Saturday, December 27, 2008

Five ways to disobey Allah!

Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi mentions a conversation between a young lad and the great scholar Ibrahim Bin Adham in his book Kitab At-Tawwabeen, page 285.

The young boy: O Abu Ishaq, I am wronging my soul, advise me with something that'll hold me back from disobeying Allah and breathe new life into my heart.

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Alright. If you take five things from me and fulfill them, you can disobey Allah the Almighty all you want and no harm will come to you.

Young boy: (Interested) Ok, tell me.

Ibrahim Bin Adham: One, if you want to do other than what Allah wants you to do, then do not eat the food that He provides you.

Young boy: Then where am I supposed to eat from when all the food on earth is from Allah?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Dear lad, is it right that you eat the food Allah the Almighty has given you and then go off and disobey Him?

Young boy: No it is not right. What is the second?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Two, if you want to live life to the fullest in disobedience of Allah, then don't live on His land.

Young boy: That's harder than the first. Where shall I live when all that is in the east and west the belongs to Him?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Dear boy, is it right that you eat His food and live in His land, yet still insist on turning your back when He calls you?

Young boy: No it's not right. What's the third?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: If you want to disobey Allah, yet still eating the food He gave you and still living in His land, then find a place where He can't see you.

Young boy: O Abu Ishaq, how can that be so when Allah is the All-Seeing and All-Knowing of all that happens, even what the heart whispers?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Dear boy, is it right that you eat His food and live in His land and disobey Him while He watches you and what you are exposing?

Young boy: No it's not right. What's the fourth?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: When the angel of death comes to snatch your soul, tell him to grant you a day so that you can sincerely ask Allah for forgiveness and change your life.

Young boy: He won't grant me that.

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Dear boy, if you find yourself helpless to put off death for just one day and you know that it cannot be delayed by your wishes, how do you expect to win?

Young boy: (With a sigh) What is the fifth?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: When the gatekeepers of Hell will come to drag you away on your face to Hellfire refuse to go with them.

Young boy: Nothing will stop them.

Ibrahim Bin Adham: How do you expect to be saved then?

Young boy: Enough, Abu Ishaq. (And he lowers his head crying). O Allah, forgive me for my transgression.

Epilogue: Young boy went on to become a student of Ibrahim Bin Adham. He repented to Allah sincerely and lived an upright life with his teacher until death parted the two.

Imam Ibrahim Bin Adham died over a thousand years ago in the year 778 CE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The old man's joy after extreme hardship

IBN Jarir At-Tabari (d. 310H) narrates:

I was in Makkah during the season of Haj and I saw a man from Khurasan calling out to the people, "Pilgrims, people of Makkah, I have lost a pouch that contains a thousand dinars. So whoever returns the pouch will be rewarded by Allah with good and saved from the Hellfire, and His bounty and favors will be acquired on the Day of Accounting."

An old man from the people of Makkah approached him and said, "Khurasani, our city is in very tough condition, and the days of Haj are few, and its season is appointed, and the doors of profit-making are closed. This money might fall into the hands of a believer who is poor and old in age. Maybe he plans to give it back if you promise that you will give him a little bit of money that is Halal (permissible) for him to use."

The Khurasani asked, "How much does he want?"

"He wants one-tenth of the money."

The Khurasani replied, "No, I will not grant him the money. Instead I will take my case to Allah and complain to Him on the day we meet Him, and Allah is sufficient for us and the best one to trust in."

I realized that it was the old man who was poor, and he was the one who had taken the pouch of dinars and wished to have a little portion of it. So I followed him until he returned to his home. My assumptions were confirmed. I heard him calling onto his wife, "Lubabah!"

She said, "I am at your service, Abu Ghayth."

The old man said, "I found the owner of the dinars calling for it, and he does not intend to give any reward to the person who finds it. I said to him, 'Give us a hundred dinars,' and he refused and said he would take his case to Allah. What should I do, Lubabah? I must return it, for I fear my Lord and I fear that my sin is multiplied."

The wife replied, "Oh man! We have been struggling and suffering from poverty with you for the last 50 years, and you have four daughters, two sisters, my mother and me, and you are the ninth. Keep all the money and feed us, for we are hungry, and clothe us, for you know better our situation. Perhaps Allah the Almighty will make you rich afterwards and you might be able to give the money back after you have fed your children, or Allah will pay the amount you owe on the day when the kingdom will belong to the King (Allah)."

The old exclaimed, "Will I consume Haraam (unlawful) after 86 years of my life, and burn my organs with fire after I have been patient with my poverty, and become worthy of Allah's anger, even though I am close to my grave? No, by Allah, I will not do so!"

I left amazed at his condition and that of his wife.

Later I heard the owner of the pouch calling out again, and the old man repeated his advise. This time he asked for 10 dinars instead of a hundred.

The Khurasani refused.

The people dispersed and left. Later, once again, the Khurasani made the same call.

The old man came again and said, "Khurasani, I said to you the day before yesterday to reward the finder a hundred dinars and you refused. Then I advised you to give him ten dinars and you refused. So will you give only one dinar so that he can buy with half of it things he needs and with the other half sheep's milk so that he can give to the people and feed his children?"

The Khurasani again refused.

The old man said angrily, "Come and take your money so that I can sleep at night, for I have not been in a good mood ever since I found this money."

So the old man went with the owner of the money and I followed them until the old man entered his house, dug a hole, and pulled out the money and said, "Take your money and ask Allah to forgive me and bless me from His bounty."

The Khurasani then said, "Old man, my father died — may Allah have mercy on him — and left behind three thousand dinars and said to me, 'Take out a third of this money and give it to a person from the people who is most deserving of it.'

By Allah, I have not seen a person since I left Khurasan until now, who is more worthy of it than you. So take it, may Allah's blessing be upon you, and may He reward you for the trust you kept and your patience during poverty."

The Khurasani man left without the money.

The old man wept and prayed, "May Allah bless the owner of the money in his grave, and may Allah bless his son."

I left after the Khurasani but Abu Ghayth, the old man, brought me back. He said, "I have seen you following me since the first day; you have come to know of our situation yesterday and today. So this is a gift from Allah to all those attending."

The old man called his daughters, his sisters, and his wife and her mother, and sat down and made me sit down. We were 10. The old man gave out the dinars one by one in order until he reached me and said, "Here is a dinar." The process continued until the bag was empty and I received a hundred dinars.

So joy filled my heart because of the provision they received, more than the joy I had because I received a hundred dinars.

When I was leaving the old man said, "Young man, you are blessed. Keep this money with you, for it is Halal. And know that I used to wake up for Fajr Prayer with this wet shirt. After I was done I would take it off and give it to my daughters so that they could pray, one by one. Then I would go to work between Zuhr Prayer and Asr Prayer and then I would come back at the end of the day with what Allah has given me of dates and dry pieces of bread. Then I would take off my clothes for my daughters and they would pray Zhuhr and `Asr, and the same would happen for the Maghrib and `Isha' Prayers. And we did not ever expect to see this kind of money. So may Allah make us make good use of them, and may Allah bless the person in his grave and multiply the reward for him."

So I told him goodbye and took the hundred dinars and used them to write knowledge for two years. I used it to buy paper and pay rent, and after 16 years I returned to Makkah and inquired about the old man. I was told that he had died a few months after the incident that occurred between us. His wife had died, along with her mother and his two sisters. The only ones that remained were the daughters, who, I found upon asking, were married to kings and princes. I dropped by and they honored me as a guest and treated me kindly until they died also. So May Allah bless them in their graves.

"...And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him..." (Qur'an, 65:2-3).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Doubt on Alcohol party


We are having our Annual office get together and I am in the organizing committee, the problem started when one of my muslim brother said he would not come to the party as there will be alcoh ol served and his religion does not allow him to do so. I didn't know about it before, but since I know it now what should I do ? Is it ok if I attend and what precaution should be taken. The staff will be coming with their family and many don't drink.


Alcohol party

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verses 90-91:

O you who have believed! Khamr’ (all types of intoxicants), games of chance, idols, and divining arrows are all abominable works of the Shaytaan; therefore, stay (far) away from these so that you may attain success. Indeed, the Shaytaan seeks to sow enmity and hatred among you by means of ‘khamr’ (intoxicants) and gambling, and to prevent you from the Remembrance of Allah and from Salaah. Will you not, then, abstain from these things?

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2776 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

Allah's Messenger (saws) invoked the curse of Allah on ten people in connection with wine: the wine-presser, the one who has it pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who conveys it, the one to whom it is conveyed, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who benefits from the price paid for it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought.

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4477 Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah

The Prophet (saws) said, "He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must not sit at a cloth (table or gathering) where wine is being circulated."

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3765 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar

The Messenger of Allah (saws) forbade the sitting at a cloth (table or gathering) on which wine is drunk.

I didn't know about it before, but since I know it now what should I do? Is it ok if I attend and what precaution should be taken.

Allah Subhanah has commanded the believers to stay far far away from any and all types of intoxicants, and the Messenger of Allah (saws) explicitly forbade the believers to sit or join in a gathering where alcohol is being served.

Thus, if one has prior knowledge that alcohol will be served at a gathering or party, it would be purer and better for them to fear Allah and abstain from attending such gatherings, for Allah indeed has the biggest right that He be obeyed.

But if one attends a gathering or party, knowing that alcohol will be served there, even if they do not consume alcohol themselves, they will indeed share a burden of the sin.

The amazing description of iron in Qur'an

THE Qur'an disclosing some facts about iron unknown in the 7th century said: "And We sent down iron, in which is mighty power, as well as many benefits for mankind." (Qur'an, 57:25) Literal translation. Arabic 'Anzala' means to send down. (Al-Mawrid, A. Yusuf Ali)

It is said that iron is extracted from the depths of the earth then how is it that the Qur'an mentions it as having been 'sent down.'

The answer is as the Qur'an says that 'the heaven and earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them.' (Qur'an, 2l:30). In other verse the Qur'an said: "Then He rose over towards the heaven when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth: come both of you willingly or unwillingly. (Qur'an, 41:ll).

However, this Qur'anic statement was confirmed only in 19th century The scholars admitted that the earth was a gaseous mass, and had in it burning hot magma, after its separation it cooled down and condensed till it was enveloped in a hard layer of 10 to 15 miles of solid crust.

The original gaseous mass had in it all types of metals, like iron, gold, silver, copper and lead etc. Therefore, when the Qur'an spoke of Allah sending down the iron, it referred to the original nebula that contained all the materials.

When the earth cooled and condensed, these metals took their specific shapes along with other matters present in the gaseous mass. That is why these metals can be turned into liquid magma. The earth still contains in it burning hot liquid magma which comes out in an eruption of a volcano. The iron is most important among the metals. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in an anthentic Hadith "Verily Allah has sent down four blessings from the sky: the iron, the fire, the water and the salt."

No doubt, all these things were the part of the gaseous mass when the heaven and the earth were joined together. Later, after its separation the earth with all its treasures came down, hence all these matters descended from the sky.

The Qur'an speaks of the benefits the man derives from the iron. Use of iron has all along been an inseparable part of our life. In houses, buildings, industrial machinery and in governing a country we use weapons made of iron. Only one thing remained undefined of which the Qur'an spoke: "We sent down iron in which is mighty or violent power."

During the period of the revelation of the Qur'an in the 7th century, weapons mainly consisted of swords, spears, arrows and armors. The people in those times could not comprehend the violent power of iron. In the 12th century when the cannon was invented the people became aware of its mighty power. But after the development of blast furnaces in the 19th century the use of iron shot up many fold. Machines, automobiles, ships, trains, rails, engines, industrial plants, pistols, revolvers, rifles, guns, cannons of very long range, armored cars, tanks, bombs, missiles, rockets and atomic reactors – all the dangerous weapons did prove the violent power of iron.

No doubt the Qur'an is the Book of Allah, which contains His Omniscient Knowledge. Whatever development the world may achieve, it shall never go beyond the Qur'anic knowledge as Allah said: "And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur'an) as an exposition of everything." (Qur'an, 16:89)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Four things

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him & his progeny) Said:

1) Four things that make your body sick:

A) Excessive talking
B) Excessive sleeping
C) Excessive eating and
D) Excessive meeting other people

2) Four things that destroys the body:

A) Worrying
B) Sorrow (Sadness/Grief)
C) Hunger
D) Sleeping late in the night

3) Four things that dry the face & take away its happiness:

A) Lying
B) Being disrespectful / impudent (insisting on something wrong knowingly)
C)! Arguing without adequate knowledge & Information.
D) Excessive immorality (doing something wrong without fear).

4) Four things that increases the wetness of face & its happiness:

A) Piety
B) Loyalty
C) Generosity (being kind)
D) To be helpful to others without he/she asking for that.

5) Four things that stop the Rizq (Sustenance) :

A) Sleeping in the morning (from Fajr to sunrise)
B) Not Performing Namaz or Ir-regular in Prayers
C) Laziness / Idleness
D) Treachery / Dishonesty

6) Four things that bring / increase the Rizq:

A) Staying up in the night for prayers.
B) Excessive Repentance
C) Regular Charity
D) Zikr (Remembrance of Allah / God).

Monday, October 13, 2008


'Amr b. 'Abasa Sulami reported: I in the state of the Ignorance (before embracing Islam) used to think that the people were in error and they were not on anything (which may be called the right path) and worshipped the idols. In the meanwhile I heard of a man in Mecca who was giving news (on the basis of his prophetic knowledge) ; so I sat on my ride and went to him. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was at that time hiding as his people had made life hard for him. I adopted a friendly attitude (towards the Meccans and thus managed) to enter Mecca and go to him (the Holy Prophet) and

I said to him: Who are you? He said: I am a Prophet (of Allah).

I again said: Who is a Prophet? He said: (I am a Prophet in the sense that) I have been sent by Allah.

I said: What is that which you have been sent with? He said: I have been sent to join ties of relationship (with kindness and affection), to break the Idols, and to proclaim the oneness of Allah (in a manner that) nothing is to be associated with Him.

I said: Who is with you in this (in these beliefs and practices)? He said: A free man and a slave. He (the narrator) said: Abu Bakr and Bilal were there with him among those who had embraced Islam by that time.

I said: I intend to follow you. He said: During these days you would not be able to do so. Don't you see the (hard) condition under which I and (my) people are living? You better go back to your people and when you hear that I have been granted victory, you come to me.

So I went to my family. I was in my home when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to Medina. I was among my people and used to seek news and ask people when he arrived in Medina. Then a group of people belonging to Yathrib (Medina) came. I said (to them): How is that person getting on who has come to Medina? They said: The people are hastening to him, while his people (the polytheists of Mecca) planned to kill him, but they could not do so. I (on hearing It) came to Medina and went to him and said: Messenger of Allah, do you recognise me? He said: Yes, you are the same man who met me at Mecca. I said: It is so.

I again said: Prophet of Allah, tell me that which Allah has taught you and which I do not know, tell me about the prayer.

He said: Observe the dawn prayer, then stop praying when the sun is rising till it Is fully up, for when it rises it comes up between the horns of Satan, and the unbelievers prostrate themselves to it at that time. Then pray, for the prayer is witnessed and attended (by angels) till the shadow becomes about the length of a lance; then cease prayer, for at that time Hell is heated up. Then when the shadow moves forward, pray, for the prayer is witnessed and attended by angels, till you pray the afternoon prayer, then cease prayer till the sun sets, for it sets between the horns of devil, and at that time the unbelievers prostrate themselves before it.

I said: Apostle of Allah, tell me about ablution also.

He said: None of you who uses water for ablution and rinses his mouth, snuffs up water and blows it, but the sins of his face, and his mouth and his nostrils fall out. When he washes his face, as Allah has commanded him, the sins of his face fall out from the end of his beard with water. Then (when) he washes his forearms up to the elbows, the sins of his arms fall out along with water from his finger-tips. And when he wipes his head, the sins of his head fall out from the points of his hair along with water. And (when) he washes his feet up to the ankles, the sins of his feet fall out from his toes along with water. And if he stands to pray and praises Allah, lauds Him and glorifies Him with what becomes Him and shows wholehearted devotion to Allah, his sins would depart leaving him (as innocent) as he was on the day his mother bore him.

'Amr b. 'Abasa narrated this hadith to Abu Umama, a Companion of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), and Abu Umama said to him: 'Amr b. 'Abasa, think what you are saying that such (a great reward) is given to a man at one place (only in the act of ablution and prayer). Upon this 'Amr said: Abu Umama, I have grown old and my bones have become weak and I am at the door of death; what impetus is there for me to attribute a lie to Allah and the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? Had I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) once, twice, or three times (even seven times), I would have never narrated it, but I have heard it from him on occasions more than these.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Are We Muslims ONLY During Ramadhan ?

It is now time for us to re-evaluate our Iman.

Question ourselves, and in process improve ourselves.

We claim to be Muslims, we claim to believe in Allah, but do we really believe in it with a firm heart, or is it just something we say? We claim to “believe” in the Unseen God, but we see the harmful effects of drinking, clubbing and smoking, yet we don’t avoid them. Ask yourselves that if we don’t even believe in what can be seen, do we really believe in the Unseen? Just “believing” in the existence of Allah does not make us Muslims, Shaitaan also, by the way, “believes” in Allah. We must act like Muslims also.

We must also do in actions that what we say in words and that what we know in thoughts. We say we’re Muslims, but are we really? He is not a true Muslim whose hands and tongue are violent. Several of us stopped cursing and backbiting and lying during the month of Ramadhan, but now what?
After Ramadhan is over, should we return to those faults?
Are we Muslims only in Ramadhan ???
Every Muslim is to pray 5 times a day, every day, and no exceptions. Several of us did that very promptly during Ramadhan. Now, after Ramadhan is over, now what? Should we give up those prayers just because Ramadhan is over?
Are we Muslims only in Ramadhan ???

We made duas because we understood that indeed it is Allah who listens and grants. We sought forgiveness from Allah because we realized our faults and felt guilty. We improved our conducts and lowered our voices and controlled our tempers because we realized that a Muslim is he whose actions represent peace and nobility.
Now, after Ramadhan is over, will we go back to our same old self?
Are we Muslims only in Ramadhan ???
We tried our best to close our ears to that which was not permissible to hear, we tried our best to stop our tongues at times when we were about to say something which we are not allowed to say, we tried our best to lower our gazes at sights which we are not allowed to see.
Now, after Ramadhan is over, do those things become permissible to us?
Are we Muslims only in Ramadhan ???

We refrained from going to clubs and watching movies and listening to songs during Ramadhan because we realized these attributes do not represent Muslims.
Now, after Ramadhan is over, should we return to our previous lifestyle?
Are we Muslims only in Ramadhan ???

We were awake at nights, not spending time in clubs or with friends, but instead we were awake at nights to do ibaadat for the Will and Pleasure of Allah.
Now, after Ramadhan is over, are we relieved of our responsibilities?
Are we Muslims only in Ramadhan ???

We refrained from dawn to dusk, not only from the Haraam, but also the Halaal. The purpose of this abstinence was to create patience and virtue, and realize that if you want you can even stay away from the Halaal, so why can you not avoid the Haraam? Sure we can. We just need the will. Now, after Ramadhan is over, can we go back to eating, talking, watching, doing, and thinking Haraam?
Are we Muslims only in Ramadhan ???

Drawing Attention to some Mistakes made in Prayer

Many people fall into errors that go against the correct understanding of prayer either knowingly or unknowingly – and the sweetest of the two is bitter!!

So I felt that I should dedicate this last chapter to warning against some of these mistakes in order to advise the ummah and acting on the statement of the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam): None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself [of good].” [1]

First: Reaching the Imaam while he is Bowing
Whoever joins the prayaner congregation while the Imaam is bowing, he must say the initial takbeer (i.e. Allaahu Akbar) whilst standing up with his back straight and being completely relaxed. Then he should make another takbeer to transition into the bowing position.

As for making takbeer when one has his back crooked and whilst already moving into the bowing position, this is not allowed at all. In fact, it may be a cause for his prayer to be nullified.

Imaam Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughnee (1/544): “A person that comes late to prayer must make the opening takbeer while his back erect. If he does it after having completely bent his back to go into the bowing position or whilst in the process of bending his back to bow, it is not valid, since he has done it in other than its proper place…” [2]

Second: Excessive Moving
Moving around (wile praying) in itself – due to some need or emergency – is not prohibited in the Religion. However, moving around (in prayer) without a need for it or due to no valid reason is not permissible. This is based on the Messenger of Allaah’s statement: “Be relaxed in prayer.” [3]

Third: Straightening the Rows
Imaam Muslim reported in his Saheeh that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Straighten (your rows) and do not be divided, lest your hearts should become divided.”

Al-Bukhaaree reported in his Saheeh that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Either you straighten your rows or Allaah will cause disparity to occur between your faces.”

And it is reported in Saheeh Muslim that he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Straightening the rows is from the completeness of prayer.”

And in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: “Verily, establishing the row (evenly) is from the perfection of prayer.”

Many people contradict these ahaadeeth, and so you see them standing in prayer with huge amounts of space between the foot of one person and the foot of the person praying next to him in the row. This is in spite of what the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Tighten the rows, for indeed the Devil stands in the gaps.”[4] And he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Tighten your rows and bring them close together. And line the necks up evenly across from one another. For I swear by the One in whose Hand my soul is, I see the devils entering through the gaps in the rows as if they were small sheep.” [5]

So this small gap that exists between the foot of one person and the foot of the other is a place for the devil, which he uses to play around and bother the children of Adam that oppose the Sunnah of their Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam).

Surprisingly, some people reject this type of ruling based on their mere logical reasoning, claiming that: “This Devil can also enter through (the spaces) in between our feet and ourselves!!”

We say: No, because the issue, primarily, is a matter of the Unseen and therefore there is no room in it for the human intellect except for that of understanding and comprehending. As for thrusting oneself headfirst into these matters (of the Unseen) and trying to unravel its hidden secrets, then no…since Allaah says: “But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 65]

Fourth: The Second Congregation and those beyond that
Many business people and their customers, as well those similar to them, take praying in congregation lightly due to their assumption that any congregation they catch in the masjid is valid. Such a belief causes them to become lenient with and belittle the first congregation.

It is no secret to any of the people of knowledge that the numerous ahaadeeth on the virtue of praying in congregation apply to only the first congregation, which is the one established by the main Imaam of the masjid or his deputy. If this was not this case and these ahaadeeth applied to any congregation, there would be no increased merit for arriving early to prayer and catching the congregation. This would mean that anyone who is able to catch any of the congregations would then be achieving the same virtue,[6] and this is not true!

Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee said in his book al-Umm (1/180): “If a masjid has a regularly employed Imaam, and a man or some men come to the masjid and find that they have missed the prayer (in congregation) , they should pray individually (i.e. separately). I do not like that they should pray in a congregation in it. However, if they do it, their praying in congregation in the masjid is valid.” [7]

He, may Allaah have mercy on him, then said: “I believe that the reason why some of them (i.e. the scholars) considered it disliked was due to the fact that it causes division and dissuades a person from praying behind the Imaam leading the congregation. This will cause a disparity between this person and the one who goes to the masjid during the proper time of the (first) congregation. So when the prayer finishes, they enter the masjid and pray. So this consists of differing between the people and dividing the ranks, and both of these things are detestable.”

In his notes to Sunan At-Tirmidhee (1/431-432), the great scholar and Muhaddith, Shaikh Ahmad Shaakir quoted the above words of Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee then commented on them, saying:

“The opinion that Ash-Shaafi’ee derived on this issue based on this understanding is correct and proper. He is stating it based on sharp perception, precise understanding, and an effective intellect of the spirit and objectives of Islaam. The first, most honorable and most significant objective of Islaam is to unify the ranks of the Muslims, connect their hearts towards one goal – which is uplifting the Word of Allaah – and unify the ranks of the Muslims in working towards this goal. So the spiritual significance in this is their congregating to pray and their lining up in rows for that purpose first, as the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Either you straighten your rows or Allaah will cause disparity to occur between your faces.’ [8]

This is an intricate point that cannot be derived except by those whose intellect Allaah has enlightened with understanding of the Religion, such as Ash-Shaafi’ee and those like him.

The Muslims have seen with their own eyes and touched with their own hands the ill-effects of divided congregations and unstable rows in prayer has had on them, except for those who have lost their sense of feeling or been blinded.

If you enter many of the masaajid of the Muslims (today), you will find people refraining from praying in congregation, claiming the Sunnah as they think, then establishing other congregations for themselves, thinking that they are establishing the prayer better than anyone else! If they were truthful in their claim, they would bear the sin of what they missed out on from their original prayer. So there is no benefit in the good that they think they are doing when they condemn others for leaving off the voluntary and recommended prayers!!

And you will see other people staying away from the masaajid of the Muslims and then getting other masaajid for themselves, thus causing harm and division to the unity and splitting the ranks of the Muslims. We ask Allaah to grant us protection and success, and we ask Him to guide us to unify our ranks. Verily, He hears the supplication.” [End of Ahmad Shaakir’s words]


[1] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from Anas; The addition mentioned in brackets is from An-Nasaa’ee as stated in Silsilat-ul- Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (73)
[2] Refer to al-Qawl-ul-Mubeen fee Akhtaa-il-Musalleen (pg. 264)
[3] Reported by Muslim
[4] Reported by Ahmad from Anas bin Maalik; Refer to Saheeh al-Jaami’-us- Sagheer (3454)
[5] Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawood from Anas; Refer to Saheeh al-Jaami’-us- Sagheer (3455)
[6] This is why Imaam Wakee’ bin Al-Jarraah, the teacher of Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee, said: “Whoever treats the opening takbeer lightly (i.e. by not being present for it in the congregation) , then wipe your hands clean from him.” Refer to Hilyat-ul-Awliyaa (8/370) of Abu Nu’aim Al-Asbahaanee.
[7] Meaning: Their prayer is valid even though they have opposed the authentic Sunnah and the Prophet’s guidance.
[8] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Difference Between A Punishment & Trial

Punishments are what happen to people in return for their evil deeds. Trials are tests which are sent to try people, and people may be tested by good things or by bad.

Concerning punishments, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allaah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself…" [al-Nisa' 4:79]

Concerning the phrase "is from yourself", Qutaadah said: "[It means] the punishment is for you, O son of Adam, because of your sin." Abu Saalih said that "whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself" means "because of your sin, and I [Allaah] am the One Who decreed it for you." (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).

Allaah also says (interpretation of the meaning):"And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much." [al-Shoora 42:30]

Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: "[It means] whatever misfortune happens to you, O people, is because of evil deeds that you have already done, and 'He pardons much' refers to evil deeds – He does not punish you for them but He pardons them. 'And if Allaah were to punish men for that which they earned, he would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth…' [Faatir 35:45 – interpretation of the meaning]."

Concerning trials, the Prophet (salla lahu alaihi wa aalaihi wa sallam) said: "If Allaah loves a people, He tries them, and whoever has patience will have patience, and whoever is anxious will be anxious." (Reported by Imaam Ahmad; Saheeh al-Jaami', 1706).

The Prophet (salla lahu alaihi wa aalaihi wa sallam) also said: "The extent of the reward will be in accordance with the extent of the trial. If Allaah loves a people, He tries them, and whoever is content will have contentment, and whoever is angry will have anger." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2320; Saheeh al-Jaami', 2210).

The following outlines how one may tell whether a given event is a punishment or a trial:

If the misfortune results from doing an act of obedience to Allaah, such as being wounded in jihaad, or losing money when migrating for the sake of Allaah, or losing a job because of becoming Muslim or increasing one's commitment to Islam, then this is a trial. Whoever bears it with patience will be rewarded, but if one reacts angrily then one will earn the wrath of Allaah. If the misfortune results from sin, such as sexually-transmitte d diseases or illnesses caused by drinking alcohol and taking drugs, and so on, then this is the kind of punishment that comes in this world (as opposed to being deferred until the Hereafter). If the misfortune is connected neither to a good deed nor a sin – such as other kinds of disease and sickness, losing a child, or failing in business – then it depends on the person's situation. If he is good and devout, it is a trial, and if he is sinful, it is a punishment.

The misfortune may be a punishment to atone for sins, or it may be a trial aimed at raising a person's status and increasing his hasanaat (good deeds/rewards) – this may be determined by whether a person is obedient or disobedient. A person should not praise himself, rather he should criticize himself for his shortcomings and strive to attain perfection. He will benefit from misfortunes in any case, if he has patience and hopes for reward. And Allaah knows best.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ramadan experience in Makkah

THE experience of Ramadan in Makkah is different from all the Islamic countries. Life dramatically changes, eating habits change and even some common dishes are replaced with special food items.

The large congregation for Isha and Taraweeh prayers represent the dynamic unity of all the Muslims. The Imam reciting the Qur'an, bowing and prostrating with thousands following represents a lovely scene of obedience not found in any religion of the world.

The white and the black stand side by side. Islam stands for unity of Muslims as one nation worshipping only one God and following His divine guidance.

Sudanese in their white turban, Egyptians in their long lose shirts, Omanis with their particular headgear, Jordanians in wide trousers, Moroccans in red Turkish caps with their cloaks on, Nigerians with their shirts and trousers of the same cloth, Pakistanis in their Shirt-and-Shalwar, Indonesians in their bush-shirt and long skirt and Malaysians wearing their black caps and long skirts all gathered together in the mosque under the banner of Islam.

For Iftar, only dates and Saudi coffee are allowed inside the Holy Mosque. People distribute dates hoping to earn extra reward. Outside the mosque, aromas of different dishes delight the passer-bys.

Samosas are special attraction and healthy drinks made from yoghurt are seen everywhere.

People have ten minutes for Iftar. Thousands of workers in the Holy Mosque clean the area within seconds after Iftar to prepare for the congregational prayer.

At home, Saudis have a special soup made of broken wheat, meat and spices. It is said that the soup revives the strength lost during fasting. The most common dishes in Makkah during Ramadan are Kabsa, Zurbiyan, Mandi and roasted meat.

After Maghrib prayer, people crowd restaurants for dinner. When the call for Isha prayer is given after a two-hour break, people rush back for their Isha and Taraweeh prayers that last for nearly two hours.

Sleeping habits also change drastically. People stay awake all night for worship and take rest during the day. Working hours are also changed to the effect.

Ramadan here is also known for its charity. Tons and tons of dates are freely distributed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Interesting Dream of the Prophet Sallalahu Alahi wa Sallam

Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 87, Number 171: [Interpretation of Dreams ] : Narrated Samura bin Jundub:

Allah's Apostle very often used to ask his companions, "Did anyone of you see a dream?" So dreams would be narrated to him by those whom Allah wished to tell.

One morning the Prophet said,
"Last night two persons came to me (in a dream) and woke me up and said to me, 'Proceed!'
I set out with them and we came across a man Lying down, and behold, another man was standing over his head, holding a big rock. Behold, he was throwing the rock at the man's head, injuring it. The rock rolled away and the thrower followed it and took it back. By the time he reached the man, his head returned to the normal state. The thrower then did the same as he had done before. I said to my two companions, 'Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?' They said, 'Proceed!'

So we proceeded and came to a man Lying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook, and behold, he would put the hook in one side of the man's mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back (of the neck) and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eye from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man's face and did just as he had done with the other side. He hardly completed this side when the other side returned to its normal state. Then he returned to it to repeat what he had done before. I said to my two companions, 'Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?' They said to me, 'Proceed!'

So we proceeded and came across something like a Tannur (a kind of baking oven, a pit usually clay-lined for baking bread)." I think the Prophet said, "In that oven there was much noise and voices." The Prophet added, "We looked into it and found naked men and women, and behold, a flame of fire was reaching to them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried loudly. I asked them, 'Who are these?' They said to me, 'Proceed!'

And so we proceeded and came across a river." I think he said, ".... red like blood." The Prophet added, "And behold, in the river there was a man swimming, and on the bank there was a man who had collected many stones. Behold. while the other man was swimming, he went near him. The former opened his mouth and the latter (on the bank) threw a stone into his mouth whereupon he went swimming again. He returned and every time the performance was repeated, I asked my two companions, 'Who are these (two) persons?' They replied, 'Proceed! Proceed!'

And we proceeded till we came to a man with a repulsive appearance, the most repulsive appearance, you ever saw a man having! Beside him there was a fire and he was kindling it and running around it. I asked my companions, 'Who is this (man)?' They said to me, 'Proceed! Proceed!'

So we proceeded till we reached a garden of deep green dense vegetation, having all sorts of spring colors. In the midst of the garden there was a very tall man and I could hardly see his head because of his great height, and around him there were children in such a large number as I have never seen. I said to my companions, 'Who is this?' They replied, 'Proceed! Proceed!'

So we proceeded till we came to a majestic huge garden, greater and better than I have ever seen! My two companions said to me, 'Go up and I went up' The Prophet added, "So we ascended till we reached a city built of gold and silver bricks and we went to its gate and asked (the gatekeeper) to open the gate, and it was opened and we entered the city and found in it, men with one side of their bodies as handsome as the handsomest person you have ever seen, and the other side as ugly as the ugliest person you have ever seen. My two companions ordered those men to throw themselves into the river. Behold, there was a river flowing across (the city), and its water was like milk in whiteness. Those men went and threw themselves in it and then returned to us after the ugliness (of their bodies) had disappeared and they became in the best shape." The Prophet further added, "My two companions (angels) said to me, 'This place is the Eden Paradise, and that is your place.' I raised up my sight, and behold, there I saw a palace like a white cloud! My two companions said to me, 'That (palace) is your place.' I said to them, 'May Allah bless you both! Let me enter it.' They replied, 'As for now, you will not enter it, but you shall enter it (one day)

I said to them, 'I have seen many wonders tonight. What does all that mean which I have seen?'
They replied, 'We will inform you:

As for the first man you came upon whose head was being injured with the rock, he is the symbol of the one who studies the Quran and then neither recites it nor acts on its orders, and sleeps, neglecting the enjoined prayers.

As for the man you came upon whose sides of mouth, nostrils and eyes were torn off from front to back, he is the symbol of the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world. And

those naked men and women whom you saw in a construction resembling an oven, they are the adulterers and the adulteresses;,

and the man whom you saw swimming in the river and given a stone to swallow, is the eater of usury (Riba) and

the bad looking man whom you saw near the fire kindling it and going round it, is Malik, the gatekeeper of Hell and

the tall man whom you saw in the garden, is Abraham and the children around him are those children who die with Al-Fitra (the Islamic Faith)."

The narrator added: Some Muslims asked the Prophet, "O Allah's Apostle! What about the children of pagans?" The Prophet replied, "And also the children of pagans."

The Prophet added, "My two companions added,
'The men you saw half handsome and half ugly were those persons who had mixed an act that was good with another that was bad, but Allah forgave them.'"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

12 Foods of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)! -- Ramzan Special

Good in fever, while use in a soup form.
The Prophet (SAW) said that a house without dates has no food. It should also be eaten at the time of childbirth.
It is a fruit from paradise and a cure for piles.
The Prophet (SAW) was very fond of grapes - it purifies the blood, provides vigour and health, strengthens the kidneys and clears the bowels.
Considered the best remedy for diarrhoea when mixed in hot water. It is the food of foods, drink of drinks and drug of drugs. It is used for creating appetite, strengthening the stomach, eliminating phlegm; as a meat preservative, hair conditioner, eye soother and mouthwash. It is extremely beneficial in the morning in warm water.
The Prophet (SAW) said: 'None of your women who are pregnant and eat of water melon will fail to produce off spring that is good in countenance and good in character.'
The Prophet (SAW) said that milk wipes away heat from the heart just as the finger wipes away sweat from the brow. It strengthens the back, improved the brain, renews vision and drives away forgetfulness.
The Prophet (SAW) said that mushroom is a good cure for the eyes; it also serves as a form of birth control and arrests paralysis.
Olive Oil:
Excellent treatment for skin and hair, delays old age, and treats inflammation of the stomach.
The Prophet (SAW) said it cleanses you of Satan and evil aspirations for 40 days.
A food Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to eat with olive oil. [That's now a fashion in elite Italian Restaurants]
The Prophet (SAW) said the best drink in this world is water, when you are thirsty drink it by sips and not gulps, gulping produces sickness of the liver.

Concerning 'Itikaaf

Author:Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee
Source:Qiyaam Ramadaan (pg. 34-41)
Translator:Al-Manhaj.Com Staff

It's Prescription:

1. 'Itikaaf (secluding oneself in the masjid) is a recommended act in Ramadaan as well as any other day in the year. The source for that is found in Allaah's saying: "...while you are making 'Itikaaf in the masaajid." And there are also many authentic ahaadeeth about the Prophet's (saws) 'Itikaaf and narrations from the Salaf about it also. They are mentioned in the Musannafs of Ibn Abee Shaybah and 'Abdur-Razzaaq.

It is authentically reported that the Prophet (saws) made 'Itikaaf in the last ten days of Shawaal,[1] and that 'Umar (raa) said to the Prophet (saws): "I made an oath (to Allaah) in the Days of Ignorance that I would make 'Itikaaf for one night in the Masjid Al-Haraam, (should I do it)?" The Prophet (saws) responded: "Fulfill your oath.." So he made 'Itikaaf for one night. [2]

2. Observing it in Ramadaan is established in the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (raa): "Allaah's Messenger (saws) would make 'Itikaaf for ten days in every Ramadaan. But when it was the year in which he died, he made 'Itikaaf for twenty days." [3]

3. The best time to do it is in the last part of Ramadaan because the Prophet (saws) would make 'Itikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan until Allaah took his soul (in death). [4]

It's Conditions:

1. It's observance is not legislated except in the masaajid, based on Allaah's saying: "And do not have intercourse with them (your wives) while you are making 'Itikaaf in the masaajid." [5] And 'Aa'ishah (raa) said: "The Sunnah for the one doing 'Itikaaf is that he should not go out (of the masjid) except for some need that he must fulfill. He should not witness a funeral, nor should he touch his wife, or have intercourse with her. And there is no 'Itikaaf except in a masjid that establishes the Jamaa'ah (congregational prayer). And the Sunnah for the one doing 'Itikaaf is that he should be fasting (on the day he makes 'Itikaaf)." [6]

2. The masjid should also hold the Jumu'ah prayers so that he is not forced to leave the masjid to pray the Jumu'ah prayer. This is because going out for it is an obligation, based on 'Aa'ishah's saying in one of the narrations from the previous hadeeth: "...and there is no 'Itikaaf except in a masjid that holds the Jumu'ah prayer." [7]

Furthermore, I came upon an authentic hadeeth that clearly specifies the "masaajid" mentioned in the previous ayah to mean the three masaajid: Masjid Al-Haraam, Masjid An-Nabawee and Masjid Al-Aqsaa. The hadeeth is: "There is no 'Itikaaf except in the three masaajid." [8]

According to what I came across, those among the Salaf who held this opinion were Hudhayfah Ibn Al-Yamaan, Sa'eed Ibn Al-Musayyib and 'Ataa. However, he ('Ataa) did not mention Masjid Al-Aqsaa. Others held the opinion that it was any congregating masjid (in which the Jumu'ah prayer is held), without restriction. And yet others disagreed saying it can even be done in the masjid of one's home. And there is no doubt that adhering to what complies with the hadeeth about it is what deserves to be followed. And Allaah, Glorified and Exalted, knows best.

3. It is from the Sunnah for the one making 'Itikaaf to observe fasting, as has been stated by 'Aa'ishah (raa). [9]

What is permissible for the person making 'Itikaaf:

1. It is permissible for him to leave the masjid in order to fulfill a need. It is also permissible for him to stick his head out of the masjid to have it washed and combed. 'Aa'ishah (raa) said: "The Messenger of Allaah (saws) entered his head in my presence while he was making 'Itikaaf in the masjid, and I was in my apartment. So I would comb his hair, [and in one narration: I would wash it, even though there was the threshold between me and him, and I would be menstruating] , and he (saws) would not enter the house unless he had a [human] need, while making 'Itikaaf." [10]

2. It is permissible for the one making 'Itikaaf and others to make wudoo (ablution) in the masjid, based on the saying of a man who would serve the Prophet (saws): "The Prophet would make a light wudoo (ablution) in the masjid." [11]

3. He may set up a small tent in the back of the masjid in which to make 'Itikaaf. This is since 'Aa'ishah (raa) would set up a khibaa [12] (tent) for the Prophet (saws) when he would make 'Itikaaf. And this was from his (saws) command. [13]

And one time he made 'Itikaaf in a small tent that had a mat covering its doorway. [14]

The Allowance of a woman to make 'Itikaaf and visit her husband (who is making 'Itikaaf) in the masjid:

4. It is permissible for a woman to visit her husband while he is making 'Itikaaf. And he may walk with her to bid her farewell up to the door of the masjid, based on the saying of Safiyyah (raa):

"The Prophet (saws) was making 'Itikaaf in the masjid during the last ten days of Ramadaan, so I went to visit him one night, and his wives were with him. So I spoke to him for an hour, then I got up to leave and he said: 'Don't rush, I'll go out with you.' So he got up with me to escort me out." And her dwelling used to be in the home of Usaamah Ibn Zayd. Then they walked until they reached the door of the masjid, which was by the door of Umm Salamah. Then two men from the Ansaar passed by and when they saw the Prophet (saws), they rushed away. So the Prophet (saws) said: 'Slow down! This is (my wife) Safiyyah Bint Huyai' So they said: 'SubhaanAllaah, O Messenger of Allaah.' He (saws) said: 'Verily, the Devil flows through the human like the flowing of blood. And I feared lest he put some evil into your hearts.'" [Or he (saws) said: "something into your hearts."] [15]

In fact it is even permissible for a woman to make 'Itikaaf along with her husband in the masjid or by herself, based on the statement of 'Aa'ishah (raa): "One of the wives of Allaah's Messenger (saws) made 'Itikaaf with him while she was in the state of Istihaada (bleeding between periods) [in another narration it states she is Umm Salamah] and she would see red (blood) or yellowish traces (come out of her). And sometimes we put a tray beneath her when she offered the prayer." [16]

And she also said: "The Prophet (saws) would observe 'Itikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan, until he died.. Then his wives observed 'Itikaaf after him." [17]

There is proof in this that it is permissible for the women to make 'Itikaaf also. And there is no doubt that this is on the condition that their guardians grant them permission to do that. And it is also on the condition that the place is free from any fitnah and intermingling with men, based on the many evidences for that and also on the Fiqh principle: "Preventing an evil takes precedence over bringing about a good."

5. Having sexual intercourse nullifies one's 'Itikaaf, based on Allaah's saying: "And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are making 'Itikaaf in the masaajid."

And Ibn 'Abbaas (raa) said: "If the person making 'Itikaaf has sexual relations then he nullifies his 'Itikaaf and must start it over again." [18] There is no recompense (kaffaarah) that is binding upon him due to a lack of anything being mentioned about that by the Prophet (saws) and his Companions.


[1] This is a portion of a hadeeth from 'Aa'ishah reported by Al-Bukharee, Muslim and Ibn Khuzaimah in their Saheeh collections. I have referenced it in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (2127)

[2] Reported by Al-Bukharee, Muslim and Ibn Khuzaimah. The extra addition is from Al-Bukhaaree in one narration as is stated in my abridgment to it (995). And it is referenced in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (2136-2137) also.

[3] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Ibn Khuzaimah in their Saheeh collections and it is referenced in the previously mentioned source (2126-2130)

[4] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim and Ibn Khuzaimah (2223) and it is referenced in Al-Irwaa (966) and Saheeh Abee Dawood (2125)

[5] Surat-ul-Baqarah: 187. Imaam Al-Bukhaaree used this ayah as evidence for hat we have stated above. Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said: "The point of evidence found in this ayah is that if it were correct to do 'Itikaaf in someplace other than a masjid, the forbiddance of having sexual relations would not be specifically mentioned, because sexual intercourse is forbidden during 'Itikaaf according to the consensus of the scholars. So it is understood through the mentioning of "masaajid" that the meaning is that 'Itikaaf is not correct except in it the masaajid.

[6] Reported by Al-Baihaqee with an authentic chain, and Abu Dawood with a sound chain. The following narration from 'Aa'ishah RAA is also form Abu Dawood, and it is referenced in Saheeh Aee Dawood (2135) and Al-Irwaa (966)

[7] Al-Bayhaqee reported on Ibn 'Abbaas that he said: "Verily, the most hated of things to Allaah are the innovations. And verily from the innovations is making 'Itikaaf in the masaajid that are located in the houses."

[8] Reported by At-Tahaawee and Al-Isma'eelee and Al-Baihaqee with an authentic chain of narration on Hudhaifah Ibn Al-Yamaan RAA. And it is referenced in As-Saheehah (no. 2786) along with the narrations from the Sahaabah that comply with it, and all of them are authentic.

[9] Reported by Al-Baihaqee with an authentic chain of narration and Abu Dawood with a sound chain of narration. Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim said in Zaad Al-Ma'aad: "It is not reported on the Prophet (saws) that he made 'Itikaaf while not fasting. Rather, 'Aa'ishah (raa) said: 'There is no 'Itikaaf except with fasting.' And furthermore, Allaah did not mention 'Itikaaf except with the fast. And the Prophet (saws) did not do it unless he was fasting. So the correct opinion is in the evidence, which the majority of the scholars adhere to: that fasting is a condition for 'Itikaaf. And this is the opinion that Shaikh-ul-Islaam Abul-'Abbaas Ibn Tamiyyah favored." And he adds to this that it is not legislated in the Religion that one who goes out to the masjid for prayer or other than that is supposed to make an intention for the amount of time he will spend in 'Itikaaf. This is what Shaikh-ul-Islaam clarified in his Ikhtiyaaraat.

[10] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, Ibn Abee Shaybah, and Ahmad, and the first addition belongs to these last two (mentioned). It is referenced in Saheeh Abee Dawood (2131-2132)

[11] Reported by Al-Bayhaqee with a good chain and Ahmad (5/364) in abridged form with an authentic chain of narration.

[12] A khibaa is one type of house of the Arabs made from fur or wool, and it is not from hair. And it is set up on two or three props. See An-Nihaayah.

[13] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from the hadeeth of 'Aa'ishah. Her doing it is stated in the report of Al-Bukhaaree and his commanding it is stated in the report of Muslim.

[14] It is part of a hadeeth narrated by Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudree, reported by Muslim and Ibn Khuzaimah in their Saheehs. It is referenced in Saheeh Abee Dawood (1251)

[15] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim and also Abu Dawood, and the last part of it is form him (Abu Dawood). And I referenced it in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (2133 & 2134).

[16] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and it is referenced in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (2138). The other narration is from Sa'eed Ibn Mansoor, as is I stated in Fath-ul-Baaree (4/281). However, Ad-Daarimee (1/22) says that she is Zaynab, and Allaah knows best.

[17] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others.

[18] Reported by Ibn Abee Shaybah (3/92) and 'Abdur-Razaaq (4/363) with an authentic chain of narration. And what is meant by his saying: "must start it over" is that he must redo his 'Itikaaf.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Inner Dimensions of Fasting

It should be known that there are three grades of Fasting: ordinary, special and extra-special.

Ordinary Fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.

Special Fasting means keeping one's ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet -- and all other organs -- free from sin.

Extra-special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is He.

This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world. Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.

To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true awliya and the intimates of Allah. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its true nature is better revealed in action. It consists in utmost dedication to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than Allah, Exalted is He. It is bound up with the significance of His words: 'Say: "Allah (sent it down)": then leave them to play in their vain discussions. ' [al-An'am,6: 91]

Inward Requirements

As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one's organs free from sin and six things are required for its accomplishment:


A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He.

Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be Allah's curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of Allah will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.'

Jabir relates from Anas that Allah's Messenger, on him be peace, said:

'Five things break a man's Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.'


Guarding one's tongue from idle chatter, lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and with recitation of Quran. This is the fasting of the tongue.

Said Sufyan: 'Backbiting annuls the Fast.' Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: 'Two habits annul Fasting: backbiting and telling lies.'

The Prophet, on him be peace, said:

'Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: "I am Fasting, I am Fasting!"'

According to Tradition: 'Two women were Fasting during the time of Allah's Messenger, on him be peace. They were so fatigued towards the end of the day, from hunger and thirst, that they were on the verge of collapsing. They therefore sent a message to Allah's Messenger, on him be peace, requesting permission to break their Fast. In response, the Prophet, on him be peace, sent them a bowl and said: "Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten."

One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished.

Then the Prophet, on him be peace, said: "These two women have been Fasting from what Allah made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what Allah, Exalted is He, made unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!"'

3. HEAR NOT...

Closing one's ears to everything reprehensible; for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to.
That is why Allah, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer, in His words, Exalted is He:
'Listeners to falsehood, consumers of illicit gain.' [al-Ma'idah, 5:42]

Allah, Great and Glorious is He, also said:
'Why do their rabbis and priests not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit?' [al-Ma'idah, 5:63]

Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. Allah, Exalted is He, said: 'You are then just like them.' [al-Nisa, 4:140] That is why the Prophet, on him be peace, said: 'The backbiter and his listener are copartners in sin.'

4. DO NOT...

Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for breaking Fast. It is meaningless to Fast -- to abstain from lawful food - only to break one's Fast on what is unlawful.

A man who Fast like this may be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food injurious in quantity not in quality, so Fasting is to reduce the former. A person might well give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison. The unlawful is a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial in small doses but harmful in excess.

The object of Fasting is to induce moderation.

Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'How many of those who Fast get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!'

This has been taken to mean those who break their Fast on unlawful food. Some say it refers to those who abstain from lawful food, but break their Fast on human flesh through backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who do not guard their organs from sin.


Not to over-indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking Fast, to the point of stuffing one's belly. There is no receptacle more odious to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food.

Of what use is the Fast as a means of conquering Allah's enemy and abating appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of extra foods? It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all kinds of foodstuffs, so that more is consumed during that time than in the course of several other months put together.

It is well known that the object of Fasting is to experience hunger and to check desire, in order to reinforce the soul in piety. If the stomach is starved from early morning till evening, so that its appetite is aroused and its craving intensified, and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.

The spirit and secret nature of Fasting is to weaken the forces which are Satan's means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut down one's intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not Fasting. No benefit is derived from the Fast if one consumes as much as one would usually take during the day and night combined.

Moreover, one of the properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one feels the hunger and thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one's powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.

One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night, making it easier to perform the night Prayers (tahajjud) and to recite the praises (awrad). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one's heart, and that one will behold the Kingdom of Heaven. The Night of Destiny represents the night on which something of this Kingdom is revealed.

This is what is meant by the words of Allah, Exalted is He:
'We surely revealed it on the Night of Power.' [al-Qadr, 97:1]

Anyone who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes blind to this revelation. Nor is keeping the stomach empty sufficient to remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is He. That is the entire matter, and the starting point of it all is cutting down on food.


After the Fast has been broken, the heart should swing like a pendulum between fear and hope. For one does not know if one's Fast will be accepted, so that one will find favor with Allah, or whether it will be rejected, leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.

It is related of al-Hasan ibn Abil Hasan al-Basri that he once passed by a group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: 'Allah, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors, and failure the wasters. By Allah, if the veil were lifted off, the doer of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.' In too full of joy to indulge in idle sport, while for one who has suffered rejection laughter will be precluded by remorse.

Of al-Ahnaf ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: 'You are an aged elder; Fasting would enfeeble you.' But he replied: 'By this I am making ready for a long journey, Obedience to Allah, Glorified is He, is easier to endure than His punishment.'

Such are the inwardly significant meanings of Fasting.

Ruling on Eating Suhoor whilst the Muezzin is Giving the Call to Prayer

Is it permissible to carry on eating suhoor when the muezzin is giving the second adhaan, or is that not allowed?

That depends. If the muezzin is giving the adhaan for subh (fajr) (he is giving the adhaan when dawn has really started), then you must stop eating and drinking, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not stop your suhoor when you hear the adhaan of Bilaal, for he gives the adhaan at night, so eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktoom gives the adhaan.” The basis for this appears in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)”

[al-Baqarah 2:187] 
If it is known that dawn has come, even without any adhaan, such as when one is in the desert etc., when you see the dawn then you should stop eating and drinking even if you do not hear the adhaan. 

But if the muezzin gives the adhaan too early or there is any doubt concerning whether his adhaan has coincided with the dawn or not, then you may eat and drink until you are certain that the dawn has started, whether that is known from a reliable timetable or from a trustworthy adhaan which is known to come at the time of dawn. In this case (if the adhaan is too early) you may eat whilst the adhaan is being given, you may eat or drink what is in your hand, because there is no certainty that the adhaan is being given at the right time, rather it is possible.

Few ways to get great blessings in Ramadan

Here are a few ways to get great blessings in Ramadan and outside of Ramadan this year and all years to follow it inshallah Please read through it carefully and try to apply as many of these good deeds as possible inshallah:

1. Sitting after the Fajr prayer remembering Allah until sunrise: "whoever prays al-ghadaa (fajr) in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until sunrise, then prays 2 rakats of salat has a complete reward of Hajj and Umrah (the prophet s..a.w repeated the word 'complete' 3 times for emphasis) [at-Tirmidhi, classed as Saheeh by al-Albani

2. Praying the 12 sunnah prayers each day: " Allah will build house in Jannah for whoever is diligent in observing 12 sunnah rakat (as follows) 4 rakat before and 2 after Dhur, 2 after the Maghrib, 2 after Ishaa, and 2 before Fajr." [hadeeth is sahih narrated by at-Tirmidhi No. 379 and by others.]

3. Attending lectures in the mosque. "Whoever goes to the mosque not desiring except to learn or teach what is good has the reward of a pilgrim who completed his Hajj" [at-Tabarani, classed sahih by al-Albani]

4. Visiting a sick Muslim. "There is no Muslim who visits a sick muslim early in the morning but 70 thousand angles send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, 70 thousand angles send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in paradise." Classed as sahih by al-Albani in sahih al-Tirmidhi

5. Providing food for breaking the fast. "Whoever provides food for breaking of the fast for a fasting person receives the reward of the fasting person, without the reward of the fasting person being reduced in any way." -at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

6. Standing in prayer on Laylatul Qadr. "Laylatul Qadr is better than a thousand months." Quran 97:3], that is, superior to approx 83 years of worship!

7. Remember Allah when you go shopping : "Whoever enters a market and says:
'Laa ilaha illallah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yumeetu wa huwa hayyun laa yamoot, bi yadihil khair, wa huwa 'ala kulli shayin qadeer'

[there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, alone without partner, to Him belongs dominion and praise, He causes life and death and He is the Living and does not die. In His Hand is all the good, and He is over all things competent]

Allah will write for him/her a million good deeds and erase a million bad deeds and raise him a million levels." [at-Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

8. Asking Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters. "Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing woman, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman." [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

9. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (r.a) said "The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: 'Whoever says subhanallah wa bi hamdih (praise and glory be to Allah) 100 times, morning and evening, his sins will be erased even if they are like the foam on the sea." Narrated by al-Bukhari, 6042; Muslim 2691

10. If a person says "Subhanallah" (glory be to Allah) 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away. Narrated by Muslim 2073

The following ahadeeth are from Saheehul-Jaami' of Shaikh al-Albani (r.a) pg. 1103-1104

-Abu Umaamah (ra) reported that Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: "Whoever recites Ayatul-Kursi following every obligitiry prayer, nothing will prevent him from entering Jannah except dying."

- Ibn Masood (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) "Whever recites the last 2 verses of Surah Baqarah in a night, they will sufice him."

- Anas (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allaaah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: "Whoever recited Surah Kafiroon it will be equal to a quarter of the Quran for him, and whoever recites Surah Ikhlas it will be equal to a third of the Quran for him."

- Tameem as-Daaree (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: "Whoever recites (in prayer) with a hundred verses a night , it will written for him as devout obedience to Allah for the night."

- Abu Sa'eed (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) Whoever recites Surah Kahf on the day of Jumu'ah, light will be made to shine for him between the 2 Jumu'ahs (that Jumu'ah and the one followingit)"

- Mu'aadh bin Anas (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: "Whoever recites Surah Ikhlas 10 times, Allah will build for him a house in Jannah."

Memorize these important dua's inshallah

1. The authentic dua to sat when breaking your fast: "Dhahabath- dhama-oo wabtallatil- urooq wa thabatil ajru inshallaah" (The thirst has gone the veins are quenched and the reward is confirmed if Allah wills)

2. The dua to say when seeking the night of Laylatul-Qadr: "Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbil-afwa fa'fu 'annii" (Oh Allah You are the Forgiving and Pardoning Who loves to forgive and pardon so forgive and pardon me) [at-Tirmidhi and it is saheeh)

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