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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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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What Is Islam?

What Is Islam?

By Truth Seeker Staff

What Is Islam?

In this video, Sheikh Yusuf Estes explains the meaning of Islam as understood by so many Muslims in the world of today. He refutes all false allegations that accuse Islam of being a hostile religion and that it was spread by the edge of the sword.

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How to Beat Hard Times

How to Beat Hard Times

By Wael Hamza

We can emerge from difficult times closer to Allah, stronger, united, more skilled, and more guided, but only if we know how to live through them and respond to them.

We can emerge from difficult times closer to Allah, stronger, united, more skilled, and more guided, but only if we know how to live through them and respond to them.

How to Beat Hard Times

Whether you are a Syrian suffering from oppression and massacres by a criminal regime, an Egyptian fearing the brutal attacks of the corrupt supporters of the former government, a Palestinian who has lived his whole life under occupation, a Bengali who faces government crackdowns due to your political views, an American facing guilt by association and discrimination, or someone who observes all of these with a heavy heart, you are just an example of the difficult times our global Muslim community is going through. You may not be going through those trials but you may be faced with personal calamities, such as losing loved ones, facing financial difficulties, or dealing with family conflicts.

Difficult times are part of Allah’s laws in this universe; they are part of the tests that people go through.  They are not necessarily something evil, however. A difficulty we go through, on the contrary, could be a learning experience, a reminder, purification from sins and mistakes, a test of patience and perseverance, or all of these together.

We can emerge from difficult times closer to Allah, stronger, united, more skilled, and more guided, but only if we know how to live through them and respond to them.

There is no one to learn from who better responded to difficult times other than our beloved Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Not only was he a great man with noble character, he was also guided by revelations from Allah Almighty. Following his footsteps is essential to live a successful life and is part of us being Muslims. By definition, Muslims are the ones who bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. Therefore, following his example is an integral part of Islam.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went through a lot of difficult times both on a personal and a community level. His life was extremely successful, yet it was the most challenging. By the will and the guidance of Allah, he was able to meet all the challenges he faced and come out of difficult times much stronger than ever before.

In this article, we will learn from our prophet some of the guidance to help us through difficult times we are going through and to enable us to use these challenges to our advantage.

The Prophet Facing Tough Times

We read the Prophet’s story hundreds of years after it was over. It is a successful story that contains one victory after another with a very positive final outcome. This positive experience masked all the difficult times in his life and we tend to overlook them when reading or relating the story, especially in the absence of deep analysis.

The fact of the matter is that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went through a lot of challenges and difficult times throughout his whole life. In one year, his uncle and his wife, who both supported him emotionally and physically, died. In the very same year, he was subjected to physical abuse from the people of Makkah. The following story, as narrated by one of the Prophet’s companions, Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud, tells you how he was treated during this very tough year:

Seven from the leaders of Makkah were gathering next to Al-Ka`bah while the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was praying. He elongated his prostration. Abu Jahl, one of those leaders, said,

“Who would bring the innards of the camel so-and-so family just slaughtered? We can put it on top of Muhammad while prostrating!”

`Uqbah Ibn Abi Mu`ait, the most idiot amongst them, brought it and put it on the back of the Prophet while prostrating. The Prophet did not move and I (`Abdullah is talking) could not dare to do anything, for I have no clan to protect me.

Fatimah, the Prophet’s young daughter, came and removed the dirt and insulted all of them. The Prophet then raised his head and started supplicating to Allah against them all.

He was also challenged as a messenger tasked by Allah to convey His message. He was called a liar, a sorcerer, a poet, and a fortuneteller, and people started calling him Mudhamam (dispraise worthy) while his name is Muhammad (praise worthy).

His reputation was attacked, and his companions were tortured to the extent that people stopped listening to him. For two consecutive years before he migrated to Medina, only four people believed in him, two of whom died shortly after.

His trip to the neighboring city of Ta’if was just another example of those tough times. He traveled, walking, for over fifty miles to deliver his message to the people of Ta’if and ask for their support. Not only did they mock him, disbelieve in him, and let him down, but also asked their slaves and youngsters to throw stones at him for a few miles until his sandals turned red from his bleeding.

Even after migration to Madinah, his life wasn’t easy. He suffered the curses and the disrespect of the hypocrites in Madinah. His noble wife `Aishah was subject to an ugly rumor spread in the society for days.

Madinah under his leadership was challenged by war from almost every single tribe in Arabia. He witnessed the killing of seventy of his companions among whom was his dear uncle Hamzah.

He faced a siege of ten thousand soldiers, an attack on which his whole city, where all the believers lived, was about to be destroyed.

He faced treason from Jewish tribes in Madinah: some plotted to kill him and others betrayed him to side with an attacking army.

Many of the messengers he sent to teach people Islam were killed in cold blood and he grieved for them for months, seventy of them in one incident and twelve in another.

Learning from our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)

How did the Prophet manage to face all these challenges?

How was he able to come out of them stronger and with even more influence?

How did he develop such a community that was able to be steadfast in the face of difficult times during his life and after he died?

Below are a few simple, yet very effective, concepts that the Prophet embraced and taught his Companions.

These concepts are extremely important for us to understand and embrace. While going through the ideas below, you will realize that they are a mix of:

•         Personal qualities the Prophet and his Companions displayed

•         Ideas taught by the Qur’an and the words of the Prophet

•         Practical actions taken by the Prophet to face difficult times

1. Know! Difficulties are inevitable tests

This is the first and the most important concept one should believe in: going through difficult times is almost inevitable.

“Do people think they will be left alone and they will not be tried? …” ( Al-`Ankbut  29:3)

When you claim to believe in Allah, stand for what is right, oppose what is wrong, support justice, or fight oppression, these claims will all be tested. Allah will show who is truthful and who is lying.

This is the tradition of those on the straight path at all times. The Prophet and his companions were asked in the Qur’an, a question that is also asked to all of us,

“Do you suppose that you will enter Paradise untouched by the suffering endured by the people who passed before you? They were afflicted by the misery and hardship and they were so convulsed that the Messenger and the believers with him cried out: ‘When will Allah’s help arrive?’” (Al-Baqarah 2: 214)

2. Know! Difficulties happen by the Will of Allah

It is very important to know and believe that nothing will happen to you except what Allah has decreed for you. The Prophet was asked to say,

“Nothing will befall us except what Allah has decreed for us.” (At-Tawbah 9:51)

He taught one of his young cousins, `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas, “Know that what hits you would not have missed you.

