Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fearing Others Besides Allah – Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Ibn Hasan Ali-Shaykh

Title: Fearing Others Besides Allah
Original Title: فتح المجيد
Original Author: ‘Abdur-Raḥmān Ibn Ḥasan Āli-Shaykh
Translator: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison ( hafidhahullaah)

Contents:

The First Verse: That is only Satan who frightens (you) of his supporters
The Types of Fearing Others Besides Allah
The Second Verse: The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day
The Third Verse: “And of mankind are some who say, “We believe in Allah,” but if they are made to suffer for the sake of Allah…”
The Ḥadīth: “Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah by angering people, Allah will suffice him regarding people.”

The First Verse:

Allah (تعالى ) says:

That is only Satan who frightens (you) of his supporters. So do not fear them, but fear Me, if you are indeed believers. [1]

Fear is one of the most dignified and important religious principles. Fear of Allah summarizes all forms of worship which must be made solely and sincerely for Allah.

Allah says (about His messengers):

And they, from fearing Him, are frightened. [2]

And He (تعالى ) says (about the angels):

They fear their Lord above them.[3]

And He (تعالى ) says (about the believers):

But whoever has feared standing before his Lord will have two gardens.[4]

And:

So fear only Me.[5]

And Allah says:

So do not fear people, but fear Me. [6]

There are many verses in the Quran similar to these.

Fear of other than Allah can be divided into three types.

1. The first type of fear is an inward, spiritual fear. This type is the religious fear one has of other than Allah such as fearing idols and false gods, being afraid that they may afflict him with something he dislikes. An example is the verse in which Allah narrated that the people of Prophet Hūd said to him:

“We only say that some of our gods have possessed you with evil.” He said, “Indeed, I call Allah to witness, and you witness yourselves, that I am free from whatever you associate with Allah.” [7]

Allah also says about this type of fear:

And they threaten you with those (they worship) other than Him. [8]

This is exactly the same type of fear those who worship grave inhabitants have as well as idol worshippers; such people fear these false gods. They threaten the people who believe only in Allah with the punishment of such false deities when the believers criticize their misplaced worship, encouraging them to instead sincerely worship Allah alone. This type of fear completely invalidates tawḥīd – the worship of Allah alone.

2. The second type of fearing others besides Allah is when one chooses not to do what he is religiously obligated to do out of fear of other people. This type of fear is impermissible and it is a form of associating others with Allah which contradicts complete tawḥīd. And it is this type of fear for which the opening verse was revealed; Allah (تعالى ) says:

Those to whom hypocrites said, “The people have certainly gathered against you, so fear them.” But it (only) increased them in faith and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah and (He is) the best disposer of affairs.” So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty, no harm having touched them. They pursued the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty. That is only Satan who frightens (you) of his supporters. So do not fear them, but fear Me, if you are indeed believers. [9]

Similarly, in a ḥadīth

Allah (تعالى ) will ask a worshipper on the Day of Resurrection, “What prevented you, when you saw some wrongdoing, from changing it?” The person will answer, “My Lord, the fear of people.” He will say, “I was more deserving that you fear Me.” [10]

3. The third type of fearing others besides Allah is the natural fear. It is the instinctive fear of an enemy, a wild animal, or similar things. There is nothing wrong with this type of fear as Allah (تعالى ) said relaying the story of Prophet Mūsá ( عليه السلام) :

So he escaped it (the city), fearful and anticipating (apprehension). He said, “My Lord, save me from the wrongdoing people.” [11]

As for the meaning of “That is only Satan who frightens (you) of his supporters” in the opening verse,12 it means he tries to make you afraid of his allies. And as for “So do not fear them, but fear Me”, this is a commandment from Allah (تعالى ) to believers that they must not fear others besides Him. It is an order that they should limit their emotion of fear to Allah alone, fearing none other. This is the complete sincerity and devotion Allah requires from his worshippers and with which He is pleased. So when they ensure their fear is for none other than Allah, as well as all other aspects of worship, He will in return give them what they hope for and keep them safe and secure from the fears of this life and the hereafter as He (تعالى ) says:

Is Allah not sufficient for His servant? And yet they threaten you with other than Him.[13]

The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim ( رحمه الله  تعالى ) said:

Part of the plot of the enemy of Allah is that he tries to frighten believers with his soldiers and supporters. He does so in order that the believers will be too scared to oppose and strive against them, too scared to encourage his supporters to do good or forbid them from doing evil. As such, Allah, the Most High, informs us that this is all part of the plot and deception of Satan and his intimidation and frightening (of believers). Yet He has forbidden us from fearing them by saying—and this is the interpretation of most interpreters—that Satan is only trying to make the believers scared of his supporters. Qatādah says, “He (Satan) makes them (his supporters) seem greater, more significant in the believer’s hearts.” So whenever a worshipper’s faith in Allah becomes stronger, the fear of Satan’s supporters becomes less, and when his faith weakens, his fear of them becomes greater. Therefore, this verse shows that sincerity in fear is one of the conditions of complete faith.

The Second Verse

Allah (تعالى ) says:

The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give charity and fear none other besides Allah. It is expected that those will be of the rightly guided.[14]

Here, Allah tells us the mosques of Allah are to be maintained only by people of faith in Allah and the last day (the Day of Judgment). They are those who both believe with their hearts and worship with their limbs, and they make their fear sincerely and exclusively for Allah and no other. For these, He has confirmed the maintenance of places of worship after He forbade it for those who worship others besides Him. This is because the establishment and care of such places of worship is to be done with obedience (to Allah) and righteous actions. As for one who worships other than Allah, even if he were to perform a seemingly righteous action:

Their deeds are like a mirage in a desert which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing but finds Allah before him. [15]

Or:

Their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day.[16]

Considering that, true goodness does not result from such action or person. So places of worship, the mosques, should be maintained and populated with only true faith, the most dignified of which is tawḥīd and righteous deeds free of all forms of deficiency such as the worship of other than Allah and unfounded religious innovation. All of that is included in the meaning of the word “faith” (īmān) according to mainstream Muslims who follow the Sunnah.

About “and (they) fear none other besides Allah” in the verse, Ibn ‘Aṭiyyah says,

“It means the type of fear which is based on honor, worship, and obedience. And while it may be inevitable that people are afraid of worldly dangers, they must ultimately fear the decree and control of Allah alone regarding (the consequences) of such worldly dangers.”

Ibn al-Qayyim ( رحمه الله ) says,

“Fear is worship of the heart, and it is not fitting to be given to others besides Allah, similar to repentance, love, reliance, hope, and other aspects of worship of the heart.”

As for “It is expected that those will be of the rightly guided”, Ibn Abī Ṭalḥah reported that Ibn ‘Abbās ( رضي الله عنه ) ماsaid, “He is saying, ‘They are the rightly guided.’ Any time the Arabic word ‘( عَسَىasá – “perhaps,” “it is expected,” etc.) is used in the Quran, it means it is something destined to happen.” [17]

The Third Verse

Allah (تعالى ) says:

And of mankind are some who say, “We believe in Allah.” But if they are made to suffer for the sake of Allah, they consider the trial of mankind as (if it were equal to) the punishment of Allah. [18]

Ibn Kathīr ( رحمه الله ) says:

Allah (تعالى ) informs us about the characteristics of some people who dishonestly claim to believe, but their belief is only with their tongues and not firm in their hearts. For such people, when a trial or tribulation comes to them in this life, they believe it is from the resentment and wrath of Allah and then leave Islam. Ibn ‘Abbās ( رضي الله عنه ما ) said, “It becomes a tribulation from which he leaves his religion when harmed for the sake of Allah.”

Ibn al-Qayyim ( رحمه الله ) says:

When people are sent a messenger, they become one of two types of individuals: those who respond, “I believe,” and those who do not. Those who refuse continue on with their sin and disbelief. As for he who says he believes, he is then tested by his Lord with trial and affliction; the affliction is only a test however. This is to distinguish the truthful from the untruthful. As for those who do not believe (in the messenger), he should not think that Allah is incapable (of testing him), or that he will escape from Him. As a consequence, whoever believes in the messengers and obeys them, the messengers’ enemies will begin to show enmity toward him and afflict him with whatever will harm him (in this life). And those who neither believe in the messengers nor obey them, they will be recompensed in this life and in the hereafter and will still eventually experience what harms them. Yet their harm is greater and more lasting than that experienced in life by the messenger’s followers.

So even though every soul will experience some type of harm, whether it believes or refuses belief, a believer is hurt in this life only as a trial for him then he will be rewarded for it both in this life and in the hereafter. But he who refuses to believe, he may experience his delight in this life, again only as a trial for him, then he experiences a permanent harm and everlasting pain (in the hereafter).

Everyone must live among others and people have their own ideas and plans. People want other individuals to agree and conform to them in their plans. If one does not agree with them, choosing instead to contradict them, they seek to harm and punish him. Even if he were to conform to them, he would still be harmed, sometimes by the very people he agrees with, sometimes by others. For example, if a person of religion who is conscientious of Allah is among sinful or oppressive people, he may feel he has no way of escaping their wickedness and oppression except by either agreeing and conforming to what they are upon or at least by remaining silent regarding their evil. Were he to support them or remain silent, he may save himself from their evil and tribulations. But they will then have gained influence and power over him, humiliating him and perhaps harming him with affliction even greater than he had feared had he criticized them and differed from them. Even if he were safe from them, he may simply be humiliated and harmed by other than them.

The solution is to remember what the Mother of the Believers, ‘Āishah ( رضي الله عنها ), said to Muā’wiyah ( رضي الله عنه ): Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah by angering people, Allah will suffice him regarding people. And whoever seeks the pleasure of people by angering Allah, Allah will entrust him to people.” [19]

So when Allah guides an individual, inspiring within him His guidance and saving him from the evil of his own soul, such a person would refuse to support and agree with others in sinful acts. He would patiently bear whatever enmity they show him for it. He will then have his reward in this life and the hereafter as did the messengers and their followers.

Allah (تعالى ) then informs us about those who enter the faith without true insight. When he is harmed for the sake of Allah, he considers the tribulation of people—and it is the hurt he feels from them and their hatred which the messengers and their followers always experience from those who oppose them—he makes such tribulation of people, by his fleeing from it and avoiding whatever upsets them, equal to the punishment of Allah from which believers should more rightfully flee with true faith.

True believers with complete insight, however, flee from the punishment of Allah toward belief in Him. They bear patiently with whatever temporary harm they may suffer (from people) for Him, harm from which they will soon escape. But the other individual (who refuses to differ from sinful people), from his weak insight and unclear understanding of faith, flees from the harm of those who oppose the messengers toward agreeing with them and following them. In doing so, he flees from the punishment of people and into the punishment of Allah. He equates the harm of people, by his action of fleeing from it in what angers Allah, with the punishment of Allah. How unbefitting it is that he seeks safety and refuge (from people’s harm) in the scorching fire, running away from the pain of an hour to the pain of eternity.

Also in this verse is a refutation of the Murjiah Karrāmiyah sect (who claim that merely expressing faith with the tongue is sufficient to be saved). This is because such peoples’ statement, “We believe in Allah,” as mentioned in the verse, did not benefit them when they refused to patiently bear the harm of those who would hurt them for the sake of Allah. So proclaiming faith alone is of no benefit without actions. True religious faith of any person is only correct when it combines three aspects: belief in the heart and its actions (emotions in accordance with faith), statements with the tongue, and actions with the limbs. That is the position of all mainstream Muslims who follow the Sunnah, past and present, and Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) knows best.

Such action (conforming to sinfulness, refusing to differ from it) is a form of flattering the creation despite the truth, and the only one saved from such action is one whom Allah saves.

The Ḥadīth

‘Āishah ( رضي الله عنه ) reported that Allah’s messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) said:

“Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah by angering people, Allah will suffice him regarding people. And whoever seeks the pleasure of people by angering Allah, Allah will entrust him to people.” [20]

Ibn Ḥibbān recorded this ḥadīth with that wording and al-Tirmidhī recorded it by way of a man from Medina who said that Mu’āwiyah ( رضي الله عنه ) wrote to ‘Āishah ( رضي الله عنها) : “Write and advise me but be concise.” She replied, greeting him with “Peace be on you,” then wrote that she heard the messenger of Allah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) say, “Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah by angering people, Allah will suffice him regarding people. And whoever seeks the pleasure of people by angering Allah, Allah will entrust him to people.”

The scholar of Islam (Ibn Taymiyyah) says:

‘Āishah wrote this ḥadīth to Mu’āwiyah and it has been reported from her in a marfū’ form [21] that she said, “Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah by angering people, Allah will suffice him regarding people. And whoever seeks the pleasure of people by angering Allah, they will not protect him from Allah in any way.” That is the marfū’ form.

It has also been reported in a mawqūf form [22] that she said, “Whoever pleases Allah at the expense of angering people, Allah will be pleased with him and cause people to be pleased with him too. But whoever pleases people at the expense of angering Allah, He will make those who praise him revert back to criticizing him.”

This is the greatest understanding of religion. Whoever seeks to please Allah, even if it means angering people, he has rightfully feared Allah and has become His righteous worshipper. Allah in return assumes the responsibility of protecting the righteous and He is sufficient for his worshipper.

And whoever fears Allah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty), and He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine.[23]

Allah will certainly suffice him from having to rely on people. As for trying to please all people, that is impossible anyway.

As for, “seeking the pleasure of people by angering Allah,” in doing this, the person gives preference to people’s acceptance and happiness over that of Allah. This happens when the honor and respect for Allah and His greatness has not settled in his heart. If it had, it would have prevented him from seeking to gain the pleasure of the creation by gaining the anger of his creator, his Lord, and owner – the very One who controls all hearts, removes all difficulties, and forgives all sins. Based on this, such a choice (preferring to please people by angering Allah) is a form of associating others in worship with Allah because he considers pleasing the creation a higher priority than pleasing Allah. He seeks to get closer to creation by way of displeasing Allah. And no one is saved from this except one whom Allah saves and for whom He gives the success of truly knowing Him. This is attained by knowing what befits Allah by believing in His characteristics and rejecting any false notions which reduce His perfection and knowing tawḥīd of His lordship and sole right to worship. With Allah alone is success.

Ibn Rajab ( رحمه الله ) said:

If one realizes that anyone of creation on earth—and the earth is merely dirt—is himself (created) from dirt, then why would someone give preference to obeying someone from dirt over obeying the Lord of lords? How can he please dirt by angering the Owner, the Bestower? That is certainly an amazing thing.

