بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Muhammad Fathi
1 Muharram 1440
Did the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) say anything about saving our planet? Did he promote any ideas or practices relevant to the world’s growing concern about the future of the earth and its resources?
Below is a collection of the Prophet’s Ahadith
Plant a tree even if it is your last deed:
1. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If the Hour (the day of Resurrection) is about to be established and one of you was holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it.” (Reported by Ahmad and Al-Bukhan on the authority of Anas in Al Adab Al-Mufrad,)
Planting trees is a renewable source of hasanat:
2. Anas also reported that the Prophet said, “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.“ (Bukhari)
Conserve resources even when used for rituals:
3. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-`Aas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet passed one day by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqas (May Allah be pleased with him) while he was performing wudu’ (ritual cleaning of body parts in preparation for prayer). The Prophet asked Sa`d, “What is this wastage?” Sa`d replied “Is there wastage in wudu also?” The Prophet said, “Yes, even if you are at a flowing river.” (Ahmad and authenticated Ahmad Shakir)
Keeping environment clean is important:
4. The Prophet warned, “Beware of the three acts that cause you to be cursed: relieving yourselves in shaded places (that people utilize), in a walkway or in a watering place.” (Narrated by Mu`adh , hasan by Al-Albani)
5. Abu Zarr Al-Ghafari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah).” (Narrated by Abu Dharr Al-Ghafari)
No for over-consumption! Consider recycling and fixing before buying new items:
6. Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said, “The believer is not he who eats his fill while his neighbor is hungry.” (Saheeh al-Bukharee (112))
7. Asked about what the Prophet used to do in his house, the Prophet’s wife, `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), said that he used to repair his shoes, sow his clothes and used to do all such household works done by an average person. (Sahih Bukhari)
8. The Prophet said, “Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment.” The listeners asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is a just cause?” He replied, “That he will kill it to eat, not simply to chop off its head and then throw it away.” (An-Nasa’i)
Animals should be cared for:
9. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, “A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, there he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst and came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said to himself, “This dog is suffering from thirst as I did.” So, he went down the well again, filled his shoe with water, held it with his mouth and watered the dog. Allah appreciated him for that deed and forgave him.“ The Companions said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?” He replied: “There is a reward for serving any living being.” (Bukhari)
10. Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, “A woman entered the (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.” (Bukhari)
The pen is closest to my heart, so may Allah make a means of hidayat for me and a change for all. In sha Allah…
A man from the unbelievers said: “Islam is a religion, if only it had men.”
“Islam is a religion if only it had men!” And by Allah! He did not lie!
Today they scorn our Islam and our Qur’an, and ridicule our Prophet (salAllaho alayhi wasallam), and they ask: “Why are you terrorists?” So what do you want us to be surrendered and defeated?
In their law it is forbidden to mock at all religions except Islam. And they say about Islam that it is the religion of people who are morally cheap. They mean by it our Prophet (salaAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam).
So from where will we find the likes of Mu’awwaz RA and Mu’aadh RA? From where will we get the likes of Bin Unais RA and those people?
Listen to this, and let us cry together on ourselves. The author of Durar al-Makinah narrated, in the third book on page no. 202 exactly, that a group of senior Christians gathered to meet a Mongol king who had become Christian.
One of the Christian scholars started mocking our Prophet (salaAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam) and there a hunting dog was tied. The dog started barking loudly and getting violent toward the Christian.
They moved it away from him with great difficulty. A man from them said: “He did this because of your talk on Muhammad,” but the Christian replied: “No, actually this dog is arrogant. He saw me pointing so he though I wanted to beat him.”
Thus, he returned to the mockery of the Prophet (salaAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam) impudently in a fiercer manner. At this the dog broke his bonds and jumped on the neck of the Christian, and tore his throat at the instance. He died immediately and at that 40,000 Mongols accepted Islam.
The dogs envied and were angered. The dogs envied and were angered.
So where is our anger?
The trees and the plants longed for you O Beloved of Allah, so where is our longing?
Al-Hasan al-Basri (rahiimahullah) whenever he heard of the hadith of the crying of the stem of the tree on the parting of the Prophet (sala Allahu ‘Alayhi wa salam), he would cry and say “O Community of Muslims! The trees and the plants were affectionate to the Messenger of Allah. The trees and the plants were affectionate to the Messenger of Allah (sala Allahu ‘Alayhi Wa Salam) do you not feel affection to his memory?”
The Prophet (sala Allahu ‘Alayhi Wa Salam) always used to tell his Companions: “I am longing for my brothers. I am longing for my brothers.”
So they said: “Are we not your brothers?”
He said to them: “You are my Companions. My brothers are those who will have faith in me and will believe in me and follow me without seeing me.”
So what will we tell him when people will gather and reach his pond and he will say to us: “They mocked at me and ridiculed me and hurt me, so what did you do to defend me and my honour?”
