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Rights of Relatives (Silat ul Arham)

Rights of Relatives (Silat ul Arham)

The word ‘silat ul Arham’ in Arabic literally means connection of the womb. All of our relations have rights upon us.

A parent making dua for their child while they are happy with him/her is indeed a true blessing. During wartime, one of the Sahaba was captured by the disbelievers his parents went up to the Prophet (SAW) and asked for help. He (SAW) just told them, “You and your wife go and during the night recite La Hawla wala quwwata, Illa billah.” They followed the Prophets advice and probably went on with the recitation for 2-3 nights and then the following night their son returned home along with a herd of sheep. He told his parents that one night he found that the links of the chains with which he was held captive, suddenly loosening and opening up. He escaped in the night and then found a herd of sheep that followed him home. Such is the power of the dua of the parent and of La Hawla wala quwwata, Illa billah.

A Hadith of the Prophet (SAW) states, when Allah SWT created the creation, the representative of the womb went and attached itself to the waist of Allah as if seeking protection. Allah (SWT) said to it “Wait! Is it not enough for you that I will connect myself to the one that connects to you and I will cut off the one who cuts you off”. This is one powerful warning for keeping up the ties of Kinship.

In Surah Mohammad ayah 22-23, Allah (SWT) says, Then is it to be expected of you if ye will do no mischief in the land and break your ties of kith and kin? Such are the men whom Allah has cursed for He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.”

Many blessings may come to you just because you may have kept good relations with your relatives (Silat ul arham).

The companions of the Prophet (SAW) asked him if our parents have rights upon us after their death, He (SAW) replied, yes:

-You must pray on them their funeral prayer and pray for their forgiveness.

-You must carry out their covenant or promise.

-You must keep up the ties of their kinship.

The Prophet (SAW) told all mankind: make peace by all means, (speech and deeds) feed food to all (rich and poor), have good connection with your kin and pray at night when people sleep, you will enter Jannah (paradise) in peace. The Prophet (SAW) gave this message while still seated on his camel upon reaching Medina after migration from Mecca.

In another hadith, the Prophet (SAW) says that those who believe in Allah and the Day of Judgment be generous to your guest, speak good or keep silent and Allah will expand your rizq (sustenance) and increase your age. Here increase in age does not necessarily imply that years will be added to it, rather there will be blessing in that life.

Journey of the Hereafter – Part 2

The Grave:

When a righteous person dies, Angel of mercy comes to take his soul. When a hypocrite or a sinner dies, it is the Angel of punishment that comes to take his soul. It is an immensely difficult thing for the soul to leave the body, surely it would be made easier by the angel of mercy and how painful it would be when the angel of punishment is doing so. Each soul will answer three questions in the grave:

Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet? What is your religion?

When a righteous person answers, Allah is my Lord, Muhammad is my Prophet, and Islam is my religion. A voice from the heavens will tell the angel “my servant answered in truth”. He will be left in peace until the resurrection begins.

When a hypocrite or sinners tries to answer, that, I heard that Allah is The Lord and so on, a voice from the heaven will say that, “he is nothing but a liar”! The angel then slams that person with a hammer until he turns to dust, the grave is filled with fire and this punishment continues till the resurrection. May Allah protect us!

When a man dies he leaves behind 3 things: Family, wealth and his deeds. The only thing that remains with him in his grave are his deeds. These deeds take on the shape of some creation. For the believer it is a beautiful and pleasing being, when he asks ‘who are you?’ The reply is ‘I am your good deeds’. When the person is dealt with good in the grave, than what is ahead is even better. So the person prays ‘O Allah let the day of judgement begin so I may receive the truth’. While the hypocrite/ disbeleiver sees an ugly creature in the grave as his deeds. Their grave is exposed to the hellfire. They say “O Allah do not let the hour begin ” for them what is ahead is far worse.The grave is a very lonely place.

Asma bint Abu Bakr told that she once heard everyone crying and weeping and there was an uproar in the masjid. It was when the Prophet( SAW) was talking about the trials of the grave. He (SAW) said that everyone would be squeezed by the earth. Sa’ad ibn Muadh was a Sahaba who had hosted the Prophet in Madinah. RasulAllah(SAW) said that when he died, the Arsh of Allah Shook, 70,000 Angels accompanied his funeral and that, even he was not spared the squeezing by the earth!

Reasons for the punishment in the grave:

Stealing, Slander and lying – Prophet (SAW) once passing by a 2 graves said, the 2 men in these graves are being punished for something minor one for not cleaning after urinating and the second one because he used to slander other people.

Neglecting the Quran – not reciting or listening.Their head will be crushed with a rock repeatedly until the day of Judgement.

Dealing with Interest, Adultery, Debt not repaid – debt has serious implications in the hereafter, Prophet(SAW) said that a Martyr (Shaheed) would sit by the door of Jannah until his debt is paid off. The longest Ayah in Surah Bakarah (282) is regarding debt it is sometimes known as Ayah Addain. Prophet(SAW) only prayed the janazah prayer of anyone after he made sure that they did not owe any debt.

