Wednesday, November 26, 2008

O Turner of hearts, turn our hearts to Your obedience


Narrated Abduh Ibn AbdurRahim:

"WE went on an expedition to one of the lands of Rome; and among us was a youth of beside whom there was none amongst us more proficient in reciting The Qur'an, and none of us was more knowledgeable in fiqh and inheritance laws than him, one who used to fast the days and stand at night in prayer.

Whilst in our expedition we passed by a fort – of which we were not ordered to stop for – (guarded by many soldiers); and this youth stopped close to the fort as if he was relieving himself. So he looked up the fort and he caught sight of a woman from among the women of the Romans who was looking from that fort, and she amazed him. And as such he desired her, so he talked to her in the Roman language: 'Tell me the way to get to you?'

So she replied: "For you to become a Christian, then we will open the door for you (to enter the fort); and I am yours."

And he answered that call of hers, and he entered the fort!

In one narration it says : (The Muslims were not aware of the ongoings except that by the time they realized; he was with her!)

(The narrator continues to say) Consequently we were covered in great distress and encountered hardship in our expedition because of that.

It was as if each of our men took that to be as if it happened to his own child. After some time while on another expedition, we returned and passed by this same fortified town: and there he was with that woman, and the Christians; looking at us (from the fort).

So we said (to him): "O so-and-so what happened to your Qur'an? What happened to your knowledge? What happened to your fasting? What happened to your prayers!"

And there he said to us: "I have forgotten all the Qur'an except Allah's statement:

"Perhaps (often) will those who disbelieve wish that they were Muslims. Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with (false) hope. They will come to know!" (Qur'an, 15:1-2)

Source: Al-Muntadham of Ibnul Jawzee, Taarikh al-Islam of Imam Adh-Dhahabi under the biography of Abduh Ibn Abdur Rahim, Taarikh Al-Dimashq of Ibn Asaakir : 37/379


– The great benefit of lowering the gaze.

– The Importance of fighting the desires, especially the fitna between the opposite genders.

– Loving for your fellow Muslim that which you love for yourself, and hating for him that which you see is harmful to him. (And what is more of a calamity than seeing a Muslim leave the light of belief and choosing the darkness of shirk!)

– The diligence of Satan and his allies in their greatest goal against Muslims – apostasy.

Especially in the times of tribulations; the true colours of people come forth. As you see, indeed she didn't ask him for wealth or anything else.

– Don't be amazed by the actions of a person, only Allah knows the reality of the end of a person.

– Don't be amazed by your own deeds.

– The importance of supplicating for steadfastness, and uprightness in the religion upto the end of one's life.

Indeed the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do so, and taught us to do so in the narration:

"O, Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Your obedience." (Musnad Ahmad – authenticated by Al-Albani)

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The Last Sermon

The Last Sermon


                                                                        (By Dr. Shabbir Ahmed)

In the year 632 CE (tenth year of Hijrah), the exalted Prophet came back to Makkah for the Final Pilgrimage. People had kept joinining the Noble Caravan on its way to Makkah and there was a congregation of 140,000 people whom the Prophet (S) addressed from a mountaintop:

“O mankind! I believe we will not meet in this Congregation again.

Remember, your blood (life), your property and your honor is sacred unto each other. Very soon you will have to explain your actions before Allah.

O People! Your Sustainer Lord is One and your ancestry is common. No black is superior to a white, and no white is superior to a black, and no Arab is better than a non-Arab and no non-Arab is better than an Arab. Honor is the birthright of every human being. The only criterion of superiority amongst you is nothing but good conduct.

Treat those under your care equitably. Be kind to your servants. Feed them what you eat and clothe them as you clothe.
This day, the ways of the Jahiliyyah (the Age of Ignorance) are trampled under my feet. All bloodshed of the Jahiliyyah is declared null and void.

This day, I revoke all previous warfare, contention, bloodshed, and chain revenge. I am the first one to forgive the murder committed against my family, that of Rabee’ah bin Harith.

All usury (interest on money) of Jahiliyyah is null and void from this day on. First of all, I revoke the interest owed to my family on behalf of my uncle Abbas bin Muttalib.

O Men! Be fearful of Allah in all matters concerning women. They have rights upon you as you have rights upon them. Treat them well and be kind to them. Remember, they are your companions, colleagues, and partners in life.

Just as you honor this month, this day and this place, likewise your blood and property is inviolable unto one another. All believers are brothers and sisters unto another. Nothing from a believer is permissible unto another unless it is given with cheerful consent.

Remember that everyone is a shepherd. You will be questioned about those under your care. If a non-Muslim were wronged in our State, I would personally plead on his or her behalf. Avoid extremes in religion. Peace, O Mankind! Peace.

O People! I am leaving behind one thing among you. If you hold it fast, you will never go astray. What is that thing? - The Book of Allah.

Even if an Ethiopian slave is chosen among you as Ameer (Ruler) and he takes you along the Book of Allah, obey him and follow him. Serve your Sustainer Lord by serving His creation and you will enter Paradise.

O People! Sincerity in action, working for the betterment of fellow humans, and unity among the Ummah are three things that keep the hearts refreshed and clean.

O Mankind! No prophet will come after me. And there is no Ummah (an Ideology-based Community) after you.

It is incumbent upon you to convey this Message of mine unto those who are not present here. Allah will ask you about me on the Day of Resurrection. Tell me, what you will say. The noble companions and the congregation repeating after a Sahabi’s voice proclaimed, “We witness that you have conveyed the Message of Allah and fulfilled your Trust.”

On hearing this, the Prophet (S) raised his hands and said, “O Allah! Be witness. O Allah! Be witness. O Allah! Be witness.”

At this point, Allah revealed again part of a verse to the exalted Prophet,

(5:3)—– This Day I have perfected your DEEN for you, completed My favor upon you, and chosen for you Al-Islam as the System of Life. —-.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Fatwas on Haj

Q- What is the ruling concerning a person who passes the Miqat (the starting point) without assuming Ihram when he intends to perform Umrah?

A- It is incumbent, if a person intends to perform Haj or Umrah and he reaches the starting point, not to pass by it without assuming Ihram there. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The people of Al-Madina should begin (their Ihram) from Dhul-Hulaifa." So based upon this, it is an obligation upon a person who wishes to perform Haj or Umrah, when he reaches the starting point, to say the Talbiyah and assume Ihram, he must not pass by it.

If he does so, he must return and assume Ihram from it; and if he returns to it and assumes Ihram, there is no penalty incumbent upon him. And if he assumes Ihram from where he comes and does not return, according to the scholars, he must pay a penalty, which is to slaughter a sheep and distribute its meat among the poor people of Makkah. And Allah knows best.

– Answers by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi. Dr Siddiqi is President, Fiqh Council of North America.

Bribing the policeman

Q- (Whilst on Haj) a man with his mother approached Al-Hajar Al-Aswad (the Black Stone) to kiss it, but was unable to do so due to the crowd. So, he gave the policeman (standing) by the Black Stone 10 riyals. He (the policeman) then distanced the people from Al-Hajar Al-Aswad for this man and his mother, so they both could kiss it. Is this permissible or not?

A – If the matter is as mentioned, then the amount this man paid to the policeman is bribery and not permissible for him to have paid. The kissing of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad is a Sunnah and neither from the pillars of Haj nor from its requirements. So whoever is able to touch or kiss it, without harming anyone, it is permissible for him. And if he is unable to touch or kiss it, then he should touch it with a stick and then kiss it (the stick). And if he is unable to touch it with his hand or the stick, then he should make a sign towards it as he comes into line with it (opposite) and should say: 'Allahu Akbar'. This is the Sunnah. As for giving the bribe, then that is not permissible, not for the one making tawaf and nor for the policeman. It is for them both to repent to Allah for that.

– The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Verdicts, Fatawa of Haj, Umrah and Ziyarah.

Pills to prevent menses

Q- Is it permissible for a woman to take (pills/medication) to prevent her menses so she can perform the rites of the Haj or 'Umrah with ease?

A – I do not see any harm in (a woman) taking this medical treatment, with the condition that the doctor (in his/her professional opinion) does not see any harm for the woman in taking these pills. So, the (basic) principle in these things is permissibility, and (so long as) there is no falling into sin in this act.

– Sheikh Al-Albani, Important rulings for Muslim women

Haj with Haram earnings

Q- I am an employee at a bank, so is it permissible for me to perform Haj from my earnings?

A – Working in a bank which deals with Riba is not permissible. This is because it is assisting in sin and evil. And also, the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed the one who partook of/benefitted from riba, as well as the one responsible (for the transaction), the witnesses (to the transaction) and the one who writes (the transactions).

Therefore, the employee in fact is assisting the bank, even if he is just a (bank) clerk. So he is cursed according to the text of the Hadith. Based upon this, the wage he earns is Haram, and it is not permissible for him to eat/benefit from it and nor to perform Haj with it. This is because the (performance of) Haj requires pure/good earnings from Halal (sources).

However, if he has (already) performed Haj, then his Haj is correct (sound) but with sin (attached to it).

– Sheikh Saalih Al-Fowzan, Fatawa-Sheikh Saalih Ibn Fowzan – Volume 4, Page121, Fatwa No.123.

Not praying

Q- What is the ruling concerning the one who performs Haj whilst he has abandoned prayer, either intentionally (because he believes he doesn't have to) or due to negligence?

A – Whoever performs the Haj whilst he does not pray because he believes it is not obligatory, then he has committed Kufr by the consensus of the Ulema and his Haj is not accepted. However, if he does not pray out of laziness and neglect, then in this (case) there is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars. Among them are those who view his Haj as correct, and (likewise there are) those who view his Haj as incorrect. The prevailing view is that it is not accepted as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"The covenant that is between us and them [the disbelievers] is the prayer. Whoever abandons it has committed kufr."

And he (peace be upon him) also said:

"Between a man and disbelief and polytheism is the abandoning of the prayer."

This is general and encompasses both one who believes it is not obligatory and one who does not pray out of laziness or neglect.

– Sheikh Bin Baz, Fatawa of Haj, Umrah and Ziyarah.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The boy who broke his father's idols

The boy who broke his father's idols

THOUSANDS of years ago a boy questioned his father about the idols he would make. The town he grew up in adhered to the religion of their ancestors. However, this young boy thought differently. He reasoned and wondered why they worshipped idols? How could the idols benefit them? Could the idols even defend themselves if they were attacked? More importantly, is it not true that it was God who created the heavens and the earth and everything that exits? Then why do humans worship what they make with their own hands?

Furthermore, who will these people call upon if they happen to be in the midst of a storm while at sea? Will they not turn to the heavens and call upon the One God, who is unseen and who hears every call?

His father and his people, could not answer him so they shrugged him off. Since no one paid heed to the boy's words, he decided to put his words into a dramatic scene, as a picture is worth a thousand words. He found an opportunity on the day when everyone was away celebrating a festival. When the people returned they found all the idols broken except for the biggest one. An axe was leaning against it. What could this mean? They did not get the picture.

The young lad was their prime suspect. On confrontation, he said that the big idol must have done it and it must be questioned.

At that moment they understood the message and realized their plight.

"The idol does not speak. And how could a lifeless idol break other idols," they protested.

"Then," asked the boy, "Why do you worship these lifeless idols?" The point was driven home in a dramatic fashion.

The boy grew up to be Ibrahim (Abraham), the Prophet and Messenger of Allah calling people to worship Allah alone, the Creator of everything that exists. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is also revered by Judaism and Christianity.

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Guidance from The Prophet (saws)


Guidance from The Prophet (saws)

Umm Habibah (r.a.) the mother of the believers, reported: 'I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "A house will be built in Jannah for every believer who offers twelve Rakah of optional prayer other than the obligatory prayer in a day and a night.''
Related by Muslim.


If one makes it a practice to offer (at least) twelve extra rakahs in addition to the five obligatory prayers, the Messenger of Allah (saws) gave them the glad tiding of a house which would be built for them in Paradise.

The twelve extra (or Nafl) rakahs which the Prophet (saws) never failed to offer, and which are known as Sunnah Muaqqedah are:

1. Two rakahs before the 'Fajr' prayer.

2. Four rakahs before the 'Dhuhr' prayer and two rakahs after it.

3. Two rakahs after the 'Magrib' prayer.

4. Two rakahs after the 'Isha' prayer.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Motherhood in the Qur'an

Motherhood in the Qur'an

IT is taken for granted that the Noble Qur'an is a book of legislation and guidance. However, it should also be seen as a book detailing human relationships.

The Qur'an gives due attention to human values and relationships with the aim of drawing mankind's attention to the importance of human values and relationships, as man does not live in isolation in this world. One of the most important of human values that the Qur'an stresses is motherhood.

The Qur'an talks about the importance of being kind and obedient to one's parents, but some verses specifically mention the status of the mother. Muslim scholars explain that mother's favors are so critical at stages when man is unaware of it, like when he is a fetus or an infant. In other words, one can never equate the favors of his mother with the favors of his father.

Both, of course, are important, but it is the mother who carries the burden of bringing us up.

"And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination." (Qur'an, 31:14)

One of the outstanding examples of mothers mentioned in the Holy Qur'an is the mother of Moses (peace be upon him). She did something against her nature as a mother; however, she did so trusting Allah's promise, "And We inspired the mother of Mûsa (Moses), (saying): "Suckle him [Mûsa (Moses)], but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily! We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers." (Qur'an, 28:7)

Mariam (Mary) is another outstanding example. Some scholars say that Mariam was only 15 when she gave birth to Jesus, a miracle by Allah, as she was neither married nor was unchaste. She had to face and answer the society.

"Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariya (an unheard mighty thing).

"O sister (i.e. the like) of Harûn (Aaron) [not the brother of Mûsa (Moses), but he was another pious man at the time of Maryam (Mary)]! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman." (Qur'an, 19:27-28)

However, Allah is always there to support the believers. The infant Jesus spoke and answered them.

"He ['Isa (Jesus)] said: Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;

And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakat, as long as I live.

And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest." (Qur'an, 19:30-32)

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21st Century Britain: Islam or Christianity?

21st Century Britain: Islam or Christianity?

Which Faith is more relevant for the 21st Century, Islam or Christianity? Are Christian values still relevant today? Is religious faith still relevant?

Representing the Muslim perspective was Hamzah Andreas Tzortzis, Mr. Hamzah a revert to Islam is an international lecturer, public speaker, freelance writer, author, and activist. He is particularly interested in issues related to Islam, Philosophy and Politics. He has debated prominent academics, intellectuals and public speakers.Hamzah writes and speaks about issues related to belief, politics, spirituality, philosophy, ideology and more. Mr. Adnan is a student of Islam and comparative religion.

Representing the Christian side was Mr. Jay Smith, a Ph.D. candidate in Islamic studies at Brunel University in London. He has participated in many debates that have included distinguished opponents such as Benazir Bhuto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. He is famous for his unique evangelistic ministry. He teaches Christian-Muslim Apologetics. Beth Grove is a British grad student in theology, she is part of Hyde Park Christian Fellowship, she debates the place of women in traditional Islam, in contrast to New Testament teaching.She has debated Muslims on the street level at Speaker's Corner for the past two years.
The Topic of Debate: 21st Century Britain: Islam or Christianity?

Hamzah Andreas Tzortzis ( and Adnan

Jay Smith ( and Beth Grove


Words of Wisdom from the Qur'an

Words of Wisdom from the Qur'an
1. Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion, color, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on [17/70]
2. Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception [33/70]
3. Choose best words to speak and say them in the best possible way [17/53, 2/83]
4. Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [31/19]
5. Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious [22/30]
6. Do not confound truth with falsehood [2/42]
7. Say with your mouth what is in your heart [3/167]
8. Speak in a civilized manner in a language that is recognised by the society and is commonly used [4/5]
9. When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative [6/152]
10. Do not be a bragging boaster [31/18]
11. Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]
12. Do not participate in any paltry. If you pass near a futile play, then pass by with dignity [25/72]
13. Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious or overt [6/151].
14. If, unintentionally, any misconduct occurs by you, then correct yourself expeditiously [3/134].
15. Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people [31/18]
16. Do not walk haughtily or with conceit [17/37, 31/18]
17. Be moderate in thy pace [31/19]
18. Walk with humility and sedateness [25/63]
19. Keep your gazes lowered devoid of any lecherous leers and salacious stares [24/30-31, 40/19].
20. If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, better keep your mouth shut. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences [24/15-16]
21. When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favorable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and truthful evidence [24/12-13]
22. Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you smite someone in ignorance and afterwards repent of what you did [49/6]
23. Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning [17/36].
24. Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nobody knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge is another endowed with more knowledge [12/76]. Even the Prophet [p.b.u.h] was asked to keep praying, "O My sustainer! Advance me in knowledge." [20:114]
25. The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another [49/10].
26. Do not make mockery of others or ridicule others [49/11]
27. Do not defame others [49/11]
28. Do not insult others by nicknames [49/11]
29. Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal energy [49/12]
30. Spy not upon one another [49/12]
31. Do not backbite one another [49/12]
32. When you meet each other, offer good wishes and blessings for safety. One who conveys to you a message of safety and security and also when a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy [4/86]
33. When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else, compliment the inmates [24/61]
34. Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought permission; and then greet the inmates and wish them a life of blessing, purity and pleasure [24/27]
35. Treat kindly " Your parents " Relatives " The orphans " And those who have been left alone in the society [4/36]
36. Take care of " The needy, " The disabled " Those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their needs " And those whose businesses have stalled " And those who have lost their jobs. [4/36]
37. Treat kindly " Your related neighbours, and unrelated neighbours " Companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation. [4/36]
38. Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition [4/36]
39. Be nice to people who work under your care. [4/36]
40. Do not follow up what you have given to others to afflict them with reminders of your generosity [2/262].
41. Do not expect a return for your good behaviour, not even thanks [76/9]
42. Cooperate with one another in good deeds and do not cooperate with others in evil and bad matters [5/2]
43. Do not try to impress people on account of self-proclaimed virtues [53/32]
44. You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practice good deeds yourself, then preach [2/44]
45. Correct yourself and your families first [before trying to correct others] [66/6]
46. Pardon gracefully if anyone among you who commits a bad deed out of ignorance, and then repents and amends [6/54, 3/134]
47. Divert and sublimate your anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, and become a source of tranquility and comfort to people [3/134]
48. Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently [16/125]
49. Leave to themselves those who do not give any importance to the Divine code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and amusement [6/70]
50. Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine Law unless they engage in some other conversation [4/140]
51. Do not be jealous of those who are blessed [4/54]
52. In your collective life, make rooms for others [58/11]
53. When invited to dine, Go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too early to wait for the preparation of meal or linger after eating to engage in bootless babble. Such things may cause inconvenience to the host [33/53]
54. Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation [7/31].
55. Do not squander your wealth senselessly [17/26]
56. Fulfil your promises and commitments [17/34]
57. Keep yourself clean, pure [9/108, 4/43, 5/6].
58. Dress-up in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with exquisite character from inside out [7/26]
59. Seek your provision only by fair endeavour [29/17, 2/188]
60. Do not devour the wealth and property of others unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their possessions [2/188]

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ibn Abbas's debate with extremists

Ibn Abbas's debate with extremists

ABDULLAH Ibn Abbas narrates his debate when he approached the Khawaarij:

"I have come to you from the companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), from the Muhajireen and the Ansar, so that I may inform you of what they say.

The Qur'an was sent down upon them. And they are more knowledgeable concerning the revelation than you, and it was revealed amongst them. And none of them are amongst you."

So some of them said, "Let us speak with him and let us see what he says." I said, "Inform me of that which you harbor against the son of the uncle of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his son-in-law (Ali), the Muhajireen and the Ansar."

They said, "Three issues." I asked, "What are they?" They said, "As for the first of them, then he (Ali) has allowed men to judge in the affair of Allah, yet Allah said,

"...The judgement is for none but Allah..." (Qur'an, 12:40)

So it is not for men and it is not for judges."

So I asked, "This is only one issue."

They said, 'As for the other issues, then he fought his enemies, yet he did not take any prisoners or war booty. So if those whom he fought were disbelievers, then their imprisonment and war booty has been made lawful. And if they were believers, then fighting them is not permissible."

I said, "These are only two issues, so what is the third?"

They said, "Indeed, he erased the title, 'Leader of the Believers' from himself, so therefore he is the leader of the disbelievers." I said, "Do you have anything besides this?" They said, "This is sufficient for us."

So I said to them, "Do you hold that if I recite to you from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him), that which refutes your statement, that you will obey?"

They said, "Yes!" So I said, "As for your statement that he has allowed men to judge concerning from the affair of Allah, then I shall recite to you that which shows that Allah relegated His judgment to men.

Allah the Mighty and Majestic has said concerning the woman and her husband,

" If you fear a breach between them twain (the man and his wife), appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her's; if they both wish for peace, Allâh will cause their reconciliation. Indeed Allâh is Ever All- Knower, Well -Acquainted with all things." (Qur'an, 4:35)

So Allah made the judgement of the men a tradition to be believed in. So do you leave this (issue)?" They said, "Yes!"

Ibn Abbas continued, "As for your statement that he fought and he did not take prisoners, nor did he take war booty, then do you revile your mother, Ayesha? Then you must declare her lawful in that which you have declared lawful with regards to other than her! So if you were to do that, then you would become disbelievers, as she is your mother. And if you were to say that she is not our mother, then you have disbelieved. Since, Allah says,

"The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their ownselves, and his wives are their mothers..." (Qur'an, 33:6]

So you are revolving around two positions of misguidance. Regardless of which of them you adopt, you have adopted misguidance."

So they began to look at each other. I said, "Have you left from this?" They said, "Yes!"

"And as for your statement, that he erased the title of 'Leader of the Believers' from his name, then I shall come to you with one whom you are pleased with and I shall see you. Indeed, you have heard that on the day of Al-Hudaybiyyah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) made a treaty with Suhayl Ibn 'Amr and Abaa Sufyaan Ibn Harb.

So the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to the Leader of the Believers (Ali), "Write O Ali: These are the terms of peace agreed upon by Muhammad the Messenger of Allah." So the pagans said, "No, by Allah! Had we known that you were the Messenger of Allah, we would not have fought you."

So the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "O Allah! You know that I am the Messenger of Allah.

Write O Ali: These are the terms of peace agreed upon by Muhammad Ibn Abdullah."(Bukhari and Muslim)

So by Allah, the Messenger of Allah was better than Ali, yet he was not removed from Prophethood when he erased the title from his name."

Abdullah Ibn Abbas then said, "So two thousand of those people repented, and the rest were killed upon misguidance."

– This incident has been related in Musnad Ahmad (1/342), An-Nisaa'ee in Khasaa'is Ali (no. 190), Al-Bayhaqee in as-Sunanul-Kubraa (8/179) and many others.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

The secret of happiness


SO important is the concept of 'happiness' in our lives that many people – even dating back to the days of the Greek philosophers – considered its pursuit to be the very purpose of existence.

The Qur'an speaks of happiness as being one of the rewards of those whom Allah chooses to admit to Paradise.

Allah says of the martyrs:

They rejoice (Fariheena) in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty. (Aal-'Imraan, verse 170)

And for the pious believers He says:

"So Allâh saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadratan (a light of beauty) and joy." (Qur'an, 76:11)

What becomes immediately apparent upon reading the Arabic text (but once again obscured in the translation) is that two very different words have been used to convey the idea of happiness: 'Fariheena', which is conjugated from the noun 'Farah', and 'Suroor', and this is prevalent throughout the Qur'an. This is because there are two very different types of happiness being referred to.

'Farah' generally refers to transitory delights or pleasures, as is the case in bodily or worldly pleasure. For this reason, most times that 'Farah' appears in the Qur'an, it is being censured, as in the story of Qaroon:

"...Verily! Allâh likes not those who are glad (with ungratefulness to Allâh's Favors)." (Qur'an, 28:76)

But when the source of the 'Farah' is specified in the Qur'an, as in the verse from Aal-'Imraan mentioned above, the meaning becomes restricted (Muqayyad) and it is no longer censured.

But perhaps a greater distinction between the two lies in the manifestation of the happiness. The expression of 'Farah' is external and with clear outward signs. 'Suroor' refers to the expansion of one's heart with delight or pleasure wherein is quiet or tranquility, and as such it has no external sign. This is indicated by the root from which the word stems – 'Seen' and 'Raa' - the same root as the word 'Sirr', which means secret. So 'Suroor' is a secret happiness, known to one's heart but not always seen by others, as Ibn 'Abbas said in reference to the above verse from Al-Insaan, "The Nadrah is on their faces, and the 'Suroor' is in their hearts."

Such distinctions exemplify yet another example in which the translation fails and the original prevails.

- By Ola Shoubaki - has a Masters in Arabic linguistics from the International Islamic University, Malaysia and blogs

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