Ramadaan is a time of Ibaadah to Allah and gaining closeness to Him. Among the many ways leading to His closeness is the act of I’tikaaf. I’tikaaf is to seclude oneself in the Masjid with the intention of I’tikaaf (seclusion) for the sake of Allah.
I’tikaaf can include such seclusion for which the period is fixed as well as when it is not fixed. Based upon this the scholars have considered three types of I’tikaaf; Wajib, Sunnah and Nafl.
Wajib I’tikaaf refers to that essential seclusion in the Masjid which comes into effect through a vow/promise/oath, or as the Qadaa of a Sunnah I’tikaaf which became null. The least period for this type of I’tikaaf is one day and its night, and must be accompanied by fasting of the day with expressed intention.
The Sunnah I’tikaaf refers to that seclusion in the Masjid during the last ten days of Ramadaan which must also be observed along with fasting of the days. It begins before the sunset of the 20th day of Ramadaan, i.e. before the 21st night, and ends when the moon of Shawwaal is seen.
Nafl I’tikaaf refers to optional seclusion in the Masjid for any amount of time. The period is not fixed and fasting is not a condition for its observance.
So long as a person remains in the Masjid with the intention of seclusion as a form of worship to Allah it will constitute I’tikaaf.
I’tikaaf is indeed a great and significant form of worship to Allah for which He bestows an abundance of rewards and benefits. It was also an established practice of the Holy Prophet (SA) which he used to perform frequently, especially in the Holy month of Ramadaan. Sometimes, he would even remain in I’tikaaf for the entire month of Ramadaan in order to achieve rewards of Lailatul Qadr and closeness to Allah. This has been mentioned in an authentic Hadith narrated by Abu Saeed Khudri who said that “Rasuulullah (SA) once performed I’tikaaf in a tent (inside the Masjid) for the first ten days of Ramadaan and then extended it to the middle ten days. Thereafter, he put his head out of the tent and said: ‘Verily in search of Lailatul Qadr did I perform I’tikaaf for the first ten days and extended it to the next ten days for the same purpose; then I was told that this night is in the last ten days, so those with me should also continue the I’tikaaf.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)
Every year after the Hijrah (migration) to Madinah until his departure from this world, the Prophet (SAW) remained in I’tikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadaan. In fact, in the last year of his blessed life, he remained in I’tikaaf for the last twenty days of Ramadaan. This is seen from several Ahaadith as follows:
Aishah (RA), the blessed wife of the Prophet (SA) relates that, “Rasuulullah (SA) used to perform I’tikaaf regularly during the last ten days of Ramadaan until he passed away. Then his wives observed this practice after him.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)
It has also been reported by Abu Hurairah (RA) that, “Rasuulullah (SA) performed I’tikaaf for ten days every year in the month of Ramadaan. In the year he passed away, he observed it for twenty days.” (Bukhaari)
Therefore, in conformity with the continuous practice of the Prophet (SA) and those after him, the Jurists of Islam have considered I’tikaaf performed in the last ten days of Ramadaan as ‘Sunnah Muakkadah ‘alal Kifaayah’, i.e. an Emphasized Sunnah upon a sufficing basis. Therefore, if at least one sane, adult Muslim, male or female, observes it in a locality, then all the other Muslims would be saved from the sin of neglecting this emphasized Sunnah. If however, no one from the locality performs it, then all would be guilty of neglecting the emphasized Sunnah of I’tikaaf.
The author of Hidaya (an authoritative text on Fiqh) writes, ‘It is correct to say that it is Sunnah Muakkadah because Rasuulullah (SA) regularly performed I’tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadaan, and doing something with regularity is a proof of it being Sunnah.” (Hedaya Vol. 1 Pg. 229)
The Sunnah I’tikaaf would not be fulfilled for a period less than ten days and must be accompanied with fasting. Therefore, if one remained in I’tikaaf only a few days of the last ten days and did not remain for the other days, the Sunnah will not be achieved. Likewise, if one did not fast in these days whether out of negligence or because of valid excuses like sickness or journey, the Sunnah I’tikaaf will also not be achieved and in both cases it will be regarded as Nafl I’tikaaf.
REWARDS AND VIRTUES
There are many traditions which have mentioned the excellent virtues and benefits of observing I’tikaaf. In one Hadith, Ibn Abbas (RA) said, “The person performing I’tikaaf remains free from sins, and he is indeed given the same reward as for those who do righteous deeds.” (Ibn Majah)
By remaining in the Masjid, the right atmosphere is created for doing good actions, and at the same time, it serves as a protective shield for the person against the evils and sinful temptations that lurk outside. The one observing I’tikaaf has been prevented, by the Shariah, from performing other good actions out of the Masjid, like Janaazah, visiting the sick, etc. The Hadith gives the good tidings to those in I’tikaaf, of the rewards of these actions in spite of not doing them. This is because the person in I’tikaaf remains in the house of Allah as His guest to engage in His worship, and to seek His pleasure only. As such he does not leave the Masjid for his own needs or desires. Thus Allah, Who is the Giver of rewards to those who engage in actions outside the Masjid becomes pleased with those inside the Masjid in I’tikaaf and may give them the same rewards, out of His great bounty and mercy.
In another narration, it has been reported by Hazrat Ibn Abbaas (RA) that the Prophet (SA) said, “Whosoever performs I’tikaaf for a day (thereby seeking Allah’s pleasure), Allah will place three trenches between him and the fire of Hell, the width of each trench being greater than the distance between the Heaven and the Earth.” (Tabrani, Baihaqi, Hakim)
Aisha (RA) narrates that Rasuulullah (SA) said, “If a Muslim performs I’tikaaf with the hope of gaining reward, then all his previous sins are forgiven.” (Dailami)
In another Hadith reported by Hazrat Husain (RA), the Prophet (SA) said, “Whoever performs I’tikaaf for the final ten days of Ramadaan, for him is the reward of two Hajj and two Umrahs; and whoever performs I’tikaaf from Maghrib until Ishaa, doing nothing except performing Salaah and reciting the Holy Quraan, Allah will prepare a place for him in Jannah.” (Baihaqi and Tabrani)
Besides these virtues, I’tikaaf creates a bond between a servant and Allah. This has been elucidated by Allaamah Ibn Qayyim as follows: “The basic purpose of I’tikaaf is that the heart gets attached to Allah, and with it, one attains inner composure and self-control; pre-occupation with the mundane things of life ceases; absorption in the eternal reality takes its place. The state is reached whereby all fears, hopes and apprehensions are superseded by the love and remembrance of Allah; every anxiety is transformed into the anxiety for Him; every thought and feeling is blended with the eagerness to gain His nearness and to earn His good favour; devotion to the Almighty is generated instead of devotion to the world, and it becomes a provision for the grave where there will be neither a friend nor a helper. This is the high aim and purpose of I’tikaaf which is the speciality of the most sublime part of Ramadaan, i.e. the last ten days.”
The similarity of the person in I’tikaaf is like a beggar who has knocked at the door of someone very generous and is determined not to leave and not to stop knocking until he receives what he desires. The author of Maraqiul Falah has mentioned that, ‘what actually takes place in I’tikaaf is that the heart is drawn away from everything else except the Creator, while his soul is actually laid at His door-step.’
Allah, Who is Most Merciful and Relenting, will surely fulfill the needs of His servants, answer their calls, and quench their thirst for forgiveness, rewards and mercy while they are in this state of devotion and worship during I’tikaaf.
While in I’tikaaf, one receives the additional benefits and virtues of: Lailatul Qadr (better than one thousand months in rewards); congregational Salaah (25 to 27 times more reward); performance of Salaah in the first row (great rewards so much so that people would fight for it if it is known); waiting for Salaah before its time and from one Salaah to the other (angels supplicate for mercy and forgiveness for him); a person’s heart becomes attached to the Masjid (one of those who will be shaded on the Day of Judgement from the burning sun); and it becomes easy to perform other Sunnah and Nafl acts of I’baadah like Tahajjud, Ishraaq, recitation of Quraan, Dhikr, etc., for which there are special rewards.
PLACE OF I’TIKAAF
I’tikaaf of males must be performed in the Masjid. The most preferred place for I’tikaaf is Al Masjidul Haram in Makka, then Masjid an Nabawi in Madinah, then Masjidul Aqsaa in Jerusalem, then the Jami’ Masjid (main congregational Masjid) in one’s town, then the Masjid with the most amount of worshipers where the five daily Salaah are performed in congregation. If the five congregational Salaah are observed only during the days of I’tikaaf, then I’tikaaf will be allowed in it. To do I’tikaaf in Masaajid in which the five congregational Salaah are not performed even during the days of I’tikaaf is not preferred.
It should be noted that the Masjid refers to the area of the building which was fixed as Masjid by the persons or organization who erected the Masjid and demarcated its boundaries. Any extended hall, annexed building, etc. even under the same roof of the fixed Masjid area will not be considered as Masjid. If one who is performing I’tikaaf goes to that area knowingly or unknowingly, without a valid Shariah excuse, the I’tikaaf is rendered null. It is therefore important for those intending the performance of I’tikaaf to enquire and know the boundaries of the Masjid where he is performing his I’tikaaf.
I’tikaaf by women will be performed in the prayer room/area of their home. If such a place is not fixed then she should demarcate an area fixed for the purpose. It is Makruuh (disliked) for women to observe I’tikaaf in the Masjid.
LAWS PERTAINING TO LEAVING THE MASJID
A person performing I’tikaaf must spend all his time in the Masjid and should not venture outside for even a moment except to fulfill those religious/Shariah and natural necessities which cannot be fulfilled within the Masjid.
The valid reasons for leaving the Masjid which will not nullify the I’tikaaf are as follows:
- To answer the call of nature.
One should go to the nearest facility which can fulfill his need. If the toilet is occupied then it is permissible to wait until it is vacant. However to delay unnecessarily after using it would render the I’tikaaf null. It is permissible to talk briefly, to give or return Salams, to enquire of the sick, on one’s way to and from the toilet without halting for these reasons. It is also permissible if incidentally, on the way, without intent, there was Janaazah Salaah being performed and he joined its performance.
- To take an obligatory bath.
It is not allowed to leave the Masjid with the intention of taking a bath for Jum’ah or to refresh or cool oneself. If however one leaves the Masjid for a valid reason, like answering the call of nature, and washes himself or takes a refreshing bath while using the toilet, not taking additional time, it will be allowed.
- To make Wudu.
It is not allowed to leave the Masjid for Wudu only for recitation of Quraan since one can read Quraan without touching it. If however, Wudu is performed for the performance of any Salaah, the reading of Quraan by touching it will also be achieved. If facilities are provided inside the Masjid for Wudu then one is not allowed to leave for that reason, but should ensure that droplets do not fall onto the Masjid floor while making Wudu.
- To call the Adhaan.
It is permissible for the Muadh-dhin, as well as for another person desirous of calling the Adhaan, to leave the Masjid to call the Adhaan, but they must return immediately.
- For organizing meals.
If no one is available to organize food and drink for the person in I’tikaaf he is allowed to leave, organize quickly his meals, and thereafter return in the Masjid to eat and drink therein. If someone is available then it is not permissible for him to leave. It should be noted that to assist someone in I’tikaaf brings great rewards.
- Proceeding to another Masjid.
If Jum’ah is not performed in the Masjid where I’tikaaf is being performed then one in I’tikaaf is allowed to leave for another Masjid in which it is being observed. He must leave his Masjid at such a time that would allow him to reach and perform his Sunnah Salaah at the next Masjid just before the commencement of the Khutbah.
BREAKERS OF I’TIKAAF
Only Wajib and Sunnah I’tikaaf are rendered invalid. Nafl I’tikaaf is not considered null by any act.
– To leave the Masjid without a valid Shariah reason for even a moment, whether intentionally, unintentionally, by mistake or under compulsion will render the I’tikaaf null.
– If the fast is broken during the day of I’tikaaf, whether for a valid or an invalid reason, the I’tikaaf will become null. If one forgot that he was fasting and ate or drank something then neither the fast nor the I’tikaaf will be broken, provided that he did not continue eating or drinking when he remembered.
– Having intimate relationship with a woman/wife with or without emission, as well as kissing, fondling and other such acts which leads to emission will nullify the I’tikaaf.
PERMISSIBLE FACTORS TO BREAK THE I’TIKAAF
The following are factors/reasons which may occur which makes it permissible to break the I’tikaaf. However the Qadaa of it must be performed.
– To seek medical treatment if a disease emerges which cannot be cured except by leaving the Masjid
– To save a person who is drowning or burning or to prevent a fire (or other great disasters)
– To take care of one’s parents, wife or children if they are afflicted with an extreme sickness and have no one to tend to them
– If one is compelled to leave such as in the case of a government’s warrant of arrest
– If a Janaazah arrives and there is no one else to perform it.
MAKRUUH (DISLIKED) ACTS WHILE OBSERVING I’TIKAAF
– To maintain total silence
– To indulge in waste and idle talks
– To engage in excessive sleeping so as to waste away the time
– To unnecessarily pass wind in the Masjid
– To read books or magazines which are not Islamic in nature
– To set up the partition for those in I’tikaaf in such a way that it inconveniences others
– To engage in worldly activities unnecessarily
THE NIGHT OF POWER
Allah in his infinite mercy has showered his bounties and favors upon the Muslims in the holy month of Ramadaan.
Not a day or night goes by except that Allah multiplies the reward for the one who performs good deeds in this holy month.
From among the special nights of this month, there is one which is known as Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). A person who engages in worship on this particular night will be given a reward better than that one who has performed worship for one thousand months.
Allah has named a Surah after this night in the Holy Quraan, and in it He mentions the great virtue of this night when He says: “The Night of Power is better than one thousand months.” (Surah 97.V 3)
Allah has been very kind to the Ummah of Muhammad (SA) whereby because of the virtue and blessings of this night we are able to compete with the previous nations in doing good deeds even though our life span may be shorter.
In this regard, Ibn Abi Hatim has reported from Mujahid that the Messenger of Allah (SA) was told about a person from among the Bani Israeel who used to worship Allah throughout the night and fought in the path of Allah during the day for one thousand months.
Upon hearing this, the Sahabas, (RA) though amazed at the actions of such a devout servant became despondent, as it would have been impossible for them to attain such rewards. Allah then revealed Surah Qadr as a mercy and consolation to the believers that whosoever stands on the Night of Power in the worship of Allah will be given a reward better than that one who worships Allah for one thousand months.
Another great significance of the Night of Power as mentioned in Surah Qadr is that the Holy Quraan was sent down from the Preserved Tablet to the lowest Heaven and then revealed to the Prophet (SA) in that very month. On this night, Angel Jibraeel along with other angels descend, making Dua of mercy for those believers whom they find busy in the worship of Allah.
Lastly, Allah mentions in this Surah that on the Night of Power, one will be able to experience a sort of peace and tranquility until the break of dawn, a night of complete goodness having no evil in it.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) reports that the Messenger of Allah (SA) said, “Whosoever stands in worship on the Night of Power with sincere faith and hope of gaining reward all his previous (minor) sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)
The commentators mention about this Hadith that the Messenger of Allah (SA) exhorts the believers not only to stand in Salaah but also to perform all other types of worship.
Therefore, one who performs worship on this night solely to gain the pleasure of Allah and not for any worldly gain and benefit with the belief and hope that Allah will reward him for his good deeds will Inshallah have his previous (minor) sins forgiven.
It should also be noted at this point that this night does not have any specific form of worship nor does it have a fixed amount. We should therefore exert ourselves on this night in Nafl Salaah, recitation of the Holy Quraan, doing the Zikr of Allah, making Dua etc. to the best of our abilities.
As for the actual date of the Night of Power, it lies only in the knowledge of Allah Ta’aala. The Messenger of Allah (SA) himself searched for this night as it is mentioned in a tradition, “The Messenger of Allah (SA) secluded himself for the first ten nights of Ramadaan. Then he secluded himself for the middle ten nights. Then he raised his head and said, “Verily I secluded myself in the first ten nights of Ramadaan seeking this night. Then I secluded myself in the middle ten nights. Then I was approached and told that it is in the last ten nights.” (Bukhaari)
He (SA) has also stated in another tradition: “Search for the Blessed Night in the odd nights from the last ten nights of Ramadhan. (Bukhaari)
The scholars are of different opinions as to which night is actually the Night of Power because of the various traditions that have reached them from the Messenger of Allah (SA) and his Companions (RA). However, it is necessary for us to search for the Night of Power in the odd nights from the last ten nights of Ramadaan as indicated to us from the above mentioned traditions.
One should therefore not think that the Night of Power must be on a particular night but one must search for it, as this is what the Messenger of Allah (SA) has taught us to do.
While we do not know which night is the Night of Power, there are some signs given to us by the Messenger of Allah (SA) in a narration of Ubaadah bin Saamit (R.A) reported by Imam Baihaqi, which can give us an indication to it.
They are as follows:
- The night will be very quiet and serene.
- The moon will be bright and radiant.
- The temperature of the night will be neither too hot nor too cold.
- No shooting stars will be flung at the Shayateen until the break of dawn.
- The sun will rise in that morning without any radiant beams of light.
In an authentic tradition Hazrat Aisha (RA) said, “O Messenger of Allah, inform me what I should say if I recognize the Night of Power. He said, “Say : Al-laa hum-ma in-naka ‘afuw-wun kariimun tu hib-bul ‘afwa fa’fu an-ni.” (O Allah! You are forgiving. You love to forgive, so forgive me. ) (Imam Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmizi)
We as believers, in trying to find the Night of Power should also say this Dua in abundance acting upon the advice of the Messenger of Allah (SA) hoping to gain the forgiveness of Allah.
Finally the Messenger of Allah (SA) said in a tradition, “The one who has deprived himself of this night has deprived himself of everything good. And none is deprived of its good except he who is completely unfortunate.” (Ibn Majah)
This means that if Allah has given us an opportunity to gain the reward which is more virtuous than eighty-three years and four months, and due to our negligence we are devoid of the blessings of this night, then surely we are from among the unfortunate ones.
May Allah give us the ability to search for and find the Night of Power. Ameen.
EID UL FITR
Eid ul Fitr (Festival of the Breaking of the Fast) is the first day of the 10th lunar month, Shawwaal. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadaan.
Eid ul Fitr is one of the two days of festivity in Islam. The other being Eid ul Adhaa. This has been established from an authentic Hadith narrated by Anas (RA) that upon arriving in Madinah, the Prophet (SA) found its people celebrating two days, which were upheld from the Days of Jaahiliya (Ignorance). The Prophet (SA) said: “When I came upon you, you had two days that you continued to celebrate from Jaahiliya. Indeed Allah has substituted them for you with what is better, the Day of Sacrifice and the Day of Fitr.” [Ahmad, Abu Daud]
In another Hadith, the Prophet (SA) said referring to Eid ul Fitr: “Certainly for every community there is a day of Eid and this is our Eid”. [Bukhari, Muslim]
The word Eid literally means ‘recurrence’. Thus Eid is, an occasion, which returns and recurs at specified times with renewed happiness and joy. Muslims will return to the gathering of Eid with renewed zeal and enthusiasm and Allah returns to His servants with renewed bounties and rewards.
Even the nights which precede the Days of Eid, have also been marked as a time of great virtue and the scholars have considered it Mustahab (desirable) to do lbaa-dah on these nights. Rasulullah (SA) said:
“The heart of the person who remains awake (in lbaadah)- during the night of Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adhaa will not die on the Day when hearts will be dead, i. e. the Day of Qiyaamah “ [Tibrani]
The Day of Eid follows its night with the blessings, forgiveness and mercy of Allah to His servants who fasted during the day and who stood up at night in prayer. Allah rewards them immensely for having fulfilled their duties to him by adhering to restraint and guarding against evil; who endeavored in acts of piety and righteousness; who became engrossed in dua, dhikr and recitation of Quraan; who displayed kindness, love and compassion for others, and who spent the month of Ramadaan seeking His pleasure.
The Day of Eid is also spent in thankfulness to Allah. Muslims will perform the Eid Salaah, which is Wajib (incumbent) and listen to the Khutba (sermon), which is Sunnah (commendable).
To give general charity on this day is commendable and rewarding. However, Sadaqatul Fitr (Charity of Eid) is Waajib (incumbent) and must be given before the Eid Salaah. It is especially meant for the poor and the needy so that they too can celebrate Eid. It becomes binding to be given by all adults for themselves as well as all their dependents when one possesses wealth beyond his needs for the day.
SOME COMMENDABLE ACTS FOR THE DAY OF EID
To rise as early as possible;
To perform Ghusl (bath);
To use miswaak;
To apply ‘Itr (Halaal, non-alcoholic perfume);
To wear ones best clothes;
To eat something sweet (such as dates) before departing for Eid Salaah;
To give Sadaqatul Fitr before leaving for the Musallah (Eid Ghah or Masjid);
To walk to the Musallah. However, there is no harm in using any means of conveyance if the Musallah is a distance or there is an excuse;
To go to the Musallah using one route and to return by another route;
To recite the Takbeer while going to the Musallah. The takbeer is –
Al-laa hu akbar, al-laa hu akbar, laa ilaaha il-lallaa hu wal-laa hu akbar, wa lillaa hil hamd
The Day of Eid is indeed a joyous day and one should beware of his action not to displease Allah.
Sadaqatul Fitr is a compulsory charity, which is given at the end of Ramadaan to the poor and needy. It is given to help them particularly on the day of Eidul Fitr, and also serves as a purification for the giver against mistakes made while fasting.
Sadaqatul Fitr is incumbent on every Muslim, male or female, who is sane, has reached the age of puberty and possesses the Nisaab of Zakaah on the day of Eidul Fitr beyond the basic necessities of life. Some scholars have mentioned that Sadaqatul Fitr is compulsory on every Muslim who possesses approximately 4 3/4 lbs. of barley, raisins or dry cottage cheese, which is not needed as a basic food for himself or his family for the day of Eidul Fitr. To be cautious in this matter, every Muslim who may not even be well to do must also pay the Sadaqatul Fitr (or Fitrah).
Those who have the means to do so must pay on behalf of themselves and those under their care. For example, a father must pay on behalf of his wife, children- both minor and adult, as well as those under his care such as adopted children or others maintained by him. However, if the wife earns an income or has sufficient means to pay Sadaqatul Fitr, then she should pay on behalf of herself.
Similarly, if adult children have sufficient means to pay Sadaqatul Fitr, then they should pay on behalf of themselves.
Sadaqatul Fitr can be given in the following items: dates, barley, raisins, cottage cheese, wheat, corn, flour or money. The amount to be given is one Saa’ which is equivalent to 2.174 kgs. or 4 3/4 lbs. or its value in money.
Sadaqatul Fitr becomes compulsory on the day of Eid and should be given before the Eid Salaah. If however, one did not give it before the Eid Salaah, then he must give it after the Salaah. To delay its payment after the day of Eid is Makruuh and against the Sunnah, but must still be given if it was not given before. It is also permissible to give it during the month of Ramadaan.
Sadaqatul Fitr should be given to the poor and needy i.e. those who are entitled to receive Zakaah. Those who cannot receive Zakaah are also not entitled to receive Sadaqatul Fitr. However, poor and needy non-Muslims can be given the Sadaqatul Fitr.
Z A K A A H
Zakaah is that portion of one’s wealth, which must be given to a particular person or persons. It is an act of ‘Ibaadah’ which becomes compulsory on a person when he or she possesses a certain amount of wealth which is known as the ‘Nisaab’ (Minimum Zakaatable amount).
Zakaah is a command from Allaah, which is mentioned in many different verses of the Holy Quraan and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (S.A). In the Holy Quraan, Allaah says, “Establish Salaah, pay Zakaah and bow your heads with those who bow‘. (2:43)
Zakaah has many benefits. Besides being very beneficial to the poor and needy, it brings great rewards to the one who gives it. In the Quraan, Allah informs us that those who pay their Zakaah. ‘will achieve the Mercy of Allah’, which is indeed a great reward. The Quraan states, “And My mercy embraces all things. I shall ordain it for those (in particular) who fear Allah and pay Zakaah and those who believe in our revelations”. (7:156)
Zakaah brings about an increase in one’s wealth. Allah states in the Quraan, “That which you give as interest (usury) in order that it may increase on (other) people’s property, has no increase with Allaah. But that which you give as Sadaqah (Zakaah etc.) seeking Allah’s pleasure has increased manifold.” (30: 39)
Zakaah is a means of purifying the remaining wealth, and it also purifies a person from sins. Allah says in the Holy Quraan, “Take Sadaqah (Zakaah) of their wealth, wherewith you may purify them.” (9:103)
The Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, “Allah has made Zakaah obligatory in order to purify the property that remains with you after the payment of Zakaah.” (Abu Dawood).
In another tradition, the Prophet of Allah (S.A) said, “Pay Zakaah, it is a great purifier, and through paying it Allah will purify you of your sins” Another tradition states, “Protect your wealth from the impurities of sins by paying Zakaah.”(Abu Dawood).
In a tradition reported by Jaabir (R.A), the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, “If a man pays the Zakaah due on his property, it causes the evil influence to vanish.” (Tibraani). This means that wealth can cause many evils to come about; through it, many sins can be committed; it can be invested in prohibited avenues, thus bringing a prohibited profit. This Hadiith informs us that through the payment of Zakaah, Allah will remove the evil influence of the wealth.
In another tradition reported by Hassan (R.A), the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, “Protect your wealth by payment of Zakaah”.
In this tradition, we are informed that through payment of Zakaah, Allah will protect our wealth. In another tradition, the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, “Whenever any wealth is destroyed in a jungle or in the sea, it is because of the non-payment of Zakaah”. This is a clear indication that the payment of Zakaah helps in protecting our wealth from all calamities, which can befall it.
Zakaah being a command from Allah must be given from all the different forms of wealth, whether a person has cash or valuables. Zakaah must also be given on the produce harvested by farmers, and it should not be considered as only an optional charity.
Failure to pay Zakaah brings about a terrible punishment from Allaah. In the Quraan, Allah warns us about hoarding money (wealth) and not paying its due rights. He says, “Those who hoard gold and silver (money) and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a grievous penalty. On the Day when heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks and their backs and it will be said to them, ‘This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves Taste you, then, the treasure which you buried”. (9:34 -35).
In a tradition reported by Abu Hurairah (R.A), the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, “If anyone possesses gold and silver (money), and does not pay what is due, then, on the Day of Resurrection, his gold and silver will be converted into plates that will be heated in the fire of Hell until they become like plates of fire itself, and then his sides, his forehead and his back will be branded with them again and again, during a day which will be fifty thousand years long.” (Muslim)
Another tradition states that the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, “Whomsoever Allah has given property and he does not pay Zakaah on it, then his property will be transformed for him into a large bald snake with two black spots over its eyes, which will be put round his neck on the Day of Judgement. It will hold both of his jaws and say to him, ‘I am your treasure’.” (Bukhari)
In another tradition reported by Ali (R.A), the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) said, “Allah has enjoined upon the rich to pay Zakaah of their wealth, as much as should suffice for the poor ones among them. And nothing distresses the poor, when they are hungry or naked, than the neglectfulness of the rich who do not pay what is due from them. Beware! Allah will call such people to a stern account and punish them with a severe punishment.” (Tibraanii)
It is clear from these traditions that failure to pay the Zakaah incurs a severe punishment from Allah. Muslims need to pay more serious attention towards Zakaah. They should understand that it is not an optional charity, but it is a command of Allah, which must be fulfilled by a person who has the Nisaab.
SPENDING IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH
Besides the payment of Zakaah, a believer is encouraged to spend his money and wealth for the sake of Allah, since it is through such assistance the propagation of Islam can continue. It is a great act of ‘Ibaadah’ for which Allah multiplies the rewards, and through which a person achieves much blessings in his wealth. Allah says in the Holy Quraan, ‘Who is it that will lend to Allah a beautiful loan, so that He (Allah) may give it increase manifold? (Do not fear poverty) Allah stretches and enlarges your provisions and to Him you will return.’ (2: 245)
It means, who is there that will give his money or wealth for the sake of Allah. In helping the religion of Allah He will increase his wealth for him and put much blessings in it. Further in the verse, Allah informs us that by giving, we should not fear that our wealth will decrease and that we will become poor. This should not come to our minds for it is Allah who increases our wealth and He decreases it.
Another verse of the Quraan informs us that not spending for the sake of Allah is in reality bringing destruction to our own souls. Allah says, “And spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and make not your hands contribute to your destruction. And do good, certainly, Allah loves those who do good”. (2:195)
While explaining this verse, some Companions of the Prophet (S.A) have stated that, “Do not contribute to your own destruction”, means giving up charity for fear of becoming poor. Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) has said, “To get killed in the Path of Allah is not destroying oneself. In fact, destruction lies in withholding the charity for the sake of Allaah.”
In another verse, Allah encourages us to give, while we are alive, for indeed there will come a day when we will wish to give large amounts, but it will not be accepted from us. He says, ‘0 you who believe, spend out of that which We have provided for you before the Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession (without Allah’s permission).’ (2:254)
In another verse, Allah informs us of the great rewards of giving for His sake. He says, “The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah is as the likeness of a grain which grows seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wishes.” (2:261)
It is therefore, quite rewarding to give charity to a Masjid, to the poor and needy, to old people or even for an Islamic school whose main objective is the propagation of the religion of Allah. Whatever we give for the cause of Allah, we would certainly be repaid for it. Allah says in the Quraan, “All that you give for the cause of Allah shall be repaid fully to you and you shall not be wronged.” (8:60)
The Messenger of Allah (S.A) has also exhorted us to give freely for the Cause of Allah. In one Hadiith, he states, “Two angels come down (from the Heavens) every morning. One of them prays, ‘0 Allah, grant a return to him who spends’, while the other says, ‘0 Allah, destroy the wealth of him who withholds it’. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Once someone asked the Messenger of Allah (S.A) as to what kind of charity was the most virtuous. The Messenger of Allah (S.A) replied, “To give at a time when you are in good health, while you have the hope of becoming rich, and at the same time you fear becoming poor by parting from the wealth. That is the best time. Do not postpone it until the last moment of your life and then say, ‘Give so much for so and so and so much for so and so. Your property has already gone to its heirs”. (Bukhari, Muslim)
This Hadith teaches us that we should not postpone doing good actions as charity etc. Many times it may happen that death comes upon us before we could even give what we wanted to give for the sake of Allah.
Abu Sa’eed (R.A) states that the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, “Whosoever gives clothes to a naked Muslim, Allah will give him a green dress to wear in Paradise. And one who gives something to eat to a hungry Muslim; Allaah will feed him with the fruits of Paradise. And one who gives a drink of water to a thirsty Muslim; Allah will give him a drink of sealed non- alcoholic wine in Paradise.” (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi).
The Messenger of Allaah (S.A) also informed us that charity is a means of getting continuous rewards from Allah. We will be very happy after our death to know that we will continue to receive rewards for certain things which we have done in the world while we were alive. The Prophet of Allah (S.A) said, “When a man dies, his actions are cut off from him except three things – continuous charity, beneficial knowledge or a pious child supplicating for him.” (Muslim)
Continuous charity is a charity given to anything that continues to be useful and beneficial.
Let us therefore take this opportunity to give much charity in this special and blessed month of Ramadaan. For indeed charity given in this month, is far more rewarding than charity given in other months. A person asked the Messenger of Allaah (S.A), “Which charity is the best?” He replied, “Charity given in the month of Ramadaan.”
Death heralds the next phase of man’s existence: life in Barzakh (the barrier) or life in the grave. As the Qur’aan tells us: “And behind them is a Barzakh (barrier) until a day they will be resurrected”.
Death then, marks the end of man’s sojourn on this earth, and with it his actions also cease. He can no longer do good deeds nor increase in sin. But Allah, in His mercy and wisdom has endowed man with instruments that allow him to perpetually reap the rewards of certain actions done in this worldly existence. One of these is Sadaqah Jariyah.
The following Hadith bears proof to this: Narrated from Abu Hurairah, he said, “The Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, When a man dies, his actions are cut off from him except from three things: continuous charity or beneficial knowledge, or a pious child supplicating for him”. (Muslim).
The Qur’aan also says, “Let a soul see what it has sent forth for tomorrow”. We should therefore ask ourselves as to what have we have done in this world to reap rewards in the hereafter. Our beautiful religion, Islam, has given us a great opportunity through Sadaqah Jaariyah. One should spend his wealth and let it grow, so that he can earn from it while in Barzakh.
Sadaqah Jaariyah is charity given to anything that continues to be useful and beneficial.
The Darul Uloom is an Institute that seeks to build the Islamic character by educating, counseling and issuing Islamic legal opinions (fatwas) after careful research.
Therefore, it is one of the best ways to earn continuous rewards after death. Muslims are encouraged to spend their wealth in support of its educational programmes, social services and building projects. This, Insha Allah, will bring about great rewards through Sadaqah Jaariyah.
DARUL ULOOM TRINIDAD AND TOABGO
Leading the way in Islamic Education.
Started in humble beginning in 1984, with Allah’s grace and kindness, Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago has grown to become the leading Islamic Institute in the Caribbean and South America. Over the years, great developments and progress have taken place at the Institute, which has given it international recognition and wide acceptance as a Tertiary Islamic Institute.
A glimpse of the Darul Ulooms achievements until present is as follows:
- Officially started in 1984.
- Registered as a fully private Islamic Secondary College with the Ministry of Education in 1987.
- Registered as a centre for CSEC (CXC) examinations by CXC Council of Barbados in 2007.
- Registered with the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) in 2014.
OUR ACHIEVEMENTS UNTIL THE PRESENT YEAR 2017
- Approximately 750 students have completed their Academic Secondary Education with a pass rate of 90% each year since 1992. Many students achieved distinctions in numerous subjects. These students have also completed the upper level course in Islamic Studies. (locals and foreigners).
- Approximately 375 Students (boys and girls) have graduated as Aalims and Aalimahs in the Aalim Degree Program. This includes students from Trinidad, the Caribbean Islands and the USA.
- Approximately 78 students (boys and girls) have graduated from the Hifz Program as Huffaaz (having memorized the entire Quran by heart).
- Approximately 2,300 students(males and females) have graduated in the Part time One Year Diploma Course which was conducted on a yearly basis since 1989 (The One Year Part time Diploma Course continues till present).
- Approximately 300 students (males/females – part time/full time) have completed the Qaari Course and graduated as Qurra (Qaaris) and Qaariahs.
Many other students have completed part time Arabic Grammar/Conversation Courses, Post S.E.A Courses and Post-Secondary Courses held by the Institute over the years. Darul Uloom continues to provide quality Islamic Education from Basic to Advance, and from Intermediate to the Tertiary level, for both males and females, which are conducted both on a full time, as well as, a part time basis. It also delivers a compact and well-grounded education at the secondary school level, offering a full scale of Academics/Science subjects and Islamic Studies to students who have completed the SEA exams at their respective schools.
Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago is also committed to provide quality services to the entire Muslim population (locally, regionally and internationally). In this regard, it continues to provide the following services which are all managed (handled) by qualified and competent Islamic Scholars:
- Halaal Certification and Approval Services.
- Hilaal (Moon Sighting) Services.
- Darul Ifta (Service to the entire Muslim population in delivering formal verdicts pertaining to all aspects of Islam).
- Marriage and Divorce Service.
- Counselling Services. Recently, the Darul Uloom sent two of its Islamic Scholars (Muftis) to complete the Qadhi Course (Islamic Judge Course) at the Imarat Shariah in India. Both successfully completed the course and were certified as Qadhis (Islamic Judges) by the Certifying Institute. With this, the Darul Uloom has officially established the Dept. of Mediation, Arbitration and Adjudication (Darul Qadha) at the Institutes’ headquarters.
So far, thousands have benefitted from this facility, and all are invited to access this unique facility in Trinidad, in order to settle their disputes and disagreements in accordance to the teachings of Islam.
From all these services, it can be said without exaggeration, that Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago is indeed a great favour from Allah in this part of the world.
Muslims are invited to benefit from all the facilities and become a part of it by being a student, a donor, supporter and a well-wisher.
One of the greatest disasters which occurred in the history of man was the flood at the time of Noah (A.S.). It was a form of punishment to the people at that time for their wickedness and transgression. Noah was sent as a messenger to his people with a mission of guidance and truth. He tried all forms and methods of preaching, but was rejected by his people. The Quraan gives an account of his preaching in the following words. “He (Noah) said, “Oh my Lord! I have called my people night and day. But my call only increases (their) flight from the right. And every time I have called them that you might forgive them, they have thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, grown obstinate, and given themselves up to arrogance. So I have called them aloud. Further I have spoken to them in public and secretly in private”. (Surah Nooh, Verses 5-9)
Noah used all the resources he had to reach out to them, but these went in vain. His nation did not accept him. They considered him a man like themselves, having no rank as a prophet. They told him he was a liar and only the down-trodden ones were following him.
Noah pleaded with them that he did not want their wealth or their goods, but he was only a messenger sent by Allah to deliver a message.
They paid no heed to Noah’s message and continued to criticize him. They saw him as an obstacle in their path, and eventually became tired of his preaching. Being unable to deal with the arguments he placed before them, they arrogantly threw out their challenge, “They said, ‘Oh Noah! you have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute. Now bring upon us (the punishment) what you have threatened us with, if you are speaking the truth.” (Surah Hud, Verse 32)
Hearing this, Noah (A.S.) made it clear to them, saying, “Truly, Allah will bring it on you if He wills and then you will not be able to evade it”. (Surah Hud, Verse 33)
Not withstanding their insolence, Noah (A.S) continued to preach to his people hoping that some change will take place, but his preaching was all in vain. He then became troubled and worried, but was consoled by Allah in the following words: “None of your people will believe except those who have believed already! So grieve no longer over their evil deeds”. (Surah Hud, Verse 36)
Having learnt this, Noah (A.S.) made a request to Allah, saying, “Oh my Lord! Leave not of the unbelievers a single one on earth. For if you leave (any of) them, they will but mislead your devotees and they will breed none but wicked, ungrateful ones”. (Surah Nooh, Verses 26-27)
The prayer of Noah was accepted and it was decreed that the punishment will fall upon the transgressors. Then, in order to save Noah and the believers from the terrible punishment, Allah commanded Noah by saying: “And construct an ark under Our eyes and Our inspiration, and address Me no further on behalf of those who are in sin for they are about to be drowned”. (Surah Hud, Verse 37)
Noah (A.S.) began the construction of the ark, but was ridiculed and mocked by the people. They said, “Can a boat float on land?” “Noah the prophet has turned a carpenter!” They said laughing and jeering at him.
About their conduct, the Quraan states, “Forthwith he (starts) constructing the ark: Every time the chiefs of
his people passed by him, they threw ridicule on him. He said, “If you ridicule us now, we (in our turn) can look down on you with ridicule likewise!” But soon will you know who it is on whom will descend a chastisement that will cover them with shame, and on whom will be unloosed a lasting chastisement”. (Surah Hud, Verses 38-39)
The Ark was finally completed and Noah (A.S.) awaited the order from Allah. The Quraan narrates this event in the following words, “At length, behold! There came Our command, and the fountains of the earth gushed forth! We said: “Embark therein of each kind, two male and female and your family, except those against whom the word has already gone forth and the believers, but only a few believed with him”. (Surah Hud, Verse 40)
It was a great flood and a total destruction, except to those who were saved by Allah. Rain started to pour from the sky and the water gushed forth from the earth. Days and nights passed, but the rain did not stop. The unbelievers began to panic and thought about seeking refuge in the ark, but it was too late for them since the ark had already started to sail. The Quraan states, “And the Ark sailed with them on waves (towering) like mountains. And Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (from the rest), “Oh my son! Embark with us, and be not with the unbelievers!”
