The Pandemic of the Year 449 Hijri

Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) relates: I asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) regarding the plague. So he informed me:

“Verily it is a Punishment which Allah dispatches upon whom He wills, and (at the same time it is) a Mercy upon the Mu’mineen (true believers). There is not a man on whom the plague falls, while he tarries in his house adopting patience, seeking reward, and knowing that nothing will befall him but what Allah has written for him, except for him will be a reward the like of a Shaheed. ”

(Saheeh Hadith recorded in Musnad Ahmad)

In another authentic narration, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) declared:

“The one who remains in it (i.e. while conducting himself in the correct manner e.g. fulfilling all his obligations such as the Jumuah and other congregational prayers) is like a Shaheed, and the one who flees from it (i.e. transgresses the Shariah) is like one who flees from the march (of the battlefield)*.” (Musnad Ahmad)

* In a Hadith recorded in Saheeh Bukhari, fleeing from the battlefield is listed, alongside such sins as Shirk and murder, amongst the seven destructive sins that doom one to Hellfire

Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi (rahmatullahi alayh) provides below a vivid description of a pandemic that befell the Ummah in the year 449 Hijri. Note the conduct of the Muslims rushing to fill the Masjids, which is representative of the behaviour of the believers (Mu’mineen) in every single of the numerous pandemics to strike this Ummah, to the extent that, in some instances of extremely severe epidemics sent by Allah to decimate an entire community, not a single believer would be left remaining alive in a region.

It is in such scenarios of trial and affliction does Allah Ta’ala inspire the true believers (men along with their families) to take advantage of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) promise of Shahaadat (martyrdom) – an instant cleansing of one’s entire of life of sins and a shortcut to eternal bliss – reserved exclusively for those who do not flee from the “battlefield”. In the context of an epidemic, fleeing from the battlefield and thereby ruining one’s eternal life, refers to failing to take the opportunity to turn to Allah Ta’ala in sincere repentance, to adopt excessive worship and Dua, and to avoid with utmost care, transgressing any of the Sacred Bounds of Allah.

Never in the entire, 1400 year history of this Ummah, throughout its numerous plagues, epidemics, and pandemics, did a single Faqeeh (jurist), nor even a single Munaafiq (a Kaafir masquerading as a Muslim) scholar, ever dare to come out and declare the suspension of Jumuah or the daily congregational prayers, as the pro(re)gressive, liberal LGBT scholars of today, “coming out” of the woodwork, have done in reaction to a so-called pandemic whose fatality rate (1% – 8%) is comparable to the survival rate of some of the real pandemics of the past.

The assertion propagated by such modernist progressives to befool the masses that the Fuqaha (Islamic jurists) possessed no understanding of disease transmission or were not aware of the self-evident fact that close proximity to others is a means (sabab) by which, or a circumstance in which, Allah Ta’ala often afflicts others with the disease of an already diseased person, is a lie and act of deception.

Even a Jaahil (ignoramus) of bygone times would have been well aware of the reality that by mixing with other potentially diseased people in the Masjid, he would have been “endangering” himself and his family with Shahaadat and eternal bliss. Taking permissible or recommended precautions without transgressing the Shariah such as avoiding coming out for other than necessities such as congregational prayers, is perfectly valid and does not negate the desire for Shahaadat in the same way a warrior in a real battlefield is perfectly entitled to wear extra armour. However, an atheistic concept of precaution or preservation of life which entails the destruction of the eternal life is in reality the destruction of both lives. It is akin to the one who flees from the battlefield, thereby earning eternal doom, for the sake of precaution and preservation of a few more seconds of this ephemeral life. His family who assists him (whether standing his ground or fleeing) falls in the same category as him.

The Fuqaha only denied the concept of contagion as propounded by the Mushrikeen of pre-Islamic times, the atheist scientists of today, and now adopted by the pro(re)gressive, modernist liberals masquerading as Islamic scholars. A separate article, insha-Allah, will cover the topic of contagion in light of the elucidations of the Fuqaha, which should also serve as an exposé of the acts of deceptions, distortions and outright lies perpetrated by pro(re)gressives, masquerading as Islamic scholars, in order to dupe the blind sheep whom they herd towards eternal destruction.

Not a single “Daleel” dangled as bait in front of their herd by such fraudsters is new or had escaped the countless Fuqaha throughout the ages. The ruling of extreme weather such as a thunderstorm excusing one from attending the congregational prayers, for example, is as old as Islam. Yet, never did Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) even hint at applying such a ruling to individuals in a genuinely deadly pandemic (e.g. one with a 90% fatality rate), leave aside a total suspension for the entire congregation, nor did the Perfect guidance and message he conveyed to the Ummah ever give such an impression to the innumerable Fuqaha (true scholars) who dedicated their entire lives to the correct understanding of the Qur’an and Hadith, throughout the long corridor of 1400 years, right up till these worst of eras, which, according to numerous authentic Hadiths, will herald a greater and greater preponderance of Dhalaal (misguidance) and Mudhilleen (those who misguide, including even sincere scholars who fall prey to misguidance), as we approach ever closer to the Final Hour.

Even from entirely decimated regions in which no one was left alive to attend to the masjids, thus causing some of them to close down, not a single Fatwa exists from any Aalim that even suggests the suspension of the obligation of attending Jumuah and other congregational prayers. The fact that the pro(re)gressives today are intentionally causing obfuscation in front of the masses, deceptively citing such closure of Masjids resulting from the total absence of people left to attend to the Masjids, and insidiously conflating it with the unprecedented capital crime of prohibiting what has been Waajib (eg. attending Jumuah) by the Ijma (consensus) of the Ummah for 1400 years, testifies to the latent evil of these fraudsters masquerading as scholars.

Allah, exalted is His praise, works in mysterious and wondrous way. By means of this virus, amongst the smallest of His creations, and even at that, an extremely lame one relative to the genuinely deadly pandemics of the past, He is thoroughly exposing the Munaafiqeen hiding amongst our ranks, and the Wahan (love for this ephemeral life, and a fear of entering the eternal life) lurking in the hidden recesses of all our hearts.

Remember that the Merciful Lord is also Stern in Punishment. Far worse Torments, worldly and eternal, await those who have acquitted themselves so disgracefully during this relatively mild test. Even in the laboratories of the Kuffaar such as the virus production plant in Wuhan, from whence this relatively lame Corona virus first emerged, there exists far more deadly specimens which Allah Ta’ala can cause to leak and be unleashed, at the appointed time, upon an unrepentant and wretched nation of Muslims who have decided, en masse, to commit an enormity of unprecedented proportions by voluntarily shutting down the very places to which we are supposed to flock to in sincere repentance and earnest beseechment to Him to withhold His Greater Punishment.

We shall, for now, suffice with emphasizing the fact that the Shariah was completed and perfected more than 1400 years ago. More than adequate guidance was provided by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) through his complete and perfect Sunnah, for the Ummah to have conducted itself in the correct manner in all of the numerous plagues, pandemics and other natural disasters to have descended in the past, by which Allah Ta’ala put to test the community of those who claim to be Muslims. It is through such “battlefields”, does Allah Ta’ala quickly sift the Mu’mineen from the Munaafiqeen of an entire community.

“In Jumāda ‘l-Ākhirah [of the year 449] a letter arrived from Bukhārā from Transoxiana that an unprecedented and unheard of pandemic occurred there such that 18,000 caskets came out of this region in a single day! Those that died were counted and they were 1,650,000, up to the writing of the letter. Those that survived from the people passed through these lands and saw nothing but empty stores and locked doors. The pandemic spread to Azerbaijan and then to Ahwāz and Baṣrah and Wāsiṭ and those regions, until large pits were dug and 35 people would be dumped in them…The copy of a letter written from Samarkand to Balkh arrived at Baghdād stating that each day 5,000, 6,000 or more righteous Muslims are being buried, and the stores are shut, and the people are engaged night and day in burying their dead and bathing them and shrouding them. Every house in which death entered, it would come to them all…From the houses of the heads and elite, more than 2000 houses of the city were shut, neither old nor young, nor free nor slave, nor heir remained. All the people repented and gave in charity most of their wealth and spilled wine and smashed musical instruments and remained attached to the masjids and reciting Qur’ān, and the women in the homes were doing likewise. Every house in which was wine, its inhabitants died in one night. Whoever had an unlawful woman with him, both died together. The administrator of a masjid died that had 50,000 dirhams and none accepted it. They were kept for nine days as they were in the masjid, and then four people came and took them and died with them. Everyone who bequeathed to another, the one bequeathed to died before the testator. Each pair of Muslims between whom was distance that did not reconcile died. 700 jurists were with Faqīh ‘Abdul Jabbār ibn Aḥmad and ‘Abd al-Jabbār and all jurists died…We came upon a sick person whose death throes extended for seven days and he pointed with his finger to a room of the house which we entered and searched and found wine in a container so we turned it upside down and Allāh saved him from death…It has been said from the start of Shawwāl to the end of Dhu ‘l-Qa‘dah, the caskets that came out of the doors of Samarkand were counted, and they came to 236,000. This pandemic originated in Turkistan a land of disbelievers and then came from there to lands of Sāghūn, Kāsghar, Shāsh, Farghānah and those regions and reached Samarkand on the 27th of Ramaḍān of this year… (Mir’āt al-Zamān, 19:12-14)

https://reliablefatwas.com/2020/03/22/the-pandemic-of-the-year-449-hijri/

CLOSING AND DESTROYING THE MASAAJID

CLOSING AND DESTROYING THE MASAAJID
“WHO IS A GREATER ZAALIM?” ASKS ALLAH AZZA WA JAL!
“Who is a greater zaalim (oppressor) than the one who prevents (others) from the Thikr of His Name in the Musaajid whilst he (the zaalim) strives in its destruction?” (Al-Baqarah, Aayat 114)

For the Rubbishes and Munaafiqeen who have closed the Musaajid of Allah Ta’ala and who are preventing the community from utilizing the Musaajid for the purpose for which these Houses of Allah were dedicated, there is:

“For them disgrace in this world, and in the Aakhirat a great punishment.” (Al-Baqarah, Aayat 114)
In the more than 14 century history of Islam never was there an incident of Muslims themselves closing down and destroying the Musaajid. This is the first time in Islam’s history that “muslims” have shut down Musaajid enmasse. In some Musaajid where mock ‘salaat’ is performed, Musallis are harassed by the munaafiq rats – jaahil imaams and fussaaq trustees. Gross disrespect is shown to the aged about whom Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “He who does not honour our aged is not from us.” In other words he is among the kuffaar.

These rats and rubbishes are not Muslims. They are munaafiqeen agents of Iblees striving to destroy Islam.

Allah Ta’ala has His Own way of exposing criminals and hypocrites who masquerade as Muslims. By these miserable scoundrels closing and destroying the Musaajid, their nifaaq has been exposed. Only munaafiqeen are capable of closing Musaajid thereby preventing the community from taking the Name of Allah Ta’ala and from Ibaadat in the Musaajid.

The shops have not closed; the malls have not closed; the factories have not closed; the casinos have not closed; the brothels have not closed, and while many other places of business and immoral entertainment have not closed, the Rubbish Munaafiqeen have deemed it honourable to close the Musaajid. The Musaajid is the only institution these vile scoundrels could find for closing in order to bootlick the government.

These miserable, spineless munaafiqeen obsequiously grovelling in the gutters of dishonour have superseded even the government in the draconian measures imposed on the people. While the government limited gatherings to 100, these Aulaadush Shaitaan reduced the number to 50 deliciously licking the boots of the non-Muslim authorities. While the government has not ordered the Musaajid to close, these munaafiqeen have closed Allah’s Houses enmasse. They will yet rue the day that their mothers gave birth to them. Calamity in a variety of forms will still strike them. They will not have to wait for Qiyaamah. Allah’s La’nat is on them: “Indeed Allah curses them and those who curse, curse them.” (Qur’aan)

At least The Muslim community has now understood who the enemies of Islam are from within. They are the MJC, NNB jamiat, KZN jamiat, Daarush Shaitaan (the zubair bhayat shaitaan’s outfit), and others of such ilk.

On the occasion of Dajjaal’s appearance, while he will be encamped outside Madinah, there will be three tremors. All the munaafiqeen and zanaadaqah will flee from Madinah to escape death. They will be apprehended by Dajjaal. In this manner will Allah Ta’ala purify Madinah Munawwarah from the filth of the munaafiqeen. In similar manner has Allah Ta’ala exposed the nifaaq of the Rats and Rubbishes who have closed the Musaajid and where they have not as yet closed the Musjids, they have so severely tampered with Salaat and the Khutbah as to transform these fundamental institutions of Islam into a devilish mockery.

26 Rajab 1441 – 21 March 2020

SAYYIDUNA ‘UMAR AND THE PLAGUE OF ‘AMWAS

Question

Kindly narrate the full Hadith where there was a plague and Sayyiduna ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said ‘We have come from the Qadar of Allah to The Qadar of Allah’.

Kindly explain this statement as well.

Answer

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) says that ‘Umar ibn Khattab set out for Syria. When he got as far as ‘Sargh’, the commanders of the army, Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn Jarrah and his companions met ‘Umar and told him that a plague had broken out in Syria.

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘Umar said to me, ‘Call the early Muhajirun for me,’ I called them, sought their consultation and informed them that a plague had broken out in Syria.

They disagreed. Some of them said, ‘You have set out on a matter and we do not think that you should retreat from it.’ Others said, ‘You have the rest of the people as well as the Companions of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and we do not think that you should expose them to this plague.’

‘Umar then said, ‘Go away.’

Then he said, ‘Call the Ansar for me,’ and I called them and he consulted them. They behaved as the Muhajirun had done and disagreed as they had disagreed.

He said, ‘Go away.’

Then he said, ‘Call those who are here of the elders of Quraysh who emigrated the year of the Conquest of Makkah.’ So I called them, and none among them disagreed about it. They said, ‘We think that you should return with the people and not expose them to this plague.’

So ‘Umar made an announcement among the people: ‘I am returning in the morning, so return as well.’

Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn Jarrah said, ‘Are you fleeing from the decree of Allah?’ ‘Umar said, ‘If only someone other than you had said that, Abu ‘Ubaydah!’

Yes, ‘we are fleeing from the decree of Allah to the decree of Allah‘. Do you think that if you had camels and they went down into a valley which had two sides, one of which was fertile and the other barren. Is it not that if you grazed them on the fertile side, then that grazing would be by the decree of Allah, and if you grazed them on the barren side, then that grazing would also be by the decree of Allah?’

‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf -who had been absent on some errand- then came and said, ‘I have some knowledge regarding this issue. I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say,

“When you hear that [a plague] is in a land, do not go to it and if it occurs in a land that you are already in, then do not leave it, fleeing from it.’”

‘Umar praised Allah [due to him making the correct decision] and then left.”

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5729 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2219)

Explanation of ‘we are fleeing from the decree of Allah to the decree of Allah’

Hafiz ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) makes mention of another version of this narration which has the following words. This version clarifies the meaning as well.

“If we proceed, it will only be through the decree of Allah, and if we return, this will also be through the decree of Allah”

Allah Ta’ala has commanded us to be cautious and to abstain from things that will lead to our destruction. Since we are prohibited from putting ourselves in danger, we are fulfilling the decree of Allah by not proceeding.This was already predestined for us.

(Refer: Al Minhaj of Imam Nawawi, Hadith: 5745 and Fathul Bari, Hadith: 5729)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

It’s our offspring at stake!!!

Upbringing our children in current times is truly challenging. If nothing is done soon, one cannot imagine how worse it could get. There’s nothing more sad than “losing” your child.

Tips by Khalifah ‘Umar ibn’Abdil ‘Aziz

I feel that Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Aziz’s (rahimahullah) advice below is very apt and pertinent.

:وكتب عمر بن عبد العزيز إلى مؤدب ولده

خذهم بالجفاء فهو أمنع لاقدامهم ، وترك الصبحة فان عادتها تكسب الغفلة، وقلة الضحك فان كثرته تميت القلب ، وليكن أول ما يعتقدون من أدبك بغض الملاهي التي بدؤها من الشيطان ، وعاقبتها سخط الرحمن ، فانه بلغني عن الثقات من حملة العلم أن حضور المعازف واستماع الأغاني واللهج بهما ينبت النفاق في القلب كما ينبت العشب بالماء . وليفتتح كل غلام منهم بجزء من القرآن يثبت في قراءته ، فاذا فرغ منه تناول نبله وقوسه وخرج إلى الغرض حافيا ، فرمى سبعة أرشاق ، ثم انصرف إلى القائلة ، فان ابن مسعود كان يقول : ” يا بني قيلوا ، فان الشياطين لا تقيل

( ذكره ابن أبي الدنيا في : ” ذم الملاهي” ص: 9 )

Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz (rahimahullah) wrote the following instructions to his children’s mentor (teacher)

“ Be strict on them for this is more effective in restraining them. Stop them from sleeping after Fajr Salah, for this causes stupidity / negligence. They should laugh less for a lot of laughing kills the heart / soul. Let the first thing you inculcate in them be the hatred for Music, for I have heard from various People of Knowledge (‘Ulama) that Music develops hypocrisy in the heart just as water grows grass.

Each of them should commence the day with the recitation of the Holy Quran in the proper manner. When they complete that, they should take their bows and arrows and proceed barefooted to the range. Each of them should shoot 7 times. Thereafter they should take mid-day sleep (siesta). For Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radiyallahu’anhu) use to say: Oh my children! Take siesta, for verily the devils do not do so.”

( Kitabuz Zhammil Malahi of Hafiz Ibn abi Dunya pg. 9)

These words of Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) give us the following lessons on upbringing of children:

1. To commence the day with the recitation of the Quran

2. Not to sleep after Fajr (until after sunrise at least)

3. To abstain from music

4. To laugh less

5. Engagement in physical activity, like archery

6. The importance of siesta (qaylulah)

Each of the above are valuable lessons of life, which we as adults can implement and also inculcate in our children.

Quran Recital every morning

Many of us commence our day by reading the news, which is more depressing than informative or by catching up on our timeline, or sifting through emails etc.

The recitation of Quran, first thing in the morning will bring barakah (blessing) in our affairs throughout the day. Our children should see us reciting the Quran after Fajr. This will subconsciously lead them on to the same.

Music; they are never too young to abstain

We often justify out leniency towards out kids’ indulgence in haram or makruh (repulsive) deeds by saying: “They are too young”

The fact that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Aziz detested music even for his under aged children, demonstrates to us how we should view the training of our own.

Don’t allow the seeds of hypocrisy to grow even at that tender age. The computer games that they play should be free of foul language, evil habits and the music should be turned off. Never underestimate the effect that these supposed “games” could have on an innocent mind. It’s sad, how lightly we take the issue of Music that even as adults, we repeatedly need to be cautioned of our ringtones.

Who is there that can say he has never heard a musical ringtone go off while in Salah in the Masjid?!

Who would have believed it if we were told a decade ago, that a time will come when a Muslim will play music or at least allow it to be played while in sajdah, the closest posture we could get to Allah Ta’ala?!

Entertainment

Today we all look for how to be best entertained rather than spend our time usefully.

Laughter and jokes have become so common, that at times one will notice people joking even at a janazah!

The rare opportunity we get to ponder about death doesn’t pass with an unnecessary joke or fable being shared.

Even in religious lectures, the crowds are inflated if the speaker can entertain better…

As mentioned earlier, these were ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Aziz’s (rahimahullah) guidelines for the upbringing of children. Alas many of us adults need this lesson too.

Natural physical activity

‘Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Aziz (rahimahullah) specifically ordered the mentor to take them outdoors for archery daily. The pagan Arabs also preferred to send their kids to the villages where they could spend their time outdoors, herding goats and learning basic life skills. In fact, until a few decades ago, we too would spend our days outdoors in various activities.

Today’s child may be engaging in very similar activities too, but instead of it being outdoors they do it on a screen! It’s no more physical, it’s actually electronic!

Physical activity has its own benefit in early childhood development that can never be replaced with any electronic device. Parents need to carefully think of ways to keep their children occupied in a manner that won’t just keep them from bothering their parents, but ways that will enhance the child’s mind, body and Iman as well.

May Allah guide us all, and may He inspire us with the correct tact in upbringing our innocent offspring. Amin.

It’s our offspring at stake!!!

Malcolm: Little to X

Co-authored and based on a lecture by Dr Uthman Lateef

Certain names throughout history truly define their own medium.

Malcolm X is one such individual. Many people become quite captivated when his name is mentioned and conjure up images they might have seen on TV or movies or be familiar with many of his famous quotes, but we must remember that no human being can be understood in simplistic terms; there is always a string of factors, influences, and influencers in a person’s life. The knowledge of his life should not be limited to an awareness of his gripping speeches, his timeless quotes, his bold demeanour, and his unapologetic stance against oppression, for there is a lot more that could be said about him.

There is no future for a person who is oblivious of their past. Malcolm X played a vital role in the past. The story of this individual, since his assassination on February 22nd 1965, has perhaps resulted in hundreds of thousands if not millions – of people embracing Islam and others solidifying their faith and Islamic identity because of his struggle.

The former chief judge of Damascus, Imam al-Subki, once said, “Whoever relates the tale of a Muslim, it is as if he has given him life.” This article will endeavour to give a brief overview of exactly that, covering the legacy and martyrdom of Malcolm X, with relevant passages from his acclaimed autobiography co-authored with Alex Haley. When you study history, you will quickly realise that Islam was often not carried forward by the unblemished souls, but by reformed ones.

An oppressive childhood
Malcolm X was born in 1925 as Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska. He was an African American living in a time of entrenched racism. What were the ramifications for a black person living in America at a time of forceful segregation? There would be bathrooms for blacks and bathrooms for whites. In cinemas, there would be particular seats for whites and particular seats for blacks, among many other strategies to separate people by colour.

Malcolm’s father was Earl Little, a Baptist minister inspired by the work of Marcus Garvey. Garvey propagated a message that African Americans would never be able to live in peace and harmony with their white neighbours, and that the only hope of their salvation was to move back to their roots in Africa. Malcolm’s father was a wealthy individual although his wealth was not enough a reason to divert attention from him from white racists When he chose to live in a predominantly white area, his neighbours began to pressurise on him to move to a black district.

Malcolm’s father received constant threats from white supremacists which later led to the firebombing of his home. When Malcolm was 6 years old, his father was tied up, run over by a car, and killed. Malcolm also lost other relatives to violence, including an uncle who was lynched by white supremacists.

In the later part of the 19th century, lynching was an act committed typically by mobs taking black people (from the street, prison, or even their homes) and hanging them in public. This era in America also marked the rise of cinematography and the big screen. A crowd of 3000 people came to witness the lynching of Will Mack in 1909. People would buy popcorn, soda pop, and even take artefacts of the deceased’s clothing after the event. It became a public spectacle to see a black man being lynched. Photographers would be present at these events, snapping pre-lynching and post-lynching photographs, as well as photographs of victims who would be lynched and burnt alive.

In such an environment, one would naturally feel unsafe, constantly undermined, devalued, and dehumanised, with one’s entire sense of belonging and existence questioned. Malcolm’s mother fell victim to this, suffering a nervous breakdown after which she was sent to a mental asylum, causing Malcolm and his siblings to be sent to separate homes.

Although Malcolm excelled in his academic studies, he went to an all-white school and it was in this school that Malcolm experienced a major turning point in his life, one that would go on to shape his future. Malcolm told his English teacher, Mr. Ostrowski, about his future plans and aspirations of becoming a lawyer. His teacher told the young Malcolm that the legal profession is not a reasonable occupation for a black person, and advised him instead to try to become a carpenter — something more suitable to the station in life in which his colour placed him. Apart from the discriminatory vocabulary, what upset Malcolm even more was that Mr. Ostrowski had encouraged students who were less academic achievers than himself to enter difficult professions. Malcolm concluded that he was being judged on the basis of his colour rather than his capabilities. He subsequently lost interest and ended his formal education the following year, at the age of 15.

When he was out of school, he went to live with his sister in Detroit, and soon took to a life of crime. He was a very young and impressionable man, known as “Detroit Red”. He became a street hustler, gangster, drug dealer, drug addict, criminal, thug, and pimp. He committed crimes, burglaries, and was arrested on three occasions as a result. He spent 6 years in prison from 1946-1952, a time he described in his autobiography as the beginning of his transformation.

An education behind bars
Everyone goes through a transformation in their life. Different factors can cause this transformation: trauma, death, or illness. As you have read above, Malcolm X was affected by a wealth of factors that caused the change that would dictate how the rest of his life would pan out. His behaviour, thought process, and decision-making that led to his imprisonment were also affected.

When he arrived in prison, Malcolm noticed there were different groups in prison, and the person who commanded the most respect was the intelligent one.

He said in his biography:

“As you can imagine, especially in a prison where there was heavy emphasis on rehabilitation, an inmate was smiled upon if he demonstrated an unusually intense interest in books. There was a sizable number of well-read inmates, especially the popular debaters. Some were said by many to be practically walking encyclopedias. They were almost celebrities. No university would ask any student to devour literature as I did when this new world opened to me, of being able to read and understand.”

In his autobiography, Malcolm spoke of a prisoner known as ‘Bimbi’ who he deemed to be an intelligent, literate, educated, and articulate man. Malcolm attributed to him one of the key moments of change in his life.

“Bimbi seldom said much to me; he was gruff to individuals, but I sensed he liked me. What made me seek his friendship was when I heard him discuss religion. I considered myself beyond atheism – I was Satan. But Bimbi put the atheist philosophy in a framework, so to speak. That ended my vicious cursing attacks. My approach sounded so weak alongside his, and he never used a foul word.”

“Out of the blue one day, Bimbi told me flatly, as was his way, that I had some brains, if I’d use them. I had wanted his friendship, not that kind of advice. I might have cursed another convict, but nobody cursed Bimbi. He told me I should take advantage of the prison correspondence courses and the library.”

His motivation to seek an education is what gave rise to his profound abilities as an orator and public speaker, which would later see him be invited to deliver a speech at the University of Oxford. Malcolm would go onto say that due to this gift, people would assume he has a long list of credentials. In reality, he had nothing to show after his 8th grade of school. The only place he would learn was in prison by learning and re-educating himself.

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

“Without education you’re not going anywhere in this world.”

With learning comes self-realisation, self-discovery, and self-exploration. Learning heightens a person’s ability to connect with his Lord because, as a result, that person will know his Lord.

Allāh says in the Qur’ān:

هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” [1]

And the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ

“Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allāh will make easy for him a path to Paradise.” [2]

Our crisis today is that we remain as passive reciprocates of the information we receive. This is a ramification of social and visual media platforms that contain millions of screenshots passing before our eyes daily. Malcolm did not share this fate. Instead, he took initiative. He wrote out the entire dictionary to be familiar with words. He did not disallow himself of education due to his circumstance of being put into prison. Rather, he took advantage of an opportunity he had no control over and came out of prison a new individual.

Malcolm understood that when you read, you transition into someone else’s shoes and become immersed in their experiences, seeing the world through their lens. The importance of knowing your audience, as well as identifying and challenging them, is crucial in the process of enacting social and political reform. Malcolm X spent his post-prison life acting on what he had learnt about history, civilisation, law, and most importantly, black suffering.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said:

“Learn, so that after you have learnt, you can act.” [3]

Little to X
The obvious context of the suffering of African Americans is because they were the descendants of slaves. The transatlantic slave trade, which existed from the 16th to the 19th century, involved the transportation of slaves from West Africa by ships mainly to the Americas against their will. Nearly a third of the slaves were Muslims. Some chose the path of suicide by jumping overboard. Others chose the path of insurrection by fighting back against the captains of the ships. There were many small and large insurrections when slaves arrived in the Americas. Those who made it to the Americas were relegated to sub-human entities by being sold as slaves, separated from their families, and deprived of the outward bond of unity.

Here, they were given surnames of their slave masters, losing their identity and personalisation. In different cultures, a name arises from an unseen network of tribal connections that are all involved in giving such names. So in order to gain that sense of self-identity that was once lost at the hands of his oppressors, Malcolm gave himself the name ‘X’, meaning unknown – for his true ancestry was unknown.

The Nation of Islam
It is important to note that there is nothing ‘Islamic’ about the Nation of Islam. Malcolm was introduced to the organisation in prison, with their leader Elijah Poole later becoming Elijah Muhammad, who claimed to be a prophet to black people and introduced them to theological beliefs that do not concur with Islam. Elijah Muhammad taught his followers not to fear the white man because the black man is superior and dominant over the white man. At the time when Malcolm was incarcerated, the Nation of Islam only had 500 adherents. Malcolm used his knowledge to write letters to different people; old friends, gangsters, and Elijah Muhammad himself, who Malcolm would later visit after being freed from prison.

Malcolm quickly grew into a prominent figure for the group, becoming a minister of a main mosque in Harlem. The membership of the Nation of Islam began to grow rapidly; by the 1960s, there were around 75,000 members. A separate military wing called the ‘Fruits of Islam’ taught self-defence classes, existing as a vanguard of resistance against white brutality that black people may face in their day-to-day life. He also set up a newspaper called ‘Muhammad Speaks’ that propagated the ideas of the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm travelled all over the country debating civil rights leaders, including Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The leaders he debated with proposed different solutions to deal with the same problem. Malcolm’s methodology was to make peace with those who want peace, and violence with those who want violence. Turning to violence was not his first call, but he refused to turn the other cheek against degradation, abuse, and murder. He became a controversial figure in the American media for challenging ideas on white exceptionalism and calling for equal alliable rights.

This led to Malcolm being under the close surveillance of the FBI, NYPD, and the CIA, with the latter aiming to infiltrate Nation of Islam. Edgar Hoover, the then-head of the FBI, became concerned about Malcolm X. The FBI plotted to create a rift between the two leaders, Malcolm and Elijah, in order to sow the seeds of discord. In the year 1962, Malcolm X came to discover through the son of Elijah, Wallace Muhammad, that Elijah had fathered six illegitimate children with women in the Nation of Islam. At the same time, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Elijah Muhammad gave an instruction to the Nation of Islam to refrain from making any comments in the media. After a lecture, Malcolm X was quizzed by the media on his thoughts about the assassination, to which he famously replied:

“Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they always made me glad.”

Malcolm X was referring here to Kennedy’s assassination as a taste of the violence that America had been inflicting around the world. He was plastered in the media as someone who was joyous at the death of the late president. He was also suspended from speaking to the media for 90 days by the Nation of Islam, after specifically being told not to comment on the assassination. During this time, which gave him more autonomy and freedom, he travelled to the Middle East, including the Holy Land. This is what some call ‘the transformative last year of his life’.

Malcolm in Makkah
In the latter years of his life, Malcolm X reinvented himself to an even greater degree. The evolution of his faith and maturity took another direction when he travelled to Makkah for the pilgrimage – the Hajj. This would be the point in his life where he would transition to the truth – orthodox Sunni Islam – after having first transitioned to falsehood in the form of the Nation of Islam. His message and policy would take a noticeable change with him now fighting for justice for all.

He said:

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

His outreach spread beyond the suffering of only black people in America, although it was his primary concern. During the Hajj, Malcolm X had some of his deepest spiritual enlightenments, as millions have every year when they travel to perform the pilgrimage.

“I only knew what I had left in America, and how it contrasted with what I found in the Muslim world.”

It was after returning from his pilgrimage to Makkah that Malcolm adopted the title and name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. As Muslims, we need to take heed that other people are watching us and slowly building their perception of Islam through us. This highlights the importance of outward actions and engaging with the outer world, not solely within our inner circles. As the above statement reminds us, even though we may not be as cognisant that there is an outer circle witnessing what is happening in our inner circle, others most certainly are.

When he was asked what impressed him the most about the Hajj, Malcolm replied, “The brotherhood!”

“The people of all races, colour, from all over the world coming together as one! It has proved to me the power of the One God.”

“Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colours and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures.”

Despite job offers from Africa to be a head of state, Malcolm chose to return to America with a new vision. He was afire with new spiritual insight and a higher standard of religious observance, still desperate to pursue justice and challenge tyranny.

“America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white, but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam.”

As Allāh says:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ

“Another of His signs is the creation of the heavens and earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours.”

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

“Allāh does not look at your appearances or your financial status, but He looks at your hearts and your actions.” [4]

Malcolm was now moving away from the Nation of Islam and the black supremacist ideology they were upon. He moved towards true Islam – but this was not without its challenges and consequences.

The Last Stand
On his return to America, Malcolm set up two organisations: Muslim Mosque, Inc. (which taught people about Islam) and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Malcolm acknowledged that he was “living on borrowed time”, openly declaring that Elijah Muhammad was not who he set out to be, and thus alarming the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm X appeared to be embarking on an ideological journey with a shift in both his political and spiritual stances. This had the potential to dramatically alter the course of the civil rights movement. Tragically, he was assassinated on February 21, 1965, while preparing to give a speech at a New York theatre. While it is clear that the Nation of Islam was involved in the assassination, many people believe others such as the FBI also had a hand in his murder.

Earlier, in his days with the Nation of Islam Malcolm X was at odds with Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s methodology, the two holding drastically opposing views on the struggle for equal rights. A year prior to his death however in 1964, Malcolm X sent a telegram to Dr Martin Luther King Jr., who was due to hold a march that would have seen members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) causing trouble.

In his telegram, Malcolm X said:

“We have been witnessing with great concern the vicious attacks of the white races against our poor defenceless people there in St. Augustine. If the Federal Government will not send troops to your aid, just say the word and we will immediately dispatch some our brothers there to organize self defence units among our people and the Ku Klux Klan will then receive a taste of its own medicine. The day of turning the other cheek to those brute beasts is over.”

Malcolm then sent a telegram to the leader of the KKK warning him that he would bring his men to defend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. should the KKK disrupt his rally. He threatened the white supremacists that he and his men would defend King and his people “by any means necessary.”

To conclude, there are many lessons we can learn from the life story of Malcolm X. He was a man who lived by principles of bravery, courage, and resistance. A man who was intellectually disciplined. A man who recognised that the plight and suffering of others are much bigger than one’s own. A man who promoted Islam in a time of great hostility. Malcolm addressed imperialism, racism, and othering – discussions that are still prevalent in our time. The concern of Malcolm X is the concern of us all. He placed self-sacrifice above self-interest. He taught not only moral compassion but also moral consistency. And above all, he applied the hadith of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam):

“The best type of jihād is speaking a word of truth in the presence of a tyrant ruler.”[5]

What separates Malcolm X before all those who predated him – and all those that followed him – is that he did so by any means necessary.

May Allāh have mercy on our brother, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

Source: http://www.Islam21c.com

Notes:

Based on a lecture by Dr Uthman Lateef

[1] Al-Qur’ān, 39:9

[2] Sahih Muslim

[3] Fadl ‘Ilm al-Salaf

[4] Bukhari

[5] Ibn Majah

The importance of wearing a topi

Q: I had always been taught that the topi is the crown of a believer and part of the Sunnah attire. However, I was recently told by a close friend that the topi is not part of the Sunnah attire and has no basis in Deen. It was merely worn in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) as a traditional dress. Is this true? Similarly, I would like to know whether the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) wore the topi at the time of Salaah.

A: Wearing the topi is a Mubaarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and a salient feature of Islam. In every era of Islam, commencing from the era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), special importance and significance was afforded to the topi. It is reported in authentic Ahaadeeth that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) wore the topi.

During the Khilaafah of Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu), the kuffaar began wearing topis and turbans in order to deceive the Muslims and receive the same recognition in society which was afforded to the Muslims in the Islamic state. When Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) perceived this, he immediately prohibited them, and drew up a constitution which was governed by the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). He enshrined in the constitution the distinguishing characteristics and salient features of Islam and thus prohibited the kuffaar from adopting these codes of conduct. Similarly, he prohibited the kuffaar from adopting the Islamic attire and from wearing the topis and turbans of the Muslims.

It is reported in the Hadith of Bukhaari Shareef that the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) performed Salaah with their topis.

قال الحسن كان القوم يسجدون على العمامة والقلنسوة (صحيح البخاري، باب السجود علي الثوب في شدة الحر 1/56)

Hazrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) said, “The Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) would make sajdah during Salaah on their turbans and topis.”

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

إن أمير المؤمنين عمر رضي الله عنه في الصحابة رضي الله عنهم ثم عامة الأئمة بعده وسائر الفقهاء جعلوا في الشروط المشروطة على أهل الذمة من النصارى وغيرهم فيما شرطوه على أنفسهم أن نوقر المسلمين ونقوم لهم من مجالسنا إذا أرادوا الجلوس ولا نتشبه بهم في شيء من ملابسهم قلنسوة أو عمامة (قاله ابن تيمية رحمه الله في كتابه اقتضاء الصراط المستقيم وقال بعد نقل الحديث رواه حرب الكرماني بإسناد جيد 1/363)

حدثنا ابن جريج قال أخبرني نافع أن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما كساه وهو غلام فدخل المسجد فوجده يصلى متوشحا فقال أليس لك ثوبان قال بلى قال أرأيت لو استعنت بك وراء الدار أكنت لابسهما قال نعم قال فالله أحق أن تزين له أم الناس قال نافع بل الله فأخبره عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أو عن عمر رضي الله عنه قال نافع قد استيقنت أنه عن أحدهما وما أراه إلا عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال لا يشتمل أحدكم في الصلاة اشتمال اليهود من كان له ثوبان فليتزر وليرتد ومن لم يكن له ثوبان فليتزر ثم ليصل (شرح معانى الآثار 1/259)

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

QUEEN ZUBAIDAH AND THE AZAAN

Queen Zubaidah was famous for the construction of the canal known as Nahr-e-Zubaidah. She was the wife of the Abbaasi Khalifah Haroon Rashid. At her own cost she had constructed a canal for water to flow through to Makkah. Over the centuries millions of people benefited from the water of this canal.

After her demise, she appeared in someone’s dream and said that she was ushered into the Divine Presence and her Book of Deeds was scrutinized, page by page. As the Angel was turning the pages, he was commenting on her various deeds. Zubaidah had great hopes on the reward she would be receiving for having constructed the famous canal. However, to her consternation, when the Angel reached the page on which was recorded the feat of the canal, he simply flipped it over and did not even mention it, indicating thereby its insignificance.

Queeen Zubaidah’s hopes in salvation receded and she was overcome with fear. If even such a great deed of virtue was passed over as insignificant, then she had no other deeds to offer for her salvation. Whilst she waited in trepidation and fear for the verdict, the Angel suddenly became attentive and carefully read one of her deeds.

The deed was enacted on a very hot day when Zubaidah was strolling with a maid in the palace gardens. She felt extremely thirsty and instructed the maid to bring water. As Zubaidah put the glass of cold water to her lips, she heard the Zuhr Athaan being proclaimed. Without taking even a sip, she removed the glass from her lips, listened attentively and quietly responded to the Muath-thin’s Call. After the completion of the Athaan and recitation of the Masnoon Dua, she drank the water.

This act of respect for the Athaan – for Allah’s Name – was so weighty and so valued by Allah Ta’ala, that she was forgiven on its basis and Jannat was assured for her

By Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng

The Month Of Rajab

by Mufti Muhammad Taqi al-Uthmani (Principal Of Darul ‘Uloom Karachi)
Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ash-hur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). It is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, because Ramadan follows it after the intervening month of Sha’ban. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:

“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”

No specific way of worship has been prescribed by the Shari’ah in this month. However, some people have invented some special rituals or practices in this month, which are not supported by reliable resources of the Shari’ah or are based on some unauthentic traditions. We would like to explain their correct position and status in Islam hereunder:

1. Celebration of Lailatul Mi’raj

It is generally believed that the great event of Mi’raj (ascension of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) to the heavens) took place in the night of 27th of Rajab. Therefore, some people celebrate the night as “Lailatul- Mi’raj” (the night of ascension to heavens).

Indeed, the event of mi’raj was one of the most remarkable episodes in the life of our beloved Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). He was called by Almighty Allah. He traveled from Makkah to Baitul-Maqdis and from there he ascended the heavens through the miraculous power of Allah.
He was honored with a direct contact with his Creator at a place where even the angels had no access. This was the unique honor conferred by Allah to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) alone. It was the climax of the spiritual progress which is not attained by anybody except him. No doubt the night in which he was blessed with this unparalleled honor was one of the greatest nights in the history of this world.

But, Islam has its own principles with regard to the historic and religious events. Its approach about observing festivals and celebrating days and nights is totally different from the approach of other religions. The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) did not prescribe any festival or any celebration to commemorate an event from the past, however remarkable it might have been. Instead, Islam has prescribed two annual celebrations only. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is Eid ul-Adha. Both of these festivals have been fixed at a date on which the Muslims accomplish a great ‘ibadah (worship) every year. Eid-ul-Fitr has been prescribed after the fasts of Ramadan, while Eid-ul-Adha has been fixed when the Muslims perform the Hajj annually. None of these two eids is designed to commemorate a particular event of the past which has happened in these dates. This approach is indicative of the fact that the real occasion for a happy celebration is the day in which the celebrators themselves have accomplished remarkable work through their own active effort. As for the accomplishments of our ancestors, their commemoration should not be restricted to a particular day or night. Instead, their accomplishments must be remembered every day in the practical life by observing their teachings and following the great examples they have set for us.

Keeping this principle in view, the following points should be remembered with regard to the “Lailatul-mi’raj”:

1) We cannot say with absolute certainty on which night the great event of mi’raj took place. Although some traditions relate this event to 27th night of the month of Rajab, yet there are other traditions that suggest other dates. Al-Zurqani (Rahimahullah), the famous biographer of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has referred to five different views in this respect: Rabi-ul-Awwal, Rabi-u-Thani, Rajab, Ramadan and Shawwal. Later, while discussing different traditions, he has added a sixth opinion, that the mi’raj took place in the month of Zulhijjah.

Allamah Abdul-haq Muhaddith Dehlawi (Rahimahullah), the well-known scholar of the Indian subcontinent, has written a detailed book on the merits of Islamic months. While discussing the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ has mentioned that most of the scholars are of the view that the event of mi’raj took place in the month of Ramadan or in Rabi-ul-awwal.

2) It is also not known in which year the event of Mi’raj took place. The books of history suggest a wide range between the fifth-year and the twelfth year after the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) was entrusted with prophethood.

Now, if it is assumed that the event of Mi’raj took place in the fifth year of his prophethood, it will mean that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) remained in this world for eighteen years after this event. Even if it is presumed that the mi’raj took place in the twelfth year of his prophethood, his remaining life-time after this event would be eleven years. Throughout this long period, which may range between eleven years and eighteen years, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) never celebrated the event of mi’raj, nor did he give any instruction about it. No one can prove that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) ever performed some specific modes of worship in a night calling it the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ or advised his followers to commemorate the event in a particular manner.

3) After the demise of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) also, no one of his companions is reported to celebrate this night as a night of special acts of worship. They were the true devotees of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and had devoted their lives to preserve every minute detail of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and other Islamic teachings. Still, they did not celebrate the event of mi’raj in a particular night in a particular way.

All these points go a long way to prove that the celebration of the 27th night of Rajab, being the lailatul-mi’raj has no basis in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) or in the practice of his noble companions. Had it been a commendable practice to celebrate this night, the exact date of this event would have been preserved accurately by the Ummah and the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and his blessed companions would have given specific directions for it.

Therefore, it is not a Sunnah to celebrate the Lailatul-mi’raj’. We cannot declare any practice as a sunnah unless it is established through authentic sources that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) or is noble Companions have recognized it as such, otherwise it may become a bid’ah about which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has observed in the following words: “Whoever invents something in our religion which is not a part of it, it is to be rejected.”

Being mindful of this serious warning, we should understand that the 27th night of the month of Rajab is not like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ for which special merits have been mentioned expressly by, either the Holy Qur’an or by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam).

However, all the recognized modes of ‘ibadah (worship) like Salat, recitation of the Holy Qur’an, dhikr, etc. are commendable any time, especially in the late hours of night, and obviously the 27th night of Rajab is not an exception. Therefore, if someone performs any recognized ‘ibadah in this night from this point of view nothing can stop him from doing so, and he will be entitled to the thawab (reward allocated for that recognized ‘ibadah insha-Allah.) But it is not permissible to believe that performing ‘ibadah in this night is more meritorious or carries more thawab like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ because this belief is not based on any authentic verse or on a sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). Similarly, it is not a correct practice to celebrate this night collectively and to invite people to special ritual congregations.

4) Some people suggest some special modes of worship to be performed in this night. Since no special mode of worship is prescribed by the Shari’ah in this night, these suggestions are devoid of any authority and should not be acted upon.

It is believed by some that the Muslims should fast on the 27th of Rajab. Although there are some traditions attributing special merits to the fast of this day yet the scholars of hadith have held these traditions as very weak and unauthentic reports which cannot be sufficient to establish a rule of Shari’ah. On the contrary, there is an authentic report that Sayyiduna ‘Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu used to forbid people from fasting on this day, rather, he used to compel them to eat if they had started fasting.

It should be borne in mind here that a “nafl” fast can be observed any day (except the six prohibited days of the year); therefore, fasting on 27th of Rajab is not prohibited in itself. What is prohibited is the belief that fasting on this day is more meritorious than fasting in other normal days. One should not fast on this day with this belief. But if someone fasts therein, believing it to be a normal nafl fast, there is no bar against it.

Sacrifice (qurbani) in the month of Rajab

In the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah) the Arabs used to offer the sacrifice of a goat in the month of Rajab. This sacrifice used to be called ‘Ateerah or Rajabiyyah. This sacrifice was offered in the name of different so-called gods and their icons. In the beginning of Islam, this custom was retained, but the Muslims modified it by offering the sacrifice of ‘Ateerah in the name of Allah instead of the false gods. But finally, this custom was abandoned and the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) prohibited the offering of ‘Ateerah. In a tradition of Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said: “Far’ is nothing and ‘Ateerah is nothing.”

Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, has explained in the same tradition that Far’ was the first child of a she-camel. Whenever a she-camel delivered its first child, the Arabs used to sacrifice it in the name of their so-called gods, while the ‘Ateerah was a goat used to be sacrificed in the month of Rajab. Since the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) stopped both these customs, ‘Ateerah is no longer a recognized practice.

‘Umrah in the month of Rajab

Ibn ‘Abidin (Rahimahullah), the well-known scholar of the Islamic jurisprudence, has mentioned that the people of Makkah (in his days) used to perform ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. Perhaps they believed that performing ‘umrah in this month is more meritorious than in other months. Then Ibn Abidin himself has rejected the authenticity of this practice, because no tradition of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) is found to this effect. Conversely Sayyidah ‘Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has expressly negated the presumption by saying that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) never performed an ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. (Sahih Muslim 1:409)

However, Ibn ‘Abidin (Rahimahullah) has quoted a narration that ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, Radi-Allahu anhu, completed the renovation of Ka’bah shortly before 27th of Rajab, and as a sign of gratefulness he performed ‘umrah and slaughtered some animals. But this report cannot form the basis of a recognized annual practice, firstly because the report is not very authentic, and secondly because it does not mention that Abdullah ibn Zubair, Radi-Allahu anhu, had adopted it as a continuing practice. At the most, he performed ‘umrah once as a sign of gratefulness on the completion of Ka’bah. It does not mean that he performed it as a characteristic of the month of Rajab. Therefore, performing ‘Umrah in this month is like performing it in any other month and no special merit can be attached to it merely because it has been performed in the month of Rajab.

The Salat of “Ragha’ib”

Another special mode of worship attributed by some people to this month is the Salat of Raghai’b. According to the custom of such people, this Salat is performed in the night of first Friday of the month of Eajab. The Salat of Raghaib is said to consist of twelve rak’ats to be performed in pairs with six salams, and in each rak’at the surah al-qadr is recited three times followed by the Surah-al-ikhlas. This type of Salat is also not based on any sound source of Shari’ah. Therefore, almost all the jurists and scholars of Shari’ah have held that the Salat of Raghaib is a baseless practice and it is not permissible to treat it as a recognized practice of this month. It is true that there is a tradition, narrated by Razin (Rahimahullah), the author of a book of hadith, which attributes the origin of this practice to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) but almost all the scholars of the science of hadith have held it to be absolutely unauthentic. Therefore, no importance can be attached to it.

Distribution of Breads:

Another baseless practice in the month of Rajab is that the people bake special types of breads and, after reciting some verses and prayers on them, distribute them among their friends and neighbors. This custom has two different shapes.

1) In some communities, this custom is celebrated on 17th of Rajab on the assumption that Sayyiduna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab and the 17th of Rajab is the day on which his ‘Aqiqa (Shaving of his head) was performed. In order to celebrate this happy event, the breads of some special type are prepared and after reciting Surah Al-Mulk on them, they are distributed among the relatives and friends. These breads are generally called “breads of Tabarak” because Surah Al-Mulk is usually recited on them.

This practice is baseless because it is never proved that Sayyiduna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab or that his Aqiqa was performed on 17th of this month and, as explained earlier, even if these events are proved to have happened in those days, their commemoration through these specific rituals is not warranted by the Shari’ah.

2) A more common practice of this type is observed on 22nd of Rajab whereby some breads and meals of a special type are prepared and distributed among the people. Since these special meals are usually placed in some bowls made of clay, the custom is usually known as “Koonda”, an Urdu equivalent of such bowls. It is usually believed that the custom is designed to make ‘isal-al-thawab to the soul of Sayyiduna Jafar Al-Sadiq who himself has directed his followers to observe this custom and has promised them that whoever observes it, his desires will be fulfilled.

All these assumptions also have no basis at all, neither historically, nor according to the principles of Shari’ah. In fact, the date of 22nd of Rajab has no concern whatsoever with Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq, Rahimahullah. According to the historians, he was born on 8th of Ramadan 80 A.H. and died in Shawwal 148 A.H. No specific event of the life of Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq is proved to have happened on this date. The people believing in the custom refer to a coined story mentioned in an unauthentic book named “Dastaan-e-Ajeeb”.

Briefly stated, the gist of the story is that a poor woodcutter lived in Madinah in the days of Jafar Al-Sadiq. He went abroad to earn his livelihood. His wife was employed in the house of the Prime Minister. Once she was cleaning the courtyard of the Prime Minister when Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq passed by her. It was 22nd of Rajab. He advised her to bake some breads of a special type and make ‘isal-al-sawab to him. According to this story, he promised her that if her desire is not fulfilled after this practice, she can catch hold of him at the doom’s day. On hearing this, the woman made a vow that if her husband will come back with a considerable amount of wealth, she will observe the custom of “Koonda”. On the same day her husband, who was in another country, found a valuable treasure in the earth and came back with it to Madinah where he established himself as a rich man and started living in a magnificent castle. When his wife told the story to the wife of the Prime Minister, she disbelieved her and because of this disbelief, she and her husband, the Prime Minister, were punished by Allah. He was removed by the king from the prime minister-ship and was imprisoned in a jail and was ordered to be hanged. While being in the prison, the wife of the Prime Minister remembered that she had disbelieved the story of Jafar al-Sadiq told to her by her maidservant and their misery might be the punishment of their disbelief. On this point, she and her husband repented before Allah and made a vow to observe the custom of “Koonda”, if they are released from the jail. After they made such a vow, the whole scenario of the events changed suddenly. The king released the Prime Minister from the jail and reinstated him on his former position.

As can be seen by any reasonable person, this story is totally forged on the face of it. The person who has coined this story did not even know that Madinah had never a king nor a Prime Minister. All the Muslim rulers were named as caliphs and had no Prime Minister at all. In the days of Umayyads, their capital was Damascus and in the days of Abbasids, their permanent seat was in Baghdad.

It is ironic that the story of such a woodcutter is not even known to anybody in Madinah, nor in any city of the Arab countries. No Arabic book has ever referred to it. It has no mention except in an Urdu book ‘Dastaan-e-Ajeeb’, the author of which is unknown. One can easily see that a custom based on such a fallacious and mythical story can never be an Islamic custom. Islam has always been far away from such superstitions.

Therefore, this baseless custom should completely be avoided by true Muslims. Some historians have opined that in fact, this custom has been coined by some Shi’ites because the date of 22nd of Rajab is the date of the demise of Sayyidna Mu’awiyah whom they take as their biggest enemy. They took that date as a happy occasion and made the Sunni Muslims also to celebrate it on the pretext of the above-mentioned story.

Be that as it may, it is evident that such customs have crept into the Muslim society by their long association with Hindus who commemorate different historical events of their religion in the like manner. The Muslims must be careful about these customs because they are not only an invention of ignorance but also the imitation of non-Muslims in their religious rituals. No doubt the “‘isal-al-thawab’ to the soul of a deceased Muslim, and particularly to a pious person is not only permissible but also a commendable practice but the Shari’ah has not prescribed a particular date, nor a particular mode to do so. If someone wants to make “‘isal-al-thawab” to Sayyiduna ‘Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, or to Ja’far al-Sadiq, he can do it any day and by performing any act of worship, like Salat, fast, Sadaqah, dhikr etc. There is no reason why it should be restricted to a special type of meal or bread distributed on a particular date. What makes this practice worse is the fact that the people accustomed to this practice deem it as necessary as a fard (obligation); rather they treat it as more necessary than fard because they do not care to perform the obligatory Salat or to fulfill the rights of men obligated on them, but they are very strict and punctual to perform these activities. Moreover, if a person does not observe this practice, they reproach him and call him with bad names. Such behavior makes this custom a bid’ah which is condemned by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) as a misguidance. Therefore, Muslims must abandon all such practices and should not cling to it only because it has been the practice of their society for many years. A Muslim is supposed to follow the dictates of Shari’ah and not the practice of the society, especially if it violates any of its principles.

Conclusion

The upshot of the above discussion is that the Shari’ah has not prescribed any specific way to observe the month of Rajab or to perform a specific mode of worship or a ritual in any one of its dates. However, being a prologue to the month of Ramadan, it should be availed of for preparing oneself for Ramadan and one should pray Allah to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.

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The Right Choice

In the fast developing world of today, a lot depends on “Making the Right Choice

Making the incorrect choice is sometimes detrimental, depending on the venture at hand. Conversely, at times one can live with its consequences or even make up for the loss.

 

Din is delicate

When it comes to the affairs of one’s Din (Religion) the margin for error is very fine. Therefore making the correct choice is absolutely essential.

Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) use to command the masses to accept knowledge only from reliable sources. (Fathul Mulhim, vol.1 pg.264)

This refers to:

  • Choosing the correct book,
  • Choosing the correct website,
  • Choosing the correct tutor or lecturer etc.

In essence it boils down to choosing the correct source of knowledge and information.

Just as we do when we consult in matters of worldly gain; we ensure that the consultant is adequately qualified.

 

A Screening Process

“Knowledge is indeed part of your religion” said the great Tabi’i, Imam Muhammad ibn Sirin (rahimahullah). He further advised: “So be careful as to whom you accept your matters of din from” (Muqaddimah Sahih Muslim)

This statement highlights the fact that not every person who claims to be an educator in Din is a legitimate one. Therefore not every “Islamic” radio station, booklet, speaker or web-page can be endorsed.

The need for a screening process is evident from the Hadith in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“A time will arrive when not a single ‘Alim will remain; people will then resort to ignorant leaders who will pass rulings without proper knowledge, thereby deviating and causing others to be the same.” (Sahih Bukhari)

 

Precaution of the Predecessors

Our pious predecessors were extremely selective when it came to choosing an educator.

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) says: “I saw (Imam) Ayub Al-Sakhtiyani (rahimahullah) in Makkah on two separate occasions of Haj. During the third haj I saw him seated near the zam zam well, and each time he heard the name of Rasulullah he cried to the extent that I would take pity on him. Only after seeing such qualities in him did I accept Hadiths from him.” (Adabul Ikhtilaf, pg. 58)

The teacher of Imam Malik, Imam Rabi’ah (rahimahullah) was seen crying in seclusion. When he was asked about the cause for him crying, he replied: “A catastrophe has befallen Islam, Ignorant people have been referred to in matters of Religion.” (ibid, pg. 53, Jami’u bayanil ‘ilm, vol.2 pg. 201)

Ibn Sirin (rahimahullah) passed away in the year: 110 A.H, and Imam Rabi’ah (rahimahullah) in the year: 136 A.H, but the statement of each one of them is more applicable today than it was then.

 

Contamination and Confusion

The influx of Islamic literature and “religious speakers” has reached an alarming level locally and internationally. Undoubtedly, many of these are legitimate and reliable, but the existence of contaminated literature and incompatible lecturers is eminent. The honourable public is therefore strongly urged to be vigilant and to refer to their senior ‘Ulama and Madrasahs to first verify any source of information before accepting it; be it in the form of websites, booklets, journals or even lecturers. Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) – the author of the famous “Sahih Muslim” says: “It is incumbent upon every capable person to refrain from accepting knowledge from unqualified, innovative and obscure sources.”

 

Note: Those who cannot differentiate should abstain or refer to those who can.

Failure to do so will lead to confusion in Din. May Allah Ta’ala keep us all on the correct path. Amin.

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SLAVERY

SLAVERY
Slavery existed on earth since time immemorial. Long before the advent of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), slavery existed and the conditions of slaves were horrible and appalling. Islam came and introduced copious reforms which gradually led to the emancipation of the slaves and the abolition of slavery.
Although Islam did not issue a decree to abolish slavery, its reforms led to the virtual abolition of slavery in the ranks of Muslims. It is not permissible to capture free people and reduce them into slavery as was the European practice for many centuries. The brutal treatment which Europeans meted out to slaves was never part of Islamic culture. The history and the books of Islam are replete with the treatment which Muslims meted out to slaves. Emancipation of slaves is a great ibaadat in Islam. For forgiveness of certain sins, the manumission of slaves is considered necessary.

Islam permits the taking of slaves in a war situation. When the Islamic army conquers a kaafir land, the Islamic government is allowed to take the captives of war and assign them as slaves to the Muslim public. Instead of sending the captives of war to prisons and concentration camps, they are distributed among the Muslim populace. Muslims are under Shar’i obligation to treat the slaves kindly as if they were members of their own family. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commanded that they be fed the same food and be clothed in the same garments as the master. This is a broad principle which is the basis for treatment of slaves.

While slavery exists in theory in the books of Islam, in practice it had died out very long ago. The slaves under Muslim control were so highly trained, educated and looked after that they even became the rulers of the Islamic empire. The Mamluke dynasty is the reign of slaves who ruled the Islamic world at one time.

The stories of cruelty which the Europeans and other kuffaar are spreading about Arab maltreatment of slaves are part of the conspiracy of the west to discredit Islam. If some cruel and selfish Arabs had exploited the slaves, this cannot be blamed on Islam nor on the entire nation of Arabs. Such claims are false and malicious. The Europeans have a history of brutality which they perpetrated on the slaves. They are undoubtedly involved in conspiracies to eliminate Islam. The events in Bosnia and elsewhere are ample testimony for their plots.

Unscrupulous exists in all societies and in all nations. But the callous misdeeds of a few men cannot be regarded as the practice of the whole nation. Slavery does not exist today anywhere among Muslims to the best of our knowledge. Islam does not permit the capture of free persons and reducing them into slavery as was the case with the Europeans who set out from their countries especially to capture Africans from Africa and sell them in America and Europe as slaves. While some Arabs may have been involved in this illicit trade, the Arab race cannot be held for such misconduct just as the Arabs or any other nation cannot be held responsible for the drug-trafficking which today members of their respected races are carrying on throughout the world. Such evil men will be found in every community and in every age. But, the attempt to label the whole Arab nation as cruel and brutal because a handful of unscrupulous arabs may have imitated the Europeans in the slave-trade, is a clear plot to discredit Islam because the Arabs are Muslims, hence, the propaganda goes to put out that Islam teaches Arabs to be cruel to slaves. But, this is false.

27th Safar 1416

26th july 1995