This belief gives you comfort and prevents fear from future difficulty, but more importantly, helps you overcome any difficulty you are already going through. Allah said,

“No misfortune ever befalls unless it be by Allah. And whosoever has faith in Allah, Allah guides his heart …” (At-Taghabun 64:11)

3. Flee to Allah

O Allah I display before you my weakness …” This phrase was part of the prayer of the Prophet while coming back from his trip to Al Ta’if. Taking refuge in Allah and asking for His help and support is a very important action we should do during the time of difficulty. This is a trial by Allah, it happened with His permission, and it is only He who can alleviate it.

4. Examine your actions

If you are not angry with me, I do not care …” was also part of the Prophet’s prayer returning from Al Ta’if. During times of difficulty, we should examine our actions. This difficulty may very well be a warning from Allah that we are doing something wrong. It may be because of our sins and mistakes:

“Whatever misfortune befalls you is a consequence of your own deeds …” (Ash-Shura 42:30)

It may be because we strayed and Allah sent this difficulty to us as a reminder to bring us back. Malik Ibn Dinar, one of the great scholars of Islam, transformed from being an alcoholic person to the great person we know as a result of the death of his own two-year old daughter.

5. Be optimistic

Having hope and being optimistic were two important attitudes the Prophet embraced when facing difficulty.

By Allah, Allah will perfect this matter until the traveler can travel from Sana’a to Hadhramaut fearing no one but Allah and the wolf that may eat his sheep“, The Prophet told Khabbab when he complained to him about the severity of torture he and other Muslims in Makkah were going through. (Al-Bukhari)

It was this hope in Allah, and confidence that there will be ease after difficulty, that kept them going.

This hope was not only kept in the hearts but was also spread through words and attitude. The Prophet mastered optimism and looked for optimism: “Evil omen is false! And I likes Al-fa’l (good omen)” the prophet told his companions. They asked, “What is Al-Fa’l?” He responded, “A good word.” (Muslim)

6. Do not get distracted

One of the very bad consequences of going through difficult times is the amount of distraction the difficulty creates. Ibn Al-Qayim says,

“It is a complete fiasco to be distracted by the blessing away from the One who blesses, and by the trial away from the One who tries.”

Sometimes the difficulty itself scares us away from the good we are doing. Allah says,

“And let it never happen that they might turn you away from the revelations of Allah after they have been revealed to you…” (Al-Qasas 28-87)

The prophet never stopped delivering his message because of a personal difficulty he went through or because of a threat or torture he received from his enemies.

7. Expect reward

This was one of the teachings the Qur’an instilled in the hearts of Muslims. Whether the calamity happens naturally, or whether it is due to the harm of others, being patient and perseverant results in a lot of reward. The calamity will eventually be over,

“Indeed with the difficulty there is an ease. Indeed with the difficulty there is an ease.” (Ash-Sharh 94:5-6)

And when the ease comes, the pain will go away and will be forgotten. What remains and will never go away is the tremendous reward one would get,

“We shall certainly test you by afflicting you with fear, hunger, loss of properties and lives and fruits. Give glad tidings, then, to those who remain patient.

Those, who when any affliction smites them, they say: “Verily, we belong to Allah, and it is to Him we shall return.”

Upon them will be the blessings of their Lord, and it is they who are rightly guided.” (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

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Courtesy onislam.net with slight editorial modifications.

Wael Hamza is a Muslim writer, thinker and an active figure in MAS (Muslim American Society), U.S.A.

 

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Aishah bint Abi Bakr: Mother of the Believers

Aishah bint Abi Bakr: Mother of the Believers

By Truth Seeker Staff

Many of the learned companions of the Prophet and their followers benefitted from Aishah's knowledge. Abu Musa al-Ashari once said: "If we companions of the Messenger of God had any difficulty on a matter, we asked Aishah about it."

Many of the learned companions of the Prophet and their followers benefitted from Aishah’s knowledge. Abu Musa al-Ashari once said: “If we companions of the Messenger of God had any difficulty on a matter, we asked Aishah about it.”

Aishah bint Abi Bakr: Mother of the Believers

The life of Aishah is proof that a woman can be far more learned than men and that she can be the teacher of scholars and experts. Her life is also proof that a woman can exert influence over men and women and provide them with inspiration and leadership. Her life is also proof that the same woman can be totally feminine and be a source of pleasure, joy and comfort to her husband.

She did not graduate from any university there were no universities as such in her day. But still her utterances are studied in faculties of literature, her legal pronouncements are studied in colleges of law and her life and works are studied and researched by students and teachers of Muslim history as they have been for over a thousand years.

The bulk of her vast treasure of knowledge was obtained while she was still quite young. In her early childhood she was brought up by her father who was greatly liked and respected for he was a man of wide knowledge, gentle manners and an agreeable presence. Moreover he was the closest friend of the noble Prophet who was a frequent visitor to their home since the very early days of his mission.

In her youth, already known for her striking beauty and her formidable memory, she came under the loving care and attention of the Prophet himself. As his wife and close companion she acquired from him knowledge and insight such as no woman has ever acquired.

Aishah became the Prophet’s wife in Makkah when she was most likely in the tenth year of her life but her wedding did not take place until the second year after the Hijrah when she was about fourteen or fifteen years old. Before and after her wedding she maintained a natural jollity and innocence and did not seem at all overawed by the thought of being wedded to him who was the Messenger of God whom all his companions, including her own mother and father, treated with such love and reverence as they gave to no one else.

About her wedding, she related that shortly before she was to leave her parent’s house, she slipped out into the courtyard to play with a passing friend:

“I was playing on a see-saw and my long streaming hair was disheveled,” she said. “They came and took me from my play and made me ready.”

They dressed her in a wedding-dress made from fine red-striped cloth from Bahrain and then her mother took her to the newly-built house where some women of the Ansar were waiting outside the door. They greeted her with the words “For good and for happiness may all be well!” Then, in the presence of the smiling Prophet, a bowl of milk was brought. The Prophet drank from it himself and offered it to Aishah. She shyly declined it but when he insisted she did so and then offered the bowl to her sister Asma who was sitting beside her. Others also drank of it and that was as much as there was of the simple and solemn occasion of their wedding. There was no wedding feast.

Marriage to the Prophet did not change her playful ways. Her young friends came regularly to visit her in her own apartment.

