Radiant Reality

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Regd. No.: JKENG/2000/4174
Published From  Srinagar.

Editor, Printer & Publisher: Mawlana Hamidullah Lone.

April 2006.  VOL.7, No: 4.


1. Editorial - A revised course of action needed
2. Questions & Answers

3. From a Sisters Desk
4. Lesson from Al-Qur'an

5. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief

6. Islamic beliefs

7. The secrets of happy, lasting Islamic marriages

8. Islamic finance

9. Who or what is a Salafi

10. Advice of Hadhrat Sheikh

11. Rights of women in Islam
12. Saviours of Islamic Spirit

13. News Around the World


1. EDITORIAL
Revised course of action needed

             The politico-economic-cultural analysts, discussing the problems confronting the muslims all over the world do admit that anti-lslamic, the western, powers are engaged in depicting muslims in an obnoxious image, go the whole hog in laying the entire blame at the door of the muslims, attributing their decadence, chaos, absence of mutual cohesion and economic depravity, to the Islamic philosophy and teachings. In the same breath they enlogise the western culture, overtly or covertly, dwelling no end upon their all-round progress, achievements and simultaneous aid to such nations, who despite greater natural resources of their own lands have failed to make any headway, given their lethargy and lack of initiative.

Side by side there is a discourse on the long history of despotism and domination by Europe over almost the entire world and exploitation, plunder of the natural wealth of the vanquished countries. What is more, the victors brain- washed a sizeable number of citizens in their dominions, to act as mercenaries against their own nations. Such elements continuously implement a well-organised plan to lure the masses towards aping the western ways. Simpletons, not in a position to see through the ploy, are totally sold on to the glitter, oblivious of lack of morality and ethics of humanity, which once, as real muslims, had been their hall-mark.

In hindsight, the twentieth century CE, just gone by, presents a panorama comprising hardships and torments at the hands of western despotism, not only for muslim nations but several others also. In fact some have suffered to a degree even greater than the muslims. Germany and Japan ended up as vanquished in long drawn-out fierce armed combat against more powerful nations, yet with all out effort, fortitude and internal solidarity, re-emerged, not only surviving, but claiming political and technological parity with other powers.

Chinese, since times immemorial, were a dormant people, languishing in deprivation and having no perceptible role in contemporary developments, till the onset of Communist movement acted as a spur. The metamorphosis has been beyond recognition. To quote the poet of the East:

Garaan khwab Cheeni sambhalne lage

Himala ke chashme ubalne lage

(Chinese stumbled out of the torpidity,

Springs in the Himalayas oozed forth)

In the face of stiff opposition from capitalist forces, withstanding all threats and pressures, China, without any external support or even a request for aid, relying entirely on internal resources of men and material, established its identity at par with world powers. The world recognised it as a potent force and admitted it as a member of United Nations Organisation. All along, China had made no compromise on its philosophy and principles and asked for no quarters.

The vendetta waged by the West against Communism was no less incisive and virulent than the on-going one against Islam, hurling all philosophical, conceptual, political, military, commercial, technological resources, backed by an organised media, into the fray.

North Korea is faced with almost similar situation but continues to hold out, what with American super power hell bent upon its subjugation.

During twentieth century, the Western powers, declaring Islam as a potent threat, more than that of Communism, to their cultural, political supremacy, have been targeting it with all their might, with an ostensible intention of annihilating it entirely. The need of the hour is for muslims to muster up confidence, erudition, systematic planning, with firm faith in the spirit and message of Islam, treating the teachings as their beacon lights. The courage and steadfastness of the Communists and Nazis in protecting their identity and maintaining their status, should serve as examples, irrespective of the differences in philosophies.

The anti-lslam forces are forever indulging in planning an offensive, as of right. Early Islamic history bears undeniable evidence that muslims, ill-equipped and bereft of resources vanquished all military, cultural and social onslaught with exemplary fortitude in confrontation with enemy possessing vastly superior and adequate means. It was the unwavering faith and mutual cohesion which saw muslims through all tribulations and turmoil, and enabled them to become a virtual wall of bronze.

The present state of affairs is almost reverse. Whereas the other nations, with highly developed scientific know-how and resources at their beck and call are all well organised and brimming over with national pride, muslims having demitted these characteristics, languish in abject deprivation and disgrace. The root cause can be traced to them being enamoured of the western culture and aping it blindly for nearly two centuries. Imitating a culture in quest of advancement could have been short-term policy, after which striving for originality of concepts, putting them into practice to develop the scientific and technological equipment on their own, rather than simply borrowing from alien powers, should be the right course. The western culture has harmed the human values no end, so much so that even some of their own intellectuals and thinkers are deriding it. What is obviously reprehensible is that it was the self-styled flag- bearers of Islamic prestige and national dignity that pioneered and advocated adoption to western culture most arduously, albeit sans insight.

It is the high time that the bluff of the West is called and the Muslim world rediscovers its pristine glory in the footsteps of the pious associates of the prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) (sahaba) and follow once again a life-style in accordance with real message of Islam. This would be the way not only to combat the anti-Islam forces but also to their own ascent, and rid them of the lure of the west.

A way out of the ongoing tussle between the rulers and muslims at large lies for the latter in adopting a conciliatory attitude and in understanding of each other's viewpoint. These groups who often, too frequently vent their feelings violently, are better advised to be patient, shun violence, avoid confrontation and in all earnestness follow and propagate the intrinsic message of Islam, in word and deed. This approach would bring around the authorities to see light and endeavour to disentangle not only their own country but the entire muslim community (ummah), from the clutches of anti-Islamic domination.

To once again quote the Poet of East:

Ilaj iska wohi aab-i-nishatangez hai saqi

(The cure lies in same vintage ebullient elixir)

God the Almighty exhorts all thus: (Surah 16, verses 125-128).

Invite all to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in the ways that are best and most gracious; for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance.

And if ye punish, let your punishment be proportional to the wrong that has been done to you: but if ye show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient.

And do thou be patient, for thy patience is but with the help from Allah, nor grieve over them: and distress not thyself because of their plots.

For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good.

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2. Question and Answer

Question :

             Allaah has blessed me by causing me to seek knowledge. What is the etiquette which you advise me to follow?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

             There is a certain amount of etiquette for seeking knowledge which the seeker of knowledge should follow. We will give you this advice and this etiquette for seeking knowledge; may Allaah cause you to benefit thereby.

1 Patience

             My dear brother, seeking knowledge is one of the highest of pursuits, and heights cannot be scaled except by working hard and stribing. Abu Tamaam said, addressing himself: Let me scale the heights that cannot be scaled, for reaching high things is difficult whilst reaching low things is easy.

You want to scale the heights without any effort, but honey cannot be gathered without beestings.

Another poet said: You seek to attain glory, and those who seek to attain glory strive their utmost and roll up their sleeves for that purpose. They strive hard but most of them become tired. But those who have patience and perseverance attain the heights of the glory that they desired. Do not think that attaining glory is as easy as eating dates; You cannot attain glory until you swallow the bitterest medicine.

So be patient and persevere. If jihaad requires an hour of patience, then the seeker of knowledge must be patient until the end of his life. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning) O you who believe! Endure and be more patient (than your enemy), and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you, and fear Allh, so that you may be successful. Aal Imraan 3:200]

2 Purity of intention in action

Adhere to purity of intention in what you do. Let your aim be to seek the Face of Allaah (i.e., the pleasure of Allaah) and the Home of the Hereafter. Beware of showing off and the love of making oneself appear to be superior to ones peers. The Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: Whoever seeks knowledge in order to compete with the scholars or to prove himself superior to the ignorant or to make the people look up to him, Allaah will cause him to enter Hell. (narrated by al-Nasaai, 2654; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaai).

To sum up, you have to be pure both outwardly and inwardly from every major and minor sin.

3 Acting upon what you know

Know that acting upon what you know is the fruit of knowledge. Whoever knows but does not act upon his knowledge is like the Jews whom Allaah likened to the ugliest things in His Book, when He said (interpretation of the meaning): The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Tawraat (Torah) (i.e. to obey its commandments and to practise its laws), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey which carries huge burdens of books (but understands nothing from them). How bad is the example of people who deny the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allaah. And Allaah guides not the people who are Zaalimoon (polytheists, wrongdoers, disbelievers)  al-Jumuah 62:5]

And whoever acts without knowledge is like the Christians, who are the daalleen (those who have gone astray) mentioned in Soorat al-Faatihah. With regard to the books which you should study, they are mentioned in Question # 20191; please refer to this Question as it is important.

4 Always being aware that Allaah is watching

You must always be aware that Allaah is watching you, in secret and in the open. Your attitude towards your Lord must always be balanced between fear and hope, which for the Muslims are like the two wings of a bird. Turn to Allaah wholeheartedly and let your heart be filled with love for Him, your tongue with remembrance of Him (dhikr). Be happy and rejoice in His rulings and His wisdom.

Always call upon Allaah (duaa) in every sujood, asking Him to bless you and grant you beneficial knowledge, for if you are sincere towards Allaah, He will support you and help you, and will cause you to attain the level of the righteous scholars.

5 Make the best use of time

Make the most of your youth and your whole life by learning. Do not be deceived by procrastination and wishful thinking about the future. Every hour of your life that passes cannot be replaced. Do away with whatever you can of distractions and obstacles which prevent you from striving your utmost to attain knowledge. Hence the salaf encouraged keeping away from ones family and keeping a distance from ones homeland, because when a person is distracted he will not be able to understand facts of knowledge and subtle issues. Allaah has not given man two hearts in his chest, and similarly it is said that knowledge will not give you a part of it until you give it your all.

6 Be cautious

Beware of being preoccupied in the beginning with the disputes among the scholars, or among people in general, because this confuses the mind. Also beware of musannafaat , because they will waste your time and make you confused. Instead, give your all to the book which you are reading or the topic which you are studying until you become competent in it. Beware of moving from one book to another (before completing the former), for that is a sign of boredom and failure. You must pay attention to each branch of knowledge, in order of importance.

7 Precision and focus

Strive to verify that which you want to memorize so that you are certain of it, either from a shaykh or from someone else who can help you. Then memorize it properly and continually repeat it and review at specific times each day, lest you forget what you have memorized.

8 Studying books

After you have memorized the summarized books properly, with their commentaries, and you have understood any difficult passages in them and understood the important points, then move on to studying the detailed versions, always reviewing what you have learned and noting the valuable points, subtle issues, strange minor issues, solutions to problems and differences between similar rulings, in all branches of knowledge. Do not think little of anything useful that you learn or any basic principle that you understand; instead, hasten to note and memorize it.

Let your concern to seek knowledge be uppermost; do not be content to learn only a little when you are able to do more. Do not be content with a little of the legacy of the Prophets (may the blessings of Allaah be upon them), and do not delay learning anything that you can, or be distracted or put off by wishful thinking. Delay is a problem, and if you learn something now you can learn something else later.

Make the most of your time, when you are free and when you are busy. Make the most of your youth when your mind is fresh and you have less distractions, before you become distracted by false ambitions and the desire for worldly possessions.

You should try to obtain as many of the books you need as you can, because they are the tools of learning. Do not make getting and keeping a lot of them (without benefiting from them) the only share of knowledge that you have, and collecting them the only share of understanding that you have. You also have to use and benefit from them as much as you can.

9 Choosing companions

Strive to choose righteous friends who are preoccupied with seeking knowledge and are of a good nature, who can help you in achieving your aim, add to the benefits you have already gained, encourage you to seek more knowledge and stop you from feeling bored and tired; friends who are religiously-committed, trustworthy and of good character, who are sincere towards Allaah and who are not merely messing about. (See Tadhkirat al-Saami by Ibn Jamaaaah).

Beware of the bad companion, for he may influence you and people are like birds, they will resemble one another [i.e., birds of a feather flock together]. So beware of mixing with people like that, for that is a sickness, and prevention is better than cure.

10 Finally, good manners towards the shaykh

Knowledge cannot be gained only from books; you must also have a shaykh whom you trust to open the door to knowledge and keep you from making mistakes. So you must have good manners towards him, for this is the way to success, learning and strength. So you must honour, respect and be polite to the shaykh. Observe the utmost standards of etiquette when you sit with your shaykh and speak with him. Ask questions in a proper manner and listen attentively. Be polite when studying the book with him and do not try to argue with him or compete with him. Do not initiate conversation with him or walk ahead of him or speak too much in his presence, or interrupt him or interrupt him when he is teaching. Do not pressurize him to give you an answer, and avoid asking him too many questions, especially in front of other people, for this will make you appear to be showing off and make him bored with you. Do not call him directly by his name or nickname; rather say O my shaykh or O our shaykh (Yaa shaykhi or Yaa shaykhunaa)

If you think that the shaykh has made a mistake, do not let that make him lose respect in your eyes, because that will deprive you of his knowledge. Who is there who is entirely free from error? See Hilyat Taalib al-Ilm by Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd

We ask Allaah to make you and us strong and steadfast, and to let us see the day when you will become one of the scholars of the Muslims and an authority in the religion of Allaah and one of the imaams of the pious. Ameen, ameen.. We hope to meet soon, and peace be upon you.

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3. From a Sister's Desk

This column is not meant for mere reading,
but it is meant to knock at the doors of your conscience,
if the article has knocked don't just sit and ponder but the time demands action right now!

Madrassas - Need for a facelife          

             What is a Madrassa? To the West it is a seat of Islamic terrorism and to the East a generating point of fundamentalists. But what is a Madrassa to us?

             A Madrassa in true sense of word is there to preach, practice and propagate Islamthe unadulterated, pristine and pure Deen. The Madrassa system prevalent in the subcontinent has withstood the test of changing times. Me and you the small creatures that we are, are not responsible for their establishment and upkeep but Allah in His own way has ensured their survival so that the guidance continued non stop and Islamic fragrance spread far and wide.

What has brought scare and frown to this holy institution? Why are Madrassas searched and censored? Our inattention, our ignorance and our inability to project these institutions as the saviours of humanity are probably too few reasons to cite as the real causes for a bad name that has been plastered to these institutions.

Let us face a fact. Modern Muslim is going away from the Madrassa, a parent desires everything but a Madrassa for his child. Why so? Why are most of our Madrassas more of Orphanages than seats of Islamic research and preaching? Imparting Islamic education and food to poor is a matter of great Thawab but what about the elite and so called progressive Muslims. Where are the Islamic institutions for this class? Agreed, Islam is universal there is no class or creed domination but my question is when our own people are frowning at the Madrassa, what appeal will it have on the rest?

I see the mushrooming of these institutions in our place and I am worried believe me. The dirt we would throw away lands up in a Madrassa, the stale food that wad due for dogs goes to a Madrassa, infact the boys are so poorly kept that we think they don't deserve better! We make the boys recite Quran when our beloved one passes away and we enjoy their head movements when they are memorizing Quran.

We respect Quran and put it on shelves but what about these boys whose heart is enlightened by Quran. What are we doing for them? Caring for their foodthat is why we give them food poisoning! Caring for their educationthat is why we spend an hour in front of TV rather than giving a free hour education to them.

A Madrassa is our legacy, our heritage, our identity. It is an institution dedicated to Quran and Hadith and it should receive the maximum attention. Clean surroundings, hygienic environment, modern education, technical assistance and much more is needed to make these institutions acceptable to all Muslims and to fight the onslaught of the venom that the West is propagating against these seats and seeds of Islamic education and propagation.

A person who has setup a Madrassa has done a great job. It is for you and me to see that it runs and runs not in chaos and confusion but in a systematic format. The food is clean, the environment is pleasant, the education is superb and commitment is total. If all this is ensured by all of us our Madrassas have a great future. These will definitely prove to be the enlightment for its criticizers. There will be a time when we will proudly put our child in a Madrassa as Madrassa will provide him with the wholesome education needed for himInsha Allah, the time is not far away! 

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4. Lesson from the Qur'an
Hadhrat Mawlana Mohammad Shaifi Sahib (RA)

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And We said, O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise, and eat at pleasure wherever you like, but do not go near this tree or you shall join the transgressors. Then, Satan caused them to slip from it, and brought them out of where they had been. And We said, Go down, you all, some of you enemies of some; and on the earth there will be for you a dwelling place and enjoyment for a time. (35-36)  

             This is a continuation of the story of Adam (AS). When his superiority over the angels and his fitness for the role of vicegerent had been announced to the angels and been acknowledged by them, and Iblis had been condemned as an infidel and expelled from Paradise on account of his pride and his defiance of divine authority, Adam and Hawwa (AS) (Eve), his wife, received a command from Allah to live in Paradise and enjoy its blessings. But they were also instructed not to eat the fruit of a particular tree. Now, having been disgraced because of Adam (AS), Iblis or Satan had an account to settle with him, and as soon as he got the opportunity, he tricked them into eating from this tree. Because of this error on their part, they too were ordered to leave Paradise, and to go down and live on the earth. They were at the same time warned that their existence on the earth would no longer be full perpetual bliss as it had been in Paradise, but that there would be dissension and enmity among men, their progeny, which would spoil the joy of earthly life.

Since these events took place after Adam (AS) had been created and the angels had been commanded to prostrate themselves before him, some scholars have concluded from it that the creation of Adam (AS) and the prostration of the angels took place somewhere outside Paradise, and that he was sent there later on. But he words of the Holy Quran do not exclude the other interpretation that both the events took place in Paradise, but that he had not been told at that time where he was to live, which was done later.

When Adam and Hawwa (AS) were sent to live in Paradise, they were allowed to eat whatever they liked at pleasure - the Arabic word in the text being Raghadan, which signifies provision for which one does not have to work, and which is never exhausted nor falls short. Thus, their life was totally free from all care.

They were commanded not to go near a certain tree - which was an emphatic way of asking them not to eat its fruit. The tree has not been given a specific name either in the Holy Quran or in the Hadith. Some commentators say that it was wheat, other say that it was a fig-tree or a grape-vine. But it is not really necessary to make specific what the Holy Quran has left vague. (See Qurtubi)

According to the Holy Quran, it was Satan who caused them to slip (azallahuma). It clearly shows that the error and disobedience of Adam and Hawwa (AS) was not of the kind which technically constitutes a sin, but arose out of misunderstanding produced by Satan. They ate the forbidden fruit, because Satan had cleverly deceived them.

A question arises hare as to how Satan got into Paradise for seducing Adam and Hawwa (AS), when he had already been expelled from there for refusing to prostrate himself. There are many possible ways in which he can have played his trick. Possibly he never met them, but planted the suggestion in their minds from afara thing which Satan can always do, and of which we have a specimen in the work of the hypnotists. It is equally possible that Satan, being one of the jinns whom Allah has given certain unusual powers denied to man, assumed the shape of a snake or of something else, and thus succeeded in entering Paradise. Perhaps it was because of this disguise that Adam (AS) did not remember Allahs warning that Satan was his enemy. According to the Holy Quran, Satan assured them on oath that he was one of their well-wishers (7:21). It apparently suggests that he did actually meet them, and speak to them face to face.

The Holy Quran says that Satan : brought them out of the state in which they had been living. In actual fact, they were brought out under a divine command, but since Satan served as a means and as an intermediary, the action has been attributed to him.

In commanding Adam and Hawwa (AS) to go down from Paradise, Allah also said : Some of you (shall be the) enemies of some. If Satan had not been turned out of the skies till then, he is included in this address, the implication being that the enmity between Satan on the one hand, and Adam and Hawwa (AS) and their progeny on the other, would continue on the earth too. But if Satan, as some scholars maintain, had already been expelled, then the addressees are Adam and Hawwa (AS) and their progeny; the implication would now be that Adam and Hawwa (AS) would have to undergo a double punishment, firstly that of being banished from Paradise, secondly that of seeing enmity arise among their children which must make unpleasant for parents. (Bayan al-Quran)

They were also told the earth would be a temporary dwelling place for them, and that they would have to leave it too, which also meant that they would not find real peace of mind there. 

