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Friday, December 10, 2010

The Historical Significance of ‘Ashura


The Historical Significance of ‘Ashura

Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (Radiyallahu 'anh) relates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) say: "It is the day of ‘Ashura. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has not made fasting obligatory for you. But I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it (does not have to) observe it." [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Qatada (Radiyallahu 'anh) relates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Huraira (Radiyallahu 'anh) reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said that after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence. [Sahih Muslim]

Alhamdulillah, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has blessed us to see another year. The first month of this year is Muharram. In this month is an excellent day—the day of ‘Ashura—which falls on the 10th of Muharram. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) recommended that we fast on this day, by his Sunnah. He also indicated how we should observe the fast of ‘Ashura.

Hakam ibn Al-Arat (Radiyallahu 'anh) relates: I went to Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu 'anh)… I said to him: Tell me about fasting on ‘Ashura. He said, "When you seen the new moon of Muharram count the (days) and (begin to) observe fast on the 9th." I said to him: "Is it how the Holy Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) observed the fast?" He said, "Yes." [Sahih Muslim]

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu 'anh) relates that when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said: "If I survive till next year, I will definitely observe fast on the 9th of Muharram (as well)." [Sahih Muslim]

(Note: What the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) meant was that he would also fast on the 9th as well as the 10th to which he was accustomed. We also should try fasting on the 9th and the 10th of Muharram.)


Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu 'anh) reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) arrived in Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura… They said: "It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Hazrat Musa ('Alaihis-Salaam) and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Sayyidina Musa ('Alaihis-Salaam) observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it." The Holy Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) responded: "We have more right, and we have closer connection with Sayyidina Musa ('Alaihis-Salaam) than you have"; so Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) observed fast (on the day of ‘Ashura) and gave us orders to observe it. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

‘Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day: Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam ('Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise; Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) saved Sayyidina Nuh ('Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim ('Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod; And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa ('Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub ('Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy); Sayyidina Yusuf ('Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub ('Alaihis-Salaam); Sayyidina Yunus ('Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of israel was delivered from captivity and Pharoah’s army was destroyed. ‘Ashura is also the day when Sayyidina Dawud ('Alaihis-Salaam) was forgiven; the kingdom of Sulaiman ('Alaihis-Salaam) was restored; Sayyidina Isa ('Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah and Sayyidina al-Husayn (Radiyallahu 'anh) (the Holy Prophet’s, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.1

Worship Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) as much as you can on ‘Ashura. Whoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whoever clothes a naked person Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) will release him from a painful punishment. He who visits a sick person, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) will grant him a reward that will not be decreased. Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head, or feeds a hungry person or gives water to a thirsty man, Allah will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate). And who ever takes a Ghusl on this day will enjoy excellent health and freedom from sickness and indolence. Whoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) will be generous to him throughout this year. And whoever applies Kuhl to his eyes will never suffer from eye-sore again, inSha’Allah al-Aziz.2

O’ Allah! Bless us to perform good deeds and gain their reward on ‘Ashura. Make the new year one of unity, cooperation and success for Muslims in this city and around the world. Ameen.



1. These are mentioned as what scholars have determined as the specialties of that day in Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani.

2. These specialties are mentioned in Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Guide to Muslims - Islamic & Social Affairs PART-2


Hakeem-ul-Ummat HAZRAT MUFTI AHMED YAAR KHAN NAEEMI
NIKAH OR WEDDING

The qualities that one should look for in a marriage partner are piety and God-fearing.

Neither the boy nor the girl should be forced into a marriage.

The bride�s mother�s consent is just as important.

According to the Shari�ah it is necessary that when permission is being sought from the bride for marriage that the name of the bridegroom, his father�s name and the amount of Maher (dowry) be mentioned. Nikah only takes place when the bride accepts this.

Some excuse should be made for the boy to see the girl without the girl�s knowledge.

The Quran Shareef states: "The affairs according to the consultation amongst them." The elders of both parties should have a discussion concerning the forthcoming union so that in the event of a misunderstanding between the couple after marriage, their elders can help in resolving the matter.

An engagement is not necessary. The purpose of an engagement is to confirm or promise a Nikah, so if in some cases it has to take place, it should be done without extravagance.

When setting the date for a wedding it is better that it is set on a Monday or Friday since these days are of Barakat.

The tradition of Haldi (putting Tumeric powder) and of Mehendi (putting Henna powder) is also unnecessary and should be stopped, as this has no basis in our religion. Everything besides the performing of the Nikah itself has no validity in Islam.

The wedding of Bibi Fathima Zahra (radi Allahu anha) should be used as a guideline. The Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) could have had an elaborate wedding for his dearest daughter but he made it a simple affair. He knew that the Ummah would use this wedding as an example. Therefore, the custom of songs, dancing, mixing of sexes and many other western practices should be stopped as these are all against the teachings of Islam.

Unnecessary financial expenses should be avoided so that the rich and the poor may have similar weddings.

It is not necessary to provide a meal during the wedding as this was not done during the wedding of Bibi Fathima Zahra (radi Allahu anha). Yes, it is Sunnat to distribute dates.

It is preferable to have the Nikah at the Masjid as this is Mustahab. The bride�s residence as a venue for the Nikah is also acceptable.

A man once came to Hadrat Imaam Mohammed (radi Allahu anhu) and related that he had promised to give his daughter everything in this world as dowry and now he finds this task impossible, as even a king cannot accomplish this. Hadrat Imaam Mohammed (radi Allahu anhu) advised him to give the Quran Shareef in dowry as everything is contained in the Holy Quran.

It is Sunnat for the bridegroom to have a Walima the day after the wedding. This should be done in accordance with his means. A loan should not be taken to have a Walima. The poor and the needy should be invited to the Walima. It is stated in a Hadith that the most blessed Nikah is the one in which the least expenses are involved and is simple.

After the marriage has taken place, the couple should give time to adjust and be polite, kind and understanding to each other. A husband should provide as best maintenance as he can and also show love, affection, protection, comfort and happiness. He should encourage his wife to follow the Islamic way of life. He should not speak ill of her parents or relatives and should allow her to visit families occasionally.

In the same token a wife should also be kind to his relatives especially his parents and treat them with respect. A wife should manage the household affairs wisely.

The wife is given the right of Maher, which can be claimed from her husband at the time of marriage. The Maher should be set with the consideration of the husband�s financial status and the wife�s living standards, her qualities and her family background. The Maher is a personal property of the wife and nobody can claim a share in it without her consent. Greed for excessive dowry should be avoided.

In case of any disagreements, a husband should not be hasty in giving Talaaq as in most cases the act is immensely regretted bringing about a lot of pain and misery. In most cases of differences or problems, it is the man that walks out, gets married again and lives a happy life and it is the wife who is left helpless, as the man refuses to give Talaaq.

Therefore, during Nikah an affidavit should be drawn up by the bridegroom saying that if he goes missing or remarries while still married to his wife, or is cruel, or unfair towards her, or even does not perform his rightful duties towards his wife, etc. then the wife has the right to take Talaaq. This should be done after making necessary affirmation of Nikah. The Qazi (Muslim Judge) should make negotiations from the man�s side and the women must accept by laying her conditions, that in case of so and so, etc. she should have the right to take Talaaq and be free of her husband. Insha-Allah, the husband will not ill-treat his wife and he will be just and fair to her safeguarding her from misery. According to Shari�ah there is no objection to this kind of solution.

A wife should not be forced to live or to perform any services for her in-laws as Islam offers her the right to choose. If she chooses to do so as a favour to her husband, she will be rewarded.

It has been stated by the Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) that if it was allowed to make Sajdah (prostration) to anyone after Almighty Allah, he would order the women to make Sajdah to their husbands, and on the husbands, remember that you have four fathers in this world: one is your biological father, second is your father-in-law, third is your Ustaad (teacher) and fourth is your Peer (spiritual guide). If you speak ill of your father-in- law, know that you have spoken against your father as well.

A successful man is one whose wife and children are happy and content with him. The Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has declared: "Fear Allah regarding women. Verily, you have married them with the trust of Allah, they have rights over you in respect of their food, clothing and lodging." (Bukhari)

The Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has also said: "The most perfect of the believers is he who is the best of them in conduct, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives." (Tirmidhi)

Women enjoy a very high status of respect and honour in an Islamic Society. As a wife she is the queen and mistress of the house. She manages the house and brings up and trains the children. She enjoys full and complete social, religious, cultural, legal and economic rights. She has the rights in her father�s and husband�s properties.


ISLAMIC ATTIRE

In many professions, it is required that a person dresses in a certain manner or has to wear a uniform to identify his profession. If these rules are not followed, then one is dismissed. Similarly, in Islam, different codes of dressing have been set aside for Muslims so that they can be recognized among the Kufaars. If this dress code is not followed, then we deserve to be punished as well.

As Muslims everything about us from our character to the dressing should serve as an example to people. We should be proud of showing that we are Muslims by adhering to the Islamic way of dressing and not following the west blindly and trying to look like them.

It is Fardh on a male to keep the area between his navel and knees covered at all times. It is Sunnat for a male to wear a full-sleeved Kurta. A Muslim male is recognized by a Topi (hat).

If one is wearing a Turban, a Topi should be worn under it as well.

The keeping of a beard is Waajib. The moustache should no be completely shaved off but kept well trimmed so that it does not come on the upper lip.

It is also Sunnat to shave underarms and the area below the navel.

The nails should be neatly trimmed as well. This should be done at least once a week but never left for longer then 40 days.

Men have been commanded to restrain their gaze and avoid looking at women intentionally.

Women should wear clothing that provide comfort and not restrict movements, such as tight- fitting clothes, see through clothes and clothing that attract attention should be avoided completely. Women should also not reveal their adornment in public or in front of any Non-Mahram (one whom Shari�ah allows them to marry).

A women�s clothing must be such that it covers her from head to toes (with exception of her face and palms in Namaaz).

Shari�ah also commands that women should not leave their homes without necessity. When traveling, it is very important that a woman be accompanied by a Mahram (one whom Shari�ah does not allow them to marry.

To preserve her modesty and honour it is necessary that she adopt the Islamic way of dressing.

For a Muslim it is Haraam to wear anything that represents the Kufaars.

Females should not cut the hair to resemble males.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guide to Muslims - Islamic & Social Affairs


Guide to Muslims - Islamic & Social Affairs
Hakeem-ul-Ummat HAZRAT MUFTI AHMED YAAR KHAN NAEEMI
BIRTH OF A CHILD

It is generally found that people celebrate on the birth of a boy and show dissatisfaction when a girl is born. Islam disapproves of this kind of behavior. Children are great gift from Almighty Allah and we should be thankful and rejoice irrespective of the gender of the new-born child. The birth of a daughter is a blessing and the Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said that they would be a shield for the parents from Hell.

It is stated in the Quran Shareef, Surah an-Nahl, Verse 58: "� when news is brought to one of them of the birth of a female child his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief". This was the belief of the Kufaar prior to Islam.

The woman that gives birth to a girl as her first child is indeed fortunate as the first born of the Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was a girl.

On the birth of a child, gifts or alms should be distributed among the poor. Nafils should be read instead of having parties, playing music and distributing sweetmeats, which is totally unnecessary.

When a child is born, he or she should be given Ghusal as soon as possible and the Azaan must be read in the right ear and the Takbeer recited in the left ear. The after-birth (placenta, etc.) of the child should be buried.

It is also Sunnat that some pious person chews something sweet like dates (Khajoor) and place in the baby�s palate (Thaneek). It is established from the Ahadith that the Sahabas took new-borns to the Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) for Thaneek .

It is preferable to have a Meelad Shareef or Fateha on the birth of a baby. All other unnecessary customs, which has no basis in Islam, should be completely stopped.


AQEEQA AND CIRCUMCISION

It is Sunnat to make Aqeeqa on the 7th day after the birth of a child, but if this is not possible, it should be done on the 15th or 21st day.

It is required to make Aqeeqa of two sheep for a boy and one sheep for a girl. The Aqeeqa meat should be divided into three parts: one part is to be given to the poor, one to friends and family and one part to be used in the house.

It is preferable that the bones should not be broken but be separated by the joints and buried after eating.

It is also better that the child be named by the 7th day from the time of birth. A good name, preferably one of the names of the Ambiya or of a Sahabi would be of Barakat. "Mohammed" is the best name and names such as this should never be mispronounced.

During Aqeeqa (7th day) the child�s hair can also be removed and the equivalent weight in Silver should be given in Sadaqah. Soaked Saffron can be rubbed on the child�s head after the hair is removed.

It is also permissible to make Aqeeqa of one cow for a few children, meaning 2/7 part of a cow for a boy and one part for a girl.

One should not borrow money to make Aqeeqa as it is not compulsory on a person that cannot afford it. Aqeeqa is not Fardh or Waajib but it is a Sunnat.

Circumcision is Sunnat for males between the ages of 7 to12 years. To circumcise after the age of 12 is prohibited. It is best to circumcise at an early age, even during Aqeeqa (7th day) as the child heals very quickly and does not suffer much. There is no need to have functions to celebrate the process of circumcision.


UPBRINGING OF CHILDREN

A child should be weaned off breast milk at the age of two.

When the child is learning to speak, first teach him or her to say the name of Allah and teach the child Kalima Tayyibah at a later stage.

When making a child sleep, mothers should read Naaths or Qasida instead of singing songs or playing the radio.

Try to set a good example and practice what you preach as children have a habit of imitating what they see.

Read your Namaaz in their presence, recite Quran Shareef and take them to the Masjid with you.

Read stories of good pious people as children love listening to stories and can learn valuable lessons and form good habits from Hadith and such stories.

When children reach the age of 7 years, they should be ordered to perform Namaaz, learn the five Kalimas, Imaan-e-Mujmal and Imaan-e-Mufassil.

Send children to Madressa to learn Dua�s, to read the Quran Shareef and other Islamic Books and magazines.

Children should be taught to keep their body, clothes and surroundings pure and clean.

They should be given responsibilities as well as certain duties or tasks to perform in the house.

They must be taught to do their own work and should also be taught to make Salaams when entering the house or when meeting people. They should be taught the importance of respecting their elders.

Encourage a life of simplicity including simple dressing and eating habits.

It is advisable that at least one of the children should become Hafiz or an Aalim as it has been stated in a Hadith that three generations of one Hafiz and seven generations of one Aalim will be pardoned.

Instill good constructive hobbies in them, those that can be means for them to earn a Halaal Rozi (sustenance) at a later stage in their lives.

According to Islam, children must be educated in religious and worldly affairs. In this connection, there is also a famous Hadith of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) which says: "The acquisition of knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim man and woman." But the education of the females should be in accordance with her temperament and the immediate needs of society. She should be educated in such a manner as could make her a good Muslim, wife, mother, educator and an ideal citizen. Girls should be taught handicrafts, cooking, sewing, etc. It is very important that with any career one should gain Islamic knowledge and practice good Islamic way of life and values.

If a child is not given proper Islamic training and as a result adopts evil habits and commits sins, the sins thereof will be upon the parents.