“I would be playing with my dolls,” she said, “with the girls who were my friends, and the Prophet would come in and they would slip out of the house and he would go out after them and bring them back, for he was pleased for my sake to have them there.” Sometimes he would say “Stay where you are” before they had time to leave, and would also join in their games. Aishah said: “One day, the Prophet came in when I was playing with the dolls and he said: ‘O Aishah, whatever game is this?’ ‘It is Solomon’s horses,’ I said and he laughed.” Sometimes as he came in he would screen himself with his cloak so as not to disturb Aishah and her friends.

Aishah’s early life in Madinah also had its more serious and anxious times. Once her father and two companions who were staying with him fell ill with a dangerous fever which was common in Madinah at certain seasons. One morning Aishah went to visit him and was dismayed to find the three men lying completely weak and exhausted. She asked her father how he was and he answered her in verse but she did not understand what he was saying. The two others also answered her with lines of poetry which seemed to her to be nothing but unintelligible babbling. She was deeply troubled and went home to the Prophet saying:

“They are raving, out of their minds, through the heat of the fever.” The Prophet asked what they had said and was somewhat reassured when she repeated almost word for word the lines they had uttered and which made sense although she did not fully understand them then. This was a demonstration of the great retentive power of her memory which as the years went by were to preserve so many of the priceless sayings of the Prophet.

Of the Prophet’s wives in Madinah, it was clear that it was Aishah that he loved most. From time to time, one or the other of his companions would ask:

“O Messenger of God, whom do you love most in the world?” He did not always give the same answer to this question for he felt great love for many for his daughters and their children, for Abu Bakr, for Ali, for Zayd and his son Usamah. But of his wives the only one he named in this connection was Aishah. She too loved him greatly in return and often would seek reassurance from him that he loved her. Once she asked him: “How is your love for me?”

“Like the rope’s knot,” he replied meaning that it was strong and secure. And time after time thereafter, she would ask him: “How is the knot?” and he would reply: “Ala haaliha in the same condition.”

As she loved the Prophet so was her love a jealous love and she could not bear the thought that the Prophet’s attentions should be given to others more than seemed enough to her. She asked him:

“O Messenger of God, tell me of yourself. If you were between the two slopes of a valley, one of which had not been grazed whereas the other had been grazed, on which would you pasture your flocks?”

“On that which had not been grazed,” replied the Prophet. “Even so,” she said, “and I am not as any other of your wives. “Everyone of them had a husband before you, except myself.” The Prophet smiled and said nothing. Of her jealousy, Aishah would say in later years:

“I was not, jealous of any other wife of the Prophet as I was jealous of Khadijah, because of his constant mentioning of her and because God had commanded him to give her good tidings of a mansion in Paradise of precious stones. And whenever he sacrificed a sheep he would send a fair portion of it to those who had been her intimate friends. Many a time I said to him: “It is as if there had never been any other woman in the world except Khadijah.”

Once, when Aishah complained and asked why he spoke so highly of “an old Quraysh woman”, the Prophet was hurt and said: “She was the wife who believed in me when others rejected me. When people gave me the lie, she affirmed my truthfulness. When I stood forsaken, she spent her wealth to lighten the burden of my sorrow..”

Despite her feelings of jealousy which nonetheless were not of a destructive kind, Aishah was really a generous soul and a patient one. She bore with the rest of the Prophet’s household poverty and hunger which often lasted for long periods. For days on end no fire would be lit in the sparsely furnished house of the Prophet for cooking or baking bread and they would live merely on dates and water. Poverty did not cause her distress or humiliation; self-sufficiency when it did come did not corrupt her style of life.

Once the Prophet stayed away from his wives for a month because they had distressed him by asking of him that which he did not have. This was after the Khaybar expedition when an increase of riches whetted the appetite for presents. Returning from his self-imposed retreat, he went first to Aishah’s apartment. She was delighted to see him but he said he had received Revelation which required him to put two options before her. He then recited the verses:

“O Prophet! Say to your wives: If you desire the life of this world and its adornments, then come and I will bestow its goods upon you, and I will release you with a fair release. But if you desire God and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter, then verily God has laid in store for you an immense reward for such as you who do good.”

Aishah’s reply was:

“Indeed I desire God and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter,” and her response was followed by all the others.

She stuck to her choice both during the lifetime of the Prophet and afterwards. Later when the Muslims were favored with enormous riches, she was given a gift of one hundred thousand dirhams. She was fasting when she received the money and she distributed the entire amount to the poor and the needy even though she had no provisions in her house. Shortly after, a maidservant said to her: “Could you buy meat for a dirham with which to break your fast?”

“If I had remembered, I would have done so,” she said. The Prophet’s affection for Aishah remained to the last. During his final illness, it was to Aishah’s apartment that he went at the suggestion of his wives. For much of the time he lay there on a couch with his head resting on her breast or on her lap. She it was who took a toothstick from her brother, chewed upon it to soften it and gave it to the Prophet. Despite his weakness, he rubbed his teeth with it vigorously. Not long afterwards, he lost consciousness and Aishah thought it was the onset of death, but after an hour he opened his eyes.

Aishah it is who has preserved for us these dying moments of the most honored of God’s creation, His beloved Messenger may He shower His choicest blessings on him.

When he opened his eyes again, Aishah remembered Iris having said to her: “No Prophet is taken by death until he has been shown his place in Paradise and then offered the choice, to live or die.”

“He will not now choose us,” she said to herself. Then she heard him murmur: “With the supreme communion in Paradise, with those upon whom God has showered His favor, the Prophets, the martyrs and the righteous…” Again she heard him murmur: “O Lord, with the supreme communion,” and these were the last words she heard him speak. Gradually his head grew heavier upon her breast, until others in the room began to lament, and Aishah laid his head on a pillow and joined them in lamentation.

In the floor of Aishah’s room near the couch where he was lying, a grave was dug in which was buried the Seal of the Prophets amid much bewilderment and great sorrow.

Aishah lived on almost fifty years after the passing away of the Prophet. She had been his wife for a decade. Much of this time was spent in learning and acquiring knowledge of the two most important sources of God’s guidance, the Quran and the Sunnah of His Prophet. Aishah was one of three wives (the other two being Hafsah and Umm Salamah) who memorized the Revelation. Like Hafsah, she had her own script of the Quran written after the Prophet had died.

So far as the Ahadith or sayings of the Prophet is concerned, Aishah is one of four persons (the others being Abu Hurayrah, Abdullah ibn Umar, and Anas ibn Malik) who transmitted more than two thousand sayings. Many of these pertain to some of the most intimate aspects of personal behavior which only someone in Aishah’s position could have learnt. What is most important is that her knowledge of hadith was passed on in written form by at least three persons including her nephew Urwah who became one of the greatest scholars among the generation after the Companions.

Many of the learned companions of the Prophet and their followers benefitted from Aishah’s knowledge. Abu Musa al-Ashari once said: “If we companions of the Messenger of God had any difficulty on a matter, we asked Aishah about it.”

Her nephew Urwah asserts that she was proficient not only in fiqh but also in medicine (tibb) and poetry. Many of the senior companions of the Prophet came to her to ask for advice concerning questions of inheritance which required a highly skilled mathematical mind. Scholars regard her as one of the earliest fuqaha of Islam along with persons like Umar ibn al-Khattab, Ali and Abdullah ibn Abbas. The Prophet referring to her extensive knowledge of Islam is reported to have said: “Learn a portion of your religion (din) from this red colored lady.” “Humayra” meaning “Red-coloured” was an epithet given to Aishah by the Prophet.

Aishah not only possessed great knowledge but took an active part in education and social reform. As a teacher she had a clear and persuasive manner of speech and her power of oratory has been described in superlative terms by al-Ahnaf who said: “I have heard speeches of Abu Bakr and Umar, Uthman and Ali and the Khulafa up to this day, but I have not heard speech more persuasive and more beautiful from the mouth of any person than from the mouth of Aishah.”

Men and women came from far and wide to benefit from her knowledge. The number of women is said to have been greater than that of men. Besides answering enquiries, she took boys and girls, some of them orphans, into her custody and trained them under her care and guidance. This was in addition to her relatives who received instruction from her. Her house thus became a school and an academy.

Some of her students were outstanding. We have already mentioned her nephew Urwah as a distinguished reporter of hadith. Among her women pupils is the name of Umrah bint Abdur Rahman. She is regarded by scholars as one of the trustworthy narrators of hadith and is said to have acted as Aishah’s secretary receiving and replying to letters addressed to her. The example of Aishah in promoting education and in particular the education of Muslim women in the laws and teachings of Islam is one which needs to be followed.

After Khadijah al-Kubra (the Great) and Fatimah az-Zahra (the Resplendent), Aishah as-Siddiqah (the one who affirms the Truth) is regarded as the best woman in Islam. Because of the strength of her personality, she was a leader in every field in knowledge, in society, in politics and in war. She often regretted her involvement in war but lived long enough to regain position as the most respected woman of her time. She died in the year 58 AH in the month of Ramadan and as she instructed, was buried in the Jannat al-Baqi in the City of Light, beside other companions of the Prophet.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from http://www.islamicweb.com.

 

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Tips for Staying Healthy While Observing Fasting

Tips for Staying Healthy While Observing Fasting

By Truth Seeker Staff

Staying Healthy

To stay in shape during a fast, it is also advisable to stay out of the sun, spend most of the day in cool places and avoid strenuous exercise.

Tips for Staying Healthy While Observing Fasting

During Ramadan, practicing Muslims change their eating habits dramatically.

Questioned by Relaxnews, nutritionist Charlotte Debeugny provided her recommendations to religious fasters looking to make the most out of this festive time of year.

Pack in fibre and protein at Suhoor

Suhoor and Iftar, the two daily meals during Ramadan, are taken before dawn and after dusk, respectively. Suhoor is crucial, as it is the faster’s last meal before facing the day. So it is important to make sure this pre-dawn meal contains protein (found in eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, etc.) and fibre (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc.), both of which help stave off hunger over a long period.

Avoid overeating after sundown

After a day of deprivation, there is a strong temptation to overindulge at Iftar. To curb the pangs of hunger before reaching for calorie-rich foods, try having a bowl of cold soup or a healthy salad. The evening meal should also include protein, whole grains, and vegetables.

Especially during Ramadan, it is important to avoid empty calories and junk food, to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and to ensure that each meal includes healthy portions of protein and dairy products.

Eat almonds and dates instead of rich desserts

While Ramadan is a festive time of year, it has the potential to negatively impact one’s health. Eating at night rather than during the day affects the body’s metabolism, thus increasing the risk of weight gain. Fasting can also lead to cravings for foods that are high in sugar and fat, which can also impact your waistline. Charlotte Debeugny recommends eating a few dates or almonds instead of the extremely calorie-rich pastries served during Ramadan, such as baklava or halva.

Avoid the sun and stay hydrated

To stay in shape during a fast, it is also advisable to stay out of the sun, spend most of the day in cool places and avoid strenuous exercise. Eating fruit before sunrise is a good idea, as the water it contains helps to hydrate the body during the day. Be careful not to drink too much water at once. Coffee and tea are to be avoided, as they can actually lead to increased thirst and dehydration. For additional energy, try drinking smoothies or fruit juice diluted with water.

Adapt fasting to your physical condition

Before starting a fast, it is necessary to talk to a doctor, particularly for seniors, diabetics taking medication to control their insulin levels, pregnant women and pre-adolescent children. Those with compromised health who still wish to fast for Ramadan should consult their doctor to develop a fasting plan adapted to their condition. At the first symptom of failing health, it is important to stop fasting.

 

Note from the Editor:

Along with having healthy food while we are fasting during the month of Ramadan, we should not forget the core essence of the ritual of fasting in Islam, namely to obtain Taqwa (piety) and fear of Allah, the Creator of all and everything. Allah the Almighty says in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an what means,

“O you who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God. [Fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves – if you but knew it. It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him].” (Al-Baqarah 2: 183-185)

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from AFP Relaxnews: http://malaysiandigest.com

 

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Islam: The Real Emancipator of Women

Islam: The Real Emancipator of Women

By Mary C. Ali and Anjum Ali

Islam and women

Men are required to provide women with not only monetary support but also physical protection and kind and respectful treatment.

Islam: The Real Emancipator of Women

The Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties. Today people think that women are liberated in the West and that the women’s liberation movement began in the twentieth century. Actually, the women’s liberation movement was not begun by women; it was revealed by Allah to the Prophet in the seventh century.

Human Rights

Islam, more than fourteen centuries ago, made women equally accountable to Almighty Allah in glorifying and worshiping Him, setting no limits on her moral progress. Also, Islam established women’s equality — in their humanity — with men. In the Qur’an, in the first verse of Surat An-Nisaa’ (Women), Allah says,

“O humankind, be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them both has spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim (your rights) of one another and toward the wombs (that bore you). Lo, Allah has been a Watcher over you. (An-Nisaa’ 4:1)

Since men and women both came from the same essence, they are equal in their humanity. Neither gender can be superior because it would be a contradiction of equality.

Civil Rights

In Islam, a woman has the basic freedom of choice and expression based on the recognition of her individual personality. In Islam, women are encouraged to contribute their opinions and ideas. There are many examples in the Sunnah that indicate that women would pose questions directly to the Prophet and offer their opinions concerning religion, economics, and social matters. A Muslim woman has the right to choose her husband and keeps her name after marriage. A Muslim woman’s testimony is valid in legal disputes.

Social Rights

The Muslim woman is in equal footing with man with regard to acquiring knowledge, whether religious or other. Both men and women have the capacity for learning and understanding. Since it is also their obligation to promote good behavior and condemn bad manners in all spheres of life, Muslim women must acquire the appropriate education to perform this duty in accordance with their own natural talents and interests. While looking after the home, providing support to the husband, and bearing, raising, and teaching the children are among the first and very highly regarded roles for a woman, if she has the skills to work outside the home for the good of the community, she may do so, as long as her family obligations are met.

Islam recognizes and fosters the natural differences between men and women despite their equality. Some types of work are more suitable for men and other types are more suitable for women. This in no way diminishes either’s effort. Allah will reward both sexes equally for the value of their work, though it may not necessarily be the same activity. Concerning motherhood, a famous wisdom from the Islamic literature says, “Heaven lies under the feet of mothers.

This implies that the success of a society can be traced to the mothers who raised it. The first and greatest influence on a person comes from the sense of security, affection, and guidance received from the mother. Therefore, a woman who has children must be educated and conscientious in order to be a skillful parent.

Political Rights

One of the rights given to Muslim women by Allah, more than fourteen centuries ago, is the right to vote. A woman may voice her opinion on any public matter and participate in politics. The following is stated in the Qur’an,

“O Prophet, if believing women come unto you, taking oath of allegiance unto you that they will ascribe no thing as partner unto Allah and will neither steal nor commit adultery nor kill their children nor produce any lie that they have devised between their hands and feet nor disobey you in what is right, then accept their allegiance and ask Allah to forgive them. Lo, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Al-Mumtahanah 60:12)

It is derived from this verse that the right of women to select their leader and publicly declare so has been established more than 1,400 years ago. Likewise, Islam does not prohibit a woman from holding important positions in government. Financial Rights In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah says,

“And [I swear by] the creation of the male and the female. Your striving is surely (directed to) various (ends). (Al-Layl 92:3–4)

In these verses, Allah declares that He created men and women to be different, with unique roles, functions, and skills. As in a society where there is a division of labor, so too in a family — each member has different responsibilities. Generally, Islam upholds that women are entrusted with the role of nurturer and men with the role of guardian. Therefore, women are given the right of financial support. Almighty Allah states,

“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property. (An-Nisaa’ 4:34)

This guardianship and greater financial responsibility given to men require that they provide women with not only monetary support but also physical protection and kind and respectful treatment. Allah tells us that men are guardians over women and are afforded the leadership in the family. The responsibility of the Muslim man for obeying Allah extends to guiding his family to obey Allah at all times. A wife’s rights also extend beyond material needs. She has the right to kind treatment.

The Prophet said, “The most perfect believers are the best in conduct. And the best of you are those who are best to their wives.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Muslim woman has the privilege to earn money and the right to own property, to enter into legal contracts, and to manage all of her assets in any way she pleases. She can run her own business, and no one has any claim on her earnings, including her husband. Almighty Allah says,

“And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn, and women shall have the benefit of what they earn, and ask Allah of His grace; surely Allah knows all things. (An-Nisaa’ 4:32)

In addition, a woman inherits from her relatives. Almighty Allah states,

“Men shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave, and women shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave, whether there is little or much of it — a stated portion. (An-Nisaa’ 4:7)

Rights of a Wife

Almighty Allah says,

“And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; surely there are signs in this for people who reflect. (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Marriage is therefore not just a physical or emotional necessity, but in fact, it is a sign from Allah. It is a relationship of mutual rights and obligations based on divine guidance. Allah created men and women with complimentary natures, and in the Qur’an, He laid out a system of laws to support harmonious interaction between them. Muslim wives have various rights that serve to foster the love and security that come with marriage. The first of a wife’s rights is to receive mahr (dower).

This is a gift from the husband that is part of the marriage contract and is required for the legality of the marriage. The second right of a wife is maintenance. Regardless of any wealth a wife may have, her husband is obligated to provide her with food, shelter, and clothing. He is not forced, however, to spend beyond his capability, and his wife is not entitled to make unreasonable demands. In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah states,

“Let him who has abundance spend out of his abundance, and whoever has his means of subsistence straitened to him, let him spend out of that which Allah has given him. Allah does not lay on any soul a burden except to the extent of what He has granted it; Allah will bring about ease after difficulty. (At-Talaq 65:7)

Duties of a Wife

With rights come responsibilities. Therefore, the Muslim wives have certain obligations toward their husbands. Almighty Allah says,

“Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands) and guard in (the husbands’) absence what Allah orders them to guard. (An-Nisaa’ 4:34)

A wife is to keep her husband’s secrets and protect their marital privacy. Issues of intimacy or faults of his that would dishonor him are not to be shared by the wife, just as he is expected to guard her honor. A wife must also guard her husband’s property. She must safeguard his home and possessions — to the best of her ability — against theft or damage.

She should wisely manage the household affairs so as to prevent loss or waste. A Muslim woman must cooperate and coordinate with her husband. A husband also should not exploit his wife but should be considerate of her needs and happiness. The Muslim woman was given — more than 1,400 years ago — a role, duties, and rights that most women do not enjoy today, even in the West. These are from Allah and are designed to keep balance in society. What may seem unjust or missing in one place is compensated for or explained in another place. Islam is a complete way of life.

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Excerpted with kind permission and some modifications from The Institute of Islamic Information and Education, Chicago.

 

 

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Can We Be Happy Without God?

Can We Be Happy Without God?

By Shahul Hameed

Can We Be Happy Without God?

God“A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?”

