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 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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Steps Towards Inner Peace

Steps Towards Inner Peace

By Salman al-`Awdah

God knows the sincerity that is in our hearts and He helps those who are sincere.

God knows the sincerity that is in our hearts and He helps those who are sincere.

Steps Towards Inner Peace

Inner peace is the source of all peace.

When a person is at harmony with himself, he is able to live in harmony with others.

God says:

“When you enter houses, greet yourselves with peace.” (Al-Nur 24: 61)

Believers recite the following words in all of their prayers: “Peace be upon us and upon Allah’s pious servants.” In the Qur’an, we encounter the word “self” being used in the context a group of people.

Indeed, it is from the depths of the self that peace radiates forth. Inner peace requires that a person’s relationship with himself is clear, and that his goals and objectives are understood and at harmony with his inner being.

Indeed, after knowledge of the Lord, the most important thing for a person to have knowledge of is knowledge of his self and how to perfect it and purify it. He needs to be sensitive to his own gifts and talents, aware of his weaknesses and strengths. Would he describe himself as patient or hasty, forthright or timid, tenacious or easily bored?

A person needs to know the truth about himself so he can go make good progress in a direction where he can best capitalize on his strengths and potential. This does not mean that a person must explore the nature of his existence and of the human soul. Such knowledge is outside of our grasp except for what is revealed to us in the sacred texts. (Al-Isra’ 17: 85)

At the same time, it is quite possible for a person to become acquainted with the dimensions of his personality, his talents, and his true nature. He can then use this knowledge to help him toward what is good and to safeguard him from misfortune.

Inner Peace and Human Nature

Islamic Law takes a person’s nature into account and often legislates in accordance with it without blame or reproach. This applies even to the Prophets and Messengers when they acted according to their instincts and their natures, for they were human beings, no more and no less. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

We are more deserving of doubt than Abraham was when he said: {‘My Lord, show me how you resurrect the dead. And (Allah) said ‘Do you not believe?’ And he said: ‘Yes, but it is just to make my heart content.’} And may Allah have mercy on Lot, for he had betaken himself to a powerful support. Had I languished in prison as long as Joseph had, I would have complied with their demands.” (Al Bukhari and Muslim)

Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) had sought after knowledge and desired to be acquainted with the true nature of things. This was just to satisfy his natural, human curiosity. When Prophet Muhammad said: “I would have complied with their demands” he was alluding to our natural, human love of liberty and freedom and our loathing of being confined and having our potentials held back, especially for a long period of time.

Moses (peace be upon him) knew himself well, and he was frank about his feelings, speaking about them unequivocally and without shame. He spoke about his natural fears when he said:

“And I had fled from you when I was afraid of you.” (Ash-Shu`ara’ 26: 21) And,

“Our Lord! Truly, we fear that he will fall upon us or transgress against us.” (Ta-Ha 20: 45)

When a person knows himself in this way and accepts himself, it keeps him to what is within his natural capacity and his abilities and defines for him his goals so he can go forward with a clear vision. Our submission should be to our principles and values in our heart, the values by which we relate to our Lord, and according to which we should speak and act.

These true and established values should be the basis of our conduct. Otherwise, by always seeking to please this person or avoid that person’s displeasure, our lives become nothing more than perpetual pretentiousness and flattery, in surrender to those around us so that we lose our individuality and our independence. One aspect of inner peace is for our inner selves to be in harmony with our outward conduct. What we profess should be reflected in what we do. (Al-Saff 61: 3)

This requires us to be upright and correct in our approach. Prophet Muhammad defined what it means to be upright on the occasion when Sufyan ibn `Abdullah al-Thaqafi asked:

“O Messenger of Allah! Tell me about Islam what will suffice me so I will not have to ask anyone else about it.” The Prophet replied: Say: ‘I believe in Islam.’ Then be upright.” (Muslim)

Our worship should be in harmony with the way we treat others.

Our worship should give direction to our affairs and make us uphold justice and honor the rights that other people have. We should not lead a double life, one persona for the mosque and an utterly different one for the outside world. Many failures take place and reversals take place because of the abysmal state of those who live lives of outward piety accompanied by inward wretchedness. We really need to strengthen and deepen our faith, so that it can be a pillar to support us through all of life’s trials and tribulations.

We are faced with problems and disappointments at home, at work, and within ourselves, and our faith in God must be strong if we are to endure them and prevail. This faith must be accompanied by genuine devotion that emanates from deep within the heart before manifesting itself in our outward worship. Inner peace requires our wants and aspirations to be in keeping with our abilities and with what is possible for us. Prophet Muhammad said:

O you who believe! Assume the works that you are capable of carrying out, for indeed Allah does not become disinterested until you do, and indeed the most beloved of works to Allah are those that are most constant, no matter how small they might be.” (Al Bukhari)

This applies to everything. In the pursuit of material gain, a person can destroy himself with avarice. Inner peace in what we call towards. No one of us can expect the whole world to respond positively to what he advocates, nor is it right that it should. This did not even happen for God’s Messengers. Whatever one of us works for, there is always someone else working to the contrary and who may obliterate our achievements. Inner peace requires being at peace with our own unique dispositions.

A person cannot compel himself to assume what is alien to his nature or at conflict with it. He must be in harmony with himself. We can see how Prophet Muhammad, when he was served a spiny-tailed lizard to eat, refrained from partaking in it. Khalid ibn al-Walid noticed this and asked if eating the meat of the spiny-tailed lizard was unlawful. The Prophet replied: “No. It is just that it is not found in the land of my people, and I find myself disinclined to it.” He did not eat it, simply because it did not agree with his disposition. It was not a question of whether or not its flesh was permitted by Islamic Law.

