The Qur’ān – A Clear Proof

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Indeed, We have sent down the Dhikr [the Qur‘ān], and indeed We are its guardian. (15:9)

In this verse Allāh ta‘ālā proclaims that it is He, and He alone, who has revealed the Glorious Qur’ān to mankind, which means it is His Word. This claim is followed by a proof to validate it: that Allāh ta‘ālā Himself is its guardian and protector. When Allāh ta‘ālā protects something, nothing and no one can ever interfere with it, so the continual preservation of the Qur’ān is a proof that it is the Word of Allāh ta‘ālā. There are many other proofs of the Divine origin of the Qur’ān, including its i‘jāz (inimitability) – the challenge to mankind to invent even a single verse to match the Qur’ān in its perfection. However, the preservation of the Qur’ān is a proof that even a child can understand.

Over 1,400 years have passed and it is still plain for everyone to see that not a single change has occurred in the Qur’ān. To fulfil the promise of protecting the Qur’ān, Allāh ta‘ālā has created a comprehensive system consisting of scribes who accurately copy the text; huffāzwho accurately memorise its words; qurrā who preserve its mode of recitation; and mufassirīn, muhaddithīn, fuqahā and ‘ulamā who protect its meaning and message.

Non-Muslim experts, while arguing over the authorship of the Qur’ān, nevertheless acknowledge that despite the passage of over fourteen centuries it has not undergone even the slightest alteration – not of a single letter or diacritical mark.

It is obvious that a very powerful being must be safeguarding the Qur’ān for it to have been preserved over so many centuries.

The Protected Book

‘Allāmah Al-Qurtubī rahimahullāh narrates an interesting story about the preservation of the Qur’ān. Once a stranger attended one of the debates that the ‘Abbāsid Khalīfah Ma’mūn Ar-Rashīd used to hold at his court. The man spoke eloquently during the debate, and afterwards Ma’mūn summoned him. Sensing that he was not a Muslim he asked him whether he was a Jew. The man replied that he was. Ma’mūn then invited him to embrace Islām and, as a test, offered him incentives for doing so. However, the man preferred to keep his religion, the religion of his forefathers.

A year later the same man attended the court of Ma’mūn as a Muslim and spoke learnedly on Islamic jurisprudence. Afterwards, Ma’mūn called him and asked him if he was the same man who had come the year before. He replied in the affirmative, and upon being asked how he had come to become a Muslim he told his story.

After he had left the debate the previous year he had decided to examine the different religions. Being a good calligrapher he made three copies of the Tawrāt, making some additions and omissions in the process. He took the copies to its adherents and they bought them from him. He then made three copies of the Injīl, again making some additions and omissions, and took them to its adherents, who bought them. Then he did exactly the same with the Qur’ān and took the copies to the Muslims. They checked them and when they noticed the additions and omissions they discarded the copies and refused to buy them. “I realised then that this was a Protected Book, and that was how I came to embrace Islām,” concluded the man.

Enthusiasm for Memorising the Qur’ān

The preservation of the Qur’ān is a great miracle, and the means Allāh ta‘ālā employs in its preservation are also amazing. Parents who encourage their children to memorise the entire Qur’ān are aware of the rewards they and their children will receive for doing so, but the children themselves are not. If you were to ask the students of a typical tahfīz-ul-Qur’ān class what the rewards for memorising the Qur’ān are, majority would not be able to reply. Despite this, the desire Allāh ta‘ālā places in their hearts to memorise the Qur’ān is such that very few if any would dream of giving it up.

Wherever you go you will see that there are never enough tahfīz-ul-Qur’ān classes and that they are always oversubscribed! Just think, what power is there besides Allāh ta‘ālā that is keeping our children committed to memorising the Qur’ān? There are countless other well-known good deeds that promise great rewards, yet people do not adhere to them with such commitment and dedication as to memorising the Qur’ān. Allāh ta‘ālā Himself puts the love of memorising His Word into the hearts of young people!

Nowhere in the whole world will you see classes full of children memorising a book that they do not understand. It is a miracle of the Qur’ān that people are able to learn a whole foreign alphabet and how to read in the foreign language, without learning to understand the language; furthermore, then they memorise a whole book in that language, and then keep it memorised for the rest of their lives.

Remarkable Huffāz

Throughout history there are examples of people who memorised the Qur’ān at a very young age and also in a very short time. Ibn Labbān rahimahullāh memorised the entire Qur’ān in just one year, remarkable in itself, but even more amazing is that he completed his memorisation at the age of five! Hāfiz Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalānī rahimahullāh became a hāfiz by the age of nine, and at the age of eleven led the Tarāwīh Salāh in Al-Masjid Al-Harām. Imām Ash-Shāfi‘ī rahimahullāh memorised the Qur’ān in just one month. When Imām Muhammadrahimahullāh went to study under Imām Abū Hanīfah rahimahullāh he was asked whether he had memorised the entire Qur’ān or not, for admission to his classes was conditional on being a hāfiz. He replied that he had not, but his desire to acquire knowledge was so great that he returned after just one week and told Imām Abū Hanīfah rahimahullāh that he was now a hāfiz!

Connect Yourself to the Qur’ān

After learning something of the miraculous nature of the Glorious Qur’ān, we need to take some practical steps to connect ourselves with it:

1.  Reciting the Qur’ān regularly. Recite one juz daily, or if that is not possible then half a juz or a quarter, but recite daily. If the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā in its various forms such as tasbīh, tahmīd, salāt ‘alan-Nabī, du‘ā etc. are compared to individual ‘vitamins’ beneficial to a person’s spiritual health, the Qur’ān can be likened to a multivitamin, for it contains them all.

2.  Attend tajwīd classes in your locality in order to learn how to recite the Qur’ān properly, which is one of the rights of the Qur’ān.

3.  Attend the Durūs (lessons) of the Qur’ān delivered by the ‘ulamā in your locality in order to understand the message of the Qur’ān.

4.  Practise upon the teachings of the Qur’ān.

5.  Propagate the teachings of the Qur’ān.

6.  Respect the people of the Qur’ān, i.e. the huffāz and ‘ulamā. Refrain from disrespecting them and talking ill of them at all costs. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd-ul-‘Azīzrahimahullāh used to say, “Become an ‘ālim if you can. If you cannot then become a student of ‘ilm. And if you cannot then have love for them [the ‘ulamā and students]. And if you cannot then do not have hatred for them.”

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us love for and affinity with the Qur’ān, the ability to memorise it, recite it in the proper manner, understand it and act according to it. Āmīn.

© Islāmic Da’wah Academy


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Listening Attentively

A Requisite for ‘Ilm and Hidāyah

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

The great muhaddith and faqīh, Sufyān Ibn ‘Uyaynah rahimahullāh states:

The first step towards acquiring ‘ilm is istimā‘ i.e. listening attentively, then to understand, then to memorise/remember, then to act upon it and propagate.

The importance of listening with full attention is the first step and an essential requisite for success in acquiring ‘ilm, which is the prerequisite to acting according to the Wishes of the Creator. It is for this reason Allāh ta‘ālā used the word istimā‘ (listening with intent) instead of sam‘ (merely to listen with or without intention), followed by the word insāt (to become silent), when stating the adab of listening to the Qur’ān in the following verse:

When the Qur’ān is recited, listen to it attentively and be silent, so that you may be showered with mercy. (7:204)

Allāh ta‘ālā has promised to bestow His Mercy upon those who listen attentively, which will manifest in the form of the ability to abstain from wrong and engage in good deeds. Allāh ta‘ālā states: 

..those who listen to the word attentively (of Allāh ta‘ālā and His Rasūl sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, and follow (it, knowing that it is) the best of it (of all speech). These are the ones whom Allāh has guided, and these are the ones who possess (true) intelligence (wisdom). (39:18)

The importance of istimā‘ can be further understood by how Allāh ta‘ālā addressed Mūsā ‘alayhis salām when sending revelation to him. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

I have chosen you (for prophethood), so listen attentively to what is revealed. (20:13)

The commentators of the Qur’ān have mentioned that when Mūsā ‘alayhis salām was commanded that he should listen attentively to what is revealed to him, he stood on a rock, leaning against another, placed his right hand over his left, dropped his chin on his chest and stood listening attentively. 

From the above it is clear how important it is to listen attentively when seeking knowledge or listening to a discourse: only those people will genuinely benefit who listen attentively with sound understanding.

How to Listen Attentively

The pious predecessors have defined the term istimā‘ in detail. Wahb Ibn Munabbihrahimahullāh further explains the essence of istimā‘ by stating that it comprises of the following:

a. Keeping the body motionless.

A person should not engage any part of his body in anything whilst listening. He should become motionless. Fidgeting, playing around with clothes and other such actions dilute the concentration one needs when listening to religious discourses and lessons. The Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, when in the company of Rasūlullāhsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, would sit so still that they were described with the phrase, “as if birds were sitting on their heads.” If a bird was to sit on a person and he desired that it does not fly away, he will need to be extremely still. This was the condition of the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum whilst sitting in the company of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and listening to him.

b. Lowering the gaze.

In essence, lowering the gaze means that one should not be distracted by anything and be totally focused towards the lesson being imparted. Hence, a person needs to abstain from looking here and there. Focussing in a manner which will prevent one from being distracted is essential to listening attentively. This can be achieved by either looking down or at the speaker. Furthermore, it portrays interest to the speaker which will further enhance the quality of delivery.

c. Attention of the ears.

During the discourse or lesson, a person should lend his ears only to the speaker.

d. Attention of the mind.

Whilst listening, the mind should also be alert and attentive. Being preoccupied or thinking about other things will be a hindrance in giving the required attention. It is for this reason students are advised to disengage from all such activities and devices which occupy the mind.

e. Firm intention to act.

If a person does not intend to act upon the knowledge being imparted, his attention will not always be completely focused. Having a firm intention to practice will motivate a person to focus on everything being said.

When a person adopts such a manner of listening then he will fulfil the requisites of istimā‘ and gain the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā will in return, grant him the correct understanding of knowledge and enlighten his heart with a special Nūr. Consequently, he will become from those who have been guided and granted a deep level of understanding, i.e. wisdom, as stated in the verse of the Glorious Qur’ān:

..those who listen to the word attentively (of Allāh ta‘ālā and His Rasūl sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, and follow (it, knowing that it is) the best of it (of all speech). These are the ones whom Allāh has guided, and these are the ones who possess (true) intelligence (wisdom). [39:18]

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq to implement the act of listening attentively so that we may acquire true benefit from religious discourses and lessons. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 9, September 2016)


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Forty Hadith

al-arbaoon Please see PDF for Hadith compilation – Jazak Allah

FORTY FORGOTTEN HADITH

hadeeth

All praise is due to Allah Who made His creation and portions out His slaves to be rich and poor. He set down rain and opened the channels for the rain to percolate into the soil. I praise Him – glorified is He – Who bestows abundant reward to the obedient ones and veils the disobedient one. He is the one who knows what is above the sky and what is beneath the soil; the crawling of the ant in the night when it crawls is not hidden from His knowledge.

The heavens and His angels glorify Him, and the stars and their orbits glorify Him. The rivers and their fish glorify Him; the earth and its inhabitants glorify Him and the oceans and creatures living in them glorify Him.

I testify there is none worthy of worship except Allah Alone; He has no partner, equal to Him or bearing any similarity to Him. And I testify that Muhammad is His slave, messenger, honest and intimate friend, and the best of His creatures as well as the custodian over His revelation.

He sent him as a mercy to the universe and as a proof to the entire mankind. May Allah’s blessings be upon him as much as the mention of him by the righteous, and as many as (the number of) the alternating days and nights. We ask Allah the Exalted to make us all be among his righteous followers, and may He resurrect us in his company on the day of resurrection. Ameen.

 

To proceed,

The tradition in Muslim religious literature of gathering collections of forty Hadiths dates as far back as the first century after the Hijrah. Abdullah ibn Mubarak al-Marwazi (Allah have mercy on him) is thought to be the first to have gathered forty Hadith in a collection. Perhaps the most well-known collection is that of Imam an-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him), which has been translated into English, and on which there are several commentaries.

The practice of gathering forty Hadiths springs from a Hadith, narrated through several Companions, which puts the spiritual rank of religious scholarship within easy reach of the ordinary believer: “Whoever memorises forty narrations for my nation in matters of this religion, Allah will raise him up a scholar and I shall be an intercessor and witness for him on the Day of Rising.”

Allah make us from them.

hadith

I have put together Hadith which are mostly related to Mu’aamalaat (social interactions). Which you will all agree is a very important part of our Deen, at the same time greatly neglected. There are a few specific for women, again whom we neglect and leave behind in Ta’leem and Tazkiyah (Islamic education and spirituality). The rest are Fadhail (virtues) or evil traits which I am sure we all hear time and again, but often forget to practise upon or refrain from the latter.

(Mawlana) Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

3 Rabiul Akhar 1438

Goodbye 2016 – You’ve Taught Me Well!

Umm Abdullah  (In need of your Duaas)
1 Rabiul Akhar 1438

How to Become the Beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Imām Al-Bukhārī rahimahullāh narrates a hadīth qudsī:

Allāh ta‘ālā says: “…My bondsman does not acquire my closeness through anything that is more beloved to me than that which I have made compulsory upon him…

The performance of the farā’id is by far the greatest and most effective tool in achieving the closeness of Allāh ta‘ālā, as nothing can bring a person closer to Allāh ta‘ālā than the farā’id. farā’id encompass every obligation, be it from the DOs or the DON’Ts; just as it is fard to perform the five times salāh, it is fard to abstain from adultery, stealing etc. The struggle and effort in accomplishing the farā’id creates a special bond between the servant and his Master.

Once this bond is created, the servant becomes consistent and steadfast in fulfilling his obligations. This results in his closeness and relationship becoming stronger and his love for Allāh ta‘ālā increases. As a result, the urge to progress further intensifies and the servant begins to enhance and add to his worship by way of nawāfil (optional deeds) and non-obligatory actions. This struggle and striving of his attracts the special attention of Allāhta‘ālā and the servant now becomes the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā as the hadīth continues:

“…and then my bondsman continues to acquire my closeness through nawāfil until I love him…

What more can a servant desire? He is now the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā? Allāh ta‘ālā’s special attention is now directed towards him and he reaches such a level that Allāh ta‘ālā takes care of all his affairs. Allāh ta‘ālā protects him from all directions; he is safeguarded from going astray, he is protected from vice, he is protected from physical and mental calamities as the hadīth further states:

“…And when I love him, I become his ears with which he hears, and his eyes with which he sees, and his hands with which he grasps, and his feet with which he walks. And if he asks from Me, I will surely grant it to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I surely grant it to him.” (Al-Bukhārī)

Our pious predecessors, after striving, had acquired this status of becoming the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā. We find many incidents from their lives which testify to this fact:

1.   Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Abbās radhiyallāhu ‘anhumā relates that Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu once proposed, “Take us to the province of our people.” Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Abbāsradhiyallāhu ‘anhumā further narrates that we left towards our destination. Sayyidunā Ubayy Ibn Ka‘b radhiyallāhu ‘anhu and I were amongst those travelling behind the convoy. Along the journey, a cloud emerged which indicated rain. Sayyidunā Ubayyradhiyallāhu ‘anhu (seeing the predicament they would face) turned towards Allāh ta‘ālāand supplicated, “O Allāh! Save us from its troubles.” When we met up with the rest of the convoy who were soaked with rain, Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu enquired, “Did you not get caught up in the rainfall?” I replied, “Abul-Mundhir supplicated to Allāh that we are saved from its troubles, hence we are dry.” Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu complained, “Why did you not include us in your prayer?” (Mawsū‘at Ibn Abi Ad-Dunyā)

2.   Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that we visited a very sick man from the Ansār. He passed away during our visit. After his soul had departed, we covered him. Turning towards his old mother at his bedside, one of us consoled her by encouraging her to have hope of reward upon this tribulation from Allāh ta‘ālā. She asked, with concern, “Has he passed away?” We said, “Yes.” She lifted her hands towards Allāh ta‘ālābeseeching, “O Allāh, you are aware that I adopted Islam and migrated towards your Prophet hoping that you will assist me during all circumstances; favourable and difficult; do not burden me with this difficulty today.” Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu says that she uncovered his face and before long he was eating with us. (Mawsū‘at Ibn Abi Ad-Dunyā)

3.   It is narrated that Abū Qilābah rahimahullāh was travelling for Hajj whilst fasting. During a scorching hot day he became extremely thirsty. Abū Qilābah rahimahullāhturned towards Allāh ta‘ālā and beseeched, “O Allāh! You are powerful enough to remove my thirst without me breaking my fast.” Immediately, a cloud shaded him and rained upon him until his clothes became wet, and his thirst vanished. He then got off his conveyance made a ditch in the ground and it filled with water from the rain. When his companions met up with him, they drank from the water but not a drop of rain had touched them. (Jāmi‘ul ‘Ulūm wal-Hikam)

4.   It is stated about Ibrāhīm Ibn Adham rahimahullāh that once he set out on a journey by sea. During the journey the ship got caught in severe winds due to which destruction seemed imminent. Ibrāhīm rahimahullāh wrapped his head in his shawl and went to sleep. The people exclaimed, “Do you not see the great difficulty we are in?” He replied, “This is not difficulty.” “What is difficulty then?” they enquired. He stated, “The need towards people (i.e. to be dependant and in need of the creation).” He then turned towards Allāh ta‘ālā and prayed, “O Allāh! You have displayed your great power, show us you pardon.” The sea immediately calmed down as if it was a pot of oil (coming off the boil). (Sifat-us-Safwah)

5.   ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārak rahimahullāh passed by a blind man who requested him to pray to Allāh ta‘ālā to restore his sight. The narrator states that ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārakrahimahullāh prayed to Allāh ta‘ālā and Allāh ta‘ālā restored the blind man’s sight in my presence. (Sifat-us-Safwah)

6.   Abul-Husayn An-Nūrī rahimahullāh once entered a river. A thief came and stole his clothes which were on the bank. He remained in the water. It was not long before the thief returned with the clothes and placed them before Abul-Husayn, however his right hand had become paralysed. Abul-Husayn rahimahullāh turned to Allāh ta‘ālā and implored, “O My Lord! He has returned my clothes, You return (to him the strength of) his right hand.” Allāh ta‘ālā restored his right hand. (Al-Hilyah)

Let us all hold fast to the farā’id and progress towards nawāfil, so we too become the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā.  

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 5/6, May/June 2016)

The Dangerous Relationship Between Money & Dawah

http://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/muslim-speakers-dawah-money/

All praises be to Allāh, and may peace and blessings be upon His prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). By the grace of Allāh, the following remarks are not indicative of most Du’āt and scholars, but it is nonetheless a growing problem which needs to be nipped in the bud…

Introduction

I have been contemplating talking about the issue of Muslim speakers charging a lot of money for “Dawah” for a long time. Although I was initially reluctant to speak about it, I came to the decision to do so as the problem is getting no better. I feel that treatment for this problem should be sought and the issue can no longer be taken lightly. The key issue for me is the fact that Muslim speakers are among the carriers of the legacy of our Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). As such, whether they realise it not, they are role models for Muslim communities. Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) says,

“Allāh will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge…”[1]

Likewise His Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“Scholars are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets bequeath neither dinar nor dirham, rather their inheritance is knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share.”[2]

Dawah (calling) to Allāh is the noblest activity a person can be involved in. Allāh says in the Quran,

“And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allāh and does righteousness and says, ‘Indeed, I am of the Muslims!’?”[3]

This should not be treated as a job otherwise it will lose its spirit and the main factors that instil it with the power of influence: Barakah (divine blessing) and Ikhlās (true sincerity). These are not just two common Islamic words used to describe what is needed for giving simple reminders in Masājid. Rather, they are the fundamental ingredients for any successful Islamic movement that aims to transform complex societies. Hence, preachers, callers to Islām, speakers, students of knowledge and scholars need to build them and maintain them in themselves first, before asking others to have them. No Dawah will flourish and be successful, no matter how “professional looking” it may be, without the blessings of Allāh – which is a reward for the truthfulness of the people behind it. Allāh taught us the supplication of the Prophet Shuʿayb (ʿalayhi al-Salām):

“And my success is not but through Allāh. Upon Him I have relied, and to Him I return”.[4]

Allāh also says:

“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allāh, We would have opened upon them blessings from the sky and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning.”[5]

The Muslim community should also protect their Imāms, scholars and speakers. Although these remarks might be seen as criticism of Islamic speakers and scholars, they should also serve as a protection for them against their nafs (self; ego) and the temptations of earthly wealth. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) warned us that there is nothing more fearful and destructive to a person’s Dīn than the fitna (trial) of wealth and fame.

“Two hungry wolves set upon the midst of a flock of sheep are no more destructive to them than a man’s greed for wealth and fame is to his Dīn.’‘[6]

Muslim speakers should acknowledge that the fitna and desire for wealth and money are the second and third biggest temptations of the triangle of temptations: women, wealth and fame. Hence, they should read this article with a positive mind-set while seeking to improve and rectify their shortcomings. To illustrate what we are talking about, what follows are some unfortunate examples of the wrong practices that are becoming more and more common when Dawah organisations invite speakers to deliver Islamic courses or lectures.

It must be stressed, however, that this is not the case for Dawah in general, al-Hamdu lillāh. A great multitude of Imāms, du’āt and scholars continue to uphold the lofty standards set by the example of the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). This is why the rise of this problem is all the more crucial to highlight and nip in the bud before it begins to tarnish the carriers and conveyors of Prophetic guidance.

Real life examples of the problem

– A speaker was invited to a city to attend a conference. During his stay in the city he visited a mosque for a Friday prayer. For whatever reason, the Khatīb of the mosque was not present and the speaker was approached and asked to deliver the khutbah in the mosque in the city in which he was already present. He said he would do so if he were paid an extra £1,000.

– A speaker delivered a lecture at an event. After this he sat amongst the members of the audience. There so happened to be a 10 to 15 minute segment in which a brother was supposed to offer reminders to the audience but he was unable to do so. The organisers asked the speaker to cover these 15 minutes. He requested an extra £200 to step out of his chair and share a reminder with the audience.

– One speaker was invited to speak at an event as it was known he would be travelling nearby on his way back to his home country. The organisers requested he make a stop-over at their event and offered to pay the difference in the journey. The speaker agreed to attend on condition that his entire travel expense be paid for, including the full price of his ticket. He requested a stay at a 5-star hotel as it would be a 12 hour stop over, and he later called to inform the organisers that he would be bringing his wife and required her ticket to be paid for as well.

– An Imām was invited to lead Tarāwīḥ prayers in a mosque in Ramadān. Because his recitation was widely appreciated, the mosque requested he extend his time leading the prayers each night from one hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. For extending his Salah for fifteen minutes, the Imām demanded more money.

– Some speakers even assign their personal assistants to speak on their behalf. They claim they are professionals and hence ask for “professional” contracts between the organisation of the speaker and the organisation inviting the speaker. I was shown a “professional” contract in which a speaker outlined his payment demands and stipulated that if the money was not paid on time a charge of 20% would be added to the fee. Perhaps they thought that charging riba (interest) is part of “professionalism”!

This is becoming ridiculous. The sorts of things some speakers are asking to be paid for or compensated are getting out of hand. The organisations that are inviting them are usually grassroots organisations that depend on donations from the public sphere. These organisations have budgets managed by the penny in order to run their activities and events, and yet, some of our speakers, our shuyūkh and our du’āt are demanding business class flights, specific types of beds, chauffeurs, masseuses and all manner of luxury. A brother in an Islamic organisation once told me that a speaker specifically defined Evian bottled water as the only water he drinks!

– I was once invited to a particular country to take part in a conference for a new organisation. They invited a number of speakers from different countries and they offered all of us business class flights. As this is a far away country, the business class would cost them unbelievable amounts of money. I thought of the poor children who are dying everyday due to hunger across that country and of myself taking a business class flight to that country, or to any other country, for Dawah. I remembered how Sheikh ʿAbdulraḥman al-Sumait (raḥimahu Allāhu), the most active Muslim preacher in that same region, used to travel for over 30 years in many such countries to deliver real Dawah. I also remembered Sheikh Sāliḥ al-Hussayyin, a senior scholar of Saudi Arabia who was also the Chief of the Administration of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques. His position and family made it feasible for him to travel in first or business class, and yet, he refused to do so as he was giving Dawah; in fact there were reports that he used to sleep in a masjid instead of in hotels during his travels.

While I thought of this, I was so embarrassed that I could not bring myself to accept the offer to travel in business class for Dawah. When I arrived there, I found that all the other speakers had accepted the offer. No one denied it! I was utterly confused.

I showed my surprise at the offer and the acceptance of the offer despite the financial difficulties this organisation—and in fact its whole country—was going through. Their answer was simply: We never requested it, we just accepted their offer.

After my answer for a question regarding this issue was uploaded online, I received so many messages from many brothers, sisters and organisers who were suffering in silence. They provided detailed examples of speakers’ demands. A brother sent me the following:

“It’s a big crisis! I’ve seen du’āt who asked for £6K per day! One speaker from the U.S. asked for £75K for one weekend. Two speakers wouldn’t pray Tarāwīḥ in Ramaḍān when on tour and, instead, spent their nights playing PlayStation games in their hotel rooms. Some speakers have a list of restaurants they will eat in and refuse to eat anywhere else. Some are driven by brothers for an entire tour but don’t even bother to learn the brother’s name because ‘he’s only a driver’. Some even refuse to give reminders after jamaʿah prayer during Ramaḍān and when they do finally say some words, they repeat the exact same reminder that has been on their YouTube channel for years; nothing new.”

Another brother told me a speaker asked for 50% of the money that was raised during a fundraising event. Another told me about a speaker who was getting £1,500 every day in Ramaḍān for fundraising for different organisations. A fourth brother told me about an organisation that arranged a tour for an Imām leading Tarāwīḥ in Ramaḍān who was charging mosques or halls £5,000 per night. A speaker requested through his “secretary” a First Class ticket for making a journey within Europe, which would not take more than two hours despite the fact that it is four times the price of the Standard class.

Some of these examples are incomprehensible; the most ridiculous one being that the director of an Islamic organisation told me of a speaker who asked for 5 personal assistants to accompany him for his journey to deliver two or three talks in a conference. His justification was,

“We should not accept that actors and footballers are paid more than Islamic preachers.”

It is an unfortunate truth that on many occasions, many speakers from many countries seem to be more keen to capitalise on people’s needs. It is not about £10 or £1,000. The problem is the concept and the attitude some of these speakers have; that they would make inordinate demands to give Dawah, to give reminders to people, to lead Salāh. This is not Dawah, this is a holiday and a business.

Double Standards – Actions Speak Louder Than Words

The matter here is not about whether it is ḥalāl or ḥarām to make money from giving Dawah. One of the many issues we have towards this attitude is the double standards of these speakers who promote one manner of living and yet they take advantage of others to live another lifestyle. As speakers we are quick to quote a number of āyāt on the distractions of the life of this world, those āyāt that confirm that this life is merely an amusement or game.

“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allāh and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.”[7]

As speakers we encourage people to be fearful of Allāh so that they may be charitable and not be so indulged in the Dunya. We remind our listeners of the ḥadīth of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) who said, “Is not the world cursed and everything in it? It is so except for the remembrance of Allāh and what facilitates it…”[8] or his (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) advice to fear the Dunya.

Abū Saʿīd Khudri reported that Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily Allāh is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act. So avoid the allurement of women: verily, the first trial for the people of Isrā’īl was caused by women. (And in the ḥadīth transmitted on the authority of Ibn Bashshar the words are:) so that He should see how you act.”[9]

How could I possibly discourage people from being so immersed in the luxury of the Dunya and then be the first one to chase its luxury and decoration?

Requesting travelling expenses or other such necessary expenses is understandable. Even requesting, openly and honestly, that you would appreciate any money the organisation is able to pay is acceptable, although it is not necessarily the best. But, why must it be a First Class flight? Why must it be a 5-star hotel? Why must the room be a particular width and length with a particular window view? We must bring an end to such nonsense and extravagance.

As a courier of the words of Allāh and His Messenger, I should feel embarrassed to ask for luxurious enticements of the Dunya that I have no need for. If we were to tell people who donate their money to our organisations that their money would go to pay for the luxury and ostentation of certain speakers we could be sure they would decline the need to listen to these speakers. Here I ask every single speaker who requests luxury treatment: do you really care for the hundreds of thousands of children who die every day due to a lack of basic necessities? If you are talking about Dawah and caring for people’s religion, then you should ask yourself whether you care for thousands of poor people who leave Islām due to evangelicals taking advantage of their financial needs.

Examples from the life of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam)

In response to what I am sure is the primary ‘reason’ behind these speakers’ demands—that they have families to support—I must ask: Is this lecture you are going to deliver the only source of income you have? And, if it is so, do not make a business out of it. Dawah is not meant to be business or to make money. This leads us to another important point which is the need for Muslims to establish their own institutions that can fund these speakers. It is a call for businessmen to sponsor not only Dawah projects but imāms, scholars and speakers. Until then, speakers should remember that they are the leaders for the Ummah and leaders are required to sacrifice more than the rest of the Ummah. This is how all our leading predecessors lived their lives following the model of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam):

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was seen by ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) with dust on his clothes from having slept on the floor. ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) wished to provide the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) with a more comfortable bed and the reply was,

“What have I to gain in this world? The like of this world is as that of a traveller who is travelling in the sun and he sits under a tree momentarily and then gets up and continues on.”[10]

It was narrated that ʿĀ’ishah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanha) said: The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) never ate his fill of wheat bread for three days in a row, until he passed away.[11]

She (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanha) also said: We used to look at the new moon, then the new moon, then the new moon, three new moons in two months, and no fire would be lit in the houses of the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). She was asked: What did you live on? She said: The two black ones, dates and water, but the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had some neighbours from among the Ansār and they had milk-animals; they would send some of their milk to the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and he would give it to us to drink.[12]

It was narrated from her (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanha) that she said: The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) died when there was nothing on my shelf that a living being could eat except a handful of barley.[13]

And she (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanha) said: When the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) died, he had not eaten his fill of bread and olive oil twice in one day.[14]

It was narrated that an-Nuʿmān b. Bashīr (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said: ʿUmar mentioned what people had got of worldly gains and he said: I saw the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) spending the whole day suffering because of hunger, and he could not even find inferior-quality dates with which to fill his stomach.[15]

It was narrated from Anas b. Mālik (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) never ate soft bread or a roasted sheep until he met Allāh.[16]

It was narrated that Ibn ʿAbbās (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said: The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) would remain hungry for several nights in a row, and his family would not be able to find any supper, and most of their bread was barley bread.[17]

It was narrated from Abū Hurayrah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) used to tie a stone to his stomach because of hunger.[18]

ʿAmr b. al-Hārith (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said: The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) left nothing behind except his weapon, his white mule and some land that he left behind as a charity.[19]

We could go on and on in describing the life of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) but I hope this will suffice for our speakers, imāms and duʿāt. Unfortunately, some will not be convinced and would still argue that this was the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and they cannot be like him. They may also say that the context has changed. It is for this reason I am dedicating an entire, and rather lengthy, article to discussing this issue.

Making money from Dawah:

On another note, it should be mentioned that scholars have differed on whether taking money to teach Qur’ān in particular or Islamic knowledge in general is acceptable. The two opinions are:

(i) that it should be taught for free;

(ii) that it is permissible to accept payment for it.

Each side has his own evidence and proofs and hence there is not much point of using these textual evidences themselves to give preference for one opinion over the other. Rather, we should focus on what is agreeable by all or most of the scholars. The speakers, when taking money for delivering lectures or any Islamic activity, should bear in mind some key points:

I. Their intention should not be money, wealth, the Dunya or doing business. Rather, it should be Dawah. Receiving salary or compensation should be, at best, a secondary intention. The best rule to apply here is what Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned regarding taking money to perform Ḥajj. If we make Ḥajj for someone with the intention of making money our Ḥajj will be invalid, however, if we accept money in order to facilitate us making Ḥajj then, inshā’Allāh, we receive the reward of Ḥajj. Similarly, we may take money to be able to give Dawah, but we should not give Dawah in order to take money.

II. Speakers should not take advantage of the situation as it means that they are using Dawah for a personal gain. Furthermore, it is unethical to take financial advantage of situations related to the Dīn. I have seen speakers take advantage while staying in the hotel as it was paid for by the organisers. In a single night, one speaker made a telephone call which cost more than £130. Another speaker was eating and drinking as if he had been starving for a year.

III. In the case of the speaker who does not have a job, then he should deal with Dawah as he would deal with a job, expecting similar payment, contractual agreements, penalties or even compensation. However, some du’āt and speakers have business managers to run the financial issues related to his Dawah. Before agreeing to deliver a lecture, the organisers have to go through a nightmare in negotiating the terms and conditions with personal assistants or business managers. If the speaker is in a difficult financial situation I recommend he make a request of the organisers to be given anything they can afford by way of a gift or help. He should not make it the fee for his talk. 

Anas b. Mālik narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam):

“Whoever makes the Hereafter his goal, Allāh makes his heart rich, and organises his affairs, and the world comes to him whether it wants to or not. And whoever makes the world his goal, Allāh puts his poverty right before his eyes, and disorganises his affairs, and the world does not come to him, except what has been decreed for him.”[20]

IV. Speakers should remember that whatever amount of money they save an organisation will be considered as Sadaqah given by them. When the speaker avoids requesting luxury accommodation, transportation or food, then he is actually saving some money that will later be used for Dawah.

V. Speakers should remember that any behaviour can be given a justification. However, they should remember that they are dealing with Allāh. Allāh is supervising all of our actions.

“Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness, Even if he presents his excuses.”[21]

VI. It is impermissible, in many cases, for Muslim organisations to spend Dawah money on luxuries or what is beyond the need. Examples include business class tickets, expensive hotels, food and transportation or even spending money. The fundamental principle is, Sadaqah money is to be spent according to what it was requested for along with the intention of the giver. The organisation is just an agent to distribute the money on behalf of the giver and hence they do not have the freedom to spend it the way they decide. This is a topic I will elaborate on in further detail in another article, inshāAllāh.

My dear brothers and sisters, we have to remember that Allāh is our Master and our Lord. He owns everything and He controls everything. He turns the heart of people and He aids those who aid His Dīn. He is the one who said,

“O you who have believed, if you support Allāh, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.”[22]

Hence, we should remember that no matter how hard we try to be successful in our Dawah, the first element for success of our Dawah comes from Allāh. He (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) gives success in Dawah to those whom He knows are honest, sincere and truthful about Dawah.

“And Allāh will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allāh is Powerful and Exalted in Might.”[23]

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’ān, 58:11

[2] Narrated by Tirmidhi, Abū Dāwūd and others.

[3] Al-Qur’ān, 41:33

[4] Al-Qur’ān, 11:88

[5] Al-Qur’an 7:96

[6] At-Tirmidhi

[7] Al-Qur’ān, 57:20

[8] Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2322

[9] Reported by Saḥīḥ Muslim, no 2742.

[10] Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2377, Book 36, Hadith 74

[11] Narrated by al-Bukhāri (5374) and Muslim (2970)

[12] Narrated by al-Bukhāri (2567) and Muslim (2972)

[13] Narrated by al-Bukhāri (3097) and Muslim (2973)

[14] Muslim (2974)

[15] Muslim (2978)

[16] Narrated by al-Bukhāri (5385)

[17] Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2360); classed as Ḥasan by al-Albāni in Saḥīḥ at-Tirmidhi

[18] Narrated by Ibn al-A‘rābi in al-Mu‘jam (21); classed as Ḥasan by al-Albāni in as-Silsilah as-Saḥīḥah (1615)

[19] Narrated by al-Bukhāri (3098)

[20] Tirmidhi Vol. 4, Book 11, Ḥadīth 2465. Some scholars believe that it is strong and some believe that it is weak.

[21] Al-Qur’ān, 75:14-15

[22] Al-Qur’ān, 47:7

[23] Al-Qur’ān, 22:40

Taqwā and its Benefits

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

After the passing of Ramadān, it is important that we remind ourselves of the most important lesson the blessed month left us with, that of bringing Taqwā into our lives and doing our utmost to hold fast to it, until we breathe our last.

The importance of Taqwā cannot be over emphasised. Allāh ta‘ālā has mentioned the word Taqwā in the Glorious Qur’ān around 70 times in the imperative form and over 250 times in its various derivative forms. The Glorious Qur’ān begins with the statement:

This Book has no doubt in it – a guidance for the Muttaqīn. (2:2)

In other words, though in principle the Glorious Qur’ān is a guidance for all, only those who develop the quality of Taqwā can truly benefit from it.

 

Definition of Taqwā

Taqwā has been defined in many ways; the summary and conclusion of which is that a person creates a barrier between himself and the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. Consequently, he will never plan to commit a sin, rather he will exert all efforts to abstain from any form of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. The result of this will be every type of success in both worlds. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…And fear (disobeying) Allāh so that you may become successful. (3:200)

 

Benefits of Taqwā

There are many benefits for the one who adopts Taqwā as stated in the Glorious Qur’ān: 

1. Allāh ta‘ālā will make all matters easy for him. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall bring about ease for him in his affair. (65:4)

2. Allāh ta‘ālā will provide him with a solution to all his problems. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall bring forth a way out for him, (65:2)

3. Allāh ta‘ālā will sustain him from all aspects. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

(And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh).… And shall provide for him (what he needs) from where he does not even imagine (65:3)

4. Allāh ta‘ālā will be with him and assist him. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely, Allāh is with those who adopt Taqwā (16:128)

….be sure that Allāh is with the Muttaqīn (9:36)

5. Allāh ta‘ālā will forgive his sins. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall cancel (forgive) his sins… (65:5)

6. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him a huge reward. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

(And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh)….He shall give him a huge reward. (65:5)

7. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him Mercy in both worlds. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

And this (Qur‘ān) is a blessed Book We have sent down. So follow it and adopt Taqwā, so that you may be favoured with mercy. (6:55)

And My Mercy extends to everything. So, I shall write it (i.e. the mercy) for those who adopt Taqwā, and pay Zakāh, and those who do believe in Our verses… (7:156)

8. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him safety from all fear and grief. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…those who adopt Taqwā and correct themselves will have no fear, nor shall they grieve. (7:35)

9. He will gain the upper hand over Shaytān. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely when the Muttaqīn are touched by the temptation (to do evil) from Shaytān, they become conscious (of Allāh), and their eyes instantly open (i.e. they realise Shaytān’s plot and ignore the temptation). (7:201)

10. He will become beloved to Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely, Allāh loves the Muttaqīn. (9:4)

11. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him safety from enemies. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

If you keep patience and adopt Taqwā, their cunning shall not harm you at all. (3:120)

12. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him the ultimate success in the form of Jannah. Allāh ta‘ālāstates:

Here is the description of the Paradise promised to the Muttaqīn: underneath it the rivers flow; its food is everlasting and (so is) its shade. This is the ultimate abode of the Muttaqīn … (13:35)

 

The Acquisition of Taqwā

In order to become deserving of these priceless benefits, it is very important that we make a serious effort to bring Taqwā into our lives. Allāh ta‘ālā through His infinite mercy informs us how to achieve this, as when Allāh ta‘ālā commands the adoption of Taqwā in the Glorious Qur’ān, He follows this with another command which is a way to acquire Taqwā. The following actions are a summary of these commands, which if inculcated, will ensure a person acquires Taqwā:

1. Submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, as one should with regards to Allāh, and let not yourself die save as Muslims (totally submitted to Allāh). (3:102)

The submission of the body and soul to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā enables us to inculcate the essence of Taqwā in our lives. Submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā was the highlight of the life of Sayyidunā Ibrāhīm ‘alayhis salām who is duly remembered in these blessed months. Taking lesson from episodes of submission by the Ambiya‘alayhimus salām and the pious predecessors gives us an insight into the reality of submission. Only when we try to emulate such submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā, will the great quality of Taqwā diffuse into a person’s heart.

2. Adopting correct speech.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and speak in straightforward words. (If you do so,) Allāh will correct your deeds for your benefit, and forgive your sins for you. Whoever obeys Allāh and His messenger achieves a great success. (33:70-71)

The importance of speaking in a truthful and just manner and speaking of good things, in particular the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā, must not be taken lightly. The guarantee of Jannah has been promised by Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam to the person undertaking to use his tongue correctly. Being mindful of what one utters will assist in bringing a reformation to the heart and develop Taqwā.

3. Contemplating the Day of Reckoning.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and each person must consider what he (or she) has sent ahead for tomorrow. (59:18)

Keeping a watchful eye over one’s actions and reflecting on how they will be judged by Allāh ta‘ālā on the Day of Resurrection, will lead a person to adopt Taqwā.

4. Being conscious that Allāh ta‘ālā is All-Seeing and All-Knowing.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…And fear (disobeying) Allāh. Surely Allāh is fully aware of what you do. (59:18)

Recognising the fact that Allāh ta‘ālā is fully aware of our actions and is recording every minute detail of our lives, is sufficient for a person to create a barrier between himself and the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā.

5. Adopting pious company.

The above four methods of acquiring Taqwā all share a common trait, that of being fully aware and alert at all times. Whilst living in this world we become engrossed in our daily lives, which leads to negligence and absent mindedness. Therefore, it is imperative that we frequently adopt some form of reminder for ourselves. The adopting of pious company gives a person a two-fold benefit in the endeavour to bring Taqwā: it serves as a constant reminder of the need to acquire Taqwā; and the company of the pious is in itself an effective tool for the acquisition of Taqwā. Allāhta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and be in the company of the truthful (i.e. pious). (9:119)

And regarding the truthful, Allāh ta‘ālā says:

Those are the ones who are truthful, and those are the Muttaqīn. (2:177)

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the tawfīq to strive for the great quality of Taqwā. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 8, Aug 2016)


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