Ash-Shakir and Ash-Shakoor

My mom always mentions how inexpensive the life they’ve lived- not knowing inflation, recession, or the likes of it. Fruits and vegetables were fresh and cheaply purchased. They found barakah in time, sleep, money, food, etc. We were blessed with such things once upon a time…but something happened which led our bestowments we had enjoyed to be gradually taken away.

Understanding Allah’s Names “Ash-Shakir” “Ash-Shakoor” solves the mystery of today’s grieving society.

Ash-Shakir and Ash-Shakoor came from the common root word sha-ka-ra; linguistically meaning indebted, grateful, being thankful, gratefulness, appreciative, to produce, and supply. “Ash-Shakoor” is the superlative form of Ash-Shakir.

Allah Ash-Shakir, Ash-Shakoor is the One who is pleased with His servants’ obedience and gratefulness (though little) in response to His frequent rain of favors. He is the One who gives abundantly in response to little. “Ash-Shakir” occurred twice in the Qur’an whereas “Ash-Shakoor” occurred 4 times.

Allah being “Ash-Shakoor” is His reward and Grace. He values those who are thankful to Him and mentions them. The below stated aayah is what the people of Paradise say when they find their final abode:

“And they will say, “Praise to Allah, who has removed from us [all] sorrow. Indeed, our Lord is Forgiving and Appreciative (Ash-Shakoor)” (Surah Fatir: 34)

Dear readers, here Allah tells us that His believing servants, who recite and believe in His Book, and do the deeds prescribed in it such as establishing regular prayer at the prescribed times, night and day, spending (in charity) out of that which Allah has provided for them secretly and openly, they hope for a reward from Allah which will inevitably be theirs. (Tafseer ibn Katheer)

Allah is Ash-Shakir, Ash-Shakoor; He never allows any deed go unrewarded:

“[And it will be said], “Indeed, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated (Mashkoora).”” (Surah al-Insaan: 22)

“But whoever desires the Hereafter and exerts the effort due to it while he is a believer – it is those whose effort is ever appreciated [by Allah] (Mashkoora).” (Surah al-Israa: 19)

A sign of Allah’s appreciation is that He multiplies reward for a single deed performed:

“…And whoever commits a good deed – We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.” (Surah ash-Shuraa: 23)

He (Praise be to Him) awards His servants countlessly:

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (Surah al-Baqarah: 261)

Imaam al-Gazali (may Allah have mercy on him) translates Ash Shakoor as “The One Who Expresses Thankfulness by rewarding bounteously”. He goes on to say that Ash Shakur is “the One Who rewards trivial pious deeds with many grades, and the one who gives unlimited happiness in the life to come for activity during a limited period (in this life). The one who rewards the good deed with multiples of it is said to be thankful for that good deed, and the one who praises the performer of this good deed is also said to be thankful for it. If you consider multiple rewards (to be the criterion in this matter), then there can be no absolute Ash Shakur except God Most High, because His increase of the reward is not restricted and limited since the blessings of Paradise are infinite.”

Now that we have understood their meanings, in the next session we will find out how a believer should react to the acknowledgment of these Names and what must he/she do to have an imperishable bestowment from Allah (Praise be to Him).

Maliha Rahmat

Ya’juj And Ma’juj Part 3

A Closer Look

All praise is due to Allah, the Creator and Sustainer, and may His choicest Peace and Blessings be upon His pious servants.

A lot of people still have confusion about Yajuj and Majuj; are they human beings, wild beasts or a different creation?

Yajuj and Majuj are actually human beings which are on earth yet encrusted. They are cloistered and it is stated in the Holy Qur’an that Allah has held Yajuj and Majuj behind a barrier that was created with iron and copper by Dhu’l-Qarnayn.

Zainab Bint Jahsh (May Allah be pleased with her) said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) once came to her in a state of fear and said: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. Woe unto the Arabs from a danger that has come near. An opening has been made in the wall of Gog and Magog like this,” making a circle with his thumb and index finger. Zainab Bint Jahsh said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Shall we be destroyed even though there are pious persons among us?” He said: “Yes, when the evil persons will increase.” And in another narration the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah has made an opening in the wall of the Yajuj and Majuj (people) like this, and he made with his hand (with the help of his fingers).” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Imam Al-Bukhari transmitted in his Sahih the following Hadith: A man told the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he had seen the dam of Gog and Magog. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: “How did you find it?” The man said: “I found it like Al-Burd Al-Muhabbar (striped garments).” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “You have seen it.”

