Spirit of The Sunnat
Allah Ta’ala declares: “Say (to the Believers) O Muhammad, (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)! If you love Allah, then follow me (Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Allah will love you and he will forgive your sins.” This verse alone makes it abundantly clear that to earn the love of Allah Ta’ala and gain salvation in both the worlds, there is only one path – the path of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). This path of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) encompasses every aspect of our lives. From birth to death the beautiful and noble teachings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) are to be implemented. This is known as the path of the sunnah.
As for the sunnah, there is really no such thing as a “small sunnah.” Every sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is worth more than the seven heavens and the seven earths. It is a unanimous view of the Fuqaha(jurists) that to mock or ridicule any sunnah is an act of kufr. Thus the sunnah enjoys an extremely lofty position inDeen.
Nevertheless, there are those sunnats that pertain to the apparent actions of a person. The sunnats of eating, drinking, sleeping, purification, appearance, etc., all fall under this category. Every effort should be made to adhere to all these sunnats. Each one of these sunnats is worth more than the entire universe. Therefore one should strive to make them a part and parcel of one’s life.
However, there are certain teachings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) pertaining to our innerselves which, although they embody the very spirit of the sunnah, are rarely even considered as something to learn or to inculcate in oneself. Many people don’t even regard them as having any connection to the Sunnah. Yet we find Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) laying great stress on these internal aspects which contain the spirit of the sunnah.
There are many sunnats that pertain to the inner-self. These are aspects that are linked to the heart, such as, humility, contentment, good character, tolerance and forbearance, forgiveness, sabr (patience), shukr (gratitude), etc. Likewise, to refrain from pride, riya (ostentation), anger for personal reasons, greed, love for the world, etc., are also aspects of the internal sunnats. Some examples from the Ahadith will illustrate the importance this aspect was accorded by Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum). For instance the humility of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was to the utmost degree. Despite his extremely elevated position, Rasulullah (sallallahualaihi wasallam) would ride a donkey, milk the sheep himself, mend his shoes, help in the household chores, serve the guests personally and sit on the bare ground. He would even say: “I eat in the manner that a slave eats and I sit in the manner that a slave sits.” He also disliked sitting in a distinguished position or walking in front while everyone else followed behind.
The Sahaba (R.A.) also followed in the footsteps of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Once Sayyidina Umar (R.A.), after he had become the Calipha, came out in the bazaar with a container of water and began giving the people water to drink. Someone inquired of him as to what was the reason for this. He replied: “I received several deputations and as a result I found some change in my heart (i.e. my ego was boosted). To remove this malady I have adopted this treatment.” Since they were immersed in the spirit of the sunnah, they easily detected any shadow of pride, ostentation, etc. Hence they even subjected themselves to various forms of “treatments” to cleanse their hearts of these ailments.
We also find the entire life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) filled with incidents of forgiveness. he forgave the Jewish lady that poisoned a lamb and gave it to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to eat. On the occasion of the conquest of Makkah he forgave all those who had persecuted him and his Sahaba (R.A.). When Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was falsely accused of not distributing the booty fairly, all he said was: “May Allah shower his blessings on Moosa (alaihis salaam). He was troubled with much worse things but he observed patience.” The forgiveness of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was endless. This is also a great sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). To what extent have we practiced this sunnah?
Another aspect is that of anger. It is reported in the Hadith that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) never became angry nor did he ever take revenge for his personal self. He only displayed anger when any aspect of Deen was violated. Once a bedouin came up to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and violently pulled his shawl thus leaving a mark on his shoulder. He then demanded that he be given something. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) merely smiled and ordered that something be given to him. Hazrath Anas (R.A.) reports that for ten long years he was in the service of Rasulullah (sallallahualaihi wasallam). However, in this entire period of time not once did Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) rebuke him or scold him for not having fulfilled some instruction or having committed some error. Have we judged ourselves in the light of this example? Or do we become enraged at the least abuse directed at us, and become incensed at the slightest mistake of some subordinate? Here also is a sunnah to learn and to practice.
In the same light the it is a part of adopting the sunnah that the concerns that permeated the blessed heart of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) become our concern. It is reported in a Hadith that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was in constant grief and perpetual concern (Shamaa’il Tirmizi). It is obvious that his concern was not for the material things of this world. Allah Ta’ala had offered to turn the mountain in to gold for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) but he declined. His concern was that of Deen. His concern was of how to save mankind from the perpetual destruction of the Hereafter. In adopting the sunnah, this concern also should become our concern.
