Upon The Deen

There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His last and final messenger.

The Appointed Term of the Hour Is Hidden from Us

“No one knows when he/she will die. The appointed term of the Hour is hidden from us. A person drives his car and may not return home. Only the news of his death may reach a relative or a friend. Sudden death is something real and its cases are on the rise. The question is have we prepared for the Day of Recompense? We may be committing sins everyday, but are we seeking forgiveness? And if we do, are we fulfilling the conditions of Tawbah (seeking Allah’s forgiveness)?

The day that passes is considered gone, and day to come we may not live to see. The present day is the one we can invest in for the Hereafter. If we live our days accordance with Allah’s Book and the Prophet’s (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) Sunnah as understood and applied by the righteous predecessors then we hope Allah will save us from the torment of the grave and from the horrors of the Day of Recompense. If we spend our days following the astray ways in belief and Ibaadaat (acts of worship), then we can only blame ourselves. May Allah, the Most Beneficent and Most Merciful, keep us on the Path of As-Salaf-us-Saalih and make us die on it.”

Source: The Tafseer of Surat An-Naazi’aat “Those Who Pull Out” - Complied by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullaahu ta’ala)

Lessons from a lift in Makkah

I find it a little awkward and strange being in a lift with other people. You don’t know where to stand, where to look, what to do with yourself while you’re waiting eagerly for your floor number to arrive on the digital screen that your eyes are fixed on to. You’re afraid of looking elsewhere or at someone else and causing an uncomfortable situation.

I was in a similar situation this morning in my hotel lift in Makkah. There was an uncomfortable silence in the lift as we were making our way to our rooms after the fajr prayer.

Apparently depending on the number of people in the lift people take up different areas of the lift. So if there’s five people then four would be in each corner and one poor person would be the centre of attention in the middle. I haven’t had the opportunity to try and observe this theory because it’ll probably end up causing an even stranger situation in the lift with me looking around at everyone’s positions in the lift like a nutter.

So anyway there’s about 8-9 of us in the lift (I was sort of in the middle with a couple of others if you’re interested in the schematic layout of persons in said lift) and we’re all trying to act normal desperately hoping that our floor number will come up quickly so we can escape this strange social setting.

No one is speaking. Everyone is silent. Until a brother from the middle of the lift says something thought provoking. He was a young Arab brother with a trimmed beard and wearing a night thoub and someone I had never seen or met before. Just your average person. But what he said stayed with me and caused me to post this from my hotel room in Makkah a couple of hours later.

He said with a smile and almost as if he was talking to himself and reminding himself: 

'Subhanallah, this lift is like the dunya. People leave it and people enter it!'

I was relieved he didn’t say something useless in the company of strangers in a lift. But he was right; people enter and leave this world at different stages in their life. Some people stay on for a long time and others leave as soon as they’re brought into this world.

I learnt some things from this incident in the lift.

1. Life in this world is like a race. People race to get ahead of the pack just like people rushing to get on a lift, unconcerned about how they spend their time while in it.

2. The expensive suites are always at the highest part of the hotel. They overlook the rest of the people who are below them. On the day of judgement it will be said to the one who used to recite the quran in this world: ‘recite and rise.’ For every ayah that he knows he will be raised in rank in paradise. If he only memorised a few surahs he’ll be in the lower levels. Someone who memorised the whole quran will keep rising until he completes the whole quran and he’ll be in the luxury suites in paradise! That’s the best kind of lift!

3. It’s amazing where inspiration and valuable life lessons can come from. I never expected to hear something so thought provoking from a stranger in a lift.

4. That brother probably said something that was on his mind in passing and maybe didn’t even realise how it affected some of us on the lift.

5. Allah knows the reward he will receive for what he said even if he’s unaware. If you have something beneficial to say then don’t hesitate to say it. A person may benefit even if you think no one will. The prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa Salam) said: whoever believes in Allah and the last day then speak good or remain silent.

6. The prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa Salam) said: A man will speak a word that is pleasing to Allah while he is unaware of it and Allah will record His pleasure for it until the day that he meets him’ (Tirmidhi). Allah will never forget a good deed that you did even if you yourself forgot!

6. Don’t hesitate or think twice about doing a good deed.

7. This life is temporary just like your time in a lift. Make every second of your life count.

8. Some lifts and waiting rooms in saudi have stickers on the wall saying: ‘use this spare time making istighfar.’ This is like the example of people who spend this short and temporary life remembering Allah and worshipping him. While others stare idly at the screen waiting for their time to come to an end not knowing what to do with the time they’ve been blessed with.

May Allah accept all our deeds; big and small in this month and after this month and may he give is the strength to continue our good deeds outside of ramadhan. Ameen.

Ustaadh Aqeel Mahmood

Shaikh ’Uthaimeen, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “All legislated orders and prohibitions are [in and of themselves regarded as] wisdom, and there is no need for us to know the reason [for a particular one], because we know that Allaah is Wise and that He did not legislate anything except based upon wisdom. Our stance towards [such] orders and prohibitions is but to say, ‘We hear and we obey.’ If we are able to find out what the wisdom [behind a particular command] is then that is a favour from Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.”

Tafseer Surah al-An’aam, p. 91.

Shaikh ’Uthaimeen, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “Sometimes, and I’m talking about myself [here], I look for the ruling concerning an issue in the books of fiqhthat I have and in the Sunnah that I know but I don’t find it, then I reflect on an aayah from the Quran which suggests an idea about the ruling concerning that issue, so when I ponder over it, I find the ruling in the Quraan.”

Sharh al-Kaafiyah ash-Shaafiyah, vol. 1, p. 198.

QadrAllaah - Keep your tongue and mind in remembrance of this phrase

QadrAllaah - Keep your tongue and mind in remembrance of this phrase

the meaning : “The Prophet Would Fasten His Lower Waist Wrapper “

The scholars differed as to what this means, some said it means that he strives even harder to worship. However, the correct opinion from the scholars is that it means he abstains himself from having sexual intercourse. This is the opinion of many of the leaders from the Salaf, including Sufyaan ath-Thawree.

There are ahadeeth wherein it is shown that the prophet (s.a.w) abstained from intimacy, plus he was in itikaaf which obviously meant he would be away from any intimate relations with his wife (r.a.a)

adapted from Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif (Pg. 142-149)

Ismael Haniyeh, the Palestinian prime minister leading the Taraaweeh prayer in Gaza

He cries and struggles to complete the words of the Most High, when Allah relates: 

" … Pharaoh replied: ‘We will slaughter their children and spare their women: for we have complete power over them.’ 

Moses said to his people, ‘Turn to Allah for help and be patient. The earth belongs to Allah. He gives it to those of His servants whom He chooses, and the future belongs to the God-fearing.’ 

His people said, ‘We were persecuted before you came to us, and we are still being persecuted.’ 

Moses said: ‘It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you rulers in the land: then He will see how you behave.’”

Jabir Ibn Abdullah (r.a.) narrates that the Prophet (s.a.w) said:
Indeed the shaitan sits in the way of Adam when he wants to accept Islam he will say to him: are you becoming a muslim and giving up the religion of your fathers? So if he disobeys shaitan and accepts islam then shaitan will sit in his way of Hijrah and say: are you going to migrate and leave your earth and sky? So he disobeys shaitan and does Hijrah so shaitan comes and sits in the path of Jihad and says: are you going to do jihad and that is such a struggle with your self and your wealth and you will eventually be killed and your wife will re-marry and your wealth will be distributed… so he disobeys shaitan and does jihad… and whoever does this (i.e. keeps fighting the devil) then it is a right over Allah that he will enter him into Jannah… and whoever gets killed then it is definite that Allah will enter him into Jannah… and if he gets drowned then it is Haqq upon Allah that he will enter him into Jannah and if he gets his neck broken while falling off his mount then it is Haqq upon Allah that He will enter him into Jannah….

Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ‘Azzaam said:

“A group of friends are all like each other, and the longer the friendship lasts, the closer the character and manners of each person in the group will be to the others. Do not believe that a good person can live for long with a corrupt person, unless the corrupt person improves and follows the example of the good person.

This is why you should look for the good people, and a friend is like a chain: he will either drag you into Paradise, or drag you into Hell. He will either cause you problems or he will help you solve your problems.”

[At-Tarbiyyah Al-Jihaadiyyah Wal-Bina, 5/35]

Extract from a diagnostic letter from Umar Ibn Al-khatab (RA), Commander in Chief of the believers concerning the state of the Ummah to Saad Ibn Abi waqqas (RA), the commander of the Muslim Army in conquest of Persia.

"…then after I order you, and all the troops that are with you to obedient to Allah in all circumstances as this (being obedient to Allah) is better then weapons against the enemy and a strong stratagem (device) in the war.

I order you and the soldiers who are with you to be more cautious and afraid of your own crimes and sins (and do not commit them) than your enemy as the crimes and sins of the soldiers are more dangerous to them then the enemy.

The Muslims are victorious only because their enemies are disobedient to Allah, and had it not been so, we would have no power over them, because neither is our number equal to their number nor are our weapons like theirs.

If we commit crimes and sins as they do, then they ( our enemies) will have superiority over us in power and we will not gain victory over them.

We do not over power them with our strength. And you should know that in this marching of yours (for Allahs cause) there are guards (angels) upon you from Allah (to watch you) and they know all what you do.

So be shy from them and do not commit Allahs disobedience (crimes and sins) while you are in Allahs cause and do not say: ‘Our enemy is worse then us, so they will not over power us’.

Perhaps some people who are worse then others may overpower the others as the (disbelievers) Magians over powered the children of Israel when they (the latter) involved themselves with Allahs disobedience (crimes and sins). So they (the Magians) entered the very innermost parts of their homes and it was a promise (completely) fulfilled. And ask Allah for the victory over your enemies, I ask Allah for that both for you and for us.”

The Prophet said: “Indeed Allāh revealed to me that you should humble yourselves so much so that no one is proud.” [As-Sahīhah, 570]

How is salaah al-tawbah (the prayer of repentance) offered? How many rak’ahs is it? Can I offer it after ‘Asr prayer?.
Praise be to Allaah.
By the mercy of Allaah towards this ummah, He has opened the gate of repentance to it, and it will not cease until the soul reaches the throat (at death) or the sun rises from the west.

By His Mercy to this ummah, He has prescribed for them an act of worship which is one of the best acts of worship, by means of which the sinner can draw close to his Lord with the hope of his repentance being accepted. This is salaat al-tawbah (the prayer of repentance) and there follow some issues that have to do with this prayer.

1 – The prayer of repentance is prescribed in sharee’ah

The scholars are unanimously agreed that the prayer of repentance is prescribed in sharee’ah. Abu Dawood (1521) narrated that Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and prays two rak’ahs, then asks Allaah for forgiveness, but Allaah will forgive him. Then he recited this verse: ‘And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allaah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know’ [Aal ‘Imraan 3:135].” Classed as sahaah by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Ahmad (26998) narrated that Abu’l-Darda’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “The one who does wudoo’ and does it well, then stands and prays two rak’ahs or four (one of the narrators was uncertain), in which he remembers Allaah and focuses well, then asks Allaah for forgiveness, He will forgive him.” The editor of al-Musnad said: its isnaad is hasan. It was also quoted by al-Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (3398).

2 – The reason for the prayer of repentance

The reason for the prayer of repentance is if a Muslim falls into sin, whether it is a major or minor sin, he has to repent from it straight away and it is recommended for him to pray these two rak’ahs. And when he repents he should do a righteous deed which is one of the best of deeds, namely prayer. So he may draw close to Allaah by means of this in the hope that He may accept his repentance and forgive his sin.

3 – The time for the prayer of repentance

It is mustahabb to offer this prayer when the Muslim has decided to repent from the sin that he has committed, whether this repentance comes immediately after committing the sin or later on. The sinner must hasten to repent but if he delays it, it will still be accepted, because repentance is accepted so long as one of the following impediments does not occur:

(i) When the soul reaches the throat (at death). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah will accept the repentance of His slave so long as the death rattle has not yet begun.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi (3537).

(ii) When the sun rises from the west. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from the west, Allaah will accept his repentance.” Narrated by Muslim (2703).

This prayer is prescribed at all times including times when prayer is disallowed (such as after ‘Asr prayer), because it is one of the prayers that are done for a reason, so it is prescribed when the reason for it is present.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: Prayers which are done for a reason, such as the prostration of recitation, greeting the mosque, the eclipse prayer, prayer immediately after purifying oneself, as mentioned in the hadeeth of Bilaal, and istikhaarah prayer should not be delayed if the reason comes up at a time when prayer is disallowed, because delaying them may cause one to miss them, such as if the one who is praying istikhaarah may miss the thing concerning which he is seeking guidance if he delays the prayer. The same applies to the prayer of repentance. If a person commits a sin, then it is obligatory to repent straight away, and it is recommended for him to pray two rak’ahs, then repent, as it says in the hadeeth of Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq. End quote from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (23/215).

4 –Description of the prayer of repentance

The prayer of repentance is two rak’ahs, as it says in the hadeeth of Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him).

It is prescribed for the one who is repenting to pray alone, because it is one of the naafil prayers that it is not prescribed to offer in congregation. After that it is prescribed to ask Allaah for forgiveness, because of the hadeeth of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him).

There is no report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to say that it is mustahabb to recite any particular soorahs in these two rak’ahs, so the worshipper may recite whatever he wants.

It is mustahabb for the penitent to strive hard in doing righteous deeds as well as offering this prayer, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)”

[Ta-Ha 20:82]

Among the best of righteous deeds that the penitent can do is giving charity, for charity is one of the greatest means of expiating sin. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“If you disclose your Sadaqaat (almsgiving), it is well; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you. (Allaah) will expiate you some of your sins”

[al-Baqarah 2:271]

It is proven that Ka’b ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, when Allaah accepted his repentance: O Messenger of Allaah, as part of my repentance I shall give up my wealth as charity for Allaah and His Messenger. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Keep some of your wealth, for it is better for you.” He said: Then I shall keep my share in Khaybar. Agreed upon.

To sum up:

1- This prayer is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

2- It is prescribed when the Muslim repents from any sin, whether it is a major sin or a minor sin, and whether this repentance comes immediately after committing the sin or after some time has passed.

3- This prayer may be offered at any time, including times when prayer is disallowed.

4- It is mustahabb for the penitent to do some good deeds along with this prayer, such as charity etc.

May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.

Ibn ul-Qayyim said: “The comfort of the body is in eating little food and the comfort of the soul is in having little sins and the comfort of the tongue is speaking a little.”

[Zaad al Ma’aad 4/186]

Sheikh Nasir al-Sa’di reads Dale Carnegie

I was reading a self-help book a couple years ago and a group of brothers looked at me in the following manner: “All success has been outlined in the Quran & Sunnah so why do you read this?” And I looked back at them in the following manner, “If you feel so insecure about your religion that you avoid exploring how people think then that’s up you…Not everyone does & I for one don’t!”

Today I came across a story of Sh. Nasir As-Sa’di (teacher of Sh. Ibn Uthaimeen) in which he traveled for treatment to Lebanon and was gifted the following book by Dale Carnegie “How to Stop Worrying & Start Living?” He could have said, “I am a Muslim, I don’t have any anxiety/worries!” or “This stuff is for the ‘Kuuufaar’ and we are the ‘Muuuuminoon’…” But he didn’t. Rather, he studied the book, recommended it to several of his students, and wrote his book entitled, ‘Useful Methods for a Happy life’ based on Dale Carnegie’s work. His student and my teacher, Sh. Abdullah Ibn Aqeel said, “I borrowed Dale Carnegie’s work and read it, and then ordered a copy from Makkah which Sh. Abdullah Al-Bassaam brought for me and then read it several times and found within it amazing facts!”

Lesson: We should benefit from all people, and give due respect wherever it maybe deserved, Muslim or Non-Muslim. And never be afraid of benefiting from the “Other.” Whoever that “other” maybe for you…

Sheikh Abdul wahhab saleem

Shaikh ’Uthaimeen, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “I wish that a person wouldn’t swear by Allaah frequently. If he needs to take an oath let him couple it with [a mention of] Allaah’s Will, saying, ‘By Allaah,inshaa Allaah …’ for in doing so he attains two great benefits. The first is that Allaah will facilitate for him what he took an oath for, and the second is that if he is not able to fulfil it he doesn’t have to carry out an expiation [kaffaarah].”

Fataawa Nurun-’alad-Darb, vol. 11, p. 465