Thursday, 26 July 2012

Testing Times, Shake Hands, Duah of Nuh

thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Testing Times
Regarding trials that we will be subjected to, Allah (Subhan wa ta'aala) tell us in the Qur'an,
"Or do you think that you shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of Allah?' Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!
[Baqarah, Verse 214]

And as a comfort, He (Subhana wa ta’aala) also reminds us,
“for indeed, with hardship (will be) ease, indeed with hardship (will be) ease”
[Ash-Sharh, 5&6]

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “The people who are tested the most severely are the Prophets, then the righteous, then the next best and the next best, and a man will be tested in accordance with his level of religious commitment; the stronger his religious commitment, the more severe will be his test ….”.

Every test and adversity that we face in this world is a positive opportunity that Allah bestows on us to manifest our imaan (faith) and tawakkal (trust in Allah). It shows that our Lord and Creator is attentive towards us, which itself is an immeasurable blessing, and it is our chance to reciprocate this by reacting in the manner He has prescribed. It is said when the Sahaba (radiAllahu'anhuma) would not face any trials in their lives for a period, they would turn to Allah (subhana wa ta'aala) in sadness and ask if He had forgotten them.  While it is easy to get smothered and weighed down by the immediate challenges that trials pose, we should always bear in mind that the fact that Allah is testing us is a sign that we are close to Him, and our patience will be recompensed in a befitting manner according to His promise. Belief in this itself is enough to give any believer the strength to endure and persevere through any adversity he or she is faced with insha'Allah.

Pearls of Wisdom; 
"He who is greedy is disgraced; he who discloses his hardship will be humiliated, he who has no control over his tongue will often have to face discomfort."
[Ali ibn Abi Talib, radiAllahu'anhu)]

Weekly Q&A;
Q. Wailing and Visiting graves?

 Praise be to Allaah. 
In the Name of Allah, the most Merciful,

Visiting graves is not permissible for women. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Visit the graves, for they remind you of death and the Hereafter,” addressing men. And he used to teach his Companions to say, when they visited graves, “Al-salaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa inna in sha Allaah lalaahiqoon. As’al Allaah lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah (Peace be upon you, O inhabitants of the graves, believers and Muslims. Verily we will, in sha Allaah, join you. I ask Allaah for well-being for us and for you).”  But in the case of women, he forbade them to do that.

The curse on women who visit graves is mentioned in several ahaadeeth, so it is not permissible for women to visit graves, but it is prescribed for them to pray for forgiveness and mercy for their deceased loved ones, and to pray that they be admitted to Paradise and saved from Hell, without visiting the graves; they can pray for them at home. There is also nothing to prevent them offering the funeral prayer for the deceased in the mosque or prayer-place, as the women offered the funeral prayer at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and at the time of his Companions.

With regard to wailing and listening, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade wailing and said: “There are four matters of jaahiliyyah that exist among my ummah and they will not give them up: boasting about one’s forefathers, casting aspersions upon people’s lineages, seeking rain by the stars and wailing for the dead.” And he said: “If the woman who wails does not repent before she dies, she will be raised on the Day of Resurrection wearing pants of tar and a chemise of scabs.”
[Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh]

So the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) explained that wailing for the dead is a blameworthy act of jaahiliyyah and it must not be done. Umm ‘Atiyyah said: The Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) took a pledge from us when we swore allegiance, that we would not wail. And Abu Dawood (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated in his Sunan from Abu Sa‘eed (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he cursed the woman who wails and the one who listen to her. There is some weakness in its isnaad, but there is corroborating evidence for its meaning, so wailing is haraam and reprehensible, and it is not permissible for a woman to be involved in wailing, or for a man to do that either.

Wailing refers to raising the voice when weeping and saying, “O my support, O one who clothed me, O how sad I am” and so on. The one who listens is the woman who listens to the ones who are wailing and encourages them, so she sits with them and encourages them to wail. This is included because sitting with them is a kind of encouragement. So it is not permissible to listen to them. If the one who is wailing will not be quiet, it is obligatory to leave her and not sit with her, by way of shunning her and denouncing her. If a woman sits with her and listens to her, this is a kind of help and encouragement.

So it is not permissible to listen to one who is wailing; rather she should denounce her and tell her not to do that. If she stops, all well and good, otherwise you should leave her and not sit with her and listen to her.

