Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Wisdom Behind Fasting

The Imaam said, "I start by opening with something appropriate to the time and place we're in, in that we all know the Statement of Allaah تبارك و تعالى, "… decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous," [Baqarah 2:183] you've heard commentary and beneficial comments concerning this verse and things connected to it many times, but I believe that you will have seldom heard commentary on its last part, "… that you may become righteous."

Why was this fasting decreed? "That you may become righteous." This is one of the rare verses, in fact one of the rare legislated provisions that links the legislated order with an explanation of the intended goal and the reason it was legislated.

There is a declaration here of the obligation of fasting Ramadan, and Muslims should apply themselves to adopting and implementing this order without asking why or how and so on, something which is common now in terms of questioning the legislated orders, [such that] you will often hear some people [saying], "Why this? Why that? Why this?"—we don't approve of exhaustively searching for the wisdom behind legislation, except what has been expounded on [itself] in it, like what we're discussing now [i.e., fasting].

"Decreed upon you is fasting," why? He تعالى said, "… that you may become righteous," i.e., the point of fasting is for it to be a means for the fasting person to increase his taqwa of Allaah عز وجل and for him to get closer to Him.

If he fasts but does not improve compared to how he was before, i.e., before Ramadan, then it means that this person has not accomplished the desired goal wanted from the implementation of fasting.

There are some authentic hadiths, from the Prophet ﷺ of course, which explain and confirm this objective which the verse has stated, for example, the hadith qudsi which the Prophet ﷺ relates from his Lord عز وجل, in which He said, "Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink," this is a very great hadith, and goes completely with the end of the verse, "… that you may become righteous."

So, when we look at both the verse and the hadith, the aim is not—the only aim is not, and I [purposefully say] 'the only aim' so that some people don't misunderstand me—the only aim for the fasting person is not to refrain from eating, drinking and intercourse based upon the fact that they are listed as things which break the fast in the Quraan and the Sunnah, (leaving aside [for now, mention of] the other things which also break it concerning which there is a big difference of opinion amongst the scholars of fiqh), the aim is not to only refrain from these things which break the fast, but rather [to be aware] that there are other obligatory things which a Muslim must stop himself from too just like he did with these things.

In light of the explanation mentioned in the verse and the clear, authentic hadith just now, I can say something to you which might be new in terms of how it's expressed but is not new in the ahkaam because it is mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah, this new phrasing is [concerning the fact] that the books of fiqh, without exception mention the things which break the fast, and this is something that must be done, but, to explain and clarify what was previously mentioned in the verse and the hadith, I say: those things which break the fast are of two types, and this correct division [which I am about to mention] must be rooted in everyone's mind, because of how important it is.

The first type: the material things which break the fast, and they are the things listed in the books of fiqh as was mentioned just now.

The second type: let's call them the abstract things which break the fast, these are the things that the verse referred to, "… that you may become righteous," and his ﷺ statement from His Lord تبارك و تعالى clarified that, "Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink."

Thus, along with leaving his food, drink and intercourse, to that he must also add refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has forbidden and what He has ordered every Muslim to be far from.

From the Prophet ﷺ that he said, "Fasting is not leaving food and drink but rather fasting is refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has prohibited," or as he ﷺ said in words of a similar meaning, and whoever wants to read these hadiths and those like it where the Prophet ﷺ warned the fasting person from committing sins and [where it shows] that this forbiddance comes under the generality of His Statement تبارك و تعالى, "… that you may become righteous," whoever wants to read these types of hadiths should refer to At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Haafidh al-Mundhiri, may Allaah have mercy on him.

To conclude I say, fasting, in terms of how it was legislated in order for a Muslim to get closer to Allaah and increase his taqwa of Him, is just like the prayer, prayer whose only purpose is also not that a Muslim just performs its conditions, pillars and requirements, but that he should also pay heed to the purpose and wisdom due to which Allaah عز وجل  legislated five of them, day and night, on His believing servants, that is what Our Lord عز وجل alluded to in His Statement, "Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing …" [Al-Ankabut 29:45], so a Muslim's prayer is accepted by Allaah عز وجل in accordance with how much it prevents him from immorality and wrongdoing.

The Prophet ﷺ pointed to this fact connected to prayer in an authentic hadith, where he ﷺ said, "Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him …" i.e., completely, but rather it is written as deficient according to how discrepant it is, he ﷺ explained that in the rest of the hadith where he said, "Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him except a tenth, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a quarter, a third or half of it,"—and he stopped here, indicating that a complete prayer is very, very rare, a Muslim is not able to perform it, the best of them is the one for whom half is written and so on until a tenth, and [even then] a tenth is only if the prayer is [actually] accepted by Allaah عز وجل, otherwise many of a person's prayers are those which he will have his face struck with on the Day of Judgement, and refuge is sought with Allaah, and that is because the Prophet ﷺ pointed to two realities.

The first is what we have spoken about connected to fasting, and the other is connected to prayer, for he ﷺ said, "How many a fasting person there is who has nothing but hunger and thirst from his fasting," why? Because he never stopped doing what Allaah عز وجل forbade him from, he [i.e.,, this fasting person] only restricted himself to what we [earlier] called the material things which break the fast—yet he thinks he is fasting—about such a person we say, "He fasted but didn't fast," he fasted in terms of refraining himself from the material things which break the fast but he didn't [really] fast because he didn't withhold from the abstract things which break the fast, that is why he ﷺ said, "How many a fasting person there is who gets nothing but hunger and thirst from his fast, and how many a praying person there is who gets nothing but a sleepless night and fatigue from his standing in prayer."

So, we hope that Allaah تبارك و تعالى inspires us to refrain from both types of thing which break the fast, the material and the abstract, and that He inspires us [to perform] prayers that are accepted by Him تبارك و تعالى, prayers which prevent one from immorality and wrongdoing."

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 692.


Filed under: Fasting Tagged: Al-Albaanee, Al-Albaani, Al-Albaany, albaane, albaanee, albaani, fasting
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Takfīr Of The Mushrikīn Is From The Asl Of The Religion

Kufr bit-tāghūt is achieved with five points. Shaykh Muhammad Ibn 'Abdul Wahhāb mentions these aspects:

1) Believing in the falseness of worshiping others besides Allāh.

2) Leaving these (tawāghīt) for those who are mixed in it.

3) Hating it (the tawāghīt).

4) Making Takfīr of those who worship it.

5) Showing enmity towards those who worship it based on the ability and capacity.

These five points are included in kufr bit-tāghūt and are derived from the following verse, "Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrāhīm and those with him, when they said to their people: 'Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allāh, we have rejected / disbelieved in you, and there has appeared between us and you, hostility and hatred forever, until you believe in Allāh Alone.'…" [60:4]

All five points are considered from the meaning of kufr bit-tāghūt, hence anyone who tries to differentiate between them, or claims that some are fundamental aspects (asl) of kufr bit-tāghūt and others are not has indeed gone far astray and has invented a lie against Allāh.

Hence doing takfīr of the person is part and parcel of kufr bit-tāghūt (as are the other four points). This is taken from the statement of Ibrāhīm when he said, as quoted above, "We have rejected / disbelieved in you (مكب انرفك)" [60:4]. This phrase of Prophet Ibrāhīm proves that takfīr of the Mushrikīn is from kufr bit-tāghūt, and hence whoever does not do so is not considered a Muslim, as he has not accepted kufr bit- tāghūt. As I quoted previously, Shaykh 'Abdul Latīf Ibn 'Abdul Rahmān said, "Kufr bit- tāghūt is a condition that Islām cannot be fulfilled without." [Misbah Al-Dhalam]

Learn this point as it is vital in this day and age: refraining from doing takfīr of the Mushrikīn (those who fall in to major kufr or major shirk) tantamounts to a rejection of  kufr bit-tāghūt, as the person is denying one of the five fundamental principles of kufr bit-tāghūt (and a denial of one is a denial of the whole) – for no doubt this is a pillar of kufr bit-tāghūt. And a rejection of kufr bit-tāghūt is nothing but a rejection of the first part of the shahādah, "lā ilāha" (there is none worthy of worship). As such the one who refrains from doing takfīr of the Mushrikīn has nullified his shahādah.

