How many times has the mushaf accidentally fallen out of your hands, especially as a child. Though you carried it meticulously, by some way or other, it slipped from your grasp. The horror that manifested on your face, was unparalleled. You felt hurt and pained, and perhaps blamed carelessness on your part. It felt like it was the end of the world, and you were doomed.
You quickly uttered the words of istighfaar and hoped everything was ok.
Then came the advice of the well-meaning adults and elders that surrounded you. ‘Quickly pick it up!’ shouted one. Another said, “Oh, be quick, you’re getting ‘gunaa’ (sin)!” “have you got butter fingers? kiss it!” scolded someone else. And last came the means of redemption, “you have to measure sugar equivalent to its weight and give it in charity.”
Sounds fishy, but that’s what many children are told to do. However, this has no basis in the Sunnah, nor the practice of the early generation. Neither kissing it, rubbing it against oneself, or touching the mushaf to the forehead or cheeks, or giving its weight in sugar to charity was practiced by any of the early generation. Yes, they respected the Quran, they revered it to such a degree that perhaps we can never reach. They emulated the Quranic teachings and that is the pinnacle of reverence for the Quran.
Instead of innovating ways to make up for the accident, one must simply be sincere in their quest for forgiveness. There’s nothing more to do. Our deen is simple.
Allah describes the believers as saying (interpretation of the meaning): “‘Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.’” (Baqarah 2:286)
Allah is Merciful, He will not punish us for what we did unintentionally, provided we genuinely made the mistake.
Thus, one who drops the Quran should merely be careful, and do their best not to repeat the mistake again in future. Just take extra precaution.
When a scholar, person of knowledge or even a student of knowledge makes an error he becomes the talk of the town. Tongues flap in his regard saying he’s not a scholar, he’s ignorant, he’s arrogant and insults are hurled about. Backbiting is overlooked with the excuse “oh we have to warn others against him!” His honour and flesh are mauled over, without second thought. There is not a name of a da’ee, scholar or student of knowledge, that has not been dragged through the mud in this manner.
I mean it’s Ramadan, and it’s a shame that this had to be written. But the number of insults I’ve heard flying around this month is unbelievable. Shaytaan is locked up, we have no excuse. So, let us restrain ourselves.
How should we deal with the mistakes of these people?
Know that no one is infallible: at the end of the day these people are human beings just like ourselves. They get angry and annoyed too. They make mistakes too. Yes, they should control their anger, but sometimes shaytaan gets the better of everyone.
Was it not Abu Dhar who had been schooled by Rasulullah himself who made a racist remark against Bilal ibn Rabah?!
Did not Khalid ibn Walid annoy Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, only to be rebuked by Rasulullah?
Human beings are prone to error.
Ibn Al Qayyim said, “The one who has knowledge of Islam and experience of life will know for certain that the prominent man who has served Islam and done righteous deeds, who holds certain prominent position in Islam and among the people, may slip and make mistakes, but he may be excused for his mistake; indeed he may be rewarded for his efforts to make the right decision. Therefore, it is not permissible to follow him in that mistake, at the same time it is not permissible to weaken his position and status in the hearts of the Muslims.” (A’laam Al Muwaqqi’een 3/283)
Accept that there are differences of opinions: if your scholar takes one opinion, and another takes another opinion, there is no need to revile him or hurl insults against him for taking another opinion. Amongst the sahabah there were differences of opinions, and yet they stood side-by-side. Neither did they backbite each other nor did they defame each other. Be sensible.
The word “exposing”: Oh how people love using this word, as if every scholar out there has some ulterior motive or hidden agenda. My brother, my sister, these people are merely trying to educate people to what they know. If they made an error, then as aforementioned, they are only human.
Ibn Asakir said, “And know my brother – may Allah guide me and you to seek His pleasure and make me and you from among those who fear Him as He should be feared – that the flesh of the scholar is poisonous. And the custom of Allah in removing the screens from those who seek to belittle them is well-known. This is because attacking them in matters that they are free from is truly a tremendous matter.
Surrounding their reputation with lies and fabrications is infertile grounds, and differing with those whom Allah has chosen amongst them to disperse the knowledge is a dishonourable characteristic.” (Tabyeen Kadhib Al-Muftaree pg 29)
Labelling and Backbiting: as soon as a scholar makes an error he is labelled “deviant” and he is overcome with abuse. Everyone is quick to say he is ignorant and arrogant. He is stripped of his titles of knowledge, even if he has full certification. When you advise such people that they are backbiting the individual, they give the excuse that they are warning others against him. My friend, we do not warn others about an issue by causing greater havoc. If it needs to be done, leave it to those who have the manners to do it correctly. Otherwise you may well find on the day of Qiyamah, your deeds are taken away due to the insults you uttered.
Creating factionalism and division: By hurling such abuse about you divide up the ummah. Muslims have become attached to personalities. Such that they would stick by their “scholar” and curse others at his expense to defend him.
And remember, “It is narrated on the authority of Jabir that he heard the Prophet say: A Muslim is he from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe. (Muslim)
Causing loss of Respect: by going about making a big scene about the error of a scholar or student of knowledge one only causes a loss of respect for the scholar. His esteem would diminish in the eyes of others, then when does correct himself and issue religious rulings he would not be listened to.
Correcting such a person: there are manners and etiquettes regarding correcting such a person who errs. It is best done privately.
Social Media: social media has become the hub for gossiping about scholars and students of knowledge. To those who have popular followings and who have “Da’wah” accounts be careful of what you post and the information you share. If you wrongly accuse a person, and insult him, and your followers follow you in that, then you will bear the weight of it, for the Messenger peace be upon him said, “And whoever introduces a bad practice that is followed, he will receive its sin and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.’” (Ibn Majah, Sahih)”
All in all, when such issues arises, individuals and influential people on social media should use wisdom in addressing these issues. Do not be quick to notice the faults of your brother. If there is a need to address such an issue, because it will benefit the people then choose your words carefully, and do full research without being biased. And it is best to leave these issues to those who are qualified to deal with them.
Adh-Dhahabi reported: Abdullah ibn Mubarak said, “It is a duty upon the wise man not to belittle three persons: the scholars, the authorities, and his brothers. Indeed, whoever belittles the scholars will lose his place in the Hereafter. Whoever belittles the authorities will lose his place in the world. Whoever belittles his brothers will lose his chivalry.” (Siyar A’lam An-Nubula 17/251)
My brothers and sisters, fear Allah and restrain yourselves.
For all the sisters out there, who have experienced the struggle of trying to maximise the rewards of whilst balancing out the million of other tasks, that seem to pile up just in Ramadaan, this is for you. But brothers, stick around, there are women in your lives too, so this is important for you to know as well.
Before the month sets in, we have to ensure the house is spick and span. We are all geared up for the month, full of energy and vigour, ready to take it by storm. And so begins the suhur preparations, they have to be filling and tasty, to ensure the rest of the family is able to make it through the long hours. We take time off from sleep, rising earlier than everyone else to prepare it. Once the meal is over, dishes are done, the kitchen and dining area tidied before we head off to pray fajr. We squeeze in some Qur’an too, as we want to make the most of the blessed time. Then we catch quick nap, before waking up for work, school, and other duties. We somehow make it to the end of the day only to be welcomed by the iftaar rush. We have to prepare an elaborate meal with delicacies and lay the table…
We all know the routines of Ramadaan. However, by mid-month we are exhausted. Lack of sleep catches up, and what Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam only adds to the pain. Then begins the Laylatul-Qadr and Eid rush. While maintaining a high level of Ibadah we also have to prepare for Eid, with shopping, gift-wrapping, major house cleaning, ironing Eid clothes and decorating the house with balloons and lights.
So how should women strike a balance between everything?
Prioritise: prioritise your ibadah, extra tasks that can be abandoned, leave them for the month.
Make you house work an ibadah: have a sincere intention to please Allah hoping for his rewards when you feed your fasting family.
Multi-task: when your hands are busy, use you ears to listen to Quran or motivating lecture, or keep your tongues moist with the remembrance of Allah
Get some rest: your body has a right over you, ensure you get some sleep so that you can focus in your salaah and other ibadaat.
Prepare for Eid before Ramadaan: Eid preparation takes a lot of time, do what you can before Ramadaan arrives.
But what can a woman do when her monthly cycle comes?
There is much a woman can do. She should not feel distant, or lack momentum during this time. Rather, she should know that it is the decree of Allah and as such should be content with it, and bear it patiently. By not fasting and praying during this time, she is being obedient to Allah for which she will be rewarded. Nonetheless, she should not take this time as an opportunity to put Ramadaan on pause and neglect her other forms of ibadah. She should use this time wisely. During this time she is able to perform all acts of worship excluding, fasting, prayer, tawaf and I’tikaaf.
Here are ten ways you can earn rewards, whilst on your menses:
Some women spend this time absorbed in house chores. Hence, she should purify her intention, so as to earn rewards while doing these menial tasks.
Duaa: praise Allah, send blessings on the Prophet, and seek forgiveness from Allah. By following the etiquettes of duaa, you maximise the chances of your duaa being accepted. Learn the duaa the Prophet taught A’ishah, and repeat it, sincerely seeking the forgiveness of Allah.
Qur’an: there is a difference of opinion whether a woman can recite Quran from memory. However, the stronger opinion is that she is allowed to do so, as there are no clear authentic ahadiths that prevent her. (See https://islamqa.info/en/2564 for more information)
A phone does not take the same ruling as a mushaf and hence, she may use it to recite from. (See https://islamqa.info/en/106961)
If a person holds the opinion that she cannot recite, then should at least listen and not deprive herself of its blessings.
Dhikr- remembering Allah, with tasbeeh, tahleel, tahmeed and takbeer, and other expressions:
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Two are the expressions which are light on the tongue, but heavy in scale, dear to the Compassionate One:” Subhanallahi wa bihamdih (Glory be to Allah and praise is due to Him); “Subhanallahil ‘Atheem ( Glory be to Allah, the Great).”
Istighfaar: seeking the forgiveness of Allah. Ramadaan is the month of forgiveness, what better way to spend your time that Asking Allah for His pardon?!
Give up a sin or a bad habit; whether it be music, gossiping or any other sin. Change your habits this Ramadaan for the better.
Take up a new good deed: revive a sunnah in your home, whether it be reciting Ayatul-kursi before sleeping or using a siwak
Perform a charity: charity is not limited to wealth, rather in can be in efforts and time, and even a smile in charity.
Encourage your family in the performance of good deeds: for the Prophet peace be upon him taught, “one who encourages to good gets the same reward as the doer.”
Feed the fasting: let’s admit our culinary skills seems to be refined in Ramadaan! Share your skills and blessings with others. Send a tray of food to your neighbours, or to your local mosque. I am sure they will all appreciate it.
These are just a few of the numerous ways a woman can benefit from these blessed days whilst on her menstrual cycle.
May Allah aid us in attaining His forgiveness, pleasure and paradise!