If one ponders over these sunnats, one will find that neglecting them will have very serious consequences. If one neglects the sunnah of humility, one will automatically fall into the sin of pride. In this regard Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “That person will not enter Jannah who has pride to the extent of a mustard seed” (Mishkaat). Likewise not inculcating the sunnah of contentment will result in one falling into greed. Greed brings about the destruction of one’s wordly life as well as the life of the Hereafter. It is reported from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that he said: “The love of the world is the root of all evil” (Mishkaat). Thus we understand that every sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is to be practiced upon. The sunnah encompasses a complete code of life which covers the external as well as the internal aspects. Together with practicing upon the external sunnats, every effort must be made to inculcate those aspects which pertain to the inner-self, which very few even regard as sunnah. May Allah Ta’ala enable us to follow the example of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as closely as possible.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The key to Jannah is salaah and the key to salaah is purification”(Mishkaat). The purification in this Hadith primarily refers to wudhu (ablution) but includes the general purity of the body, clothing and place of salaah. This Hadith more than adequately illustrates the extreme importance of Tahaarah (purity) in Deen. Therefore every effort has to be made to save oneself from all forms of impurities. If the key of purity is lost, the key to Jannah will be jeopadized.
MATTER OF CONCERN
In this regard it is a matter of great concern that many Muslims have become accustomed to the habitual use of western style toilets. While in some cases due to injury, illness or infirmity people are forced by their circumstances to resort to the use of western toilets, in most instances the western toilet has become a deliberate first choice. It will be conceeded by any fair minded person that to totally protect the body and clothing from any splashes when using the western toilet requires an extreme amount of care and precaution. It is a laborious task which is difficult to adhere to on a constant basis. Thus those who deliberately and without any need use the western toilets are prone to becoming lax in taking the extra care that is necessary. The body and clothing can then become soiled as a result of which one’s salaah is also affected.
Another aspect is that of children. When a child will be trained to only use the western toilet, he will always maintain this habit. However, it cannot be expected of the child to undertake the extreme care that is necessary when using the western toilet. Thus he will become lax in refraining from impurities. As a result his salaah, etc. will also be adversely affected.
Not saving oneself from urine drops has serious consequences. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “Beware of urine, for verily, the majority of (the cases of) punishment in the grave is because of it (urine).” Once Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) passed by two graves and was informed that the inmates of the graves were being punished in the grave. Informing the Sahaba (R.A.) of the reason for the punishment of one of the inmates of the grave, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He was not in the habit of staying pure from urine”(Mishkaat).
Perhaps one may personally be careful in the use of the western toilet. However, due to the carelessness of another person, one could become soiled with impurities. For instance suppose a child or even some adult used the toilet and soiled the rim with urine drops. By the time the next person had come to use the toilet, the impurity had dried up. The second person now sits on that soiled toilet seat and due to perspiration, etc., his body is also soiled with the impurity. Thus the Salaah of such a person is also affected.
Besides the above, the use of the eastern toilet or squat pan allows one to relieve oneself in the natural way that has always been known to man. The unnatural way of the western toilet is bound to have negative side-effects on the body. Also, doctors at St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center in Portland, U.S.A. have found that Gonorrhea bacteria could survive for several hours on a toilet seat (Evening Post – P.E.).
In the light of the above it is thus important that, unless forced by extreme necessity, one should totally avoid the western toilet.
Q&A: Imaam Mahdi
Are there any authentically established narrations about when Imaam Mahdi will appear? Some people claim that his appearance is imminent. When will he appear and how will this take place?
There are numerous narrations that discuss the person of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) and his appearance on the earth. However, the Ahadith do not mention in which century or in which year he will appear. Some narrations do mention some details about the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.).
DEATH OF KHALIFA
In a narration of Sunan Abu Dawood it is narrated from Umme Salma (radhiallahu anha) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Upon the death of a Khalifa there will be much differences and confusion (regarding his successor). A person from the people of Madina will leave and rush over to Makkah. (He will be in reality the Mahdi, though at that time he will not be aware of it. He will leave Madinatul Munawwarah due to fear that he will be made the Khalifa. Thus in an attempt to avoid this he will come over to Makkatul Mukarramah). However, despite his resistance the people will force him to become the Khalifa and they will take the pledge of allegiance (bai’ah) on his hands between the Hajrul Aswad and the Maqaame Ibrahim.”
Thereafter from the land of Shaam (this refers to the Syria of those days that encompassed a much larger area than which it presently comprises of) an army will be dispatched against the newly appointed Khalifa. This army will reach a place known as Baida between Makkah and Madina and here they will be swallowed by the earth. Thus when the people will observe this they will realize that the newly appointed Khalifa is indeed the Mahdi. As a result everybody will flock to take bai’ah at his hands. Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) will then go to battle with the army of Banu Kalb and defeat them.
It is also mentioned in some narrations that the appearance of Imaam Mahdi will be one of the first major signs of Qiyamah. Many of the minor signs of Qiyamah that have been explained in the Ahadith are as apparent as daylight. However, it is impossible to say with absolute certainty when exactly this major sign of the appearance of Imaam Mahdi will occur. This is only known to Allah Ta’ala.
Those aspects about Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) which we should be aware of have been explained in the Ahadith. It was in the wisdom of Allah Ta’ala that the exact time of his appearance be unknown to us. The Ulama have stated: “Leave unknown what Allah and His Messenger have not explained.” From various signs it is clear that the time of his appearance is close. But how close? Only Allah Ta’ala knows. The Qur’an and Hadith have declared thatQiyamah (the last day) is extremely close. Indeed, in the sight of Allah Ta’ala and compared to the time that has already past upon this universe, it is extremely close. But only Allah Ta’ala knows when exactly it will occur. Likewise is the case of Imaam Mahdi. We are indeed not obliged to attempt to unravel what Allah Ta’ala and His beloved Rasul(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) have kept secret from us. And AllahTa’ala knows best.
Signs of the Last Time
The signs of Qiyamah that have been mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith are fast becoming apparent. Hereunder some Ahadith are mentioned: (Cont. from last Issue)
THE “SHRINKING” OF TIME
Hazrath Anas (radhiallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Qiyamah will not come until time will not shrink. As a result of this a year will seem to be a month while a month will seem to have passed like a week. A week will pass by like a day while a day will be like an hour. An hour will be like a spark of fire (which just flickers and dies)” (Tirmizi).
Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “When trust will be violated, await the last day.” A person asked: “How will the trust be violated?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied: “When a task will be entrusted to a person who is not capable of accomplishing it, await the last day” (Sahih Bukhari).
Hazrath Umar (radhiallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “When people vie with one another in erecting lofty buildings, await Qiyamah” (Mishkaat).
Faqihul Ummah: Gifts & Debts
Summary of Letter:
I am in severe debts. Please make dua that my debts get paid off. I have also enclosed 200 Rupees as a gift. Kindly accept it.
Summary of Reply:
I Have accepted your gift. However, payment of the debt is more important. Therefore I am sending the 200 Rupees back to you. First pay off the debts even if (due to paying your creditors their due) you have to suffer poverty.
Divine Protection from all Calamities and Hardships
Hazrath Abdullah ibn Khubaib (radhiallahu anhu) narrates: “One dark and rainy night we set out to seek our exalted and eternally blessed Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and finally we found him. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asked me to recite. I said: “What shall I recite?” He said: “Make it a constant practice to recite Surah Iklaas, Surah Falaq and Surah Naas (the last three surahs of the Qur’an) thrice daily in the morning and evening and it shall suffice you from all else.”
Commenting on the above Mullah Ali Qari (R.A.) quotes the following statement of Allama Taibi. He writes: “The words in the text of the said Hadith mean that these surahs serve as protection from every mishap. Or it means that one who recites them, if for any reason he is not able to recite anything else, it will suffice for him. He shall remain protected from all possible evils”(Mirqaat, pg.370; vol.4).
People are generally greatly agitated while many also suffer from various superstitions. Some believe they are under the spell of demons while others feel that their businesses are not flourishing because of some magic spell cast over them, etc. At times the hardship is a reality and often it is only imaginary. Nevertheless, people are daily faced with problems and difficulties.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has suggested a perfect remedy for all our worries. If we make it our routine to recite the above surahs (which won’t take us more than two or three minutes) we are sure to be immune from all evils. However the benefit of this “medication” to relieve our worries and stress will only be realized when we also stick to the correct “diet” of refraining from sins and disobedience. ( Adapted from the writings of Hazrath Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb