Archive for the ‘Interest’ Category

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.”

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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 Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with faith and hoping (i.e. with anticipation) for its reward shall have all of his previous sins forgiven for him.”

[Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary:

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) saying: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with faith” meaning whoever establishes their fast upon true eemaan (belief and faith), which will therefore entail your fast being performed sincerely and purely for the sake of Allah.

He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) then said: “and hoping (with anticipation) for its reward”

The scholars (may Allah have mercy upon them) have said that ‘ih’tesaban’ (anticipation) is: the initiative to seek reward and obtain it using different types of good actions, and doing them in the required manner in order to seek their reward.

In other words, anticipation is an intention to gain the fruits that are promised for a certain good deed, and this – naturally – is an action of the heart not the tongue, that leads the self to be keen, the heart to look forward to, and determination to seek the great rewards behind this good deed.

In conclusion, whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with the above two qualities will as the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “shall have all of his previous sins forgiven for him.”

We ask Allah to make us from those who establish their fasting of Ramadan based on true eemaan and hoping for its reward so we can be from those who have their previous sins forgiven.

And Allah knows best!

Excerpt from Hadithaday.org

Assalamu’alaykum warahmatullah,

I just read this news at MuslimMatters yesterday and the news shocked me! I did not know that the government of China went this far to subjugate the muslim minority in Uighur. They went so far that they even force the muslims not to practice their deen anymore. The Uighur muslims were forced to eat during the day of Ramadhan or they could lose their annual bonus, or even their job. SubhanAllah, I don’t think this news has not reached the main strem media yet but it seems that it is not being highlighted. We need to be aware of this and spread this news to all muslims all around the world! Something needs to be done for our brothers and sisters there!

Muslim nations should take drastic actions towards China and condemn them for this inhumane acts. This definitely is against human rights! They should have freedom to practice their religion as the other chinese has the freedom to practice communism, christianity, buddhism etc! May Allah helps our brother and sisters there and strengthen them so that they will be persistent in practicing their deen. May Allah bestows upon muslims all around the world with victory against the oppressors, ameen.

Assalamu’alaykum,

Alhamdulillah, Ramadhan is drawing near and we ask Allah to lengthen our life so that we will be able to reach Ramadhan and benefit the most from this blessed month. Today’s halaqah is dedicated for Ramadhan for we will be entering Ramadhan in just a week or so. So the discussion today revolves around how we should prepare ourselves to grab the most from this month and what we should strive for so that this coming Ramadhan will be the best Ramadhan in our life and will make the changes that we have been longing for in our entire life, inshaAllah.

Ramadhan is one of the most special month in Islam. It is the month where the Qur’an was revealed and it is the month where Allah will multiply the rewards for every good deeds that we do. This is also the month where there’s a night that is better than a thousand months called laylatul qadr. This is the month of opportunity and when we come to think of how many people this year has passed away not knowing that the past Ramadhan was their last Ramadhan, we should realize how important it is for us to make full use of this upcoming Ramadhan by filling our time in this blessed month with good acts. We have to treat this coming Ramadhan as our last!

In this month, the only thing that will stop us is ourselves. We need to strive to get rid of our old bad habits and train ourselves to be proactive and productive. If we look back at our glorious history, how many great achievements the muslims had accomplished during the month of Ramadhan? The Battle of Badr, the conquest of Andalus and the conquest of Jerusalem (by Salahuddeen al-Ayyubi), all happened during the month of Ramadhan! Thus, we need to work hard and not using fast as an excuse for us to get lazy! And to achieve this, we need to prepare for Ramadhan, physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s like attaining khusyu’ in prayer, one needs to be in constant khusyu’ throughout his day in order to be khusyu’ in prayer. It’s not a ‘plug and play’ thing! It requires training and effort!

Imam al-Ghazali has stated that fasting is of 3 types:

1- Fasting of the masses- only fast from food, water and relationship with spouses but still get involve in haraam transaction, haraam business, backbiting etc.
2- Fasting of the righteous- not only fast from food, water and relationship with spouses but also restrain self from getting involve in haraam acts.
3- Fasting of the elite- the heart is also fasting by staying connected to Allah along with the fast from food, water, etc.

For this coming Ramadhan, let’s make our intention to achieve the fast of the elite as mentioned by Imam al-Ghazali. We should make our goal for this Ramadhan to work on our heart. One of the best way to check on our heart is to record our thoughts on a piece of paper. Any thoughts which includes anger, jealousy, insincerity etc should be recorded so that we can evaluate ourselves. This way we can see how often our hearts get astray from remembering Allah. By doing this, inshaAllah, we will be more aware and conscious of our thoughts thus, making it possible for us to make the appropriate corrections to correct our hearts and clean it. It is also beneficial for us to balance our deeds with hope and fear. Hope that Allah will accepts our deeds and fear from having any insincerity in performing the deeds. We need to constantly question our intentions so that we will attain the sincerity.

Blacken hearts will not be able to ‘see’ the signs of Allah just as the blind eyes cannot see the beauty of a flower. Therefore we need to evaluate ourselves and take the opportunity of the blessed month of Ramadhan to make the corrections within our hearts. It was mentioned in the halaqah that if you want to know how clean your heart is, try to contemplate on the things that you see around yourself. Do you just look at it without any feelings or you glorify Allah out of awe and amazement? Because this world, in of itself, has signs of Allah ‘written’ all over it. May Allah makes our intentions sincere for Him and Him only. May Allah accepts all of our deeds and may He makes it easy for us to make the changes that we have set for ourselves so that we will become a better muslims, ameen.

Assalamu’alaykum,

Yesterday, during Jumu’ah prayer, the khateeb delivered a khutbah on the importance of the month Sha’ban to muslims. As mentioned by the khateeb, many muslims are heedless of the importance of this month. Sha’ban is a month that is in between two special months in Islamic calendar, the haraam month, Rajaab, and the holy month Ramadhan.

Sha’ban is the month for us to prepare ourselves for the coming of Ramadhan. It was narrated by Muslim (1156) that Abu Salamah said: “I asked ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) about the fasting of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and she said: ‘He used to fast until we thought that he would always fast, then he would not fast until we thought that he would always not fast, but I never saw him fast in any month more than he fasted in Sha’baan. He used to fast all of Sha’baan, and he used to fast all of Sha’baan apart from a few days.’” So it is a very recommended act that muslims should strive to perform during this month.

However, for those who are not used to fast in the month of Sha’ban, it is not permissible for him/her to fast on the second half of the month of Sha’ban except for making up the missed Ramadhan fasts or fulfilling one’s oath. Why did the Prophet SAW fast most of the days of Sha’ban? It was said that the the reason the Prophet SAW fasted most of the days of Sha’ban is to prepare himself before entering Ramadhan. Fasting is not only for the benefit of the body, but also for the benefit of our souls and minds. So that when Ramadhan arrives, we will be fully prepared to welcome its coming and strive our best to make full use of the blessings that Allah bestows in this month.

Though, we should be aware also that there are a lot of hadeeth that mentions about the virtues and merits of certain ‘ibadah in the month of Sha’ban. A number of scholars ruled that the reports concerning that were false, such as Ibn al-Jawzi in his book al-Mawdoo’aat, 2/440-445; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in al-Manaar al-Muneef, no. 174- 177; Abu Shaamah al-Shaafa’i in al-Baa’ith ‘ala Inkaar al-Bida’ wa’l-Hawaadith, 124-137; al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom il-Deen, no. 582. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] narrated that there was consensus on the fact that they are false, in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 28/138.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Hukm al-Ihtifaal bi Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (Ruling on celebrating the fifteenth of Sha’baan):

Celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha’ban (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’ban) by praying etc, or singling out this day for fasting, is a reprehensible bid’ah (innovation) according to the majority of scholars, and there is no basis for this in shari’ah. (excerpt from here)

Now we are already in the second half of the month of Sha’ban. Thus, we should get ready for the upcoming month of Ramadhan. For us who did not fast in this month, we should make our best effort to prepare ourselves before entering the holy month of Ramadhan. Let us all hasten to repent for all sins and mistakes that we commit daily and ask Allah for His forgiveness so that we will enter the month of Ramadhan clean from filth of sins. May Allah blesses us with long life so that we will be able to meet Ramadhan and may He forgives us all of our sins. May Allah helps us also to benefit the month of Ramadhan to the fullest and permits us to His Jannatul Firdaus, ameen.

Wassalamu’alaykum