title: The Meaning of Tawheed (The Oneness of Allah),
content:

 

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with the New Muslim Bites. And this is the second session.

And today we are going to be talking about “belief in the one God, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala)”.

Now, when I first became Muslim one of the things that really surprised me was when I realised that Allah is the same as God and God is Allah and that actually Christian people call God Allah not God.

Allah is the correct name to use when we’re referring to God and the reason being is because in the Arabic language it’s totally unique. You can’t say goddess like you can say goddess in English but you can’t make the word Allah into a feminine tense. You can’t make it into a plural tense so it’s a totally unique word.

Tawheed

Now, when the belief in the one God that when belief in Allah is manifested in a word called “Tawheed”. Tawheed basically is an Arabic word which means unification or asserting oneness. So, Tawheed basically means believing in the Oneness of Allah.

Now, one of the questions that comes up a lot especially for new Muslims is: “where is Allah?”

Now, there’s a very simple answer to this and it’s very clear in the Quran and in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is in fact above his creation. He is above his throne. And this is related in Surah (70:3-4), surah (35:10). And also there is a hadith or many hadith but one particular one that says that Rasul Allah (Allah’s Messenger) (salla Allahu ‘alaihee wa sallam) says as part of this hadith:

He who is above the Heavens (fi al-samaa) which means the heavens will be Merciful to you.

So, these are sort of things because sometimes people misunderstand and people say that Allah is everywhere. Allah is not everywhere. Allah is All-Knowing. Allah is aware of everything, everything we do, everything we say, everything we think. He is so close to us but physically he is above His Throne in heaven.

Surah 112, Al-Ikhlas (Pure Sincerity)

Now one surah in the Quran which is usually one of the first ones that we learn is Surat Al-Ikhlas.

112:1 Qul huwa Allahu ahad (Say, “He (is) Allah, the One)

112: 2 Allah-u ṣ-ṣamad (Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute)

112: 3 Lam yalid walam yūlad (He begets not nor is He begotten)

So, in other words he doesn’t have a mother and father and he doesn’t have offspring, that sons and daughters.

112:4 Walam yakun lahu kufuwan aḥad (And there is nothing like Allah)

So, we can’t imagine what Allah looks like. We shouldn’t imagine what Allah looks like. However, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives us a description of his attributes and there are 99 names that describe these. One of them for example is Al-Rahman, the Merciful.

Now, Tawheed like we were talking about before is split into three different areas:

The first area is Tawheed Al-Rububiyah (the Unity of Allah’s Lordship)

The second area is Tawheed Al-Asmaa wal Sifat which means the unity of Allah’s names and attributes. That basically means that we are not allowed to give a false attribute to Allah or add names to Allah’s names.

So, for example and we couldn’t describe Allah like in the Bible. Allah is described as creating the heavens in the earth in six days and resting on the seventh day. Resting is a human attribute. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) doesn’t feel any fatigue or need a rest. Allah is not a human. Allah created humans. He doesn’t have these needs like we have.

And the third area is Tawheed Al-‘Ibadah. Al-‘Ibadah means the unity of worship. So, Tawheed (the Unity) Al-“Ibadah (of Worship)

Now, this is where we put our belief in the one God into action and that means that we avoid all Shirk.  Shirk is a word that means when we associate something with Allah. So, for example (shirk is) when somebody worships another god other than Allah even if they believe in Allah but then they worship another god.  So, for example that the Christians will say that in ’Isa or Jesus (peace be upon him) is the son of God. This is a shirk in Islam. This is something that is that is not allowed. And so we avoid all this.

The Purpose of Creation

In the Quran in surah (51:56) Allah says that he created us all with the purpose of worshipping Him. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about that in future sessions.

So, that’s the end of this little short mini session. I hope that it’s been helpful. The next session moving on is I’m going to talk a little bit about Shirk, the different types of shirk and how we can avoid committing Shirk. so (In sha’a Allah) I’ll speak to you next time.

Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

Peace be to you all!


