title: From Buddhism To Islam: Why??,
content:

Learn how and why this Chinese Buddhist successful young woman left Buddhism and embraced Islam. Here is a part of the story:

I’m sad to say I was not as blessed or fortunate as my co-panelists; to be one of those people who actually search for answers in life. In fact, I think I was the opposite.

And my fear is that there’re too many people like me outside in this world who feel they are very complete the way they are…life is good, there’s nothing really wrong, so why should I search! So, all the questions about God, no-God, the purpose to life, life after death.

I was born into a wonderful Chinese Buddhist family. It was not Buddhist in the true sense as I later learned. My mom grew up praying to the idols as because my grandmother told her to and probably my grandmother was taught by her great grandmother to. She didn’t really know why, and when I started asking her, ‘Mother, what is the purpose of life?’ she wouldn’t be able to answer me because she wouldn’t really know. She was just taught and got used to do it.

My life was very smooth; doing well at school, getting a good job, buying a good car, buying a nice house, having kids…you are happy. That’s the mantra.

So, I was gauging my life as being successful, because according to this mantra my life was good. Everything was alright. Nothing in my life was wrong. I am well-educated, earning money, I have my own home, and my own car. My job was in fact very  interesting. I was travelling, meeting people. Why should I think about “Why I am here?” “What is the purpose of life?”

I had no emptiness in my life. I frankly, sadly, never looked for something else. I actually never felt I need to look for something. To me religion was something needed for spiritual fulfillment, and it was looked for by people who felt empty inside, who needed answers.

I didn’t have any of that, so I thought I was fine.

When I was in university I decided I since I was born Buddhist I should find more about my religion. So I joined the Buddhism society and I learned about Buddhism and I thought yes, it makes sense. Buddhism is a very practical kind of religion, it teaches you about principles of life, detachment, but there was one thing that was missing though. It didn’t bother me, but it was missing. I didn’t realize it was missing. When I was young from the time my mom would make me kneel before the altar and pray I always believed in God. I didn’t know how but I knew there was a God. I never believed there was no God. And Buddhism didn’t answer that. It didn’t help me know who God was. Buddhism doesn’t deny God but never deals with the Creator.

Years later Allah destined, alhamdulillah, that I would be introduced to a Muslim who was a himself a revert. He was running some Islamic classes in English in his center. And I was surprised as I saw a Chinese man teaching Islam in English. I went to the classes and I found Chinese people, Indians. And finally I was shocked to discover what I discovered about Islam. It answered questions that I never thought to ask myself. And when I had the answers to these questions I realized that I couldn’t find the answers anywhere else!

So, I am a lawyer and I’m trained to think logically, I’m trained to ask a lot of questions and I’m trained to never be satisfied with or accept anything that is illogical or shady.

Listen to the whole story in the video here…

 


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title: What Are the Conditions and Obligatory Acts of Wudu?,
content:

What Are the Conditions and Obligatory Acts of Wudu?

Allah, Exalted be He, says:

O you who haw have believed, when you rise to (perform) prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles… (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

This verse states that performing ablution whenever rising to prayer is obligatory, and tells us which organs should be washed and those which should be wiped during wudu, and specifies what part of them should be washed or wiped.

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The elbows are included when washing the arms during ablution.

Then, the Prophet (peace be upon him), through his hadiths (sayings) and practices has dearly shown the way ablution is to be performed.

Every Muslim should know that wudu has certain conditions, obligatory acts, and practices of the Sunnah to be observed while performing it. Both conditions and obligatory acts must be fulfilled as much as possible in order to ensure the validity of ablution.

As for the acts of the Sunnah related to ablution, they are considered complementary practices that guarantee the perfection of wudu. Observing these acts of the Sunnah, during ablution in increases ones reward, yet abandoning them does not affect the validity of ablution.

The Conditions of Ablution

There are eight conditions of ablution:

1- Being a Muslim

2- Being mentally sound

3- Having discretion

4- Having the intention of performing wudu

According to the aforementioned four conditions, ablution is invalid if performed by a disbeliever, an insane person, a young child who does not distinguish (between right and wrong), or one who does not have the intention of ablution (upon performing it), such as performing it as a way of refreshment in a hot weather, or as a means of cleaning one’s body organs or removing certain impurities or the like.

5- Using pure water: Water used for performing ablution must be pure, so impure water is inadequate for performing ablution.

6- Using legally-obtained water: If the water used for ablution is unlawfully acquired, or taken by force, ablution will not be valid.

7- Being preceded by istinja’ or istijmar (cleaning one’s stool and urine exits following defecation or urination,) when necessary.

8- Removing what may prevent water from reaching skin of the ablution organs: That is the one performing ablution ha, to remove anything covering the organ of ablution, such as mud, dough, wax, accumulated dirt, thick paint, etc., in order to allow water to reach the skin of the organ directly without hindrance.

The Obligatory Acts of Ablution

There are six obligatory acts related to the organs of ablution:

1 -Washing the whole face

Washing the whole face involves rinsing the mouth and the nose with water. Accordingly, one’s ablution is void if one washes one’s face without rinsing ‘both’ the mouth and the nose with water. This is because the mouth and the nose belong to the face, and Allah says. (regarding ablution): “Wash your faces.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

Thus, Allah commands washing the whole face during ablution. So whoever disregards washing any part of the face is considered to be disobedient to the Command of Allah.

Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to rinse his mouth and nose with water while performing wudu.

2-Washing the forearms including the elbows

Allah says “….. And your forearms to the elbows…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6), i.e. washing them including the elbows, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do according to a hadith narrated in this regard. It is also slated in another hadith that the Prophet “…washed his hands (during ablution) until he reached the upper arms”. This indicates that the elbows are included when washing the arms during ablution.

3-Wiping over the whole head

Wiping over the head includes the ears, for Allah says “…And wipe over your heads…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6) Moreover, the Prophet said “The ears are treated as part of the head” (Ibn Majah)

Therefore, it is incorrect to abandon wiping over the ears, for it is insufficient to wipe over one part of the head and neglect another during ablution.

4- Washing the feet including the ankles

During ablution the feet must be washed including the ankles, for Allah, Exalted be He, says: “…and wash your feet to the ankles…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6) Here, the preposition “to” means ‘with’ according to the hadiths pointing out how ablution is performed, and through which it is stated that the whole feet must be washed ‘including’ the ankles.

5- Sequence

The decreed sequence has to be observed while performing wudu. To clarify, one begins with washing the face, followed by the hands, then wipes over the head, and finally washes the feet, as clearly shown in the verse Allah says:

O you who have believed, when you rise to (perform) prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles· (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to follow that order while performing ablution, saying:

“This is an ablution without which Allah does not accept any prayer·” (Abu Dawud)

6- Succession

This means to wash the organs successively without any interval between washing the organs, i.e. the organs must be washed successively without pause as much as possible.

These are the obligatory acts of wudu that must fulfilled as commanded by Allah in His Book, the Qur’an.

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence”.

 

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.


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title: Prostration of Recitation (Sujud At-Tilawah),
content:
By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

The Wisdom of Sujud Al-Tilawa (the Prostration of Recitation)

The prostration of recitation is one of the Prophetic practices and it is thus called as it relates to the recitation of the Quran. It is an act of worship that is ordained by Allah and His Messenger to be done when reciting the verses of the Quran or listening to them, as a means of drawing near to Allah, subjecting oneself to His Majesty and showing submissiveness to Him.

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There are 15 verses of the Gracious Quran the Prophet (PBUH) prostrated upon reciting. Muslims are recommended to do the same during and outside the prayer.

Its Legal Ruling

This act of prostration is enacted as an act of the Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition) for both the one who recites and the one who listens to the Quran. Scholars unanimously agree on its legality. Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“When the Prophet (PBUH) recited a sura of the Quran that contained the prostration, he would prostrate and we would do the same and some of us (because of the heavy rush) could not find a place for prostration.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Imam Ibnul-Qayyim, the great scholar (may Allah have mercy on him), said, “Positions of prostrations are what is reported to us and what is commanded for us to do.” That is, Allah tells us about the prostration of His creatures generally or at specific situations. So it is enacted, for the one who recites the Qur’an and the one who listens to it, to act like them (Allah’s creatures) when reciting or listening to the verses of prostration, and with greater reason the verses that actually command prostrating.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated as a marfu’ (traceable) hadith that the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“When the son of Adam recites a verse of prostration and then falls down in prostration, Satan goes into seclusion weeping and saying, ‘Woe unto me!’ The son of Adam is commanded to prostrate and he has prostrated, so Paradise is entitled to him, and I was commanded to prostrate, but I refused, so I am doomed to Hell.’ “ (Related by Muslim and Ibn Majah)

Who May Perform Sujud Al-Tilawa?

The prostration of recitation should be performed by both the one reciting and the one listening (to the Quran). What is stated in the previously mentioned hadith of Ibn ‘Umar, namely “When the Prophet (PBUH) recited a sura of the Quran that contained the prostration, he would prostrate and we would do the same,” proves the legality of the prostration of the one who is listening. As for the hearer (i.e. the one who is not attentively listening) it is not obligatory upon him to perform the prostration of recitation.

Al-Bukhari related: ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) passed by a reciter who recited a verse involving prostration to make ‘Uthman perform prostration along with him, but ‘Uthman did not perform prostration and said, “The prostration should be performed by him who listens to it.” There was other Companions who were reported to have done the same.

How Many Suras That Contain Verses of Prostration?

The suras of the Quran that involve verses of prostration are Surat Al-A’raf(the Heights), Surat Al-Ra’d (the Thunder), Surat Al-Nahl (the Bees), Surat Al-Isra’ (the Night journey), Surat Maryam (Mary), Surat Al-Hajj (the Pilgrimage), Surat Al-Furqan (the Criterion), Surat Al-Naml (the Ants), Surat Al-Sajdah (the Prostration), Surat Fussilat (the Lucidly Distinct), Surat Al-Najm (the Stars), Al-Inshiqaq (the Rending), and Al-‘Alaq (the Clinging Clot). Concerning the prostration in the Sura of Sad, there is disagreement between scholars, whether it is a prostration of thankfulness or recitation; and Allah knows best.

How to Perform the Prostration of Recitation?

On performing the prostration of recitation, one should pronounce takbir (saying, “Allahu-Akbar” i.e. “Allah is the Greatest”). This act is stated according to the Hadith of Ibn ‘ Umar in which he said:

“Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to recite the Quran to us and whenever he recited a verse that contained a prostration, he used to say takbir and prostrate, and we also used to prostrate along with him. (Related by Abu Dawud)

One should say in prostration, “Subhana Rabbiyal-A’la” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High), the same as one says when prostrating during performing prayer. If one says, “My face has prostrated before Allah, Who created and fashioned it, created in it hearing and vision by His Power and Might, O Allah! Reward me for it (the act of prostration), remove sins from me by it, reserve it for me, and accept it from me as You did from Your servant Dawud (David),” it will be acceptable. To perform the prostration of recitation from the position of standing is better than performing it while sitting.

O Muslim, you should know that there are many ways of doing good acts, so make your best to follow them, and be loyal and faithful in both actions and words, that Allah may record you among the happy people.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.


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title: Rulings of Istihadah and Postnatal Bleeding,
content:
By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Istihadah is an irregular vaginal bleeding other than menstruation. It is caused by a vein called in Arabic ‘Al-‘Adhil’. The case of mustahadah[i] is so confusing, for the blood of menstruation resembles that of Istihadah.

The question here is: Since the mustahadah is legally considered pure, how can she distinguish between menstruation and bleeding of istihadah when her bleeding continues all the time?

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Istihadah is an irregular vaginal bleeding other than menstruation. It is caused by a vein called in Arabic ‘Al-‘Adhil’.

In fact, there are three cases of the mustahadah:

1. Regular Period

When a woman used to have a stable, regular menstrual period (i.e. having certain duration of menstrual period) before she had istihadah. In such a case, a woman can distinguish between both states relying on her stable menstrual period, (i.e. the bleeding that contradicts the duration of her menstrual period is regarded as that of istihadah).

Thus, such a woman can wait until her usual period ends, then deem any other bleeding as istihadah, as the Prophet (PBUH) said to Umm Habibah in this regard:

“Remain away (from prayer) equal (to the length of time) that your menstrual period used to prevent you. After that (after the period of usual courses), bathe yourself and perform prayer.” (Muslim)

Moreover, the Prophet (PBUH) said to Fatimah Bint Abu Hubaysh:

“This (i.e. istihadah) is from a blood vein, not (usual) menstruation. So, when your real menstrual period begins, give up performing prayer.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

2. Distinguishable Blood

When a woman does not have a regular menstrual period, but her bleeding is always distinguishable; sometimes she bleeds malodorous, thick, and black blood (i.e. having the characteristics of menstruation blood), and some other times she bleeds red blood which is neither thick nor malodorous.

Such a woman is to consider the former kind of blood as that of her menstrual period, during which she gives up prayer and fasting, regards the other kind of blood as that of istihadah, the period in which she can perform prayer and observe fasting, for she is considered ritually pure in this case.