The same can be said for the companions; each of them had his or her own unique disposition. Abu Bakr was different than Umar. The question of how to deal with the prisoners of war at Badr is a clear case in point each one of them offered an opinion that concurred with his own personality and outlook, as long as the matter was open to more than one point of view. Abu Bakr was a man of gentleness and forbearance, and Prophet Muhammad acknowledged this about him. Umar was forceful and strict, and likewise, Prophet Muhammad took this into consideration. We must recognize our unique personalities and come to terms with them. We cannot force ourselves into a pretence of denying our individual qualities and temperaments. Umar ibn `Abdul-`Aziz had said: “The most pleasurable of things is a personal predilection that is in accordance with Islamic teachings.”

Inner Peace and Resignation

We must be at peace with what God decrees for us, though we should seek by way of God’s decree to avoid the harm of God’s decree. It is as Umar had said when he avoided entering a plague-stricken region: “We flee from Allah’s decree towards Allah’s decree.”

A believer is resigned to God’s decree and accepts it fully, so much so that he does not want to hasten what has been delayed nor defer what has been hastened on. The terminally ill, those homely of appearance, the feeble-minded, the bachelors and spinsters, the orphans, and all those who suffer from misfortunes – such people have a pressing need to come to make peace with what God has decreed for them, and then go forward with their lives, taking recourse to all practical means at their disposal while resigning themselves to that which is beyond their power.

Being fair and just is also an important factor in attaining inner peace. This requires us to do away with selfishness, vain desires, and avarice. `Ammar, the illustrious companion, used to say:

“There are three things that if someone possesses them all he will have comprehended faith: applying justice to yourself, greeting the world with peace, and spending in charity under straitened circumstances.” (Al Bukhari)

When some of us disagree with one another, why do we not try to put ourselves in the other’s place and try to see things from their point of view, and accept that for them at least what they accept for themselves? I am almost certain that there is no one on Earth who is truly fair with himself except the extremely few whom God graces with that ability. The Prophet said: “One of you sees the dust in his brother’s eye but fails to see the crud in his own.

Inner Peace of Mind

Inner peace also requires that we reconcile our minds to the knowledge of the unseen that the Messengers have brought us. That knowledge never contradicts with accurate scientific knowledge or with sound reason. We accept this knowledge of the unseen without allowing ourselves to succumb to the mindset of mythology that readily concedes every tale that is told without any discretion or discernment.

Matters of the unseen are matters that are beyond the powers of the human mind to ascertain, while fables and myths are beneath the level of the human mind. We must employ reason and eschewing blind acceptance. Indeed, the mind is for discernment; it is not a mere repository for information.

The eminent jurist and legal theorist `Izz al-Din ibn `Abd al-Salam pointed out that questions pertaining to welfare and harm are discernible by reason even before the revelation of the Law. I would like to add that these matters are still discernible to reason even after the Law has been revealed. This is how we understand the Qur’an and Sunnah and how we weigh various legal rulings against one another. We take matters of welfare and harm into due consideration, neither deriding the true worth of our minds nor exaggerating our estimation of their powers and burdening them with matters that are beyond their scope.

There are limits beyond which our minds must not transgress. We must also bring under control the misgivings that our human minds can fall victim to and that can spoil our lives by troubling us in both our worship and our worldly affairs. Most of these things that disquiet us so much are psychological in nature. The best and most effective treatment for such misgivings is to force ourselves to ignore them, to simply refuse to give them the time of day. We must beseech God to help us in this effort and seek refuge with Him in the manner shown to us by Prophet Muhammad by reciting Surah al-Ikhlas.

We must each muster our inner strength and resolve not to heed the demands of our misgivings, especially regarding doubts about our purification. We should even consider the affliction of being beset by misgivings to be an exceptional situation that allows us license to overlook things until God reveals for us a way out of our difficulties. God knows the sincerity that is in our hearts and He helps those who are sincere.

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This article is taken with slight editorial modifications from the author’s website, Islam Today – http://en.islamtoday.net.

Shaykh Salman was born in the village of Al-Basr near the city of Buraida in 1375 A.H. / 1955 A.C to a rich family which was known for its nobility and good name. The Shaykh became known for his intelligence at an early age. After completing his secondary studies, Shaykh Salman enrolled in the Arabic language faculty at the university of Imam Muhammad Bin Saud in Riyadh. He studied there for two years before transferring to the Shari’ah Faculty where he obtained his degree. On receiving his degree, Shaykh Salman returned to al-Qaseem where he studied at the Academic Institute at Buraida. He then transferred to the Shari’ah and Usul ad-Deen Faculty at the Imam Bin Saud Islamic University – Qaseem Campus, where he worked as a lecturer and continued his university studies. He received his Masters degree with a thesis on “The Estrangeness of Islam”.

 

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Al-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

Al-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

By Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi

godAl-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

Allah’s divine name “Al-Wadoud” (The All-Loving), is an emphatic name derived from the Arabic word “Woudd”, which means “Houbb” (Love) as Allah says:

“And He (Allah) is the All-Forgiving, the All-Loving.” (Al-Buruj 85:14)

The Arabic word “Houbb” is, in turn, derived from “Habab Al-Asnan”, which means “whiteness, cleanliness and purity of teeth”. This means that those who love Allah, Most Gracious, are pure, chaste, sincere, and faithful. The word “Houbb” also indicates submission and obedience to the beloved. Hence, those who love Allah, Most Gracious, are dutiful and obedient to Him. They are modest, humble and submissive to the Lord, Exalted and All-High.

The word “Houbb” also means “instability”, which, in turn, means that those who love Allah are in constant instability as regards their relationship with their lord. True believers, who really love their Lord, undergo constantly changing feelings as regards their relationship with Him; while hypocrites, whose hearts are dead and, hence, emotionless, remain stable and unchangeable. Also, the word “Houbb” or “Habb” refers to a seed from which we get good fruits.

This means that those who love the Lord their love is like a seed that produces a shady tree that, in turn, yields good fruits. In fact, the word “Houbb” (love) embraces all of the foregoing meanings: purity, chastity, submission, humbleness, instability, growth and good …etc.

Love into Action

Undoubtedly, there is a delicate difference between both words. “Al-Houbb” means love as a noble feeling dwelling in the heart; while “Al-Woudd” means love substantiated by action. In other words, if you love someone, your inner feelings towards him are called “Houbb” (i.e. love that exists in your heart), but when you translate such love into action by smiling to him, for example, or doing him a favor, this is “Woudd” (i.e. love that you put into action).

If you offer him a present, it is “Woudd”. If you help him out of a problem, it is “Woudd”. If you visit him when he is ill, it is “Woudd”. If you offer him a present when he gets married, it is “Woudd”. In short, inner feelings of love are “Houbb”; while ostensible substantial acts of love are “Woudd”.

All those who have “Woudd” must necessarily have “Houbb”, but not vice versa. This means that someone might love another but does not show that in his behavior, but if someone shows love to another, this means that he loves him.

This means that the whole universe, that is, with its heavens, stars, planets, galaxies, the sun, the moon, rain, fishes, birds, animals, plants, flowers, is but a substantiation of Allah’s “Woudd” (Love) for mankind. Children, who fill the home with life and movement, are of Allah’s “Woudd”. The great many kinds of fruits are of Allah’s “Woudd”. Wives, whom Allah created especially for men’s psychological and physical comfort, are of Allah’s “Woudd”. Husbands, whom Allah created especially for women’s comfort, are out of Allah’s “Woudd”. Wool, which Allah created to protect us from cold is out of Allah’s “Woudd”. All things that Allah has subjected for mankind are out of Allah’s “Woudd”. The whole universe is subjugated for man as a kind of “Woudd” from God.

And when God loves someone He honors and mercies him/her. However, Allah’s love for true believers is confirmed in the Qur’an.

Allah’s divine love for man is manifested by His divine protection, help, victory, success, sending down mercy upon his heart, sending down peace and tranquility upon him, providing him with all the things he needs. This is Allah’s divine love for man. But man’s love for Allah is substantiated by inclination and attachment, because if Allah forsakes him, or deprives him of His divine light, he feels unbearable pain and sorrow.

Once man loves God he gets inclined to Him, seeks refuge in His divine shade, light, holy manifestations, peace and tranquility, and he feels that Allah is always protecting and helping him. But Allah’s divine love for man means protection, help, support…etc. And “Al-Woudd” is the practical substantiation of both kinds of love.

Allah Is All-Loving

1- The first point concerns Allah’s name “Al-Wadoud” (The All-Loving) is that He endears Himself to His slaves by bestowing His innumerable divine favors upon them. Therefore, logic and good reason show that the entire universe is nothing but a manifestation and substantiation of Allah’s Divine “Woudd” (i.e. Love) for mankind.

Thus Allah favors you with His never-ending favors and graces: good health, fresh water, delicious food and drink, fruits, fishes, birds…etc. When your heart and all other parts of your body work properly, this is one of Allah’s uncountable Divine Favors and Graces. Therefore, true believers should say what Allah’s Prophets taught us to say:

“Say: ‘Truly, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, Lord of all worlds.” (Al-An`am 6:162)

Before Allah created you and brought you into existence, you were nothing at all. But from the moment He brought you into existence, He bestowed on you a couple of Priceless Divine Favors:

“Have We not made for him (Man) a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips, and shown him the two Ways (of good and evil)?” (Al-Balad 90:2-4)

The first divine gift man that receives from his Lord upon his birth is a very complicated operation, namely the so-called “Suck reflex”, which enables him, from the moment of birth, to take his mother’s breast tightly with his small mouth and start sucking. Without such reflex, human life would be impossible! Your mother is one of Allah’s great divine signs and favors, for she is naturally pre-disposed to consecrate, and even sacrifice, all her existence for her baby. She devotes all herself, her nerves, her feelings and emotions, her powers, and her efforts, for the sake of her baby.

Air that we breathe and water that we drink are great Divine Favors. What would you say about the different kinds of fruits?! Even more, God has endowed you with an intelligent mind with which you think and take up a certain vocation or profession and do it properly.

2- When in the Qur’an Allah says: “And He (Allah) is the All-Forgiving, Al-Wadoud (the All-Loving)”, the word “Al-Wadoud” here means that Allah loves and honors His righteous slaves. It also means that His favors and blessings are but substantiations and manifestations of His Divine Love for them:

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love.” (Maryam 19:96)

3- Allah is “Wadoud” (All-Loving) for His slaves in the sense that He creates love and casts it among His slaves.

Who casts love for children in the hearts of mothers? If you go to an infant-hospital, you see something really amazing: different mothers from all walks of life cry for their babies. In fact, all mothers, Muslim and non-Muslim, without any exception, cry for their babies if anything goes wrong with them. Undoubtedly Allah, most gracious, has cast such love for children in the hearts of mothers!

Therefore, Allah “Al-Wadoud” (the All-Loving), creates love and casts it among His slaves: fathers, mothers, husbands, mothers, siblings, and friends. They all enjoy love among them. To the same effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says:

“And among His Signs is that He has created for you wives from among yourselves that you may find repose in them; and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed Signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Who creates such affection and mercy? It is Allah, Most Gracious!

4- Allah is All-Loving in the sense that He seeks love of His slaves, just as they seek His divine love. And He casts love into their heart for one another and for Him. In this sense, this name has three meanings: love from the Lord for His slaves, love from slaves to their Lord, and love among slaves for one another. That is why Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says “The zenith of wisdom, after belief in Allah, is to seek people’s love.”

Therefore, the wisest, cleverest and best thing a believer can do, after having believed in Allah, is to seek people’s love and friendship, in order to help them know the truth. To this, Allah says:

“And by a Mercy from Allah you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from around you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah’s) Forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs. Then, when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Aal `Imran 3:159)

Here emerges a difference between “Al-Woudd” (Practical love) and “Ar-Rahmah” (mercy) as the latest is offered to a weak, helpless, miserable, ill, suffering person who is inferior to you, and, hence deserves your mercy; while “Al-Woudd” (love) is offered to others not because they are inferior to you or are in need of your help.

In other words, “Al-Woudd” is offered without request or imploration, but “Ar-Rahmah” is offered upon request, imploration or inferiority. When God created us, He was “Wadoud”, i.e. loving. We were nothing, but He created us, honored us, and bestowed His Innumerable divine favors and graces upon us: “O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Generous, Who created you and made you in due measures? In whatever shape He desires He constructs you.

“Be cursed (the disbelieving) man! How ungrateful he is! From what thing did He (Allah) create him? From a semen He created him and then set him in due proportion. Then He made the Path easy for him. Then He caused him to die and caused him to be put in a grave. Then, when He wills, He will resurrect him. Nay! But he (man) has not done what He (Allah) commanded him.” (`Abasa 80:17-23)

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This article is a summarized version of the article (Al-Wadoud) by the author, published at his web site www.nabulsi.com.

Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi is a Muslim Syrian preacher and writer. He has written a number of Islamic books, most remarkable of which are: “Encyclopedia of the Beautiful Names of Allah”, “Encyclopedia of Scientific Miracles of the Holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah” , “Outlooks on Islam” and “Contemplations on Islam”. He delivers a number of lessons, orations, symposiums and chat programs broadcasted on the Syrian, Arab, and Islamic radios and Televisions.

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Al-Hakeem: Wisdom of the All-Wise

Al-Hakeem: Wisdom of the All-Wise

By Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi

Al-Hakeem: Wisdom of the All-Wise

“And whosoever is granted wisdom is indeed granted abundant good.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 269)

For that the word “hakeem” means “someone who does his work most accurately and perfectly, because he knows how to calculate, measure and design perfectly well.”

For that the word “hakeem” means “someone who does his work most accurately and perfectly, because he knows how to calculate, measure and design perfectly well.”

All of Allah’s attributes can be summed up in three main notions, namely that He exists, that He is one: in His own self, attributes and acts, and that He is perfect, which is the nearest in meaning to God’s name Hakeem (The All-Wise).

However, the name “Al-Hakeem” is one of some of Allah’s divine Names that are nearer than others to human beings; and the nearest of all of His names to human beings are “the Lord”. To this, the Lord, Allah, All-Mighty, says:

“So wait patiently for your Lord’s Decision, for verily you are under Our Eyes; and glorify the Praises of your Lord when you get up from sleep.” (At-Tur 52:48)

This shows clearly that decision of all issues and matters belongs only to Allah, the Lord, who knows everything, who is most gracious, and who is all-wise.

How God is Al-Hakeem?

1- The Arabic word “hakeem” means “someone who is well experienced and whose work is perfect, i.e. faultless”. For example, if a carpenter fails to cut a piece of wood accurately, his work is not satisfactory enough. In this case, we could say: “If his calculations were accurate, his work would be perfect and faultless.” And the more accurate calculations are, the better and more faultless work is.

Expensive machines are usually perfect and faultless, while bad cheap ones are full of faults and defects. In fact, accuracy and faultlessness are essential elements in good machines. This is what makes them more valuable and more expensive.

For that the word “hakeem” means “someone who does his work most accurately and perfectly, because he knows how to calculate, measure and design perfectly well.” And God is Hakeem (All Wise) that He creates all things in perfect faultless measurements.

Consider your human body: The blood that runs through your veins and arteries contains a very accurate amount of salt, 0.78%. If this very accurate amount of salt decreased, blood corpuscles would shrink and cause immediate death. If it increased, the corpuscles would burst and also cause immediate death. Who has made the ratio of salt in the human blood fixed?

It is Allah, most bounteous, who makes the kidneys maintain such fixed ratio of salt in the blood! Also, there are 2.5 billion types of tissues in the world. This means that only one human being in the whole world has a type of tissue similar to yours.

“He (Allah) has created everything and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.” (Al-Furqan 25: 2)

Thus, “Al-Hakeem” is He Who perfects all the things that He creates:

“It is He (Allah) Who has created seven heavens, one above another; you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious. Then, look again: can you see any rifts?” (Al-Mulk 67:3)

Consider creation of an ant, a fly, an elephant, a galaxy, an atom, or any other creature! They are all perfect, and they bespeak the creator’s absolute divine wisdom:

“It is He (Allah) Who made everything that He has created perfect, and began the creation of man from clay.” (As-Sajdah 32: 7; Al-Infitar 82:5-8; At-Tin 95:4)

2- “Al-Hikmah” (Wisdom) is to possess the best knowledge; and Allah’s divine knowledge is infinite, while man’s human knowledge is limited. To this effect, Allah, the All-Wise, says:

“And over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing.” (Yusuf 12:76)

3- “Al-Hakeem” (All Wise) is attributed to the omniscient, Allah, whose divine knowledge is infinite, all-embracing and free from all kinds of ignorance, imperfection or defect. No human being can ever claim to have acquired all knowledge or experience, not even doctors, engineers or scientists. They often make mistakes. But Allah, alone, is the one who is the omniscient. That is why Imam Al-Ghazali says:

“No one knows Allah except Allah (Himself).”

4- “Al-Hakeem” (The All Wise) is He Who is far above doing things that should not be done. Put it differently, He does the proper thing in the proper way in the proper place and the proper time. For human beings, a wise person is someone who does the proper thing in the proper way in the proper place and the proper time. Such is a “Hakeem” (a wise person).

5- God is Hakeem (All-Wise) that all things in the world happen only by His divine will and if He wills that something should happen, it happens. Allah’s divine will is associated with His absolute divine wisdom that whatever He wills will inevitably come to pass and that His divine wisdom is associated with absolute good.

No leaf of a tree could ever fall down except by Allah’s absolute divine will and wisdom. Too many seemingly evil things turn out good in the end; and in Allah’s kingdom, there is no injustice, in the real sense of the word. Even unjust tyrannical rulers or leaders are, as it is said, Allah’s sword in the earth; He retaliates by them and then He retaliates from them.

