Reflection: Hijab

hijab

As of late, there has been a hijab explosion, especially with the emergence of ‘hijab fashion’. Some would say, “that is good, right?” Well, yes and no. Wearing hijab is always good, but the execution of the principle isn’t always correct.

First, we need to understand the meaning of the term hijab. Hijab literally means a “Veil”, a “Curtain”, a “Partition” or a “Separation”. In shariah, the term hijab is not limited to head covering only. It is the complete covering of a woman, from a non-mahram. That means, it includes the way she dresses, walks, talks, and basically carries herself, as a whole. So, hijab should not be confused with a khimar (head covering).

So, is hijab an obligation? Allah says, “And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers; that you might succeed.” (24:31)

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (33:59)

“O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet except when you are permitted for a meal, without awaiting its readiness. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have eaten, disperse without seeking to remain for conversation. Indeed, that [behavior] was troubling the Prophet, and he is shy of [dismissing] you. But Allah is not shy of the truth. And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.” (33:53)

These aforementioned ayahs show that hijab is an obligation, and also tell us that it is not simply covering one’s hair! But what has our Ummah come to? The fashion hijab is nothing like what has been stated in the Qur’an! We have muslimahs caking their faces with tonnes of makeup, and showing it to everyone. Even worse, they have Youtube tutorials for this! They post and upload such videos which the whole world has access to, where non-mahram men can see them! Would the sahabiyyah do that? No they would not, and they did not! It was narrated that Asma’ bint Abi Bakr said: “We used to cover our faces in front of men.” Muslimahs throw themselves shamelessly in front of the camera for the rest of the world to see. Would the Sahabiyah do that? No they would not, and they did not!

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It was narrated from ‘Urwah that ‘Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray Fajr, and the believing women would attend (the prayer) with him, wrapped in their aprons, then they would go back to their houses and no one would recognize them. Narrated by al-Bukhari, and Muslim. We have muslimahs shamelessly accepting and thanking all the non-mahram for their praises, joking with non-mahram on social network. Why? Where is our hayaa? Would the Sahabiyah do that? No they would not, and they did not! ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allah in ihraam, and when they drew near to us we would lower our jilbabs from our heads over our faces, then when they had passed we would uncover them again. [Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah] Have we forgotten the reminders that Rasulullah told us? The grave sins of tabarruj (wanton display)! The Messenger of Allah said: “Of the people of Hell there are two types whom I have never seen, the one possessing whips like the tail of an ox and they flog people with them. The second one, women who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced (to wrong paths) and seduce others with their hair high like humps. These women would not get into Al-Jannah and they would not perceive its odor, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance. ” [Sahih Muslim] Allah’s Messenger said: “The best of your women are the affectionate, the fertile, the comforting, and the agreeable – if they fear Allāh. The most evil of your women are those who expose and display themselves, and those who strut (to show off), and they are the hypocrites. Those who enter Paradise are like the red beaked crow.” [Al-Baihaqi]

After seeing the verses from the Qur’an and the Hadith of Rasulullah, why are we still prioritising our desires? Why do we insist on becoming arrogant towards what Allah has instructed us? Do not be like the disbelievers who say “We hear and disobey.” (2:93)

This is the talbis iblis for our ummah. Our muslimahs think covering one’s aurah and hijab is simply covering one’s hair. This is when the shayateen whisper to our ear, telling us to beautify ourselves. Worse, we have muslimahs who get really defensive. Those whose senses are driven by their ‘aqal (intellect) and their desires; they give the excuse; “we are dressing according to the time. This is modern time,” or “we are living in a kuffar countries, we need to blend in,” or even “why can’t a Muslimah follow fashion?” What is this? Ask yourselves this: Dare you question Allah , by saying we are dressing according to modern time? Are we saying the rules stated in the Qur’an are dated? Are we saying Allah did not know the future, when He revealed His laws? Fear Allah! We are no better than the Jew who questioned Musa (AS) about the calf, then! Who are we trying to please? The Creator or the creation? Mu’awiyah once wrote to Aisha asking her to write him a letter giving him advice but not to make it lengthy. She wrote: ‘Peace be upon you! To proceed: I heard Allah’s Messenger (saws) say, “If anyone seeks Allah’s good pleasure at the cost of men’s displeasure Allah will keep from him the trouble caused by men; but if anyone seeks men’s good pleasure at the cost of Allah’s displeasure, Allah will leave him in men’s hands. (Tirmithi)

Why do you want to blend in with the kuffar? Why wouldn’t you stand up for Islam? It was narrated the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, handspan by hand span, cubit by cubit, until even if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will do so too.” We asked, “O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said, “Who else?” ( al-Bukhari, and Muslim. Who are our examples? Who does Islam say to follow? Is it the hijabi bloggers and youtubers? Is it the so-called hijabi celebrities who sing on stage? Is it the hijabi actresses who engage in free mixing with non-mahram? Or, is it the sahabiyyah and the women of the salaf-us-saalih? The Prophet said, ”the best of my Ummah is my generation (Qarni), then those who follow them, then those who follow them.“ [Bukhari and Muslim] Now the question lies on us, “who will we follow?” The answers are in our hands. How long are we willing to succumb to the shayateen, whenever we are dressing to go out? Think first. Is my clothing sufficient for me to do my salah? If the answer is no, change, until you can do salah in your clothes. Life as a muslimah is super simple. We do not need to spend huge amounts of money on makeup, shoes, and clothes. We just need to dress according to the Qur’an and Sunnah, to please our Creator. Remember this every time we step out the door from our home. “O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.” (7:26) The Prophet said: “The woman is an object of concealment, when she leaves the house, Shaytaan (the Devil) beautifies her.” [Tirmidhi, and it is Saheeh]

The fitna of women is indeed great, as the Prophet said, “I am not leaving behind me in my ummah any fitna that is more harmful for men than women.” [Bukhari & Muslim] This isn’t an attack on those fashion hijabis out there. This is simply a reminder for myself first and foremost, and for my sisters in Islam, who I love for the sake of Allah. The love I have, so that we can all revive the Ummah, together spreading the words of Islam, dawah and tawheed. This is my love for my dear sisters in Islam. The Messenger of Allah said, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other.” He illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands. [Bukhari and Muslim] May Allah make everything easy for all of us, and never stop the guidance. “And if they had believed and feared Allah, then the reward from Allah would have been [far] better, if they only knew.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 02:103)

Muharramat: Gossiping and Backbiting

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Knowing what is right and wrong is essential knowledge. Sometimes, our conscience can distinguish between the two, and at other times we need a gentle reminder. Acting upon the knowledge we gain is obligatory, as not doing so may incur sinfulness on our part. This series of articles will Inshallah enlighten you on ‘Forbidden Matters, which some people take lightly’ primarily based on the book Muharramat by Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid.

The hot topic of every gathering; gossip. What’s the latest? Everyone is sure to bring updates of what they have seen or heard, or sometimes even made up from the top of their minds to simply add spice. We all, I am sure, know it is wrong, but often we make excuses so that we can indulge in it. It seems we enjoy defaming our brothers and sisters, for no reason, except upon the provocation of Shaytaan. We accept the invitation of our greatest enemy without thinking twice.

“The most prevalent kind of usury is going to lengths in talking unjustly against a muslim’s honour.” (Abu Dawud)

Let’s admit it; how many times have you made yourself a cup of coffee only to sit down and gossip with your friend about another? If you are one of the blessed ones who remember that gossiping is a sin, what do you do? Do you remain silent, for fear of offending your friend? Or do you speak up, and forbid the evil? Gossiping is such an easy trap that we fall into.

“…neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting)…” (Surah Hujurat 49:12)

Allah puts forward this comparison to us, for us to realise the severity of the sin. Indeed human cannibalism is revolting, nevertheless some of us engage in it every other day. The Prophet explained this ayah further, when he asked his companions, “do you know what gheebah (gossiping or backbiting) is?” They replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “to say something about your brother which he does not want to be said.” He (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) was asked, “what do you think if what is said about him is true?” He said, “If what you say about him is true, it is backbiting, and if what you say about him is not true, it is slandering (calumny).”

Many muslims belittle this sin, as though it is of no consequence. Remember Shaytaan will seek to destroy you by means of seemingly-small sins. Gheebah is classed amongst the major sins, but it is the deception of Shaytaan which makes us feel it is small.

So the next time, you meet up with your friend, remember the severity of gheebah, and stay away from it by all means possible. It is preferable not to talk about one who is absent, lest you accidentally fall into Shaytaan’s web. If you have no part in the gossiping, but are a spectator to it all, remember your duty to your brother or sister. Defend them, and enjoin the good and forbid the evil.

“Whoever defends the honour of his muslim brother, Allah will protect his face from the fire on the day of Resurrection.” (Ahmad)

May Allah make us of those who refrain from this evil and prevent it. Ameen.

Women of the Golden Era

“Times have passed, the era has changed, people have gone and come, but what leaves an impression on our hearts…is the imprints of the footsteps of our pious predecessor’s”.

The women around the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) have a left profound impact up on us as well an ever lasting impression.

They stand out as outstanding models in the history of humanity in a way that made them unrivalled in the history of humanity from the time of Adam (Peace Be Upon Him) until Allah inherits the earth and all that is on it.

In their reflecting, we see their faith, their constancy, their heroism and their loyalty to Allah and his Messenger (peace be upon him). We see the effort they exerted, the calamities they endured, and the victory they achieved. We also see the eminent role they played in liberating all humanity from the paganism of conscience and the loss of destiny.

They embraced islam not in compliance with their husband’s will or out of tribal solidarity or in obedience to their fathers command. Rather, they in most cases embraced islam independently, out of conviction and in demonstration of their right of choice.

Playing major roles in the annals of history, Khadeejah was the first woman to accept Islam. Sumayyah; the first woman to be martyred. Ayesha; the hub of knowledge and wisdom, has reported considerable amount of pure and blessed knowledge. Fatimah; one of the four great women of paradise is an epitome of patience, devotion and generosity.

Now let us approach in awe and delight those righteous women, to welcome the best human examples, the most graceful and most virtuous. Let us see under their humble garments the most sublime and lofty in greatness and wisdom known to the whole world. Let us witness the legion of truth treading the ancient world in piety, filling the sky with standards of new truth in which they announced the religion of monotheism and the liberation of mankind.

In conclusion, these are few of the many great women, who played a crucial role in history of times. This series will discuss about the best human examples, the most graceful and the most virtuous, the real diamonds of this ummah.

Abeer Fatima,

Writer, AAT

Ways to Jannah

If we were to make a contrast between Jahannum and Jannah, our ink would flow incessantly, yet we would fail miserably to encompass the true description of either them. Yet, as Muslims, we believe that our end destination will either be the peaceful abode of paradise, or the blazing fire of Jahannum.

Mesmerized in our daily routine, we fail to recall the real purpose of our existence, our true goal, and our final destination, after all we should call to mind the verse of the Quran: “And I (Allah) created not the Jinns and men except they should worship Me (Alone)” (51:56) In spite of this, so content are we with our temporary lives here, striving to make this dunya a paradise, that we overlook the famous hadith recorded by Sahih Muslim, where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him )has been reported to have said: “The life of this world compared to the Hereafter is as if one of you were to put his finger in the ocean and take it out again, then compare the water that remains on his finger to the water that remains in the ocean.” Dear friends, we should try to take heed of the countless warnings of the Hellfire, bear in mind that the least punishment for a person there, is that he will have a smoldering ember placed under the arch of his foot and his brains will boil because of it. (Sahih Bukhari)   Moreover, what guarantee do we have to ensure our entry to Jannah, are we too satisfied with our progress in our deen! Do we think that we are perfectly balancing our deen and dunya? For all those over content souls, remember… Indeed if Allah wills for his slave good, He removes from his heart the ability to see the good deeds that he has done… And (removes from his tongue) his telling others of these good deeds. Instead, He (Allah) keeps him (His slaves) busy in recognizing his sins, And they (the sins) continue to be in the middle of his vision until he enters Paradise!! (Ibnul Qayyim) Allahu Akbar! How many of us can truly claim to be in the above criteria, how many of us speculate and contemplate on our sins, or are we among those who just flit away our sins as if it were a fly, or are among those who have sinned so much that we fail to recall them and fail to actually discern between good and evil!!! It’s time to arise and awake, imagine the horror if the next time you were to wake up would be in your grave! We all have to remember that, heaven IS priceless and we have to work to achieve it, we have to strive , after all we have to choose; is our final destination going to be Hell or is it going to be Heaven? Remember, there is no middle path! It’s more than anyone could envisage for, Allah promises an eternal, everlasting, infinite solace for just a finite test (i.e. our life in dunya), but we have got to remember the other end of the picture as well (an infinite life in hell for a corrupted life in dunya). Visualize the beauty of Jannah, dear friends, there is nothing existing in this lifetime that could measure up to its magnificence, its peace, its solace, its beauty, its enchantment, its allurements…

 A quote from a renowned speaker to serve as an incentive: “Imagine how beautiful the Jannah is going to be when the All- Knower calls it beautiful.” (Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan) So, it’s time we took a stand and strive to be a good slave and please our Creator, for indeed it is the one with whom Allah is pleased that can enter heaven. In this context, I humbly request you to join us in the forthcoming series “Ways To Jannah” where we endeavour to be acquainted with various ways to please our Lord, The Supreme, In Sha Allah. But we should take note of the fact that these ways aren’t “all sufficient” and it IS in fact only by the mercy of our Creator that we can enter Jannah, so we have to work hard AND pray. And remember… “Those who worry about the Akhira now are the ones who will not worry in the Akhira, In Sha Allah,” (Dr Bilal Phillips) “O soul that art at rest! Return to your Lord, well pleased (with him), well- pleasing (Him), So enter among My servants, And enter into My garden.” (Al Fajr 27:30) We pray to Allah to make this series beneficial and a success and we pray to Allah to include us among the Nafsul Mutma-innah (the souls at rest). Ameen.

Amna Hassan,

writer, AAT

Ashura Porridge!

porridge

Ashura is coming up, let’s find out what to do…

Narrated `Aisha RA: (The tribe of) Quraysh used to fast on the day of Ashura’ in the Pre-Islamic period, and then Allah’s Apostle ordered (Muslims) to fast on it till the fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed; whereupon the Prophet said, “He who wants to fast (on ‘Ashura’) may fast, and he who does not want to fast may not fast.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1893)

Narrated Ibn `Abbas RA: The Prophet (May Peace Be Upon Him) came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. He asked them about that. They replied, “This is a good day, the day on which Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day.” The Prophet said, “We have more claim over Moses than you.” So, the Prophet fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day).

Weirdly, this is also the time for “Ashura Porridge”. In some parts of the world, there are muslims who believe that Prophet Nuh made “Ashura Porridge” after the big flood. Hence, every Muharram 10th, some Muslims cook this dish and give it away to friends, neighbours, families and mosques. This innovation has become so widespread that even “Shaykh Google” has recipes for this porridge! (Not that Shaykh google is reliable!) Nevertheless, this tradition has not been reported in the authentic Sunnah.

Innovations are not limited to Porridge, there are other innovations done during Ashura, which have no basis in the Sunnah. People have introduced numerous innovations, ranging from the simple porridge, to body beating and much more. Below is just a few of the many:

-Spending the evening of Ashura by praying 4 rakaah prayers (reciting surah Al-Ikhlaas 50 times in every rakaah), believing in the reward of his sins for the past 50 years before and 50 years in the future will be forgiven.

-Fasting 9 days before Ashura, believing it as Sunnah.

– Believing that ghusl on Ashura wouldn’t make them sick for a year.

– Singling out Ashura to wear kohl, believing in the rewards.

-Of course, who could forget the shiite? The deviant sect that proclaimed themselves as Muslim and yet, every Ashura they manage to prove themselves otherwise. The shiite mourn with self-mutilation and self flaggelation every Ashura, which contrary to the Sunnah.

More and more of these innovated acts are promoted and encouraged, and each day, we keep on forgetting the simple task of the Sunnah.

The Sunnah says to fast. It’s a simple act. It was stated by the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). It was done by the Salaf-us-saalih (pious predecessors). Whereas, these innovated acts has no basis, no history that will link us to the Prophet.

Some people come with excuses, saying that it is okay to perform these innovated actions. They said “it’s all in the niyyah (intention), if we are sincere, we will get reward”. Well, the Buddhist monks claimed that they are sincere, but is that enough, when they do not have Tawheed Ruboobiyyah and Tawheed Uluhiyyah? They said The Prophet never forbade us to do these innovated acts such as ghusul during Ashura. Neither did he encourage us!

Sometimes in our eagerness to grab the rewards for the hereafter, we overlook the things we consider as minor, yet it is the most important thing. This does not happen only during Ashura, it happens on every other occasion.

All we need to do is to stop and ask, is this a Sunnah?

Isn’t it scary, how it is easy to perform these innovated acts, and yet, when a sunnah is presented, we start questioning them.

Hassaan ibn ‘Atiyah said: “No people introduce innovation into their religion but an equivalent amount of Sunnah will be taken away.”(Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah)

Sufyaan Ath-Thawree said: “Innovation is more beloved to Iblees than sin, since a sin may be repented from but innovation is not repented from.” (Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, #238)

May Allah keep us on the Siraat al Mustaqeem, and upon the correct Sunnah.

Anisah Matasim

Writer, AAT

Our Character

I recently noticed how cold people are towards each other, no one smiles, no one greets each other; it feels like we are all encaged in our world, invisible to each other.
Whilst I was last out and about, I happened to pop into the clinic, and realised some things which any sane man would see and feel. Humans are in need of company, we need smiles and kindness, whether we are physically healthy or sick, every human longs for well-mannered companionship and interaction.
Blank faces with a blank gaze at anyone who passes by. Depressing?! More and more people fall into depression every passing day not knowing if anyone loves or cares about them. Those who have a loving family might not feel it but ask people who live alone with occasional calls from friends and family.
All the talk about human rights is worthless if we can’t even be good mannered to each other. As muslims aren’t we supposed to be examples of good humans with good moral character?
Our Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him was an epitome of the best manners in dealing with family, friends, neighbours and everyone he met. The Kuffar of Makkah knew he was an honest (Amin) and truthful (Sadiq) man and they respected him for all his wonderful qualities long before Prophet-hood. When he announced his messenger-ship they knew deep inside he would not lie to them.
The Glorious Quran ordered us to be of good moral character and condemned any form of bad behaviour. Throughout it, Allah praises those of good character, and disapproves of qualities such as injustice, immorality, and wrong-doing. He also promises great rewards to those who maintain traits such as patience and piety. In addition, the Prophet said, “Nothing is weightier on the Scale of Deeds than one’s good manners.” (Al-Bukhari) SubhanAllah, what other evidences do we need to start correcting our character?

A good character not only builds trust among each other but also brings happiness within one’s own self. Furthermore, our character is an example for younger generations and non-muslims. Upholding a good character will make a better society for muslims and non-muslims alike. It will be enchanting to the non-believers to know how good a human being you are, and that is an amazing chance for dawah!

These benefits, necessitates that we know what really is good character. The answer lies in an analysis of the Prophet’s character and how he dealt with people as Allah acknowledges His character, “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern (conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” (33:21) The Prophet was the most perfect human being, with the best character. In one hadith, Aishah explains that his character “was the Qur’an,” (Abu Dawud) meaning that the ideal described in the Qur’an was embodied in him. He was known for characteristics such as hayaa (modesty), trust, patience, smiling at the young and old, truthfulness at all times, soft speech, avoiding suspicion, anger management, helping others, hospitality and any many more.

A person’s character is made up of various aspects including their temperament, personality, disposition and their nature. Alhamdulilah, as humans Allah has instilled these qualities in us as fitrah, but we go against our nature and do bad, until it becomes our habit. It is up to us to return to our fitrah, to make a difference by gaining correct knowledge of the character of Prophet Muhammad and applying it in our daily lives.

Fatima Damad,

Writer, AAT

Sweetness of Iman

“There are three qualities, whoever has them will taste the sweetness of iman: to love Allah and His Messenger (Saw) more than anyone else, to love a slave (of Allah) only for (the sake of) Allah, and to hate returning to infidelity after Allah has saved him from it, as he would hate to be thrown into the fire (of Hell).” [Bukhari and Muslim]

The sweetness of iman, though intangible as it seems, is something we all yearn to taste. Once it envelops you, you really can taste it, and there is nothing sweeter than it. This can only be tasted when a person has truly believed in Allah, by submitting his entire will to the Almighty. When one has acquiesced to the Will of Allah, whether they are in difficulty or hardship, tough times or tests, this sweetness will remain. For they understand, that they live for Allah, to worship Him alone, to make Him pleased. They realise that the pleasure of Allah rests above everything else, that every moment in life is an opportunity to increase in good and get closer to Allah. The concept of Walaa and Baraa is firmly established in their hearts, and is evident in their actions.

In the above quoted hadith, it is the love of Allah that is the foundation of the sweetness of iman. Absolute love of Allah, to give Him priority over everyone and everything else, to follow what is enjoined by Allah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a means of gaining the sweetness of iman. To follow the commands of Allah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) is also an indication of your love of Allah, and your true desire to meet Him.

There is an expression; “life without love, is no life at all.” Perhaps this is true, for if one does not have the love of Allah in their heart, then what do they live for?

اللَّهُمَّ اِنِّىْ اَسْئَلُكَ حُبَّكَ وَ حُبَّ مَنْ يُّحِبُّكَ وحُبَّ عَمَلٍ يُّقَرِّبُ اِلى حُبِّكَ

“O Allah, I ask You for Your love, and love of those whom You love, and love of deeds that will bring me closer to Your love.”

iman

Bibi Zainab Dowlut,

Editor-in-Chief, AAT

Asma Was Sifaat

All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the universe. Blessings and peace be upon the last of the prophets and messengers, Muhammad bin Abdullah, his family, Companions and those who follow his footsteps till the last day.

Knowledge of Allah’s names and attributes is one of the main studies which is a must for every Muslim. The Qur’an and authentic Sunnah are the two sources through which we know about Allah.

Why is this study important? Well, let’s take an example of man whom you haven’t seen or met personally. He has helped you a lot in your life through different channels. In such situations you even though you cannot meet him, you want to at least know what kind of person he is and in what ways can you please him. However with regards to Allah, “there is nothing like unto Him.” (Shuraa 42:11) If we really want to please Allah through our good deeds and ikhlaas (sincerity), then we must acknowledge His Names and attributes in order that we may worship Him as He deserves.

“The most beautiful Names are for Allah, so call on Him by them, but shun those who deny His Names” (Qur’an 7:180)

The study of the Names and Attributes of Allah is also known as ‘Tawheed Asma wa Sifaat’. We know that there are other two categories of Tawheed- Ruboobiyah (Lordship) and Uloohiyah (Worship). But the third category, i.e. Asma wa sifaat is the core of the two. For example: some of Allah’s Names are al-Khaliq (the Creator), al-Malik (the absolute Ruler), al-Wahhab (the Giver of all). These Names indicate Allah’s oneness in creation and its sustenance, in other words Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyah (Lordship). As-Samee’ (the All-hearer), al-Basheer (all-Seer), and al-‘Atheem (the Magnificent) indicates that Allah is all- powerful and only He deserves to be worshipped which is Tawheed al-Uloohiyah. So, it is from Tawheed Asma was Sifaat that we extract Tawheed Ruboobiyyah and Uloohiyyah. If we perfect ourselves in the Asmaa was Sifaat category, we’ll automatically refine ourselves in the other two, thereby perfecting our Aqeedah.

Maliha Rahmat,

Writer, AAT

Let the Truth be Told

To some people, what is unlawful looks lawful, not because their eyes cannot see the difference, but it is because their hearts are blind. The Eyes can see everything within existence. Allaah does not blind a person’s heart from seeing things; rather the person himself causes this to happen. He puts himself in a state of denial after rejecting the truth, and that is what causes the heart to go blind to what is lawful, and motivates the person to commit what is unlawful.

When the unlawful looks lawful, know that the heart is blind and not the eyes. The eyes can see all that appears in front of them. When the heart has its ‘sight’, it can see more than what is visible to the eyes, but when the heart loses its sight that is worse for the person than when the eyes go blind.

Allaah the Almighty says:

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ

“Have they never journeyed through the land so that they have hearts to understand, or ears to hear with? It is not the eyes, but the hearts in the chests that are blind.” (Al-Hajj 22:46)

The Arabic word هداية (hidaya):

هداية (hidaya) is derived from the root هدى (Huda) which means (guide). This word can also appear as هدية (hadiya) and this means (gift), but the word ‘hidaya’ that is pointed out in the Glorious Quran means ‘guidance’; guidance to the one path. Who is it that guides to the one path? Is it you and I? No.

Is it any other than Allaah, the Most Merciful, who created the nations, and set two parties to be destined to different locations? Isn’t it Allaah who guides the people to the truth? Indeed.

The All-powerful says:

وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَتُنذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ لا رَيْبَ فِيهِ فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ

“And thus We have inspired unto you (O Muhammad) a Quran (in Arabic) that you may warn the Mother of the Towns (Makkah) and all around it. And warn of the Day of Assembling, of which there is no doubt, when a party will be in Paradise and a party in the blazing Fire (Hell).” (Ash-shura 42:07)

Two teams were created; of the two teams one is guided, the other team is misguided. If one team is guided, then the guided team must have been chosen. If Allaah created both teams, then it must have been Him who chose the guided team.

In Surah Ash-shura, verse 13, Allah says

اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاءُ

“Allaah chooses for Himself whom He wills”

وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ

“And guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance and in obedience.”

Whoever Allaah chooses is chosen because it is Allaah’s will. Whoever turns to Allaah with sincere repentance will be guided, and whoever turns away from Allaah, then Allaah will leave him to stray.

The Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) was sent as:

  1. A bearer of good news
  2. A warner

The book that he held, the one that we read is a guide for the Jinn and mankind.

Allaah gave The Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) wisdom, and power of speech. However, he was not granted the power to bring whoever he wants to guidance. The Messenger (Salla Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) did not have the will to guide.

Proof of the above point:

When the prophet’s uncle, Abu-Talib, was dying the Messenger of Allaah (Salla Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) told him to testify that there is no other God worthy of being worshipped besides Allah, but he refused. And his friends Abu Jahal and Abdallah were standing nearby, and told Abu Talib: Are you going to reject your religion? The Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) kept trying to get his uncle to testify, but he refused. Instead, his uncle replied: “I stay on my religion,” and those were his last words to utter.

Allaah then revealed:

إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

“Verily! You (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allaah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.” Al-Qassas 28:56

Although Allaah knew that the Prophet’s (Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) uncle was going to die as a Non-Muslim, it was still a duty upon the Prophet (Salla Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) to invite him to Islam. Allaah reiterates that it is not Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) who guides, and He (Azza wa Jal) confirms that it is He who guides.

Allaah emphasizes that he guides only whom He wills.

Allaah knows best who is guided, because:

Those guided chose to be guided by willing to repent to Allaah sincerely. The ones who repented were chosen by Allaah, and Allaah wills to guide only the repenters.

Umar Ibn Il-Khattab, do you know how he came to Islam?

Umar was twenty seven when the Holy Prophet began his mission. Young Umar was one of those who did not care to listen to the message of Islam. He was for the old way of life. As years went by, Islam began to gain recognition, and people began converting.

This made Umar angry. Once people became muslim, they never wavered in their belief, nor did they return to their old ways. One of Umar’s own maid-servants became a Muslim. He beat her as much as he could; but despite the torture she would not give up the new faith.

At last in the sixth year of the Prophet’s mission, a number of Muslims left for Abyssinia. This made Umar boil with rage. “Here is a man,” he thought to himself “who has split the people. People lived smoothly enough, until he began preaching. He has torn son from father, and brother from brother. Now his followers are running away to another land. Surely Muhammad is the cause of all trouble. I must slay him and put an end to the trouble.”

With this resolve Umar drew his sword and set out to kill the Prophet (Saw). On the way he met a friend who asked him why he looked so upset. Umar told him what he was going to do. “You better take care of your own kin first,” said the friend, “Your sister and her husband have gone over to Islam.”

These words changed the direction of Umar’s anger. He went straight to the house of his sister, Fatima. He knocked at the door. Someone was reciting the Quran inside. Fatima was terrified when she heard Umar’s voice. She hid the portion of the Quran she was reading and opened the door.

“What was it that you were reciting just now?” Omar demanded.
“Oh nothing,” replied his sister.
“Why nothing?” he shouted in rage.
“I have heard it alright. I know you both have accepted Muhammad’s faith.”

Saying this, he began to beat his brother-in-law, Saeed. Fatima ran to his help and got a blow to the head. Her head began to bleed. This made the couple bold. “Yes, we have become Muslims,” they shouted at Omar. “Do what you will.”
The sight of his bleeding sister deeply moved Omar. Fatima was such a loving sister! Surely there must be some great truth in the Quran which had won her innocent heart. “Would you let me have a look at the Quran?” said Umar.
Fatima handed him the few pages of the book she had.

Umar sat down to study the pages. Slowly, his face changed. His anger cooled down. The fear of Allah gripped his heart. He wept and declared, “Surely this is the word of Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah.”

Umar was again on his way to the place of the Prophet. But he was a changed man. He was not going to slay him, but to embrace his faith.

The Prophet (Saw) was sitting in the company of some men. He saw Umar coming and asked, “Umar, what brings you here?”

“O Prophet of Allah!” replied Umar, “I have come to embrace Islam.”

Great was the joy of the Holy Prophet and his followers. Loud shouts of “Allah is Great” echoed the air of Mecca. Soon everyone knew that Umar was no longer an enemy of Islam. It was a great day for Islam, because one of its bitterest enemies had become its staunch follower.

You see, who guided Umar? Did anyone know that he will change? Did anyone expect Umar to change? No. Allaah guided him, and Allaah was the only one who knew that he would change.

And if it is said to you, good news! Here is a job for you, take it and you will be rewarded, would you then say no?

What did they have to say when they were said to do such and such for rewards in return?

The hypocrites-

Al-Baqara (02:11)

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ

And when it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “We are only peacemakers.”

Al-Baqara (02:13)

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ

And when it is said to them: “Believe as the people have believed,” they say: “Shall we believe as the fools have believed?

Al-Munafiqoon (63:05)

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْا يَسْتَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ لَوَّوْا رُءُوسَهُمْ وَرَأَيْتَهُمْ يَصُدُّونَ وَهُمْ مُسْتَكْبِرُونَ

And when it is said to them: “Come, so that the Messenger of Allaah may ask forgiveness from Allaah for you”, they turn aside their heads, and you would see them turning away their faces arrogantly.”

The hypocrites make mischief on the Earth, and think that they are making peace. To them the believers are fools, and due to that Allaah put a disease in their hearts called arrogance. That is why when they are called to righteousness they turn away with aversion. That is why they are left to go astray.

What did they have to say?

The polytheists-

Al-Baqara (02:170)

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا

When it is said to them: “Follow what Allaah has sent down.” They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.”

Al-Furqan (25:60)

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اسْجُدُوا لِلرَّحْمَـٰنِ قَالُوا وَمَا الرَّحْمَـٰنُ أَنَسْجُدُ لِمَا تَأْمُرُنَا وَزَادَهُمْ نُفُورًا

And when it is said to them: “Prostrate to the Most Beneficent (Allaah)! They say: “And what is the Most Beneficent? Shall we fall down in prostration to that which you (O Muhammad) command us?” And it increases in them only aversion.

An-Nahl (16:24)

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ مَاذَا أَنْزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ ۙ قَالُوا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

And when it is said to them: “What is it that your Lord has sent down (unto Muhammad)?” They say: “Tales of the men before us!”

Al-Mursilat (77:48)

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ارْكَعُوا لَا يَرْكَعُونَ

And when it is said to them: “Bow down yourself (in prayer)!” They bow not down.

The polytheists follow what their fathers follow, and even if you bring clear signs to them that Allaah is the only one who deserves to be worshipped most of them reject, and that is because they only seek for the pleasures of this worldly life, and do not know anything about the hereafter.

In Comparison, What did the Believers say?

An-Nahl (16:30)

وَقِيلَ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا مَاذَا أَنْزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ ۚ قَالُوا خَيْرًا ۗ

And (when) it is said to those who are the pious “What did your Lord send down?” They say: “Something good.”

 The believers who follow the Islamic law accept the truth easily, are pleased of what they are given from Allaah’s bounties, and are grateful that Allaah chose this religion for them as the way of life, and as a guide to the straight path.

To wrap things up let’s turn to what we commenced with:

When The All Generous Allaah says:

فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُور

“Then indeed it is not the eyes, but the hearts in the chests that are blind.” Al-Hajj (22:46)

Do you remember the last time you parked your car in the parking lot, and went out looking for it, had you closed your eyes while looking for it, you would have never found it, right?

Picture this life as a parking lot, Allaah’s guidance as your car that you are searching for, and your eyes as your heart. If you never use your heart to search for Allaah’s guidance, then the next thing that will happen to your heart is that it will become blinded.

And now I know why;

The eye that never cries, never cries because it is blind to the signs of Allaah.

Dr. Rayan Arab,

CEO, AAT

Indecision

Time and time again we find ourselves faced with multiple options, only for us to sit back, and say ‘I’m not sure,’ or ‘I don’t know.’ It’s is only human for us to be indecisive when given choice. In fact, seldom are we sure of the future, or of the options presented to us. For the only One that can ever be sure of anything is Allah, because He is Al-Aleem, the All-Knowing. He has knowledge of the past, the future, hidden, and the open. He knows it all inside out. He knows the consequences of our actions, the significance of our inaction and the results of our reactions. He is the Omniscient, the All-Wise.

Before the advent of prophet hood the Arabs would cast arrows or lots, visit soothsayers and fortune tellers before making an important decision. All of these methods have been forbidden because they involve putting your trust in other than Allah. As Allah says, “prohibited is that you seek decision through diving arrows.” (05:03) The arrows are of our own making, the soothsayers and fortune tellers are merely liars in disguise. If Allah alone knows all, then should we not entrust our affairs to him?

Allah says, “when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah.” (03:159) We have established that we should have complete reliance on Allah once we have made a decision. But how do we make a decision in the first place?

Having doubt with regards to a course of action can be mind boggling. It can cause restlessness and unnecessary agitation. So why not put your trust in Allah right from the start? It is reported that the sahabahs would make istikhara for something as simple as buying shoelaces! It may seem weird to say the least…but think about it. How do you know that laces is good for you? Or that it will last? The manufacturer and shop keeper might say it will last, but if Allah decides otherwise, then, if it will break, it will break. And there is no way to stop the qadr of Allah.  But if you seek Allah’s counsel in the matter, whatever happens is His will. If the laces breaks it happened for a better good that results. Perhaps you would have tripped over it had it been intact? Who knows?!

Istikhara, is prayed before doing things that are allowed. Obviously you do not have a choice with regards to waajib; you have to do it, and anything haram, you have to abstain from it. So for those two there is no decision to be made. The Prophet (Saw) told us, “the halaal is clear and the haram is clear.” (Bukhari and Muslim) There is no option or istikhara with regards to the obligatory and forbidden.

Jaabir ibn Abdillah reported that the Messenger of Allah (Saw) used to teach his companions to make istikhara in all things, just as he used to teach them surahs from the Quraan. He (Saw) said, “If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pay two rakaahs of non-obligatory prayer then say, ‘O Allah, I seek Your guidance, by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power and I have none. You know and I know not. You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then the person should mention the matter) is good for me in my religion, in my livelihood and the consequences of my affairs (in this life and in the hereafter) then ordain it for me, make it easy for me and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me, and my religion, my livelihood, and the consequences of my affairs (in this life and the hereafter) then turn me away from it, and turn it away from me. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”

This duaa, clearly illustrates a servants’ need for His Lord. Allah alone is in control of our affairs, he knows what is best for us. He says in the Quraan, “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you.” (02:216) We do not know what the future holds, everything rests in His hands.

Duaa can be made for anything, and everything, even your shoelaces!

Bibi Zainab Dowlut,

Editor-in-Chief, AAT