Ruling on the Rows

London, UNITED KINGDOM: British muslims pray during Friday prayer at the East London mosque, 15 July 2005. Whorshippers prayed for the victims of the four suicide bombings of last 07 July 2005 that killing at least 53 and wounding hundreds in London. AFP PHOTO/ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD tech ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images) ODD003

Attending the mosque and meeting your fellow brothers and sisters is a joyous occasion, and it only becomes more enjoyable when we follow the Sunnah to the T. Truly, our deen is complete in every sense, not a jot is left out, such that even the manner in which we line up for prayer is not neglected.  In that lining up there is harmony, unity, love, and care for each other, if it is done in accordance with the Sunnah.

Some of these simple sunnahs may seem obvious, nonetheless, we will mention them to ensure that all our readers are made aware.

Narrated from Anas that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Complete the first row, then the next one, and if there is to be any incomplete row let it be the last row.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and An-Nisa’i, Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)

Common sense dictates that one fills the rows closest to the front, so as not to cause inconvenience to others nor obstruct latecomers. The second row should not commence until the first is complete. Furthermore, the first row yields more reward than the second, and the second more than the third etc… Furthermore, if a person leaves from the first row, it is incumbent for someone to fill his empty space.

It was narrated from Anas ibn Malik that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting prayer.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

According to another report narrated by Bukhari: “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of establishing prayer.”

We yearn for a perfect prayer, but we fall short many a times. So let us adopt this Sunnah, as step towards perfecting our prayers and getting a fuller share of its reward. When we line up to pray, none should be in front of the other, we should be side by side, cohesively together.

An-Nu’maan ibn Basheer said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to straighten our rows, as if he was straightening the shaft of an arrow, until he saw that we had learned it. Then he came out one day and was about to say the takbeer, when he noticed a man whose chest was sticking out from the row. He said: “Slaves of Allah! Make your rows straight or Allah will cause discord among you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet paid attention to this minute detail; because every small action adds up in the scale, and not an atom’s weight will be omitted. Thus, it is upon us to ensure that every deed is a for us and not against us on the Day of Judgement.

“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) turned to face the people and said, ‘Straighten your rows,’ three times, ‘for by Allah either you straighten your rows or Allah will create division among your hearts.’ And I saw men standing shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee, ankle to ankle.” (Abu Dawood, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)

Firstly, this hadith is a warning to those who do not seek to straighten the rows. We are apart in the way we stand for prayer. How pitiful! The dissension in the ummah hangs thick in the air, so let us follow this command, in hope that Allah would rectify our condition.

Secondly, this hadith explains the extent to which the sahabah followed the orders of the Prophet. They took his words literally and fulfilled them. They are examples of complete obedience, whom we should strive to imitate, so as to reach their status and be united with them in the paradise.

It was narrated that Abu Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to touch our shoulders when we were praying and he would say: “Make the rows straight and do not differ, lest your hearts differ.” (Muslim)

Our Prophet was the best imam, and he checked his followers behind him, until they learnt what to do. We should strive to be like the Sahabahs; learn from their example, for they were the best generation to walk the face of the earth. They loved each other, their bodies were one unit working together to attain the pleasure of Allah, and thus their hearts were one also.

Jabir ibn Samurah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came out to us and said: “Why do you not make your rows as the angels make their rows in the presence of their Lord?” We said: O Messenger of Allah, how do the angels make their rows in the presence of their Lord? He said: “They complete the first rows and they make the rows compact.” (Muslim)

The angels are a glorious creation, never disobedient to their Lord, continually at His service, fulfilling His command, and never neglecting His orders. They line up perfectly straight, in rows, subservient to their Lord. This is what we desire, to be obedient, and humble before our Lord. The manner in which we line up only illustrates our frame of mind when we pray. If we truly understood the Might and Majesty of Allah, we would line up ‘poker straight,’ humble to Allah’s command.

To make the rows compact, is to leave no gaps between the worshipers.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Straighten the rows, for you form rows like the angels, and keep your shoulders in line with one another, and fill the gaps, and do not leave any room for the Shaytaan. Whoever joins a row to complete it, Allah will take care of him and whoever interrupts a row, Allah will cut him off.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)

The shaytaan is our arch-enemy, we should be aware of his malicious schemes to deprive us of the mercy of Allah. We all desire the mercy, and Face of our Lord, so why then do we perform actions to cut us off and pleasing the Shaytaan?

