The Day We Lost Our Masjid

benefits of mosque

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray none can guide them aright. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, alone, and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and Messenger.

Do you know the last public place that the Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – was seen? He was seen in the Masjid. About 3 days before he passed away, Abu Bakr – radiallahu ‘anhu – was leading the prayer and the Masjid was full with an ‘Ummah of men and women prepared to illuminate the world with their Jihad and da’wah. The Prophet’s house opened up to the Masjid and there was a curtain separating his room and the prayer hall. He opened the curtain and saw the congregation and saw his Khalifah Abu Bakr – radiallahu ‘anhu– leading the prayer. The Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – smiled like a moon. The companions saw him while they were in prayer, and from their happiness, almost lost control of the prayer. The Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – then drew his curtain and three days later returned to his Lord – subhanahu wa ta’ala.

During the life of the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – there was a women who used to sweep the Masjid with her hands, picking up the dirt and disposing of it. In the sight of the community her status was not that high, but in the sight of Allah and her Messenger –sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – she held a different rank. She passed away one night and the Companions, not wanting to disturb the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, washed and buried her without informing him. The next day, the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – recognized her absence and inquired about her. They told him about her demise and how they did not want to disturb him. The Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – was not happy at the action they took. He went to her grave and prayed for her there.

What is a Masjid? Many have misunderstood the role the Masjid plays in the development of the Community. In some countries, it is a place where the tribal imam is buried and worshipped. In other places, it is a place that only prayers may be performed therein, absolutely nothing else will be tolerated. And in yet other places, not even prayers are performed in it, so-much-so the country may finally decide to convert it into a museum or a church.

Dear brother and sister, I would like to introduce you to our friend, the Masjid:

Literally, Masjid means a place of prostration. Technically, Masjid is any clean place on earth, as the Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said,

“The earth was made for me a MASJID (i.e. a place to pray), pure.” [Bukhari]

However, custom allocated to the word Masjid a specific place, the place where the 5 daily prayers are held. This was done in order to distinguish the Masjid from the Musallah, the place where ‘Eid prayers are held and so forth, so that the rules of the Masjid do not apply to it.

Masjid is a word derived from sujud, or prostration. The Masjid, or place of prostration, was such named due the honorable position thesujud holds in Salah. Thus it was not called Marka’ derived from Ruku’ and so on.

The first house of Allah ever built on earth was the Ka’bah. Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – says:

“Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-‘Alamin.” [Al-Qur’an 3:96]

And Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – commanded us to honor and enliven the Masjid with His rememberance:

“In houses (masajid), which Allah has ordered to be raised, in them His name is glorified in the mornings, and in the evenings.” [Al-Qur’an 24:16]

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, and al-Hasan commented:

 “The houses are those Masajid that were dedicated to the worship of Allah. And verily, the Masajid light up the earth for the inhabitants of the heavens, just as stars light up the heavens for the inhabitants of the earth.”

Everyone wants to build a retirement home to be proud of. Let them listen to this offer. The Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said,

“Whoever builds a Masjid, seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah shall build a house for him in Paradise.” [Bukhari]

He also – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said, “The most beloved places to Allah on earth are the Masajid, and the most hated places to Allah on earth are the Markets.” [Muslim]

The Masjid played a variety of roles in our history. Following is a short tour of some of the roles that the Masjid played:

Children: The Masjid was a place where the children would accompany their parents and grow up under the shade of it’s walls. Abu Qatadah narrated that the the Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – used to pray and carry Umamah the daughter of Zaynab. When he would fall into prostration, he would rest her aside. And when he stood up again, he would again pick her up. [Bukhari]

Education: The Masjid was the nucleus of education. Throughout history, the Masjid was the university that graduated scholars and imams. To name only a few, there was the Masjid of al-AzharMasjid al-Umawi in Syria, and Masjid az-Zaytunah in Tunis.

The Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said,

“No gathering gathers in a house from the houses of Allah, reciting the book of Allah and teaching it to one another, except that serenity befalls them, Mercy envelops them, the angels surround them and Allah mentions them to (the inhabitants of the heavens).” [Muslim]

Organization: The Masjid is where hundreds of Muslims come, all in straight rows, all following the lead of Allahu Akbar, all beginning when the Imam begins, all ending when the Imam ends.

Shelter for the weak and traveling: In Masjid an-Nabawi, we know that there was a platform, known as the Suffah. There the poor and the strangers would find shelter and the Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – would grant them shares of the collected charity.

Solicializing: The Masjid is where the Muslims would meet one another. When someone missed a prayer, he was followed up. Relationships were reared, brotherhood was built.

Think tank: When important issues came up, the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – would gather the Companions in the Masjid and consult them in the matter.

Charity: The charity would be collected and distributed from the Masjid. It was in the Masjid that the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam– said, “Give, if only with a half a date.”

Jihad: It was from the Masjid that battalions were organized and set off for Jihad. During the crusades, many Masajid became the podium for inciting the feelings of the Muslims to fight off the transgression.

Serenity: Whenever the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – felt sad he would go and pray. And he – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – would say to Bilal, “Relax us with (the prayer) O Bilal.”

PART II: THE RIGHTS OF THE MASJID

The Masjid is the house of Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – and it has rights like anyone else. Amongst these rights are the following:

  1. When someone enters the Masjid, they should pray 2 rak’ah before sitting down. The Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said, “If any of you enters the Masjid, let him not sit down until he prays 2 rak’ah.”
  2. No business should take place in the Masjid. The Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said, “Whoever sells in the Masjid, say to them: May Allah not grant success in your sale.”
  3. The Masjid must be kept clean and fresh smelling. The Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said, “Whoever eats from this tree (i.e. Garlic) should not attend our place of prayer.”
  4. Advice should be given to fellow Muslims. When the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – would see someone not praying correctly he would advise them to repeat their prayer and teach them how to pray.
  5. Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – should be remembered much during one’s stay in the Masjid. As Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – says,“O you who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance.” [Al-Qur’an 33:42]
  6. And finally, Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – tells us of the kind of people that are recognized as the people of the Masjid – “In it are men that love to purify themselves, And Allah loves those who make themselves pure.” [Al-Qur’an 9:108]

May Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – give us the blessing of being amongst those that establish the Masjid and are included amongst those whom Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – loves.

Related

The Role of The Mosque

Shari’ah – The Way To God

Aspirations and Antagonisms

There can be little doubt that today, as Islam steadily surges forward, powerful and decisive in directing and shaping the flow of events in the Muslim countries, the world is witnessing a phenomenon of far-reaching importance to its future. In this whole movement of Islamic resurgence, nothing stands out as more symbolic of Muslim aspirations than the commitment to re- establish the Shari’ah, the code of conduct for total life laid down by Islam. Every country of the Muslim world is pulsating with an intense longing to shape life in accordance with its precepts. The Shari’ah, in short, in the eyes of friend and foe alike, has come to epitomise the goal towards which Muslims are restlessly trying to advance in quest of their destiny.

But, paradoxically, it is the Shari’ah which, more than any other element in Islam, seems to arouse the greatest misgivings and most intense feelings of fear, hostility and ridicule both among those who are not within the fold of Islam and those Muslims who are either unaware of or have become intellectually alienated from their own traditions. For many of them, the Shari’ah is something barbaric and cruel, inhuman and uncivilised, which is trying to turn the clock back on progress and modernisation and plunge the world back into the Dark Ages (as if it was ‘dark’ in the world of Islam at the time it was ‘dark’ in Europe!): women will be no better than slaves and non-Muslims treated as second-class citizens. Cut off the hand of a thief; stone the adulterer; veil the woman; this, according to its opponents, is the sum substance of that Shari’ah which is so deeply inspiring Muslims everywhere today.

On a more sophisticated, though no less vociferous, level is the chorus of objectors who attempt to question the very basis, nature and role of the Shari’ah. The objective seems to be to cast doubt upon its relevance and applicability to modern life; and thus it to lead Muslims either to abandon it or to change it beyond recognition by severing its unique continuity with the past. Man has grown up; why should he look to an extra-human source for guidance on how to conduct his affairs? Why should God condescend to interfere in man’s day-to-day life? Why should He be concerned with such mundane and trivial matters? The Shari’ah is all formalism which consigns the sublime man-God relationship to the straitjacket of law and obedience at the expense of the joys of love and spiritual devotion and religiosity. A law laid down fourteen centuries ago in a nomadic desert setting can hardly meet the complex demands and pressures of modern technological civilisation. The essential message of the Qur’an is moral; its laws could not have been meant to be eternal. The concept of the Prophet as the perfect model and of his Sunnah as the binding source of the Shari’ah are much later inventions of the Muslim mind. These and similar arguments are heard quite often.

Understanding the Shari’ah

Such prejudices and opinions do not augur well for the future of mankind. They can only exacerbate the deep antagonisms and animosities between the West and Muslims which have persisted throughout history and which, if renewed and aggravated, may ultimately tear apart a world already dangerously divided. The need to understand the Shari’ah is therefore no less urgent and compelling than the Muslim desire to implement it.

The Shari’ah is not merely a collection of do’s and don’ts, nor just a code of criminal laws prescribing punishments for certain crimes. Though it does contain both, its sweep is much broader and deeper, encompassing the totality of man’s life. Shari’ah literally means a ‘clear path’. It is the path that man, in Islam, must walk as he toils and strives to reach his Creator. It is the yearning deep within to seek the Lord and the Master that the Shari’ah translates into steps, concrete and specific, on the pathways of life. The Shari’ah is the fulfilment of the total man- inner and outer, individual and corporate-as he seeks to live by the will of his one and only God.

What is the Shari’ah

Man-God Relationship

To understand the essence of the Shari’ah, one must understand the relationship between man and God that Islam lays down. There is no god but One God; Muhammad is the Prophet of God: this simple sentence is the bedrock of the Islamic creed.

God is the Creator; to Him alone therefore belongs the kingdom and He is the only Sovereign: ‘Surely Your only Lord is God who has created the heaven and the earth… verily to Him belong the creation and the sovereignty’ (al-A’raf 7: 54).

And: ‘He has created the heavens and the earth with a purpose. He wraps night about day and He wraps day about night… He has created you from one being… That then is God, your only Lord; His is the kingdom. There is no god but He’ (al-Zumar 39: 5-6).

God is the Creator. To Him alone, therefore, as his only Lord and Master, man must submit his entire being: ‘Your God is One God, so only to Him submit’ (al-Hajj 22: 34).

That then is God, your only Lord; there is no god but He, the Creator of everything. So Him alone serve’ (al-An’am 6: 102).

God is the only true Provider. It is He who has bestowed on man such faculties and capabilities as seeing, hearing, thinking and articulating – attributes which man cannot live without, but which he cannot create for himself. It is He who has made available the resources of the external world which man may discover, exploit and develop but, again, cannot create.

Yet surely man’s greatest need is to know how to live his life so as to fulfil successfully the purpose of his creation; how to relate himself to his Creator, to his own self, to his fellow human beings and to everything around him. To Him alone he must therefore turn to seek guidance. For there is no one apart from or beside Him who can truly provide answers to man’s eternal questions or is capable of guiding him. All else can only be speculation and conjecture. And why should the One who has provided even for man’s most trivial material needs not also have provided for his more important moral and spiritual needs?

The Qur’an says:

‘Say: Is there any of those you associate (with God) who guides to the Truth? Say: only God guides to the Truth. Does then, He who guides to the Truth deserve more to be followed or he who can guide not unless he be guided? What ails you? How judge you? And most of them follow naught but speculation, and speculation can never take the place of truth’ (Yunus 10: 35-6).

And further: ‘Or, do they (claim to) have associates who have laid down for them the Way for which God gave not leave’ (al-Shura 42: 21).

It was to provide for this greatest human need that God sent His Prophets from amongst men in all ages and to all nations, bringing them the light of the divine guidance revealed to them. Among them were Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. And Muhammad was the last of them, in no way different or new. May God bless all of them.

‘He has laid down for you the Way that He entrusted to Noah, and that We have revealed to you, and that We entrusted to Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Establish fully the Way and follow not different ways’ (al-Shura 42: 13).

Man’s relationship to God is expressed by the very word ‘Islam’-submitting to Him by following His will and guidance as brought by His prophets. But this submission must be total and all-embracing. A Muslim submits his entire ‘person’ to his Creator as his only Lord and Master. No part of his life can be exempt from the need of divine guidance or from the writ of divine sovereignty. God and His lordship and sovereignty are indivisible; and so is man’s life in its submission to Him. It would indeed be an imperfect God who could only be experienced or related to in the realm of the spirit or the provision of material needs like one’s daily bread-a God unconcerned, uncaring or incompetent to help man in the more arduous and complex task of living his life. Him he worships; Him he invokes; Him he depends upon; Him he trusts; Him he seeks; and, equally important, Him he obeys. Man has been given the freedom to reject God; but, once having accepted Him, he must follow His guidance. He is not free to follow one part of it and ignore another, nor to seek guidance from sources other than God. Denial of part is denial of the whole.

‘What, believe you in part of the Book and deny part thereof? And what is the reward of those who do so except ignominy in the present life, and on the Day of Resurrection to be returned unto most grievous punishment’ (al-Baqarah 2: 85).

‘What, do they seek another way other than God’s Way; whereas unto Him submits whoso is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly’ (Ale-‘Imran 3: 83).

‘And who seeks a way other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him’ (Ale-‘Imran 3: 85).

In its fullest sense, the Shari’ah is therefore virtually synonymous, and can be used interchangeably, with the word Din, which can only inadequately be translated as ‘religion’. Din literally means ‘way of life’, ‘submission’, ‘following’ or the ‘Way’. Though the word Shari’ah in its various derivative forms is found in five places in the Qur’an, (1) its extensive use only came into vogue much later; for the words Islam and Din were more commonly employed to express the same meaning in the early days of Islam.

The Shari’ah includes both faith and practice. It embraces worship, individual attitude and conduct as well as social norms and laws, whether political, economic, familial, criminal or civil.

It may also sometimes be used to imply, in a more restricted sense, do’s and don’ts- the rules and regulations for conduct and behaviour. Lastly, it is also used as the equivalent of the Islamic laws.

The Shari’ah is thus nothing less than the divinely ordained way of life for man. To realise the divine will, man must follow the Shari’ah. To live in Islam is to live according to the Shari’ah. To give up the Shari’ah or any part of it knowingly, wilfully or deliberately is to give up Islam. A Muslim must therefore do his utmost to observe and to implement the whole of it, wherever and in whatever situation he finds himself. Hence the Muslim insistence, persistence, commitment and passion for it.

Human Freedom and Dignity

The act of total submission to God in accordance with the Shari’ah given by Him in no way diminishes human dignity, freedom and responsibility. The act of submission is the highest act of human volition and freedom, for it implies freedom to disobey God. Indeed, in submitting to God, all the chains and shackles of every form of serfdom, servility and bondage are broken, whether they be to other men, to ideas, to nature, to man- made objects or to institutions. For before the affirmation of One God must come the forsaking of every false god.

More importantly, total submission to God elevates man to the state of Khilafa, (vice-regency), whereby he is accorded the highest place on earth by being endowed with reason, articulation, volition, freedom and responsibility. The responsibility to follow the Shari’ah according to the Qur’an (al-Ahzab 33: 72), is the fulfilment of amanah, the trust which even the heavens, the earth and the mountains dare not bear.

The Sources

How do we know the Shari’ah, the will of God? There are four sources: (I) the Qur’an, (2) the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him), (3) ijma, and (4) Ijtihad.

(1) The Qur’an

The principal source of the Shari’ah could only be the word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. These revelations are compiled in the Qur’an which-and nobody disputes this-has come down to us word for word as it was conveyed by the Prophet.

Both the meaning and words of the Qur’an are God’s, as it clearly states in different ways in various places. It extensively uses the word ‘sending down’ in preference to any other word to describe the process of revelation. The very first revelation was: ‘Read’. The Prophet always clearly indicated when he was using his own words and when he was using words he had received.

The Qur’an’s main emphasis is unquestionably on faith and the moral conduct of men and nations; but it does lay down, both explicitly and implicitly, though with brevity, the principles, broad outlines and necessary rules and regulations which are essential for the formation of the community of Islam. For one cannot be realised without the other; the trust of the Shari’ah cannot be fulfilled without the presence of moral fibre of the highest quality.

The argument that, because the prime concern of the Qur’an is moral, its legislative element cannot be meant to be literally eternal, can only hold good if the Qur’an itself says so. But it does not. Nor does it in any way even suggest a different status for one part as against the other. There is absolutely no Qur’anic argument or injunction that ‘to pray’ is an eternal imperative, while ‘to cut off the hand of a thief’ or the permission for polygamy are valid only at certain times and under certain circumstances. One can only say, in the language of the Qur’an: ‘Have you a Book wherein you have read (this)’ (al-Qalam 68: 37). If so, then: ‘Bring me any Book (revealed) before this, or evidence from knowledge’ (al-Ahqaf 46: 4).

(2) The Sunnah

The Prophet himself was not a mere postman who delivered the Book of God and then disappeared. Acting under divine guidance, he not only delivered the message, but launched a movement. He changed men and society; founded a community; established a state; and spent every moment of his prophethood in guiding, directing and leading his followers. His life example of living by God’s guidance, consisting of whatever he did or said or approved, is the Sunnah, the second basic source of the Shari’ah. The authority of the Sunnah is firmly rooted in the Qur’an and in the historically continuous consensus of the Muslim Ummah.

The explicit statements in the Qur’an in this respect are many. Every Prophet was sent to be obeyed (al-Nisa’ 4: 64). The Prophet Muhammad is the last and perfect model (al-Ahzab 33: 21, 40). To obey him is to obey God (al-Nisa’ 4: 80). God and the Prophet are frequently coupled together, especially where obedience is enjoined, but the imperative ‘obey’ is also used separately for God and for His Prophet (al-Nisa’ 4: 59). To follow and obey the Prophet is the only way one can love his God and be loved by Him and have one’s sins forgiven (Ale-‘Imran 3: 31-32). All matters which cause differences or disputes are to be referred to God and His Prophet as the final authority (al-Nisa’ 4: 59). No one can be truly a believer unless he accepts the Prophet as the final arbiter in all affairs and submits to his decisions, willingly and free from all misgivings (al-Nisa’ 4: 65). The Prophet has the authority to permit and prohibit (al-A’raf 7: 157). And, finally, whatever the Prophet gives, must be taken; whatever he forbids, must be eschewed (al-Hashr 59: 7).

The historically continuous consensus and practice of the Ummah dates back to the moment when Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, assumed office and, in his inaugural address, explicitly accepted ‘God and (the example of) His Prophet as deserving obedience and binding upon him’. There is also ample evidence that the first community of Islam invariably looked to the Sunnah for guidance in every sphere of life. Indeed, ever since that time the entire Ummah has almost always been agreed on the Sunnah as the second source of the Shari’ah: the very few isolated voices that have been raised in disagreement from time to time have never enjoyed support.

The Sunnah is mostly recorded in books of ahadith (sayings or Traditions). Initially, mainly because people were concerned that the reports of what the Prophet said or did or approved would get confused with the actual text of the Qur’an, they were not recorded on a large scale; many compilations were, however, written down privately by individuals, of which authentic evidence exists. As those who had known the Prophet began to die, the need to compile his life example became pressing, and tremendous efforts were made to do so. By the middle of the third century the first comprehensive source books, those now in use, were completed by Bukhari (d. 256/870) and Muslim (d. 261/875). More followed and are still extant. Bukhari lists 2,762 Traditions and Muslim 4,000 Traditions, without taking into account repetitions .

That some reports were forged by various political and theological factions was inevitable: the authority of the Sunnah was so widely accepted that to fabricate their own Traditions was the only course open to the unscrupulous to project their own opinions. But, first, fabrication itself constitutes strong evidence that the Sunnah was accepted as binding from the very earliest times; why otherwise bother to fabricate it? Second, the existence of historical records of forgery also proves that the problem was recognised and tackled as soon as it arose. Finally, and most importantly, to argue, as some have argued, that all the scholars of the Ummah for the first two hundred years of Islam were engaged in a carefully co-ordinated plot to do nothing but fabricate ahadith and put into the mouth of the Prophet their own opinions, is untenable. Such fabrication would have required a stupendous, superbly organised effort of a scope beyond even perhaps the most sophisticated means of communication available today. It is, too, difficult to believe that a single individual like Shafi’i, two centuries after the Prophet, when Muslims had spread far and wide, could force all the scholars and the entire Ummah against their will to accept the Sunnah as the source of the Shari’ah.

(3) Ijma’ (Consensus)

The consensus of the Ummah in understanding, interpreting and applying the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah forms the third basic source of the Shari’ah. This can be the only natural, feasible and wise course to determine the Shari’ah.

Any consensus which has a historical continuity from the days of the four Caliphs and the Companions of the Prophet is accepted to be binding. Any other consensus serves as a strong precedent but one which is nonetheless replaceable by another consensus.

Ijma’ (within the limits set by the Qur’an and the Sunnah) provides a mechanism for the Ummah to undertake legislation collectively on issues and problems it may face in an ever-changing world, and even venture fresh thinking on past interpretations.

The Shi’as would prefer to look to Imams and mujtahids to meet this need. But the acceptance of any particular Imam or mujtahid will finally also depend on the acceptance and consensus of the followers. There are no divine signs to support any particular person; and the differences have been many among the Shi’as as to who really was the Imam.

(4) Ijtihad

The exercise of reason and judgement to determine the Shari’ah is called Ijtihad. It subsumes various categories of endeavour such as opinion (ra’y), analogy (qiyas), equity (istihsan), public good (istisah) and so on. Ijtihad is a precursor to ijma’ and has to be exercised within the framework provided by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. It is a key element in ensuring the dynamism of the Shari’ah, but it is often misunderstood, misrepresented and even misused. We shall have more to say about it later.

Inner and Moral Dimensions

Shari’ah-The Law

One image of the Shari’ah which has been assiduously cultivated, is that of a collection of laws enforceable only through political authority. This is not the case; all its laws are religious, but religion is not all law. Laws are therefore an important and integral part of the Shari’ah and, as we have already noted, it admits of no distinction between its parts: ‘to pray’ is as valid, enforceable, obligatory and sacred as ‘to consult in collective affairs’ or to ‘prohibit interest’ or ‘to stone an adulterer’. Yet the Shari’ah overwhelmingly consists of morals, norms, manners and rules, from worship to statecraft, which depend for compliance entirely upon man’s conscience. ‘Law’ in modern usage is only that regulation which is enforced by political authority, whereas Muslim scholars use this word to cover every act of human behaviour, even acts of the human heart; for the Shari’ah deals extensively with the intention, just as it does with the duties of prayer, fasting and alms-giving as well as with civil and criminal law.

Motivation and Sanction

The entire sanction behind the Shari’ah is man’s inner relationship with his Lord, his love and fear of Him, and his sense of responsibility and accountability to Him, here and after death. Much has been made of the punishments prescribed by the Shari’ah, but it is far less widely appreciated that the Qur’an and the Prophet have in fact laid down very few such punishments- and, where they have, they concern serious crimes against a fellow human being’s life, property or honour. Because of this, perhaps, the Shari’ah has been able to command a powerful and unparalleled following and obedience from Muslims down the ages, and, despite being often deprived of legal and political sanctions, has been accorded a remarkable adherence from one end of the world to the other.

Inner motivation is the main reason why the institutions created by the Shari’ah – like family life, abstinence from alcohol, and chastity-have tenaciously survived for fourteen centuries. The punishment for drinking is rarely enforced, yet the Muslim world has no problem of alcoholism. Stoning for adultery is also rare-except in one or two areas-yet the amount of extra-marital sex is negligible. Divorce is easy to pronounce, but the divorce rate is extremely low.

Love and Law

The Shari’ah experiences no tension between ‘love’ and ‘law’ or between ‘faith’ and ‘deeds’. Both are integrated into a harmonious whole.

Guiding man to Din, the Way, through the Shari’ah is an act of God’s greatest mercy, kindness and love. Wherever the ‘sending down of the Book’ is mentioned in the Qur’an, the attributes of mercy, wisdom and omnipotence are also mentioned. ‘A sending down from the Most Merciful, the Mercy-giving (Fussilat 41: 2). ‘We sent it down in the blessed night… a mercy from your Lord’ (al-Dukhan 44: 3-4).

And following God’s guidance is what man’s love for his Lord and Creator must lead to. ‘Those who believe love God most’ (al-Baqarah 2: 165). But: ‘Say: If you love God, follow me [the Prophet]’ (Ale-‘Imran 3: 31). And only when one follows the Prophet out of love for God, his love is reciprocated by Him: ‘God will love you and will forgive your sins’ (Ale-‘Imran 3: 31).

The very distinction between love and law is alien to the temper of Islam and incomprehensible in its vision. Love is all- embracing; how can it even conceive of displeasing the Beloved and ignoring the guidance given by Him? How can One who loves His creatures leave them wandering and groping in darkness to find answers to the complex problems of life?

Moral Ideals and Rules of Conduct

In Islam, faith is not an abstract theological dogma, nor an intellectual creed, nor a philosophical proposition. It must spring forth into action in day-to-day life, extending from inner to outer, from individual to social, from moral to legal. It is the Shari’ah which translates faith and moral ideals into clear, definable, viable and concrete goals, forms and codes and brings them within the grasp of every ordinary man and woman; this is why it is one of the greatest blessings of God and one of the greatest vehicles for human progress.

