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The Meaning of Marriage in Islam

 

Qur'an-marriage ring

Marriage in Islam is regarded first and foremost as a righteous act, an act of responsible devotion.

Muslim scholars have interpreted the Qur’an to mean that marriage is a religious duty, a moral safeguard, and social commitment. As a religious duty, it must be fulfilled; but like all other duties in Islam, it is enjoined only upon those who are capable of meeting the responsibilities involved.

Challenging Commitment

Whatever meanings people assign to marriage, Islam views it as a strong bond (mithaq ghaleez), a challenging commitment in the fullest sense of the word. It is a commitment to life itself, to society, and to the dignified, meaningful survival of the human race. It is a commitment that married partners make to one another as well as to God.

It is the kind of commitment in which they find mutual fulfillment and self-realization, love and peace, compassion and serenity, comfort and hope. All this is because marriage in Islam is regarded first and foremost as a righteous act, an act of responsible devotion. Sexual control may be a moral triumph, reproduction, a social necessity or service, a sound health and a gratifying state of mind.

Yet, these values and purposes of marriage would take on a special meaning and be reinforced if they are intertwined with the idea of God, conceived also as religious commitments, and internalized as divine blessings. And this seems to be the focal point of marriage in Islam. To paraphrase some Qur’anic verses, the call is addressed to mankind:

O mankind! Be dutiful to God, Who created them from a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the two of them scattered abroad many men and women. (An-Nisaa’ 4:1)

It was God Who created mankind out of one living soul, and created of that soul a spouse so that he might find comfort and rest in her. (Al-A`raf 7:189)

And it is a sign of God that He has created for men, of themselves, mates to seek in their company peace and tranquility, and has set between them mutual love and mercy. Surely, in that are signs for those who contemplate. (Ar-Rum 30:21)

strong bond

Even at the most trying times of married life, and in the midst of legal disputes and litigation, the Qur’an reminds the parties of God’ s law.

Dutifulness

Even at the most trying times of married life, and in the midst of legal disputes and litigation, the Qur’an reminds the parties of God’ s law; it commands them to be kind to one another, truly charitable toward one another, and above all dutiful to God.

It is noteworthy that the Islamic provisions of marriage apply to men and women equally. For example, if celibacy is not recommended for men, it is equally so for women. This is in recognition of the fact that women’ s needs are equally legitimate and are seriously taken into consideration.

In fact, Islam regards marriage to be the normal, natural course for women just as it is for men. It may even be more so for women because it assures them, among other things, of relative economic security.

This significant additional advantage for women does not, however, characterize marriage as a purely economic transaction. In fact, the least focal aspect of marriage in Islam is the economic factor, no matter how powerful this may be. The Prophet is reported to have said that

“A woman is ordinarily sought as wife for her wealth, for her beauty, for the nobility of her stock, or for her religious qualities; but blessed and fortunate is he who chooses his mate for piety in preference to everything else.” (Muslim)

The Qur’an commands marriage to the spouseless and the pious even though they may be poor and slaves:

And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, All-Knowing. (An-Nur 24:32)

On the other hand, whatever dowry (marriage gifts) a man gives his prospective wife belongs to her; and whatever she may have acquired prior to or after marriage is hers alone. There is no necessary community of property of husbands and wives.

Furthermore, it is the husband who is responsible for the maintenance and economic security of the family. He must even provide the wife with the kind of help and service to which she was used before marriage, and, according to some scholars, she is under no legal obligation to do the routine housework, although she may do so, and usually does, for some reason or other, e.g. cooperation, economy, etc.

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The article is excerpted from Dr. Hammudah’s well-known book “Islam in Focus”.

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What Are the Requirements of Sincere Repentance?

By Editorial Staff

Definition of Tawbah

Tawbah (repentance) is an Arabic word which means in language to return. In the technical usage of the term, it means to return from disobedience of Allah’s commands to His obedience.

The greatest and most important kind of repentance is to desist from disbelief and revert to belief in Islam. Allah says,

“Say to those who disbelieve that if they desist (from unbelief) what (they have done) in the past shall be forgiven them.” (Quran 8:38)

Then, repenting of major sins comes second in importance. Next is the third kind which is to repent of minor sins.

“But turn all together to God in repentance, O you believers, so that you may be successful.”

The legal ruling concerning tawbah

It’s obligatory to repent of all sins. There are many proofs from the Quran, the Sunnah and also the Consensus that indicate the obligation of tawbah (repentance). Allah says,

“Moreover, you shall (all) seek forgiveness from your Lord. Then repent to Him.” (Quran 11:3)

“But turn all together to God in repentance, O you believers, so that you may be successful.” Quran 24:31)

“O you who believe! Repent to God with a most sincere repentance.” (Quran 66:8)

Al-Agharr al-Muzani who was from amongst the Companions of Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) reported that Ibn ‘Umar stated to him that Allah’s Messenger (may peace ‘be upon him) said:

O people, seek repentance from Allah. Verily, I seek repentance from Him a hundred times a day. (Muslim)

The stipulations concerning sincere repentance

The number of stipulations differs according to the kind of sin. If the sin committed is between the person and Allah, there will be three stipulations (2, 3 and 4 mentioned below). On the other hand, if the sin committed is related to other people’s rights, there will be four stipulations( 2, 3, 4 and 5 mentioned below). There are other scholars who mention more stipulations than these three or four. These are stipulations 1 and 6 mentioned below. However, the three or four are the most famous among scholars. Now, let us consider these stipulations!

1. Sincerity to Allah

Some scholars add this stipulation to the most famous ones discussed below while others think that it is implied in other stipulations.

