$426 BILLION. Yes indeed. Four hundred and twenty six billion dollars were spent globally on cosmetics in 2011! Cosmetics are mainly used to beautify oneself. The effect though is exactly what the name suggests – cosmetic, artificial and fake. Real beauty is the beauty of the heart. If the heart has been truly adorned and beautified with good akhlaaq (character), its fragrance will refresh the minds and enliven the hearts of all those around one. On the contrary, if the heart is filled with the decay of bad character, layers and layers of cosmetics will not mask the odour that will emanate from the decaying heart, thus causing pain and hardship to all.

Greatest Adornment

Amongst the greatest adornments of the heart is ADAB (respect). If the heart is infused with adab, it will manifest itself in our words and deeds, in our relationship with Allah Ta’ala as well as with His servants and in public and privacy. A person who is endowed with adab – the adab taught in the Quraan and sunnah – becomes beloved to Allah Ta‘ala and gains the love and respect of people as well. He becomes a source of pleasure and delight for others while he also enjoys peace and happiness from all.

Every aspect of deen is underscored by adab. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) emphasized adab for Allah Ta‘ala. Thus he instructed that one should not unnecessarily expose his satr (parts of the body that are compulsory to conceal from others) even when in privacy – out of respect for Allah Ta‘ala. How much more important is it then that one does not sin in front of Allah Ta’ala, who is All Seeing,  OUT OF RESPECT FOR HIM.

Numerous other aspects of adab have been highlighted in the Quraan and hadeeth. For instance, adab for parents has been emphasised to such an extent that we are commanded not to even say “oof” to them.  In another aspect of adab,  Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) forbade relieving oneself in the direction of the Qibla, or to spit or stretch one’s legs in that direction – out of respect for the Ka’bah Shareef. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is also reported to have said: “This Ummah will continue to prosper as long as they truly uphold the honour and respect of the Ka’bah. When they will no longer uphold the respect of  the Ka’bah they will be destroyed” (Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah). Likewise He warned that he who does not respect his elders or a practicing Bearer of the Quraan “is not from among us.” He stressed that the Azaan be respected and listened to attentively and even exhorted the Ummah to “respect bread” (by not wasting it, etc).

Among the aspects that demand the greatest respect is the Quraan Shareef. The Quraan Shareef should be handled and kept with utmost respect. Tragically, the respect for the Quraan Shareef is severely dwindling. Many children carry the Quraan Shareef to school in bags slung behind their backs, sandwiched between textbooks!! Such compounded and gross disrespect to the Quraan Shareef invites the wrath of Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala protect us.

Quraan App

In this regard another aspect that requires serious reflection and consideration is the Quraan apps on smart phones. Technically speaking, it is permissible to have a Quraan app on one’s phone. If the app is not in use and the Quraan is not displayed on the screen, it is permissible to also go with the phone into the toilet, since the actual words are not inscribed on the phone. However, when the Quraan app has been switched off and the phone is slipped into the pants pocket, subconsciously the heart is registering that one has just  slipped the Quraan into one’s pants!! Furthermore, the screen upon which anything and “everything” is displayed is the same surface upon which the Quraan Shareef is then displayed. It is akin to placing a copy of the Quraan Shareef in a “clean” bag that is used to carry anything and everything! As this subconscious effect keeps affecting the heart, the fear is that eventually the printed copy of the Quraan will also be handled in a similar manner, Allah forbid.

The house of Allah Ta‘ala, the Musjid, is also a victim of gross disrespect. Noise in the Musjid, especially after a nikaah or some  program, is a common malady. The one who engages in worldly talk in the Musjid is in fact cursed by the angels. However, while noise and worldly talk are severe forms of disrespect, another silent form of disrespect has surpassed this. The severe silent  disrespect is the  “chatting” and other communi-cation that continues on the phone while in the Musjid.

The Musjid is a sanctified place where one should connect with Allah Ta‘ala. Instead, many people are sadly connected to others and even the internet in the Musjid!! Some youngsters were also caught viewing filthy material in the house of Allah Ta’ala … Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji‘oon. Out of respect for the sanctity of the Musjid the cell-phone should be completely switched off. Keeping connected with the phone could result in getting disconnected from Allah Ta‘ala.


The ‘Ulama have stated that nobody has gained anything significant without adab, while one of the main reasons for being deprived, especially in deen, is the lack of adab. Thus every effort must be made to adopt the highest level of respect, especially for the symbols of deen such as the Quraan Shareef and the Musjid. This is vital for our success in this world and the next.

Q & A: Hanafi or Muslim?

Question: A friend at campus often asks fellow students: “Are you a Muslim or a Hanafi/Shaafi‘ee?” How does one respond to such a question? Please advise.