Session 1: The Meaning of Shahada in Four Minutes


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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: The Forenoon Prayer (Salat Al-Duha),
content:
By Editorial Staff

Duha means the morning sunshine or forenoon. This time is so blessed that there is a surah (chapter) of the Gracious Quran that starts with the oath of Allah swearing by al-Duha and the night. Allah says,

“By (al-Duha) the morning sunshine! And (by) the night as it falls still! Your Lord has not deserted you, (O Prophet). And never has He abhorred you.” (Quran 93:1-3)

Some scholars interpret the word “duha” to mean the day thinking that it is the antithesis of night in the second verse. However, the other more preferred opinion is that it means only forenoon or the morning sunshine. Scholars who adopt the latter opinion use the following verse to support their opinion. Allah says,

(Moses) said: Your appointed time is the Day of Festival, at (Duha) mid-morning, while the people are assembled. (Quran 20:59)

Concerning the Duha Prayer, Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him and his father) used to name it the Sunrise Prayer.

In the technical usage al-Duha refers to a specific time that starts about 10 or 15 minutes after sunrise and finishes 10 or 15 minutes before the Dhuhr (noon) prayer or before it’s high noon i.e. when the sun starts to move from its highest point in the sky towards the direction of the sunset.

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The duha time is so blessed that there is a surah (chapter) of the Gracious Quran that starts with the oath of Allah swearing by al-Duha and the night.

The virtues of the Duha Prayer

1. Performing the Duha prayer acts as an act of thankfulness to Allah for He has blessed us with wellness. Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “In the morning, charity is due on every joint bone of the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah’s Glorification (i.e., saying Subhan Allah) is an act of charity, and every utterance of His Praise (i.e., saying Al-hamdu lillah) is an act of charity and every utterance of declaration of His Greatness (i.e., saying La ilaha ill Allah) is an act of charity; and enjoining what is good is an act of charity, and forbidding what is evil is an act of charity, and two rak’ahs (units) of Duha prayers which one performs in the forenoon is equal to all this (in reward).” (Muslim)

2. It brings about Allah’s protection. Narrated Nu’aym ibn Hammar:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: Allah, the Exalted, says: Son of Adam, do not be helpless in performing four rak’ahs for Me at the beginning of the day: I will supply what you need till the end of it. (Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad)

3. Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) instructed and encouraged some of his companions to perform it. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

My friend (the Messenger of Allah) (ﷺ) directed me to observe fast for three days in every month, to perform two rak’ahs (optional) Duha prayer at forenoon and to perform the Witr prayer before going to bed. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Did Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) use to perform the Duha Prayer?

Scanning the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), one finds out that there are some contradictory evidence concerning this matter. Let us consider the following hadiths: Narrated `Aisha:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to give up a good deed, although he loved to do it, for fear that people might act on it and it might be made compulsory for them. The Prophet (ﷺ) never prayed the Duha prayer, but I offer it. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) This is the wording of Al-Bukhari.

This hadith proves that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not use to perform it. On the other hand, there is another hadith related also by ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) which provides evidence to the contrary. ‘A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to perform four rak’ahs of Duha prayer (at the forenoon) and would add to them whatever Allah wished. (Muslim)

To reconcile such contradictory hadiths, scholars of hadith hold the opinion that the latter hadith is shadh (anomalous). This is because a number of the companions relate that Prophet Muhammad did not use to perform the Duha Prayer. However, He does encourage Muslims to perform Duha prayer.

 Why did the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) make it recommended to perform the Duha prayer while he did not use to perform it?

One of the best answers to this question is as follows. Scholars believe that Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would choose to perform only the night prayer. However, in case he missed the night prayer, he would offer twelve rak’has in the forenoon. In addition, when the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was back from travels, he would usually arrive in the forenoon and would start with entering the mosque and offering two rak’ahs.  On the Liberation of Makkah Day, he offered eight rak’ahs

How many rak’ahs a Muslim may offer for Duha Prayer?

The smallest number of rak’ahs a Muslim may perform is two. Also, a Muslim may perform four, six, or eight. Based on the practical Sunnah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), the largest number is eight rak’ahs or twelve in case a person makes up the night prayer.

