Darul Uloom Abu Bakr enrolments now open for 2010. Aalim course, school-going and full-time Hifz. Phone +27 (0) 84 574 9891 or email darululoom@telkomsa.net for more details.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Need for Halaal Awareness

Every Believer who has some degree of iemaan knows the importance of consuming halaal. For those with stronger iemaan and intensified taqwa, the consumption of halaal is of primary importance, and for very good reason.

In a narrative delivered by Hazrat Abu Hureira (radhiyallahu anhu) Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said: “O People! Verily Allah is Pure and only accepts that which is pure. And verily Allah has commanded the Believers with that which He commanded the Messengers; He says (to the Messengers): “O Messengers! Eat from pure, wholesome foods and perform righteous deeds.” (Surah Muminoon, verse 51) And He says (to the Believers): “O Believers! Eat from the pure, wholesome foods that We have provided for you, and offer thanks to Allah if indeed it is He Whom you (truly) worship”. (Surah Baqara, verse 172 ).

Then Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned a man who travelled a far distance, was dishevelled, weary and tired. This weary traveller stretches out his hand to Allah in dua, and exclaims: “O My Lord! O My Lord!” Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) says: “But his food is from haraam, his drink is from haraam, and his clothes are from haraam, so how can his dua be accepted?

Aayat 51 of Surah Muminoon underscores the importance of eating halaal and pure foods and by following up the command to eat halaal with the command to do righteous deeds, there is a distinct connection between the two. Ulema of tafseer say that this verse (23:51) is clear proof that eating halaal is the catalyst for good deeds in the life of a Believer. This natural habit remarkably propels man towards piety. These Ulema then infer that since halaal food can produce good deeds in man, it logically follows that haraam food prevents good and induces the perpetration of haraam acts. The verse cited from Surah Baqarah makes reference to this very fact; that the command to eat halaal foods is followed by the instruction to make shukr and to offer true worship. There is, therefore, no room for doubt, that halaal food plays a huge role in the fulfilment of good and the shunning of evil. By the same token, haraam food stifles the predilection of man towards good, whilst creating an insatiable appetite for sin.

The narrative of Abu Huraira mentioned previously highlights another calamitous consequence of consuming haraam, and that is the rejection of dua. Here, too, countless Auliyaa and Ulema have concluded beyond all shadow of doubt that the chief cause of our duas not being accepted is the consumption of haraam.

One the one hand, the Ummat-a-Muslima (Muslim Nation) has undergone an outward resurgence of iemaan, but on the other hand, inwardly they have either retrogressed or temporary stalled in spiritual achievement. We sometimes wonder why Muslims are so lethargic when it comes to performance of good deeds, just as we look on aghast at the numerous vices committed by Muslims. There appears to be an increase in the appetite of Muslims for evil and vice, and decline in their desire for good. One reason this retrogressive pattern of Muslim behaviour can be attributed to is the consumption of haraam. Haraam food has the capability of blackening the heart and eroding its (the hearts) iemaani lustre and glitter. With a heart filled with darkness, one loses the inclination for good and hankers after evil. Consuming haraam creates laziness in the rooh and disinclination towards good a’maal. This lethargy towards a’maal-e-saaliha (righteous deeds) then makes one predisposed towards evil and sin. The nafs of man, though ingestion of haraam food, develops an insatiable desire for sin and vice. When this spiritual cancer sets in, it becomes extremely difficult if nigh impossible, to reverse the process and make man more inclined to good than evil. The only way, really, to achieve this, is to wean off the nafs from haraam. It is with this motive and objective in mind that we perceived the need to highlight the importance of halaal consumption.

At this juncture, let it be known that we are focussing on one aspect of haraam consumption, and that is haraam foods, particularly meat and poultry. Many Muslim families and individuals will consume meat and chicken served at non-Muslim restaurants or roadhouses without the least concern for haraam and halaal, just on the basis of a certificate.

It is important for the Muslim public to understand the nature of halaal certificates that non-Muslim outlets possess. A non-Muslim’s main concern is to rake in as much money as possible through his business. He has absolutely no concern for halaal and haraam. In reality a disbeliever could not care less whether a Muslims eats halaal or haraam; instead some of them are bitter opponents to the halaal and haraam industry. We thus discovered in the past that some non-Muslim food establishments produced faked certificates just to hoodwink Muslims and capture their business.

Recently, in Port Elizabeth a certain fast food outlet issued leaflets advertising their products. In one corner of the leaflet there appeared, in small print, the halaal logo of a famous national halaal certifying body. This obviously created the perception to Muslims that the products of this outlet were certified by a Muslim Body and were thus halaal. However, upon investigation it was revealed that this outlet was never ever certified by the Halaal Certifying Body. Somehow, this Port Elizabeth outlet managed to obtain leaflets that were distributed by its Johannesburg branch, which is managed by Muslims and certified halaal, and issued these to local consumers. Obviously, this created the impression that the PE branch was also halaal certified.

On another occasion, tenders were given out for halaal food to be supplied to a certain prison. One of the tenders came in from a non-Muslim food supplier who produced photo-copies of an original halaal certificate that they had managed to procure from a Johannesburg branch, yet the certificate clearly states: PHOTO-COPIES NOT VALID. These are just a few examples of how non-Muslim establishments will hoodwink Muslims just to win their patronage. Theses atrocities in the halaal industry will continue to plague our Muslims for they have become so accustomed to eating out and dining at non-Muslim restaurants and food establishments. Muslims will purchase meat and chicken from non-Muslim chain stores on the flimsy (and totally absurd) grounds that “the till slip says ‘halaal’!´ This is indeed atrocious, and laughable had it not been so serious.

Many Muslims are victims of consuming haraam unknowingly. But being unaware of the permissibility of a product is no excuse when strong grounds of doubt exist. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Halaal is clear and Haraam is clear. Between the two, there are doubtful items. He who avoids these doubtful items has purified his honour and his Deen. And he who indulges in items of doubt, will soon fall into haraam.” (Bukhari Shareef) This hadith shareef refers to those items or acts that have become doubtful on the basis of strong reasons. Can there be a stronger reason for doubt than the fact that kuffar are procuring, preparing, cooking and serving these meat and chicken products that we Muslims consume?

Some may argue that these kuffar are in possession of halaal certificates. Well, we have answered this conclusively above, where it was established that reliance cannot be placed anymore on mere certificates when there is neither Muslim supervision nor thorough inspection by the halaal certifying body.
Muslim consumers must understand the halaal certifying process. The Jurists of Islam have laid down a strict principle for meat and poultry sold by kuffar to be considered halaal for Muslim consumption, viz., that there must be strict and continuous Muslim supervision of such products. Should this be lacking in any department, the hillat or lawfulness of such products become severely compromised and doubtful. It then becomes compulsory on Muslims to abstain from the consumption of such foods. We are aware that not all halaal certifying bodies maintain strict standards of inspection and monitoring. It is for this reason that we warn Muslim consumers to exercise extreme caution, for the sake of their iemaan and righteousness.

Today Muslims freely visit Nandos, Kentucky, Macdonalds, and a host of other non-Muslim owned franchises and consume the food manufactured by these establishments, with little or no concern for the halaal status of such food. It is ironical and deeply saddening to see Muslims piously offering their salah in a musjid, and soon thereafter end up at a non-Muslim restaurant to enjoy with relish the meat or chicken served there. Do they not realize that such injudicious behaviour puts their a’maal or good deeds at serious risk? The deeds of one who consumes non-halaal food are not accepted by Almighty Allah as long as the effect of that haraam remains in the body. In a hadith of Bukhari it appears that as long as one wears clothes earned through haraam, one’s salaah will not be accepted. It is high time we Muslims learnt self-discipline and control. Another hadith of Saheeh Al-Bukhari teaches that for a person to reach piety it is incumbent that he or she shuns that which is doubtful and opt for that which is doubt-free.

We once again, emphasize, that part of our spiritual retrogression must be attributed to the ingestion of foods that are either doubtful or clear-cut haraam. Once Muslims have cultivated the taste of fast-food outlets, and consume this without much conscience about halaal and haraam, it becomes an almost Herculean task to break the habit and abstain. Even now, we believe, there is still time for us wake up to this reality and begin developing a resistance to the fast-food eating style. “The fire is more deserving to flesh that was nurtured through haraam” was the stark warning issued by Our Beloved Master (Bukhari shareef). Let this hadith, as well as our God given iemaani conscience guide us to the right choice – Allahumma aameen.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Bay’ah (also pronounced bay’at) is a mutual pledge relating to the striving, arranging, executing and adhering to the laws of A’maale Zaahiri and A’maale Baatini. This pledge is called Bay'at-e-Tareeqat which has been in vogue by authoritative trans-mission from generation to generation since the earliest time of Islam.

Rasãlullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam had enacted Bay’at of the Sahabah not only on Jihad, but on Islam and the adherence of the Ahkam (Laws in general) as well on practical deeds (A’maal). This is established by numerous Ahadith. The following is one such Hadith:
"Auf bin Malik Ashja’ee (radhiyallahu anhu) said: We were with Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, seven, eight or nine (of us), when he said: 'Will you not make a bay'ah (pledge) to the Rasool of Allah?' We stretched out our hands and enquired: On what shall we make bay'at to you, O Rasool of Allah? He said: 'That you make the Ibadat of Allah; that you associate nothing with Him; that you perform the five Salah; that you hear and obey." (Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nisai)
On this occasion the Bay’at which Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam took from the Sahabah was neither Bay'at Imani (Pledge of Ieman) nor Bay'at Jihadi (Pledge of Jihad). This Hadith is categorical proof for the system of Bay’at practiced by the Masha-ikh of Tasowwuf.

