Saturday, January 26, 2008

The reason why it is forbidden to single out Friday for fasting

Is it true that Muslims are not supposed to keep nafil fast for one day . They must keep back to back at least two fasts because jews observe ONE day fast. Honestly , the reason seems absurd to me and I have a little doubt that this two day nafil fast rule. Please, respond to my question even if it sounds silly.

Praise be to Allaah.
Singling out a day for observing a naafil fast is permissible, unless it is a Friday or Saturday, or it is the day of ‘Ashoora which is the tenth day of Muharram, in which case it is mustahabb to fast the day before or the day after as well.
As for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, there is nothing wrong with fasting them on their own, rather it is Sunnah to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.
Al-Bukhaari (1985) and Muslim (1144) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say:
“No one of you should fast on Friday, unless he fasts (a day) before it or after it.”
According to a report narrated by Muslim:
“do not single out the day of Friday for fasting, unless that coincides with a fast that one habitually observes.”
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: These ahaadeeth appear to support the view of the majority of the companions of al-Shaafa’i, which is that it is makrooh to single out Friday for fasting unless that happens to coincide with a fast that one habitually observes. If he joins it to a fast on the day before or the day after, or it coincides with a day that he habitually fasts, such as if he vowed to fast on the day that a loved one was healed for the rest of his life, and that happens to be a Friday, then it is not makrooh, because of these ahaadeeth.
The scholars said: The reason why it is forbidden is that Friday is a day of du’aa’, dhikr and worship, such as ghusl, going to the prayer early and waiting for the prayer, listening to the khutbah and reciting a lot of dhikr after it, because,
Allaah says:
“Then when the (Jumu‘ah) Salaah (prayer) is ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allaah (by working), and remember Allaah much” [al-Jumu’ah 62:10].
And there are other acts of worship to be done on this day, so it is mustahabb not to fast then, so that one will have more energy to do these duties and perform them in an energetic manner and be happy to do them and enjoy them without feeling bored or tired. This is like the pilgrim on the day of ‘Arafah in ‘Arafah: the Sunnah is for him not to fast, as stated above.
If it is said: If that was the case, the prohibition would still apply to fasting the day before or the day after, because the reason still applies, the response to that is that he will attain reward for fasting the day before or the day after, which will make up for any shortfall in his duties on Friday that occurs because of his fasting. This is the correct view on the wisdom behind not singling out Friday for fasting.
And it was said that the reason is that there is the fear of going to extremes in venerating Friday, so that become infatuated with it as some people became infatuated about Saturday. But this is a weak view which is contradicted by the fact the Muslims offer Jumu’ah prayer and do other acts which are an expression of veneration of that day.
And it was said that the reason for this prohibition is lest it be thought that it is obligatory. This is a weak view which is contradicted by the fact that it is recommended to fast on Mondays, so no attention should be paid to this unlikely notion. Similarly it is recommended to fast on the day of ‘Arafah and the day of ‘Ashoora’ and so on. The correct view is that which we have stated above, and Allaah knows best. End quote.

Friday, January 25, 2008


The Qur’aan is the word of Allaah that was revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and is recited as an act of worship.
This definition of the Qur’aan is comprehensive.
Our saying “the word of Allaah” excludes the words of human beings or others.

Our saying “revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)” excludes anything that was revealed to anyone else, such as the Injeel (Gospel), Tawraat (Torah) and Zaboor (Psalms).

Our saying “it is recited as an act of worship” excludes the hadeeth qudsi (ahaadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) narrated words from Allaah which are not part of the Qur’aan).

It brings light and gives certainty, it is the strong rope, it is the path of the righteous. It tells us of those who came before us, Prophets and righteous people, and how those who disobeyed them tasted the punishment of Allaah and were humiliated. It contains verses which speak of the miracles of Allaah and His power in this great universe. It tells us of the origins of human beings who are created from “despised water” (semen).

It contains the basic principles of faith which must be embraced by every humble heart. It contains the rules of sharee’ah which tells us what is permissible and what is forbidden; what is true and what is false. It tells us of the Resurrection and the fate of human beings, either in the Fire in which they will burn and be among those who are humiliated, or in Paradise with its gardens, springs, plants and places of security. In it there is healing for men’s hearts, light and illumination for the blind.

Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):

“And We send down of the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) nothing but loss”
[al-Isra’ 17:82]

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer said in his commentary on this verse:

Here Allaah tells us about His Book, which He revealed to His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and which is the Qur’aan which “Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise” [Fussilat 42:41- interpretation of the meaning], that it is “a healing and a mercy to those who believe” – i.e., it takes away the diseases in the heart such as doubt, hypocrisy, shirk, deviation and misguidance; the Qur’aan heals all of that. And it is also a mercy which brings about faith, wisdom and the pursuit of and desire for goodness.

This is only for those who believe in it and follow it; for such it will be a healing and a mercy. But as for the kaafir and those who wrong themselves thereby, their hearing the Qur’aan only makes them further away (from truth) and increases them in kufr. The problem comes from the kaafir, not from the Qur’aan.

Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur’aan) is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away (so they neither listen nor understand)”
[Fussilat 41:44]

“And whenever there comes down a Soorah, some of them (hypocrites) say: ‘Which of you has had his Faith increased by it?’ As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice.
But as for those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubt, disbelief and hypocrisy), it will add suspicion and doubt to their suspicion, disbelief and doubt; and they die while they are disbelievers”
[al-Tawbah 9:124-125]

Qutaadah said, concerning the phrase “And We send down of the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe”: when the believer hears it he benefits from it, memorizes it and understands it. “and it increases the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) nothing but loss” means, they do not benefit from it, memorize it or understand it. Allaah has made this Qur’aan a healing and a mercy for the believers.
(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/60.)

Allaah says,
(interpretation of the meaning):
“O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur’aan, enjoining all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that which is in your breasts, — a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things) for the believers”
[Yoonus 10:57]

“And if We had sent this as a Qur’aan in a foreign language (other than Arabic), they would have said: ‘Why are not its verses explained in detail (in our language)? What! (A Book) not in Arabic and (the Messenger) an Arab?’ Say: ‘It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur’aan) is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away (so they neither listen nor understand)’”
[Fussilat 41:44]

In it is guidance for mankind, away from misguidance and to the truth.

Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“This is the Book (the Qur’aan), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqoon [the pious”
[al-Baqarah 2:2]

“And thus We have revealed to you (O Muhammad) a Qur’aan in Arabic that you may warn the Mother of the Towns (Makkah) and all around it, and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling of which there is no doubt, when a party will be in Paradise (those who believed in Allaah and followed what Allaah’s Messenger brought them) and a party in the blazing Fire (Hell) (those who disbelieved in Allaah and followed not what Allaah’s Messenger brought them)”
[al-Shoora 42:9]

“And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) Rooh (a revelation, and a mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’aan) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you (O Muhammad) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the Straight Path (i.e. Allaah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism).

The path of Allaah to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Verily, all matters at the end go to Allaah (for decision)”
[al-Shoora 42:52-53]

It contains innumerable benefits, so everyone who seeks happiness in this world and in the Hereafter must refer to it for judgement and follow its commands.

Imam Ibn Hazm said:

Because the proof and the miracles indicate that the Qur’aan is the covenant of Allaah with us, we must believe in it and act in accordance with it. It has come down to us through generations of Muslims narrating it to those who came after them, which leaves no room for doubt that the Qur’aan is the one which is written in the Mus-hafs which we find everywhere.

We have to follow its teachings, for it is our reference-point, because we read in it the words (interpretation of the meaning):

“There is not a moving (living) creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you. We have neglected nothing in the Book, then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered”
[al-An’aam 6:38]

Whatever commands and prohibitions are in the Qur’aan, we must adhere to them.
Al-Ihkaam, 1/92
And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
source:islamqa. com

Islam Grows Into a Strong Presence in America by James Dretke

http://www.arabicbi n/islam_in_ america.htm

This article first appeared in the News Watch column of Volume 23 / Number 4 / 2001 issue of the Christian Research Journal. For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip. org/publ/

We welcome Islam in America. It enriches our country with Islam’s teachings of self-discipline, compassion, and commitment to family. It deepens America’s respect for Muslims here at home and around the world.1

Today, Muslim Americans are a cornerstone of our American community. They enrich our political and cultural life; they provide leadership in every field of human endeavor, from business to medicine, to scholarship.2

These public pronouncements of President Clinton to Muslim Americans are indicative of how Islam has become established as a major religion in America. For most of America’s history, Islam had been a marginal presence. Muslims were mostly foreign nationals or resident aliens, with only a few naturalized United States citizens, and even fewer second or third generation Americans. Christian churches relegated evangelism of Muslims to foreign missions. The typical American Christian rarely, if ever, encountered a religiously active Muslim. Now, however, Islam is a noticeable religious force in America. Christians need to be as knowledgeable of Islam’s presence as they are of any other religion in America.

