Using Social Media and Technology Responsibly


By Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 A key feature of the era we live in is the rapid development of technology and the continuous impact this has on our lives, both in terms of the way we live and how we spend our time. As Muslims we understand that the purpose of our life is to acquire the pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, by spending each moment of our life in accordance with His commands. As Allāh ta‘ālā is the All Knowing, He was completely aware of all material and technological developments that His servants would witness when He revealed the Glorious Qur’ān and showed us its practical application through the blessed life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Therefore, Alhamdulillāh, Allāhta‘ālā has equipped the ‘Ulamā until the last day with the tools to guide the Ummah on how it should use any new developments, whilst not forgetting its ultimate objective.

A significant phenomenon of our time is the emergence and widespread use of the internet and smartphones which has led to new methods of communication, such as social media and email. Whilst social media and email has led to a revival of reading and writing, often the content and quality is highly questionable. Therefore, one must be mindful not to fall prey to the harmful aspects of these mediums, for example using them to engage in, or even publicise, acts of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā.

My objective is to outline some guidance for those who use the internet and smartphones, specifically in relation to messaging, email and using social media applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook. By sharing with readers some essential Islāmic teachings in this regard, inshā’allāh, we will be able to use technology productively, safeguarding ourselves from harmful activities.

Forwarding Messages Requires Precaution

A common trend upon receiving a message is the thoughtless and endemic usage of the ‘forward’ button. Messages are instantly forwarded to others, without proper understanding of its content nor consideration for the recipients. Many messages received are vague in nature; the truth behind them being seldom known. To spread a message without substantiating its content is very detrimental and could lead to sin, as to forward a lie is to spread a lie and be in support of it. Messages should never be shared until the content is verified and authenticated. False news or incorrect information regarding any matter can cause others unnecessary worry and concern, and will be tantamount to spreading a lie. Our Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

To narrate whatever one hears is enough for an individual to be considered a liar. (Muslim)

More Precaution for ‘Islāmic’ Messages

Messages of an Islāmic nature demand even more precaution. Verses of the Glorious Qur’ān and ahādīth of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam with their translations are often carelessly miswritten or many times are sheer falsehood; yet are haphazardly forwarded and shared on social media. Messages promising fabricated virtues for baseless actions are shared with a caption to forward to as many as possible. At times emotional blackmail and false threats are also included, ‘if you do not forward this message to at least x amount of people then such and such shall happen to you’, naturally all such messages are a complete sham. Our Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam warned us:

Whosoever speaks about the Qur’ān without knowledge should take his place in the Fire. (At-Tirmidhī)

In another hadīth he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam mentions:

A lie against me is not similar to a lie against any (normal) individual; whosoever lies regarding me should take his place in the Fire. (Al-Bukhārī)

One should be precautious when forwarding messages with seemingly Islāmic teachings without being completely sure of their authenticity or else such grave warnings await us. Once authenticated, messages maybe thoughtfully shared.

Permission to Share?

At times, messages are of a personal nature; information or news regarding a certain individual or institution or even a country. One should contemplate before forwarding whether the sender or those whom the information is regarding would consent for the details to be shared with others? Has specific permission been granted to forward and spread the message? If not, then it would be totally unethical and in many cases a sin to do so.

A Beneficial Message?

If we stand back and objectively reflect, we will conclude that a large percentage of emails and messages received on social media applications are of a futile nature. Our Dīn encourages engagement in prosperous activities and to avoid spending invaluable time and energy on any endeavours which are of no avail or in some instances harmful. Our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

It is from the excellence of an individual’s Islām that he leaves Lā ya‘nī (those things which do not benefit him). (Abū Dāwūd)

The Islāmic teaching regarding futility is eloquently set out in the hadīth above. One must contemplate before writing or forwarding any message, “Is it of any benefit in this world or the hereafter?” If the conclusion is negative, then this is a futile action which every Muslim should abstain from. Furthermore, sending or forwarding messages of such a nature may become the cause of others engaging in futility as well. Futility is in essence a waste of time and energy. Whilst one may ask what is the harm if a futile action is mubāh (permitted); it is akin to receiving a gift of £100 and thereafter throwing it down the gutter. Any reasonable person would be shocked and amazed at such an action, as whilst no apparent harm was suffered, the benefit that should have been achieved wasn’t and so in reality there has been a loss. Futility also brings one to the boundary of sin and therefore it is best to avoid, as it can easily lead to disobedience directly or indirectly through other actions which may follow. May Allāh ta‘ālā save us.  