Having good deeds will save one from the punishment of the grave. These good deeds will come from above, beneath and the sides and will make an argument for the dead

The day of Judgement or Qiyama is known by many names such as:

Qiyama is the Day of standing, referring to the Day of Judgment. The following are some of the names that are used to reference the Day of Judgment:

Yawm al Ba’ath – Day of resurrection

Yawm az Zalzala – Day of Earthquake

Yawm an Nushoor – Day of resurrection

Yawm at Tamma – Day you cannot get out of

Yawm as Sa’akha – Day that hits you

Yawm al Azifa – The Day true news is announced and when it starts there is no stopping

Yawm al Hisab – Day of reckoning

Yawm ul Jamma – Day of gathering

Yawm at Talaaq – Day of meeting

Yawm al Haqq – Day of Truth

Yawm at Tagabun – Day of exchanging deeds(meeting out justice by exchanging deeds)

Yawm ul Wa’eed – Day of warning

Yawm ul Hasrah – Day of regret

Yawm al Ghashiyah – A day that will cover you all over with no escape(overwhelming)

Yawm ud Deen – Day of Judgment

Yawm ul Khuruj – Day of exiting graves

Yawm al Akhirah – The last Day

Yawm as Sa’a – Day of the hour

Yawm al Qaria – Day of the Calamity or striking

Yawm al Fasl – Day of Separation when the final decision is enforced

Yawm al Ma’ab – Day of Return

Yawm al Ard – Day of Exhibition

Yawm al Khafida ar Rafiya – A Day that brings some low and exalts others

Yawm al A’seer – A Day of distress or an immensely difficult day

Yawm al Azeem – A Great Day

Yawm al Mashhood – The Day Witnessed

Yawm al A’qeem – The Day Held

Yawm al Qasaas – Day of revenge

Yawm ul Jiza – Day of compensation

Yawm un Nafkha – Day when the trumpet is blown

Yawm un Naaqoor – Day when the trumpet is sounded

Yawm ul Firaar – Day of fleeing

Yawm at Tublas Sarairah – Day or revealing secrets

 

After Angel Israfeel blows the first trumpet all of creation will be destroyed and then Allah SWT will ask, “who has the Kingdom today?” Allah SWT will answer, ‘It is for Allah alone, the irrisistible’. Keep the Day of Judgment in your heart at all times.

Say your prayers knowing that:

Allah sees you from above

The Sirat (bridge over hellfire) is below you

The heaven is to your right and

The hell to your left

The Angel of death behind you &

The Kaba’ in front of you

 

Journey of the Hereafter – Part 1

Journey of the Hereafter

Importance of the hereafter

Our existence is in many stages.

Our first stage was when the entire humanity was in the form of seeds and Allah took a

covenant from the first of us to the last of us, Surah Araf ayah 172, Allah says, “Am I not

your Lord? They said: yea, verily, we testify. Lest ye should say at the Day of

resurrection: Lo! Of this we were unaware”.

Second stage is in the womb of the mothers.

Third stage is our finite life here on earth.

Fourth stage is the time spent in our graves.

Fifth stage is on the Day of Judgement. For some of us it could be as long as 50,000 years and for some it may be as short as the time between Dhuhr and Asr. Sixth stage is living in Heaven or Hell!

Humans believe that they belong to the earth, when in reality we came from Jannah and must work hard to get back to where our father Adam(AS) came from; Jannah. A believer must have a firm belief in the hereafter. The belief in the hereafter will prevent us from all kinds of sins. Once Angel Jibreel came to the Prophet (SAW) in the form of a student of knowledge and asked him 4 questions, the questions and the Prophets’ replies were:

Q1. What is Islam?

Ans:It is the belief in the oneness of Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, the 5 obligatory prayers, salat, Zakat, fasting in the month of Ramadan and performing Hajj.

Q2. What is Imaan?

Ans. The belief in Allah and His attributes, the Angels, the Holy books, the Prophets, the Day of Judgement, and predestination.

Q3. What is Ihsan?

Ans. To worship Allah as if you see Him, or if you don’t see Him, worship Him as if He sees you.

Q4. When will the hour (Day of Judgement) begin?

Ans. The one asked knows no better than the one asking.

The Prophet (saw) has asked us to remember death and the journey to the hereafter often. A Hadith of his states that “Remember death much, the destroyer of pleasures.” The period of time when a person is in and out of the state of consciousness is a very difficult time. Pharoah when seeing his death come upon him was trying to say that “I believe in the God of the children of Israel”, Jibreel AS said that he was preventing him from saying that by stuffing mud in his mouth. In the case of believers, however, Allah will keep them strong and firm, in life and in death. Allah says in Surah Ibrahim Ayah 27, “Allah will establish in strength those who believe, with the word that stands firm, in this world and in the hereafter; but Allah will leave, to stray, those who do wrong: Allah does what he wills.”

Signs of one with a good end:

One who dies with the Shahada on his tongue. Don’t force the dying to say the shahadah, rather keep saying it audibly yourself.

If death comes on Friday or the night of Friday (Thursday night), that person is saved from the trial of the grave.

A believer may sweat a lot on his death bed.

Passing away while carrying out a good deed. They would resurrected on the Day of Judgment on that good deed.

Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Your ending is according to the last deed done by you’. Allah deals with us according to what is in our hearts. The intention of a person determines if the action is good or bad. One must be careful of their intention before any action, during the action and after the action. For every action you will be questioned why and how you did it. Actions cannot be against the Sunnah as innovation is prohibited.

Who is a Shaheed?

A believer who dies in Battlefield, in way of Allah.

A believer who has an illness of the stomach and is patient through it and dies from it.

A believer who dies of burns.

A believer who dies of drowning.

A believer who dies in the collapse of a building.

A woman who dies delivering a baby: her infant would drag her to Jannah.

At his death a Shaheed is shown his place in, Jannah, is spared from the trial of the grave and the trial of a most fearful day, the Day of Judgement. 72,000 Hoor ul Ain are for him and he will be given intercession for 70 family members!

Dying:

A person is in need of complete peace during three stages;

  • when a child enters the world from his mothers womb.
  • when a person leaves this world.
  • when the person comes out of the grave for the Day of Judgement.

The righteous people will have angels with them. Allah says in Surah Fussilat ayah 30-31, “In the case of those who say, ‘our lord is Allah’, and further stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time) ‘ fear ye not!, They suggest nor grieve!’ But receive the glad tidings of the garden of bliss, the which ye were promised! ‘we are your protectors in this life and in the hereafter:’ therein shall ye have all that your souls shall desire, therein shall ye have all that ye ask for.”

