Lesson of Ashura
The tenth of Muharram is known as the day of Aashura. This is a very auspicious day in the Islamic calendar. Prior to the fast of Ramadhaanbecoming compulsory, fasting on the day of Aashura was fardh(obligatory). After the fast of Ramadhaan became compulsory, fasting on the day of Aashura was optional. Nevertheless, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) punctually kept the fast of Aashura and encouraged others to do the same. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “The fast of Aashura compensates for the (minor) sins of the past year” (Tirmizi).
“OPPOSE THE JEWS”
While reaping the virtues of fasting on the day of Aashura, an important lesson is emphasised by means of this fast. This is the lesson of firmly maintaining one’s Islamic identity at all times, totally refraining from imitating the kuffaar(disbelievers) and even avoiding any resemblance with them as far as possible. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was informed that the Jews also fast on the tenth of Muharram, he instructed the Sahaaba (R.A.) thus:“Fast on the ninth and tenth, thereby opposing the Jews” (Tirmizi). It is obvious that the Sahaaba (R.A.)were not observing the fast of Aashura in order to imitate the Jews. It was a sheer coincidence that the Jews also were found to be observing this fast. Nevertheless, since this unintentional resemblance was avoidable by keeping an additional fast together with the tenth, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked the Sahaaba (R.A.) to fast on the ninth as well. Therefore one should not fast only on the tenth as due to the resemblance with the Jews, this will be makrooh tanzihi (a disliked act).
THE CURSE OF ALLAH TA’ALA
Imitating “others,” which is known as tashabbuh, is completely forbidden. So abhorred is this practice that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has declared: “The one who imitates a nation is from amongst them” (Abu Dawood). Even one gender imitating the other has been denounced. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “Allah Ta’ala’s curse be upon those women who imitate men (in their appearance, dressing, actions, etc.) and upon those men who imitate women” (Muslim). Thus to adopt the distinct style, fashion and way of the kuffaar in any aspect of life will be tashabbuh, and thus Haraam.
Imitating the kuffaar can occur in any and every aspect of life. However, the most obvious and apparent is in the aspect of appearance and dressing. The aspect of appearance and dressing is not a trivial matter. The banning of Muslim girls in some countries from wearing scarves to school speaks volumes of the fact that Islamic dressing and appearance have a great impact on others. Hence they wish to ban the visible identity of Muslims.
Thus when the dressing and appearance taught by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is not adhered to, and thekuffaar are imitated, at times it becomes difficult or even impossible to distinguish a Muslim from a Jew, Christian or an atheist. One would not even venture to make salaam since one would not know whether the person is Yusuf or some John, Fathima or some Jane.
LOVE TO RESEMBLE RASULULLAH (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
The Fast of Aashura highlights the importance of avoiding any resemblance to the Jews and Christians. No person prefers to resemble the one who is his enemy. Rather, he will prefer to resemble those whom he loves. A true follower of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) will love to resemble, in fact imitate, his beloved. He would love to be identified with Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), not with those who are the enemies of Islam and the Muslims.
WHO DO WE RESEMBLE?
Therefore one should calmly consider the following: Does a Muslim choking in his tie and suit resemble the leader of all mankind, Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), or does he resemble the leaders of Israel and America?? Does a Muslim youngster in his designer jeans and T-shirt (with the “hottest” fashion label emblazoned across) resemble the leader of the youth of Jannah, Sayyidina Hassan and Husain (R.A.), or does he resemble the immoral playboys of the West? Does a Muslim woman clad in her tops and pants, or other tight-fitting garments and Western fashions, resemble the pure and chaste daughters and wives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) or is she closer in resemblance to the shameless women of the decadent West? Does such dressing identify one with Muslims or with the enemies of Islam and the Muslims?
TEACHER AND CLOWN
In everyday life one could possibly imitate many people. A teacher could go to school and imitate a clown in his dressing and behaviour. However, he does not do so since such imitation, or even resemblance, is demeaning for a teacher. Indeed he will dress as a teacher dresses. Likewise, every Muslim and true follower of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is a teacher and an inviter to Islam by his actions and deeds. He will not imitate or resemble those who are astray and thus appear to be one of them. He will conduct every aspect of his life from eating, sleeping and dressing to aspects of marriage, business or even running the state — in the manner that an inviter to Islam must conduct himself. A true Mu’min and an inviter to Islam can only choose to imitate Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and adopt his teachings.
Thus while observing the fast of Aashura, let us take this important lesson and totally shun imitating the Jews and Christians. Let us adhere to resembling Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the Sahaaba (R.A.) and pious people of the Ummah. In this lies our success of this world and the Hereafter.
Q&A: Islamic Radio Stations
Currently there are many radio stations in the country that operate as Islamic stations. There is conflicting advice with regards to listening to these stations. Some Ulama have totally condemned them while others actively support them. Yet a third view advises that since there is a mixture of good and evil that emanates from all the radio stations, one should take the good and reject the evil. What is your advice in this regard?
Your question raises a very sensitive issue. The discussion of any sensitive issue is very often overshadowed by emotions. It is therefore necessary that the issue on hand be considered objectively and dispassionately so that one’s judgment is not clouded by emotions.
You have cited different views of the Ulama. You are not sure which view to take therefore you want advice on the matter. From your question it is apparent that you prefer the advice of the Ulama. Thus you will be addressed with this in mind. If you are one who is not truly concerned about taking the guidance of the Ulama, but you take the views of all and sundry and then decide what suits you, this reply is not for you.
Nevertheless, as an introduction, the following fundamental aspects must be kept in mind:
- We are the creation of Allah Ta’ala. Indeed, we are absolutely His slaves.
- As the slaves of Allah Ta’ala we are obliged and duty-bound to follow all His commands. Allah Ta’ala sent Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as a guide for all mankind. Thus we can only truly obey Allah Ta’ala by following the manner and way taught by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
- Allah Ta’ala alone is the Protector of His Deen. Merely as the apparent means, and as part of our test on earth, we have been given the responsibility to make an effort to safeguard the Deen of Islam and to spread it.
- Allah Ta’ala is not in need of us to violate his commands in order to help His Deen and in order to discharge the above duty.
- Our success in our endeavours, and especially our success on the Day of Judgment, will depend upon the extent that we have gained acceptance in the court of Allah Ta’ala. Acceptance in His court will be gained through obedience to Him in every aspect of our life.
- When something is done publicly in the name of Islam, it is meant to portray and propagate Deen in its pristine purity. Otherwise many unwary people will dwell under the misconception that the wrong that was done in the name of Islam is not wrong at all. Thus while many Muslims sadly engage in numerous sinful actions which must be rectified, a public expression of any violation of the Shariah in the name of Islam is a far more serious act which needs to be rectified to a much greater extent.
Having understood the above, let us briefly consider the radio stations that operate as “Islamic” stations. There are many perspectives from which this issue could be discussed. In this little pamphlet we will only deal with if from one perspective — the perspective of acquiring Deeni knowledge. (The aspects mentioned hereunder apply to the “Islamic” radio stations operating in the country in general, though every aspect may not necessarily be applicable to each station.)
A variety of programs are broadcast on the “Islamic” airwaves. Some deal with mundane aspects while many are Deeni guidance and advice programs. In short, by and large the knowledge of Deen is disseminated on the airwaves.
BEWARE OF WHO YOU LEARN DEEN FROM
The knowledge of Deen is an important and delicate matter. Hazrath Ibn Sireen (R.A.), a great Muhaddith and Tabi’ee (one who had seen the Sahaaba
VARIOUS VIEWS AND BELIEFS
As far as “Islamic” radio stations are concerned, the presenters and guests are of various persuasions and ideologies, of differing views and convictions and even of diverse beliefs. Each person expresses his views and opinions in the name of Islam. Some present their ideas in a very articulate and convincing manner whereas many of their ideas clearly contradict the Qur’an and Sunnah. The listener who is not well-versed in the Qur’an and Sunnah is sometimes misled by the apparently convincing argument on the radio. In short, in most cases the listener does not know who he or she is acquiring the knowledge of Deen from whereas the great Tab’iee, Ibn Sireen (R.A.) has clearly cautioned us to beware of whom we acquire the knowledge of Deen from. A few examples to illustrate the above are enumerated hereunder:
The Qur’an-al-Kareem declares: “Verily the only Deen (acceptable) to Allah Ta’ala is Islam” (S3:V19). The very foundation of our Deen and the kalima of Islam proclaims that there is no deity but Allah. However, an “Islamic” radio presenter stated that “all people (Muslims, Christians, etc.) pray to a God, and it doesn’t matter which God it is!!!” While the presenter may not have meant that there is more than one deity, nevertheless what meaning does the undiscerning listener get from this statement?
Various Ahadith declare that music and musical instruments are forbidden. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “I have been sent to destroy musical instruments” (Mishkaat). Presenters on some “Islamic” stations have propagated the contrary. Some “Islamic” stations also practice the contrary.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said regarding the beard: “Lengthen the beard and shorten the moustache” (Sahih Muslim). The four great Imaams of the Hanafi, Shaafi, Maliki and Hambali schools of thought are unanimous that it is waajib to keep a beard at least to the extent of one fist. Furthermore, with regard to males lowering their garments below the ankles, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says: “Beware of lowering your garments below your ankles, for verily that is due to pride and Allah does not love pride” (Sahih Muslim). The Hadith also states: “Whatever portion of the foot below the ankles is covered by one’s garments will be in the fire” (Bukhari Shareef). The views on an “Islamic” radio station propagated the contrary with regard to both these aspects.
The Qur’an and Sunnah prohibit intermingling of non-mahram males and females (men and women with whom marriage is not forbidden). The contrary is openly practiced and even promoted by some “Islamic” radio stations.
The Hadith declares the bazaars and market places to be the most detested place on earth. Thus one should go to the market place only out of necessity. Some “Islamic” radio stations establish bazaars as entertainment venues and encourage one and all to throng to them. At these venues in the name of Islam many un-Islamic activities take place.
JOKING AND CHUCKLING
Women are cautioned by the Qur’an-al-Kareem and prohibited from even talking in soft tones to strange men (non-mahrams) (S33:V32). On the contrary radio stations operating as Islamic have males and females simultaneously on air, at times joking and chuckling with one another. The message that this behaviour portrays to the undiscerning listener is that such conduct is acceptable, whereas it is certainly not so.
IMAAN ALMOST LOST
Of all the above aspects, the most dangerous aspect is that presenters or guests sometimes express views or utter statements which border on kufr. At times, the un-Islamic statements have been rebutted by others on air. The problem nevertheless is not over. Often a person becomes influenced by the falsehood uttered by somebody. The rebuttal is then given in a very scholarly manner which the influenced person does not manage to fully comprehend due to his ignorance. He thus remains entrapped in the falsehood. It is also possible that he may never have heard the rebuttal. His Imaan is thus left bruised and battered — and at times, due to entertaining beliefs bordering on kufr, his Imaan is almost lost.
Most “Islamic” radio stations pursue an “inclusive” policy. This means that all the various “groups” and people of different views and persuasions must be given an opportunity to air their opinions. As a result one will inevitably be confronted with some very serious baatil (falsehood), which due to the lack of knowledge, one may accept as truth. What then happens to one’s Imaan?
Consider! Can one dare to risk falling victim to the above? Perhaps you may claim that you are a discerning listener. However, baatil is sometimes communicated very cunningly and convincingly. Without thorough knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah and the related aspects, you could fall victim to the false utterances of others.
Thus, keeping in mind the principles mentioned at the beginning, and in the light of the situation described above, the safest thing for you to do is to switch off. If you have to listen to something, acquire cassettes of the talks of authentic, Allah-fearing personalities. Spend even a little while listening to such talks with respect and attention. Insha-Allah this will be greatly beneficial to you and you will also be saved from the numerous harms outlined above.
May Allah Ta’ala guide us to His pleasure and save us from anything that distances us from Him and from the spirit of the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) even to the extent of an iota. Aameen.
An excerpt from a talk by Hazrath Moulana Yusuf Khandalwi (R.A.)
The foundations of the society that was established by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) were purity, simplicity and modesty. On the contrary, the foundations of the society hatched by the Jews and Christians are immodesty, israaf (extravagance, wastage and lavishness) and ta’ayyush (hedonism — living one’s life only for the sake of worldly pleasures).
….Have you found attraction in the way of life and society of those who shed the blood of your predecessors, defiled their honour and chastity and usurped their lands? Even in this time they grant you aid and support you in a manner similar to the way you feed chicken (in order to slaughter it someday)!
As for the personality who shed his blood for you, who lost his mubarak teeth for you, who had to bear the martyrdom of an uncle such as Hazrath Hamza (R.A.), who spent his nights awake for you — did you not find his way of life and society attractive???
Friends, the way of life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is for all times until Qiyamah (the Day of Judgment) just as his Prophethood is for all times. When the true light of Imaan will come into you, you will find each aspect of the way of life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to be attractive.
In this era there is no distinction between good and evil, virtue and vice. If in this time we jointly accomplish this much that the Ummah begins to distinguish between good and evil (and hence practice on the good and refrain from the evil), it will be a great achievement.”
(Ta’meere Hayaat, Nov. 2003)
Faqihul Ummah: Body and Soul
Allah Ta’ala has not created merely a physical body. With the body there is another aspect (the soul) that has been placed therein. The body is like the shirt one wears. A person eventually removes his shirt and discards it (when it is not worthy of being worn anymore). Similarly, the soul will someday discard it’s shirt (the body) and proceed elsewhere.
This indeed is our condition. Our body is in the category of the shirt. The main thing is the soul. Our souls are rotting. It is ensnared in a host of evil qualities. There is a need to rectify this soul yet we are not concerned about it.” (An-Noor, Ramadhaan 1424)