Ibn Kathir expounded in his books that Yajuj and Majuj are among Prophet Nuh’s offspring. Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japeth. Shem was the father of the Arabs; Ham was the father of the Sudanese; and Japheth was the father of the Turks.

According to the descriptions narrated by ahadith, Yajuj and Majuj belong to the Turkic Mongol race, have small eyes, small flat noses and wide faces. Their faces look like hammered-out shields.

Before this world is shattered, the nation of Yajuj and Majuj will turn up to cause great havoc and to shun peace.

It is imperative that we learn from these signs since they are meant for us to pay heed. As believers of Islam, we believe in the signs of the Day. We believe that this world has to end. And therefore, we are constantly engaged in working for the here-after as prudent believers. Aren’t we?

Maha Bassad

Talbina

Talbina (Sunnah Food)

Suffering from the pangs of pain, feeling sickly and exhausted, well then here is a recipe for a wonderful dish known for its therapeutic and remedial properties.

Simple to make and tasty to eat Talbina is a simple dish enjoyed by the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his Sahaba. The Prophet used this dish as a means for curing the sick and for comforting those who had lost their loved ones.

Recipe

Cook Time: 15 mins

Serves:1-2

Meal type: broth
Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp 100% whole grain barley flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Pour barley flour into water and milk
  2. Stir on low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until a porridge like consistency is reached.
  3. Sweeten with honey to your liking.

* The broth can be used as a stock for soups or a thickener.

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) used to recommend talbina for the sick and for one who is grieving over a dead person. “She (may Allah be pleased with her) said:” I heard that the Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “the Talbina gives rest to the heart of the sick person and makes it active and relieves some of his grief and  sorrow.” [Sahih al – Bukhari (5689)].

Health Benefits:

  • Good source of soluble and insoluble fibers
  • Holds healing properties
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Protects from cancer, Alzheimer and depression
  • Controls blood sugar levels, Type 2 Diabetes, mellitus and hypertension
  • Warms and soothes the stomach
  • Maintains bowel regularity
  • Helps in treating colon cancer and constipation

Tips:

-You can also buy barley pearls and grind them into a flour like consistency.

-remember that barley flour is used as a thickener and so it will thicken as you cook it. Do not leave it in the stove for too long or you may come back to a floppy brick of barley porridge! If does happen, you can add more water or milk and re-stir while reheating.

Definitely the beauty of Islam is such that it advocates benefits and well-being to humanity even in the genus of basic matters such as eating.

Use this uncomplicated dish to cure your illness and don’t neglect to correct your intentions of following a Sunnah to earn rewards.

Bint Ayesha

Recognising Sins

“Hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable, and weigh your deeds, before they are weighed for you.” -Umar Ibn Al-Khattab

The only way we can follow through with Umar’s statement is for us to tally up our deeds. Sometimes, it is difficult to see with clarity the reality of our actions. Shaytan deceives us into thinking our sins are little, and there is little for us to improve on. We avoid the major sins, and we pray five times a day. We fast Ramadaan and give in charity too. But is that all there is?

We are told that we sin by night and by day, so why is it that we are unable to pin point our errors. Everything seems ok in our eyes? But is it the same in the eyes of Allah? Have we reached the status of the companions, who were the best of generations, and even they made mistakes. We are not infallible, for sure, but we are sinful and that’s definite.

So here is a list of tips to help myself, and you recognise our errors:

  • Ignoring what we left of the wajibaat:

Sinning is of two types: doing that which is prohibited, and secondly leaving what is obligatory. Both are blameworthy. It is very easy to recognise a Prohibition that one indulged in, but neglecting the obligatory such as fulfilling promises, upholding the ties of kinship, respecting parents etc… is often one that we over look. The next time you try to tally your sins, consider both.

