A lighthouse stands tall during the day and during the night. Just like a lighthouse we should stand tall and firm in our times of darkness and our times of light. We should stand strong and follow our principles whether the times around us are great and happy or dark and difficult. It is easy to say we believe in ALLAH, subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He), and trust Him when the going is easy, but when things begin to fall apart that is one of the true tests of faith. Those are the moments where our faith is tested, and we show our true beliefs. Cathy Briant really brings this point home when she says:
“I can say that I trust this pulpit to hold me up, but that’s not really trust. Trust is active. Only when I lean my weight against the pulpit is my trust proved. It’s the same with God. Only when we lean against Him—and not our own understanding—is our faith proved.”
Dwight L. Moody has a beautiful quote about lighthouses that brings light to another praiseworthy aspect of lighthouses. He says:
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining—they just shine.”
When you do something great or begin to help other people out, there is no need to bring people’s attention to your good deeds. You just do them. Be amazing. Be great. ALLAH (subhanahu wa ta’ala) takes notice, and it will not be left unrewarded. It should not matter whether the people notice or not, as the people’s opinions are not what matters, His (subhanahu wa ta’ala) opinion is what matters. Do not erase your good deeds by doing it for the pleasure of others or by bragging and showing off. Allow His (subhanahu wa ta’ala) light to enter you, and you will inevitably shine.
An interesting thing about lighthouses is that that no two lighthouses are built exactly the same. They differ in position, size, height and even color. Yet regardless of how they look, they are a tremendous benefit to anyone at sea. Just like a lighthouse, be who you are.
Be yourself. ALLAH (subhanahu wa ta’ala) did not place us on this earth so that we could be cookie cutter images of one another (i.e drones). He created us each as individuals so that we could fill the world with diversity, each bringing a different benefit to humanity, each fulfilling our own destiny.
Lastly, lighthouses shine their light to help and calm captains out there who may have lost their way. They fill those people away from the shore with peace and ease. They are always there, whenever they are needed and can be depended on by anyone and everyone. Lighthouses do not ask for anything in return. They do not charge you a fee if they have been of help. They do not only offer their services when you fulfill some specific duty—they are there, unconditionally.
Be the lighthouse for those around you. Be there whenever they need you. Be the shoulder they need to cry on. Be the person who will warn them of eminent danger. Be the person who will remind them that the ocean of their fears will come to an end and a warm sandy beach is nearer than they think.
ALLAH (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says that He has filled this world with signs for us, if only we take the time to think. So it is time we think about the things around us, such as a simple structure, like a lighthouse. It is time we begin to take steps forward to become the beacons of lights in others’ lives. And do not ever think you could never be of benefit of others because you are “unworthy”—it is not your light you are shining anyway, it is His (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Allow His (subhanahu wa ta’ala) Love and His Light to enter you, and shine forth asking nothing from the people and everything from Him. Be the lighthouse you were meant to be, and shine on.
Wudhu is such a beautiful thing.
It is done so that we can purify ourselves before we stand for prayer in front of Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. It is one of the conditions of the prayer and without it our salah will not be valid.
But usually we do it so routinely, without giving it much thought……a swift washing of our hands and feet, a quick splish splash on the face, a fast wipe over the head and we’re done.
And wudhu gets even more neglected when we are tired, sleepy or in a rush.
But there is more to wudhu than just being a condition for worship. There is something that makes it more than just a routine thing before prayer……something higher and more complete….something that most of us neglect or overlook.
And that is…..that the very act of wudhu is a form of worship in itself.
Just Imagine! Every time you do wudhu, you’re worshipping Allaah! What a blessing indeed!
Wudhu can increase your Imaan
Through the simple act of performing wudhu you can get closer to Allaah….you can increase your Imaan and strengthen your faith, you can intensify your love for Allaah and His Messenger (Sal Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam)…and you can have your sins forgiven.
And how can one do all that?
It’s simple. Every time you make wudhu, be conscious of Allaah, your Rabb, and remember that it is Him, Who ordered you to perform wudhu in the first place.
And you are carrying out His Orders, His Command….you are obeying Him. And you love to obey Him. So be conscious of your obedience to Him and thank Him for enabling you to carry out His Command as He says:
(O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salât (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles) [Surah Maidah:6]
This will increase your love for Allaah, and strengthen your Imaan….and improve your relationship with Him. It will make you more conscious of Him when you stand in front of Him in prayer and give you more Khushoo’.
Wudhu can increase your love for the Sunnah
And every time you perform wudhu, also be conscious of the fact that you are following the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). It is the same way he did wudu….. the Prophet that you love and honor and respect….and it is his Sunnah that you love to follow. Not only will Allaah reward you for following His Messenger (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam), but it will also increase your love for the Sunnah as well.
Wudhu will expiate sins
The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
“He who performs wudhu like this wudu of mine and then offered two rak’ahs of prayer without allowing his thoughts to be distracted, all his previous sins are expiated.” (Muslim)
So the key to sins being expiated is performing wudhu like the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) and then praying. Because wudhu expiates sins.
He (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) also said:
“When the Muslim or believing slave does wudhu and washes his face, every wrong thing that he looked at with his eyes comes out from his face with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every wrong thing that he did with his hands comes out from his hands with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his feet every wrong thing that he walked to with his feet comes out from his feet with the water or with the last drop of water, until he emerges cleansed of sin.” (Muslim)
Bright faces, hands and feet
Whenever you do wudhu, think of the People who will have bright hands and faces on the Day of Resurrection and know that if you try to do wudhu properly, sincerely for the sake of pleasing Allaah, then He will make you among those fortunate ones.
The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
“(On the Day of Resurrection) You will have distinctive marks “Al-Ghurr-ul-Muhajjalun” which nobody among the peoples (except you) will have; you would come to me (at the Cistern of al-Kauthar) with blazing forehead and bright hands and feet on account of the traces of ablution.” (Muslim)
Wudhu is sign of the believer
Try and maintain your wudhu at all times as this is a sign of a believer. The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
“Only the believer will remain with his wudhu (sustaining it at all times).” (Saheeh al-Jamee)
And even if you have difficulty in doing wudhu, like cold weather, or any other situation that makes wudhu difficult, still try your best to maintain it, since there is tremendous reward.
The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
“Shall I not tell you something by which Allah effaces the sins and elevates ranks (in Jannah)?” The Companions said; “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “Performing the Wudhu thoroughly in spite of difficult circumstances, walking with more paces to the mosque, and waiting for the next prayer after observing a prayer; and that is mindfulness. (Muslim)
Use the Siwaak
Don’t forget the Siwaak. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) loved to use it and highly encouraged us to do the same.
Ibn Mas’ood said: “I used to gather siwaak sticks from the araak tree for the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh).” (Ahmad–hasan).
He (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
“Were it not for the fact that I did not want to make things too hard for my ummah, I would have commanded them to use the Siwaak at every time of prayer.” (Bukhaari)
Say the Sunnah duas after wudhu
When you finish wudhu, be sure and say the Sunnah duas that the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) taught us to say AFTER we are done with wudhu.
Remember there are NO duas to be said during wudhu. There is nothing proven about that from the authentic Sunnah. Just START your wudhu with Bismillaah and when you are DONE, then say the following:
أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu was rasooluhu.
(Meaning: I bear witness that there is no god except Allaah alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.) (Muslim)
اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنَ التَّوَّابِينَ وَاجْعَلْنِي مِنَ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
Allaahumm aj’alni min al-tawwaabeena waj’alni min al-mutatahhireena
(Meaning: O Allaah, make me one of those who repent and make me one of those who purify themselves). (Tirmidhi-Saheeh by Albaani)
سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ، أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ
Subhaanaka Allaahumma wa bi hamdika, ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka
(Meaning: Glory and praise be to You, O Allaah, I bear witness that there is no god but You, I seek Your forgiveness and I repent to You) (al-Nasaa’i, etc.- Saheeh by Albaani)
Wiping the neck in wudhu is NOT part of the Sunnah
“There is no saheeh report from the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) which says that he wiped his neck during wudoo’, rather no such thing has been narrated from him in any saheeh hadeeth. Rather the saheeh ahaadeeth which describe the wudoo’ of the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) do not mention that he wiped his neck. Hence the majority of scholars did not regard that as mustahabb. Those who say that it is mustahabb rely on a a da’eef (weak) hadeeth which says that he wiped his head until he reached the back of his head. Such reports cannot be relied on, and it does not contradict what is indicated by the sound ahaadeeth. Whoever does not wipe his neck, his wudoo’ is valid according to scholarly consensus.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa)
“There is no saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about wiping the neck at all.” (Zaad al-Ma’aad)
And Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:
“It is not mustahabb or prescribed in sharee’ah to wipe the neck, rather the head and the ears only are to be wiped, as is indicated by the Qur’aan and Sunnah.” (Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz)
So every single time you perform wudhu, do it sincerely for the sake of Allaah, expecting a reward from Him, asking Him to accept it from you, hoping that He will forgive you and do it according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam).
May Allaah make us among those who purify themselves for His sake, physically as well spiritually. Aameen.
And Allaah knows best]]>
Fatima saw her sister’s kids straying from the guidance of Allaah. She became very concerned.
After all, those kids were like her own. She loved them dearly and wanted to save them from any sin they might fall into. Knowing that she will not have much control over the kids themselves, she decided to talk to her sister directly and advise her sincerely for the sake of Allaah about what she saw the kids doing.
But, instead of appreciating Fatima’s sincerity and understanding the motherly concern she had for her kids, her sister exploded. “Mind your own business!” she said. “This has nothing to do with you! Stop talking about my kids! Look at your own and what they are doing!” she shouted.
“But….but….” Fatima tried to explain.
“But what? Stop ‘judging’ us! I am sick and tired of you picking on my kids! And if we are so ‘bad’ in your eyes, leave us alone! From this day on, I don’t want to have anything to do with you! ”
Sad and hurt, she withdrew…..tears rolling down her eyes. She wasn’t ‘picking’ on her sister or her kids nor was she ‘judging’ them. All she wanted to do was to prevent them from committing haraam and prevent them from falling into sin.
Where did she go wrong? she thought to herself as she wiped her tears. She looked over her own action carefully. Did she cross the limits set by Allaah when advising her sister? She had followed the etiquettes defined by the Sharee’ah when enjoining good and forbidding evil.
She had always been very sincere and loving to her sister and her kids. She had advised her sister in a kind and soft manner. She wasn’t ever harsh with her. She tried to use hikmah, kindness and wisdom. She spoke to her sister in private so she doesn’t feel offended or insulted.
And whatever she advised her sister, she had always tried to implement that for herself and her family as well. It’s not like she is advising something to her sister and not practicing it herself. Then why did her sister react in this manner? she wondered. What made her sister so angry and defensive?
Isn’t it a duty of every Muslim to speak up against an evil, if he sees one? Isn’t it an order of Allaah?
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” [Surah Aal ‘Imraan:104]
Did my sister forget that enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil is one of the greatest principles of Islam? In fact, some scholars regard it as one of the pillars of Islam.
And didn’t the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) say,
“Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)
“And especially if it is my own sister’s kids?” Fatima said to herself, exasperated. How could she see her own loved ones do wrong and not say anything?!!
And what about what Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said:
“The believing men and women enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and the believer does not keep quiet. If he sees his brother committing an evil, he denounces him. Similarly, if he sees his sister, paternal aunt, maternal aunt or anyone else committing an evil action, he tells them not to do that. If he sees his brother in faith or his sister in faith falling short in some duty, he denounces him for that, and enjoins him to do what is good. All of that is to be done with kindness and wisdom, and good manners.”
If the believer sees one of his brothers in faith being lazy in praying, or engaging in backbiting or gossip, or smoking or drinking, or disobeying one or both of his parents, or severing the ties of kinship, he denounces him in kind words and with good manners, not with hateful words and harshness, and he explains to him that it is not permissible for him to do this thing.
All of these evils must be denounced by every believing man and woman and every righteous person, by husbands and wives, brothers, relatives, neighbors, friends and others. They must all do that, as Allaah says, describing the believing men and women:
“They enjoin (on the people) Al‑Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al‑Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden)” [al-Tawbah 9:71]” (End quote)
All Fatima wanted was to teach her sister and her kids something good. And isn’t that something that Allaah is pleased with?
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Allaah, His angels, and the inhabitants of heaven and earth, even the ant in its hole and even the fish, send blessings (pray for good) upon the one who teaches the people good.” (al-Tirmidhi– saheeh by al-Albaani)
In fact, if people stopped saying anything when they see an evil, it might be a cause of punishment for them.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“If the people see an evildoer and do not take him by the hand [to put a stop to his evil], soon Allaah will punish all of them.” (Tirmidhi-saheeh by al-Albaani)
And Allaah warns:
“And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong” [Surah al-Anfaal:25]
Dear brothers and sisters, in this day of widespread evil and corruption, we as Muslims, have forgotten or neglected one of thebiggest and most important obligations on each and every one of us. And that is to enjoin good and forbid evil.
And if you tell someone about the evil that their child, brother, friend or loved one is doing, it is not “telling” on them or complaining against them, or ‘picking’ on them, or judging them. It is the order of Allaah to prevent your Muslim brother or sister from committing evil. It is nothing to get defensive about or hurt. In fact, it is something that shows the sincerity and concern of the advising person for the one he is advising, and this is the very essence of Islaam.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Religion is sincerity.” We said, “To whom?” He said, “To Allaah and His Book, and His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.” (Muslim).
Enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil is one of the basic principles of this religion of ours, and doing this is jihaad for the sake of Allaah.
“…..this (stopping evil) is obligatory according to the consensus of the Ummah, and there is overwhelming evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah and scholarly consensus that it is obligatory to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and it also comes under the heading of naseehah (sincerity or sincere advice) which is Islam.” (Sharh Saheeh Muslim)
Al-‘Allaamah al-Quraafi said:
“The scholars said that enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil is obligatory and should be done immediately, according to consensus, and whoever is able to enjoin what is good should do so immediately.” (al-Furooq)
So, I say to Fatima and others like her, don’t give up or feel sad. You didn’t do anything wrong. You obeyed Allaah’s orders and fulfilled one of His basic commandments. Even if your sister didn’t understand, and she hurt you with her words, explain to her kindly the reason behind your advise to her and if she still doesn’t appreciate what you did, leave the matter in Allaah’s Hands. Surely He knows what lies in everyone’s heart and He knows the intentions behind every action.
And rest your aching heart with the words of Allaah:
“Verily, Allaah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allaah is All-Strong, All-Mighty. (Surah Hajj:40)
‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) was born in 614 CE, she had claims to noble birth from both sides of the family. Her mother was Umm Roman and her father was Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, a true friend of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
She was the 3rd wives of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), after Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) and Sawdah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha).
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concluded a marriage contract with her ‘the truth verifier’, when she was six of age, in Shawwal 619, at the same year when Islam was being introduced to Arabian tribes and individuals, but consummated his marriage with her in Shawwal, the year 1 A.H. in Madinah when she was nine. That was in the eleventh year of Prophethood, a year after his marriage to Sawdah, and two years and five months before Al-Hijra.
She was intelligent on religious and historical matters since childhood. And at the age of 8 years, she experienced an historic move, when the first Islamic state was on rise, she was able to recall all the minor details. Next year she joined the household of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
She (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) said that there were nine blessings of Allah which distinguished her from all other women in the world except Maryam bint ‘Imran, the mother of ‘Issa (alayhissallam).
The Angel Jibril had presented her portrait wrapped in green silk to Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and told him that this was the picture of the lady chosen by Allah, to be his consort both in this world and the next. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15 & 57)
She (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) was the only virgin to have become the wife of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and the most beloved creature to him.
She enjoyed the constant company of the Prophet for about eight and a half years, until he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed away. He was resting in her lap and was buried in her apartment.
Many times angels encircled her apartment with love and respect. Very often divine revelation would come to Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when they were lying together resting in peace and tranquility.
She was very charitable, generous, and having simple lifestyle.
She left this earthly existence for Paradise in the year 58 Hijrah on the 17th of Ramadan at the age of 66. (It’s written that she died in 5 7/676 at the age of 65, in the book of ‘Fundamental of Hadeeth’ by Dr. Bilal Philips).
She was buried in Jannatul Baqi’. with Abu Hurairah leading the funeral prayers.
In the month of Sha’ban, ‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) accompanied Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who led the Muslim army towards Qadid, where a minor battle started with tribe of Banu Mustalaq. Several hypocrites were also part of the army during this particular battle. She had borrowed a necklace from her sister Asma’. On the way back the army camped in the desert, and Ayshah went far into desert to relieve herself. Suddenly she realized that the necklace dropped along the way. She found it after a long search. When she reached the site, the caravan had left, the normal procedure was that the ladies, who were segregated from the men folk, would get into their litter and draw the curtains. Then the camel drivers would place the litter on the camel’s back. Since ‘Ayshah was very light no one realized her absence. She lay down, waiting for her companions to return.
Safwan bin Mu’attil had the responsibility of checking the camp site for things which might have been left behind, at daybreak he arrived to find someone lying down in a Jilbab. When ‘Ayshah heard him she woke up, and got on to the camel. He then walked leading the camel by the bridle.
At noon when the caravan had just reached the next camp site to rest, they saw ‘Ayshah arriving with Safwan. Madinah was flooded by loose talk that ‘Ayshah was a loose woman and her character was suspect, led by ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul. Hasan bin Thabit, Hamnah bint Jahash, and Mastah bin Athathah who joined the hypocrites. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was extremely disturbed when he heard this talk, but ‘Ayshah was blissfully ignorant of all this.
But then, the Ayat announcing her innocence were revealed,
“Verily, those who brought forth the slander are a group among you….” (see Al Quran, Chapter 24, Verses 11-21)
This episode is known in Islamic History as the Event of Al-Ifk. After this incident the Prophet’s respect for ‘Ayshah increased even more.
‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) attained a lofty status because of her knowledge. Everyone consulted her on the finer points of religion. Many Hadiths originated from her 2210 in number. She was among the top seven companions who narrated thousands of Hadiths, and occupies the fourth place among the Mukaththiroon, after Aboo Hurayrah, ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Umar, and Anas Ibn Malik (radiyAllaahu ‘anhum).
She was naturally endowed with a retentive memory and a developed criticalfaculty, having memorised a large number of the ancient Arab poems, on which she was a recognised authority.
During her lifetime she was also honoured for her expertise in medicine and in Islamic law. Regarding the Hadith, she had not only learnt a large volume of these from her husband, she also showed a critical appreciation of them, and corrected the mistakes in understanding of many Companions. When, for instance, Ibn ‘Umar related that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had said that the dead are punished in their graves on account of the wailing of their relatives, she pointed out that the Prophet had said that while the dead are punished in their graves for their sins, their relatives wept for them.
It was on account of her extensive knowledge of Hadith and Islamic law that even the most important Companions sought her advice on legal problems. A long list of those who related Hadith on her authority may be found in Ibn Hajar’s book Tahtheeb at- Tahtheeb. As a woman she was the most learnèd woman in jurisprudence.
During the time of Khulafa-u-Rashidin, her Fatwas were accepted. Once someone asked Masruq if ‘Ayshah had mastery over Shari’ah laws regarding inheritance. He swore that he had seen Companions asking her questions about the finer points of the laws of inheritance. ‘Urwah bin Zubayr, her sister Asma’s son often visited her to discuss religious issues with her. Other Companions envied him as he could freely approach her at any time.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.
Spreading da’wah is compulsory upon the muslim ummah hence it is pertinent to have some guidelines that will guide the daa’i in carrying out his duty. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) set an example for da’wah. It is for us to emulate and take lessons from, to assist us in spreading da’wah in today’s world. Allah says:
“O’ Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. And as one who invites to Allah (Islamic Monotheism) by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light.” (Al Quran, Chapter 33, Verses 45-46).
A Daa’i (caller) is someone who do da’wah (call people to Allah). He strives to convey the message of the Sharî’ah to the servants of Allah. It is an obligatory for every Muslim, as Allah says:
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is Ma’rouf (right) and forbidding what is Munkar (wrong). And it is they who are the successful.” (Al Quran, Chapter 3, Verse 104).
There are two phase of Seerah of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) we can take lesson from, Makkah phase and Madinah phase. However, the focus here is only from Madinah phase. The Madinah phase was quite different compared to the life in Makkah which was more easy and smooth, because the people in Madinah were more supporting and welcoming Islam. Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) could be more focus on building the ummah and spreading Islam.
However there were some new challenges which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) faced, as Madinah was a new place for the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his follower from Makkah (Muhajireen). Also all the wealth they had was being left in Makkah. Thus, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) set up three basic priorities to make his da’wah more effective. Those were (1) the relationship of the ummah with Allah, (2) the relationship of the members of the ummah with one another, and (3) the relationship of the ummah with non-muslims. Following were the things he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for achieving it:
1. Built a Masjid (Masjid Quba)
Establishing the masjid was the first thing he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did whenever stopped in a place, so there would be a place for believers for gathering (i.e. for doing congregational prayer).
2. Established the bond of brotherhood between the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar .
The bonds of this brotherhood is one of the strongest manifestations of the constructive, moral and humane justice of Islam.
3. Wrote a covenant between the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar, and those who followed and strove with them, and also made an agreement with non-Muslims.
The document in which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) established brotherhood between the Muhaajireen and Ansaar, and cooperation between Muslims and others, included a great deal of irrefutable evidence that the Islamic state was based on social justice, and that the basis of relationships between the Muslims and others is peace so long as the latter choose peace, and that the principles of truth, justice and cooperation in righteousness and piety for the good of the people and protecting the society from the harm of the evildoers, are the most prominent objectives of the Islamic state. Thus the Islamic state, no matter where and in what era it is founded, will be based on the soundest and most just of principles.
There are some characteristics which need to be present in today’s Daa’i (callers to Islam), which are:
The daa’i should have a strong faith or belief.
2) Do it for the sake of Allah
It is compulsory that whatever we do our intention must be in obedience to Allah seeking His pleasure, as Allah says: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me” (Al Quran, Chapter 51, Verse 56). The daa’i should have ikhlaas (sincerity and purity of intentions and actions) for Allah. The daa’i should also love Allah in his heart in order to be an effective daa’i or even a strong Muslim.
To call the people to upon correct ’ilm (knowledge), and not ignorance, “Say, This is my path, I do call to Allaah upon knowledge.” (Al Quran, Chapter 12, Verse 108)
4) Mildness and Gentleness
The daa’i is to be mild and forbearing in da’wah, being gentle and patient in it, as were all the Messengers ’alayhimus-salaatu was-salaam. Beware of being hasty, harsh and strict in da’wah, as Allah says,
“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful admonition, and argue with them in ways that are best.” (Al Quran, Chapter 16, Verse 125)
And, “And by the Mercy of Allaah you were able to deal gently with them. If you had been severe and harsh-hearted they would have broken away from about you.” (Al Quran, Chapter 3, Verse 159)
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,
“Indeed gentleness does not enter into anything except that it beautifies it, is it removed from anything except that it disfigures it.” [Sahih Muslim, Volume 16, 146) And and also said, “Whoever is prevented from gentleness, is actually prevented from all good and excellence.” (Sahih Muslim, Volume 16, 145)
5) Settling an example
The daa’i must possess is acting in accordance to what he is calling to, being a righteous example of what is being called to. He should not call to do something but not do it himself, nor call to leave something, whilst engaging in it himself. Allah says,
“O you who believe! Do you say that which you do not do. It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not do.” (Al Quran, Chapter 61, Verses 2-3)
The daa'i should have awareness of basically three principles:
- Awareness of the reality of da'wah in his lifetime and place.
- Awareness of the reality of the condition of the people he is calling to Islam.
- Awareness of his personal capabilities.
The daa'i should give the message gradually, at the level which people are able to understand.
The da’ee should be trustworthy. Otherwise it would be difficult to rely on such a person especially when it involves issues of divine nature like call to Islam.
9) Morality (Good Manners)
The daa’i must be of sound moral character and manners, a role model one who can be listened to and looked upon to. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the best example, as Allah says:
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” (Al Quran, Chapter 33, Verse 21)
The daa’i must be eloquent, and able to speak in a manner that will convey his message clearly without using a language that will confuse the one being called to Islam.
11) Good listener
The daa’i must be a good listener one who is patient to hear what the audience say and ask.
12) Giving Muslims the Benefit of the Doubt
The daa’i should give the Muslims the benefit of the doubt and respect, because if he does not, people will always have the worst interpretation of a person's actions. He needs to show respect so that people will open their hearts.
13) Covering the Faults of People
The daa’i should cover people's shortcomings so that they are able to trust him, not fearing that he will reveal their flaws to their friends or community.
14) Giving Due Respect
This implies that the daa’i gives everyone the respect which is due to their position, which means respect the scholars, the elderly, and people who have been given authority. This way the disrespect will not block the haqq from reaching their minds.
15) Cooperating with other Du'aat
The daa’i should cooperate with others who are calling to Islam (plural is du'aat ) and this is because they are working for the same objective, and working for the same ilaah.
From the life of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in Madinah, which are explained previously, it was clearly showned how important the role and function of the daa’i in calling people to Allah. Without them doing da'wah, the people fall into ignorance and misguidance. The absence of Da'wah means the absence of a force to prevent the spread of evil and injustice on the earth. Our Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has warned us of the consequences:
"At a time when people become indifferent to the spread of evil, they incur Allah's punishment." (Imam Ahmad, Volume 1, 9)
Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) set an example for da’wah. We can learn it from the seerah, emulate it and take lessons from it. Allah says:
“O’ Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. And as one who invites to Allah (Islamic Monotheism) by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light.” (Al Quran, Chapter 33, Verse 45-46)
In this modern day, the challenges on doing da’wah are little bit different compared to the challenges faced by the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in Madinah. This challenges could be more easy but could also be more difficult. It depends on the daa’i himself. However, what had been faced by the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) are should be used as the basic principles. In this internet and globalization era, people can get connected to other people easily, so doing da’wah is getting more easy. This is Alhamdulillaah a trully blessing from Allah. Uniting ummah could be more easy, getting Islamic knowledge could also be more easy. However, this is the challenges of the daa’i. They need to learn and get the correct knowledge before spreading it, otherwise they could misguide others.
Alhamdulillah. We can conclude that to be a Daa’i today, we must face challenges which need to face with some qualities as stated and briefly discussed above. Focus on giving da'wah, as it is an obligatory for every muslim. The da’wah we did is to be on the sabeel or way of the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), as Allah says:
“Say, ‘This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allah ; and I am not of those who associate others with Him.’” (Al Quran, Chapter 12, Verse 108).
May Allah bless us with sublime character, give us the ability to strive and emulate Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and may He grant us beneficial knowledge and may the knowledge be of benefit to us and the ummah at large. Aameen.
The conditions of prayer are those on which the validity of prayer depends so long as one is able to fulfill them. Thus, if they, or any of them, are neglected, prayer is nullified. One of the conditions is to be performed at its specified times.
“Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.” (Al Quran, Chapter 4, Verse 103)
Prayer is obligatory on a Muslim once its due time begins, as Allah says:
“Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian]…” (Al Quran, Chapter 17, Verse 78)
“…So race to [all that is] good…” (Al Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 148)
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord…” (Al Quran, Chapter 3, Verse 133)
“And those the foremost, the foremost. Those are the ones brought near [ to Allah].” (Al Quran, Chapter 56, Verse 10-11)
“Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers…” (Al Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 238)
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked about the dearest deed in the Sight of Allah, he replied:
“Performing prayers at their specified times.” (Sahih Bukhari, 527, 2/13 and Muslim, 85)
Ubaadah bin Saamit (radiyaAllaahu ‘anhu) said: I testify that I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: “Allaah Azzawajall has made five prayers obligatory. Whoever beautifies the wudhoo, prays them at their proper times, and completes the rukoo’, the sujood and khushoo within them, has a covenant with Allaah that He will forgive him.Whoever does not do that then he has no covenant with Allaah and if Allaah wills He will forgive him and if He wills He will punish him.” [Reported by Maalik, Abu Daawood, an-Nasaaee and Ibn Hibbaan declared it Saheeh. It is also in Sahih ut-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, 396)
1- The Zuhr (Noon) Prayer
It begins when the sun passes its meridian and declines westward, as Allah says:
“Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian]…” (Al Quran, Chapter 17, Verse 78)
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“The time of the Zuhr (Noon) Prayer is when the sun passes the meridian and a man’s shadow is the same (length) as his height.” (Sahih Muslim, 1387, 2/114)
It is desirable to hasten performing the Zuhr Prayer at the beginning of its specified time unless it is extremely hot, in which case it is desirable to delay performing it until it is cooler. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“In a very hot weather, delay the Zuhr Prayer until it becomes (a bit) cooler, because the severity of heat is from the raging of the Hell-fire.” (Sahih Bukhari, 536, 2/25; Muslim, 1394, 3/118)
2- The ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayer
It begins when the time of the Zuhr (Noon) Prayer ends, i.e. when the shadow of an object is of the same length as the object itself, continues until the sun sets according to the valid of the two juristic opinions in this regard.
It is a Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition) to hasten performing the ‘Asr Prayer at the beginning of its due time, as it is the Middle Prayer whose virtues are stated by Allah:
“Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle (i.e. ‘Asr) prayer…” (Al Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 238)
It is also stated in the Sunnah that it is the ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayer. (Sahih Muslim, 1424 & 1425, 3/130; Bukhari, 4533, 8/245)
3- The Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer
It begins when the sun sets; i.e. when it completely disappears so that it can by no means be seen, neither from a plane hill nor a mountain. The time of the sunset is known by the coming of the darkness of night from eastward. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“When night falls from this side and the day vanishes from that side and the sun sets, then the fasting person should break his fast.” (Sahih Bukhari, 1954, 4/249; Muslim, 2553, 4/209)
The time of the Maghrib Prayer lasts until the red twilight ends, and it is a Sunnah to hasten performing the Maghrib at the beginning of its due time.
On the authority of Salamah stated that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to perform the Magrib (Sunset) Prayer when the sun disappeared from the horizon. (Sahih Bukhari, 561), 2/55; Muslim, 1438, 3/137; At-Tirmidhi 164, 1/304)
4- The ‘Isha’ (Night) Prayer
It begins when the time of the Maghrib Prayer (i.e. the time during which it is performed) ends. Thus, the time of the ‘Isha’ Prayer begins when the red twilight disappears and continues up to half of the night. This time is divided into two parts; an optional time and an obligatory time. The optional time continues until the third of the night, and the obligatory time begins from the third of the night until the second (real) dawn. It is desirable to delay performing the ‘Isha’ Prayer until the end of the preferred time for it, which is the third of the night, if possible. Yet, if this might cause difficulty to the Muslims, it is then desirable to hasten performing it at the beginning of its due time so as to avoid difficulty.
5- The Fajr (Dawn) Prayer
It begins with the true dawn and lasts until sunrise. It is desirable to hasten performing it provided that the rise of the true dawn is certain.
All Muslim should perform those five obligatory prayers at their specified times without delay, as Allah says:
“So woe to those who pray, [But] who are heedless of their prayer.” (Al Quran, Chapter 107, Verse 4-5)
“But there came after them successors [i.e. later generations] who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil – Except those who repent …” (Al Quran, Chapter 19, Verse 59-60)
The phrase “neglected prayer” in the above verse means that those people used to neglect observing prayer at its specified times. In brief, Allah refers to those who do not perform prayer at its due times as “heedless” people who “neglect” prayer, and He states that such people will be severely tortured in the Hellfire and that ”… they are going to meet evil.”
If one forgets performing one of the five obligatory prayers or misses it out of oversleeping, one has to perform it once one remembers or gets up; the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “if anyone forgets a prayer or misses it because of sleeping, he should perform it when he remembers it; there is no other expiation for it.” (Sahih An-Nasai, Chapter 6, 616)
The earth today stands in imminent danger and nothing will save it from environmental catastrophe. Six scientists from some of the leading institutions in the United States have issued an unambiguous warning to the world: Civilization itself is threatened by global warming. They also implicitly criticized UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for underestimating the scale of rise in sea levels seen this century as a result of melting glaciers and polar ice sheets. Instead of sea level rising about 40cm, as the IPCC predicts in one of its computerized forecasts, the true rise might be as big as several meters by 2100. That is why, they say, planet earth today is in imminent danger.
However, if we look into Qur’an, it gave the warning of ‘Earth is in danger’ in 7th century CE:
“See they not that We gradually reduce the earth from its outlying borders. (Qur’an, 13:41)
Another verse says:
“See they not that We gradually reduce the earth from its outlying borders. Is it then they who will overcome?” (Qur’an, 21:44)
The outlying borders of the earth are being narrowed by sea floor spreading. The theory of lithospheric evolution holds that the ocean floors are spreading outward from vast underwater ridges. The theory was first propounded in the early 1960s by American geologist Harray H. Hess. (Columbia Encyclopedia)
The first reason given for the sea floor spreading is the process when the ocean floor is extended the two plates move apart, the rocks break and earth-quake occurs along the plate boundary. Under a volcanic eruption the magma piles up along the crack forming a long chain of mountains on the ocean floor.
This chain is called an oceanic ridge. On the whole sea floor spreading is basically volcanic. (Columbia Encyclopedia)
The Qur’an has described this phenomenon when nobody could dream of it in 7th Century. It said:
“When the oceans boil over with a swell.” (Qur’an, 81:6)
Commentary in ‘The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an,’ which has been revised and republished by The Presidency of the Islamic Research, Ifta and Call Guidance of Saudi Arabia in 1989, in its explanatory note 5975 says: “It is expressed to be Arabic ‘Sujjarat.’ The oceans which now keep their bounds will surge and boil over and overwhelm all land marks.” Famous commentator ‘Ibn Kathir’ wrote about the ocean, “When it would be like blazing fire.”
In those pre-scientific times no one could have understood the possibility of the boiling sea water. But now science has upheld the truth of the Qur’an and found volcanic eruptions under seawater.
They are now on a limited scale but may cause an outburst of volcanic magma that will see ocean waters boil up and down the earth. We already have a bad experience of tsunami which brought disaster and took hundreds of thousands of lives.
The other reason involving imminent peril to our planet earth, advanced by the scientists is global warming. Scientists have found that the Creator has surrounded this earth with an atmosphere having several layers.
The lowest region, the troposphere, extends from the earth’s surface up to about 10 km in altitude. Virtually all the human activities occur in the troposphere.
The next layer, the stratosphere stretches from 10 km to about 50 km. Ozone is concentrated in a layer in the stratosphere about 15 to 30 km above the earth’s surface. Ozone is a molecule containing three oxygen atoms. Out of each 10 million molecules about two million are normal oxygen. It plays a key role in the atmosphere. The ozone layer absorbs a portion of the radiation i.e. ultraviolet rays from the sun, preventing it from reaching the planet’s surface.
Scientists have found depletion of ozone because of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The CFCs compounds have atmospheric lifetimes long enough to allow them to be transported by winds into the stratosphere. The CFC’s are so stable that exposure to strong ultraviolet radiation breaks them down. When that happens, the CFCs molecule releases atomic chlorine. One chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules. That is causing ozone depletion.
An example of the ozone depletion is the annual ozone hole over Antarctica that has occurred since the early 1980s. In addition, researches have shown ozone depletion occurs over the latitudes that include North America, Europe, Asia and much of Africa, Australia and South America. That has given rise to global warming and dangerous climate change triggering a rapid melting of the polar ice sheets.
The glaciers and ice sheets of Greenland in the Northern Hemisphere and the western Antarctic ice sheet in the south both show signs of the rapid changes predicted by rising temperatures.
Allah Almighty says:
“Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned.” (Qur’an, 30:41)
The CFCs, or CO2 emissions, are “what the hands of men have earned.” These are damaging ozone on the one hand and causing warming of the globe on the other.
James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies observes: “Recent greenhouse gas emissions place the earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures, only intense efforts to curb man-made emissions of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases can keep the climate within or near the range of the past one million years.”
Would our scientists be able to control the phenomenon that is endangering mankind? We find in the Qur’an:
“On the day when the earth will be changed to another earth and so will be the heavens.” (Qur’an, 14:48)
There are many other Qur’anic verses that point to the destruction of the universe, but what is not known is when it will happen.
A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the importance of a couple agreeing on the type of financial lifestyle they wish to live before things get serious in a relationship. Questions such as “What is your credit score?” are increasingly asked on a first date. Unromantic? Very. Important? Exceptionally.
As Muslims, we do not use dating as a means for marriage. But if a man and a woman are considering each other for marriage, a financial discussion is imperative. Research also conveys that one of the major reasons behind high divorce rates is poor money management, bad spending habits and debt distress. A couple must agree on the way their money will be spent. The romance comes later! By writing this, I seek to convey to my beloved Muslims to take heed of their financial decisions in a relationship and to instill an Islamic-financial perspective that will facilitate the marriage process in the Muslim community.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told the youth to get married if they are able to, as marriage guards a person’s chastity. However, the Prophet ,peace be upon him, did not mention that youth need be rich to get married. Being rich has nothing to do with marriage. A family should be able to sustain itself financially for what they need at a minimum, at least in the beginning stages, and with the help of Allah, a couple can grow financially in the future.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:
“A woman may be married for four reasons: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty, and for her religion, so marry the one who is best in the religion and character, and you will prosper.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Beauty will not last forever. Wealth will come and go. But the religion and the character of a person is what will last throughout his or her life. Islam teaches us that being rich in the heart is more important than being rich in the pocket.
Our hearts should be content with what Allah gives us, and to constantly thank Him for the innumerable blessings He has bestowed upon us. A Muslim couple should not be preoccupied with what others have in wealth. It is only a distraction from enhancing their relationship with Allah and with each other. Make du`a’ (supplication) that Allah blesses others with what they have, and be content with what you have as a couple. No doubt that Muslims should have nice clothes and work hard for a comfortable lifestyle, but we must also live within our means without yearning for what others have.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised.” (Qur’an 51:22)
Everything is written for us! Our rizq (provision, sustenance, wealth, etc.) is already predetermined by Allah. We must have full faith that what Allah (swt) gives us is in our best interest. No one will make a penny more or less than what Allah has prescribed for them. Our wealth does not belong to us, it belongs to Allah. Out of the immeasurable generosity of Allah, Allah has promised to reward those who righteously spend from He already owns. Everyone will be held accountable for the wealth they have, the way it was earned, and how it was spent. Every couple should be content with and grateful for the financial situation they have. As a team, a husband and wife should not only invest their time and wealth in this life, but to also invest in their Hereafter.
A number of financial discussions also come up when discussing the mahr (dowry) and weddings. Unfortunately, some disagreements between a prospective husband and wife, or even their two families, have a more cultural than Islamic basis. It is not uncommon for the family of the bride to ask the proposing man for a very high dowry, be it money or jewelry. However, the dowry is not a price that Islam puts on a woman when she gets married. Our Muslim sisters do not have a price tag attached to them when they get married. The dowry is a gift from the man to the woman he is proposing to, and there is no set amount that the man must give. The dowry is whatever the man can afford to give her. The only requirement is that both families agree to the dowry offered. The worth of a Muslim woman is set by her faith and character, not by the amount of dowry she is given.
It is understandable, and encouraged in Islam, to have a wedding that is memorable, decorative, and full of celebration, happiness and laughter. And it is also an Islamic principle to spend moderately, and not be stingy or excessive. However, as thousands of dollars are spent on weddings in the Muslim community, some more extravagant than others, Allah says in the Qur’an when describing the characteristics of the righteous worshipers of Al-Rahman, The Most Merciful:
“And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate.” (Qur’an, 25:67).
The Arabic word “israaf” in this verse is defined as excessive spending beyond one’s means. With that in mind, both stinginess and extravagance are denounced in Islam, and this verse should be kept in mind when planning weddings. Some couples actually go out of their way to get a loan for their wedding ceremony, at which point a couple begins their lives together paying off a loan, instead of building and investing that money for the couple’s future. Many couples are suffering because of the financial distress they are experiencing as a result of their unwise spending decisions and the massive debt they carry. Some have debt out of need, and we pray that Allah relieves them from the burdens of debt. However, some have debt out of their want for more, in which case they are adversely affecting their lives and those around them. Debt should be avoided, not only because of the Islamic prohibition of riba (monetary interest), but also so the couple can work for and focus on the family and its future rather than pay off a loan.
At times, our dear families worry too much about “What will others say about us?” when planning weddings. At times, people pressure themselves to put on a wedding that others will praise. It is notable to mention that our purpose in life is to please Allah before anyone else. Marriage is a means to please Allah and fulfill a sunnah (Prophetic tradition). Thus, weddings should avoid anything that may displease Allah, including excessive spending.
Without a doubt, a couple should enjoy their lives, cherish each other’s company and have memorable and quality time spent with each other. A couple should also strike a balance and keep in mind their future endeavors, such as the home they want to buy, the children they will have, the charity they will give, and the list goes on. With financial responsibility comes discipline. Financial professionals all agree that saving a portion of one’s money each month for the future is the best investment, and “if it doesn’t hurt, you’re not saving enough.”
Lastly, a successful relationship must have taqwa (God-Consciousness) at its center. For those who have taqwa, Allah says:
And [Allah] will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent. (Qur’an 65:3)
Allah will provide to those who uphold His commandments, strive to better themselves everyday, have good character, give in charity, treat their spouse with respect and honor, are patient in times of hardship and have trust in Him alone in all their matters. Rizq (provision) can come in many different forms, not only money. For example, sound health or one’s parents being pleased with him or her are considered rizq from Allah; and the Prophet ,peace be upon him, said: “The best provision in this world is a righteous spouse.” A righteous spouse is the best rizq from Allah, and therefore a couple should, together, please Allah with their actions and decisions.
Brothers should seek a wife whose ultimate goal is to enter Jannah (Paradise), not a Louis Vuitton store at the mall. Sisters should seek a husband who has a goal of pleasing Allah in all that he does, and not solely pleasing the boss at work for a promotion or bonus.
Allah is Al-Hay, The Ever-Living. Any relationship attached to Allah will never die, because Allah will never die. A relationship attached to Allah will thrive in this world, and continue in the Hereafter in Paradise.
We ask Allah to bless the marriages in the Muslim community and gather us with our families and spouses in Paradise, where the real wealth is.
The Attribute of Transcendence (‘uluw) of Allaah, the Exalted, is of two types.
Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) said concerning these types:
1. The ‘uluw of adh-dhaat : The Transcendence of Allaah in His Essence, which means that Allaah in His Essence is above everything, and everything is below Him, Most Majestic and Mighty is He.
2. The ‘uluw of the sifaat: The Transcendence of Allaah’s Attributes, which means that Allaah is qualified with the superlative qualities as He, the Most High, said: “And for Allaah is the Highest Description.” (Al Quran, Chapter 16, Verse 60)
Every Attribute which Allaah qualified Himself with is an Attribute of Perfection and in every respect is free from any kind of imperfection.
There are some deviants who denied this attribute of Allaah, and give arguments regarding this. However, we can refute it with proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah, as well as statements of scholars.
In their denial of the ‘uluw of Allaah’s in His Essence, the people of ta’teel were divided into two groups:
The first group: They said that Allaah, in His Essence, is everywhere.
The second group: They said, “He is neither in ‘uluw (loftiness) nor in sufl (opposite of ‘uluw: lowness); He is neither inside the world nor outside it; neither to the right nor to the left; neither joined nor separate.
This position is absolute ta’teel (negation) because it is a description of al-’adam (non-existence). Some scholars said, “If we were asked to describe al-’adam we would not find a more comprehensive definition than this description [of theirs].”
So contemplate as to how their negation of what has been affirmed by the way of naql (texts) and ‘aql (rational) led them to say that which cannot be accepted neither by sensory perception (hiss), nor by naql or ‘aql.
The Proofs for the ‘uluw (Transcendence) of Allaah is proven by the way of the kitaab (the Book, i.e. the Qur’aan), the sunnah, ijmaa’ (general consensus of the salaf), ‘aql, and fitrah.
The proofs of the Book and sunnah are diverse. Sometimes indicating the absolute ‘uluw. Other times indicating al-Fawqiyyah (above): the descent of things from Him, and their ascent to Him; and sometimes by saying that He is in heavens.
(1) In the case of absolute‘uluw like in the saying of Allaah:
“He [Allaah] is the Most High, the Most Great.” (Al Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 255)
“And make tasbeeh [declaring that Allaah is far removed above all imperfection] of your Rabb, the Most High, above everything.” (Al Quran, Chapter 87, Verse 1)
“And He [Allaah] is al-Qaahir above His slaves.” (Al Quran, Chapter 6, Verse 18)
“They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.” (Al Quran, Chapter 16, Verse 50)
“To Him ascend [all] the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it [the goodly words, i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allaah unless and until they are followed by good deeds]. (Al Quran, Chapter 35, Verse 10)
The angels and the rooh [Jibreel ] ascend to Him. (Al Quran, Chapter 70, Verse 4)
“He [Allaah] arranges [every] affair from the heavens to the earth.” (Al Quran, Chapter 32, Verse 5)
“Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the thikr [i.e. the Qur’aan].” (Qur’aan, soorat al-Hijr Al Quran, Chapter 15, Verse 9)
“Do you feel secure that He, who is above the heaven [Allaah], will not cause the earth to sink.” [Al Quran, Chapter 67, Verse 16)
(2) Similarly the sunnah affirms Allaah’s ‘uluw in His Essence by way of saying, action, and approval.
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Our Rabb is Allaah Who is above the heaven...” (Abu Dawud, Volume 3, Page 109, 3883)
He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) pointed towards the heavens and said: “O! Allaah be witness [saying it thrice],” before the greatest assembly of Muslims then.
As to his approval, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked a slave girl: “Where is Allaah?” She replied: “Above the heavens.” He then ordered her master, “Grant her freedom, because she is a believer.” (Sahih Muslim, Volume I, Pp. 271-2, 1094)
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) not only accepted her answer, but also affirmed that she is a believer based upon her correct response.
(3) As for the ijmaa’ (consensus), it is acknowledged that the salaf are in agreement that Allaah is above His ‘arsh.
(4) On the other hand, the proof of the ‘aql (intellect), has two angles to it:
1. The ‘uluw is an attribute of perfection and therefore being as such necessitates that it is an affirmed attribute of Allaah because Allaah is qualified with the attributes of perfection from every angle.
2. For the sake of argument, if we say that, “Allaah is either above the world or under it or on its right or left,” then which of these descriptions denote perfection? The answer is, “Allaah is above the world,” because if he is “under it” then He would be less perfect than the created! And if He is in the same place as the created, then Allaah would be equal to creation in perfection. Thus it is necessitated that Allaah is above everything.
(5) Finally, as far as the fitrah (natural inclination or disposition) is concerned, each person naturally acknowledges the fact that Allaah is above the heavens.
(Source: extracts from Eid On A Budget by Navin Siddiqui. This 4-part series has been posted with minor alterations from the original e-book)
If you are reading this, you are probably affected by Eid expenses, and you’re looking for a better way. If you want to know how to celebrate Eid on a Budget then this article series is definitely for you.
In addition, this series is most definitely for someone who is in debt, or on the verge of it. Let’s face it; today’s economical structure is designed to get people into debt. In fact it is designed to feed off of people through interest (a.k.a. usury or riba). Getting loans has become easier and easier through credit cards, pay-day cash advances and other types of loans, and paying them back is that much more difficult. So, it’s no surprise that there would be a considerable amount of people in debt. This burden is heavy enough without having to feel the pain during Eid.
Lastly, this series is for someone who is already on a budget, and fears going over that budget during Eid, resulting in debt or a debt-like situation. There can be many reasons why we would decide to go beyond our spending ability and while we make all the right excuses at the time, we suffer the consequences later. Our goal should be to take preventative measures from the very beginning.
With a four-part approach, we will talk about where our Eid money goes, what changes we could make to our attitude and thought process, and tips on how to reduce (and possibly eliminate) these expenses.
There is something for everyone here, and InshaAllah some of these ideas just might help you out next Eid.
The Spending Attitude
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: New actions require new attitudes. No matter what new behaviour or habit you are trying to acquire, it is next to impossible if you harbour the same old attitudes. If you are preparing to change your spending behaviours, it has to come with a renewed attitude, otherwise that change is more likely to be short-lived.
Ask yourself and answer with thoughtfulness, the following questions (Be honest!):
1. Why am I being careful with my spending this Eid?
2. How do I feel about budgeting my spending?
3. How do I feel about over-spending?
4. What are the advantages of being frugal (economical)?
Once you have answered these questions you might discover something about your spending that you already didn’t know. Generally with question 2, “How do I feel about budgeting my spending?”, the feelings are negative and restrictive.
Change how you feel about spending and match it more to the last question, “What are the advantages of being frugal?”. This will help you re-focus your feelings about budget spending and turn them into feelings of benefit.
There is no better way to get help than to ask the aid of Allah Subhana WaTa’ala as His is the best guidance of all. I will share with you a wonderful dua and encourage you to memorize it and recite it day and night (taken from Husn-ul-Muslim):
“O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.” [Al-Bukhari7/158]
Sadaqah Increases Wealth
“…and whatever you give in charity, desiring Allah’s pleasure it is these (persons) that shall get manifold.” (Surah ar-Rūm 30: 39)
Sadaqah is a powerful way to increase wealth. Sounds strange, I know, but it’s true. Many western philanthropists and business gurus have opened up to the idea of giving charity as a means of acquiring wealth because they have seen an “unexplainable” return of wealth from it. Others try to explain it through metaphysical theories.
Alhamdulillah, as Muslims we already know this secret to increasing our provisions and because we do it for the sake of Allah Subhana WaTa’ala there is more barakah and blessings in it, InshaAllah. So give, give, give!
“But I am in debt, should I still be giving Sadaqah?”. Paying off your debt is priority number ONE, and the amount of Sadaqah doesn’t have to be a lot as long as it is with the right intention. Know the blessings and benefits of giving charity, and it just might be the way to eliminate your debt, Allahu Alam.
Why does Eid cost so much?
Okay, so that was a trick question. Clearly, Eid costs as much as we allow it to cost. We have been exposed to a multitude of traditions growing up. If you were born Muslim, you may have seen extravagant parties, more than one new outfits, finest foods and the distribution of Eid money (known to many as Eidee) to every child of every household.
If you were not born Muslim, you may have seen the same type of extravagance during events like Christmas or Diwali (just to name a few). Somehow the word “celebration” has become synonymous with “Spend… spend… spend!” And today, it has evolved to “Spend money that you don’t even have!” Needless to say it has to stop.
Eid is expensive because of things like:
•Off the charts Eid parties
•Brand new outfits and accessories to match
•Eid presents and “Eidee Money”
•Knick knacks for the house
The problem is not actually the above mentions directly, it is how much we willingly spend on them.
Quite often we don’t start the preparation process until just a few days before Eid, and when we are in such a rush we make unprepared decisions. If I was to be blunt, I would say that we often spend needlessly on Eid, and have made a tradition out of it.
If you are in debt, or on a budget, then let’s cut some corners!
How much is your Eid?
First of all, learn about your excessive Eid spending habits:
1. What are 3 things that I spend most of my money on for Eid? How much do I spend on them?
2. What is my biggest Eid expense and how much is it? Why am I spending so much on that?
3. What are some cost effective alternatives for my 3 big Eid expenses and how much will I be saving?
4. If I think about not spending money on my 3 big expenses, how does that make me feel? What’s the worst that will happen?
5. What will I benefit from saving or avoiding my 3 big expenses?
Focus on the answers to questions 3 and 5. Change the way you feel about your big Eid expenses.
Next , think back to your Eid’s in the past and list out how much each item cost you (ball park it if you have to). Also comment on whether or not you think the expense is excessive. To make it easier, if you know you can do without a particular item, or at least get a less costly alternative, then you would want to mark it as excessive.
The Total above is your cost of Eid.
The unavoidable expenses
Before setting aside any money for Eid expenses, we need to identify what our Islamic obligations and expenses are. They differ slightly depending on which Eid is being celebrated.
Zakat-ul-Fitr is obligated on every Muslim who has one saa’ or more than required to feed him/herself including the family on the day and night of Eid. This is different than Zakat-ul-Maal, which is commonly known as Zakah and is due every year on wealth accumulated.
If you are reading this book, on your computer, via your internet connection, chances are pretty high that you are able to afford and obligated to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr. I make no generalizations, however; you and Allah SubhanaWaTa’ala know better. A saa’ is the equivalent of four times the amount of any staple food (like rice or wheat) that may be held in two hands of an average man. It can be equated to approximately 3 kilograms of rice and must be given as an acceptable food staple like rice, wheat, dates, raisins, etc, at least one day before Eid. Hence the weight varies based on the type of food.
For Eid-ul-adha, Udhiya(or sacrificing an animal) is a highly recommended Sunnah and is considered obligatory by some if the intention has been made.
This is a means to get close to Allah Subhana WaTa’ala and to remember one of the most inspiring stories of Eeman and Tawakkul.
So be sure to set aside funds to purchase and maintain a good animal and if you are unable to perform the sacrifice yourself, also to pay for someone to do it for you. These are ways to put Barakah in your wealth, InshaAllah.
The Eid party
What’s Eid without an Eid party? My experience with Eid parties has been on the mellow side, and they still cost a good chunk o’ change.
People from all walks of life must experience some level of this. Since when does celebration equate to spending lots of money? In my opinion, Eid parties are by far the most expensive ordeals, second only to weddings. But I digress… it is now time to correct our thought process.
Why do we celebrate Eid?
Have you ever actually asked yourself this question? Here are some possible reasons:
•To celebrate the completion of Ramadan or Hajj.
•To fulfil a commandment of Allah Subhana WaTa’ala as it is obligatory to celebrate Eid.
•To dress up nicely and get together as a family.
•To have fun the Halal way.
All good reasons because it is possible to trace all of these reasons back to the sake of Allah Subhana WaTa’ala. The great thing about connecting all your actions back to Allah Subhana WaTa’ala is that it puts a lot of things into perspective. So resolve right now that you will be celebrating Eid for the sake of Allah Subhana WaTa’ala. Now that you have done this, I’m sure that a big party is no longer on the top of your priority list. Your priorities have now changed to whatever will please Allah Subhana WaTa’ala more.
I thought we were supposed to enjoy Eid to the fullest?
Yes! Have fun, be joyous and celebrate Eid to the fullest, but not at the expense of being in debt, and absolutely not at the expense of being ‘in interest’. Of course you must enjoy Eid with great happiness, but spending money that you don’t have is not the way. If you are in debt or on the verge of it, your first priority should be getting out of this burden.
Again, this shows that somehow enjoyment means spending lots of money, and this is an attitude that needs to change immediately.
Ways to save money on Eid parties
Here are some ways to save money on Eid Parties (and if you are already doing these then you are on the right track):
•Have the party at your house (or a friend/relatives house)
•If someone else can afford it and has decided to throw an Eid Bash, join them. Don’t try to top them by throwing a bigger bash. Maybe help them out, they’ll appreciate it.
•Have a pot-luck (a.k.a. one-dish) party. Everyone brings a dish and no one has to bear the weight of catering or cooking all the food.
•Don’t pay for entertainment. Every family has at least one joke-teller or drama queen. Have a session of stand-up comedy or a cute
•Arrange an Eid party at the mosque where friends and family can join and get a greater sense of community.
These are just some ways that you can save money and still have a blast on Eid. Do you have more ideas?
Make your Party Priority list. The ‘Budget’ column is what your expected expense is. Feel free to enter £0 (zero) to some of the expected expenses if you know some way to get it done for free. Find the lowest possible cost for your party.
I have nothing to wear!
Really? A closet full of clothes and you have nothing to wear? It is nice to make new clothes for Eid as a means to show your celebratory mood, but, if you are having money troubles, then you must re-think your priorities (hint: clothes are not one of them).
What will people say?
People don’t need to know that you’re watching your money. You obviously don’t owe anyone an explanation for wearing last season’s shoes. Often times we get so hung up on what people will think or say that we let it be the deciding factor for our actions. By the way, do you remember what aunty so-and-so wore for Eid last year? I didn’t think so. Guess what! Neither does she. The only person who remembers what you wore is you.
Like we discussed in the previous chapter, once your focus is the pleasure of Allah Subhana WaTa’ala your decisions become easier and you can embrace change with more conviction. You will know for a fact that your wealth will be spent towards pleasing Allah Subhana WaTa’ala, which is what we all want.
What should I wear?
Here are some ways to spend as little as possible and still look great!! I have listed them from top to bottom, from most cost-effective to least cost-effective:
1. Wear your best clothes, shoes and accessories that you already own.
2. Purchase a new accessory to go with the clothes that you already own.
3 Change up the way you wear your current clothes, or mix and match in a way that they look different.
4. Have your existing clothes re-sewn to give them a new look.
5. Purchase a new piece/item to go with your current outfit.
6. Purchase just one outfit from a thrift store, and use accessories you already own. You’ll be surprised at the high quality of clothes that you can find in a thrift or charity store for low cost.
Obviously these are just a few ways and there are a great many combinations to work with. The idea is not to go all out. Our clothes must be pleasing to Allah Subhana WaTa’ala and as long as we wear clean, modest clothes for His sake then what else could be better? Keep your eye on the prize, the prize being Allah Subhana WaTa’ala’s pleasure, InshaAllah.
Impulse shopping: ladies beware!
What event happens a few days before Eid and ends up changing all your budget plans… you got it… Pre-Eid Shopping Bazaars. There is always some type of Bazaar 3 days, or 2 days, or 1 day before Eid where you can shop last minute, if you are missing a shoe, or purse or full-on outfit. These bazaars are designed for impulse buyers. Now some of these bazaars, that are done the Halal way, can really be fun and a great way to connect with other Muslims who have been fasting with you, but there is a good chance you might return home with something you didn’t need. Studies have been done to show that there is a direct connection between hunger and decision-making abilities. Now you may not need a study to confirm this, but when we are hungry or out of balance with our nourishment, we are likely to make poor decisions. Throughout Ramadan, having fasted and maintained a state of hunger for the better part of the day, may have impaired our judgement. These Bazaar’s count on that.
Should I go to these events?
Of course you should. Socialize and unify with your Muslim brothers and sisters. But, leave your wallet at home. Take with you a small amount of cash that is enough to splurge on without making a major dent in your money plans. Before you say it, no it does not contradict our main goal. Spending can be a bad habit, and is directly related to being in debt. But quitting cold turkey, especially on such a celebratory occasion, is not the answer. You have to allow yourself some breathing room, as long as you make a calculated decision of how much lee-way you can give yourself and stick with it. That means you decide how much money you can play with for fun expenses, and do not go over that amount.
It rains £10 notes on Eid
When I was a little girl back home, I remember the most exciting thing for me on Eid was getting money. I would wake up, get dressed in my shiny new outfit, I would have my little money pouch all ready to go to fill with money, and at 2.5 feet tall I would roam up and down the neighbourhood to the elders of each house.
Can I be really honest? That is so cute and so disturbing all in one wrapper.
All I knew about Eid as a child was that it is a money bonanza and the code word to getting the cash was “Eid Mubarak”. WOW! That is a bad lesson about Eid and money, for any child.
Islam encourages giving presents and I strongly believe we need to come back to the concept of giving presents. Here are some points I’d like to make about giving presents instead of money:
It reinforces the value of gift giving in Islam.
It should be preceded by an explanation of why the present is being given.
It is much cheaper to purchase a nice present then it is to give money.
It is even better to make the presents, or part of the present depending on your skills. Remember when you used to make your own greeting cards? Are you crafty? Perhaps a candy bouquet, which can be quite inexpensive. Or if you love to bake, brownies, wrapped in nice packing is just yum. A gift that will last a long time? Husn-ul-Muslim wrapped with chocolate.
Let’s do the math
Say amongst your relatives there are 12 youngsters eagerly awaiting their Eid Money. You are known to give £20 every year and you decide to keep your standard. That’s £240.
Say you smarten up and despite the expectations, you decide to give £10 each instead. That’s £120 and you just saved £120.
Now let’s say you are a genius and you buy gifts for everyone that average out to £5 each. You just spent £60 and saved £180.
What is £180? A loan payment? A car payment? A savings fund?
I’m sure you get the drift: Spend less on presents and still share in the giving experience.
How much did you spend?
The benefit of tracking your spending is you can identify without a doubt, where your money is going and figure out a way to reduce it. This Eid, as you are spending money, fill out the chart below:
|Item||Money spent this year||Money spent last year||Money saved||How to save next year|
Eid is over. What now?
Alhamdulillah, you’ve done it! You have managed to turn an expensive celebration into one of the most fulfilling, by making it in the way of Allah Subhana WaTa’ala and not allowing the need to spend, to take over. InshaAllah you have experienced what it feels like to have more cash left over, and to have the power to pay off your debts quicker than planned.
Your next step is to keep this going. Track your spending, month after month, make Du’a day and night, and InshaAllah free yourself of this burden of debt before you are in your grave. Save yourself from sustaining the punishment for leaving this world in debt. May Allah Subhana WaTa’ala protect us all… Aameen.