Answer: The word “or” (in the context of the question) is used between two words of the same species. It is correct to ask someone whether he will eat “rice or bread” since both are food items, but you cannot enquire whether he will eat “bread or paper”. Likewise, if your friend asks someone whether he lives in Durban or South Africa, the question will be absurd. Only one who is ignorant of the fact that Durban is not a country, but a city in South Africa, can ask such a question.

Your friend’s question implies that one can either be a Muslim or a Hanafi. Thus if someone says he is a Hanafi then, Allah forbid, he is not a Muslim!! It is the same as asking whether you live in Durban or South Africa, and that if you live in Durban, then you are not a South African???

Such questions stems from being ignorant of the fact that Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullahi ‘alaihi) did not make his own deen. By means of the great expertise and in-depth knowledge that Allah Ta’ala had blessed him with, he deduced the laws of deen from the Quraan and hadeeth. His expertise and mastery was attested to by the likes of ‘Abdullah bin Mubaruk

[rahmatullahi ‘alaihi] who was one of the greatest Muhaddith of his time. Saheeh Bukhaari is filled with his narrations. Thus in the light of his vast knowledge and rare expertise, Imaam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullahi ‘alaihi) merely explained and expounded the laws of deen. The detailed proofs of these deductions from the Quraan and hadeeth are recorded in many books well known to the scholars of Islam.

Likewise, there were many other great Fuqahaa (jurists) such as Imaam Maalik (rahmatullahi ‘alaihi), Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahmatullahi ‘alaihi) and Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahmatullahi ‘alaihi). Their codification of the laws of deen in the light of their expertise developed into the four mazhabs (schools of thought), all following the same primary sources of the Quraan and hadeeth. Thus those who follow the jurisprudence (laws and rulings deduced from the Quraan and hadeeth) codified by Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullahi ‘alaihi) are referred to as Hanafi, while those who follow the jurisprudence of Imaam Shaafi‘ee are called Shaafi‘ee, etc. The identification of Hanafi, Shafi’ee, etc, is only made in relation to fiqh.


In this era there is a further need to identify oneself as a Hanafi, Shaafi‘ee, Maaliki or Hambali. The need is to make it known that one is not a “freelancer” — someone who does not have the knowledge and expertise to deduce the laws of deen from their sources, yet claims to follow the Quraan and hadeeth directly. It is similar to a person who has barely stepped into high school, yet claims to be a senior counsel in matters of law!

The Greater Qurbaani

The immense rewards of qurbaani are mindboggling. One’s sins are forgiven before the first drop of blood of the animal falls onto the ground. A person’s reward will be equivalent to the number of strands of hair or fibre of wool on the animal he is slaughtering. Likewise many other great rewards have been promised for this very great ‘ibaadah. Hence, can you imagine a reward greater than this? Indeed, Allah Ta’ala loves something even more than sacrificing animals and blesses the one who undertakes it with greater rewards. Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reported that once on the day of ‘Eid-ul-Adha Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said : “There is no action more virtuous than the spilling of blood (qurbaani) on this day, except the joining of family ties (that have been severed).” (at-Targheeb)

Greater Sacrifice

While performing qurbaani is certainly a great sacrifice, joining and maintaining family ties is a greater sacrifice. The sacrifice of qurbaani only entails the sacrificing of wealth while joining and maintaining  family ties often entails the very great sacrifice and “qurbaani” of one’s ego and self-esteem. At times it also requires the sacrifice of some wealth. An indifferent family member may snub one and spurn the gesture of re-joining and patching up. However if one undertakes the great ‘sacrifice’ in humbling oneself to join kinship, it will definitely surpass the sacrificing of animals in reward and in securing the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala loves that the paragon of His creation (insaan) and the followers of His beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) should live harmoniously and cordially with one another. Hence any initiative undertaken to  foster a harmonious relationship is greatly appreciated and rewarded by Allah Ta’ala.

Maintaining family ties is afforded such importance in the court of Allah Ta’ala that a person’s entry into Jannah is subject to him maintaining family ties. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) stated in a hadeeth: “Rahim (family ties) are linked to Rahmaan (Allah Ta’ala). Allah Ta’ala makes Jannah haraam on the one who severs them” (at-Targheeb). Having a tit-for-tat attitude, as is common nowadays, is very far from what our most beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) advocated. Huzaifah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Do not behave in a dishonourable manner and say: ‘If people treat me kindly then I will treat them kindly, and if they are unjust to me then I will be unjust to them.’ Instead, control yourself. If people are kind to you then be kind to them, and if they ill-treat you then do not retaliate” (at-Targheeb).

Once a Sahaabi complained to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam): “O Rasulallah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), I have some relatives. I try to strengthen bonds of family ties with them, but they ignore me. I treat them with kindness, but they ill-treat me. I exercise patience in my behaviour towards them, but they are rude to me.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “If you are treating them as you say, you are throwing dust in their faces (they will be disgraced) and Allah Ta’ala will continue to support you against them as long as you remain steadfast in your behaviour.” (Mishkaat)

Not Accepted

The severity of the evil of severing family relations cannot be overemphasised. In one hadeeth, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “The deeds of man are presented to Allah Ta’ala on the eve of every Friday, and the deeds of the one who breaks family ties are not accepted” (at-Targheeb). Such a person is also deprived of the special forgiveness and amnesty of Allah Ta’ala on the Night of Baraa’ah (15 night of Sha’baan) when millions of people are forgiven.

Barakah in Life and Wealth

On the converse, when one plucks up the courage and undertakes the great ‘sacrifice’ of rejoining family ties and maintaining a healthy relationship,  besides the immense rewards of the Hereafter one will also enjoy its benefits in this very life. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has stated in a hadeeth: “The one who wishes to be blessed with a long life, enjoy expanse in his sustenance and livelihood, and be saved from a bad death then he should fear Allah and maintain family ties” (at-Targheeb).

There are numerous other benefits and rewards that one receives for maintaining a healthy relationship and reuniting torn hearts. It is therefore the duty of every individual to undertake the “sacrifice” necessary to maintain kinship. It is better to trample one’s ego or tolerate some loss of wealth to join and maintain family ties (earning great rewards and benefits in the process) rather than suffer the severe consequences of severing family ties.

Therefore, this ‘Eidul Adha, let us engage in the ‘ibaadah of qurbaani as well as the ‘ibaadah of the act that is greater than qurbaani. May Allah guide us all to the path of love and harmony. Aameen.

Video Games

Is your iPad or some other device keeping your child occupied with video games? If yes, think again.

In a study conducted in Canada, Brock University academics found that playing violent video games for long periods of time can hold back the “moral maturity” of teenagers. They also warned of adolescents losing a sense of “right and wrong”. Empathy, trust and concern for others, which should develop as teenagers grow up, were found to be delayed.  (BBC News website)

Another report states: “Research has long shown a cause-effect relationship between television violence and aggression among children and youth who watch it. Many social scientists expect video games to have an even greater impact for the following four reasons:

    • Children are more likely to imitate the actions of a character with whom they identify.
    • Video games require active participation rather than passive observation.
    • Repetition increases learning. Video games involve a great deal of repetition. If the games are violent, then the effect is a behavioral rehearsal for violent activity.
    • Rewards increase learning, and video games are based on a reward system.

Early research confirms those concerns. A 2004 study by Gentile, Lynch, Linder & Walsh found that teens who play violent video games:

  • Tend to be more aggressive
  • Are more prone to confrontation with their teachers
  • May engage in fights with peers
  • Decline in school achievements

While the above effects are serious enough, the negative impact on Imaan and Akhlaaq are even worse. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all. Aameen.

Faqihul Ummah: Financial Loss

Summary of Question:

(A person complained of his problems and especially his constant financial difficulties. He also requested to know why this is happening).

Summary of Reply:

The most essential aspect to remember is that every person’s destiny has been pre-ordained before he was even born. Whatever has been decreed for him, he will certainly receive it even if the entire creation desires that it should not reach him. Likewise, whatever has been decreed that he will not acquire it, he will never receive it even if the entire creation tries to give it to him.

As for your business continuously failing and your suffering financial losses, generally one of the reasons due to which this happens is not having discharged someone’s right (such as not having paid someone his due). This is an extremely dangerous aspect. As long as that right has not been discharged it will continue to torment and harm one.

Sometimes the conditions described in the question are due to not giving charity.

Discharge all Rights

Therefore, think carefully whether you have fulfilled everyone’s rights. If someone’s right is unfulfilled, discharge it immediately. If you cannot remember  if any person’s due was not paid, in such circumstances you should nevertheless still give some charity with the intention that Allah Ta’ala may absolve you of any outstanding right by means of this charity on behalf the one you are indebted to.

Furthermore, always consider the plight of the poor and needy. It is stated in a hadeeth that he who is merciful upon those on earth, the Lord of the universe (Allah Ta’ala) will be merciful upon him. In the manner that you treat the creation of Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala will treat you accordingly. If you show mercy and kindness to Allah Ta’ala’s creation, mercy will be showered upon you. Therefore, divide your income into three portions. Reinvest one third into your business, spend one third upon your family and spend the remaining one third upon the poor and needy. (Malfoozat, vol 2, pg 157)