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Surah al-Fatihah is a Cure for the Diseases of the Heart and the Body

The disease of the heart occurs due to two basic matters:

The corruption of knowledge

The corruption of intent.

These in turn lead to two fatal illnesses: misguidance and anger. Misguidance being the end result of the corruption of knowledge and anger being the end result of the corruption of intent. These two illnesses are the lords of all the diseases of the heart.

When one asks for guidance to the Straight Path then he is asking for that which will cure the disease of misguidance. This is why this Surah has been made obligatory upon every servant in every prayer.

Actualising the verse, “You Alone we worship and You Alone we ask for help” serves as a cure for the corruption of intent. This is because the intent is linked to the objectives and means of attaining them. Therefore this cure is composed of six matters:

  1. Worshipping Allah Alone
  2. By performing what He commanded and legislated
  3. Not by following ones own desires
  4. Neither by following the mere opinions of people
  5. By asking Allah for His Help to enact this
  6. And not relying on oneself

Furthermore the heart is beset with two dangerous and destructive diseases and this verse serves as a cure for them. Ibn Taymiyyah said,

‘You Alone we worship’ represses ostentation and ‘You Alone we ask for help’ represses arrogance.

As regards its curing the bodily illnesses then this can be seen in the hadeeth of Abu Sa`eed reported in Saheeh Bukhari that after he had recited it to cure a person who had been bitten by a scorpion, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to him,

And what made you to know that it was a ruqya?

Surah al-Faatihah Comprises the Meaning of the Entire Qur`aan

As alluded to earlier, al-Faatihah is named the Mother of the Qur`aan because it succinctly summarises the whole of the Qur`aan. We are now in a position to analyse this statement further.

The Surah includes affirmation of Tawheed in all of its various categories,

Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah, meaning unity of Allah’s Lordship, contained in His saying, “Lord of the Universe.”

Tawheed al-Uluhiyyah, meaning unity of Allah’s worship in that all worship is to be done sincerely for His sake Alone, contained in His saying, “You Alone we worship and Your aid Alone we seek.”

Tawheed al-Asmaa was Sifaat, meaning the unity of Allah’s Names and Attributes in that they are perfect and unique to Him, contained in His saying, “all praise and thanks are due to Allah.”

It teaches us to praise and glorify Allah by mentioning His beautiful and perfect Names and Attributes.

It teaches us about His Mercy and His Justice.

It teaches us about the Day of Judgement and about the recompense of our deeds.

It teaches us that the recompense will be established upon perfect justice.

It encourages one to perform righteous actions and dissuades one from performing sins.

It teaches the servants of Allah to ask of Him Alone, to humble themselves and worship Him Alone and to put their trust and reliance in Him Alone.

It teaches us to ask Allah continuously for guidance to the Straight Path.

It points us towards the nations of the past and warns us against falling into the same acts of transgression and misguidance that they were guilty of.

It teaches us to aspire to the company of the sincerely truthful, the martyrs and the righteous.

It teaches that there is nothing in the Qur`aan that would give aid to or encourage innovation. Hence never will the innovator be able to find evidence for his misguidance in the Qur`aan.

Mawdudi states,

Al-Faatihah is actually a prayer that Allah teaches to all who embark upon the study of His Book. Its position at the beginning signifies that anyone who wants to benefit from the Book should first offer this prayer to the Lord of the Universe.

Man naturally prays only for what his heart desires and only when he feels that the object of his desire is at the disposal of the One to Whom his prayer is addressed. The placing of this Surah at the head of the Qur`aan is a sign that Allah urges man to read this Book with the aim of discovering the right course in life i.e. the Straight Way, to study it with the earnestness of a seeker after Truth, and never to forget that the real source of true knowledge is Allah Himself. The student of the Book should therefore begin by making a humble petition to Him for true guidance.

Once this is grasped, it becomes self-evident that in relation to the Qur`aan this opening Surah, al-Faatihah is not just an introduction or foreword; the relationship is really one of prayer and response. Al-Faatihah is a prayer from man, and the rest of the Qur`aan is Allah’s response to this prayer. Man prays to Allah that He may show him the Straight Way and in response to this prayer Allah offers the Qur`aan as the true guidance, the Straight Way which man has sought and prayed for.

And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the Universe.

Source: Islaam.net

Rabi al-Awwal: Humanity has been blessed in this month by the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam)

By Mufti Taqi Usmani

From Superstitions into Light

Rabi al-Awwal is the most significant month in the Islamic history, because humanity has been blessed in this month by the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Before the birth of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, not only the Arabian peninsula, but also the so-called civilized nations of Rome and Persia were drowned in the darkness of ignorance, superstitions, oppression and unrest. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, came with the eternal truth of Tawhid (Oneness of Allah), the only faith which provides a firm basis for the real concepts of knowledge, equity and peace. It was this faith which delivered humanity from ignorance and superstitions and spread the light of true knowledge all over the world.

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Islamic Celebrations

Thus the birth of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was the most significant and the most remarkable event in human history. Had there been room in Islamic teachings for the celebration of birthdays or anniversaries, the birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, would have undoubtedly deserved it more than the birthday of any other person. But that is against the nature of Islamic teachings. That is why, unlike Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, there are very few festivals in Islam, which provides for only two Eids (Eidul-fitr and Eidul-Adha)during the whole year. The dates of these two Eids do not correspond to the birthday of any of the outstanding persons of Islamic history, nor can their origin be attributed to any particular event of history that had happened in these dates.

Both of these two Eids have been prescribed for paying gratitude to Allah on some happy events that take place every year. The first event is the completion of the fasts of Ramadan and the second event is the completion of Hajj, another form of worship regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam.

The manner prescribed for the celebration of these two Eids (festivals) is also different from non-Islamic festivals. There are no formal processions, illumination or other activities showing formal happiness. On the contrary, there are congregational prayers and informal mutual visits to each other, which can give real happiness instead of its symbols only.

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No Birthdays

On the other hand, Islam has not prescribed any festival for the birthday of any person, however great or significant he may be. The prophets of Allah are the persons of the highest status amongst all human beings. But the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, or his noble companions never observed the birthday or anniversary of any of them. Even the birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, which was the most happy day for the whole mankind was never celebrated by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself, nor by his blessed Companions.

The Companions of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, remained alive after him for about a century, but despite their unparalleled and profound love towards the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, they never celebrated the birthday or the death anniversary of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Instead, they devoted their lives for promoting the cause of Islam, for bringing his teachings into practice, for conveying his message to the four corners of the world and for establishing the Islamic order in every walk of life.

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The Origins of Christmas

In fact, commemorating the birth of a distinguished person has never been prescribed by any religion attributing itself to divine revelation. It was originally a custom prevalent in pagan communities only. Even Christmas, the famous Christian feast commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ finds no mention in the Bible or in the early Christian writings. It was only in the 4th century after the ascension of Jesus Christ that Christmas was recognized as a regular Christian feast. To quote the Collier’s Encyclopedia:

“It is impossible to determine the exact date of the birth of Christ, either from the evidence of the gospels, or from any sound tradition. During the first three centuries of the Christian era there was considerable opposition in the Church to the pagan custom of celebrating birthdays, although there is some indication that a purely religious commemoration of the birth of Christ was included in the feast of Epiphany. Clement of Alexandria mentions the existence of the feast in Egypt about the year A.D. 200 and we have some evidence that it was observed on various dates in scattered areas. After the triumph of Constantine, the Church at Rome assigned December 25 as the date for the celebration of the feast, possibly about A.D. 320 or 353. By the end of the fourth century the whole Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day, with the exception of the Eastern Churches, where it was celebrated on January 6. The choice of December 25 was probably influenced by the fact that on this day the Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the Sun-god, and that the Saturnalia also came at this time.” (Collier’s Encyclopedia 1984 ed, v. 6, p. 403).

A similar description of the origin of Christmas is found in-the Encyclopedia Britannica with some more details. Its following passage will throw more light on the point:

“Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church, and before the 5th century there was no general consensus of opinion as to when it should come in the calendar, whether on Jan. 6, March 25 or Dec. 25. The earliest identification of Dec. 25 with the birthday of Christ is in a passage, otherwise unknown and probably spurious, of the philos of Antioch (c.180), preserved in Latin by the Magdeburyg centuriators (i, 3, 118), to the effect that the Gauls contended that since they celebrated the birth of Lord on Dec. 25, so they ought to celebrate the resurrection on March 25. A passage, almost certainly interpolated, in ‘Hippelates’ (c. 202) commentary on Daniel iv, 23, says that Jesus was born at Bethlehem on Wednesday, Dec. 25, in the 42nd year of Augustus, but he mentions no feast, and such a feast, indeed, would conflict with the then orthodox ideas. As late as 245, Origin (hem. viii on Leviticus) repudiated the idea of keeping the birthday of Christ “as if he were a king Pharaoh”. (Britannica, 1953 ed. v. 5, p.642)

These two quotes are more than sufficient to prove the following points:

1. The commemoration of birthdays was originally a pagan custom, never recognized by a divine scripture or prophetic teaching.

2. The exact date of the Birth of Sayyidna ‘Isa is unknown and impossible to be ascertained.

3. The commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ was not a recognized practice in the early centuries of the Christian history.

4. It was in the 4th or 5th century that it was recognized as a religious feast, and that, too, under the influence of the pagans who worshipped Sun-god.

5. There was a strong opposition against the commemorating of the birthday by the early Christian scholars like Origin, on the ground that it is originally a custom of pagans and idolaters.

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Original Islamic Resources

In original Islamic resources, also we cannot find any instruction about the celebration of birthdays or death anniversaries. Many Companions of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, passed away during his life-time. His beloved wife Sayyidah Khadijah, Radi-Allahu anha, passed away in Makkah. His beloved uncle Sayyidna Hamzah, Radi-Allahu anhu was brutally slaughtered during the battle of Uhud. But the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, never observed their birthday or their death anniversaries, nor did he ever advise his followers to celebrate his own birthday in Rabi al-Awwal.

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What is Wrong with These Celebrations

The reason for abstinence from such celebrations is that they divert the attention of people from the real teachings of Islam towards the observance of some formal activities only. Initially, these celebrations may begin with utmost piety and with a bona fide intention to pay homage to a pious person. Yet, the experience shows that the celebration is ultimately mixed up with an element of merrymaking and rejoicing and is generally confused with secular festivals and the secular, and often sinful, activities creep into it gradually.

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The Transformation of Christmas

The example of Christmas will again be relevant. This Christian feast was originally innovated to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ and, of course, to remember his teachings. But once the occasion had been recognized as a feast, all the secular elements of public festivals crept in. The following quotation from the Encyclopedia Britannia is worth attention:

“For several centuries Christmas was solely a church anniversary observed by religious services. But as Christianity spread among the people of pagan lands, many of the practices of the winter solstice were blended with those of Christianity because of the liberal ruling of Gregory I, the great, and the cooperation of the missionaries. Thus, Christmas became both religious and secular in its celebration, at times reverent, at others gay.”

Then, what kind of activities have been adopted to celebrate Christmas is mentioned in the next paragraphs of which the following quote is more pertinent here:

“Merrymaking came to have a share in Christmas observance through popular enthusiasm even while emphasis was on the religious phase. … In the wholly decked great halls of the feudal lords, whose hospitality extended to all their friends, tenants and household, was sailing, feasting, singing and games, dancing, masquerading and mummers presenting pantomimes and masques were all part of the festivities.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1953 v. 5, p. 643)

This is enough to show as to how an apparently innocent feast of reverence was converted into a secular festival where the merrymaking and seeking enjoyment by whatever means took preference over all the religious and spiritual activities.

Being fully aware of this human psychology, Islam has never prescribed, nor encouraged the observance of birthdays and anniversaries, and when such celebrations are observed as a part of the religion, they are totally forbidden.

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The Religion is Complete

The Holy Qur’an has clearly pronounced on the occasion of the last Hajj of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam: “Today, I have completed the teachings of your religion.” [Al-Maida 5:3]

It means that all the teachings of Islam were communicated to the Muslims through the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. No one is allowed after it to add any thing to them as a part of religion. What was not a part of religion during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, can never become part of it. Such additions are termed by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as Bid’ah or innovation.

Thus, the observance of the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal as a religious feast is not warranted by any verse of the Holy Qur’an or by any teaching of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Had it been a part of the religion it would have been clearly ordered or practiced by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and his blessed companions or, at least, by their immediate pupils. But no example of the celebration of the occasion can be traced out in the early centuries of the Islamic history. It was after many centuries [Albalagh Note: According to Maulana Yusuf Ludhinavi it was in the year 604 A.H.] that some monarchs started observing the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal as the birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, without a sound religious basis, and the congregations in the name of Maulood or Milad were held where the history of the birth of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to be narrated.

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Disagreement About the Date

The observance of the 12th of this month as the birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is not only an innovation having no basis in the Islamic teachings, but the accuracy of this date as the real birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is also very much doubted. There are different dates suggested in different traditions, and the majority of the authentic scholars is inclined to hold that the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was born on the 9th of Rabi al-Awwal. This difference of opinion is another evidence to prove that the observance of the birthday is not a part of the religion, otherwise its exact date would have been preserved with accuracy.

The life of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is, no doubt, the most important source of guidance for all the Muslims, and every Muslim is under an obligation to learn and study the events of his life, and to follow the practical example set by him in every sphere of life. The narration of his pious biography (the Seerah) in itself is a pious act, which invites the divine blessings, but the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah have not prescribed a particular time or method for it. This pious act should be performed in all the months and at all the times. The month of Rabi al-Awwal has not been designated by the Shariah as a special season for holding such congregations to commemorate the birth or life of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is thus an innovation (Bid’ah) to restrict the Seerah meetings to the month of Rabi’ul Awwal only, or to believe that the meetings held in this month are worthy of more reward than the meetings held on any other date during the year. In fact, the Companions of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to commemorate the life of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, throughout the year, not only by studying and conveying his message to others, but also by following his way of life and acting upon his teachings in each and every branch of their activities, and this is exactly what a Muslim is required and supposed to do.

By this we do not mean that the Seerah meetings should not be held in the month of Rabi al-Awwal. The point is only that they should not be restricted to it, nor should it be believed that the Shariah has laid any kind of emphasis on holding such meetings in this particular month.

Another point that should always be kept in mind while holding such meetings is that they must be in complete conformity with the rules of Shariah. A Muslim is supposed to abide by the rules of Shariah in all his activities. But at least the meetings held in the memory of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, should be free from all the acts forbidden by the Shariah.

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Contemporary Seerah Meetings and Shariah

It is often observed, especially in the Western countries, that the people hold the Seerah meetings where men and women sit together without observing the rules of hijab prescribed by the Shariah. The teachings of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, are obviously against such mixed gatherings. How can a Seerah meeting bring fruits where such fundamental teachings of the Shariah are openly violated?

In some meetings the Na’ts (poems) in the memory of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, are recited by the women before the male audience, sometimes with music, which is totally against the instructions of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is clearly prohibited by the Shariah to hold such meetings or to participate in them, because it is not only a violation of the Shariah rules, but it is an affront to the sanctity of the Seerah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

All other activities, often practiced on the twelfth of Rabi al-Awwal, like holding processions, constructing the mock tombs of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and illumination of the buildings and the roads are not warranted by any rule of the Shariah. Rather they are based on conscious or unconscious imitation of certain other religions. No example of such activities can be traced out from the earlier Islamic history.

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Real Message of Seerah

What is really important with regard to the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is, first, to follow his teachings, and second to make his pious Seerah available to every Muslim, to preserve it in the hearts of the Muslims from the very childhood, to educate the family members to run their lives according to it and to hold it as the most glorious example of the human conduct the universe has ever witnessed — and all this with utmost love and reverence, not manifested by some formal activities only, but also through actual behavior of following the Sunnah. This cannot be done by merely holding processions and illuminating the walls. This requires constant and consistent efforts and a meaningful program of education and training.

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How To Be Romantic With Your Spouse – Prophet (ﷺ) Ways

As the days come to closer to one’s marriage, excitement, ecstasy and elation pump through the bride and groom. The build up to marriage is an experience of thrill and jubilation. When the marriage is solemnised, one’s happiness and delight is on the verge of brimming and tipping over. When the newlywed couple meet for the first time, words cannot describe the sweetness, bliss, serenity, pleasure and elation tasted by the two.

If every day of the marriage mirrors the first day of marriage, and every night reflects the first night of marriage, then the marriage will be a euphoric experience on this world.

The first couple of months are always a ‘honeymoon’. Once the couple settles down, then reality begins. Many couples fail at this point. The husband gets engrossed in his job. He comes home tired and late, feeling hungry and tired. He demands for the food and feels lazy to do anything. He eats, puts the dirty plates in the sink and lies down on the sofa. He might awaken to perform salāh if he is conscious of salāh. Otherwise, he wakes up later on towards the night, phones a few friends, watches TV and keeps ordering the wife to get him x and y. When it is time to sleep, the husband if he is feeling in a good mood he will have relations with his wife-but only to satisfy his needs. Once he is fulfilled, he stops and drops off to sleep. Whether the wife is satisfied or not does not even cross his mind. This becomes the routine of his life.

The wife on the other hand, she initially tries to please her husband. She slowly loses her enthusiasm as she does not receive enough attention from her husband. She cooks to please her husband. She will put effort into her food. She will try and perfect every detail in the food. The presentation, ingredients and spices are put meticulously so they complement each other. After a while she begins to tire from this as the husband does not comment or he criticizes her food. As soon as the husband goes to work, she is on the phone to her associates. She cooks, watches TV, cleans the house and enjoys her day before her husband comes home. Once the husband comes, she becomes a slave again.

This style of marriage where there is no affection shown, no real emotion transmitted from one party to the other is heading towards destruction.
The husband needs to implement the romance the Prophet Salallahu alaihi wasallam displayed. We consider Romeo to be romantic but not the Prophet(ﷺ). If I was to say the Prophet(ﷺ) was the most romantic individual, I would not be lying. Looking attentively to the biography of the Prophet (ﷺ), you will find that he was extending a great deal of respect to his wives and was displaying high attention, care and love toward them. He was the best example for the ideal manners toward the wife. He was comforting for his wives, wiping their tears, respecting their emotions, hearing their words, caring for their complaints, alleviating their sadness, going in picnics with them, racing with them, bearing their abandonment, discussing matters with them, keeping their dignity, supporting them in emergencies, declaring his love to them and was very happy with such love.

The husband and wife have to bond with one another psychologically, physically and spiritually. Here are some attractive examples and points we need to adopt to achieve a marriage of romance:

1) Know their feelings:

The Prophet(ﷺ) was telling Sayyidah Aisha (RA):

“ “I know well when you are pleased or angry with me.

Aisha (RA) replied:

How you know that?

He said:

“ When you are pleased with me you swear by saying “By the God of Mohammad” but when you are angry you swear by saying “By the God of Ibrahim”.

She said: You are right, I don’t mention your name.”

The husband and wife should be aware of each other’s feelings. The husband should be able to gauge when his wife is upset or sad, likewise the wife should be able to read her husband’s behaviour. By being conscious of one another’s feelings, it will help in resolving any differences. When your spouse is down or upset, be there to console him/her. Sit with them, speak with them, listen to them. Try and make them smile. If the husband is always conscious of his wife’s feelings, and the wife is always conscious of the husband’s feelings, then this will assist greatly in keeping the ‘flicker’ alight.

2) Console her:

Sayyidah Safiyah (RA) anha was on a journey with the Prophet (ﷺ). She was late so the Prophet Salallahu alaihi wasallam received her while she was crying. The Prophet (ﷺ) wiped her tears with his own hands and tried his utmost to calm her down.

This is another feature a marriage must have. Each spouse has to be there for the other in the good and bad times. The wife should find comfort and solace in the husband and the husband should find warmth and love in his wife. Be gentle with one another.

3) Laying in the wife’s lap

The Prophet (ﷺ) would recline in the lap of our beloved mother Sayyidah Aisha (RA) even in the state when she would be menstruating. The Prophet (ﷺ) would recite the Qur῾ān whilst reclining in his wife’s lap.

How many times have we rested in the lap of our spouse? These gestures may seem trivial but they are the acts which bring the hearts close. The wife can sense and see the love of her husband for her in such actions. Every so often come home and just go and rest in the lap of your wife. She will appreciate this gesture greatly.

4) Combing the spouse’s hair:

Aisha (RA) would comb the hair of the Prophet (ﷺ) and wash his hair.

This is how close a couple has to be. Love evolves and grows to such an extent that a spouse yearns to do everything for the other spouse even if it simply combing their hair. To maintain a high intensity of love, do the little things for your spouse also. Little acts have a huge psychological impact on the mind of the spouse. Seldom comb their hair, take their clothes out to wear, bring them a cold drink on a hot day, prepare something for them etc.

5) Drinking and eating from one place:

Aisha (RA) would drink from a cup. The Prophet (ﷺ) would take this cup and search for the place where the lips of his beloved wife made contact. Upon finding the place where his wife drank from the cup, he would put his lips on the very same place so that his lips have touched the place where her lips touched.He would then drink the contents of the cup at the same time enjoying union with his spouse. When there was meat to eat, Sayyidah Aisha (RA) would take a bite. The Prophet (ﷺ) would take the meat from her hand and again place his mouth the very same place where his wife ate from. This would add taste of love to his food.

Do things together with your wife. Do not just eat at the same time and on the same tablecloth, but eat from the same plate. Let alone the same plate, eat together from the same article of food. This will bond the hearts so close to one another. When everything your wife comes into contact with becomes more beloved to you than food itself, imagine the flame of love in your lives?

6) Kissing:

The Prophet (ﷺ) would kiss his wife regularly. Even when he (ﷺ) would be fasting, he would kiss his wife.

Compliment your spouse often with kisses. When exiting the house, make it habit you leave by coming into contact with your spouse. When returning home, along with saying salām to her, show that you have missed her dearly.

When she is working or busy in her household chores, surprise her with a kiss. You have to show your love. Love is the fuel of marriage; if you desire your marriage to progress, you have to express your love in every way you can.

Physical relations in a marriage are very important. The famous saying is, “actions speak louder than words.” Show your spouse you love her. Sharī῾ah promotes romance and physical relations between the husband and wife. The Prophet (ﷺ) categorically stated, “Conjugal relations with your wife is a Sadaqah.”

7) Lifting the morsel to her mouth:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“ If you spend an amount you will be rewarded for it, -even when you lift the morsel to your wife’s mouth.

”

The husband and wife should make these gentle gestures to exhibit their love and appreciation. Feed your spouse with your own hands now and then. This will rekindle the flame of love in your marriage.

8) Assisting her in the housework:

The Prophet (ﷺ) would clean and help at home. He would see to his needs himself rather than demanding his wife. He would clean and see to his clothing himself.

Without being asked, if the couple help each other in day to day activities, it will make one appreciate the other. Likewise, one should try his best not to demand his/her spouse to do things too much. Whatever one can do himself, he should do. We need to be considerate of the spouse. The wife works tirelessly all day. So if the husband was to be considerate and realise his wife works hard, this will touch the wife. Likewise, if the wife was to go out of her way to see to the needs of her husband being considerate, it will induce a great spark of love between the two.

9) Telling her stories:

Discuss stories and events with your spouse. Engage in light hearted discussions with her-something to laugh and joke over. The Prophet (ﷺ) on many occasions would discuss stories, events and have light hearted discussions. The famous story narrated by Sayyidah Aisha (RA) regarding Umm Zar’ is evident.

This is one angle which is neglected more so than often. It is all ‘business’ between the husband and wife. They do not get into light hearted conversations. Instead, the husband rings his friends and chuckles with them. The wife on the other hand giggles during the day with her friends. This should not be the case. Focus and divert all your amusement and entertainment at your spouse. If you want to laugh, then let it be that you are laughing with your wife.

Make it a point in your busy schedule daily where you sit with your wife and do nothing but have fun with her.

10) Sharing happy occasions with her:

Once when the Ethiopians were practicing target shooting in the masjid complex, the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam stood with his wife watching. Not only did the Prophet (ﷺ) stand with his wife, he put his cloak around her. The Prophet (ﷺ) although he had other jobs to do, he stayed there standing with his wife. He only went when his wife wanted to go.

A husband should be one who shares happy occasions and experiences with his wife. When it is raining, cold or sunny, one should shelter his wife.
You should be willing to sacrifice your errands to spend time with your wife. When the spouse sees sacrifice for her sake, it will create immense love and respect in their heart.

11) Racing with his wife:

The Prophet (ﷺ) would exercise and play with his wife also. The famous incident of the Prophet (ﷺ) challenging his wife to race is well known.

When a couple can have such good times together, it only ignites the love even more.

12) Calling her by a beautiful name:

The Prophet (ﷺ) would call his wife ‘Humairā’’ out of love. Linguistically it means the little reddish one, but the scholars state that in reality it refers to someone who is so fair that due to the sun they get a reddish tan. This was the reason why the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam called her Humairaa’.

Call your spouse nice sweet names. One has to show his partner love and affection in every little thing. One needs to feed love constantly to his spouse to keep the flame burning.

Once the Prophet (ﷺ) stared into his wife’s eyes. He was gazing at the world within his wife’s eyes. He then said to Sayyidah Aisha radiallahu anha in praise of her beauty, “How white are your eyes.”
This is what is needed. The husband and wife should be constantly complementing and praising each other. The husband has to show his love and attraction to his wife. The wife needs to show her infatuation for her husband. When there is a reciprocal relationship, the marriage climbs heights.

13) Dress for your spouse

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbās (RA) said:

“As my wife adorns herself for me, I adorn myself for her. I do not want to take all of my rights from her so that she will not take all of her rights from me because Allah, the Exalted, stated the following: “And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them.” (Qur῾ān 2 :228.)

This is another area where many spouses fail. The wife only dresses when it is a special occasion. The husband on the hand stays scruffy and does not take care to be neat and tidy. If the couple want their everyday to be a special occasion like their wedding day, they must dress to impress!

The wife should wear the clothing which pleases her husband. Likewise, the husband should wear what the wife likes. Every time the husband and wife glance at each other, the glance should arouse them and stir up more love for their spouse. This will ignite the love in the heart.

13) Utilising perfume:

The Prophet (ﷺ) would have a container for perfume. He would use perfume constantly. One should make an effort to smell good for his wife all the time. Looking good, keeping clean, smelling nice compliments a relationship exceptionally. Make sure you hair is tidy, your clothes are neat and you smell pleasant. This will attract your spouse always and inject affection into the marriage.

14) Do not talk about her private matters:

The Prophet (ﷺ) described the one who discloses his wife’s affairs to others as amongst the worst of people.

Whatever occurs between yourself and your spouse should remain between you two. How unmanly and shameful is it when a husband discusses his wife to his friends?
The secrets and issues of the spouse must not be narrated at all to anyone. Do not talk about your wife to others. Your wife is for you. You are for your wife. Your fidelity and loyalty should always be to your spouse.

15) Loving & respecting their families

Another great factor to contribute to a healthy relationship is to love and cherish the family of your spouse. The Prophet was once asked whom he loved the most. He replied, “Aisha.” When the questioner rephrased his question and asked from amongst the men, he replied, “Her father.”

The Prophet(ﷺ) could have easily said Abu Bakr. His answer displays such intelligence and ingenuity, that in one response he displayed his devotion to his wife and her family. He exhibited his fondness for his in-laws. Imagine how happy his wife Sayyidah Aisha would have become upon hearing this response?

Compliment your in laws in front of your wife. Compliment your wife to her family. Your wife will really appreciate this.

Never underestimate the importance of seemingly little things as putting food in your wife’s mouth, opening the car’s door for her, etc.
Try to always find some time for both of you to pray together. Strengthening the bond between you and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is the best guarantee that your own marital bond would always remain strong. Having peace with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala will always result in having more peace at home.

Taken from:
Pure Matrimony

Written by Maulana Faraz Ibn Adam

The Month of Muharram

By Mufti Taqi Usmani

Muharram is the month with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. It is one of the four sanctified months about which the Holy Quran says, “The number of the months according to Allah is twelve (mentioned) in the Book of Allah on the day He created heavens and the earth. Among these (twelve months) there are four sanctified.”

These four months, according to the authentic traditions, are Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Holy Quran are unanimous on this point, because the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, in his sermon on the occasion of his last Hajj, declared: “One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of them are in sequence; Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab.”

The specific mention of these four months does not mean that any other month has no sanctity, because the month of Ramadan is admittedly the most sanctified month in the year. But these four months were specifically termed as sanctified months for the simple reason that their sanctity was accepted even by the pagans of Makkah.

In fact, every month, out of the twelve, is originally equal to the other, and there is no inherent sanctity that may be attributed to one of them in comparison to the other months. When Allah Almighty chooses a particular time for His special blessings, the same acquires sanctity out of His grace.

Thus, the sanctity of these four months was recognized right from the days of Sayyidina Ibrahim, alayhi salam. Since the Pagans of Makkah attributed themselves to Sayyidina Ibrahim, alayhi salam, they observed the sanctity of these four months and despite their frequent tribal battles, they held it unlawful to fight in these months.

In the Shariah of our Noble Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the sanctity of these months was upheld and the Holy Quran referred to them as the “sanctified months”.

Muharram has certain other characteristics special to it, which are specified below.

Fasting During the Month

The Noble Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said: ‘The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram.”

Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, yet one who fasts in these days out of his own will is entitled to a great reward by Allah Almighty. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of Muharram are most rewardable ones among the Nafl or voluntary fasts.

The Hadith does not mean that the award promised for fasts of Muharram can be achieved only by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has merit. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.

The Day of ‘Ashurah’

Although Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named ‘Ashurah’. According to the Holy Companion Ibn ‘Abbas, Radi-Allahu anhu. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, when migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa (Moses), alayhis salam, and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh was drowned in its waters. On hearing this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said, “We are more closely rotated to Musa, alayhi salam, than you,” and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of ‘Ashura’. (Abu Dawood)

It is also reported in a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ was obligatory for the Muslims. It was later that the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of ‘Ashura’ was made optional. Sayyidina ‘Aisha, Radi-Allahu anha, has said:

“When the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, came to Madinah, he fasted on the day of ‘Ashura’ and directed the people to fast. But when the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory, the obligation of fasting was confined to Ramadan and the obligatory nature of the fast of ‘Ashura’ was abandoned. Whoever so desires should fast on it and any other who so likes can avoid fasting on it.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

However, the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast on the day of ‘Ashura’ even after the fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory. Abdullah ibn Musa, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, preferred the fast of ‘Ashura’ on the fasts of other days and preferred the fasts of Ramadhaan on the fast of ‘Ashura’. (Bukhari and Muslim)

In short, it is established through a number of authentic ahadith that fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and makes one entitled to a great reward.

According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of ‘Ashura’ should either be preceded or followed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is that the Jews used to fast on the day of’Ashura alone, and the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, wanted to distinguish the Muslim way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of ‘Ashura’.

Some traditions signify another feature of the day of ‘Ashura. According to these traditions, one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days. These traditions are not very authentic according to the science of Hadith. Yet, some Scholars like Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.

What is mentioned above is all that is supported through authentic sources about Ashura.

Misconceptions and Baseless Traditions

However, there are some legends and misconceptions with regard to ‘Ashura’ that have managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant, but have no support of authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these: This is the day on which Adam, alayhi salam, was created. This is the day when Ibrahim, alayhi salam, was born. This is the day when Allah accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam, alayhi salam. This is the day when Qiyaamah (doomsday) will take place. Whoever takes bath on the day of ‘Ashura’ will never get ill.

All these and other similar whims and fancies are totally baseless and the traditions referred to in this respect are not worthy of any credit.

Some people take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal on the day of ‘Ashura’. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.

Some other people attribute the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ to the martyrdom of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ was established during the days of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, much earlier than the birth of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu.

On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, that his martyrdom took place on the day of ‘Ashura’.