For men have groped endlessly to translate faith and moral ideals into viable actions and deeds. Some have been tempted to separate the two, others have been led into a never-ending philosophical quest. They have not been able even to define what is ethical, moral or good. But can ordinary men and women wait for such definitions and answers? If man has to live a morally good life, if he has been created with a purpose, if he has to meet his Maker-the moment he opens his eyes and becomes aware and conscious, he must know what to do and what not to do. And he must act in the certain knowledge that what he is following is universally and absolutely true and will please his Creator. Who else, then, other than his Creator should he look to for those answers? Herein lies the beauty of the Shari’ah. Every man knows what his outward conduct ought to be to conform with his faith, his moral ideals. He has an answer to the eternal question: what is ‘good’? It matters not whether he is illiterate or a scholar, he can confidently act.

Not that all ethical and moral problems have been solved and buried for ever. So long as man is alive, he will continue to face difficult choices and dilemmas, old and new. This is a natural corollary of a worldview where man has to battle incessantly for ‘good’ against evil. But, in the Shari’ah, he has the means to find the best way to ease and facilitate his task.

Inner Dimensions

To think that Islam emphasises submission to God merely in the outward conduct of man’s life would be a gross misunderstanding. As the name used for the totality of the man- God relationship, Islam grips man’s inner self in equal, or even more emphatic, terms. Significantly, the Qur’an prefers to address Muslims more as ‘those who believe’, and treats Iman, faith, and ‘amal salih, good conduct, as an integrated whole.

Indeed, the Qur’an and the Prophet, at almost every step, stress the importance of the inner relationship to God as compared to mere outward conformity. The true heart of the Shari’ah is not at all formalistic. For example: although prayers cannot be performed without turning to Makka, the Qur’an says, ‘it is no virtue merely to turn your face to the East or the West’ (al-Baqarah 2: 187); charity is ardently desired, but an act of charity done for the benefit of the doer will bring no reward (al-Baqarah 2: 264); it is not the ‘flesh and blood’ of a sacrificial animal that God desires, but ‘the taqwa (God-consiousness) inside you’ (al-Hajj 22: 37), says another verse of the Qur’an; and, declared the Prophet, ‘there are many who fast during the day and pray all night but gain nothing except hunger and a sleepless night’ (Darimi); and, finally, only those who return to God with a pure and wholesome heart, Qalb Salim, will deserve to be saved (al-Shu’ura’ 25: 89).

Shari’ah and Tariqah

Some in Islam, naturally enough, have concentrated more on developing ways and means of purifying the inner self and of strengthening the relationship between man and God. Leading exponents of this approach-known as Tariqah-have been the Sufis. Much has been said about the conflict between the Shari’ah and the Tariqah. But what we have said above gives the lie to the often propagated idea of any inherent or continuing dichotomy and tension between the two terms-both of which interestingly enough, are of latter-day origin. (Early Islam used only Islam or Din which encompassed every aspect of man’s self.) Special circumstances may have led this or that person to lay more emphasis on a certain aspect: a few may have even been sufficiently misled to try to generate tension and conflict between the two or extol one at the expense of the other. But there were never two different paths or two different expressions of man’s relationship to God. Interestingly, both Shari’ah and Tariqah have exactly the same meaning-the way. According to Ibn Tamiya, a person observing only the law, without its inner truth, cannot be called truly a believer; and, similarly, a person claiming to possess ‘truth’ which is at odds with the Shari’ah cannot even be a Muslim.

Even, historically speaking, in early Islam, the two streams, of Sufis and the jurists never flowed separately. Hasan Basri, the doyen of Sufis, is a major pillar of fiqh and tafsir (jurisprudence and exegesis); whereas Ja’fer Sadiq, Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmad – the founders of the main schools of Muslim jurisprudence – find pride of place in Fariduddin ‘Attar’s classical Tadhkira-al-Awliya (The Book of Saints).

In the Qur’an and the ahadith both inward and outward are inseparably intertwined. For example, when the Qur’an says, ‘who in their prayers are humble’ (al-Muminun 23: 1), then prayer is what one is likely to categorise as the Shari’ah, humility as the Tariqah. Or, when it says, ‘those who believe, love God most’ (al-Baqarah 2: 165), love is likely to be taken to belong to Tariqah; but, at the same time, the Qur’an emphasises: ‘Say: If you love God, follow me’. Thus prayer and humility, love and obedience are inseparable, two sides of the same coin. 

The Unchanging in a Changing World

The Eternal and Unchanging

The Shari’ah is for all times to come, equally valid under all circumstances. The Muslim insistence on the immutability of the Shari’ah is highly puzzling to many people, but any other view would be inconsistent with its basic concept. If it is divinely ordained, it can be changed by a human being only if authorised by God or His Prophet. Those who advise bringing it into line with current thinking recognise this difficulty. Hence they recommend to Muslims that the ‘legal’ provisions in the Qur’an and the concept of the Prophet as law-giver and ruler should be ‘downgraded’ .

But, as the manifestation of God’s infinite mercy, knowledge and wisdom, the Shari’ah cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards: rather, it is the absolute norm to which all human values and conduct must conform; it is the frame to which they must be referred; it is the scale on which they must be weighed.

Categorisation of Precepts

As we have already seen, the claim that the Shari’ah is eternal and all-embracing does not in any way imply that every issue for all times to come has been decided. The mechanism through which the Shari’ah solves a problem posed by an unspecified, new or changing situation can be best understood in the framework of the categorisation of its norms and rules and the role it gives to human reason in the form of Ijtihad.

The code of behaviour and conduct laid down by the Shari’ah divides human acts of heart and body into the following five categories:

1 expressly prohibited (haram); 2 expressly enjoined (wajib or fard); 3 disliked but not prohibited (makruh), hence permissible under certain circumstances; 4 recommended but not enjoined (mandub), hence no obligation to comply; 5 simply without any injunction or opinion, and hence permitted through silence (mubah).

It is not commonly realised what a great blessing has been imparted to the Shari’ah by this categorisation: it enables the Shari’ah to accord a vast expanse and degree of latitude to individual choice, freedom and initiative under varying human circumstances. Things which are prohibited or enjoined are few and a major part of man’s day-to-day life falls in the mubah category. Still more important and revolutionary is the principle that, in matters of worship, in a narrow sense, only what has been expressly enjoined or recommended, and nothing else, is obligatory or desirable; while, in matters of day-to-day life, whatever is not prohibited is permissible. This closes the door for any religious vested interests to impose upon God’s servants additional burdens and duties in the name of God as has so often been done in history; but at the same time it keeps wide open the options for resolving new problems.

For example, even to make a sixth prayer obligatory every day is not permissible. Nor can extra moneys be extracted or levied in the name of God or spent for personal ends, as both the amount and heads of expenditure have been specified. But in the matter of food, everything may be eaten, with the exception of a few things which have been prohibited. Indeed no human being has the authority to prohibit what God and His Prophet have not forbidden; to forbid anything permitted by God (halal) is as much of a sin as to do what is prohibited (haram). A Muslim has the right, whenever it is claimed that something is obligatory or prohibited, to demand the basis for this assertion in the Qur’an or the Sunnah. On another level, while the Qur’an simply lays down the principle that ‘all affairs of Muslims must be settled by consultation’, how that consultation and the ensuing consensus is to be achieved has been left to be decided by Muslims in each age according to their own circumstances.

Human Reason and Legislation

Total submission to God does not imply any lesser role for human reason. On the contrary, human reason has a very important and fundamental role to play in the Shari’ah (except that it will be unreasonable for it to overrule its own God). No doubt the Shari’ah is not rational in the sense that its authority does not rest in human reason; but it is rational in the sense that it cannot be meaningfully opposed to reason.

This role consists of:

– understanding and interpreting the divine guidance in new or changed situations; – applying the divine guidance to actual situations in human life; – framing rules, regulations and byelaws for the implementation of the basic principles and injunctions; – legislating in those vast areas where nothing has been had down in the original sources.

The conduct of the Companions of the Prophet and those who came after them, and the differences in opinions which. emerged in the time of the Prophet himself, in the period immediately after him and among successive generations of Muslims, in all spheres of the Shari’ah, bear ample testimony t the role of human reason in the Shari’ah.

Permanence and Change

The role of human reason in the Shari’ah, exercised through understanding and interpretation, ijtihad and consensus, provides it with a built-in mechanism to meet the demands of any changed human situation. The complexities of life and the novelty of the situations which the Muslims faced within fifty years of the Prophet’s death bore no comparison to the simple life in Madina Yet the Shari’ah successfully coped with all the situations, not only in that period, but for more than a thousand years afterwards -indeed, till the Muslims fell under the political subjugation of the Western powers. This in itself is living testimony to its inne- vitality and inherent capability to face any challenge.

What is important to understand is that none of what is stable and permanent in the Shari’ah is of a nature as to need change’ Where changes are necessary due to newly-emerging situations the Shari’ah has laid down broad principles only and left its adherent to work out the details. Where it has chosen to be specific there is in reality no need for change.

Again, it is only the changed human situations which the Shari’ah caters for, and not for changes in primary and essential values and standards: the divinely-given values and standard are final.

Historical Development

The issues involved in re-establishing the Shariah in ,moder- times can be better understood against the background of the history of its development.

The Shari’ah, as the code of life derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, in its present form, has developed over a long period of time. During the Prophet’s life, he was available as the supreme source of guidance and all situations and issues could be referred to him. He either received a direct revelation or laid down the code by his own prophetic knowledge, wisdom and authority. And, if a situation arose when he could not be approached, the Companions exercised their own judgements to find a solution in the light of the Qur’an and whatever they had learnt from the Prophet. That he approved of this procedure is borne out by many instances.

For about 100 years after his death, as the Muslim society expanded and new situations arose, the Companions of the Prophet and the scholars trained by them used the same procedure of understanding, interpreting and applying the Qur’an and the Sunnah, using their own reason and judgement. On the one hand, the Khilafate Rashida (Rightly-Guided Caliphate) provided a central legislative and political machinery for this purpose. And, on the other, Muslims approached any Companion or trusted scholar of the Qur’an and the Sunnah who was near at hand to find out answers to the problems faced by them. They did not consider themselves bound to follow any one particular person and every Companion and scholar answered their questions to the best of his knowledge and wisdom without recourse to any organised body of jurisprudence.

After the period of the Khilafate Rashida, Islamic political authority separated from the legal authority and could not play such an effective role; during the next 150 years, however, many Muslim scholars arose to answer the growing needs of Muslims. They gave definite shape to the principles and concepts which were already being used in determining the Shari’ah, and also dealt with the ever more complex situations being faced by the Muslim society. It was during this period that great jurists like Ja’fer Sadiq (d. 148/765), Abu Hanifa (d. 150/767), Malik (d. 179/795), Shafi’i (d.204/819), and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.273/886) appeared. Each developed a circle of followers; although there were still no organised schools of law and jurisprudence-ordinary Muslims referring their problems to any scholar they could find. This is how a particular scholar came to be followed more in a particular region. By 350 AH the principles laid down by these great scholars had developed into well-defined schools of thought and had begun to command the exclusive allegiance of scholars. Over the next 300 years ordinary Muslims also came to adhere to a particular school and owe exclusive allegiance to it. This happened, as explained, because they followed the school of law to which the scholar or religious leader they found near and trusted belonged, or in some cases, to which the rulers and judges belonged. Inter-school debates and arguments also developed leading to, as often happens in such situations, a hardening of positions.

The fall of Baghdad, in the middle of the 7th century AH, was a watershed. The instinct for preservation became the foremost consideration in an age of intellectual disintegration and political instability. Although there was merit in this caution – the consensus that had been achieved after such tremendous effort by giants could not be allowed to be undone by pygmies – the unwillingness to think dynamically contributed to the decay and intellectual ossification of the Ummah.

The situation became worse after Muslims fell under the political subjugation of the European powers; they, however, continued to live by the Shari’ah as best they could. But they were no longer masters of their own affairs as an alien culture did its best to sever their links with their culture and traditions.

Ijtihad

Much ado has been made about the closure of the gate of ijtihad, the subsequent rigidity that set in and the need for making it wide open today. We have already noted briefly how this happened. ijtihad worked as a dynamic institution in the first five centuries of Islam. The giant intellectual upsurge generated by the study of the Shari’ah has few parallels. Later, due to circumstances like the Mongol invasion and Western domination, the Muslims had to fall back upon formal law to preserve the identity of the Ummah. But even when the door was presumably closed, whenever new situations arose, efforts were made to find solutions. Of course, those solutions did not involve repudiation of the Qur’an, the Sunnah and Ijma-which is perhaps what irks so many.

Ijtihad can be done only by those who have the ability and competence, knowledge and understanding, and, above all, the character and piety to undertake the crucial and sacred task of determining the Shari’ah. Whatever may be said about the strictness and rigidity or otherwise of the qualifications imposed by the orthodox, the only criterion that will prevail in the final analysis is that any new Ijtihad must find acceptance by the Muslim masses, for Islam has not left its revelations in the care of a ‘Church’ .

One thing is certain: Muslims will never accept the Ijtihad of a Harun al-Rashid or a Kemal Ataturk or a Nasser or a Sukarno. An Abu Hanifa, who died in prison and was lashed for his views, or an Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who was persecuted and whipped for his opinions, are more likely to find acceptance by the sheer depth of their faith, steadfastness, fidelity, piety and knowledge. The ethics of the modernists are all too often based on expediency rather than on exemplary practice of faith; no wonder they can make no headway.

What is required today is a generation of Muslim scholars who know the Qur’an and the Sunnah, who fully understand the value of their heritage of fourteen hundred years, who are highly knowledgeable about Western thought and the strengths and weaknesses of modern times, who have the intellectual vigour and originality of thought to tackle problems afresh, and who, above all, possess the moral and spiritual qualities which bear testimony to their submission and fidelity to God and His Prophet. And such scholars must be supported by political rulers who will look to Ijtihad not as an escape route but as the true way to live by the Shari’ah .

Unfortunately, since they regained their political independence after the Second World War, many Muslim societies have been in a state of flux. The people who have inherited the political authority from the foreign rulers, by their training and education, are incapable of leading the Muslim masses on the road of the Shari’ah. Conversely, the masses themselves remain committed to following this path, even though they are spiritually and morally weak. The result has been serious inner conflict and tension .

The non-Muslim minorities within Muslim countries and the Western countries, as well as international observers, will do well not to hinder the sometimes painful process of regaining self- identity, but rather seek to understand it, if they can.

Sects and Schools of Law

Will not various schools of law and sects present formidable problems in the implementation of the Shari’ah? Yes, to some extent. As we know, countless scholars and hundreds of schools of thought blossomed during the first four centuries of Islam, its intellectual Golden Age, but only four have survived among Sunnis and most Shi’as follow Ja’fer Sadiq. The Hanafi school is predominant in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, West Asia and lower Egypt; the Maliki in North and West Africa; the Shafi’i in Indonesia and Malaysia; the Hanbali in Arabia; and the Ja’feri in Iran and parts of Iraq.

Although there have been periods of dogmatism, sectarian violence and rigid attitudes (none, however, comparable in intensity to the religious wars of Europe), the differences between the various schools pale into insignificance when compared with their similarities. Indeed, in essentials they hardly have any differences. Divergencies occur in the way that two courts, attempting to interpret the same law, may arrive at different conclusions. The differences may present problems, but they are not insurmountable. Although it may be difficult to return to the traditions of the earliest times of Islam, a solution is possible by allowing Muslims in each region to implement the Shari’ah through a consensus of persons commanding the trust of the majority; while in personal law each sect should be free to follow its own legal system.

Muslim Minorities

Large Muslim communities now live in non-Muslim countries. Many have even made the West their home. How can they live by the Shari’ah? Obviously they have every intention of continuing to live where they are now and of making their own distinctive contribution to the societies around them. This contribution will be based on the rich culture of Islam, at the heart of which is the Shari’ah. That a vast majority of them, under very difficult circumstances, still try to observe the Shari’ah as best they can is a further testimony to its powerful roots. Unfortunately, Muslims living in non-Muslim countries, especially in the West, face very many difficulties and extreme hardships in their attempts to observe the Shari’ah. The difficulties extend to very small and simple day-to-day matters such as their worship rites and what they may eat, drink and wear. Few real opportunities are available, for example, to offer Friday prayers or to have appropriate diets in such institutions as schools, hospitals and prisons. Indeed, in many cases the majority communities and their governments simply fail to acknowledge the existence of Muslims in their midst.

Efforts to assimilate Muslims into the majority culture at the expense of their observance of Islam will be of no benefit to the culture itself. Muslims who contravene the Shari’ah live with a permanent sense of inner guilt deriving from the awareness that they have betrayed their own consciences. Such people are of little worth to any society. 

Conclusion

Whatever reservations an outsider may have about specific provisions of the Shari’ah, it should nevertheless be possible for him to appreciate the deep foundations, the solid framework and the breathtaking beauty of an institution which gave rise to one of the finest of human civilisations and which to this day continues to sustain and inspire every fifth human being who walks on this globe. For the Shari’ah literally means the path to water-the source of life.

The Method of Islamic Revolution

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Keeping in mind the nature of the Islamic state as explained above; let us consider the means to be employed for bringing it into being. As I have pointed out in the beginning, the ideological, moral and cultural conditions existing in a society bring forth by their inter-play the type of Mate suited to them. It is not possible that a tree may shape as a lemon from its rudimentary stages right up to the state of its completion but when it reaches the stage of fruition, it should all of a sudden begin producing mangoes. An Islamic state does not spring into being all of a sudden like a miracle; it is inevitable for its creation that in the beginning there should grow up a movement having for its basis the view of life, the ideal of existence, the standard of morality, and the character and spirit which is in keeping with the fundamentals of Islam. Its leaders and workers should be men who psychologically and spiritually are fit to accept this particular mould of character. They should then, by ceaseless efforts, create the same mental attitude and moral spirit among the people and on the basis of moral and intellectual tendencies so created they should build up a system of education to train and mould the masses in the Islamic pattern of life. The system would produce Muslim scientists, Muslim philosophers, Muslim historians, Muslim economists and financial experts, Muslim jurists and politicians ; in short, in every branch of knowledge there should be men who have imbibed the Islamic ideology and are imbued deeply with its spirit, men who have the ability to build a complete system of thought and practical life based on Islamic principles and who have strength enough to challenge effectively the intellectual leadership of’ the present Godless thinkers and scientists. With such an intellectual background the movement should take the field against the wrong system of life which is to be found all around us over the wide world. In this struggle its torch-bearers should furnish proof of their moral strength and sincerity by facing adversities, braving dangers and by offering sacrifices in money and lives. They must go through all forms of trials and emerge like pure gold which every one may declare unalloyed after having it tested. During their struggle they should by word and deed exemplify in their conduct and bearing, that particular ideology which, they claim to represent. In everything they say or do, it should be apparent to all who come into contact with them that the ideological state to which these selfless, truthful and God-fearing men of pure character and sacrificing spirit are inviting the world must certainly be a guarantee of social justice and world peace. Through such struggle all those elements in society whose nature is not entirely devoid of truth and justice will be attracted to the movement. The influence of people of low mentality and those who resort to mean tricks will disappear to a palpable degree in the face of a lofty movement like this. A revolution will take place in the mentality of the masses and the collective life of humanity will cry out for a state system like this, so that after a time it will become impossible in the changed society of the day for any other system of life to maintain its existence. Ultimately, as an inevitable and natural consequence, that particular state system will be set up for which the ground has been prepared in this manner; and as soon as this system is set up, office-bearers from the lowest officials right up to ministers and administrators of every rank and status will be available for running it through the out-turn of that particular system of education and training which I have mentioned above.

Gentlemen! This is the natural method for bringing about that revolution and setting up that state system which is called the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic state. You are all men of learning; the history of revolutions in the world is before you. You cannot be unaware of the fact that a particular type of revolution demands the same type of movement, the same type of leaders and workers, and the same type of social consciousness and cultural and moral atmosphere. The French Revolution needed that particular kind of moral and mental basis which leaders like Rousseau, Voltaire and Montesquieu had prepared. The Russian Revolution could only be brought about by the ideas of Marx, the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky and thousands of other Communist workers whose lives were cast in the Communist mould. The National-Socialism of Germany could only take root in the moral, psychological and cultural conditions which had been created by theories of leaders of thought like Hegel, Fichte, Goethe, Nietzsche and many others including Hitler. Exactly in the same way the Islamic Revolution can be brought about only when a mass movement is initiated based on the theories and conceptions of the Qur’an and example and practice of Muhammad (peace be upon him) which would, by a powerful struggle, effect a wholesale change in the intellectual, moral, psychological, and cultural foundations of social life. It passes my understanding how any movement of a nationalistic character with its background of an imperfect educational system like the one prevalent amongst us, which is based on utilitarian morals and pure opportunism, can ever bring about the Islamic Revolution. I do not believe in the kind of miracles in which M. Reynaud, the former Premier of France, believed. [1. Mr. Reynaud, when he was Prime Minister of France during the present war, said in a radio broadcast a few days before the defeat of France: “Only a miracle can now save France and I believe in miracles.”] I believe that the means employed in securing an end inevitably leave their effect on the results produced.

Loose Thinking

There is a misunderstanding amongst us that if the Muslims are- fully organized and develop a solidarity of their own, that would be a panacea for all our ills. It is thought that, in order to reach the desired goal of the Islamic state or of “free Islam in free India”, the only means that need be adopted are that individual comprising the Muslim nation should be knit together into a strong unity and develop a central organization of their own working in obedience to a central leadership. As a matter of fact this is a nationalist program. Any nation, desiring to become powerful, great and strong, will adopt these methods to secure such ends, be it the Hindu nation or the Sikhs, the Germans or the Italians. A leader who is devoted to his nation, who is an adept at varying his plans and strategy to suit the needs of the moment and who is so gifted by nature to have his orders carried out is always fit to lead a nation on the path of ambition, whether he is a Moonje or a Savarkar, a Hitler or a Mussolini. And hundreds and thousands of young men who can move in an organized manner and do the bidding of their leader for their national ideals can always raise the standard of any nation, irrespective of the fact whether they believe in the Japanese. or the Chinese ideals. Now, if Muslims are a nation by racial or historical ties and the end in view is merely to make this nation powerful and great, then the employment of these methods is no doubt necessary. Muslims will have to tread the path of national ambition so familiar to those who know the history of Western nationalism and, as a result thereof, we can secure a national government of our own or at least secure a reasonable share in the government of our country. But let us be clear in our minds, that this is not even the first step on the road to Islamic revolution or the creation of an Islamic state; it is in fact a reverse process which will lead us backward.

The community which is at present known by the name of Muslim is a hybrid mixture of all sorts of people with hardly a common standard of behavior. From the point of view of moral conduct, you will find among Muslims as many varieties of character as are to be found among the non-believers. The proportion of those who are prepared to give false evidence in law-courts is probably as large among Muslims as among non-Muslim communities. Muslims are not a whit behind any other people in bribery, burglary, adultery, lying, and the other moral evils. All the methods which are used by non-Muslims for earning their bread and acquiring wealth are also resorted to by the members of the Muslim community. A Muslim pleader, when he advocates the cause of his clients, knowing full well that the tatter’s case is unjust, is as much devoid of the fear of God as a non-Muslim pleader. A Muslim aristocrat, when he comes across wealth, and a Muslim official, when he holds office, behaves exactly as a non-believer would do. To weld such elements into an organized unity and teach them by political training the duplicity and cleverness of a fox or by military training impart in them the bestial vigor of a wolf, may succeed in securing for them the kingdom of the jungle; but I cannot imagine how the Kingdom of God can come through such people and by such methods. Who will acknowledge their moral superiority 7 Who will regard them with feeling of respect and reverence? Whose heart will be attracted to Islam on coming into contact with such people? With such an uninspiring leadership, can they hope to repeat the historical performance alluded to in the Qur’anic words: “They will join the Divine faith in large numbers?” Where on this broad surface of the earth will their spiritual leadership be recognized? In which part of the globe will the oppressed people welcome them as liberators? The task of “exalting the Word of God” requires a group of workers who are fearful of God and implicitly follow the law of God without consideration of gain or loss, no matter where they come from, whether from this community which is now called Muslim or from outside. A handful of such men are more valuable for this purpose than the huge crowd of which I have just spoken. Islam does not stand in need of a treasure of copper coins which passes for gold mohurs. Before examining the stamp on the coins, Islam necks to find out whether or not pure gold lies beneath. One such coin is more valuable to Islam than a whole heap of spurious gold coins. Then, again, the leadership which God requires for the glory of His name is the type of leadership which should not budge an inch from the principles which Islam seeks to uphold, no matter what the outcome may be, whether all the Muslims perish by hunger or go down before the sword. Leadership which seeks only the advantage of its own community and without adherence to principles is prepared to adopt any plan with which it can secure the worldly salvation of its flock : leadership which is devoid of the fear of God is utterly unfit for the ideal which Islam has fixed for its followers. Then, again, the system of education and training which is based on the well-known maxim that one should move with times can never serve a religion of which final and irrevocable command is that whichever way the wind may blow and whatever path the world may follow, you must at any cost traverse the path which has been marked out for you by God. I assure you that, even if you are presented as a free gift a particular place of territory to rule over, you will not be able, as things go now, to administer it according to Islamic principles even for a single day. You have made no preparations to train or educate people imbued with the moral spirit and possessing the intellectual attitude which is necessary for running an Islamic state, its police, law-courts, army, revenue, and enforcing its financial, educational and foreign policy. The education which is imparted in your colleges and universities can doubtless produce, for an un-Islamic government, the type of men who can serve as secretaries and ministers; but I hope you will not be offended if I say that it cannot produce even peons for the Islamic courts, nor constables for the Islamic police. And this defect is confined not only to your present educational system. Our own old system of education which does not believe in the motion of the earth is equally useless from this point of view and cannot give to the Islamic state a single qazi, finance ministers or director of education. And with such utter lack of preparation to think of the formation of an Islamic state is pure moonshine. Those who talk in this strain are completely ignorant of the true conception of an Islamic state.

Some people, however, argue that once a national state of Muslims is set up, may be of a non-Islamic character, it could be changed gradually into an Islamic state by education, training and moral reformation. But whatever little I have studied of history, politics and sociology, compels me to repudiate this theory as untenable. If such a plan succeeds I shall regard it as a miracle. As I have explained already, the form of organization of a state has deep roots in social life. Until there is a change in the social fabric, no permanent change can be produced by artificial means in any system of government. A powerful ruler like the Omayyad `Umar, the son of `Abdul ‘Aziz, who had at his back a party of men trained by the Companions of the Prophet of Islam, completely failed in his efforts to transform the Omayyad state, because society as a whole was not prepared for reformation. Powerful potentates like Muhammad Tughlaq and Aurangzeb `Alamgir, in spite of their individual piety, could not effect any. change in the system of government. Even a strong monarch like Mamoon-ul-Rasheed, who wanted to make only a superficial change in the form of government, was wholly unsuccessful. And this happened in a period when the power and strength of an ‘individual could accomplish a good deal. I am, therefore, unable to understand how a national state, formed on a democratic basis can easily go through the process of such a basic transformation. In a democratic state, power is wielded by persons who have the approval of the voters. If the voters do not possess the true Islamic mentality and the moral attitude which Islam inculcates; if they are not able to tolerate the Islamic standards of integrity and moral purity, and if they are not prepared to accept the impartial justice and firm principles on, the basis of which an Islamic state is run, then their votes can never return the true type of Muslims to a parliament or assembly. Under these circumstances, power will come into the hands of those individuals only who, though they may be registered as Muslims in the census, are far removed from Islam lad their ideas and modes of behavior. The wielding of power by such people means no more than this: that we shall stand where we are under a non-Muslim government. We may even occupy position worse than that, because a national state bearing the label of Islam will be bolder and more fearless than a non-Muslim state in suppressing an Islamic Revolution. Such a Muslim national state will pass a sentence of death and outlawry for acts which a non-Muslim, state will punish only with imprisonment and all the same the leaders of this state will be called “ghazis” during their life time and saints after their death, because they happen to be Muslims by birth. Hence it is utterly wrong to think that this type of national state can in any sense be helpful in bringing about the Islamic Revolution. The question which confronts us is that if we have to revolutionize the social life of humanity, even fn a Muslim national state, and if we have to do this without the aid of the state, more probably in tine face of active opposition by the so-called Muslim state, why should we wait for that opposition to take shape instead of starting forthwith on the road of revolution? Why should we foolishly waste our time in expediting the so-called Muslim national state and fritter away our energies in setting it up? We know that it will not only be useless for our purpose but will rather prove an obstacle in our path.

Innovators splitting the Ummah

Imaam ash-Shaatibee (rahimahullaah) said in al-I’tisaam (1/40-45):

‘And Ibn Wahb said: “I heard Maalik saying: There is no verse in the Book of Allaah that is harder upon those in disagreement amongst the People of Desires than this verse:

On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will become black; as for those whose faces will become black (to them will be said): “Did you reject Faith after accepting it? Then taste the torment (in Hell) for rejecting Faith.” [Aali Imraan 3:106]

Maalik said: “And which words are more clearer than these?’ And I saw him explaining these verses in reference to the People of Desires.”

Ibn al-Qaasim reported this and added: “Maalik said to me: This verse is about the people of the qiblah [i.e. Muslims].” And what Imaam Maalik has said about this verse has been narrated from more than one person as has preceded such as al-Hasan.

From Qataadah, that he said regarding the saying of Allaah:

And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them [Aali Imraan 3:105]

“Meaning: The People of Innovation.”

And from Ibn Abbaas, that he said regarding the saying of Allaah:

On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will become black [Aali Imraan 3:106]

“The faces of Ahl us-Sunnah will become white and the faces of Ahl ul-Bid’ah will become black.”

And also amongst the verses [that are related to the censure of innovation] is His saying:

“And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqûn” [Al-An’aam 6:153]

The Siraat ul-Mustaqeem’ (Straight Path) is the path to which Allaah has called and that is the Sunnah. And Subul (other paths) are the paths of the people of disagreement who turn away from the Straight Path, and they are the People of Innovation. And the intent here is not the paths of disobedience’ because no one makes disobedience a path that he continuously treads upon – in imitation of and resemblance to the legislation, but rather this description is specifically for the invented innovations.

And what Ismaa’eel has narrated from Sulaimaan bin Harb gives evidence to this: “Hammaad bin Zaid narrated to us from Aasim bin Bahdalah from Abu Waa’il from Abdullaah [Ibn Abbaas] who said: One Day the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) drew for us a long, straight line’ and then Sulaimaan drew for us a long, straight line, and then he drew lines to its right and to its left and then said: This is the Path of Allaah. Then he drew lines to its right and to its left and said: These are different paths, upon each of these ways is a devil calling to it’, and then he recited the verse:

“And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths’” [Al-An’aam 6:153]

meaning these paths

“‘for they will separate you away from His Path” Al-An’aam 6:153]”

Bikr bin Alaa said: “He meant the devils amongst men and these are the innovations and Allaah knows best.

And the hadeeth has been reported in many ways.

And Umar bin Salamah al-Hamdaanee said: “We were sitting in the circle of Ibn Mas’ood in the mosque, which had been plain land after it had been covered with gravel. Ubaidullaah bin Umar ibn al-Khattaab, who had just returned from an expedition, said to him: What is the straight path O Abu Abdur-Rahmaan?’ He replied: By the Lord of the Ka’bah, it is that which your father was firmly established upon until he entered Paradise’ and then he swore firmly upon that three times, Then he drew a line in the ground with his hand and also drew lines to either side of it and said: Your Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) left you upon this end and its other end is in Paradise. So whoever remains steadily upon it will enter Paradise and whoever takes any of these lines will be destroyed.”

And in another narration: “O Abu Abdur-Rahmaan, what is the straight path?” He said: “The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) left us upon the nearest end of the line and its other end is in Paradise. And to its left and right are roads in which there are men who invite those who pass by them, saying: Come this way! Come this way!” So whoever is taken by them to those paths will end up in Hellfire and whoever remains steadfast upon the great path will end up, through it, in Paradise.” The Ibn Mas’ood recited:

“And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqûn” [Al-An’aam 6:153]

And Mujaahid said about the saying of Allaah:

‘and follow not (other) paths [Al-An’aam 6:153]

“The innovations and doubts.”

And Abdur-Rahmaan bin Mahdee said: “Maalik bin Anas had been asked about the Sunnah and he said: It is whatever has no other name for it except the Sunnah’ and he recited:

“And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. [Al-An’aam 6:153]

Bikr bin Alaa said: “He means – if Allaah wills – the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood that the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) drew a line…” and he mentioned the hadeeth.

And this explanation (tafseer) shows that the verse includes all the different paths of innovation and does not specify one innovation over others.

And also amongst the verses [that are related to the censure of innovation] is the saying of Allaah the Exalted:

And upon Allâh is the responsibility to explain the Straight Path but there are ways that turn aside. And had He willed, He would have guided you all (mankind). [An-Nahl 16:9]

The explained path is the Path of Truth and that which is other than it, turns away from the truth – and these are the paths of innovations and misguidance – may Allaah protect us, by His Excellence, from travelling upon them. It is sufficient for whatever turns away [from the Truth] that it is warned against and the verse contains a warning and a prohibition [of taking other paths that turn deviate from the Truth].

And Ibn Waddaah mentioned, saying: “‘Aasim bin Bahdalah was questioned: O Abu Bakr, have you considered the saying of Allaah, the Exalted:

And upon Allâh is the responsibility to explain the Straight Path but there are ways that turn aside. And had He willed, He would have guided you all (mankind). [An-Nahl 16:9]

He replied: Abu Waa’il informed us, from Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood saying: “Abdullaah bin Mas’ood drew a straight line and drew lines to its right and to its left and then said: The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) drew just like this, and he said about the straight line: This is the path of Allaah’ and about the lines to its right and left he said: These are different ways, upon each of these ways is a devil calling to it.” Allaah the Exalted said:

“And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it’ [Al-An’aam 6:153]

to the end of the verse.

From at-Tustaree, that he said: “Explanation of the path (qasd us-sabeel) – that is the path of the Sunnah,  ways that turn aside’ (wa minhaa jaa’ir) – meaning to the Hellfire and they are the sects and innovations.”

And from Mujaahid, that he said: “”Explanation of the path (qasd us-sabeel) – meaning the one who is justly balanced between exaggeration and negligence and this shows that the one who turns aside is one who commits excesses or is negligent, and both of them are amongst the descriptions of the innovations.”

And from Alee (radiallaahu anhu), that he used to read it: “Wa minkum jaa’ir’” (And amongst you is one that turns aside). They said: He means by that this Ummah.’

So it is as if this verse along with the one before it have come with the same meaning.

And amongst the verses is the saying of Allaah:

Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (all kinds of religious sects), you (O Muhammad) have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allâh, Who then will tell them what they used to do. [Al-An’aam 6:159]

The explanation (tafseer) of this verse has come in the hadeeth from Aa’ishah (radiallaahu anhaa) who said: “The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: O Aa’ishah! Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects. Who are they?’ So I said: Allaah and His Messenger know best.’ He replied: They are the People of Desires, the People of Innovations and the People of Misguidance from this Ummah. O Aaishah! For every sin there is repentance, except [for] the People of Desires and Innovations, there is no repentance from them and I am free and innocent of them and they of me.”

Ibn Atiyyah said: “This verse includes the People of Desires, Innovations and Deviation in the minor matters and others besides them from amongst the people engrossed in argumentation, and disputation with theological rhetoric (kalaam). All of this is directed towards the mistakes and the arena of evil beliefs.”

And he means – and Allaah knows best – by amongst the people engrossed in argumentation, and disputation in the minor matters’ what Abu Umar bin Abdul-Barr in the chapter on Censure of Ra’I (Opinion)’ in his book Kitaab ul-Ilm’ and we shall mention it [in due course] with the power of Allaah.

And Ibn Battaal quotes in his Sharh ul-Bukhaaree’ from Abu Haneefah that he said: “I met Ataa ibn Rabaah in Makkah and I asked him about something and he said: From which place are you?’ I said: Kufah’. He said: Are you from the town [whose inhabitants] split their religion and break into sects?’ I said: Yes’. He said: From which group are you?’ I said: From those who do not revile and abuse the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), who have faith in Qadr and who do not declare anyone to be a disbeliever on account a sin [that he committed].’ So Ataa said: You know [the truth] so hold fast.”

And from al-Hasan who said: “Uthmaan bin Affaan (radiallaahu anhu) came out one day and addressed us with a sermon but the people interrupted his speech and began to throw pebbles at each other until — He said: And we heard a voice from one of the rooms of the Wives of Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and it was said: This is the voice of the Mother of the Believers.’ He said: So I heard it and she was saying: Verily, your Prophet is free and innocent from the one who divides his religion and breaks up into a sect’ and she recited:

Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (all kinds of religious sects), you (O Muhammad) have no concern in them in the least [Al-An’aam 6:159]

Al-Qaadee Ismaa’eel said: “I consider that he means by his saying Mother of the Believers’ to be Umm Salamah, that has been mentioned in some of the hadeeth and Aai’shah at that time was performing Hajj.”

And from Abu Hurairah: “That this verse was revealed in connection with this Ummah.” And from Abu Umaamah: “They are the Khawaarij.”

Al-Qaadee said: The apparent meaning (dhaahir) of the Qur’aan indicates that everyone who introduces an innovation into the religion such as the Khawaarij and others besides them – that they come under this verse, because when they innovate, they argue and dispute [over this innovation], cause divisions and break off into sects.”

And amongst such verses is the saying of the Exalted:

And be not of Al­Mushrikûn (the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, idolaters, etc). Of those who split up their religion (i.e. the true Islâmic Monotheism), and became sects, [i.e. they invented new things in the religion (Bid’ah), and followed their vain desires], each sect rejoicing in that which is with it. [Rum 30:31-32]

It is also read as faaraqoo’ [instead of farraqoo’ – thereby giving it the meaning depart from and sever oneself from the religion’]. Abu Hurairah explained it with reference to the Khawaarij and Abu Umaamah has reported this in marfoo’ form.

It has also been said: They are the People of Desires and Innovations’. They said: Aa’ishah (radiallaahu anhaa) reported it from the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)’ and that is because this is the nature of the one who innovates – as Ismaa’eel al-Qaadee has said and as has preceded in the other verses.

And amongst such verses is the saying of the Exalted:

Say: “He has power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another. [Al-An’aam 6:65]

From Ibn Abbaas that: “Covering you with confusion in party strife, this is the divergent and varying desires (i.e. innovations).”

And built upon His saying:

‘and make you to taste the violence of one another. [Al-An’aam 6:65]

is the pronunciation of takfeer [declaring someone a disbeliever] of some of you over others so that they fight each other, as occurred with the Khawaarij when they revolted against the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. And it has been said that the meaning of:

..or to cover you with confusion in party strife [Al-An’aam 6:65]

is “Covering with differences/disunity”

Mujaahid and Abu al-Aaliyah said: “This verse is about the Ummah of Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).” Abu al-Aaliyah said: “They are four in number, two of them appeared twenty-five years after the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), so they were covered with the confusion of party-strife and some of them were made to taste the violence of others – and two remained and they will occur, for sure: Being swallowed from underneath you (i.e. by the earth) and being transformed/disfigured from above you.”

And this, all of it, is very clear in that the differences and desires (i.e. innovations) are disliked and not liked and are blameworthy and not praiseworthy.

And from what has been reported from Mujaahid about the saying of Allaah:

But they will not cease to disagree – except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy (the follower of truth – Islâmic Monotheism) and for that did He create them. [Hud 11:118-119]

He said about those who disagree’: “They are the People of Falsehood” and about except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy’: The People of Truth, there is no difference amongst them.”

And it has been reported from Mutarrif bin ash-Shakheer that he said: “If the desires had been but one (i.e. united) then a person would have said: Perhaps the truth is in it. But when the desires split and separate [and become many], every possessor of intelligence knows that the truth never splits [contradicting itself].”

From Ikrimah “‘But they will not cease to disagree’, meaning in the desires [i.e. their innovations] and except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy’, they are the Ahl us-Sunnah.”

And Abu Bakr bin Thaabit al-Khateeb has quoted from Mansoor bin Abdur-Rahmaan that he said: “We were sitting with al-Hasan and there was a man behind me standing and he began to order me to ask him about the saying of Allaah:

But they will not cease to disagree – except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy [Hud 11:118-119]

So he said: “Yes, they will not cease to disagree’ upon their different ways except on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy’ so whomever He bestows His Mercy upon does not disagree.[i.e. he is not in disagreement as to the truth, he is clear about it.]

And Ibn Wahb reports from Umar bin Abdul Azeez and Maalik bin Anas: “The People of Mercy do not differ.” And this verse has a beautiful explanation which will come later – if Allaah wills.”

Benefits and virtues of Fajr prayer

fajr-salah-rewards

[Fajr | Zuhr | Asr | Maghrib | Isha]

1. Quran

وَالْفَجْرِ

By the dawn. (Al-Fajr 89:1)

وَالصُّبْحِ إِذَا تَنَفَّسَ

And by the dawn when it breathes. (At-Takwir 81:18)

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ ۚ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ

And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember. (Hud 11:114)

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

And remember your Lord within yourself in humility and in fear without being apparent in speech – in the mornings and the evenings. And do not be among the heedless. (Al-A’raf 7:205)

 ۖ وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ

And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. (Al-Kahf 18:28)

فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ

So be patient, [O Muhammad], over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting. (Qaf 50:39)

فَاصْبِرْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ

So be patient, [O Muhammad]. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth. And ask forgiveness for your sin and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord in the evening and the morning. (Ghafir 40:55)

وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

And [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. (Al-Isra 17:78)

وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا

And exalt Him morning and afternoon. (Al-Ahzab 33:42)

فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ حِينَ تُمْسُونَ وَحِينَ تُصْبِحُونَ

So exalted is Allah when you reach the evening and when you reach the morning. (Ar-Rum 30:17)

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحْ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ

And remember your Lord much and exalt [Him with praise] in the evening and the morning. (Aal Imran 3:41)

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَن تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ

In houses (mosques), which Allah has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honoured), in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings. (An-Nur 24:36)

 ۖ  وَلَا تَطْرُدِ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ

And do not send away those who call upon their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His countenance. (Al-An’am 6:52)

وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا

And mention the name of your Lord [in prayer] morning and evening. (Ad-Dahr 76:25)

۩ وَلِلَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَظِلَالُهُم بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ

And to Allah prostrates whoever is within the heavens and the earth, willingly or by compulsion, and their shadows [as well] in the mornings and the afternoons. (Ar-R’ad 13:15)

فَخَرَجَ عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ مِنَ الْمِحْرَابِ فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَيْهِمْ أَن سَبِّحُوا بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا

So he came out to his people from the prayer chamber and signaled to them to exalt [ Allah ] in the morning and afternoon. (Maryam 19:11)

إِنَّا سَخَّرْنَا الْجِبَالَ مَعَهُ يُسَبِّحْنَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِشْرَاقِ

With him We had subjected the mountains that they join him in celebrating Allah’s glory, evening and morning (Sad 38:18)

لِّتُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُ وَتُسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا

That you [people] may believe in Allah and His Messenger and honor him and respect the Prophet and exalt Allah morning and afternoon. (Al-Fath 48:9)

فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا ۖ وَمِنْ آنَاءِ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْ وَأَطْرَافَ النَّهَارِ لَعَلَّكَ تَرْضَىٰ

So be patient over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied. (Taha 20:130)

2. Hadith

2.1 It was narrated that Salman (رضي الله عنه) said : “I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) saying:

مَنْ غَدَا إِلَى صَلاَةِ الصُّبْحِ غَدَا بِرَايَةِ الإِيمَانِ وَمَنْ غَدَا إِلَى السُّوقِ غَدَا بِرَايَةِ إِبْلِيسَ

‘Whoever goes to the Morning prayer first thing in the morning, he goes out with the banner of faith but whoever goes out to the marketplace first thing in the morning, he goes out under the banner of Iblis (Satan)’.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book 12, Hadith 2234)

2.2 Narrated `Aisha (رضي الله عنها):

لَمْ يَكُنِ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى شَىْءٍ مِنَ النَّوَافِلِ أَشَدَّ مِنْهُ تَعَاهُدًا عَلَى رَكْعَتَىِ الْفَجْرِ

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was never more regular and particular in offering any Nawafil than the two rak`at (Sunna) of the Fajr prayer.

(Sahih al-Bukhari 1163)

2.3 Narrated Aisha (رضي الله عنها):

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ لاَ يَدَعُ أَرْبَعًا قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ الْغَدَاةِ‏

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) never missed four rak`at before the Zuhr prayer and two rak`at before the Fajr prayer.

(Sahih al-Bukhari 1182)

2.4 It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) that: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) recited:

وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

“And recite the Qur’an during the Fajr. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an during Fajr is ever witnessed.”

He said:

تَشْهَدُهُ مَلاَئِكَةُ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ

“It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the day.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah 670)

2.5 Aishah (رضي الله عنها) narrated that : Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

رَكْعَتَا الْفَجْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا

“The two Rak’ah of Fajr are better than the world and what is in it.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 416)

2.6 It was narrated from Samurah bin Jundab (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

مَنْ صَلَّى الصُّبْحَ فَهُوَ فِي ذِمَّةِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

“Whoever offers the morning prayer, he is under the protection of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah 3946)

2.7 It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لأُمَّتِي فِي بُكُورِهَا يَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ

“O Allah, bless my nation early in the morning of Thursday. “

(Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book 12, Hadith 2237)

2.8 It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

غَدْوَةٌ أَوْ رَوْحَةٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا

“Going out in the morning in the cause of Allah, or in the evening, is more virtuous than the world and what is in it.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 4, Book 24, Hadith 2755)

2.9 It was narrated that Amr bin Huraith (رضي الله عنه) said:

سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقْرَأُ فِي الْفَجْرِ ‏﴿‏ إِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ ﴾ ‏

“I heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) reciting: ‘When the sun is wound round.’ (Surah At-Takwir 81) in Fajr. “

(Sunan an-Nasa’i 951)

2.10 Rafi bin Khadlj (رضي الله عنه)  said: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) saying:

أَسْفِرُوا بِالْفَجْرِ فَإِنَّهُ أَعْظَمُ لِلأَجْرِ

‘Perform Fajr at AI-Isfar (when the dawn breaks and lights before sunrise), for indeed its reward is greater’.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 154)

2.11 It was narrated that ‘Aishah (رضي الله عنها) said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to perform two Rak’ah before Fajr, and he used to say:

﴾ نِعْمَ السُّورَتَانِ هُمَا يُقْرَأُ بِهِمَا فِي رَكْعَتَىِ الْفَجْرِ ‏﴿ قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ ‏﴾‏ وَ ‏﴿ قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ

‘The best two Surah to recite in the two Rak’ah of Fajr are: “Say: Allah is One” [Al-Ikhlas (112)] and “Say: O you disbelievers.” [Al-Kafirun (109)]

(Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 1150)

2.12 It was narrated that Bilal (رضي الله عنه) came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to call him for the Fajr prayer, and was told: “He is sleeping.” He said:

الصَّلاَةُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ النَّوْمِ الصَّلاَةُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ النَّوْمِ

“The prayer is better than sleep, the prayer is better than sleep.”

These words were approved of in the Adhan for the Fajr, and that is how it remained.

(Sunan Ibn Majah 716)

2.14 Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) reported: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

من غدا إلى المسجد أو راح، أعد الله له في الجنة نزلا كلما غدا أو راح

“He who goes to the mosque in the morning or in the evening, Allah prepares for him a place in Jannah whenever he goes to the mosque in the morning and returns from it in the evening.”

(Riyad as-Salihin 1053)

2.15 Umm Habibah (رضي الله عنها) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

مَنْ صَلَّى فِي يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ ثِنْتَىْ عَشْرَةَ رَكْعَةً بُنِيَ لَهُ بَيْتٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ أَرْبَعًا قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَهَا وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْمَغْرِبِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْعِشَاءِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ صَلاَةِ الْفَجْرِ

“Whoever prays twelve Rak’ah in a day and night, a house will be built from him in Paradise: Four Rak’ah before Zuhr, two Rak’ah after it, two Rak’ah after Maghrib, two Rak’ah after Isha, and two Rak’ah before Fajr in the morning Salat.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 415)

2.16 Narrated Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه): The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

مَنْ غَدَا إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ وَرَاحَ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُ نُزُلَهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ كُلَّمَا غَدَا أَوْ رَاحَ

“Allah will prepare for him who goes to the mosque (every) morning and in the afternoon (for the congregational prayer) an honorable place in Paradise with good hospitality for (what he has done) every morning and afternoon goings.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari 662)

2.17 Ata’ b. Yasar reported, on the authority of Abu Huraira (رضی الله عنهم), the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as saying:

مَنْ غَدَا إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ أَوْ رَاحَ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ نُزُلاً كُلَّمَا غَدَا أَوْ رَاحَ

He who went towards the mosque in the morning or evening, Allah would arrange a feast for him morning or evening in Paradise.

(Sahih Muslim 669)

2.18 It was narrated from Abu Barzah (رضي الله عنه) that

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ كَانَ يَقْرَأُ فِي الْفَجْرِ مَا بَيْنَ السِّتِّينَ إِلَى الْمِائَةِ

The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to recite between sixty and one hundred (Verses) in Fajr prayer.

(Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 818)

2.19 Rafi’ b. Khadij (رضي الله عنه) reported the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as saying:

أَصْبِحُوا بِالصُّبْحِ فَإِنَّهُ أَعْظَمُ لأُجُورِكُمْ

Offer Fajr prayer at dawn, for it is most productive of rewards to you or most productive of reward.

(Sunan Abi Dawud 424)

2.20 It was narrated from Mahmud bin Labid (رضي الله عنه), from some men among his people who were of the Ansar, that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

مَا أَسْفَرْتُمْ بِالْفَجْرِ فَإِنَّهُ أَعْظَمُ بِالأَجْرِ

“The more you delay Fajr, the greater the reward.”

