After Tasleem

tasbeeh

After ending the prayer, we are often in a rush to join the rat race of life, and get back to work, and the endless list of chores. But in our hurry we miss out on a great deal of blessings and opportunities that take no more than a few moments.

The Prophet  said: “The angels invoke blessings on any of you who remains in his prayer place as long as he does not invalidate his ablution, saying, ‘O Allaah, forgive him; O Allaah, have mercy on him.’” [Maalik, Al-Bukhaari and others]

We all are acquainted with the tasbeeh, and the regular duaa; ‘Allahumma antas salaam..’ and the rewards for saying such. But nonetheless here is a brief reminder;

Muslim narrated from Ka‘b ibn ‘Ujrah that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Dhikrs after the prayer, the one who says them or does them after each obligatory prayer will not be disappointed: thirty-three tasbeehahs, thirty-three tahmeedahs and thirty-four takbeerahs.”

Al-Mugheerah ibn Shu‘bah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to say, following every obligatory prayer: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer, Allaahumma laa maani’ lima a’tayta wa laa mu’ti lima mana’ta wa la yanfa’ dhaa’l-jadd minka al-jadd.” (There is no god except Allah alone with no partner or associate, His is the sovereignty and to Him be praise and He is able to do all things. O Allah, none can withhold what You give and none can give what You withhold, and no wealth or majesty can benefit anyone for from You is all wealth and majesty).” (Bukhari)

But how about the less common dhikhr? Let’s take the time to memorise these adhkaar so that we may reap the benefits in the hereafter;

Ibn ‘Umar said: Whoever says following every prayer and when he goes to bed, ‘Allahu akbar kabeera ‘adad ash-shaf‘i wa’l-witr, wa kalimaat Allah at-taammaati at-tayyibaati al-mubaarakaat (Allah is Most Great the number of the even and the odd, and the blessed, pure, perfect words of Allah)’ three times, and ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah) the same number of times, they will be light  for him in his grave, and light on the jisr (bridge), and light on the siraat (bridge over Hell), until they admit him to Paradise, or until he enters Paradise.’

(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 29256, with a Sahih isnad)

Short and simple, easy to say and remember, but how many of us will make the effort? We seldom realise that the grave is a reality, and it is dark, and will be even more so for one who fails to enlighten it before death overtakes him. And how about the ‘Jisr’ and the ‘Siraat’? The Siraat as we know; it is thinner than a hair yet sharper than a blade. Some will be able to race across, their lights guiding them, and others will fall to the depths of hell. As for the jisr, some scholars say it is the siraat and others say it is the Qantara between hellfire and paradise on which muslims will retract their rights from each other if they were wronged. Nonetheless whichever of the two it is, we will need light to guide us across.

“On the Day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], “Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally.” That is what is the great attainment. On the [same] Day the hypocrite men and hypocrite women will say to those who believed, “Wait for us that we may acquire some of your light.” It will be said, “Go back behind you and seek light.” And a wall will be placed between them with a door, its interior containing mercy, but on the outside of it is torment.” (Surah Hadid 57:12-13)

So let us learn this short duaa, and implement it, so that we will be amongst those believers who possess a light to guide them.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There are two qualities, whoever adheres to them they will admit him to Paradise. They are simple but those who do them are few.” They said: What are they, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “To praise Allah, magnify Him and glorify Him following every obligatory prayer, ten times each; and when you go to bed, glorify Allah and magnify Him and praise Him one hundred times each. (That will be) two hundred and fifty on the tongue and two thousand five hundred in the Balance.

(Collected by Ahmad, It was classed as hasan by the commentators on al-Musnad.)

We know that praising Allah and glorifying Him holds immense weight in filling our scales, and it is beloved to Allah. So what further encouragement do we need to spare a few moments to praise Allah, thanking Him for His innumerable bounties that He has bestowed upon us? Paradise is waiting, its gates are calling, its scent is tempting…but what will we do to earn the paradise of our Lord?

Zainab Dowlut, AAT

Al-Qaahir and Al-Qahhar

al qaahir al qahhar

Welcome back to the session of Asma was Sifaat! Until now we have taken the Names of Allah which resulted in instilling love for Him. But love isn’t enough for the believer as worship require fear, love, and hope:

“…And invoke Him in fear and aspiration…”

(Surah al-A’raf: 56)

The Name Al-Qaahir has occurred twice in the Qur’an whereas Al-Qahhar has occurred six times. Linguistically, they both mean Dominance, Highness, to conquer, to prevail, to subdue, subjugate, and
to compel against one’s wishes. However, the following chart will show you the subtle difference between the two:

Al-Qaahir Al-Qahhar
He is the One who prevails over all His creation. Al-Qahhar is the superlative form of Al-Qaahir.
His Prevalence over His creation differs from every person to person. His Dominance is Glorifying that has no count to it.
The degree of His Dominance is on the same level as the degree of His Excellency. He is the One before whom everyone, including tyrants (Pharoah, Hamaan, Qaaroon, etc.), are humbled.
“And He is (Al-Qaahir) the subjugator over His servants. And He is the Wise, the Acquainted [with all].” (Surah al-An’am: 18)

 

“[It will be] on the Day the earth will be replaced by another earth, and the heavens [as well], and all creatures will come out before Allah, the One, (AL-Qahhar) the Prevailing.” (Surah al-Ibrahim: 48)

 

 

According to the Shara’ee (Islamic) meaning, Al-Qaahir al-Qahhar has the following meaning:

  • The One who controls everything that all are subservient and helpless in front of His supreme Greatness.
  • The One who prevails over the skies and the lands. The angels, Sun, Moon and whatever dwells in the heavens are His subservient in following His Commands. And the dwellers of Land is subservient in worshipping Him alone.
  • He is the Highest by realm, place, power, dominance, and essence.
  • He is the Subjugator even upon those who deny Him. He is the only One who is worthy of worship.
  • He is the Prevalent who will gather all so that He establish the scale (meezan) with justice and truth.

“The Day they come forth nothing concerning them will be concealed from Allah. To whom belongs [all] sovereignty this Day? To Allah, the One, the Prevailing.” (Surah al-Ghafir: 16)

This is not the end of our pondering on these two names. In the next session, we will discuss about its effects on our iman and more, inshAllah.

 

 

 

Iqra!

Has it ever crossed our mind, in this age of education and advancement, who were the pioneers in laying down the foundation for education?

Definitely not the Western civilization who were engulfed in the dark ages. No, in fact it was the Muslims who were at the forefront.

The very first word of the Quran revealed to our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was “Iqra” (read or recite) and with this, we see the massive upheaval in the educational foundations that now has now advanced this world.

From a society where it was common for people to be unlettered, within a matter of just few years, we see that the Muslims were the most advanced, most educated, most civilized of people. This ummah has produced unnumbered scholars, some of them being Imam al Bukhari, who alone had memorized over a quarter of million of Hadith’s. Imam Ash Shafi, who would memorize a page before going to the next so as not to mix up, a person with a photographic memory indeed. In actual fact there were many other excellent individuals too who bought laurels to the field of education.

Muslims excelled in many other fields, be it arithmetic, science….as a matter of fact, education was a point of pride and a field Muslims have always excelled in. They had built enormous and great libraries and learning centres in places such as Baghdad, Cordoba and Cairo. They established the first primary school for children and universities for continuing education.

This education was not only limited to men but women too. Women were not seen incapable of attaining knowledge nor of being unable to teach others themselves, in fact, one of the leading scholars of her time was the Mother of the Believers, Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her). She was extremely intelligent and has narrated more than 2000 Hadith.

Later Islamic history shows the influence of women. They were an educated lot and played a major role as supporters of education.

•The first formal madrasa of the Muslim world, the university of Al-Karaouine in Fes was established in 859 by a wealthy merchant by the name of Fatima al-Fihri.

•The Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid’s wife, Zubayda ,personally funded many construction projects for masjids, roads and Wells in the Hijaz, which greatly benefit the many students that travelled through the areas.

•The wife of Ottoman Sultan Suleyman, Hurrem Sultan, endowed numerous madrasas , in addition to her other charitable works such as hospital’s, public bath’s and soup kitchens.

•During the Ayyubid period of Damascus, 26 religious endowments (including madrasas, masjids) were built by women.

These institutions of the past has produced great scholars and people continue to derive benefit from it.

Bint hasan,
AAT writer

Merciful to the Young

pbuh

The greatest teacher to walk the face of the earth, Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him has taught us many lessons, amongst them is mercifulness to our youth.

Sadly, many of our youth have taken to the streets seeking comfort and friendship, and have become rejected by the older generations. Why do we create this barrier? There should be harmony between our eldest and our youngest and all those in between.

