Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Family Counts in Sadaqah

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “What a Muslim spends on his family, for seeking the pleasure of Allah, is also counted as charity.” [Bukhaari]

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) advises man to first be kind to himself and to the people in his home, then to his larger circle of relatives, and then to all human beings. 

When a man provides for his wife, children, parents and any other dependents, he is worshipping Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) by obeying Him. If his intention is to fulfill the responsibilities Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has assigned to him, he gains the reward of performing good deeds, by paying for his family’s food, clothes, housing, medicine, etc.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has forbidden both miserliness and extravagance (wasteful spending). We should spend in a balanced manner, keeping well away from these two extremes.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Build Real Estate

Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan (radi Allahu anha) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever prays twelve rakat during the day and night will have a house built for him in Paradise: four rakat before Zuhr and two after it, two rakat after Maghrib, two rakat after Isha, and two rakat before Fajr.” (Hasan Sahih hadith) [Tirmidhi]

One of the Umayyad Khalifa’s asked Ibn Hazm, “Why do we fear death?”  Ibn Hazm replied, “Because we hate to go from what we have built to what we have destroyed.” Whatever efforts and accumulations we have made are for this Dunya and it shows in the form of our properties, businesses, possessions, etc., looking very nice. When we try to imagine our property in the Akhirah we don’t see anything, or at best, we are uncertain. Thus, we don’t feel comfortable about going there. But our death will bring an end to this life and will take us to the life of that uncertain place anyway.

So why not invest in a real estate project for the Hereafter? A person’s heart is where their wealth is, e.g. a lady is always conscious of where her purse is, and if she has to leave it and go somewhere she tells someone else to mind it for her. If we send our wealth forward and do the deeds that earn us riches for the Hereafter then our hearts will also be inclined to move on from this temporary abode. Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) told us that whoever prays these 12 rakat of Sunnah, gets a beautiful mansion made for him or her in Jannah.

Let’s get on with it inshaAllah.

Monday, March 6, 2017

No Scent Please

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whichever woman applies scent should not join us for the Isha prayers.” [Abu Dawud]

During the early Islamic era, women used to perform salaat behind Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), in congregation. On one occasion Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) told the women that they should not come to the masjid perfumed. 

While the women are coming to the masjid to earn sawaab/hasanaat, their presence should not cause the salaat of other people to be ruined. If the fragrance of the perfume distracts men and instills desire in their hearts, then the women would have gotten more sawaab by staying home and not being a cause of fitnah/corruption in society. 

If Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) prevented women who applied perfume from attending the masjid during his noble era, one can imagine how much worse it is for women to mingle with men decked up and perfumed.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Crying that is Inspired by Shaytaan

When Ruqayya (radi Allahu anha) the daughter of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) died and women started to cry, Umar (radi Allahu anhu) tried to stop them. On this the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “O Umar, leave them alone and let them cry.” To the women he said: “Go ahead and cry, but avoid the crying of the Shaytaan… Whatever comes from your eye and heart is from Allah and is a sign of mercy, and whatever comes from your hand and your tongue is from the Shaytaan.” [Ahmad]

It is permitted to cry on the death of a loved one. It is natural to feel a sense of loss from which one sheds tears. However, wailing, eulogizing (excessively praising the deceased), tearing one’s clothes, pulling one’s hair, and all such extreme displays of emotion from one’s hand and tongue are forbidden. 

These customs were known at the time of Jahilliyah and are still common among Muslims today. Such conduct is not permitted in Islam, as a Muslim is required to face bereavement, like all other trials of life, with patience.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hasty in Judgment

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Oh Ali, if two people come to ask you to judge between them, do not judge in favour of the first until you hear the word of the second in order that you may know how to judge.” [Ahmad, Abu Daud]

Humans are hasty by nature. We are quick to judge. A situation aggravates us and we rush to condemn without bothering to determine all the facts first. In our haste usually only one point of view is considered. This could happen in our households when children get into a fight. This also often happens when we hear things about people. We don’t stay out of things that do not concern us; then we do not bother to hear the other side of the story either. Thirdly, we also get easily influenced with one sided information broadcast at us through the media.

In short, we do exactly what Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has forbidden, which is to make haste in passing judgment. Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to make dua begging Allah, “Enable me to see reality as it really is.”

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lowering One's Gaze

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu): "Al-Fadl bin Abbas rode behind Allah's Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) as his companion rider on the back portion of his she-camel on the day of Nahr (slaughtering of sacrifice, 10th Dhul-Hijja) and Al-Fadl was a handsome man. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) stopped to give the people verdicts (regarding their matters). In the meantime, a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khatham came, asking the verdict of Allah's Messenger. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the other side) in order that he should not gaze at her. She said, 'O Allah's Messenger! The obligation of performing Hajj enjoined by Allah on his worshippers has become due (compulsory) on my father who is an old man and who cannot sit firmly on the riding animal. Will it be sufficient that I perform Hajj on his behalf?' He said, 'Yes.'" [Sahih Bukhari]

This hadith gives several important rulings. One is that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) acted himself, and made other men act, on Allah's orders to lower their gazes. [Quran 24: 27-29] We see in this hadith, that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) listened to the woman's question and answered it while not looking at her. He also turned the face of his cousin to the side who had been staring at the woman's beautiful face. He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) did not ask the woman to cover her face. 

This incident took place during Hajj, when even those women who normally cover their faces are required to leave their faces uncovered. Other ahadith show that the Sahabiyat would go for Fajr and Isha prayers in the Prophet’s masjid with their faces uncovered and not be recognized on account of the darkness, not because their faces were covered. 

This topic, of whether women need to cover the face or can leave it uncovered, has evidence on both sides of the argument. So long as evidence from the Quran and Sunnah exists for an opinion, one must refrain from falling into the devil's trap of involving oneself in debate over it. It would be much more useful to talk about Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and the Hereafter to the Kuffar (disbelievers) or Fasiqoon (those acting in clear contradiction to what is well known to be a part of Islam, such as avoiding alcohol). 

From this hadith we also learn that it is permissible to perform Hajj on behalf of those who are too old or sick to undertake the journey themselves.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Who is Generous

Aisha (radi Allahu anha), the wife of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) narrated: “A lady, along with her two daughters, came to me asking me (for some alms), but she found nothing with me except one date which I gave to her and she divided it between her two daughters, and then she got up and went away. Then the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) came in and I informed him about this story. He said, “Whoever is in charge of these daughters and treats them generously, then they will act as a shield for him from the Fire.” [Sahih Bukhari]

There are several lessons to be learnt from this hadith:

1. Look at the house of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). The person who has the best and highest place in Jannah, has a house in this world which has nothing that can be given away except a single date! When the most beloved to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) died, there was not enough money to buy oil for a lamp. Aisha (radi Allahu anha) mortgaged his battle shield to buy oil. There was nothing of value in the house save the shield and nine swords that hung on the wall of his house.

Our houses are chock full of possessions. Cupboards full of clothes, shoes, and cosmetics. Expensive curtains, carpets and sofa sets. Decorative frames on the walls. Kitchens with multiple dinner sets, stuffed pantries and fridges. If we are asked to give in the name of Allah, how much do we give? If we are asked to defend someone in the name of Allah can we defend them?

2. Since Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) loves His creation intensely, He loves those who treat them kindly; especially those who are weak and unable to fend for themselves. Thus, he promises mountains of reward to those who take care of His loved ones.

3. Since Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has saved women from having to fend for themselves, making it obligatory on their male relatives to provide for them, He promises those who are generous in discharging this responsibility with safety from the worst Fire.

4. We see that a person’s generosity and sacrifice is judged by what they give compared to what they have. We see the generosity of Aisha (radi Allahu anha) in this hadith who gave all she had. This would be equivalent to a billionaire giving all of his wealth in the path of Allah. We have the example of billionaire Sahabah such as Abdur Rahman bin Auf (radi Allahu anhu) donating in this manner.

We also see the generosity of the mother in this hadith. All she was given was a date. But she didn’t eat it herself. She could have thought that since she was an adult her metabolic needs were greater, so she deserved the date more than her daughters. But, instead, she divided it in half and gave each of her daughters one half.