Monday, October 31, 2016

Genesis 16:7, Hagar, Abraham, And Ishmael – Zam Zam

In the story about the wife of patriach Abraham, Hagar, and his firstbon son, Ishmael, in  the Torah  in Genesis/Bereishit 16:7 it was mentioned about a place named Shur שֽׁוּר.

וַֽיִּמְצָאָ֞הּ מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה עַל־עֵ֥ין הַמַּ֖יִם בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר עַל־הָעַ֖יִן בְּדֶ֥רֶךְ שֽׁוּר

An angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur  (JPS 1985)

According to Jewish and christian interpretation Shur was the desert between the south of Canaan, where Hebron was situated, and Egypt.

Interestingly, Rabbi Saadia Gaon ben Yosef (882-942)  or  Saʻīd bin Yūsuf al-Fayyūmi in Arabic also known by the acronym “Rasag” (who is considered one of the greatest Jewish sage from the geonic era. An intellectual tower in the field of biblical exegesis, Jewish philosophy, Hebrew language, prayer, and Halakha)  in his magnus opus arabic translation of the Torah Attarjamah Al’arabiyyah Attawrah الترجمة العربية للتوراة rendered Genesis 16:7 as follows:

genesis-16-7

فو جدها مالك اللّٰه على عين ماء في البرية على على التي في طريق الحجاز

My literal translation : “The Angel of Allah found her on a spring of water in the wilderness on the way in the Hijaz (Al Hijaz)”

To me this is remarkable discovery. Rasag did not mention Shur but Al Hijaz, he seemed to confirm the origin of the zamzam well, a miraculously generated source of water from God, which according to traditional Islamic report began when Hagar and her infant son Ishmael was wandering in the wilderness thirsty and desperately need for water. It was then God sending his angel, Gabriel to help Hagar. Later then Ishmael and his father Abraham rebuilt the Bayt Allah (“House of God”) called the Kaaba, a landmark building which Muslims around the world visit and face in prayer.  The place which Rasag mention as  Al-Hijaz  is the region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia where  the holy city of Mecca in which the Kaaba is situated.

Hejaz-English.jpg

Rasag originally wrote his original Torah translation using Hebrew scripts not Arabic (Judeo-arabic scripts). This also has been bolstered by the fact that no texts of the Arabic script have been found in any of the Genizah collections. As Muslims at his time could not read Hebrew or Hebrew characters this clearly indicates that Rasag wrote his translation of the Torah with a Jewish audience in mind, an assumption supported by Rasag own description of his work. So There is little possibility that Rasag deliberately choose the wording in order to fit Islamic audience as later  jewish commentator such as 12th century  Abraham Ibn Ezra had been speculating.

More support that Rasag himself chose to refer to the Al -Hijaz region in his Torah translation can be found in his rendering of Genesis/Bereishit 10:30, in which he translates the locations Mesha  מֵשָׁ֑א  and Sephar סְפָ֖רָ as Mecca مكة and Medina المدينة.

Please refer to Rasag tarjamah text below:

genesis-10-30-saadia


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Sunday, October 30, 2016

SOME BOOKS WRITTEN AGAINST IMITATING THE KUFFAR



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WHY RELIGIOUS IMMITATION IS AN ABSOLUTE NO-NO FOR MUSLIMS


Before we proceed, please note that immitating the disbelievers , when it comes to the Islamic realm - Means immitating non Muslims in matters that are distinctively used as their identity , culture or religious association. It also includes imitating them in anything that is forbidden in Islam [1] such as celebrating their auspicious days of Halloween, as has started in the Muslim world since a few years now [ as if natural ugly faces of some wasn't enough for them to now adorn even uglier masks] 

 For details see: https://islamqa.info/en/2322

[1] For e.g. Men adorning themselves with female accessories presuming they are the mighty pharoah of a vast Egyptian dynasty of 1500 B.C or simply to copy some pink-purple-orange haired guy who shouts at the top of his voice for money [aka rockstar]. 

Shaykh Ibn Hajar al-hayTami rahimahullah said:

"  يَحْرُمُ التَّشَبُّهُ بِهِنَّ [ أي : بالنساء ] بِلُبْسِ زِيِّهِنَّ الْمُخْتَصِّ بِهِنَّ اللَّازِمِ في حَقِّهِنَّ كَلُبْسِ السِّوَارِ وَالْخَلْخَالِ وَنَحْوِهِمَا بِخِلَافِ لُبْسِ الْخَاتَمِ " . " الفتاوى الفقهية الكبرى" (1/261) .

It is haraam to imitate them (i.e., women) by wearing fashions that are unique to them, such as wearing bracelets, anklets and the like, unlike wearing rings.

[Ref: Fataawa al-Kubra, 1/261]


The issue of not imitating the disbeliever's religious practices and to prevent them from copying ours [ keeping the future turn-out in mind] was so important that 

 (خبر أن عمر: " أمر بجز نواصى أهل الذمة وأن يشدوا المناطق وأن يركبوا الأكف بالعرض "

`Umar (radhiallahu `anhu) ordered the disbelievers (living in a Muslim country) to keep the forelocks shaved, to wear the belts, and they should ride animals keeping both legs to one side and back to the other side.

 (خبر إسماعيل بن عياش عن غير واحد من أهل العلم قالوا: " كتب أهل الجزيرة إلى عبد الرحمن بن غنم إنا شرطنا على أنفسها أن لا نتشبه بالمسلمين فى لبس قلنسوة ولا عمامة ... الخ

Narration of Ismaa`el bin Ayaash reported from many knowledgeable people, they said,

„The people of Al-Jazeerah (who were ahl adh-dhimma) wrote to `Abdur-Rahmaan: We are bound with the condition that we will not copy the Muslims in wearing hats and turbans………..‟


[Ref: http://the-finalrevelation.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-ijtihad-of-sahaaba-during-and-after.html]


عن خرشة بن الحر ، قال : رأيت عمر يضرب أكف المترجبين ، حتى يضعوها في الطعام . ويقول : كلوا ، فإنما هو شهر كانت تعظمه الجاهلية

Kharasha ibn al-Hurr narrated that I saw `Umar ibn Khattab he used to beat the people who would not eat, in respect or out of veneration of Rajab (i.e by fasting) till he (`Umar) made them sit to eat and would say Eat! This is the month that the people of ignorance era used to venerate (by over doing it) 


[Ref: Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 2/182/2] 

 - حَدَّثَنَا زَيْدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ الْعَلَاءِ بْنِ زَبْرٍ، حَدَّثَنِي الْقَاسِمُ قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ أَبَا أُمَامَةَ يَقُولُ: خَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَى مَشْيَخَةٍ مِنَ الْأَنْصَارٍ بِيضٌ لِحَاهُمْ فَقَالَ: " يَا مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْصَارِ حَمِّرُوا وَصَفِّرُوا، وَخَالِفُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ ". قَالَ: فَقُلْنَا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ يَتَسَرْوَلَونَ وَلْا يَأْتَزِرُونَ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: " تَسَرْوَلُوا وَائْتَزِرُوا وَخَالِفُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ ". قَالَ: فَقُلْنَا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ يَتَخَفَّفُونَ وَلَا يَنْتَعِلُونَ. قَالَ: فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: " فَتَخَفَّفُوا وَانْتَعِلُوا وَخَالِفُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ ". قَالَ: فَقُلْنَا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ يَقُصُّونَ عَثَانِينَهُمْ وَيُوَفِّرُونَ سِبَالَهُمْ. قَالَ: فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: " قُصُّوا سِبَالَكُمْ وَوَفِّرُوا عَثَانِينَكُمْ وَخَالِفُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ "


Abu ‘Umamah reports: The Prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) once came to some old men of the tribe of Ansar. These men had extremely white beards. Seeing them, the Prophet remarked: ‘O People of Ansar dye your beards in red or golden colours and do not follow these People of the Book’. They declared: ‘O Prophet these People of the Book do not wear shalwars and loin cloths’. At this, the Prophet said: ‘Wear shalwars and loin cloths and do not follow these People of the Book’. They declared: ‘O Prophet these People of the Book neither wear shoes nor socks [while praying]’. At this, the Prophet said: ‘Wear shoes and socks and do not follow these People of the Book’. They said: ‘O Prophet these People of the Book lengthen their moustaches and shave their beards’. At this, the Prophet said: ‘Clip your moustaches and lengthen your beards and do not follow these People of the Book’. 

[Ref: Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hambal, Hadeeth 22283 in shamela or vol. 5 p. 264 ; إسناده حسن رجاله كلهم ثقات غير القاسم وهو حسن الحديث - the hadeeth is hasan and has also a shaahid by tabraani in Mu`jam al-Kabeer 7924 with a certain addition . the rijaal all are thiqah except al-qaasim who is ibn `abdur rahman ad-dimishiq and he is hasan. Imam haythami, suyuti, albani, the recently deceased shaykh shu`ayb al-Arnout, have all reported variants of this and is saheeh. More so certain individual commandments within this hadeeth are also reported separately in other narrations ]




THERE ARE TIMES WHEN IMITATING NON RELIGIOUS ACTS ARE OKAY, RECOMMENDED, BENEFICIAL AND MANDATORY




However, there were times when the prophet sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam, his companions, their students and scholars till this date allow and encourage copying the disbelievers in some non-religious matters . 

For e.g. the below tafseer excerpt explains it all: 

(Do not stand) pray (in it ever) He sent some people to pull it down and burn it and they put it in its place a rubbish heap where they threw carcasses. (a mosque founded on taqwa from the first day) Established the day you came to the abode of the Hijra, and it is the mosque of Quba' as it says in al-Bukhari. (has greater right that you should stand in it) to pray. (in it there are men) the Ansar. (men who love to purify themselves. Allah loves those who purify themselves) i.e. He rewards them. The Prophet went to the mosque of Quba and said, "You have been praised for purification in the story of your mosque. What is this purification by which you purify yourselves?" They said, "By Allah, Messenger of Allah, we do not know anything but that we had some neighbours who were Jews and they used to wash themselves after going to the lavatory and so we wash as they wash." In a hadith related by al-Bazzar, they said, "We use water after stones." He said, "It is that. You must do it."


Ibn `Abbas (r.a) narrated that : The Prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to let his hair fall naturally, and the mushrikoon used to part their hair, and theAhl al-Kitaab used to let their hair fall naturally, and the Prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) liked to follow the Ahl al-Kitaab in matters for which he had not been given any instruction, but later on the Prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) started parting his hair.

[Ref: Saheeh al-Bukhari #3944]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar briefly commented on this hadeeth by saying:

قوله : ( ثم فرق النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – رأسه ) بفتح الفاء والراء الخفيفة ، وقد سبق شرحه في صفة النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ، وفيه دليل على أنه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – كان يوافق أهل الكتاب إذا خالفوا عبدة الأوثان أخذا بأخف الأمرين ، فلما فتحت مكة ودخل عباد الأوثان في الإسلام رجع إلى مخالفة باقي الكفار وهم أهل الكتاب .

His statement, “but later on the Prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) started parting his hair” – its explanation has already preceded in [the chapter on] the attributes of the Prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam). And in this is a proof  that he (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to agree with the the Ahl al-Kitaab when differing with the idol worshippers was the easier of the two matters. But then with the opening of Mecca and the entrance of the idol-worshippers into Islam, he returned to differing with the remaining kuffaar, who were the Ahl al-Kitaab.


[Ref: Fath al-Bari #3728]

Other acts such as their technology, their discipline in day to day life, war-fare, etc. becomes mandatory as and when needed. 


THE IMMITATION DONE BY THE KHAWARIJ AND EXTREMISTS 


By the way, Shaykh Hatim al-Awni may allah preserve him for goodness and rid his heart from the anti-salafi bias , once wrote an article online which i saved. He enlisted many ways in which the khawarij or extremist who taint Islam's name immitate the disbeliever's past and many times present practices . He said the following actions of neo-khawarij  and ilk groups resemble imitating too:

1. Extremism and Fanaticism [Qur'an 5:77]

2. Disunity and Secterian Group Mentality [3:105]

3. Resembling the Disbelievers in Fighting each other

4. Taking scholars as Lords [Qur'an 9:31]

5. Some Claimants of Knowledge and Pseudo-Jurists/Muftis Exercising Church Type Authority or Dogmatism. 

6. Creating Loopholes in the Religion as the Jews did with the Sabbath

7. Fighting the Intellect (‘Aql) in the Name of Revelation (Naql)   [67:10]

so on and so forth

The original Arabic can be accessed here:  http://www.al-madina.com/node/541501

If you didn't understand how or why the khawarij immitate the disbelievers, please see this article titled : 25+ distinguishing modern day features of the khawarij:  http://the-finalrevelation.blogspot.com/2015/08/25-distinguishing-traits-of-khawarij.html


BOOKS WRITTEN AGAINST IMITATION 


i am sure there are many more, however these are the only ones i know:

1) 

Iqtiḍa al-Siraṭ al-Mustaqeem Mukhaalafat Aṣḥaab ul-Jaḥeem  | اقـتـضـاء الصراط المـسـتـقـيـم  (The Necessity of the Straight Path in order to be different from the Inhabitants of Hell) by Ibn Taymiyyah - Some say this was the first book penned down with such ferocity 

2) 

Tashabbuh alKhasees bi-Ahl al-Khamees fee radd al-tashabbuh bi’l Mushrikeen (The Despicable Imitation of the People of Thursday, Rejecting the Imitation of Polytheists) by the famous student of ibn taymiyyah - Shamsuddin ad-dhahabi rahimahullah


Liberals take note : Thursday appears to refer to Maundy or Lentil Thursday, which Christians celebrated as part of the last days of the Lent holiday leading up to Easter. Dhahabi’s disgust for these  festivities mimics that of Ibn Taymiyya. He criticizes Muslim imitation of mundane activities such as baking flat loaves of bread, painting eggs, dyeing hair, wearing special attire, burning incense, and hanging crosses made of tar. 

3) 

Ḥusn at-Tanabbuh lima warada fi-Tashabbuh (The Beauty of Awakening to what has been transmitted regarding Imitation) by Imam Najmud-deen al-Ghazzi ash-shaf`i from Shaam. 

This shaykh was a known sufi shaykh. Ironically, modern day claimaints of sufism could never reach the level of the actual sufi shuyukh when it comes to wala al-bara or even basic inter-islamic taqwa like this . Several features distinguish this work from its predecessors. First, this treatise is really an encyclopedia; it took Ghazzi nearly forty years to complete this project. Imam ghazzi rahimahullah did not limit himself to emphasizing the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims. 

He took it to the next level by discussing imitation/relations between men and women, Arabs and non-Arabs [yes arab notion of self-superiority always existed even back then; however when scholars use this word it has a different unbias intention and meaning]free persons and slaves, scholars and commoners, and humans and non-humans (angels, devils, and animals). Most importantly, however, unlike any other treatise written against tashabbuh in Muslim history, Ghazzi stresses the positive possibilities of tashabbuh as well. Inspired by his Sufi sympathies, he devotes nearly half of his encyclopedia to good tashabbuh. This is published in 12 huge volumes [yes 12 ! by dar al-nawadir 2011] 

4) 

Ḥusn as-sayrfi  Bayaan Aḥkaam Anwa’ min at-Tashabbuh bi’l-Ghayr (The Beautiful Journey in Clarifying the Rulings concerning the different types of Imitation of the Other) by Muhammad ibnal `Awad al-Dimyati as-shaf`i al-Misri (Died 1912 - before the collapse of the ottomon caliphate)


Now shaykh ad-dimyati was literally troubled seeing how Egyptian Muslims back then when mingled with Non Muslims , tend to copy them from head to toe. To the extent that shaykh dimyati finally decided to pen it down. He categorized his book into many subsections, including criticizing egyptian males dying their hand in henna which was actually something the women did only. 


Then he saw egyptian Muslims partaking in many non islamic festivals, rituals celebrations etc. Then the shaykh went on to discuss how common muslims should not wear the religious dresses of other religions. 

These shuyukh and their worries reminds me of our era ! And also of this particular tweet : 

14317482_658237807664367_503609691789306



Then from 1950 onwards , Muslim scholars witnessing the slow but steady changes in Muslims made them write many books on this topic. From almost every Middle eastern country and even by schools such as deobandhi scholar Qari Muhammad Tayyab (d. 1983) Islami tahzeeb o Tamaddun . He wrote this when India was still under british colonialism and muslims left Urdu as their language and adopted other languages esp. english and french. 

Today, in the modern India - the young Muslims barely know how to read or write Urdu. BARELY

Even the secular Turkey had some scholars writing on this topic. But for turkey perhaps it was too late. 



Conclusion: 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah:

“The reason why the religion of Allah and its rituals is vanishing, and kufr  and sin are prevailing, is because of imitation of the kaafireen, just as the means of preserving all good is by following the ways and laws of the Prophets. “


[Ref : al-Iqtidaa`, 1/413]

I remember shaykh ibn uthaymeen rahimhullah in one of his tapes saying and giving references of how the world back during abbasid and ummayad caliphate rushed to learn arabic. Foreigners would learn arabic to impress the arab muslims. foreigners would teach their kids arabic the way we teach them english today.  That was because we were the super power and the shaykh r.h made a very subtle point that people tend to copy the strongest. They feel ashamed of their own traditions when someone else becomes more powerful in the world . 


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The Pagan Origins of Halloween

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All Saints' Day, Nov. 1, feast of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, the day God is glorified for all his saints known and unknown. Roman Catholics are obliged to hear Mass on this day. In medieval England it was called All Hallows; hence the name Halloween (Hallows' eve) for the preceding day (Oct. 31).

From the Compton's Family Encyclopedia, 1991 Edition: Customs and superstitions gathered through the ages go into the celebration of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, on October 31, the Christian festival of All Saints. It has its origins, however, in the autumn festivals of earlier times.

The ancient Druids had a three-day celebration at the beginning of November. They believed that on the last night of October spirits of the dead roamed abroad, and they lighted bonfires to drive them away. In ancient Rome the festival of Pomona, goddess of fruits and gardens, occurred at about this time of year. It was an occasion of rejoicing associated with the harvest; and nuts and apples, as symbols of the winter store of fruit, were roasted before huge bonfires. But these agricultural and pastoral celebrations also had a sinister aspect, with ghosts and witches thought to be on the prowl.

Even after November 1 became a Christian feast day honoring all saints, many people clung to the old pagan beliefs and customs that had grown up about Halloween.
Some tried to foretell the future on that night by performing such rites as jumping over lighted candles. In the British Isles great bonfires blazed for the Celtic festival of Sambain. Laughing bands of guisers, young people disguised in grotesque masks, carved lanterns from turnips, and carried them through the villages.

In the United States, children carved faces on hollowed-out pumpkins and put lighted candles inside to make jack-o'-lanterns. Halloween celebrations today reflect many of these early customs. Stores and homes display orange and black figures of witches, bats, black cats, and pumpkins. People dressed in fanciful outfits go to costume parties, where old-fashioned games like bobbing for apples in tubs of water may be a part of the festivities. Children put on costumes and masks and go from house to house demanding "trick or treat."

The treat, usually candy, is generally given and the trick rarely played. Some parents feel this custom is dangerous. There have been numerous instances in which sharp objects or poisons have been found in candy bars and apples. To provide an alternative to begging for candy from strangers, many communities schedule special, supervised parties and events at Halloween. The United Nations has used the Halloween observance to collect money for its children's fund.

The Celtic festival of Samhain is probably the source of the present day Halloween celebration. The Celts lived more than 2000 years ago in what is now Great Britain, Ireland and Northern France. Their new year began November 1; a festival that began the previous evening honored Samhain, the Celtic lord of death. The celebration marked the beginning of the season of cold, darkness, and decay. It naturally became associated with human death. Celts believed that Samhain allowed the souls of the dead to return to their earthly homes for this evening.
On the evening of that festival, the Druids, who were the priests and teachers of the Celts, had a three-day festival and ordered the people to put out their hearth fires. They believed that on the last night of October spirits of the dead roamed abroad, and they lighted bonfires to drive them away. They built a huge new year bonfire of oak branches, which they considered sacred. They burned animals, crops and possibly even human beings as sacrifices. Then, each family relit its hearth fires from the new year's fire. During the celebration, people sometimes wore costumes made of animal heads and skins. They told fortunes about the coming year by examining the remains of the animals that were sacrificed.
Halloween customs

Most of the Halloween activities participated in today can be traced to occult symbolism. For example:
1-Regional Halloween Customs developed among various groups of Celts: In Ireland, for example, people begged for food in a parade that honored Muck Olla, believed by them as a god. The leader of the parade wore a white robe and a mask made from the head of an animal. In Scotland, people paraded through fields and villages carrying torches. They lit huge bonfires on hillsides to drive away witches and other evil spirits. In Wales, every person marked a stone and put it into a bonfire. The people believed that if a person's stone was missing the next morning he or she would die within a year.
In England, Halloween was sometimes called Nutcracker Night or Snap Apple Night. Families sat by the fire and told stories while eating apples and nuts. On All Soul's Day poor people went a-souling (begging). They receive pastries called soul cakes in exchange for promising to say prayers for the dead.

Jack-O'-Lanterns are hollowed out pumpkins with a face cut into one side. Most jack-o'-lanterns contain a candle or some other light. People in England and Ireland once carved out beets, potatoes, and turnips to use as lanterns on Halloween. After this custom reached the America, pumpkins began to be used. According to an Irish legend, jack-o'-lanterns were named after a man called Jack who could not enter heaven because he was a miser. He could not enter hell either because he had played jokes on the devil. As a result Jack had to walk the earth with his lantern until the Judgment Day.

2- Fortune telling: Certain fortune telling methods began in Europe hundreds of years ago and became an important part of Halloween. For example, such objects as a coin, ring, and a thimble were baked into a cake or other food. It was believed that a person who found the coin would become wealthy. The one who found the ring would marry soon, and the one who got the thimble would never marry. Today, techniques such as card readers and palmistry have been added to the traditional Halloween methods of fortune telling.

3-Dressing up in costumes: This was done so that the spirits of the dead would not recognize people. The Druids would actually sacrifice animals and sometimes humans and dress in these animal skins. Wearing these clothes, they would engage in fortune telling. Another explanation is that today, kids who dress represent these spirits.

4- Trick or Treating: The Druids would go from house to house on October 31 and demand specific types of food. If their demands were not met, it was believed the people and their homes would be cursed with trouble, sickness, and death. Prosperity was promised to those who generously donated. Today, when kids are offered treats by neighbors, this goes back to the time people would offer food to appease the spirits.

Halloween in the USA:

Many early American settlers came from England and other Celtic regions and they brought various customs with them. But because of the strict religious beliefs of other settlers, Halloween celebrations did not become popular until the 1800's. During that period, large numbers of immigrants arrived from Ireland and Scotland and introduced their Halloween customs.
During the mid 1900's trick-or-treating became less popular in large cities where many neighbors did not know each other. Halloween pranks, which had once been harmless, sometimes became rowdy and destructive. Traffic accidents also became a problem on Halloween. As a result, family parties, large community celebrations gained popularity. Today many communities sponsor bonfires, costume parades, dances, skits, and other forms of entertainment to celebrate Halloween.

Understanding with knowledge:

"Mankind has been blessed with intellect and natural inclination to the truth. In addition to these great blessings and this great eminence which Allah has given to mankind, He also gave them the blessing of intellect which raises them to the level of taking on responsibilities given by Allah, and it also enables them to achieve and comprehend them. He All-Mighty also provided them with natural inclination to the truth which agrees with that which the Messengers of Allah salallaahu alayhi wa sallam came with: the noble revelation and the true religion which Allah prescribed, and laid down as the way to be followed for mankind upon the tongues of his noble Messengers." (The Methodology of the Prophets in Calling to Allah, that is the way of wisdom and intelligence)

So with this intellect that Allah has blessed us with, let us not forget the truth of Halloween. Everything about Halloween involves some kind of associating partners with Allah. Halloween must be seen as it really is:

1. Reverence and fear of the so-called "dead spirits." (Associating, worshiping other than Allah The Most High)
2. Reenacting Pagan holidays (Imitation of disbelievers)
3. Fortune-telling (Belief that others have the power to know the future and the unseen)

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

The excellence of Prayer

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The Prayer is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, mentioned after that of uttering the Testimony of Faith, by which one becomes a Muslim. It is a form of worship consisting of specific statements and actions. It begins by pronouncing the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is the Greatest), and concludes with the salutation As-Salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah (May the peace and mercy of Allah be with you).

The Prayer was the only order that was commanded by Allah directly to His Messenger, may Allaah exalt his mention, during his night journey. Allah Says (what means): {Exalted is He who took His slave [i.e. Prophet Muhammad] by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing} [Quran 17: 1] Prayer was also obligatory upon all the prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, and their nations.

Additionally, it was the first act of worship that was made obligatory by Allah on every believer.

The status and virtue of the Prayer:

The Prayer has a great status in Islam; a status which no other act of worship holds. It is the spinal cord of the religion, without which the religion itself cannot be established. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said regarding it: “The head of the matter is Islam, its spinal cord is the prayer, and its highest pinnacle is ‘Jihaad’ in the way of Allah.” [Muslim]

In the Quran, Allah ordains us hundreds of times to establish the Prayer. Allah Says (what means): {…Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times…} [Quran 4: 103] And (what means): {Establish the Prayer, and give Zakaat (poor-due) and bow with those who bow (in worship and obedience).} [Quran 2: 43]

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Islam is built upon five pillars: Bearing witness that none is worthy of worship but Allah and that Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger, establishing the Prayer, paying Zakaah, observing Fast in Ramadan and performing Hajj.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The significance of Prayer is so great that one is ordered to observe it whether traveling or not, in safety or in fear. Allah Says (what means): {Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer, and stand up with devotion to Allah. And if you go in fear, then (pray) standing or on horseback. And when you are again in safety, remember Allah, as He has taught you that which (heretofore) you knew not.} [Quran 2: 238-239]

Moreover, it is the first act that the person will be held accountable for on the Day of Recompense. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “The first act that the slave will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment will be the Prayer. If it is good, then the rest of his deeds will be good. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [At-Tabaraani]

The Prayer is the best and most noble of deeds. It is the link between the believer and his Lord. Through the Prayer, the slave communicates with his Lord five times a day. To demonstrate the greatness and virtues of performing prayer, the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “If the time for a prescribed prayer comes, and a Muslim performs ablution properly, (and then offers his prayer) with humbleness and bowing (to Allah), it will be an expiation for his past sins, so long as he has not committed a major sin; and this is applicable to all times.” [Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, beautifully gave a similitude, to the one who performs the Prayer in the prescribed manner and time, by these great words: “The five daily prayers are like a deep river flowing by the door of any of you, in which he bathes five times every day.” [Muslim]

The Prayer is the last thing that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, reminded his nation with before he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, died, saying: “Keep your Prayer, keep your prayer and fear Allah regarding what your right hand possesses (i.e. slaves).” [Imam Ahmad]

The impact of praying:

The relationship with Allah is demonstrated and put into practice, as well as improved and increased by the prayer. Therefore, if the prayers are sound and proper, the rest of the deeds will be sound and proper; and if the prayers are not sound and proper, then the rest of the deeds will not be sound and proper.

The spirit of the Prayer should be sincerity, devotion and contemplation. It is meant to strengthen the faith, purify and chasten the soul, qualify the believer for salvation in this life and the Hereafter and to make him shun immorality and evil deeds. Allah Says (what means): {Recite [O Muhammad] what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish the Prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.} [Quran 29: 45]

Moreover, its aim is to generate within the subliminal self of man such spiritual power, light of faith and awareness of Allah as can enable him to strive successfully against all kinds of evils and temptations and remain steadfast at times of trial and adversity. The Prayer is so effective and soothing to the heart that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, would resort to it whenever anything grieved him, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and would say to Bilal, may Allaah be pleased with him: “O Bilal! Comfort our hearts with it (i.e. call Iqamah for Prayer).” [Ahmad]

The overall effect that the properly performed prayers should have upon humans is described by Allah in many verses of the Quran. For example, Allah Says (what means): {Indeed, mankind was created anxious. When evil touches him, impatient, and when good touches him, withholding [of it], except the observers of prayer —those who are constant in their prayer.} [Quran 70: 19-23]

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Dealing with Halloween: 13 tips for parents

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Suppose that your kids have come home on Halloween night (October 31) and begged you to go trick-or-treating. They can't wait for all of the bubble gum, lollipops and jawbreakers, not to mention dressing up in a Pokemon or witch costume like the rest of their friends.

You watch all of this in dismay. Knowing that Halloween is about Shirk (making partners with Allah) you want to put your foot down once and for all and not let the kids go out that evening.
These are their tips about how you can deal with the Halloween hoopla:
Tip 1: Find out exactly what Halloween is.
Too often, parents themselves are in the dark about the background of occasions and holidays like Halloween. Don't think this is a trivial matter. Once you find out why Halloween is celebrated, you will think twice about getting your kids involved. In fact, any parent who is trying to raise his or her child as a God-conscious individual will object to the celebration of the occasion. Just spend an hour at the library looking it up in the encyclopedia. To get an Islamic perspective, check out a review of Holiday Myths. If you discuss it with your kids using correct information, and they sense that you know what you are talking about, they may even agree with you about not participating in the ritual.
Tip 2: Talk to them at least a few weeks in advance.
This is made easier by the fact that Halloween sales of candy and costumes are already underway and the yearly ritual of horror movies being released or shown on television. So the atmosphere is right to sit 'Aa'ishah or 'Ali down to have a talk about Halloween. Talking to them now as opposed to on the morning of October 31 will give them some time to think about it too, and get used to the idea of not having to go trick-or-treating just because their friends are.
Tip 3: Rationally explain that we have our own celebrations.
Talking about Halloween in the context of a fiery speech about how "these non-Muslims are so evil" will not help 'Aa'ishah or 'Ali see why they should not participate. Your histrionics will only blind them to reality. Instead, explain that every group or culture has its own celebrations, and we, as Muslims have our own. Halloween is a pagan celebration. But when 'Eed comes, that is our celebration. Explain calmly what it is, point out its dangers, and let your kids think about it.
Tip 4: Mention the other dangers of Halloween (this is for America).
Horror stories about razor blades in apples, Ex-Lax laxative given instead of chocolate to trick-or-treaters, or the dangers on the street should also be mentioned, but not made the focus of the reasons why you object to Halloween.
Tip 5: Explain that every one of our occasions has a meaning.
Remind your kids that for Muslims, our holidays always have a good, positive meaning. For example, at 'Eed-ul-Fitr, we celebrate our joy of fasting during the blessed month of Ramadan, which is a time we strive to get closer to Allah and be better Muslims. Halloween, on the other hand, is celebrated partly as a reminder of Shaytaan (Satan), who is evil, and whom everyone should avoid, and seek refuge from in Allah.
Tip 6: Emphasize that there is nothing wrong with being different.
This point is crucial because there will be other occasions later on in their lives when Muslim children must not participate in school activities. This does not mean permanent exclusion from all school and/or peer activities, but it means that as Muslims, they can take what is good, but they also have to learn to reject what is bad in a wise manner.
Tip 7: Meet your child's teacher to discuss it.
Arrange a meeting to discuss Halloween and celebrations or activities you, as a Muslim, would not want your child to be involved in. But also talk about what kinds of activities you would recommend or approve, and discuss Muslim celebrations.
Volunteer to come in during Ramadan, for example, to present and bring food for the kids during a talk about the month's significance for Muslims.
Tip 8: Don't send them to school the day of Halloween if there's a party.
If the teacher has scheduled a class Halloween party, simply don't send 'Ali or 'Aa'ishah to school that day. However, before you do this, you should write a short letter or note to the teacher and/or principal explaining why your son or daughter will not be attending school that day.
Tip 9: Take them to a Muslim friend's house on Halloween.
Don't make this a special occasion. If you regularly meet with other Muslim families and your children are friends with their children, visit them or invite them over just to play or hang out. This can take their minds off the Halloween hysteria happening outside.
Tip 10: Take them out for a doughnut.
Or anything else Halaal, just so you are not home when trick-or-treaters come knocking, which will reinforce the Halloween hysteria.
Tip 11: Turn off the lights, close the windows and educate your neighbors (for America or compounds who celebrate).
Turning off the lights will give the message this home isn't really interested in Halloween. Closing the windows may be necessary, since throwing eggs at someone's home who hasn't given candy is not uncommon on Halloween. Educate your neighbors about Halloween by posting a brief polite note about why you are not celebrating the occasion.
Shaema Imam, for example, on one Halloween, posted a decorative note on her door telling neighbors she does not support the pseudo-satanic glorification of evil as represented by Halloween. However, she said it is excellent that there is neighborhood cooperation to promote children's safety on Halloween (there were efforts in her area to ensure kids could trick-or-treat in safety). Imam didn't get any comments, but no one egged her house either, she says.
Tip 12: Spread the word: two to three weeks in advance, organize a seminar.
This would be for Muslim moms, dads, and their young kids. There should be a presentation on exactly what Halloween is and what Muslim parents can do about it. While this is being discussed, kids should be allowed to play together under the supervision of a couple of baby-sitters. This will serve to inform moms and dads, while giving kids a chance to have fun (and perhaps set up an invitation so they can avoid Halloween night craziness-see Tip 9)
Tip 13: Keep your promise about 'Eed.
For a number of Muslim youth who have grown up in the West, 'Eed is sometimes just another day, with parents not even taking a day off from work. In other cases, while parents may take the day off, the ritual is the same: get up, put on new clothes, drive to fancy hall, pray, not understand what's really going on, hug 'Eed Mubaarak, go back home, eat "ethnic" food, get money (as 'Eed gift). Period. It's no wonder our kids' eyes light up when they see Christmas lights, brightly wrapped gifts and hear of Halloween fun and treats.
Make 'Eed special. Don't just hype it up during Halloween to convince the kids not to participate and then break your promise. On 'Eed, take them to 'Eed prayer, take them out to a local 'Eed celebration or an amusement park. Organize a gathering and invite their friends over. The possibilities for Halaal fun are there. We owe it to our kids, if we want them to stay Muslim and to be proud of it, to celebrate the occasions in life that really matter to us, like the two 'Eeds.

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Valuable Advice For Salafis – Shaykh Muhammad Bazmool

Shaykh Muhammad Bazmool said:

“* It is not from the Sunnah:

Rejoicing at the mistakes of your brothers, vilifying them and then causing problems for them.

Rather Allaah is Hayyiy (One who does not like to expose the sins) and He is Sitteer (One who Conceals) and He loves [for the sins of people] to be concealed.

Indeed Allaah is gentle and loves gentleness in all the affairs of the Muslims.

Rather I fear that this will be from showing delight [at the misfortune] of your brother.

Did you not hear the wise statement: “Do not show delight [at the sins] of your brother, such that Allaah has Mercy upon him and afflicts you.”

* It is not from the Sunnah:

Ghluww (exaggeration) in loving certain personalities – whatever their status may be.

Do you not see the Messenger (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) – and he is the Messenger – it is Islamically legislated to love him, yet despite this he forbade from exaggerating [in his love]. He (sal aallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Do not praise me as the Christians praised the son of Maryam. Indeed, I am a Worshipper of Allaah. So say, ‘the Worshipper of Allah and His Messenger.”

Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allaah said on the morning of al-Aqabah whilst he was riding his animal:

‘Collect some small pebbles for me.’

So I collected small pebbles for him which were like chickpeas and when I placed them in his palm, he said:

‘[Only use] the likes of these [when stoning the Pillar of ‘Aqabah], O people beware of exaggerating in the religion. Those who came before you were only destroyed due to exaggerating in the religion.'” [2]

Ghuluww is to exaggerate in something and being severe regarding it by exceeding its limits. From its meanings is going too deep into something. [3]

… So the Hadeeth is clear in prohibiting Ghuluww in the religion. The correct methodology of the religion and its path is: tolerance, ease and leaving off harshness – within the boundaries that are set by the Sharee’ah.

In the Hadeeth are other benefits: it focuses on a very dangerous matter: Ghuluww in the religion is from the causes of the destruction of the nations that came before us, so be moderate, be moderate.

Also [from the benefits of this Hadeeth] is the great importance of commanding [goodness] and forbidding [evil]. From the greatness of both of these matters is leaving off Ghuluww regarding them.

* It is not from the Sunnah:

Using an approach of insults, disgrace and curses in refutations.

Never was the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) lewd, obscene or noisy in the market places.

Allaah (the Blessed and Most High) said,
“{So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]}” [03:159]

* It is not from the Sunnah:

To have disregard for the people, to be suspicious of them, cause trouble and harass them.

Rather the Muslim should possess the characteristics of the ‘Slaves of the Merciful.’

He should not [put others down] in order to seek revenge for himself if he is harassed or troubled by others. Allaah (the Blessed and Most High) said,

{The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace} [25:63]

* It is not from the Sunnah:

Insulting people’s lineage, being haughty by using nicknames, broadcasting [people’s sins of] evil, being proud of being correct, so it is said: ‘So and So erred in this, and so and so is such.’

Rather every Muslim should pay attention to goodness and calling people to it, asking Allaah for Guidance, goodness and being correct.

* It is not from the Manhaj of the Salaf:

That at every instance, comment and situation you announce your love for a particular person from the Imams of the Sunnah.

We do not know this to be from their way. Allaah is the One who give Tawfeeq.

* It is not from the Manhaj of the Salaf:

That you insult the People of Innovation and the People of Falsehood in every instance and situation; that you vilify them without any reason justifying it.

Rather the Sunnah is:

Whoever amongst you sees a person who has been afflicted, then say: “All praise is for Allaah who pardoned me from what he tested you with, and preferred me over many of His creation.”

[One who says this] will not afflicted by the same test. Even in this Du’a, you should not raise your voice [so the one who has been afflicted] hears you. This Du’aa includes a test in ones body and also ones creed.”

Footnotes

[1] The origin of this article is a number of posts by Shaykh Muhammad Umar Bazmool on his personal facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mohammadbazmool?fref=nf

The posts were then collected and compiled as a single post in the forum mentioned as reference.

[2] Collected by Ahmed in the Musnad, and Nassaaee in the Book of Rituals; Ibn Maajah in the Book of Rituals; Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim.

[3] In the original Arabic, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Umar Baazmool mentions the linguistic meaning and usage of the word Ghuloo. This has been left out of the translation, however can be read in the original arabic below

Ref: Madeenah.com

Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

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Utilise your Time in Beneficial Matters & keep away from Qeela wa Qaal – Shaykh Uthaymeen

THE FOURTH LEGACY

I advise you all to safeguard your time and to occupy yourselves in that which is beneficial. You should know that time is more precious than wealth, as Allaah – the Most Blessed, the Most High – said:

“Until when death comes to him, he says: O my Lord! Give me respite so that I may then do righteous actions.” [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:333].

Time is such that when it departs it does not return, whereas wealth, when it departs, then it is possible to replace it. So time is of the utmost importance. This is why I advise you to safeguard your time, and to occupy yourselves in that which benefits. Keep away from qeela wa qaal (gossiping) – that so and so said such and such about this and that person – because the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said in an authentic narration: “Indeed Allaah hates qeela wa qaal (gossip mongering), asking too many questions, and wasting one’s wealth.” [4] Unfortunately, many of the youths – after returning to the correct path, and uniting their hearts and unifying their word – have become disunited and fragmented into many factions, and this is due to the whisperings of Shaytaan amongst them and the disuniting of their word. So I advise the brothers to utilise your time in beneficial matters, and to keep away from qeela wa qaal. Indeed, time is like a sword; either you strike it, or it will strike you!

[4] Related by Muslim (no.1715), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu ‘anhu.

Source: Excerpted from Very beneficial article : 

A Concise Legacy : Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen
Al-Istiqaamah Magazine , Issue No.5 – Ramadân 1417H / January 1997


Filed under: BackBiting, Time Tagged: Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Shaykh Uthaymeen

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Unity Is Only Achieved Through Tawheed, By Ibn Taymiyyah

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“The Polytheists have many dissensions and sects in their faith. As a matter of fact Polytheism and innovation always cause division and dissension.

Each polytheistic tribe of Arabia had its own god which was loathed by other tribes. Some of these followed different laws. For example, the Madinan’s polytheists invoked Manaat and disliked to perform tawaaf between Safa and Marwah. The Quraan later commanded them to do so.

Those falling prey to polytheism cannot have unity. This is evident from the conduct of those who take the graves and places associated with the Messengers and the pious as mosques. Each group of theirs visits a place which is not sacred for the other group.”

[Mukhtasar Iqtidhaa’ Al-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem, p. 182]


Filed under: Tawheed/Shirk

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Methods of Tafseer

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The Quran is the last Book revealed by Allah Almighty. He has promised to protect it from any distortion or loss. Allah Says in the Quran (what means): “Verily, We have revealed the Reminder (the Quran) and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)." [Quran 15:9] Its written and recited forms have been preserved without even the slightest change for over fourteen hundred years. This cannot be said about the New Testament or the Old Testament. However, Allah’s protection of the Quran did not stop there; He also safeguarded the original meaning. If the protection of the Quran’s meaning had not taken place, deviants would have turned the Book of Allah into a jumble of symbols, riddles and codes open to a multiplicity of interpretations, and its original meaning would have been lost. Allah preserved the meaning of the Quran by explaining some of its generalities within the Quran itself and by entrusting the Tafseer (explanation) of the remainder to His final Messenger, Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.  

The Prophet's companions may Allah be pleased with them were taught to seek their understanding of the Quran first from the Quran itself, then from the explanations of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and from their own intimate understanding of the language of the Quran. After the Prophet’s death, those who entered Islam as new converts depended first on the Quran to explain itself, then they depended on the Companions to explain the Quran to them. The Companions would inform their students among the Taabi'een (second generation) of the circumstances in which the verses were revealed, the interpretations given by the Prophet’s sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam statements and actions. Finally, they would explain the meanings of some words which may not have been familiar or which may have had a different meaning to Arabs outside of the Arabian Peninsula.   

With the passing of era of the Companions, the scholars among the Taabi'een shouldered the grave responsibility of conveying the original meanings of the Quran to the next generation of Muslims exactly as they had received it. It was this next generation which began the process of gathering and recording the various narrations of Tafseer from the Taabi'een.

From the above mentioned methodology of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and his companions, and of the early generations of Muslim scholars which followed them, the following points have been deduced by scholars as being the correct steps for making correct Tafseer of the Quran.

Tafseer of the Quran by the Quran Itself:

There are many places in the Quran where questions are asked and subsequently answered in order to catch the attention of the reader and to increase the impact of the concept mentioned. In other places, general statements are made and then later explained in order to vary the modes of presentation and encourage readers and listeners to reflect more. This self-explanatory process is referred to as Tafseer of the Quran by the Quran. Allah chose to clarify what He intended by revealing other explanatory verses. For example Allah asks (what means): “By the Sky and the night comer. And what will make you know what the night comer is?” [Quran 86: 1-2] Then He, the Most Exalted, answers His question in the next verse (which means): “It is the piercing star).” [Quran 86:3] Allah also states in the Quran (what means): “Beasts which are herded have been made Halaal (allowable) for you except those which will be recited to you.” [Quran 5:1] 

Shortly afterwards, He explains (what means): “The dead animal, blood, pork, animals sacrificed for other than Allah, animals strangled to death, killed by a blow or by falling from a height, killed by goring or partially eaten by wild animals are forbidden to you.” [Quran 5: 3]

Another example can be seen in the verse in which Allah Almighty describes Himself Saying (what means), “No vision can grasp Him…” [Quran 6:103] This verse implies that Allah can not be seen. However, Allah later describes the believers in the next life as (what means): “Gazing at their Lord.” [Quran 75:23] and disbelievers as (what means):  “Verily, they will be veiled from their Lord on that day.” [Quran 83:15]

Hence, before any explanation or interpretation may be sought, the Quran must be relied upon to explain itself, for Allah knows best what He intended.

Tafseer of the Quran by the Sunnah

On many occasions, the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam added further clarification to various verses of the Quran. Allah had entrusted the task of explaining the Quran to the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. This trust was expressed in the verse (which means): “Verily, We have revealed the Reminder (Quran) to you (O Muhammad) so you may explain to the people what has been revealed to them.” [Quran 16:44] And the verse (which means): “We have only revealed the book to you (O Muhammad) in order that you clarify for them the things about which they differ.” [Quran 16:64]

The Companions may Allah be pleased with them understood this clearly and always turned to the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam for clarification whenever they were in doubt about the meaning of any of the Quranic passages. In fact, most of the fine details of prayer, almsgiving, pilgrimage, and inheritance laws, etc. were explained either by the Prophet’s statements or practical demonstration and applications (the practical Sunnah). Thus, the Prophet’s explanations of the Quranic passages are referred to as the Tafseer of the Quran by the Sunnah.

For example, the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam explained the word "Al Kawthar" in the verse (which means): “Verily, We have given you Al Kawthar” as a river in paradise which Allah has given him. [Al Bukhaari] Because the Sunnah was based on guidance from Allah, it represents the second part of Allah’s promise to explain the Quran, as He Says (what means):  “…Then verily, We will explain it.” [Quran 75:19] Consequently, no other human interpretation can be given precedence over of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.

Source: Tafseer Soorat Al-Hujuraat

By: Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Islam's Care about Private Sanctities

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Islam urged the preservation of sanctities with all their different social forms, including preserving the tongue from backbiting and tale bearing as well as preserving lives, properties, and honors. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

O you people who believe with their tongues while faith has not entered their hearts, do not backbite the Muslims and do not pursue their faults. Whoever pursues the faults of his Muslim brother, Allah Almighty will pursue his faults. If Allah pursues his faults, He will expose him even if he would hide inside his house.

In the framework of securing a safe life for all Muslims, Islam prohibited entering houses before obtaining the permission of their owners. Allah Almighty says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded. And if you do not find anyone therein, do not enter them until permission has been given you. And if it is said to you, "Go back," then go back; it is purer for you. And Allah Is Knowing of what you do.} [Quran 24: 27-28]

The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to teach his noble companions, may Allaah be pleased with him, the way to seek permission and urge and order them to do it.

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Qays, may Allaah be pleased with him, that he said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying: "If anyone of you seeks permission thrice and is not answered, he should return." [Ahmad, Abu Dawood and At-Tirmithi]

Moreover, the care of our upright Sharee‘ah about the sanctity of houses and preserving them reached to such an extent, that it stipulated among the Sunan and etiquettes of seeking permission, that the one who is doing so should not stand directly in front of the door of the house, but that he should rather stand on its side in order to avoid seeing anything that the residents of the house might dislike being seen. It is narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn Busr, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "When the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, visited a house, he would not stand directly in front of the door, but he would stand at one side until being granted permission." [Abu Dawood]

If one seeks to violate the sanctities of houses and deliberately looks inside them without the permission of their owners, Islam allows deterring him from this path. Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "If someone is peeping (looking secretly) into your house without your permission, and you throw a stone at him and cause his eye to gouge out, there will be no blame on you." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Furthermore, Islam enjoined preserving sanctities in absence and imposed rights for the absent person like those of the present. It is narrated on the authority of Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "If one supports his brother when he is absent, Allah Almighty will support him in the life of this world and the Hereafter." [Al-Bayhaqi]

We should not forget that Islam forbids harming the Muslim by insult, abuse, defamation, or cursing. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Insulting a Muslim constitutes fusooq (evildoing) and fighting against him constitutes disbelief." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Thabit ibn Adh-Dhahhak, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever curses a believer is as if he has killed him." [Al-Bukhari]

Finally, Islam also prohibits spying, forbids pursuing the faults of people, and makes this detestable to the believers. Rather, the noble approach of Islam reached such an extent that it orders the Muslim to conceal what he happens to see of the Muslims' shortcomings and to hide the secrets he knows about them so that the sanctities of people remain protected. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever conceals a slave in the life of this world, Allah Almighty will conceal him on the day of Judgment."

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The Prophet’s, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, Hijrah was not a political decision

Question:

Assalamu alaikum.Was Hijra a political decision?A group here claims so.They say after Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)was made leader and asked by Medinians to go to Medina he decided to migrate to Medina to establish Islamic state.It was Hijra that ultimatley lead to the formation of Islamic state as Allah said to establish religion in 42:13.So aim of Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)was to establish a state and that is why he took the political decision to migrate.This migration ultimately lead to formation of Islamic state.Is this opinion correct?Was Hijra a political decision?Thank you.

Fatwa:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

We cannot say that migration was a political decision but we say that it was an implementation of the Order of Allah to His Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, to migrate to Madeenah. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said to Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, as in the long narration about migration: “I was given permission to go out [migrate].” [Al-Bukhari]

This confirms that migration from non-Muslim countries where one is not safe about his religion is valid until the Day of Judgment, as the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “Migration does not stop as long as the enemy is fought.” [Ahmad]

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, also said: “Migration does not stop until repentance stops, and repentance does not stop until the sun rises from the West.” [Abu Dawood]

Also, we do not say that migration was in order to establish an Islamic state only, but we say that migration had other purposes, the most important of which is for the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, to find a safe and secure place for himself and for his companions , may Allaah be pleased with them, so that he , sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, would be able to convey the Message of his Lord. It is for this reason that he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to say during the seasons of Hajj: “Who would shelter me, who would support me so that I could convey the Message of my Lord?” [Ahmad] There is no doubt that after this, the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was made powerful and so the Islamic state was established.

As regards establishing religion as Allah stated in the Quran (what means): {... to establish the religion... .} [Quran 42:13], then the interpreters of the Quran stated that what is meant by it is to act upon religion and it was an order to unite and avoid dissension and division.

Finally, it should be noted that it is known that some Prophets did not establish a state with the known meaning of the state, but they worked towards conveying the Message of Allah, and in this case they would have established religion and fulfilled what they were commanded by Allah.

Allah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sharia Stance on Astrology - II

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Texts on the sharia ruling on astrology:

There are some reported sharia texts that discuss astrology and clarify its relevant rulings and issues. Since it is included in the practice of divination and is part of the world of magic and sorcery, astrology is prohibited under the sharia and is ranked as one of the grave major sins.

It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allaah be pleased with them, that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever seeks knowledge from the stars has sought one of the branches of sorcery, of which he gets more as long as he continues to do so." [Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah with a sound chain of narrators]

Since astrology is a branch of sorcery, it is included in the following threat. It was narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Three types of people will not enter Paradise: the one who is addicted to alcohol, the one who severs kinship ties, and the one who believes in sorcery."[Ahmad]

This blameworthy attachment to the stars is a remnant of the pre-Islamic era which has continued until our times. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, expressed his fears in this regard, so he warned his Ummah (nation) against it. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Malik Al-Ash‘ari, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "My Ummah (nation) has four characteristics that belong to the pre-Islamic era which they will not abandon: boasting of noble ancestries, casting doubts about the integrity of peoples' lineage, seeking rain by stars and wailing."[Muslim]

It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Umamah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "What I fear most for my Ummah at the final stage of life is belief in the stars, disbelief in Fate and the injustice of rulers."[At-Tabarani]

The existence of a relationship between the movement of the stars and rain was one of the Arabs' ancient claims. They used to ask the stars for rain, whether directly or indirectly. They used different forms of asking for rain from the stars, so the relevant sharia ruling differs accordingly. Whoever supplicates the stars and asks them for rain has associated others with

Allah in worship, since he dedicates a type of worship to others besides Allah Almighty. This is a type of major shirk (polytheism), as it is indicated by many texts. Allah, the Exalted, says (what means):

{And do not invoke besides Allah that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers.} [Quran 10: 106]

{And whoever invokes besides Allah another deity for which he has no proof – then his account is only with his Lord. Indeed, the disbelievers will not succeed.} [Quran 23: 117]

Whoever claims that the stars have the ability to send rain associates others with Allah in lordship, since his action contradicts the fact that creation, sovereignty and managing the affairs of the universe exclusively belong to Allah Almighty.

Other practices, however, are considered minor shirk (polytheism) and one is not ruled an apostate due to them. For example, someone believes that the stars influence the fall of rain but does not send it. Such a belief is a form of minor shirk because the stars are not a cause for rainfall, whether by virtue of religious or universal evidence. In some hadiths, these beliefs are called kufr (disbelief) in terms of denial of favors. This will be explained later.

The overall sharia texts that are reported regarding this issue revolve within the scope of this classification. It was narrated on the authority of Zayd ibn Khalid Al-Juhani, may Allaah be pleased with him, that he said:

The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, led us in the Subh (morning) prayer at Al-Hudaybiyah, after a rainy night. When he had finished praying, he turned to the people and said, "Do you know what your Lord Has Said?" They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He said, "This morning, one of My slaves became a believer in Me, and one became a disbeliever. As for the one who said, 'We have been given rain by virtue of Allah and His Mercy,' he is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars. But as for the one who said, 'We have been given rain by virtue of such and such a star,' he is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars."[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "It has never rained upon a people except that some of them became disbelievers by saying, 'We have been given rain by virtue of such and such a star!''' [Muslim]

In the Quran, Allah Almighty says (what means): {And make your provision that you deny [the Provider]?} [Quran 56: 82] It was said that the reason behind the revelation of this verse is that some of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, attributed rain to the stars by saying "Such and such position of a star sent rain!" [Muslim]

Then this verse was revealed to indicate that attributing the blessing to other than Allah is a form of denial and ingratitude. Such statements also contradict reality. That is why they are expressed in the noble verse with the words {That you deny [the Provider]?} . The prominent scholar of this Ummah, Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allaah be pleased with them, interpreted the verse as: "And you show your gratitude for His blessings by denial!"

It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:
There is no infection, nor hammah (refers to an Arab tradition described variously as a worm which infests the grave of a murder victim until he is avenged, an owl or the bones of a dead person turned into a bird that could fly), nor (belief in) stars, nor Safar (the month of Safar was regarded as unlucky during the pre-Islamic era). [Muslim]

Imam As-Suyooti, may Allaah Have mercy upon him, explained this hadith by saying: "Do not say, 'We have been given rain by such and such a star.'"

Thus, belief that the stars influence the fall of rain is forbidden under the Islamic sharia, since it is a belief and action of the people of the pre-Islamic era. It also reflects a form of ingratitude to Allah when the blessings that He bestows upon His salves are attributed to other than Him. It is a word which implies major shirk when the sayer means that other than Allah give these blessings. If he just believes that the stars influence the fall of rain, this is minor shirk, because there is neither religious nor universal evidence to prove that the stars can do this. So, the forbiddance in this regard is to block the means that could lead to shirk and to protect Islamic tawheed (monotheism).

The scholars excluded a form where it is permissible to attribute rain to the stars which they called 'the time relation'. It is to link "the times" of the fall of rain with the positions of the stars, according to experience. They allow one to say: "We have been given rain at the time when such-and-such a star is in such-and-such a position." This means the time of the fall of rain, not the influence of stars on the fall of rain. As evidence, they quote the incident when ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allaah be pleased with him, went out to supplicate Allah for rain along with people in the year of the drought. He said to Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, may Allaah be pleased with him: "O ‘Abbas, how much time remains for the Thurayya (Pleiades star) to appear?"

He answered: "O Commander of the Believers! Those who have knowledge about it claim that it will show on the horizon in seven days." After only seven days, it rained. [Al-Bayhaqi]
Ash-Shafi‘i, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said:

With the statement "O 'Abbas, how much time remains for the Thurayya to appear?" ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allaah be pleased with him, wanted to teach them that Allah has preordained the fall of rain at certain times, which they knew based on experience, just as they knew that Allah has preordained heat and cold at certain times, based on experience.

We conclude this topic with a logical argument mentioned by the scholars while refuting the claims of those who believe in astrology. They said:

What would an astrologer say regarding a ship, boarded by one thousand men with different conditions and positions, including the king and ordinary people, the scholar and the ignorant, the rich and the poor, the old and the young, with different fortunes, various birthdates and degrees of stars, and, then, they all drowned in the same hour. If the astrologer would say that they were drowned by the influence of a certain star while they boarded, this means that such a star nullifies the influence of all the other different stars, which entails that judging fortune based on zodiac degrees is groundless and that they can in no way indicate who is happy and who is wretched. If he said that they were not drowned by the influence of any of the stars, this nullifies belief in astrology altogether.

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