  • Losing the balance between hope and fear: Some rely on hope in the Mercy of Allah, and by this, neglect the obligatory deeds, or overlook the minor sins and thus become sinful. Others, fear Allah to an extreme and thus lose motivation to worship Him. One must strike a balance between the two.
  • Overlooking the minor sins: It’s easy to overlook something small and let it pass, without feeling the slightest bit of regret or remorse. But remember whilst we may consider a sin to be minute, in the sight of Allah it has greater weight.

The Prophet said, ‘Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in your major actions, so beware of following him in your minor actions.’ (Final sermon)

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of minor sins. Verily, they gather upon a man until he is destroyed.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Sahl ibn Sa’d reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of minor sins like a people who descend into the bottom of a valley, so one comes with a stick and another with a stick until they have fire to cook their bread. Verily, when a person is held accountable for these minor sins they will destroy him.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Amongst our pious predecessors, it was said, ‘there is no small sin, if done without care.’ Meaning if a sin is continually disregarded, it is upgraded to a big sin, all tallying up. All these narrations indicate that the small sins, though small as they may seem, are consequential.

  • Forgetting the sins of the tongue: our dear tongues! Many a times they run ahead of us, and sadly cause more damage to our long list of sins. Let us not forget the hadith of the Prophet, ‘He who believes in Allah and the Last day, must either speak good or remain silent.’ (Muslim) The Prophet mentioned believing in Allah and the last day as a prerequisite, for if one believes he will be held to account on the Last Day before Allah, then he will be careful about what his tongue utters and he will find that silence often proves more beneficial.
  • The matters of the heart: There are many acts of worship that are done in the heart, such as hope, fear, love, trust, reliance, thinking good of Allah, etc… These are all actions of the heart, and are taken to account. Yes, ideas of the mind are forgiven, but using the heart to disobey Allah, for example by preferring something of this dunya over Allah’s rights, is blameworthy. The sins of the heart are more subtle than the sins of the tongue.
  • Considering sins that are directly before you, rather than those that you are responsible for elsewhere: this includes the consequences of your actions that spread far and wide. Whoever sets a bad example, will have the sin of one who follows him, until the day of judgement, without deducting from their sin. So be aware of the way you behave before others and the consequences it may have on those around you, especially when in public.
  • Sending out religious messages and instructions without having ‘ilm: many such messages contain false principles, fabricated, weak ahadith, or omitted information. Meaning that the wrong information is shared leading people to commit sin, or to indulge in wrong practices. Knowledge is a responsibility, and to simply share without verifying it is careless.

Indeed, our Prophet has said, ‘Do not tell a lie against me, for whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally), he will surely enter the hellfire.’ (Bukhari)

Messages such as, ‘pass it on to so many people and you will be successful,’ I ask, does such a person have knowledge of the unseen, to know that success awaits?! It is a big sin to say something about the religion of Allah without knowledge. Thus restrict yourself to the authentic ahadith. And if you are unsure as to what is authentic or not, restrict yourself to ahadith from Bukhari and Muslim, and if you are still unsure, refrain from forwarding such messages, until you are able to verify it.

  • Looking at personal sins, rather than those that relate to the rights of others: There are three types of thulm (oppression): oppression against Allah and that is shirk (to associate partners with Allah). Secondly, oppression upon others, whether by neglecting their rights, mistreating them, whether physically, verbally or emotionally. This is unforgiveable unless one asks the injured individual for forgiveness. Lastly, thulm upon the self, and that is engaging in sin.

The second type is what is often forgotten. Consider the oppression you have done to others, whether the person was a stranger or someone close to you. Whether it was in his presence or absence, it all adds up.

  • Presuming sincerity and acceptance in the deeds we do: None of us have a guarantee that our deeds are accepted or that our intentions were sincere. We hope almost to the point of certainty that they are, but we also fear almost to the point of despair that they are not. And thus we should exert our efforts in improving this aspect. It was reported that Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, ‘there is nothing I have wrestled with anything harder than my intention.’
  • Thanking Allah: to omit gratitude is sinful. It is incumbent upon us to thank Allah the way that He deserves, as being ungrateful is the root of disbelief. Though we can never count the favour of Allah, we should strive to thank Him for His bounties upon us.

