July 26, 2012 § 7 Comments
The morning prayer (offered between Fajr and Dhuhr) is called Salat al-Duhaa and it begins moments after the sun rises till a few moments before noon. It is a sunnah of Allah’s Messenger SAW, and it is counted among the most virtuous salah (prayers) through which a person seeks to get closer to his Lord. It is the salah of those who are categorized as Awwabeen (ever oft-returning in all manners and in repentance towards Allah) and Mukhbiteen (those who humble themselves in repentance and obedience).
A lot of people, except those whom Allah SWT, bestows with His mercy, have abandoned it. Therefore, here is a reminder to all of us Muslims, that we may re-establish this forgotten Sunnah in our lives. “No one maintains the Duhaa salah except an Awwab (i.e. a person who is oft-returning to Allah in repentance).” (Ibn-Majah)
Salat al-Duhaa is a Sunnah Mu’akkad which means that it is an emphasized or recommended sunnah. Abu Hurairah said, “The Prophet SAW advised me to observe three things, not to abandon them till I die; to fast three days a month, to perform two raka’ahs of Duhaa salah and to do Witr salah before sleeping.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
“If anyone sits in his place of prayer when he finishes the dawn prayer till he prays the two Raka’ahs of the Duhaa, saying nothing but what is good, his sins will be forgiven even if they are more than the foam of the sea”. Recorded by Al-Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud
Performing Duhaa prayer is included in the acts of piety and righteousness. Allah Says: “… And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.” [Qur’an 65:2-3].
Also, performing the Duhaa prayer is considered as being grateful and thankful to Allah. Allah Says: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshiping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings)” [Qur’an 14:7].
And the rewards are stated in the following hadith (At-Tabaraanee. Hadeeth Hasan (Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, vol. 1, p.279):
- Two raka’ahs: Not of the heedless. Prophet SAW said, “Whoever prays two raka’ahs of Duhaa, will not be recorded (to be) among the heedless.”
- Four raka’ahs: Among the worshipers. Prophet SAW said, “And whoever prays four raka’ahs (of duhaa), will be recorded among the worshipers.”
- Six raka’ahs: Sufficient (prayer). Prophet SAW said, “And whoever prays six, it will be a sufficient (prayer) for the whole day.”
- Eight raka’ahs: From the devoutly obedient. Prophet SAW said, “And whoever prays eight will be written among the Qaaniteen (devoutly obedient).”
- Twelve raka’ahs: House in Jannah. Prophet SAW said, “And whoever prays twelve raka’ahs, Allah will build a house for him in Jannah.”
So, which group are we in now and which group do we want to be in? Perhaps, in this holy month of Ramadhan, where the Grace of Allah SWT is in abundance, we could increase our Duhaa Salah and be among those that will have houses in Jannah, InsyaAllah.
July 20, 2012 § 2 Comments
The poisons of the heart are many, some are so clear while some are very discreet. We often wonder how can someone has a sick heart, full of hatred, envy and various ill-feelings. Perhaps, some of these pointers may assist us in ensuring that our very own hearts are in good shape.
1. Unnecessary Talking
‘Umar al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “A person who talks too much is a person who often makes mistakes, and someone who often makes mistakes, often has wrong actions. The Fire has a priority over such a frequent sinner.”
2. Unrestrained Glances
It has been related that the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, once said words to the effect: “The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaitan (devil). Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness which he will find in his heart on the day that he meets Him.”
3. Too Much Food
Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’d Yakrib said: “I heard the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, say: “The son of Adam fills no vessel more displeasing to Allah than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing.”
4. Keeping Bad Company
The Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.“
July 19, 2012 § 3 Comments
The Prophet SAW said, “The rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six.” It was said, “And what are they Oh Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace, when he invites you, respond to his invitation, when he seeks your advice, advise him, when he sneezes and praises Allah, supplicate for mercy upon him, when he becomes ills, visit him, and when he dies follow him (i.e. his funeral).” [Narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, reported by Muslim]
The First Right: “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace.”
The greeting of peace is a great inducement of love and it will lead us to an increase in faith/belief. And only a Believer will enter Jannah (Paradise).
The Prophet SAW said, “By the one in Whose Hand is my soul, you all will not enter into the Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I not direct you to something that if you do it, you will love each other? Spread the greeting of peace amongst yourselves.”
Just imagine that when every Muslim meets another Muslim, he would cheerfully greet with a message of peace. And this is extended to every walks of life, resulting in everyone wishing the best for each other. Surely, that would be a wonderful world to live in, yes? And of course, the one who initiates the greetings is the best.
The Second Right: “When he invites you, respond to his invitation.”
A Muslim is obliged to accept an invitation as it is truly an honor to be invited. Only a valid excuse of greater things may be of exemption from accepting the invitation. And once it is accepted, it is mandatory to fulfil the invitation by attending it. This is a fine way Islam teaching us of forging solidarity.
The Third Right: “And when he seeks your advice, advise him.”
Often enough, a person being asked is revered as having more knowledge. Honor that reverence by properly dispensing advise as if you are the solicitor. If its is worthy of a good cause, advise him to go ahead and do it. If it might bring any harm, advise him against it. Treat the advise with respect, sincerity, compassion and confidentiality. For verily whoever deceives the Muslims, then he is not of them, and indeed he has left off the obligation of being sincere and advising.
The Fourth Right: “And when he sneezes and praises Allah, then pray for mercy upon him.”
The act of sneezing is a blessing and a favor from Allah SWT, in the expelling of congested air that is blocked in certain parts of the body of the human being. Thus, making it easy for this air to have a passage out where it can exit, and thus providing relief.
As such, the Prophet SAW warranted that Allah SWT be praised for this favor, and for his (Muslim) brother to say to him,“May Allah have mercy upon you.” He also commanded the person who sneezed to answer his (Muslim) brother by saying to him, “May Allah guide you and set right your affairs.”
Therefore, whoever does not praise Allah, does not deserve for others to pray for mercy upon him. For he is the one who has caused himself to lose the two blessings: the blessing of praising Allah, and the blessing of his brother’s supplication for him that is a result of the praising.
The Fifth Right: “And when he becomes ill, visit him.”
Visiting the sick is from the best of the righteous deeds. And whoever visits his Muslim brother, he remains engulfed in the mercy (of Allah), and when he sits with him the mercy (of Allah) covers him. And whoever visits the sick Muslim at the beginning of the day, the Angels send prayers of blessing upon him until evening comes, and whoever visits him at the end of the day, the Angels send prayers of blessing upon him until morning comes.
There are certain ‘adab (protocols) when visiting the sick i.e. supplicate for him to be cured, giving him glad tidings of well-being and recovery). Most important is to advise him of repentance and turning to Allah for help to be cured. make the visit short and sweet, long enough to be welcome.
The Sixth Right: “And if he dies, follow him (his funeral).”
For verily whoever follows the funeral until the deceased’s body is prayed over, then he will receive a Qeeraat of reward. And if he follows the funeral procession until the body is buried, then he will receive two Qeeraats of reward. And following the funeral procession contains (fulfillment of) a right for Allah, a right for the deceased, and a right for the living relatives of the deceased.(Translator’s note: A Qeeraat is an amount equivalent to the size of the Mountain of Uhud in Madinah.)
July 18, 2012 § 7 Comments
Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, where over 1.5 billion Muslims of the world celebrate this holy month of Ramadhan every year. Fasting during the month of Ramadhan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and it is an obligation on every adult and healthy Muslim to fast during the month of Ramadhan. Fasting is a total abstention from physical, psychological and emotional needs that includes eating, drinking, and sexual relations, immoral behavior and anger from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days of the month of Ramadhan.
The month of Ramadhan is also the month in which the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad SAW over a period of 23 years. It is a month where Muslims recharge their faith and increase their spiritual connection to Islam. In Ramadhan, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the shaitan (devils) are tied up and the reward for good deeds, acts of charity and acts of worship are multiplied many times over.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 123]
The purpose of fasting is not to just get hungry and thirsty but it is to become pious. It is when we increase our focus and attention towards submitting to Allah SWT. Performing night prayers (Taraweeh), read and finish the Qur’an within the month, refrain from speaking unless truly necessary and increasing our good deeds are required if we truly seek the benefits of Ramadhan.
Prophet SAW said: “A fasting person may get nothing from his fast except hunger and the one who prays at night may get nothing from his qiyaam but a sleepless night.” [Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1690; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.]Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” [Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 127]
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “Allah, the Majestic and the Exalted, said: Every act of the son of Adam is for him except fasting. It is done for My sake, and I will give a reward for it. By Allah in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, the breath of the observer of fast is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk”. [Sahih Muslim :: Book# 6 :: Hadith# 2564]
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah the Exalted and Majestic said: Every act of the son of Adam is for him, except fasting. It is (exclusively) meant for Me and I (alone) will reward it. Fasting is a shield. When any one of you is fasting on a day, he should neither indulge in obscene language, nor raise the voice; or if anyone revile him or tries to quarrel with him he should say: I am a person fasting. By Him, in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, the breath of the observer of fast is sweeter to Allah on the Day of judgment than the fragrance of musk. The one who fasts has two (occasions) of joy, one when he breaks the fast he is glad with the breaking of (the fast) and one when he meets his Lord he is glad with his fast. [Sahih Muslim :: Book# 6 :: Hadith# 2566]
Narrated Sahl: The Prophet said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Rayyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.” [Sahih Bukhari: Hadith #120, Book #31]
Fasting is a shield against the Fire:
Narrated by Abu Said: I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, “Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” [Bukhari Hadith 93 Volume 4, Book 52]
On the Day of Judgment, “Fasting will say: O My Lord I prevented him from food and desires so accept my intercession for him.” [Ahmad, al-Haakim and Abu Nu’aim, Hasan]
Fasting is a means to attain forgiveness for one’s sins.
The Prophet (peace be upon him.) said: “He who fasts Ramadan, due to Iman and hoping for reward (from Allah) then his past sins are forgiven.”[al-Bukhari, Muslim]
The supplication of the fasting person is answered
There are in the month of Ramadan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted.” [al-Bazzaar, Ahmad, Saheeh]
June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent. A person who commits an act of rape is known as a rapist. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent.
In 2007, there were 255,630 incidents of rape and sexual assault in the United States (BJS, 2008a). Of those, 90,427 were forcible rapes (FBI, 2008c). This represents one forcible rape occurring somewhere in the United States every 5.8 minutes (FBI, 2008a). Persons in the age group of 12 to 19 were raped and sexually assaulted at a significantly higher rate than any other age group (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000; BJS, 2008b).
Highest rate: Lesotho – 94/100.000
Lowest rate: Syrian Republic & Egypt: 0.7 and o.1 /100,000 respectively
Notables: United States of America: 29.3/100,000
According to United States Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, there were overall 191,670 victims of rape or sexual assault reported in 2005. 1 of 6 U.S. women have experienced an attempted or completed rape. Other research has found that about 80,000 American children are sexually abused each year.
Despite many misconceptions on The Sharia Law, Islam has long ago realized the severity of the crime, for the offender and the victim alike. Rapists usually commit the crime as a show of male power rather than the sexual act or desires itself. And rapists do not have the capabilities nor the tendencies to be rehabilitated. As such, The Prophet SAW instituted the death penalty for the rapist, knowing fully well that there is a tendency to repeat the crime when let loose.
Hadith: Book 38, Number 4366 [Sunan Abu Dawud]
Narrated by Wa’il ibn Hujr:
When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet SAW for prayer, a man attacked her and overpowered (raped) her. She shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: That (man) did such and such to me. And when a company of the Emigrants came by, she said: That man did such and such to me. They went and seized the man whom they thought had raped her and brought him to her.
She said: “Yes, this is he“. Then they brought him to the Apostle of Allah SAW.
When The Prophet SAW was about to pass the sentence, the man who (actually) had assaulted her stood up and said: “Apostle of Allah, I am the man who did it to her.”
The Prophet SAW said to her: “Go away, for Allah has forgiven you“. But he told the man (who was wrongfully seized) some good words, and of the man who had raped her, he said: “Stone him to death“.
Note: Stoning to death is to be done publicly.