<$BlogRSDUrl$> <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d14667298\x26blogName\x3dMuslim+By+Choice\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://muslimbychoice.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://muslimbychoice.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-1044069086931367842', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
~ Muslim by Choice ~
"Allah! None has the right to be worshipped, but He." Surat Al-Baqarah: 255

Lazy Boy - It's All in Your Mind!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lazy Boy - It's All in Your Mind! by Muhammad Alshareef

During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ), an incident happened in which a man slept the entire night and he missed the Fajr prayer. Despite the fact that this is a very common occurrence in our present day, at that time such things rarely happened.

He missed Fajr, and so they came and spoke to the Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) about this…

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood, (radiyAllaahu ‘anhu) narrates: A man came and said to the Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ), “Oh Messenger of Allaah, verily a person slept last night until the morning, until the dawn came and he missed Fajr.” The Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) replied “This is a person whom the devil has urinated in his ears.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters, try going to any books of hadeeth. In each and every one you will find a chapter entitled, ‘Baab al-Isti’aadhah Minal Kasl.’ Translated, this chapter is called ‘Chapter of Seeking Allaah’s Protection from Laziness.’

Kasl or laziness, also known as ‘procrastination’ is a disease. University Students know what procrastination can do to their studies. It is a disease that afflicts the minds. After the mind, it then afflicts the heart. Finally, through the heart, the body is afflicted.

Today, you will learn that laziness is a technique used by Satan, and today you will learn the techniques you can use to combat it.

The Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) frequently made the following supplication: “Oh Allaah, I seek your protection from, ‘alajz’ – which means the inability to do something.” And when someone says, “I can’t do that,” the Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) would seek protection from such negative speech by adding: “and I seek your protection (Oh Allaah) from ‘alkasl’- which is translated as laziness.”

At its core, this society is built on laziness. Consider that it is a society based on the idea that we have to rest on Sundays. “Why do you have to rest on Sundays?” some may ask. And society (may Allaah protect us from this) would answer that even Allaah got lazy on Sunday. He did His work all week long, He built the heavens and the earth, and then on Sunday He got tired and rested. So, may Allaah protect us, contemporary culture has us resting and watching football games on Sundays.

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) testifies to the lunacy of such an idea, implicitly stating, “That there is no drowsiness and no sleep that comes to Him.” (2/255)
In addition, we live in a society that lives for “fast and easy”. You have the fast food joints, even the microwave meals that take 5 minutes are considered tedious because you have to take it out after a couple of minutes and stir it before it is finished cooking. Ever hear the promises to have the perfect body in ten minutes for only three days a week? Examples abound. And in its quest for fast and easy, society does not realize that the root of its problems, indeed, the root of all major sins, lies in laziness.

Why would a person take alcohol and drugs? They are too lazy to change their situation. Instead of actively striving for change, they take a drug to immediately change it. Why do people practice black magic, a phenomenon that is, unfortunately, prevalent in many of our parent’s societies? They do it because they are too lazy to go out and get married, or they’re too lazy to influence people in ways that will accomplish their various goals. Why do people partake in ‘Riba’ (mortgages) and deal with financial interest? They are too lazy to get a proper job and work to pay for something honestly. Why do people gamble? They addictively buy lottery tickets at ridiculous odds of winning in the hopes that their one dollar will instantly earn millions. Laziness is again the culprit. What about that job? Why do people backbite? People backbite because they are too lazy to go and tell the person the truth…And these, dear brothers and sisters, are all major sins.

Thus, like a poison, laziness corrupts all good things.

There are beautiful and amazing things that you want to do for yourself, or do for Allaah (subhaahanu wa ta’aala). Your intention is good, but if you don’t have the energy, or you suffer from the laziness plight, your desires will go nowhere, they will bear no fruit.

The causes of the disease called laziness are rooted in the heart.

Firstly, a lazy person doesn’t know and doesn’t understand his or her need to accumulate good deeds. We understand the need to accumulate money, but we may not understand why or how to accumulate good deeds. Very few people understand that this life is about collecting deeds and preparing for the journey of the hereafter.

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) advises, “to prepare your provisions (that pack your suitcases) for the best provision, the best thing to pack your suitcases with is the Taqwa (or Fear/Piety) of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). (2/197) And this is the commandment of Allaah.”

Secondly, people are discouraged by the thought that others will consider them “holier than thou.” Or perhaps the problem is that some people think too highly of themselves, glorifying themselves to such a high level that when they hear the commandments of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) they reply by justifying their laziness with excuses like; “My heart is clean,” or “Why do I have to do that,” or “I’m a good person.” Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) states: “Do not claim piety to yourselves.” (53/32) If someone says, “I’m good,” the response should be that “Allaah knows best who is true, who is righteous.”

Indeed, those who suffer from laziness don’t understand the gold mine of opportunity awaiting them. There are thousands of people around you waiting to hear the call of Islam. You are living among sponges ready to listen to you say, “I am a Muslim.” And they are going to ask, “How can I become one too?”

A brother I knew overseas said it perfectly: “The North Americans have such enormous prospects. Imagine teaching a new Muslim Soorah al-Faatihah, or how to pray. You will get the reward for this most noble lesson each time the person recites this soorah. You can’t do that in Muslim countries, although there are other different opportunities there, most people don’t recognize them and this leads to laziness”

Know that this concerns you and if you start demonstrating the energy and zeal it takes to worship Allaah to the best of your ability, then you will be the one to benefit.

This is your life. This is your soul. You are only going to live once on this earth, and you’ll be
traveling to the hereafter with a suitcase of good deeds. Hopefully, you won’t be traveling light. The one who understands this early on, the one to get on the bandwagon of the worship of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) early on, accumulates everything.

Be a pioneer, bring Islam to everyone. “And so they come on the day of resurrection and they see these mountains of good deeds that they never imagined they would have had… and it will be said to them… this is because you weren’t lazy back in the day when other people were lazy…” Recognize the opportunity, seize it, and kick start the worship of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) by others.

But if you chose not to heed these words, to yawn, and to be lazy, you are turning your back on the words of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). And the consequences will be grave, for the sunnah of creation, indeed the law of nature, stipulates that that which does not contribute will be destroyed. What do you do with weeds in your garden? You pull them out, you get rid of them. What do you do when your nails get too long, when there is no purpose to their length? You snip them off, discard them in the trash. And so it is, as a community and as individuals in that community, if we are not contributing, and if we are not energetically producing, we will be deemed useless and we will be eliminated.

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says: “In this way, He gives forth the parable of the truth and falsehood and the vanity. Vanity is like the foam, the dirt on the ocean (there is not benefit to it). But the things that do bring benefit (those devoid of laziness) will remain steadfast in the land.” Even after you are gone, your good deeds will continue to benefit. (13/17)

Do not make the mistake of thinking that Allaah pays attention to the lazy one’s worship. The Prophet Muhammad (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do those deeds that you are able to perform, for verily, Allaah will not tire of your ‘Ibadah (worship) until you tire.”

Ponder the phenomenon of those who make du’aa absentmindedly, not knowing what it is that they are saying. They may even be yawning, confused, or focused on something else entirely. Allah is not paying attention to that person just like they are not paying attention to their du’aa. That is a du’aa that is not answered by Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). A du’aa that is answered is the one where the person’s heart and energy are invested in it. Allaah will listen. If you can consistently take your du’aa to that level, you’ll see dramatic changes in your life.

When I was younger, there was an imam from overseas who came to lead the taraweeh prayers in Ramadhan. We would have to pick him up at Fajr time and drive him to the masjid. One early morning, I was feeling particularly tired and lazy. My parents had an especially hard time waking me up. Yet, when we arrived at the Imam’s house, I noticed that the neighbors were in the midst of an all-night party. It was 5 am and their lights were blaring, their music was booming, and the party-goers were still drinking their alcohol. They’d spent the entire night awake in “Qiyaamul layl,” but not to Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). Their worship was for the devil. I remember thinking to myself that this disbeliever has the stamina and energy to waste the night away, how can the servant of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) not have the energy and ability to worship Him? After all, they, too, are humans like us. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radiyAllaahu ‘anhu) is quoted as saying, “I seek Allaah’s protection from the time when the ‘fasiq’ or disobedient will have much energy and enthusiasm and the righteous will be lazy.” The fasiq will open up bars everywhere and run his houses of immorality with vigor. And the righteous will do little to nothing in the sake of Allaah. When this happens, there is an imbalance on earth, and corruption will be widespread and prevalent.

Brothers and sisters, let me tell you about the blessedness of having energy and enthusiasm in worshipping Allaah will do for you.

Number 1: The extra energy will win you the pleasure of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).
Musa (‘alayhis salaam) was told to come to the mountain for 40 days. And come he did, not walking slowly, not ten minutes late, but running. In explaining his arrival, Musa said, “I came hastily to you, oh Allaah, so that you will be pleased with me.” (20/84) And indeed, his words were so pleasing to his creator that Allah recorded them in the Quran for all eternity.

When you hear a name of a prophet’s companion, you say, “May Allaah be pleased with him.”

Well, this is how you get that same distinction for yourself. Be hasty in your desire and actions that lead to goodness.

Number 2: Having energy is the characteristic of the believer. Being lazy is the characteristic of the hypocrite.

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says the ‘munaafiq,’ or hypocrite is he who has disbelief in his heart, while outwardly claiming belief. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) describes them in the following verse: “If they get up for the ‘salaah’ (prayer), they get up with laziness.” (4/142)
“Give me ten more minutes…give me ten more minutes… oh! I missed fajr…oh no. I’ll pray after fajr… Give me ten more minutes. Give me ten more minutes…”

A characteristic of hypocrisy; when they reach for that snooze button and get up lazily for prayer, they’re experiencing a state of ‘nifaq’ or hypocrisy. May Allaah protect us.
May He also protect us from using excuses to not follow through with our deeds.

A Canadian may say it’s too cold. An African will say it’s too hot. Both are making excuses for not doing good actions. It was summer in the desert during the time of the Battle of Tabuk, and a walking distance of what is today a seven hour car trip from Madinah to Tabuk. The Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) was rallying his troops for an exhaustive trek that, back then, would have taken months.

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, “they (the hypocrites) encouraged people not to go with the Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) by saying ‘do not go out in the heat’.” Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) response was to tell them, “that the fire of hell is much hotter; if only they understood.” (9/81)

Ibn al-Jawzee, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said “I have never seen a flaw sadder to me than a community whose people stop working, despite having the ability to continue.”

Second Khutbah

The ramifications of laziness can be very harmful. Some of you may have come across a person who displays a genuine interest in Islam. That person may be about to take the shahada when shaytan gets to him and her. An excuse the devil uses is, “You have to comprehend the Qur’aan first.” Hence the would-be Muslim is convinced that they do love Islam, but perhaps further study is required. And so it is that he or she delays coming back to Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), and as time passes they may no longer possess the same enthusiasm.

Similarly, Muslims seeking to make repentance to Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) might give themselves time by saying, “let me wait till I pay off my mortgage, or pay off my student loans… let me wait till I do this , let me wait till I do that, then I will repent to Allaah.” But it doesn’t work like that because as time passes and sins grow, the heart consistently gets weaker and weaker. A time will come when the person knows it’s the last chance, but the heart may have already been sealed shut.And as the Prophet Muhammad (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) said, “Race to good deeds before a time and a fitnah comes, (a test) that will sweep over you like the darkest of the darkest nights.” Are not the trials apparent all around us?

Look to the Islamic educational scene. Scholars we may or may not know are being singled out by the dozens. Religious knowledge is being taken from us. If you have the chance to attend a halaqah, or an Islamic class, you have to race to it NOW! It may be that you won’t have another chance.Fitnah will come to you, and you must survive it with whatever knowledge you hold. It may be that the knowledge you possess will suffice to protect you, and it may be that it will not be enough to avail you. The consequences thereof would be disastrous, and may eventually lead to hellfire. May Allah protect us.

Picture this analogy: In Australia they have sharks that prey near the coastline. To warn bathing humans of impending danger, they have a certain whistle that rings when a shark is sighted. Now imagine if you’re feeling sluggish or you’re playing a game trying to see how long you can hold your breath under the water. You don’t hear the warning sound, and then you raise your head out of the water, and notice that nobody is in it except you. Everyone has made it to shore, they are yelling for you to hurry, but you are ten minutes from the beach. How would you make it? Would you make it? Only Allaah knows for sure, but that’s exactly what laziness does to you. It not only renders you unprepared, but also helpless as to the actions you must take in order to survive.

But today is a new day, and by the grace of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), you and I can learn to let go of that laziness. We will work with renewed energy, striving to return to the worship of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).

Here are some techniques to use.

Number 1: Yawning promotes laziness

Yawning is from the devil. And when it comes to us, we must fight it. Despite what your medical classes are telling you about needing oxygen through yawning, it was your Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) who advised on covering the mouth and resisting the yawn, by not letting out any noise. No “Ahhhsss!”

Number 2: Eating 1/3rd

The Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) taught us to eat using the 1/3rd method. You don’t need much to sustain yourself, a few bites will usually do, but if you are going to eat a meal, then 1/3rd is the crucial number. One third should be the food, one third for water, and one third for breathing. Realize that one of the most cunning tricks of shaytan is urging people to fill their stomachs beyond capacity. How many times have you eaten a huge meal only to feel like taking a nap afterwards? And how many times has this nap dissuaded you from the worship of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala)?

Number 3: Spend time with energetic people

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, “Be patient with those people who call upon their lord…in the mornings and the evenings.”

When you see a person going for salah consistently, always in a state of worship and remembrance of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), you say to them, “Hey brother / hey sister, how about we go out for lunch? I’d like to spend time with you.”

Feed from their energy. Alternatively, if lazy people surround you, distance yourself from them, or give them da’wah, encouraging positive action. You want to pick the right people, because we tend to emulate those whom we befriend.

Do as your prophet did and constantly seek refuge from Allaah from the laziness that shaytan uses to defeat the Muslims. When you find yourself reaching for that snooze button, a.k.a ‘the shaytan button’, remember the ploy against you and seek Allaah’s help to resist. You will have the strength to wake for fajr. Ultimately, laziness is a state of mind.

In conclusion, the one concept that ties this all together is honesty. Being honest about your laziness and sincerely striving to change is the first step in seeing results. The fact of the matter is that when Allaah commands us to do something, it is not possible to have excuses, and know that tasks put upon you are doable, for Allaah “does not place a burden on a person more than they can bear.” (2/286) You can do it, others have done it before you, and others continue to do it. Join the ranks of the energetic.

Ka’b ibn Malik, (radiyAllaahu ‘anhu), went to the Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) after the battle of Tabuk, and the hypocrites had been making excuses for their absence from the fighting. Ka’b had not participated and he thought that he too might come up with some excuse in order to save himself, but he realized that he could not lie to the Prophet of Allaah. He told the Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ), “I have never had more energy or ability than this time, but I just didn’t go.” And the prophet said, “he is the one who is truthful.” And by the potency of his honesty and sincerity, the Qur’aan mentions that Allaah had forgiven Ka’b.
How do you truthfully word the reasons for your laziness? If the Fajr prayer has passed you by and the devil has urinated in your ears, do not place blame where blame is not due. Don’t make excuses like, “I had a long night.” Instead, say, “the truth is that the accumulation of my sins led me to miss fajr. But this is not who I am. I am the slave of Allaah. Oh Allaah, tomorrow, with your permission, I will show you what I am going to do for your sake” And so you make your repentance, you repeat your good intentions, and you continue until you reach those higher levels of energy.

I ask Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) to bless you with that energy and I pray and hope that you can make the same du’aa for me.





Is There Such Thing As Halal Food Anymore?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem

I have been disheartened and concerened for quite some time now about the foods we eat - not only from an Islamic perspective, but also a health perspective. Do we really know what is in our food - do we know what the animals we eat are fed and how they are treated? Are we sure that the foods we eat today are truly classified under 'Halal food'? Yes - this means even those of us who chose to only consume "Halal Meat" - if there is such a thing nowadays.

I'm not trying to be pessimistic or difficult - but the problem with the foods we eat is that their affects will only show up later in our lives and in the lives of our children - and most likely their affects will be overshadowed and we will only treat the problem when it arises without any knowledge that what we ate caused the problem in the first place.

Nowadays we not only have genetically engineered fruits and vegetables - we have animals that are given "protein" (meat from other animals) as part of their feed - they are treated cruely and then they are slaughtered cruely - oh, and I forgot to mention that they receive antibiotics and growth hormones. All of which we, ourselves, consume when we sit down to our meals.

A friend recently tried contacting many of the so-called "Halal" meat producers in the US and most of them replied that they could not verify what the animals were fed. Isn't that something that should concern us? At this point, I'm seriously considering becoming vegetarian - as I'm sure my neighbors wouldn't appreciate me raising my own feed in our tiny backyard. I don't really know what we can/should do about this - but I know we really should educate ourselves more about the food we eat and then decide what we're going to do about it. We must realize that the foods we consume are no small matter.

Here are a few good websites that deal with these types of issues, if you are interested in educating yourself more about this topic. I plan to try to learn more - before it is too late. I want to remind all of us about the following hadith:

"Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock; a woman is the shepherd in the house of her husband and is responsible for her flock; a servant is the shepherd of his master's wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Halal and Healthy

GoVeg.com


Here are some articles about this issue:

The Halal Meat Industry

Mechanical Slaughter

IT MAY BE ZABIHA, BUT IS IT HALAL?


Cattle Feed is Often a Sum of Animal Parts

Halal and Kosher slaughter 'must end'


***UPDATE***

Here is one Halal Company that raises their own animals. They have them from birth to slaughter and ensure that they are fed and raised properly. By Allah, I swear I have no ties with this company - and I have yet to order from them. I just want to make this information available to you, insha'Allah. If you know of any other companies like this (in the US or other countries) - please let me know.


My Halal Meat


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * UPDATE * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Just wanted to update you on what we're thinking about this topic in our home. We found that
there are some farms in our state (not necessarily in our backyard) that raise their animals
without antibiotics, growth hormones and they are grass-fed. So, I guess when we can, we will
go slaughter ourselves and use this as our source of meat.

I still think we will lean more on the vegetarian side and there's more to be learned - i.e.,
genetically modified foods, organic/non-organic. I think we will end up having a lot more
vegetarian meals and then - when we do have meat, we will have it with a lot of vegetables.


It may be an adjustment - especially because I only know a few vegetarian meals that
are worth cooking again - but I know in my heart that it is well worth the difficulty.
Even if it weren't an issue of halal - when I look at my children - I just can't justify
feeding them something that may hurt them later.

So, any suggestions for cookbooks?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * UPDATE * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2:12 PM :: 5 Comments ::

muslimbychoice :: Permanent Link





Don't be Lazy, Pray!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Question :

I am a young Muslim man who believes in Allaah and His Messengers and His Books, praise be to Allaah. But sometimes I feel too lazy to pray. I am looking for a solution and a way to make me not be so lazy. Please note that this is what I want but the tricks of the Shaytaan are too strong.


Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

If a person truly believes in Allaah, His Messengers and His Books, and believes that prayer is obligatory and is the greatest pillar of Islam after the Shahaadatayn, we cannot imagine that he would neglect to pray or be careless in performing the prayers. Rather he would never feel at ease unless he performs this important ritual regularly.

The more a person’s faith increases, the more he will be concerned to do that which Allaah has enjoined upon him, and this is also because of his strong faith. Hence the way to make you pray more regularly may be summed up as follows:

1 – You should believe firmly that prayer is obligatory and that it is the greatest pillar of Islam. You should realize that a stern warning is issued to the one who neglects prayer, and he is a kaafir who is beyond the pale of Islam according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, based on a great deal of evidence, such as the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.” Narrated by Muslim, 82.

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The covenant that stands between us and them is prayer; whoever gives it up is a kaafir.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2621; al-Nasaa’i, 463; Ibn Maajah, 1079; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

2 – You should understand that delaying prayer beyond the time when it is due is a major sin, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As‑Salaah (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salaah (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell”

[Maryam 19:59]

Ibn Mas’ood said concerning al-Ghayy [translated in the verse quoted above as Hell): This is a valley in Hell which is very deep and foul.

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So woe unto those performers of Salaah (prayers) (hypocrites),

5. Those who delay their Salaah (prayer from their stated fixed times)”

[al-Maa’oon :4,5]

3 – You should strive to offer the prayers in congregation in the mosque, and not neglect any of them, knowing that praying in congregation in the mosque is obligatory according to the more sound of the two scholarly opinions, based on a great deal of evidence, such as the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever hears the call to prayer and does not respond, his prayer is not valid unless he has an excuse.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 793; also by al-Daaraqutni and al-Haakim, who classed it as saheeh; also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.

Muslim (653) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: A blind man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I do not have anyone to guide me to the mosque,” and he asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to give him a dispensation allowing him to pray in his home and he allowed him that, then when he turned away he called him back and said: “Can you hear the call to prayer?’ He said, “Yes.” He said: “Then answer it.”

And there is other evidence too. See question no. 40113.

4 – There is the hope that if you adhere to that, you will be included among the seven whom Allaah will shade with His shade (on the Day of Resurrection), among whom is “a young man who grew up worshipping his Lord” and “a man whose heart was attached to the mosque”. Al-Bukhaari, 660; Muslim, 1031.

5 – You will earn the great reward for prayer, especially prayer in congregation. In al-Saheehayn it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A man’s prayer in congregation is twenty-five times better than his praying in his house or marketplace, because when he does wudoo’ and does it well, then goes out to the mosque, only going there to pray, he does not take a single step but he is raised in status and a sin is erased thereby. When he prays, the angels continue to send blessings upon him so long as he is still in the place where he prayed, (saying), ‘O Allaah, send blessings on him, O Allaah have mercy on him.’ And one of you is still in a state of prayer so long as he is waiting for the prayer.”

Al-Bukhaari, 647; Muslim, 649.

Muslim (232) narrated that ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever does wudoo’ for prayer and does wudoo’ well, then walks to (perform) the prescribed prayer, and offers the prayer with the people or with the congregation or in the mosque, Allaah will forgive him his sins.”

6 – You should read about the virtue of prayer, and the sin of those who are careless or too lazy to pray. We advise you in particular to read the book Al-Salaah, limadha (Prayer – why?) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel al-Muqaddim; and listen to the lecture, “Limadha la tusalli (Why don’t you pray?) by Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Ya’qoob, as these will be very beneficial for you in sha Allaah.

7 – You should choose good friends who are keen to pray and pay attention to that, and keep away from those who are the opposite, because a person is influenced by his friends.

8 – Keep away from sin in all aspects of your life, and adhere to the rulings of sharee’ah in your dealings with others, especially with women, because sin is one of the things that most distract a person from doing acts of worship and increase the Shaytaan’s influence on him.

We ask Allaah to make us and you among His righteous slaves and those who are close to Him.

And Allaah knows best.


Islam Q&A

8:05 PM :: 1 Comments ::

muslimbychoice :: Permanent Link





Remaining Steadfast After Ramadan

Remaining Steadfast After Ramadan

By Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan
Taken from: Ahaadeeth as-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab, Pgs. 155-157

Sufyaan ibn 'Abdillaah said: O Messenger of Allaah, tell me something about Islaam of which I will not ask anyone else besides you (after that). He (sall-Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Say: I believe in Allaah and then be steadfast (upon that). [1]

This hadeeth is proof that the servant is obligated, after having Eemaan in Allaah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying Him by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion, without drifting away from it to the right or to the left.

If a Muslim lived through Ramadan and spent its days in fasting and its nights in prayer, and in that month he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allaah at all times (after that). This is the true state of the servant (abd), for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever watchful and witnessing His servants at all times.

Indeed, steadfastness after Ramadan and the rectification of one's statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadan and that he struggled in obedience. They are tokens of acceptance and signs of success.

Furthermore, the deeds of a servant do not come to an end with the end of a month and the beginning of another. Rather they continue and extend until one reaches death, for Allaah says: And worship your Lord until the certainty (i.e. death) comes to you. [2]

If the fasting of Ramadan comes to an end, then indeed the voluntary fasting is still prescribed throughout the entire year, and all praise is due to Allaah. If standing in prayer at night during Ramadan comes to an end, then indeed, the entire year is a time for performing the night prayer. And if the Zakaat-ul-Fitr comes to an end, then there is still the Zakaah that is obligatory as well as the voluntary charity that lasts the whole year.

This goes the same for reciting the Quraan and pondering over its meaning as well as every other righteous deed that is desirable, for they can be done at all times. From the many bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has placed for them many different types of acts of worship and He provided many means for doing good deeds. Therefore, the enthusiasm and the zeal of the Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in the service of his Master.

It is unfortunate to find some people performing worship by doing different types of righteous acts during Ramadan they guard strictly their five daily prayers in the Masjid, they recite the Quraan abundantly and they give in charity from their money. But when Ramadan comes to an end, they grow lazy in their worship. Rather, sometimes they even abandon the obligations, both generally, such as praying in congregation, and specifically, such as praying the Fajr prayer!

And they (even) commit forbidden acts such as sleeping over the time of prayers, indulging in places of foolishness and entertainment, and mingling in parks (i.e. free mixing), especially on the day of 'Eed! Obtaining help from these evils is only through the Grace of Allaah. Thus, they demolish what they have constructed and they destroy what they have established. This is an indication of deprivation and a sign of perdition. We ask Allaah for His safeguarding and protection!

Indeed, these types of people take the example of turning in repentance and ceasing from committing evil deeds as something specific and restricted to (only) the month of Ramadan. So they stop doing these (good) acts when the month stops. Thus, it is as if they have abandoned sinning for the sake of Ramadan and not out of fear for Allaah! How evil are these people who do not know Allaah except in Ramadan!

Truly, the success that Allaah grants His servant lies in the fasting of Ramadan. And Allaahs assisting him to do that is a great blessing. Thus this calls for the servant to be grateful to his Lord. And this understanding can be found in Allaahs saying, after having completed the favor of the month of fasting:

(He wants that you) must compete the same number of days, and that you must magnify Allaah (by saying Allaahu Akbar) for having guided you, so that you may be grateful to Him. [3]

So the one who is grateful for having fasted, he will remain upon that condition and continue to perform righteous deeds.

Indeed, the true manner of a Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for having been bestowed the ability to fast and make Qiyaam (night prayer). His condition after Ramadan is better than it was before Ramadan. He is more ready to obey, desiring to do good deeds and quick to implement the obligatory acts. This is since he has acquired benefit from this prominent institute of learning. It is that of one who fears for having his fast not accepted, for indeed Allaah only accepts from those who have Taqwaa.

The righteous predecessors would struggle to complete and perfect their deeds, hoping afterwards, that it would be accepted and fearing that it would be rejected. From the reports of Alee is that he said: Be more concerned with having your deeds accepted than with the deed itself. Did you not hear Allaah say: Verily Allaah only accepts from those who have Taqwaa? [4]. [5]

Aaishah said: I asked the Messenger of Allaah concerning the aayah: And those who give away that which they give (i.e. charity and other good deeds), while their hearts tremble with fear. Are they the ones who drink alcohol and steal? He (sall-Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: No, O daughter of as-Siddeeq. But rather, they are the ones who fast and pray and give in charity, yet fear that it won't be accepted from them. They are the ones who rush to do good deeds and they are the first to do them. [6]

So be warned and again be warned of turning backward after having attained guidance, of going astray after persevering! And ask Allaah to provide you with endurance in doing righteous deeds and continuity in performing good acts. And ask Allaah that He grant you a good end, in order that He may accept our Ramadan from us.

Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Muslim (no. 38)
[2] Surat-ul-Hijr: 99
[3] Surat-ul-Baqarah: 185
[4] Surat-ul-Maa'idah: 27
[5] Lataa'if-ul-Ma'aarif (pg. 246)
[6] Reported by at-Tirmidhee and authenticated by al-Albaanee in his Saheeh

Taken From: Islaam.com

11:20 AM :: 0 Comments ::

muslimbychoice :: Permanent Link





What's After Ramadan?

Ramadan Nights 2004: What's after Ramadan?

12th November 2004

Amr Khaled

Translated by www.daralislamlive.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Introduction

In the Name of the Most Merciful, the Most compassionate, and prayers and peace be upon Prophet Mohamed.

I'd like to wish all the Muslims everywhere a happy feast, as the month of Ramadan is coming to its end.

I'd like to start this episode by something that we tackled at the very beginning of Ramadan. I'll remind you by the verses of fasting in the Holly Quran. Allah (SWT) says: "O Believers, Fasting is prescribed to you in order to be pious, for counted days. Those who are ill or traveling should fast on other days……" Also Allah (SWT) says: "And if MY people ask you about ME, I'm near, I grant the prayer of the one who prays to ME, if he prays"

Thank Allah, we all performed great things that we usually can't do in the ordinary days. Some of us completed reading the Holy Quran once; others completed reading it twice and more. Some of them spent the nights in prayer and others wept out of their fear from Allah (SWT); where they never thought their hearts were so pious.

Some of us donated a lot of money for the poor people and they weren't afraid from becoming poor themselves. Many people did their best to the extent that I met some youth who say that if they die on this current state of piousness and worship it is much better for them and they will be satisfied.

Some of us could achieve the night of power "Al-Qadr" while others just got conscious to the importance of Ramadan only a few days ago. For both; those who worshipped hard since the beginning of Ramadan and those who wasted Ramadan; both teams now feel sad for the departure of Ramadan.

We had a lot of lovely memories related to it. Dear fellows, if you remember all the good memories in your lives, you'll find most of it related to worship. One of the pious successors called "Ibn Rajab" wrote a poem long ago at the last night of Ramadan expressing his sad feelings for the departure of the Holy month. When I read his poem, I found my tears overflowing, as he really expressed how painful the departure of Ramadan is.

"Ibn Rajab" said:

O month of Ramadan, slow down. (Meaning: wait and don't go so quickly)

Tears of your lovers are overflowing. (Meaning they weeping for the departure of Ramadan)

Their hearts are about to be broken. (For the departure of the Holy month)

So, slow down, lest the last moment before going apart calms down our pains.

Lest a man who was away from Allah can catch up with those who are accepted. (Meaning that maybe some people who were away from Allah can repent in the last few moments of Ramadan).

Lest Allah (SWT) sets a man who committed a lot of sins free of his sins.

Lest Allah (SWT) forgives a man who deserves hell.

O month of Ramadan, slow down.

This poem really expresses the pious tender feelings of that man for the departure of the Holy month. Now we have to wonder: who were accepted and who were not?? For those who were accepted I say "Congratulations", while for those who were not I say: "May Allah (SWT) reward you for this disaster. We are all for Allah and we'll return back to Him"


After Ramadan Advices

Now, after the beautiful month passed away, we should be practical and think about what we'll do after Ramadan. Dear fellows, please take care of these coming words. They are not memorized words, but they are the result of experience of a man who attended many months of Ramadan and watched how people fell down after Ramadan and how others could remain steadfast after Ramadan.

Dear fellows, please accept my advices for what to do after Ramadan. My aim is not to say that I'm experienced or sophisticated, but my aim is to give you all my experience from what I watched myself. There are common factors between those who feel down and those who could continue after Ramadan.

My first advice for you is: Take care of your devil.

For the whole month of Ramadan, you've been doing your best in worship. Now, after Ramadan had come to an end, what will happen?? Certainly you'll decrease your worship efforts, seeking for a rest. It is normal that we need a rest after exerting a great effort. However, notice that in this time while you're saying that you need a rest, your devil is being set free from its jail. At this same moment when you're seeking rest, your devil is being set free and is in its worst cases of wildness and fury. That's because it's been exerting a great effort all through the year and now after Ramadan Allah (SWT) has forgiven you for all the previous sins and misdeeds.

Do you know what the devil wants now? It wants to make everyone commit a serious misdeed in this first week after Ramadan. He wants to do so, to make you become desperate of yourself, as in spite of all your exerted efforts, you fell in sins and misdeeds so quickly after Ramadan.

Dear fellows, do you notice the sins and misdeeds people commit on the first days of the feast (Eid)? That's because of the wildness and fury of the devil. It wants to make you fall in such misdeeds so quickly; it doesn't want to waste time! Remember that the devil has an aim that it works for so badly. It wants all of us in hell, so it will seize the opportunity of your slackness to make you commit serious misdeeds.

Such misdeeds like an illegitimate relation between a man and a woman, or a strong clash and trouble between a man and his wife or even a serious problem and trouble between you and your parents. In brief, Satan wants to make us lose all the reward we got from Allah (SWT) during the month of Ramadan. It wants to do so to make us become desperate of ourselves and think "we are so bad and we'll never be accepted by Allah (SWT), so no need to worship any more because this same seduction and falling in sins will always happen to us after worship"-That's what the Satan wants us to believe in.

This meaning is expressed in this verse of Holy Quran, when Allah (SWT) said: "and the devil achieved what it believed about them..."

What did the devil believe about them?? It believed that even if they fast, pray for whole nights, feel pious and weep out of fear for Allah (SWT), He'd seduce them again so easily and make them commit sins (like falling in sins on the first days after Ramadan).

But listen to the rest of the verse, where Allah (SWT) says: "and the devil achieved what it believed about them, so they followed him except a group of believers."

Now we have to ask everyone: are you among those whom Satan could seduce, or you are among that group of believers who resisted Satan and turned it down.

Dear fellows, I want you all to remember last Ramadan. Did the Satan achieve what I believed about you?? Did you fall in such sins right after Ramadan? Did you allow the devil to rejoice at your misfortune of falling in sins right after Ramadan?

Listen to this lovely simile of the Holly Quran, when Allah (SWT) says: "And don't be like a woman who tore down her yarn…" It's like when a lady keeps yarning a pullover or a coat for a long time and had already exerted a lot of effort and time for it, then at the last thread, instead of yarning it, she pulled it out so the whole pullover was lost!!

"And don't be like a woman who tore down her yarn, after its hardness"

So, what's the advice we should all follow now? The advice is:

1- Avoid sins on the first week after Ramadan. Avoid any illegitimate relation between a man and a woman, troubles between married couples, problems and troubles between you and your parents and avoid the bad friends who might take you to bad places, claiming that you've done your best for a whole month and it's now time for rest!

But why should we resist Satan especially in the first week after Ramadan? That's to make it know that you have really changed. Satan's expectations are that as soon as it seduces you, you'll fall for it. When it tries to seduce you and finds you resisting, it will know that you're really changed and that its old ways don't work any more! By the way, resisting sins has a very lovely taste, even more lovely than committing the sin itself. It's a great feeling when you find yourself strong, unlike the shameful feeling when you fall in misdeeds right after Ramadan. You'll feel so weak then. Notice that Satan uses all its strength and tricks to make you commit serious misdeeds in those first days after Ramadan. It will try its best to make you fall.

I'm not saying that you'll never commit sins again. Everyone of us commits sins, but try to steadfast in that first week after Ramadan in order to achieve a better place among believers and in order to assure for the Satan that you're really changed, so that its old ways doesn't work any more. Sure it will search for new ways to deal with you, but this means you are not that same as before. In other words, you've been promoted to a higher place during Ramadan. If every one of us did so, it means that the whole Islamic nation will be better after Ramadan and Satan will be astonished of how the whole Islamic nation was promoted after Ramadan. It's as if Ramadan is the month of prospering for the Muslims.

I'll give you an example to express this meaning. Winter is the season of prosper for the soil; it waits for winter every year because during that season, it rains a lot and the soil gets all its needs from water during winter. When winter is over, the good soil still keeps that storage of water and makes use of it for the rest of the year.

Ramadan is the same for Muslims. It's the month that gives us spiritual strength and worship will that we should keep for the rest of the year. Usually, after Ramadan we throw back all the blessings we obtained during Ramadan. Please, let's not do the same this year. Let's keep our storage of spiritual strength, not only for ourselves, but for the whole Islamic nation and make this be your intention: You'll keep and retain the blessings you obtained during Ramadan for the welfare of the whole Islamic nation. So, that was our first advice, which is to resist the Satan with all your strength in the first week after Ramadan.

The second advice is:

2- Avoid losing your spiritual energy after Ramadan. Do you remember what you did during Ramadan? Do you remember those nights when you kept praying for long hours and those tears you shed? Now after Ramadan is over, the first thing that crosses your mind is that you want to take a rest. Usually people take a rest those first days and start missing the dawn prayers. Also, when you go to mosques after Ramadan, you feel sad when you find them empty of people. When you ask why, you find the only reply is: because Ramadan is over. You also find the Holy books dusty again as no one reads in it any more.

You find many people's worship wills starting to fade right after Ramadan and the worship tasks they were used to during the month, are fading one after another.

So, what should we do now? Should we keep the same as we were during Ramadan? That's completely impossible!! Let's be realistic!! We can't be at that same spiritual level of Ramadan because Ramadan is a blessing from Allah (SWT) for all Muslims. Let's agree on the minimum level of worship tasks, so that when our spiritual will decreases, it stops at the minimum level. Let's agree on some tasks that we should do during the first two weeks after Ramadan. Let's agree on five main tasks that we MUST keep on them, during the first two weeks after Ramadan.

Start reading the Holy Quran from its beginning again. I'm not asking you to complete reading it in 30 days as before, but at least read one page every day. I know it's feast time (Eid) and we all want to have fun, so I'm asking you to read only one page of the Holy Quran.

Supplicating to Allah (SWT), even for two minutes after our fifth daily prayer. I'm not asking you to pray the same way you did during Ramadan, but at least two minutes after the fifth prayer. I think the events in the Islamic countries will urge us enough to pray.

Praising Allah (SWT) every day, even the day and night praising only (Thikr).

Pray the five prayers in congregation. For men, pray as much as you can at the mosque, but not less than two prayers at mosque. For ladies, pray in congregation too. The most important prayer is the dawn prayer, dear all.

The last thing that will help you do the previous four tasks is having good pious friends. Choose a pious friend and catch up with him/her. Ask him/her to support you the first two weeks after Ramadan.

If you stick to these five tasks for only 2 weeks after Ramadan, you'll find yourself promoted greatly. That's because you remained on the way of Allah (SWT) even with a less effort than that of Ramadan. Just make sure you're keeping those five daily tasks.

Some people might ask: when will we take a rest then?? For them I reply: there's no rest in this world, the rest is in the grave!!!

Once, the imam "Ahmed Ibn Hanbal" was asked: when can a human rest?? The imam replied: "when he puts his first leg in paradise"

We'll find rest only when we enter paradise. There we'll meet our dear prophet (PBUH) and his companions; we'll meet all our beloved people of family and friends, we'll find the happy relations between married couples and we'll find all what crosses our minds. That's the rest in paradise; but till then we have to work and exert effort because this world is just a place for work and exerting effort. Don't ever say that you'll rest for the whole feast (Eid)!! As for myself, I'll pass the first day of feast with my family and starting from the second day we'll start preparing the program of "life makers". We all have a lot of work and we all should reform and add to this life.

There's one last chance. On the last day of Ramadan and at the last minutes before the sunset, try your best to pray for Allah (SWT) to set you free from hell. This shows that till the last minutes, when the door of forgiveness is being closed, you're still begging Allah (SWT) to forgive you.

I'll never forget that scene of Egyptian youths at the mosques of Egypt, who used to gather on the last day of Ramadan before the sunset and pray for Allah (SWT) with all their strength and abject for HIM as much they can to set them free from hell. I'll never forget how abject they were between the hands of Allah (SWT) at the last minutes before the last sunset, i.e. before the end of Ramadan, asking HIM (SWT) to forgive them and set them free from hell.

There's one last question that crosses the minds of all of those who listen to us now. Everybody wonders: "Are we accepted this Ramadan? Are we set free from hell this Ramadan?" does anybody know the answer for such a question?

The prophet's companions used to worship hard and exert their efforts. When they finished, they were so worried and disturbed, wondering if Allah (SWT) had accepted what they did or not?

Once, the lady "Aisha" asked the prophet (PBUH): what does this verse of the Holy Quran mean: "And those who do what they did and their hearts are scared…" She asked the prophet (PBUH) if that verse meant those who commit serious misdeeds then become afraid of Allah (SWT)?? The prophet (PBUH) replied: "No, Allah (SWT) meant those who worship hard, then become so disturbed and scared wondering if Allah (SWT) accepted their worship or not"

Dear fellows, I have a method that makes us figure out if we are almost accepted or not. Of course we don't know what Allah (SWT) accepted and what HE didn't, but it's an approximate way to give us a guideline and hope.

I got that method from the Holy Quran, as Allah (SWT) says: "O Believers, Fasting is prescribed to you in order to be pious…" this means that if we fast correctly, we'll become pious after fasting. Being pious means that you are mostly obeying Allah (SWT) and avoiding misdeeds and sins. So, watch yourselves after Ramadan. If you find that your worship faded and that you committed misdeeds, this means you didn't fast correctly. If we fast, yet we don't become pious, it means our fasting was not accepted. But if you find yourself better and more pious after Ramadan, with less misdeeds than before, this means that your fasting and worship are accepted. You might find people who quit smoking and other sins after Ramadan. You might find others really different after Ramadan and changed to the better, even a slight change. All of those are signs of the acceptance of their worship and that they're set free from hell.

I always try this method after Ramadan to see if I'm accepted or not and I know many youths who do it as well, so let's all try it.


Maintaining your Companionship with Allah

Now we come to the last point of our episode. I just want to remind you with that companionship we had with Allah (SWT) during the month of Ramadan. Remember the worship, the prayers, the tears…etc. Please dear fellows, don't forget that companionship and keep it in your hearts.

Here I want to address our Muslim youths and ladies. I ask them to remain on the way of Allah (SWT) and never sell that precious companionship. That's because youths are our last hope. Yes, you youths are the last hope for Islam, so I beg you not to sell Islam or not to be careless dealing with issues for the welfare of our Islam. We need every man and every lady to carry this issue of welfare of Islam on their shoulders.

Ladies have a serious role in this issue. Ladies are our mothers, sisters, wives and sometimes work owners, when they truly carry that issue of welfare of Islam; they are very much effective and can move hundreds of men. For that reason, the enemies of Islam tried their best to convince ladies that Islam was unfair to them and that Islam deprived them from their rights, which is not true. I beg you all dear fellows to steadfast after Ramadan and never to give up supporting our religion.

One of the Orientalists studied Islam deeply and after he finished his studies he said: "What a great religion is Islam, but it has no true men to work for it". That's why we have to continue our "Life Makers" program and every one of us has to work hard for Islam by reforming and adding to this life. It doesn't matter if we failed at the first trials; we'll try again and again till Allah (SWT) knows that we're true in our intentions and finally grants us success.

Now, I want to ask one more question: "Is the feast (Eid) itself happy?!" We all celebrate it by new clothes, eating sweets, congratulating each other and visiting each other, but is the feast itself happy?? The answer is: How can the feast be a happy one, while Muslims in other countries are sad and live in distress, humiliation and poverty?? How can the feast be happy, while the "Aqsa" mosque is still captured??

I'm not asking you to not be happy at feast, but I'm asking you never to forget your brothers and sisters who are suffering in other countries. Remember them in your prayers and pray for them a lot. Enjoy your time, laugh and be happy, but never forget your Muslim brothers and sisters. Remember that the feast is for all of us, not only for you.


Concluding Thought

Now, the last thing I'd like to say is what we will do after Ramadan. We'll stop for sometime then resume the episodes of "Life Makers". That stop is not for a rest, but it's to prepare for "Life Makers" a strong preparation that we hope Allah (SWT) accepts.

I ask the youths of "Life Makers" to attend management courses as we work together in teams, so we should know how to manage such teams. Please continue in the project of ending the illiteracy of computer and also think about other projects. We have a job to do and you too have a job to do, so that when we resume the "Life Makers" we'll be all ready.

I ask those who didn't participate before in "Life Makers" to send us any ideas they have and those who already participate to keep on working hard. We should all keep this spiritual charge we got through Ramadan and use it to start a strong start soon. Please don't waste it.

Now let's all ask Allah (SWT) to accept our worship. Happy feast (Eid) for you all and may Allah (SWT) reward us good for every thing we did during Ramadan.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Translated by the www.daralislamlive.com team. Copyright 2004-2005 © Daralislamlive.com E-Translation Publishing House. All rights reserved.

For more of these lectures, visit DaralislamLive.com.

11:08 AM :: 0 Comments ::

muslimbychoice :: Permanent Link





Advice After Ramadan

Question :

What advice can you give after Ramadaan?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah
I wonder whether the fasting person continued after Ramadaan to be as he was during Ramadaan, or is he “like her who undoes the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong” [cf. al-Nahl 16:92]? I wonder whether the one who during Ramadaan was fasting, reciting and reading Qur’aan, giving and spending in charity, praying at night, making du’aa’, will he be like that after Ramadaan, or will he follow another path, I mean the path of the Shaytaan, so that he commits sin and does things that anger the Most Gracious, Most Merciful?


If a Muslim continues to have the patience to do righteous deeds after Ramadaan, this is a sign that his (fasting) has been accepted by his Lord, the Most Generous, the Bestower of blessings. If he fails to do righteous deeds after Ramadaan, and follows the ways of the Shaytaan, this is a sign of humiliation, meanness, lowly status and being deprived of the help of Allaah, as al-Hasan al-Basri said: “They were no longer of any significance to Allaah, so they committed sin. If they had mattered to Him, He would have protected them.” When a person becomes insignificant to Allaah, Allaah will no longer honour him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“And whomsoever Allaah disgraces, none can honour him” [al-Hajj 22:18]


What is amazing is that during Ramadaan, you see some people who fast and pray at night, who spend in charity and worship the Lord of the Worlds, then no sooner has the month come to an end, but their nature changes completely, and they begin to have a bad attitude towards their Lord. So you see them neglecting prayer and avoiding righteous deeds, committing sins and disobeying Allaah in many different ways, keeping away from obedience towards Allaah, the Sovereign, the Holy, the One Free from all defects.


How terrible it is, by Allaah, when people only acknowledge Allaah in Ramadaan.


The Muslim should make Ramadaan an opportunity to turn over a new leaf by repenting, turning to Allaah, persisting in worshipping Allaah, always being aware that Allaah is watching at every minute of every hour. So after Ramadaan the Muslim should continue to obey Allaah and should avoid sin and evil actions, as a continuation of the way he was during Ramadaan and the things that he did then to draw closer to the Lord of creation.


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“And perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑ Salaah), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaah (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice)”[Hood 11:114]


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Follow a bad deed with a good deed, for it will wipe it out; and have a good attitude and good manners towards people.”


Undoubtedly the purpose for which Allaah created everyone was to worship Him Alone, with no partner or associate. This is the ultimate purpose and the highest aim, which is to attain ‘uboodiyyah (being a slave of Allaah in the truest and fullest sense). This was achieved in the most beautiful manner during Ramadaan, when we saw people going to the houses of Allaah in groups and individually, and we saw them striving to perform the obligatory prayers on time and to give in charity, competing with one another in doing good deeds. And for this let (all) those strive who want to strive (cf. al-Mutaffifeen 83:26), for they will be rewarded in sha Allaah.


But there remains the case of those whom Allaah keeps firm with the word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter (cf. Ibraaheem 14:27). Whomever Allaah helps to be steadfast in doing righteous deeds after Ramadaan, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it (i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allaah unless and until they are followed by good deeds), but those who plot evils, theirs will be severe torment. And the plotting of such will perish”[Faatir 35:10]


Undoubtedly righteous deeds are among the acts which bring a person closer to Allaah at all times, and the Lord of Ramadaan is also the Lord of Jumaada and Sha’baan and Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram and Safar and all the other months. That is because the worship that Allaah has enjoined upon us includes five pillars, one of which is fasting, which is for a set period which has come to an end. But there remain other pillars, Hajj, prayer and zakaah, for which we are answerable to Allaah. We must perform these duties in the manner which is pleasing to Allaah, and we must strive thereby to fulfil the purpose for which we were created. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”[al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught his Companions to compete in doing good, and he said, “One dirham may weigh more with Allaah than a dinar, and the best of charity is that a man gives when he is rich.” He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that if the person gives charity when he is disinclined to do so and is in good health, but fears poverty, that charity will weigh heavily with Allaah in the balance of good deeds; whereas the one who delays it, then when he gets sick he starts to spend in charity here and there, fearing that his good deeds will be rejected, there is the danger that his (charity) will not be accepted – we seek refuge with Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“Allaah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allaah will forgive and Allaah is Ever All Knower, All‑Wise.

And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: “Now I repent;” nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment”[al-Nisaa’ 4:17-18]


The pious and sincere believer should fear Allaah and strive to obey Allaah at all times, persisting in his taqwa and always striving to do good, call others to Allaah, enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. For the believer, his days and nights in this world are storehouses, so let him see what he can deposit in them. If he deposits good things in them, it will testify in his favour before his Lord on the Day of Resurrection; if it is the opposite, then it will be a disaster for him. We ask Allaah to save us and you from that loss.


The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) said:

Among the signs of acceptance (of good deeds) is that Allaah causes one hasanah (good deed) to be followed by another, for the hasanah says, “My sister, my sister!” And the sayi’ah (evil deed) also says, “My sister, my sister!” –we seek refuge with Allaah. If Allaah has accepted a person's Ramadaan, and he has benefited from this period of (spiritual) training and has remained steadfast in obeying Allaah, then he has joined the caravan of those who have remained steadfast and responded to Allaah.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is Allaah (Alone),’ and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): ‘Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!

We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask”[Fussilat 41:30-31]


“And whosoever takes Allaah, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as Protectors, then the party of Allaah will be the victorious” [al-Maa’idah 5:56]


“Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is (only) Allaah,” and thereafter stand firm (on the Islamic Faith of Monotheism), on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” [al-Ahqaaf 46:13]


This standing firm should continue from one Ramadaan to the next, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “From one prayer to the next, from one Ramadaan to the next, from one Hajj to the next, this expiates for whatever (sins) were committed from one to the next, so long as you avoid major sins.”

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise)” [al-Nisaa’ 4:31]


The believer should join the caravan of those who stand firm and should board the ship of salvation from the time when he reaches the earliest age of discretion until he draws his last breath. He should remain in the shade of “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”, enjoying the blessings of Allaah. This religion is the truth and the way in which we steadfastly adhere to it in Ramadaan is that with which Allaah honours us by the bounty of His giving, His gracious blessing and His great favour, so that we might continue to pray qiyaam and to worship Him after the month of Ramadaan.


Do not forget, my brother, that Allaah has blessed you with i’tikaaf, and Allaah has blessed you with giving charity, and Allaah has blessed you with fasting, and Allaah has blessed you with du’aa’ which has been accepted. Do not forget, my brother, to take care of these good deeds and this support from Allaah, and do not let them be wiped out by bad deeds.


So strive to cultivate goodness and happiness on your way, and to keep company with those who remain steadfast (in Islam), and to seek Allaah and His Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter, where it will be said to you, Receive glad tidings of Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious, for you responded to the call of Allaah; O seeker of good, continue, for Allaah has some people who will be freed from Hell, and O seeker of evil, desist. And you responded to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Whoever prays at night during Ramadaan out of faith and hoping for reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever prays at night during Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and hoping for reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”


I ask Allaah Who has blessed us and you with fasting, i’tikaaf, ‘umrah and charity to bless us with guidance, piety, and acceptance of our good deeds; may He help us to persist in doing good deeds and to remain steadfast, for persistence in doing good deeds is one of the greatest means of drawing closer to Allaah. Hence when a man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “Advise me,” he said, “Say, ‘I believe in Allaah,’ and remain steadfast.” (Agreed upon).


According to a report narrated by Ahmad, he said, “Say, I believe in Allaah,’ then remain steadfast.” [The man] said, “O Messenger of Allaah, all the people say that.” He said, “Some people who came before you said that, but they did not remain steadfast.” So the believers must continue to be steadfast in obeying Allaah:


“Allaah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allaah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allaah will cause to go astray those who are Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers), and Allaah does what He wills”[Ibraaheem 14:27 – interpretation of the meaning]


The one who is steadfast in obeying Allaah is the one whose du’aa’ will be answered, the du’aa’ which he repeats more than twenty-five times each day, “Guide us to the Straight Way” [al-Faatihah 1:6 – interpretation of the meaning], which we say in al-Faatihah. Why is it that we say and believe strongly that if we remain steadfast Allaah will forgive us, but we are too lazy to apply that in practical terms? We should fear Allaah and apply this in deed and thought and word. We should strive in the way of “ihdinaa al-siraat al-mustaqeem (Guide us to the Straight Way)”, and we should travel the route of “iyaaka na’budu wa iyyaaka nasta’een (You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything))” [al-Faatihah 1:5 – interpretation of the meaning], in the shade of “ihdinaa al-siraat al-mustaqeem (Guide us to the Straight Way)”, following the route that will lead us to Paradise the width of the heavens and the earth, whose key is Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah. I ask Allaah to grant us and you a good end.


After the end of Ramadaan, the people are divided into various types, two of the most prominent of which I will describe here. The first type are those whom you see in Ramadaan striving hard in worship. You never see them but they are prostrating or standing in prayer, or reading Qur’aan, or weeping, so much that they remind you of some of the worshippers among the salaf, and you even feel compassion for them because of the intensity of their efforts and striving.


Yet hardly has the month ended, before they go back to negligence and committing sin, as if they were prisoners of that worship, so they turn their attention to their desires and become negligent and commit sins which they think will take away their distress and grief. But these poor people forget that sin is the cause of doom, because sins are like war wounds, one of which may turn out to be fatal. How often has sin prevented a person from saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah when in the throes of death.


After spending this entire month with faith, (reading) Qur’aan and other acts of worship, these people then backslide, Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (there is no power and no strength except with Allaah). These are the occasional worshippers who only acknowledge Allaah on certain occasions or at times of calamity and distress, then after that there is no more obedience or worship. What a bad habit that is.


“The worshipper prayed for something that he wanted, and when the matter was done, he neither prayed nor fasted.” [Arabic poetry]


I wonder what is the point of worshipping for a whole month, if that is going to be followed by a return to dishonourable ways?


The second type are those who feel distressed at the departure of Ramadaan, because they have tasted the sweetness of being safe from sin, and the bitterness of patience became insignificant to them, because they came to realize the true nature of their weakness and need for their Master (Allaah) and their need to obey Him.

They fasted in a true sense and stood in prayer at night out of love, so when they bade farewell to Ramadaan, their tears flowed and their hearts were broken. Those among them who were burdened with sin hoped to be freed from sin and ransomed from Hell, and to join the caravan of those who are accepted. Ask yourself, my brother, which of the two groups do you belong to?


By Allaah, are they the same? Praise be to Allaah, but most of them do not know. The mufassireen said, commenting on the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):


“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘Each one does according to Shakilatihi (i.e. his way or his religion or his intentions)…”


[al-Israa’ 17:84] – every person acts according to his way or the character that he is used to. This is condemnation for the kaafir and praise for the believer.


You should know that the dearest of deeds to Allaah are those that are continuous, even if they are little. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O people, you must do whatever you can of good deeds, for Allaah does not get tired until you get tired. The most beloved of deeds to Allaah are those which are continuous, even if they are little. The family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when they did something, they would persist in doing it.” Narrated by Muslim.


When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about which deeds are most beloved to Allaah, he said, “Those which are continuous, even if they are little.”


‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was asked about what the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did and whether he used to do certain things on particular days. She said, “No, his good deeds were continuous. Who among you could do what the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do?” The acts of worship prescribed in Islam are based on certain conditions which must be fulfilled, like remembrance of Allaah, Hajj and ‘Umrah and their naafil actions, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, seeking knowledge, jihaad, and other good deeds. So strive to worship continuously according to your capability.

May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

From al-Da’wah magazine, issue no. 1774, p. 12 www.islam-qa.com

10:56 AM :: 0 Comments ::

muslimbychoice :: Permanent Link





What After Ramadan?

What After Ramadan?
Adapted from "Wa maadha ba`da Ramadaan", by Dar Al-Watan (120)

AlHamdulillahi wa kafaa, was-Salatu was-salamu `alaa `ibaadihi-lladheena Stafaa

We leave the blessed month of Ramadan, its beautiful days and its fragrant nights. We leave the month of the Qur'an, taqwa, patience, jihad, mercy, forgiveness and freedom from hellfire…


Have we fulfilled the requirements of taqwa and graduated from the Ramadan school with the diploma of the god-fearing?


Have we fought our souls and desires and defeated them, or have we been overtaken by our customs and blind imitations?


Have we performed our actions in a way that fulfills the conditions for receiving mercy, forgiveness and release from the Fire?


Many questions and numerous thoughts come to the heart of the sincere Muslim, who asks and answers with truthfulness.



What Have We Gained From Ramadan?


Ramadan is a school of iman and a 'stop to recharge one's spiritual batteries' - to acquire one's provision for the rest of the year...


For when will one take a lesson and change for better if not in the month of Ramadan?


The noble month is a true school of transformation in which we change our actions, habits and manners that are in variance with the Law of Allah 'azza wa jall. “Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [Ar-Ra`d, 11]


If you are from those who benefited from Ramadan, fulfilled the requirements of taqwa, truly fasted the month, prayed in it with truthfulness, and strove against you soul, then praise and thank Allah, and ask Him for steadfastness upon it until you meet your death.


Be not like one who has sewn a shirt and then destroyed it... Have you seen one who sewed a shirt or thawb, so when she looked at it, she liked it. Then she destroyed it pulling a thread by thread for no reason. What would people say about such a person?! Or have you seen one who earns a fortune trading throughout the day, then when the night comes, he throws away all that he earned, dirham by dirham. What would people say about such a person?!


This is the condition of one who returns to sinning and evildoing after Ramadan and leaves obedience and righteous actions. So after he was favored with the blessing of obedience and enjoyment of communicating with Allah he returned to the blaze of sins and evil actions. How evil are the people who know Allah only in Ramadan!


My dear ones,

falling short in one's commitment to Islam after Ramadan is manifested in many ways, including:


1 – Men leaving the five prayers in congregation, after they filled mosques for Taraweeh prayers, thus going to the masjid for recommended prayers and leaving obligatory ones.

2 – Return to musical entertainment, forbidden films, women displaying their adornment beyond that which ordinarily appears thereof, free mixing etc.


This is not thankfulness for blessings and favors, nor is it the sign of acceptance of one's actions, rather this is opposition to favors and absence of thankfulness.


These are from signs of one's deeds not being accepted – and Allah's refuge is sought – for one who truly fasts rejoices on the occasion of `eid, praises his Lord for helping him complete the fast, and remains fearful that Allah may not accept his fasting, just as the Salaf would continue asking for acceptance of their actions in Ramadan for six months after it.


From signs that one's deeds are accepted is that he or she has improved in his or her obedience to Allah `azza wa jall. “And remember when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” [Ibrahim, 7] Increase you in good, faith and righteous actions. So if the servant is truly thankful to his Lord, you will see him guided to more obedience and distanced from sinfulness. Thankfulness is leaving sins, as the early Muslims said.


“And worship your Lord until there comes you to the certainty [i.e. death].” [al-Hijr, 99]


The Muslim must continuously be in the state of obedience of Allah, firm upon His Sharee`ah, steadfast upon His Deen, so that he or she is not of those who worship Allah only during one month or only in one place. Rather, the believer knows that the Lord of Ramadan is also the Lord of other months, and that He is the Lord of all times and places, so he is steadfast upon the Sharee`ah of Allah until he meets Him while He is pleased with him. Allah ta`ala said, “So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah].” [Hud, 112] And, “So take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness.” [Fussilat, 6] And the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, “Say 'I believe in Allah', then be steadfast.” [Muslim]


-- If the fasting in Ramadan has ended, then there remains voluntary fasting, such as fasting six days in Shawwal, on Mondays and Thursdays, the three days in the middle of the month, the days of `Aashoora and `Arafat, and others.


-- If standing in prayer at night during Ramadan has ended, then there remains voluntary night prayer throughout the year. “They used to sleep but little of the night.” [Adh-Dhaariyaat, 17]


-- If the charity in Ramadan and zakat ul-fitr have ended, then there is the obligatory Zakat, and also there are many other open doors to charity, voluntary actions and jihad.


-- Reading of the Qur'an and contemplating it is not only for Ramadan, rather it is for all times.


Righteous actions are for all times and all places, so strive – O my brother and sister – and beware of laziness. And remember that it is not allowed for us to leave the obligatory actions or delay them, such as the five daily prayers on time, in congregation etc.


And do not fall into forbidden actions, such as forbidden sayings, food and drinks, or by looking at or listening to what is forbidden.


Be steadfast and upright upon the Deen of Allah at all times, for you do not know when you'll meet the Angel of Death. Beware of him taking you while you are in a state of sin. “O Allah, Who turns the hearts, keep our hearts steadfast upon Your Deen.”


I ask Allah to accept from us and you our fasting, our prayers and other righteous actions, that our condition after Ramadan be a better one, that the state of our Ummah improves, that we are granted honour and that we truly turn to our Lord…Ameen

Taken From: Islaam.com

10:44 AM :: 0 Comments ::

muslimbychoice :: Permanent Link





One day, our poor people will ask.

Monday, November 07, 2005

One day, our poor people will ask.
Wednesday 2 November 2005, by Tariq RAMADAN

The Essential Teachings of the Third Pillar of Islam

Zakât : understanding, definition and translation

With zakât, the third pillar of Islam, we first have a problem of understanding and subsequently one of definition. Very often zakât is presented as “alms” which has a prescriptive connotation (understood as an obligation) within the normal practise of the Muslim woman and man. At the same time, “alms” is ordinarily a voluntary gift. To bring together these two rather contradictory dimensions, some have translated the concept of “zakât” into expressions that try to encapsulate the two ideas: “legal alms”, “obligatory alms”, etc., sometimes the translators prefer not to translate the word at all.

These definitions are unsatisfactory for they do not allow for understanding the different aspects of zakât : because it is obligatory in the conscience of every practising Muslim, zakât is a tax to be deducted (according to a precise calculation) from her/his wealth. The nature of this tax is “social” for it is primarily intended for the poor and the needy people of the society (or to private and public charitable organisations). Lastly, it has a major spiritual dimension insofar as it purifies the human beings’ wealth as prayers purify their hearts and fast purifies they bodies. Zakât encompasses these three dimensions which we can render by the phrase: purifying social tax. This translation is not insignificant for it tries to circumscribe one of the major dimensions of the Islamic teaching: the profoundly spiritual nature of the individuals’ social conscience.
Foremost, this is an essential teaching and our usual approximate definitions or translations often cause us to lose the meaning of this major pillar of Islam. Furthermore, two other fundamental teachings must be pondered as to the concrete implementation of zakât’s deduction and distribution in the contemporary Muslim majority countries or in the West.

Priority to Proximity

When the Prophet (PBUH) sent an envoy to a tribe that had converted to Islam, he asked the envoy to teach them the five pillars of Islam. Speaking about zakât, he told him to explain to them that it had to be deducted from the money of the rich among them and distributed to “their needy people” (‘alâ fuqarâ’ihim). The ulamâ’, in all the schools of law and through the ages have, thus, always insisted on the necessity of spending the zakât locally first, for the poor and the needy people of the place, the locality or the society within which it has been collected. It is only when the local needs have been satisfied, or in exceptional situations such as natural catastrophes or wars etc, that the spending of zakât abroad can be done.

Not only does the zakât shape the social conscience of the Muslim but it also directs him/her towards his/her immediate environment in order to build this conscience by facing up to the difficulties and dysfunctions of his/her society, its poor or/and marginalised people. Zakât, unlike the voluntary alms (sadaqa) is first intended for the Muslims and our faithfulness to its teaching demands of us to observe what is going on around us, within our nearest spiritual community. This "priority to proximity” is fundamental: it imposes a requirement to know one’s society, to care about the state of the Muslims in one’s area, town and country.
We are very far from living up to this teaching today. In the majority of the Western societies, in the United States, in Canada, in Britain, in France as in Australia, one finds women and men who give zakât to charitable organisations in the Third World or to their countries of origin. They care very little about the situation of those who live near them and they are convinced they are doing right since those from “over there” are poorer than those from “around here”. The mistake consists in forgetting that the poor from around here have rights (haqun ma’lûm) over the rich from around here. Nothing prevents the latter from sending voluntary alms (sadaqât) to the deprived people of the entire world or to their countries of origin but they have an established duty, from which they cannot escape, towards the needy people of their country of residence: once again it is, before God, the rights of “their poor people”. One can but be sad, and sometimes disgusted, when observing how the Muslims care so little about the local realities: obsessed by the international scene and the situation of the Muslims “from over there”, they no longer see the reality of the education’s deficit, unemployment, social marginalisation, drugs, violence and prisons in their own society. Though the awareness of their brothers’ misfortune elsewhere is positive, per se, it has had the very negative consequence of making them very passive, neglectful and unaware of the appalling situation of brothers at their own doorsteps. This is a tragedy, an error and, in fact, a betrayal of the fundamental teaching of zakât.
The Muslim organisations have a great deal of responsibility in this failure since they have difficulty proposing programmes and priorities for the zakât’s collection and distribution at the local level, in the towns and the regions. A correct understanding of this dimension of zakât would shape the individual’s spiritual and his/her citizen’s conscience with which one understands that one has to be involved in one’s environment. This means one has to study it and to find the best, fairest and most coherent means to spend the purifying social tax in one’s own society, in Britain, France, the United States, Canada, Australia or elsewhere.

Towards Autonomy

The third teaching of zakât is no less important. The principle is not to keep the zakât’s beneficiary in a state of dependency that would make her/him a perpetually assisted-person of the spiritual community in particular and of the society in general. The whole procedure is in fact about assisting the needy people to get more autonomy: As early as the VIII Century ulamâ’ like Sufyân ath-Thawrî were noting the fact that the whole process was to help the zakât’s beneficiaries to reach a financial situation where it would be possible for them to pay the zakât (i.e. to get the nissab - the required minimum - as far as earnings is concern). To distribute zakât must be done with the intent to allow women and men to achieve financial autonomy; it cannot be “to help” them while maintaining them in an eternal state of assistance.

It is indeed what we witness everywhere within the Muslim communities. One distributes, one gives with no understanding and no vision for implementing a process towards financial autonomy of the beneficiaries. Distribution is punctuated, sporadic and chaotic and does not meet the minimal conditions of any long term social policy. Here again a lack of understanding, of creativity (as to new ways to use zakât), and sometimes laziness get the better of a real study on the ground: the very teaching of zakât is betrayed.

A consistent, reasonable and fair distribution of zakât would require us to know the specific situation of the people, the country’s legislations in social matters, the country’s systems of allocation and benefit and what are the rights (as to qualifying for benefits) of the poor and/or marginalised people, the abandoned women on their own, the unemployed, etc. The zakât’s distribution must be part of a comprehensive action plan that takes into account all the means provided by a specific society to move people from a state of dependence on assistance towards a state of autonomy. Thus, it is necessary to gather the ulamâ’ and specialists (of the national legislations and institutions), social workers and people working at the grassroots, in order to get a more holistic and explicit vision of the strategies to adopt according to the diverse social contexts. It is in fact by taking into account all that a specific society offers as to social policies, taxes and benefits that the zakât’s distribution meets its requirements: thus zakât can be presented and understood as a process towards financial autonomy. For some individuals, zakât can be a kind of a unique support within a transitory situation, for others it can represent part, or the whole, of a necessary capital intended to launch a small/local economic project; for others it would be a conditioned gift toward a specific agreed upon achievements, etc. The options are multiple but require a good knowledge of Islam (as far as the use of zakât is concerned) and of the national legislations as well as of the social realities and conditions at the local and national levels. All the options require in fact specialisation and creativity. One sees no such thing today and zakât in the mind of the great majority of Muslims has become a simple alms for assisting people and no longer what it was meant to be: a demanding tool serving an articulated philosophy of a comprehensive social policy. Not only the distortion is grave but it often appears that the current uses are deeply counter-productive.


A reflection on the third pillar of Islam shows us how far we are from meeting even bare minimum demands of a profound and intelligent practice of Islam. We respect the forms...less and less the content. It remains that one day, in a Life beyond this life, our neighbours, our poor people, the marginalised, the unemployed, the abandoned women with no income, our drug addicts, our delinquents will ask the Unique the unique question that matters: in the name of what faith have we been full of passive emotions for the oppressed around the world and so empty of respectful and active intelligence and attention for those who lived closest to us, in our neighbourhood, and who we did not see? It is indeed the only question that matters while one remembers that our Prophet (PBUH) never ceased to ask the Most Close to offer him “the richness of the heart” and “love for the poor people”. One must start from here: to learn again how to love, to learn again how to love the deprived people. Then one shall realize that to love them and to treat them as they deserve is very demanding and not so easy...when they are at our doorsteps. Are not this love and this respect the true and permanent jihad of the contemporary Muslim heart, mind and soul?

Taken from: Tariq Ramadan's Website

12:46 PM :: 2 Comments ::

muslimbychoice :: Permanent Link





The Manners of Companionship

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Manners of Companionship Shaykh Badrud-Deen al-Ghazzee (d.984H) [1]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Your life at the present moment is in between the past and the future.

So what has preceded can be rectified by tawbah (repentance),

nadam (regret) and istighfaar (seeking Allahs forgiveness). This is something

that will neither tire you, nor cause you to toil as you would with strenuous

labour. Rather it is an action of the heart."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Shaykh – rahimahullaah – said, [2]
Know O pious brother – may Allah make our affairs good – that the manners of companionship and good relationships are of various types, of which I will explain, such as will show the person of intellect the manners of the Believers and the Pious; and come to know that Allah the Most Perfect, the Most High has made them a mercy and helpers towards each other, which is why the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘‘The example of the Believers, in their mutual love and mercy is like the example of a body, if one part feels pain, then all of the body suffers in sleeplessness and fever.’’ [3] And he (’alayhis-salaam) said, ‘‘The Believer to the Believer is like a solid building, one part supporting the other.’’ [4] The Prophet (’alayhis-salaam) also said, ‘‘The souls are arrayed armies, so those who knew each one another before, will be friendly…’’ [5] So if Allaah intends good for His servants, He grants them companionship of the people of the Sunnah, righteousness and adherence to the Religion.; and keeps him free from the companionship of the people of innovations. The Prophet (’alayhis-salaam) said, ‘‘A person is upon the religion of his friend, so let every one of you look to whom he keeps as a friend.’’ [6]



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

‘About a person, do not ask, but ask about his companion;

Since every companion follows his friends.’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the manners of companionship:

GOOD MANNERS:


Good manners with the brothers, peers and companions, following the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) as he said, when it was said to him, ‘What is the best of what a person is given?’ So he replied, ‘‘Good manners.’’ [7]

MAKING ONE’S OPINION GOOD:

From the manners of companionship is behaving well regarding the faults that he sees of his companions, since Ibn Maazin said, ‘The Believer seeks excuses for his brothers, whilst the hypocrite seeks out their faults.’ And Hamdoon al-Qassaar said, ‘If one of your brothers commits an error, then seek ninety excuses for him, and if not, then you are the blameworthy one.’

COMPANIONSHIP WITH THE BELIEVERS:

To keep companionship with one whose Religion you trust and who is trustworthy, both inwardly and outwardly. Allaah the – Most High – says,

‘‘You will not find anyone who believes in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers, sons, brothers or their relatives. For such He has written eemaan (faith) in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit (proofs, light and guidance) from Himself. And We will admit them into gardens underneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allaah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. They are the Party of Allaah, indeed it is the Party of Allaah that will be successful.’’ [Sooratul-Mujaadilah 58:22]

FORMS OF COMPANIONSHIP:

For the Shaykhs and elders: with respect to service and to carry out their needs. For those of the same peer group and those of the ‘middle rank’: with sincere advice, giving what you have and being prepared to carry out their wishes. For the students and younger ones: by guidance, teaching of manners, carrying out what knowledge demands, guidance to the manners of the Sunnah, rulings concerning the matters of the heart, and to guide them to develop good manners.

OVERLOOKING MISTAKES:

From the manners of companionship is overlooking mistakes of the brothers and not reprimanding them. So al-Fudayl Ibn ’Iyaad (d.187H) said, ‘Chivalry is to overlook the mistakes of the brothers.’ Ibnul-A’raabee (d.231H) said, ‘Forgetting the harms caused by the brothers, causes you love of them to persist.’ So it is binding upon the Believer, that he avoids seekers of this world, since they will bring him down to the level of seeking it, and this will distance him from his salvation and it will distance him from remaining alert and being aware of it. Rather, he must strive hard in attaining the companionship of the good and the seekers of the Hereafter. Therefore, Dhun-Noon (d.245H) said to the one whom he advised, ‘Accompany the one whom you will be safe from outwardly, and whom – when you see him – it helps you in doing good and reminds you of your Lord.’

AGREEMENT WITH THE BROTHERS:

And from them is: not to differ much with the brothers, but continue agreeing with the brothers in those things allowed by knowledge and the Sharee’ah. Aboo ’Uthmaan said, ‘Agreeing with the brothers is better than showing compassion for them.’

LEAVING OF ENVY:

That he does not envy the signs of Allaah’s bounty upon them. Rather, he should be happy for that and praise Allaah for it, just as he would praise Allaah if it were seen upon him. Allaah – the Most High – censures the envious one,
‘‘Or do they envy men for what Allaah has given them from His bounty.’’ [Sooratun-Nisaa‘ 4:94]

The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘‘Do not envy one another.’’ [8]

TO KEEP A FEELING OF MODESTY:

That he has hayaa‘ (modesty and shame) at all times, as he – ’alayhis-salaam – said, ‘‘Faith (eemaan) has sixty or seventy odd branches, the most excellent of them is witnessing that none has the right to be worshipped besides Allaah, and the lowest branch is removing something harmful from the road, and hayaa‘ is from eemaan.’’ [9] He – ’alayhis-salaam – also said, ‘‘Hayaa‘ is from eemaan, and eemaan is from Paradise. Speaking obscenely is from coarseness and coarseness is from the Fire.’’ [10]

COMPANIONSHIP OF THE DIGNIFIED:

To accompany the one who he has a feeling of respect for, so that this prevents from acting contrary to the Sharee’ah. ’Alee (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said, ‘‘Enliven your feeling of hayaa‘ (shame), by sitting before those whom you feel shame. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said, ‘‘I have not been led into calamity except by accompanying those before whom I do not feel shame.’’

SHOWING HAPPINESS:

To have cheerfulness of the face, kindness of the tongue, largeness of the heart, outspreading the hands, withholding anger, leaving off pride, keeping people’s honour in mind and showing happiness at their companionship and brotherhood.

COMPANIONSHIP OF THE WISE SCHOLAR:

From good companionship is that he does not accompany except a Scholar, of a person who is mild, intelligent and has knowledge. Dhun-Noon – rahimahullaah – said, ‘Allaah has not disrobed any one of His servants or a robe better than intellect, and has not adorned him with a necklace better than knowledge, nor adorned him with anything better than mildness. And the completeness of that is taqwaa (fear of Allaah).’

GIVING SINCERE ADVICE:

Having a clean heart with regards to the brothers and advising them, as Allaah – the Most High – said,

‘‘Except he who comes to Allaah with a clean heart.’’ [Sooratush-Shu’araa 26:89]
Saree as-Saqatee (d.257H) – rahimahullaah – said, ‘One of the best manners of righteousness is having a good heart as regards the brothers and to give them sincere advice.’

NOT BREAKING PROMISES:

Since this is from hypocrisy, and he – ’alayhis-salaatu was-salaam – said, ‘‘The signs of the hypocrite are three: When he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it and when he is entrusted he acts deceptively.’’ [11] Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d.164H) – rahimahullaah – said, ‘‘Do not make a promise to your brother and then break it, so that love turns to hate.’

Footnotes:

[1] He is the muftee and faqeeh, Abul-Barakaat Badrud-Deen al-Ghazzee. For his biography, refer to Shadharaatudh-Dhahab (8/403-406) of Ibnul-’Imaad and al-A’laam (7/59) of az-Ziriklee.

[2] From Aadaabul-’Ishrah wa Dhikrus-Suhbah wal-Ukhuwwah (p. 9-20) with the checking and authentication of hadeeth based upon that of Shaykh ’Alee Hasan al-Halabee and also Shaykh Mashhoor Hasan Salmaan.

[3] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 6011) and Muslim (no. 2586), from an-Nu’maan Ibn Basheer (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[4] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 481) and Muslim (no. 2585), from Aboo Moosaa
al-Ash’aree (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[5] Saheeh: Related by al-Bukhaaree (6/369) with ta’leeq (suspension), from ’Aa‘ishah (radiyallaahu ’anhaa). It was connected by Aboo Ya’laa in al-Musnad (no. 4381) with an isnaad whose narrators are from as-Saheeh – as occurs in al-Majma’ (8/88) of al-Haythamee.

[6] Hasan: Related by Ahmad (2/303), Aboo Daawood (no. 4812) and at-Tirmidhee (no. 2484), from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by Imaam an-Nawawee in Riyaadus-Saaliheen (no. 174).

[7] Saheeh: Related by Wakee’ in az-Zuhd (no. 423), Ibn Hibbaan (1/427) and at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (1/147), from Usaamah Ibn Shareek (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Haafidh al-’Iraaqee in Takhreejul-Ihyaa‘ (2/157).

[8] Related by al-Bukhaaree (10/484) and Muslim (no. 2564), from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[9] Related by al-Bukhaaree (1/44) and Muslim (1/46)

[10] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (2/501) and at-Tirmidhee (no. 2077) with a
saheeh isnaad, from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[11] Related by al-Bukhaaree (5/289) and Muslim (1/76)


Taken from: Troid Publications

6:31 PM :: 0 Comments ::

muslimbychoice :: Permanent Link





Other Webrings:


This Muslim by Choice site, owned by Muslimbychoice is part of
The Muslims Webring.

| Previous | Next | RandomSite | ListSites |