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THE LAWFUL CONDITIONS OF ISLAMIC RELICS

Posted by al Adaab on January 23, 2007

Bismillah hir Rahmaan nir Raheem

Nahmadahu Wa Nusalli A’la Rasoolihil Kareem

 

 

THE LAWFUL CONDITIONS OF ISLAMIC RELICS – “TABARUKAAT KI SHAR’I HAISIYAT”

 

by

Maulana Mahmood Akhtar Al Qaaderi

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

It has been the practice of the Muslims of every period in history to show utmost respect to preserve Tabarukaat (Islamic Relics). To show respect and veneration of Islamic Relics, to gain blessings from them, to utilise them as a means for gaining victory, and to keep them near at the time of problems, or during any illness, or to steer away hardships, is not a new custom as some believe.

 

This argument is supported by the teachings of the Holy Quran. It is also proven form the books of Ahadith that the Companions of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to gain blessings from the blessed relics of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). They also used the Tabarukaats as a means of having their prayers accepted.

 

Volumes can be written concerning the respect and honour that should be accorded to Islamic Relics and this little booklet cannot fully serve that purpose. The author has placed a few facts before the readers in order that the beliefs of the true believers be reinforced and that their Imaan and practices be increased.

 

For those people of corrupt perceptions and wicked hearts who say that Tabarukaats are Bid’at (Innovation) and that they are Haraam (Prohibited), and are who opposed to the blessings that can be gained from the religious relics and blessed belongings, let this book serve as exposing their falsehood and as a means of correcting themselves.

 

 

 

THE LAWFUL CONDITIONS OF ISLAMIC RELICS

 

Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran:”And make the standing place of Ebrahim, the place of Salaah.” (Sura Baqara)

 

In this verse, the command for Salaah to be performed at the place of “Muqaam-e-Ebrahim” was given. The question is: From the entire area of the Haram, why has the spot of “Muqaam-e-Ebrahim” received such a high distinction?

 

It has been stated in the famous and authentic books of Tafseer that: “Muqaam-e-Ebrahim is that stone wherein is the impression of the footprint of Hadrat Ebrahim (alaihis salaam). Muqaam-e-Ebrahim is that stone on which Hadrat Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) stood and built the Holy Kaaba.” (Jalaalain)

 

This one single stone which has been associated to Sayyiduna Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) has become so blessed that after making the Tawaaf of the Holy Kaaba, it is greater to read two Rakaats Salaah at that place than any other place. Almighty Allah has made it one of His tokens (signs). It is stated that: “Verily the very first house which was selected for the people, is that which is in Makkah. It is a blessed one and one that shows the path to the entire world. In is clear signs, the standing stone of Sayyiduna Ebrahim (alaihis salaam).” (Sura Nisa)

 

Commenting on the above verse of the Holy Quran, Sayyiduna Mujahid (radi Allahu anhu), the exalted student of Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) says, “For the impression of both the blessed feet of Sayyiduna Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) to be imprinted on the stone, is a clear sign.” (Ibn Jareer; Ibnil Munzir)

 

For a stone that has been related to Sayyiduna Ebrahim (alaihis salaam), for that stone to become (part of) a verse of the Holy Quran and also a spot for the performance of Salaah, and for it to be protected for so many centuries is the proof of the excellence of that stone – that those objects which are associated to the beloved servants of Almighty Allah become blessed and religious relics! They should be respected and also preserved.

 

“The Prophet of Bani Israeel (Shamwail alaihis salaam) said to them: The sign of Taloots Kingship is this that a trunk from your Creator will come towards you in which there will be tranquillity of the hearts, and a few preserved objects from the belongings of respected Moosa and respected Haroon. This will be brought by the Angels. Verily in it for you is a great sign if you keep faith.” (Sura Baqara)

 

This trunk contained belongings and relics such as the Aasa (Staff) and Na’lain Shareef (Blessed Sandal) of Sayyiduna Moosa (alaihis salaam); the Imaama (Turban) of Sayyiduna Haaroon (alaihis salaam); the ring of Sayyiduna Sulaiman (alaihis salaam); a few Scripts of the Tauraat, and many other Tabarukaats. It was through the blessings of these relics that the Bani Israeel, when fighting any battle, would place the trunk before them, and would become victorious and conquer their enemies. The books of Tafseer record that they used the trunk for all their needs, to fulfil whatever they wished for and as mediation.

 

“Those relics were the Sandal and Staff of Sayyiduna Moosa (alaihis salaam), and the Turban of Sayyiduna Haroon (alaihis salaam) and a few pieces of Mun (Food from the skies) that used to come to the People of Israeel, and a few pieces of scriptures.” (Jalaalain)

 

“Those relics were portions of scriptures, the Staff (stick of Jannat) of Moosa (alaihis salaam), his clothing, his Sandals, the Turban of Sayyiduna Haroon (alaihis salaam), some of the Tauraat, the ring of Sayyiduna Sulaiman (alaihis salaam) and a few pieces of Mun (Food from the skies).” (Roohul Bayaan, Vol. 1, pg. 386)

 

The proof that the Bani Israeel kept this trunk before them in times of war, that they asked through its mediation and for victory over their enemies is present in the books of Tafseer. It has been stated: “The Bani Israeel used to ask, through the mediation of this trunk, for victory over their enemies. They used to place it in front of them in a battle, and this used to give them tranquillity.” (Jalaalain)

 

In has also been stated: “When the Bani Israeel used to present themselves in battle, then they used to keep that trunk in front of them and they used to ask for victory over their enemies through it’s mediation.” (Roohul Bayaan, Vol. 1, page 385)

 

From these clarifications, we learn that it is necessary to respect and honour the relics and belongings of the pious servants. It is through their blessings that victory is gained over the enemies, prayers are accepted and needs are fulfilled. By respecting and honouring the blessed belongings, one gains blessings and great benefit. By disrespecting and insulting these blessed relics, one is faced with many problems, sickness begin to spread, and destruction and devastation occurs.

 

The clear proof of this is that when Imaaqa stole the sacred trunk from the Bani Israeel and began to show disrespect and insult towards it, they became engulfed in all types of illnesses and all five of their villages were destroyed. It is recorded that: “When the Bani Israeel showed disobedience and began causing turmoil, Almighty Allah appointed Imaaqa over them. They became victorious over the Bani Israeel and took the trunk away form them. They kept it in the toilet area. When Almighty Allah intended to make Taaloot the King, then Almighty Allah sent problems on Imaaqa to this extent that any person who urinated near the trunk got piles, and five towns and their population were destroyed. The Kaafirs then knew that all this destruction was being caused through the disrespect of the Trunk. Thus, they took the trunk out of their locality. (Roohul Bayaan, Vol. 1, page 385)

 

We learn from this incident of the destruction and problems of Imaaqa, that showing disrespect and insult to the blessed belongings of the pious servants leads to destruction.

 

It is also evident that to respect, honour, show respect and use these blessed belongings as mediation is the sign of the believers. To show disrespect and insult to these blessed relics is a sign of being misled.

 

“Take this shirt of mine and place it on my fathers face and his eyesight will be regained.” (Sura Yusuf)

 

In Cairo, Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam) asked his brothers concerning the condition of his father, Sayyiduna Yaqoob (alaihis salaam). They replied that he cries much in the loss of Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam) and that he cannot see any more. When Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam) heard this, he instructed his brothers to take his Kurta (shirt) and place it on his father’s face. This will enable him to see. When his brothers took the shirt and placed in on the face of Sayyiduna Yaqoob (alaihis salaam), he immediately regained his eyesight. Almighty Allah says: “And when the person with glad tidings arrived, he placed the Kurta (shirt) on the face of Yaqoob, immediately his eyes turned (he began to see).” (Sura Yusuf)

 

The shirt that Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam) gave to his brothers was also from the belongings of Sayyiduna Ebrahim (alaihis salaam). Sayyiduna Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) used the very same shirt to confront Namrud. It was this same shirt that reached Sayyiduna Yaqoob (alaihis salaam).