Another misconception about the month of Muharram is that it is an evil or unlucky month, for Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, was killed in it. It is for this misconception that people avoid holding marriage ceremonies in the month of Muharram. This is again a baseless concept, which is contrary to the express teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. If the death of an eminent person on a particular day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day of the year free from this bad luck because every day is associated with the demise of some eminent person. The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, have liberated us from such superstitious beliefs.

Lamentations and Mourning

Another wrong practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mouming ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu. As mentioned earlier, the event of Karbala is one of the most tragic events of our history, but the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of jahiliyyah (ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased through loud lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, stopped the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying “Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon”. A number of authentic Ahaadith are available on the subject. To quote only one of them:

“He is not from our group who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah.” (Sahih Bukhari)

All the authentic jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is impermissible. Even Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab, Radi-Allahu anha, at not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said, “My dear sister! I swear upon you that in case I die you shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death.” (Al-Kamil, ibn al-Athir vol. 4 pg. 24)

Islamic New Year 1440 Hijrah

The Islamic New Year  is the day that marks the beginning of a new  Islamic calendar year.  It is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of  Muharram, the first month in the  Islamic calendar. This is the year 1440 A.H

Importance of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah

Why do they matter?

Even for those not performing the pilgrimage, Hajj, the first ten days of this month are considered very sacred and a time for increased reflection, seeking Allah’s forgiveness, doing good and various other forms of worship.

Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) has said about the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah: 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 [Sahih al-Bukhar].

So sacred are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah that Allah swears an oath by them when He says in the Quran: “By the dawn; by the ten nights” [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Swearing an oath by something indicates its importance and great benefit.

What kinds of worship should be performed?

While any good deed done for the sake of Allah according to the way He approves will be rewarded immensely during the first ten days, InshaAllah, some of the more specific actions mentioned in the traditions of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) are fasting and verbal Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.

  • Fasting
    1. In terms of fasting, it is particularly encouraged to fast on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah, known in Arabic as Yawm Arafah. The Prophet used to fast on this day [an Nisai and Abu Dawud]. Fasting on this day will expiate a Muslim’s sins for two years.
    2. Abu Qatadah reported that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:  Fasting the Day of Arafah will be credited with Allah by forgiving one’s sins of the previous year and the following year. [Muslim]
    3. One of the wives of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: Allah’s Messenger used to fast the (first) nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, the day of Ashura, and three days of each month.[Sahil Sunan Abu Dawud # 2129]
    4. The day of Arafah is the day when the pilgrims stand in worship on the Mountain of Arafah. It is the best day of the Whole Year.
    5. Fasting the day of Arafah expiates the [minor] sins of two years: a past one and a coming one. And fasting the day of Ashura expiates the sins of the past year. [Muslim]
    6. There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire as He does no the day of Arafah. He comes close (to those standing on Arafah) and then revels before His angels, saying: “What are these people seeking? [Muslim]

     

  • Dhikr
    1. The verbal remembrance of Allah is another meritorious act during these first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. “And mention the name of Allah on the appointed days” [12:28].
    2. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) encouraged Muslims to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (SubhanAllah), Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah) and Takbeer (Allahu-Akbar) during this time.
    3. The Takbeer may include the words “Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar, la ilaha ill-Allah; wa Allahu akbar wa Lillahil-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise),” as well as other phrases.
    4. Men are encouraged to recite these phrases out loud and women quietly.
    5. Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer individually when they heard them.
  • Good Deeds
    Generally, all good deeds are rewarded highly at this blessed time. These actions include praying, reading Quran, making Du’a (supplication), giving in charity and being good to our families, and other voluntary (nafl) righteous deeds of worship. These are amongst the deeds that are multiplied in these days.
  • Seek Allah’s Forgiveness and Repentance
    In addition, seeking Allah’s forgiveness (istighfar) and Tawbah (repentance) at this time is also encouraged. This means more than just a verbal statement of sorrow for past misdeeds. It also requires a firm resolution to avoid making the same mistakes in the future by giving up bad habits, and behavior while sincerely turning to Allah.
  • Sacrifice
    1. The slaughtering of a sacrificial animal (Adhiyah) is also legislated for the Day of Sacrifice (10th) and the Days of Tashriq (11th, 12th and 13th)
    2. The tenth of Dhul-Hijjah is Eid ul-Adha or the day of an-Nahr (slaughtering). It marks the conclusion of the major rites of Hajj, and commemorates Allah’s bounty on Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salam), when He gave him a ram to sacrifice as ransom for his son.
    3. It is repoted that Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) slaughtered (sacrificed) two horned rams, black and white in colour, and said Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), and placed his foot on their sides (while slaughtering them). [Sahih – Bukhari & Muslim]
    4. ‘The day of al-Fitr [Eid ul-Fitr], the day of an-Nahr, and the days of Tashreeq are Eid days for us Muslims. They are days of eating and drinking.'[Ahmad, an-Nasi’a, Sahil al-Jami #8192]

Last Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

This sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah Year 632 A.C (10 A.H.) in the ‘Uranah valley of  Mount Arafat’ in Makkah. After praising and thanking Allah the Prophet (saws) said:

“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn ‘Abd’al Muttalib [the Prophet’s uncle] be waived.

Every right arising out of homicide in pre-islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that i waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al Harithibn.

O People, the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calender in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to forbid that which Allah has made permissible. With Allah the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban.

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope of that he will be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right, then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste. O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white – except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware: do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed Your message to Your people.”

Qurbani (Udhiya) Spirit/Virtue/Dua’a

The Spirit of Qurbani (Udhiya)

“It is neither their flesh nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your Taqwa that reaches Him…” (Surah Hajj)

Hazrat Ebrahim Alayhi Salaam had two alternatives: either to follow the cry of his heart or to submit to the call of his Creator. He chose to submit. Qurbani therefore is not a monetary Ibadah or a duty that is discharged in distant poor countries. Qurbani is a personal experience, an intimate and emotional encounter, an intimate occurrence made real by the oozing of blood.

Qurbani is about:

  • Love for Allah in contrast to love of the self obedience over rebellion.
  • Loyalty to Allah in preference to loyalty to the family.
  • Faith versus emotion.
  • Struggle as opposed to pleasure.

Where is this spirit of Qurbani in our idle and aimless nights and days? Who is able to place the knife on his heart in order to slaughter the beasts of rebellion, hatred, jealousy, pride, and greed etc.? Qurbani is an annual reaffirmation of our pledge to Allah, a pledge that:
Verily my prayer, my sacrifices, my life and my death are surrendered to Allah; the Rabb of the worlds.”

Eid-ul-Adha reverberates with the cries of surrender, submission, and sacrifice. It is a grim reminder that life is about action, struggle, and endurance.

Virtue of Qurbani

Qurbani is a practice directly instructed by Allah Ta’ala: “So turn in prayer towards your Lord and sacrifice (animals).” (108.2)

Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam too has extolled its virtue in many Hadith. There is nothing dearer to Allah Ta’ala during the days of Qurbani than sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Judgment with its horns, hair, and hooves (to be weighed). The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart. (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)

Zayd lbn Arqam Radiyallaahu anhu relates that the Companions Radiyallaahu Anhum queried, “O Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, what is Qurbani?” He replied, “It is the Sunnah of your father Hazrat Ebrahim Alayhi Salaam.” They again asked, “What benefit do we derive from it?” He answered, “A reward for every hair (of the sacrificed animal).” “And (what reward is there for animals with) wool, O’ Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam?” they asked. “A reward”, he said,
“for every fibre of the wool. (Ibn Majah)

When a person slaughters a Qurbani animal, he is forgiven at the fall of the first drop of blood, and verily, the animal shall be brought forward on the Day of Judgment with its blood, meat, limbs, etc. and shall be increased in weight seventy times, and then placed on the scale of deeds. (Kanzul Ummal)

On whom is Qurbani Wajib (obligatory)?

Qurbani is Wajib (obligatory) on every Muslim who is

  • of sound mind – mature (has reached the age of puberty),
  • Muqeem (i.e. he is not a Shari traveller)
  • Possesses the amount of 612, 36 grams of silver or wealth equivalent to that value which is in excess of one’s basic needs and debts on any of the three days of Qurbani. It is not necessary that this amount be in one’s possession for a complete lunar year. (Fatawa Hindiyyah)

Note:

  1. Qurbani is not incumbent on a child or an insane person whether they own wealth equivalent to the amount above or not, nor is it Wajib upon their guardians to perform it on their behalf. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah)
  2. Similarly, it is not Wajib on a musafir (one considered a traveller in Shariah). A Shar’i traveller is he who proceeds on a journey with an intention of travelling 77 kms. He will be treated as a traveller as soon as soon as he departs his town. However if he intends residing at any place for 15 days or more then he will cease to be a traveller there. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  3. A person upon whom Qurbani is not necessary should not incur debts beyond one’s capacity to offer the Qurbani.
  4. If Qurbani is not compulsory on a person, for example, a musaafir then it is virtous to do so if it is within the person’s means

The Physical Qurbani

During the days of Qurbani, Sadaqah and charity will not compensate for the physical observance of Qurbani. Just as Zakah cannot compensate for Hajj, nor fasting compensate for Salaah, similarly charity cannot compensate for Qurbani. However, if the days of Qurbani have passed, and the Qurbani was not offered due to ignorance, negligence or for some other valid reason, then it becomes Wajib to give in Sadaqah the price of Qurbani animal or the unslaughtered animal itself to the poor. (Fataawa Shaamiyya)

Time for Qurbani

The time for Qurbani begins after the Eid Salaah on the 10th of Zul Hijjah and ends at the setting of the sun on the 12th of Zul Hijjah. It is better to make Qurbani on the first day then the second, and thereafter the third. (Fataawa Shaamiyya)

In rural and village areas where Jumu’ah and ‘Eid Salaah are not performed, Qurbani may be performed as soon as Fajr (Subhus Saadiq) sets in on the 10th of Zul Hijjah. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)

If a person residing in a town (where Eid salaah is performed) arranges for his animal to be slaughtered in a village (where Eid Salaah is not performed), then it is permissible for his animal to be slaughtered before he performs his Eid Salaah. (Fataawa Shaamiyyah)

If the Qurbani has been offered before the ‘Eid Salaah, it will have to be repeated. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)

It is preferable to slaughter during the day. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)

The Qurbani Animal

It is permissible to slaughter a goat, sheep, cow, bull, buffalo or camel, male or female for Qurbani.
The minimum age of:
(a) A goat, sheep, or ram is one full year,
(b) A cow, bull or buffalo is two years old, and
(c) A camel five years.

  • Animals that are younger than the prescribed age are not suitable for Qurbani. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  • If a sheep is more than six months old but less than a year, and physically appears to be one year old it will suffice for Qurbani. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  • A cow, bull, buffalo or camel will suffice for seven persons provided no one’s share is less than one seventh and the niyyah (intention) of all partners is to attain reward and not merely to obtain meat. (Fatawa Shaamiyyah)
  • A goat, sheep or ram will suffice for the Qurbani of one person only. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  • It is permissible and preferable to slaughter a castrated animal. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah)
  • It is advisable to purchase the Qurbani animal a few days prior to slaughtering in order to build up some form of attachment with the animal by taking care of it. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  • Animals chosen for Qurbani should be healthy, free from faults and defects. (Fataawa Shaamiyah)

Animals with Defects

The following animals are not suitable for Qurbani:

  1. An animal that is blind, one-eyed or has lost more than one-third of its eyesight. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  2. Animals that has more than lost a third of the ear. Similarly, animals which have no ears from birth. Animals with small ears are suitable. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  3. Animals whose horn/s has been broken off from the root. However, an animal born without horns or if the horns are broken off but not from the root is suitable for Qurbani. (Fataawa Shaamiyyah)
  4. Animals which have one leg lame to the extent that it walks on three legs only and is unable to use the fourth leg. However if the animal can walk to the place of slaughter on the fourth leg with a limp it will be allowed. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  5. Animals so lean and thin that their bones have no marrow. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  6. If an animal gets injured while slaughtering , e.g. breaks it’s leg, ear gets cut etc., the Qurbani will be valid. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  7. If an animal was bought in a healthy and perfect state and thereafter became unfit for Qurbani then,
    a. If the owner is not wealthy (possessor of nisaab) it will be permissible to offer this animal for Qurbani.
    b. If the owner is wealthy (possesses the Nisaab), then it is compulsory for him to obtain another animal. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)

Miscellaneous Masaail

  • If there are various venues for Eid Salaah, slaughtering is permitted after any one venue has terminated with the Eid Salaah. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  • A man may purchase his wife’s animal from his wealth with her consent. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  • It is mustahab (preferable) for a person intending Qurbani not to cut/trim his hair and nails from the first of Zul Hijjah till after his animal is slaughtered. (Ahsanul Fataawa)
  • Qurbani will be discharged if one appoints a proxy for this task and the proxy fulfils the task. The proxy may be an organisation or an individual. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  • If an animal purchsed for Qurbani gives birth before it’s slaughter,it is best to give the live new born in charity .Alternately, the new born animal should be slaughtered and the meat given in charity. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  • If the slaughtered animal aborts a live baby, the live baby will be in the same category as its mother (ie. it will be treated as a Qurbani animal in terms of its meat, skin etc.) (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah)
  • If a traveller returned home or a person acquired the required wealth on the 12th of Zul Hijjah before sunset, it will be Wajib upon him to perform Qurbani. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  • The Qurbani (slaughter) of a woman in haidh or nifaas is valid and permissible. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah V 14 P353)

Method of Slaughtering an Animal

A Muslim should take every care to slaughter an animal without subjecting it to unnecessary pain and torture. This was the instruction of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The following are pertinent points to be kept in mind.

  • The knife to be used for slaughter, should be well sharpened so that it slits the throat immediately, without causing undue pain to the animal.
  • The knife should not be sharpened in front of the animals.
  • The animal to be slaughtered should be given food and water; it should not be slaughtered when it is hungry and thirsty
  • It should not be brutally dragged along to the place of slaughter.
  • The animal should be slaughtered at an isolated place so that other animals cannot witness the slaughter.
  • It should be laid on the ground with ease, as it is abominable to use undue force.
  • Only three of its legs should be tied together.
  • As soon as the animal has been placed on the ground, one should hurry to slaughter it. Undue delay must be avoided.
  • The animal should not be slaughtered with such a force that its head is severed, or the knife reaches the spinal cord.
  • It is incorrect to slaughter the animal above the neck because it causes the animal too much pain and agony.
  • The animal should be left in a way as to freely toss its body in the process of bleeding.
  • After slaughtering, the head should not be cut off nor should the animal be skinned until the body is totally cold.
  • While slaughtering, a Muslim should say : ‘Bismillaahi Allaho Akbar’ (In the name of Allah, Who is the possessor of all greatness).
  • It is more virtuous to slaughter the animal with one’s own hands. If one is unable to slaughter, it is advisable that one witnesses the sacrifice. It is not necessary to make the niyyah (intention) of Qurbani verbally, however it is necessary to say Bismillahi Allahu Akbar when slaughtering.
  • The Qurbani animal should be placed on it’s left side facing the Qiblah and the following dua should be recited before slaughtering the animal:
    “Inni Wajjahto Wajhiya Lillazi Fatarassamawati Wal’arda Hanifaw Wamaa Anaa Minal Mushrikeen , Inni Salaati Wa Nusooki Wa Mah’yaaya Wa Ma’maati Lillahi Rabbil Aalameen . Laa Shareeka Lahu Wa Bizaalika Umirtu Wa Anaa Minal Muslimeen Allahumma Laka Wa Minka Bismillahi Allahu Akbar ““For me I have set my face firmly and truly towards Him Who created the heavens end the earth. And never shall I give partners to Allah. Verily my worship and my sacrifice. my living and my dying are for Allah. Lord of the worlds. O Allah this sacrifice is from you and is for you.”When slaughtering the animal recite:

    “In the name of Allah . Allah is the Greatest.”Du’aa to be read after Zabiha (sacrifice):
    “Allahumma Taqabbal Minni Kamaa Taqabbalta Min Khaleelika Ibraheema Alaihis Salaam Wa Habeebika Muhammadin Sallalaho Alaihi Wasallam”“O Allah accept from me this sacrifice like you have accepted from your beloved Muhammad and your friend Hazrat Ebrahim. Peace be upon them.”

The Meat of the Sacrificed Animal

  • The meat of the animal which has more than one share should be distributed by weighing it and not by estimation unles the head and feet and skin form part or the distributed shares. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  • It is preferable to divide the meat into three parts. One part for one’s family, another should be distributed among friends and relatives and the third amongst the poor and needy. If a person has a very large family he may keep all the meat. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  • It is unlawful to sell the Qurbani meat. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
  • It is not permissible to tender the skin or meat as payment to the slaughterer (or skinner). Their fees should be paid separately. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  • It is not permissible to give meat, fat, etc. of the sacrificed animal to the butcher as compensation for services rendered. (Fataawa Shamiyyah)
  • The meat of the voluntary (Nafi) Qurbani, which has made for a deceased person, may be eaten by all, just like one’s own Qurbani.
  • Qurbani meat may be consumed by oneself and may be served to others,for example, at a Walima.
  • Qurbani meat may be given out cooked or uncooked.
  • It is not permissible for one to eat the meat of the following Qurbani’s:
    1. Qurbani that is made as a Kaffaarah for a Jinaayat (error / mistake) committed during Hajj/ Umrah.
    2. Qurbani made for a deceased person on his Wasiyyat i.e. his instruction before his death. The meat of the above-mentioned Qurbani’s have to be distributed to the poor and needy only.

The Skin of the Qurbani Animal

It is permissible to utilize the skin for one’s personal use, eg. he may use it as a Musalla or a leather bucket etc. However, if the skin is sold, it is not permissible to use the income thereof. It is Wajib to give it in charity. Sale of the skin without the intention of disbursing the money in charity is not permitted. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
It is not permissible to give the skin in lieu of any services rendered. (Fataawa Hindiyyah).

he needy and poor students of Islamic institutions are the most favourable beneficiaries of these skins. This entails the reward of Sadaqah which is coupled with the service of reviving Ilm (religious knowledge). However, it is not permissible to give these skins to the teachers and laborers of the institutes as wages or salaries.

Warning for those who Ignore Qurbani

Hazrat Abu Hurayra Radiyallaahu anhu reports that Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam said,”He who has the means of performing Qurbani but does not do so should not come close to our Eidgah (Place of Eid Salaah). `

Qurbani on behalf of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or any Deceased Muslim

If one has been favoured by Allah with wealth, then he should preferably perform Qurbani on behalf of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as well. One may also include the Sahabah, the entire Ummah, the Prophets and all those living or deceased relatives, friends and teachers who have conveyed Deeni knowledge or been a cause of benefit to one.

Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu) reports, “Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam instructed me to perform Qurbani on his behalf, so I will continue to make Qurbani (on behalf of Rasulullah Sallallaahu Wasallam. (I’lla us Sunan)

Abu Talha Radiyallaahu anhu has related that the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam sacrificed one ram and while sacrificing the other he said, “This is on behalf of every one of my Ummah who believed in me and testified (to my prophethood).” (Tabrani)

The Takbeeraat of Tashreeq

It is Wajib (incumbent) for every adult muslim to recite the Takbeeraat of Tashreeq after every Fardh Salaat-performed with Jamaat or individually from the Fajr of the 9th of Zul-Hijjah to the Asr of the 13th of Zul Hijjah. The Takbeeraat should be recited once only. The words are as follows:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar laa ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar. Allahu Akbar walillaahil hamd.

Translation: “Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest. There is no deity besides Allah and Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest and all praises belong to Him Alone.”

NB. Men should recite this Takbeer audibly whilst females should do so silently.

May Allah grant us ability to practice. Aameen.

Source: www.jamiat.org.za

Night before EID (Laylatul Jaa’izah)

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said,
‘On the last night of Ramadhaan the fasting Muslims are forgiven.’ The Sahaabah radiyallahu anhum inquired,
‘O Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, is that the night of power(LAILATUL QADR)?’ Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam replied,
‘No! But it is only right that a servant should be given his reward on having completed his duty’ [Ahmad]

Hazrat Ibn Abbas(radhiyallahu anhu) says in a lengthy hadith, that he heard Rasullullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) say:
“And the night of Eid-ul-Fitr, the night that is called Laylatul Jaa’izah, (The night of prize giving), comes along. On the morning of Eid Allah sends down the Malaa’ikah to all the lands of the earth where they take their positions at access points of roads, calling out with a voice that is heard by all except man and jinn. “O Ummah of Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) come forth from your houses towards a Lord that is noble and gracious, who grants much and pardons the major sins”.

When they proceed towards the places for their Eid salaah, Allah says to the Malaa’ikah: “What indeed is the reward of that employee who had rendered his services?” The Malaa’ikah replies, “O Lord and Master, it is only right that he should receive his reward in full for his services”. Allah then says, “I call you to witness, O My Malaa’ikah, that for their having fasted during the month of Ramadhaan, and for their having stood before Me in prayer by night, I have granted to them as reward My pleasure and have granted them forgiveness. O My servants ask now of Me, for I swear by My honour and My greatness, that whatsoever you shall beg of Me this day in this assembly of yours for the needs of the Hereafter, I shall grant you; and whatsoever you shall ask for worldly needs, I shall look at you favourably. By My honour I swear, as long as you shall obey My commands, I shall cover your faults. By My Honour and My Greatness do I swear that I shall never disgrace you among the evil-doing ones and disbelievers. Depart now from here, you are forgiven. You have pleased Me and I am pleased with you.

The Malaa’ikah on seeing this great reward bestowed by Allah upon the ummah of Muhammad(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr become greatly pleased and happy”. [Targheeb, also a similar hadith reported by Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) in Bayhaqi]

It had been the practice of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, that he would not sleep in the night preceding the day of Eid-ul-fitr. This night has been named in a Hadith as the Night of Reward (Lailatul Jaiza). Almighty bestows his rewards on those who have spent the month of Ramadan abiding by the dictates of Shari’ah, and all their prayers in this night are accepted. Therefore, it is desirable to perform nafl prayers in this night.

The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have said:

Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die. (Ibn Majah)

To benefit from this opportunity, one should perform as much worship in this night as he can, and should pray for all his needs and desires.

I’tikaaf, its meaning, virtues and masaa’il

Says Allama Ibn Qaiyyim Radiallâhu anhu: “The basic purpose of I’tikaf is that the heart gets attached to Allâh and, with it, one attains inner composure and equanimity and pre?occupation with the mundane things of life ceases and absorption in the eternal Reality takes its place, and the state is reached in which all fears, hopes and apprehensions are superseded by the love and remembrance of Allâh, every anxiety is transformed into the anxiety for Him and every thought and feeling is blended with the eagerness to gain His nearness and to earn His good favour, and devotion to the Almighty is generated instead of devotion to the world and it becomes the provision for the grave where there will be neither a friend nor a helper. This is the high aim and purpose of I’tikaf which is the speciality of the most sublime part of Ramadhân, i.e., the last ten days.”

Similarly, Hadhrat Shah Waliullah Radiallâhu anhu remarks, “Since I’tikaf in the masjid is a means to the attainment of peace of the mind and purification of the heart, and it affords an excellent opportunity for forging an indentity with the angels and having a share in the blissfulnes of the Night of Power and for devoting oneself to prayer and meditation Allâh has set apart the last ten days of the month of Ramadhân for it and made it a Sunnah for His pious and virtuous slaves.”
Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam always observed, I’tikaf and the Muslims have on the whole adhered to it. It has become a regular feature of the month of Ramadhân and a confirmed practice with the devout and the faithful. Hazrat Ayesha Radiallâhu anharelates that “Rasulullâh. Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam regularly observed I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhân till the end of his life. After him, his wives maintained the tradition.” (Bukhari)
It is related by Hazrat Abû Huraira Radiallâhu anhu that “Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam observed I’tikaf for ten days every year in the month of Ramadhân. In the year he passed away he observed it for twenty days.” (Bukhari)

MEANING OF I’TIKAF

The reality of I’tikaf is that a person remains in the masjid for a certain period with the intention [niyyah] of I’tikaf. There is no time limit pres­cribed for whatever time is spent in the masjid with the intention of I’tikaf such spending of time will constitute I’tikaf. However, a period of ten days is prescribed for the Masnun I’tikaf of Ramadhân ? the Sunnah will not be fulfilled for a period less than ten days. In the case ofI’tikaf Wâjib (that’ is, a person who has taken a vow to perform I’tikaf, it cannot be fulfilled in a period less than one day and one night. (Badai)

WHO MAY PERFORM I’TIKAF
1. It is necessary for I’tikaf that a person be a Muslim and sane. Hence, the I’tikaf of an insane person or a kafir will not be valid. However, just as a minor child may perform Salâh or keep fast, similary such minor may perform I’tikaf. (Badai).
2. A woman may also perform I’tikaf in her home by setting aside a specified place for ibâdah and performing therein such I’tikaf. However, it is necessary for her to obtain her husband’s consent for such I’tikaf. Moreover, it is essential that she is not in a state of menstruation and nifâs.
3. it is a condition of I’tikaf Masnun and I’tikaf wâjib that a person be in a state of fasting. Hence, if a person is not in a state of fasting, he cannot perform these categories of I’tikaf. However, fasting is not a condition in the case of Nafl I’tikaf.

PLACE OF I’TIKAF

For male persons, ‘Itikat can only be performed in the masjid. The most blessed and preferred I’tikaf is that performed at al?Masjid alHarâm in Makkah. The next most preferred I’tikaf is that performed at al?Masjid al?Nabawî in al?Madinah. Third in order of preferability is al?Masjid al Aqsa (in Al?Quds). Fourthly, any Jam’i Masjid. However, it is not neces­sary to perform I’tikaf at a Jam’i Masjid. On the contrary, I’tikaf may be performed at any masjid where prayers are said five times (each day) in jama’at. If a masjid is such that five time prayers (each day) are not said therein, then in such an event there is a difference of opinion amongst the ‘Ulamâ’. Some scholars are of the view that I’tikaf may be performed at such a masjid, although it is not preferable. (Shâmi)

I’tikaf can be made in a masjid wherein only in Ramadhân 5 daily Salâh are performed (Fatâwa Rahîmîyah vol. 2. p. 30)

TYPES OF I’TIKAF

I’tikaf Masnun ? This refers to that I’tikaf which is only performed in the month of Ramadhân during the last ten days thereof commencing on the twenty?first night and terminating upon the sighting of the the moon of Shawwal (that is, on the eve of ‘Id al?Fitr) It is termed I’tikaf Masnun because Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam performed I’tikaf every year in these days.

I’tikaf Nafl ? This refers to that ‘Itikaf which may be performed at any time.
I’tikaf Wâjib ? This refers to that I’tikaf
(a) which becomes wâjib because of making nadhr, that is, taking a vow, or
(b) which becomes wâjib as Qada’ for rendering void a Masnun I’tikaf.
MEANING AND EFFECT OF MASNUN I’TIKAF
TheI’tikaf which is performed in the last ten days of Ramadhân Mubarak is known as Masnun I’tikaf. The time for this I’tikaf commences upon completion of the twentieth day (of Ramadhân), that is, with effect from the setting of the sun, and remains until the sighting of the Shawwal moon (Eid moon). In view of the fact this I’tikaf commences from the twenty?first night (of Ramadhân) ? and the night commencing from the setting of the sun ? it is therefore necessary for the person wishing to performI’tikaf to enter the hudud of themasjid on the twentieth day on such time before Maghrib so that the setting of the sun takes place whilst he is in the masjid.
The I’tikaf of the last ten days of Ramadhân is Sunnah Mu’akkadah Kifayah. This means that if one person, who lives in a particular area in which a masjid is situated, performs I’tikaf, then in such an event the Sunnah is fulfilled on behalf of all the members of that area. However, if nobody in the entire area performs I’tikaf, then all the members of the area will be liable for the sin of failing to fulfil a Sunnah.
RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS OF AN AREA AND MAIN FEATURE OF I’TIKAF
1.   It is clear from the foregoing that it is the responsibility of every member of the area or township to ascertain in the beginning whether any person is to sit for the I’tkâf in their masjid or not.
2.   However, it is not permissible to cause some person to sit by giving him payment or money because it is not permissible in the case of ‘Ibadah to give or take money or wages. (Shâmi)
If no member of a particular area is able to sit forI’tikaf due to circumstan­ces of necessity, then in that event arrangements must be made to cause some person from another area to sit. (Fatâwa Darul Ulûm Deoband)
The outstanding pillar of I’tikaf is that a person remains for the duration of I’tikaf within the hudûd of the masjid. Save and except for the necessities of nature (see details later), he must not leave the hudud of the masjid even for one moment. For, if he leaves thehudûd of the masjid for one moment without a valid Shar’î reason (the details of which are dealt with later), the I’tikaf is rendered void.

LEAVING THE MASNUN ON THE GROUNDS OF SHAR’ΠNECESSITY

By the term Shar’î necessity, we mean those necessities on the basis of which the Sharî‘ah has permitted the person performing I’tikafto leave the masjid. TheI’tikaf is not rendered void if the person leaves by virtue of such necessities.

These necessities are as follows:

1.   The need to urinate or defecate, that is, to attend to the call of nature.

2.   The need for Ghusl of janabah when it is not possible to make Ghusl in the masjid.
3.   The need to make wudhu when it is not possible to make wudhu while in the masjid.
4.   The need to bring food and drink when another person is not available to do so.
5.   The need of the Mu’adhin to go out for the purpose of calling Adhân.
6.   If Jumuah Salâh is not performed in the masjid wherein I’tikaf is performed, the need to go to another masjid to perform Jumu’ah.
7.   The need to move to another masjid in the event of leaking, etc. of the the masjid.
Apart from these needs, it is not permisible for the person performing I’tikaf to leave the masjid for any other purpose. Now, we shall,insha-Allâh, explain details of each of these needs.
CALL OF NATURE
(a)  The person performingI’tikaf can leave the rnasjid to attend the call of nature, that is, to urinate of defaecate. In so far as urinating is concerned, he must go to the place nearest the masjid where it is possible to urinate. In regard to defaecation, if a toilet has been built attached to the masjid, and if it is possible to defaecate therein, then he must go there. It is not permissi­ble to go to another place. However, if a person cannot defaecate due to his nature or because of extreme difficulty at any place besides his home, then it is permissible forlim to go to his house for this purpose, even if a toilet is available near the triasjid. (Shâmi)
If a person does not have this difficulty, then he should utilise the toilet of the masjid. If such a person leaves the masjid toilet and goes to his house, then his I’tikaf is rendered void according to some ‘‘Ulamâ. (Shâmi)
(b)  If the masjid does not have any toilet, or if it is not possible to attend the call of nature therein, or in the case of extreme difficulty, then in such events it is permissible to go home to attend the call of nature, notwith­standing the distance of such home. (Shâmi)
(c)  If the home of a friend or a relative is present near the masjid, it is not necessary to go to his friend’s or relative’s home to attend the call of nature. Despite this, one is permitted to go to one’s home even if it is situated at a distance in comparison to the home of such a friend or a relative. (Shâmi)
(d)  If a person owns two houses then he should go to the nearer one to attend the call of nature. If he goes to the further home then his I’tikaf is rendered void according to some ‘ulama. (Alamgiri)
(e)  If the toilet is occupied, then it is permissible to wait until it is vacant. But it is not permissible to remain even for one moment once the need is fulfilled. If one remains then, I’tikaf is rendered void. (Barjandi)
(f)  It is permissible to make Salâm to someone or to reply to a Salâm or to talk briefly in the house or on the way to the toilet and on return, provided that one does not stop for such brief talk. (Mirqat)
(g)  It is not necessary to walk briskly on the way to the toilet or on return. It is permissible also to walk slowly. (Âlamghiri)
(h)  On the way to the toilet to attend to the call of nature, one must not stop at the instance of another. One must while walking indicate to such other person that one is in a state of I’tikaf. One can not stop for this purpose. If one stopped for some time at the instance of another, then his I’tikaf is rendered void. This applies to the extent that if a debtor has on the road stopped the person performing I’tikaf then according to Imâm Abû Hanifah Rahmatullâh ‘alayhi the I’tikaf is rendered void. The I’tikaf is not rendered void by virtue of his necessity according to Imâm Abû Yusuf and Imâm Muhammad Rahmatullâh ‘alayhi. Imâm Sarakasi Rahmatullâh ‘alayhihas on the basis of ease and facility manifested a preference for the view point of the latter two. (Mabsut) However, precaution demands that one must not stop on the road under any circumstances.
(i)   It is permissible to smoke a cigarette upon leaving to visit the toilet provided that one does not have to stop for this purpose.
(j)  If any person who has gone to his house for the purpose of attending to the call of nature, then it is permissible for him to make wudu therein, after attending to the call of nature. (Majma?ul?Anhar)
(k)  Istinjah is included in the term “attending to call of nature”. Hence, if a person suffers from the disease of urine drops, he can go outside for the purpose only of Istinjah for this reason, the jurists have set forth Istinjah as a separate ground of necessity entitling a person to leave apart from the ground of “attending to the call of nature.” (Shâmi)
(l)   While in I’tikaf to be in state of wudhu is Mustahab [desirable] and not wâjib [compulsory]. To read books of Tafsîr and jurisprudence in the state of wudhu is also mustahab. (Fatâwa Mehmoodiya vol. 3 p. 117/2)
(m) While in I’tikaf one can inquire from vistors about those who are absent. (ibid.)

GHUSL

It is permissible for the person performing I’tikaf to leave the masjid for the purpose of Ghusl of Janabah in the event of emission of semen.

This is subject to the explanation that if such a person can make Ghusl whilst remaining in the masjid, for example, by sitting in some big tub and performing Ghusl in a manner that the water does not fall in the masjid then it is not permissible for him to go outside.
However, if this is not possible or there is extreme difficulty then he may go outside for Ghusl of Janabah. (Fath?ul?Qadir) If there is aGhusl Khanah in the masjid, then he must perform Ghusl there. However, if there is no Ghusl Khana in the masjid, or it is not possibleto make Ghusl therein for some reason, or if there is extreme hardship, then one can perform Ghusl in one’s home.
Apart from Ghusl of Janabah, it is not permissible to leave the masjid for any other Ghusi. It is not permissible to leave the masjid for the purpose of Jurnu’ah Ghusl or a Ghusl to cool oneself. If one has left the masjid for this purpose then I’tikaf is rendered void. However, if one wishes to make Jumu’ah Ghusl or cool oneself, then he must adopt such a course that the water does not drip into themasjid. For example, he must sit in some tub and bathe himself, or make Ghusl at the corner of the masjid in such a way that the water drips outside the masjid.

EATING

If a person has another available to bring food and water for him to the masjid, then it is not permissible for such a person performingI’tikaf to leave the masjid for the purpose of fetching food. If, however, he does not have available any person to bring food and water, then it is permissible for him to leave the masjid to bring food (al?Bahr?ur?Raiq). However, the food must be brought to the masjid and eaten therein. (Kifayat?ul?Mufti)

Such a person moreover must bear in mind that he must leave the masjid at a time when he is able to receive the food. But if he has to wait for some reason to receive the food, there is no objection.
ADHÂN
(a)  If a mu’adhin is performing I’tikaf and he has to leave the masjid for the purpose of giving Adhân, then it is permissible for him to go outside. But he must not remain there after giving the Adhân.
(b)  If a person is not a mu’adhin but he wishes to give Adhân for a particular time, then it is permissible for him to leave the masjidfor the purpose of giving Adhân. (Mabsut)
(c)  If the door of the minaret of the masjid is situated within the masjid, then it is absolutely permissible for the person performingI’tikaf to climb the minaret because it will constitute part of the masjid. However, if the door of the masjid is outside the masjid itself, then apart from the need to give Adhân, the person performing ’ltikaf is not permitted to climb such a minaret. (Shâmi)
(d)  It is preferable that I’tikaf be made in such a masjid where Jumu’ah Salâh is performed so that it is not necessary to go outside forJumu’ah. However, if no Jum’ah Salâh is said in a particular masjid and only five times Salâh is said therein, then it is permissible to perform I’tikaf in such a muffid. (Âlamghiri)
(e)  In such a situation, it is permissible to go to another masjid to perform Jum’ah Salâh. However, one must leave for this purpose at such a time that, in his estimation, upon reaching the Jam’i Masjid, he will be able to perform the four rakâh sunnah and thereafter, witness immediately the commencement of the khutbah. (ibid.)
(f) If the person performing I’tikaf has gone to a certain masjid to perform Jurn’ah, then he may perform sunnah prayers after completing the fard in that masjid. However, he cannot remain (in the masjid) thereafter. (Ibid). If he remains for a period exceeding necessity then his I’tikaf is not rendered void because he has remained in a masjid. (Badai)
(g) If a person goes to a Jam’i Masjid to perform Jum’ah and thereafter remains there and completes the remaining period of I’tikaf, then his I’tikaf will remain valid. This act is, however, makrûh. (Âlamgiri)
One can make I’tikaf in one masjid and lead tarawîh in another provided when sitting for I’tikaf this intention was made. (Âlamqiri vol. 1, p. 199)
TRANSFER OF MASJID
It is necessary for every person performing I’tikaf to complete his I’tikaf in the masjid where he commenced it. However, if he is faced with such an extreme difficulty and hardship that it is not possible for him to complete the I’tikaf in such a masjid, for example, because such a masjid may collapse, or he is removed therefrom under compulsion, or there is a strong danger to life or property by staying there (in the masjid), then it is permissible to move to another masjid and complete the I’tikaf there. If one has left for this purpose, the ’ltikaf will not be rendered void, provided that upon leaving one does not wait or remain on the road but proceeds directly to the other masjid. (Âlamgiri)
JANAZAH SALÂH AND VISITING THE SICK
(a) Generally it is not permissible for the person performing I’tikaf to leave the masjid to participate in Janazah Salâh or to visit the sick. However, if one left to attend the call of nature, and incidentally, on the road enquired of some person’s health or participated in a Janazah Salâh, then theI’tikaf is not rendered void. (Badai)
Moreover, one can visit or enquire of the sick whilst one is walking on. Consequently, Hadrat ’Aishah (R.A.) has said that the RasulullaSallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam enquired of the sick whilst walking on, and he did not change his way for the purpose. (Abû Dawûd). In regard to Janazah Salâh it is a condition that one does not stop at all after the Salâh itself. (Mirqat).
(b) Apart from this, if a person makes a condition at the time of the intention of the I’tikaf itself to the effect that if he wishes during the course
of the I’tikaf to visit a certain sick person, or participate in Janazah Salâh, or attend a certain Islâmic or religious gathering, he will do so, then in such a situation it is permissible to leave the masjid for these purposes, and his I’tikaf will not thereby be rendered void. However, in this manner, his I’tikaf will become a nafl one, and will not remain Masnun.
FACTORS THAT RENDER I’tikaf VOID
I’tikaf is rendered void by the following factors:
1.   Apart from the necessities mentioned above, I’tikaf is rendered void if the person performing I’tikaf leaves the hudud of the masjidfor any other purpose although such leaving is for one moment (Hidâyah). It is clear that one will be said to have left the masjid when the feet (of the person performing I’tikaf) have been put outside in such a manner that according to custom one will be said to have left the masjid. Hence, if only the head is outside the masjid, then I’tikaf shall not thereby be rendered void. (Al?Bahr?ur?Raiq).
2.   Similarly, if a person performing I’tikaf leaves for a valid Shar’î necessity, but after completing such a necessity, he waits or stays outside (the masjid) even for one moment, then theI’tikaf is thereby rendered void. (Shâmi)
3.   If one leaves the masjid without a valid Shar’î reason or need, whether intentionally, in forgetfulness or by mistake, then in such situations the I’tikaf is rendered void. However, one will not sin for rendering the I’tikaf void if the leaving is due to mistake or forgetfulness. (ibid.)
4.   The I’tikaf will also be rendered void if a person under mistaken belief enters a part of the area of the masjid thinking that it falls within the hudud of the masjid, whereas in fact it is excluded there from. Hence, one must properly ascertain the hudud of the masjidbefore commencing I’tikaf.
5.   Since fasting is a condition for I’tikaf, if the fast breaks then I’tikafis rendered void accordingly, irrespective whether such fast was broken for a valid reason or not, or intentionally or by mistake. In each of these cases, I’tikaf is rendered void. The meaning of breaking fast by mistake is that a person whilst remembering that he is fasting does some involuntary act which is opposed to the requirement of fasting; for example, the person continued eating until the rise of dawn, or made Iftar before the setting of the sun under the mistaken belief taht the time for Iftar had passed; or whilst gargling water entered the gullet by mistake althought the person remembered that he was fasting. In all these situations, the fast is broken and I’tikaf is correspondingly rendered void.
However, if a person forgot that he was fasting and in such state of forgetfulness ate, and drank something, then both his fast andI’tikaf are not rendered void. (Shâmi)
6.   I’tikaf is also rendered void by sexual intercourse whether done inten­tionally or by mistake, and whether done during the day or night, inside the masjid or outside, and whether emission results or not. In all these situa­tions, I’tikaf is rendered void.
7.   Kissing and cuddling is not permissible during the course of I’tikaf if this causes emission, then I’tikaf is rendered void. However, if no emision results then notwithstanding its illegality, the ’ltikaf is not rendered void. (Hidâyah)
SITUATIONS IN WHICH IT IS PERMISSIBLE TO BREAK I’tikaf
It is permissible to break I’tikaf in the following situations:
1.   If such a disease emerges during the course of I’tikaf which is not possible to cure except by leaving the masjid, then it is permissible to break the I’tikaf.
2.   It is permissible to break I’tikaf and go outside (the masjid) in order to save a person who is drowning or burning or to prevent a fire. (Shâmi)
3.   It is permissible to break I’tikaf because of extreme disease which has afflicted one’s parents, wife or children.
4.   It is permissible to break I’tikaf if one is compelled to go outside (the masjid), for example, if a warrant of arrest is issued by the government.
5.   If a janazah arrives and there is nobody else to perform the Janazah Salâh, then also it is permissible to break the I’tikaf. (Fath?ul?Qadir)
THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING I’tikaf: RULES OF QADHA
1.   If the I’tikaf Masnûn is rendered void for any of the reasons set forth above, then it is wâjib to make qadah only of that day in which the ’ltikaf’ was rendered void. It is not wâjib to make qadah of the full ten days. (Shâmi). The procedure of making qadha of this one day is as follows:
If there is time remaining in that Ramadhân, then one must perform I’tikaf with the niyâh of qadha in that Ramadhân commencing from the setting of the sun of one day until the setting of the sun of the following day. If there is not time in that particular Ramadhân or if it is not possible for any reason to perform I’tikaf therein, then apart from Ramadhân, one can keep fast on any day and perform I’tikaffor one day. On the other hand, if one makes qadah the following Ramadhân this also will be valid. However, there is no guarantee of life and accordingly one must make qadah as quickly as possible.
2.   If the I’tikaf Masnun is rendered void, it is not necessary to leave the masjid. But one can continue the I’tikaf for the remainder of the last ten days with niyyah of nafl. In this way, the sunnah al?Mu’akkadah will not be fulfilled but thawab will be obtained for the naflI’tikaf. On the other hand, if the I’tikaf was rendered void due to some involuntary mistake, then it is not inconceivable that Allâh Ta’âlamay bestow in His infinite mercy the reward of the Masnun I’tikaf of the last ten days. Hence, it is preferable in the case of the breaking of the I’tikaf is broken and to commence a permissible to leave on the day that I’tikaf is broken and to commence a nafl I’tikafwith nafl niyyah the following day.
THE ADAB OF I’TIKAF
In view of the fact that the purpose of I’tikaf it to withdraw oneself from worldly affairs and devote oneself entirely to the remembrance of Allâh, therefore, one must during the course ofI’tikaf avoid unnecessary talk and work. Whatever time one finds, one must spend in performing qadha salâhnawafil (Salâh), tilawah al?Qur’ân, and other ‘ibâdahdhikr and tasbihat. Moreover, the learning and teaching of ‘ilm of dîn, lectures and nasiliat and study of Islâmic books is not only permissible but also a cause of obtaining thawab.
PERMISSIBLE ACTS [MUBAHAT] IN I’TIKAF
The following acts are permissible in the state of I’tikaf
1.   Eating and drinking.
2.   Necessary transactions of purchase and sale relating to the necessities of life. However, it is not permissible to make the masjid a centre of trade as such. (Qazi Khan)
3.   Sleeping.
4.   Haircut provided the hair does not fall in the masjid.
5.   Talking and conversation, but it is necessary to avoid unnecessary talk. (Shâmi)
6.   To contract a Nikâh or other transactions. (al?Bahr)
7.   To change clothes, apply scent and oil. (Kulasatul Fatâwa)
8.   To assist a sick person in the masjid, apply bandage or show him a medicine. (Fatâwa Darul Uloom)
9.   To give lessons on the Qur’an or ’ilm of Din. (Shâmi)
10.  To wash and sew clothes provided that when washing the person remains within the masjid and the water falls outside the masjid. This ruling also applies in the case of washing pots or utensils.
11.  To pass wind in the masjid at the time of necessity. (Shâmi)
Moreover, all those actions are permissible in I’tikaf which are not makrûh or render I’tikaf void, and which actions in themselves arehalâl.
MAKRUHAT OF I’tikaf
The following matters are makrûh in the state of I’tikaf:
1.   To adopt complete silence because the adoption of complete silence in the Sharî’ah does not constitute I’tikaf. If one adopts silence with the intention that such silence is I’tikaf, then he will receive the sin of bid’ah. However, there is no objection if one does not regard silence as ibâdah and endeavours to remain silent in order to avoid sin. However, whenever a necessity arises, one must not avoid or abstain from talk. (Durre?Mukhtâr)
2.   To indulge in unnecessary and vain talk; some conversation is permissi­ble in accordance with necessity, but it is obligatory to avoid making the masjid a place of vanities and unnecessary talk. (Minhatul Kaliq)
3.   To bring goods of trade and throw them in the masjid.
4.   To enclose such area of the masjid for the purpose of I’tikaf that other persons performing I’tikaf or Salâh are caused difficulty or hardship.
5.   To charge a fee for writing, or sewing clothes, or teaching on the part of the person performing I’tikaf has been considered asmakrûh by the jurists (Al?Bahr). However, if a person cannot earn to provide for himself for the fasts of the days of I’tikaf without charging such fee, then it is permissible for him to do so on the analogy of sale. (And Allâh knows best).
6.   While performing the sunnah to indulge in a makrûh is not correct.
I’tikaf MANDHUR
The second type of I’tikaf is I’tikaf Mandhur”, that is, that I’tikaf which a person has made obligatory upon himself by taking a vow [nadhr].
Having regard to the fact that this particular form of I’tikaf is rare in occurrence, only the necessary rules have been set out below. For details, one should refer to the books or jurisprudence or a Mufti.
CATEGORIES OF NADHR AND THEIR LEGAL EFFECT
There are two categories of Nadhr:

(i) Nadlir Mu’ayyan, and

(ii) Nadhr Ghayr Mu’ayyan.

(i)   Nadbr Muayyan: this means that the Niyyah of I’tikaf is made for specific day or days or month; for example, a person makes Nadhr that he will perform I’tikaf in the last ten days of Sha’ban. However, if for some reason he cannot keep fasts in these days, then he must make qadah in other days. (Shâmi)
(ii) Nadhr Ghayr Muayyan: this means that no specific month or day is fixed for the performance of I’tikaf; for example, a person makes Nadhr that he will perform I’tikaf for three days. Hence, it will be permissible for him to performI’tikaf in all those days in which it is valid to keep fasts, and accordingly, his Nadhr will be fulfilled if he performs I’tikaf in such days.
NAFL I’TIKAF
1.   The third type ofI’tikaf is Nafl I’tikaf. This form of I’tikaf is not subject to time, fasting, day, night ? on the contrary, g person will receive the reward of I’tikaf if he enters the masjid with the intention of I’tikaf at any time and for whatever period.
2.   In the last ten days of Ramadhân, if a person performs I’tikaf with the requisite intention for less than ten days, then such I’tikafwill be Nafl I’tikaf.
3.   If a person goes to the masjid for the purpose of Salâh and at the time of entering (the masjid) formulates an intention to the effect that he will remain in I’tikaf for whatever time he spends in he masjid, then such person will receive the reward of I’tikaf.
4.   Nafl I’tikaf remains in force for the period that the person is in the masjid. Upon leaving or emerging from the masjid, thisI’tikaf ends.
5.   The person performing Nafl I’tikaf should complete I’tikaf for the period or days that he intended to undergo in I’tikaf.
6.   However, if he leaves the masjid for some reason prior to completion of the intended period, then he will receive reward for the period he remained in the masjid. For the remaining (that is, uncompleted) period, he is not obliged (that is, it is not wâjib upon him) to make qadah. (Shâmi).
7.   If a person, for example, made intention to perform I’tikaf for three days and thereafter upon entering the masjid, he commits an act which breaks his I’tikaf, then in such event his I’tikaf is completed, that is, he will receive the reward for the period he spent in themasjid prior to breaking of his I’tikaf, and furthermore, no qada’ is wâjib upon him (for the uncom­pleted period). In this event, he may leave the masjid if he wishes, or remain therein by making a new intention of I’tikaf. In such a situation, it is preferable that he completes the period for which he had made the intention of I’tikaf.
I’tikaf OF WOMEN
1.   The fadilah of I’tikaf is not confined to men; women also can take advantage of it. However, women should not perform I’tikaf in the masjid. Their I’tikaf is only possible in the house. The procedure is as follows:
Women should sit for I’tikaf in that place in the house which has been set aside for Salâh and ‘Ibadah. If no such place has been previously set aside, then a place must be so set aside prior to the commencement of I’tikaf, and I’tikaf must accordingly be performed therein. (Shâmi)
2.   If no specific place has been built or set aside in the house for Salâh, and it is not possible for some reason to so build or set aside a place therein, then in such event a woman may at her discretion demarcate any place within the house and perform I’tikaf there. (Âlamghiri)
3.   It is necessary for a married woman to obtain the consent of her husband for the purpose of performing I’tikaf. It is not permissible for a woman to perform I’tikaf without the permission of her husband. (Shâmi) However, husbands should not without reason deprive their wives of performing I’tikaf by refusing consent. On the contrary, they should grant consent.
4.   If a woman has commenced I’tikaf with the permission of her husband and thereafter he endeavours to prohibit or prevent her from completing same, then he cannot do so. If he succeeds in preventing her, then the woman is not obliged to completeI’tikaf. (Alamghiri)
5.   It is necessary for a woman to be free from menstruation and Nifâs in order to perform I’tikaf ? that is, she cannot perform I’tikafin a stage of menstruation and Nifâs.
6.   Consequently, a woman should, prior to the commencement of Masnun I’tikaf, determine whether the date of her menstruation will coincide with the period of I’tikaf. If the menstruation is expected to occur towards the end of the last ten days of Ramadhân, then she must not perform Masnun I’tikaf. However, she may perform Nafl I’tikaf for the period until the arrival of her menstruation.
7.   If a woman has commenced I’tikaf, and thereafter menstruation com­mences during the duration of I’tikaf, then it is wâjib upon her to imme­diately abandon I’tikaf, as soon as her menstruation commences. In such a situation it is wâjib upon her to make qada I’tikaf of only the day in which she abandoned the I’tikaf (as a result of the intervention of menstruation). The procedure of such qadah is as follows:
After the woman becomes pure of such menstruation, she keeps fast on any day and performs I’tikaf. If the days remain in Ramadhân, then she may make qadha in Ramadhân in which case the fast of Ramadhân will be sufficient. However, if Ramadhân has terminated at the time of her becom­ing pure from such menstruation, then she must thereafter specifically keep fast qadha I’tikaf for one day. (Commentary to Behesti Zewar)
8.   The place within the home demarcated by a woman for the purpose of I’tikaf will for the duration thereof fall within the hukm of the masjid. It is not permissible for her to move from such place without a Shar’î necessity. She cannot leave such place and enter any other portion or area of the home. If she does so, her I’tikaf will break.
9.   The rules applicable to men relating to moving from the place of I’tikaf are also applicable to women. For those needs and necessities in relation to which it is permissible for men to leave the masjid, it is similarly permissi­ble for women to leave the place of I’tikaf for such needs and necessities. (not Janazah). For those works in relation to which it is permissible for men to leave themasjid, it is similarly permissible for women to leave the place of I’tikaf for such works. Accordingly, women should, prior to commencing I’tikaf, thoroughly acquaint themselves with the rules relating to I’tikaf Masnun which have been discussed earlier under the heading “I’tikaf Masnun”.
10.  During the I’tikaf, women may, whilst sitting in their place of I’tikaf indulge in sewing and knitting. They can advise and guide others in regard to matters affecting the home. However, they cannot leave the place demarcated for I’tikaf. Moreover, it is preferable if they concentrate during the I’tikaf on DhikrTasbihatTilawat al?Qur’an and ‘Ibadat. They should not spend too much time on other matters.

Source: http://www.alislam.co.za

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