(Sunan an-Nasa’i Vol. 1, Book 6, Hadith 550)

2.21 ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (رضي الله عنه) reported that a mention was made of a man who slept the whole night till morning. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) remarked:

‏ ذَاكَ رَجُلٌ بَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ فِي أُذُنَيْهِ

That is a man in whose ears (or in whose ear) the devil urinated.

(Sahih Muslim 774)

2.22 Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه) reports that Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

“Do not leave the two rak’ahs of Fajr, even if you were being attacked by cavalry.”

(Ahmad and Al-Bahaiqi)

2.23 Anas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) narrated that : the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

مَنْ صَلَّى الْغَدَاةَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ ثُمَّ قَعَدَ يَذْكُرُ اللَّهَ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ ثُمَّ صَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ كَانَتْ لَهُ كَأَجْرِ حَجَّةٍ وَعُمْرَةٍ ‏‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-‏ تَامَّةٍ تَامَّةٍ تَامَّةٍ

“Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun has risen, then he prays two Rak’ah, then for him is the reward like that of a Hajj and Umrah.” He said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Complete, complete, complete’.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 586)

2.26 ‘Umara bin Ruwaiba is reported to have said on the authority of his father (رضی الله عنهم): I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) saying:

لَنْ يَلِجَ النَّارَ أَحَدٌ صَلَّى قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا

He who observes prayer before the rising of the sun and its setting, i.e. the dawn prayer and the afternoon prayer, would not enter the (Hell) fire.

(Sahih Muslim 634 a)

2.27 It was narrated that Hafsah (رضي الله عنها) said:

أَرْبَعٌ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَدَعُهُنَّ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم صِيَامَ عَاشُورَاءَ وَالْعَشْرَ وَثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ كُلِّ شَهْرٍ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ الْغَدَاةِ

“There are four things which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) never gave up: Fasting ‘Ashura’, (fasting during) the ten days, (fasting) three days of each month, and praying two Rak’ahs before Al-Ghadah (Fajr).”

(Sunan an-Nasa’i 2416)

2.28 It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) said:

أَوْصَانِي خَلِيلِي صلى الله عليه وسلم بِثَلاَثٍ النَّوْمِ عَلَى وِتْرٍ وَصِيَامِ ثَلاَثَةِ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ كُلِّ شَهْرٍ وَرَكْعَتَىِ الضُّحَ

“My dearest friend (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) advised me (to do) three things: ‘To sleep after praying Witr, to fast three days each month, and to pray two rak’ahs of Fajr’.”

(Sunan an-Nasa’i 1677)

2.29 Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه) reported: Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

من صلى البردين دخل الجنة

“He who observes the Fajr and ‘Asr (prayers) will enter Jannah.”

(Riyad as-Salihin Book 1, Hadith 132)

2.30 It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

يَعْقِدُ الشَّيْطَانُ عَلَى قَافِيَةِ رَأْسِ أَحَدِكُمْ بِاللَّيْلِ بِحَبْلٍ فِيهِ ثَلاَثُ عُقَدٍ فَإِنِ اسْتَيْقَظَ فَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ انْحَلَّتْ عُقْدَةٌ فَإِذَا قَامَ فَتَوَضَّأَ انْحَلَّتْ عُقْدَةٌ فَإِذَا قَامَ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ انْحَلَّتْ عُقَدُهُ كُلُّهَا فَيُصْبِحُ نَشِيطًا طَيِّبَ النَّفْسِ قَدْ أَصَابَ خَيْرًا وَإِنْ لَمْ يَفْعَلْ أَصْبَحَ كَسِلاً خَبِيثَ النَّفْسِ لَمْ يُصِبْ خَيْرًا

‘At night Satan ties a rope in which there are three knots to the nape of the neck of anyone of you. If he wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is untied. If he performs ablution, another knot is untied, and if he gets up to pray, all the knots are untied, so he wakes up energetic and cheerful, he has already earned something good. But if he does not do that, he wakes up bad-tempered, having earned nothing good.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 1329)

2.31 Jarir b. Abdullah (رضي الله عنه) is reported to have said:

كُنَّا جُلُوسًا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذْ نَظَرَ إِلَى الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَمَا إِنَّكُمْ سَتَرَوْنَ رَبَّكُمْ كَمَا تَرَوْنَ هَذَا الْقَمَرَ لاَ تُضَامُّونَ فِي رُؤْيَتِهِ فَإِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَنْ لاَ تُغْلَبُوا عَلَى صَلاَةٍ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ يَعْنِي الْعَصْرَ وَالْفَجْرَ

We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that he looked at the full moon and observed: You shall see your Lord as you are seeing this moon, and you will not be harmed by seeing Him. So if you can, do not let yourselves be overpowered in case of prayer observed before the rising of the sun and its setting, i.e. the ‘Asr prayer and the morning prayer.

Jarir (رضي الله عنه) then recited:

﴾ ‏ ﴿‏ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا

“Celebrate the praise of thy Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting” (Taha 20:130).

(Sahih Muslim 633 a)

2.32 Narrated Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه): Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

يَتَعَاقَبُونَ فِيكُمْ مَلاَئِكَةٌ بِاللَّيْلِ وَمَلاَئِكَةٌ بِالنَّهَارِ، وَيَجْتَمِعُونَ فِي صَلاَةِ الْفَجْرِ وَصَلاَةِ الْعَصْرِ، ثُمَّ يَعْرُجُ الَّذِينَ بَاتُوا فِيكُمْ، فَيَسْأَلُهُمْ وَهْوَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِمْ كَيْفَ تَرَكْتُمْ عِبَادِي فَيَقُولُونَ تَرَكْنَاهُمْ وَهُمْ يُصَلُّونَ، وَأَتَيْنَاهُمْ وَهُمْ يُصَلُّونَ

“Angels come to you in succession by night and day and all of them get together at the time of the Fajr and `Asr prayers. Those who have passed the night with you (or stayed with you) ascend (to the Heaven) and Allah asks them, though He knows everything about you, well, “In what state did you leave my slaves?” The angels reply: “When we left them they were praying and when we reached them, they were praying.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari 555)

2.33 Narrated Fudalah (رضي الله عنه):

عَلَّمَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَكَانَ فِيمَا عَلَّمَنِي ‏”‏ وَحَافِظْ عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ إِنَّ هَذِهِ سَاعَاتٌ لِي فِيهَا أَشْغَالٌ فَمُرْنِي بِأَمْرٍ جَامِعٍ إِذَا أَنَا فَعَلْتُهُ أَجْزَأَ عَنِّي فَقَالَ ‏”‏ حَافِظْ عَلَى الْعَصْرَيْنِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَمَا كَانَتْ مِنْ لُغَتِنَا فَقُلْتُ وَمَا الْعَصْرَانِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ صَلاَةٌ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَصَلاَةٌ قَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا

The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) taught me and what he taught me is this: Observe the five prayers regularly. He said: I told (him): I have many works at these times; so give me a comprehensive advice which, if I follow, should be enough for me. He said: Observe the two afternoon prayers (Al-Asrayn). But the term Al-Asrayn (two afternoon prayers) was not used in our language. Hence I said: What is Al-Asrayn? He said: A prayer before the sunrise and a prayer before the sunset (i.e. the dawn and the afternoon prayers).

(Sunan Abi Dawud 428)

2.34 Narrated Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه): Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

أَثْقَلُ اَلصَّلَاةِ عَلَى اَلْمُنَافِقِينَ: صَلَاةُ اَلْعِشَاءِ, وَصَلَاةُ اَلْفَجْرِ, وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا فِيهِمَا لَأَتَوْهُمَا وَلَوْ حَبْوًا

“The most burdensome prayers for hypocrites are the ‘Isha’ and the Fajr prayers and if they knew what (rewards) these (prayers) contain, they would have come to them (in the mosques), even though they had to crawl on their knees.”

(Bulugh al-Maram Book 2, Hadith 306)

2.35 Uthman bin Affan (رضي الله عنه) narrated that : Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

مَنْ شَهِدَ الْعِشَاءَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ كَانَ لَهُ قِيَامُ نِصْفِ لَيْلَةٍ وَمَنْ صَلَّى الْعِشَاءَ وَالْفَجْرَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ كَانَ لَهُ كَقِيَامِ لَيْلَةٍ

“Whoever attends Isha (prayer) in congregation, then he has (the reward as if he had) stood half of the night. And whoever prays Isha and Fajr in congregation, then he has (the reward as if he had) spend the entire night standing (in prayer).”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 221)

2.37 Jundub bin Sufyan (رضي الله عنه) reported: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

من صلى الصبح فهو في ذمة الله فانظر يابن آدم، لا يطلبنك الله من ذمته بشيء

“He who offers the dawn (Fajr) prayers will come under the Protection of Allah. O son of Adam! Beware, lest Allah should call you to account in any respect from (for withdrawing) His Protection.”

(Riyad as-Salihin 1049)

2.38 It was narrated from Abu Salam (رضي الله عنه), that : the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: “There is no Muslim – or no person, or slave (of Allah) – who says, in the morning and evening:

رَضِيتُ بِاللَّهِ رَبًّا وَبِالإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيًّا

‘I am content with Allah as my Lord, Islam as my religion and Muhammad as my Prophet’,

but he will have a promise from Allah to make him pleased on the Day of Resurrection.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah 3870)

2.39 It was narrated from Abu Saeed (رضي الله عنه) that : the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: “Whoever says, following the morning prayer:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ بِيَدِهِ الْخَيْرُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, with no partner or associate. His is the dominion, all praise is to Him, in His Hand is all goodness, and He is Able to do all things’,

it will be as if he freed slave from among the sons of Isma’il.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah 3799)

2.40 It was narrated from `Abdullah bin `Abbas (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

مَنْ عَالَ ثَلاَثَةً مِنَ الأَيْتَامِ كَانَ كَمَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَهُ وَصَامَ نَهَارَهُ وَغَدَا وَرَاحَ شَاهِرًا سَيْفَهُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَكُنْتُ أَنَا وَهُوَ فِي الْجَنَّةِ أَخَوَيْنِ كَهَاتَيْنِ أُخْتَانِ ‏‏.‏ وَأَلْصَقَ إِصْبَعَيْهِ السَّبَّابَةَ وَالْوُسْطَى

“Whoever raises three orphans, is like the one who spends his nights in prayer and fasts during the day, and goes out morning and evening drawing his sword in the cause of Allah. In Paradise, he and I will be brothers like these two sisters. And he held up his forefinger and middle finger together.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah 3680)

2.41 Sakhr bin Wada’ah Al-Ghamidi (رضي الله عنه) reported: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

اللهم بارك لأمتي في بكورها‏

“O Allah! Bless my people in the early part of the day (morning).”

Whenever he dispatched a detachment or an army-unit, he would dispatch it at the beginning of the day (soon after dawn).

The narrator, Sakhr (رضي الله عنه) was a merchant, and he used to send off his merchandise at the beginning of the day. So his trade flourished and he made a good fortune.

(Riyad as-Salihin 957)

2.42 Narrated Abu Hurairah and Ibn ‘Abbas (رضی الله عنهم): That the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

غَدْوَةٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَوْ رَوْحَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا

“Going out in the morning in the cause of Allah, or in the afternoon, is better than the world and what is in it.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1649)

2.43 Narrated Abu Bakr bin Abi Musa: My father (رضی الله عنهم) said, “Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

مَنْ صَلَّى الْبَرْدَيْنِ دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ

‘Whoever prays the two cool prayers (`Asr and Fajr) will go to Paradise.’ “

(Sahih al-Bukhari 574)

2.44 Narrated Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه): Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

لَوْ يَعْلَمُ النَّاسُ مَا فِي النِّدَاءِ وَالصَّفِّ الأَوَّلِ، ثُمَّ لَمْ يَجِدُوا إِلاَّ أَنْ يَسْتَهِمُوا عَلَيْهِ لاَسْتَهَمُوا، وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا فِي التَّهْجِيرِ لاَسْتَبَقُوا إِلَيْهِ، وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا فِي الْعَتَمَةِ وَالصُّبْحِ لأَتَوْهُمَا وَلَوْ حَبْوًا

“If the people knew the reward for pronouncing the Adhan and for standing in the first row (in congregational prayers) and found no other way to get that except by drawing lots they would draw lots, and if they knew the reward of the Zuhr prayer (in the early moments of its stated time) they would race for it (go early) and if they knew the reward of `Isha’ and Fajr (morning) prayers in congregation, they would come to offer them even if they had to crawl.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari 615)

2.45 Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) narrated that: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

مَنْ قَالَ حِينَ يُصْبِحُ وَحِينَ يُمْسِي سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ مِائَةَ مَرَّةٍ لَمْ يَأْتِ أَحَدٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِأَفْضَلَ مِمَّا جَاءَ بِهِ إِلاَّ أَحَدٌ قَالَ مِثْلَ مَا قَالَ أَوْ زَادَ عَلَيْهِ

“Whoever says in the morning and in the evening ‘Glory is to Allah and with His Praise’ a hundred times, none shall bring better than him on the Day of Judgment except one who did the same as him, or increased upon it.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3469)

2.46 Az-Zubair bin `Awwam (رضي الله عنه)  narrated: that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

مَا مِنْ صَبَاحٍ يُصْبِحُ الْعِبَادُ فِيهِ إِلاَّ وَمُنَادٍ يُنَادِي سَبِّحُوا الْمَلِكَ الْقُدُّوسَ

“There is not a morning that the slave of Allah reached except that a caller calls out: ‘Glorify the King, the Free of Deficiencies’. ”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3569)

2.47 ‘Aishah (رضي الله عنه) reported:

م يكن النبي، صلى الله عليه وسلم على شيء من النوافل أشد تعاهدًا منه على ركعتي الفجر‏

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) did not attach more importance to any Nawafil prayer than the two Rak’ah of prayer before dawn (Fajr) prayer.

(Riyad as-Salihin 1101)

2.48 Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) reported: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to recite during the two Rak’ah of Fajr prayer:

قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

“Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Al-Baqarah 2:136)

which is in Surat Al-Baqarah in the first Rak’ah and the Verse:

فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَىٰ مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

“But when Jesus felt [persistence in] disbelief from them, he said, “Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah ?” The disciples said,” We are supporters for Allah . We have believed in Allah and testify that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].” (Aal Imran 3:52)

in the second Rak’ah. According to another narration, he (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) recited from Surat Aal-‘Imran the Verses:

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah .” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].” (Aal Imran 3:64).

(Riyad as-Salihin 1107)

2.49 Narrated ‘Aishah (رضي الله عنها):

انَ اَلنَّبِيُّ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-إِذَا صَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْ اَلْفَجْرِ اِضْطَجَعَ عَلَى شِقِّهِ اَلْأَيْمَنِ

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to lie down on his right side, after praying the two (voluntary) Rak’at of the Fajr (prayer).

(Bulugh al-Maram Book 2, Hadith 269)

2.50 Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) reported: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

‏إذا صلى أحدكم ركعتي الفجر، فليضطجع على يمينه

“When anyone of you has performed two of Sunnah before the Fajr prayer, he should lie down on his right side.”

(Riyad as-Salihin 1112)

2.51 Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

‏ إِذَا أَصْبَحَ ابْنُ آدَمَ فَإِنَّ الأَعْضَاءَ كُلَّهَا تُكَفِّرُ اللِّسَانَ فَتَقُولُ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ فِينَا فَإِنَّمَا نَحْنُ بِكَ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَمْتَ اسْتَقَمْنَا وَإِنِ اعْوَجَجْتَ اعْوَجَجْنَا

“When the son of Adam (عليه السلام) wakes up in the morning, all of his body parts bow to the tongue and say: ‘Fear Allah regarding us, we are only part of you. If you are straight we are straight and if you are crooked we are crooked.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2407)

2.52 Narrated `Abdullah bin Abi Qatada : My father (رضی الله عنهم) said,

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُطَوِّلُ فِي الرَّكْعَةِ الأُولَى مِنْ صَلاَةِ الظُّهْرِ، وَيُقَصِّرُ فِي الثَّانِيَةِ، وَيَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ فِي صَلاَةِ الصُّبْحِ

“The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to prolong the first rak`a of the Zuhr prayer and shorten the second one and used to do the same in the Fajr prayer.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari 779)

2.53 Narrated Anas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) :

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَمُرُّ بِبَابِ فَاطِمَةَ سِتَّةَ أَشْهُرٍ إِذَا خَرَجَ إِلَى صَلاَةِ الْفَجْرِ يَقُولُ ‏”‏ الصَّلاَةَ يَا أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ ‏:‏ ‏﴿‏ إنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ﴾”‏

“For six months, the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) would pass by the door of Fatimah when going to the Fajr prayer saying: ‘As-Salat O People of the house! ﴾Allah only wishes to remove the Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with thorough purification﴿ (Al-Ahzab 33:33)’.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3206)

2.54 Jabir bin Samura (رضي الله عنه) reported:

إِنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَقْرَأُ فِي الْفَجْرِ بِـ ‏﴿‏ ق وَالْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ ‏﴾‏ وَكَانَ صَلاَتُهُ بَعْدُ تَخْفِيفًا

The Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to recite in the morning prayer “Qaf. By the Glorious Quran” (Qaf 50) and his prayer afterward shortened.

(Sahih Muslim 458 a)

2.55 It was narrated that Anas (رضي الله عنه) said:

صَلَّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَوْمَ خَيْبَرَ صَلاَةَ الصُّبْحِ بِغَلَسٍ وَهُوَ قَرِيبٌ مِنْهُمْ فَأَغَارَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَقَالَ ‏ “‏ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ خَرِبَتْ خَيْبَرُ – مَرَّتَيْنِ – إِنَّا إِذَا نَزَلْنَا بِسَاحَةِ قَوْمٍ فَسَاءَ صَبَاحُ الْمُنْذَرِينَ ‏”‏

“The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) prayed Fajr on the day of Khaibar during the time it was still dark, when he was near the enemy. Then he attacked them and said: ‘Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed!’ Twice. ‘Then, when it descends in their courtyard, evil will be the morning for those who had been warned!'” (As-Saffat 37:177)

(Sunan an-Nasa’i Vol. 1, Book 6, Hadith 548)

2.56 Narrated Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه):

 كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقْرَأُ فِي الْجُمُعَةِ فِي صَلاَةِ الْفَجْرِ ‏﴿ الم * تَنْزِيلُ ‏﴾ ‏ السَّجْدَةَ وَ ‏﴿ ‏هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى ﴾الإِنْسَانِ‏

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to recite the following in the Fajr prayer of Friday, “Alif, Lam, Mim, Tanzil” (Surat As-Sajdah 32) and “Hal-ata-ala-l-Insani” (i.e. Surah-Ad-Dahr 76).

(Sahih al-Bukhari 891)

2.57 Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه): that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

وَإِدْبَارُ النُّجُومِ

And at the setting of the stars (At-Tur 52:49)

(about) the two Rak’ah before Fajr.

وَإِدْبَارُ السُّجُودِ

And after the prostrations (Qaf 50:40)

The two Rak’at after Al-Maghrib.

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3275)

2.58 Hadhrat Anas (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

“Whoever prays Fajr in light (at the breaking of dawn), Allah will forgive him, enlighten his grave and heart and accept his prayer.”

(Daylami)

2.59 Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,

“My Ummah will continue to remain on Fitrah (true path) till they perform Fajr in light (when the dawn breaks).”

(Mu’jam Al-Awsat)

3.’Ulama

3.1 Al-Kandhlawi (رحمه الله‎) writes:

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) once deputed in ]ihaad a Jamaat towards Najd, They returned victorious very soon with a handsome booty. When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) saw the people envying them and wondering at their quick and lucrative return, he said to them,

“Shall I inform you of a group of people who earn much more in a much shorter time? They are those who perform their Fajr with Jamaat and keep sitting after prayer till a little while after sunrise and then offer two rakaats of salaat.”

(Fazail-e-Namaz, p25-26)

3.2 Al-Kandhlawi (رحمه الله‎) writes:

Hadhrat Sulaimaan bin Abi Hathmah (رضي الله عنه) is one of the eminent people of the early days of Islam. He was born during the lifetime of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), but was too young then to have had the honour of listening to any hadith from him. During the Caliphate of Hadhrat Umar (رضي الله عنه) he was made in charge of the market. One day Hadhrat Umar (رضي الله عنه) found him missing in Fajr salaat. Hadhrat Umar (رضي الله عنه) went to his house and inquired from his mother why Sulaimaan was not present in Fajr. She replied, “He kept saying nafl salaat throughout the night, and sleep overpowered him at the time of Fajr.” At this, Hadhrat Umar (رضي الله عنه) remarked

“I would prefer my Fajr with jamaat to my offering nafl salaat all night long.”

(Fazail-e-Namaz, p62-63)

4. See also:

Health benefits of Fajr (Dawn) prayer

Forbidden practices in Islam

islam-halal-haram-legal-illegal-permissible-forbidden

Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Shirk: associating partners in worship with Allaah
  3. Grave-worship
  4. Sacrificing to anything other than Allaah
  5. Allowing what Allaah has forbidden and forbidding what Allaah has allowed
  6. Magic, fortune-telling and divination
  7. Astrology, or believing that the stars and planets have an influence on people’s lives and events
  8. Believing that certain things can bring benefit when the Creator has not made them so
  9. Showing off in worship
  10. Superstitious belief in omens
  11. Swearing by something other than Allaah
  12. Sitting with hypocrites and wrongdoers to enjoy their company or to keep them company
  13. Lack of composure in prayer
  14. Fidgeting and making unnecessary movements in prayer
  15. Deliberately anticipating the movements of the imaam (when praying in congregation)
  16. Coming to the mosque after eating onions or garlic, or anything that has an offensive smell
  17. Zinaa – fornication and adultery
  18. Sodomy (homosexuality)
  19. Not allowing one’s husband to have marital relations for no legitimate reason
  20. Asking one’s husband for a divorce for no legitimate reason
  21. al-Zihaar
  22. Having intercourse with one’s wife during her period
  23. Having intercourse with one’s wife in her rectum
  24. Not treating co-wives fairly
  25. Being alone with a non-mahram woman
  26. Shaking hands with a non-mahram woman
  27. A woman wearing perfume when going out or passing by non-mahram men
  28. A woman travelling without a mahram
  29. Deliberately looking at a non-mahram woman
  30. Seeing one’s womenfolk behaving in an immoral fashion and keeping silent
  31. Making false claims about a child’s lineage, or denying one’s own child
  32. Consuming riba (usury or interest)
  33. Concealing a product’s faults at the time of sale
  34. Artificially inflating prices
  35. Trading after the second call to prayer on Friday
  36. Gambling
  37. Theft
  38. Offering or accepting bribes
  39. Seizing land by force
  40. Accepting a gift in return for interceding
  41. Hiring someone and benefitting from his labour, then not paying him his wages
  42. Not giving gifts equally to one’s children
  43. Asking people for money when one is not in need
  44. Seeking a loan with no intention of repaying it
  45. Consuming haraam wealth
  46. Drinking khamr – even a single drop
  47. Using vessels of gold and silver, or eating or drinking from them
  48. Bearing false witness
  49. Listening to music and musical instruments
  50. Gossip and backbiting
  51. Slander
  52. Looking into people’s houses without their permission
  53. Two people conversing privately to the exclusion of a third
  54. Isbaal – wearing clothes that come down below the ankles
  55. Men wearing gold in any shape or form
  56. Women wearing short, tight or see-through clothes
  57. Wearing wigs and hairpieces, whether made from natural or artificial hair, for men and women
  58. Men resembling women and women resembling men, in dress, speech and appearance
  59. Dyeing one’s hair black
  60. Having pictures of animate beings on clothing, walls or paper, etc.
  61. Lying about one’s dreams
  62. Sitting or walking on graves, or answering the call of nature in a graveyard
  63. Not cleaning oneself properly after passing water
  64. Eavesdropping on people who do not want to be heard
  65. Being a bad neighbor
  66. Writing a will for the purpose of harming one of the heirs
  67. Playing backgammon
  68. Cursing a believer or someone who does not deserve to be cursed
  69. Wailing (at time of bereavement)
  70. Striking or branding the face
  71. Abandoning a Muslim brother for more than three days with no legitimate reason


Introduction::

Praise be to Allaah; we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomever Allaah leaves astray, no-one will guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah Alone, with no partners or associates, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger.

Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, has laid down obligations which we are not permitted to ignore, and has set limits which we are not permitted to transgress, and has set out prohibitions which we are not allowed to violate.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whatever Allaah has permitted in His Book is allowed, and whatever He has prohibited is forbidden; whatever He has remained silent about is a concession, so accept the concession of Allaah, for Allaah is never forgetful.” Then he recited the aayah: “. . . and your Lord is never forgetful” [Maryam 19:64]. (Reported by al-Haakim, 2/375; classified as hasan by al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam, p. 14)

The things which have been prohibited are the boundaries or limits set by Allaah:

“. . . And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allaah, then indeed he has wronged himself . . .” [al-Talaaq 65:1]

Allaah has issued a threat to the one who transgresses His set limits and violates His prohibitions, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whosoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment.” [al-Nisaa’ 4:14]

Avoiding that which has been forbidden is a duty, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whatever you have been prohibited to do, avoid it, and whatever you have been commanded to do, do as much of it as you can.” (Reported by Muslim, Kitaab al-fadaa’il, hadeeth no. 130, Abd al-Baaqi edition).

It is well-known that some of those who follow their desires, who are weak at heart and have little knowledge, become irritated when they hear lists of prohibitions. They grumble and mutter, “Everything is haraam, you haven’t left us anything that is not forbidden! You make our lives boring and miserable. You don’t talk about anything but what is haraam, but religion is supposed to easy, not strict, and Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

In response to such remarks, we say:

Allaah, may He be glorified, rules as He wills and there is none to put back His judgement. He is All-Wise and Aware, and He allows whatever He wills and forbids whatever He wills, may He be glorified. One of the basic principles of our being His slaves is that we should accept whatever He decrees and submit fully to it. His rulings stem from His knowledge, wisdom and justice, and are not the matter of frivolity or foolish whims, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [al-An’aam 6:115]

Allaah has explained to us the governing principle behind the allowing and prohibiting of various things (interpretation of the meaning):

“. . . He allows them as lawful al-tayyibaat [(i.e., all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful al-khabaa’ith

So what is good and pure is halaal, and what is evil and unclean is haraam.

The right to determine what is halaal and what is haraam belongs to Allaah alone. Whoever claims this right or affirms it for someone else is a kaafir whose extreme kufr places him beyond the pale of Islam, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed? . . .” [al-Shooraa 42:21]]

Furthermore, no-one is allowed to speak about matters of halaal and haraam except those who have knowledge of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Allaah has issued a stern warning to those who speak about halaal and haraam with no knowledge (interpretation of the meaning):

“And say not concerning that which your tongues out forth falsely: ‘This is lawful and this is forbidden,’ so as to invent lies against Allaah. . . .” [al-Nahl 16:116]

Things which are definitively forbidden have been clearly stated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to al-fawaahish(shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly; and kill not anyone whom Allaah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand.” [al-An’aam 6:151]

The Sunnah also mentions many prohibitions; for example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Allaah has forbidden the sale of wine (intoxicants), dead meat, pork and idols.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 3486; see also Saheeh Abi Dawud, 977).

“Whatever Allaah has forbidden, its price is also forbidden.” (Reported by al-Daaraqutni, 3/7; it is a saheeh hadeeth).

Some texts mention specific types or groups of prohibitions, such as when Allaah forbids certain types of food (interpretation of the meaning):

“Forbidden to you (for food) are: al-maytatah (the dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allaah, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allaah’s name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns – and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) – and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on al-nusub (stone altars). Forbidden) also is to use arrows seeking luck or decision . . .” [al-Maa’idah 5:3]

Allaah has also mentioned that which is forbidden with regard to marriage, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters, your foster mother who gave you suck, your foster milk suckling sisters, your wives’ mothers . . .”[al-Nisaa’ 4:23]

Allaah also mentions what kind of earnings are forbidden, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“. . . Allaah has permitted trading and forbidden riba (usury) . . .” [al-Baqarah 2:275]

Allaah, Who is Merciful towards His slaves, has permitted innumerable good things, of many kinds. He has not described the permitted things in detail because they are so many; in contrast, He has described the prohibitions in detail because they are limited, so that we will be aware of them and can avoid them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“. . . He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity . . .” [al-An’aam 6:119]

 

“O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth . . .” [al-Baqarah 2:168]

It is a part of His Mercy that He has made all things halaal in principle, except where there is proof (daleel) that they are haraam. This is part of His generosity and bounty towards His slaves, for which we must obey him, and give praise and thanks.

When some people hear a detailed list of the things that are haraam, they become alarmed about the rules of Sharee’ah. This is due to their weak faith and poor understanding of Islaam. One cannot help wondering whether these people really want to be given a list of every type of thing that is halaal, so that they can be convinced that Islam is easy! Do they need for us to enumerate every type of good thing so that they can rest assured that Islam will not make their lives dreary?

Do they want to be told that the meats of camels, cattle, sheep, rabbits, deer, goats, chickens, pigeons, ducks, geese and ostriches over which the name of Allaah has been mentioned, and fish and locusts, are halaal?

That vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible seeds are halaal?

That water, milk, honey, oil and vinegar are halaal?

That salt, seasonings and spices are halaal?

That using wood, iron, sand, stones, plastic, glass and rubber is halaal?

That travelling via riding-beasts, cars, trains, ships and airplanes is halaal?

That using air-conditioners, fridges, washing-machines, tumble-dryers, mills, dough-mixers, meat-grinders, juicers, medical instruments, engineering tools, calculators, microscopes, telescopes, machinery for extracting water, oil and minerals, filters for purifying water, printing presses and so on is halaal?

That wearing cotton, linen, wool, camel hair, fur, permitted leathers, nylon and polyester is halaal?

That in principle marriage, buying, selling, sponsorship, bills of exchange, renting, professions and trades such as carpentry, metalworking, repairing machines and tending sheep are all halaal?

I wonder what would happen if we were to explain all this in detail to them. “And what is wrong with these people that they fail to understand any word?” [al-Nisaa’ 4:78]

As regards their claim that Islaam is easy, this is true, but they are twisting the truth to try and prove something that is false. What is meant by saying that Islaam is easy is not that it is in accordance with their desires and opinions, but that is it easy in accordance with what the Sharee’ah has brought. There is a huge difference between violating prohibitions by making false claims about Islam being easy – although it is easy, beyond any doubt – and availing oneself of legitimate concessions such as being allowed to join or shorten prayers; to break one’s fast when travelling; to wipe one’s socks when performing wudoo’ – for one day and one night for a person who is not travelling, and for three days and three nights in the case of travelling; to perform tayammum when one is afraid to use water; to join two prayers together when one is sick or when rain is falling; to look at a non-mahram woman for purposes of marriage; to have the choice, in the case of making expiation for a broken vow, between freeing a slave or feeding or clothing the poor; to eat the meat of dead animals when necessary – and other kinds of concessions allowed by Sharee’ah.

In addition to the above, the Muslim should realize that one principle underlies all the prohibitions in Islam: Allaah is testing His slaves by means of these prohibitions, to see what they will do. One of the things that distinguishes the people of Paradise from the people of Hell is that the people of Hell indulge in the desires with which the Fire is surrounded, whereas the people of Paradise patiently endure the hardships with which the Garden is surrounded. Were it not for this test, the obedient would not be distinguished from the disobedient. People of faith look at the difficulties involved from the perspective of the reward they will earn by pleasing Allaah, so obedience becomes easy for them. The hypocrites, on the other hand, view these difficulties as a matter of pain, suffering and deprivation, so obedience becomes a heavy burden on them.

By foregoing what is prohibited, the obedient person gains much more: whoever forsakes something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better, and he will enjoy the sweet taste of faith in his heart.

This paper discusses a number of the prohibitions that have been proven in Sharee’ah, based on evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. (Some scholars have grouped the prohibitions under headings such as al-kabaa’ir or major sins. Among the best books on the topic isTanbeeh al-ghaafileen ‘an a’maal al-jaahileen by Ibn al-Nahhaas al-Dimashqi, may Allaah have mercy on him). These prohibitions include actions which are widely practised among many Muslims. By mentioning them my intention is to correct and advise people. I ask Allaah to guide me and my Muslim brothers, and to help us to adhere to the limits which He has set and to avoid the things that He has prohibited, and to save us from our evil deeds. And Allaah is the Best to guard, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.

[ Table of Contents ]



Shirkk – associating partners with Allaah

This is the most serious of all prohibitions, according to the hadeeth narrated by Abu Bakrah, who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Shall I not tell you of the most serious of the major sins?’ three times. We said, ‘Of course, O Messenger of Allaah!’ He said, ‘Associating anything in worship with Allaah . . .’”

(Agreed upon; see al-Bukhaari, no. 2511, al-Bagha edition).

Every other sin may be forgiven by Allaah, apart from shirk, which requires specific repentance, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases . . .” [al-Nisaa’ 4:48]

One of the forms of shirk which is particularly widespread in Muslim countries is:

 

Grave-worship,

the belief that dead awliyaa’ (“saints”) can fulfil one’s needs or help at times of distress, and calling upon them for aid. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him . . .” [al-Israa’ 17:23]

Similarly, they call upon dead Prophets, righteous people and others to intercede for them or to rescue them from some calamity, but Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? . . .” [al-Naml 27:62]

Some of them have adopted the habit of mentioning the name of a shaykh or wali (“saint”) when they stand up, or sit down, or stumble, or encounter problems or distress, so they might say “O Muhammad!” or “O ‘Ali!” or “O Husayn!” or “O Badawi!” or “O Jeelaani!” or “O Shaadhili!” or “O Rifaa’i!” – or they may call upon al-’Aydaroos or Sayyidah Zaynab or Ibn ‘Alwaan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily those whom you call upon besides Allaah are slaves like you . . .” [al-A’raf 7:194]

Some of those who worship graves walk around them as if in Tawaaf, and acknowledge their corners, or touch them, kiss them, wipe their faces with their dust, prostrate towards them when they see them, or stand before them in fear and humility, praying for whatever they need of healing from some disease, or for a child, or for help with some difficulty. Sometimes they call upon the occupant of the grave, saying “O my master, I have come to you from far away, so do not let me down.” But Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies calling on someone else as a rival to Allaah, will enter Hell.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 8/176).

Some of them shave their heads at the graves, and some have books with titles like Manaasik Hajj al-Mashaahid (“The Rituals of Pilgrimage to Shrines”), mashaahid or shrines referring to graves or tombs of awliyaa’. Some of them believe that the awliyaa’ are running the affairs of the universe and that they have the power to benefit or harm. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if Allaah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is no one who can repel His Favour . . .” [Yoonus 10:107]

It is also shirk to make a vow to any other than Allaah, as is done by those who vow to bring candles or lights for the occupants of the graves.

Another manifestation of al-shirk al-akbar is

 

sacrificing to anything other than Allaah.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord, and sacrifice (to Him only)” [al-Kawthar 108:2]

– i.e., sacrifice to Allaah and in the name of Allaah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Allaah will curse the one who sacrifices to anything other than Allaah.” (Reported by Imaam Muslim, may Allaah have mercy on him, in his Saheeh, no. 1978, ‘Abd al-Baaqi edition). This sin combines two haraam deeds, that of sacrificing to anything other than Allaah and that of sacrificing in the name of anything other than Allaah, both of which make the meat of the animal slaughtered haraam. One of the forms of sacrificing to anything other than Allaah which was known during the first Jaahiliyyah and is still widespread nowadays is the practice of “offering a sacrifice to the jinn,” whereby upon buying or constructing a house, or digging a well, people slaughter an animal at its entrance, out of fear of harm from the resident jinn.(See Tayseer al-’Azeez al-Hameed, al-Iftaa’ edition, p. 158)

al-shirk al-akbar is the sin of

allowing what Allaah has forbidden and forbidding what Allaah has allowed,

or believing that anyone has the right to do so except Allaah, or referring matters for judgement to jaahili (non-Islamic) courts freely and by choice, and believing that this is permissible. Allaah has mentioned this form of major kufr in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning):

“They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to their lords besides Allaah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allaah). . .” [al-Tawbah 9:31]

When ‘Adiyy ibn Haatim heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recite this aayah, he said, “But they were not worshipping them.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) replied, “Yes, but they permitted things that Allaah had forbidden, and the people accepted this, and they forbade things that Allaah had allowed, and the people accepted this too, and this is a form of worshipping them.” (Reported by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubraa, 10/116. See also al-Tirmidhi, no. 3095. Al-Albaani classified it as hasan inGhaayat al-Maraam, p. 19).

Allaah described the mushrikeen

And Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: ‘Tell me, what provision Allaah has sent down to you, and you have made of it lawful and unlawful.’ Say: ‘Has Allaah permitted you (to do so), or do you invent a lie against Allaah?’” [Yoonus 10:59]

Other widespread forms of shirk are:

 

magic, fortune-telling and divination.

Magic (sihr) is an act of kufr, and one of the seven sins which doom a person to Hell. It causes harm but no benefit. Allaah says of the one who learns it (interpretation of the meaning):

“. . . And they learn that which harms them and profits them not . . .” [al-Baqarah 2:102]

“. . . and the magician will never be successful, no matter what amount (of skill) he may attain).” [Ta-Ha 20:69]]

 

“. . . Sulayman did not disbelieve, but the shayaateen (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things as came down at Babylon to the two angels, Haaroot and Maaroot, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) things till they had said, ‘We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).’ . . .” [al-Baqarah 2:102]

The prescribed punishment for the one who practices magic is death, and his income is haraam and impure. But people who are ignorant wrongdoers and weak in faith go to magicians to help them harm someone or take revenge on someone. Some people commit the sin of going to a magician to ask his help in undoing the magic of someone else, when they should turn to Allaah to help them and heal them, by reciting His words, such as the soorahs that offer protection (al-Falaq and al-Naas), and so on.

Fortune-tellers and their ilk are kaafirs who disbelieve in Allaah, because they claim knowledge of the Unseen, but no one has knowledge of the Unseen except Allaah. Many of these fortune-tellers take advantage of simple-minded people and take their money. They use many methods such as drawing lines in the sand, throwing sea-shells, reading palms, teacups (or coffee cups), crystal balls and mirrors, and so on. If they get it right one time, they get it wrong ninety-nine times, but ignorant people remember only the one time when these liars get something right. They go to them to find out about the future, whether they will be successful in marriage or business, or to help them find something they have lost, and so on. The ruling concerning the person who visits a fortune-teller is: if he believes what he says, he is a kaafir who has left Islaam, on the basis of the hadeeth in which the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever goes to a fortune-teller or a soothsayer and believes in what he says has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/429; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5939). If a person does not believe that they have knowledge of the Unseen, but he goes out of curiosity or whatever, he is not a kaafir, but his prayers will not be accepted for forty days, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever goes to a fortune-teller and asks him about something, his prayers will not be accepted for forty nights” (Saheeh Muslim, 4/1751) – even though it is still obligatory to pray and to repent for this sin.

 

Astrology, or believing that the stars and planets have an influence on people’s lives and events.

Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani reported: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led us in the morning prayer at al-Hudaybiyah after rain had fallen during the night. When he had finished, he turned around to face the people and said: ‘Do you know what your Lord says?’ They said, ‘Allaah and His Messenger know best.’ He said: ‘[Allaah says]: This morning one of My slaves became a believer in Me and one became a disbeliever. As for the one who said, “We have been given rain by the grace and mercy of Allaah,” he is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars; as for the one who said, “We have been given rain by such-and-such a star,” he is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars.’”(Reported by al-Bukhaari; see Fath al-Baari, 2/333)

SSimilarly, the one who reads the horoscopes in newspapers and magazines and believes what they say about the influence of the stars and planets is a mushrik, and the one who reads them for entertainment is a sinner, because it is not permitted to entertain oneself by reading things that contain shirk, because Shaytaan will try to lead him to shirk through this.

Yet another form of shirk is

 

believing that certain things can bring benefit when the Creator has not made them so.

For example. some people believe in amulets and spells, or wearing certain types of pearls or seashells or metal earrings and so on, on the advice of fortune-tellers or magicians or in accordance with inherited customs. So they hang them around their own or their children’s necks to ward off the evil eye – or so they claim; or they tie them onto their bodies or hang them in their cars and homes, or wear rings with special stones, thinking that these things can relieve or ward off distress. This without a doubt is contrary to the idea of relying on Allaah, and will only result in making a person even more weak, like seeking medicine in a haraam way. These amulets obviously contain much shirk, such as seeking the help of some jinns and devils, or vague drawings and illegible writing. Some of these liars even write aayaat from the Qur’aan, or mix them with words of shirk, or write them with impure substances such as menstrual blood. Hanging up these amulets or tying them to one’s body is haraam because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever hangs up an amulet is guilty of shirk.” (Reported by Ahmad, 4/156; see also Silsilat al-Saheehah, no. 492).

If the one who does this believes that these things can cause benefit or harm instead of Allaah, he is a mushrik who is guilty of al-shirk al-akbar. If he believes that they are a means of causing benefit or harm, then he is a mushrik who is guilty of al-shirk al-asghar, which includes shirk that consists of attributing causes to things other than Allaah.

 

Showing off in worship:

among the conditions for any good deed to be acceptable are that it should be free of any kind of showing off and within the framework of the Sunnah. The person who performs acts of worship, like praying, in order to be seen by other people is a mushrik and his deed is unacceptable. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allaah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for prayer, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allaah but little.” [al-Nisaa’ 4:142]

Similarly, the person who does a good deed so that news of it will reach other people has also fallen into the sin of shirk. The threat of punishment for the one who does this was reported in the hadeeth narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father), in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does things to be seen and heard by others, Allaah will cause him to be seen and heard as an example to others.” (Reported by Muslim, 4/2289). Whoever does any act of worship for the sake of Allaah and other people, his deeds will be unacceptable, as is stated in the hadeeth qudsi: “I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does a deed for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that deed renounced by Me to him who he associated with Me.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2985).

It may happen that a person starts to do a deed for the sake of Allaah, then the urge to show off comes over him. If he resists that impulse his deed will still be acceptable, but if he submits willingly to it, then in the opinion of most of the scholars his deed will be unacceptable.

 

Superstitious belief in omens:

this is a form of pessimism, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“But whenever good came to them, they said, ‘Ours is this.’ And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Musa and those with him . . .” [al-A’raaf 7:131]

Before Islam, if one of the Arabs wanted to do something like travelling, he would take hold of a bird and release it: if it flew to the right, he would take this as a good omen and proceed with his plans, but if it flew to the left, he would take it as a bad omen and cancel his plans. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave his verdict on this practice when he said: “Al-Tiyarah (observing birds for omens) is shirk.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 1/389; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3955).

This kind of haraam belief that goes against Tawheed also includes the practice of regarding certain times etc., as inauspicious, such as not holding a wedding in Safar, or regarding the last Wednesday of every month as a day of evil omen and ongoing calamity, or believing that numbers such as 13, or certain names, are “unlucky.” It is also haraam to believe that handicapped people are bad omens, such as going to open one’s store but turning back upon seeing a one-eyed man. All of this is haraam and is part of the shirk for which the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) disowned people. ‘Imraan ibn Husayn reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who observes birds for omens or has someone else do this for him, or who predicts the future or asks someone else to do it for him, (and I think he said) or who practices magic or asks someone else to do it for him.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 18/162; see alsoSaheeh al-Jaami’ 5435).

The expiation required from the person who commits any of these sins is reported in the hadeeth reported by Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever was turned away from doing something because of a bad omen is guilty of shirk.’ The people asked, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, what expiation is there for doing that?’ He said, ‘That he should say: “O Allaah, there is no goodness except Your goodness and no omen except your omen and there is no god but You.”’” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/220; al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1065).

Pessimism is a part of everyone’s nature, to a greater or lesser extent; the best cure for it is reliance upon Allaah (tawakkul), as Ibn Mas’ood said: “There is no one among us (who will not feel pessimistic sometimes), but when we rely on Allaah, He makes that feeling go away.”(Reported by Abu Dawud, no. 3910; see also al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 430).

 

Swearing by something other than Allaah:

Allaah may swear by whatever of His creatures He wills, but His creatures are not permitted to swear by anything other than Allaah. Many people swear all kinds of oaths by things other than Allaah, but swearing by something is like glorifying it, and it is not right to glorify anything or anyone other than Allaah. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has prohibited that you should swear by your fathers. If anyone swears, let him swear by Allaah, or else remain silent.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath, 11/530). Ibn ‘Umar also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever swears by something other than Allaah is guilty of shirk.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/125; see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6204). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever swears by trustworthiness is not one of us.” (Reported by Abu Dawud 3253; see also al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, no. 94).

It is not permitted to swear by the Ka’bah, by trustworthiness, by honour, by help, by the blessing of so-and-so, by the life of so-and-so, by the virtue of the Prophet, by the virtue of a wali, by one’s father and mother, by the heads of one’s children, etc. All of that is haraam, and the expiation for doing it is to say La ilaaha ill-Allaah, as is stated in the saheeh hadeeth: “Whoever swears and says ‘By al-Laat’ or ‘By al-’Uzza,’ let him say ‘La ilaaha ill-Allaah (there is no god except Allaah).’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 11/536). There are other phrases that similarly involve shirk and are therefore forbidden, but that are often spoken by Muslims, such as: “I seek refuge with Allaah and with you,” “I am depending on Allaah and on you,” “This is from Allaah and from you,” “I have no-one but Allaah and you,” “I have Allaah in heaven and I have you on earth,” “If it were not for Allaah and so-and-so,” “I disown Islaam,” “Time has let me down” (and every other expression which involves cursing time, like saying, “This is a bad time,” “This is an unlucky time,” “Time is a betrayer,” etc., because cursing time is an insult to Allaah Who has created time), references to “Nature’s way.” Names that imply being a slave of anyone other than Allaah, such as ‘Abd ‘al-Maseeh, ‘Abd al-Nabi, ‘Abd al-Rasool and ‘Abd al-Husayn, are also forbidden.

There are also modern expressions which are contrary to Tawheed and are therefore haraam, such as “Islamic socialism,” “Islamic democracy,” “The will of the people is the will of Allaah,” “Religion is for Allaah and the land is for the people,” “In the name of Arabism,” “In the name of the revolution,” etc.

It is also haraam to use titles such as “King of kings” or “Judge of judges” for human beings; to address munafiqeen or kuffaar with titles like “Sayyid (master)” (whether speaking Arabic or other languages), to use the words “If only…” – which imply discontent and regret, and open the way for Shaytaan, and to say “O Allaah, forgive me if You want to.” (For more information, see Mu’jam al-Manahi al-Lafziyyah, Bakr or Zayd)

 

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Sitting with hypocrites and wrongdoers to enjoy their company or to keep them company:

Many of those who do not have strong faith deliberately sit with people who are immoral and sinful. They may even sit with those who attack the Sharee’ah and make fun of Islam and the people who adhere to it strictly. There is no doubt that this is a forbidden deed, one which could undermine a person’s belief. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And when you see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaytaan causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not in the company of those people who are the zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.)” [al-An’aam 6:68]

In that case it is not permitted to sit with them, even if they are closely-related or are very kind and good company, except for the purposes of da’wah or refuting their false talk. But accepting and remaining quiet about their conduct is not permitted. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

They (the hypocrites) swear to you (Muslims) that you may be pleased with them, but if you are pleased with them, certainly Allaah is not pleased with the people who are al-faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah).” [al-Tawbah 9:96]

 

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Lack of composure in prayer:

one of the worst forms of theft or cheating is cheating in prayer. The Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The worst type of thief is the one who steals from his prayer.” The people asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, how can a person steal from his prayer?” He said: “By not doing rukoo’ and sujood properly.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 5/310; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 997). This lack of composure and failure to pause in rukoo’ and sujood and to stand up straight after rukoo’ or sit up properly between sujoodsmay be observed in many of those who pray, and hardly any mosque is free of examples of people who do not have the proper composure in prayer. Correct composure is one of the pillars of prayer, without which prayer is invalid. This is a serious matter. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A man’s prayer is not good enough until his back is straight in rukoo’ and sujood.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 1/533; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7224). There is no doubt that lacking the proper composure is bad, and the person who is guilty of this deserves to be reprimanded and threatened with punishment. Abu ‘Abdullaah al-Ash’ari reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led his Companions in prayer, then he sat with a group of them. A man came in and started to pray, but made his movements rapid like a chicken pecking the ground. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do you see this? Whoever dies having done this has died outside of the community of Muhammad, and his prayer is like a crow pecking blood. The person who bows then pecks in his sujood is like a hungry man who eats no more than one or two dates – what good will that do him?” (Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Saheeh 1/332; see also al-Albaani, Sifat Salaat al-Nabi (The Prophet’s Prayer described), 131). Zayd ibn Wahb said: “Hudhayfah saw a man who was not performing rukoo’ and sujood properly. He said: ‘You have not prayed, and if you were to die, you would die on a way other than that revealed by Allaah to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 2/274). Once a person is aware of this ruling, if he fails to perform prayer with the proper composure, he should repeat it and repent to Allaah for what is past; he does not need to repeat all of his previous prayers, as is indicated by the hadeeth “Repeat your prayer, for you have not prayed.”

 

Fidgeting and making unnecessary movements in prayer:

Hardly any of the people who pray are free from this problem, because they are not following the command of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): “. . . And stand before Allaah with obedience” [al-Baqarah 2:238]; and they fail to understand the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): “Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their salaat with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” [al-Mu’minoon 23:1-2]

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about smoothing the earth before prostrating, he said, “Do not wipe it when you are praying; if you have to, then just smooth the gravel once.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 1/581; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7452). The scholars mentioned that continuous, excessive, unnecessary movement invalidates one’s prayer. How can those fidgets stand before Allaah, looking at their watches, straightening their clothes, putting their fingers in their noses, looking to the right and the left and up to the sky, and not fearing that Allaah may take away their sight or Shaytaan may steal their prayer??

 

Deliberately anticipating the movements of the imaam (when praying in congregation):

Man is hasty by nature, as it says in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): “. . . and man is ever hasty . . .” [al-Israa’ 17:11]. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Deliberation is from Allaah and haste is from Shaytaan.” (Reported by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra, 10/104; see also al-Silsilah, 1795). One often notices, when praying in congregation, people to the left and right anticipating the imaam in rukoo’, sujood and thetakbeeraat that signal changes in position – one even notices it in oneself too, sometimes. People may even precede the imaam in giving salaam at the end of the prayer. This is a matter which may appear unimportant to many, but the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) issued a stern warning when he said: “Does the person who raises his head before the imaam not fear that Allaah may turn his head into the head of a donkey?”(Reported by Muslim, 1/320-321). If a person is required to come to the prayer with dignity and composure, how then should he be during the prayer itself? Some people are confused about this issue and seek to compensate by delaying their movements after the imaam; these people should know that the fuqahaa’, may Allaah have mercy on them, have described an excellent way to control the matter, which is that the person following the imaam should only start his movements after the imaam has finished pronouncing the ra’ (“r”) of “Allaahu akbar”; then the person following the imaam is permitted to move, and not before or after. The Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to be very keen to avoid anticipating his movements when he led them in prayer. One of them, al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that they used to pray behind the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “When he raised his head from rukoo’, I would never see anyone bending his back in sujood until the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had placed his forehead on the ground, then everyone would go down in sujood behind him.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 474, ‘Abd al-Baaqi edition). When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) grew older, and became rather slow in his movements, he told the people praying behind him: “O people, I have gained weight, so do not anticipate me in performing rukoo’ and sujood.” (Reported by al-Bayhaqi, 2/93 and classified as hasan in Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel, 2/290). The imaam is obliged to follow the Sunnah in making takbeer when he prays, as reported in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): “When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up to pray, he would say takbeer when he stood up and when he bowed . . . then he would say takbeer when he went down for sujood and when he raised his head, then when he went down for sujood again and when he raised his head again. Then he would repeat this throughout the whole prayer until it was finished, and he would say takbeer when he stood up after completing two rak’ahs.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 756, al-Baghaa edition). If the imaam pronounces takbeer at the same time as he makes the movements, and the people following him strive to follow the guidelines mentioned here, then they will have performed the congregational prayer correctly.

 

Coming to the mosque after eating onions or garlic, or anything that has an offensive smell:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying . . .” [al-A’raaf 7:31]. Jaabir said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever eats garlic or onions, let him keep away from us,’ or ‘let him keep away from our mosque and stay in his house.’”(Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 2/339). According to a report narrated by Muslim, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever eats onions or garlic or leeks, let him not come near our mosque, because the angels will be offended by what is offensive to the sons of Adam.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 1/395). ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab addressed the people one Friday and said: “O people, you eat two things that I think come from bad plants: onions and garlic. I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when he noticed this smell coming from a man in the mosque, order him to go out to al-Baqee’. Whoever wants to eat these things, let him cook them to death.”(Reported by Muslim, 1/396).

We might also include here those who come to the mosque straight from work, with unpleasant odours emanating from their armpits and socks. Even worse than these are smokers who have the habit of consuming their haraam cigarettes then coming to the mosque and disturbing the worshippers of Allaah, people and angels alike, with their smell.

 

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Zinaa – fornication and adultery:

One of the aims of Islamic sharee’ah is to preserve honour and lineage, so zinaa (unlawful sexual intercourse) is forbidden. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily it is a faahishah (a great sin) and an evil way (that leads to Hell unless Allaah forgives)” [al-Israa’ 17:32]

Sharee’ah blocks all the ways and means that could lead to zinaa, by enjoining hijaab and lowering the gaze, and by forbidding being alone with a non-mahram woman, etc.

The married man who commits adultery deserves the worst kind of punishment, which is stoning to death, so that he may taste the results of his deeds and so that every part of his body may suffer just as every part of his body enjoyed the illicit liaison. The fornicator who was previously unmarried is to be punished with the maximum number of lashes mentioned in sharee’ah, which is 100 lashes, in addition to the scandal of this punishment being witnessed by a group of believers, and the humiliation of being banished from his city and the scene of his crime for one full year.

In Barzakh, the punishment for men and women who were guilty of zinaa is that they will be in an oven whose top is narrow and whose bottom is wide, with a fire beneath it, and they will be naked therein. When the heat of the fire increases, they will scream and rise up until they nearly come out of the top, then when the fire decreases, they will fall back down. This will repeated over and over until the onset of the Hour.

What is even worse is when a man continues to commit adultery even when he grows old, death approaches and Allaah gives him the opportunity to repent. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three to whom Allaah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection, nor praise, nor look at; theirs will be a painful torment: an old man who commits zinaa, a king who lies, and a poor man who is arrogant.” (Reported by Muslim, 1/102-103). Among the worst of incomes is the earnings of a prostitute which she takes before committing zinaa, and the immoral woman who earns her living by selling herself is deprived of having her prayers answered when the gates of heaven are opened at midnight. (The hadeeth is in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2971) Being in need or being poor are not acceptable excuses for transgressing the limits set by Allaah. There is an old saying that the free woman would rather starve than eat by displaying her breasts, so how about her private parts then?

Nowadays all the doors of immorality have been opened, and Shaytaan and his supporters have made it very easy for people to commit sin. This has been followed by the spread oftabarruj (wanton display) and unveiling among women, people allowing their gazes to wander to things they should not look at, an increase in mixing between the sexes, the popularity of immoral magazines and lewd films, increased travel to corrupt countries and the establishment of a market for prostitution, an increase in the violation of honour, and an increase in the number of illegitimate births and abortions.

O Allaah, we ask you to show us Your mercy and to protect us from immorality; we ask You to purify our hearts and to keep our private parts chaste, and to place a barrier between us and what is haraam.

 

Sodomy (Homosexuality):

Sodomy, or intercourse between two males, was the crime of the people of Lut. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) Lut, when he said to his people: ‘You commit al-faahishah (sodomy – the worst sin) which none has preceded you in (committing) among the ‘aalameen (mankind and jinns). Verily, you commit sodomy with men, and rob the wayfarer, and practise al-munkar(disbelief, polytheism and every kind of evil deed) in your meetings.’ . . .” [al-’Ankaboot 29:29].

Because of the repulsive nature and enormity of this sin, Allaah inflicted four kinds of punishment which He had never before inflicted in combination upon any other people; they were: these people would be blinded, their city would be turned upside-down, stones of baked clay, piled up, would be rained down upon them, and an awful cry would be sent upon them.

In Islam, those guilty of this crime are to be killed by the sword, according to the soundest opinion. This punishment is to carried out on both the one who does this and the one to whom it is done, if it is done freely and by choice. Ibn ‘Abbaas reported that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whomever you find committing the sin of the people of Lut, kill them – both the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.”(Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 1/300; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6565). The modern-day spread of incurable diseases like the killer AIDS caused by this corruption, that were unknown to our predecessors, is an indication of the wisdom of the Sharee’ah in prescribing this severe punishment.

 

Not allowing one’s husband to have marital relations for no legitimate reason

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a man calls his wife to his bed, and she refuses, and he goes to sleep angry with her, the angels will curse her until morning.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath, 6/314).

Many women, when they have an argument with their husbands, “punish” them – so they think – by denying them their marital rights. This may result in major corruption if the husband is tempted to do something haraam, or it may backfire on the wife if the husband starts to think seriously of taking another wife.

A wife should hasten to respond to her husband’s call if he wants her, in obedience to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “If a man calls his wife to his bed, let her respond, even if she is riding on the back of a camel (i.e., very busy).” (SeeZawaa’id al-Bazzaar, 2/181; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 547).

At the same time, the husband must show consideration towards his wife if she is sick, pregnant or depressed, so as to maintain harmony and prevent discontent or hatred.

 

Asking one’s husband for a divorce for no legitimate reason

Many women hasten to demand a divorce from their husbands for the least little argument, or if their husbands do not give them what they want of money. Some women may be egged on by troublemakers among their relatives or neighbours to challenge their husbands with provocative words such as: “If you were a real man, you would divorce me!” The dire results of divorce are well known: breakdown of the family and children roaming the streets. A person may come to regret divorce when it is too late. For all these reasons and others, the Sharee’ah wisely prohibited such actions. Thawbaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce with no sound reason will be deprived of smelling the fragrance of Paradise.” (Reported by Ahmad, 5.277; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2703). ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Woman who ask for divorce and women who contend unnecessarily with their husbands are hypocrites.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 17/339; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1934). But if there is a sound reason, such as the husband abandoning prayer, drinking or taking drugs, or forcing his wife to do something haraam, or oppressing her and making her suffer by denying her the rights granted to her by Islaam, and he does not listen to advice to mend his ways, then in this case there is nothing wrong with a woman seeking divorce for her own sake and for the sake of her religion.

 

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Zihaar:

One of the expressions of the first Jaahiliyyah that is still widespread in this ummah is the phenomenon of zihaar, whereby a man says to his wife, “You are to me like the back of my mother,” or “You are as forbidden for me as my sister,” and other similarly ugly statements whose repulsive nature was confirmed by the Sharee’ah, because of the oppression of women involved. Allaah referred to this in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning):

“Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by saying to them, ‘You are like my mother’s back,’ they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie. And verily, Allaah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.” [al-Mujaadilah 58:2]

The Sharee’ah has imposed a heavy penalty (kafaarah) for this crime, similar to that required for killing a person by mistake or for having intercourse during the day in Ramadaan; the person who has committed zihaar is not permitted to approach his wife until he has paid this penalty. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who make unlawful to them (their wives) (by zihaar), and wish to free themselves from what they uttered, (the penalty) in that case (is) the freeing of a slave before they touch each other. That is an admonition to you (so that you may not return to such an ill thing). And Allaah is All-Aware of what you do.

And he who finds not (the money for freeing a slave) must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And for him who is unable to do so, he should feed sixtymiskeen (poor). That is in order that you may have perfect Faith in Allaah and His Messenger. And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.”

[al-Mujaadilah 58:3-4]

 

Having intercourse with one’s wife during her period

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an adhaa (a harmful thing for a husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they have purified (from menses and have taken a bath) . . .” [al-Baqarah 2:222]

So a man is not permitted to approach his wife until her period has ended and she has taken a bath (ghusl). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“. . . And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allaah has ordained for you . . . “ [al-Baqarah 2:222]

The repulsive nature of this sin is indicated by the words of the Prophet (pace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever has intercourse with a menstruating women, or with a woman in her rectum, or goes to a fortune-teller, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah, 1/243; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5918).

Whoever does this by mistake, not deliberately, does not have to pay any penalty, but the person who does it deliberately and with full knowledge of what he is doing must pay the penalty, which according to the scholars with the soundest knowledge is one dinar or half a dinar. Some scholars say that there is a choice in the amount to be paid; others say that if a man has intercourse with his wife at the beginning of her period, when the flow of blood is heavy, he must pay one dinar, and if he does it at the end of her period when the flow is light, he must pay half a dinar. In modern terms, a dinar is equal to 25.4 grams of gold: this or the equivalent amount of currency must be given in charity.

 

Having intercourse with one’s wife in her rectum

Some perverted people who have little faith do not hesitate to have intercourse with a woman in her rectum (the place from which excrement emerges). This is a major sin, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who does this. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He is cursed, the one who has intercourse with a woman in her rectum.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/479; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5865). Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever has intercourse with a menstruating women, or with a woman in her rectum, or goes to a fortune-teller, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah, 1/243; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5918). Although there are many righteous and sensible women who refuse to do this, there are many husbands who threaten their wives with divorce if they do not comply. Some husbands even deceive their wives who my be too shy to ask a scholar about this matter; they tell them that this is halaal, and they may even misquote the Qur’aan to support their claim (interpretation of the meaning): “You wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth when or how you will . . .” [al-Baqarah 2:223]. But it is well-known that the Sunnah explains the Qur’aan, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that it is permitted to have intercourse with one’s wife in whatever way one wishes, approaching from the front or the back, so long as intercourse is in the place from which a child is born (the vagina); it is obvious that the anus, from which excrement is produced, is not the place from which a child is born. One of the reasons for this crime is the fact that many people enter what should be a clean and pure married life with an inheritance of dirty, haraam, jaahili, perverted practices, or memories filled with scenes from lewd movies for which they have not repented to Allaah. It is also well known that this deed is haraam even if both parties consent to it; mutual consent to a haraam deed does not make it halaal.

 

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Not treating co-wives fairly

One of the things that Allaah has enjoined in His Book is fair treatment of co-wives. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e., neither divorced nor married). And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allaah by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [al-Nisaa’ 4:129]

The justice that is required here is a fair division of nights, and the giving of each wife her rights as regards spending and clothing. This does not refer to emotions or love, because man has no control over his feelings. But some people, when they marry more than one wife, favour one and neglect the other, spending more time with one wife and spending more on her, and ignoring the other. This is haraam, and the person who does this will come on the Day of Resurrection in the condition described by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah: “Whoever has two wives and gives one of them preferential treatment, he will come on the Day of Resurrection with half of his body leaning.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud, 2/601; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6491).

 

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Being alone with a non-mahram woman

Shaytaan is always keen to tempt people and make them commit haraam deeds. For this reason, Allaah warned us (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan. And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytaan, then, verily he commands al-fahshaa’ (indecency) and al-munkar (evil deeds) . . .” [al-Noor 24:21]

Shaytaan runs through the veins of mankind like blood, and one of the ways in which he induces people to commit indecent acts is by leading a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman. Islaam blocks this way by forbidding such conduct, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman, but Shaytaan will be the third among them.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 3/474; see also Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3118). Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “From this day on, no man should enter upon a woman whose husband is absent unless there is another man or two with him.” (Reported by Muslim, 4/1711). It is not permitted for a man to be alone in a house, room or car with a non-mahram woman, including his brother’s wife or a servant. Similarly a female patient should not be alone with a doctor, and so on. Many people are careless about this matter, whether because they trust themselves or for some other reason, with the results that many commit indecent acts or take the steps that lead to them, which in turn results in the tragedies of confused lineage and illegitimate births.

 

Shaking hands with a non-mahram woman

This is one of the cases where incorrect social customs have taken precedence over the laws of Allaah, to such an extent that if you try to talk to people and show them evidence that this is wrong, they will accuse you of being backward, having a complex, trying to break family ties, doubting their good intentions, etc. Shaking hands with female cousins, brothers’ wives and uncles’ wives is now easier than drinking water in our society, but if we look properly we will understand the seriousness of the matter.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle it would be better for him than touching a woman whom he is not permitted to touch.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani, 20/212; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4921). There is no doubt that this is an act of zinaa, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The eyes may commit zinaa, the hands may commit zinaa, the feet may commit zinaa and the private parts may commit zinaa.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 1/412; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4921).

Is there anyone more pure in heart than Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Yet still he said, “I do not shake hands with women.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 6/357; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7054, and al-Isaabah, 4/354, Daar al-Kitaab al-’Arabiedition). And he said, “I do not touch the hands of women.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 24/342; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7054 and al-Isaabah, 4/354, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Arabi edition). ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “No, by Allaah, the hand of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never touched the hand of a (non-mahram) woman. He received bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) from them by word only.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/489). Let them fear Allaah, those people who threaten their pious wives with divorce if they do not shake hands with their brothers.

We should also note that placing a barrier such as a piece of cloth is of no use; it is still haraam to shake hands with a non-mahram woman.

 

A woman wearing perfume when going out or passing by non-mahram men

This practice is widespread nowadays, despite the stern warning of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said: “Any woman who applies perfume and then goes out among the people so that they could smell her fragrance is a zaaniyah (adulteress).”(Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 4/418; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 105). Some women are very careless and take the matter too lightly, especially in front of drivers, shopkeepers, school porters, etc., even though the Sharee’ah states very strictly that the woman who wears perfume must wash herself like a person must wash when in a state of janaanah (i.e., perform ghusl), if she wants to go out to the mosque. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who wears perfume then goes out to the mosque, so that the fragrance can be discerned, her prayers will not be accepted until she performsghusl like the ghusl to be performed when in a state of janaabah.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/444; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2703).

We complain to Allaah about the bukhoor and ‘ood (types of incense) used at weddings and women’s parties before people leave, and the use of strong-smelling perfumes in market-places, means of transportation and mixed gatherings in the mosques even during the nights of Ramadaan. Islaam tells us that women’s perfume should be that which has colour but little smell. We ask Allaah not to despise us and not to punish righteous men and women for the deeds of foolish men and women. May He guide us all to the Straight Path.

 

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A woman travelling without a mahram

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permitted for the woman who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to travel one day’s distance without the presence of a mahram.” (Reported by Muslim, 2/977). When a woman travels without a mahram, this encourages corrupt people to prey on her because of her weakness; at the very least, her honour will be harmed. This prohibition applies also to a woman travelling by plane, even if – as is often claimed – one mahram sees her off at one end and another mahram meets her at the other. Who is going to sit next to her during the journey? What if technical problems divert the plane to another airport, or the flight is delayed? What if…? There are too many stories of things that went wrong. For a person to be considered a mahram, he must meet four conditions: he should be a Muslim, over the age of puberty, of sound mind, and male.

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘No woman who believes in Allaah and the Last Day should travel a distance of three days’ journey or more unless her father, son, husband, brother or other mahram is with her.” (Reported by Muslim, 2/977).

 

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Deliberately looking at a non-mahram woman

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and to protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is All-Aware of what they do.” [al-Noor 24:30]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The adultery of the eyes is by looking” (i.e. by looking at what Allaah has forbidden). (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 11/26). Looking for a legitimate purpose is exempted from this rule, such as looking at a woman for marriage purposes, or a doctor examining a patient for medical reasons, etc. Women are equally forbidden to look at non-mahram men, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and to protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) . . .” [al-Noor 24:31]

Men are also forbidden to look with desire at a man with a hairless or beautiful face. Men are forbidden to look at the ‘awrah of other men, and women are forbidden to look at the ‘awrahof other women. If it is forbidden to look at something, it is forbidden to touch it, even over clothing. One of the ways in which Shaytaan deceives people is by making them think that there is nothing wrong with looking at pictures in magazines or watching movies, because what is seen is not “real,” even though such images clearly cause so much damage by provoking desires.

 

Seeing one’s womenfolk behaving in an immoral fashion and keeping silent

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three whom Allaah will deprive of Paradise: the one who drinks intoxicants, the one who is disobedient to his parents, and the one who accepts immoral conduct on the part of his family.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/69; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3047). One of the many examples of this in modern times is men turning a blind eye to their daughters or wives contacting non-mahram men and chatting to them in a way that may be described as “romantic,” or accepting one of the women of his household being alone with a non-mahram man, or allowing them to sit alone with a driver or other employee, or letting them go out without proper hijaab, so that everyone may look at them, or bringing home immoral magazines and movies.

 

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Making false claims about a child’s lineage, or denying one’s own child

According to Sharee’ah, it is not permissible for a Muslim to claim to belong to anyone other than his father, or to claim to belong to a people of whom he is not a member. Some people may do this for material gains, and may obtain documentation to “confirm” their false identity officially. Some people may do this out of hatred towards a father who abandoned them when they were children. All of this is haraam, and may lead to much chaos and corruption in a number of fields, such as knowing who is one’s mahram, marriage, inheritance and so on. Sa’d and Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with them) both reported that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever knowingly claims to belong to anyone other than his father, Paradise will be denied him.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; seeFath al-Bari, 8/45). It is also forbidden to tamper with lineages or make false claims about a person’s descent. There are some people who, when they want to fight dirty in arguments with their wives, accuse them of immoral conduct and disown their children, without any proof, when the child was born “in their bed” (i.e. is the husband’s child and no-one else’s). Then there are some wives who betray their trust and become pregnant with another man’s child, but claim that it belongs to the husband. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) issued a stern warning against such conduct. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that when aayat al-mulaa’anah [al-Noor 24:7 – check] was revealed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The woman who brings into a people someone who does not belong to them has nothing to do with Allaah, and Allaah will not admit her to His Paradise. Any man who denies his own child when he is looking at him, Allaah will conceal Himself from him and expose him before all the people.”(Reported by Abu Dawud, 2/695; see also Mishkat al-Masaabeeh, 3316).

 

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Consuming riba (usury or interest)

In the Qur’aan, Allaah does not declare war on anyone except the people who deal in riba (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah and give up what remains (due to you) of riba (from now onward), if you are (really) believers. And if you do not do it, then take a message of war from Allaah and His Messenger.” [al-Baqarah 2:278-279]

This is sufficient to explain the abhorrence of this deed in the sight of Allaah, may He be glorified.

One may easily discern the extent of devastation, at the individual and the international level, caused by dealing with riba – such as bankruptcy, recession, economic stagnation, inability to repay loans, high unemployment, collapse of many companies and institutions, etc. Daily toil has become a never-ending struggle to pay off interest on loans and societies have become class-ridden structures in which huge wealth in concentrated in the hands of a few. Perhaps all this is a manifestation of the war threatened by Allaah to those who deal inriba.

Everyone who has something to do with riba, whether he is one of the main parties involved or is a middleman or facilitator, has been cursed by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed “the one who consumes riba, the one who gives it to others, the one who writes it down and the one who witnesses it.” He said: “They are all the same.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1219). Based on this, it is not permitted to do work that involves writing interest-based contracts and conditions, paying or receivingriba, depositing it or guarding it. Generally speaking, it is haraam to be directly or indirectly involved with riba in any way, shape or form.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was keen to explain the ugliness of this major sin. ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are seventy-three types of riba, the least of which is as abhorrent as a man having intercourse with his own mother and worst of which is [violating] a Muslim’s honor and sanctity. (Reported by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, 2/37); see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3533). ‘Abdullah ibn Hanzalah (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Knowingly consuming a dirham of riba is worse for a man than committing adultery thirty-six times.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 5/225; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3375). The prohibition on riba does not just apply to deals between rich and poor, as some people think; it is a general prohibition that applies to every person and every situation. How many rich people and big businessmen have gone bankrupt because of riba! The least harmriba does is to destroy the blessing (barakah) of the money, even if a person’s wealth is great. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Even if riba is much, it will end up being a small amount.” (Reported by al-Haakim, 2/37; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3542). This does not refer to whether the ratio of interest is high or low; all riba is haraam, and the one who deals with it will be raised up on the Day of Resurrection like the one who stands beaten by Shaytaan resulting in insanity and epilepsy.

In spite of the enormity of this sin, Allaah has told us to repent from it and has explained how. Allaah says to those who deal in riba (interpretation of the meaning): “. . . but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums), and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital sums).” [al-Baqarah 2:279] This is quintessential justice.

The believer must despise this major sin and feel its abhorrence, even if he puts his money in interest-based banks because he has no other choice and is afraid that his money may be lost or stolen otherwise. He should feel that he is being compelled by necessity to do this, like one who eats dead meat, or worse. At the same time, he should seek the forgiveness of Allaah and try to find an alternative if he can. He is not permitted to ask the bank for interest, and if the bank deposits it in his account, he must get rid of it in whatever way is permissible. This money cannot be counted as sadaqah (charity), because Allaah is pure and accepts only that which is pure. He cannot benefit from this money by using it to by food, drink, clothing, transportation or housing; he cannot use it to fulfil obligations such as spending on his wife, child or parents, or to pay zakaat or taxes, or to defend himself in court. Rather, he should just get rid of it, for fear of the wrath of Allaah.

 

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Concealing a product’s faults at the time of sale

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) once passed by a pile of food that was for sale. He put his hand in it and felt dampness, so he asked, “What is this, O seller of the food?” He said, “It was rained on, O Messenger of Allaah.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Why don’t you put it on top, so that people can see it? Whoever deceives (the people) is not one of us.” (Reported by Muslim, 1/99).

There are many traders nowadays who do not fear Allaah, and try to conceal faults by wrapping it in plastic [?], putting faulty produce in the bottom of the box, using chemicals and the like to make a product look good, or concealing noises in engines that may indicate a fault – so that when the purchaser brings a product home, it soon starts to wear out. Some traders change expiry dates, or prevent the buyer from examining or trying out a product. Many of those who sell cars or other types of equipment do not point out the product’s faults. All of this is haraam, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Muslim is the brother of his fellow Muslim. The Muslim is not permitted to sell to his brother anything which is faulty without pointing out the faults to him.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2/754; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6705). Some traders even think that their responsibility ends when they tell buyers at an auction, “I am selling a heap of metal, a heap of metal…” This is a sale in which there is no blessing, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The two parties involved in a sale have the choice (to end it – i.e. the sale is not final) until they part. If both have been truthful and honest about any faults, the sale will be blessed, but if they have lied and concealed any faults, the blessing of the sale will be lost.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath, 4/328).

 

Artificially inflating prices

This refers to the practice of artificially inflating the price with no intention of buying, in order to deceive others, thus pushing them to add more to the price they are offering. The Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not artificially inflate prices.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 10/484). This is undoubtedly a form of deceit, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Double-dealing and cheating will end in Hell.” (See Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah, 1057). Many salesmen at auctions and in car salesrooms are earning unclean and haraam income because of the many haraam things that they do, such as conspiring to artificially inflate prices and deceive purchasers, or to lower the price of one of their products, or conversely pretending to be customers and raising the prices at auctions to deceive and cheat.