 

Sayyiduna Yaqoob (alaihis salaam) later made the shirt into a Ta’weez and placed it around the neck of Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam) as a protection against evil sight, and other things. This is evident in “Tafseer-e-Jalaalain”, “Tafseer-e-Saawi” and other books.

 

“And that shirt belonged to Sayyiduna Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) which he wore at the time when he was put into the fire. It was also around the neck of Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam) when he was thrown into the well.” (Jalaalain)

 

“That shirt was by Sayyiduna Ebrahim (alaihis salaam). When he passed away, Sayyiduna Yaqoob (alaihis salaam) then received it. He placed the shirt in a silver cover, lengthened the top and placed it around the neck of Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam) for the protection from evil sight. When he was thrown bare into the deep well, then Jibraeel (alaihis salaam) came and removed the shirt from the Ta’weez and dressed him in it.” (Tafseer Saawi, Vol. 2, page 258)

 

Sayyiduna Ebrahim Khaleelullah’s (alaihis salaam) shirt passing from one Nabi to another Nabi, it being placed as a Ta’weez around the neck of Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam), for it to be used for the regaining of sight, and for Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam) to send the Kurta to his father, Sayyiduna Yaqoob (alaihis salaam), is clear proof that to preserve the Tabarukaat of the pious servants, to show respect and honour towards it, to keep it for the cure of illnesses, etc. is not only permissible, but is the manner of the Ambiya (alaihimus salaam).

 

ARGUMENTS FROM HADITH SHAREEF

 

There are many Ahadith Shareef concerning Tabarukaat that cannot be included in this booklet. From these (Hadith), a few are being quoted to prove our position:

 

(1) It has been narrated from Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) summoned a barber to remove the right-hand side of his hair. He then called Sayyiduna Abu Talha Ansaari (radi Allahu anhu) and gave all the hair to him. He then commanded the left-hand side of his hair to be removed and gave it to Sayyiduna Abu Talha (radi Allahu anhu), saying, “Distribute it amongst the people.” (Bukhari; Muslim)

 

Commenting on this Hadith, Imam-e-Ajal Abu Zakariyyah Nawawi Shaafa’i (radi Allahu anhu) states: “From this Hadith it has been proven that to take blessings from the blessed hair of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and to keep it with you is permissible.” (Muslim, Vol. 1, page 421)

 

The command of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) to distribute the hair among the Sahaba-e-Kiraam is evident that Tabarukaat are objects of benefit and blessings. Whoever receives this will become prosperous.

  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Fast of ‘Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)

Posted by al Adaab on January 23, 2007

 

The Fast of ‘Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)

Hadhrat Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) say: “It is the day of ‘Ashura. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has not made fasting obligatory for you. But I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it (does not have to) observe it.” [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Qatada (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates that the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Huraira (Radiyallahu ‘anh) reports that the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said that after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence. [Sahih Muslim]

Alhamdulillah, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has blessed us to see another year. The first month of this year is Muharram. In this month is an excellent day—the day of ‘Ashura—which falls on the 10th of Muharram. The Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) recommended that we fast on this day, by his Sunnah. He also indicated how we should observe the fast of ‘Ashura.

Hakam ibn Al-Arat (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates: I went to Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu ‘anh)… I said to him: Tell me about fasting on ‘Ashura. He said, “When you seen the new moon of Muharram count the (days) and (begin to) observe fast on the 9th.” I said to him: “Is it how the Holy Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) observed the fast?” He said, “Yes.” [Sahih Muslim]

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates that when the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said: “If I survive till next year, I will definitely observe fast on the 9th of Muharram (as well).” [Sahih Muslim]

(Note: What the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) meant was that he would also fast on the 9th as well as the 10th to which he was accustomed. We also should try fasting on the 9th and the 10th of Muharram.)

The Historical Significance of ‘Ashura

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu ‘anh) reports that the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) arrived in Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura… They said: “It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Hadhrat Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Sayyidina Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it.” The Holy Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) responded: “We have more right, and we have closer connection with Sayyidina Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) than you have”; so Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) observed fast (on the day of ‘Ashura) and gave us orders to observe it. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

  • ‘Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day:
  • Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam (‘Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise;
  • Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) saved Sayyidina Nuh (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark;
  • Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod;
  • And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments.
  • On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy);
  • Sayyidina Yusuf (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (‘Alaihis-Salaam);
  • Sayyidina Yunus (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of Israel was delivered from captivity and Pharaoh’s army was destroyed.
  • ‘Ashura is also the day when the kingdom of Sulaiman (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored;
  • Sayyidina Isa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah; and Sayyidina al- Imam Husayn (Radiyallahu ‘anh) (the Holy Nabi’s, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.

Worship Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) as much as you can on ‘Ashura. Whoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whoever clothes a naked person Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will release him from a painful punishment. He who visits a sick person, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will grant him a reward that will not be decreased. Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head, or feeds a hungry person or gives water to a thirsty man, Allah will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate). And whoever takes a Ghusl on this day will enjoy excellent health and freedom from sickness and indolence. Whoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will be generous to him throughout this year. And whoever applies Kuhl to his eyes will never suffer from eye-sore again, Insha’Allah al-Aziz

O’ Allah! Bless us to perform good deeds and gain their reward on ‘Ashura. Make the new year one of unity, cooperation and success for Muslims in this city and around the world. Ameen.

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Imam Jalaaluddin As Suyuti (RA) on the Excellence of Ahlul Bayt: a short excerpt

Posted by al Adaab on January 23, 2007

Ihyaa il Mayyit bi Fadhail-e-Ahle Bayt

by

Imam Jalaaludin As Suyuti

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful

 

Praise be to Allah and benediction upon those purified personalities who were the chosen ones from all of humanity- Muhammad and Aale Muhammad. This is a collection of sixty traditions and I have given it the title “Ihyaail Mayyit be Fadhail-e-Ahle Bayt” (Excellences of Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allah ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een) that bring the dead back to life).

By this endeavour the writer’s aim is to awaken the people from their slumber like the revivification of a dry tree. So that, the excellences of Aale Muhammad inculcates in the people love for these noble personages and by following their example they may achieve success in this world as well as the hereafter.

Tradition No. 1

It is recorded in the Sunan of Saeed Ibn Mansoor from Saeed ibne Jubair that, the people whose love has been made obligatory in the Quranic ayat, “Say I do not ask for any recompense for this except the love of my nearest relatives”; are the nearest of the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.).  

Tradition No. 2 

It has been recorded in the commentaries of Ibne Mundhir, Ibne Ibi Hatim and Ibne Murduwya; and also in the Mojamul Kabir of Tibrani that Ibne Abbas said: “When the verse, ‘Say I do not ask for any recompense for this except the love of my nearest relatives’ was revealed, I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah who are your nearest relatives whose love is obligatory for us’? The Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) replied, “Ali, Fatimah, and their two sons.”

Tradition No. 3 

Ibn Abi Hatim narrates from Ibne Abbas regarding the ayat of Quran: “…and whoever earns good,”
Ibne Abbas said that it refers to those who love Aale Muhammad.”
And it is narrated from Imam Hasan (Karam Allahu wajhahu) that he said, “earning of good is loving us Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu  ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een).”
It is the honour achieved only through the love and attachment of the Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu  ta’ala alaihim ajma’een)

Tradition No. 4 

Ahmed, Tirmizi, Sehah, Nasai and Hakim have all narrated through Matlab bin Rabi that the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) said: “By Allah! Faith cannot enter the heart of anyone if he does not love my nearest relatives for the sake of Allah and for the sake of the nearest relatives.” 

Tradition No. 5 

Muslim, Tirmizi and Nasai have recorded from Zaid bin Arqam that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) said: “Fear Allah! Beware that you do not distance yourself from my Ahle Bayt.” The same tradition is recorded in Sahih Muslim in the chapter of the excellences of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (Karam Allahu wajhahu). The Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) has repeated the words “Fear Allah” thrice. 

Tradition No. 6

Tirmizi, Husna and Al-Hakim record from Zaid bin Arqam that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) said: “I am leaving amongst you those things that if you remain attached to them you will not deviate after me. (they are) The book of Allah and my Progeny, my Ahle Bayt. They will not separate till they reach me at the pool. So be careful how you behave with them (after me). 

Tradition 7

Abd bin Hameed has mentioned in his Musnad that Zaid ibne Thabit reported from the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.): “I leave amongst you those things that if you remain attached with them you will not deviate after me. (They are) the Book of Allah and my Progeny, my Ahle Bayt. They will not separate till they meet me at the Haudh (of Kauthar).

Tradition 8 

Ahmad and Abu Yaala relate from Abu Saeed Khudri that the Prophet of Allah remarked: “In the near future I would be summoned by Allah and I would respond. I leave amongst you two weighty things, The Book of Allah and my Progeny, my Ahle Bayt. The All-Aware and the Kind Allah has informed me that these two will not separate till they reach me at the Haudh (Cistern of Kauthar). So take care as to how you behave with them.

Tradition 9 

Tirmizi, Husnah and Tibrani quote Ibne Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) said: “Love Allah for His countless bounties upon you and love me because you love Allah, and my Ahle Bayt because of me. The Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) also said: “The love of Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu  ta’ala alaihim ajma’een) for a single day is better than a worship of whole year.” 

Tradition 10

Bukhari has narrated from Abu Bakr that he said: “Muhammad (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) should be considered to belong to his Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu  ta’ala alaihim ajma’een).” 

Tradition 11

Tibrani and Hakim have reported through Ibne Abbas that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) said: “O sons of Abdul Muttalib. I pray to Allah that He maintains and establishes three things among you; that is your ignorant may acquire knowledge, your misguided ones receive guidance and may you be bestowed, generosity, helpfulness and mercy.  One who prays and fasts all his life and dies between Rukn and Maqam, but harbours malice against the Ahle Bayt of Muhammad (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) will be made to enter (Hell) Fire.” 

Tradition 12 

Tibrani has also quoted the Messenger of Allah through Ibne Abbas: “Hatred of Bani Hashim and the Ansar (supporters) is (equivalent to) disbelief and hatred of the Arabs is hypocrisy”.
 

Tradition 13 

Ibne Adi mentions in his book from Abu Saeed Khudri that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) said: “One who hates us, the Ahle Bayt, is a hypocrite.”  

Tradition 14 

Ibne Hayyan records in his Sahih and Hakim has also quoted Abu Saeed that the Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) said: “By the one who controls my life! Whoever hates us, Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu  ta’ala alaihim ajma’een), will made to enter the fire (of Hell) by Allah.”  

Tradition 15 

Tibrani mentions that Al-Hasan ibne Ali (Karam Allahu wajhahu) told Moawiya ibne Khudij: “I warn you against hating us, for surely the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) has said: “None hates us and none envies us except that he will be chased away from the Haudh (Pool) by maces of fire.”

Posted in Ahlul Bayt, Sayyidinaa Muhammad Sallu alaihi wa Aalihi | 2 Comments »

The Month of Muharram

Posted by al Adaab on January 23, 2007

 

The Month of Muharram

The First Month of the Islamic Calendar

Extracted from

Lata’if al-Ma`arif  of Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (Allah have mercy on him)

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

This is the first of a regular series of posts, inshaAllah, giving the fiqh of the months of the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, based on the comprehensive work by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (Allah have mercy on him, 736-790 AH), Lata’if al-Ma`arif fi ma li Mawasim al-`Am min al-Wadha’if. Imam Ibn Rajab filled his magnificent work with hadiths, sayings of the righteous, and treasures of knowledge and wisdom. Only a small handful of the vast oceans of this wisdom is translated, because of the large size of the work, which is close to 600 pages in length.

Details relevant to Hanafi fiqh will be added to this, inshaAllah.

Faraz Rabbani.

Duties of the Month of Muharram:

1. It is the best of months for general voluntary fasts, after Ramadan.

2. It is especially recommended to fast the 10th of Muharram (known as the Day of `Ashura’), with a day before it or after it. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Kasani’s al-Bada’i`]

3. It is also virtuous to give in charity on this day.

Extracts from Ibn Rajab’s Lata’if al-Ma`arif, regarding the month of Muharram:

The Virtues of Fasting in the Month of Muharram and Its First Ten Days

Muslim reported from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The best of fasts after the month of Ramadan are in the Month of Allah, which you call Muharram. And the best of prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer.” [Muslim, 1163]

This refers to general voluntary fasts according to Imam Ibn Rajab (Allah have mercy on him): These are best in the month of Muharram, just as the best general voluntary prayer is night prayer.

The virtue and honor of this month can be attested to by the fact that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) called it, ‘the Month of Allah.’ (Shahr Allah) Such ascription is only made by Allah to the most special of His creation, such as the ascription of the Prophets Muhammad, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ya`qub, and others to his slavehood (Allah’s peace and blessings be on them all), and His ascription of the House (Ka`ba) and the camel to himself.

Given that Allah ascribed fasting, between all spiritual works, to Himself [saying, “It is Mine,”] it was suitable that this month, which is also ascribed to Allah, be selected for this particular form of worship.

Fasting is a secret between the servant and his Lord. This is why Allah Mighty and Exalted says, [in the divine hadith (hadith qudsi)], “Every action of the son of Adam is his, except for fasting. It is Mine, and it is I who reward it.” [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “The fasting person has two joys: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord.” [Muslim]

Night Prayer

As for voluntary night prayer (qiyam al-layl), it is superior to voluntary prayer during the day because it is closer to secrecy, and nearer to sincerity (ikhlas).

Allah Most High said, “Lo! the vigil of the night is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain.” [Qur’an, 73.9]

This is because the time of the night vigil (tahajjud) is the best of times for voluntary prayer, and the closest a servant gets to his Lord. It is a time when the doors of the skies are opened, supplications answered, and needs fulfilled.

Allah Most High has praised those who wake up at night in His remembrance, supplication, seeking forgiveness, and intimate entreating (munajat), saying, “Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.” [Qur’an, 32.16-17]

And, “Or he who pays adoration in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, bewaring of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only those of understanding will pay heed.” [Qur’an, 39.9]

And He said to His Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), “And some part of the night awake for it, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17.79]

It has been said that those who worship at night will enter Paradise without reckoning, and that standing in night prayer shortens the length of one’s Standing on the Day of Judgment.

This is why the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Stick to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you. Night prayer is a means of closeness to Allah Most High, of expiating for bad deeds, avoiding sins, and keeping away illness from one’s body.” [Tirmidhi (3543], Bayhaqi, and others; it is a sound (hasan) hadith]

Similarly, it has been related that fasting is a means for good health. The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, “Fast, and you shall have good health.” [Ahmad, from Abu Hurayra]

Lovers have no time more joyous than when they are alone in entreating their Beloved. This is the healing for their hearts, and the great thing that they could long for.

This is why Abu Sulayman al-Darani would say, “The people of the night find more joy than the people of distraction (lahw) in their distractions. Were it not for the night, I would not like to remain living.”

The Day of `Ashura’: The Tenth of Muharram

It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him and his father) that he was asked about fasting the Day of `Ashura’ [10th of Muharram]. He said, “I did not see the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fast a day while more avid to seek its virtue than this day,” meaning the Day of `Ashura’.” [Bukhari (2006), and Muslim (1132)].

The Day of `Ashura’ has great virtue, and tremendous sanctity (hurma). The virtue of fasting it was known among the Prophets (peace be upon them all). Both Prophet Nuh and Prophet Musa (peace be upon them both) fasted it.

