Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Justice in Islam
"God enjoins justice and kindess, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids indecency and abomination and wickedness."[surah Nahl; 16:90]Justice is perhaps the most important of the supreme values of Islam. In fact, it can be said that the main purpose of revelation and the tasks of Prophets (alayhum salam) has been to establish Justice.Thus, one of the early scholars of Islam has said that "Where the signs of Justice appear and its face is shown in any way, that is where the Law of God and His religion are found."Justice is the first principle of social life. It can be shown to govern all relations in life: between ruler and ruled, rich and poor, husband and wife, parents and children.Even in the ordering of an individual's personal habits, justice must be done to the respective requirements of body, mind and spirit. As we have seen, it is unjust, for example, to neglect your body and its needs in search of spiritual development.In all Islamic instituations, justice can be seen to be operating: in the lines of congregational salat where no one has precedence over another by virtue of power, wealth or rank; in the equality of all before the law such that no one, whether ruler or criminal turned "prosecution witness", can claim immunity; in the family where no preference should be shown by a parents to one child over others and so on.In all your dealing, you are required to stand firmly for justice even if it be against yourself and your kith and kin, for love too can lead to injustice.O you who believe! Be firm in justice as witnesses for God, even in cases against yourselves, your parents or your kin"[surah Nisa; 4: 135]And if you give your word, you must be just, even though it be against your kin, and fulfil the covenant of God. For that is what He has Commanded you that you may remember."[surah An'am; 6: 152]The fear of committing injustice may even prevent the doing of an act that is otherwise permissible. In fact one of the derived principles of the Shar'iah is that all permissible things are permissible provided that no damage or harm results to others from their practice and that in the event that such damage or harm is suspected or confirmed, the permissible shall be prohibited to avert such damage or harm.
Trusting Allah
At some point in our lives, we have all had our trust betrayed. There exist few of us who trust anyone implicitly. The same goes for principles or philosophies. We have trusted them, only to be disappointed. In the same light, we have followed religious scholars, only to find that they too have betrayed us - either by being undereducated or imperfect. Maybe that is why it is so hard for us to let go of ourselves and truly trust Allah.
When we start to analyze a command, we find in it things we can not explain or fully understand, so we stop doing it or do the thing which was forbidden to us, because the opposite does not make sense to us. Let me put that in more specific terms: We know that at the 120th day of life, Allah writes for us our sustenance (risq).
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "Allah puts an angel in charge of the uterus and the angel says, 'O Lord, (it is) semen! O Lord, (it is now ) a clot! O Lord, (it is now) a piece of flesh.' And then, if Allah wishes to complete its creation, the angel asks, 'O Lord, (will it be) a male or a female? A wretched (an evil doer) or a blessed (doer of good)? How much will his provisions be? What will his age be?' So all that is written while the creature is still in the mother's womb."[Sahih al-Bukhari, 8; 77 #594]
We know that Allah has planned out our jobs and our income. Yet, we may shave our beard or take off the hijab when we go for an interview because we are afraid that we will not get a particular job. There is a huge contradiction in our beliefs here. If we know that what is for us is for us, then why are we going against Allah's orders to achieve the objective. The reason is simple. We are not trusting Allah.
This is a sad fact. Even though we know that Allah is our Lord and Protector, we have a hard time letting go and allowing ourselves to trust that He will protect us. I doubt we do this intentionally, it is shaytan, whispering to us, "The people will not understand, so shave the beard, maybe later you can grow it again" or "There is no way someone will hire you with that thing on your head, take it off."
We make excuses, like, my deen is in my heart, not what I show, even though we have been told:
Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab: People were (sometimes) judged by the revealing of a Divine Inspiration during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle but now there is no longer any more (new revelation). Now we judge you by the deeds you practice publicly, so we will trust and favor the one who does good deeds in front of us, and we will not call him to account about what he is really doing in secret, for Allah will judge him for that; but we will not trust or believe the one who presents to us with an evil deed even if he claims that his intentions were good[Sahih al-Bukhari 3;48 #809]
Even, we may leave our prayers until after they have expired because we fear being watched or something happening to us while we are praying. There is no trust that Allah will protect us, give us our risq or take care of us. We have to learn to truly trust Allah. Allah says,
When two parties from among you had determined that they should show cowardice and Allah was the guardian of them both, and in Allah should the believers trust[Surah Ali-Imran; 3:122]
If Allah helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In Allah, then, Let believers put their trust[Surah Ali-Imran; 3:160]
It does not matter what you do, obey or disobey, the result will be that you will receive what Allah has ordained for you. You can not add to it or subtract from it. What you do is either benefit yourself with the blessings of obedience or harm yourself with the fruits of your disobedience. We have been told that what is for us can't miss us and what is not for us can't hit us.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As: I heard Allah's Apostle (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) as saying: Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, as His Throne was upon water[Sahih Muslim 32, #6416]
We have to learn to trust that Allah will take care of us when we obey Him and that He will withdrawal His Great Mercy when we disobey. Every morning the bird goes out to seek the provision Allah has given him, and every night he comes home with it. Allah has promised us our provision.
Umar Ibin Al Khattab narrated that he heard Allah's Messenger say,'If you were to trust in Allah genuinely, He would give you provision as He does for the birds which go out hungry in the morning and come back full in the evening'[at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah sahih].
Also, we need to stop thinking that having done a good where things did not work out as we expected would have turned out differently if we had done the wrong thing instead. Let us say one of us goes to an interview in hijab and then is denied the job. To assume that it was because of the hijab is wrong. We have to remember that this person can not keep Allah's Qadr from us. This interviewer can not stop what Allah wants to happen from happening.
Ibin Abbas narrated that one day he was riding behind Allah's Messenger and he said, "Young man, if you are mindful of Allah, He will be mindful of you, and if you are mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. When you ask for anything, ask it from Allah, and if you seek help, seek help in Allah. Know that if the people were to unite to do you some benefit, they could benefit you only what Allah has recorded for you, and if they were to unite to do you some injury, they could injure you only with what Allah has recorded for you. The pens are withdrawn and the pages are dry[Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi sahih].
Allah's Apostle (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your "if" opens the (gate for the Satan)[Sahih Muslim, 32, #6441]
Also, we need to accept that not getting the job was indeed best for us.
Suhaib reported that Allah's Messenger said, "It is remarkable that everything turns out well for a believer while that applies only to a believer. If happiness befalls him, he gives thanks, and it turns out well for him, and if misfortune befalls him, he shows endurance (patience) and it turns out well for him[Sahih Muslim]
We need to stop thinking that the key to the truth is only what we can understand or what we know. There is a point when we have to submit, be Muslims and say, labaik Allahuma Labaik. We have to obey without fighting it because we know that there is Justice and Mercy in it, even though we can not see it right now. When the verse of hijab was revealed, the ansar women went and immediately covered themselves.
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Safiyyah, daughter of Shaybah, said that Aisha mentioned the women of Ansar, praised them and said good words about them. She then said: When Surah an-Nur came down, they took the curtains, tore them and made head covers (veils) of them.[Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 32, #4089]
They did not analyse it, or think about how this is an oppression for women or a humiliation or anything of this sort, they obeyed. When the verse forbidding alcohol was revealed, the companions literally spat it out of their mouths. No arguing, no questioning. They trusted that Allah Knows Best. We need to stop worshipping our minds so much and start worshipping Allah more. We need to stop trusting our minds so much and trust Allah more.
Trusting in Allah means that when we hear a command, we obey it. We recognize that we are limited and that Allah has no limits. He Knows what we do not know. We do not try to explain away the commands of Allah by saying that it is for another time or another people. We don not say that what Allah has commanded for us is oppressive. We accept and obey. This is faith and trust.
Narrated Imran ibn Husayn: The Apostle of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: Seventy thousand people of my Ummah would be admitted into Paradise without rendering any account. They (the companions) said: Who would be those (fortunate persons)? He (the Prophet) said: Those who do not cauterise and practise charm, but repose trust in their Lord[Sahih Muslim: Book 1, #422].
There is much reward in trusting Allah, paradise. There is sin in distrusting Him. We need to stop relying on our desires our minds our version of logic and realize that Allah is the one who Knows while we know not. Allah is the Wise, and His judgements are wise by default. Allah is the Just and His verdicts are Just by default. We can not see everything in every issue as Allah can, so why do we insist on believing that our minds can be trusted before or instead of Allah?
I pray to You, O Allah, to make us trust you and only you. May you make us of the Trusting and keep us from trusting or worshipping our minds before you.Ameen.
Have you ever thought that we’ve forgotten all about death, the punishment in the grave, being accountable for our actionsand basically why we were created?You see we have lost the fear of God (Taqwah) in our hearts. Taqwah is such a powerful tool that if one acquires it then they will never be involved in crime or meaningless actions fora million, billion, trillion years…(a long time if you know what I mean.)So what is Taqwah all about then and how can one become God-fearing (muttaqi)? What is Taqwah? This is a question once asked by Abdullah ibn Umar (radiAllahu anhu) of Ubbay ibn Ka’ab (radiAllahu anhu). He replied:‘...have you ever walked on a path full of thorns?’Umar (radiAllahu anhu) replied: ‘yes I have’. Ubbay (radiAllahu anhu) asked again ‘what would you do when you are walking on such a path?’Umar (radiAllahu anhu) answered: I will walk carefully to avoid the thorns.’Ubbay (radiAllahu anhu) then said: ‘That is Taqwa.’Just as a person walks carefully on apath of thorns to avoid being pricked, Taqwah causes a person to have a conscience and be careful in their daily life. To always think and question will my actions please Allah Ta'ala and are they within the shariah or will they be pleasing shaitaan?Taqwah means ‘god consciousness’ – to remember Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) is watching everything we do. That we will be questioned on the Day of judgement by Him and be accountable for every second of our lives. If one attains this high state of mind then that person is said to have Taqwah.Stages of TaqwahThere are many stages of Taqwah, which means that for every group of people there isa different stage of Taqwah to achieve.1. For non-Muslims it means to embrace Islam.2. For a Muslim it means to abstain from Haram and to practise fara’iz(obligatory commands).3. A further stage is also to avoid makruhaat (disliked actions) and to practise all kinds of Sunnah.4. The next stage of Taqwah is to purify the heart from all kinds of evil things and to decorate it with good qualities such as to only fear Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) and to love Allah Ta'ala and His ProphetDifferent forms of TaqwaYou’re probably thinking ‘it all sounds OK but how can I actually put this in to action, mate?’. You see, every organ of the body has a special form of Taqwah.The more organs of the body are steadfast on the requirements of Taqwah, the higher stage one achieves.It does not become complete until all parts of the body stick to the commands of Shariah. So check this out:Tongue:Always have something good to say and try to abstain from backbiting, lying and the famous swear words. Words such as ‘al-hamdulillah, masha'Allah, jaza-kallah’ etc. should be spoken on a regular basis. Reading the Qur'an and other books of Islam regularly will help you in achieving Taqwa.Ears:Not to listen to dodgy music i.e. Tupac and his sixty billion ‘F’ words should be chucked in the bin for starters. Get your Talawat and nasheed tapes out and see the difference.Eyes:Not to lustfully gaze at the opposite sex when you’re out and about, stay away from ‘adult’ movies and magazines....if you know what I mean. Once you’ve mastered this you’re half way there.Stomach:Abstain from haram food and drink i.e. No booze, Big Mac, gelatine, animal fat etc.Hands:Not to harm anyone unjustly – in other words don’t get involved in pointless gang wars, punch ups etc. A Muslim man should not touch a non-mahram woman ... so the message isto keep your hands to yourselves lads. It’s all about self-control.Feet:Not to go to places of sin – pubbing and clubbing come to mind.Heart:Love and hate only for the sake of Allah and you will never go wrong.Private Parts:To abstain from adultery, fornication and other forms of sex that is unlawful.A bit heavy isn’t it? Who d’you think I am - the Virgin Mary or something may be your reaction. Well you have to understand that to achieve the above is to achieve perfection so it will take time, effort, commitment and struggle.The only way to achieve real Taqwah isthe way by which the Sahabah, the Tabi’een and our predecessors achieved this objective and that is through the company and guidance of a pious and spiritual guide/teacher.The Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) achieved it from the Prophet , the Tabi’een (generation that followed the Sahabah) achieved it from the Sahabah, the great Imams and other predecessors reached this objective from the Tabi’een. (What?*! Read theselines a couple times then you’ll get it!).None of our predecessors achieved it merely through self - study. So if you want nearness of Allah and His Messenger find a guide for yourself in whose company you can achieve piety Now for many of us this is what wewould like to do but feel it is a bigstep to take at this moment in time
The Power of Iman
The popular belief is that if a young person grows up used to doing something, he or she shall grow old doing the same thing, and if he or she grows old doing that same thing, he or she will die doing it.This belief is generally true because there is an age at which young people learn things and accept new ideas; after that a person becomes less likely to accept change and is settled in his or her behaviour.There is, however, an exception to this general rule – and that is if iman establishes itself in the heart of a person. Everything changes and age does not pose an obstacle or difficulty. Examples of course abound but we shall study two examples of a man and a woman whose entire outlook on life in general changed because of their iman. We shall look on some other examples and the effect of Islam and iman on them.But first the man. He Umar ibn Al Khattab (radiAllahu anhu) who in his days of pre-Islam (Jahilliyah – religious ignorance) had such an unpredictable mind that he worshipped a god (an idol) made of sweets. One day he felt hungry and ate his idol.It is also related that following the customs of his time, he buried a young daughter of his, alive. His daughter was removing the dust from his beard whilst he was digging her grave….his fatherhood was not even aroused by this!But when Islam appeared and he began to hear verses of the Holy Qur'an being recited a gradual change was put into motion.He related that he was ‘charmed’ by the words of the Holy Qur’an and one day as he was trying to convince himself that these words cannot be more than words of a poet, he overheard the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) reciting the verses of Surat Al Haqqah saying:"So, I do call to witness what you see and what you see not that this is verily the word of an honoured messenger. It is not the word of a poet. Little it is you believe."Then, he thought to himself: "It must be the word of a soothsayer."But the recitation continued:"Nor is it the word of a soothsayer. Little admonition it is you receive. This is a Message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds."Islam and true iman transformed this man. His mind is now free…so much so that he chopped off the tree under which the treaty of (Al-Hudaybiyeh) was signed lest people, after a while, treated it as something sacred.And he stands facing the Black Stone in (Al-Ka'bah) saying:"Oh Stone. I kiss you knowing that you neither benefit or cause harm. Had not I seen the Messenger of Allah kiss you, I would never have kissed you."Of his mercy, kindness and fear of Allah stories abound; his kindness and generosity to Muslims and non-Muslims, to man and beast is best shown by this saying after he became Khlifah:"If a mule trips in the land of the Euphrates, Allah would hold me responsible and ask me why I did not make proper pathways."Glorified be Allah Who changes the hearts and conditions of men.And the woman is a well-known poetess named (Al-Khansa’a) who during the period of (Jahilliyah) lost a half-brother of hers in tribal feuds, and she wrote a whole volume of poems mourning her brother (Sakhr).She was so shocked and saddened by his death that she could not imagine life after him and even contemplated suicide as she stated in one of her poems:"Sunrise reminds me of (Sakhr) and I remember him every sunset"."And if it were not for the great number of mourners around me for their brothers, I would have killed myself."Needless to say, she survived her brother’s death, married and had four male children. She became a Muslim along with her tribe, and that is when she became a changed person.Her iman made her accompany her four young men (her four sons)on Jihad. On the eve of a decisive battle, she sat with her sons advising them and urging them to discharge their Islamic duty and stand firm against the enemy. Amongst what she said was:"Oh my sons, you became Muslim by your own free will and emigrated by choice. You know what great rewards Allah has reserved for the Muslims who fight against the unbelievers. The House of Eternal Life is better than the House of the Temporary Life (meaning of this world). Allah, most high, says:"Oh you who believe, persevere in patience and constancy: vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other and fear Allah that you may prosper.""Tomorrow, go to your enemies with discerning and seek assistance and victory from Allah. When the battle is joined, go towards the heart of the enemy and fight off their leaders: you shall attain Eternal Bliss."They fought like true believers and whenever any of them was not in the front line with his brothers, he was reminded of what their elderly mother had said. Eventually, all four men were martyred, one after the other.When the news of their martyrdom reached their mother, she did not mourn the way she mourned her brother. In true tradition of the Believers she said:"Praise be to Allah who has honoured me with their deaths. I trust that Allah will join me with them in His Mercy."What strength did iman place in the arms of the youthful and diminutive Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiAllahu anhu) that enabled him to challenge the best swordsmen of Quraysh who thought no man (let alone a youth) could match their strength or fighting abilities. But, (as Allah says) "It was not you who slew them, it was Allah."And should anyone think that this is true of people of old; let us dispel this illusion and relate stories about Believers who lived more recently. Furthermore, history shall reveal stories about other men and women of our present age whose strength and courage startles the enemies.Most of us know the Libyan hero, Umar Al-Mukhtar, who, armed with a sword or at best, a rifle fought the war machine of the Italian army. Both he and the Believers with him cost the Italian army great losses and many casualties. He kept saying to the occupiers: " If your canon breaks my sword, your falsehood shall never break my truth."When he was finally captured and sentenced to death, he accepted his fate with dignity and honour. Before execution, he was told: "Ask for a pardon, and we shall set you free." He refused, saying: "If you set me free, I shall fight you again!!"And just over fifty years ago, there lived a gentle scholar named Abul Kalam A’aZad who stood in the dock of a British court, accused of incitement against British rule. In his defence, he delivered what can only be described as a historic document of thirty-six pages in which he said:" Yes, I did say the present government is unjust. What was I supposed to say? How is it that I am required not to call things by their true names? I am a Muslim, and as a Muslim, I am obliged to stand against tyranny and to tell the people about it."Then he went on to say:" Tawheed is the basis of Islam, and it’s opposite is shirk, which Muslims detest. And tawheed teaches Muslims that they should only fear Allah and humble themselves to him alone…whoever fears any other, apart from Allah, is mushrik…and shirk and tawheed are never destined to meet.From beginning to end, Islam is a call for courage and sacrifice. Death for the sake of the truth is not to be feared.Allah (awj) says:"And they fear none but Allah, and sufficient is Allah to call men to account." Allah (awj) also says:"Is not Allah sufficient for his servant? But they try to frighten you with other gods besides Him. For such as Allah leaves to stray, there can be no guide"Let the British government know that the Muslim whose Lord has commanded him to welcome death and not keep silent about the truth, is not frightened by the Indian Criminal Law No 124 and that law shall not stop him from being a Muslim and discharging his obligations.Then he turned to the judge and said:" As for you, judge, what else can I say to you except what the Believers before me who faced similar conditions said:"So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree in matters relating to the life of this world."[Holy Qur’an]

The Best of the Best
By Abu Eesa Niamatullah Have you ever wondered to yourself what it actually means to be the best?When we are told that ‘this is the best’ or ‘that was the greatest’ or ‘this will bring the most benefit’ etc, have you ever thought who on Earth gave such people/editors the authority to tell us that? In an age when we have a plethora of ‘Top 10’ or ‘Top 100’ lists on everything from cars to films, from foods to places, one wonders where is that list that will really provide some benefit to us in this current short life and the next very long one.Well, wait no more. Below, from a choice of hundreds of narrations from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) you can find 100 hadith, in no particular order of merit, detailing ways on exactly how to become the best, how to have the most excellent characteristics, what really will prove most beneficial for us to know, what really are the greatest things to think about and hope for and indeed, how to become the most beloved of people to our Exalted Creator, Allah Jalla wa ‘alaNo more subjectivity, no more empty statements; just the divine criteria of what really is the best as developed by the very best himself, Muhammad al-Mustapha (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).Take some time out (it's not short!) to read them, memorise them, and then see how many you can get done and how many of your friends and relatives you can get involved in it too.Don’t be ordinary. Don’t be common. Don’t be average. Don't be a chamcha. Be the best.Sayyidina Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) told us:1. "The best of the Muslims is he from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe." [Muslim]2. "The best of people are those with the most excellent character." [at-Tabarani, Sahih]3. "The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind." [Daraqutni, Hasan]4. "The best of people are those who are best in fulfilling (rights)." [Ibn Majah, Sahih]5. "The best of people during fitnah (trouble) is a man who takes up the reins of his horse pursuing the enemies of Allah, causing them fear yet they make him fearful too, or a man who secludes himself in the desert fulfilling the rights of Allah upon him." [Hakim, Sahih]6. "The best of mankind is my generation, then those that follow them and then those that follow them. Then there shall come a people after them who will become avaricious, who will love gluttony, and who will give witness before they are asked for it." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]7. "The best of people are those who live longest and excel in their deeds, whereas the worst of people are those who live longest and corrupt their deeds." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]8. "The best of women are those that please him (her husband) when he sees her, obeys him when she is commanded, and who does not secretly betray him with regards to herself and her money in that which he dislikes." [Ahmad, Sahih]9. "The best of women are those that please you when you see them, obey you when commanded, and who safeguard themselves and your money in your absence." [Tabarani, Sahih]10. "The best of marriages are the easiest ones." [abu Dawud, Sahih]11. "The best of your dates is the Borniyyu date; it expels disease yet does not contain any disease itself." [Hakim, Hasan]12. "The best of your garments are those which are white; shroud your dead in them and clothe your living with them. The best of that which you apply to your eyelids is antimony causing the eyelashes to grow and sharpening the eyesight." [ibn Hibban, Sahih]13. "The best quality of your religion is scrupulousness." [Hakim, Sahih]14. "The best of your religion is that which is easiest." [Ahmad, Sahih]15. "The best of the prayer lines for men are the first rows, the worst being the final rows. The best of the prayer lines for women are the final rows and the worst are the first rows." [Muslim]16. "The best prayers for women are those performed in the most secluded parts of their houses." [Ibn Khuzaymah, Sahih]17. "The best of you in Islam are those who are most excellent in character as long as you deeply understand the religion." [Ahmad, Sahih]18. "The best of you are the best of you in fulfilling (rights)." [Ahmad, Sahih]19. "The best of you are those who are best to their families, and I am the best of you to my family." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]20. "The best of you are my generation, then those that follow them and then those that follow them. Then there shall come after them a people who will betray and be untrustworthy, will give witness even though they have not been asked to, will make vows yet will not fulfil them and obesity will appear amongst them." [Sahih al-Bukhari]21. "The best of you are those who feed others and return greetings." [abu Ya'la, Hasan]22. "The best of you is he from whom good is anticipated and safety from his evil is assured; the worst of you is he from whom nothing good is expected and one is not safe from his evil." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]23. "The best thing mankind has been given is excellent character." [Hakim, Sahih]24. "The best of that which you treat yourself with is cupping." [Hakim, Sahih]25. "The best of journeys undertaken are to this Mosque of mine and the Ancient House." [Ahmad, Sahih]26. "The best of which man can leave behind for himself are three: a righteous child who supplicates for him, an ongoing charity whose reward continues to reach him and knowledge which others benefit from after him." [ibn Hibban, Hasan]27. “The best Mosques for women are the most secluded parts of their houses." [al-Bayhaqi, Sahih) 28. "The best of the world’s women are four: Maryam bint Imran, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad and Asiyah the wife of Fir'awn." [Ahmad, Sahih]29. "The best of days that you should perform cupping are the 17th, 19th and 21st of the month. I did not pass a single gathering of angels on the night of Isra’ except that they would say to me, ‘O Muhammad, perform cupping!’" [Ahmad, Sahih]30. "The best day on which the Sun has risen is Friday; on it Adam was created, on it Adam was made to enter Paradise and on it he was expelled. The Hour will not be established except on Friday." [Muslim]31. "Verily, the best of perfume for men is that which is strong in smell and light in colour, and the best of perfume for women is that which is strong in colour and light in smell." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]32. "The most beloved of religions according to Allah the Most High is the ‘easy and flexible religion.’" [Ahmad, Hasan]33. "The most beloved of deeds according to Allah are the continuous ones, even if they are little." [Agreed upon]34. "The most beloved of names according to Allah are AbdAllah, ‘Abdul-Rahman and Harith." [Abu Ya‛la, Sahih]35. "The most beloved of deeds according to Allah are the prayer in its right time, then to treat the parents in an excellent manner, and then Jihad in the path of Allah." [Agreed upon]36. "The most beloved of deeds according to Allah is that you die and yet your tongue is still moist from the remembrance of Allah." [ibn Hibban, Hasan]37. "The most beloved words according to Allah the Most High are four: SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, La ilaha illallah and Allahu Akbar; there is no problem with which one you start with." [Muslim]38. "The most beloved of speech according to Allah is when the servant says, ‘Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi’ (How Transcendent is Allah and we praise him!)." [Muslim]39. "The most beloved of speech according to Allah the Most High is that which Allah chose for his Angels: Subhana Rabbi wa bihamdihi, Subhana Rabbi wa bihamdihi, Subhana Rabbi wa bihamdihi." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]40. "The most beloved of people according to Allah is he who brings most benefit, and the most beloved of deeds according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificent, is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim, or relieve him of distress, or pay off his debt or stave away hunger from him. It is more beloved to me that I walk with my brother Muslim in his time of need than I stay secluded in the mosque for a month. Whoever holds back his anger, Allah will cover his faults and whoever suppresses his fury while being able to execute it, Allah will fill his heart with satisfaction on the Day of Standing. Whoever walks with his brother Muslim in need until he establishes that for him, Allah will establish his feet firmly on the day when all feet shall slip. Indeed, bad character ruins deeds just as vinegar ruins honey." [at-Tabarani, Hasan]41. "The most beloved of people to me is A’isha and from the men, Abu Bakr." [agreed upon]42. "The best of people in recitation are those who when they recite, you see that they fear Allah." [al-Bayhaqi, Sahih]43. "The best of your leaders are those that you love and they love you, you supplicate for them and they supplicate for you. The worst of your leaders are those that you hate and they hate you, you curse them and they curse you." [Muslim]44. "The best of you are those who are best in paying off their debts." [Tahawi, Sahih]45. "The best of you are those with the longest lives and most excellent character." [Bazzar, Sahih]46. "The best of you are those with the longest lives and best in action." [Hakim, Sahih]47. "The best of you are those with the softest shoulders during prayer." [al-Bayhaqi, Hasan]48. "The best of you are those who are best to their wives." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]49. "The best of you are those who are best to their families." [at-Tabarani, Sahih]50. "The best of you during the ‘Period of Ignorance’ are the best of you in Islam as long as they deeply understand the religion." (Bukhari]51. "The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it." [Darimi, Sahih]52. "The best of companions according to Allah are those who are best to their companion and the best of neighbours according to Allah are those that are best to their neighbour." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]53. "The best of places are the Mosques and the worst of places are the markets." [at-Tabarani, Hasan]54. "The best supplication on the Day of 'Arafah and the best thing that I and the Prophets before me ever said was, ‘La ilaha illAllah wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulk wa lahul-hamd wa huwa 'ala kulli shay’in Qadir.’" [at-Tirmidhi, Hasan]55. "The best of provision is that which suffices." [Ahmad in ‘Zuhd’, Hasan]56. "The best testimony is when one gives it before he is asked to do so." [Tabarani, Sahih]57. "The best of dowries are the easiest." [Hakim, Sahih]58. "The best of charity is that which still leaves you self-sufficient for the upper hand is better than the lower hand; start with those you are responsible for." [Tabarani, Sahih]59. "The best of gatherings are those that are most open." [abu Dawud, Sahih]60. "The most beloved deed according to Allah is to have faith in Allah, then to maintain the ties of kinship, and then to command to good and forbid the wrong. The most abhorrent of deeds according to Allah is to associate partners with Him, then to cut the ties of kinship." [Abu Ya’la, Hasan]61. "The most beloved Jihad according to Allah is that a word of truth be spoken to a tyrant ruler." [at-Tabarani, Hasan]62. "The most beloved word according to me is that which is most truthful." (Bukhari]63. "The most beloved fast according to Allah is the fast of Dawud; he would fast every alternate day. The most beloved prayer according to Allah is the prayer of Dawud; he would sleep half the night, stand a third and then sleep for a sixth." [agreed upon]64. "The most beloved dish according to Allah is that which most hands feed from." [ibn Hibban, Hasan]65. "The most beloved servant of Allah is he who is most beneficial to his dependents." [Zawa’id al-Zuhd, Hasan]66. "The best of earnings is that of the labourer as long as he tries his best." [Ahmad, Hasan]67. "The best of all deeds is to have faith in Allah alone, then Jihad and then an accepted Hajj; they surpass all other deeds like the distance between the rising and setting of the Sun." [Ahmad, Sahih]68. "The best of all deeds is the Prayer at its earliest time." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]69. "The best of all deeds is the Prayer in its right time, to treat the Parents honourably and Jihad in the path of Allah." [al-Khatib, Sahih]70. "The best of all deeds is that you bring happiness to your Muslim brother, pay off his debt or feed him bread." [Ibn Adiyy, Hasan]71. "The best of faith is patience and magnanimity." [Ahmad, Sahih]72. "The best of days according to Allah is Friday." [al-Bayhaqi, Sahih]73. "The best of Jihad is that man strives against his soul and desires." [Daylami, Sahih]74. "The best Hajj is that with the most raised voices and flowing blood." [at-Tirmidhi, Hasan]75. "The best of supplications is that of on the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing that was said by myself and the Prophets before me was, La ilaha illAllah wahdahu la sharika lahu." (There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah alone, He has no partners.) [Malik, Hasan]76. "The best of dinars are: the dinar spent by a man upon his dependents, the dinar spent by a man upon his horse in the path of Allah and the dinar spent by a man upon his companions in the path of Allah, the Mighty, the Magnificent." [Muslim]77. "The best word of remembrance is: La ilaha illAllah and the best supplication is: Alhamdulillah." [at-Tirmidhi, Hasan]78. "The best word of remembrance is: La ilaha illAllah and the best (expression of giving) thanks is: Alhamdulillah." [Baghawi, Hasan]79. "The best of hours are those deep in the latter part of the night." [at-Tabarani, Sahih]80. "The best of all martyrs are those who fight in the front line; they do not turn their faces away until they are killed. They will be rolling around in the highest rooms of Paradise, their Lord laughing at them - when your Lord laughs at a servant, there is no accounting for him." [Ahmad, Sahih]81. "The best of all martyrs is he whose blood is shed and whose horse is slaughtered." [at-Tabarani, Sahih]82. "The best of all charity is the shade of a canopy (provided) in the path of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, to gift ones servant in the path of Allah and to gift ones she-camel in the path of Allah." [Ahmad, Hasan]83. "The best of all charity is that which is given to the relative that harbours enmity against you." [Ahmad, Sahih]84. "The best of all charity is that you give it while you are healthy and desirous (of that money), hoping to become wealthy but fearing poverty. Don’t delay until you are about to breathe your last and then you say, ‘This is for ‘so and so’ and this is for ‘so and so’’, for indeed, it has already been written that ‘so and so’ would receive that." [abu Dawud, Sahih]85. "The best of all charity is when the one with little strives to give; start with those you are responsible for." [Hakim, Sahih]86. "The best charity is to provide water." [ibn Majah, Hasan]87. "The best prayer after the obligatory ones is the prayer in the depth of the night, and the best fast after the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah, Muharram." [Muslim]88. "The best prayer is the prayer of the man in his home except for the obligatory prayer." [an-Nasa’i, Sahih]89. "The best prayer is that with the longest standing." [Muslim]90. "The best of all prayers according to Allah is the Friday morning prayer in congregation." [ibn Nu‘aym, Sahih]91. "The best fast is the fast of my brother Dawud; he would fast every alternate day and he would never flee (the battlefront) when the armies would meet." [at-Tirmidhi, Sahih]92. "The best of all fasts after Ramadan is in the month that you call Muharram." [an-Nasa’i, Sahih]93. "The best of all worship is supplication." (Hakim, Sahih]94. "The best deed is the prayer in its right time and Jihad in the path of Allah." [al-Bayhaqi, Sahih]95. "The best of the Qur’an is: 'Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil-‘Alamin". [Hakim, Sahih]96. "The best of earnings is a blessed sale and that which a man earns with his hands." [Ahmad, Sahih]97. "The best of the Believers is the most excellent of them in character." [ibn Majah, Sahih]98. "The best of the Believers with respect to Islam is the one from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe; and the best of the Believers with respect to Iman are the most excellent of them in character; and the best of those who migrate is he who migrates from that which Allah the Most High has prohibited; and the best of Jihad is when one strives against his soul for the sake of Allah, the Mighty, the Magnificent." [at-Tabarani, Sahih]99. "The best of mankind is the believer between two honourable persons." [at-Tabarani, Sahih]100. "The best of all days in the world are the ten days (of Dhul Hijjah)." [Bazzar, Sahih]

Tafakkur and Contemplation
Glory to God Most High, full of Grace and Mercy;Peace and Blessings be upon His slave Muhammad,Along with his family and companions
An hour's reflection is better than a whole night spent in worship.[- ibn Abbas]
Tafakkur literally means to think on a subject deeply, systematically, and in great detail. In this context, it signifies reflection, which is the heart’s lamp, the spirit’s food, the spirit of knowledge, and the essence and light of the Islamic way of life.
One should try and engage in reflection (tafakkur) and comtemplation. To seek, by mediation and thought to develop an appreciative understanding of your Creator.
Among the things to one could reflect upon:
o The fleeting nature of this world, and its worth compared to the Hereafter. Seek with this to develop the patience and steadfastness to aspire towards the Hereafter.
o Think of the rewards in store for one's worship, if it is accepted. Strive with this to purify and increase your worship, with arodor and active enthusiasm.
Reflect on the favours and blessed gifts of Allah, and on his Names and Attributes. Through this, increase your love for the Exalted and Majestic Creator.
o Think about the proofs and evidences of our faith, the many signs of its Truth in every aspect of creation, and on their Creator. "In the earth are signs for those who have certainty, and in yourselves; can you then not see?"[51:20-21]
o Reflect on Allah's complete awareness of you, and His seeing and knowing all about you. This should result in your feeling ashamed if you do something He has forbidden or if you miss something He has commanded.
o Reflect on your own shortcomings in worshipping your Lord. He has said: "I created jinn and men only to worship Me."[51:56].This should increase our fear of Allah, and encourage us to blame and reproach our souls, and to increase our perseverence.
o Reflect on the imminence of death, and the regret and remorse which occur when it is too late.
o Reflect at Allah's descriptions of the attributes and actions of His Friends and His enemies, and on the immediate and delayed rewards for each.o Some good ayahs in the Qur'an for this include: (surah/ayah) 82/12-14 32/18 92/5-7 8/2-4 24/55 39/40 9/67-68 9/71-72 10/7-10.This kind of reflection is that you will come to love those who are guided to habituate yourself to emulating their behaviour, and to taking on their qualities.

Iman: The Articles of Faith
It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.-- Muhammad
Iman is the state in which the heart accepts the Truth and lives by it. It is to believe in its six 'pillars' such that, the lips and tongue make the profession of the truth, and the limbs execute what is required of them by the truth. It is important to recognise that the first of the Prophet Muhammad's titles - his 'titles of Glory' - is not 'Messenger' or 'Prophet' but 'slave' (abd). For man must be a slave to the truth before he can be its messenger, and the slave is, by definition, one who submits body and soul to his master, claiming no rights, asking no questions and owning nothing that he can call his own. It is for the master, if he will, to raise him to a higher status.
A great deal of misunderstanding has surrounded these images of submission. Partly from prejudice, but partly also from the genuine difficulty that one culture has in grasping the deepest motivations of another, the West has often pictured the Muslim as cringing before a tyrant Lord and submitting as a beast submits to its incomprehensible fate. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Muslim fears God because he is a realist; he knows that there are things to be feared and that all things - the bitter and the sweet - have but one Creator. He submits because he believes that there exists a divine pattern or scheme of things which is both intelligent and beautiful, and he wishes to find his place in this pattern and conform to it; he knows that he cannot do so without instructions - which must be followed meticulously in view of their sacred origin. He does not simply resign himself to the Divine Will; he seeks it eagerly and, when he finds it, delights in it.
The Articles of Faith"Say: 'He Allah, is One! Allah, the eternally Besought! He has not begotten, nor been begotten, and equal to Him there is none."[Surah al-Ikhlas; 112:1-4]In order to have Iman the Muslim has to believe in:
1. Allah, the One and Only GodAllah, the Arabic word for the One True God, is unique in that it can have no plural or gender connotation. A Muslim believes in one, unique, incomparable God, Who has no son, nor partner, and that none has the right to be worshipped but Him alone. God alone is the Almighty, the Most Merciful, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Sustainer of the universe and what lies beyond it. He is the Eternal. He manages all affairs. He stands in need of none of His creation, yet all creation are in need of Him. He alone is Independent. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, and the All-Knowing. To Him alone belongs Perfection and His alone are the most Magnificent names and the perfect attributes. His knowledge encompasses all things.
2. His Angels
Muslims believe in the existence of angels created by Allah. They are created of light, created incapable of rebellion against God's will, for their purpose is to carry it out. This is why Islam sees man as potentially superior to the angels, for he may freely choose to serve God and to believe in His prophets, whereas the angels, who are at all times in the presence of God, cannot fail to obey Him and to sing His praises at all times. By the same token, man can be lower than the angels, and lower even than the animals, should they refuse to worship his Creator and thank Him for the gift of life and the blessings showered upon him in this world and, we are given to hope, the next. We are told of eight in particular: Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation; Mikael, who brings God's prosperity and bounty to man; Israfil, responsible for blowing the Last Trump signifying the impending Day of Judgement; Azreal, the Angel of Death, who takes man's soul when his lifespan ends; Malek, the Angel supervising Hell; and Radwan, who is respnsible for Paradise. The two angels we shall encounter shortly after death. These are Munkar and Nakir, who question the newly dead regarding their lives and beliefs."Say: [O Muslims]: 'We believe in Allah and that which is sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes; what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the Prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered ourselves.'" [Surah al-Baqarah; 2:136]
3. His revealed books
A Muslim believes in all scriptures and revelations of God as they were revealed in their in original form. Messengers were sent to people of all ages and all walks of life. All scriptures sought to invite man back to the belief and worship of the One True God and thus to recognise the Primordial covenant. Essentially the message of all the prophets was the same, reaffirming the oneness of God.
The Qur'an is the last scripture of guidance revealed to man and sent down for all humanity. For the Muslim, God's Book is much more than a source of liturgical and social rules; indeed, such topics occupy less than one tenth of the Quranic text; and it is more even than a revelatory declaration of man's origin and his fate, an exposition of the truths of man's spiritual nature and of judgement. The Qur'an is-oft recited, at the most profound possible level, because it is of God. Its text reveals God's will for His creation, but it is also a revelation of Himself. It is uncreated, timeless, a dimension of God's pre-existent attribute of speech, communication: it is the Logos, which is the interface between the Absolute and the contingent realms. Unlike all other scriptures sent before, it is Divinely protected against corruption and is thus the only authentic and complete book of Allah which has remained unchanged since its was revelation to the Prophet through the angel Gabriel. It was revealed over a period of 23 years. It contains 114 Surahs (chapters) and over 6000 verses.
4. His Messengers
A Muslim believes in all the Messengers and Prophets of God without any discrimination. All messengers were mortals, human beings, honoured with conveying the Divine revelations to mankind. The Holy Quran mentions the names of 25 messengers and prophets but according to tradition some 124,000 prophets are believed to be sent. These include Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma'il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad ."When the sun is darkened, and when the stars fall, and when the mountains are moved... and when the records of men's deeds are laid open, and when the sky is torn away, and when the hell is set blazing, and when the Garden is brought near, then every soul shall know what it has brought."[at-Takwir; 81: 1-3,10-14]
5. The Day of Judgement
A Muslim believes in the Day of the Judgement. This world as we know it will come to an end, and man will rise to stand for their final and fair judgement. On that day, the whole of humanity will be resurrected and await reckoning. Every action is being accounted for and kept in an accurate record by the angels and on that Day the consequences of those actions will be brought to light. They are brought up on the Day of Judgement. The people with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to Allah's Heaven. People with bad records will be fairly punished and cast into Hell. The real nature of Heaven and Hell are known to Allah only, but they are described by Allah in man's familiar terms in the Qur'an.
If some good deeds are seen not to get full appreciation and credit in this life, they will receive full compensation and be widely acknowledged on the Day of Judgement. If some people who commit sins, neglect Allah and indulge in immoral activities, seem superficially successful and prosperous in this life, absolute justice will be done to them on the Day of Judgement. The time of the Day of Judgement is only known to Allah and Allah alone."No soul dies without the permission of Allah, and at a term appointed. He who desires the reward of this world We shall give it to him; and he who desires the reward of the Hereafter We shall give it to him. We will surely reward the thankful."[ali-'Imran; 3:145]
6. Destiny, its good and evil
A Muslim believes in al-Qadar which is predestination, believing that God has knowledge of all that has and will happen, all that has taken place and is yet to take place, and that whatever He wills, shall take place and whatever He wills not, shall not. Destiny is a title for Divine Knowledge. God's Knowledge comprehends everything within and beyond time and space. This is not to say, however, that humans do not have freewill. For all humans have the power of choice and ultimately Allah is aware of the course of action each shall follow. Man is given a free will, according to which he acts in his life. He will be held responsible on the day of judgement for whatever option, whether good or bad, that he adopted. It is a prescribed way of Allah that He makes the path of doing good easier for a person if the person opts for this path. Similarly if the man chooses the path of evil, Allah makes following this path easier for him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009