Allah has said in the Quran, “And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], “Be grateful to Allah.” And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favour] – then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.” (Surah Luqman 31:12

Reading all of this, is not intended to make you depressed. Rather it is to help us to acknowledge our current status, to make us realise, that sin is in our nature, and thus we must act to improve. The only way to improve is to repent and seek forgiveness of Allah constantly. And the first step to repentance and reformation is to acknowledge the problem, in this case, our sins.

We should take lessons from the earliest and best of generations. The Prophet peace be upon him, the best of mankind, whose past and future sins were forgiven used to seek forgiveness one hundred times a day. Many of the sahabahs who were promised Jannah, cried the nights, and sought forgiveness from Allah, despite having a ticket to Jannah. The great Umar, of whom shaytaan was afraid used to fear that he was a hypocrite! Where are we in comparison to these great people? May Allah rectify our condition.

I leave you with this piece of advice, constantly ask yourself, check yourself, account for your deeds throughout the day in order to account for your deeds before the Day of Accounts.

 

We are Aleppo

As I sit at my desk, I force myself to write what words cannot describe…the massacre, the carnage, the destruction, the loss of life, and the unblinking eyes of the world who look on at the whole scene…

You may ask, ‘what do I mean?’

The reality of Aleppo is a reflection of our own situation. If we look deep within ourselves we will find the same scene.

Blood trickles down the narrow alleys of Aleppo, with none to wash the stains. Our blood may still run in our veins, and we sure have the ability to wash. But our hearts are stained with the rust and covering of disobedience, for which we care not to clean.

Death hangs thick in the air in Aleppo.
Within ourselves it’s there too.
While their souls have passed on, and empty corpses remain, our hearts is what has died within us. Our bodies may live on, but they are devoid of life.

Their eyes stare in horror at the fate that awaits them. As for our eyes, we look on at the images of their destruction. Then we turn them back to our homes, satisfied we are safe. We dare not stare at what is within ourselves.

Carnage is wrecked as bombs blow dust in the empty streets of Aleppo, clouding the horizon and blocking rays of the sun’s light. Within us, our records of deeds are clouded by the bombs of sins that we drop by day and night. We block out the light with our own hands.

Aleppo is a reflection of ourselves.

We could have been in Aleppo. It could have been us who were blasted till our ears could hear nothing but explosions and our eyes accustomed to the rubble of the destruction…so easily it could have been us there. What we don’t realise, is, it is us. With every innocent life that is slaughtered, a part of us goes with them too.

Narrated An-Nu`man bin Bashir: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.” (Bukhari)

The question remains what will we do for Aleppo, for ourselves?

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” (Surah Ra’d, 13:11)

Praying for the aid of Allah and his help, is great. But why should Allah answer your duaa when you are defiant of His commands? Your body is filled with haraam, you shelter in haraam, your wealth is haraam, your clothing is from haraam. Why should Allah respond to you?! And you plan to further indulge in haraam soon at Christmas and New Year!

Yes Allah is Merciful, but do not expect victory from Him when you act contrary to everything He has prescribed.

My brothers and sisters, it’s not just Aleppo. Its me and you as individuals. We are responsible for this crisis. Yes we may have a comfy home, and a good meal on our plate, and we quickly forget the screams of those in Aleppo, Burma, Gaza and wherever the ummah is suffering. But who knows that Allah may trial us with a bigger affliction that what is happening in Aleppo?! Do we feel secure from the plan of Allah, knowing full well we are drowning in sins?

Aleppo is only the beginning. And we know the hour is near.

We have plummeted in our iman and we are humiliated. Which nation looks at us with fear, rather their eyes are full of pity at our states and hunger for our destruction.

So our humiliation and weakness are because of what we Muslims have done, not because of Islam. But when we come back to our religion, our glory and pride will come back to us.

Do we wait for the punishment and affliction to appear before we act. Our predecessors were pro-actionary. Us, in comparison have become reactionary. We wait…we sit…we laze around…we procrastinate…
When will we wake up?