The meaning of bay'at (ba ya ‘a - to sell) is inherent in Bay’at . Bay’at thus implies that the mureed ‘sells’ himself to the Shaikh. In other words he has sold himself to the Shaikh in preparation of ahkam-e-zaahirah and ahkam-e-baatinah (i.e. to learn to give practical expression to the Law of Allah Ta'ala). The nature of this ‘sale’ envisages that the searcher after the truth (taalib) should repose implicit trust and faith in his Shaikh. He should understand and accept that the advices and prescriptions, admonitions and prohibitions of the Shaikh are all designed and motivated for his (the mureed's) spiritual well-being. The taalib shall not interfere with or impede the diagnosis and prescriptions of the Shaikh. He should have implicit faith to such an extent that he should believe that in all the world there is none in his knowledge who can benefit him more than his Shaikh. In the terminology of Tasawwuf this conception of implicit faith in the Shaikh is known as wahdat-e-matlab (unity of purpose). Minus this conception, the ceremony of Bay’at is meaningless and of no benefit because congeniality (munasabat) with the Shaikh is an essential condition for islah (reformation) of the nafs.

The sign of the existence of congeniality (munasabat) between the Mureed and his Shaikh is that the heart of the Mureed does not object to the respect, statements and acts of the Shaikh. Should any objection arise in the heart regarding the Shaikh, the mureed should grieve and feel depressed.

The external form of Bay’at is beneficial to the general public since it induces reverence and respect in them for the Shaikh. As a result, they readily accept the Shaikh's statements and are constrained to act accordingly. However, for the elite (khawas), i.e. the Ulama, Bay’at proves beneficial after a period has been spent in association with the Shaikh. By virtue of Bay’at a bond of sincerity (khulus) is generated between the mureed and the Shaikh. The Shaikh considers the mureed to belong to him and the mureed considers the Shaikh to belong to him. There does not remain any suspense between them.

Like there are four Math-habs (Schools of Thought) in Fiqh, viz. Hanafi, Shaafi, Maliki and Hambali, so too, are there four schools (Orders) in Tasowwuf, viz., Chishtiyya, Qaderiyyah, Naqshabandiyyah and Suharwardiyyah. Our akaabir (authorities in Tasowwuf)initiate the bay'at in all the four Spiritual Orders, so that respect for the four Salaasil is maintained although the Chishtiyyah Order is dominant (among our pious predecessors).

The founder of the Chishtiyyah Silsilah or Order is Hazrat Khwajah Mueenuddin Chishti Ajmeri (rahmatullahi alaihi) of Ajmer, India.
The founder of the Qadiriyyah Order is Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (rahmatullahi alaihi) of Baghdad, Iraq.
The founder of the Naqshbandiyyah Order is Hazrat Shaikh Bahauddin Naqshbandi (rahmatullahi alaihi) of Bukhara, Russia.
The founder of the Suharwardiyyah Order is Hazrat Shaikh Shihabuddin Suharwardi of Northern Iran (rahmatullahi alaihi).

The Bay’at is enacted by the Shaikh taking into his right hand the right hand of the mureed (disciple). If the group contracting the Bay’at is large, the Shaikh uses a length of cloth onto which each member of the group holds with his right hand. Ladies who contract the Bay’at do so from behind a screen. A mahram of the lady should also be present at the Bay’at ceremony.
Hazrat Ayesha radhiyallahu anha said: “Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam never touched the palm of a woman, but he would take the (pledge-bay'at) from her (verbally). Upon having made the bay'at he would say: 'Go! Verily, I have already made bay'at with you.'" (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood)
It is for this reason that in entering ladies into the bay'at, the Masha-ikh do so verbally or by means of a cloth which is spread from the Shaikh to the lady behind the screen.
This is the method of bay'at when in the presence of the Shaikh. Those who are not able to present themselves personally to the Shaikh could contract the Bay’at by means of a letter or through the agency of a responsible and trustworthy person. This form of Bay’at is called bay'at-e-Uthmani. Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam on the occasion of bay'at-e-Ridhwan made the Bay’at of Hazrat Uthman in his (Uthman's) absence. On this occasion, Rasoolullah r placed his right hand on his left hand and announced that he has made Bay’at of Uthman. (The bay't in absence of the mureed is therefore termed bay'at-e-Uthmani.)


Monday, October 13, 2008

The Question of the Female Voice

In Surah Ahzaab, verse 32, Almighty Allah instructs the noble wives of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam with the following: "...if you do fear (Allah) be not too complaisant of speech lest one in whose heart is a disease, should be moved with desire: but make a statement that is just.” This command makes it quite clear that the voice of a woman, by nature, can be alluring to the degree that passions of men folk are aroused. Hence she is ordered to alter that alluring and seductive tone in her voice when the need arises to converse with men. She should speak, not rudely or offensively, but in a matter-of-fact manner without overtures.

The question of whether the female voice is an object of concealment (satar or purdah) has been debated by the Scholars of Islam. We provide some food for thought on this issue, especially during times when Muslims have sadly discarded the Islamic injunctions on hijaab, and are facing the detrimental effects of such abandonment.
Shaikh Ali Saabooni supports the Hanafi view that the voice of a woman is satar. He quotes the following hadeeth shareef in his book, Raw’iul-Bayan (vol. 2 p.157): “Takbeer is for men, and clapping hands is for women.” That is, when she has to drew attention, she will clap the hands, while a man will recite takbeer. This proves that her voice will always remain concealed.

There is debate among Ulema over whether a woman should cover her face or not. The majority of Ulema rule that it is waajib for her to cover the face because the ultimate beauty and attraction lies in the face of a woman. She may uncover the face in cases of necessity. Needless to say, these Ulema have advanced strong proof for their claim, which we will not mention here. In like manner, debate has surfaced over the pardah of a woman’s voice. There is a large group of Ulema who say that her voice is also an object of concealment, only to be exposed when necessary. The use of the voice is a major necessity in our lives, so this she is not denied. In fact, the necessity of using the voice is far greater than exposing the face. According to the Maliki math-hab, the voice of woman is aurah. In the Shaf’ee and Hambali Math-habs, there are two views, one that it is aurah, the other that it is not. Both views have been narrated from Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (R.A.) Likewise in the Hanafi Math-hab there are two views of equal strength. All the Schools of Fiqah are unanimous on one issue, though, that it is haraam for a man to listen to a woman speaking or singing in a melodious or alluring tone.

Among the Hanafi Fuqahaa, Imam Abul-Abbas Qurtubi states: When we say the voice of a woman is aurah (object of concealment) we do not mean her (necessary) speech, for she is allowed to speak to strangers when necessary. However, we do not allow her to raise her voice (unnecessarily) or to speak in an alluring, melodious, and attractive way For this leads to arousing the attentions and passions of menfolk. That is why a female is not allowed to give azhaan. (Raddul-Muhtaar)

Here is more food for thought to convey the Shar’ee concept on this issue: A woman may not call out the azhaan; she may not lead men in salaah; she may not make loud zhikr; she may not recite Quran aloud; she may not conduct the Jumu’ah sermon; she may not read the talbiya aloud; she may not read qiraat aloud in salaah. Several Hanafi Scholars such as Allama Ibnul Hummam, Burhan Halabi, etc. say her salah breaks if she reads aloud.

Those Scholars who say that her voice is not an object of concealment are not issuing a license for her to showcase her vocal talents, or to engage in unrestricted conversation with men. She may speak when necessary. Due to the natural danger that exists, the ill-effects of which we are suffering today, Jurists and Scholars rule that both the face and voice must be concealed, and only exposed at the time of necessity.

It is evident from the above that there is a strong case to support the view that the voice of a woman should not be heard unless due to a necessity. The Fuqaha have ruled, on the basis of Qur’aan and Sunnah, that the woman’s voice is intrinsically an object of concealment only to be exposed during times of necessity. In a hadith of Abu Dawood it is stated that some women did not even speak to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, but wrote notes to him instead. Hazrat Ayesha (radhiyallahu anhaa) says that once a woman came to the Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam with a letter which she handed to him from behind a screen. (Abu Dawood). The Messenger of Allah in turn did not force them to speak up, nor did he disapprove of the practice (of sending in a hand-written note).

When the need arises for a female to ask a question on some religious matter, or to communicate some important information to a male that will be allowed on the basis of necessity. A necessary and unavoidable situation is not something that happens daily and cannot form the basis for a general ruling.


Your Dua: His Moments of Acceptance

The Princess of Muhadditheen and the mother of the Believers, Ayesah Siddeeqa (Radihiyallahu anha) narrates that when the month of Ramadaan would enter Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam would increase his salaah, his complexion would change, and he became more fervent in dua. (Bayhaqi)

This condition of his would undergo even further transformation upon the entry of the last ten days of the great month, a period which we are currently enjoying. It therefore, behoves us as followers of this Illustrious Rasool sallallahu alaihi wa sallam to assimilate within ourselves at least a semblance of this fervour, devotion, and commitment to Allah during this holy period.

Dua is an act that one cannot do enough of. No ibadat is complete without dua, and no Muslim can do without it, yet the Ummat has shown surprising indifference to this forte of ieman. A cursory survey of the Ummat’s condition at this stage of our history will reveal the true extent of our spiritual and mundane woes. The problems we face are complex, complicated, and seemingly insurmountable. Our marriages are under severe strain, domestic lives are cast into disarray, financial circumstances have become straitened, physical well-being is always threatened by debilitating illnesses, and worse still, the enemies of Islam have joined ranks in a physical and spiritual onslaught against the Ummat world-wide. Any nation would normally capitulate under such austere conditions, but Almighty Allah has given Muslims special spiritual resilience to withstand all the elements of adversity.

While we have experimented with many formulas in an attempt to resolve these and numerous other problems, the cause of failure can partially be attributed to lack of sufficient dua. No doubt, we are making dua, but it appears that our dua has no spark, fervour, or zeal. It must be acknowledged that dua alone cannot solve certain issues and people affected will have to resort to Shar’ee solutions, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that dua has that catalytic effect to convert our efforts into successful solutions. Furthermore, when one has exhausted all avenues in arriving at a solution or in resolving an issue without success, the last recourse is dua. It is this aspect of Islam which we wish to address in this article.

