The Story of Hajj

Long ago about 5000 years ago, in a faraway place called Ur in Iraq, a child was born whose name was Abraham or Ibrahim. He was so gracious, tender-hearted and of pure in faith that Allah gave him wisdom when he was still a child. Allah was so pleased with him that he made him His best friend.

When Abraham grew up, he became a great prophet, and preached the truth and God’s message in his country. Later he traveled to Syria, Palestine and Egypt.

When a beautiful son was born to his wife Hagar, he was ordered by Allah to travel towards Mecca along with his wife and the little child, whose name was Ishmael or Ismail. They all traveled for a long time till they reached a lonely, barren valley, near two small hills called Safa and Marwa. Abraham asked his wife to stay near one of the hills along with the little Ishmael, and started to go away. But his wife protested "Why are you leaving us alone here? Are you leaving us here to die?"

But Abraham replied, "My Lord has commanded me to do this." Then Hagar, breathing a sigh of relief, said: "If Allah has ordered you to do so, then He will not let us die."

After a while, baby Ishmael began to cry for want of water. But there was not a single drop of water to drink. Hagar ran helplessly from one hill to another, but there was no water, nor any human being to give her water. As the baby was crying desperately with thirst and the mother was running from one mountain to another, Allah caused a miracle—a spring gushed forth beneath the feet of Ishmael.

When Hagar saw this from a distance, she shouted "Zam-zam (stay, stay!)." Hagar came running and gave some fresh spring water to the thirsty child to drink. And so his life was saved. This spring later on became famous as Zamzam.

Ishmael and his mother begin to live in the valley and because of the Zamzam spring more people gradually came to settle in the valley, slowly building up a small town, which was later called Mecca.

From time to time Abraham would visit Mecca to meet his family, especially to see his young Ishmael, growing up in the beautiful surroundings of nature—in a lovely valley surrounded by hills, away from the crowded city—away from people of the city who at that time were mostly idol-worshippers.

One night, Abraham dreamt that he was sacrificing his son, Ishmael. This was an order from his Lord. His son was still a child, but Abraham told him about his dream. Ishmael was a brave boy. He was ready to obey the command of God, who had created him. So, without hesitating, he said to his father, "Do what you are commanded, father. Godwilling, you will find me one of the steadfast."

Abraham took his son away to sacrifice him. As he reached a place, which is now known as Mina—a valley near Mecca—Satan appeared and tried to dissuade him. Abraham picked up a few small stones and threw them at Satan.

As Abraham took a knife to sacrifice Ishmael, Allah sent the angel Gabriel (Jibril) with a ram. "Sacrifice this ram. Do not sacrifice Ishmael," said Gabriel to Abraham. Allah was so pleased with this act—the readiness of Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, that He commanded the believers to observe this day as Id al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice. Every year Muslims sacrifice an animal in remembrance of the great act of Abraham.

Ishmael grew up a strong and loving youth. Abraham and Ishmael were ordered by Allah to build the House of God—the Kabah in Mecca. Both took stones from the nearby hills and started building the Kabah. As they laid the foundation, they prayed, "Our Lord, accept this from us! You are the All-hearing, the All-seeing." They also prayed for a prophet to be born in their family who would teach wisdom to the people and purify their faith. Their prayer was answered many years later, when the Prophet Muhammad was born to their descendants.

Abraham was ordered by God to clean the Kabah for those who come there to pray, and to call people to Hajj: "Call all people to make the Pilgrimage, they shall come to you on foot and on the backs of swift camels; they shall come from every deep ravine."

And so Allah made it obligatory for every Muslim male and female to go for Hajj once in a lifetime, provided their means and health and wealth. Since then believers from every part of the world go to perform Hajj to fulfill the command of their Lord and to remember the great act of the Prophet Abraham.

Zakatul Fitr & Eid

The rulings of Zakaat al-Fitr

Praise be to Allah, Who has endowed us with the legislation of Islam and prescribed for us such kinds of worship as to attain nearness to Him. We praise Him for making fasting and optional night prayer easy for us. He rewards those who observe them with faith and anticipation of His good reward and forgiveness of sins.

I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, with Whom there is no associate. To Him all glory and honour are due. I testify that Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is His servant and Messenger, the best of worshippers of Allah and the best of those who observe Prayer, fasting and pilgrimage. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions and those who will follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

O people! Fear Allah, glorified is He. Contemplate on your affairs, what you have done in this honourable month (Ramadan) whose end is approaching. It will be a witness, either for or against you, depending on the deeds you have done in it. So, hasten to make use of its remaining days through repentance and asking Allah’s forgiveness and doing good deeds and saying good words, so that you may make up for what have lost in previous days because of negligence and carelessness.

The days of this month have been occupied by fasting, remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Noble Qur’an. Performing obligatory and optional night Prayers has illuminated its nights. The affairs of the righteous have been on the optimum level of worship. These honourable nights and blessed days, however, have come to an end, as if they were an hour in a day.

How great is the grief for these days and nights in which carelessness and negligence were obvious. We ask Allah to bless the remaining days to make up what we have lost and to conclude it by offering us forgiveness, emancipation from the Hellfire and to return it again with safety and faith.

O Muslims! Your Lord has prescribed for us certain kinds of worships to be observed at the end of this month, with which we can increase our faith and perfect our worship. By the end of this month Allah has ordained for us Zakaat al-Fitr, Takbir and Eid Prayer. Zakaat al-Fitr has been prescribed by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) as a Sa’ of food, dried dates, barley or any other kind of food. Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet prescribed Zakaat al-Fitr as a Sa’ of food [above 2 kg]. Whenever these kinds of food are good for the poor it is better to pay Zakaah from them.

Give it willingly of best quality since you will not get the reward except by expending of that which is dearest to you. Thanks to Allah, it is a small amount, which is obliged once a year. Why is a Muslim not desirous of the good, which is better in the sight of Allah and more in reward? He is allowed to give this Zakaah to more than one person and to give more than one Zakaah to one person because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) prescribed it as one Sa’ but he did not specify the amount to be paid.

This indicates that the matter is open to the tradition of people. Therefore, if a family used to gather their Zakaah in one container from which they give the poor without measuring, there is no harm but they should tell the person they give, lest he should pay it as Zakaah on behalf of himself. Zakaat al-Fitr is due upon every Muslim, whether young or old, man or woman. Pay it on behalf of yourself and on anyone for whom you are responsible of wives and relatives. It is not due upon the pregnant but it is better to pay Zakaah on her behalf.

It is better to pay it on the day of Eid al-Fitr before the Eid Prayer, if it is easy for you. You may also give it a day or two before the Eid, but not earlier than that. It should not be delayed until after the Eid, except for an excuse, such as the case of sudden announcement of the advent of the Eid or he believes that there is no harm to pay after the prayer. It is not allowed to be paid to anyone other than the poor or his deputy. It must be paid to the poor or to his deputy because it is lawful for the poor to assign a person to be his deputy to receive Zakaah on his behalf.

If you want to pay Zakaah to any person and you fear that you might not be able to see him when paying it, let him assign a person to be his deputy to receive it or to assign you as his deputy to be with you as a trust until you meet him.

As far as Takbir is concerned, Allah ordains it. Almighty Allah says: “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also Clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (Al-Baqarah: 185).

Eid Prayer

You should recite Takbir right from the sunset of the day preceding the Eid day until Eid Prayer. Recite Takbir in mosques, homes and streets. “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar la ilaha illal-lah, Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-hamd” (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, to Allah all praise is due). Say this with loud voice as a sign of glorification of Allah and highlighting of Islamic rituals. Women, however, should recite Takbir quietly.

As for the prayer, the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) ordered all people even women to perform it, so go out for the prayer whether men, women, young or old. Women should go out neither applying perfume nor disclosing their ornaments. However, menstruating women should keep away from their Musalla (place of Prayer) because this place is regarded as a mosque. As to men, they should go out perfumed, wearing the best of their garments after taking a bath.

According to the Prophet’s tradition (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), one may eat three, five or any odd number of dates before getting out to perform Eid Prayer. Some women may be aware of the announcement of Eid but refrain from breaking their fast except at the place of prayer. This action has no basis in Shari’ah, rather they should intend breaking the fast once they get the announcement of Eid because keeping fast on this day is prohibited.

May Allah guide us.

Seeking Laylatul Qadr

This is known as the Night of Decree. It has a special merit and is described in the Quraan as follows:

1. 1,000 Months

Verily! We have sent it (this Quraan) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree), And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] by Allahs Permission with all Decrees, Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.” (Al-Qadr 97:1 - 5)

Therefore, worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months! Which is about 83 years and 4 months! This is probably longer then most of us will even live! So which of us will be crazy enough to waste this opportunity?

2. Quraan Revealed and Decrees sent down

We sent it (this Quraan) down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. Amran (i.e. a Command or this Quraan or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers), (As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Ad-Dukhan 44:6)

How blessed must the night, the Quraan was sent down, be?

There are two things perhaps its worth pointing out though. We all known that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was given the Quraan is segments:

And those who disbelieve say: "Why is not the Quran revealed to him all at once?" Thus (it is sent down in parts), that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. (It was revealed to the Prophet SAW in 23 years.).” (Al-Furqan 25:32)

And (it is) a Quraan which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages. (in 23 years).” (Al-Isra 17:106)

So if that the case, how could the Quraan have been revealed during Laylatul Qadr?

Muslims also believe in something known as the al – Lawh ul – Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet). In this, Allaah recorded everything that was going to happen in the future, Since Allaah has infinite knowledge and well aware of our future actions. This same books has all the decrees and is described in the following narration:

Narrated Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As (may Allah be pleased with him): I heard Allahs Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, as His Throne was upon water.” [Saheeh Muslim, Book 033, Number 6416]

And it is Narrated Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit said, “O my little son, you will never find the taste of Eemaans reality until you know that whatever caught you would not have missed you and what missed you would never have caught you.

I heard Allaahs Messenger say: “Indeed the first thing which Allaah created was the pen and He told it to write.

It asked: O my Lord, what should I write?

Allah said: Write the destiny of everything until the Final Hour comes

O my little son! I heard Allaahs Messenger (peace be upon him) say, “Whoever dies believing in other than this is not a true follower of mine.” [Sunan Aboo Daawood, vol. 3, p. 1317, Number 4683 and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albaanee in Sharh al - Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, p. 264 and in as-Silsilah, vol. 1, no. 207]

Therefore, when people say it was written in your Destinty, they are referring to the above book.

So on laylatul qadr, the Quraan was revealed from this book.

When is the Night?

Narrated Aishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): Allahs Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan." [Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 234]

Therefore, it could be 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th. Some narrations indicate its on the last seven days and others say 27th. However, its best to seek it on all the odd nights (only 5 days!) and perhaps you will be rewarded for a lifetime!

One thing to note, we start our nights at maghrib. So, if today is the 20th fast. However, the prayer of tonite is the 21st. If you recall, we startd taraweeh the night before fasting. Also, when the moon is sighted at the end, we dont pray taraweeh the night before Eid.

How should one approach and benefit from this night?

1. Stand in Qiyaam

Qiyaam means standing and Qiyaam ul layl means standing at night. Its basically the night prayer and has other names such as: tahajjud, taraweeh, etc.

Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven ." [Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 231]

Ideally, you should go and pray Taraweeh in the Mosque and complete the prayer with the Imaam, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever stand in prayer with the Imaam until he (the Imaam) concludes the prayer, it is recorded for him that he prayer the whole night.” [Sunan Aboo Daawood, Sunan at – Tirmithee and others. Its chain of narrations is authentic. See Irwaa ul – Ghaleel, Number 447]

However, if you are unable to, then pray it at home.

Remember, make sure that you have made wudoo correctly, your clothes are clean, the area you are praying is clean and that you pray in a moderate pace and recite correctly. Its ok if you cant recite big soorahs, its the intentions that counts.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.”

[Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1]

4. Make Dua

There was a sheikh who said when he was 12, he thought to himself, if Allaah will give us anything on this night, what are the main things I really wish for. He made a list of about 6 and asked for them every night (in the last ten days). He said 2 years later he had memorized the Quraan

So similarly, Look into your lives and see what it is you need to make them complete. Make your list, then after your Witr prayer, raise your hands up and ask Allaah, from the bottom of your heart, what it is you want. Also, cry if you can, and if you cant, then make yourself cry. I know it sounds strange, but once you break that shell around your heart, you will become more sincere.

Also, its Sunnah to say the following Dua:

"Allahumma innaka
afuwwun tuh ibbul afwa
fa fu annee

(O Allah! You are forgiving,
and you love forgiveness.
So forgive me).

Remember, ask for whatever you wish, but dont forget to say for forgiveness, because the last place we all want to end up is in Hell…

Just incase you’r not sure what to ask for:

· Forgives for yourself, your family and the who muslim nation (ummah)

· Guidance to the straight path

· Purification of mind, body and soul

· Knowledge of the religion

· Wisdom

· The best of the world and the next

· A righteous spouse

· Paradise

· Etc etc

Dont ask for things like long life, more money, etc because all of this has already been apportioned for you and it cannot be changed.

As for those of who you may not be able to pray, you should recite Quraan instead. Quraan can be recited in any state, according to the strongest opinion (according to Dr. Bilal and others scholars), so dont follow the views of those who dont know! Allaah would not restrict the Quraan to certian people and certain times only!! So recite Quraan, perhaps recite a soorah that you love and read its translation. Or you can read other stuff like islamic articles, or some of the stories of the Prophets, or even ahadeeth. The point is to do something good. and after that, make your Dua sincerely.

And Finally, be consistent. Its only 5 nights, dont waste them. Repeat the same thing every night. Anyone and everyone who trys to distract you in these nights, are no doubt soldiers of shaytaan. Any friends who ask you to go out on this night, are the ones that will lead you to Hell. So take heed of your actions and Fear Allaah in all you do…

Remember..this might be your last Ramadaan…The last thing you want is to be in your grave, regretting not being a better Muslim in this life…Once you die, your judgment starts and there is no returning back!

compiled by Imran Ayub

Fasting & Ramadan

The word Ramadaan comes from the noun Ramad, which refers to “the heat of the stones arising from the intense heat of the sun.” The ninth month was named Ramadaan because when the Arabs changed the names of the months from the ancient language, they named them according to the seasons in which they happen to fall.

This month, which used to be called Natiq, fell during the summer, the time of extreme heat. [1]

The merits of Ramadan

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was reported to have said that “When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened.” [2]The month of Ramadaan is a great opportunity for one to do the deeds that could bring him/her closer to Paradise.

Fasting in Ramadaan is also an opportunity to atone for one’s sins. Aboo Hurayrah quoted the Prophet (Peace be upon him) as saying, “Who ever fasts during the month of Ramadaan out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [3]

Fasting also provides protection from evil for those who sincerely fast. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) was reported to have said, “Fasting is a shield.” [4]

Allah has a special reward which He personally gives one who fasts faithfully. Aboo Hurayrah related that the (Peace be upon him) quoted Allah as saying, “Every act of Aadam’s descendants is for themselves, except fasting. It is meant for Me alone, and I alone will give the reward for it.” [5]

Perhaps the greatest and most unique merit of Ramadaan lies in the fact that the Quran, which is the last and only unchanged book of Divine Guidance remaining in the world, was revealed during this month. Allah states:

The month of Ramadaan is the one in which the Quran was sent down as a (pure source of) guidance for mankind. In it are clear teachings showing the Right Way and the Criterion (for judging truth and falsehood).” [Holy Quran 2:185]

This act of revelation represents the greatest blessing from Almighty Allah to mankind, who had become steeped in darkness and ignorance since the time of the prior revelation. Without this supreme act of mercy, the weakening glimmer of guidance would have gone out completely and oppression would have reigned in all corners of the globe.

Sighting of the Moon

It is fard kifaayah (a collective duty) on the Muslims to make an effort to sight the moon of Ramadaan on the 29th of Sha’baan. It is wrong to depend solely on the calendar and other astronomical calculations to begin the fast, as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself instructed, “Begin the fast on the sighting of the moon and break the fast likewise, but if the sky is cloudy (on the 29th of Sha’baan), then estimate it (by completing) 30 days of Sha’baan".[6]

Definition of Sawm or Siyaam (Fasting)

The literal meaning of sawm is to restrain oneself from something. For example, Allah tells us in al-Qur’aan that Maryam said, “Surely I have vowed to ar-Rahmaan (The Most Merciful, Allah) to fast (sawm)". [Holy Quran 19:26]

The fast here means to be silent, that is, to abstain from speaking. Islaamically, Sawm means to abstain from food, drink and sexual relation between dawn and sunset.

