- The Gift of Me’raj
- Allah Ta’ala’s Fascinating Creation the Caterpillar
- Is Your Child Gambling
- Q&A: Imaam of Taraweeh
- Faqihul Ummah: Protecting the Gaze
- Correct your Sajdah
The Gift of Me’raj
On the the twenty seventh of Rajab the Musjids will be full. People will gather to listen to talks being delivered regarding the great incident of Me’raj. After the talks are over, by and large we return home with the miracle of Me’raj and its message forgotten until the following year.
Unlike us, the Sahaaba (R.A.) and Tabi’een (those who came after the Sahaaba) never set aside any particular day for the discussion of the incident of Me’raj. Hence even the Fuqaha (jurists) of the first century differed with regard to the actual date when Me’raj occurred (see Fathul Bari-vol.7, pg.203 and Ruhul Ma’ani-vol.15, pg.6). The Sahaaba (R.A.) and the Tabi’een (R.A.) had no need to set aside any particular day for this discussion. They regularly and frequently discussed the Ahadith with regard to all aspects of the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). They lived the message of Me’raj every day of their lives.
While there are many aspects that are related to Me’raj, the most important thing that pertains to us daily is the gift that was granted to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) on the occasion of Me’raj. When Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) proceeded to the seven heavens and beyond and met His Rabb, Allah Ta’ala, he was granted the gift of Salaah. Such was the importance of Salaah that its injunction was not revealed while Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) walked on the earth. Rather it was saved for this special occasion beyond the seven heavens. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) also greatly explained its importance throughout his life – to the extent that his parting advice when he left this world was with regard to upholding the injunction of Salaah.
When we gather to discuss the occasion of Me’raj, we should take stock of our Salaah – the gift of Me’raj. Firstly, are we performing our five Salaah daily? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The one who misses one Salaah, it is as if he has lost all his family and property.” Thus, do I commence my day with missing Fajar? Do I remember the gift of Me’raj at the time of Fajar? At the time of Fajar do I remember the impassioned plea of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as he parted from this world with regard to upholding the injunction of Salaah?
The same should be considered with regard to Zuhar and Asr – when the tills are ringing and with regard to Maghrib and Esha when other distractions are in the way.
Furthermore how do I perform my Salaah? Is it in the manner that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) performed it or is it performed haphazardly and in extreme haste? Have I gained concentration in Salaah? Also, do I perform it with Jamaat (which is waajib for adult males) in the Musjid? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “By that Being who has control over my life, I intend gathering some firewood. I would then instruct somebody to call out the Azaan and perform the Salaah while I go and set fire to the homes of those people who perform their Salaah in their houses without any proper excuse” (Bukhari).
Hazrath Ibne Mas’ood (R.A.) says: “The one who wishes to meet Allah Ta’ala as a Muslim on the Day of Judgement should be punctual in the performance of his Salaah on hearing the Azaan. Allah Ta’ala has prescribed the clear ways of guidance for His Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). These Salaah too are among those ways of guidance. If you too will adopt the way of those who perform their Salaah at their homes, you will be abandoning the way of Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), hence you would be led astray. The one who performs wudhu and leaves for the Musjid, for every step he takes he gets one reward, one of his sins are forgiven and his stages are elevated in Jannah. In the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) only an open hypocrite would not join the Jamaat. Even a sick person would be carried by two people and brought to the Musjid to perform his Salaah with Jamaat” (Ibid).
Salaah is not only an injunction of Allah Ta’ala and a responsibility and duty upon His servants, it is also a means of acquiring one’s worldly needs. It is a means of averting calamities and hardships. It is reported in a Hadith that whenever any matter perturbed Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) he immediately resorted to Salaah. The Sahaaba (R.A.) sought the solution to any problem by first resorting to Salaah. When discussing Me’raj, we need to take stock of how much we resort to the gift of Me’raj to solve our problems and difficulties.
SUMMITS AND SEMINARS
While there are many reasons for the present pitiful condition of the Ummah throughout the world, one of the main reasons is the neglect of this fundamental injunction of Deen. While our conferences, summits, workshops and seminars may come up with many worthy resolutions, it is of prior importance that an all out effort is made to bring the entire Ummah onto the punctual performance of the five daily Salaah (in the correct manner with all its etiquette being observed). Without this it will be wishful thinking to expect the degradation of the Ummah to change for the better. With the proper fulfilment of Salaah and all the other injunctions of Deen, the help of Allah Ta’ala will be with us. Then minimal effort will make us victorious and gain us the best of both worlds.
Allah Ta’ala’s Fascinating Creation the Caterpillar
What would you do if you had 450-500 eggs that you had to keep outside? It would no doubt be wisest to take the necessary precautions that will prevent them from being scattered and strewn with the effects of natural causes like wind. Hence, the silkworm which is among the animals that lay the highest number of eggs (450-500) at once, apply very wise methods to preserve its eggs. The silkworm prevents its eggs from being scattered or strewed by attaching them to each other with an adhesive material (string) it secrets.
The caterpillars that leave their eggs will find an appropriate branch for themselves and will stick to that branch with the same string. Then they begin to build a cocoon with the string they secrete to get developed in it. It will take 3-4 days of non-stop working for the new born caterpillar to finish this process. During this period the caterpillar would turn around thousands of times and secrete approximately 900-1500 m. long strings. With the end of this process, the caterpillar, without any break, will begin the metamorphosis process which will turn itself into a beautiful, charming butterfly.
Neither the precautions that the mother silkworm takes in order to preserve its young, nor the attitude of the little caterpillar, unaware of anything and which does not have any experience or knowledge can be explained by evolution. First of all, the string secreted by the mother silkworm to protect its young has a miraculous structure on its own. The baby caterpillar that builds a cocoon appropriate to its surroundings, and the metamorphosis process that begins all of a sudden and ends without any problem is beyond the limits of human understanding. Under these circumstances we can definitely say that every caterpillar is born knowing what to do; this means every one of them is “taught” to do what they do.
Let us clarify this miracle with another example: What would you think if you see a new born human baby, standing up just one or two hours after his birth and beginning to gather the materials needed to prepare a bed (quilt, pillow, cushion, etc.), and what would you think if you see this new born baby succeeding in making his own bed?
After you throw off your bewilderment, the most logical result that you can reach is that the baby is “trained” to do these somehow in his mothers womb in an extraordinary way. The case of the caterpillars are in fact no different from the above mentioned baby.
This would again take us to the same result: all these living beings are born, behave and live just as the way their Creator, Allah Ta’ala created and designed them. Qur’an announces that Allah had revealed to the honeybee and had commanded the honeybee to produce honey (Sura Nahl, 68-69). This announces an example of a giant secret of life. This secret states the fact that, all living creatures are submitted to Allah’s will and follow the faith designated by Allah. The honeybee produces honey and the silkworm produces silk for this very reason… (HARUN YAHYA)
Is your Child Gambling
Gambling is a social evil which the Qur’an has clearly forbidden. While for a Muslim this is sufficient, even the kuffaar have realised the harm of gambling. The suffering of the millions of losers is easily understood. However, even the winners suffer greatly. Western surveys have found that those who have won much money in national lotteries, their lives suddenly turned into turmoil for various reasons. It is for this very reason that the organisers of the South African lottery offer free “counselling” for the winners! The losers can cry alone.
Gambling starts at a very young age in seemingly innocent ways. Presently the craze is some little plastic discs which come in packets of chips. Besides the hideous pictures on the disc which is sure to keep the angels away and to even give the children nightmares, children are gambling with these discs. They are used in a “game” where the winner takes away the disc of the loser. This is indeed gambling (refer Durre Manthur 3:564). The same applies to similar games that children play with marbles. Let us not fall into the trap of Shaitaan and follow the kuffaar headlong in every silly thing they do. Let us also educate our children and save them from gambling — as well as from becoming victims of the cheap money making gimmicks of the kuffaar.
Q&A: Imaam of Taraweeh
We have commenced with the selection process for Huffaaz to perform Taraweeh in our Musjid. Some differences have arisen in this regard with some people wanting to appoint a particular Hafiz since he recites the Qur’an Shareef beautifully while others are objecting to his appointment due to the fact that he trims his beard and allows his trousers to flow below his ankles. The issue has become quite contentious. Kindly guide us in this matter.
Salaah is among the greatest forms of Ibaadat. It is a means of communicating with Allah Ta’ala. When performing Salaah one should consider himself as standing in the Court of Allah Ta’ala. When the Salaah is being performed in Jamaat, the Imaam is the representative of the congregation in his communication with Allah Ta’ala. It is therefore necessary that such a person be appointed as the Imaam who has the basic qualities of an Imaam. Among these qualities are:
1. He must be upright and pious.
2. He must be able to recite the Qur’an correctly.
3. He must know the basic masaa’il of Deen pertaining to Taharah, Salaah, etc.
4. He must be one who knows the Sunnah and practices upon it.
5. He must not be one who openly commits sins.
6. He must at all times be humble.
NOT “JUST A SUNNAH”
The Fuqaha (jurists) have unanimously regarded the shaving or trimming of the beard to less than a fist length as an open sin. The beard is not “just a Sunnat” (such a statement is extremely dangerous for one’s Imaan as it trivialises the sunnah). According to all the four Imaams of fiqh it is waajib to keep a beard to the extent of one fist length. This compulsion of keeping a beard has been derived from various Ahadith wherein Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has given the imperative command of lengthening the beard.
When this is the injunction for ordinary Muslims, it becomes even more important and significant for an Imaam. Hence due to the great stress in the Ahadith on having a lengthened beard, the Fuqaha have stated that it is makrooh tahrimi to appoint such a person as the Imaam who shaves off his beard or trims it to less than one fist length. Makrooh tahrimi is a category that is next to Haraam, therefore a makrooh tahrimi action is also forbidden. If one who shaves his beard is nevertheless appointed as the Imaam, the Salaah of the muqtadies (followers) will be makrooh. However, the burden of the deficiency in the Salaah of the entire congregation will be upon the Imaam and upon those who appointed him to lead the Salaah.
Let alone the one who continues to shave or trim his beard, it is also makrooh to appoint such a person as the Imaam who has since repented from this sin until such a time that his beard once again grows to the required length (Fatawa Mahmoodia-vol.7, pg.43).
Likewise it is also makrooh tahrimi to allow one’s pants to flow below the ankles at any time, whether in Salaah or outside it. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “Beware of lowering your pants below your ankles for verily that is due to pride. And Allah Ta’ala does not love pride” (Abu Dawood). The Salaah that is performed by a person whose pants are below his ankles is makrooh.
Therefore the Hafiz described in your question should not be appointed to lead the Taraweeh Salaah eventhough he may be able to recite the Qur’an excellently. In fact the Hafiz in question should take pity upon himself and refrain from becoming the Imaam since if he does lead the congregation he will be taking upon himself the burden of the deficiency in the salaah of the entire congregation. Nobody can afford to do this — especially in the month of Ramadhaan. (For a more detailed discussion on this aspect, refer to the booklet “Dear Hafiz” which is available from the Madrasah @R4.00 including postage and packaging).
Faqihul Ummah: Protecting the Gaze
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
I am entrapped in the disease of casting lustful glances at women. Kindly give me some advice to remedy this situation.
Summary of Reply:
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
If the glance falls unintentionally, no sin has been incurred. However, to continue looking and derive pleasure from that glance is an illness which requires treatment. The treatment is to immediately close the shutters that Allah Ta’ala has created above and below the eyes. Furthermore, sit in solitude, close your eyes and meditate: “If my Ustaad or Sheikh was present will I cast any lustful glance? Never! How then can I cast lustful glances in the presence of Allah Ta’ala – that Being who knows the deception of the eyes and what the hearts conceal.” Also keep in mind the warning that has been mentioned in the Hadith for casting lustful glances. It is reported that molten lead will be poured into the eyes of such people.
One pious person states: “While making tawaaf of the Haram Shareef, I saw a person who had only one eye. He was continuously making the following dua: “O Allah I seek refuge in You from Yourself.” I asked him the reason for this strange dua. He replied: “For the past twelve years I had been in I’tikaaf in the Haram Shareef. One day my glance fell upon a woman who was making tawaaf. I became enchanted by her beauty and looked at her again. From the unseen a hand appeared and slapped me in such a manner that my one eye fell off. When I screamed in pain, a voice said to me: “This is the retribution for one glance. If you had continued further, we too would have taken further action.” Hence from that day I continuously make this dua: “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from Yourself.” (Tarbiyatut Taalibeen – pg.218)