Islam is no passing fad, and it is growing quickly in America. American Muslim leaders are quite open about their hopes and dreams. In an editorial entitled “Time to Make an Imprint,” Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi writes: “North America needs our contribution, and it is up to us to make an imprint in founding a truly Islamic civilization on this continent.”3

Very few Americans lack an opinion about Islam. There are numerous views concerning the religion, many not favorable. “According to a recent Roper Poll, 50% of those polled believed all Muslims to be inherently anti-American. Today, the bywords of the relationship between the Muslim and the Judeo-Christian worlds are alienation and suspicion.”4 Carl Ellis, a noted African-American Christian leader, asserts that Islam “is the most serious threat to the church in America.”5

Muslim Influence. Just how influential is the Islamic community in America? Since September 1999, Muslims have conducted Friday congregational prayers inside the U.S. Capitol building. American Muslim opposition to a Burger King restaurant opened in the West Bank in Israel caused the corporation to close it down. The United States military has tripled the number of Muslim chaplains in its ranks (serving more than 4,000 Muslim members of the military). changed a video review (of the movie Not without My Daughter) in response to Muslim complaints.6 In 1999 Georgetown University began a three-year project “to document the impact of Muslim Americans on the American horizon.”7

Islamic Horizons, one of the most influential Muslim journals in America with a distribution of more than 60,000,8 asserted in the article “Why Muslim Americans Need to Vote” that “Muslim Americans have power and its accompanying responsibility. We represent $75 billion of collective annual income, more than any Muslim country can produce.”9 This same issue relates how Muslim American complaints about a CNN online posting referring to Jerusalem as “the capital of Israel” prompted CNN to make appropriate changes quickly.10

The growing presence of Muslim Americans has not been lost on politicians either. For example, in New Jersey (home to an estimated 400,000 Muslims), former Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed a bill making New Jersey “the first state to enact a law ensuring the authenticity of Halal food.”11 Two Muslim Americans made history by delivering the benedictions on the first day of both the Democratic and Republican national conventions this past year.12 Also in 2000, Congress called on the United States Postal Service to issue a postal stamp commemorating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Muslim Population and Growth. Is Islam the fastest growing religion in the world? Is it the fastest growing religion in America? The demographics tell us that the answer is yes to both questions.

Establishing population demographics for Muslims is not easy. Even without completely accurate statistics, we find numerous independent studies in fairly close agreement. Most major studies estimate a worldwide Muslim population for the year 2000 at roughly 1.25 billion people; that is, about one-fifth or 20 percent of the world’s population.13 In comparison, Christianity is the largest religion in the world with about 33 percent of the world’s population.14

According to most reports, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.15 For example, in Europe, according to United Nations statistics, between 1989 and 1998 the Islamic population grew by more than 100 percent (to about 14 million or 2 percent of the population).16 At the current rate of growth it is estimated that Islam’s population by the year 2025 will be 1.9 billion (about 24 percent of the total European population).17

One of the most common misconceptions or stereotypes Westerners have about Muslims is that most of them are Arabic. “The major sections of Muslim populations are concentrated in Asia and Africa. Muslims are, by and large, people of color.”18 Missiologist Roland Miller relates that more than 68 percent of all Muslims live in Asia and more than 27 percent live in Africa. Indonesia has roughly 15 percent of the world’s Muslim population. In South Asia almost one-third of the world’s Muslim population live in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India.19

Just how is the Muslim population growing? The growth rate of Islam in Western nations (including the US and Canada) primarily comes through: a high Muslim birth rate and immigration (e.g., Muslims moving to the United States), not from converts (non-Muslims becoming Muslims). As we shall soon note in regard to converts, however, two groups are vulnerable to Muslim evangelism.

In 1995 there were some 4 million Muslims in France, 1.9 million in Germany, and 1.5 million in the UK, accounting for 7 percent, 2.4 percent, and 2.7 percent of the overall populations respectively. In 1998 7 percent of babies born within the European Union were Muslim, in Brussels it was as much as 57 percent....This growth comes primarily through immigration and a high birth rate.20

It is difficult to estimate accurately the total number of Muslims in the United States and the rest of North America. Research scientist Carol Stone states that “it is still unclear how many Muslims currently reside in America...because of a lack of reliable information about Muslims in this country.”21

There are several main reasons why this is so. First, for the past 50 years the United States government (unlike some countries) has not included questions about religious affiliation in its census.22 Dr. James Dretke, executive director of the Zwemer Institute, states that a second factor “is the fact that Muslims do not join mosques as Christians join churches, so it is impossible to count them from membership rolls.”23 Roland Miller gives a third reason: “Religious statistics are notoriously difficult to compile because of affiliation questions and reporting problems. Muslim statisticians routinely give higher figures.”24

Nevertheless, both Christian and Muslim sources assert that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States.25 The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2000 gives the figure of 3,950,000 Muslims in America today.26 Islamic Horizons states that there are eight to ten million Muslims in North America.27 The most common figure cited (the statistic the United States government regularly uses) is about six million.28 The largest concentrations of Muslims are in California, New York, and Illinois — with an estimated 400,000 in the Chicago area.29

While specific figures may be debated, what cannot be debated is the phenomenal growth of Islam. According to United Nations statistics, the Muslim population in the United States grew by 25 percent between 1989 and 1998.30 In 1990 there were only about 50 Islamic schools in America. Today the number is over 200.31 Since about 1990 the number of “registered Islamic centers and mosques” has tripled to “more than 2,500.”32

Factors for Growth. In the book, The Muslims of America, Prof. Yvonne Haddad addresses the main factors in Islam’s growth in the U.S.: “The dramatic growth of the Muslim community in the United States is a recent phenomenon, taking place primarily over the last three decades in response to changes in American immigration laws and the demands of the labor market.”33 Islamic Horizons echoes this assertion: “The Muslims of North America proudly flaunt the fact that they are a people with a population over eight million and growing.…These figures do not, however, highlight the fact that a vast majority of these eight million are Muslims who either came to this continent after the 1960’s or are reverts [i.e., people who return to their former Muslim beliefs].”34

Again, conversion has not been the major factor in Islam’s growth, with two major exceptions. The first is given by Wendy Zoba in a Christianity Today cover story entitled “Islam, U.S.A": “Islam is gaining most of its U.S. converts in prisons and on university campuses. The majority of American converts to Islam — 85 to 90 percent — are black.”35 In addition, the number of American women who marry Muslim men and convert is estimated to be about 7000 per year.36

African-Americans make up an estimated 42 to 45 percent of the Muslims in America.37 Carl Ellis places the actual number of African-American Muslims at 2.6 million. Of these, only 18,000 to 20,000 are members of Louis Farrakhan’s organization, the Nation of Islam.38

Christians may wish they could say that Islam and Christianity were two complementary faiths; two alternate paths to salvation. In reality, their foundational teachings are diametrically opposed.39 For Muslims “it is an article of faith that Islam is guidance for humanity,”40 and they are commanded to do all they can to spread their faith. Islam denies the Trinity, the deity of Christ, his death on the cross for our sins, and salvation by grace.

James Dretke expresses the Christian attitude very well: “For Christians who take seriously Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:18–20, it is a great thrill to see so many Muslims on our doorsteps. While we cannot easily gain entry into their countries... God has brought them to ours.”41

— Joseph P. Gudel

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Places and times where du’aa’ is answered

What are the times, places and situations where du’aa’ is answered? And what is meant by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “Dabr al-salawaat al-maktoobah (following the prescribed prayers)”? Is the prayer of a father for his child answered, or is it a prayer against him that is answered? I hope you can explain all these matters.

Praise be to Allaah.

There are many times and places where du’aa’ is answered. There follows a summary thereof:

1 – Laylat al-Qadar. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “If I know what night is Laylat al-Qadar, what should I say during it?” He said: “Say: Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwan tuhibb ul-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni (O Allaah, You are forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me).”

2 – Du’aa’ in the depths of the night, the time before dawn, the time when Allaah descends to bestow His bounty upon His slaves, to meet their needs and to relieve their distress, when He says: “Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?” narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1145.

3 – Following the prescribed prayers. According to the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah, it was said: “O Messenger of Allaah, which du’aa’ is heard?” He said: “In the last third of the night, and following the prescribed prayers.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3499; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

There was some difference of scholarly opinion concerning the phrase dabr al-salawaat al-maktoobah (“following the prescribed prayers”) – does it mean before the salaam or afterwards?

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and his student Ibn al-Qayyim were of the view that it is before the salaam. Ibn Taymiyah said: “The word dabr refers to something that is part of a thing, like dabr al-haywaan (the hindquarters of an animal).” Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1.305. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: “What has been narrated of du’aa’ following the prayer is before the salaam and what has been narrated of dhikr following the prayer is after the salaam, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“When you have finished As-Salaah (the congregational prayer), remember Allaah standing, sitting down, and (lying down) on your sides”

[al-Nisa’ 4:103]
See: Kitaab al-Du’aa’ by Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamad, p. 54

4 – Between the adhaan and the iqaamah. It is narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A du’aa’ offered between the adhaan and iqaamah is not rejected.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (521) and al-Tirmidhi (212). See also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2408.

5 – When the call for the prescribed prayers is given and when the ranks are drawn up for battle, as it says in the marfoo’ hadeeth of Sahl ibn Sa’d: “There are two that will not be rejected, or will rarely be rejected: du’aa’ at the time of the call for prayer and at the time of battle when the fighting begins.” Narrated by Abu Dawood; it is a saheeh report. See Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3079.

6 – When rain falls, as it said in the hadeeth of Sahl ibn Sa’d that is attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There are two which will not be rejected: du’aa’ at the time of the call (to prayer) and when it is raining.” Narrated by Abu Dawood and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (3078).

7 – At a certain time of the night, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “During the night there is a time when the Muslim does not ask for the good of this world and the Hereafter but it will be given to him, and that happens every night.” Narrated by Muslim, 757.

8 – A certain time on Friday. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) mentioned Friday and said: “During it there is a time when a Muslim slave does not stand and pray and ask Allaah for something, but He will give it to him,” and he gestured with his hand to indicate how short that time is. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 935; Muslim, 852. See also question no. 21748.

