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Sawtul Haq

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  1. By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh Lecturer of Sahih-ul-Bukhari at the Islamic Da`wah Academy Leicester UK A key feature of the era we live in is the rapid development of technology and the continuous impact this has on our lives, both in terms of the way we live and how we spend our time. As Muslims we understand that the purpose of our life is to acquire the pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, by spending each moment of our life in accordance with His commands. As Allāh ta‘ālā is the All Knowing, He was completely aware of all material and technological developments that His servants would witness when He revealed the Glorious Qur’ān and showed us its practical application through the blessed life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Therefore, Alhamdulillāh, Allāh ta‘ālā has equipped the ‘Ulamā until the last day with the tools to guide the Ummah on how it should use any new developments, whilst not forgetting its ultimate objective. A significant phenomenon of our time is the emergence and widespread use of the internet and smartphones which has led to new methods of communication, such as social media and email. Whilst social media and email has led to a revival of reading and writing, often the content and quality is highly questionable. Therefore, one must be mindful not to fall prey to the harmful aspects of these mediums, for example using them to engage in, or even publicise, acts of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. My objective is to outline some guidance for those who use the internet and smartphones, specifically in relation to messaging, email and using social media applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook. By sharing with readers some essential Islāmic teachings in this regard, inshā’allāh, we will be able to use technology productively, safeguarding ourselves from harmful activities. Forwarding Messages Requires Precaution A common trend upon receiving a message is the thoughtless and endemic usage of the ‘forward’ button. Messages are instantly forwarded to others, without proper understanding of its content nor consideration for the recipients. Many messages received are vague in nature; the truth behind them being seldom known. To spread a message without substantiating its content is very detrimental and could lead to sin, as to forward a lie is to spread a lie and be in support of it. Messages should never be shared until the content is verified and authenticated. False news or incorrect information regarding any matter can cause others unnecessary worry and concern, and will be tantamount to spreading a lie. Our Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said: More Precaution for ‘Islāmic’ Messages To narrate whatever one hears is enough for an individual to be considered a liar. (Muslim) Messages of an Islāmic nature demand even more precaution. Verses of the Glorious Qur’ān and ahādīth of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam with their translations are often carelessly miswritten or many times are sheer falsehood; yet are haphazardly forwarded and shared on social media. Messages promising fabricated virtues for baseless actions are shared with a caption to forward to as many as possible. At times emotional blackmail and false threats are also included, ‘if you do not forward this message to at least x amount of people then such and such shall happen to you’, naturally all such messages are a complete sham. Our Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam warned us: In another hadīth he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam mentions: Whosoever speaks about the Qur’ān without knowledge should take his place in the Fire. (At-Tirmidhī) One should be precautious when forwarding messages with seemingly Islāmic teachings without being completely sure of their authenticity or else such grave warnings await us. Once authenticated, messages maybe thoughtfully shared. A lie against me is not similar to a lie against any (normal) individual; whosoever lies regarding me should take his place in the Fire. (Al-Bukhārī) Permission to Share? At times, messages are of a personal nature; information or news regarding a certain individual or institution or even a country. One should contemplate before forwarding whether the sender or those whom the information is regarding would consent for the details to be shared with others? Has specific permission been granted to forward and spread the message? If not, then it would be totally unethical and in many cases a sin to do so. A Beneficial Message? If we stand back and objectively reflect, we will conclude that a large percentage of emails and messages received on social media applications are of a futile nature. Our Dīn encourages engagement in prosperous activities and to avoid spending invaluable time and energy on any endeavours which are of no avail or in some instances harmful. Our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said: The Islāmic teaching regarding futility is eloquently set out in the hadīth above. One must contemplate before writing or forwarding any message, “Is it of any benefit in this world or the hereafter?” If the conclusion is negative, then this is a futile action which every Muslim should abstain from. Furthermore, sending or forwarding messages of such a nature may become the cause of others engaging in futility as well. Futility is in essence a waste of time and energy. Whilst one may ask what is the harm if a futile action is mubāh (permitted); it is akin to receiving a gift of £100 and thereafter throwing it down the gutter. Any reasonable person would be shocked and amazed at such an action, as whilst no apparent harm was suffered, the benefit that should have been achieved wasn’t and so in reality there has been a loss. Futility also brings one to the boundary of sin and therefore it is best to avoid, as it can easily lead to disobedience directly or indirectly through other actions which may follow. May Allāh ta‘ālā save us. It is from the excellence of an individual’s Islām that he leaves Lā ya‘nī (those things which do not benefit him). (Abū Dāwūd) A Clear Message? If all the above guidelines are dutifully met, then one should finally consider whether a message will cause any misunderstanding or misconception amongst those who receive it? After all it is an Islāmic principle and also a general etiquette of life, to always consider whether sharing information has the potential to cause a misunderstanding. Ibn Mas‘ūd radhiyallāhu ‘anhu mentions: If one is unsure or even has the slightest doubt whether a certain message could cause a misunderstanding, then it should not be shared. We should be extremely careful and considerate in this regard, as this will bring peace and comfort to all. Whenever you speak to people regarding something which is beyond their intellect, it will surely be a means of fitnah (tribulation) for some of them. (Muslim) Recording or Taking Photos without Permission The use of technology to record private conversations of people without their permission is against the teachings of Islām. A person is generally informal when in private with one’s close associates and generally the topics discussed are within a specific context and with the relevant background known to those present. If excerpts from such conversations are shared, it can become the means of causing immense misunderstanding and result in serious consequences. One should respect the privacy of others when in private environments and only record their voices when clear permission is granted. The same principle applies to taking photography or video filming at a private or an informal gathering. Photography & Video Filming: Respecting the View of Others It is widely known that there is a difference of opinion amongst the ‘Ulamā regarding video filming and photography; some adopt the view of permissibility whilst others take a precautious stance. To make a video of or to take a picture of someone who holds the latter view is extremely unfair and discourteous. This is tantamount to open disrespect for the personal view of that individual and gravely inconsiderate. I would appeal to my readers to pay due attention to the etiquettes mentioned above in relation to certain aspects of using technology and bring them into practice. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the understanding of our beautiful religion and its all-encompassing teachings of pure and considerate morals and ethics. Āmīn.
  2. By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh ​Lecturer of Sahih-ul-Bukhari at the Islamic Da`wah Academy, Leicester UK Hajj is one of the fundamental pillars of Islām. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam has said: Islām is founded on five (pillars): bearing witness that there is no deity except Allāh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh, establishing salāh, paying zakāh, performing hajj and fasting in the month of Ramadhān. (Al-Bukhārī) Hajj is no insignificant ritual. Rather, it is a great worship which encompasses both physical struggle and sacrifice of wealth. It is an 'ibādah of expressing love for the Creator and showing a personification of the submission of Ibrāhīm 'alayhis salām. It is for this reason severe warnings have been stated for that person who neglects this great act of worship without any valid reason. The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said: He who possesses enough provisions which will suffice for him to reach the House of Allāh, and he does not perform hajj, then there is no care whether he dies as a Jew or a Christian, and that is because Allāh ta'ālā has mentioned in His Book: 'As a right of Allāh, it is obligatory on the people to perform hajj of the House – on everyone who has the ability to manage his way to it. And if one disbelieves, then Allāh is independent of all the worlds.' (At-Tirmidhī) Imām Al-Qurtubī rahimahullāh and Imām Ibn Kathīr rahimahullāh have narrated in their works of tafsīr that 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhu would say: I have resolved to send a few men to the villages and look for those people who possess the means to perform hajj but do not do so, and impose jizyah upon them, because Allāh says, '…And if one disbelieves, then Allāh is independent of all the worlds.' After scrutinising the verse quoted above and all the warnings narrated in the ahādīth regarding those upon whom hajj is fardh but fail to perform it, the majority of 'Ulamā have concluded that such people are near to disbelief. Such is the gravity of the non-performance of hajj. However, leaving aside the warnings, hajj and everything related to it is so blessed and virtuous that every Mu'min should harbour a deep-felt yearning and desire to perform it year after year. Let us take a look at some of the virtues associated to this great worship. 1. Travelling: The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "Whoever sets out intending the Sacred House and mounts his camel, his camel will not raise a hoof and place it down except that Allāh will write a good deed for him, forgive a sin of his, and raise his rank due to it, until he reaches the Ka'bah…" (Al-Bayhaqī) Ibn 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhumā narrates a lengthy hadīth in which he states that he was sitting with the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam in the Masjid of Minā, when a person from the Ansār (Ansārī) and a person from [the tribe of] Thaqīf (Thaqafī) came into his presence. Upon greeting with salām, they said, "O Messenger of Allāh! We have come to ask you…" upon which the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "If you so wish I can inform you of what you have come to ask me, and if you wish I can remain silent and you can go ahead and ask." They both said, "O Messenger of Allāh! Tell us." Then the Thaqafī turned to the Ansārī and said, "Ask." So he said, "O Messenger of Allāh! Tell us." So he said, "You have come to me to ask me regarding your leaving home intending the Sacred House, and the reward that lies in it for you…" He remarked, "By the being who has sent you with the truth, this indeed is what I came to ask you regarding!" The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "When you leave your house intending the Sacred House, your camel does not raise a hoof and place it down except that Allāh will write a good deed for you and forgives a sin of yours…" (Al-Bazzār) Note: the remainder of this hadīth will be mentioned under different headings later on. 2. The Haram:Allāh ta'ālā mentions in the Qur'ān, "Whoever enters it is secure…" Some commentators have mentioned that this means he will be saved from the Fire. (Ibn Kathīr)3. Makkah Al-Mukarramah:Allāh ta'ālā has taken an oath on this blessed city twice in the Qur'ān, saying, "I swear by this city." (90:1) and, "And [i swear] by this peaceful city." (95:3) Allāh ta'ālā also mentions the du'ā of Ibrāhīm 'alayhis salām, saying, "(Recall) when Ibrāhīm said, 'My Lord, make this city peaceful…'" (14:35) 'Abdullāh ibn 'Adiyy ibn Hamrā' narrates that he witnessed Rasūlullāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam having stopped at [a place called] Al-Hazwarah, [addressing Makkah] saying, "By Allāh! You are the best of the Land of Allāh, and the most beloved Land of Allāh to Him, and if I had not been driven out of you, I would never have left you." (At-Tirmidhī) On the occasion of the liberation of Makkah, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam [addressing the people] praised Allāh ta'ālā and then said, "Verily, Allāh has sanctified Makkah; the people have not sanctified it. No human who believes in Allāh and in the Last Day is permitted to shed blood in it, nor uproot a tree…" (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim) 4. Al-Masjid Al-Harām:Allāh ta'ālā says in the Qur'ān, "Surely [We will punish] those who disbelieve and prevent [people] from the way of Allāh and from Al-Masjid-Al-Harām (the Sacred Masjid), which We have made for all men, where residents and visitors are all equal. And whoever intends therein to commit deviation with injustice, We will make him taste a painful punishment." (22:25) The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "One salāh in this masjid of mine (Al-Masjid An-Nabawī) is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except for Al-Masjid Al-Harām." (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim) The actual virtue of performing salāh in Al-Masjid Al-Haram is understood from another hadīth to be 100,000 times more than any other. (Ibn Mājah) 5. The Ka'bah:Allāh ta'ālā says in the Qur'ān: "Allāh has made the Ka'bah, the Sacred House, a source of stability for people…" (5:97) The sanctity of the Ka'bah is so great that it affects even those who are miles away from it, so much so that the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "When you go to relieve yourselves, then do not face the qiblah, nor turn your backs to it, rather, turn to the left or the right." (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim) The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "Allāh sends down 120 mercies each day and night on this House [of Allāh], 60 for those doing tawāf around it, 40 for those performing salāh, and 20 for those looking at it." (At-Tabarānī) The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "The doors of the heavens are opened, and du'ā is accepted in four places… [one of which is] when seeing the Ka'bah." (Al-Bayhaqī) Note: this is not exclusive to the first sight of the Ka'bah. 6. Al-Hajar Al-Aswad:The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said regarding the Black Stone, "By Allāh! Allāh will raise it on the Day of Qiyāmah with it having two eyes with which it will see, and a tongue with which it will speak; it will testify for those who kissed it properly [i.e. with Īmān and hope of reward]." (At-Tirmidhī) Ibn Hishām rahimahullāh once asked 'Atā ibn Abī Rabāh regarding Ar-Rukn Al-Yamānī, whilst he was performing tawāf. 'Atā rahimahullāh replied, "Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu 'anhu narrated to me that the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, 'Seventy angels have been appointed to it. Whoever says, "O Allāh! I ask of You forgiveness and safety in the world and the Hereafter, Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of Fire" they say 'Āmīn' (O Allāh accept [this prayer]).'" When he [ibn Hishām rahimahullāh] reached Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, he said, "O Abū Muhammad ('Atā ibn Abī Rabāh rahimahullāh), what have you come to know regarding this corner of Aswad?" 'Atā replied, "Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu 'anhu narrated to me that he heard the Messenger of Allāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam saying, "Whoever engages with it, engages with the hand of mercy." (Ibn Mājah) 7. Tawāf:Further on, in the previous hadīth narrated by Imām Ibn Mājah rahimahullāh, Ibn Hishām rahimahullāh then said, "O Abū Muhammad! What about tawāf?" 'Atā rahimahullāh replied, "Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu 'anhu narrated to me that he heard the Messenger of Allāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam saying, 'Whoever circumambulates the Ka'bah seven times, and does not talk, except saying, 'Subhānallāh, Alhamdulillāh, Allāhu Akbar, and Lā hawla walā quwwata illā billāh', ten of his sins are forgiven, ten rewards are written for him, and his rank is raised ten times, and whoever performs tāwāf and talks, whilst saying the same, paddles in the Mercy [of Allāh] like a person who paddles in water.'" (Ibn Mājah) The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "Whoever circumambulates this House seven complete times, it is as if he has freed a slave." He also says, "And I also heard him sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam say, 'He (the circumambulator) does not take a step except that Allāh forgives a sin of his and writes a good deed for him.'" (At-Tirmidhī) 8. The Two Rak'āt After Tawāf:In the lengthy narration of Ibn 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhumā mentioned under the virtues of travelling above, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said further, "…And [you also wanted to ask] regarding the reward of the two raka'āt after tawāf…their reward is like freeing a slave from the children of Ismā'īl 'alayhis salām…" (Al-Bazzār)9. Zamzam:The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam has said, "The water of Zamzam is for whatever intention it has been consumed with." (Ibn Mājah)10. Multazam:'Abdah ibn Abī Lubābah Ad-Dimashqī rahimahullāh said, "It would be said that between the corner [of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and the Door [of the Ka'bah] is the multazam (a place to cling on to); nobody holds onto it and asks Allāh for anything except that he is given it." (Akhbār Makkah)11. Sa'ī:Allāh ta'ālā mentions in the Qur'ān, "Indeed Safā and Marwah are among the signs of Allāh…" (2:158). This means that they are places upon which Allāh ta'ālā is to be worshipped. (Al-Qurtubī)The Sa'ī takes place between these two mountains. In the lengthy narration of Ibn 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhumā mentioned above, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam also said, "…And [you also wanted to ask] regarding the reward of the sa'ī between As-Safā and Al-Marwah… it is like freeing seventy slaves…" (Al-Bazzār)12. 'Arafah:Rasūlullāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "There is no day in which Allāh frees more of His servants from the Fire than the Day of 'Arafah, and verily Allāh draws near and boasts of His servants to the angels, and says, 'What do these [servants of mine] want?'" (Muslim) Rasūlullāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam also said, "Shaytān is not seen on a day – apart from the day of Badr - in which he looks smaller, more defeated, more despised and more infuriated than on the Day of 'Arafah, and that is due to the descending of blessings and the pardoning of Allāh of sins on that day." (Al-Bayhaqī) In another hadīth, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "On the Day of 'Arafah Allāh boasts of His servants to the Angels, saying, 'Look at My servants, they have come to Me dishevelled and dust-covered, traveling through every distant hilly pathway, I have made you witnesses that I have forgiven them.'" In another narration, the following has been added, "…they are asking Me of My Mercy having not seen Me, and seeking My refuge from My punishment, having not seen Me." (Al-Bayhaqī and Ibn Khuzaymah) In the lengthy narration of Ibn 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhumā mentioned above, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam also further states, "…And [you also wanted to ask] regarding the reward for the wuqūf during the late afternoon of 'Arafah…Indeed Allāh draws near to the heaven of the earth and boasts to the Angels about you, saying, 'My servants have come to Me dishevelled from every distant hilly pathway hoping for My Jannah; even if your sins amounted grains of sand, or the raindrops, or the foam of the ocean, I have forgiven them. O My servants! Return, forgiven for you [are your sins] and for those you have interceded for…'" (Al-Bazzār) 13. Minā'Abdullāh ibn Qurt radhiyallāhu 'anhu narrates that the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "The greatest days according to Allāh is the Yawm-An-Nahr (10th of Dhul-Hijjah), and then Yawm-Al-Qarr (the 11th)..." (Abū Dāwūd)Note: both these days are to be spent in Minā. 14. Ramī (Pelting):Again, in the lengthy narration of Ibn 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhumā mentioned above, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam further on states, "…And [you also wanted to ask] regarding the reward of pelting the Jamarāt…For you in return for every stone thrown will be expiation from a major destructive sin…" (Al-bazzār)15. Nahr (Animal Sacrifice):Also in the lengthy narration of Ibn 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhumā mentioned above, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam further on states, "…And [you also wanted to ask] regarding the reward of your sacrifice (on the 10th of Dhu-al-Hijjah)…for you the reward has been treasured by your Lord…" (Al-Bazzār)16. Halaq (Shaving the head):Yet again, in the lengthy narration of Ibn 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhumā mentioned above, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam further on states, "…And [you also wanted to ask] regarding the reward of shaving your head…as for your shaving your head, for you is a good deed in return for every strand of hair you shave, and a sin forgiven…" (Al-Bazzār)17. Tawāf-uz-Ziyārah:Finally, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam states in the lengthy narration of Ibn 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhumā mentioned above, "…And [you also wanted to ask regarding the reward of] the Tawāf-Al-Ifāḍah (Tawāf-Az-Ziyārah)…As for your Tawāf after all that [the rituals mentioned in the hadīth], you will be circumambulating without any sin in your record; an angel will come and place his hands between your shoulders and say, 'Do [good deeds] in the future as your past actions have been forgiven.'" (Al-Bazzār)Furthermore, the virtues of hajj as a whole should also encourage a person to undertake this journey over and over again. The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam has mentioned many virtues of hajj, encouraging the believers to fulfil this obligation, some of which are as follows: There is no reward for an accepted hajj except Jannah. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim) Whoever performs hajj for the sake of pleasing Allāh, and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it free from sin as the day on which his mother gave birth to him. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim) The performers of hajj and 'umrah are deputations of Allāh; if they call Him, He answers them; and if they seek His forgiveness, He forgives them. (Ibn Mājah) The performer of hajj becomes so pure that even that person is forgiven for whom he seeks forgiveness. The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said: When you meet a hajī [on his way home], then greet him, shake hands with him and ask him to beg forgiveness of Allāh on your behalf before he enters his home, for his prayer for forgiveness is accepted since he is forgiven by Allāh. (Ahmad) Notwithstanding all the virtues mentioned above, the pilgrim on this blessed journey visits Makkah Al-Mukarramah. This is the birthplace of the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam and the city which witnessed almost all the Prophets of Allāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam performing hajj; and in which the revelation of the Qur'ān started and continued for thirteen years. Similarly, (although it is not a requirement of hajj) most hājīs visit Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah, which was the chosen destination for the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam after Makkah; it has been a place upon where wahy was revealed; Islām lived and developed there; countless great Muslim personalities have resided there, great Sahābah radhiyallāhu 'anhum being at the top of the list; the Masjid of the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam is located there, and the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam rests there. There are numerous virtues in regard to this great city. The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "Whoever visits my grave, my intercession becomes incumbent for him." (Al-Bayhaqī, Ad-Dāraqutnī) The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said in another hadīth, "Verily, Allāh has named Al-Madīnah Tābah." (The place that has a pleasant fragrance or which is pure) (Muslim) In yet another hadīth, the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "Whoever from amongst you is able to pass away in Al-Madīnah, he should do so, for I will testify in favour of the one who dies in it." (Ibn Mājah) What Mu'min would give up the opportunity to visit such places, more so when he is summoned by Allāh ta'ālā? It is for this reason the pious people performed hajj again and again. According to a narration of Imām Al-Bayhaqī, every Nabī, with the exception of Hūd and Sālih 'alayhimas salām performed hajj. Imām Abū Ash-Shaykh writes in his book 'Al-'Azmah' that Ādam 'alayhis salām visited the Ka'bah a thousand times on foot, performing 'umrah 700 times and hajj 300 times. Hajj is fardh upon every sane, adult and healthy Muslim, on the condition that he has sufficient wealth to enable him to travel to and from the Ka'bah. This will be when the wealth used to take him is in excess of his basic needs. He also needs to have sufficient wealth to leave behind for the needs of those who are dependent on him. Furthermore, the journey needs to be a safe one and a woman needs to be travelling with a mahram. Thus, whoever finds that hajj has become fardh upon them, should hasten in making preparations to fulfil this obligation. They should take it as a summoning call from Allāh ta'ālā, and count themselves fortunate, as many Muslims spend their lifetimes without ever having the means to perform hajj, or even visit the Haramayn at all. Once having performed hajj, a person should further try to visit these blessed places again and again with the hope that one day he will breathe his/her last and be buried in the blessed soil of the two harams, for Rasūlullāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said, "One who dies in either of the two harams, will be resurrected on the Day of Qiyāmah amongst the Āminīn (those granted safety)." (Al-Bayhaqī) May Allāh grant us all the desire and accept us to visit His House time and time again, year after year, and may He also take our souls in the blessed cities of Makkah and Al-Madīnah. Āmīn.
  3. Advice for Intending Holiday Makers By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh (Lecturer of Sahih-ul-Bukhari at the Islamic Da`wah Academy, Leicester UK) It is a common trend in this day and age for people to take a break for recreation, including going on holiday. Undertaking leisure activities, such as travel, are regarded as promoting general wellbeing. This concept is not inconsistent with our Dīn, as from amongst the commands of Allāh ta‘ālā is the safeguarding of one’s health, both physically and mentally. Alhamdulillāh, as with all areas of life, we find guidance in our Dīn for this aspect too, so we can make our actions a means of acquiring the pleasure of Allah ta‘ālā. Be a Healthy Believer Health and strength are from the blessings of Allāh ta‘ālā that help us to excel in Dīn and in this worldly life. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated: A strong believer is better than a weak believer. (Muslim) We can understand from this Hadīth that a believer who looks after his health and wellbeing, will be able to perform those good actions, which a believer weaker in health will not. Health is of such importance that we find in another Hadīth Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam lamenting a sahābī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu who was neglecting his health: Verily your body has a right upon you (Al-Bukhārī) Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has encouraged us to give our bodies rest and relaxation, so that a person remains motivated and does not fall prey to boredom or exhaustion. This will enable one to maintain enthusiasm and energy to carry out the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and perform good deeds. It is related by Anas ibn Mālik radhiyallāhu ‘anhu that once Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam entered the masjid and found a rope hanging between two pillars. He sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked, “What is this?” The Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum replied, “It is for Zaynab. When she feels tired (whilst praying), she holds onto it.” Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “No, untie it (i.e. this is incorrect). Pray as long as you feel energetic; when you become tired, you should sit down.” (Al-Bukhārī) Stay Focused Like the need for a good balanced diet, sleep and exercise, a break from one’s daily routine, if spent in line with the principles of Sharī‘ah, can help to enhance a person’s health both physically and mentally. However, it is important to remember that in fulfilling this necessity, we do not take a break from our religious obligations, nor cross the boundaries laid down by the Sharī‘ah. Precautions must be undertaken to ensure that whilst engaging in any leisure activity, a person does not become heedless of the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā and compromise his religious and spiritual obligations, thereby causing harm to his eternal life of the hereafter. The following advices will inshā’allāh help us achieve a balance and make our ‘time out’ fruitful in this world and the hereafter. 1. Intention and Objective The intention for taking a break must be correct; it should not be to merely follow the prevalent culture of the day. Our every action should be to fulfil the objective of our existence and creation, the worship of Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā states: I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship me. (56:51) In light of this, if one’s objective for taking a break is to rest and refresh the body and mind, in order to return home and thereafter exert more effort to perform good deeds and fulfil the rights of the Creator and the creation, then this will be a rewarding action. Similarly, the aim to spend quality time with the family is also a worthy intention. 2. Ensure Suitability We must ensure that the trip we are undertaking is in compliance with Sharī‘ah. Many are those who, without having undertaken research, book a holiday package. Only after arriving at their destination do they realise that they have arrived at an unsuitable place; an environment of irreligiousness, obscenity and nudity. On returning home, they are regretful and concede that the environment was such that they were unable to refrain from sin. If one intends to travel abroad for a holiday, then it is not necessary to visit those places where everyone else is going. To avoid finding oneself in an unsuitable situation, thorough research should be undertaken on the proposed destination and to only proceed to such places wherein the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā is not taking place. 3. Shaytān’s Ploy As stated earlier, during any leisure activity or holiday we should not overlook our obligations. Shaytān places into the mind this thought, ‘We have come here for rest and relaxation, there must be total freedom from every type of restriction’. Those on holiday therefore absolve themselves from tilāwah of the Glorious Qur’ān, dhikr, ma‘mūlāt etc. Only salāh remains and that too is of the lowest standard. In this respect, we should ask ourselves the following questions: Do I reduce the hours of my sleep while on holiday? Do I reduce the amount of food that I consume? When we do not reduce our sleep nor food intake, there is no excuse for reducing or altering one’s ‘ibādah. It is therefore of paramount importance to prepare a timetable, so that one will remain punctual in all of one’s a‘māl. It should also be noted that, just as supplications made during travel are more accepted, similarly there is greater barakah in the dhikr and ‘ibādah performed while on a journey. 4. Avoid Extravagance We should avoid unnecessary expenses and extravagance. Allāh ta‘ālā states: Surely, squanderers are brothers of satans, and the Satan is very ungrateful to his Lord. (27:17) As it has become common to take a break by travelling abroad, all too often people go on holiday packages that they cannot afford by taking out loans. In their desire for a luxury holiday, they become embroiled in unnecessary extravagance. It is incorrect to believe that rest and relaxation can only be achieved by travelling abroad for a holiday. Even if one cannot afford a holiday due to financial difficulty or is unable to identify a suitable destination, then what is the harm or loss? People in the past did not go on such holidays, yet arguably had greater peace and happiness in their lives in comparison to ours. Beneficial Guidelines In order to safeguard one’s time and a‘māl, in particular during a holiday journey, some further beneficial guidelines should also be borne in mind: 1. Always remain engaged in the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā. Keep this thought in mind that my Allāh ta‘ālā is watching me with love. 2. Maintain modesty and be mindful about unlawful gazes, dressing appropriately in accordance with Sharī‘ah and injunctions relating to contact with non-mahrams. 3. Take out some time for muhāsabah (taking account of one’s past actions) daily. In particular, ponder over how much of life has passed and how much more remains. 4. Make firm resolutions for the future by thinking about what one needs to and what one intends to do from now to make amends for the past. 5. Refrain from the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā at all times. Stay away from places of sin and indecency and avoid unnecessary extravagance in spending. 6. Abstain from all non-Islamic practices. Spend your time in such a way that when you return, it is with both a healthy body and a healthy soul. May Allāh ta‘ālā safeguard us all and grant us the correct tawfīq. Āmīn.
  4. Delaying Hajj

    By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh Hajj is one of the fundamental pillars of Islām, and obligatory for every Muslim male or female who meets its requirements and whom Allāh ta‘ālā grants the capability to carry it out. If there are no Shar‘ī excuses to prevent you from fulfilling the obligation of hajj, you should not delay. Shaytān’s Ploy Every year, however, Shaytān whispers the following thought in the minds of those who are under an obligation to go for hajj: “I have some important reasons preventing me from going this year, but I will definitely go next year, no matter what happens, and I will absolve myself of this obligation.” In this way Shaytān secures a year’s grace for himself. The following year, just before hajj, he will play the same trick again and secure yet another year. Shaytān leads people on in this manner right up to their graves. It is another amazing trick of Shaytān that whatever he whispers to people, he never encourages them to rule out the intention of fulfilling any of Allāh ta‘ālā’s commands. Someone who has been neglecting salāh for years will not think to himself that he intends never to perform salāh. And likewise with sins: Shaytān never makes people feel they will never give up a particular disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. Someone who indulges in drinking alcohol, for example, will never think that he is never going to give it up, but will always intend one day, possibly when Ramadān comes, to definitely give it up. This is the very condition of many Muslims regarding hajj; not for a moment do they entertain the thought of leaving this world without having fulfilled the obligation of hajj, but on the other hand, they never make a firm decision to do it either. The Affection of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for his Ummah Being so affectionate, kind and merciful, anything that places his Ummah in difficulty bears heavily on Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Allāh ta‘ālā describes this quality in the Qur’ān: Surely there has come to you, from your midst, a Messenger who feels it very hard upon himself if you face a hardship, who is very anxious for your welfare; and for the believers he is very kind, very merciful. (9:128) At every juncture, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has tried to save us from harm. He has said regarding those people upon whom hajj is fard, and who have made the intention to go: Whoever intends hajj should hurry! (Abū Dāwūd) This is because even when someone makes the intention to go for hajj, Shaytān erects obstacles and whispers all sorts of thoughts and worries into the heart. Our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam warns us not to be deterred by these tricks, but to start preparations straight away. Trust in Allāh ta‘ālā Everything is in the hands of Allāh ta‘ālā, and when a servant of his makes the firm intention to go for hajj, He removes all the difficulties and obstacles. Some people, misled by Shaytān, worry about their children or their parents, while others worry about their businesses and earnings. All this is actually a test from Allāh ta‘ālā to see whether His servant is prepared to sacrifice everything in order to fulfil the obligation he has to Allāh ta‘ālā. If you steel yourself to make these sacrifices, Allāh ta‘ālā will make your heart firm, grant you courage and take over the responsibility of settling all your affairs. Look to the example of the People of the Cave described in the Qur’ān. A handful of young men were up against an idolatrous people and an idolatrous king. There were nothing but obstacles in their path of upholding tawhīd, yet when they rose to the challenge, Allāh ta‘ālā strengthened them and protected them: We made their hearts firm when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth...” (18:14) An Invitation from Allāh ta‘ālā is a Great Honour Allāh ta‘ālā does not invite just anyone to His House; it is a great honour to be given the opportunity to visit the sacred cities of Makkah Mukarramah and Madīnah Munawwarah. If we had true love for Allāh ta‘ālā, we would long to visit His House, even if it was not obligatory upon us, and we would be prepared to undergo any hardship to get there. Those who, despite having the means, have not yet received the tawfīq to undergo the journey should be concerned about their condition: could it not be that Allāh ta‘ālā is displeased with them and so does not want them to be guests of His House? Tawbah and istighfār should be made immediately in abundance, and humility adopted, beseeching Allāh ta‘ālā to grant us the privilege of visiting the Haramayn. Perform Hajj Before it is Too Late We need to consult the ‘ulamā and muftīs concerning our own circumstances to find out if we really do have a Shar‘ī excuse to postpone going for hajj. People postpone hajj for all sorts of reasons: some do not go because they want their parents to perform hajj first; some wives, who have a mahram available to accompany them, put off hajj in order to go with their husbands; some husbands wait for their wives, etc. If a person were to die without having fulfilled the obligation of hajj, there are dire consequences in the hereafter. If someone leaves a wasiyyah requesting his next of kin to perform hajj on his behalf, it is hoped that Allāh ta‘ālā will grant forgiveness once the hajj is performed, but he is still a sinner for failing to perform hajj despite having the means during his life. And it is a sad fact that even if a wasiyyah is left, people nowadays have so much love for wealth that they are not prepared to spend even a pound for the sake of their departed parents. They do not have the time or the concern to make the journey, even if the money their parents left them is more than sufficient to cover the costs. Therefore each individual should ensure that the obligation of hajj is fulfilled at the earliest opportunity. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant a safe journey to all those who are going for hajj this year and grant them hajj mabrūr. May He guide those upon whom hajj is fard but who have not resolved to go yet, and may He grant all the necessary means to those who long to go for hajj yet are unable to do so. Āmīn. © Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 17 No. 10/11, Oct/Nov 2008)