title: The Fiqh of Fasting: Essential Elements of Fasting – Part 2,
content:
By Editorial Staff

The Essential Elements of Fasting

These are the mandatory acts that must be observed so that fasting can be valid.

 1. The niyyah (intention)

Fasting in which the intention is not observed is invalid. Allah says,

“though they were not commanded, but to worship (One) God – making the practice of their religion pure and, sincere to Him alone, being ever upright of heart. (Qur’an 98:5)

It has been narrated on the authority of Umar b. al-Khattab that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

"The

The Essential Elements of Fasting are the mandatory acts that must be observed so that fasting can be valid. Read more about them here..

(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended. The emigration of one who emigrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) ; and the emigration of one who emigrates for gaining a worldly advantage or for marrying a woman is for what he has emigrated. [Al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

When must a person state or confirm the intention of Fasting?

Scholars differentiate between compulsory and voluntary fasting.

The compulsory fasting

The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the person must state the intention of fasting any time during the night until the time of dawn. Thus, if a person states their intention or makes up their mind to fast after the time of dawn, fasting is invalid.

To support their opinion, they used the above mentioned hadith along with the following one:

“Whoever does not form his intention to fast before to fajr (dawn), his fasting will not be accepted.” Related by the five Imams, but At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i consider it to be related by Hafsah and not connected to the Prophet (ﷺ).

In Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s opinion, it is allowed for a person to intend to fast after dawn and during the day in both voluntary and compulsory fasting as long as they have not had any food or drink.

The voluntary fasting

In voluntary fasting, the majority of scholars say that it is allowed to intend to fast during the day. For example, if a person wakes up in the morning of a certain day, they may intend to fast that day. However, this is only allowed if the person has not eaten, drunk or had sexual intercourse from the time of dawn.

There are a number of hadiths that support this opinion. Here is one of them:

‘A’isha, the Mother of the Believers (Allah be pleased with her), reported:

The Apostle of Allah (ﷺ) came to me one day and said: Is there anything with you (to eat)? I said: No. Thereupon he said: I shall then be fasting. Then he came to us another day and we said: Messenger of Allah, hais (a compound of dates and clarified butter) has been offered to us as a gift. Thereupon he said: Show that to me; I had been fasting since morning. He then ate it. (Saḥīḥ Muslim)

It should also be noted that intending to break one’s fast invalidates it.

2. Abstaining from food and drink

It is agreed upon that eating or drinking intentionally breaks one’s fast. There are proofs from the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the Consensus that indicate that the person observing fasting is not allowed to eat or drink from dawn to sunset. Allah says,

“Moreover, you may “now” eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes clear to you, as distinguished, from the black thread “of night”. Then complete the fast until the night” (Qur’an 2:187)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If one does not eschew lies and false conduct, Allah has no need that he should abstain from his food and his drink.” [Al-Bukhari]

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah says: ‘(The person observing fasting) has abstained from food and drink, and sexual pleasures for My sake; fasting is for Me, and I will bestow its reward. Every good deed has ten times its reward’.” [Al-Bukhari]

The consensus among the Muslim scholars is that intentional eating and drinking during the time of fasting invalidates it.

3. Abstaining from sexual intercourse

The person observing fasting must also abstain from having sexual intercourse during their fast. There are proofs supporting this ruling from the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the Consensus. Allah says,

“Permitted for you (believers), on the night of the fast is intimate approach to your wives. They are a garment for you. And you are a garment for them. God knows that (before granting this permission), you used to betray yourselves. Thus He has granted you repentance (for what is past), and pardoned you. So now you may lie with them and seek whatever (offspring) God has decreed for you…” (Qur’an 2:187)

Narrated Abu Huraira: A person had sexual relation with his wife in the month of Ramadan (while he was fasting), and he came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) seeking his verdict concerning that action. The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to him), “Can you afford to manumit a slave?” The man said, “No.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Can you fast for two successive months?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Then feed sixty poor persons.” [Al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

As for the Consensus, Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah shower him with His mercy) said, “The Muslim nation have reached a consensus that having a sexual intercourse is prohibited for the person observing fasting and on the invalidity of their fast.

4. Abstaining from intentional vomiting

Islam Question & Answer website discusses this issue as follows:

Vomiting refers to when food etc. is expelled from the stomach outside the body. With regard to whether this breaks the fast or not, the ruling depends on whether it was done deliberately or not. If a person vomits deliberately, this breaks the fast and he has to make up that day. If he cannot help vomiting and vomits involuntarily, then his fast is still valid and he does not have to do anything else.

If a person needs to vomit because he is sick and vomiting will help him to recover, then it is permissible for him to do that, but he has to make up that day after Ramadan, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days” [Qur’an 2:185]

According to the correct scholarly view, it makes no difference whether the amount of vomit is great or small. If a person vomits deliberately and only a small amount comes out, the fast is broken. It says in al-Furoo’: If a person makes himself vomit and vomits anything, then his fast is broken, because of the report of Abu Hurayrah: “Whoever cannot help vomiting does not have to do anything but whoever makes himself vomit deliberately has to make up that day.” Al-Furoo’, 3/49. This hadeeth was narrated by Abu Dawood, 2380; al-Tirmidhi, 720 – he said the scholars follow this. It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.

But there is a difference between spitting and vomiting. Spitting and hawking etc do not come from the stomach, so there is nothing wrong with expelling that matter. But vomiting comes from the stomach as explained above.

And Allah knows best.


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title: The Fiqh of Fasting: Definition and Prerequisites – Part 1,
content:
By Editorial Staff

Definition of the Sawm or Siyam

Sawm or Siyam (fasting) means in language to abstain from something.

