Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#Quranic Reflections

Surah Taha is a very powerful surah where Allah emotionally consoles the Prophet (sws). In ayah 7, Allah says: “And if you speak out loud - then indeed, He knows the secret (As-Sirr) and what is [even] more hidden (Akhfaa).
Shaykh Abdul Nasir in his tafseer of Surah Taha describes how As-Sirr is an extremely private secret, a very deep dark secret that you tell someone in confidence, or something that think to yourself. Akhfaa is something that is in your heart and not shared; something you dare not even speak to anyone else or something that you haven’t yet even formulated a thought about. Allah says that if you say something out loud, then realize that Allah even know that which is As-sirr, your private, quiet secrets and that which is even more hidden than a secret.
This ayah is a consolation for the Prophet sws because the Prophet (sws) is going through a lot in Makkah, he is working himself extremely hard, he is worried and concerned for his people and for us, he is staying up at night praying and crying to Allah- Allah tells him that you cried out loud, you begged, you spread your hands out…your prayers are being heard, they are understood because Allah even knows that which your heart is still containing and hasn’t been said…Allah is always there. & This is a reminder for us too.
There are moments or days that completely break & exhaust us and leave us with our hands spread, crying and begging before Allah and sometimes the thought crosses our mind of whether or not Allah hears us or if our du’as are being understood. During these moments, this ayah is a consolation for us too. Allah hears what we cry out loud, those moments where we can’t contain ourselves anymore but Allah also knows what is deep inside of us…things that we are still holding in, deep in our hearts- Allah understands everything. You and I have a Lord that turns to us as soon as we turn to Him with a sincere heart. Bear patiently & trust Him, you and I are never alone. “…We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.” [50:16]

Virtues of the Day of Arafaah

"It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year" [Sahih Muslim]

 1. It is the day on which the religion was perfected and Allaah’s Favour was completed. 
In Al-Saheehayn it was reported from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a Jewish man said to him, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an aayah in your Book which you recite; if it had come to us Jews, we would have taken that day as an ‘Eid (festival).” ‘Umar said, “Which aayah?” He said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [al-Maa’idah 5:3]. ‘Umar said, “We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It was when he was standing in ‘Arafaah on a Friday.” 
2. It is a day of Eid for the people who are in that place. 
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Yawm ‘Arafaah (the day of ‘Arafaah),Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice) and Ayyaam al-Tashreeq (the 3 days following Yawm al-Nahr) are Eid (festival) for us, the people of Islam. These are days of eating and drinking.” This was narrated by the authors of al-Sunan. It was reported that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “It – i.e., the aayah ‘This day I have perfected…’ was revealed on a Friday, the Day of ‘Arafaah, both of which – praise be to Allaah – are Eids for us.” 
3. It is a day by which Allaah swore an oath
The Almighty cannot swear by anything except that which is mighty. Yawm ‘Arafaah is the “witnessed day” mentioned in the aayah:
“By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day [the Day of ‘Arafaah].” [al-Burooj 85:3].
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of ‘Arafaah, and the witnessing day is Friday.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. 
It is the “odd” [i.e., odd-numbered, Witr] by which Allaah swore in the aayah:
And by the even and the odd” [al-Fajr 89:3]. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “The even is the Day of al-Adhaa [i.e., 10th Dhoo’l-Hijjah] and the odd is the Day of ‘Arafaah [i.e., 9th Dhoo’l-Hijjah] This is also the view of ‘Ikrimah and al-Dahhaak. 
4. Fasting on this day is an expiation for two years. 
It was reported from Abu Qutaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the Day of ‘Arafaah. He said, “It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year.” Narrated by Muslim. 
This (fasting) is mustahabb for those who are not on Hajj. In the case of the one who is on Hajj, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the Day of ‘Arafaah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not fast on this day in ‘Arafaah. It was narrated that he forbade fasting on the Day of ‘Arafaah in ‘Arafaah. 
5. It is the day on which Allaah took the covenant from the progeny of Adam
It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’maan, i.e., ‘Arafaah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: ‘Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ let you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allaah, and we were (merely their) descendents after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Baatil (i.e., ploytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allaah)?’ [al-A’raaf 7:172-173].” Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. And there is no greater day than this and no greater covenant than this.  
6. It is the day of forgiveness of sins, freedom from the Fire and pride in the people who are there: 
In Saheeh Muslim it was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no day on which Allaah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafaah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’”
 It was reported from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of ‘Ishaa’ on the Day of ‘Arafaah, about the people of ‘Arafaah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
 And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Importance Of Having Correct 'Aqīdah (Creed).

Question: “There is (one) here who is lax concerning the importance of ‘Aqīdah (creed) and he is of the opinion that Eemān (faith) is sufficient (for him). Do you have any clarification concerning the importance of ‘Aqīdah for the Muslim and how it reflects on his life, on his relationship with the (Muslim) society (as a whole) and with the non-Muslims?”

'Allāmah Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān حفظه الله: “In the name of Allāh, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the all that exists. And may the peace and blessings be upon our Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and his companions. To proceed:

The correctness of ‘Aqīdah is the (most) fundamental principle. This is because bearing witness that Lā Ilāha Illallāh Wa Anna Muhammaddan Rasūl Allāh (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allāh and that Muhammad is His Messenger), is the first pillar of Islām. And the Messengers called firstly, to the correction of the ‘Aqīdah because all acts of worship and behavior depends on it and without the correct ‘Aqīdah, there is no benefit from (these) deeds. 

The Most High said: ‘But if they had joined in worship others with Allāh, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them.’ • [al-An’ām (6):88]
And their deeds became invalid.
And Allāh سبحانه وتعالى said: ‘Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allāh, then Allāh has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Dhālimūn (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.’ • [al-Mā`idah (5):72]

And the Most High said: ‘And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), as it was to those (Allāh’s Messengers) before you: If you join others in worship with Allāh, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.’ • [az-Zumar (39):65]

From these texts and other than them, it is clear that the correction of the ‘Aqīdah is from the important (affairs) and at the forefront of the Da’wah. And the first (affair) to establish for the Da’wah is the correction of ‘Aqīdah. And the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم remained in Makkah for thirteen years after his mission began, calling the people to the correction of the ‘Aqīdah and to at-Tawhīd. And the Farā`id (obligatory acts of worship) were not revealed to him except in Madīnah.

Yes, and the Salāt (prayer) was made obligatory upon him in Makkah before the Hijrah and the rest of the Sharī’ah was imposed on him after the Hijrah. From this we have evidence that deeds are not accepted except after the correction of the ‘Aqīdah.

And this is for the one who says: That the Eemān is sufficient without having interest for the ‘Aqīdah.

This is contradictory because Eemān is not Eemān except if the ‘Aqīdah is correct. And if the ‘Aqīdah is not correct, then there is no Eemān, and (there is) no Dīn (religion).”

● [فتاوى السياسة الشرعية]

Reasons Eemaan Increases and Decreases

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen

Reference: Fiqhul ‘Ibaadaat: P.59

We wish to know what things enable Eemaan to increase and what things make it decrease?

As far as the things that make Eemaan increase, then from them:

The first reason: To know Allaah Ta’aala with His names and attributes. Indeed whenever a person’s knowledge of Allaah and His names and attributes increases, then his Eemaan increases without a doubt as a result. This is why you will find that the people of knowledge, those who know about the names and attributes of Allaah what others do not, you will find that they have stronger Eemaan than other than them from this perspective.

The second reason: To Ponder over the Ayaat (signs) of Allaah, Both the universal and legislated signs. Indeed whenever a person ponders over the universal Ayaat, which is the creation; the heavens, the earth, humans, animals and other than that, will increase in Eemaan. Allaah Ta’aala says:

{And on the earth are signs for those who have Faith with certainty. And also in your own selves, Will you not then see?} 

There are many verses that prove this. What I mean is, the verses that prove that if a person was to ponder and contemplate upon the universe, his Eemaan as a result will increase.

The third reason: 
To practice a lot of good deeds, for whenever a person increases in practicing good deeds, his Eemaan will increase, whether these deeds are from the deeds of the tongue or actions of the body parts. For indeed Dhikr, (remembrance of Allaah) increases Eemaan in its amount (i.e. the number of times one makes Dhikr) as well as in the way it is practiced. Salaat and Sawm (fasting) as well, and Hajj increases Eemaan as in regards to the number of times it is practiced, as well as in regards to the way in which it is practiced.

As for the reasons why Eemaan decreases then it is the complete opposite of what has been mentioned. So ignorance of the names and attributes of Allaah will make Eemaan decrease. Because if a person does not know the names and attributes of Allaah, then he lacks knowledge of them that [if he had] would in turn enable him to increase in Eemaan.

The second reason: That one does not ponder over the universal and legislated Ayaat of Allaah. Indeed this causes Eemaan to decrease, or in the least will stop its growth .

Thirdly: Falling into sins, for indeed the sin has a tremendous effect on the heart and on Eemaan!. This is why the messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

“The zaanee (adulterer) does not commit zinaa (adultery) while he is a believer at the time of the act.”

Fourthly: Leaving off obedience (to Allaah and his Messenger), for indeed leaving off obedience is from the reasons that decrease one’s Eemaan. However, if this certain action of obedience was Waajib (compulsory), and one leaves it without a reason, then this is a decrease in Eemaan that one is blameworthy as well as punished for. But if it isn’t Waajib, or it is Waajib and one leaves it with an excuse, then it is a decrease of Eemaan that one is not punished for. This is why the Messenger of Allaah declared that women are deficient in ‘Aql (mentality) and Deen (Religion), and the reason he said that they had a deficiency in their Deen is because they do not pray or fast during their menses, rather they are ordered not to pray or fast, but because they are unable to practice these actions (during menses) that a man is able to practice , they decrease (in Deen) compared to a man from this perspective.

To read the book in english  http://understand-islam.net/site/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=177

أسباب زيادة الإيمان
الشيخ محمد بن صالح العثيمين

المرجع: فقه العبادات للشيخ ابن عثيمين - ص59

الباب: العقيدة

هل الإيمان يزيد وينقص؟
السبب الأول: معرفة الله بسمائه وصفاته، فان الإنسان كلما ازداد معرفة بالله وبأسمائه وصفاته ازداد إيمانا بلا شك، ولهذا تجد أهل العلم الذين يعلمون من أسماء الله وصفاته ما لا يعلمه غيرهم، تجدهم أقوى إيمانا من الآخرين من هذا الوجه. السبب الثاني: النظر في آيات الله الكونية والشرعية، فان الإنسان كلما نظر إلى الآيات الكونية التي هي المخلوقات- السماوات والأرض والإنسان والبهيمة وغير ذلك- ازداد إيمانا قال الله تعالى: { وفى الأرض ءايات للموقنين (20) وفي أنفسكم أفلا تبصرون} والآيات الدالة على هذا كثيرة وأعنى الآيات الدالة على إن الإنسان بتدبره وتأمله في هذا الكون يزداد إيمانا. السبب الثالث: كثرة الطاعات، فالإنسان كلما كثرة طاعته ازداد بذلك إيمانا، سواء كانت هذه الطاعات من الطاعات القولية أو الفعلية، فالذكر يزيد الإيمان كمية وكيفية، والصلاة، والصوم، والحج يزيد الإيمان أيضا كمية وكيفية. إما أسباب النقصان فانه على العكس من ذلك، فالجهل بأسماء الله وصفاته يوجب نقص الإيمان، لان الإنسان إذا لم يعرف أسماء الله وصفاته ينقصه العلم بهذه الأسماء والصفات التي تزيد في الإيمان. السبب الثاني: الإعراض عن التفكر في آيات الله الكونية والشرعية، فان هذا يسبب نقص الإيمان، أو على الأقل ركوده وعدم نموه. الثالث: فعل المعصية فان للمعصية آثار عظيمة على القلب، وعلى الإيمان، ولهذا قال النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام: (( لا يزنى الزاني حين يزنى وهو مؤمن. والرابع: ترك الطاعة، فان ترك الطاعة سبب لنقص الإيمان، لكن إن كانت الطاعة واجبة وتركها بلا عذر، فهو نقص يلام عليه ويعاقب، وان كانت طاعة غير واجبة، أو واجبة لكن تركها لعذر، فانه نقص لا يلام عليه، ولهذا جعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم النساء ناقصات عقل ودين، وعلل نقصان دينها بأنها إذا حاضت لم تصل ولم تصم، مع أنها لا تلام على ترك الصلاة والصيام في حال الحيض، بل هي مأمورة بذلك، لكن لما فاتها الفعل الذي يقوم به الرجل، صارت ناقصة عن الرجل من هذا الوجه