May Allaah help us all to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. May Allaah send blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad.

And Allaah knows best.

Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Shake Hands; 
Al-Bara' (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, "Two Muslims will not meet and shake hands without having their sins forgiven (by Allah ) before they depart.''
 [Abu Dawud]

When we see a brother we may smile and say salam from a distance. While smiling is prescribed and has been described as a saqadah, we should maximize the easy reward that this situation has to offer by also shaking hands with the brother. Very little effort, very significant reward.

Dua of the Week;
Dua of Nuh ('alayhis salam) to invoke Allah's Help in Adversity:

فَانتَصِرْ مَغْلُوبٌ أَنِّي رَبَّهُ فَدَعَا

“Fada’aa rabbahu annee maghloobun fantasir”

So he invoked His Lord, ‘Indeed I am overpowered,so help’
[al-Qamar, 10]


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Living a Simple Life, Forsaking a Muslim, Character, Witr

thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Living a Simple Life
Umar ibn Khattab (RadiAllahu ‘anhu) said: ‘I entered the Messenger’s house and I found him sitting on a mat. He had a leather pillow stuffed with fibres. He had a pot of water by his feet, and there was some clothes hung on the wall. His side had marks due to the mat that he lay on’. Umar wept when he saw this, and the Messenger (salAllahu’alayhi wasallam) asked him: ‘Why do you weep?’ Umar said: ‘O Prophet of God! Khosrau (Persian emperior) and Caesar enjoy the best of this world, and you are suffering in poverty?!’ He said: ‘Aren’t you pleased that they enjoy this world, and we will enjoy the Hereafter?’

Simplicity and abstinence from extravagance is highly recommended in Islam. While living in luxury is not prohibited for a Muslim, it is at most ‘mubah’, or permissible (not encouraged). As we are aptly reminded through the above narration, the promise of the Afterlife far exceeds anything that this world has to offer. The Prophet (salAllahu'alayhi wasallam) demonstrated this through the way he lived his life despite having the option of excessive comfort, and constantly reminded his Companions (radi'Allahu'anhuma) to follow his example. Hence we should be mindful of this and instead of indulging in flamboyance, we should put to good use what all Allah (Subhna wa ta'aala) has given us through the belief that we are investing in our Aakhirah and therefore the best is yet to come insha'Allah.

Pearls of Wisdom;
It is reported that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimuhullah) said: ‘As-Shafi’I saw me sitting in his circle, and there was some ink on my shirt that I was trying to hide. He said, “ Young man, why are you trying to hide it? Having ink on the clothes is the sign of lofty conduct; to the sight it is black, but to the insight it is white (with the light of knowledge).”’  

Weekly Q&A;
It is not permissible to foresake Muslim because of differences in point of view?

 Praise be to Allaah. 
In the Name of Allah, the most Merciful,

It is not permissible to forsake a Muslim, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.”
[Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5727; Muslim, 2560]
 This applies especially if the believer is a relative, such as a brother, nephew, uncle or cousin, because in such cases forsaking is an even worse sin.

This applies unless the person is committing a sin and there is an interest to be served by forsaking him, i.e., that it will make him give up the sin. In that case there is nothing wrong with it, because this comes under the heading of removing evil. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; if he cannot then with his heart [by hating it and feeling that it is wrong], and that is the weakest of faith.”
[Narrated by Muslim, 49] 

The basic principle is that it is haraam for a Muslim to forsake his fellow-Muslim, unless there is a reason to allow it.
[See Fataawa Manaar al-Islam, by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 3, p. 732.]

Wali al-Deen al-‘Iraaqi said:

This prohibition applies in cases where the forsaking is caused by anger with regard to something permissible that has nothing to do with religion. With regard to forsaking someone for a religious reason, such as his committing sin or bid’ah, there is no prohibition on that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded (his companions) to forsake Ka’b ibn Maalik, Hilaal ibn Umayyah and Maraarah ibn al-Rabee’ (may Allaah be pleased with them). Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: This hadeeth of Ka’b indicates that it is permissible for a man to forsake his brother if he commits some act of bid’ah or immorality, in the hope that forsaking him may discipline him and serve as a rebuke to him. Abu’l-‘Abbaas al-Qurtubi said: With regard to forsaking a person because of sin or bid’ah, it should be continued until he repents from that and does not go back to it. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr also said: The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, unless there is the fear that speaking to him and keeping in touch with him will affect one’s religious commitment or have some harmful effect on one's spiritual and worldly interests. If that is the case, it is permissible to avoid him, because peaceful avoidance is better than harmful mixing.
[Tarh al-Tathreeb, 8/99 ]

What you should do, if your brother has done something haraam, is to advise him and explain that this thing is haraam and is not permitted, and remind him of Allaah. If you see that he is persisting in his sin and you think that forsaking him will serve a purpose, then it is permissible to do so, as stated above. But if he has simply done something that you do not agree with, or it is the matter of different points of view, then you should explain to him that you do not agree with what he has done, or with his mistaken point of view. But if you make forsaking him the sign of your disagreeing with him, this may lead to him rejecting your view completely, let alone the fact that this is not a legitimate shar’i justification for forsaking him for more than three days. We have seen above in the fatwa of Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen that the basic principle is that it is haraam for a Muslim to forsake his fellow-Muslim, unless there is a reason to allow it.

The Muslim must be forbearing and sincere towards his brothers, he must be tolerant towards them and overlook their mistakes. He should not hasten to adopt a solution that may cause division and haraam kinds of forsaking.

May Allaah help us all to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. May Allaah send blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad.

And Allaah knows best.

Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Character, The Forgotten Trait; 
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I was sent to perfect good character." [Muwatta, Imam Malik rahimihullah]

All things take effort to improve upon. While most of us are able to focus our energies on improving our practise and knowledge of Islam, it's very easy to neglect the other parts like character and personality. There is no harm in striving to be a good person and although it may be difficult at first if we're explicit and conscious about nurturing our relationships and our behaviour toward others and our surroundings, eventually it will become effortless and second nature. Indeed it is a part of our Deen to perfect our character, and this cannot be overlooked.

Dua of the Week;
One invocation for Qunut in the Witr prayer:

“Allaahum-mahdinee feeman hadayta, wa 'aafinee feeman 'aafayta, wa tawallanee feeman tawallayta, wa baarik lee feemaa 'a'atayta, wa qinee sharra maa qadhayta, fa'innaka taqdhee wa laa yuqdhaa 'alayka, 'innahu laa yathillu man waalayta, [wa laa ya 'izzu man 'aadayta] , tabaarakta Rabbanaa wa ta'aalayta.

O Allah , guide me with those whom You have guided , and strengthen me with those whom You have given strength. Take me to Your care with those whom You have taken to Your care. Bless me in what You have given me. Protect me from the evil You have ordained. Surely, You command and are not commanded, and none whom You have committed to Your care shall be humiliated [and none whom You have taken as an enemy shall taste glory] . You are Blessed , Our Lord , and Exalted.


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Zakat, Neglect, Put trust in Allah

thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Be Generous with what Allah has given;
Allah (Subhana wa ta'ala) says in the Glorious Qur'an, “And let not those who are niggardly with respect to what Allah has given them out of His bounty think that it is good for them; on the contrary it is bad for them. Soon that for which they were niggardly shall be their necklace on the Day of Resurrection. And only Allah is the Heir of heavens and earth and Allah is aware of your doings.“ [Surah Imran, verse 180]

Abu Huraira (radiAllahu anhu) related that the Prophet (SalAllahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘When someone is made rich but he does not pay Zakat for his wealth, then on the Day of Judgment his money will be turned into a poisonous snake with two black spots on its head. It will coil around his neck and bite his cheeks and say: 'I am your wealth, I am your treasure'. Then the Prophet recited the above verse (3:180). [Bukhari]

The payment of Zakaat is obligatory on all Muslims who own the nisaab (minimum threshold of wealth), for more than a year. Despite knowing this, many believers do not give this pillar of Islam the significance that it warrants. As Muslims we should ensure that we are aware of our obligations in terms of Zakaat, and make certain that we are at least paying what is due from us in the manner that has been ordained. Those of us who pay our Zakaat in Ramadan should prepare ourselves and make suitable provisions for it insha’Allah.

Pearls of Wisdom - Neglect; 
“The righteous salaf were as fearful of their good deeds being squandered, or not being accepted, as the present generation is certain that their neglect will be forgiven.”
 Imam Hasan al Basri (rahimAllah)

Weekly Q&A;
Q. What is the threshold for Nisab el Zakat? (threshold for wealth when zakat becomes due)

 Praise be to Allaah. 
In the Name of Allah, the most Merciful,

Nisaab ul-Zakat for naqd (gold and silver) is defined as the minimum amount of naqd specified by shari’a below which one is not required to pay zakat, whereas if one’s wealth exceeds it then zakat becomes incumbent.

And it is known that zakat ul-maal (wealth) in shari’a is required for the two types of naqd—gold and silver—and what serves their function in modern times (commonly referred to as cash), whether it is dollars or riyals or pounds or otherwise.

Nisaab for gold as our Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed us (and for currencies made from gold) is 20 mithqaalan, a measure which is equivalent to 85 grams of pure gold (1 mithqaal = 4.25 grams). It becomes incumbent upon anyone who owns such an amount in any form to pay zakat on it in the amount of 2.5%.

Nisaab for silver and currencies made from silver is equivalent to 595 grams of pure silver. Likewise, it becomes incumbent upon anyone who owns such an amount in any form to pay zakat on it in the amount of 2.5%.

It is well known that there is a noticeable disparity between the value of nisaab for gold and that of silver in our times. The best and most conservative approach for a poor person is to assess how much wealth he has that has been in his possession for a complete lunar year (Hijri, which is 354 days). If the amount reaches the value of nisaab for silver or more, then he should pay from it 2.5%, to be spent in the prescribed benficiaries as specified by shari’ah, and we ask Allah to aid us and help us succeed in fulfilling our obligations correctly.

And Allaah knows best.

Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Calculate your Zakat; 
If you are due to pay Zakat soon, and are not sure how to calculate what you owe, then a good basic guide and calculator has been put together by 1st Ethical Charitable Trust at the following link:

Dua of the Week;
Supplication for Putting one's Trust in Allah:

  اِنِّىْ تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللّٰهِ رَبِّىْ وَرَبِّكُمْ‌ؕ مَا مِنْ دَآبَّةٍ اِلَّا هُوَ
                                                                                                                                   اٰخِذٌۢ بِنَاصِيَتِهَاؕ اِنَّ رَبِّىْ عَلٰى صِرٰطٍ مُّسْتَقِيْمٍ‏

“Innee tawakkaltu AAala Allahi rabbee warabbikum ma min dabbatin illa huwa akhithun binasiyatiha inna rabbee AAala siratin mustaqeemin" 

"I put my trust in Allah, My Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has grasp of its fore-lock. Verily, it is my Lord that is on a straight Path”.
[Suran Hud, Verse 56]


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Breakdown of Ramadan Days and Duahs

thefinalmessage|THE RAMADAN NOTE

Breakdown of Ramadan Days and Duahs

FIRST ASHRA (First ten days 1-10);
The first ten days of the Blessed Month of Ramadan are the days of Mercy.
We should seek Allah's Mercy in these days.

Rab-bigh-fir war-ham wa Anta Khair-ur-Raahimeen (Surah Al Muminun:118)
Translation: My Lord, forgive and have mercy for You are the Best of those who show mercy

 Allahumma arhamni Ya Arham-mar-Rahimeen
Translation: O Allah have mercy on me, and You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy

Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyumu Birahmatika asta-ghee-thu
Translation: O Ever Living, O Self-Subsisting and Supporter of all that exists, by Your mercy, I seek your help

SECOND ASHRA (Second ten days 11-20);

The second ten days of Ramadan are the days of Forgiveness.
We should seek Allah's forgiveness and repent for all sins.

Allahum-magh-fir-li dhunoobi Ya Rabbal Alameen
Translation: O Allah forgive me my sins, O Lord of the Worlds

Rabbana Fagh-fir-lana dhunoobana wa kaf-fir-'anna sayyi-aatina wa ta-waf-fana ma-'al abraar
(Surah Al-Imran:193)
Translation: Our Lord, forgive us our sins and expiate from us our evil deeds and make us die (in the state of righteousness) along with the pious believers

Astaghfarullah-alladhee laa ilaaha illaa huw-al Hayyul Qayyoomu wa atoobu ileih
Translation: I seek Allah's forgiveness, there is no god except Him, The Ever-Living, The Self-Subsiting and Supporter of all, and I turn to Him in repentance

THIRD /LAST ASHRA (Last ten days 21-30);

The last days of Ramadan are to seek Refuge in Allah from the Hellfire.

Allahumma Ajirni min-an-naar
Translation: O Allah, save me from the Fire

DUA for LAYLA-tul-QADR (to be read in the last ten days):
Allahumma innaka 'affuwan tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu'-anni
Translation: O Allah, indeed You are the Forgiver, You love forgiveness, so forgive me.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Islam is easy, Time is short, Non-Muslim family, Guidance, Half Quran

thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Follow the Sunnah, it’s easy;
A'isha (RadiAllahu anha) related that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) did something and indicated that it is permissible. Some people, however, felt that they should not do it. This was communicated to the Prophet (PBUH). He spoke, starting with praising Allah, before saying: “What is the matter with certain people who feel that they are above doing something which I have done? By Allah, I know Allah better than them and I fear Him most.”
[Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and Al-Nissai] 

 The Prophet (PBUH) has always indicated that Islam is an easy religion, with instructions to its followers that are easy to follow. He, therefore, through this hadith has made it absolutely clear that a middle course is the most favoured course and that his example must be followed by all Muslims. Indeed, his guidance is the best of guidance, and following his actions meticulously will undoubtedly win us success in the Hereafter insha'Allah.

Pearls of Wisdom; 
“Son of Adam! You are nothing but a number of days, whenever each day passes then part of you has gone.”
 Imam Hasan Al-Basri - (RahimAllah)

Weekly Q&A;
Q. I am a Muslim woman who has reverted to Islam from Christianity. Can I still meet my non-muslim family, and what are their rights over me?

Praise be to Allaah. 
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Islam will never prevent you from meeting with your family, rather it will urge you to treat them even better than you did before, so that you will be a good example of a Muslim woman, and help them to embrace this religion. The people who most deserve to share this blessing with you are your family members.

Asma’ bint Abi Bakr al-Siddeeq said: My mother came to me when she was a mushrik at the time of Quraysh, at the time of the treaty with them (i.e. during the period when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had made a peace treaty with the people of Makkah not to fight for the duration). I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has come and she needs my help, should I uphold ties of kinship with my mother?” He said, “Yes, uphold the ties of kinship with your mother.”
[Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim 1003]

Here the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave permission for a Muslim to uphold the ties of kinship with his family who follow a religion other than Islam, even if those family members are calling him to forsake his religion and become a mushrik (one who worships others besides Allaah). Although Islam forbids him to respond to their call, it still commands him to treat them well and be kind to them.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly”
[Luqmaan 31:14-15]

Our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was keen to call his family to Islam, and he continued to visit them and call them; he visited his paternal uncle Abu Taalib when he was dying and invited him to Islam.

So there is nothing to prevent you visiting your family, but that should be in agreement with your husband, and you have to utilize these visits to call them to the truth and goodness, and help them to attain salvation.

What is haraam in these visits is free mixing of men and women, shaking hands with non-mahram men, and joining in their festivals. It is no secret to you that the rulings brought by Islam are in the best interests of people, both in this world and in the Hereafter. There is nothing wrong with exchanging gifts with them either, and that may be a means of softening their hearts and encouraging them to become Muslim, so long as the gifts are not given because of their festivals, especially the religious festivals. It is not permissible for you to accept or give gifts on those occasions, because that is helping them in their falsehood and approving of it.

And Allaah knows best.

Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Half of the Qur’an daily; 
Read Half of the Qur'an...Everyday...

Ibn Abbas narrated that the the Prophet said, ‘Idha zulzilat (Surat az-Zalzalah) is equivalent to half of the Qur’an’.
[at-Tirmidhi 2894 and Al-Hakim said its chain of narrators is authentic]

Such a short Surah, but yet such an immense and priceless reward. We should all make an effort to memorize Surah az-Zalzalah (Chapter 99) and its meaning, and recite it regularly insha’Allah.

Dua of the Week;
Supplication for Guidance:

 لَٮِٕنْ لَّمْ يَهْدِنِىْ رَبِّىْ لَاَكُوْنَنَّ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الضَّآلِّيْنَ

"La-in lam yahdinee rabbee laakoonanna minal qawmiddalleen"

"Unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who stray".
[Al-An'am, Verse 77]

NOTE: Apologies if the Arabic appears inverted, was fine upon uploading and reviewing