This is what lead Shaykh Muhammad Ibn 'Abdul Wahhāb to say the third nullifier of Islām is, "Whoever does not declare takfīr upon the Mushrikīn or doubts regarding their kufr or describes their way as being correct has committed kufr." [Nawāqidh Al-Islām,by Shaykh Muhammad Ibn 'Abdul Wahhāb.]

His grandson, Shaykh 'Abdul Latīf Ibn Abdul Rahmān even declared takfīr of the Mushrikīn as, "the most important of what is obligatory from kufr bit-tāghūt." [Al-Itihaf Fī Al-Radd 'Alā Al-Sahaf] The reason for this aspect being the most important of all five, is that from this do all the other four aspects branch out, and if one has this, then by default it means one should have the other four aspects. The primary aspect of 'disbelieving' in tāghūt is to declare them as 'disbelievers'. It's that simple.

To give an example of this, whoever does not declare as disbelievers those who worship the dead, prostrate to other than Allāh, call upon other than Allāh, or claim the Qurān is not complete, then such a person has nullified his kufr bit-tāghūt, and hence nullified his shahādah, as the first of that which is obligatory upon the slave, prior to believing in Allāh, is kufr bit-tāghūt.

Hence, it can safely be said that takfīr of the Mushrikīn is from the asl (foundation) of this religion, and anyone who denies this, knowing the implication of his words, is a disbeliever, whose blood, wealth and honour are no longer sanctified.


Filed under: 'Aqeedah
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Talaq which complies with the Sunnah & ruling on uttering the divorce three times in one session or in case of anger – Ibn Baz

Book on Talaq

125- Talaq which complies with the Sunnah and ruling on uttering the divorce three times in one session or in case of anger

From `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz to the respected brother; may Allah grant you success! Amen.
As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you.)

Kindly be informed that I have read your letter which contains some questions. They are answered as follows:

Q 1: What is the prescribed way of Talaq (divorce pronounced by a husband) in the light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah?

A: The prescribed way is that the husband declares the divorce one time when his wife is pregnant or in a state of purity and he has not engaged in any sexual relations with her. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: O Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)! When you divorce women, divorce them at their 'Iddah (prescribed periods)

It was reported in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) that the latter divorced his wife when she was menstruating. `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about his son's action to which he replied: Command him to take her back, and keep her till she is purified, then has another period, then is purified. If he wishes he may keep her and if he wishes he may divorce her before having sexual intercourse, for that is the `Iddah (woman's prescribed waiting period after divorce or widowhood) which Allah commanded for the divorce of a woman.

Another report narrated by Muslim from the Prophet (peace be upon him) reads: Then he can divorce her when she is pure (not menstruating) or pregnant.

Q 2: Is declaring Talaq three times in the same session regarded as one divorce or three divorces?

A: Three divorces uttered at the same time is only to be counted as one according to the soundest view of scholars. It was authentically reported in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that the (pronouncement) of three divorces during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and that of Abu Bakr and for two years of the caliphate of `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) was deemed as one time of divorce. Then, `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "People hasten in a matter in which they are required to observe respite. So, it is recommended to impose it upon them," and he imposed it upon them. It is evident that the divorce in this way is counted as a threefold divorce according to Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings) made by `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Yet, it is better to follow the authentic Sunnah than following Ijtihad made by `Umar or others for the benefit of the Muslims. This is supported by the report narrated by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad through an authentic Sanad (chain of narrators) from Ibn `Abbas that Abu Rukanah made three pronouncements of divorce and later regretted. So, he went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who returned his wife to him, and said: It is one divorce.

Q 3: In a state of rage, a husband said to his wife: "I divorce you thrice." He later regretted and wants to take her back.What is the ruling on this act?

A: According to the most correct opinion of scholars, Talaq is not effected if it is declared – once or thrice – in a fit of anger. They have to prove the claim that the apparent state which caused divorce is true. On the other hand, when anger is so intense that a person is no longer aware of what he is doing or saying, the divorce is not effected according to Ijma` (consensus of scholars). In this case, he is like one who is insane and one who has lost all power of reason due to unintentional drunkenness. Uttering divorce in a state of intentional drunkenness does not become effective due to loss of reason. `Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) issued a Fatwa that supported this view and it was followed by a group of people of knowledge, because it was based on Shar`y (Islamically lawful) evidence.

We ask Allah to guide all Muslims to understanding the religion and holding fast to it, for He is the One Who is capable to do so. As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh

Chairman of the Departments of Scholarly Research, Ifta', Da`wah and Guidance

Fatwas of Ibn Baz :  > Volume 21 > Book on Talaq > Talaq which complies with the Sunnah and ruling on uttering the divorce three times in one session or in case of anger

http://www.alifta.net/fatawa/fatawaDetails.aspx?languagename=en&View=Page&PageID=4162&PageNo=1&BookID=14

Other related Talaq Fatwa from Shaykh Ibn Baz:
http://www.alifta.net/fatawa/fatawaDetails.aspx?PageNo=2&View=Tree&NodeID=3697&BookID=14〈=en

Other related Talaq Fatwa from Permannet Commiteee

http://www.alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?languagename=en&View=Tree&NodeID=5604&PageNo=1&BookID=7

Related Posts:


Filed under: .Islam Sunnah Salafiyyah, Divorce (Talaq), Women Tagged: alifta.com, Shaykh Ibn Baaz
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

The known existing Books of Allah -I

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In today's fast-paced world, it is a must for manufacturers of almost every product - from state-of-the-art microwave ovens to space age automobiles, from sophisticated sewing machines to powerful fighter jets, and from highly functional refrigerators to intelligent mainline computer systems - to provide a manual for the users' benefit. In light of that, it is impossible to conceive that the Maker of mankind did not equip him with any form of guidance for his life on earth.

It is unlikely that early man, with his limited knowledge about anything, groped about the planet and endeavored to understand his alien surroundings and circumstances. We know for a fact that a child is always full of questions, and never stops asking to satisfy his/her curiosity.
Without an adult's aid, he/she is helpless. The same applies in the case of the first man, Adam may Allaah exalt his mention. His Creator, Almighty Allah, became his Teacher. After him, Divine inspiration continued to be revealed upon selected human beings with the command to guide their brethren towards enlightenment and truth.
These revelations were sent to many different nations in many different tongues, and formulated according to the needs of the times and the understanding of the people.
Almighty Allah revealed those Divine Books to His messengers as proof against mankind and guidance for the righteous workers. They purified and taught them wisdom by these books.
Allah, the Most Exalted, sent down a book with every messenger, because He Says (what means): "Indeed We sent down Our messengers with the clear signs, and We sent down with them the book and the balance, so that people may uphold justice" [Quran 57:25]
 
Books Known:
Among the books that were revealed, we know:
1) The Torah, which was revealed to Prophet Moosa (Moses) may Allaah exalt his mention. It is the greatest among the Israelites' books: Almighty Allah Says (what means): "Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto." [Quran 5:44]
2) The Gospel, which Allah revealed to Prophet 'Eesa (Jesus) may Allaah exalt his mention. It is a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it, as Almighty Allah Says (what means): "…and We gave him ('Eesaa) the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous." [Quran 5:46]. Allah also Says (what means): "…and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you." [Quran 3:50]
3) The Psalms, which Allah gave to Prophet Dawood (David) may Allaah exalt his mention. Almighty Allah Says (what means): "… And to Daawood (David) We gave the Psalms]." [Quran 17:55]
4) The Tablets of Ibraheem (Abraham) and Moosa may Allaah exalt their mention.
5) The Glorious Quran, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, the final Prophet. Allah Almighty Says (what means): "…guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion." [Quran 2:185].
 
