Thursday, 27 December 2012

Modesty in Speech, Hope for Forgiveness, Zakat in Excess, Brush Your Teeth, Remove Fear and Unrest Duah

thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Modesty In Speech;

Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said, “Modesty and being at a loss for words are two components of true faith, while vulgarity and long-windedness are two components of hypocrisy."

Sometimes what others say leaves us speechless. Convincing speakers get a mixture of both admiration and dislike from others. People admire them because they have the ability to immediately convey what they wish. They are disliked because we sense an element of fallaciousness in their talk and their quick responses do not allow others a chance to express their points of view.

Situations like this sometimes arise when people are being accused of something. This hadith is good news for you if you are one of those who are modest and restrained in your responses and perhaps sometimes at a loss for words when in the right.

Pearls of Wisdom – Hope For Forgiveness; 
‘When my heart was hardened, and my courses constrained; I made my hope a stairway, to Your forgiveness. My sin burdened me heavily, but when I measured it by Your forgiveness, Lord, Your forgiveness was the greater’

[Imam Shafi'i (rahimAllah) in his final sickness]

Weekly Q&A;
Q. Can one deduct any overpayments in Zakat made in previous periods from the current amount payable?

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

If a person pays zakaah more than the amount that is required of him, the extra amount is regarded as charity (sadaqah) for which he will be rewarded, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allaah is All-Recogniser, All-Knower”
[al-Baqarah 2:158]

It is the same whether this additional amount was given deliberately or by mistake. But he cannot count this additional amount as zakaah for the coming years, because one of the conditions of giving zakaah in advance is that it should be intended as such at the time of giving it.

Imam al-Shaafa‘i mentioned an issue that is similar to this: a man paid the zakaah on his wealth before the end of the year, then his wealth was destroyed before zakaah became due on it, and he wanted to allocate the wealth he had paid as zakaah on other wealth that he had: is that acceptable?
Imam al-Shaafa‘i said: He does not have the right to do that, because his intention was to pay it as zakaah on specific wealth that he had. So he does not have the right to divert his intention concerning it after paying the money to those who were entitled to it.
[From al-Umm, 2/24]

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (May Allah have mercy on him) was asked: I paid twenty thousand riyals as zakaah for the year 1411 AH, then I calculated the zakaah on my wealth for the same year, and I found that it was fifteen thousand. Is it permissible to regard the extra amount as zakaah for the year 1412 AH, even if that is without intention (niyyah)?
He replied:
This questioner paid more zakaah than was required of him, and he is asking whether he can count it towards the zakaah of the next year.
I say that he cannot count it towards the zakaah of the next year, because he did not intend it as such. Rather it is charity (sadaqah) which will bring him closer to Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, because the Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Actions are but by intentions, and each person will have but that which he intended.”
[ Majmoo‘ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 18/308]

And Allaah (SWT) knows best.

Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Brush Your Teeth/ Use Miswaak;
Ibn Umar (RadiAllahu anhuma) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
'Make a regular practice of the Miswaak, for verily, it is healthy for the mouth and it is a Pleasure for the Creator (i.e. Allah is pleased with the Muslim who uses the Miswaak)'." 
[BUKHARI 2/274, AHMAD 6/47, AL-NISAA'I 1/50]

It is reported that our Beloved Prophet  used to regulary use Miswaak before sleeping, praying, and also while on his way home before greeting his wives (radiAllahu anhuma). Hence not only will we be maintaining our personal hygiene by brushing our teeth regularly and at various times during the day, but we will also be fulfilling a highly emphasised Sunnah of the Prophet  , and hence earn the Pleasure of Allah through it insha’Allah,as is confirmed in the given hadith.
May Allah (SWT) enable us to adhere to this wonderful Sunnah, and through it reward us accordingly in this world by keeping us away from the dreaded dentist’s chair!

