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Rights of minorities in Islam

All praise is due to Allah Subhanahu Wa Taa’ala the creator and the cherisher of the world and blessings and salutations upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam which is mercy to all mankind and the final prophet of Allah Taa’ala.

Islam seeks to establish such a society where all citizens of the state enjoy equal rights and religion does not become the basis for any discrimination. Islamic law holds both Muslims and non-Muslims equal and no superiority or privilege is given to the Muslims on any ground. The history of Islam is replete with such examples. Once, a Muslim, who was accused of killing a non-Muslim, was presented in the court of Hazrat Ali (ra). The evidence supported the accusation. When Hazrat Ali ordered the Muslim to be killed by way of qisas, the relatives of the murderer made the brother of the killed forgive by paying him the compensation money. When the Caliph came to know of it, he asked, “Perhaps these people may have coerced you into saying so.” To this, he replied in the negative, saying that the killing would not bring his brother back. Since they were paying him blood money, it would help the family financially to some extent. The Caliph agreed to the deal but added that the principle underlying the functioning of his government was “the blood of those of our non-Muslim subjects is equal to our blood and his blood money is like our blood money.” (Abu Yusuf, Kitab-ul-Khiraj, p. 187) every member of an Islamic society is entitled to privacy and personal life. No one can be allowed to enter his house or interfere in his matters without his consent. The minorities enjoy similar rights in an Islamic state as the Muslims do. It is the fundamental principle of Islamic law that it enjoins the similar rights and duties on both Muslim and non-Muslim citizens without any discrimination.

Islam ordains people to worship Allah Almighty but it does not coerce followers of other religions to accept Islam and change their creed. Invitation to truth and use of coercion are mutually exclusive realities. The Holy Quran has communicated the Islamic message of truth in these words: “(O Glorious Messenger!) Invite towards the path of your Lord with strategic wisdom and refined exhortation and (also) argue with them in a most decent manner. Surely your Lord knows him well who strayed away from His path and He also knows well the rightly guided.” (16:125)

Islam has strictly disallowed the adoption of such method of invitation, which affects the religious independence of the other party. Allah Almighty says at another place: “There is no coercion in religion. Verily, guidance has manifestly been distinguished from error.” (2:256)
the non-Muslim minorities are free to undertake any business enterprise or profession in an Islamic state like their Muslim counterparts and no restriction can be imposed upon them in this regard. However, those businesses, which are collectively injurious for the society, would be completely prohibited both for the Muslims as well as the non-Muslims. The minorities are also free to adopt any profession they like. They would also be subject to same trade-related taxation as the Muslims.

as it is the responsibility of the Islamic state to provide for the disabled or the poor or the destitute or the old, in the same way, it is also under obligation to pay for the maintenance of a member of the minority community in case of his disability, old age or poverty. Minorities enjoy equal rights in terms of collective maintenance in an Islamic state. According to a tradition reported by Abu ‘Ubaid in Kitab-ul-Amwal, “The Holy Prophet (PBUH) gave a donation to a Jewish family and it continued to be delivered even after (the Holy Prophet’s departure from this world).”

Islamic state is responsible for the protection and security of minorities. If it has entered into an agreement with another nation, the protection and security of the latter also falls under its domain of responsibility.

One of the conditions that defined the agreements between Muslims and the conquered non-Muslim minorities was that the Islamic government would be responsible for provision of basic necessities and security of lives of the minorities. The Peace Agreement, which was struck with the residents of the Heera had the following written in it: “A non-Muslim who grows old and cannot work or becomes disabled due to a natural calamity or he was previously rich but has become poor due to some untoward happening, the government would not charge any tax from such calamity-stricken people. Rather these people and their families would be provided with the maintenance allowance out of official treasury.” (Ibn Rushd, Badiyat-ul-Mujtahid, vol. 2, p. 310)

The minorities cannot be compelled to render defence services. Rather, it is the responsibility of the Islamic state to defend them. Since the Islamic state is responsible for the protection of lives, honour and property of the minorities and they do not have any other obligation with regard to defence, they are liable to contribute financially to the Islamic state in the form of a tax called Jizya. Even then, Islam has taught about justice and good manners when it comes to the imposition of Jizya on the minorities.
. The reprehensible Gojra-style incidents happen because of our society’s lack of knowledge of actual teachings of Islam. The vacuum of knowledge so created is bridged by the semi-literate clergy with no exposure to the Islamic historical tradition, demands of contemporary age and challenges of future.
Words fail to express the feelings of horror and grief one experienced while watching the scenes of mayhem, destruction of homes and the burning of seven people alive on TV channels in the Gojra city of Punjab. What made it all the more poignant was the fact that people, inspired by religious fervour and egged on by the so-called religious clerics having half-baked understanding of Islam, were doing everything our great religion condemned and ordained its followers against. Thus through their actions, these people brought a bad name not only to Pakistan but also Islam. Displaying sheer ignorance of Islamic teachings, they handed down a justification to those elements who are, otherwise, bent on demonizing Islam by invoking such incidents as the representation of what Islam stands for. It is high time we introspected ourselves and went back to the teachings of Islam vis-à-vis minorities.

Islam espouses values of universal brotherhood, tolerance and mutually peaceful coexistence ordaining its followers to be the source of peace for people around them. It aims at the establishment of such an ideal state and society where all citizens, irrespective of their association, religious identity, race, colour and creed, enjoy the similar rights and equality in the eyes of law. The Qur’anic injunction “There is no compulsion in Din (Religion)” (2:256) negates the element of coercion and oppression in religious matters and forms the basis for protection of rights of minorities. At another place, Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “(So) you have your Din (Religion) and I have my Din (Religion)” (109:6).
The importance and sanctity of rights Islam gives to minorities can be further gauged by the saying of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him): “Beware! If anyone dared oppress a member of minority community or usurped his right or tortured him more than his endurance or took something away forcibly without his consent, I would fight (against such Muslim) on his behalf on the Day of Judgment.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

This is not merely a warning but has the sanctity of a law, which was promulgated in the Islamic state during the blessed period of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) but which also continued to be implemented in the later period and is still a part of constitution of Islamic state. The Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) would always forewarn Muslims about the rights of the minorities. While talking of minorities one day, he said: “Whosoever killed a member of a minority community, he would not smell the fragrance of paradise though fragrance of paradise would cover the distance of forty years.” (Bidiyat-ul-Mujtahid)

Whenever the non-Muslim delegations would come to the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), he would extend them hospitality himself. Once a Christian delegation from Abyssinia came over to meet the Prophet of Islam (blessings and peace be upon him) in the blessed city of Madina, he took it upon himself to play host to the guests and made them stay in the Prophet’s Mosque. He said: “These people occupy distinguished and privileged status for our companions, therefore, I chose to extend them respect and hospitality myself.” (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa an-Nihaya)

Likewise, another 14-member Christian delegation from Nijran came to the holy city of Madina. The Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) made the delegation stay in the Prophet’s Mosque and allowed the Christians of the delegation to worship according to their religion in the Prophet’s Mosque. (Ibn Sad, at-Tabqat al-Kubra)

Such was the deep and penetrating impact of the Holy Prophet’s good treatment of the minorities that their interaction with him was also based on respect and reverence. When an ally Jew was about to die during a battle, people asked him about the possible heir to his huge property, he said that the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) would be guardian of his property. This speaks volumes of the reverence the Prophet of Islam (blessings and peace be upon him) had in the eyes of the non-Muslims.

Imam Abu Yusuf writes in his magnum opus Kitab al-Khiraj that both Muslims and non-Muslim minorities were treated equally in respect of civil law and law of punishments during the Prophetic period and that of the rightly guided caliphs. Once a Muslim killed a non-Muslim during the period of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). He ordered the killing of that Muslim by way ofqisas and said: “The protection of rights of non-Muslims is my most important duty.” (Musnad ash-Shafi‘i)

In the like manner, the status of a Muslim and a non-Muslim is equal in civil law in an Islamic state. The non-Muslim would also deserve the same punishment which would be meted out to a Muslim in case of committal of crimes. Whether a non-Muslim steals things of a Muslim or otherwise, both would deserve the equal amount of punishment. No discrimination can be allowed in their treatment in the eyes of law.

Muslims in non-Muslims countries

The Muslims living a non-Muslim country, even if they entered that country by means of forged documents, are considered to be living in their adopted country under a covenant. They must, therefore, comply with the laws of their country of residence Allah says: “Oh you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 1]

He also says: “And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! The covenant will be questioned about.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ': 34]

He says: “And fulfill the Covenant to Allah when you have covenanted, and break not the oaths after you have confirmed them.” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 91]

A Muslim is not to break or violate oaths or promises. He will not be a true faithful Muslim if he does so

Scholars have stated that those who enter non-Muslim countries have to adhere to their respective laws and regulations even if they entered those countries illegally, and they have no excuse for breaking those laws, since they were entrusted to abide by those laws upon entry into those countries.

For instance, when I came into this country, they issued me a visa, and I signed something. In the issuance of the visa and my signing of it, a legally binding contract occurred which was a sulih. It was an agreement that when I came into this country, I would obey the laws and would follow the restrictions that this visa demanded that I follow. This was a contractual agreement that is legally binding according even to the divine laws. In looking at this, we have to understand that the relationship between the Muslims living in this land and the dominant authorities in this land is a relationship of peace and contractual agreement-of a treaty. This is a relationship of dialogue and a relationship of giving and taking.

We should remember that when the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was in Makkah, what he asked for from the Quraish was just that they left him alone to do hisda’wa. He said, “Khalu bayni wa baynan naas: Leave me alone to talk to these people. Let me speak to them; let me call them.” And they wouldn’t let him do that. However, in this country, the ruling people are allowing you to call people to Islam, and this is exactly what the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was asking that they allow him to do in Makkah. These people here are allowing you to call people to Islam. They are not prohibiting you. If you go out and proselytize, they don’t come and arrest you; they don’t punish you; they don’t torture you. This idea here should be understood, and the verse from the Quran that we should take as the overriding verse in our relationship with this people is where Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says concerning those who neither fight you because of your religion nor remove you from your homes that He does not prohibit you from showing them birr: righteousness. “Birr” in the Arabic language is the highest degree of ihsaan-it is the ‘aala daraja of ihsan. Allah does not prevent you from showing them excellence-moral excellence-in your transactions with them nor from sharing with them a portion of your wealth.

Qadi Abu-Bakr, Ibn ‘Atiyah, and others have also said that this is what “antuqsitu ‘ilayhim” means. You give non-Muslims qistan: a portion of your wealth. In the early period of Islam, this is ta’lif al-quloob: one of the things that they used to do in order to bring people close. They would give monetary gifts to people whom they saw had inclinations towards Islam in order to draw the hearts. The Messenger of Allah,sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “give gifts to each other and love one another.” So, the act of giving something naturally inclines the one who is receiving the gift to have feelings of love towards the person who is giving them. The reason for doing these things-for treating these people with respect, showing this good character, and having this good courtesy-is that you will get from amongst them those who respond and will actually enter into Islam. Also, it is necessary for us to show respect to these people. Islam prohibits us from showing aggression towards people who do not show aggression towards us. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Do not enter the houses of the Christians nor eat anything of their fruits except with their permission.” Islam prohibits theft; it prohibits fraud; it prohibits cheating; and it prohibits these things in relation to the Muslims and in relation to the non-Muslims. The things that you cannot do to a Muslim, you also cannot do to a non-Muslim. The Messenger of Allah,sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also said, “None of you truly believes until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.” Imam Shabrakhiti ibn Rajul al-Hambali and others mentioned that “brother” here not only means your brother Muslim because this is a close brotherhood of Islam that others are not in, but it refers to the greater and broader brotherhood of our Adamic nature. It is a brotherhood in the sense that we are all from Adam, that Adam is the father of all us. Understanding this should cause us to realize that we have distant relations with all of these people out there, and all of them are potential Muslims. We should see them as potential Muslims.

Allah, subhaana wa ta’aala, for that reason says, “Call to your Lord with wisdom and with a beautiful admonition, and dispute them in the most excellent of ways.” In other words, debate with them and dialogue with them in the most beautiful of ways. Don’t be argumentative; don’t be cruel; don’t be mean; don’t humiliate them. Do it ways in which they can listen to the truth, respect the truth, and come to the truth. For this reason, we have to be du’ahtis salaam: people who are callers to peace.

We also have to be good citizens because an excellent Muslim is also an excellent citizen in the society that he lives in. This does not mean that we lose our distinctionIn addition, we have to recognize that the creation itself is a creation of diversity. It is a creation in which you see variation of colors. Allah did not make all the trees one, and He did not make all the animals one. He diversified the creation. He diversified even our colors and our languages; and He did all this for a wisdom. Not only that, Allah subhaana wa ta’aalamade us on different religions and different paths, and He did that intentionally because He said in the Quran, “They continue to be in differences except those whom your Lord has shown His mercy to, and for that reason He created them.” So, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala is saying that He actually created us in order that we differ-that there is a wisdom, a divine wisdom in the differences that we have. He created us to show mercy to us as well. So, we have to rise up to this challenge. This is a high challenge, and we as Muslims have to rise up to this challenge.

Another thing that is very important for us to remember is the moderation of Islam. This is a deen of wasatiyyah: it is a deen of moderation. We are a moderate community. We are between the two extremes of excess and deficiency. We are in the middle. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Those people who go into matters too deeply will be destroyed.” [The shaykh is an expert in the Arabic language, and he said, “those people” are people involved in “tatarruf” or extremism. That is what “tanatau’” is.] The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “The extremists are destroyed,” and he said, “Beware of extremism in the deen.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, warned against extremism, and he did not like it. Notice that one of the things that extremism does is that it causes you to lose your rational component so that you are not able to weigh things rationally. Once you have gone to an extreme, you can no longer see things in any balanced way. You have lost that balance of the middle way. This makes you think that what you are doing is right even though it is clearly wrong to others.

May Allah Taa’ala guide us all to the right path, Ameen !

The Fisherman

An Investment Banker was at the Pier of a small coastal fishing village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were a few large yellow fin Tuna. The Investment banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.The Fisherman replied “Only a little while.” The investment banker then asked “Why didn’t you stay longer and catch more fish?” The fishermans reply was that “With this amount I have more than enough for my families needs.” The investment banker then asked,” What do you do with the rest of your time?” The fisherman replied “Well you see, I sleep till late, fish a little,play with my children, take siesta in the afternoon, then stroll into the village markets every evening with my wife and family and spend time with them taking care of their needs, so as you can see, I have a full and busy life.”

The Investment banker scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA graduate and could help you. My advise to you is that you should spend more time fishing. You could then sell your catch and using the proceeds you could buy a bigger boat. This will enable you to hire more people and inevitabally catch more fish. Soon you could have several boats and would be the proud owner of a fleet of boats.

Then instead of selling to the middleman you would sell directly to the processor and possibly even open your own cannery. You would at this point be in full control of the product, the proccessing and also the distribution. You could then move into the city from where you would run your ever growing enterprise.” The fisherman asked ” But how long will this all take?” The investment banker replied ” I would say about 15 to 20 years max.” “But what then?” asked the fisherman. The investment banker laughed and said “thats the best part. when the time is right you would announce and IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich!, you would make millions my friend!”…. “Millions! wow then what?” asked the fisherman.

To this the Investment banker replied, “Then you would retire move to a small coastal village where you could sleep till late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta’s in the afternoon, stroll into the village markets every evening with your wife and family and spend time with them………..

Allah- Hu- Akbar, my dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to sincerely reflect on the reality of the above story. This is how we in todays day and age seem to chase ambitions and goals that along the way,more often than not, cause problems in the family enviroment, in our social circles etc, and all because of our greed to achieve great materialistic gains. By doing this we forget the rememberance of our Almighty Allah and ultimately our goal in life. If we divert the time and energy that we put into trying to gain these mundane worldly things into what we need to really do for our true investment which is the hereafter, then only will we have achieved true success.

May Allah (Subhanuwataala) give us the strength to fulfil our duties, as taught to us by the Holy Quran and through following the Sunnah (Traditions) of our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wassalam) Ameen.

Your brother in Islam and servant of Allah

Mohamed Ismail.

Following The Sunnah

Assalamu-Alaikum-Warramatullahi Wabarakatuhu,

Masha Allah a Knowledge Seekers class has been started every Tuesday morning from 10am to 11:30am at The Algester Masjid, with talks delivered by our most Highly respected, Mowlana Aslam Al Qadri.

For the benefit of those who unfortunately cannot attend the class because of other commitments, I am attempting to write down the points from the talk this week, which was about the actual practice of the Sunnah in eating, drinking water, sleeping etc, in the hope that it will benefit everyone. In this way you can also refer back to these notes in your own time Insha’Allah. If you wish to clarify anything or ask any questions please feel free to contact Mowlana Aslam.

All praise is due to Allah (Subhanuwataala) The Creator and Cherisher of all that is in the heavens and the earth. I begin with Bismillahir Rhamanir Raheem, and ask Allah (Subhanuwataala) to help me and guide me with this task InshaAllah.

Mowlana started the talk with a dua and thanked Allah Subhanuwataala for giving us the opportunity to learn the religion of Islam and to obtain the knowledge of this great religion. He then gave us a short synopsis of the previous week’s talk in which he had discussed about the importance and significance of following the Sunnah of our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) in the light of the Holy Quran and Hadith of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam). The most important point that was highlighted was that our Salvation, our Bakshish, our Magfirat, our protection and our real success both in this world and the hereafter depends on us implementing and following the teachings of the Holy Quran and to practice the traditions, (Sunnats) of our Beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammed (Sallalahualaihiwasalam). He had also given us examples and described how the Sahabatul Ikraam achieved and gained their great honour and status through following and practising the Sunnats of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) and stressed how important it is to implement this practice into our daily lives, as this is what was done by the Sahaba Ikraam, the Salf-e-Saliheen, the great Awliya Allah, Tabe-een and Sufia Ikram.

Without following the Sunnats of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) we cannot achieve the sweetness of success or taste the sweetness of Iman.

Before going onto the details of specific Sunnat acts that we can implement into our lives, Mowlana told us some Waqiat’s  (gave us examples/stories) explaining how some of the Sahaba Ikram put into practice the various Sunnats of our beloved Prophet  (Sallalahualaihiwasalam).

Once the great Sahabi, The third Caliph of Islam and son in law of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam), Hazrat Uthman Ghani (RadiAllahu-anhu) made Wudu and upon completion of his Wudu he stood up and started smiling….. The other Sahabi that were present saw he was smiling for no apparent reason, so they asked “Hazrat we cannot see any reason why you are smiling can you tell us why it is that you are doing so?” Hazrat Uthman Ghani (RadiAllahu-anhu) replied. Once my beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) made Wudu at this very place and after he finished he stood up and was smiling. I am remembering that Sunnat of my beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) and doing the same.

Once Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (RadiAllahu-anhuma) the son of Hazrat Umar (RadiAllahu-anhu) was travelling with some other Sahaba Ikram and his foot became numb so one of them said to him “you should remember the one who is most beloved to you” so straight away Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (RadiAllahu-anhuma) said Ya Habibi Ya Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) and as soon as he had mentioned the name of our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) his foot was cured and the numbness left him. As they travelled further, riding on their camels, they passed a tree and although the branches were high, Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (RadiAllahu-anhuma) lowered his head as he passed under them and when his companions asked him what the reason was for lowering his head, though the branches were not in the way, he replied: “ I was once travelling with my beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) under this very tree and when we came under these branches Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) lowered his head Mubarak so I am doing the same just because I remembered this Sunnah (act) of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam). SubhanAllah!!….