6- Allah is infinitely pre-existent; and He is one and only. No existence is like His infinite divine existence. He is absolute and perfect, and hence, He is all wise. Thus, if you ask, “Where is Allah?” your question means that He does not exist. Nay! Allah is pre-existent. To this, He says:

“Think not that Allah is unaware of that which the wrong-doers do. Nay! He only gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.” (Ibrahim 14:42)

7- Moreover, there is no other dominator of the whole universe except Allah. This is Islamic monotheism: in the whole existence, there is only one hand that controls everything, namely the Hand of Allah, the irresistible, the omnipotent, the all-wise, the all-powerful, who is Free to honor or dishonor, give or withhold, provide or deprive, exalt or disparage.

“And Allah is Ever All Mighty, All Wise.” (Al-Fat-h 48: 19; An-Nisa’ 4: 130; Yusuf 12: 6)

Al-Hakeem (The All-Wise) in the Qur’an:

The word “Hakeem” (The All Wise) is mentioned thirty-three times in the Qur’an with different denotations. Some of them are:

“And if all the he sea (were ink wherewith to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), yet Allah’s Words would not be exhausted. Verily, Allah All Mighty, All Wise.” (Luqman 31: 27; 11: 1; 24: 10; 41: 42; 60: 10)

1- Allah’s book the Qur’an is described as being “Hakeem” (i.e. a Book full of wisdom”. To this effect, Allah, the All Wise, says:

“Alif Lam Ra’: Such are the Verses of the Book, “Al-Hakeem” (i.e. full of wisdom)” (Yunus 10: 1; 36: 1; 2:129)

2-   Scholars of Qur’anic interpretation hold that whenever the word “Hikmah” (i.e. wisdom) comes together with the Qur’an, it means prophetic Sunnah and tradition, because the Prophet’s Hadith and Tradition are the best interpreters of the Holy Qur’an:

“Verily, Allah conferred a great Favor upon believers when He sent to them a Messenger from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur’an), purifying them, and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur’an) and wisdom (Prophetic Sunnah), while before that they had been in manifest error.” (Aal `Imran 3: 164)

3-   Also, “Al-Hikmah” (wisdom) should be used in the call for Allah and His religion. To this effect Allah says:

“Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching and argue with them in a way that is better. Verily, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are rightly guided.” (An-Nahl 16:125)

4- “Al-Hikmah” (wisdom) can also be granted to people. If Allah gave you the best woman in the world, but did not give you wisdom, you would make the worst woman of her. If He gave you enormous wealth, but did not give you wisdom, you would soon waste it and make of it a source of sorrow and regret for you on the Day of Judgment. If He gave you good health, but did not give you wisdom, you would use your health in trivialities and foolish things. And if He gave you good children, but did not give you wisdom, your own children would be the cause of your entering hell-fire.

In other words, if you lack wisdom, everything leads you to endless sorrows and losses on the day of resurrection. That is why Allah says:

“(He (Allah) grants wisdom to whomsoever He pleases; and he who is granted wisdom is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember except those possessed of understanding)” (Al-Baqarah 2: 269)

Man’s Share of Al-Hikmah (Wisdom)

Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Hakeem” (the All-Wise) is nearest to human beings. Sometimes, man sees or meets things that he does not like, i.e. unpleasant things, as Allah sometimes afflicts man with things that seem to be unpleasant to him, i.e. things that he does not like. However, it is most unwise and ignorant of man to get angry or discontented with his Lord; it is wise for man, under all circumstances, to be contented with his Lord, and with His foreordainment and divine decree.

This Divine Name “Al-Hakeem” (The All Wise) is one of Allah’s Names that can be adopted by human beings, according to the saying that goes, “Adopt Allah’s Names and Attributes”. In other words, a true believer should be wise. And, as a true believer, he should derive his wisdom from his knowledge of Allah. Let’s have the following example: If you have a very complicated and sophisticated machine, and you have the operation instructions, it is wise to follow such instructions because they come from the manufacturer. This is very clear and easy. If you read and understand Allah’s book the Qur’an, prophetic Sunnah and tradition, and if you commit yourself to Allah and His messenger’s commands, then, you are a wise person.

Hence, you are wise when you follow the commands of God, All Wise, and His messenger, peace be upon him. And the more believing a person is, the wiser he/she is. Moreover, Allah’s messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, was the wisest of all mankind because he was the nearest and most devoted to Allah, the fountain of all wisdom.

Indeed, the more devoted and committed we are, the wiser and more rightly guided.

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This article is a summarized version of the article (Al-Hakeem) by the author, published at his web site www.nabulsi.com.

Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi is an Islamic scholar; he was born in 1938 of a religious and well educated, family. His father was one of the religious scholars of Damascus city.

He was appointed orator in the mosque of his grandfather, Sheikh Abdulghani An-Nabulsi, and a religion lecturer in the mosques of Damascus.

He has written a number of Islamic books, most remarkable of which are: “Encyclopedia of the Beautiful Names of Allah”, “Encyclopedia of Scientific Miracles of the Holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunna”, “Outlooks on Islam”, “Contemplations on Islam”. He also wrote articles for some Syrian, Arab, Islamic, and Western magazines and newspapers.

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14 Meanings of God’s Attribute Al-Kareem

14 Meanings of God’s Attribute Al-Kareem

By Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi

Accurately and comprehensively, God’s divine name, Al-Kareem denotes that His Existence is definitive. He is free from any defect or imperfection.

Accurately and comprehensively, God’s divine name, Al-Kareem denotes that His Existence is definitive. He is free from any defect or imperfection.

14 Meanings of God’s Attribute Al-Kareem

Al-Kareem is one of God’s divine names that can be attributed also to human beings; such a name embraces many great meanings: “the generous”, “the holy”, “the noble”, “the glorious” …etc

The Name Al-Kareem is confirmed by God’s words:

“O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, Al-Kareem (the All Laudable), Who created you, fashioned you perfectly and gave you due proportion? In whatever shape He willed, He put you together.” (Al-Infitar 82: 5-8)

God’s name “Al-Kareem” is also used in the emphatic form “Al-Akram” (the ever most generous) in the Qur’an:

“Read in the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists), Who has created man from a clot! Read! And your Lord is Al-Akram (the Ever All Laudable), Who has taught (the writing) by the pen, Who has taught man that which he knew not.” (Al-Alaq 96: 1-5)

Linguists say: “Each and every laudable thing is described as being ‘Kareem’.” This adds a lot more meanings to the word “Kareem” than that commonly understood as “generous” (giving, or ready to give, freely).

The Arabic word “Kareem” embraces all illaudable qualities as: forbearing, generous, kind, gentle, patient, self-possessed, manly, noble, pure…etc. Likewise, “Kareem” includes all laudable and admirable human qualities, contrary to “La’eem”, which embraces all illaudable qualities, such as: miserly, mean, arrogant, tyrannical, ungrateful, selfish…etc. includes all lowly illaudable ones.

Therefore, the word “Kareem” does not only mean “generous” but also “forbearing”, “kind”, “merciful”, “compassionate”, “pure”, “honest”, “friendly”, “fair”, …etc.

Precious stones, such as diamonds, rubies, and pearls are described in Arabic as “Kareem” (precious).

Another meaning is “of noble birth”. To this effect, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) says: “Joseph is the noblest of all mankind.

The word “Kareem” also means, “good looking”. As for the expression “Al-Maqam Al-Kareem”, the laudable station, it means paradise, where there is no fatigue, fear, worry, sadness, envy, hatred or any other troublesome thing whatsoever.

Kareem” is ‘something that is very scarce, badly needed and cannot be done without.’

The word “Kareem” also means, “dear, most beloved, and most honorable”.

Also, the word “Kareem” means full of benefits and uses.

God’s book, the Qur’an, is “Kareem” in the sense that it is full of benefits, facts, and guidance, it is full of good things and blessings, it is perfect in every sense of the word, and it is free from any defect or imperfection. It is “Kareem” perfect and free from any defect or imperfection.

A female camel is said to be “Kareemah” if she produces a lot of milk.

Grapes are also called in Arabic “Karmah” because they are full of benefits: They provide people with shade and delicious nutritive wholesome fruits.

Also, the expression “Makarim Al-Akhlaq” means the very best, purest and most noble manners and characters.

Now, when we describe God  as being “Kareem”, this means that He is all laudable, as He described Himself:

“O man! What has deceived you as to your Lord, the All Laudable?” (Al-Infitar 82: 6)

Different Meanings of God’s Name Al-Kareem

Accurately and comprehensively, God’s divine name, Al-Kareem denotes that His Existence is definitive. He is free from any defect or imperfection. He is the All Mighty and no one but Him deserves to be worshipped. This can be summed up in three notions with regards to God: His existence, oneness, and perfection. In this sense God is “Kareem”; He exists, He is one, and He is perfect. These three accurate divine attributes that have to do with God’s name Al-Kareem can be explained as follows:

1- God is “Kareem” in the sense that He initiates His divine favors to His slaves, even though they do not deserve such favors. Out of His divine grace, He brings us into existence even though He is not obliged to do so. In other words, He bestows His divine favor upon us by bringing us into existence.

2- When we invoke God, “Ya Kareem Al-‘Afou” (O All Pardoning!), this means that God’s divine pardon does not mean only cancelling His punishment for you but also making people forget your sin and: Due to God’s infinite pardon, He, all pardoning, makes you forget the sin you have committed: “If a believer returns to God with true sincere repentance, God makes him, the angels and the whole world, forget his sins and misdeeds.” Delicately, due to God’s infinite divine grace, if a believer commits a certain sin and then, for some reason or another, forgets it, God deals with him generously and makes him live happily and comfortably.

3- Another meaning of God’s name Al Kareem is that He covers His slave’s sins, and faults. That is why Prophet Muhammad says: “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from an evil neighbor: if he sees anything good (of me), he conceals it; but if he sees anything evil, he reveals it. O Allah! I seek refuge with You from an evil Imam (master): if I do well, he does not accept; but if I do badly, he does not forgive.

4- God is Al-Kareem in the sense that He, the All Laudable, unveils His slave’s good deeds and qualities and veils his evil ones and keeps them secret.

5- One of the beautiful meanings of God’s name Al-Kareem is that He overlooks His slave’s sins and misdeeds although the latter is never unaware of them. To this effect, He says:

“Think you not that Allah is unaware of that which the wrong-doers do. It is only that He gives them a respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.” (Ibrahim 14: 42)

For the same purport God’s words stand:

“And Sufficient is your Lord as an All-Knower and All-Beholder of the sins of His slaves.” (Al-Isra’ 17: 17)

6- God as well is Al-Kareem that if His slaves turn to Him with little sincere acts of devotion, He rewards them generously. In your present life, you offer to God only a limited number of good righteous deeds: you help the poor and needy, you offer some prayers and acts of devotion…etc, but in the Hereafter, God rewards you with the garden of paradise:

“And make haste to (attain) forgiveness of your Lord, and to (attain) a Garden (of Paradise), as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious and dutiful.” (Al-Imran 3: 133)

Quite often, God grants a weak lowly person power and dignity! In this respect, God says:

“And fulfill your covenant with Me, I fulfill My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 40)

7- Out of His infinite divine generosity, God Al-Kareem makes us worthy of His divine love:

“He (Allah) loves them and they love Him (Allah).” (Al-Ma’idah 5: 54)

“Verily, those who believe and work deeds of righteousness: the Most Gracious (Allah) shall bestow love upon them.” (Maryam 19: 96)

8- Of His infinite divine generosity God Al-Kareem gives us the whole world:

“It is He (Allah) Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then, He directed His Divine Power to the heavens and made them seven heavens; and He is the All-Knower of all things.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 29)

9- God is “Al-Kareem” that He grants without a reminder, which human beings never do. When human beings do favors to one another, they usually remind them of such favors.

10- Also, God is “Al-Kareem” as He does not make you need any means to get His divine favors nor does He make the disobedient despair of repentance. To this, He says:

“Say (O Muhammad) to My slaves who have transgressed against themselves: ‘Despair not of Allah’s Mercy! Verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” (Az-Zumar 39: 53)

11- God is “Kareem” in the sense that whenever He gives He gives most generously; and when He is disobeyed, He forgives most forbearingly as He is most forbearing.

12- God is also “Kareem” to the extent that He never lets down His slaves or fails to fulfill their hopes; He never fails to fulfill hopes of His slaves. He bestows His divine favors upon His slaves and never reminds them of such favors.

13- Another meaning that His infinite divine favors never end and His benefactions are innumerable. Also, His Hands are always stretched as He is most generous, and He spends as He pleases.

14- God is “Kareem” when He gets angry with those who do not ask Him or pray to Him. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him, says: “Allah, All Mighty, is “Kareem” (All Laudable); and He loves noble manners and hate lowly ones.

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This article is a summarized version of the article (Al-Kareem) by the author, published at his web site http://www.nabulsi.com

Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi is a Muslim Syrian preacher and writer. He has written a number of Islamic books, most remarkable of which are: “Encyclopedia of the Beautiful Names of Allah”, “Encyclopedia of Scientific Miracles of the Holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah” , “Outlooks on Islam” and “Contemplations on Islam”. He delivers a number of lessons, orations, symposiums and chat programs broadcasted on the Syrian, Arab, and Islamic radios and Televisions.

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Thirty Prophetic Hadiths on Mercy

Thirty Prophetic Hadiths on Mercy

By Truth Seeker Staff

MercyThirty Hadiths on Mercy

Despair not of the Mercy of God, for God forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Az-Zumar 39:53)

One aspect of the Mercy of Allah of His slaves is that He sent the Messengers and revealed the Books and laws to organize their lives according to the ways of wisdom, far removed from hardship and difficulty. Allah says:

And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the ‘alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:107)

It is by the Mercy of Allah that He will admin His believing slaves to Paradise on the Day of Resurrection. No-one will ever enter Paradise because of his deeds along as the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “No-one’s deeds will ever admit him to Paradise.” They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No, not even me, unless Allah showers me with His Mercy. So try to be near to perfection. An no-one should wish for death; he is either doing good so he will do more of that, or he is doing wrong so he may repent.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

We hope and pray that this booklet will bring the reader closer to Allah by inspiring you to reflect on the meaning of these ahadith and to increase you in acts of mercy in the blessed month [of Ramadan] and beyond.

“Ramadan has come to you – a month of blessing in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds) and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived herein of the Mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” (At-Tabarani)

“Where there comes the month of Ramadan, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of Hell are locked and the devils are chained.” (Muslim)

“Allah has made mercy into one hundred parts. He kept with Himself ninety-nine parts and sent down one part to the Earth so because of that part the creation is merciful such that a horse raises a hoof over its child for fear of hurting it.” (Al-Bukhari)

“When Allah decreed the creation He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne: My Mercy prevails over My Wrath.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, was asked, “O Messenger of Allah pray against the idolators!” So the Prophet said, “Verily, I was not sent to invoke curses but rather I was only sent as a mercy.” (Muslim)

“I am the Prophet of repentance and I am the Prophet of mercy.” (Muslim)

“Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you.” (At-Tirmidhi)

“Be merciful to other you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you.” (Ahmad)

A man saw the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, kiss his grandson Hasan. The man said, “I have ten children and I do not kiss any of them.” The Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “Verily whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.” (At-Tirmidhi)

“He who does not show mercy to our little ones or recognize the rights of our elders if not one of us.” (Ahmad)

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Adapted with editorial adjustments from a booklet that was published by the valuable charity HHUGS.

 

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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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Allah Is Indivisible & Loves What Is Indivisible

Allah Is Indivisible & Loves What Is Indivisible

By Salman Al-Oadah

Allah's Attributes

Allah is alone, separate and distinct from His creation. He is the Indivisible who has created His creatures in pairs.

Allah Is Indivisible & Loves What Is Indivisible

The Arabic word witr refers to a single, indivisible entity. It also refers to a number that cannot be divided by two. The word is found with this second meaning in the verse:

“(I swear) by the even number and the odd.” (Al-Fajr 89:3)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made the same statement about God loving that which is indivisible when he said: “Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one, whoever comprehends them all will enter Paradise, and He is Indivisible and loves that which is indivisible.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

Allah is the Indivisible whose essence cannot be divided. He has no partner, and there is no one who can compare with or rival Him in any way. He is One, unique in His names, attributes and actions.

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Seeing, the Hearing.” (Ash-Shura 42: 11)

“Do you know of any who is worthy of His name?” (Maryam 19: 65)

Allah is Indivisible, and He loves it for us to observe our devotions an odd number of times. What this means is that Allah loves all that He prescribed for us to observe in odd numbers. He loves these things because He commanded us to observe them and determined them to be carried out in their particular forms in accordance with the dictates of His wisdom.

What devotions are being referred to here?

Scholars have differed in answering this question. Some say that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is speaking about the Friday prayer, or the Day of `Arafah during the Pilgrimage, or to the Maghrib prayer which is three units long, or to the Witr prayer at the end of the day which is always observed as an odd number of prayer units.

However, the best approach is to understand it as general in meaning, applicable to all prescribed acts of devotion that are observed an odd number of times. I also believe that it refers to the worshipers who are foremost in doing good deeds, since they stand alone in excellence by doing far more than others are willing to do. Allah praises them by saying:

“The foremost are the foremost.” (Al-Waqi`ah 56: 10)

And by saying:

“Be foremost in seeking forgiveness from your Lord.” (Al-Hadid 57: 21)

Likewise, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Those who strive in competition (for excellence) stand peerless.

When he was asked who he was referring to, he said:

They are the men and women who remember Allah often.” (Muslim)

Allah loves those who stand out ahead of the rest through their devotion and their good deeds, especially when they strive to help others. Allah says:

“For this, those who strive with each other should strive.” (Al-Mutaffifin 83: 26)

By contrast, Allah hates those who strive with one another in stinginess, sin, iniquity and misappropriating the rights of others. Allah is alone, separate and distinct from His creation. He is the Indivisible who has created His creatures in pairs. We find numerous examples of this. Rarely do we find things that are indivisible into pairs. Allah says:

“And everything We have created in pairs, so that perchance you might reflect.” (Al-Dhariyat 51: 49)

There is a supplication associated with this meaning. Once, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) entered the mosque and saw a man who was sitting and completing his prayer. The man was supplicating with the following words:

“O Allah! I ask You by Your being the One, Alone, the Self-Subsisting who neither begets nor is begotten, and who none is like unto Him. I ask You to forgive me my sins, for you are the Forgiving and Merciful.” Upon hearing this, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said three times:

Allah has forgiven him.” (Abu Dawud)

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Source: Islam Today web site – http://en.islamtoday.net

Salman Al-Oadah is a prominent Saudi scholar. He supervises the website Islam Today (www.islamtoday.com).

 

 

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As-Samad – Allah Is Self-Subsisting

As-Samad – Allah Is Self-Subsisting

By Salman Al-Oadah

Allah

Only those who reflect on the purpose of the creation around them, who have a clear faculty of discernment, who apply their minds and use their conscience, can recognize the truth that which these signs imply

As-Samad – Allah Is Self-Subsisting

This name of Allah appears only once in the Qur’an, in the second verse of the chapter entitled al-Ikhlas:

“Allah, the Self-Subsisting.” (Al-Ikhlas 112:2)

It appears in the Prophet’s Sunnah on a number of occasions, particularly in the aforementioned tradition pertaining to Allah’s greatest name, where Buraydah ibn al-Husayb relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard a man beseeching his Lord in the following words:

“O Allah! I beseech You by affirming that You are Allah, there is no god besides You, the One, the Self-Subsisting, who begets not and is not begotten, and who no one else resembles in any way.”

After the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard this, he said:

I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, this man has beseeched Allah with His greatest name, which if anyone supplicates with it, that supplication will be accepted, and if anyone asks by it, it will be granted.” (At-Tirmidhi, 3475; Ibn Majah, 3857)

The name As-Samad has many aspects to its meaning. It refers to one who is Lord, who possesses and disposes of all affairs, one whom people come to with their needs, but who at the same time is complete and self-sufficient, needing and depending upon no one else.

Ibn `Abbas, the eminent companion, defined the word samad as follows:

“A chieftain whose chieftaincy and pre-eminence is absolute; a noble whose nobility is complete and impeccable; someone who is mighty, possessing absolute power, but clement in the utmost; someone who is wealthy without limit, able to compel at will; with full knowledge and wisdom. It is only Allah who has complete nobility and dominion, and this attribute – samad – belongs to Him alone. No one else is worthy of it.

The word samad is also defined as: “One whom everyone depends to fulfill their needs, but who needs no one and depends upon no one else.”

Allah says:

“Shall I take for my protector any other than Allah, the Bringer into Existence of the heavens and the Earth? – He who gives sustenance and is never given sustenance?” (Al-An`am 6:14)

Allah provides everything for His creatures, but He is not dependent on them for anything:

“I have only created humanity and the Jinn to worship Me. I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should provide Me with sustenance.” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56-7)

Allah did not create us to enrich Him or empower Him. He created us merely to worship Him. He is free from all deficiency and dependency. He begets not, nor is He begotten.

Benefits of Knowing This Name of Allah

When we believe in our hearts that God is Self-Subsisting, needs no one but able to fulfill the needs of all, it becomes natural for us to turn to Him and pin our hopes in Him alone.

Ibn `Abbas relates:

“I was with Allah’s Messenger one day, when he said to me:

Young man, I will teach you something: Remember Allah and He will remember you. Keep Him in your heart and you will find Him with you. If you beg of someone, beg of Allah. If you rely on someone, rely on Allah.

Know that if the whole world united in order to provide you with some benefit, they could only benefit you with what Allah has already decreed for you. And know that if the whole world united in order to bring you harm, they could only harm you with what Allah had already decreed to befall you.

The pens have been lifted from the pages and the ink has dried.” (At-Tirmidhi, 2516)

We should turn to Allah with our hopes and fears, with our worldly concerns as well as our spiritual aspirations, in all matters great and small.

“And there are some among them who say: ‘Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the Fire’.” (Al-Baqarah 2:201)

Our faith in Allah’s names and attributes should not be reduced to some rote recital of words, but must be something that actively informs and shapes our approach to life. When this is the case, we become empowered by our faith and more independent in our outlook.

Such faith should at the same time provide a vitality to our efforts and embolden us with confidence when we actively strive to reach our goals. It should make us more productive – as well as more patient – in realizing the things in life we are trying to achieve.

It should make it easier for us to weather the difficulties that we face and surmount the obstacles that come our way. It should keep us from despair when we have done everything that we practically can do, but more is still required.

We need to contemplate on the fact that Allah is Self-Subsisting. We are very different than other animals. Many of them have been given strength and sensory perception far exceeding our own.

However, we have been blessed with the faculty of reason. We have been made accountable for our beliefs and our actions. One thing our minds can discern is the awareness of Allah.

We can come to know our own weakness and discern our limitations. We recognize our own smallness and insignificance before the vastness of Allah’s creation, and realize the greatness of Allah. When we have this awareness of Allah, believe in Him, and recite His scriptures, we keep the remembrance of Allah alive. This is a great honor that Allah has blessed us with.

This is why Allah says:

“In houses where Allah has permitted His name to be often invoked and remembered.” (An-Nur 24:36)

It is indeed a great honor that Allah has permitted us to be aware of Him and to remember Him.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from the author’s website, Islam Today: http://en.islamtoday.net.

Salman Al-Oadah is a prominent Saudi scholar. He supervises the website Islam Today (www.islamtoday.com).

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