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Make your rows straight, stand shoulder to shoulder and close the gaps, and do not resist your brothers’ hands. Do not leave any gaps for the Shaytaan. Whoever complete a row, Allah will reward him, and whoever breaks a row, Allah will forsake him. Narrated by Abu Dawood, An-Nasaa’i, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)

Do not resist your brother’s hands in correcting the rows, and moving you closer to another worshipper.

From these Ahadith, we can derive many benefits amongst them:

  • Fill up the first row and that which is closest to the imam, before beginning the next
  • If there is an empty space in the row ahead, fill it to complete the row
  • Line up straight, parallel to each other
  • Leave no gap between you and the person praying next to you
  • Join shoulder-to-shoulder, and feet-to-feet
  • Be as close as possible to the person next to you, without inconveniencing them
  • The imam should check the rows of the congregation before praying
  • The imam should teach the congregation until they learn
  • It is permissible to correct the rows, using the hands

Knowledge is only beneficial if it is applied and implanted, otherwise it may well be a proof against you in the hereafter. Hence, the next time you stand to pray, contemplate the Greatness of the One whom you stand before, and let it touch your heart. Connect with your brothers or sisters in the row, join with the them in body by standing shoulder-to shoulder and Allah will open your hearts to unity, and cohesion.

May Allah aid us in implementing the knowledge we gain.

 

Etiquettes of Attending the Mosque

mosque

The mosques are once again filled. Sadly,  many who attend the mosque are not regular goers, and what’s worse, many are unaware of the etiquettes of praying in the mosque. Wonky lines, preceding the imam, praying away from the jama’ah, and chit chatting are all too common sights…such that it is almost embarrassing!

My dear brothers and sisters, Ramadaan is a time for spiritual upliftment, and hence salah is crucial tnow and after Ramdaan too! It should be one our focuses to maximise our rewards throughout the year. Easy, simple sunnahs if adhered to will warrant mountains of rewards…it doesn’t take a lot!

Let’s begin with the basics:

Please note for the sake of brevity, I have not mentioned all the relevant Ahadith that pertain to these issues.

  • Wudhu: Salah is not valid without wudhu. Ensure your wudhu is complete, and according to the Sunnah. Don’t forget to say Bismillah before beginning. Read the duaa upon completion for the extra ajr.
  • Awrah: wear adequate clothing to cover your awrah during the salah at all times, so that even if you bend, your back or legs (for sisters) are not exposed.
  • Avoid eating food with strong odours, such as onions and garlic before attending the mosque.
  • Enter the mosque with your right foot
  • Read the relevant duaa’s
  • Praying tahiyyatul-masjid: Upon entering the mosque, one should pray two units of prayer as ‘greeting the mosque,’ whether these be voluntary prayers or combine the intention with your obligatory prayer. (See Islamqa for more details)
  • Put Your shoes on the Racks: Shoes scattered on the floor not only look embarassingly untidy, but they are also a hazard.
  • Do not obstruct the entrances: the mosques are places of remembering Allah. Whilst making salam is permissible and encouraged do not hang around the entrances and exits or make mosque attendance a social gathering for idle talk, blocking others from entering and leaving
  • Do not raise your voices: When conversing in the mosque be mindful that others are praying, and that mosques are for the remembrance of Allah.
  • Fill up the first rows:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst ones the last ones, and the best rows for women are the last ones and the worst ones for them are the first ones. (Muslim)

If you are a woman in the women’s section of the mosque this does not mean that you pray right at the back, rather you fill up the first of the rows allocated for the sisters, which is behind the men. Furthermore, it is only polite to leave space for late comers in the back, so that they do inconvenience anyone by having to walk in front of one who is already praying.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Complete the first row, then the next one, and if there is to be any incomplete row let it be the last row.” (Ahmad, An-Nisa’i, Abu Dawud, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

If worshipers leave the row in front of you, it is obligatory for you to fill that gap and connect the rows.