Observing this stipulation here means the penitent person must intend to seek the Face of Allah. Moreover, he or she hopes that Allah will accept his or her repentance and forgive whatever acts of disobedience he or she has committed. If one’s intention is to make a show to deceive people, such repentance is invalid.

2. Feeling deep regret and sorrow for having committed acts of disobedience

Compunction is the feeling that shows the person’s repentance is truthful. The person who does not feel regret about the past sins he or she has committed but brags about committing them, his or her repentance will definitely not be accepted.

3. Giving up the sin

Sins include not fulfilling duties or obligatory acts of worship and/ or committing prohibited acts of disobedience. For instance, if a person does not perform obligatory prayer or does not give zakat (almsgiving), he or she must fulfill these pillars so that his or her repentance can be valid and accepted. On the other hand, if a person drinks alcohol or deals in usury, he or she must give up these sins immediately.

4. Firmly resolving not to commit such sins again

If a person repents with the intention to commit the same sin again when he or she has the chance, such repentance will not be accepted as the person is not truthful or sincere in his or her repentance.

However, if the penitent person duly fulfills this stipulation with a sincere intention and resolve not to commit such sins again but was later on overcome by his or her weaknesses, his or her repentance will still be sincere and valid. Such person should not despair or give up repenting to Allah because that’s exactly what the Satan wants. The Muslim person should always renew repentance every time he or she indulges in acts of disobedience. It doesn’t matter how many times a person is overcome by his or her weaknesses so long as he or she is truthful and sincere in repentance.

5. To give people their rights back

If the sin has to do with people’s rights, then this extra condition must be fulfilled. This stipulation includes preserving the right of other people whether they are Muslims or not. Repentance will not be valid so long as this stipulation is not fulfilled. Among the most important human rights is to protect people’s lives, honor or reputation and property.

a. Acts of disobedience related to people’s lives

These include homicide, which is one of the gravest and extremely major sins, suicide, acts of aggression, beating or any kind of harm directed towards others. To repent of such crimes or sins, the person must seek the offended people’s pardon. The offended person may choose to get retribution, accept blood money or to pardon. Allah says,

“For the recompense of a misdeed shall be a misdeed like it. Yet one who (instead) pardons (an offender) and sets things aright, his reward shall be with God. (For), indeed, He does not love the wrongdoers.” (Quran 42:40)

b. Acts of disobedience related to honor or reputation

These include backbiting, slander, libel and any action that involves defamation or using swear words.

In any of these cases or similar ones, the offender must seek the offended people’s pardon so that his or her repentance can be accepted.

c. Acts of disobedience related to other people’s property

These include stealing, usury, bribes, deception and any misappropriation of people’s wealth by using wrongful means.

For the repentance to be accepted, one must return other people’s properties to them. If the rightful owner of the stolen property has died, the perpetrator of such crime must return it to the heirs. If there are not any heirs, the perpetrator must give this money to charity.

6. Repentance must take place in a time when it can be valid

Any person can always repent to Allah at any time except in two cases:

a. At the time of death, repentance becomes invalid.

An example of this is the repentance of the pharaoh of Egypt who showed repentance while drowning in the middle of the sea. In general, the repentance of a person who has become certain of his or her near death is out of place. Allah says,

Yet there is (acceptance of) repentance with God only for those who do evil out of ignorance then repent soon after. It is to such as these whom God will grant repentance. And ever is God all-knowing, all-wise. But there is no repentance for those who (continue to) do (great) sins until, when death approaches one of them, he says: I do, indeed, repent now! Nor (is there repentance) for those who die while they are disbelievers. For such as these, We have made ready a most painful torment. (Quran 4:17-18)

b. When the sun rises from the west, Allah will no longer accept repentance.

Allah says,

“On a Day when some (of the awesome) signs of your Lord shall come (at the end of time, sudden) belief will not benefit a soul that has not believed before, nor (a soul that has not) earned any good from its belief Say (to them): Wait! Indeed, we too are waiting.” (Quran 6:158)

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the West: and when the people see it, then whoever will be living on the surface of the earth will have faith, and that is (the time) when

No good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before.” (Quran 6:158) (Al-Bukhari)

So, repentance must take place in a time when it can be valid and accepted so that the penitent can benefit from it.

 

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The Meaning of La Ilaha Illa Allah (Tawheed)

By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha

This is the phrase of Tawheed (the concept of the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah). Due to this concept Allah brought the creation into being, and due to this concept He created Paradise and Hellfire. Allah (Exalted be He) says:

The Meaning of La Ilaha Illa Allah (Tawheed)

This is the belief which all the Prophets and Messengers called to.

And I have neither created the Jinn nor humans except to worship Me. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

This is the belief which all the Prophets and Messengers called to, from Adam, the first Prophet, to Muhammad, the last messenger (peace be upon them all). Allah says:

And we have not sent before you any messenger except that We have revealed to him that there is no deity that is worshipped in truth except Me, so worship and obey Me. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:25)

Meanings of the Shahadah

There is no Creator of this existence except Allah. Allah says:

Such is Allah, your Lord! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Creator of all things. So worship and obey Him (Alone), and He is the Wakeel (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian, etc.) over all things. (Al-An`am 6:102)

There is no True Master and Owner present in this existence except Allah. This is known as Tawheed Ar-Rubobiyyah, or the Oneness of Allah in His Attributes of Lordship. This is the belief that there is no Creator, Sovereign Master, Administrator, Provider, Sustainer, and Owner except for Allah:

Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the ‘aalameen (mankind, Jinns and all that exists)! (Al-A`raf 7:54)

No deity deserves servitude and worship except Allah. This is known as Tawheed Al-Ulohiyyah, or the Oneness of Allah in His Worship. This is the belief that no worship should be directed to any except Allah. Allah says:

No doubt! Verily, to Allah belongs whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is in the earth. And those who worship and invoke others besides Allah, in fact, follow not the (Allah’s so-called) partners, they follow only a conjecture and they only invent lies. (Yunus 10:66)

All the Names and Attributes of Allah are perfect and complete. This is known as Tawheed Al-Asmaa´ wa As-Sifaat, that Allah has all the Best of Names and Attributes, and that there are none equal, comparable to, or like them. He is high above and free from all faults and shortcomings. Allah says:

And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do. (Al-A`raf 7:180)

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “How to Become a Muslim”.

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Apostasy & Drinking Alcohol

The noble Qur’an teaches us that there is no compulsion in religion. Does the punishment for apostasy conflict with this Qur’anic principle? What about drinking alcohol? Is it prohibited, and why? Watch this video and listen to Dr. Bilal Philips’ answers…

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Champion Weightlifter Rebeka Koha Converts to Islam

Today is a special day for me, because I became a Muslim🧕🏻

Latvian weightlifter Rebeka Koha has announced that she has converted to Islam and, as a result, has decided to remove all photos and videos from her social media.

 

She has also asked other people not to post images featuring her hair, neck, arms or legs.

 

Dear friends, followers and just everybody!
I made a big decision in my life! And all I can tell is that I’m happy and thankful about it☺️I’m sure for myself that I did the right thing❤️
The only thing what I’m asking about is RESPECT and if you have nothing good to say you can leave and better remain silent!🙂
Today is a special day for me, because I became a Muslim🧕🏻
At 3:48pm I did the Shahada(which is a declaration of faith aka converting) and entered Islam🙏🏻 from here I believe that the new and beautiful chapter of my life can begin 🙌🏻😍🤩
As I’m a muslim now I would like to ask you to not post and share any pictures of me (if you have ofc) anywhere for a public use where is seen my hair and/or body(arms, neck, legs).‼️
Thanks to those who supports me and stays with me no matter what! Alhamdulillah, wishing you all the best and God bless all of you❤️

In a comment on the post, which is now the only one on her Instagram account, she clarified that she does not expect all existing content featuring her to be removed:

“What we have and what is done we can’t change that. I can’t ask all the people to delete everything, throw everything out. Just be respectful and don’t post anything from this moment. That’s it”

In another comment, she responded to a question about her reasons for converting:

“first of because of my future husband when we started dating I got to know more about Islam. Thank to him I found so many good things and this is one of them. I feel peace and happiness in this. So I found it right to do it”

In early May, Koha announced her engagement to Qatari discus thrower Moaz Mohamed Ibrahim. Twenty-one-year-old Ibrahim won a gold medal at the 2016 World U20 Athletics Championships but has not yet won a medal at a senior international competition.

Koha last competed at the Latvian Championships in early March, where she set new Latvian records with a 104kg snatch and a 227kg total. She has already done enough to qualify comfortably for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (assuming it goes ahead in 2021), sitting fourth in the W59 rankings and having completed all of the required competitions.

The statement from Koha did not state whether her religious conversion or planned marriage will affect her weightlifting career. Latvian news is reporting that she currently has some knee issues but is training for upcoming competitions. Her coach, Eduards Andruškevičs, is quoted as saying:

“I think that everything is based on love. We talked to Rebeka before … She said that this would not interfere with her career in any way, but now there is another problem – health misfortunes. The doctor did not find anything in the initial tests, but Rebeka has problems with her knees. She is currently having difficulty withstanding a heavy load. “

He went on to say:

“I am worried about whether Rebeka will be able to withstand the whole program. She started well in the Latvian championship, but now there are health problems and I know that Rebeka will not want to fight for the tenth position”

Her next competition would be the Latvian individual lift championships in August. According to her coach, she will lift there in an outfit that is compatible with her faith.

The IWF has allowed full-body unitards and headscarves to be worn in competition since 2011, which has enabled several Muslim women to compete internationally.

According to reports in Latvia, Koha still plans to represent the country at the forthcoming European Championships in Moscow. The Latvian Olympic Committee has expressed its support for her, saying that they hope her conversion will positively affect her preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Latvian Olympic Committee Secretary-General Karl Lejnieks said:

“The LOK respects the free choice of anyone that affects their privacy. The same goes for Rebeka Koha. We hope that this decision will have a positive impact on her sporting path to the most important competition of the four years – the Tokyo Olympics”


Source: Weightlifting House website with some modifications

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Thanksgiving: The Essence of Belief

How does thanksgiving contribute to one’s belief? Is it just a faith requirement or just moral development? How can we reach the state of thankfulness?

The hadith of Jibreel (Angel Gabriel) is considered by most Muslim scholars to be one of the fundamental texts of our religion. It presents, in a comprehensive way, the foundations of Islam.

the essence of Islam

The spiritual path is not a philosophical picnic. It requires action; the action of the heart, the tongue and the limbs.

This is made clear by the fact that the Prophet (blessings and peace upon him) mentions to `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) at the conclusion of the hadith: “’O `Umar! Do you know who the questioner was?’ Umar replied: ‘Allah and His Messenger know best’. The Prophet replied: ‘Verily, it was the Angel Gabriel. He came to teach you your religion’”. (Muslim)

This narration focuses on four things that are essential to our religion: Islam (Muslim practice), Iman (Muslim dogma), ihsan (states of inner excellence) and the Sa`ah (Doomsday).

To rephrase the focal points of this hadith, we can say that Islam is a religion that demands of its adherents that they do something, that they believe something, that they embody something and that they prepare for something. What we do involves the devotional acts that are enjoined by the religion. This is the essence of Islam, in this particular context.

What we believe involves the dogma that we affirm as agreed upon by the scholars who have mastered the prophetic message and distilled from it the essential beliefs whose affirmation is necessary if a person is to be considered a Muslim. This is the essence of iman, again, in the context of the hadith.

The states of being that a believer embodies are illustrated, in the immediate context of the hadith of Gabriel, by the saying of the Prophet: “…that you worship Allah as if you see Him. If you fail to see Him, be mindful that He observes you”. This is the essence of ihsan.

Finally, by living a life, which encompasses in a real way all of the aforementioned elements, we are preparing for the end of things in the world, or Doomsday.

To expound further on the idea of a Muslim embodying something, we can add that this is an aspect of our religion that many Muslims fail to adequately consider. Specifically, the idea that we are to embody the prophetic virtues is lost by many. Those virtues, which the Prophet embodied, are an articulation of the ontological stations he attained to.

In other words, his very being, for example, embodied the station of patience. This ontological reality then manifested itself in his character as he displayed unmatched patience in his dealings with others. This is what ihsan is about.

Imam al-Qushayri, in his Risala, mentions some of the states a believer should strive to embody: repentance or penitence (tawbah); sincere exertion in worship (mujahada); spiritual insularity (khalwah or `uzlah); God-consciousness (taqwa); religious scrupulousness (wara`); worldly detachment (zuhd); silence (samt); fear of God (khawf); hope for God’s Mercy (raja’); sobriety of heart (huzn); suppression of the appetite for food and drink (Ju`); humility (tawadu`); opposing the whims of one’s ego (mukhalafa an-nafs); avoiding envy (hasad); avoiding backbiting (ghaybah); contentment (qana`ah); trusting in Allah (tawakkul); thankfulness (shukr); being certain of divine truths (yaqeen); patience (sabr); being mindful of Allah’s observation of one (muraqabah); being pleased with Allah’s decree (rida); willing servitude to Allah (`ubudiyyah); strong conviction for truth and religion (iradah); consistency (istiqamah); sincerity in all of the relevant realms (ikhlas); honesty (sidq); shyness (haya’); freedom from the weight of worldly engagements (hurriyyah); constant remembrance of Allah (dhikr); concern for others (al-Futuwwa); viewing things in the light of truth (firasa); good character (khuluq); generosity (jud) and many others. (Abi Al-Qasim Al-Qushayri, Al-Risala)

Thanksgiving: How?

One of the loftiest of stations mentioned by Imam Al-Qushayri, and others, is that of thankfulness (shukr). To fully strive for the actualization of this station in our lives we must know its meaning. The linguistic meaning of shukr is from sha-ka-ra, which means an animal attaining to pasture and then fattening on it.

Thus, the Arabs say, sha-ka-tat al-ibilu, meaning the camels attained to pasture and became fat. The expression hisan shakur means a horse that is fattened up by very little fodder. In general, an animal that is shakur eats little but grows much.

This definition gives us insight into the nature of a thankful person. It does not take much to please them. We find that a person that is truly thankful is appreciative of very little. When we give them the smallest gift they are deeply grateful and seek to express their gratitude in the warmest terms and kindest actions. As for the ingrate, no matter how much they receive they desire more and fail to express any gratitude for what they have received.

Thus, the effect of a blessing, be it pasture or fodder, is seen on the animal who receives that blessing, in its increased size. Likewise, the effect of a blessing given by Allah to His servant manifests itself on the tongue, heart and limbs of a thankful person. Hence, in the technical usage of the religious scholars, as expressed by Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, thankfulness means ‘to manifest one’s appreciation for the blessings bestowed by Allah on the tongue, through praise and acknowledgment; in the heart by witnessing the giver of the blessing and loving Him; and on the limbs by willingly accepting His guidance and obeying Him’.

This definition helps us to understand that the spiritual path is not a philosophical picnic. It requires action; the action of the heart, the tongue and the limbs. Knowledge though, does play its part, in fact, as emphasized by Imam Al-Ghazali in the Ihya’, it is the foundation of the subsequent acts of thankfulness. He says:

‘You should know that thankfulness is among the stations of those journeying to Allah. It is also (like other stations) organized around the categories of knowledge (`ilm), state (hal) and action (`Amal). Knowledge is the foundation and it bequeaths the state, while the state (in turn) bequeaths action. As for knowledge it is the knowledge that the blessing is from the giver of blessings (Allah: Al-Mun`im).The ensuing state is the happiness resulting from His bestowing the blessing. The action is undertaking what is intended and loved by the giver of the blessing’. (Al Ghazali, Ihya’ `Ulum Ad-Deen)

Imam Al-Ghazali outlines a process whereby thankfulness can become actualized in our lives. The foundation of this process is the knowledge that every blessing we have ultimately comes from Allah. In our increasingly ’material’ world people are losing touch with this great reality. Many view their hard work, intellect or creativity as the source of the good they enjoy. They cannot conceive of the role played by the divine in their good fortune.

Hence, we witness the growing disinclination on the part of the wealthy to share their wealth with the less fortunate members of our society. In the face of appeals for greater charity we increasingly hear retorts such as, ’Poor people should work hard as I did…’ ‘Those people should pick themselves up by their bootstraps like we did…’ People uttering such statements may recognize the blessings they enjoy, but they fail to see the giver of those blessings, and because they do not see or acknowledge the giver of the blessing, they neither see nor acknowledge the rights He has established in their wealth.

The various sayings of the scholars we have considered let us know that to really be people of thankfulness we must be people who praise and worship our Lord. When the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah upon him, was asked why he was standing in prayer at night until his feet were swollen, he replied, as the tears flowed down his cheeks, ”Should I not then be a thankful servant?” (Al-Bukhari) His thankfulness was expressed in his worship. This should be our case.

A final way we can express our thankfulness in indicated by the name of Allah, Ash-Shakur. One of the meanings of this name is one who rewards a small amount of human effort with a great amount of grace. A vile criminal can enter into Islam one moment and then die the next. Having done only one righteous deed, uttering the Testimony of Faith, he is rewarded with eternal bliss in Paradise. How small was his action compared to the magnitude of Allah’s grace?

This should remind us that in all of our relations and dealings in the world we should try to give far more than we take. This is especially important when the dominant ethos is becoming ‘take as much as you can and give as little as possible’.

Let us take time to reflect on what it truly means to be thankful, and let us work to the extent of our capabilities to extend the blessings we enjoy to others, not just on one day, but every day.

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Source: newislamicdirections.com.

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All about Eid Al-Adha Rulings during COVID-19 Pandemic

By AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee

The following are some rulings that we would like to bring to your attention and remind you of, which are relevant in the midst of the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. States and cities all over North America are dealing with the spread of this disease amongst their residents on different levels. Therefore, these factors must be taken into consideration in the application of the following rulings.

May Allah accept our good deeds.
Eid Mubarak!

The Legal Ruling Regarding the `Eid Prayer

In those states and municipalities where residents have been ordered or advised to avoid crowds and/or not to leave home except in the case of necessity, the Eid prayer can be performed with the minimum requirements; this would include an imam as well as two or three adult males, all the while maintaining physical distancing and wearing face masks. This is because Eid is one of the manifest Islamic rituals, and scholars have varying opinions on whether or not its performance is a communal obligation, an individual obligation, or a confirmed Sunnah.

Furthermore, because of the principle which states, “What is doable (as far as obligatory actions) does not stop being an obligation due to the presence of what is not doable,” the Eid prayer should be performed to the best of our ability, even if it is within the narrow and limited scope that we have described. It would not be befitting for us to be negligent in this matter (i.e., not performing the Eid prayer at all).

And similar to how Jumuah prayer is to be established within the limits of the maximum permissible number of congregants in one building, even if that means limiting the congregation to the administrative members of the mosque, the same can be said about the Eid prayer.

When it comes to the performance of the Eid prayer in the home, for the one who was not able to pray it in congregation, the matter is not so restricted.

What Is the Legal Ruling Regarding the ‘Eid Sermon?

Whereas the khutbah (sermon) is a condition of validity for Jumuah prayer (even though the one who catches one rak’ah [unit] of the prayer is considered to have caught the prayer), the khutbah is voluntary in the two Eid prayers. This is proven by what has been narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn as-Sa’ib who said, “I attended the Eid prayer with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). When he finished the prayer, he said: ‘We shall deliver the sermon; he who likes to sit and listen may do so, and he who wishes to leave may do so’.” Therefore, the khutbah is not a condition of validity for the Eid prayer, nor is listening to it.

Where to Perform the ‘Eid Prayer?

And though the Jumuah prayer, by default, is to be performed inside the mosque, the Eid prayer on the other hand should be performed outdoors rather than inside the mosque. It is for this reason that the majority of scholars from the Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali schools permit the performance of Eid prayer in the home for the one who was not able to attend it in congregation, though the Hanafi’ scholars disagree. The evidence on the side of the majority is what has been narrated to us about Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who, whenever he missed Eid prayer with the imam, would gather his family members and servants. He would then have ‘Abdullah ibn Abi ‘Utbah lead them in two units of prayer while performing the customary takbeerat.

 

Based on this narration, there is no harm in performing the Eid prayer at home individually, or together with the members of one’s family, if someone is unable to perform it in congregation due to a hindrance. In addition, we have the choice in performing this prayer in congregation or individually. And whether we choose to pray it in its normal form (reciting out loud with the additional takbeerat), or as two units with a silent recitation and without the additional takbeerat (similar to the two units of duha’ prayer), or four units with a silent recitation (similar to dhuhr prayer), then that is all permissible and correct, with each of the aforementioned forms being traceable to a narration attributed to our righteous predecessors (salaf).

The Ruling on Performing ‘Eid Prayer through Broadcast

It is not permissible to pray in one’s home while being led by an imam who is elsewhere, for example via modern means of communication and broadcast such as internet, television, etc. However, there is no harm in listening to an Eid khutbah being broadcast live (even if it is prerecorded) from the mosque after having completed the Eid prayer at home, and the speech in this case would be considered a general admonishment. There is also no harm if it is followed up by a broadcasted supplication (du’a) afterwards.

Some Recommended Acts of the `Eid Day

And for the one who will be praying at home, it is a Sunnah to break the fast after the Eid prayer and not beforehand (in contrast to Eid al-Fitr). It is also recommended to perform the other Sunnahs of Eid, such as performing a ritual shower (ghusl), applying good scents, dressing nicely, etc.

What If It Is Permissible to Gather?

As for the states and municipalities where the virus is under control and it is permissible to gather therein, then people may congregate while following the guidelines set by health officials and after having consulted the experts, so as to ensure the safety of those coming to pray as well as the community at large, all the while establishing the ritual of Eid and preserving this Sunnah. The congregants, and all those attending, are to avoid shaking hands with one another and/or hugging, in order to avoid the possible spread of the virus – as we are still dealing with this pandemic.

 

It would be permissible for congregants to perform the Eid prayer while standing next to their own vehicles in a parking lot while maintaining a safe distance from others, if this is the only way the community would be permitted to gather and perform the Eid prayer. We do not, however, deem it permissible to pray sitting inside one’s vehicle, because that would change the required form in which the prayer is to be performed and because doing so can be used as a pretext for permitting, by default, this form of prayer in the future even once the dire need caused by the pandemic is gone, and even with the availability of other options such as praying in small groups, praying at home, or to the side of one’s vehicle, as we have just mentioned.

The Legal Ruling on Udhiyah

Sacrificing an animal (udhiyah or qurban) is a Sunnah and is not considered an obligation. If a Muslim does not perform it due to a financial constraint, then there is no blame on them.

 

It is not sufficient to give money (in charity) instead of having an animal sacrificed out of fear of contagion that can be caused by mixing with others during the time the animal is slaughtered. It would be invalid to make a deductive analogy (qiyas) of replacing the udhiyah with giving money in charity as one might do with one’s Zakat al-Fitr. This is because the udhiyah is an act of worship that hinges on two components that make it incomparable with Zakat al-Fitr:

(1) the act of slaughtering the animal, which, in and of itself, is considered an act of worship by which one gains nearness to Allah, and

(2) the charity and goodness that reaches the poor and needy as a result of the act.

The presence of the virus does not provide us with a valid concession in changing the act of offering the udhiyah to simply offering monetary charity as a replacement. Doing so would be an innovation in the religion of Islam, and we do not know of any support for such a view offered by any of our esteemed scholars from the past. If someone were to do this (donate money instead of offering an udhiyah), their act would be considered a general charity (sadaqah) and would not count for them as a valid alternative for the udhiyah.

 

By default, the sacrifice should be performed in the land one is residing in, and it is prescribed for one to witness the sacrificial act and eat from the meat of the udhiyah. However, it is permissible to appoint someone who will perform the sacrifice on your behalf, even if that is done outside the country where you reside. Given the circumstances of this pandemic, if it is not possible (to perform the sacrifice locally), or if doing so involves hardship or a risk of exposure to harm, there is no blame in forgoing these aspects of the ritual and having the sacrifice performed by someone you appoint.

The Best Days a Year

In conclusion, we would like to remind the Muslim community of the importance of benefiting from the blessed seasons of worship, especially the most virtuous days of this worldly life, as it has been related to us in the hadith of Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The best days of this world are the ten days (i.e., the first 10 of Dhul-Hijjah)…” [reported by al-Bazzar and ibn Hibban and classified saheeh (authentic) by al-Albani]. And, as taught to us by the Prophet (PBUH): “The greatest day in the sight of Allah is the day of Sacrifice (al-Nahr), followed by the day of Remaining (al-Qar)” [reported by Abu Dawood and al-Nasa’i and classified as authentic by al-Albani].

 

Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fat-h “The apparent reason as to why the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah stand out in their virtue is the fact that they combine in them the performance of the most essential acts of worship, which are salah, fasting, charity, and Hajj (pilgrimage), and we do not find this trait present in any other set of days.”

 

And given these are the most virtuous days of the year, the recompense for good deeds performed in them is magnified and the rewards are multiplied. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “”There are no days during which righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even striving in the cause of Allah?” He (PBUH) replied, “Not even striving in the cause of Allah, except in case one goes forth with his life and his property and does not return with either of them.” [reported by al-Bukhari]

Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah

So it is incumbent upon Muslims to strive hard in performing prayers as well as fasting during the day of ‘Arafah (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), given that the Prophet (PBUH) was extra keen on fasting the day of ‘Arafah out of the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. He (PBUH) mentioned the virtue of fasting it (‘Arafah) specifically when he said, “Fast the day of Arafah, for I anticipate that by doing so Allah will forgive the sins of the coming year as well as the previous year” [reported by Muslim].

Remembrance of Allah

In these blessed days, Muslims should also be keen on increasing their remembrance of Allah, as well as their Quran recitation, and chanting takbeer (saying “Allahu Akbar), tahleel (saying “La ilaha illa Allah”), tahmeed (saying “al-Hamdulillah”), and tasbeeh (saying “Subhan Allah”). It has been narrated by Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah, nor are righteous actions performed in any other days more pleasing to Allah, than these ten days. Thus, increase therein in your performance of tahleel, takbeer, and tahmeed” [reported by Ahmad]. Al-Bukhari states “Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with them, used to go out to the marketplace during the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah) and perform takbeer (saying “Allahu Akbar”) out loud, and the people in the marketplace would hear them and likewise raise their voices with takbeer.” Maymoon ibn Mihran (from amongst the Successors [Tabi’een]) said, “I remember a time when the people would perform their takbeerat so much during the ten days that I would compare it (the sound of their voices) to waves.”

Confined and General Unrestricted Takbeer

And it is legislated to perform the takbeerat starting from the first of the ten days until the end of the days of Tashreeq (which, according to the more correct of the two scholarly views in this matter, are the three days following Eid al-Adha).

It is more emphasized to perform the takbeerat after completing each of the five daily prayers, even if the prayer is performed at home. The takbeerat following the daily prayers are what some scholars refer to as “confined takbeer” as opposed to the general unrestricted takbeer. These confined takbeerat are performed by those not performing Hajj, and they are done after each of the five daily prayers, starting from fajr on the day of ‘Arafah until ‘asr on the third day of Tashreeq.

How to Perform the Takbeerat?

As for how the takbeerat are performed, the matter is not so restricted. It is incumbent upon Muslims, especially in these times, to strive in teaching our children this Sunnah, which is among the honored rituals of our religion, in order to ensure it does not die out as a practice amongst them in the coming generations.

 

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Al-Hadyi: “it has been reported that the Prophet (PBUH) used to perform takbeerat from fajr prayer on the day of ‘Arafah until ‘asr on the final day of Tashreeq, and he would chant:

‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, wa-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa-lillahil-hamd’.

And though this chain of narration is not strong, the Ummah as a whole has applied it (this form of takbeer).

In this mentioned form, “Allahu Akbar” is repeated in pairs of two. As for it being repeated in sets of three (Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar), that is based on what has been narrated solely from the actions of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah and ibn ‘Abbas. And both forms (whether saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ in pairs of two or sets of three) are fine.”

 

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fat-ḥ : “As for the form of the takbeer, the most correct version has been reported by ‘Abd al-Razzaq in an authentic (saheeh) chain on the authority of Salman, in which he said, ‘Proclaim Allah’s Greatness: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbaru Kabeera.’ This form has also been reported to be the choice of Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, Mujahid, and ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Layla. It is also the choice of Imam al-Shafi’i, who would add to it ‘wa-lillahil-hamd’.”

 

It has also been mentioned in the form of saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ three times and adding ‘La ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la shareeka lahu.’

 

It has also been mentioned in the form of saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ twice, followed by ‘La ilaha illa Allah, wa-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa-lillahil-hamd,’ and this form is traced to ‘Umar and Ibn Mas’ood, and it is the choice of Ahmad and Is-haq.”

 

Al-Nawawi reported in his Al-Majmoo‘ that al-Shafi’i said in Al-Mukhtasar: “Whatever increase comes in the form of Allah’s mention is good.” Though it would be more suitable to confine the forms of takbeer to only that which has been reported to us, the matter is not so restricted. And to Allah all Praise is due.


Source: amjaonline.org with some modifications

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The 5 Places of Miqat by E-Da`wah Committee (EDC)

Miqat is a place at a distance outside Makkah, which pilgrims must not cross before they are in a state of Ihram if they intend to enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram for Hajj or `Umrah.

Pilgrims go to different Miqats according to their different places around the world from which they head.

1- Zulhulaifah (Abyar `Ali Mosque)

It is almost 10 kilometers from Madinah, in the direction toward Makkah, and about 450 kilometers from Makkah. It is the miqat for those who live in Madinah and for those who approach Makkah from that direction.

So if your Hajj/`Umrah trip starts with visiting Madinah, no matter where you’re from, your Ihram starts from this miqat.

2- Zat `Irq

This miqat is about 94 kilometers towards the northeast side of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people of Iraq, Iran, and beyond.

3- Qarn Al-Manazil

It is a hilly place about 94 kilometers to the east of Makkah.

This is the miqat for the people of Najd, Kuwait and for those flying through the air space of that direction and those coming from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the surrounding areas.

4- Al-Juhfah

It is about 190 kilometers to the northwest of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people who come from the direction of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Spain and other countries from that direction.

5- Yalamlam

This one is a hilly area about 50 kilometers to the southeast of Makkah.

This is the miqat for the people of Yemen and others coming from that direction including the pilgrims from China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Malaysia who come by ship.


Source: E-Da`wah Committee

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Rites of Tarwiyah and ‘Arafah Days, the First Two Days of Hajj

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Upon reaching the site for ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah a pilgrim declares his intention to perform one of three types of Hajj (Pilgrimage):

Ifrad

‘There is no deity but Allah Alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs (all) praise, and He is over all things Omnipotent.

It means that a pilgrim enters the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only, keeping in the state of Ihram until he stones Jamratul-‘Aqabah on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (‘Eid al-Ad-ha; on the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah). Then, a pilgrim shaves his head, and performs the Ifadah (Going forth) Tawaf along with sa’y (going between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah) in case he has not performed it (i.e. sa’y) following the Arrival Tawaf.

Qiran

It means that a pilgrim assumes Ihram for performing both ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage) and Hajj (Pilgrimage) together. The rites of performing qiran are the same as those of performing ifrad except that a pilgrim is obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in the former case.

Tamattu’

It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing ‘Umrah only, keeping in such state of ihram until he finishes the rites of ‘Umrah, such as tawaf, sa’y, and shortening or shaving the hair. After that, a pilgrim may get out of the state of ihram until he assumes another ihram for performing Hajj.

The best of the three forms is tamattu’. It is desirable for a pilgrim performing ifrad or qiran and has not got a sacrificial animal to change his intention and perform tamattu’ instead, carrying out all its rites.

It is also desirable for the one performing tamattu’ (even if it has been ifrad or qiran that converted to tamattu’ as well as the residents of Mecca and the surrounding places, to assume ihram for Hajj on the Day of Tarwiyah (the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah). This is because Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, in his description of the Prophet’s performance of Hajj:

“…All the pilgrims dissolved the state of Ihram except the Prophet (PBUH) and whoever had a sacrificial animal with him. When it was the Day of Tarwiyah, they proceeded to Mina and assumed ihram for Hajj.” (Muslim)

The place where you can assume Ihram for Hajj

A pilgrim performing tamattu’ may assume ihram from the place where he stays, whether in Mecca, Mina, or any place outside Mecca, but he should not perform tawaf after assuming ihram for Hajj (as it has been already performed during ‘Umrah).

The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘And whoever is living within these boundaries can assume ihram from his home, and the people of Mecca can assume Ihram from Mecca. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Heading for Mina on the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah

Once a pilgrim assumes ihram tor Hajj, he should then preoccupy himself with chanting talbiyah and continually repeat it every now and then, raising his voice with it until he stones Jamratul-‘Aqabah on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (on the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah). Those pilgrims who have assumed their ihram from Mecca on the Day of Tarwiyah should head for Mina; the optimum time for moving is after the sun has reached its meridian. Then, they perform the Zuhr (Noon) Prayer there, at Mina, camping there until they perform the rest of the Five Daily Prayers including the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer of the following day (the ninth of Dhul Hjjjah). Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“…The Prophet (PBUH) rode his mount (heading for Mina) and performed there the Zuhr, the ‘Asr (Afternoon), the Maghrib (Sunset), the ‘ Isha’ (Night), and the Fajr (Dawn) Prayers. Then, he(PBUH) stayed there for a while until the sun rose.” (Muslim)

It is worth mentioning that spending that time in Mina (from the noon of the Day of Tarwiyah until the dawn of the following day) and performing those five prayers there is an act of the Sunnah, not an obligatory one. Likewise, assuming ihram on the Day of Tarwiyah is considered an act of the Sunnah. So, it is permissible for a pilgrim to assume ihram before or after that day.

The Day of ‘Arafah

On the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah and after sunrise, a pilgrim proceeds to ‘Arafah; the whole area of ‘Arafah is a standing place except for the valley called Batn ‘Uranah, Thus, it is sufficient for a pilgrim to stand anywhere on that day within the boundaries of ‘Arafah, excluding the place pointed out by the Prophet (PBUH), namely Batn ‘Uranah. The boundaries of ‘Arafah are clearly distinguished by means of signs, so standing anywhere within these boundaries will be regarded as standing at Arafah. Still, a pilgrim has to pay attention to these signs in order not to stand outside ‘Arafah.

When the sun passes its meridian, a pilgrim performs the Zuhr (Noon) and the “Asr (Afternoon) Prayers, shortening and combining them at the due time of the Zuhr Prayer (i.e. performing each as two rak’ahs instead of four) with one prayer call (adhan) and two immediate prayer calls (iqamahs). We should know that a pilgrim shortens every four-rak’ah prayer (i.e. performs it as two rak’ahs) at Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Mina, However, at ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah the prayers are to be shortened and combined whereas they are only shortened at Mina, i.e. performing each prayer at its due time for there is no need for combining them at Mina.

After a pilgrim performs the Zuhr and the ‘Asr Prayers, shortening and combining them (for he is at ‘Arafah), he should spend the rest of the day remembering, invoking, glorifying, and praising Allah, seeking His forgiveness, and so on and so forth. This is to be done while a pilgrim is sticking to his place at ‘Arafah. In other words, a pilgrim does not have to go to the Mount of Ar-Rahman, or to watch it, or even to face it, while performing such supplications; standing anywhere at ‘Arafah while facing the direction of the Ka’bah is sufficient.

The best du’a during Hajj

A pilgrim should spare no effort supplicating Allah and turning to Him in repentance on such a glorious day, whether he is walking, sitting, riding, standing, or even lying down. He should also choose the most comprehensive supplications that were reported to have been observed by the Prophet (PBUH), for he(PBUH)said:

“The best supplication is the one on the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing which I and the prophets before me have said is: ‘There is no deity but Allah Alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs (all) praise, and He is over all things Omnipotent.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

A pilgrim keeps supplicating Allah at ‘Arafah until sunset. It is impermissible to leave before sunset, and if a pilgrim does, he must go back soon before sunset, to witness it there. However, if a pilgrim leaves ‘Arafah before sunset and does not go back, he is then obliged to slaughter a sheep of Hajj (or to get one seventh of a camel or a cow) and divide it among the poor residents of the Sanctuary of Mecca in expiation for missing an obligatory ritual of Hajj.

The Day of Arafah starts from the noon of the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah until the dawn of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah (the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice) according to the sound opinion in this regard. As for a pilgrim who is present at Arafah at daytime, he is obliged to stay there until sunset as we previously said. But if someone arrives at ‘Arafah at night, it is sufficient for him to stay there for any length of time, even if for only one moment, as the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“If anyone gets (i.e. stays at) “Arafah before the dawn (of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah) breaks, then he has performed Hajj.” (Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Nasa’i)

The legal ruling concerning staying at ‘Arafah

Staying at ‘Arafah is one of the obligatory fundamental rituals of Hajj, and it is the most important and the greatest one as well for the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Hajj is ‘Arafah (i. e. staying at ‘Arafah is the most important ritual of Hajj). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

As for the place of staying at ‘Arafah, a pilgrim may stand anywhere within the boundaries of ‘Arafah, and this ritual is deemed invalid if one stands outside them.


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

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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What to Do on the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah (EDC Video)

By Editorial Staff

About the merits of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are beloved to Allah more than (the righteous deeds on) these 10 days.”

The people asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except for the case of a man who went out, giving up himself and his wealth for the cause of Allah, and came back with nothing.” (Al-Bukhari)

Make the Best of Dhul-Hijjah

So, how can we make the best of these precious blessed days?

The E-Da`wah Committee (EDC) is pleased to present this short video on the merits of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and the things that every Muslim should do during them.

 

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