Thursday, July 23, 2009

Al Isra Wa Al Miraj

Glory be to He Who carried His servant by night, from the Holy Mosque to the Furthest Mosque, the precincts of which We have blessed. So that We might show him some of Our signs. Surely He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. ----Sura al-Isra' (17:1)


It is said that Al-Israa and Al-Mi'raj took place on Rajab 27th (exact date is NOT confirmed), of the 10th year after revelation. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) made dua'a (supplication) to Allah (SWT) about the grief and humiliation he went through. Here it was how this happened.

Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him was depressed and rejected. His beloved wife Khadija (ra) a source of comfort and support had died. His uncle Abu Talib his second father, a pillar of strength who defended him against the vicious attacks of his enemies, had also died. His mission to Taif was unsuccessful. He tried to invite people to Islam, but in hateful and humiliating retaliation, they had sent their children after him, throwing rocks on him until his shoes filled with blood. Indeed, and this is when he made his most famous call (Du'a) to Allah:

"O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness, my scarcity of resources and the humiliation I have been subjected to by the people. O Most Merciful of those who are merciful. O Lord of the weak, and my Lord too. To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility, Or, to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair? So long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your favor is of a more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descends upon me. I desire Your pleasure and satisfaction until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You."

He said that after he got stoned and the blood was running down onto his feet... how... beautiful. And with this du'a it is said that the heavens shook. It was truly a Year of sadness.

It was in this context that the Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) was taken up to the heavens in a miraculous journey known as Al-Isra Wa Al-Miraj . This took place on the 27th (app) day in the month of Rajab, about 620 AD, when he rose in the middle of the night to visit the Sacred Mosque in Makkah. After a time of worship he fell asleep near the Ka'aba. The angel Gabriel came to him and woke him from his slumber.

Allah (swt) sent the prophets as a mercy to the slaves and supported them with miracles to indicate the truthfulness of their message. Of all the prophets, our Prophet, Muhammad (saws) was blessed with the most miracles and Al isra wa al miraj are among the many miracles.

Before the Prophet took this night journey, the ceiling of the house in which he was staying was opened, and angel Jibril (A. S.)descended. He cut open the chest of Muhammad (saw) and washed it with Zamzam water. Then he emptied something from a container into the chest of the Prophet (saw) to increase his wisdom and to strengthen his belief. This was done to prepare the Messenger of Allah for what he had yet to see in Jannah.


After the Prophet performed his Isha salat, Jibril (A. S.)came to him with a white animal, slightly larger than a donkey yet smaller than a mule. This animal is the buraq,--one of the animals in Jannah. Jibril (A. S.)held the buraq by his ear and told the Prophet to mount it. When the buraq was mounted, the Prophet (saws) set forth.

The buraq is a very fast animal; the length of the buraq's stride is even further distance one's eye can see. The Prophet and Jibril (A. S.)arrived to a land with palm trees. Jibril (A. S.)told the Prophet to dismount and pray, so the Prophet dismounted the buraq and prayed two rakas. Jibril (A. S.)asked him, "Do you know where you prayed?" and the Prophet answered, "Allah knows best." Jibril (A. S.)told him, "This is Yathrib; this is Taybah. "." (These are two names for the city of Madinah.) Before the Prophet emigrated to al-Madinah, it was called Taybah and Yathrib. It earned the name al-Madinah after the Prophet emigrated to it.

The buraq continued with the Prophet and Jibril (A. S.)until they reached another place. Again Jibril (A. S.)told the Prophet to get down and pray. The Prophet dismounted there and prayed two rakas. Jibril (A. S.)informed the Prophet of the name of that place; it was Tur Sina'.