  • Make the rows straight: Each person should be in-line, none ahead and none behind.

Our Prophet commanded us, ‘Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting the prayer.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

  • Join shoulders to shoulders and feet to feet: Literally touch your feet with the person beside you. We are all one ummah, and this was a command from our Prophet.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Make your rows straight, stand shoulder to shoulder and close the gaps, and do not resist your brothers’ hands. Do not leave any gaps for the Shaytaan. Whoever complete a row, Allah will reward him, and whoever breaks a row, Allah will forsake him. (Abu Dawood, An-Nasaa’i, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

Tip: Be careful not to inconvenience anyone by squashing them or stepping on their toes when trying to implement this Sunnah. The widest part of your body is your shoulders, therefore align your feet to the width of your shoulders when standing, automatically you will line up, joining with the person beside you without inconveniencing them.

  • Do not distract others: Distracting others by sitting ahead of the row, making a scene, reading Quran loudly, talking, laughing, crying etc., all deduct from the khushu (humility and concentration) of others and inconveniences them.
  • Sneezing: Be sure to cover your mouth, and do not reply ‘Yarhamukallah’ (May Allah have mercy on you) or anything else to one who has sneezed, for it interrupts the prayer and talking is impermissible during the prayer.
  • Coughing, yawning, burping and the like: cover your mouth and do not breath towards others. Burping is a big issue in Ramadaan, and sadly many worshippers are inconvenienced by horrible smells. (See more at http://aateam.org/blog/onions-and-garlic/)
  • There is no prayer once the iqamah is sounded: If a person enters the mosque and is praying the sunnah while the iqamah is called, then the best opinion in this case is that if he is in his second rak‘ah, he should shorten it, and if he is in the first rak‘ah, he should just break his prayer and enter the congregation with the Imam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘If iqamah is called for the prayer then there is no prayer except the obligatory one.’  (Sahih Muslim)
  • The Imam is appointed to be followed: It is impermissible to anticipate the imam’s actions and precede him. The Prophet peace be upon him said, ‘“The imam is only appointed to be followed, so when he says takbeer, then say takbeer; when he bows, then bow (and do not bow until he bows), when he says ‘Sami’a Allahu liman hamidah’, then say ‘Allahumma rabbana lakal hamd’.” (Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud)
  • Joining the Jama’ah and being in a row by yourself: The most correct view is that if there is a congregation, one should join in, as praying alone in a row is incorrect, and standing in the row is obligatory. Unless there is no room in the last row, then he is to begin a new row. To pull someone out from the last row to join you is incorrect, because it inconveniences him, makes him lose concentration in his prayer, and moves him from a better spot to a worse one (as the first rows have more reward), and it also breaks a row which is impermissible.
  • Children in the mosque: It is permissible for a child who has reached the age of discernment, which is the age of seven years, to stand in the row with adults during the congregational prayer. This is indicated by the report narrated by Bukhari from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I and an orphan in our house prayed behind the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and my mother Umm Sulaym (prayed) behind us.

It is also permissible for a parent to break their prayer to quieten their child if his or her cries are disturbing to the worshipers. Similarly, the imam is permitted to shorten the prayers if he hears a child’s cries.

These are just some basic guidelines for attending the mosque, and praying congregation, which if followed will create unity and sense of brotherhood/sisterhood. May Allah aid us in implementing the Sunnah to the best of our abilities. Ameen

 

 

 

Cappuccino, Ristretto!

coffeesWhile sitting on your divans, with a cup of coffee, its  beautiful aroma wafting through the air, did you ever wonder at its origin.

Today we see huge coffee cafés  dominating the streets, Starbucks, London diary, Costa,Caffe Nero etc filling up the plaza like shops in a bazaar.

Coffee nowadays have become such an integral amenity  in life that it isn’t uncommon to see people driving to their offices cum a cup of steaming coffee in their hands, or at a beach cafe with humanity at its large trying out different flavours of espresso and macchiato, or sleep deprived college students sipping their latte as if they were lifesavers against the onslaught of technical and foreign terminology that is hurled at them.

Just like every famous commodity has a legend to recount, coffee too retains a tale to narrate

Well here goes the amazing story of coffee,

In the kaffa region of Southern Ethiopia, an arab man named khalid was tending to his goats, when he noticed that his animals had become livelier after eating a certain berry.

So he boiled the berries and conjured the first coffee drink. The first record of this drink was in Yemen ,where the beans were exported to Yemen from Ethiopia, where sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray on special occasions.

Coffee spread quickly through the Arabian Peninsula. In the mid 14th century, coffee cultivation reached Yemen.

By the late 15th century it had arrived in Mecca and Turkey from where it made its way to Venice in 1645.

It was brought to England in 1650 by a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened the first coffee house in Lombard Street in the City of London.

The Arabic qahwa became the Turkish kahve then the Italian caffé and then English coffee.

We see the journey of coffee across the oceans azure, lands yellow and white, evolving from a humble origin in the distant land of Ethiopia to one of the fastest selling commodity in the world.

To think that entrepreneurs earn millions of dollars from a vendible discovered by a simple Muslim man who was  sinply tending to his goats.

Coffee although a jewel of its own  isn’t the only treasure found by Muslims, but glorious Islamic history recounts sagas on the discovery of many more goods that one could otherwise never have envisioned to have a Muslim origin.

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

The Apple of Daddy’s Eye

kids

Crawling on their tiny feet, their voices bubbling with laughter, their shining innocent eyes beseeching their mothers, the apple of their daddies eyes, a piece of mommy’s heart, a child is indeed a huge blessing from Allah.

As I look around, I see mamas buying tiny frocks filled with spark, sequin and glitter, daddy buying toys and cars, all smiling with sheer delight as their child frolics around.

True is said, when one says that bearing patience is no feat, but imagine the surmount patience required when the coolness of one’s eye, when their child beloved galore is taken away.

Allah is indeed Ar- Raheem (the Most Merciful), Al Wudood (The Most Loving) and He knows the excruciating pain that a parent goes through at the loss of their child and so he has guaranteed Paradise for such a parent as long as he bears this trial, (for definitely this can be called a trial and one of the greatest calamities in fact) with patience, In Sha Allah.

Al-Tirmidhi (942) narrated that Abu Sinaan said: “I buried my son Sinaan and Abu Talhah al-Khoolaani was sitting at the graveside. When I wanted to go out he took my hand and said, “Shall I not give you some glad tidings, O Abu Sinaan?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Al-Dahhaak ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Arzab narrated to me from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When a person’s child dies, Allah says to His angels, ‘You have taken the child of My slave.’ They say, ‘Yes.’ He says, ‘You have taken the apple of his eye.’ They say, ‘Yes.’ He says, ‘What did My slave say?’ They say, ‘He praised you and said “Innaa lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return).’ Allah says, ‘Build for My slave a house in Paradise and call it the house of praise.’’
Furthermore, The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said “There is no women amongst you whom has three of her children die before her except that they will be a barrier for her from hell fire” A women then asked the Messenger “and even two?” and He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied “and even two” [Classed as Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani]

These ahaadeeth explain that if two or more of a person’s children die and he bears that with patience, then he is promised Paradise and salvation from the Fire.

Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us a du’aa’ to say at times of calamity, in which there is virtue and great reward.

inna-lillahi

 

Also, remember that indeed Allah loves As-Saabiroon (the patient)”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:146]

We ask Allah to bless such a tested parent with patience in the face of their loss, and to compensate them with something better. And Allah knows best.

Bint Ayesha
AAT, Writer

Al-Witr

al-witr

“Allah has ninety-nine Names, i.e., one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise; and Allah is Witr (one) and loves ‘the witr’ (i.e., odd numbers).” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6410)

Dear readers, this session we bring you the most uniquely beautiful Name of Allah (Glory be to Him) “Al-Witr”.

Linguistically, “Al-Witr” means single (fard), One, unique, odd- which cannot have two counts, no pair. This name has occurred not in the Qur’an but in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Allah (Glory be to Him) is “Al-Witr” in His Lordship (Ruboobiyyah). He is the Only Creator of everything who has no associates in His Dominance nor is He in need of any aid in managing the affairs of the worlds.

“And say, “Praise to Allah , who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification.”” (Surah Israa, 17:111)

Allah Al-Witr has no partner in His “essence” and He (Praise be to Him) is discrete with perfection. Moreover, there is no equivalent to Him and no likeness to Him because He is perfect in all aspects.

He (Glory be to Him) is “Al-Witr” in His worship (Uloohiyyah) who Alone deserves to be worshiped because He is the Rabb of everything.

“That is Allah, your Lord; there is no deity except Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Disposer of all things.” (Surah An’am 6:102)

Abu ‘Abbas Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Witr refers to tawheed (Oneness and uniqueness of Allah in all aspects) which means that Allah (Praise be to Him) is One in His Essence, Perfection, and in His actions. And He loves tawheed, meaning besides having faith in the created beings the creation itself must believe in His monotheism and practice it.” (Al Mufham 7/18)

Unlike His Creations He (Glory be to Him) is eternal; there is no beginning or end for Him.

Allah “Al-Witr” is alone unlike all creatures because apart from Him (Praise be to Him) everything is in pair. The creation cannot survive without each other while there is Honor and Praise in Allah’s Oneness.

“[He is] Originator of the heavens and the earth. How could He have a son when He does not have a companion and He created all things? And He is, of all things, Knowing.” (6:101)

“The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you (in the wombs). There is nothing like unto Him,” (Ash-Shu’araa: 11)

“And We created you in pairs.” (An-Nabaa: 08)

Now, remember the very first mentioned hadith? The last part of the hadith states that “Allah loves witr”, this sign of His love can be seen in His Sharia’h (legislation). For example: the odd number of reciting athkar, the odd number of days in the Creation of the heavens and the earth, the odd number of daily prayers, the odd number of pieces of shroud for the dead, circumambulation, etc. The beloved Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Sunnah was in odd numbers as well, like the eating of dates in the morning, reciting istighfar 3 times after every obligatory prayer and many more .

However, we are much familiar with the “Salat al-Witr”. Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Allah is single (witr) and loves what is single, so observe the witr, you who follow the Qur’an.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

Since it is an odd prayer, it should not be performed like the Maghrib prayer.

It was narrated from Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Witr is Haqq. Whoever wishes let him pray Witr with five (Rak’ah), and whoever wishes let him pray Witr with three (Rak’ah), and whoever wishes let him pray Witr with one (Rak’ah).” (Ibn Majah: Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 1190)

Lastly, an effect that this Name “Al-Witr” has on the believer is the apparent love of Tawheed in every ‘Ibadah (worship) he/she performs. It eases the heart of a believer by knowing that he is never alone, Allah the almighty is with him.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring the profound meaning of this Name.

Maliha Rahmat

 

The Emergence of A Great Fire

Allah says in the Holy Quran, “People ask you concerning the final hour. Say to them, the information about it is kept with Allah alone. What do you know? It may be forthcoming” (33:63)

It is only Allah who knows the timing of the Final hour.

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah exalt his mention, said that there are two kinds of the signs of the Final Hour; major and minor.

Today, in this article, we will comprehend another minor sign that has already occurred.

Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger may peace be upon him) said: The Last Hour would not come until fire emits from the earth of Hijaz which would illuminate the necks of the camels of the Busra.
[Muslim Book 49 Number 6935 and also reported by Bukhari]

Hijaz is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. It is bordered on the west by the Red Sea, on the north by Jordan, on the east by the Najd, and on the south by Asir. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Makkah and Medina.

hijaz

The effervescent fire from Hijaz, a territory in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was so sparkling and flickering that its light could be seen in Busrah, a city of Syria.

The Prophet said: “The Hour will not be established till a fire will come out of the land of Hijaz, and it will throw light on the necks of camels at Busra”. This sign occurred as described by the Prophet.

The emergence of this fire took place near the mosque of the Prophet at Madina in the year 654 AH.

The final hour will not come to pass until you witness ten signs; the rising of the sun from west, the emergence of smoke, the emergence of a beast from the Earth, the appearance of Gog and Magog, the descending of Eesa, the appearance of Dajjal, the three earthquakes and a fire that will erupt from underground in Aden to drive people to the Assembly Land. It will accompany them, stopping wherever they stop, day and night. (Muslim)

When all of the predestined signs of the Hour occur, this world will come to an end by the first blow of the Trumpet.

