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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

Islam is Not Merely Ideas

Islam does not draw a distinction between the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ aspects of life, between belief and actions

No Muslim can accept the categorization of Islam as merely an “idea”. Islam is based on the word of God, revealed syllable by syllable to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 1400 years ago. Thus, it is not merely idea; rather it is an idea, ideology, the truth and a complete way of life. As the Qur’an states:

Whoever wishes for a way of life other that Islam, never will it be accepted from him and in the Hereafter he will be amongst the losers. (Aal `Imran 3: 85)

God mentions that this religion has been completed and perfected, and has no need for alteration or adjustment:

This day I completed your religion for you and perfected My favor upon you and chosen for your way of life Islam. (Aal `Imran 3:85)

The Prophet also said: “There is not one thing that shall bring you closer to the Paradise and away from the Fire without me having informed you of it, and there is not one thing that will take you away from Paradise and towards the Fire except that I have warned you about it.” (Musnad Ash- Shafi`i and others)

It is true that Islam does not draw a distinction between the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ aspects of life, between belief and actions, religion and politics; in reality, such distinctions are fallacious. Man’s beliefs are the foundations and prime motivators for actions, for what is held to be true on the inside must manifest itself outwardly.

Indeed, the very first task given to Prophet Muhammad was to correct the false beliefs. It was not that the pagan Arabs did not believe in God, the Creator. In fact, the Qur’an tells the Prophet:

If you ask them who sends down rain from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death? They would certainly say ‘Allah!’ Say: ‘All praise and thanks be to Allah!’ Nay! Most of them have no sense. (Al-`Ankabut 29:63)

The pagan Arabs used to worship Allah, pray to Him and sacrifice to Him in times of need and distress, as did the Jews and Christians, and they even claimed to love Him, but Allah rejected their actions  and referred to them as ‘senseless’, ‘astray’ and ‘disbelievers’. Hence, this is the reality concerning most of the men and Jinn; they claim to believe in Allah and worship Allah, but what they believe about Him is incorrect and the way they worship Him is incorrect.

Most of them do not believe in Allah except while joining partners with Him (Yusuf 12:106)

There is one common cause for this rejection, that is, thinking and speaking about God without knowledge, and thus ascribing to Him that which should not be ascribed to Him, such as sons, or daughters, or human qualities and weaknesses; claiming that some of the creation possess His powers and abilities, or by claiming that He, the Majestic, is pleased by some action that in fact angers Him, or that He is angered by some action that in fact pleases Him.

Thus,  the idol worshippers call upon that which can neither benefit nor harm them; the Christians call upon Jesus ; the Jews believe their racial origins guarantee His good pleasure; and there are those who believe that power and wealth are means of success — all have put their faith and trust in something in vain. This in itself is a great evil, for they have only wasted their time and effort, yet this is least of the evil consequences.

As for that which is most severe- those who have fallen into associating partners with God, have earned His anger and wrath, and upon them shall fall humiliation in this life and a most terrible fate in the next:

Surely Allah will not forgive al-Shirk (the association of partners with Him), but He forgives sins less than that of whomever He wishes. (An-Nisaa’ 4:48)

So Shirk or ascribing partners to God (whatever form it may take) is an unforgivable sin, because it is the source of all evil, the greatest injustice, the worst oppression and wrongdoing. For, if one is unafraid of speaking about Allah without knowledge (and this knowledge is attained only through Him, for He is the best knower of Himself and His will) and that which pleases and displeases Him, then what will one be afraid of speaking about ignorantly?

Witnessing the destructive forces of nature and the untold misfortunes and miseries over which God alone has ultimate power and control, both in this life and the next, anyone would realize that God is the most worthy of being feared. Similarly, anyone contemplating the miraculous order, precision and symbiosis within the earth and universe, must realize the unparalleled knowledge and wisdom of its Creator.

If one is heedless of transgressing the laws of Allah, and attaches little or no importance to them, or worse considers them bad, evil, and outdated, then what of the laws conceived in the limited minds of men? If one is ungrateful to his Lord, the Provider of all, then of what little consequence to such a one is ingratitude to the creation? If one denies the rights and dues of Allah, which are the most worthy of being fulfilled, then what rights and dues will such a person be fearful of denying?

Imagine the case of a fictional worker in a company owned and run by you, who believes you are the lavatory cleaner and the lavatory cleaner is the director! Would there not be evil results? Would you tolerate such a person? If so, for how long?

Now envisage this fool teaching this to others and insisting on it, so that the majority of the company came to believe it, ignoring your orders and prohibitions and inventing their own rules, making the lavatory cleaner who is deaf and dumb their guide!