“The son (who did not believe in the message of his father, Noah) replied, “I will betake myself to some mountain, it will save me from the water.” Noah said, “This day nothing can save from the command of Allah, any but those on whom he has mercy. And the waves came between them, and the son was among those who were drowned.” (Surah Hud, Verses 42-43).
The flood thus came to an end, the water subsided and the command came to Noah, saying, “Oh Noah! Come down (from the Ark) with peace from Us and blessings on you” (Surah Hud, Verse 48)
The transgressors were all destroyed by Allah and the believers were all saved. It was a new beginning for those who were saved seeing that every single thing was destroyed. Noah (A.S.) came out with his people, but being a kind hearted father he was worried about his son. He said, “Oh my Lord! Surely my son is of my family and Your promise is true and You are the most just of judges.” (Surah Hud, Verse 45)
Allah’s reply came to Noah, “Oh Noah! He is not of your family. For his conduct is unrighteous. So ask not of me that of which you have no knowledge. I give you counsel lest you act like the ignorant! (Surah Hud, Verse 46)
Hearing this, Noah (A.S.) immediately asked for Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. He said, “Oh my Lord! I do seek refuge with You lest I ask You for that of which I have no Knowledge, and indeed be among the losers” (Surah Hud, Verse 47)
LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET NOAH (A.S)
By narrating this incident, the Quraan brings before man the true and established teaching of belief in One God. Noah was one of the earliest prophets, and was sent to remind the people of the teachings which came to them from Allah (God Almighty) through Adam (A.S).
Belief in One God is therefore the original and true teaching, through which salvation comes. Prophet Noah sacrificed his life to preach and propagate this teaching. He was ridiculed, mocked, insulted and condemned by his people, but he did not stop preaching this message to mankind. He persevered and was patient. He remained steadfast upon this belief and was determined to convey God’s message to the people. He suffered at the hands of his people for over 900 years, but at the end, he gained victory over them. Therefore, victory always comes to the people of truth even though they may undergo hardships for a long while.
From among Noah’s people, there were those who believed in him and carried out his teachings, but were few in number. There were also those who rejected him and turned a blind eye to his teachings. These were the great majority who outnumbered the few believers. Like Prophet Noah, those who accepted his message, also suffered ridicule, insults and persecution at the hands of the unbelievers. However, in the end, it was the believers who became triumphant. They were saved from the punishment of the flood, and were promised paradise in the life after death. As for those who rejected and opposed Noah, they were destroyed by the flood, and were promised the blazing fire of hell in the hereafter.
In this way, my dear readers, the battle between truth and falsehood will continue, and the challenge to choose one above the other will remain. Those who chose truth above falsehood will always be winners in this world and the next. As for those who choose falsehood above the truth, they will always be losers, and will perish like the wrongdoers of the past.
Make the right choice
Islam – The religion of truth
SHABAAN AL MU’AZZAM
THE FORERUNNER TO RAMADHAN
By: Mufti Waseem Khan (Hafizahullah)
The month of Shabaan is one of those blessed months in the Islamic calendar which heralds the great and virtuous month of Ramadhan. When it arrives, Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadhan and wait anxiously to welcome it. In fact, the common talk among Muslims in Shabaan is about the arrival of Ramadhan.
Thus, Shabaan is indeed a forerunner to Ramadhan, as it heralds the coming of this great month. But besides this, Shabaan itself has its own merits and virtues which Allah has placed in it. It is for this reason, the Prophet (S.A) used to observe the fast frequently in the month of Shabaan. In this regard, Usamah Ibn Zaid (R.A) narrates, ‘I said: ‘Oh Messenger of Allah! I have not seen you fasting as much as you fast in Shabaan.’ He (S.A) replied: ‘this is a month that people are negligent about. It is the month that is between Rajab and Ramadhan. It is the month in which the deeds are raised to the Sustainer of the worlds. I therefore love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting.’ (Sunan An Nasaii).
In another tradition, it is mentioned that Anas (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (S.A) was asked ‘Which fast is the most superior after Ramadhan?’ He (S.A) replied ‘Shabaan, to show the greatness of Ramadhan.’ He was asked ‘Which charity is the most superior?’ He (S.A) replied ‘Charity in the month of Ramadhan.’ (Tirmidhi).
From these narrations, it can be seen that Shabaan is a month from which great blessings can be achieved, hence, Muslims must take advantage of this blessed month and increase in doing good actions.
In this blessed month, there is a special night that is known for its greatness and special significance. This night is known as the 15th night of Shabaan and is commonly refered to as ‘Lailatul Bara’at’ or ‘Shabe Bara’at’. This night is spoken about in several traditions which all together tell us about the special virtues of this night. Although some scholars have spoken about the weakness of some of these traditions, they are nevertheless acceptable by the majority of the great and accepted scholars of hadith.
In this regard, a tradition is narrated by Muaz bin Jabal (R.A) which states that the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, ‘Allah looks to his creation on the 15th night of Shabaan and forgives everyone except two people: a polytheist and one who holds a grudge against people.’ (Ibn Majah)
Imam Ibn Hibban has narrated this hadith in his Sahih; Imam Baihaqi has narrated it in Shu’bal Imaan; Imam Tabarani in Al Mu’jam al Kabeer and Abu Nuaim in Al Hulya; Imam Haithami has also narrated it in Majmauz Zawaaid and after narrating it, has commented that all the narrators in the sanad of the above hadith are trusworthy and reliable, and this hadith is authentic. This hadith has also been narrated by Imam Mundhiri in At Targheeb and by Imam As Suyooti in Durrul Manthoor. Shaikh Albani has also narrated it in his Silsilah Sahiha (a book in which he has narrated authentic hadith according to him).
In another tradition narrated by Abu Thalaba (R.A), the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, ‘On the 15th of Shabaan, Allah looks at his creation and forgives all the believers except one who begrudges and hates. He leaves them in their enmity.’
This hadith has been narrated by Imam Baihaqi in Shu’bal Imaan; Ibn Abi Asim has narrated it in Kitab As Sunnah; Imam Suyooti has narrated it in Durrul Manthoor. Shaikh Albani confirms its authenticity by narrating it in his Silsila Sahiha. (Muajamul Kabeer /Silsilah Sahiha, ما صح في ليلة النصف)
In another tradition, Abdullah bin Umar (R.A) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, ‘Allah, on the 15th of Shabaan looks at the people and forgives all believers except for two kinds of people: Someone who holds a grudge for others and someone who has taken an innocent life.’
This hadith has been narrated by Imam Mundhiri in At Targheeb; Imam Ahmad has narrated it in his Musnad and Hafiz Al Haithami in Majma uz Zawaaid. Shaikh Albani has narrated this hadith in his Silsilah Sahiha, and after a lengthy discussion concerning its chain of narrators, he concludes that it is a good (hasan) hadith. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal / Silsilah Sahiha, ما صح في ليلة النصف)
Along with the above mentioned traditions, there are many different statements which have been made by the great scholars regarding the virtues of this night.
In this regard, Hafiz Ibn Taimiyah has mentioned, ‘as for the 15th night of Shabaan, there are many narrations and Athar (quotes from the sahabahs) regarding its virtues. It has been reported of the salaf (pious predecessors) that they prayed on this night. Therefore, praying alone on this night, having precedence in the salaf, is sufficient evidence and something of this kind cannot be denied. (Rasail Wa Fatawa Ibn Taimiya Fil Fiqh Vol. 23 Pg. 131).
At another place, he writes, ‘If one performs salaah on the 15th night of Shabaan, just as many groups of the salaf did, then it is good. (Rasaail wa Fatawa Ibn Taimiya Vol. 23 Pg. 131).
Shaikh Mansoor Bahooti Hanbali writes in his famous book of Fiqh, Kashful Qina Vol.1 Pg. 444, ‘As for the 15th night of Shabaan, it is a night of virtue. Some salaf (pious predecessors) performed salaah for the whole night. And the reward of the ibadah of the 15th night of Shabaan is the same as the reward of the ibadah of the night of Eid.’
Imam Shafi (R.A) has mentioned in his book, Al Umm Vol.1 Pg.231, “Of the narrations that have reached us, verily, dua is accepted on five nights; the night of Juma, the night of Eid Al Adha, the night of Eid Al Fitr, the first night of Rajab, and the 15th night of Shabaan.’
The great scholar and commentator of the book of Ahadith known as Jame Tirmizi, Shaikh Mubarakpuri writes, ‘You should know that a sufficient number of hadith have been narrated confirming the virtues of the 15th night of Shabaan. These ahaadith prove that it has a basis’. (Tuhfatul Ahwazi Vol.3 Pg.365).
At another place, after quoting many ahaadith about the importance of this night, he says, ‘The sum of all these ahaadith is strong evidence against the one who thinks there is no proof for the virtue of the 15th night of Shabaan. And Allah knows best.’
OBSERVING FAST ON THE 15th OF SHABAAN
In a tradition, Ali (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (S.A) said ‘When it is the 15th of Shabaan, spend the night in pray and the day in fasting, for surely Allah descends at the time of sunset to the lowest heaven and says ‘Is there anyone seeking forgiveness that I may forgive him? Is there anyone asking for sustenance that I may provide him with sustenance? Is there anyone in a calamity that I may give him comfort?’ This continues till the break of dawn.’ (Shu’bal Imaan, ما جاء في ليلة النصف من شعبان / Targeeb wa Tarheeb, الترغيب في صوم شعبان وما جاء في صيام النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم له وفضل ليلة نصفه / Ibn Majah, باب ما جاء في ليلة النصف من شعبان)
The above hadith shows that the Prophet (S.A) encouraged his followers to spend the night in salah; to observe the fast of the 15th of Shabaan and also to supplicate to Allah earnestly during the night, since He is all willing to fulfil the needs of his servants. While supplicating to Allah on this blessed night, the believers should beg Allah for His forgiveness; request Him to bless them with sustenance and also beg Him to remove calamities which have befallen them. In fact, Allah continues to call out to the believers promising to fulfil their needs and necessities. The believers should therefore take advantage of this special night and ensure that they receive the virtues of this night.
With respect to above hadith, some scholars have stated that the Sanad (chain of narrators) of this hadith is weak because one of its narrators Ibn Abi Saburah is a weak narrator against whom some scholars of hadith have written. However, many scholars of hadith have accepted this tradition and have not criticized it. While speaking about the narrator Ibn Abi Saburah, Adh Dahabi has stated ‘Ibn Abi Saburah is Abu Bakr Bin Abdullah Bin Abi Saburah from Madinah, and was the Qadhi and Faqeeh (Jurist) (Al Meezan Vol.4, Pg-504). Abu Dawood said about him ‘He was the Mufti of the people of Madinah.’ In As Siyar A’lam An Nubala, it is mentioned, ‘He (Ibn Abi Saburah) was a great jurist and the Qadhi of Iraq. It is narrated that Abu Ja’far Al Mansoor asked Imam Malik ‘Oh Malik who are the great Shyukh (Mashaikh) who have remained in Madinah?’ Imam Malik said ‘Ibn Abi Zaid, Ibn Abi Saburah and Ibn Abi Salmah Al Maajishoon.’ (As Siyar Vol.7, Pg.331, Al Resalah Publishers).
The great scholar and jurist expert Allama Sharambalali writes ‘there are five nights on which duas (supplications) are not rejected. These are: the night of Jumuah; the first night of Rajab; the night of the 15th of Shabaan and the night of the two Eids.’ The Shaikh then quoted the hadith and said, ‘The Prophet (S.A) said ‘When it is the 15th night of Shabaan, then stand at night in pray and fast the day. Verily Allah descends at the time of sunset to the lowest heaven and says ‘Is there anyone seeking forgiveness that I may forgive him? Is there anyone asking for sustenance that I may provide him with sustenance? Is there anyone in a calamity that I
may give him comfort?’ This continues till the break of dawn.’ (Maraqi Al Falah Pg-154).
Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Haithami, after narrating several narrations regarding the 15th of Shabaan, and speaking of the statements of the scholars, writes ‘The summary of the discussion is that, there are virtues for this night. On it there is the special forgiveness from Allah and also a special acceptance of duas, and account of this, Imam Shafi (A.R) said ‘Certainly duas (supplications) are accepted on this night.’ (Fatawa of the Ibn Hajar Al Haithami Vol.1, Pg.80).
Based on these authentic narrations, it is well established that the 15th night of Shabaan is one which is virtuous and has a great significance.
VISITING THE GRAVEYARD ON THE 15th NIGHT OF SHABAAN.
It is evident that the Prophet (S.A) made dua for the deceased in Al Baqee when it was the night of the 15th of Shabaan. However, the jurist experts (Fuqaha) and scholars of hadith have stated that going to the grave yard is not from an established act which is to be done on the 15th night of Shabaan. It is also not from the specialities of the 15th night of Shabaan.
Instead, it is evident from authentic narrations that the Prophet (S.A) used to visit the graveyard in the last part of the night. In this regard, Aisha (R.A) said, ‘Whenever the Prophet (S.A) spent the night with me (on my turn), he used to visit the graveyard (Baqee) in the last part of the night, and would say (at the graveyard) ‘Peace be upon you, the home of the believers. Your death has come which you were promised. You are going towards Qiyamah tomorrow. We will also be meeting you. Oh Allah forgive the dwellers of Baqee Al Gharqad (graveyard in Madina) (Sahih Muslim, باب ما يقال عند دخول القبور و الدعاء)
In another narration of Sahih Muslim, Aisha (R.A) described another occasion when the Prophet (S.A) left her on the bed and went to the graveyard to make dua for the deceased. The Prophet (S.A) then informed her that Jibraeel (A.S) came to him and informed him that his lord has ordered him to go to Baqee (the graveyard) and make dua of forgivness for the dwellers of the grave. In this narration of Sahih Muslim, there was no mention of this being on the 15th night of Shabaan. In fact, as mentioned before by Aisha (R.A) whenever it was the night for the Prophet (S.A) to spend with her, he used to visit the graveyard in the last part of the night. (Sahih Muslim, باب ما يقال عند دخول القبور و الدعاء)
With respect to the narration which states that the Prophet (S.A) visited the graveyard of Baqee Al Gharqad on the 15th night of Shabaan and made dua for the deceased, the scholars of hadith have stated that the narration is weak and hence, does not establish a special practice of visiting the graveyard on the night of the 15th of Shabaan. (Tuhfa Al Ahwazi, Commentry of Jame Tirmidhi, Vol.3, Pgs.501-505, Qadimi Kutub Khana)
In his commentary of Jame Tirmidhi, the great scholar, Mufti Saeed Ahmad (D.B) has stated, ‘On this night, one can supplicate for himself and the deceased, and there is no need to go to the graveyard.’ He also writes, ‘The narration of going to the graveyard is weak. Besides this, the Prophet (S.A) did not encourage the people to go to the graveyard on the night of the 15th of Shabaan. (Tuhfa Al Alma’ee, Commentary of Tirmidhi, Pgs.114-116, Vol.3, Zam Zam Publisher, Karachi)
As stated before, the Prophet’s practice was to visit the graveyard whenever he spent his night with Aisha (R.A). Scholars have explained that the night of the 15th Shabaan came in when he was at Aisha’s place, and so, in accordance to his established practice, he visited the graveyard in Madina (Baqee Al Gharqad) and made dua for the deceased. This is clearly evident from the authentic narrations of Imam Muslim in his Sahih, and in these traditions, there is no mention of the 15th night of Shabaan.
Hence, seeing that the blessedness of the night is established as mentioned by many scholars, one should worship Allah and make dua for himself and the deceased members of his family and the Ummah. However, there is no established teaching from the ahadith that shows that one must go to the graveyard as a special practice of the 15th night of Shabaan.
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HALAAL AND HARAAM IN FOOD AND DRINKS
In today’s world, the word ‘Halaal’ has become very famous and is commonly used by many throughout the world. While it may be something which really does not matter to the non-Muslims, it is a matter which is extremely important and significant for a Muslim. A Muslim has become accustomed to hearing the word Halaal in many aspects of his religion, whether it be food, drink, wealth, business, clothing, etc. But how much does he really understand from this word about its implication and significance in his life as a Muslim?
The word Halaal is an Arabic word which literally means that which is allowed, permitted, permissible, lawful, legal and legitimate, and according to the technical meaning used in the Shariah of Islam, it means that which has been ordained as lawful by Allah and His Messenger (S.A). In its literal and technical usage the word Halaal would be applicable to many things, hence wealth which is not achieved in an unlawful manner will be called Halaal wealth. Sales which are not unlawful will be called Halaal sales. Businesses which are not unlawful will be called Halaal businesses – and the list goes on to include many different things. The concept of Halaal (in Islam) is a very broad one which basically refers to everything which is allowed and permissible in Islam. Muslims are therefore commanded to use only that which has been made lawful in their religion.
From its broad understanding, an area which is of great concern to the Muslims at present, is that of Halaal and Haraam (lawful and unlawful) in food and drinks. In this regard, Allah’s commandment in the Holy Quraan is: “O mankind eat from the earth that which is permissible and good and do not follow the footsteps of the Satan. Indeed he is for you an open enemy”. (Chapter 2 Verse 168).
Mankind has been placed on this earth for a period of time during which he is supposed to worship his creator the Almighty Allah. The instrument of worship is this physical body which we all possess. The human body is the vehicle for the soul which lives on after death. To be kept alive the body must be nourished with food and drink. Allah in His mercy has filled the earth with an immense variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, grains and drinks from which the human being can draw his sustenance. He says in the Holy Quraan, “Say, see what things Allah has sent down to you for sustenance……” (Chapter 10 Verse 59).
Why Are Some Things
It is often asked why Allah has permitted some things while others which belong to the same species may not be allowed for consumption. For example, many types of animals can be consumed but some such as the pig, reptiles, etc are not for food. Allah says about this: ‘They ask you about what is permitted for them, (it is) pure things.” (Chapter 5 Verse 4). It means that Allah has directed towards mankind the consumption of things which are beneficial for him and has prohibited those things which are impure, unhealthy, and bad for him. (It does not follow necessarily however that everything prohibited for man is also bad for other creatures. For example the jellyfish is dangerous and obnoxious for man to consume but it is the favorite and main food for sea turtles). Allah therefore in His wisdom has placed on the earth sustenance for all His creatures and has directed man to eat the pure things which have been indicated to us by the Prophet Muhammad (S.A).
Examples of Haraam
The main categories of foods which are not permissible for consumption by muslims are: Intoxicants; animals slaughtered while a name other than the name of Allah is mentioned; animals killed in a fight, accident or a fall; pigs; animals such as carnivores which are prohibited by the Shariah; flowing blood etc.
Allah says: ‘O you who believe, intoxicants, gambling, altar stones and divining arrows are filth, the works of Satan. Refrain from them so that you may be successful.” (Chapter 4 Verse 91)
This is a clear ruling from the Holy Quraan which prohibits among other things the consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants. There are many ahaadith which explain this verse. For example the Prophet (S.A) cursed ten categories of people who are in some way involved with intoxicants: the person who distills it, the person who paid for its distillation, the one who drinks alcohol, who carries it and the one to whom it is carried, the server of the alcohol, one who benefits from its price, the purchaser and the one for whom it is purchased.
Effects of Intoxicants
It is enough as muslims that Allah has prohibited alcohol and intoxicants for us, but it is for our benefit to look at the effects of alcohol on human beings and our society.
The Prophet (S.A) has said, “The addict is like one who worships idols”. It is a trap of satan and a gatherer of sins. We can see the effects of alcohol and other intoxicants on our society in many different ways. Some of these are:
– Alcohol destroys the mind and body of one who consumes it.
– It relaxes the moral limits of a person and leads to fornication, adultery, lying, stealing etc.
– It breaks up families and puts the dependants of alcoholics under tremendous pressures and difficulties.
– It increases the chances for serious accidents due to drunk-driving and operating of machinery.
– It causes a great economic burden on the state as those whose lives are destroyed by alcohol need to be rehabilitated, are non-productive members of society and their families need to be supported. Since the effects of other intoxicants are very similar, all of them are prohibited also. Illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, fall under this category.
The Prophet Muhammad (S.A) also indicated that those things which intoxicate in large amounts are also prohibited in small amounts. It means that muslims must be careful not to consume any quantity of alcohol at all otherwise we would be committing a grievous sin.
There are many products being sold today which are not alcohol themselves but contain it as an ingredient. This makes the entire product haraam. Some of these include Angostura Bitters, Dijon mustard and non-alcoholic beer. Additionally, in some areas where food is cooked and sold, cooking wine is added. This contaminates the entire item which cannot be used by muslims. It is also totally prohibited to use items like Ponche de Crème, Rum and Raisin Ice-cream, fruitcake with wine etc. As muslims we must be aware of what we do lest we contaminate our bodies with haraam things.
PORK AND ITS PRODUCTS
Allah says: Verily it is made prohibited for you dead meat, and the flesh of swine……..” (Chapter 2, Verse 73).
This verse of the Holy Quraan along with other traditions makes it clear that all aspects of swine are prohibited, its meat, skin, bones, fat, hair, the rearing of pigs and the buying and selling of it. It is sufficient for us to know that Allah has prohibited it, however if we look closely at this animal many reasons for its prohibition become apparent. Some of these are:
– The swine itself is a dirty animal which lives, feeds and enjoys filth and mud.
– It is a scavenger and eats all kinds of foul matter.
– It is a host to and transmitter of dozens of diseases causing micro-organisms and parasites. It is one of the few animals capable of transmitting diseases to man through its meat even after it has been thoroughly cooked.
Muslims are generally aware that pork and pork containing products are prohibited. However it must be noted that there are some products in which pork ingredients are used indirectly, such as the use of pig fat in the frying of foods, or rennet from pigs being used to produce cheese. Even snacks containing gelatin or the hormone insulin may be derived from haraam sources. Of course there are many snacks without gelatin and there are other sources of insulin except pigs so that it is only a matter of being vigilant. Muslims should also be aware of the fact that utensils are used in which pork is cooked. This has implications for many restaurants, especially Chinese restaurants which serve pork since their method of washing the cooking utensils does not conform to the Shariah law of washing. It would not be permissible therefore to consume food cooked in these vessels.
OTHER ANIMALS AND FLOWING BLOOD ETC
While the scope of this article is not to enumerate all the categories of animals which are prohibited, it is important to note that all of them are considered by man to be obnoxious, foul, offensive and below the dignity of a human being. Allah has created man as the best of all creations and it is not becoming of man and certainly Muslims that they consume dead animals, or blood etc.
Secondly, these things have been shown to be dangerous to one’s health. Blood for example contains many waste products, toxins and bacteria. Similarly, animals which may have died accidentally, the blood left inside their bodies can contaminate the flesh with disease- causing organisms and toxins. The Shariah therefore protects us from these harms.
Many scholars have also written that what we consume has an effect on our personalities and character. Therefore man is prohibited from filthy animals like pigs, from carnivorous creatures which hunt other animals such as tigers as well as offensive creatures such as frogs and worms.
In fact Allah refers to the effect of consuming only that which is pure and halaal on the good deeds of a person. In Chapter 23 Verse 5, He says: “O Messengers eat from the pure things and do righteous deeds”. Here we can see the command to be righteous in deeds refers itself back to the command to eat what is halaal.
The Prophet Muhammad (S.A) also refers to this connection between our food and drink and our creator in a hadith which describes a traveller with dishevelled hair who is dusty and who raises his hands in dua to Allah and the Prophet (S.A) questions Allah’s acceptance of such dua when the person’s food is haraam, his drink is haraam and his wealth is from haraam sources. If it is that the whole purpose of life is to worship Allah, then it is senseless to do such things that will cause our worship to be refused. If we consume prohibited food and drinks, we contaminate the body that is the means of doing these deeds and we risk the refusal by Allah of our efforts in this world.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, we should strive to be concerned, informed and aware of all that we consume so that Allah will accept our efforts and grant us Paradise.
Among the many deviated sects who departed from the true teachings of Islam is that of the Qadianis. The Qadianis or Ahmadis are the followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who was born in Qadian in the year 1839 or 1840 C.E.
During his lifetime he laid claims to several different positions and thus managed to obtain followers in different (self-acclaimed) roles. A study of his movement reveals that first of all he claimed IN THE YEAR 1884, to be a revivalist and a reformer. Seven years later he made an announcement stating that he was the promised messiah and the messiah of the age. He further laid claim to his prophet hood in 1901 and in the year 1904 he announced that he was Krishna.
Based on the different claims made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad his followers fell into different brackets and sections differing from each other. The two main groups are:
1) Those who believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is a prophet and considered non Ahmadis as unbelievers.
2) Those who believe that Mirza Ghulam is the promised Messiah and a reformer. They separated from the main group of the Qadianis after the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. They are known as the Lahori Ahmadis.
However, whatever they may regard him as, they are unanimously held by the recognized authorities of Islam to be non-muslims. Whether they may belong to the ‘Rabwa group’ or the ‘Lahori group’, they are all called Qadianis and Ahmadis.
- He said, “Aa’eel came to me and He has chosen me. At this time Allah has put the name of Jibraeel Aa’eel because he comes to me again and again.” (Haqiqatul Wahi written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad pg. 103, Ruhani Khaza-in written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Vol. 22 pg. 106)
- “I swear by Allah saying that these are the words of Allah which are revealed to me.” (Haqiqatul Wahi written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad pg. 387, Ruhani Khaza-in written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Vol. 22 pg. 503)
- “And I swear by the lord in whose hand is my life that He has sent me and He has placed my name as a Nabi (Prophet) and He has called me the promised Messiah.” (Haqiqatul Wahi written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad pg. 387, Ruhani Khaza-in written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Vol. 22 pg. 503)
- “What a vain and corrupt belief it is to believe that after the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) revelation has been stopped forever. I swear by Allah that in these times there is no one far away from such a belief than me. Whichever religion preaches such a belief I say that it is a religion of Satan. I have firm belief that such a religion leads to the fire of Hell.” (Zamima Baraheen Ahmadiyah by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Vol. 5 pg. 184, Ruhani Khaza-in written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Vol. 21 pg. 354)
- “It is very clear and evident that after the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) the door of Prophethood is still open.” (Haqiqatun Nabuwah Vol. 1 pg. 228 by Mirza Basheerudeen, son of Mirza Ghulam)
- “Afterwards revelation kept coming to me as the rain. He (Allah) has clearly addressed me as a prophet. However, in this manner, that on one side I am a follower of Prophet Muhammad and on the other side I am a Prophet.” (Haqiqatul Wahi written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad pg. 150, Ruhani Khaza-in written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Vol. 22 pg. 153-154)
In the above-mentioned references it is clear that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has claimed to be a prophet and rejected the finality of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.). In other writings he has also claimed to be the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) himself.
