Category Archives: Sabeelur Rashaad Ariticles

I’tikaaf, Lailatul Qadr & Eid Ul Fitr

 I’TIKAAF

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

 

LAILATUL QADR

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:

  1. The night will be very quiet and serene.
  2. The moon will be bright and radiant.
  3. The temperature of the night will be neither too hot nor too cold.
  4. No shooting stars will be flung at the Shayateen until the break of dawn.
  5. 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.

Sadaqah, Zakaah & Spending In The Way of Allah

SADAQATUL FITR

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.”

SADAQAH JAARIYAH

CONTINUOUS REWARDS

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.

Halaal and Haraam In Food and Drinks

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

Not Permissible?

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.

Intoxicants

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.