Category Archives: Muharramat

Issues that are forbidden but taken lightly by many of us. Based on the book Muharramat by Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid.

Lowering the Gaze

In the summer heat, when many will strip, and clothes are sparsely worn, the issue of lowering the gaze should be given extra attention. Allah says (the translation of which is),

“And tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and to protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at prohibited things) and protect their private parts…”

Allah has commanded both men and women, who believe in Him to restrain their glances from looking at that which is prohibited. This does not just apply when one is out in the malls or streets, but also in regards to magazines, books, television, and online.  And also if a non-mahram woman is in your home.

One should be aware that the eyes can commit sin, as the prophet peace be upon him said, “The adultery of the eye is the look,” (Muslim)

Moreover, one will be held accountable in regards to it, as Allah says, “Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.” (Surah Al-Israa, 17:36)

Hence we should be cautious regarding our gazes, and remember that Allah the All-Seeing is well-aware of what we do.

Whilst men should lower their gaze, our sisters should also be mindful that they too have a responsibility of covering up. Allah has commanded us in no uncertain terms to hide our adornments, because Allah knows the nature of men, He created them and created the women also. As such He gave each their obligation.

The First Look:

Many, give the excuse that the first look is permissible, and hence will intentionally look at the opposite gender. Others will hold the first look, believing that as long as they do not blink or turn away, it is permissible. However, this is not permissible as the following hadith explains,

Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) about a sudden, accidental glance at a woman. He commanded me to turn my gaze away.” (Tirmidhi, saheeh hasan)

Commenting on this hadeeth, Al-Mubaarakpoori said: ” ‘Accidental’ means that his gaze fell on a non-mahram woman unintentionally. ‘He commanded me to turn my gaze away’ means that he was not to look a second time, because the first glance was not by choice and would be forgiven, but any further glances would be counted as sin.

Hence, an accidental look is not blameworthy, but if one continues looking it now becomes sinful. Allah knows the nature of people, and hence He pardons the unintentional glance.

Imam An-Nawawi said:

What is meant by a “sudden glance” is when a person’s glance unintentionally falls upon a non-mahram woman. There is no sin on him for the first glance, but he must avert his gaze immediately. If he averts his gaze immediately there is no sin on him, but if he continues looking, then he will be a sinner, because of this hadith, for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded him.

In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) said: “O Ali, do not follow a glance with another, for you will be forgiven for the first, but not for the second.” (Tirmidhi; Saheeh al-Jaami’)

In al-Tuhfah, he said: “The words ‘do not follow a glance with another’ means do not look again after the first glance. ‘You will be forgiven for the first’ means that you will be forgiven if the first glance was unintentional, and ‘but not for the second’ means that because the second glance was by choice, it will be counted against you.”

It is forbidden to look whether it provokes desires or not, because the rule is according to the majority of cases and not the exceptions.  And the same rule applies to a woman looking at a man.

Marriage:

Some, may Allah rectify them, will look at women in the street, and provide the excuse that their intention is for the purpose of marriage. However, this is not permissible. This only opens the door to further evil, as there will come a time, when one will look out of habit, and not for the purpose of marriage. Furthermore, one glance may lead to further harm.

However, to look at a specific woman for the purpose of marriage is permissible. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When any one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, let him do so.” (Abu Dawood and al-Haakim. Hasan, and there is corroborating evidence in the hadeeth of Muhammad ibn Muslimah)

Similarly, Al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah said, “I proposed marriage to a woman, and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Have you seen her?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Look at her, because it is more fitting that love and compatibility be established between you.’” According to another report: “So he did that, and he married her and mentioned that they got along.” (Ad-Daaraqutni, and Ibn Majah)

However, when looking at a woman for the purpose of marriage, it impermissible to look at her lustfully, or to touch her or to be alone with her, because she is still not a mahram to him.

Imam Ahmad said: “He should look at the face, and he should not look in a lustful manner.”

So, what is the solution to this problem?

  • Know that Allah is watching you
  • Make duaa that Allah helps you
  • Striving to lower the gaze, being persistent and patient no matter how difficult it becomes,

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever seeks to be chaste, Allah will make him chaste, and whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent of means, and whoever strives to be patient, Allah will make him patient…” (Bukhari 1400)

  • Avoid the places where these sins are prevalent. Beaches especially should be avoided. he Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Beware of sitting in the street.” They said, “We have no alternative; that is where we sit and talk.”  He said, “If you insist on sitting there, then give the street its rights.” They said, “What are the rights of the street?” He said, “Lowering the gaze and refraining from causing offence…” (Bukhari 2333 and Muslim 2121)
  • Marriage: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and in guarding one’s chastity. And whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.” (Narrated by Bukhari 1806 and Muslim 1400)
  • Fasting, as mentioned in the hadith above
  • Contemplate the magnitude of the sin and the consequences of it. This should be sufficient to put you off.

May Allah aid us in fulfilling His Commands.

A Double-Edged Sword

If we compare our weak bodies to those of the animal kingdom, we will find that we have neither been gifted with the strength of lions, nor the speed of cheetahs, nor the muscular build of rhinos, or the huge size of elephants, and neither the teeth of crocs. No, none of these natural characteristics used for defence or devouring, are found in our weak frames. However, we possess something, seemingly less threatening, seemingly mild in comparison to those in the animal kingdom; it is our tongues. Yes, our tongues are a weapon we possess, and the damage it can do, can tear down lives.

Our tongues are a double-edged sword, and hence it is no wonder that the Prophet defined a muslim as one “from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe.” (Muslim)

Little do we consider the words that bounce off our tongues! How often have we injured another with just a small word we uttered?

This article is not to lecture you on the evils of the tongue, no. Rather, its intended purpose is to bring to light the evils of a specific sin of the tongue, and that is cursing or swearing.

Albeit, the tongue is connected to our God-given intelligence. Hence the manner in which we use it is a reflection of our thoughts and our inner-selves. Hence one who curses often, indicates that that he has a corrupt mind. One can only think such a person to be evil and wicked, for who would wish bad for other people, except an evil person, or one who lacks intelligence?

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “It does not befit a Siddiq (righteous Muslim) to frequently curse others.” (Muslim)

 

Cursing is not limited to human beings. One in anger may easily curse time, objects animals etc.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: A man cursed the wind. The narrator Muslim’s version has: The wind snatched away a man’s cloak during the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) and he cursed it. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Do not curse it, for it is under command, and if anyone curses a thing undeservedly, the curse returns upon him. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

 

Do not those who curse fear that it will return to them, and they will be doomed for what they have uttered?! May Allah rectify our condition! Moreover, cursing may be an indication of dissatisfaction with the Qadr (decree) of Allah. As muslims we should be satisfied with what comes our way, and thank Allah in every condition.

 

In many Ahadith, the Prophet warned against cursing. An expression, heard often and overlooked in regards to cursing is, “damn,” which is defined as ‘being condemned by God to suffer eternal punishment in hell, or criticising strongly.’  Refrain from using this word my brothers and sisters.

 

It is also narrated that the Prophet said, “whoever curses a believer, it is as if he killed him.” (Bukhari)

Imagine carrying the weight of the sin of killing a believer on the Day of Judgement! Contemplate on the severity of this sin. How many people will come to take your good deeds on the Day of Judgement because of what you said in cursing them. We seek Allah’s forgiveness.

 

Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “The believer does not insult the honour of others, nor curse, nor commit Fahishah, nor is he foul.” (Tirmithi, Hasan)

 

The true believer withholds his tongue, in anger and in ease. Such a person does not wish bad for anyone or anything. Be careful, and do not exclude yourself or others from the mercy of Allah by cursing.

 

To conclude, Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Indeed Allah detests the excessive among men, who slaps his tongue around like the cow slaps his tongue.” (Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Hasan) The sins of the tongue are indeed many, and it is easy to forget. Hence, benefit from every reminder, and tackle each sin one by one to rectify the character. Allah’s mercy is All-Encompassing, and He is the Most Generous, seek His forgiveness and His mercy. May Allah aid us in purifying our characters.

Let’s prepare for Ramadaan, and give up this habit before its arrival.

 

Hiding Knowledge

Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture – those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse,” (2:159)

“Whoever hides knowledge by which Allah benefits people in their affairs of religion, Allah will bridle him on the Day of Resurrection with a bridle from hellfire.” (Abu Dawud, An-Nisa’i, Ibn Majah)

To have knowledge of Islam and not to share it or convey it is hiding knowledge, whether intentionally (due to racism, or other concerns) or passive unintentionally, (due to shyness, feeling inadequate etc…)

Sometimes people do not share knowledge fearing people’s feelings will be hurt, or the person will retort with insults. However as Sh Salih Al-Fawzan has said, “We must clarify truth from falsehood, regardless of who is pleased and who is upset.”

At the end of the day, people’s opinions change with time, and people will leave you, and you will be left alone with the opinion of your Lord. Your will enter your grave alone. And you will stand before Allah alone. And His opinion is what either guarantees Jannah of jahannum.

So I ask you, whose opinion is more important; that of the people? or Allah, Glorified be He?

Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “A believer must love good deeds and he must detest sins. The performing of good deeds should please him while the committing of sins should upset him. If there is ever a time this is not the case, he would be deficient in his iman.” (Al-Iman and Al-Kabeer, pg 223)

We must stand up for what is right (according to the laws of Allah, not based on our opinions), but we must share knowledge and the truth with wisdom. Kind words touch the heart, and have a better effect than harsh words. No matter how true your words are, if they are harsh people will ignore them.

On this account here’s a funny story narrated by Sh Abu Suhaib.

The great scholar Muhammed Ameen Shinqiti was working in Madinah university during time of Sh Ibn Baaz and Sheikh Al-Albaani. Sheikh Ibn Baaz was Head at that time. Sh Muhammed Ameen Shinqiti was given charge of examination hall to watch students. As we all know that they should not cheat.

Sheikh Shinqiti was going in rounds and students started asking him by showing the question paper, “what is this? What is this?” He saw the questions and started giving a detailed reply.

Many students saw and thought, “wow, what an opportunity!” And started asking him and he was telling them.

The head of the examination hall came up to him and with great respect asked, “Sheikh why are you doing this?”

The sheikh replied, “Whoever asks for a knowledge and hides it a bridle of fire be placed on his mouth on the day of judgement.”
The examiner said, “Ya sheikh this is an exam!”

“Hadeeths applies in and out of any exam.”

The examiner was quiet and reported this matter to Sh Ibn baz and other heads.

They said give him any work, except to be in charge of the examination hall.

No questions asked. Full of submission to the sunnah.

 

If Travelling Was Free

“If travelling was free, You’d never see me again…” How many times have you heard that phrase? It is a motto that has struck the world and taken many into its claws.

We all love to travel; it’s exciting, new places to go, new things to see, new cuisines to taste, a new culture to experience, an opportunity to explore… and when you return, you can rightfully say, ‘been there, seen it, done it!’ Not to mention it’s a break from the mundane routines of school, work and chores, a holiday, in other words.

However, whilst we have been blessed with such chances in the growing age of technology, with modes of transport so common and easy to use, many of us have forgotten the real purpose of travel, and the rules that come with it.

Travelling, is an opportunity to see the wonders of Allah, to appreciate the splendour in His creation, to marvel at all those things that make our planet earth, and most importantly to recognise Him through it and be grateful and subservient to Him.

After all, is it not Allah that gave you the ability to travel, eyes to see the world? Should we not then follow the rules He has determined for us? Thus, it is only natural that we abide by His guidelines as explained to us by the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.

It is reported from both Bukhari and Muslim that Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet said, “A woman should not travel save and except with a mahram.”

This hadith clearly puts a restriction a on women’s travel. Yes, it is a limit, for isn’t this dunya a prison for the believer?! We as muslims should have no issue accepting this fact. The restriction placed is for our own benefit.

Sadly, many muslims pick and choose what they want to follow from islam. If you choose Islam as a way of life, it’s a comprehensive package, and everything in it, should be taken up to the best of your ability.

Others go fatwa shopping, searching out the fatwa that suits them, that allows them to follow their desires. And so they find the fatwa that says it is permissible for a woman to travel, if her mahram drops her, and another picks her up, or that it is permissible for her to travel with a group women.

I ask you: if the mahram dropped the woman at the airport, and another picked her up on the other side, did this comply with the statement of the Prophet, of travelling with a mahram?! Does a group of women substitute a mahram? The answer is no. And whilst some of our scholars have issued this fatwa, and I am in no position to dispute them, know that they are only human, and have done their best to search for an answer, but they may err. And so, it falls upon our shoulders to find the correct answer and to not blindly follow their opinions, for Allah gave us an intellect to distinguish between right and wrong.

A mahram for a woman, is a male-relative, who is she is permanently prohibited to marry, who is muslim, of sound mind and over the age of puberty.

My dear sisters, Allah has enforced such guidelines to maintain our security and honour. Travelling alone only encourages the corrupt to prey upon your weakness. It opens the door for Shaytaan’s whispers, and aren’t his plans cunning? If he was able to misguide those who were greater than us in morality, what would he do those who are corrupt, who have no ethics to begin with?

There are a multitude of hadith in which the prophet forbade the travel of woman without a mahram, they are general in wording and thus includes travelling for study, holidays, hajj or otherwise.

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram and no man should enter upon her unless she has a mahram with her.” A man said: O Messenger of Allah, I want to go out with such-and-such an army, but my wife wants to go for Hajj. He said: “Go with her.” (Bukhari, 1862)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel the distance of one day, except with a mahram.” (Muslim 1339)

“Travel usually causes exhaustion and hardship, and because women are weak and need someone to look after them and stay with them, and things may happen in the absence of her mahram that she is not able to deal with. These are things that are well known and are frequently seen nowadays because of the large number of accidents involving cars and other means of transportation.

Moreover, if a woman travels alone she may be approached and tempted to do evil, especially when there is a great deal of corruption. Someone may sit next to her who does not fear Allah and he may make haraam actions seem appealing to her. It is perfectly wise that the woman should be accompanied by her mahram when she travels, because the purpose of having her mahram present is to protect her and look after her.” (Taken from islamqa.com)

The ahadith from the Prophet on this matter are crystal clear. Thus anything that is considered travel requires a mahram. Travelling causes difficulties, and there are possibilities of harm, whether by plane, train, or any other mode of transport, including your two feet. There are too many possibilities of harm, and we know we live in world where immorality, is the norm. Save yourself the hassle, Allah protected you, and made things easy for you. He did not make it incumbent upon you to travel, He facilitated security for you, in the care of your male guardians. Many women have fallen prey, the ease of transport has made what the Prophet explicitly forbade fair-seeming to them.

I end with a quote, Imam An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: To sum up, everything that may be called travel is forbidden to women without a husband or mahram.

 

 

Fidgeting in the Prayer

salah

“Scratch, scratch, scratch,” he itched his head for the third time. ‘Ahhhhh’ he yawned, as he opened his mouth wide. Tick-tock, and he bent to fix his socks. This man had ants in his pants, or perhaps it was the shaytaan playing with him and causing him to fidget so.

Notice how this only happens when you pray. Somehow, it will not happen when you are relaxing, no. It will neither happen whilst you are watching your favourite show, definitely not. It only happens when you lift your hands and pronounce, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ to begin your salah. Your skin becomes alive, and you are prone to itching, all sorts of pains you never knew you had, your hijab suddenly feels lop-sided, as you imagine it to frame your face horribly, your hair somehow seems to tickle your neck…..and you begin to fidget. And the more you try to hold back, the more it seems to come.

My friends, it is the Shaytaan who is distracting you from your prayer. And whilst khushu is difficult to attain you should know that fidgeting in the prayer is impermissible.

Allah commands us in the Qur’an, “and stand before Allah with obedience.” (02:283)

Thus when we stand before Allah, it should be with full attention and submission.

Imagine managing to secure an audience with the King or Queen of your country or even the Prime Minister. It would be a well-anticipated meeting, for which you would feel honoured and would hence prepare yourself well in advance. You would ensure your clothes were proper, perhaps you would wear your most expensive outfit. In His or Her Royal Highness’ presence you would ensure your best manners, you would give your undivided attention, and every itch and pain would have to wait for later.

Why? Why would we do this for mere human beings, who have little power, who would not bat an eyelid about our daily affairs, when the King of all Kings calls us, who cares for our every little matter, who cares about our salvation and wants the best for us? The One who truly deserves our undivided attention, who deserves our obedience and subservience, who bestows gifts upon us, who gave us life, who warrants an audience with you, you don’t even have to make any arrangements, this King, Allah Azza wa jal, has set it up for you. He waits for you throughout the days and night for you to call on Him, and yet when we stand before Him, we neglect His Magnitude. We forget before whom we are standing. Indeed, Allah Himself described the successful,

“Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their salaat with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” (23:1-2)

Allah has described the triumphant ones as those who are alert in their prayer, who concentrate and refrain from fidgeting.

In addition to this the scholars have explained, that excessive unnecessary movement and fidgeting in salaah invalidates it. There is no specific number of movements that invalidate the prayer, rather it is continuous unnecessary movements. However, if certain movements are necessary, whether small or large it does not invalidate one’s prayer. For example; once whilst praying the Prophet opened the door for Aishah to enter, as narrated by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmithi.

I end on this note, one should be attentive when praying and should not be distracted by their hair, beard, watch, clothes, itchiness etc…for it detracts from one’s Khushu, and reward. Remember the greatness of Allah when you stand before Him. Contemplate that you are standing before The Mighty, The Majestic One, The King of all Kings.

 

Short, Tight and See-through

hijab pins

In our article entitled ‘conditions of hijab’ we looked at the requirements necessary to implement proper hijab. Here we will look at the impermissibility of wearing certain clothing.

 

Allah is our Lawgiver, and He is the one to decide our code of dress. He sent the Prophet peace be upon him to further explain these guidelines. Being muslim, entails that one should submit wholeheartedly to the laws of Allah and the explanations of the Prophet peace be upon him, for he was our teacher and guide. Thus, when we read an ayah or hadith our hearts should immediately acquiesce. We cannot choose to follow some commands and leave others under the pretence that our taqwa (piety) is in our hearts.  Because, though Taqwa rests in the heart, it is manifested in the limbs.

Beware, in the body there is a piece of flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound and if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt, and hearken it is the heart. (Muslim)

Shaytan has used fashion as a means of deceit. He has tinkered with the concept of hijab until it has become a fashion parade and he has turned modesty into nudity.

In front of non-mahram men, we as muslimahs are forbidden from wearing clothing that is tight, which reveals the shapes of our bodies. Similarly that which short and exposes us and that which is see-through and provides little covering. Reason being, we are commanded by our Lord to cover ourselves. Furthermore,

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah () said, “There are two types of people who will be punished in Hell and whom I have not seen: men having whips like the tails of cows and they will be beating people with them, and, women who will be dressed but appear to be naked, inviting to evil; and they themselves will be inclined to it. Their heads will appear like the humps of the Bactrian camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Jannah and they will not smell its fragrance which is perceptible from such and such a distance.” [Muslim].

And in another narration “During the last days of my ummah there will be women who are clothed yet naked, with something on their heads like the humps of camels, curse them, for they are cursed.”

Whether your clothes is skin-tight, too short or sheer and thus revealing it is all a form of being clothed yet naked. All three fall under being clothed in insufficient clothes such that one’s awrah is still apparent.

Is this hadith not sufficient to make us reflect? My sisters, do you want to be amongst the inhabitants of the hell-fire, whose heat is raging fiercely? Hellfire, wherein your skin is burnt, and restored and burnt over, there is no relief from the pain, nor death to end the torment!

I’m sure we would much prefer Gardens of delight, where beauty and happiness abounds. My sisters, a little effort in this short life, for eternity in paradise…is that not a valuable exchange?! So rush forward to profit from it!

May Allah strengthen us all to abstain from his prohibitions.

Forsaking Another Muslim

meetup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May Allah make it easy for us.

But I am not arrogant!

“Oh, but I’m not arrogant!”

Yes, you hit the nail on the head. I am indeed talking about the issue of Isbaal; that is wearing clothes that come down below the ankles, for men. I say for men, because women should be covering their feet. One may think, how in the world can a woman’s feet be a cause of temptation?! But tis true indeed, that’s why women adooore shoes! Plus, ask those who have a ‘feet fetish.’

Nonetheless back to subject. If we look at current trends, we will find that the world is soaked in a variety of alleged ‘fashion’ with the connotation that fashion is an art, and an expression of preferences and freedom to dress.

As muslims, we have to bear in mind that Islam is a complete way-of-life. Islam is not a pick and mix counter, it is a whole lifestyle. All aspects that constitute your life, is clearly defined by its guidance. Meaning that your dress-code is detailed too. Just like when a person attends a school, there are mottos, routines, standards of behaviour, ethics and of course the uniform, that all have to be adhered to. One cannot expect to attend the most reputable institution, but select which part of the school rules they would like to follow. And of course, Islam is more complete than basic school rules. Nonetheless, similarly, one cannot pick which teachings of Islam to follow, and which ones to toss out the window. You accepted Islam, not ‘Is’, nor ‘lam’ nor i-l-m…

The dress of code of Islam, is general, and based on a set of principles. It’s not rigid like a uniform, where you can only wear a shirt, a blazer etc… Rather, as long as the outfit you choose meets the criteria, you’re good to go!

For men, an important principle is that their outfit should not drag below their ankles.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets his garment drag out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Umm Salamah said: “What should women do with their hems?” He said: “Let them down by a hand-span.” She said: “But then their feet will be uncovered.” He said: “Then a cubit, but no more than that.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi.

What an embarrassment, and humiliating situation to be in on the Day of Judgment that Allah will not look at you, when all of mankind will be assembled, and when every last little deed counts. My brothers, it’s not difficult, the cold won’t bite at your ankles, nor will the heat of the sun tan them, if you do it sincerely seeking the pleasure of Allah. Fold your trousers and alter your thawbs.

In another hadith, perhaps a worse threat is mentioned, “whatever part of the lower garment is below the ankles is in hell.” (Ahmad)

I’m sure we all want to steer clear of the hellfire. If the lowest degree of punishment in hellfire is shoes that will make a person’s brain boil, then I don’t think a person would like to go ankle deep wading around in the hellfire. It’s not a paddling pool I assure you.

Save yourselves. Save your ankles from the punishment of Allah!

The punishment of Allah is severe, my brothers and sisters. If you are a brother reading this, then I implore you to take heed. It will be difficult, but you will be rewarded for your effort. The more difficult it is for you, the greater the reward that awaits! If you are a sister, then enjoin the good and forbid the evil by advising the male members of your family.

The worst of all this, is one who allows his garment to train out of pride, for he is defiant of Allah’s commands.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever trails his garment on the ground out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Abu Bakr said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, my izaar (lower garment) slips down if I do not pay attention to it.” He said: “You are not one of those who do it out of pride.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, no. 5784)

Sadly, this above hadith is used as an excuse for many men who claim they have no pride. Do they not realise that they are mere mortals, with ego, forgetfulness and prone to sin? My brother, you are not equal to Abu-Bakr, he was the best of men after the Prophet peace be upon him. To say that one has no pride, is praise in and of itself. What guarantee do you have, my brother, that you have no pride? Allah knows the hearts, and thus He conveyed, what He conveyed on the lips of His final Messenger. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, had the approval of the Prophet and even in such a case, when he would remember he would lift his garment, because it was accidental when it slipped.

The fashions of wearing long trousers, thawbs, coats, etc… in no way reflect Islamic values. In fact, they are quite contrary. Any item of clothing that is dragged is considered as coming under this ruling.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Isbaal (wearing one’s garment below the ankles) may apply to the izaar (lower garment), the shirt or the turban. Whoever allows any part of these to trail on the ground out of arrogance, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Judgement.” (reported by Abu Dawud, no. 4085, and al-Nisaa’i, no. 5334, with a saheeh isnaad).

Many happily engage in this deliberately, I adjure you to consider and think of the consequences. Never think that when I get to the Akhirah, Allah is merciful and he will not punish me. The punishment may come earlier than expected:

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whilst a man was walking arrogantly admiring himself and his clothes, Allah caused the earth to swallow him and he is suffering in it until the Day of Resurrection.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2088).

A brief point to note for our sisters, whilst it is permissible for us to lower our garments to cover our feet, it is impermissible to do so with haughtiness.

To conclude, I remind you; look at the condition of Muslims around the world. Muslims are being accused, tortured, imprisoned, blown to pieces, and worse. The change starts with us. We may think, how will rolling up my trousers help? But trust me it does. Only when you change, then Allah will change the condition of the ummah. You better yourself however you can, and Allah will better the ummah. The change begins with me and you. If we constantly think it is trivial, then we will never move forward. Never belittle a good deed, it may just be the one that earns you Jannah. How many narrations do we have where Allah forgave a person and admitted them to Jannah for something that was seemingly small and insignificant?!

Valentine’s Day

valentines-day

It’s that time of year again, and we all could benefit with a reminder or two.
The origin of Valentine’s Day celebration is not clear. Some claim that it began with St Valentine of Rome, who was imprisoned and sentenced to death on 14th February for performing secret marriages for young soldiers who were prohibited to marry. Others hold that it was a Saint Valentine who helped Christians escape Roman prisons. And third opinion is that it is a Christianised version of the Roman festival of Lupercalia which was originally a Roman pagan celebration. Whatever the origins of Valentine’s Day, it suddenly took a romantic turn, and by the 18th Century it was a lovers celebration.

Sadly, this celebration is gaining popularity amongst many muslim households, and some parents will even encourage their children to participate. We should realise that this celebration is a promotion of immorality, and evil practices which have no place in Islam. Practices that pave the way to destruction, in this life and the hereafter.

Let’s address the issue of being alone with a non-mahram. Being alone with a non-mahram woman with evil intent, or good intent will only lead to evil. One may think he is above these fitan and is trustworthy, and indeed he is, he is trustworthy, and he is pure, but the Shaytaan is not so. And none of us should trust the Shaytaan. The Prophet said, “no man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman but Shaytaan will be the third among them.” (Tirmithi) This includes cousins, maids, bosses; no man and no woman are permitted to be alone together.

Do we really think that Shaytaan is merely dining with us? That he is merely the third in company? No it means, that he will try and try until he succeeds in leading us astray. He will strike the first spark of a flame, a flame that will burn the hearts, and will consume those who are touched by it.

And what devastating consequences does these relationships have! Broken hearts, weeping eyes and torn families, and not to mention; the wrath of Allah! No one is different in this issue, it is not real love that one falls into, rather it is the Shaytaan who has blinded you, and once he has made you do the unthinkable, he will flee, then you will realise that it was all a ‘dream,’ but it will be too late, as your dreams will be shattered because of guilt, and the magnitude of the sin will envelop you. But no amount of regret can change what has passed, so why begin in the first place? We ask Allah to protect us.

Another issue, relating to the topic of valentine is touching a woman who non-mahram. Shaking hands is common and in some societies hugging is the norm. Many give the excuse that, ‘I shake everyone’s hand the same way,’ but is it really true? ‘I hug everyone the same’ Really?! I think not, and deep inside you know you don’t.

Nonetheless, the Prophet peace be upon him taught us, “if one of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle, it would be better for him than touching a woman whom he is not permitted to touch.” (At-Tabarani)

Subhanallah! To prick one’s finger with a needle is painful enough, now imagine being stabbed with one. That’s even more painful. And now stabbed in the head! Yet this pain as excruciating as it would be, is better than touching the hand of a non-mahram woman. The sin of touching the hand of woman is serious, and is punishable, now how about those that go further?

The Prophet said, “the Zina of the eye is the (lustful) look, the Zina of the ears is the listening, the Zina of the tongue is speech, the Zina of the hand is the grip (touch), the Zina of the feet is the walking (to the place), the heart yearns and desires and the private parts approve all that or disapprove it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Each limb of the body is punishable for the sin it commits, and each is able to commit sin in its own way.

Let us not engage in that which is displeasing to Allah, and protect ourselves from His anger and punishment. May Allah safeguard us.

Keeping Silent

advising

Silence is often praised in Islam, for the famous hadith, ‘whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good or keep silent’ has become a slogan, though many times it is repeated without action, and many continue to allow their tongues to flap. And in such a situation, it is indeed much better to remain silent, for talking often incurs sins, and as we know one bad word could land a person in the hellfire. We ask Allah to protect us.

However, there are other times, in which a person should talk, in order to ordain the good and forbid the evil.

On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree who said, I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)

So one should attempt to correct the wrong he witnesses using his hands, and if he is not able to do so or it will cause a greater evil, then let him try to use his tongue. This means to speak out against it, by advising the person, or to warn about it, and remind the person engaged in the sin of its incorrectness and explain why it is wrong, remind them of the punishment of the wrong, and to remind them of the reward for leaving a wrong, and doing a good instead. The last, and lowest level of iman as categorised by the Prophet is to change it with one’s heart, and this is to believe it is wrong, to hate the wrong, to move away from the wrong, and leave it, to hate to witness the wrong.

Remember silence is often approval, and by not moving away from the wrong and disassociating oneself from it, symbolises that one accepts it. This brings me to a more specific issue, and that is witnessing one’s womenfolk behaving immorally or dressing immorally and remaining silent. Indeed, this is an affliction of our time. Family members who feel afraid to speak out against this evil, are in fact guilty.

Ibn Umar reported that the Prophet peace be upon him said, “there are three whom Allah will deprive of Paradise; the one who drinks intoxicants, the one who is disobedient to his parents and the one who accepts immoral conduct on the part of his family.”

My dear brothers and sisters, what would it take to simply say a few words to correct a family member? Our family members should be the easiest people to talk to, and we should love to correct them, for we would never want to see them being punished. If you truly love your family, then save them from the punishment of Allah, by correcting them, advising them and reminding them.

The next time your sister leaves the house without hijab, or your brother wears “short shorts,” or your dad buys shaving gel to shave his beard, or your mother purchases that magazine with indecent images, remind them. Change it with your hand. Bring your sister a hijab. Bring your brother a longer pair of pants, put the shaving gel back on the shelf, take the magazine out of the shopping basket, and if you cannot do that, or it will cause a greater commotion, then advise them privately. Do not name and shame. Explain why it is wrong, and remind them that Jannah is expensive.

“There is no person to whom Allah has given responsibility over others and he failed to take care of them by advising them sincerely, but he will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6617).