However, according to the verbal Sunnah, a person may offer as many rak’ahs as he or she wishes.

When is the best time to offer Duha Prayer?

A Muslim may perform the Duha prayer any time from about 10 or 15 minutes after sunshine to 10 or 15 minutes before noon. However, the best time is the hottest. In Middle Eastern countries, it becomes very hot at about 9, 10, or 11 am. Zaid bin Arqam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I saw some people performing Duha (prayers) in the early forenoon and warned them (saying): These people must know that performing prayer a little later is better. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The Salat (prayer) of the penitent is to be observed when the young ones of camels feel the heat of the sun (i.e., when it becomes very hot).” (Muslim)



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title: How Mohamed Salah Inspired Me To Become A Muslim!,
content:
Ben Bird

I have gone from hating Islam to becoming a Muslim – and the Liverpool forward is the principal reason for that

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Mohamed Salah was the first Muslim I could relate to.

Mohamed Salah really and honestly inspired me. I’m a Nottingham Forest season-ticket holder, I can be myself but because I made the declaration of faith I’m a Muslim. I’m still me and that’s what I took from Mohamed Salah. I’d love to meet him, just to shake his hand and say “Cheers” or “Shukran”.

I don’t think my mates quite believe that I’m a Muslim because I’ve not really changed. I just think my heart is better. I’m really trying to change on match days. Normally it’s pub, put a bet on, then after the game back to the pub and realise you’ve lost a lot of money. It’s hard when you’re used to such a culture and it’s part of football for a lot of people.

How Ben used to think about Islam?

I’m embarrassed to say this but my opinions on Islam used to be that the religion, the culture and the people were backward; that they didn’t integrate and wanted to take over. I always looked at Muslims like the elephant in the room. I had a hatred of Muslims.

When I was in sixth form it was a period where I think I needed someone to blame for my misfortunes. Unfortunately Muslims got the brunt of it and I quickly discovered right-wing media pages. They sort of groomed me by sending me long propaganda pieces and suchlike.

Even though I had these horrible ideas of Islam, I would never say them to a Muslim. At this point I didn’t know any Muslims. My degree in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Leeds changed everything.

The Academic Study of Islam

We had to do a dissertation and I wanted to do something a bit different. I remember my dyslexia tutor telling me: “What about Mohamed Salah’s song?” I was aware of it and I thought it was fantastic but I hadn’t considered it in those terms.

I finally got the question: “Mohamed Salah, a gift from Allah. Is the performance of Mohamed Salah igniting a conversation that combats Islamapobia within the media and political spheres?”

The Liverpool fans’ song – to the tune of Dodgy’s hit Good Enough – includes the line “If he scores another few then I’ll be Muslim too”, and I literally took that to heart.

I was a typical white-boy student who went to a different city, would get absolutely hammered and lived the student life. My degree was the first time I learned about Islam in an academic way.

University gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of students from Saudi Arabia. I thought they were evil people who carried swords but they’re the nicest people I’ve met. The conceptions I had about Arab countries completely dissolved.

Mohamed Salah was the first Muslim I could relate to.

It’s the way he lives his life, how he talks to people. The other week he posed for a picture with a Liverpool fan who suffered a broken nose chasing after him. I know some other footballers would do that but you expect it now from Salah.

At university I interviewed Egyptian students and when they found out my research was about “Mohamed Salah, a gift from Allah” – which is also another Liverpool song – they would talk to me for hours about how great he is and what he’s done for their country. One million Egyptians spoiled their ballots and voted for him to be president last year.

One of the Egyptians I talked to told me that Salah encompasses what being a Muslim is, following Islam correctly. He believed that Salah is making people love Muslims again.

That really resonated with me. When Salah scores I think he’s scoring for the faith. When he won the Champions League I said to my friend that was a victory for Islam. After each of his goals Salah practises the sujood (prostration) and exposes a very Islamic symbol to the world. How many people watch the Premier League every week? Millions globally.

Salah showed me that you can be normal and a Muslim, if that’s the right phrase. You can be yourself. He’s a great player and is respected by the football community and his politics, his religion, don’t matter – and to me that’s what football can do.

