the Questioning in the Hereafter

We understand as Muslims we will be asked about how we lived our lives e.g. whether it was in obedience to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) or not. We are also going to be asked about the knowledge we possess, which can include basic knowledge such as the shahadah.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) talked about the consequences of those who do not spread possessed knowledge:

“Whoever is asked about some knowledge that he knows, then he conceals it, he will be bridled with bridle of fire.” [Tirmidhi]

Consequently, by giving da’wah and passing on whatever authentic knowledge we have, In sha Allah we can protect ourselves in the hereafter from the wrath of Allah (glorified and exalted be He). By engaging in da’wah, we can help our cause in this world by protecting ourselves against the punishment of Allah (glorified and exalted be He), as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) says:

“By Allah, in who’s Hands is my soul, you will enjoin the good and prohibit the evil (or else), Allah will soon send upon you a punishment from Him, then you will call upon Him and He will not answer you.” [Tirmidhi]
Dear Brothers and Sisters, the different points mentioned are just some of the benefits of being involved in da’wah. It is also worth reflecting on the potential pitfalls of neglecting this important duty. A point to consider is that with so many statements relating to da’wah, they provide strong evidence about the importance of da’wah to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and how it should also be a feature in our lives. In my next article, I will discuss how we can do da’wah.

What other benefits can be achieved through taking part in da’wah? If you are involved in da’wah, how has it impacted your life? Please share your knowledge in the comments section below, so we may inspire one another to take part in this blessed act!

About the Author:

Abu Umar is a student of knowledge trying his hand at writing blogs. The author is a brother based in the UK looking to spread the message of Islam and its beauty.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

He is like my “Brother”, she is like my “Sister”

We find nowadays as the advancement of the internet world, “young da’ees” are emerging and “guiding” those men and women who don’t practise Islaam of opposite gender. It happens that they sometimes have clean intention of guiding a brother or a sister of the opposite gender, but no one can change the law of nature. Almost all of these modern “da’ees” end up in a relationship and most of them end up in an physical relation. This is so scary like wolf in sheep’s clothing where you try to “guide” the opposite gender to Islaam even though you are not permitted to do so under sharee’ah, therefore you end up in a relationship. Almost all “da’ees” who do this type of “da’wah” after they commit zinaa, they do another crime, abortion.

images1.jpg?w=150&h=150It’s not a rare crime but as I said ‘almost all who “guide” the opposite gender to Islaam’ fall in this tragic relationship. There are infinite real life stories, here is a real story of a female daa’iyah. She says,

“I am a young woman from a very well-known family. All my life I have been religiously committed and of good character, as all will attest, but I do not know what is the reason that caused me to get to know a young man. I wanted to help him because he had suffered the calamity of his father’s death, and he is responsible for his siblings and his mother, but he went down the path of keeping company with bad people. I advised him and I felt it was my duty to stand beside him and advise him sincerely. Eventually he returned to his studies and gave up those bad friends, and he changed completely. His mother asked him the reason, and he told her. She spoke to me and thanked me for being patient with her son. One day he came for a visit to see me, and I did not know why I did not hesitate. I went to see him, and I felt as if he was my brother. We spent some time together and what happened happened, unfortunately. Now he wants to come and propose marriage to me, but it is impossible. He is three years younger than me, and he is not of the same nationality as me. Now I am pregnant and I want Allaah to conceal my sin and I want to repent. I know that I have done wrong, and you will criticize me severely, but I want to repent and I want a solution.“

There are hundreds and thousands of such cases and I am amazed how they violate the law of Allaah and then how Shaytaan leads them astray. Then on top of that, these female “daa’iyah” upload their videos and photos online and male “daa’iyah” upload their photos posing like actors, this is rubbish and purely unIslaamic. There are many Muslims who take their cousins, brother-in-law and other non-mahrams as their brothers and sisters, this is pure evil and a signal of the wrath of Allaah. We must do our islaah and protect our family from all sorts of evils by teaching them how to behave with shopkeepers, with neighbours, with teachers, classmates and so on. May Allaah keep us upon the right path, the path of Allaah!

The Best of Hearts

Imam Barbahari (d.329H) rahimahullaah said in ‘Sharh As-Sunnah”.

Teachings3.jpgMay Allah have mercy upon you! Know that a servant’s Islam is not complete until he follows, attests to and submits to (the truth). So anyone who claims that there remains anything from Islam not sufficiently explained by the Companions of Allah’s Messenger sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, has falsely accused them, has split from them and spoken ill of them. He is an innovator, astray and leading others astray, introducing into Islam that which is not from it. [1]

Ibn Mas’ud radiallaahu anhu described the Companions of the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam saying:

“Allah looked into the hearts of the servants and found the heart of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) to be the best of hearts, so he chose him for Himself and sent with him His Revelation, then He looked into the hearts of the servants after the heart of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and found the hearts of the Companions to be the best of hearts of the servants, so he made them the helpers of His Prophet, fighting for His Religion. So that which the Muslims hold to be good is good with Allah and that which they hold to be bad is bad with Allah.”

Reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed (1/379) and declared Hasan by Shaykh Al-Albaani in Ad-Da’eefah (2/17).

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Parents: Precious Blessings in our Life

Allaah The Almighty has made our parents the means of giving us life and made them the source of providing us with unparalleled love and a sound upbringing. However, when we grow up, we tend to forget the period of our infancy and childhood and disregard their efforts. What ingratitude can be worse than this?
The very least we can do for our parents is to show goodness and kind treatment towards them while they are alive, and supplicate for them, offer charity and other righteous deeds on their behalf after their death.

1313513534_170611.jpgAllaah The Almighty mentions the virtues of being good to one’s parents in conjunction with worshipping Him alone when He Says (what means): {“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you are dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: `My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.'"}[Quran, 17: 23-24].

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) classified being undutiful to parents as one of the great major sins and mentioned it along with associating partners with Allaah The Almighty in His worship. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Shall I not inform you about the most grievous of the grave sins?" His Companions replied, "Indeed, O Messenger of Allaah!" He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Associating anything with Allaah (in worship), and being undutiful to parents, (he was reclining at that time, then he sat up and said): (beware of) false testimony or false utterance." He repeated it so many times that his Companions wished that he would become silent. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].

A man came to the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) and asked, "Which of the people is most deserving of my good companionship?" He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “It is your mother.” The man asked, "Who is next?" He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “It is your mother.” The man then asked, "Who is next?" He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “It is your mother.” Then the man asked, "Who is next?" The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “It is your father.” [Al-Bukhaari].

Abu Hurayrah may Allaah be pleased with him narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Let him be humiliated! Let him be humiliated! Let him be humiliated!" It was asked, "Who, O Messenger of Allaah?" He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “He whose parents reach old age, either one or both of them, and who does not enter Paradise (due to not being dutiful to them).” [Muslim]

Dutifulness to parents is one of the reasons behind the forgiveness of sins. Ibn ‘Umar may Allaah be pleased with them both, said that a man came to the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) and said, "I have committed a great sin, can I repent from it?" The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) asked: “Is your mother alive?” and in another narration he asked: “Are you parents alive?” The man replied, "No" so the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) asked: “Do you have a maternal aunt?” The man replied, "Yes" Thereupon, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Then be dutiful to her.” [At-Tirmithi].

‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib may Allaah be pleased with him said, "If there was anything less than this expression (i.e., saying 'Uff' to one's parents) as a form of being undutiful, Allaah would have forbidden that expression." Allaah The Almighty also mentions gratefulness to Him along with being grateful to one’s parents when He says (what means): “Give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.”[Quran, 31: 14]

These narrations inspire you to be dutiful to your parents and respect and glorify them. Do not be negligent of the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ): “The pleasure of the Lord is in pleasing your parents, and the wrath of the Lord (upon the child) is if he makes them angry.” [At-Tabaraani].

The Concept of Morals in Islam

Morals in Islam are the set of principles and guidelines that govern human conduct according to the divine revelation. This is so that man's life will be regulated in a way that perfectly achieves the goal behind his existence in this world. Thus, the Islamic system of morality is characterized by two distinctive facets: firstly, it has a divine nature, which means that it follows the will of Allaah The Almighty. Secondly, it coincides with our innate nature, which indicates that human beings exert an effort and play a role in practically determining that system, in part.

Teachings5.jpgThis code of ethics aims at realizing a good life for mankind. It constitutes the best mode of behavior and manner of dealing with the self, Allaah The Almighty and society as a whole. In the Islamic moral system, the practical and theoretical aspects are integrated, as it is not only a part of Islam, but its essence and spirit, which comprises all its aspects.

Thus, generally speaking, Islam is founded on its moral principles, which are the crux of the divinely revealed Messages. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Verily, I was sent to perfect good manners.” [Ahmad] Hence, the underlying reason of the message of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) is to correct morals and spread all that is good. Furthermore, the goal of all divine Messages is similarly a moral one, for religion, itself, is [possessing] good manners.

Allaah The Almighty and His Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) connected faith and etiquette, because of its significance. When he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) was asked about the best among the believers in terms of faith, he replied, “[He is] the one who has the best manners among them.” [At-Tabaraani]

In fact, Islam considered faith as righteousness, as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allaah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book and the prophets...} [Quran 2: 177] And, “righteousness is having good manners” , as the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said. [Muslim] Therefore, righteousness encompasses all virtuous actions; it may also be defined as a comprehensive name for all forms of goodness.

Since there is a relation between morals and faith, so, too are morals and worship linked. That is because worship is, in essence, a moral spirit, because it is a fulfillment of divine obligations. This is much more evident in relation to transactions, which constitute another aspect of the Islamic Sharee‘ah. Accordingly, we notice that all aspects of Islam are interconnected through a moral code for the attainment of a principled goal. Thus, ethics represent the core of Islam and its legislative system is an entity that embodies it.

Conducts are of two kinds: the good, which is demonstrated by polite and virtuous manners, which result in noble words and deeds, according to reason and Sharee‘ah; and the bad, which presents in discourteousness and vice, and results in, what are logically and Islamically, evil speech and actions. It is only the former, then, which constitute the best means that enable people to win the love of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) and attain closeness to him on the Day of Resurrection, as he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The most beloved among you to me and the nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection are those who have the best manners.” [At-Tirmithi]

Morals in Islam are not based on, nor shaped by, doctrinal theories, personal interests or environmental factors. Rather, they flow from the spring of faith, whose light shines the soul and is reflected inside out. They are not independent virtues; instead, they represent rings linked together within a single chain. Consequently, the creed of a Muslim is [steeped in] morality and his Sharee’ah is morals; if he or she disconnects any of these chains, it will result in a violation of his or her faith. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, he is not a believer during [that time]. And, when someone drinks alcohol, he is not a believer at the time of his drinking. And, when a thief steals, he is not a believer when he robs.” [Al-Bukhaari] Similarly, he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) was asked, “Does the believer tell lies?” He replied in the negative and then recited the Saying of Allaah The Almighty (what means): {They only invent falsehood who do not believe in the verses of Allaah, and it is those who are the liars.} [Quran 16: 105]

Good manners are the proof of Islam and its practical representation. The stronger the faith is, the sounder one’s manners. Therefore, morals are not forms of luxury that one can dispense with, because of changes in one's environment. They are not like a garment that a person wears when it is in style and then discards by the next season. Rather, they are as firm as the orbits in which planets move; they do not alter with the course of time, because they represent man’s Fitrah (natural inclination to truth). Allaah The Almighty Says (what means), {[Adhere to] the Fitrah of Allaah upon which He has Created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allaah.} [Quran 30:30]

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rebelling Against and Removing the Ruler