We all will face death. If it was you in Aleppo, would you be ready to die knowing it was certain the army would kill you or bomb you or worse? Death is just as certain for us as it is for them. So why are we not ready to meet Allah and account for our deeds?

What will it take for us to get ready? When will we make the change? When will we return to Allah?

Do we not fear Allah? Do we not believe in Him? Have we not accepted his messenger?

How will you change so that Allah may change the state of the people in Syria?

As imam Malik stated, “The latter part of this nation will not be able to reform itself successfully except by using what reformed its early part.”

What reformed the sahabahs from men who were ignorant, trapped by tribal feuds to world leaders, and inheritors of paradise? It was Islam.

Whilst the world looks on, many sleep in their beds ignorant of the massacre, some fools will travel to Aleppo under the false guise of jihad, and the UN continues to fruitlessly negotiate…but you can be the change you want to see. Don’t wait for the UN, or Bashar, or the Russian PM, or any other world leader. Take the affair into your own hands by giving up the haraam and see how Allah opens His doors.

Do you think Allah would leave us, if we returned to Him seeking his forgiveness, when He has full control over the every soldier? The heart of Bashar is in His hands. So why do we despair?

Invoke your Lord and return to Him, He is accepting of repentance and is fully capable of sorting the situation. He is the The All Powerful, The Mighty, The Subduer, The Delayer, who never forgets and never wrongs, and who is Ever Aware of all things.

Humanity did not fail us.

We failed ourselves. And worse, we failed Aleppo.

Why Should We Follow The Sunnah?

Have you ever sat back and given thought to this question? Why should we follow the Sunnah?

Perhaps not. Perhaps you have.

Well, many people follow the Sunnah or Islam for that matter, without knowing why. To truly appreciate the religion, and the Sunnah, one should understand the reason behind such strict adherence.

Firstly, we follow the Sunnah because Allah has commanded us to do so. We comply with the orders of Allah without questioning it, since we have accepted Him to be our Lord. Thus He is Most Knowledgeable about our affairs and what would benefit us, and would only instruct us with what is best for us. Thus to follow the Sunnah is to observe Allah’s command and respect His authority.

Allah says, “He who obeys the messenger has indeed obeyed Allah…” (An-Nisa 04:80)

He also says, “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger…” (An-Nisa 04:59)

Secondly, as muslims we are obligated to love Allah. Thus out of love for Allah, we love His Messenger and follow Him.

“Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (03:31)

Thirdly, Allah sent the messenger as a guide. It would be no use if we did not heed his guidance by opposing the Sunnah. Therefore, to gain the guidance one must follow the Sunnah.

Muhammad peace be upon him, was a mercy for mankind. He reminded them of Allah’s commands, gave them good tidings of paradise and warned against the prohibitions of Allah, and Allah’s wrath. Hence it is only natural that we adhere to his Sunnah.

The Messenger was also a Role Model. Not only did he guide us to what was right and good in his Sunnah, but his actions and life is a role model for us, he set the standards which we must strive to attain.

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

To follow the Sunnah is to uphold the deen. It is a form of preservation of our religion. To protect the Sunnah today, by adhering to it, is almost equivalent to protecting the person and body of Rasulullah.

Lastly, Allah issues a stern warning against those who oppose the Sunnah,

“So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet’s order, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment.” (An-Nur, 24:63)

To conclude, following the Messenger and his Sunnah is obligated upon us, and brings benefit to us in this life and the hereafter. The reasons behind following the Sunnah, only make it more beautiful, and helps us to appreciate the status of the Sunnah. Thereby, encouraging us to give greater preference to the Sunnah in our daily lives.

May Allah help us to follow the Sunnah without adding to it or changing it, and may He allow us to receive the intercession of the Prophet.

 

Mawlid An-Nabi

mawlid

Celebrating Mawlid….a rather hot topic. Some would consider it controversial, others would know that the matter has its clear ruling, and still others would debate, ignoring the evidences.

Nonetheless, celebration of mawlid-an-Nabi occurs year in and year out, in many different forms. From simple gatherings to learn the seerah, to more auspicious dinners, complete with live entertainments. Whilst learning the seerah is perfectly harmless, the thread that intertwines this practice, which is limited to this time of year, is the same thread that runs through the more elaborate events, thus everything falls under the same category. It all is a celebration of the same event, with the same underlying principles.

Firstly, we should cover some background information behind this celebration. The celebration takes place on the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal, this is the confirmed date of the Prophet’s death. The correct date of his birth is 9th Rabi Al Awwal. Thus the celebration is more for his death than his birth. Moreover, this celebration was introduced after the Prophet’s death, in around the 6th or 7th century, thereby having no connection to the best generations or the Prophet himself. To add to this, it originated from the Fatimite Shi’ah, in which the Sufi’s were promoted.

Now, on to the main question: Why is celebration of Mawlid prohibited?

Firstly: This celebration or commemoration has no basis in the Quran or Sunnah, nor was this practice found amongst the Khulafa Ar-Rashideen, nor amongst the tabi’een.

Secondly: To add something to the religion is to undermine Allah’s statement, “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (05:03) When something is complete, there is no space for anything else. Thus, to attach practices to Islam that were not found in it during the lifetime of the Prophet, is to say that Allah did not complete the religion, it is to belie Allah’s words.

Thirdly: Celebration of birthdays is an imitation of the disbelievers. Celebrating birthdays has not been prescribed in our Shari’ah, rather it is a custom found amongst the disbelievers.

Next up: To engage in such a practice is to venerate the Prophet beyond the limits prescribed in Islam. It is a form of exaggeration, as often the Prophet is idolised in such events.

Furthermore: it opens the door to more innovations, and causes people to neglect the Sunnah. Most of those who engage in such events barely implement the Sunnah in their daily life. Allowing room for one innovations only gives excuse to bring in more and pile it all on.

This is a brief summary of the reason why the celebration of Mawlid is forbidden in all forms, whether a minimal celebration or a full on party.

Further Reading: https://islamqa.info/en/249

The Ruling Concerning the Celebration of Mawlid An-Nabi by Sh Salih Al Fawzan

 

 

The Epic Beginnings of Mawlid Pt 2

mawlid-2

Now knowing that it was the Ismaili Fatimid dynasty that came up with this festival, let us identify the main person who developed this centenary.

The person who inaugurated this invented festival is Umar al-mulla, a venerated Sufi ascetic and not a scholar of Islam, who lived in the city of Mosul.

Under the entry of Muhammad b. Abd al-Bāqī (d. 571 AH), a Ḥanbalite scholar from Mosul, he mentions how Umar al-Mulla was greatly respected in the city of Mosul, and a disagreement happened between the two of them, which resulted in Muhammad b. Abd al-Bāqī being falsely accused of stealing, because of which he was beaten.
Writes Ibn Rajab [Dhayl, vol. 1, p. 254], “As for this Umar, he outwardly showed himself to be a pious man and ascetic, but I believe him to be [a follower] of the innovated groups. And this incident [with Muhammad b. Abd al-Bāqī] also shows his injustices and transgressions [against others].”
Also Ibn Kathīr (d. 774 AH) mentions that when Nūr al-Dīn Zangi abolished the unjust taxes that had been levied on the people, Umar al-Mulla actually wrote him a letter chastising him for his decision, and saying that this would lead to an increase of evil in the land. At which Nūr al-Dīn responded back, saying,

“Allah created the creation, and legislated the Sharīʻah, and He knows best what is beneficial for them. So if He knew that there should have been an increase [in revenue from taxes], He would have legislated it for us. Hence, there is no need for us to take more than what Allah has decreed, since whoever adds to the Sharīʻah has presumed that the Sharīʻah is incomplete and he needs to perfect it by his addition. And to do this is arrogance against Allah and against what He has legislated, but darkened minds will never be guided, and may Allah guide us and you to the Straight Path” [al-Bidāyah wa-l-Nihāyah, vol. 12, p. 805].

In what can only be described as a reversal of traditional roles, it was the ruler who chastised the ʻsaint’ when Umar al-Mulla actually encouraged the collection of unjust taxes, while Nūr al-Din sought to abolish it. Before proceeding, it is noteworthy that the mawlid instituted by Umar al-Mulla involved singing poems in praise of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and nothing more than this.
Umar al-Mulla, was in charge of a zawiya (Sufi monastery). This zawiya was a popular place for the local leaders and noblemen to visit, and in particular “…every year, during the days of the mawlid of the Prophet, (peace and blessings be upon him), he would invite the governor of Mosul, along with the poets, who would come and sing their poems, and be rewarded [by the governor] for this.”

The city of Mosul was located in a relatively small province, and remained under the control of the larger Zangid Empire. Hence, it was only natural that mawlid celebrations performed in Mosul would not garner too much attention nor have a large budget at their disposal to use for the mawlids. Rather, for this to occur, it had to be sponsored by a dynasty that could afford to do so, and this dynasty was found in the neighboring province of Irbil, a city less than a day’s journey from Mosul. As news of the mawlid spread to this city, the ruler of the semi-autonomous province, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn Kokburi (d. 630/1232), took it upon himself to celebrate the mawlid in an extremely lavish manner.
It would take another few decades for the mawlid to spread to Irbil, but eventually, sometime in the early part of the seventh century, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn became famous for the extravagant mawlid ceremonies that were sponsored through the State Treasury of his principality.

The historian Ibn Khallikān (d. 681/1282) mentions that Muẓẓafar al-Dīn was known for his generosity, for he had built many khānqahs (monasteries) for the Sufis to worship in. Ibn Khallikān was also from Irbil, and was a friend of Muẓẓar al-Dīn, and witnessed first-hand the mawlid celebrations.
Writes Ibn Khallikān:

Two days before the mawlid, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn would take out camels, cows and sheep a large number, beyond counting and he would send these animals, accompanied with drums and song and other instruments, until they would reach the large open ground [outside the city]. Then, these animals would be slaughtered, and pots would be set up, and all types of different foods would be cooked, until finally it would be the Night of the Mawlid itself [meaning the night before the mawlid]. On that night, he would allow samāʻas [special poems] to be sung in his fort, and then he would descend down [to the people], the procession being led by countless candles. Amongst these candles were two, or four – I forget now – that were so large that each one had to be carried on a mule, and behind it was a man in charge of keeping the candle erect [on the mule], until it reached the Sufi monastery. Then, on the very morning of the mawlid, he commanded that the Royal Robe be taken out from the Palace to the khānqah (Sufi monastery), by the hands of the Sufis. Each Sufi would wear an expensive sash around his hand, and they would all walk in a procession, one behind the other – so many in number that I could not verify their quantity. Then, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn himself would descend to the khānqah, and all of the noblemen and leaders and gentry would gather together. A chair would be placed for the preachers, and Muẓẓafar al-Dīn himself would be in a special tower made of wood [that he had built for the occasion]. It had many windows, some of which faced the people and others faced the open ground, which was a large ground of immense size. The infantry would also gather there, in procession. So Muẓẓafar al-Dīn would listen throughout the day, sometimes looking at the people and sermons, and sometimes at the infantry, and this would continue until the infantry finished their processions. Then, a general tablecloth would be laid out for the poor, and all who wished could eat from it, bread and other types of foods beyond count! And there was another tablecloth laid out as well, for the people of the monastery, those close to the throne, and while the sermons would be delivered, he would call [each speaker] one by one, and the noblemen and leaders and guests who had come for this season: scholars, and preachers, and reciters, and poets, and he would give each of them garments, and they would then return to their seats. Once this was finished, they would all gather at the tablecloth to partake of the food. This would continue until the ʻasr prayer, or even after that, and he would spend the night there, and the samaʻās would continue to the next day. And this would be done every year, and what I have described is in fact a condensed summary of the reality, for to mention it in detail would be too cumbersome and take a long time. Finally, when these ceremonies would be completed, he would gift an amount to every visitor who had come from afar, as provision for his journey home. And I have already mentioned how, when Ibn Diya passed by Irbil, he wrote up a work regarding the mawlid, because of what he had seen Muẓẓafar al-Dīn do, and because of this he was gifted a thousand gold coins, along with the generous hospitality he was shown for the duration of his stay.