In his books, Haqiqatul Wahi (pg 67) and Ruhani Khaza-in (vol. 22 pg. 503) he mentioned the following, “Twenty six years ago Allah had named me Muhammad and Ahmad.” In another book he wrote, “I have repeatedly stated that I am that Prophet, who is the seal of all Prophets, twenty years ago I have been given the name of Muhammad and Ahmad.” (Ruhani Khaza-in vol.18 pg. 212)
He further wrote, “I am Adam, I am Noah, I am David, I am Jesus the son of Mary and I am Muhammad (A.S.).” (Haqiqatul Wahi written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad pg. 521, Ruhani Khaza-in written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Vol. 22 pg. 521)
Then reciting the following verse, “Muhammad is the Rasool (Messenger) of Allah,” he says, “In this revelation I have been named Muhammad and a Rasool (Messenger).”
“There is no doubt that Allah has again sent Muhammad to Qadian, so that he can fulfill His promise.” (Kalimatul Fasl – Mirza Basheer, son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad pg. 105)
In his book Kashti Nuh Pg. 56 and in Ruhani Khaza-in Vol. 19 Pg. 61, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian wrote, “Blessed is that person who recognized me. I am the last of all Allah’s paths and the last of His lights. Unfortunate is that person who forsakes me because besides me there is darkness.” Claiming superiority over the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) he wrote, “For this Prophet (i.e. Muhammad S.A.) the moon went into eclipse and for me both the sun and moon went into eclipse.” (Ruhani Khaza-in Vol. 19 pg. 183)
It has also been a custom of the followers of Mirza Ghulam to send Darood and Salaam upon him. This is evident from the following writings of Muhammad Yusuf Qadiani in his Al Fazl Qadiani Vol. 7 No. 100 published on 30th June 1920. He wrote,
“O Imam of the creation, peace and salutations upon you
You are the moon removing darkness, peace and salutations upon you
You are the awaited Mahdi and promised Isa
And the chosen Ahmad, peace and salutations upon you
It was in Qadian you manifested
As the sun of Guidance, peace and salutations upon you.”
A study of the life of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad reveals him as a person who continuously changed from one claim to another until he finally claimed divinity with Allah. In the very early stages of his mission he claimed to be only a saint and a reformer. At that time he openly proclaimed his belief in the finality of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.). In one of his books “Hamamatul Bushra” Pg. 34 he said, “Our Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) is called the last of the prophets and the prophet has said, ‘there will be no prophet after me”. Now if we believe in any other prophet after him it will mean the reopening of the gate of revelation, which is closed after him. How can any prophet come after our prophet when the chain of revelation has been snapped forever after him and he has been made the last of the Prophets.’ In many other books written by Mirza Ghulam, he emphatically stated that there is no Prophet after the Prophet Muhammad. Some of these references are, ‘Izala-I-Awham pgs. 577, 761, Kitabul Bariyyah pg. 84. In one of his pamphlets dated 20th Shabaan 1314 A.H. he considered that person cursed who claimed prophethood after the Prophet Muhammad. About himself he wrote, “Anybody who accuses me of anything more than this is not at all God fearing and honest. In short I am not claiming prophethood, but only sainthood and revivalisthood.” (Mujade diyat)
Further to this Mirza claimed that he received inspiration and communication from Allah. In Mawahibur Rahman Pg. 66, he said, “God communicates with and addresses his friends among the followers of the prophet. But they are not, in fact, prophets as God has perfected Islam in every way. He further stated, “I have no claim to prophethood, it is your understanding. It is not necessary that those who claim to receive inspiration should turn into prophets. I am a follower of Muhammad and fully obey Allah and His Prophet.” (Jang Muqaddas pg. 67) He then claims that the inspirations address him as a Prophet. He wrote, “It is a fact that the inspiration that this bondsman of God receives ascribe him constantly as prophet and messenger, but is not used in a literal sense. This is just a figurative term of God and that is why such words are used. I confess that no prophet in the real sense of the term shall come after the prophet; it may be new or old. The Holy Quraan disallows such advent of prophets. But God has every right to address some inspired person with such words as prophet or messenger in a metaphorical sense.” (Siraj-I-Munir pg. 2-8)
Mirza further stated, “The position is that this humble being receives inspirations continuously for the last 20 years and on many occasions I am addressed as a messenger, but anyone who thinks that it actually means prophet or messenger is wrong. I would ask my followers not to use such words about me in their day to day conversations as it will open the flood gate of mischief.” (Sermon of Mirza Ghulam in Al Hakam 18th August 1899)
Having negated the concept of Prophethood at this stage, he devised a new name known as an addressee for himself and having done that he then discloses himself as a prophet. In Ayena Kamalat pg. 383, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said, “I am not a prophet, rather I am an addressee of God and a communicator with Him so that I could receive the religion.” He further said, “I am laying claim not to prophethood, but to an addressee-ship which is put forward at the behest of God. And there is no doubt about it that an addressee has in him the ingredients of prophethood. If an addressee could be called a figurative prophet or an abstract prophet, it does not mean that it entails claim to prophethood.” (Izala-i-Awham pg. 421) However in pg. 569 of the same book, he wrote, “An addressee is a messenger among the followers and an incomplete prophet also. He is a follower in the sense that he follows fully the way of the Prophet and gains light from the light of his prophethood. That is the way God deals with him as with the prophet. An addressee has a status of an intermediary between the prophet and his followers. He is a perfect follower as well as a prophet. And it is essential for an addressee that he should be like a counterpart of a prophet and he gets the same name as that of a prophet. Opening the doors of his claim to messengership he wrote, “The promised Messiah who is to come will have this symbol that he will be a prophet of God, that is he will receive revelations from Allah. But here it does not mean a perfect prophethood as the last seal has been attached to the perfect prophethood. But it means an addressee who will receive his light from the light of the prophethood of Muhammad. And this bounty is especially given to this humble person.” (Izala-I-Awham pg. 701) In trying to explain this claim he states, “I do not claim to be Christ, the son of Mary, rather I claim to be a counterpart of him.” (Tabligh Risalat Vol. 2 pg. 21) However it was not long after that he openly made the claim that he was Christ, the Messiah. In one of his famous books, Kashti-I-Nooh pg. 47 he wrote, “The mystery is now cleared, that my claim to messiahship is just what I have been describing in my books. On page 48 of the same book he said, “This is Christ who is awaited. And in the words of inspiration it is I who is meant by Mary and Christ. It is said about me, “I will be the symbol and it is also said about me, “I am the same Christ, son of Mary whose advent was awaited. The awaited one is me and to doubt it is sheer unwisdom. Again in Kashti-I-Nooh he says, “First I was named Mary and I remained and was nursed and brought up in the state of Maryhood for two years. Then just like Mary, the soul of Christ was infused in me and in a figurative sense I became pregnant and after several years but not more that ten years, by inspiration, I was transformed from Mary to Christ. This is how I am the son of Mary, but while writing my book ‘Baraheen-I-Ahmadi’ I was not yet initiated into the Mystery.” In Izala-I-Awham pg. 698 he said, “Great saints have predicted on the basis of their enlightenments that the promised Messiah will come by the 14th century (Hijra) or the 20th century C.E and his advent will no longer be delayed. So there is none except this humble person to claim that status.” Making it even clearer he said, “This is my claim that I am the promised Messiah about whom there are prophesies in all the holy books.” (Tohfa-I-Golrwiah pg.195)
Not being satisfied with his false claims of Messiahship, Mirza took the next step towards furthering his claims of Prophethood. He wrote in his book Chashma-I-Masihi pg.41, “If a follower gets the honour of revelation and inspiration and prophethood due to obedience to the Prophet and he is graced with the name of a prophet then that does not violate the seal of the prophet.” In another book Risala Khatme Naboowat pg. 10, Mirza Ghulam wrote, “During the last 1300 years no one has claimed prophethood just in deference to the great position of the prophet, but now that people have become seasoned in their belief of the last of the prophets and now if anyone comes forward as a prophet it does not affect in the least the great position of the holy prophet. Therefore, the word prophet is now allowed to be used for Messiah.” After paving the way for his false claim of prophethood he openly declared that he is a prophet. In his book Haqiqatun Nabuwwat pg. 272, he says, “To me any religion that has no continuity of prophethood is a dead one. We call Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism as dead religions just because they will have no more prophets. If Islam is also of the same nature then what is the distinction between them and Islam? Mere true dreams do not suffice, even cobblers and scavengers may have true dreams. There must be a communication with and an address from God and these must contain prophecies. I am having revelations for the last several years and many symbols from God have testified to their truthfulness. That is why I am a prophet. There should be no secrecy in conveying the truth.” Based upon these statements Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s successors, his sons and followers all regard him as a perfect and complete prophet. They lay great emphasis in his prophethood and honour him in every respect in the same manner as the prophet Muhammad (S.A.) is honoured.
Qadianis believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad received numerous revelations from Allah as he himself had made such claims. In his book Haqiqatul Wahi page 391 Mirza Ghulam said, “I have received so many revelations that if all are written down they would fill about 20 volumes.” Based upon this claim of Mirza Ghulam, his followers are exhorted to read his revelations with great respect. Among his (so-called revelations) he asserts that many of the verses of the Holy Quraan were revealed to him.
- In Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat (pg. 281) he wrote that Sura Kauthar was revealed to him.
- In sura Inshirah the verse “Wa rafa’na laka zikrak” he claimed was revealed to him. (Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat pg. 282)
- The verse “And we have not sent you except as a mercy unto mankind” he claimed was revealed to him. (Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat pg. 634)
- The verse “Say if you love Allah, follow me” He said was revealed to him. (Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat pg. 634)
A few of the new revelations, which he claimed to have received, are:
- “The companions of the Suffah. And what do you know about the companions of the Suffah. You will see their eyes flowing with tears, sending blessings upon you.” (Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat pg. 625-626)
- “You are to me like my Arsh. You are to me like my son.” (Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat pg. 636)
- “We have revealed it close to Qadian. And in truth we have sent it down and in truth we have revealed it.” (Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat pg. 637)
- “Salutations be upon you. We praise you and send blessings upon you. Blessings from the Arsh until the Earth.” (Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat pg. 644)
- “Had it not been for you, I would have not created the heavens.” (Tazkira Majmu’a ilhamat pg. 649)
Similar to the above, which he claimed were revealed in Arabic, he also asserted that he received revelations in the English language. In his book Arba’een-I-Ahmadia pg. 81 he wrote, “Once I received revelation in English “I love you” and then God said, “I am with you.” He further said, “I shall help you”. Then He said, “I can what I will do”, then there was a forceful inspiration, which shocked me, “We can what we will do.” It was in such an accent as if an Englishman was standing in front of me. Such revelations in English also continued.” He also claimed that revelations came to him in code words and figures. (Tabligh-I-Risalat pg. 85)
In Khutba Ilhamia page 20, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote, “My lord has named me Ahmad, so praise me and do not abuse me.” In his Tazkira, he further wrote, “There was a big square shaped throne installed among the Hindus and I was sitting on it. A Hindu pointing to someone said, “This is”. Then all the Hindus began tendering rupees etc. as offerings. Then a Hindu among the crowd said, “O Krishnaji, Rudra Gopal.” In “Mukashefat-I-Mirza” pg.560 he says, “Twice I saw in a vision that many Hindus were prostrating before me saying that this is the incarnation, this is Krishna and they tendered me offerings. Then there was an inspiration, “O Krishna, Rudra Gopal be glorified, thy name is mentioned in the Gita.” Possibly it is for this reason Mian Mahmood Ahmad, the Caliph of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said that Hindus were also people of the book and as such marriage with their women folk was allowed.
Owing to their firm belief in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet or Messiah the Qadianis have attributed great respect and veneration to the land of Qadian. In one of his books Aina’I-Kamalat pg. 354, Mirza wrote, “It is more meritorious to attend the annual conference at Qadian as it results in greater merits than a pilgrimage which is uncalled for.” As such Qadianis believe that a pilgrimage should be made at Qadian, which is known as a shadow pilgrimage. In his address Mian Mehmood, the caliph of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad mentioned in Al Fazal (dated 1st December 1932). “As it is only rich people who can afford to go to Mecca for pilgrimage, so in order to enable the poorer sections of Muslims to perform that pilgrimage a shadow pilgrimage is appointed for them at Qadian.” Mirza Ghulam has also described his Qadian Mosque as sacred as the Holy Kaaba and has considered Qadian to be the sacred land.” (Durre thimin) Similarly in Al Fazal (dated 21st August 1932) it is mentioned that Mirza’s Mosque in Qadian is considered to be the real Masjudul Aqsa and not the one in Jerusalem. On the night of Miraj (Ascension) the Prophet Muhammad travelled from Masjid Haram to Masjid Aqsa and that Mosque is the same one that is on Qadian, situated in the East.
While explaining his relationship with God, he said that God once said to him, “You are like my son, O moon, O sun, you are from me and I am from you.” (Haqiqatul Wahi pg. 86)
In Tazkira Majmua Ilhamaat page 452 he wrote, “Once I received an inspiration that God will descend to Qadian.
In Ainae Kamalat pg. 564 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote, “I saw in a dream that I am the lord, I then firmly believed that it was so.” Again in Kitabul Bariya pg. 85 he wrote, “I saw in one vision that I am god and then firmly believed in it.”
From the above quotations it can be clearly seen that besides claiming to be a prophet Mirza Ghulam raised himself to claim divinity. As such he committed the unforgivable sin of shirk. He further explained his concept of divinity in the following words, “God came into my existence and then my anger, forbearance, leniency actions and tranquility became His. In this state I was saying that we need a new heaven and earth. I then first of all created the heavens and earth in a concise shape without any separation. Then conforming to the wishes of the truth I gave it its format and separation and I saw that I was powerful over the creation. I then created the sky of the earth and said we have certainly adorned the earthly sky with stars.” I then said, “We will create man from a piece of clay. Then my state was such that I was now transformed from a mere vision to inspiration and upon my tongue was the words: – “I intended to place a vicegerent (on earth) so I created Adam. We created man in the best of forms.”
Kitabul Bariya pgs 86-87, Ruhani Khazain vol 3 pgs 104-105
In another book, Arba’een, he wrote, “In some of the books of the prophets, figuratively I have been described as an angel. Prophet Daniel has mentioned me in his book as Mika-il and according to the Hebrew language Mika-il means the like of God.” (Arba’een Vol. 3 pg. 30, Ruhani Khazain Vol.17 pg. 413)
Thousands of many other quotations can be cited to show the baseless claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. In a nutshell Mirza himself believed that the religion, which he came with, is a new religion having a new shariah. This is clearly seen from the following quotations. In Al fazal Vol. 22 No 93 (dated 3rd February 1936) it states, “Allah revealed this last truth in the desolate land of Qadian and chose the promised Messiah who was of Persian descent, for this great task and said, “I shall spread thy name to the corners of the world and shall protect thee from forceful onslaughts. And the religion which you have brought shall be made to prevail against other religions by virtue of symbols and arguments and that its supremacy shall remain till the end of the world.”
In his book Arba’-een pg. 7 Mirza wrote, “What is Shariat? I have given some commandments for dos and don’ts and have prescribed laws for my followers.” Then in “Hashia Arbaeen” No.4 pg. 7 he said “My shariat is named “Ark of Noah” – that is the salvation for the whole world.” His son, Mirza Basheer Ahmad then explained the reason for no new kalima in the following words, “There is no need for a new kalima because the promised Messiah, who is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is not separated from Prophet Muhammad. In fact it was the promise of Allah that he will once again send the “Seal of the prophets” to the world. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who is the promised Messiah is therefore Muhammad the Messenger of Allah identically. This is the reason for not having any new Kalima.” (Kalimatul Fasl pg. 158)
It is thus very clear from all the above quotations that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is no more than an Imposter, a liar and a person who made many false and baseless claims. His entire mission attacks the very core of Islam as preached by Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) as he outwardly condemned the “Seal of prophethood”. As such the entire foundation of the Qadiani religion will be uprooted by the fact that prophet Muhammad (S.A) was the seal of prophethood as established by the authentic sources.
REFUTATION AGAINST THE QADIANIS
The Holy Quraan in Sura Ahzab verse 40 states, “Muhammad is not the father of any of you but a messenger of Allah and the seal of the Prophets. And Allah is fully aware of everything.”
Commenting upon this verse of the Holy Quraan, all the commentators of the Holy Quraan have stated that the word “Khatamun Nabiyeen” seal of the prophet mentioned in this verse means that there is no Prophet after the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) As such the famous commentator Allama Ibn Katheer wrote in his tafseer, vol. 3 pg. 493 that, “This verse is very explicit that there is no prophet after prophet Muhammad (S.A.) nor any messenger. Many Mutawatir traditions have mentioned the same from all the companions.”
Another famous commentator of the Holy Quraan Imam Qurtubi, wrote that all scholars past and present are in full agreement that the words “Khatamun Nabiyeen” (Seal of Prophets) directly imply that there is no prophet after prophet Muhammad (S.A.)” (Tafseer Qurtubi Vol. 14 pg.196)
Similarly the great Imam Ghazali wrote, “There is Ijma (consensus) of the entire Ummah that the words “Khatamun Nabiyeen” (Seal of Prophets) mean that there will be no prophet nor messenger after the Prophet Muhammad. On this matter there is no allowance for interpretations or specifications. Whosoever rejects this has rejected Ijma in Islam.” (Al Iqtisaad Fil Itiqaad pg. 123)
In the most authentic tradition, which fulfills the highest standard and criterion of authenticity, the prophet Muhammad (S.A.) has openly declared that there is no prophet after him.
The famous Mufassir commentator Allama Alusi has written in Tafseer Ruhul Ma’aani, “The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) being the seal of the prophets is such a matter that the Quraan has spoken of it, the traditions have confirmed it and it has therefore gained the Ijma (consensus) of the Muslim Ummah. Anyone who claims anything against it shall be deemed a kafir (unbeliever) and if he propagates against it shall be killed.” Ruhul Ma’aani (Vol. 22 pg. 41)
- Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) said, “My likeness and the likeness of the prophets of the past is like that of a man who built a house. He decorated it and beautified it except that one brick was missing. People then passed around the house, looking at it and becoming happy with it said, “Why was not this brick placed in it?” The Prophet then said, ”I am that brick and I am the seal of all the prophets.” Reported by Bukhari and Muslim.
This tradition is mentioned in Musnad e Ahmad, Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Tirmizi. In the Tradition reported by Muslim the following is mentioned at the end of the Hadith, “The Prophet (S.A.) said, “I am that brick, I came and completed the chain of Messengers.”
- Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) said, “I have been honoured above the prophets with six things:
- Comprehensive words
- I was helped with fear
- The spoils of war were made permissible for me
- The earth has been made as a Masjid and a purification for me
- I have been sent to all mankind
- With me the prophets came to an end.
Reported by Muslim and also by Imam Bukhari in the narration of Jabir (R.A.)
- Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas (R.A.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) once said to Ali (R.A.), “You are to me as Haroun was to Moosa except that there is no Prophet nor Prophethood after me.” (Bukhari and Muslim). Besides Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas, fourteen other companions of the Prophet (S.A.) have reported this Hadith and as such it is known to be a Mutawatir Hadith.
- From Abu Hurairah (R.A.), the prophet (S.A.) mentioned that, “From among the Bani Israel, prophets became successors one to another. Whenever a prophet died, another prophet succeeded him and carried on his mission. However there will be no Prophet after me but there will be Khalifas who will be in great number.” (Bukhari, Muslim). In a tradition reported by Abu Dawood the Prophet (S.A.) said, “Certainly Allah will raise for this ummah at the beginning of every one hundred years someone who will revive their deen (religion) for them.
- Thauban (R.A.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) said, “There will be in my Ummah thirty liars each of them claiming to be a Prophet. How be it? I am the seal of the prophets there is no prophet after me.” (Abu Daud, Tirmizi). This Hadith (tradition) is also a Mutawatir Hadith and has been reported by eleven other companions of the Prophet (S.A.)
- Anas bin Malik (R.A.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) said, “Certainly Apostleship and Prophethood have come to an end. There will be no Messenger nor Prophet after me.” (Tirmizi) This hadith has also been narrated by Imam Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Ibn Majah and others by different companions.
- From Abu Hurairah that he heard the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) saying, “We are the last but the first on the Day of Judgement except that they have been given their scriptures before us.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
- Uqba ibn Aamir (R.A.) states that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) said, ”Had there been any Prophet after me it would have been Umar.” (Tirmizi)
- Jubair bin Mutim (R.A.) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) saying, “I have many names, I am Muhammad and I am Ahmad. I am Mahi (the Remover) through whom Allah will remove Kufr (disbelief) and I am Hashir (the Gatherer) who will gather the people around me. I am Aaqib (the last) after whom there is no Prophet.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
- Abu Huraira (R.A.) stated that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) used to place his index finger and the middle finger close together and then say, “I have been sent and the Hour of Judgement like both these fingers.” This tradition has been narrated by eleven different companions in Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Musnad e Ahmad.
All the above traditions bear clear testimony to the fact that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.), the son of Abdullah and Amina, who was born in Makkah 571 C.E. and to whom Jibraeel (A.S.) came with revelations is the last and final prophet of Allah after whom there will be no prophet, Apostle and Messenger. As such, all the Muhadith (traditionists) commen-tators of the Holy Quran and Jurists from the time of the Prophet (S.A.) until the present time have all clearly stated that:
- The claim of Prophethood after the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) is kufr (disbelief). The claimer is an imposter and liar and must be killed.
- Whosoever thinks/says that prophethood is inheritent and has not ended then he is an atheist whose punishment is death.
- Whosoever claims to receive revelations is a kaafir even though he did not claim prophethood.
- Whosoever believes or accepts the prophethood of anyone after the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.) is a kaafir (unbeliever)
- It is the consensus opinion and decision (Ijma) of the Ummah that the claimer of Prophethood after the Prophet (S.A.) is a kaafir. Whoever opposes this is himself a Kaafir.
Other claims made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that he was the Promised Messiah or Jesus are all fallacious and unsound. This is evidently clear from the true teachings of the Holy Quraan and authentic traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.)
The following are certain beliefs about Isa (A.S.), which are taught by the Quraan and Hadith and upon them Ijma of the Ummah is held:
- Isa (A.S.) was born miraculously without the agency of a father. His mother was Maryam (A.S.) who is mentioned in the Holy Quraan.
- Isa (A.S.) lived on the face of the earth approximately 571 years before the Prophet Muhammad and did not die. However he was taken up bodily into heaven where he remains alive to this day.
- When the Hour of Judgement is nearby, Isa (A.S.) will descend from the heaven to the earth. After accomplishing his mission on the earth, he will die a natural and physical death.
With all these citations and evidences, it should not be doubtful upon any muslim that the Qadianis are out of the pale of Islam. This ruling is one which has been given by the sound and authentic scholars of the Muslim Ummah from the time of the Qadianis origin until present time and has also been officially given by the Federal Shariat Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Muharram has the great honor of being the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four months which Allah has made sacred and holy from the time he created the heavens and the earth.
The Holy Quran points to this and says: “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months, so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein”. (Surah At Tawbah: Verse 36)
While explaining the four months that are very sacred and holy to Allah, the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhul Qaada, Dhul Hijja and Muharram and Rajab which comes between Juma’dal Ukhra and Sha’ban”. (Bukhari, Hadith No.3197, Pg.869, Vol.1, Altaf and Sons).
Muharram is called by this name because it is sacred. (The word Muharram means sacred). To indicate the sanctity of this month, Allah says in the Holy Quran: “So wrong not yourselves therein” which means that the believers are warned about committing sins in this month since sins committed in this month are worse than in other months.
The Prophet (s.a.w) also mentioned that the best month for observing fast after Ramadhan is that of Muharram. In this regard, he said: “The most virtuous fast after the month of Ramadhan is (fasting in) the month of Allah, Al Muharram”. (Muslim, Hadith No.2755, Darussalam)
It this tradition, the Prophet (s.a.w) indicated to the greatness and virtue of the blessed month of Muharram by saying that it is the most virtuous month to observe fasting after the month of Ramadhan.
In the month of Muharram, there is the very blessed day that is known as ‘Ashoora’. This day is the 10th of Muharram, and about it, the Prophet (s.a.w) himself said ‘It is a great day’.
It is on this day Allah granted refuge to Moosa (A.S) and his people, and destroyed Pharaoh and his people. As a form of gratitude, Moosa (A.S) observed the fast of Ashoora. (Muslim, Hadith No.2656, Darussalam).
It is also to express gratitude to Allah (s.w.t), the Prophet (s.a.w) fasted. In a tradition recorded by Ahmad, the Prophet (s.a.w) said that the day of Ashoora was the day on which the ark of Noah (A.S) settled on Mt. Judi after the great flood had come to an end. Upon this Noah (A.S) fasted on this day in thanking Allah (s.w.t). (Ahmad, Hadith No.8725, Pg.282, Vol.3, Darul Fikr)
Due to the blessedness of the day of Ashoora (10th of Muharram), the Prophet (s.a.w) observed the fast of this day and encouraged his followers to do so. In this regard, he is reported to have said: “The fast of the day of Ashoora, I have hope in Allah that (through it) he will forgive one year’s past sins of a person” (Tirmidhi, Hadith No.752, Pg.354, Vol.1, Altaf and Sons).
This hadith highlights the virtue of observing the fast of Ashoora. Hence, the believers should seize the opportunity and observe this fast. It should however be noted, that based on the advice of the Prophet (s.a.w) one should join another day with the 10th of Muharram (Ashoora) while observing the fast. In this regard, the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “observe the fast of Ashoora and oppose the Jews. Fast a day before it or a day after it.” (Ahmad, Hadith No.2154, Vol.1, Pg.518, Darul Fikr)
The Jews had a custom of fasting only on the 10th of Muharram and the Prophet (s.a.w) did not like to follow them in their ways. Hence, he ordered his followers to oppose them in their practice and observe 2 days of fasting instead of one. The two days can either be the 9th, 10th of Muharram or the 10th, 11th of Muharram.
Some scholars have stated that it is Mustahab (commendable/encouraged) to fast the 9th with the 10th. This is on account of the intention which the Prophet (s.a.w) himself expressed for fasting on the 9th. About this, Abdullah Bin Abbas (R.A) said: “When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) fasted on Ashoora and commanded the Muslims to fast, they said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is the day that is venerated by the Jews and the Christians’. Upon this, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: ‘If I happen to see the next year Insha Allah, we will fast on the ninth too! The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) passed away before the next year came”. (Muslim, Hadith No.2666, Pg.463, Darussalam).
It is also evident and well known that the blessed grandson Husain (R.A) was martyred on the 10th of Muharram in the battle of Karbalah. However, this incident is not
connected, and it is not a reason for the blessedness of the 10th of Muharram or the month itself.
Regarding other blessed actions done on this day of Ashoora, a hadith mentions the following: The Prophet (s.a.w) is reported to have said: “whoever provides generously for his family on the day of Ashoora, Allah will provide generously to him for the whole year” (This hadith has been narrated from Sahabahs like Abdullah bin Masood (R.A), Abu Saeed Al Khudri (R.A) Jabir (R.A) and Abu Hurairah (R.A). (Baihaqi in ‘Al shu’ab’, Hadith No.3512, Pg.331, Vol.5, Maktaba Rushd).
Some scholars of Hadith have written about this Hadith saying that the chain of narration is weak, however, other great Scholars like Imam Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted these traditions as reliable. In this regard, Imam Baihaqi has written: “This chain (of narration) even though they may be weak (individually), when combined together, it brings about strength and reliability”.
The above virtues are from those which are evident through authentic sources. Besides these, other incidents have been mentioned, but, according to the Scholars, they cannot be established through authentic narrations.
There are certain innovations which are practiced by some people on the 10th of Muharram. These are baseless and not evident in Islamic teachings. Some of these are:
- Preparing a special sweet dish (Halwa) on this day/night.
- Having special prayers on this day to commemorate the death of Imam Husain (R.A). This is a practice of the Shiites and must be avoided.
- Some people take the month as an unlucky month for marriage etc. since Husain (R.A) was martyred in this month. This is totally wrong. In fact, Muharram is one of the most blessed months in the Islamic calendar.
- Mourning and lamentation in memory of the martyrdom of Husain (R.A). This is also against the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w).
- The customary ‘Hosay’ or ‘Juloos’ or ‘Procession’ in Muharram. This is totally Haram (Unlawful) in Islam and is sinful.
Muslims must pay attention to the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w) regarding the virtues of the month of Muharram and Ashoora, and must avoid all forms of innovations and Shiite practices that have become widespread in the community.
Mufti Waseem Khan [May Allah protect him]
Principal, Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago
Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar brings with it, the entrance of the Islamic New Year. The month itself is a very blessed and sacred month which brings a tremendous amount of rewards to those who engage themselves in acts of worship.
With the entrance of the month of Muharram, Muslims are reminded of the historical journey of the blessed Prophet (S.A.S) from Makka to Madina which is known as the ‘Hijrah’ or ‘Migration’. For this reason, we see that many Muslims reflect on the lessons of the trials and sufferings of the early Muslims which lead to the Migration (Hijrah).
Along with this, Muslims also observe the 10th Muharram by fasting (on this day) which is known as the day of ‘Ashoora’.
Both these are from among the acts which Muslims are aware of, and while reflecting on the migration (Hijrah) of the Prophet (S.A.S) they also observe the fast of Ashoora.
While this was established even among the Sahabahs and continued in the centuries that followed, deviated sects, opposed to the pure teachings of Islam, innovated and fabricated new customs which they associated with the observance of the month of Muharram.
From among these misguided customs, is the celebration of ‘a hosay festival.’
The word ‘Hosay’ is an indo Caribbean name which is not used by Shias in other parts of the world. In fact, it is known by different names in countries such as Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and other places.
The manner in which ‘Hosay’ is celebrated is also totally different from the way in which the Shias celebrate the occasion in other parts of the world, especially in the hometown itself which is known to be Iraq.
At this juncture, it is important to note that the entire celebration of ‘Hosay’ or the ‘Muharram procession’ is linked to the teachings of Shiasm, which, according to all scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah from the period of the pious predecessors until today, is opposed to the blessed teachings of Islam.
As for those who are acquainted with ‘Hosay’, they would see that everything associated with this festival contradicts the teachings, as well as, the spirit of Islam. The beating of drums, the stick fight, the usage of intoxicants, the dancing and prancing on the streets, and all the other acts of ‘Hosay’ have been totally condemned in Islamic teachings. Such loose and wild behaviour finds no place in Islam, and no intelligent person would describe it as a ‘religious festival’.
In fact, in the nineteenth century, Trinidad newspapers, as well as government reports called Hosay the ‘the Coolie Carnival’ (Trinidad sentinel 6th August 1857).
Obviously, it is nothing but the uncivilized, irreligious and unruly behaviour displayed at the Hosay festival that caused it to be given the name ‘the Coolie Carnival’. In short, its observance in Trinidad was more of a parade on the road, inventing new ways and means of attracting crowds and paraders. This can be clearly seen from the following article which described early hosay parades in Trinidad: It states, ‘after a ban on all types of parades was imposed by the British colonialist government in 1884 following riots on sugar estates, approximately 30,000 people defianly took to the streets for hosay in Mon Repos, San Fernando on Thursday October 30th 1884’ (Hosay Trinidad).
Similarly, it is written, ‘In Trinidad, Indian Muslims and Hindus, and Africans co-workers, joined in the street parade (hosay) that was open to white spectators also. (Hosay Trinidad).
At another place, while defining Hosay, the following is written, ‘Hosay or Tadjah is a West Indian street festival, where multi – colored model mausoleums are paraded, then ritually offered up to the sea, or any body of water.’ (Hosay Trinidad).
Again, it is mentioned, ‘Hosay has become accepted as a national culture’ (Hosay Trinidad).
If we look at the above quotations which highlighted the start of Hosay in Trinidad, it becomes clear that ‘Hosay’ was not regarded as a religious festival nor an Islamic festival. In fact, based on its history, we see that ‘people defiantly took to the streets for Hosay’, which goes to show that this parade was a means of getting back at the colonial power. The article also referred to it as a ‘West Indian street festival’ and a ‘national culture’.
One can therefore clearly see that there is absolutely no religious attachment to this festival which, in reality, is a ‘carnival’ under the guise of ‘religion’.
As for that which is celebrated by Shias in other parts of the world and is known as the ‘Muharram procession’, this is also contrary to the teachings of Islam, and its practices have also been condemned.
From that which is known to be present practices of those who do the ‘Muharram mourning’ or ‘Muharram procession’, we see that there is the beating of the chest, beating oneself with chains, hitting oneself with swords and knives. Mourners and paraders in many places shed blood by beating themselves with these objects and inflicting wounds and bruises (to themselves).
At the onset, a Muslim would immediately condemn these practices, since there is absolutely no teaching in Islam which allows any of these actions.
To justify these horrible shams by saying that it is to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husain (R.A), is also a grave misunderstanding, a deception and a clear deviation from the straight path.
Beating the drums, chanting the name of ‘Ya Ali’ (O Ali), cutting oneself with swords, knives and razors, hitting the chest and beating oneself with chains, were never done by any of the children or grandchildren of Imam Husain (R.A) who witnessed his death, and had more right of lamenting his death than any other Muslim.
In fact, mourning the death of someone in the manner the Shias do, have no source and origin in Islam and are all innovations. During the life of the blessed Messenger of Allah (S.A.S), many close companions, family members and relatives died, but on no occasion did the Prophet (S.A.S) mourned and lamented as the Shias do in the ‘Muharram procession’. There were others who were martyred and killed in a ruthless manner, however, even in these cases, the Prophet (S.A.S) expressed his grief in a subtle manner, performed the janaza and supplicated for them.
Those familiar with the Seerah (Life of the Prophet S.A.S) can recall the bloody killing of the Prophet’s uncle, Hamza, in the battle of Uhud.
The Prophet (S.A), as well as the Muslims, were severely affected and grieved, however, they did not raise their voices, or beat their chests. The family of Hamza (R.A) was also overcome with pain and sorrow, and when their crying was heard, the Messenger of Allah ordered them to lower their voices.
Another incident is that which took place in the Battle of Mauta where three of the great and beloved companions namely, Zaid bin Haritha, Jafar bin Abi Talib and Abdullah bin Rawaha were killed. This was also a sad and sorrowful moment for the Prophet (S.A) and the Muslims, yet, in all these cases, none of the Muslims behaved in an unislamic manner, by crying aloud, hitting themselves or shouting names.
The Prophet (S.A) also gave clear directives and warned about one’s behaviour while expressing grief and sorrow. In one of his beautiful traditions, he said, ‘Whosoever wails upon a deceased person, then the deceased person is punished to the extent of the wailing’. (Bukhari, Hadith No.1291, Pg.346, Vol.1, Published by Altaf and Sons). In another tradition, the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘He is not of us (not a Muslim) who slaps his cheeks, burst his clothes and follows the path of the ignorant ones (while expressing grief and sorrow over the death of someone).’ (Bukhari, Hadith No.1297, Pg.348, Vol.1, Published by Altaf and Sons)
These are only a few traditions which speak against un-Islamic behaviour while expressing grief over the death of someone. There are many more which highlight the same message showing that it is totally Haraam and unlawful for a person to raise his voice with loud cries and screams, to beat oneself, to pull the hair, to tear the clothing and to cry loudly while mourning the death of someone.
Along with this, it is also totally haraam (unlawful) in Islam to commemorate the death of any Muslim by beating drums, dancing, building tadjahs etc. Moreso, it will be even worse to commemorate the death of the grandson of the Prophet (S.A) in this unholy, unruly, sinful and ungodly manner. Claiming to remember his martyrdom in this devilish manner, is no more than an insult to Imam Husain (R.A) and what he stood for.
Hosay therefore, is a concoction and fabrication of some deviated elements of our community, who lack guidance and knowledge in religious matters. It is a parade which is meant to only appease the appetite for a ‘Carnival type behaviour’ and lacks any moral lesson.
Muslims must not view this ‘show’ as an Islamic celebration, and must not support or participate in this haraam festival, in any form or fashion. This is nothing but the devil’s handiwork, from which one must protect oneself.
Mufti Waseem Khan (May Allah Ta’aala protect him)
Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago
I contacted you earlier this year regarding my sister who is suicidal . She refuses to go for help, I believe her understanding about Islam is Haram, like shes interpreting everything the wrong way. Kindly shed some light on the following questions please. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Again these questions are from her, that I gathered while speaking to her and I don’t have the amount of knowledge to answer, remember she is in a dark place so her way of thinking is very different.
So what she said was that we were created here on this earth to suffer, Allah swt does not want us to be happy and we must suffer. Is this what Allah swt intended?
Also, she said if she do commit suicide, this is what Allah swt wants? Are we supposed to accept whatever is thrown our way and do nothing, is this what Allah swt wants?
Jazak Allah Khair
Wa Alaikum Assalaam,
We are not here on earth to suffer. Allah does not want us to suffer and He did not intend this. Instead, He wants us to enjoy His favours on earth and be grateful to him. The Holy Quran itself sates, ‘Allah wants ease and comfort for you and He does not want hardship for you.’ Allah has created human beings to govern the earth, and He has granted many favours and bounties to them so that they may enjoy their lives while on the earth.
Allah is the giver of live and He alone has the authority to take the life of a person when He chooses. Allah has made it Haram (unlawful) for a person to commit suicide. If a person does this he/she will be severely punished in the fire of Hell.
After giving us life, Allah has shown us the right path and has ordered us to do good things while being obedient to Him, and worship Him.
In this world, many things are connected to ‘cause and effect’, although Allah is the sole Governor of all matters. He has asked us to do good deeds and has promised to reward us for that. At the same time, He has prohibited us from wrong things and sinful deeds, and has stipulated consequences for these. Thus, if a person does good, he will receive good, and if he does bad, he will suffer the consequences. Therefore, many times a man becomes the cause for his own sufferings. Besides this, Allah also sends trials to people to test their Imaan (faith). When these come to people, the true believers remain firm with faith and show patience and forbearance in such states. Those who are not true believers give-up. They become hopeless, and instead of becoming patient and forbearing, they begin to complain and entertain bad thoughts about Allah, and eventually lose faith in Allah.
Whatever comes our way, we should not leave it like that and do nothing. Instead, we should try our best to do something about it. First of all, we must reflect to see if we were the cause for a calamity to befall us, and make dua to Allah to remove such troubles. While doing that, we must put our trust and faith in Allah, believing firmly in our hearts that He is the Governor and controller of all affairs and only He can remove troubles, sufferings and hardships. Along with this, we should continue to beseech Allah to strengthen us in faith (Iman) and good actions, and to make us steadfast as believers.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.