Classification of Sawm

Sawm is waajib (compulsory) on Muslims, according to the Quran and Sunnah [tradition of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)], during the ninth month of the Hijree calendar, called Ramadaan, every year. Allah said in the Quran,

The month of Ramadaan: in it was sent down the Quran, guidance to mankind and a self-evident proof of that guidance and the standard for distinguishing between right and wrong. Whosoever of you witnesses the month should fast it…” [Holy Quran 2:185]

Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) stated, “Islaam is built on five (pillars): ….fasting in Ramadaan.” [1]

Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydillah reported that a man with his hair in disarray came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger, inform me of what Allah has made fard (obligatory) on me concerning fasting.” He (Peace be upon him) said, “The month of Ramadaan.” So he asked, “Is there anything other than that on me?” He (Peace be upon him) said, “No, except what you do voluntarily.” He then said, “Tell me what Allah has made fard on me concerning Zakaah, “So he (Peace be upon him) informed him of the rites of Islaam. He then said, “By He Who ennobled you, I won’t voluntarily do anything (extra) nor will I decrease in any way what Allah has made obligatory on me.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) then said, “He will succeed if he spoke the truth (or, he will enter Paradise if he was truthful). [2]

The purpose of Fasting

The ultimate goal of the fast is to develop taqwa (consciousness of God) in people, as Allah said:

“….so that it may produce Taqwaa in you.” [Holy Quran 2:183]

Taqwaa is among the highest moral qualities that a Muslim can attain. It is produced by placing a shield between one’s self and Allah’s wrath, as the root meaning of the word implies (i.e. taqwaa comes from the verb waqaa, which means “to safeguard”). This is achieved by being conscious of Allah and all His commandments at all times, which means avoiding the Haraam (prohibited) as well as the makrooh (undesirable) and even some of the halaal (permissible) wherever doubt arises.

Conditions for being required to Fasting

To be Muslim.

To have reached puberty.

However, with young children it was the practice of the Prophet’s companions to encourage them to fast in order for them to get used to it at an early age. [3]

To be sane.

‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib and ‘Aa’ishah both reported that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “The pen is raised from (the book) of three (individuals): the sleeper until he awakes, the child until he reaches puberty, and the insane until he regains his sanity.” [4]

To be physically able.

To be a resident, not a traveler.

A menstruating woman does not pray or fast. Prayers need not be made up, but fasting must be made up later when her menses are finished. Allah has permitted Muslims who are sick or physically unable to fast or are traveling during Ramadaan to break their fasts and make up the missed days of Ramadaan. Allah says in the Quran:

“...and whoever is ill or journeying, for him is the like number of other days. Allah desires for you ease and does not desire for you hardship; so you should complete the umber and magnify Allah for His having guided you, that perhaps you may give thanks.” [Holy Quran 2:185]

The benefits of Fasting

Fasting gives the individual a real taste of hunger and thirst which helps him to realize the experience of the poor. This experience should instill a desire to want to help those who are less fortunate by sharing food and wealth with them.

It is required that the individual give up not only food, drink and sexual relations, but also that he restrain from all forms of lying (e.g. backbiting, slander, etc.). This is confirmed by the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) statement, “Allah has no need for the hunger and the thirst of the person who does not restrain from telling lies and acting on them even while observing the fast.” [5]

He also said, “When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, ‘I am fasting’.” [6]So, if one observes the fast according to the above principles, it should improve his moral character, making him more truthful and more careful about what he says and does.

It has also been noted by medical experts that fasting improves the physical health in numerous ways. For example, during the fast the body uses up stored cholesterol (fats) which are often deposited in the blood system, as well as in other fatty areas of the body. Thus, it helps to keep the body firm and minimizes the danger of heart attacks.

Fasting trains the individual for Jihaad (fighting in the way of Allah) by giving him a good course in self-control. During war the desires of the stomach and the private parts often lead soldiers of war to either commit excesses or to unnecessarily expose themselves to danger.

Exemtion from fasting Ramadan

Journey (Safar):

It is allowable for the traveler to break his fast while traveling, whether he is subjected to rigors and hardships during his travels or not. [1]

Sickness (Marad):

If one has an illness that would be worsened by fasting, or fasting would delay the cure, the fast may be abandoned. For example, a person with diabetes may have to eat every few hours to maintain his blood sugar level, or an epileptic may have to take his medicine at regular intervals to prevent a seizure. [2]

Pregnancy (Haml):

If a woman feels that if she fasts, the fetus will be harmed or she herself will be weakened dangerously, she is permitted to leave the fast. [3]

Breast-feeding (Ridaa’ah):

If a breast-feeding mother or wet-nurse feels that fasting would he harmful to the baby or herself she is allowed to abandon the fast.

Weakness (Da’f) or Old Age (Kibar as-Sinn):

(a) If a person is convalescing (regaining his strength) After an illness and fears that the fast would make him sick again, he is allowed to defer fasting.

(b) If a person has become extremely weak due to old age, he is allowed to abandon fasting. [4]

Jihaad (War):

(a) If a person is about to participate in jihaad and fears that the fasting would weaken him, he may defer the fast.

(b) If jihaad is in progress, participants are allowed to postpone the fast.

Kaffaarah (Atonement)

Kaffaarah is the punishment as a compensation for a sin one has committed or for an obligatory deed that one was unable to do or the intentional breaking of the fast in Ramadaan. The Kaffaarah for breaking the fast of Ramadaan is as follows:

If the fast of Ramadaan is invalidated intentionally by intercourse, its expiation (Compensation) is fasting for two months consecutively. If one is unable to fast sixty days, he must feed sixty poor persons or one person for sixty days. [5]It should be noted, however, that even these acts do not make up for the lost day(s) of fasting. [6]

A person who has become extremely weak due to old age or disease and has no hope of an early recovery and is unable to fast, is required by Sharee’ah to feed an indigent person for every missed day. One can give it in the form of food or one can make someone else an agent, giving him the money to buy the food and give it to the poor. This feeding of the poor in lieu of fasting is called fidyah (redemption).

A woman who breaks her fast due to menses (hayd), bleeding after child birth (nifaas), pregnancy, suckling (ridaa’ah) or the like is only required to make up the days which she missed before the next Ramadaan. [7]

Permissible acts while Fasting

Cleaning the teeth with the siwaak (tooth-stick) or its modern substitute, the toothbrush, is allowed, as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to use the siwaak often while fasting. [1]It is better to avoid the use of toothpaste during fasting hours.

Donating blood or unintentional vomiting does not break the fast. [2]

Kissing one’s wife while fasting does not break the fast, as long as moderation is observed. [3]

Taking medicine by way of injection, nasal sprays or eye drops does not break the fast, as they are not a form of eating. [4]

Eating or drinking accidentally or out of forgetfulness does not break the fast. [5]

Bathing, swimming, or sitting in water to cool off while fasting is permissible. [6]

For someone to rinse out the mouth or to taste food or drink which is being prepared, spitting it all back out without swallowing any of the food or drink, is also permissible. [7]

Swallowing one’s saliva does not break the fast. [8]

Fundamentals of Fasting

Niyyah (Intention)

For the compulsory fast of Ramadaan to be accepted, the intention to fast must be made before Fajr each day. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was reported by Hafsah to have said, “Whoever does not intend to fast before Fajr will have no fast.” [9]

As with Salaah, there is no verbal formula one says to mark one’s intention. To wake up for the pre-dawn meal is an expression of the intention to fast. Even of one didn’t wake up for suhoor, to simply make up one’s mind before sleeping that one will be fasting the next day is sufficient.

Suhoor (Pre-Dawn Meal)

The fast begins with a light meal known as suhoor, which is taken just before the break of dawn.The Prophet (Peace be upon him) encouraged his followers to take this meal, even if it is only a drink of water.

Anas ibn Maalik said that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “Take suhoor for surely there is barakah (blessing) in it.” [10]When the athaan of Fajr is sounded, this signals the beginning of the fast and one should not begin to eat anything at this point. If one has in his hand food or drink when the athaan is called, he should finish eating what he wants from it before putting it down.

Aboo Hurayrah reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, “If one of you hears the athaan and a vessel remains in his hand, he should not put it down until he has had what he desires from it.” [11]

Iftaar (Breaking Fast)

It is highly recommended that the fast be broken as soon as Maghrib (setting of the sun) occurs. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, “People will remain happy and prosperous as long as they hasten to break the fast.” [12]It is also recommended that the fast be broken with dates and water if available.

Anas ibn Maalik said, “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to break his fast with a few dates just before the beginning of Salaatul-Maghrib. If fresh dates were not available he would break his fast by drinking a little water.” [13]

Du’aa for Breaking the Fast

(Thahabath-tham’u wab-tallatil-‘urooqu wa thabatal-ajru inshaa’ Allah.)

“The thirst has gone, the arteries are moist, and the reward set, Allah willing.” [14]


[1] E.W. Lane, Lane’s Lexicon, vol. 1, pp. 1156-7.
[2] Collected by al-Bukhaaree (Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.3, pp. 64-5, no. 115).
[3] Collected by al-Bukhaaree (Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.3, pp. 69-70, no. 125)
[4] Collected by Muslim (Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol.2, p.554, no. 2565)
[5] Collected by Muslim (Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol.2, p.559, no. 2566
[6] Collected by al-Bukhaaree (Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.3, p.69, no.124) and Muslim (Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol.2, p.524-5, no.2363) [7] Collected by al-Bukharee (Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol. 1, p. 17, no. 7) and Muslim (Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol. 1, pp.9-10, no. 18)
[8] Collected by al-Bukharee (Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol. 3, pp. 64-65, no. 115)
[9] See Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol. 2, pp. 552-3, nos. 2531-2.
[10] Collected by Aboo Daawood (Sunan Abu Dawud (English Trans.), vol.3, pp. 1226-7, nos. 4384 and 4389), Ibn Maajah, and at-Tirmithee, and authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmithee, vol.2, p.64, no.1150.
[11] Reported by Aboo Hurayrah and collected by al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.3, pp.70-1, no.127) and Aboo Dawood (Sunan Abu Dawud (English Trans.), vol.2, p.648, no. 2355).
[12] Reported by Aboo Hurayrah and collected by al-Bukhaaree (Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.3, p.71, 125), Muslim (English Trans.), vol.2, p.558, no. 2563) and Aboo Daawood (Sunan Abu Dawud (English Trans.) vol.2, p. 648, no. 2356)
[13] See Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 185; Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.3, p.93, no.164; See also pp. 94, nos. 167, and Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol. 2, p.546, no.2487.
[14] See Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 185.

by Dr. Bilal Philips

Shabaan: Misconceptions and Realities

Misconception # 1:

The night of the 15th of Shabaan should be singled out for worship, prayer, etc.


Our best example and role model is the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) and he never, ever singled out this night for worship or qiyaam nor did his Sahaba.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:"There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the night of the fifteenth of Shabaan. All the ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are mawdoo (fabricated) and daeef (weak), and have no basis. There is nothing special about this night, and no recitation of Quraan or prayer, whether alone or in congregation, is specified for this night. What some of the scholars have said about it being special is a weak opinion. It is not permissible to single it out for any special actions. This is the correct view."

(Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/511)

Misconception # 2:

There are special prayers to be offered on this night.


The truth of the matter is that there are NO special prayers to be offered on this night specifically. And all those ahaadeeth giving you long lists of special formulas that are "supposed to guarantee you Allaahs forgiveness and Jannah" are all fabricated, false and innovations in our Deen. If there were such prayers, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) would have told us about them and we would have had evidence of him and the Sahaba doing it.

Misconception # 3:

Allaah descends to the first heavens on this night to forgive us.


Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Shabaan. Rather it happens every single night of the year.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: "Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?. " (Bukhaari)

Thus, when Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allaah on the night of the fifteenth of Shabaan, he said to the one who asked him: “O weak one! The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!”

Misconception # 4:

This is the night when our fate, lifespan, and provisions are decreed.


Some people think that the "blessed night" (laylatim-mubarakah) mentioned in Surah ad-Dukhaan (44): 3, refers to the night of 15th Shabaan, when Allah decrees our lifespan, provisions and fate. In fact, they even pray 6 rakahs, 2 for each of these things. However, all that is fabricated and far, far away from the Sunnah. And, in reality, the "blessed night" mentioned in Surah ad-Dukhaan, actually is referring to Laylatul Qadr that comes in Ramadhaan. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir of Surah al-Qadr)

Misconception # 5:

One should fast on the day of the fifteenth.


Here again, there is no saheeh reports that tell us that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) or his Sahaabah ever picked this day specifically to fast. The Sunnah of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) was to fast most of this month and not just the 15th. However, if the fifteenth of Shabaan coincides with a Monday or Thursday, or with the three white days or if a person is generally fasting, without associating seeking extra rewards to fasting this specific day, then it is allowed. (Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid)

Misconception # 6:

This is the night when the souls of departed ones return to their families.


Here again, some people misunderstand the ayaat in Surah al-Qadr and think that the "sending down of the Ruh" as mentioned in this Surah refers to the souls of dead people returning to see their families, even though it refers to Jibreel (Tafseer Ibn Kathir). And that is why we see women preparing the sweets, the Halwas and other "goodies" for the souls of their loved ones.

Not only is that in itself an erroneous, deviant belief and bidah, but to believe that the souls of the dead can return back to the world and meet/see their relatives is also totally incorrect and false. The teachings of the Quraan and the Sunnah clearly state that the souls of the dead do not return back to the world. Besides, they dont even eat the Halwas. It is actually you who eats it!

Misconception # 7:
Visiting graveyards especially this night is something good.


Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) encouraged visiting graves, he forbade singling out any day or night for any kinds of good deeds if it is not prescribed in the Shareeah. And he did not specifically visit the graveyard on the night of the 15th of Shabaan. The hadeeth of Aisha that mentions that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) visited the graveyard this night is not authentic and thus does not have any proof for visiting graves specifically on this night of Shabaan.

Misconception # 8:

Even if the ahaadeeth about worship on this night are weak, one can still do it.


The correct scholarly view is that weak ahaadeeth should not be followed at all, even if they speak of righteous deeds or of targheeb and tarheeb (promises and warnings). The saheeh reports are sufficient and the Muslim has no need to follow the daeef reports.

Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir said: "There is no difference between rulings or righteous deeds; we do not take any of them from daeef reports, rather no one has the right to use any report as evidence unless it is proven to be soundly narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) in a saheeh or hasan hadeeth."

Misconception # 9:

Look at all those people doing it. How can they all be wrong?


The Muslim is supposed to refer to Allaah and His Messenger (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) Sunnah, if there is any confusion or dispute about matters and NOT what the rest of the world is doing.

O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination" [al-Nisaa 4:59]

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen said: "These reports (about worship and fasting an the 15th of Shabaan) became very well known in some countries which were overwhelmed by ignorance; One should not be deceived by the large numbers of ignorant people who do these things."

The REAL Sunnah regarding Shabaan :

If you truly and sincerely want to please Allaah and do deeds that will be acceptable to Him, then follow the REAL Sunnah of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). Here is what is proven in the authentic sunnah:

1. Fast most of this month as much as you can.

Aaishah RA said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadaan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Shabaan.” (Bukhaari, Muslim).

2. However, if you are weak or do not fast habitually and feel that this nafil fasting may be a hindrance to your obligatory fasting in the month of Ramadhaan, then the person may stop the nafil fasting in the last few days of this month. And for that person, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

When Shabaan is half over, do not fast.” (Saheeh al-Tirmidhi).

3. If you have fasts left over from last Ramadhaan to make up, then hurry up and do so in this month of Shabaan before the next Ramadhaan comes. It is not permissible to delay missed fasts until after the following Ramadhaan, except in cases of necessity (such as a valid excuse that continues between the two Ramadaans).

Aaishah RA said: 'It used to be that I had days to make up for Ramadhaan and I would not be able to do so except in Shabaan.” [Bukhaari]

Islamic view about Homosexuality

Homosexuality is not allowed in Islam. There are various verses in Quran where Allah clearly says about Homosexuality.

We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: "Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? "For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." - Holy Quran 7:80-81

"Of all the creatures in the world will ye approach males". "And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay ye are a people transgressing (all limits)!" - Holy Quran 26:165-166

The end result for not giving up homosexuality was the destruction of entire cities

When Our decree issued We turned (the cities) upside down and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay spread layer on layer Marked as from thy Lord: nor are they ever far from those who do wrong! - Holy Quran 11:82-83

The Quran forbids any sexual relationship other than in a marriage between a man and a woman. Many homosexual men and women claim that they are born with their sexual preferences and that they have no choice. Although this point is very much in dispute in the medical world, it has no support in the Quran. Even then, irrespective of the nature of homosexuality, this matter would not affect the laws spelled out clearly in the Quran .

We know that this life is a test. Everyone of us has his/her own test. For example someone may be born blind, but that person is expected to live his/her life according to God's law. Others are born poor, short, tall, weak, missing fingers, having big nose...etc but all of them are expected to follow God's law. Some men or women may never marry in their life, or spend part of their life without a spouse. As per the Quran they still have to live a chaste life and avoid any sexual contacts outside a marriage. They have to suppress their sexual feelings to follow God's law. It is a major test and not an easy one for many. Only those who submit to God will do everything they can to follow His law. They know that their salvation and eternal happiness rests in doing so.

Since God condemns homosexuality, then we have to believe that a man or a woman with homosexual feelings is expected to behave like any other human being and follows God's laws if he/she truely believes in them. He/she shall resist his/her feelings , maintains abstinence , use all available resources of help including medical, social and behavioral therapies to overcome their behavior and feelings. They should pray to God to help them getting over it and submit to God's law that sees homosexuality as gross sin. Only those who steadfastly persevere in obeying God's law will they pass their test and confirm their submission to God.

For a person who asks, "why me?" We know God is the Most Merciful and Just (16:90) and He will give each one of us a fair test and a fair chance. He assigns the tests to suite each one of us and we believe that He will never burden any soul beyond its means (23:2).

And We have explained to man in this Qur'an every kind of similitude: yet the grater part of men refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude!- Holy Quran 17:89

We have explained in detail in this Qur'an for the benefit of mankind every kind of similitude: but man is in most things contentious. - Holy Quran 18:54

We have put forth for men in this Qur'an every kind of Parable in order that they may receive admonition. - Holy Quran 39:27

The spouses that God have made from among ourselves are those that aid in producing children. Since the spouses in homosexual relationship would not produce children they are not the spouses God made from among ourselves.

And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature. And made for you out of them sons and daughters and grandchildren and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things and be ungrateful for Allah's favors? - Holy Quran 16:72

With regard to dealing with homosexuals, the basic rule governing this would be 60:8 & 9.

Allah forbids you not with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith and drive you out of your homes and support (others) in driving you out from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances) that do wrong. - Holy Quran 60:8-9

However, to be a winner we have to advocate righteousness and forbid evil.

Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity. - Holy Quran 3:104

Ye are the best of peoples evolved for mankind enjoining what is right forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith it were best for them; among them are some who have faith but most of them are perverted transgressors. - Holy Quran 3:110

The believers men and women are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers practice regular charity and obey Allah and His apostle. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power Wise. - Holy Quran 9:71

Also, if God so wills, a reminder may benefit the person.

On their account no responsibility falls on the righteous but (their duty) is to remind them that they may (learn to) fear Allah. - Holy Quran 6:69

Therefore give admonition in case the admonition profits (the hearer). - Holy Quran 87:9

Salaat Al-Raghaaib Rajab a Bidah

Salaat al-raghaaib is one of the innovations (bidahs) that have been introduced in the month of Rajab. It is done on the night of the first Friday in Rajab, between Maghrib and Isha, and is preceded by fasting on the first Thursday of Rajab.

Salaat al-raghaaib was first introduced in Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) in 480 AH. There is no report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it, or any of his companions, or any of the best generations or imams. This alone is sufficient to prove that it is a reprehensible innovation, and it is not a praiseworthy Sunnah.

The scholars have warned against it and pointed out that it is innovation and misguidance.

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo (3/548)
The prayer which is known as salaat al-raghaaib, which is twelve rakahs that are offered between Maghrib and Isha on the night of the first Friday in Rajab, and praying one hundred rakahs on the night of Nusf Shabaan (halfway through Shabaan) are both reprehensible innovations. No one should be deceived by the fact that they are mentioned in Qoot al-Quloob and Ihya Uloom al-Deen, or by the hadeeth which is quoted in these two books, because all of that is false. No one should be deceived by some of those imams who were confused about the ruling on these prayers and wrote essays stating that they are mustahabb, for they are mistaken in that.

Imam Abu Muhammad Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Isma’eel al-Maqdisi wrote a valuable book showing that they are false, and he did well in that, may Allaah have mercy on him. End quote.

Al-Nawawi also said in Sharh Muslim:
May Allaah curse the one who fabricated and introduced that, for it is a reprehensible innovation, one of the innovations which constitute misguidance and ignorance, and it involves obvious evils. A number of imams have written valuable works explaining that those who offer this prayer and the one who invented it are misguided, and they quoted a great deal of evidence to show that it is wrong and false, and that those who do it are misguided. End quote.

Ibn Aabideen said in his Haashiyah (2/26):
It says in al-Bahr: Hence we know that it is makrooh to gather for salaat al-raghaaib, which is done on the first Friday of Rajab, and that it is an innovation.

Ibn Hajr al-Haytami (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Is it permissible to offer salaat al-raghaaib in congregation or not?

He replied:
Salaat al-raghaaib is like the prayer that is known as laylat al-nusf min Shabaan (half way through Sha’baan). These are two reprehensible innovations and the hadeeth which speaks of them is mawdoo (fabricated). It is forbidden to offer these prayers either individually or in congregation.” End quote.

Al-Fataawa al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kubra, 1/216
Ibn al-Haaj al-Maaliki said in al-Madkhal (1/294):
Among the innovations that have been introduced in this noble month (i.e., Rajab) is that on the night of the first Friday thereof, they pray salaat al-raghaaib in the mosques, and they gather in some mosques and do this innovation openly in the mosques with an imam and congregation, as if it is a prescribed prayer… the view of Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) is that it is makrooh to do this prayer, because it was not done by those who came before, and all goodness is to be found in following them (may Allaah be pleased with them). End quote.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
As for innovating a prayer which is done regularly with a certain number of rakahs, with a certain recitation and at a certain time in congregation, like these prayers that are being asked about here – such as salaat al-raghaaib on the first Friday of Rajab, and halfway through Shabaan, and the night of the twenty-seventh of Rajab, and so on – these are not prescribed in Islam, according to the consensus of the imams of Islam, as was stated by the reliable scholars. No one established such a thing but those who are ignorant and innovators. Things like this open the door to changing the laws and rituals of Islam and becoming like those who instituted things which Allaah has not ordained. End quote.
Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 2/239

Shaykh al-Islam was also asked about it and he said:
This prayer was not offered by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by any of the Sahaabah or the Taabieen or the imams of the Muslims. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not enjoin it and neither did any of the salaf or imams. They did not suggest that this night has any virtue for which it should be singled out. The hadeeth which is narrated concerning that from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is false and fabricated, according to scholarly consensus. Hence the scholars said that it is forbidden and not mustahabb. End quote.
Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 2/262

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (22/262):
The Hanafis and Shaafais stated that praying salaat al-raghaa’ib on the first Friday of Rajab, or on Laylat al-nusf min Sha’baan, in a specific manner or with a specific number of rak’ahs, is a reprehensible innovation.

Abul-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi said: Salaat al-raghaaib is a fabrication that is falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They stated that these payers are a bidah and are forbidden for a number of reasons. There is no report from the Sahaabah, Taabieen or imams about these two prayers. If they were prescribed in Islam then the salaf would not have been unaware of them. Rather they were introduced in the 400s (fifth century AH). End quote.

Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi Raaji'oon

Yeah, sure we say this statement when someone dies. Also some of us may say this sentence when they lose something, suffer a setback or harm.

But……… you know what it means?

Sure, everyone know that it obviously means 'To Allaah we belong and to Him is our return.'

But that's not what I am talking about.

I mean ….do you REALLY, TRULY understand these words and their implications in a Muslim's life?

It means …whatever we have is not really ours. It belongs to Allaah.

Take a look around you; everything you see, all that you have and all that there is….in you, on you, around you….belongs to Allaah, alone.

It is Allah Who has given you all the property and goods you possess, and that He is the true Owner of them all.

So the cars that you own, the houses that you live in, the businesses you possess all truly belong to Allaah

The kids that He blessed you with, the health that He gave you, the time that He has allowed you are all Allah's property.

Even the bodies we live in and the life that we have belongs to Allaah alone.

"And to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth…." (Surah Aal-Imraan:180)

"The kingdom of the heavens and the earth and everything in them belongs to Allah. He has power over all things." ( Surat al-Ma'ida: 120)

'Say: 'To Allah belongs the East and the West…' (Surah al-Baqarah:142)

Now, since everything belongs to Allaah, then we have to include even our souls in that list.

The very souls that we think of as our "self"; our "nafs"; our "being" -- whatever you want to call it -- that very thing that distinguishes you from the rest of the world, belongs to Allaah. It's not YOURS.

In fact, YOU are not YOURS.
You belong to Allaah.

And this is the essence of the concept of slavery to Allaah in Islam.

And since He is the true Possessor of everything, and everything is His property, He allots what He wills to whomever He wills…….and then He takes it away. After all, it was Allaah's to begin with.

So He may give you some thing and then take it back after a while..

He will bless you with a precious child that you love dearly…and then He may take it away.

He will grant you money, honour and status….and then He may take it away.

He will give you youth, vitality and health and then surely He will take it away.
In fact everything you have will only be with you for a very short while.
And then the Owner will claim His Right.

