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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Foundations of Good Moral Character: The Prophet’s Excellent Example

Mere teachings and commands of Do’s and Don’ts do not form the foundations of good moral character in a society, because these things are not sufficient for developing these good qualities in the human nature; a teacher may merely order to do such and such things and not to do such and such things, and the society becomes a moralist society.

Perfect Trainer

The teachings of fruitful good conduct requires long training and constant watchfulness.

The training cannot be on the right lines if the example before the society is not such that commands full confidence, because a person having a bad moral character cannot leave a good impression on his surroundings.

The best training can be expected only from such a man whose personality, by the force of its morality, would create a scene of admiration in the beholders. They would sing praises of his nobility and feel the irresistible urge to benefit from the example of his life. The world would spontaneously feel the urge to follow his footsteps.

For nourishing and developing more and more excellent good character among his followers it is necessary that the leader must possess higher and nobler character and attributes than his followers.

The Prophet himself was the best example of the good moral character, to emulate the call he was giving to his followers. Before advising them to adopt a moral life by giving sermons and counsels, he was sowing the seeds of morality among his followers by actually living that kind of life.

`Abdullah ibn `Amr says:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was neither ill-mannered nor rude. He used to say that the better people among you are those who are best in their moral character.” (Al-Bukhari)

Anas says: “I served the Prophet for ten years. He never said ‘Uf’ (expressing dissatisfaction), nor did he ever ask me why I did this or did not do that.” (Muslim)

It is also reported by him: “My mother used to hold the Prophet’s hand and used to take him wherever she wanted. If any person used to come before him and shake his hand, the Prophet never used to draw away his hand from the other person’s hands till the latter drew away his hands, and he never used to turn away his face from that person till the latter himself turned away his face. And in the meetings he was never seen squatting in such a way that his knees were protruding further than his fellow-squatters.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Lady `A’ishah says: “If there were two alternatives, the Prophet used to adopt the easiest alternative, provided there was no sin in it. If that work were sinful, then he used to run away farthest from it. The prophet did not take any personal revenge from anybody. Yes, if Allah’s command were to be disobeyed, then his wrath was to be stirred. Allah’s Messenger did not beat anybody with his own hands. neither his wife nor a servant. Yes, he used to fight in the wars in the cause of Allah.” (Muslim)

Anas has narrated:

“I was walking with the Prophet. He had wrapped a thick chadar round his body. One Arab pulled the chadar so forcefully that a part of his shoulder could be seen by me, and I was perturbed by this forceful pulling of the chadar. The Arab then said: ‘0 Muhammad! Give me some of my share from the property which Allah has given you.’ The Prophet turned towards him and laughed, and gave orders for a donation being given to him.” (Al-Bukhari)

`A’ishah has reported that Allah’s Messenger has said:

“Allah is soft-hearted. He likes soft heartedness. And the reward which He gives for soft-heartedness does not give for hardness, nay, such a reward He does not give for anything.” (Muslim)

In another tradition it is stated: “Softness in whichever thing it may be, will make that thing beautiful. And from whichever thing softness is taken out, it will become ugly.”

Jarir narrates that the Prophet has said:

“The reward which Allah gives for soft-heartedness He does not give it for folly; and when Allah makes any slave His favorite, He gives him softness. Those families that are devoid of softness become deprived of every virtue.”(At-Tabarani )

`Abdullah ibn Harith has reported that he did not see anybody smiling more than the Messenger of Allah. (At-Tirmidhi)

`A’isha was asked what did Prophet do at home?

She replied:” He used to be in the service of his home people; and when the time of prayer came he used to perform ablutions and go out for prayer.” (Muslim)

Anas has narrated:

“Allah’s Messenger had the best manners of all the persons. I had an adopted brother, whose name was Abu `Umayr. He had a sick sparrow, who was called ‘Nagheer’. Allah’s Messenger used to be playful with him and ask him : ‘0 Abu `Umayr! what has happened to your Nagheer” (Al-Bukhari)

Of the habits and traits of the Prophet one trait was very well known that he was extremely philanthropic. He was never miserly in anything. He was very brave and courageous. He never turned away from Truth. He was just, loving. In his own decision he never committed any excesses or injustice. In his whole life he was truthful and an honest trustee.

The same Qur’an, Same Criterion, Same Yasin, Same Taha

Allah has commanded all the Muslims to follow the excellent habits and the best traits of the Prophet and to take guidance from the holy life of the holy Messenger.

Surely there is in the person of Allah’s .messenger an excellent example for you-for every person who has hope in Allah and the Hereafter and remember, Allah, reciting His name many times. (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

Qazi A ‘yaz says that the Prophet was the most excellent-mannered, most philanthropic and the bravest of all. One night

the people of Medina were terribly frightened. Some people proceeded towards the sound ( which was probably the

cause). They saw that the Prophet was coming from that direction. He had rushed before all others to find out what was

the trouble. He was riding the horse of Abu Talha, without a saddle, and a sword was hanging from his neck, and he

was comforting the people not to be afraid saying there was nothing to worry.

Hazrat Ali says that in the battles when fighting started, we used to worry much about the Prophet, because nobody was nearer to the enemy in the fighting than the Prophet.

Jabir ibn `Abdullah says that whenever anything was requested of him, he never said: No.

Lady Khadija had told him when he was first blessed with the Divine Revelation:

“You carry the loads of the weak people, you earn for the poor, and help a person if any trouble comes to him in following the Truth.”

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The article is excerpted from the book  “Muslim Character” , an American-English translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s Khuluq Al-Muslim published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

 

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

I Have Been Blessed to Become Muslim

Islam has been described as being the religion of fitrah (the innate nature of all humans). It is not surprising, therefore, when we discover that Islam is being accepted as the only pure way of life a person can follow by millions of reverts around the world. Statistics show that out of every 5 who revert to Islam, 4 are females.

I Have Been Blessed to Become Muslim

I have been blessed to be one of those who have personally received the light and whose heart has been ordained to accept it.

This blows away the false concept that Islam is a repressive religion for women. The following is one account of a sister who submitted to Allah as her Lord, took Islam as her religion, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) as her Messenger.

I have always, since developing an ability to think deeply, believed in the existence of a single Creator, on Whom everything that exists is dependent.

Though my parents are Buddhist, from the age of 13, to this Creator, I have steadfastly prayed and yielded guidance from every day that I can remember. Yet, being schooled within a Christian environment, I naturally identified myself as a Christian.

Faulty Knowledge

Sadly, my knowledge of Islam was minimal. I perceived it as a bizarre religion, limited to only a few underdeveloped nations, most of which were in the Middle East, and which endorsed an astoundingly suppressive lifestyle, particularly for women.

Muslim women, I presumed, were considered inferior – a passive domestic slave, bashed often and forced to compete among four for her husband’s affections, which he could withhold from them all if he wanted to.

The majority of these ideas I developed from hearsay, interactions with others I assumed knew what they were talking about and a few documentaries on Iran and Saudi Arabia I watched on television.

Direct Contact

As I entered university nearly three years ago, I came into contact with quite a number of Muslim students from various backgrounds.

Strangely enough, even to myself, I was drawn to them and developed a curious inclination to learn and understand more about their religion. I observed how content they seemed and was very impressed by their openness and warmth towards myself and each other, but more importantly with their pride in belonging to a religion which holds many negative connotations.

I gradually became fascinated with Islam, and through a process of education, developed a greater respect for it than even my beloved Christianity. I was stunned at how wrong my previous conception had been and became particularly overwhelmed at the tremendous entitlements, equality and acknowledgment Islam provided for women. I realized the reality of the Islamic lifestyle and the truth concerning that feeble American innovation termed “Islamic fundamentalism”.

Is it said that any person who possesses the faulty of reason and an open mind should recognize logic and truth when he/she encounters it, and so it was in my case.

More and more, literature, signs and evidence were revealed to me, and more and more, my intellect was stimulated and my heart, warmed. I wanted to know everything about Islam and felt already a sense of brotherhood with and belonging among its followers.

Balanced Life

What impressed me the most was how practical Islam is – how it encompasses a rule and a lesson for almost every facet of living. And by the sheer grace of God, I at last understood the faults of Christian theology and of the concepts I had previously accepted unquestioningly.

At midday, on August 4th, 1994, before over 20 witnesses, I recited the Shahadah and became an official Muslim.

I shall never forget the bliss of that day and how much my life has turned around in only a year’s time.

Difficulties Facing the New Muslim

I have often been asked what it is like to be a revert and of the difficulties I must endure. Though I do not wish to dwell on this topic, as pity is not my priority, I shall give some examples of what I have been through.

The period up till the end of Ramadan was, by far, the hardest to get through. Family disputes took place almost daily; I was showered with verbal abuse, ridicule and threats. On many occasions, my room was physically torn apart, books mysteriously disappeared and slanderous phone messages were sent to my friends and their parents.

There have been times I have been locked out of home and forced to abstain from dinner as pork was deliberately served. Even to this day, all my mail is opened before I have the chance to do so myself. Apart from my housing and meals, I must provide for myself financially.

My readings, as my conversations over the phone are done in privacy. My writings and my visits to mosques or other Islamic venues must always be concealed. I am similarly not able to visit friends very often as I may be “brain-washed” even more.

I cannot perform my prayers until I am sure no one is around. Nor can I express my excitement and celebration during Ramadan. I cannot share the joy at knowing yet another sister has put on hijab, nor can I discuss the lesson I have learned this day or the speech given by an Islamic scholar/scientist. Moreover, I must continually defend the Muslims and the Islam portrayed on the media, and fight against the stereotypes my parents stubbornly maintain.

To see their expressions of disgust at myself is almost unbearable. I am now insecure as to my parents affections and constantly worry of how much I am hurting them. Through the entire month of Ramadan, my mother spoke to me not once. I had to hear her say time and time again at how I had betrayed the family. My pleading with her otherwise was to no avail. I am told over and over again that what I have done is unforgivable and if any of our relations or already few friends knew, my parents would surely be outcasts.

However, I do not claim to have a miserable life. I am more content and at peace now than I ever have been. My purpose in relating all of this is to try to display the opportunities that many of you have which are so often taken for granted, so little taken advantage of, but so precious to many reverts like myself.

What Islam Gave Me

To reflect on these hardships alone would imply I have gained nothing by becoming a Muslim other than pain. On the contrary, Islam has given me already so many vast rewards, I shiver to think of how much more wonderful the gifts of Paradise would be.

At the time of my reversion, although I had accepted Islam as being true, I had no idea of the vast internal changes it would incur upon me. Even I am astounded at how much I devour knowledge, how Islam is in my thoughts every waking moment, how compelling I feel my responsibility is to the Ummah and how much more of a Muslim I became every month.

It is as if as one’s life in Islam progresses, it spreads to encompass and govern every cellular and spiritual dimension in oneself.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) once said:

“Allah said: ‘… and My slave keeps coming closer to Me… then I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grasps, and his legs with which he walks…’” (Al-Bukhari)

This is precisely my experience.

What Islam Made out of Me

Remarkably, from one religion, I have gained a profound insight into the operations of human behavior and sociology, as well as geophysics and astronomy. As I mature, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that again and again, it is Islam that has already answered the social and economic dilemmas of our time.

Over the past year, I have developed quite an extensive breadth of Islamic knowledge and have studied verses of the Qur’an in much finer detail. Not once have I come across anything which would make me doubt the authenticity of the Qur’an and the relevance of Islam for contemporary society, for even one minute.

This has been the only religion I have ever been completely sure of and am more sure of each day that I serve.

Furthermore, I have established my identity, I am more confident of myself; a stronger woman and person of color, I am more aware of my existence and more secure in my battles.

I hope that I have depicted the greatness and mercy of our Glorious Sovereign, Who makes all things possible. Allah says: He guides there with whom He pleases” (Az-Zumar 39:23)

Truly, I have been blessed to be one of those who have personally received the light and whose heart has been ordained to accept it.

________________________

Source: muslimconverts.com

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Etiquettes and Rulings of `Eid Al-Adha

`Eid Al-Adha is the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Hijri or Islamic calendar. It is, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The greatest day in the sight of Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, the Day of Sacrifice . . .” (Abu Dawud)

`Eid Al-Adha is the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Hijri or Islamic calendar.

`Eid Al-Adha is the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Hijri or Islamic calendar.

It is also the greatest day of Hajj, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us.

The reason why it is described as the greatest day of the year is that it combines so many acts of worship which are not combined on any other day, such as the `Eid prayer, offering the sacrifice, reciting Takbir (glorifying Allah), and widespread remembrance of Allah.[1]

The recommended acts of Sunnah on the day of `Eid are as follows:

1 – Taking a Bath before Going out to the Prayer

Al- Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said that the Muslims were unanimously agreed that it is recommendable to take a bath for the `Eid prayer.

The reason why it is desirable is the same reason as that for taking a bath before Jumu`ah and other public gatherings. Rather, on `Eid the reason is even stronger.

2 – Eating after the Prayer on `Eid al-Adha

On `Eid al-Adha it is recommended not to eat anything until one comes back from the prayer, so he should eat from the udhiyah (sacrifice) if he has offered a sacrifice. If he is not going to offer a sacrifice, there is nothing wrong with eating before the prayer.

3 – Takbir on the Day of `Eid

This is one of the greatest Sunnahs on the day of `Eid because Allah says:

(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

The time for Takbir on `Eid Al-Adha begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashriq.

The time for Takbir on `Eid Al-Adha begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashriq.

Al-Daraqutni and others narrated that on the morning of `Eid al-Fitr and `Eid al-Adha, Ibn `Umar would strive hard in reciting Takbir until he came to the prayer place, then he would recite Takbir until the imam came out.

Saying Takbir when coming out of one’s house to the prayer place and until the imam came out was something that was well known among the Salaf (early generations). Nafi’ ibn Jubayr used to recite Takbir and was astonished that the people did not do so, and he said, “Why do you not recite Takbir?”

Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (may Allah have mercy on him) used to say, “The people used to recite Takbir from the time they came out of their houses until the imam came in.”

The time for Takbir on `Eid Al-Adha begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashriq.

4 – Offering Congratulations

The etiquette of `Eid also includes the congratulations and good wishes exchanged by people, no matter what the wording, such as saying to one another “Taqabbala Allah minna wa minkum” (May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you” or “`Eid mubarak” and other permissible expressions of congratulations.

It was narrated that Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: When the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) met one another on the day of `Eid, they would say to one another, “May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.”

Undoubtedly these congratulations are among the noble characteristics among the Muslims.

5 – Adorning Oneself on the Occasion of `Eid.

It was narrated that Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) had a cloak which he would wear on the two `Eids and on Fridays. (Ibn Khuzaymah)

So a man should wear the best clothes that he has when going out for `Eid. With regard to women, they should avoid adorning themselves when they go out for `Eid, because they are forbidden to show off their adornments to non-Mahram men. It is also haram for a woman who wants to go out to put on perfume or to expose men to temptation, because they are only going out for the purpose of worship.

6 – Going to the Prayer by One Route and Returning by Another.

It was narrated that Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “On the day of `Eid, the Prophet used to vary his route.” (Al-Bukhari)

It was said that the reason for that was so that the two routes would testify for him on the Day of Resurrection, for the earth will speak on the Day of Resurrection and say what was done on it, both good and bad.  And it was said that it was in order to manifest the symbols of Islam on both routes, or to manifest the remembrance of Allah.

[1] Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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Source: Islamqa.com.

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Rulings and Conditions of Udhiyah

By Editorial Staff

Udhiyah refers to the animal slaughtered during the days of `Eid Al-Adha as an act of worship, intending to draw closer to Allah thereby. It is one of the rituals of Islam prescribed in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him), and according to the consensus of the Muslims.

The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is prescribed in Islam, as was narrated by more than one of the scholars. But they differed as to whether it is Sunnah Mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah) or it is obligatory and it is not permissible to omit it.

The majority of scholars are of the view that it is Sunnah Mu’akkadah. This is the view of al-Shafa`i, Malik and Ahmad according to his most well-known view. Others were of the view that it is obligatory. This is the view of Abu Hanifah and one of the views narrated from Ahmad.

Conditions of Udhiyah

There are six conditions for the Udhiyah:

1- It should be one of these kinds of animals: camels, cattle, sheep or goats, because Allah says:

And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. (Al-Hajj 22:34)

The beast of cattle includes camels, cattle and sheep. This is what is well known among the Arabs, and this was the view of Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others.

2- It should have reached the age stipulated in Shari`ah, which is six months for a sheep, five years for the camels, two years for the cattle, and one year for the goat.

3- It should be free of any faults that would render it unsuitable for sacrifice, of which there are four:

  • An obvious defect in one eye
  • Obvious sickness whose symptoms are clearly apparent in the animal
  • Obvious lameness which prevents the animal from walking normally
  • Emaciation that leaves no marrow in the bones

These four faults render an animal unsuitable for sacrifice, and they include similar faults or more severe faults.

4- The animal should belong to the person who is offering the sacrifice, or he should have permission for that either on the grounds of Shari`ah or from the owner. The sacrifice is not valid if the animal slaughtered does not belong to the person who is sacrificing it, such as one that has been taken by force, stolen, or taken on the basis of a false claim, etc, because it is not permissible to draw closer to Allah by means of sin.

5- It should be slaughtered at the time specified in Shari`ah, which is from after the `Eid prayer on the Day of Sacrifice until sunset on the last of the days of At-Tashriq, which is the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah. So the days when the sacrificial animal may be offered are four: the day of `Eid after the prayer, and the three days after that. Whoever slaughters it before the `Eid prayer is over, or after sun sets on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah, his sacrifice is not valid, because of the hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari from Al-Bara’ ibn `Azib (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever slaughters (his sacrifice) before the prayer, it is meat that he has brought to his family, but that is not the sacrifice.”

But if he has an excuse for delaying it beyond the days of Tashriq, such as if the animal ran away, without there being any negligence on his part, and he could not find it until after the time was over, or he appointed someone else to slaughter it and that person forgot until the time was over, then there is nothing wrong with slaughtering it after the appointed time. This is by analogy with the one who sleeps and misses a prayer, or forgets it – he should pray it as soon as he wakes up or remember it.

It is permissible to slaughter the Udhiyah at any time, night or day, but it is better to slaughter it during the day, and it is better to slaughter on the day of `Eid after the two sermons of `Eid.

The Best Udhiyah

A sheep is good enough as a sacrifice for one man and the members of his household and his children, because of the hadith of Abu Ayyub: “At the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), a man would sacrifice a sheep on behalf of himself and the members of his household, and they would eat from it and give some to others.” (Ibn Majah)

However, a camel or cow is enough for seven people, because of the report narrated by Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “We sacrificed at Al-Hudaybiyah with the Prophet (peace be upon him), a camel for seven and a cow for seven.” According to one version: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded us to share camels and cattle, each seven men sharing one animal.” According to another version: “So a cow would be sacrificed on behalf of seven men and we would share it.” (Muslim)

Honoring the Udhiyah

The Sunnah for one who wants to slaughter the Udhiyah is to say when slaughtering it:

Bismillah, wa Allahu akbar, Allahumma hadha minka wa laka. (In the name of Allah, Allah is most great. O Allah, this is from You and to You.)

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) sacrificed two horned rams that were white speckled with black. He slaughtered them with his own hand and said “Bismillah wa Allahu akbar,” (In the Name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest) and put his foot on their necks.

It is preferable for the one who has made a sacrifice to not eat anything on that day before he eats from it, if this is possible, because of the hadith, “Let every man eat from his sacrifice.” This eating should be after the `Eid prayer and sermon. This is the opinion of the scholars, including `Ali, Ibn `Abbas, Malik, Al-Shafa`i and others.

It is better for a person to slaughter the sacrifice himself, but if he does not, it is recommendable for him to be present when it is slaughtered.

The scholars agreed that it is not permissible to sell anything from the meat, fat or skin of the sacrifice.  In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever sells the skin of his Udhiyah, there is no Udhiyah for him (i.e., it is not counted as Udhiyah).” (Sahih Al-Jami`) The butcher should not be given anything of it by way of reward or payment, because `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded me to take care of the sacrifice and to give its meat, skin and raiment (covering used for protection) in charity, and not to give anything of it to the butcher as a compensation. He said, ‘We will give him something from what we have.’” (Agreed upon).

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Source: Islamqa.com.

