Assalamu’alaykum warahmatullah,

Last few days we resumed back our weekly Qur’an halaqah at the University. Alhamdulillah it was a good one. We were discussing surah al-Mu’minoon from ayah 1 to 11 to basically reflect on the purpose of learning the Qur’an and the deen in general. The verses are as the following:

1. Successful indeed are the believers.

2. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.

3. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden).

4. And those who pay the Zakat .

5. And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts)

6. Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame;

7. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors;

8. Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts etc.) and to their covenants;

9. And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawat (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours).

10. These are indeed the inheritors.

11. Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.

The ayah starts off with mentioning the glad tidings for believers and followed by four general descriptions of successful believers. The first characteristic mentioned is one who establish prayer with khushoo’. Prayer, as we all know, is the foundation of Islam as in one hadith where the Prophet SAW said “Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer” (Muslim). It is also important to note that our prayer will be the first thing to be accounted for on the Day of Judgement as mentioned in the following hadith: ” The first thing that the servant will be called to account for on the Day of Judgment will be Salah. If it is good, his deeds will have been good. If it is bad, his deeds will have been bad” (At-Tabarani). This shows that prayer is one of the most important thing that a muslim should safeguard and offer with full attention. The mention of khushoo’ indicates that prayer should not be done mechanically. It should be established with sincerity and submissiveness. And in order to attain khushoo’ in prayer, one should prepare before even coming to prayer. Prayer should not be treated like plug-and-play. You cannot expect to attain that level of consciousness in prayer if you are very involved in the matter of dunya just before going to prayer (unless you’re a very BIG BIG Sheykh!!). We should be aware as well that during prayer, we are communicating directly with Allah. So treat it like a communication. How would we communicate with our superior? Our kings or presidents? Imagine now that we’re communicating with The King of Kings? How should we behave?

The next characteristic that was mentioned is those who stay away from al-Laghw. In the Qur’an, if we notice, al-Laghw is always used to refer to vain talk eventhough the meaning can be expanded to include useless/senseless actions. Our halaqa ‘instructor’ pointed out a really interesting relationship between the previous characteristic (prayer with khushoo’) and this characteristic. Good relationship with Allah should be reflected in our action. I remembered once, when I was talking to a brother in a local masjid, he was mentioning that if a person does a lot of ‘ibadaah and it doesn’t reflect on his dealings with the people around him, then his ‘ibadaah is not benefiting him in anyway. SubhanAllah, I for once, was really affected by his speech. How have I treated people around me? My family? My friends? How many times have I sinned other people? How many times I’ve talked with people around me and suddenly we start to talk about others not knowing that we are actually backbiting them? If we have attain khushoo’ in prayer how can we not maintain the “khushoo'” (conscious) in our dealings with the people? May Allah forgive me for my shortcomings and may Allah reward those I’ve wronged, ameen. If this is happening to us, we really should check back our ‘ibadaah. Did we perform them with sincerity? Did we do it just for the sake of doing it or to please Allah? May Allah guide us to perform all ”ibadaah for the sake of Him only and perform them with ihsaan, ameen.

The next characteristic is one who perform zakah. Zakah has always been mentioned right after prayer in the Qur’an which highlights the importance of this specific action as one of the basic tenets of Islam. Zakah purifies our wealth as prayer purifies our heart. One point that was highlighted by the ‘instructor’ is that very few muslims know the rulings on zakah. As zakah always being mention after prayer, it is very important for muslims, especially in this age, to know the in and out of the rules for zakah. There are even some who doesn’t even know that they are not eligible to pay zakah and yet they pay it. Not only they paid zakah when they are ineligible, they even paid more than what has been ordained.

The last characteristic that was pointed out is one who guards their chastity. This characteristic is in correlation with the second characteristic. How? The first is to guard the tongue and the second is to guard the private part; both of which have been mentioned in a hadith :”Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him” (Bukhari). In another narration, the tongue and private part were said to cause the majority of people to end up in the hellfire. The arrangements of these verses are of particular interest. Why would the verses regarding mu’alamah (guarding tongue and private parts) are put in between verses that mention ‘ibadaah (prayer and zakah)? It was said that these verses were put in between to underline the importance of being good not only to Allah but also to His other creations. 

The discussion of next verses are just my reflection and not being discussed in the halaqa. If there’s any mistakes, I ask Allah to forgive me and guide me to the right path. So please don’t quote me on this. The next verse is, I think, the end of the general description of successful believers because Allah mention whoever transgress the boundaries that Allah has set, they will not be included amongst the successful believers. The next verses however, seems to be pointing back to the characteristics of successful believers. Again, this is just my reflection. It seems to me that the next verses are meant to point out the characteristics of the cream of crop amongst the successful believers as Allah mention, in ayah 10 and 11, about them being the inheritors of Jannatul-Firdaus, which is the highest place in Jannah. So to be a successful believers, one needs to fulfill the four mentioned characteristics as mentioned in ayah 2-6. But to be an extraordinary successful believer, the additional two characteristics need to be realized: being true to amanah and covenants and guarding strictly the five daily prayers. I guess I don’t have to elaborate more on these two aspects as the general discussion that we just had in previous verses can be applied to this verses as well. And the instruction is pretty obvious.

I ask Allah to guide us and make our path easy to become successful believers and I ask Allah to forgive us our sins, accept from us our deeds and increase our imaan, ameen. Any wrong information in this entry is from my own shortcomings (may Allah forgive me) and anything good and right is from Allah.

Wassalamu’alaykum

Pearl of Wisdom 4

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Interest, Islam, Pearls of wisdom

It is reported that Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd said, “When backbiting appears, brotherhood for Allâh will disappear; and at that time you will be like things plated with gold and silver: wooden on the inside, [merely] looking good on the outside.”

Fasting the Day of ʽĀshūrā’

Posted: December 6, 2011 in Islam

بسم هللا الرحمن الرحيم

Background:
The day of ʽĀshūrā’ is the tenth day of the month of Muḥarram. ‘Abd-ul-Lāh Ibn ʽAbbās ( رضيعنه هللا) narrates that when the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) came to the city of Al-Madīnah, he found that the Jews in the city were fasting the day of ʽĀshūrā’, and so they were asked about it. They (the Jews) replied, “[This is a great day]. This is the day in which Allāh saved Mūsā (Moses) and the children of Israel from [their enemy] Pharaoh. So we fast it out of gratitude to Him.

”The Messenger of Allāh (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) said, “We have more of a right to Mūsā than you.” And he commanded that it be fasted.(1)
The above narration gives us a historical background as to why the Jews revered this day, but it is incorrect to assume that it was only fasted by the Jews and then the Muslims when they came to the city of Al-Madīnah. ʽĀ’ishah (عنها هللا رضي) narrates:
“The day of ʽĀshūrā’ was fasted by Quraysh during the time of Jāhiliyyah (before Prophethood), and the Messenger of Allāh (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) used to fast it (as well). And then when he came to the city of Al-Madīnah, he fasted it and ordered (the people) to fast it (too)…”(2)
Fasting the Day of ʽĀshūrā’:
The command to fast the day of ʽĀshūrā’ in the above narrations was before the month of Ramadhān was made obligatory for the people to fast.(3)
Once it was made obligatory to fast the month of Ramadhān, then the day of ʽĀshūrā’ became a choice amongst the people. In continuing the narration of ‘Ā’ishah (عنها هللا رضي), she said:

“…and then when Ramadhān was made obligatory, he left the day of ʽĀshūrā’ (meaning he no longer made it obligatory), so whoever desired fasted it, and who desired left it (meaning did not fast).” (4)
And in another narration, ‘Ā’ishah (عنها هللا رضي) said that the Messenger of Allāh (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) said:
“Whoever desires, then let him fast it, and whoever desires, then let him not fast it.”(5)

And in a narration from ‘Abd-ul-Lāh Ibn ʽUmar (عنه هللا رضي), he narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allāh (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) say with regards to the day of ʽĀshūrā’:

“This is a day that was fasted by the people of Jāhiliyyah, so whoever likes to fast it, let him fast it, and whoever likes to leave it (meaning not fast it), then let him leave it.”(6)

Imām An-Nawawī (عليه هللا رحمة) said, “There is agreement amongst the scholars that fasting the day of ʽĀshūrā’ is a Sunnah (a recommended act of worship) and not Wājib (obligatory).”(7)

Therefore, it is not an obligation to fast the tenth day of Muḥarram, and one can choose between fasting it, and not. Knowing this, however, it would also be prudent to point out that the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) was very keen on fasting it – despite it no longer being an obligation. ‘Abd-ul-Lāh Ibn ʽAbbās ( رضي  هللا عنه ) :narrates“I never saw the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) more keen to fast a day that was more preferable to him than other (days), than this day, the day of ʽĀshūrā’, and this month – meaning the month of Ramadhān”(8)
The Virtue and Benefit of Fasting the Day of ʽĀshūrā’:
Abū Qatādah Al-Ansārī (عنه هللا رضي) narrated that the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) said:

“…and fasting the day of ʽĀshūrā’, I hope that Allāh will expiate by it (the minor sins) of the year before.”(9)

So fasting the day of ʽĀshūrā’ will expiate the minor sins a person has from the previous year, but not major sins. Imām An-Nawawī (عليه هللا رحمة) said, “What is meant by this are the minor sins.”(10)

This virtue in itself should be sufficient as glad tidings for a believer with regards to the day of ʽĀshūrā’ without the need to venerate it and fabricate virtues about it that cannot be established from the Qur’ān or the Sunnah of the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى). One such narration is that attributed to Abū Hurayrah (عنه هللا رضي) who said that the Messenger of Allāh (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) said:

“Whoever is generous to himself and to his family on the day of ʽĀshūrā’, Allāh will be generous to him for the remainder of the year.”(11)

Although Al-Ḥāfiṭh Al-Bayhaqī (عليه هللا رحمة) accepted that this narration was weak from all the various paths it was narrated from, he concluded that they strengthen one another to a level where it can be accepted. Other scholars, however, disagreed. Ibn Taymiyyah (عليه هللا رحمة) said that this narration was a lie against the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) Ibn Ḥajar Al-Aṣqalāni ( هللا رحمة عليه) said that it was an extremely atrocious narration,(13) and Ibn Al-Jawzī (عليه هللا رحمة) classed it as fabricated.(14)
Similarly, Shaykh Al-Albānī (عليه هللا رحمة) went through all the chains in which Al-Bayhaqī narrated this from and showed how the weaknesses in them were so severe that they could not be relied upon to strengthen one another.(15)

Another such fabricated narration is the following:

“Whoever applies Kuḥl with Iṫhmid (a stone used to produce Kuḥl) on the day of ʽĀshūrā’ will never have a sore eye ever.”(16)

Or:
“Whoever performs Ghusl on the day of ʽĀshūrā’ will never become sick, except by the sickness of death.”(17)

As for other acts of worship other than fasting, which people single out to do on this day, then evidence is required from the Qur’ān or the Sunnah otherwise it is a rejected innovation. And 4 this goes the same for other celebratory or remorseful acts some people do on this day. Shaykh Al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (عليه هللا رحمة) said:

As for other matters, such as cooking meals that are not customary, either with grains or without grains, or wearing new clothes, or being more generous in spending, or buying supplies that are specific for that day, or doing special acts of worship such as a special prayer, or deliberately slaughtering an animal (for that day), or saving some of the meat of the sacrifice to cook with grains, or wearing Kuḥl and Ḥennah, or taking a bath (Ghusl), or shaking hands (in congratulating one another for this day), or visiting (one another because of this day), or visiting the mosques and shrines, and so on… all of these are reprehensible Bidʽahs (innovations) that are not found in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh ( هللا صلى وسلم عليه), nor with the rightly guided Caliphs, nor was it liked by any of the Imāms of Muslims like Mālik, or Ath-Thawrī, or Layth Ibn Saʽd, nor Abū Ḥanīfah, or Al-Awzāʽī, or Ash-Shāfiʽī, or Aḥmed Ibn Ḥambal or Isḥāq Ibn Rāhwayh, or others like these Imāms of the Muslims – even though some of the later scholars who followed them used to command in doing these based on some narrations and remnants saying that some of this is authentic, but they are in error and are wrong without a doubt according to the people of knowledge and those who know the truth of matters.(18)

The Recommendation of Fasting Tāsūʽā’ with ʽĀshūrā’:
For the one who intends to fast the day of ʽĀshūrā’, it is also highly recommended to fast the day before – Tāsūʽā’ – the ninth day of Muḥarram. The main wisdom behind fasting the ninth day as well as the tenth is to be different than the Jews who used to only fast the tenth day. ‘Abd-ulLāh Ibn ʽAbbās (عنه هللا رضي) narrated that when the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) fasted the day of ʽĀshūrā’ and commanded that it be fasted, the people said to him, “O Messenger of Allāh! This is a day that the Jews and Christians revere.” So the Messenger of Allāh (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) replied: “If it is the next year, by the Will of Allāh, we will fast the ninth day.”
Ibn ʽAbbās (عنه هللا رضي) continued and said, “(But) the next year did not come except that the Messenger of Allāh (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) had passed away.”(19)
The command to fast the ninth day specifically to be different than the Jews is a weak narration in Marfuʽ form – meaning in a form that is elevated to be from the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى):
“Fast the day of ʽĀshūrā’ and be different than the Jews. Fast the day before it or the day after it.”(20)
The above narration, however, does appear to be an authentic statement of ‘Abd-ul-Lāh IbnʽAbbās (20)

(صلى هللا عليه وسلم) but not the Prophet ,
In another narration, the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) indicated that he had wanted to fast the ninth
day just in case for some reason he would not be able to fast the tenth day (like missing it because of the moon sighting at the beginning of the month, or because of sickness, or even death). ‘Abd-ul-Lāh Ibn ʽAbbās (عنه هللا رضي) narrated that the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) said:
“If I live, by the Will of Allāh, until the next year, I will fast the ninth day out of
fear of missing the day of ʽĀshūrā’.”(21)
Based on these narrations then, it is preferred for the one who intends to fast the day of ʽĀshūrā’
to fast the day before it. At-Tirmiṫhī (عليه هللا رحمة) said that this was the opinion of Ash-Shāfiʽī,
Aḥmed, Isḥāq, and others.(22)
Some scholars disliked fasting the tenth day without the ninth, while others scholars said it was not disliked, but the one who does not fast it loses out on the reward of being different from the Jews.(23)
And Allāh knows best.
Fasting the Month of Muḥarram in General:
With regards to the rest of the month of Muḥarram, other than the ninth and tenth day, then Abū
Hurayrah (عنه هللا رضي) narrates that he heard the Messenger of Allāh (وسلم عليه هللا صلى) say:
“The best fast after Ramadhān is the month of Allāh, Muḥarram.”(24)
Imām An-Nawawī (عليه هللا رحمة) states, this statement is clear in that the best fast after the month
of Ramadhān is the fast during the month of Muḥarram.(25)
So if a person wanted to fast additional days during this sacred month, because of this month and the statement of the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى), then it is recommended to do so.
Ḥārith Al-Shiraida
_______________________________________
1. Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī #3942 and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1130; the wording is taken from Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim
and what is between brackets is from Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī.
2. Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī #2002 and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1125; the wording is taken from Ṣaḥīḥ AlBukhārī.
3. The scholars differed as to whether this command was indeed an obligation or simply
recommended. Imām Ash-Shāfiʽī had two opinions on this, one that it was and one that it
wasn’t; the more famous of the two opinions is that it wasn’t, and this was also the opinion of
the Mālikīs. Imām Abū Ḥanīfah was of the opinion that it was indeed an obligation, and this 6
was the opinion of Imām Aḥmed (See Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim Bi Sharḥ An-Nawawī 4/460, and AlMughnī 4/422). And Allāh knows best.
4. Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī #2002
5. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1125
6. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1126
7. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim Bi Sharḥ An-Nawawī 4/460.
8. Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī #2006 and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1132; the wording is taken from Ṣaḥīḥ AlBukhārī.
9. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1162
10. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim Bi Sharḥ An-Nawawī 4/500
11. Al-Jāmiʽ Li Shuʽab Al-Īmān 5/331-333
12. Majmūʽ Al-Fatāwā 25/300
13. Lisān Al-Mīzān 6/338
14. Kitāb Al-Mawdhū’āt Min-al-Aḥādīth Al-Marfūʽāt 2/572
15. Silsilat Al-Aḥādīth Adh-Dhaʽīfah 14/738-743
16. Attributed to ‘Abd-ul-Lāh Ibn ʽAbbās (عنه هللا رضي) and classed as fabricated by Ibn
Taymiyyah in Majmū’ Al-Fatāwā 25/300 and by Shaykh Al-Albānī in Silsilat Al-Aḥādīth
Adh-Dhaʽīfah #624.
17. Attributed to Abū Hurayrah (عنه هللا رضي) and classed as fabricated by Ibn Al-Jawzī in Kitāb
Al-Mawdhūʽāt Min-al-Aḥādīth Al-Marfūʽāt 2/568 and by Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmūʽ AlFatāwā 25/300.
18. Majmūʽ Al-Fatāwā 25/312-313
19. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1134
20. Narrated by Al-Bayhaqī in As-Sunan Al-Kubrā #8406 and was classed as Dha’īf (weak) by
Shaykh Al-Albānī in Jilbāb Al-Mar’at-il-Muslimah 177. It was also narrated by Ibn
Khuzaymah and classed as Dha’īf by Shaykh Al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Khuzaymah #2095.
And it was narrated by Aḥmed in his Musnad #2154 and was classed as Dha’īf (weak) by
Shaykh Shuʽayb Al-Arna’ūṭ.
It does however come with an authentic chain attributed to Ibn ʽAbbās alone (in Mawqūf
form) and not attributed to the Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى). This was narrated by ‘Abdur-Razzāq
in his Musannaf and was classed as having a Ṣaḥīḥ Isnād by Shaykh Al-Albānī in Jilbāb AlMar’at-il-Muslimah 177. See also the comments of Shaykh Shuʽayb Al-Arna’ūṭ in Musnad
Aḥmed #2154.
21. Narrated by Aṭ-Ṭabarānī in Al-Muʽjam Al-Kabīr, and classed as having a Ṣaḥīḥ Isnād by
Shaykh Al-Albānī in Silsilat Al-Aḥādīth As-Ṣaḥīḥah #350.
22. Sunan At-Tirmithī #755
23. Ash-Sharḥ Al-Mumtiʽ ʽAlā Zād Al-Mustaqniʽ 6/468-467
24. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1163
25. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim Bi Sharh An-Nawawī 4/503

Pearl of Wisdom 3

Posted: August 21, 2011 in Islam, Pearls of wisdom

يقول ربكم : يا ابن آدم ! تفرغ لعبادتي ، املأ قلبك غنى ، وأملأ يديك رزقا ، يا ابن آدم ! لا تباعد مني ، أملأ قلبك فقرا ، وأملأ يديك شغلا

Allah says (in the hadith qudsi): O Son of Adam, set time aside to worship Me and I will fill your heart with richness/contentment and I will fill your hands with rizq! O son of Adam, do not keep away from Me, or I will fill your heart with poverty and I will fill your hands with work (ie. constantly being busy)!

Assalamu’alaykum,

 

In today’s halaqah we discussed about the first 5 verses of surah al-Ma’idah. We were asked if we ever felt that our hearts are uplifted, spiritually, when we contemplate on these verses. The verses are as following:

” 1. O you who believe! Fulfil (your) obligations. Lawful to you (for food) are all the beasts of cattle except that which will be announced to you (herein), game (also) being unlawful when you assume Ihram for Hajj or ‘Umrah (pilgrimage). Verily, Allah commands that which He wills.

2. O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of Allah, nor of the Sacred Month, nor of the animals brought for sacrifice, nor the garlanded people or animals , and others nor the people coming to the Sacred House (Makkah), seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord. But when you finish the Ihram (of Hajj or ‘Umrah ), you may hunt, and let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid-Al-Haram (at Makkah) lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.

3. Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maitah (the dead animals – cattle – beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, (that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols) and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns – and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) – and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-Nusub (stone-altars). (Forbidden) also is to use arrows seeking luck or decision; (all) that is Fisqun (disobedience of Allah and sin). This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above mentioned meats), then surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

4. They ask you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) what is lawful for them (as food). Say: “Lawful unto you are At-Tayyibat [all kind of Halal (lawful-good) foods which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. And those beasts and birds of prey which you have trained as hounds, training and teaching them (to catch) in the manner as directed to you by Allah; so eat of what they catch for you, but pronounce the Name of Allah over it, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Swift in reckoning.”

5. Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends. And whosoever disbelieves in Faith [i.e. in the Oneness of Allah and in all the other Articles of Faith i.e. His (Allah’s) Angels, His Holy Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection and Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], then fruitless is his work; and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. “

SubhanAllah, I have never really asked that question to myself. And when I contemplate on the verses, I don’t really feel that the verses touches me from within. Because to me, these type of verses were sent down as commandments and I thought I can only feel spirit being uplifted when I actually apply the legislations. Then, brother Mustafa (our halaqah teacher) said that it is normal for laymen to feel the way I felt. But the scholars viewed these verses in different light. Shaykh Ibn al-Qayyim said regarding verse 4 of the surah, which mentions about hunting dogs, that there are three benefits that one can obtain from this portion of the verse alone:

1. Excellence of knowledge – animals that are brought by untrained and trained hunting dogs don’t have the same status. Animals brought by the trained dogs are halal whereas animal brought by the untrained dogs are haram. For trained hunting dogs, the master can be sure that the dogs brought back the animals for him but in the case of untrained dogs,the animals brought by the dogs cannot be determined whether its for the master or for itself. In our case however, knowledge can determine whether our deeds are accepted or not. If we did something without having the knowledge, the deeds that we do may not be accepted and could be considered as acts of innovation.

2. Intention – Dogs that are well trained know well that the animals they hunt are for their masters and not for themselves. Untrained hunting dogs may sometimes eat the animals they preyed on which makes the animal they hunted haram for the master to eat. This can be compared to our intention in doing our deeds. If we don’t have the proper intention in doing any deeds for the sake of Allah, our good deeds are worthless in His eyes.

3. Realization – The reason why the trained hunting dogs will never eat the animals they hunted is because they know that  their masters have taken care of their well being. And for that, they will not disappoint their master even if at that time, they themselves are hungry. What about us, humans? Our provisions, health, children are all bestowed on us by Allah. Have we fulfill His right? If hunting dogs can be loyal to its masters and do whatever the masters ask them to do, what about us who owes everything we have in our life to our Master?

A brother in the halaqah also has mentioned one more beautiful benefit from the verse, that is:

Perfection – Trained hunting dogs always make sure that they presented the animals to their masters in the best form possible. In our terms, we should perform our deeds in the best manner possible because we tend to do our work half-heartedly.

The benefits mentioned really makes me think if I have done my job as a servant of Allah. I really need to reexamine my heart and ponder if I have done everything correctly according to His legislation. May Allah makes our intention right whenever we do any deeds, for this life and the hereafter, and may He accepts from us our deeds. May Allah makes it easy for us to perfect our deeds and deen and grants us success in this life and the next, ameen

Upon the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) would encourage – and not order as an obligation – to establish the night prayer in Ramadhaan. He would say, ((Whosoever stood [for the night prayer] in Ramadhaan with sincere faith and hoping for the reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.))[1]

Meaning of words

‘And not order as an obligation’ i.e. his command is a recommendation and encouragement and not a form of obligation.

Benefits

1. To stand in night prayer throughout Ramadhaan is from the best voluntary acts of worship which brings a slave closer to his Lord in this blessed month.

2. The meaning of ‘to stand in prayer in Ramadhaan’ is to stand in prayer at night as much as is easy upon a person. This can be done privately in ones house or in congregation in the Masjid.

3. To pray the night prayer in congregation is better [than praying alone in ones house]; this was the action of the prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam). He did not however, continue upon this action [of praying the taraaweeh in congregation] because he feared it would be made obligatory upon his people.

Also, due to the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said,((whomsoever stood in prayer with the imaam until he left, it will be written for him as if he has prayed the whole night.))[2]

4. The meaning of ‘the previous sins being forgiven’ is restricted to the minor sins. This is shown by other Ahadeeth. Some of the scholars held the view that both the minor and major sins are forgiven, however the first opinion is stronger and more correct when combining all the evidences together.[3]

Footnotes:

[1] Narrated by Abu Huraira; Collected by Al-Bukhaaree & Muslim.

[2] Narrated by Abu Dharr; Collected by At-Tirmidhi & Others.

[3] The expiation and forgiving of sins due to other good actions is restricted to the minor sins. The evidence for this is the saying of Allaah,

{If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins…} [04:31]

The major sins require specific repentance (taubah).

Excerpt from here.

The Gate of ar-Rayyan

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Uncategorized