Contents:

Cause and Effect

This world is known to be darul-asbaab – a place where means are resorted to. The general system of this world is such that when the particular means are adopted, Allah Ta’ala brings into existence the result or effect which is associated with that means. Thus the phenomenon of cause and effect is apparent all around us.

The cause and effect relationship is easily understood in day to day affairs. It is apparent in fire and the effect of burning. Water and the effect of quenching thirst and food and the effect of satisfying hunger also exhibit the same principle. This is clear and well understood by one and all. However, this general system of cause and effect is not restricted to fire and food or to other such mundane aspects. It extends beyond this to the relationship between our actions and the conditions that prevail upon us. It is this relationship that is analysed here, especially in the light of current world events and the general condition of the Ummah all over.

 ACTIONS

The Ahadith are replete with warnings that certain actions will bring certain specific conditions. In other words these particular actions are a cause which will bring about an effect. In a concise Hadith narrated by Hazrath Abu Hurairah (R.A.) Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said:

  1. “When the spoils of war (or other possessions which are jointly owned by many people) will be regarded as personal property.
  2. When Amaanat (trust) will be treated like booty (i.e. the trustees themselves will usurp the Amaanat).
  3. When Zakaat will be regarded as a tax (this refers to it being treated as a burden i.e. the 2½% that has to be discharged will seem to be a mountain).
  4. When knowledge of Deen will be sought for purposes other than Deen (i.e. it will instead be acquired for worldly benefits).
  5. When a person will obey his wife (in things that contradict Shari’ah) and will disobey his mother (in permissible things).
  6. When the friend will be close to one and the father will be kept far away (i.e. the father will be treated like a stranger).
  7. When voices will be raised in the Musjid (in personal talk. Worldly talk is not permitted in the Musjid at all. Even permissible conversations must be in a hushed tone even though nobody else is there who could be disturbed).
  8. When the sinners will become leaders.
  9. When the leader of a people will be the most worthless among them.
  10. When a person will be honoured merely out of fear for his evil.
  11. When singing girls and musical instruments will become rife.
  12. When liquor (intoxicants) will be consumed (openly).
  13. When the latter part of this Ummah will curse the first part of the Ummah (this is the hallmark of the Shia who curse and insult the Sahaaba
    [R.A.]).

THEN AWAIT VIOLENT WINDS, EARTHQUAKES, PEOPLE BEING SWALLOWED UP BY THE EARTH, DISFIGUREMENT, STONES RAINING FROM THE SKY AND OTHER SIGNS WHICH WILL FOLLOW ONE AFTER ANOTHER LIKE BEADS OF A NECKLACE FOLLOWING ONE AFTER ANOTHER WHEN THE STRING IS CUT” (Tirmizi).

While the abovementioned aspects have occurred in most of the previous generations as well, this Hadith actually warns that the mentioned punishments will befall this Ummah when these vices will become extremely common.

 SINGING GIRLS AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

While every word of the Hadith is evident and as clear as daylight, let us consider just one aspect and analyse how rife it has become. Singing girls have become a part of most homes. At a flick of a switch the house has become a cinema. Singing girls “grace” the screen — and disgrace us in the sight of Allah Ta’ala and His beloved Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Yet most people do not even give it a second thought. As for musical instruments, even the house of Allah Ta’ala has not been spared. A cellullar phone rings and, Allah Forbid, music pollutes the atmosphere of the Musjid. From the various other ringing tones that are available, the follower of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) deliberately sets it to ring with a musical tone, thus making the phone also a musical instrument. In the process we are inviting the wrath of Allah Ta’ala upon us, the effect which has been mentioned in the Hadith.

In another Hadith included among the list of vices which will bring down the aforementioned punishments are the following:

* People will forsake Salaah
* Blood will be spilt over trivial things
* Interest will be consumed
* Family ties will be severed
* Divorce will increase drastically
* Leaders and ministers will become accustomed to lying
* A woman will join her husband in his business
* The Qur’an will be sung like musical songs     (Durrul Manthoor)

NEW DISEASES

We are presently living in an era where the depths of immorality have been labelled as “art.” The evil of the despicable crime of zina has almost departed from many hearts as a result of which this grievous sin is committed openly. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “When zina will become widespread, the rate of death will increase. When people will indulge in lewd and immoral behaviour, such diseases will befall them which their forefathers have never heard of” (Targheeb). This Hadith requires no elaboration. All around alarm bells are being sounded about AIDS spreading like wildfire. No vaccine will ever stop it. The abandoning of immoral behaviour and zina will halt it in its tracks.

 FAMILY TIES

Among the other aspects mentioned in the Ahadith which highlight the same cause and effect relationship are the following:

* Cheating in weight and measure brings drought, poverty and hardship. Tyrant rulers become the leaders of such people (Mishkaat).

* Cutting off of family ties deprives one of the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala (Mishkaat).

* The wealth which was due for Zakaat but was not discharged destroys the remaining wealth (Mishkaat).

* Not straightening the rows in Salaah causes dissension and disunity (Mishkaat).

 DUAS REJECTED

Dua is the weapon of the Believer. It draws down the help of Allah Ta’ala. Yet certain actions cause the dua to become ineffective. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “By that being in whose hands is my life, you must most certainly enjoin the right and you must certainly forbid the wrong or else soon a punishment will befall you. You will then supplicate to Allah Ta’ala but your duas will not be answered.” Let us consider to what extent do we fulfil this injunction of Amarbil-ma’roof (enjoining the right) and nahy-anil-munkar (forbidding the evil) in our own houses and to those upon whom we have some authority. Can we then expect our duas to be answered?

 POSITIVE EFFECTS

The above has detailed to some extent the negative causes that bring negative effects. The converse is also true. Obedience to Allah Ta’ala, charity, good character, maintaining family ties, shukr (gratitude), etc., have the effect of great barakah and blessing in this world. The rewards in the Hereafter are beyond imagination. The point is clear. Just as we do not place our finger in the fire because it will burn us, we should refrain from all the vices — since they bring down calamities and hardship in this world and the Hereafter.


Supplication

Allah Ta’ala declares: “Call unto me and I will answer you.” While the effect of dua is tremendously enhanced by fulfilling all the etiquettes (such as being with wudhu, facing the qibla, etc.) dua nevertheless can be made at any time and place. Indeed even while walking, driving or merely relaxing, or while a woman may be doing her cooking or other housework,  one could make dua directly from the heart — without raising the hands and without even moving the tongue.

 DIRECT CONVERSATION

This “conversation” with Allah Ta’ala directly from the heart also strengthens the bond and connection with Allah Ta’ala. The complete awareness of Allah Ta’ala gradually becomes a constant condition. Thus dua, the essence of Ibaadah, should become an integral part of ever day of a Believers life.

When one has the opportunity to sit and make dua, the following etiquettes should be observed:

* Face the Qibla.

* Raise the hands upto the chest. Both palms should be open towards the face and held slightly apart.

* Commence the dua with the praises of Allah Ta’ala and followed by Durood Sharief upon Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

* Cry while making dua or at least adopt the appearance of a crying person.

* On the termination of the dua pass the hands over the face.

Among the things which prevent the acceptance of duas is the consumption of Haraam. It is also reported in a Hadith that Allah Ta’ala does not listen to the dua of an inattentive heart.

There are various special times and places when duas are readily accepted. Among the special times that are available to us daily is the time after the Fardh salaah and the last portion of the night.


Q&A: Wills

Question:

Among other aspects, my deceased father’s will also contains the following directives:

1. He has left behind the house to my mother.

2. He left his shop to my two brothers who had been assisting him in the business for more than 8 years.

3. One of my brothers who had left the family after a dispute and who had no contact with my father for many years has been excluded and disowned.

4. The will states that the estate must not be wound-up until the youngest child (my sister) does not turn 21. She is presently 17 years old.

Kindly advise as to the position of the above in the light of Shariah.

 Answer:

Before dealing with the specific clauses mentioned in your father’s will, it is important to understand some fundamental aspects pertaining to the Islamic law of inheritance.

In Shariah a person does not have a free hand in disposing of his estate. He has to abide by the laws of the Qur’an and Hadith. Allah Ta’ala in His infinite wisdom has predetermined the shares of each heir. Thus any will which is drawn contrary to these directives is not valid. To execute such a will is also not permissible. The one who receives any portion of the estate in terms of the will which he is not entitled to according to Shariah is usurping the property of others. This not only destroys the barakah of his other halaal wealth, it also brings severe consequences in the Hereafter if not rectified before death.

 AUTOMATIC HEIR

In terms of the Islamic law of inheritance it is not permissible to make a wasiyyat (bequest) for an automatic heir. The wife of the deceased and his children automatically inherit in his estate. Thus the bequest that the house should be given to your mother, or that the shop which belonged to your father be given to your brothers only, is null and void. Both the house and shop will be inherited by all the heirs according to their respective ratios stated in the Qur’an and Hadith.


 DISOWNING HEIR

It is also not permissible to exclude any heir or disown him. Despite what is stated in the will, the estranged son of the deceased has already become an owner of the assets of the estate to the extent of his Shar’i share. The executors of the estate must ensure that the estranged son also receives his rightful share. If they wilfully uphold this invalid clause, they will also be sinful.

The directive to wind-up the estate only when the youngest child is 21 is unislamic. The heirs are deprived of their rightful property for years without any valid reason. Thus the estate should be wound up immediately.


Inconvenience

The Ahadith greatly stress the importance of not causing inconvenience to the next person. However, often knowingly or unwittingly, we inconvenience others and do not even consider that we have acted contrary to the Hadith. Such inconvenience occurs in various ways, in the home, in public, at the Musjid and at other places. While not restricted to this, one of the very common forms of inconvenience to others is by means of the odour of cigarettes. This is especially important since not only humans are affected by its odour but even the angels are inconvenienced. It is reported in a Hadith that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Those who have eaten (raw) onions or garlic should not come to the Musjid (ie. they should first totally remove the smell and then come to the Musjid)”( Mishkaat pg.70). This is specifically due to the offensive smell. The following Hadith makes this absolutely evident. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “Whoever has eaten from these foul-smelling trees (onion and garlic) should not come close to our Musjid (before  removing the odour) for verily the angels also are annoyed and irritated by those things which annoy and irritate humans” (Bukhari, Muslim & Mishkaat pg. 69). Hence to enter the Musjid with the offensive smell of cigarettes in one’s mouth is indeed extremely reprehensible moreso because it also disturbs the pure angels of Allah Ta’ala.

At times when marital disputes are handled, among the complaints of the wife is that she is greatly inconvenienced by the smoking of the husband and its resultant odour. However, to keep the peace it is patiently tolerated.

HARMING ONESELF

Apart from inconveniencing others, the smoker also harms himself and others. Consider the following facts on smoking:

Tobacco smoke, whether inhaled directly (mainstream smoke) or indirectly (sidestream smoke from the burning end of the cigarette), contains more than 200 toxic (poisonous) and 43 carcinogenic (cancer-producing) substances.  Some of the poisonous substances inhaled in cigarette smoke are:

1. Carbon Monoxide: This is an extremely poisonous gas. Carbon monoxide prevents haemoglobin (the oxygen carrying substance in the blood) from supplying oxygen to the body. A general lack of energy is the result.

2. Nicotine: This is an insecticide and useful as an agent in the tanning of hides. A mere 50mg of nicotine can kill a person if injected directly into the arteries. A smoker takes in upto 2 milligrams of nicotine per cigarette.

3. Tar: It is the same substance used for the surfacing of roads. Besides clogging the lungs, it also makes the teeth yellow, causes tooth decay and inflammation of the gums.

4. Arsenic: It is a deadly poison. Prolonged low-dose exposure causes cancer. Many rat poisons, insecticides and weed killers contain arsenic.


Faqihul Ummah: Smoking and Photographs

Summary of Letter:

باسمه تعالى
Respected Mufti Saheb
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

1. I am trying to give up smoking but I do not seem to be able to give it up?

2. Previously in my ignorance I had photographs taken of myself. Some of these are in my possession while some are in the possession of others. What should I do with those photographs?

3. I always over-eat. How can I stop this?

 Summary of Reply:

باسمه تعالى
Respected Brother/Sister

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

1. To give up your habit of smoking adopt the following procedure: Immediately cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke daily by a quarter. After one week cut it down by another quarter. In this manner each week reduce it by quarter. Insha-Allah you will then manage to give up this habit.

2. Burn the photographs that you have in your possession. Also acquire those photographs which are in the possession of others and burn them. If they refuse to give it to you, buy it from them and burn them.

3. Fix the amount that you require to eat before hand and eat that much only. Do not eat to your full. One should stop eating when just a little hunger is still left.


 

Taking a Chance

Are you taking a chance? A new game of chance which is becoming very common and popular is the “Teddy Bear Machine.” Some coins are first deposited into the machine. This activates a mechanical device for a limited time in the machine which the “player” controls  in an attempt to grab a teddy bear from inside. Sometimes he manages to get it and at times he leaves empty handed. This is clearly gambling and therefore haraam.

RULE

The rule is that if one pays money for something that depends on a chance, it is gambling. Thus Muslims should strictly refrain from playing such machines or keeping them at their businesses.


 

Removing Rust

Hazrath Abdullah Ibne Umar (R.A.) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The hearts get rusted as does iron with water. When someone asked: “What would cleanse hearts again?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Frequent rememberance of death and recitation of Qur’an.”


Durood Shareef

Hazrath Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily the nearest of people to me on the day of Qiyamah will be those who recited most durood on me” (Tirmizi and Ibn Hibbaan).

Hazrath Anas (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “On the day of Qiyamah the one from amongst you who shall at all times be nearest to me shall be he who reads much durood on me.”

Tabrani also reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever recites durood on me in the morning ten times and in the evening ten times, for him shall be my intercession on the day of Qiyamah.”

Imam Mustaghfiri (R.A.) reports: “Whoever recites one hundred times durood daily, one hundred of his needs shall be fulfilled, thirty in this world and the rest in the Hereafter.”

Another Hadith says: “Recite durood on me plentifully for verily it shall be a light in the darkness on the siraat, and whoever desires that his deeds should weigh heavily on the scales, let him recite much durood.”