Maryam (Mary) (peace be upon her) said,

“Indeed, I have vowed a fast to the All-Merciful. Thus, I shall not speak today to any human being.” (Qurʾan 19:26)

In the legal usage of the term, fasting means to abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset.

"Fasting"

In the legal usage of the term, fasting means to abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset.

This must be accompanied by the niyyah, intention.1he great commentator Al-Qurṭubī, the author of Al-jamiʿ lī Aḥkam Al-Qurʾan, adds to this definition that the perfect and complete Fasting is that in which acts of disobedience are avoided and acts of worship are maintained.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If one does not eschew lies and false conduct, Allah has no need that he should abstain from his food and his drink.” [Al-Bukharī].

Observing the niyyah here means that you observe fasting as an act of worship only for the sake of Allah and out of obedience to Allah.

The legal ruling regarding fasting the month of Ramaḍan:

It is obligatory to fast the month of Ramadan according to the Qurʾan, the Sunnah and the Consensus.

Allah says:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those (who have believed) before you, so that you may be (ever) God-fearing. … So whoever among you bears witness to the month shall then fast it.” (Qurʾan 2: 183-185)

On the authority of ʿAbdullahh, the son of ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭab (ra), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) says, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the Salah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramaḍan.” [Al-Bukharī and Muslim]

There is a consensus among all Muslim scholars that fasting Ramadan is obligatory.

The prerequisites for the obligation of fasting:

There are four prerequisites:

1- Islam

If non-Muslims fast or do any act of worship, it will not be accepted. Allah says,

“Yet truly it has been revealed to you, O Prophet, and to those of the prophets before you: If ever you were to associate any gods with God, then utterly futile would be all your good works. And, most surely, you yourself would have become among the losers, of an everlasting Paradise.” (Qurʾan 39:65)

ʿAʾisha reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, the son of Judʿan established ties of relationship, fed the poor. Would that be of any avail to him? He said: It would be of no avail to him as he did not ever say: O my Lord, pardon my sins on the Day of Resurrection. (Saḥīḥ Muslim)

2- Reaching puberty:

This is the second prerequisite. In Islam, there are three signs that denote a certain person has reached puberty.

  1. The first wet dream and menstruation

There is an agreement among scholars on only one of these signs which is having the first wet dream for boys and the first menstruation for girls. This is the most authentic sign.

  1. being 15 years old (only lunar years are used here)

Some scholars hold the opinion that if a person is 15 lunar years old, he or she is an adult who is obliged to fast and do other acts of worship.

However, the first sign is the most famous among the scholars.

What is the legal ruling regarding the child who fasts? 

If the child fasts, his or her fast is valid and acceptable. In addition, he and his or her parents will be rewarded. So, it is recommended for the children to train and learn to fast before they reach the age of puberty but it is not obligatory.

Narrated Al-Rubayiʿ bint Muʿawadh: “The Prophet (ﷺ) sent a messenger to the village of the AnSar in the morning of the day of ʿAshuraʾ (10th of Muḥarram) to announce: ‘Whoever has eaten something should not eat but complete the fast, and whoever is observing the fast should complete it.’ “She further said, “Since then we used to fast on that day regularly and also make our boys fast. We used to make toys of wool for the boys and if anyone of them cried for, he was given those toys till it was the time of the breaking of the fast.” (Saḥīḥ  al-Bukharī)

3- Sanity

An insane person cannot be asked to perform any act of worship because they cannot understand the Shariʿa address. Narrated Alī ibn Abū Ṭalib: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, a boy till he reaches puberty, and a lunatic till he comes to reason. (Related by Al-Nasaʾī, Abū Dawūd and Ibn Majah)

4- Ability

In addition to the three prerequisites mentioned above, fasting is only obligatory if the person has the ability to observe it. Allah says:

“God does not task a soul beyond its capacity.” (Qurʾan 2:286)

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Read also:

The Best 10 Virtues of Fasting in Islam: What Are They?

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title: The Best 10 Virtues of Fasting in Islam: What Are They?,
content:
By Editorial Staff

After few days, Muslims all over the world will be witnessing the blessed month of Ramadan, the 9th month of the lunar calendar.  In some Islamic countries, people celebrate this month of fasting through decorating streets and houses with lanterns and ribbons.

May the new moon of the month of Ramadan be bringing guidance and good! They say that the night just before the first day of the month.

The many names of the month of Ramadan highlight its importance to Muslims. It is called the month of fasting, the month of the Gracious Qur’an, the month of the night prayer, and the month of patience.

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The night of Decree is better than a thouthand month

Lailat al-Qadr, the night of Decree, is in the last ten days of Ramadan. It is better than a thousand months.

What is fasting?

It means abstinence from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset during Ramadan. This must be accompanied by the niyyah, intention.

The great commentator Al-Qurtubi, the author of Al-jami’ li Ahkam Al-Qur’an, adds to this definition that the perfect and complete fasting is that in which acts of disobedience are avoided and acts of worship are maintained.

Applying the niyyah here means that you observe fasting as an act of worship only for the sake of Allah and out of obedience to Allah. (look at virtue 6 below)

The legal ruling concerning fasting:

It is obligatory to fast the month of Ramadan; however, the following criteria should be met:

The person must be:

1- Muslim

2- Adult (it is recommended for young boys to fast if they have the ability to observe fasting)

3- Sane

4- Able to observe fasting (sickness and old age can be legal excuses for one to break their fast)

5- Resident (not travelling)

Women experiencing menstruation or post-natal bleeding are forbidden to observe fasting.

If fasting causes any harm to the worshipper, they do not fast and feed an indigent person instead.

The virtues of the Month of Ramadan

1- It is easier for Muslims in this month to do good and live in good as Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. That is why in most Islamic countries, people are more active and keen on doing all the acts that bring them closer to Allah.

2- The voluntary night prayer may be performed in congregation in this month.

Abu Hurairah narrated that The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever prays during the night in Ramadan out of sincere faith and seeking its reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

3- The Gracious Qur’an was first revealed in Ramadan at the night of Decree. So, it is recommended to read the Qur’an and give to charity during this month.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) was the most generous of all the people and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) then used to be more generous than the fast wind. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

4- Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to perform I’tikaf (seclusion in the mosque) for the last ten days of Ramadan. This is because the night of Decree, which is better than a thousand month, occurs in these days. The worship at this night is better than the worship in more than 82 years.The reward for performing the night prayer at this single night is the forgiveness of all past sins provided that this is done out of sincere faith and in anticipation of Allah’s rewards. This is a great favour from Allah for Muslims.

The virtues of Fasting

1- Fasting is a shield or a screen from the Hell-Fire.

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

He who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah He would remove his face from the Hell to the extent of seventy years’ distance. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

2- Fasting is a shield that protects or helps the worshipper to withstand temptations

Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said to us:

O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford it should observe fast for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

3- Those who perform fasting are the al-sāiḥūna

Allah says:

” Such are the repentant, the worshipful, the praise-giving; al-sāiḥūna, who bow to Him alone and who bow their faces down to the ground in Prayer to Him; those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and who diligently observe the ordained limits of God. So give glad tidings to the believers of everlasting delight in Paradise”. (Quran 09:112)

The great commentator, Al-Tabari, explains the meaning of al-sāiḥūna as those who fast.

4- There is nothing equal to fasting as it is a means to be admitted into the Paradise.

It was narrated that Abu Umamah said:

“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an action (I should do).’ He said: ‘Take to fasting, for there is nothing equal to it.”‘ (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

5- Fasting intercede on behalf of its observers on the Day of Judgment. This is mentioned in Hadith collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad.

6- Fasting is means to expiate sins and to have all one’s past sins forgiven.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

7- Fasting is a reason for happiness in this life and Afterlife.

Abu Hurairah narrated that:

The Messenger of Allah said: “There are two joys for the fasting person: the joy when he breaks his fast, and the joy of when he meets his Lord.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

8- Allah’s reward for fasting is high and it highlights how great fasting is!

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

9- The virtue of the smell of the mouth of the person observing fasting

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said “Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

10- The supplication of a fasting person when he breaks his or her fast at sunset is not rejected.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
There are three whose supplications are not turned back: A just ruler, and a fasting person until he breaks his fast. And, the supplication of one who has been wronged is raised by Allah up to the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the gates of heaven are opened for it, and Allah says, ‘By My Might I will help you (against the wrongdoer) even if it is after a while.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

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title: A Guide to Reading and Understanding the Quran,
content:

If you’re a new Muslim or a non-Muslim who has read, is reading, or thinking about reading the Qur’an, then that’s great. There is way too much misquotation, misrepresentation, and, simply, false accusations attributed to the Qur’an, and the best way to truly understand the book is, well, by reading it.

However, picking up the book and just reading it is not enough. There are many things you need to understand about the Qur’an before you begin reading. Here, I shed light on just two important points, which I believe are the most vital.

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There are many things you need to understand about the Qur’an before you begin reading.

The Uniqueness of the Arabic Language

It’s not easy at all to translate Arabic into English or into any other European language for that matter. Arabic to English translations are not done word for word, like how, for example, German to English would be translated. This is because not every Arabic word has an exact English equivalent. So what translators have to do is find the closest matching word or combination of words to try and get the sentiment, tense, tone and emphasis found in the original Arabic across. Essentially, when you read an English Qu’ran, you can’t actually say you are reading a translation of the Qur’an. In fact, you are reading someone’s attempt to bring the apparent meaning of the Qur’an into English.

Even those scholars and academics who are native Arabs or well-versed in Arabic struggle to understand the Arabic of the Qur’an. This is why there are so many commentaries and interpretations written with scholars giving their opinions on the meanings, both apparent and hidden.

Therefore, you can appreciate the task at hand as a reader of an English Qu’ran.

A very good English version I would recommend is this one as it has important footnotes and explains when each chapter was revealed.

How the Qur’an Was Revealed

The Holy Qu’ran was not a complete book or scroll given to the Prophet Muhammad by God, via Archangel Gabriel. It was gradually revealed to the Prophet over twenty-three years.

Academics give various reasons as to why this was the case. For example, to give people a chance to slowly absorb the contents of their newfound faith and not to cause an information overload.

Whilst these and other reasons are likely to be true, what is definitively true is that often (not all the time) a portion of the Qur’an was revealed in response to either questions people asked to the Prophet, due to the actions of the people, community, or general occurrences of the time.

Almost no verse was revealed without context or reason.

A Common Misconception

Many people cite chapter 47, verse 4 to conclude Islam as an intolerant religion that wishes to kill anyone who stands in its way. People only use a portion of the verse too, as it reads:

“Therefore when you meet the disbelievers, smite their necks.” (Quran 47:4)

On face value this sounds like a very violent and intolerant act. You can start to understand the verse better if you know the context, which is as follows.

The non-Muslim Arabs were very unhappy about the rising popularity of Islam and wished to battle and kill the Muslims. The command in the aforementioned verse came from God permitting the Muslims to kill the disbelievers in battle, as a form of defence.

The verse was revealed in the context of a battlefield, with a grave threat to the lives of the Muslims at a time when people coming to Islam were being heavily persecuted, and God is saying you are allowed to defend yourself during this battle. It is therefore not a statement made in vacuum to indiscriminately go out and kill people who did not believe, but disbelievers who persecuted Muslims.