So when Allaah does reclaim what was rightfully His, WHY MOURN OUR LOSSES?
Just like a friend who lends you his book. And then after a few days, he wants it back and you give it back to him…no regrets… sorrow….no questions asked.
Similarly, if Allah takes back some of His blessings upon you for some reason….so be it.

Say Alhamdulillaah.

Don't grieve.
Be patient.
Submit to the will of Allaah, being pleased with His decision for you. For surely He will only do what is best for you.
Just think…..The Owner came and took it back.

Remember….that you're not the real owner… were NEVER the real owner to begin with. You only had everything because it was Allah who gave it to you in the first place. If He didn't give it to you, you wouldn't have had it in any way…in fact, you couldn't have had it.

Remember….man enters into this world empty handed…and leaves it empty handed.
Remember….that everything we have, all the blessings we enjoy, are gifts from Almighty that we enjoy for a limited period until He takes them away whenever He deems fit.

They are a trust from Allah…a loan to you…to see how you respond to these gifts from Allaah and how you use them….in the obedience of the Almighty, thanking Him and worshipping Him……OR…… the disobedience to the One Who gave then to you in the first place.

Take note of the words of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) on the occasion of the death of his son, Ibraahim:

'Our eyes are filled with tears, our hearts with grief, but we say nothing with our lips except that which pleases Allah.... Verily, to Allah we belong, and to Him we return.' (Bukhaari)

And we all know the famous incidence about the companion Abu Talha and his wife when one of the sons died and Abu Talha was not at home. She washed and shrouded him and when Abu Talha came home and asked about his son, she said, 'The child is quiet and I hope he is in peace….' (Bukhaari)

Subhaan Allaah….such patience!

And such Imaan in the statement "Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi Raaji'oon"!

She truly understood its meaning and the affect it should have on her life as a Muslimah, submitting to him and being pleased with whatever He has decreed for her.
She knew that whatever she has, is not truly hers. Rather, it is Allaah's….and He took back whatever He owns at its appointed time.

And it is because of this Imaan so strong, this understanding, that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) made dua for them and Allaah blessed them immensely.
"'They (i.e. Abu Talha and his wife) had nine sons and all of them became reciters of the Quran (by heart)." (Bukhaari)

"Be sure we will test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, but give glad tidings to those who are steadfast, who say when afflicted with calamity: 'To Allah we belong and to him is our return.' They are those on who (descend) blessings from Allah and mercy and they are the once that receive guidance." (al-Baqarah: 155)

By Asma bint Shameem

The difference between Qur’an and Hadith

Islam is very clear on the concept of God and the concept of Prophet so that there is no confusion or ambiguity in the minds of Muslims between the two. Islam distinguished between a) The word of Allah brought by the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) as revelation, known as the Qur’an; and b) The words of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) which are known as the Hadith.

This separate identity of Allah and His creation is very vital if you study the history of old religions and Islam ensured that they were not mixed. How was this done?

How Was The Integrity Of The Qur’an Insured?

The companions (radiallahu ‘anhum) on the instruction of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), wrote down the words of Allah as revealed and also kept them in memory, so as to ensure that from the time of revelation until now the word of Allah remains pure and untainted. However, the Prophet commanded the companions not to write down the Hadith during the early period of Islam, and the wisdom behind this was not to mix the Hadith with the word of Allah. It is very important for Muslims to understand the differences between the Hadith, Hadith Qudsi, and the Qur’an.

There is another important aspect to Hadith. The actions and sayings of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) provided clarification of the meanings of Qur’an. When inquired about the character of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), his wife Aisha (radiallahu ‘anhaa) replied, His character is the Qur’an. This indicates that Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) gave further explanation of the Qur’an with what he said or did during his lifetime. For example, the Qur’an mentions prayer and the Hadith or the Sunnah shows Muslims how and when to do it. The following details will help clarify the matter further.

Defining The Types of Hadith

The meaning of Hadith is news, report or narration. They are reports about the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in the following:

* What he said (qaul)

* What he did (fi’l)

* What he approved in other people’s action (taqrir)

* There are also reports about him i.e. what he was like (sifa)

There is agreement among most Muslim scholars, that the contents of the sunnah are also from Allah. However, these were expressed by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in his own words or actions. They are the words and actions of a human being transmitted by the companions and family members (radiallahu ‘anhum), who memorized the words or closely observed the actions of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) for the benefit of the Muslim Ummah.

Hadith Qudsi

Qudsi means holy or pure. There are some reports from Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) where he relates to the people starting with a statement “Allah (said) says” or “Allah (did) does”, but this information is not part of the Qur’an. These are called Hadith Qudsi.

For example: Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari reported, that Allah’s messenger related from his Rubb is that He said: O My slaves, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another...O My slaves, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you. O my slaves, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you... [Reported by Muslim]

The Difference Between Hadith Qudsi and the Qur’an

While the common factor between Hadith Qudsi and the Qur’an is that both contain words from Allah which have been revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), the main points of differences are:

1 . In the Qur’an the precise wording is from Allah, while wording in the Hadith Qudsi is given by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam);

2 . The Qur’an has been brought to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) only by the angel Jibreel (Gabriel), while Hadith Qudsi may also have been inspired otherwise, such as e.g. a dream;

3 . The Qur’an is inimitable and unique, while the Hadith Qudsi is not;

4 . Qur’an has been transmitted by numerous persons (tawaatur), whereas the Hadith Qudsi is often only transmitted by a few or sometimes even by one individual. There are also Hadith Qudsi which are graded as Saheeh (highest authenticity), or hasan (authentic), or even da’if (weakness in the transmission or text). There is no such doubt about any of the verses of the Qur’an.

5 . Hadith Qudsi cannot be recited in the prayer.

The Qur’an was recorded at the time of revelation and the verses and chapters were arranged on the instructions of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) during his lifetime. Every year during the month of Ramadan the angel Jibreel came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and recited the Qur’an with him, and during the year the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) died, the angel Jibreel came twice and recited the Qur’an with him. This was not so in the case of Hadith.

All chapters and verses of the Qur’an were collected and arranged during the caliphate of Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu). They were written on sheets and bound together as a book during the caliphate of Uthman (radiallahu ‘anhu) in the same order as shown by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) himself. Additional copies of the Qur’an were made during this occasion and sent to several Islamic cities. However, the compilation of Hadith did not start until very much later and by that time, the Qur’an was already available in the final form of a bound book.

The science of collecting, analysing, compiling, grading and reporting of Hadiths became a special field of studies after the period of companions (radiallahu ‘anhum). The leading reports are from Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai, Ibn Majah, and Abu Dawood which are known as the six most authentic books (As-Sihaahus-Sittah). The validity of a Hadith depends solely on its agreement with the Qur’an and the grading of a Hadith depends on the reliability of the chain of narrators who reported it.

In order to do this, the reporter studied the characters and the life of every single person who were mentioned in the chain of narrators. We notice that utmost care was exercised not only in reporting the exact words, but also sifting through the characters of persons who reported them. If a single person in the chain of narrators is reported to be of doubtful character or unreliable, then the entire Hadith is either rejected or this fact is noted down and specifically mentioned.

The Imams who undertook this enormous task of compiling and reporting the Hadiths exercised great care in their lifetime effort, because these studies laid the foundation for the guidelines in understanding and practicing Islam in the life of every Muslim.

The Types Of Hadith

The meaning of Hadith is news, report or narration.

They are reports about the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in the following:

* What he said (qaul)

* What he did (fi’l)

* What he approved in other people’s action (taqrir)

* There are also reports about him i.e. what he was like (sifa)

Life in the Hereafter

TWO assets which all of us value beyond measure are good health and free time. Our lives are heavily affected by these two parameters. We take special care to watch what we eat, exercise, as we have become very health-conscious. We try to maximise our free time by ensuring that we do only the things which give us pleasure, albeit exclusively in this world.

Because our orientation today is predominantly materialistic or even hedonistic, we try our best to maintain good health only to look good for other people or to live longer to savour longer the pleasures of this world. Likewise, free time to many means only an opportunity to sleep, a time for leisure, or a time to sit around or just “lie around the house.”

While Islam does not prohibit good health or free time, it does frown upon those who exhaust these resources in worldly pursuits alone. “Squander not in the manner of a spendthrift,” warns Allah, “for spendthrifts are surely the brother of Satan and Satan is very ungrateful to this Lord” [Qur’an 17:26-27]. If you have good health and free time to benefit from, then “...don’t waste (it) for Allah does not love the wasters” [6:141]. As a matter of fact, our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) once cautioned, “There are two things wherein many people victimise themselves: good health and free time.”