 

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Trading after the second call to prayer on Friday

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed for the salaat (prayer) on the day of Friday (Jumu’ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allaah and leave off business (and every other thing), that is better for you if you did but know!” [al-Jumu’ah 62:9].

Some people continue trading in their stores and in front of the mosque even after the second call to prayer; those who buy from them also share in their guilt, even if they only buy a siwaak (natural toothbrush). According to the soundest opinion, this sale is invalid. Some owners of restaurants, bakeries and factories force their employees to work at the time of Jumu’ah prayers; even if this leads to an apparent increase in earnings, they will ultimately be losers in reality. The employee is obliged to act in accordance with the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There is no obedience to a created being if it involves disobedience to Allaah.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 1/129; Ahmad Shaakir said: its isnaad is saheeh, no. 1065).

 

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Gambling

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, al-ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols, etc.), and al-azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that abomination, in order that you may be successful.” [al-Maa’idah 5:90]

Gambling was very common during the Jaahiliyyah; in one of the most well-known forms of gambling, ten people would buy a camel, each paying an equal share, then they would throw down arrows – a form of drawing lots. Seven people would win unequal shares and three would be left empty-handed.

Nowadays there are many forms of gambling, including:

lotteries and raffles, in which people pay money to buy numbers, then numbers are drawn for first prize, second prize, and so on for a variety of prizes. This is haraam, even when it is supposedly done for charity.

Buying a product which includes something unknown, or paying for a number for a draw which will decide who gets what.

Another modern form of gambling is insurance, such as life insurance, car insurance, product insurance, insurance against fire or theft, third party insurance, comprehensive insurance, and so on. There are so many types of insurance that some singers even insure their voices!

All of the above are forms of gambling. Nowadays there are even clubs that are devoted exclusively to gambling, in which there are so-called “green tables” (roulette tables) just for people to commit this sin. Other forms of gambling include betting on horse races and other sports, fruit-machines and the like in amusement centres, and competitions in which the victors win prizes, as a group of scholars have stated.

 

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Theft

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Cut off (from the wrist joint) the (right) hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they have committed, a punishment by way of example from Allaah. And Allaah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.” [al-Maa’idah 5:38]

One of the worst forms of this sin is theft from the pilgrims who come on Hajj and ‘Umrah to the Ancient House of Allaah. This kind of thief has no respect for the limits set by Allaah in the best region on earth and around the House of Allaah. In the report about Salaat al-Kusoof (the eclipse prayer), it is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Hell was brought near, and that was when you saw me stepping backwards, because I feared that its heat would touch me. I saw therein the man with the crooked stick dragging his intestines in the Fire. He used to steal from the hujjaaj (pilgrims) with his crooked stick. If they spotted him, he would say ‘This got caught on my stick,’ and if they did not spot him, he would take whatever he had stolen . . .”

Another of the worst forms of theft is stealing from the public purse. Some of those who do this say “We are only doing what others do.” They do not realize that what they are doing is effectively stealing from all the Muslims, because the public purse belongs to all the Muslims. Imitating those who do not fear Allaah is no excuse. Some people steal from the wealth of the kuffaar on the grounds that they are kuffaar, but this is wrong; the only kuffaar whose wealth we are allowed to take away are those who are actively fighting the Muslims, which does not apply to every kaafir individual or company.

Another form of theft is pick-pocketing, stealing something from a person’s pocket without him realizing. Some thieves enter people’s houses as visitors, and steal from them. Some steal from their guests’ bags. Some – including women – go into stores and hide things in their pockets or under their clothing. Some think that the theft of small or cheap items is of little consequence, but the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has cursed the thief who steals an egg and has his hand cut off, and the thief who steals a rope and has his hand cut off.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 12/81).

Everyone who steals something must first repent to Allaah then return the item to its rightful owner, whether openly or secretly, in person or via a third party. If he fails to find the rightful owner or his heirs after much effort, then he should give the property in charity, with the intention that the reward should be given to the rightful owner.

 

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Offering or accepting bribes

Giving a bribe to a qaadi or judge to make him turn a blind eye to the truth or to make a false claim succeed is a sin, because it leads to oppression and injustice for the person who is in the right, and it spreads corruption. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And eat up not one another’s property unjustly, not give bribery to the rulers that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.” [al-Baqarah 2:188]

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has cursed those who give and accept bribes with regard to judging.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/387; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5069). However, payments made in order to reach the truth or avert injustice when there is no other way of doing so are not included in this warning.

Bribery is so widespread nowadays that it more of a source of income than the regular salary for some workers. Some companies even include bribes as a factor in their budgets, under a variety of headings, and some dealings cannot begin or end without the payment of a bribe. Much harm is caused to the poor and many safeguards are broken because of bribes. Bribery is a cause of corruption whereby employees act against their employers, and one can only get good service if one pays a bribe – the person who refuses to pay will get shoddy or late service, and people who come after him but are willing to pay will be served before him. Because of bribery, a great deal of money which is due to employers ends up in the pockets of sales representatives and those responsible for making company purchases. It is little wonder, then that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed to Allaah to deprive all those involved of His Mercy. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The curse of Allaah be upon the one who gives a bribe and the one who accepts it.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2313; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5114).

 

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Seizing land by force

When there is no fear of Allaah, strength and cunning are a disaster because the one who possesses these qualities uses them to oppress others, such as seizing other people’s possessions, including their land. The punishment for this is extremely severe. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever seizes any piece of land unlawfully, on the Day of Resurrection Allaah will make the ground swallow him up to the seventh depth of the earth.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath

Ya’laa ibn Murrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any man who seizes a hand span of land, Allaah will tell him to dig it (according to al-Tabaraani: to bring it) to the seventh depth of the earth, then it will be placed around his neck on the Day of Resurrection, until Allaah has finished judging mankind.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 22/270; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 9/27).

This also includes changing landmarks and boundaries in order to make one’s own land bigger at the expense of a neighbour, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Allaah has cursed the one who changes the boundary-markers of the land.” (Reported by Muslim, with commentary by al-Nawawi, 13/141).

 

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Accepting a gift in return for interceding

To have a position of high standing among people is one of the blessings of Allaah to His slave, if he is grateful. One way in which a person may give thanks for this blessing is by using his position to benefit other Muslims. This is part of the general meaning of the hadeeth: “Whoever among you is able to benefit his brother, then let him do so.” (Reported by Muslim, 4/1726). The person who uses his position to benefit others by averting injustice or bringing some good, without doing anything that is haraam or infringes on the rights of others, will be rewarded by Allaah, so long as his intention is sincere, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us: “Intercede, you will be rewarded.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 5132; the hadeeth is also reported in al-Saheehayn, see Fath al-Baari, 10/450,Kitaab al-adab, Baab ta’aawun al-mu’mineen ba’duhum ba’dan).

It is not permitted to accept anything in return for this intercession or mediation. Evidence for this may be seen in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Umaamah (may Allaah be pleased with him): “Whoever intercedes for someone then accepts a gift (in return for it), has committed a serious type of riba.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 5/261; see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6292).

Some people offer the opportunity to benefit from their position, in return for a sum of money, in order to help someone get a job, or a transfer from one office or area to another, or treatment for the sick, etc. The soundest opinion is that this exchange is haraam, because of the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah quoted above, whose apparent meaning is that accepting such gifts is wrong, even if no agreement was previously made. (From the spoken statements of ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz). The reward which the doer of good will receive from Allaah on the Day of Judgement should be sufficient. A man came to al-Hasan ibn Sahl asking him to intercede for him in some matter, which he did; then the man came to thank him. Al-Hasan ibn Sahl said to him, “Why are you thanking us? We believe that zakaat is due on positions of rank just as it is due on wealth.” (Ibn Muflih, al-Aadaab al-Shar’iyyah, 2/176).

It is worth pointing out here that there is a difference between hiring someone to do legal paperwork for you and paying him wages in return, which has to do with the legitimate hiring of labour, and using a person’s position to intercede for you in return for money, which is haraam.

 

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Hiring someone and benefitting from his labour, then not paying him his wages

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged speedy payment of wages to people hired for their labour. He said: “Give the hired man his wages before his sweat dries.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2/817; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1493).

One form of oppression or injustice that is common in Muslim societies is the failure to give employees and workers their rights. This takes many forms, for example:

Denying an employee’s rights in totality, where the employee has no proof of his rights. He may have lost his dues in this world, but he will not lose them before Allaah on the Day of Resurrection. So the oppressor who consumed the money due to the victim will be brought forth, and his victim will be given some of his hasanaat in compensation (i.e. some of the oppressor’s good deeds will be added to his victim’s credit). If the hasanaat are not enough, some of the victim’s sayi’aat (bad deeds) will be added to the oppressor, then he will be thrown into Hell.

Not giving the employee his full rights. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Woe toal-Mutaffifeen [those who give less in measure and weight (decrease the rights of others)].” [al-Mutaffifeen 83:1] One example of this is the action of some bosses who bring workers from their homelands with a contract to pay a certain wage. Once the people are committed and have started to work for him, he goes and changes the contracts, altering them to state a lower wage than the one actually agreed upon. The employees stay because they have no choice and have no proof of their rights; all they can do is complain to Allaah. If the employer is a Muslim and the employee is not, this lowering of wages is a way of turning people away from the Straight Path, and he will carry his sin.

Making the employee do extra work or put in longer hours, without paying him overtime or giving him any more than the basic salary.

Some bosses delay payment of wages and pay up only after much struggle, complaining, chasing and court cases. Their aim may be to make the employee give up his claim to his rightful wages and stop asking; or they may want to invest this money, perhaps by lending it for interest. Meanwhile, the poor employee cannot buy his daily bread or send anything home to his needy wife and children for whose sake he left to work overseas. Woe to those oppressors on that painful Day! Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah says: ‘There are three whom I will oppose on the Day of Resurrection: a man who gives his word, swearing by Me, then breaks it, a man who sells a free man into slavery and keeps the money, and a man who hires another and benefits from his labour, then does not pay him his wages.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 4/447).

 

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Not giving gifts equally to one’s children

Some people show favouritism in the way they give gifts to some of their children but not others. According to the soundest opinion, doing this is haraam unless there is some legitimate reason, such as one child being in greater need than the others due to sickness, being in debt, being rewarded for having memorized the entire Qur’aan, being unable to find a job, having a large family, being a full-time student, etc. When a father gives something to one of his children who is in need, he should have the intention to give similarly to any other children of his should the need arise. General proof of this principle may be seen in the aayah(interpretation of the meaning): “. . . Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allaah . . .” [al-Maa’idah 5:8]. Specific evidence is found in the report of al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer (may Allaah be pleased with him), whose father brought him to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “I have given this son of mine a slave that I had.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked him, “Did you give all your children a similar gift?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Then take (the gift) back.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 5/211). According to another report, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fear Allaah and be fair to your children,” so he went away and took his gift back. (al-Fath 5/211). According to a third report, he said, “Do not ask me to be a witness, for I will not bear witness to injustice.” (Saheeh Muslim, 3/1243). Sons may be given twice as much as daughters, as in the case of inheritance, according to Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him (Abu Dawud, Masaa’il al-Imaam Ahmad, 204; Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim explained this in more detail in his footnotes). But there are some families where fathers do not fear Allaah, and their favouritism creates hatred and jealousy among the children. A father may give one child more because he looks like his paternal uncles, and give less to another child because he looks like his maternal uncles; or he may give more to the children of one wife and less to the children of another wife; or he may put one wife’s children in private schools, but not the other wife’s children. This will ultimately backfire on him, because in most cases the one who is deprived in this way will not respect his father or treat him kindly in the future. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked the man who showed favouritism to one son, “Do you not want all your children to respect you equally?” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 4/269; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 1623).

 

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Asking people for money when one is not in need

Sahl ibn al-Hanzaliyyah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever asks people for money when he has what is sufficient for him is only asking for more of the embers of Hell.” They asked him, “O Messenger of Allaah, what is sufficient so that he does not have to ask for more?” He said: “Having enough to eat lunch and dinner.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 2/281; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6280). Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever asks the people for money when he has what is sufficient for him will come on the Day of Judgement with scratches and lacerations on his face.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 1/388; see alsoSaheeh al-Jaami’, 6255). Some beggars come to the mosques, interrupting people’s worship with their complaints; some of them lie, bringing forged papers and telling tall stories; some of them distribute their family members around different mosques, then they regroup and move on to other mosques. Some of these people may in fact be well-off, to an extent which only Allaah knows; only when they die do others find out what they have left behind. Meanwhile, there are others who are truly in need, but people are not aware of it and may think they have enough, because they are too proud and do not beg of people at all; nobody knows their true situation so no-one gives them charity.

 

Seeking a loan with no intention of paying it back

The dues owed by one person to another are very important in the sight of Allaah, so much so that if a person falls short in his duties towards Allaah, he may be forgiven if he repents, but when it comes to the rights of other people, he has to fulfil them before the Day comes when dinars and dirhams will be of no avail, and only hasanaat and sayi’aat (good and bad deeds) will count. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Allaah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due . . .” [al-Nisaa’ 4:58]

One of the widespread problems in our society is this casual approach to loans; some people take out loans not for some urgent need but because they want to expand their businesses or keep up with others by buying new cars or furniture or other temporary luxuries of this life. Often these people let themselves in for the confusion of installment plans, which are dubious or maybe even haraam.

A casual approach to loans leads people to delay repayments, which in turn leads to loss and financial ruin of others. Warning of the consequences of this deed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever takes people’s money with the intention of paying them back, Allaah will pay him back, but whoever takes people’s money with the intention of wasting it, Allaah will destroy him.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see Fath al-Baari, 5/54). People take the matter of loans very lightly, but in the sight of Allaah it is a serious matter, so much so that even the shaheed (martyr), with his immense reward and high status, is not free of the consequences of debt. Evidence of this is seen in the hadeeth: “Glory be to Allaah, Who has revealed the seriousness of debt. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if a man were slain in the way of Allaah, then brought back to life, then killed again and brought back to life again, then killed a third time, but he owed a debt, he would not be admitted to Paradise until his debt was paid off.” (Reported by al-Nisaa’i; see al-Mujtabaa, 7/314, and Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3594). Now will these squanderers be deterred from such a casual approach?

 

Consuming haraam wealth

The person who does not fear Allaah does not care where he earns his money or how he spends it; his only concern is to increase his bank balance, even if it is haraam and ill-gotten by means of theft, bribery, extortion, forgery, selling haraam things, riba (usury), consuming an orphan’s wealth, earnings from haraam work like fortune-telling, immorality or singing, stealing from the Muslim treasury or public property, taking people’s money by coercion or high-pressure sales tactics, begging when one is not in need, etc. Then he buys food, clothing and transportation with this ill-gotten money, and builds or rents a house, and furnishes it, and fills his stomach with haraam food. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any flesh that grows from ill-gotten gains is more deserving of being touched by Hell-fire . . .” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 19/136; see alsoSaheeh al-Jaami’, 4495). On the Day of Resurrection, each person will be asked how he earned money and on what he spent it, and there will be doom and loss. Anyone who still has haraam money should hasten to get rid of it; if it is due to anyone else, then he should hasten to return it and ask for his forgiveness before there comes a Day on which dinars anddirhams will be of no avail, and all that will count will be hasanaat and sayi’aat.

 

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Drinking khamr – even a single drop

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “. . . Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, al-ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols, etc.) and al-azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictly) all that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.” [al-Maa’idah 5:90]

The command to avoid these things is the strongest indication that they are forbidden.Khamr (“wine”, alcohol) is compared to al-ansaab, which were idols of the kuffaar; there is no excuse for those who argue that the Qur’aan does not say it is forbidden but only tells us to avoid it!

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also issued a stern warning to the one who drinks khamr. Jaabir reported that he said: “Allaah has promised the one who drinkskhamr that He will make him drink the mud of khibaal.” The people asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, what is the mud of khibaal?” He said, “The sweat of the people of Hell, or the juice of the people of Hell.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1587). Ibn ‘Abbaas reported that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies and has the habit of drinkingkhamr, he will meet Allaah as one who worships idols.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani, 12/45; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6525).

Nowadays there are very many kinds of khamr, with many names in Arabic and other languages, such as beer, ji’ah (beer), alcohol, araq (“arrack”), vodka, champagne, etc. There has appeared in this ummah the type of person described by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Some people of my ummah will drink khamr, calling it by another name.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 5/342; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5453). So they may call it “spirits” instead of khamr, as an attempt to distort the facts and deceive. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “They (think to) deceive Allaah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not!” [al-Baqarah 2:9]

Islam imposes strict controls on this matter, and deals with it decisively so that there is no room for misunderstanding. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Every intoxicant is khamr and every intoxicant is haraam.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1587).Everything that has the effect of clouding the mind is haraam, whether in large or small amounts. (The hadeeth, “Whatever causes intoxication in large amounts, a small amount of it is haraam,” was reported by Abu Dawud, no. 3681; see Saheeh Abi Dawud, no. 3128). No matter how many different names there are, they all refer to one thing, and the ruling concerning it is well-known.

Finally, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) issued a warning to those who drink khamr: “Whoever drinks khamr and becomes intoxicated, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days, and if he dies he will enter Hell, and if he repents Allaah will accept his repentance. If he drinks again and becomes intoxicated again, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days, and if he dies he will enter Hell, and if he repents Allaah will accept his repentance. If he drinks again and becomes intoxicated again, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days, and if he dies he will enter Hell, and if he repents Allaah will accept his repentance. If he drinks a fourth time, Allaah promises that He will make him drink from the mud of khibaal on the Day of Resurrection. The people asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, what is the mud of khibaal?” He said, “The juice of the people of Hell.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, no. 3377; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6313).

 

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Using vessels of gold and silver, or eating and drinking from them

Nowadays hardly any household goods stores are free of vessels made of gold and silver, or plated with these metals. The same applies to homes of rich people and many hotels. This kind of thing has become one of the precious gifts that people give one another on special occasions. Some people may not have these things at home, but they use them in other people’s homes and when invited to a meal. All of these are actions which are forbidden in Islaam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) issued a stern warning about using such vessels. Umm Salamah reported that he said: “The one who eats or drinks from a vessel of gold or silver is putting fire from Hell into his stomach.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1634). This ruling applies to every kind of vessel or utensil that is made of gold or silver, such as plates, forks, spoons, knives, trays on which food is offered to guests, boxes of sweets which are given to wedding guests, and so on.

Some people might say, “We are not using them, we are just putting them on display in a glass case.” This is not permitted either, to prevent any possibility of these things being used. (From the spoken statements of Shaykh ‘Abd al’-’Azeez ibn Baaz.)

 

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Bearing false witness

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “. . . So shun the abomination (worship) of idols, and shun lying speech (false statements) – hunafaa’ Lillah (i.e., to worship none but Allaah), not associating partners (in worship, etc.) unto Him . . .” [al-Hajj 22:30-31]

‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Abi Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that his father said: “We were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he said: ‘I fear for you three major sins’ – three times: ‘associating partners with Allaah, disobedience to parents, and -’ – he was reclining but he sat up at this point and said: ‘ – and bearing false witness.’ He kept repeating this with such fervour that we wished he would stop (for his own sake).” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 5/261).

The warning against bearing false witness was uttered repeatedly because people take it too lightly and there are many motives for doing so, such as hatred and envy. The resulting corruption is great indeed: how many people have lost their rights because of false witness! How many innocent people have been treated unjustly, and how many people have gained what they did not deserve, because of it!

An example of the ways in which people take this matter lightly is what sometimes happens in the courts, when a person might say to someone he has only just met, “Testify for me and I will testify for you.” So one might testify for the other in a case where he does not have the necessary knowledge of what really happened, like testifying that this person owns a piece of land or a house, or recommending him when he has never seen him before that day in court. This is lying and false witness, whereas testimony should be as described in the Book of Allaah: “. . . we testify not except according to what we know . . .” [Yoosuf 12:81]

 

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Listening to music and musical instruments

Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to swear by Allaah that the aayah “And of mankind is he who purchases idle talk to mislead (men) from the Path of Allaah . . .” [Luqmaan 31:6] referred to singing. Abu ‘Aamir and Abu Maalik al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with them) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Among my ummah will be those who make permissible al-hira(adultry or zinah), silk, khamr and musical instruments . . .” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath, 10/51). Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “In this ummah there will be punishments of earthquakes, showers of stones and deformity (transformation into animals); that will be when the people drink khamr, listen to female singers and play musical instruments.” (See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2203; attributed to Ibn Abi’l-Dunyaa, Dhamm al-Malaahi; the hadeeth was narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2212).

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade the “koobah” (a kind of drum), and described the flute as the voice of the immoral fool. The early scholars such as Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him, stated that musical instruments such as the ‘ood(lute), tanboor (a long-necked stringed instrument), reed flute, rabaab (stringed instrument resembling a fiddle) and cymbal, were haraam; no doubt modern instruments such as the violin, qaanoon (stringed musical instrument resembling a zither), organ, piano, guitar, etc., are also included in the Prophet’s prohibition on musical instruments, because their effect and impact is greater than that of the ancient instruments mentioned in some ahaadeeth. They are even more intoxicating than khamr, as scholars such as Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned. No doubt the prohibition, and the sin involved, are greater when the music is accompanied by singing and the voices of female singers, and it is even worse when the lyrics speak of love and describe physical beauty. Hence the scholars said that singing paves the way for zinaa(adultery or fornication), and that it makes hypocrisy grow in the heart. Generally speaking, music and singing form one of the greatest temptations of our times.

What is very difficult is the fact that nowadays music is a part of so many things, such as clocks, doorbells, children’s toys, computers, telephones, etc., and avoiding it takes a great deal of determination. Allaah is the source of help.

 

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Gossip and backbiting:

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained the meaning of this aayah. He said: “Do you know what gheebah (gossip or backbiting) is?” They said, “Allaah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “To say something about your brother that he does not want to be said.” He was asked, “What do you think if what is said about him is true?” He said, “If what you say about him is true, this is backbiting, and if what you say about him is not true, this is a lie.” (Reported by Muslim, 4/2001)..

Gossip or backbiting means saying something about a Muslim which may be true but which he does not like to hear spoken, whether it be about his physical appearance, his adherence to religion, his worldly affairs, his self, his behaviour or his character. There are many forms of gossip, including talking about a person’s faults and imitating him to make fun of him.

People take the matter of gheebah very lightly, although it is very serious in the sight of Allaah, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There are seventy-two forms of riba, the least of which is as bad as a man having intercourse with his own mother, and the worst of which is when a man slanders the honour of his brother.” (Silsilah al-Saheeh, 1871).

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged us to do this when he said: “Whoever defends the honour of his Muslim brother, Allaah will protect his face from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.” (Reported by Ahmad, 6/450; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6238).

Slander

Some people go about repeating the words of others to cause trouble between people; this is one of the greatest causes of broken relations and stirring up feelings of hatred among people. Allaah condemned the one who does this (interpretation of the meaning): “And obey not everyone who swears much, – and is considered worthless, a slanderer, going about with calumnies.” [al-Qalam 68:10-11]

Hudhayfah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No eavesdropper will enter Paradise.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 10/472; “eavesdropper” here refers to a person who eavesdrops on others without their knowing, then goes and tells others what he has heard)

Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by one of the gardens of Madeenah, and heard the sound of two people being punished in their graves. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for any major sin; one of them used never to clean himself properly after urinating, and the other used to spread malicious slander . . .” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see Fath al-Baari, 1/317).

One of the worst forms of this sin is to cause trouble between a husband and wife, or vice versa, or to tell one’s boss what other employees are saying, in order to create trouble. All of this is haraam..

 

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Looking into people’s houses without their permission

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them . . .” [al-Noor 24:27]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that the reason why permission was to be sought was for fear that the person seeking to enter might see something private in the house: “The rule of seeking permission has been established for the sake of (not) seeing.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 11/24). Nowadays, when houses and buildings are too close to one another or even attached, and doors and windows face one another, the possibility of neighbours seeing one another has increased greatly. Many people do not lower their gaze, and some of those who live on higher floors may deliberately look down from their roofs and windows into neighbouring homes that are lower than their own. This is an act of betrayal and an invasion of their neighbours’ privacy, as well as being the way that leads to haraam deeds. A great deal of misery and trouble has resulted from this, and that fact that the Sharee’ah counts the eye of the one who spies as worthless is sufficient proof of the seriousness of the matter. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever looks into somebody’s house without their permission, it is permissible for them to put out his eye.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1699).According to another report, he said: “Put out his eye, and there will be no penalty or retribution.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/385; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6022).

 

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Two people conversing privately to the exclusion of a third

This is one of the problems that exist in social gatherings, and it is one of the ways in which Shaytaan divides the Muslims and makes some of them hate others. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained the rule and the wisdom behind it: “If you are three, then two should not converse privately to the exclusion of a third until you are joined by other people, because this will make him sad.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 11/83). This also includes three people talking privately to the exclusion of a fourth, and so on, and two people speaking in a language which the third does not understand, because this is undoubtedly a form of disdain towards the third, and gives the impression that they intend to hurt him, etc.

 

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Isbaal – wearing clothes that come down below the ankles

One of the things which people treat as insignificant, although it is serious in the sight of Allaah, is isbaal, which means lengthening one’s clothes below the ankles; some people let their clothes touch the ground, and some allow them to drag on the floor behind them.

Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three to whom Allaah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection, nor look at nor praise: the one who wears his lower garment below the ankles; the one who reminds others of his gifts or favours; and the one who sells his product by means of lies and false oaths.” (Reported by Muslim, 1/102).

The one who says, “I am not wearing my clothes below my ankles out of arrogance” is in fact praising himself in a way that is unacceptable. The warning against isbaal is issued to all, regardless of whether they do it out of arrogance or not, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whatever part of the lower garment is below the ankles is in Hell.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 6/254; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5571). The person whose isbaal is the result of arrogance will be more severely punished than the one who has no such intention, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever trails his garment out of pride, Allaah will not even look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 3465, al-Bagha edition) – this is because he is combining two sins in one action. Wearing any clothes below the ankle is haraam, as is indicated in the hadeeth reported by Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father): “Isbaal may be done with an izaar (lower garment), qamees (shirt or upper garment) and ‘amaamah (turban); whoever drags any part of them on the ground out of pride, Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 4/353; see alsoSaheeh al-Jaami’, 2770). Women are permitted to lengthen their garments by one or two handspans to cover the feet or as a precaution against anything being uncovered by the wind, etc., but it is not permitted to do more than that, as is done with some wedding dresses which may have a train several metres long, which has to be carried behind the bride.

 

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Men wearing gold in any shape or form

Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Silk and gold have been permitted for the females of my ummah, and have been forbidden for the males.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 4/393; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 207).

The market nowadays is filled with any number of items designed for men, such as watches, spectacles, buttons, pens, chains and so-called “medallions,” made of gold of various standards, or completely gold-plated. One of the common sins occurs in competitions where among the prizes are men’s gold watches.

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw a man wearing a gold ring; he took it and threw it aside, saying, “Would any of you take a burning ember from Hell and hold it in his hand?” After the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had gone away, someone suggested to the man: “Why don’t you take your ring and benefit from it (sell it)?” He said, “No, by Allaah, I will never take it back when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has thrown it aside.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1655).

 

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Women wearing short, tight or see-though clothes

One of the ways in which our enemies are attacking us in modern times is by means of the fashions which they design and promote, and which have become popular among Muslims. These fashions do not cover anything, because they are so short, transparent or tight; many of them are inappropriate for wearing even in front of other women or one’s mahrams! The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that these kinds of clothes would appear among the women of the last times, as was reported in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): “There are two types of the people of Hell that I have not seen: people who have whips like the tails of cattle, with which they strike the people; and women who are dressed but naked, walking with an enticing gait, with their hair looking like the humps of camels, leaning sideways. They will not enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be detected from such-and-such a distance.”(Reported by Muslim, 3/1680). Also included in this type of clothes are the garments worn by some women which have long slits from the hem, or pieces cut out here and there; when the wearer sits down, her ‘awrah (i.e., everything except the face and hands) becomes visible, apart from the fact that by wearing such clothes a woman is resembling the kuffaar and following their fashions and trends of revealing clothes. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from all that. Another serious matter as regards clothing is the bad pictures which appear on some clothes, such as pictures of singers and rock groups, bottles of wine etc., pictures of animate beings which are forbidden in Islam, crosses, logos of immoral clubs and societies, or bad words which do not befit people of honour, which may be written in foreign languages.

 

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Wearing wigs and hairpieces, whether made from natural or artificial hair, for men and women

Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr said: “A woman came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I have a daughter who is going to be married; she had a fever and lost much of her hair – can I give attach false hair to her head?’ He said: ‘Allaah has cursed the one who attaches false hair and the one who has this done.'”(Reported by Muslim, 3/1676). Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) issued strict instructions that no woman should add anything to her head.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1679).

Examples of this include the things known nowadays as wigs and hair extensions, and the many evil things with which salons are crowded. Also included are the artificial wigs worn by some actors and actresses who have no morals.

 

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Men resembling women and women resembling men, in dress, speech and appearance

Part of the fitrah (natural inclinations of mankind) is that men should preserve the masculinity which Allaah has created in them, and women should preserve the femininity which Allaah has created in them. Without this, decent human life becomes impossible. Men resembling women and vice versa is something which goes against man’s innate nature (fitrah) and opens the door to corruption and widespread promiscuity. The ruling in sharee’ah is that when it is stated that the person who does a thing is cursed, that thing is haraam. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has cursed the men who make themselves look like women and the women who make themselves look like men.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath, 10/332). Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) also reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has cursed effeminate men and masculine women.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 310/333). The resemblance may be in the way they move, walk and speak.

(Reported by Abu Dawud, 4/355; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5071)..

 

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Dyeing one’s hair black

The correct opinion is that it is haraam to do this, because of the warning mentioned in the hadeeth: “At the end of time there will be people who dye their hair black like the crops of pigeons; they will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 4/419; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 8153). This practice is widespread among those who have grey hairs, which they cover with black dye; this leads to many evils, such as deceit, and cheating people by boasting of something which is not true. It is true that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to dye his grey hairs with henna, which gave a yellowish, reddish or brownish hue. When Abu Quhaafah, whose hair and beard was as white as thughaamah (plant whose leaves and flowers are intensely white) was brought to him on the day of the Conquest of Makkah, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Change this with something, but avoid black.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1663).The correct view is that women are like men in this regard: they are not permitted to dye any hairs black that are not black.

 

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Having pictures of animate beings on clothing, walls or paper, etc.

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The people who will be most severely punished by Allaah on the Day of Resurrection are the picture-makers.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 10/382). Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah says: ‘Who does more wrong than the one who tries to create something like My creation; let him create a grain of wheat or an ear of corn . . .'” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 10/385). Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Every picture-maker will be in the Fire, and for each picture that he made he will be given a soul, and he will be punished in Hell.” Ibn ‘Abbaas said: If you must make pictures, draw trees and things that do not possess a soul.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1671). These ahaadeeth clearly indicate that it is haraam to make images of animate beings, whether they be humans or different kinds of animals, whether the images are two- or three dimensional. Pictures are forbidden whether they are drawn, engraved, carved, etched or cast from moulds. The ahaadeeth which forbid making pictures cover all these methods.

The Muslim should accept what the Sharee’ah says, without arguing. Some may say “Well, I am not worshipping these pictures or prostrating to them!” But if you look closely and think about just one of the bad effects of the widespread presence of pictures in our times, you will understand the wisdom behind this prohibition: this bad effect is the provocation of sexual desire which leads to immorality, because of these pictures.

The Muslim should not keep any pictures of animate beings in his house, because this prevents the angels from entering his home. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter a house where there is a dog or pictures.”(Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 10/380). In many houses there are even statues, some of which represent the gods of the kuffar, which are kept for decoration; these are more haraam than other kinds, just as pictures which are hung up are worse than pictures which are not hung up. How often have pictures led to glorification and grief, and led to boasting! We should not say that the pictures are kept for memories, for true memories of dear fellow-Muslims lie in the heart, and one remembers them by praying for forgiveness and mercy for them. One should remove all these pictures, or blot them out, except when it is too difficult to do so, as with these pictures which are all over food packaging, or in encyclopaedias and reference books; even then, you should try to remove it, and to be careful about the bad pictures in some books. It is permissible to keep some necessary pictures, such as those on identity cards and licences, or pictures which are walked on (such as pictures in carpets). “So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can . . .” [al-Taghaabun 64:16]

 

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Lying about one’s dreams

Some people deliberately fabricate dreams and visions that they have not really seen, as a means of gaining spiritual prestige and fame, or for some material gains, or to scare their enemies, and the like. Many of the common people have a strong beliefs in dreams and are easily deceived by such lies. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) issued a stern warning to whoever does such a thing: “One of the worst types of lie is for a man to claim to belong to someone other than his real father, or to claim to have seen something which he did not see, or to attribute to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) words that he did not say.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 6/540). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Whoever claims to have seen a dream which he did not see will be ordered to tie two grains together, and he will never be able to do it . . .” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath, 12/427). Tying two grains together is impossible, so the punishment will fit the crime.

 

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Sitting or walking on graves, or answering the call of nature in a graveyard

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any of you were to sit on a live coal and let it burn his clothes until it reached his skin, this would be better for him than sitting on a grave.” (Reported by Muslim, 2/667). As for stepping on graves, many people do this, and when a person is buried you can see people who do not care where they walk (even wearing shoes sometimes) on neighbouring graves, with no respect for the dead. The seriousness of this matter is clear from the words of the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “If I were to walk on coals or on a sword, or to mend my shoe with my own foot, this would be better for me than walking on the grave of a Muslim.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 1/499; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5038). So what about those who take over the site of a graveyard and build businesses or homes there? As for responding to the call of nature in a graveyard, this is something done by people who have no morals at all. When they feel the need, they jump over the wall of the graveyard and offend the dead with their unpleasant odours and impure waste matter. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “‘I wouldn’t care if it were in the middle of the graveyard or in the middle of the marketplace” (ibid.) – i.e. answering the call of nature in a graveyard is like uncovering one’s ‘awrah and answering the call of nature in front of people in a marketplace. Those who deliberately throw their trash into graveyards (especially those which are abandoned and whose walls are broken down) are included in this condemnation. Among the etiquette required of those who visit graveyards is taking off their shoes when they want to walk between graves.

 

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Not cleaning oneself properly after passing water

One of the beauties of Islam is that it teaches everything that will improve and reform mankind, including how to remove impurities by cleaning oneself properly after urinating or defecating. But some people are very careless about this matter, and allow their clothes and bodies to become contaminated, thus causing their prayers to be invalidated. The Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that this is one of the causes for the punishment in the grave. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by one of the gardens of Madeenah, and heard the sound of two men being punished in their graves. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for any major sin. One of them used not to clean himself properly after urinating, and the other used to spread malicious gossip.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see Fath al-Baari, 1/317). Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that “most of the punishment of the grave will be because of urine.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/326; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1213). Not cleaning oneself properly after urinating also includes undue haste in completing the action, or deliberately urinating in a position or place where the urine can come back on oneself, or failing to clean oneself afterwards, or not cleaning oneself properly. Modern imitation of thekuffaar has reached such an extent that some rest rooms for men contain wall-mounted urinals which are open to view, so a person who uses them is urinating in full view of anyone who comes and goes with no shame, in the midst of impurity. Thus he combines two abhorrent and forbidden acts in one deed: not hiding his private parts from the view of others, and nor cleaning himself properly after urinating.

 

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Eavesdropping on people who do not want to be heard

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “. . . And spy not (on one another) . . .” [al-Hujuraat 49:12].

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever listens to people’s conversations without their permission will have molten lead poured into his ears on the Day of Resurrection . . .”(Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 11/248-249; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6004).

If this person then goes and tells others of the conversation he overheard in order to cause trouble for them, then his sin of spying is compounded by another sin, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The eavesdropper will not enter Paradise.”(Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 10/472).

 

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Being a bad neighbour

Allaah has enjoined kind treatment of neighbours in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): “Worship Allaah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those slaves whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allaah does not like such as are proud and boastful.” [al-Nisaa’ 4:36]

Harming a neighbour is haraam because of the greatness of his rights. Abu Shurayh (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By Allaah, he does not believe, by Allaah, he does not believe, by Allaah, he does not believe.” He was asked, “Who, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said: “The one from whose harm his neighbour is not safe.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 10/443)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) regarded the praise or criticism of a neighbour as a measure of a person’s goodness or badness. Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “O Messenger of Allaah, how may I know if I am doing well or not?” The Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If you hear your neighbour say that you are good, then you are doing well, and if you hear him saying that you are bad, you are not doing well.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 1/402, see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 623).

Harming a neighbour may take many forms, including: not allowing him to fix a piece of wood to a shared wall or fence; expanding one’s dwelling in such a way as to deprive him of sun or air without his permission; opening windows overlooking his house and looking out of them to invade his privacy; disturbing him with loud sounds such as hammering or shouting, especially when he is asleep or resting; or throwing trash in front of his door. The sin of such deeds is increased when they are done to a neighbour, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a man were to commit adultery with ten women, it would be better for him than committing adultery with the wife of his neighbour, and if a man were to steal from ten houses, it would be better for him than stealing from the house of his neighbour.”(Reported by al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, no. 103; see also al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 65).Some treacherous people take advantage of a neighbour’s absence during his night shift to enter his house and commit immoral acts. Woe to them of the punishment of a painful Day!

 

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Writing a will for the purpose of harming one of the heirs

One of the basic principles of Sharee’ah is that there should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm. One example of this harm is writing a will that deprives one or some of the legitimate heirs of his or their rights. Such a person is warned by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever harms (others), Allaah will harm him, and whoever makes things difficult for others, Allaah will make things difficult for him.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 3/453; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6348). Ways in which a person’s will can harm others is by denying an heir of his rights, or giving an heir more than he is entitled to in Sharee’ah, or by bequeathing more than a third to any one person.

In places where people are not subject to the rule of Sharee’ah, it may be difficult for a person to take what is his by rights granted by Allaah, because courts that apply man-made laws may order that the unfair will registered with a lawyer be executed. “Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby.” [al-Baqarah 2:79]

 

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Playing with dice

Many popular games involve elements that are haraam; among them are games in which pieces are moved according to the throw of a dice, such as backgammon, etc. The Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned that these dice open the door to gambling: “Whoever plays with dice, it is as if he dipped his finger in the flesh and blood of swine.” (Reported by Muslim, 4/1770). Abu Moosa (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever plays with dice has disobeyed Allaah and His Messenger.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 4/394; see alsoSaheeh al-Jaami’, 6505).

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Cursing a believer or someone who does not deserve to be cursed

Many people do not control their tongues at times of anger, and are quick to curse people, animals, inanimate objects, days, hours, etc. They may even curse themselves and their children, or a husband may curse his wife and vice versa. This is a very serious matter. Abu Zayd Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak al-Ansari (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “. . . whoever curses a believer, it is as if he killed him.” (Reported al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 10/465). Because cursing is more common among women, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that this would be one of the reasons for them entering Hell, and that those who curse will not be intercessors on the Day of Resurrection. More serious than that is the fact that the curse will come back on the one who utters it, if he says it unfairly; in that case he will have prayed against himself and excluded himself from the mercy of Allaah.

 

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Wailing (at time of bereavement)

One of the haraam deeds that some women do is to raise their voices in screaming and eulogizing the dead, striking their faces, tearing their clothes, cutting or tearing out their hair, etc. All of this indicates that a person does not accept the decree of Allaah and is not bearing disaster with fortitude and patience. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who does this. Abu Umaamah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the woman who strikes her face, tears her clothes and cries out about woe and doom.(Reported by Ibn Maajah, 1/505; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5068). ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who strikes his cheeks, tears his clothes and prays with the supplication of the Jaahiliyyah.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 3/163). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If the woman who wails does not repent before her death, she will be raised on the Day of Resurrection wearing a shirt of tar and a garment of scabs.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 934)

 

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Striking or branding the face

Jaabir said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade striking or branding the face.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1673).

 

Branding animals in the face is done to make a distinguishing mark so that each animal’s owner may be known and the animal may be returned to him if it is lost. This is haraam, because it causes suffering and deformity. If people claim that this is their tribal custom and that a distinguishing mark is necessary, it should be made on some other part of the animal, not on the face..

 

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Abandoning a Muslim brother for more than three days with no legitimate reason

This is one of the ways in which Shaytaan causes division among Muslims, and those who follow in the footsteps of Shaytaan may forsake a Muslim brother for no legitimate reason, but because of a dispute over money or some trivial disagreement. This division may continue for a lifetime, with one swearing that he will never speak to the other and vowing never to set foot in his house, turning away if he sees him in the street and ignoring him if he happens to encounter him in a gathering, shaking hands with everyone else but him. This is a cause of weakness in the Muslim community, hence the ruling concerning this is decisive and the warning against it is stern. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permitted for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three (days); whoever does this and dies, he will enter Hell.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 5/215; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7635).

Abu Khuraash al-Aslami (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever forsakes his bother for a year, it is as if he has shed his blood.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, hadeeth no. 406; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6557).

It is bad enough that division among Muslims results in their being deprived of the forgiveness of Allaah, may He be glorified. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The deeds of the people are shown to Allaah twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays; He forgives all His believing slaves, except for the one between whom and his brother is enmity. He says, ‘Leave these two until they reconcile.'” (Reported by Muslim, 4/1988).

Whichever of the two parties repents to Allaah must then go back to his brother and greet him with salaam; if he does this and the other person ignores him, then the former is free of blame and the responsibility falls upon the latter. Abu Ayyoob reported that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a man to forsake his brother for more than three nights, each turning away if they meet. The better of the two is the one who is the first to greet the other with salaam.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,Fath al-Baari, 10/492).

There may be cases where there is a legitimate reason for forsaking a person, such as his not praying, or persisting in immorality. If forsaking him will benefit him by bringing him to his senses and making him see the error of his ways, then it is obligatory to forsake him, but if it will only make him more stubborn and persistent in his sin, then it is not right to forsake him, because nothing is achieved by doing so. Forsaking him will only make matters worse, so the right thing to do is to continue treating him kindly, and advising and reminding him.

In conclusion, this is what Allaah has enabled me to write about the prohibitions that are widely ignored. This is a lengthy topic, and in order that readers may further benefit, another chapter is needed, in which a group of prohibitions mentioned in the Qur’aan and Sunnah will be listed. This will appear as a separate work, in sha Allaah. I ask Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, by His Most Beautiful Names, to give us enough awareness and fear of Him to keep us away from sin, and enough devotion and obedience to Him to help us reach His Paradise, to forgive us for our sins and by His grace to make us content with what He has permitted and keep us away from what He has forbidden. May He accept our repentance and cleanse us from sin, for He is the All-Hearing, the One Who answers prayers. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Unlettered Prophet, Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions. All praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds.

When will your heedlessness end?

heedlessness

All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as he should be feared, for the best provision is piety:

“And fear a day when you will be returned to Allaah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned and they will not be wronged (i.e. treated unjustly).” (Al-Baqarah: 291).

Brothers in faith! Mans happiness and success lies in his repentance to his Lord and his steadfastness upon the law of Allaah and His religion for the entire duration of his life. It does not lie in being distracted from working towards his eternal future by the urge to acquire the beauties of this world. This is the way of the righteous and pious people whom Allaah describes as that which translates as:

“Men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts them from the remembrance of Allaah and performance of prayer and giving of zakaah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will (fearfully) turn about.” (An-Noor: 37).

Righteous people, despite their business and worldly engagements, do not allow that to stand between them and remembrance of Allaah’s greatness; a remembrance that makes them constantly fear Him and worship Him as He should be worshipped.

This is how the true believer should be. They should spend their days in performing righteous deeds and seek the abode of the Hereafter with whatever Allaah gives them. This is because they know that this life is only a means to achieve the everlasting life and perpetual prosperity. They know this world is not an end in itself but only a finite place in which both the pious and sinful have their daily bread. They know that, however long one may live, they will eventually grow old and die. They also understand this world’s insignificance and know that it is worthless in the sight of Allaah and that it is only a bridge which people cross over to reach Paradise or Hell. Allaah says that which translates as:

“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose (resulting) plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes (scattered) debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allaah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion?” (Al-Hadeed:  20).

The Messenger  of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

“The life of this world is sweet and green (i.e. as tempting as fruits) and Allaah makes you  succeed one another in it, so that He may observe what type of deeds you will do therein. Beware of this life and beware of (the temptation of) women.” (Muslim). He also said:“If this world was worth a mosquito’s wing in the sight of Allaah, He would not have given a disbeliever a single gulp of water.” (Al-Tirmidhi).

There are in these Qur’aanic verses and Ahadeeth the clearest picture of the worthlessness of this world and an exhortation to mankind to fulfil their objectives here. They are meant to worship Allaah, reform their souls, be pious, abstain from lusts and base desires and not become deceived with the beauties of this life. It is however, pathetic that many are in the state of forgetfulness and delusion so much so that the aspiration of acquiring the beauties of this world has overpowered them and sins and evil deeds have covered their hearts. They live as if there is no other life except that of this world. When the love of this life conquers one’s heart, it makes one forget the remembrance of their Lord and if that happens then they become deserving of the wrath of Allaah.

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, while explaining the evil of the love of this world and its danger to one’s religion said:

 “Two hungry wolves sent into the midst of a flock of sheep are less destructive to the sheep than man’s covetousness for money and fame are to his religion”.

It is said that, “Love of this world is the mother of all sins”. When Imaam Hasan  Al-Basri observed the greediness of the people of his time for the wealth of this world, he exclaimed: “Do these people believe in the Day of Reckoning? No, I swear by the Master of the Day of Judgment!”

A sign of the domination of love of this world over the hearts is when one does not have concern for anything other than the search for prestige and fame, even if that is to be at the expense of one’s religion. Some have concerns only for amassing wealth even if they have to get it from dubious or forbidden means.

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam warned against this when he said:

“I swear by Him in whose Hand is Muhammad’s soul! A man may swallow a morsel of food from a haraam source the consequence of which will be that no good deed will be accepted from him for forty days”.

He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said:

“The fire of hell is entitled to any piece of flesh that has been nurtured by ill-gotten food”.

Brothers in faith! There are many Muslims amongst those who have been overwhelmed by the love of this life, who so yielded to their whims, desires and evil inclinations that they drank alcohol, took drugs, committed adultery, fornication and other evil acts. They are encouraged to perpetrate these evil acts by the modern mass media. This makes these malevolent things fair-seeming to them. It allures them with temptation and incites them to revolt against good moral values until many Muslims, especially the youth, begin to imitate their enemies in all aspects of their life. The following refers to them:

“Then, there came after them successors (i.e. later generations) who neglected prayer and pursued desires; So they face ghayy (a valley in hell).”(Maryam: 59) 

So, it is their excessive passion for this life that will be the cause of them being thrown into hell.

Fellow Muslims! It is the unrestrained love for this life and preferring it to the Hereafter that weakened the Muslim Ummah in contemporary times and made disgrace, dissension and hypocrisy her lot. It is this predicament that gave her enemies the power to dictate many of her affairs, seize her wealth, conquer her lands and severely persecute the Muslims. A vivid example of this is what happens presently in Palestine where Jewish usurpers carry out criminal acts of aggression against our brothers and desecrate lives, properties and mosques. This is an actualisation of what the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam prophesied when he said:

“When you trade by ‘Eenah[1]’ (a form of ribaa), get yourselves occupied with cattle and become pleased with cultivation  – and abandon Jihaad; Allaah will impose an ignominy on you which he will  not remove until you go back to your religion”.

Imaam Ahmad and Abu Daawood also reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

‘Beware the nations all over the world shall join forces against you as diners gather around their bowl of food’. The companions asked: ‘O Messenger of Allaah! Is that because we will be few in number then?’ He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: ‘No, rather you will rather be many, but you will only be as (voluminous and as worthless as) the scum after a flood. The fear of you shall be removed from the hearts of your enemies and weakness will be put into your hearts’. The companions asked: What is the weakness? he answered: “To love this life and detest death”.

Therefore, let all of us desist from heedlessness and preferring this life to the Hereafter. Allaah has condemned the heedless and praised the pious when He said that which translates as: 

“So as for he who transgressed. And preferred the life of this world, Then indeed, Hellfire will be (his) refuge. But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from (unlawful) inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be (his) abode”. (An-Naaziaat: 37-41).

Brothers in Islaam! Fear Allaah

“And let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allaah by the chief deceiver (Satan). Indeed Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.” (Faatir: 5-6).

Brothers in faith! Fear Allaah as he should be feared and die not except as Muslims. Do not be among those who have been overpowered by negligence and overwhelmed by Satan thereby making them forget the remembrance of Allaah and the abode of the Hereafter. They are so deceived by false hopes that they do not think of anything other than the pleasure of this world regardless of the source from which that pleasure may come.

“They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are unaware”. (Ar-Room: 7).

 Why can you not reflect, O slaves of Allaah, and learn lessons from the misfortunes and calamities that Allaah has inflicted on people throughout history? Can you not ponder over the fate of the dead who are escorted to their burial places daily? These people who are our fathers, our mothers, our children, kings, paupers, believers, disbelievers, righteous and sinful? These people are all buried in graves and will all be resurrected on the Day of Judgment,

“The Day they will emerge from the graves rapidly as if they were, toward an erected idol, hastening. Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. That is the Day which they had been promised!” (Al-Ma`aarij: 43-44).

 Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah and be dutiful to Him and remember that you will one day leave this world for your everlasting abode which will be either Paradise or Hell. Get yourselves prepared for that day:

“So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained (his desire). And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion?” (Aal-‘Imraan: 185). 


[1] An Example of ‘Eenah is where a person requires, for example, $100. In order to get this from a lender, he does not take the conventional interest route of simply borrowing $100 at a set interest rate. Rather, he will arbitrarily purchase an item from the lender for, say, $150 and not pay its price but  IMMEDIATELY re-sell the item, back to the lender for, say, $100 and take that $100 in cash. Therefore he has the $100 that he originally sought and will pay back the outstanding $150 at a later date. This of course is exactly the same as ribaa but in addition, it involves attempting to circumvent the prohibition of ribaa and therefore it is actually worse.