THE BEAUTY OF A WOMAN

The beauty of a woman:
Is not in the clothes she wears,
the figure that she carries,
or the way she combs her hair,
or the style she does make up.
The beauty of a woman:
must be seen in her Hijab, and her eyes,
because that is the doorway to her heart,
the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman:
is not in a facial mole,
but true beauty in a woman,
is reflected in her soul.
The beauty of woman is in her modesty.
And the real glamour of her is her honesty.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
the passion that she shows.
And the beauty of a woman,
with passing years – only grows!
Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:44 am  Leave a Comment  

BLESSING OF ZAKKAT

BISMILLAH

By payment of Zakat wealth and one-self become purified, as it is a part of the Allah-given wealth that is due to the poor.According to The Holy Qur’an, all human affairs, are in the absolute charge of Allah, Who is the absolute owner of everything in the entire Universe. Allah has given control of some things to man for a limited time in a limited way. Man is responsible only for the office of temporary trusteeship. Anyone who assumes ownership does so through ignorance.
Many verses in The Holy Qur’an confirm the obligation to pay Zakat.Indeed, approx 82 times, the Holy Qur’an mentions Salat (Namaz) and Zakat, jointly, almost as one entity, and certainly Zakat is given just as much importance as Salat. Salat & Zakat are two inseparable and fundamental articles of Islamic faith and practice.

Every morning when a person gets up, two Angels come down. One of them says: “Oh Allah, give the charitable person success”. The other Angel says: “Oh Allah, bring destruction upon the miser”.
The Holy Qur’an says: ‘By no means shall you attain righteousness until you spend (in the way of Allah) out of that which you cherish most and whatever you spend, Allah is aware of it (3:92).
The Holy Qur’an also tells us whoever spends for Allah’s cause, ……………..is saved from His own greed, such are the successful (meaning being successful is to be saved from one’s own greed).
It also says: “And they give food out of love for Him (Allah) to the needy, the orphan & the captive, (saying); we feed you for Allah’s sake. We wish neither recompense nor thanks from you (76:8,9)

The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said: “The generous person is near Allah, near Paradise & near the people and the miser is far from Paradise, far from the people and near Hell. And the illiterate charitable man is dearer to Allah than the pious miser (Tirmidhi)

The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) also said: “Generosity is a tree in Heaven, whoever is generous will catch one of its branches and the branch will not leave him until it admits him to Paradise. Miserliness is a tree in Hell, whoever is a miser will catch one of its branches and it will not leave him until it admits him in to Hell” (Baihaqi).

Attaining high reward in the payment of zakat

* To be paid immediately on demand or as it becomes due.
* To be paid to seek only Allah’s pleasure, NOT for fame or popularity.
* To be paid secretly, so the left hand may not know what the right hand does.
* To be paid without a harsh word, injury or reproach.
* To be paid from one’s hard earned lawful savings.
* To be paid to the most deserving persons (not to loafers for drinking, gambling etc).
* To be paid without any obligation being asserted.
* Relatives are to be given preference over strangers

Attributes of a True Believer

* An ardent lover of Allah who’s deep love should sway all other attachments with worldly pursuits.
* He must NOT be narrow minded & tight fisted.
* He should spend generously in the way of Allah.
* He should be magnanimous by nature, helping others irrespective of their attitude.
* He should not hoard wealth, because it will expose his life to dangers.
* He should not seek anything in return from the recipient (neither recompense nor thanks).
* He should pay with a smiling expression, NOT with reluctance.
* He should NOT see it as an imposition.
* He should be pure at heart & spend from what is pure & lawful.
* He should NOT be hesitant in curtailing his own expenditure in the service of Islam.

Wisdom of Zakat

* Purifies the heart and soul of the love of material wealth.
* Purifies the Allah given wealth in His Pure Name.
* Fortifies the belief that nothing is dearer than The Love of Allah.
* Fortifies the belief that one is fully prepared to sacrifice all for Allah’s sake.
* Roots out in-ordinate love of wealth which gives birth to numerous sins.
* Causes wealth, reward & blessings to grow manifold.
* Causes reward for prayer to grow manifold.
* Increases wealth of community as a whole.
* Saves one from one’s own greed and thus makes one more successful.

ZAKAT & CHARITY INCREASES WEALTH MANIFOLD

A date given in charity by a person from his lawfully earned wealth is developed and looked after by Allah until it grows as huge as a mountain (Bukhari Shareef).
Just as a grain of corn produces 7 ears and each ear yields 100 grains, likewise Allah gives a manifold increase to whom He pleases for He is All Embracing, All Wise (2: 261, 262).

VIRTUES OF CHARITY IN ISLAM

The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said: “no-one among you can become perfect in faith until he wishes for his brother, what he wishes for himself” (Muslim Shareef).
The Gracious Lord relieves generous man of poverty, distress & inflictions. The love of Allah encompasses him & angels pray for his salvation.
Allah goes on helping a person as long as he goes on helping his brother (in Islam).
Allah keeps a generous man, who sets aside a portion of his property for the poor, secure against natural
calamities and his Dua is also accepted by Allah.
Allah has bestowed upon us Iman (righteous faith), life, health, wealth, wisdom, children and so much more…..
Charity cools the wrath of Allah and safeguards the giver against a disgraceful death (Bukhari Shareef).
The primary motive of Zakat is religious & spiritual while the social & economic aspects are subservient to it. It
Stirs the moral conscience of man to make sacrifice for all brethren in faith.
It is a major sin not to help distressed brethren in faith, in spite of having surplus wealth.

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:38 am  Leave a Comment  

7 DUA’A FROM QUR’AN (eglish Translation)

BISMILLAHI RAHMANIR RAHIIM

(Supplication for acceptance of efforts)

Qur’an: Rabbanaa ta-qabbal minnaa ‘innaka ‘Antas-Samii-‘ul-‘Aliim

Translation: Our Rabb! accept from us. You indeed, You are the all-Hearing, the all-Knowing. (2:127)

(Supplication for Acceptance of Prayers)

Qur’an: Rabbij-‘alnii muqii-mas-Salaati wa min zurriyyatii, Rabbanaa wa taqabbal Du-‘aaa

Translation: My Rabb! make me steadfast in Salat and from my offspring; our Rabb! and accept my prayer. Qur’an (14:40)

Prophet Ibrahim (pbh) was gifted with two sons in his old age, Isma’il and Is-haq. As a parent, he supplicated to Allah (swt) to make him steadfast in his salat. He also asked to make his offspring steadfast in their salat. Although we may be offering our salat sincerely, it remains with Allah (swt) to accept our salat. This supplication also begs that Allah (swt) may not reject our salat. If Allah (swt) wills, He will reward us for our attempt in making a salat.

(Supplications during distress)

Qur’an: Qulillaa-humma maalikal-mulki tu’til-mulka man tashaaa-‘u wa tanzi-‘ul-mulka mimman tashaaa’. Wa tu-‘izzu man tashaaa-‘u wa tuzillu man tashaaa’ bi-yadikal-khayr. ‘Innaka ‘alaa kulli shay-‘in Qadeer. Tuulijul-layla fin-nahaari wa tuulijun-nahaara feel layl wa tukhrijul-hayya minal mayyiti wa tukhrijul-mayyita minal hayyi wa tarzuqu man tashaaa-‘u bi-***ri hisaab

Translation: Say: ” O Allah! Master of the kingdom! You give the kingdom to whom You please, and You snatch the kingdom from whom You please; and You exalt whom You please and You abase whom You please. In Your hand is all good. Surely You are Possessor of power over all things. You cause the night to merge into the day, and You cause the day to merge into the night; and You bring forth the living out of the dead, and You bring forth the dead out of the living; and You give sustenance to whom You please without reckoning!” Qur’an (3:25-26)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was instructed to make this supplication in Surah Al-i-Imran. This verse refers to the situation of the Israilites. They had the kingdom, and Allah took it away. Israilites, who were a living nation, are turned into a spiritually dead community. Arabs, who were spiritually at the abyss, are now bustling with life with the message of Islam brought by Muhammad (PBUH). Any student of history will attest that many nations and kingdoms, which were once blessed by Allah are in a dismay now. Allah made them spiritually dead, politically and financially bankrupt, just because these people went away from Truth. In our daily situation, when we are at the pit of troubles and devastated morally, spiritually or in worldly affairs, only Allah can bring us back.<O:P></O:P>

(Supplications for protection against evil ones)

Qur’an: Rabbi’a-uuzubika min hamazaatish -shayaatiini Wa ‘a-uuzu bika Rabbi ‘any-yahzuruun

Translation: My Rabb! I take refuge with You — from the prompting of the Evil-ones; And I take refuge with You, O Rabb! lest they come up to me. Qur’an (23:97-98)

(Supplications against oppressers)

In Surah Al-Mu’minun, Allah (swt) has instructed Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) to recite this supplication in the face of oppression by the leaders of Quraish.
Qur’an: Rabbanaa ‘akhrijnaa min haazihil qaryatiz-zalimi ‘ahluhaa; waj-‘al-lanaa mil la-dunka waliy-yanw waj-‘al lanaa milla dunka naseeraa.

Translation: Our Rabb! take us out of this habitat whose people are oppressors, and make for us a protecting-friend from Your presence and make for us a helper from Your presence. Qur’an (4:75)

Believing slaves, both males, females and children, who were persecuted in Makkah, made this supplication to Allah to protect them from the oppressors:

(Supplication expressing gratitude)

Qur’an: Rabbi qad ‘aatay-tanee minal-mulki wa allam-tanee min- ta’-weelil-‘ahadees,- Faatiras-samaa-waati wal-arz: ‘anta wa-liyyii fid-dunyaa wal-‘akhirati ta-waffanee musliman-wa ‘al-hiqnee bis-saali-heen

Translation: My Rabb! You have already given me of the kingdom and taught me the interpretation of the narratives; Originator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Protector in this world and the Hereafter. Make me die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous. Qur’an (12:101)

Prophet Yusuf (pbh) made this supplication after he became the ruler of Egypt, and he met with his parents. The parents prostrated to Allah and Yusuf (pbh) realized his dream of eleven stars and the sun and the moon making obeisance to Allah.

(Supplication for believers)

Qur’an: Rabba-nagfir lee wa li-waali-dayya wa lil mu’mi-neena yawma yaquu-mul-hisaab

Translation: Our Rabb! protect me and my parents and the Believers — on the day when the reckoning is set up. Qur’an (14:41)

This supplication is a part of a series of supplications made by Prophet Ibrahim (pbh). He had offered this supplication for protection from Hell-fire. This is an extraordinary supplication where Ibrahim (pbh) is not only asking for him and his parents, but for all the believers. This should be an example for us to include other believers in our supplications so that Allah grants His mercy to all Muslims. This supplication is not only for the supplicator and his (her) parents but also for the whole believer community. When we all make this supplication, we are in fact seeking protection for each other on the day of Reckoning.

(Supplication for dying in righteousness)

Qur’an: Rabbi qad ‘aatay-tanee minal-mulki wa allam-tanee min- ta’-weelil-‘ahadees,- Faatiras-samaa-waati wal-arz: ‘anta wa-liyyii fid-dunyaa wal-‘akhirati ta-waffanee musliman-wa ‘al-hiqnee bis-saali-heen

Translation: My Rabb! You have already given me of the kingdom and taught me the interpretation of the narratives; Originator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Protector in this world and the Hereafter. Make me die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous. Qur’an (12:101)

Prophet Yusuf (pbh) made this supplication after he became the ruler of Egypt, and he met with his parents. The parents prostrated to Allah and Yusuf (pbh) realized his dream of eleven stars and the sun and the moon making obeisance to Allah. Although Yusuf (pbh) received the kingdom, the supplication also asks for death as Muslim. How much would our earthly wealth, property mean if we do not die as Muslims and most importantly, if we are not with the righteous in the hereafter?

(Supplication for good of both worlds)

Qur’an: Rabbanaaa ‘aatinaa fiddunyaa hasanatanw wa fil ‘aakhirati hasanatanw-wa qinaa ‘azaaban-naar.

Translation: Our Rabb! give us good in this world, and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the Fire. Qur’an (2:201)

This supplication which is made by Muslims are compared to another supplication mentioned in the previous verse (2:200). That supplication is “Our Rabb! give us in this world”. That supplicantion, made by worldly individuals, is insufficient and provides no share in the Hereafter. Based on these two supplications, Allah (swt) is recommending us to ask for good in both the worlds, here and the hereafter.

(General supplications)

Qur’an: Qulilla-humma maalikal-mulki tu’teel mulka man tashaaa-‘u wa tanzi ‘ul mulka mimman tashaaa’. Wa tu-‘izzu man tashaa-‘u wa tuzillu man-tashaaa’, bi-yadikal khayr. ‘Innaka ‘alaa kulli shay-‘in qadeer. Tuulijul-layla fin-nahaari wa tuulijun-nahaara fil-layl: wa tukhrijul hayya minal mayyiti wa tukhrijul mayyita minal-hayyi wa tarzuqu man tashaaa-‘u bi-***ri hisaab

Translation: Say: ” O Allah! Master of the kingdom! You give the kingdom to whom You please, and You snatch the kingdom from whom You please; and You exalt whom You please and You abase whom You please. In Your hand is all good. Surely You are Possessor of power over all things. You cause the night to merge into the day, and You cause the day to merge into the night; and You bring forth the living out of the dead, and You bring forth the dead out of the living; and You give sustenance to whom You please without reckoning!” Qur’an (3:25-26)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was instructed to make this supplication in Surah Al-i-Imran. This verse refers to the situation of the Israilites. They had the kingdom, and Allah took it away. Israilites, who were a living nation, are turned into a spiritually dead community. Arabs, who were spiritually at the abyss, are now bustling with life with the message of Islam brought by Muhammad (PBUH). Any student of history will attest that many nations and kingdoms, which were once blessed by Allah are in a dismay now. Allah made them spiritually dead, politically and financially bankrupt, just because these people went away from Truth. In our daily situation, when we are at the pit of troubles and devastated morally, spiritually or in worldly affairs, only Allah can bring us back. When we are in distress, a sincere supplication to Allah can turn things 180 degrees

(Supplication for honor on the Day of Awakening)

Qur’an: Rabbana waatina ma wa’adtana ‘ala rusulika wala tukhzina yawmal-qiyamati innaka la tukhliful-mee’ada

Translation: Our Rabb! and give us what You have promised us through Your rasuls, and do not disgrace us on the day of Awakening. Surely You do not break promise. Qur’an (3:193)

This supplication is part of a series of supplications mentioned in Surah (Al-i-Imran). These supplications are made by those people who remember Allah, whether they are sitting, standing or lying (3:190). In verse 3:194, which follows these three supplications, we see that Allah ‘immediately responds’ to these supplications, and rewards with entry to ‘Gardens beneath which flow the rivers’. Do we need any thing else when Allah responds immediately to these supplications?

( Supplication for safety in journey)

Qur’an: Bismillaahi maj-rai-haa wa mursaa-haa, ‘Inna Rabbii la-Gafuu-rur-Rahiim

Translation: With the name of Allah be its sailing and its anchoring. Surely my Rabb is indeed Protector, most Rewarding. Qur’an (11:41)

Prophet Nuh (pbh) made this supplication after he loaded a pair of animals in his Ark, except his unbelieving son. The deluge made waves towering as high as mountains. This supplication helped Nuh (pbh), the believers and the necessary animals in the Ark sail through the deluge till the water subsided.

(Supplication for knowledge)

Qur’an: Rabbi zidnee ‘ilmaa

Translation: My Rabb! increase me in knowledge. Qur’an (20:114)

This supplication is taught to Muhammad (PBUH) by Allah Himself in Surah Ta Ha. The verse relates to an instruction not to hasten with Qur-an before it is completely revealed. While revealation of Qur-an was incomplete, our Rasul (PBUH) was instructed to make this supplication. In our situation, when our knowledge is limited about Qur-an, we should always make this supplication to understand Qur-an more. If Allah grants us knowledge, whether in the field of theology, science or technology, then we should be able to understand Qur-an even better.

(Supplication against natural calamity)

Qur’an: Rabbi law shi’-ta ‘ahlak-ta hum-minqablu wa ‘iyyaay. ‘Atuh-liku-naa bimaa fa-‘alas-sufahaa-‘uminnaa.

‘In hiya ‘illaa fitna-tuk. Tuzillu bihaa man-tashaa-‘u wa tahdil man-tashaa. ‘Anta waliyyunaa fagfir lanaa warhamnaa wa ‘anta khayrul-gaafiriin.

Translation: My Rabb! if You had so wished, You could have destroyed them before this, and me. Will You destroy us on account of what the foolish among us have done? This is nothing but Your trial. You leave in straying thereby whom You please and You guide whom You please. You are our Protector, therefore forgive us and have Mercy on us, for You are the Best of forgivers.
Qur’an (7:155)

During the absence of Prophet Musa (pbh), Israilites took a calf as an object of worship. When Musa returned to his people, he was angry and sad at this development. Then Musa selected 70 men of unsound faith for Allah’s tryst. These people of dubious faith were overtaken by an earthquake. At that time, Musa (pbh) made this supplication to rescue the people who were not at fault.

(Supplication for offspring)

Qur’an: Rabbi hab lii mil-ladunka zurriyyatan tayyibah ‘innaka samii-‘ud-du’aa’

Translation: My Rabb! give me from Yourself a pure offspring. You are indeed Hearer of prayer.
Qur’an (3:37)

Prophet Zakariya made this supplication as mentioned in Surah Al-e-Imran. Maryam was entrusted with Zakariya as a guradian. When Maryam grew up in purity and devoutness, Zakariya longed for such a child for himself. A child who would be as pure, virtuous and honorable as Maryam. In the following verse, 3:38, malaks brought the glad tidings of Yahya, “a noble and a chaste man, and a nabi from among the righteous”. Note the emphasis at the end of the supplication that Allah is “indeed Hearer of prayer”. Do we need any other kind of reassurance?

(Supplication for orators and writers)

Qur’an: Rabbisrah lii sadrii, Wa yassir lii ‘amrii, Wahlul ‘uqdatam-mil-li-saanii’ Yafqahuu qawlii

Translation: My Rabb! expand for me my breast, and make my affair easy for me, and release the knot from my tongue, they may understand my speech. Qur’an (20:25-28)

Prophet Musa (pbh) made this supplication while proceeding to the court of Fir’awn for the arguments. In this supplication, there is request to increase knowledge base – an important requirement for arguments. The second request is to remove physical limitations or limitation of resources. This limitation could be a writer’s block that we often face. Also, the third request is to make a lucid, easy to understand arguments. As we know, Musa (pbh) was succesful in the Fir’awn’s court and the wise men in the court had accepted the truth.

(Supplication for parents)

Qur’an: Rabba-nagfir lee wa li-waali-dayya wa lil mu’mi-niina yawma yaquu-mul hisaab

Translation: Our Rabb! protect me and my parents and the Believers — on the day when the reckoning is set up. Qur’an (14:41)

This supplication, which is a part of a series of supplication made by Prophet Ibrahim (pbh), as mentioned in Surah Ibrahim. This is an extraordinary supplication where Ibrahim (pbh) is not only asking for him and his parents, but for all the believers. This should be an example for us to include other believers in our supplications so that Allah grants His mercy to all Muslims. This supplication is not only for the supplicator and his (her) parents but also for the whole believer community. When we all make this supplication, we are in fact seeking protection for each other on the day of Reckoning.

(Supplication for perseverance)

Qur’an: Rabbanaaa ‘afrig ‘alaynaa sabranw-wa sabbit ‘aqdaamanaa wan-surnaa ‘alal-qawmil-kaafireen.

Translation: Our Rabb! pour down upon us perseverance, and make our feet firm, and help us against the unbelieving people. Qur’an (2:250)

When Talut (Saul) marched with his soldiers to confront Jalut (Goliath), the small force of Talut including Dawud made this supplication. Jalut’s army was larger than Talut’s. But on Talut’s side was Allah since Talut was marching to establish a kingdom in the name of Allah. In the war, Talut’s forces fought with the authority of Allah, in a response to this supplication. Dawud had killed Jalut, and Allah gave Dawud the kingdom and wisdom as mentioned in the verse (2:251) that follows this supplication.

(Supplication for protection and mercy)

Qur’an: Rabba-nagfir lee wa li-waali-dayya wa lil mu’mi-niina yawma yaquu-mul hisaab

Translation: Our Rabb! protect me and my parents and the Believers — on the day when the reckoning is set up. Qur’an (14:41)

This supplication, which is a part of a series of supplication made by Prophet Ibrahim (pbh), as mentioned in Surah Ibrahim. This supplication is not only for the supplicator and his (her) parents but also for the whole believer community. When we all make this supplication, we are in fact asking protection for each other on the day of Reckoning.

(Supplication for protection from hellfire)

Qur’an: Rabbanagfir lii waliwalidayya wa lil mu’mi-niina yawma yaquu-mul-hisaab

Translation: Our Rabb! protect me and my parents and the Believers — on the day when the reckoning is set up. Qur’an (14:41)

This supplication which was made by Prophet Ibrahim (pbh) is narrated along with a series of supplications in Surah Ibrahim. This is an extraordinary supplication where Ibrahim (pbh) is not only asking for him and his parents, but for all the believers. This should be an example for us to include other believers in our supplications so that Allah grants His mercy to all Muslims. This supplication is not only for the supplicator and his (her) parents but also for the whole believer community. When we all make this supplication, we are in fact seeking protection for each other on the day of Reckoning.
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(Supplication for provisions of life)

Qur’an: Qulilla-humma maalikal-mulki tu’teel mulka man tashaaa-‘u wa tanzi ‘ul mulka mimman tashaaa’. Wa tu-‘izzu man tashaa-‘u wa tuzillu man-tashaaa’, bi-yadikal khayr. ‘Innaka ‘alaa kulli shay-‘in qadeer. Tuulijul-layla fin-nahaari wa tuulijun-nahaara fil-layl: wa tukhrijul hayya minal mayyiti wa tukhrijul mayyita minal-hayyi wa tarzuqu man tashaaa-‘u bi-***ri hisaab.

Translation: Say: ” O Allah! Master of the kingdom! You give the kingdom to whom You please, and You snatch the kingdom from whom You please; and You exalt whom You please and You abase whom You please. In Your hand is all good. Surely You are Possessor of power over all things. You cause the night to merge into the day, and You cause the day to merge into the night; and You bring forth the living out of the dead, and You bring forth the dead out of the living; and You give sustenance to whom You please without reckoning!” Qur’an (3:25-26 )

Prophet Muhammad)PBUH) was instructed to make this supplication in Surah Al-i-Imran. This verse refers to the situation of the Israilites. They had the kingdom, and Allah took it away. Israilites, who were a living nation, are turned into a spiritually dead community. Arabs, who were spiritually at the abyss, are now bustling with life with the message of Islam brought by Muhammad (PBUH). Any student of history will attest that many nations and kingdoms, which were once blessed by Allah are in a dismay now. Allah made them spiritually dead, politically and financially bankrupt, just because these people went away from Truth. In our daily situation, when we are at the pit of troubles and devastated morally, spiritually or in worldly affairs, only Allah can bring us back. When we are in distress, a sincere supplication to Allah can turn things 180 degrees.

(Supplication for keeping in the right path)

Qur’an: Rabbi hab lii hukmanwa ‘alhiqnee bis-saaliheen

Translation: My Rabb! grant me wisdom, and join me with the righteous. Qur’an (26:83)

Prophet Ibrahim(pbh) had made this supplication as mentioned in Surah As-Shu’ara (the Poets). Ibrahim (pbh) was making a dawah to his sire Azar and his people. The people were disbelievers. Ibrahim (pbh) while explaing to the people about the truth and benefits of obeying Allah, made this supplication. This supplication stresses that our knowledge should guide us to be righteous. We are to be righetous, not blindly, but based on sound knowledge and wisdom.

(Supplication for sacrifice)

Qur’an: ‘Inna salaatee wa nusukii wa mah-yaaya wa mamaatee lil-laahi Rabbil-‘aalamiin. Laa shareeka lah: wa bizaa-lika ‘umirtu wa ‘ana ‘awwa-lul- muslimeen.

Translation: Surely my Salat and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for the sake of Allah- Rabb of all the worlds. No partners has He; and thus I am commanded, and I am the foremost of the Muslims. Qur’an (6:163-164)

Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) was instructed to make this supplication in Surah Al-An’am. In the Holy Qur-an, there are several supplications which were mentioned as made by prophets and believers. There are also some supplications which are taught by Allah Himself. This is one of such supplications, being taught by Allah to our dear Rasul (PBUH). In two verses, this supplication encompasses every aspect of our life.

(Supplication seeking pardon)

Qur’an: Rabbi innii ‘a-‘uuzu bika ‘an ‘as-‘alaka maa laysa lii bihii ‘ilm. Wa ‘illaa tagfir lii wa tarhamnii ‘akum-minal khaa-sireen.

Translation: My Rabb! surely I seek refuge with You for asking You that about which I have no knowledge; and if You do not forgive me and have mercy to me, I shall become of the losers.
Qur’an (11:47)

Prophet Nuh (pbh) had requested Allah to save his sinner son at the time of Great Deluge on the pretext of he being a member of his family. He had done this request out of fatherly love for his son (11:45). But the son being a sinner and rejecter of faith, was not to be saved. Allah knows best why he would not be saved. Allah admonishes Nuh not to ask about which he as no knowledge (11:46). This supplication is to be made to show humility in our mind and seek forgiveness and guidance from Allah. We admit that we know so little about unknown and unseen. It is Allah to whom we seek refuge and we plead to Allah saying if He does not guide us then we shall become loser. It is like complete submission to Almighty Allah for His mercy and guidance.

(Supplication for shelter)

Qur’an: Rabbi ‘innii limaaa ‘anzalta ‘ilayya min khairin-faqeer.

Translation: My Rabb!I am indeed needy of whatever good You may send to me. Qur’an (28:24)

Prophet Musa (pbh) was traveling to the desert of Madyan and he found some men were watering their animals and two women were standing helpless. Musa (pbh) helped these women with water, and then returned to a shade of a tree. At this time, he made this supplication with a reference to the shade of the tree as whatever good thing. Allah responded to this supplication. As a result, one of these women came to him and with an invitation from her old father. The old man was kind to Musa, offered him shelter and gave one of the two daughters in marriage to Musa.

(Supplication for truth)

Qur’an: Rabbih-kum bil-haqq! Wa rabbunar-rahmanul musta-‘aanu ‘aala maa tasifoon.

Translation: My Rabb! You decide with truth. And our Rabb is the Rahman whose help is invoked against what you attribute. Qur’an (21:112)

Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) made this supplication as mentioned in Surah Al-Anbiya’. This supplication confirms Allah as the ultimate Judge of truth and that He alone will protect us against blasphemies uttered by non-believers.

(Supplication for victory against odds)

Qur’an: Rabbanaaa ‘afrig ‘alaynaa sabranw-wa sabbit ‘aqdaamanaa wan-surnaa ‘alal-qawmil-kaafireen

Translation: Our Rabb! pour down upon us perseverance, and make our feet firm, and help us against the unbelieving people. Qur’an (2:250)

When Talut marched with his soldiers to confront Jalut (Goliath), the small force of Talut including Dawud made this supplication. Jalut’s army was larger than Talut’s. But on Talut’s side was Allah – since Talut was marching to establish a kingdom in the name of Allah. In the war, Talut’s forces fought witht he authority of Allah, in a response to this supplication. Dawud had killed Jalut, and Allah gave Dawud the kingdom and wisdom as mentioned in the verse (2:251) that follows this supplication.

(Supplication for victory of Islam)

Qur’an: Rabbanaa laa tu-‘aa-khiznaa ‘in-nasiinaa ‘aw ‘akhta’-naa. Rabbana wa laa tahmil ‘alaynaa ‘is-ran-kamaa hamal-tahuu ‘alal-lazina min-qablinaa. Rabbana wa laa tuhammil-naa maa laa taaqata lanaa bih. Wa’-fu ‘annaa wag-fir lanaa, war-ham-na. ‘Anta mawlaa naa fan-surnaa ‘alal-qawmil kaafireen.

Translation: Our Rabb! do not take us to task if we forget, or we make a mistake; our Rabb! and do not lay upon us a burden as you had lain on those before us; our Rabb! and do not impose upon us that for which no strength have we. Therefore pardon us; and grant us protection; and be kind to us. You are our Patron; therefore help us over the Unbelieving people. Qur’an (2:286)

This is the concluding verse of Surah Al-Baqarah. This supplication is very important since one hadith narrates that “whoever prays as taught in the last two verses of the Baqarah, they are sufficient for him” (Bu. 64:12). Although this supplication is meant for victory of Islam, it also stresses the need to be humble and need to protect us from evil.

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:36 am  Leave a Comment  

THE IMPORTANCE OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM

Islam’s Ruling on Marriage

All of the scholars are in agreement that marriage is something recommended (mustahabb) and called for in Islam. Some took it to the level of obligatory (waajib) for those with the ability based on the Prophet’s (sas) statement:

“Whoever has the ability should marry for it is better in lowering the
gaze and guarding one’s chastity. Whoever is not able, let him fast
for it is for him a restraint.” (Al-Bukhari)

Without doubt, marriage is part of the social agenda of Islam and the objective it to maximize marriage and to combat “singlehood” as much as possible. This means that if marriage begins decreasing for whatever reason such as exhorbitant dowries, economic injustice, etc. then these evils must be combatted in defense of marriage. If polygamy is neglected and not done sufficiently, this will create a number of single women and a situation which requires social effort to correct.
Likewise, if polygamy is done to excess by some individuals, it will produce an excess of single men another situation which must be corrected. The raising of children must be done in such a way which promotes marriage and raises both men and women knowledgeable of their roles and duties within the family. All of this can be found in Allah’s command to the Muslims as a whole to maximize marriage among us:

{And marry off the single among you and the righteous ones among your
male and female slaves. If they are poor, Allah will enrichen them
from His bounties and Allah is expansive, knowing.} An-Nur:32

Benefits of Marriage

Children

• The love of Allah is sought in seeking to have children. Allah has decreed this as the means by which mankind generally and this Ummah specifically will continue to exist. Allah said:

{Mothers nurse their babies two whole years for those who wish to complete their nursing. Upon the one for whom the baby was born is her food and her clothing in equitable and proper terms. No soul will be emburdened beyond its ability. No mother may be harmed on account of her child nor any father by his child and the heir is chargeable in the same way. If the two [parents] decide on weaning by mutual agreement and consultation, there is no blame on them. And if you decide on a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you provided you pay what you offered equitably and properly. And fear Allah and know that Allah sees well all that you do.} Al-Baqarah:233

• The love of Allah’s Messenger (sas) is also sought in seeking to have children because he (sas) said:

“Marry the loving and the fertile for I will outdo the nations with you[r numbers]. (In another version: “…for I will outdo the prophets with you[r numbers] on Qiyama.”)

With seeking children is also the seeking of the great blessing of a righteous offspring who makes du’a for you after your death or the intercession of a child who dies before reaching adulthood.

“When a person dies, his works come to an end (are cut off) except from three sources: except from an ongoing charity which he established or knowledge from which benefit is taken or a righteous offspring who makes du’a for him.”

From Abi Saeed (ra) that the women said to the Prophet (sas), “Reserve for us a day.” So he (sas) preached to them and said, “Any woman who had three children die will find them to be a protection for them from the fire.” One woman asked, “And two?” He (sas) said, “And two [as well].”

Other Benefits of Marriage

• Protecting oneself from Shaitaan by satisfying one’s desires and giving oneself rest and relief from the world by the two spouses enjoying each other’s company.
• Division of labor. When one lives alone, much of his time will be taken up by cooking and tending to his domical and will not be able to dedicate time to knowledge and other good deeds. A righteous wife is an aid to her husband in this regard. She is primarily responsible for the keeping of the house and children while he is responsible for supplying their needs. In addition to going out to seek their sustenance, he should fulfil his duties in the area of da’wah, enjoining right and forbidding wrong, jihad, etc.
• Practice of self-discipline and combating the nafs training it in responsibility and custody by fulfilling all obligations toward one’s family, being patient and forbearing with their character and putting up with their annoyances. In addition to this, the Muslim man must struggle and strive for their improvement in Islam and guiding them to the straight path of the deen. He must struggle to earn from the lawful for their sake and to participate in the raising of the children on the best of character. These are acts of very high status and of very high reward from Allah. The Prophet (sas) said:

“Anything you spend on your family will be a source of reward [from Allah], even a morsel of food which you raise to your wife’s mouth.” “A dinar you spent in Allah’s path, a dinar you spent in freeing a slave, a dinar which you gave in charity to a needy person and a dinar which you spent on your family. The greatest of them in reward is the one you spent on your family.”

Afflictions of Marriage

Marriage can also represent a test or be afflicted with some harmful situations.
• The worst of them is failing to seek sustenance from the lawful. If that becomes difficult, the husband may become tempted to reach his hand into the haraam.
• Falling short with regard to the rights of women and being patient with their character and their annoyances. In that there is a great danger because the man is the “shepherd” in the household and is to be questioned about those under his care. The Prophet (sas) said:

“Verily, woman was created from a rib and she will never stay for you on a straight way. If you get enjoyment from her, you get enjoyment while she still has her crookedness but if you insist on straightening her you will break her. And “breaking” of her is divorce.” All of you are custodians and will be asked about your charges. The Imam is a custodian and will be asked about his charges. The man is a custodian of his family and he will be asked about his charges. The woman is a custodian of her husband’s house and she will be asked about her charges. The servant is a custodian of his bosses’ property and he will be asked about his charges … So all of you are custodians and will be asked about your charges. (Al-Bukhari)

• For ones family to be a distraction from the remembrance of Allah such that he spends his days and nights enjoying his family and fails to make time for his heart to ponder the hereafter and to work for
it. Allah said:

{O you, who believe, let not your wealth nor your children divert you
from the remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that are indeed those
in loss.} Al-Munafiqoon: 9

Summary: Benefits and Harms

We have now summarized the possible harms and benefits in marriage. So, the ruling regarding marriage for each and every individual – as to which is better for him, marriage or staying single – is measured against these harms and benefits. Each seeker of Allah should measure himself against these factors and conditions. If none of the harmful issues are present and the benefits are all apparent such that he possesses [sufficient] wealth and good character, is a young person with a need for companionship, then there is no doubt that marriage is preferable and must be sought. On the other hand, if many of the harms are suspected or feared and not all the benefits will occur in any case, then staying single may be preferable for a particular
individual.

Usually no one forgoes getting married except one, who is either impotent or promiscuous, as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to a man who had not got married: “Nothing is keeping you from getting married except either impotence or immorality.”

In any case, Islam urges people to get married and considers marriage to be one of the ways of the Messengers; it is forbidden to forego getting married even if the intention is to devote oneself to worship. “There is no monasticism in Islam.”

Islam, unlike other religions is a strong advocate of marriage. There is no place for celibacy like, for example the Roman Catholic priests and nuns. The prophet (pbuh) has said “there is no celibacy in Islam.

Marriage is a religious duty and is consequently a moral safeguard as well as a social necessity. Islam does not equal celibacy with high “taqwa” / “Iman”. The prophet has also said, “Marriage is my tradition who so ever keeps away there from is not from amongst me”.

Considerations in Choosing a Wife

• Her religion. This is by far the most important consideration and above all others. If she does not have good Islam, she will corrupt her husband.

The Prophet (sas) said:
“Women are married for four: her wealth, her family, her beauty and her religion. So succeed with the one with religion, may your hands be in the dust (i.e., may you be impoverished if you ignore this warning).

• Character. Bad character is harmful to the individual and those around them.
• Beauty. This is something desirable, even if it ranks after religion in importance, because it is one of the things which makes the marriage strong and protects the man from wrongdoing. For this reason, the Prophet (sas) ordered men seeking marriage to get a look at the woman before marrying her. Some people used to refuse to neither consider this nor intend it. It is reported that Imam Ahmad chose a cross-eyed woman over her sister. But this is rare and human nature is at odds with it.

From Al-Mughira ibn Shu’ba that he sought to marry a woman and the Prophet (sas) said to him: “Look at her for it is more assuring that it should last between you.”

• An easy (smaller) dowry. Said ibn Al-Musayyib married his daughter for two dirhams (about $2.00). The Prophet’s (sas) dowries were generally much larger than that and there are no specific limits put on the dowry other than that they should be reasonable and not represent an undue obstacle to marriage.
o From Umm Habiba that she was under Ubaidullah ibn Jahsh when he went to Ethiopia … and he died [there]. Allah’s Messenger (sas) married Umm Habiba while she was in Ethiopia. An-Najashi married her to him and her dowry was four thousand and he gave her provision from his wealth and sent her to Allah’s Messenger (sas) with Sharhabeel ibn Hasana and all of her provision was from An-Najashi, Allah’s Messenger did not send anything to her. And the dowries of the wives of the Prophet (sas) were four hundred dirhams.
Umar ibn Al-Khattab said: Do not become excessive in the dowries of women for if it (i.e., high dowries) were an honor in this life or piety with Allah, the Messenger of Allah (sas) would have been the first of you to do it. But I never knew Allah’s Messenger (sas) to have married anyone of his wives nor to have married any of his (sas) daughters for more than 12 ounces of gold. Abu Isa (i.e., At- Tirmidhi) said, This is a good, sound hadith … and the “ounce” is known by the scholars to equal 40 dirhams, so 12 ounces is equal to 480 dirhams.
Just as excessive dowries are disliked from the wife’s side; it is equally disliked for the man to inquire about her wealth. Ath-Thawri said: “If a man is marrying and he asks, “What does she have?” know that he is a thief.”

• Virginity.
This is because the Lawgiver encouraged that and human nature favours it. This is because she will love her husband more and feel closer to him than a previously married woman. Human nature is inclined toward closeness to the first object of love or familiarity.
It is also more favourable to his love for her because there is something which repels one from she who has been touched by others.
• Fertility. Thas she be capable of bearing children. The Prophet (sas) said:
o “Marry the friendly and fertile, for I will compete with the other nations with your large numbers.”
• Family. She should be from a family of good religion and character.
• That she be not too closely related to her husband. Umar ibn Al- Khattab is reported to have said:
“Marry afar and do not become sickly.”

As we saw in the hadith, it is desirable for the man to look at the woman before marrying her. Also, the guardian of the woman should investigate the religion of the suitor, his character and his conditions for if he marries her to a man of corrupt character or of innovation in his deen, he will have transgressed against her and against himself.

A man said to Al-Hassan Al-Basriy: “To whom should I marry my daughter?” Al-Hassan said, “To one who fears Allah for if he comes to love her, he will honour her and if he dislikes her he will not oppress her.”

A Look at the Obligations upon the Husband and Those Upon the Wife As for the man, he must maintain justice and good character in twelve issues.
• Al-Waleema. The marriage celebration/feast. This is a strong sunnah and something desireable in Islam.
• Good character with his wife and patience with her irritations due to her weaknesses. The Prophet (sas) said: Take care with regard to women. Verily, the woman was created from a rib and the most crooked part of the rib is the top. So, if you insist on straightening it you will only break it and if you leave it, it will remain crooked. So take care with regard to women.
From Ibn Abbas who said, “I wanted for a long time to ask Umar regarding the two wives of the Prophet (sas) about whom Allah said {If you [two] repent to Allah, your hearts are indeed so inclined…}” … he said,” They are Hafsa and Aisha”, then he told the stories saying:
“We people of Quraish were a people who controlled our women. But when we came to Al-Madinah we found a people controlled by their women. Our wives began to learn from them. One day I became angry with my wife and she began arguing with me. I criticized her for this arguing of hers and she said, Do you condemn me for arguing with you? For by Allah the wives of the Prophet (sas) argue with him and one of them may boycott him (sas) the whole day until the night. So I set out and went to Hafsa’s house and said to her, “Is it true that you argue with Allah’s Messenger (sas)?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Is it true that one of you may boycott him for the whole day until the night?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “She is surely in shame who does that among you and in loss. Does one of you feel safe from Allah’s anger upon her for the anger of His Messenger. What if she were to die [in that state]? Do not argue with Allah’s Messenger (sas) and do not ask him for anything. Rather, ask me for anything that occurs to you and do not be misled by the fact that your neighbour may be more pleasing to and more loved by Allah’s Messenger (sas) than you. (He means Aisha).
• To be friendly with one’s spouse including playing around with them and joking with them. Allah’s Messenger (sas) had a foot-race with Aisha on more than one occasion and he used to joke with his wives. He said to Jabir upon hearing that he had married a mature woman (because he had been left with nine sisters as orphans): “… Choose a [young] virgin that she may play with you and you with her…”
• That the husband be moderate in such matters avoiding both being stern and unfriendly but also avoiding being so “loose” as to fall short in his obligations as head and leader of the family or to lose respect as such.
• Moderation with regard to jealousy such that he does not become unmindful of basic principles and the dangers of temptation but also not to go to extremes in suspicion and thinking evil of his mate. “If you stay away for an extended period, do not return to your family
at night.”
• Moderation with regard to expenses and spending on his family. He should avoid both extremes of israaf (excess) and taqteer (miserliness).
• The husband should study and learn all of the rulings of the Shari’a having to do with marriage, married life and women’s periods. He should make sure his wife knows all that she needs to know in this regard and remove any innovations or deviant beliefs or practices that she may have. He should teach her what she needs to know about her monthly periods such as that if it ends one rakaat (of time) before Maghrib that she must make dhuhr and asr and if it ends one rakaat before fajr that she should pay back maghrib and isha. It is rare for women to take care of such rulings.
• If he has more than one wife, he must do justice between them. The justice which is required is in nights spent with each and what is spent on or given to each. Equality with regard to love, affection, etc. is NOT required of the husband for that is not within his control. If he is going on a trip and wishes to take one with him, he can “draw straws” to decide which one. “Whoever has two wives and favors one of them will come on Qiyama with half is body twisted (or out of line).”

From Aisha (ra) that the Prophet (sas) used to divide between his wives and was just between them and he (sas) said: “O Allah, this is my division in that which I control (or “own”) so do not blame me regarding that which you control and I do not control.”

Nushooz (rebellion or turning away). If nushooz originates from the woman, the husband can reprimand her and require her to return to obedience. However, he must move slowly and in steps only after being sure with himself that it is not he himself who has transgressed bounds and become the cause of her misbehaviour. If he is certain of this, then he should begin with only reminders and good words with guidance from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Only if this is of no avail should he escalate to the other measures such as sleeping separately, boycotting (no more than three days), etc.

• Etiquettes of having children:

o Never rejoice at getting a boy or a girl instead of the other one.
You have no way of knowing in which Allah may place the greatest good.
o Pronounce the adhan in the babies right ear and the iqama in its left right after it is born.
o Give them a good name. The sunnah is that an individual has only a single name. The rest of his name consists of his father’s name which may be followed by his grandfather’s name and then by the family or clan name. Nothing but the first name should ever be changed. If the name has a bad meaning such as “Abdush-Shams” (slave of the sun), it should be changed, but ONLY if it is the individual’s FIRST name. The Prophet (sas) changed the names of several of the sahaba because of their negative meanings, but there was never any case where the father’s name was omitted or changed even where it has a completely reprehensible meaning. Harb ibn Abdush-Shams was one such case. His name became Abdur-Rahman ibn Abdush-Shams.
o Al-Aqeeqah. Sacrifice two lambs for a boy and one lamb for a girl. Prepare the food and invide the Muslims to eat.
o At-Tahneek. Place some mashed date or other sweet item on the roof of the baby’s mouth and moving it around with the finger to stimluate eating and make du’a for the baby. This is at 7 days, the same time as the Aqeeqah.
From Asmaa (ra) I became pregnant from Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair. I left when nearing full term and went to Al-Madinah. After arriving at Quba, I gave birth there. I brought him to the Prophet (sas) and put him on his (sas) lap. He (sas) called for some dates, chewed them and then put them from his (sas) mouth to the baby’s mouth. So, the first thing to enter his stomach was the saliva of Allah’s Messenger (sas). Then he did the tahneek with dates, made du’a for him and asked for blessings upon him. That was the first baby born in Islam. (i.e., in Al-Madinah and among the Muhaajireen.)
• Circumcision of boys.
• Divorce. Divorce is allowed in Islam but not encourage nor to be taken lightly. Divorce is the sole perogative of the man. If a woman desires to end the marriage but the man is unwilling to do so, she must resort to khul’a before the imam or a qadhi. A man should not surprise his wife with a divorce without any misdeed on her part. It is not allowed for the woman to force her husband to divorce without any misdeed or corruption on his part.
From Thaubaan that Allah’s Messenger (sas) said: “Any woman who asks her husband for divorce without any wrongdoing, forbidden to her is even the scent of Paradise.” (This hadith is authentic.)
o If he must divorce, he must adhere to the following:
o He must divorce her after her period is complete and before they have been together.
o He should pronounce only one divorce and take advantage of the period of ruj’a during which he can easily reverse his decision.
o To be easygoing and generous during the process, as Allah said {… or separate from them in a goodly manner…}. It is narrated that Al- Hassan ibn Ali (may Allah be pleased with them both) divorced his wife and sent ten thousand dirhams to her. Upon receiving them, she said, “A small provision from a departing lover.”
o Do not disclose any of her secrets to anyone else. “Among the most evil people before Allah on Qiyama is a man who shares intimacy with his wife and she with him and then he exposes her secrets.”
It is reported from some of the early generations that a man wanted to divorce his wife. It was said to him: “What is the problem with her?” He said, “An intelligent man does not violate secrets.” After he had divorced her, they asked him, “Why did you divorce her?” He answered,
“What businesses have I with another’s woman?”

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:33 am  Leave a Comment  

(THESE ARE A GIFT FROM ALLAH TA’ALA TO WHOSOEVER HE MAY GRANT,)

1. SPEAKING THE TRUTH

2. TO BE HONEST WITH PEOPLE.

3. TO GRANT FAVOR TO A DESERVING NEEDY PERSON.

4. TO RETURN A GOOD TURN.

5. TO BE KIND TO THE KINSMEN.

6. TO TAKE CARE OF A TRUST.

7. TO FULFILL THE RIGHT OF A NEIGHBOR.

8. TO BE DUTIFUL TO A COMRADE.

9. TO DISCHARGE OBLIGATION TOWARDS A GRANT.

10. AT THE ROOT OF ALL THESE IS MODESTY (IHYA).

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:31 am  Leave a Comment  

SEEKING ALLAH’S GUIDANCE, LOVE AND EVERLASTING REWARDS.

Seeking Allah’s Love

Non-Muslims and those secular Muslims whose faith is weak may ask: “Why do we have to sacrifice everything for Allah by doing all the religious duties (e.g., observing the five times daily prayers, fasting the whole month of Ramadan, paying Zakat or the obligatory charity, perform hajj, and observing other righteous deeds)?” The answer is straightforward, we have to sacrifice everything for Allah in order to please Him so that He will love us and bestow His Mercy and reward us supreme success. Allah’s Messenger r said:

“Allah the Almighty said: ‘My servant does not please me with anything more beloved to me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him.’” (Bukhâri)

If we please Allah by performing all the acts of worship (He has enjoined upon mankind), we show gratitude to our Creator. We need to be grateful to Allah I for all the favors He has bestowed upon us, especially for making us Muslims. In this way we gain His love and guidance and hence, His ultimate rewards. Allah the Exalted says:

“And remember! Your Rabb caused to be declared (publicly): ‘If you are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.’” (Qur’an 14:7)

“…And if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Rabb is free of all needs, Supreme in Honor!” (Qur’an 27:40)

“…Show (your) gratitude to Allah. Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, worthy of all praise.” (Qur’an 31:12)

We have to love Allah I for making us Muslims and for all the favors He has bestowed upon us. Verily, Allah I is our Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher. Everything comes from Him. He Alone deserves our love:

“Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah as equal (with Allah); they love them as they should love Allah. But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see behold they would see the penalty that to Allah belongs all power and Allah will strongly enforce the penalty.” (Qur’an 2:165)

We have to love Allah, the Most High, and be devoted to Him Alone so that in return, He will love us. Only when we gain His love, mercy and guidance can we attain success. We need to know how to earn Allah’s love. One may ask, but how do we attain Allah’s love? Alhamdullillah, Allah provides us clear and explicit answer to this very important question. In the Qur’an Allah the Almighty tells us two ways by which He bestows His love upon us:

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.’” (Qur’an 3:31)

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow Love.” (Qur’an 19:96)

It is very clear that if we follow the Sunnah (Way or Tradition) of Prophet Muhammad r and do righteous deeds Allah I will love us. Allah’s Messenger r invited people to believe (in Tawhîd and other six articles of Faith). He joined them to perform the pillars of Islam as well as other deeds of righteousness, which he himself practiced with much devotion. We can show our love and devotion to Allah I by performing not only the obligatory deeds required upon us but also to do the supererogatory or voluntary deeds. This means to observe the obligatory five daily prayers, zakat, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and hajj in the House of Allah I in Makkah once in a lifetime for those who can afford it. In addition to these is to try as much as possible to perform the optional prayers; to give sadaqa (voluntary charity); to fast in other days and months; to perform umrah (less pilgrimage); to do dhikr (remembrance of Allah) by reading the Holy Qur’an, by praising Allah and supplicating to Allah; by doing and/or supporting Da’wah (inviting people to Islam); to do jihad (fighting for the Cause of Allah) and other righteous deeds. All these must be done with sincere devotion to Allah in accordance with the Sunnah or Way of the Prophet r. The most important of these voluntary worship is the qiyaam ul layl or tahajjud (after midnight prayer). Allah I commanded His Messenger r to pray qiyaam ul layl, which the Prophet r regularly performed and which became part of his Sunnah. We read in the Qur’an:

O you (Muhammad) folded in garments! Stand (to prayer) by night, but not whole night, half of it, or a little less, or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tone. Soon shall We send down to you a weighty Word. Truly the rising by night is a time when impression is more keen and speech more certain. True, there is for you by day prolonged occupation with ordinary duties: but keep in remembrance the name of your Rabb, and devote yourself to Him whole-heartily. He is the Rabb of the East and the West: there is no god but He. Take Him therefore for your Disposer of affairs. (Qur’an 73:1-9)

Verily, your Rabb does know that you (O Muhammad) stand forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night or half the night, or a third of the night, and so does a party of those with you. And Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you are unable to pray the whole night. So He has turned to you (in mercy). Read therefore as much of the Qur’an as may be easy (for you). He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah’s Bounty, and others fighting in Allah’s Cause. So, recite as much of the Qur’an as may be easy (for you) and perform regular prayer and give Zakat; and loan to Allah a beautiful loan. And whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah. Yes, better and greater in reward, and seek forgiveness of Allah, for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur’an 73:20)

By making qiyaam ul layl as part of our practice, we become pious, a characteristic that will make us better Muslims. By praying the qiyaam ul layl, we demonstrate not only our sincerity to Allah but also shows our patience and sacrifice for waking up in the midnight to perform extra prayers when others are asleep. When we stand for a long time praying, reading or reciting Qur’anic Ayât (Verses) or Suraat (Chapters); when we do more dhikr (remembrance and praises to Allah); and when we make more supplications to Allah, we earn more hasanaat (rewards). By earning more hasanaat we actually improve our personality to be pious Muslims. We must strive to be pious in order to be closer to our Rabb. We must know that Allah’s Messenger r encourages us to have such excellent character as narrated in the following Hâdîth:

Abu Dharr t narrated that Allah’s Messenger r said to him, “You are not better than people with red or black skins unless you excel them in piety.” (Tirmidhi 5198 and Ahmad)

Once we become pious, we earn Allah’s love. Allah the Almighty will bless us with the best personality ¾ one that is loved by all the angels, and all the people, especially the Muslims. We read the following Ahadîth Qudsi:

Abu Hurairah t narrated that Allah’s Messenger r said, “Allah (Mighty and sublime be He) said: ‘Whoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about (seizing) the soul of my faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.’” (Bukhari 8/509)

Abu Hurairah t narrated that the Prophetr said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, ‘Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.” (Bukhari 4/431 and 8/66, Muslim and Tirmidhi)

We should include in our supplications to Allah I during qiyaam ul layl, that He makes us effective Du’ât (those who invite people to Islam), so that those non-Muslims who listen to us will easily see the Light of Islam. When we do this, by Allah’s Will, we will succeed as Du’ât because Allah I listens and grants supplications from His devoted worshippers especially during qiyaam ul layl. Allah’s Messenger r said:

Abu Hurairah t narrated that Allah’s Messenger r said: “Our Rabb, the Blessed, the Superior, comes down every night to the nearest heaven to us during the last third of the night. Then, He says: ‘(Is there anyone) who invokes Me, (demands anything from Me) so that I respond to his invocation? (Is there anyone) who asks Me for something so that I may grant him his request? (Is there anyone) who seeks My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?’” (Bukhari 2/246)

We should invite non-Muslims to love Allah I so that the Almighty will love them in return. They can show their love to Allah I by being rational and sincere in their search for Truth. If they do so, they will find that verily, Islam is the True Religion from Allah I. Insha Allah, our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) will guide them and open their hearts to Islam as He is the One Who gives Islam to those whom He loves. Allah’s Messenger r said in the following Hadîth:

‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud t narrated that Allah’s Messenger r said, “Allah Most High has allotted you your characters just as He has allotted you your provisions. Allah Most High gives worldly things to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He gives religion only to those whom He loves, so he who is given religion by Allah has been loved by Him. By Him in Whose hand my soul is, a man is not a Muslim till his heart and tongue are submissive, and he is not a believer till his neighbor is safe from injurious behavior on his part.” (Tirmidhi 4994)

Those who, by the Grace of Allah, have embraced Islam must thank Allah for His great Mercy. They should sincerely love Allah, His Messenger r and Islam as a whole:

Anas t narrated that a man asked the Prophet r about the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment) saying, “When will the Hour be?” The Prophet r said, “What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet r said, “You will be with those whom you love.” We had never been so glad as we were on hearing that saying of the Prophet (i.e., “You will be with those whom you love.”) Therefore, I love the Prophetr, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar t , and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not similar to theirs.” (Bukhari 5/37)

Anas t narrated that the Prophet r said, “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and the whole mankind.” (Bukhari 1/14)

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:29 am  Leave a Comment  

GOOD MANNERS IN ISLAM

1] It is related by ‘Abdullah bin Amr that the Prophet, peace be upon him, “The best of you are those who possess the best of manners.”
– Bukhari and Muslim

2] Abu Hurayrah related to us that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Muslims who possess better morals are the most perfect in Faith.”
– Abu Da’ud and Darimi

3] It is related by Abu Darda, he relates that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “On the Day of Reckoning, the most weighty item in the Scales of Deeds will be good manners.”
– Abu Da’ud and Tirmidhi
Note: This is in addition to fundamental principles of Islam: Salah, Zakah, Sawm and Hajj. [Annotated]

4] It is related by ‘Abdullah bin Amr that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Nearest to me among you are those who have better manners.”
– Bukhari and Muslim

5] It is related by Jarir bin ‘Abdullah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “They will not obtain the mercy of God in whose hearts there is no mercy for others.”
– Bukhari and Muslim

6] It is related by ‘Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “God will have mercy upon them that are merciful. Treat kindly the dwellers of the earth; He who dwells in the heaven will treat you kindly.”
– Abu Da’ud and Tirmidhi

7] It is related by Abu Hurayrah that a person complained to the Prophet, peace be upon him, of his own hard-heartedness. “Caress the head of the orphan, and feed the poor,” the Prophet replied.
– Musnad Ahmad

8] It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “A generous hearted bondsman is nearer to God and men, and he is close to Heaven and far off from Hell; and, surely, an ignorant, but open-handed is dearer to God than a devotee who is a miser.”
– Tirmidhi

9] It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “It is the command of the Lord for every bondsman: ‘Spend on others. I shall spend on you.'”
– Bukhari and Muslim

10] It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Miserliness and Faith cannot exist together in anyone’s heart.”
– Nasai

11] Abu Bakr related to us, saying that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “The cheat, the miser, and the one who follows up one’s favours with painful reminders of them shall not enter Heaven.”
– Tirmidhi

12] It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Musa bin Imran (the Prophet Moses, peace be upon him), (once), asked the Lord, ‘O Lord! Who are the noblest of bondsmen in Your sight?’ ‘Those who forgive the guilty when they have him/her in their control (and are in a position to take revenge),’ the Lord replied.”
– Bayhaqi

Note: The practice of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who was the most merciful of men, was that he always forgave those who did a wrong to him, but never failed to punish, according to the Divine Law, men who violated the limits laid down by God. It is related in Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of ‘A’ishah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, never punished anyone in a personal matter, but when a person transgressed against a God-given law, he used to punish him/her by reason of the command of God.

13] It is related by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar that “(Once) person came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and said, ‘O Prophet, how many times should I forgive the fault of my attendant (slave or servant)?’ ‘The Prophet kept quiet. The questioner, then, asked again, ‘How many times should I forgive the fault of my attendant (slave or servant)?’ ‘Seventy times each day,’ replied the Prophet.”
– Tirmidhi

Note: What the Prophet, peace be upon him, wanted to stress was that forgiveness was not a thing on which limit could be set. On the other hand, kindliness demanded that a servant should be forgiven even if he was frequently at fault. The figure of seventy on such occasions does not denote the exact number, but profusion.

14] It is related by Hudaifah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Do not be of those who do (by others) as the others do (by them), and say that we will do them a favour if they do us a favour, and if they will be mean and unjust to us then we, too, will be mean and unjust to them. On the contrary, resolve that you will do good if others do good, and if they do a wrong and act unjustly, even then you will not be unfair to them.”
– Tirmidhi

15] Abu Dhar Ghifari related to us that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Let no one of you consider any form or manner of doing good of little value. So, if he has nothing to give to a brother, he should, at least, meet him with a smile on his face. (This, too, is a form of kindness). And when you buy or cook meat, increase the broth, (by putting more water into it), and take out a spoonful from it for your neighbour.”
– Tirmidhi

16] It is related by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “A believer is a personification of love. There is no virtue in him who does not love others and the others do not love him.”
– Musnad Ahmad and Bayhaqi

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon & The Last Sermon Confirms the Main Points from the Quran

(PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S LAST SERMON)

After praising, and thanking God, he said: “O People, listen well to my words, for I do not know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Treat others justly so that no one would be unjust to you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. God has forbidden you to take usury (riba), therefore all riba obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital , however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer inequity. God has judged that there shall be no riba and that all the riba due to `Abbas ibn `Abd al Muttalib shall henceforth be waived.

Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabi`ah ibn al Harith ibn `Abd al Muttalib.

O Men, the Unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which God forbade, and to forbid that which God has made permissible. With God the months are twelve in number. Four of them are sacred, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Sha`ban. Beware of the devil, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights over your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under God’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. It is your right and they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste…

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship God (The One Creator of the Universe), perform your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your financial obligation (zakah) of your wealth. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before God (The Creator) and you will answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, NO PROPHET OR MESSENGER WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I am leaving you with the Book of God (the QUR’AN*) and my SUNNAH (the life style and the behavioral mode of the Prophet), if you follow them you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness O God, that I have conveyed your message to your people.

*The Qur’an: Revealed to Prophet Muhammad during the period from 610-632 AC. The first five verses revealed are: (1) Read in the name of your Lord, Who created. (2) Created man out of a clot that clings (in the womb). (3) Read and your Lord is the Most Bountiful. (4) Who taught by the pen. (5) Taught man that which he knew not.

(THE LAST SERMON COMFIRMS THE MAIN POINTS FROM THE QUR’AN)

“Oh Prophet, We have sent you as a witness, news bearer and a warner and as someone who invites people to God by His permission and a shining Lamp” (33:45-46).

Prophet Muhanimad (PBUH) who was sent to mankind as a news bearer and a wamer for he spoke the truth and did not invent something of his own. The purpose of this article is to confirm the statements made by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during his farewell address during the last pilgrimage (10 AH).

After praising and thanking God, the Messenger said, “Oh people, listen to my words carefully for I know not whether I will meet you on such an occasion again.”

TRUST AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Sermon: “Oh people, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Remember that you will indeed appear before God and answer for your actions.”

Quran: “If anyone killed a person unless it is for a murder or spreading mischief on earth it would be as it he killed the whole mankind, and if anyone who saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of whole mankind” (5:32). “Then on that day not a soul will be wronged in the least and you shall but be prepaid in the needs of your past deeds” (36:54).

FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS

Sermon: “Return the things kept with you as trust (amanah) to their rightful owners.”

Quran: “If one of you entrusts (something) the one who has been entrusted with it should hand over his security and he should heed God and not hide any testimony. Anyone who hides it-has a sinfull heart” (2:283).

INTEREST (RIBAH)

Sermon: “All dues of interest shall stand cancelled and you will have only your capital back. Allah has forbidden interest, and I cancel the dues of interest payable to may uncle Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib.”

Quran: “You who believe fear God and write off anything that remains outstanding from lending at interest if you are (true) God and His Messenger If you repent you may retail your principal do not wrong and you will not be wronged” (2:278).

TREATMENT OF WIFE (SPOUSE)

Sermon: “Oh people, your wives have a certain right over you and you have a certain right over them. Treat them well and be kind to them for they are your committed partners and commited helpers.

Quran: “Provide for them the rich according to his income and the poor according to his means, a provision according to the custom. This is an obligation for those who act kindly” (2:236). “Treat them politely even if you dislike them,. Perhaps you dislike something in which God has placed much good” (4:19).

WARNING ABOUT SATAN

Sermon: “Beware of Satan, he is desperate to divert you from the worship of God so beware of him in matters of your way of life.”

Quran: “Verily Satan is an enemy to you so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his followers that they may become companions of the blazing fire” (35:6).

BROTHERHOOD

Sermon: “Oh you people listen carefully. All the believers are brothers. You are not allowed to the things belonging to another Muslim unless he give it to you willingly.”

Quran: “Believers are but brothers so set things right between your brothers and fear God so that you may find mercy” (49: 1 0).

SUPERIORITY IS ONLY IN PIETY AND SUBMISSION

Sermon: “Oh people, no one is higher than the other unless he is higher in obedience to God. No Arab is superior to a non-Arab except in piety.”

Quran:”The most honored among you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you and God has full knowledge and is will acquainted (with all things)” (49:134). “Who can be better in religion than he who submits his whose self to God, does good and follows the ways of abraham for God did take Abraham for a friend” (4:125).

IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL WE MUST OBEY BOTH GOD AND HIS MESSENGER

Sermon: “Oh people, reflect on my words. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example and if you follow these, you will not fail.”

Quran: “And obey God and the Messenger so that you may receive mercy” (3:132).

OBSERVE THE PILLARS OF ISLAM

Sermon: “Listen to me carefully. Worship God and offer prescribed prayer, observe fasting in the month of Ramadan and pay the poor-due.”

Quran: “And establish the prescribed prayer, practice regular charity and bow down with those who bow down” (2:43). “Oh you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint” (2:183).

DUTIES REGARDING THOSE WORKING UNDER US

Sermon: “Oh people, be mindful of those who work under you. Feed and clothe them as you feed and clothe yourselves.”

Quran: “Act kindly just as God treated you kindly” (28:77). “God has favored some of you over their provisions to those whom their right hand controls so that they become equal (partners) in it. Would they thus disclaim God’s favor” (16:71).

MUHAMMAD WAS THE LAST PROPHET

Sermon: “Oh people, no prophet or messenger will come after me and no new faith will emerge.”

Quran: “Muhammad is not the father of any of you men but he is God’s Messenger and the Seal of Prophets. God is aware of everything” (33:40).

OUR DUTY IS TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF THE PROPHET (QURAN)

Sermon: “All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again (and people did).

Quran: “Oh Messenger, communicate whatever has been sent down to you by your Lord. If you do not do so, you will not have conveyed his message” (5:67).

Sermon: Have I conveyed the Message of God to you? asked the Prophet facing towards the heavens. The audience answered in one voice, “You have, God is the witness.”