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ سِبَابُ الْمُسْلِمِ فُسُوقٌ، وَقِتَالُهُ كُفْرٌ ”
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said,
“Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (i.e., an evil-doing), and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).” [Bukhari]
عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنْ رَجُلاً، لَعَنَ الرِّيحَ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ “ لاَ تَلْعَنِ الرِّيحَ فَإِنَّهَا مَأْمُورَةٌ وَإِنَّهُ مَنْ لَعَنَ شَيْئًا لَيْسَ لَهُ بِأَهْلٍ رَجَعَتِ اللَّعْنَةُ عَلَيْهِ
‘Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man cursed the wind in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ, so he said:
“Do not curse the wind, for it is merely doing as ordered, and whoever curses something undeservingly, then the curse returns upon him.” [Tirmidhi]
عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ قَالَ: مَا تَلاَعَنَ قَوْمٌ قَطُّ إِلاَّ حُقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ اللَّعْنَةُ.
Hudhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) said, “People do not curse one another without that curse coming true.” [al-Adab al-Mufrad]
وعن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : “إن العبد إذا لعن شيئًا، صعدت اللعنة إلى السماء، فتغلق أبواب السماء دونها، ثم تهبط إلى الأرض، فتغلق أبوابها دونها، ثم تأخذ يمينًا وشمالا، فإذا لم تجد مساغًا رجعت إلى الذي لُعن، فإن كان أهلا لذلك، وإلا رجعت إلى قائلها”.
Abu-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When a person curses somebody or something, the curse goes up to heaven and the gates of heaven get closed. Then it comes down to the earth and its gates get closed. Then it turns right and left, and if it does not find an entrance to go anywhere, it returns to the person or thing that was cursed; if he or it deserves to be cursed; otherwise it returns to the person who uttered it.” [Abu Dawud]
For those that don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I am an Alim who studied in an institute for seven years, thereafter worked in several so-called Islamic institutes giving me enough experience to write this article, Alhumdu Lillah. I also have many Ulama colleagues and acquaintances, which has added to my experience! I will be fair, maybe it is because I am an Alim and have so many Ulama colleagues I have had such overwhelming experiences and in such a large capacity. Definitely more than the average person reading this, who may not be an Alim or has not had as many experiences because he/she does not know Ulama, as well as some of us, do. I just want to add these are my experiences, but I am not a selfish person – Alhumdu Lillah! I have also heard many of my friends, colleagues and family members who have had bad experiences with Ulama. This is what has to lead to me mustering the courage and speaking on behalf of them all. In case people who are naive say, “these are just a few experiences.”
CURSING A BELIEVER
I am going to start from recent events, as the whole reason I decided to lift my pen on such a crucial, but essential, critical, but vital topic is the image above which is my most recent experience, this was the final straw. How can we imagine anyone would give such a curse, let alone an Alim, a Mawlana, an individual who has studied Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ for several years under qualified Ulama. You must all be wondering what the reason was. I wasn’t going to write the story behind that message, not because I am scared, not at all. I am not afraid of the truth Alhumdu Lillah, nor am I afraid to admit my mistakes in public or in private. I feel it will get too long and I will end up going off on a tangent, as I tend to do. For the moment, I want readers to think of what possibly could be a justified reason to give someone such a curse (bud-dua)? What would be a reasonable explanation for it? Please do think long and hard. Has anyone of you heard such a curse (bud-dua) before? Would you give such a curse (bud-dua) to your enemy or even a Kafir?
Well, we all use WhatsApp and have several groups for friends, family, maybe work colleagues and other social uses perhaps. Many Alims/Alimahs will have “Ulama/Alimaat” groups where they would discuss Fiqh/Hadith or Deeni issues (if the group is used for the correct purpose). I was on such a group not so long ago. There were many young Alims on the group, some may have still been studying. It was a simple issue of someone making a statement of not putting titles next to a scholar’s name and Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) was written just as “Aishah”, this scholar was a Mufti so he should have addressed himself as a Mufti and wrote “Allah be pleased with her” or “Radhi Allahu Anhaa” after Aishah. This brother was corrected and he did not argue or reply back. Minutes later another person on the group went further and just wrote “IT” for Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy upon him). I waited to see if anybody criticised him for it, as the first person was criticised. We should be fair in criticism and not pick and choose who we criticise. If our Ustadh makes a mistake we ignore it and when another person makes a mistake we magnify it? This is totally contradictory to the teachings of Islam. So, after seeing nobody commented and criticised this individual, I made a comment, I said, “We have gone a step further, far from removing titles, we are using acronyms for great Ulama.” This individual responded saying, or should I say ‘justifying’ his position, “It is acceptable because it is the Urf to use short form on Social Media.” I understand people use slang and short form on Social Media, but since when did HE become Urf. Urf is a term used in Fiqh, something which is “common in the people”, something socially habitual. One man is not Urf! One man does not decide what Urf is! It is based on a “whole” society. He further went on to say, “if I did not like it I don’t need to use the short form. He doesn’t mind using it so he will use the short form.” I found this a little arrogant, why? Doesn’t Islam say we should be doing “what’s right”? Not what “we want.” If everyone is going to do what they want, then what is the purpose of Qur’an and Hadith? What is the purpose of having knowledge?
So to hear this behaviour coming from an Alim was shocking, he didn’t need to say that. He could have accepted he was wrong or proved his point. Not by making things up that it’s Urf because Ulama have said, which Ulama? He didn’t state one single Alim who has endorsed this short form for the names of Ulama or Salaf Saliheen on Social Media or public forums. I further emphasised that I found his statement arrogant, there’s a difference between calling someone “an arrogant individual” and saying something is “an act of arrogance”. No doubt, there are signs of arrogance in Qur’an and Hadith, like there are signs of a Munafiq. As humans we use it in everyday language”, e.g. “He/she was a bit arrogant that day.” This doesn’t mean we are claiming to be God! Only Allah knows what’s in the hearts, but what is in the heart is often revealed through our actions and especially our tongues. As Imam Ibnul Qayyim (Allah have mercy upon him) says, “If you want to get a taste of someone’s heart, look at his tongue.” Here, Imam Ibnul Qayyim (Allah have mercy upon him) isn’t claiming to be God, he is making a factual statement.
MOLVIS ARE GOOD LAWYERS!
Moving on, this individual demanded that I do not call him/others arrogant (despite me clarifying it was the statement that came across as arrogant), especially because they are Ulama. Wow! I was shocked, let’s just look at this carefully… so you can never EVER call an Alim arrogant? Despite what they do, great! This is some serious dictatorship, asking us to follow him blindly. I was then removed from the group because the truth hurts. I rang the admin to ask why I was removed, he said because I called his teacher arrogant, even though I hadn’t. We debated the issue and he could not accept he was wrong. I bade him farewell. Regardless of what exactly happened, it is important to note the traits of evil Ulama, the corrupt ones, the ones cursed by the Prophet ﷺ. What I would like to point out at the end of this story, the Alim who removed me was confronted by several Ulama as to why he made this curse. He denied it, despite me sending a screenshot with his name, then another showing number. He replied saying it is all a lie and I had photo-shopped the image! Subhan’Allah, I have never known anyone in my entire life to lie so much, let alone an Alim.
عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ” لاَ يَنْبَغِي لِلْمُؤْمِنِ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَعَّانًا ”
Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The believer is not one who curses others.” [Tirmidhi]
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ لَيْسَ الْمُؤْمِنُ بِالطَّعَّانِ وَلاَ اللَّعَّانِ وَلاَ الْفَاحِشِ وَلاَ الْبَذِيءِ ” . قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ
‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The believer does not insult the honour of others, nor curse, nor commit Fahishah, nor is he foul.” [Tirmidhi]
ARE ALL ULAMA CORRUPT?
For those who say this is only one incident and it is not fair to ‘paint all Alims/Alimahs with the same brush. Wallahi! I am not that judgemental and narrow-minded, as to use one incident and magnify it to give all Ulama a bad name. So far, I have not once said “ALL” Alims/Alimahs are corrupt. Nor will I be saying that in the rest of the article In Sha Allah. My main reason behind this article is not to name and shame an Alim or any Ulama (notice names have not been mentioned). The aim is to protect the general public from the corrupt and crooked, immoral and depraved Ulama. We must remember there are two types of Ulama; a) Ulama Haqq (rightful) and b) Ulama Soow (corrupt). From this we can deduce, contrary to popular belief not every Alim/Alimah will go to Jannah, and yes, the rule applies to males and females. Please see the Hadeeth.
In his book Ad-Daa’ Wad-Dawaa’, Ibn Al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy upon him) explains the Hadeeth of the first three to be thrown into Hell on the Day of Resurrection. He says: “from Abu Hurayrah, who said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say, ‘Verily, the first to be judged on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who had died as a martyr. He will be brought forward. Allah will remind him of the favours He had bestowed upon him and the man will acknowledge them. Then He will ask him: `what did you do to express gratitude for it?’ The man will reply: `I fought for Your Cause till I was martyred.’ Allah will say: `You have lied. You fought so that people might call you courageous, and they have done so.’ Command will then be issued about him and he will be dragged on his face and thrown into Hell. Next, a man who had acquired and imparted knowledge and read the Qur’an will be brought forward, Allah will remind him of the favours He had bestowed upon him and the man will acknowledge them. Then He will ask him: `what did you do to express gratitude for it?’ The man will reply: `I acquired knowledge and taught it, and read the Qur’an for Your sake.’ Allah will say to him: `You have lied. You acquired knowledge so that people might call you a learned (man), and you read the Qur’an so that they might call you a reciter, and they have done so.’ Command will then be issued about him, and he will be dragged on his face and thrown into Hell. Next, a man whom Allah had made affluent and to whom Allah had given plenty of wealth, will be brought forward, Allah will remind him of the favours He had bestowed upon him and the man will acknowledge them. He will ask him: `what did you do to express gratitude for it?’ The man will reply: `I did not neglect any of the ways you liked wealth to spend liberally for your sake’. Allah will say to him: `You have lied. You did it so that people might call you generous, and they have done so.’ Command will then be issued about him and he will be dragged on his face and thrown into Hell.” And the wording, “So these are the first of Allah’s creation the Fire will be kindled with on the Day of Resurrection“[Saheeh Muslim, 13/45/1905]
Then he says: “And I heard Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy upon him) say, “Just as the best of the people are the Prophets, then the worst of the people is the one who imitates them, giving the false impression that he is from them while he is not from them. The best of people after them are the Ulama’ and the Shuhada’ and the Siddeeqoon and the Mukhlisoon, and the worst of the people is the one who imitates them while giving the false impression that he is from them, while he is not from them.” [Ad-Daa’ Wad-Dawaa’ pp38-39]
TWO CATEGORIES OF ULAMA
In the Hadeeth, there are grave warnings of dreadful things awaiting the Ulama-e-Soow. They are among those who will be first to enter into Jahannam. They are astray and are leading others astray. The Prophet ﷺ said: “A person who seeks knowledge with the object of acquiring worldly riches, will not even smell the fragrance of Jannat.” [Targheeb]
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever acquired knowledge for the purpose of attracting people to be inclined towards him, will be cast into Jahannam.” [Targheeb]
and also “The worst of people, have the worst Ulama.” [Targheeb]
It is also reported that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “Knowledge is of two kinds: One type is that which is only on the tongue (having no effect upon the heart). This is Allah’s proof against men (He completed His argument). The other type is that which is in the heart and is beneficial knowledge.”
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “The majority of the Hypocrites of this Ummah [Muslims] will be its readers [i.e. those who read the Qur’an and not act according to it].” [Musnad Ahmad no. 10/123]
In another Hadeeth, He ﷺ said: “In the latter days the devout ones (Sufis) will be ignorant and the Ulama immoral.”
“Seek not knowledge in order to contest with the Ulama and to argue with the ignorant ones and to attract people towards you by it. Those who do this will be cast into Jahannam”.
Sayyidina Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said:
“On behalf of this Ummah, I am most fearful of the Alim who is a hypocrite.”
People asked: “Who is a hypocritical Alim?”
Umar (Allah be pleased with him) replied:
“He is one who by the tongue is an Alim, but in his heart he is ignorant.”
Hasan (Allah be pleased with him) said: “Do not become such that in spite of having acquired the knowledge of the Ulama and become acquainted with the deep researches of the thinkers, you behave and act in the manner of ignorant fools.”
Regarding the corruption and fitnah of the Ulama in times close to Qiyamah please this article on the link. The Prophet ﷺ said: “There will come a time on the people when there will remain nothing of the Islam except its [ism] name and nothing will remain of the Qur’an except its [rasm] outward form. Their Masjids will be full of people/very well built but will be empty of guidance. Their scholars will be the evilest under the heavens; from them, [fitnah] turmoil will emanate from them and to them will it return.” [Baihaqi, Shu’bul Iman no. 2/788]
“DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET”
Ulama have always played a major role in the Ummah, no doubt Ulama of the past were very sincere and honest. They treated people fairly and justly. More importantly, they gave rulings and fatwas with complete knowledge and Taqwa. The Ulama of the past had the Hereafter in mind and were God-conscious. It is because of these Ulama, Islam reached us in its pristine form – Alhumdu Lillah for their sacrifices, and I am not ungrateful. You can learn more about Ulama Haqq here. However, in the past there were also corrupt scholars and evil Ulama, the difference is today they have increased in number far more than that of the past. I heard a renowned Alim of the UK state, “Before Qiyamah, the majority of the Ulama will be corrupt.” Please do not take this statement lightly, let it sink in before you read any further. This means that the true Ulama will be few. No doubt there are good Ulama living today, even here in the West, but if we want the best for ourselves and our children we need to find those Ulama. Not every Imam is a God-fearing person, not every Madrasah teacher has Taqwa and piety. Many Imams beat their wives and stand like hypocrites on a Friday to lecture the community about peace and justice in their sermons. There are many examples I can give of “Molvis behaving badly,” unfortunately too many. I am pretty sure everyone reading this article will have had their own experiences too, at least with one Alim. I want to create a balance, give you the other side of the coin (every coin has two sides). We need good Ulama, to guide and direct us, but is every Alim good and pious? Imam Anwar Awlaki (Allah have mercy on him) once said, “Every deviant sect was made by an Alim.” So for those of you who are still in cuckoo land and think we must respect “every Alim”, that is wrong, unfortunately. You respect the devout and pious Ulama, the way to find one is to look at his actions, not his speech. Anybody can talk with a sweet tongue, looking eloquent and handsome.
There are many signs of corrupt Ulama. One example I would like to start with is, teachers who beat the living daylights out of our children when we send them to Madrasahs and Darul Ulooms, (this still goes on FYI). Some so-called Ulama damage our children so painfully, these children lose all confidence in themselves. They neither progress in Deen nor Dunya. They grow up hating Islam, hating Ulama, hating the Masjid and probably hate their parents for sending them to Madrasah. These children grow up distant from the Qur’an and distant from Islamic knowledge. Many later get married and have their own children, but they will not send them to the Masjid because of the experiences their father had when he was a child.
Who is to blame for all of this?
Simply because Molvi Saheb couldn’t control his anger?
Molvi Saheb didn’t get his tea on time that day?
Or due to the fact Molvi Saheb had an argument with his wife that day, he took it out on our children?
For all those evil Ulama out there, who justify child abuse, shame on you! I challenge any single one of you, show me one Ayah of the Qur’an, one Hadith where it allows you to hit a child. Show me one incident where the Prophet ﷺ hit a child? You may deceive the parents of the child by saying, “it’s for their own good!” La Hawla Wa La Quwata Illa Billah! How will you justify your zulm in Allah’s eyes?! I have no hesitation in calling such people zalims, Alim or non-Alim, zulm is Haram for everyone. It was even Haram for the Prophet of Allah ﷺ, but it has been made halal for Ulama? Allah himself declares zulm haram. Dear parents, beware of whom you send your child to, to learn Islam. Please don’t just look at convenience, “Molvi Saheb lives on the same street as us, SO HE MUST BE GOOD!” Such naïve thinking can be dangerous. Find good Madrasahs and good teachers, regularly talk to your children about their day at school and Madrasah. Ask them, “Does your Ustadh hit?” Being shy about these matters will only cost you and your child, their future. Zulm is zulm, wrong is wrong.
COMPLAIN, NOT MOAN AND WHINGE
I understand it is hard for parents, especially mothers (usually the mothers do the running around) to confront an Ustadh or the principal with regards to these issues. Considering many Alims/teachers are defensive when it comes to acknowledging their own mistakes, the short story I gave at the start is evident to this. Nevertheless, confront them.
ARROGANT & NARCISSISTIC MOLVIS
I have met many Alims who are arrogant narcissists in their approach and manner and most won’t accept their mistakes. Some will use, or should I say MISUSE Qur’an and Hadith to justify their behaviour. I remember working for a so-called Islamic charity run by Ulama. One of the senior Alims, who I used to respect a lot in my naïve days, whenever I would disagree with him or air an opinion he didn’t like (because of his arrogance), would quickly quote the Hadith, “respect your elders.” I laugh now thinking back on it, to disagree with someone is disrespectful? Having an opinion is disrespectful? Then to misuse Hadith! Subhan Allah. Another sign of corrupt Ulama, true knowledge makes you humble. Some Alims just cannot accept criticism nor accept their mistakes. Arrogance was Haram for the Prophet (SAW), who made it Halal for Molvis?
WHO IS TO BLAME?
The blame is not always on Darul Ulooms, initially, I blame the parents who are the mothers and fathers of these children. Many parents don’t have the correct intention for sending their children to Darul Uloom or making them Alim/Alimah. I have heard this from many Pakistani Ulama, in Pakistani families as long as one or two are educated and professionals, i.e. bringing the money in, the weaker children or not as bright are “shoved” into Madrasahs. So how can we fully blame Darul Ulooms for producing such arrogant individuals when their parents’ intentions were not sincere? So the lion’s share of the blame is on the parents, rather than the individuals themselves. They spend six or seven years in an Islamic environment, unable to change their ways and bad habits. How will such people make changes in the Ummah? But the one thing I will blame Darul Ulooms for, most of them anyway, is focusing on numbers, 40-50 graduates a year? What’s the need? Since when has Islam been about numbers? They need to stop lowering their standards and focus on quality, not quantity. I understand times have changed from the 80s and 90s and there is more focus on the secular side, but then you need to look at some of the product you are making. There is absolutely no need for such a great number of Ulama, especially when they are leaving with no Tarbiyyah and Islah (upbringing) whatsoever. Anyone who disagrees can ask me personally, the incidents I have seen/had with recent graduates. I won’t share them here, because my intention isn’t to expose anyone but nobody should suffer at the hands of these wolves. Yes, ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’, or should I say, ‘Devils in Molvis’ clothing’! “Islam does not say suffer peacefully.” – Malcolm X (Allah have mercy on him)
“QUALITY NOT QUANTITY.”
Islam has never been about numbers, never. When Islam started the Prophet ﷺ only had Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him), He ﷺ only had his wife Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her). One man and one woman, why didn’t He give up? Because that one man and one woman were equal to a whole Ummah! “Quality not quantity.”
On the day of Badr, there were only 313 Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) against 1,000. Why didn’t they wait for more people to accept Islam? Simply because those 313 were unique and consolidated, they could overcome an army of 10,000 if you ask me! “Quality not quantity.”
Now, this is a problem everywhere, especially on social media. It has become all about numbers, followers and likes. Please see this article for further information.
When Madrasahs/Maktabs/Darul Ulooms just focus on numbers, people tend to start thinking is it just about making money?! More students, more fees?! I am sorry Sherlock, but it doesn’t take a genius to work that one out There are Madrasahs in the UK who focus on quality, fewer numbers more productivity. I don’t see them closing down because they cannot pay the bills. My point being we need “less Ulama,” but good Ulama.
The Prophet ﷺ: “Knowledge (of the Deen) will be (imparted and acquired) for purposes other than the Deen, the Dunya (wealth and fame) will be pursued with the deeds of the Akhirah.”
MONEY-MAKING MILLIONAIRE MOLVIS
Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said, “When you see that any scholar loves the world, then his scholarship is in doubt.”
Now we come on to the money-making Molvis, another sign of corrupt Ulama. These sell their Deen for the Dunya. Ulama who made their Madrasahs and Islamic schools into businesses, purely for money making. They neither care about the children nor the parents, as long as their surpluses add up at the end of the year. But society is deceived and loses out. They charge extortionate rates to parents for fees, their teaching standards are abysmal. Which only proves one thing: they are bereft of any form of sincerity. I am not playing God nor being judgemental, sincerity has signs and so does a lack of sincerity. Not forgetting the ones who became millionaires by selling Taweez and taking advantage of people’s misfortune, but that doesn’t stop these Molvis from making their “fortune.” Read this to see how much scholars charge for lectures.
Then we have Ulama who are the power-hungry control freaks. The Dictators. Nothing short of a Tyrant. Their word is the Gospel. You cannot question them or differ with them. They make Hitler and Stalin look like puppets. They will never let go of their “kursi” (position) once they hold it, Imam or principal. Some go to great lengths to get those positions. I know of an Alim in my local Madrasah who tried to absolute name me and shame for reasons Allah knows best (I don’t want to get defensive on here, nor come across defensive). But the dictator himself was not elected in management, another Alim had been selected by teachers by the majority of votes. This Alim in front of my own eyes swindled and dwindled the votes, then put his own name at the top. Most of you won’t believe it, but it is true – Allah is my witness. Masjids and Madrasahs are no longer JUST places of worship, rather they are places for politics and corruption. For power and greed! Inna Lillah Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’oon.
RACISM AND UNFAIRNESS
Oh yes! You all knew that was coming. Racism is in everyone, not just Ulama. So why have I mentioned it here? The Racism is in Ulama is to another degree, far more than the average person. Possibly because they have a lot of authority and control, but they use that to their own advantage. Not how Allah has taught them in the Qur’an. Any institution whose constitution is based on Racism can never ever be successful in the eyes of Allah SWT, Qur’an and Hadith teaches us that. How can you judge a person from the village their grandparents lived in?? Are you for real?! Nowadays we have schools that give preference to people from their own village. Once I had a debate with an Alim who was so very defensive in respect of such schools, in my naïve days I respected this Alim a lot as he worked in my Madrasah, but his Racism was unbelievable. Nice to know what these people keep in their hearts:
“Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs if you will use intellect.” (3:118)
Unbeknownst to him, the school have a policy, in which they give preference to certain members of certain mosques (all to do with villages in India). Wow! When you live in the 21st century Britain you would think those days would have gone, you would think Racism was a thing of the past. Shame on such Ulama, would Fatima bint Muhammad ﷺ be allowed in your school? She certainly isn’t from your village. Why do I single these guys out, when all Mosques have similar policies? The Alim asked me this same question, but I am a fair man, Alhumdu Lillah. My answer; the Mosques are run by committees, who are mostly laymen, not Ulama. You should know better. Not saying they are correct either. I am not a member of any Mosque for this reason; their Racist constitutions. Unfortunately, I am unlike other Ulama who just look at their own benefit, I have principles – Alhumdu Lillah. Because Ulama lack principles, they tend to “stick up for their own”. This is totally against Islam.
Every Masjid and Darul Uloom is “Waqf”, nobody owns these buildings, they were made with the public’s money. When they ask for Lillah money they don’t ask you which village you are from?!
I wrote this whole article after one incident where I walked into a Masjid in Blackburn and I was told by an Alim I wasn’t welcome because I am not from their village in India!!! I am really sorry my parents weren’t born in your village (THANK GOD THEY WEREN’T). What makes it worse is when I related the incident to some acquaintances, I was told to ‘chill out and relax. It was just a joke?!’ I apologise for my lack of sense of humour, but Racism is Haram and so are Racist jokes. Dear Molvis, don’t make Haram into Halal because it suits you. Islam is not a buffet, you can’t pick and choose. And for the record, I have a perfect sense of humour, Ma Sha Allah. There is a fine line between immaturity and cracking a joke, learn the distinction between the two. If your local Masjid or Madrasah or any organisation, be it a charity does wrong, it is wrong. I am sorry for stating the obvious, but some Ulama find this really hard to digest. Because they are blind and too stubborn to accept the truth. If an Alim or any Islamic organisation does wrong they must be condemned, NOT condoned and overlooked. Zulm is not just in Syria and Burma, we have many Ulama who oppress people right here in the UK, but it is brushed under the carpet. More importantly, when an individual complains and speaks up he is made to look like the bad guy. Why? Because we are deceived by the long turbans and flowing beards of Molvis. You respect good Ulama, not the bad ones. And you certainly do not worship them and make them into God! If people dislike and loathe what I say, then teach your staff members and parents not to behave with me in a Racist and arrogant manner. Alhumdu Lillah! My mother did not give birth to a coward, I CAN speak and SHALL speak till Allah wants me to. Allah says about the Jews and the Christians,
“They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.” (9:31)
One final factor that has a major role in corrupt Alims/Alimahs is part-time classes, which I have never agreed with, Absolutely Dead Against.
Here’s the proof: have you ever heard of a part-time pilot? Part-time doctor? Part-time surgeon? Part-time lawyer? Part-time engineer? No! But we hear of part-time Alims/Alimahs, disgraceful.
If you were in an operating theatre and you were told the surgeon has only studied a part-time course, would you be happy for them to operate on you? Only a fool would be.
How on earth can we rely on part-time Alims/Alimahs? I understand the need to educate and equip our boys and girls with Islam but I don’t understand the need of so many Alims/Alimahs, ESPECIALLY when you are not doing a proper and thorough job of it, sorry. Let them learn Arabic and Tafsir and Hadith within a few years. You don’t need to give them the title of a scholar when they have not studied in depth. If this continues, you will see more and more evil spread in the Ummah because of these half-baked scholars. Parents are not to jump on the bandwagon and follow what everyone else does, Allah gave you Aqal. The full blame though, lies on the founders of these places, many just open because the mosque next door has opened an Alimah class, Competition?
JEALOUSY, ENMITY AND BACKBITING
On the topic of competition, Alims and Alimahs need to learn to work together and avoid jealousy and hatred on Every Little Thing! Seriously, it is not healthy AT ALL! There are Ulama that have conspired to shut another Madrasah down because they opened on the same street. Does this Alim not believe in Taqdeer? Rizq is in Allah’s hands? Unity/working together? Someone once famously said,
! ایک گلی میں دو کتے رہ سکتے ہے لیکن دو مولوی نھیں
“Two dogs can live (peacefully) in one alley, but two Molvis cannot.” Well said, I fully agree.
One of the reasons we have so many mosques and madrasah is that a certain Molvi had beef with another Molvi Saheb, so the first one split from the mosque and built his own. Is that Ikhlaas? Sincerity has signs. It is the same in Madrasahs. I don’t need to look far, Blackburn has over 40 mosques. If you look at the history behind some of these mosques, it is because they are from different villages in India – so they split. Two mosques on the same street?! These mosques were not built with Ikhlaas, how will they be successful? Allahul Musta’aan! On a micro level, we have the same on WhatsApp groups. Ulama bicker and fight over petty issues, then they go and open their own groups. Such childish behaviour is embarrassing.
THE TRUE SCHOLARS
“…Those truly fear Allah among His servants are those who have knowledge (Ulema). For Allah is Exalted in Might and is Forgiving.” [Al-Fatir: 28]
Regarding “…Those truly fear Allah among His servants are those who have knowledge…” Imam Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on his soul) stated that “The more the knowledge of Allah and His SWT power is complete, the more He SWT will be feared by those who have the complete knowledge.”
Imam Al-Qurtubi (Allah have mercy on his soul) said that “The scholars are those who know the power of Allah SWT. They are in no doubt of His SWT punishment no matter what the sin is.”
It was narrated by Ali (Allah be pleased with him) that Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The scholars are those who know that Allah is capable of anything.”
On the authority of Ziyad ibn Lubayd (Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘….and knowledge will go [or disappear].’ He said, ‘O Messenger of Allah how will knowledge leave [disappear] whilst we read the Qur’an and our children read the Qur’an and they will make their children read it till the Day of Judgement.’ He said, ‘May your Mother lose you I thought your one of the men of understanding of Madinah. Don’t you see these Jews and Christians reading their Torah and Gospel but they don’t practice anything of it.’ [Ibn Majah no. 4048]
Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ says, ‘Fitnah will certainly come.’ I asked what is the way out O Messenger of Allah ﷺ? He replied, ‘The Book of Allah [swt] is the way, for it contains information of what happened before you, news of what will come after you and a decision regarding matters that will occur among you…It is decisive [fasl] and not a joke [hazl]. Whoever leaves it, is a tyrant and Allah [swt] will break him, and if anyone seeks guidance else-where [other than the Qur’an] Allah will lead him astray. It is the rope of Allah [swt], the wise reminder, the straight path, whims would not deviate it nor the tongue become confused, and the scholars cannot be fully satisfied [i.e. still more to explore]. It is not worn down by repetition nor do its wonders ever cease……He who quotes it speaks the truth, he who acts according to it is rewarded, he who judges according to it is just, and he who invites people to it [i.e. the Qur’an] is [himself] guided to the Straight Path….’ Tirmidhi no. 2906 [Dha’eef – the chain is weak but the meaning is Saheeh –scholars comment that this is more likely the statement of Ali and not the Prophet ﷺ]
Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ood (Allah be pleased with him) said, “No age will dawn upon you but it will be viler than the one preceding it. I do not mean a ruler better than another ruler, or a year better than another year, but (I mean) that your Ulama and Fiqh will disappear, and you will not find (uprighteous) successors to them. Then there will come people who will issue ‘fatwas’ [legal opinions] based on their own opinion.” And in another narration, “Who will blunt Islam and destroy it.”
Hakeemul Ummah, Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy upon him) states: “Rasulullah ﷺ directed us to follow the ‘Sawaad-e-A’zam’ in times of fitnah. From the different opinions of Ulama, the preferred view seems to be the one that is understood from the Zaahir (text) of the Hadith i.e. ‘follow the majority.’ This view is restricted to the Khayrul Quroon when Khayr (goodness) was dominant (Ghalib). Today’s “majority” are not the purport of the Hadith (i.e. the Sawaad-e-A’zam Hadith), because today the majority consists of misguided people.”
يحيى بن معاذ ينشد في مجالسه كان
مواعظ الواعظ لن تقبلا…. حتى يعيها قلبه أولا
يا قوم من أظلم من واعظ ….قد خالف ما قاله في الملا
أظهر بين الناس إحسانه ….و بارز الرحمن لما خلا
I have written this article as a reminder for myself and other Ulama, first and foremost. A wise man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Becoming an Alim is easy, especially in this day and age when standards are so low in Darul Ulooms. Anybody can pass like wind through six years, we have all heard of “Arafati Molvis.” We need to live up to the title, ‘Mawlana’.
I always say, “Ulama LOVE the title ‘Mawlana’, but very few people LIVE the title of a Mawlana.
In no way, means or fashion do I think of myself as a true Alim or from the Ulama Haqq. I am not perfect and there is no pretence or artificial humility there. You don’t need to be perfect to complain and speak up. You don’t need to be flawless to criticise someone. You just need to be clear and be sincere. Humility leads you to criticise your own, arrogance leads you to always “defend” your own. I have always believed that, feel free to disagree. I am not going to criticise Brelwi Ulama and Salafi Ulama when we have corruption in our own, you put your own house fire out first! Why should I be afraid to speak the truth, when these corrupt Ulama are not afraid of lying? I intend to empower people to stand up to the Ulama that deceive us and mislead us, learn to wake up and speak up! Don’t be afraid of these bullies and cowards. Many are just armchair critics, they can never meet you and have a challenge face to face. Please do listen and follow the true Ulama, I have not said once stop following Ulama. Just learn that there are two types and look for the right type. Finally, there are people out there campaigning against Ulama; Muslims and Non-Muslims, no doubt there are anti-ulama folk out there. I pray this article does not reach them, as they will misuse it against the purpose for which it was written. I fully support honest, truthful and sincere Ulama who are doing a fantastic job educating the masses. If you are anti-ulama, please read this below:
“Those who disrespect the Ulama and the Awliya, humiliate and disrespect them when they are laid in their graves their faces they will be turned away from the Qiblah! I swear by Allah! If you do not believe me, go and check for yourselves.”
Hadhrat Mawlana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (Allah sanctify his secret)
Allah keep us united on the truth. Allah grant us ALL Hidayah and guide us to the straight path. Allah protect us from being amongst Ulama Soow and save us all from Hellfire.
Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (Unafraid to speak the truth, Alhumdu Lillah!)
10th Safar 1439
“The most dangerous man in society is he who has nothing to lose.”
By Hadhrat Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (hafidhahullah)
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:
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)
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.
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 Ramadhan
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.
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…
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…”
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.”
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!’?”
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”.
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.”
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.’‘
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.”
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…” 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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
 Al-Qur’ān, 58:11
 Narrated by Tirmidhi, Abū Dāwūd and others.
 Al-Qur’ān, 41:33
 Al-Qur’ān, 11:88
 Al-Qur’an 7:96
 Al-Qur’ān, 57:20
 Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2322
 Reported by Saḥīḥ Muslim, no 2742.
 Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2377, Book 36, Hadith 74
 Narrated by al-Bukhāri (5374) and Muslim (2970)
 Narrated by al-Bukhāri (2567) and Muslim (2972)
 Narrated by al-Bukhāri (3097) and Muslim (2973)
 Muslim (2974)
 Muslim (2978)
 Narrated by al-Bukhāri (5385)
 Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2360); classed as Ḥasan by al-Albāni in Saḥīḥ at-Tirmidhi
 Narrated by Ibn al-A‘rābi in al-Mu‘jam (21); classed as Ḥasan by al-Albāni in as-Silsilah as-Saḥīḥah (1615)
 Narrated by al-Bukhāri (3098)
 Tirmidhi Vol. 4, Book 11, Ḥadīth 2465. Some scholars believe that it is strong and some believe that it is weak.
 Al-Qur’ān, 75:14-15
 Al-Qur’ān, 47:7
 Al-Qur’ān, 22:40
( أريد تأمين مستقبل أولادي )..دخل “مقاتل بن سليمان” رحمه الله ، على “المنصور” رحمه الله ، يوم بُويعَ بالخلافة،
فقال له “المنصور” عِظني يا “مقاتل”!
فقال: أعظُك بما رأيت أم بما سمعت؟
قال: بل بما رأيت.
قال: يا أمير المؤمنين ! إن عمر بن عبد العزيز أنجب أحد عشر ولدا ً وترك ثمانية عشر دينارا ً ، كُفّنَ بخمسة دنانير ، واشتُريَ له قبر بأربعة دنانير وَوزّع الباقي على أبنائه.
وهشام بن عبد الملك أنجب أحد عشر ولدا ً ، وكان نصيب كلّ ولد ٍ من التركة الف الف دينار.(اي مليون)
والله… يا أمير المؤمنين : لقد رأيت في يوم ٍ واحد ٍ أحد أبناء عمر بن عبد العزيز يتصدق بمائة فرس للجهاد في سبيل الله ، وأحد أبناء هشام يتسول في الأسواق.
وقد سأل الناس عمر بن عبدالعزيز وهو على فراش الموت : ماذا تركت لأبنائك يا عمر؟
قال: تركت لهم تقوى الله، فإن كانوا صالحين فالله تعالى يتولى الصالحين ، وإن كانوا غير ذلك فلن أترك لهم ما يعينهم على معصية الله تعالى .
فتأمل… كثير من الناس يسعى ويكد ويتعب ليؤمن مستقبل أولاده ظنا منه أن وجود المال في أيديهم بعد موته أمان لهم، وغفل عن الأمان العظيم الذي ذكره الله في كتابه:
(وَلْيَخْشَ الَّذِينَ لَوْ تَرَكُوا مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّةً ضِعَافًا خَافُوا عَلَيْهِمْ فَلْيَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْيَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا).