Friday, February 17, 2017

Who are the Prophets?

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According to Islam, Allah created man for a noble purpose: to worship Him and lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. How would man know his role and the purpose of his existence unless he received clear and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do? Here comes the need for prophethood. Thus, Allah has chosen from every nation at least one Prophet to convey His Message to people.

One might ask, how were the Prophets chosen and who were entitled to this great honor?

Prophethood is Allah's blessing and favor that He may bestow on whom He wills. However, from surveying the various messengers throughout history, three features of a Prophet may be recognized:

1. He is the best in his community morally and intellectually. This is necessary because a Prophet's life serves as a role model for his followers. His personality should attract people to accept his message rather than drive them away by his imperfect character. After receiving the message, he is infallible. That is, he would not commit any sin. This is not to mean that Prophets did any, as they were of the highest conduct among the people and thus were prepared to receive the message. A Prophet might make some minor mistakes- not out of desire or for personal goals; rather, out of keenness on achieving some benefits in the favor of the message he came to convey. Such minor mistakes were usually corrected by revelation.

2. He is supported by miracles to prove that he is not an imposter. Those miracles are granted by the power and permission of Allah and are usually in the field in which his people excel and are recognized as superiors.

3. Every Prophet states clearly that what he receives is not from his own, but from Allah for the well-being of mankind. He also confirms what was revealed before him and what may be revealed after him. A Prophet does this to show that he is simply conveying the message that is entrusted to him by The One True God of all people in all ages. So the message is one in essence and for the same purpose. Therefore, it should not deviate from what was revealed before him or what might come after him.

Prophets are necessary for conveying Allah's instructions and guidance to mankind. We have no way of knowing why we were created. What will happen to us after death? Is there any life after death? Are we accountable for our actions? These and so many other questions about Allah, angels, paradise, hell, and more, cannot be answered without direct revelation from the Creator and Knower of the unseen. Those answers must be authentic and must be brought by individuals whom we trust and respect. That is why messengers are the elite of their societies in terms of moral conduct and intellectual ability.

Hence, the slanderous Biblical stories about some of the great Prophets are not accepted by Muslims. For example, Prophet Lut, may Allaah exalt his mention, is reported to have committed incestuous fornication while drunk. Prophet Dawood (David), may Allaah exalt his mention, is alleged to have sent one of his leaders to his death in order to marry his wife. Prophets, to Muslims, are greater than what these stories indicate. These stories cannot be true from the Islamic point of view.

The Prophets are also miraculously supported by Allah and instructed by Him to affirm the continuity of the message. The content of the Prophets' message to mankind can be summarized as follows:

a) Clear concept of Allah: His attributes, His creation, what should and should not be ascribed to Him.

b) Clear idea about the unseen world, the angels, jinn, Paradise and Hell.

c) Why Allah has created us, what He wants from us and what rewards and punishments are for obedience and disobedience.

d) How to run our societies according to His will. That is, clear instructions and laws that, when applied correctly and honestly, will result in a smoothly functioning, harmonious society.

Now one might ask: who are the Prophets according to the Islamic Faith? The answer is, many of the same Prophets found in the Old Testament, New Testament, and some Prophets which are mentioned in the Quran that you may not be familiar with.

According to Islam, some Prophets were given the message to deliver to their people (e.g. Prophets Adam, Nooh, Lut and others, may Allaah exalt their mention, and others were given books (e.g. Prophets  Ibraheem, Moosa, 'Eesa, Muhammad and others, may Allaah exalt their mention.

Prophets in Islam are revered, respected individuals who were chosen by Allah to bring His Divine Message to their people.

In the case of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, he was chosen to give his Message to all mankind. Every Prophet came to relay the same message to their people, which was to worship Allah alone, associating no partners with Him.

Islam is the final message for mankind, complete in every way, as Allah Says (what means): "This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion." [Quran 5:3]

When Muslims mention the name of any Prophet, out of respect, they supplicate for them asking that Allah exalt their mention and bestow His Peace and Blessings upon them. Another way in which Muslims show respect for the Prophets and Messengers of Allah is that they neither draw pictures of them nor approve of actors portraying Prophets in movies. Muslims believe that it is disrespectful to any Prophet of Allah for an actor to portray them. 

The Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, who were mentioned in the Quran are (arranged chronologically):

1-     Adam, may Allaah exalt his mention

2-     Idrees (Enoch), may Allaah exalt his mention

3-     Nooh (Noah), may Allaah exalt his mention

4-     Houd, may Allaah exalt his mention

5-     Salih (Saleh), may Allaah exalt his mention

6-     Ibraheem (Abraham), may Allaah exalt his mention

7-     Lut (Lot), may Allaah exalt his mention

8-     Isma'eel (Ishmael), may Allaah exalt his mention

9-     Ishaq (Isaac), may Allaah exalt his mention

10- Ya'qoob (Jacob), may Allaah exalt his mention

11- Yoosuf (Joseph), may Allaah exalt his mention

12- Ayyoob (Job), may Allaah exalt his mention

13- Thul-Kifl (Ezekiel), may Allaah exalt his mention

14- Yoous (Jonah), may Allaah exalt his mention

15- Shu'ayb, may Allaah exalt his mention

16- Moosa (Moses), may Allaah exalt his mention

17- Haroon (Aaron), may Allaah exalt his mention

18- Dawood (David), may Allaah exalt his mention

19- Sulayman (Solomon), may Allaah exalt his mention

20- Ilyas (Elias), may Allaah exalt his mention

21- Al-Yasa' (Elisha), may Allaah exalt his mention

22- Zakariyya (Zachariah), may Allaah exalt his mention

23- Yahya (John), may Allaah exalt his mention

24- 'Eesa (Jesus), may Allaah exalt his mention

25- Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam

 

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Who Should A Student Of Knowledge Befriend

Ibn Jamaa’ah said:

“The student of knowledge should not mix except with either those he can benefit, or can benefit from. And if he is offered the friendship of one who will waste his time with him, will not benefit him, will not benefit from him, and will not assist him in reaching his objective, he should politely end the relationship from the start before it progresses to something deeper, as when something becomes established, it becomes more difficult to change it. There is a phrase that is constantly on the tongues of the Fuqahaa’, “Repelling something is easier than removing it.

So, if he requires someone to befriend, let that person be righteous, religious, pious, wary, intelligent, full of benefit, having little evil, good at complying, rarely conflicting, reminding him if he forgets, cooperating with him when he is reminded, helpful if he is in need, and comforting if he is in distress.”

[Tadhkirat As-Saami’ Wal-Mutakallim, p. 83]


Filed under: Knowledge

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Speaking Against the Rulers is the Way of the Persians and Romans

ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar – Allāh be pleased with them – said:

A man from [the tribe of] the Anṣār once came to me during the caliphate of ʿUthmān. He spoke to me and I realised he wanted me to fault ʿUthmān; he spoke at length and he had some heaviness in his speech and could not finish speaking quickly. When he had finished, I said to him, “We used to say, while the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was still alive, the best of the Ummah of the Messenger of Allāh after him is Abū Bakr, then ʿUmar, then ʿUthmān. And by Allāh, we do not know that ʿUthmān has ever killed anyone without right or committed any major sin; but it is an issue of this wealth [with you people]: if he gives you, you are happy, and if he gives to his kin, you are angry. You only want to be like the Persians and Romans, who leave no leader of theirs without killing him.”
Then his eyes filled with tears and he said, “O Allāh, we do not want this.”

Imām Aḥmad, Faḍāʾil Al-Ṣaḥābah, article 64, except for the last sentence. Shaykh Waṣīyullāh ʿAbbās graded its chain of transmission ṣaḥīḥ in his study of the work.

The last sentence about the crying is in the Masāʾil of Ibn Hāniʾ 2:171.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Secularism and its dangers -I

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Allah, the Most Exalted, sent down The Book (the Noble Quran) to clarify all things and to give Guidance and Mercy to people who believe.

He sent His Messenger, Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam with guidance and the true religion with which He opened blinded eyes, deaf ears, and sealed hearts. With it, He eliminated the darkness of ignorance and stupidity and released the chains of polytheism such that misguidance became a legend of the past and worshipping idols became an old myth.

A Muslim wonders at the stupidity of the polytheists. Allah Says (what means): "He whom Allah guides is rightly guided but he whom He leads astray never will you find for him a protective guide." [Quran 18: 17]

We must always remember though, that trials are continuous and the substance of evil remains till today. Devils among humankind and Jinns continue to spread misguidance, and to make it seem attractive and spread it by means of all tongues. Allah Says (what means): "And thus we have made for every Prophet an enemy, devils from mankind and Jinn, inspiring to one another decorated speech and delusion." [Quran 6:112]

It is mandatory upon us to know the ways of misguidance, warn people of it, expose it, expose its objectives and block the way for those who call to it. By doing this, Muslims can be aware of what their Lord wants of them and have proper insight so as not to be harmed by the plotting and planning of the misguided ones.

Today, in the Muslim world, many different philosophies and ideologies are propagated…ones that deceive numerous people with its superficial sparkle and glory. Many slogans and terms have captured the minds of people and control their way of thinking.

These false beliefs are like a disease and are of the fire. If it has been decreed for these false beliefs to be disseminated, they will not overcome anyone but will turn him into disintegrated ruins.

One of these ideologies is secularism, which has infiltrated into the Muslim communities. Perhaps one of the most serious challenges that face the people of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah (the true Islamic methodology) at this time is to overthrow these false beliefs, clarify their vague statements and expose the reality of the obscure slogans behind which secularism hides and spreads its poison in the minds and hearts of the people of this nation.

For this reason, it is necessary to unmask the true face of this ideology which is misguided and misguiding at the same time.

Secularism, in its correct definition, is the belief that religion should not enter into the affairs of the state; it denies any form of religious faith and worship. Thus, secularism is the antithesis of Islamic monotheism, which, from the perspective of Islam, is the greatest reality and truth.

Ibn Taimiyyah may Allah have mercy upon him said in his book 'Al-Uboodiyyah' (Servitude): "Mankind is at the crossroad that has two roads, no third to it. It is either that he chooses servitude to Allah or he rejects the servitude to Him. To fully believe in the servitude to Allah, excluding all others, knowing that servitude to anyone else but Allah, great or small, is the worshiping of Satan."

Allah Says (what means): "Did I not enjoin upon you O Children of Adam that you not worship Satan for indeed he is to you a clear enemy and that you worship only me. This is the straight path." [Quran 36:60-61] This includes the Arabs about whom Allah Said (what means): "They call upon- instead of Him- none but female deities and they actually call upon none but rebellious Satan." [Quran 4:117] This also includes all acts of worship performed to anyone else but Allah throughout history.

Some of the acts of worship have changed. The Arabs no longer worship the idols of the past. However, worship of Satan in itself did not change. The old idols are replaced with new idols: like the partisanship, nationalism, secularism, personal freedom, sex and others.

There are many new idols today. It is indeed the worship of Satan and Taghoot (anything adorned besides Allah, be it material idol or ideology), which negate the testimony that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah. For the meaning of "La ilaha illa Allah" (the first part of the testimony of faith) is to disbelieve in Taghoot and to believe in Allah Alone.

Based on this, we can know the ruling of Islam concerning secularism. Secularism is disbelief and is of the pre-Islamic Taghoot concept which negates and contradicts "La ilaha illa Allah".

Two points which are basic and paired are that firstly, it is ruling with something other than the rulings of Allah or what Allah has revealed, and secondly, it is associating others in the worship of Allah.

Secularism simply means ruling with laws other than the laws of Allah; something other than what Allah has revealed. It is ruling with a constitution or legislation other than what Allah has legislated. The acceptance to be governed by and follow Taghoot instead of Allah is the essence of establishing life with no faith and religion.

Allah Says (what means): "And he who does not rule with what Allah revealed, indeed, those are the disbelievers." [Quran 5: 44]

Disbelief is of different kinds, of which we must be aware. One aspect of Jahiliyyah- pre-Islamic paganism- was the rejection of Allah. The rejection of His existence is related to faith and the way life is perceived, which corresponds to the Jahiliyyah of Communists.

Another aspect is acknowledging the existence of Allah but in a perverted way, and deviation in acts of worship. This kind of Jahiliyyah is synonymous with the Jahiliyyah of the Jews and Christians.

Another aspect is accepting the existence of Allah and performing acts of worship but with a serious deviation in the understanding, implication and the implementation of "La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad-ur Rasool-Allah", which results in a comprehensive association in the issue of obedience and partnership with Allah. This Jahiliyyah is of those who call themselves Muslims but are secularists. They think that they are within the fold of Islam and have all the rights of Muslims by merely uttering the Shahadah (saying: "La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad-ur Rasool-Allah". They perform these acts of worship in an un-Islamic fashion.

Secularism and its dangers -II

 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Story of Prophet Ayyoob -I

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His Lineage

Imam Ibn Ishaq, may Allaah have mercy upon him, stated that Prophet Ayyoob's full name was Ayyoob, Ibn (son of) Mose, Ibn Razeh, Ibn Esau, Ibn Isaac (Ishaq), Ibn Abraham (Ibraheem), may Allaah exalt the mention of them all. Others stated that he was Ayyoob, Ibn Mose, Ibn Rimil, Ibn Esau, Ibn Isaac (Ishaq, Ibn Jacob (Ya'qoob), may Allaah have mercy upon them all. There have also been other statements on his lineage. Imam Ibn 'Asakir, may Allaah exalt his mention, narrated that Prophet Ayyoob's mother was a daughter of Lot (Lut), may Allaah exalt his mention. It was said also that Prophet Ayyoob's father was one who believed in Ibraheem, may Allaah exalt his mention, when he was cast into the fire.

The first opinion is the most plausible, because Prophet Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, was a descendant of Ibraheem's offspring, as Allah Almighty declares in the Quran (what means): "And that was Our [conclusive] argument which we gave Ibraaheem against his people. We raise by degrees whom We will. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing. And We gave to him [i.e., Ibraheem] Ishaq [Isaac] and Ya'qoob [Jacob] – all [of them] We guided. And Nooh [Noah], We guided before; and among his descendants, Dawood [David] and Sulayman [Solomon] and Ayyoob [Job] and Yoosuf [Joseph] and Moosa [Moses] and Haroon [Aaron]. Thus do We reward the doers of good." [Quran 6:83-84]

Allah Praises Him

Allah the Almighty praised His worshipper Ayyoob, may Allah exalt his mention, in His Glorious Quran, Saying (what means): "…Indeed, We found him patient, an excellent servant. Indeed, he was one who repeatedly turned back [to Allah]." [Quran 38:44]

Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, was repentant, remembering Allah with thankfulness, patience, and steadfastness. This was the cause of his rescue and the secret of Allah's praising him.

A group of angels were discussing Allah's other human creatures, how those who were humble earned Allah's pleasure, while those who were arrogant incurred His displeasure. One of the angels remarked: "The best creature on earth today is Ayyoob, a man of noble character who displays great patience and always remembers his Generous Lord. He is an excellent model for the worshippers of Allah. In return, his Lord has blessed him with a long life and plenty of servants, as well as the needy and the poor sharing in his good fortune; he feeds and clothes the poor and buys slaves to set them free. He makes those who receive his charity feel as if they are favouring him, so kind and gentle is he."

Satan's Envy of Him

Iblees (Satan) overhearing all of this, became annoyed. He planned to entice Ayyoob to corruption and disbelief, so he hastened to him. He tried to distract Ayyoob from his prayers by whispering to him about the good things in life, but Ayyoob was a true believer and would not let evil thoughts tempt him. This disturbed Iblees even more; thus he began to hate Ayyoob with even greater fervour.

Iblees complained to Allah about Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention. He said that although he was continuously glorifying Allah, he was not doing so out of his sincerity but to satisfy Allah so that his wealth should not be taken away. It was all a show, all out of greed. "If You remove his wealth, then You will find that his tongue will no longer mention Your name and his praying will stop," he said to Allah.

Allah told Iblees that Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, was one of His most sincere devotees. He did not worship Him because of the favours; his worship stemmed from his heart and had nothing to do with material things. But to prove to Iblees the depth of Ayyoob's sincerity and patience, Allah allowed him to do whatever he and his helpers wished with Ayyoob's wealth.

Iblees was ecstatic. He gathered his helpers and set about destroying Ayyoob's cattle, servants and farms until he was left with no possessions. Rubbing his hands in glee, Iblees appeared before Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, in the guise of a wise old man and said to him: "All your wealth is lost; some people say that it is because you gave too much in charity and that you are wasting your time with your continuous prayers to Allah. Others say that Allah has brought this upon you in order to please your enemies. If Allah had the capacity to prevent harm, then He would have protected your wealth."

True to his belief, Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, replied: "What Allah has taken away from me belongs to Him. I was only its trustee for a while. He gives to whom He wills and withholds from whom He wills." With these words, Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, again prostrated to his Lord.

When Iblees saw this, he felt frustrated, so he again addressed Allah: "I have stripped Ayyoob of all his possessions, but he still remains grateful to You. However he is only hiding his disappointment, for he places great store by his many children. The real test of a parent is through his children. You will see how Ayyoob will reject You."

Allah again granted Iblees authority, but warned him that it would not reduce Ayyoob's faith in His Lord nor his patience.

Iblees again gathered his helpers and set about his evil deeds. He shook the fountain of the house in which Ayyoob's children were living and sent the building crashing, killing all of them. Then he went to Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, disguised as a man who had come to sympathise with him. In a comforting tone he said to Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention: "The circumstances under which your children died were sad. Surely, your Lord is not rewarding you properly for all your prayers." Having said this, Iblees waited anxiously, hoping Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, was now ready to reject Allah.

But again Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, disappointed him by replying: "Allah sometimes gives and sometimes takes. He is sometimes pleased and sometimes displeased with our deeds. Whether a thing is beneficial or harmful to me, I will remain firm in my belief and remain thankful to my Creator." Then Ayyoob, may Allaah exalt his mention, prostrated to his Lord. At this, Iblees was extremely vexed.

To be continued 

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Monday, February 13, 2017

A day of love or a day for incurring the Anger of Allah?

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Indeed, the disbelievers, the founders of Western culture of ignorance , spare no effort in enforcing their way of life on Muslims aiming at controlling them, eradicating Islamic beliefs from their hearts and keeping them away from adopting the Islamic way of life; since Islam is the gravest peril that threatens their existence. Hence, they exert endless efforts in their attempt to achieve their goal, one of which is controlling the international media.

In fact, they have reaped the rewards of their efforts as Muslim sons and daughters blindly imitate the Western disbelievers paying no attention or care to their own religion, values and beliefs. The ramifications of this imitation can be seen in Muslim youth celebrating Valentine’s Day, which is a celebration originating in pagan Roman customs, during which they claim to celebrate a "divine love". This celebration is still held until this day in European countries as a means of declaring loving feelings of friendship and renewing the covenant of love.

Unfortunately, we hear of some Muslim female students, who exchange candy and red roses and wear red clothes in order to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

On this occasion we cite the Fatwa (religious verdict) of Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy upon him, regarding this issue which underlines the great peril of this wrongdoing i.e., celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen was asked,

“Celebrating Valentine’s Day has become rather widespread among Muslims especially female students as they dress in red clothing on that particular day and exchange red roses. We were hoping that you would clarify the Islamic ruling on celebrating Valentine’s Day and what is your advice for Muslims concerning this issue?" 

Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy upon him, elaborated on this issue saying, Celebrating Valentine’s Day is totally impermissible for numerous reasons, the foremost of which is the fact that it is regarded as a religious innovation that has absolutely no basis in the Islamic Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation). Second, it promotes impermissible and immoral love. Third, it encourages Muslims to engage themselves in trivialities which are against our righteous predecessors’ way of life. In fact, it is prohibited for Muslims to do anything that indicates celebrating this day whether in eating, drinking, clothing, exchanging gifts or the like. Muslims should be proud of their religion and should not blindly imitate others. I beseech Allah The Almighty in supplication to shield Muslims against all kinds of Fitnahs (temptations) that are apparent or concealed, and to help us and grant us success."   

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