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The Spirit of Imam Husain’s Martyrdom

Posted by al Adaab on January 23, 2007

The Spirit of Imam Husain’s Martyrdom
Taken from Shahadat-e-Husain, by Maulana Abul-Kalam Azad

Nature of Umayyad Rule

To illustrate a few points, it may be stated that the Umayyad’s rule was unIslamic. Any rule which is based on force and violence can never be Islamic. The Umayyads crushed the spirit of democratic freedom. They laid the foundation of their authority on unscrupulous tactics and coercive methods instead of on mutual consultation and Ijma’ (Consensus). The Umayyad state craft did not follow the Shari’ah in total, but it was motivated merely by lust of power and political ends. Such a serious menace to the basic values of Islam demanded a heroic struggled against arbitration and a crusade for the vindication of truth and freedom.
Imam Husain’s character as a Mu’min

These were the changes that appeared in the wake of converting the Islamic Khulafat into dynastic imperialism. No one can deny that Yazid’s nomination as successor to his father was the starting point of all these transformation. It cannot be gainsaid that after a short span of time from the point of origin all the corrupt practices mentioned above came into existence. At the time when this revolutionary step was adopted, there was no indication of these evils, but a man of vision could have predicted these inevitable consequences of such a beginning and that the reforms introduced by Islam in the administration and political phases of the state would be rendered null and void by these charges. This is the reason why Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) could not remain indifferent to this undesirable development. He, therefore, decided to stem the tide of the evil forces taking the risk of confronting the worst consequences by rising the revolt against an established government. The consequences of his bold stand are known to every one. The fact which Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) wanted to emphasize by plunging himself into grave danger and enduring its consequences heroically was that the fundamental features of the Islamic State are valuable assets. It would not be a bad bargain, if a believer sacrificed his life and get his family members slain for preserving this valuable object. A believer should not hesitate to sacrifice all that he possesses for preventing the changes which constitute a serious danger to the religion of al-Islam and the Muslim Community which is a custodian of the constitutional values. One is at liberty to contemptuously disregard it as merely a maneuver for securing power, but in the eyes of Imam Husain bin Ali (radiyallahu ‘anh), it was primarily a religious obligation. He, therefore, laid down his life in this cause gaining the crown of martyrdom.

Imam Husain’s Role

Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh), Sayyid-ush-Shuhadaa, initiated the holy war against the oppressive regime of the Umayyads and refused to take the oath of allegiance to that authority. It is a sacred legacy bequeathed to posterity by Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) that Muslims should never submit to any authority which defies the Divine Law, maintains itself by force and foists it arbitrary decisions on the people at the cost of inherent freedom. The struggle in this cause does not necessitate mobilization of men, money and material on the scaled possessed by the hostile temporal authority. Husain bin Ali (radiyallahu ‘anh) did not possess the sinews of war. He had the support of only a small band of helpless and un-armed individuals. A person entrenched in righteousness and truth does not care for consequences. The outcome of the struggle lies in the hands of the power that is always on the side of Justice and Truth. Cruelty eventually suffers a set back, gains despair and despondency despite its overwhelming superiority in number and resources. On such occasions, one surrenders to considerations of expediency through the agony of the accursed Shaitan who creates doubt in the mind of defenders of Truth whether the result is worth achieving at cost of much bloodshed. This can very easily be contradicted. Apart from numerous instances of Jihad, there is the event of Karbala that is a glaring example of a fight heroically fought by 62-72 scantily armed persons against the massive forces of a formidable state. It is true that Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) saw his kith and kin in utter distress suffering the agonies of hunger and thirst; witnessed each and every one of them writhing in dust and blood one after the other; it is also a fact that he did not even possess the force to wrest a morsel of bread from the enemy sufficient for their survival, but he eventually surrendered himself to the Supreme Being, sustaining grave injuries all over his body. However he came out successfully in the test. His wounded head was adorned with the crown of victory.
Imam Husain’s Martyrdom and Humanity

Now the question arises whether Imam Husain’s martyrdom was only the result of his attempt to seize the throne and the sympathy it evokes in the readers is the natural reaction to a splendid failure? Or, is this merely the recalcitrant attitude or unscrupulous policy of a short tempered leader who, by chance, happened to be the grandson of their beloved Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) and solely on this account, do they come out for his defense. Whether this is a heart-rending story of the ruthless and brutal destruction of a weak party, the narration of which induces you to burst into tears? The history of the world provides a number of instances appealing to our sympathy. It is so much replete with individual and collective incidents of failure and frustration, on one hand, and those of cruelty and barbarism, on the other, that the world will not be particularly impressed with the tragic episode of Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh). No! Imam Husain’s story does not purport to be anything of this kind. It is in the main, a story of human dignity; a tale of revealing the essential nobility of man; an account of a man’s ascent to the peak of grandeur. It presents a lofty deal of individual and collective human life; it is a mile-stone in the long journey from beastly slavery to human freedom; it is a proclamation of Allah’s Kingdom in this ephemeral world; it is an irrefutable proof of the possibility of its establishment among human being; it is a beacon light which guides humanity to perfection. Whenever evil forces make a bid to put out this light with their breath, the monumental performance of Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) intensifies its refulgence. When humanity falters in adhering to the path of truth and freedom, the example set up by Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) gives it a support and comes to its rescue. When the tyrants proud of their wealth, power, and authority harass the unassuming and helpless followers of Truth and when the incessant failure of the champions of truth cast doubt upon the validity of its claim, Imam Husain’s heroic stand in its cause teaches them the lesson of perseverance and save them from falling a prey to despair and despondency. When the rising power of tyrants overawes the individual, Imam Husain’s example reminds him that the duty of stimulating resistance against brutal power ultimately devolves on him. It matters not if for making such an attempt, the enemy offers him a cup of poison, sends him to the gallows, stones him to death, or stains the earth with his blood. Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) brings this fact home to the worldly persons that “life” does not mean just living, no matter how. He asserts that life sometimes means to live and sometimes to surrender it.
 

Real Object of Imam Husain’s Sacrifice

Every year, in the month of Muharram, millions of Muslims mourn Imam Husain’s martyrdom. It is regretable that among those mourners, there are very few persons who focus their attention on the real cause for which Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) not only sacrificed his own life, but also the lives of his kith and kin. It is but natural for the adherents and devoted followers of a man to feel grieved at his martyrdom. This sort of sentiment does not carry much of moral value; it is nothing but a spontaneous reaction of the mind of his relations and sympathizers. But the point at issue is what is the special feather of Imam Husain’s martyrdom that keeps the grief for him afresh although about 1,400 years have elapsed since this tragic event took place. If the martyrdom is not associated with any high ideal, it is meaningless to say that the mourning continues for centuries on personal grounds. If viewed in correct perspective, one may well ask what value Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) himself would attach to such devotion. If his own person were dearer to him than any ideology or subject, why did he sacrifice it at all? His sacrifice is a conclusive proof that this object was dearer to him than his own life. If we do not have a clear idea of Imam Husain’s purpose, but continue lamentation at each anniversary of his martyrdom, we can neither expect any appreciation from Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) on the Day of Resurrection, nor will it have any value with his Allah.

Let us ask what was that ideal or object! Did Imam Husain (radiyallahu ‘anh) affirm his claim to succession to the Caliphate and did he stake his life to vindicate this claim? Any one who knows the high moral standard of Imam Husain’s household cannot harbor this vile notion that the members of such a sacred family could have caused bloodshed among the Muslims for gaining political power for themselves. If, for argument’s sake this viewpoint is taken for granted that members of Bani Hashim had a claim for power, even then the 50-year’s history, from Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (radiyallahu ‘anh) Caliphate down to the period of Hazrat Amir Mu’awiyah, bears evidence that waging war and causing bloodshed merely to seize power had never been their motive. As a logical corollary, one has to admit that Imam Husain’s keep eye discerned symptoms of decay and corruption in the system of the Islamic State, and the felt impelled to resist these evil forces. He even deemed it his duty to wage war in this connection, as the situation so warranted.