A Clear Message?

If all the above guidelines are dutifully met, then one should finally consider whether a message will cause any misunderstanding or misconception amongst those who receive it? After all it is an Islāmic principle and also a general etiquette of life, to always consider whether sharing information has the potential to cause a misunderstanding. Ibn Mas‘ūd radhiyallāhu ‘anhu mentions:

Whenever you speak to people regarding something which is beyond their intellect, it will surely be a means of fitnah (tribulation) for some of them. (Muslim)

If one is unsure or even has the slightest doubt whether a certain message could cause a misunderstanding, then it should not be shared. We should be extremely careful and considerate in this regard, as this will bring peace and comfort to all.

Recording or Taking Photos without Permission

The use of technology to record private conversations of people without their permission is against the teachings of Islām. A person is generally informal when in private with one’s close associates and generally the topics discussed are within a specific context and with the relevant background known to those present. If excerpts from such conversations are shared, it can become the means of causing immense misunderstanding and result in serious consequences. One should respect the privacy of others when in private environments and only record their voices when clear permission is granted. The same principle applies to taking photography or video filming at a private or an informal gathering.

Photography & Video Filming: Respecting the View of Others

It is widely known that there is a difference of opinion amongst the ‘Ulamā regarding video filming and photography; some adopt the view of permissibility whilst others take a precautious stance. To make a video of or to take a picture of someone who holds the latter view is extremely unfair and discourteous. This is tantamount to open disrespect for the personal view of that individual and gravely inconsiderate.

I would appeal to my readers to pay due attention to the etiquettes mentioned above in relation to certain aspects of using technology and bring them into practice. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the understanding of our beautiful religion and its all-encompassing teachings of pure and considerate morals and ethics. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 2, Feb 2016)


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Please also find below Forty Hadith on Social Media by a different author, Omar Usman.

40HadithSocialMedia

Delaying Hajj


19th Shawwāl 1438 AH ~ Thursday 13th July 2017

Delaying Hajj

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat (hafizahullāh)

Hajj is one of the fundamental pillars of Islām, and obligatory for every Muslim male or female who meets its requirements and whom Allāh ta‘ālā grants the capability to carry it out. If there are no Shar‘ī excuses to prevent you from fulfilling the obligation of hajj, you should not delay.

Shaytān’s Ploy

Every year, however, Shaytān whispers the following thought in the minds of those who are under an obligation to go for hajj: “I have some important reasons preventing me from going this year, but I will definitely go next year, no matter what happens, and I will absolve myself of this obligation.” In this way Shaytān secures a year’s grace for himself. The following year, just before hajj, he will play the same trick again and secure yet another year. Shaytān leads people on in this manner right up to their graves.

It is another amazing trick of Shaytān that whatever he whispers to people, he never encourages them to rule out the intention of fulfilling any of Allāh ta‘ālā’s commands. Someone who has been neglecting salāh for years will not think to himself that he intends never to perform salāh. And likewise with sins: Shaytān never makes people feel they will never give up a particular disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. Someone who indulges in drinking alcohol, for example, will never think that he is never going to give it up, but will always intend one day, possibly when Ramadān comes, to definitely give it up. This is the very condition of many Muslims regarding hajj; not for a moment do they entertain the thought of leaving this world without having fulfilled the obligation of hajj, but on the other hand, they never make a firm decision to do it either.

The Affection of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for his Ummah

Being so affectionate, kind and merciful, anything that places his Ummah in difficulty bears heavily on Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Allāh ta‘ālā describes this quality in the Qur’ān:

Surely there has come to you, from your midst, a Messenger who feels it very hard upon himself if you face a hardship, who is very anxious for your welfare; and for the believers he is very kind, very merciful. (9:128)

At every juncture, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has tried to save us from harm. He has said regarding those people upon whom hajj is fard, and who have made the intention to go:

Whoever intends hajj should hurry! (Abū Dāwūd)

This is because even when someone makes the intention to go for hajj, Shaytān erects obstacles and whispers all sorts of thoughts and worries into the heart. Our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam warns us not to be deterred by these tricks, but to start preparations straight away.

Trust in Allāh ta‘ālā

Everything is in the hands of Allāh ta‘ālā, and when a servant of his makes the firm intention to go for hajj, He removes all the difficulties and obstacles. Some people, misled by Shaytān, worry about their children or their parents, while others worry about their businesses and earnings. All this is actually a test from Allāh ta‘ālā to see whether His servant is prepared to sacrifice everything in order to fulfil the obligation he has to Allāh ta‘ālā. If you steel yourself to make these sacrifices, Allāh ta‘ālā will make your heart firm, grant you courage and take over the responsibility of settling all your affairs.

Look to the example of the People of the Cave described in the Qur’ān. A handful of young men were up against an idolatrous people and an idolatrous king. There were nothing but obstacles in their path of upholding tawhīd, yet when they rose to the challenge, Allāh ta‘ālā strengthened them and protected them:

We made their hearts firm when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth…” (18:14)

An Invitation from Allāh ta‘ālā is a Great Honour

Allāh ta‘ālā does not invite just anyone to His House; it is a great honour to be given the opportunity to visit the sacred cities of Makkah Mukarramah and Madīnah Munawwarah. If we had true love for Allāh ta‘ālā, we would long to visit His House, even if it was not obligatory upon us, and we would be prepared to undergo any hardship to get there. Those who, despite having the means, have not yet received the tawfīq to undergo the journey should be concerned about their condition: could it not be that Allāh ta‘ālā is displeased with them and so does not want them to be guests of His House? Tawbah and istighfār should be made immediately in abundance, and humility adopted, beseeching Allāh ta‘ālā to grant us the privilege of visiting theHaramayn.

Perform Hajj Before it is Too Late

We need to consult the ‘ulamā and muftīs concerning our own circumstances to find out if we really do have a Shar‘ī excuse to postpone going for hajj. People postponehajj for all sorts of reasons: some do not go because they want their parents to perform hajj first; some wives, who have a mahram available to accompany them, put off hajj in order to go with their husbands; some husbands wait for their wives, etc. If a person were to die without having fulfilled the obligation of hajj, there are dire consequences in the hereafter.

If someone leaves a wasiyyah requesting his next of kin to perform hajj on his behalf, it is hoped that Allāh ta‘ālā will grant forgiveness once the hajj is performed, but he is still a sinner for failing to perform hajj despite having the means during his life. And it is a sad fact that even if a wasiyyah is left, people nowadays have so much love for wealth that they are not prepared to spend even a pound for the sake of their departed parents. They do not have the time or the concern to make the journey, even if the money their parents left them is more than sufficient to cover the costs. Therefore each individual should ensure that the obligation of hajj is fulfilled at the earliest opportunity.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant a safe journey to all those who are going for hajj this year and grant them hajj mabrūr. May He guide those upon whom hajj is fard but who have not resolved to go yet, and may He grant all the necessary means to those who long to go for hajj yet are unable to do so. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 17 No. 10/11, Oct/Nov 2008)


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Value Ramadān

Value Ramadān (Part 1)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from
Hadrat Mawlānā 
Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 

Valuing Ramadān

The blessed month of Ramadān is a month of blessings, mercy and forgiveness. This sacred month will pass without us realising what valuable and precious moments were wasted. What has gone cannot come back, and what has been lost cannot be re-acquired. For one who wishes to acquire the pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, even one moment is sufficient.

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said in a hadīth that Ramadān is a month, the beginning of which is mercy, the middle of which is forgiveness and the end of which is deliverance from the Fire of Jahannam. (Ibn Khuzaymah)

From the first of Ramadān, the Mercy of Allāh ta‘ālā descends upon those very pious servants who have no sins in their book of deeds. As far as the sinners are concerned, they are of two types: sinners of a lesser degree, and those who are so filthy that were they to die in their present condition they would go straight into the Fire of Jahannam.

As far as the sinners of a lesser degree are concerned, their sins are forgiven after their striving for 10 days. Upon seeing their hard work and effort, Allāh ta‘ālā showers His forgiveness upon them at the end of the first 10 days. For those filthy with sins upon whom Jahannam was wajib (incumbent), after working hard for 20 days, Allāh ta‘ālā’s forgiveness enshrouds them and they are then granted deliverance from the Fire of Jahannam. How merciful is Allāh ta‘ālā!

We ask Allāh ta‘ālā that He grant us Jannat-ul-Firdaws with His eternal Pleasure and save us from the Fire of Jahannam. Āmīn.

Memorable Ramadān

Make this Ramadān a memorable one. Make it a Ramadān you will remember for the rest of your life. Make it such that, inshā’allāh, in Jannah you will say it was this Ramadān from when my life changed forever and in which Allāh ta‘ālā made me His walī (special friend).

To make this Ramadān a memorable one, abstain from disobeying Allāh ta‘ālā, our Creator. Do not even think about disobeying Allāh ta‘ālā throughout the blessed month.

In order to safeguard yourself from disobeying Allāh ta‘ālā; avoid gatherings and mixing with people as many sins such as backbiting and slandering take place when one mixes with people.

Safeguard your tongue by only saying what is good and rewarding. Always think before you speak.

Safeguard your ears and eyes from those things which are disliked by Allāh ta‘ālā.

Value Ramadān (Part 2)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from
Hadrat Mawlānā 
Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 

Time for Taqwā

The common definition of Taqwā is to abstain from the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā be it minor or major. In the initial stages this will seem difficult. However, if one strives and compels his nafs to stay away from the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā, then Allāh ta‘ālā will honour him with true Taqwa by enlightening his heart with the nūr (light) of Taqwā. Once this happens, one will no longer have to struggle to avoid sins as before; rather the heart will develop a disliking for them.

His condition will become like that of a person who has to walk through a path with filth all around. He will be repulsed at the very thought and will try his utmost to avoid that route. However, if he is compelled then he will be very careful as not to let the filth dirty him or his clothes. If by chance some filth does dirty his clothing, he will not be able to rest in peace until it is washed off. Similar is the case of that person whose heart is enlightened with the nūr (light) of Taqwā. He will have an aversion to sins, and if he was to slip and commit a sin, he will not be able to rest in peace until he makes Tawbah (repentance) and cleans his heart from the filth of sinning.
There is no better time to adorn ones heart with true Taqwā then the month of Ramadān. The one who values Ramadān and spends his time wisely will become a muttaqī.

 

Value Time

We should make the most out of this Ramadān as only Allāh ta‘ālā knows who will live to see the next Ramadān. Value every moment by:

  • Carrying out as much ‘ibādah (worship) as possible.
  • Spending as much time in the masjid as possible.
  • Staying away from every sinful activity. A large tank full of milk with only a few drops of urine or alcohol is useless. Similarly a tank full of ‘ibādah mixed with a few ‘drops’ of sin will have no value.
  • Staying away from the internet. Many people use the internet for good reasons and with good intentions, and then end up on sites that cause us to sin. We move from site to site without even realising that we are committing sins. Furthermore, the internet is such a waste of our time that we log on for only a few minutes, but hours pass in futility without us even realising.
  • Staying away from answering unnecessary e-mails; they can wait until after Ramadān.

 

Value Ramadān (Part 3)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from
Hadrat Mawlānā 
Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 

Overtime in Ramadān

When we have the opportunity to do overtime at work and earn time and a half or double pay, we ensure we do not miss out on the opportunity.

In Ramadān, a fard (compulsory) action is worth seventy times its value and a nafl (optional) action is worth the same as a fard action out of Ramadān. Despite the increase in rewards being so huge, we do not find the zeal to do anything extra for our hereafter, in stark contrast to our readiness to do overtime for material gain.

Ramadān Festivals

Sometimes, Ramadān or ‘Īd festivals are organised during the last ten days of Ramadān. As a result, people waste precious moments and lose out on the blessings of the last ten days of Ramadān. Often these events take place at the time of tarāwīh and are for sisters only, resulting in them missing tarāwīh and losing out on the opportunity to find Laylat-ul-Qadr. We should refrain from such events as they divert us from our goal during the month of Ramadān.

Special Offers

Some people frequent takeaways after tarāwīh, attracted by special offers. Such offers deprive them of the great treasures offered by Allāh ta‘ālā in the month of Ramadān. In addition, they get involved in lā ya‘nī (those acts that do not bring any benefit in this world nor the hereafter) and sometimes sin and as a result throw away any spiritual benefits they had gained that day. Worse still, some people start visiting restaurants and takeaways even earlier and miss tarāwīh.

Value these days.

Sayyidunā Suwayd ibn Ghafalah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that when Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu was suffering extreme hunger one day, he suggested to (his wife) Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā to approach (her father) Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for some food. When she went to Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, Sayyidah Ummu Ayman radhiyallāhu ‘anhā happened to be there. Hearing Sayyidah Fātimah knocking on the door, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “That is the knock of Fātimah. She has come at a time that we are not accustomed to having her come to us.”

“O Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam!” Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā said, “The food of the angels is to recite Lā Ilāha Illallāh, Subhānallāh and Alhamdulillāh. What is our food?”

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied. “I swear by the Being Who has sent me with the truth! For the last thirty days, no fire (to cook) has been lit in the house of the family of Muhammad. However, a few goats have come to us. If you please, I shall have five given to you. Alternatively, if you so please, I shall teach you five words (of supplication) that Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām has taught me.”

Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā immediately said, “Do rather teach me the five words that Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām has taught you.” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam then told her to say the following words:

Dua

Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā then left. When she came back to Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, he asked, “What happened?” She replied, “While I left you to get something of benefit in this world, I returned with something of benefit in the Ākhirah.” “This is the best of all your days,” remarked Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu. (At-Tabarānī)

Building Stamina

Right from the onset of the month of Rajab, we should begin to prepare for Ramadhān. By building up slowly over Rajab and Sha’bān, we will be in peak spiritual condition when Ramadhān arrives.

To do this we need to make a programme of ‘ibādah and set daily targets. We then need to fix a timetable so that we are able to achieve those targets. Thereafter, targets should be reviewed every week or every fortnight, and gradually increased until Ramadhān arrives. Then throughout Ramadhān this process should continue.

If we do not set targets and do not fix a timetable early on, we will not be able to progress. Consequently, we will not develop the necessary spiritual stamina required to maintain the level of performance in order to reap the maximum benefit from Ramadhān.

Memorable Ramadhān

Make this Ramadhān a memorable one. Make it a Ramadhān you will remember for the rest of your life. Make it such that, inshā’allāh, in Jannah you will say it was this Ramadhān from when my life changed forever and in which Allāh ta’ālā made me His walī (special friend).

To make this Ramadhān a memorable one, abstain from disobeying Allāh Our Creator. Do not even think about disobeying Allāh ta’ālā throughout the blessed month.

In order to safeguard yourself from disobeying Allāh ta’ālā; avoid gatherings and mixing with people as many sins such as backbiting and slandering take place when one mixes with people.

Safeguard your tongue by only saying what is good and rewarding. Always think before you speak.

Safeguard your ears and eyes from those things which are disliked by Allāh ta’ālā.

Virtues of Ramadhān

As soon as the month of Rajab begins we should commence daily readings from the book “Virtues of Ramadhān” by Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh. We should motivate ourselves, allocate time and sit daily with the family and read this book collectively throughout Rajab.

Shaykh-ul-Hadīth Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh was a saintly person and his words have an amazing effect on the heart which will help us spiritually prepare for the blessed month and also benefit from it.

Prepare for Ramadān

Prepare for Ramadān (Part 1)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from
Hadrat Mawlānā 
Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 

Building Stamina

Right from the onset of the month of Rajab, we should begin to prepare for Ramadān. By building up slowly over Rajab and Sha‘bān, we will be in peak spiritual condition when Ramadān arrives.

To do this we need to make a programme of ibādah and set daily targets. We then need to fix a timetable so that we are able to achieve those targets. Thereafter targets should be reviewed every week or every fortnight, and gradually increased until Ramadān arrives. Then throughout Ramadān this process should continue.

If we do not set targets and do not fix a timetable early on, we will not be able to progress. Consequently, we will not develop the necessary spiritual stamina required to maintain the level of performance in order to reap the maximum benefit from Ramadān.

Prepare for Ramadān (Part 2)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from
Hadrat Mawlānā 
Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 

Reaching the Shore

Reaching the month of Rajab is akin to reaching the shore of Ramadān. This is why the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would read the following du’ā with anticipation upon the advent of Rajab:

Allāhumma barik lana fī rajabin wa sha’bān wa balighnā Ramadān.

“O Allāh! Bless us in the months of Rajab and Sha’bān, and make us reach Ramadān (by granting us life until then).” (At-Tabrānī)

Start Preparing Early

The advent of the month of Rajab is a signal for us to begin preparing for the month ofRamadān. If we start gearing up from the month of Rajab, then upon the commencement of the month of Ramadān we will have a set routine of ‘ibadah that we can gradually increase as the month progresses. In this way we will be able to fully benefit from the blessed month.

If we intend to increase our ‘ibadah only after the month of Ramadān has begun, then by the time we get into gear, many days of Ramadān would have passed, and we would have wasted valuable opportunities.

 

 

Prepare for Ramadān (Part 3)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from
Hadrat Mawlānā 
Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 

More Time in the Masjid

When Rajab commences we should increase the time we spend in the masjid. We should start for example by sitting for an extra five minutes after salāh. We should increase this time after ten days, and continue increasing it until we enter the blessed month of Ramadān, when we should increase it even further.

If work commitments do not allow this during weekdays, then it should be done on weekends. If we think about how much time we normally spend in the blessed environment of the masjid, we would have to admit that it is the bare minimum or just a little bit more.
Relaxing Before Ramadān

Some people relax for a few days before Ramadān, intending to busy themselves in ‘ibādah once Ramadān begins. Sometimes this relaxed attitude leads them to sin, with a reassuring feeling that they will make tawbah in Ramadān.

Firstly, how do they know they will live to see Ramadān? Secondly, the sin committed may have a negative spiritual impact which may last for the duration of Ramadān, preventing the perpetrator from repenting and doing good deeds, even in the blessed month.

Prepare for Ramadān (Part 4)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from
Hadrat Mawlānā 
Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 

Talk About Ramadān

We should make a habit of talking about the virtues and blessedness of Ramadān as soon as Sha`ban dawns upon us. Those of us who know the virtues of this month should explain to others. The more people become conscious of its virtues, the more likely they are to benefit from Ramadān.

Free Your Time

We should free up ourselves before Ramadān begins. When we go abroad, we endeavour to complete all tasks in hand prior to our departure. Similarly, we should fulfil all the tasks we are able to prior to Ramadān, and become free in this month as much as possible to devote time to ‘ibādah. Anything that can wait until Ramadān is over, let it wait.

Prepare for Ramadān (Part 5)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from
Hadrat Mawlānā 
Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 

Virtues of Ramadān

As soon as the month of Rajab begins we should commence daily readings from the book ‘Virtues of Ramadān’ by Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh. We should motivate ourselves, allocate time and sit daily with the family and read this book collectively throughout Rajab.

Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh was a saintly person and his words have an amazing effect on the heart which will help us spiritually prepare for the blessed month and also benefit from it.

Inshā’allāh, from the next newsletter we will be starting a new section, titled, ‘Valuing Ramadān’. 

Valuing the Month of Ramadān

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

We have all been blessed with the month of Ramadān many times during the course of our lives. For some, the number will be a single figure, and for others double figures. However, for the majority of us, the month of Ramadān is just another month; it comes and goes like any other.

In relation to valuing this great month, there are many questions we need to ask ourselves. We may be well acquainted with all the virtues of the month of Ramadān; but do we take advantage of these virtues? The most important way of measuring whether we value the month of Ramadān or not is to ask the question: Have we acquired the goal of Ramadān during any of the previous months of Ramadān, which is to acquire taqwā?

If we have not yet achieved this goal, then we need to ask ourselves whether we have made it an objective in this coming Ramadān? Remember that in the famoushadīth of Kā‘b ibn ‘Ujrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamand Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām cursed those who fail to attract the Forgiveness of Allāhta‘ālā during the month of Ramadān. To help us truly value the month of Ramadān, we need to take lessons from the Ramadān of those who did value this blessed month. Let us take a glimpse at how our pious predecessors spent the month of Ramadān:

•  Aswad ibn Yazīd rahimahullāh would complete the Qur’ān every second night in Ramadān. (Siyar-A‘lām-An-Nubalā’)

•  Sa‘īd ibn Jubayr rahimahullāh would spend the time between Maghrib and ‘Ishā’ [which normally people spend in resting] in tilāwah and would recite the whole Qur’ān in one sitting. (The ‘Ishā’ salāh would be delayed.) (Ibid)

•  Hammād ibn Abī Sulaymān rahimahullāh would feed 500 people for iftār during Ramadān. (Ibid)

•  Qatādah rahimahullāh would complete the Qur’ān every third day during the first twenty days of Ramadān and every night in the last ten days. (Ibid)

•  Ibn Shihāb Zuhrī rahimahullāh would say, “Ramadān is nothing but for tilāwah of the Qur’ān and to feed people.” (Latā’if-ul-Ma‘ārif)

•  Imām Abū Hanīfah rahimahullāh and Imām Shāfi‘ī rahimahullāh would complete the Qur’ān twice daily in the month of Ramadān, with the latter completing the Qur’ān one more time during the night of ‘Īd and yet again during the day.

•  Imām Mālik rahimahullāh and Sufyān Thawrī rahimahullāh both would leave their everyday engagements and spend the whole time in the recitation of the Qur’ān. (Latā’if-ul-Ma‘ārif)

•  Imām Bukhārī rahimahullāh used to complete the Qur’ān 41 times in the Month of Ramadān; once every day, once during the whole month in the tarāwīh prayer, and ten juz daily in Tahajjud salāh.

•  Hājī Imdādullāh rahimahullāh never slept in the blessed month of Ramadān. After the Maghrib salāh, two huffāz led him in nafl salāh, reciting one juz each until ‘Ishā’ salāh. After ‘Ishā salāh, two huffāz would recite one after the other until half the night, and then another two huffāz would recite one after the other in Tahajjud salāh. In essence, the whole night was spent in worship.

•  Hadrat Mawlānā Rashīd Ahmad Gangohī rahimahullāh, even at the age of seventy, would spend all his time in worshipping Allāh ta‘ālā, fasting – despite the heat, and performing twenty raka‘āt nafl after the Maghrib salāh, reciting at least two juz in them. He would then also spend two and a half to three hours during the night in Tahajjud salāh, amongst his many other devotions during the day.

•  Shaykh-ul-Hind rahimahullāh would spend the whole night listening to the Qur’ān. It was common that he would stand in one place and the reciters would change over and take rest.

•  Qāri Fatah Muhammad Pānipattī rahimahullāh during his later life would spend the time after tarāwīh salāh until subh sādiq reciting ten juz of the Qur’ān, taking extra care in tajwīd.

•  Mawlānā Manzūr Nu‘mānī rahimahullāh states that Mawlānā Ilyāsrahimahullāh daily average of tilāwah in Ramadān was 35 juz, with concentration and understanding of the text. Moreover, the women folk in his home, together with their daily practices of dhikr and tasbīhāt, at times, would complete a whole Qur’ān in one day.

•  It is stated about Hadrat Mawlānā Yahyā rahimahullāh that, during one Ramadān which he passed in mīrat, he would recite the Qur’ān once daily and would complete it by the time of iftār.

•  Shāh Abd-ur-Rahīm Raipūrī rahimahullāh used to spend the whole night reciting the Qur’ān, and in twenty four hours he would rarely sleep more than an hour.

•  Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh himself completed one Qur’ān daily during the month of Ramadān, and he kept up this practice for more than forty years.  

Let us also value this blessed month and make the most of this great opportunity granted to us by Allāh ta‘ālā by making full use of its every moment and by using it to maximise our rewards, acquire taqwā and achieve salvation in the Hereafter. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 23 No. 5, May 2014)


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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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