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The Month of Rajab | Analysis of Common Innovated Practices


By Mufti Taqi Usmani  | cross-post from http://www.albalagh.net/general/rajab.shtml

rajab-innovation-bidha-islamRajab is the seventh month in the Islāmic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ashhur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet. It is also a prelude to the month of Ramaḍān, because Ramaḍān follows it after the intervening month of Sha’bān. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allāh in the following words:

“O Allāh, make the months of Rajab and Sha’bān blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramaḍān (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramaḍān, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”

Yet no specific way of worship has been prescribed by the Sharī’ah in this month. However, some people have invented some special rituals or practices in this month, which are not supported by reliable resources of the Sharī’ah or are based on some unauthentic traditions. We would like to explain here the correct position about them.

1. Celebration of Lailatul Mi’raj

It is generally believed that the great event of Mi’raj (ascension of the Holy Prophet to the heavens) took place in the night of 27th of Rajab. Therefore, some people celebrate the night as “Lailatul- Mi’raj” (the night of ascension to heavens).

Indeed, the event of Mi’raj was one of the most remarkable episodes in the life of our beloved Holy Prophet. He was called by Almighty Allāh. He traveled from Makkah to Baitul-Maqdis and from there he ascended the heavens through the miraculous power of Allāh. He was honored with a direct contact with his Creator at a place where even the angels had no access. This was the unique honor conferred by Allāh to the Holy Prophet  alone. It was the climax of the spiritual progress which is not attained by anybody except him. No doubt the night in which he was blessed with this unparalleled honor was one of the greatest nights in the history of this world.

But, Islām has its own principles with regard to the historic and religious events. Its approach about observing festivals and celebrating days and nights is totally different from the approach of other religions. The Holy Qurʾān  and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet  did not prescribe any festival or any celebration to commemorate an event from the past, however remarkable it might have been. Instead, Islām has prescribed two annual celebrations only. One is ‘Īd al-Fiṭr and the other is ‘Īd al-Aḍḥa. Both of these festivals have been fixed at a date on which the Muslims accomplish a great ‘ibādah (worship) every year. ‘Īd al-Fiṭr has been prescribed after the fasts of Ramaḍān, while Eid-ul-Adha has been fixed when the Muslims perform the Hajj annually. None of these two ‘Īd’s is designed to commemorate a particular event of the past which has happened in these dates. This approach is indicative of the fact that the real occasion for a happy celebration is the day in which the celebrators themselves have accomplished remarkable work through their own active effort. As for the accomplishments of our ancestors, their commemoration should not be restricted to a particular day or night. Instead, their accomplishments must be remembered every day in the practical life by observing their teachings and following the great examples they have set for us.

Keeping this principle in view, the following points should be remembered with regard to the “Lailatul-Mi’raj”:

(1) We cannot say with absolute certainty in which night the great event of Mi’raj took place. Although some traditions relate this event to 27th night of the month of Rajab, yet there are other traditions that suggest other dates. Al-Zurqani, the famous biographer of the Holy Prophet  has referred to five different views in this respect: Rabī’ al-Awwal, Rabī’ al-Thāni, Rajab, Ramaḍān and Shawwāl. Later, while discussing different traditions, he has added a sixth opinion, that the Mi’raj took place in the month of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah.

Allama Abdulhaq Muhaddith Dehlawi, the well-known scholar of the Indian subcontinent, has written a detailed book on the merits of Islāmic months. While discussing the ‘Lailatul-Mi’raj’ has mentioned that most of the scholars are of the view that the event of Mi’raj took place in the month of Ramaḍān or in Rabī’ al-Awwal.

(2) It is also not known in which year the event of Mi’raj took place. The books of history suggest a wide range between the fifth-year and the twelfth year after the Holy Prophet was entrusted with prophethood.

Now, if it is assumed that the event of Mi’raj took place in the fifth year of his prophethood, it will mean that the Holy Prophet remained in this world for eighteen years after this event. Even if it is presumed that the Mi’raj took place in the twelfth year of his prophethood, his remaining life-time after this event would be eleven years. Throughout this long period, which may range between eleven years and eighteen years, the Holy Prophet  never celebrated the event of Mi’raj, nor did he give any instruction about it. No one can prove that the Holy Prophet ever performed some specific modes of worship in a night calling it the ‘Lailatul-Mi’raj’ or advised his followers to commemorate the event in a particular manner.

(3) After the demise of the Holy Prophet also, no one of his companions is reported to celebrate this night as a night of special acts of worship. They were the true devotees of the Holy Prophet and had devoted their lives to preserve every minute detail of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and other Islāmic teachings. Still, they did not celebrate the event of Mi’raj in a particular night in a particular way.

All these points go a long way to prove that the celebration of the 27th night of Rajab, being the Lailatul-Mi’raj has no basis in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet or in the practice of his noble companions. Had it been a commendable practice to celebrate this night, the exact date of this event would have been preserved accurately by the Ummah and the Holy Prophet and his blessed companions would have given specific directions for it.

Therefore, it is not a Sunnah to celebrate the Lailatul-Mi’raj. We cannot declare any practice as a Sunnah unless it is established through authentic sources that the Holy Prophet or is noble Companions have recognized it as such, otherwise it may become a bid’ah about which the Holy Prophet has observed in the following words: “Whoever invents something in our religion which is not a part of it, it is to be rejected.”

Being mindful of this serious warning, we should appreciate that the 27th night of the month of Rajab is not like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ for which special merits have been mentioned expressly either in the Holy Qurʾān  or by the Holy Prophet .