There are sure to be many complex and unsolvable issues that we have almost given up hope on. Well. Ramadaan is the month of Dua; the month when the acceptance of duas is guaranteed by Allah Azza Wa Jall. When all else has failed, let us utilize this opportunity to turn to Our Rabb in earnest. When all our efforts have reached a dead end, it is time we allowed the element of dua to prevail. Stretch out that begging bowl before your Creator with a passion that has never been witnessed before. Submit to Allah The Majestic in total humility, admit to Him our failure and weakness, and acknowledge that having reached the end of our tether, we now revert to Him for the alleviation of our difficulties.

This is the actual and factual position of our lives at this juncture. It is our conviction beyond all shadow of doubt that none can alleviate hardship but Allah The Supreme. Confess to Allah: Oh Our Rabb! We have given up all hope of successfully resolving the huge problems that plague us! We are at our wits end! We now petition you, O Almighty Rabb to provide succour, help, and Divine Aid in resolving the complexities of our troubled lives!

Before proceeding with a dissertation on the reality of dua, we need to take cognizance of a most important requisite for the acceptance of dua, and that is the earning of halaal sustenance in whichever form. One who indulges in eating and dressing that were acquired from unlawful or haraam sources can forget about his or her dua accepted. This is proven from the following hadith of Saheeh Muslim:
Hazrat Abu Hureira (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: O People! Verily Allah is Pure and only accepts that which is pure. And verily Allah has commanded the Believers with that which He commanded the Messengers; He says (to the Messengers): “O Messengers! Eat from pure, wholesome foods and perform righteous deeds.” (Surah Muminoon, verse ) And He says (to the Believers): O Believers! Eat from the pure, wholesome foods that We have provided for you. (Surah Baqara, verse ). Then Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam mentioned a man who travelled a far distance, was dishevelled, weary and tired. He then stretches out his hand to Allah in dua, and exclaims: “O My Lord! O My Lord!” Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam says: “But his food is from haraam sources, his drink is from haraam, and his clothes are from haraam, so how can his dua be accepted?

Many great Auliyaa of the past have identified this as one of the major reasons why peoples duas are not accepted. For the record let it be said that there are two types of haraam: one is haraam in the item itself, the other is a haraam that is due to some external factor. Examples of the first are wine, pork, and animals that have not been slaughtered according to Shariah, or any food items that contains one of the above. Example of the second is wealth earned through haraam source such as stealing, fraud, gambling, usury, etc.

From the Ahadeeth of our Beloved Master sallallahu alaihi wa sallam we learn a number of important guidelines when making dua. It is imperative that we adhere to these principles to ensure acceptance of our duas.

When asking from Allah, we need to be convinced of His Ability to grant our request.
One should not ask for anything that is sinful or haraam, such as breaking of family ties, or asking Allah to destroy a Muslim who happens to be one’s enemy.

One should not become impatient if there is a delay in the answering of one’s dua.
To be convinced that a dua is answered in one of four ways: a) Allah Ta’ala either grants exactly what we ask for; b) Or He grants us something else in place of our request; c) Or He wards of some calamity because of that Dua; d) Or He stores that Dua for us in the Hereafter.

One should be firm and demanding from Allah, but with humility and in a begging way.
If one has committed a sin, then first repent from that sin, then place your request before Allah Azza Wa Jall. Hence it should be a standard practice to make istighfaar before a dua.

Begin the dua with praising Allah Ta’ala and Durood (Reciting Salwaat upon Our Beloved Master sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). End the Dua also with Durood.

This brings us to the most important aspect of this article: the precious moments when duas are accepted. There is no greater time for dua than the blessed days and nights of Ramadaan. In a hadith narrated by Imam Bayhaqi, Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam is reported to have said:
The sleep of a fasting person is ibadah, his silence is tasbeeh, his deeds are multiplied in reward, his sins are forgiven, and his dua is accepted.

This proves that at any given time of the day or night, when a fasting person raises his hands to Allah, that dua does not fall on deaf ears. Then there is the time of iftaar, another moment of guaranteed acceptance from Allah Azza Wa Jall. The time of tahajjud, just before sehri has always been the choice of saintly people for their duas. When the brothers of Nabi Yusuf (alayhis salaam) confessed to their wrong-doing and requested their father Nabi Ya’qoob (alayhis salaam) to seek forgiveness on their behalf, he (Ya’qoob AS) responded: “I shall soon ask My Rabb for your forgiveness; Undoubtedly He is Oft Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah Yusuf, verse 98) In the tafseer of this verse it is written that the time Hazrat Ya’qoob (alayhis-salaam) referred to in his promise was the latter part of the night, i.e. Tahajjud time.

Numerous ahadeeth mention the efficacy of dua after the faradh salaah. This is another time when duas are readily accepted. Some Auliyaa mentioned that when a Muslim is going through a difficult period in life, such as sadness, depression, stress, loss of life or property or any situation of grief or hardship, then his duas are also quickly accepted by Allah. They deduce this from a hadith-e-qudsee, where Allah Ta’ala speaks to the Ummat. It says: I am by those whose hearts are broken. (Mishkatul-Masabih).

Let us get into the habit of dua with fervour, zeal, enthusiasm, conviction, imploring and begging from Allah The Most High.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunnats of Eid

Eid, being the sacred occasion that it is, demands that it be celebrated in accordance with the Shariah, which is by observing the sunnat practices established from Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam on this occasion. These are as follows:

1. To arise early and perform ibadat on Eid night (i.e. before Subuh Sadiq)
2. To offer at least four rakats tahajjud salah. (This was a sunnat observed by Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam throughout the year.)
3. To engage in takbeer softly from the break of dawn till arrival at the Eidgah.
4. To perform Fajr in the mosque of your locality.
5. To clip the moustache.
6. To remove pubic hairs.
7. To have a bath.
8. Using a miswaak.
9. Wearing new or clean clothes, the best one possesses.
10. Dressing according to the sunnat. This entails kurta, turban, jubba, etc., since this was the type of dress Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam always wore.
11. To apply perfume.
12. To eat dates in odd numbers before leaving. If dates are not available then anything sweet will suffice.
13. To offer Eid salah at the Musalla (Eidgah) even if the Musjid can accommodate the whole congregation.
14. To proceed to Eidgah on foot if it is in walking distance.
15. To take one route and return by another.
16. To set off early for the Eid Salah.
17. To pay the sadaqatul fitr before the Salah.
18. To perform the Salah first and then the khutba, without azaan or iqaamat.
19. To give sadaqah in abundance.
20. To offer two or four raka’ts nafl salah at home after returning from Eidgah.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar radhiallahu anhuma

The Muslims had been in Madinah only a year when the kuffar of Makkah led a big army against them. The enemy plan was to wipe out Islam before it could strike roots. Islam was, therefore, facing the gravest challenge of its brief history. On the outcome of the coming encounter hung the fate of the new faith.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was fully alive to the grim implications. He set about meeting the challenge. He had no more than three hundred and thirteen fighting men. He led them to Badr putting his trust in Allah. As this small force was about to leave, a number of youngsters also joined it. In the inspection of his troops before the march, these lads were told to stay behind. One of these lads was Abdullah, son of Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). He was only ten but wanted very much to fight for the cause of Allah. It was with a heavy heart that he obeyed the order to stay back in Medina.

The call for Islam has been ringing in the ears of the Meccan kuffar for three years when Abdullah was born. However, his father thus far kept his ears shut against the truth. But before long Umar was a changed man. He happened to hear verses of the Quran and the miracle took place. The natural pull of Islam had its full effect on Umar’s keen, sensitive mind. So far he had opposed Islam. Now he saw his mistake, he used all the weight of his strong personality to make amends for the mistake.
Young Abdullah got his early training in a home that was saturated with the true spirit of Islam. He entered the fold of Islam when only a small child. He grew under the care of a father who was noted for strict observance of the commandments of Allah. This made a special mark on his character. He became devoted to the master and as unbending in the declaration of truth as his great father. These characteristics mark Abdullah out as one of the noblest sons of Islam.

Abdullah was still a child when he had to flee to Medina. Tender age kept him from taking part in the battles of Badr and Uhad. But by the time the battle of the trench was fought, Abdullah was a young man of fifteen. He gave an excellent account of himself in the critical days of the siege. From then on, he fought for the cause of Islam in every battle that occurred during the lifetime of the master.
Abdullah was only a lad when he saw a dream that had far reaching effects. He was sitting in the mosque, after offering the prayer. Suddenly his eye lids closed. He saw two angels came down the sky. They carried him away to a beautiful place.
Abdullah narrated the dream to his sister, Hafsa (radhiyallahu anhaa), one of the wives of the Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). She told the Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) about it. He said, “Abdullah is a good man . At night he should spend as much of his time in prayer as he is capable of.”
Abdullah eagerly accepted the suggestion. He started a life long night vigil. He hardly slept at night, spending most of the time in earnest prayer. All night long he wept and sobbed for the forgiveness of Allah. Such was his devotion to his Master that he spent the greater part of the day in his company. By such extreme piety he justified the title of ‘good’ conferred on him by Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
Abdullah struck to this pattern of life to the last breath. After Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had passed away, he started weeping whenever someone talked about the Messenger of Allah. The same thing happened when he passed the historic sites where his beloved Master had fought the forces of evil. Tears streamed from his eyes when he recited the Holy Quran. In short Abdullah was an embodiment of the fear of Allah. People knew him as Abdullah, the good.

Deep piety and closeness to Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) gave Abdullah an insight in to the true sprit of Islam. He could tell from personal knowledge the opinion of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) on most problems of life and the true significance of the various verses of the Holy Quran. People started turning to him for guidance ever since he came to Medina. The companions came to look upon him as a leader of faith. He lived for sixty years after the death of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).


The Muslim Woman: Her Position in Society

With the swift advancement of life on earth and the wide-ranging changes that continue to envelope society, it was inevitable that the religious lives of Muslims were soon to be affected. The modernisation that permeated so many facets of our worldly lives ensured that our Islamic system of practice also underwent adjustments to suit present day trends.
This in itself is not a sin, for given the society we are living in, there are at times compelling reasons for Muslims to adjust and adapt to their circumstances. However, modernisation in any field of life must never occur at the expense of Quranic teaching and Islamic morals. It must never happen that in pursuit of modernity, we abandon the Sunnah of Our Beloved Rasool, or jettison the golden principles of Islam. Modernity that leads us away from the methods of Allah, His Rasool, and the Illustrious Companions of His Rasool (May Allah be pleased with them all) is unacceptable to any Muslim.

Islam allows us to utilize all the modern means at our disposal for the fulfilment of worldly and religious needs, but we should, at the same time, adhere strictly to the orthodox mode of Islam practiced by our pious predecessors. Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) used to say: “Barakat (Blessing) lies with your Akaabir” Combining the ‘best of both worlds’ in a Religious sense is indeed an arduous and daunting task, but with a little bit of guidance from the Ulema, it is quite possible. To remain an orthodox Muslim while still benefiting from modern-day inventions and facilities is an achievement made by many Muslims both past and present. It is a matter of knowing where to draw the line. Know your bounds, and confine your practice and belief to them.

It is essential for Muslims to realize the limits that Allah has laid down. Almighty Allah mentions at several places in the Quran-e-Kareem: “These are the limits of Allah, so do not transgress them” When the adaptation of modernity infringes on these limits, Muslims should know that it is time to draw the line and not venture any further.
As regards the Muslim woman’s role and status in society, for which this article is intended, here too, the quest for modernisation has brought in its wake diverse action and opinion. Here we are discussing modernisation in Deeni activities, for if this department of our lives is modernized beyond acceptable limits, then what can be said of our worldly lives.
In fact, modernisation in worldly matters is easily noticed and quickly condemned. Even the Muslims who do this will be the first to confess with a degree of shame that they are ‘modern Muslims’. However, in matters of Deen modernisation is sometimes never noticed, and if it is, then only after it has already succeeded in the adulteration of Deeni principles and belief.

The interaction of females in our society is one such example. Today we are witnessing an alarming increase in promotion of women to the forefront in matters of Religion. What’s even more disturbing is that all this is perpetrated in the Name of Islam, or for the ostensible purpose of propagating Islam.
Consider the examples we furnish further on and readers will understand the point being made.
It must be well remembered that propagation of Islam is not something new. This was and will always remain an integral part of our Deen, and nothing can change that. While we fully agree that methods of propagation will and must change from time to time, it is our firm belief [based on proof from Quran and Hadith,] that none of the new methods should violate or conflict with original and orthodox principles of Islam. We Muslims must understand this well. The gradual and subtle shift in original Shar’ee values have brought in its wake the following modernisations to a woman’s role in society:

A) In Deeni Matters
Women participating in Qiraat competitions; Women singing qaseedas and producing their own “albums”; Women becoming Imams in Masaajid, delivering khutbas and lectures to menfolk; women emerging from their homes for purposes of tableegh and propagation of Deen; Women presenting and conducting Radio programs; Women appearing on stage in Jalsas and mass gatherings, and offering renditions of qiraat or naats, etc.; Women sitting in meetings with men on religious matters;

B) In Worldly Matters
Women entering the political field and becoming leaders of State; Women becoming pilots, bus drivers, truck drivers, train drivers; women being placed at the helm of businesses and companies; Women going to the forefront in business and high-profile corporates; the list goes on.

Our major concern is the promotion of women in religious circles. A female who is profiled in the worldly sphere of business or politics, is frowned upon by most Muslims.
Women who display themselves or expose themselves in worldly matters are considered as weak Muslims by all, even on their own admission. Everyone knows that this is sinful and un-Islamic. But when a female discards hijaab under the guise of Islam, and under the pretext of doing “dawah’ or social work, there is the real danger of ordinary innocent Muslims considering her a figurehead to be looked up to, and subsequently losing the significance of hijaab.
Muslims might support her cause and use the actions of that woman to abandon true Hijaab. Hijaab is just not the covering of the body. Our sisters must understand this well. Hijaab is a perpetual condition affecting a Muslim female. It is an Islamic culture and mind-set, and is not confined to only a jilbaab or veil. There exists a major misconception among some females sectors, that once the outer hijaab has been adopted, then there are no holds barred.

When one studies the Quranic concept of a woman’s role, the matter is quite clear and concise. Allah Ta’ala states in Surah Ahzaab, verse 33: “And remain confined to your homes, and do not display yourselves like the display of former times of ignorance......” This verse clearly indicates that the role of a woman according to Quran is not one of prominence and profile. The words Qaraar fil buyout means to remain steadfastly confined to the house. Such steadfastness suggests that she is inside the home for the major part of her life, and emerges only when necessary.

It has reached us that a certain Muslim female Radio presenter, who it appears has become something of a celebrity due to her involvement in radio, has been invited to conduct and host Islamic programs.
While we understand that the lady will travel with her husband as mehram, but the broader picture of this whole exercise is extremely disconcerting. In fact, for those who are conscientious about their Deeni sentiments, this is totally unacceptable. Such an exercise is in diametric conflict with the Quran role envisaged for females.
We quoted the relevant verse above, which emphatically indicates that the female profile is low-key and inconspicuous. There is nothing in Islam to suggest that a female cannot do work of Deen, or pursue a worldly career. In fact, females could and should do their share of da’wah and should interact with other females in the field of social and welfare work.
However our contention is that a Muslim female should not be given prominence and fame. Islam does not encourage catapulting a woman to the forefront, even in a great ibaadat as Jihad. Even in Jihaad, females played a background role. Rasoolullah (Sallallahua alayhi wasallam) said:
“Relegate them (females) to the back, where Allah has relegated them”
Let it be said at this juncture that any incident found in Muslim Historical works on the role and participation of females was purely incidental and unplanned. Muslims should understand well that Historical works do not represent Islamic Canon or Law. Our Law and Shariah is derived from Quran, Sunnah, and the Rulings of Sahaaba. We shall refer to this again later in this article.

It is absolutely the antithesis of Quran and Sunnah to promote the personality of a female, regardless of how learned she is, or to make her a celebrity irrespective of what she is capable of achieving. Muslim women in the past have achieved great things, but all this was done without conspicuity and publicity. Today, too, for greater reasons, the Muslim woman could and should continue Deeni work of whatever nature, under guidance from Ulema, but minus the fun-fare and fame.
Why should a particular female travel to another center in order to do work of Deen? Why can’t she accomplish that work in her own area locally. Travelling necessitates a lot of organization and hosting that invariably involves menfolk. That alone pushes her to the forefront. The organisers and hosts of her program will probably advertise the whole show via notices and announcements. This again brings the female ‘celebrity’ to public attention. It has also been rumored that a banquet will be held in honour of this female and to raise funds. This is indeed a flagrant violation of Islamic principle.
All this runs contrary to the command of Allah Ta’ala. This is typical westernisation of Islam. We are practicing modernity coached in Islamic appearance and terminology.

Islam has ordained an inconspicuous and concealed role for women. Some might argue that this particular female will be in the company of her husband and would be dressed in Hijaab. To this we firstly say that to believe a female may roam around all over the show just because she is in Hijaab is an indication that Muslims have failed to grasp the reality of Hijaab. Hijaab runs much deeper than outer dress. No doubt, Hijaab and Niqaab are compulsory for every adult female, but this is no license for females to take to the streets and gallivant with all and sundry. These are forms of dress born out of necessity.
Women are prohibited from emerging from their homes unless a need arises. When that need does arise, then they are commanded to adopt Hijaab when emerging. It is thus a necessary form of garb for the purpose of concealing herself when leaving the confines of her home. Islam does not advocate to women to emerge with Hijaab. Instead Islam teaches that they should don Hijaab when the need arises to emerge. There is a difference between the two that Muslims should endeavour to understand.
For example, Islam teaches that taubah or repentance is necessary after every sin. But that is no license to go out and commit sin. It is foolish for one to believe that because he is armed with the tool of taubah, he or she may commit any sin they feel like, just as it is foolish for a female to contend that since she is robed in her jilbaab, she may flit around wherever her heart desires.

We have dealt with cases of females, some married, who are in full Hijaab and still committed zina, females in hijaab and niqaab visiting cinemas and casinos, and parading along the Boardwalk. Some such ladies indulged in gambling at these casinos. Women in hijaab were seen standing in line to buy lotto tickets. How does one fathom this spiritually disruptive phenomenon?
Upon deeper reflection the reason becomes clear. These were females who failed to grasp the Islamic idea of Hijaab. They believed their Hijaab was an automatic insulation against evil, regardless of where and how they travelled. Alas, they discovered too late that this was not the case.
Today women think that since they are in full purdah, they can converse and interact with men freely. But they miss an important point. There are two aspects to Hijaab, one is dress, the other is segregation of male and female. Both are two separate injunctions that apply equally and must be fulfilled concurrently. She may be in full purdah, but the other injunction of avoiding interaction with men still has to be fulfilled.


Taqleed Among the Sahaaba

With doubts circulating among certain sectors nowadays as to the importance of Taqleed, we furnish a few examples of Taqleed among the Sahaaba.

Hazrat Umar and Taqleed
In his famous book, I’laamul-Muwaqqi’een Allama Ibnul Qayyim (RA), who is a student of Allama Ibni Taiymiyyah (RA) writes the following:
Daarimi reports that Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) had devised a rule in his time, that when no hadith is available on any new issue, then people will practice on the Fatwa of Hazrat Abubakr (radhiyallahu anhu). (This was after the demise of Hazrat Abubakr) When no fatwa of his was available then people must practice on whatever the Ulema rule after mutual consultation (mashura).

This incident proves that all people were bound to follow one particular Imam or one fatwa. Since Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) had the authority of Khilafat, he was able to enforce this ruling. Nowadays there is no such authority, hence every second person becomes his own mujtahid. This incident also points out that the Fatwa of Ulema is a valid basis upon which people can base their practice. Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) did not impose the furnishing of any proof for such fatwa.

Aswad bin Yazeed narrates: Muaath bin Jabal (radhiyallahu anhu) came to us in Yemen as a teacher and commander. We questioned him regarding a man who had died leaving behind a daughter and a sister. He decreed half the estate for the daughter and half for the sister. This was while Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was still alive. (Kitabul-Faraaidh, Bukhari)

Imam Bukhari narrates that during one Hajj season the Ansaar of Madinah asked Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) a question pertaining to females who experience menses during their Hajj. Ibni Abbas answered their question. However, they refused to accept the answer because they had received a different answer from Zaid bin Thaabit, who was their Mufti and leader. They said: “O Ibni Abbas, we cannot follow your ruling because you differ with Zaid bin Thaabit. Instead, we will only accept the fatwa of Zaid (R.A.)”

HAZRAT ABDULLAH BIN MASUD (radhiyallahu anhu)
A man came to him with the following question: A woman got married but no mehr (dowry) had been stipulated for her. Before consummation of the nikah her husband died. How much dowry is she entitled to?
This issue is not specifically mentioned in Quran and Hadith. He, therefore, requested a month’s grace to research and ponder over the answer. After a month he said: She is entitled to the mehrul-mithl, not more, not less.

The above are a few of hundreds of incidents where Sahaaba issued rulings which were based on principles of Quran and Hadith, but did not mention the basis of their answers. This does not mean that their fatwas were not based on proof, for such an act is unthinkable. What is meant in the above episodes is that people who followed the Sahaaba did not demand proof, for in order to act on a ruling one does not need to know the basis of that ruling. This is the essence of Taqleed. Ulema have defined taqleed as accepting and following a ruling without seeking proof therefore. This type of taqleed was not condemned by any Sahaabi of that time, nor by any Aalim after them. The Muftis of today merely repeat the Fatwas of the Sahaabi. In fact, they base their fatwas and rulings on those issued by the Sahaaba.

During the time when the British ruled India a dispute arose in one Musjid between Hanafis and Ghair-Muqallids regarding the utterance of aameen aloud behind the Imam. The Hanafis would saying aameen softly, while the Ghair-Muqallids shouted aameen at the top of their voices. This behaviour annoyed some of the Hanafi musallees, resulting in a dispute. The dispute took a violent turn and led to blows inside the Musjid. Police were called in to restore order, and consequently, offenders from both parties were arrested. The matter went to court, where the presiding Judge happened to be British. Knowing nothing about the business of loud or soft aameen, but determined to get to the bottom of the conflict, he called in expert
witnesses. These were independent Ulema who had to explain the different types of aameen. They thus explained that in Islam there are two types of aameen. One is aameen bil jahr (loud aameen), the other is aameen bis-sirr (soft aameen). The first is practiced by Shaafi’ees and Hambalis, while the second is the practice of Hanafi and Maliki followers. The Ulema further explained that the different Schools of Fiqh practiced these two methods in harmony for centuries. The Judge was fascinated by this explanation of the Ulema. He asked them again: “Are you sure these are the only two types of aameen in your Shariah?” The expert witnesses confirmed that indeed there was no third type. At the time of passing judgment the Judge made the following comment: “Having heard the expert witnesses expound on the different types of aameen, I have come to the conclusion that there are actually three types of aameen among Muslims. One is aameen bil-Jahr, the other is aameen bis-sirr. These two types are prevalent and widely accepted among Muslims, and were authentically transmitted from the early days of Islam. As for the third type, this I call aameen bish-sharr (the aameen of evil!), and this has no place in Islam! This is the aameen over which people fight.”

How true is the observation of this non-Muslim judge. The different mathaa-hib co-existed in total harmony for centuries. In the olden days one never heard of animosity among the followers of the different math-habs. It appears that the discord arose when people discarded the math-habs and did not tolerate views that were based on valid Islamic proof.


The Spiritual Harms of Insurance

The following question was sent in by a Muslim brother:

“My shop is situated in a high risk area. Burglaries are quite rife in this area. Am I allowed to insure my business?”

We will discuss the Islamic legal ruling on insurance in a separate article. Here we would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the matter. We cannot ignore the fact that insurance of property is fraught with many spiritual dangers. Regardless of whether insurance is lawful or haraam, the harm this causes to the heart and soul of a Believer is serious enough to demand complete abstention from this act.

The Roohani Dangers of Insurance

When property is insured the owner sees no need to place his trust in Allah. There is no urgency to do so because he is content in the knowledge that should the property suffer damage, he will be compensated. He thus feels satisfied that in the event of loss, he has compensation to fall back on. The loss is therefore no loss in reality.

On the other hand, one who has no monetary support to fall back on will be forced to rely solely on Allah Ta’ala. His support is Allah, and his insurance against loss is his trust in Allah. He depends entirely on Allah Ta’ala. This is the great quality of Tawakkul, which to a certain degree is Wajib (obligatory) on every Muslim. In many places in the Qur’aan-e-Kareem Allah Ta’ala speaks of Tawakkul and commands the Believers to adopt this important spiritual characteristic.

One who indulges in insurance is sadly deprived of this quality. Such a person will not have the faintest idea of what it means to repose trust in Allah.

2. DUA
The second harm that Muslims suffer through insurance is discontinuance of dua. When one is assured of compensation for loss, then he or she will not make dua to Allah Ta’ala for protection of the asset. One who has no insurance lives in constant fear of losing the asset without any compensation, so he is constrained to make regular dua to Allah Ta’ala for protection against loss. In other words, dua is his form of insurance against loss or theft.

Though lack of dua is not deliberate, it is a necessary result of insurance. Naturally one who has secured assets through insurance will feel no need or urgency to ask Allah Ta’ala for its protection. Only the one who fears will turn to Allah in dua. Neglect of dua in turn leads to diminished communication with Allah Ta’ala. For a Mumin (Believer) this is unbearable.

The third spiritual loss in insurance is deprivation from sabr. Since the loss is not really a loss, one will never experience true sabr for this is only experienced on the occasion of a loss. Hence one who sustains loss or damage to an insured asset will not feel the loss because of the knowledge that such loss will be compensated for through insurance. When this is the case, there is no question of sabr. The need for sabr is only perceived when one has suffered total loss of property.
Consequently, such a person remains deprived of the tremendous reward of sabr that has been promised for losses in this world.

Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: “Abstinence in this world is that you do not have more trust in what you possess than in that which is in the Possession of Allah.” (Ibn Majah, Tirmizhi) Zuhd is an important spiritual quality which was very prominent in the life of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. It thus becomes a sunnah to adopt this characteristic. This hadith speaks of abstinence or zuhd in worldly possessions. A person who has insurance can never achieve the true feeling of abstinence, for he has placed more trust in his insurance than in the Possessions of Allah.

Payment of premiums in the hope of gaining compensation when a loss occurs is akin to gambling. The punter pays a sum of money in the hope that he will realize a larger sum of money in return. Insurance is thus a refined form of gambling. There is, therefore, no barkaat in money spent or earned in such a manner.
It is time Muslims focused only on Allah Ta’ala in all their financial dealings. Develop conviction that Allah is the Sole Provider, Protector, and Compensator. To achieve this, the Auliyaa advise that one should meditate a lot on the Power and Might of Allah Azza Wa Jall.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today's Sport and its Effects

SPORT PLAYS A MAJOR role in the lives of people today. What once started off as a mere pastime and enjoyment activity has developed into a fully fledged profession and a huge money raking venture. Sport was initially designed for exercise and relaxation, but has since become an occupation of such intensity that it exhausts the energies of even the spectators, let alone the players. Sport stadiums are now referred to as ‘arenas of combat’ reminiscent of the days of Roman gladiators; players endure mental fatigue and emotional strain to the extent that they need professional and scientific help. Spectators become emotionally drained after watching an ‘exciting’ match, and in worst cases, become psychologically affected when their team loses. Cases of such people committing suicide or injuring others have also been reported.

Sport has also become a huge money spinner for sponsors and advertisers. So it’s not only the players who rake in millions, there are also the sponsors who earn huge sums in advertising liquor, cigarettes, soft-drinks and a host of other commodities. It is clear that what was formerly a means of entertainment has become an end in itself. When this happens, then surely people have their priorities hopelessly wrong.

At this juncture we wish to focus on the effects sports has on people, especially the youth.
Among these, one is Identifying certain players and developing admiration for them. This is followed by the obsession to emulate them in dress, action, and style. Then follows behaviour acceptance. The fan unwittingly accepts any form of behaviour of his hero, no matter how immoral, be it in language, appearance, attitude, or morality. Love for the sport being watched is also another socially and morally debilitating factor. Hours of quality time get squandered in watching sports.
Children become mesmerised with the imaginary skills being displayed by sportsmen, to the extent that these sports activists are glorified and idolised. Women nowadays feature prominently in many types of sports. This is an added spiritual harm, for the viewer (live or on TV) is exposed to a scantily dressed female, producing antics that articulate body parts akin to a ballet-dancer . There is hardly any difference between this sportswoman and the woman who dances on a stage.
Schools introduce sports activities to learners from a very young age. Today our Muslim children have developed ambitions of becoming sports stars and representing their country on the international scene. This has become such a riveting objective that young learners will sacrifice madresa classes for the sake of sports training. The developing and formative years of Muslim children are being wasted on participation in a sport, thus depriving that individual of crucial Islamic and spiritual education.

It might come as a surprise to many to hear that Islam also encourages sport to a certain extent. However, Islamic sports differ vastly in nature and purpose to Western forms of sports. The hadith of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam defined an important principle: A sport must have a real benefit that accrues to one’s spiritual or worldly life’. In Islam sport is not a past-time. In one hadith Rasoolullah r said: “The lahw (sport) of a Believer is futile except for three types: Horse-riding; archery; and amusing oneself with the wife.” Among these, the first two are of great benefit when it comes to Jihad or self-defence, whilst the third is purely a worldly benefit but extremely effective in creating love between husband and wife.
Ulema state that the scope of this hadith does not end with the abovementioned three acts. Instead, any sporting activity that provides valid benefit to one’s religion or mundane life, is permissible. It is established from several ahadeeth that Rasoolullah r raced with his wives, and swam. So the sports of racing and swimming also become lawful activites. The Sahaaba wrestled with each other in training for jihad, so wrestling becomes a valid sport in Islam. Sword fighting can also be added to this list because that too, is a valid practice.
Based on the above Muslim Jurists have given permission for any sport from which one derives benefit to Deen of dunya. However, the condition is that such play must not entail violation of other Islamic injunctions, such as intermingling of males and females (as in stadiums and sports meetings), exposing of one’s satar (as in the dress-code of most sports), the accompaniment of music (as in stadiums and gyms), betting and gambling, (as in horse-racing and other sports matches), advertising of haraam products (such as wine and beer).

In view of the above readers will clearly understand that a Muslim will not be able to adapt to the sports codes and styles that are prevalent among non-Muslims today. A Muslim just cannot fit into their culture of sport and amusement, for every feature of non-Muslim sport conflicts with Islamic morality and teaching. In Islam sport is not entertainment that becomes a spectacle; it is rather a means of acquiring physical strength and benefit. A Muslim’s true relaxation comes through the thikr of Allah.


Our Hedge Against Economic Recession

RECENT MEDIA REPORTS have painted a grim and gloomy picture of this country’s economic future. Speculation of an economic downslide is being fuelled almost daily by further hikes in petrol prices and other basic food stuffs. To make matters worse, a few months ago the country was caught in the grip of xenophobic violence that perpetuated our financial woes even further on the international scene.

Amidst all this economic mayhem, we Muslims still have, not only a ray of hope, but a bright guiding light instead; something that augurs well for our future. This light is our ability to turn to Allah and call upon him in moments of need. And surely, this is one such moment. This article is ntended to explain the connection between pleasing Allah Ta’ala, and hedging against rising prices and inflation.

Every Muslim should understand an elementary Islamic teaching, one that has been articulated in the Holy Quran time and again. We quote the verses where this basic belief is mentioned and urge our brothers and sisters to read and ponder its meanings:

~ Surah Zhaariyaat (Chapter 51), verse 22: “And in the heavens is your rizq and whatever you are promised.”

~ Surah Zhaariyaat, verses 56 to 58: “And I have not created Jinn and Man but for the purpose of worshipping Me. I do not want rizq (sustenance) from them, nor do I desire that they feed Me. Surely it is Allah Who is The Supreme Sustainer, The Powerful, The Mighty.”

~ Surah Taa-Haa (Chapter 20), verse 132: “And command your family to offer salaah, and be steadfast on it yourself; We do not ask you for rizq, instead We will provide for you;”

~ Surah Hãd (Chapter 11) verse 6: “And there is not a creature on earth but its rizq is the responsibility of Allah;”

~ Surah Faatir (Chapter 35) verse 3: “O Mankind! Remember the favours of Allah upon you. Is there any (other) creator besides Allah who gives you sustenance from the heavens and the earth? There is no god besides Him! ”

~ Surah Naml (chapter 27), verse 64: “Is That Being not greater Who starts the creation and then reproduces it, and Who grants you rizq from the heavens and the earth? Is there another god with Allah?

~ Surah Mulk (Chapter 67), verse 21: “Who else is there to provide (rizq) for you if He withholds his sustenance?”

In the above verses Allah Ta’~la commands, asks rhetoric questions, compares His Power to the rest, and provokes our thinking minds all in an effort to make us understand the concept of rizq: The Sole and Supreme Provider is Allah Azza Wa Jall. The real cause of rizq is not our jobs, profession, skills, or craftsmanship. All these worldly causes are temporary and perfunctory, whereas the Main Cause is Allah The Almighty Allah. It is for this reason that we find hundreds of thousands of Allah’s creation who enjoy His bounties without a profession or a job. We find unskilled people earning more than those who possess skills and craftsmanship. There are ordinary business people who rake in thousands more than professionals, and there are ignorant people who enjoy far more than the learned. Peasants from villages and settlements have moved into the high-income bracket, while elite have to make do with far less. Rasolullah r predicted that before Qiyaamat ‘shepherds, naked and bare-footed will vie with each other in tall buildings’, a reference to how unpredictable is the wealth of this world. Indeed, distribution of rizq by Allah does not conform to the law of the world but is rather subject to the Decree and Will of Allah.

It is not uncommon to find people who had not even passed grade three in school are today multi-millionaires. Had it been man’s skill and learning, or artisanship and ability that brought rizq then we would not witness such widespread disparity in wealth distribution. Almighty Allah explains the reason for this in Surah Israa (Chapter 17) verse 30: “Verily Allah grants lavish rizq for whom He wishes, and He restricts (rizq for whom He wishes);
“This is the Bounty of Allah which He grants to whomever He wishes’ (Surah Jumu’ah)
The Quran thus proves that rizq or sustenance comes from Allah and He grants it according to His Desire. Allah is the Controller of rizq. It is He who creates supply and demand. He holds sole monopoly over the resources of this world, not any nation or army. The hadith provides us with further proof of this fact.

Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that once people complained to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam about high prices and requested him to fix the price of grain. Rasoolullah r replied: “The fixer of prices is Allah! He withholds rizq, He grants abundant rizq. He is the Sole Provider.” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Tirmizhi) Subsequently the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam declined the request to fix prices, in spite of this being in the interests of the public. Some Jurists have ruled that a Muslim state is allowed to fix the price of basic and staple foods if prices rise so exorbitantly that poor people suffer. Though Nabi-e-Kareem sallallahu alaihi wa sallam refused to fix the price of wheat, on another occasion he prohibited the monopolization of food stuffs, since this causes harm to people, especially the poor. (Raddul-Muhtaar)

We learn from the above that even the rising of prices is from Allah Ta’ala. In a verse mentioned earlier, it was stated that Allah Ta’ala expands and restricts rizq. One way that He does this is to increase or decrease the cash flow of a person. Another way is to increase the supply of goods, thus bringing prices down and allowing even poor to have more. The rizq of people thus expands. At times Allah Ta’ala shortens the supply of certain goods, thus causing prices to rise and restricting its availability. Economists will confirm that one of the reasons for high prices is short supply and high demand of a commodity. These economics are actually controlled by Allah Ta’ala, not man. When Allah Ta’ala causes prices to rise, the resultant inability to purchase goods leads to restriction of rizq.

Having understood this, we now realize that alleviation of our financial difficulties is achieved by turning to Allah Ta’ala. For expansion in rizq we need to establish a continuous link with Our Creator. The primary purpose of the verses quoted above is to instil into man the realisation that there is no alternative but to seek sustenance from the Creator and not from the creation.

The Quran time and again emphasizes the fact that Allah the Almighty Alone is the Provider of all worldly needs, and exhorts the Believers to seek the fulfilment of rizq from Allah. In this injunction there is an underlying wisdom which highlights the Love Almighty Allah shows towards His servants. The Quran declares: “Undoubtedly, those whom you worship besides Allah do not possess (the ability to provide) your rizq, so seek rizq by Allah, and worship Him and make shukr. Unto Him shall you return.” Surah Ankaboot (29), verse 17).
In this aayat we are clearly commanded to seek rizq from Allah. There are three commandments issued to us by Our Creator: a) Seek rizq by Allah; b) Worship Him; c) Offer shukr (thanksgiving) unto Allah. In asking, nay commanding His servants to seek their rizq by Him, Allah Ta’ala has in fact created an excuse for His servants to communicate with him. Besides actually asking Allah for our rizq, we are also instructed to offer continuous worship and thanks to Him. So we have dua, ibaadat, and shuk, and amazingly, all three are such actions that take one closer to Allah. For the excuse of rizq Allah Ta’ala has created a channel of communication. If this is not Absolute Mercy for His creation, then what else can one call it? In the course of seeking mundane sustenance, Almighty Allah has paved the way for man to accumulate the riches of spiritual sustenance and nearness to Him. Closeness to Allah is the ultimate aim and objective of every Believer, as alluded to a hadith of Bukhari.

We have also discovered the method of turning to Allah for rizq. Firstly, we make dua and beg Him for His Bounties, secondly, we continue worshipping Him and improving the state of our worship, and thirdly, we thank Him profusely for His Favours. In another verse He has promised to increase His favours upon those who make shukr. (Surah 14, verse 7)

In addition to the above, it is imperative that we cut out sin from our lives, for sin is the chief cause of diminishing rizq. One major sin is the breaking of family ties. Maintaining family ties is the cause of long life and abundant, halaal, rizq. (Saheehul-Bukhari). It is ironical that a Muslim will severe ties with his brother, sister, and even parents, over money, yet the poor soul fails to realize that the severance of family ties will prevent the very rizq that he hankers after, and over which he had broken ties.

Lets us revisit the hadith regarding price-fixing mentioned earlier. In another version of this hadith narrated by Hazrat Au Sa’eed Khudri t, he states that once the Muslims in Madina were going through a diffcult phase of hunger and soaring prices. This forced them to approach the Messenger of Allah r seeking his help in lowering prices. In response to this, Rasoolullah r mounted the mimbar (after salaah) and delivered a sermon. In this sermon he brought up the issue of price fixing, and then said: “I shall not meet Allah with the stigma of having taken the wealth of someone against his wishes (by setting a price that he is not happy). Sale is a mutual act (and should not be restricted). However, there are certain (evil) traits in your dealings, which I shall now mention: Do not bear hatred, jealousy, or malice for each other! If one person is busy negotiating a deal, the other should not interfere (until the former has concluded or cancelled the deal). Let not the farmer sell his goods to a middle-man (thus allowing the latter to set high prices). And live together as brothers!” (Narrated by Imam Ibni Hibban in his Saheeh)

This hadith warns of six important factors that form the nucleus of successful business.
Businessmen should never bear malice of hatred for each other.
They should not be jealous of each other, regardless of how successful others become.
One party should not interfere in a business deal between two parties whilst negotiations are in progress. Often we find a third person coming along and quoting a higher price for an item whilst the buyer and seller are busy negotiating their deal. This is wholly unjust and callous. In such a case it will be immoral for the seller to suddenly cancel the deal with the prospective buyer and accept the higher offer from the third party. It is such practices that have expelled the blessings (barakaat) from our businesses and generated animosity among Muslims. Note that selling goods on an auction is excluded from this and is totally permissible. In an auction there is no private deal between two parties. Instead, the matter is open to any prospective buyer. The auction procedure is mentioned in the hadith.
Businessmen should not create a cartel or a monopoly over goods, especially basic necessities, for this causes severe strain on the finances of the poor and lower income groups. One hadith states that the one who supplies goods freely to a community is blessed by Allah, whilst the one who monopolizes goods is cursed.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Legacy of Roohaniyat

Born: 28 Zul Qadah 1384 (1 April 1965)
Passed away: 3 Safar 1428 (22 February 2007)
Compiled by: Hafiz Cassim Paruk sahib (khalifa of Hazrat Haji
Muhammad Farouq sahib RA)


Time has witnessed the passing away of great personalities and our hearts are grieved at the demise of Hazrat Dr Muhammad Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi; may Allah Ta’ala elevate his soul and grant him worthy recompense for the selfless manner in which he showed concern for the Ummah, Aameen! Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi would always reflect on the sublime manner adopted by our spiritual mentor Shafeequl Ummah Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Farooq Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi. The essence of the ta’leemaat (teachings) of Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi was:
Perfect moderation in behaviour and action.
Obedience to the Sunnah
Imparting the teachings of Deen through absolute compassion
Extreme humility.

Undoubtedly, the manner of Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb’s (rahmatullahi alayhi) spiritual instruction was as compassionate as that of Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi. When we discuss the life of Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi, we invariably compare and discuss the life of Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi; the similarities in approach leave us astonished at the unique bond that existed between Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi and our Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi.

One of the most outstanding features of the life of our Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi was the intense and immense love for our Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi. He reminded himself and others of this great bounty of guidance for the Ummah to the extent that he attributed every part of his teaching to the blessings of our Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi. It was mentioned time and again that even Hazrat him self was amazed at the fine points being discussed and with tears in his eyes; he always said: “This is all the barkat of Hazratwala rahmatullahi alayhi”. Another point worthy of mention is the importance he attached to meeting with the associates of Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alayhi, whom he would respectfully visit, offer hope and encouragement and seek advice on numerous matters.

We have witnessed the close bond he had with Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi where, by merely sitting with him, the lessons were revived. Also, we were astounded that immediately after the sad demise of Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi, Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi took on the responsibility in such a manner that he mended our broken hearts and gave us courage and direction. No doubt, this was the perfection of sincerity of Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi.

Amongst the major themes of his life was to guide the saalik to the love of Allah Ta’ala and ensure that we not be misled by the deviate opinions of our base desires (nafs). A beautiful incident he shared with us in Sukkur, where the joy was so apparent on his noble countenance, about Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi. Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi went to a village to give a talk and after the lecture, a clean shaven person immaculately dressed, with many followers, comes and congratulates Hazrat on the amazing discourse. Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi is further shocked when this person requests that he opens his mouth; Hazrat assessed that this person looks refined and would not spit into my mouth. This clean shaven person puts a piece of mithai in Hazrat’s mouth. Upon exchanging formalities, it transpired that he was the mureed of Hazrat Haaji Imdaadullah Makki rahmatullahi alaihi and he spoke glowingly and lovingly of his Sheikh. Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi assessed that this person has been misled due to working on his opinions rather than emulating the teachings of Hazrat Haaji Imdaadullah rahmatullahi alaihi. At this juncture, Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi remained silent.

After some time, Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi was invited to the same locality and this clean shaven “sufi” is once again present with the garland of flowers proudly saying that they were blessed at the grave of Hazrat Moulana Abdul Quddoos Gangohi rahmatullahi alaihi. Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi does not put on the garland of flowers but holds it in his hand; addresses the clean shaven “sufi” as to who he is spiritually linked to. Very elegantly he mentions the name of Hazrat Haaji Imdaadullah rahmatullahi alaihi. Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi then leads him on and asks that if a person is used to adorning himself with exquisite fragrances and he then is offered something lowly; what would his reaction be? The clean shaven “sufi” responded that not only is this unacceptable but if the cheap fragrance is applied, this will give him a headache. Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi then said: “My dear friend, Hazrat Moulana Abdul Quddoos Gangohi rahmatullahi alaihi presently perceives the beautiful fragrances of Jannah and you offer a lowly fragrance in the form of this garland; are you not then inconveniencing the blessed inmate of the grave?

This struck a responsive chord and respectfully, this clean shaven “sufi” departed with a startling lesson in respect and recognition. A few months later, Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi visits the same village and notices a person with an immaculate countenance dressed according to the Shariah. This pious servant of Allah Ta’ala asked Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi whether he recognises him to which Hazrat responds in the negative. Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi is then reminded of the previous meetings and his subsequent reformation. The main point, however, is that this person told Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi that his method of islaah captured his heart. We can safely say that our beloved Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi encapsulated the teachings of our elders in general and our Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi in particular, imparted the temperament of islaah so compassionately that a person’s reformation was being made and he was not aware of the filth and evil being expelled from within.

Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi said that two factors: love (for Allah) and the corresponding actions, are vital factors for success. He explained that we have some lands full of weeds; either we take out each weed individually, then prepare the soil, thereafter plant the seeds and anticipate the growth of the crops. This will take a lifetime. The easier option is that we light a fire which will result in all the weeds being eradicated in minutes. Also, we do not require fertiliser because the burnt out weeds and debris that remain act as fertiliser. The seeds are then put in the ground and the crops are realised within a short space of time. In a similar manner, the road to Allah Ta’ala is attainable very easily by putting fire to everything (of the world) besides Allah. Once that happens, our hearts will become fertile to guidance and the corresponding actions of obedience will follow. Subhanallah! What a beautiful and easy prescription! Another point worthy of mention is that our Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi always reminded us to take the easier option to reach Allah Ta’ala. The object is primarily to rid ourselves of frustration.

Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi left behind a legacy of respect which was unparalleled amongst his contemporaries. Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi once, before relieving himself, took out his pen and gave it to his servant and said that mention of the pen is found in the Qur’aan; our Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi never took his pen to the toilet because of respect and I am but emulating this act so that I too can attain respect.

To many, this may seem trivial and inconsequential but, because of the sheer awareness of Allah Ta’ala, this heightened from of respect consumed these personalities and propelled them towards greater dimensions. May Allah Ta’ala bless us with some part of the respect shown by our beloved Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alayhi – aameen.

Another beautiful incident related by Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi and re-emphasised by our Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi was when Hazrat Moulana Rasool Khan Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi, a Khaleefa of Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alaihi, intended making hijrat to Pakistan. Hazrat Moulana Rasool Khan Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi had a very old clay urn which was worn out but he respectfully put it amongst his possessions. He was told that this urn is very old and can be replaced in Pakistan. Hazrat Moulana rahmatullahi alaihi replied that this urn has been made with the blessed soil of Deoband; so he will take it with him at all costs. With great care he looked after it and after a period of time the urn broke and Hazrat Moulana rahmatullahi alaihi cried excessively because of the nisbat (link) is had with Deoband. Hazrat Moulana rahmatullahi alaihi thereafter accumulated all the pieces and put them into a new urn so that the blessings of Deoband remained!

We have witnessed on many occasions that Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi, whenever the name of Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi was written in any kitaab, he would lovingly kiss the name of his Sheikh, put the name of his Sheikh to his eyes, onto his head and thereafter clasp the kitaab close to his chest. Tears would flow from the eyes giving testimony to the pangs of separation. On numerous occasions, Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi mentioned that when he is given the taufeeq of making dua for our elders, his Imaan becomes fortified. Need we say more!

Always discussed frequently in his discourses, Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi explained that the lack of fear is generally attributed to the love of the world and heedlessness. A beautiful example we learnt was of Hazrat Zaahir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi who was a Khaleefah of Hazrat Thaanwi rahmatullahi alayhi. This gentleman was an engineer in Pakistan. Once an arms manufacturing company tried to sell to the Pakistani army a fleet of ships that were defective. They offered him a bribe to pass the deal. Hazrat Zaahir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi responded that he is being watched. Numerous attempts were made to lure him to accept the bribe but he always responded that he is being watched. The director of the company then called him personally to his office and told him that nobody is here watching us and presented a suitcase full of dollars. Hazrat Zaahir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi once again replied that he is being watched. The director in frustration tells him that with the exception of us, nobody is here – what is the meaning of this? Hazrat Zaahir Engineer Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi said: My Allah Ta’ala is watching each and every action of mine.
To attain the fear of Allah Ta’ala, we need to meditate on His anger and the subsequent result of our actions. Hazrat explained that just as a robber will abstain from stealing because of the fear of being caught, the child fears being rebuked and stays away from mischief, the driver abstains from driving fast and recklessly because he is wary that he may be fined for his negligence; in exactly the same manner, everybody requires to instil the awareness of Allah Ta’ala in their personalities so that the fear of accountability severs the root of all evil and one is propelled towards the obedience of Allah Ta’ala.
This was the concept instilled into our hearts by our Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alayhi. We make duaa to Allah Ta’ala that we too, are blessed with a similar type of awareness and concern, Aameen.

Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi shared his experience with this servant on his visit to the United Kingdom where there was a youngster who was not only disrespectful but downright rebellious. The means of communication was closed and the distance between the father and son was growing. Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi asked to meet the youngster who abruptly responded that he does not wish to meet him. Hazrat adopted a strategy of humility and went to the youngster and told him: “What’s wrong? I have done you no wrong? Why don’t you want to meet me?. This baffled the youngster and slowly, he came for short periods just to assess our Hazrat Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi. After a few hours, he came and started discussing the issue of football and ascertained the sentiments of Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi regarding the sport. Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi told him that instead of watching the game, rather become involved and achieve fitness which will benefit the health. Furthermore, the youngster made Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi make duaa for his football team! Thereafter, it transpired that this youngster was 17 para Haafiz but he was being deprived of Deen due to a lack of concern and love. Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi mentioned that this youngster read Quran very immaculately. The last day, with tears in his eyes, the youngster tells Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi that he loves him. Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi responded likewise. Understand the tolerance of Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi when the youngster then asked as to how Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi will remember him. They agreed that they would sign their names on their respective arms so that the love can grow greater. The manner of approach of Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi left one astounded. Again he shared this with this servant that Allah Ta’ala had inspired him to work according to this plan.

A destructive trait in the path of sulook is the entertaining of evil thoughts with regard to others. Our Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi stressed that not only is it not permissible to talk ill of a fellow Muslim, it is sinful to talk ill of a kaafir, it is also sinful to talk ill of the next man’s possessions or his means of conveyance. Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi had on numerous occasions mentioned that this is such a destructive trait that it destroys a person’s good deeds. Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi further advised that if you cannot talk good of another, it is best that you remain silent instead of becoming a pauper.

We had been rebuked on many occasions with regard to excessive laughter by our Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi who warned us that our hearts become hard and blocked towards hidayat. Furthermore, this vile habit destroys the concern for the Hereafter. Once, on journey, we went swimming and Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi heard us joking and laughing. He commented that whilst Islam does not forbid relaxation but our Deen despises laxity and negligence of Allah Ta’ala. He added that by the tone of your voices, we detected a barrier and warned that we should always be on guard. Needless to say that this lesson had become embedded in the hearts of those that were present.

It was always the noble habit of Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi to personally express his gratitude to the ladies for their services for the spiritual family of our Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi. He always reminded us that the blessings of the visitors sustain itself for 40 days.

Hazrat Aarifi (Dr Abdul Hayy) rahmatullahi alaihi would, before taking any morsel, contemplate that he is eating the food to attain strength in his ibaadat. A thought-provoking incident was related by Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb (rahmatullahi alayhi) about a young man, recently married, who complained of the grief caused by his wife. Hazrat (rahmatullahi alayhi) made duaa but the problem increased to the extent that there was direct confrontation with Shariah Hazrat (rahmatullahi alayhi) asked as to which family the wife came from and, after investigation, it transpired that her father was involved in interest. Hazrat (rahmatullahi alayhi) advised the young man that, because his wife was nurtured through haraam, she would never be able to think straight.
Our Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi always warned that if sustenance is attained in a lawful manner, Allah Ta’ala will give a person the good fortune of spending it in halaal avenues, whereas if sustenance was attained unlawfully, the avenues of expenditure will also be haraam.

We noticed that upon awakening, Hazrat Dr Saabir Saheb rahmatullahi alaihi seldom engaged in any discussion prior to him finishing the tilaawat of the Qur’aan. This was a great lesson for all of us in that he showed by example that we require to give our spiritual rooh sustenance. We also learnt from Hazrat rahmatullahi alaihi that the punctuality on tilaawat ensures the safety of a person’s Imaan. Our Hazrat Shafeequl Ummah rahmatullahi alaihi advised us that due to the duties towards the creation of Allah Ta’ala, our Akaabir could not fulfil completely their ma’moolaat. However, in three things there was no compromise:

Tahajud Salaah
Tilaawat of the Qur’aan
Excessive Darood Shareef


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Child Custody Issues

We make a special appeal to all husbands and ex-wives embroiled in a custody battle to consider the following:

Allah Ta’ala advises us in Surah Baqarah: "The mother shall not be hurt through her child, nor shall the further be hurt through his child." Nowadays our couples-at-war are perpetrating the exact opposite of what Our Allah has commanded. We are using kids as pawns in a war of attrition, to get back at the other.

These innocent flowers of Jannah are turned into vicious instruments of hell, when inconsiderate parents give vent to their spite, malice, and craving for vengeance. Mothers will run to the court for maintenance, but deny the father visitation rights. Their ill-considered behaviour results in court cases that cost thousand of rands. Don’t they realise that should they co-operate with the ex-husband, such money could come the way of the children, instead of lining the lawyer’s pockets? Husbands in turn, shirk their duty of maintenance for children. Either they pay too less or nothing at all. While at the same time, ex wives should not extract exorbitant maintenance amounts from the fathers, and then use this money to go on shopping splurges. This is abuse of trust. In short, in custody battles and maintenance there is much abuse of Shariah going on. For Allah’s sake, we call upon all parties to bring this to a halt immediately. Let sanity and Islamic morality prevail.


Oral Sex: Unnatural Love-making

A very immoral act inherited from the West and practiced today in Muslim homes between husband and wife, is the oral manipulation of sexual organs. This is not permissible in Islam, as is stated in the famous Fatwaa Kitab, Al-Hindiyya. It must also be remembered that the prohibition in this act applies both ways: whether the husband does it to the wife or vice-versa, both acts are haraam.

The reasons for the prohibition of this lurid practice are:

1) Bringing the mouth, which is not the normal organ for sex, into contact with an organ of najaasat. This is the very reason why sexual intercourse during menstruation and anal sex are haraam; because of the impurity in those two areas.

2) Secondly, there will always be some discharge of mazi (the sticky, transparent liquid that emerges during an erection and prior to ejaculation). This liquid is impure, and it is not permissible to bring the mouth into contact with impurity.

3) Thirdly, sometimes this indecent act is maintained till ejaculation, which is worse than the above, for then there is full contact with najaasat. Even if it is not delayed for so long, there is always the danger of emission of semen and subsequent contamination of the mouth. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) commanded: Verily, your mouths are the pathways of the Quran, so cleanse it... (Faizul-Qadeer and Kanzul-Ummal) Contamination of the mouth in this vile way conflicts with this hadeeth shareef. It is most despicable for a Muslim, who uses his/her mouth to recite the Pure, Holy, and Revered Words of Allah, to bring that same mouth into contact, in a most unnatural way, with the private part of another. The mouth and tongue were created by Allah for the utterance of good words, zikrullah, recitation of the Quran and general noble speech. On the contrary the private organ was created to expel impurity, and it is an object in which impurity always remains. It, therefore, constitutes an abuse of this natural system of Allah. Shaytaan had promised: I shall assuredly command mankind and they shall certainly alter the (natural) creation of Allah” (Surah Nisaa, verse 119)

4) Fourthly, if semen is swallowed in this lewd manner, the sin will be compounded, for it is haraam to ingest najaasat.

5) Fifthly, this obscene act is clearly an imitation of Western kuffar. This method of love-making has come only from the kuffar; there is no trace of this in the Pure Shariah of Islam. Even if some contraption is used to avoid contact with najaasah, this one factor alone is enough for hurmat (prohibition). Consider the quotations from Islamic Scripture in the following paragraphs.

Tashabbuh is an Arabic word meaning to imitate or emulate. The act of imitation or emulation which the Shariah has prohibited, applies to the emulating of fashions, trends, salient features, and religious practices of non-Muslims or evil-doers. There are several verses of the Holy Quran and ahadeeth of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) which prohibit the imitation and adoption of ways and fashions of evil people. We mention hereunder a few examples.

1) Almighty Allah states in Surah Hashr, verse 19:
And do not become like those people whom have forgotten Allah, so He caused them to become neglectful of themselves. Such people are evil transgressors.

2) In Surah Jaathiyah, verse 18, Allah states:
Then we established you on a Shariah of Deeni affairs, so follow it, and do not follow the desires of the ignorant ones.

3) In Surah Aala Imraan, verse 156, Almighty Allah commands:
O people of Iemaan! Do not become like the kuffaar......

a) Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar radhiyallahu anhu narrates that Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) prohibited the imitation of people foreign to Islam, and he said:
Whoever imitates a nation, is (like) one of them. (Abu Dawood)
b) Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
He who practices on the customs of outsiders, is not of us. (Daylami)
c) Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) also said:
He who imitates others is not of us. Do not imitate the Jews and the Christians....
(Miskhkatul Masaabeeh)

These and many more Quranic verses and sayings of Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) warn us of the threat to our Iemaan in imitating and following practices, customs and styles foreign to Islam. Remember, Islam does not prohibit us from utilizing inventions of the kuffaar which are beneficial or necessary to our deeni or worldly life, such as means of transport, methods of communication and correspondence, modern-day technology such as telephones, computers, tape-recorders, etc. What Islam forbids is imitating their ways of dressing, eating, and sleeping, their styles and fashions, their laws and policies which conflict with Islam, and general un-Islamic behaviour. This is impermissible. Similarly, emulating practices which have religious or cultural significance among the kuffaar is completely haraam. Utilizing any invention which is the direct cause of us violating Allah’s Law is also haraam.

Also note that to adopt a practice of the kuffaar when there does exist an alternate Islamic practice is also imitation that is forbidden. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) taught us methods of dressing, combing and looking after hair, caring for the physical appearance of the body. To follow or emulate the non-Muslims in these areas of living means displacing the mubarak teachings of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), which is intolerable to any believer.

For this reason, when Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saw a Sahaabi (radhiallahu anhu) carrying a bow made by the Persians, he instructed him to use a bow of Arab origin. Since there was an alternative, the Muslim had to adopt it and shun the method or product of the kuffaar.

Today, there are no alternatives to most of the modern-day inventions of the kuffaar, inventions which we need to utilize for the function of our day-to-day lives and our income. So Islam allows us to use these, but under certain restrictions. This, however, is not the case with our physical appearance or dress. In this aspect, no one has power over our bodies and the way we dress. We are under no compulsion to adopt the dress and styles of the kuffar. We can easily don garb which is free from ostentation and fashions, and which preserves our modesty and honour.

The current fashions in dress and appearance that abound today have all been designed and invented by people who have neither iemaan, nor any conscience with regards to morality. This is not surprising. What really surprises, though, is that our Muslim brothers and sisters, especially the youth, are so quick to latch onto these fashions and adopt the same. Singers, actresses, TV and movie stars, sports stars, have become celebrities, whose every style and nuance are savored by their misguided fans, and not far behind are the Muslims. It is indeed a crying shame.

Here the discussion is not one of mere imitation. Instead, what we observe here, to our horror, is total obsession with the culture and trends of the enemies of Allah. We need some serious soul-searching to check the slide towards this abyss of spiritual destruction.

The Ahadith mentioned earlier implies, because of its general application, that imitating sinners will make one a sinner. Copying the acts of evil-doers means becoming like them, too. It is therefore also haraam to imitate or mimic the styles or habits of people who break the laws of Allah, even if they are Muslims. Our youth today have become so fascinated by evil actors and actresses, singers and entertainers, whom they see either on television or in live performances that they begin to imitate the styles and practices of these evil shaytaans. Let us free our bedrooms from this curse. May Allah save us and our youth!