Understanding Tazkiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

The Four Parts of Dīn

The sole objective of our lives is to acquire the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, which can only be achieved by following the whole Dīn. The whole Dīn can be categorised into four parts:

1.   External actions, which comprise of:

a.  Performing good actions e.g. Salāh;

b.  Refraining from sinful actions e.g. backbiting.

2.   Internal qualities, which comprise of:

a.  Purifying the heart from debasing qualities e.g. pride;

b.  Adorning the heart with praiseworthy traits e.g. humbleness.

Allāh ta‘ālā has laid down commands relating to both the external and the internal aspects of Dīn. In both, there are Do’s and Don’ts. For example, performing Salāh, giving Zakāh, fasting and performing Hajj are external actions which must be carried out; whilst causing physical harm, stealing and consuming harām are external actions which must be avoided. Similarly, jealousy, malice and pride are debasing qualities of the heart which are prohibited; whilst Shukr (being grateful to Allāh ta‘ālā) and Sabr (patience) and humbleness are praiseworthy qualities with which every Muslim should strive to adorn his heart.

We can therefore conclude that our duties as Muslims are: to carry out good actions; to refrain from sinful actions; to purify the heart from debasing qualities; and to adorn the heart with praiseworthy qualities. All four are termed as Al-A‘māl As-Sālihah (good deeds) and our success lies in carrying them out. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Verily those who believe and do good deeds, for them shall be gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great success. (85:11)

Tazkiyah and its Importance

The process of removing the debasing qualities from the heart and adorning it with the praiseworthy qualities is known as Tazkiyah (soul purification). Through Tazkiyah a person first begins to recognise the shortcomings in his inner traits, such as the existence of pride and miserliness. As a result, he is able to exert effort and replace them with praiseworthy qualities such as humbleness and generosity. Allāh ta‘ālā has emphasised the importance of Tazkiyah in the Glorious Qur’ān by taking oath of seven different things before stating:

Undoubtedly, the one who purified it (the soul) has succeeded and the one who soiled it (through kufr, shirk, sin) has certainly failed. (91:9-10)

‘Ilm and Tazkiy

In order to understand the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and to carry them out, it is necessary to acquire ‘ilm. Through ‘ilm, we will be able to understand what we are required to do in every situation. Regarding the external actions for example, ‘ilm is required to understand the pre-requisites of Salāh as well as all the necessary aspects within Salāh. Similar is the case for the inner qualities; a person will require ‘ilm to understand which qualities are prohibited and the consequences of having such qualities. For example, our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has informed us that a person with pride equivalent to a mustard seed in his heart will not enter Jannah (without first going in Jahannam). (Abū Dāwūd, At-Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah).

However, without Tazkiyah ‘ilm is not beneficial, as we find that a person has ‘ilm but is unable to practice according to it despite having the desire to do so. For example, a person is aware that offering Fajr Salāh is compulsory, but is unable to leave his bed and go to the masjid.  Similarly, despite being aware that sinful glances are not permissible, he is unable to control the gaze from lustful glances. The reason for this is a lack of spiritual stamina to carry out the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā. Through the process of Tazkiyah, a person purifies his heart from debasing qualities and as a result gains the spiritual stamina required to fulfil all the external actions Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā.

External Actions Hold No Value without Tazkiyah

Another important point to understand is that without purifying the heart, despite carrying out the external actions of Dīn, they may not be accepted in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. This is because a corrupt heart could lead to a person performing deeds with the wrong intention. For example, if a person performs a good action with the intention of acquiring fame, he will gain no reward whatsoever, rather he will be answerable in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. Even though outwardly his action may appear perfect and in accordance with the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and the Sunnah of Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, due to his insincerity his action will yield no benefit.

The importance of a purified heart has been explained by Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in a hadīth:

Indeed there is a piece of flesh in the body; if it is sound, then the whole body will be sound and if it is corrupt then the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart. (Al-Bukhārī)

Tazkiyah: The Key to Practising the Whole Dīn

From the above, it is clear that Tazkiyah is the path that leads to the reformation of the heart, providing the spiritual stamina required for external actions; and making them perfect and worthy of acceptance.  Having understood the importance of Tazkiyah, the question arises as to how it can be achieved. For this, read and study ‘The Path to Purification’, published by At-Tazkiyah. 

Let us recognise the importance of Tazkiyah and exert effort towards its acquisition, so that we may practice the whole Dīn and acquire the eternal bliss of the Hereafter.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 26 No. 11/12, Nov/Dec 2017)


We are witnessing an era where Islām, in spite of its vastness and applicability in every sphere of the human life, has been confined to mere beliefs and a handful of rituals. As with some other important obligations of Islām, the obligation of ensuring the correct procedures in the field of inheritance has also been subjected to gross disregard and outright neglect. In fact, this section of Dīn can be said to be the most neglected one among all. Seeing such state of affairs, the respected Shaykh hafizahullāh embarked on the task of acquainting the Muslims on the importance of this vital duty. The lectures delivered proved to be highly informative and beneficial, but only to a limited audience. In order to extend the benefits to a larger part of the Ummah, it was decided that two of these lectures be selected and published in booklet form.

A few topics mentioned in the booklet are as follows:

• Equality in inheritance
• What can be drawn from the estate
• The importance of drawing up a will
• Causes of incorrect wills
• Criteria for wasiyyah (bequest)
• What to do following a death
• Common errors and customs

To order the above book or for details of our other publications, please email info@idauk.org or call 0116 262 5440.


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Valuing the Last Ten Days of Ramadān

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

The month of Ramadān is full of blessings. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

And it is a month the first part [first ten days] of which is mercy, the middle part [middle ten days] is forgiveness and the last part [last ten days] is emancipation from the Fire (of Jahannam). (Ibn Khuzaymah)

Having passed through the first ten days of ‘mercy’, we find ourselves in the second ten days of ‘forgiveness’ and approaching the last ten days, wherein Allāh ta‘ālā emancipates His servants from the Fire of Jahannam. Now, we will find people with different mind-sets; some will count down the days in eager anticipation of ‘Īd after which they will not have to stay hungry and thirsty for long hours anymore; some will have spent the major part of Ramadān exerting much effort in devotion to Allāh ta‘ālā and thus feel that they can now relax in the last ten days as they have, in their opinion, carried out much ‘ibādah already; and some will not have done anything of note until now and feel that there is no point of doing anything in these remaining days.

All these mind-sets are incorrect, as the last ten days of Ramadān hold great significance and virtue over the first twenty days of Ramadān. One only needs to examine the conduct of Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam during the last ten days to understand their virtue.

The Conduct of Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam during the Last Ten Days

Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā reports that when the last ten days of Ramadān would enter, Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would tighten his waist belt, stay awake at night and awaken his family. (Al-Bukhārī)

In this hadīth, Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā has mentioned three things:

1.  Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would tighten his waist belt, which refers to preparation for exerting himself in ‘ibādah.

2.  Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would stay awake throughout the nights of the last ten days of Ramadān and worship Allāh ta‘ālā.

3.  Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would awaken his family also for ‘ibādah and tahajjud so that they too can acquire the blessings of the blessed nights.

The fact that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would especially exert much effort in devotion during the last ten days of Ramadān, shows the virtue and significance of these last ten days. And why would Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam not exert effort during these last ten days, when they have been specified for the Night of Qadr. Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

Seek Laylat-ul-Qadr during the last ten days of Ramadān. (At-Tirmidhī)

The Virtues of Laylat-ul-Qadr

Laylat-ul-Qadr is a night full of blessings and goodness. ‘Ibādah carried out on Laylat-ul-Qadr is better than ‘ibadah carried out continuously for a thousand months (83 years and four months). Allāh ta‘ālā says:

Verily! We revealed it (the Qur’ān) during the Night of Qadr (from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfūz to the first heaven). Do you know what is the Night of Qadr? The Night of Qadr is much better than a thousand months. The angels and the Rūh (Sayyidunā Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām) descend in it by the Command of their Rabb with every decision. It (this night) is full of peace. And (all of this) remains (from sunset) until the break of dawn. (97:1-5)

Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

During the Night of Qadr, Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām descends with a group of angels and they make du‘ā of mercy for every servant who stands or sits remembering Allāh ta‘ālā (engaged in worship). (Al-Bayhaqī)

Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also said:

Whoever stands in worship during the Night of Qadr with Īmān and hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven. (Al-Bukhārī)

If we understood the virtues and the blessings of this great night, we too would exert great effort towards acquiring these blessings just as our pious predecessors did. It is reported regarding Qatādah rahimahullāh that he would complete the entire Qur’ān every three nights during the first twenty days of Ramadān and every night during the last ten days. In order to become deserving of the virtues of Laylat-ul-Qadr, one must exert every effort and do everything he can. One easy way of becoming deserving of the blessings of the Night of Qadr is to observe the i‘tikāf of the last ten days of Ramadān. Sayyidunā Abu Sa‘īd Al-Khudrī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

Verily, in search of Laylat-ul-Qadr I performed i‘tikāf of the first ten days and then extended it to the next ten days for the same purpose; then I was told that this night is in the last ten days; so those who are performing i‘tikāf with me should perform the i‘tikāf of the last ten days. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

The Importance and Virtue of I‘tikāf

We learn from the Sīrah of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam that the i‘tikāf of the last ten days of Ramadān was a practice that he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would not miss. Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā said that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would observe i‘tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān until he passed away. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu said that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam observed i‘tikāf during the last ten days of Ramadān. One year he could not observe the i‘tikāf, so the following year he observed i‘tikāf for twenty days. (At-Tirmidhī)

Mentioning the virtues of i‘tikāf, Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Abbās radhiyallāhu ‘anhu says that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

He (the one observing i‘tikāf) refrains from sins (as he confines himself to the boundary of the masjid) and is rewarded for all good deeds (that he cannot do due to being in i‘tikāf e.g. visiting the sick or participating in janāzah salāh) like that person who carries out good deeds. (Ibn Mājah)

The one performing i‘tikāf, through the blessing of staying within the confines of the masjid, is able to refrain from sins which he may have committed outside of the masjid. Along with this, he is able to engage in so many worships e.g. salāh, dhikr, tilāwat, du‘ā. Moreover, every moment of his is a means of reward as i‘tikāf in itself is also a worship; hence the one performing i‘tikāf gains the reward of i‘tikāf even whilst eating and sleeping.

I‘tikāf: A Fortune

The one observing i‘tikāf is extremely fortunate for he disassociates himself from everything and throws himself into the Court of His Lord and Creator. He remembers Him, praises Him, glorifies Him and sincerely seeks His Forgiveness; he cries over his past mistakes and beseeches His Creator for His Mercy and seeks nothing but His Pleasure. His days and nights are spent only in this pursuit. The author of Marāqī-Al-Falāh states that if i‘tikāf is observed with sincerity, then it is amongst the most virtuous deeds.

Our Task in Hand

So if one is able to perform i‘tikāf during the last ten days, he should most definitely do so. The ladies should also perform i‘tikāf at home. If one is not able to perform i‘tikāf for all of the last ten days, he should perform i‘tikāf for however many days he is able to. And if one is so busy that he cannot spend even one day in i‘tikāf then the least he should do is value each and every moment of the last ten days, especially the nights. He should refrain from every minor and major disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā carry out actions which please Him to acquire Divine Pleasure.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq to value the remaining days of Ramadān, especially the last ten days. May He bless us with the virtue of Laylat-ul-Qadr. May He accept those who have intended to carry out the Sunnah i‘tikāf and may Allāh ta‘ālā make this Ramadān a turning point in our lives and enable us to live a life of obedience until we depart from this world. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 27 No. 5/6, May/June 2018)


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Advice for Teachers – 08/04/2018

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Notes from Khatme Bukhari Jalsah of Shaykhul Hadith Hadhrat Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (Hafidhahullah)IMG-20170609-WA0080.jpg

Sacrifice

 

Asad ibn Furat RH was a student of Imam Muhammad RH. He says that Imam Muhammad RH would teach some students extra lessons at night time. So I also requested to be taught at night, he granted me permission. One night, I knocked on the door of my teacher’s house. Imam Muhammad RH opened the door with a book in one hand and a jug of water in the other. As the lesson started, I felt sleepy, when Imam Muhammad caught sight of this he would sprinkle the water from the jug on my face. I would awaken immediately. Once again, if I fell sleepy he would repeat the same action.

Shaykh mentioned this story and stated, “Brothers! This deen did not come to us with ease, there was great sacrifice behind this.”

Imam Shafiee RH

Imam Shafiee RH states, “A teacher should pick out the brighter students and make extra effort on them, so they can advance and excel.” Which does not mean we leave out the weaker students, also focus on them to improve.

Patience and Mercy

Rabee ibn Sulayman RH narrates, “Once Imam Shafiee RH explained a mas’alah in class, I did not understand so he repeated the mas’alah. Imam Shafiee kept asking me if I understood, until he repeated it FORTY times. After which he asked me if I understood. Out of sheer embarrassment I walked out of class, because I didn’t want my fellow colleagues to lose out on the lesson. After class my ustadh called me and kept explaining and explaining until I understood! By Allah! He would not leave his place until I did. He would say the following to me: If I could empty my chest and make you drink this knowledge I would (literally) make you drink it.”

Shaykh mentioned that we should think of these children as a plantation for our hereafter. Have Marcy upon them if they lack understanding.

Another similar incident is mentioned regarding Hasan ibn Ziyad RH, he mentions, “I used to attend the classes of Imam Zufar RH, occasionally I would question Imam Zufar on issues I didn’t understand. He would answer the first time, politely. If I asked the same question again, he would answer with a slight harsh and annoyed tone. The third time he would get very angry at me for repeating the same question. Then I referred to Imam Abu Yusuf RH. I would ask him the same question, once, twice, thrice… He would answer each time with the same forbearance and tolerance, saying…’لو استطيعُ انْ ٓاطٓعمكٓ الْعلم لاطعمتُهُ'”

Fearing Criticism

We must continue to do the work of Deen and not fear what people will say. The critics of Imam Shafi’ee RH said about him, “He is worse than Iblees!” The enemies of Imam Abu Hanifah RH said, “Killing Imam Abu Hanifah is better than doing Jihad 70 times.

Keep focused on your purpose, do not look around at what people are doing.

Importance of Qiyamul Layl

A man came to study by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH, after a few days Imam Ahmad RH noticed that he does not wake up for Tahajjud. Imam Ahmad RH commented, “This man is seeking knowledge, but does not awaken at night for prayer?”

We should be punctual in Tahajjud and pray for our students as well.

Continue Seeking Knowledge

After graduation, continue to seek knowledge. Our knowledge should keep increasing and increasing. Also, remember to act upon the knowledge we learn. As well as all this, you should endeavour to spread this knowledge to the four corners of the world. We should have worry and concern that how we can reach this knowledge to every person of the Ummah. To acquire this, we need to ask Allah for help, make constant Dua and meet and greet people with good manners and etiquette. Deal with them in a soft and gentle manner.

Forgiveness

Forgive your students, ask forgiveness from them as well. Students should also ask forgiveness regularly from their teachers.

Wealth and Money

Do not run after the world/dunya. What is written for you in Taqdeer will alway come to you. Do not make this your purpose. We want you students to make Ilm/knowledge your life, your eating, breathing, sleeping etc. We want you to die seeking this Ilm.

The Ummah is thirsty, they are on the brink of Apostasy. My dear children, it is your duty to save them with the knowledge Allah has blessed you with. Allah will fulfil your financial, spiritual and physical needs in sha Allah. Allah make you a great Sadaqah Jariyah for your parents.

How to Acquire Husn-ul-Khatimah

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

If we study the lives of the pious servants of Allāh ta‘ālā, i.e. the Ambiyā, Sahābah Radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, the Muhaddithūn, Fuqahā, Awliyā, we will find one common factor in their lives, and that is their concern for securing Husn-ul-Khātimah so that they are successful in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. Despite their lives being full of virtue, they would worry and pray for death in the state of īmān and Islām. 

Allāh ta‘ālā quotes the du‘ā of Yūsuf ‘alayhis salām in the Glorious Qur’ān:

…O Creator of the heavens and the Earth, You are my guardian in this world and the Hereafter. Make me die a Muslim and make me join the righteous. (12:102)

This is because a single word of disbelief at the time of death can erase the benefits of a lifetime of virtue and obedience. On the other hand, a person may live a life of sin and vice, and then be granted the blessing of īmān in the final moments of his life, thereby securing the success of both this world and the Hereafter. Through His infinite Grace and Mercy, Allāh ta‘ālā inspired me with six points, which will secure Husn-ul-Khātimah and a good death for ourselves, which in turn will result in a good outcome in the Hereafter, Inshā’allāh.

1. Adopt Taqwā (fear of Allāh ta‘ālā). Taqwā holds the power to repel all the forces which weaken one’s īmān and at times snatch it away. This can be understood from the verses wherein Allāh commands the believers to adopt Taqwā. We understand from them that once a person becomes a believer, the method of safeguarding that belief is adopting Taqwā. And Taqwā simply means to create a barrier between disobedience to Allāh and ourselves. Another name for this Taqwā is Istiqāmah (steadfastness), because when a person, after accepting īmān, remains steadfast upon the Commands of Allāh, he will not disobey Him. Allāh ta‘ālā mentions:

Surely, those who have declared: ‘Our Lord is Allāh’, then remained steadfast, on them the angels will descend, saying, ‘Do not fear, and do not grieve; and be happy with the good news of Jannah (Paradise) that you had been promised. We have been your friends in the worldly life, and (will remain as such) in the Hereafter. And for you here is whatever your souls desire, and for you here is whatever you call for.’ (41:30)

So when one accepts īmān by saying, “My Lord is Allāh”, and thereafter safeguards this īmān by remaining steadfast in carrying out the Commands of Allāh and staying away from every disobedience, then Allāh will reward him with a good death, as is indicated in the verse above, that the angels will descend with special mercy at the time of his death. The commentators of the Qur’ān have mentioned that the angels of mercy are always with those who are steadfast on Dīn; however, the special indication given in this verse is that at the time of their death, the angels become visible to them, who give them the glad tidings of Jannah from their Lord.

2. Love the pious and spend time in their company. The pious people are the people of Taqwā. The effect of loving them will create in one the desire to spend time in their company, and in doing so the effect of their taqwā will rub onto one’s self. Allāh ta‘ālāmentions: 

O you who believe, adopt taqwā, and be in the company of the truthful. (9:119)

We need to firstly accept īmān, which alhamdulillāh we all do, and thereafter safeguard our īmān by adopting Taqwā, which can be acquired by staying in the company of those who already have it. The term ‘The Truthful’ used here is another name for those who have Taqwā, as mentioned in another place in the Qur’ān:

…Those are the ones who are truthful, and those are the God-fearing. (2:177)

Similarly the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam states in a hadīth:

On the Day of Judgement, a person will be with whom he loved. (At-Tirmidhī)

If a person entertains love for the pious, he will be with them in the Hereafter, and the pious people will be granted entry into Jannah, for which īmān is a prerequisite. Thus, we can deduce that such a person will die in the state of īmān.

3. Giving in charity. Spending in the path of Allāh ta‘ālā cools the Anger of Allāh. If Allāh ta‘ālā is angry with a person, what chance is there for him to have a good death? Therefore, charity paves the way for one to die in the state of īmān, as indicated by the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam: 

Sadaqah (charity) extinguishes the anger of the Lord and prevents an unpleasant death. (At-Tirmidhī)

An unpleasant death could either mean death without īmān or death in an undesirable state, i.e. as a victim of a tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake. Inshā’allāh, a person will be saved from both types of death.

4. Carrying out acts upon which the intercession of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is guaranteed. In various narrations, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamhas encouraged carrying out certain good acts, the virtue of which is that the intercession of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will become incumbent for the doer. One should inquire about and learn such acts from reliable, authentic sources and act upon them. The intercession of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is of two types. The first being that on the Day of Judgement, when every human will be gathered in the Plain of Resurrection, every soul will be in a state of extreme worry and fear regarding its fate in the court of Allāh ta‘ālā. At this tense moment, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will intercede on behalf of the whole humankind and request Allāh ta‘ālā to begin the reckoning. The reckoning will thus begin, and this is known as the ‘general intercession’. Thereafter, once the process of reckoning begins, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will specifically intercede on behalf of many individuals of his ummah, with the permission of Allāh. Only a person who dies in the state of īmān will be worthy of receiving this ‘special intercession’ of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. The glad tidings of intercession upon various good actions is this ‘special intercession’ which is exclusively for people with īmān. It can be therefore understood that those carrying out these good acts will die with īmān, as only they will be worthy of this ‘special intercession’. One example of such an act is reciting the du‘ā after the adhān.

5. Repeatedly thank Allāh ta‘ālā for the great bounty of īmān, for Allāh ta‘ālāpromises: 

If you express gratitude, I shall certainly give you more. (14:7) 

It should be kept in mind that gratitude should be expressed in 3 ways:

  • By acknowledging and contemplating over this great bounty in one’s heart and mind that Allāh has granted this to me through His Grace only without my deserving it.
  •  By verbally expressing one’s gratitude.
  • By fulfilling the Commands of Allāh in regards to this bounty.

If we acknowledge the bounty of īmān with our heart and mind, express praise for Allāh verbally and carry out the demands of this ni‘mah (blessing), i.e. adopt Taqwā, then Allāh will increase this ni‘mah of ours inshā’allāh.

6. Make du‘ā for a good death and for a pleasant abode in the Hereafter. You may do this in your own words or by using supplications from the Qur’ān and ahādīth, for example: 

O Allāh, forgive our living and our dead, those present from among us and those absent, our young and our old, our males and our females, O Allāh whoever you keep alive from among us, keep him alive on Islām, and whoever you give death to, give him death upon īmān. (Ahmad)

Allāh ta‘ālā mentions the supplication of the knowledgeable people: “Our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate from the right path after You have given us guidance, and bestow upon us mercy from your own.” (2:8)

If we strive to do the above and ask Allāh ta‘ālā sincerely, then inshā’allāh, He will grant us this great bounty of death in the state of īmān.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the true understanding of the reality of the Hereafter and grant us the tawfīq to adequately prepare for it. Āmīn.

Quenching the Thirst of Others


By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Imām Al-Bukhārī rahimahullāh has narrated a hadīth on the authority of Sayyidunā Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “A person, whilst on a journey, experienced extreme thirst. [Along the way, he came across a well so] he climbed down this well and drank from it. He then climbed out of the well and saw a dog panting and licking the moist soil due to [extreme] thirst. This person said [to himself], ‘Indeed this dog has faced the same dilemma [of thirst] that I faced.’ [So he climbed down the well again and] filled his leather sock with water. He then climbed out whilst holding his sock with his teeth and quenched the thirst of the dog. Allāh ta‘ālā appreciated his deed and forgave his sins. The Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum asked, ‘Is there reward for us in [being kind to] animals?’ Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied, ‘There is reward in [being kind to] every living creature’.”

Many lessons can be derived from this hadīth, but I wish to draw your attention to a specific lesson, that of providing water for the creation of Allāh ta‘ālā. It is evident that the deed that attracted the Mercy of Allāh ta‘ālā was quenching the thirst of a dog.

Water – A Gift from Allāh

Water is an essential need of a human; a person can survive weeks without food, but only days without water. The body’s function is dependent on water and all its essential organs need a constant supply. As the body cannot make its own water, a person needs to supply the body with water. This important need of humans is provided by Allāh ta‘ālā himself in the form of rain, streams, rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…and We have sent down pure water from the sky. (25:48)

And We caused the earth to burst with springs… (54:12)

Water – A Medium to Gain Great Reward

Due to its importance and necessity, Allāh ta‘ālā has also promised great reward for those who provide water to the creation of Allāh ta‘ālā. In the above ḥadīth, we already learnt that it attracts the forgiveness of Allāh ta‘ālā. Many other ahādīth also mention further benefits:

• Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated, “There is no sadaqah more rewarding than [providing] water.” (Al-Bayhaqī)

• Upon being asked regarding the most virtuous form of sadaqah, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied, “[Providing] water.” (Abū Dāwūd)

• Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam stated, “Whichever Muslim quenches the thirst of another Muslim, Allāh will grant him drink from Ar-Rahīq Al-Makhtūm.” (Abū Dāwūd)

Ar-Rahīq Al-Makhtūm is a special wine of Jannah which has been promised for the special servants – the Abrār (the righteous). Allāh ta‘ālā says,

Verily the Abrār will be in bounties, upon couches looking on. You will recognise the radiance of bounties in their faces. They will be given pure sealed wine to drink, the seal of which is musk. It is for this that the competitors should compete. (83:22-26)

Water – A Means of Continuous Reward

Sadaqah is of two types:

1. Sadaqah: where the reward is confined to the action and the reward is a single entry. For example, when someone feeds another person, a one-off reward is written for him; and

2. As-Sadaqah Al-Jāriyah: when the reward is continuous. In fact, it also continues after one’s demise. For example, authoring a book from which people benefit; for as long as people benefit from this knowledge, the author will continue to reap its reward.

After one’s demise, the avenues to gain further reward by any action inevitably cease. A person finding himself in a bad state in the afterlife cannot carry out any deed to change his situation. Similarly, if he finds himself in a good state and he wishes to enhance his condition further, he is unable to carry out any deed to achieve this. At this juncture, a deceased person has two possibilities of earning reward:

1. Īsāl-uth-Thawāb: someone performing a good deed and sending him its reward; and

2. As-Sadaqah Al-Jāriyah: as explained above, a deed he carried out during his lifetime which is still generating reward for him.

Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

When a person dies, [reward for] his deeds are cut off from him except three [types]: [reward for] As-Sadaqah Al-Jāriyah, knowledge from which benefit is derived [by others]; and righteous children who pray for him. (Muslim) 

There are many forms of As-Sadaqah Al-Jāriyah a person can carry out. In one narration Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam listed seven and from amongst them he mentioned, “.…a stream which he causes to flow….” (Ibn Mājah)

In another narration we find that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also advised providing water as a form of Īsāl-uth-Thawāb. After the demise of his mother, Sayyidunā Sa‘d Ibn ‘Ubādah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu asked Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam which sadaqah would be most meritorious and rewarding. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied, “Providing water.” Sayyidunā Sa‘d radhiyallāhu ‘anhu then got a well dug and dedicated its reward for his mother. (Abū Dāwūd)

‘Allāmah Al-‘Aynī rahimahullāh has mentioned a hadīth wherein Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam visited a person who was in his last moments. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked him what he was observing [of the next world]. He explained, “I see two angels distancing themselves from me and two snakes coming closer; and I see evil increasing and goodness weakening.” The person sought help from Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam by requesting him to make du‘ā. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam supplicated, “O Allāh! Accept little [he has done] and forgive the large quantity [of evil deeds he has committed].” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam then asked him what he was seeing now. He replied, “The two angels are coming closer and the two snakes are going away; and I see goodness increasing and evil weakening.” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked him which of his actions he found most rewarding. He said, “Providing water.” (‘Umdah-al-Qārī)

Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “On the Day of Judgement, the people going to Jannah will be lined up in rows. A person destined for Jahannam [whilst passing by these rows] will come across a person [to whom he had provided water in this worldly life]. He will say to him, ‘Do you remember that day when you asked for water and I gave you water to drink.’ The person will [remember this favour and] intercede for him.” (Ibn Mājah)

Warning on Not Sharing Water

It is the sheer Grace of Allāh ta‘ālā that he has provided this necessity for survival in much abundance and in principle, it is for all people. Therefore, it would be extremely inhuman to deprive someone of water at the time of his need, especially when one has the means to provide it. Consequently, a grave warning has been cited for such wretched people whose hearts do not soften upon seeing others suffering thirst. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated:

There are three types of people; Allāh will neither talk to them, nor look towards them, nor purify them, and for them will be a painful punishment: One who has excess water in the path [along a route] and he prevents a traveller [passing by] from [using] it…. (Al-Bukhārī)

Benefit in this World

Providing water not only benefits a person in the hereafter, but it also has worldly benefits. A person once came to ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārak rahimahullāh complaining about a wound in a knee which was not healing for the past seven years, despite referring to doctors and treating it with various methods of treatment. ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārak rahimahullāh advised him to find a place where people are in need of water and provide water by digging a well. The person located a place and dug a well and Allāh ta‘ālā cured him. (Al-Bayhaqī)

Imām Al-Bayhaqī rahimahullāh narrates that my teacher Imām Al-Hākim had a wound on his face. Despite many types of treatment, it could not be cured for a period of one year. He requested Abū ‘Uthmān Sābūnī rahimahullāh to make du‘ā for him in his weekly majlis on Friday. Abū ‘Uthmān rahimahullāh made du‘ā for him. The people who attended earnestly beseeched Allāh ta‘ālā saying āmīn to the du‘ā of the shaykh.

The following Friday, a woman who had attended the previous week, sent a note to Imām Abū ‘Uthmān rahimahullāh. In the note she narrated that, after the previous majlis, she went home and earnestly prayed for Imām Al-Hākim rahimahullāh that night. She mentioned that she saw Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in her dream as if he was advising her to tell Imām Al-Hākim rahimahullāh that he should provide water for the Muslims in abundance. When this note reached Imām Al-Hākim rahimahullāh, he ordered a siqāyah [a place where water is provided] to be constructed outside his home. When the construction was completed, it was filled with sweet water. Ice was also placed in it and people began drinking. Not even a week passed and he was cured and his face turned beautiful again. (Al-Bayhaqī)

Providing Water to Others

It is a great Mercy of Allāh ta‘ālā that we in England do not experience a shortage of water. Clean and abundant water is available at all times. We should be thankful to Allāh ta‘ālā for this great gift. There are so many people throughout the world who have to travel far distances to bring clean water for their homes. The short supply obliges them to get every family member to walk the long distance in order to obtain as much water as possible, including young children.

Those of us who are fortunate to have water in abundance and sufficient wealth, should resolve to provide water to the less fortunate ones according to our means. This could be through:

• arranging for wells to be dug;

• providing water pumps;

• providing water coolers; and

• setting up drinking fountains.

In whatever way possible, we should seek to quench the thirst of people and animals. Providing water to the general public on a hot summer day in this country or elsewhere, will also be a deed that will be greatly recompensed by Allāh ta‘ālā. Along with that, the wider community will be able to appreciate the beautiful teachings of the saviour of humanity, our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, who was sent as mercy for the world.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the ability to engage in this meritorious act as much as possible, in order to secure His Mercy in this life and in the hereafter. Āmīn. 

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 26 No. 3, March 2017)


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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

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.