Anas said, “Rasoolullah used to associate with us and joke. I had a younger brother. Rasoolullah said to him, “Aba Umayr, what happened to the Nughayr (A pet nightingale, with which he used to play)?” (Shama’il Muhammadiyya)

The Prophet paid attention to the seemingly trivial pet of a child. This compassion of our Prophet worked wonders on the hearts, and it is with this kindness that he was able to secure the love and devotion of his followers. This was the character of our Prophet, and though he was a on an important mission, and nothing could distract him from attaining his goals of teaching people about Allah, amidst all the pressure and troubles he faced, he still found a moment to connect with the youth. He took the time out to let the younger generation know that he was there for them as well.

Narrated `Aisha,A bedouin came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “You (people) kiss the boys! We don’t kiss them.” The Prophet said, “I cannot put mercy in your heart after Allah has taken it away from it.” (Bukhari)

The censure of the Prophet in this regard is seemingly harsh, but not without reason. Disdaining the youth has its consequences; many times such youth become involved with the wrong group, some take to drugs, others to sinful relationships, and others leave Islam thinking that it is Islam that has placed these severe restrictions on the relationship between the youth and elderly. In truth, it is our ignorance that has caused us to dismiss the youth as useless; incapable of understanding, and a bother.

In the time of the Prophet, the youth used to sit with him, and engage with him. They had the utmost respect for him, but that did not restrict them from enjoying his blessed company. His kindness knew no limits, for is there anything as ‘too kind”? Except that such a person is exceedingly well-mannered? Such was our beloved Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.

‘Amr bin Shu’aib (May Allah be pleased with him) on the authority of his father who heard it from his father reported: The Messenger of Allah said: “He is not one of us who shows no mercy to younger ones and does not acknowledge the honour due to our elders”. [At- Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

The Prophet went as far as taking the youth into his care. He allied with the orphans, accepted the responsibility of personally mentoring the young Anas bin Malik, he brought up Zaid ibn Harithah in his household, took care of Ali ibn Abdul Muttalib, and allowed his grandchildren to play on his back while he prayed. The youth would follow him, tend to him, and copy him in what he did, and in turn he would pray for them, pat them on the shoulders, smile at them and treat them with mercy. How many more examples of the Prophet’s kindness to the youth do we need before we begin to emulate him in this respect?

One last point to mention; the Prophet did not engage in frivolity with the youth. Rather he gave them a sense of direction, by taking the time to advise them and instruct them. One such example can be learnt from the hadith of Ibn Abbas who was only about 13 years old at the time. Ibn Abbas narrates,

One day I was riding behind the Prophet (on the same mount) when he said, “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”’ (Tirmidhi)

Imagine engraining such powerful poignant words in the mind of a youth, whose mind is fresh, and spirit-ful, it will only nurture it with purity and encouragement towards the good. Entrusting these heavy but carefully chosen words to the youth will open their minds to the possibilities that lie in wait for them in regards to their deen, and will make them feel valued, trusted and worthy. And it is true, for Ibn Abbas grew up to be a great, well-respected and remembered Mufassir.

I ask you, what excuse do we have when we exclude the youth? To invite the youth into our circles is an opportunity to offer them solutions to their problems, to share with them the guidance of our Messenger and to bring them back to the glory of Islam. Our youth are the Champions of Islam, they should be at the forefront, for they are full of energy, vigour, and inspiration.

Bibi Zainab Dolwut

Forsaken

As nostalgia sweeps over him, and memories of snow white days surge, the once joyous house that he knew, where laughter bubbled in every nook and cranny, where the fragrant smell of freshly baked croissants would waft, where he would play cops and robbers with his siblings, their father would come home, tired yet with a cheerful smile revealing with much enthusiasm that he had just purchased tickets for Ice Land; a house of happiness, merriment and joy, gleaming as if full of sunshine.

Now, as time witnesses events that make up history, such a house seems to have been just a mere mirage, an illusion or perhaps a lingering memory, for now the house no longer exists, and sweet memories are all that are left in the heart of this orphaned child.

Destitute and despairing, one truly finds it difficult to contemplate the course of emotions that this child suffers with. Indeed he has been forsaken, forsaken by the world, and mostly by us Muslims.

Whilst we lay on soft couches, reading about the latest trend, this child has now made ice as a bed, and a rock for a pillow.

Have we forgotten the famous hadith where The Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said “I and the one who sponsors an orphan will be in Paradise like these two” – and he gestured with his forefinger and middle finger, holding them apart.
[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

orphan

This hadith shows the virtue and rewards of the guardian of an orphan. The guardian of an orphan is the one who protects the orphan and spends on him from his wealth. This action is highly praised in Islam and has a great reward, the one who performs it will be close to the messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in paradise just like the two fingers if they are gestured together.

However, it does not literally mean that he will be in the same level as the Messenger Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) because the messengers have a position in paradise which no other person may achieve.

Nowadays, we hear such disturbing news, where Germany, Canada have taken such children under their wings, although their deed undoubtedly is noble, I fear for the upbringing of these children, tender minds who haven’t yet molded seeing non-muslim as benefactors, living in a non-muslim atmosphere, might come to love such patrons and end up feeling forsaken and betrayed by Muslims.

We need to take a stand dear brothers and sisters, in whichever way possible, by being there, or by wealth or most importantly by praying for them.

With the world today immersed in chaos, warfare, carnage and mayhem, orphaned children are frequently seen, we truly have ample opportunity of carrying out this noble deed.

May Allah bless us with Jannah

Bint Ayesha

Writer, AAT

Forsaking Another Muslim

meetup

“Oh no…I don’t do that! I would never do that! How could I ever?!”

Perhaps this is your immediate reaction, you would never forsake another muslim. But be true to yourself. Are you sure? When was the last time you called your parents to check on them? Maybe you have put them in a so-called ‘Care Home’. When was the last time you met up with your sisters, for the sake of Allah? And how about that brother you had an argument with? Have you ever apologised, even if you were right?

Too often we neglect the rights of others upon us. We are always too busy to see to the needs of others, and abandon family and friends ever so quickly.

The Prophet said, ‘whoever forsakes his brother for a year, it is as if he has shed his blood.’ (Bukhari)

Please note; that it does not only refer to the ‘blood brother.’ Rather it includes every believer, and is covered under the umbrella of brothers/sisters in faith.

Avoiding and abandoning a muslim weakens the muslim community and disrupts the unity. It is the first seed sown by Shaytaan to break up the ummah as a whole. It is no wonder the warning against it is so stern.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet peace be upon him said, ‘It is not permitted for a muslim to forsake his brother for more than three (days); whoever does this and dies will enter hell.’ (Abu Dawud)

In another narration we learn that one who forsakes his brother, is deprived of Allah’s mercy,

‘The deeds of the people are shown to Allah twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, He forgives all His believing slaves, except for the one between whom and his brother is enmity. He says, ‘Leave these two until they reconcile.’ (Muslim)

Can we afford to delay the mercy and forgiveness of Allah?

My dear brothers, and sisters, the forgiveness of Allah is not something to be taken lightly. It is something every believer must yearn for, and hope for. Look at the mercy of Allah, He forgives us every Monday and Thursday, yet we waste these chances of forgiveness by quarrelling and forsaking our brothers and sisters.

Let us reflect on our present circumstances and make amends where possible while we have the time.

May Allah make it easy for us.

Misconceptions of Sha’baan

shabaan

Sha’baan is here, and there’s little time left before Ramadan. Everyone is preparing in their own little ways, awaiting the blessed month of spirituality. Sadly, some preparations have nothing to do with the Sunnah and are based on pure innovations. The biggest one during this month is the various rituals that are performed on the 15th of Sha’baan, or more commonly known as Shab-e-baraat, laylatul-baraa, or laylatu-nisf.

  • Many believe that on this night Allah particularly descends to the first heaven to forgive our sins.

The truth is, that the Prophet peace be upon him informed us, “Every night when it is the last third of the night, Our Lord, the Superiror, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says, ‘Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” (Collected by Bukhari and Muslim)

When ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allah on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, he said to the one who asked him: “O weak one! The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!” (Narrated by Abu ‘Uthmaan al-Saabooni in I’tiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah, no. 92)

Our Lord descends every night in a manner that befits His Majesty to answer our supplications, to grant us our needs and to forgive us. His forgiveness and descent is not limited to the 15th of Sha’baan.

For a more detailed discussion regarding this matter, please see https://islamqa.info/en/49678

  • Others believe this is the night when our fate, lifespan and provisions are decreed.

Everything that is to happen or that has happened has already been written. The hadith that state that decrees are written on this night are all weak.

In the authentic hadith collected by Muslim, the Prophet said, ‘when the drop of (semen) remains in the womb (of the mother) for forty (days) or forty nights, the nagel comes and says, ‘My Lord, will he be good or evil?’ And the angel says, ‘My Lord, would he be male or female?’ And both these things are written. And his deeds and actions, his death, his livelihood; these are also recorded.’

( For a more detailed discussion on this matter please see, https://islamqa.info/en/113939)

  • Another belief is that our deeds are taken up to Allah on this night.
  • This true due to the following hadith: Usaamah ibn Zayd  said: I said: O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting as much in any month as you fast in Ramadaan. He said: “That is a month concerning which the people are heedless, between Rajab and Ramadaan, but it is a month in which good deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds, and I would like my deeds to be taken up when I am fasting.” (An-Nisa’i, Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’.

However, deeds are also shown to Allah twice daily,  ‘deeds are shown (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like my deeds to be shown when I am fasting.’ (Tirmidhi, classed as Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani in Sahih Al-Targheeb)

And also twice weekly, “Abu Hurayrah  that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “People’s deeds are shown [to Allah] twice each week, on Monday and Thursday, and every believing slave is forgiven except a person between whom and his brother there is a dispute, and it is said, ‘Leave these two until they reconcile.’”

Hence there is nothing specific to Sha’baan to be done on this occasion, and neither is it the end of the year.

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) said concerning commemorating the end of the year: “There is no basis for that, and singling out the end of the year for specific acts of worship such as fasting is a reprehensible innovation (bid’ah).” End quote.

  • All the above beliefs lead many individuals to partake in various acts of worships, including extra nawafil, believing that they hold extra weight and will yield extra reward if performed on this night. But there is no authentic hadith, or any other evidence to support this claim and belief. Some pray 6 rak’aat with the inteion of warding off calamity and having a long life. But this has not been proven from the sunnah, nor from the ways of the righteous salaf.
  • Similarly some believe that it is recommended to fast on the 15th of Sha’baan, again because it has a great reward in the sight of Allah. There is no report to single out the 15th of Sha’baan specifically for fasting. However, there is a general Ahadith concerning the 3 white days of every month, which would include the 15th. The Prophet peace be upon him said, ‘If you fast any part of the month, then fast the 13th, 14th, and 15th.’ This hadith is not specific to the month of Sha’baan.
  • This is the night when the souls of departed ones return to their families: Souls can never return to the world; as when the soul departs the body it goes into the barzakh. I guarantee you that if you see a soul who has passed on it is the jinn playing with you, and Shaytaan deceiving you!
  • Another innovative belief, is calling the final days of Sh’abaan as ‘Al-sha’baniyyah’ meaning bidding farewell to food, and eating as much as possible before the onset of Ramadaan. This practice only encourages gluttony and greed. Some scholars are of the opinion that this originated from Christendom, where Christians would stuff themselves before Lent. Hence, this practice has no basis in Islam.

An argument put forward by many who engage in these practices is that there are so many people who partake in these rituals, surely they are not wrong?

My dear brothers and sisters, if you follow the majority of people, you will end up the hellfire! As Allah says in the Quran (The translation of which is), “and if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way; they follow but conjecture and they only lie.” (6:116)

This is just a of a few of the many innovations that occur on the night of the 15th of Sha’baan. If you are ever unsure about a practice, research it.

Better to be safe than sorry.

 

Watch Your Mouth

Watch-Your-Mouth

The ability to speak, is one of the greatest gifts that Allah has rewarded us with. Speech helps us to relay messages to others and helps us express ourselves in a way that we could not do in actions. But we all know that there are certain rules and etiquettes so that the message has an effect on the listener.

First of all we need to be clear in our speech, mumbling, talking too fast or too slow or too loudly or too softly are a big no no. We should be clear and speak in a voice that everyone can hear without feeling discomfort of any sort.

Aisha narrated: ‘The speech of Allah’s messenger was very clear, whoever heard him could understand him (clearly).’
Next, we should be willing to repeat some things if we think the listener couldn’t hear or understand. Repetition can also be used for emphasis. The Prophet used to repeat things thrice until people understood him thoroughly.
We should not indulge in calumny, and not talk with pretense nor be boastful as comes in a hadith. And being pretentious is just as disliked and even hated.

The Prophet said “A Mu’min (believer) is not the one who taunts, curses, speaks indecently or abuses others.”
Stop beating about the bush, a Muslim should talk directly and truthfully. We shouldn’t ask questions which will make people uncomfortable and would hurt them in any way. Avoid being intrusive and overly inquisitive, ask enough to strike a conversation, but remain polite.

Remember that whatever you say you are accountable for it, because Allah is the All-Hearer and All-Seer.
Abu Huraira May peace be upon him narrated: The Prophet said “A slave ( of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance and due to that Allah will raise him in degrees. A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and due to that he will be thrown into the Hell fire.”

Fatima Damad