Once again the buraq took off with the Prophet and Jibril (A. S). It stopped, and the Prophet dismounted and prayed another two rakas. This was in Bayt Lahm, where Prophet Isa was born. Then the buraq continued with the Messenger of Allah until they entered the city of Jerusalem. There the Prophet went to Masjid al-Aqsa. Outside was a ring used by the Messengers of Allah to tie their animals. The Prophet tied his buraq to this ring. Then the Prophet entered the masjid where Allah assembled for him all the Prophets--from Adam to Isa. There was no place to set a foot. They all came especially to welcome Muhammad (SAWS). All the prophets stood aligned to pray. They were waiting for what Jibril (A. S.) had to say. Jibril (A. S.)told Muhammad (SAWS) to lead the prayer and they all prayed two Raka'a(s). This is an indication that Muhammad (saw) is higher in status than all the rest of the prophets.

1- On Prophet Muhammad's journey from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, Allah enabled him to see some of His wondrous creations. Allah enabled the Prophet to see the Dunya like an old woman. But this old woman was wearing a lot of jewllery, but underneath you can see the reality of the world.

2- Allah enabled the Prophet to see Iblis. The Prophet saw something on the side of the road that did not dare to stand in his way or speak to him. Originally, Iblis was a believer and lived with the Malaikah in Jannah. When Allah ordered the angels to prostrate (sujud) to Prophet Adam (as), Iblis was ordered to prostrate to him as well. The angels prostrated to Adam in obedience to Allah, because angels do not disobey Allah. Iblis, however did not obey. He said, "You created me out of fire, and You created him out of clay. How do You order me to prostrate to him?" So this objection by Iblis to the order of Allah was the first blasphemy he committed.

3- On his journey, the Prophet (saw) smelt a very nice odor. He asked Jibril (A. S.)about this pleasant scent and Jibril (A. S.) informed him this beautiful smell was coming from the grave of the woman who used to comb Pharaoh's daughter's hair. This woman was a pious believer. One day, as she was combing Pharaoh's daughter's hair, the comb fell out of her hand. She said, "Bismillah." Pharaoh's daughter asked her, "Do you have a god other than my father?" The woman said, "Yes. My Lord and the Lord of your father is Allah." Pharaoh's daughter told her father what happened. Pharaoh demanded this woman to leave Islam, but she refused. Pharaoh threatened to kill her children. He brought a huge pot of water and built a massive fire under it. When the water was boiling, Pharaoh brought her children and started to drop them into that pot one after the other. Throughout all this, the woman remained strong to Islam. When Pharaoh reached her youngest child--a little boy still breast feeding-- she felt saddened for him. Allah enabled this child to speak. He said to his mother, "O Mother, be patient. The torture of the Hereafter is far more severe than the torture of this life, and do not be reluctant, because you are right." The woman requested Pharaoh to collect her bones and the bones of her children and bury them in the same grave. Pharaoh promised that he would—he then dropped her into the boiling water. She died as a Mujahida. The good odor the Prophet smelled was coming from her grave and is an indication of her high status.

4- The Prophet also saw people whose lips and tongues were clipped with scissors made of fire. Jibril (A. S.) told the Prophet, "These are the speakers of sedition (fitna) who call people to misguidance."

5- He also saw a bull that exited a very small door; the bull was then trying to return through that small opening. Jibril (A. S.)told the Prophet, "This is the example of the bad word--once spoken, it cannot be returned."

6- The Prophet saw people grazing like animals, with very little clothing on their private parts. Jibril (A. S.)told the Prophet, "These are the ones who refused to pay zakat."

7- The Prophet saw the Malaikah smashing some people's heads with rocks. These heads would return to the shape they were, and then the angels would smash their heads again--and so on. Jibril (A. S.) told the Prophet, "These are the ones whose heads felt too heavy to perform prayer--the ones who used to sleep without praying."

8- On his journey the Prophet saw people who were fighting to eat some rotten meat--ignoring that there was fresh sliced meant nearby. Jibril (A. S.)told the Prophet, "These are people from your nation who leave out that which is permissible, and consume that which is forbidden (haram)." This was in relation to fornicators, the ones who left out the permissible (marriage) and committed sins (fornication).

9- Also, the Prophet saw people who were drinking from the fluid coming from the bodies of the fornicators, (water mixed with blood). Jibril (A. S.) indicated to the Prophet these were the ones who were drinking the alcohol which is prohibited in this world.