The basic comprehensive principle of shari’ah is that it is not permitted to remove an evil by means of a greater evil; evil must be warded off by that which will remove it or reduce it. Warding off evil by means of a greater evil is not permitted according to the scholarly consensus (ijmaa’) of the Muslims. If this group which wants to get rid of this ruler who is openly committing kufr is able to do so, and can bring in a good and righteous leader without that leading to greater trouble for the Muslims or a greater evil than the evil of this ruler, then that is OK.

mosque-3.jpg?w=470But if rebellion would result in greater trouble and lead to chaos, oppression and the assassination of people who do not deserve to be assassinated, and other forms of major evil, then that is not permitted. Rather it is essential to be patient and to hear and obey in matters of good, and to offer sincere advice to the authorities, and to pray that they may be guided to good, and to strive to reduce evil and increase good. This is the correct way which should be followed, because that is in the general interests of the Muslims, and because it will reduce evil and increase good, and because this will keep the peace and protect the Muslims from a greater evil.

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 8, p. 202

Is it obligatory to obey a ruler who does not rule according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)?

The ruler who does not rule according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) should be obeyed in matters that do not involve disobedience towards Allah and His Messenger, and it is not obligatory to fight him because of that; rather it is not permissible to do so unless he reaches the level of kufr, in which case it becomes obligatory to oppose him and he has no right to be obeyed by the Muslims.

Ruling according to anything other than that which is in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger reaches the level of kufr when two conditions are met:

1. When he knows the ruling of Allah and His Messenger; if he is unaware of it, then he does not commit kufr by going against it.

2. When what makes him rule by something other than that which Allah has revealed is the belief that it is a ruling that is not suitable for our time and that something else is more suitable than it and more beneficial for people.

If these two conditions are met, then ruling by something other than that which Allah has revealed constitutes kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the Kaafiroon (i.e. disbelievers)” [al-Maa’idah 5:44]. The authority of the ruler becomes invalid and he has no right to be obeyed by the people; it becomes obligatory to fight him and remove him from power.

But if he rules by something other than that which Allah has revealed whilst believing that ruling by that – i.e. that which Allah has revealed — is what is obligatory, and that it is more suitable for the people, but he goes against it because of some whims and desires on his part or because he wants to wrong the people under his rule, then he is not a kafir; rather he is a faasiq (evildoer) or a zaalim (wrongdoer). His authority remains, and obeying him in matters that do not involve disobedience to Allah and His Messenger is obligatory, and it is not permissible to fight him or remove him from power by force or to rebel against him, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade rebelling against rulers unless we see blatant kufr for which we have proof from Allah. End quote.

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (2/118]

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:

It is impermissible to oppose and rebel against the leader of Muslim affairs. Rather, it is an obligation to obey him and forbidden to oppose
him due to what that entails of bloodshed, disunity, and the ruining and alienation of a nation. And you all witness now those lands in which people revolted against their leaders. You see the results such as fighting and killing, bloodshed, and the loss of safety and security when some of these leaderships are not Muslim governments. But anytime people rebel against their leaders, the same thing occurs – that which occurred in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and every other place.

So what if the ruler is Muslim? It is certainly not allowed to oppose him due to what that will result in of bloodshed, the loss of security, the opportunity for non-Muslims to gain control over Muslims, and dissension and division among Muslims.

[Taken from a translated transcription of a cassette (the first side) titled: "al-Liqaa al-Maftooḥ" given in May, 2004 by Saalih al- Faawzan.]

The role of merchants in spreading Islam

To call people to Allaah is the duty of every responsible and conscientious Muslim. Since there is no priesthood in Islam or sacerdotal class among Muslims, the duty of the call to Allaah cannot be limited to an ill-conceived and imaginary group called the 'men of religion as is the case with other religions.' In Islam, everyone is a man (or woman) of religion and everyone will be accountable to Allaah as to whether or not one fulfilled their obligations sincerely and to the best of their abilities.