True Islam is not portrayed in the media

When people read the Quran, or read about Islam, they see something different that is not always portrayed in the media. I’m new to the Islamic community and I’m still learning. It is hard. It’s a lifestyle change.

What would I say to the Ben of old? I’d give him a smack, to be honest, and I’d say: ‘How dare you think like that about a people that are so diverse. You need to start talking to people. You need to start asking the questions.’ We live in a multicultural, multifaith, multinational society.

Last season Chelsea fans were singing “Salah is a bomber”. That’s the first time on my social media that I had a right go. I was livid because I’m for football banter but you know when things are just not true.

Now, I’d say to Muslim kids: ‘Don’t be afraid to go to a football match.’ I think that’s an issue we have to look at from both sides. I was afraid of being segregated. I don’t want to lose my mates because I look at them as brothers to me. Now I’ve got a fifth of the world’s population as brothers and sisters.

The community has to branch out, play football, go to football. It’s up to us to realise that we’re in this together. And the best spokesman for that could be Mohamed Salah.

Ben Bird was speaking to Tusdiq Din

 


Source: The Guardian

 


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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: In Quran I Found Answers to All My Questions,
content:

This is the story of a Maltese woman who found no answer to her questions except in Islam in her words:

“…And sure enough, I had all my answers, not from 73 books but from one book– the Quran. Everything I needed to know I could find in this one book”, she said. “They follow the life of Prophet Muhammad, it’s easy, there’s no mystery, no complications.”

“You do as God tells you and you will be rewarded, if not you will be punished. No matter if you’re rich, poor, an imam or anything else, in Islam everyone is equal”, she continued. At last, she said, “I fell in love with Islam and I decided to become a Muslim”.

 


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title: The Supererogatory Prayers,
content:
By Editorial Staff

The more one performs supererogatory acts of worship, the more beloved by Allah he or she is. Of these supererogatory acts of worship are the supererogatory prayers whose performance makes up for any performance deficiencies in obligatory prayers.

Indeed, there are supererogatory prayers which may be performed before and/ or after the obligatory prayers. Secondly, there are others which have their own specified time of performance such as the Night Prayers. Thirdly, there are the absolute voluntary prayers that may be performed at any time except those times at which this kind of prayer is reprehensible to perform.

This article discusses the first kind of these supererogatory prayers. We wrote an article called, “The Two Supererogatory Rak’ahs of the Dawn Prayer”. We continue in this article to write about the other supererogatory prayers.

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The more one performs supererogatory acts of worship, the more beloved by Allah he or she is.

Al-Dhuhr (The Noon Prayer)

Between every Adhan (the call to prayer) and Iqamah (the second call to prayer), it is recommended to perform two rak’ahs (units of prayer) or more. Muslims perform them individually before the congregational prayer.

Before and after the obligatory congregational Noon prayer, there are supererogatory prayers which are regarded as sunnah mu’akkadah, whose performance is stressed or highly recommended.

Before Al-Dhuhr

There are reports or hadiths that denote that one is recommended to perform two rak’ahs and others denoting that they are four. Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

I performed with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) two rak’ahs before and two after Dhuhr prayer. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In another hadith related by ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) in which she said, ‘The Prophet (ﷺ) never omitted four rak’ah prayer before the Dhuhr prayer and two rak’ah prayer before dawn (Fajr) prayer. (Al-Bukhari)

Scholars hold different opinions concerning how to reconcile both hadiths. To act according to both hadiths, some scholars give preference to the hadith related by ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her). However, others prefer to perform sometimes four rak’ahs and sometimes two. This latter opinion is more preferred as both hadiths mentioned above are authentic.

The legal ruling concerning the person who misses the two or four supererogatory rak’ahs before al-Dhuhr

The person can make them up after al-Dhuhr Prayer as this time is not one when prayer is reprehensible.

May the four rak’ahs be performed in pairs or four rak’ahs without separation?

The following hadith supports performing the four rak’ahs consecutively without taslim (uttering salutation) in the middle. Narrated Abu Ayyub:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The gates of heaven are opened for four rak’ahs containing no taslim (salutation) before the noon prayer. (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

However, the early scholars of hadith are in agreement that this hadith is weak. There is also another hadith which supports the other opinion. Ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“Prayers at night and during the day are to be offered two by two.” (Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa’I and Ibn Majah)

After relating this hadith, Al-Tirmidhi pointed out that the words “during the day” in this hadith are shadhah (anomalous). He added that the majority of scholars of Hadith had related it without these words.

In sum, a Muslim can choose either to perform four rak’ahs or to perform two ending them with taslim then performing another two separately.

After Al-Dhuhr

The famous hadiths found in Al-Bukhari and Muslim indicate that the supererogatory prayer after the congregational prayer of Al-Dhuhr are only two rak’ahs. The following hadith which state that they are four is not authentic. Umm Habibah narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger (S) said: “Whoever prays four before al-Dhuhr and four after, Allah makes him prohibited for the Fire.” (Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Nasa’i)

Al-‘Asr (The Afternoon Prayer)

Before Al-‘Asr Prayer

Some scholars hold the opinion that the supererogatory prayer before al-‘Asr is four rak’ahs. To support their opinion they quote the following hadith: Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “May Allah have mercy on a man who performs four rak’ahs before the ‘Asr Prayer.” (Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi)

However, scholars of hadith are of the opinion that the hadiths stating that the supererogatory prayer before al-‘Asr is four are not authentic.

This does not mean the person may not perform supererogatory prayer before the obligatory congregational prayer of al-‘Asr. The following hadith is a proof to the contrary:

‘Abdullah bin Mughaffal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There is a Salat (prayer) between every Adhan and Iqamah; there is a Salat between every Adhan and Iqamah.” (While saying the same for the) third time (he (ﷺ) added), “It is for him who desires (to perform it).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

According to this hadith, the person may perform voluntary prayer. This prayer is regarded as sunnah ghair mu’akkadah, whose performance is less recommended or not stressed.

After Al-‘Asr Prayer

Scholars are in agreement that a person cannot perform supererogatory prayers after the al-‘Asr Prayer except in the case of making up a missed prayer. Um Salamah (Allah be pleased with her) said, “I sent a slave-girl to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asking her to stand by his side and say to him that Umm Salama says:

Messenger of Allah, I heard you prohibiting these two rak’ahs, whereas I saw you observing them; and if he (the Holy Prophet) points with his hand (to wait), then do wait.

The slave-girl did like that. He (the Holy Prophet) pointed out with his hand and she got aside and waited, and when he had finished (the prayer) he said:

O Daughter of Abu Umayya! You have asked about the two rak’ahs after the ‘Asr prayer. Some people of ‘Abd al-Qais came to me for embracing Islam and hindered me from observing the two rak’ahs which come after the noon prayer. So those are the two I have been praying. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Al-Maghrib (The Sunset Prayer)

Before Al-Maghrib

The supererogatory prayer before the congregational al-Maghrib Prayer is regarded as sunnah ghair mu’akkadah. Narrated `Abdullah Al-Muzni:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Pray before the Maghrib (compulsory) prayer.” He (said it thrice) and in the third time, he said, “Whoever wants to offer it can do so.” He said so because he did not like the people to take it as a tradition. (Al-Bukhari)

After Al-Maghrib

Generally the supererogatory prayers may be performed at home or at the mosque; however, the two supererogatory rak’ahs after al-Maghrib Prayer is especially recommended to be performed at home.

What verses to recite during the two supererogatory rak’ahs of Al-Maghrib?

It is an act of the sunnah to recite surat al-Kafirun (Chapter of The Disbelievers) after reciting surat al-Fatihah (Chapter of the Opening) at the first rak’ah and surat al-Ikhlas (Chapter of the Pure Sincerity) at the second one.

Al-‘Isha’ (The Evening Prayer)

Also the prayars performed here between Adhan and Iqamah are sunnah ghair mu’akkadah. On the other hand, it is sunnah mu’akkadah to perform two rak’ahs after al-‘Isha’ Prayer.

In short, the following two hadiths summarizes the supererogatory prayers a Muslim is recommended to perform before and/ or after the five obligatory prayers.

Hadith 1:

Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

I performed along with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) two rak’ahs of optional prayers before Dhuhr and two after the Dhuhr (Noon prayer), and two after the Friday prayer, and two after the Maghrib (Sunset) prayer, and two after the ‘Isha‘ (Evening) prayer.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Hadith 2:

‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) stayed in my house, he would perform four rak’ahs (supererogatory prayer) before al-Dhuhr prayer. Then he would go out and lead the Salah (the obligatory congregational prayer). He (ﷺ) would then come back and perform two rak’ahs (supererogatory prayer). He would lead the Maghrib prayer and come back and perform two rak’ahs (supererogatory prayer). When he (ﷺ) had led the ‘Isha‘ prayer, he would enter the house and perform two rak’ahs (supererogatory prayer). (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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title: The Meaning of Shahada in Four Minutes,
content:

My name is Amina Blake, I became Muslim 24 yeas ago. I’m going to be recording a series of short videos aimed especially at brand new-Muslims or at Muslims who have been brought up in a very cultural background and are coming into the faith and they want to learn about faith as opposed to culture.

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Once a person says the Shahada out of sincere faith, they receive the first good tiding which is the forgiveness of all their past sins.

The Meaning of Shahadah

This first session is about the shahadah. The shahadah is the declaration of faith, when one feels in one’s heart. So we believe in Allah, we believe in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and all the Prophets; we believe in the six pillars of faith, then we are ready to put what we feel in our hearts and declare it with our tongues.

That’s what the shahadah basically is.

Now, we’ve all been on different journeys to get to that stage of taking the shahadah. Every journey is amazing and every journey is completely individual.

Some people become Muslim because of the proof of the Quran. The Quran is the truth, it’s not debatable. Now when we look at the sciences in the Quran, we look at the miracle of the language and linguistics in the Quran, we look at the perfect system, we look how Allah has revealed the Quran to us.

Reflection

We can see that it is the only true word of God and it’s very clear; it’s there for those to reflect. The Quran challenges us and tells us to reflect on it, to question it, and to delve into it.

So reflecting the creation, for example look at the crocodile, look at the mercy of the breeds of crocodiles that the mother will carry the young crocodiles in its mouth, yet they have the brain so small and it’s just amazing that the mother shows such mercy and care.

Look at the migration of the birds from one place to another using the magnetic fields of the earth; but a bird that can hatch out of an egg and learn how to fly and then will suddenly know its way from here to Africa.

I struggle getting from my house to Tesco’s sometimes and we have much bigger brains than birds.

We have a will of our own and we have the right to reflect and to choose; we have the intelligence to think and to choose between what is the truth and what is the falsehood. If we choose to follow the truth or falsehood, then it’s up to us.

So I’m pleased that you have chosen Islam, whether you’re from a born Muslim background or you’re from a non-Muslim background like myself.


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title: Prophet Muhammad: The Perfect Family Man,
content:
By Maria Zain

Prophet’s Family Life: It’s Peace and Harmony

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While the Prophet carried out his mission of Islam, he never shirked his duties as a household member.

The Qur’an is full of wonderful stories that revolve around fatherhood. It is probably one of the most overlooked thematic messages in the Qur’an. Repeatedly, Allah bears witness to prophets who are recognized as great fathers.

Chapter four of the Qur’an (an-Nisaa) tells us how humanity sprung forth from the first prophet and father, Adam, and the womb of our mother, Hawwa (Eve).

Prophet Nuh (Noah) pleaded with his son to believe in the oneness of God before calamity hit.

Prophet Lut (Lot) valiantly protected his children from the surrounding lewdness and temptation in his community.

Prophet Yaqub (Jacob) dealt with the heartbreaking abduction of his young son, Yusuf (Joseph) by his older brothers.

Then there was the epic du’a of the father of the Abrahamaic faiths, Ibrahim (AS),as he took upon the task of building the Ka’abah with his wonderful son, Ismail. By way that Allah had commanded the dynamic father and son duo to build the Ka’abah is testament to how important the role of the father is in Islam.

After all, Allah (SWT) could have commanded Ibrahim to build the House of Allah on his own, but he had a little helper, an assistant, and the final prophet, Muhammad, came from the direct lineage of Ismail.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Prophet Muhammad himself was the ultimate family man of all times.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sternly advised his followers:”The best of you is he who is best to his family and I am the best among you to my family” (Tirmidhi). By saying this, he reminded the ummah (Muslim community) to emulate his behavior when dealing with their own families.

The cornerstone of a strong Muslim ummah lies within the family unit. Many problems that arise today is really due to the disrupted relationship between spouses, between parent and child, and even between siblings. In addition, this could be very well a function of poor leadership by the father, although there are always other factors involved.

If all, or a majority of family units were held on sturdy grounds, then members of the same would have better outward relations with others, whether they are neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and other families in the community in general. So, it is no wonder that the Prophet (PBUH) took time to remind us of the importance of leadership within a family.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) embodied the importance of a strong family unit in his own family life. He loved his first wife Khadijah so much that even years after her passing he kept good relations with her family. The Prophet’s young wife Aisha felt the devotion he had toward Khadijah even though she passed away years before her own marriage to prophet Muhammad.

The Good Husband

The Prophet was, of course, good with Aisha too. He raced with her and took her on excursions. He taught her the Qur’an and his sunnah (his teachings and practices); especially those matters relating to women and intimacy. His young wife made sure to carefully record those teachings.

The Prophet spent a lot of time with Aisha. He accompanied her when she wanted to spend a laid-back afternoon watching sports.

He was good to his other wives as well. Many of the Prophet’s sayings mention their contributions to society. This could only surface through a husband who recognized them as iconic women of their time.

Umar ibn Khattab was shocked to see how the Prophet’s wives would speak back to their husband. They would rush to hide when Umar entered the Prophet’s household telling him – from behind a veil –that he was stern and harsh while Prophet Muhammad was kind and understanding toward them.

While the Prophet carried out his mission of Islam, he never shirked his duties as a household member – often tidying up and mending torn clothes.

While many men nowadays would struggle with one wife, Prophet Muhammad kept good relations with all of his wives. There was, sometimes, enmity between them (as human as they were). But he would deal with the problems justly and without causing harm. He never once raised a hand towards them even when relationships in his household were strained.

The Kind Father

The Prophet raised four daughters in a culture where baby girls were considered cursed. He educated them and married them to pious Muslim husbands. The Prophet still rushed to his daughter Fatimah’s house when he missed her even after she became a mother to many children herself. He was known for letting her boys ride on his back during congregational prayer.

The companions of the Prophet often commented that his daughter Fatimah was the person who resembled him most in appearance and behavior. When Fatimah entered a room where the Prophet was, he would rise, kiss her and lead her to his seat. She would do the same when he stopped by to see her.

Fatimah was so attached to her father that she was happy to hear from the Prophet that she would be the first of his family to follow him in death.

Arguably, there is no stronger bond between father and daughter than the relationship of these two remarkable people.

Among the many adversities faced by the Prophet, he also lost children; two sons in Makkah and one in Madinah. The Prophet naturally wept at their deaths. His archenemy and uncle, Abu Lahab, on the other hand, celebrated their deaths. Allah sent the Prophet a special gift in Chapter 108 (al-Kawthar) of the Qur’an, promising eternal happiness to calm the heavy heart of the bereaved father.

Spouses’ Mutual Rights

In his farewell sermon to believers, the Prophet reminded men to be gentle with their wives. He also told them that wives and husbands both had rights and responsibilities towards each other.

He said,

“O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.”

The Prophet was sent to perfect a faith that supported (among other things) women’s rights: elevating their status in society, honoring them as mothers, and garnering their values, knowledge and expertise to enrich the development of a thriving ummah.

The Qur’an is full of messages about fatherhood and good leadership within a family. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) demonstrated through his own behavior –in outstanding leaps and bounds –how to be the perfect family man.


Source: aboutislam.net


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