Radiant Reality

Back to Radiant-Reality Index

 

Regd. No.: JKENG/2000/4174
Published From  Srinagar.
Editor, Printer & Publisher: Mawlana Hamidullah Lone.

November 2006.  VOL.7, No: 11

 


1. Editorial - Peer Pressuer
2. Questions & Answers

3. Lesson from Al-Quran

4. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief

5. The Issue of Inheritance

6. Raising the Izaar over the Ankles

7. Islamic finance

8. The Age of Ignorance

9. The Virtues of Lowering the Gaze

10. An Ideal Personality

11. Reviving Our Sense of Geerah
12. Saviours of Islamic Spirit

13. If Only You Knew


 

1. EDITORIAL

 

Peer Pressure

 

What will the people say? Will they approve of it? Will they laugh at it? It seems that such concerns influence our actions --especially our public conduct-- more than anything else. Social pressure is a powerful force. It works by appealing to our desire not to be insulted, ridiculed, or criticized. In a righteous society it could also be a force for good, as some people will avoid a bad name more than they would a bad action. But in the real world out there it mostly turns into an evil force, pressuring people into doing things they know are wrong or keeping them from doing what they know are right. The question of right and wrong is changed into a question of acceptable and unacceptable to this evil force.

In some cases we recognize it easily. Nearly every parent in the West today seems to be concerned about peer pressure, especially on the teenagers. There is hardly a sin that attracts teenagers -- drugs, violence, lewdness, fornication, gangs -- that does not have peer pressure as its main or major cause. Countless lives have been turned upside down or totally destroyed by it. But is the teen peer pressure an anomaly in an otherwise healthy society? Obviously not. It attracts our attention because of the scale of destruction it causes but the general trend is not different in other segments of the society.

In many cases the same Muslim parents who are genuinely worried about the teen peer pressure, themselves seem to be giving in to the pressures for conformance. Some trade their names for meaningless but more "acceptable" constructions. Some will participate, say, in the office Christmas party, so that they are not discovered. Some admit to being Muslim but an "open- minded" one. ("Actually Islam is a very progressive religion. It allows us to do everything that the society asks us to do. Too bad most Muslims are so ignorant about their own religion.")

The phenomenon is not limited to the Western world either. Unfortunately today most Muslim countries at many times seem to be putting their weight on the side of wrong. There, un-Islamic traditions, innovations (bidaat), and outright evils flourish under social pressures. The most visible symbols of an Islamic life are generally also the favorite targets of this pressure. Thus we see that in many Muslim countries even such a simple act as growing beard (or observing hijab for women) are treated as crimes punishable by public ridicule! (Of course in a country like Egypt, the same act calls for investigation, on pain of torture, by secret agencies. But that is an altogether different story). To go beyond that and challenge any of the established un-Islamic practices qualifies one to be labeled as a fanatic!

Actually there is nothing new in all of this. This psychological warfare is as old as the struggle between good and evil! The Qur'an tells us that all the Prophets were insulted and ridiculed by the very people they were trying to save from the eternal punishment. They were called liars and sorcerers; they were ridiculed for being "too pious"; they were laughed at for being "crazy."

The story of Prophet Noah is so telling here. His final act of building the ark was considered proof-positive by his people of him being out of his mind. Building a ship in an area nearly a thousand miles away from the sea! What could be crazier than that! The Qur'an mentions: "And he was building the Ark and every time that the chieftains of his people passed by him, they threw ridicule at him. He said:

"If you ridicule us now, we in our turn, can look down on you with ridicule likewise'." [11:38].

They were having a great time, making fun of Prophet Noah. Little did they realize that soon the Flood would wash away all of their ignorant self-assurance. One can imagine their horror when the end finally came, for it must have been in proportion to their delusion till that point.

Such is the story of the struggle between Truth and Falsehood. Truth will eventually triumph. But Falsehood has great fun before that, ridiculing the Truth. That is why Truth attracts people with foresight and patience, courage and determination. They have their eyes set on the final outcome. They are not deterred by the flood of insults and false propaganda that they are sure to face. That is why the Qur'an mentions that one of the qualities of the believers whom Allah loves and who love Allah is that

"They fear not the blame of any blamer."  [ 5:54].

That must be so because we must realize that the most ridiculous thing would be for anyone to leave the Straight Path for fear of being ridiculed by those who are happily rushing on their path to eternal doom. The most laughable act is to trade truth for Falsehood for fear of being laughed at. The craziest deed would be to knowingly disobey Allah for fear of being called crazy!

The Qur'an assures us, and history confirms it, that it is not a reasonable goal for a believer that he or she should be able to go through life without ever being subjected to mockery and ridicule. Such expectations produce failure at the first instant, when the rubber meets the road, and apologists personify such failure. Unfortunately, but understandably, in the age of the mega propaganda machine we see too many of them.

When their laughter becomes too loud, we should remember that the chieftains of the people of Noah were also laughing at one time. But who had the last laugh?

"The guilty used to laugh at those who believed. And whenever they passed by them, used to wink at each other in mockery. And when they returned to their own people, they returned jesting. And whenever they saw them they would say: `They have gone astray.' But they had not been sent as keepers over them. But on this day the Believers will laugh at the Unbelievers." [83:29-34].

  TOP

  

2. Question and Answer

 

Q.)        Can you combine Zuhr with Asr and Maghrib with Isha salat while traveling? What do the different madhabs say about this? JazakAllahkhair.

A.)        According to the Hanafi school, it is not permitted to combine the prayers and take a prayer out of its prayer time by either delaying it or performing it before its time. The only exception they have in this, based on the narration of Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, is in Arafat (where Zuhr and 'Asr are combined) and in Muzdalifa (where Maghrib and 'Isha are combined). The remaining three schools permit combining in other circumstances too as when a person is traveling, or it is raining heavily, etc.

There are many ahadith related on this issue and have been discussed by the four schools. The Hanafis have judged all the narrations on this issue to be based on the method of "apparent combining" [Jam' al-Suri] not "real combining" [jam' al-Haqiqi]. This position is based on the fact that we are told to make every prayer on time, and there are ahadith of Ibn Mas'ud which clarify that the Prophet never combined the prayers together [by taking a prayer out of its time] except in 'Arafat and Muzdalifa during the pilgrimage.

The following, which is an excerpt from the Fiqh al-Imam: Key Proofs in Hanafi Fiqh may be useful in understanding the ahadith on this issue:

3. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, Radi-Allahu anhu, relates:

I never observed the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam perform any prayer out of its time except at Muzdalifa. He combined Maghrib and 'Isha at Muzdalifa (Sahih al-Bukhari 1:227, Sahih Muslim 1:417, Sharh Ma'ani 'l-athar 1:164).

4. Another narration of Ibn Mas'ud, Radi-Allahu anhu, states:

The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam combined two prayers whilst on a journey. He would combine Maghrib and 'Isha by delaying Maghrib until just before its expiry time, and performing 'Isha immediately as its time entered (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:458).

5. 'A'isha, Radi-Allahu anha, narrates:

The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam whilst on a journey, would delay Zuhr and perform 'Asr early and would delay Maghrib and perform 'Isha early [i.e. perform each prayer in its own time] (Sharh Ma'ani 'l-athar 1:164, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:457).

6. Ibn 'Abbas, Radi-Allahu anhu, narrates:

I performed eight rak'ats together [four of Zuhr and four of 'Asr] and seven rak'ats together [three of Maghrib and four of 'Isha] with the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam . [One of the narrators says,] "I asked Abu 'l-Sha'tha', 'I assume he delayed Zuhr [to the end of its time] and performed 'Asr as soon as it entered, and delayed Maghrib [likewise] and performed 'Isha early.' He replied, 'I also think the same'" (Sahih Muslim 1:246, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2: 456).

This hadith of Sahih Muslim is very clear about the exact description of combining two prayers. The method described by the narrator is jam' al-suri.

7. Imam Abu Dawud has transmitted the following:

The muezzin of 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar informed him it was time for prayer. Ibn 'Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, instructed him to continue on the journey. When the red of sunset [shafq ahmar] had nearly disappeared, he got of from his mount and performed Maghrib, then he waited until the red had completely disappeared and performed Isha. He then said, "Whenever the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was in a hurry for some reason, he would do just as I have done" (Sunan Abi Dawud 1:178).

          As we can see, the method of combining mentioned in the above ahadith is none other than that of jam' al-suri. It is an agreed upon method which nobody has any argument with. How can there be an objection to two prayers being performed together in a way that does not cause them to be performed either before their stipulated time or after it? Undoubtedly, this is the safest method of combining two prayers, and would be the most suitable way to explain the ahadith on combining.

It is also common knowledge that the Fajr prayer should not to be performed before its time or intentionally delayed beyond it. Similarly, other prayers should not be performed out of their stipulated times either, especially not while considering it to be sunna. This indicates that the sunna method of combining two prayers is jam' al-suri, as has also been substantiated through the Qur'an and Hadith. This is the Hanafi opinion in this issue.

<>If it was permissible to practice jam' al-haqiqi in the event of travel or illness, etc., then why is it confined to some prayers only? Why is it not permissible to perform all the prayers of the day together in the morning before departing on a journey? The reason for this is quite simple. The practice of combining mentioned in the ahadith is not to be taken as jam al-haqiqi, but as jam al-suri wherein each prayer remains in its own time, but are performed one after another....

And Allah knows best.

 

 

TOP

3. Lesson from the Qur'an

 

Hadhrat Mawlana Mohammad Shaifi Sahib (RA)

 

 

 

()

 

(Verse 57)

And We made the cloud give you shade, and sent down to you Mann and Saliva: 'Eat of the good things We have provided you'.  And they (by their ingratitude) did Us no harm, but were harming only themselves.

 

These two incidents took place in the wilderness of Tih. The Israelites belonged to Syria, but had gone to Egypt in the time of Sayyidna Yusuf (Joseph) (AS), and settled there, while Syria itself had come under the domination of a people called the 'Amaliqah (Amaleks). When the Pharaoh had been drowned and the Israelites could live in peace, Allah commanded them to go to war against the 'Amaliqah, and to free their homeland. The Israelites started on the expedition, but, on approaching Syria, when they came to learn about the military strength of the foe, their courage failed them, and they refused to engage themselves in the Jihad. Allah punished them for their disobedience, so that for full forty years they kept wandering about in a wilderness, and could not even go back to Egypt. The wilderness was not very vast, but only a stretch of some ten miles, lying between Egypt and Syria. They would make a day-long march in the direction of Egypt, and stop somewhere for the night. But, on getting up the next morning, they would always find themselves just where they had started from. Thus, they spent forty years wandering about in the wilderness in futile rage and exasperation. That is why the wilderness is called Tih, which signifies 'having lost one's way'.

The wilderness was just a barren space without a tree or a building which could offer protection against heat or cold. There was no food to eat, and no clothes to wear. But in answer to the prayer of Sayyidna Musa (AS), Allah made a miraculous provision for all their needs. When they could not bear the scorching sun, Allah sent them the shade of a thin, white cloud. When they began to starve, Allah blessed them with Mann (manna) and Salwa. That is to say, Allah produced honeydew in abundance which they could easily gather. Hence it has been designated as mann which signifies "a gift or favour". Then, quails would not flee but come around them, so that they could catch the birds with little effort. The two things being unusual, the Holy Qur'an says that Allah made them "descend" for the benefit of the Israelites. Similarly, when they were thirsty, Allah commanded Sayyidna Musa (AS). to strike a rock with his staff, which made twelve streams gush forth, as the Holy Qur'an narrates in another place. When they complained of the thick darkness of the night, Allah produced for them a constant pillar of light. When their clothes began to wear out, Allah showed another miracle - their clothes would neither go dirty nor wear out, while the clothes of the children grew with their growth. (Qurtubi)

Allah had commanded the Israelites to take as much of the miraculous food as they really needed, and not to store it for future use. But when they disobeyed this commandment, the meat began to rot. This is how they harmed, not Allah, but themselves.

 

 

Verse 58

And when We said, "Enter this town, and eat there to your heart's content wherever you will. And enter the gate prostrating and say: Hittah (we seek forgiveness) -so that We forgive your errors. And We shall give much more to those who are good in deeds. "

 

There are two views as to when this incident took place. According to Shah 'Abd al-Qadir, when the Israelites grew weary of eating the same Mann and Salwa everyday and prayed for being granted the kind of food they were used to (2:61), they were commanded to go to a certain city where they could get what they wished for. So, the com_mandment in the present verse pertains to the mode of entering this city, and lays down the spiritual etiquette for action and speech on this occasion. On the other hand is the view that the commandmentpertains to the city against which the Israelites had been ordered to en_gage themselves in a Jihad. They obeyed it only after their long wan_derings in the wilderness, and conquered the city. The commandment reported in Verse 58 was sent to them through Sayyidna Yusha' (Joshua) (AS) who was the prophet among them at the time.

The discrepancy between the two views, which raises a question about the chronological sequence of the events, should not confuse us as to the nature of the stories narrated in the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an does not tell the stories for the sake of telling stories, the usual purpose of which is to provide entertainment. The real intention here is to draw certain conclusions from the stories, and to illustrate or point out certain spiritual principles. Now, the various episodes of a story help to bring out various principles. So, in view of a particular effect sought in a particular context, the chronological sequence of the episodes may be invented and the incidents re-arranged to serve the interest of the pattern of meaning that is intended. This is just what the Holy Qur'an does; in fact, this is a quite usual literary method, and the disturbance of the chronological order in the stories narrated by the Holy Qur'an should not raise irrelevant questions in the mind of the reader - after all, in any and every piece of writing, or even speech, it is the intention which governs the ordering of the material.

The Verse holds out the promise that if the Israelites obeyed the commandment, their errors would be forgiven. On the basis of the first of the two views we have referred to, one must include among the errors their rejection of the Mann and the Salwa and their request for the normal kind of food. The demand was really insolent, but Allah promised that if they showed their obedience by following the new commandment, He would forgive this error too. Anyhow, the promise of pardon was general, and extended to everyone who was ready to obey the new commandment, while a special reward was promised to those who devoted themselves to good deeds sincerely and wholeheartedly.

 

The meaning of Ihsan

"We  may add that 'sincerity'  and 'wholeheartedness' are a very weak rendering in English of the essential quality of the text's Muh-sinun (rendered here as "those who are good  in  deeds"). This  word comes from Ihsan which signifies "doing a thing beautifully - that is, in the manner that is proper to it." Beside this lexical meaning, Ihsan has a technical  meaning which has been defined in a famous Hadith: "Offer your prayers as if you can see Him, and if you do not see Him, He is seeing you (in any case)." (Bayan al-Qur'an)

 

 

Verse 59

But those who were unjust substituted another word for the one that was set for them. So, We sent down upon those who were unjust a scourge from heaven, because they have been acting sinfully. (Verse 59)

 

This verse is a continuation of the preceding verse.   Allah had commanded the Israelites to keep, while entering the city, repeating the word Hittatun (which indicates repentance for one's sin and the request for pardon). But they replaced this word with another phrase by way of mockery, and started saying, Habbatun fi sha'irah (grain in the midst of barley), or Hintatun (wheat).

The punishment which descended on them was plague that wiped out seventy thousand men (Qurtub). In passing, we may recall a hadith which says that plague is a punishment for the disobedient, and a blessing for the obedient.

 

Injunctions and related considerations

The Israelites were punished for having changed a word ordained by Allah, and substituted a phrase of their own invention, thus distorting the meaning itself. According to the consensus of the Fuqaha' (Muslim jurists), a change in the words of the Holy Qur'an, or of a Hadith, or of a divine commandment which invents or distorts the actual meaning is impermissible.

This should be obvious enough. But there is another question - is it permissible to change the words in such a way that the meaning does not suffer but remains intact? In his commentary, Imam al-Qurtubi says that in certain texts and in certain kinds of speech the words are as much a part of the intention as the meanings and equally necessary for conveying an idea, and that in such a case it is not permissible to change the words. For example, in the Adhan (the call for prayers) it is not permissible to employ words other than those which have been laid down for the purpose by the hadith. Similar is the case of the Salah: the different things to be recited in them (like Subhanaka Allahumma, At-Tahiyyat, Qunut) or the glorification of Allah during the Ruku' (bowing down) arid the Sajdah (prostration) --all these must be said exactly in the words which have been reported in the hadith; substituting other words is not allowed, even if the meaning does not undergo a change.

This rule applies to each and every word of the Holy Qur'an. All the Injunctions with regard to the recitation of the Holy Qur'an strictly pertain to those words alone which Allah has revealed to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). According to the hadith, the merit of reciting the Holy Qur'an is so great that for every letter that one reads or recites one gets the reward which one would get for performing ten good deeds. But if one reads a very accurate translation of the Holy Qur'an or even an Arabic version in which the original words have been replaced by certain other words without injuring the sense, the Shari'ah shall not accept it as a recitation of the Holy Qur'an, and one will not get any reward of recitation for it. For, it is not the meanings alone which constitute the Holy Qur'an; "Qur'an" is the name of meanings inherent in the words revealed by Allah to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) so that the two are inseparable from each other.

It appears from the present verse that Allah had commanded the Israelites to say this particular word, Hittatun, while offering their Taubah (repentance), and hence changing the ordained word was in itself a sin. They went so far as to distort even the meaning, and drew upon themselves the divine punishment.

Now, as for other kinds of speech in which it is the meanings that are really intended and not the words, the masters of the science of Hadith and the jurists in general believe that in such places words can be changed provided that the meaning does not suffer but remains in_tact. Al-Qurtubi has cited Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik and Imam Shafi'i; as holding the view that it is quite permissible to report a ha-dith with regard to its meaning alone provided that the man who re_ports it should have a perfect knowledge of the Arabic language and also be familiar with the situation to which this particular hadith per_tains, so that he should not misinterpret the text or distort the sense.

On the other hand, certain masters of the science of Hadith do not allow the slightest change in the words of a hadith, and insist that it should be reported exactly in the words in which one has received it. This, for example, is the view of Muhammad ibn Sirin, Qasim ibn Muhammad etc. Some of them even insist that if in reporting a hadith a reporter has made a lexical mistake, the man who has heard the hadith from him must, in his own turn, report it in exactly the same words including the mistake, only indicating what the correct word is likely to be. Such scholars cite a hadith in support of their view. It has been reported that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised a man to say this prayer before going to sleep at night:  ٰ : "I have faith in Your Book which You have made to descend, and in Your Prophet whom You have sent." The prescribed prayer had the word Nabiyy (Prophet), but the man changed it for Rasul (Messenger). The Holy Prophet ^ instructed him not to make a change, but to say the prescribed word Nabiyy. This shows that it is not permissible to change a single^word in reporting a hadith. Similarly, another hadith says:  : "May Allah make the man flourish who heard my speech, and then conveyed it exactly as he had heard." This also indicates that it is necessary to report the exact words of a hadith as one has received them.

Most of the jurists and the masters of the science of Hadith, however, believe that although it is better to report a hadith as far as possible in exactly the same words as one has heard without making any change intentionally, yet if one cannot recall the exact words, it is also permissible to report the meaning in one's own words, and that the words of the hadith quoted above - "... conveyed it exactly as he had heard" - might also mean that one should report the meaning of a hadith exactly and without any alteration. Obviously, changing the words does not necessarily go against this provision. Imam al-Qurtubi has, in support of his view, pointed out that this very hadith goes to prove that changing words, when necessary, is permissible, for this hadith itself has come down to us in different words in different versions. As for the other hadith in which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has insisted that the word Nabiyy should be recited and not the word Rasul, one might explain it in this way. The word Nabiyy (prophet) carries the sense of sublimity much more than does the word Rasul, for the latter is employed for any messenger whatsoever, while the former is reserved only for those who are specially chosen by Allah for being directly addressed through revelation (Wahy) and who thus occupy a rank higher than all other men. There is another explanation too. As far as prayers are concerned, the words appointed for the purpose by Allah or by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) have a much greater efficacy than any other words can have. (Qurtubi) That is why those who prepare : ta'widh (translated as 'charms' in absence of an exact counterpart) or 'awdhah, or suggest words to pray are very careful in keeping to the authentically reported words without the slightest change. So, one may say that the prayers which are considered to be very efficacious, should be included in the first category of speech in which not only the meanings but the words also must be carefully safeguarded, for both are equally intended.

 

TOP

4. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief

 

Dr. Rafiq Ahmad

 

 

Hadith No. 48 (Contd)

 

Saum

              Fourth constituent of Islm is to observe fast (Saum), during the month of Ramadhan. It is obligatory for Muslims to observe fast from dawn to sunset for the whole month of Ramadhan every year. The benefits of Saum for the physical health are numerous which can be seen in the books written on this subject. It has immense spiritual benefits as well. It weakens the bestial instincts in man and strengthens in him the Angelic instincts. Man comes closer to the Angels and his Qalb begins appreciating the fine subtleties of nature.  The one who observes fasts is very much loved by Allh to the extent that Allh has promised that He will Himself reward the doer of this act

 

Haj

The fifth constituent of Islm which Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) stated in this Hadith is Haj. Hajj is obligatory once in a life time for those Muslims who can go to Makkah-al-Mukarramah either on foot, camel or horse etc or have enough money to arrange for other means of transportation, accommodation and meals and can support their dependants monetarily back home. Hajj is performed once in a year from 8th to 12th Zil-Hajj at Makkah-al-Mukarramah. The details can be seen from the various books on Haj.

 

What is Ahsn?

This was the third question asked by Jibra'eel (AS). Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) told him that Ahsn means to worship Allh in such a way as if one is seeing Allh and if one cannot do that then one should at least have this strong conviction that Allh is seeing him all the time. It is only after getting this strong conviction that Allh is seeing, one can worship the way it is desired by Allh. Allmah Shabir Uthmni says that man is constituted of two parts, body and soul. If one exercises his body parts repeatedly his body parts become stronger and stronger, Similarly if one exercises his spiritual faculties repeatedly, his spiritual power becomes stronger and stronger. When one works on Imn and Islm properly and regularly he gets spiritual upliftment by which it becomes easy for him to understand and act upon Islm and Imn, and that is the state of Ahsn, so, to say that Ahsn is something different than Shari'ah is absolute ignorance.

Then he further asked, "When will the Hour be established?" Allh's Apostle replied, "The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents.

1. When a slave (lady) gives birth to her master.

2. When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allh.

The Prophet then recited:

"Verily, with Allh (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour ......". (31: 34)

This was the fourth question of Jibra'eel (AS).

 

Beliefs concerning the signs of Qiymah

Allh Tal will command Hadhrat Israfeel (AS) to blow the trumpetSoor. The thunderous and destructive sound emitting from the Soor will destroy the entire universe. At the appointed time, forty years later Hadhrat Israfeel (AS) will again sound the Soor. The second sounding of the Soor will restore the creation to life. This restoration of life will be  The Day of Resurrection.

The exact date of Qiymah is known only to Allh Tal. He has not revealed to anyone the actual date and day of Qiymah. There is also absolutely no way or means by which anyone can come to know about its time. However Allh has informed His Ambiy (AS) about some signs and events that will appear before Qiymah.

Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) has mentioned some events and signs by means of which the proximity of Qiymah may be deduced. The signs of Qiymah are of two kinds.

 

The lesser signs

These are the events which will take place from the time of Rasulullahs (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) birth to the appearance of Imm Mahdi. Amongst these the first sign is the honourable birth of Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam).

Imm Bukhari  narrates a Hadith that Rasulullah  (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) reported to have said:

"The following six things are most certainly to occur before Qiymah."

1. My demise.

2. Baitul Maqdis will be conquered.

3. A general plague.

4. Abundance of wealth.

5. A Fitnah (affliction) will appear and enter the house of every Arab (this affliction was the martyrdom of Hadhrat Uthmn (RA).

6. You will be in peace with the Christians, they will then deceive you and attack you with a force of eighty flags and with each flag will be an army of twelve thousand.

Similarly there are many more signs of Qiymah foretold by Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) in the Ahdith,

1. Ignorance of Deen will increase greatly.

2. Knowledge of Deen will rapidly decrease.

3. Alcohol will be consumed in public.

4. Fornication will become rampant.

5. Shame and modesty will be eliminated.

6. Female population will increase.

7. Dancing, singing and musical instruments will become rampant.

8. Telling lies will be regarded as a profession.

9. People will disobey their mothers and regard their fathers as strangers while considering friends to be their close associates.

10. Children will be disobedient to mothers and subservient to their wife.

11. Immoral, evil and the worst in character will assume the reigns of power and government.

12. Public funds will be regarded as private property.

13. Oppression will become rampant.

14. People will desire death due to the evil and false practices that will become rampant.

 

The major signs

These are the events which will take place after the appearance of Imm Mahdi to the sounding of the trumpet. These will appear when Qiymah will be very close.

 

The advent of Imm Mahdi

Mahdi in Arabic means rightly guided. Many Mahdis (rightly guided people) have come and will continue to come. But the Mahdi whose mention is made in the Ahdith will make his appearance very close to Qiymah as foretold by Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam). He will be from the progeny of Hadhrat Fatimah (RA). His name will be Muhammed (AS). His fathers name Abdullah and his mothers name Aminah. He will very closely resemble Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam). He will be a tall person. He will have a bright and broad forehead, and will have a long high bridged nose. He will speak with a stutter. Sometimes due to difficulty in speech he will hit his hands on his thighs. His knowledge will be an inspiration from Allh. He will be a resident of Madinah. He will appear at the age of forty in Makkah. The Ulema of Syria and Iraq will pledge allegiance to him. Mahdi will remove the treasures buried in the Kabah and distribute it amongst the Muslims. He will first rule over the Arabs and then the entire world will be under his leadership. He will restore peace and justice in the entire world. All his actions will be in accordance to the Shari'ah of Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam). During his lifetime Dajjl will also appear and Hadhrat Esa (AS) will descend from the heaven and alight on the eastern minaret of the Jama-i-Masjid of Damascus and will perform his Salh behind Imm Mahdi (RA). In the same year during the month of Ramadhan there will be two eclipses. An eclipse of the sun and an eclipse of the moon. During his reign Islm will flourish in the world.

Imm Mahdi will go for the Ziyarat of Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) and then proceed to Damascus. There he will be confronted by a Christian army comprising of eighty groups. Imm Mahdi (RA) will prepare an army from Damascus and fight the Christians. In this battle the Muslims will be divided into three groups. One will turn their backs on the Christian army and flee, their repentance will not be accepted and they will die as non believers. Another group will be rewarded with martyrdom. The third group will be victorious and will always be saved from destruction and all forms of evil.

 

Up to this day, whoever has claimed to be Mahdi was a liar

During the time of emperor Akbar, Sayed Muhammad Johnpuri claimed to be Mahdi. During the British rule of India, Ahmed Qadyni also claimed to be Mahdi. Presently there is one claiming this post in Sudan.

They are all liars, since none of them conforms to the description of Imm Mahdi (RA) as reported by Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam).

 

Second major signthe appearance of Dajjl ()

The word Dajjl is derived from the Arabic word Dajal (), which means to deceive, dupe, cheat etc. Hence Dajjl means imposter, swindler, cheat. Many Dajjls of this meaning have appeared. Imm Abu Dawood and Imm Tirmizi (RA) report the following Hadith of Rasulullah (RA)

There will be Thirty liars in my Ummah, each one will claim to be a Nabi- whereas I am the seal of Nubuwat.

The Dajjl mentioned in the Ahdith that will appear during the reign of Imm Mahdi, will be from the Jewish tribe. He will be known as Maseeh. He will be one-eyed. His hair will be curly. On his forehead the letters, Kf, F, R ( ) will be inscribed, which true believers will be able to read. This is the stamp of Kufr  which appears on his forehead. He will appear between Syria and Iraq and claim to be a Nabi. He will thereafter go to Isfahn where 70,000 (seventy thousand) Jews will become his followers. Here he will lay claim to divinity, and will spread mischief on earth. Two years before his appearance there will be a severe drought. To test the believers. Allh will allow him to demonstrate many supernatural feats. He will burn a large fire and call it Jahannam. He will also have a garden called Jannah.

With a large army he will move around and cause pillage and plunder in many lands. He will then attempt to gain entry into Makkah, but the angels protecting it will not allow him to enter. He will then proceed to Madina and halt on the outskirts of Madina at Mount Uhud. During that time Madinah will have seven gates. Two angels will be standing guard over these gates and Dajjl will be unable to enter Madina as well. He will then travel towards Damascus where Imm Mahdi (AS) will be living. Imm Mahdi (AS) will prepare a Muslim army to fight Dajjl. On this occasion, while making preparation for the battle against Dajjl, Hadhrat Esa (AS), resting his hands on the shoulders of two angels will descend from the heaven. He will alight on the eastern Minaret of the Jama-i-Masjid of Damascus.

 

The descent of Hadhrat Eis (AS)

The third major sign of Qiymah is the descent of Hadhrat Eis (AS) and the killing of Dajjal.

The descent of Hadhrat Esa (AS) is substantiated from Quran, Hadith and consensus of opinion. It is incumbent to hold this belief regarding Hadhrat Eis (AS).

Hadhrat Eis (AS) is a Nabi amongst the Ambiy of the Bani Israel. He had a miraculous birth, i.e. without the agency of a father. His mother Hadhrat Maryam (AS) never married. He was engaged in propagating the Message and Deen of Allh. Due to hatred and jealously the Jews conspired to murder him, and thus locked him up in a room.

Allh Tal sent an angel to raise Hadhrat Eis (AS) physically i.e. with his body while he was alive. A person among the Jews entered the room to see Hadhrat Eis (AS). Allh transformed his appearance to the like of Hadhrat Eis (AS). The Jews took him as Hadhrat Eis (AS) and murdered him. Thus he was saved and raised physically to the heaven while he was still alive. He remains there alive to this day.

He will descend from heaven during the reign of Imm Mahdi (AS). Imm Mahdi (AS) will propose to hand over all control to Nabi Eis (AS) who will decline saying that his special duty is to slay Dajjl. Allh will aid him with such power and strength that whenever a non-believer touches his breath will die. Hadhrat Eis (AS) will pursue and kill Dajjl at a place called Bb Lud which is in Shm. After destroying Dajjl and his army Hadhrat Eis (AS) and Imm Mahdi (AS) will console those who had suffered under the hands of Dajjl.

Finally, the whole world will come under Islmic domination. During this glorious Islmic reign the whole world will be filled with justice and piety.

Imm Mahdi (AS) will rule over the world for seven years before his death in Baytul Maqdis. His age at the time of his death will be between 47 and 50. Hadhrat Eis (AS) will perform his Janzah (funeral prayers) and bury him in Baytul Maqdis.

After his death the leadership of Islm will pass over to Hadhrat Eis (AS). He will adhere fully to the Shari'ah of Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam). (Beliefs concerning the Qiymah have been quoted from the bookAqidul Islm)

 

TOP

 

5. The Issue of Inheritance

 

Compiled by : Majlisul Ulema, South Africa

 

 

 Qardh (Debt)

After the provision of burial expenses, the mayyit's creditors have a prior right on the assets in his estate.

 

The kinds of Qadhr

1.          Such debt which is confirmed by a statement of a man made before his maradhul maut (the last illness in which he died), or by the testimony of witnesses, or which is common knowledge.

2. Such a debt which is confirmed by only a statement made by a man during his maradhul maut.  There are neither witnesses nor is the debt common knowledge.

 

 If the debt is only of the first kind, it will be simply paid from the mayyit's estate.

b. If the debt is only of the first kind and there is only one creditor, but the estate's assets are insufficient to pay the debt, after deduction of burial expenses, the balance of the estate will be given to the creditor. He may either waive the balance of the unpaid debt or he may retain his claim for the hereafter.  Payment of the debt is not incumbent on the heirs. Should they willingly pay the debt, it will be an act of merit.

c. If the debt is only of one kind and there are several creditors, but the estate's assets are insufficient to satisfy the full amount of the debts, then the assets will be distributed among the creditors in proportion to their claims. Example: The mayyit has four creditors, A, B, C, and D. The amount owing A is Rs. 6,000; B: Rs. 3,000; C: Rs. 2,000 and D: Rs. l,000. The value of the estate is Rs. 6,000 which will be distributed among the creditors as follows:

* A will receive Rs. 3,000 because his claim is 50% of the total debt of Rs. 12,000.

* B will receive Rs. l,500 because his claim is 25% of the total debt of Rs. 12,000.

* C will receive Rs. 1,000 because his claim is 162/3% of the total debt of Rs.12,000.

* D will receive Rs. 500 because his claim is 81/3% of the total debt of Rs. 12,000.

d. If the qardh (debt) is of both kinds (the first and second kind mentioned above) and the assets of the estate are insufficient to satisfy all the debts then the creditors of the first kind will firstly be paid. After this payment if there are still assets left, the creditors of the second kind will be paid proportionately.

e. If the assets of the estate are not sufficient for even the first kind of debt, all the assets will be divided among the creditors of the first kind proportionately. The creditors of the second kind will not receive anything in this case. These creditors may either forgive the mayyit and acquire reward (thawab) or postpone their claims for the Akhirah. Payment cannot be demanded from the heirs. It is, however meritorious for the heirs to liberate the mayyit from the burden of debt. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

"The Shaheed (martyr) will be forgiven all his sins, but debt."

f. The mahr of the wife is exactly like the debt owing to others. If the necessary conditions of the first kind of debt apply, it (the mahr) will be classified as qardh of the first category, otherwise of the second kind, i.e. the excess, more than the Mahr-e-Mithl will be a debt of the second class (Mahr-e-Mithl is the stipulated or customary Mahr amount of the woman's family/tribe). Example: During his maradhul maut the husband declared that he is indebted to his wife for the amount of Rs. 5,000 being her Mahr. If there is no sound evidence (witnesses, common knowledge) to confirm this declaration, only the Mahr-e-MithI amount will be a debt of the first kind. If, for example, the Mahr-e-Mithl is Rs. 1,000, then Rs. l,000 will be a debt of the first kind and Rs. 4,000 will be assigned to the second category of debt.

 

The third category of Debt

The third kind of qardh is a debt which is owed to Allah Ta'ala. Such debts are:

Outstanding Zakat

Outstanding Fitrah

Unfulfilled Qur'bani

Kaffarah

Fidyah for Salat and Saum which could not be executed due to extreme old-age or illness.

Payment of the debts of this category is dependent on the wasiyyat (directive/bequest) of the mayyit. If the man had directed payment of these debts, it will be classified as Wasiyyat. After payment of burial expenses and satisfying creditors, the Wasiyyat will be discharged from one third the value of the remaining estate.

If a third of the remaining estate is insufficient to pay these debts, it is not incumbent on the heirs to pay from their shares. They are, however permitted to pay the full debt from their shares or from any of their own wealth. They may not utilize any of the funds of minor heirs even if the minors consent. The consent of minors is not valid.

 

Warning on incurring Debt unnecessarily

The ahadith have issued severe warnings of punishment for those who leave behind unpaid debts. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would refrain from conducting the Janazah Salat of such debtors who left insufficient assets to cover their debts. He would instruct others to perform the Salat. In this way the deceased debtors were deprived of the blessings of Rasulullah's duas.

According to a Hadith, the Rooh of the Mu'min is prevented from entering Jannat as long as his creditors have not been satisfied.  Once a Sahabi said: "O Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)! My brother has died and has left small children. Should I spend money on them (rather than pay his debts)?" Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: "Your brother is imprisoned on account of his debt. Pay his debt."

There are many similar narrations warning of the dire consequences of debt which is left unpaid.

 

Advice to the heirs

It has already been mentioned that if the heirs refrain from paying the debts of the mayyit if there are insufficient or no assets in his estate, they are not obliged to pay the creditors. However the demand of their relationship of love with the mayyit constrains them to discharge the debts so that the mayyit be set free from the awful burden in the Akhirah, The claims of creditors will extend into the Akhirah and will be presented in the Court of Allah Ta'ala. The heirs should, therefore, endeavour their best to satisfy the creditors.

 

Advice to the creditors

The reward of waiving debts is vastly more and superior to giving charity. Hence, it will be in their own everlasting interests to waive the debt of a mayyit whose estate lacks assets to discharge the liability.

Although creditors are entitled to postpone their claims for the Hereafter and acquire the good deeds of the debtor in lieu of their debt, they should understand that by waiving the debt here on earth, the tremendous thawab which they will gain will surpass the value of the thawab they could acquire by claiming the debtor's good deeds in the Akhirah. Undoubtedly, the best option is to waive the debt.

It is reliably narrated that there was a wealthy trader who had instructed his employees to be lenient to his debtors who would be freely granted extended time should they be unable to meet their commitments on due-date, and if they were unable to pay, the debt should be waived. When this trader died, he had no goodness to his name besides his leniency and kindness to his debtors. Solely on this account did Allah Ta'ala forgive him. Thus he was granted Jannat.

The Qur'an Majeed exhorts creditors to adopt one of the following options to relieve hard pressed debtors:

* Waive the whole debt if this is affordable.

* Waive part of the debt if waiving the whole debt is not affordable.

* Grant extension of time to the debtors if any of the above options is not affordable.

 

Maradhul Maut (The last illness in which death occurs)

Before presenting the explanation of wasiyyat which is the third priority to be executed prior to the distribution of the residue of the estate among the heirs, it is appropriate to firstly discuss Maradhul Maut.

Allah Ta'ala has granted man full freedom to act and operate in the bounties of wealth during his state of health. Whilst sound and healthy, he is permitted to dispose his estate within the confines of the Shariah at will and wish. He enjoys the right to gift away his property to relatives, friends and foes according to his discretion. Once the beneficiary takes possession of the asset/item/property given to him during the state of health of the benefactor, the gift is complete and final, having left the ownership of the benefactor.

However, when man approaches the last stage in his earthly sojourn, hovering between life and death, the Shariah curtails his former unfettered freedom of disposing his estate. At this stage the rights of the heirs in his estate are activated. The rights of the heirs become applicable to the estate from the day that Maradhul Maut commenced. Maradhul Maut is the illness from which a man does not recover. His death occurs in the duration of this final sickness. Henceforth the Shariah does not recognise man's unrestricted freedom of operation in what is commonly known to be 'his' estate.

Some operations of a man in his final sickness are valid and will be given effect. Some of his operations are null and void while some operations are partly valid and partly void. This third category of partly valid operations is described as Wasiyyat. These different types of operations in his estate by a man in his Maradhul Maut will be more fully explained later with specific examples, Insha'Allah.

While a man still breathes life, it is not possible to know whether the particular illness in which he is will be his Maradhul Maut or not. He may well recover. Only death determines Maradhul Maut. All operations in his wealth during an illness from which he recovers will be valid regardless of the severity of this indisposition. The freedom of his operation is curtailed only in the illness in which he dies, the date of the curtailment being the first day of such last illness.

An illness which endures for a year or more will not be Maradhul Maut. The last illness of such a person will be from the time the illness deteriorated. Thus, deterioration leading to death, will be the determining factor of Maradhul Maut in cases of prolonged illness of a year or more. A year in the context is an Islamic year. All operations in his wealth prior to the date of deterioration will be fully valid.

Similarly, an illness which does not confine a person to bed is not Maradhul Maut. If during the illness he is able to perform Salat as usual and attend to other duties and activities, such a sickness will not be Maradhul Maut. His Maradhul Maut commences from the day he becomes bedridden, ultimately dying in that illness.

When disaster strikes a ship or aircraft, the Maradhul Maut of passengers will commence from the time when hope of life vanishes. All operations in their wealth in this state of hopelessness will be considered to be operations in Maradhul Maut, hence subject to the restrictions of the Shariah. If, however, the ship or aircraft survives the disaster or the passengers emerge safely, then all operations effected during the state of hopelessness will be valid.

When a man is sentenced to death, his Maradhul Maut commences from the moment he is led to the gallows. This moment commences from the minute he is taken from his place of imprisonment to the place of execution. All operations effected by him in his wealth during this time will be operations in Maradhul Maut. However, if for some reason, at this eleventh hour the death sentence is commuted or the execution is stayed or the prisoner escapes, then Maradhul Maut will be negated and all operations made during this time will be fully valid.

The Maradhul Maut of a woman who dies while giving birth will be from the time her pangs commence.

The Maradhul Maut of people dying in a plague will be from the time the disease strikes them. Unlike normal, everyday sickness, their participation in daily activities will not negate Maradhul Maut for persons caught in a plague, e.g. smallpox, cholera, etc.

 

TOP

 

6. Raising the Izaar Above the Ankles

 

 Sheikh M. Ibrahim Memon Madani

 

 

FORWARD

              As the rift of time grows between us and the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), so too grows our impassiveness towards the Sunnah and involvement in sin. Today, many sins are no longer recognized as sins, but rather justified as righteous deeds. Let us reflect on the words of Anas (ra) when he said to his students (who were tabi'een):

"You perform acts that are smaller in your eyes than a strand of hair (meaning that you triviliaze sin), yet we considered them a grave offense in the time of the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)."

This was the situation in the time of tabieen, can we imagine what it is like in our times? It is only by the beneficence of Allah (swt) that the Qur'an and hadith are preserved to this day and if one desires to study them, one can still learn what Allah (swt) and his Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) liked or disliked.

It is our responsibility to warn people of each sin as it spreads, to educate them about its wickedness, and to help them realize that these things bring on the curse of Allah (swt) and his Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). This way those of us who are destined to receive guidance and who are in search of it can benefit by learning and implementing the correct practices.

One sin which has become common practice today is that of allowing the pants to hang below the ankles (isbaal). In light of the ahadith, we learn that this is a grave sin.

However, when we observe the common practice, we see ambivalence towards fulfilling this practice to the extent that even those considered religious and devout in deen are also heedless in this regard. The main reason behind this ambivalence is unawareness of the ahadith on isbaal al-izaar (hanging the pants below the ankles). This is why I decided to collect some ahadith and present them before everyone. May Allah (swt) save us from all sins, big and small. Ameen.

After writing the above piece I came upon this hadith in Musnad Ahmad that whenever Muhammud bin Sereen rahmatullahi alayh (a great tabi' renowned for his piety, knowledge, and mastery in dream interpretations) would hear the statement of the Sahaba (ra), "You perform acts that are smaller in your eyes than a strand of ..." he would say:

"This is in reference to the sin of keeping the clothes below the ankles, which is trivialized by the people even though it was one of the most destructive sins in the time of the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)."

May Allah (swt) save us from destruction and His punishment.

 

HADITH ON RAISING THE IZAAR ABOVE THE ANKLES

- 5787 4093

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "That which is below the ankle of the izaar (anything which is worn to cover the lower half of the body) is in the hellfire."

 

. - 153 1132 2516 3565 2199 20355 2491

Abu Zarr (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "There are three people whom Allah (swt) will not speak to, look at, or cleanse on the day of judgement and for them is a harsh punishment." The Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said this thrice. Then Abu Zarr (ra) asked, "They are certainly unsuccessful and destroyed. Who are they, O Blessed Prophet?" He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, "The one who hangs his izaar below his ankles, the one who reminds another of his favors upon him, and one who makes false oaths to sell his items."

 

. - 5337 2803

Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Allah (swt) will not look upon a person who hung his izaar below his ankles."

 

. - 5235 7155

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Whatever hangs beneath the ankles of the izaar is in the hellfire."

 

. - 3570 1426 11489 3573

Alaa bin Abdul Rahman (ra) narrates from his father who asked Abu Saeed Khudri (ra) about the izaar. He replied,"You have fallen upon one who knows." The Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The izaar of a Muslim is halfway to the leg and there is no harm in that which comes between the knee and the ankle. Whatever hangs below the ankle is in the hellfire. Whoever drags his izaar in arrogance, Allah (swt) does not look at him."

- . 3226 2315 5231 5088

Abdullah Ibn Omar (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Once, a man amongst the haughty dragged his izaar; he sank into the ground with his izaar and is sinking in it until the Day of Judgement."

. - 9986 5343 3894 438

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Once, a young man who walking haughtily in a suit with his izaar hanging below his ankles was swallowed in by the earth. He is sinking in the earth until the Day of Judgement."

 

GENERAL HADITH FORBIDDING ISBAAL

The aforementioned ahadith indicate the severity of the sin of hanging the izaar below the ankles. Which Muslim would not be shaken by these ahadith? Although some of the ahadith above indicate that the warning is for the arrogant and haughty, there are numerous ahadith that speak in general terms. Thus, even those who do not hang there izaar below the ankle with that intention are required to keep their izaar above their ankle. Some of theses ahadith were mentioned above and many others will be presented ahead.

We also need to realize that no person considers himself arrogant. Arrogance is an internal sickness in which the afflicted actually thinks he is humble. The Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the doctor of spiritual sicknesses, informs us that one of the external signs of arrogance is keeping the izaar below the ankles. This is why in some ahadith, the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) unequivocally stated that isbaal (keeping izaar below the ankle) is of arrogance. This is understood from the following hadith:

. . - 3562 15389

Jaabir bin Sulaim (ra) narrates that I said to the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): Oh Blessed Prophet, advise me. He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: "Do not swear at anyone." He (Jaabiir (ra)) says after this, I never swore at a free person, a slave, a camel, or even a goat. He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Do not underestimate anything of goodness, and that if you speak to your brother with a glad countenance, this is also of goodness. Lift you izaar halfway through the leg. And if you don't desire (halfway), then up to the ankles. Save yourself from extending the izaar below the ankles, it is of arrogance. Allah (swt) does not like arrogance. If a man swears at you, taunts you for something he knows about you, do not taunt him for something you know about him. The consequences of his sin will come upon him."

In the aforementioned hadith, the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) clearly stated that hanging the izaar below the ankle is of arrogance. Whenever the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saw someone with their izaar hanging below their ankles, he would rebuke them and order them to lift it above their ankles.

. - 18653

Shareed (ra) narrates that the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saw a man whose izaar was dragging against the ground. He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) ran to him and said: "Lift your izaar and fear Allah (swt)." The man said, "My feet are bent inward, and my knees shake." The Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "Lift your izaar, all the creations of Allah (swt) are made perfectly." After this, the man was never seen except that his izaar was halfway to his leg or between his knees and ankles.

. - 3566

Qais bin Bishr al Taghlibi narrates from his father who would sit in the company of Abu Darda (ra): One of the companions of the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), named Abu Hanzalia (ra), was in Damascus. He was a lone man who rarely sat in the company of people. He would only be in salah and when he completed his salah he would be in tasbih and takbir until he went to his family.

Once, he passed by us while we were sitting in the company of Abu Darda (ra). Abu Darda (ra) said to him, "Tell us something that will be of benefit to us and which will not trouble you." He replied, "The Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, What an excellent man is Khurraim Asadi (ra), (but) only if his hair was not so long and his izaar did not hang below his ankles.'"

"When Khurraim heard this, he quickly got a pair scissors, cut his hair to his ears, and raised his izaar to a place between his knees and ankles."

. - 3563 17449

Mughira bin Shuba' (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Oh Sufyan Bin Sahl, do not hang your izaar, Allah (swt) does not like people who hang their izaar below their ankles."

 

. - 1705 3562 5234

Huzaifa (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) grabbed my shank and said: "This is the place of the izaar. If you refuse, then below this, and if you refuse this, then below that. If you refuse even this, there is no place for the izaar under the ankles."

 

. . . . - 3892 3226

Ibn Omar (ra) narrates that: Once, I passed by the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) while my izaar was hanging below my ankles and he (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Oh Abdullah! Lift your izaar." I lifted it some. He said, "More!" After that, I continued to strive in this. Some people asked, "To what extent are we to lift our izaar." He replied, "To halfway between the knees and ankles."

Once, the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) sent out the message of keeping the izaar above the ankles in a very peculiar manner. In a narration collected in Musnad Ahmed, Abdullah bin Omar (ra) says that "Once, I came by the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) when my izaar was hanging below my ankles. He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) looked at me and said, Who are you?' [though, the Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) knew Abdullah bin Omar (ra) very well, he feigned as if he did not know him because his izaar was hanging below his ankles.]

Abdullah bin Omar (ra) responded, "I am Abdullah." The Blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, "If you truly are a servant of Allah (swt), then keep your izaar above your ankles."

Now, every Muslim who keeps his izaar below his ankles should see if he falls under the prophetic standard if you are the servant of Allah (swt), then keep your izaar above your ankles' and judge for himself whether he is a servant of Allah (swt) or not. After this declaration, what excuse does he have for not lifting his izaar above his ankles?

 

TOP

 

7. ISLAMIC FINANCE

 

Justice Mawlana Mufti Taqi Usmani (DB)

 

 

 

Some Basic Mistakes In Murabahah Financing

 

              After explaining the concept of murabahah and its relevant issues, it will be pertinent to highlight some basic mistakes often committed by the financial institutions in the practical implementation of the concept.

              1. The first and the most glaring mistake is to assume that murabahah is a universal instrument which can be used for every type of financing offered by conventional interest-based banks and NBFIs. Under this false assumption, some financial institutions are found using murabahah for financing overhead expenses of a firm or company like paying salaries of their staff, paying the bills of electricity etc. and setting off their debts payable to other parties. This practice is totally unacceptable, because murabahah can be used only where a commodity is intended to be purchased by the customer. If funds are required for some other purpose, murabahah cannot work. In such cases, some other suitable modes of financing, like musharakah, leasing etc. can be used according to the nature of the requirement.

2. Insome cases, the clients sign the murabahah documents merely to obtain funds. They never intend to employ these funds to purchase a specific commodity. They just want funds for unspecified purpose, but to satisfy the requirement of the formal documents, they name a fictitiously commodity. After receiving money, they use it for whatever purpose they wish.

Obviously this is a fictitious deal, and the Islamic financiers must be very careful about it. It is their duty to make sure that the client really intends to purchase a commodity which may be subject to murabahah. This assurance must be obtained by the authorities sanctioning the facility to the customer. Then, all necessary steps must be taken to confirm that the transaction is genuine. For example:

A) Instead of giving funds to the customer, the purchase price should be paid directly to the supplier.

B) If it becomes necessary that the client is entrusted with funds to purchase the commodity on behalf of the financier, his purchase should be evidenced by invoices or similar other documents which he should present to the financier.

C) Where either one of the above two requirements is not possible to be fulfilled, the financing institution should arrange for physical inspection of the purchased commodities.

Anyhow, the Islamic financial institutions are under an obligation to make sure that murabahah is a real and genuine transaction of actual sale and is not being misused to camouflage an interest-based loan.

3. In some cases, sale of commodity to the client is effected before the commodity is acquired from the supplier. This mistake is invariably committed in transactions where all the documents of murabahah are signed at one time without taking into account various stages of the murabahah. Some institutions have only one murabahah agreement which is signed at the time of disbursement of money, or in some cases, at the time of approving the facility. This is totally against the basic principles of murabahah. It has already been explained in this article that the murabahah arrangement practiced by the banks is a package of different contracts which come into play one after another at their respective stages. These stages have been fully highlighted earlier while discussing the concept of 'Murabahah Financing'. Without observing this basic feature of murabahah financing, the whole transaction turns into an interest-bearing loan. Merely changing the nomenclature does not make it lawful in the eyes of Shariah.

The representatives of the Shariah Boards of the Islamic banks, when they check the transactions of the bank with regard to their compliance with Shariah, must make sure that all these stages have been really observed, and every transaction is effected at its due time.

4. International commodity transactions are often resorted to for liquidity management. Some Islamic banks feel that these transactions, being asset-based, can easily be entered into on murabahah basis, and they enter the field ignoring the fact that the commodity operations as in vogue in the international markets, do not conform to the principles of Shariah. In many cases, they are fictitious transactions where no delivery takes place. The parties end up paying differences. In some cases, there are real commodities but they are subjected to forward sales or short sales which are not allowed in Shariah. Even if the transactions are restricted to spot sales, they should be formulated on the basis of Islamic principles of Murabahah by fulfilling all the necessary conditions already mentioned in this book.

5. It is observed in some financial institutions that they effect murabahah on commodities already purchased by their clients from a third party. This is again a practice never warranted by the Shariah. Once the commodity is purchased by the client himself, it cannot be purchased again from the same supplier. If it is purchased by the bank from the client himself and is sold to him, it is a buy-back technique which is not allowed in Shariah, especially in murabahah. In fact, if the client has already purchased a commodity, and he approaches the bank for funds, he either wants to set-off his liability towards his supplier, or he wants to use the funds for some other purpose. In both cases an Islamic bank cannot finance him on the basis of murabahah. Murabahah can be effected only on commodities not yet purchased by the client.

 

Conclusions:

From the foregoing discussion on different aspects of murabahah financing, the following conclusions may be summarized as the basic points to remember:

1. Murabahah is not a mode of financing in its origin. It is a simple sale on cost-plus basis. However, after adding the concept of deferred payment, it has been devised to be used as a mode of financing only in cases where the client intends to purchase a commodity. Therefore, it should neither be taken as an ideal Islamic mode of financing, nor a universal instrument for all sorts of financing. It should be taken as a transitory step towards the ideal Islamic system of financing based on musharakah or mudarabah. Otherwise its use should be restricted to areas where musharakah or mudarabah cannot work.

2. While approving a murabahah facility, the sanctioning authority must make sure that the client really intends to purchase commodities which may be subject-matter of murabahah. It should never be taken as merely a paper-work having no genuine basis.

3. No murabahah can be effected for overhead expenses, paying the bills or settling the debts of the client, nor can it be effected for purchase of currencies.

4. It is the foremost condition for the validity of murabahah that the commodity comes in the ownership and physical or constructive possession of the financier before he sells it to the customer on murabahah basis. There should be a time in which the risk of the commodity is borne by the financier. Without having its ownership or assuming the risk of the commodity, though for a short while, the transaction is not acceptable to Shariah and the profit accruing therefrom is not halal.

5. The best way to effect murabahah is that the financier himself purchases the commodity directly from the supplier and after taking its delivery sells it to the client on murabahah basis. Making the client agent to purchase on behalf of the financier renders the arrangement dubious. For this very reason some Shariah Boards have forbidden this technique, except in cases where direct purchase is not possible at all. Therefore, the agency concept should be avoided as far as possible.

6. If in cases of genuine need, the financier appoints the client his agent to purchase the commodity on his behalf, his different capacities (i.e. as agent and as ultimate purchaser) should be clearly distinguished. As an agent, he is a trustee, and unless he commits negligence or fraud, he is not liable to any loss so far as the commodity is in his possession as agent of the financier. After he purchases the commodity in his capacity as agent, he must inform the financier that, in fulfilling his obligation as his agent, he has taken delivery of the purchased commodity and now he extends his offer to purchase it from him. When, in response to this offer, the financier conveys his acceptance to this offer, the sale will be deemed to be complete, and the risk of the property will be passed on to the client as purchaser. At this point, he will become a debtor and the consequences of indebtedness will follow. These are the necessary requirements of murabahah financing which can never be dispensed with. While describing the concept of "Murabahah as a mode of financing" we have already identified five stages of murabahah under agency agreement. Each and every step out of these five is necessary in its own right and neglecting any one of them renders the whole arrangement unacceptable.

It should be noted with care that murabahah is a border-line transaction and a slight departure from the prescribed procedure makes it step in the prohibited area of interest-based financing. Therefore this transaction must be carried out with due diligence and no requirement of Shariah should be taken lightly.

7. Two different prices for cash and credit sales are allowed on condition that either of the two options is specifically elected by the customer. Once the price is fixed, it can neither be increased because of late payment, nor decreased on earlier payment.

8. In order to assure that the purchaser will pay the price promptly, he may undertake that in case of default, he will pay a certain amount to the charitable fund maintained by the financing institution. This amount may be based on per cent per annum concept, but it must invariably be spent for purely charitable purposes and should in no case form part of the income of the institution.

9. In case of earlier payment, no rebate can be claimed by the client. However, the institution may at it own option, forego some part of the price without making it a pre-condition in the agreement.

 

TOP

 

8. The age of Ignorance

 

              Why are the hearts of these daughters of ours filled with such overflowing love? Obedient to such a degree that on seeing the sharp knife in their father's hand, they quietly lie down and close their eyes? The knife cuts through their throats yet not a cry comes from their lips  yet if they have the power of speech left, if not, then silently they ask their fathers, 'Abbu Jan, you didn't hurt yourself did you? Did I ever disobey you or cause you any trouble?' Such things used to happen in the Age of Ignorance but the strange thing is, that tales like these can be heard in these days too.

Remember 1400 years ago when a daughter was born to a man? As he had been on a long journey he didn't know whether it was boy or a girl he had been blessed with. However, before embarking on the journey he had ordered his wife that if a daughter was to be born she must take away her life with her own hands. But a mother's love on the one hand and an innocent, angelic face on the other had won. The hands raised to squeeze the tiny throat fell to their sides. Then suddenly she bent down and swooped the child into her arms, raining kisses upon her face. She decided there and then that come what may, she would not obey her husband's order.

When the father returned home, the baby girl had just learnt to walk. He stood transfixed in the doorway watching in astonishment the bright sunbeam that had wandered into his home. She seemed to enjoy calling him 'Abbu,' 'Abbu,' all the time. In her husband's absence the mother had written the word 'Abbu' so many times on her heart that there was no place left for any other word. The newcomer had no toys, no gifts in his hands. But the daughter hadn't asked for anything. All she had wanted was the shade of security that is called 'father'. And she had found it now. She could have sacrificed all her happiness on this shade, on this security that had become hers now but little did the innocent one know that death stood there.

Her pretty face and lisping tongue held her father's brutality in check for a few days but in the end his evil nature won. He had told his daughter the night before that he would take her to meet some relatives the next day. She had been so happy that she had dreamt about the visit the whole night long. As her mother bathed and dressed her in the morning, her eyes streamed with tears. The young one was puzzled for it wasn't an occasion to cry was it? She was going to meet her maternal uncles after all. And she wasn't going all alone; her father whom she trusted implicitly was taking her with him. He will hold my tiny finger in his hands, pick up in loving arms when I get tired, she happily told herself.

But the mother who knew her husband's nature, was well aware that the visit was not going to end in a meeting but in a parting forever. It was not a journey of love but of satisfying false honour, she knew. The helpless mother took a last look at her daughter, clutched her to her breast one last time and handed her over to her father. Her eyes sought his in a mute appeal, to spare a small, light life but there was an implacable look there. She had already known his answer but she was a mother after all. It may be a tiny chick or a baby sparrow their mothers' love is just the same. They want nothing in this world except to see their young ones live long. With blurred eyes she turned back and going to her dark bedroom, fell sobbing broken-heartedly on the bed. The father and daughter set off on the journey.

Leaving the houses far behind, in a desolate spot, the father made his daughter sit under the shade of a tree. Taking up the shovel he had brought with him, he started digging. It was hard work for the ground was stony and he was soon dripping with sweat, but he did not stop. The child was puzzled and worried too. She wasn't worried that she was going to die, the thought hadn't even entered her mind, what troubled her was the sight of her father struggling so hard in the scorching heat.

Knowing not what else to do she got up and going to him wiped his forehead with her small scarf. When the hole was as long and deep as was needed, two strong hands picked her up and laid her down in it. Then quickly he shoveled the mud over her. For a long time muffled cries of "Abbu", "Abbu" could be heard from the grave and then there was complete silence.

Heavens saw such scenes so many times in the Age of Ignorance that it could bear to see no more. Hazrat Qais Bin 'Asim, after embracing Islam, admitted to burying twelve of his daughters alive. Rasool ullah sallallahu `alaihe wasallam ordered him to set twelve slaves free one for each daughter he had thus cruelly killed. Whenever a newly-converted Muslim admitted such a heartless crime, Rasoolullah (Sallallahu `alaihi wasallam's) eyes used to fill with tears and waves of pain ran across his face. In the history books of Seerah where there are tales of those who killed their daughters, also mentioned are those who saved their lives.

It has been quoted in Tabrani that Rasool ullah (sallallahu `alaihi wasallam) had a Sahabi whose name was Hazrat Sa'sa bin Najiyah radhiallahu `anhu. The Sahabi was the grand father of the famous poet and taba'yi, Farzda. Hazrat Sa'sa, one day, told Rasool ullah sallallahu `alaihi wasallam that in the Age of Ignorance he had saved the lives of 360 baby girls. "The Mushrikeen had wanted to bury them alive but for each child I gave them two milch she-camels and a male camel and had their lives spared," he said. "Huzoor please tell me would this act of mine be of any use to me?" he asked. "Isn't it enough of a reward that Allah Ta`ala has blessed you with the gift of Emaan?" Rasool ullah sallallahu `alaihi wasallam answered. "You saved the girls from being buried alive; Allah Ta`ala saved you from becoming the fuel of Jahannum."

The fathers of the girls Hazrat Sa'sa had saved had been Mushriks and idol-worshippers, but to day the father we see with dagger in hand is not a Mushrik but a Muslim! He has drunk the leftover water of some 'malang baba' following which he has had a dream in which he has been told to sacrifice his daughter so that his problems would come to an end; so that the black magic can become ineffective. His daughter loved him so much that she couldn't bear to be parted from him even for a minute. His wife, angry at the crazy things her husband did had left and gone to her parents' house.

She had tried to take her six-year-old daughter with her but she had refused, insisting she wanted to stay with her father. She slept with her arms around his neck at night. The peace she knew with him, she knew she couldn't find anywhere else. The cruel father cold-bloodedly cut her throat at dawn when she was still lying asleep. Having committed the savage act, he offered Fajr salat next to her dead body.

The thing that worries most is that now a days we read about such incidents in the newspapers daily, without fail. A heartless husband has killed his wife; an inhuman father butchered his daughter, all for the sake of exorcising evil spirits or black magic which are preventing him from living a prosperous, happy life. Who are these 'malang babas', these stomach-worshipping 'aamils' who show the path of murder to those who come to their 'astanaas', who have made the ignorant ones believe in superstitions? Suspense-creating newspapers are usually full of the advertisements of such 'aamils'. The walls of the city have become black with their posters. Devoid of the fear of Allah Ta`ala these dealers-in-death don't even hesitate in making claims that they possess divine powers. Powers that belong to Allah Ta`ala only.

According to them "Sang-dil mehboob ko qadmon mein la daalna" (making the hard-hearted beloved fall madly in love); "Bay-aulaad joroun ko sahib-i-aulad bana dayna" (to enable childless couples to conceive); "Man-pasand gharanoun mein rishtay kara dayna" (to get desired spouses for sons and daughters) is as easy as ABC for them. You can take any problem to them in-family fighting, mental tensions, financial problems, joblessness, loss in business, inability to get daughters married or long-drawn illness, they have only one answer to all these problems: "Someone has practiced 'black magic' or 'white magic on you'.

Someone has cast a spell, put a hex on you." Those who seek out such people and go to them, destroy their lives in this world and their lives in the Hereafter too. These 'malangs', these people who claim supernatural powers turn their devotees into mistrusting maniacs. They look at every one with suspicion thinking that it must be him who is responsible for all their misfortunes. As the enemy has been pointed out in very, obscure, vague terms the victim suspects his relatives first of all. Some of these so-called 'aamils', in order to break the spell of black magic, sometimes ask the victim to bring extraordinary things the fat of a lion, musk acquired from a rare deer, blood of a white rooster, meat of a black goat etc.

Some even go as far as to advise the childless couple to recite some nonsense on the bones of a dead child. And then children are kidnapped and their dead, mutilated bodies found in graveyards. Some savage people kill their own children sometimes too. What else can all this be called but "ignorance"? That which the worshippers of Lat and Habal used to commit at the foot of the mountains of Makkah was ignorance too, and the barbarity being committed by the so-called devotees of Islam today is nothing but sheer ignorance also.

 

TOP

 

9. The Great Virtue of Lowering the Gaze

 

Hadhrat Imam Ibn Qayym (RA) 

     

  

              Taken from al-Muntaqaa min Ighaathatul Lufhaan fee Masaayid ash-Shaytaan [pp.s 102-105] of ibn al-Qayyim, summarised by Alee Hasan

              Allaah, the Exalted said, Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them. Indeed Allaah is well acquainted with all that they do. [an-Nur (24):30]

So Allaah made purification and spiritual growth to be the outcome of lowering the gaze and guarding the private parts. It is for this reason that lowrering ones gaze from (seeing) the prohibited things necessarily leads to three benefits that carry tremendous value and are of great significance.

 

The First: experiencing the delight and sweetness of faith.

This delight and sweetness is far greater and more desirable that which might have been attained from the object that one lowered his gaze from for the sake of Allaah. Indeed, whosoever leaves something for the sake of Allaah then Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, will replace it with something better than it.

The soul is a temptress and loves to look at beautiful forms and the eye is the guide of the heart. The heart commissions its guide to go and look to see what is there and when the eye informs it of a beautiful image it shudders out of love and desire for it. Frequently such inter-relations tire and wear down both the heart and the eye as is said:

When you sent your eye as a guide

For your heart one day, the object of sight fatigued you

For you saw one over whom you had no power

Neither a portion or in totality, instead you had to be patient.

Therefore when the sight is prevented from looking and investigating the heart finds relief from having to go through the arduous task of (vainly) seeking and desiring.

Whosoever lets his sight roam free will find that he is in a perpetual state of loss and anguish for sight gives birth to love (mahabbah) the starting point of which is the heart being devoted and dependant upon that which it beholds. This then intensifies to become fervent longing (sabaabah) whereby the heart becomes totally dependant and devoted to the (object of its desire). Then this further intensifies and becomes infatuation (gharaamah) which clings to the heart like the one seeking repayment of a debt clings firmly to the one who has to pay the debt. Then this intensifies and becomes passionate love (ishk) and this is a love that transgresses all bounds. Then this further intensifies and becomes crazed passion (shaghafa) and this a love that encompasses every tiny part of the heart. Then this intensifies and becomes worshipful love (tatayyuma). Tatayyum means worship and it is said: tayyama Allaah i.e. he worshipped Allaah.

Hence the heart begins to worship that which is not correct for it to worship and the reason behind all of this was an illegal glance. The heart is now bound in chains whereas before it used to be the master, it is now imprisoned whereas before it was free. It has been oppressed by the eye and it complains to it upon which the eye replies: I am your guide and messenger and it was you who sent me in the first place!

All that has been mentioned applies to the heart that has relinquished the love of Allaah and being sincere to Him for indeed the heart must have an object of love that it devotes itself to. Therefore when the heart does not love Allaah Alone and does not take Him as its God then it must worship something else.

Allaah said concerning Yusuf as-Siddeeq (AS),

Thus (did We order) so that We might turn away from him all evil and indecent actions for he was one of Our sincere servants. [Yusuf (12): 24]

It was because the wife of al-Azeez was a polytheist that (the passionate love) entered her heart despite her being married. It was because Yusuf (AS) was sincere to Allaah that he was saved from it despite his being a young man, unamarried and a servant.

 

The Second: the illumination of the heart, clear perception and penetrating insight.

Ibn Shujaa` al-Kirmaanee said, whosoever builds his outward form upon following the Sunnah, his internal form upon perpetual contemplation and awareness of Allaah, he restrains his soul from following desires, he lowers his gaze from the forbidden things and he always eats the lawful things then his perception and insight shall never be wrong.

Allaah mentioned the people of Lut and what they were afflicted with and then He went on to say,

Indeed in this are signs for the Mutawassimeen. [al-Hijr (15): 75]

The Mutwassimeen are those who have clear perception and penetrating insight, those who are secure from looking at the unlawful and performing indecent acts.

Allaah said after mentioning the verse concerning lowering the gaze,

Allaah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. [an-Nur (24): 35]

The reason behind this is that the reward is of the same type as the action. So whosoever lowers his gaze from the unlawful for the sake of Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, He will replace it with something better than it of the same type. So just as the servant restrained the light of his eye from falling upon the unlawful, Allaah blesses the light of his sight and heart thereby making him perceive what he would not have seen and understood had he not lowered his gaze.

This is a matter that the person can physically sense in himself for the heart is like a mirror and the base desires are like rust upon it. When the mirror is polished and cleaned of the rust then it will reflect the realities (haqaa`iq) as they actually are. However if it remains rusty then it will not reflect properly and therefore its knowledge and speech will arise from conjecture and doubt.

 

The Third: the heart becoming strong, firm and courageous.

Allaah will give it the might of aid for its strength just as He gave it the might of clear proofs for its light. Hence the heart shall combine both of these factors and as a result, Shaytaan shall flee from it. It is mentioned in the narration, whosoever opposes his base desires, the Shaytaan shall flee in terror from his shade.

This is why the one who follows his base desires shall find in himself the ignominy of the soul, its being weak, feeble and contemptible. Indeed Allaah places nobilty for the one who obeys Him and disgrace for the one who disobeys Him,

So do not lose heart nor fall into despair; for you must gain mastery if you are true in faith. [Aali Imraan(3): 139]

If any do seek for nobilty and power then to Allaah belongs all nobility and power. [Faatir(35): 10]

Meaning that whosoever seeks after disobedience and sin then Allaah, the Might and Magnificent, will humiliate the one who disobeys Him.

Some of the salaf said, the people seek nobilty and power at the door of the Kings and they will not find it except through the obedience of Allaah.

This is because the one who who obeys Allaah has taken Allaah as his friend and protector and Allaah will never humiliate the one who takes his Lord as friend and patron. In the Du`aa Qunut their occurs, the one who You take as a friend is not humiliated and the one who You take as an enemy is not ennobled.

 

TOP

 

10. An Ideal Personality

 

Hadhrat Imam Ghazali (RA)

            

  Prophet's Moral Teachings

              These teachings show that Islam had come to illuminate the lives of the people with the light of virtue and good manners, to create in them brightness of character, and to fill their laps with the pearls of good conduct. It made the stages that came in the process of achieving this great objective as an important part of the prophet hood. Similarly it declared all attempts to create disruption in these stages as an expulsion from the religion and equivalent tothrowing away the yoke of faith from one's neck.

The position of morality is not like that of the means of pleasures and luxuries, from which indifference may be possible. But morality is the name of the principles of life which the religion must adopt and must care for the respect of its standard-bearers.

Islam has enumerated all these virtues and principles and has encouraged its followers to make them parts of their lives, one after another.

If we collect all the sayings of the holy Prophet about the importance of good moral character, then a voluminous book will be prepared, about which many of the great reformers will be ignorant.

Before we enumerate these virtues and state their details, it will be proper if we quote some examples of how strongly and emphatically Islam has called upon the people to adopt good moral character.

Usama bin Shareek says: "We were sitting in the presence of the Messenger of Allah so quietly as if birds were perched on our heads. Nobody had the courage to open his mouth. In the meanwhile some people came and asked: "Amongst the slaves of God who is the dearest to Him." The Prophet replied: "One who has the best moral character." (Ibn Haban)

Another tradition has it: "They asked what is the best thing given to man ?" He replied: "Best moral character." (Tirmizi)

The Prophet was asked: "Which Muslim has the perfect faith ?" He answered: "He who has the best moral character." (Tibrani)

Abdullah bin' Amar has reported: "I have heard the Prophet as saying: 'Should I not tell you who amongst you is the most likeable person to me 1 And who will be the nearest to me on the Day of the Judgment 1' He repeated this question twice or thrice. The people requested him to tell them about such a person. He said 'He who amongst you has the best moral character.'"(Ahmed)

In another hadith, he has said: "On the Day of the Judgement there will be nothing weightier in the balance of a momin than the goodness of character.

Allah dislikes an obscene and a rude talker and the bearer of a good moral character reaches to the level of the observer of the prayer and fasting, on account of his character." (Imam Ahmed)

There would be nothing surprising if such teachings were to come from a philosopher who was busy in his campaign of moral-reform. But the great surprise is that these teachings come from a man who strived for establishing a great new faith, when all other religions turn their attention first only towards the performance of worship and such other religious rites.

The last Prophet gave a call for the performance of various Corms of worship and for the establishment of such a government that was involved in a long-drawn war with its large number of enemies. Inspite of the expansion of his religion and the immense increase in the various tasks of his followers, the Prophet informs them of the fact that on the Day of the Judgment there will be nothing weightier in their balance than their good moral character, then definitely this reality is not hidden from him that in Islam the value of morality is very high.

The fact is that if the religion is the name of good conduct between man and man, then on the other hand in its spiritual sense it is also the name of the best relationship between man and his God, and in both these aspects there is the same reality.

There are many religions which give this glad tiding that you may embrace any belief, your sins will be washed away and offering fixed prayers of any religion will cancel your mistakes.

But Islam does not believe in this. According to it, these benefits will be available only when the axis and centre of belief is a conscious step towards virtue and payment of the compulsory dues, and when the proposed worship can become the real source of washing away the sins and generating the real perfection. In other words evil can be removed by those virtues which man makes his own and by which he is able to reach high and lofty standards.

The holy Prophet has very forcefully emphasised these valuable principles so that the Ummah may understand it very clearly that the value of morality may not go down in its eyes and the importance of mere forms and shapes may not increase.

Hazrat Anas has reported: "Allah's Messenger has said: 'A slave achieves, by means of the goodness of his character, great position and high honour in the Hereafter, though he may be weak in matters of worship; but on account of his wickedness of character he is thrown in the lowest recesses of the Hell." (Tibrani).

Hazrat Ayesha narrates: "I have heard the Prophet as saying: 'Momin, by goodness of his character, achieves the high position of the one who observes fast and offers prayers." ( Abu Dawood).

Ibn Umar is reported to have narrated: "I have heard the Prophet as saying: 'A Muslim who observes moderation in matter of worship, on account of the goodness of his character and decency achieves the position of that man who observes fast and recites Allah's verses during prayers in the night." (Ahmed)

Abu Huraira has quoted the Prophet as saying: "A Momin's nobility is his religiousness, his tolerance is his intelligence, and his lineage is his goodness of character." (Hakim)

Abu Zar has narrated: "Successful is the man who had purified his heart for faith, kept his heart on the right lines, his tongue was truthful, his self was content, and his nature was on the right path."(Ibn Haban)

 

The Prophet's Excellent Example

Mere teachings and commands of Do's and Don'ts do not form the foundation of good moral character in a society, because only these things are not sufficient for developing these good qualities in the human nature; a teacher may merely order to do such and such things and not to do such and such things, and the society becomes a moralist society. The teachings of good conduct which is fruitful requires long training and constant watchfulness.

The training cannot be on the right lines if the example before the society is not such that commands full confidence, because a person having a bad moral character cannot leave a good impression on his surroundings.

The best training can be expected only from such a man whose personality, by the force of its morality, would create a scene of admiration in the beholders. They would sing praises of his nobility and feel the irresistible urge to benefit from the example of his life. The world would spontaneously feell the urge to follow his footsteps.

For nourishing and developing more and more excellent good character among his followers it is necessary that the leader must possess higher and nobler character and attributes than his followers.

The holy Prophet himself was the best example of the good moral character, to emulate which he was giving a call to his followers. Before advising them to adopt a moral life by giving sermons and counsels, he was sowing the seeds of morality among his followers by actually living that kind of life.

Abdullah Ibn Amar says: "The Messenger of Allah (p. b. u. h.) was neither ill-mannered nor rude. He used to say that the better people among you are those who are best in their moral character." (Bukhari)

Anas says: "I served the holy Prophet for ten years. He never said 'Uf (expressing dissatisfaction), nor did he ever ask me why I did this or did not do that(Muslim)

It is also reported by him: "My mother used to hold the Prophet's hand and used to take him wherever she wanted. If any person used to come before him and shake his hand, the Prophet never used to draw away his hand from the other person's hands till the latter drew away his hands, and he never used to turn away his face from that person till the latter himself turned away his face. And in the meetings he was never seen squatting in such a way that his knees were protruding further than his fellow-squatters." (Tirmizi)

Hazrat Ayesha says: " If there were two alternatives, the holy Prophet used to adopt the easiest alternative, provided there was no sin in it. If that work were sinful, then he used to run away farthest from it. The prophet did not take any personal revenge from any body. Yes, if Allah's command were to be disobeyed, then his wrath was to be stirred. Allah's Messenger did not beat anybody with his own hands, neither his wife nor a servant. Yes, he used to fight in the wars in the cause of Allah." (Muslim)

Anas has narrated: "I was walking with the Prophet. He had wrapped a thick chadar round his body. One Arab pulled the chadar so forcefully that a part of his shoulder could be seen by me, and I was perturbed by this forceful pulling of the chadar. The Arab then said: '0 Muhammed! Give me some of my share from the property which Allah has given you.' The Prophet turned towards him and laughed, and gave orders for a donation being given to him." (Bukhari)

Hazrat Ayesha has reported that Allah's Messenger has said: "Allah is soft-hearted. He likes soft heartedness. And the reward which He gives for soft-heartedness does not give for hardness, nay, such a reward He does not give for any thing." (Muslim)

In another tradition it is stated: "Softness in whichever thing it may be, will make that thing beautiful. And from whichever thing softness is taken out, it will become ugly." Jarir narrates that the Prophet has said: "The reward which Allah gives for soft-heartedness He does not give it for folly; and when Allah makes any slave His favourite, He gives him softness. Those families that are devoid of softness become deprived of every virtue." (Tibrani)

Abdullah bin Harith has reported that he did not see anybody smiling more than the Messenger of Allah. (Tirmizi)

Hazrat Ayesha was asked what did Prophet do at home? She replied:" He used to be in the service of his home people; and when the time of prayer came he used to perform ablutions and go out for prayer." (Muslim)

Anas has narrated: "Allah's Messenger had the best manners of all the persons. I had an adopted brother, whose name was Abu Umair. He had a sick sparrow, who was called 'Nagheer'. Allah's Messenger used to be playful with him and ask him : '0 Abu Umair! what has happened to your Nagheer'. " (Bukhari)

Of the habits and traits of the Prophet one trait was very well known that he was extremely philanthropic. He was never miserly in anything. He was very brave and courageous. He never turned away from Truth. He was justice, loving. In his own decision he never committed any excesses or injustice. In his whole life he was truthful and an honest trustee.

 

The same Quran, the same Criterion, the same Yasin, the same Taha

Allah has commanded all the Muslims to follow the excellent habits and the best traits of the Prophet and to take guidance from the holy life of the holy Messenger.

"Surely there is in the person of Allah's .messenger an excellent example for you-for every person who has hope in Allah and the Hereafter and remember, Allah, reciting His name many times." (Ahzab: 21) Qazi A'yaz says that the Prophet was the most excellent-mannered, most philanthropic and the bravest of all. One night cause). They saw that the Prophet was coming from that direction. He had rushed before all others to find out what was the trouble. He was riding the horse of Abu Talha, without a saddle, and a sword was hanging from his neck, and he was comforting the people not to be afraid saying there was nothing to worry.

Hazrat Ali says that in the battles when fighting started, we used to worry much about the Prophet, because nobody was nearer to the enemy in the fighting than the Prophet.

Jabir bin Abdullah says that whenever anything was requested of him, he never said: No.

Hazrat Khadija had told him when he was first blessed with the Divine Revelation: "You carry the loads of the weak people, you earn for the poor, and help a person if any trouble comes to him in following the Truth."

Once he received seventy thousand dirhams. They were placed before him on the mat. He distributed them standing. He did not refuse a single beggar till he finished the entire amount.

A man approached him and requested for something. He said: "At present I do not have anything, buy something in my name, and when we will get some money we will pay for it."

Hazrat Umar stated: "Allah has not made it compulsory for you to do a thing on which you have no power or control." This saddened the Prophet.

One Ansari said: "O Messenger of Allah! Spend and be not afraid of the straitened circumstances imposed by Allah."

The Prophet smiled and his face shone resplendently. He said: "I have been commanded to do this only."

The holy Prophet used to love his companions. He did not hate them. He respected every respectable man from any other nation, and he used to appoint him as a responsible officer over them. He used to be in search of his companions and gave them their shares. No companion thought that any other person was more respectable in the Prophet's eye than the companion himself.

Any person who adopted his companionship or anybody who came to him for his need, he used to advise him to be patient, till he was satisfied. If anybody asked anything from him, he gave it to him or else talked to him so lovingly that he came back satisfied. The river of his kindness was flowing for every body. For his companions he was a guardian, and in matters of Truth all were equal in his eyes.

He was good-looking, decent, humble and soft hearted. He was not a narrow-minded and a hard person. Quarrelling was not his habit. He never spoke obscene words. To condemn others or to praise some one excessively was beyond the pale of his character. He expressed indifference towards unnecessary things, but he was never given to pessimism.

Hazrat Ayesha says that there was none who possessed a better moral character than the Prophet. Whenever his friends or his home people called him, he readily responded.

Jarir bin Abdullah says: "Since the time I became a Muslim, the Prophet did not prevent me from entering (the house); whenever he looked at me, he smiled."

He used to exchange repartees with his companions, mix up with them freely, and tried to be nearer to them. He played with their children and took them in his lap.

Invitation from free men, male or female slaves, or poor persons were acceptable to him. He visited the ailing and invalid persons in the far-flung areas of Medina. He accepted the excuses of the really helpless people.

Anas says that if any person who whispered anything into his ears, he never removed his ear from his mouth unless the whisperer himself withdrew his mouth. Whenever anybody held his hand, he never tried to withdraw his hand unless the other man withdrew his. He always used to be the first to salute anyone who met him or to be first to shake hands with his companions. He never stretched his legs in the midst of his companions so that they may not be inconvenienced.

Whoever came to him was duly respected by him. Many times he used to spread his cloth for the visitor, and used to place the cushion which was in his use behind the visitor's back. If the visitor were reluctant to lit on the cloth, he used to insist.

He gave new family names to his companions. In their honour, he used to call them by beautiful names. He never used to interrupt anybody's talk till the speaker either stopped or stood up.

Anas narrates that if anybody brought a present to the Prophet he used to ask him to take it to a particular house Hazrat Ayesha says: "I was not jealous of any woman, nor did I feel any ill will towards Khadija, as I used to hear of her repeatedly from the Prophet. If any goat were slaughtered, he used to send it to her friends' house as a present. Once her sister asked for permission to come in. He was very pleased to see her.

A woman came to him and spoke endearingly of Khadija and asked questions about her lovingly. When she went away, he said: "This woman used to come during Khadija's time. Good relationship is a sign of faith".

He treated his relatives kindly, but he did not give them preference over better persons.

Abu Qatawa has reported that when a delegation of Najashi came to the Prophet, he rose for serving them. His companions told him that they were sufficient to serve them. He replied:

"They had honoured our companions, therefore I personally want to serve them."

Abu Usama has narrated that once the Messenger of Allah went among his companions leaning on a cane and his companions stood up. The Prophet said: "Do not stand up. Do not adopt the system of these Non Arabs who stand up to pay respect to one another."

He said:"I am a slave of Allah; I eat as other people eat, and I sit as other people sit." When he rode a mule, he allowed some one else to ride behind him. He used to visit poor invalids. He allowed the beggars to sit in his meetings. He mixed up freely with his companions. Where the meeting was over, he used to sit there.

The Prophet once performed Hajj on a cheap Kajawa on the back of a camel on which an old, torn chadar was spread, whose cost could be at the most four dirhams. He said: "O Allah I This is my Hajj in which there is neither hypocrisy nor show."

When Makkah was conquered and the Muslim soldiers entered the city, the Prophet was riding a camel and his head was bowed down in humility, so much 80 that it appeared that his head was touching a part of the kajawa.

He was of a quiet nature. He never talked without necessity. And if anybody talked with a wry face, he used to be indifferent to him and ignored him.

His smile was his laughter. His talk was straight and direct, in which there was no excess. His companions, in his honour and in following him, considered it sufficient to smile in his presence.

His meetings manifested a spirit of tolerance, trusteeship, honesty, virtue and righteousness. Voices were not raised there and no back-biting was allowed therein.

Whenever he opened his mouth to speak, his companions used to keep silent, as if birds were perched on their heads.

When he walked, it was with a balanced gait. There was neither fright nor haste in his gait, nor was there laziness.

Ibn Abi Hala says: "His silence was on account of tolerance, far-sightedness, estimation and thinking and contemplating."

Hazrat Ayesha says that he talked in such a way that if anybody wanted to count the words, he could do so.

The Messenger of Allah liked fragrance and used perfumes many times.

The world was presented to him with all her allurements and amusements. Victories were won by his armies, but he was indifferent to luxuries and pleasures. He died in such a condition that his armour was pledged to a Jew.

 

TOP

 

 

11. Reviving Our Sense of Gheerah

 

Sister Fatimah Barkatullah

 

              We live in societies in which most men and women have lost their sense of modesty, women are obsessed with their appearances and wear clothes to be seen by others and to attract the attention of other men even if they are married! They have lost their sense of shame. Marriage is often looked upon as old-fashioned and short term affairs and frivolous relationships are the norm, everyone waiting to attract a better partner and feeling totally justified to dump one partner for another at the drop of a hat. Feminism too has reached its peak and men and women are told to suppress their natural emotions. Men are not even embarrassed when their wives are dressed up and attract the attention of other men, they don't mind if another man sees, chats, laughs and even dances with their womenfolk and if they do mind, they are told not to be so possessive!

In Islam we have a concept of Gheerah. Gheerah is an Arabic word which means protectiveness or jealousy. It is a good type of jealousy, like when a man feels jealous or protective over his wife or sisters and other-womenfolk and doesn't like other men to look at them. It is a natural inbuilt feeling Allah has given men and women. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wassalam had the most Gheerah for his wives and all of the companions were known for their Gheerah. All Muslim men should have a collective sense of protectiveness for Muslim women as Allah says in the Qur'an, the meaning of which is:

"The Men are the protectors and maintainers of women"

(Surah An- Nisaa, Ayah 34).

Men who do not care about how their women behave and appear in front of other men and don't enforce hijaab upon their wives or women-folk are called Dayyooth. Being a Dayyooth is a major sin and a detailed description of this evil characteristic can be found in adh- Dhahabee's book of Major Sins (Kitaab ul-Kabaa'ir).

 

A story of Gheerah

To further understand the quality of Gheerah, we can look at an incident that Asmaa' radi allahu anha the daughter of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq radi allahu anhu and sister of Aisha radi allahu anha relates about herself. Abu Bakr was a wealthy merchant and he married his daughter Asmaa' to the great companion Az-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam radi allahu anhu who was a very poor man but a man of great piety and one of the companions who were promised Paradise. Asmaa' relates:

"When az-Zubayr married me, he had neither land nor wealth nor slave", so Asmaa' had to work very hard kneading dough, going far off to get water. "And I used to carry on my head," she continues, "the date stones from the land of az-Zubair which Allah's Messenger sallallahu `alaihi wassalam had endowed him and it was a distance of two miles from Madeenah. One day, as I was carrying the date-stones upon my head, I happened to meet Allah's Messenger sallallahu `alaihi wassalam, along with a group of his Companions. He called me and told the camel to sit down so that he could make me ride behind him. I felt shy to go with men and I remembered az-Zubair and his Gheerah and he was a man having the most Gheerah . The Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alaihi wassalam understood my shyness and left. I came to az-Zubair and said: "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alaihi wassalam met me as I was carrying date-stones upon my head and there was with him a group of his Companions. He told the camel to kneel so that I could mount it, but I felt shy and I remembered your Gheerah." So Asmaa' declined the offer made by the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wassalam. Upon this az-Zubair said: "By Allah, the thought of you carrying date-stones upon your head is more severe a burden on me than you riding with him." (related in Sahih Bukhari)

Look at the sense of dignity and modesty of Asmaa'! See how she felt shy in front of men? See how careful she was about her husband's feelings? She knew that her husband had a lot of Gheerah so she didn't want to upset him by accepting the Prophet's sallallahu `alaihi wassalam help even though the Prophet was the purest of men and even though it meant bringing hardship on herself! And look at az-Zubair radi allahu anhu, even though he had a lot of Gheerah, he didn't want to inconvenience his wife. What a beautiful relationship they had!

 

Nurturing our sense of Gheerah

Sometimes Muslim women don't understand if their men folk want them to cover their faces or if they ask them to change something about the way they dress or speak in public, thinking that the men are being over-protective. But my dear sisters! If your husband asks you not to wear a certain colour of khimaar because it brings out the beauty of your eyes, or if he wants you to cover your face by Allah, be thankful! Be proud of the fact that your husband has a sense of Gheerah for you and that he values you and cares for your hereafter. He knows what men can be like more than you do and so never try and suppress his Gheerah in these types of matters. And his concern for you should incite your own sense of honour! Why should any man be able to see your beauty and think indecent thoughts about you? We must nurture our own and our menfolk's sense of Gheerah by behaving and dressing modestly ourselves and paying attention to their valid opinions. We expect certain behaviour from them and they expect it of us. And besides, if our husband asks us to do something that it not Haraam, we must do it.

And Brothers! How can you allow your wife or sister to walk around attracting the attentions and evil-thoughts of other men? How can you not mind if she smiles as she talks to other men. Nobody has the right to enjoy her and her company but you and her Maharim men. You are not being overbearing if you first encourage and then enforce the hijaab on your womenfolk because YOU will be asked about it on the Day of Judgement and it is also a major sin upon YOU! It is upon the men to enforce these things in their homes and you cannot use the excuse that your wife didn't want to. Women need a firm, balanced, guiding hand from their men, so with wisdom you must enforce hijaab in your home. You are a shepard and are responsible for your flock!

Allah reminds us all in the Qur'an, the meaning of which is:

"Oh you who believe, Protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones." (At-Tahreem, Aayah 6)

There is a big difference between how Islam values and protects women and how cheaply women are treated outside of Islam! As Muslims we have to be careful that our Hayaa' (sense of modesty and shame) and Gheerah don't wear out in a society in which people have lost it.

 

TOP

12. Saviours of Islamic Spirit

 

 Ibn Al-Jawzi (RA)

 

S. Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (RA)

 

 

Popular Enthusiasm:

              The sermons delivered by Ibn al-Jawzi were attended by the caliphs, kings and chiefs of the state besides the common people of Baghdad, It is reported that his lectures were normally attended by ten to fifteen thousand persons and sometimes the number went up even to a hundred thousand. An eloquent speaker as he was, his sermons breathed an almost tragic urgency behind his message which touched the heart of his audience. His soul-stirring calls so carried away the listeners that many of them burst into tears, broke down into hysterical screams or even tore off their shirts. Innumerable persons offered earnest repentance for their sins as a result of his sermons. It is estimated that Ibn al-Jawzi secured conversion of 20,000 Christians and Jews and over a hundred thousand people made solemn affirmations to lead a virtuous life after listening to his sermons.

Ibn al-Jawzi always condemned innovations and unlawful accretions to the Faith in his sermons, asking the people to follow the path enjoined by the Scripture and the Traditions. Because of Ibn al-Jawzi's profound knowledge and eloquence as also his popularity the sectaries of heretical factions never dared to controvert him, with the result that the orthodox school gained a dominating influence. The Caliphs and nobles of the time became followers of the Hanbalite school which was distinguished for its strict adherence to the Traditions and the Scripture.

 

Literary Endeavours :

Ibn al-Jawzi produced some of the most distinguished works which had a profound effect on the subsequent academic endeavours. His writings helped the succeeding generations to keep to the right path as enjoined by the Shariah.

Kitab ut Mauzuaat is Ibn al-Jawzi's chief work on the Traditions. In this book he has discussed all those spurious or weak Traditions which were then commonly relied upon by the heretics for spreading beliefs contrary to the authorised teachings of the conformist school, It is true that Ibn al-Jawzi has been too harsh in his judgments since he has adopted an extremist course in regard to certain issues dealt with by him in this book; nevertheless, he has performed an invaluable task by exposing the fallacies of the heretics and innovators.

Talbis-o-Iblis is a critical study of the then Muslim society by Ibn al-Jawzi. In this book he has made a critical evaluation of the different classes and sections of the Muslim society of his time, highlighted their weaknesses, misconceptions and aberrations and delineated the causes which had given birth to different vices marring their faith, action and behaviour. Ibn al-Jawzi has set-forth the habits and customs, faults and self-deceits to which the scholars, jurists, preachers, writers, rulers and the pious often fall a prey. This book is an outstanding example of the panoramic character of Ibn al-Jawzi's writings; he shows an awareness of the mental, emotional and social attitudes of the different classes of Muslim society along with the beliefs and doctrines of heretic sections, and the subtle ways in which the latter mislead others.

 

Critique of the Scholars and Administrators :

The criticism by Ibn al-Jawzi is at places too severe in the Talbis-o-Iblis, as is his verdict symbolic of his extremist views, yet the book contains a mine of useful information since it deals extensively with the vices found among different sections of the people. One has generally to agree with Ibn al-jawzis analysis which also gives an idea of the liveliness and incisiveness of his intellectual grasp.

Criticising the scholars of his time, some of whom were engaged in unnecessary hairsplitting of legal issues, he writes in the Talbis-o-Iblis:

"One of the greatest weaknesses of these scholar-jurists is that they have occupied themselves with the vain discussions but they do not pay heed to the Scripture, Traditions and the biographies of the companions of the Prophet which would have had a salutary effect towards the purification of their souls. It hardly needs any emphasis that the discussions on trifling issues like the kinds of impurities and the methods of purification would not make one tender-hearted or receptive of the awe of Allah. What is needed by man is the recollection of Allah and the discourses on the subject so that these may create a longing for success in the life-to-come. There is no denying the fact that ethical issues are not beyond the sphere of the Shariah, but these are by themselves not sufficient for achieving the ultimate objective. How can these persons be expected to follow the example of the pious souls of the bygone days, whose faith they profess to own, unless they endeavour to get at the state of ecstasy and propinquity to Allah attained by them? One should not lose sight of the fact that man is indolent by nature, and if left to himself, he would be inclined to follow the beaten track of his day. On the other hand, if he tries to cultivate the knowledge of beliefs and behaviour of the pious and elevated mentors of the former times, he would naturally try to take after their ways. A mentor of the yore has well said that he would prefer a Tradition that would make him soft-hearted to a hundred legal decisions of Qadi Sharaih."

In his critique  of the preachers in the   same   book,   Ibn al-Jawzi observes:

"Most of these preachers are accustomed to using a grandiloquent and heavily embellished language which often means nothing. The greater portions of their discourses are devoted to the accounts of the Prophet Moses, Mount Sinai, Joseph and Gelicho (Zulaikha), or the like, but they have hardly to say anything about the obligatory performances enjoined by the religion or how to avoid sins. How can their sermons prevail upon an adulterer to offer penitence; or else convince a woman to be faithful and maintain good relations with her husband ? These discourses are completely devoid of the ethical or religious teachings of the Shariah. This is also one of the reasons for these sermons being so popular, for the truth is always distasteful while falsehood is pleasing."

Further, continuing the same subject, he observes:

"It often so happens that the preacher is sincere and honest but he wants to win over and dominate the hearts of his audience. He wants to extort admiration from others. A sure symptom of this vice is that if another preacher tries to help him or begins to deliver lectures to his audience, he does not relish it although a sincere person would have welcomed the helping hand in his endeavour."

Ibn al-Jawzi   also  criticises the  scholars for their lack  of sincerity.    He writes:

"If the students of any scholar leave their teacher to sit at the feet of another savant more learned and reputed than him, he feels a heartburning which is not befitting a sincere scholar. Sincere savants and teachers are like physicians who treat the people simply to propitiate God and bless with contentment another physician who is able to cure their patient."

In connection with the vices developed by the kings, rulers and administrators, Ibn al-Jawzi writes:

"Those people prefer to pattern their behaviour according to their own wishes rather than do what the Shariah enjoins. They would cut off the hand or execute a person even though it might not be lawful to do so. They labour under the misconception that what they do is essential as a matter of political expediency. This means, in other words, that the Shariah is incomplete and they are now making up for that deficiency.

"This is in reality a great deception created by the Satan ; for, the Shariah comprises divine guidance for the conduct of our temporal affairs as well, and it is unthinkable that the guidance vouchsafed by God should be deficient. God Almighty has ordained: We have not left anything incomplete in the Scripture, and also There is none to amend Our order. Thus, the man who wants to superimpose his own ideas over the Shariah in the garb of political expediency, really claims that the guidance vouchsafed to man by God is imperfect and incomplete. This is obviously blasphemous."

Ibn al-Jawzi points out another weakness of the rulers and administrators in these words :

"Besides their persistence on their wrongful ways they also ardently desire to pay a visit to some pious and godly personage for the purpose of seeking his benediction in their favour. The devil has brought them round to believe that the solemn invocation of the divine blessings by a godly person would make the burden of their sins lighter. This is, however, not so. Once a trader whose goods had been withheld by a collector of the toll-tax went to the reputed saint Malik ibn Dinar and requested him for his help. Malik ibn Dinar went to the collector of the toll-tax who treated him respectfully and released the goods of the tradesman. Thereafter the official asked Malik ibn Dinar to pray for him but Malik replied, 'Ask this purse in which you keep the money acquired illegally, to pray for you. How can I invoke blessings for you when countless people curse you?' 'Do you think,' added Malik, 'that God will accept the entreaties of a single individual in preference to the prayers of a thousand others?.

At another place he writes:

"The rich and the affluent have a great regard for such misguided mystics who approve of the hearing of songs and playing on musical instruments. They are lavish in spending their riches on these mystics but would not part with a single shell for the sake of scholars and savants. As a matter of fact, the scholars are like physicians on whose advice a man spends his money grudgingly only when he falls ill. On the other hand, the misguided mystics and the musicians and singers accompanying them are like courtiers and flatterers who are normally hangers-on of every wealthy person.

"Likewise, they are devoted to the ascetics and other persons of assumed piety, and prefer them to the doctors of religion. They would readily submit to a charlatan attired as a mendicant; if he practises a pious fraud upon them they are easily led astray and begin to sneer at the scholars for not being ascetics. However, to hold the ascetics in higher esteem than the scholars is simply ignorance and an insult to the Shariah. These misguided persons should really be thankful to God that they were not present during the life-time of the Apostle of Allah for they would have turned apostate if they had seen him taking wives, eating, wearing clothes and enjoying honey."

In his critique of the masses Ibn a-Jawzi writes:

"Satan has mislead the masses to believe that attending of religious discourses and raising a wail of woe are highly meritorious acts and the sole purpose of delivering these sermons. This is perhaps because the people have been told about the merits of listening to these discourses but they do not know that the end of these sermons is reformation of their own morals and rectitude of their behaviour. Nor do they appear to be aware that whatever they listen to in these lectures shall be cited as an evidence against them on the Doomsday. I personally know a number of persons who are attending such discourses for a number of years. They get excited on hearing these sermons and burst into tears but they still persist in accepting interest, cheating others in their trade, remaining unmindful of the religious performances, and disobedience to their parents. Satan has led them to believe that their presence in these sermons, their lamentations and fits of crying will atone for their neglected duties and-the sins of omission and commission. There are also others who think that accompanying the pious and godly persons or paying visits to them shall be enough for expiation of their sins."

In regard to the rich and affluent, Ibn al-Jawzi has the following to say:

Many among these persons spend lavishly on the construction of mosques or bridges but their object really is to become famous and win over the people by such acts of piety. Another objective they have in view is that they should be remembered after their death, and, for that purpose they get their names inscribed on the foundation-stones of these edifices. Had they undertaken the construction of these works for the pleasure of God, they would have been content with the knowledge that God is aware of what they do. If these persons were to be asked to get simply a wall constructed without having their names inscribed on it, they would never agree to it.

"Likewise, these persons donate candle-sticks to the mosques during the month of Ramadhan although these remain without light during the remaining part of the year. They cannot, obviously, evoke admiration of others by providing oil for daily lighting, which they hope to attain by donation of a single candle-stick during the month of Ramadhan."

 

TOP

 

13. If Only You Knew

 

 

              Imagine the following scene. You have your hard earned capital to invest. You go for advice to an experienced person who is an expert in the field. The expert says to you: "If only you knew what profits you will earn if you invest in that business, you would put all your money into it." What will be your reaction? You would certainly rush to do so. Everyone naturally would heed the advice of an expert since we all want the maximum profits.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the expert of all experts, has also advised us of where to invest our most valuable capital: our health and time. Among the various aspects that he has directed us to invest our capital are some simple actions discussed hereunder which earn super profits in the Hereafter and bring great barakah (blessings) in this world.

 

FIRST ROW

Hazrath Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "If only people knew what is (to be earned) in calling out the azaan and in performing salaah in the first saff (row), thereafter if there was no other way to acquire this virtue except by drawing lots, they would have drawn lots (to get a place in the first row)."

This statement eloquently describes the eagerness with which people would have competed with one another to earn the rewards, had they only known what really is achieved from these actions. For instance, if there is only one place left in the first row and two people came at the same time to take that spot, both will be extremely eager to do so. Therefore, in order to decide who should take the spot, they would draw lots (for e.g. they would spin a coin to decide who wins). We should therefore be most eager to call out the azaan and to be in the first saff. However, if a muazzin has been appointed in the musjid, it will be his right to call out the azaan.

 

EARLY

Furthermore, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says: "If people only knew the reward of going early to the musjid, they would have rushed early."

The immense rewards mentioned above are for going early to the musjid for Salaah. Furthermore, one who goes early will certainly join the Imam from the first takbeer. The one who joins the Imam from the first takbeer for forty days consecutively will be granted two "certificates", one of being freed from the fire of Jahannum and the other of being free from hypocrisy (Mishkaat).

 

CRAWL

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) further declares: "And if people only knew (the reward and benefit) of performing Esha and Fajr with the congregation, they would certainly come even if they had to crawl."

The importance of these two salaah has been explained in many ahadith. It is reported in one Hadith that the one who performs his Esha Salaah with jama'ah (congregation) gets the reward of performing ibadah for half the night. If he then performs his Fajr Salaah with jama'ah, he gets the reward of spending the entire night in ibadah.

The experts who advise us about worldly investments do sometimes err or misjudge. Yet we trust in their expertise and take their advice. Rasaulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) knew for certain without any risk of error what tremendous rewards these actions will earn. Let us then take his advice and invest our capital in these actions.

 

TOP

 

 


DARUL ULOOM ILAHIYAH
INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC RESEARCH
ILAHI BAGH, BUCHPORA, SRINAGAR, 190011, KASHMIR, INDIA