Hazrat Junaide Bagdadhi (Rhematullahi taala-alai) who we all know was a very famous and great Walli-Allah, once wanted to eat a watermelon. As he was just about to cut it, he stopped and said I don’t know how or which way my beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) would have cut this watermelon. Although in Islam it is allowed to cut it in any way one wishes and eat it, just consider and look at the immense Love that he had for our beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) and wanting to follow his Sunnah!!… but because he was not sure how the beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) cut it and ate it, he did not eat the watermelon. Allahu Akbar…..

At this point Mowlana stressed that giving Lectures and imparting knowledge and listening to lectures is not a big deal, but the most important thing is to implement the knowledge gained and to bring the religion and the Islamic teachings and traditions (Sunnats of the Prophet Sallalahualaihiwasalam) into practice. He reminded us that our forefathers, or people of the past generations may not have been Aalims, and they may have had less knowledge, but they had more Amal and were practical Muslims, whereas in today’s times we may have more knowledge but we are way behind and significantly lacking compared to them, in our Amal’s and practice as Muslims.

He also reminded us that our beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) has taught us everything we need to know to be successful in this life and the hereafter, and said that if we follow and practice everything according to the Sunnat of our beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam), we will be able to utilise the full 24 hours in the day, to make every action in our daily lives into a form of ibadaat …. from our eating, drinking water, wearing shoes and clothing, walking, talking, lying down, sitting, standing, dealing with the neighbours, dealing with other people, how to behave in our work environments, Fulfilling the rights of the parents and the rights of the children etc. All these acts can and will become a means of sawaab and reward for us.

He gave an example of what the Sufi point of view is regarding eating:

It is true that, no matter how one eats he will fill his stomach, but the Sufia Ikram said that if one eats food with the intention of getting strength to do more ibadaat of Allah Subhanuwataala and eats in accordance to the Sunnah of the beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) then his eating will also become ibadaat.

We all know that eating is a basic fundamental need for all forms of life. Without eating we cannot survive, nor would we live a long healthy life. Our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) has left perfect instructions for us to follow regarding what we should do before eating, during eating and after eating. The Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said that the Niyat (intention) of the believer is even more important than his action. Allah Subhanuwataala looks at the intention in our heart, and at our sincerity, Mohabat and Takwa towards His bargah.

To stress this point of Intention and its rewards, Mowlana spoke about a certain Sahabi who had built his house during the time of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) and in it he built a window in one of the rooms. The Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) visited him and asked “Oh my Sahabi why have you built this window where you have?” the Sahabi answered “Ya Rasuloolah I have built this window so as to get a good breeze into my house”. Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) then said to the Sahabi “O my Sahabi if you would have built the window with the intention of listening to the Azaan through it, you would have not only got a good breeze but you would have also been rewarded for your intention of listening to the Azaan as well and your putting in the window would have also become a form of Ibadaat.

Eating:

One of the Sunnats before eating is to wash our hands. Keep in mind that this as well as other instructions or etiquettes regarding eating were taught to us by the greatest teacher of human health and hygiene, our beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam).

Scientists and Doctors are only realising today by constantly researching, using the latest technology and telling us about hygiene and health issues and its importance in implementing cleanliness etc, in our eating habits and yet our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) gave us clear instructions regarding this matter of cleanliness and other things over 1400 years ago when there were no great scientists or any of the technologies that are present today.

Point one: Start by washing the hands.

  • Note various Ullema Ikram have said that after washing our hands it is better not to dry our hands with a towel but to commence eating with wet hands.

Point Two: We should start eating by mentioning the name of Allah SubhanuwataAllah. We should say Bismillah Hir Rahmanir Raheem. Or Bismillahi wa ala Barkatillah.

  • The Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said that Whenever Allah SubhanuwataAllah’s name is mentioned the Shaytan runs away from there and there is no portion in that meal for him. Also by mentioning Allah Subhanuwataala’s name we get more Sawaab and Barkat in the food.
  • If anyone forgets to say Bismillah Hir Rahmanir Raheem before he starts his meal and then remembers later he should say Bismillahi Awwalihi wa Arkirihi. Meaning In the name of Allah Subhanuwataala in the beginning and the end and then continue eating.

Point Three: It is not recommended to eat very hot food (in other words it is so hot that it may burn your mouth)

Point Four: Always eat with the right hand.

  • One should always try to do everything good with the right hand, like eating, drinking water, greeting, giving charity etc. etc.
  • The Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) ate with three fingers of his right hand. The three fingers include the thumb, index, and the middle finger.
  • Food which cannot be eaten with the fingers such as soup etc. can be eaten with a spoon. However we should try and eat with our fingers and follow our beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) in any foods that can be eaten with the fingers.

Point Five: Sitting on the floor.

  • Although it is permissible to sit in a chair and eat from the table, keep in mind that it is a Sunnat to eat sitting on the floor. So if you can manage to put this into practice it would be a great thing.

Point Six: If you happen to be sharing a plate with others then you should eat from that that which is directly in front of you and not from different parts of the plate.

Point Seven: Our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said: Don’t fill the stomach (It can be mentioned here that today Doctors, be they Muslim or non-Muslim also recommend that it is detrimental to your health to eat too much) The Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) advised us to fill only one third of the stomach with food, one third with water and one third is to be left empty.

Point Eight: After eating it is Sunnat to lick ones fingers.

  • Note this Sunnat until recently was scorned upon by people and sometimes still is, due to the fact that people may not understand its meaning or the philosophy behind it. But it is very important that we remember that if we do not understand something because of our lack of knowledge (our knowledge is very limited) we should still accept it as it is given to us by our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) and anything that Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) says we should always know and remember that there is some benefit or Hikmah (wisdom) behind it. Allah SubhanuwataAllah says in the Holy Quran that “Whatever Rasuloolah gives you Take it and whatever he forbids, you should avoid it.”..
  • In another Hadith, Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) says: When one of you eats his food, he should not wash his hands, unless he has licked his fingers, as you don’t know in which portion or part of the food there is Barkat for you.

(On this note I would just like to share with you all that I have personally read that it has recently been discovered by scientists that the tips of our fingers produce a certain enzyme that when ingested actually helps with the digestion of our food. Therefore by licking your fingers you are actually ingesting this “Newly found” enzyme. Allahu Akbar. Please note this is my own observation and not what Mowlana said.)

Point Nine: Never ever complain or find fault in the food you are eating.

  • In a Sahih hadith in Muslim Shareef it is stated that: Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) never searched for any fault in the food. Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) would eat the food if he liked, otherwise would leave what he did not want but would never complain about any of the food openly or verbally.
  • Today we need to teach our children especially, as it has become normal to hear them complaining that the food is Yucky and we also complain many times if the food is not to our liking ourselves, this is actually an insult to the food… Never Ever search for any fault in the food, but instead make Shukar that you have more than the millions of people that are suffering and are under the poverty line in many countries all over the world and do not even have enough food to nourish themselves.

Point Ten: Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) also said that if any piece of food ie: bread, rice, roti etc. falls on the floor you should pick it up, dust it, or clean it and then eat it if it is edible. Don’t leave it for the Shaytan.

  • Regarding wastage: My Respected brothers and sisters in Islam! Today we see in weddings and in other functions that we take more food than we require and end up leaving food in our plates, which will inevitably be thrown away. This is a sinful act and we will have to answer for it on the Day of Resurrection. We should rather take only small amounts of food and if we require more, we can always take more later. Always ensure you finish the food in your plate and save yourselves from sin, and fulfil the Sunnah of Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam)

Point Eleven: After completing your meal one should make the following dua to thank Allah Subhanuwataala:

  • Alhamdullilah hil lathee at amana wasakana wa ja alana minal muslimeen
  • Remember whenever we make dua, Allah Subhanuwataala sends more blessings and Barkat
  • Allah Subhanuwataala says in the Holy Quran that: If you thank Him, He will give you more and increase your Nehmat and bounties and if you are ungrateful to Allah Subhanuwataala (by not thanking him) then Allah Subhanuwataala says: My Azaab and punishment is very severe.
  • It is also recommended that we try our best whenever possible to have our meals with the family all together as there is more Barkat in doing this, and also take this opportunity to teach the children to recite the dua loudly after eating so that they can learn the etiquettes and manners of eating.

Point Twelve: Remove your shoes when eating. This may be difficult for us to do in this day and in certain circumstances like when we attend a Walima or Wedding function or if we are invited to someone’s house to eat etc. However we should still do our utmost to uphold the Sunnah as Allah (Subhanuwataala) says in the Holy Quran: “Fatt-Takullaha Mastatatum” Fear Allah (Subhanuwataala) as much as you can.

Point Thirteen: Wash hands after eating.

Drinking Water:

Water is also one of Allah’s Nehmat’s and no doubt a fundamental need for survival for all living things.

Our Beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said:

  • Always sit and drink water. The Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) forbade us to stand and drink water, to the extent that it is narrated in a Hadith that if you forgot to sit down and drink the water then it should be vomited out!!… Allahu Akbar, from this you can understand how important it is to sit and drink. (There are some reports of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) standing and drinking water, however it must be remembered that the command and order and Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) is to always sit when drinking anything. These occasions of standing could have been due to certain circumstances like nowhere to sit at the time or something of this nature. If we were in such circumstances and had no other option then only does it become permissible to stand and drink, otherwise we should make every effort to sit down and drink the water. It can be noted here that to stand and drink Zam Zam water is a Sunnah. It was out of respect that the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) always stood when he drank Zam Zam water.
  • Drink water in 3 (three) sips. The Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) forbade us to drink or gulp it down in one sip. The method of drinking is to sit down and to first say Bismillah, then drinking using the right hand, one should take three small sips by sucking the water without making any noise and moving the glass away from the mouth each time and praising Allah (Subhanuwataala) each time by saying ‘Alhamdulillah’ and at the end the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) would say ‘Ash-shukru-Lillahi.’
  • Never blow into the drinking cup. (not even to try and cool a hot drink.)
  • One Hadith narrates that our beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said: There is a lot of Barkat in drinking water before you start eating and there is Shifa (cure) in drinking water during your meal, but it is not good to drink water after you finish your meal as there is actually harm in doing that.

There are also other duas that the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) used to invoke when drinking Zam Zam water and also when drinking Milk.

  • When drinking Zam Zam water, one should say:

Allahumma Innee Asaluka ‘Ilman naafiaw Wa Rizqaw Wasi ‘Aw-Wa ‘Amalan Mutaqabbalaw Wa Shifa ammin Kulli Daa’
‘O Allah! I ask You for beneficial knowledge, increase in wealth, accepted deeds and cure from illness’
**whatever supplication you make after drinking this blessed water it will Insha’Allah be accepted. We should make good supplications for ourselves, our family and the entire Ummah.

 

 

  • When drinking Milk one should say:

Allahuma Barik Lana Feeh, Wazidna Minhu

“Oh Allah grant us Barkat and increase our blessings from it.

Visiting the Sick:

It must be remembered that Islam is the religion of Peace, Mohabat (Love) and it promotes kindness and sympathy towards others. When someone is sick, he is in a state of distress and Islam encourages us to visit the sick in order that it may help to reduce the persons stress. This is our Islamic and Moral duty towards our fellow brothers and sisters. There is great Sawaab and Reward for us when we carry out this Sunnah. Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said in a hadith of Muslim Shareef: “Whoever goes to visit the sick, he is in the Garden of Jannah until he leaves.” There is also another hadith that Narrates: Allah (Subhanuwataala) will ask “Oh my servant I was sick and you did not come and visit me”… the Banda will say “Ya Allah, you are our Lord, you are our creator how can you get sick?” and Allah (Subhanuwataala) will say “Oh my servant, My servant so and so was sick, but you did not go to visit him. If you would have gone to visit him, you would have found my Mercy there.”

In another authentic Hadith in Bukhari Shareef it is reported on the authority of Hazrat Ibn Aazib that Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) ordered us to do these things:

a)   If somebody passes away. We should attend the Funeral

b)   If someone is sick. We should go and visit him.

c)    If someone invites you for a meal. We should accept his invitation.

d)   We should help the oppressed and needy person.

e)   We must always fulfil our promises.

f)    We must always reply to the Islamic greeting.

g)   We must make dua for the one who sneezes.

Once Hazrat Jaaber bin Abdullah became sick and he said that Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) and Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (RadiAllahu-anhu) came to visit me, and Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) made dua for me.

On the authority of Hazrat Ali (RadiAllahu-anhu) it was reported that if a person goes to visit the sick at night, 70000 (seventy thousand) Angels keep making Istigfaar for him till Fajr (morning) and if a person goes to visit the sick during the day, 70000 (seventy thousand) Angels keep making dua and Istigfaar, Magfirat and Bakshish for him till evening.

When Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) used to visit the sick he would make this dua and say:

Itha dakhalla alaa mareed and would say to the sick person “Don’t worry, Insha’Allah Allah (Subhanuwataala) will give you cure from this sickness and through the struggle of this sickness or illness Allah (Subhanuwataala) will grant you forgiveness from your sins. He also used to place his blessed hand on the forehead of the sick and make dua for him to be cured.

  • It is also recommended that we do not stay too long when visiting the sick as it may cause inconvenience to the patient, unless he is in specific need for our assistance with something.

Sneezing and Yawning:

It is human nature to Sneeze and Yawn. We have no way of stopping these reactions from our body. In a hadith in Sahih Al Bukhari it is reported that Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said: Allah likes the sneezing of His banda but does not like the banda’s Yawning and when one sneezes he should praise Allah (Subhanuwataala) and say Allhamdullilah!.. and in reply one who hears someone sneeze should say: Yar Hamukallah. Then the one who sneezed should further say Ya Hadeekumullah wa yusli huballak .

  • Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said: Yawning is from the Shaytan. When one of you yawns the Shaytan becomes happy and starts laughing, so one should say Lahowla walla Kuwata illa billa.
  • You should always cover your nose and mouth with your hand and turn your face when sneezing and try to be as quiet as possible for the benefit of those around you.

In the time of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) some of the Yahudi (Jews) used to come and sit where the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) was and would sneeze purposely and say Alhamdulillah, as they felt that upon hearing them sneeze, the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) would make dua by saying Yar Hamukallah . (May Allah Subhanuwataala shower his Mercy upon you) But Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) did not reply to them by saying Yar Hamukallah instead he used to say Ya Hadeekumullah (May Allah Subhanuwataala give you Hidayat).

Entering and leaving the House:

Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said: Whenever you enter the house, the first thing one should do is to greet your family members. This is an order from the Holy Quran as well, where Allah Subhanuwataala says “When you enter your houses you must greet”.

If there is nobody else at home, one should still greet loudly by saying: Assalamu-Alaikum, Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu. This is because when one utters this Islamic greeting, the Shaytan hears this and tells all the smaller Shaytans as well as himself to go away from there as there is no place in that house for him. (This has been related to us in an Authentic Hadith).

Dua when entering the House:

Bismillaahi walajnaa, wa bismillaahi kharajnaa, wa a’laa rab-binaa tawak-kalnaa.

In the name of Allah we enter, and in the name of Allah we leave, and upon

our Lord we place our trust.

Dua when Leaving the house:

Bismillaahi tawakkaltu ‘a-lal-laahi walaa hawla walaa quwwata illaa billaah.

In the name of Allah, I place my trust in Allah, and there is neither might nor power

except with Allah.

Before Going to Bed:

Our Beloved Rasuloolah gave us clear instructions as to what we should do before going to bed.

  • Firstly cover all food utensils
  • Switch off lights (candles in the time of the Prophet Sallalahualaihiwasalam)
  • Make sure doors are all locked.
  • Dust off the bed (In case of any harmful insects etc. that may be in there)

In one Hadith Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) also has said that: one should close all doors and windows at sunset (Magrib time) so that the Shaytan cannot enter the home. Do not let the children out or play under trees at this time as it is at this time that the Jinnats are present in these places. It is said that during the day the Jinnats rest while the humans work and at night they come out while humans rest.

Sometimes people say “I trust Allah Subhanuwataala, and he will look after my things so there is no need for me to lock my doors or anything. There is no doubt that we should always place our trust in Allah Subhanuwataala and definitely Allah Subhanuwataala is the best of Protectors, but there is something that we call Asbaab….. This is to use the means of the world as well.

An interesting Waqia was related to explain this point. At the time of the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam), when people would gather they would tie their camels then sit together. Once a Sahabi did not tie his camel so the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) asked him “Oh my Sahabi why did you not tie your camel”. The Sahabi answered “Ya Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) Allah (Subhanuwataala) is the best protector so he will protect my camel, so I have no need to tie the camel. Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said to him, “Oh my Sahabi you should first tie your camel and then put your trust in Allah (Subhanuwataala).

We learn from this that we should also first do our best and then leave the rest to Allah (Subhanuwataala) and he will Insha’Allah protect us.

  • The beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said: One should always make Wudu before sleeping.

The Ullema Ikram explain the philosophy behind this is that one will be resurrected in the way he died and sleep as you all know is something of a minor death or similar to death in a way as we don’t know where we are at this time. By practicing this Sunnah we will find we will be more at peace and gain more Barkat and our sleep will also be considered as an ibadaat.

  • Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) always used to sleep on his right side and place his hand Mubarak under his right cheek at the time of going to bed.

If one changes position during the night then that is ok as long as one assumes this position initially then you will be following the Sunnah of our Beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam).

  • Make dua.

There are many different duas that our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) has taught us to make. One Hadith relates that we should read the last two Surah’s of the Holy Quran ie, Suratul Falaq and Suratul Nas. Another Hadith relates that we should read Ayatal Kursi and blow over the hands and rub on the face and chest. These duas are very powerful and will Insha’Allah protect you, your family and your house through the night.

Another very easy but Powerful Dua before sleeping is:

Bismika Allahumma amootu wa-ahyaa.

In Your name Ya Allah, I live and die

Upon waking up, it has been mentioned that our beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) used to say 3 (three) times Alhamdulillah.

One could also read:

Alhamdu lillaahil-lathee ahyaanaa ba’da maa amaatanaa wa ilayhin-nushoor.

All praise is for Allah, who gave us life after having taken it from

us, and unto Him is the Resurrection.

Greeting:

The Islamic greeting is one of the fundamental teachings of Islam. We must strive to put into practice this code of greeting whenever we meet with another Muslim brother. There is great reward and Sawaab in it.

The Holy Quran tells us: When you are greeted, replying the greeting becomes compulsory (wajib) on you.

The Ullema Iqram say that we should always try and reply with something better when we are greeted. For example if someone greets you by saying Assalamu-Alaikum we should reply Wahlaikum Salaam Warahmatulahi Wabarakatuhu.

The Holy Quran says that: “If you can’t reply with better words then one should at least reply with the same”. For example if someone says Assalamu-Alaikum you should at least reply Walaikum-Salaam.

In a Hadith of Abu Dawood and Tirmizi Shareef it is related that: When Allah Subhanuwataala created Hazrat Adam (Alayhisalaam) he commanded him to go to a group of Angels and to listen to how they greet one another. When Hazrat Adam (Alayisalaam) went amongst the group of angels they greeted him with Assalamu-Alaikum, Hazrat Adam (Alayhisalaam) replied them with Wahlaikum Salaam. Allah (Subhanuwataala) informed Hazrat Adam Alayhissalaam that this will be the greeting of your offspring and this is how he was taught. This greeting actually started from that time, so this is the greeting of the Angels as well.

Another Hadith relates that: Once one Sahabi came to the beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) and greeted with Assalamu-Alaikum so the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said Ashra (Ten). The second Sahabi came and greeted Assalamu-Alaiku Warahmatulla so the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said I’shroon (Twenty) and when the third Sahabi came, he greeted with Assalamu-Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu, so the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) said Thalathoon (Thirty) So the Sahaba inquired Ya Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) what does it mean when you replied us in this way, Ten, Twenty and Thirty? Our Beloved Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) replied that when someone says only Assalamu-Alaikum he gets ten Hasanat (rewards) when one says Assalamu-Alaikum Warahmatulla he receives twenty Hasanat and when he says Assalamu-Alaikum Warahmatullahi-Wabarakatuhu, for him is thirty Hasanat. The more one adds for example by saying: Assalamu-Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu Wamagfirahu he will receive forty hasanats. SubhanAllah.

We must strive to promote and practice this Islamic greeting. The Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) was once asked what is the best deed in Islam? He replied :“It is to feed the poor and needy and greet one another and promote the Islamic greeting. It is said that it is possible that the questioner was someone who was lacking in performing these particular acts so this is how our beloved Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) used Hikmah to encourage the followers. We see this in other Hadith as well, where the same question was asked but a different answer was given for example one person was told the best deed was not to get angry as this particular person used to do everything good but his downfall was his anger, so this was the Prophet (Sallalahualaihiwasalams) way of encouraging him to perform that specific deed better.

It was also pointed out here that sometimes we have non-Muslims who come up to us and greet by saying Assalamu-Alaikum. (This could be a genuine greeting from them or also could be in mockery) but Rasuloolah (Sallalahualaihiwasalam) has also given us the answer as to how to respond to the greeting. One should say in reply only Walaikum or another Hadith states that when the Jews or Christians greet you with Assalamualaikum you should say HadaakAllah (May Allah (Subhanuwataala) give you guidance).

To end the talk, Mowlana gave a beautiful example by using a glass, he said, “If we wanted to collect rainwater in a glass and we put it outside in the rain but left it upside down then no matter how much it rained we would not collect anything at all, whereas if we left it the right way up then within minutes it would be overflowing with water.” In other words, this is exactly what we should do when listening to talks by our learned Ullema, keep our mind and heart open and absorb whatever we can and most importantly, genuinely put all our effort in implementing all these practices into our daily lives, so that we can achieve success both in this world and the hereafter.

May Allah (Subhanuwataala) forgive me for any errors in the above attempt of mine to relate this beautiful talk of Mowlana’s.

May Allah (Subhanuwataala) guide us all to the straight path and give us the strength and Hidayat to fulfil all our duties in Islam and to follow the Sunnats (Traditions) of our Beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammed (Sallalahualaihiwasalam).

Wamma Taufiki Illah Billah.

Your brother in Islam and servant of Allah

Mohamed Ismail.

Excellent deeds that will lead us closer to Allah

All praise is due to Allah  (subhana wata ala) and peace and blessings upon his beloved Messenger Muhammed (sallalahu alaihi wassalam.)

It should be the desire of every Muslim to draw nearer and closer to Almighty Allah the most compassionate and the most merciful. By drawing closer and near to Allah we gain his help in every aspect of our lives in this world and for him to be merciful to us so that we may gain mercy in the hereafter in order to enter Jannah in the next world.

When we call upon him he would answer our calls and when we ask of him for anything he would give it to us and when we draw nearer to him then our sincerity and intentions will enable us to become closer to him.

So we should strive to draw nearer to Allah, the Glorified the Exalted, who is the majesty of honour and generosity and the giver of peace, the most high and the most honoured.

So what can we do to draw closer to him? The following are 10 steps for us to draw closer to our Almighty Allah:

1. Fulfilling obligatory duties and abstaining from prohibited matters.

The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) has guided us. And Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, has guided us how to draw near to Him. As He said According to Hadith Qudsi:

“Whoever draws near to Me among those drawn near by fulfilling what I have made obligatory on them….

You do not draw near to Allah except by fulfilling the obligatory duties which Allah has made obligatory on you (Faraid) such as Prayers, and Zakat (obligatory charity), and Hajj, and Fasting and being good to Parents etc. You do not reach the door of nearness nor do you reach to the presence of nearness except by fulfilling these obligatory duties.

So the first thing we need to do is fulfil ALL of our obligatory duties and to abstain from that which Allah and his messenger have forbidden us from.

2. Nawafil prayers (superogatory prayers)

Allah says in Hadith Qudsi:

….and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection, I will protect him…” [Bukhari]

A Source of Elevation for you

The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Ask (anything).” Rabi’ah said: “I ask of you to be your companion in paradise.” The Prophet said: “Anything else?” Rabi’ah said: “That is it.” The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said to him: “Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e., supererogatory prayers).” [Muslim]

Tahajjud

Allah Most High said, “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17: 78-79]

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]

Abu Umama al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” [Tirmidhi, and others] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”

And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntary worship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.

So let us make the habit of reading as many Nawafil prayers as we can for more prayers means more prostrations and one is truly the closest to Allah in prostration.

….bow down in prostration and bring yourself closer (to Allah).” (96:19)

3. Zikr (remembrance of Allah) and glorification of Allah

“…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)

Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue.(29:46).

O ye who believe, remember Allah much. And glorify Him morning and evening (33:42-43)

Remembrance of Allah is the foundation of all good deeds. Whoever succeeds in it is blessed with the close friendship of Allah.

Remembrance of Allah the best of deeds

The Prophet, peace be upon him, would often tell his Companions, “Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the sight of your Lord, about the one that is of the highest order and is far better for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you than meeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at their necks and they at yours?” The Companions replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Remembrance of Allah.” (Tirmidhi,Ahmad)

Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The similitude of one who remembers his Rubb and one who does not remember Him, is like that of the living and the dead.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Zikr can be done anywhere and anytime

A person may ask, ‘How can we do Zikr all the time whilst we have so many things to do in life such as we go to work, feed the family, pay bills, etc.? Well, the answer to this is that, firstly, it is the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger to work and feed the family which is rewarded by Allah and, secondly, that when a person is working or at school or wherever a person may be this does not mean that he should stop remembering Allah while he is working, while he is serving his customers or while he is programming his computer.

In fact the heart of the believer should be attached to Allah’s remembrance throughout his day to day activities such that he protects himself from falling in love with the materials and temptations of this world and that his love for Allah and his Messenger becomes stronger and stronger as time goes by. When a person begins to remember Allah all the time it is then that he becomes conscious of his actions.

“… And the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e., Jannah).” (33:35)

4. Calling upon Allah in Dua (supplication)

Allah the most compassionate says in the Holy Quran, “Call on Me. I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to serve me will surely find themselves humiliated in Hell” (40:60).

Allah the Exalted, has said: “And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and I will hear your prayer” (Quran 40:60),

“Call upon your Lord Humbly and in secret” (Quran 7:55),

“When My servants question thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me” (Quran 2:186),

“Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering.” (Quran 27:62)

Dua’s are never wasted

Aisha radhiallaahu anha said, “No believer makes Dua and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated.”

Allah’s anger is at those who don’t make dua

In fact, it is even wrong to never make Dua, “Whosoever does not supplicate to Allah, He will be angry with Him.” [Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer #2414]

Dua is a weapon for the believers

Rasullullah is reported to have said, “Dua is the weapon of a Muslim”.

Dua for ones brother in his absence

“The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.” [Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi]

So let us build a close relationship with Allah by making much dua to him. He loves it when his slave calls upon him and it angers him if his slave does not call upn him.

Let us have full hope that our dua’s will be accepted and if you think they won’t then know that Allah is keeping the rewards for you in the hereafter and those rewards are so great that one would wish that none of there duas were excepted in this world just so that one can gain all the rewards for their duas in the next world.

5. Building a close relationship with the Qur’an

Recite the Holy Qur’aan as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement [Muslim]
Learn the Qur’an and recite it, because the example of one who learns the Qur’an, reads it and recites it in Tahajjud is like an open bag full of musk whose fragrance permeates the entire place. And the person who has learnt the Qur’an but sleeps while the Qur’an is in the heart is like a bag full of musk but with its mouth closed.

Virtues of reciting the Qur’an

“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the hasanah is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (considered as) a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darimi]

“There is no envy (acceptable) except in two (cases): a person whom Allah has given the Qur’an and recites it throughout the night and throughout the day. And a person whom Allah has given wealth, that he gives out throughout the night and throghout the day.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: Whoever reads Tabarakallahi Biyadihil Mulk [i.e. Surah al-Mulk] every night, Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) we used to call it al-mani’ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah it is a surah which, whoever recites it every night has done very well. (an-Nasa’i)

Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Ra) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. (At-Tirmidhi 2818/A)

Reading, understanding and implementing the Qur’an in our daily lives

The virtues of reciting the Qur’an are too numerous to list. In order to get closer to Allah we need to recite the Qur’an, understand it and implement it in our daily lives.

We should make a target of reading at least a chapter a day. If one can’t manage that then at least half a chapter. If one still can’t manage that then recite at least quarter of a chapter or even a page a day. However much we can manage we should try to recite each day with its meanings and implement what we learn into our daily lives.

Reading a little each day is better than reciting a lot once in a while. We should build a close relationship with the Qur’an which is in fact building a close relationship with Allah!

6. Keeping good company.

One of the most important things we must do, which sadly many people neglect, is that we should avoid bad company. People we should avoid taking as friends are those who speak too freely,who miss Salah,who backbite, slander etc.

The company of such people is poison, even just sitting and talking with them will lead one to commit sins. Just as a person who sits for a long time with a perfume seller begins to smell nice, and a person who sits by a gutter cleaner begins to smell awful, similarly a person who spends time in the company of the wicked eventually gets affected badly by them.

Rather, we should seek out pious friends who fear Allah taala and who have the qualities of humility, charity, compassion, modesty and knowledge. If we sit with them we will always benefit and they will be a means for us to get closer to Allah taala!

The Prophet (saws) said, “The case of the good companion and the bad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower of the bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will either give you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, or at least you will come away having experienced its good smell. Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, or at least you will come away having experienced its repugnant smell.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Remember: “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day (Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (al-Qur’an 43:67)

7. Having fear and hope in Allah

One must be hopeful of Allahs mercy and forgiveness and fearful of His punishment. It is this fear that should lead one to seek Allahs forgiveness with hope. Allah says:

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Surat al-Maaidah 5:98)

In the above verse, Allah gives us reason to fear because His punishment is justly severe, as well as good reason to have hope, since He is the Most Forgiving and Merciful. There should be a balance between fear and hope and not too much or too less of one or the other.

We should always remain between fear and hope. For, the right and the approved kind of fear is that which acts as a barrier between the slave and the things forbidden by Allah. But, if fear is excessive, then the possibility is that the man will fall into despair and pessimism.

On the other hand the approved state of optimism is of a man who does good in the light of the Shari’ah and is hopeful of being rewarded for it. Or, conversely, if a man committed a sin, he repents sincerely, and is hopeful of being forgiven. 

In contrast, if a man indulges in sins and excesses, but is hopeful that he would be forgiven without doing anything good, then, this is self-deception, mere illusion and false hope. Abu ‘All Rowzbari has said, “Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death.” Allah has praised the people of hope and fear in the following verse:

‘Is one who worships devotedly during the night, prostrating himself or standing, fearing the Hereafter, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (is equal to him who doesn’t do these things)?’ (Al Zumar, 9)

Hope then also demands fear. If that was not the case, one would be in a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. Without that it would be despair.

Fear and hope, both should be equally proportioned in our hearts, in our worship, and in our dua to Allah. Allah says:

Call out to Him with fear and hope. (Surat al-Araaf 7:56)
They forsake their beds to call their Lord in fear and hope. (Surat as-Sajdah 32:16)

8. Voluntary fasting for the pleasure of Allah

Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadhan, but it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection.

Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:

`Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays”. [An-Nasaa’i; Sahih]

Fasting three days of every month(White days):

Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: “The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said “O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]“. [Ahmad, an-Nasaa’i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]

“Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.’ He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘And they will (be allowed to) intercede.’” [Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih]

So let us get closer to Allah by fasting Mondays and Thursdays or at least 3 days every month on the 14th,15th and 16th. If we leave something for the pleasure of Allah then we will get MUCH greater in return!

9. Sincerely repenting to Allah

Allah says: O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you.

When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates:

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa 4:110)

Everyone commits sin and does wrong, but Allah is always willing to forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seek His forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah is so forgiving. If Allah had willed, He could have held everyone accountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shall allow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in fact forgive who and what He wills. In fact, Allah commands that His servants seek His forgiveness:

And seek Allahs forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
(Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20)

Repentance is an act, which purifies the soul and brings the servant closer to Allah. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects one from falling prey to his desires and lusts and increases his faith.

We must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing to forgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily as Allah is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no. But our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect.

Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks. (Surat al-Baqarah 2:143)

In this Hadithi Qudsi, mankind is encouraged to seek Allahs forgiveness and repent, but there are five conditions of repentance, which must be met for ones repentance to be accepted. The first and most important is that the act of repentance be sincerely for Allah alone. Secondly, the person must feel remorse and guilt over his actions so much so that he wished he had never done it in the first place. The third condition is that the person must immediately cease performing the wrong and sinful act. Fourthly, the repentant person must have a firm intention to never commit the sin again. And lastly, the person must repent before it is too late, meaning before death approaches.

Allahs forgiveness and mercy is far greater and vaster than the sins of the creation. One must always have trust and hope in Allah in both good times and bad times and especially when seeking Allahs forgiveness. And the believer who calls out to his Lord for forgiveness demonstrates his true weakness and that he is totally dependent on the Creator.

When one confesses his sins to Allah and sincerely repents with hope in Allahs mercy, the heart should come to peace and the soul should feel rest. When a person has hope, he has no reason to despair because it only leads to destruction. Allah gives hope to all, especially those who despair that there is no reason to despair because Allah is the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. Allah praises those who repent and turn to Him:

And those who, when they commit a lewd act or wrong themselves with evil, and remember Allah and seek forgiveness  for their sins and who forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what (wrong) they were doing while they knew it. For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens with rivers flowing through, wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is the reward of the doers (of good)! (Surah Ali Imran 3:135-136)

10. Having good manners, character and being humble

Many of us think that “a perfect Muslim” is simply one who is correct in the observance of the salah (ritual Prayer), the fasting, the zakah (payment of a certain portion of one’s wealth to the poor), and the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). This indeed is not the case.

If the ritual observances do not help the person to be humble, virtuous and truly God-fearing, then he or she is not a real Muslim. A Muslim should be good and just in dealing with others, no matter their religion, 

One can never get close to Allah by being arrogant, full of pride and having a bad character and manners. Those who have humility and are humble and have good character and manners are the closest to Allah and Allah raises their ranks in the hereafter.

The superiority of good character:

Hadrat Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Nothing is heavier in the scales of a believer on the Day of Judgement than his good behaviour. Allah detests a person who is obscene and shameless”. (Tirmidhi)

Having humility and being humble:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “He who was humble for the sake of God by one degree, God (SWT) would then elevate them to a degree till they reach the uppermost of high Orders, and he who was arrogant to God (SWT), God (SWT) would then lower him for a degree till he reaches the lowest of low Orders”, (Narrated by: Muslim (Hadeeth: 6535).
Al-Nawawi said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him (in status).”

Humbleness is to know the value of oneself, to avoid pride, or disregarding the truth and underestimating people. As the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said, according to Muslim and others, “Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and looking down upon people” [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

Humbleness is for one who is important and significant and he fears to gain notoriety or to become too great among people. Humbleness is that one should humble himself with his companions.

Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act in arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some riyaa’ or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah ta`ala through an act of obedience, your deed may still not be accepted, “Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa (fear of Allah).” (Surat al-Maida: 27)

Humbleness is that, when you are advised, if Shaytaan calls you to reject the advice, you must negate him. Because the purpose of advice is that your brother points out the defects that you have.

The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention five defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. This is why it is among man’s moral integrity to accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness.

We can summarize the teachings of Islam about the Muslim character in the following list:

Be truthful in everything, don’t lie.
Be sincere and straightforward, don’t be hypocritical.
Be honest, don’t be corrupt.
Be humble, don’t be boastful.
Be moderate, don’t be excessive.
Be reserved, don’t be garrulous.
Be soft-spoken, don’t be loud AND Harsh.
Be refined and gentle in speech, don’t curse and use foul language.
Be loving and solicitous to others, don’t be unmindful of them.
Be considerate and compassionate, don’t be harsh.
Be polite and respectful to people, don’t be insulting or disrespectful.
Be generous and charitable, don’t be selfish and miserly.
Be good natured and forgiving, don’t be bitter and resentful.
Share and be content with what Allah has given you, don’t be greedy.
Be cheerful and pleasant, don’t be irritable and morose.
Be chaste and pure, don’t be lustful.
Be alert and aware of the world around you, don’t be absent-minded.
Be dignified and decent, don’t be graceless.
Be optimistic and hopeful, don’t be cynical or pessimistic.
Be confident and have deep faith, don’t be doubtful and wavering.
Be spiritually oriented and not materialistic.
Be confident of the mercy of Allah, don’t be despairing and lose heart.
Be diligent and vigilant of your duties, don’t be negligent.
Be thankful to Allah and constantly pray to Him, don’t be forgetful of His innumerable blessings.

Finally as the righteous say, “The love of Allah is the axis around which all good revolves.” If you fall in love with Allah, and then strive to be true in your love–in accordance with the way of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), then you’ll find nothing but increasing light and contentment in your life.

And Allah alone gives success.

Concepts of Peace in Islam and Poverty and it’s soloutions

Concepts of peace in Islam and Poverty and it’s solutions

All praise is due to Allah Taala and Blessings and Salutations upon last Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam

Islam is the religion and way of life that was revealed to humanity by our creator, Allah (swt) . Since Allah (swt) is the one who created the heavens and the earth, and out of His unlimited mercy to mankind, He also revealed to us a way of life and a religion, Islam, that give us peace and happiness in our lives here on earth and in theafterlife. Islam was revealed as a practical religion that covers all aspects of our lives, and it is intended to be implemented in our lives. It brings peace and justice to earth, after all, who is more just and wise than Allah (swt), the creator of the heavens and the earth, the most knowledgeable?

Today, many people regard Islam as a religion that promotes violence, terrorism and war. Unfortunately, they rely in their view of Islam on the general media, which is not always accurate in reporting the news. Islam is in fact a religion that promotes peace and understanding among people of all faiths, and it strongly prohibits all forms of violence and aggression against all people regardless of their faith or race.

Islam Prohibits Violence and Aggression, and stands for Peace and Justice.

Islam clearly prohibits all kinds and forms of aggression and violence against anyone,As The Holy Quran says, when he turns back, he runs about spreading mischief in the earth and destroys crops and human lives. And surely Allah Taala doesn’t like such mischief.(Quran2:205)And other verse (and do not spread mischief on the earth after it has been set right)Quran 7:56.   Islam is a practical religion, meant to be implemented in every aspect of our life. Therefore, it realizes the fact that a person who commits aggression and violence against others will not cease these actions unless they are deterred by similar actions taken against them.
Islam also places very high importance on justice, and allows for aggressors and unjust people be punished accordingly, unless they repent before they are brought to justice. At the same time, Islam encourages people to forgive those who have wronged them whenever possible.
Evidence of these ideals can be found in the Holy Qur’an, which is the word of God revealed to the messenger of God, Mohammad( peace be upon him). It can also be found in the Hadeeth, the sayings of Mohammad( peace be upon him) and in his teachings to Muslims. A few examples of this are shown below from the Holy Qur’an:           

“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (Surah 4, Verse 135). 

·         “God advocates justice, charity, and regarding the relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression. He enlightens you, that you may take heed.” (Surah 16, Verse 90). 

These are the wonderful ideals of Islam:

·         To pursue peace with everyone including past enemies. 

·         To ensure that we always apply justice and never transgress against others even if they are our enemies. 

·         To repel evil actions with good actions, in order to replace hatred with an intimate friendship. 

·         To respond to punishment with the same punishment, but that forgiveness and patience is even better than retaliation.

Islamic Principle: Living Peacefully with All Nations and Peoples.

The verse mentioned below informs us that we were created and made into various nations and tribes so that we may get to know each other, and not so that we may despise and hate each other. Then we are reminded of the the fact that the best of us in God’s sight are those who are most righteous.

·         “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full Knowledge and is well-acquainted (with all things).” (Quran 49, Verse 13).

This wonderful principle of Islam makes it clear that there is no single people, race, or nation that is better than others. God created us all equal. In God’s eyes, the best of us are the most righteous and most kind. God created mankind as different races and nations although He could have created us all with as one nation, with one language and one religion. However, as stated in the verse mentioned above, God created these different nations and tribes so that we get to know other each other, and not to hate each other because we are different. This tells us that we should celebrate our differences and not hate each other based on them. Islam also teaches us to realize that no single race or people have supremacy over others, and that we are judged solely based on our actions. This verse also teaches us that we should live peacefully with other nations and tribes and we should respect each other and our differences. We should learn to live together and to get to know each other, and to engage in dialogue amongst all nations and treat every human being as being equal. 

Islamic Principle: There is no Compulsion in Religion

The verse from the Qur’an which states this principle of no compulsion in religion is the following:

·         “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” (Surah 2, Verse 256).

The holy Qur’an reminds us that there must not be compulsion in religion. It states that the truth stands out clear from error, and that those who reject error and believe in God are the saved ones.This means that Muslims are not allowed to force people to convert to Islam. Muslims should only seek to make the truth clear to others, and talk to them about Islam, then let them decide for themselves. In fact, most people who study Islam without having made a decision to hate it first come to love its message and convert to Islam after learning about it’s values and principles. Another verse that also states this principle is the following:

·         “If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.” (Surah 9, Verse 6).

This wonderful verse instructs Muslims to grant asylum to non-believers, and make them safe, and allow them to hear the word of Allah. Then they are to be escorted to whatever place they will be safe and secure in. This is because these non-believers simply have no knowledge of Islam, and no knowledge of the word of Allah.Does Islam Permit Killing Civilians?

No, Islam doesnt allow killing civillians even Islam says if you kill one person its equal to killing the whole entire man kind(Quran 5:32)

Even in times of war, the Muslim must respect his adversaries’ humanity. Brutal and barbaric atrocities are prohibited in Islam. Islam condemns barbaric killing of any human being. Therefore, Islam does not permit the mutilation of the bodies of the dead enemy soldiers. Also, Islam prohibits the targeting and killing of all civilians, especially women, children, the elderly, and religious clergy. Enemies, even at time of war, must be treated justly. Prisoners of war have basic human rights, as stated in the Shariah (Islamic Law), and must be provided and cared for and not humiliated in any way.The following verses touch on some of these issues:

·         “O Prophet! say to those who are captives in your hands: If Allah findeth any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah 8, Verse 70). 

·         And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive, (Saying), We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.” (Surah 76, Verses 8-9).

In addition, the following were the instructions of Prophet Mohammad (peace be  upon him) to Muslims.

·         “Do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people,” and he mentioned priests, nuns and rabbis. And he said, “Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees and do not poison the wells of your enemies.”

There are many more sayings and teachings of Prophet Mohammad that instruct Muslims on these issues.

This is the Islamic point of view on war, peace and justice. We hope that after reading this article, people will have a clear understanding that Islam promotes peace and justice, and stands against aggression and violence. It is very sad that some people who want to give a wrong impression of Islam, simply select a few words from the Qur’an and distort them and put them in the wrong context, all in order to prove that Islam supports violence. They ignore all the verses we have mentioned in this article. Therefore, we hope that people will be more careful about what they may hear or read on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines or on the internet. Make sure that you do not blindly believe anything that is being said. Try to get both sides of the story, by listening to all points of view on any issue before coming to a conclusion. And finally, we greet with the greeting of Islam:Assalamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you!).

Islam Solves World Poverty and Hunger

As such, when implemented honestly and correctly, Islam provides solutions to all problems that are faced by humanity. One of the most widespread and dangerous problems faced by humanity is that of poverty, hunger and starvation. There is nothing more horrifying than the realization that as we live our happy lives here, millions of our fellow human beings live in hunger and face starvation. The majority of the world population today lives in poverty. 

Islam, revealed to humanity over 1400 years ago, came with the most just and easy solution to the problem of poverty, hunger and starvation in this world. If Islam is implemented in the world today, the problem of poverty, hunger and starvation would be completely eliminated within a year. Islam, revealed to us by Allah (swt), the most knowledgeable, wise and just, solves the problem of poverty and hunger through several methods:

The Obligatory Zakat:

Islam makes it obligatory on every Muslim to pay a certain “tax”, called Zakat, on their accumulated wealth. The money collected from this Zakat is to be distributed among the poor and needy.

The Arabic word “Zakat” means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to Allah (swt), and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. Our wealth is purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth in our wealth.

Zakat is due on accumulated wealth that has been in the possession of a person for at least one year. There are rules on how to pay Zakat on each type of possessions, such as gold, animals, crops, shares and so on. A certain percentage of each type of these possessions is to be paid as Zakat. Note that the Zakat is taken from excess wealth that a person is accumulating and has had in their possession for over a year. It is not paid on income. Therefore, people whose save nothing after covering their expenses with their income do not pay Zakat, and in fact may be eligible to receive Zakat money from others if their income does not cover all their needs.

The Zakat is to be distributed among people of the following categories, depending on need:

1) The Destitute: Those who don’t have material possessions nor nor means of livelihood.
2) The Poor: Those with insufficient means of livelihood to meet basic needs.
3) The Indebted: Those who are in debt and have difficulty repaying it.
4) Stranded Traveller: The traveller who does not have enough money to complete their journey.
5) To Free Slaves: Zakat money is to be used to purchase slaves and free them. 6) New Muslims: Those who are new to Islam and require help to integrate themselves into the Muslims community.
7) In the Path of Allah: Zakat money can also be spent in the path of Allah. This can include many things.
8) Zakat Workers: Those whose job it is to collect and re-distribute Zakat money get their salary from the Zakat money.

How Can Zakat Eliminate Poverty and Starvation?

If Islam was implemented in the world today, starvation would be eliminated from the planet within the first year. The Zakat due on agricultural products ranges from 5% to 10% of the produce. There is also Zakat due on various types of animals such as sheep, cows and camels. Imagine if 5%-10% of all agricultural production in the world, plus the required amounts on animals are distributed among the hungry and starving people of this world. The problem would be solved immedeatly. In the system we have today, some nations intentionally spoil a part of their agricultural production in order to maintain high prices for their produce. Can you see the difference between the system driven by human greed and the Islam which was imposed by Allah (swt), the most gracious and most merciful?

In addition, Islam can solve the problem of poverty. Consider the Zakat due on money. Zakat is due at 2.5% on money that has been in one’s possession for over a year. Now consider this simple fact.

This Zakat money should not only be distributed for immedeate relief to the poor. It can also be given in the form of small business loans. For example, poor farmers can be given loans or even grants from this Zakat money to enable them to purchase the equipment and materials they need to lift them out of poverty. The same can be done for small business owners, or for the poor to set up small workshops or factories to lift them out of poverty once and for all. Within a few years, poverty would be eliminated or at least greatly reduced.

Optional Charity:

As discussed earlier, the obligatory Zakat imposed by Islam can easily solve the problems of poverty and starvation in the world. However, in addition to that, Islam greatly encourages Muslims to give extra charity. For example, the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) once said that the person who sleeps full while his neighbour sleeps hungry is not a true believer. Islam also always encourages charity in all situations. For example, for the persons who are not able to fast in Ramadan, they are required to feed some poor people for each day they do not fast. And there are many such examples.

Examples of Charity in the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah:

Allah (swt) said: “And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity” (Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, verse 110).

Allah (swt) said addressing the messenger of Allah, Mohammad (pbuh): “Of their goods take alms (charity), so that you might purify and sanctify them, and pray on their behalf” (Holy Qur’an, Chapter 9, verse 103).

When the messenger of Allah, Mohammad (pbuh), sent one of his companions to call the people of Yemen to Islam, he asked him to tell them the basics of Islam, among which was: “… and tell them that Allah has made obligatory on them a charity that is taken from their rich and given to their poor…” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim).

Allah (swt) said: “So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah), and (in all sincerity) testifies to the Best, We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, And gives the lie to the Best, We will indeed make smooth for him the Path to Misery; Nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong (into the hell fire).” (Holy Qur’an, Chapter 92, verses 5-11).

Allah (swt) said: “By no means shall you attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, Allah knows it well.” (Holy Qur’an, Chapter 3, verse 92).

Allah (swt) said: “O ye who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in Parable like a hard barren rock, on which is a little soil; on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not those who reject Faith.” (Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, verse 264).

Angels

ANGELS

Hazrat Jaabir bin Abdullah (radi Allahu anhu) narrates another Hadith in which Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have stated, “O Jaabir, most certainly Almighty Allah created the Noor (Light) of your Nabi before anything else. Then, when He decided to create the world, He divided the Noor of your Nabi into four portions. From the first portion, He created the Pen (Qalam) of Destiny, from the second, the Divine Tablet (Lawh-e-Mahfooz), from the third, the Divine Throne. The fourth portion was further sub-divided into another four portions. From the first portion, He created those Angels who are the bearers of the Divine Throne, from the second, the Divine Chair, and from the third, the rest of the Angels.”

Hazrat Abu Sa’eed (radi Allahu anhu) narrates the following Hadith of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in which he has stated, “Verily, there is a river in Heaven, in which whenever Hazrat Jibraeel (alaihis salaam) submerges his wings and shakes it, small droplets of water drip from it. From each droplet, an Angel is created.

Imam ibn Bashkawaal reports a Hadith from Hazrat Anas (radi Allahu anhu), in which Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “Whosoever sends a Durood Shareef upon me with the intention of honouring me, Almighty Allah will transform that Durood Shareef into an Angel whose one wing spreads to the East and one to the West. Allah commands this Angel, ‘O My Angel! Send Durood upon my servant as he has sent Durood upon My Beloved Habeeb’.”

Imam Aarif billah Abdul Wahab Sha’raani (radi Allahu anhu) states in his famous treatise, “Meezanush Shari yatul Kubra”, that, “Angels are created from the breath of pious people. Those that are created from the breath of pious women acquire greater beauty than those created from the breath of men.”

In the book, “Kitaabus Thawaab”, Hazrat ibn Abid Dunya and Hazrat Abush Shaikh (radi Allahu anhuma), have recorded a Hadith of Hazrat Jaafer (radi Allahu anhu) in which Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “Whosoever makes a Muslim happy, Almighty Allah will create one Angel out of this happiness who immediately engages himself in the worship of Almighty Allah and in exalting His Oneness. When this person passes away and enters the grave, this Angel will appear in front of him and ask, ‘Do you remember me? I am the same happiness with which you gladdened the heart of a certain Muslim. Today, I will comfort you in your hour of fear, teach you the answers to the questions that will prove you a believer and will show you your place in Heaven’.”

Hazrat Khwaja Moinud-Din Hasan Chishti Garib Nawaz (RA)

ASHRAFUL AWLIYAA

HAZRAT KHWAJA MOINUD-DIN HASAN CHISHTI

GHARIB NAWAZ (RA)

Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (R.A.) popularly known as Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.) , “The founder of  Chishty Order of Sufis” in India was born in 1142 A.D. in Sijistan (Iran). His paternal genealogy is related to Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.) and that of his maternal to Hazrat Imam Hassan (A.S.) and thus he is a direct descendant of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.).

His father, Sayyid Ghiyas-u’d-din(ra), a pious man of some means, died when his son was in his teens. He left as legacy an orchard and a grinding mill. Once Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hassan Chishty (R.A) was looking after the plants in his garden that a mystic, Shaikh Ibrahim Qanduzi (ra), happened to pass by. Shaikh Mu’in-u’d-din entertained him in his garden. Hagiologists trace the germination of mystic attitude in him to the blessings of this Saint. In fact, the most powerful factor in giving a mystic touch to his personality at this early stage was the condition of Sijistan which had suffered terribly at the hands of the Qara Khita and the Ghuzz Turks. It drove the Khwaja’s mind inwards and he realized the futility of hankering after worldly glory or looking after worldly goods. He sold all his assets, gave the proceeds in charity and took to itinerancy. He visited the eminent scholars of his age. While on his way to Iraq, he passed through Harvan, in the district of Naishapur. Here he met Khwaja ‘Usman Harwani (ra)’ and was so deeply impressed by his spiritual eminence that he decided to join the circle of his disciples. For twenty years he accompanied him on his arduous mystic journeys and performed all sorts of services (khidmat) to him. Shaikh Mu’in’d-din once told his disciples. “I did not give myself a moment’s rest from the service of my Peer-o-Murshid, and carried about his night clothes during his journeys and stoppages”.

Haj and Prophet’s(Saw) command:

As the great Khwaja became accomplished and perfect in every respect, the divine tutor (Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harwani (R.A.)) honoured him with his robe and took him to Haj. Both then proceeded to Makkah and performed the Haj, and then went to Madina and stayed there for sometime, to get the blessings of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.W.)

One night in a trance he was ordered by the Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.W.)

“O Moinuddin! You are a prop of our faith. Proceed to India and show the path of truth to the people there. That is why he is known as Ataye Rasul/Naib-e-Rasul.” (Lieutenant of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.)

Later he undertook independent journeys and came into contact with eminent Saints and scholars like Shaikh Najm-u’d-din Kubra, Shaikh Najib-u’d-din ‘Abdul Qahir Suhrawardi, Shaikh Abu Sa’id Tabrizi, Shaikh Mahmud Ispahani, Shaikh Nasir-u’d-din Astarabadi and Shaikh ‘Abdul Wahid – all of whom were destined to exercise great influence on contemporary religious life and thought.

He visited nearly all the great centers of learning in those days – Samarqand, Bukhara, Baghdad, Naishapur, Tabriz, Aush, Ispahan, Sabzawar, Mihna, Khirqan, Astarabd, Balkh and Ghaznin and acquainted himself with almost every important trend in Muslim religious life in the middle ages. His moral and spiritual qualities attracted many people to his fold and he appointed his Khalifas in Sabzwar and Balkh. Shaikh Auhad-u’d-din Kirmani, Shaikh Shihab-u’d-din Suhrawardi and many other eminent mystics benefited by his company. Having thus roamed all over the Muslim lands which had not yet recovered from the terrible shocks of Qara Khitai and Ghuzz invasions and were to be ravaged very soon by the Mongols, he turned towards India. After a brief stay at Lahore, where he meditated at the Shrine of one of the prominent Sufi, Shaikh Ali Hajweri, he proceeded to Ajmer. Khwaja Gharib Nawaz composed a couplet paying a glowing tribute to Shaikh Hajweri :

  “Ganj Bakhsh-e-Har Do Alam Mazhar-e-Noor-e-Khuda, 
Na Qisan Ra Peer-e-Kamil, Kamilan Ra Peshwa”

Translation: He is a wealth bestowing Saint in this world and hereafter and an embodiment of divine light.

A complete spiritual guide, for the imperfect disciples and a leader of the perfect Saints.
He adopted the Indian tradition and culture, seeing the inclination of Indians towards Music and singing he introduced Qawwali (Sama) to convey his message.

Huzoor Gharib Nawaz (R.A.) breathed his last; after achieving the command given to him by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). His noble soul left the corporeal body on the 6th of Rajab 633 A.H./ 16th March 1236 at the age of 97. He was buried in the same prayer room (Hujra) which was the center of his divine activities, throughout his stay at Ajmer. Today his Shrine is popularly known as “Dargah Sharif of Huzoor Gharib Nawaz (R.A.)”. People of all walks of life and faith from all over the world, irrespective of their caste, creed and beliefs visit this great Shrine to offer flowers, Chaddar and Itar of their esteem and devotion. The rich and the poor stand side by side to pay their homage and respect to the divine soul and to acquire the peace of mind & soul to get the blessings of Huzoor Gharib Nawaz (R.A.)

Ajmer was not merely the seat of Chauhan power ; it was a religious center also where thousands of pilgrims assembled from far and near Shaikh Mu’in-u’d-din’s determination to work out the principles of Islamic mysticism at a place of such political and religious significance shows great self-confidence.

Huzoor Gharib Nawaz (ra) was the exponent of the true spirit of Islam. Like orthodox and static theologians he did not engage himself in vain metaphysics but rigorously strove to save human sympathy from running into narrow grooves and struck at the very root of parochialism, casteism and religious exclusiveness which are being propagated by some vested interests. According to Huzoor Gharib Nawaz the religion is not merely based on rituals and ecclesiastical formalities but “service of humanity” is its sole raison d’etre . Describing the qualities which endear a man to God, Huzoor Gharib Nawaz referred to the following attributes : AWWAL SAKHAWATE CHUN SAKHAWATE DARIYA, DOM SHAFQAT-E-CHUN SHAFQAT-E-AFTAB, SIWAM TAWAZO-E-CHUN TAWAZO-E-ZAMEEN. (First, river like generosity; second, sun-like affection, and third earth like hospitality.)

 

 

When once asked about the highest devotion of God, Huzoor Gharib Nawaz remarked that it was nothing but:

“Dar mandgaan ra fariyad raseedan wa haajat-e-baichaargaan ra rawa kardan wa gursingaan ra sair gardaneedan”

i.e. to redress the misery of those in distress, to fulfil the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry.

Huzoor Gharib Nawaz loved humanity in general and the Indians in particular. Indeed he had a mission to bring a social and spiritual revolution.

He ruled over the hearts. The concepts of national integration originated from his life style and teachings and thereafter were spread by his representative disciples.

Perhaps in no other country were the effects of this social and cultural revolution so marked and so far reaching as in India. Sufism (Islamic mysticism) reached India when it had entered the last and the most important phase of its history the organisation of Sufistic structure of Islam having various denominations, especially Chishtiya, Qadriya, Naqshbandia, and Suharwardia. Among these denominations the Chishtiya order has been supremely successful on all levels of pluralistic society of India based on cultural, religious, and social differences.