Thursday, 28 February 2013

Obligation of Knowledge, Celebration of Ilm, Dawah with little knowledge, Journey of Knowledge, Duah for Knowledge



thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Obligation of Knowledge;
Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) says in His Perfect Word, “...ask those who possess the Message (i.e. Ahl adh Dhikr) if you do not know”
[Surah an-Nahl, 16:43, and Surah al-Anbiyah 21:7]

Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said, "If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge. The inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and (even) the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave (no monetary inheritance), they leave only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion
[Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1631]
  
Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim (man and woman), and this has been confirmed by the Prophet (SAW) in a hadith in Al-Tirmidhi (74). Yet for many of us, the Friday Khutbah is the primary, and in a number of cases, the extent of Islamic knowledge that we will endeavour to gain within our week.
We may not realise and appreciate it, but living in the UK we have access to some of the most highly respected and sophisticated sources of knowledge that the West has to offer, in the form of learned scholars, literature and various Islamic Educational organisations. However, how many of us can honestly say that we are availing what Allah (Subhana wa ta'ala) has made accessible to us? Surely not many.
It is reported that the pious men of the past would travel on foot for months on end to far and distant lands, just to learn a single authentic hadith from a Raavi (narrator) who may have been present there. With the emergence of the internet, channels of communication and the printing press, there is no doubt that we have far more access to readily available sources of knowledge than the great leaders of our Deen from the past. However, while we are unlikely to be able to emulate their achievements, we should still all make a concerted effort inn sha Allah to dedicate time towards attaining what is the real and eternally beneficial knowledge, i.e, the knowledge of our Deen. This could be by reading a good book, regularly attending a good Islamic Circle/Halaqah, or by seeking the company of Ahl adh Dhikr as mentioned in the ayah above. Hence we would be fulfilling our obligation as Muslims, and will most certainly feel more content within our actions and lives.

May Allah (Subhana wa ta'ala) inspire us to attain knowledge of His Rightly Guided Path, allow us to implement it upon ourselves in this life, and thus ease our plights on the Promised Day, when ignorance will undoubtedly not be an excuse.


Pearls of Wisdom – Celebration of Knowledge; 
One of the noble things about knowledge is that he who is given a portion of it, no matter how small, rejoices while he who is deprived of it grieves.”
[Imam Shaf'i (rahimAllah)]


Weekly Q&A;
Q. Is it permissible for people with little knowledge of Islam to give Da'wah to non-muslims?

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

There is nothing at all wrong with conveying what you know of the religion of Allaah to non-Muslims, as long as you are certain that it is correct, such as the basics that you mention, like the five pillars of Islam or the pillars of eemaan (faith). Indeed, this is probably obligatory upon you, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining al-ma’roof (i.e., Islamic monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding al-munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:104]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Convey from me, even an aayah.” [Reported by al-Bukhaari]

Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: He said in the hadeeth, “even an aayah”, meaning one aayah, as if he was saying that every listener should hasten to convey whatever aayaat he heard, even if it is only a few. Some of the Sahaabah set out to call their tribes to Islam when they had only a little knowledge that they had gained during the brief time they had sat with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). But even though their knowledge was so little, it was correct and was blessed, and because of their sincerity, Allaah benefited others through it.
Al-Tufayl ibn ‘Umar went from Makkah to his people Daws with the limited amount of knowledge that he had, then he came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Madeenah accompanied by eighty families of Daws, all of whom had become Muslim, and among whom was Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him).

Know that some non-Muslims may become Muslim for the slightest reason and by hearing the briefest word said to them. Do not think that the knowledge you have is too little for the purposes of conveying the Message.

“… invite them to your Lord. Verily! You indeed are on the (true) straight guidance.”
[al-Hajj 22:67]

And Allaah (SWT) knows best.


Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Start Educating Yourself; Attend a Course/Lecture....;
Following on from the aayah and hadeeth above, we should all make a commitment from this week on to reflect on whether we are really doing enough to educate ourselves regarding our Deen. There are a number of courses which are available which will be beneficial to all of us and our families, regardless of our persuasions in terms of madhabs (Schools of Thought) etc. ; inn shaa Allah we should pick at least one in the coming weeks and attend.
Many of the Scholars involved in these courses/lectures are highly knowledgeable masha'Allah, and significantly sought after, hence it will undoubtedly be beneficial to learn from them while they are visiting the UK.  


Dua of the Week;
Supplication for Knowledge:

رَّبِّ زِدْنِىْ عِلْمً

Transliteration:
'Rabbi dhidni ilma'

Translation:
‘O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge' [20:114]



Thursday, 21 February 2013

Remember Allah, Real Fear, Qur'an with Meaning, Thank Others Correctly, Forgiveness and Righteiousness



thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

Weekly Hadith – Remember Allah;
Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) says in His Perfect Word, “The believers are only those who, when Allāh is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely.”
[Sūrah al-Anfāl, 8:2]

Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said, “Allāh will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His...” One of the seven mentioned is “...a person who remembers Allāh in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears.”
[Sahih al-Bukhārī]
 
Fearing Allāh in open and secret is one of the greatest signs demonstrating need and total deprivation before Him. Whoever realises His greatness and omnipotence, His unconquerable authority, and reveres Him in a manner befitting, will truly fear Him. One whose condition is such will have possessed a vigilant heart that shakes out of trepidation and is always in intimately conversant with its Lord. The heart will seek refuge in Him and plead for recourse.


Pearls of Wisdom – Real Fear; 
‘(Real) fear means to fear Allāh to the extent that your fear prevents your disobedience – that is fear”.
[Sa‘īd Ibn Jubayr (rahimAllah)]


Weekly Q&A;
Q. Is it permissible to read the Qur'aan without understanding its meanings?

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

Yes, it is permissible for believing men and women to read the Qur'an even if they do not understand the meaning, but it is prescribed to ponder and think so that one may understand, and to refer to books of tafseer (commentaries) if one has enough knowledge to understand them, and to refer to books of tafseer and Arabic language in order to benefit from that, and he can ask scholars about anything he does not understand.

What is meant is that he should ponder the meanings, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“(This is) a Book (the Qur’aan) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember”
[Saad 38:29]

The believer should ponder the meanings, i.e., he should pay attention to reading and think about what it means; he should understand the meanings and thus he will benefit from it. If he does not understand the meaning perfectly, he will still understand many meanings. So let him read carefully and ponder and understand. This also applies to women.

The reader should benefit from the words of his or her Lord and understand the meaning so that he may act upon it. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?” [Muhammad 47:24]

Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, urges and encourages us to think and ponder His words. When the believer -- man or woman -- reads the Book of Allah, it is prescribed for them to ponder and think and pay attention to what is read, so that they may benefit from the words of Allah and so that they may understand the words of Allah and so that they may act upon what they learn from the words of Allah.
They may seek help in doing so from books of tafseer that have been written by scholars such as those by Ibn Katheer, Ibn Jareer, al-Baghawi, al-Shawkaani and others. They may also make use of books of Arabic language and ask scholars who are known for their knowledge and virtue about anything they do not understand.

And Allaah (SWT) knows best.


Weekly Suggested Good Deed – Thank Others Correctly;
It was narrated that Usaamah ibn Zayd (RadiAllahu anhuma) said: The Messenger of Allaah   said: “Whoever has a favour done for him and says to the one who did it, ‘Jazak Allaahu khayran,’ has done enough to thank him.”
Jazak Allahu khayran translates as ‘May Allah reward you for the good’. Hence by using the correct Islamic words of thanks, we do not only express our gratitude, but we simultaneously give dua to the intended recipient


Dua of the Week;
Supplication for Forgiveness and Righteousness:

 رَبَّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوْبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّاٰتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الْاَبْرَارِ‌ۚ‏ 

Transliteration:
‘Rabbana faghfir lana thunubana wakaffar 'anna sayyi aatina watavaffana ma'al abrar'

Translation:
‘Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and efface our bad deeds and take our souls in the company of the righteous’ [3:193]



Thursday, 14 February 2013

Get Closer To Allah Part Five



thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

10 Steps To Get Closer To Allah (Part 5/5);
So what things we can do to draw closer to Him?


9. Sincerely repenting to Allah

When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates:

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful.
[Surat an-Nisaa 4:110]

Everyone commits sin and does wrong, but Allah is always willing to forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seek His forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah is so forgiving. If Allah had willed, He could have held everyone accountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shall allow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in fact forgive who and what He wills. In fact, Allah commands that His servants seek His forgiveness:

And seek Allah’s forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20]

Repentance is an act, which purifies the soul and brings the servant closer to Allah. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects one from falling prey to his desires and lusts and increases his faith.

We must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing to forgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily as Allah is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no. But our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect.

Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks.
[Surat al-Baqarah 2:143]


Conditions of Repentance
In Hadith Qudsi, mankind is encouraged to seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent, but there are five conditions of repentance, which must be met for ones repentance to be accepted. They are:

1.       Most important is that the act of repentance be sincerely for Allah alone.
2.       The person must feel remorse and guilt over his actions so much so that he wished he had never done it in the first place.
3.       The person must immediately cease performing the wrong and sinful act.
4.       The repentant person must have a firm intention to never commit the sin again.
5.       The person must repent before it is too late, meaning before death approaches.

Allahs forgiveness and mercy is far greater and vaster than the sins of the creation. One must always have trust and hope in Allah in both good times and bad times and especially when seeking Allah’s forgiveness. And the believer who calls out to his Lord for forgiveness demonstrates his true weakness and that he is totally dependent on the Creator.

Allah praises those who repent and turn to Him:
And those who, when they commit a lewd act or wrong themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins and who forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what (wrong) they were doing while they knew it. For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens with rivers flowing through, wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is the reward of the doers (of good)!
[Surah Ali Imran 3:135-136]


10. Having good manners, character and being humble

Many of us think that “a perfect Muslim” is simply one who is correct in the observance of the salah (ritual Prayer), the fasting, the zakah (payment of a certain portion of one’s wealth to the poor), and the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). This indeed is not the case.

A Muslim should be good and just in dealing with others, no matter their religion, and take special care to keep away from all the shameful and sinful things Allah has forbidden.
Those who have humility and are humble and have good character and manners are the closest to Allah and Allah raises their ranks in the hereafter. The best person is the one who is best towards others.

The superiority of good character:
Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Nothing is heavier in the scales of a believer on the Day of Judgement than his good behaviour. Allah detests a person who is obscene and shameless”.
[Tirmidhi]

The best friend in the sight of Allah is he who is the well-wisher of his companions, and the best neighbour is one who behaves best towards his neighbours.
[Tirmidhi]

Having humility and being humble:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: "He who was humble for the sake of Allah by one degree, Allah (SWT) would then elevate them to a degree till they reach the uppermost of high Orders, and he who was arrogant to Allah (SWT), Allah (SWT) would then lower him for a degree till he reaches the lowest of low Orders"
[Narrated by: Muslim (Hadeeth: 6535]

Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act in arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through.

Remember that there might be some riyaa' or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah ta`ala through an act of obedience, your deed may still not be accepted, "Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa (fear of Allah)."
[Surat al-Maida: 27]

The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention five defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. This is why it is among man's moral integrity to accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness.

May Allah allow us to remain humble while serving Him.





Thursday, 7 February 2013

Get Closer To Allah Part Four



thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE

10 Steps To Get Closer To Allah (Part 4/5);
So what things we can do to draw closer to Him?


7. Having fear and hope in Allah

Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.
[Surah Yusuf 12:87]

Allah (SWT) is All-Knowing and knows us better than we know ourselves, and Allah’s words in His beautiful Qur’an are concise but full of meaning, and Allah has given the Qur’an as guidance for us and He does not mention a single word but that we should learn the true meaning and implement it.

One must be hopeful of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness and fearful of His punishment. It is this fear that should lead one to seek Allah’s forgiveness with hope. Allah says:

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
[Surat al-Maaidah 5:98]

There should be a balance between fear and hope and not too much or too less of one or the other.
We should always remain between fear and hope. For, the right and the approved kind of fear is that which acts as a barrier between the slave and the things forbidden by Allah. But, if fear is excessive, then the possibility is that the man will fall into despair and pessimism.

On the other hand the approved state of optimism is of a man who does good in the light of the Shari'ah and is hopeful of being rewarded for it. Or, conversely, if a man committed a sin, he repents sincerely, and is hopeful of being forgiven. Allah (swt) said:

"Verily, those who believed, and those who migrated and fought in the way of Allah, it is they who are hopeful of Allah's mercy. And Allah is very Forgiving, very Merciful."
[Al-Baqarah, 218]

In contrast, if a man indulges in sins and excesses, but is hopeful that he would be forgiven without doing anything good, then, this is self-deception, mere illusion and false hope.

Abu 'All Rowzbari has said, "Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death."

Allah has praised the people of hope and fear in the following verse:

'Is one who worships devotedly during the night, prostrating himself or standing, fearing the Hereafter, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (is equal to him who doesn't do these things)?'
[Al Zumar, 9]

Hope then also demands fear. If that was not the case, one would be in a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. Without that it would be despair.

‘Call out to Him with fear and hope.’
[Surat al-Araaf 7:56]

‘They forsake their beds to call their Lord in fear and hope.’
[Surat as-Sajdah 32:16]


8. Voluntary fasting for the pleasure of Allah

Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadan, but it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection.

Virtues of Fasting
“Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.’ He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘And they will (be allowed to) intercede.’”
[Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih]

Abu Sa'id Khudri relates that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "When a servant of Allah observes the fast for a day for the sake of Allah, He thereby repels the Fire from him a distance of seventy years of journeying"
[Bukhari and Muslim]

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle (pbuh) said, "Allah said, 'All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.' ...”
[Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 128]
Different interpretations of the above hadith can be found here (http://islamqa.info/en/ref/50388).

Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:
`Aa'ishah said: The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays".
[An-Nasaa’i; Sahih]

Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: "The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other. He says: "leave them for later."
[Ahmad; Hasan]

Intention for voluntary fasting
As opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be made before dawn. The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] after dawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything.

Aa'ishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No". He said: Therefore, I am Fasting".
[Muslim and Abu Dawood]

Fasting three days of every month (White days):
Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said "O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]".
 [Ahmad, an-Nasaa'i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]

So let us get closer to Allah by fasting Mondays and Thursdays or at least 3 days every month on the 14th,15th and 16th. If we leave something for the pleasure of Allah then we will get MUCH greater in return from Allah!


**Come back and check in next week for Part 5 (Final Part of this Series) in shaa Allah**