From this passage, it is clear that the custom of the mawlid was already known to Abū Shāmah in Damascus, but he points out that the celebration occurs in Irbil, and not in Damascus. Hence, at this stage, in the middle of the seventh century, news of the mawlid has reached Damascus, which is around 500 miles away, but the city of Damascus itself had yet to start its own mawlid.

It is also striking to note the similarities between the Fatimid celebrations of the mawlid and the ones sponsored by Muẓẓafar al-Dīn: in both cases, the pomp and pageantry and generosity lavished upon the population must have played a vital role in popularizing these rulers amongst the people.

Dear readers, now that we have introspected at the origins of this festival, we see that it has in no way any relation to the times of the Prophet or his Sahabas, as a matter of fact, not a single report exists that show any one of the sahabas celebrating this “invented occasion” rather it was initiated by the fatamids, a corrupt cult and by a namesake “saints.”

Then why should we the followers of the Prophet now start following a man such as Umar Al Mulla, who instigated the increment of taxes among other things.

My dear readers, it is incumbent that we appreciate the fact that this celebration is nothing less than innovation, our prophet never advocated it, neither did his Sahabas, then why do we yet insist on celebrating something which has no basis in our religion as Muslims and only endears the use of our wallets on extravagant purchases.

We ask Allah for guidance.

Ameen.

Bint Hasan

The Epic Beginnings of Mawlid Pt 1

rasulullah

Part 1

With the arrival of Mawlid, with the streets hustling and bustling with sweets and other fanciful items, one looks and wonders at the gloss gory spent of money and is therefore forced to think about the epic beginnings of this ‘celebration.’

Well, now delving into the origins of Mawlid, it was first heard of and initiated by the Fatimid dynasty. For those hearing of it for the first time, this dynasty were a people who had rebelled against the Abbasids, claiming to be from the family of the Prophet ( a claim that all others have deemed to be false and fabricated) and they followed the severer branch of Shiite Islam, also known as ‘ismailism’.
They conquered Egypt and established themselves in the modern city of Cairo. Their beliefs are so different from the true Islamic teachings that they have been deemed by all Sunnis and even many other non-Ismaili Shiite groups, to be outside the fold of Islam! The ismailis had reinterpreted the five pillars of Islam to such a level that they would not conform to the regular rituals that other Muslims are accustomed to (such as the five daily prayers). It was this very group who first initiated and came up with the idea of Mawlid.

Some texts from some ancient manuscripts illustrate the way they celebrated this festival:

Next, the month of Rabī‘ al-Awwal arrived, and we shall begin [the events of this month] by mentioning the thing for which it has become famous, namely, the birthday of the Master of the first and last, Muhammad, on the thirteen [Sic.] day. And by way of charity, the Caliph presented 6000 dirhams from the fund of najāwa [an Ismailite tithe], and from the dar al-fitra he presented 40 dishes of pastry, and from the chambers of the trustees and caretakers of the mausoleums that lie between the Hill and Qarafa, where the Al al-Bayt lie, he gave sugar, almonds, honey, and sesame oil [as a gift] to each mausoleum. And [his Vizier] took charge of distributing 400 pounds (ratl) of sweets, and 1000 pounds of bread.

Yet another document states:

 “Large amounts of foods that were distributed on this day, especially around the famous mausoleums of Cairo (some of which would have been considered by the Fatimids as being those of their Imams). The focus of the pageantry, of course, was the palace of the Caliph, and only the elite would get to attend. The celebrations of the day worked their way up to the appearance of the Caliph (who was the living imam for the Ismailites) from a palace window, his face covered in a turban. He himself would not deign to speak – rather, his private attendants would signal to the audience that the Caliph had returned their greetings and seen their love for him. From the courtyard pavilion various reciters and preachers would address the audience, finally culminating in the address of the khatib of the Azhar masjid (which of course, at that time, was the epitome of Ismaili academics).”

The Fatimids as it is were known for many more festivals and celebrations throughout the year, as it can be seen they loved pomp and grandeur.

Now that we know, from where it was that Mawlid commenced, the question that jumps to our mind is ,then, how did the Mawlid spread to Sunni lands and who was the first to introduce it to lands east and west of Fatimid Egypt? Let’s find out in the upcoming article “the epic beginnings of Mawlid part 2”