However, all the recognized modes of ‘ibādah (worship) like salāt, recitation of the Holy Qurʾān , dhikr, etc. are commendable any time, especially in the late hours of night, and obviously the 27th night of Rajab is not an exception. Therefore, if someone performs any recognized ‘ibādah in this night from this point of view nothing can stop him from doing so, and he will be entitled to the thawab (reward allocated for that recognized ‘ibādah insha-Allāh.) But it is not permissible to believe that performing ‘ibādah in this night is more meritorious or carries more thawab like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’, because this belief is not based on any authentic verse or on a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. Similarly, it is not a correct practice to celebrate this night collectively and to invite people to special ritual congregations.

(4) Some people suggest some special modes of worship to be performed in this night. Since no special mode of worship is prescribed by the Sharī’ah in this night, these suggestions are devoid of any authority and should not be acted upon.

It is believed by some that the Muslims should keep fast on 27th of Rajab. Although there are some traditions attributing special merits to the fast of this day yet the scholars of ḥadīth have held these traditions as very weak and unauthentic reports, which cannot be sufficient to establish a rule of Sharī’ah. On the contrary, there is an authentic report that Sayyidna ‘Umar, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, used to forbid people from fasting on this day, rather to compel them to eat if they had started fasting.

It should be borne in mind here that a “nafl” fast can be observed any day (except the six prohibited days of the year); therefore, fasting on 27th of Rajab is not prohibited in itself. What is prohibited is the belief that fasting on this day is more meritorious than fasting in other normal days. One should not fast in this day with this belief. But if someone fasts therein, believing it to be a normal nafl fast, there is no bar against it.

Sacrifice (qurbani) in the Month of Rajab

In the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah) the Arabs used to offer the sacrifice of a goat in the month of Rajab. This sacrifice used to be called “Atirah’ or ‘Rajabiyyah’. This sacrifice was offered in the name of different so-called gods and their icons. In the beginning of Islām, this custom was retained, but the Muslims modified it by offering the sacrifice of ‘Atirah in the name of Allāh instead of the false gods. But finally, this custom was abandoned and the Holy Prophet prohibited the offering of ‘Atirah. In a tradition of Sayyidna Abu Hurayrah , raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, reported by both al-Bukhāri and Muslim, the Holy Prophet has said: “Fara’ is nothing and ‘Atirah is nothing.”

Abu Hurayrah , raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, has explained in the same tradition that ‘Fara” was the first child of a she-camel. Whenever a she-camel delivered its first child, the Arabs used to sacrifice it in the name of their so-called gods, while the ‘Atirah’ was a goat used to be sacrificed in the month of Rajab. Since the Holy Prophet stopped both these customs, ‘Atirah is no longer a recognized practice.

‘Umrah in the Month of Rajab

Ibn ‘Abidin, the well-known scholar of the Islāmic jurisprudence, has mentioned that the people of Makkah (in his days) used to perform ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. Perhaps they believed that performing ‘umrah in this month is more meritorious than in other months. Then Ibn Abidin himself has rejected the authenticity of this practice, because no tradition of the Holy Prophet is found to this effect. Conversely Sayyidah ‘Aishah, radyAllāhu anha, has expressly negated the presumption by saying that the Holy Prophet  never performed an ‘umrah in the month of Rajab (Sahih Muslim 1:409)

However, Ibn ‘Aibidin has quoted a narration that ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, completed the renovation of Ka’bah shortly before 27th of Rajab, and as a sign of gratefulness he performed ‘umrah and slaughtered some animals. But this report cannot form the basis of a recognized annual practice, firstly because the report is not very authentic, and secondly because it does not mention that Abdullah ibn Zubair, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, had adopted it as a continuing practice. At the most, he performed ‘umrah once as a sign of gratefulness on the completion of Ka’bah. It does not mean that he performed it as a characteristic of the month of Rajab. Therefore, performing ‘Umrah in this month is like performing it in any other month and no special merit can be attached to it merely because it has been performed in the month of Rajab.

The Ṣalāt of “Ragha’ib”

Another special mode of worship attributed by some people to this month is the Ṣalāt of Raghai’b. According to the custom of such people, this Ṣalāt is performed in the night of first Friday of the month of Eajab. The Ṣalāt of Raghaib is said to consist of twelve rak’ats to be performed in pairs with six salams, and in each rak’at the surah al-qadr is recited three times followed by the Surah-al-ikhlas. This type of Ṣalāt is also not based on any sound source of Sharī’ah. Therefore, almost all the jurists and scholars of Sharī’ah have held that the Ṣalāt of Raghaib is a baseless practice and it is not permissible to treat it as a recognized practice of this month. It is true that there is a tradition, narrated by Razin, the author of a book of ḥadīth, which attributes the origin of this practice to the Holy Prophet  but almost all the scholars of the science of ḥadīth have held it to be absolutely unauthentic. Therefore, no importance can be attached to it.

Distribution of Breads

Another baseless practice in the month of Rajab is that the people bake special types of breads and, after reciting some verses and prayers on them, distribute them among their friends and neighbors. This custom has two different shapes.

1). In some communities, this custom is celebrated on 17th of Rajab on the assumption that Sayyidna Ali, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab and the 17th of Rajab is the day on which his ‘Aqiqa (Shaving of his head) was performed. In order to celebrate this happy event, the breads of some special type are prepared and after reciting Surah Al-Mulk on them, they are distributed among the relatives and friends. These breads are generally called “breads of Tabarak” because Surah Al-Mulk is usually recited on them.

This practice is baseless because it is never proved that Sayyidna Ali, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab or that his Aqiqa was performed on 17th of this month and, as explained earlier, even if these events are proved to have happened in those days, their commemoration through these specific rituals is not warranted by the Sharī’ah.

2). A more common practice of this type is observed on 22nd of Rajab whereby some breads and meals of a special type are prepared and distributed among the people. Since these special meals are usually placed in some bowls made of clay, the custom is usually known as “Koonda”, an Urdu equivalent of such bowls. It is usually believed that the custom is designed to make ‘isal-al-thawab to the soul of Sayyidna Jafar Al-Sadiq who himself has directed his followers to observe this custom and has promised them that whoever observes it, his desires will be fulfilled.

All these assumptions also have no basis at all, neither historically, nor according to the principles of Sharī’ah. In fact, the date of 22nd of Rajab has no concern whatsoever with Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq, Rahimah-u-Allāh. According to the historians, he was born on 8th of Ramaḍān 80 A.H. and died in Shawwāl 148 A.H. No specific event of the life of Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq is proved to have happened on this date. The people believing in the custom refer to a coined story mentioned in an unauthentic book named “Dastaan-e-Ajeeb”.

Briefly stated, the gist of the story is that a poor woodcutter lived in Madīnah in the days of Jafar Al-Sadiq. He went abroad to earn his livelihood. His wife was employed in the house of the Prime Minister. Once she was cleaning the courtyard of the Prime Minister when Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq passed by her. It was 22nd of Rajab. He advised her to bake some breads of a special type and make ‘isal-al-sawab to him. According to this story, he promised her that if her desire is not fulfilled after this practice, she can catch hold of him at the doom’s day. On hearing this, the woman made a vow that if her husband will come back with a considerable wealth, she will observe the custom of “Koonda”. On the same day her husband, who was in another country, found a valuable treasure in the earth and came back with it to Madīnah where he established himself as a rich man and started living in a magnificent castle. When his wife told the story to the wife of the Prime Minister, she disbelieved her and because of this disbelief, she and her husband, the Prime Minister, were punished by Allāh. He was removed by the king from the prime minister-ship and was imprisoned in a jail and was ordered to be hanged. While being in the prison, the wife of the Prime Minister remembered that she had disbelieved the story of Jafar al-Sadiq told to her by her maidservant and their misery might be the punishment of their disbelief. On this point, she and her husband repented before Allāh and made a vow to observe the custom of “Koonda”, if they are released from the jail. After they made such a vow, the whole scenario of the events changed suddenly. The king released the Prime Minister from the jail and reinstated him on his former position.

As it can be seen by any reasonable person, this story is totally forged on the face of it. The person who has coined this story did not even know that Madīnah had never a king nor a Prime Minister. All the Muslim rulers were named as caliphs and had no Prime Minister at all. In the days of Umayyads, their capital was Damascus and in the days of Abbasids, their permanent seat was in Baghdad.

It is ironical that the story of such a woodcutter is not even known to anybody in Madīnah, nor in any city of the Arab countries. No Arabic book has ever referred to it. It has no mention except in an Urdu book ‘Dastaan-e-Ajeeb’, the author of which is unknown. One can easily see that a custom based on such a fallacious and mythical story can never be an Islāmic custom. Islām has always been far away from such superstitions.

Therefore, this baseless custom should completely be avoided by the true Muslims. Some historians have opined that in fact, this custom has been coined by some Shi’ites because the date of 22nd of Rajab is the date of the demise of Sayyidna Mu’awiyah whom they take as their biggest enemy. They took that date as a happy occasion and made the Sunni Muslims also to celebrate it on the pretext of the above mentioned story.

Be that as it may, it is evident that such customs have crept into the Muslim society by their long association with Hindus who commemorate different historical events of their religion in the like manner. The Muslims must be careful about these customs, because they are not only an invention of ignorance but also the imitation of non-Muslims in their religious rituals. No doubt the “’isal-al-thawab’ to the soul of a deceased Muslim, and particularly to a pious person is not only permissible but also a commendable practice but the Sharī’ah has not prescribed a particular date, nor a particular mode to do so. If someone wants to make “’isal-al-thawab” to Sayyidna ‘Ali, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, or to Ja’far al-Sadiq, he can do it any day and by performing any act of worship, like Ṣalāt, fast, Sadaqah, dhikr etc. There is no reason why it should be restricted to a special type of meal or bread distributed on a particular date. What makes this practice worse is the fact that the people accustomed to this practice deem it as necessary as a fard (obligation); rather they treat it as more necessary than fard because they do not care to perform the obligatory Ṣalāt or to fulfill the rights of men obligated on them, but they are very strict and punctual to perform these activities. Moreover, if a person does not observe this practice, they reproach him and call him with bad names. Such behavior makes this custom a bid’ah which is condemned by the Holy Prophet  as a misguidance. Therefore, the Muslims must abandon all such practices and should not cling to it only because it has been the practice of their society for many years. A Muslim is supposed to follow the dictates of Sharī’ah and not the practice of the society, if it violates any of its principles.

Conclusion

The upshot of the above discussion is that the Sharī’ah has not prescribed any specific way to observe the month of Rajab or to perform a specific mode of worship or a ritual in any one of its dates. However, being a prologue to the month of Ramaḍān, it should be availed of for preparing oneself for Ramaḍān and one should pray Allāh to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.

Mother! My Best Friend


Aseer ibn Jaabir narrates: Whenever people would come from Yemen, Umar would ask them, “Is Uways Al-Qaranee amongst you?” until, one year, he met Uways. He said, “Are you Uways Al-Qaranee?” He said, “Yes.” Umar continued, “From Muraad, then Qaran?” He said, “Yes.” Umar then asked, “Were you once afflicted with leprosy and your skin healed except for a dirham’s area?” Uways said, “Yes.” Umar finally asked, “Do you have a mother (that is alive)?” He said, “Yes.” Umar then said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – say, “Uways ibn Aamir will come to you with the delegations from Yemen, from Muraad, then from Qaran. He was once afflicted with leprosy and his skin healed except for a dirham’s area. He has a mother, and he treats her kindly. If he was to ever swear by Allah (for something) Allah would fulfill his oath. If you can, request that he ask forgiveness for you.” Umar then requested from Uways, “Ask forgiveness for me.” And Uways Al-Qaranee did.

Allah – Ta’ala – commanded us,

And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your Parents. If one of them or both attain old age in your life, then do not say to them uff (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them, rather address them in terms of honour / And lower for them the wing of submission and humility through mercy. And say, “My Lord! Grant them Your Mercy as they brought me up when I was small.” [Qur’an – Al-Israa’ 17:23-24]

Ad-Daylami collected from Al-Husayn ibn Ali, that the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “If Allah knew any smaller than uff (tsk) to be disrespectful to parents, He would have decreed it to be Haram!” In Bukhari, a man came to the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – seeking permission to go for Jihad. The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – asked him, “Are your Parents alive?” He said, “Yes.” He – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Perform Jihad (in you kind treatment) of them.”

If someone came to you today and offered you a free lunch, what would be your response? No doubt you would smile, speak kindly to them, and reserve a special place in your heart for their memory. Why is it then that our parents receive only cold stares, harsh words and bitter treatment and they are who they are in our lives? For twenty or thirty years they fed us, clothed us, washed us, and showered their mercy on our soft skin. Their love for us never dies even if we do, love that goes even beyond us, to our children and even their children.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we all have parents – whether they are with us or not – and many have not understood the severity of their position in our lives and their right to be respected and revered. Today I want to remind you and I of the true position of our Parents, may Allah have mercy on them all.

Birr Al-Waalidayn is a characteristic of the Mu’min. Al-Hasan Al Basree defined it saying, “Al-Birr is to obey the parents in everything that they ask so long as it is not to disobey Allah. Uqooq is to disown your parents, denying them all of your goodness.”

By the Ijma’ of the Ulamaa’, being respectful and obedient to ones parents is Fard! Ibn Hazm said, “(Obeying ones parents) is Fard!” and he quoted the verse:

And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your Parents.

To better understand what is meant by Birr Al-Walidayn (kindness to parents), the scholars set the following conditions:

· One: He should place the pleasure of his parents above the pleasure of anyone else, including himself and his wife and kids. Everyone.

· Two: He should obey them in everything they command or forbid, whether it agrees with his desires or not, so long as they do not command the disobedience of Allah.

· Three: He should present them with everything he feels they desire, whether they ask for it or not. He should present it with kindness and mercy, understanding – no matter what he does – his shortcomings in fulfilling the true kindness that his parents deserve.

Allah’s love comes when our parents love us. And Allah’s anger comes when our parents are angry with us. Ibn Abbas raa said, “There are three things that will not be accepted if it’s mate is not fulfilled. (And he mentioned),

Thank Me (Allah) and your Parents… [Qur’an – Luqmaan 31:14]

Ibn Abbaas continued, “Thus whoever thanks Allah and is not thankful to his parents, Allah will not accept from him.”

The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “the Pleasure of Allah is from the pleasure of the parents, and the anger of Allah is from the anger of the parents.”

Let us think about how many of us treat our parents. We shy away from them when they may need something. We never visit if we are away from them. In fact, many people dispose of their parents in retirement homes. And when an argument ignites between our parents and us, many of us shout at them as if we were arguing with our evilest enemy, May Allah protect us all.

Compare this to those that came before us. Dhibyaan ibn Ali ath-Thowree (ra) used to travel with his mother to Makkah. There – in the scorching heat – he would dig a little pool and fill it with cool water. Then he would turn to his mother and say, “Ummi, sit in this water to cool yourself.”

For many of us, our friends are more precious to us than our Mother and Father. Forgetful we are of the time a man came to the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – and asked him who is more worthy of his dear companionship. He – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “your Mother!” The man asked again and again, and the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – replied, “Your Mother! Your Mother!” Until on the fourth time he – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Your Father.” Today, when the common question is asked, “Who is your best friend?” How many people would say, “my Mother!” But this is how the question should be answered and implemented.

What pleases our parents comes before everything, so long as it is not in disobedience of Allah. The scholars understood this and set the example for us. Haywah bin Shurayh (ra), one of the Imam’s of our Ummah, used to give classes in front of his home. During the class, his Mother would call him to feed the chickens. He would stand up, leave the Halaqah, and go feed the chickens.

We all want Allah to accept from us, we would all like to enter Paradise. Look down – dear brothers and sisters – and you will find paradise at the feet of your mother.

Narrated Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee, from Mu’aawiyah ibn Jaahimah As-Sulamee: My father, Jaahimah (raa) went to the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – and asked, “O Messenger of Allah, I would like to go out and fight for the sake of Allah, and I have come to you for advice.” The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – asked him, “Is your Mother alive?” He said, “Yes.” “Then stay near her,” advised the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam, “For at her feet is Jannah!”

On the other side, making our Parents sad or even making them cry is one of the many ways to earn Allah’s anger. Imam Ahmad narrates, from Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-Aas (raa): A man came to the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – to give him his pledge of Allegiance. He said, “I have come to pledge allegiance to you for Hijrah! And I have left both my parents behind crying” The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – commanded him, “Go back,  and the same way that you made them cry, make them laugh.” Ibn Umar (raa) said, “Making ones parents cry is amongst the Uqooq, a major sin!”

Shaykh al-Qaasim once said, “Subhaan Allah! How can we leave our parents sobbing, tears that the throne of Allah shakes for, tears that unsettle the Angels in the heavens, and then we claim that we want to go for Jihad so that Allah will be pleased with us? Go back and make them happy with your visit as you made them sad by your departure. If they laugh and are pleased with you, Allah will be pleased.”

During the funeral of his mother, Al-Haarith Al-Aklee (ra) weeped. When asked for the reason of his tears he said, “Why should I not cry when one of my doors to Paradise has now closed?”

Part II: We reap what we Plant In a far away land, a long time ago, a boy was born blind. His widowed mother – the good Muslimah that she was – did not lose hope in her dua’ and pray she did, continuously. A few years later, the boy’s sight returned. Al-Hamdu lillaah.

She realized that her village was not befitting for her son to excel in Islamic education, so with her son in hand they migrated to Makkah. There she saw that he was being instructed in Quran and Hadith, the latter becoming the young man’s focus. He went out far and wide collecting Hadith and compiled a Hadith book that sits next to the Quran in authenticity, forgetting not his mother that had raised him well. His mother named him Muhammad ibn Isma’il, and many of us know him today as: Al-Ima, Al-Bukhari!

Dear brothers and sisters, how often is it that a farmer plants wheat and it comes out as a sunflower? You may say, never! For how can someone farm the seed of one plant and expect some other plant to grow. It just does not happen. Similarly, some parents leave their children waddling in the mud of television, music, movies, and disbelieving friends. Then when the child reaches grade 12 and asks to go to the final dance with a girlfriend, or when he enters University and stops praying, or when he gets married to a Kafir and himself becomes one, then the parents say, “What happened?”

Brothers and sisters, it is the harvest of what we planted. If we do not raise our children to be obedient, where do we expect them to learn? If we do not practice Islam ourselves, who will be our children’s example? How do you teach a child to wake up for Fajr, when he sees his own father and mother sleeping in, day after day? You may ask, how do I raise my children to be good Muslims, obedient to their parents? Consider the following:

Firstly: One should discipline their children throughout their youth. Hisham ibn Abd Al-Malik missed a son of his during Jumu’ah one week. When he met him later, he asked him, “Why did you miss Jumu’ah?” He son replied, “My donkey couldn’t make the trip.” His father then said, “Couldn’t you have walked!” For an entire year after that, Hisham ibn Abd Al-Malik made his son walk to Jumu’ah.

Secondly: The piety of the father and mother reaches the children. In the Qur’an, Allah recalls for us the story of Khidr, and how he rebuilt a wall for 2 orphans:

And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town. Under it was a treasure belonging to them and their father was a righteous man…[Qur’an – Al-Kahf 18:82]

Look at how Allah protected these orphans because of the piety of their father. In tafseer, it is said that it was their grandfather seven generations back! Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said, “I often lengthen my Salah for the sake of my son, perhaps Allah may protect him (because of it).”

In conclusion, let us reflect on the virtue of respecting our parents:

· It is one of the greatest things that we can do. In Bukhari and Muslim, from Abd Allah ibn Mas’ood (raa), a man asked the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam, “What deed is most beloved by Allah?” He – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Salah on time.” The man asked, “And then?” He – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Respecting and revering ones parents.” He said, “And then?” “Jihad for the sake of Allah.”

· It is a means by which our sins are forgiven. When Allah commanded in the Qur’an

And We enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents…

The next verse tells us:

They are those from whom We shall accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evil deeds, (they shall be) amongst the dwellers of Paradise.[Qur’an – Al-Ahqaaf 46:15-16]

· Respecting our parents will lead us to Jannah! In Muslim, from Abu Hurayrah (raa): I heard the Messenger of Allah – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – say, “May he perish! May he perish! May he perish!” It was asked, “Who, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “He whose parents attain old age in his life – one or both of them – and he does not enter Paradise (because of his goodness towards them).”

And when our parents are gone, the goodness towards them does not end.

Malik ibn Rabi’ah Al-Saa’idi narrated: We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – when an Ansari man came and asked, “O Messenger of Allah, is there anything left from my Birr to my parents that I should present to them after their death?” The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Yes, four things: Pray and ask forgiveness for them. Fulfill their pledges. Be kind to their friends. And maintain the ties of kinship that come from only their direction. That is what is left from your Birr to them after their death.”[Ahmad, Abu Dawood, and Ibn Maajah]

Aamir ibn Abd Allah ibn Az-Zubayr (ra) said, “My father died, and for an entire year I did not ask Allah for anything except that He forgive my Father.”

Remember dear brothers and sisters as you meet your parents today, the words of Rasul Allah – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – “Fa feehima fa Jaahid! Do Jihad in (your kind treatment of) your parents.”

O Allah, forgive us and our parents, and reward them with the finest reward. O Allah, elevate their position in the hereafter and this Dunya; make that which befalls them an expiation for their sins. O Allah, grant them residence in Firdows, the highest level of Jannah, with the Prophets, the Siddeeqeen, and the Martyrs.

Ameen.

Muhammad al-Shareef

The True Success


What is true success?

Some people say it’s to have huge amount of wealth, some say it’s to gain many friends, some say it is to achieve high status or authority over people. For the sick, health is success, for the poor, wealth is success. For the one that has health and wealth, power and authority over people is success.

But according to the Qur’an and Sunnah; all of that is not success in life at all. The true success has to be in both worlds, in this life and hereafter.

Why?

Because the sick when he’ll get health, he will want wealth. When he will get wealth, he will want to influence people and thereupon gain power over them. When he will achieve this, he will want to conquer the whole world. And when he’ll achieve this then he will want to be god and immortal! You have an example of this, in Cesar and Pharaoh.

A man with such belief that materialism is success, will never be satisfied or happy in life. He will always want more and more, nothing will please him enough, until death overcomes him. This is the moment when he will realize that actually he is a big loser, in this life and hereafter. He lost both worlds, due to his own endless whims and desires. He deceived his own self by following illusions which can never be reality. This is when he’ll realize that he was living in an illusion. This is but the nature of man, because he is created weak, and therefore easily giving up to his whims and desires. The only way to defeat these desires is to seek help and guidance from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

The reality is that man can never be bigger than Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Allah is the One and Only God, Allah has power over all things, and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the Rich and Self Sufficient. All the most beautiful names and attributes belong to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Success can never be achieved by going against Allah’s will, because His will is always done. His plan is always achieved, whether it is for or against you.

The true success is only with the help of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). The success in this world and Hereafter is to live with correct understanding of the Deen-il Islam. Islam, this religion, this way of life, that Allah prescribed you to live by. This is your path to success indeed.

This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (way of life) [Quran 5:4]

Consequently, true success in both worlds is when one achieves true Taqwah (piety). The one who purifies himself spirituality is the successful one. And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:

They (the pious) are on (true) guidance from their Lord, and they are the successful. (Qur’an 2:5)

The one who purifies his own self succeeds and the one who corrupts his own self fails.  (Qur’an 91: 9-10)

“Successful are those who purify themselves.”  (Qur’an 87: 14)

Indeed successful are those who purify their souls. There is none, who will be granted more goodness than one who purifies his own soul with patience, and by commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and with Taqwa. Who is inwardly and outwardly submitting to Allah’s will. Means, one who lives according the Deen of Islam. The way of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). By the means of Qur’an and Sunnah.  The one, who truly comprehends this Deen of Islam, will purify his soul and truly worship Allah with the correct Taqwa that is gained upon knowledge along with understanding.

The believer, who has Taqwa, will be the winner in this world and hereafter. Finally, the true success is to gain the pleasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His Mercy. Yes! His (subhanahu wa ta’ala) pleasure, not yours.

The believer who worships Allah with the proper Taqwa, he will always be satisfied and thankful for what Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gave him. He will always be happy and upon this he is the true winner in this world and the next life. He managed to purify his own soul from whims and desires, submitting to Allah’s will. While the one who doesn’t submit to Allah’s will, will never be satisfied, thankful or happy.

The one, who opposes to submit to Allah’s will, is a loser in both worlds and he has succeeded in nothing. But the one who submits to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) with his heart, mind and body will be a winner in both worlds.

Listen!


You as Muslim must help people, must earn enough to provide your family the best; but never forget that you must do all of this in the name of Allah, for His sake only, not for you, not for anyone or anything else; but for Allah.

No matter how much people judge you, do not grieve, and do not be angry, but let Allah judge them and you do what you have to do as Muslim, help people and be nice, improve your character, be an ideal Muslim. Your mind must be pure and so must be your heart, otherwise temptations will blacken your mind and heart! For those who love to sin, and who “rely” on Allah’s Mercy, fear Allah more, FEAR HIS PUNISHMENT!

Allah is most Merciful but He doesn’t play games, you can’t sin and sin and say “Allah will forgive”, you are here in this life because of a test, and the test are trials and temptations, if you sin, repent, if you want to sin, struggle to not sin, remember Allah and be true servant of His, unless you struggle, you will never be a Muslim, you’ll remain a hypocrite!

Worship Allah (the Exalted) only, love Allah sincerely, never put someone or something else in first place; Allah gave you everything, as for people and wealth they only gave you trials, people rush in judging you, and they can misguide you easily, and they are themselves often misguided, but Allah is the King of everything in the Heavens and Earth, and He will never misguide you, and He will always love you, unlike people who can easily turn their back on you, if you love someone, love him/her for the sake of Allah, if they judge you, know that Allah will judge them too as they judge you, and if you rely upon Allah, He (the Exalted) will grant you victory InshaAllah, and there is nothing better than to win a place near Allah in the Hereafter. Ask Allah to guide you!

PUT YOUR TRUST IN ALLAH AND DEPEND ONLY UPON HIM (the Exalted)!!!!!!!! Unless you do that, you will never have peace nor be safe!!

Blessing everywhere


The second of the five matters is, “your health, before you fall sick.”

The fact that one lives a normal life and is not afflicted with diseases and plagues, represents a person’s health. Take advantage of this before diseases and plagues come because we, as human beings, will fall sick. Everyone falls sick. If we did not fall sick, we would be divine.   There will come a time when we will fall sick. Some of these times the sicknesses will be severe. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reminding us that we do not know when that time may come. Therefore, take advantage of health before that time comes.   The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are two blessings in which many people are deluded:  health and free time.” [Bukhari: Book 8 Vol 76 Hadith 421]

Once a person came to Yunus Bin Ubayy, one of the scholars of the Salaf, and he complained of extreme poverty as he had not been blessed with much. Yunus Bin Ubayy asked him, “Would you be willing to give away your sight for a certain amount of money?”

The man said, “No, of course not.”  Then he asked him, “Would you be willing to give your hands away?” He said, “No, of course not.” He asked, “Your feet?” He said, “Of course not.”

When he finished he said “I see that you have hundreds of thousands of millions of blessings, yet you are complaining of poverty?”

We have our full faculties, we can see and hear. Look at someone who Allah has tested with blindness. It is a very severe test, and that is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said in an authentic Hadith: “There are two things if Allah takes them away from a person and he is patient, he is guaranteed Jannah. These two things are the two eyes.”

In other words, if a person is blind, and we seek Allah’s refuge from the physical and the spiritual blindness in this world and in the hereafter, then Allah is testing him. And if he is patient, then Allah will reward him with Jannah.

How about one who has been blessed not just with eyesight, but with hearing, health, arms, limbs, energy, vitality, enthusiasm, and many other things? Should he not appreciate the blessings from Allah?

Let’s realize how sweet health is. It can be used for the worship of Allah. When we have been blessed with these bodies, why not use them in worship?

The least we can do is the obligatory deeds such as five times prayer, fasting in Ramadan, paying Zakah, and going for the Haj. All of these require that we use our physical bodies. That is the least we can do, the bare minimum.

Islam is the Key


Many years ago, during the time of the Taabi’een (Generation of Muslims after the time of Sahaabah), Baghdad was a great city of Islam. Infact it was the capital of the Islam Empire and because of the great number of scholars who lived there, it was the Centre of the Islamic knowledge. One day, the ruler of Rome at that time sent an envoy to Baghdad with THREE CHALLENGES FOR THE MUSLIMS.When the envoy arrived at the city, he informed the Khalifah that he had three questions which he CHALLENGE Muslims to answer. The Khalifah gathered all the Scholars of the city and the envoy climbed a high Platform and said:” I have come with Three questions. If  you answer them, then I will leave with you a great AMOUNT OF WEALTH which I brought from Rome .”

As for the questions THEY! WERE:

” WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE ALLAH?

IN WHICH DIRECTION DOES ALLAH FACE?

WHAT IS ALLAH ENGADED IN AT THIS MOMENT?”

The Great assembly of people remain SILENT! (Can you think of answers to these Questions?) In the midst of these brilliant Scholars and Students of Islam, there was a man looking on with his SON.

O my Dear Father! I will answer him and SILENCE him!” said the youth.  So the boy sought the permission of the Khalifah to answer the questions and was granted.

The Roman addressed the young Muslim and repeated his first question:

” What was there before Allah?” The boy now asked, “ Do you know how to count?” “Yes” said the Roman.

Then count down from Ten!” said the boy.

The Roman started, “Ten, Nine, Eight….” until he reached One and he stopped. ” But what comes before One?” said the boy. “there is nothing before One. That is it!” the Roman replied.

Well then, if there obviously is nothing before the arithmetic ‘One’, HOW DO YOU EXPECT THAT THERE SHOULD BE ANYTHING BEFORE THE ‘ONE’ WHO IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH, ALL-ETERNAL, EVERLASTING, THE FIRST, THE LAST, THE MANIFEST AND THE HIDDEN?” SAID  THE BOY.

Now the Roman was so surprise with this DIRECT ANSWER which he could not dispute.

So he asked: “Tell me in which Direction does Allah face?“bring a candle and light it” said the boy. ” And tell me in which direction is the flame facing?”

“But the flame is just a light, it spreads in Each of the four directions-North, South, East and West. It does not face any one direction only.” said the Roman in wonderment!

The boy cried: “Then if this physical light spreads in all of the four directions such that you can not tell which way it faces, THEN WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OF THE NURUSSAMAWATI WAL ARD. ALLAH THE LIGHT OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH? LIGHT UPON LIGHT, ALLAH FACES ALL DIRECTIONS AT ALL TIMES.”

The Roman was stupefied and astounded that here was a young child answering WHAT HE CALLED CHALLENGES in such a way that he could not argue. So he desperately wanted to ask his final question. but before doing so, the boy said, “wait! you are the one who is asking the questions and I am the one answering them. It is only fair if you come down to I m standing and I should go up to where you are right now, so that the answers may be heard as clearly as the questions.” This seemed reasonable to the Roman, so he came down to where the boy was standing, leaving the boy to go up to where he was.

The Roman repeated his final challenge, “Tell me What is Allah doing at this moment?”

The boy Proudly answered: “At this moment, when Allah found upon this platform a LIAR AND MOCKER OF ISLAM, HE (ALLAH) CAUSED HIM TO DESCEND AND BROUGHT HIM LOW. AND AS FOR THE ONE WHO BELIEVED IN THE ONENESS OF ALLAH, HE RAISED HIM UP AND ESTABLISHED THE TRUTH. Everyday He exercises (Universal) POWER (Surah 55 Arrahman, v. 29).”

The Roman had nothing to say except to leave and return back to his Country, DEFEATED.

Meanwhile, this young Boy grew up to be One of the Most Famous Scholars of Islam. Allah the Exalted, Blessed him with special Wisdom and Knowledge of the Religion.

His name was ABU HANIFAH (RAHMATULLAHI ALAIHI) THE FOUNDER OF THE HANAFI MATH-HAB, MAY ALLAH HAVE MERCY ON HIM AND HE IS KNOWN TODAY AS IMAM ABU HANIFAH THE GREAT SCHOLAR OF ISLAM.

ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA MUHAMMAD , WA ALA ALI MUHAMMAD, KAMA SALLAITA ALA IBRAHIM , WA ALA ALI IBRAHIM INNAKA HAMIDUN MAJID.

REVIVE A SUNNAH – “WHEN MEETING PEOPLE”


revive-a-sunnahThere are some sunnah on meeting people, such as ‘Give Salutation’, ‘Lengthen Greeting’, ‘Smiling’, ‘Shaking Hands’, & ‘Saying Kalimah Tayyibah’. How many times we meet people in a day? Imagine the rewards we will get by applying these! MashaAllaah !!!

Sunnahs when Meeting People:

1 ➲ Give Tasleem (Salutation)

The Prophet (PBUH) was asked “which type of Islam is the best?” ; and he (PBUH) answered: ” to feed people and salute the people you know or don’t know”

[Al-Bukharee, The Book of Eeman, Hadith 12; Muslim, The Book of Eeman, Hadith 39]

2 ➲ Lengthen the greeting

A man approached the Prophet (PBUH) and saluted him saying “As-salaamu Alaykum (peace upon you)”, the Prophet (PBUH) returned the salutation and after the man sat down, the Prophet said: “that was ten”; then another man came and said “As-salaamu Alaykum wa rahmatullah (peace and mercy of Allah upon you)” the Prophet (PBUH) said: “that was twenty”; then a third man came and said ” As-salaamu Alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh (peace and mercy and blessings of Allah upon you) the Prophet (PBUH) said: “that was thirty”

[Aboo Daawood, The Book of Good Manners; Muslim, The Book of Eeman, Hadith 5195, 2689; At-Tirmidhee, The Book of Asking Permission and Good Manners]

Look how much reward the first two wasted because they didn’t say the whole Islamic salutation to get the complete reward of thirty good deeds. And as a good deed it is at least considered ten; the sum would have been three hundred good deeds and might be more. As salutation take place many times a day; you should train yourself to utter the full Islamic salutation to get that great reward.

Do not forget that it is also from the Sunnah that whoever decides to leave a person that he should say the complete salaam:

“When one of you comes to a gathering, then say ‘Salaam’, and if someone decides to leave, then say ‘Salaam’, and the first does not have more right than the last.”

[Aboo Daawood, The Book of Good Manners; Muslim, The Book of Eeman, Hadith 5208, 2706; At-Tirmidhee, The Book of Asking Permission and Good Manners]

3 ➲ Smiling

The Prophet (PBUH) said: ” do not consider any of the good things as insignificant; even if it is that you meet your brother with a cheerful face” [Muslim, The Book Piety, Joining of The Ties of Relationship and Good Manners, Muslim, The Book of Eeman, Hadith 2626]

4 ➲ Shaking hands

Our Prophet (PBUH) said: ” there are not two Muslims who meet with each other and shake hands of each other, except that they are forgiven them before their depart (from each other) ”

[Aboo Daawood, The Book of Good Manners; Muslim, The Book of Eeman, Hadith 5212, 2727; At-Tirmidhee, The Book of Asking Permission and Good Manners]

An Nawawi said: you should know that it is preferred to shake hands in every time they meet. So dears, try to shake hands with whoever you salute with a smiley face; thus you will be applying three sunnahs at once.

5 ➲ Say kalimah Tayyibah

Allah says: ” Say to My Slaves to say that which is better. Verily, Shaytaan incites to evil between them. Verily, Shaytaan is for mankind a clear enemy.” (Al Israa 17: 53)

The Prophet (PBUH) said: ” A Kalimah Tayyibah is charity”

[Al-Bukharee, The Book of Jihaad, Hadith 2989; Muslim, The Book of Az-Zakaah, Hadith 1009]

• A Kalimah Tayyibah (Kind words) include: Ath-thikr (remembrance of Allah), du’aa, salutation, rightful complementation, good manners, virtues and good deeds.

• Kind words are magical as they win others’ hearts.

• Kind words are proofs how enlightened the heart of the believer is. So you should embrace your whole life with kind words; your spouse, children, neighbors, friends, servants and everyone you deal with needs kind words.

✦ REVIVE A SUNNAH ⇨ “REVIVING ASPECTS OF THE SUNNAH IS A DEED THAT WILL BRING AN IMMENSE REWARD” ✦
The Prophet (peace and blessing of Allaah be upon him) said:► “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” [Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 7/443; this is a hasan hadeeth because of corroborating asaaneed].

The Bus Driver


One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus station, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops – a few people got on, a few got off and things went generally well.

At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on, six foot eight, built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” and sat down at the back.

Did I mention that the driver was five foot three, thin, and basically meek? Well, he was. Naturally, he didn’t argue with Big John, but he wasn’t happy about it. The next day the same thing happened – Big John got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the next.

This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him. Finally he could stand it no longer and so he signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff.

By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what’s more, he felt really good about himself.

So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” The driver stood up, glared back at the passenger and screamed, “And why not???!!!”

With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, “ Because Big John has a bus pass.”

MORAL / LESSON:

The moral of this incident/story is quite self evident. However, it is a lesson that many of us seem to overlook and disregard in the many activities and chores of our life.

We learn from this incident that a person should not be hasty in making assumptions and judging a situation or an individual from what seems to be the apparent.

It is essential that a Muslim assumes the best of his fellow being and gives him the benefit of the doubt. If possible, one should allow the fellow being to explain himself as to clear any doubts one may have.

Our Nabi صلى الله عليه و صلم has stated that being hasty is from Shaytaan whilst steady composure is from Allah سبحانه و تعالى.

In the same manner ‘Ulamaa have stated that if there is a single reason for doubt in a matter relating to a person then that doubt should have an effect on the decision that is made.

In conclusion, one should take all factors into consideration and avoid hastiness in judging an individual. Instead, one should try to make the matter clear as to avoid placing false accusations on anyone.

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