This is one of the surprise questions that would greet New York commuters on the subway. A coalition of eight atheist organizations has purchased a month-long campaign that would place their posters in a dozen busy subway stations throughout Manhattan.

This is “part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don’t believe in a “god”, according to a statement from the group, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason. (Atheist ads to adorn New York subway stations, last accessed 24 October 2009)

The executive director of the New York Center for Inquiry, one of the associated atheists, explained that the coalition hopes “to encourage talking and thinking about religion and morality.”

As believers in Islam, we do welcome talking and thinking about religion and morality. And thinking of religion, we need to, first of all, confront the question of the existence of God:

If we just pass our eyes over the phenomena of nature with attention, we see a regularity and order in all things. We can see this, for instance, in the rotation of the day and night, in the new moon and the full moon, and in the change of seasons. We see the same pattern in the birth, growth and decay of plants and animals.

In short, we can very clearly observe that everything in nature follows an order or a regular pattern, which naturally presupposes a plan or design behind it. But if there is a design, shouldn’t there be a designer? Our reason tells us and our experience teaches us that a plan or design can come only out of an intelligent being.

And if so, how can we look at the grand design of the universe, the unerring order and regularity in nature, and say that these are mere coincidences?

Most assuredly, ours is a universe of order; it is a cosmos and not a chaos. Unless there is a reliable order, or a systematic predictability of laws governing the working of the universe, how can researchers do experiments and arrive at the laws of nature or laws of science?

The foregoing means that behind the operations of this universe, there must be a grand design that is the product of an extraordinary intelligence that comprehends and transcends all the areas of human knowledge, wisdom, and experience.

And what is more, we find that the unity and the uniformity of the Laws of Nature unerringly point to the unity of the power behind the universe. In short, if we are prepared to set aside all our prejudices, and let our minds free for reason to operate freely, we can recognize the overwhelming presence of God in all aspects of the universe.

 The Importance of Religion in Life

To consider the influence of religion in human life, we should make a distinction between “individual religiosity” and “organized religion”. By individual religiosity, we mean the faith and practices of individual persons.

And “organized religion” means an institution like the Roman Catholic Church, which has a hierarchical system. Even Islam, which has no clergy or a hierarchical system, is loosely considered an organized religion.

Indeed, Islam is a complete system covering all aspects of socio-political life as well as individual life, as embodied in the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the example of Prophet Muhammad). But such a complete system is visualized only under a government organized and run on the principles of Islamic jurisprudence.

But apart from it, there are politically or economically motivated groups among Muslims now, whom the media wrongly depicts as models of “organized Islam”.

One criticism of religion in this age is that it causes a lot of violence and intolerance. In fact, violence is not caused by religion as such. It is indeed an aspect of the human psyche, most evident in the socio-political sphere of life.

An objective study will convince us that most of the persisting conflicts of the world today are born out of some complexity of a political-economical nature, rather than from religion.

But vested interests often muddle the issue. For instance, to consider the Palestinian problem from a religious point of view is to distort the vital aspects of the problem, namely the Palestinians are denied their birthright to their home, to their land and their life. Even Israelis who quote their religious book as the basis of their claim to Palestine simply exploit their religion for political advantage.

Today the majority of refugees worldwide happen to be Muslims, and so often this situation is blindly attributed to the religion of Muslims. The truth is that racism, xenophobia, and morbid fear-mongering manipulate public opinion to equate refugees with illegal migrants and even terrorists. Such attitudes create misperceptions about Muslims and Islam. Why can’t we recognize the simple fact that refugees are the victims of state terrorism in the first place?

The Islamic Declaration of Human Rights — formulated on the basis of the Qur’an and the example of Prophet Muhammad — declares that every human being running away from persecution has the right of asylum, and deserves protection.

We can see that it is often the ethnocentrism of certain communities that generates violence, rather than religion. But essentially religion teaches peace, cooperation, and sacrifice. Consider for instance the Qur’anic verses:

Help you one another in righteousness and piety, but help you not one another in sin and rancor… (Al-Ma’idah 5:2)

Do no mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good. (Al-A`raf 7:56)

…But do you good, as Allah has been good to you, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief. (Al-Qasas 28:77)

Indeed, the moral worth of a society depends on the righteousness of the individuals who comprise that society. And an Islamic society is one in which the individual citizens of the society live by the tenets of Islam.

Regarding religion, one question that haunts thinking humans is about the meaning of suffering. Islam offers a satisfactory answer to this question, which is: If God is good and means well for humankind, why should He allow them to suffer?

Islam teaches that evil, which causes suffering, is the other side of good. That is to say, good in this world cannot exist without bad, as they are two sides of the same coin.

A little reflection would make us see that both good and evil are equally necessary for the spiritual growth of mankind.

Suffering tests the worth and mettle of a person. And the spirits of genuine believers do not weaken under suffering; nor does suffering frighten them or make them desperate.

The superiority of Islam over other philosophies or ideologies can be seen in that it equips its adherents with the spiritual strength to confront evil and overcome suffering. A sincere Muslim accepts physical pain, disease, and personal loss of life or property, as unavoidable tests of this life and as a means of purification; and so he or she strives to overcome them with an equal temper of mind.

As sensible beings, we ought to understand that as humans we are weak beings unable to control even our day-to-day affairs. As such, what can we really do when we are faced with situations that are beyond us? The only course open is not to lose hope, but to rely on the infinite mercy of God.

We should use our reason to assess the problems facing us, and do what we can by way of solving them. Having trust in God, we must adopt a policy of patient perseverance in the face of calamities:

O you who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and Prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere. (Al-Baqarah 2:153)

Islam gives its followers the confidence that God’s mercy is all-pervading, and that He fulfills the smallest need of the lowest creature in the most unexpected ways.

Contentment and tranquility of mind can be attained only through the contemplation of God. God says in the Qur’an what means,

….for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction. (Ar-Ra`d 13:28)

Is Death the End?

Whatever happiness we enjoy in our life on earth is punctuated by the anxiety about impending death. Even those who are deluded by the idea that they can be “good without God” cannot escape the haunting thought of death.

At the time of death, they have to reckon with the fact that they have to leave their loved ones once and for all. If they still maintain their reason, how can they avoid asking at the point of death: “Has all the glamour and glory of our life come to this? Is this all?”

Indeed, Islam offers a satisfactory answer to the question, “why death?”

Death is only a transitional point in the life of a human being, whereby we leave this temporary world and enter into an eternal world at a different level of existence.