The true causes of the evils that beset mankind are disbelief, sinfulness and ingratitude to God:

And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much. (Ash-Shura 42:30)

The Prophet said: “There is none who has a greater sense of ghayrah (a feeling of great fury and anger when one’s honor and prestige is injured or challenged) than Allah, and so He has forbidden shameful deeds and sins. And there is none who likes to be praised more than Allah does.” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah is more infuriated by the disobedience of His slave than a man of honor who finds his wife fornicating with another man. So how is His fury with those who insult Him by ascribing rivals and partners with Him, while He is Glorious above such things! In addition, the evil consequences are not limited to this life, as the Qur’an says:

Verily, those who disbelieved and die while they are disbelievers, the whole earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them even if they offered it as a ransom. For them is a painful torment and they will have no helpers. (Aal `Imran 3:91)

The Prophet explained:

“On the Day of Judgment, the disbeliever will be asked: ‘Suppose you had as much gold as to fill the earth, would you offer it to ransom yourself from the hell-fire?’ He will reply: ‘Yes!’ Then it will be said to him: ‘You were asked for something easier than that; that you should join none in worship with Allah, and submit yourself to Him, but you refused.’”  (Al-Bukhari)

The message of all the Prophets (peace be upon them) is one and the same:

Verily, We have sent to every nation a Messenger, saying: ‘Worship Allaah and avoid false objects of worship.’ (An-Nahl 16:36)

Indeed this is the very purpose for which Allah created mankind, as He says:

I did not create the Jinn and mankind except for My worship (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

Hence,  shirk (ascribing partners to God) is in contradiction to the reason for which we exist- which is to single out God for worship, avoiding all false deities and to worship Him completely, with sacrifice, supplication, submission, subjugation, obedience, compliance; and with love, fear, hope, trust and reliance upon Him, seeking only His pleasure and not the admiration of His creatures; and to do all of that according to that which was revealed to His last and final Messenger Muhammad and not according to whims, desires and mere conjecture.

Furthermore, of immediate relevance to the discussion, are those qualities unique to Allah that single Him out, such as Al-Hakam (The Judge); Al-Hakeem (The Wise) and Al -‘Alim (The All-Knowing). Not only is Allah the Creator, Controller and Sustainer, He is also the Sole Possessor of the wisdom and knowledge, to legislate for mankind and to determine what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong, what is lawful and what is prohibited; thus extending to the laws we should judge by and the social, economic and political system we should utilize:

And no partner in legislating has He – He is Alone. (Al-Kahf 18:60)

Allah admonished the Jews and Christians and called them disbelievers:

…taking their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allah. (At-Tawbah 9:31)

If God blamed the Jews and Christians for accepting changes and alterations made by the men learned in the Scripture and Divine legislation, for making the forbidden allowed and vice versa, then how about those who accept such actions from every Tom, Dick and Harry, who have no scripture, no wisdom and only pure speculation, whims and desires?

Islam makes no distinction between outward and inner, private and public life. People should not adopt ways of the worst error: disobedience to and rebellion against Allaah and not commit the unforgivable sin of ascribing partners to Him.

 

 

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Source: Islamweb.net

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

How to Acquire Knowledge of God?

By: Abul A`la Mawdudi 

How does one acquire knowledge of and belief in God, His Attributes, His Law and the Day of Judgment?

How to Acquire Knowledge of God

There are countless manifestations of God around us and in our own selves, which bear witness to the fact that there is One and only One Creator.

There are countless manifestations of God around us and in our own selves, which bear witness to the fact that there is One and only One Creator and Governor of this Universe and it is He Who controls and directs it.

These manifestations reflect the divine attributes of the Creator: His great wisdom, His all-embracing knowledge, His omnipotence, His mercy, His all-sustaining power – in short His attributes can be traced everywhere in His works. But man’s intellect and capacity for knowledge have erred in observing and understanding them.

Searching for Balanced Code of Life

Some men have argued that there are two gods, others have professed belief in a trinity, and still others have succumbed to polytheism. Some have worshiped nature and others divided the Creator into the gods of rain, air, fire, life, death and so on.

Similarly, men have put forward many erroneous notions about life after death; for instance, that man is reduced to dust after death and will not rise to life again; or that man is subject to a process of continuous regeneration in this world and is punished or rewarded in future cycles of life.

Even greater difficulty arises when we come to the question of a code of living. To formulate a complete and balanced code that conforms to God’s pleasure merely using human reason is an extremely difficult task.

Even if a man is equipped with the highest faculties of reason and intellect and possesses matchless wisdom and experience, the chances of his formulating the correct views on existence are slight.

And even if, after a lifetime of reflection, he does in fact succeed he will still lack the confidence that he has really discovered the truth and adopted the right path.

Need for Guidance

The fullest and fairest test of man’s wisdom, reason and knowledge might have been to have left him to his own resources without any external guidance. But this would have meant that only those with the determination and ability to find the path of truth would find salvation.

God, therefore, spared His human creatures such a hard test. Through His Grace and Benevolence He raised for mankind men from among themselves to whom He imparted the true knowledge of His attributes, revealed to them His Law and the Right Code of Living, gave them the knowledge of the meaning and purpose of life and of life after death and thus showed them the way by which man can achieve success and eternal bliss.

These chosen men are the Messengers of God – His Prophets. God has communicated knowledge and wisdom to them by means of revelation, and the book containing the Divine Communications is called the Book of God, or the Word of God.

The test of man’s wisdom and intellect therefore lies in this: does he recognize God’s Messengers after observing their pure and pious lives and carefully studying their noble and flawless teachings? A man of wisdom and common sense would accept instructions given by the Messengers of truth.

If he denies the Messengers of God and their teachings, his denial would signify that he was devoid of the capacity to discover truth and righteousness. He would fail his test. Such a man will never be able to discover the truth about God and His Law and life after death.

Faith in the Unknown

It is an everyday experience that when you do not know a thing, you look for somebody who does know. If you get ill and you cannot treat and cure yourself, you go to a doctor and follow his instructions without question. Why? Because he is properly qualified to give medical advice, possesses experience and has treated and cured a number of patients.

Similarly, in matters of law you accept whatever a legal expert says and act accordingly.

In educational matters you trust in your teacher. When you want to go to some place and do not know the way, you ask somebody who knows it, and follow the way he points out. In short, the course that you adopt in your day-to-day life about matters which you do not or cannot know is that you approach someone who does know about them, accept his advice and act accordingly. You make every effort to select the proper person.

But from then on you accept his advice unquestioningly. This kind of belief is called “belief in the unknown (Al-Ghayb)”.

The Prophets

Belief in Al-Ghayb signifies that you get knowledge of what was not known to you from one who knows. You do not know God and His real attributes. You are not aware that His angels are directing the machinery of the whole Universe according to His orders, and that they surround you on all sides. You have not the proper knowledge of the way of life through which you can seek the pleasure of your Creator. And you are in the dark about the life to come.

Such knowledge is given to you by the Prophets, who have had direct contact with the Divine Being. They are the persons whose sincerity, integrity, trustworthiness, godliness and absolute purity stand as irrevocable witnesses to the truth of their claim to knowledge.

And above all, the wisdom and force of their message makes you admit that they speak the truth and deserve to be believed and followed.

This conviction of yours is Belief in Al-Ghayb. Such a truth-discerning and truth acknowledging attitude is essential for obedience to God and for acting in accordance with His pleasure; for you have no other medium than God’s Messengers for the achievement of true knowledge, and without true knowledge you cannot proceed on the path of Islam.

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The article is an excerpt from the book “Towards Understanding Islam” by Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi.

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Women’s Prayer in Mosques: Allowed or Not?

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan 

Our religion is a perfect one that comprehensively covers our welfare and interests in this world and in the Hereafter, Islam came with good to all Muslims, whether male or female as Allah says:

Women’s Prayer in Mosques

One of the things by which Islam honors woman is allowing her to attend the mosques.

Whosoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, him verily we shall quicken with good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do. (An-Nahl 16:97)

Islam takes an interest in women, conferring honor and respect upon them as long as they abide by its rulings and adorn themselves with its virtues.

Allowed

One of the things by which Islam honors woman is allowing her to attend the mosques to witness the congregational prayers and the assemblies for remembering Allah in order to win reward. However, at the same time the woman must do that with due decency and precautions that keep her away from any satanic seduction and preserve her dignity as well.

With Men’s Permission!

It is detestable to prevent women from going to the mosque if they ask permission. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Do not prevent the female servants of Allah (women) from (going to) the mosques of Allah, but they should go while they are not perfumed.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

This is because performing the prescribed prayers in congregation has a great reward for both men and women: moreover, walking to the mosque has a great reward.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“If your women ask permission to go to the mosque at night, allow them.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Why?

The wisdom behind asking their husbands’ permission is that it is among the rights of men upon their women (wives) to stay at home. Thus, going to the mosque, in this case, is only permissible, and they art not to abandon what is obligatory for the sake of what is permissible. When the husband gives permission to his wife to go to the mosque, he then gives up his right (upon his wife to stay at home).

The Prophet said:

“ … yet their houses (women’s) are better for them (to perform prayer therein).” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) means that it is better for women to perform prayer in their houses to avoid any satanic temptation. The Prophet also said:

“… But they should go while they are not perfumed”

On this Condition

This means that women are allowed to go to the mosque (to perform prayer) on the condition that they should not be perfumed, lest they might tempt men with their perfume, thus diverting men’s eyes to them. The intended meaning here is that perfume is something that tempts men towards women. Joined to perfume (in prohibition) is what resembles it (with regard to temptation) like wearing attracting clothes, jewels and adornments.

Thereupon, if a woman perfumes herself or puts on attractive clothes, then she is prohibited to go to the mosque and must be forbidden from going out of her home. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever woman perfumes herself should not join us in the `Isha’ (Night) Prayer.” (Muslim)

Besides, if a woman went out to the mosque (for prayer), she should keep away from crowded gatherings of men, Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Thus, those in authority must forbid mingling between men and women in marketplaces and  gathering of men. The responsibility for this is upon those in authority since mingling between men and women brings about a great affliction. This is according to the hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women.’” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn Al-Qayyim added:

“Thus, those in authority must forbid women from going out adorned and beautified (in a seducing way). They must also forbid women from talking to men in streets and forbid men as well from doing the same.”

                                                                                                                                                                      To be continued

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence”.

 

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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Family New Muslims

Kindness to Parents

Muslims should show kindness to their parents.

Allah has ordained the good treatment of parents.

If you type the words, “kindness to parents” in Google, six of the first ten results are Islamic articles stressing the importance of being dutiful and kind to one’s parents.

Why is this so?

Islam is a beautiful religion that stresses the qualities of mercy, tolerance and respect among human beings. Allah has ordained the good treatment of parents and warned us against treating them with disrespect.  There are several verses in the Qur’an where kindness to parents is even coupled with the most important aspect of Islam; worshipping Allah alone.  This indicates that being kind to parents, honoring and respecting them, is extremely important in the way of life that Islam stipulates.

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.  And that you be dutiful to your parents.  If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. (Al-Israa’ 17:23)

It is crystal clear in this verse that no word of disrespect should be uttered toward a parent, nor even a look of resentment or contempt.  Honoring parents can be considered a form of worship if the intention is to please Almighty Allah by respecting His commands.

Allah continues this verse by reminding us that parents are deserving of kindness because they raised their children with gentleness and often made great sacrifices for their wellbeing.  His use of the word wing invokes the image of a mother bird tenderly shielding her young and calls to mind the gentleness that parents have for their children.

 And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord!  Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.’ (Al-Israa’ 17:24)

 The love and mercy that emanates from the Most Merciful Allah is manifest in the kind treatment existing between parents and their children.  Allah clearly prohibits the bad treatment of parents, and in another verse of the Qur’an He enjoins on us the need to show gratitude to Him, our Creator, as well as our parents.  Again, Allah clearly links the rights owed to Him to the rights owed to parents.

 And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.  His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years. Give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.”  (Luqman 31:14)

Prophet Muhammad reinforced the duty to be kind to parents. A companion of the Prophet once asked him which of the many good deeds a man can do is the most loved by Allah.  Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) answered him by saying, “To offer the Prayer in its proper time”.  The companion then asked, “And what is next?” to which Prophet Muhammad replied, “To be good and dutiful to your parents…” (Al-Bukhari).  The responsibility to be kind and good to parents comes right after the greatest duty in Islam, the prayer.

More than Goodness

The Arabic word that is used in the Qur’an and the narrations of Prophet Muhammad to denote this kindness to parents as bir, and more often than not, it is translated as goodness.  However, as is the case with most Arabic words, a direct translation into English often fails to explain the true depth of meaning. Bir does not only mean goodness; it contains shades of meaning that indicate kindness, compassion, respect and even patience.  Islam, the way of life, encompasses all these qualities, and Muslims must strive to model this behavior in all dealings, particularly in the relationship between parents and their children.

With hardship and endurance, most parents care for and nurture their children their entire lives, but at one point this duty reverses, parents become old and feeble and in need of this care and nurturing themselves.  The child is obligated to care for the parents by displaying all the qualities of bir and knowing that the reward for this is with Allah.  Prophet Muhammad said, “If anyone possesses these three characteristics Allah will give him an easy death and bring him into His Paradise: gentleness towards the weak, affection towards parents, and kindness to slaves.” (At-Tirmidhi)

One Man’s Devotion

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) was a close companion of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He is credited with remembering and transmitting many of the Prophetic sayings.  The life of Abu Hurairah also contains many demonstrations of his love and devotion to his mother.  When he first embraced Islam, no amount of pleading could convince his mother to do the same.  Weeping and afraid, Abu Hurairah approached the Prophet and begged him to make supplication to Allah asking that his mother be guided.  Prophet Muhammad complied with this request and within a very short period of time Abu Hurairah’s mother uttered the words, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his slave and Messenger”, thus embracing Islam.

Throughout his life, Abu Hurairah remained kind and courteous to his mother.  Whenever he wanted to leave home, he would stand at the door of her room and say, “Peace be on you, mother, and the mercy and blessings of Allah.”  She would reply, “And on you be peace, my son, and the mercy and blessings of Allah.”  He would also say, “May Allah have mercy on you as you cared for me when I was small,” to which she would reply, “May Allah have mercy on you as you delivered me from error when I was old.”

Abu Hurairah always encouraged other people to be kind and good to their parents.  One day he saw two men walking together and enquired of the younger one, “Who is this man to you?” to which the young man replied, “He is my father”.  Abu Hurairah advised him by saying, “Do not call him by his name, do not walk in front of him, and do not seat yourself before he does”.

Therefore, this gentleness and affection Abu Hurairah demonstrated to his mother teaches us that mutual respect and love is a duty.  A Muslim is obliged to show respect towards parents even if they are non-Muslim, and the greatest love he can show towards them is to supplicate to Allah in hope that they will be guided to Islam.  At the time of the Prophet, many of those who embraced Islam found that it conflicted with the beliefs and requests of their parents, but they were taught to be kind and to obey their parents, except if the parents demanded they disobey Allah.

But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience.  Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do. (Luqman 31:15)

Being dutiful to parents, obeying them and treating them with kindness is embedded in the teachings of Islam. However, obedience to Allah is always the first and foremost duty in Islam.

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This article was originally published on islamreligion.com. It has been taken with modifications from onislam.net

 

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

The Two Supererogatory Rak’ahs of the Dawn Prayer

By Editorial Staff

As well as being the second pillar of Islam, the Salah (performing prayer) is the first practical pillar. Muslims perform five obligatory prayers a day at different prescribed times. The five obligatory prayers are al-Fajr (the Dawn Prayer), al-Dhuhr (the Noon Prayer), al-‘Asr (the Afternoon Prayer), al-Maghrib (the Sunset Prayer), and al-‘Isha’ (the Evening prayer).

For almost every obligatory prayer, there are other supererogatory prayers which are recommended to be performed before and/ or after it.  These supererogatory prayers are divided into sunnah mu’akkadah, whose performance is stressed or highly recommended, and sunnah ghair mu’akkadah, whose performance is less recommended or not stressed.

Of these supererogatory prayers which are regarded as sunnah mu’akkadah, there are ten or twelve rak’ahs (units of prayer) that are highly recommended to be performed on a daily basis.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The two rak’ahs before the dawn (Fajr) prayer are better than this world and all it contains.”

Al-Fajr (The Dawn Prayer)

When the time of al-Fajr Prayer is due, it is recommended to perform two rak’ahs individually between Adhan (the call to prayer) and Iqamah (the second call to prayer).

Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) never missed performing them whether he was resident or travelling. ’A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The two rak’ahs before the dawn (Fajr) prayer are better than this world and all it contains.” (Muslim)

This hadith highlights the virtue of these two rak’ahs. Furthermore, if this is the case regarding the reward of this supererogatory prayer, how great, then, the reward of the obligatory prayer of al-Fajr is!

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (Al-Bukhari)

What verses to recite during the two supererogatory rak’ahs of Al-Fajr?

It is an act of the sunnah to recite surat al-Kafirun (Chapter of The Disbelievers) after reciting surat al-Fatihah (Chapter of the Opening) at the first rak’ah and surat al-Ikhlas (Chapter of the Pure Sincerity) at the second one.

In another narration related by Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would recite the following verses:

At the first rak’ah after reciting surat al-Fatihah, he would recite:

Say, (O believers): We believe in (One) God, and (in) all that has been sent down to us (in the Quran); and (in) all that has been sent down to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and (to) the (prophets of the) Tribes (of Israel); and (in) all that was given to Moses and (to) Jesus; and (in) all that was given to (all) the (other) prophets from their Lord. We do not differentiate (in faith) between any of them. Thus are we muslims, in willing submission to Him (alone). (Quran 2:136)

At the second rak’ah after reciting surat al-Fatihah, he would recite:

(O Muhammad,) say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an equitable word between us and you: That (together) we shall not worship other than God. And (together) we shall not associate anything (at all) in (our worship of) Him. And (together) we shall not take one another as lords apart from God. Yet if they turn away, (O believers), then say (to them): Bear witness that we, indeed, are muslims, in willing submission to God (alone). (Quran 3:64)

A Muslim can choose to recite either the two surahs or the two verses. However, reciting the two surahs is more common.

Should the two rak’ahs be short or long?

They are recommended to be short. Narrated `A’isha:

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to make the two rak`at before the Fajr prayer so light that I would wonder whether he recited Al-Fatiha (or not). (Al-bukhari and Muslim)

It should be noted that a person should be aware not to perform them so quickly to an extent that they become invalid. Feeling at rest in every pillar of the prayer is a must.

The legal ruling concerning lying down after performing them

‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to offer eleven rak’ahs of optional Salat (prayers) in the latter part of night. When it was about dawn, he would offer two short rak’ahs and then would lie down on his right side till the Mu’adhdhin (one who calls for prayer) would come to inform him that the congregation had gathered (for prayer). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Scholars hold different opinions regarding lying down after performing the two supererogatory rak’ahs of al-Fajr. There are three opinions as follows: obligatory, recommended and allowed.

1. Obligatory

Scholars who adopt this opinion use the following hadith to support it. Abu Hurairah narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger (S) said: “When one of you prays the two (supererogatory) Rak’ahs of Fajr then let him lay down on his right (side).” (Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi)

To explain how they deduced this legal ruling, they say that this hadith contains the form of imperative which denote obligation in Arabic.

Discussing this opinion, scholars of hadith consider this narration, which contains the form of imperative, as shadh (anomalous). Secondly, supposing it is authentic, the form of imperative here should not be understood to mean obligation because there are other proofs that clearly denote that lying down is not obligatory.

2. Recommended

The following hadith denotes that lying down is not obligatory. Narrated `A’isha:

After offering the two (supererogatory) rak`ahs,  the Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to talk to me, if I happen to be awake; otherwise he would lie down. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

3. Allowed

Lying down was the practice of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), however, he did not command Muslims to do that. Furthermore, had it been common among the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), they would have reported it.

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The supplication made between the Adhan and the Iqamah is never rejected.” (Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi)

The legal ruling concerning the person who misses the two supererogatory rak’ahs of Al-Fajr

If a person arrives at the masjid (mosque) and finds out that Muslims are performing the obligatory congregational prayer of al-Fajr, he must join them.

As for the missed prayer, there are two opinions concerning the time when a person can make it up.

1. After sunrise

The person should wait till about 10 or 15 minutes after sunrise to be able to make up the sunnah (supererogatory) of al-Fajr.

Abu Huraira is reported to have said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) prohibited to observe prayer after the ‘Asr prayer till the sun is set, and after the dawn till the sun rises. (Muslim)

2. After performing the obligatory prayer

Scholars who support this opinion say that making up the missed prayers is an exception.

Qatada narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

He who forgets the prayer, or he slept (and it was omitted), its expiation is (only) that he should observe it when he remembers it. (Muslim)

Um Salamah (Allah be pleased with her) said, “I sent a slave-girl to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asking her to stand by his side and say to him that Umm Salama says:

Messenger of Allah, I heard you prohibiting these two rak’ahs, whereas I saw you observing them; and if he (the Holy Prophet) points with his hand (to wait), then do wait.

The slave-girl did like that. He (the Holy Prophet) pointed out with his hand and she got aside and waited, and when he had finished (the prayer) he said:

O Daughter of Abu Umayya! You have asked about the two rak’ahs after the ‘Asr prayer. Some people of ‘Abd al-Qais came to me for embracing Islam and hindered me from observing the two rak’ahs which come after the noon prayer. So those are the two I have been praying. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Both the time after al-Fajr Prayer and the time after al-‘Asr Prayer have the same ruling. This makes the second opinion more preferred.

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His Life New Muslims

The Prophet’s Biography: A Well-Preserved Model for Mankind

By Salman Al-Oadah

The Prophet…His Biography

God has selected Muhammad as the finale of the divine message. He said:

…he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. (Al-Ahzab 33:40)

As such, God made him a model for people:

Truly in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example for him who looks to Allah and the last Day, and remembers Allah much. (Al-Ahzab 33:40)

It is not surprising, therefore, that the Prophet’s biography be so apparent to those who lived during his time, both friends and enemies, men and women, young and less young, those nearby and those at a distance. They knew every detail about his life; nothing of his personality was hidden from them. And that which they could not see about his private life was reported to them in detail by his wives.

So much so that we know of his private life – his ways of eating and drinking, traveling and home staying, while he was awake or sleeping, and other everyday activities, more than we know about any celebrity. We know more about him than we know about our parents or teachers.

I would not be exaggerating if I said that we know more about him than we know about our own selves: some of us do things that we may pay little attention to. But once others have commented on us, we may say that we were not aware of what we were doing if what is said about us is really true. However, we know about the life of our Prophet down to the smallest detail. And what an exalted and fascinating biography it is!

A Well-Preserved Biography

It is with the will of God that this biography was preserved in minute detail. When you read such books on the Prophet’s special features as Al-Shamayl Al-Muhammadiya, by At-Tirmidhi, or its simplified version Al-Mokhtassar, by Al-Albani, as well as other similar works, you see a very detailed portrayal of the Prophet. For example, they would talk about the white hairs in his hair and beard.

Anas reported that “I did not count in the Prophet’s hair and beard more than fourteen white hairs.” (Ahmad and Ibn Hibban) Or, in another report, “…and there were less than twenty white hairs in his hair and beard”. (Ahmad, Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Hibban)

In another report, a Companion states that “Allah had the soul of His Apostle without betraying his age with white hair: there were hardly thirty white hairs in his hair and beard”. (Ahmad) Even the number of white hairs in the hair and beard of the Prophet was documented.

Not only that, the very location of those hairs was specified.

One of the most attractive features of this biography is that by preserving it and making it a model for mankind, God left no excuse to humans. This biography has been carefully preserved by scholars and historians like no other biography has been. And none of the other prophets’ lives has been documented the way this prophet’s life has.

For example, if asked about the life of Moses, the Jews will give scattered accounts from parts of his life, with little historical evidence based on scientific facts. The Muslims, however, have paid attention to the smallest details about him, with utmost rigidity as to the credibility of the reporters of the accounts as well as their names.

The discipline of ‘Al Jarh wa al-Ta’deel’ (Criticism and Commendation (of reporters)) enumerated about five hundred thousand names at the time, although people had no printers, computers, or other assisting machines. However, they reached exceptional levels of memorization and accurate distinctions of names and people which surpassed many of the machines which technology has produced today. All this was done for one purpose– the conservation of the Prophet’s biography, tradition, and guidance.

An Exalted Biography

God – the All Wise – did not choose His Messenger at random. He made pure his interior and exterior, his speech and acts, his body and his heart.

But when you read his biography – when you read about his biography, every aspect of his life stirs further admiration in you for him. When you read about the details of his look, his face, hair, stature, clothing, etc. you feel more love in your heart for him, and your soul bolsters in faith.

His behavior, his manners, and the way he treats all people are all the more amazing!

In a word, the more you discover about him, the more you love him. This is why loving him is a sign of faith. It is a condition of believing in him as a messenger to find in your heart a great place of sincere love for this noble prophet.

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The article is excerpted from the book  “In the Company of the Prophet (God’s Chosen Messenger)” , by Salman Al-Oadah, published by IslamToday, 2012.

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

Who Do Muslims Worship: God or Allah?

One of the biggest misconceptions about Islam concerns the name “Allah”. Some people believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians, Jews and others, and some missionary organizations distribute literature in English in which they say such things as: “Allah is the god of the Muslims” and “Muhammad told people to believe in the god, Allah”.

God Allah

“Allah” is the only word in the Arabic language equivalent to “God”

They thus imply and reinforce the idea that “Allah” is some sort of false deity.

This is totally incorrect because “Allah” is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God. If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will find the word «Allah» wherever «God» is used in English.

“Allah” is also the proper name of God. Therefore, Muslims use the name “Allah” even when they speak other languages.

The Creator, the Sustainer

“Allah” is a special word. It indicates the only entity in existence who truly possesses the qualities of divinity and lordship, the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and earth. It is the name of the only being worthy of worship, the one upon whom all creation is dependent at every moment.

(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things). (Ash-Shura 42:11)

O men! Here is a parable set forth! listen to it! Those on whom, besides Allah, ye call, cannot create (even) a fly, if they all gathered together for the purpose! and if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition! (Al-Hajj 22:73)

This name belongs to God alone and no one else. “Allah” is the only word in the Arabic language equivalent to “God” with a capital “G”. It is also a unique word grammatically since it cannot be made plural or given a masculine or feminine gender. This is consistent with the Islamic concept of God. In English and other languages the word “god” can be used in various forms such as “God”, “gods” or “goddess”, all with different connotations and meanings.

The One and Only “God”

The only difference between “god” (meaning a false god or any object of worship) and “God” (meaning the one true God) is a capital “G”.

Thus, a more accurate translation of “Allah” might be “the one and only true God”.

But there is another important point, which is that Islam is particularly concerned with the correct concept of God.

Someone can have an erroneous concept of Him whether he uses the name “Allah” or the word “God”.

Followers of previous religions gradually deviated from the original pure belief in God due to the fact that their scriptures were not adequately protected from loss and alteration. None of these are still available for study in their original form or language.

But this is not true of the last divinely revealed message, the Qur’an.

No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him! (Al-Mu’minun 23:91)

Hence, the accurate concept of God can be found therein.

Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

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Source: The article is excerpted from the book Clear Your Doubts about Islam, Compiled by Saheeh international.

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FEATURED New Muslims

Moral Teachings of Muhammad: Lessons from the Sunnah

By Editorial Staff

Prophet Muhammad had possessed an exceptionally moral character among his people from the very beginning of his life. God selected such a man to convey the message of Islam.

morals sunrays

The Prophet’s life mirrored the due harmony between faith and actions.

Muhammad perfectly fulfilled his message of responsibility of leading Arabia from the darkness and ignorance of Jahiliyyah to the light of Islam and its moral teachings which are actually offered to all humanity.

It was by the mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them (O Muhammad), for if you had been severe or harsh-hearted, they would have dispersed from round about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. And when you are resolved, then put your trust in Allah. Lo! Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). (Aal `Imran 3:159)

The Prophet’s life mirrored the due harmony between faith and actions. He is the exemplary and the prime model of conduct for all Muslims to follow.

The Qur’an emphasizes the exalted moral character of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

Nun. By the pen and by what you write, (Muhammad), you are not insane, thanks to the bounty of your Lord. You will certainly receive a never-ending reward. You have a sublime morality. (Al-Qalam 68:1-4)

Lessons from the Sunnah

The Prophet’s hadiths about righteousness, tolerance and moral conduct are the embodiment of his noble character.

Morality and moral conduct constitute a basic principle of Islam and one cannot be a true Muslims without good moral qualities.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“There are two characteristics which are not combined in a believer; miserliness and bad morals.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Abu Ad-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“The heaviest thing which will be put on the believer’s scale (on the Day of Resurrection) will be good morals.” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)

Also, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said: “The fear of Allah and good morals (akhlaq) are the two major characteristics which lead to Paradise.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim)

The Best Believer

Allah’s Messenger also said: “The best amongst you are those who are best in morals.”  (Muslim)

An-Nawwas ibn Sam`an narrated, ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah about virtue and sin and he replied:

“The essence of virtue is (manifested in) good morals (akhlaq) whereas sinful conduct is that which turns in your heart (making you feel uncomfortable) and you dislike that it would be disclosed to other people.” (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

“You (people) cannot satisfy people with your wealth, but satisfy them with your cheerful faces and good morals.” (Abu Ya`la and Al-Hakim)

Moral Conduct in Daily Life

Once the Prophet passed by an Ansari who was scolding his brother about his immodesty. The Prophet advised him to let him go as modesty was a branch of faith.

A man who harasses his neighbor and makes him suffer any kind of damage is called cruel and stonehearted by the religion. In this connection the decision of the Prophet is:

“By God, he cannot be a believer; by God, he cannot be a believer; by God, he cannot be a believer. He was asked: ‘who’, He answered: ‘He from whose misdeeds his neighbor is not safe’.“ (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet advises his companions to keep away from the talk that is trash, the acts that are wicked, and the deeds that are senseless. He says:

“A person who believes in Allah and the Hereafter should speak about good things or else should keep quiet.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet’s Du`aa’ for Perfect Morality

Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “O Allah You have made my creation perfect, so make my moral characteristics also be the best.” (Ahmad)

Also, Qutbah bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to say:

“O Allah, I seek refuge in you from evil morals, deeds, passions and diseases.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim)

 

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

`Ashura’: History and Significance

There are many hadiths reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in relation to `Ashura’. `Ashura’ is the tenth day of the month of Muharram, the first month in the Hijri calendar. When the word `Ashura’ is mentioned, people immediately think of one thing, i.e. fasting.

Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam. Muslims have to fast during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Hijri calendar. Apart from the obligatory fasting, Muslims are highly recommended to practice some other voluntary fastings such as fasting on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of each lunar month, fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, fasting on the Day of `Arafah, etc.

Fasting on the month of Muharram is the best type of voluntary fasting. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram.’” (Muslim)

The Significance of `Ashura’

Therefore, fasting during the month of Muharram is highly recommended in Islam. For this reason, fasting on the Day of `Ashura’ is greatly rewarded because first it falls in the month of Muharram and second it has a special significance in Islam.

Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of `Ashura’. He asked them about that. They replied, “This is a good day, the day on which Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day.” The Prophet said, “We have more claim over Moses than you.” So, the Prophet  fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day). (Al-Bukhari)

From Moses On

Based on this hadith, we can claim that fasting on the Day of `Ashura’ has its historical roots. It was practiced before the advent of Islam. The Prophet and his Companions used to fast on that day while they were in Makkah. Scholars maintain that it was an obligatory fasting and later when Allah commanded Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan, the Prophet asked someone to make it clear to people whoever wants to fast, he may fast and whoever wants not to fast there in nothing wrong with him.

Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) fasted this day. It was the day on which Allah the Almighty, out of His Mercy, rescued the Children of Israel from their enemy; Pharaoh and his army.

The story of Prophet Moses is repeated many times in the Qur’an because it has something in common with the story of Prophet Muhammad in terms of the hardships they both went through.

From day one Prophet Moses was put to test until he received divine revelation and since then the challenges became even huge. Prophet Moses was supported with many miracles, but his people did not follow his message. Pharaoh and his army plotted against him.

Prophet Moses was commanded by Allah to leave Egypt and go to Syria. I will let the Qur’an to summarize what happened and how Moses and the Children of Israel were saved:

We revealed to Moses, ‘Go out at night with My servants and strike a dry path for them across the sea. Have no fear of being overtaken and do not be dismayed.’ Pharaoh pursued them with his armies and was overwhelmed by the sea. Pharaoh truly led his people astray; he did not guide them. Children of Israel, We rescued you from your enemies. We made a pledge with you on the right-hand side of the mountain. We sent down manna and quails for you. (Ta-Ha 20:77-80)

This encounter happened on the 10th of Muharram. For this reason Prophet Moses and the Children of Israel used to fast on that day. What we learn from the story is that truth will prevail and falsehood will come to an end.

Following the habit of Prophet Moses strengthens in us the spirit of human brotherhood. The was the message that the Prophet wanted to convey from his words: “We have more claim over Moses than you.”

Back to the issue of fasting on the day of `Ashura, let me remind you of the great reward for observing fasting: Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Every servant of Allah who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah, Allah would remove, because of this day, his face farther from the Fire (of Hell) to the extent of seventy years’ distance.” (Muslim) Therefore, fasting will serve as a shield against Hellfire.

Levels of Fasting

Scholars view that there are three kinds of fasting on the occasion of `Ashura’. The best of which is to fast on the 9th, 10th and 11th of Muharram. Then comes the fasting on the 9th and 10th. Finally comes the fasting on the 10th of Muharram.

The Prophet is reported to have observed fasting on the 10th  and he said: “If I live next year, I shall also fast on the 9th day.” (Ahmad)

Odd Actions on the Day of `Ashura’

Some people spend generously on their children on the day of `Ashura’. Some decorate their houses. Some apply kohl. All these practices have no authentic evidence from the Prophet’s Sunnah.

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Muharram and `Ashura’: History and Blessings

Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri year (Islamic calendar which started with the Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madinah) and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah says:

Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year) so was it ordained by Allah on the day when he created the Heaven and the Earth; of them four are Sacred – that is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…. (At-Tawbah 9: 36)

Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhul-Qi`dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab which comes between Jumada al-Thani and Sha`ban.” (Al-Bukhari)

Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (Muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity.

Allah’s words: so wrong not yourselves therein…. mean: do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.

Ibn `Abbas said that the phrase “so wrong not yourselves therein….” referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

Qatadah (may Allah be pleased with him) said concerning the same phrase that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful than wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but God gives more weight to whichever of His commands He wills.

God has chosen certain ones of His creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from within speech the remembrance of Him. He chose from upon the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights Laylat Al-Qadr, so venerate that which Allah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allah has told us to venerate. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

More Voluntary Fasts During Muharram

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram.’” (Muslim)

The phrase “Allah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allah in a genitive grammatical structure signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram.” But it was proven that the Prophet never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this hadith (Prophetic narration) is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast the entire month.

It was reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast more in Sha`ban. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life, before he was able to fast during this month.

Allah Chooses Whatever Times and Places He Wills

Al-`Izz ibn `Abd As-Salam said: “Times and places may be given preferred status in two ways, either temporal or religious/spiritual. With regard to the latter, this is because Allah bestows His generosity on His slaves at those times or in those places by giving a greater reward for deeds done, such as giving a greater reward for fasting in Ramadan than for fasting at all other times, and also on the day of `Ashura’ (the 10th of Muharram), the virtue of which is due to Allah’s generosity and kindness towards His slaves on that day…”

Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (Muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity.

`Ashura’ in History

Ibn `Abbas said: “The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of `Ashura’. He said: ‘What is this?’ They (Jews) said: ‘This is a righteous day; it is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musa (Moses) fasted on this day.’ He said: ‘We have more right to Musa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded (the Muslims) to fast on that day.” (Al-Bukhari)

The practice of fasting on `Ashura’ was known even in the days of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period), before the Prophet’s mission. It was reported that `Aishah said: “The people of Jahiliyyah used to fast on that day…”

Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Perhaps Quraish used to fast on that day on the basis of some past law, such as that of Ibrahim (Abraham).”

It was also reported that the Prophet used to fast on `Ashura’ in Makkah, before he migrated to Madinah. When he migrated to Madinah, he found the Jews celebrating this day, so he asked them why, and they replied as described in the Hadith quoted above. He commanded the Muslims to be different from the Jews, who took it as a festival.

Apparently the motive for commanding the Muslims to fast on this day was the desire to be different from the Jews, so that the Muslims would fast when the Jews did not, because people do not fast on a day of celebration.

Fasting on the day of `Ashura’ was a gradual step in the process of introducing fasting as a prescribed obligation in Islam. Fasting appeared in three forms. When the Messenger of Allah came to Madinah, he told the Muslims to fast on three days of every month and on the day of `Ashura’, then Allah made fasting obligatory in the verse: O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting … (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

The obligation was transferred from the fast of `Ashura’ to the fast of Ramadan, and this is one of the proofs in the field of Usool Al-Fiqh (Judicial fundamentals) that it is possible to abrogate a lighter duty in favor of a heavier duty.

The Virtues of Fasting `Ashura’  

Ibn `Abbas said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allah  so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of `Ashura’, and this month, meaning Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)

The meaning of his being keen was that he intended to fast on that day in the hope of earning the reward for doing so.

The Prophet said: “For fasting the day of `Ashura’, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” (Muslim)

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Source: Islamweb.net 

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