3. The Perplexed Woman

When a woman has neither a regular menstrual period nor a distinguishable kind of blood (e.g. the perplexed woman).

Such a woman must follow the prevalent womanly menstrual period (i.e. average of six or seven days a month) and deem whatever discharge after this period as istihadah.

To sum up, we can say:

  • A woman with a stable, regular menstrual period distinguishes istihadah according to her habit.
  • A woman with a distinguishable blood depends on her own judgment and her ability to distinguish between her menstruation and istihadah.
  • A woman that has neither (a regular period nor distinguishable blood) is to consider six or seven days a month and then take a ritual path.

Obligatory Acts to Be Observed by a Mustahddah in Case She Is Deemed Ritually Pure

  1. She has to take a ritual bath when her estimated period for menstruation ends, as mentioned above.
  2. She has to wash her vulva upon every performance of prayer, put a piece of cotton or the like in there to prevent bleeding, tie it well so as not to fall, and perform ablution for every prayer. Narrated `Aisha:

    Fatima bint Abi Hubaish asked the Prophet, “I got persistent bleeding (in between the periods) and do not become clean. Shall I give up prayers?” He replied, “No, this is from a blood vessel. Give up the prayers only for the days on which you usually get the menses and then take a bath and offer your prayers.” (Al-Bukhari)

Women also can use the sanitary napkins available nowadays.

Postnatal Bleeding

The ruling on a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding is like that of a menstruating one concerning the permissibility of the husband to enjoy her without sexual intercourse.

They also have the same rulings regarding the prohibition of sexual intercourse, observing Fast, performing prayer, divorce, performing tawaf,  and staying in a mosque.

Moreover, the rulings on both cases are the same regarding the obligation of taking a ritual bath when bleeding stops, and making up for the missed days of Fast, but not the missed prayers, just like the menstruating women.

The womb of a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding discharges blood during and after giving birth, and this is the blood accumulated during pregnancy. The maximum period of postnatal bleeding is forty days, according to the majority of scholars. At-Tirmidhi slates:

“People of religious knowledge among the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and their successors uniformly agree that a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding must give up prayer for forty days unless her bleeding stops before that; in this case, she has to take a ritual bath and perform prayer.”

So, if the bleeding of a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding stops before the fortieth day, her period of postnatal bleeding ends, and she must have a ritual bath, perform prayer, and practice all acts of worship that have been prohibited for her during her postnatal bleeding period.

Miscarriage

If a pregnant woman miscarries and starts discharging, and the stillborn has reached a distinctively recognizable form, she is considered a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding. An embryo takes about eighty-one days to three months in order to have a distinctively recognizable shape.

If the embryo is a mere lump of flesh or a clinging clot (without a distinctively recognizable form), the woman is not considered in a state of postnatal bleeding, even if she starts discharging; she is not to give up prayer or fasting, and none of the rulings on postnatal bleeding is applicable in this case.

Taking Medicine to Delay Your Period

It seems suitable to thoroughly complete our discussion at this point by mentioning that some women may take some kinds of medicine that prevents menstrual bleeding in order to observe fasting in the month of Ramadan, or to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage).

Such medications are permissible if they prevent blood only for a period of time, not forever. If this medicine prevents menstruation forever, a woman is not permitted to take it without her husband’s permission, since her ability to give birth is also prevented as a result of taking this medicine.


[i] Mustahadah: A woman in a state of istihadah (i.e. a woman having vaginal bleeding other than menstruation)


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.


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title: Examples of Righteousness,
content:
 Aisha Stacey

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) who said: the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

Whoever relieves the grief of a believer in this world, God will relieve his grief in the Hereafter.  Whoever relieves the difficulties of a person in debt in this world, God will relieve his difficulties in this world and the Hereafter.  Whoever conceals the faults of a believer, God will conceal his faults in this world and the Hereafter.  God will aid His servant so long as the servant aids his fellow believers.  Whoever follows a path to seek knowledge, God will make the path to Paradise easy for him.  When people gather together, in one of the houses of God, to recite the Book of God and study it, tranquility descends upon them, mercy covers them, the angels surround them, and God mentions them to those who are in His presence.  Whoever is slowed down by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage. (Muslim)

This is a hadith from among a collection of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, compiled by Imam An-Nawawi.  It is a very famous and well-studied collection of forty-two hadiths known as An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith.  Its value lies in the fact that the hadiths in this collection cover fundamental aspects of the religion of Islam.  Hadith number thirty-six is often referred to as the hadith of righteousness.

However, while it does list comprehensively a number of qualities one would expect to find in a righteous person, it also deals with virtues, rulings, principles, and manners.  There are several lessons embedded in this hadith, and each sentence adds an in-depth feature to one very basic principle; that believers are like family to one another.  There are certain obligations that believers have towards each other and this hadith, in a different version, states it very succinctly as, ‘Whoever is fulfilling the needs of his brother, God is fulfilling his needs.’ (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

1. Relieving the grief of a believer

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‘Whoever is fulfilling the needs of his brother, God is fulfilling his needs.’

This is a lesson in how to attain the help of God by helping one of His servants. Sometimes when a person feels as if he is swamped with difficulty, God, in answer to his supplication, will send help from an unexpected source. Often this source is in the form of another Muslim. The word grief in this hadith refers to a great difficulty or a hardship. If a believer relieves the grief of another believer, God recognizes that act and will reward the person in the Hereafter by relieving the grief, fear, and distress that he or she feels on the Day of Judgment.

2. Alleviating the difficulties of those in debt

Being indebted to somebody is a terrible feeling. That debt is usually of a financial nature and Prophet Muhammad explains to us that alleviating the debt of somebody, who is having difficulties meeting the terms of his debt is an act that is loved by God, so much so that He says He will alleviate that person’s difficulties in this world and in the Hereafter. Helping those in debt can be achieved in several ways, including giving extra time or canceling the debt completely.

3. Concealing the faults of a believer

The general rule that scholars derive from this section of the hadith is that believers should not reveal the faults of their fellow believers. Nowadays we often see or hear some people taking other’s faults as a type of amusement. They mock and ridicule, revealing perceived minor transgressions that may or may not be true. As Muslims, we should be concerned about our own faults not the faults of others and constantly try to improve ourselves. The one who conceals faults rather than reveals them will have his or her own faults concealed by God in this world and in the Hereafter.

4. God will come to the aid of the one who aids his fellow believer

Coming to the aid of fellow believers is something that Muslims should take very seriously.  Prophet Muhammad reminded us many times that we should love for our brother or sister what we would love for ourselves.(Al-Bukhari)

If we truly cared about each other, there would be very few needy people in Muslim communities.

5. Seeking knowledge

Seeking beneficial knowledge is a very rewarding act.  God might make the path to Paradise easy for those seeking knowledge in several ways.  They might be guided to Paradise through knowledge, or God might make it easy for a person to benefit what they learn, thus they will walk a path to Paradise, or make crossing the bridge above the Hellfire easy and thus enter Paradise.[1]  There are many people who seek knowledge but find no blessings in the knowledge they gain.  Therefore the believer should seek knowledge with good and sincere intentions.

6. The virtue of gathering in the mosque

This lesson informs us about a very rewardable and preferred act; gathering in the mosques to recite, listen and study the Quran or to attend lectures and classes. This can result in very specific rewards.  They are imbued with tranquility, resulting in relief from the stress and strife that plague modern-day societies, the mercy of God descends as the angels surround them, and God mentions them to whoever is in His presence. 

7. Lineage is of no benefit to the one who lags behind in his good deeds

Behaving well and doing good deeds and actions is the key to rewards leading to Paradise.  If the believer is lacking in this area, his lineage, meaning his family name, tribe or ancestry will not be of any benefit regardless of their wealth or status.

This hadith a very comprehensive and contains at least seven important lessons.  It outlines the morals and manners that should be embedded in the behavior of every believer.  It outlines some of the obligations we have towards each other and emphasizes that Islam expects us to treat one another as if we were close family members.  Whatever we can do to alleviate the difficulties of another person we should do, with the pure intention to please God.


[1] There is a bridge that will be established over Hell extending to Paradise that everyone has to cross. Some will not make it and fall into the Hellfire whilst others will successfully cross it.

Source: islamreligion.com


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title: In the Light of the Companions: The Story of Um Salamah,
content:

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters!

And welcome to a new episode of “In the Light of the Sahabah” the Companions whom Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) chose and blessed to have the companionship and to be in the presence of our beloved Nabi (Prophet) (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Every single one of the Companions has a tale to tell and every single one of them has a story that we can extract benefits from (in sha’a Allah-u ta’ala).

In this episode we will go through the beautiful story of Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) whose name was Hind bint Abi Umayyah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha).

The Setting of the Story

Now the story goes right back to the beginning of the Call of the Prophet (‘alaihi as-salatu was-salam) when he first received the revelation from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that there were only a few companions who actually accepted Islam.

From those few individuals was Um Salamah and her husband Abu Salamah and their one son. Now, through the time that they lived in Makkah they went through a very, very difficult time where they were persecuted and they were oppressed just for saying (La Ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah). But (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) blessed them with Iman (faith) and they persevered and struggled and strived with their Islam in Makkah.

The First Hijrah

After a short while, it became very difficult for the Muslims to live in Makkah. Therefore, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted them or some of the Companions to make Hijrah, that they would leave Makkah and that they would go to a land called “Habashah” which is modern-day Abyssinia.

Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their son, they made that great journey (subhana Allah) to leave Makkah, to leave their home and to reside in the new land, Abyssinia, whose leader was known to be just and fair.  An-Najashi who, later on, embraced Islam and became a great Muslim (al hamdu lillah).

Back in Makkah

So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah they lived there in Al-Habashah for a while. After a short while they heard that the situation in Makkah had somewhat improved and that the Muslims were then able to practise their Islam more freely. So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their young child, they returned to Makkah, however, only to find that (subhana Allah) the situation was even worse than it was before.

Abu Salamah and Um Salamah were from a very famous family and they were known to be a very strong family. In fact, Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) was known to be a very noble husband. And that they had very, very good etiquettes with one another.

The family of Um Salamah and Abu Salamah are our beautiful example for us as Muslims to look up to that we should try to emulate their example in being strong Muslims and compassionate  and loving and merciful to one another.

The Great Hijrah to Medina

So, while in Makkah, they were unable to persist and to practise their Islam freely. So, again the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted the Muslims, on a whole, to make the Great Hijrah from Makkah all the way to al-Madinah.  So, the Muslims, one by one, began gathering their belongings, gathering their possessions to leave their home to go and live in a new land.

Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) they had one ride, began filling his ride with their belongings their clothes and possessions. And then, they were going to leave Makkah to go to al-Madinah. Upon leaving, the tribe which Um Salamah belonged to, they saw her leaving. And they stopped them all and said,

“Where are you all going? This woman belongs to our tribe and we will not let her go. She is one of our daughters. You can go with your son but she stays here.”

And they said this forcibly without no choice or discussion in the matter. Then, another tribe which belonged or Abu Salamah belonged to, they said,

“You will not take this young boy. This young boy, Salamah, he belongs to our tribe. Abu Salamah, you’re an old man. You can leave!”

The Family were Split up

Abu Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) had no choice but to leave Makkah and make the Hijrah on his own. And in just a few moments, after the family all being together with all of their possessions, (subhana Allah) they were all split up and they were all in different places.

Um Salamah was kept almost as a prisoner by her tribe, Banu Makhzum. And the child, Salamah, who was kept by the tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and, of course Abu Salamah was alone in Madinah.

Um Salamah (subhana Allah) (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) every day, she used to go to the spot where they were all spit up. And this went on for a very, very long time (subhana Allah) until one of the people who belonged to another sub-tribes of the Makhzumi tribe saw Um Salamah in a very bad way. So, he said to the tribe, this individual,

“Why don’t you just let her go to her husband? You can see that she’s right poorly. She’s very depressed, she’s right down. What do you gain from this? Just let her go!” Until Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts. And eventually, they agreed that Um Salamah could leave Makkah and go to al-Madinah.

But then, the question is: how could Um Salamah leave her son who was with the other tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and leave her son. Yes, she can go to her husband, but leaving her son was not an option. So, they went to the tribe and spoke to them as well and said,

“Would you not leave this young boy? Let him go with his mother and go on this journey. What do you benefit from keeping him here away from his father and splitting up the family?”

Again (al hamdu lillah), Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts, opened their hearts until they gave permission. So, Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) took her son and whatever belongings they had and they left Makkah.

The Hijrah of Um Salamah and her Son

Just as they left, on the outskirts of Makkah, they bumped into an individual in an area called “At-Tan’im” and his name was ‘Uthman ibn Talhah.

In the eighth year AH, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he embraced Islam. And in fact, it is his tribe who were the custodians of the key to the Kaaba.

‘Uthman ibn Talhah said to Um Salamah and her son,

“Where are you going?”

She replied, “We are making the Hijrah and we are going to live in al-Madinah.”

He replied to her and said, “I will not allow you to travel alone. it is a two-week journey in the hot desert for you to go alone. I will take you and when I will drop you off at al-Madinah, I will return”.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha), she said that ‘Uthman ibn Talha, even though he was a non-Muslim at this time was a very noble man.  

And (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guided him later to the Deen (religion) of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

The Family Reunited Again

So, upon arrival in al-Madinah, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he left Um Salamah to go and meet with her family (al hamdu lillah). After years being apart, Um Salamah and Abu Salamah and their son were reunited (al hamdu lillah). And through the next couple of years, they had more children (wa lillahi al-hamd).

As we know, during the seerah of the life of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam), there were a number of battles. And Abu Salamah participated in the Battle of Badr, as he did participate in the Battle of or Uhud. However, during the Battle of Uhud, he was injured and (Subhan Allah), he was quite severely injured and was unable to leave the home.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) went to visit her own husband and was with him all the time. One of the Companions came to Um Salamah and said,

“Ya (O), Um Salamah, I’m going to teach you a du’a’ (supplication) that you should say.

“Allah-umma ajirni fi musibati wa-khluf li khairan minha”

“O Allah! Give me a reward during this calamity!”

(Subhan Allah), her husband is in a very bad state.

“And grant me something which is better in the future!”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) decreed that Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) would pass away due to his injuries. The prophet ((salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) came and made a du’a’ for Abu Salamah by saying,

(Allah-umma ighfir li Abi Salamah) “O, Allah! Forgive Abu Salamah!

(Subhan Allah) Um Salamah with four children was all alone in al-Madinah what a sacrifice so she had made! And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was severely testing her.

Um Salam’s Second Marriage

It was the known custom not to leave a woman alone. Therefore, Abu bakr As-siddiq (radiya Allahu ‘anhu), he came and he proposed to Um Salamah, but she refused. And then, ‘Umar (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) proposed and likewise, she said no. Then, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) proposed to Um Salamah.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) said,

“O, Messenger of Allah! I have three things that I want to mention to you.  

Number one is that I am a very jealous person.

And number two is that I am very old in age.

And number three is that I have many children.”

The Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“As for the first one: concerning your jealousy, then I will make du’a’ to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that he removes that. As for your age, then I am older than you. And as for your children, then they are children that belong to Allah and his messenger (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).”

Upon this, they married (wa lillahi al-hamd). And the title that she was given, Um Salamah, she was now called ‘Um Al-Mu’mineen’ (The Mother of The Believers). (Subhan Allah) what a great title that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gave to her!

And if we look back, the du’a’ that she made, “O Allah! Grant me a reward during this musibah (calamity) and grant me something which is better than in the future. When she said,

“And who is better than Abu Salamah? How can I possibly remarry somebody who is better than Abu Salamah?”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) granted that she would have a husband better than Abu Salamah. And that was our dear beloved Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Now, Um Salamah, as we know, she was the last of the wives to pass away. She passed away in the year 61 after Hijrah and has a number of famous advices that were given to the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) throughout his life.

A Lesson to be Learned

So, whatever matters, my dear brothers and sisters, that we may be afflicted with a trial or calamity, we make this du’a’ to Allah (Subhanhu wa ta’ala).

“That we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.” (inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un) (Quran 2:155)

And we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala ) to be rewarded for that test. And that we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He grants us something better in the future.

(wa Allah-u ya’ lam-u wa antum la ta’lamun) that “Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knows and that you do not know.” (Quran 2:216)

I ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He allows us to be steadfast during all tests and that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grants us something (which) is better in the future!

Allah-umma Ameen!

Baraka Allah-u fikum (Allah bless you!)

Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!


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<hr>

title: The Belief in the Books of Allah!,
content:
Transcribed by Editorial Staff

This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with New Muslim Bites. And this is session number five in which (in Sha’ Allah) we’re going to be talking about the Article of Faith which is the belief in the Books of Allah, all the Books of the One God.

Now, there are several of the books of Allah mentioned in the Quran. Of course, we have the Quran itself which is mentioned in the Quran obviously, but we also have others. So, for example, the Torah which is the Book of Moses or Musa (‘Alaihi as-salam), the Zabur which is the Book of Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam)and the Injil which is the Book of ‘Isa or Jesus (peace be upon him).

Now, I’m going to go through each one in turn, give you a little bit of information. It’s very important in order for us to understand our Deen that we understand that the Quran is the end product and a perfected product, a perfected way of life. But this message that has gone through to mankind throughout the other books is the same mental message essentially. And the message, of course, is that we would believe in the One God, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and worship Him only.

The Torah

So, the Torah! It’s mentioned 18 times in the Quran. And in Surah 5, verse 44, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,

 We revealed the Torah which is a guidance and a light. (Quran 5:44)

And this was actually revealed for the Jews, for the Jewish community through Musa (‘Alaihi as-salam). And actually, it’s very interesting that even at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), there was a point where the Jewish community actually approached him for some advice on a matter. A man and woman had been committing fornication, or zina in Arabic. And the Jews came to him to ask him for advice on the matter as regards what they should do with religious, the religious area. So, they asked him to go and judge in this matter.

So, he said, “Yes, I’ll go and judge”. And they gave him a cushion to sit on and the Prophet (peace be upon him) sat on the cushion and then asked them to bring the Torah to him.

So, subhan Allah, he asked them to bring their own Book to him and he removed the cushion from under himself and put it down and actually put the Torah on top of the cushion and said to the Torah, “I believed in you and in Him who revealed you”.

So, he was then affirming… and it was amazing Da’wah that he was affirming to the Jews that it’s part of the Islamic faith as well to believe in the Torah. And he actually then called them to bring one of their people of knowledge to help with judging, and somebody had the knowledge of the Torah. And (he) decided it between these two people using that, using something that they knew and they could relate to.

The Zabur, the Psalms

Now, the Zabur! It’s sometimes known… those of us who have been to church in the past and Sunday schools and stuff. It’s known as the Psalms, the Psalms of David, or Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam)

Some say that that’s what the Zabur actually is. And now the word Zabur comes from the Hebrew zimrah which actually means ‘song’ which links in with the Psalms because the Psalms are actually the songs. It’s mentioned three times in the Quran. In surah 17, verse 55, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,

 

We gave to David (the gift of) the Zabur. (Quran 17:55)

 

And there’s a hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentions that the reciting of the Zabur was made easy for Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam) to the extent that from the time it took him to ask his servants to saddle up the riding animals, the horses, camels, etc. to the time that the riding animals were actually saddled. If he started reciting at the beginning then he would continue and he would have finished reciting the Zabur when the saddles were on the animals, when they were ready to travel. So quite a short! It was made easy on him, may Allah be pleased with him!

The Injil

Now the Injil, sometimes known as the New Testament! Again for those of us who’ve been brought up as Christians. Of course, that was revealed to the prophet ‘Isa (‘Alaihi as-salam). And that is actually mentioned 12 times in the Quran.

Now, in Surah 5, verse 46, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,

And in their footsteps, We sent ‘Isa (or Jesus), son of Mary, confirming the law that came before him. We sent him the Injil in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the law that had come before him. (Quran 5:46)

So, this is a confirmation in the Quran that, again, the same as the Torah. It is mentioned as a guidance and as a light. And also that, adding on that, it came to confirm what was before it. So, it came to confirm for Jews that the Torah was the Word of Allah. And this is what they should be following because the Jews at this point, the community, needed another prophet and a reminder of the laws that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) had sent to them.

The Scrolls of Abraham and the Books of Yahya

Now, there’s a very brief mention of the Scrolls of Ibrahim (‘Alaihi as-salam), or Abraham, and also a brief mention of the Books of Yahya.  And the people who followed him were called the Sabians.

Now, we don’t have any real knowledge of where those books are now. They’re considered to be lost unfortunately.

The Belief in the Books of Allah

Now, as Muslims, we have to believe in all these Books. But we, of course, believe them in their original form. Now the people who believe in these books and follow these books are the Christians and the Jews and Sabians if there are any. And they are considered and mentioned in the Quran as Ahl al-Kitab, Ahl al-Kitab meaning the People of the Book. And they are very revered and put in a very high position in Islam and very, very respected and also protected under Islam.

The Quran

Now, the Quran of course! How can we not speak about this book of Allah? This is the final and protected and perfected Book of Allah and is actually protected by Allah from change and corruption. And Allah challenges people in the Quran saying bring even a verse like it! Bring in even a small verse like the Quran. And from men till now, nobody has been able to do this, and this stands right up until the Day of Judgment, this challenge.

Now, the things different about the Quran, of course, is that it’s perfected but also that it contains many miracles. We have the miracle of the science; we have the miracle of linguistics, of mathematics.

You can go online and you can look up all these things. There are books that you can read about. This is absolutely amazing! That proves that the Quran is the Word of Allah. That is also the fact that it is unchanged.

The Quran is Preserved

The Quran was revealed 1500 hundred years ago to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was essentially a guy living in a desert, who was illiterate. He didn’t have knowledge of these areas. He couldn’t even know how to read or write. Yet, the Quran which was this amazing linguistic miracle and scientific miracle was revealed to him.

It’s also preserved in its original language. Muslims across the world whether they’re English like myself or from China or Pakistan or an Arab country, we all read the Quran in Arabic.

Of course we read the translation, but the translation is a translation of the Quran. It’s not actually the original Quran. We always go back to the Arabic for this original meaning and this preserves it.

Now, the Quran and these other books of Allah share a lot of similarities one of which is that we all believe in the same God. I remember when I was being brought up and was introduced to Muslims, I used to think, “What’s this Allah, what’s this God?” And it was a big revelation to me when I realized that it’s the same God. Allah is God. God is Allah. It’s the same thing, like I said in one of my earlier sessions.

So this is the same message. The message essentially is of Tawheed, believing in the Oneness of Allah.

How should we approach the Quran?

Now, how should we approach the Quran is a totally different matter. We should approach it with an attitude that’s called Ikhlas. Ikhlas means that we have purity, a pure attitude towards it; we have a pure intention that we’re doing this for guidance and to read the Book of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), knowing and believing that this is the word of Allah. In surah 6, verse 115, Allah says,

Perfect are the words of your Lord in truth and justice. (Quran 6:115)

Now, the attitude is that we are approaching the Quran for guidance but also to change ourselves. Allah says in the Quran,

 He will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves. (Quran 13:11)

which, of course, is the heart, the actions, the deeds, the intentions. So, we don’t just approach the Quran as a storybook or tales of all. You should accept the Quran like Allah is speaking directly to you.

Sources of Knowledge in Islam

Now, in Islam, we have different sources of knowledge. The Quran, of course, is the foundation of knowledge and is the basis of all our knowledge. However, we also have two other areas which bring more context and more details of the verses of the Quran and chapters of the Quran. We have the hadith which is the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which you do need to be very careful with. And make sure if you’re going to read a hadith, read it in the context of the Sunnah which is the practice and all the things that the Prophet (peace be upon him) actually did.

The Importance of Sunnah and Hadith

So, we have the Quran, the Sunnah and the hadith which are a triangle of knowledge. Usually, when people make mistakes or get things wrong or get extreme and things like that, they’re doing it because they have taken something out of context. So, maybe they’ve taken a verse from the Quran and they’ve put an incorrect interpretation. But if then they look at the context, what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did in these particular situation, it changes the meaning completely.

So, you must be very, very careful on how you approach the Quran and make sure that you don’t take it as a black and white source. You have to take in the context of what it’s about or you might misunderstand what it’s saying to you.

Now, the Prophet (peace be upon him), of course… the reason why we have the Quran and the Sunnah and the hadith is because he was essentially the walking Quran. He was the embodiment of the Quran.

And this is something that we’re going to talk about next time, in sha’ Allah, when we talk about the belief in the prophets of Allah. And so, until next time, in the next session,

As-Salam ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.


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title: Shirk: Its Meaning and Punishment in Islam?,
content:
By: Muhammad Bin Ibrahim Bin `Abdullah Al-Tuwayjiri

Shirk is to set up a partner with Allah (Exalted be He) in His rububiyyah (Oneness of Allah’s Lordship), or His uluhiyyah (Oneness of worship) or His attributes.

So if a person believes that there is a creator or helper with Allah then he is a mushrik; whoever believes that someone besides Allah is worthy of worship then he is a mushrik; and whoever believes that Allah has an equal in His names and attributes then he is a mushrik.

Danger of Shirk

1- Committing shirk is great injustice because it is a violation of the exclusive right of Allah, which is tawheed (Oneness of Allah). Hence, tawheed is the most fair of justices, and shirk is the most unfair of injustices and the most abominable of offences; because it is defaming the Lord of the worlds, directing what is exclusively His right to other than Him and equating Him with others.

Moreover, due to the great danger of shirk whoever meets Allah as a mushrik Allah will not forgive him, as Allah says:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive setting up partners with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And whoever sets up partners with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. (An-Nisaa’ 4:48)

2- Committing shirk is the greatest of sins, for whoever worships other than Allah has placed worship in other than its rightful place and directed it to other than who is worthy of it; and that is great injustice and a heinous offence, as Allah says:

Indeed, shirk is great injustice. (Luqman 31:13)

3- Major shirk renders all deeds worthless, necessitates destruction and loss, and is the greatest of major sins:

1– Allah says:

And it was already revealed to you and to those before you: ‘If you set up partners with Allah, your deeds would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.’ Rather, worship Allah alone and be among the grateful. (Az-Zumar 39:65-66)

2– And Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said thrice, “Shall I not inform you of the greatest of major sins?” They said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Committing shirk and disobedience to parents.” He sat up after he had been reclining and added, “And giving false witness.” He continued to repeat it until we said, “We wish he would be quiet.” (AL-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abominable Characteristics of Shirk

Allah has mentioned four abominable characteristics of shirk in four verses. They are:

1 –Allah says:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive setting up partners with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And whoever sets up partners with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. (An-Nisaa’ 4:48)

2– Allah says:

And whoever sets up partners with Allah has certainly gone far astray. (An-Nisaa’ 4:116)

3– Allah says:

Indeed, whoever sets up partners with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his abode is the Fire. And there are no helpers for the wrongdoers. (Al-Ma’idah 5:72)

4– Allah says:

And whoever sets up partners with Allah – it is as though he had fallen from the sky and was snatched by the birds, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place. (Al-Hajj 22:31)

Punishment for Those Who Commit Shirk

1– Allah says:

Indeed, those who disbelieve among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the Fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. They are the worst of creatures. (Al-Bayyinah 98:6)

2– `Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever dies while calling on something besides Allah, as a rival to Him, will enter the Fire.”

_________________________

The article is excerpted from the author’s book “Summarized Islam Fiqh (In Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah)”, translated by Kamil Ahmad & Jawad Beg.


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<hr>

title: Tawheed: Its Meaning and Categories,
content:
By Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin `Abdullah Al-Tuwayjiri 

Tawheed is to single out Allah (Exalted be He) in what is distinct to Him and obligatory for Him. That is, for the slave to know for certain that Allah is One with no partner in His rububiyyah (lordship), His uluhiyyah (servitude) and His Names and Attributes.

"Tawheed:

Allah is One with no partner; One unparalleled in His essence, His names, His attributes and His actions.

It further means that: The slave knows for certain and acknowledges that Allah alone is the Lord and Sovereign of everything; that He alone is the Creator, the Ever-Living and the Sustainer of all that exists who alone maintains the whole universe; that He alone is worthy of worship with no partner; that everything which is worshipped besides Him is false; and that He possesses attributes of perfection, free of every imperfection and deficiency, and to Him alone belong the best names and loftiest attributes:

Allah – there is no god (worthy of worship) except Him. To Him belong the best names. (Ta-Ha 20:8)

The Fiqh of Tawheed

Allah is One with no partner; One unparalleled in His essence, His names, His attributes and His actions; to Him alone belong the dominion, creation and command with no partner. He is the Sovereign and everything besides Him belongs to Him; He is the Lord and everything besides Him is His slave; and He is the Creator and everything besides Him is created:

Say, ‘He is Allah, (Who is) One; Allah, the Self-Sufficient Master; He neither begets nor is He begotten; nor is there any equivalent to Him.’ (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

He (Exalted be He) is the Most Strong and everything besides Him is weak; He is the Most Powerful and everything besides Him is powerless; He is the Most Great and everything besides Him is minute; He is the Self-Sufficient and everything besides Him is in need of Him; He is the All-Mighty and everything besides Him is subservient; and He is the Truth and all that is worshipped besides Him is false:

That is because Allah is the Truth, and that which they call upon besides Him is falsehood, and that Allah is the Most High, the Most Great. (Luqman 31:30)

He is the Most Magnificent of which there is nothing more magnificent than Him; the Most High of which there is nothing higher than Him; the Most Great of which there is nothing greater than Him; and the Most Merciful of which there is nothing more merciful than Him.

He is the Most Strong who has created strength in every strong one; the Most Powerful who has created power in every powerful one; the Most Merciful who has created mercy in every merciful one; the Most Knowledgeable who has taught every creature; and the All-Provider who has created all sustenance and those who receive it:

That is Allah, your Lord; there is no god (worthy of worship) except Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Disposer of all things. No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision; and He is the Most Subtle, the Well-Acquainted. (Al-An`am 6:102-103)

He is the True God who alone is worthy of worship besides everything else due to the perfection of His essence, His majesty, His beauty and His graceful kindness; and to Him alone belong the best names and loftiest attributes:

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Ash-Shura 42:11)

He is the All-Wise, the All-Knowing who does what He wills and commands what He desires:

Surely, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds. (Al-A`raf 7:54)

He is the First before everything else; the Last after everything else; the Most High above everything; the Most Near closer to everything; and the All-Knower of everything, alone with no partner:

He is the First and the Last, the Most High and the Most Near; and He is the All-Knower of everything. (Al-Hadid 57:3)

He is the True Sovereign in whose hand is everything, while nothing is in the hand of anything besides Him. So turn to Him alone with no partner:

Say, ‘O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will; You honor whom You will and You humiliate whom You will. In Your hand is (all) good. Indeed, You are Able to do all things.’ (Aal `Imran 3:26)

He alone is the Owner of all things, the All-Powerful over all things, the All-Knowledgeable of all things and the Granter of all things. He alone is the All-Encompassing of every encompassing one, the All-Powerful over every powerful one, the Subjugator of every subjugating one, the One and the Owner of everyone:

Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things. (Al-Mulk 67:1)

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “Summarized Islamic Fiqh In Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah”, translated by Kamil Ahmad & Jawad Beg


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title: A Beginners Guide to Prayer in Islam,
content:
By Editorial Staff

We, as Muslims, have to purify ourselves before offering prayer. Therefore, a Muslim is required to follow certain purification procedure known as wudu’ (ablution). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah does not accept prayer of anyone of you if he does hadath (passes wind) till he performs the ablution (anew). (Al-Bukhari)

""

Point the index finger straight in the direction of the qiblah and move it through the recitation of the Tashahhud.

But before ablution, you have to perform Istinja’ whenever one passes impurity from any of passages (front & back). One can use either stone (tissue in modern times) or water. To perform it with water is preferred.  The best is to combine both water and tissue, first by wiping with the tissue and then washing.

How to Perform Istinja’

First it is preferred to use toilet paper three times. If Istinja’ is being done on a hot day, then the person should start from the front to the back and then from the back to the front and the third time from the front to the back. If Istinja’ is being done on a cold day, then he should begin from the back to the front.

The female would always wipe first from the front (part closest to the vagina) wiping towards the back, and with the second stone (tissue) wiping from the back to the front and so on.

Then, one should wash both his/her hands in case of any impurity that could be on the skin.

After that, one should pour water over the anus area and rub the area using the inner part of one’s fingers. One should continue until all the impurity and smell is removed. (Nur Al-Idhah, pp. 27-30)

This completes the first step of purification that precedes the prayer. Now, you are ready to perform ablution

Wudu’ or ablution means using clean and cleansing water on certain parts of the body.

How to Perform Ablution

1- Make intention (niyyah) to perform ablution for prayer.

2- Say, “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah).

3- Wash both hands up to the wrist three times and make sure that water has reached between fingers.

4- Take a handful of water; rinse your mouth three times and spit it out every time.

5- Inhale water into your nostrils and then exhale it, three times.

6- Wash your face three times from one ear to the other, and from the forehead to the chin.

7- Wash both your arms up to the elbows, starting with the right and then the left three times.

8- Wipe over head with your wet palms from the top of the forehead to the back of the head.

9- Wash the front and back of your ears by using your index and thumb fingers.

10- Finally, wash both feet to the ankles starting from the right, making sure that water has reached between the toes and all other parts of the feet.

Note: You do not have to repeat ablution unless it is nullified.

Note: Hadath refers to what emanates from the body of wind, urine, stool, seminal fluids, menstrual blood or post-natal bleeding.

 How to Offer Prayer in Islam

There are five obligatory prayers that are offered at certain times during the day and the night. They are called Fajr (Dawn) prayer, Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer, `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer, Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer, and `Ishaa’ (Night) Prayer. These five daily prayers become obligatory once a person converts to Islam.

After performing ablution, make sure that you are covering your `Awrah (what is between navel and knees for male, and the whole body including the head except the face and hands for female). You have to make sure that your clothes and the place of prayer are free from impurities.

Now You Are Ready to Pray;

  • Make the intention in your heart for the prayer you want to pray.
  • Stand up right and face the Qibla (direction of the Ka`bah).
  • Raise your hands to your shoulder or ears level and say in a moderate voice “Allahu Akbar” which means Allah is the greatest.
  • Place your right hand over the left on your chest. Look downward at the place of prostration.
  • Recite the opening supplication in the first rak`ah only, “Subhanaka allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabara kasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka.” It means, “O Allah, how perfect You are and praise be to You. Blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty. There is none worthy of worship except You.”

Then recite, “A`udhu billahi mina Ash-shaitan Ar-rajim.”

Then, recite, “Bismillah Ar-rahman Ar-rahim.”

  • Recite Surat Al-Fatihah (the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an).

“Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil-`alamin, ar-rahma nir-rahiem, maliki yawmiddin, iyyaaka na’budu wa iyyaaka nastain, ihdinas-siraatal mustaqim, siraatallazina anamta alaihim, ghairil maghdoobi alahim wa ladalin.”

  • Bend down and place your palms on your knees (ruku`) while your head and back are straight. Look downward at the place of prostration. Then recite silently, “Subhana Rabbiyal `Azhim” (How Perfect is my Lord, the Supreme) three times.
  • Stand up from bowing (ruku`) and say, “Sami` Allahu liman hamidah” (Allah hears the one who praises Him). Then say, “Rabana Walak Al-hamd (Our Lord, Praise be to You), just one time.
  • Prostrate and place your forehead, nose, palms, knees, and toes on the floor (sujud) while saying, “Allahu Akbar”. Then say, “Subhana Rabbiyal Al-`Ala” (How Perfect is my Lord, the Highest) three times.
  • Rise from prostration while saying, “Allahu Akbar”. Sit on your left foot and place your right foot upright, and place your palms flat on your knees. Then say, “Rabb ighfir li” (O my Lord! Forgive me.)
  • After that, make another prostration in the same manner

Now, you complete one rak`ah (unit of prayer). Stand up while saying “Allahu Akbar” and perform another rak`ah. Do it in the same manner as you did the first one, but without reciting the opening supplication.

  • After the second prostration of the second rak`ah, sit on your left foot and place your right foot upright. Place your palms on your thighs with all fingers together in a fist except the index finger. Point the index finger straight in the direction of the qiblah and move it through the recitation of the Tashahhud:

“At-Tahiyatu lillahi Was-Salawatu Wat-Tayyibatu. As-Salamu `alaika ayiuh-annabiyu wa-rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Assalamu `alaina wa`ala ibadil-Lahi As –Salihin. Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah wa-ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasuluh.”  

It means:

“All respect, worship and all glory is due to Allah alone. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you. Peace be on us and on those who are the righteous servants of Allah. I testify that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger”.

  • In the three-rak`ah prayer (as in Maghrib) or the four-rak`ah prayer (Zhuhr, `Asr and `Ishaa’), after performing the second rak`ah and the first tashahhud, stand up while raising your hands and say, “Allahu Akbar” and perform another rak`ah. In case you are performing a four-rak`ah prayer, you perform two rak`ahs after the first
  • In case of Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, after offering two rak`ahs and reciting tashahhud, you recite “Allahumma salli `ala Muhammad wa-`ala aali Muhammad kama sallaita `ala Ibrahim wa-`ala aali Ibrahim innaka Hamidun Majeed, wabaarik `ala Muhammad wa `ala aali Muhamad kama barakta `ala Ibrahim wa `ala aali Ibrahim innaka Hamidun Majeed.”

It means:

“O Allah! Praise Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as You Praised Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. And send blessings on Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as you sent blessings on Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory.”

  • After that, you turn your face the right side saying, “As-salamu `alikum wa Rahmatullh” (peace and mercy of Allah be upon you) and then to the left repeating the same words.
  • In case of the three-rak`ah prayer (as Maghrib), you recite the full tashahhud and make tasleem after the third rak`ah.
  • In case of the four-rak`ah prayer (Zhuhr, `Asr and `Ishaa’) you recite the full tashahhud and make tasleem after the fourth rak`ah.

Times and Number of Rak`ahs of Each Prayer

Name Rak`ahs Time
Fajr (Dawn) Prayer Two From dawn to sunrise.
Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer Four From noon until mid-afternoon.
`Asr (Afternoon) Prayer Four When the shadow of a vertical stick equals its length to sunset.
Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer Three From sunset to the disappearance of red twilight (glow) in the sky.
`Ishaa’ (Night) Prayer Four From the disappearance of red twilight (glow) in the sky to dawn.

 


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