Sunday, April 30, 2017

Husband Drinks and Does Not Pray

Question

I have been married for three years. A week after our marriage, my husband told me that he drinks. I was shocked to my core, but I thought that this could be fixed as he told me that he planned to quit within a year. He told me to take off my hijab because I look like his mom. He still drinks everyday. The only promise he has kept is that he does not bring alcohol home. From the very day we got married, I felt that my husband was not interested in me. It was I who initiated our first intimacy almost two weeks after our wedding. He spends most nights outside the home and comes home at 3 or 5 am sometimes. I do not think that he is unfaithful, but there are times where he does not remember the night before. During our first year of marriage, he would say that I had no right to change his life and that he would do whatever he wanted and that I should find things to do by myself. He changed for a bit, but then it was back to the same. Now he says that it is because he is building our future and that I have done nothing to contribute to the income. He has not fasted at all this year and only prays when he is forced to do so. I do not ask him to pray now because then I become a "nag", which is another excuse to not come home. He says that the stress at work is too much. I have no children because my husband says that he is not ready and that we are not financially stable. He makes a medium income, which is not bad in Canada, but it is not enough for his "lifestyle". I know that usually women are blamed for asking too much money from their husbands, but I do not complain and want to start a family. He says that I am selfish for wanting our future children to have an absentee father. He wants me to work but not just any work, he wants me to become a practicing doctor in Canada and then later have kids. I am not opposed to working, but he says that if I do not build a career, he might leave. I have gained over 40lbs in the past three years. I am so depressed. I am 30 years old. We have not been intimate in over six months. I am seeing a therapist. I am slowly getting better, but it is not fast enough for him.

Answer

May Allah make it easy for you in your difficult times. According to what you said, this is a very difficult situation for you as a wife. Allah, the Most High, ordered the woman to be an obedient wife to her husband in matters of goodness, and not in sins. Therefore one of the most difficult things for a pious wife is to have a sinful husband. In these types of situations, there are several steps that are to be taken, and you should never ignore them; here they are:

1- Turn to Allah alone with repentance and leave all sins.

2- Fix all of your shortcomings so that your repentance is sincere.

3- If you do not pray on time, repent to Allah and pray on time. If your hijab is not proper start, wearing the proper hijab, etc. Ask the people of knowledge so that you do everything according to the way of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

4- Allah, the Most High, said in the Quran (what means): {Bad women are for bad men and good women are for good men…} [Quran 24:26] The above steps are to achieve goodness so that if Allah wills, He can make your husband change to be like you.

5- After doing the above and taking your time to achieve it, seek help from your local Muslim community to advise to your husband.

6- If nothing works but your husband prays, you should be patient with him and seek rewards from Allah; life is a test, and people are given by Allah what tests their faith. So you are in a test, and as long as he is a Muslim and prays five times a day, then you should be patient with him.

7- If he does not pray and refuses to change, you have grounds for a divorce, and you should not continue with such a person, and your seeking divorce should be for the sake of Allah to have a better religious life.

May Allah make it easy for you and bless your marriage.


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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sultan Ath-Thahir Baybars

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Al-Malik Ath-Thahir Rukn Ad-Deen Baybars Al-Bunduqdari, was the most eminent of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt and Syria, which he ruled from 1260 to 1277 CE. He is renowned both for his military campaigns against the Mongols and Crusaders, and for his internal administrative reforms.

Baybars was born in the country of the Kipchak Turks on the northern shores of the Black Sea. After the Mongol invasion of their country around the year 1242 CE, Baybars, along with many of other Kipchak Turks, was sold into slavery. Turkish-speaking slaves, who had become the military backbone of most Islamic states, were highly prized, and eventually, Baybars came into the possession of Sultan As-Salih Najm Ad-Deen Ayyoob of the Ayyoobid dynasty of Egypt. Baybars was sent for military training to an island in the Nile, like all the Sultan's newly acquired slaves, and demonstrated outstanding military abilities. Upon his graduation, he was granted freedom and appointed commander of a group of the Sultan's bodyguards.

Baybars gained his first major military victory as commander of the Ayyoobid army at the city of Al-Mansoorah in February 1250 CE against the Crusaders' army led by Louis IX of France, who was captured and later released for a large ransom. Filled with a sense of pride at their military strength and growing importance in Egypt, a group of Mamluk officers in the same year murdered the new Sultan, Turan Shah. The death of the last Ayyoobid Sultan was followed by a period of confusion that continued throughout the first years of the Mamluk Sultanate.

Having angered the first Mamluk Sultan, Aybak, Baybars fled with other Mamluk leaders to Syria and stayed there until 1260 CE, when they were welcomed back to Egypt by the third Sultan, Al-Mudhaffar Sayf Ad-Deen Qutuz. He restored them to their place in the army and conferred a village upon Baybars.

On September 3, 1260 CE within a few months of Baybars' arrival, he distinguished himself as the leader of the vanguard of the Muslim army against the Tartars (Mongols) in a furious battle at 'Ayn Jaloot (the Pool of Goliath) near Jerusalem. Though the Tartars fought well, they were no match for the Muslims, who were far more in number and were able to conceal their numbers until the last devastating moment. The Tartars were pursued beyond Aleppo and swept out of Syria.

For his military achievement, Baybars expected to be rewarded with the town of Aleppo; but Sultan Qutuz disappointed him. After the assassination of Sultan Qutuz, Baybars seized the throne to become the fourth Mamluk Sultan.

Baybars' ambition was to emulate the Muslim hero Salahuddeen (Saladin), the founder of the Ayyoobid dynasty in the Jihad against the Crusaders in Syria. As soon as he was acknowledged as Sultan, Baybars set about consolidating and strengthening his military position. He rebuilt all the Syrian citadels and fortresses that had been destroyed by the Mongols and built new arsenals, warships, and cargo vessels. To achieve unity of command against the Crusaders, Baybars united Muslim Syria and Egypt into a single state. He seized three important towns from the Ayyoobid princes, thus ending their rule in Syria. From 1265 to 1271 CE, Baybars conducted almost annual raids against the Crusaders. In 1265 CE, he received the surrender of Arsuf from the Knights Hospitalers (a Christian military group). He occupied Atlit and Haifa, and in July 1266 CE he received the town of Safed from the Knights Templar (another Christian military group) garrison after a heavy siege. Two years later, Baybars turned toward Jaffa, which he captured without resistance. The most important town taken by Baybars was Antioch (May, 1268 CE). His seizure of additional strongholds in1271 CE sealed the Crusaders' fate; they were never able to recover from their territorial losses. Baybars' campaigns made possible the final victories won by his successors.

Baybars' permanent goal was to contain the continued Mongol attacks on Syria from the north and east that threatened the very heart of the Islamic East. During the 17 years of his reign, he engaged the Mongols of Persia in nine battles. Within Syria, Baybars dealt with the Assassins, a deviant sect that attributes itself falsely to Islam. After seizing their major strongholds between 1271 and 1273 CE, he wiped out the Syrian members of the group.

Baybars also took the offensive against the Christian Armenians who were allies of the Mongols, devastating their lands and plundering their major cities. In 1276 CE, having defeated the Seljuq troops and their Mongol allies, he personally seized Caesarea (modern Kayseri in Turkey) in Cappadocia. To secure Egypt on the south and west, Baybars sent military expeditions into Nubia and Libya, taking personal command in 15 campaigns and often endangering his life.

In the interest of good diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Empire, Baybars sent envoys to the court of Michael VIII Palaeologus in Constantinople. The Byzantine sovereign thereupon ordered the restoration of the ancient mosque and permitted Egyptian merchants and ambassadors to sail through the Hellespont and Bosporus, a body of water, which connects Europe and Asia. One of Baybars' principal goals during his reign was to acquire more Turkish slaves to be used in the Mamluk army; another was to contract an alliance with the Mongols of the Golden Horde in South Russia against the Mongols of Persia. In 1261 CE Baybars sent an ambassador to the Sicilian king Manfred. Other emissaries to Italy followed, and in 1264 CE Charles of Anjou, later king of Naples and Sicily, sent an emissary with letters and gifts to Cairo, a remarkable testimony to Baybars' strength and influence. Baybars was also able to sign commercial treaties with such distant sovereigns as James I of Aragon and Alfonso X of León and Castile.

In a brilliant political move, Baybars invited a fugitive descendant of the Abbasid dynasty of Baghdad to Cairo and established him as Caliph —head of the Muslim community — in 1261 CE. Baybars wished to legitimize his Sultanate and to give pre-eminence to his rule in the Muslim world. However, the Abbasid caliphs in Cairo had no practical power in the Mamluk state.

Baybars was more than a military leader or a diplomatic politician. He built canals, improved harbors, and established a regular and fast postal service between Cairo and Damascus, one that required only four days. He built the great mosque and the school bearing his name in Cairo. He was also the first ruler in Egypt to appoint chief justices representing the four main schools of Islamic law.

Sultan Ath-Thahir Baybars was a sportsman as well as a warrior, Baybars was fond of hunting, polo, jousting, and archery. He was also a practicing Muslim, a generous almsgiver, and watchful of the morals of his subjects—he issued a prohibition against the use of wine in 1271 CE.

He died in Damascus after drinking a cup of poison intended for someone else and was buried in Damascus under the dome of the present Ath-Thahiriyah Library, which he had established.


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Friday, April 28, 2017

Ambition

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A wise person should not be satisfied with his or her present circumstances; rather, he or she should continually aspire to achieve noble aims and seek self-improvement. If he or she attains a certain status, he or she must look forward to achieving an even higher one. Undeniably, this has to be done without demonstrating an inclination to this worldly life or contradicting the Sharee'ah of Allah The Almighty. If he or she follows such a way, he or she will not settle for anything less than Paradise.  

'Umar ibn 'Abd Al-'Azeez, may Allaah have mercy upon him, noted about himself: "I am ambitious. At first, I strove for the position of emir and when I gained that, I was determined to hold the title of caliph. When I attained even that rank now, I am still motivated now to reach Paradise." This is what true ambition is – the soul longing for what is more perfect and sublime. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, used to guide his Ummah (Nation) to be ambitious for noble causes and rise above all that is petty, when he, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Allah The Almighty loves the things that are most exalted and honorable, and [He] hates all that is mundane."
 
Difference between ambition and determination
 
In our context, both ambition and determination share the same purpose: seeking noble things; however, they differ in terms of motivation and means.
 
For instance, a determined person may be motivated by an aversion to apathy that is caused by humiliation or to ward off the shame of imperfection. On the other hand, ambition is driven by the desire of one's soul to achieve a higher goal.
 
However, in terms of means, a person motivated by the latter may go to extremes in pursuit of his or her objective, while a person with strength of mind usually makes use of noble ways that conform to the Sharee'ah of Allah The Almighty.
 
Yet, undoubtedly, if one does not exert his or her utmost to achieve a goal, his or her aspirations are nothing but mere wishes. A truly ambitious man is he who does his best to achieve what he wants and may tire himself for the sake of his ambition. That is why many poems speak of this, such as some of those that state that a person who is afraid of risks and failure, and is overly cautious cannot attain glory, just like a rose cannot exist without thorns.
 
Indeed, the path to all that is noble is unpaved and suffused with hardship, which is why Mu'aawiyah once advised 'Amr ibn Al-'Aas, may Allaah be pleased with them: "A person who seeks something great must risk something significant." Similarly, the latter, he, may Allaah be pleased with him, would say: "You [people] have to pursue decisive and critical matters."
 
Ambitions of the noble and eminent
 
Great people are typically driven toward achievement of honorable aims and far removed from petty gains. Hence, one would usually find them ambitious in:
 
1-      Seeking knowledge: Having realized that knowledge is the worthiest acquisition, both morally and spiritually, and the most honorable objective of all nations, they sacrifice their time and wealth for it. Then, their wisdom saves them from being led astray. Hence, they endure hardship, lead an austere life, leave behind their homeland and families and do not bother with rest and entertainment for its sake. One of them would depart from his country to another place in pursuit of only one Hadeeth. This is only done with infinite determination and great care to make the best of every moment.
 
2-      Achieving martyrdom: When those of great willpower learn of the reward of one who dies a martyr for the sake of Allah The Almighty, they race each other to it, not favoring others over themselves in this respect. Ibn 'Umar narrated that his father, may Allaah be pleased with them, said to his brother during the battle of Uhud: "O my brother, take my armor", but he replied: "I want to die as a martyr just as you do." Therefore, neither of them donned the armor. [At-Tabarani]  It was also reported that Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, may Allaah be pleased with him, hit his horse [urging it to gallop faster], while he was fighting, saying: "How nice Paradise is when it comes near; it is good and [like] a cool drink. The Romans will be subjected to torment; they have rejected belief and are of ignoble ancestors; when I meet them [in the battlefield], I am required to kill them." He remained in this spirit until he was killed.
 
3-      Attaining Paradise: When, it was once said to Al-'Attabi, may Allaah have mercy upon him: "So-and-so is an ambitious person", he replied: "Then he must have no aim but Paradise." Indeed, any goal that is less than that is meager in comparison. Yet, this does not mean that a person is forbidden from having ambitions in his or her worldly life; that is okay, as long as he or she adheres to the Sharee'ah of Allah The Almighty, observes His limits and has a righteous intention behind all deeds.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

False Hope and Wishful Thinking | 1

The scholar, the worshipper, the Zaahid, Shumait ibn Ajlaan said, "I heard my father saying:

'Verily the believer says to himself: 'It's only [a matter of] three days.

Yesterday and what it contained has passed.

Tomorrow is [false] hope which you might not reach. If indeed you are from tomorrow's people then [rest assured] tomorrow will come along with its provision.

Before tomorrow [even arrives there] is a day and night [i.e., the current day] in which many souls will perish—maybe you [too] will be one of those who do.

Each day's worry is enough [to handle].

But you went and burdened your weak heart with years and ages worth of worry, the worry of prices increasing and falling, the worry of winter before winter even came, and that of summer before it did.

What, then, have you left for your weak heart in terms of its hereafter?

Every day your appointed term decreases yet you are not worried.

Every day you fully collect all your sustenance yet you are not worried.

You have been given what suffices you but yet seek what will cause you to transgress.

Not with a little are you content, and nor with plenty are you satisfied.

And how can a scholar not perceive his own ignorance when he has failed to give thanks for what he [already] has and is deceived into asking for yet more?

Or how can he whose desires do not cut off from the dunyaa and whose craving for it does not end work for the Hereafter?

How totally and utterly strange that someone believes in the Home of [Eternal] Life yet strives [instead] for the Abode of Deception!''"

Qisarul-Amal, pp. 56-58.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sulaim Ibn Itr

Ibn Kathir said, "And one of the most extraordinary things is what Abu Ubaid related from Sa'eed Ibn Ufair from Bakr Ibn Mudar, [which was that] Sulaim ibn Itr At-Tujini would finish reciting the entire Quraan three times in one night and would also have marital relations with his wife three times in the same night.

When he passed away, his wife said, 'May Allaah have mercy on you. You used to please your Lord and satisfy your family.' She was asked, 'How so?' She replied:

'He would stand to pray in the night and then finish the entire Quraan, then he would have marital relations with his wife and then perform ghusl. Then he would go back and recite until he finished the entire Quraan, then he would have marital relations with his wife and then perform ghusl. Then [again] he would go back and recite until he finished the entire Quraan, and then have marital relations with his wife, then perform ghusl and leave for the morning prayer.'

I [Ibn Kathir] say: Sulaim ibn Itr was a most distinct taabi'i, trustworthy and noble. He was a Qadi in Egypt during the reign of Mu'awiyah … Abu Haatim said that he narrated from [the Companion] Abud-Dardaa … and Ka'b Ibn Alqamah said, "Sulaim ibn Itr was one of the best of the Taabi'een.'"

Tafseer Ibn Kathir, vol. 1, p. 81.


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Marital Issues

Question

Assalamu alaykum.

I have been married to my husband for eight years now, and we have three daughters, praise be to Allah. Sometimes, my husband and I face marital problems, which makes me sad. I am an American who converted to Islam nine years ago. Due to how I was raised in my society, I never saw what marriage looks like. I feel like I always fail at everything as a wife, no matter how hard I try. For example, I try hard to keep my house tidy, but it never looks like I do because I am not good at it. I feel like my husband hates me because he ignores me a lot, and I cannot communicate about anything with him. I feel like my husband hates me so strongly that I often lose my temper with him. The other day, my husband threw something at me, and I got so mad that I screamed at him and threatened to throw something at him too. I wanted him to feel how I felt. Then my husband's parents took my husband's side, and I felt attacked by everyone. My husband told me that he is only with me for the sake of our children. When I look at my husband now, I try hard not to cry, because I feel that he hates me. The worst part is that I feel hopeless about trying to fix it. I feel like I will never succeed and also feel that my husband will never learn how to spend quality time with me. I feel alone and hopeless. I want to stay with him because he is the father of my children, and I honestly have nowhere to go. I have no family to go back to. My family is not Muslim, and they do not even have the values of normal parents. My husband is the only person I have. I have to make my marriage happier. What can I do?

Answer

Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah.

May Allah bless your marriage and keep you steadfast. Your situation is something that is often encountered with converts, so be patient in rectifying it, and it will be easy by the Will and permission of Allah.
As you said, you did not know what marriage looks like. People always have an ideal picture of marriage that is full of love and compassion and without problems. That is not the case, because we, as individuals, are not perfect. Therefore, relationships are not perfect either. Being a Muslim necessitates that we get to know what is in the revelation – the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. It shows us the reality of this life and how to deal with every aspect of it. You need to have two sources of power to be able to succeed: the power of knowledge and the power of action. The power of knowledge is to know what is in the Quran and the Sunnah and then to seek help from Allah and have the determination and the truthfulness to apply this knowledge.

There is nothing extraordinary in your situation. These are normal marital issues that are always repeated. There are two folds to it, one is your husband, and the other is you. What your husband should do is not your responsibility, but you can advise him, etc. What is more important is you yourself and how to deal with the situation in the right way.

There are things which you might think are not related to the problem though they are the root of it, and the cure is to take care of these principles and foundations. Here are some of these things:

1- Never lose focus in your life of the fact that you are created to worship Allah alone and that Allah guided you to Islam to be steadfast and continue in that path till the moment of death.

2- Never be forgetful that the greatest favor that you have received is the religion of Islam. Therefore, strengthen your faith as a sign of being grateful. To do so, you need to do the good deeds in a persistent manner and increase your knowledge.

3- Allah is the Most Merciful; He only decrees what is best for you. Your challenges become the best for you if you understand why Allah destined them for you. The things that we do not like are destined for us to continue to worship Allah, and they add more acts of worship, like patience and seeking rewards, and the heart becomes more attached to Allah and less on the human beings, etc.

4- Life is temporary, and all of your concerns will be behind your back one day, so do not allow them to cause you to lose your focus.

Having said that, here are some specific steps to take for your specific situation:

1- Repent to Allah and increase your istighfar (asking for forgiveness).

2- Pray your prayers on time, and perform the Sunnah prayers and the night prayer also.

3- Learn the Quran and be consistent in your learning and recitation on a daily basis.

4- Encourage your husband to do good deeds together, like him leading you in a two-rak'ah (unit of prayer) during the night, giving charity, helping the needy, etc.

5- Supplicate a lot every single day, especially during the last third of the night. Your husband's heart is in the control of Allah, so ask Allah, since He is the only One Who can change your husband's heart and manners.

6- Be kind to your husband's family for the sake of Allah; Allah will make the truth prevail.

7- Suggest to your husband that both of you need to ask a scholar about what to do and seek advice.

8- When you feel lonely and no one is there for you, turn to Allah, He is the Most Merciful.

9- Shaytan (the devil) works hard, especially when it comes to families in order to break them, so be firm and never allow the Shaytan to ruin your family life.

10- Never oppose anger with anger as it only increases the problems.

The above needs a lot of effort, but with sincerity and dedication, Allah will make it easy. May Allah bless your family and give you happiness in this life and the Hereafter.


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Our salaf's endeavours in calling to Allah – I

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The importance of calling to Allah and its virtue:

Calling to Allah yields many great rewards, and it was the task of the Messengers of Allah. Sahl Ibn Sa`d, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported: "The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said on the day of the Battle of Khaybar to `Ali Ibn Abi Talib, may Allaah be pleased with him: "Advance cautiously until you reach their open places; thereafter, invite them to Islam and inform them of what is obligatory for them from the rights of Allah because by Allah, if Allah guides even one person through you that is better for you than possessing a herd of red camels." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim] This was a reference to the finest and most valuable type of camel, which reflects the virtue of calling people to Allah and guiding them to the right path.

`Uqbah Ibn `Amr, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: "Whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded (with the) equivalent reward of he who practices that good action." [Muslim]

Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported: "The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: "If anyone calls others to follow the correct guidance, his reward will be equivalent to those who follow him (in righteousness) without their reward being diminished in the least." [Muslim]

Abu Umamah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported: "The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: 'Allah, His angels, the dwellers of the heaven and the earth and even the ant in its hole and the fish (in the waters) supplicate in favour of those who teach people (religious) knowledge.'" [At-Tirmithi]

These narrations and many others encourage people to endeavour in the act of worship of calling to Allah, so what more could a person ask for? The depths that people have sunk to in this regard are a result of them neglecting their duty of calling others to Allah, despite the great status of this act of worship.

When people abandoned this act of worship, evil prevailed, prohibitions spread and many people deviated.

Examples of the call of the Prophets, may Allaah exalt his mention, to Allah:

Calling to Allah proves the sincerity of the person with regards to the principles he claims to believe in as only he who truly loves his religion will call others to it. The following are some examples of the prophets and messengers calling to Allah:

The call of Nooh, may Allaah exalt his mention, to his people:

Nooh, may Allaah exalt his mention, was extremely dedicated in calling his people to Allah and he persevered in this, as Allah Says (what means): "…And he [i.e., Nooh] remained among them a thousand years minus fifty years…" [Quran 29: 14] He, may Allah exalt his mention, called them tirelessly and utilised all possible means to do so, as Allah Says (what means): "He [i.e., Nooh] said: 'My Lord! Indeed I invited my people [to truth] night and day. But my invitation increased them not except in flight [i.e., aversion]. And indeed, every time I invited them that You may forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments, persisted, and were arrogant with [great] arrogance." [Quran 71: 5-7] Did this prevent him from continuing his mission in calling them to Allah? Indeed not, he used all possible methods to call them, as Allah Says (what means): "Then I invited them publicly. Then I announced to them and [also] confided to them secretly." [Quran 71: 8-9]

The call of Yoosuf, may Allaah exalt his mention:

When Yoosuf, may Allaah exalt his mention, was imprisoned, he did not forget his duty of calling to Allah. Rather, the first thing he did was to practice this duty when his two cellmates requested him to interpret the dreams they saw. He promised them that he would do so, but first mentioned what Allah describes as (what means): "…That is from what my Lord has taught me. Indeed I have left the religion of a people who do not believe in Allah, and they, in the Hereafter, are disbelievers. And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Ibraaheem (Abraham), Is'haaq (Isaac), and Ya'qoob (Jacob). And it was not for us to associate anything with Allah. That is the favour of Allah upon us and upon the people, but most of the people are not grateful. O [my] two companions of the prison! Are separate lords better or Allah, the One, the Prevailing?" [Quran 12: 37-39] Note how he immediately called them, despite the normal feeling of anguish that a person would feel at being imprisoned.

The call of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam:

The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam has set the greatest example in terms of dedication and endurance in guiding people. This was very evident in his call to the tribe of Quraysh, the Arab tribes and the masses in general. He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, would call to Allah whilst upon a mountain, in the Sacred Mosque, in the street, in the market, in people's houses, during Hajj season, in the desert, during times of peace and times of war, when healthy and when sick, when visiting people, and when he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was being visited. He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was calling people to Allah all of the time.

He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, would call those who loved him as well as those who hated him. He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, would approach tribes during the season of Hajj and call them to worship Allah saying: "O people! Allah commands you to worship Him alone and ascribe no partners to Him."

He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to approach them during the season of markets like that of 'Ukath and say: "O people! Who will protect me? Who will support me? Who would help me convey the message of my Lord?"

He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, continued to do so until Allah blessed him with the honourable Ansar who resided in Madeenah and who gave him the pledge of support in the first famous pledge of Al-'Aqabah. This marked the great initiation point for the expansion of his mission.

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam endured, all types of torture and insult for the sake of propagating the message of Islam and calling the people to Allah. Once, riding a donkey he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, went to invite 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy, who was the chief hypocrite, to Islam, but the latter said to him: "Keep your donkey away from me, its stench offends me." Yet he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, bore this hypocrite's despicable manners and continued calling him to Allah.

Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported: "Once, a Jewish boy who served the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, fell (terminally) ill, so he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, went to visit him. He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, sat down by his head and said to him: "Embrace Islam." The boy looked at his father who was sitting beside him. The father said: 'Obey Abul-Qasim (i.e., the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).' The (dying) boy therefore embraced Islam and the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, stepped out of their home, saying: "Praise be to Allah who has saved him from the Hellfire." [Al-Bukhari]

He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, went to call the people of Ta'if, but they refused to accept his call and thus he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, returned grieved and saddened. But why? His anguish was due to them not embracing Islam and refusing the message of Allah.

Distance did not stop him from conveying the message of Allah to anyone, but due to not being able to leave his followers who were in dire need of his personal instruction, he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, sent messengers on his behalf to convey the message of Allah to all those that he was unable to personally visit. He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, sent messengers to all the kings and rulers that he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, possibly could.

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, sent a message with Dihyah, may Allaah be pleased with him, to the Governor of Busraa, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows: "In the name of Allah The Beneficent, The Merciful. (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Messenger to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon he who follows the right path. I invite you to Islam, and if you should become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, but if you reject this invitation to Islam then you will be committing a double sin by misguiding your Areesiyyeen (i.e., peasants). He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, then quoted a verse from the Quran as Allah Says: (what means): "…O people of the scripture! Come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah. But if they turn away, then say: 'Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].'" [Quran 3: 64]

Our salaf's endeavours in calling to Allah – II

 


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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Institution of marriage and social duties of Muslims

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The foremost and fundamental institution of human society is the family unit. A family is established by the coming together of a man and a woman, and their contact brings into existence a new generation. It then produces ties of kinship and community, which gradually develop into a large society. The family is the institution through which a generation prepares the succeeding generation for the service of human civilization and for the discharge of its social obligations with devotion, sincerity and enthusiasm.

This institution does not merely recruit cadets for the maintenance and development of human culture but its guardians. They earnestly desire that those who have to replace them in the future should be better than themselves.  In this respect the family can be truly called the fountain-head of progress, development, prosperity and strength of human civilization on Earth.

Hence, besides the social problems, Islam devotes much attention to those relating to the family and strives to establish this important social unit on the healthiest and strongest foundations. According to Islam, the correct form of relationship between a man and woman is marriage, that is, the one in which full social responsibilities are undertaken by them and which results in the emergence of a family. Irresponsible behaviour are not condoned by Islam as innocent past times or ordinary transgressions. Rather, they are acts that strike at the very roots of human society.

Hence, Islam aims at purifying and purging the society of all activities that encourage such irresponsible action or provide opportunities for them. Regulations of Hijab (an out fit women must adhere to in Islam), ban on free mixing of men and women, restrictions on music and films and discouragement of the spread and propagation of obscenities and aberrations, are all intended to guard against this.

Their sole object is to protect and strengthen the institution of the family. Islam does not merely regard the desirable form of social contact as just permissible but holds and affirms it as a good and virtuous act. Indeed, it is seen as an act of worship. It does not simply look upon celibacy of an adult person with disfavor, but calls upon every young man and woman to take, in his turn, the social responsibilities of married life just as his or her parents did in their time.

Islam also strongly disapproves those rites, ceremonies or restrictions that make marriage a difficult and tedious affair. The intention of Islam is that marriage may become easy and fornication (and adultery) the most difficult thing in society, and not vice versa as it is in most of the societies today.

Hence, besides debarring a few specified relatives from entering into matrimony with one another, it has legalized marital relations with all other near and distant kith and kin. It has removed all distinctions of caste and community and permitted matrimony of any Muslim with any other Muslim, although being equivalent in status is a matter that is recognized when considering marriage. It has enjoined that the amount of Mahr (dower) should be fixed at a low and easy figure, the burden of which can be easily borne by the husband and has dispensed with the necessity of clerics and offices of compulsory registration.

In an Islamic society, marriage is such a plain and simple ceremony as can be performed anywhere before two witnesses, and a Wali (woman's guardian or one whom he authorizes), though it is essential that the proceedings should know that the couple is now going to live a matrimonial life.

Within the family itself, Islam has assigned to the man a position of authority so that he may maintain order and discipline as the chief of the household.  Islam expects the wife to obey and look after the comforts and well-being of her husband and expects the children to behave accordingly with their parents. Islam doest not favor a loose and disjointed family system, which is devoid of any authority, control and discipline and in which someone is not pointedly responsible for the proper conduct and behaviour of its members.

Discipline can only be maintained through a central authority and in the view of Islam the position of father in the family is such that it makes him the fittest person to take over this responsibility.  But this does not mean that the man has been made a tyrant and an oppressor in the household and the woman has been handed over to him as a helpless chattel. According to Islam, the real spirit of marital life is love, understanding and mutual respect. If the woman has been asked to obey the husband, the latter has been called upon to exercise his privileges towards the welfare of the family and treat his wife with love, affection and sweetness.

Islam makes the marital bond strong but not unbreakable. It aims at keeping the bond intact only so long as it is founded on sweetness of love or for as long as at least the possibility of lasting companionship exists. When this possibility of lasting companionship exists. When this possibility dies out, it gives the man the right of divorce and the woman the right of separation. Under certain conditions, when married life has become a source of misery and nuisance, it also gives the Islamic courts of justice the authority to annul the marriage.

 


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Monday, April 17, 2017

A Reported Picture of the Prophet & Abu Bakr from Judaeo-Christian Times

It is reported from the Companion Jubayr b. Muṭʿim – Allāh be pleased with him – that he said:

I once travelled to Shām for trade. When I reached lower Shām a man from the People of the Book met me and asked me, "Is there amongst you a man who is a Prophet?" I replied, "Yes." He then asked, Would you recognise his image if you saw it?" I replied, "Yes." He then admitted me into a house in which there were images, but I did not see an image of the Prophet ﷺ. While I was there, another man from them entered upon us and asked us "What are you doing?" So we informed him. He then took us to his home, and as soon as I entered I saw the image of the Prophet ﷺ and it showed a man holding on to the heel of the Prophet ﷺ. I asked, "Who is this man holding his heel?" He replied, "There was no prophet except that after him came another prophet, except this prophet, for there is no prophet after him. And this is the khalīfah after him." And I saw that it looked like Abū Bakr – Allāh be pleased with him.

Ibn Kathīr, Al-Tafsīr, in the commentary of 7:157:

Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.

Meaning of Al-Aʿrāf: 157.


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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Praying for Allah to heal non-Muslims is permissible

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Praying for Allah to heal non-Muslims is permissible

Explained by the Permanent Committee of Scholars 

Question: Is it permissible for those who utilize the Quran to treat the sick; to recite the Quran to treat non-Muslims?

Answer: It is permissible to treat non-Muslims with the Quran if they are not combatants at war with the Muslims; and if it is done in a manner in which the non-Muslim does not handle the Mushaf. This treatment is implemented by reciting the Quran over them, and praying to Allah to heal them and guide them.

And with Allah lies all success and may the salutations and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and Muhammad's family and companions.

Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbee

http://www.alifta.net/fatawa/fatawasubjects.aspx?languagename=ar&View=Page&HajjEntryID=0&HajjEntryName=&RamadanEntryID=0&RamadanEntryName=&NodeID=7426&PageID=10545&SectionI D=3&SubjectPageTitlesID=32250&MarkIndex=2&0

Taken from: http://mtws.posthaven.com/praying-for-allah-to-heal-non-muslims-is-permissible-dot-dot-dot-explained-by-the-permanent-committee-of-scholars
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Friday, April 7, 2017

Psychological and emotional abuse towards children

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How is psychological and emotional abuse defined in Islam? What constitutes these emotional scars that cannot be seen on the skin? Emotional abuse is similar to verbal abuse but sometimes it can be a little more twisted and suddenly alarming. It reaches into each fiber of the self esteem, leaving the victim in deep emotional pain about his or herself regarding the world around him/her. Usually these children who have been so severely abused either grow up to be unable to set normal functioning boundaries or become an emotionally abusive themselves.

All thanks and gratitude are due to Allah, Who has set standards that guide us in how to behave with one another. And yes that also includes our children.

Everything boils down the heart. It is the most important part of our body.

The Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Indeed there is a piece of flesh in your body which, if it be sound, then the whole body will be sound and if it be corrupt then the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart." [Al-Bukhari]

All of our actions stem from this part. If we have been raised in a negative emotionally abusive home, we may be carrying this excessive baggage into our hearts and homes without even knowing it. But first we must know what emotional/psychotically abuse means in order to look, not only, into the past but how it is affecting us now.

Allah looks into the heart of the each one of us, not at our outward appearance. Therefore when we viciously attack our children emotionally by demeaning them, calling them names, telling them they are ugly, a failure, letting them feel worthless we have started an arsenal attack on the heart. We have made them feel as though they are worthless and rejected. We are going deep into an area that we have no right to tread. Since Allah "scans" our hearts what are we doing to our children's? The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Allah does not look at your bodies or your faces but He looks at your hearts and actions." [Muslim]

The tongue is a great indicator of what is in the heart. When a parent's heart is good you can see it in their wording. Yes we all get upset with our children, but the parents who have a good heart will be careful and Allah-fearing. Since we know that if the tongue is used correctly it will be blessed, so what about people not using their tongue correctly? Or, if the tongue is a hypocrite, speaking nicely only to the people outside the home but abusing their children inside the home.

For some reason many parents believe they can say whatever they would like to their children, without ever thinking of the consequences. These consequences can be even more far-reaching than just the child because the parent himself will be accountable to Allah for emotional/psychological abuse. Allah Says (what means): "Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers with all solemnity and full submissiveness. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden.)" [Quran; 23:1-2]

Each and every act that we communicate, be it verbally or non-verbally, will be recorded. Just because we are in the confines of our four walls does not mean that we are "truly alone". Not only does Allah see and hear everything, Allah has also sent angels to record everything we say and do. So even if we do not use foul destructive language to our children, if we withhold love and care, favoring one child over the others, etc. or doing anything that goes outside of the boundaries of Islam, it is all being recorded. Allah Says (what means): "Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)" [Quran; 50:18]

Allah will call us to account with His Almighty Justice not with oppression. Yet what are we doing to our children inside the home. Like the perished nations before us justified not believing in Allah Alone because their parents worshiped others than Allah. Is it right to abuse and ignore the emotional needs of our children because our mothers and father's raised us that way? Are we so unattached to our feelings that we forgot how bad it felt when our feelings were discounted and we were emotionally scared on a daily bases? The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever believes in Allah and the last day should speak good or keep silent." [Al-Bukhari]

Or do we only reserve this narration to those we want to "show" that we are good Muslims? Where on the outside we pretending to "look" like our hearts are clean but on the inside we are abusing our children on a daily basis. If our behavior with those outside is good, warm and loving but in our homes it is full of "emotional and verbal" filth, we have to look deep inside our hearts. If this is the case, not only are we harming our children but are teaching them to be two-faced or hypocritical with their heart and tongue.

Imam Ash-Shafi'i, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "If you wish to speak then it is your responsibility to think before you speak. If you think there is good in it then you should speak and if not then do not speak. "

This saying is from someone who is searching for salvation. Obviously we need to discipline our children and reprehend them when they do something wrong, but how we do it, what is our real intention behind it. Are we doing it as sincere advice because we love them for the sake of Allah or are we doing it for other intentions like; to humiliate them, to let off steam, to feel more powerful and to feel in control? For Allah's sake we must look into our intention for each and every move we make. Do we really believe that all these rules about manners and speech are only for those outside our homes? Do we really deep down inside live in a fantasy world that we are "kings and queens" of our home and we can do as we like?

We should ask ourselves before we speak:

  1. What is our intention?

  2. Will this saying of mine please Allah?

  3. Will this saying of mine bring me closer to Allah?

  4. Does this saying earn with it obedience to Allah?

  5. If so, then speak, otherwise one should keep quiet.

Our children are Muslims and the following saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, applies to them: "A Muslim is one who does not harm the Muslims with his tongue or hands." [Al-Bukhari]

We know from the section on physical abuse that we are not allowed to harm our children with our hands. Now we know that we are not allowed to oppress ourselves and our children with our tongue. This abuse of the tongue can actually harden the heart. This is obviously a very serious matter. May Allah protect us from this!

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever guarantees me what is between his jaws and what is between his legs will enter paradise." [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]

If we don't take the time to reflect and think about how we are acting towards our children, we could be piling up sins and not even know it. It is not enough just to put a roof over our children's head and feed them. We are raising the future Islamic nation, and they need to be functional active members. If we repress them emotionally and psychologically, what kind of nation will they be? Do we really think that we can follow our own desires within the home and get away with it from The One Who Knows and Sees everything? One day those children may be changing our "dippers" and feeding us by hand. How would we like to be treated? Do we really believe we can abuse and expect them to care for us with deep love and devotion? Do we want them to only fear us or respect and love us? Do we believe it is enough to force them to parrot the Prophetic narration regarding obeying their parents.

If we find all of this hard to do, we need to soften our hearts and ask Allah to forgive us.

 


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

The caliphate of ‘Uthman -II

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The Conquest of Africa, 26 AH

'Abdullah bin Sa'd, may Allaah be pleased with him, sought permission from 'Uthman bin 'Affan, may Allaah be pleased with him, to invade Africa. Africa was then considered a country that included the area stretching between Tripoli and Tangiers. Moreover, Africa was then considered a conglomeration of the countries which make up the northern part of the African continent – Tripoli, Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco. 'Uthman bin 'Affan, may Allaah be pleased with him, allowed him to do what he wanted. He marched towards his destination at the head of an army of 10,000 men. First, he subdued the chiefs of Barqah and they agreed to pay Jizyah. The Muslim commander then advanced towards Tripoli capturing the territories falling on the way. At this stage the Caliph dispatched fresh reinforcements from Al-Madeenah to help 'Abdullah's army.

When the detachment reached Barqah via Egypt, 'Abdullah bin Sa'd welcomed it and they jointly proceeded towards Tripoli. The Romans tried to put up resistance but were repulsed. After the fall of Tripoli, the Muslim troops marched ahead. Gregory, the King of Africa was the vassal of Caesar. When he came to know of the march of the Muslim army, he mobilized one 120,000 men and came face to face with the Muslim forces. 'Abdullah bin Sa'd first invited Gregory to accept Islam. When Gregory flatly refused, he asked him to pay the Jizyah (head-tax imposed by Islam on the people of the Book). When he rejected that also, the Muslim army drew up ranks and a fierce battle broke out, which remained indecisive. Fresh Muslim reinforcements joined the battle and the Muslim army called out Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest).

When Gregory inquired about the cries raised by the Muslims, he was told that a fresh detachment had arrived and joined the Muslim forces. Both the armies fought enthusiastically but the battle remained inconclusive. When night set in, consultations were held for adopting a new strategy. 'Abdullah bin Zubayr, may Allaah be pleased with him, suggested that half of the troops should go to the battlefield and the rest remain inside the camp. When the two armies, exhausted by the daylong fighting were to leave the battlefield for camp, the fresh half of the Muslim army should attack the retreating Romans. The counsel received general acceptance. This strategy was put to practice on the third day of the battle. When the two armies separated in the afternoon, 'Abdullah bin Zubayr, may Allaah be pleased with him, rushed out from the camp with the fresh detachment and charged the Romans. They could not withstand the attack and fled to their camp, but could not save themselves because the Muslim force surrounded the camp and the Romans were either killed or captured. Gregory also fought against the Muslims and was put to the sword by 'Abdullah bin Zubayr, may Allaah be pleased with him.

The next day, the Muslim army moved ahead and reached Sabitalah, the headquarters of (northern) Africa which was also conquered in a couple of days, and an immense amount of spoils fell into the hands of the Muslims. The Muslims marched further and laid siege around the fort of Jam, which was very strong and fortified. However, they could not stand the Muslim onslaught and yielded on the condition of paying one million as Jizyah. 'Abdullah bin Zubayr set out to Al-Madeenah with the glad tidings of the African conquest and one-fifth of the spoils. 'Abdullah bin Sa'd, may Allaah be pleased with him, returned to Egypt from Africa after an absence of one year and three months.

Conquest of Cyprus and Rhodes

'Abdullah bin Sa'd, may Allaah be pleased with him, came back to Egypt from the other parts of northern Africa. Constantine again rose to make military preparations for a fresh battle. In 28 AH, he dispatched a part of his navy towards Africa, which reached the African coast and demanded tribute for Caesar. But the Africans flatly refused, because Caesar had lent no help when they were under the Muslim attack and so they no longer held him as their ruler. This refusal led to fighting between the Africans and the Roman army, which resulted in the defeat of Africans. The Romans then advanced towards Alexandria. 'Abdullah bin Nafi' was ready to fight them. In the meantime Caesar himself set off to conquer Alexandria at the head of a fleet of 600 boats. The Roman forces proceeded to Alexandria from both sides. A fierce fight took place, which ended with the destruction of the Romans. They escaped to Cyprus, which they used as their naval headquarters and an arsenal for their weapons.

During the last days of 'Umar's Caliphate, Mu'awiyah, may Allaah be pleased with him, had sought permission to invade Cyprus from the Syrian coast. However, 'Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, had hesitated in giving permission for such a campaign and the matter remained undecided until he passed away. 'Uthman bin 'Affan, may Allaah be pleased with him, permitted the naval attack on condition that nobody was forced to take part in the adventure. Inspired by the efforts of Mu'awiyah, a party agreed to invade Cyprus. The party included Abu Tharr Al-Ghifari, Abud-Dardaa', Shaddad bin 'Aws, 'Ubadah bin As-Samit and his wife Umm Haram bint Milhan, may Allaah be pleased with them. 'Abdullah bin Qays, may Allaah be pleased with him, was made the commander of the detachment, which left for Cyprus by boat. When Constantine escaped from Alexandria, he had taken refuge in Cyprus. An Islamic naval force chased him by boats from Egypt and reached Cyprus. And this, a fresh naval detachment from Syria also descended on the coast of Cyprus. Constantine could not withstand the attack and fled to Constantinople with great difficulty, and finally succumbed to death.

However, according to other sources, frustrated by his successive defeats, some people killed him in his bathroom. Thus Cyprus easily fell to the Muslims. Mu'awiyah, may Allaah be pleased with him, also arrived in Cyprus with a detachment. After finishing his job in Cyprus he sailed to Rhodes. The conquests of Cyprus and Rhodes opened the door for Muslim campaigns against Constantinople and other countries of the region. These events took place at the end of 28 AH or at the beginning of 29 AH.

Circulation of the Quran

When Huthayfah bin Al-Yaman, may Allaah be pleased with him, reached Al-Madeenah on route to Basrah, Koofah, Rey and Syria, he expressed amazement over the fact that the people of Iraq, Syria, Basrah and Koofah, and Persia had their own way of reciting the Noble Quran which was quite different from each other. He thought it would be better if one and all were brought to the same way of recitation. 'Uthman bin 'Affan, may Allaah be pleased with him, convened a meeting of the distinguished Companions and placed the suggestion for their deliberations and decisions. All of them endorsed the opinion of Huthayfah, may Allaah be pleased with him. Then, 'Uthman bin 'Affan, may Allaah be pleased with him, had them bring the copy of the Quran that was with Hafsah, may Allaah be pleased with her, which was compiled by Zayd bin Thabit, may Allaah be pleased with him, and other Companions during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, may Allaah be pleased with him, and which had been kept with 'Umar and then with his daughter Hafsah, may Allaah be pleased with her, after 'Umar's death. The Caliph deputed a number of qualified people to prepare a number of copies. He then sent a copy of the Quran to each city with the order that the Quran be copied accordingly and all the old copies be set on fire. When the fresh copy reached Koofah, the Companions expressed their joy over it, but 'Abdullah bin Mas'ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, remained firm on his own recitation.

Yezdgird killed

The Persian Empire was destroyed during the Caliphate of 'Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him. The rest of the cities and frontier provinces were conquered during the Caliphate of 'Uthman bin 'Affan, may Allaah be pleased with him. Nevertheless, Yezdgird, the Emperor of Persia was still running from place to place for safety. Sometimes he was in Rey and sometimes in Balkh, Marw, Isfahan, Istakhar, Turkistan and China and back again to Persia. A party of several thousand soldiers remained with him through thick and thin in the hope that one day their past glory and grandeur might be restored. This was the reason why the Persian provinces, districts and cities would so often rise against the Muslim rule even though they were instantly put down by the Muslim forces. In 31 AH, Yezdgird reached the suburbs of Balkh at the head of a party from China and Turkistan and captured some cities for a short period. His misfortunes compelled him to flee and take refuge at the dwelling of a windmill owner. He was in deep sleep when the owner of the house, out of greed for his costly garments, killed him and threw his dead body into water after stripping him of his clothes, ornaments and weapons. This event took place in suburb of Marw on August 23, 651 CE. Yezdgird passed four years of his life in luxury, sixteen years in affliction and vagrancy and the last ten years out of sixteen, he passed as a fugitive. The Persian troubles came to an end after Yezdgird was killed.

To be continued

 

 

 


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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Muslim Should Neither Oppress a Muslim nor Let Him Down

It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:
A Muslim is a brother of his fellow Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor let him down. Whoever fulfills the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; and whoever relieves his Muslim brother of a distress, Allah will relieve him of one of the distresses of the Day of Judgment; and whoever screens (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Judgment. [Al-Bukhari]

Explanation of the hadith:

"A Muslim is a brother of his fellow Muslim," refers to the brotherhood of Islam. Any two Muslim men are described as brothers because both of them share the quality of being Muslim. This applies to the free and the slave, the mature and the one in the age of discernment.

"…he should not oppress him," the statement is a command to refrain from oppression because a Muslim wronging another Muslim is unlawful.

"…nor should he let him down," means that he should not leave him for anyone or anything to harm him. Instead, he should support him and avert harm from him. This is more specific than avoiding wrongness and oppression; it may be obligatory or recommended according to the different situations and states. The following addition is made in the narration of at-

Tabarani on the authority of Salim, "nor should he leave him in a calamity that has stricken him." According to the narration of Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, "Nor should he despise him." He added: "It suffices a man for evil to look down upon his Muslim brother."

"Whoever fulfills the needs of his brother," is confirmed by the narration of Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, "Allah fulfills the need of a servant so long as he fulfills the need of his brother."

"…and whoever relieves his (Muslim) brother of a distress," refers to whatever grief, anxiety and disaster may afflict the Muslim.

"…and whoever screens (the faults of) a Muslim," i.e. sees him in a shameful situation and does not disclose it to the people. But, of course this does not mean not to disapprove of his evildoing in what is between them. This makes it permissible for him to witness against him concerning this act if he disapproves of it and advises him but he does not desist and rather does it publicly. A person is commanded to screen himself if he commits something shameful. But if he goes to the judge and confesses it this will not be cancelled. It seems that one is commanded to screen a sin which was actually done, and disapprove of a sin whose perpetrator is in flagrante delicto which he should condemn, otherwise he should raise his case to the judge. It is not considered a form of unlawful backbiting: it is rather an obligatory advice. It refers also to abstention from backbiting because whoever discloses the defects of his brother has not screened him.

"Allah will screen him on the Day of Judgment", is confirmed by his saying in the narration of at-Tirmithi on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, "Allah will screen him in the World and in the Hereafter."

The hadith includes encouragement to cooperation, good companionship and conviviality. It highlights the fact that one is rewarded in accordance with the acts of worship he has offered (i.e. one reaps what he sows). The hadith also denotes that whoever swears that so-and-so is his brother, thereby intending the brotherhood of Islam, has not taken a false oath. This meaning is implied by a hadith narrated by Abu Dawood on the authority of Suwayd ibn Hanthalah about a story between him and Wa'il ibn Hujr.

 


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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

None of you should belittle himself

The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have said:

No one of you should be prevented by fear from people from speaking the truth if he sees or witnesses it. Indeed, it does not bring his death closer or keep sustenance away that he speaks out the truth or reminds the people of something of which its mention causes them great discomfort. [Ahmad]

Abu Sa'eed, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "None of you should belittle himself." They asked: "O Messenger of Allah! How can anyone of us belittle himself?" He said:
He who sees a matter concerning which it is due upon him to say something for the sake of Allah Almighty, but he does not speak; Allah Almighty will ask him on the Day of Judgment: "What prevented you from speaking the truth about such-and-such?" He would say: "Fear from people." Then Allah will say: "Rather, it is I whom you should have feared more." [Ibn Majah]

These two hadiths address the same topic; an extremely serious and important one, which is speaking the truth and testifying in its favor. Together, the two hadiths define the reasons behind people's refrainment from saying the truth and provide the best remedy for this.

As the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, addressed his Ummah with these two hadiths, he aimed at educating and preparing it in accordance with the divine methodology, so as to fulfill the sought after mission that is assigned to it on earth and in history. He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also sought to commit them to a cohesive creedal structure. The problem in the Muslim Ummah is not 'knowing and searching for the truth', since Allah Almighty willed that this Ummah is never devoid of a group that knows the truth and demonstrates it to the people. The serious problem, however, is remaining silent in the face of falsehood and failing to declare the apparent truth openly, fearing harm or aspiring for some personal interest. These two things – fear and aspiration – are the two reasons for preventing the word of truth from reaching people's ears, and they remain an obstacle against people advising one another to hold onto the truth and be patient about it. However, fear remains the most significant factor in neglecting the duty of speaking out the truth and being satisfied with low aims and easy tasks. The person may fear the tyranny and the oppression of a tyrant, loss of sustenance, or hard living conditions.

When the devil seeks to avert a scholar from undertaking this sacred duty, he starts by casting dread into his heart by frightening him from the consequences of this, as he demonstrates to him what afflicted some of those who performed this duty and amplifies the torture and oppression that they were subjected to. He even goes farther than that and makes him fear death as a consequence of this, suggesting that the suffering of those who engage in jihad is inflicted upon them by their enemies, who thus have apparent influence upon their lives, making them longer or shorter. He also reminds him of the restrictions imposed on those who cannot exercise self-control, and as a result suffer hardship, distress, trouble, and rough living conditions, without a valid necessity. The devil also draws the scholar's attention to how those who call themselves callers to the truth are chased in every corner of the earth, rejected, disowned by their relatives, and forsaken by their friends. However, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, wanted all Muslims to always remember the self-evident truths of their faith and to be conscious of the tricks of the devil. Muslims should not be heedless of the fact that the terms of life are predestined by Allah Almighty, and that none can delay or bring forward his predetermined death or increase or decrease any other person's term of life. Muslims should also know that if Allah, the Exalted, wills some benefit or harm for a person, none can ever change His will. There are two maladies that affected the callers to Allah Almighty, causing them to neglect the duty of guiding people, conveying the message, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. The two maladies are strong attachment to the Worldly life and keenness on its perishable pleasures.

Strong attachment to life, the desire to keep away from the specter of threat, and to stick to the safe side drive Islamic callers to remain silent about things that should not be overlooked or alter facts and adopt erroneous interpretations that adorn falsehood and conceal its ugliness. This is despite the fact that Allah, the Exalted, has taken the covenant from the scholars; that they should demonstrate the truth without paying heed to any blame they may receive in this respect. Also, He, the Almighty reminded them of the consequences for those who hid the truth and neglected it. In the Quran, He says (what means): {And [mention, O Muhammad] when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying]: "You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it." But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a small price. And wretched is that which they purchased.} [Quran 3:187] He also describes the believers as: {… humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic.} [Quran 5:54]

Similarly, keenness on worldly perishable pleasures has a destructive impact on the Muslims' line of action. How often a scholar who is knowledgeable about what is lawful and what is unlawful is curbed – by his love for wealth – from speaking out the truth when this is needed from him! And how often people who are endowed with the blessing of knowledge and understanding turn a blind eye to many violations and abominable acts, out of fear from potential loss of their rations, salaries or certain material privileges which they enjoy! The devil may also seek to deceive them by persuading them that these privileges are their due rights and that they are more entitled to them than others. So, they ignore the other side of the issue, which is that these privileges are no more than a bribe in return for their silence and a reward for their adherence to politeness and good attitude toward the enemies of Allah, the Exalted, with whom harshness, not lenience, is commendable. It is regrettable that those who shoulder the responsibility of fighting Islam and commit themselves to silencing every voice that calls to Allah Almighty with insight, truthfulness, and devotion have perceived the vulnerable points in the callers to which they aim their arms. They exploit these weak points to tamper with the religion of Allah Almighty and its callers as they wish. They sometimes use the weapon of threat and intimidation, and at other times they employ the weapon of jobs, privileges, and bribes. Moreover, each body may specialize in one of these two weapons, as dictated by the conditions and circumstances.

Allah Almighty made wealth a source of temptation for people, and a test that distinguishes between sincere and insincere callers. It often happens that a person that suffers financial straits keeps on raising his voice with complaints about the bad conditions that engulf him and others and becomes known among the people for his efforts in the cause of Islam. However, when sustenance comes to him in abundance and poverty turns away from him, his voice fades out or even disappears and he becomes very lethargic, with no trace of the activeness he enjoyed before. His soul might have convinced him that his current condition of prosperity is the fruit of his struggle and patience. This is despite the fact that the conditions of the Muslims in most areas of the world are unsatisfactory, and that their problems are similar. Wherever we may go, we find dangers that threaten their fate and add to their weakness. We find such things as loyalty to the enemies of Allah Almighty, active and destructive evangelistic work in the Muslim countries, ruinous calls propagated here and there, dissipation of the fortunes of Muslims, and the subjecting of Islam in the sphere of propaganda to persons and whims.

These, as well as other things, are among the areas about which the scholars are required to express their opinions in a clear, unequivocal, and straight manner. There remains a last point to discuss, that is mentioned in the second hadith, in the statement that reads, "None of you should belittle himself."

Actually, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, wanted to instill self-confidence in the souls of Muslims. Self-confidence constitutes the motive for work and it cannot be attained, except when one is certain of the correctness of what he calls to and of the error of the opposing direction. Among the effects of self-confidence is that a person transforms from being a negative member of society, lost in the stream of heedlessness, into a positive, influential person who fears none but Allah, the Exalted, and despises falsehood. He despises it even more every time he is joined in this attitude by similar persons who take the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as an excellent example. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon this unlettered Prophet whom Allah Almighty gave wisdom and sound judgment and who guided us, through the guidance of the Almighty Lord, to the best path and taught us the areas of goodness in the most clear and succinct manner. We implore Allah, the Exalted, to make us among those: {… who convey the messages of Allah and fear Him and do not fear anyone but Allah. And sufficient is Allah as accountant.} [Quran 33:39]

 


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Monday, April 3, 2017

Virtue of Prayer in Islam

Prayer has great and numerous virtues, some of which are the following:

1) Prayer forbids the person from falling into the abyss of immorality and wrongdoing. Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {Recite [O Muhammad] what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is Greater. And Allah knows that which you do.} [Quran 29:45]

2) It is the best righteous deed after professing the two testimonies of faith. 'Adullah ibn Mas'ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I asked the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, 'What is the best deed?' He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: 'Performing prayer in its due time.' I further asked, 'Then what?' He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, replied: 'Dutifulness toward parents.' I further asked, 'Then what?' He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, replied: 'Performing jihad in the Cause of Allah The Exalted.'" [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

3) Prayer wipes away sins. Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "The similitude of the five daily prayers is like a great overflowing river running by the door of one of you, in which he washes himself five times a day." [Muslim]

4) Prayer expiates sins. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "The five daily (obligatory) prayers, and Friday (prayer) to the next Friday (prayer), and the fasting of Ramadan to the next Ramadan, are expiation of the sins committed in the interval between them, so long as major sins are avoided." [Muslim]

5) Prayer is a light for the praying person in this worldly life and the Hereafter. 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

Whoever keeps on performing prayer (on its due time), it will be a light, evidence, and salvation for him on the Day of Judgment. But, for whoever fails to do so, it will not be a light, evidence, or salvation; and on the Day of Judgment he will be with Qaroon, Fir'awn, Haman, and Ubayy ibn Khalaf. [Ahmad]

Abu Malik Al-Ash'ari, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Prayer is light." [Muslim]

Moreover, Buraydah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Convey glad tidings to those who walk to the mosques in the darkness of a perfect (and full) light on the Day of Judgment." [Abu Dawood, At-Tirmithi; Al-Albani: authentic]

6) As a reward for performing the prayer, Allah, the Exalted, raises the person's degree in Paradise and obliterates his sins. Thawban, the freed slave of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, reported that he, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Make frequent prostrations to Allah, the Exalted, for you will not make one prostration except that Allah Almighty raises you to a higher degree and removes a sin from your record because of it." [Muslim]

7) It is one of the greatest reasons for entering Paradise in the company of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. Rabee'ah ibn Ka'b Al-Aslami, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I was staying with the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, one night and I brought him water (for ablution) and whatever he needed. He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said to me: 'Ask (anything you like).' I said, 'I ask for your company in Paradise.' He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: 'Do you ask for anything else besides it?' I replied, 'No, that is all (I require).' He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: 'Then, help me in fulfilling your request by devoting yourself often to prostration.'" [Muslim]

8) When the person walks to the mosque with the intention of performing the prayer, he gains rewards, his sins are forgiven, and his degree in Paradise is elevated. Ahu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

He who purifies himself (performs ablution) in his house and then walks to one of the Houses of Allah (mosque) to perform an obligatory prayer of those ordained by Allah Almighty, one step of his will wipe away a sin and another step will raise his degree in Paradise. [Muslim]
Another hadith reads:

If any one of you performs ablution perfectly and thoroughly, and goes out for prayer, he does not take a step by his right foot but Allah records a good deed for him, and he does not take a step with his left foot but Allah obliterates one sin from him… [Abu Dawood]

9) Good accommodation in Paradise is prepared for the Muslim every time he goes to the mosque in the morning or in the evening. Ahu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "He who goes to the mosque at dawn or dusk (for the congregational prayers), Allah prepares a hospitable abode for him in Paradise, every time he does so." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

10) Allah, the Exalted, forgives the sins that are committed between two successive prayers. 'Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, say: "If a Muslim performs ablution thoroughly and offers prayer, he will be forgiven for all the sins that are committed between this prayer and the next one." [Muslim]

11) When one performs a prayer, the sins that are committed prior to performing this prayer are forgiven. 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, say:

When the time for a prescribed prayer is due and a Muslim performs ablution for it thoroughly, observes khushoo' (concentration, submissiveness) in it and performs its bowing and prostration properly, this prayer will be expiation for the sins committed before it, so long as he does not commit major sins, and this applies for every prayer. [Muslim].

12) When the person performs the prayer, the angels supplicate Allah, the Exalted, to forgive him and have mercy upon him as long as he remains in his place of prayer. He is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and it is only the prayer that prevents him from leaving the mosque. Ahu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

The reward for a prayer that is performed by a person in congregation is more than twenty times greater than that of the prayer performed in one's house or shop. When one performs ablution perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of performing prayer, and nothing urges him to proceed to the mosque except the prayer, for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and one of his sins is eliminated until he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque, he is considered as performing prayer as long as it is the prayer which prevents him (from leaving the mosque); and the angels keep on supplicating Allah for him as long as he remains in his place of prayer. They (the angels) say: "O Allah, have mercy on him; O Allah, forgive his sins, O Allah, accept his repentance." This will continue as long as he does not invalidate his ablution." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

13) Waiting for the prayer is considered ribat (a type of jiad) for the Cause of Allah, the Exalted. Ahu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Shall I not tell you something by which Allah erases sins and elevates ranks (in Paradise)?" The Companions said; "Certainly, O Messenger of Allah." He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Performing ablution thoroughly even if it is hard to, walking with more paces to the mosque, and waiting for a prayer after a prayer; indeed that is ar-ribat, indeed that is ar-ribat (a type of jihad for the Cause of Allah, the Exalted)." [Muslim]

14) Whoever goes to the mosque with the intention of performing the prayer, will obtain the rewards of a pilgrim in the state of ihram (ritual consecration). Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

If anyone goes out from his house after having performed ablution so as to offer the prescribed prayer in congregation (in the mosque), his reward will be like that of a pilgrim who is in a state of ihram. Whoever goes out to offer Dhuha prayer, and takes the trouble for this purpose, will obtain the reward like that of a person who performs 'Umrah. And a prayer followed by a prayer with no worldly talk during the gap between them will be recorded in 'Illiyyeen (seventh heaven). [Abu Dawood; Al-Albani: good]

15) If someone who is a regular observer of congregational prayers hastens to the mosque to perform the prayer, but finds the prayer has already finished, he will gain the same rewards as if he had performed it with them in congregation. Ahu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

Whoever performs ablution perfectly, and then goes to the mosque and finds that the people had finished the prayer (in congregation), Allah will give him a reward like one who prayed in congregation and attended it in full; the reward of those who prayed in congregation will not be curtailed. [Abu Dawood; Al-Albani: authentic]
16) When one performs ablution and goes to the mosque with the intention of performing the prayer, he is considered performing the prayer until he comes back from the mosque. His going to and coming back from the mosque will be recorded for him. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

If any of you performs ablution in his house and then goes to the mosque, he is considered in prayer until he returns; (therefore,) he should not intertwine his fingers while staying in the mosque as he is [considered to be] in prayer.

He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands. [Ibn Khuzaymah, Al-Hakim; Ath-Thahabi: authentic] Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, also narrated in a marfoo' hadith that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "… since one departs his house, walking to my mosque, his steps are counted as one is recorded as a reward and the other expiates a sin." [Ibn Hibban, An-Nasa'i; Al-Albani: authentic]

 


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Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Phenomenon of Suicide and How Islam Treated it

In recent years, the phenomena of discontent and man's contempt of himself and others, to the extent of eventually committing suicide by hanging or burning, have become widespread in the society. This is due to miserable conditions caused by poverty, social injustice, blockage of the horizons of decent life, discontent, impatience, or even – for example – rejection of the loss of one's team in a football match.

The phenomenon of suicide imposed itself upon the society and all of its classes, because of the lack of a religious deterrent and heedlessness of the sanctity of the human soul. Allah Almighty says (what means): {And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you Ever Merciful. And whoever does that in aggression and injustice – then We will drive him into a Fire. And that, for Allah, is [always] easy.} [Quran 4: 29-30]

Man's discontent with his deteriorated social status, his displeasure with his conditions, and his impatience increase his misery and sadness. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

The greatness of the reward is in accordance with the greatness of the affliction. When Allah Almighty loves some people, He tries them (with afflictions). He who is content (with the Decree of Allah) attains the pleasure (of Allah Almighty), and he who is discontent (with the Decree of Allah) incurs the displeasure (of Allah Almighty). [At-Tirmithi: good]

The Islamic sharia does not prevent protests and demonstrations that do not jeopardize the safety of the Muslims or cause the least harm to their possessions, souls, or honor. Property is equal to the soul. Properties and souls that were prohibited to be killed by Allah Almighty, except by legal right, are among the five necessities that were guaranteed to all Muslims by the upright sharia. They are: the soul, property, honor, religion, and reason.

One of the indisputably established facts of Islam about which many proofs from the book and the Sunnah were contiguously reported is the issue of the inviolability of the blood of the Muslim. The blood and property of the Muslim are granted protection by Islam, and the Muslim's sanctity is greater than that of the Sacred Ka'bah, or even greater than the whole world.

The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said about this: "By Him in Whose Hands is my soul, killing a believer is greater in the sight of Allah Almighty than the perishing of the world."

The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also said: "The first thing for which a person will be reckoned on the Day of Judgment is prayer. The first cases for which judgments will be issued will be the cases of blood-shedding." This is due to their great seriousness on the Day of Judgment.

If a slave reaches such a degree of discontentedness that he would kill himself or harm others, then he is threatened with a severe threat, according to the previously mentioned verse (which means): {And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you Ever Merciful…} [Quran 4: 29] The verse means that no matter how hard the situation is, you have got a way out through the mercy of Allah, the Exalted; so ask for it, seek it, and fulfill its means, for Allah Almighty will have mercy upon you. If one leaves this path and kills himself or others, he will move to a torture that is greater than the one he tried to escape.

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself will be in the (Hell) Fire, falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually, forever; whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire, wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire, wherein he will abide eternally forever. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Hence, we realize that the noble Quran does not neglect this phenomenon, but that it treats it with the best treatment. Allah Almighty has prohibited killing a soul without a right cause in His noble Book, as He threatened those who do this with being cursed, anger, great punishment, and eternal abiding in Hellfire. Allah Almighty also praised those who avoid this tremendous crime. Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.} [Quran 4: 93]

How severe are these threats! So, remember such huge threats…because the Muslim has a high status in the sight of Allah Almighty, and the blood of the Muslim is the most precious blood that should be protected, and its shedding entails anger.

 


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