Since this world is imperfect and transient, and our earthly life is short, it is a horrible thought that suddenly one day, all our achievements in the world just vanish before our eyes for good.

It is only the natural corollary of our temporary existence, riddled with unhappiness, that we hope for an endless life of happiness, if not here, then in another world. And certainly, Islam answers to this natural yearning of humans for an endless life of uninterrupted happiness in the world to come:

As to those who believe and work righteous deeds, they have, for their entertainment, the Gardens of Paradise. (Al-Kahf 18:107)

From the point of view of Islam, God is the perfection of beauty, love, and justice. And the believers’ desire to meet their God in the end gives them the greatest incentive for leading a life of goodness in this world.

There is no way we can avoid facing our God to answer for all our actions on the Day of Judgment. On that day, those of us who led a good life are rewarded with an eternal life of bliss in the hereafter. And those who feel that they can be “happy without God” will necessarily be unhappy in the world to come.

The question is whether it is better to have the opportunity of enjoying an eternal life of bliss, or to miss that chance altogether by following the delusion that we can be happy without God.

The choice is ours.

 

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Taken with slight modifications from onislam.net.

Professor Shahul Hameed is a consultant to the Reading Islam Website. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.

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Allah Has Power Over Everything

Allah Has Power Over Everything

By A. O.

Allah

Some people hold the perverted belief that Allah “created everything and then left them on their own.” However, any event, taking place in any area of the universe, occurs solely by Allah’s Will, and under His control.

Allah Has Power Over Everything

Allah, the Creator of everything, is the sole possessor of all beings.

It is Allah Who heaps up the heavy clouds, heats and brightens the Earth, varies the direction of the winds, holds birds suspended up in the sky, splits the seed, makes a man’s heartbeat, ordains photosynthesis in plants, and keeps planets in their separate orbits.

People generally surmise that such phenomena occur according to “the laws of physics,” “gravity,” “aerodynamics,” or other physical factors; however, there is one significant truth these people ignore: all such physical laws were created by Allah, the only possessor of power in the universe.

Allah rules all the systems at any moment in the universe, regardless of whether we are aware of them, or if we are asleep, sitting, walking. Each of the myriad of processes in the universe, all essential to our existence, is under Allah’s control. Even our ability to just take a small step forward depends on Allah’s creation in countless minute details, including Earth’s force of gravity, the structure of the human skeleton, the nervous system and muscular system, the brain, the heart, and even the rotation speed of the Earth.

Planned and Decreed

Attributing the existence of the world and of the entire universe to sheer coincidence is complete delusion. The exquisite order of the Earth and the universe completely contradicts the possibility of formation through coincidence, and is, rather, a clear sign of Allah’s infinite might.

For instance, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun deviates only 2.8 mm in every 29 km from the right path. If this deviation were 0.3 mm longer or shorter, then living beings all over the Earth would either freeze or be scorched. While it is virtually impossible for even a marble to revolve in the same orbit without any deviation, the Earth accomplishes such a course despite its gigantic mass:

“…Allah has appointed a measure for all things…” (At-Talaq 65: 3)

In effect, the splendid order in the universe is maintained as a result of fantastic systems that depend on highly delicate equilibriums.

Some people hold the perverted belief that Allah “created everything and then left them on their own.” However, any event, taking place in any area of the universe, occurs solely by Allah’s Will, and under His control:

“Do you not know that Allah knows everything in heaven and Earth? That is in a Book. That is easy for Allah.” (Al-Hajj 22: 70)

It is very important to grasp this fact for someone who strives to come near to Allah. The prayer of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, quoted below is a very good example of this:

O Allah: All the Praises are for You: You are the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. All the Praises are for You;

You are the Maintainer of the Heaven and the Earth and whatever is in them. All the Praises are for You;

You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth. Your Word is the Truth, and Your Promise is the Truth, and the Meeting with You is the Truth, and Paradise is the Truth, and the (Hell) Fire is the Truth, and the Hour is the Truth.

O Allah! I surrender myself to You, and I believe in You and I depend upon You, and I repent to You and with You (Your evidences) I stand against my opponents, and to you I leave the judgment (for those who refuse my message).

O Allah! Forgive me my sins that I did in the past or will do in the future, and also the sins I did in secret or in public. You are my only God (Whom I worship) and there is no other God for me (i.e. I worship none but You).” (Al-Bukhari)

Yourself an Example

Elaborate processes taking place in the bodies of living things are impressive examples that help us to grasp Allah’s might. For instance, at every moment, your kidneys filter your blood and extricate those harmful molecules to be excreted from the body.

This screening and elimination process, which can be carried out by a single kidney cell, can only be accomplished by a giant haemodialyser (artificial kidney). A haemodialyser was consciously designed by scientists. A kidney, however, does not sense, or have a decision-making center, nor the faculty of thought. In other words, an unconscious kidney cell can accomplish tasks that otherwise demand an elaborate thinking process.

It is possible to encounter millions of such examples in living beings. Molecules, composed of unconscious matter, perform tasks so remarkable they would otherwise suggest consciousness. The consciousness apparent in these cases though is, of course, of Allah’s infinite wisdom and knowledge. It is Allah Who created the kidney cells, as well as the molecules discussed, and Who orders them to accomplish their respective tasks. In the Qur’an, Allah informs us that He constantly sends down “commands” to the beings He created:

“It is Allah Who created the seven heavens and of the Earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge.” (At-Talaq 65: 12)

Clearly, Allah, Who created everything in the universe, is surely able to bring the dead to life:

“Do they not see that Allah-He Who created the heavens and the Earth and was not wearied by creating them-has the power to bring the dead to life? Yes indeed! He has power over all things.” (Al-Ahqaf 46: 33)

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.harunyahya.com

A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

 

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Do You Truly Rely on God?

Do You Truly Rely on God?

By Jasser Auda

God

If there is a specialist in a certain field doing something for you, it is not proper to go and do it yourself. How about if the one who is taking care of this thing is Allah Himself!

Do You Truly Rely on God?

In his well-known book, Al-Hikam (Words of Wisdom), sheikh Ahmad Ibn `Ataa’illah As-Sakandari says:

“Save yourself from worrying. Somebody else already took care of your affairs for you.”

Relying on Allah (tawakkul) is one of the important Islamic concepts that may be misunderstood and therefore might lead to undesirable results. This misunderstanding might also lead to some forms of deviation and introducing innovations in religion.

Likewise, it might result in a state of failure in both religious affairs and worldly affairs. When you leave worldly affairs to unreliable people, neglect the means, or quit your work completely, you are deviating from the path of relying on Allah and practicing apathy (tawaakul) not relying on Allah (tawakkul).

In his well-known book, Al-Hikam (Words of Wisdom), sheikh Ahmad Ibn `Ataa’illah As-Sakandari says: “Save yourself from worrying. Somebody else already took care of your affairs for you.” What is meant by tadbir here?

Tadbir in Arabic means considering the results and outcomes of a certain action. Therefore, tadbir is closely connected with outcomes. In their turn, the outcomes are connected with the concept of relying on Allah. Allah says:

“… so that they answered, “God is enough for us; and how excellent a guardian is He!”” (Aal `Imran 3:173)

“Then, when you have decided upon a course of action, place your trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him.” (Aal `Imran 3:159)

“In God, then, let the believers place their trust!” (Aal `Imran 3:160)

Thus, the virtue of relying on Allah is mentioned and highly praised in many Qur’anic verses and what is mentioned frequently in the Qur’an is of profound significance and takes high priority.

There is a considerable difference between relying on Allah and worrying which is the same difference between the means and outcomes. By this I mean that there is a difference between work represented in striving to achieve the goals, exerting efforts and devoting time and the outcome of this work represented in events, figures, and results. Your role is to strive and rely on Allah. You do not have to worry about the process of governing such affairs. It is Allah who governs everything.

“And who is it that governs all that exists?” (Yunus 10:31), this is a clear question raised in the Qur’an.

Allah governs all that exists. You have to take the means and leave the outcomes to Allah because taking the means and causes is part of relying on Allah. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) wanted to give an example of relying on Allah, he said:

If you had all relied on Allah as you should rely on Him, then He would have provided for you as He provides for the birds, who wake up hungry in the morning and return with full stomachs at dusk.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)

You are like the bird. The bird does not stand on one branch of a tree all the time waiting for the grains. But it moves from one branch to another until it gets the grains. The bird has to do its best to get the grains, and providing the bird with the grains is Allah’s work.

Therefore, you should take the means and leave out the outcomes to Allah. Some Muslims -even those who are on the path to Allah- do not take the means, stay at the mosque all the time and ask people for food and clothes. They argue that governing things is not their task. Their argument is correct, but they have to rely on Allah and relying on Allah necessities having recourse to the means and the causes of achieving goals.

It is reported that a man used to stay at the mosque all the time arguing that he is devoting himself and his time to worship Allah. The Prophet asked about the one who takes care of him. The Prophet was told that the man’s brother takes care of him. The Prophet replied: “His brother is better than him.” `Umar ibn Al-Khattab advised some people who stayed at the mosque and said “We are relying on God.” He said his common words: “The sky does not rain gold or silver.”

If one cannot attain success after having recourse to every necessary means, this is a proper situation to really rely on Allah. If the means you have taken fail you, you might say: O Allah, I have done my best and I left no stone unturned, what should I do? At this point, you are indeed putting your trust in Allah.

What is not conformable with relying on Allah is not to do anything or not to have recourse to every kind of means and causes of success. Some ignorant people ignore taking the necessary means intentionally. What is needed from you is to take all the means, and then rely on Allah.

Sometimes Allah might withhold from me the causes, the means and take from me my power so that I return to Him and rely on Him. This is a valuable God-given gift.

Relying on Allah is not inconsistent with what we call nowadays planning, making a feasibility study, studying the market, etc. All this is part of relying on Allah because by planning, organizing, studying, etc. we are having recourse to the means of success. If you are a trader, you have to make a feasibility study and do your calculations. If you lose, this is Allah’s decree. If you win, it is also Allah’s decree. You do not have to worry about the outcomes. To lose or to win, to succeed or to fail, is not your business.

Even in religious issues whether they have to do daw`ah (Islamic call) issues, scientific issues, or worship issues, you do the thing and leave the rest to Allah. For example, you worship Allah by calling people to do good deeds but guiding those people is left to Allah. Allah says:

“It is not for you [O Prophet] to make people follow the right path, since it is God [alone] who guides whom He wills.” (Al-Baqarah 2:272);

He also says:

“Verily, you cannot guide aright everyone whom you love: but it is God who guides him that wills [to be guided]; and He is fully aware of all who would let themselves be guided.” (Al-Qasas 28:56)

Ibn `Ata’illah says: (Save yourself from worrying. Somebody else already took care of your affairs for you.) What is meant by “somebody else”? Who provides you with the means of living? Who plans for your success? Who decides on the outcomes? It is Allah the Almighty. Therefore, if somebody else has done something for you, why you go and do it yourself?

This is a very simple rational issue. If there is a specialist in a certain field doing something for you, it is not proper to go and do it yourself. How about if the one who is taking care of this thing is Allah Himself!

 

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Courtesy onislam.net with slight editorial modifications.

Dr. Jasser Auda is an Associate Professor at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), with the Public Policy in Islam Program. He is a founding member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, based in Dublin; member of the Academic Board of the International Institute of Islamic Thought in London, UK; fellow of the International Institute of Advanced Systems Research (IIAS), Canada; member of the Board of Trustees of the Global Civilizations Study Centre (GCSC), UK; member of the Executive Board of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), UK; member of the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism (FAIR), UK.  He has a PhD from University of Wales, UK, on the philosophy of Islamic law; a PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada, on systems analysis; and a Masters of Jurisprudence from the Islamic American University, Michigan, on Islamic legal purposes (maqasid al-shariah). He memorized the Quran and received traditional studies in Islamic sciences in Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, he was a founding director of the Maqasid Research Center in Philosophy of Islamic law in London, UK, and a visiting lecturer to Alexandria University Faculty of law, Egypt, the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, and the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India. He has lectured on Islamic law, its philosophy, and its relation to the issues of Muslim minorities and policy in a couple dozen countries around the world. He was a contributor to policy reports related to Muslim minorities and Islamic education to the UK Ministry of Communities and the Higher Education Funding Council of England, and has written a number of books, the latest of which in English is: Maqasid Al-Shariah as Philosophy of Islamic Law: A Systems Approach, London: IIIT, 2008, and in Arabic: Averröes’s Premier of the Jurist: Synopsis and Commentary, Cairo: Al-Shuruq Al-Dawliya, 2010.

 

 

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