I bet if someone wanted to kill you, you would not wait for a go ahead to defend yourself, because it would be well within your rights and anybody would understand your natural defensive response.

Another Example That Shows the Importance of Context

Another verse that is heavily used to accuse Islam of being violent is chapter 2, verse 191, which reads:

“And kill them wherever you find them.” (Quran 2:191)

Context, guys! All one need to do is read the verses before and after this verse to understand what this really means. The verse before (190) says:

“Fight in the way of God those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. God does not like transgressors.” (Quran 2:190)

Here, God is saying to only fight those who fight you but do not transgress meaning do not use excessive or unnecessary force. And if someone continues to read the verse in contention (191), they will find that the rest of the verse says:

“…and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah [persecution] is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.” (Quran 2:191)

Once again, the verse is instructing Muslims not to fight until the opposition fights them first. The verse after (192) says:

“And if they cease, then indeed Allah is Forgiving and Mericful.” (Quran 2:192)

And finally (193):

“Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.” (Quran 2:193)

So to summarise, these verses are saying:

  • Only fight them, if they fight you i.e. you are allowed to engage in self-defence
  • When fighting, don’t transgress and do anything unnecessary
  • If they stop fighting, then you stop your aggression too because aggression can only be towards oppressive people

Sounds fairly rational to me.

As you can see, I’ve had to go into lengthy detail to explain just a few verses from the Qur’an. Now I hope you can appreciate the toil scholars go through to explain the Qur’an, especially those who have written volumes of commentary on it.

And I also hope you can appreciate why it irks Muslims when someone picks up an English version of the Qur’an, picks a random verse and says ‘Hey, look, this is what Islam is about’.

Be active, not passive readers and if you have questions, ask experts and do not assume.


Source: sailanmuslim website with some modifications


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title: The Intention and Its Relation to Acceptance of Deeds,
content:
By Editorial Staff

For actions to be accepted and rewarded by Allah there are two crucial prerequisites:

(1) Sincerity or having a valid intention

(2)  Performing the action properly, namely, performing it according to the way the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did it.

This article will mainly discuss the first prerequisite.

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It is obligatory for every Muslim before observing an act of worship to make sure that the intention is purely sincere for the sake of Allah.

It is obligatory for every Muslim before observing an act of worship to make sure that the intention is purely sincere for the sake of Allah. Sincerity is the criterion that is used here to evaluate and judge one’s internal actions i.e. actions of the heart. Allah says,

 

“Though they were not commanded but to worship (One) God making the (practice of their) religion (pure and) sincere to Him (alone), being ever upright (of heart)” (Quran 98:5)

The difference between the two prerequisites:

The place of the intention is the heart, so it is only Allah Who knows what is in the hearts. Moreover, no one can tell whether an action is valid or invalid provided that the other external prerequisites are met. It is the external elements of an action that allow a certain person to judge a certain act. So, Scholars can judge people’s actions according to only prerequisite two mentioned above. The person may perform a deed that is apparently good or valid, but in reality it misses the good intention. That’s why it is not acceptable.

In the Hereafter, Allah will reward or punish people according to what they harbor in their hearts. Allah says,

“on a Day (Hereafter) when (all man’s) inner secrets shall be examined!” (Quran 86:9)

“Does he not, then, know that when all that is in the graves is unearthed, and all that is (harbored) within the breast (of people) is collected” (Quran 100:9-10)

The greatest hadith related to intention or sincerity:

Indeed, it is not appropriate to write about sincerity or intention without referring to the following hadith:

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say:

“Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

This is one of the greatest hadiths to the extent that some scholars consider it to be one third of the knowledge of Islam. One explanation for this is that people use three things to perform an act of worship: the heart, the tongue and the limbs. In addition, this hadith is related to all the rulings of Islam and fiqh (jurisprudence) and the principles of the Sunnah.  “If anyone wants to write a book (related to hadith or Islamic sciences), he or she should start with the hadith that is related to intentions”, the great scholar of hadith, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi said. This highlights the importance of this hadith as all acts of worship require a good intention.

As for the meaning of this vital principle (“Actions are judged by intentions”), it is as follows. Whether an action is accepted, valid and rewarded or not depends on the validity of the intention. Another meaning is that it is the intention that drives a person to perform a certain act. However, the first meaning is the preferred one.

How to observe the niyyah (intention):

1. To intend to do a certain act of worship

The meaning of “intention” here requires a person to specify whether a certain act is compulsory or recommended or for example to specify whether one is going to perform the Dhuhr (the noon prayer) or ‘Asr (the afternoon prayer). This sometimes helps to differentiate between acts of worship and habits. Thus, anyone wants to take a bath, he or she has to specify whether this is a ritual bath for removing major ritual impurity or a usual bath taken for just personal hygiene. This is the most common meaning used among jurists.

2. To intend to do a certain act for the sake of Allah

Here one must specify whether he or she is going to perform a certain act of worship for the sake of Allah or not. This is the most common meaning used by early scholars. Allah says,

 

“Among you being those who desire this world, and among you being those who desire the Hereafter.” (Quran 3: 152)

3. To intend to do a certain act out of obedience to Allah

It is absolutely perfect if one observes those three elements of intention before all acts of worship.