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Women’s Prayer: Why is it different? An answer to the Modernist Salafis

Posted by al Adaab on January 18, 2007

Women’s Prayer: Why is it different?
An Answer to the Salafis

 From:

THE SALAH OF WOMEN

published by Madrasah Arabiyyah Islamiyah (Aazadville)

Sheikh Albani says in his book ‘The Prophet’s Prayer’:
All that has been mentioned of the description of the Prophet’s prayer (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) applies equally to men and women, for there is nothing in the Sunnah to necessitate the exception of women from any of these descriptions; in fact, the generality of his statement (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “Pray as you have seen me praying”, includes women.
This is the view of Ibraaheem an-Nakh’i, who said, “A woman’s actions in the prayer are the same as a man’s” – transmitted by Ibn Abi Shaibah(1/75/2), with a saheeh sanad from him.

Also, Bukhaari reported in at-Taareekh as-Sagheer (p.95) with a saheeh sanad from Umm ad-Dardaa’, “that she used to sit in her prayer just as a man sits, and she was a woman of understanding. ”
The hadeeth about the indimaam (tucking up) of a woman in prostration, and that she is in that regard not like a man, is mursal and not authentic. Abu Daawood transmitted it in al-Maraaseel on the authority of Yazeed ibn Abi Habeeb.
As for what Imaam Ahmad has reported, as in his son ‘Abdullaah’s Masaa’il, from Ibn ‘Umar, that he used to instruct his wives to sit cross-legged in prayer, its sanad is not authentic, for it contains ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar al-‘Amri, who is a da’eef (weak) narrator.

Response to this:

As for those who claim there is no difference in the salah of males and females, they have absolutely no evidence – neither from the Qur’aan nor the Ahaadith. However, if they use the practice of Umm ud-Dardaa, their proof is unsubstantiated for several reasons.

Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:

“Makhul reports that Umm ud-Dardaa used to sit like males in salaah. ”
(al-Musannafli-Ibn Abi Shaybah: vol. 1 p 270) (Imam Bukhari has also quoted this statement. However, he has not mentioned any chain of narrators for it. It is for this reason I have quoted the work of Ibn Abi Shaybah)
It is incorrect to use this athar for the following reasons:

1. Hafizh Jamaal ud-Din Yusuf al-Mizzi has mentioned her among the Taabi’in. (Tahzheeb al-Kamaal fi-Asmaa ir-Rijaal: vol.22 p 464).The practice of a lone tabi’i is incorrect to adopt even if it may not be contrary to the principles. Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalaani states in Fath ul-Baari:
“The practice of a lone Tabi’i, even though it may not contradict any principle, will not be used as proof. ” (Fath ul-Baari: vol. 2 p 243)

Hafizh Ibn Hajar has only counted her among the Taabi’in. He says:

“It can be realised from the narration of Makhul that that narration refers to the younger Umm ud-Dardaa, the Tabi’iyyah, not the elder sahabiyyah because Makhulmet the former not the latter. ” (Ibid)

2. Even if it accepted that she was a Sahabiyyah, then the narration becomes munqati’ and will not be acceptable according to the principles of the Muhaddithin. It will also be regarded as her opinion. She did not encourage anyone else to follow her practice . Neither did she present any action or statement of Rasulullah nor the fatwa of any Khalifah.
Accordingly, with regard to the salah of women, the position of this opinion in the face of the practically adopted method of the ummah (tawaatur) is like the position of shaazqira’a has opposed to mutawaatir qira’ah. It is very clear that no muslim leaves the mutawaatir qira’ah for the shaazqira’ah.

3. Furthermore, if one examines the words of this narration carefully, it supports the view of the majority. The sitting posture of Umm ud-Dardaa has been compared to the posture of males in this narration which infers that the posture of the other Sahaabiyyaat was different as mentioned previously.

4. Imam Abu Ja’far at-Tahaawi rahimahullah has narrated the following hadith:
“Ibrahim Abi Abalah reports that he saw Umm ud-Dardaa performing salaah cross-legged”
(Tuhfat al-Akhyaarbi-Tarteebi SharhMushkil al-Aathaar li-Abi Ja’farat-Tahaawi: vol. 2 p 338, and Hafizh Mizzi has narrated this atharin Tahzheeb al-Kamaal: vol. 22 p 468)

This narration contradicts the one mentioned by Ibn Abi Shaybah rahimahullah. It will accordingly not remain worthy of substantiating any Shar’i law.
.. .
in another narration of Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (vol. 1 p270), one finds the following words:
Ibrahim said: “A woman should sit in salah as a man does. ” This quotation indicates permissibility. However, Naasir ud-Din al-Albaani has interpolated the words of this narration thus:
“A woman should so as a man does in salah. “(Sifatu Salatin-Nabiy p 207)

This interpolation has clearly changed the meaning of the words and is a misleading act.
(Taken from THE SALAH OF WOMEN published by Madrasah Arabiyyah Islamiyah Aazadville)

Chapter 4 – Proofs from Prophetic Hadiths

Imam Bayhaqi has mentioned a principle which is the basis of the differences found in the salah of males and females.

He says:

“The separating factor between the laws of salah of males and females is that of concealment . A woman is commanded to do all those actions which are more concealing for her. ” (as-Sunan al-Kubra alil-Bayhaqi: vol. 2 p 222)

RAISING THE HANDS

Hafidh Nur ud-Din Haythami states:

Wa’il ibn Hujr states that Rasulullah said to him, “O Ibn Hujr, when you perform salah, raise your hands till your ears while a woman should raise her hands till her chest . “(Majma’ uz-Zawaa’id: vol. 2 p 103, and I’laa us-Sunan: vol. 2 p 156)
Imam Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:

“Abd Rabbih Ibn Zaytun said that he saw Umm ud-Dardaa raising her hands parallel to her shoulders when beginning salah. “(al-Musannaf li-Ibn Abi Shaybah: vol. 1 p 239)
Ibn Abi Shaybah has also narrated:

“`Ataa was asked how a woman should raise her hands in salah. He replied that she should raise them till her breast ” (Ibid)

Based at Makkah, Ataa [the great Follower (tabi`i) and imam] used to issue this fatwa.
Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:

“Hammad ibn Salamah al-Basri used to say that a woman should raise her hands parallel to her breast when beginning salah. “(Ibid)

Hammad was based at Kufa and he used to issue this fatwa.

The narration of Ibn Jurayj has been mentioned as follows:

Ibn Jurayj said, “I asked Ataa whether a woman should gesture with her hands like a male when making takbir. Ataa replied that she should not raise her hands like a male. Then he practically indicated with his hands how it should be done by lowering his hands and drawing them very close to his body. Then he said, “In the raising of the hands, a woman is unlike a man . And if she leaves that, there is no harm. “”

The Muslim Ummah continued this practice over the centuries. Imam Zuhri used to issue the same fatwa in Madinah.

PLACING THE HANDS

Allamah Abdul-Hayy Luckhnawi writes:

“As for women, the jurists are unanimous that it is sunnah for them to place their hands on their bosoms. ”
(as-Si’aayah: vol. 2 p 152)

There is ijmaa’ on this mas’alah.

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Ethal At Thawaab (making dua for forgiveness of ones sins or the sins of others )

Posted by al Adaab on January 18, 2007

Ethal At Thawaab

Excerpt from “Traditional Scholarship and Modern Misunderstandings: Understanding the Ahl e Sunnah” by Abu Ammar

To put simply, Esal e Sawab is nothing other than to ask Allah for the forgiveness of our sins, and to raise the spiritual status of the deceased. This may be achieved through various practices, such as the offering of du’as [supplications], to recite the Qur’an, to offer Qurbani [at Eid al Adha], and also, to perform a compulsory Hajj [fard] on the behalf of the deceased.

As this chapter will seek to demonstrate, Insh Allah, by using the Qur’an and the Sunnah as evidence, and by examining the fatwawa’s of the scholars of Islam, we shall indeed discover that this is not an innovative practice [bid’a], but something that has been practiced by Muslims throughout the centuries, and secondly, which is permissible.


Evidence from the Qur’an

Allah (Almighty.) has ordered the Muslims (believers) that you pray for your parents as follows:

O’ My Lord [Allah (Almighty.], have mercy on my parents like they have bought me up through my childhood.
(Surah Isra, Verse 24)
Allah (Almighty.) has praised those Muslims who ask for forgiveness of the deceased. They ask for forgiveness in the following manner:

O’ Allah (Almighty.) forgive us and forgive our Muslim brothers and sisters who have passed away.

(Surah Hashir, Verse 10)

The above mentioned verses demonstrate that if anyone prays on behalf of another person, the latter will receive the [spiritual] benefits – Allah Willing. This also demonstrates that if it was the wrong action Allah would not have ordered us to pray for other people, nor would He have stated that those who ask for forgiveness for the deceased, receive praises from Allah.

Evidence from the Sunnah

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim write that:

A man came to the Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] and said ‘My mother has suddenly died and she did not leave any will, but I suspect that if she did that then she would have told me to give something to charity. Now if I offer something in charity on her behalf, will she get the reward?’Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] said ‘Yes’. Then the man said that I make you, the Prophet, as my witness, that I offer my garden full of fruits to charity.

(Bukhari Muslim, Chapter Al-Wasiha)
This hadith, as can be clearly read, proves that to offer a charity on behalf of the deceased will result in the deceased obtainig a benefit.

Imam Bukhari writes that:

Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] has said, The status of the deceased is raised(during their time in the grave), and the deceased ask Allah (Almighty.) why has this happened, Allah (Almighty.) replies that your son has prayed for your forgiveness. (Al-Adab, Al-Mufid Chapter Excellency of the Parents by Imam Bukhari)

From this particular hadith, it can be understood that not only charity, but the offering of prayers (making duas) and the giving of alms, will also benefit the deceased.

After providing evidence from the primary and secondary sources, we shall now move onto the evidences provided by some of the scholars on this topic.

Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah writes:

From the authentic Hadith, there is evidence pointing out that the deceased person will gain rewards from all the good deeds carried out on his/her behalf by others. Some people raise the objection that a person can only gain reward from their own actions, and refer to the Qur’an [for evidence]. This is not correct. Firstly, because a Muslim recieves the reward of those deeds that he /she has never done themselves [for example]: like Allah says in the Qur’an that the Angels of the Throne of Allah, glorify Allah and ask for forgiveness on behalf of all the Muslims. It is also evident from the Qur’an: [that] Allah (The Almighty) ordered Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] to pray for his Ummah, since his du’a is the peace of mind for the Ummah. In the same way the d’ua is offered in the funeral prayer, also when visiting the grave and offering d’ua for the deceased.

Secondly, we know that Allah (Almighty.) rewards us through the deeds of other people, which are carried out on our behalf. An example is where the Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] said “Whenever a Muslim prays for other Muslims, Allah (Almighty.) appoints an Angel to say Amin”, i.e., the angel asks Allah (Almighty.) for the acceptance of the prayer. Sometimes Allah (Almighty.) blesses the participants of the funeral prayer in response to the prayer from the deceased and vice versa.

(Mujmua Al-Fatawa vol:7, page 500 & vol:24, page 367) Published by Hafidhh Ibn-e-Taymiyyah in Saudi Arabia

Hafidhh Ibn Qayyam writes:-

“If a Muslim recites Qur’an, performs Hajj, offers du’a, gives in charity on the behalf of the deceased, then the deceased gets the benefits of it. Some innovators say that the deceased do not get any such reward, which is wrong according to the authentic Hadith. The proof is in the Qur’an that Allah (Almighty.) has praised those who ask for forgiveness for their Muslim brothers. Authentic Hadith proves that Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] replied to a question saying that to offer alms on behalf of a deceased person earns benefit. Some individuals suspect that the earlier Muslims did not do Esal-e-Sawab. This is because of their own ignorance or lack of knowledge. The earlier Muslims did not do these to show off. The Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] himself gave permission to offer Alms, so it is right to say that Esal-e-Sawab is right. The ayah in the Qur’an which states that only the own deeds are rewarded, means that he is righteous to get rewarded, which means that he is righteous to receive reward, but a present from someone else is also rewarded to the deceased by Allah (Almighty.).
(Kitab-ur-Rooh; by Hafidhh Ibn-ul-Qayyam Chapter 16)

Qadi Shawkani writes:

According to the Sunni faith, a deceased receives rewards from others praying, performing Hajj, offering Alms, but the “Mutazala” refuse to accept this. if it is wrong to offer these to the deceased, then Islam would not have allowed us to say “Salaam” (peace be to you) to the deceased when visiting or entering the graveyards. (Nal-Al-Autar, chapter: Janaiz by Qadi Shawkani).

These above references prove our argument for Esal-e-Swab and that the suspicion that people harbour in that it has no basis in either the Qur’an or the Sunnah, is not true.

Origins and Development

The origin of Esal-e-Swab is in the Qur’an but it is carried out in different manner in different communities. For example, to preach Islam to invite others to the Deen is proven but the methods are different for different situations. For example Islamic circles are held on Saturday’s or Sunday’s some but it is not mentioned in the Qur’an or Hadith that they should be held on these evenings. In the same way, the origin of Esal-e-Swab is in the Qur’an and Hadith and to call it an innovation is not right. Now we will discuss a few things concerning with Esal-e-Swab to which according to some people are, innovations

1) When a person dies, Muslims offer Alms, “Sadaqa”, on his behalf and pray in congregation. In these gatherings Islamic teachings are preached; This serves as a way to preach or spread Islam.Through these gatherings, the deceased receive benefit because Muslims pray for his/her fogiveness and others get knowledge of Islam. The poor get benefit from these Alms or charity. As you can see if you look at it from any angle, it is not an innovation.
2) Some people raise the question that a day should not be fixed for this, in that fixing such a day is “Haram” in Islam. The answer to this question is that “fixing a day” is Haram, Esal e sawaab will be haraam if it is said that outside of this day it will not be Esal-e-Sawab, (like Qurbani, Hajj and Salaah times are fixed), but Esal-e-Sawab on a fixed day is just for convenience of relatives and friends for “Du’a”. Like any Islamic conference, the date of it is fixed in advance. Alternatively, like Salaah “Jamat” time is unlike fixed. No one can become an innovator because of this. in the same way, to fix a day for “Du’a” for the deceased is not an innovation.

In Islam is it permissible for a person to fix a time, or date for voluntary (Nafal) prayer?

Imam Bukhari writes one day after the Fajar prayer, the Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] asked Bilal [May Allah bless him and grant him peace], tell me what good deeds you do because I heard your foot steps in Jannat. Bilal replied the only thing I do is after I make Wudu I pray Nafal how much Allah (Almighty.) wills me to do.

(Bukhari: Chapter of Salaah)

Hafidhh Asqalani writes in his commentary on this Hadith. We can understand from this Hadith that it is permissible for a person to fix a time for his/her voluntary prayer.

(Fath-ul-Bari Book of Salaah)

There is a prayer (Du’a) said for the deceased for this we can fix a time that suits our self. We can give charity for them, keep fast for them and also we can get together and read Qur’an for them. For the people who get together and read Qur’an, we could be hospitible by providing for them by giving food and drink. This is all done with the intention of Sawab (blessings). For example, when Islamic circles are held, there are usually refreshments held after and this is carried out with the intention of blessings. This is one way of doing Esal-e-Sawab. There are many other ways of doing Esal-e-Sawab. One of them is urs.

Urs

Urs, is done annually for a saint by his disciples (Mureeds). They hold this Urs in the mosque near the grave of the saint. They recite the Qur’an and various scholars give lectures on different topics of Islam. The audience are allowed to question the scholars on anything they wish. At the end a du’a is said and then hospitality is done for the people. The hospitality is solely done for the blessings.

Some people consider this an innovation (bidah) and regard it to be forbidden (haram). They object to this and ask questions such as “Why once a year?” The other objection they have towards this is that the Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] curses those who build mosques on the grave. Therefore, the objection they hold is that if a mosque is not allowed to be built on the graves, how can we hold a gathering such as urs there. The answer to the first question regarding “Why once a year?” is:

Imam Tabari, Hafidhh-Ibn-Kathir and Qurtabi write:

The Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] used to go to the graves of the martyrs of Uhd once a year and also recite the verse of the Holy Qur’an on excellence of patience. The Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] used to pray for them. When the beloved Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] passed away himself, the Khalifs, Abu-Bakr [May Allah bless him and grant him peace], Umar [May Allah bless him and grant him peace], Usman [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] and Ali [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] used to do the same thing.

[Tafsir Tabari, Tafsir Ibn-Kathir and Tafsir Qurtabi by Imam Tabari, Hafidhh Ibn-Kathir. Imam Qurtabi commentary of Surah Ra’d Verse 20.]

From all this we can conclude or understand that going to the grave of a saint once a year is permissible and is not an innovation (bidah). Also to lecture in a gathering is just another way of doing Dawah (work propagating Islam).

As for the answer to the second question. To build a mosque on the grave. The meaning of the Hadith is not to prostrate to the grave. There is proof in the Qur’an of building a mosque for saints near the grave.

Allah says in the Qur’an

They said, build over their cave any building. Their lord knows well about them. Those who prevailed in their affair said, we swear that we shall erect over them a mosque.
(Surah Al-Kahaf-V 21)

Imam Tabari, Hafidhh-Ibn-Kathir and Imam Qurtabi writes:

When the people of the cave went into the cave, some people said, who were close to the entrance of the cave, build a mosque so we can worship Allah (THE ALMIGHTY) The people who said this were Muslims.
[Tafsir Tabari, Tafsir Ibn-Kathir Surah Kahf Verse 21]

Therefore, from this we can prove that building a mosque near the grave of a pious person is permissible.

Hafidhh Asqalani writes:

If a person built a mosque near the graves of pious people, and that person’s intention is solely for the blessings of Allah (Almighty.), and at the time of prayer, not to prostrate or face the grave, it is permissable to build a mosque near the grave of a saint and is not forbidden.
[Fath-ul-Bari, Chapter of Masajid]

From the above we can understand the true meaning of the Hadith which points out not to prostrate to the graves. It does not mean not to build a mosque near the graves. It basically means not to face the graves whilst praying.

Imam Tabari and Hafidhh-Ibn-Kathir write, in the 88th year of Hijra, the room of Aisha [May Allah bless Her and Grant Her peace] where there are graves of the Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] Abu-Bakr [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] and Umar [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] were joined to the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant him peace]. (Tareeh Tabari and Tareeh Hafidhh Ibn-Kathir, Chapter of Government (Valid-Ibn-Abdul-Malik by Imam Tabari and Hafidhh Ibn-Kathir)

At the time of this, some companions and students (Tabeen) were alive and since then, no one has objected to this, which means it is allowed to have a mosque near the grave.
Some people assert that it is not allowed to visit the grave with that the intention that someone wants to see the grave. We ahle sunnah say that it is right to go and visit the grave with the intention that you are going to see the grave. The evidence is as follows.

Qadi Shawkani writes that:

After the Prophet’s (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) death, Bilal settled in Syria. He had a dream where he saw the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Prophet said what kind of friend are you that you do not come and visit my grave? The next morning, Bilal made a journey to Madina to see the Prophet’s (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) grave. At that time the companions were alive and they did not object to this. This narration is authentic.
[Nal lul Autar chap on Hajj by Qadi Shawkani].

Vows

Some people make false accusation, that Ahl-us-Sunnah wa’l Jama in making vows to pious people (Anbiyaa and Awliyaa), but the Ahl-us-Sunnah make vows only for Allah and no one else. Vow is worship. We believe that if someone worships something other than Allah he is a Mushrik, and a Kafir, that is, a non-believer.

Then the following question is raised: What is the meaning when the Ahl-us-Sunnah Jamaat go to the graves of the pious and make Vows to them?

When the Ahl-Sunnah-wa’l Jama makes Vows like this to Allah they do it in the following manner. ‘O Allah, if You make our sick people better, we will feed ten poor people, and the Sawaab (Deeds) from it we will give to so and so pious person’. Sometimes the person makes a Vow to Allah and then slaughters a sheep and gives the meat to the poor and then makes Du’a that the Sawaab from this goes to pious people who have passed away.

Some people say that this is Kufr and Shirk.

Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab Najdi wrote:

‘Vows is Kufr for the pious’.(Kashf-al-Shubhat Chapter on Vows by Shaykh Najdi)

He did not differentiate the Vows of worship and the Vows of gift. The Vows of the pious mean the gift of Sawaab (Deeds) not Vows of worship that can only be for Allah.

Imam Ahmad Rad’a writes:

When we slaughter an animal for Aqiqah, the slaughtering of the animal is for Allah and the meat is for the people. Or when we have visitors we slaughter the lamb, cow, chicken, etc. We do it not for worship but for the hospitality of the visitors. So in the same way when a person goes to the pious graves or slaughter an animal, the intention is for the meat to be given to the poor and the Sawaab to go to the pious grave. We cannot think that any Muslim can make Vows as worship for any pious person or slaughter animals to respect and worship of the pious. But if somebody does it with the intention of worship there is no doubt that he is a non -Muslim.
[Fatawa Radhaviyyaa, by Moulana Ahmad Raza Khan Rahmatullah, Fatawa Shaami, Fatawa Aalam Ghiri, chapter of Vows]

Some people have raised the question that is it Bid’ah to read the Qur’an and say Du’a on food during an Esal-e-Sawaab gathering.

There are certain aspects to the above question. Firstly we believe that the food is not part of the Esal-e-Sawaab gathering. Imam Ahmad Raza Qaadri writes:

If someone puts food before an Esal-e-Sawaab meeting and he has the intention of reading Qur’an and du’a on it, then this is allowed. If someone states that the deceased cannot get sawaab because there is no food in the Esal-e-Sawaab then they are wrong. (Fatawa Radawiyah Chapter on Janaza)

Secondly, we cannot say that having food before the Esal-e-Sawaab gathering is bid’ah, as Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] put food, milk and water in front of him, and then he did du’a and read something on the food.

Hafidhh Ibn-Kathir writes :

One day Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] was invited to someone’s house. Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] accepted the invitation and he bought a lot of companions with him to the house. There was a very short amount of food for the people. The Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] said to bring the food out. Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] read whatever Allah wanted on the food and du’a was also done on the food and the food was given to the people. After the people had eaten the food, there was still the same amount of food left as it was before the people started to eat.
(Tareekh Ibn Kathir & Siraat un Nabi Chapter of Mujizat)

From this narration it proves that to do Du’a on food is not an Innovation but it is Sunnah and is only done for the purpose of Barakah [blessing] and so the food does not be short.

The meaning of Esal-e-Sawaab gatherings is to spread Islam and teach Islam and to offer food to the people who join the gathering is not bid’ah.
(Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah Al-Shuara, under verse 214)

Hafidhh-Ibn-Kathir writes:

When Allah Almighty revealed this verse of the Qur’an which states ‘ O Beloved, warn your nearest Kinsmen’, the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] said to Ali ‘O Ali, sacrifice a goat and cook that meat and bring milk and fruit with the cooked to my house for a party’. At the party, Muhammad [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] said ‘I am a Prophet of Allah, I have been sent to guide you to the right path, so become a Muslim’. When the family heard this, they started to laugh and they left the house. This happened for three days continuously.
[Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah Al-Shuara, under verse 214]

From the above references it is clear that, to prepare food for blessings is allowed and to hold the gatherings for the spread and teaching of Islam and to invite people to eat the blessed food is not bid’ah.
In our times especially in the western countries, Muslims have become very lazy and they do not attend the Mosque to perform Salaah. Therefore, it is good to organise a gathering and to prepare food for the gathering and to invite Muslims and offer them food and to teach about Islam and their duties. The people who carry out this job are the praiseable people because they are spending their money and time in Allah Almighty’s way. Their intention is to please Allah Almighty and it is very surprising that people say that this is bid’ah and you will get bad deeds if you do this and this is a waste of money. We pray for all the Muslims who have passed away for their forgiveness and we also pray for those people who organise different kinds of gatherings to guide and remind Muslims for their duties and we also pray to Allah Almighty that may He accept and reward this work. (Amin)

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Salaah is a Partition Between Islam and Kufr

Posted by al Adaab on January 10, 2007

Salaah is a Partition Between Islam and Kufr
Jabir Ibn Abdullah (Radiallaho Anho) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) saying:
1. “To leave Salaah is to be linked with Kufr.

2. “To leave Salaah is to be linked with Kufr and belief in more than one God.”

Discarding Salaah is Equivalent to Leaving Islam

Ubaadah Ibn Saamit (Radiallaho Anho) narrates, ‘My dear friend, Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam), while enjoining upon me seven good practices said, “Do not ascribe anything as partner to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), though you may be cut into pieces or burnt alive or crucified; do not forego Salaah intentionally, lest you should get out of the fold of Islam; do not indulge in disobedience of Allah tamale, lest you deserve His anger; and do not take to drinking, for that is the source of all evils.”

Allah Has No Obligation to Persons Discarding Salaah

Muaaz Ibn Jabal (Radiallaho Anho) narrates: Rasul (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) enjoined upon me ten things, “Do not ascribe anything as partner to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), though you may be killed or burnt alive .Do not disobey your parents, though you may have to part with your wile or your entire wealth. Do not neglect obligatory Salaah intentionally, for Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) is free from obligation to a person who neglects obligatory Salaah intentionally. Do hot take wine, for it is the root of every vice. Do not be disobedient to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) for that attracts the anger of Allah Subhanahu wa Taala). Do not turn your back to the enemy in battle, though all your comrades may have fallen. Do not run away from the locality where an epidemic has broken out. Do spend on your family members according to your capacity and let your stick be hanging over them, as a warning and to punish them against neglect of their duties towards Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ”

Tremendous Loss on Missing a single Salaah

Nawfal Ibn Muaawiyah (Radiallaho Anho) narrates that he heard the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) saying, “A person who has missed one Salaah is like one who has lost all his family and wealth.”


Discard of Salaah is a Major Sin

Ibn Abbas (Radiallaho Anho) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) saying, “A person who combines two Salaah without any strong excuse has reached a door of the major sins.”

Ali (Radiallaho Anho) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) once said, “Do not delay in three things: Salaah when its time has set in, burial when the funeral is ready and marriage of an unmarried woman when her match is found.”
Fate of the Person Neglecting Salaah Read the rest of this entry »

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Hadrat Sultan Bahu The Sultanul Faqr and Sultanul Arifeen

Posted by al Adaab on January 4, 2007

Hadrat Sultan Bahu The Sultanul Faqr and Sultanul Arifeen

Hadrat Sultan Bahu is one of the most renowned sufi saints of the later Mughal Period in the history of Indo Pakistan subcontinent. He is often called Sultanul Arifin ( the Sultan of gnostics) in the Sufi circles. His ancestors belonging to the tribe of Alvids called Awan and coming from Arabia via Hirat ( Afghanistan ) had settled in the soon Sakesar Valley of Khushab District in Punjab. His Father, Sultan Bazid, had served in the army of the Emperor Shah Jehan as a high ranking officer and so in recognition to his services he had been awarded a jagir in the shorkot area. The family migrated to the place and settled at Qalai Shorkot, a settlement at the bank of River Chenab ( now in District Jhang, Punjab). Hadrat Sultan Bahu was born there, probably in 1628 A.D.

ismullah

Even in the early childhood, it was perceived by all those around him that a strange light shone upon his face which compelled even the Hindus to utter Kalima Tayyiba ( there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger) in his presence. His father died when he was just a child but his mother Bibi Rasti, remained alive till he was forty years old.
His mother supervised his education but it must have been irregular because he was often found under the influence of ecstatic states. It seemed that his education remained informal to the end. Whatever he expressed or wrote after-words, it was in the light of his own spiritual vision and Knowledge.

His mother taught him the essential sufi exercises of dhikr ( invocation of Allah and His Names ) and he probably needed no more guidance after that. He was initiated to walk the path of Sufis intuitively. His spiritual experiences and vision enriched his mind and spirit with so much knowledge that he far excelled his contemporary Sufi masters and sufi poets in Tasawwuf ( Sufism ) and Suluk ( all about the Sufi Way and its stations and states). In a book he remarks: Though we have little of formal learning, / Yet the spirit has been blessed with holiness by esoteric knowledge. In fact he may be called a born saint.
He got married in his early youth and twice or thrice afterwards and had sons and daughters but all this did not deter him from his dervish wanderings, to visit the sacred places and look for the spiritual company of his fellow sufis.
At the age of thirty he had an extraordinary vision in which he saw Prophet Muhammad ( may peace be upon him ) through the spiritual recommendations and support of Hadrat Ali and Hadrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. The prophet himself took his bay’ah and allowed him to pass on the Sufi teachings. He often mentions in his books about his presence in the spiritual meetings presided by the Prophet himself. However, in the treatise ” Of the Spirit ” he calls Hadrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani his Murshid ( spiritual director ). He is always lavish in the praise of Hadrat Shaikh and calls himself Qadiri. In his eyes the teachings of the Qadiriya order were most effective for the spiritual development of the disciples. But at the same time it is evidently clear that by the Qadriya order he means the one that he himself represented. He names it ” Sarwari Qadiri “.

During the same period when he was a young man of about thirty, the war of succession between Dara Sikoh and Aurangzeb was fought. His later writings are sufficient proof of his moral and spiritual support for Aurangzeb who won and became the emperor. He himself, however, never cared to have any concern with the court or the courtiers.
All his life he kept traveling to the far-flung places initiating disciples and passing on the spiritual knowledge and wisdom to the seekers of truth. He might have written most of the books during such journeys. He never made a permanent Khaneqah during his lifetime.

Sometimes he fell into ecstasy and passed his days and nights in the state of absorption. Many places are still remembered and venerated where he stayed for some long or short periods to contemplate in solitude.
In “Manaqibi Sultani ” a few of his journeys have been mentioned. His traveling in Saraiki region up to Sindh, his journey to Delhi where he met the emperor Aurangzeb in the Jamia Mosque and his visits to the tombs at Multan and other cities have been indicated.

He left this world in 1691 A.D. at Shorkot where he was buried close to the bank of the river. His body had, however, to be transferred twice to other nearby places due to the floods. Now the place he lies buried under a beautiful tomb is called Darbar Hazrat Sultan Bahu ( District Jhang, Punjab).

He wrote many books in Persian. He also wrote ghazals and poems in Persian as a well as Abyaat in Punjabi. His Punjabi poetry contains spiritual fervour and passionate expression of the exalted state of Divine Love. One is transported to the spiritual domains while one listens to his Dohas in a melodious voice of the singers. About thirty epistles, treatises and books are still available. Almost all of his work has been written under inspiration in his style peculiar to him. Most often he uses “scatter method ” diffusing Sufi doctrine and the methods of spiritual realization in his writings

He was the greatest teacher and propagator of Faqr ( spiritual poverty ) which is the shining guiding star in his teachings. He may be considered one of the greatest Revealers in the history of Sufism. His dargah has always been supervised by the Sajjadah Nashins of his own family. The present Sajjadah Nashin also belongs to his line.

It is strange that his fame rose and spread world-wide after his leaving this world. Only recently Scholars have turned attention to present and interpret his doctrine in a systematic way. The scope to edit, translate, interpret and transmit his work is still very vast. It is hoped that the next generation of sufi scholars and teachers will continue to perform this tremendous job more efficiently.

I quote the verse written on the wall of the mosque adjoining his tomb.
Oh noble Sultan Bahu! in the realm of reality, you are perfect.
Help me in all the spiritual states, in interiority as well
as in exteriority.

Courtesy of:  Sultan Gul Hassan gulhassan@hotmail.com

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