Adam and Hawwa in Paradise

1. In allowing Adam and Hawwa (AS) to eat at pleasure, and in forbidding them to go near the tree, Allah used, according to the text of the Quran, the verbs for the dual number, thus including both in the address. But in asking them to live in Paradise Allah did not address both of them, but said: You and your wife. This form of address yields two legal principles: (a) the husband is responsible for providing a dwelling-place for his wife (b) for the purpose of dwelling the wife is dependent on the husband, and the must live in the house in which her husband lives.

2. In this context the Arabic word uskun (live) suggests that their stay in Pardise was to be temporary, not permanent which is a usual condition for the ownership of a house. Allah did not say that Paradise had been given to them, but only asked them to live there, for Allah knew that certain things were going to happen on account of which they would have to leave this dwelling-place. Moreover, the right own a dwelling-place in Paradise is earned through Iman (faith) and good deeds, which one can acquire only after the Day of Judgment. The Fuqahaa (jurists) have derived from it the principle not thereby acquire the ownership of the house nor the right to a permanent stay. (Qurtubi).

3. In allowing Adam and Hawaa (AS) to eat at pleasure, Allah used the verb for the dual number, and said: Ǔ meaning eat both of you. This indicates that in the matter of food the wife is not subservient to her husband, but can eat whatever she needs or likes, as can the husband.

4. Allah also allowed them to eat from wherever they liked. This shows that man has the right to move freely from one place to another according to his needs or wishes.

5. Allah did not want them to eat the fruits of a certain tree, but as a precautionary measure He commanded them not to approach it even. It is from here that the Fuqaha have derived one of the basic principles of Islamic law, which requires that the things or actions which are likely to severe as means to sin or as its instruments are equally forbidden. That is to say, there are certain things which are not forbidden in themselves, but when there is a danger that in making use of them a man would become involved in an unlawful activity, they too have to be forbidden. 

The Prophets are innocent of all sins

6. As we have seen here, Adam (AS) had been forbidden to eat the fruit of a certain tree, and had also been warned against the machinations of his enemy, Satan, and yet he had eaten the forbidden fruit. It is seemingly a sin, while the Holy Quran, the Hadith and rational arguments too establish the innocence and sinlessness of all the prophets. There ia an absolute consensus of the four great Imams of Islamic law and of all the authentic scholars on the doctrine that major or minor. Some people have suggested that prophets are not protected against minor sins, but the majority of authentic scholars does not agree with this opinion (Qurtubi)

It is necessary for prophets to be thus protected, because they are sent down to be the guides of men if a guide can go against the commandments of Allah and commit a sin, major or even minor, people would no longer be ready to trust his word or deed. If one cannot have trust and faith even in the prophets, how can the work of spiritual guidance be possible? Hence the necessity of prophets being sinless.

The holy Quran does, however, relate certain incidents which tend to suggest that a certain prophet committed a sin, and drew upon himself the displeasure of Allah. The story of Adam (AS) eating the forbidden fruit in one such instance. According to the consensus of the authentic scholars, in all cases a prophet comes to commit an error through a misunderstanding or just forgetfulness, and it is never a deliberate and willful transgression of divine commandment. As is well known, a Mujtahid is one who possesses the necessary qualifications for finding out through analogical deduction the rule for a case regarding which no specific commandment is present in the Holy Quran or the Hadith; if he makes a mistake in determining the rule, he still receives a reward from Allah for having made the effort. The mistake made by a prophet is always of this nature, or is due to oversight and hence pardonable, and cannot be called a sin in the technical sense. Moreover, a prophet, being under the protection of Allah, can never show oversight or forgetfulness in things which are directly concerned with his prophetic and legislative function, but only in personal matters. (see al-Bahr al-Muhit).

The station of the prophets, however, is so exalted, that even a little oversight or the part of a great man is considered to be a great error. That is why such slips on the parts of certain prophets have been described in the Holy Quran as sins, and Allah has shown his displeasure too, although they are not sins in their nature.

As for the error committed by Adam (AS) commentators have advanced several explanations:-

i. A certain tree was pointed out to Adam (AS) as being forbidden. But it was not this particular tree alone that was intended, but all the trees of this kind. The Hadith too relates a similar case. Holding a piece of silk and some gold in his hand, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that those two things were forbidden to the men in his Ummah. Obviously the ban does not apply to these very pieces of silk and gold alone, but to silk and gold as such. But it is quite possible for someone to imagine that only the particular pieces which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) held in his hand were forbidden. Similarly, Adam (AS) thought that the prohibition applied only to the particular tree which had been pointed out to him. Satan exploited this misunderstanding, and assured him on aoth that, being a well-wisher, he could never advise him to do something which was wrong or harmful, and that the forbidden tree was quite different, and not the one from which he was asking him to pluck a fruit.

ii. Satan may have suggested to Adam (AS) that the prohibition was valid only upto a period after he had been created, just as infants are denied heavy food till they have grown up, and that since Adam (AS) had now grown stronger, the ban too had been lifted.

iii. It is equally possible that, when Satan told him that if he ate this fruit, the eternal bliss of Paradise would be guaranteed for him, Adam (AS) forgot the prohibition. This verse of the Holy Quran seems to give credence to such a possibility:  Adam forgot, and We did not find him steadfast. (20:115)

Anyhow, the essential point is that Adam (AS) did not deliberately and willfully disobey Allah; all that he did was an act of oversight or the kind of mistake which a Mujtahid can make. The error was not, properly speaking, a sin, but Adam (AS) being so close to Allah, and in view of his station of a prophet, even this lapse was regarded as very serious, and described as a sin in the Holy Quran. But the Holy Quran tells us that when he repented and prayed for pardon, Allah forgave him. 

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5. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief
Dr. Rafiq Ahmad

Hadith no. 37

Narrated by Hadhrat Abu Huraira (RA)

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )  

             Allah's apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hope to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven." 

Comments

This subject has already been discussed. 

 

 

Chapter  (baab) 29: Religion is easiness, and the saying of prophet "the most beloved religion before Allah is that which is Hanifiyah (to worship him alone) and easy" 

Purpose of Tarjamatul Baab

In previous chapters, Imam Bukhari mentioned about night prayers, fasting and Ramadhan, all these things are difficult and demand lot of courage and hard work. By looking at these things one may consider Islam a difficult religion. In order to remove that notion, Imam Bukhari introduced this chapter in between, which clearly states that the Deen is very easy. Here he follows the Qura'nic pattern. Allah Ta'ala says:

Ramadan is the (month) in which was send down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).  So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later.  Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties.  (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful (2:185)

Here in this verse easiness is mentioned after the command for fasting, "He does not want to put you to difficulties". 

Religion is easiness

Allah likes the religion which is really easy, and Islam is a very easy religion when compared to other religions. Followers of Hadhrat Musa (AS) were asked to offer Salah fifty times a day. They had to pay one-fourth of their savings as Zakat and they had to cut off that part of the cloth which would get Najas (impure). They were being punished for their sins in this world as well. The Shari'ah for this Ummah is very easy to follow, just five times Salah in a day and just two and a half percent of savings to be paid as Zakat. The clothes become clean and pure just by washing only, no need to cut them off and throw away. This Ummah will not get the punishment of getting disfigured or transformed as pigs and monkeys as happened to some earlier people. 

What is Hanifiyah?

Hanief means one who worships Allah alone and seeks only and only His help in all matters. That is why Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) was also called Hanief. He left his home, got ready to sacrifice his son for Allah's sake and when angels offered him their help while he was being put to fire, he said: If it (help) is from youthen no, if it is from Allahthen  yes.

So following the path of Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) is Hanifiyah. 

What is Samhah?

It means easiness. Allah, being Merciful to His bondsmen, wants easiness for them. 

Taleeqat-i-Bukhari

It is a very important and interesting part of Sahih Bukhari. Many times Imam Bukhari mentions a Hadith or part of a Hadith under the title (Baab) as Tarjamatul Baab, these are called Taleeqat-i-Bukhari )) as is mentioned in this Baab: "Religion is easiness, and the saying of Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) "The most beloved religion to Allah is that which is  Hanifiyah (To worship him alone ) and easy." 

Ta'leeqat are of two kinds

1. Those types of Ahaadith which Imam Bukhari mentions in his book Sahih Bukhari at other places and also gets them in a particular Baab just to defend his point. These are 1341 Ahaadith in total. (Kashful Baari).

2. There are a good number of Ahaadith which Imam Bukhari mentions in Tarjamatul Baab but does not mention them in his book. The reason is that Imam Bukhari has set a very strict criteria for any Hadith to be so authentic as to be worthy of being included in his book. These types of Ahaadith, which he gets in Tarjamatul Baab and does not mention them in his book, do not meet that criteria necessary for inclusion in his book, though these were authentic near Imam Bukhari as well. These are one hundred and fifty nine in total. (Kashful Baari).

Hadith no. 38

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )  

 Narrated by Abu Huraira (RA)

the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will be overpowered by it (not be able to continue in that way). so take the right path of perfection and try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, afternoons and the last hours of the nights." 

Comments

Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way.

We  have seen above as to how Deen is very easy. We can take any aspect of Deen and will definitely find it very easy. The most important deed i.e., Salah just five times, Zakat just two and a half percent that too only on savings and only once in a year, fasting just for one month and that too during day only and Haj just once in a life time and that too if you have enough money otherwise not. If one falls ill or becomes is weak, many things get waved off.

Allah likes those deeds which are done with consistency even if less in number. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), being very kind to his Ummah, advises not to overburden oneself with too much of load of worship which one cannot continue later on. Suppose somebody says that he would always wake up for the night prayer, he may do it for some nights but will not be able to do it later on and this is not needed in our Shari'ah. 

So take the right path of perfection and try to be near to perfection): 

"As-siddaad means balanced deeds(without any exaggeration or subtraction)". (Fathul Bari)

It is very difficult to comment on the beauty of this statement of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is his utmost affection for his Ummah with which he has given us such great teachings. Firstly, he advises us to choose an ideal path devoid of any extremism, a path which is right one and perfect too. Then he knows that it is always difficult to tread on the ideal and perfect path, so, he advises us to be at least near to it, that will also suffice. One who takes to extremism, usually does not reach the destination but slow and steady always wins the race. 

And receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded

Every word of this hadith needs to be engraved on heart and mind. usually you will see people depressed and worried, here the real doctor of the mankind prescribes the best medicine for depression i.e., to remain happy after doing the handful of good deeds and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) wants his followers to be happy. 

And gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, afternoon and the last hours of the nights

This is the practical part of the medicine. Allama Shabir Usmani says if someone wants to be a Wali (beloved believer of Allah), this Hadith is enough. One does not need to shun the world and go to jungles to achieve salvation but it is enough if one can devote some time for the remembrance of Allah in the mornings upto sunrise, in the afternoons and in last part of the nights. This is quite practicable, relatively easy and of tremendous spiritual benefit if one understands and practices it with faith and consistency. The timings of Salah have also been framed during these times only as these are the times when man finds freshness in his mind and is relatively less distracted by the worldly engagements. These are the times chosen by Allah for showering maximum spiritual benefits to His bondsmen.

So, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) tells his followers to adopt the balanced approach, not to be extremists, be happy, do worldly work without any hesitation or worry and give some time of the day and night to the remembrance of Allah.

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 6. Islamic Beliefs
Hadhrat Sheikh-ut-Tafseer Mawlana Idris Kandhlawi (RA)

THE EMERGENCE OF THE ANIMAL FROM THE GROUND

One of the great sings of Qiyaamah will be the emergence of an animal from the ground. This is established from the Qur'aan: "And when the promise (of Qiyaamah) unfolds on them, We will take out an animal from the ground that will talk to them. Indeed the people do not believe in our signs,"

On the day when the sun rises from the west, or the next day, this strange animal will emerge from the ground. A mountain in Makkah called 'Safa' will split open and this strange animal will emerge therefrom, and it will talk to the people. This will be very similar to the way the camel emerged from the rock for the people of Saleh (alaihi salaam). This animal will emerge from the mountain and speak to the people and inform them of the imminence of Qiyaamah. It will place a luminous sign upon the faces of the believers, which will result in their faces glittering. It will place a stamp between the eyes of the disbelievers, which will result in their faces becoming dark.

As Allaah Ta'ala says in the Qur'aan Majeed: "And on that Day will We separate you, O transgressors".

The separation and distinguishing between the Muslims and the kuffaar will begin in this way: The final separation will be after the reckoning on the Day of Qiyaamah. 

WISDOM:

It is possible that the wisdom underlying this incident is that Allaah Ta'ala intends making apparent the stupidity and idiocy of the kuffaar, in that they refuted the message of the Nabis, and on this day they will be made to accept the truth of the matter by an animal!

But on that day, their believing will be of no consequence, because the time for their accepting the truth will be long gone. 

NOTE:

The words in the Qur'aan Majeed that explain this animal is "Daabatul Ardh" which suggests that this animal will emerge from the ground in the same way that a child is born from its mother's womb. Like how Hadhrat Saleh's (alaihi salaam) camel emerged from the rock. 

THE BLOWING OF A COOL BREEZE

After a certain period following the emergence of the animal from the ground, a cool breeze will blow, which will result in the death of all the believers and good people. Even if a good believer is hiding in a cave or above a mountain, this breeze will reach him and all will die, until no believer is left on the earth. There will also be no person left who will differentiate between good and evil. [Muslim Shareef] 

DOMINATION OF THE ABYSSINIANS

Thereafter, there will be domination of the world by the kuffaar (nature having dark complexions). Oppression and tyranny will become rife. Immodesty indecency will become the order of the day. People will copulate like animals on the roads. It is reported in a Hadith: "The treasures of the Kaabah will not be unearthed except by the thin-legged Abyssinians." 

THE EMERGENCE OF THE FIRE

One of the final signs of Qiyaamah will be a fire that will start in the centre of Aden, whose light will be seen until Shaam. This fire will round up' the people of the world and bring them to the plains, resurrection, i.e. Shaam, the place where all will gather after the resurrection. This fire will not leave the people for any part of the day or night. When the night will dawn and the people will stop to rest, then the fire will also stop. When the day dawns and the sun rises the fire will again 'usher' the people in the direction of Shaam. Once they all reach Shaam, the fire will disappear.

It is reported in Muslim Shareef by Huzaifah Bin Usaid Ghafaari that Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) mentioned ten signs of Qiyaamah, of which the last was:

"A fire that will emerge from Yemen and take to people to their (place of) resurrection,"

After this, there will be a time of calm and good life, where kufr and idol-worship will flourish. There will not be a single person left on the face of the earth who will take the Name of Allaah Ta'ala. At that time Qiyaamah will occur and Hadhrat Israafeel (alaihi salaam) will be given the order to blow the Trumpet. 

WARNING:

In most of the Ahaadith, the emergence of the Fire is mentioned as the last sign of Qiyaamah. However, there is a narration in Bukhari Shareef that states that the first sign of Qiyaamah is a fire that will take the people from the east to the west. A correlation between these narrations is that, from the ten major signs of Qiyaamah, this is the final sign and since this fire will be adjacent and closest to the blowing of the Trumpet, it is referred to as the first sign to the end of the world. Whereafter, no sign will be left of the world.

Here we have listed the ten major signs of Qiyaamah that are reported in the Ahaadith and it is necessary that we all bring Imaan in them and accept them as true.

From the birth and demise of Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) until the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (alaihi salaam), whatever other signs come in between these events are referred to as the minor signs of Qiyaamah. Whatever signs are manifested from and after the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (alaihi salaam) until the blowing of the Trumpet are referred to as the major signs. The last sign will be the Fire that will emerge from Yemen. After this, Qiyaamah will take place, which will be heralded by the Blowing of the Trumpet. After the first blowing the entire universe will be destroyed and after the second blowing the universe will be brought back to life for the second time. The time after the second blowing is referred to as Aalam-e-Hashr and Aalam-e-Aakhirah.  

IN RELATION TO THE HEREAFTER (BELIEFS REGARDING AALAM-E-AKHIRAH)

 AQEEDAH # 1

The Day of Qiyaamah is Haqq and it will surely come. On the Day, Hadhrat Israafeel (alaihi salaam) will, upon the order from Allaah Ta'ala blow the Trumpet, and the entire universe will be destroyed. The sky will be rent asunder, the stars will fall and the mountains will break into pieces and splinters. The Trumpet is a bugle like instrument which is placed at the mouth of Hadhrat Israafeel (alaihi salaam) and will be blown. The intensity of its sound will be so high, that the entire universe will be rent asunder. Thereafter the Trumpet will be blown a second time and every soul will be given life again. The first blowing is known as Nafkha-e-Oola or Nafkha-e-Amaatat and the second blowing is known as Nafkha-e-Thaania or Nafkha-e-Ahyaa. The duration between the two blowings will be forty years or forty months. From the time of the first blowing until the time when everyone will be entered into Jannat or Jahannum is known as Qiyaamah.

The first blowing will be the beginning of Qiyaamah, whereafter the entire universe will be destroyed and devastated. Every living thing will die and be destroyed. As Allaah Ta'ala says:

"On that Day when the Trumpet will be blown, everyone in the heavens and earth will be terrified, except those whom Allah wishes,"

In another Aayat, Allaah Ta'ala says:

"And the Trumpet will be blown, everyone in the heavens and the earth will fall unconscious, except whom Allaah wishes.

After forty years, the Trumpet will be blown a second time, and this blowing will be for the dead to rise from their graves, as the following Aayat explains:

"Then it will be blown a second time, then (all of a sudden) they will all be standing and staring,"

In another Aayat, Allaah Ta'ala says:

"And the Trumpet will be blown, when (suddenly) they will rise from their graves and run to their Rabb." 

IN WHAT WAY WILL QIYAAMAT BEGIN?

The people of the world will be busy in their trade etc. There will be none on the face of the earth to take to Name of Allaah Ta'ala. It will be a Friday, the tenth of Muharram, while the people will be busy with their usual chores when suddenly in the morning a small sound will begin to reach the ears of the people. This sound will steadily increase in intensity. It will reach such a pitch that all will die thereof and their souls will become unconscious and the earth and skies will be rent asunder, etc., etc. And then, for a second time the Trumpet will be blown and all the dead will be brought to life again.

On the Day of Qiyaamah, after the first blowing of the Trumpet, the entire universe will become as though it never existed. Then with the second blowing everyone will be given life again. This is a basic and firm belief of Muslims, which is proven in the Qur'aan Shareef, authentic Ahaadith and the consensus of all the Nabis (alaihimus salaam) and the Sahaabah and Taabi'een:'

The philosophers and atheists do not believe that the earth and skies can become non-existent.

Muslims say that the same Being that brought the entire universe into existence from non-existence, can again bring everything into existence once again, after its being destroyed. He has the Power to do this.

"He is the Being who brought the creation into existence (the first time), then He can again repeat it (this creation). It is very easy for Him."

This is so because the first creation was from a state of complete non-existence and the second time it will be from the pieces and parts that will be scattered. Allaah Ta' ala says:

"Like We initiated the first creation, We will repeat it. This is a promise (that is binding) upon Us. Indeed We will execute it."

"And indeed The (Final) Hour is coming. There is no doubt in it. And indeed Allaah Ta'ala will resurrect whoever is in their graves."  