9 – When drinking Zamzam water. It was narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Zamzam water is for that for which it is drunk.” Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5502.

10 – When prostrating. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The closest that a person is to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so say a great deal of du’aa’ then.” Narrated by Muslim, 482.

11 – When hearing the crowing of a rooster, because of the hadeeth: “When you hear the crowing of a rooster, ask Allaah of His bounty, for he has seen an angel.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2304; Muslim, 2729.

12 – When saying the du’aa’, “Laa ilaaha illa anta, subhaanaka, inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen ([none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allaah)], Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers – cf al-Anbiya’ 21:87]).” It was narrated in a saheeh hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The prayer of Dhu’l-Noon (Yoonus) which he said when he was in the belly of the whale: ‘Laa ilaaha illa anta, subhaanaka, inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen ([none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allaah)], Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.’ No Muslim recites this du’aa’ concerning any matter but Allaah will answer him.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3383.

In his commentary on the passage (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) Dhun‑Noon (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (i.e. the calamities which had befallen him)! But he cried through the darkness (saying): Laa ilaaha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allaah)], Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.”

88. So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allaah, abstain from evil and work righteousness)”

[al-Anbiya’ 21:87-88]

Al-Qurtubi said: In this verse, Allaah stipulates that whoever calls upon Him, He will answer him as He answered and saved Dhu’l-Noon (Yoonus). This is what is meant by the words “And thus We do deliver the believers”.

Al-Jaami’ li Ahkaam il-Qur’aan, 11/334.

13 – If a calamity befalls him and he says, Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon, Allaahumma ujurni fi museebati w'ukhluf li khayran minha (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allaah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it). It was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh (918) that Umm Salamah said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no calamity that befalls one of the Muslims and he responds by saying ‘Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilahi raaji'oon, Allaahumma ujurni fi museebati w'ukhluf li khayran minha (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allaah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it),’ but Allaah will compensate him with something better than it.”

14 – The prayer of people after the soul of the deceased has been taken. According to the hadeeth, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon Abu Salamah (after he had died) and his eyes were open. He closed them and said: “When the soul is taken, the gaze follows it.” Some of his family got upset and he said: “Do not pray for anything but good for yourselves, for the angels say Ameen to whatever you say.” Narrated by Muslim. 2732.

15 – Du’aa’ for one who is sick. Muslim (919) narrated that Umm Salamah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you visit a sick person, say good things, for the angels say Ameen to whatever you say…” When Abu Salamah died, I came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “Abu Salamah has died.” He said: “Say: O Allaah, forgive me and him, and compensate me well.” She said: I said: And Allaah compensated me with one who was better for me than him: Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

16 – The prayer of the one who has been wronged. In the hadeeth it says: “Fear the prayer of the one who has been wronged, for there is no barrier between it and Allaah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 469; Muslim, 19. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The prayer of the one who has been wronged will be answered, even if he is an evildoer, for his evildoing is only against himself.” Narrated by Ahmad. See Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3382.

17 – The du’aa’ of a father for his child – i.e., for his benefit – and the du’aa’ of a fasting person during the day of his fast, and the prayer of the traveller. It was narrated in a saheeh report that our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three prayers that are not rejected: the prayer of a father for his child, the prayer of the fasting person and the prayer of the traveller.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi; see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2032; al-Saheehah, 1797.

18 – The prayer of a father against his child – i.e., to harm him. According to a saheeh hadeeth: ‘There are three prayers that will be answered: the prayer of one who has been wronged, the prayer of a traveller, and the prayer of a father against his child.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1905. See Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad, 372.

19 – The du’aa’ of a righteous person for his parents, as stated in the hadeeth narrated by Muslim (1631): “When the son of Adam dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, a righteous son who will pray for him, or beneficial knowledge.”

20 – Du’aa’ after the sun has passed its zenith and before Zuhr. It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saa’ib (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray four rak'ahs after the sun had passed its zenith and before Zuhr, and he said: “This is a time when the gates of heaven are opened and I want a good deed of mine to ascend during this time.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and its isnaad is saheeh. See Takhreej al-Mishkaat, 1/337.

21 – Du’aa’ when going to bed at night, and saying the du’aa’ that was narrated for that time. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever goes to bed at night and says Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa Allaahu akbar wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (There is no god but Allaah and Allaah is Most Great and there is no power and no strength except with Allaah), then he says: Allaahumma ighfir li (O Allaah, forgive me), or he makes du’aa’, his prayer will be answered, and if he does wudoo’ and prays, his prayer will be accepted.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1154.

Differences between the Levels of Paradise

The Prophet (saw) explained that the people will be in different levels in Paradise according to their status. al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri that the Prophet (saw) said, " The people of Paradise will look at the people dwelling in the chambers above them in the same way that people look at a brilliant star shining far away on the horizon, in the East or West, because of their superiority [in reward] over them." The people asked, "O Messenger of Allah, are these the dwellings of the Prophets which no one else can attain?" He replied, "No by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, they are for the men who believed in Allah, and also in His Messengers." [Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab Bid' al-Khalq, Baab Sifaat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 6/220; Saheeh Muslim Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab tara'i Ahl al-Jannah Ahl al-Ghuraf, 4/2177, no. 2831]

Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and Ibn Hibbaan reported from Abu Sa'eed that the Prophet (saw) said ,"The people in the higher levels will be seen by those below them as if they were looking at a star rising on the horizon. Abu Bakr and 'Umar will be among them; what good people they are!" [Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, 2/187, no. 2026]

al-Qurtubee said, "Know that these chambers will differ in height, and appearance according to the deeds of their occupants. Some of them will be higher than others. When the Prophet (saw) said, "No by the One is Whose Hand is my soul, they are for the men who believed in Allah (swt) and also in His Messengers; he did not mention deeds or anything other than faith and belief in the Messengers, with no doubts or questions. Otherwise, how could these chambers be reached through the faith and belief of the ordinary people? If that were the case, then all the Muslims would reach these highest levels, and that is impossible" as Allah says, "Those will be rewarded with the highest place [in Paradise] because of their patience.." [25:75]

This patience often involved self sacrifice and being steadfast for the sake of Allah, focussing on Him, being a true slave to Him. These are the attributes of al-Muqarraboon, as Allah (swt) says:

"And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us, but only he [will please Us] who believes and does righteous deeds; for such there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings [Paradise] in peace and security". [34:37]

Here Allah mentioned the highest chambers or dwellings of Paradise and states that they will not be attained by means of wealth and children, but through faith and righteous deeds then they will have a double reward. Their place will be the high dwellings, which tells you that this is faith that gives one tranquillity and certainty, and fills the heart. A person with such faith is content no matter what happens to him, and in all situations and circumstances. If he does a good deed, he does not mix it with the opposite, which are evil deeds. Good deeds that are uncontaminated with evil deeds cannot be achieved except by the one whose imaan is very great and who is content and has no doubts, no matter what his circumstances. The faith and deeds of the one whose good deeds are contaminated are not like that, so his status will be lower" [al-Qurtubee, at-Tadhkirah, p. 464]

The inhabitants of the highest levels of Paradise will enjoy greater pleasures than the people below them. Allah (swt) has promised two gardens to those who fear Him:

"But for him who fears the standing before his Rabb, there will be two gardens" [55:46]

Allah (swt) described these Gardens, then He (swt) said, "And besides these two, there are two other Gardens [ i.e. in Paradise]" [55:62]

These two gardens will be lower in status. Whoever thinks of the characteristics of the two gardens which Allah mentioned second will realise that they are lower than the first two, because the first two are for the muqarraboon [those who are close to Allah], whilst the second two are for ashaab al-yameen [those of the Right Hand] as Ibn 'Abbaas and Abu Musa al-Ash'ari said [at-Tadhkirah, 440].

al-Qurtubee said:

"When He described the two pairs of gardens, He referred to the difference between them. Describing the first two, He said "in them [both] will be two springs flowing free" [55:50] whereas in the second two "..will be two springs gushing forth water" [55:66]. Gushing or bubbling water is not the same as flowing water; bubbling is of a lesser degree than flowing.

Allah says that in the first two gardens "..will be every kind of fruit in pairs" [55:52] - all kinds of fruit, well known and rare, moist and dry; this is a general statement. But in the second two gardens "..will be fruits, date palms and pomegranates" [55:68] Allah does not say that there would be every kind of fruit in pairs.

In the first two gardens the people will be " reclining upon the couches lined with silk brocade" [55:54], while in the second two gardens they will be "reclining on green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses" [55:76] which means embellished or embroidered, and there is no doubt that a couch lined with silk brocade is superior to an embroidered cushion.

The Hoor al-'Eeyn in the first two gardens are described as "like rubies and coral" [55:58] whilst those in the second two gardens are described as "fair [wives] good and beautiful" [55:70]; not everything that is beautiful is as beautiful as rubies and coral.

The first two gardens are described as "with spreading branches" [55:48] while the second two are "dark green [in colour]" [55:64] so intensely green that it is almost black. The first two clearly have many bushes and trees, whilst the second two are described simply as being green" [at-Tadkhirah, p. 440]

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Musa al-Ash'ari that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Two gardens of silver, their vessels and everything in them and two gardens of gold, their vessels and everything in them, and there will be nothing between the people and their seeing Allah, except the garment of pride over His Face in the Paradise of 'Adn" [Jaami' al-Usool, 10/498, no. 8029]

Allah (swt) described the drink of the pious in Paradise:

"Verily the Abraar [pious, who fear Allah and avoid evil] will drink a cup [of wine] mixed with water from a spring in Paradise called Kafoor" [76:5]

"And they will be given to drink there a cup [of wine] mixed with Zanjabeel [ginger]" [76:17]

It seems - and Allah Knows Best - that this is for Ahl al-Yameen. Elsewhere Allah (swt) says

"It [that wine] will be mixed with tasneem, A spring whereof drink those nearest to Allah" [83:27-28].

Ahl al-Yameen will drink something mixed with Tasneem, whilst al-Muqarraboon will drink a pure drink of Tasneem. Tasneem is the name of a spring in Paradise.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

7 Tips to Improve Your Relationship with the Qur'an

ARE you one of those people who rarely touch the Qur'an? Or do you read daily, but don't find it is having the impact on you that it should? Whatever the case may be, these are some simple tips that can help you connect with the Qur'an.

1. Before you touch it, check your heart. The key to really benefiting from the Qur'an is to check your heart first, before you even touch Allah's Book. Ask yourself, honestly, why you are reading it. Is it to just get some information and to let it drift away from you later? Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was described by his wife as a "walking Qur'an": in other words, he didn't just read and recite the Qur'an, he lived it.

2. Do your Wudu (ablution). Doing your Wudu is good physical and mental preparation to remind you that you're not reading just another book. You are about to interact with God, so being clean should be a priority when communicating with Him.
3. Read at least 5 minutes everyday. Too often, we think we should read Qur'an for at least one whole hour. If you aren't in the habit of reading regularly, this is too much. Start off with just five minutes daily. If you took care of step one, Insha Allah (God willing), you will notice that those five minutes will become 10, then half an hour, then an hour, and maybe even more!
4. Make sure you understand what you've read. Five minutes of reading the Qur'an in Arabic is good, but you need to understand what you're reading. Make sure you have a good translation of the Qur'an in the language you understand best. Always try to read the translation of what you've read that day.
5. Remember, the Qur'an is more interactive than a CD. In an age of "interactive" CD-Roms and computer programs, a number of people think books are passive and boring. But the Qur'an is not like that. Remember that when you read the Qur'an, you are interacting with Allah. He is talking to you, so pay attention.
6. Don't just read; listen too. There are now many audio cassettes and CDs of the Qur'an, a number of them with translations as well. This is great to put on your walkman or your car's CD or stereo as you drive to and from work. Use this in addition to your daily Qur'an reading, not as a replacement for it.
7. Make Dua (supplication) . Ask Allah to guide you when you read the Qur'an. Your aim is to sincerely, for the love of Allah, interact with Him by reading, understanding and applying His blessed words. Making Dua to Allah for help and guidance will be your best tool for doing this.

Those Who Will Enter Paradise Before the Day of Resurrection

The first human being ever to enter Paradise was the father of mankind, Aadam (as),

"O Aadam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden and enjoy [its good things] as you wish, but approach not this tree or you run into harm and transgression". (7:19)

But Aadam disobeyed Allah by eating from the tree which Allah (swt) had forbidden him to eat from, so Allah (swt) sent him down from the Garden of Paradise to this world of distress and misery:

"We had already, beforehand, taken the covenant of Aadam, but he forgot, and We found on his part no firm will-power. When We said to the angels, "Prostrate yourselves to Aadam". They prostrated themselves but not Iblees, he refused. Then we said, "O Aadam! Verily, this is an enemy to you and your wife. So let him not get you both out of the Garden, so that you are landed in misery. There is in it [enough provision] for you not to go hungry nor to go naked, Nor to suffer from thirst nor from the sun's heat". But Shaytaan whispered evil to him, he said, "O Aadam, Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never decays?" As a result they both ate of the tree and so their nakedness appeared to them, and they began to sew together leaves from the Garden for their covering. Thus did Aadam disobey his Rabb and allow himself to be seduced. But his Rabb chose him [for His Grace]; He turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance. He [Allah] said, "Get you down, both of you - all together - from the Garden, with enmity one to another." [20:115-123]

The Messenger of Allah (saw) also saw Paradise. al-Bukhaari reports from 'Imraan ibn Husayn that the Prophet (saw) said, "I have seen Paradise and I saw that its inhabitants are the poor.." [Sahih Bukhaari, Kitaab Bad' al-Khalq, Baab ma jaa fi Sifaat al-jannah, Fath al-Baari, 6/318]

Among those who will enter paradise before the Day of Resurrection are ash-Shuhadaa [the martyrs]. Muslim reports that Masruq said, "We asked Abdullaah ibn Mas'oud about this aayah:

"Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Rabb" (3:169)

He said, "We asked about that too, and the Prophet (saw) said, "Their souls are in the bellies of green birds, and they have lights suspended from the Throne. They wander about in Paradise wherever they wish, then they take shelter in those lights. Their Rabb will suddenly come to them and ask," Do you desire anything?" They will say, "What thing could we wish for when we can wander wherever we wish in Paradise?" Allah will come and ask this three times. When they see that they will not be allowed to giver no reply, they will say, "O Rabb, would that we could return our bodies and be killed for Your sake one more time." When Allah (swt) sees that they have no wants or needs, they will be left alone"". (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/351, no. 3804)