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:20 am  Leave a Comment  

A ROLLER COASTER RIDE CALLED MARRIAGE (islam)

DON’T NAG- Nagging accomplishes nothing.It only widens the gap between you
and your husband.No husband ever appreciates a nagging wife.

BELIEVE- Let your husband feel that you can trust him. I know,
is very hard to do especially when your female intuition tells you
otherwise. Yet, intuitions can still go wrong. Trusting your husband
will make him feel good, not just about you but with your
relationship as well. In fact, he will even love you more for it.

ACCEPT- Accept his strengths as well as his weaknesses. praise him for
accomplishments and support him during his low moments,when
you decide to marry him,you did not marry just a part of him but
all of him.

LOVE YOURSELF- When you love yourself, there is so much love you can
share with your husband. Not just because you’re already married
doesn’t mean there is no need for you to maintain your beauty
rituals anymore. Loving yourself means taking care of your health,
your hygiene and of course, being attractive for your partner.

BE PLEASANT- As related to loving yourself, be pleasant when your
husband comes home from work. He can endure a messy house but
never a bad-tempered wife. Give him no reason to look for another
girl. Always welcome him with your smile, embraces and kisses.

TALK AND LISTEN- Talking is the best way to see through each other’s point of
view, gradually reaching out to one another and compromise.
But talking is useless when neither of you seems to listen. After you
talk, it’s your time to listen. This way, you will both understand what
the other wants to convey.

STUDY ALLAH’S & Doing this will enhance your relationship with each other and with
PRAY TOGETHER- ALLAH. When you commit your lives to ALLAH you can be sure
of a fulfilled and satisfying married life.

TRUST ALLAH- Would you like to be free from anxieties,worries and uncertainties
in your marriage? trust ALLAH. You will find it easier to trust
your mate completely if you trust ALLAH first, with ALLAH, there
is nothing to fear

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:17 am  Leave a Comment  

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND MUSLIM

What is Islam?

Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world’s population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.

Who are the Muslims?

One billion people from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe – from the southern Philippines to Nigeria – are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world’s largest Muslim community is in Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe. top

◊ What do Muslims believe?

Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. But God’s final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through Gabriel. top

◊ How does someone become a Muslim?

Simply by saying ‘there is no god apart from God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.’ By this declaration the believer announces his or her faith in all God’s messengers, and the scriptures they brought. top

◊ What does ‘Islam’ mean?

The Arabic word ‘Islam’ simply means ‘submission’, and derives from a word meaning ‘peace’. In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of God. ‘Mohammedanism’ is thus a misnomer because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. ‘Allah’ is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike. top

◊ Why does Islam often seem strange?

Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion does not dominate everyday life in the West today, whereas Muslims have religion always uppermost in their minds, and make no division between secular and sacred. They believe that the Divine Law, the Shari’a, should be taken very seriously, which is why issues related to religion are still so important. top

◊ Do Islam and Christianity have different origins?

No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons Muhammad from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Ka’ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray. top

◊ What is the Ka’ba?

The Ka’ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say ‘At Thy service, O Lord’, in response to Abraham’s summons. top

Who is Muhammad?

Muhammad, was born in Makkah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative.

Muhammad was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the ‘Mountain of Light’ near Makkah.

◊ How did Muhammad become a prophet and a messenger of God?

At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Quran.

As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra, ‘migration’, in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.

After several years, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.

◊ How did the spread of Islam affect the world?

Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine – Islam calls for faith in only One God worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation.

◊ What is the Quran?

The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago.

◊ What is the Quran about?

The Quran, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim’s faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system

◊ Are there any other sacred sources?

Yes, the sunna, the practice and example of the Prophet, is the second authority for Muslims. A hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet said, did, or approved. Belief in the sunna is part of the Islamic faith.

Examples of the Prophet’s sayings

The Prophet said:

‘God has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others.’

‘None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.’

‘He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer.’

‘The truthful and trusty businessman is associated with the prophets the saints, and the martyrs.’

‘Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.’

‘God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.’

‘A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action.’ The Prophet was asked: ‘Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?’ He said, ‘There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.’

From the hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi. top

◊ What are the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam?

They are the framework of the Muslim life: faith, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

1. FAITH

“There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger.”

This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is: La ilaha illa Llah – ‘there is no god except God’; ilaha (god) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of God – wealth, power, and the like. Then comes illa Llah: ‘except God’, the source of all Creation.

The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadun rasulu’Llah: ‘Muhammad is the messenger of God.’ A message of guidance has come through a man like ourselves.

2. PRAYER

Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one’s own language.

Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.

A translation of the Call to Prayer is:
God is most great. God is most great.
God is most great. God is most great.
I testify that there is no god except God.
I testify that there is no god except God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Come to prayer! Come to prayer!
Come to success (in this life and the Hereafter)!
Come to success!
God is most great. God is most great.
There is no god except God.

3. THE ‘ZAKAT’

One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one’s capital.

A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as ‘voluntary charity’ it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said ‘even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.’

The Prophet said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.’ He was asked: ‘What if a person has nothing?’ The Prophet replied: ‘He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.’ The Companions asked: ‘What if he is not able to work?’ The Prophet said: ‘He should help poor and needy persons.’ The Companions further asked ‘What if he cannot do even that?’ The Prophet said ‘He should urge others to do good.’ The Companions said ‘What if he lacks that also?’ The Prophet said ‘He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.’
4. THE FAST

Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as growth in one’s spiritual life.

5. PILGRIMAGE (Hajj)

The annual pilgrimage to Makkah – the Hajj – is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, over two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.

The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka’ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment.

In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modern transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities.

The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslim calendar. top

◊ Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?

The Quran says: God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. (Quran 60:8)

It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.

Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves. top

◊ What do Muslims think about Jesus?

Muslims respect and revere Jesus, and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as ‘Jesus’, but always adds the phrase ‘upon him be peace’. The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Mary’), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows:

‘Behold!’ the Angel said, ‘God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.’

She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, “Be!” and it is.’ (Quran 3:42-47)

Jesus was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam into being without a father:

Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was. (Quran 3:59)

During his prophetic mission Jesus performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said:

I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers and I raise the dead by God’s leave. (Quran 3:49)

Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran Jesus is reported as saying that he came:

To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me. (Quran 3:5O)

The Prophet Muhammad said:

Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven. (Hadith from Bukhari) top

◊ Why is the family so important to Muslims?

The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued, and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families; children are treasured, and rarely leave home until the time they marry. top
◊ What about Muslim women?

Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage dowry is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband’s.

Both men and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified; the traditions of female dress found in some Muslim countries are often the expression of local customs.

The Messenger of God said:

‘The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife.’ top

◊ Can a Muslim have more than one wife?

The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Quran, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair. top

◊ Is Islamic marriage like Christian marriage?

A Muslim marriage is not a ‘sacrament’, but a simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country. As a result, divorce is not common, although it is not forbidden as a last resort. According to Islam, no Muslim girl can be forced to marry against her will: her parents will simply suggest young men they think may be suitable. top

◊ How do Muslims treat the elderly?

In the Islamic world there are no old people’s homes. The strain of caring for one’s parents in this most difficult time of their lives is considered an honor and blessing, and an opportunity for great spiritual growth. God asks that we not only pray for our parents, but act with limitless compassion, remembering that when we were helpless children they preferred us to themselves. Mothers are particularly honored: the Prophet taught that ‘Paradise lies at the feet of mothers’. When they reach old age, Muslim parents are treated mercifully, with the same kindness and selflessness.

In Islam, serving one’s parents is a duty second only to prayer, and it is their right to expect it. It is considered despicable to express any irritation when, through no fault of their own, the old become difficult.

The Quran says: ‘Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and be kind to parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ‘uff to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honor and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say, ‘My Lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little’. (17:23-4) top

◊ How do Muslims view death?

Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that the present life is only a trial preparation for the next realm of existence. Basic articles of faith include: the Day of Judgment, resurrection, Heaven and Hell. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed, usually by a family member, wrapped in a clean white cloth, and buried with a simple prayer preferably the same day. Muslims consider this one of the final services they can do for their relatives, and an opportunity to remember their own brief existence here on earth. The Prophet taught that three things can continue to help a person even after death; charity which he had given, knowledge which he had taught and prayers on their behalf by a righteous child. top

◊ What does Islam say about war?

Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock. As Muslims see it, injustice would be triumphant in the world if good men were not prepared to risk their lives in a righteous cause. The Quran says:

Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors. (2:190)

If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things. (8:61)

War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term jihad literally means ‘struggle’, and Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other ‘jihad’ is the inner struggle which everyone wages against egotistic desires, for the sake of attaining inner peace. top

◊ What about food?

Although much simpler than the dietary law followed by Jews and the early Christians, the code which Muslims observe forbids the consumption of pig meat or any kind of intoxicating drink. The Prophet taught that ‘your body has rights over you’, and the consumption of wholesome food and the leading of a healthy lifestyle are seen as religious obligations.

The Prophet said: ‘Ask God for certainty [of faith] and well-being; for after certainty, no one is given any gift better than health!’ top

◊ How does Islam guarantee human rights?

Freedom of conscience is laid down by the Quran itself: ‘There is no compulsion in religion’. (2:256)

The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not.

Racism is incomprehensible to Muslims, for the Quran speaks of human equality in the following terms:

O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All Aware (49:13)

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment