The Ideal Muslim – Q&A


Following is the transcript of the Question & Answer session by Shk Muhammad al-Jibaly. (Link to the original video.)

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1) Is it true that if a person unintentionally misses the ‘Eid prayer they have to feed the poor person as compensation?

No, I don’t know of any proof for that. If you miss the ‘eid prayer you should make it up either individually or in jama’ah. [for more info refer to the Shaykh’s Festivals and Celebration in Islam]

2) In regard to praying fard prayer, if the time of Salah has arrived and I’m at home alone or should I wait for other members to come and join me in jama’ah or pray alone?

If you are a male and are in the vicinity of a masjid, within a kilometer away then you have to pray the jama’ah in the masjid and not at home. But, if you are far away from the masjid then you can pray in jama’ah or at home alone. That is if it’s not possible for you to join the jama’ah in the masjid then you can pray at home individually. But if you know that other members would come and join you then you can wait for them or if the time for prayer is about to get over then you should pray alone. This applies to women at home too. This applies for women at home too. The Prophet (saws) said, there are no three people in the desert or in a village or a town and they do not give Adhan and pray in jama’ah (when the time for Salah comes) but that Shaytan will overtake them. So, it’s very important to pray in jama’ah even if you’re not close to the masjid.

3) A few tips to be a strong Muslim.

It depends on what is meant by strength. That is to be strong in Aqeedah, then you should learn Islam and do Dawah, then your Aqeedah will keep increasing. But, if you don’t do anything then you will move backwards in your faith. The life on this earth is like water current, it doesn’t move in the right direction but in the direction Shaytan takes it. So, if a person stays still in this life without seeking ‘ilm and moving forward in faith then that person’s faith will decrease. The only way to save yourself is to work and move against the current. Be active in learning, implementing and spreading Islam.

4) Is it haram to kill an ant if there are too many of them?

If the ants are not harming you and are not bothering you then in that case there is no need to kill them because from the hadith we know that it is Allah’s creation and make tasbeeh of Allah but in case if they become pest and harm you then it is permissible to kill them.  For example, fire ants in Texas are very poisonous and one bite might make the foot swell.

5) In Ramadan if a person prays Taraweeh after Isha and after that he offers late night Tahajjud, then is it bid’ah?

Qiyaam of the night prayers starts after Isha and ends till before Fajr. Witr should be prayed at the end of the Qiyaam. But, if a person gets up in the night and wants to pray more qiyaam then he can do so but the witr shouldn’t be offered again.

6) How can we thank Allah swt in the most pleasing way to Him?

This can be done by obeying Him. Because that shows that we indeed submit to Him as a grateful slave should. If you’re truly grateful to Allah swt then obey Him.

7) Thinking of Hijab as only wearing a scarf on the head?

There is a lot of deficiency among the Muslims in the way they dress up, both men and women. Sometimes, men wear trousers that cover their ankles, tight clothes, t-shirts with bad writings on them etc. The clothes shouldn’t be tight that they reveal the awrah, or imitate the kuffar in their dress, hair styles, beard etc.

Women should not wear tight, revealing garments; they should wear a khimar which is wide enough to cover their shoulders and a jilbab that is wide enough to hide the shape of the rest of the body. [refer Shaykh al-Albani’s book Jilbab al-Marra al-Muslimah]

8) A man pronounces divorce three times all at once, is it a proper divorce?

No, because when a person says to his wife divorce three times in one sitting then that is not valid. It is a bid’ah because neither the Prophet (saws) nor the Sahabah did that. Umar (ra) was very harsh with one who divorced in such a manner. After a person divorces his wife once, like he says “I divorce you” one time, then she no longer is his wife unless he takes her back. So how can he divorce her for the second and third time at the same time, because for doing so he’ll have to take her back first? Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned strong proofs against this type of innovated divorce. A joke by Ibn al Jawzi, who said, “There was a man who had four wives and one of them made him angry for a silly reason and he said, “I divorce you”. All of the wives lived in the same house, so another wife heard this and said, “Don’t you fear Allah that you’re telling her that you divorce her for such a silly reason?”, so the man said, “Since you are defending her I divorce you too”. So the third wife said, “Are you crazy that you divorced two of your wives at the same time in one sitting?”, Then he said, “You’re defending them so I divorce you too”, So the fourth wife said, “I haven’t seen a crazier man than you, that you divorced three of your wives at the same time” So he divorced the fourth one too. His neighbor’s wife was hearing this conversation, so she said, “You’re the most stupid man that I’ve ever seen, that you are divorcing all of your wives for the silliest reasons” So, he said I divorce you also if your husband allows this. The woman’s husband then called out from inside, “I allow it” so this man got the title, “The one who divorced five women in one sitting”

9) Do you think that it it would be beneficial to change certain manners in Islam in order to attract many people through Da’wah?

What manners do you mean? If you’re talking about those ordained by Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saws), the Shari’ah, then we cannot change them for whatever reason. In Islam we don’t have a rule which says that “If your goal is good then whatever means you adopt to reach it would be fine” The means should be permissible. If the people refuse to accept Islam then we have to leave it up to them and not compromise on our religion. Like, you cannot say that, okay I’ll give up on my hijab for you to accept Islam or any other means that violates the Shari’ah. Our fixed values are fixed by Allah swt and we are not going to change it for anybody’s sake or for any reason.