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The Requirements Of The Accepted Hajj

By Editorial Staff

On their journey to Makkah, pilgrims hope and pray that their hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) will be accepted. They want to be rewarded, gain Paradise and the pleasure of Allah and to be saved from the Hellfire. To achieve this, they need to meet the requirements of Hajj.

What are the requirements for an accepted Hajj?

1. Sincerity

The pilgrim must have a purely sincere intention to observe this great pillar of Islam, Hajj, solely for the sake of Allah. This is the most important requirement which if not met, the Hajj will be invalid. Allah says,

“Though they were not commanded but to worship (One) God making the (practice of their) religion (pure and) sincere to Him (alone), being ever upright (of heart)” (Quran 98:5)

Observing Hajj for showing off invalidates it. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Allah (glorified and exalted be He) said: I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me. (Muslim)

2. Giving people their due rights

If the pilgrim succeeds in keeping away from bad manners, they will be back home with no sin at all.

The pilgrim must hasten to give people their rights back. This includes the redress of past injustices, paying off debts, etc. Although Hajj is one of the greatest means of forgiveness of sins, the other sins related to people’s rights require their pardon first to be forgiven.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever has wronged his brother, should ask for his pardon (before his death), as (in the Hereafter) there will be neither a Dinar nor a Dirham. (He should secure pardon in this life) before some of his good deeds are taken and paid to his brother, or, if he has done no good deeds, some of the bad deeds of his brother are taken to be loaded on him (in the Hereafter). (Al-Bukhari)

It is also highly recommended to seek the pardon of family members, relatives, friends and other people for anything the pilgrim may have done and made them angry.

3. Taking provisions for the journey

The pilgrim should have enough food or enough money to be able to buy food, drink, clothes and other things necessary for the journey.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The people of Yemen used to come for Hajj and used not to bring enough provisions with them and used to say that they depend on Allah. On their arrival in Medina they used to beg the people, and so Allah revealed,

“Moreover, take with you your (own) provisions and, indeed, the best provision is to be ever God-fearing. (Quran 2:197).” (Al-Bukhari)

4. Having lawful money

For Hajj to be accepted and for du’aa (supplication) to be answered, the pilgrim’s money must be earned lawfully.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “O people! Allah is Pure and, therefore, accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers as He has commanded His Messengers by saying:

‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things, and do good deeds.’ (Quran 23:51) And He said:

‘O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you…”‘ ( Quran 2:172).

Then he (ﷺ) made a mention of the person who travels for a long period of time, his hair are dishevelled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky and thus makes the supplication: ‘O Lord! O Lord!’ But his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful, how can, then his supplication be accepted?” (Muslim)

5. Travelling with a good company

It is recommended that the pilgrim travels in the company of the people of knowledge about the rites of Hajj. If he or she makes mistakes, forgets something or have no knowledge about a certain rite of the Hajj, they should be there for help. This is highly recommended especially for people observing Hajj for the first time because they are more liable to miss something or make mistakes.

6. Making a will

Making a will before setting off for Makkah is recommended.

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last will and testament written and kept ready with him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

7. A Mahram for a woman

A mahram for a woman is the male person who Allah made it unlawful for her to marry for good because they are related by blood such as a father or a son, breastfeeding or marriage such as her father-in-law.

For a woman to perform the Hajj, she has to travel in the company of her husband or a mahram of hers. As for a woman who has no mahram to accompany her, there are two opinions regarding whether she is allowed to treavel or not. Imam Al-Tirmidhi summarizes this issue as follows:

“Scholars hold different opinions concerning a woman who is wealthy enough to perform the Hajj but has no Mahram. Is the Hajj obligatory for her?

Some scholars are of the opinion that it is not obligatory for her to observe the Hajj. Allah says,

“Thus Hajj-Pilgrimage to the (Sacred) House (in Makkah) is owed to God, as an obligation upon all people who are able to attain a way to it. And as to those who disbelieve (this, know), then, (that) God is, indeed, self-sufficient, without (any need for any of His creation in) all the worlds.” (Quran 3:97)

Unless a woman has a mahram, then, she is not able to attain a way to it. This is the opinion of Sufyan Al-Thawri and the scholars of Kufa, a city in Iraq.

Other scholars hold the opinion that a woman who has no mahram may perform the Hajj only if the roads or the journey are safe and secure. She can set off with other people. This is the opinion of Malik ibn Anas and Imam Al-Shafi’i.”

8. Learning how to observe the Hajj

It is highly recommended for the person who wants to perform the Hajj to learn its rites and rulings so that he or she can perform it properly and make sure that the things that invalidate it are avoided. Moreover, the pilgrim will get the best of reward for both learning and performance. It happens that some people miss very essential elements of hajj such as Standing on ‘Arafat.

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Ten Blessed Days: Don’t Miss

By His wisdom, God gave preference to some places and times over others. For Muslims, Friday is the best day of the week, Ramadan is the best month of the year, “Laylat al-Qadr is the best night in Ramadan, the day of “Arafah” is the best day of the year. Likewise the first ten days of the month of “Dhul-Hijjah” are the blessed days for Muslims.

God says in the Qur’an what means:

By the daybreak, by the ten nights, by the even and the odd, by the passing night – is this oath strong enough for a rational person? (Al-Fajr 89:1-5)

Early Muslim scholars differed on what is meant by the “ten nights”. But most of them agreed that the ten nights refer to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

In another verse God says:

… to attain benefits and mention God’s name, on specified days. (Al-Hajj 22:28)

Most of the Qur’an commentators view that the specific days are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

What a great virtue attached to those days which pass unnoticed by many people nowadays.

On the merits of the first ten days, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Al-Bukhari)

In what follows are suggested ideas on how to make the best use of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah:

Repent to Allah

Make a sincere repentance to God and promise Him that you will not do bad deeds again. This may be your last chance. You are not sure if you will live till next year.

Pray at the Mosque

Try to perform the five daily prayers in the mosque. If you have time after Fajr prayer, try to sit in the mosque, read a juz’ (part) of the Quran, make du`aa’, or recite some Adhkar (remembrance of Allah). Then offer two rakahs before you go home. If you do so, you are reviving a tradition that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to do, a tradition which these days has been neglected by many Muslims.

Observe Fasting in the First Nine Days

Abu Sa`id al-Khudri said: I heard the Prophet saying, “Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s Pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Muslim)

Do not observe fasting on the tenth day because it is an `Eid day and it is prohibited to fast that day.

Good deeds are rewarded abundantly in these first ten days; and as fasting is a good deed, it is recommended to fast these nine days.

Do not Miss Fasting the Day of `Arafah

On the day of `Arafah, non-pilgrims are highly recommended to maintain fasting. It is reported that the Prophet was asked about fasting on the day of `Arafah, whereupon he said: “It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.” (Muslim)

He also said: “There is no day in which Allah frees a greater number of His slaves from the Hellfire than the Day of `Arafah.” (Muslim)

Make a Lot of Supplications (du`aa’) on the Day of `Arafah

The Prophet said: “The best supplication is that of the Day of `Arafah, and the best thing that I and other Prophets before me said, is: La ilaha illa allahu wahdahu la sharika lah, lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamdu wa huwa `ala kulli shai’in qadeer (There is no god but Allah alone. He has no partners. To Him belong the sovereignty and all praise. He has power over all things.) (Al-Tirmidhi)

Try to Do Something New this Year

If you used to recite a part of the Qur’an last year, try to finish reading the whole Qur’an this year. Try to pick some verses everyday and check the books of Tafsir (exegesis of the Qur’an) to reflect on their meaning in order to derive lessons from them in your daily life.

If you do not read Arabic, I recommend Muhammad Asad’s translation of the Qur’an. If you are well-versed in the Qur’an recitation, try to teach a group of new Muslims how to read the Qur’an correctly.

Maintain your Family Relations

Visit your relatives even for a few minutes. If they live far away, give them a call. Do not forget your parents. Be kind to them, visit them, and attend to their needs. Some new Muslims think that after their conversion, they should cut off their family members. God orders Muslims to be kind to their parents even if they are non-Muslims. This occasion might be a good opportunity to talk about Islam to your non-Muslim parents.

Give to Charity

Make it a daily habit to help the needy. Look for humanitarian organizations in your neighborhood and help them in any way you can.

Don’t Miss Offering at Least Two Rak`ahs of “Tahajjud” at Night

Offer many extra prayers, as much as you can. God promised a great reward for offering extra acts of worship. The Prophet said: “Allah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him.” (Al-Bukhari)

Reciting the Takbir

It is an act of Sunnah to say “Takbir” (Allah is the Greatest) in the first ten days.

The “Takbir” should be pronounced everywhere; in the mosque, at home, in the streets, etc. It is reported that: “Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbir, and the people would recite Takbir when they heard them.” (Al-Bukhari)

There are many forms of Takbir, but the most common one is: Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbaru, la illaha illa Allah, Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbar, wa lillahi al-Hamd.

In another version of the Hadith mentioned above on the merits of the ten days, there is this addition: “… so increase saying Tahlil (saying la-illah illa Allah), Takbir (saying Allahu akbar), and Tahmid (saying Al-hamdullilah)” (Ahmad) Therefore, these kinds of “dhikr should be recited day and night.

The Best Good Deed in These Days is to Offer Hajj

Go to Hajj, if you are physically and financially able to perform it. If not, try to offer a sacrifice if you have the means. By doing this you are commemorating the story of sacrifice of both prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`il (peace be upon them). The poor and the needy have a share in the sacrifice and feeding them is one of best deeds that can be done on the day of `Eid.

I pray to Allah to accept our good deeds in these days of Dhul-Hijjah and throughout the year. When our good deeds are accepted by God, we will be admitted to Paradise, by His Mercy.

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How Should I Be Spending These 10 Days Of Dhul-Hijjah?

Why are these 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah important? How should I be spending these 10 days?

These 10 days of are the best days of the year. They are even more sacred and rewarding than the last 10 days of Ramadan. An effort to increase good deeds is something every person must be doing. Why are these days so important? What are some of the thing I can be doing during these 10 days?

Ustadh Ammar Al-Shukry explains in the video below….

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Source: Faith IQ

 

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A Brief Guide to Hajj By E Da`wah Committee (EDC)

A Brief Guide to Hajj…

Islam organizes the spiritual and moral life of man as well as the practical side 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. As a rich spiritual experience, Hajj has a great message and lessons for the benefit and well-being 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.

The E-Da`wah Committee presents this brief guide to Hajj for those intending to make this life-time journey…

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Source: E-Da`wah Committee

 

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First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah: Do’s and Don’ts

By the Editorial Staff

Among the great seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which Allah has favored over other days. There are numerous hadiths indicating that these ten days are better than all other days of the year, with no exception. The Muslim should hasten to utilize this opportunity by offering sincere repentance to Allah, and multiplying the good deeds in these blessed days.

First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

These ten days are better than all other days of the year.

Regarding the superiority of these days of Dhul-Hijjah, Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymin said, “Indeed it is a great favor and blessing from Allah that He has made for His righteous servants periods of time within which they can increase in good deeds to attain great rewards. One of these opportunistic periods is the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

The excellence of these ten days has been mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Allah says in the Qur’an:

By the dawn and by the ten nights… (Al-Fajr 89:1-2)

Ibn Kathir said that “the ten nights” referred to here are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and this opinion was also held by Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Az-Zubair, Mujahid and others.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “There are no deeds as excellent as those done in these ten days.” They (the companions) said, “Not even Jihad?” He said, “No, not even Jihad except a man who goes forth endangering his life and wealth and does not return with anything.” (Al-Bukhari)

Also, Allah says:

…and remember the name of Allah in the appointed days. (Al-Baqarah 2:203)

Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Kathir said: this means in the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

The Messenger of Allah said: “There are no other days that are as great as these in the sight of Allah, the Most Sublime. Nor are there any deeds more beloved to Allah then those that are done in these ten days. So increase in tahlil (to say la ilaha ill Allah “No one worthy of worship but Allah), takbir (to say allahu akbar “Allah is the Greatest”) and tahmid (to say alhumdulillah “praise be to Allah”).” (At-Tabarani)

It is reported that the noble companion Sa`id ibn Jubayr, when the days of Dhul-Hijjah began he would strive to increase in good actions with great intensity to the extent that no one can do like that. (Ad-Darimi)

Ibn Hajar says in Fat-h Al-Bari: “The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salawat (prayers), siyam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine.”

What Are the Recommended Acts in These Days

Prayer

It is highly recommended to perform the obligatory acts at their prescribed times and to increase oneself in the supererogatory (nawafil) acts, for indeed, this is what brings a person closer to their Lord.

The Messenger of Allah said: “Upon you is to increase in your prostration to Allah, for verily you do not prostrate to Allah with even one prostration, except that He raises you in degrees and decreases your sins because of it.” (Muslim)

Fasting

This has been mentioned as one of the acts of righteousness where Handabah ibn Khalid reports on the authority of his wife who reports that some of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The Prophet would fast on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, the day of `Ashura and three days in every month.” (Abu Dawud)

Imam An-Nawawi said that fasting in these ten days is extremely recommended.

Takbir, Tahlil and Tahmid

In the aforementioned narration of Ibn ‘Umar, the Prophet said: “So increase yourselves in saying la ilaha illa Allah, Allahu akbar and alhamdulillah.”

Imam Al-Bukhari (may confer mercy on him) said: “Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them both) used to go out to the markets in the ten days saying the takbir causing the people to follow them in this action.”

He also said: “`Umar ibn Al-Khattab used to say the takbir in his minaret in Mina, whereupon the people of the mosque hearing `Umar, would start to say the takbir as would the people in the markets until the whole of Mina was locked in glorifying Allah.”

Ibn `Umar used to say the takbir in Mina during these ten days and after prayers, whilst on his bed, in his tent, in his gathering and whilst walking. What is recommended is to say the takbir aloud due to the fact that `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, his son and Abu Hurayrah used to do likewise, may Allah be pleased with them all.

Muslims has to strive with in reviving this sunnah that has become lost in these times and it was almost forgotten, even amongst the people of righteousness and goodness all of which is unfortunately in opposition to what the best of generations were upon (preserving and maintaining the supererogatory acts).

Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah

Fasting has been affirmed on the day of `Arafah, where it has been authentically reported from the Prophet that he said regarding fasting on the day of `Arafah: “I hope that Allah will expiate for you your sins for the year before (the day of `Arafah) and the year after (the day of `Arafah).” (Muslim)

However, whoever is at `Arafah as a pilgrim then fasting is not expected of him, as it is reported that the Prophet stopped at `Arafah to eat.

What Should Be Avoided during Them?

Sheikh `Abudl-`Aziz ibn Baz (may Allah confer mercy on him) said: “If anyone wants to offer an Ud-hiyah, and the month of Dhul-Hijjah has begun, then it is haram for him to remove anything of his hair or nails or skin until he has slaughtered the Ud-hiyah, because of the hadith of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet said: “When you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah – according to another version, When the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah) begin – and any one of you wants to offer an Ud-hiyah, let him refrain (from cutting) his hair and nails.” (Muslim) According to another version, “Let him not remove anything from his hair and nails until he offers the Ud-hiyah.”

The reason for this prohibition is that when the person who wants to offer the Ud-hiyah joins the pilgrims in some of the rituals of Hajj – namely drawing closer to Allah by slaughtering the Ud-hiyah – he also joins him in some of the features of ihram, namely refraining from cutting his hair etc.

