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Conversion Stories New Muslims

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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Ethics & Values New Muslims

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.

_________________________

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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All About Hajj (1441/2020)

By Editorial Staff

Islam organizes the spiritual and moral life of man as well as the practical in order to live a normal balanced life. Every act of worship in Islam has a meaning, a purpose and a significance, and of  great spiritual, moral, and physical benefits.

Hajj, one of the five main pillars of Islam, gives a specific and practical example of acts of worship in Islam. A rich spiritual experience, Hajj has a great message and lessons for the benefit and wellbeing of man and all humanity, resulting in spiritual and behavioral development in the life of a Muslim.

Hajj is a life-time journey; if conducted properly, it will erase all sins of the pilgrim. So, every Muslim intending to undertake this journey should first learn well its rituals and how to perform them correctly.

This special folder presents a complete picture of Hajj, its wisdom, its rituals and the benefits that are reaped from undertaking the blessed journey.

The Obligation of Hajj-The Fifth Pillar of Islam

The Obligation of Hajj: The Fifth Pillar of Islam

Allah has made an obligation on Muslims to perform Hajj to Makkah. Why? What is the condition on whom performing Hajj is obligatory? Why do we perform Hajj?

Read also:

First 10 Days

Hajj: Its Meaning and Position from the Qur’an

All about the First Ten Days of Dul-Hijjah and Udhiyah – a Special Folder

Like no other days in the Islamic calendar, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have a very special status. What should we do in these cherished great days? How could we get the utmost benefits of these days?

Rituals of Hajj and `Umrah

The Rituals of Hajj

The Rituals of Hajj

What are the rituals of hajj? What is the difference between hajj and `Umrah? What are the conditions of ihram? What nullifies one’s hajj? What makes one’s hajj accepted?

Read also:

E-Books on Hajj & `Umrah

New Muslims Guide Hajj and Umrah

New Muslims’ Guide for Hajj and Umrah

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “And Allah’s guests are three: A pilgrim performing Hajj, one performing `Umrah, and a person who fights in the cause of Allah”.

Read also:
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All about the First Ten Days of Dul-Hijjah and Udhiyah – a Special Folder

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)

These articles will help you learn every thing about those blessed days and how to make the best of them.

 

The Fiqh of Udhiyah (The Sacrificial Animal)

This article discusses the meaning of Udhiyah, its legal ruling, the prerequisites, the time for offering it and how it can be distributed.

2. Rulings and Conditions of Udhiyah

3. Offering Sacrifice: Refrain from This

4. The Sacrifice: Rulings and Conditions

 

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Hajj Is a Shift Away from Racism and Towards Social Equality

Allah has created people to be different in their living; some are rich and some poor, some well-off, affluent and high-esteemed, and others indigent, miserable and astray in life.

That is great wisdom decreed by Allah so that people would exchange work, cooperate with one another, and use one another to achieve their requirements and needs: the rich person spends his money, and the poor person exerts his effort in labor for remuneration. In confirmation of that, Allah Almighty Says (what means):

“Do they distribute the Mercy of your Lord? It is We Who Have Apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of this world and Have Raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service. But the Mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.” (Quran 43:32)

Hajj as a shift against Racism:

Indeed, the most noble of you in the Sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.

Had the difference been limited to the exchange of benefits, it would have been good. But some rich people exalt themselves above the poor, and their arrogance produces hatred among the poor.

On the other hand, some poor people envy the rich, with the result that the rich boycott and neglect them; arrogance among some rich people versus hatred among some poor people, and haughtiness among some dignitaries versus envy among some of the common people.

In this way, the social classes of the same nation have mutual aversion to each other, cooperation disappears, bonds are undone, and production decreases.

A Remedy of Racism

The remedy of that disease lies in the religious acts of worship in general, and Hajj in particular, which has a practical healing and effective decisive medicine to put an end to haughtiness, and lay the foundation for equality between all people in the form of (putting on the same clothing of) Ihram, performing Tawaaf, Sa‘y, and so on.

In Hajj, no one could be distinguished from others with a particular uniform, clothing, appearance or adornment, because all of them are equal in their simple united appearance. That is indeed equality between individuals as well as between races and peoples, in compliance with what Allah Says (which means):

“O mankind, indeed We Have Created you from male and female and Made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the Sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.” (Quran 49:13)

Islamic views on piety:

Our Messenger, God bless him and grant him peace, said: “No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, nor a white-complexioned to a black-complexioned except by virtue of piety.”

Is Hajj then, from this point of view, worthy of the care of reformers, the concern of the sincere and the effort of the passionate?

We are all subject to our habits and governed by our traditions as a result of the house in which we live, the school in which we learn, and the environment surrounding us.

A lot of our customs and habits are bad and harmful, the majority of our traditions are invalid and superstitious, and the greater part of what we agree upon is false and ignorant. Worship, as they said, is a second disposition, and to be released from traditions is very difficult upon a lot of people.

When a reformer likes to straighten the crookedness of his nation, and push it towards the pathways of perfection, he encounters the rocks of habits and traditions. He may perish and die before changing his people from a familiar habit, given that “people are slaves of their traditions”.

Hajj comes to release the individual from his habitual customs, and change his familiar traditions. Hajj, in this way, enables the pilgrim to govern himself, control his deeds, give up bad customs, and come away from awful traditions to the immense field of piety, virtues and spiritual elevation.

That is because the pilgrim becomes a sovereign over his own self after having been a slave of his habits.
In confirmation of that, Allah Almighty Says (what means):

Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of Ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah Knows it.” (Quran 2:197)

The Messenger of Allah, God bless him and grant him peace, stated that Hajj brings the Muslim out of his sins, misdeeds, bad customs and habits, saying:

“Whoever performs Hajj during which he does not have sexual intercourse (with his wife) nor commit wickedness, will become (as sinless) as he was on the very day his mother gave birth to him.”

Is Hajj, in this sense, not worthy of the care of educationalists and psychologists?

What is worthier of care than a worship-based practical system that releases man from the slavery of loss, and joins him to (Allah) The Most Merciful with a strong bond of truthfulness, certainty and faith?

Countries allocate money to physical sports and military exercises, a system for which our youth in schools are preparing. Without doubt, sport is a source of strength, valor, courage and gallantry, and an important support pillar in the construction of the glory of the Ummah.

Islam was a forerunner in recognizing the virtue of sport, when it commanded people to learn racing, archery, horsemanship, swimming and sword fight to prepare for Jihaad in the way of security, truth and peace. It joined sport with acts of worship, so that the emotion and feeling would share with the heart in performing it. Thus, sport becomes a physical power and a spiritual worship which has its glorious benefits in this world, and its great reward in the Hereafter.


Source: britishhajtravel website with some modifications.

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Islam’s Anti-racist Message from the 7th Century Still Resonates Today

By Asma Afsaruddin

One day, in Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad (God bless him and grant him peace) dropped a bombshell on his followers: He told them that all people are created equal.

“All humans are descended from Adam and Eve,” said Muhammad in his last known public speech. “There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or of a non-Arab over an Arab, and no superiority of a white person over a black person or of a black person over a white person, except on the basis of personal piety and righteousness.”

The noblest of you in God’s sight is the one who is most righteous.

In this sermon, known as the Farewell Address, Muhammad outlined the basic religious and ethical ideals of Islam, the religion he began preaching in the early seventh century. Racial equality was one of them. Muhammad’s words jolted a society divided by notions of tribal and ethnic superiority.

Today, with racial tension and violence roiling contemporary America, his message is seen to create a special moral and ethical mandate for American Muslims to support the country’s anti-racism protest movement.

Challenging kinship

Apart from monotheism – worshipping just one God – belief in the equality of all human beings in the eyes of God set early Muslims apart from many of their fellow Arabs in Mecca.

Chapter 49, verse 13 of Islam’s sacred scripture, the Quran, declares:

“O humankind! We have made you…into nations and tribes, so that you may get to know one another. The noblest of you in God’s sight is the one who is most righteous.”

This verse challenged many of the values of pre-Islamic Arab society, where inequalities based on tribal membership, kinship and wealth were a fact of life. Kinship or lineal descent – “nasab” in Arabic – was the primary determinant of an individual’s social status. Members of larger, more prominent tribes like the aristocratic Quraysh were powerful. Those from less wealthy tribes like the Khazraj had lower standing.

The Quran said personal piety and deeds were the basis for merit, not tribal affiliation – an alien and potentially destabilizing message in a society built on nasab.

Give me your tired, your poor

As is often the case with revolutionary movements, early Islam encountered fierce opposition from many elites.

The Quraysh, for example, who controlled trade in Mecca – a business from which they profited greatly – had no intention of giving up the comfortable lifestyles they’d built on the backs of others, especially their slaves brought over from Africa.

The Prophet’s message of egalitarianism tended to attract the “undesirables” –people from the margins of society. Early Muslims included young men from less influential tribes escaping that stigma and slaves who were promised emancipation by embracing Islam.

Women, declared to be the equal of men by the Quran, also found Muhammad’s message appealing. However, the potential of gender equality in Islam would become compromised by the rise of patriarchal societies.

By Muhammad’s death, in 632, Islam had brought about a fundamental transformation of Arab society, though it never fully erased the region’s old reverence for kinship.

I can’t breathe

Early Islam also attracted non-Arabs, outsiders with little standing in traditional Arab society. These included Salman the Persian, who traveled to the Arabian peninsula seeking religious truth, Suhayb the Greek, a trader, and an enslaved Ethiopian named Bilal.

All three would rise to prominence in Islam during Muhammad’s lifetime. Bilal’s much-improved fortunes, in particular, illustrate how the egalitarianism preached by Islam changed Arab society.

An enslaved servant of a Meccan aristocrat named Umayya, Bilal was persecuted by his owner for embracing the new faith. Umayya would place a rock on Bilal’s chest, trying to choke the air out of his body so that he would abandon Islam.

Moved by Bilal’s suffering, Muhammad’s friend and confidant Abu Bakr, who would go on to rule the Muslim community after the Prophet’s death, set him free.

Bilal was exceptionally close to Muhammad, too. In 622, the Prophet appointed him the first person to give the public call to prayer in recognition of his powerful, pleasing voice and personal piety. Bilal would later marry an Arab woman from a respectable tribe – unthinkable for an enslaved African in the pre-Islamic period.

Black lives matter

For many modern Muslims, Bilal is the symbol of Islam’s egalitarian message, which in its ideal application recognizes no difference among humans on the basis of ethnicity or race but rather is more concerned with personal integrity. One of the United States’ leading Black Muslim newspaper, published between 1975 and 1981, was called The Bilalian News.

More recently Yasir Qadhi, dean of the Islamic Seminary of America, in Texas, invoked Islam’s egalitarian roots. In a June 5 public address, he said American Muslims, a population familiar with discrimination, “must fight racism, whether it is by education or by other means.”

Many Muslims in the U.S. are taking action, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and protesting police brutality and systemic racism. Their actions reflect the revolutionary – and still unrealized – egalitarian message that Prophet Muhammad set down over 1,400 years ago as a cornerstone of the Muslim faith.


About the Author:

Asma Afsaruddin

Professor of Islamic Studies and former Chairperson, Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University.


Source: theconversation.com

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