10) My parents tell me that if we do certain actions like call out the Adhan in the house then we can drive away the Shaytan from the house. Is doing this by obeying them committing Shirk?

First of all, this is true. Prophet Muhammad (saws) said that Shaytan runs away by listening to the Adhan. But this doesn’t mean that you can give the Adhan whenever you want with reason or without reason. Adhan has specific times. So give the Adhan when it is time for the Adhan. The correct method to pray when the time for Salah comes, as the Prophet (saws) said to the man who didn’t know how to pray is, first give Adhan then give Iqamah. So even if you are praying alone first you can give the Adhan. It doesn’t have to be loud, you can say it for yourself or loud enough for it to be heard by people who are around you. No it is not Shirk if you do it so as not to anger them, unless they tell you do something that is forbidden.

11) How do you deal with a wife who doesn’t like your family members?

It depends on the reasons she dislikes them for. If it is for some Shari’ee reason that is if they do anything that is dislike by Allah SWT and if they disobey Him, like backbite, gossip a lot etc then it is okay. She has a reason to dislike them because they are going against the Commands of Allah SWT. In this case you have to tell your parents and family members that what they are doing is disliked by Allah (swt) and you should tell them what is right and also tell your wife that she too should help you in doing da’wah to your parents. On the other hand, if your wife dislikes them for any worldly reasons like wealth, property etc then that is wrong. In that case you have to educate her so that she knows that her live and hate should be for the sake of Allah SWT. You should make her understand and make her visit them and respect them, to bring them closer to each other.

12) When a woman has prayed the Jumu’ah prayer does she have to pray the Zuhr?

No, Jumu’ah replaces the Zuhr prayer both for a man and a woman. So if she has prayed the Jumu’ah Salah tehn there is no need to pray the Zuhr Salah.

13) If we lend money to a man, do we still have to pay Zakah on it?

Yes, you have to because it’s still your money. But there are two case here, first when the loan is a living loan that is you are sure that you’re going to get it back, in this case you have to pay Zakah on it or wait until you get all the money back and pay the Zakah on it all at once for all the years that you didn’t pay on it. Second, when you realize from the person’s situation, that you lend money to, that he’ll never be able to repay it to you then you do not pay Zakah because you may never get the money back. But if the man’s situation changes and he gives you the money then you have to pay Zakah for all the years that passed and you didn’t pay Zakah on it.

14) If someone mistreats us by cheating ect then can we do the same to them?

The Prophet (saws) said, “Do not betray the person who betrays you” He prohibited believers from being cheaters or deceivers, He said, “If a person cheats then he is not one of us” Allah SWT Says, “Let not the hatred cause you to be unfair to them” So, we are prohibited to cheat on others. Once a man told the Prophet (saws) that I have relative with whom I do good but they respond to me in a bad way so what should I do? The Prophet (saws) said that what you are doing is good and it is not harming you in any way but to it is harming them only. In other words do not worry about it.

15) When we hear the Prophet Muhammad’s (saws) name we say “saws” likewise is it compulsory on us to say “subhanahu wa ta’ala” on mentioning Allah’s (swt) name?

No, there are no texts that tell us to do so.  It is our obligation to send salaam on hearing the Prophet’s (saws) name but as for Allah’s (swt) name, He did not command us to do so. But any Dhikr that you do is highly reward-able without a doubt.

16) Is it compulsory to fast at the age of ten?

It becomes obligatory on a person to fast when he attains puberty. But on the parents it is compulsory on them to start training their children from the age of seven itself.

17) Can you work in old age care facility (where there are old people of both genders and you have to attend to them like give them shower etc) in Ramadan?

There is no difference between Ramadan and any other month. If a thing is prohibited, then it is prohibited whatever month it is.

It’s better to avoid it, that is giving shower etc, in any case if it involves opposite gender. But if one has to give them medication which they are incapable of doing themselves then the males should serve males and females serve females, same applies for shower etc.

The Ideal Muslim – Part 2


The following is the rest of the transcript of the lecture series titled “The Ideal Muslim” by Shk Muhammad al-Jibaly. Here’s the link to the first part.

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In Islam we are supposed to show good manners even towards animals.

The Prophet (saws) tells us a story of a woman who saw a dog who was about to die from thirst and there was no water around except for in a deep well in which it couldn’t get inside. So, the woman felt pity for the dog and brought water for the dog. [There are two similar narrations, one about a woman and the other about a man, in both the cases, Allah SWT got pleased with their behavior towards the dog and admitted them to Paradise]

The Prophet (saws) said, “For every living thing that you help or feed, Allah SWT will give you a reward”

“We were with the Messenger of Allah (saws) during a journey. He went to ease himself. We saw a bird with her two young ones and we captured her young ones. The bird came and began to spread its wings. The Messenger of Allah (saws) came and said: Who grieved this for its young ones? Return its young ones to it.”[hadith]

 Once the Prophet was with his companions, he saw a camel was making sounds indicating that he was sad. The Prophet (saws) asked who is the owner of this camel? One of the companions said, I am, Oh Messenger of Allah (saws). The Prophet then said, he is complaining to me that you beat him too hard, so be kind to it.

The Prophet Muhammad (saws) told us that once one of the Prophets was with his soldiers travelling and they stopped at one place. An ant bit him. So, he looked at his anthill and commanded his soldiers to burn it. So Allah SWT revealed to him, if one ant has bit you kill that one ant if you want, but you have killed a whole nation who does tasbih of Allah SWT.

There are many hadith that talk about al rifq bil hayawaan (dealing with animals).

Of the characteristics of a believer is that he deals nicely even with the inanimate objects, i.e the resources provided by Allah SWT.

Good manners towards the inanimate resources.

Allah SWT says, “Eat and drink but do not be excessive because Allah does not like those who are excessive”

It tells us that we should not be wasteful in our resources, not be wasteful in regards to other resources as well. Especially now we know that the resources are scarce and as the population of the earth is increasing the resources are becoming less and less. Being wasteful is not the way of a believer.

In an authentic hadith the Prophet (saws) said, “Do not be extravagant in using water even if you are at the brink of a river”

There is no need at all to be excessive in using our resources. The Prophet (saws) showed kindness in using these inanimate objects as well. There are many occasions from the life of the Prophet (saws) to illustrate this. For instance, while giving khutbah, he (saws) used to stand on a piece of tree stem in his masjid, some of his companions wanted to make something for him on which he could comfortably stand. So they made a mimbar for him. So when he started giving the khutbah on the mimbar, the companions report, the tree trunk cried like a baby until the Prophet (saws) got down and went to it and gave it a hug and calmed it down.

When he was standing on the mountain of Uhud with three of his companions, the mountain shook like an earthquake. So, the Prophet (saws) put his hand on it and said, “Be quiet O Uhud, because there stand on you a Prophet, a Siddeeq and two martyrs” He said, “Uhuddun jabalun uhibboona wa nuhibu” “Uhud is a mountain that we love and it loves us”

Conclusion:

A believer lives in harmony with all of the creation. If a person is with this attitude then he is an ideal Muslim. He fulfills the statement of the Prophet (saws), “I have only been sent to perfect the best of characters” the person who is like that will be among the best of people. And, the Prophet (saws) said, “The best among you are the best in character.” And, he also said, “al birru husnul khuluq” that mean, “Righteousness (al-Birr) is good manners”

He told us that those with good manners will be successful on the Day of Judgment. The most things because of which one would be admitted to Jannah is taqwa (piety) and good manners. Normally, good manners comes under Taqwa, but here the Prophet (saws) has mentioned both together separately in the same statement. This means that they have separate meaning. Taqwa means as we know it, and Husnul Khuluq means something specific of good manners, not the general good manners, but, dealing with others, other people, creation etc. This brings a person closer to the Prophet (saws) on the Day of Judgment. He said, “The closest to me in the sitting on the Day of Judgment are the people of good manners.”

A person with good manners will reach the level of a person who fasts the whole day and does qiyam the entire night. [hadith]

The person with good character is the most beloved to the Prophet (saws). The best gift a human being is granted is good manners. And, good manners are an indication of a perfect Eeman/ideal Muslim. The believers with the most complete Eeman are those with the best character.

Attaining Allah’s Love: Indeed Allah SWT loves good manners and He SWT hates the lowly manners.

How do we attain Good Character?

Good character can be achieved by the following steps:

1)      Knowing Islam – learning our Deen- To most people manners are not fixed. What were good manners a hundred years ago may not be considered the same today, because people follow an unfixed standard that changes with time, culture and other different factors. Whereas, good manners in Islam don’t change because they are based on Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Therefore, in order to move a step ahead in obtaining good manners we should always seek to know our Deen.

2)      Perseverance upon Good Character: That is, suppose we know that we aren’t supposed to get  angry and that hilm (tolerance) is better, but it’s our weakness that we cannot help getting angry, so what’s the solution? We follow the Prophet (saws). There are certain characteristics that are inherent in a person. But, it is possible to change such kind of wrong traits in a person, because Allah swt has blessed us with sabr (patience). He will help us to improve. Those who are patient and perseverant Allah Swt will reward them greatly.  Indeed knowledge is obtained by learning similarly to become tolerant is to be by at first faking it. Even though you might be boiling from inside you need to pretend to be tolerating whatever the situation may be. Then, gradually you’ll find yourself to be tolerant after trying.

3)      Learning the biographies of the Salaf and taking them as role models: This can also include learning lessons from the life and stories of the earlier Prophets (pbut), their seerah. For example, From Ibraheem (as) we can learn a great amount of good manners. [refer the Shaykh’s book Ibrahim, a nation and one man]. The Prophets are our examples and not the actors and other celebrities. And, after them the Sahabah, the tabi’een and the other followers. Their life will truly amaze us, subhanAllah! So, if we learn about them and see how they behaved then we’ll want to become like them, iA.

4)      Keeping the company of the righteous people: Try staying in the company of the righteous people as long as people. This will prevent us from wasting our time and getting into evil deeds. The worst companion is the T.V. Most people, both old and young,  waste their time in front of the TV. At an average five hours per day. This doesn’t even increase knowledge in the least bit. The tv is a negative source of information, it is corrupted. It does not benefit in fact harms and wastes a lot of time. The time can be utilized to read useful books or sit in the company of good people and share knowledge instead of sitting in front of the tv. The Prophet (saws) said, “A person will be upon the deen of his close friend”. If your Khalil is the tv then you’ll be thinking in an unrealistic way, in addition to the corruption that comes along with it. And, the Prophet (saws) said, “The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows.. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.”

The Ideal Muslim – Part 1


Assalamu’alaikum

In order to please our Lord by doing good deeds we must know what makes an ideal Muslim. The following is the first part of the transcript of Shk. Muhammad al-Jibaly’s lecture series titled “The Ideal Muslim”. And here’s the link to the rest of the transcript.

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An ideal Muslim is the Muslim who has a perfect character.

What was the only purpose with which the Prophet (saws) was sent?

  • To worship Allah (swt) alone. [verse- we didn’t create mankind and jinn…], [hadith- makarimal akhlaq]
  • People think that “makarimal akhlaq” only means good manners, but this is not the only thing. The most important element of good manners is in fact, to worship Allah swt alone.
  • Hadith of Yahya bin Zakariyyah – the 1st instruction Yahya was told to give was to worship Allah swt alone and not associate partners with Him. The example of the one who joins partners with Allah is like a man who hired a worker to work in his land and told him that whatever profit you make on my land, you have to give it to me. But, the worker would work and give all the profit to another man. So, the Prophet (saws) asked, who among you would like it that your worker acts like this? It is Allah swt who has created you and has provided for you, so do not join partners with Him.
  • Shirk is ill manners and Tawheed is the highest level of good manners. Whatever follows from Tawheed will all be good. So, when we say that the Prophet (saws) was sent to perfect manners, it means perfection in all regards. And, topmost in good manners for us, is worshiping Allah (swt) alone.

We honor Allah swt, we show respect to Him. Nuh (as) said, “ma lakum tarjuna lillahi waqara” “what is wrong with you that you do not show respect to Allah swt?” [Surah Nuh 71:13]. We are required to show proper respect. Part of respect is to obey Him, submit to Him, to live by His Deen, to avoid disobeying Him, and to avoid having Him see us doing acts of disobedience. As some of the Salaf said, “Istahi min Allah kama tastahi rajulil kabiri min kawmik” means, “Be more shy in such a way in front of Allah like you would be when you’re in the presence of an elderly person of your tribe” Allah swt deserves our respect more than anyone else. Good manners are first and foremost towards Allah swt. When a person says ashadu an la ilaha illa Allah (I testify that there is no god but Allah) and believes firmly in his heart that it is true and yet doesn’t pray, that means there is a contradiction. There is a broken link here.

The next level of Good manners is with the Prophet Muhammad (saws).

This is where the second part of the shahada comes. When we say that we believe in Allah (swt) and accept Muhammad (saws) as a messenger of Allah then it means that the Prophet should be completely obeyed. The Prophet (saws) said, “Thalathu man kunna fihi wajad bihinna halaawatal Eeman.” “There are three qualities; whoever finds with him will taste the sweetness and beauty of Eeman” [hadith]

The first one is:

–          Allah swt and His Messenger (saws) will be more beloved to him than anyone else. (This is good manners with Allah swt and His Messenger (saws))

There are many requirements for showing our love and obedience to the Prophet (saws).

“No, by your Lord, they will not accept you until they appoint you as a judge in all affairs.” [verse]. In matters of dispute, we should have the Prophet’s ruling as the final judge between us. We shouldn’t oppose it in any way.

Surat al Hujurat- first two verses also tell us of some good manners that we are supposed to exhibit towards the Prophet (saws). “La tarfau aswaatakum fawqa sawtin nabi”- In the presence of the Prophet (saws) do not raise your voice. After his death, that means that you do not favor your opinion over the opinion of the Prophet, which is submitting to his Sunnah.

Good manners in relation to all the humans, and in particular towards the believers.

Show a certain kind of love and support to the believer. And, stronger the believer in his faith, the stronger should our love for him should be. The second part of the hadith about the sweetness of faith: To love a person only for the sake of Allah (swt). So, when you see a person who is pleasing to Allah swt then you love him for that and not for his beauty, wealth, status etc. There are numerous verses in the Quran and the ahadith guiding us in this matter. For example in surat Hujurat, “let no group of people make fun of another group of people, that they might be better than them”, “do not speak in a way to harm another and do not use bad titles in dealing with others.” “Avoid a lot of doubt in regard to your Muslim brothers. Because most of the doubts are sinful, do not spy on each other and let not some of you backbite others. Does any of you likes to eat the flesh of his brother when he is dead?”

Unfortunately many Muslims partake in backbiting more than the Non-Muslims, when in fact it is prohibited in Islam. Also, in a hadith the Prophet (saws) when anyone of you backbites then he is giving some of his good deeds to the person he is backbiting about and if you do not have that many good deeds then you’d be taking the sins of that person. And this would be apparent on the Day of Judgment.

The Prophet (saws) mentioned similar things in other ahadith warning us. In regards business dealings, like offering higher price to a seller from whom another Muslim is buying for a lower price or marrying a woman for a higher mahr than another suitor who is willing to marry the same woman but for a lower mahr.

Therefore we learn from this that we are required to show good behavior towards a believer and this become more obligatory when the believer is more righteous. That is the more righteous a person the more good and respectful we have to be towards him because the Prophet (saws) said “ay yuhibbal marra la yuhibbu illah lillah” “Love a person for the Pleasure of Allah (swt)”

More proof for the above at the end of Surah al Mujadilah – whereAllah swt tells us about Hizbullah i.e. the believers and how they support each other and, also in the beginning of Surah al Mumtahinna, where Allah swt tells us that we should disown the believers and be kind to the believers. So we are required to be very kind and considerate in dealing with our fellow Muslims. If you hurt a righteous slave of Allah swt then He swt declares war with that person. It has great repercussions. Allah Swt says in a hadith qudsi “man ada li waliyyan faqad azantahu bil harb” “whoever shows hostility towards one of my close friends then I declare war against him.” And, when Allah swt declares a war against a person, then can it be that the person withstands this war? Even the entire world together will not be able to withstand a war declared by Allah swt. Allah SWT means it, it’s not a joke. So, as Muslims we have to be considerate while dealing with each other.

A perfect or ideal Muslim deals in a friendly and a kind way even with the non-Muslims.

This doesn’t mean that he should be loved as a Muslim is loved. For, the love shown for a Muslim is everlasting love, extending to the Hereafter. Whereas, a love based on a worldly reasons like beauty, wealth, etc any such love will not last till the next life but will turn into hatred. Because, Allah swt says “al akhillahu yawma izzin b’aduhum liba’adin adu’u illal muttakeen” Only love between the believers for the sake of Allah swt is everlasting, they will even be rewarded for it. As, the Prophet (saws) said, on the Day of Judgment Allah swt will say, “Where are they who love each other for my Glory? I will shade them under my Shade (i.e. under His Throne) on the day when there is no other shade.” This is alos mentioned in the hadith about the seven people whom Allah swt will shade on the Day of Judgment. So, our association with the non-Muslims cannot be based on such a love, but doesn’t mean that we won’t be concerned for their well-being. And, the greatest concern we have for them is their salvation. That is the great mission that Allah swt sent the Prophet (saws) which has been inherited by his ummah. That is to encourage the good and prohibit the evil. It is an obligation on us to do dawah, call them to Islam. And, the Prophet (saws) took this obligation most seriously. He was always so anxious to give them the message. This is our good character towards them. So, therefore we should do good to them, not cheat them or deceive them but always be good towards the. We should not say that since they are kuffar they do not deserve any respect from us and that they do not have any value and we can kill them or harm them.  Once at the time of the Prophet (saws) someone said something negative about the disbelievers then the Prophet (saws) reminded him that there was a time when you too were among them before you became Muslim. The best amongst you O Muslim are the children of the pagans. Abu Bakr ra, Umar ra etc had pagan ancestors. Therefore, it is wrong to think that the non-Muslims don’t have any rights over us.

We have to be fair in our dealings with them.

The story of the Jewish man, the Prophet (saws) was kind to him. Once when the boy became very sick, the Prophet (saws) went to meet him. He (saws) said; say the shahada and the boy looked at his father because he wanted to say the shahada out of love for the Prophet, his father realizing that he wanted to say this and that he was about to die, told his son to go ahead. And then the boy said the shahada and became a Muslim.

Even when some of his non-Muslim neighbors were unkind and rude to him, he did not do the same to them. Rather, he was kind to them in return and always in the hope that Allah SWT will guide them to Islam.

The Story of the Prophet’s (saws) journey to Taif.

So, if we want to do successful d’awah then we should show the Non-Muslims what a true Muslim is like. By our good manners, and good character and respectful behavior towards them we should hope to guide them to Islam.

 

Staying Away from Innovations


We shouldn’t deal with issues we have no knowledge about, because the hearing, the sight, the heart, what you think about, your niyyah will all be questioned. We don’t want to misrepresent the Deen of Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa. No one is perfect and no one is a scholar. So if anyone hears something that is said wrongly or if a weak hadith is narrated they have all the rights to speak up and correct me and not feel shy for whatever reasons. We all should cooperate with each other in righteousness, in fearing Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa. The Deen is Naseehah.

The famous statement of Imam Malik in which the man said to him “O Abu Abdullah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa says in the Qur’an “Ar-Rahman alal Arsh Istawa”, and the man asked, how did Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa rise over His throne?” and Imam Malik (rahimuhumullah) became very angry at the question to a point that his sweat began to drip down his brow indicating how serious the question was and how disturbed he was on being asked such a question. He gave the principle, that “al-Istiwa gayroo majhoo”l, that means the Istiwa is not unknown but how (the kaif) Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa rose is unknown and to believe in it is wajib (obligatory) and to ask about is an innovation. And he said get this man out of my majlis (gathering). Here, this principle can be applied to other of Allah’s Attributes also. Like, the heart of a person is in between the two fingers of Allah and he changes it as He Wishes. So to ask how Allah does that is wrong, we are required to only believe in it to be true. To question how Allah’s fingers are is an innovation. Similarly, how Allah descends down etc. It is a tremendously important aspect in Aqeedah (theology).

In a hadith, it is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to be silent most of the time and laugh less. It is from the Sunnah to speak less and whenever talking, talk beneficial things. The Prophet’s duty was to explain the message of Islam, which he did in the best way, as when he spoke, though he spoke little, there was a lot of barakah (blessing) in it. From some narrations we learn that his Jumu’ah khutbah (Friday sermon) would be smaller than the Jumu’ah Salah (Friday prayer), whereas now it is the opposite. The best Speech is the speech of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance with which the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent. We need to keep reminding ourselves that whenever we speak we should have something beneficial to convey like, giving naseehah, doing Dhikr of Allah, reminding people, pleasant things etc. Also, as we know that one of the things for which people will be punished most is the tongue, so we should always speak good or keep silent.

Omnipresence
Just as some people have the misconception that Allah is present everywhere (this concept is wrong because Allah is above all of His creation, He is transcendent), there are also some who believe that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is present everywhere, that he is “hadhir nadhir”. The Barelwis have this belief that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is omnipresent. This is attributing to him something that he is not. In Surah ale Imran, after mentioning about the birth of Maryam (peace be on her), about Zakariyyah (peace be on him) that whenever he would enter into the room he would ask “ya Maryam from where did you get this rizq (provision)”, she would say “this is from Allah”, all of these similar kind of narrations regarding the earlier Prophets and the earlier communities are from the matters of the Unseen as Allah says “This is from the knowledge of the Unseen that We reveal to you”. The point here is that if the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was everywhere, or that he was the first one to be created from the “Noor of Allah” or that he has knowledge of everything, Why would Allah Say, you weren’t there when the lots were drawn, nor were you there when they were arguing amongst themselves? Hence, this belief is a deviation and an innovation in the religion of Islam and a clear misguidance. Some people argue that he is hadhir nadhir for everything that is happening now, but this is clearly wrong, as we have ahadith (reports) and ayat (Quranic verses) that show that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was not, is not, has never been, will never be omnipresent or omnipotent, nor was or is any other human being. Only Allah is omnipotent that means has the power to do everything.

From the Ulema of the Barelwi – Tahir Qadri
There is a consistent pattern of taking ayat (verses) out of context. Even if the hadith is authentic, it is either misinterpreted or taken out of context. They have concept of the Prophet (peace be upon him) being created from the Noor of Allah, where is the daleel (proof) for that? No daleel, rather a fabricated hadith which is not acceptable. There is an authentic hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the place between my mimbar and my house is a garden which is from the garden of Jannah. So if you pray on that place, then you’ve prayed in one of the parts of the gardens of Jannah. We have to believe that. There are no virtues in specifically praying behind his grave, so if one can avoid doing that then he can, even though your niyyah (intention) is to not pray to him, but just so as to close the doors of Shirk. The barelwis give this hadith in support of their claim that Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) is created from the Noor of Allah.

What is the connection between this hadith and their false claims? Nothing! There is no link at all.

How can one even come up with that sort of an interpretation from the text of this hadith?! It’s not reasonable. They do takalluf and give the interpretation that if between his house and his mimbar is a piece from Jannah, and Jannah is Noor, Jibreel (peace be on him) came and took dirt from this area and since his house is on one side and the mimbar on the other he is created from the Noor of Allah. Makes no sense. It is all khurafaat. We love and honor the Prophet (peace be upon him) but not by doing excess in the religion, rather true love that which is exemplified in our actions by following the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Not just in our kalam. There is a thing in Arabic that is known as at-tamanni (to simply desire) and amani, Allah tells, “This religion is not based upon your wishful thinking nor the wishful thinking of the Ahlul Kitab (People of the Book)” If someone tells something about you that doesn’t mean that it is as they say, like if someone says that person will go to Jannah or that person will go to Hell, it won’t be as they say but according to what Allah wills. If a person claims to love the Prophet (peace be on him) by doing certain acts like being excessive in praising him and attributing to him divine qualities or by celebrating mawlid etc, it won’t work that way, his wishful thinking won’t avail him anything, in fact by doing innovation he would be disobeying Allah and His Rasool (peace be on him). Truly loving the Prophet (peace be on him) is believing in everything that he brought, doing what he commanded and keeping away from what he forbade, repenting for our sins and to practice our Deen (religion) to the best of our ability following the Prophet (peace be on him) and not being of the people who are just the people of tamanni (whishful thinking) or amani.

Q&A

1) You said that Mihrab is an innovation, but there is a mihrab in Masjid un-Nabawi?

The great scholar that we mentioned, Imam Malik; he was the Imam of Daar ul-hijrah, Madinah. Unlike many of the Ulama of his time, he didn’t migrate to other places, people came to him. Bukhari, Muslim, Imam Ahmad travelled all the way to Yemen, and other places and even other scholars of his time travelled to many places but he went nowhere and stayed only in Madinah. One of his opinions in his madhab was that something becomes halal or haram; something has a hujjah or daleel based upon the Quran, the Sunnah, Ijma, the statements of the Shabah and the practices of the people of Madinah. Some scholars rejected the last one whereas some accepted. Though, he proved his point logically. He asked a group of people of different backgrounds to get a sa’ measurement of something and so all the people did as he said. When they returned with their measurement of a sa’ (a unit of measurement used in those times) of something he compared it with a sa’ that he had which was from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which belonged to someone of his time. And, compared it with the sa’s that the rest had brought, all of them differed. So he said, this is the reason, I accept anything coming from the people of Madinah as opposed to other places.
The Turkish people held the last remnants of the khilafah (caliphate) of Islam. When they were in charge of Makkah and Madinah, they let a lot of things to happen; they let a lot of innovations to creep into the religion, a lot of Shirk. They were the ones who built the Qubba the green dome over the grave of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the dome cost money, and wastage of money is not from Islam, then what was the need of doing so? They also put the Mihrab in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) masjid; they also built the large extravagant mimbar, the elevated place for the muezzin, a form of social discrimination. Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) didn’t have a mimbar. One of the signs of the hour is that people will extravagantly beautify the masjid, when in fact the masjid should be simple so that the purpose will be best fulfilled.

2) Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah will send a reviver at the beginning of every one hundred years in order to revive the religion for the people” The word “tajdeed” or reviving itself means a kind of innovation, so what’s the correct interpretation of this hadith?

The one to be considered the first mujaddid in Islam was Umar ibn abdul Azeez. The hadith mentioned by the brother is an authentic hadith. To interpret it to mean innovation is a misunderstanding, because Allah mentioned in the Quran about the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said to the Quraysh, “I’m not the first messenger to come to the earth” Bid’ah is different. It is only one kind in Islam that is what is astray that a person innovates in religion in order to get closer to Allah. The reviver is sanctioned by Allah and we cannot look at it as an innovation. Whatever the Prophet (peace be upon him) said and did and commanded us to do is a part of the religion of Islam. An innovation is something new which was never sanctioned by Allah or the Prophet (peace be upon him) and is invented by any person which has no daleel for it, who has the intention of getting close to Allah thinking that his innovation will take him closer to Him. “Anyone who introduces anything in our religion will be rejected. “ [hadith]
There is nothing as bid’ah hasana or a good bid’ah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned the people saying, “Beware those who live longer, after me, you will see a lot of ikhtilaf (differences), so hold on to the Sunnah with your molars and beware of innovations”

Every innovation starts off small and grows into big. There is a narration that during the time of the companions, there were some people who were making dhikr with the pebbles, sitting in circles, so one man among them would say, say “Allahu Akbar” a hundred times, so the other men in the circle would say it counting till hundred, and so on. Abdullah ibn Mas’ood saw them and said, “What is it that you are doing?” He said, you people are doing innovation, either you are more guided than the Sahabah or you are on innovation. The people replied, O Abu Abdur Rahman, we only wanted good, we only want to get closer to Allah. He said how many people want good but they don’t hit the good? The narrator of the hadith said, “On the day when Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him), as the Khalifa (caliph), was fighting the Khawarij (a deviant group – not Muslim) he said they were those people who were counting the stones that day in the masjid” So, it started off with a pebble and ended up in a sword fighting the companions and telling bad about them. The celebration of the mawlid is a similar example.

3) Making the Adhan inside, why is it done in some places?

To do the Adhan outside is the Sunnah. To give the Adhan inside is what they call “tahseel al hasil”. The purpose of the Adhan is to call all the creatures to worship Allah. So when the muezzin makes the adhan, everything that hears it, rocks, birds, trees, ants, insects, every human being, Muslim and non-Muslim, everyone who hears the call of the muezzin will be a witness on Yawm al-Qiyamah (the Day of Judgment). There is a lot of reward in giving the adhan. So if one gives it inside then only the people inside would be able to hear it and it wouldn’t reach a large number of people so lesser witnesses. But in non-Muslim lands where the government restricts the Muslims from making the adhan outside or loudly then they are being forced to adapt to the circumstances or else they would be penalized, it would complicate the matter, dispatches and stuff that’s why in some places the adhan is made inside.

4) Is getting barakah (blessings) from the hair strands of the Prophet (peace be upon him) authentic?

I don’t believe that there are still remnants of the hair of the Prophet (peace be upon him). But, if it really is the hair of the Prophet (peace be upon him) then there is nothing wrong in getting barakah from it. Because the Sahabah (companions) use to seek barakah from the water of the Prophet (peace be upon him), from his sweat, his clothes etc. But we won’t go overboard in believing and doing anything related to that. Like, pay money to get it, miss Salah to stand in line to get it, or go overboard in believing that the strand of hair will take you to Jannah etc. But we know that the Sahabah did tabarruk with his belongings, but we know that his clothes are not remaining, his sandals are not there, his hair isn’t remaining so we should avoid believing that a particular thing belongs to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him). As for touching his grave, the partition that is put up, there is no barakah from that.

 – Transcript of the lecture “Staying Away from Innovations” by Shk. Abu Usamah At-Thahabi.

The Ideal Muslim Family


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Following is the transcript of Shaykh Alaa Elsayed’s lecture, “The Ideal Muslim Family.”

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What better Muslim family can be than that of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)?

He was the best father, the best husband, the best leader, the best Prophet and Messenger, the best son, the best neighbor, and so on.

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’alaa) says regarding a husband and wife, “…He placed between you affection and mercy…” (Surah ar-Rum 30:21)

How to make a family an ideal Muslim family? Why is it so important? It is the bed-rock of the Ummah. The household is what holds it together. If you want a successful family then you know that you should look for the best partner, that is, a righteous partner and together go back to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Number one Haqq for your children is to choose a righteous pious partner. If we stick to the teachings of Islam we will be successful in this life and the Hereafter but otherwise one will suffer in both the lives.

If any sister comes to me complaining about her husband, that he drinks, does alcohol etc then I ask her a simple question, “On what basis ukhti, did you say “I do” to this man?” It is all based on the person you choose. The Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that a man should be chosen on the basis of his khuluq and deen and amanah. The moral conduct, behavior, the religious background and the amanah (trustworthiness) should be looked at. The nature of woman is emotionally based. Men are physically based. So men will learn to love the woman they are attracted to and women will learn to be attracted to the man they love.

Most important in choosing a spouse is Deen (religion). Ibn Hajar al Asqalani has the opinion that the beauty and looks of a woman are given priority, but this doesn’t contradict the hadith of the Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

When Jibreel (‘alayhis salam) came to the Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with the revelation for the first time he was frightened and went to his wife Khadijah (radi Allahu ‘anha) saying “zammilooni” (“cover me”). A person at the time of difficulties goes to his best friend, whom he trusts the most. The Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) went to Khadijah (radi Allahu ‘anha), she was his wife and also his best friend! He found comfort in her. His married life with Aisha (radi Allahu ‘anhu) was also beautiful.

Man can’t express his emotions verbally so he uses materialistic possessions.

The Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “If a woman prays the five obligatory prayers and fasts Ramadan and she protected her chastity and is obedient to her husband, and there is no obedience of a creation in the disobedience of the Creator, on a day that is fifty thousand years were the Sun leaves its orbit and come close and people are drenched in their clothes, all the eight gates of Heavens will open for her saying enter through whichever you want.” (Narrated by Ahmad (1664) and others)

The Ambassador woman

A woman came to the Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said, “O men you have everything, if you perform Jihad you are rewarded, if you’re harmed you get rewarded if you die you die as a martyr, we stay at home looking after our children, what do we have in it?” So Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) looked at her and said, “Go back and tell the women folks that you being a righteous obedient wife to your husband and admitting his rights upon you is equivalent to everything that you mentioned and only few of you who do.” (Narrated by Adh-Dhahabee in Sayr A’laam An-Nubalaa)

The Bond of Love

When it comes to argumentation, never argue in front of your kids. When the wife of Imam Abu Hanifa asked him a question to which he gave an answer and she said, no you’re wrong that’s not the right answer. So the Imam said who will you believe? She said your student Abu Yusuf. So he went to his student Abu Yusuf and told him that my wife isn’t listening to me, but she says she’ll listen to you. So his student said, “Okay then Ustadh what is the question?” The Imam then informed him of the questions, then Abu Yusuf said, “Ustadh what is the answer?” He told him the answer. Then the Imam went back to his wife and said, “Here’s my student, Abu Yusuf. Ask him the question” She repeated the same question that she had given to Abu Hanifa and the student then gave the same answer that Abu Hanifa had given her. On which the wife said, “Ha kaza hakaza, that is the right answer” (LOL!!)

Umar (radi Allahu ‘anhu) was the only one who migrated in broad daylight saying, “Anyone of you who want your children to be orphaned and your wives to be widowed, and your mother to lose her son follow me” Not one single person moved. He was very brave. Men used to fear him because of his strength and physique (he was so tall that when he used to sit on a horse his feet used to touch the ground) At the time when he was the Ameerul Mu’mineen (leader) a man came to him to complain about his wife. Just as he was about to knock on his door, he overheard Umar’s (radi Allahu ‘anhu) conversation with his wife, she was giving him a hard time. So just as the man turned away and was starting to walk, Uamr (radi Allahu ‘anhu) opened the door and asked him to come inside. The man said, “I came to you to talk about my wife but I heard what was going on” So Umar (radi Allahu ‘anhu) said, “My wife looks after my whims and desires, she looks after my food and clothes, looks after the house, the kids etc etc……,” then he told the man, “have patience and deal with your wife nicely.”

So this is the rahmah, the mercy, compassion, the love that both the spouses should have between each other!

Raising Kids

All of us want our kids to be the best, exceptional. Ali (radi Allahu ‘anhu) said, “Do not raise your children the same way you were raised because they are growing up in an age different than yours.”

Speak their language, understand their situation. Give them love and care.

The Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as a father and as a grandfather, used to hug his grandsons, Hasan and Husayn. While praying, if they used to be on his back he would prolong his Sujud. (subhanAllah!)

A boy goes to his father who has just returned from work and is tired and asks him, “Dad, how much do you make an hour?” The father gets angry and says, “Get away from me.” The boy gets upset and walks to his room crying. The man realizes that he did wrong by screaming at his son so he goes to his room and says, “I’m sorry son. I make ten dollars an hour”. So the boy says, “Here dad, I’ve saved these ten dollars. Can I have one hour of your time?”

Fatimah (radi Allahu ‘anhu) cried when Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was breathing his last, because he wasn’t able to get up. When she would come he would get up, kiss her on her forehead and give her his place. That’s the bond they had between them!

Towards Parents

A letter written by a mother, who is writing to her own son,

O my son, so many years ago I had heard a great news when I heard from the doctor that I was pregnant. It becomes a burden I breathe heavily, I eat forcibly, I turn with difficulties, I get up with anguish, I move with pain, as you grew so did my love to you and there came a night O my son that I saw death with my own eyes. I went through the labor pain. I forgot all that when I saw that beautiful face smiling. I had sleepless nights so that you could sleep, I went hungry so that you could eat, I went thirsty to quench your thirst. My only goal was to see you happy, I smiled when I saw you smiling, I cried when I saw you crying. You grew into to a beautiful young boy, I remember the first time you spoke, I remember the first time you went to school, I remember the time you graduated. Now you’ve grown, become a strong man, looking for a wife, so I ran right and left looking for the wife you were looking for and I did find her but only to miss that son that I had. It only made me think and question myself what sin have I made, what mistake have I committed, that the one whom I’ve raised with my own hands treat me like his friends, come see me once in a while. I will not raise my hands towards the heaven and complain to my Lord because it will be answered and it will pain me because I still love you. But my son be careful because the gray has started to show in your hair and one day we will meet in front of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’alaa) and one day you will be writing this letter with your hands to your own son. O my son come back before it’s too late.