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 7. The secrets to happy, lasting Islamic marriages
Jafar Wafa            

             She knows by his face when he needs a word of encouragement. He knows that silence suits her best in the morning. They often finish sentences with a "you know what I mean" nod. Through the years they have rubbed off each other's rough spots, grown together and now, seeing them together, they look comfortable.

             The Qur'an says: "And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); Verily in that are signs for those who reflect" (30:21).

When a woman and a man marry, this picture of companionship, love, and tranquility is their goal. Achieving it, though, is not simple or easy, and many of us do not. In the United States, 60% of marriages end in divorce. Even those that last beyond the honeymoon stages, before the challenges of everyday living set in, may become boring, unfulfilling, and driven by factors other than the true desire to remain in one another's company. Muslim couples are not immune to the deadly influences that break up or stagnate marital relationships. Breakdowns in communication, difficulty discussing emotionally charged issues such as finances or child-rearing practices and the challenge of effectively resolving divisive issues are all factors that can sour a potentially gratifying marriage.

Some marital discord may occur simply because the couple came together for the wrong reasons or because they approached marriage with unrealistic expectations. Going into a marriage with eyes wide open is the first action toward the future success of the union.

Mahasin Salaam, happily married for 30 years, emphasizes the need to start out on the right foot. "If a marriage is started out by doing the proper things in the courtship, then that lays the foundation," she says. Mahasin goes on to point out that having common interests and backgrounds is part of what makes a marriage work from the beginning, recalling that, "We had so much in common--the love for art, poetry, the importance of family life (we both come from close-knit families). The first night we met we talked for four to five hours. The communication is still good."

Even though the particulars of a couple's lives may differ, that sense of connection at the outset that Mahasin describes is important to the future of a marriage. Ann El-Moslimany, who has been married for 38 years, remembers that on first getting acquainted with her then-future husband, "I was definitely attracted by my husband's piety, even though we were of different religions and at that time I never thought I would become Muslim. I was also strongly attracted to him physically, and I think that is important, too."

Iman Sabir, who has been married for 30 years, agrees. She observes, too, that in most cases while the externals and details may change, the person's basic nature remains constant, as her experience attests. "Before I married," she says, "even before I became Muslim, I knew I wanted a man who was peaceful in nature and serious-minded. When I met my husband, it was these things in his character that attracted me to him. To this day he's still the same."

Even the most perfect marital matchups require effort to succeed, and the beginning stage of any long-term relationship involves a period of ironing out differences and learning to live together. Ibrahim Pasha, Imam at Atlanta Masjid of Al Islam, who counsels Muslim couples in need of marital advice, says, "Many couples enter into marriage based upon the glamour of it, rather than the practicalities of it. Problems arise after marriage, when more attention is given to the emotional and sentimental aspects rather than the fundamentals of marriage."

Looking back at her marriage, Ann has realized that the best way to get through the adjustment period is for the partners to remain true to themselves while learning to compromise. Trying to take on stereotypical roles of husband or wife, or trying to mold the marriage partner into such a role, only causes problems in the future as expectations are created and broken. "When we first married," Ann laughs, "it didn't occur to me to expect my husband to help around the house. After we married, I moved into his apartment. I remember saying, 'It's my kitchen now. You stay out!' I have never forgiven myself!"

A strong woman who knows herself and understands the freedom Islam gives her to express her humanity is in a good position to know what she needs from her partner. Mahasin advises, "A woman should try to communicate to her husband how she wants to be treated. If he doesn't get it, she has to keep saying what she wants from the relationship."

Learning the art of compromise usually takes years. Couples may be disappointed when months go by, and then years, and they are still learning to accommodate each other without losing their own identities. Patience is the key. Ann recalls that on many issues, her husband "became more cooperative as the years went by."

The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other's point of view and good communication when differences arise. In resolving these inevitable differences between marital partners, Iman points out, "Before either one makes a move, both must ask themselves, 'Is this pleasing to Allah? How does Allah view this?' This is the Islamic version of counting to 10 to prevent speaking out of anger." A harsh or unloving word may echo in a partner's mind long after it is spoken, causing resentment and damage to the emotional relationship even after the issue at hand is resolved.

Mahasin says, "We've always been able to use the Qur'an as a basis for any disagreements that we may have. We don't necessarily have to go and open it up every time we disagree, but our knowledge of Qur'an just flows as we communicate." It is important to keep communication going both ways. "Women," Mahasin advises, "should not withdraw and hold things in. Allah says, 'Qul!'--'Say!' Too many times we don't say. Somehow you have to talk about difficult issues."

On these lines, Mahasin advises, "Find ways to keep the romance. Marriage has to be nurtured."

It is important to remember that affections and courtesies must flow back and forth between both partners. "You have to have a deep respect for each other," Iman says. "A Muslimah should endeavor to please her Lord and to fulfill the obligations of her deen. [Seeing her] striving to do this, her husband should be pleased with her."

Ann notes, "A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing." Ann earned her doctorate in biology while married and raising three children. She says, "Expecting that a man will make you happy is unrealistic. We are individuals and as such we must each develop our own relationship with Allah."

A husband and wife, to paraphrase the Qur'an, are garments for each other. With work and persistence, and commitment on the part of both partners, a marriage can be long-lasting and successful, ultimately becoming like a favorite sweater, soft in just the right places, and worn with such love and ease that even the grayed spots are comforting and familiar. 

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8. Islamic Finance
Justice Mawlan Mufti Taqi Usmani (DB)

MURABAHAH

             Most of the Islamic banks and financial institutions are using "Murabahah" as an Islamic mode of financing, and most of their financing operations are based on "Murabahah". That is why this term has been taken in, the economic circles today as a method of banking operations, while the original concept of "Murabahah" is different from this assumption.

"Murabahah" is, in fact, a term of Islamic Fiqh and it refers to a particular kind of sale having nothing to do with financing in its original sense. If a seller agrees with his purchaser to provide him a specific commodity on a certain profit added to his cost, it is called a "murabahah" transaction. The basic ingredient of "murabahah" is that the seller discloses the actual cost he has incurred in acquiring the commodity, and then adds some profit thereon. This profit may be in lump sum or may be based on a percentage.

The payment in the case ofmura_ahah may be at spot, and may be on a subsequent date agreed upon by the parties. Therefore, murabahah does not necessarily imply the concept of deferred payment, as generally believed by some people who are not acquainted with the Islamic juristprudence and who have heard about murabahah only in relation with the banking transactions.

Murabahah, in its original Islamic connotation, is simply a sale. The only feature distinguishing it from other kinds of sale is that the seller in murabahah expressly tells the purchaser how much cost he has incurred and how much profit he is going to charge in addition to the cost.

If a person sells a commodity for a lump sum price without any reference to the cost, this is not a murabahah, even though he is earning some profit on his cost because the sale is not based on a "cost-plus" concept. In this case, the sale is called "Musawamah".

This is the actual sense of the term "Murabahah" which is a sale, pure and simple. However, this kind of sale is being used by the Islamic banks and financial institutions by adding some other concepts to it as a mode of financing. But the validity of such transactions depends on some conditions which should be duly observed to make them acceptable in Shari'ah.

In order to understand these conditions correctly, one should, in the first instance, appreciate that murabahah is a sale with all its implications, and that all the basic ingredients of a valid sale should be present in murabahah also.

Therefore, this discussion will start with some fundamental rules of sale without which a sale cannot be held as valid in Shari'ah. Then, we shall discuss some special rules governing the sale of Murabahah in particular, and in the end the correct procedure for using the murabahah as an acceptable mode of financing will be explained.

An attempt has been made to reduce the detailed principles into concise notes in the shortest possible sentences, so that the basic points of the subject may be grasped at in one glance, and may be preserved for easy reference. 

Some Basic Rules of Sale

'Sale' is defined in Shariah as the exchange of a thing of value by another thing of value with mutual consent'. Islamic jurisprudence has laid down enormous rules governing the contract of sale, and the Muslim jurists have written a large number of books, in a number of volumes, to elaborate them in detail. What is meant here is to give a summary of only those rules which are more relevant to the transactions of murabahah as carried out by the financial institutions:

1. The subject of sale must be existing at the time of sale. Thus, a thing which has not yet come into existence cannot be sold. If a non-existent thing has been sold, though by mutual consent, the sale is void according to Shari'ah. .

Example: A sells the unborn calf of his cow to B.

The sale is void.

2. The subject of sale must be in the ownership of the seller at the time of sale. Thus, what is not owned by the seller cannot be sold. If he sells something before acquiring its ownership, the sale is void.

Example: A sells to B a car which is presently owned by C, but A is hopeful that he will buy it from C and shall deliver it to B subsequently. The sale is void, because the car was not owned by A at the time of sale. The subject of sale must be in the physical or constructive possession of the seller when he sells it to another person.

"Constructive possession" means a situation where the possessor has not taken the physical delivery of the commodity, yet the commodity has come into his control, and all the rights and liabilities of the commodity are passed on to him, including the risk of its destruction. 

Examples: (i) A has purchased a car from B. B has not yet delivered it to A or to his agent. A cannot sell the car to C. If he sells it before taking its delivery from B, the sale is void.

(ii) A has purchased a car from B. B, after identifying the Car has placed it in a garage to which A has free access and B has allowed him to take the delivery from that place whenever he wishes. Thus the risk of the Car has passed on to A . The car is in the constructive possession of A. If A sells the car to C without acquiring physical possession, the sale is valid. 

Explanation 1: The gist of the rules mentioned in paragraphs 1 to 3 is that a person cannot sell a commodity unless:

(a) It has come into existence.

(b) It is owned by the seller.

(c) It is in the physical or constructive possession of the seller. 

Explanation 2: There is a big difference between an actual sale and a mere promise to sell. The actual sale cannot be effected unless the above three conditions are fulfilled. However one can promise to sell something which is not yet owned or possessed by him. This promise initially creates only a moral obligation on the promisor to fulfil his promise, which is normally not justifiable. Nevertheless, in certain situations, especially where such promise has burdened the promisee with some liability, it can be enforceable through the courts of law. In such cases the court may force the promisor to fulfil his promise, i.e. to effect the sale, and if he fails to do so, the court may order him to pay the promisee the actual damages he has incurred due to the default of the promisor.

But the actual sale will have to be effected after the commodity comes into the possession of the seller. This will require separate offer and acceptance, and unless the sale is affected in this manner, the legal consequences of the sale shall not follow. 

Exception: The rules mentioned in paragraphs 1 to 3 are relaxed with respect to two types of sale, namely: (a) Bai' Salam (b) Istisna'

The rules of these two types will be discussed later in separate chapter.

4. The sale must be instant and absolute. Thus a sale attributed to a future date or a sale contingent on a future event is void. If the parties wish to effect a valid sale, they' will have to effect it afresh when the future date comes or the contingency actually occurs.

Examples: (1) A says to B on the first of January: "I will sell my car to you on the first of February". The sale is void, because it is attributed to a future date.

(2) A says to B, "If party X wins the elections, my car stands sold to you". The sale is void, because it is contingent on a future event.

5. The subject of sale must be a property of value. Thus, a thing having no value according to the usage of trade cannot be sold or purchased.

6. The subject of sale should not be a thing which is not used except for a haram purpose, like pork, wine etc.

7. The subject of sale must be specifically known and identified to the buyer. 

Explanation: The subject of sale may be identified either by pointation or by detailed specification which can distinguish it from other things not sold.

Example: There is a building comprising a number of apartments built in the same pattern. A, the owner of the building says to B, I will sell one of these apartments to you"; B accepts. The sale is void unless the apartment intended to be sold is specifically identified or pointed out to the buyer.

8. The delivery of the sold commodity to the buyer must be certain and should not depend on a contingency or chance.

Example: A sells his car stolen by some anonymous person and the buyer purchases it under the hope that he will manage to take it back. The sale is void.

9. The certainty of price is a necessary condition for the validity of a sale. If the price is uncertain, the sale is void.

Example: A says to B, "If you pay within a month, the price is Rs. 50. But if you pay after two months, the price is Rs. 55". B agrees. The price is uncertain and the sale is void, unless anyone of the two alternatives is agreed upon by the parties at the time of sale.

10. The sale must be unconditional. A conditional sale is invalid, unless the condition is recognized as a part of the transaction according to the usage of trade.

Example: (1) A buys a car from B with a condition that B will employ his son in his firm. The sale is conditional, hence invalid.

Example: (2) A buys a refrigerator from B, with a condition that B undertakes jts free service for 2 years. The condition being recognized as a part of the transaction, is valid and the sale is lawful. 

Bai' Mu 'ajjal

(Sale on deferred payment basis)

1, A sale in which the parties agree that the payment of price shall be deferred is called a "Bai'Mu'ajjal"

2. Bai' Mu'ajjal is valid if the due date of payment is fixed in an unambiguous manner.

3. The due time of payment can be fixed either with reference to a particular date, or by specifying a period, like three months, but it cannot be fixed with reference to a future event the exact date of which is unknown or is uncertain. If the time of payment is unknown or uncertain, the sale is void.

4. If a particular period is fixed for payment, like one month, it will be deemed to commence from the time of delivery, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.

5. The deferred price may be more than the cash price, but it must be fixed at the time of sale.

6. Once the price is fixed, it cannot be decreased in case of earlier payment, nor can it be increased in case of default.

7. In order to pressurize the buyer to pay the instalments promptly, the buyer may be asked to promise that in case of default, he will donate some specified amount for a charitable purpose. In this case the seller may receive such amount from the buyer, not to make it a part of his income, but to use it for a charitable purpose on behalf of the buyer. The detailed discussion on this subject will be found later in this chapter.

8. If the commodity is sold on instalments, the seller may put a condition on the buyer that if he fails to pay any instalment on its due date, the remaining instalments will become due immediately.

10. The buyer can also be asked to sign a promissory note or a bill of exchange, but he note or the bill cannot be sold to a third party at a price different from its face value. 

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 Who or what is a Salafi? Is his approach valid?
Nuh Ha Mim Keller

              The word salafi or "early Muslim" in traditional Islamic scholarship means someone who died within the first four hundred years after the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), including scholars such as Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi'i, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Anyone who died after this is one of the khalaf or "latter-day Muslims".

The term "Salafi" was revived as a slogan and movement, among latter-day Muslims, by the followers of Muhammad Abduh (the student of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani) some thirteen centuries after the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), approximately a hundred years ago. Like similar movements that have historically appeared in Islam, its basic claim was that the religion had not been properly understood by anyone since the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the early Muslims--and themselves.

In terms of ideals, the movement advocated a return to a shari'a-minded orthodoxy that would purify Islam from unwarranted accretions, the criteria for judging which would be the Qur'an and hadith. Now, these ideals are noble, and I don't think anyone would disagree with their importance. The only points of disagreement are how these objectives are to be defined, and how the program is to be carried out. It is difficult in a few words to properly deal with all the aspects of the movement and the issues involved.

As for its validity, one may note that the Salafi approach is an interpretation of the texts of the Qur'an and sunna, or rather a body of interpretation, and as such, those who advance its claims are subject to the same rigorous criteria of the Islamic sciences as anyone else who makes interpretive claims about the Qur'an and sunna; namely, they must show:

 that their interpretations are acceptable in terms of Arabic language; 

 that they have exhaustive mastery of all the primary texts that relate to each question, and 

 that they have full familiarity of the methodology of usul al-fiqh or "fundamentals of jurisprudence" needed to comprehensively join between all the primary texts. 

Only when one has these qualifications can one legitimately produce a valid interpretive claim about the texts, which is called ijtihad or "deduction of shari'a" from the primary sources. Without these qualifications, the most one can legitimately claim is to reproduce such an interpretive claim from someone who definitely has these qualifications; namely, one of those unanimously recognized by the Umma as such since the times of the true salaf, at their forefront the mujtahid Imams of the four madhhabs or "schools of jurisprudence".

As for scholars today who do not have the qualifications of a mujtahid, it is not clear to me why they should be considered mujtahids by default, such as when it is said that someone is "the greatest living scholar of the sunna" any more than we could qualify a school-child on the playground as a physicist by saying, "He is the greatest physicist on the playground". Claims to Islamic knowledge do not come about by default. Slogans about "following the Qur'an and sunna" sound good in theory, but in practice it comes down to a question of scholarship, and who will sort out for the Muslim the thousands of shari'a questions that arise in his life. One eventually realizes that one has to choose between following the ijtihad of a real mujtahid, or the ijtihad of some or another "movement leader", whose qualifications may simply be a matter of reputation, something which is often made and circulated among people without a grasp of the issues.

What comes to many peoples minds these days when one says "Salafis" is bearded young men arguing about Din. The basic hope of these youthful reformers seems to be that argument and conflict will eventually wear down any resistance or disagreement to their positions, which will thus result in purifying Islam. Here, I think education, on all sides, could do much to improve the situation.

The reality of the case is that the mujtahid Imams, those whose task it was to deduce the Islamic shari'a from the Qur'an and hadith, were in agreement about most rulings; while those they disagreed about, they had good reason to, whether because the Arabic could be understood in more than one way, or because the particular Qur'an or hadith text admitted of qualifications given in other texts (some of them acceptable for reasons of legal methodology to one mujtahid but not another), and so forth.

Because of the lack of hard information in English, the legitimacy of scholarly difference on shari'a rulings is often lost sight of among Muslims in the West. For example, the work Fiqh al-sunna by the author Sayyid Sabiq, recently translated into English, presents hadith evidences for rulings corresponding to about 95 percent of those of the Shafi'i school. Which is a welcome contribution, but by no means a "final word" about these rulings, for each of the four schools has a large literature of hadith evidences, and not just the Shafi'i school reflected by Sabiq's work. The Maliki school has the Mudawwana of Imam Malik, for example, and the Hanafi school has the Sharh ma'ani al-athar [Explanation of meanings of hadith] and Sharh mushkil al-athar [Explanation of problematic hadiths], both by the great hadith Imam Abu Jafar al-Tahawi, the latter work of which has recently been published in sixteen volumes by Mu'assasa al-Risala in Beirut. Whoever has not read these and does not know what is in them is condemned to be ignorant of the hadith evidence for a great many Hanafi positions.

What I am trying to say is that there is a large fictional element involved when someone comes to the Muslims and says, "No one has understood Islam properly except the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and early Muslims, and our sheikh". This is not valid, for the enduring works of first-rank Imams of hadith, jurisprudence, Qur'anic exegesis, and other shari'a disciplines impose upon Muslims the obligation to know and understand their work, in the same way that serious comprehension of any other scholarly field obliges one to have studied the works of its major scholars who have dealt with its issues and solved its questions. Without such study, one is doomed to repeat mistakes already made and rebutted in the past.

Most of us have acquaintances among this Umma who hardly acknowledge another scholar on the face of the earth besides the Imam of their madhhab, the Sheikh of their Islam, or some contemporary scholar or other. And this sort of enthusiasm is understandable, even acceptable (at a human level) in a non-scholar. But only to the degree that it does not become ta'assub or bigotry, meaning that one believes one may put down Muslims who follow other qualified scholars. At that point it is haram, because it is part of the sectarianism (tafarruq) among Muslims that Islam condemns.

When one gains Islamic knowledge and puts fiction aside, one sees that superlatives about particular scholars such as "the greatest" are untenable; that each of the four schools of classical Islamic jurisprudence has had many many luminaries. To imagine that all preceding scholarship should be evaluated in terms of this or that "Great Reformer" is to ready oneself for a big letdown, because intellectually it cannot be supported. I remember once hearing a law student at the University of Chicago say: "I'm not saying that Chicago has everything. It's just that no place else has anything." Nothing justifies transposing this kind of attitude onto our scholarly resources in Islam, whether it is called "Islamic Movement", "Salafism", or something else, and the sooner we leave it behind, the better it will be for our Islamic scholarship, our sense of reality, and for our din. 

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10.  Advice of Hadhrat Sheikh

On devoting oneself to Allah

 Hadhrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA)

             The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) also said, concerning the story of Moses (AS):

             The innermost being [sirr] is the secret of the mystery [sirru's-sirr]. He left his family when he noticed a fire in the direction of the mountain. What did he see? The eye of the head saw a fire [nar], while the eye of the heart saw a light [nur]. The eye of the head saw a creation [khalqan], while the eye of the heart saw a Divine Truth [haqqan]. He said to his household: "Stay here a while, I notice a fire." (28:29)

It attracted him through his heart, and disposed him to relinquish control of his wife and his children.

"He said to his household, 'Stay here awhile...'" A summons has come from on high. The grappling irons of destiny have snatched the people [of the Lord] away from their wives and their children. O law [hukm], stay in place! O knowledge ['ilm], advance in the name of Allah! O lower self [nafs], stay in place! O heart [qalb] and innermost being [sirr], respond! What a loser is he who fails to grasp this, who does not love this, who does not believe in this! How great his loss, how great his loss! How far apart he must remain! How terrrible for him! Perhaps I shall bring you news of it. (28:29)

"Stay there where you are, until I bring you news of the path." Because he had in fact strayed from the path. Its signposts were out of his sight. The Archangel [naqib an-nuqaba'] appeared in his presence, although it had never appeared to him before then. As it beckoned to him, it said: "You must wish you had never been created, and that, having been created, you knew what you had been created for!"

O sleeper, you must wake up, for the waters of the flood are all around you. Who is your leader [imam]? On the Day of Resurrection you will be called to give evidence. What is your Scripture [kitab]? Who is your teacher [mu'allim]? Who is your summoner [da'i]? Who is your Prophet [nabi]? You have no noble lineage [nasab]. Those whose lineage is authentic in the sight of Allah and in the eyes of His Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) are the people of dutiful devotion [ahl at-taqwa]. "O Messenger of Allah," someone asked, "who are members of your family?" The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied:

Every dutiful believer belongs to the family of Muhammad [kullu taqiyyin alu Muhammadin].

Hold your tongue, you have no common sense! Your house sits on the River Tigris and yet you are dying of thirst. Just two steps and you would reach the All-Merciful [ar-Rahman]. The lower self [nafs] and creatures [are the two things you need to step away from]. You too, O seeker! Just two steps and you would reach your goal in both this world and the hereafter.

If you wish for success [falah], you must endure with patience the hammer blows of my way of speaking. When my ecstasy [junun] overtakes me, I cannot see you. When the temper [tab'] of my innermost being [sirr] is aroused, the temper of my sincerity [ikhlas], I cannot see your face. I wish to improve you and to remove the dross from your heart. I shall put out the fire [hariq] that threatens to burn your house down, and I shall protect the honor of your womenfolk [harim].

Open your eyes and take notice of what is in front of you. The squads of punishment and chastisement have come to get you. Woe unto you, O stupid fool! You will very soon be dead. All that you are now involved in must fade away and be scattered. This fellow here will have to part [yufariqu] with his children, his home and his wife, and then make friends [yurafiqu] with the dust, the grave, and either the stokers of Hell [zabaniya] or the angels of mercy [mala'ikat ar-rahma]. O passing traveler, O transient, O transferee, O temporary loan!

Glory be to the One who treats you all so kindly [subhana man manna 'alaikum], O you who like to have fun without ever taking notice!

O you who forget your friends, not once a year do you bring me the tiniest trifle, let alone once a month or once a week. Take something for nothing, and tomorrow a million things. I am carrying your burdens, while you are scared that I might give you the job of bearing mine. Only Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) can take care of all my needs.

You say you would travel for a thousand years just to hear one word from me? But why, when the distance between me and you is only a few steps? You are lazy. You are a little ignoramus, a silly little fool. You think you have something to give. How many like you this world has fattened and then devoured! It made them plump with fame and fortune, then ate them up. If we had seen any good in it, you would not have beaten us to it. Do not all things come home to Allah? (42:53)

As for what we are involved in, it all comes from Allah (Exalted is He).

When the Shaikh had stepped down from the lectern, one of his pupils [talamidha] said to him: "You were quite extreme in your admonition, and you spoke to him very harshly!" But the Shaikh replied: "If my words have had any effect upon him, he will surely come back for more." (The man did in fact attend the meeting [majlis] regularly from then on. He would also visit the Shaikh at other times, outside the formal session, and always behaved with the utmost humility and modesty in his presence. May Allah the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him.)

O Allah [grant us] patience and pardon! O Allah, help us!

If you stand in the presence of any fellow creature, trying to obtain what he has at his disposal, Allah will despise you.

[As the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said:]

When someone pesters [tada'da'a] a rich man, seeking what he has in his possession, two thirds of his religion are gone.

You have made a habit of trying to scrounge things from your fellow creatures, so you will be in that condition when you have to meet Allah (Exalted is He). One time in the public square I saw a man scrounging from the people, although he had just sold a jubba of silk brocade for twenty-five dinars [gold coins]. So I followed him. He stopped beside a man who was eating harisa, and would not leave him alone until he gave him a mouthful of it. I said to him: "Did you not sell a jubba for such and such a price?" His response was: "I am neglecting my trade because of you!"

When someone has progressed to the ultimate degree of saintship [wilaya], he becomes a Qutb [spiritual axis, pole or pivot]. As such, he must carry the burdens of all creatures put together, but he is given the equivalent of the faith [iman] of all creatures put together, so that he will have the strength to bear what he must bear.

Pay no attention to my long shirt and my headcloth. This is what one wears after death. This is a shroud [kafan], the shroud of the dead. This is what befits me now, after I have been accustomed to wearing coarse wool [suf] and to eating rough or going hungry. I now have a pressing engagement, but not with any of you.

O people of Baghdad, be sensible! O people of the earth, O people of the heavens! And He creates what you do not know. (16:8)

It is not an affectation. This is an outward appearance [zahir] that has an inner content [batin] to prove its authenticity, and an inner reality that has an outer manifestation to confirm it.

There is nothing worth talking about until your lords [arbab] become one single Lord [Rabb], until your interests become single and the object of your love becomes single. Your heart must be unified. When will the nearness of the Lord of Truth pitch its tent in your heart? When will your heart come to be enraptured [majdhub] and your innermost being [sirr] drawn near [muqarrab], and when will you meet your Lord after taking your leave of creatures?

As Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said: If someone devotes himself entirely to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), He will provide him with everything he needs, and if a person devotes himself entirely to this world, Allah will leave him in its care.

[In the first of these cases], things will occur miraculously [tukhraqu'l-'adat] for his benefit. He will receive what Allah has at His disposal, but only after total dedication to Him with his heart and his entire being [kulliyya].

As Allah (Exalted is He) has said: If anyone performs an action with the intention of involving someone other than Me [as a partner] in it, well, I am the more Independent of the two partners [ana aghna'sh-sharikain]. It [the action] involves the partner ascribed to Me [shariki] and has nothing to do with Me.

Sincerity [ikhlas] is the believer's plot of land, while his deeds [a'mal] are its surrounding walls. The walls are subject to alteration and change, but not so the ground. Only upon dutiful devotion [taqwa] can a building be firmly based.

If someone should say: "I have dedicated myself to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), but He has not provided me with everything I need," the answer must be: "The fault lies in you, not in the Messenger." Nor does he [the Messenger] speak from his own desire. (53:3)

Do you know anything at all about Allah (Exalted is He)? No, by Allah! You are all madly in love with this world and its glamour. If you were telling the truth about the claims you make, you would not have to resort to cunning tricks in order to obtain the merest trifle.

Cast your lower self [nafs] into the Valley of Destiny [wadi'l-qadar] until, when its time has come, the top rung of your ladder makes contact with the door of nearness [to the Lord]. You will be welcomed by a face more lovely than all the charming beauty of this world and the hereafter. The fond affection [mawadda] between the pair of you will be complete. All obstacles and intermediaries will disappear. Then you will hear its [the lower self's] call for help from the Valley of His Destiny: "Take charge of the deposits held in trust for you, and make full use of the service I can offer you. I am imprisoned over here, to your detriment or for your benefit." Your nearness [to the Lord] will plead on its behalf, urging a positive response to its request. At this point the hand of knowledge ['ilm] will be extended to it, and the hand of the law [hukm] will come to its aid.

As for your immersion in it [this world] at the outset of your career, before you have mounted any opposition to your natural urges [tab'], your passions [hawa] and your willfulness [irada], in spite of your claim to be numbered among the loved ones [mahbubun] and those who have been drawn near [muqarrabun], this is a regrettable delusion that will hold you back and an unfortunate error that will lead you astray. If you realized that this world was sure to leave you in the lurch, you would not ask so much of it. When your inner [batin] becomes worthy to serve Allah, only then will this world become fit to serve you. Its wine is poison; it may taste sweet at first, but it soon turns bitter. Once it has filtered through into your heart and you have come under its control, it converts into a poison and kills you.

Our predecessors would learn to distinguish between different kinds of notions [khawatir], before withdrawing into secluded retreats [zawaya]. O you who cannot tell the difference between the notion [khatir] of the lower self [nafs], that of the devil [shaitan] and that of the heart [qalb], how can you withdraw into seclusion? The satanic notion prompts one to commit sins of disobedience and to make mistakes; it implants the root of unbelief [kufr], then encourages the sins of disobedience that branch out from it. As for the angelic notion [khatir al-malak], it prompts one to practice worshipful obedience and to perform righteous deeds.

Somebody said to him who was crucified (meaning al-Hallaj): "Give me a piece of good advice!" He replied: "It concerns your lower self [nafs]; if you can control it, [well and good], otherwise it will control you."

If you wish to drink in the company of kings, you had better take to the empty ruins, the wastelands and the deserts, until you sober up from your intoxication, so that you do not divulge their secrets and have them put you to death for it. This is why it is better for them [the people of the Lord] to go wandering about, rather than settle down. This world has been put here as a means of transport, if you wish to meet your Lord.

Seclusion [is appropriate only] after [observance of] all the rules of the sacred law [ahkam ash-shar']. The door of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) cannot be reached without seeking help, and a firm determination to achieve something will make the means available. The door of knowledge ['ilm] is arrived at by the path of the law [hukm]. The law means the [divine] commandments and prohibitions. We therefore accept what the law requires of us; we hear and we obey. At this stage we are exposed to adversities, so this is where the servant needs to be knowledgeable ['alim]. One of us may say: "Why should I have to suffer misfortune, despite my dedication to worshipful obedience?" Our response to him must be: "You need a little knowledge!"

The specialist in the law [sahib al-hukm] is concerned with storing the goods, while the specialist in knowledge [sahib al-'ilm] is concerned with their distribution. The law is associated with the pious abstainers [zuhhad], while knowledge is associated with the champions of truth [siddiqun], the loved ones, the intimate companions. Abstinence [zuhd] is associated with the law, while love is associated with knowledge. The one serves as a business partner [sharik], the other as a minister [wazir].

The ascetic [mutazahhid] is feverish [mahmum], the pious abstainer [zahid] is consumptive [maslul] and he who has real knowledge ['arif] is alive after death. This ascetic has renounced the desires of the flesh and has been fasting, so his lower self [nafs] has caught a fever. The pious abstainer has experienced prolonged renunciation, so his sickness has been prolonged and has caused him to contract tuberculosis. This world has died as far as he is concerned. While he is lying in this condition on the bed of the gracious kindness of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), what should appear at the door of his abstinence but food prepared in many different ways, as well as various styles of clothing hung on pegs! He cannot leave this world until he has received his allotted share in full. The unbelievers [kuffar] and disobedient sinners have not had the decency to seek [their proper due]; they have just helped themselves to things that are unlawful [haram].

Allah (Exalted is He) gave that servant life, then He resurrected him as a different creature. Flesh had withered away, bone had weakened, skin had grown thin. The lower self [nafs] had lost its sweet taste, passion [hawa] had departed and natural inclination [tab'] had been overcome, while the heart contained the spirit [ruh], the inner meaning [ma'na], the direct experience [ma'rifa] and the realization of Divine Unity [tawhid].

Complete dominion belongs to the heart alone, and the Lord of Truth takes care of it. He brings His servant back to life after his death, his carnal desires and appetites having died a spiritual [ma'nawi] death. A symbolic death along with an actual death. Allah brings him back to life after He has shown him what is over there. To the servant He has left dead at His door, He shows the vast scope of His wisdom and His mysteries, the multitude of His soldiers and His subjects. Then, when He has shown him His kingdom and informed him of His secret [sirr], He joins his spirit [ruh] to his body and his outer [zahir] to his inner [batin], so that he may receive his allotted shares [aqsam] in full. Prior to this, even if all the portions of the East and the West had been spread out before him, he could not have taken one single atom from them.

Through a mysterious power [qudra khafiya], an inner will [irada batina] exerted by Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), His Prophets [anbiya'], His saints [awliya'] and the special few [khawass] among His creatures are detached from their worldly desires. Not the slightest trace of carnal desire and willfulness remains within them, so that their inner beings [bawatin] are purely devoted to Him. Then, when He wishes to grant them their allotted shares in full, He creates the life of worldly existence [wujud] within them, so that all the allotted shares may be received.

Jesus (AS) did not marry; he never took a wife. At the end of time, Allah (Exalted is He) will send him back down to the earth, and He will then marry him to a young woman of Quraish, who will bear him a son.

As for the person with real experience ['arif], he does not receive his portion until after achieving proficiency in both knowledge ['ilm] and abstinence [zuhd], then he collects his allotted shares along with all the rest of you. He regains his worldly appetites after having abstained from them [to be on the safe side] whenever there was any doubt. Once he has acquired knowledge, cold water tastes good to him, while in the eyes of pious abstainers the finest meal seems like drinking wine and eating the flesh of the pig. Many a pious abstainer is shut off by his abstinence from the Lord of Truth, and many a person with real experience is shut off through dwelling too much on his experience [ma'rifa], although this is actually rather unusual and in most cases he is likely to be safe and sound.

As a general rule, your closeness to the sons of this world keeps you far away from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). The right course for you is to concentrate your attention on the hereafter and on worshipful obedience, then you may be saved, while your allotted shares will come to you even if they are unwelcome.

What He requires of you [first of all] is that you stop following your natural tendency [tab'] and put in its place the special concessions [rukhas] allowed by the sacred law [shar']. Then He will instruct you to give up these special concessions bit by bit, until all your actions are in accordance with the strict interpretation ['azima]. Then, if you patiently observe the strict version of the law, love for Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will arise within your heart. Once love is firmly established there, saintship [wilaya] will come to you from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He).

If you are sensible, count yourself among the people of the Fire [of Hell], because this will encourage you to improve your conduct. If you are in fact one of the people of the Garden [of Paradise], you will have demonstrated your gratitude to Him. When you go out of your house, you should feel as if you were going forth to war, as if you might never come back home again. You should also be aware that you are made to suffer because of your acquisitiveness, and be convinced that Allah (Exalted is He) is capable of sustaining you without effort or strain.

The believer [mu'min] is sometimes like a mountain and at other times like a feather, blown about by the winds of His destiny [qadar]; in the face of misfortunes like a mountain, but in the company of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) like a feather wafted by the winds of His decrees [aqdar].

O people of ours, it is too late for you to fill the role of Messenger [risala] or the role of Prophet [nubuwwa], but there is still time for you to experience saintship [wilaya]!

There can be no access to the King's company as long as one is still attached to worldly existence [wujud]. It seems you must be blind, since you do not see. It seems you must have quenched your thirst, since you do not drink. It seems you must be dead, since there is no movement in you. Woe unto the outcasts who are unaware of being outcasts! You do no good, nor do you help the good people to do good. You are bad; you love a worldly life with no hereafter, an outer [zahir] with no inner [batin]. You will gain no benefit from your important connections, your wealth and your patron. You will soon be dead, and after death you will suffer humiliation. Should anyone desire glory, the glory belongs to Allah. (35:10)

And [thus it also belongs] to His Messenger [rasul] and to the saints [awliya'] and the champions of truth [siddiqun].

The ocean is this world, the ship is the sacred law [shar'] and the sailor is the grace [lutf] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). Anyone who deviates from following the sacred law will therefore drown in this world, but if someone seeks refuge aboard the ship of the sacred law and makes himself at home there, the sailor will appoint him to be his lieutenant [istanabahu]. He will put him in charge of the ship and everything aboard it, and will make him a relative by finding him a bride from his own family [saharahu]. This is how it will be for someone who forsakes this world, devotes himself to the acquisition of knowledge ['ilm], bears suffering with patience and comes to be the beloved [mahbub] of the sacred law. While he is in this condition, lo and behold, Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will come and bestow His grace upon him. He will grant him His intimate knowledge [ma'rifa] and invest him with robes of honor specially designed for him. One mark of divine friendship on top of another [wilaya fawqa wilaya]!

In Allah you have ample compensation for the loss of anything other than Him. If something happens to pass you by, do not feel sad about it, for the King disposes of His property as He sees fit. The slave ['abd] belongs to his Master [Mawla], along with everything he owns. Whatever He may take away from you, you will find it again tomorrow [at the Resurrection]. The Fire [of Hell] will say: "Pass through, O believer [mu'min], for your light has extinguished my flames!" Likewise in this world, when faith [iman] has grown strong and one's inner being [batin] has made contact with the nearness of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), along comes the fire of disasters to cause an obstruction on the path of hearts. The fire of conflicts takes its stand on the path of aspirants, then it catches the aspirant [murid] because of the remnants he still carries, traces of worldly attachment and attention to creatures. To those of perfect faith [kamil al-iman] it says: "Pass through, O believer, for your light has extinguished my flames!" They are not injured in this world by arrows that fall from the castle walls. You must conduct yourselves in such a way that neither the fire of this world nor that of the hereafter will be able to harm you.

Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has certain servants whom He calls physicians [atibba']. He lets them live in good health ['afiya], causes them to die in good health and admits them to the Garden [of Paradise] in good health.

When someone really knows ['arafa] Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), he becomes detached from carnal appetites and pleasures. It is only because he is compelled to do so that he accepts all his allotted shares [of worldly goods]. "The neighbor before the house [al-jar qabla'd-dar]." Having won the neighbor, this fortunate person [mubarak] now gains the house, established in possession by the King. The King has said: You are today in our presence established and worthy of trust. (12:54)

When someone has really come to know Allah, and has been admitted to His presence, he will not reach out with his eyes or his hands toward anything in His kingdom. He is just like a bride ['arus] who has been solemnly escorted to the King. Her food and drink are the nearness of the King. In His nearness she finds the fulfillment of all her desires. When the lower self [nafs] has become obedient, it melts together with the heart, which becomes its jailer. Then the King releases the heart from the prison. And the king said: "Bring him to me." (12:50)

After his nobility and his good character and good conduct have become apparent, he will be escorted into His presence. He will greet him with noble generosity, draw him near and bring him close, treat him kindly, invest him with robes of honor and address him without an intermediary, saying: You are today in our presence established and worthy of trust. He will keep all his attention focused on Himself. 

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11. Rights of women in Islam 
Shahnaz Begum

            The general view held by the western world is that the concept of human rights is exclusively theirs. But this view is not correct because the idea of human rights had already taken shape under the, Islamic law in the 7th, century itself. In fact, the west could develop its concept of human rights only as late as the 17th century and then too, the charter remained incomplete. Eventually, it was not until the 20th century that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights could be completed.

The Rights that Islam confers to human beings have been clamitied under two categories: