The Prophet’s Guidance for New Muslim Youth

The Prophet’s Guidance for New Muslim Youth

Prophet Muhammad came through with the message of Islam, and his target audience, so to speak, revolved around the youth of the time.

Prophet Muhammad came through with the message of Islam, and his target audience, so to speak, revolved around the youth of the time.

By Maria Zain

For new Muslims, it is vital to read up on how Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) kept the teenagers around him in good company, enjoining them in doing good deeds. Embracing Islam can be a life-changing experience.

Some new Muslims come to Islam alone, whereas others revert together with their whole family. If a couple decides to embrace Islam and have young children, it is most likely that their children will also become Muslims. For those with older children, especially those well in their teens, the transition can be trickier.

Some teenagers may very well follow in their parents’ footsteps whole heartedly, others may embrace Islam with a certain amount of wariness and there are probably many others who would prefer not to make the change.

However for family members who decide to come to Islam and who join them on their journey in becoming observing Muslims, it is worth to note the Sunnah on how Prophet Muhammad treated the youth. This will enable the transition to become smoother and more of a positive challenge for the family as a whole.

When Prophet Muhammad was given the first revelation in the cave of Mount Hira’, it was well known that he was 40 years old. As many men at that age, he had reached a certain pinnacle of leadership qualities. Men at the age of forty are often seen running their own corporations and enterprises, have attained successful marriages and raised teenage children.

What differentiates the Prophet’s leadership qualities, though, was that an important majority of followers were at the time new Muslim youth.

In the most important mission of any man’s plight, Prophet Muhammad was commanded to change the mindset of the pagan Arabs, to do away with waylay practices, oppressive behavior, corrupted attitudes, and to embrace Islam as their comprehensive way of life.

Islamic history relays that this was a gruelling attempt at changing the culture of stone-cold pagans who were deeply rooted in their traditions. Prophet Muhammad came through with the message of Islam, and his target audience, so to speak, revolved around the youth of the time.

Anas ibn Malik (may God be pleased with him) was one of the young men who grew very close to the Prophet. Anas mentioned that the Prophet never once uttered a word of disgrace upon him, neither any other member of the youth of society. He had worked for the Prophet and grew up observing and learning through the Prophet’s actions and behavior. Anas was recognized as one of the most fluent narrators of hadiths of his time.

Prophet Muhammad had other young companions who flocked with him like feathers of a bird. He often joked with them, calling ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (may God be pleased with him) ‘AbuTuraab’ (father of the dust), for sleeping on the dusty ground. He was also very close to his family members, in particular his youngest daughter Fatimah, and was known to show his affection for her in public.

On several occasions, when Fatimah entered a room where the Prophet was, he would rush over to her, take her by her hands, kiss her and offer her his seat. Fatimah was also known to reciprocate in kind. But as much as the Prophet kept affectionate and jovial relations with the youth, he continuously moulded them to be the leaders of the future.

There is no doubt that ‘A’ishah, Prophet Muhammad’s wife, rose to the ranks of leadership at a very young age and as she outlived her husband for half a century, she became a teacher like no other woman seen in history. Until this very day, Muslims around the world read of her narrations and regard her with the highest respect as one of the feistiest women of the companions. Another young wife, Hafsah, daughter of Umar, was appointed as the keeper of the Holy Qur’an, a grave responsibility for any youth. This shows that though many companions were teens during the Prophet’s lifetime, adulthood was only a stone-throw away.

 How the Prophet did it?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was also adamant in protecting the youth in public, honoring their opinions during debates, even against the wisest of Muslims.

‘Ali once narrated that youth between the age of fourteen and twenty-one needed to be befriended – treated as friends. Do we teach the Muslim youth the same way? Do we earn their trust by befriending them, respecting their opinions and helping them through difficulty much like good friends would do? Or do we continue to berate them for their mistakes; chastise them for their ignorance; and ignore them when they are in need, with the excuse that they are just ’troubled teenagers’?

The youth face a plethora of social ills today. From drugs to prostitution, from school drop-outs to poor qualifications; from obsession with pop culture to over-indulgences in peer pressure– it can be difficult for the Muslim youth to stand by Islamic principles with so many distractions surrounding them.

As parents of the youth of this chosen religion, we have to realize that education spans further than the walls of the classroom. The youth surrounding the Prophet were continuously surrounded by adults, not by their peers. They learned hands on how to deal with business transactions, travelling for da`wah (calling to God), teaching those who were illiterate (regardless of age) and engaged in household chores the way adults would do.

The Prophet would have frowned at those who removed the autonomy of the youth in making their own decisions, partaking in society, learning from real life scenarios and exploring their own interests and strengths that will eventually help them excel as adults in the real world. The Prophet was also adamant in protecting the youth in public, honoring their opinions during debates, even against the wisest of Muslims and allowing them to join him on even the most dangerous entourages. The youth surrounding the Prophet were definitely very involved in society.

Parents nowadays should not just categorize their teens as hormonal teenagers. For new Muslims, it is vital to read up on how Prophet Muhammad kept the teenagers around him in good company, always enjoining them in doing good deeds and encouraging them gently to ward off evil.

Embracing Islam as a family may be difficult, especially with elder children in tow, but showing how well they are appreciated within the realm of Islam, reinforces individualism, independence and autonomy in making decisions. The upside of a Muslim family coming together to Islam is that parents and children can learn together and teach each other as they journey along to becoming better Muslims. Even if older children decide not to follow their parents’ choice in faith, they still need to be treated with love and respect in light of the Sunnah, as in time they may open up to the beautiful faith and its stance on the importance of the youth.

Prophet Muhammad recognized the youth as important individuals of society. They were encouraged to learn and grow by participating in business trades, much like Anas ibn Malik; scholarly discussions, much like `Ali; and negotiations across nations, much like Usamah ibn Zayd; who led the Muslim army, including men who were old enough to be his grandfathers, at the tender age of fifteen.

The female youth of the time were not excluded from such responsibility. Ruqayyah (daughter of Prophet Muhammad) co-lead the first emigration to Abyssinia during the worst chapter of oppression upon the Muslims. Asmaa’ (daughter of Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with them all) risked her life during the Prophet’s and Abu Bakr’s plight to Madinah. She could have been killed, but due to her strong upbringing based on love for and fear of God, she took it upon her duty to protect the Prophet and her father when they were being hunted down by the Quraish.

Prophet Muhammad always perused kindness and patience in dealing with youngsters, treating them with respect, valuing their opinions and allowing them autonomy to make their own decisions.

Becoming a Muslim family, together, changes a person’s mindset on how they view teenagers. Instead of individuals who are either too young to make their own decision; or individuals who should be doing homework in order to earn straight A’s that will determine their success; or individuals who should be ‘enjoying’ life through partying and gossiping about celebrities, or being obsessed about reality television stars; the youth should be encouraged to be strong and active members of society.

The youth of today do not face the challenges of the youth of the companions. But they do definitely face a whole suite of fitnah (temptations) and conflicting identities in their own right. There are plenty of ways for the youth to become active members in the community; they just need to be befriended and encouraged by adults who wish to raise them as God-fearing adults rather than allow them to be trapped in the confusion of hormonal changes.

However, this has to be done in accordance with the Sunnah. Prophet Muhammad always perused kindness and patience in dealing with youngsters, treating them with respect, valuing their opinions and allowing them autonomy to make their own decisions.

For new Muslims, it is also important for their teenagers to find comrades of a feather, regardless of age and culture. As long as the new Muslim youth find a strong sense of belonging in Islam and a thriving Muslim community, their priorities as Muslims will be set on the right track and they will be able to achieve the same glory as the youth who surrounded Prophet Muhammad in the golden years of Islam.

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Source: islammessage.com

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Why Do We Worship and Obey God?

Why Do We Worship and Obey God?

nature way

By walking on the straight of God you will receive dignity in this world as well as in the Hereafter.

Brothers in Islam! I have frequently emphasized that ‘Islam‘ means total surrender to Allah and the Messenger, and that no one can become truly Muslim unless he gives up obedience to anyone or anything apart from God.

But why is so much stress laid on obedience to God and His Messenger? You may ask: Does God need our obedience so badly that He has to demand it so insistently from us? Is He, too, like the rulers of the world so power-hungry that He has to insist His rule cannot be sustained without subjugating us?

Let us try to examine these questions.

Our Well-being

Essentially, the demand for obedience to Allah is intended for the well-being and betterment of man himself. He is not like the rulers of the world. They subjugate people to benefit themselves, but Allah needs nothing from anybody.

He is not in need of taxes from you, nor does He require to build mansions, buy cars and amass luxury articles at your expense. He is not dependent on anyone for anything. Whatever is in the world belongs to Him alone and He alone is the Master of all treasures.

He demands obedience from you only because He does not want man – that creation of His whom He has declared to be the noblest – to be the servant of another man like him, or of Satan or bow his head before unworthy things.

He does not desire that His vicegerents on earth grope in the darkness of ignorance and, like animals, become slaves to their desires and thus degrade themselves to the level of the lowest of the low. Therefore He urges: You obey Me and walk by the light I have sent through My Messengers. You will find the straight path. By walking on it you will receive dignity in this world as well as in the Hereafter.

No coercion is there in religion. Distinct has become the right way from [the way of] error. So whosoever rejects false gods and believes in God has indeed taken hold of the most firm handle which shall never break. God is All-hearing, All-knowing. God is the Friend of those who have faith; He brings them out of darkness into the light. And the disbelievers their friends are false gods that bring them out of the light into darkness; those are the inhabitants of the Fire, therein to abide forever. (Al-Baqarah 2:256, 257)

Obeying Others Besides Allah

Why will a man plunge into darkness by obeying others besides Allah and why is it that only by obeying Allah can his life be illumined?

Let us look into this important question…

Our lives are made up of countless relations and transactions. Our first relationship is with our own bodies: these hands, these feet, these eyes, these ears, this tongue, this heart, the mind, this belly – all these have been entrusted to you by Allah to serve you. You have also been given freedom to decide to what end to employ them.

What to put in your bellies, and what to avoid. What to make your hands do, and what to keep them away from.

Where to let your feet walk, and when to hold back. What to let your eyes see and ears hear, and what to refrain from.

What to allow your tongues to say, and when to fall silent. What kind of thoughts to make your hearts and minds reflect upon, and what to shun. These servants of yours you can make do good work or bad, as you choose. In return, they can make you ascend great heights or plunge you into abysmal depths.

Then you have relationships with the members of your family; with your fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, wives, children and other relatives with whom you have to deal continuously.

You have to decide how to behave with these people, what rights you have over them, and what rights they have over you. Your comfort, your happiness and your success in this world as well as in the Hereafter depend very much on how correctly you behave with them. If you behave wrongly, you will make this world a Hell for yourselves. And in the Hereafter, too, you will have to answer to God.

You have relationships with many other people. They are your neighbours, friends and enemies. There are also many who work for you in various ways. To some you have to give something and from others you have to receive something.

Some entrust you with their works while you entrust Your works to others. You are in command over some people and others are in command over you. In this world, your happiness, your honour and your good names all depend entirely on your ability to maintain these relationships properly.

In the Hereafter, too, you can acquire places of honor near God only by scrupulously avoiding abusing the rights of others and doing them injustices. There, let no one charge you with having ruined his life or having illegally harmed his honour, life or property.

You therefore have to maintain these relationships in a proper manner; actions which may spoil or disrupt these relations should be avoided.

open book before the sun

If you try to find this knowledge with the help of your reason and feelings alone, you will not find it.

Following One’s Desires

Now consider: in order to maintain proper relationships with your own bodies, with the members of your families and with all other people, you need the light of knowledge at every step.

You have to know what is right and what is wrong; what is true and what is false; what is just and what is unjust; what rights you have over others and what rights others have over you; in what there is real benefit and in what lies real harm.

If you try to find this knowledge with the help of your reason and feelings alone, you will not find it. Because yourself is overpowered by the urge to immediate gratification of desires. Your reason and feelings are therefore ruled by physical pleasure and immediate temptations.

They will tempt you to earn money by doing illegal things, drink alcohol and commit adultery. They will lead you to usurp the rights of others and withhold things due to them on the grounds that such behaviour will profit you: take everything and give nothing. They will also make you exploit others to serve your ends while avoiding the doing of any service to anybody, arguing that this will make life easy and comfortable.

If you allow yourselves to be led by a self which gropes in such darkness, it will drag you down to the level of selfish, depraved, and corrupt persons and your lives both on earth and in the Hereafter will be ruined.

Alternatively, instead of following the self, you may rely on other human beings like yourselves, and place yourselves in their hands to take you in whichever direction they like.

The dangers in such a course are obvious: selfish persons may make you slaves of their own desires, and ignorant men, who have themselves gone astray, may mislead you also. Tyrants may use you to perpetrate oppression and injustice on others.

From human beings like yourselves, too, you cannot get that light of knowledge which can guide you to distinguish between right and wrong, between good and bad, and direct you on the right path.

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book Let Us Be Muslims.

 

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What Are the Conditions and Obligatory Acts of Wudu?

What Are the Conditions and Obligatory Acts of Wudu?

What Are the Conditions and Obligatory Acts of Wudu?

Allah, Exalted be He, says:

O you who haw have believed, when you rise to (perform) prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles… (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

This verse states that performing ablution whenever rising to prayer is obligatory, and tells us which organs should be washed and those which should be wiped during wudu, and specifies what part of them should be washed or wiped.

What Are the Conditions and Obligatory Acts of Wudu

The elbows are included when washing the arms during ablution.

Then, the Prophet (peace be upon him), through his hadiths (sayings) and practices has dearly shown the way ablution is to be performed.

Every Muslim should know that wudu has certain conditions, obligatory acts, and practices of the Sunnah to be observed while performing it. Both conditions and obligatory acts must be fulfilled as much as possible in order to ensure the validity of ablution.

As for the acts of the Sunnah related to ablution, they are considered complementary practices that guarantee the perfection of wudu. Observing these acts of the Sunnah, during ablution in increases ones reward, yet abandoning them does not affect the validity of ablution.

The Conditions of Ablution

There are eight conditions of ablution:

1- Being a Muslim

2- Being mentally sound

3- Having discretion

4- Having the intention of performing wudu

According to the aforementioned four conditions, ablution is invalid if performed by a disbeliever, an insane person, a young child who does not distinguish (between right and wrong), or one who does not have the intention of ablution (upon performing it), such as performing it as a way of refreshment in a hot weather, or as a means of cleaning one’s body organs or removing certain impurities or the like.

5- Using pure water: Water used for performing ablution must be pure, so impure water is inadequate for performing ablution.

6- Using legally-obtained water: If the water used for ablution is unlawfully acquired, or taken by force, ablution will not be valid.

7- Being preceded by istinja’ or istijmar (cleaning one’s stool and urine exits following defecation or urination,) when necessary.

8- Removing what may prevent water from reaching skin of the ablution organs: That is the one performing ablution ha, to remove anything covering the organ of ablution, such as mud, dough, wax, accumulated dirt, thick paint, etc., in order to allow water to reach the skin of the organ directly without hindrance.

The Obligatory Acts of Ablution

There are six obligatory acts related to the organs of ablution:

1 -Washing the whole face

Washing the whole face involves rinsing the mouth and the nose with water. Accordingly, one’s ablution is void if one washes one’s face without rinsing ‘both’ the mouth and the nose with water. This is because the mouth and the nose belong to the face, and Allah says. (regarding ablution): “Wash your faces.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

Thus, Allah commands washing the whole face during ablution. So whoever disregards washing any part of the face is considered to be disobedient to the Command of Allah.

Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to rinse his mouth and nose with water while performing wudu.

2-Washing the forearms including the elbows

Allah says “….. And your forearms to the elbows…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6), i.e. washing them including the elbows, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do according to a hadith narrated in this regard. It is also slated in another hadith that the Prophet “…washed his hands (during ablution) until he reached the upper arms”. This indicates that the elbows are included when washing the arms during ablution.

3-Wiping over the whole head

Wiping over the head includes the ears, for Allah says “…And wipe over your heads…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6) Moreover, the Prophet said “The ears are treated as part of the head” (Ibn Majah)

Therefore, it is incorrect to abandon wiping over the ears, for it is insufficient to wipe over one part of the head and neglect another during ablution.

4- Washing the feet including the ankles

During ablution the feet must be washed including the ankles, for Allah, Exalted be He, says: “…and wash your feet to the ankles…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6) Here, the preposition “to” means ‘with’ according to the hadiths pointing out how ablution is performed, and through which it is stated that the whole feet must be washed ‘including’ the ankles.

5- Sequence

The decreed sequence has to be observed while performing wudu. To clarify, one begins with washing the face, followed by the hands, then wipes over the head, and finally washes the feet, as clearly shown in the verse Allah says:

O you who have believed, when you rise to (perform) prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles· (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to follow that order while performing ablution, saying:

“This is an ablution without which Allah does not accept any prayer·” (Abu Dawud)

6- Succession

This means to wash the organs successively without any interval between washing the organs, i.e. the organs must be washed successively without pause as much as possible.

These are the obligatory acts of wudu that must fulfilled as commanded by Allah in His Book, the Qur’an.

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence”.

 

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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What Do the Prophet’s Traditions Say about Jesus?

What Do the Prophet’s Traditions Say about Jesus?

Allah (Exalted be He) selected the finest amongst humanity as messengers whom He sent to His creation with specific legislations: for them to worship and obey Allah and to establish His Religion and His tawheed (Oneness of Allah) in His Lordship, Worship, and Names and Attributes. This is how the Muslim believes in Allah’s messengers.

jesus

Muslims believe that Jesus will return before the Day of Judgment to bring justice and peace to the world.

And We sent not before you (O Muhammad) but men to whom We inspired, so ask the people of the reminder (Scriptures) if you do not know. And We did not create them (the messengers, with) bodies that ate not food, nor were they immortal. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:7-8)

Therefore, one must believe in all of God’s prophets and that they were purely and truly only human in nature; they were not supernatural beings.

`Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Faith is to believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in divine destiny, both in its good and in its evil aspects.” (Muslim)

Allah says:

Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom. (An-Nisaa’ 4:150,151)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Send peace and blessings upon the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, for He (Allah) has sent them (to people) as He (Glory be to Him) sent me.” (Al-Albani)

God’s Word

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “He who bears witness that there is no true god except Allah, alone having no partner with Him, that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, that `Isa (Jesus) is His slave and Messenger and he (Jesus) is His Word which He communicated to Maryam (Mary) and His spirit which He sent to her, that Paradise is true and Hell is true; Allah will make him enter Jannah (Paradise) accepting whatever deeds he accomplished”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Between Jesus and Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn `Abbas narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “I saw Moses, Jesus and Abraham (on the night of my Ascension to the heavens). Jesus was of red complexion, curly hair and a broad chest. Moses was of brown complexion, straight hair and tall stature as if he was from the people of Az-Zutt.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (peace be upon him). He will descent (to the earth). When you see him, recognize him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. (Abu Dawud)

Virtues of Jesus

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘I am the most close to Jesus, son of Mary, from among the whole of mankind in this worldly life and the next life.’ ‘They said: Allah’s Messenger how is it?’ Thereupon he said: ‘Prophets are brothers in faith, having different mothers. Their religion is, however, one, and there is no Prophet between us (between me and Jesus Christ).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead.”

About Maryam (Mary), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Many a man achieved perfection, but no woman achieved perfection except for Maryam (Mary), the daughter of `Imran, and Asiyah, the wife of Pharaoh…” (At-Tirmidhi)

Jesus’ Return

Muslims believe that Jesus will return before the Day of Judgment to bring justice and peace to the world.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon) said, “Dajjal (the Antichrist) will appear in my Ummah and he will stay in the world for forty. I do not know whether this will be forty days or forty months or forty years. Allah will then send (Prophet) ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). ‘Isa will pursue him and slaughter him. Then people will survive for seven years (i.e., after the demise of ‘Isa) in the state that there will be no rancour between two persons…. (Muslim)

This Islamic belief about Jesus is similar to the belief of some of the early Christians.

In the Qur’an, God addresses the Christians about Jesus in the following way:

O People of the Book, do not commit excesses in your religion, and do not say anything about God except the truth: the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was nothing more than a messenger of God, His word, directed to Mary and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers and do not speak of a ‘Trinity’– stop (this), that is better for you– God is only one God, He is far above having a son, everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust. (An-Nisaa’ 4:171)

 

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What Did the Prophet say about Congregational Prayer?

What Did the Prophet say about Congregational Prayer?

By Editorial Staff

The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to attend the congregational prayer at the mosque, warning against staying away from it, and that it is fard kifayah (collective obligation).

Congregational Prayer

“The prayer in congregation is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.”

Superiority of Congregational Prayer

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “The congregational prayer  is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The prayer of a man with another man is better than his praying alone, and the prayer of a man with two other men is better than his praying alone or with only one other man, and the more people there are, the more beloved it is to Allah.” (An-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud)

Also, it was narrated that Ma`dan ibn Abu Talhah Al-Ya`muri said:

Abud-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying:

“If three men in a village or in the desert, make no arrangement for Salah (prayer) in congregation, Satan must have certainly overcome them. So observe prayer in congregation, for the wolf eats up a solitary sheep that stays far from the flock.” (Abu Dawud)

Anas bin Malik narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger said: “Whoever performs prayer for Allah for forty days in congregation, catching the first takbir, two absolutions are written for him: absolution from the Fire, and absolution from the Fire, and absolution from hypocrisy.” (At-Tirmidhi)

`Isha’ & Fajr

Uthman ibn `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

“Whoever attends `Isha’ (prayer) in congregation, then he has (the reward as if he had) stood half of the night. And whoever prays `Isha’ and Fajr in congregation, then he has (the reward as if he had) spent the entire night standing (in prayer).” (At-Tirmidhi)

`Uthman ibn `Affan reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: “One who performs `Isha’ (Night) prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed prayer for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed prayer the whole night.” (Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet said, “Allah will prepare for him who goes to the mosque (every) morning and in the afternoon (for the congregational prayer) an honorable place in Paradise with good hospitality for (what he has done) every morning and afternoon goings. (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“If the people knew the reward for pronouncing the Adhan and for standing in the first row (in congregational prayers) and found no other way to get that except by drawing lots they would draw lots. And if they knew the reward of the Zhuhr prayer (in the early moments of its stated time), they would race for it (go early). And if they knew the reward of `Isha’ and Fajr (morning) prayers in congregation, they would come to offer them even if they had to crawl.” (Al-Bukhari)

Congregational Prayer

“For when one of you is walking for Salah, he is, in fact, engaged in Salah.”

More Virtuous

It was narrated that Ibn `Umar said:

“The Messenger of Allah said: “The prayer of a man in congregation is twenty-seven levels more virtuous than a man’s prayer on his own.” (Ibn Majah)

It was narrated that `Uthman ibn `Affan said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “Whoever does wudu’ (ablution) properly, then walks to (attend) the prescribed prayer, and prays with the people or with the congregation or in the Masjid, Allah will forgive him his sins.” (An-Nasa’i)

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, “When the Iqamah is pronounced, do not come to it running, you should walk calmly with tranquility to join the congregation. Then join in what you catch for and complete what you miss.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah will prepare for him who goes to the mosque (every) morning and in the afternoon (for the congregational prayer) an honorable place in Paradise with good hospitality for (what he has done) every morning and afternoon goings. (Al-Bukhari)

Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“The person who will receive the highest reward for Salah (prayer) is the one who comes to perform it in the mosque from the farthest distance. And he who waits for Salah to perform it with the Imam (in congregation) will have a greater reward than the one who observes it alone and then goes to sleep.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Messenger of Allah peace be upon him) said, “For when one of you is walking for Salah, he is, in fact, engaged in Salah.” (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

“The servant is constantly in prayer so long as he is in a place of worship waiting for the prayer (to be observed in congregation), and the angels invoke (blessings upon him in these words): O Allah! pardon him. O Allah! show mercy to him, (and they continue to do so) till he returns (from the mosque having completed the prayer) or his ablution breaks. I said: How is the ablution broken? He said: By breaking of the wind noiselessly or with noise. (Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“The prayer offered in congregation is twenty five times more superior (in reward) to the prayer offered alone in one’s house or in a business center, because if one performs ablution and does it perfectly, and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for each step which he takes towards the mosque, Allah upgrades him a degree in reward and (forgives) crosses out one sin till he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque he is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and the angels keep on asking for Allah’s forgiveness for him and they keep on saying: ‘O Allah! Be Merciful to him, O Allah! Forgive him, as long as he keeps on sitting at his praying place and does not pass wind.” (Al-Bukhari)

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Tips for New Muslims on How to Read the Qur’an

Tips for New Muslims on How to Read the Qur’an

It is very important for Muslims to read the Qur’an and get a better understanding of its message. This is how we can learn and practice the basic concepts of Islam as a balanced way of life.

someone teaching another how to read the qur'an

The first word of the Qur’an revealed to Prophet Muhammad was “Read”.

Reading the Qur’an also shows us the universe in a new light: we learn many amazing facts about ourselves and the different creatures of God, the environmental balance and our role in it, human behavior and relations, financial and economic concepts, and much, much more.

In other words, when we read the Qur’an we must free our minds and open up our souls to get a much deeper understanding of our world and ourselves. It is not just a book of worship and religious rules; it is a book of wisdom that will change our lives.

Here are some general guidelines on how to read the Qur’an:

1- Find a good translation in a language you understand well. For English speakers, I recommend Professor Mohamed Abdel Halim’s modern English translation (The Qur’an, a new translation- Oxford University Press).

Always bear in mind that reading the Qur’an in any other language than its original Arabic is only an approximation of the meaning and not the exact text, simply because it is impossible to reproduce the same literary experience in any other language.

Dr. Mostafa Mahmoud, a philosopher and scientist, describes the Qur’anic style:

“There is no end rhyme, nor is the Qur’an written in verse. The prose, however, is so unique that one can detect a law of verbal architecture that governs its internal music pattern. It remains impossible to imitate the structural and rhetorical brilliance of the Qur’an”.

2- Listen to a recitation of the Qur’an from an experienced reader, even if you don’t understand. It is important to get the feeling of the original text, and it is mesmerizing to hear its unusual music.

3- If this is your first encounter with the Qur’an, plan two consecutive readings: a first quick and general reading to get the big ideas, then a second more thorough reading to delve deeper and get a much closer look at the details.

4- Start your first reading with a neutral frame of mind. Approaching the Qur’an with a pre-conceived perception will only slow your progress and color your understanding of its true message, resulting in a confused impression.

Consult your own open heart and mind in the first reading, and not other people’s opinions, whether from classical books or from the mainstream media. The Qur’an reaches straight into your soul if you let it, so please allow yourself the experience.

Dr. Mohamed Enani writes:

“The Qur’an speaks the language of the human heart wherever humans are found and whatever the age they live in; it is a universal language rooted deep in a human’s natural constitution”.

5- Do not be afraid to challenge what you read. The Qur’an actually invites the reader to do just that, as long as you diligently and earnestly try to find the answers, because in the process, you end up re-discovering your true self.

This rewarding journey of mental and spiritual growth is described in the works of many prominent western Muslims such as American Professor of mathematics Jeffrey Lang, who was challenging the Qur’an as a fierce atheist, yet couldn’t help but surrender to it eventually (Struggling to Surrender, Amana Publications), he writes of his first reading:

“You cannot simply read the Qur’an, not if you take it seriously. You either have surrendered to it already or you fight it. It attacks tenaciously, directly, personally; it debates, criticizes, shames, and challenges. From the outset it draws the line of battle, and I was on the other side. I was at a severe disadvantage, for it became clear that the Author knew me better than I knew myself. The Qur’an was always way ahead of my thinking; it was erasing barriers I had built years ago and was addressing my queries”.

6- Allow yourself time to contemplate. Don’t read the Qur’an like you read the newspaper, rather, read it as a direct message from God Himself to you in particular! When you read verses where God talks to the reader, stop and let the message sink in, then allow yourself time to think of yourself and your life in relation to this divine communication, think of how you could put it to good use to adjust your convictions and behavior.

When you read stories about previous nations, find contemporary parallels and try to learn the lessons. When you read about God’s magnificent creations, think of educating yourself about nature and showing gratitude to Him through respecting life and natural resources. Think of the Qur’an as a dialogue or a conversation rather than a one-way communication of do’s and don’ts. Be brave enough to provide the honest answers to the questions your heart and mind will throw at you while you read.

7- Get additional insights from trusted sources about the Qur’an’s message from different perspectives: scientific, sociological, behavioral, regulatory…etc. in addition to reading about the historic context in which it was revealed, including the biography of the man who transmitted it to us: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions.

I advise you to read original writings from fellow Muslims of your native culture, rather than translated works from Arabic, with the exception of a few outstanding works (for example, Dr. Mostafa Mahmoud’s book Understanding the Qur’an, a Contemporary Approach, translated by Dr. M Enani- Amana Publications).

Read also about the brilliant achievements of Muslim scientists across history, when they understood and applied the Qur’anic rules of acquiring and applying knowledge to serve humanity as God’s vicegerents on Earth.

A good source is “Lost History, the Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers, and Artists” by Michael Hamilton Morgan, National Geographic.

8- Plan to read the Qur’an in its original language one day by learning Arabic, and the science of the correct recitation of the Qur’an called ‘tajweed‘. There are lessons in all the mosques in the world, and there are transliterated Qur’ans especially for this purpose, to help you pronounce correctly, and many new Muslims have excelled at this and teach others, you can easily find their sites through a simple online search.

The experience is unparalleled if you allow yourself to absorb it in full. In his book “The Amazing Qur’an“, Dr. Garry Miller writes:

“Calling the Qur’an amazing is not something done only by Muslims, who have an appreciation for the book, and who are pleased with it; it has been labeled amazing by non-Muslims as well. In fact, even people who hate Islam very much have still called it amazing”.

Dr. Miller then explains his surprise as a scientist during his first reading:

“Within the last century the scientific community has demanded a test of falsification for any new scientific theory. This is exactly what the Qur’an has. Basically it states, “If this book is not what it claims to be, then all you have to do is this or this or this to prove that it is false.” Honestly, I was very surprised when I first discovered this challenge. In 4:82 the book openly invites the non-Muslim to find a mistake. In 1400 years no one has been able to do that, and thus it is considered true and authentic”.

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Taken from Onislam.net.

 

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Has Science Become a New Religion?

Has Science Become a New Religion?

By Truth Seeker Staff

In this amazing video by the London Dawah Movement, Brother Abdurraheem Green answers this very problematic question of, has science become a new religion? And what does this mean with respect to Islam as well as other divinely revealed religions.

Join us to see what Brother Green has to say on this…

 

 

 

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All about Eid Al-Adha Rulings during COVID-19 Pandemic

All about Eid Al-Adha Rulings during COVID-19 Pandemic

By AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee

The following are some rulings that we would like to bring to your attention and remind you of, which are relevant in the midst of the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. States and cities all over North America are dealing with the spread of this disease amongst their residents on different levels. Therefore, these factors must be taken into consideration in the application of the following rulings.

May Allah accept our good deeds.
Eid Mubarak!

The Legal Ruling Regarding the `Eid Prayer

In those states and municipalities where residents have been ordered or advised to avoid crowds and/or not to leave home except in the case of necessity, the Eid prayer can be performed with the minimum requirements; this would include an imam as well as two or three adult males, all the while maintaining physical distancing and wearing face masks. This is because Eid is one of the manifest Islamic rituals, and scholars have varying opinions on whether or not its performance is a communal obligation, an individual obligation, or a confirmed Sunnah.

Furthermore, because of the principle which states, “What is doable (as far as obligatory actions) does not stop being an obligation due to the presence of what is not doable,” the Eid prayer should be performed to the best of our ability, even if it is within the narrow and limited scope that we have described. It would not be befitting for us to be negligent in this matter (i.e., not performing the Eid prayer at all).

And similar to how Jumuah prayer is to be established within the limits of the maximum permissible number of congregants in one building, even if that means limiting the congregation to the administrative members of the mosque, the same can be said about the Eid prayer.

When it comes to the performance of the Eid prayer in the home, for the one who was not able to pray it in congregation, the matter is not so restricted.

What Is the Legal Ruling Regarding the ‘Eid Sermon?

Whereas the khutbah (sermon) is a condition of validity for Jumuah prayer (even though the one who catches one rak’ah [unit] of the prayer is considered to have caught the prayer), the khutbah is voluntary in the two Eid prayers. This is proven by what has been narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn as-Sa’ib who said, “I attended the Eid prayer with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). When he finished the prayer, he said: ‘We shall deliver the sermon; he who likes to sit and listen may do so, and he who wishes to leave may do so’.” Therefore, the khutbah is not a condition of validity for the Eid prayer, nor is listening to it.

Where to Perform the ‘Eid Prayer?

And though the Jumuah prayer, by default, is to be performed inside the mosque, the Eid prayer on the other hand should be performed outdoors rather than inside the mosque. It is for this reason that the majority of scholars from the Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali schools permit the performance of Eid prayer in the home for the one who was not able to attend it in congregation, though the Hanafi’ scholars disagree. The evidence on the side of the majority is what has been narrated to us about Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who, whenever he missed Eid prayer with the imam, would gather his family members and servants. He would then have ‘Abdullah ibn Abi ‘Utbah lead them in two units of prayer while performing the customary takbeerat.

 

Based on this narration, there is no harm in performing the Eid prayer at home individually, or together with the members of one’s family, if someone is unable to perform it in congregation due to a hindrance. In addition, we have the choice in performing this prayer in congregation or individually. And whether we choose to pray it in its normal form (reciting out loud with the additional takbeerat), or as two units with a silent recitation and without the additional takbeerat (similar to the two units of duha’ prayer), or four units with a silent recitation (similar to dhuhr prayer), then that is all permissible and correct, with each of the aforementioned forms being traceable to a narration attributed to our righteous predecessors (salaf).

The Ruling on Performing ‘Eid Prayer through Broadcast

It is not permissible to pray in one’s home while being led by an imam who is elsewhere, for example via modern means of communication and broadcast such as internet, television, etc. However, there is no harm in listening to an Eid khutbah being broadcast live (even if it is prerecorded) from the mosque after having completed the Eid prayer at home, and the speech in this case would be considered a general admonishment. There is also no harm if it is followed up by a broadcasted supplication (du’a) afterwards.

Some Recommended Acts of the `Eid Day

And for the one who will be praying at home, it is a Sunnah to break the fast after the Eid prayer and not beforehand (in contrast to Eid al-Fitr). It is also recommended to perform the other Sunnahs of Eid, such as performing a ritual shower (ghusl), applying good scents, dressing nicely, etc.

What If It Is Permissible to Gather?

As for the states and municipalities where the virus is under control and it is permissible to gather therein, then people may congregate while following the guidelines set by health officials and after having consulted the experts, so as to ensure the safety of those coming to pray as well as the community at large, all the while establishing the ritual of Eid and preserving this Sunnah. The congregants, and all those attending, are to avoid shaking hands with one another and/or hugging, in order to avoid the possible spread of the virus – as we are still dealing with this pandemic.

 

It would be permissible for congregants to perform the Eid prayer while standing next to their own vehicles in a parking lot while maintaining a safe distance from others, if this is the only way the community would be permitted to gather and perform the Eid prayer. We do not, however, deem it permissible to pray sitting inside one’s vehicle, because that would change the required form in which the prayer is to be performed and because doing so can be used as a pretext for permitting, by default, this form of prayer in the future even once the dire need caused by the pandemic is gone, and even with the availability of other options such as praying in small groups, praying at home, or to the side of one’s vehicle, as we have just mentioned.

The Legal Ruling on Udhiyah

Sacrificing an animal (udhiyah or qurban) is a Sunnah and is not considered an obligation. If a Muslim does not perform it due to a financial constraint, then there is no blame on them.

 

It is not sufficient to give money (in charity) instead of having an animal sacrificed out of fear of contagion that can be caused by mixing with others during the time the animal is slaughtered. It would be invalid to make a deductive analogy (qiyas) of replacing the udhiyah with giving money in charity as one might do with one’s Zakat al-Fitr. This is because the udhiyah is an act of worship that hinges on two components that make it incomparable with Zakat al-Fitr:

(1) the act of slaughtering the animal, which, in and of itself, is considered an act of worship by which one gains nearness to Allah, and

(2) the charity and goodness that reaches the poor and needy as a result of the act.

The presence of the virus does not provide us with a valid concession in changing the act of offering the udhiyah to simply offering monetary charity as a replacement. Doing so would be an innovation in the religion of Islam, and we do not know of any support for such a view offered by any of our esteemed scholars from the past. If someone were to do this (donate money instead of offering an udhiyah), their act would be considered a general charity (sadaqah) and would not count for them as a valid alternative for the udhiyah.

 

By default, the sacrifice should be performed in the land one is residing in, and it is prescribed for one to witness the sacrificial act and eat from the meat of the udhiyah. However, it is permissible to appoint someone who will perform the sacrifice on your behalf, even if that is done outside the country where you reside. Given the circumstances of this pandemic, if it is not possible (to perform the sacrifice locally), or if doing so involves hardship or a risk of exposure to harm, there is no blame in forgoing these aspects of the ritual and having the sacrifice performed by someone you appoint.

The Best Days a Year

In conclusion, we would like to remind the Muslim community of the importance of benefiting from the blessed seasons of worship, especially the most virtuous days of this worldly life, as it has been related to us in the hadith of Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The best days of this world are the ten days (i.e., the first 10 of Dhul-Hijjah)…” [reported by al-Bazzar and ibn Hibban and classified saheeh (authentic) by al-Albani]. And, as taught to us by the Prophet (PBUH): “The greatest day in the sight of Allah is the day of Sacrifice (al-Nahr), followed by the day of Remaining (al-Qar)” [reported by Abu Dawood and al-Nasa’i and classified as authentic by al-Albani].

 

Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fat-h “The apparent reason as to why the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah stand out in their virtue is the fact that they combine in them the performance of the most essential acts of worship, which are salah, fasting, charity, and Hajj (pilgrimage), and we do not find this trait present in any other set of days.”

 

And given these are the most virtuous days of the year, the recompense for good deeds performed in them is magnified and the rewards are multiplied. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “”There are no days during which righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even striving in the cause of Allah?” He (PBUH) replied, “Not even striving in the cause of Allah, except in case one goes forth with his life and his property and does not return with either of them.” [reported by al-Bukhari]

Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah

So it is incumbent upon Muslims to strive hard in performing prayers as well as fasting during the day of ‘Arafah (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), given that the Prophet (PBUH) was extra keen on fasting the day of ‘Arafah out of the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. He (PBUH) mentioned the virtue of fasting it (‘Arafah) specifically when he said, “Fast the day of Arafah, for I anticipate that by doing so Allah will forgive the sins of the coming year as well as the previous year” [reported by Muslim].

Remembrance of Allah

In these blessed days, Muslims should also be keen on increasing their remembrance of Allah, as well as their Quran recitation, and chanting takbeer (saying “Allahu Akbar), tahleel (saying “La ilaha illa Allah”), tahmeed (saying “al-Hamdulillah”), and tasbeeh (saying “Subhan Allah”). It has been narrated by Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah, nor are righteous actions performed in any other days more pleasing to Allah, than these ten days. Thus, increase therein in your performance of tahleel, takbeer, and tahmeed” [reported by Ahmad]. Al-Bukhari states “Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with them, used to go out to the marketplace during the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah) and perform takbeer (saying “Allahu Akbar”) out loud, and the people in the marketplace would hear them and likewise raise their voices with takbeer.” Maymoon ibn Mihran (from amongst the Successors [Tabi’een]) said, “I remember a time when the people would perform their takbeerat so much during the ten days that I would compare it (the sound of their voices) to waves.”

Confined and General Unrestricted Takbeer

And it is legislated to perform the takbeerat starting from the first of the ten days until the end of the days of Tashreeq (which, according to the more correct of the two scholarly views in this matter, are the three days following Eid al-Adha).

It is more emphasized to perform the takbeerat after completing each of the five daily prayers, even if the prayer is performed at home. The takbeerat following the daily prayers are what some scholars refer to as “confined takbeer” as opposed to the general unrestricted takbeer. These confined takbeerat are performed by those not performing Hajj, and they are done after each of the five daily prayers, starting from fajr on the day of ‘Arafah until ‘asr on the third day of Tashreeq.

How to Perform the Takbeerat?

As for how the takbeerat are performed, the matter is not so restricted. It is incumbent upon Muslims, especially in these times, to strive in teaching our children this Sunnah, which is among the honored rituals of our religion, in order to ensure it does not die out as a practice amongst them in the coming generations.

 

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Al-Hadyi: “it has been reported that the Prophet (PBUH) used to perform takbeerat from fajr prayer on the day of ‘Arafah until ‘asr on the final day of Tashreeq, and he would chant:

‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, wa-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa-lillahil-hamd’.

And though this chain of narration is not strong, the Ummah as a whole has applied it (this form of takbeer).

In this mentioned form, “Allahu Akbar” is repeated in pairs of two. As for it being repeated in sets of three (Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar), that is based on what has been narrated solely from the actions of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah and ibn ‘Abbas. And both forms (whether saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ in pairs of two or sets of three) are fine.”

 

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fat-ḥ : “As for the form of the takbeer, the most correct version has been reported by ‘Abd al-Razzaq in an authentic (saheeh) chain on the authority of Salman, in which he said, ‘Proclaim Allah’s Greatness: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbaru Kabeera.’ This form has also been reported to be the choice of Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, Mujahid, and ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Layla. It is also the choice of Imam al-Shafi’i, who would add to it ‘wa-lillahil-hamd’.”

 

It has also been mentioned in the form of saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ three times and adding ‘La ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la shareeka lahu.’

 

It has also been mentioned in the form of saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ twice, followed by ‘La ilaha illa Allah, wa-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa-lillahil-hamd,’ and this form is traced to ‘Umar and Ibn Mas’ood, and it is the choice of Ahmad and Is-haq.”

 

Al-Nawawi reported in his Al-Majmoo‘ that al-Shafi’i said in Al-Mukhtasar: “Whatever increase comes in the form of Allah’s mention is good.” Though it would be more suitable to confine the forms of takbeer to only that which has been reported to us, the matter is not so restricted. And to Allah all Praise is due.


Source: amjaonline.org with some modifications

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The 5 Places of Miqat by E-Da`wah Committee (EDC)

The 5 Places of Miqat by E-Da`wah Committee (EDC)

Miqat is a place at a distance outside Makkah, which pilgrims must not cross before they are in a state of Ihram if they intend to enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram for Hajj or `Umrah.

Pilgrims go to different Miqats according to their different places around the world from which they head.

1- Zulhulaifah (Abyar `Ali Mosque)

It is almost 10 kilometers from Madinah, in the direction toward Makkah, and about 450 kilometers from Makkah. It is the miqat for those who live in Madinah and for those who approach Makkah from that direction.

So if your Hajj/`Umrah trip starts with visiting Madinah, no matter where you’re from, your Ihram starts from this miqat.

2- Zat `Irq

This miqat is about 94 kilometers towards the northeast side of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people of Iraq, Iran, and beyond.

3- Qarn Al-Manazil

It is a hilly place about 94 kilometers to the east of Makkah.

This is the miqat for the people of Najd, Kuwait and for those flying through the air space of that direction and those coming from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the surrounding areas.

4- Al-Juhfah

It is about 190 kilometers to the northwest of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people who come from the direction of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Spain and other countries from that direction.

5- Yalamlam

This one is a hilly area about 50 kilometers to the southeast of Makkah.

This is the miqat for the people of Yemen and others coming from that direction including the pilgrims from China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Malaysia who come by ship.


Source: E-Da`wah Committee

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Rites of Tarwiyah and ‘Arafah Days, the First Two Days of Hajj

Rites of Tarwiyah and ‘Arafah Days, the First Two Days of Hajj

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Upon reaching the site for ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah a pilgrim declares his intention to perform one of three types of Hajj (Pilgrimage):

Ifrad

‘There is no deity but Allah Alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs (all) praise, and He is over all things Omnipotent.

It means that a pilgrim enters the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only, keeping in the state of Ihram until he stones Jamratul-‘Aqabah on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (‘Eid al-Ad-ha; on the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah). Then, a pilgrim shaves his head, and performs the Ifadah (Going forth) Tawaf along with sa’y (going between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah) in case he has not performed it (i.e. sa’y) following the Arrival Tawaf.

Qiran

It means that a pilgrim assumes Ihram for performing both ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage) and Hajj (Pilgrimage) together. The rites of performing qiran are the same as those of performing ifrad except that a pilgrim is obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in the former case.

Tamattu’

It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing ‘Umrah only, keeping in such state of ihram until he finishes the rites of ‘Umrah, such as tawaf, sa’y, and shortening or shaving the hair. After that, a pilgrim may get out of the state of ihram until he assumes another ihram for performing Hajj.

The best of the three forms is tamattu’. It is desirable for a pilgrim performing ifrad or qiran and has not got a sacrificial animal to change his intention and perform tamattu’ instead, carrying out all its rites.

It is also desirable for the one performing tamattu’ (even if it has been ifrad or qiran that converted to tamattu’ as well as the residents of Mecca and the surrounding places, to assume ihram for Hajj on the Day of Tarwiyah (the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah). This is because Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, in his description of the Prophet’s performance of Hajj:

“…All the pilgrims dissolved the state of Ihram except the Prophet (PBUH) and whoever had a sacrificial animal with him. When it was the Day of Tarwiyah, they proceeded to Mina and assumed ihram for Hajj.” (Muslim)

The place where you can assume Ihram for Hajj

A pilgrim performing tamattu’ may assume ihram from the place where he stays, whether in Mecca, Mina, or any place outside Mecca, but he should not perform tawaf after assuming ihram for Hajj (as it has been already performed during ‘Umrah).

The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘And whoever is living within these boundaries can assume ihram from his home, and the people of Mecca can assume Ihram from Mecca. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Heading for Mina on the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah

Once a pilgrim assumes ihram tor Hajj, he should then preoccupy himself with chanting talbiyah and continually repeat it every now and then, raising his voice with it until he stones Jamratul-‘Aqabah on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (on the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah). Those pilgrims who have assumed their ihram from Mecca on the Day of Tarwiyah should head for Mina; the optimum time for moving is after the sun has reached its meridian. Then, they perform the Zuhr (Noon) Prayer there, at Mina, camping there until they perform the rest of the Five Daily Prayers including the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer of the following day (the ninth of Dhul Hjjjah). Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“…The Prophet (PBUH) rode his mount (heading for Mina) and performed there the Zuhr, the ‘Asr (Afternoon), the Maghrib (Sunset), the ‘ Isha’ (Night), and the Fajr (Dawn) Prayers. Then, he(PBUH) stayed there for a while until the sun rose.” (Muslim)

It is worth mentioning that spending that time in Mina (from the noon of the Day of Tarwiyah until the dawn of the following day) and performing those five prayers there is an act of the Sunnah, not an obligatory one. Likewise, assuming ihram on the Day of Tarwiyah is considered an act of the Sunnah. So, it is permissible for a pilgrim to assume ihram before or after that day.

The Day of ‘Arafah

On the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah and after sunrise, a pilgrim proceeds to ‘Arafah; the whole area of ‘Arafah is a standing place except for the valley called Batn ‘Uranah, Thus, it is sufficient for a pilgrim to stand anywhere on that day within the boundaries of ‘Arafah, excluding the place pointed out by the Prophet (PBUH), namely Batn ‘Uranah. The boundaries of ‘Arafah are clearly distinguished by means of signs, so standing anywhere within these boundaries will be regarded as standing at Arafah. Still, a pilgrim has to pay attention to these signs in order not to stand outside ‘Arafah.

When the sun passes its meridian, a pilgrim performs the Zuhr (Noon) and the “Asr (Afternoon) Prayers, shortening and combining them at the due time of the Zuhr Prayer (i.e. performing each as two rak’ahs instead of four) with one prayer call (adhan) and two immediate prayer calls (iqamahs). We should know that a pilgrim shortens every four-rak’ah prayer (i.e. performs it as two rak’ahs) at Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Mina, However, at ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah the prayers are to be shortened and combined whereas they are only shortened at Mina, i.e. performing each prayer at its due time for there is no need for combining them at Mina.

After a pilgrim performs the Zuhr and the ‘Asr Prayers, shortening and combining them (for he is at ‘Arafah), he should spend the rest of the day remembering, invoking, glorifying, and praising Allah, seeking His forgiveness, and so on and so forth. This is to be done while a pilgrim is sticking to his place at ‘Arafah. In other words, a pilgrim does not have to go to the Mount of Ar-Rahman, or to watch it, or even to face it, while performing such supplications; standing anywhere at ‘Arafah while facing the direction of the Ka’bah is sufficient.

The best du’a during Hajj

A pilgrim should spare no effort supplicating Allah and turning to Him in repentance on such a glorious day, whether he is walking, sitting, riding, standing, or even lying down. He should also choose the most comprehensive supplications that were reported to have been observed by the Prophet (PBUH), for he(PBUH)said:

“The best supplication is the one on the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing which I and the prophets before me have said is: ‘There is no deity but Allah Alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs (all) praise, and He is over all things Omnipotent.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

A pilgrim keeps supplicating Allah at ‘Arafah until sunset. It is impermissible to leave before sunset, and if a pilgrim does, he must go back soon before sunset, to witness it there. However, if a pilgrim leaves ‘Arafah before sunset and does not go back, he is then obliged to slaughter a sheep of Hajj (or to get one seventh of a camel or a cow) and divide it among the poor residents of the Sanctuary of Mecca in expiation for missing an obligatory ritual of Hajj.

The Day of Arafah starts from the noon of the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah until the dawn of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah (the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice) according to the sound opinion in this regard. As for a pilgrim who is present at Arafah at daytime, he is obliged to stay there until sunset as we previously said. But if someone arrives at ‘Arafah at night, it is sufficient for him to stay there for any length of time, even if for only one moment, as the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“If anyone gets (i.e. stays at) “Arafah before the dawn (of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah) breaks, then he has performed Hajj.” (Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Nasa’i)

The legal ruling concerning staying at ‘Arafah

Staying at ‘Arafah is one of the obligatory fundamental rituals of Hajj, and it is the most important and the greatest one as well for the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Hajj is ‘Arafah (i. e. staying at ‘Arafah is the most important ritual of Hajj). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

As for the place of staying at ‘Arafah, a pilgrim may stand anywhere within the boundaries of ‘Arafah, and this ritual is deemed invalid if one stands outside them.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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