Halloween

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Halloween is celebrated on the evening of 31st October, on All-Hallows or All-Saints eve. Children usually dress up, and take up ‘trick-or-treating.’ At this time of year, sweets and chocolates are in stock in many households to serve to the children who knock on doors on their ‘trick-or-treating’ rounds. Pumpkins are carved into Jack-o-lanterns, horror movies and attractions are visited, and pranks are in abundance, not to mention an indulgence in divination games.

Halloween is a festival that originates from the Celtic practice of Samhain in which they would wear costumes and light bonfires to ward off ghosts. It also marks the end of Summer and the harvests and beginning of winter. It is also a Christianised festival, dedicated to remembering the dead, though it is firmly rooted in paganism. Today however, it has become a commercial opportunity to boost sales, and to the masses; a chance to feast, celebrate and have ‘fun’ making forget their purpose on earth.

Where does that leave us muslims? Is it an opportunity for us to participate in the so-called ‘fun’? In fact, is it even anything near fun, or is it something that only incurs the wrath and displeasure of Allah?

Halloween, is a time of superstition, something which has no place in Islam. We firmly believe in Allah and His predestination or decree (Qadr), and this is one of the pillars of iman. Thus to celebrate Halloween is in fact a celebration of shirk, for the Prophet peace be upon him said, “whoever has turned away from doing something because of a bad omen is guilty of Ash-shirk.’ The people asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What expiation is there for doing that?’ He said, ‘that he should say, ‘O Allah! There is no goodness except your goodness and no omen except your omen, and there is no true god but you.’” (Ahmad) And what is shirk; except for the greatest sin in which one can indulge. Allah says, “…do not associate [anything] with Allah . Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice,” (Surah Luqman, 31:13)

Moreover to join in these festivities is to aid the disbelievers in their disbelief, and error. And Allah says, “Help one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment” [al-Maa’idah 5:2] Plus to aid someone in a sin, will make you guilty too.

Narrated Ibn Jarir bin ‘Abdullah, from his father that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever starts a good tradition which is followed, then for him is a reward, and the likes of their rewards of whoever follows him, there being nothing diminished from their rewards. And whoever starts a bad tradition which is followed, then for him is the sin, and the likes of the sins of whoever follows him, there being nothing diminished from their sins.” (Jami At-Tirmidhi, Saheeh)

On this point, if buying the candy, and other products sold at this time of year will support the celebration, then it is impermissible for you to do so.

Furthermore as Muslims, we are not permitted to imitate the disbelievers, for as we know the Prophet, peace be upon him said, “whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Abu Dawud, Saheeh by Ibn Hibban) And who would like to be among the disbelievers in hereafter where their abode will be eternity in the hellfire?!

To merely wish them a ‘happy halloween’ is wrong, for the simple reason that by saying so, indicates one’s approval of the celebration. We as muslims do not approve of halloween, for it is an act of disobedience to Allah.

The organised parties, and discos honouring halloween, also have no place in Islam, not only are they acts of disobedience to Allah, but they involve free mixing between genders, and are often accompanied with music.

May Allah make it easy for us to uphold our beliefs purely, and to be satisfied with our deen as Islam, for indeed, Islam is complete, and does not need any additions or subtractions.

 

 

 

 

 

Al-‘Afuww

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Linguistically, “Al-‘Afuww” comes from the root word ‘a-f-a which has multiple meanings in the Arabic language such as: to pass over, forgo, absolve; to obliterate all traces, remove; to kill-off, allow to die; to turn away from punishing, not see, annul; or to make unapparent, imperceptible.

This name of Allah (May He be Exalted) is found in both the Qur’an and Sunnah and has occurred about 5 times in the Qur’an.

Allah is Al-‘Afuww who not only forgives but also removes the effects of the sins (punishment bound to a particular sin) and on the Day of Judgment Allah will not question those sins. Not only does He erase the sins from the book of deeds but He also erases the memory of it so that a person does not feel embarrassed every time he remembers. Allah is Al-‘Afuww, the Pardoner.

“Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms, and with Him is the Mother of the Book.” (Surah ar-Ra’ad: 39)

Allah (Glory Be to Him) bestows a lot of goodness which He replenishes. He accepts our apologies when we ask for forgiveness so that we can effortlessly fulfil the obligations. For example; on the occasion of severe illness or insufficient amount of water Allah (Glory be to Him) overlooks and commanded for Tayyammum (dry ablution).

With the existence of sins, Allah (Exalted be He) also created forgiveness, which yields rewards for the pardoned one despite he being worthy of punishment.

There are two types of Forgiveness:

‘Afuww al-‘Aam (general forgiveness): to all sinners- both Kuffars (disbelievers) and Muslims. Although punishments are bounded to them for their sins but Allah distances the punishment from them. Even with such Mercy, they exceed the limits of Allah by committing shirk (polytheism), mischief, and transgression. However, He (Glory be to Him) forgives, gives provision, provides hidden or apparent bounties; not that He neglects or forgets their deeds but He gives them a certain period of time according to His wisdom

‘Afuww al-Khaas (specific forgiveness): to those who repent (taa-ibeen), to those who ask for forgiveness (mustaghfireen), those who call upon Allah (ad-da’een), those who pray to Allah (al-‘Abideen), those who are afflicted with calamity and ponder upon their shortcomings in order to repent from it (musabeen/muhtasibeen).

The Greatness of ‘Afuww (forgiveness) in our lives:

  1. When a believer (mu’min) is afflicted with any form of catastrophe, Allah forgives his sins so much so that he cannot count them.

“And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” (Surah ash-Shoora: 30)

  1. Whoever asks for forgiveness in this world Allah will be much more Merciful towards them in the next life. This is the Sunnah (way) of Allah the Almighty.
  2. Proportionate to how Allah pardons the transgressors in this world, He shall pardon the believers in the Hereafter.
  3. Allah (May He be Glorified) has made aware to us the sources through which we can acquire Allah’s forgiveness, like good deeds, outstanding character, fine speech, etc.
  4. He grants bestowments in such abundance that it looks like a servant has rather been thankful always and never had disobeyed.
  5. Be it a small sins or a huge crime against Allah (shirk), He forgoes them when we ask for forgiveness and changes them (sins) into rewards.

“Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah al-Furqan: 70)

  1. If Allah’s forgiveness (‘afuww) did not exist, the Earth would have been in total destruction because of the sins of mankind.

“And if Allah were to impose blame on the people for their wrongdoing, He would not have left upon the earth any creature, but He defers them for a specified term. And when their term has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].” (Surah an-Nahl: 61)

  1. Although Allah has all the ability to take vengeance, He (Glory be to Him) forgives and let go the servants in this life.

Effects on our Iman (faith):

  • When a believer begins to believe that his Rabb (Creator, Sustainer and Controller of all affairs) is the Great Al-‘Afuww he will leave the sins and in his heart he begins to sow the seeds of love of Allah, and it results him to work for Allah’s acceptance and gain the following quality:

“Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good;” (Surah al-Aal Imran: 134)

  • It was narrated from ‘Aishah that she said: “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think I should say in my supplication, if I come upon Laylatul-Qadr?” He said: “Say: ‘Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me).'” (Sunan Ibn Majah:3850)
  • A believer gains dignity, power, and strength in this world as we learn from the hadith, Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Wealth is not diminished by giving (in charity). Allah augments the honour of one who forgives; and one who displays humbleness towards another seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah exalts him in ranks.” (Sahih al-Muslim; Buluqh al- Marhaam; Arabic/English book reference: Book 1, Hadith 556)
  • And for the Hereafter, he (the believer) shall obtain the following, as we learn from the Hadith of Mu’adh bin Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) who reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The one who suppresses anger and has the power to give effect to it, will be called out by Allah, the Exalted, to the forefront of the creatures on the Day of Resurrection and he will be asked to choose any of the virgins (Hur) of his liking”. (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi: Book 1, Hadith 47)

Now that we have learnt the name Al-Affuw, let’s apply it in our lives, by calling on Allah using this Glorious Name of His. And let’s forgive others, in hope that Allah will forgive us. I end with the statement of Allah,

“…Let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah An-Nur 24:22)

Signs of the Hour 11

“Nay! But you love the present life. And neglect the hereafter.” (Surah Qiyamah 75:20-21)

Man loves haste and things of haste. For that reason, he pins his faith on transitory things and neglect the things of lasting moment whose true importance will only be seen in the hereafter. It’s man’s innate character to love the present life.

We live in a world where our intelligence quotient is determined by the knowledge that we apprehend. Rather, it should have been determined by how well we prepare for our future, or hereafter.

It is reported that Sufyân bin Uyainah (Allah have mercy on him) said, “The intelligent person is not one who merely knows what is good and what is bad. The intelligent person is one who, when he sees what is good, follows it, and when he sees evil, shuns it.” (Abû Nuaym, Hilyah Al-Awliyâ`, Vol. 4 p16.)

Today, we are so preoccupied with futile things. We engage ourselves in many activities of no benefit. Those activities seem to be intriguing nevertheless they’re inept. Involving in them may lead us to forget the Day of Judgement. However, Allah has pre planned everything. Allah had sent forth and will be showing signs prior to the Day, for us to realize, repent and reap. Realize that we’ve committed sins. Repent for what we had committed. Reap the rewards for repenting on that Day.

By learning the signs of the Hour, we gain Taqwa (God-fearing) and thus seize on every opportunity to please Allah.

We will look at two more signs of the hour:

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  • Women will outnumber men:

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I will narrate to you a Hadith and none other than me will tell you about it after me. I heard Allah’s Apostle saying: From among the portents of the Hour are is that the women will increase in number and men will decrease in number so much so that fifty women will be looked after by one man. (Sahih Bukhari Volume 001, Book 003, Hadith Number 081)

Men will be doomed to extinction towards the end of the world. Many scholars give the reason as existence of turmoil in which many men will be killed because men folk engage in warfare.

In the present world of 2015, countries like Russia, Latvia, and Lithuania have population where there are more women than men. Overall, the number of men to women in the world is pretty evenly split. More accurately, there are 101.8 men for every 100 women, according to data from the UN.

Follow the Leader Photo

  • Rulership of the foolish:

Jabir Ibn Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said to Ka’b Ibn Ajrah: “I seek refuge in Allah for you, Ka’b, from foolish leaders”. He said: “Who are the foolish leaders, Messenger of Allah?” He (peace be upon him) replied: “Leaders who will come after me, who do not follow my guidance or adhere to my Sunnah.” (Recorded by Ahmad)

According to the aforementioned hadith, a foolish ruler is the one who cannot properly conduct his own affairs, let alone the affairs of others. Our Messenger (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) called those leaders as foolish who didn’t follow the path of Sunnah. To further affirm this is the famous Hadith of Hudhayfah ibn Al Yaman May Allah be pleased with him.

On the authority of Hudhayfah bin Al Yaman who said: Messenger of Allah, no doubt, we had an evil time (i.e. the days of Jahiliyya or ignorance) and God brought us a good time (i. e. Islamic period) through which we are now living Will there be a bad time after this good time? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Yes. I said: Will there be a good time after this bad time? He said: Yes. I said: Will there be a bad time after good time? He said: Yes. I said: How? Whereupon he said: There will be leaders who will not be led by my guidance and who will not adopt my ways. There will be among them men who will have the hearts of devils in the bodies of human beings. I said: What should I do. Messenger of Allah, if I (happen) to live in that time? He replied: You will listen to the Amir and carry out his orders; even if your back is flogged and your wealth is snatched, you should listen and obey. (Muslim)

May Allah protect us from such leaders. Aameen

Every one of us, young or old, man or woman, should at least acquire sufficient knowledge about the portents of the hour. By learning these signs, we enable ourselves to perform more good deeds. We also endeavour to shun all that is bad and evil. No great amount of time is required to acquire this simple knowledge. If we truly value Iman (faith), it cannot be too difficult to find ten minutes every day to devote for our Iman.

“Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who has most taqwa.” (Qur’an, Al-Hujurat 49:13)

Bint Nayeem

Writer, AAT

 

Surah Ikhlaas

Surah Ikhlas

Only four ayahs long, and one of the shortest surahs in the Qu’ran. For many of us, it is the first surah we memorise, and it stays with us until we enter our graves. Sadly, many of us simply repeat its verses, without paying much attention to its status or meaning. If only we knew the value of these few verses, and their implications!

Surah Ikhlaas or Ahad, is Surah number 112 of the Quran. It was revealed to answer the ignorant inquiries of the Quraysh, who asked Muhammad (peace be upon him) to relate to them the lineage of Allah. And so Allah revealed this Surah to quieten their foul talk. Surah Ikhlaas is amongst the Surahs the Prophet (peace be upon) would recite daily before retiring to bed, seeking protection from the Almighty.

Did you know that this is a surah by which on can earn the love of Al-Wadud (The All-Loving)? During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), he sent a man as a commander of a war expedition and he used to lead his companions in prayer with recitation (of the Qur’an). And he would complete his recitation with the recitation of ‘Qul huwa Allahu ahad.’ So when they returned the companions mentioned that to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he (peace be upon him) said, ‘ask him why he does that.’ So they asked him and he said, ‘because it is the description of Ar-Rahman and I love to recite it.’ So the Prophet said, ‘inform him that Allah the Most High loves him.’” (Bukhari)

Getting to know Allah and His description suggests that one is coming closer to Allah, and so one increases in the love of Allah, thereby warranting the love of Allah!

Many a times we echo the words of our Creator without knowing its significance. How we have deviated from what the companions were upon! They understood these words, and so they loved to recite them.

In a similar incident, one of the Ansar used to lead the Ansar in Salah in the Quba’ mosque and it was his habit to recite Qul huwa Allahu Ahad whenever he wanted to recite something in Salah. When he finished that Surah, he would recite another one with it. He followed the same procedure in each Rak’ah. His companions discussed this with him and said, “You recite this Surah and do not consider it sufficient and then you recite another. So would you recite it alone or leave it and recite some other.” He said, “I will never leave it and if you want me to be your Imam on this condition then it is all right; otherwise I will leave you.” They knew that he was the best amongst them and they did not like someone else to lead them in Salah. When the Prophet (ﷺ) went to them as usual, they informed him about it. The Prophet (ﷺ) addressed him and said, “O so-and-so, what forbids you from doing what your companions ask you to do? Why do you read this Surah particularly in every Rak’ah?” He replied, “I love this Surah.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Your love for this Surah will make you enter Paradise.” (Bukhari)

Not only does love of this Surah earn you Allah’s love, but it is also a means to enter paradise. In fact the Prophet said that paradise was compulsory upon one who recites it, from the bottom of his heart. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) heard a man reciting Qul huwa Allahu ahad, and said, “It is his right.’ They asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is his right?’ He said, ‘Paradise is his right.’ (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 7669)

Little do we reflect upon the significance of this Surah! Did you know that it is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’an! Our beloved Prophet told us so, he said, “‘Qul huwa Allahu Ahad’ is one-third of the Qur’an.” (Sunan an-Nisa’i)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also informed us, “Whoever recites Qul huwa Allahu ahad ten times, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, 6472) To recite these four ayah barely takes thirty seconds, to recite it ten times, will take a few minutes at most, and it will be time well spent, with ample reward in the hereafter.

The virtues of this Surah are numerous, however innovations regarding this surah are also prevalent. Reciting Surah Ikhlaas five hundred times, or one hundred times is a practice that has no basis in the Sunnah and one should not adhere to these numbers. Similarly, reciting it in a certain Salah a specified number of times also has no proof. One must be careful to abstain from such innovations, and should follow the exact Sunnah without altering by adding or taking away from it.

May Allah make us amongst those who recite the Qur’an with understanding and apply it in our lives.

 

A lenient Trade

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In an era, where generosity is a crime, and terms such as charity, munificence, benevolence and leniency are simply words that are looked up from a dictionary with hardly anyone in this world to do them justice. A time, where man is consumed only by his gains, a typical market scene comes to mind, where the customers bargain at the top of their voices and salesmen swear with great alacrity that indeed their chinaware, silken cloths, utensils and what not, are indeed the best obtainable. Since, almost every shopkeeper makes this claim, the word ‘best’ seems to lose its significance.

A market is mostly allied with deceit, sham and trickery, one wonders whether the clean atmosphere of honest trade can ever be envisioned.

Perhaps enlightenment is what our traders and buyers need, and what better source than from Quran and hadith.

The Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Allah The Most Great admitted a person into Paradise because he was lenient in his buying, selling, paying and demanding of his money back.” [Al-Bukhari in At-Tareekh Al-kabiir]

This hadith shows the virtue of being lenient in trade whereby the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) mentioned that Allah granted paradise to a man who was lenient in his trade by fearing Allah in his buying, selling and loaning, also by being forgiving towards others if they struggle to repay their debts towards him and not pressuring them to sell their valuables in order to repay him.

Since a world without sellers and buyers doesn’t seem possible, this hadith nevertheless carries a message to each and every one of us, as pearls of wisdom giving glad tidings of paradise.

Furthermore, thinking it humanely, stories of the debt cycle are no news to us. We are well aware about the misery of those clouded in debt, we have heard of suicide cases committed in non-muslim countries due to the immense despair that a person’s debt brings him. Can we not then contrive to be patient and helpful to those who owe us? It might not mean much to us, but to those, on whose head their debts hang as a serpent at its target, it may mean a world of solace and peace.

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Moreover, it is important to remember that every business that one ventures in, harvests its fruits only by the will and mercy of Allah, then what my dear friends is the need of being deceitful. Further on comes this awe inspiring hadith, ensuring to us that if we become fair, paradise, by the will of Allah shall be our final abode.

Finally, in conclusion I appeal to each and every one of us to take hold of this hadith as our ticket to paradise (Allah willing) and inculcate in ourselves the mannerisms of leniency and generosity in our day to day trade.

May Allah grant us success. Ameen

Bint Ayesha, Writer, AAT

 

Sweet Patience!

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“Patience is half of iman.” 

The virtues of patience are many, and perhaps I will barely scratch the surface. Patience gives hope in times of worry, strength in moments of weakness, and only adds to the joys in instances of happiness. If one is equipped with patience, they are able to champion through the hurdles of life, while holding firm to their principles and ethics.

Our lord, the Most High has made this clear to us in the Qur’an, “But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious), not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.” (Surah Aal Imran, 03: 120) Allah comforts us, that with Sabr, we will not be harmed by those who plot against us. If we look at the Story of Ya’qub (peace be upon him), we find that through his trials, he maintained patience. When his sons plotted to remove Yusuf from him, he was steadfast and though he was saddened by the loss of his dearest son, he was not harmed, for Allah reunited him with his beloved son, Yusuf, due to his patience.

Amongst the virtues of patience is that Allah assists those who have this amazing quality. As He says, “Surely, Allah is with those who are As‑Saabiroon (the patient.)” (Al-Anfaal 6:46) Indeed there is nothing better than gaining the aid of Allah, for Allah is the Greatest, whose support is never failing. Allah supported Ya’qub, and enabled him to bear those long years without his son. Sadly, the rate of suicide and depression is on the rise, and perhaps it is because many are unable to attain this remarkable quality of patience. When one has patience, they accept the decree of Allah, they are content with it, and know that Allah will only choose that which is best for them. Moreover, one who has patience, will bear the troubles and will only complain to Allah, they will not seek to end their lives, knowing that Allah has kept a great reward for those who persevere. As Allah says,

“Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the Muhsinoon (good‑doers) to be lost.” (Surah Yusuf 12:90)

And what has Allah kept as a reward for his slaves who endure patiently?! It is only what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what has not occurred to us. It is beyond our imagination.

In times of distress and worry, and even sometimes in times of excitement and joy, patience seems difficult and impossible to attain. One cannot wait for the pain to end nor can one wait for the joy to begin! Allah, knows our nature, that we are hasty, and so He gives us a motivation for us to try to achieve this beautiful characteristic, He, Glorified is He, says, “And Allah loves the Saabiroon (the patient ones).” (Surah Aal Imran 03:146) My dear friends, what an amazing encouragement from our Lord, Most High who wishes to honour us. I ask you to ponder upon this, but please continue reading, for there is more to come!

Before I mention the next point about the virtues and amazing rewards of Sabr, think back to the life of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He was man who had a tonne of sabr! On the worst and most distressing day of his life, the day of Ta’if as it is commonly known, he had sabr, which gave him hope. Though he was chased out of the town, rejected by its elders and youngsters alike, pelted with stones until his blessed feet bled, and ridiculed by the townspeople, his patience kept him strong, to the point that he (peace be upon him) refused the aid of the angles to crush the people of Ta’if. His patience gave him optimism, and he hoped that one day the progeny of the people of Ta’if would believe. Oh and how his patience has paid off! Indeed, good things comes to those who wait, and have patience!

Let’s go back to the virtues of patience. Did you know, that Allah gives glad tidings of three things to those who are patient, He said,

“…but give glad tidings to As‑ Saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155-157] Firstly, Salawaat is upon them they are blessed by Allah for this delightful quality. Secondly, they receive the mercy of Allah. The Mercy of Allah is vast and encompassing, and we are in need of it. And thirdly, Allah gives them glad tidings that they are guided. To know that one is guided, is of a hefty weight, for how many amongst mankind are lost, and do not even know so?!

Indeed patience is an attribute we should all seek to attain, for it vital to our survival as believers. Many have lost patience with the decrees of Allah and have fallen into disbelief. Only with patience can one hold firmly onto the rope of Allah, and await his reward, as Allah says, “Except those who show patience and do righteous good deeds: those, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward (Paradise).” (Surah Hud 11:11) Moreover, the Prophet informed us that there is nothing better than patience, “…whoever is patient Allah will bestow patience upon him, and no one is ever given anything better and more generous than patience.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

To conclude, I cannot find any word more apt to describe the situation of a believer who is patient, than the words of our beloved Messenger (peace be upon him), he said, “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Muslim 2999) One who is endowed with patience will have a positive outlook on every aspect of life, and will be content with Allah’s decree, knowing a great reward awaits.

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Towards a Just Society

Our Character

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Justice; a word that the world has been striving for, for ages, justice for the poor, and downtrodden, the women, the immigrants and the list goes on. In a world where money is power and power is justice and birth rights dominate every sphere, people take in all the injustices done to them, patiently waiting for someone to come and give right justice to every single human being on the face of earth. Before Islam Justice was a mere word for the victims of injustice.

So what exactly is injustice? Injustice is deviation from justice and violation of the truth. Justice is the most essential of human rights from which all other rights are derived. Justice is to put something in its correct place.

In Islam there are three types of injustices:

  1. To be unjust toward Allah by associating partners in worship with Him i.e; Shirk

Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with Him] is great injustice.”(Quran 31:1)

  1. To be unjust towards other people:

Allah says in the Holy Quran, “And the recompense of an odious deed is an odious deed the like of it; yet whoever is clement and acts righteously, then his reward is up to Allah. Surely, He does not love the unjust.” (Quran 42:40)

  1. To be unjust towards oneself:

Allah Says: “Then we caused to inherit the Book those We have chosen of Our servants; and among them is he who wrongs himself.” (Quran 35:32)

In this article we will deal with being unjust to others. Every one of us wants to be treated justly, we despise injustice yet sometimes we fall as oppressors and many a times we fail to empathize with the victims of injustice. But if muslims realized how big of a sin oppression is, then we would never fall into being oppressors and ask for forgiveness for all the injustice we have done.

The Day of Judgement is the day when we all will stand and will get justice if we were oppressed and will be punished if we oppressed, verily every deed of injustice will be punished and every deed of justice be rewarded.

Here are some specific forms of injustice:

1- Injustice towards the Family:

Injustice towards the family occurs when the head of the family neglects to guide to the true Islamic education, overlooking to guide them to virtue, uses excessive severity and violence, and prevents them from having the necessities of good livelihood. Such matters cause material and ethical shortcomings to the family members. Negligence in one’s responsibilities towards his family is an injustice.

2-Injustice towards the neighbours:

When we don’t even know the condition of our neighbours and could be least bothered to even lend a hand in any situation.

Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “The companion who is the best to Allah is the one who is best to his companion. And the neighbour that is the best to Allah is the one that is best to his neighbour.” (Tirmidhi, Sahih)

3- Injustice towards the Relatives

This form of injustice occurs when the relatives are deserted, and deprived of feelings of kindness. Such matters bring about enmity and disregard of relations.

4-Injustice among wives:

When equal rights, and wealth are not given to each wife in a polygamous marriage.

4-Injustice towards orphans:

When some therights of orphans and their properties are snatch away or overused by their caretaker.

5- Injustice towards the Society:

This form of injustice occurs when the rights of individuals are neglected, dignities are disrespected, and interests are disregarded. Such behaviours cause social corruption. The most hideous forms of social injustice is wronging the weak individuals who lack the ability to defend themselves.

In conclusion when rights are not given to the people who are their rightful owners then injustice occurs. And so we should try to know our surrounding people and what their rights are. Also we need to remember that Allah will hold us responsible for the injustice we had done in the world.

The Prophet said, “Indeed Allah gives some time to the unjust but when He punishes him there is no escape, then the prophet read: “Such is the punishment of your Lord when He seizes the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His punishment is painful, and severe.” (Hud: 102)

Be just, even if it is against your narrowly defined self-interest or of those very close to you. Ignorant people think they are protecting their self-interest by being unjust to others. Their decision to be just or

unjust may be based on a cold calculation of self-interest. But real faith in Allah elevates one beyond that narrow-mindedness.

“Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. ” (Nahl: 90)

Fatima Damad,

Writer, AAT

Aishah Bint Abi Bakr

Aishah Bint Abi BakrPraise be to Allah

A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “You were shown to me in a dream for three nights. An Angel brought you to me in a silk cloth and he said: ‘ Here is your wife’ and when I removed (the cloth) from your face, lo, it was you, so I said: If this is from Allah, He will carry it out”.

The above narration is testimony of the great honour placed on her. She is A’ishah, daughter of the leader, As-Siddiq, Abu-Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him). The Mother of the Believer’s, wife of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him), the most knowledgeable woman without an exception.

As for her knowledge, Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said: “I have accompanied A’ishah” -she was his maternal aunt-“I did not find anyone who has more knowledge of the verses that were revealed, nor of the obligatory matters, nor of the Sunnah and nor of poetry. No one reported from him (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) more than her. No one had more knowledge of historical events of the Arabs, nor of genealogy, nor of such and such, nor of legal matters, nor of medicine than her. So I said to her: ‘My aunt, regarding medicine, from where did you learn it?’ She replied : ‘ If I was ill, he would recommend to me something and if he fell ill too, I would recommend some remedy to him and I heard people recommending medication to one another and I memorized it.”

The famous saying ‘Knowledge is Light’ resonates in almost every orator’s speech whilst he contrives to explain the importance of knowledge, yet here is A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), an example of knowledge embodied. Her vast knowledge in almost every field proves that indeed knowledge is crucial and is in fact an obligation on us, as the hadith goes al ilm faridah al’a kulli muslim wa mulimah – Knowledge is obligatory on every male and female Muslim.

However, the field of knowledge wasn’t the only battle that she had triumphed in, her benevolence too, was at its peak, as we learn from various incidents. One such occasion was when she gave out in charity 70 000 while she patched her garment on the side and at another instance, when she was fasting, distributed 1 lakh dirhams while forgetting to leave anything for herself with which to break her fast.

These are but, few examples amongst many, and the lessons that we learn from these instances are indeed invaluable.
It is high time, don’t you think my dear friends, that we ceased cheese paring in charity, giving only the most bedraggled of rags to the less fortunate and ‘exploiting’ ourselves in only the latest extravaganza.

A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) was a combination of all that, that would distinguish her over and above other women as she narrated ‘I have been given 9 virtues that were not given to any woman after Maryam Bint Imran : Jibreel descended with my picture in his sleep until Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him ) was commanded to marry me, he married me while I was a virgin and he never married any virgin besides me, his soul was taken while his head was on my lap and he was buried in my house. The angels had surrounded my house, I am the daughter of his Khalifah and his sideeq, my excuse was revealed from the heaven. I was created pure. I have been promised forgiveness (of sins) and noble provision.’

Indeed A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) was one of the most intelligent,  ladies to walk on the face of the Earth, she was a scholar in her own right, her accomplishment in the study of ahadith is unmarred, a scholar and teacher for all times, a paradigm for all generation of women to come.

Bint Hasan
Writer, AAT

Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “The superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid to other kinds of food . ” (Bukhari)

 

Onions and Garlic

onion-garlic

You probably know, what I am about to say about onions and garlic. If you do, then why not take heed? If you don’t know, then I ask this question, how many times have you prayed in congregation or beside someone, and just as you inhale, they exhale, or even worse they burp, at that precise moment. And the smell that emanates from their mouths almost knocks you unconscious and makes your stomach churn, and that’s it, you’ve forgotten perhaps what surah you were reciting, or what raka’a you were on! And then you become angry in your salah at this person, and all you want to do after the Salah is give them a piece of your mind, but they run out of the masjid before you make your salam.

Hmmm, a rather unpleasant situation to be in, I must admit, but how many times has this happened, and yet no one seems to learn from it.

Firstly, it is pure disgusting to have to smell onions or garlic off someone’s breath. Does one not realise how much inconvenience he is causing to the person next to him! It is disrupting to the Khushu of the person beside you and it makes them sick to the stomach. If the slightest whiff of onion or garlic breath could almost kill, then what about one who burps out this smell, and then blows it on to the person next to him??? Furthermore, burping only indicates gluttony, and greed, for one who burps does so only because they have eaten more than they should.  It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, A man burped in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and he said: “Keep your burps away from us, for the one who eats his fill the most in this world will be hungry for the longest time on the Day of Resurrection.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2015); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.)

One should abstain from eating these foods if he knows he will be attending the mosque. For people and angels gather in the mosque. In one narration the Prophet said, “whoever eats garlic or onions let him keep away from us” and in another version, “let him keep away from our mosque and stay in his house.” (Bukhari) The Prophet was considerate to those around him, he knew that such foods when consumed omit an offensive smell, and so he told those who had eaten it to stay at home.

In a report by Muslim (1/395), the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is reported to have said, “whoever eats onion, garlic or leeks let him not come near our mosque, because the angels will be offended by what is offensive to the sons of Adam.” I’m absolutely positive that none of us would like to cause offence to the angels. My dear brothers and sister be considerate, the masjid is the house of Allah, which we should attend whilst being clean and pure.

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab addressed the people once saying, “O People, you eat two things that I think come from bad plants; onions and garlic. When the Messenger of Allah noticed this smell coming from a man in the mosque, he ordered him to go out to Al-Baqee’…” Would you like the Messenger to ask you leave the mosque?!

One point which stems off this topic, is other offensive odours such as sweat or bad breath. Those who come with stinky socks and feet, and sweaty armpits, cause disruption to worshippers. We should have the best presentation when standing before the Lord of the worlds. Would a person attend a job interview, in clothes that reek of sweat? Rather one would wear his best suit, crisp and clean, and would wear perfume, ensure that their teeth is well-brushed, and would even go to the extent of chewing gum to prevent bad breath. So when we stand before Allah, let us prepare ourselves and ensure we are immaculate.

Even worse than those mentioned, is cigarette smells. Smoking is forbidden, and whilst we are not preventing smokers from coming to the mosques as perhaps one day their prayer will help them abandon smoking, we ask that they refrain from smoking before attending it.

If no one has told you before, I shall tell you now; no one wants to smell anything horrible! We are humans and we do make mistakes, but we should learn from our mistakes, and learn from the mistake of others too. By following this sunnah, we can ever so easily adopt another, and that is the siwak. The time when these smells are prevalent, sadly is in Ramadaan, the month of extra ibadah. During Taraweeh, these smells seem to float in between every row of people in the mosque! We have several months before Ramadaan comes, but shouldn’t we prepare in advance, and train beforehand?! May Allah make it easy for us.

 

Misconception: Polygamy

tumblr_lyj4grzlGq1qkwmgko1_540There are some misconceptions that have been spread about women and their rights in Islam. These misconceptions were not meant for individual women themselves, but rather as an attack on Islam in particular. People who raise such misconceptions aim mainly to distort the beautiful picture of women in Islam. Women, throughout the past fourteen centuries of Islam, have been honoured, respected, cherished and dignified. One of the misconceptions raised about women in Islam, is the issue of polygamy.

Polygamy is marriage to more than one wife. It is a continuation of the practice established and practiced in previous religions. It is a practice as old as history itself. All previous religions practiced polygamy. The Old Testament and the Bible are at the top of the list of the Divine Books that stated such a practice and legalized it. Many previous Prophets (Peace be upon them), before Prophet Mohammad entered into plural marriages. Prophet Abraham had two wives. Prophet Jacob also had four wives and Prophet Solomon had many wives. Therefore, we notice that plural marriage, as an issue, is not a new practice attributed to Islam alone. It is indeed an old practice, as old as the history of man on Earth.

The Main Conditions for Polygamy in Islam

1-Justice and Equality

As Allah the Almighty permitted polygamy, He stipulated and pre-conditioned justice and fairness in treatment, avoiding injustice and wrong practices against all wives. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“He who has two wives and does not treat them equally with justice and fairness will come paralyzed (with one side slanted) on the Day of Judgment.”

Justice and fairness, in this context, applies to material things such as expenditure, fair division of wealth, gifts, time, etc. As for emotional matters, such as love and inclination towards one wife over the other, it is recognized that man has no authority or control over his heart and emotions. Feelings and emotions are involuntary; therefore one is not to be blamed for them. ‘Aishah, the mother of believers and the wife of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was reported as saying “Allah’s Messenger distributed everything justly amongst his wives; yet after all, he used to say, “O Allah! This is the fair way of dividing what I possess amongst my wives. O Allah! Blame me not for what You alone possess while I do not.” Meaning absolute justice, the heart, feelings and emotions of a man.

2-Ability to Afford another Household

If a man knows for sure that he is financially incapable of affording another wife and another household, he is not entitled to seek another marriage. A husband is not allowed to exceed four wives at any given time.

We would like to point out some of the factors and elements that often urge men to seek another marriage. We need to examine whether polygamy in itself is a good or an evil practice in the society. We also would like to know whether such a practice is good or bad for the wife, and whether it is in her interest or against it.

1- If a woman is sterile, and the husband is interested in having children, what is best for the wife in such a case: to be divorced for no sin or crime (and become a burden on herself and the society if she cannot earn and there is nobody to support her financially), or to remain in the household of her husband in addition to his other wife? Naturally, to stay in a plural marriage would be the better of the two options.

2- If a wife is chronically ill and she cannot perform her marital duties, what is better in her case: to be divorced, or to become a second wife where she is perfectly honoured, cared for and provided for by her husband? Again, in such an instance, a woman’s rights are maintained by this system of polygamy.

3- Some men are sexually demanding. One wife may not be able to fulfil the lawful sexual desire of her husband. Or, if the menstrual period or after-birth-confinement period is especially longer than normal, or she has no lawful sexual desire to match that of the husband, what is better for both husband and wife, in such a case? Is it lawful for the man to seek unlawful sexual satisfaction somewhere else outside the marriage, or to acquire another lawful wife who keeps him chaste? Polygamy provides a solution to both parties and a lawful means of fulfilling one’s desires.

4- There is no doubt that repeated international and civil war in various parts of the world has taken its toll on men. Moreover, the prison system has restrained many men from marriage. Thus, the number of ‘available’ females in most countries is more than males. The best example of this is the First World War and the Second World War, which claimed the lives of large numbers of men who participated in the fighting. Statistics say that there were more than twenty million men killed during these wars. Therefore, if every man had only one wife, what is the destiny of the women who do not get a fair share of lawful marriage to satisfy their needs? Should such women seek to satisfy their sexual desires in unlawful ways like adultery, fornication, and lesbian activities or else? Truly, also, the abundance of women without husbands, or males to care for them, helped spread corruption and illegitimate sexual activities in the society. As a consequence of war also, there are many widows, divorcees and old maids in many societies. For such women in this case, to remain single is to suffer all the consequences of life and its demanding needs. To accept to be a second wife with an honest, protective, honourable and chaste man on the other hand, provides a safe haven.

One may ask, “If we permit polygamy for men, why it is not permitted for women as well!”

The answer to this question is as follows: Full equality between men and woman in polygamy is impossible due to natural and physical reasons, as we will explain.

1-Physically: Man, in virtually most societies of the world, has the authority over the household. For the sake of discussion: if a woman has two or more husbands, who will have the authority and leadership of the house? Yet, again, whose desires shall the woman fulfil, the first or the second man? It is definitely impossible for a woman to fulfil all the men’s desires, needs and requests. If the woman preferred one over the other, all will be angry and upset.

2-Naturally: A woman can only become pregnant once a year, if any. She can get pregnant by one man only. But, man, on the other hand could have more than one child from more than one woman in the same year, if he has more than one wife. Moreover, if woman is allowed to be married to more than one man, who will be the real father of the child in case of pregnancy, and how would that be determined? It would take great effort to find out the lineage of the child.

It is only natural that a woman is jealous and protective, Allah has instilled these emotions in our hearts for a reason. If we had no jealousy, then society would be an open field and breeding ground for immorality and sin. However, one must curb the jealousy and exercise control over it such that it does not achieve reign over the person, and shadows their character.

Hence to conclude, polygamy, as repulsive as it seems to many women, is actually a source of benefit, and a solution to many escalating problems. The rights of the women involved in a polygamous marriage are preserved, and such a marriage provides a blanket of support to numerous women who find themselves unable to find a suitable spouse. It is from the Mercy and wisdom of Allah that He has permitted such a practice, and has set out guidelines for it. As muslims, we have a duty to hear and obey, and submit with content to the laws of Allah. True submission, comes with loyal acceptance of the laws of Allah, where one’s heart is settled with the decree, and discontent finds no place to remain.

Hend AlShareef