This ruling applies only to the one who is going to slaughter the Ud-hiyah. It does not apply to the one on whose behalf an Ud-hiyah is offered. Based on this, it is permissible for the family of the person who is going to offer the Ud-hiyah to remove things from their hair, nails and skin during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

If one has to remove them because of necessity, there is no blame on him, such as if a nail breaks and it annoys him, so he cuts it, or if a hair gets in his eye and he removes it, or he needs to cut his hair in order to treat a wound and the like.” (Fatawa Islamiyyah)

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First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah: Special Season of Worship

With the start of Dhul-Hijjah less than a week away, Muslims all over the world are preparing to embark on a journey of a lifetime. However, if you are among those who will instead be watching them on TV and wishing you were with them, you must be asking yourself: What do I do during these days?

Dhul-Hijjah

There are no days during which the righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days.

Let us remind ourselves of some specific and other general deeds which will in sha’ Allah maximize our benefit from the best of all days!

The Superiority of These Days

The immense importance of these days is shown by the fact that Allah (Exalted be He) swears an oath by them in the Qur’an: “By the dawn; And (by) ten nights.” (Al-Fajr 89:1-2)

In Tafsir Ibn Kathir it is mentioned that the “ten nights” in the verse above refer to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“There are no days during which the 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 Jihad in the Cause of Allah?” He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied, “Not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah, except in case one goes forth with his life and his property and does not return with either of it.” (Al-Bukhari)

The reason righteous deeds are more rewarding during these days, according to Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf, is because they are Hajj days in the sacred season of pilgrimage. Because of their excellence and importance, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) swore by them.

So what can you do to honor these days?

1- Take Special Care of Your Obligations

Before talking about any voluntary actions (and bonuses), it is important to remind ourselves that we must first take care of all our obligations. How can we think of building and beautifying a house without constructing its pillars? Thus, we have to pay special attention to the pillars of Islam and strive to perfect our obligations.

a- Pray on time (and in congregation, for men)

The Messenger of Allah said, “Verily, between a man (i.e., a Muslim) and between shirk (polytheism) and kufr (disbelief) is the abandoning of As-Salah (prayers).” (Muslim)

b- Give your zakat if it is due!

c- If you have not yet fulfilled the obligation of Hajj, make special du`aa’ to Allah to grant you the opportunity to do so soon and in the best of manners.

2- Supplicate for Sighting of the New Moon

Start the month with this supplication:

‘Allah is the Most Great. O Allah, bring us the new moon with security and Faith, with peace and in Islam, and in harmony with what our Lord loves and what pleases Him. Our Lord and your Lord is Allah.’ (Fortress of the Muslim)

3- Repeat Tahleel, Takbir and Tahmeed

These remembrances have a special connection to these ten days:

Our Prophet said: “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel (saying La ilaaha illa Allah, here’s no god but Allah), takbir (saying Allahu Akbar, Allah is Greatest) and tahmeed (saying Alhamdulillah, all praise be to Allah) during them.” (Ahmad)

The Companions would go to the marketplace and recite the takbir out loud and people would also recite after hearing them. Let us follow their footsteps and encourage others to recite the takbir as well, as an act of worship and a proclamation of the greatness of Allah (Exalted be He)! You might find it uncomfortable to constantly remind your family members, but if you simply play an audio file from your laptop, mobile, etc., you’ll notice others will join in with the recitation naturally, in sha’ Allah.

One of the forms of takbir you may recite is:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillaahil-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, and to Allah be praise.”

4- Renew Your Taqwa

After the fasting of Ramadan whose main purpose was “…that you may become righteous” (Al-Baqarah 2:183), Allah makes a special connection between sacrificing animals (which has to be offered on the days of `Eid) with taqwa:

Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. (Al-Hajj 22:37)

The people of taqwa (piety and fear of Allah), as explained in Dr. Muhsin Khan’s translation of the Qur’an, are “the pious believers of Islamic Monotheism who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained).”

Thus, let us repent from all our sins and try our level best to attain taqwa.

5- Earn the Reward of a Hajj without Going to Makkah

Prophet Muhammad said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun has risen, then he prays two rak`ahs, then for him is the reward like that of a Hajj and `Umrah.” He said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Complete, complete, complete.’” (At-Tirmidhi)

That’s a small deed with such an immense reward! Allahu Akbar! However, this would not mean that you will be free from the obligation of Hajj (the fifth pillar of Islam) of course.

6- Observe Voluntary Fasts

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Allah says: ‘(The person observing sawm) has abstained from food and drink, and sexual pleasures for My sake; fasting is for Me, and I will bestow its reward. Every good deed has ten times its reward.’” (Al-Bukhari)

In addition, the Messenger of Allah said:

“Whoever observes fast for a day in the way of Allah (non-obligatory fasting observed for the sole purpose of pleasing Allah and seeking His blessings), Allah will remove his face from the Hell to the extent of seventy years’ distance.” (Muslim)

So imagine the reward for keeping fasts during these grand days, In sha’ Allah! This applies only for the first nine days. The 10th of Dhul-Hijjah will be `Eid, in which fasting is prohibited.

                                                                                                                                                                To be continued…

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Source: productivemuslim.com

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