10- The Prophet saw people scratching their faces and chests with brass finger nails. Jibril (A. S.) said, "These are the examples of those who commit gossip (ghibah)."


After the Prophet took this night journey from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, he ascended to the heavens. The Prophet ascended to the heaven on stairs, called al-mirqat, one step is made of gold and the next of silver, and so on. The Prophet walked up these stairs until he reached the first heaven. When the Prophet and Jibril (A. S.) arrived at the first heaven, Jibril (A. S.) requested the gate to be opened. The angel guarding that gate asked Jibril (A. S), "Who is with you?" Jibril (A. S.)answered, "It is Muhammad." The angel asked Jibril (A. S), "Is it time for him to ascend to the heaven?" Jibril (A. S.) said, "Yes." So, the gate was opened for him, and Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) entered the first heaven.
There, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) saw Prophet Adam. To Adam's right, the Prophet saw some bodies, and to Adam's left, other bodies. If Adam would look to his right he would laugh, and if he would look to his left he would cry. Adam was seeing the souls of his descendants. Those on his right were his descendants who would die as believers and those on his left were his descendants who would die as non-believers.

Then the Prophet ascended to the second heaven. In this second heaven was where Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) saw Prophets Isa and Yahya. Isa and Yahya are cousins; their mothers were sisters. They welcomed the Prophet and made dua' for him for good things. The Prophet ascended to the third heaven, where he found Prophet Yusuf. Prophet Yusuf was extremely handsome. Allah bestowed half the beauty on Yusuf. Yusuf received the Prophet with a warm welcome and also made dua` for him for good things.

Then the Prophet ascended to the fourth heaven, where he found Prophet Idris. In the fifth heaven, the Prophet saw Harun, the brother of Prophet Musa. In the sixth heaven, he encountered Prophet Musa. Each of these Prophets received Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) with a warm welcome and made dua for him for good things.

Then the Prophet ascended to the seventh heaven, and that is where our Messenger saw Prophet Ibrahim. Prophet Ibrahim is the best of the prophets after our prophet, Muhammad. The Prophet saw Prophet Ibrahim with his back against al-Bayt al-Mamur. To the people in Jannah, al-Bayt al-Mamur is like the Kabah to us. Every day 70,000 malaikah go there; perform their worship and leave. The next day another 70,000 angels go, come out, and never return. This will continue until the Day of Judgment. This shows us the great numbers of angels, every day there are 70,000 malaikah entering and leaving and not be able to have another turn. Their numbers are far more than all the humans and jinns together.

The prophet (SAWS) saw scenes as he ascended. He saw men and women in front of whom there was an edible and attractive dish of meat, but they abandoned it and ate foul meat instead and they went on devouring it. The Prophet (SAWS) asked Jibril (A. S.) who they were and he replied, "These are the adulterers; they leave the halal (permissible) good meat and eat foul haram (sinful) meat instead." Bear in mind that this is not their punishment in Hell; but rather their punishment after their death only.

The Prophet (SAWS) also saw as he went on people in whose mouth balls of fire were crammed. He asked Jibril (A. S.) who they were and he answered, "These are the ones who steal the property of orphans unlawfully". This is clear in the ayah where Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "Surely the ones who eat the riches of the orphans unjustly, they surely only eat (up) Fire in their bellies and will roast in a Blaze"? (4:10).

The Prophet (SAWS) also heard the Jannah's sweet voice as it addresses Allah saying, "Oh Lord, where are my dwellers? I have prepared silk, trees water, myself and plants are in abundance. Where are my dwellers?"

The Prophet (SAWS) also saw people with brass nails with which they scratched their faces and chests. He asked Jibril (A. S.) who they were and he answered, "These are the ones who gossip about people in their absence and whose speech disgrace a woman's honor."

The Prophet (SAWS) and Jibril (A. S.) kept ascending, until they reached a point where Jibril (A. S.) stopped. That was the farthest place Jibril (A. S.) was allowed to reach; it was the Lote-Tree (The Tree of the End) which means the top or the point that creatures do not go beyond. No creature, be it an angel, a jinn, or a human, can walk beyond this tree. Jibril (A. S.) said, "If you walk further, you will penetrate, but if I walk further, I will incinerate." The Prophet (SAWS) said that Jibril (A. S.) at that moment looked more like a moth-eaten carpet from fear of Allah. Imagine Jibril (A. S.) so humble and modest out of Allah's fear. Prophet (SAWS) only saw Jibril (A. S)'s real physical appearance twice; once in the cave of Hiraa', and once that day.

In the seventh heaven, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) saw Sidrat al-Muntaha--a very big tree of sidr. Each of the fruits of this tree was very large. The leaves of this tree are similar to the ears of the elephants. Sidrat al-Muntaha is an extremely beautiful tree. It is visited by butterflies made of gold. When these butterflies gather on this tree, its beauty is beyond description.

Then the Prophet (saws) entered Jannah and saw examples of how the people of Jannah would live. Most of the people in Jannah were the poor people on earth.

The Prophet also saw Malik, the angel in charge of Jahanam. Malik did not smile at the Prophet when he saw him, and the Prophet asked why. In answer to the Prophet's question, Jibril (A. S.) said, "Malik did not smile since the day Allah created him. Had he smiled for anyone, he would have smiled for you."

In Paradise, the Prophet saw some of the bounties Allah prepared for the inhabitants of Paradise. He saw the Hur ul-In: females Allah created who are not humans or jinn. They are in Paradise and will be married to those men Allah willed them to marry.

The Prophet saw the wildan ul-mukhalladun: creations of Allah who are not human, jinn, or angels. They are a very beautiful creation of Allah whose appearance is like laid-out pearls. They are servants of the inhabitants of Paradise. The least in status of the People of Paradise will have 10,000 wildan ul-mukhalladun to serve him. Each one of them would carry a tray of gold in one hand and a tray of silver in the other hand.

The Prophet saw the Throne (Arsh), which is the ceiling of Paradise. The Throne is the largest creation of Allah in size; Allah did not create anything bigger in size than it. The seven heavens and the earth in comparison to the Kursiyy, are like a ring thrown in a desert, and the Kursiyy in comparison to the Throne, is like a ring thrown in a desert. The seven heavens and the earth in comparison to the Throne are like a seed of mustard compared to the ocean. Allah created the Throne as a sign of His Power. Then the Prophet ascended beyond Paradise. He reached a place where he heard the creaking of the pens used by the angels who are copying from the Preserved Tablet.

It is at that location Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) heard the Kalam of Allah, which is an attribute of the Self of Allah. He heard the Kalam of Allah which does not resemble our speech. It is not a letter after letter or a word that comes after another word. Rather, it is an attribute of Allah which is eternal and everlasting. It does not resemble our attributes. It is an attribute of Allah, and it does not resemble the attributes of the creation.

The Prophet (SAWS) said that he reached a place where he could hear the s****ing of pens as they wrote the destinies of mankind. There is a great controversy among scholars whether Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) saw Allah (SWT) or not. The Prophet (SAWS) himself does not mention any details on this subject. The Prophet (SAWS) got there and Allah (SWT) said to him, "Muhammad! I have enjoined on your Ummah fifty prayers daily."

The Prophet (SAWS) said, "Then the prayers were enjoined on me: They were fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Musa (AS) who asked (me) to make supplication (dua') to his Lord to ease the obligation of fifty (50) prayers, because his nation could not handle that. Musa said, "I have experience with the people of Israel, and I know your nation cannot bear that." So the Prophet asked Allah to lessen these prayers for his people. Five prayers were eliminated. Once again, Musa told the Prophet to ask Allah to lessen the number of prayers. Allah did. Nine times the Prophet made dua to Allah to lessen these prayers--until these prayers were 5 Obligatory Prayers.

Prophet (SAWS) also saw our houses in Jannah. He says that the houses are made of blocks of gold and silver, the cement that sticks them together is made of pure musk, the pebbles are pearls, and its ceiling is Allah's throne. Imagine that wherever you look up from your house, you will see Allah's throne. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was once asked who the lowest classes of the Jannah dwellers will be. He said that they are those who could walk in their properties for a thousand years without reaching their boundaries. Then, he was asked who the upper classes were, so he said that they are the ones who see Allah's face day and night.

After he the Prophet (SAWS) saw Jannah, he descends to the Buraq wall and then he was brought home to Makkah. Some scholars said the Prophet's journey took about one-third of the night. He then said that his pillow was as warm as it was when he left it, as if the trip was short. The next morning, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) woke up depressed and confused; he did not know whether to tell Quraysh about his journey or not, as the Surah explaining it was not revealed yet. Abu-Jahl walked near him and asked him what was wrong. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) started telling him what happened. Abu-Jahl then decided to seize the opportunity to ridicule the Prophet (SAWS) and his message and asked Prophet Muhammad (SAW) whether he would repeat the same story if he crowds the dwellers of al Ka'ba to which the Prophet (SAWS) agreed. For the very first time, Abu-Jahl started to gather people to listen the Prophet (SAWS) who narrated what happened with confidence. However, the people kept clapping their hands as a sign of disbelief mockery and saying, "We need a month to get there and back, and you are claiming you have done all this in one night?" They said to Abu Bakr, "Look at what your companion is saying. He says he went to Jerusalem and came back in one night." Abu Bakr told them, "If he said that, then he is truthful. I believe him concerning the news of the heavens--that an angel descends to him from the heavens. How could I not believe he went to Jerusalem and came back in a short period of time--when these are on earth?" At that, the Companion, Abu Bakr, was called "as-Siddiq"--because of how strongly he believed all what the Prophet said.

The people of Quraysh tried to challenge the Prophet (SAWS), asking him to describe the Aqsa mosque to them. At that moment, the Prophet (SAWS) somehow could not recall exactly what it looked like. Therefore, Allah (SWT) showed it to His prophet in a revelation and he started describing it to them as he saw it. In defiance, the people of Quraysh asked for another sign, to which the Prophet (SAWS) said that he saw a convoy on the way from the Aqsa mosque to Makkah, and that it was going to be late because some of their goods were stolen. Soon after that, what the Prophet (SAWS) foresaw actually took place, but the people of Quraysh falsified his testimony and claimed that it was only magic.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Qadar" Pre - Destination And The Responsibility Of Man

It has been reported, that the Messenger of Allah (saws) once found the companions arguing about Qadar. He forbade them from indulging in such a debate and told them that communities before them had been destroyed for that reason.
However, by the grace of Allah (swt), our pious predecessors were able to understand the issue and form a moderate view based on equity and justice. In their understanding, the issue of Qadar and Qada stems from the Unity of Allah's attribute of Cherishing (Tawhid ar-Rububiyah).

This is one of the three kinds of Allah's unity:
1. Unity of Divinity (Tawhid Al-Ulahiyah), which is to direct all forms of worship to Allah alone.
2. Unity in the matter of the Lordship of Allah (Tawhid ar-Rububiyah), which means to believe that all creation, sovereignty and planning belong to Allah (swt).
3. Unity in the matter of Allah's names and attributes and that these names and attributes are exclusively for Allah (swt). (Tawhid al-Asma was-Sifat).

Imam Ahmed has said:
"Qadar (pre-estimation) is the power of Allah. It is one of the secrets which no one except. Allah knows, as it has been recorded in the well-guarded tablet. We do not know what Allah has destined, either for or against us of concerning all his creation, except after the event has occurred or has been told by the Prophet himself."

The actions done by all the creatures that have the power of will.

"These actions are a consequence of their efforts and their choice, a power that has been given to them by Allah. He thus says in the Qur'an: To whoever among you wills to go straight....."
Quran 81:28

".....Among you are some that hanker after this world And some that desire the Hereafter......."
Quran 3:152

Man knows very well the difference between what he does from his own free will and what he does because of external force. The person who reaches safely the bottom of a flight of stairs knows that this is because he walked down carefully. However, if he is pushed down from the top, he has no power over how he lands at the bottom. The first instance is an example of choice: the second is clearly one of compulsion. Similarly, a person who suffers from incontinence of urine knows that the urine is passed without his will and that if he did not have this illness, he would be able to control the discharge. The difference between the two requires no further explanation.

It is a mercy of Allah that there are certain actions, which are in the voluntary power of the individual but are recorded as if they are not, and so he is not held answerable for them, eg. actions done out of forgetfulness of during sleep. Allah says in the story of the People of the Cave:
".....And we turned them on their right and on their left sides......"
Quran 18:18

The men themselves are turning over, but Allah Almighty attributes their movements to Himself, since a sleeping person has no control over his actions.
The Prophet (saws) said:
"The one who forgets while fasting and eats or drinks, he should complete his fast because Allah is the one who feeds him and gives him the drink."

Thus, actions done in a state of forgetfulness are also treated as if the person is acting outside his own will and are attributed to Allah Himself.
If we were to agree with the first group mentioned earlier (those who give Man no free will whatsoever), we would be distorting the facts. We would not be able to praise someone for his good actions or castigate someone who voluntarily does wrong, because we would have attributed all their actions to the will of Allah. Another dangerous implication of this argument is that the Almighty behaves unjustly if He punishes the disobedient and rewards the good, as He alone is the source of all these actions. Not only is such reasoning nonsensical, but contradictory to the Quran itself:

"And His Companions (angels) will say: "Here is (his Record) ready with Me!" (And it will be said): "Both of you throw (Order from Allah to the two angels) into Hell, every stubborn Disbeliever (in the Oneness of Allah, in His Messengers etc.) "Hinders of Good, transgressors, doubters, who set up another ilah (god) with Allah, cast him in the severe torment. His Companion (Satan -devil) will say: "Our Lord! I didn't make him transgress. But he (himself) was far astray." He will say: "Dispute not with each other in My presence: I had already in advance sent you warning. The Word changes not before Me, and I do not the least injustice to My servants."
Quran 50:23-29

Almighty Allah, clearly states that the punishments He inflicts are not cruel but just, since He has already warned His creatures and sent them guidance. He has clearly defined the two paths of piety and disobedience, just as He has defined the consequences of following each path. Man thus has total freedom to choose either path, remembering that if he opts for the path of disobedience, he will not have the excuse to offer Allah on the Day of Judgment. and remember this are the words 0f imam Ahmed and not my words . may Allah bless us with knowledge and wisdom . Allah and his messenger knows best .

Monday, June 9, 2008

Unity and Brotherhood in Islam

As a yardstick and criterion in our lives, Islam has given us a clear definition of unity and brotherhood and how it can be realized and implemented. The uniting factor is the `Aqeedah (creed) of Islam which defines the belief of a Muslim. Unlike other bonds (nationalistic, patriotic, etc.) which are superficial, animalistic, reactive, emotional, and completely devoid of a real solution for life’s affairs, the intellectuality of the ideological bond of Islam unites man irrespective of their race, nationality, and other factors which are irrelevant when it comes to bonding on an ideological creed.
Allah in the Qur’an describes what is unity in Islam as the Mu’minoon (Believers; those that believe in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad) being united in a Brotherhood based on solely Islam:
“The Mu’minoon are but a single Brotherhood.” (The Holy Qur’an, 49:10) Allah further defines this Brotherhood by explaining that Muslims are awliyyaa’ (allies, friends, supporters) of one another, and this again is based solely on Islam:
“The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin the ma`roof (all of Islam), and forbid the munkar (all that is evil; kufr): they observe regular prayers, pay Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.” (The Holy Qur’an, 9:71)
Muhammad (Salla Allahu `alaihi wa sallam) indicated in several Ahadith on unity and brotherhood as we can see in his (saaws) Farewell Sermon (khuTbat ul-wadaa`):
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”
Other Ahadith further elaborate on the concept of unity and brotherhood: "A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not oppress him, nor does he leave him at the mercy of others." (Sahih Muslim Book 032, Number 6219)
The Prophet said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself." (Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12)
As the teachings of Islam clearly show us that Brotherhood and unity in Islam are based solely on the `Aqeedah of Islam (which is the foundation of Muslim belief). The Mu’minoon are believers to one another and this belief has nothing to do with race or any other type of invalid reason to unite but is rather a bond based on an ideological belief in Islam.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Misconceptions about Qadar

Many Muslims believe that what they are going to do is caused by what has already been written in Al-Lauhulmahfudz - they confuse 'causation' with 'association'. In truth what we have is association, not causation. What we do is not caused by what is written by Allah. Allah with His ultimate knowledge knew what we are going to do. He could easily have put the good-doers into Jannah and the evil-doers into the Hellfire. But Allah is Adil (Just) so He created us in this life as to test us which way to go. What we are going to do will match what has already been written but it's not a matter of causation - what we do is out of our own willingness and ability and we do have full responsibility on whatever choice we make.
Looking at guidance and misguidance, guidance (hidayah) is a gift (rahmah) from Allah. It is Allah who created us and gave us the mind so we can distinguish between right and wrong to a certain capacity. It is Allah who equipped us with fitrah to like the truth and good and to dislike the wrong and evil It is Allah who gave us the ability and power to do things and it is Allah who sent the Messenger with the Message to guide us in things, which are beyond the reach of our conception. So when it comes to guidance it is a bounty from Allah.
But when it comes to misguidance, it has to do with us. When we do bad deeds, it is from our own willingness and ability.
Those who turn away from guidance do so because they want to turn away, i.e. they choose not to be guided. They have been misguided because they are arrogant - they refuse to listen.
And so when they swerved from the right way, Allah let their hearts swerve from the truth.[Surah As-Saff (61): ayat 5]
Nevertheless there are people who have not received the Message of Islam/guidance at all or the Message has not reached them in the clearest form, i.e. it is incomplete or distorted. These people are called Ahlul Fatrah and will be excused and not be punished, even though there are misguided.

Controlling The Tongue

Among Allah's blessings upon man is that He made him a thoughtful and sane being and created a tongue for him... The Messenger of Allah [s] says: "Blessed is the man who speaks good and is triumphant; or keeps silent in the face of evil and is secure".[11] Among Allah's blessings upon man is that He made him a thoughtful and sane being and created a tongue for him. He made him able to utter sounds and clarify what he wants through the words which he speaks. He has only to speak to let people know what he wants.
Thus, we should thank Allah for the blessings which He bestowed upon us. We should use our speech in useful ways; not to speak but goodness. For example, if we are in a meeting or a gathering and want to speak with people, or any discussion comes up then we should first think what we want to say and choose which words to use. If we can offer useful counsel to people or offer advice, we should speak in such a way to make others want to listen.
Hence your words will be acceptable to Allah and the people because your speech is beneficial in guiding towards goodness or reconciling people, or teaching useful knowledge, and will increase the love of people to each other.
If we say a word of goodness we will get Allah's reward and the love and respect of the people and so we will be triumphant. As our glorious Prophet Muhammad [s] says: If man is not able to say something useful, he should keep silent from bad words and his silence will keep him far from Allah's wrath and from the harm which might befall him as a result of saying bad words. Whoever does evil deeds to people, people will surely confront him with evil too.
And certainly, if you speak bad words it may cause you problems and harm and make you regret and wish you had kept silent and had not spoken.
Consequently, our Holy Prophet Muhammad [s] educates us with good manners saying: Either you speak a useful and good word, or be silent which is better for you than speaking evil words.
In Summary Among the best characteristics of a Muslim is to speak only the words of goodness and reconciliation.It is better to remain silent if you cannot speak the word of goodness.Whoever does not keep a check on his tongue will regret it.For those who do good is good (reward) and even more than that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Recipients of Zakat:

If a person does not fall into any of the following categories, then they are prohibited from receiving zakat. These people include the wealthy; the strong and healthy that are capable of working and earning; unbelievers- fathers, sons, and wives; the family or descendents of the Prophet, sallallaahu wa alayhe wa sallam, namely Banu Hashim.