Whoever dies will be shown his position in Paradise or Hell morning and evening. Muslim reports from Ibn 'Umar (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

"When any one of you dies, he will be shown his position morning and evening. If he is one of the people of Paradise, then he will be one of the people of Paradise, and if he is one of the people of Hell, then he will be one of the people of Hell and he will be told, "This is your position until Allah (swt) resurrects you to it on the Day of Resurrection"". [Muslim, see Muslim bi sharh an-Nawawi, 17/300]

Woman between the honouring of Islam and the humiliation of Jaahiliyyah


The west accuses Islam of oppressing women. What is the status of woman in Islam?

Praise be to Allaah.
In Islam, woman has a high status which no past nation ever achieved and which no subsequent nation has been able to attain, because the honour which Islam gives to humanity includes men and women equally. They are equal before the rulings of Allaah in this world and they will be equal with regard to His reward and punishment in the Hereafter.

Allaah says
(interpretation of the meanings):
“And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam”
[al-Isra’ 17:70]

“There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related”
[al-Nisa’ 4:7]

“And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable”
[al-Baqarah 2:228]

“The believers, men and women, are Awliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another”
[al-Tawbah 9:71]

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.
And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’”
[al-Isra’ 17:23-24]

And Allaah says
(interpretation of the meanings):

“So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), “Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:195]

“Whoever works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)”
[al-Nahl 16:97]

“And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a (true) believer [in the Oneness of Allaah (Muslim)], such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqeera (speck on the back of a date stone), will be done to them”
[al-Nisa’ 4:124]

There is nothing in any other religion, nation or law that can compare to the honour which woman gains in Islam. The Roman civilization decreed that woman was a slave who belonged to man, and had no rights at all. In Rome a major synod met to discuss the case of woman, and decided that she was a being who had no soul, and that therefore she would not inherit life in the Hereafter, and that she was evil.

In Athens women were regarded as chattels; they were bought and sold, and were regarded as evil, the handiwork of the devil.

The ancient laws of India state that disease, death, Hell, snake venom and fire were all better than woman. Her right to life came to an end when her husband’s – or master’s – life ended. When she saw his body burning she would throw herself into the flames; if she did not do so, she would be subject to curses.

With regard to woman in Judaism, the ruling on her in the Old Testament is as follows:

“So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly. I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains…”
(Ecclesiastes 7:25-26 – New International Version)

It is known that the Old Testament is venerated and believed by both Jews and Christians.

This was the situation of woman in ancient times. With regard to her situation in the Middle Ages and in modern times, this will be explained by the following:

The Danish writer Wieth Kordsten explained the view of the Catholic Church towards women. He said:

“During the Middle Ages very little care was given to women, following the teaching of the Catholic church which regarded woman as a second class creation.”

In France, a council in 586 CE decided to research the case of woman and whether she was to be counted as human or not. After some discussion, they decided that woman was human, but she was created to serve man.

The 217th clause of the French law states the following:

“A married woman – even if her marriage is based on the condition of separating what belongs to her and what belongs to her husband – is not permitted to give anything as a gift or to transfer any of her property or use it as collateral, or to take possession of anything whether in return for payment or otherwise, without her husband being a party to the contract or agreeing to it in writing.”

In England, Henry VIII forbade the English woman to read the Bible. Until 1850 CE women were not counted as citizens, and until 1882 CE they did not have any personal rights.
(Silsilat Maqaarinah al-Adyaan, by Dr. Ahmad Shalaby, vol. 3, p. 210-213)

As for contemporary woman in Europe, America and other industrial nations, she is a creature which is degraded and abused for commercial purposes. She is a feature of advertising campaigns, and things have reached a stage where she takes off her clothes in order to advertise products on posters, and she sells and displays her body according to systems devised by men, so that she is no more than an object of pleasure for them in every place.
Woman is cared for so long as she is able to give and contribute physically or mentally. When she becomes old and cannot give any more, society – individuals and institutions – forsakes her and she lives alone in her house or in a mental hospital.

Compare this – and there is no comparison – with the teachings of the Noble Qur’aan, in which...

Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):

“The believers, men and women, are Awliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another”
[al-Tawbah 9:71]

“And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable”
[al-Baqarah 2:228]

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.
And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’”
[al-Isra’ 17:23-24]

Since her Lord has honoured her in this way, it is clear to all of mankind that He has created her to be a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister, so He prescribed laws which apply exclusively to women and not men.

From al-Islam Usooluhu wa Mabaadi’uhu by Dr. Muhammad ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Saalih al-Sahyeem


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