Sensibly, the believer devotes every ounce of his/her energy (good health permitting) to every moment he/she gets to strive for the triumph of Islam. Thus every effort is made to use all energy and time as efficiently as possible to serve and thank Allah for all of His grace.

Nothing could be more pleasing to the Almighty than for us to faithfully obey the Qur’an and the Sunnah, “Say: if you really love Allah, follow me (Prophet Muhammad),” Allah reminds us, “Allah will love you” [3:31].

On the other hand, Allah dislikes laziness and has advised us to use our time efficiently through the guidance of His Prophet. In other words if we utilise our good health to maximise our free time for the pleasure of Allah, then Allah promises success for us in this world and in the next.

On the other hand, if we squander our good health chasing transient worldly pleasures, and waste our precious time on issues which can only destroy our chances for a propitious. Hereafter, we can only be described by the prophetic words as those who “...victimise themselves” and take these assets for granted.

Unfortunately for many, death will be an awakening. Tragically, nothing can then be done to redress the wasting of time in this life. Many of us will dearly regret the lost opportunities on our deathbed and in the Hereafter. On the Day of Judgment we will be shocked to see our records. The unveiling of the Hellfire will only horrify us. Being dragged to it and thrown into it will only increase our sorrow for having wasted our time today in trivial pursuits.

The Minor Reckoning

For many of us the reckoning begins at death, for many consider it the minor reckoning. As death approaches, a certainty descends upon all of us, namely that this life is finite and each one of us will definitely depart. In the final moments of this life a deep remorse sets in as “he ascertains that the (time of) parting has come, and one leg joins the other, for this day the drive will be (all) to the Lord,” [75:33].

Now he remembers the thousands of hours he wasted not using them for the pleasure of Allah. Despondent over his dire predicament, he begs Allah “O Lord! Please send me back (to life in the world) so I can do good in the things that I neglected,” [23:99-100].

This is one’s first occasion of genuine regret. Though his previous life was replete with artificial ho-hum taubas he now seriously repents at a time when the door of repentance shows “closed.” He has spent as many as sixty-seven years or more thinking “I’ll repent tomorrow” or “I’ll be good tomorrow.”

Regrettably, he didn’t reach “tomorrow,” and tragically death awakens him to do good when it doesn’t matter. Amazingly, he acknowledges his neglect but it is too late, for Allah’s decree has descended, the case is closed and life in this world has adjourned for him and the reckoning is about to commence. Foolishly, he tries to convince Allah that if given another chance he will surely rectify his record and avail himself of all those lost opportunities. Still affected by his worldly demeanour of trickery, he thinks he can talks his way past the Almighty and persuade Him. He thinks he can strike a deal with the All-Knowing much as he used to do in this world. He forgets that he is now dealing with the Lord of the Universe and not some drug lord, business mogul, or Harvard lawyer.

He forgets he is now attempting to outwit the Knower of the Unseen - ie Knower of what dribbles off our tongues as well as what our hearts really intend. Allah knows that he was afforded innumerable chances in this world, yet he procrastinated. Another chance would only result in nothing but more laziness. No wonder Allah rejoins “... never, it is but mere words He says.” [23:100].

Our Nervousness and Horror on the Day of Judgment

On the Day of Judgment, on the plains of reckoning, he will inevitably face moments of intense remorse and loss. Already dejected he will now discover to his regret that his closest friends actually misguided him and thoroughly misled him. On a day when any help would be invaluable he finds that he cannot count on his worldly buddies. Today his close associates will avail him of nothing, for each has his own reckoning to worry about. He reflects on all the time he spent with his “friends” at parties where they spent late nights gossiping. He remembers his gambling “partners” and drinking buddies.

He sees the lightest punishment from the Hellfire confronting him. “The slightest punishment on the Day of Judgment for the people of the Hellfire,” cautioned Prophet Muhammad, “will be when a man who will be brought forth, once two tiny pebble-sized firebrands are put on the balls of his feet, his brains will boil from their impact.” Soon after, the neglectful will become uncontrollably nervous. Amazingly, fingernail biting doesn’t appease his tension; instead his stress takes him to new heights as he now begins to bite on both his hands.

The Day that the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, he will say, ‘O, if only I had never taken such a one for a friend. He (definitely) led me astray from the message (of Allah) after it had come to me ah! Satan is (nothing) but a traitor to man!’” [25:27-29].

Sadly, his realisation has come too late. He should have chosen his associates more carefully and picked his friends more cautiously. He cannot blame others as he used to in the world. Today he has to face the consequences of his own evil choices. He parted company with the people of Paradise so he could relish all the pleasures of this world with his Hellfire “buddies” and end up in eternal perdition.

Jesus, the son of Mary, in the Qur’an

From Surah Al-Imran (verses 45-63)

45. (Remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [“Be!” – and he was! i.e. ‘Isa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.”

46. “He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.”

47. She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.” He said: “So (it will be) for Allah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be!” and it is.

48. And He (Allah) will teach him [‘Isa (Jesus)] the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom, etc.), (and) the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).

49. And will make him [‘Isa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe.

50. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Taurat (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me.

51. Truly! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path.

52. Then when ‘Isa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said: “Who will be my helpers in Allah’s Cause?” Al-Hawariun (the disciples) said: “We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah).”

53. Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger [‘Isa (Jesus)]; so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth i.e. La ilaha ill-Allah – none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).

54. And they (disbelievers) plotted [to kill ‘Isa (Jesus)], and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of the planners.

55. And (remember) when Allah said: “O ‘Isa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that ‘Isa (Jesus) is Allah’s son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad, ‘Isa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Qur’an] till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute.”

56. “As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.”

57. And as for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah) and do righteous good deeds, Allah will pay them their reward in full. And Allah does not like the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).

58. This is what We recite to you (O Muhammad) of the Verses and the Wise Reminder (i.e. the Qur’an).

59. Verily, the likeness of ‘Isa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” – and he was.

60. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.

61. Then whoever disputes with you concerning him [‘Isa (Jesus)] after (all this) knowledge that has come to you, [i.e. ‘Isa (Jesus)] being a slave of Allah, and having no share in Divinity) say: (O Muhammad) “Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves – then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the Curse of Allah upon those who lie.”

62. Verily! This is the true narrative [about the story of ‘Isa (Jesus)], and, La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, the One and the Only True God, Who has neither a wife nor a son). And indeed, Allah is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

63. And if they turn away (and do not accept these true proofs and evidences), then surely, Allah is All-Aware of those who do mischief.

From Surah Al-Ma’idah (verses 17, 46, 72-76, 111-118)

17. Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary). Say (O Muhammad): “Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), his mother, and all those who are on the earth together?” And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things.

46. And in their footsteps, We sent ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) , confirming the Taurat (Torah) that had come before him, and We gave him the Injeel (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Taurat (Torah) that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for Al-Muttaqun (the pious).

72. Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allah is the Messiah [‘Isa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary).” But the Messiah [‘Isa (Jesus)] said: “O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode . And for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.

73. Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no ilah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God -Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.

74. Will they not repent to Allah and ask His Forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

75. The Messiah [‘Isa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam (Mary)] was a Siddiqah [i.e. she believed in the words of Allah and His Books]. They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat). Look how We make the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).

76. Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “How do you worship besides Allah something which has no power either to harm or to benefit you? But it is Allah Who is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.”

111. And when I (Allah) put in the hearts of Al-Hawarieen (the disciples) [of ‘Isa (Jesus)] to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: “We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.”

112. (Remember) when Al-Hawariun (the disciples) said: “O ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Can your Lord send down to us a table spread (with food) from heaven?” ‘Isa (Jesus) said: “Fear Allah, if you are indeed believers.”

113. They said: “We wish to eat thereof and to be stronger in Faith, and to know that you have indeed told us the truth and that we ourselves be its witnesses.”

114. ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: “O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us – for the first and the last of us – a festival and a sign from You; and provide us sustenance, for You are the Best of sustainers.”

115. Allah said: “I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves, then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among (all) the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).”

116. And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’ “He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen.

117. “Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world).

118. “If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise .”

From Surah An-Nisa’ (verses 157-159, 163, 171 )

157. And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) ]:

158. But Allah raised him [‘Isa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.

159. And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him [‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), as only a Messenger of Allah and a human being], before his [‘Isa (Jesus) or a Jew’s or a Christian’s] death (at the time of the appearance of the angel of death). And on the Day of Resurrection, he [‘Isa (Jesus)] will be a witness against them.

163. Verily, We have inspired you (O Muhammad) as We inspired Nuh (Noah) and the Prophets after him; We (also) inspired Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], ‘Isa (Jesus), Ayub (Job), Yunus (Jonah), Harun (Aaron), and Sulaiman (Solomon), and to Dawud (David) We gave the Zabur (Psalms).

171. O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, (“Be!” – and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Ruh) created by Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: “Three (trinity)!” Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilah (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.
From Surah Al-An’am
(verse 85)

85. And Zakariya (Zachariya), and Yahya (John) and ‘Isa (Jesus) and Iliyas (Elias), each one of them was of the righteous.

From Surah Al-Mu’minun (verse 50)

50. And We made the son of Maryam (Mary) and his mother as a sign, And We gave them refuge on high ground, a place of rest, security and flowing streams.

From Surah Al-Zukhruf (verses 59, 61, 63-64)

59. He [‘Isa (Jesus)] was not more than a slave. We granted Our Favour to him, and We made him an example to the Children of Israel (i.e. his creation without a father).

61. And he [‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)] shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour (Day of Resurrection) [i.e. ‘Isa’s (Jesus) descent on the earth] . Therefore have no doubt concerning it (i.e. the Day of Resurrection). And follow Me (Allah) (i.e. be obedient to Allah and do what He orders you to do, O mankind)! This is the Straight Path (of Islamic Monotheism, leading to Allah and to His Paradise).

63. And when ‘Isa (Jesus) came with (Our) clear Proofs, he said: “I have come to you with Al-Hikmah (Prophethood), and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) in which you differ, therefore fear Allah and obey me,

64. “Verily, Allah! He is my Lord (God) and your Lord (God). So worship Him (Alone). This is the (only) Straight Path (i.e. Allah’s religion of true Islamic Monotheism).”

From Surah As-Saff (verse 6)

6. And (remember) when ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: “O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you confirming the Taurat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed . But when he (Ahmed i.e. Muhammad) came to them with clear proofs, they said: “This is plain magic.”

Adultery of the Eyes

As temperatures soar and sweat pours down our faces, it is essential to remember this: protect your eyes, and that does not mean wearing sunglasses, it means to lower our gaze - be careful of our glances.

In our culture today, as the temperature increases, so does the amount of exposed skin on people's bodies. Although this is very distressing and disturbing, it has become a fact of life. In fact, those of us, especially our sisters wearing Hijab, who cover to guard their modesty are seen as strange.


It is in this instance, surrounded by half-naked people, that we must have the courage to follow the command of Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and lower our gazes.

Allah says: "Do not go near fornication and adultery, it is an abomination and an evil way." (Quran 17:32).

This sin is so hateful in the sight of Our Lord, that He commanded us to not even go near it. Despite what anyone may say, looking upon that which one is not supposed to is going near adultery. For an illicit affair begins with a lustful glance. Allah wishes for us not to commit this ugly sin, and thus He commands us to lower our gazes:

"Tell the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make far greater purity for them; And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And tell the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty." (Quran 24:30-31).

Lowering the gaze does not mean keeping our eyes constantly on the ground and not looking up at all. It is turning our faces away when we see a less-than-decently-dressed woman or man walking on the street in the middle of the day or at anytime.


The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) further explained to us Allah's command. Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, "(the adultery of the eyes is looking (at [that] which is not allowed)" (Bukhari, Muslim).

Also, on the authority of Jurayr (r.a.) who said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) about accidentally looking at something that is not allowed and he said, "Turn your eyes away." (Muslim).

In another Hadith on the authority of Abu Sa'eed, (r.a.) the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, "A man should not look at the Awrah of another man, and the woman should not look at the Awrah of another woman." (Muslim).

Thus, our Prophet (s.a.w.) even instructed us to lower our gaze when looking at members of the same gender in some cases.


One common mistake is to think that lowering our gaze is only required upon encountering nakedness and indecency "in the flesh" or in person. Lowering our gaze must also be practiced when watching a film or television program replete with nakedness and intimate scenes of couples (actually, we should try to avoid watching such types of programs, period).


Beware of the beaches, rivers, pools or anywhere else you'll find a plethora of bikini and swimming-trunk clad men and women.

Lowering your gaze there is virtually impossible. You may turn in one direction, thinking you're home-free, but soon enough you can't even look there.

The same holds true for parks and recreational facilities. While this doesn't mean never taking the kids out to enjoy the slides and seesaws or having barbecues there, it does mean perhaps having activities on days that are cooler, or at times when the sun is not as hot and intense (i.e. some time in the earlier morning or before Maghrib).

This way, the prime time for sunbathing has passed, and most people either leave or feel cool enough to put some more clothes on.


"Never underestimate the power of Dua." This holds true in all trying situations.

Sometimes, despite avoiding certain places where you are more likely to encounter an improperly dressed person, you may find someone walking on the street going to the beach or the park who decided to get ready for suntanning or swimming beforehand.

In these cases, lowering the gaze may be even harder. You weren't expecting it, so you didn't mentally prepare yourself.

If you feel overwhelmed, one suggested Dua to read is: "Aouzo billahis Sami 'il Aleem minash Shaytan ir Rajeem" (see Quran 41:36 for more information). A translation of this is: "I seek the refuge of Allah who is the Hearer and Who is the Knower from the Shaytan the accursed."

In general, seek refuge in Allah. It has also been suggested to say "La hawla wa la Quwwata illa billah" (there is no power except with Allah). If we sincerely make Dua, Insha Allah, we can succeed in turning our eyes away.


But lowering our gaze does not mean being rude or antisocial. The Prophet used to present the message of Islam to people that had come for the yearly "Ukaz" festival, which did include unIslamic activities like drinking and gambling.

However, this requires faith, self-control and discipline. This must never be used as an opportunity to indulge in these sins.


A Muslim is decent and pure. This means all of his or her body must be decent and pure. A natural consequence of this is lowering the gaze.

Allah tells us: "O you who believe! Do not follow Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will command what is shameful and wrong..." (Quran: 24:21).

Looking at another man or woman in an indecent manner is following in Satan's footsteps. It all begins with a lustful glance. Such a glance leads to lustful talk and flirting, then meeting and we are all aware of what comes next.

Let us stop Satan in his tracks and lower our gaze.

Let us start today. Yes, it is very difficult and it takes discipline and faith.

Yet, whenever we struggle to please Allah, He will reward us several times over in this life and the next. It is truly a Jihad. But, it is a Jihad worth undertaking, and we will be all the better for it.

In Islam there are No Mediators Between Man and Allah

Praises be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made the
darkness and the light. Yet those who reject Faith hold (others) as
equal with Allah (subHanahu wa ta'ala).

"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them):
I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let
them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That
they may walk in the right way
." (2:186)

"Oh mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it
(carefully): Verily those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot
create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the
purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will
have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the
seeker and the sought
." (22:73)

In this modern age, as in ages past, people call upon sages, mystics
and saints for help. They grasp a lucky rabbit's foot or other
talisman, investing it with the power to intercede for them to
achieve a desired result. They wear angel pins and four-leaf clovers,
covering their bets with a nod to religion and nature. When some ill
befalls, they damn their luck. When some good comes to them, they
thank their lucky stars or light a candle for a favorite saint. They
give credit to everyone and everything save the One who created them.
Their pleas are unheard by those they invoke, and the One Who is the
All-Hearing, the One who knows their needs better than they
themselves, is rarely called upon.

The believer, however, feels in his heart only revulsion at the idea
of invoking someone besides Allah. He knows that Allah, though
separate from His creation, knows him more intimately than any
created being can:

"It was We who created man and We know what dark suggestions his soul
makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein

He takes comfort in this knowledge and also in knowing that Allah
loves for His slaves to invoke him and ask for their needs. He knows
that Allah does not grow weary from granting provision for His
believers, and that all of humankind could not exhaust the patience
of the Infinite.

Five times a day during the compulsory prayers, and at anytime with
informal supplication (dua'), the believer has a direct open channel between
him and Allah. He pours out his soul, praising Allah and
acknowledging His sovereignty, and then asks for what he needs. He
asks for guidance, for a pious spouse, for a better job, for food to
feed his children. He knows that if he is patient, Allah will
answer his prayer, by granting him what he asked for, or by
substituting something better, or by wiping away a sin or storing up
goodness for him in the world to come. He knows that such a bounty
comes only from Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe,
and not from any angel or guru or earthly ruler. This knowledge
brings about a deep contentment and calmness in the face of

With a direct line to the Most Merciful, who needs a rabbit's foot,
an icon or a statue? These tokens pale to insignificance, and the
believer can only look upon those superstitious souls who use such
items with wonder and pity.

Who would submit to that and thereby
separate oneself from communion with the Almighty?