The Duhaa (Morning) Prayers

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.

The Six Rights of Every Muslim

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.)

 

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The Month of Fasting [Ramadhan Al-Mubarak]

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]
Fasting offers unlimited rewards

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]

Wishing all Muslims, Ramadhan Al-Mubarak!

On Marriage: Role Of The Muslim Husband

June 9, 2012 § 2 Comments


We are towards the last weekend of the mid-term school holidays (last 2 weeks) and as usual, there have been plenty of marriages being held. Young newly weds looking resplendent befitting the traditional accord given to them as “Kings and Queen for the day”. Plenty of food and the event itself is full of pomp and galore with everyone in their best attire.

It also signals the start of a holy relationship that is blessed by Allah SWT. And each one of them have their roles clearly defined, with rules to obey and guidelines to follow. All of us are quite familiar (as they have been harped often enough) of the roles of the wives but little is being said of the roles of the Muslim husband. Let’s take a look at some of them:

The husband as the provider. Surely everyone knows this but are we really following it? The husband must provide for every expense of the household, including allowances for the wife. It is Haraam for the husband to Not work and live off the wife’s income (if she is working). Islam labels such husbands as cowards. In fact, the wife is entitled to claim allowances during breast-feeding of their child. According to Islam, a woman is not required to work in order to earn her living. Her husband is responsible to ensure a decent standard of living for her according to his means. Even when a woman is richer than her husband, her wealth does not deprive her of the right to be supported by him. If he takes advantage of her wealth in order to leave his duty unfilled, without having first secured her consent to this arrangement, then he is accountable for his misdeed. It is open to her to seek divorce on grounds of her not being supported by her husband. An Islamic court will have no hesitation to issue an order nullifying the marriage if the husband will not honour his responsibility.

The Prophet(Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said,

“The best of you is the best one to his family.” [Al-Tabarani]

To share food with her, to provide her with (decent) clothes as he provides himself, to refrain from smacking her, and not ignoring her but in the house. [Ahmad]

”A Dinar (a currency) that you spend on your family, a Dinar that you spend on a poor person and a Dinar that you spend in the sake of Allah. The one that carries the most reward is the one that you spend on your family.” [Muslim]

”Know that no charity that you give whether small or large, for the sake of Allah, but you will be rewarded for it, even the bite (of food) that you put in your wife’s mouth.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

From the Qur’an:

“…and if they suckle your (offspring), give them their recompense… And if ye find yourselves in difficulties, let another woman suckle (the child) on the (father’s) behalf.” (65:6)”

The Husband shall not hit the wife. Physically abusing the wife is NEVER permitted in Islam. Hitting a wife is only permitted under extreme circumstances and it is more accurately described as a gentle tap on the body, but NEVER ON THE FACE, making it more of a symbolic measure then a punitive one.

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women. because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means.  Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard.  As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next) do not share their beds, (and last) beat (tap) them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all). (4:34)

The permissibility of such symbolic expression of the seriousness of continued refraction DOES NOT IMPLY ITS DESIRABILITY. In several hadith, Prophet Muhammad SAW discouraged this measure.

“Do not beat the female servants of Allah;” “Some (women) visited my family complaining about their husbands (beating them). These (husbands) are not the best of you;” and “[It is not a shame that] one of you beats his wife like [an unscrupulous person] beats a slave and maybe he sleeps with her at the end of the day.” (Riyadh As-Saliheen, p137-140).

“…How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?…” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol.8 hadith 68, p42-43).

The Husband is to do all the household chores. All the chores of the household are under the responsibility of the husband, and that includes washing clothes and cooking. If he is unable to do so, a maid/servant must be provided for the wife. The wife is to be relieved of such duties so that she can fully prepares herself to serve the husband. The wife’s duties do not require her to feed her child, nor even to nurse it, nor to clean nor cook. It is the husband’s duty to provide a nursemaid, food for older children, and servants to clean and cook. However, if the wife does those things out of mercy and love, it is a gift to the husband on her part.

And lastly, some advises to Husbands:

Jabir narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, gave these instructions in his sermon during Farewell Pilgrimage: “Fear God regarding women; for you have taken them [in marriage] with the trust of God.” [Mishkat]

Narrated Aisha, God’s messenger said: “Among the believers who show most perfect faith are those who have the best disposition, and are kindest to their families.” [Tirmidhi]

Narrated Abu Huraira, God’s messenger said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best disposition and the best of you are those who are best to their wives.” [Tirmidhi]

Aisha has related that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, would enter the house with a pleasing disposition and a smile on his lips. [Uswa-i-Hasana]

Narrated Al-Aswad: “I asked Aisha, `What did the Prophet, peace be upon him, do at home?’ She said, `He used to work for his family and when he heard the call for the prayer, he would go out.'” [Bukhari]

Narrated Abu Huraira: “Allah’s Apostle, peace be upon him, said, `The woman is like a rib; if you try to straighten her, she will break. So if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some bent.'” [Bukhari]

Narrated Abu Huraira: “The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, `Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should not hurt (trouble) his neighbour. And I advise you to take care of women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of women. [Bukhari]

Narrated Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As: “Allah’s Apostle, peace be upon him, said, `O Abdullah! Have I not been informed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?’ I said, `Yes, O Allah’s Apostle!’ He said, `Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you and your wife has a right over you too.'” [Bukhari]

Narrated Ibn Umar: “The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, `All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian who is responsible for her husband’s house and his offsprings; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards.”

Men should forbear any shortcomings of women in view of the following verse of Qur’an:
“Live with them in kindness; even if you dislike them, perhaps you dislike something in which God has place much good.” (Qur’an, An Nisaa : 19)

Some People Ask…

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment


Some people ask, why should I pray when I am a sinner and I keep on sinning and I will sin again?

But then why do we eat when we are going to get hungry again, or have a bath when we are going to get dirty again?

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) saying, “If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet (pbuh) added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.” Bukhari (Book #10, Hadith #506)

Seek purification through your daily prayers, seek repentance as Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.
( سورة البقرة , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #160)

Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.
( سورة النساء , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #17)

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