“And the Trumpet will be blown, then all those who are in the heavens and on earth will be shocked to death except those whom Allah exempts. Then it will be blown second time, and behold; they will be standing witnessing the horrors of that Day.” (Surah Az- Zumar: 68-69)

Men will emerge from their graves bewildered, and will be summoned to

stand on the Assembly Land for a day, which is fifty thousand years long; naked, bare-footed and uncircumcised; awaiting the final verdict of Allah.

May Allah make our final verdict a pleasant one. Aameen

-Bint Nayeem

Lies Are Lies

lies

‘Small Lies, Big Lies Is it okay to just lie and get away with it?  Any human should not lie as it is a major cause of many evils, and when a person starts lying he has to lie again and again to hide his lies. There comes a time when a liar is not even believed even when he is in grave danger as in the story of the boy who cried ‘wolf’.

A Muslim particularly should never lie as we should gain the trust of Muslims and non-Muslims alike as we can give effective Dawah as they will believe every word we say and they don’t need to cross check .

Islam strongly condemns lying . A rightly guided person can never lie as stated in the Holy Quran

“Truly , Allah guides not him who is a liar, and disbeliever,” (Surah Al-Zumr : 3 )

Also, it is a sign of hypocrisy , which should be scary enough for us to stop lying.

Abu Hurairah narrated: “The Prophet said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three, whenever he speaks he tells a lie , whenever he promises he breaks it , and whenever he is entrusted he betrays.”

We should hold our tongues and think before we speak so as not to make up stories , The Prophet has said “woe to him” three times for people who make up lies to make people laugh.Even lies which are very common and not taken so seriously is a lie as stated in a hadith that a mother called his child saying that she would give him something , the prophet asked her if she really intended to do so when she said “yes” then he said “Behold!  If you had not given him something, a lie would have been written against you”.

Clearly we shouldn’t be lying in any case except which the Shariah permits. Surely all lies will lead us to the Hell Fire, May Allah protect us all.

Fatima Damad

The Day of Arafah

arafah

Of the best Days Allah has decreed for us, is the Day of Arafah. For those of us on Hajj it is the essence of Hajj, it is what makes the Hajj. For those of us left behind, it is still a great day and there are ways in which we can reap the rewards too.

What makes the Day of Arafah so special?

  • It is the Day on which Allah perfected the Religion for us and revealed verse five of Surah Ma’idah,

Umar ibn al-Khattaab narrated that a Jewish man said to him, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an aayah in your Book which you recite; if it had come to us Jews, we would have taken that day as an ‘Eid (festival).” Umar said, “Which aayah?” He said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Ma’idah 5:3). Umar said, “We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It was when he was standing in Arafah, on a Friday.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

  • Thus based on the above it is a day of celebration, (but please refrain from party poppers and cake….spend the time wisely doing thikr)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Yawm Arafah (the day of Arafah), Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice) and Ayyaam al-Tashreeq (the 3 days following Yawm al-Nahr) are Eid for us, the people of Islam. These are days of eating and drinking.” (This was narrated by the authors of As–Sunan)

It another narration Umar said: “It – i.e., the ayah ‘This day I have perfected…’ was revealed on a Friday, the Day of Arafah, both of which – praise be to Allah – are Eids for us.”

  • To highlight its greatness, Allah took an oath by it in Surah Burooj when He said, “By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day [the Day of Arafah].” (Burooj 85:3)

It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of Arafah, and the witnessing day is Friday.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

  • Fasting this day brings expiation for two years, imagine that! We will cover this further on.
  • This day also was the Day on which Allah took a covenant with us all,

Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’maan, i.e., Arafah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: ‘Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers a foretime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Baatil (i.e., ploytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?’ (Al-A’raaf 7:172-173).” (Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

And there is no greater day than this and no greater covenant than this.

  • To cream it off, it is a day of salvation and forgiveness, and Allah’s pride in the people who are there is known,

‘Aa’ishah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’” (Muslim)

It was reported from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of ‘Ishaa’ on the Day of Arafah, about the people of Arafah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” (Ahmad and classed as saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

To conclude, there are many reasons for the Day of Arafah to be revered and honoured, for Allah honoured it in singling it out as Day of forgiveness and Mercy. However, beware of false narrations which spread, regarding an innovated virtue about the Day of Arafah. People claim that if the Day of Arafah falls on Friday that it is equal to seventy hajjs or seventy-two hajjs. This belief has no basis, and so-called Ahadith found on this matter are false and nothing has been narrated from the Prophet regarding this.

Bearing in mind that this day has many virtues, what should one do on the Day of Arafah?

Fasting on the Day of Arafah:

It is a confirmed Sunnah for the non-pilgrims:

It was narrated from Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah and he said: “It expiates for the past and coming years.” (Muslim) According to another report: “I ask Allah that it may expiate for (the sins of) the year that comes before it and the year that comes after it.”

Having a Ghusl on the Day of Arafah:

It is mustahabb (unconfirmed Sunnah) for the pilgrim to make Ghusul for the standing on Arafah, because he is gathering with the people. Furthermore, some of the sahabahs did it, and advised for it to be done, but this is only for those who will gather with people.

Making Du’aa on this Day:

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘Aas  that the Prophet  said: “The best of du’aa is du’aa on the day of Arafah, and the best that I and the Prophets before me said is ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the dominion, to Him be praise, and He has power over all things).” (Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by Sh Al-Albaani)

It was narrated from Talhah ibn ‘Ubayd ibn Kurayz: “The best of du’aa is du’aa on the day of Arafah.” (Malik in Al-Muwatta; classed as hasan by Sh Al-Albaani)

And this goes for all people, whether performing hajj or not. One should spend time making duaa, hoping that Allah forgives him and saves him from the fire.

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.

We ask Allah to grant the Hujjaaj an accepted Hajj and to accept their duaas and ours too. Ameen.

 

The Benefits of Istighfaar

Seeking forgiveness on the road of repentance, from Allah, for our errors and mistakes produces many benefits. The soul feels tranquil knowing that Allah hears those who call Him, and the mind is set at ease knowing Allah never neglects His slaves, allowing us to move on progress as believers. Here are a few of the benefits of Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness and pardon) as mentioned in the Qur’an:

1) Never-ending Forgiveness: The forgiveness of Allah is without limit,H e will forgive us over and over as long as we turn to Him, no matter how many times we repeat the error.

2) Rain: Yes, you read correctly. If we seek forgiveness from Allah He will grant us rain as a mercy from Him.

3) Provision of Gardens and Rivers: Who knew?! Our Lord is truly Merciful. he blesses us with sustenance and luxuries when we seek His forgiveness.

4) Increase in wealth and Children: Not only does Allah give us rain and rizq, he bestows upon us even more bounties, our Lord truly is the Generous.

The following ayah is proof for the above four mentioned points;

“Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send (rain from) the sky upon you in (continuing) showers, and give you increase in wealth and children, and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.” (Surah Nuh 71:10-12)

5) Increase in strength: Who wouldn’t like to be stronger, not just physically but also spiritually and psychologically? When one converses with Allah it increases iman and makes you a stronger believer, and closer to Allah.

“And O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord, and then repent to Him. He will send (rain from) the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength (added) to your strength. And do not turn away, (being) criminals.” (Surah Hud 11:52)

6) Good Provision: Sustenance is among the things that humans need and crave. The more you get, the happier it makes you.

“Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term and give every doer of favour his favour. But if you turn away, then indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a great Day.” (Surah Hud 11:03)

7) Relief from punishment and affliction: This is evidence of Allah’s compassion, He averts punishment and tribulations away from us when we turn to Him.

“Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.” (Surah Anfaal 08:33)

8) The Mercy of Allah: The Mercy of Allah which exceeds His anger and is All-Encompassing, and extensive, that comes in many forms: mercy, forgiveness, blessings, rewards, and much more…

“He (Salih) said, ‘O my people, why are you impatient for evil instead of good? Why do you not seek forgiveness of Allah that you may receive mercy?” (Surah An-Naml 27:46)

“Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin, are those who repent.” -Prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him.

“Our Lord forgive us our sins, and efface our bad deeds, and take our souls in the company of the righteous.” (03:193)