Prophet(saw) said to recite Surah Yaseen over your dead. It’s meaning is to recite it while the person is in the throes of death as well. The soul of a person does not leave the body very easily.

We must pray to Allah that we die as believers, we must pray for a good ending and never rely on our deeds alone, it is the mercy of Allah alone that will bring us to a good end. Once a Bedouin came to the Prophet and made dua: He said “O Allah make the best of my life, my end. The best of my deeds as my last one. And make the best of my day, when I meet You, Allah!” To this the Prophet(saw) said Ameen!

 

 

Knowledge

Knowledge

Allah (swt) did not ask the Prophet (SAW) to increase in anything other than knowledge. Surah Taha (Ayah 114), “High above all is Allah, the King, the Truth! Be not in haste with the Qur’an before its revelation to thee is completed, but say, ‘O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge’.”

The best provision for the journey of life is Taqwa, among its many descriptions; it is the fear of Allah, knowledge of religion and the application of knowledge. Having Taqwa is a barrier to Allah’s punishment. Seek knowledge to increase in Taqwa and spread goodness for the sake of Allah.

Imam Hanifa was a businessman. A very popular imam of his time was Imam Ash Shabi, who once told him that, and “I have seen in you intelligence and an active mind”. Inspired by these words he started his quest for knowledge and went on to become one of the most knowledgeable in matters of the religion of Islam. Allah (swt) says, “Those who have knowledge are not the same as those who do not.” When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows on him the understanding of His religion.

Envy is permitted in two cases, a man whom Allah gives wealth and he disposes of it to please Allah and a man on whom Allah bestows knowledge and he applies it and teaches it to others. If a single person is guided to Allah because of you, it is better for you than a lot of red Camels, it is better for you than the whole world and what it contains or better for you than what the sun rises over.

Abu Hurairah narrated, Prophet (SAW) said, “Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge”. Knowledge is like rain, a land absorbs it and produces food and fruits, stony and rocky land holds the water for people and animals. There’s another kind of land that would absorb the water but produce nothing. When you learn something of your religion, teach it to others.

Narrated by Tirmidhi, Prophet (SAW) says, “Verily Allah and His Angels, dwellers of the heaven and earth, even the ants in their holes, the whale in the sea, praises the one who teaches knowledge that is beneficial”.

This world and all that it contains is cursed except for three things:

  • The remembrance of Allah (SWT) and all that you do to please Allah with.
  • A Scholar.
  • A Student of knowledge.

The Superiority of a scholar over a worshipper is like that of the Prophet (SAW) over the lowest among the companions. Time spent in learning and teaching beneficial knowledge is better than standing in worship all night (Qiyam ul Lail). The time spent in search of knowledge is like being in Jihad, you’re in the care and protection of Allah.

A gathering where people sit and discuss and recite Qur’an, Allah covers them with mercy, sends tranquility upon them and mentions them in the company of Angels.

Prophets do not leave behind any worldly belongings as inheritance. The inheritance of Prophets is only Knowledge.

Excellence of Knowledge, Aalim, means knower of the seen and unseen. Aleem means having deep knowledge. Above every person of knowledge there is one with more knowledge and Allah (SWT) is above all those who have knowledge.

 

Dua

Dua

(Class notes from the sisters Halaqa, with Sheikh Adel)

Dua is what establishes our relationship with Allah swt. While prayers are performed at specific times dua can be made at all times. We are all extremely poor in front of Allah. In Surah Fatir Ayah 15, Allah(SWT) says, O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy. Prophet(SAW) said that, Dua is worship and it is the brain of worship. Allah loves to give and Allah loves to hear His servant asking from him. Whoever does not ask of Allah earns Allah’s anger. Dua for a Man is like water for a fish.

Allah listens to every caller that calls upon him. Allah even gave Iblees (Shaitan) his dua, when he asked Allah for respite until the end of time to lead men astray except Allah’s sincere servants. To his dua Allah gave Iblees until the end of time but said that he would forgive his servants as long as they seek forgiveness!

Dua is a connection with Allah. Zikr is remembrance of Allah and Dua is a form of Zikr.

 Conditions for dua to be accepted:

  1. Sincerity (Ikhlas): Be sincere in your dua, do not focus on anything else but Allah. As we must have khushoo while reciting the Quran, there must be khushoo in the heart while in dua.. Dua is one the most important part of deen. Since it is worship, there can be no question of showing off in worship. Allah knows what is in our hearts.
  2. Halal Food: This has two parts to it, First the income should be from Halal sources. Once an uncle (Sa’ad)of the Prophet(SAW) asked him how his dua will be accepted?, The Prophet(SAW) said, “purify your food and Allah will grant you answered Dua.”

Second is that the food should be halal, i.e. it must be slaughtered as Halal.

  1. Seriousness. Be serious and mean what you ask for, Allah will give. If a person seriously and sincerely asks Allah to die as a Martyr, Allah would give him that status even if he were to die on his deathbed. A Sahaba had been in over 100 battles, he had battle wounds on every inch of his body but had survived. The Prophet (SAW) had called him the unbroken shield. He was told that his status is surely of a Martyr.
  2. Trust in Allah: You must have faith in Allah that the dua will be answered. Have good thoughts about Allah and do not have any doubts that Allah will not answer your dua. Allah says, “ I am what my servant expects me to be.”
  3. Avoid asking against the rules of Allah: Do not ask for wrong things or for things against the rules of Allah. If someone is afflicted by calamity do not choose to ask for death, leave it to Allah. You could say, O Allah, cause me to die if death is good for me.
  4. Avoid Transgressing: Do not make dua against yourself or your children and do not make dua against your money or your servants. It may be that your dua matches with the time of acceptance of dua and it is accepted. You could find yourself devastated.