Dua of the Week;
Supplication to remove fear from the heart, or unrest/apprehension during sleep:

عـوذُبِكَلِمـاتِ اللّهِ التّـامّـاتِ مِن غَضَـبِهِ وَعِـقابِهِ ، وَشَـرِّ عِبـادِهِ وَمِنْ هَمَـزاتِ الشَّـياطينِ وَأَنْ يَحْضـرون

"A'oothu bikalimaatil-laahit-tammaati min ghadhabihi wa 'iqaabihi, wa sharri 'ibaadihi, wa min hamazaatish-shayaateeni wa'an yahduroon"

'I seek refuge in the Perfect Words of Allah, from His anger and His punishment, from the evil of the slaves, and from the taunts of devils and from their presence’

This du'a was recommended by the Prophet   to remove fear from the heart, or for one who experiences unrest during sleep.
[Abu Dawud 4/12, Tirmidhi 3/171]

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Our Children Our Future, Educating Children, Travellers Shortening Prayers, Sunnah of Sneezing, Waking Up Duah

thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Our Children Our Future;

Our beloved Prophet   said, “Fear Allah and treat your children [small or grown] fairly (with equal justice).”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Narrated Umm Khalid: I (the daughter of Khalid ibn Said) went to Allah’s Messenger (SAW) with my father and I was wearing a yellow shirt. Allah’s Messenger   said, “Sanah, Sanah!” (`Abdullah, the narrator, said that sanah meant “good” in the Ethiopian language). I then started playing with the seal of prophethood (between the Prophet’s shoulders) and my father rebuked me harshly for that. Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Leave her.” The Prophet (SAW), then, invoked Allah to grant her a long life thrice.

In another narration we see the Prophet’s tolerance towards children.
Narrated `A’ishah: The Prophet (SAW) took a child in his lap…and then the child urinated on him, so he asked for water and poured it over the place of the urine.

All of the above examples of the words and actions of our Prophet (SAW), the best of humanity, demonstrate the level of patience and equity with which we have to treat our children. These are only a very few of the plethora of narrations within the hadith collections of how he would make time for them, treat them with kindness and love, and make du'a for them. They are a blessing bestowed upon us by Allah (Subhana wa ta'aala).  In the earliest years, the soul is most vulnerable. Our great duty as parents, and elders in general, is to nurture it, and preserve it from harm, as through our treatment we are moulding personalities amongst the future of our Ummah. 

Pearls of Wisdom – Educating Children; 
"Seeking knowledge when one is young, is like etching on a stone" [In other words, the knowledge which one memorises when one is young will be so strong in one's memory, that it is as if it had been etched on a stone]           
[Imam Hasan al-Basri (rahimAllah)]

We should put great emphasis on educating our children on the Deen appropriately from a very early age in accordance with the recommendation in this inspiring quote, as what is learned and memorised in childhood stays with one for life, and I am sure we can all testify to that from our own experiences. 

Weekly Q&A;
Q.What is the reason for the shortening of the prayer while travelling - is it difficulties encountered or travel itself?

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

The reason for shortening the prayers is travel itself regardless of whether or not one encounters any difficulty.
Allaah and His Messenger (SAW) connected the ruling on this matter (shortening of prayers) to travel. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Salaah (the prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you), verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies”
[al-Nisa 4:101]

And the Prophet (SAW) said: “The prayer when travelling is two rak’ahs.”
[Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 1420; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i]

The Prophet (SAW) said: “Allaah has waived half the prayer for the traveller.”
[Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2275; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i]

This is also indicated by the fact that it is not permissible for the non-traveller to shorten his prayers even if offering the prayer in full is difficult for him, which indicates that this ruling applies only to travel, not to difficulty.

Some common questions are: If a person travels a long distance by plane, but it only takes two hours or less, can this traveller shorten his prayers and break his fast in Ramadaan or not? Similarly if a person travels by car for two hundred miles or more in two and a half hours, for example, and comes back home in the evening, and he shortens his prayers, is this permissible or is it not permissible unless he faces difficulty and exhaustion when travelling?

The answers: Shortening the prayer when travelling the distances mentioned is Sunnah, and breaking the fast in such cases is a concession that is granted to the traveller, whether it takes him a long time or a short time to cross that distance, and whether that causes him hardship or not, because what is assumed is that travelling involves hardship, even if that does not actually happen. This is the bounty and mercy of Allaah towards His slaves.

And Allaah (SWT) knows best.

Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Fulfil the Sunnah of Sneezing;
Whenever our beloved Rasulullah (SAW) sneezed, he should cover his face with his hands or with a piece of cloth, so that the sound of the sneeze could not be heard too loudly.

Abu Hurairah (RadiAllahu anhuma) narrated that Nabi (SAW) said, ‘If anyone of you sneezes, he should say ‘Al-Hamdulillah’ (Praise be to Allah), and his (Muslim) brother or companion should say to him, ‘Yar-hamuka-l-lah’ (May Allah bestow his Mercy on you). When the latter says ‘Yar-hamuka-llah”, the former should say, ‘Yahdikumul-lah wa Yuslih balakum’ (May Allah give you guidance and improve your condition).” ’
[Bukhari 8:73:243]

SubhanAllah not only is the practice of the Prophet while sneezing a manifestation of the emphasis that Islam puts on good manners, but also the instruction for us to send du'a upon our Muslim brother/sister when they sneeze, is an sign of consideration and mutual respect between Muslims in general. Remembering to adhere to this simple recommended Sunnah earns us Allah's Pleasure and Reward with no effort at all. Hence we should all be mindful of it at all times insha'Allah.

Dua of the Week;
Supplication when waking up in the morning:

الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا، وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُور 

"Alhamdu lillahil-ladhi ahyaana ba'da ma amaatana wa ilaihin nushur"

''All the thanks are due to Allah Who brought us back to life after He had caused us to die (sleep), and the Return is to Him’

This du'a was recited by the Prophet (SAW) when he would awaken after sleeping.
[Abu Dawud 4/264, Ahmad 2/389]

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Time for Righteousness, What is Imaan, Muslims and Punctionality, Wudhu And Dua for Protection from Shaytaan

thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Time For Righteousness;

Allah (Subhana wa ta'ala) says in the Glorious Qur'an:

"Spend (in charity) out of the sustenance that We have bestowed on you before that time when death will come to someone, and he shall say: "O my Lord! If only you would grant me reprieve for a little while, then I would give in charity, and be among the righteous."
[The Holy Quran, 63:10]

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "Every Muslim has to give in charity." The people then asked: "(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?"
The Prophet replied: "He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns)." The people further asked: "If he cannot find even that?" He replied: "He should help the needy who appeal for help." Then the people asked: "If he cannot do (even) that?" The Prophet said finally: "Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds."
[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 524]

Pearls of Wisdom – What Is Imaan; 
‘Imaan is to believe, even when an overpowering tide of evil surrounds you’
[Imam Anwar al-Awlaki] 

Weekly Q&A;
Q. What are the rules governing a Muslim regarding punctuality and being late?

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

Agreeing to be somewhere at a given time is akin to a promise and the fiqh of promises therefore applies to it. It is improper to make a promise without firm resolve and reasonable surety of fulfilling it. However, it is not sinful if it is due to secondary issues that may arise and prevent one from fulfilling it.
However, contractual matters such as jobs, classes, and appointments are different.
Allah says: “Oh you who believe, fulfill your contracts”. The scholars have explained that “contracts” here refers to every type of commitment. It is obligatory (Fard) to be on time if this is the expectation. Even being a little late is at least improper, and is unbecoming of a Muslim. Undue delay is otherwise sinful. Slight delays that are customarily overlooked are not.
The believers should uphold themselves to the most excellent of character. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said “The closest of you to me on the Day of Judgment are those best of character.”
Shaykh Muhammad Qaylish mentions that when the Shariah is distant from society, such as in our times, we are ambassadors of Islam and must act in order to uphold a favourable impression of Islam. This entails:
1. Upholding commitments with excellence
2. Being easy-going without being lax

And Allaah (SWT) knows best.

Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Remain in a state of Wudhoo;
Ibn Umar (RadiAllahu anhuma) says that Nabi (SAW) used to say, ‘Whoever performs Wudhu upon Wudhu, he will receive ten rewards.’
[Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibne Majah]

Islam is a religion of those who maintain their purity, both spiritually and physically. Insha'Allah we should try to perform Wudhoo as often as possible, and keep ourselves in a state of tahaara, as this helps us abstain from many vices, and brings a plethora of other benefits in shaa'Allah that we don't even realise.  

Dua of the Week;
Supplication for Protection from the Shaytaan:

وَقُل رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ
                                                                                                                                                                                                   وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحْضُرُونِ 

"Waqul rabbi aAAothu bika min hamzatishshayaateeni - WaaAaoothu bika rabbi an yahdurooni"

'And say, "Oh my Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayaateen (devils), And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! Lest they should come near me".
[Al-Mu'minoon, Verse 97 – 98]

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Food and Drink, Disagreement Without Knowledge, Rights of a Non-Muslim, Mothers Day, Supplication after Meal

thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Food and Drink;

Allah (Subhana wa Ta'ala) says in the Quran:

“0 You who believe! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you and be grateful to Allah, if it is He you worship”
[al-Baqarah 2:172]

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was sitting while a man was eating food. That man did not mention the Name of Allah (i.e. say 'Bismillah') till only a morsel of food was left. When he raised it to his mouth, he said: ‘Bismillah awwalahu wa akhirahu’ (With the Name of Allah, in the beginning and in the end)'. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) smiled at this and said, ‘Shaytaan had been eating with him but when he mentioned the Name of Allah, Shaytaan vomited all that was in his stomach.’”
[Abu Dawud, Vol:3, No.3763]

On another occasion, he (SAW) said,' Indeed Allah is pleased with His servant who, when he eats a morsel, praises Him for it, or drinks a sip and then praises Him for it."
[Narrated by Anas and collected in Saheeh Muslim]

We should never take for granted anything that we may eat or drink, and should always bear in mind that every morsel has been provided for us by Allah (Subhana wa Ta'ala), who is ar-Razzaq, or the Provider. Therefore, we should remember Him prior to starting, and offer shukr during and after a meal. One should say Bismillah before a meal, however, if we forget to say it in the beginning we may say “Bismillah awwalahu wa akhirahu” whenever we remember, during eating or at the end of the meal.  Better still is to appreciate His blessings on us with every mouthful. We have an excellent opportunity to transform an everyday practice of eating and drinking into an act of worship and a source of blessing for us. Every mouthful of food we take will serve as a reminder of Allah's (Subhana wa Ta'ala) great favour upon us and His Mercy and this in turn will cause us to earn favour with Allah, insha'Allah.  

Pearls of Wisdom – Speak With Full Knowledge Only; 
“If those who do not possess knowledge avoid the scholarly discussions, disagreement will end.”  Abu Hamid al-Ghazali - (RahimAllah) 

Weekly Q&A;
Q. What is the duty of a Muslim towards a Non-Muslim, whether he is a 'Dhimmi' in a Muslim country or in his own country

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

The duty of the Muslim towards a non-Muslim includes a number of things:

Da‘wah or calling him to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. He should call him to Allah and explain to him the reality of Islam when possible, with regard to whatever issues he has knowledge about, because this is the greatest kindness that he can give to his fellow-citizens and to those whom he meets of Jews, Christians and others who may be mushrikeen (polytheists), because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who guides others to goodness will have a reward like that of the one who does it.” And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), when he sent him to Khaybar and instructed him to call the Jews to Islam: “By Allah, if Allah were to guide one man through you, that would be better for you than having red camels (the best kind).” And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever calls others to right guidance will have a reward like that of those who follow him, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” So calling him (the non-Muslim) to Islam, conveying Islam to him and being sincere towards him in that are among the best means of drawing close to Allah.

He should not wrong him, with regard to his physical wellbeing, his wealth or his honour. If he is a dhimmi (non-Muslim living under Muslim rule), musta’man (one who is granted security in a Muslim land) or mu‘aahid (one with whose country the Muslims have a peace deal), then he should give him his due rights, and not transgress against his wealth by stealing, betraying or deceiving, and he should not harm him physically by striking or killing him, because the fact that he is a mu‘aahid or dhimmi, or musta’man, means that he is protected by sharee‘ah.

There is no reason why we should not interact with him, buying, selling, renting, hiring and so on. It is narrated in saheeh reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) bought from kuffaar who were idol worshippers, and he bought from the Jews, and these are interactions. When he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) died, his shield was being held in pledge by a Jew for some food he had bought for his family (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

With regard to greeting, the Muslim should not initiate the greeting, but he may return it, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not initiate the greeting of salaam with the Jews or Christians.” And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If the people of the Book greet you with salaam (by saying al-salaamu ‘alaykum), say ‘Wa ‘alaykum.’” So the Muslim should not initiate the greeting to a kaafir, but if the kaafir initiates it, and the Jew or Christians etc. greets you with salaam, then you should say “wa ‘alaykum,” as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said.

These are some of the rights between a Muslim and a kaafir. Another right is being a good neighbour. So if he is a neighbour, be kind to him and do not annoy him; give charity to him if he is poor, give him gifts, give him beneficial advice, because these are things that will attract him to Islam and to become Muslim; and because the neighbour has rights.

The Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Jibreel kept urging me to be kind to my neighbour until I thought that he would make him my heir.”
Saheeh - agreed upon.
If the neighbour is a kaafir, he still has the rights of a neighbour; if he is both a relative and a kaafir, then he has two rights: the rights of a neighbour and the rights of a relative.

One of the rights of the neighbour is that you should give him charity, but not zakaah, if he is poor, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity”
[al-Mumtahanah 60:8]

 According to the saheeh hadeeth narrated from Asma’ bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her), her mother, who was a mushrik, entered upon her during the truce between the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the people of Makkah, seeking help. Asma’ asked the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) for permission - should she uphold ties of kinship with her? The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Uphold ties of kinship with her.” 

Muslim should not take part in celebrating their festivals, but there is nothing wrong with offering them condolences if a loved one dies, such as saying “May Allah compensate you in your loss” and other kind words. But he should not say “May Allah forgive him” or “May Allah have mercy on him” if the deceased was a kaafir, and he should not pray for the deceased if he was a kaafir. But he may pray for the one who is alive to be guided and to be compensated and so on.

And Allaah (SWT) knows best.

Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Celebrate Mothers Day...Again(and again...);
As Muslims, we do not acquiesce to the notion that a just single day of the year should be ascribed to the expression of love and appreciation for our mothers, rather we are taught through the Glorious Qur'an and Sunnah of our Prophet   that this should be an intrinsic emotion that we must continuously nurture and make manifest through our actions. Hence, insha'Allah try to retain your focus on serving of your mother, and keep thinking of ways to please her and make her life easier. Above all, make du'a for her, as there is nothing more potent and salutary that she could benefit from, tangible or intangible, in this world or in the Hereafter. 

Dua of the Week;
Supplication After Finishing a Meal:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنِي هَذَا الطَّعَامَ وَرَزَقَنِيهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ حَوْلٍ مِنِّي وَلَا قُوَّةٍ 

"Alhamdulillaahil-lathee at’amanaa hatta'aama warazaqeenee min ghairi hawlin minnee wala quwwah"

"All Praise belongs to Allah who granted this meal, (which I received) without my power or effort"

We have been instructed to recite this du'a after finishing a meal by our Prophet (SAW), to express gratitude to our Sustainer (Subhana wa Ta'ala). Hence we should insha'Allah make an effort it learn it and say it accordingly.
[Hasan - Narrated by Mu’aadh Ibn Anas and authenticated by at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Hajr and others]