These people do not have anything, so they are in need of asking others for food and clothing. Such have the right to ask and receive zakat. Others hold that these are those who may have some their basic needs. Allah says, "But he has made no effort to pass on the path that is steep. And what will make you know the path that is steep? (It is) freeing a neck (slave), or giving food in a day of hunger to an orphan near of kin, or to a miskeen afflicted with misery. [90:11-16]

These people may have money, but it is not sufficient for their basic needs. Others have stated that these people have nothing. Allah says, "If they are Fuqaraa (poor), Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty". [24:32]

3. ZAKAT COLLECTORS: These are persons that the authority employs to collect the zakat. The authority gives them a fee for their work, which includes, collecting, recording, guarding, dividing and distributing the zakat.

General opinion is that this term embraces every kind of struggle for a righteous cause. including expenditures of toward the propagation of Islam and for all charitable purposes.

5. THE DEBTORS: Debtors are those people burdened by debts because of personal needs or social necessity; such as the person who borrows to spend on himself and his family. This person is given zakat if he does not have enough money beyond his basic needs to repay his debt. However, for the one who borrows money for a social necessity; such as spending on an orphan, reconciling between Muslims, or renovating a masjid or school; then he may be given zakat to repay his debt. This holds true even if he is wealthy according to sound opinion of the jurists.

6. WAYFARER: The wayfarer is the traveler stranded in a foreign land and is in need of money to achieve his objective or return to his own country. This person can receive zakat, if the purpose for traveling were lawful. If the purpose were unlawful, then he should not receive any moneys from zakat because it would help him in his sins. Allah warns us, "Help one another in righteousness and piety, but do not one another in sins and transgression. [5:2]

7. FREEING CAPTIVES: This shows that zakat can be paid in order to buy a slave and then free him or her. These slaves become free, capable of worshipping Allah, and then can become useful members of the community. The fact is in these days, the slavery, in form of buying and selling human being, does not exist. However majority of people living in poor countries suffer from economic slavery at the hand of many local landlords, rich industrialist, and multi-national corporation that exploit natural resources. We believe zakat can be used to give these oppressed people temporary relief along with essential resources to acquire training, equipment, and material (for example small business can be created through small loans).

8. ATTRACTING HEARTS: Zakat is also to be paid to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined towards Islam or to prevent the harm of non-Muslims residing within the Muslim state. Scholars have agreed that this type of zakat should be considered whenever there is a need for it. We often see people who embrace Islam become detached form their families and are sometimes deprived of a source of income. These people have the right to receive zakat to protect themselves from harm and to make their faith firm.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power)

There is night in the month of Ramadhan which is better than a thousand months (83 years, 4 months). This night is called Laitatul Qadr.
According to Hadith, this night occurs during the last ten days of Ramadhan on one of the odd numbered nights. Usually it is celebrated on the 27th night of this holy month. It is a night of great importance and enormous blessings for Muslims.

A night such as Lailatul Qadr was not granted to any religious community (Ummah) before Muslims. Only the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were favoured with a night of huge reward. Once reason, it was granted, was to enable Muslims to equal the worship of any people who lived before us. In the distant past it is said that people lived very long lives of hundreds of years. We, today, live much shorter lives. And so Allah gave us Laitatul Qadr to enable us to do as much worship as a man who lived even hundreds of years longer. If in a lifetime, you only worshipped on Lailatul Qadr ten times, you would have equaled in those ten nights 833 years of worship.
Signs of Laitul Qadr
There are some signs that reveal which night is Laitatul Qadr.
The night will be peaceful, neither hot nor cold, with a clear moon shinning but with no rays.
There will be no shooting stars in the night
At sunrise the sun will rise as just a disc without and radiant beams of light.
One companion of the Prophet reported that on Laitatul Qadr he tasted sea water and it was sweet.