Sub Conditions to the fulfillment of Dua:

  • Start by praising Allah (SWT)
  • Sending durood on the Prophet (SAW), Omar (RA) Said if the durood is not said      before the dua it hangs between the Earth and the heaven.
  • You must feel the dua, the heart and the tongue must be connected. Make dua in prosperity and know that in hardship you will be connected to Allah. If you want your dua to be accepted in hardship remember to make dua during ease and prosperity. Allah says in surah Zumar Ayah 8, And when adversity touches man, he calls upon his Lord, turning to Him [alone]; then when He bestows on him a favor from Himself, he forgets Him whom he called upon before, and he attributes to Allah equals to mislead [people] from His way. Say, “Enjoy your disbelief for a little; indeed, you are of the companions of the Fire.”  Whether you are rich or poor you are forever in need of Allah.
  • Accept your sins, admit your mistakes and ask Allah for forgiveness and not punishment.
  • Dua need not be in a poetic manner, it should be from the heart.
  • Dua’s from the Quran and of the Prophet are the best.
  • It is preferred to repeat the same dua three times when you are alone.
  • Face the Qibla.
  • Do not use words like “If you want”
  • Do not rush for answers from Allah.
  • Raise your hands up when supplicating.
  • Show humility.
  • Lower your voice when you are making dua alone, you are asking from the one who is all Hearing and all Seeing.
  • Stay away from disobeidience of Allah.
  • Do not limit the dua only for yourself. Include your family and the muslims in your dua. For example make dua for your sick and the sick Muslims. You will be rewarded for everyone you prayed for and it keeps the other Muslims in your heart.
  • Ask Allah by his beautiful names.
  • Ask Allah by your righteous actions (Amal Saleh), it is like an intermediary.
  • Try to be in a state of wudhu before dua.
  • Do not make dua to disobey Allah or to cut ties of kinship.

Preferable time & Occasion for Dua:

  • The time between Azan and Iqama. Prophet(SAW) said that the dua made in the time between Azan and Iqama is never rejected.
  • In Sujood. By the position in sujood one is closest to Allah, so dua in sujood is preferable.
  • After Fard salat.
  • During the last third of the night, Allah keeps on asking is there any one who seeks forgiveness, is there anyone who has a need to be fulfilled, etc. until fajr salat
  • On Friday there is an hour (period of time) when, no Muslim makes a dua except that Allah grants him that.
  • On hearing the voices of roosters, they see Angels passing by.

 

 

Pets in Islam

Pets in Islam

(Class notes from the sisters Halaqa, with Sheikh Adel)

In Surah Isra Allah swt says, “we explained everything in detail.”

In Surah Al An’am, Allah says that Islam is for all of humanity. Islam is a universal religion. Allah says to our Prophet(SAW), “say to them that, rituals (nusukh), my prayers, my entire life and the way I die should be according to the religion of Islam.” You cannot believe in some part of the religion and disbelieve in another part. It is said in Surah Baqarah that such a person would be dishonored in this life and put to the most severe punishment in the hereafter.

Dogs are Allah’s creation and Allah is more merciful to his creation than a mother is to her child. Surah Kahf (ayah 22) mentions the men of the cave as 3 and the dog being the 4th or 5 and the dog being the 6th and so on. Allah mentions them with a clear distinction between the young men and the dog.

There’s a story of a prostitute, living a life of sin, she saw a dog panting from thirst. She had mercy in her heart and went to the well and filled her shoe with water and let the dog drink from it. This act of hers’ was loved by Allah so much, that she was forgiven all her sins.

On the contrary a woman was sent to the hellfire because she tied up a cat and did not give her any food nor let her go to find food. This clearly means that Allah wants us to be kind to animals. Abu Hurrairah’s real name was AbdurRahman Ibn Sakhr. He was given the name Abu Hurrairah, meaning father of Kitten, by the Prophet (SAW).  He carried a kitten up his sleeve and put it down to pray.

Living in our society we see that, dogs as pets is a very common and popular practice. It is a Hadith that, when you follow the customs of a group of people, you will be resurrected with the same group of people on the Day of Judgment. In Surah Maeda Ayah 100, “Say, Not equal are things that are bad and things that are good, even though the abundance of the bad may dazzle thee.”

Dogs have certain uses for guarding, hunting, herding. They may also be used for the blind. Surah Maeda(Ayah 4) mentions the use of trained dogs for hunting.

Dogs are not allowed to be inside the house, living in the same space. The saliva of Dogs is impure, if it touches a part of us then we must wash it, you however do not loose Wudhu. Prophet(SAW) said whoever keeps a dog for no particular reason, looses reward from his scale of Hasanat(good deeds) equal to one Qirat every day(Qirat equal to Mount Uhud). Angels do not enter a home where there are dogs. Once Prophet (SAW) waited a very long time for Jibrael AS to appear even though he had promised the visit, when he came the Prophet(SAW) asked him why he was late and Jibrael AS said that he waited until a dog who had come with some people left the house.

Dog hair is not impure when dry. All Dog waste is impure. It is the Prophet’s saying that, if a dog licks a vessel, it should be washed seven times and the last time with dirt or soil.

It is permissible to kill a violent and harmful dog.

Three types of revenue is Haram 1. Income from selling dogs

  1. Dowry of a prostitute, 3. A fortuneteller’s income.

Abu Hurrairah(RA) forbid us to act like 3 animals in prayer.

  1. Going in sujood like a rooster bends his neck up and down to eat.
  2. Resting ones arms in sujood like a dog sitting down.
  3. To turn quickly like a fox when saying salam.