Areas where the above mentioned hadith can be applied:

It is known that intention is compulsory before performing an act of worship. Permissible deeds can be included in the application of that hadith. If one for example eats with the intention of having more energy or being more active to observe the rites of worship, he or she will be rewarded for that. Allah says,

“Say (to them): Indeed, my Prayer and my rites (of worship) and my life and my death are for God (alone), Lord of (All) the Worlds. No partner is there for Him. And to this I have been commanded. Moreover, I am the foremost of those who are Muslims, in willing submission to God (alone).” (Quran 6:162-163)

Actions of hearts are another area where intention can be observed. For instance, being patient should be solely for the sake of Allah. Allah says,

“These (are the ones who) endure (distress and duties) with patience, seeking (only) the Face of their Lord.” (Quran 13:22)

Upright testimonies also should be administered for the sake of Allah. In addition, giving to charity, spending on one’s family, loving, hating, giving, withholding, etc. should be for the sake of Allah.

Is it correct to utter the niyyah (intention) verbally?

The preferred opinion is that it is not obligatory to utter the niyyah verbally as there is no proof from the Quran or the Sunnah that denotes that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do this.


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title: How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim,
content:

To convert to Islam is a lie-changing decision that must be based on full conviction that Islam is the religion chosen by Allah (God) to guide humanity.

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The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background.

First, we thank you for your interest in Islam. Thank you for taking the time to read about Islam and Muslims.

If you take the decision to embrace Islam, be sure that you will never regret this decision.

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. To convert and become a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no prerequisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.

How to Convert to Islam

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahadah“, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahadah” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.

With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahadah“, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.

Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:

“Do you not know that accepting Islam wipes out all sins which come before it?” (Muslim)

When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. The new convert should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.

The Qur’an and Hadith (prophetic sayings) both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:

The only religion in the sight of God is Islam(Aal `Imran 3:19)

In another verse of the Qur’an, God states:

If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).(Aal `Imran 3:85))

In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:

“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet of God also reported:

“Indeed God has forbidden to reside eternally in Hell the person who says: “I testify that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah (God),’ seeking thereby the Face of God.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Declaration of Faith (Shahadah)

To convert to Islam and become a Muslim a person needs to pronounce the below testimony with conviction and understanding its meaning:

I testify “La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”

The translation of which is:

“I testify that there is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and that Muhammad is a Messenger (Prophet) of God.”

When someone pronounces the testimony with conviction, then he/she has become a Muslim.

The first part of the testimony consists of the most important truth that God revealed to mankind: that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. God states in the Qur’an:

We did not send the Messenger before you without revealing to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me(Al-Anbiya’ 21:25)

This conveys that all forms of worship, whether it be praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to God and to God alone.

Directing any form of worship to other than God (whether it be an angel, a messenger, Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, a tree) is seen as a contradiction to the fundamental message of Islam, and it is an unforgivable sin unless it is repented from before one dies. All forms of worship must be directed to God only.

Worship means the performance of deeds and sayings that please God, things which He commanded or encouraged to be performed, either by direct textual proof or by analogy. Thus, worship is not restricted to the implementation of the five pillars of Islam, but also includes every aspect of life. Providing food for one’s family, and saying something pleasant to cheer a person up are also considered acts of worship, if such is done with the intention of pleasing God. This means that, to be accepted, all acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the Sake of God alone.

The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the servant and chosen messenger of God. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. One must therefore worship God only according to his teaching alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by God.

One must try to mold their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. God says:

And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character.(Al-Qalam 68:4)

God also said:

And indeed you have a good and upright example in the Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and mentions God much.(Al-Ahzab 33:21)

He was sent in order to practically implement the Qur’an, in his saying, deeds, legislation as well as all other facets of life. `A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet, when asked about the character of the Prophet, replied:

“His character was that of the Quran.” (As-Suyuti)

To truly adhere to the second part of the Shahadah is to follow his example in all walks of life. God says:

Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love God, then follow me.’(Aal `Imran 3:31)

It also means that Muhammad is the Final Prophet and Messenger of God, and that no (true) Prophet can come after him.

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of God and the last (end) of the Prophets and God is Ever All-Aware of everything.(Al-Ahzab 33:40)

All who claim to be prophets or receive revelation after Muhammad are imposters, and to acknowledge them would be tantamount to disbelief.

We welcome you to Islam, congratulate you for your decision, and will try to help you in any way we can.

This video shows you how to practically convert to Islam…

 

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Source: Islamreligion.com.


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title: Self-development between Purity of Heart & Worldly Conduct,
content:
"road_nature"

Even though spiritual purification is important seclusion and neglect of worldly responsibilities are not condoned by Islam.

Islam is a way of life that teaches Muslims to focus on bettering themselves by following the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, and the teachings of the final Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Prophet Muhammad once said, “Truly I was sent as a Prophet for the purpose of perfecting human character.” (Ahmad) This prophetic tradition defines a very important aspect of Islam: self-improvement through spiritual and physical purity.

An old Arab proverb aptly states: “The one who lacks something cannot give it to others.” This saying establishes the fact that in order for one to spread “good” in terms of his or her character, manners, words or actions, he or she must first strive to possess it. One should not neglect to improve one’s own faults even as they attempt to assist others.

Of course, this does not mean that one has to be perfect in order to be of benefit to others; for instance, some people think that they cannot spread knowledge because they are not scholars. Instead, this adage goes hand in hand with the English saying, “Practice before you preach.” As Prophet Muhammad said, “Who are the learned? Those who practice what they know.”

In Islam, it is of utmost importance for Muslims to seek self-improvement in regards to every aspect of their lives. As a result, one’s good character will impact others and therefore improve society as a whole. This dynamic change all begins at the individual level. In this regard, God says:

Truly God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. (Ar-Ra`d 13:11)

Pure Intentions

Before an individual consciously embarks on this journey, he or she must define and cleanse their intention. A pivotal teaching of Islam is derived from the prophetic statement, “All actions are judged by their intentions, and each person will be rewarded according to his or her intention.”

