- If Only…
- Q&A: The Musaafir
- Faqihul Ummah: Descipline
- Key of the Heart
The days of Haj are with us. Those who undertake this momentous journey will be constantly reminded of Sayyidina Ebrahim (alaihis salaam), his wife Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) and his son Hazrath Ismail (alaihis salaam). The Ka’ba Shareef that the Haji will perform tawaaf of was built by this illustrious father and son. The seven rounds between mount Safa and Marwa is the living reminder of the anxious running at that very pace by Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) in search of water for her infant son. The precious water of zam zam makes one ponder over the thirst of Hazrath Ismail (alaihis salaam) and the extreme concern of his mother – until finally this miracle was granted to them. These are but just a few of the reminders of this illustrious family. Nevertheless, one tremendous lesson that shines extra-ordinarily in the lives of these great personalities is the level of their unquestioning submission to the command of Allah Ta’ala. In these blessed days of Haj we should be learning especially this lesson from them and enacting it in our lives.
Consider the command of Allah Ta’ala to Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) to leave his wife and infant child alone in a barren land. No amount of human intelligence can fathom the wisdom behind this command. A solitary innocent woman and an infant child being left alone in a desert without any apparent means of survival is something that seems senseless. Had it been one of our liberal thinkers of today, he would have readily “re-interpreted” this command of Allah Ta’ala. Many would have at least asked: “But why must I do this?” Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) however responded very differently. He responded by doing exactly what he was told. Without any question he leaves his wife and child in the barren land and quietly turns to return. He lived up to his declaration which the Glorious Qur’an has preserved for eternity. Allah Ta’ala says: “And remember the time when your Lord said to him (Ebrahim alaihis salaam) ‘Submit!’ He (Ebrahim alaihis salaam) replied “I have submitted to the Lord of the worlds” (2:131). And indeed he submitted without any hesitation and did what many today would have termed senseless – he left his wife and child in a desert without any apparent means of survival.
COMMAND OF ALLAH TA’ALA?
As he turns to leave, his wife Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) asks in utter astonishment: “Are you going to leave us here?” This was the response of a normal human being. Anyone would have been perturbed at being left in a desert totally exposed to the elements. But her question is met with silence from Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) who was commanded not to say anything. His silence in this trying situation was also an act of submission. Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) repeated the question, but to no avail. She finally rephrases the question and asks: “Is this the command of Allah Ta’ala?” Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) indicates positively. That was all she needed to know. Without any further question she exclaims: “In that case He will not allow us to perish.” Subhanallah. What absolute submission to the command of Allah Ta’ala. No cries of “discrimination” were heard from her – as many women of our times would have done. No question was raised about whether this was “democratic.” There was no clamour for “equality”. No sooner did she come to know that she was being left in that barren place on the command of Allah Ta’ala, she fully submitted to it. No “ifs” and “buts.” No “I cannot understand this” or “it doesn’t make sense.” Nothing of the sort. Only total submission was to be seen.
When Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) was commanded to slaughter his son, he again submitted without any question and prepared himself to carry out the task. Consider this command at face value and it seems to be totally illogical. Had it been one of our enlightened modern thinkers of today, he would have certainly asked: “But what did my son do? How can I slaughter an innocent child?” Or, perhaps, he would have just gone ahead and “re-interpreted” the command. But this was Khalilullah, Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam). He proceeded to carry out the command of Allah Ta’ala without any question. When his son, the young Hazrath Ismail (alaihis salaam) becomes aware that he is soon to be slaughtered on the command of Allah Ta’ala, he immediately submits and responds: “O my father, do what you have been commanded. You will soon find me to be among the patient” (37:102). No protest. No rebellion. No question. Just total submission to the command of Allah Ta’ala.
We also have claimed to have submitted ourselves to Allah Ta’ala. Islam means “submission.” A “Muslim” is one who submits. The time has come for some sincere soul searching. To what extent have we submitted to the clear commands of Allah Ta’ala and His beloved Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? When Allah Ta’ala has declared: “O you who Believe; fear Allah and forsake what is left of interest (2:278),” do we stop and submit? When the Qur’an-e-Kareem exhorts the Believing men and women to lower their gazes, how do we respond? When Allah Ta’ala commands the women: “And remain firmly within your homes (33:33)” do we see the example of the unquestioning submission of Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) being implemented? The same question should be asked about the command of Allah Ta’ala to the Believing women to “bring close upon them their jilbaab (hijaab)” (33:55).
MUSIC ON HOLD
When we are informed that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) closed his ears at the sound of music and that he declared: “I have been sent to destroy musical instruments,” do we submit and eradicate all music out of our lives? Or do we just ignore these Ahadith and instead promote music by playing it ourselves in our homes and businesses, by having music on hold on our telephones, by installing musical doorbells, etc? Similarly, what about the injunctions pertaining to all our ibaadat, monetary affairs and social interactions?
The time has come to fully submit to the commands of Allah Ta’ala in the manner that Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) and his family have displayed. No questions about “why this?” and “why that?” No re-interpretations and no waiting to see if it “makes sense” to us. All we need to establish is what the command of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is. Then we merely need to submit to His command.
May Allah Ta’ala make us true Muslims – those who submit totally unto Him. Aameen.
The Glorious Qur’an is the eternal word of Allah Ta’ala. It is not the product of any human mind. For one who is sincerely seeking the truth, just any verse of the Glorious Qur’an is sufficient to convince him of its divine nature. For instance, consider the Qur’anic declaration about honey. At a time when modern methods of analysing the properties of food items were not even imagined, the Glorious Qur’an openly declared: “In it (honey) is cure for people” (Sura Nahl, 69). Thus this fact can only be stated by the One and Only Creator of the universe, Allah Ta’ala.
The west, however, was fourteen centuries behind time in discovering the reality of honey. It was as late as the 19th century that European scholars discovered that honey contained antiseptic properties.Until then in Europe honey was considered only as a liquid food.The following excerpt sheds some light on the remarkable qualities of this delicious medicine:
“Honey is a powerful destroyer of germs which produce human diseases. It was not until the twentieth century (late 19th century), however, that this was demonstrated scientifically. Dr. W.G. Sackett, formerly with the Colorado Agricultural College at fort Collins, attempted to prove that Honey was a carrier of disease much like milk. To his surprise, all the disease germs he introduced into pure honey were quickly destroyed. The germ that causes typhoid fever died in pure honey after 48 hours exposure. Enteritidis, causing intestinal inflammation, lived 48 hours. A hardy germ which causes broncho-pneumonia and septicemia held out for four days. Bacillus coli Communis which under certain conditions causes peritonitis, was dead on the fifth day of experiment. According to Dr. Bodog Beck, there are many germs equally destructible in honey. The reason for this bactericidal quality in honey, he said, is in its hygroscopic ability. It literally draws every particle of moisture out of germs. Germs, like any other living organism, perish without water. This power to absorb moisture is almost unlimited. Honey will draw moisture from metal, glass, and even stone rocks.”
(Rosicrucian Digest, September 1975, pg.11 — Adapted from God Arises)
“If only I had remained at home, I would not have been involved in the accident.” “If only I had come a minute earlier, I would have been able to save the child.” “If only . . . ” Often such exclamations are heard from people who have been afflicted by some calamity. They then brood over what has already happened and rebuke themselves for the incident. While Islam teaches us to be careful and to take whatever precautions are at our disposal, similarly we have been taught to believe that whatever is destined to happen will certainly take place. Nothing can stop it. Hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has warned: “Do not say “if” (with regard to something that has happened) for verily “if” sets in motion the actions of shaitaan” (Mishkaat). What this Hadith implies is that after something has already happened, by now saying “if this…” and “if that…” one will open the door to serious problems. It may lead towards falsely accusing others , or at the least towards self accusation. Self accusation could pave the way towards dejection and depression. Therefore, one should rather resign oneself to the will of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala alone in His infinite wisdom knows why something happened in the way it happened.
Indeed one should take a lesson from the past and adopt strategies to safeguard oneself in the future. However, these aspects are just the means. Allah Ta’ala alone controls everything.
The ibadah of Qurbani is among the shi’aar (distinguishing features) of Islam. Such importance has been accorded to Qurbani that a severe warning was sounded to those who shirk in performing it despite having the means. It is reported from Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He who has the means and does not perform Qurbani, he should not approach our musallah (eidgah / place of performing Eid Salaah)” (Ibn Majah, pg.226). This Hadith clearly describes the great importance that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) accorded to Qurbani. We can truly appreciate the full impact of this Hadith if we ponder for a moment what a tremendous blessing it was to perform a single salaah behind Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Here Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is prohibiting the person who failed to perform Qurbani, despite having the means, from performing the Eid salaah behind him. This, then, illustrates the tremendous importance of Qurbani in Islam and the reprehensible position of those who ignore this injunction. Hence no true Muslim who has the means will ever omit performing the Qurbani.
It is waajib (necessary) for the one who has the means (1) to perform Qurbani. It is narrated from Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) remained in Madina for ten years and each year he performed Qurbani (Tirmizi vol.1, pg.277). This Hadith indicates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) performed Qurbani every year that he was in Madina and never omitted this practice. Such strict adherence to this act is a clear indication of it being waajib. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is also reported to have said: “He who has slaughtered (his animal) before the Eid salaah should slaughter another in its place (since the first is not acceptable). He who has not slaughtered (any animal as yet for Qurbani) must do so” (Sahih Bukhari). In yet another Hadith Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: Perform Qurbani since this is the practice of your father Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) (Bazlul Majhood vol.13, pg.7).
The virtues of Qurbani are indeed tremendous. It is reported in a Hadith that the Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum) enquired of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as to what the rewards of Qurbani were. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied that the person performing Qurbani will be rewarded for every hair on the body of the animal or for every fibre of wool in the case of sheep” (Mishkaat Vol.1, pg.129).
Sacrificing the animals of Qurbani on the day of Eidul Adha is also the most beloved action to Allah Ta’ala on that day. Aisha (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The son of Adam (alaihis salaam) does not perform any action on the day of nahr (Eidul Adha) which is more beloved to Allah Ta’ala than causing the blood (of the Qurbani animals) to flow” (Tirmizi). On different occasions certain acts enjoy a superior status compared to many other forms of ibadah. On the day of Eidul Adha the sacrificing of animals has been granted this special virtue of being the most beloved action in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.
Therefore no person who has the means should forego this great ibadah. With an open heart one should spend from the wealth that Allah Ta’ala has granted and purchase the best animal that one can reasonably afford. Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) was prepared to sacrifice his son. Surely we can sacrifice some of our wealth!
(1) “Means” in this context refers to owning nisaab — the equivalent of 87,49g of gold or 613,35g of silver or its equivalent in cash or other zakatable assets which are in excess of the basic necessities of life. For more details contact the Ulama.
Q&A: The Musaafir
What is the distance which qualifies one to become a Musafir?
According to the Ahaadith a person travelling a distance of four “bareed” becomes a Musafir. The Hanafi Fuqaha have differed in the computation of four “bareed.” Similarly the verdicts of senior contemporary Ulama has also varied on this question. Several senior Ulama are of the view that the minimum distance one must intend to travel in order to be considered as a Musafir in terms of the Shariah is 88 km. Other senior Ulama are of the view that the distance is 77 km. Those who are not equipped with the in-depth knowledge of the Fiqhi (juristic) aspects should follow one reliable and well versed Aalim and take his verdict in this matter (as well as all other aspects). This was the advice given in reply to a question on this issue by the great faqih (jurist) and muhaddith of his time, Hazrath Moulana Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri (R.A.) (see Tazkiratul Khaleel, pg. 297). Thus following a well versed, reliable Aalim will be sufficient for the masses.
Differences of verdicts are not in the least bit detrimental to the unity of the Ummah, provided that they come from people who are well versed in the Qur’an and Hadith and who are also proficient in the aspects of Fiqh (jurisprudence).
Such differences occurred among the Sahaaba (R.A.) as well as the senior scholars of every era. However, making an issue of such differences and denouncing the opposing view, despite the fact that both views come from reliable scholars, causes much dissention and discord. This should be totally avoided.
Faqihul Ummah: Descipline
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Occasionally it becomes necessary to discipline the pupils. Is it permissible to hit a child for this purpose? Some children just cannot learn in any other manner.
Summary of Reply:
Imam Ghazali (R.A.) has written that the favour of the Ustaad upon the student is indeed tremendous. However, the student has done a great favour to the Ustaad for having presented his heart to the Ustaad to sow the seeds of his knowledge therein. Thus by means of the student the knowledge of the Ustaad will spread. Had it not been for the student, the knowledge of the Ustaad would have been buried with him.
The student of Deen is the guest of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). He should therefore be treated accordingly. At times he may err and the need may arise to discipline him. The example of the student in such a situation is like that of an extremely expensive garment that has been soiled and needs to be cleaned. It is obvious that great care will be taken in cleaning the garment so that it is not damaged in any way. The purpose of washing the garment is merely to clean it so that it may be worn once again, salaah could be performed therein and one may prostrate in gratitude to Allah Ta’ala in that garment. Likewise the student has to be disciplined, but with great care so that the disciplining does not cause more harm than good. Ponder over this deeply. Also ponder over the following: “To whatever extent the student errs and angers me, I have erred to a much greater extent with regard to the commands of Allah Ta’ala. If Allah Ta’ala descends his wrath upon me, what will become of me?” Also remember that each child will only gain that much which is decreed for him. Spanking the child will not change that decree. May Allah Ta’ala help you. Aameen (Maktoobaat) .
Key of the Heart
The importance of the zikr of Allah Ta’ala can never be over emphasised. The following excerpt is from a talk by Aarif Billah, Hazrath Moulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (mudda zilluhu) on this subject:
“Do not ever become negligent with regard to the zikr of Allah Ta’ala. Zikr in reality is a key that opens the locks of the heart. As a result one experiences great pleasure in the obedience of Allah Ta’ala and eagerly applies himself in this direction. However, it is also important that the teeth of this key should be in perfect condition so that the lock of the heart is opened easily without any difficulty. Keeping the teeth of the key of zikr in perfect condition means that one should engage in zikr with humility and with complete devotion and concentration. In this manner one will attain the complete benefits of zikr.
The aspect of opening the locks of the heart with the key of zikr is established from the Hadith. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to make the following dua: “O Allah, open the locks of our heart with Your zikr.”
In making the zikr of Allah Ta’ala, it is not just the quantity and number that is required. The quality of the zikr is also a fundamental objective. To the extent that one will be conscious of Allah Ta’ala while making zikr, to that extent one will derive the benefits of zikr and attain the spiritual strength and power.”
If a child makes a request, either fulfil the request the same time or, if you have refused, do not fulfil the child’s stubbornness. Even if it then obstinately demands and cries for it, do not fulfil the request under such circumstances. If you submit to the child’s obstinacy, it will develop this habit.” Hakimul Ummah (R.A.)