Surat Al-Kahaf

Surat Al-Kahaf

(Class notes from the sisters Halaqa, with Sheikh Adel)

why are we asked to read Surah Kahf every Friday? The brief explanation is as follows:

  1. Prophet (SAW) said that surah Kahf brings for the one who recites a special light from one          Friday to the next.
  2. The Angels recognize you.
  3. A connection is established between you and Bait Al Haram.
  4. Its recitation is a protection from the trials of Messiah Al Dajjal. No other Prophet before warned about Dajjal. The worst fitna is that of the Dajjal, which would turn a believer into a disbeliever.

Surah Kahf talks about 4 trials in life. Trial of religion, Trial of Money/Wealth, Trial of knowledge and Trial of Authority/Power.

A brief background into its revelation: A group of men from Mecca came to the Jews in Medina, who had knowledge of the old scripture’s. They wanted to put Prophet Muhammad(SAW) in a difficult situation. They asked the Jewish rabbis about the Messenger of Allah. They described him to them and told them some of what he had said. They said, `You are the people of the Tawrah and we have come to you so that you can tell us about this companion of ours.’ They (the rabbis) said, `Ask him about three things which we will tell you to ask, and if he answers them then he is a Prophet who has been sent (by Allah); if he does not, then he is saying things that are not true. Ask him about some young men in ancient times what was their story? Ask him about a man who traveled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story and ask him about the Ruh (soul or spirit). If he tells you about these things, then he is a Prophet, so follow him, but if he does not tell you, then he is a man who is making things up, so deal with him as you see fit. The People put these questions to The Prophet (SAW), who asked them to come the next day for the answers, hoping for a revelation from Allah for the answers. The Prophet (SAW) forgot to say InshaAllah. He did not receive any revelation for the next two weeks. However the next revelation that came was Surah Ad Duha, where Allah says in Ayah 3, “Thy guardian Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased.” The revelation of Surah Kahf then gave the answers to the first two questions and to the third about the soul was given in Surah Isra.

 

1.The story of the young men was about the trial of religion. The lesson for us is to stick with good companions/believers. In times of trial of religion, they strengthen each other. The story of Dhul Qurnain, answered the second question.

  1. The Story of the man with a fertile garden with a river running in the midst and giving abundant harvest and his pride that this would last forever and no one could take it away. The lesson was that wealth does not last. Protect yourself from the hellfire by giving Sadaqa.
  2. Through the story of Moosa and Khidr, Allah tells us that even if you are very knowledgeable, know that someone else may have more knowledge. Because Moosa said he was the most knowledgeable, Allah showed him he could not say that. Khidr who was not a prophet but was more knowledgeable then Moosa. Moosa said he would not rest until he found him even if it took him centuries and asked Allah for a sign and found him. In this we are given the lesson of patience in gaining knowledge and to humble ourselves.
  3. Regardless of how powerful a person is on this earth, he will be judged by Allah.

 

Dajjal has all of the 4 trials mentioned in the Suarh. He would turn against the people of religion. He has every wealth; he has every knowledge, and has power/authority. The trial of Dajjal is the last of the trials before the Day of Judgment.

 

Purification

Purification

(Class notes from the sisters Halaqa, with Sheikh Adel)

The Message of Islam is universal. It is a comprehensive religion and is applicable to all times and places. It is not specific to any Age or Place. It applies to every human being, Jinn, and creation of Allah SWT. Islam is a complete religion. This religion came to protect and preserve five things:

  1. Preserve Faith (La Ilaha illAllah) There is no God but Allah.
  2. Preserve the human race.
  3. Preserve the brain (Intellect)
  4. Preserve Nasl (progeny), procreate to preserve humanity
  5. Preserve and protect wealth.

The Prophet (SAW) has been sent as a mercy for all worlds! Islam is an easy religion to follow, there are no impossible rules to follow, Allah has made it easy for the believer. Abu Bakr  (RA) would say, “even if I loose the rope of a camel I’ll find it in the book of Allah’, stressing that there’s nothing out of this religion. This religion is pure and Allah (SWT) has said that He would preserve it until the end of time.

Water exists in three states, Tahoor, Tahir and Najs.

Tahoor water is pure in itself and good to be used for purification.

Tahir water is pure in state but not good for use in purification

Najs is impure water, this kind of water has added impurities which change its color, smell & taste. This water is not to be used for purification purpose.

 

There are 7 types of water that are used for purification. Three types of water are sent down from the skies, water from rain, snow and hail. They are all good for use in purification.

Water of the well: Even though, wild animals may have used this water it is good for use in purification.

Spring water, Sea water and River water are all good for purification. In regards to sea water, Prophet (SAW) has said, whatever is in the sea is edible including its dead. Prophet SAW has said about purity, that indeed a believer will never be in a state of Junub( impurity). In Surah Taubah Allah SWT says, ‘The disbelievers are impure’, meaning not physically but spiritually or in their hearts.

Water that is left over after drinking from it is ok for use in purification. Water that cats have drunk out of, is also good for use in purification. Pigs and dogs will make stagnant water impure if they drink from there. Only exception will be if they drink out of running water. Most scholars agree that water that has been used before can be used in purification as long as there are no impurities added to it.

Rules of Using the Bathroom:

       Before entering the bathroom say the dua, “Allahumma inni Aoodhobika minal khubosi wal khabais”, O Allah I seek refuge in you from the male and female devils.

  • Enter with your left foot first.
  • Do not take anything with the name of Allah on it (i.e rings, necklaces etc.) with you inside.
  • It is sunnah to not talk while inside.
  • Avoid reading while inside.
  • Avoid making the bathroom facing the Qiblah.
  • Clean yourself very well after the call of nature. Use your left hand to clean yourself.
  • Exit with your right foot first.
  • When outside say the dua, Ghufranaka three times or say the dua, “Ghufranaka Alhamdu Lillahilladhi adhhaba annil adha wa aa’fani” O Allah, I seek your forgiveness. All praises are due to Allah who has taken away from me the discomfort and granted me comfort.

 

Prophet  (SAW) asked us to avoid 2 curses

Do not use a public place or the shade of a tree to relieve yourself, try and find a place designated for that purpose.

Do not blow over food as your breath must not be in the food

Do not urinate in the place used for showering. Men must not stand and urinate as some urine may splash on them.

The Prophet (SAW) once passed by two graves and he told his companions that these two were being tortured, when asked for what, he said, one of them used to hear something about a person and would go and tell that person thereby causing discord among them. The other one was being tortured as he was negligent in being clean after using the bathroom. Cleanliness is one of the branches of deen.

Zakat

Zakat

(Class notes from the sisters Halaqa, with Sheikh Adel)

Zakat means growing and increasing blessing, as though the wealth is growing in size and multiplying in blessings. Allah SWT says in Surah Ar Rum Ayah 38-39: “So give to the kinsmen his due, and to the needy, and to the wayfarer. That is best for those who seek Allah’s Countenance. And such are they who are successful. That which ye give in usury in order that it may increase on (other) people’s property hath no increase with Allah; but that which ye give in Zakat, seeking Allah’s Countenance hath increase manifold.”

Zakat is obligatory (fard) towards the poor. Zakat is the right of the poor on your wealth. The word Haq is used as right of the poor and not just obligation (fard) for the rich to give. In surah Taubah ayah 103 Allah says to the Prophet (SAW), “Take alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allah is All Hearer, All Knower.”

Zakat became mandatory in the second year of Prophet SAW’s migration to Medina.

Benefits of Zakat

  • It pleases Allah SWT
  • It is the third pillar of Islam. The deen will collapse if any pillar is missing.
  • Allah will bless your money and you will find an increase in it. It may not be literally, but Allah may prevent some unfortunate event that you would otherwise have to spend on.
  • It cleanses your soul and your wealth.
  • Giving Zakat is an attribute of the muttaqun (pious believers). Allah says about the muttaqun in Surah Ad Dhariyat Ayah 15-19; “Verily, the Muttaqun will be in the midst of Gardens and Springs in Paradise, Taking joy in the things which their lord has given them. Verily, they were before this Muhsinun (good-doers). They used to sleep but little by night and praying with fear and hope. And in the hours before dawn, they were found asking Allah for forgiveness. And in their properties there was the right of the beggar, and the Mahrum (poor who does not ask the others).
  • Zakat pleases the one receiving it and in turn pleases Allah.
  • It is a protection of your wealth from jealousy (Hasad) and envy.
  • The poor make Dua for you.
  • It is a means of keeping order in society, when the needs of people are met; they may not have to do resort to robbery, selling their honor, etc.

Rules regarding Zakat

Zakat is obligatory on money worth 80 grams of gold. That money should be in your possession for a full Islamic year and 2.5% of it must be given out as Zakat. The intention for giving Zakat must be made at the time it is given. One cannot just give sadaqa and think after sometime that they can count it as Zakat.

Who is eligible for Zakat?

 There are eight types of people who are eligible for Zakat. In Surah Taubah Ayah 60 Allah SWT says “The sadaqat are only for the poor (Fuqarah), the needy (miskeen), and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives, and the debtors (gharimeen), and for the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is all knowing, wise.” According to most scholars ‘sadaqat’ refers to zakat.

 

  • Among poor relatives all are eligible to receive zakat except for the roots: father, grandfather, great grandfather and so on, and the branches: children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on. The roots and branches being your responsibility are not allowed to receive zakat. You are rewarded twice for giving Zakat to your relatives, once for giving zakat and the other for keeping up the ties of kinship.

 

When you see a poor without clothes, it is the rich who are responsible for that. If everyone gave out his or her portion of Zakat fairly, no one would remain poor.

Prophet (SAW) said I am going to tell you 3 things, memorize them for I swear they are true: – Never will money or wealth decrease if you give Sadaqa. – Never a Servant of Allah who is wronged and is patient but Allah will increase with it his dignity and honor. – Never a Servant of Allah opens a door for asking not needing but Allah opens the door of poverty for him.

One must be careful about whom you give Zakat to, because giving to the wrong person will prevent the deserving from getting his share.

 

About those who do not give Zakat:

Allah (swt) says in Surah Ale Imran Ayah 180 “And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakat). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things, which they covetously withheld, shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the Heavens and the Earth; and Allah is well acquainted with all that you do.”

An authentic Hadith states: The money on which zakat is not paid will come on the Day of Judgment in the form of a snake and grab the owners by the sides of their lips and say “I am your wealth”.

If Zakat is not paid on the farm animals (cattle, camels etc.) These animals will walk on the owners from side to side repeatedly for 50,000 years.

If someone insists on not giving Zakat, he would be considered to be out of the folds of religion and given 3 days to repent. Abu Bakr (RA) used to say that, “I cannot distinguish between Salat and Zakat.”

Marriage in Islam

On Marriage in Islam

By Dr. Sherif Mohammed.

By getting married you are not just getting a wife, you are getting your whole world. From now until the rest of your days your wife will be your partner, your companion, and your best friend.

She will share your moments, your days, and your years. She will share your joys and sorrows, your successes and failures, your dreams and your fears. When you are ill, she will take the best care of you; when you need help, she will do all she can for you;

When you have a secret, she will keep it; when you need advice, she will give you the best advice. She will always be with you: when you wake up in the morning the first thing your eyes will see will be hers; during the day, she will be with you, if for a moment she is not with you by her physical body, she will be thinking of you, praying for you with all her heart, mind, and soul; when you go to sleep at night, the last thing your eyes will see will be her; and when you are asleep you will still see her in your dreams. In short, she will be your whole world and you will be her whole world.

The best description that I personally have ever read describing the closeness of the spouses to each other is the Qur’anic verse which says: “they are your garments and you are their garments” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:187).

Indeed, spouses are like garments to each other because they provide one another with the protection, the comfort, the cover, the support, and the adornment that garments provide to humans. Just imagine a journey in the winter of Alaska without garments! Our spouses provide us with the same level of comfort, protection, cover, and support in the journey of our lives on this earth as garments would do in the Alaskan journey.

The relationship between the spouses is the most amazing of all human relations: the amount of love and affection, intimacy and closeness, mercy and compassion, peace and tranquillity that fills the hearts of the spouses is simply inexplicable. The only rational explanation for these most amazing of all human feelings is that: it is an act of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, “And Allah has made for you Mates (and Companions) of your own nature …” (Surah Al Nahl 16:72) Only our Almighty Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala in His Infinite Power, Boundless Mercy, and Great Wisdom can create and ingrain these amazing and blessed feelings in the hearts of the spouses. In fact Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is reminding those who search for His signs in the universe that these feelings in the hearts of the spouses are among the signs that should guide humans to His existence as He says in the Qur’an, “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” (Surah Al Rum 30:21)

But Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala knows that the human heart is not a static entity, it is sometimes weak and at times dynamic. Feelings can and do change with time. Love may wither and fade away. The marital bond might weaken if not properly cared for. Happiness in marriage cannot be taken for granted; continuous happiness requires constant giving from both sides. For the tree of marital love to remain alive and keep growing, the soil has to be sustained, maintained, watered and nurtured.

Remember that our Prophet Muhammad Salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallaam had found the time to go out to the desert and race with his wife Aisha. She out ran him but later after she had gained some weight, he out ran her.

Remember that the Prophet Salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallaam took his wife to watch the young Ethiopians playing and dancing their folk dances. The show of emotions is necessary to keep the marital bond away from rusting and disintegrating.

Remember that you will be rewarded by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala for any emotions you show to your wife as the Prophet Salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallaam said “one would be rewarded for anything that he does seeking the pleasure of Allah even the food that he puts in the mouth of his wife.”

Never underestimate the importance of seemingly little things as putting food in your wife’s mouth, opening the car’s door for her, etc. Remember that the Prophet Salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallaam used to extend his knee to his wife to assist her up to ride the camel.

Try to always find some time for both of you to pray together. Strengthening the bond between you and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is the best guarantee that your own marital bond would always remain strong. Having peace with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala will always result in having more peace at home.

Remember that the Prophet Salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallaam gave glad tidings for those couples who wake up at night to pray together. The Prophet Salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallaam even urged the spouse who rises up first to wake the other spouse up even by throwing cold water on his/her face.

Always try your best to be good to your wife by words and by deeds. Talk to her, smile to her, seek her advice, ask for her opinion, spend quality time with her and always remember that the Prophet Salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallaam said “the best of you are those who are best to their wives.”

Finally, it is common that spouses vow to love and honor their spouses until death do them part. I do believe that this vow is good or even great, but not enough! It is not enough that you love your wife. You have to love what she loves as well. Her family, her loved ones must also become your loved ones. Don’t be like my colleague who was unhappy about his wife’s parents coming to visit for few weeks. He candidly said to her “I don’t like your parents.” Naturally, she angrily looked at him straight in the eye and said ” I don’t like yours either”… Also, it is not enough that you love her until death do you part. Love should never end and we do believe there is life after death where those who did righteousness in this world will be joined by their spouses (Surah Al Zukhruf 43:70) and offsprings.

The best example in this regard is the Prophet Salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallaam whose love for Khadija, his wife of 25 years extended to include all those she loved and continued even after her death. It was many years after her death and he never forgot her and whenever a goat was slaughtered in his house he would send portions of it to Khadija’s family and friends and whenever he felt that the visitor at the door might be Khadija’s sister Hala, he would pray saying “O Allah let it be Hala.”

MARRIAGE IN ISLAM.

Islam is a strong advocate of marriage. There are no religious clerical appointments where one must be celibate like for example a priest or nun. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “There is no celibacy in Islam.” The prophet has also said, “Marriage is my tradition whosoever keeps away from it is not from amongst us”.

Marriage is a moral safeguard as well as a social building block. Through marriage, families are established and the family is considered to be the fundamental unit of our society. Furthermore, marriage is the only valid or halal way to indulge in intimacy between a man and a woman.

Islam takes a middle of the road position to sexual relations. It neither condemns it like certain religions, nor does it allow it freely. Islam urges us to control and regulate our desires, whatever they may be, so that we remain civilized and equity reigns in society. Marriage also acts as an outlet for physical needs and regulates it as well.

The purpose of Marriage.

The word “Zawj” is used in the Quran to mean a pair or a mate. In general it’s usage refers to marriage. The general purpose of marriage is so that men and women can love one another, provide company to each other, procreate and live in peace and tranquility to the commandments of God.

* Marriage serves as a means to emotional and physical gratification. It is also a form of worship because it is obeying God and His messenger – i.e. Marriage is seen as the only possible way for the sexes to unite under God. One could choose to live in sin but by choosing marriage one is displaying obedience to God.

Marriage is a “Mithaq” – a solemn covenant or agreement. It should not be taken lightly. It should be entered into with total commitment and full knowledge of what it involves. Your partner should be your choice for life. One should be mature enough to understand the demands of marriage so that the union can be a lasting one.

For a marriage to be valid certain conditions must be met:

1) Consent of both parties.
2) “Mahr” – a gift from the groom to the bride.
3) Witnesses.
4) The marriage should be publicized. (It should never be kept secret as this can lead to suspicion and troubles within the community.)

Is Marriage obligatory?

According to Imams Abu Hanifah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Malik ibn Anas, marriage is recommended, however for certain individuals it becomes Wajib (obligatory). Imam Shaafi’i considered it to be nafl or mubah (preferable). The general opinion is that if a person, male or female fears that if he/she does not marry they will commit Zina (sex outside of marriage), then marriage becomes obligatory. If a person has strong sexual urges then it becomes obligatory for that person to marry. Marriage should not be put off or delayed, especially if one has the means to do so.

A man, however should not marry if he does not possess the means to maintain a wife and future family, if he will not consummate the marriage, if he dislikes children, or if he feels marriage will seriously affect his religious obligation. The general rule is that the Prophet (pbuh) enjoined people to marry. He said “When one marries, they have fulfilled half of their religion , so let them fear God regarding the remaining half.” This Hadith is narrated by Anas ibn Malik. Islam greatly encourages marriage because it shields one from wrongful actions and upholds the family unit.

Selection of a partner:

The choice of a partner should be the one with the most “Taqwa” (piety). The Prophet recommended suitors see each other before going through with marriage. It is unreasonable for two people to be thrown together and be expected to relate and be intimate when they know nothing of each other. The couple is permitted to look at each other with a critical eye and not a desireful one. This ruling does not contradict the Ayah which says that believing men and women should lower their gaze.

– The couple, however is not permitted to be alone in a closed room or to go out together alone. As the hadith says “When a man and a woman are together alone, there is a third presence i.e. shaitan.

– There is no dating or living in defacto relationships with each other before they commit to each other seriously. There is to be no physical relationship before marriage. The romantic notions that young people often have, have proven in most cases to be unrealistic and harmful to those involved. We only have to look at the alarming divorce rates to understand this point. e.g. the couple know each other for years, are intimate, live together and so on yet somehow this does not guarantee the success of the future marriage. “Romance” often dies out very quickly when we have to deal with the real world. Unrealistic expectations often contributes to problems within relationships. It is better to focus on compatibility of the couple and critical evaluation than solely physical attraction.

Consent of parties.

There is a halal arranged marriage and a haram one. It is OK to arrange marriages by suggestion and recommendation as long as both parties are agreeable. The other arranged marriage is when parents choose the future spouse and the couple concerned are forced or have no choice in the matter.

One of the conditions of a valid marriage is consent of the couple. Marriage by definition is a voluntary union of two people.

The choice of a partner by a Muslim virgin girl is subject to the approval of the father or guardian under Maliki school. This is to safeguard her welfare and interests. The Prophet said “The Widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until she has consented and the virgin shall not be married until her consent is obtained. The Prophet did revoke the marriage of a girl who complained to him that her father had married her against her wishes.

The husband/wife relationship.

The wife’s rights – the husband’s obligations.

(1) Maintenance

The husband is responsible for the wife’s maintenance. This right is established by authority of the Quran and Sunnah. It is inconsequential whether the wife is a Muslim , non-Muslim, rich, poor, healthy or sick. A component of his role is to bear the financial responsibility of the family in a generous way so that his wife may be assured security.

The wife’s maintenance entails her right to lodging, clothing, food and general care, like medication, hospital bills etc. He must provide for her where he resides himself according to his means. The wife’s lodging must be adequate so as to ensure her privacy, comfort and independence.

If a wife has been used to a maid or is unable to attend to her household duties, it is the husbands duty to provide her with a maid if he can afford to do so. The Prophet is reported to have said: “The best Muslim is one who is the best husband.”

(2) “Mahr”

The wife is entitled to a marriage gift that is her own. This may be prompt or deferred depending on the agreement between the parties. A marriage is not valid without Mahr. It does not have to be money or gold. It can be non-material like teaching her to read the Quran. ” Mahr” is a gift from the groom to the bride. This is the Islamic law, unlike some cultures whereby the bride’s parents pay the future husband to marry the daughter. This practice degrades women and is contrary to the spirit of Islam. There is no specification in the Qur’an as to what or how much the Mahr has to be. It depends on the parties involved.

(3) Non-material rights.

A husband is commanded by the law of God to treat his wife with equity, respect her feelings and show kindness and consideration, especially if he has another wife. The Prophet’s Last Sermon stresses kindness to women.

The wife’s obligations – the husband’s rights.

One of the main duties of the wife is to contribute to the success and happiness of the marriage. She should be attentive to the comfort and well-being of her husband and vice-versa. The Quranic Ayah which illustrates this point is:

“Our Lord, grant us wives and offspring who will be the coolness of our eyes and guide us to be models for the righteous”

The wife should be trustworthy and honest. She cannot deceive her husband by deliberately avoiding conceiving. She should not have any sexual intimacy with anyone other than her husband. She should not receive or entertain strange males in the house without his knowledge and consent. She should not accept gifts from other men without his approval. This is meant to avoid jealousy, suspicion and gossip. She shouldn’t dispose of his belongings without his permission.

A wife should make herself attractive to her husband and be responsive to his advances. The wife should not refuse her husband without reason as this may lead to marital problems and worse still – tempt the man to adultery. The husband, of course, should take into account the wife’s health and consideration of circumstances.

“Obedience.”

The purpose of ‘obedience’ in a relationship is to keep the family unit running as smoothly as possible. Obedience does not mean blind obedience. It is subject to conditions:

(a) It is required only if what is asked from the wife is within the permissible categories of action.

(b) It must be maintained only with regard to matters that fall under the husband’s rights.

Link to original article: http://www.jannah.org/sisters/marr.html