Sunday, December 28, 2008

Three Laughs and Three Tears

Three Laughs and Three Tears

ABU Al-Darda (may Allâh be pleased with him) said, "Three (people) make me laugh, and three make me cry.

Those that make me laugh are

1. A person who puts his hopes in this worldly life while death pursues him,

2. A person who is heedless (of his Lord) while (his Lord) is not heedless of him, and

3. A person who always laughs while he does not know whether he has pleased Allah or angered Him.

What makes me cry is being separated from my beloved:

1. Muhammad and his party (the Companions),

2. The horrors of the time of death, and

3. Standing in front of Allah on the Day when the secrets will be revealed and I do not know if I will then go to Paradise or Hell?"

– Ibn Al-Mubarak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqa'iq.

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Visiting the sick

Visiting the sick

THE Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said there were five rights of a Muslim towards his brother in faith, out of which one is that, if one were to fall sick, it is incumbent upon the others to enquire about his welfare and to alleviate his sufferings. (Bukhari and Muslim)

This is part of a long Hadith. We find such exemplary teachings in Islam to enquire about the welfare of the sick and to take lead to alleviate their sufferings.

The Hadith teaches us to take care of our near and dear ones and share their sufferings. If someone happens to fall sick or suffer from some ailment, we are enjoined not only to enquire about his suffering but also to alleviate it. This is out of our deep sense of service to humanity at large.

The sick, neurotic and deranged persons deserve our highest sympathies. Naturally, it becomes the foremost duty of a Muslim to look after them, and to care and nurse them with due kindness and compassion.

One's superior stance and happy position should at no moment make him too good and too wise, out of his sense of false pride, to become indifferent and discourteous to the sick and infirm, nor should he run away with the notion that he will never fall sick, or that he will never be in such a predicament that he would need others' help at any moment in his life.

To show compassion to the sick and to nurse them is an act of piety that pleases Allah and His Messenger. It also creates salubrious effect among individuals in society. It develops cordial relations among them and strengthens their bonds of friendship and brotherhood.

And this mutual cooperation and amity acts as a cementing force to fortify the arch pillar of the structure of Islamic society, thereby bringing stability to the community and the nation at large.

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Are suicide bombings OK?

Are suicide bombings OK?

I present excerpts from the Fatwas of some of the most prominent Islamic scholars who were/are among the senior scholars of Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Bin Baz:

"As for someone killing himself by booby-trapping his body with explosives, thereby killing others and himself, this is wrong and completely impermissible. Rather, he should fight alongside the Muslims only when fighting is legitimately legislated. As for the actions of (some of) the Palestinians (and others today), they are wrong and produce no benefit. Instead, they must call to Allah by teaching, guiding, and advising and not by such actions as these."

Source: Taken from the cassette Fatawaa Al-'Ulamaa Fil-Jihad.

Sheikh Saleh Al-Uthaymeen:

"My opinion on this is that it is nothing but suicide and that such a person could be punished in Hell just as has been authentically reported from the Prophet... I believe there's no excuse for someone to commit a crime like this during our time because it's a disreputable, modern-day form of suicide that's become widespread among people... And most of these people want nothing more than revenge on their enemies no matter how they achieve it – whether by permissible or forbidden means. They want nothing but to relieve their thirst for revenge."

Taken from Ad-Da'wah magazine (issue no. 1598, 2/28/1418 Hijrah which corresponds to 7/3/1997). Translated by Abu Az-Zubayr Harrison

Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan:

"Those people who carry out these kinds of acts assuming they are calling to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, they themselves are in need of being called back to (Islam and need to be educated about it)! How could someone be promoting Islam among people while at the same time carrying out explosions and acts of destruction? This is not calling to Islam and propagation. Instead, it's deterrence and repelling (people from Islam).

Did the Prophet propagate the religion this way? When he was in Makkah, was there even a single day that he or his companions destroyed anything or carried out any act of devastation? Of course not, he did the very opposite; he used to call (people)to his Lord with wisdom and good preaching, requesting the people to join and assist him in this. He never carried out any destructive acts among people because this harms the Muslims the most."

Source: From the cassette Fatawa of Ulama on the happenings that took place in the east of Riyadh - (1424 Hijrah / 2004 CE)

Sheikh Abdul Muhsin Al-Obaykan:

"Referring to these types of acts as 'martyrdom' is an untruth and totally incorrect. What is correct is that they're nothing but acts of suicide and of murdering people without rightful cause."

Source: From a recorded meeting with the Sheikh prepared by Muhammad Al-Husayn.

– AuthenticTranslations.com

Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications.

Why Are You Muslim?

 

'Why are you Muslim?' It may sound like an obvious question, but often many of us don't have a clear answer to it. I remember being asked this question by my elder brother when I was fourteen years of age, my initial answer was 'Well, our family is Muslim', his reply to this made me think, he said, 'If your family were Hindu or Christian, would you be as well?'. I replied with a strong 'No, Islam is the truth', the discussion that followed made me question the basis of my life and changed my life for ever. He triggered me to think about how to prove that Islam is the truth rather than just believing it emotionally or blindly. In fact Allah (swt) has condemned people for imitating their forefathers and adopting their belief without clear evidence.
In the Holy Qur'an, He (swt) says:
"And verily guess is no substitute for the truth." [TMQ 53:28]
"They have no (certain) knowledge. They follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not ('Isa)." [TMQ 4:157]
"These are nothing but names which you have devised, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow nothing but conjecture and what their Nafs desire. Even though there has already come to them the Guidance from their Rabb" [TMQ 53:23]
"Do you have Ilm (knowledge) for that which you claim so that you provide us with? You follow nothing but conjecture (Zann)." [TMQ 6:148]
The followers of other religions have no decisive proof for their belief, therefore they believe in their religions emotionally or through imitation. Some of them think that you just have to have faith without clear proof. However when it comes to normal things in life people apply a lot of thought such as buying a car, house, choosing a University course or which bank to join, so how can it be that when it comes to the most important questions about life; which define the purpose of our lives that we should just have 'faith' without being convinced absolutely.
It is therefore vital for a Muslim to believe in the existence of Allah (swt) without any doubt whatsoever and to believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad (saw) and that the Qur'an is the final revelation sent by Allah (swt) to humanity. Islam is unlike all the other religions as it has a decisive proof that convinces the mind.
Proof of the existence of God

Let us begin by discussing the proof of the existence of Allah (swt). Although we are taught theories regarding the origin of the Universe and origin of the Man such as the big bang theory and the theory of evolution, we should realise that they contradict the clear reality which everyone can sense.
The fundamental proof that God exists is that everything that we sense around us whether it is the mountains, the trees, the sun, the moon, the stars or animals and fellow human beings are limited things and are not eternal. By limited we mean that they have restrictions, a starting point and an ending point, and they have definable attributes i.e. they are all finite. Human beings are born and die. There is no-one alive who will not die. During their life span, they will grow to a certain height, weight and volume.
It is true that there are differences between the things that exist in the Universe however all of them share the quality of being limited and finite, the earth may be huge but it still has a certain shape, weight, volume by which it is limited, this applies to all planets, stars, solar systems and galaxies. Even though a galaxy may look huge to us as the earth looks huge to us and it is not eternal. Even if all of the galaxies and elements of the Universe are added together they do not become unlimited and therefore require an origin. No scientist could ever prove using hard facts that the universe has no bounds. In fact when they say that the universe arose from the Big Bang and is expanding they inherently admit it is finite in size, otherwise it could not expand! There is nothing in reality which is unlimited. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to find anything unlimited around us. All we can perceive is finite and limited.
It is a simple principle that something cannot come from nothing, therefore, where did the Universe come from? It cannot simply exist without having any cause as this contradicts the clear reality which everyone can sense, for example, if we see a car no one would ever think that it simply exists without any manufacturer, this can be applied to anything around us. The following example demonstrates this point well.
Imam Abu Hanifa was once asked by an atheist, "Is there any proof that God exists?" he replied, "Forget it! At the moment, I am busy thinking about this ship.People tell me there is a big ship; it contains different goods on board. There is no one to steer it, no one maintaining it. Yet, this ship keeps going back and forth; it even traverses big waves on the oceans; it stops at the locations that it is supposed to stop at; it continues in the direction that it is supposed to head. This ship has no captain and no one planning its trips." The atheist who posed the question interrupted and exclaimed, "What kind of strange and silly thought is this? How can any intelligent person think that some thing like this can occur?"
Imam Abu Hanifa said, "I feel sorry about your state! You cannot imagine one ship running without some one looking after its affairs. Yet you think that for this whole world, which runs exactly and precisely, there is no one who looks after it, and no one owns it."
The attribute of everything around us is that they are all needy and dependent in order to continue existing. They are not self-sustaining or independent. Man has needs he has to satisfy in order to survive. He has organic needs for example he must eat and drink if he is to survive. If he does not he will die. We see the need and dependency in plants and animals. They depend on other parts of the food chain for their existence. The water cycle is dependent on the sun, which is dependent on the laws of the galaxies and of burning mass, and so on... Nothing we can perceive is self-subsistent. So things exist, but do not have the power of existence. They cannot control when they die or when other bodies die. Thus what we see is that everything around us is limited and finite. Everything that is limited and finite is dependant and everything that is dependant is dependant upon something greater than itself. Applying this to everything we see will bring us to a conclusion. If everything in the universe is dependant because it has not the power of being in existence on its own accord, and is also finite and limited, then what is everything dependant upon for its existence? It must be an unlimited and independent creator.
Today the various theories that exist about the origin of the Universe such as the 'Big bang theory', 'Big bang – Big crunch theory' or 'dialectic materialism' they contradict the simple fact of the need for an unlimited creator.
One example that highlights this is that of the origin of life. Living things like plants, animals and human beings are different from inanimate or dead things as they have certain features such as independent growth, motion and reproduction. If people believe that the Universe has existed forever or that it evolved from single blast etc, this means that they believe that life also evolved from inanimate or dead matter such as gases, liquids or solids. If this is the case, then they should be able to show us one example at least of non-living things producing life, no such example exists. In fact some of them say that this happened by coincidence millions of years ago when certain amino acids and chemicals mixed together to produce the first life. If this is the case, then they should be able to reproduce this 'coincidence' with their billions of dollars worth of technology. But they are unable even to produce the most basic life form; an amoeba, which is a single celled organism. What scientists can do is manipulate the attributes that exist within living cells such as in genetic cloning; however this does not mean that they are creating life from dead matter. They are simply manipulating the attributes that Allah (swt) has placed within life, just as we manipulate metal to produce knives and cars.
Therefore, it is a simple fact that this universe must have a creator. The question remains is this creator like the universe i.e. limited or is the creator unlimited and eternal. If the creator was limited like the universe then He would also require a creator as this is the case with every limited thing. So if the universe was caused by a big bang as they claim, what was before the big bang? If it was something else like another universe then what was before that? This chain would continue until there would be a beginning or origin, this could only be caused by something which is uncaused or eternal, which we call God or Allah (swt).
Furthermore the amazing design of every part of the universe, man and life are testament to the fact that Allah (swt) exists. Imam Shaa'fi explained this when he said, "The leaves of Toot (berries) are all but one. Each leaf tastes exactly the same. Insects, honey bees, cows, goats, and deer live off of it. After eating these the insects produce silk; bees produce honey; deer give musk (a special kind of scent), cows and goats deliver off-springs. Is this not clear evidence that one kind of leaf has so many qualities, and who created these qualities? It is the Khaliq (Creator) who we call Allah (swt)) Who is the Inventor and the Creator."
We see that the Qur'an draws attention to everything around us and to conclude from this pondering the existence of Allah. There are hundreds of Qur'anic ayat expressing this meaning. Such as,

إنَّ فِي خَلْقِ ألسَمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ وَاخْتِلافِ ألَّيْلِ وَالنَّهــارِ لأََيــاتٍ لِأُوْلـــىالْبــَابِ

"Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alteration of night and day, these are indeed signs for men of understanding." [TMQ Al-Imran: 190]

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

"And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Behold! herein indeed are signs for men of knowledge." [TMQ Ar-Rum: 22]
أَفَلاَ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الإِبْلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ وَإِلَى السَّمَآءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ وَإِلَى الْجِبَالِ كَيْفَ نُصِبَتْ وَإِلَى الأَرْضِ كَيْفَ سُطِحَتْ
"Will they not look at the camels, how they are created! And the heaven, how it is raised! And the mountains, how they are set up! And the earth, how it is spread!" [TMQ Al-Ghashiya: 17-20]

فَلْيَنظُرِ الإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ خُلِقَ مِن مَّآءٍ دَافِقٍ يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَآئِبِ

"So let man reflect, from what he is created. He is created fom a gushing fluid, that is issued from between the loins and ribs." [TMQ At-Tariq: 5-7]
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِن مَّآءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and in the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth are signs (of Allah's sovereignty) for people who have sense." [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 164]
"Were they created of nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay they have not firm belief." [TMQ At-Tur 35-36]
Proof of the Qur'an

Once we have concluded definitively that Allah (swt) exists the next obvious question that arises is that has Allah (swt) sent a revelation for us to follow. It is clear that we are not able to communicate with God and therefore we are unable to know what He wants us to do, how He wants us to worship Him and how we should solve the problems we face in life. All of these questions would remain unresolved unless there the creator has communicated with us and given us a guidance to follow.
As Muslims we believe that throughout history, there have been messengers and prophets, men sent from the Creator, bringing laws or revelation on how man should conduct his life. They were given miracles which proved to mankind that they had a communication with God and a revelation from Him. A miracle is something which goes against the laws of nature which is impossible for anyone else to do; by miracles the Prophet's were able to prove their direct relationship with God. For example prophet Musa (as) had a stick which parted the Red Sea, Prophet Isa (as) had the ability to cure the sick by just touching them.
But how do we know if these messengers existed? The miracles performed by the above prophets were only miracles for that specific period of time. But how do we know that they were not just legends or fables? So what miracle do we have right now to convince us and guide us through our lives?
The Qur'an itself is the main miracle that the Prophet (saw) brought which is different to the physical miracles of the other Prophet's as they were limited to their times only. The Qur'an is an intellectual miracle that proves Islam. It was revealed to Muhammad (saw) in the 6th Century, it exists today and has been revealed for all times.
It is an established fact that the Qur'an was proclaimed by Muhammad (saw) in Arabia over fourteen hundred years ago. In order for us to prove decisively that it is from Allah (swt), we must first consider the possible sources of the Qur'an and then eliminate these to arrive at its true origin.
The only possible sources for the Qur'an are:
a) The Arabs
b) Muhammad (saw) himself
c) Allah (swt)
At the time it was revealed, the pagan Arabs were deeply into poetry. It was an indication of nobility in society. People used to go to the desert for days just to write poetry. The Arabic language has great fluidity and depth of expression, so it was held high in esteem by the Arabs. Allah (swt) in the Qur'an challenged the Arabs to produce something comparable to it in language and they failed to do so.
Initially Allah (swt) challenged them to produce ten chapters (surah's) similar to it:
"They may say: He forged it (the Qur'an). Say: "Bring you then ten forged surah (chapters) like unto it, and call whomsoever you can, other than Allah (to your help), if you speak the truth!" [TMQ 11:13]
They failed to do so. Allah (swt) then reduced the challenge to something that at first glance may sound easy, He (swt) said:
"If you are in doubt of what we have revealed to our messenger, then produce one chapter like it. Call upon all your helpers, besides Allah, if you are truthful" [TMQ 2:23]
The smallest chapter in the Qur'an, Surah al-Kauthar is only three sentences long, surely someone in history must have matched this challenge? The Arabs at the time of Muhammad (saw) failed to do so, although they were the best in the Arabic language. Furthermore no piece of Arabic literature before them or after them until today has even come close to matching the language of the Qur'an.
For non-Arabs sometimes this may be difficult to perceive as they do not appreciate the language of the Qur'an directly. However, everyone can agree that any piece of literature written by human beings can be matched; people can copy its style and produce something comparable to it in quality. If we look at great English authors like Shakespear no one would claim that they were Prophet's and that their works are miraculous in nature. Even though they may have been geniuses in language, people can easily write something similar in excellence to three sentences from their books. Despite having the Arabic language, its letters, grammar, syntax and dictionaries available today, the Arabic linguists cannot construct any piece of language that is comparable to the Qur'an. Therefore, it is impossible that the Qur'an was written by any of the Arabs.
It is also inconceivable that the Qur'an is the speech of Muhammad (saw). After all he was one of the Arabs. Also, whatever level of genius people may assign to him, he was still a human being and one of his tribe and nation. Since the Arabs failed to bring the like of the Qur'an, this equally applies to Muhammad (saw). Moreover, Muhammad (saw) has left saheeh ahaadeeth (sound narrations) and mutawaatir ahaadeeth (definitive narrations) whose authenticity is beyond doubt. If any of these ahaadeeth were to be compared with any verse of the Qur'an, there would be no similarity between them in style. He (saw) used to utter the revealed verse and say the hadeeth at the same time and yet there is a difference between them in style. Whenever any man attempts to diversify his speech, it will remain similar in style, because it is a part of him. Since there is no similarity between the hadeeth and the verse in style, the Qur'an is absolutely not Muhammad's speech. It is important to point out that none of the Arabs, who despised Muhammad (saw), particularly at that time, were the most acquainted with the styles of Arabic speech yet never claimed that the Qur'an was Muhammad's (saw) speech, or even similar to his speech.
Since it is proved that the Qur'an is neither the speech of the Arabs nor the speech of Muhammad (saw), it is definitely the speech of Allah as this is the only rational possibility we are left with.
The Qur'anic challenge is unique because the Creator, Allah (swt), pushes man to use his ability to undermine the authenticity of the Qur'an. It is such a profound yet simple challenge. Imagine throughout the history of Islam, all her enemies needed to defeat this challenge to destroy the whole basis of Islam. Yet not one, non-Muslim Arab or non-Arab has been able to do this even though all the tools of the Arabic language are at their disposal. The Western government's hatred of Islam is well known. All they have to do in order to defeat Islam and to make over one billion Muslims apostatise from it, is not to spend billions of dollars in invading Afghanistan, Iraq and launching a mythical 'war on terror'. They simply have to produce one chapter similar to the Qur'an.
To this day Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have not been able to find any contradiction or mistake in the Qur'an. Moreover, if one was to compare word by word a copy of the Qur'an published today to one of the first copies of the Qur'an available then one would find that not a single word has been omitted or added. Copies of the Qur'an dating back to the first century of Islam can be found in Istanbul and Tashkent. Allah (swt) says:
"Do they not ponder about the Qur'an? If it had come from other than God they would surely have found therein much contradictions." [T.M.Q 4:82]
There are many texts available today claiming divine status from God, like the Bible of the Christians and the Torah of the Jews etc. However, they have no proof that they have been revealed by God, if they are not miraculous in nature then there is no reason to believe in them.
As Muslims we believe that Allah (swt) revealed different books through history such as the original Injeel (Bible) and Torah, Allah (swt) informed us of this in the Qur'an this is why we believe these. However, we have also been informed that these books have been altered and therefore the versions that exist today are not that which was revealed by Allah (swt). Besides this, the Qur'an is the final revelation from Allah (swt) which abrogates all others.
Allah (swt) says, "Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord: we make no difference between one and another of them: and we bow to Allah (in Islam)." [TMQ Al-Baqarah:136]
Once we have established through rational proof that Allah (Swt) exists and that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah, we must believe in everything that the Qur'an informs us of and commands us with, whether we can perceive them or not. Therefore, we must have Iman (belief) in the Day of Resurrection, in paradise (jannah) and hell, in reckoning and punishment, in angels, in jinn, in Shayaateen and all others that the Qur'an or hadeeth mutawaatir (definitive narrations) have mentioned. To believe in these things is therefore not irrational just because we cannot see them or sense them physically as we have conclusively proved the Qur'an being from Allah (swt) which informs us about all of these.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ آمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيداً

"O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger, and the Book which He sent to His Messenger and the Book which He sent to those before (him). Any who denies Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgement, has gone far, far astray." [An-Nisa: 136]
Once the Iman in Allah, His Messenger and the Qur'an has been proven, every Muslim is obliged to believe in the Islamic Shari'ah as a whole. We cannot pick and choose as we like. As the Shariah was revealed in the glorious Qur'an, and the Messenger (saw) conveyed it. If someone disbelieves in this he would be a (disbeliever) Kafir. Therefore, it is disbelief (Kufr) to deny the shariah rules as a whole, or any definite detailed rule amongst them. This is the case whether these ahkam (rules) are connected with worships (ibadaat), transactions (mu'amalaat), punishments (uqoobat), food, etc. So the rejection of the verse:

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ
"So establish regular prayer" [Al-Baqarah: 43]
Is the same as rejecting the following verses:
وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا

"But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury," [Al-Baqarah: 275]
وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُواْ أَيْدِيَهُمَا
"As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands," [Al-Ma'idah: 38]
حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ
"Forbidden to you (for food) are dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of any other than Allah." [Al-Ma'idah: 3]
We must completely surrender to all the rules revealed by Allah (swt) whether we see rational reasons for them or not.
فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجاً مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً
"But no, by your Lord, they can have no (real) faith, until they make you judge in all the disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest submission." [An-Nisa: 65]

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christ in Islam

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Allah, the Almighty, says: "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son.  To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." (Al-Nisa: 4:171)
Christ in Islam

A detailed description of Prophet Eesa; Jesus Christ (PBUH) in Islam. This book discusses Jesus Christ's (PBUH) life, his miraculous birth and his status in Islam.

A Muslim is someone who submits to the will of God.

Some Christian Brothers are astounded, bewildered, and astonished to hear when we say that Prophet Jesus is mentioned twenty five times in the Qur'an, five times more than Prophet Muhammad.

The Qur'an portrays Jesus as God's mighty messenger and no Muslim's faith is complete unless he accepts Jesus as aProphet of God.

What is remarkable about the life of Prophet Muhammad is that he came to clear the name of Prophet Jesus that he blasphemed against God by claiming a share in God's divinity. Prophet Muhammad hallowed Prophet Jesus as the messiah and as a devoted servant of God.

It was Prophet Muhammad who brought the good news that Prophet Jesus did not die on the cross as the Qur'an so affirmatively asserts. He cleared the name of Prophet Jesus that he allegedly betrayed his covenant to God as a prophet and divine messenger. He put the life of Prophet Jesus in clear perspective and bore witness that he was but a man commissioned by God to call humanity to God's way and was given special powers to help him accomplish his mission.

Sheikh Ahmed Deedat use to say: "The Christians out of their love for Prophet Jesus say that he is God or the son of God, and the Muslims out of their love and obedience to God say he is a mighty messenger of God".

Prophet Jesus was a great man and is unsurpassed in many ways, but you don't elevate a man or a Prophet by making him a God simply out of your love, respect and admiration for him.

Who has the good news right? Is Jesus as portrayed in the Qur'an, a devoted servant of God, the truth or what the Church teaches through its doctrine of the trinity, God the father, the son, and the holy ghost?

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Get to know more about Jesus Christ is a Prophet of Islam. In fact, he is a Muslim.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Through science to the Almighty

Through science to the Almighty

Dr. Albert McCombs Winchester, who is an expert in biology, has expressed his views as follows:

''.....after many years of study and work in the fields of science, my faith in God, rather than being shaken, has become much stronger and acquired a firmer foundation than heretofore. Science brings about an insight into majesty and omnipotence of the Supreme Being which grows stronger with each discovery.'' (Evidence p.165)

When the great scientist Galileo looked through the telescope and discovered multitudes of new stars in the Milky Way, the four moons of the planet Jupiter, the phases of the planet Venus, the details of the moon, and other celestial phenomena, he wrote as follows:

'' I am quite beside myself with wonder and infinitely grateful to God that it has pleased Him to permit me to discover such great marvels.' (The Growth of physical Science by Sir James Jeans, p.173, Cambridge, 1951)

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan of Islamic Centre, has written a nice book entitled 'God Arises'. (Published by Maktaba al Risala, c-29 Nizamuddin West, New Delhi,1987) in which he has collected the evidence of science and the saying of the scientists on the existence of Almighty God. He has narrated an inspiring incident in this book, which I shall relate. Allama Inayatullah Mashriqi had visited England in the year 1909. On a Sunday when it was raining hard, he met Sir James Jeans, the famous astronomer of the Cambridge University, going to a church with a Bible clutched under his arm. Mr. Inayatullah Kan expressed his astonishment that a person of such a universal fame like him is going to pray in a church. Sir James Jeans asked Mr. Inayatullah Khan to come to his house and have tea with him in the evening. Accordingly, Mr. Inayatullah Khan went to his house in the evening. Sir James Jeans was lost in his thoughts, he asked What your question was? But without waiting for an answer, he gave an inspiring description of the creation of the celestial bodies, their motions and the astonishing order to which they adhere. His voice and his movements clearly showed that he was deeply impressed by the Power and Majesty of God. He said You know Inayatullah Khan when I behold God's marvelous feats of creation, my whole being trembles in awe at His majesty. When I go to church I bow my head and say, 'Lord, how great you are' and not only my lips, but every particle of my body joins in uttering these words. I obtain incredible peace and joy from my prayer. Compared to others, I receive a thousand times more fulfillment from my prayers. So tell me, Inayatullah Khan, now do you understand why I go to Church?

Hearing this Mr. Inayatullah Khan told Sir James Jeans that his words reminded him of a verse of the Holy Qura'n which he would like to quote if permitted. Sir James Jeans replied: Of course. Mr. Inayatullah Khan then quoted the following verse:

'' And among the mountains are streaks, white and red, of diverse hues and others raven black; And in like manner, there are men and beasts and cattle, of various colours. Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah.''(35:27,28)

Sir James Jeans was deeply impressed by these words of the Holy Qura'n he exclaimed:

''What was that? It is those who have knowledge who fear God. Wonderful! How extraordinary! It has taken me fifty years of continual study and observation to realize this fact. Who taught it to (Hazrat) Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)? Is this really in the Qura'n? If so, you can record my testimony that the Qura'n is an inspired Book. (Hazrat) Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was illiterate. He could not have learnt this immensely important fact on his own. God must have taught it to him. Incredible! How extraordinary! '' (God Arises p.215 with reference to Nuqoosh Shakhsiyat (i.e.; Impression of Personalities) ( p .1208 -1209)

In short, the words Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah present a profound truth. The study of the universe not only leads us to the conclusion that God exists but also inculcates the love of God (Qura'n 2:164-166) and the fear of God.
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

'Confront global economic crisis with reason'

'Confront global economic crisis with reason'

Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Humaid, Imam and Khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, called upon Muslims to confront the global financial crisis with sound reason.

In his Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque, Bin Humaid said among the benefits of Haj is contemplating the rules of the Islamic Shariah and the great principles of finance, its system and organization as outlined by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his farewell pilgrimage. He said the economy should not be based on greed and disregarding the rights of others. It was wrong, he said, to lay off workers and increase unemployment.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Ali Al-Hudhaifi, Imam and Khateeb of the Prophet's Mosque in Madina, called on Muslims to reflect on the alteration of day and night, the passing of years and sudden death. If people do some soul-searching and contemplate these matters, they will do good deeds and keep away from committing sins while preparing themselves for the Hereafter.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims performed Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque.

Both mosques were crowded and worshipers could be seen in courtyards and basements, on the roofs and on all the pathways leading to the Harams.

In Makkah, where about a million people performed prayers, integrated services in different fields were mobilized for the service and comfort of the pilgrims.

In Madina, about half million pilgrims offered Friday prayers in the Prophet's Mosque.

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Note that an English translation of the Qur'an is an interpretation of the Qur'an, and does not have the perfect status as the Qur'an in its original Arabic form

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fatwa - Signs of an accepted Haj

Fatwa - Signs of an accepted Haj

Q – Are there any signs which appear upon those whose performance of the Haj or the Umrah is accepted?

A – The possible signs for the one whose Haj, fasting, charity or prayer has been accepted by Allah could be:

The opening of the heart (to good), happiness of the heart and a bright face.

Certainly, for worshipping (Allah) there are signs that appear on the body, signs that are visible and signs that are hidden. Some of the pious predecessors have mentioned that from the signs that a good (act) has been accepted (by Allah) is that he will be granted the ability to do (yet) another good (act). Certainly the ability granted by Allah to him to do more good (acts) after it, is evidence that Allah has accepted his previous good (acts). He has made it easy for him to do another good act and is happy with him for it.

— Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen; Daleel Al-Akhtaa.a yaqa'a feehaa Al-Haaj wal-Mu'tamir wat-tahdtheer minhaa - Page 115

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

hajj...

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported

that Messenger of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam) has said:

"Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of pleasing Allah (Jalla Jalalahu)

and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed,

then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as

on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.''

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Haj rites - in short

Haj rites - in short

8 Dhul Hijjah

Days of Tarwiyyah

Assume Ihram

Go to Mina

Pray 5 Salaat, start with Dhuhr (shortened, but not joined) stay until sunrise of 9th

9 Dhul Hijjah

Day of ArafatGo to Arafat

Join and shorten Dhuhr and 'Asr at the time of Dhuhr

Make such Du'aa untill sunset

Leave after sunset for Muzdalifah

Pray Maghrib and 'Isha in Muzdalifah and spend night there

10 Dhul Hijjah

Pray Fajr as early as possible then go to Mina before sunrise

Pick up seven pebbles

Stone Jamarat Al 'Aqabah

Do sacrifice

Cut hair (partially out of Ihram)

Do Tawaf Al-Ifadah (and Sa'ee) before sun set (fully out of Ihram)

Stay in Mina

11 Dhul Hijjah

Pick up 21 pebbles

Throw pebbles in afternoon at small, medium and big Jamarat

Stay in Mina for night

12 Dhul Hijjah

Pick up 21 pebbles

Throw pebbles in afternoon at small, medium and big Jamarat

Stay in Mina for night or leave before Sun set

13 Dhul Hijjah

Optional - Pick up 21 pebbles

Throw pebbles in afternoon at small, medium and big Jamarat

Stay in Mina for night or leave before Sun set

Note: The above G.C. dates are for the year 2008

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3 types of Haj

 

Haj Al-Qiran – At a Meeqat, in the months of Haj, one enters into Ihram for Haj and Umrah at the same time, not coming out of the state of Ihram until the Day of Sacrifice (10th Dhul Hijjah). Alternatively, one may enter into Ihram for Umrah and before beginning the Tawaf, the intention of Ihram for Haj may be made. The Sa`ee may be done after the Tawaf of Umrah or left to be done after Tawaf Al-Ifadah. One performing this type of Haj is called a Qarin.