The Quran Is Protected from Change:
As Allah, the Most Exalted, Says (what means), The Quran: "…confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it." [Quran 5:48] Thus, by means of the Quran, Allah abrogated all the previous revealed books. Allah has also guaranteed its protection from any play or mischievous distortion. He states (what means): "Indeed, We sent down the message and We will guard it." [Quran 15:9], for the Quran is a proof against mankind till the Day of Judgment.
 
Previous Scriptures Changed:
The previous scriptures were meant for a limited period. Their use ended with the revelation of the Quran, which abrogated them and exposed their distortions and changes done by the people. That is why they were not protected from corruption. They underwent distortion, addition, and omission. The Quran referred to this fact in the verses (which mean): "Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings…" [Quran 4:46];
Allah also Says (what means): "So woe to those who write the "scripture" with their own hands, then say, "This is from Allah," in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn." [Quran 2:79];
Allah also Says (what means): "Say (O Muhammad), 'Who revealed the Scripture that Moosaa (Moses) brought as light and guidance to the people? You [Jews] make it into pages, disclosing [some of] it and concealing much." [Quran 6:91];
Allah also Says (what means): "And indeed, there is among them a party who alter the Scripture with their tongues so you may think it is from the Scripture, but it is not from the Scripture. And they say, "This is from Allah," but it is not from Allah. And they speak untruth about Allah while they know." [Quran 3:78];
And He also Says (what means): "O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book [i.e. the Quran]. By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darkness into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path." [Quran 5:15-16].

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

How to Gain Enthusiasm for Exploiting Ramadan

In order to be enthusiastic about making use of Ramadan in good deeds, heed the following instructions:

1. Sincerity to Allah in fasting:

Sincerity to Allah Almighty is the spirit of acts of worship, a key to accepting one's good deeds, and a means for receiving help and success from the Almighty Lord. the more a believing servant is sincere and true to Allah in doing good, the greater the help he receives from Him. Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, "In proportion to the intention, resolve, and desire of a servant, Allah Almighty helps him and grants him success."

Allah, the Exalted, commanded us to render our deeds sincerely to Him, alone with no partner; He says (what means): {And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth.} [Quran 98:5]

If the fasting person knows that sincerity in fasting brings him help and success from Allah Almighty, he will be motivated to make use of Ramadan in performing righteous deeds for the sake of the All-Merciful. Fasting + Sincerity to Allah = Enthusiasm and Motivation.

2. Knowing that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, would give glad tidings to his Companions about the advent of this blessed month:
There is something that can motivate you to use Ramadan in performing good deeds for the sake of the All-Merciful: knowing that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, would give good news to his Companions, saying: "The month of Ramadan has come to you, a blessed month that Allah prescribed upon you to fast…" This indicates the greatness of making use of this month in good deeds and worship. Hence, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, would give them glad tidings so that they could get prepared for utilizing it.

3. Considering the great reward Allah Almighty prepared for fasting people, which includes the following:

a. the reward of the fasting person is great and none knows it but Allah, the Exalted, "Every act of the son of Adam is for himself except fasting; it is done for My sake and I will give a reward for it."

b. "Whoever fasts a day for the sake of Allah, Allah will keep his face away from Hell-fire at a distance of seventy years." What about a person who fasts the whole month!

c. Fasting will intercede on behalf of the servant on the Day of Judgment until he enters Paradise.

d. "There is a gate in Paradise that is called Ar-Rayyan, through which only those who observe fasting will enter."

e. Fasting Ramadan expiates all one's past sins.

f. During Ramadan, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed.

g. the supplication of a fasting person in Ramadan is answered.

Dear brother! Be keen to get this immense reward which Allah Almighty prepared for fasting people. You only have to roll up your sleeves and work with determination and activeness so that you may be one of the winners of those great prizes.

4. Knowing that it is a Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, to engage a lot in various acts of worship.

He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, used to engage in worship during Ramadan in a manner peculiar to this blessed month, apart from any other month. This should fill one with enthusiasm for using this noble month. Indeed, Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, is our role model, which we are required to follow. In the Quran, Allah Almighty says (what means):  {There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern.} [Quran 33:21]
So, engage a lot in different acts of worship during this month.

5. Realizing the blessings available in this blessed month. Aspects of these blessings include the following:

a. Blessing in spiritual feelings. In this month, a believer has greater faith and a more conscious heart. He contemplates a lot and readily accepts advice. This matter is perceptible and none can argue about it and about the fact that it is part of the generosity of Allah Almighty toward fasting people.

b. Blessing in physical strength. Although you abstain from food and drink, you grow in strength and endurance. Allah blesses your physical ability and you can perform the obligatory prayers and the supererogatory Sunnah prayers, as well as the other acts of worship, despite your hunger and thirst.

c. Blessing in time. Consider how your time is blessed during this month. You may perform deeds during one day and night of Ramadan that you cannot otherwise accomplish in a whole week in other months.

So, seize the blessing of Ramadan and add the blessing of the noble Quran to it. Be careful to derive support from this in obeying the All-Merciful and adhering to the right path at all times and all places. This should increase your enthusiasm and motivation for exploiting the blessings of this month.

6. Among the things that motivate one to utilize this noble month in worship is recalling the good characteristics of Ramadan:

Dear brother! Allah Almighty preferred Ramadan over other months by many characteristics and merits, which include the following:

a. the breath of a fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.

b. the angels ask for forgiveness for the fasting people until they break their fast.

c. Allah Almighty adorns His Paradise everyday and says, "My servants are about to throw off the burden and harm and then come to you."

d. the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell-fire are closed.

e. It includes the night of Al-Qadr (destiny), which is better than one thousand months. He who is deprived of its blessings has been deprived of all goodness.

f. the fasting people are forgiven in the last night of Ramadan.

g. there are those whom Allah Almighty emancipates from the Hellfire in the last night of Ramadan.

7. Knowing that Allah, the Exalted, picked the fast from among the acts of worship for Himself:

This is a great advantage that is to be seized by a person who exploits Ramadan in doing good. It drives such a person not to miss this great opportunity. This advantage is that Allah Almighty kept the reward of fasting, apart from all other deeds, known to Him alone. This is related in a hadith in which the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, said that Allah Almighty says: "Every act of the son of Adam is for himself except fasting; it is done for My sake and I will give a reward for it." This specialty increases the believer's enthusiasm for utilizing this great favor.

8. Knowing to what extent the noble Companions and the righteous predecessors were diligent worshippers during this blessed month:
The noble Companions grasped the merit of the month of Ramadan in the sight of Allah, and so they were diligent in worship. they would spend its nights in qiyam (voluntary night prayer) and recitation of the Quran. they would give charity to the poor and needy and give food to the fasting people to break their fast. they would also engage in jihad against the enemies of Allah in order for the word of Allah to be supreme and religion to belong entirely to Him.

9. Knowing that fasting will intercede on behalf of the fasting person on the Day of Judgment:

Another characteristic that makes one more attached to fasting and more keen on observing it is the fact that fasting will intercede for the fasting person before the Almighty Lord on the Day of Judgment and will serve as a means for erasing his sins. Excellent is that companion indeed who intercedes for his companion in the most difficult situations. the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, is reported to have said:

Fasting and the Quran will intercede on behalf of the servant on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say, "O Lord! I prevented him from food and satisfying his desires during the day.

So, make me an intercessor for him." the Quran will say, "I prohibited him from sleeping at night. So, make me an intercessor for him." they shall be allowed to intercede. [Ahmad]
10. Knowing that Ramadan is the month of the Quran and the month of patience:

And that fasting it and performing qiyam al-layl (voluntary night prayer) during it are means for forgiving one's sins; and that fasting provides remedy for many social, psychological, sexual, and health problems. Familiarity with these worldly and otherworldly characteristics of fasting motivates one to seize them.

These are some incentives that prompt one to make use of these seasons of worship and the month of abundant mercy and blessings. Beware of neglecting such seasons, lest you will regret when regret will be of no avail. Allah Almighty says (what means): {But the hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.} [Quran 17:21]

We implore Allah Almighty to accept our fasting and qiyam al-layl. And our last invocation is praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. And peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions. O Allah! Make us live until we witness Ramadan and accept our deeds therein; indeed, You are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

May Allah grant us clear victory and help us worship Him. Indeed, He is the One Worthy of this and He is able to do it.
To Allah Almighty we render our worship and good deeds.

 


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Friday, May 26, 2017

The Situation of the Muslim

 By Muhibb Ad-Deen Al-Khateeb

We are in Ramadan, a month that is like a yearly alarm clock that invites the people to something other than that to which they are accustomed. It invites us to change our living style and move from the life of comfort and permissibility to a life of extraordinary restrictions and commitment to things by which we do not abide in the other months.

Ramadan is like an alarm clock. It bangs our ears while we are asleep to awaken us and take us from a monotonous and comfortable system of living and taming of one's soul to a system of extraordinary restrictions in living and controlling of one's soul.

The wisdom in Islam behind this contingent change to the lives of Muslims in Ramadan lies in the desire to train the Muslim soul to adopt this change – especially what pertains to curbing one's vain desires and getting accustomed to patience – as second nature in other than Ramadan and all their life conditions.

This change in our lifestyle occurs in Ramadan, but its effect in curbing one's vain desires should linger on and extend to the development of our Islamic morals in all other months, so that we can absorb it as a habit in our entire lives. Otherwise, Ramadan would be like a body devoid of liveliness and heavenly spirit, which characterizes it.

In every year, Ramadan comes to us so that we can train ourselves in patience, self-discipline, and curbing ourselves from vain talk and succumbing to desire.

It comes to get us accustomed to good speech and purity of heart in all what we say or feel.

It comes to remind us of Allah Almighty and accustoms us to walk in the path drawn by Islam, and so that we become careful to not say or do except that which is pleasing to our Lord in the period from suhoor (pre-dawn meal) to iftar (fast breaking meal), and then from iftar to suhoor.
It comes to us with its ordained system, which includes self-restraint, and curbing one's desires and strengthening one's spirit and body by eating less. In this way, nutrition of the body goes hand in hand with nutrition of the soul in the life of a diligent and toiling Muslim.

We are about to experience great things for which we have to gather all our powers: the powers of the soul and discovering their true metals and using them in this ongoing struggle; the powers of bodies and preparing them for bearing the burdens of the sacred jihad; and the powers of money and using them in the economic advance, the spheres of industry and development, and the hidden treasures inside the earth, which include metals and cultivation. We should make use of these elements in a way that bespeaks awareness of the great favors of Allah, the Exalted, upon us and gratitude to Him through employing and exploiting them properly and spreading their usefulness to the best of our capabilities and efforts.
This universal mobilization of all our material and moral powers requires us to rationalize the use of every power of them. We should not use any of them except in the way that increases us in strength, might, blessings, and invulnerability.

This is one of the facts of Islamic economics that every Muslim should know and act in accordance with; otherwise his commitment would be as much deficient as his neglect about knowing and applying this fact.

O Muslim!

The wealth that you own and that is at your disposal – be it large or small – is not truly yours, for everything belongs to Allah Almighty. It is merely something entrusted to you and you got it with the help and facilitation from your Lord, not due to your effort and endeavor (alone). there are people, whom you may know or not, who are cleverer than you in gathering money and more active in this respect, but they are, nonetheless, poorer than you and less successful. This is for a wise reason, known to Allah, the Exalted. In the past, Qaroon bragged about his wealth and claimed that he had been given it due to knowledge that he possessed. However, Allah Almighty belied him and annihilated his wealth.

The part of your money that belongs to you – be it large or small – is that which meets your basic needs. You spend thereof in a reasonable manner. What is beyond that is a trust that Allah has given to you. If you are an owner of a factory, then expand your factory with your surplus money so that fellow citizens can benefit from the extra production and so that your country will not need to import from foreign nations. Likewise, if you are an owner of fields, farms, or gardens, then favor your fellow citizens by expanding cultivation of such crops that they need badly, even if they are less profitable than other crops that they do not need as badly. If you are a businessman, then do not commit the same mistake committed by one of our rich businesspeople. He obtained a permission to import low-price cars to be used by people in running their business; then he made a change to that permission so that he could import luxurious cars for opulent and profligate people, thus making bigger profits. As a result, Allah Almighty punished him with troubles that he would have been safe from if he had used his money in a proper way that benefits people and pleases his Lord, not on things in high demand among profligate people, at whose money he aims.

If every trader, farmer, or factory owner knew that what he possesses is nothing but a trust given to him by Allah Almighty, so that he uses it in a good way to develop the Ummah (Muslim community) and elevate its status among other nations, Allah, the Exalted, would increase them in wealth and prosperity and would make them more loved by people, more successful in their business, and more blessed in their wealth.

Our greatest teacher, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, did not fear poverty for us as much as he feared being engrossed in excessive opulence for us. Now, the state of some of those upon whom Allah Almighty bestowed huge wealth is amazing. they spend it wastefully and transfer it from the Muslim countries to hostile nations. Even, such great affluence may lead some people to much worse than that, incurring the wrath of their Lord and accelerating His punishment.

We are indeed quite far from 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Azeez, may Allah have mercy upon him. He ruled a vast kingdom extending over Asia, Africa, and Europe. Nonetheless, upon assuming the caliphate, he moved from the abode of governance to a small house outside the northern gate of the Banu Umayyah mosque. One night, as he was addressing some state affairs by candlelight, a person came to talk to him about something unrelated to state affairs; thereupon, he put out the candle, so as not to waste part of the states' resources that Allah Almighty had entrusted to him.

There are those among our righteous predecessors whose honesty reached such an extent in disposing of the wealth in their possession. This is because they were aware of the meanings of the Islamic economic system and acted according to them. they were keen to measure their Islamic commitment in accordance with this awareness of the message and the objectives of this religion. Hence, the borders of their kingdom reached Spain in Europe and the Caucasus and what is beyond it in Russia. At the time, no empire was vaster, wealthier, or more advanced than the nations ruled by the Islamic caliphate across the continents known in that age.

The righteous predecessors include those whose honesty reached such a level because Ramadan would come to them and then depart, leaving behind its impact in self-discipline and in curbing one's vain desires. After Ramadan, the effect of this blessed month continued to be evident in their morals. In fact, they were dressed in the character of Ramadan their entire lives. So, they attained glory and dominance among all other nations on earth.

Here is Ramadan, coming to us once more to invite us to assume the manners of our predecessors in the early days of Islam. Would we hold ourselves accountable for how we implement the systems prescribed in connection to Ramadan and to what extent we achieve its objectives?

There are surely some among the fasting people who deviate from the wisdom and perfection of fasting. they do so by scheming evil against people, engaging in idle talk, and doing other things that are displeasing to their Lord during the period between suhoor and iftar, and as they stay up at night from iftar to suhoor and spend money, which they allege to own, on their desires. But this money is actually a trust that Allah Almighty gave to them as a test, so that He will see whether they will spend it in a reasonable and wise manner. Among them are those who engage in thikr (remembrance); but they do so by their tongues only, not their hearts. When the time for iftar or suhoor comes, they fill their bellies with things that Ramadan came to prevent them from indulging in.

Satan was successful, in the past Ramadans, in persuading semi-men among us to spoil their own fasting through some of the things that contradict the wisdom behind fasting and the rites and systems related to this worship. Let us disgrace Satan this Ramadan and judge our Muslim souls according to our Muslim resolve, preparing them for what Allah Almighty wills for us: a great matter in a great future in which we rule our Islamic countries with our Islamic ethics and manners, and thus we can raise our Ummah to the level of dominance and prosperity on earth.

Just as Islam is the religion of truth, it is the religion of patience, moderation, and frugality. We observe the rites of Ramadan to establish the truth therewith and get accustomed to patience, moderateness, and thriftiness.

We used to complain of colonial powers and wicked rulers and ascribe all evils and weaknesses in our land to them. In fact, colonialism was the source of evils and weakness that afflicted us, and the wicked rulers were examples for the riffraff and the cause of the extravagance, wastefulness, and decadence that we descended to. the approach of Islam, however, was declaring to those who had reason: As you are, your rulers will be. It is we who failed to apply the way and system of our religion in our lives; so, we fell as victims under the claws of colonial powers. It is we who became lowly and wasteful. So, our Lord afflicted us with wicked rulers. Had we adhered to the way of Islam in our lives and practices, Allah, the Exalted, would have saved us from the dominance of colonialism and the evil of wicked rulers.

Finally:

Allah, the Exalted, saved us from the claws of colonial powers and their subordinate wicked rulers to test our manners in life and our preparedness to maintain this favor and train our society to live with it and to see our position as regards His laws of elevation and decadence and advance and backwardness.

The favors that Allah Almighty bestows on a nation entail some responsibilities. Those favors do not endure unless the concerned nation assumes its responsibilities duly.

As Allah, the Exalted, showed favor to us when He saved us from the nightmare of colonialism and wicked rulers, this entailed a great duty upon us; that is, to mobilize all our powers to establish our new entity on the firm foundation of morals, knowledge, fortunes, organization, investment, and the view of wealth in our possession as trusts given to us by our Lord, which we should dispose of in a way that achieves the public interests of the Ummah and the homeland. This foundation alone can endure the lofty building whose construction was made easy for us by the grace of Allah, the Exalted; it is a present from our generation to the next generations – our children and grandchildren.

Fortunately, the Islamic system – if we train ourselves to apply it – helps us to mobilize our entire powers and construct our lofty building thereon; and the Islamic life during Ramadan – as Islam intends for Muslims – constitutes the cornerstone of this foundation, upon which this blessed month invites us to establish our future building.

Let us make Ramadan, this year, the start of a new life, in which the Muslim soul is trained to rein in its desires and take part in the major mobilization for addressing the major events.

This is to be done by proper use of what has been given as trusts – homelands, fortunes, health, and strength. We should direct all of these to the cause of Allah Almighty and in pursuit of His pleasure. And the good end will be for the righteous.

 


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Thursday, May 25, 2017

It’s about time

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Since the beginning of time, someone else has been controlling your time, or rather your timeliness. When we were younger, our parents determined when we got to school and how early or late we were. They helped us to dress and get ready, and we were under their control.

Then, as we got older, we gained some of our own independence, but then, many women get married and then their control over their time is not their own again.

The hours in their day are not necessarily their own. Whether it is reporting to work by a certain time, dropping kids off to school by a certain time, or even preparing breakfast for yourself and hubby before you and he go off to work, all this requires you to have something done by a certain time. This requires punctuality.

One of the hardest habits in life to master seems to be punctuality. Many of us can juggle all that life throws our way, from jobs, to marriage, to kids, but when it comes to handling all of this in a timely manner, some of us fall short. Most of us remember being late to school as children, running around our homes looking for our homework or our shoes. Asking our moms where we put our jackets. Why were we always late? Then, we grew up and got to college or started working and still made it just in the nick of time, barely there before our boss could check the clock. Or we would slide into our college desks just as the professor began to lecture or pass out the test papers.

Why is that most of us are habitually late, not just for work or school, but in many other aspects of our lives?

More importantly, what can we do as women of the house for our families and for ourselves to break this cycle of perpetual procrastination and everlasting tardiness?

Practicing punctuality in practically everything

In everything we do, from the moment we rise, we should practice punctuality. Our priorities should incorporate timeliness and reliability in all aspects of our daily activities. Actually, there is probably little or nothing that doesn't require or could not benefit from our promptness.

Performing Responsibilities with Regularity

This is the most common area of procrastination in that this is where most of us are guilty. Sometimes, some of us develop over the years an "I'll do it later" attitude and we begin to procrastinate in our duties, from the small to the large ones. We begin to put off the laundry until it accumulates and spills over the basket; we allow the dishes to pile up in the sink and then get that sinking feeling in our stomachs as we are elbow deep days later in greasy dishwater. We are up late the night before a big test because we delay studying until the last minute; we can actually put off –anything and everything –all errands, all chores, all duties and responsibilities. But should we?

No, rather we should try to perform our duties as soon as possible. This is best for us in many ways.

1. We can get accomplished what needs to be done and get on with our other obligations.

2. We can do a better job by giving ourselves ample time.

3. We can set a good example for our families by showing them that we take our responsibilities seriously. If they see that we procrastinate, they may take that to mean neglect.

4. Promptness leads to consistency.

As the woman of the household, there are many responsibilities that rest on our shoulders. If we can avoid procrastination, we prevent that over-whelming burden of feeling as if we are always `falling behind' in our housework, in our schoolwork, in our errands, in everything that gets to be too much for us.

Punctuality in Worship

As Muslim women we cannot, however, let domestic responsibilities and duties as wife, mother, and even student or professional prevent us from worshipping Allah punctually, at the right time and with the right intentions. This specifically refers to, but is by no means limited to, prayer. Performing our prayers at their appointed times and with conviction is essential to living life in the best possible way and setting the best example for our families.

One of the first things that we do in the morning and unquestionably the most important activity of the day is prayer, which not only benefits from punctuality but requires it. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, was asked "What deed is most beloved by Allah?; and he answered, "To offer each prayer as soon as it is due."

Punctuality in performing the prayer means that we drop the dishes (not literally) to offer it when it is due, make sure to do it before we pick up the kids from school if possible, make it at the office if need be, make it at school; whenever its time is due, we must rise to offer it.

The prayer is not the only form of worship that benefits from punctuality: Duaa is a significant form of worship for which punctuality and timeliness is integral. Forms of Duaa like the Istikhaarah prayer and others for thankfulness and Tawbah should be offered at the right time for maximum benefit. Similarly, paying Zakah is another form of worship for which timing could mean everything, especially for those whom the charity could benefit. For example, when we donate money at a fundraiser for a particular cause, the amount of money that we give at that particular time is imperative for that specific cause. We can make plans to give and donate, but if we do not actually do it when it matters, it does not count. The key is to do it and do it exactly when it can generate maximum benefit. For those in need, timing is everything.

Reliability in Relationships

Timing is key for relationships as well as worship. However, for some odd reason, people have the tendency to take relationships for granted. We make them and then assume that they will last; that they do not require any or much upkeep. As women though, we should know that this is not true and to maintain healthy and happy relationships with all who are close to us, we have to work at it regularly and consistently. This means that we have to be one step ahead of crises. Women know that emotions rage strong and can come between two people.

Therefore, it is imperative that we remain steadfast in our efforts to maintain our relationships to the extent that we desire. In other words, our relationships with our spouse, our parents, our children, our friends, and anyone who means anything to us require effort. In order for us to ensure that these relationships remain healthy, we have to be punctual in handling issues as they arise. Think about your most recent and significant disagreement you might have had with your spouse or parent or child. If you might have dealt with it immediately, could you have eliminated the problem or significantly decreased the problem? Maybe you and a friend had a little disagreement. You feel a bit annoyed and decide that it is better to not bring it up again, but of course, you still feel upset about the situation. You hesitate handling the situation immediately because you feel that it might just `wash over' and that it will be forgiven and forgotten soon enough. However, we all know that most women do not function that way.

Many people have too strong of a memory to forget anything until it has been worked through and talked through and true forgiveness has been reached.

Sometimes, women have a tendency of ignoring sticky situations that are emotionally charged; we are hesitant to deal with issues that negatively affect our relationships. However, this is dangerous in that it could prolong the inevitable and make a small problem worse. As is the case with most situations, procrastination is not such a great idea. On the contrary, punctuality is probably the best way to abate any long term crises. This is one of the reasons the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, gave so much advice against breaking off ties. For example, he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "There should be no breaking off of ties, no turning away from one another, no hating one another, and no envying one another. Be brothers (and sisters), as Allah has commanded you." [Muslim] Because anger may strike women (and of course men) at times of emotional weakness, Islam allows three days as a reasonable length of time during which anger may subside.

As difficult as it may seem, whether we are dealing with our chores, our personal worship, or with our relationships, it is best for us to deal with the situation as soon as possible and `nip it in the bud.'


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Kindness to Parents Obligation Even When Abusive

Question

My father has never cared about me and never treated me nicely ever since my childhood. I am over 30 years old now, and I have serious problems in my life because of him. He is not responsible, never paid for my education, never helped me to be myself, and always irrationally accuses me and insists on that in order to make me feel bad. He wastes his money on useless stuff but does not help me. He never took me to a hospital and never cared about my health, and I have some health problems now. He is a perfect liar and has even argued about moral things and accused me of insisting to follow inarguable morals just because that hurts me. He has a problem, all he does is annoy me and mentally and physically attack me, many times seriously. I always reach a dead end in any argument with him. He is just on the opposite of everything, while I am not a bad person and have been trying to be a good person ever since my childhood, and everyone who knows me knows that, but my father is just against me and only worries about himself. He has even given me a bad reputation among the people. I cannot accept him anymore. I want to leave him forever and take care of my life and be a good, productive person who benefits society rather than waste the rest of my life with him while he enjoys attacking me. While I think about that, I find myself stuck in the child-parent relationship according to our religion but, again, my heart and mind cannot bear it anymore. How could I be forced to go against my heart and own satisfaction to such limit? I am human, and I have lost my life and now need to recover. I need peace and need to be healthy and well, while my father always insists on attacking me, and that makes me crazy, and now I am really losing my mind. Would I be sinful if I decided to leave him in such situation in order to worry about recovering my own life rather than waste the rest of it in a useless, harmful relationship? I still believe that the religion tells us to ask our own heart, and believe me, my heart cannot do it anymore, and I am losing even more now. Is our religion not merciful enough?

Answer 


Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah.

Your message shows a lot of anger, regret, and sadness. I understand your feelings, and you did the right thing by asking what the solution is according to what Allah wants from us. Before I give you my sincere advice, I want you to understand certain facts of life:

1- Allah, the Most Wise, created us to worship Him alone, and He sent Messengers and revealed books for people to follow.
2- We were created from nothing, and Allah gave us life, and we shall all return to Him, Exalted be He.
3- Life is a test, and everything in it is to see who is grateful and who patiently applies the orders of Allah.
4- We do not choose our parents, nor do we choose our children and relatives.

Having said that, you need to witness the Wisdom of Allah, you are being tested with your father to see whether you will remain obedient to Allah or not. Many people have suffered a difficult past that affects the future, and their mind is still trapped in the past, which hinders any means of success in their present and future life. Allah is the Most Just, and He is the Most Merciful.

You might ask why I mentioned these facts while they are obvious. The reason is that people often do not build actions on the obvious; they rather build their actions on their desires. If you have certainty in what is mentioned above, you will enjoy your life regardless of what you are facing in it.
If something constitutes difficulty, you will believe that Allah is testing you to see your patience, and He promised the patient ones a great reward. Nothing is wasted when you seek rewards from Allah.

In our beautiful religion, we are ordered to be kind to the parents even if they are not. You seek rewards from Allah by being kind to them regardless of their reactions or what they did in the past. Allah made your parents the means to your existence, and that is a great favor! The verses of the Quran and the hadiths of the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, state that you should be kind to them; they are one of the gates to Paradise, and the one who witnesses his parents when they are old in age and they are not the reason for him to enter Paradise is a loser.

Relieve yourself from stress, forget your past, and do not let it affect you; and be kind to your father, do not expect anything from him, and seek rewards from Allah alone. Focus on what benefits you, and do not busy yourself with blaming others or your father; there is no benefit in that. Rather, it only contains more misery. Guard your prayers, perform thikr (expressions of remembrance of Allah) Allah, pray in the masjid, do good deeds and help others, and focus on what is good for you.

You can have your personal life, family, separate house, etc. and still visit your father and be kind to him. Being kind to him does not hinder you from being a successful person; take the means to be successful, and at the same time take all the means to be kind to your father.

What you think is a bad thing for you might be the best thing ever, and Allah knows best. So be patient and seek rewards from Allah.

 


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Feeling That In-laws Control Couple’s Life

Question

I am feeling very disappointed right now. In fact, my heart is burning. I have been searching for a better half for four years, as my marriage failed to materialize at the eleventh hour four years ago. I thought that it was for the best, as Allah, the Exalted, plans something better for you. I also asked for the best better half in Makkah, where supplications are not rejected. After four years, when I finally arranged my marriage and was going to get married, I got some information about the girl. Shaytan (the devil) created suspicions about the girl having fornicated. For four years, I continued to supplicate for a girl with a worthy character and made all possible supplications, including 'Allahumma Ajirni fi musibati...' I also performed Istikharah (prayer of consultation) before going ahead. At this stage, it is not possible to go back on my decision without concrete evidence, which is impossible to obtain, as only Allah, the Exalted, knows the facts, and more importantly, it would break many hearts. So I think I will let my heart burn instead of breaking so many hearts and so many dreams. However, I am very disappointed and ask myself why Allah, the Exalted, put me in such a situation while I continuously prayed to save me from such a scenario. I have not ever touched any girls, so where is the call of Allah, the Exalted, Who says that "for good men, I have made good women."

Answer

May Allah make thing easy for you. From your letter, I see some things that are part of the problem. You need to understand the nature of this life, as Allah informed us in the Quran. This life is a test, everyone is tested, whether it be with things we like or things we do not like. Allah, the Almighty, said, {Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.} [Quran 21:35]

Some people are tested with matters of ease, they have wealth, health, and all that they ask for. They can be Muslims or disbelievers, it does not matter, because all are being tested. If Allah is testing you with what you see as difficult, you should be pleased with Allah. You use all the means that you have, and at the end you are pleased with what Allah decrees for you, knowing that everything is there for a reason.

It is not clear from your statements why you have suspicions regarding your intended wife. If you do not have clear, concrete evidence, then you should stay away from these doubts, and it should not burn your heart, because there is no basis to it then. If she is not religious and openly commits sins, then you should avoid marrying her, even if you think that this will break hearts. Do what is beneficial for you and your religion, and do not worry about breaking anyone's heart. One of the big mistakes that people do is when they get married just because they feel bad for their partner. It causes difficulties later on in life. Make your decision now before you get married, regardless of whether this is a good choice for you or not; if you are not convinced to marry that girl, then do not betray her and stay away.

When we supplicate for matters of this life, we do not know what is good for us; that is why we pray Istikharah and leave it to Allah. You should use all available means, ask the people of knowledge, be determined, and then rely on Allah, the Most High, for all of your affairs.

Life is too short to be wasted in worries and sadness. Look positively at everything you go through, and always keep your focus on the end result, the Hereafter. That is why the Quran always takes us to the Hereafter to see the outcome of our actions, so that we make decisions accordingly. The real regret is the regret in the Hereafter, and the real loss is the loss in the Hereafter. So my sincere advice to you is for you to have good expectations in thinking about Allah, the Most Merciful; He only decrees what is best for you if you know how to worship Allah accordingly, with patience and while being grateful. May Allah make it easy for you.


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Good Expectations of Allah While Facing Difficulties in Life

Question

I am feeling very disappointed right now. In fact, my heart is burning. I have been searching for a better half for four years, as my marriage failed to materialize at the eleventh hour four years ago. I thought that it was for the best, as Allah, the Exalted, plans something better for you. I also asked for the best better half in Makkah, where supplications are not rejected. After four years, when I finally arranged my marriage and was going to get married, I got some information about the girl. Shaytan (the devil) created suspicions about the girl having fornicated. For four years, I continued to supplicate for a girl with a worthy character and made all possible supplications, including 'Allahumma Ajirni fi musibati...' I also performed Istikharah (prayer of consultation) before going ahead. At this stage, it is not possible to go back on my decision without concrete evidence, which is impossible to obtain, as only Allah, the Exalted, knows the facts, and more importantly, it would break many hearts. So I think I will let my heart burn instead of breaking so many hearts and so many dreams. However, I am very disappointed and ask myself why Allah, the Exalted, put me in such a situation while I continuously prayed to save me from such a scenario. I have not ever touched any girls, so where is the call of Allah, the Exalted, Who says that "for good men, I have made good women."

Answer

May Allah make thing easy for you. From your letter, I see some things that are part of the problem. You need to understand the nature of this life, as Allah informed us in the Quran. This life is a test, everyone is tested, whether it be with things we like or things we do not like. Allah, the Almighty, said, {Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.} [Quran 21:35]

Some people are tested with matters of ease, they have wealth, health, and all that they ask for. They can be Muslims or disbelievers, it does not matter, because all are being tested. If Allah is testing you with what you see as difficult, you should be pleased with Allah. You use all the means that you have, and at the end you are pleased with what Allah decrees for you, knowing that everything is there for a reason.

It is not clear from your statements why you have suspicions regarding your intended wife. If you do not have clear, concrete evidence, then you should stay away from these doubts, and it should not burn your heart, because there is no basis to it then. If she is not religious and openly commits sins, then you should avoid marrying her, even if you think that this will break hearts. Do what is beneficial for you and your religion, and do not worry about breaking anyone's heart. One of the big mistakes that people do is when they get married just because they feel bad for their partner. It causes difficulties later on in life. Make your decision now before you get married, regardless of whether this is a good choice for you or not; if you are not convinced to marry that girl, then do not betray her and stay away.

When we supplicate for matters of this life, we do not know what is good for us; that is why we pray Istikharah and leave it to Allah. You should use all available means, ask the people of knowledge, be determined, and then rely on Allah, the Most High, for all of your affairs.

Life is too short to be wasted in worries and sadness. Look positively at everything you go through, and always keep your focus on the end result, the Hereafter. That is why the Quran always takes us to the Hereafter to see the outcome of our actions, so that we make decisions accordingly. The real regret is the regret in the Hereafter, and the real loss is the loss in the Hereafter. So my sincere advice to you is for you to have good expectations in thinking about Allah, the Most Merciful; He only decrees what is best for you if you know how to worship Allah accordingly, with patience and while being grateful. May Allah make it easy for you.


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Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Unrestrained Gaze

This refers to the prying eye that looks at what it is not allowed to, in clear opposition to what Allah The Almighty has ordered us of lowering the gaze, when He Says (what means): {Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts} [Quran 24:30-31]. Here, Allah The Almighty does not command us to restrict our vision entirely, but only partly, as is evident in the phrase (that means): {[some] of their vision}.

The prohibition of having an unrestrained gaze falls under precautionary measures: if it is likely to bring about benefit, it is permitted, but if it is feared that it may be the means to corruption and will not be beneficial, then it is forbidden. Hence, Allah The Almighty did not order us to reduce our vision wholly, but only partially, whereas, guarding the private parts is obligatory in all cases, because sexual intercourse is only lawful in marriage and with bondservants.

In the aforementioned verse, Allah The Almighty commanded us to lower our gaze and guard our private parts. He linked the two matters but mentioned the prying eye first, because the eye is the leader of the heart; whatever it becomes accustomed to, the heart follows suit.

Therefore, the most unfettered access to the heart is through the sight of the eyes, which is the only of the five senses that most impact it. Many wrongdoings are committed because of it, making it very important to be warned against.

For instance, lowering the gaze is a means of guarding and protecting the
private parts. In a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Allah has written for the son of Adam his inevitable share of adultery: the adultery of the eye is looking [at what is prohibited], the adultery of the ears is listening [to what is forbidden], the adultery of the tongue is uttering [what is unlawful to say], the adultery of the hand is doing [what is prohibited], the adultery of the legs is walking [to an evil place or deed]. And the heart is tempted and longs [for adultery], and the private parts realize that or refrain [from submitting to temptation]." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Further, Jarir, may Allah be pleased with him, related: "I asked the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, about the sudden glance [at a non-related woman]; he advised, 'Turn your glance away immediately.'" [Muslim]

These are the many negative consequences of having an unrestrained gaze:

1. It is an act of disobedience and a violation of the command of Allah The Almighty, when nothing, in this life or the Hereafter, is more beneficial to a slave than obeying the directives of his or her Lord. People are in bliss only when they obey His orders and are wretched only because they go against Him.

2. It confuses the heart, and pushes it away from Allah The Almighty. This is the most detrimental thing a slave can ever face, since it alienates him or her from the Lord. Lowering the gaze, on the other hand, fills one's heart with serenity and reassurance from Allah The Almighty.

3. It weakens and induces sorrow in the heart, whereas restricting one's vision strengthens it and infuses it with happiness.

4. It engulfs the heart in darkness; when that happens, the clouds of affliction and evil, including all kinds of religious innovations, deviations and whims – that make one avoid guidance, shun the causes of happiness and pursue the causes of wretchedness – amass around it from every place. These evils are only eliminated by the light in one's heart, so when that is lost, one becomes like a blind person wandering in darkness. In contrast, lowering the gaze for the sake of Allah The Almighty fills the heart with light, which is apparent in the eyes, on the face and other parts of the body. Hence, soon after commanding the believers to watch their eyes, in the verse cited above, Allah The Almighty talks about His light, Saying (what means): {Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche …} [Quran 24:35] This is to say that the likeness of His light is also in the heart of His believing slave, who obeys His commands and avoids His prohibitions. Thus, when the heart is filled with radiance, goodness surrounds it from all directions.

5. It hardens the heart and blocks the pathway to knowledge, whereas, checking one's gaze opens the gates of knowledge and facilitates its means, due to the light in it by which the heart clarifies for itself the reality of things.

6. It allows the devil to enter the heart, for he enters with the look and penetrates into the heart quicker than air when there is no longer a vacuum. The devil then presents one with a beautified image of the object he or she perceived, so that it becomes idolized by the heart. After that, he stirs longing in the person and throws the fuel of disobedience on the sparks of desire that would never have arisen, if not for this image. This puts the heart amidst flames, surrounded from all directions. Ironically, such people's punishment in the grave is similar, as they will be there in an oven of fire, where their souls will be placed until their bodies are resurrected. Conversely, lowering the gaze blocks the way for the devil, preventing him from entering the heart.

7. It breeds negligence and makes one follow his or her whims. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.} [Quran 18:28]; these three negative consequences occur according to the degree of gazing at what is prohibited. Whereas, lowering one's eyes for the sake of Allah The Almighty makes the heart occupied only with its interests in the Hereafter.

8. A glance affects the heart in the same way an arrow does a prey; it at least causes injury, if it isn't fatal. A passing look is like a spark that falls onto dry grass; if not entirely, it burns it partially. A poet once likened a glance to flares, saying they both ignite worse things, i.e., evil and fires, respectively. They are in great danger, who let themselves gaze at people, for what pleases the eye may harm the heart.

9. It brings about heartbreak, lament and suffering, when one sets his or her eye on what he or she is unable to get or forget. A poet once wrote verses on how looking at what is prohibited, will only cause a person to suffer, for he or she is neither able to obtain it nor to live with that fact.

10. It wounds the heart, over and over; and yet, the pain resulting from such wounds does not prevent one from looking again. As a poet once said, a person continues to follow up a glance with another, at every beautiful woman or handsome man, thinking this to be the remedy for the pain he or she is feeling, when in fact, it is no less than an additional wound. Thus, one slays his or her eyesight by forbidden glances and tears of sorrow, severely destroying the heart in the process.

11. It extinguishes the light of insight; conversely, lowering the gaze strengthens one's insight and grants wisdom. Shah ibn Shuja' Al-Kirmani, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, "He who adheres to the Sunnah, is always conscious of the fact that Allah The Almighty is watching him, lowers his gaze from what is prohibited, restrains himself from fulfilling his desires and is accustomed to what is lawful, his wisdom will never fail him"; and thus, the insight of the man who spoke these words never failed him.

12. It entraps the heart in the humiliation of slavery and weakens it, causing one to be despised and debased. In addition, it subjects one to the severe punishment that Allah The Almighty has prepared for the one who prefers his or her own desires to His pleasure. On the other hand, Allah The Almighty has made honor and power contingent on obeying Him and has made humiliation the result of disobeying Him. He Says (what means): {Whoever desires honor [through power] - then to Allah belongs all honor. To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it} [Quran 35:10]. This means that if anyone wants honor, he or she must seek it in obedience to Allah The Almighty and in His remembrance, and with good speech and righteous deeds. Therefore, those who become the ally of Allah The Almighty through their worship, will be so to the degree that they obey Him; whereas, if a person disobeys Him, he or she becomes His enemy and will be humiliated as much as he or she deserves because of the disobedience.

13. It enslaves the heart to base desires, making him or her a captive of whims, though appearing to be free. When this happens, he or she becomes an easy prey for an enemy that toys with him or her, as a child tortures a small creature to death while playing.

14. It exacerbates one's heedlessness of Allah The Almighty and of the Hereafter, and entraps him or her in the inebriation of love. Allah The Almighty Says about those who love illusions (what means): {By your life, [O Muhammad], indeed they were, in their intoxication, wandering blindly.} [Quran 15:72]. Allah The Almighty depicted them as being intoxicated, as a reference to the corruption of their minds; and as being blind wanderers, implying their insight was tainted. In our context, the glance is a cup of wine and ardent love is the intoxication it incurs. And so, the one who is drunk with love is only likely to regain consciousness after joining the dead and sharing in regret with the losers.


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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Overeating

Man's desire for food is one of his most self-destructive traits. Aadam (Adam) and Hawwa' (Eve), may Allah exalt their mention, were expelled from Paradise, the abode of eternal bliss, to the dwelling of suffering and humiliation, because of their appetite. They were forbidden to eat from a specific tree, but, overcome by a need to satiate themselves, they ate from it and, as punishment, their private parts became apparent to them.

Indeed, the stomach is the source of most desires and illnesses. Building on a severe craving for food, a person then longs to satisfy sexual urges and other excessive desires for wealth and fame. Then, fulfilling these frivolous wants, as well as the ills it brings about, induces another consequence of overeating, which is ingratitude. However, if a slave humbles him/herself through hunger and constricts the ways of the devil to him or her, he or she will begin to yield and submit to Allah The Almighty, and be grateful to Him.

Further, this act, as the following Hadeeth shows, boasts of a therapeutic aspect; Al-Miqdam ibn Ma'diakarib, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "No man fills a vessel worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back straight are sufficient for the son of Aadam. If he has to [increase], he should keep a third [of his stomach] for food, one third for drink and one third for breathing.'' [At-Tirmithi, Saheeh]

When the physician, Ibn Abu Masawayh, read this Hadeeth in the book of Abu Khaythamah, may Allah have mercy upon him, it is reported that he remarked: "If people implement these words, they will be safe from diseases and illnesses, and clinics and pharmacies will not be needed." He said that because most diseases have a correlation to satiety, one of the benefits of eating small amounts of food and avoiding having a full stomach, is that it is healthy and beneficial to the body.

Other advantages of eating less are: the mind is strengthened and the heart becomes gentler in nature, causing one to be willing to submit [to Allah The Almighty] and be modest, and to adopt asceticism and let desires and whims have a lesser hold on oneself. Since, conversely, overeating creates the opposite of all the above, the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, advised people to avoid it, as when he said in the previously mentioned Hadeeth: "A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for the son of Adam."

He, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also said: "The believer eats in one intestine and the disbeliever eats in seven intestines." [Al-Bukhari, Muslim] This means that because a believer eats in accordance with the etiquettes of Sharee'ah, he or she eats as a person who has one set of intestines, whereas a disbeliever eats according to his or her appetite and greed, consuming as much as one would if he or she had seven intestines.

Furthermore, the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, encourages us to share our food with others, when he says: "The food of a single person is sufficient for two and the food of two is sufficient for three and the food of three is sufficient for four." Therefore, it is best for a believer to eat, as the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam advised, by keeping equal space in the stomach for food, water and breathing.

The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, himself, and his Companions would go hungry for long periods of time. That can be attributed to a lack of food, but Allah The Almighty chose for His Messenger, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, the best and most perfect of characteristics, and eating less was one of them. Hence, 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar and his father 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with them, would emulate the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, in this regard, though they could afford to buy food. 'Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, recounted: "The family of Muhammad, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, never ate their fill of wheat bread since arriving in Madeenah until his death."

It is related by some righteous predecessors that even among the Children of Israel, there were some young men who were devoted to the worship of Allah The Almighty. When the time of their meal would come, one of them would caution: "Do not eat a lot, for if you do a lot, you will drink a lot; and in the end, you will lose a lot!"

Ibrahim ibn Ad-ham, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, "He who controls his stomach, controls his desires and so, strengthens his religion; and whoever curbs his appetite comes to possess good morals. Disobedience to Allah The Almighty is far from the hungry, but comes easy to those who fill up their stomachs." Undoubtedly, of the greatest benefits of hunger are: a weakening desire to indulge unlawful lusts and constraints on the evil-enticing self. The base desires and physical strength of humans is what leads to most sins, and as nutrients from food fuels both, eating less weakens both causes.

Just like a wild beast cannot be restrained unless enervated by starvation and then, bolts as soon as it is rejuvenated when fed, such is the human body. Luqman, may Allah have mercy upon him, advised his son, "When the stomach is full, thinking becomes dormant, wisdom shuts down, and even the organs stop worshipping Allah The Almighty, out of slackness."

Hunger also results in humility and eliminates discontentment, vanity and self-praise, which form the foundation of tyranny and heedlessness. Nothing quite humiliates or defeats a soul like hunger; people only sense their subservience to their Lord and realize their inherent weakness, when they are deprived of a morsel of food or sip of water.

Further, if a person does not see his or her own humiliation and disability, he or she will never realize the Might, Power and Subjugation of the Lord. One's happiness lies in that and in controlling oneself, for only wretchedness comes from being controlled by desires. Therefore, one should always remain a little hungry and in need of his or her Lord.

After all, we cannot give our souls free rein to fulfill all its desires, be they lawful, for, if we did, we would fear that it will be said to us, on the Day of Resurrection, "You exhausted your pleasures during your worldly life and enjoyed them." Hence, the more we struggle against our vain wants, let us be assured we will find greater reward in the Hereafter.

 


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Friday, May 19, 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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