137272.jpgUrging Muslims to own up to their responsibilities in this respect, Almighty Allaah Says (what means): "And who is better in speech than one who calls to Allaah and does righteousness and says, 'Indeed, I am of the Muslims.'" [Quran 41: 33]

Therefore, one need not be a profound scholar or a great jurist to call others to Islam. A Muslim should better be a caller to Islam by his good conduct than by eloquent oration, for to preach others to do something not practically embodied in the preacher's character is a vain attempt to win hearts and minds. Moreover, doing so incurs Allaah's displeasure, as He, the Almighty Says (what means): "O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allaah that you say that which you do not do." [Quran 61:2-3]

The adage: "Actions speak louder than words" was well embodied in the Islamic history, namely the spread of Islam in many non-Muslim countries- like parts of Asia, Africa and Europe- through the good conduct of Muslim merchants who came into commercial contacts with the people of those countries.

Hereunder is a brief survey of that peaceful spread of Islam:

Southeast Asia

By the 14th century CE, as Islam made its way through Indian and Chinese merchants into the area of today’s Malaysia, Buddhist and Hindu influences gave way. Islam became the source of legitimacy for the Malay feudal rulers. It was during this period that Islamic and Malay identities combined together, though many Hindu and pre-Hindu customs and practices remained part of the Malay cultural and social mix.

Muslim influence in Southeast Asia is at least six centuries old, i.e., it was present by 1400 A.D. Some argue that the Islamic presence there goes back to at least 1100 A.D. in the earliest areas of Islamic influence, such as in Aceh and northern Sumatra in Indonesia. Whatever exact dates and sources one chooses to support, there is no doubt that the acceptance of Islam by many nations in present-day Malaysia, southern Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, and the southern Philippines occurred within a few hundred years.

In the year 1500, the historian Anthony Reid notes that Islamic influence was present in coastal ports of Sumatra, Java, and Malaysia. Southeast Asian peoples came into direct contact with Muslim traders who had been not just to India, but also to Arabia. Arabic scholars also came to Malaysia and Indonesia, facilitating information about the new religion.

The successful spread of Islam in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines owed much to the introduction of the Noble Quran and other Islamic books and references.

Today, 90% of Indonesians are Muslims, while over half of Malaysia's population is Muslim. In the Philippines, where the Spanish (and later Americans) won the war for religious converts, only 5% of the population is Muslim.

Africa

The growth of cities was both a cause and effect of the spread of Islam and economic growth in Muslim-ruled areas in Africa. Cultural developments in literature, arts and sciences, manufacturing and trade accompanied the spread of Islam and its influence on religious, intellectual, economic and political life in those regions.

Although unified Muslim rule lasted only about a century, Islam kept spreading and Muslim culture and society flourished.

Before 1500, Islam spread widely in sub-Saharan Africa. The first town south of the Sahara that became majority Muslim was Gao on the Niger River in Mali before 990, when a ruler accepted Islam. Over the centuries, many rulers followed. By 1040, groups in Senegal became Muslims. From them Islam spread to the region of today’s Senegal, west Mali, and Guinea. After the Soninke of the Kingdom of Ghana became Muslims about 1076, Islam spread along the Niger River.

Muslims established the kingdom of Mali in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, and Songhai from1465 to 1600. Farther east, Kanem-Bornu near Lake Chad became Muslim after 1100.

In West Africa, as was the case with Southeast Asia, it was traders who introduced Islam, and many rulers accepted it first, followed by others. African Muslim scholars became established in the major towns like Timbuktu, and they taught, wrote and practiced Islamic law as judges. Islam was established in West Africa throughout the Sahel belt and along the Niger River into today’s Nigeria.

It was famous trade routes which led to the empire of Ghana and connected prominent African places like Timbuktu (in Mali), the present Nigeria, Tripoli and Tunisia. These routes had made all the above mentioned places famous trade centers. These centers of trade invariably became centers of Islamic learning and civilization. New ideas came through visiting traders in the field of administrative practices.

In East Africa, traders had spread Islam down the coast by the tenth century, and it gradually developed further in the following centuries. In the Sudan, south of Egypt, the population of Nubia gradually became Muslim during the fourteenth century, through immigration of Muslim Arab tribesmen. Muslim rule and influence, however, did not extend south of Khartoum, where the Blue and White Niles before 1500.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

He is like my “Brother”, she is like my “Sister”

We find nowadays as the advancement of the internet world, “young da’ees” are emerging and “guiding” those men and women who don’t practise Islaam of opposite gender. It happens that they sometimes have clean intention of guiding a brother or a sister of the opposite gender, but no one can change the law of nature. Almost all of these modern “da’ees” end up in a relationship and most of them end up in an physical relation. This is so scary like wolf in sheep’s clothing where you try to “guide” the opposite gender to Islaam even though you are not permitted to do so under sharee’ah, therefore you end up in a relationship. Almost all “da’ees” who do this type of “da’wah” after they commit zinaa, they do another crime, abortion.

images1.jpg?w=150&h=150It’s not a rare crime but as I said ‘almost all who “guide” the opposite gender to Islaam’ fall in this tragic relationship. There are infinite real life stories, here is a real story of a female daa’iyah. She says,

“I am a young woman from a very well-known family. All my life I have been religiously committed and of good character, as all will attest, but I do not know what is the reason that caused me to get to know a young man. I wanted to help him because he had suffered the calamity of his father’s death, and he is responsible for his siblings and his mother, but he went down the path of keeping company with bad people. I advised him and I felt it was my duty to stand beside him and advise him sincerely. Eventually he returned to his studies and gave up those bad friends, and he changed completely. His mother asked him the reason, and he told her. She spoke to me and thanked me for being patient with her son. One day he came for a visit to see me, and I did not know why I did not hesitate. I went to see him, and I felt as if he was my brother. We spent some time together and what happened happened, unfortunately. Now he wants to come and propose marriage to me, but it is impossible. He is three years younger than me, and he is not of the same nationality as me. Now I am pregnant and I want Allaah to conceal my sin and I want to repent. I know that I have done wrong, and you will criticize me severely, but I want to repent and I want a solution.“

There are hundreds and thousands of such cases and I am amazed how they violate the law of Allaah and then how Shaytaan leads them astray. Then on top of that, these female “daa’iyah” upload their videos and photos online and male “daa’iyah” upload their photos posing like actors, this is rubbish and purely unIslaamic. There are many Muslims who take their cousins, brother-in-law and other non-mahrams as their brothers and sisters, this is pure evil and a signal of the wrath of Allaah. We must do our islaah and protect our family from all sorts of evils by teaching them how to behave with shopkeepers, with neighbours, with teachers, classmates and so on. May Allaah keep us upon the right path, the path of Allaah!

Allah takes away knowledge by taking away (the lives of) the scholars

Abdullaah bin Amr bin Al-Aas radiallaahu anhu reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying:

orange_autumn-wide.jpg?w=470&h=293“Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people, but He takes it away by taking away (the lives of) the religious scholars till none of the scholars stays alive. Then the people will take ignorant ones as their leaders, who, when asked to deliver religious verdicts, will issue them without knowledge, the result being that they will go astray and will lead others astray.”

Reported by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

Commentary: It is a sign of the nearness of the Day of Judgement that the world will be deprived of genuine religious scholars, and illiterate people will become leaders who will have neither the knowledge of the Qur’an nor that of Hadith. Despite their ignorance of the Qur’an and Hadith, they will be called Mujtahid (jurist entitled to independent reasoning) and Imaam (leader) and will mislead people with their legal opinions and self-created problems. Besides urging us to acquire religious knowledge with a view to producing more scholars in the society, this Hadith also warns us against the ignorant self-styled `Ulama’. It also warns us against entrusting religious leadership to them.

Taken from: Riyadh As-Saliheen, Imam Nawawi rahimahullaah.

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