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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Holy Name Muhammad

The Blessed name Muhammad appeared in the heavens and earth long before Nabi Aadam (alayhis-salaam) was created. Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Hazrat Aadam (alayhis salaam) saw the name of Our Master on every tree in Jannah, as well as on the tree of Sidratul Muntahaa. He also saw it written on the Arsh of Allah, as part of the kalimah Laa Ilaaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasoolullah.

When Nabi Aadam came down to earth, he felt uncomfortable and distraught in his new environment. Allah Ta’ala sent Jibreel to recite the Azhaan in his presence as a means of solace. In the Azhaan, the name Muhammad was mentioned twice. He asked Jibreel who ‘Muhammad’ was, and the latter replied: “This is the last Messenger in your progeny.”

An army of Muslims travelled to India for Jihad. They passed through a forest and came across a unique tree that had a red leaf. On this leaf, in white writing, was the kalimah LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOLULLAH.

Another group of Mujaahideen passed through a village of idol-worshippers. They came across a strange rose tree that bore black roses of unique fragrance. On these roses, in white script, the following was written: LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOLULLAH. ABUBAKR AS-SIDDEEQ. UMAR AL-FAROUQ. The narrator says that he though this was man-made, so he opened a rose that had not yet blossomed. To his amazement, the exact same words were inscribed inside this rose, as well as on several others.

Ibni Marzooq writes in his commentary on Al-Burdah that, ‘once we were caught up in a severe storm off the coast of India. After some turbulence and turmoil, our battered vessel ended up on an island. Exploring this island we came across a beautiful smelling red rose, and these words were inscribed on it in yellow writing:
The Key to entry into Eternal Paradise, from The Rahman and Raheem, is: LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOLULLAH.’

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that one day, whilst the Sahaaba were sitting around the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi was sallam, a bird flew past and dropped an almond inside a shell. The Messenger of Allah picked it up and broke open the shell. He showed the Sahaaba the whole kalimah written unmistakeably on the almond inside.

All the above reports, and many more similar to these appear in Seeratul-Halbiyyah, volume 1.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Marital Oppression Under the Guise of Islam

The integration of contemporary society has brought in its wake an increase in inter-racial and inter-religious marriages. It is now quite common to find mixed marriages across the racial barrier involving men and women from different religions. The Islamic and Shar’ee implications that stem from this phenomenon are far-reaching and extremely important. We propose to discuss all this and more on mixed marriages later on in a separate publication, insha Allah. Right now, though, this article is intended to focus on one of the consequences arising out of a mixed union, and that is the gross contravention of the wife’s rights by husbands who pose as up-keepers of Shariah.

This scenario eventuates when a Muslim man marries a female who reverted to Islam. The newly converted Muslim has yet to acquire the elementary and very basic teachings of Islam, let alone understand the technicalities of an Islamic marriage and its consequences. Exploiting this ignorance of the new Muslim, some husbands commit clear-cut violation of her rights while all the while creating the impression that they are acting within the ambit of Shariah. They break all the rules in the book, and make it appear to the reverted Muslim wife that their actions are sanctioned by Islam. Who, one wonders, do they think they are fooling? It is the height of villainy to pass off one’s zhulm or oppression as a teaching of Islam. What message does this send out to new Muslims, or to non Muslims? A Muslims is supposed to be one who invites people to Islam through his actions. This is the hallmark of a real daa’ee. Instead, the actions of these hypocritical husbands only serve to create further confusion about our Deen, and make people more disillusioned. The noble institution of nikah has been reduced to a mockery by husbands out to simply satisfy their base desires.

Some of them will convert young Christian girls to Islam in order to marry them, and then, after having used and abused these naïve females, they abandon them, sometimes without even issuing talaaq. So the poor woman is then totally out on a limb: she has no husband, nor is she able to remarry. Eventually some of these females go back to their former religions and abandon the Deen of Islam. The husband who instigated this whole sorry mess must share the blame for this irtidaad or apostasy. Is this how Muslim men view the sacred union of nikah? What a shame that nikah has become a vehicle for men to satiate their lowly desires, by using innocent and gullible non-Muslim females who come into the Deen and into marriage with high hopes and aspirations. In some cases, reverted females were lured into marriage by incentives of money and good living, only to discover that the man does not even provide basic necessities. These new-Muslims have to actually go out and work to support themselves, thus bringing in its wake another type of corruption. Since they are new to Islam, these women are not grounded in the Islamic concepts of morality and modesty. Just as they had met their Muslim husbands on the streets and in workplaces, what prevents them from striking up another illicit relation in these places? This is the ideal recipe for marital disaster. Cases of this nature have occurred in the past, with devastating results.

When this happens, the husband then punishes her by withholding expenses, abusing her verbally or physically, or both, or by sheer blackmail because of her dubious past. The verbal abuse and insult goes to an extent where even the poor woman’s affiliation to Deen is questioned. She is made out to be the worst of creatures, and such is the incessant swearing and ridicule that the poor creature eventually starts believing that she is as bad or even worse than the husband says. Such mental abuse ranks among the worst forms of zhulm in Islam. If people like this die before taubah, they will have to pay dearly for such wholesale zhulm. Allah Ta’ala may forgive sins that remain between Him and man but will not grant forgiveness for sins involving the rights of His servants unless pardon is sought from the victims.

Foreign nationals are among the biggest culprits of such marital felony. Some of them marry and then disappear overseas leaving the revert wife totally deserted and lost. There is no contact for months, until suddenly one day the husband appears from nowhere. And that too, if the woman is lucky. Some of these callous and cruel husbands will not re-appear ever again, leaving the poor wife in limbo. She then has to solicit the help of ‘Ulema to annul the marriage so that she may marry again. In some cases these absconding husbands were contacted telephonically and asked about their intentions. They then arrogantly tell the wife: “do what you must do”, or. “you can go and get your fasakh”. These impertinent husbands have failed to fully grasp the sanctity of Islamic nikah, hence they pass such stupid and ill-conceived remarks. Again, what example are they setting to new Muslims? Convenience marriages are also casualties in this sordid affair.

Alhamdu-lillah, some of these female reverts become so staunch in Islam that they proudly claim, in spite of their husband’s recalcitrance, that they shall never leave Islam, and that the oppression of the husband will never cause them to sway from Deen. However, there are those who are not as firmly committed to Islam, and these poor women eventually drift back to kufr. The sin of them becoming murtadd lies squarely on the shoulders of the husband who had left them in a lurch.

The Holy Quran declares: “And treat wives with kindness and justice” (Surah Nisaa).


A New Crisis Confronts the Ummah

A recent phenomenon that has confronted the Muslim Ummah is cause for great alarm. It has been witnessed in several parts of South Africa that there is a rise in the number of Muslims become murtadd.

Though the ratio of non-Muslims reverting to Islam is far greater than that of people becoming Murtadd, and though such a phenomenon does not threaten Islam in the least, such is its power and might, yet it is cause for serious concern when people degenerate to the level of irtidaad (becoming murtadd). Just as it is a tribute to Islam’s dominance and independence that irtidaad does not constitute the least threat to its existence, in like manner it is a tribute to Islam’s ideological stability and intellectual might that people who abandon it never do so out of disillusion or lack of conviction in its teaching. When studying the causes of people becoming murtadd, it emerges that the chief reasons are financial, ignorance with regard to Islamic belief, succumbing to lust, marriage to a kaafier, disillusionment with family members, drugs, music, or a combination of all or some of these.

One major factor that corrupts belief and action, and leads to apostasy, is evil company. There are known cases of teenagers losing their iemaan because they were influenced in this direction by corrupt people. Muslims get involved with atheistic groups who obviously do not believe in Allah. Others were discovered sharing sessions of meditation and forums of discussion with Hindu groups. These Muslims went on to adopt the kufr belief of re-incarnation.

Muslims should be wary of new forms of healing and exercise that actual stem from Hinduism or Paganism. They should avoid attending sessions of yoga, reiki, crystal healing, etc., for the ordinary Muslim will find it difficult to detect the kufr aspects of some of these rituals, as the example of re-incarnation illustrates. Muslims adopted this without even realizing that it is clear-cut kufr. Even if some of these practices appear harmless, it is best to exercise caution.

The universities of today are ideal breeding grounds for atheism, agnosticism and similar heretical beliefs. Parents should be constantly and unrelentingly vigilant over their sons and daughters who attend varsities. It is already an established reality that our youth lose their Islamic identity and spiritual well-being in these secular institutes. The crisis we now face is loss of iemaan in its entirety.

Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made the following dua: “O Allah I seek your protection from an evil day, an evil night, an evil moment, and an evil friend.”
‘Ulema state that in this dua the consequences are mentioned before the actual cause, so as to impress the urgency of these matters on the mind of the listener. In other words, an evil day, an evil night and an evil moment are all consequences of an evil companion.
Evil company unconsciously induces evil thoughts and actions. Sometimes, these thoughts are so severe that they threaten the very roots of our iemaan. Many youth do not even know this, in spite of them being highly educated and intellectuals. Elders need to constantly advise the youth as to whose company they should keep. We have stated before and reiterate that even our adults become unwitting victims of bad company.

People who renegade on Islam have bartered away their Deen for the disillusionment of this Dunya. Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: “So let the world not deceive you, and let not the big deceiver (shaytaan) beguile you with regards to Allah!”

Notwithstanding all of this, our ieman demands that when one Muslim deviates from the straight path, we feel deeply hurt. The hadith describes the brotherhood and bond of this Ummat as the parts of one body. When a limb hurts, the rest of the body feels the effects and suffers accordingly. When even one member of the Ummat suffers spiritual damage (and there is no greater spiritual harm than irtidaad), the rest of the Ummah should feel it. Just as we cannot tolerate insensitivity towards the physical harm and hardship of a fellow Muslim, we, too, cannot tolerate complacency towards the spiritual disaster that befalls Muslims. When a Muslim becomes murtadd, we shall do everything in our power to bring that person back onto the Path of Deen. After having tried our best and failed, we resign ourselves to the Taqdeer of Allah The Almighty. It is then acknowledged that iemaan was not in the taqdeer of that Muslim. (May Allah grant all Muslims death on iemaan, aameen).

The major dilemma that confronts us when a person becomes murtadd is how to deal with such a person. Should he or she be ostracized from the community, or should effort be made to try and bring the person back into the fold? In an Islamic state a murtadd will be given time to consider re-entry into the fold of Islam. If the apostate does not revert within a particular time frame, which depends on circumstances, then such a person shall be executed. In other words, irtidaad or recanting Islam is akin to treachery in an Islamic State, and the same punishment that will be meted out to a (political) traitor or rebel will be ministered to a murtadd.
However, in a non Muslim state, we should firstly try our utmost to bring the murtadd back into Islam. We have to use wisdom, tact, and logical arguments in an attempt to win back this lost soul. If all this fails, then such a person must be totally ostracized. We shall have no more contact with the murtadd, be it our own kith and kin. It will not be permissible to take the life of a murtadd in a non-Muslim country.

In order to fight this fitnah and safeguard the iemaan of our Muslim brothers and sisters, we need to look into the causes mentioned earlier. Once we familiarize ourselves with the causes, we can effectively combat this danger.
One cause mentioned was lack of proper Islamic Aqaa-id or Beliefs. This is of extreme importance. Some Muslims exit the fold of Islam because they hold corrupt or concocted beliefs about Islam. We, therefore, need to ensure our children acquire proper Islamic Aqaaid. For this the madresa and maktab system of education is vital. It is deeply disappointing to witness the indifference of parents towards their children’s Deeni education during the early years of a child’s life. We hate to think that failure to equip our children with proper Islamic knowledge when they were small, will one day result in the misery and heartache of irtidaad. We ourselves need to become versed in proper Islamic Aqaaid. Al-Farouq will, insha Allah, carry articles on Aqaaid in a future publication.

Another cause for irtidaad is financial difficulty. How true were the words of our Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when he remarked: “Poverty is close to becoming kufr.” It is common in parts of our country as well as the rest of the African continent for Christian Missionaries to exploit the financial woes of Muslims by luring them towards Christianity with monetary incentives. Sometimes this is done overtly, and sometimes covertly. Well-to-do Muslims should form a think-tank and establish ways of assisting these poor Muslims and thus save them from the Missionary onslaught. This will indeed be a major financial sacrifice but, in the end, well worth it.

Marrying across religious barriers is another factor that sometimes leads to kufr. Sadly, Muslim women exit the fold of Islam just to marry a non-Muslim man whom they claim they love. Falling in love with a member of the opposite sex who happens to belong to an opposing religion has been identified as a common cause for irtidaad. Several Muslim women end up marrying their Christian or Hindi boyfriends in the Church or Temple. Some of them openly denounce Islam. (Allah Forbid!) Here the parents have to share some of the blame, for it was their negligence in the first place that allowed their daughters to end up in the arms of a Hindu or Christian. For the future, we need to wake up from our slumber and begin exercising more responsible control over our children. Regardless of how old our son or daughter is, strict supervision and close monitoring should continue. don’t take your child for granted, and never become complacent.

It is a famous teaching of Quran that making shukr for the Bounties of Allah is a cause of protection and enhancement for those bounties. In like manner, making daily shukr for our iemaan will undoubtedly ensure its protection and become a means of strengthening our Islamic Faith. !
May Allah Azza Wa Jall grant us all death with Iemaan — aameen