Haj Al-Ifrad – At a Meeqat, in the months of Haj, one enters into Ihram for Haj alone. Like the Qarin he remains in the state of Ihram until the 10th Dhul Hijjah. It is not obligatory on him to sacrifice an animal. No Umrah is required.

Haj At-Tamattu' – Many Scholars consider this the best type of Haj, as it is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) urged his Companions to do. One performing this type of Haj is call a Muttamatti. This involves performing Umrah first during any of the months of Haj (Shawwal, Dhul Qada and the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah), removes the Ihram clothes after Umrah, and then reassumes the Ihram state for Haj on the eighth day of Dhul Hijjah of the same year.

Note: For those who choose to do At-Tamattu' or Al-Qiran, a mandatory sacrifice is required from them during the days of Eid. Those who live in Makkah are exempted from this requirement.

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Haj- Journey of a lifetime

Haj- Journey of a lifetime

HAJ is performed from the 8-13 of Dhul-Hijjah. The Manasik (rites) of Haj At-Tamattu' are described below, and has been summarized on the right. Early on the morning of 8th Dhul Hijjah, the Day of Tarwiyah, the pilgrim assumes Ihram for Haj as he did for Umrah, but says "Labbayk Allahumma Hajjan" and begins reciting the Talbiyyah. All the rules of Ihram which applied to Umrah also hold for Haj. He then proceeds to Mina where he spends the day in worship and performs Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha shortened but not joined. He spends the night there.

After Fajr on 9th Dhul Hijjah, the Day of Arafah, he leaves for `Arafah. At the time of Dhuhr he prays Dhuhr and `Asr shortened and combined with one Adhan and two Iqamah. He remains there until Maghrib, standing with hands raised in supplication anywhere within the boundaries of Arafah.

After sunset he proceeds to Muzdalifah where he performs Maghrib and Isha shortened and combined with one Adhan and two Iqamah. He then goes to sleep until Fajr. After performing Fajr at its earliest time on 10th Dhul Hijjah, the Day of Sacrifice, he leaves Muzdalifah before sunrise and returns to Mina. He continues reciting the Talbiyah.

He collects seven pebbles and does stoning of the Big Jamarah some time between sunrise and night, standing with Makkah to his left and Mina to his right. He says "Allahu Akbar" with each stone throw. The slaughter must be done and then he may partially come out of the state of Ihram by shaving the head or cutting the hair for men and trimming the hair for women.

Perform Tawaf Al-Ifadah walking normally, then do Sa`ee. One is now completely out of Ihram. On the 11th-13th Dhul Hijjah, the Days of Tashreeq, one stays in Mina and performs stoning of the three Jamarat each day between Zawal (sun is at its peak) and night – 21 pebbles must be collected for this. The smallest Jamarah is stoned first, then the medium, then the big one. After stoning at the first two, one may face the Qiblah and supplicate to Allah. On the 13th after stoning the Jamarat one leaves Mina.

One must perform the Farewell Tawaf prior to leaving Makkah. This completes the Manasik of Haj. May Allah grant all pilgrims Haj Mabroor (an accepted Haj, the reward of which is nothing but Jannah).

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How to perform Umrah

How to perform Umrah

THE Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Umrah is an expiation for the time between it and the previous 'Umrah, and an accepted Haj has no less a reward than Paradise." (Al-Bukhari)

The person who intends to perform Umrah "clips his nails, trims his mustache, shaves his pubic hair, and plucks out the hairs of his armpits. Then he performs Ghusl (complete bathing), and the male pilgrim wears an Izar (lower garment affixed at the waist like a bath towel) and a Rida' (a garment worn over the shoulders) that are both clean and white." (Note: Women may enter the state of Ihram in any clothing within the Islamic guidelines)

After completing this and while approaching one of the Meeqat (marked posts around Makkah) for Haj and Umrah), he should enter the state of Ihram which is "the intention to enter into one of the two sacred rituals, Al-Haj or Al-'Umrah."

The state of Ihram has certain prohibitions; some of which are as follows:

• Wearing stitched clothing such as shirts, socks, hoods, and a thawb by men.

• Applying perfume.

• Shaving the hair or cutting it, even a little.

• Cutting the nails on either the hands or feet.

• Having sexual intercourse with one's spouse and the actions that precede it like kissing.

The pilgrim should then begin the Talbiyyah (answering of the command) and continue it until he reaches Masjid Al-Haram.

The meaning of the wording for the Talbiyyah is: "I am here at Your service, O Allah; I am here at Your service. I am here at Your service; You have no partner; I am here at Your Service. Verily the Praise, and the Blessings are Yours, and also the Sovereignty. You have no partner."

When the pilgrim arrives at Masjid Al-Haram, he should proceed to the area of Tawaf (circumambulating the Ka'ba) being in a state of purity. He comes to the Black Stone and kisses it, touches it, or points to it if he is unable to reach it. He then begins Tawaf with the Ka'ba on his left performing Ar-Ramal (walking with a brisk trot) while making supplication to Allah. Whenever he passes the Yemeni corner, he touches it if he can. On reaching the Black Stone again, a circuit is complete. He repeats this procedure for two more circuits. For the remaining four circuits the pilgrim stops Ar-Ramal and walks at a normal pace with tranquility. A total of seven circuits must be completed during Tawaf.

After completing the Tawaf, the pilgrim should pray two Rak'ah (units) of Salah behind the Maqam (standing place) of Ibrahim reciting Surah Al-Kafiroon in the first unit and Surah Al-Ikhlaas in the second one. Thereafter, the pilgrim should proceed to the hill of As-Safa to begin Sa'ee which is "to walk between As-Safa and Al-Marwah." He stands on As-Safaa, faces the Ka'ba, and supplicates to Allah for as long as he wishes. Then he walks to the hill of Al-Marwah moving quickly between the two green markers, making Du'a along the way. Arriving at Al-Marwah constitutes one unit.

Standing on Al-Marwah, he supplicates to Allah (facing the Ka'ba) for as long as he wishes. He then walks back to the hill of As-Safa increasing the pace between the two green markers and supplicating to Allah along the way. On arriving at As-Safa the second trip is completed. The pilgrim must make a total of seven units completing As-Sa'ee at the hill of Al-Marwah.

After completing the Sa'ee, the pilgrim must cut his hair to exit the state of Ihram. The male pilgrim may either shorten all of his hair or shave it off completely. The female pilgrim shortens her hair the length of a fingertip. This completes the Umrah.

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10 Days of Dhul Hijjah

10 Days of Dhul Hijjah

"THERE are no days during which good deeds are more beloved by Allah than these (ten) days." (Al-Bukhari, Tirmidhi and others)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was then asked: "Not even Jihad in Allah's way?" He replied: "Not even Jihad in Allah's way; except for a person who went out (for Jihad) with his self and wealth and came back with none (i.e. lost all for Allah)." (Tirmidhi – authenticated in Al-Albani's Irwaa' Al-Ghaleel no. 953)

All good deeds can be done during these days and the early generations of Muslims used to exert themselves excessively in worshipping Allah. Fasting and Dhikr (glorifying and remembering Allah) especially should be done in plenty.

Dhikr

Ibn Abbas commented on the verse "…and to mention Allah's name (plentifully) on known days" (Qur'an, 22:28) by saying: "…these known days are the Ten Days (of Dhul Hijjah)." (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

Fasting

One of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allah's Messenger used to fast the (first) nine days of Dhul Hijjah, the day of `Ashouraa', and three days of each month. (Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood no. 2129)

Fasting on all these days, however, is not Wajib (compulsory), nor is it a stressed Sunnah that the Messenger (peace be upon him) never left. Ayesha said: "I never saw the Messenger (peace be upon him) fast the ten days." (Saheeh Muslim)

Best day of the year

On the day of Arafah the pilgrims stand in worship in the Mountain of Arafah.

"Fasting the day of Arafah expiates the (minor) sins of two years: a past one and a coming one. And fasting the day of `Aashouraa' expiates the sins of the past year." (Saheeh Muslim)

"There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire as He does on the day of Arafah. (Saheeh Muslim)

Day of Sacrifice

The tenth of Dhul-Hijjah is Eid Al-Adha or the day of An-Nahr (sacrifice). It marks the conclusion of the major rites of Haj, and commemorates Allah's bounty on His Messenger Ibrahim, when He gave him a ram to sacrifice as ransom in exchange for his son Ismail (peace be upon them).

"The day of Al-Fitr (i.e. Eid Al-Fitr), the day of An-Nahr, and the days of Tashreeq are Eid days for us Muslims. They are days of eating and drinking." (Ahmad, An-Nasaa'ee, Saheeh Al-Jaami no. 8192)

Three days after Eid

On these days, the pilgrims complete their rites, Muslims continue with their Eid celebrations, and are prohibited to fast. "The days of Tashreeq are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah." (Saheeh Muslim)

The sacrifice

The consensus of Muslim scholars is that the sacrifice is an important Sunnah, and a worship called for in the Law of Allah. However, they differ as to whether it is Nafl (voluntary) or Wajib (mandatory) for those who can afford it. Some scholars have explained the different Ahadith on the subject by stating that the sacrifice is obligatory on those who can afford it and not obligatory on those who cannot.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "He who has the capacity, and does not sacrifice, may not approach our Musalla (place of prayer - on the Eid)." (Ibn Maajah, Ahmad and others, authenticated by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah no. 2533)

One who wants to sacrifice (Udhiyyah) should not cut his hair or nails during these 10 days. He should do so before these 10 days. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "When anyone of you intending to sacrifice the animal enters the month of Dhul Hijjah he should not get his hair or nails touched (cut)." (Saheeh Muslim)

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