In this ḥadīth, there is a severe reprimand for whoever fears people, preferring their acceptance and pleasure over Allah. And perhaps his punishment for doing so may even be a test or affliction in his religion—we seek refuge with Allah from that—as He says:

So He punished them with hypocrisy in their hearts until the day they will meet Him because they failed Allah in what they promised Him and because they used to lie. [24]

Footnotes:

[1] The Quran, Sūrah Āli ‘Imrān, 3:175
[2] Sūrah al-Anbiyā, 21:28
[3] Sūrah al-Naḥl, 16:50
[4] Sūrah al-Raḥmān, 55:46
[5] Sūrah al-Naḥl, 16:51
[6] Sūrah al-Māidah, 5:44
[7] Sūrah Hūd, 11:54
[8] Sūrah al-Zumar, 39:36
[9] Sūrah Āli ‘Imrān, 3:173-175
[10] Recorded by Aḥmad (3/27, 29, 77), Ibn Ḥibbān (1845), Ibn Mājah (4017), and others. Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz Ibn Bāz said it is authentic in his checking of Fatḥ al-Majīd. Shaykh Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī said the similar narration of Ibn Mājah is authentic in Ṣaḥīḥ Sunan Ibn Mājah (no. 3244).
[11] Sūrah al-Qaṣaṣ, 28:21
[12] The verse again (Sūrah Āli ‘Imrān, 3:175):
“إِنَّمَا ذَلِكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَهُ فَلا تَخَافُوهُمْ وَخَافُونِ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ”
That is only Satan who frightens (you) of his supporters. So do not fear them, but fear Me, if you are indeed believers.
[13] Sūrah al-Zumar, 39:36
[14] Sūrah al-Tawbah, 9:18
[15] Sūrah al-Nūr, 24:39
[16] Sūrah al-Nūr, 24:39
[17] Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz Ibn Bāz noted in his checking of Fatḥ al-Majīd that Ibn Kathīr mentioned that Ibn ‘Abbās also said, “It is similar to the verse in which Allah says to his prophet ( ): صلّى الله عليه وسلّم”It is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station” (Sūrah al-Isrá,17:79) and this refers to his intercession.” Muhammad Ibn Isḥāq Ibn Yassār said, “‘( عَسَىasá) mentioned in the Quran is truth from Allah.”
[18] Sūrah al-‘Ankabūt, 29:10
[19] This ḥadīth is recorded by al-Tirmidhī and the explanation will come on pg.14 of this article.
[20] Recorded by Ibn Ḥibbān (1542 – )مواردand al-Tirmidhī (2414) and al-Albānī said it is authentic in Ṣaḥīḥ Sunan alTirmidhī (1967).
[21] Muḥammad Ibn Ṣaliḥ al-‘Uthaymīn explains in his booklet Muṣṭalaḥ al-Ḥadīth that a marfū’ narration is one in which is either explicitly attributed to the prophet ( ) صلّى الله عليه وسلّمor considered to be attributed to him based on other ruling factors.
[22] Ibn al-‘Uthaymīn explains also in Muṣṭalaḥ al-Ḥadīth that a mawqūf narration is one that is attributed only to the narrating companion and not raised to the status of being attributed to the prophet ( .) صلّى الله عليه وسلّم
[23] Sūrah al-Ṭalāq, 65:2,3
[24] Sūrah al-Ṭawbah, 9:77

PS: The Arabic verses and hadith  are not posted in this article, please refer to PDF for the same.

[Download Original PDF]

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Filed under: .Islam Sunnah Salafiyyah, Shirk, Tawheed Tagged: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison, Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Ibn Hasan Ali-Shaykh

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Story of the guest of the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم

 

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

A man came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and said; “I am hard pressed by hunger. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) sent a word to one of his wives who replied: “By Him Who has sent you with the Truth, I have nothing except water.” Then he sent the same message to another (wife) and received the same reply. He sent this message to all of them (i.e., his wives) and received the same reply. Then he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Who will entertain this (man) as guest?” One of the Ansar said: “O Messenger of Allah, I will.” So he took him home and said to his wife: “Serve the guest of Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).”

Another narration is: The Ansari asked his wife: “Have you got anything?” She answered: “Nothing, except a little food for the children.” He said: “Keep them busy with something, and when they ask for food put them to sleep. When the guest enters, extinguish the light and give him the impression that we are also eating.” So they sat down and the guest ate and they passed the night hungry. When he came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) in the morning, he said to him, Allah admired what you did with your guest last night.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And give them (Emigrants) preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that.”(59:9)

And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the poor, the orphan, and the captive.” (76:8)

Source: Riyad-us-Saliheen English Publication, DarusSalam publishers


Filed under: .Islam Sunnah Salafiyyah, Inspirational Stories, Sadaqa (Voluntary Charity) Tagged: Sahih Hadith

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Whoever Spends Something Today Will Benefit From It Tomorrow – Nice Story

Thus whoever spends something today will benefit from it tomorrow and whoever does not spend will come to find nothing, and he will have a great loss in the house of dwelling (in the Hereafter).

Some of the Salaf said,

O son of Adam, you will only live on the Day of Judgment in what you have built, and you will find on that day what possessions you have prepared in your life.”

A women entered upon ‘A’ishah (radiy Allaahu anha), and her hand was paralysed. She said, “O mother of the Believers, I went to sleep yesterday and my hand was healthy, and I woke up and it was paralysed. ‘A’ishah said, “How is that?” She said, “I had wealthy parents, and my Father used to pay zakat, host guests, and give to beggars, and he did not see any good except that he would do it. As for my mother, she was stingy, and did nothing good with my Father’s wealth. Then my Father died, and my mother died only two months after him. So I saw my Father in a dream last night, and he was wearing two yellow garments and in front of him was a flowing river. I said, “Father, what is this?’ He said, “Whoever does good in this life will see it, this is what Allah has given me.” I said, “What has happened to my mother?” He asked, “Your Mother dies?” I said, “Yes”

He said, “She has been turned away from me, so look for her on your left” So I turned to my left, and I saw my mother standing naked, covering her lower half with a rag and in her hand was a piece of fat. She was calling out, “My sadness, my thirst’ When she became tired she would rub the fat with her hand and then lick it, while in front of her was a flowing river. I said, ‘O mother, why are you crying out of thirst, and there is a flowing river in front of you?’ She said, ‘I am not allowed to drink from it.’ I said, Can I give you some of the water?’ She said, ‘I wish you would do that.’ So I filled my hand with water and let her drink, and when she swallowed it I heard a voice on my right, ‘Whoever has given this woman water, may his hand be paralysed,’ and they repeated it twice. Then I awoke and my hand was paralysed, and I am not able to do anything with it. ‘A’ishah asked: ‘Did you recognise the rag she was wearing?’ I said, ‘Yes, O Mother of the Believers, it was exactly the same one I saw her wearing, for I had never seen my mother give anything as charity, except that one day my Father slaughtered a bull. So a beggar came to ask for some, so my mother gave him a bone that had some fat on it. And I saw one day that a beggar asked her for charity, so she gave him that exact rag.’

A’ishah (radiy Allaahu anha) said, Allah is the Most Great! Allah has told the truth, and the Messenger has delivered the message.

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it,
And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it”

[al-Azalzalah (99): 7-8]

This was nararted by Hafiz Abu Musa al-Madani with a good isnad.[21]

Footnotes:

[21] Hakim in his al-Mustadrak, (4/471) and by Ibn Abi al-Dunya in his ‘Kitab al-Mujabi al-Du’a,(p.74-75). Ibn Rajab also authenticated it.

Source: Transcribed by AbdurRahman.org from the  Book – “The Three that follow to the Grave” (pg 29-30) – Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Dar as-Sunnah Publishers, Birmingham, UK.


Filed under: .Islam Sunnah Salafiyyah, Hereafter, Inspirational Stories, Sadaqa (Voluntary Charity) Tagged: Book Excerpts, Imam Ibn Rajab

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Glimpses of Divine Mercy

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Allah, The Almighty, is the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate, and He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy. His Mercy encompasses all things. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {“and My Mercy embraces all things.”} [Quran 7:156]

Allah, The Almighty, extends His Mercy to all His creation, for He knows that man was created weak and is prone to fall into sin. After promising His Mercy to humanity, Allah, The Almighty, informs them that as long as they call on Him and put their hope in Him, He will forgive them. This statement alone can convince one to have hope and never despair.

When a person calls out to Allah, The Almighty, or supplicates to Him, he is displaying his need of and dependence on Allah, The Almighty. He is demonstrating his weakness to the fact that he has no power to do anything by himself. It is the essence of submission and servitude. It is also a recognition of the Attributes of Allah, The Almighty, associated with Mercy, such as kindness, generosity, forgiveness and His unlimited power and knowledge. Human beings are always in need of Allah, The Almighty, at all times and in all circumstances. A believer always turns to Allah to ask for guidance as well as to seek forgiveness for sins and shortcomings.

In fact, the mercy of Allah, The Almighty, extends to all his creation, not just humanity. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah has one hundred parts of Mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects; by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim]

It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said to us: ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, if she is not obliged to do so.’ The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

One aspect of the Mercy of Allah to His slaves is that He sent them Messengers and revealed the Books and laws to organize their lives in a wise manner, far from hardship and difficulty. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {“And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”} [Quran 21:107]

The Mercy of Allah, The Almighty, is the means through which His believing slaves will be admitted to Paradise on the Day of Resurrection. No one will ever enter Paradise because of his deeds alone, as the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “No one will enter Paradise thanks to his deeds.” They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said, “No, not even me, unless Allah shower me with His Mercy. So try to be close to perfection. And no one should wish for death; if he is doing good deeds, he will do more of them, and if he is sinning, he may repent.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Thus, the believer must remain in a state between hope and fear, hoping for the Mercy of Allah, The Almighty, and fearing His Punishment; Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

{“Declare (O Muhammad) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful. And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment.”} [Quran 15:49-50]

{Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Quran 39:53]

 

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Muslims Honor ‘Eesa (Jesus)

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Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His Angels and His Books and His Messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His Messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination."} [Quran 2:285]

Muslims believe in ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, as:

• An honorable Prophet of Allah The Exalted and one of the five messengers with firm determination.

• A human being who was born like any other creation and he passed through the normal stages of life like other human beings.

• A human being whose life has a beginning and must have an end. His life started when Allah, The Exalted, decreed it and it will end when he dies. Allah, The Almighty, Says [on the tongue of ‘Eesa] (what means): {And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.} [Quran 19:33]

Some Christians wonder how Muslims could say that ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, did not die while the verse in the Quran reads (what means): {[Mention] when Allah Said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection…”} [Quran 3:55

According to their argument, they criticize what is mentioned in the verse arguing that:

1. The Quran says that ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, died and the one who dies does not come back, so how do Muslims say that he will return at the end of time [of this world]?

2. The verse states that the followers of ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, are the best people in terms of religion and status. They claim that they are his followers who are meant in the verse.

To refute their first argument, the word ‘take you’ that was used does not mean death, rather, it means taking him, and I shall provide two lucid pieces of evidence from the Noble Quran to prove my argument.

1- Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And it is He Who takes your souls by night and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein that a specified term may be fulfilled.} [Quran 6:60]

This verse means that when we sleep, Allah, The Almighty, takes our souls and He Knows all that we did during the day. Al-Qurtubi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “Taking our souls in the verse does not mean real death; rather, it means our souls are taken to Allah The Almighty at night and then come back again as soon as we wake up.” Moreover, Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Taking our souls in the verse means that Allah, The Almighty, takes our souls when we are asleep.”

2- Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.} [Quran 39:42]

The souls that Allah, The Exalted, takes can be classified into two categories: The first category is the souls of those people whose life term has come to an end and so they die; whereas, the second category includes the souls of those whose life term has not yet come to an end; hence, their souls come back to them until the exact time on which Allah, The Almighty, has decreed their death.

Therefore, ‘I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve’ was only addressed to ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, among all human beings and this proves that he did not die and that he will come back at the end of time and this would be one of the signs of the Hour.

Moreover, Allah, The Almighty, confirms this fact in the verse that reads (what means): {And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise ...} [Quran 4:157-159]

Allah, The Almighty, also Says (what means): {And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path.} [Quran 43:61]

So, the descent of ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, to earth again marks the approach of the Hour.
As for the refutation of their second claim, the true followers of ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, are those who have believed that he is the Prophet and Messenger of Allah, The Exalted, and His Slave; are those who believed that ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, is a human being and not a god.

In fact, ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, himself said as was mentioned in the verse that reads (what means): {[Jesus] said, "Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and Zakaah (purifying alms) as long as I remain alive. And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant...} [Quran 19:30-32]

In fact, the Christians base their argument on the fact that ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, is the only one who had no father and that he was created from the Soul of Allah, The Almighty. In fact, they further claim that he is the son of Allah, The Exalted; we seek refuge in Allah, The Almighty, from that. Undeniably, Allah, The Almighty, does not have a partner or a son.

The refutation of this argument is that there are numerous verses in the Noble Quran proving that Allah, The Exalted, had breathed into Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, of His Soul. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.} [Quran 15:29]

Allah, The Almighty, also Says (what means): {Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His [created] soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful.} [Quran 32:9]

According to these verses, our souls are all from the Soul of Allah, The Almighty, so are we all His children? Of course not, we are His sincere and obedient servants while they (the polytheists) are His slaves, and what a great difference there is between a slave and a sincere and obedient servant!

Furthermore, those who wonder how ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, had no father have failed to meditate on the fact that Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, had neither father nor mother. Indeed, the creation of Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, is a greater miracle. Indeed, Allah, The Almighty, is All-Powerful; when He intends a thing to happen, He simply Says to it: "Be" and it is. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Aadam. He created Him from dust; then He Said to him, "Be," and he was...} [Quran 3:59]

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Do Not Waste Your Time!

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Both the Quran and the Sunnah emphasize the importance of time in the life of a Muslim. Allah swears at the beginning of many Soorahs (Chapters) by time or moments in time, for example, Allah Says (what means): “By the dawn and the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of the month of Thul-Hijjah)...” [Quran 89: 1-2]

Allah also Says (what means): “By the night when it covers, and by the day when it appears...” [Quran 92:1]

Another verse reads (what means): “By the morning brightness and by the night when it covers with darkness...” [Quran 93:1]

Also, Allah Says (what means): “By the time...” [Quran 103:1]

When Allah swears by something of His creation, it is evidence of its importance, and this directs our attention to the benefit of that thing. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also emphasized the value of time in many authentic Ahadeeth. For example, Mu’aath bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “A person will not move on (on the Day of Judgment) until he has been asked about four things: his life and in what he spent it, his knowledge and what he did with it, his wealth, from where he acquired it and on what he spent it, and his body and how he wore it out.”

Youth is considered the peak stage in human life, because young people have the capacity and energy to accomplish many good deeds, but when they get older, they cannot do so. These are stages of development as mentioned in the Quran; for example in Soorah Ar-Room (The Romans), Allah Says (what means): “Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair ...” [Quran 30:54]

If we do not use our time effectively for something good, then we will definitely use it for something bad, which destroys our reward and our lives. For example, if you do not praise and mention Allah, you will be saying something else, perhaps backbiting or talking about your children, your work, your neighbors, your friends or your enemies. What counts for you is using the time for something useful, doing good deeds and saying good words.

Try to hold your own self into account at the end of each day. Ask yourself: What did I do today? What did I do that was bad today? You should repent for the bad things that you have done and said, and be sincerely determined not to do them again. As regards the good deeds that you did, then be determined to do them again, probably more often, and do them in a better way.

Our lives are judged according to what we did, and not according to how many years we lived. Life is very short. Death awaits us. We do not know when we are going to die, so we have to make sure that we do as many good deeds as possible before we pass into the next life. Once dead, we are unable to return to this life in order to repent from our bad deeds, or to do more good deeds. Time passes very quickly as Allah Says (what means): “The Day they see it, (it will be) as if they had not tarried (in this world) except an afternoon and a morning.” [Quran 79:46]

Allah also Says (what means): “And on the Day when He shall gather (resurrect) them together, (it will be) as if they had not stayed (in the life of this world and graves, etc) but an hour of a day.” [Quran 10:45]

Time is very precious; if it goes by, you cannot make use of it again. YESTERDAY can never become TOMORROW. A time that has passed will never come back again.

When it is time for a person to die, he asks that his life be extended in order to do more good deeds, as Allah Says (what means): {“And they will cry out therein, "Our Lord, remove us; we will do righteousness - other than what we were doing!" But did We not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember, and the warner had come to you? So taste [the punishment], for there is not for the wrongdoers any helper.” [Quran 35:37]

We say that we are so busy with our work and our children, but Allah warns us against this saying (what means): “O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that - then those are the losers. And spend [in the way of Allah] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, "My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous." But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran 63: 9-11]

Many people before us used their time effectively by performing good deeds, teaching, doing something for the benefit of the Muslims, their families and their relatives, or by advising others to be good, and calling others to Allah and Islam, etc. They considered every day that passed which they did not use effectively for the sake of Allah as denying the favors of Allah.

Today we have those who “kill time.” People gather to talk about things that are of no benefit to them, things that are not related to Islam or to the affairs of the Muslims. They spend their time in idle talk, in backbiting and so forth. TIME IS PRECIOUS. IT SHOULD BE PRESERVED.
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “There are two blessings concerning which many people are cheated: health and free time.” [Al-Bukhaari]

People underestimate the value of these two favors, and thus, they are cheated. This is like a person who has a house that he wants to sell. Someone comes and offers him 50,000 dollars for it. He isn’t sure of its value, so he hesitates. Finally, he agrees and sells it for that amount. Later he finds out that his house was actually worth a million dollars. Imagine how cheated he feels; imagine that feeling that if he had only known beforehand what it was really worth, he could have gotten more!

It is the same with our time. We underestimate its great value, and once it is gone, we feel that we have been cheated because we didn’t get everything out of it that we could have. But just as the one who sold his house for less than its real value, he cannot get it back and sell it at its real value. It is the same thing, we cannot go back and do more with the time that is already gone. At the end of our lives, we will not be able to go back and live our lives over again. We will not be given more time to do good deeds and try to make up for the time we wasted.

So, we must organize our time wisely, being very careful about what we use it for. We must consider the free time that we have, in which we could do good deeds, as a precious resource, guarding it against waste or misuse.

TIME IS PRECIOUS. WE SHOULD PRESERVE IT.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Damage and Damages

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Allah, The Most High, has prohibited usurping other people's property and has imposed liability for whatever is damaged of the property taken without right even if it was by mistake. Whoever damages another person's property - that is considerable - without its owner's permission, is financially liable to make up for it.

Imaam Al-Muwaffaq, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “There is no juristic disagreement in this regard, whether or not the damage is intentional, and whether or not the one causing it is legally accountable.”

Similarly, whoever causes the damage of another person's wealth is financially liable for it. For example, when one opens a gate causing what is locked in to be lost or stolen, or when one unfastens a container causing what is therein to be wasted and damaged, he is liable for them. Likewise, if someone ties a riding animal in a narrow street causing a passerby to stumble and be harmed or injured, he has to pay him for the damage caused. This is exactly like the one who parks a car in the middle of the street, and as a result, another car or a person is hit, whereby damage is caused, the one who parked the car is liable to make up for the damage. This opinion is based on the Hadeeth reported by Ad-Daaraqutni and others, which reads: “If one ties a riding animal in one of the pathways of the Muslims, or in one of their markets, and it treads on someone (or something) by one of its front or back legs, one is liable for it.” [Ad-Daaraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi]
The same ruling applies when one leaves clay, a piece of wood or a stone in a pathway or digs a hole in it, causing harm or injury to a passerby.In the same way, if someone throws watermelon peels or lets water in the street, causing a passerby to slip and get injured, he is to make up for it. People who do all such actions are financially liable for the resulting damage, as such deeds are regarded as transgression.

Unfortunately, there are many such instances of carelessness everywhere nowadays; too many holes are heedlessly dug on the roads and streets, too many blocks and obstacles are put therein, and too much damage is caused by that heedlessness due to the lack of control and supervision. Some people may even occupy streets as if they were their own, dedicating them for their own use, causing harm to those passing by without caring for the sins they are committing in this way or the punishment that awaits them.

Among the matters that incur financial liability is when one has a mad dog that assaults the passersby or bites any of them. The owner of the dog is liable to make up for the resulting damages or injuries, for having such a dog is an act of transgression. On the other hand, if someone digs a well in his courtyard for his own benefit, he is financially liable for any damage that might be caused through it; he is obliged to keep it in a condition that prevents harming the passersby. However, if he leaves it without such precautions, he is deemed a transgressor.

Moreover, if someone owns cattle, he is obliged to keep them away from damaging other people's crops especially at night; otherwise he is financially liable for whatever they damage. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, judged in such a case: "The owners of property (i.e. cattle) should keep it during the daytime and they are liable for the damages they (the cattle) cause during the nighttime.” [Imaam Ahmad, Abu Daawood, and Ibn Maajah]

The owner of a domestic animal is not liable for it during the daytime, except if he releases it close to what it usually damages. Imaam Al-Baghaawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Scholars hold the opinion that the owners of grazing cattle are not liable for the people's properties they (the cattle) damage during the daytime. However, their owners are liable for whatever they damage during the night, for it is conventional that the owners of gardens and orchards are to protect them properly during the daytime while the cattle owners are to detain them during the nighttime. Thus, whoever breaks this habit has deviated from the convention. This is in case the owner of the cattle is absent, but if he is there, he has to pay for what his cattle have damaged.”

In the Quran, Allah mentions a story about Prophets Daawood (David) and Sulaymaan (Solomon), may Allah exalt their mention, and their judgment concerning a similar case of damage. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And [mention] David and Solomon, when they judged concerning the field —when the sheep of a people overran it [at night], and We were witness to their judgment. And We gave understanding of the case to Solomon, and to each [of them] We gave judgment and knowledge. And We subjected the mountains to exalt [Us], along with David and [also] the birds. And We were doing [that].} [Quran 21: 78 -79]

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “According to the Quran, Sulaymaan (Solomon) was clearly favored by understanding the wisdom of liability on equal terms. The sheep were grazing at night and damaged a grape orchard. Daawood judged that the shepherds should pay the exact value of the damage, and then he estimated the sheep and found that their value was equal to the compensation for the damage. Therefore, he gave judgment that all the sheep should be given to the owner of the orchard. However, Sulaymaan judged that the owners of the sheep were liable for the damaged orchard and that they should pay its exact equivalent in compensation by cultivating the orchard until it returns to its original state. He did not also deprive the owners of the orchard of the crops that were supposed to be yielded from the time of damage until the time of recovery. Thus, Sulaymaan gave the owners of the orchard the sheep so as to benefit from them as much as the sheep owners used to benefit from the orchard. In other words, they would utilize the shepherds' sheep in return for the fruits they missed of their orchard until the orchard was re-cultivated by the shepherds (in compensation). So, Sulaymaan evaluated the two guarantees and found them equal, and that was an example of the knowledge Allah favored him with and the wisdom He praised him for.”

If an animal has been led or ridden by someone, he is liable only for whatever it damages with its front organs, such as the forelegs or the mouth. Yet, he is not liable for what is damaged by the animal's hind parts such as the hind legs, for the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “There is no compensation for whatsoever is damaged (or killed or injured) by a beast's leg.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “The injuries or damages caused by animals like cows, sheep, and the like are not to be compensated (by the owner) if they are off a leash. This occurs, for example, when an animal breaks loose from the person leading it and then causes damage. In this case, there is no financial liability on the owner for the damage provided that the animal is not used to biting and that its owner has not been negligent in detaining it at night and keeping it away from market places and people's gatherings.”
The same opinion is maintained by some other scholars, who state that there is no compensation (for the damage caused) if the animal escapes and wanders about aimlessly without a leader or a rider, unless it is a wild beast.

In addition, if someone is attacked by a human being or an animal, and killing is the only way to stop them, there will be no compensation on that person in case he killed them. This is because killing here is a means of self-defense which is permissible, so there is no liability for its consequences. Moreover, the killing of an assaulter is intended to prevent its harm, so one will not be regarded as a killer when one kills it in self-defense. Rather, the assaulter itself will be regarded as a self-murderer in this case. Sheikh Taqiyyud-Deen, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A person has to stop the assaulter, and if it cannot be stopped except by killing, it is permissible for the attacked person to do so according to the unanimous juristic agreement in this regard.”

Among the objects for which there is no compensation in case of damage are musical and entertainment instruments, crosses, wine containers, and books on misguidance, superstition, dissoluteness and profligacy. This is implied in the Hadeeth related by Imaam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon him, on the authority of Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, who narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, ordered him to get a knife and then he, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, went to the markets of Madeenah, where there were leather containers of intoxicants brought from Ash-Sham (The Levant; the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine). Ibn ' Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, added that those leather containers of wine were torn by knives in the presence of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, who commanded his Companions, may Allah be pleased with him, to do the same [Ahmad]. This Hadeeth proves the religious obligation of destroying such immoral things without giving anything in compensation. Still, this should be carried out under the control and supervision of the authorities so as to guarantee public interests and prevent any evil or corruption resulting thereof.

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Woman and her Economic Status in Islam

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Under Islam, the woman is given the same economic freedom as the man. This freedom is legally defined as the person’s ability to be an owner and to have legal protection for his/her ownership. This is a human right that has been acknowledged in all constitutions and ideologies except communism.

According to the majority of scholars and historians, women in Arabia before Islam were deprived of the right to act freely regarding their money or possessions. The woman herself was a tradable good that could be transferred from man to man. She had no right in inheritance or in the dowry paid by her husband.

However, with the advent of Islam, the woman’s status improved dramatically. This is because Islam sees that the woman enjoys the same economic rights as the man and that her competency is limitless except concerning that which is prohibited by Allah, The Almighty, or His Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The following are some aspects of the Islamic viewpoint in this respect:

1- The woman has the full legal right to earn money through lawful means and to practice trade and all permissible businesses. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {For men is a share of what they have earned, and for women is a share of what they have earned.} [Quran 4:32]

Earning leads to ownership, hence, Allah, The Almighty, addresses man and woman Saying (what means):

{O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent...} [Quran 4:29]

{O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned.} [Quran 2:267]

The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to women: “Give in charity, even if it is from your jewelry.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

2- Islam states that the woman is absolutely equal to the man and that she may act freely regarding her money and property without the interference of anyone whatsoever. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

{And test the orphans [in their abilities] until they reach marriageable age. Then if you perceive in them sound judgment, release their property to them. And do not consume it excessively and quickly, [anticipating] that they will grow up. And whoever, [when acting as guardian], is self-sufficient should refrain [from taking a fee]; and whoever is poor - let him take according to what is acceptable. Then when you release their property to them, bring witnesses upon them. And Sufficient is Allah as Accountant.} [Quran 4:6]

{And for you is half of what your wives leave if they have no child. But if they have a child, for you is one fourth of what they leave, after any bequest they [may have] made or debt.} [Quran 4:12]

Consequently, the woman has her own independent financial personality as she may bequeath or borrow just like the man. Shaykh Rasheed Ridha, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Tafseer Al-Manaar,

Islam aborted the practices of the Arabs and non-Arabs regarding depriving the woman from the right of ownership and limiting her ability to act regarding what she owns. Islam also removed the authority of the husband over his wife’s money and possessions. Under Islam, the woman has the right to own and act regarding her possessions legally. She is also entitled to receive a dowry and to be financially supported by her husband even if she is wealthy. All of this is included in the Quranic rule: {And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.} [Quran 2:228]

This comprehensive and general rule states that the woman is equal to the man in everything with the exception of one degree, which is Qawaamah (Guardianship): {Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.} [Quran 4:34]

Within the context of speaking about the woman, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abduh, may Allah have mercy upon him, said,

This sublime rank to which Allah, The Almighty, raised the woman was not achieved in any other religion or legislation. No nation before or after the advent of Islam has achieved this rank for women. Even the European nations, who claim that they have given special care for the woman and taught her arts and sciences, are lagging behind Islam in this regard. The laws of some of these nations still deprive the woman of the right to dispose of her money without the consent of her husband. These nations still deprive the woman of many of the rights given to women under Islam more than thirteen centuries ago. Moreover, women in Europe were like slaves in everything no more than fifty years ago; the European woman was like the Arab woman during the pre-Islamic era, or even worse.

3- Under Islam, the woman became an inheritor after she had been part of the inheritance. Islam declares its appreciation of the woman and respect for her rights by entitling her to a share in inheritance contrary to the Arabs before Islam and many other ancient peoples. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {For men is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much - an obligatory share.} [Quran 4:7]

While we find that this right had been established for the woman under Islam, the European woman remained for more than twelve centuries after the advent of Islam deprived of many of the rights granted to the Muslim woman.

4- The Sharee‘ah (Islamic Law) stipulates that the woman is entitled to receive and own the dowry within the marriage contract after it used to be given to her guardian. In Islam, the dowry is exclusively for the woman and no one has the right to take even a penny of it without her consent. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease.} [Quran 4:4]

This verse entails some very important rules:

- The dowry is exclusively owned by the woman and her guardian has no right in it.

- The husband should give her the dowry willingly. [i.e. the dowry is a right of the wife upon her husband]

- She is entitled to give the dowry to her husband as a gift and the husband is allowed to accept it

- This verse applies to virgins and previously-married women

Allah, The Almighty, stresses these rules in many other Quranic verses. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

{And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them unless both fear that they will not be able to keep [within] the limits of Allah. But if you fear that they will not keep [within] the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon either of them concerning that by which she ransoms herself.} [Quran 2:229]

{O, you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality.} [Quran 4:19]

The Sharee‘ah also ordained man to provide for the woman whether it is his mother, daughter, sister or wife, because the woman is disposed by nature to stay at home to manage its affairs and bring up the children. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

{Upon the father is the mothers' provision and their clothing, according to what is acceptable.} [Quran 2:233]

{Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted - let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.} [Quran 65:7]

Islam even allows the woman, whose guardian or husband does not provide for her, to take from his money what suffices her according to what is acceptable. Hind, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyaan is a stingy man and does not give me and my children adequate provisions for maintenance unless I take something from his possession without his knowledge.” The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to her: "Take from his possessions enough to suffice you and your children reasonably.” [Al-Bukhaari , Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah]

Islam honored and dignified the Muslim woman and guaranteed economic security for her when it obliged the man to provide for her to dedicate her life to her fundamental and sublime mission in life – which is to take care of her house, husband and children - and being far away from the worries of making a living.

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Building a Happy Home - I

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We all seek happiness, rest, stability and peace of mind, and we want to avoid the causes of misery, worry and disturbance -- especially at home and within the family. This can only be achieved by believing in Allah, The Almighty, Alone, relying on Him, entrusting one’s affairs to Him as well as utilizing all lawful means.

Importance of Establishing a Family and Infusing Affection at Home

One of the most effective factors that influences individuals and the society is the righteousness of the family as Allah, The Almighty, has made it a haven for humans, both males and females, where they can settle down and rest. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.} [Quran 30:21]

This verse indicates that both the husband and wife find tranquility with each other at times of worry, and find happiness at times of distress.
Marriage is based on the companionship and closeness that emerges from mutual love and affection. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.} [Quran 2:187]

Moreover, the marital home is the environment in which children are raised and this can only be achieved through an affectionate mother and a hardworking father.

What other environment could be better than a good family atmosphere?

Pillars of the Muslim Family Structure:

There are many pillars upon which the Muslim family is based, which safeguard the family from disunity and separation:

• Believing in Allah, The Almighty, and fearing Him:

The foremost and most important of these pillars is adhering to the most trustworthy handhold of faith: believing in Allah, The Almighty, and the Hereafter and fearing Him, as well as avoiding oppression or despotism. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day. And whoever fears Allah -- He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah -- then He is sufficient for him.} [Quran 65:2, 3]

Faith increases by striving to worship Allah, The Almighty, and obeying Him, especially when the husband and the wife continually advise each other to do so. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said in an authentic Hadeeth: “May Allah have mercy upon a man who gets up at night and prays, and awakens his wife; if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah have mercy upon a woman who gets up at night and prays, and awakens her husband [to pray]; if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.” [Ahmad,An-Nasaa’i, Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah] [Ibn Khuzaymah, Al-Haakim and Ath-Thahabi: Saheeh]

The relationship between the spouses is not just a worldly materialistic relationship or a lustful one. On the contrary, it is an honorable, spiritual relationship and when this relationship is achieved, it lasts even after death, in the Hereafter. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants.} [Quran 13:23]

• Living in kindness:

Living in kindness can only be achieved when each spouse knows his/her rights and duties. It is not wise to seek perfection for the household and its members, because perfection is impossible and unattainable for humans.

It is sensible to have realistic expectations and accept each other’s shortcomings. A man, who is the head of his household, is required to be more patient than the woman, as he knows that she is physically and emotionally vulnerable by nature. If she is held accountable regarding every big and small matter, she will feel restricted and unable to achieve anything. Besides, exaggeration and over-zealousness in admonishing women in an attempt to rectify their affairs could lead to divorce.

The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Treat women gently, for a woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper portion; so, if you try to straighten it, it will break and if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women gently.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Al-Haafith ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “This is advice to reform women gently without exaggeration or leaving them as they are. The criterion for this is that he should not allow her to commit sins or to abandon an obligation, but he may leave her as she is with regard to lawful matters.”

A husband should not give free rein to feelings of distress regarding his wife, but he should disregard some of her shortcomings and remember her strengths, as he is sure to find many, if he is fair-minded. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.” [Muslim and Ahmad]

A husband should be patient in this regard as he does not know what is better for him. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.} [Quran 4:19]

How can there be any affection or tranquility between the spouses if the husband is bad-tempered, narrow-minded, foolish, hasty, difficult to satisfy, easily angered, keeps reminding his wife of his favors when he comes home and has ill thoughts of her when he is outside the house?
Happiness and living in kindness can be achieved through leniency, avoiding bad conjectures and baseless illusions. Sometimes, jealousy leads some people to have negative thoughts and to suspect their spouse's behavior -- a matter that could potentially disrupt one's marital life and create discord without any sound proof. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And do not harm them in order to oppress them.} [Quran 65:6]

The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best of you is the one who treats his family best and I am the best one amongst you towards my family.” [At-Tirmithi, Ad-Daarimi, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan: Saheeh]

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Building a Happy Home - II

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The wife’s role in maintaining the marital home and living with kindness

A Muslim woman should know that happiness, affection and mercy can only be achieved when she preserves her chastity, adheres to her religion, knows her rights and does not exceed them, and obeys her husband as he is her protector and maintainer. A wife should fulfill her tasks efficiently, look after her home and take care of her appearance. This is what a righteous wife, kind mother, and responsible caretaker does at her husband’s home, because she will be held accountable for her trust.

The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “I was shown Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” They (the Companions) asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied: “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have been good (benevolent) to one of them for the entire life and then she sees something in you (that she does not like) once, she will say, 'I have never received any good from you.” [Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, An-Nasaa’i, Ahmad, Maalik]

Therefore, women should overlook and forgive their husbands’ shortcomings; they should not annoy them when they are present and should not betray them when they are absent.

In this manner, love, affection and mercy would prevail between them. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Any woman who dies while her husband is satisfied with her, will enter Paradise.” [At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah] [Al-Haakim: Saheeh chain of narrators]

The Muslim Ummah (nation) should realize that happiness is achieved through living in harmony. This is the suitable atmosphere for raising children who enjoy the love of their mother and the kindness of their father without disputes, conflicts or abuse. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And those who say, "Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous."} [Quran 25:74]

Reforming the family is the key to reforming society as a whole. Any society whose families are unstable can never be reformed. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And Allah has made for you from yourselves mates and has made for you from your mates sons and grandchildren and has provided for you from the good things. Then in falsehood do they believe and in the favor of Allah they disbelieve?} [Quran 16:72]

The spouses and their strong relationship, and the parents and their children represent the present and the future of the Ummah (nation). Thus, when the devil succeeds to separate one family, he does not destroy just one family or perpetrate just one limited evil, but harms the whole Ummah, and the reality proves this.

May Allah have mercy upon a husband who is good-tempered, lenient, kind, gentle, merciful to his family, decisive, not over-demanding, and not irresponsible. May Allah have mercy upon a wife who does not ask for too much, who is righteous, devoutly obedient, and who guards in her husband's absence what she has to guard.

Allah, The Almighty, Says: {Whoever fears Allah - He Will Make for him of his matter ease} [Quran 65:4]

A Happy Home Is a Blessing From Allah, The Almighty:

One of the greatest blessings from Allah, The Almighty, is that the home is a safe haven and place for rest, where the dwellers can enjoy mutual love and affection in an atmosphere of purity and protection. It is the home where children grow up, where solidarity is boosted and where souls and hearts grow close. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.} [Quran 2:187]
It is in such homes, where there are close ties, where honorable traits are developed, and where children grow into trustworthy men and well-mannered women.

Some Causes of Marital Conflict

The reality of life and the nature of human beings, who are created by Allah, The Almighty, prove that some people are not guided by advice or experience any feelings of affection and tranquility, which makes it difficult to preserve the marital bond.

A marriage, where one of the two spouses is this type of a partner, does not fulfill the objectives of marriage or provide the suitable atmosphere where righteous children can be brought up. Such cases of restlessness and disagreement may have internal or external causes. Sometimes the cause of this disagreement is the interference of the in-laws. Some parents interfere with the life of their married children which causes the spouses to go so far as to file lawsuits against each other. When this happens the couple’s secrets become known to everyone. All this may have been started by a trivial matter that was worsened by interference, hastiness, unwise actions, and by believing malicious lies.

The problem may be caused by ignorance of the teachings of the religion and rulings of the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation); adhering to bad habits and adopting weak opinions. For instance, some husbands think that threatening their wives with divorce or professing it, is the right solution for solving marital conflict and family problems. Hence, he trivializes the issue of divorce without realizing that by doing so, he is taking the verses of Allah, The Almighty, lightly, is committing a sin, and is destroying his family.

Is This How We Should Understand Our Religion?

The method of divorce that the Sharee‘ah has made lawful is not meant to cut the ties of the marital relation, but just stops or suspends it for a stage, for the sake of reconsideration and attempting to solve the problem. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {O Prophet, when you [Muslims] divorce women, divorce them for [the commencement of] their waiting period and keep count of the waiting period, and fear Allah, your Lord. Do not turn them out of their [husbands'] houses, nor should they [themselves] leave [during that period] unless they are committing a clear immorality. And those are the limits [set by] Allah. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah has certainly wronged himself. You know not; perhaps Allah will bring about after that a [different] matter. And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah. That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day. And whoever fears Allah -- He will make for him a way out.} [Quran 65:1, 2]

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Points to Ponder: Our Attitude Towards Allah The Almighty

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Dear sister, attitude is the practical application of the deeds of the heart. Since the deeds of the heart principally take place in the heart, they are hidden, and thus, no one can see what is in the heart including truthfulness, sincerity, love for Allah, The Almighty, submission to Him, fear of Him, glorifying Him, and other acts of the heart.

Hence, what is the only way to know whether these acts of the heart are practiced and to know their reality? The way to know that is the physical application as manifested by the work of the bodily organs. If there is sincerity in the heart in acts of worship being done for the sake of Allah, The Almighty, this sincerity overflows to the entire body, and consequently, the body moves in the way that is dictated by the heart of the sincere person who loves Allah, The Almighty.

Thus, your attitude is what you say, what you do, what you wear, how you deal with the texts of the Quran and with the commands of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his instructions. This attitude is a living, outward and tangible reflection of the faith, feelings, exalting and glorifying Allah, The Almighty, which are concealed in the heart.

Can you imagine the existence of truthfulness, sincerity, love for Allah The Almighty, fearing Him, and glorifying Him in the heart of a woman whose attitude, upon leaving her country and when still on the airplane without setting her feet on the land of the country she is traveling to, is that she removes her cloak and Hijaab (Islamic covering), folds them as if there has never been any affection between her and both of them, and thrusts them in her handbag -- like a person who hides something evil, then she exposes her beauty? I ask you, dear sister, to answer me with all honesty: Can you imagine any truthfulness and sincerity existing in the heart of a woman who acts like that? Can you imagine that she, inside her heart, exalts Allah, The Almighty, and glorifies His Orders and Prohibitions? Can you imagine that she, inside her heart, loves what Allah, The Almighty, loves?

Removing the Hijaab and neglecting its correct form that is approved by the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation) is a disgraceful attitude from which I ask Allah, The Almighty, to protect you. This represents a worldly attitude, while in fact; attitude cannot be separated from what is concealed in the heart, because the heart is that which generates attitude. This is the plain truth regardless of what the arrogant people think. This also conforms to the saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “In the body there is a piece of flesh which, if it is sound, the entire body will be sound, and if it is corrupt, the entire body will be corrupt. It is the heart.”

Here I remind you that we have agreed on the broad and comprehensive concept of worship and that you understand it well.

Worship is not a question of merely praying and fasting, for it is greater than this and has wider dimensions. To worship Allah, The Almighty, is to submit totally to Him and to acknowledge His Lordship in terms of being The Creator, The Sustainer, and The Owner of everything, and that He exclusively owns the right to issue orders and prohibitions as indicated by the verse (which means): {Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command.} [Quran 7:54] By taking this first step, you will move on to the second step by submitting to the orders of Allah, The Almighty: {We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.} [Quran 2:285]

Hence, the submission that entails listening and obedience is the inevitable outcome of our complete belief in the Lordship of Allah, The

Almighty. Therefore, you find that Allah, The Almighty, swears by His great and Holy Self about this matter. Allah, The Almighty, swears by His own Self only about things that are very great. This great matter is the truthfulness of people’s submission to the Divine Rulings and Commandments. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {But no, by your Lord [here Allah The Almighty swears by His exalted Self], they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.} [Quran 4:65]

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The Mother's Absence and Its Effect on Children

Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the Promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know.} [Quran 28:13] This verse refers to the mother of Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, when his sister put him into the river and his mother’s heart became empty of every worldly affair except the thought of her little child. However, Allah, The Exalted, kept her steadfast and patient. Moreover, He promised to restore him to her and to make him one of His Messengers.
The mother's heart and her kindness represent the pure spring from which the child receives kindness and care. The mother carries the fetus in her womb, suckles him after birth and provides him with care throughout her life. When we talk about the deprivation of the mother, we are truly talking about vital problems that afflict many children because of missing their mothers during the stage of childhood and being brought up sometimes by merciless hands (step-mothers). The fathers, on the other hand, might support their new wives in order to satisfy them. Moreover, the father’s emotions towards his children might perish because of his wife’s foolishness and her jealousy that is never extinguished, particularly when she gives birth to children of her own, males and females, whom she uses to bring the father closer to her and to them, at the same time trying hard to keep him far from his own children from his first wife.

We should know that the experiences of early childhood considerably influence the individual’s attitude throughout the various stages of his life. Considering that the child's environment during the early stages of his life is restricted to his home and family, namely the father, mother and male as well as female siblings, the children, male and female alike, will be influenced by an environment of deprivation, humiliation and degradation. Moreover, the father might be occupied with work outside the home and come back late when the children are asleep; hence, he would not follow up on what happens to them. His new wife might try to make him believe that all his children are enjoying a happy life, even though the reality could be totally different. Her children could be enjoying the best of clothes, food and all their requests are answered, while her husband's children might be suffering from deprivation. They might be deprived of delicious food, wear cheap clothes and spend their long night with no sleep.

During childhood, the child's personality is formed. Moreover, the nature of the family and social relations with one's parents, male and female siblings, neighbors as well as relatives, form the child's attitudes towards others and general things in the surrounding environment as well as in public life. It is true that the individual's personality, during the later consecutive stages of life, is influenced by a variety of factors as social relations expand and experiences increase when facing the positive and negative situations of life; however, it should be taken into consideration that the experiences of childhood usually influence the structure of the personality. Moreover, it remains a major motivation in the structure of the personality during the advanced stages of his life. Hence, the future is made up of what happens in childhood.

During the stage of early childhood, who is more capable among the family members of taking care of the child and satisfying his emotional and psychological needs than his mother? Did not she carry him in her womb, suckle him after birth and provide him with care throughout her life? The relation between a child and his mother, immediately after his birth and during the early years of his life until he is separated from her and starts depending on himself, talking with and responding to her, have a considerable effect on satisfying his physical, psychological and mental needs. The child who is deprived of his mother's kindness and affection might suffer from physical, mental, linguistic and social growth retardation, and the structure of his personality might not be normal.

A person who lacks something is unable to give it away. He might feel that he is rejected and unwanted and, therefore, he prefers silence, becomes an introvert, and the signs of depression appear in his attitude. Moreover, he might not respond to others’ jokes or smiles for he is usually sad and miserable. The consequences of this will be deviation, disorders and fits of serious agitation or abnormal behavior that is not tolerated, even by the people who are closest to him.

The effect of being deprived of the mother differs from one child to another. When the period during which the child is deprived of his mother is less than three months, he might quickly restore the ability to exchange emotions with her and return to his normal growth without impediments. However, when the emotional deprivation of his mother lasts for six months, the child's emotional growth noticeably drops behind those of the same age.

Some children who lose their mothers because of death or divorce, and the father's insistence on having the custody of the children, or because of any other circumstances such as experienced by the children in orphanages, such children, although they are deprived of the mother's kindness, may be compensated when they find alternatives for her: people who carry out the mothers' job and provide the children with both love and kindness. It has been noted that these children grow normally compared with normal children who live within the shelter and care of their mothers. They grow normally in comparison with the children who do not find alternatives for their mothers and live with their merciless step-mothers.

The aforesaid discussion is addressed to both parents. We ask Allah, The Exalted, to fill our hearts with mercy towards our children and those whom we take care of when they lose emotional support, particularly at an early age. Fear of Allah, The Almighty, is the best guide for our life's affairs. Finally, we should remind ourselves with the verse where Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And let those [executors and guardians] fear [injustice] as if they [themselves] had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.} [Quran 4:9]

 

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