Hence, a desire to genuinely improve oneself, please God, and provide benefit is paramount. On the other hand, having impure intentions such as seeking the admiration of other people or showing off is counterproductive. For these reasons, purifying one’s intentions is critical to the success of one’s pursuit of self-development.

Cleansing of the heart is also a large component of self-improvement because it directly impacts one’s actions. God says in the Qur’an:

God did confer a great favor on the believers when He sent among them an apostle from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the signs of God, sanctifying them, and instructing them in scripture and wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error. (Aal `Imran 3:164)

This verse demonstrates the role of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the importance of self-improvement in Islam. Prophet Muhammad taught the pagan Arabs of Makkah to believe in the One God and to live righteously; he implored them to renounce idolatry and their impulsive lifestyles. Over the course of 23 years, his message uplifted the status of women, brought God-consciousness among people, and safeguarded the poor and needy.

In doing so, not only did he help individuals to attain self-improvement, he rehabilitated an entire society: racial discrimination was practically eliminated, tribal warfare was replaced with united ties of brotherhood, usury and alcohol were completely forbidden.

Righteous Actions

Self-development begins at the individual level and requires a vast amount of discipline. Along with striving to become more physically pure by maintaining a healthy and clean body, it is equally important for an individual to maintain his or her spiritual health through righteous actions. Purification of the soul allow an individual to become closer to God and exhibit more positive behavior which will translate into his or her deeds.

In order to purify and enhance oneself, Islam outlines several pragmatic steps:

Core worship, such as prayer, fasting, supplication, etc. Performing these allows Muslims to draw closer to God by increasing the individual’s awareness of God throughout the day.

This will, in turn, decrease his or her likelihood to commit acts that would displease God, enabling people to raise their moral and ethical standards.

Smiling, being kind, and staying positive when interacting with others. This leads to mercifulness and forgiveness, which are attributes which God loves in human beings.

Prophetic traditions mention that smiling is an act of charity and removing obstacles from the road is a sign of faith; others encourage people to spread good news and exchange gifts as a way of increasing love between people.

Having self-discipline and managing one’s time so that the person is more productive throughout the day:

By (the token of) time (through the ages), verily man is in loss, except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy. (Al-`Asr 103:1-3)

Lending a helping hand to those in need. Once Prophet Muhammad was asked: “What actions are most excellent?” He answered: “To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured.”

Striving to increase one’s knowledge whether it be religious or academic. Working towards becoming an informed and proactive citizen.

According to Prophet Muhammad, “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” (Ibn Majah)

Maintaining good company and friends that will influence the individual in a positive manner.

Prophet Muhammad has stated, “It is better to sit alone than in company with the bad; and it is better still to sit with the good than alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent; but silence is better than idle words.”

Performing sincere repentance for one’s sins and seeking the mercy and forgiveness of God. Feeling guilty for transgressions that one has made, and then making an active effort to learn from one’s mistakes and never repeat them again:

Your Lord has inscribed for Himself (the rule of) mercy: verily, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amend (his conduct), lo! He is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-An`am 6:54)

As you may have noticed, many of these steps involve interacting with others. Even though spiritual purification is important, it is critical to note that seclusion and neglect of worldly responsibilities are not condoned by Islam.

Prolonged seclusion for the purpose of spiritual purification is in fact inconsistent with Islamic teachings. A large component of self enhancement involves treating others with compassion and respect, and helping the less fortunate. This is not possible if one leads the life of a recluse.

One of the prophetic traditions encourages people to look at those less privileged when making worldly comparisons with others: “When you see a person who has been given more than you in money and beauty, look to those who have been given less.”

This advice is very important because it enables us to be grateful for the blessings we have and be less greedy or miserly. Such an attitude allows one to remain focused on the quest of attaining self-improvement and eternal success in the hereafter rather than the transient materials of this temporary life.

The Virtues of Selfishness!

Self-improvement plays a significant role in the lives of Muslims also due to another key Islamic concept: that every individual will be held accountable for only him/her self in the hereafter. On the Day of Judgment, God will question each soul on its actions, and how it spent time on earth. On that day, each person will solely be concerned about the magnitude of his or her deeds.

The importance of self-development cannot be overemphasized in Islam although it may seem like a selfish endeavor on the surface. However, such “selfishness” may actually be considered a virtue rather than a vice. When one is constantly struggling for self-improvement, he or she becomes more willing to help others and disperse the good that he or she has gained to society at large.

As a result, one person’s efforts contribute towards collective development. Such commitment is not possible in the individual who is self-absorbed for the sake of self-gratification. Therefore, “selfishness” for the purpose of self-improvement and the greater good is the first step to selflessness.

Indeed, the essence of all good deeds stems from a pure and tranquil soul.

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Source: whyislam.org.


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title: The Social System in Islam: Foundations and Practices,
content:
By Abul A`La Mawdudi

The foundations of the social system of Islam rest on the belief that all human beings are equal and constitute one single fraternity.

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In Islam, if there is any real difference between man and man it cannot be one of race, color, or language, but of ideas, beliefs and principles.

Equality of Mankind

God created a human couple to herald the beginning of the life of mankind on earth, and everybody living in the world today originates from this couple. The progeny of this couple were initially a single group with one religion and the same language.

But as their numbers gradually increased, they spread all over the earth and, as a natural result of their diversification and growth, were divided into various tribes and nationalities. They came to speak different languages; their modes of dress varied; and their ways of living also differed widely. Climates and environments affected their color and physical features.

All these differences exist in the world of reality and Islam does not seek to ignore them. But it disapproves of the prejudices which have arisen among mankind because of these differences in race, color, language and nationality.

Islam makes clear to all men that they have come from the same parents and are therefore brothers and equal as human beings.

Islam says that if there is any real difference between man and man it cannot be one of race, color, country or language, but of ideas, beliefs and principles.

Two children of the same mother, though they may be equal from the point of view of a common ancestry, will have to go their different ways in life if their beliefs and moral conduct differ.

On the contrary, two people, one in the East and the other in the West, even though geographically and outwardly separated by vast distances, will tread the same path in life if they share the same code of moral behaviour.

On the basis of this fundamental tenet, Islam seeks to build a principled and ideological society very different from the racial, nationalistic and parochial societies existing in the world today.

The basis of co-operative effort among men in such a society is not the place of one’s birth but a creed and a moral principle. Anyone, if he believes in God as his Master and Lord and accepts the guidance of the Prophets as the law of his life, can join this community, whether he is a resident of America or Africa, whether he belongs to the Semitic race or the Aryan, whether he is black or fair-skinned, whether he speaks a European language or Arabic.

All those who join this community will have the same rights and social status. They will not be subjects to any racial, national or class distinctions. No one will be regarded as high or low. There will be no untouchability. There will be no special restrictions upon them in making marriages, eating and drinking and social contacts. No one will be looked down upon because of his birth of work. No one will claim any distinctive rights by virtue of his caste, community or ancestry.

Islamic Criterion

Man’s merit will not depend on his family connections or riches, but only on whether he is better than others in moral conduct or excels others in piety and righteousness.

Such social order, transcending as it does geographical boundaries and the barriers of race, color and language, is appropriate for all parts of the world; on its foundations can be raised the universal brotherhood of man.

In societies based on race or nationality only those people can join who belong to a particular race or nation, but in Islam anyone who accepts its creed and moral standards can become a member, possessing equal rights with everyone else.

Those who do not accept this creed, while obviously not being received into the community, are treated with tolerance and humanity and guaranteed all the basic human rights.

It is clear that if two children of the same mother differ in their ideas, their ways of life will be different; but this does not mean that they cease to be brothers.

In the same way, if two nations or two groups of people living in the same country differ in their fundamental beliefs, principles and ideology, their societies will also certainly differ; yet they will continue to share the common ties of humanity.

Hence, the Islamic society offers to non-Muslim societies and group the maximum social and cultural rights that can possibly be accorded.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s book “The Islamic Way of Life”.


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title: Intercessors on the Day of Resurrection. Who? – Part 5,
content:
By Editorial Staff

On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will give the right of intercession to Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the first place. Other intercessors include the angels, the prophets, and the believers and, what’s more, there will be the Intercession of Allah.

There are still others who will be enjoying this high status on the Day of Judgment. We wrote about the first four intercessors in a previous article. The other intercessors include the following:

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In the Hereafter, children will be united with their good and righteous parents even if they fall short of their parents’ status in the Paradise.

5. The martyrs

Once they die, martyrs get a lot of rewards and favors in their next life. One of these favors is that they will intercede with Allah on behalf of their relatives. Narrated Al-Miqdam bin Ma’diykarib:

That the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head – and its gems are better than the world and what is in it – he is married to seventy two wives from the wide-eyed houris of Paradise, and he may intercede for seventy of his close relatives.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

6. Parents

Parents’ righteousness and belief benefit their children in this life and Afterlife. In this life, children may follow and learn from their parents the teachings of Islam. In the Hereafter and as a result of following in their parents’ footsteps, children will be united with their parents even if they fall short of their parents’ status in the Paradise. Allah says,

“Moreover, (as for) those who (in the world) believed -and whose children followed them in faith- We shall unite their children with them. And We shall not deprive them of anything (from the rewards) of their (good) work.” (Quran 52:21)

7. Children

It may happen that a child dies at an early age. If the child’s parents are patient, Allah will provide them with huge rewards that outweigh their anguish. Of these rewards, such a child will intercede with Allah on behalf of his or her parents. Abu Hassan reported:

I said to Abu Huraira that my two children had died. Would you narrate to me anything from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) a hadith which would soothe our hearts in our bereavements? He said: Yes. Small children are the fowls of Paradise. If one of them meets his father (or he said his parents) he would take hold of his cloth, or he said with his hand as I take hold of the hem of your cloth (with my hand). And he (the child) would not take off (his hand) from it until Allah causes his father to enter Paradise. (Muslim)

8. The Gracious Quran

The Gracious Quran, especially Surat Al-Baqarah (the Cow) and Al-‘Imran (the Family of ‘Imran), will be interceding with Allah on the Day of Resurrection on behalf of those who believe in, always recite and follow the teachings of the Quran. Abu Umama said he heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say:

Recite the Qur’an, for on the Day of Resurrection it will come as an intercessor for those who recite It. Recite the two bright ones, Surat Al-Baqara and Surat Al ‘Imran, for on the Day of Resurrection they will come as two clouds or two shades, or two flocks of birds in ranks, pleading for those who recite them. Recite Surat Al-Baqara, for to take recourse to it is a blessing and to give it up is a cause of grief, and the magicians cannot confront it. (Mu’awiya said: It has been conveyed to me that here Batala means magicians.) (Muslim)

Living persons interceding on behalf of the departed

This happens when a Muslim person dies and Muslims make supplications to Allah to shower such a person with His mercy and to forgive him. Supplications are made just after a person’s death, during funeral prayer, and after burial. In addition, people who love the departed continue to make supplications for him or her. Here supplication acts as an intercession with Allah. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas reported that his son died in Qudaid or ‘Usfan. He said to Kuraib to see as to how many people had gathered there for his (funeral). He (Kuraib) said:

So I went out and I informed him about the people who had gathered there. He (Ibn ‘Abbas) said: Do you think they are forty? He (Kuraib) said: Yes. Ibn ‘Abbas then said to them: Bring him (the dead body) out for I have heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: If any Muslim dies and forty men who associate nothing with Allah stand over his prayer (they offer prayer over him), Allah will accept them as intercessors for him. (Muslim)

 

In fact, it is part of our Islamic teachings and traditions to make supplications to Allah for all our Muslim brothers and sisters who came before us even if we may not have seen them. This often happens especially when good sons or daughters ask Allah to forgive their parents. 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:

Allah (The One to whom belongs absolute power and majesty) does raise the status of a good servant in the Paradise. Thereupon, he or she will say, “O my Lord! How have I reached this degree?” He will say, “This is through asking for forgiveness for you by your son (or daughter)”. (Imam Ahmed)

Things that bring about intercession

We have already mentioned some of the things that bring about intercession whether you are the intercessor or the person interceded on his or her behalf. The Gracious Quran acts an intercessor on the Day of Judgment as mentioned above. Also, performing prayer more often may also bring about intercession. However, you may become an intercessor when you offer funeral prayers. Other things that may bring about intercession include:

1. Living in Medina

Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

He who patiently endures the hardships of it (of this city of Medina), I would be an intercessor or a witness on his behalf on the Day of Resurrection. (Muslim)

2. Saying prayers of supplications related to Adhan (the call to prayer)

‘Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

When you hear the Mu’adhdhin (the caller to prayer), repeat what he says, then invoke a blessing on me, for everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah; then beg from Allah al-Wasila for me, which is a rank in Paradise fitting for only one of Allah’s servants, and I hope that I may be that one. If anyone who asks that I be given the Wasila, he will be assured of my intercession. (muslim)

3. Avoiding cursing people

Abud-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Those who frequently resort to cursing (people) would neither be accepted as witnesses nor as intercessors on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)

 


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title: Intercessors on the Day of Resurrection. Who? – Part 4,
content:
By Editorial Staff

In general, when Muslims talk about intercession, the first person who comes to their mind is Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). This is because the right of the Greatest Intercession which is exclusive to him. In addition, he will share other intercessors in the other different kinds of intercessions.

Before writing about the other intercessors, we will cite one more kind of intercession which is also exclusive to Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

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To open the gates of the Paradise to those people who are destined for it, Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will be the first to intercede concerning this.

Making intercessions so that the gates of the Paradise will be opened

To open the gates of the Paradise to those people who are destined for it, Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will be the first to intercede concerning this. Anas b. Malik reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “I will be the first among people to intercede concerning (opening the gates of) the Paradise and I will be the Prophet with the greatest number of followers (on the Day of Resurrection).” (Muslim)

The following hadith relates about this in some more detail. Anas b. Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“I will come to the gate of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection and would seek its opening and the keeper would say: Who are you? I would say: Muhammad. He would then say: It is for you that I have been ordered, and not to open it for anyone before you.” (Muslim)

The other intercessors who will intercede before Allah on the Day of Resurrection

1. The angels

Allah says: “For how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession is of no avail-to anyone – in anything until God grants permission to whomever He so wills and is pleased with.” (Quran 53:26)

This Aya clearly shows that the disbelievers who worship angels claiming that they will intercede on their behalf are completely wrong. For the Aya states two prerequisites for benefitting from intercession, which the disbelievers failed to achieve.

2. The prophets

Prophets are the best human beings. They called people to worship only one God, Allah, in this life and would intercede on behalf of the believers on the Day of Resurrection.

3. The believers

There are some believers who will enjoy this high status on the Day of Resurrection. Achieving this requires a person to abide by certain acts of worship and avoid the things that deprive a person from being an intercessor. We will discuss this in detail in a forthcoming article.

The following part of the hadith is a proof that the angels, the prophets and the believers will be intercessors. Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri:

“…The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “You (Muslims) cannot be more pressing in claiming from me a right that has been clearly proved to be yours than the believers in interceding with Almighty for their (Muslim) brothers on that Day, when they see themselves safe.

They will say, ‘O Allah! (Save) our brothers (for they) used to pray with us, fast with us and also do good deeds with us.’ Allah will say, ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of one (gold) Dinar.’ Allah will forbid the Fire to burn the faces of those sinners. They will go to them and find some of them in Hell (Fire) up to their feet, and some up to the middle of their legs. So they will take out those whom they will recognize and then they will return, and Allah will say (to them), ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of one half Dinar.’ They will take out whomever they will recognize and return, and then Allah will say, ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant), and so they will take out all those whom they will recognize.” Abu Sa’id said: If you do not believe me then read the Holy Verse:–

“Indeed, God wrongs none, (not even) an atom’s weight. Yet if there is a good deed, He multiplies it…” (Quran 4:40)

The Prophet added, “Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede…” (Al-Bukhari)

4. The intercession of Allah

The previous hadith continues: “…and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, ‘Now remains My Intercession. He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life.

They will grow on its banks, as a seed carried by the torrent grows. You have noticed how it grows beside a rock or beside a tree, and how the side facing the sun is usually green while the side facing the shade is white. Those people will come out (of the River of Life) like pearls, and they will have (golden) necklaces, and then they will enter Paradise whereupon the people of Paradise will say, ‘These are the people emancipated by the Beneficent. He has admitted them into Paradise without them having done any good deeds and without sending forth any good (for themselves).’ Then it will be said to them, ‘For you is what you have seen and its equivalent as well.'” (Al-Bukhari)

There are still others whom Allah will give the right of intercession. We are going to write about them in a forthcoming article.

 


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