بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Perhaps you didn’t know that what you did made them Martyrs.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Waheed Jensen is a Muslim male in his mid 20’s, struggling in this world with being young, open-minded and gay, trapped in a global community of Muslims who claim to follow Islam but lack the application of its most basic tenets. Working to make the world a better place for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. A version of this article appeared on Altmuslimah and VirtualMosque.com.
Ever since I began trying to understand life, one of the crippling realizations about the Muslim communities I reached was this: We tend to bury our problems in a dark hole, dismiss them and hope they will never come back to haunt us. But they often do. We overlook many of our familial, social and cultural issues until they multiply and are about to explode in our faces; at that point, we are notorious for pointing fingers and crying over spilt milk.
Our room is filled with elephants that we barely have an inch to stand, yet we remain oblivious and hope things will get better.
Allow me today to describe one of those elephants. A strange elephant. Allow me to dissect it and hand it over to you, that you may ponder and hopefully open your heart and mind.
Let me start off by saying these three words: I am gay.
Even though you do not know who I am, and maybe the mere fact that I just came out to you right this instant may offend you, confuse you or drive you away from reading the remainder of this article. Let me assure you, this is not one of those articles that tries to promote homosexuality or deliver an airbrushed and Islam-oriented version of all those pro-homosexuality arguments.
Yes, I am gay and I am Muslim, and I am here to offer you a small glimpse into a journey of struggles, passions and hopes. I do not intend to delve into the story of Prophet Lut and his people, talk about the evolution and progression of the LGBT community during the past century, present arguments for or against same-sex relations, or even try to prove my own opinion. I really hope you can read and reflect, and I pray that this small effort of bringing the picture a little closer to you might make the slightest bit of difference in raising awareness, and hopefully open healthy discussions on the topic.
I wholeheartedly believe, in concordance with Islam and its teachings, that sodomy is a major sin. I am against same-sex marriage and intercourse, and I am not in favour of any progressive movements that attempt to explain Quranic verses about People of Lut or sodomy from a modernist or post-modernist approach – in other words, arguments that try to find a leeway and claim that that is a legitimate Islamic perspective.
I hope that this will not drive away readers who are excited about the topic but may be uncomfortable with my statements. I have adopted this position after years of introspection, research, counselling and personal prayer, and I am coming forth today to share with you some of those experiences.
Why Am I Different?
Homosexuality has been present in humanity for centuries, and for as long as it has been there, homosexuals have been struggling with themselves, their families and society at large. To me personally, there was always something different. I could feel it in me from a very young age. Something that I could not explain to others because I thought they would not understand, let alone accept, or maybe because I was too young and immature at the time that I was not entirely sure what ‘it’ was.
It crystallized around puberty; when all the raging hormones started kicking in, those tendencies became obvious. And then the real struggle began.
The struggle led to an explosion of questions. “Why am I different? Why am I not like the rest of my friends or family members? Is this even normal? Am I sick?” Not finding the proper answers, I kept on putting these questions aside. “Maybe it’ll go away. Maybe it’s just a phase.” In my case, it never went away and it was not a phase.
With time I learned that this is something abhorred religiously, culturally and socially. So I tried to adapt. “How do I balance between the feelings and tendencies I have with what my religion, culture and social norms dictate?” So I began a journey of self-exploration and interacting with others, learning from religion, media as well as prominent persons, like religious scholars and major social figures. My schemas kept changing, and I kept on adapting.
Many of us may be brave enough to rebel against what others seem to ‘dictate’ on us, while others suppress their urges, often hiding their identities from those closest to them, generally out of fear, or maybe because they are not just ready to come out yet. I belong to the latter group.
To this date, I have never had the courage to tell my parents or close family members, but I have come out to a close friend of mine a few months ago, and he was extremely supportive Alhamdulillah (all praises to Allah).
One of the most dangerous pitfalls I have personally experienced was thinking that God hated me. He was mad at me. “I must have done something wrong in my life to deserve this ‘punishment’… If God does not accept homosexuality, then why am I a homosexual?” Whether Muslim or not, people struggling in silence can be more prone to deviating to dangerous paths.
So, you find many struggling homosexuals also dealing with bullying, drinking problems, substance abuse, domestic violence, poor academic performance, career problems, pornography or sex addictions, sexually-transmitted diseases, mood disorders like depression and anxiety, and many other issues. (1) I had my own share of bullying, academic problems and mood disorders. Our struggles multiply with time, and many even contemplate suicide.
This is especially true in cases where the individual tries to discuss the issue – often it is just those desires or thoughts that are tackled, not the actual act – with his/her parents or family members who are not receptive to those ideas. If not shown sympathy, care and love, he/she is often shunned, harassed, scorned and sometimes even tortured.
A lot of gay men and women are forced into arranged marriages, taken to local Imams to ‘heal them from their calamity and wrath of God’, or even killed. (2) Some of them take their own lives by themselves. Others live in constant torment while some flee their homes and families in search for a more welcoming environment. That and many have not even yet engaged in any sexual acts whatsoever.
Why We Have Difficulty with Other Muslims
This is why I, along with many fellow homosexual Muslims, find the Western alternative very striking: It offers acceptance and understanding. Things that we dearly miss in our communities, even though we may realize deep down that there is something terribly wrong, the fact that there is someone who accepts us and fights for us and not against us is incredibly more appealing. When we try to talk to other Muslim seemingly-pious and God-conscious brothers and sisters about our sexuality and are shunned by their lack of empathy, respect and understanding, would you find it surprising that we take comfort in talking to non-religious people about our struggles in hopes to find an open mind and a loving heart?
Ironically, the spirit of Islam is all about empathy, tolerance and understanding, yet the practice of Islam carried out by many Muslims shows the opposite.
Trust me, I understand that it is a difficult topic to open up with others, especially people coming from conservative backgrounds. It is difficult news for you to receive, just as it is difficult for me to handle, let alone share with others. However, the fact that I choose to come out to specific people means that those people are exceptionally special to me. To us.
It takes a lot of courage, incredible determination and a full dose of anxiety and fear to even think about coming out to someone, that you can imagine the damage we have to endure when the other person dismisses us or shows no empathy or mercy. It seems like a lot to handle if you ask me.
I remember the first time I decided to come out to someone, I was going through an overwhelming period in my life, yet Alhamdulillah I had some seeds of piety and religiosity inside me. I was around 18, and he was a non-religious psychologist and counsellor. I went to an appointment with him, tried to beat around the bush but ultimately came out to him. And, he was accepting. Later on, I found out that many struggling homosexuals came to him for advice and counselling.
I was hoping that, with the aid of therapy, my orientation would change – this is scientifically known as reparative or conversion therapy; while many studies have been conducted on it and some patients have reported success, a great number of psychiatrists and counsellors have reported failure and more harm done to the patients than good. The progress of my visits culminated in him putting forward the idea of accepting who I am and going all the way with it – in other words, experience my entire sexuality without restraints.
At that point I was really uncomfortable with his proposal, as it was against my Islamic beliefs and my own virtues.
During that same period, I was doing my own reading and researching, trying to find a proper Islamic “solution,” crying for help and praying that I am guided to what Allah pleases. One of the most heartwarming responses was given by a psychiatrist who also has a profound knowledge of Islamic shariah (legal rulings). He was hosted on a TV show, and he was speaking so graciously, so open-mindedly, that his words hit the right chord and I was immediately awe-struck. I cried after finally having found an answer with which my heartfelt ease.
That was pure bliss, Alhamdulillah.
Why Am I Homosexual?
The gist of the talk is the following: Homosexuality as an orientation is a disorder in one’s fitrah (human nature and disposition). “Treatment” of such a disorder involves therapy, familial and social support, personal discipline and a whole lot of other things. However, this therapy, which is tailored on a case-by-case basis, may or may not work. The mode of therapy is different between individuals, just like every case of homosexuality is different between people.
Mind you, the term “therapy” here is used loosely to mean dealing with the issue from different aspects rather than reverting one’s sexual orientation.
If many of us, homosexuals, dive deeper into our childhood and upbringing, we can pinpoint certain events that have taken their toll on us one way or another. Many of us have experienced child abuse, be it sexual, physical or intense emotional abuse that was brutally damaging to our body and soul, or lived in dysfunctional families that ultimately caused a lot of psychological damage. (3)
I, for one, had my own share of psychological and sexual abuse as a child from people closest to me and witnessed intense domestic violence that crippled my mind for a decent period of time. Such events were so incredibly powerful that they became ingrained in my psyche and took their toll on my thinking and behaviour.
Others have been desensitized to issues related to sexuality and gender roles from a young age, that their perception of masculinity and femininity is quite erroneous. I can recall several stories of struggling homosexuals I know who grew up in homes where one parent was more dominant in their life (e.g. present most of the time while the other was absent, provided greater emotional, psychological and social support while the other did the exact the opposite), such that either parent’s gender became more dominant on their lives and personas, and hence their perception of gender and sexuality deviated from the normal.
It is worth noting, however, that many people grow up in normal environments with no such issues during childhood, yet end up finding themselves attracted to the same gender. So there is no discrete thumb rule or cause as to whether someone will end up identifying as a homosexual or a heterosexual. It is not a simple black or white situation.
In addition to the above, it has been asserted that there are other acquired causes – we are bombarded on a daily basis with sensual and sexually-explicit material, from billboards, magazines and newspaper articles, to online material on social media websites. Sex and sexuality are heavily emphasized in TV shows, readings and discussions, whether openly or not. We have become accustomed to seeing semi-naked and naked bodies, our concepts of beauty, femininity and masculinity have radically evolved over time and we have become desensitized to these matters. (4)
There is an unbelievable amount of time and resources spent on creating better bodies: muscular, dreamy and good-looking men, and gorgeous women with “perfect” facial and body features. In addition, many of the inter- and intra-gender boundaries have drastically changed over time. Taken together, these matters overwhelm the human mind, and the effects are undoubtedly palpable.
Again, these and countless other events affect people’s heart, mind, body and spirit differently. People struggle to cope in different ways. Some people, like myself and countless others, may eventually find themselves with a specific worldview, having had a culmination of experiences, as well as a specific orientation that may or may not be modifiable. Just like these examples are struggling in and of themselves, homosexual thoughts and tendencies are no less than struggles as well.
Will I Have a Partner in Life?
When I see married men and women sharing affection, enjoying companionship and raising children, it hurts. A lot. Not the jealous I-hope-they-lose-all-that kind, but the painful realization that this is not something I can ever attain. Because of my situation, my ibtila’ (struggle in life), the idea of marrying someone from the opposite sex is not practical at all or even fair for me or my potential spouse. Many shuyukh advice homosexuals to get married for their tendencies to dissolve; while this may work with a handful of people, a large number of us does not find it physically or mentally plausible.
Many of the things other people, including those shuyukh themselves, take for granted – like relationships, marriage and having children – are the exact things we struggle with day in and day out. Personally, and unlike Muslim heterosexuals, I do not have safe and lawful options through which I can channel and fulfil those desires. Therefore, I try my best to remain steadfast and struggle for the sake of Allah. If that is not incredible Jihad, I do not know what counts as such.
While it may seem unfair and even preposterous to some people to keep struggling and not fulfil our desires, especially in this time and age, that is where the beauty lies. Within Islam, we are not held accountable for our thoughts, feelings, desires and tendencies as long as we do not act upon them. There are three ideas worth mentioning here.
First, Allah has promised in the Quran that He “does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity” [2:286]. Taken in line with Islamic teachings, this means that Allah knows how painful my struggle is and knows that I can handle it. Every time I ponder upon this idea, I am overwhelmed with incredible awe and gratitude. Of all people across centuries, He has chosen specific people for this particular test. Indeed, life is nothing but a few years and the True Life is in the Hereafter, so no matter how agonizing the struggle is, there will be an end to it.
Second, there is an immense reward and unimaginable blessings, both in this life and the Hereafter, by staying true to God’s decree and struggling for His sake. The greater the struggle, the more the rewards in sha Allah (God willing).
Third, and just like the popular saying goes, “when God closes one door, He opens another.” So, if issues like intimacy and procreation may seem like dead ends for Muslim homosexuals, we find openings in other aspects of life. Many homosexuals across history have been known for incredible gifts in writing, public speaking, music, cinema, scientific discoveries, literature and art. (5) Studies have reported that homosexuals exhibit high levels of empathy and compassion compared to heterosexuals. (6)
Because we have suffered and are constantly struggling, we have big hearts that know no boundaries. If we utilize our God-given gifts wisely and for the greater good, we can do wonders inshaAllah.
We All are Trying to Find Answers
Of course, there are Muslim homosexuals and pro-gay rights advocates who adopt a completely different perspective. Some try to balance between their religious duties while keeping in line with their orientation; in other words, they carry out their desires yet remain true to their duties. Others denounce Islamic rules altogether arguing that in modern times, such rules do not apply, hence they call for a reformation in Islamic laws taken for granted as solid foundations of religion.
Others are still struggling between balancing Islamic law and their own sexuality, searching for answers that provide them with ultimate satisfaction.
I am in no way trying to prove myself right and others wrong. This article is solely intended to highlight some of the struggles I go through as a Muslim homosexual, and I have taken the liberty at some points to speak on behalf of fellow struggling homosexuals because of our shared tribulations. Whatever your position is on this matter, I respect you and love you as a human being, your desires are legitimate and in no way make you less of a human being.
However, based on my beliefs, I do not accept specific actions that you may do which go against Islamic law. And there again, you are no less of a human being, and I still respect you as an individual. This falls at the heart of Islam – if someone like me who is struggling with his/her own desires can adopt such a stance, then so can everyone else. Maybe if we focus less on demonizing other people and concentrate more on helping one another, things would start to change for the best.
If you are a homosexual reading this, please know that my heart is with you. I of all people understand the daily struggles you are going through, and I salute your bravery and high spirit. Please remember that Allah is Merciful and Forgiving, no matter how much people tell you otherwise. Stay strong, and if you ever fall into the traps of Shaytan (the devil), repent to the Almighty with a pure heart and know that He accepts and welcomes the sincere. Pray to remain steadfast. Fasting is a powerful weapon so try your best to fast regularly.
Also, try to do sports and channel your energy in healthy ways. Surround yourself with the good company of pious people, and keep daily companionship of His Book. Pursue a higher purpose in life, for you are already on a high track. Trust me, I understand that the struggles may reach excruciating levels – it is at those moments that our inner cores are tested.
Make your struggles entirely for His sake, and they will be worth it. You will come out stronger and braver than before. With today’s explosion of sexuality and acceptance of same-sex relations, do not swallow the bait. Keep yourself in the company of Him for that is all that ultimately matters.
If you are a heterosexual reading this and assuming you may be uncomfortable with such a topic, I understand that this may be overwhelming for you at first glance. Take it easy on yourself, and certainly take it easy on others. We all have our own struggles, so let us make this journey we call life a little bit less difficult for one another. Let us shift our focus from pointing out each other’s faults and instead work together for more empathy, compassion and love.
There is a difference between respecting someone and accepting his/her actions; the former must be there at all times. If we disagree or have different lifestyles, and certainly if we make mistakes, please do not judge us. Bear with us. Listen to us, be there for us, for if you ever need us we will be there for you.
Even though we may not get the chance to experience what it means to have a spouse, be intimate or even raise a family in this life, I pray that Allah accepts our struggles for His sake and fulfil our desires in the Hereafter. Yes, I am a gay Muslim, and I am proud – proud that Allah has chosen me and many other brothers and sisters for this particular struggle in this life. And for that, and for all His countless blessings we say, Alhamdulillah.
“I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you… I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”
(V for Vendetta)
1. Lee, R. (2000). Health care problems of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. Western Journal of Medicine, 172(6), 403–408.
2. Kesvani, H. (2015, April 18). Meet The Gay Muslims Living In Straight Marriages. http://www.buzzfeed.com/husseinkesvani/gay-muslims-in-straight-marriages
3. Schneeberger, A. R., Dietl, M. F., Muenzenmaier, K. H., Huber, C. G., & Lang, U. E. (2014). Stressful childhood experiences and health outcomes in sexual minority populations: a systematic review. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 49(9), 1427-1445.
4. Qadhi, Y. (2009, April 13). Dealing With Homosexual Urges: Yasir Qadhi to Muslim Student. http://muslimmatters.org/2009/04/13/dealing-with-homosexual-urges/
5. Rictor Norton (compiler), “The Great Queers of History, Part 1: Born before 1800″, 1 May 2004 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/greatgay/greatgay.htm>.
6. Salais, D. A., & Fischer, R. B. (1995). Sexual preference and altruism. Journal of Homosexuality, 28(1-2), 185-196.
I came across the post below on Buruj Lan-dan’s page on why we as Muslim women don’t pray when we’re on our monthly periods, and it’s a topic that’s been on my mind for a while so I wanted to share it with you adding my own reflections at the end.
Why don’t we pray when we are on our monthly cycles?
A dear friend of mine explained it to me and it blew me away. May Allah protect her always.
There is not a deed as great as the prayer. And no one is excused from it under any circumstances. Even men in battles are commanded to pray in whatever way they can.
But the only time a servant of Allah is entirely excused from praying and from even making up the missed prayers is when as a woman you suffer from all the difficulties that come with menstruation.
I love how my friend worded the wisdom behind it.
“Allah has mercy on you because He knows no one around you will”
Your boss doesn’t care if you come late to work because you were suffering from cramps in the morning. Your children don’t demand any less on those days of weakness and tiredness. Your husband doesn’t have any more patience with your mood swings when sadness or anger overwhelms you for no reason. When you step out, nobody knows how much your body either aches or how much your mind is distracted by incessant thoughts. You are on your own.
So, Allah the Most Merciful, Ar-Raheem, Ar Rahman, removes His obligation on you because no one else will.
We could’ve been commanded to make them up – if the reason was purely Taharah (purity) but we weren’t. He gives us a break when no one will.
The other time a woman is excused is when she has given birth. Her body, her mind labours to bring another life into the world and becomes occupied with taking care of it – and again Allah excuses her.
This is what makes me fall in love with Allah and Islam even more. For only Allah could know the intricate details of our struggle and give us what we need the most – mercy. – From Buruj Lan-Dan’s Facebook Page
It’s common for us to jokingly refer to our periods as holidays because we’re absolved from the responsibility of praying. After a few days however the effect quickly wanes and we find ourselves craving the doses of serenity that we get through prayer. One of the focal benefits of Salah is that it forces us to remember Allah SWT hence being away from it can sometimes make us feel like we’re no longer in that state.
Whenever I’m on my period, I’m reminded of the ayah below:
“We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth” [Fussilat 41:53]
On the earth are Signs for those of assured Faith; as also in your own selves: will yet not then see?” [Al-Dhariyat 51:20 – 21]
In fact, my periods are a time when I am heavily conscious of Allah. Marvelling at the creation of my body and how perfectly it functions. Especially on months when I go through heavy periods, and I’m continually amazed at the way my body self-regulates. (No kidding, some days I feel like I’m gonna bleed out!) There are different ways in our lives that Allah reminds us that is Al-Khaliq, The Creator, and for me, my menstrual cycles are a special reminder of the one who has created me and created me in the best of forms.
I mean think about it, having regular menstrual cycles is a sign that the body is functioning normally, so remember to thank Allah for your health and the numerous blessings that he has given you through your body.
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…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
There is no doubt marriage is becoming harder for some people. And when you go to see a potential partner you may struggle to ask the right questions. Here is a list someone sent me:
(Pick and choose the right questions, obviously you are not going to ask all the questions)
1. What is your concept of marriage?
2. Have you been married before?
3. Are you married now?
4. What are your expectations of marriage?
5. Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?
6. What are your goals in life? (long and short term)
7. Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near future.
8. Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.
9. What is the role of religion in your life now?
10. Are you a spiritual person?
11. What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?
12. What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?
13. What is your relationship between you and the Muslim community in your area?
14. Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?
15. What can you offer your spouse spiritually?
16. What is the role of the husband?
17. What is the role of the wife?
18. Do you want to practice polygamy?
19. What is your relationship with your family?
20. What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?
21. What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?
22. Is there anyone in your family living with you now?
23. Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?
24. If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour, what should be done?
25. Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)
26. How did you get to know them?
27. Why are they your friends?
28. What do you like most about them?
29. What will your relationship with them after marriage be?
30. Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
31. What is the level of your relationship with them now?
32. What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?
33. What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?
34. What are the things that you do in your free time?
35. Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?
36. What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?
37. What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)
38. Do you travel?
39. How do you spend your vacations?
40. How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?
41. Do you read?
42. What do you read?
43. After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?
44. After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?
45. How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?
46. How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favour for you?
47. Do you like to write your feelings?
48. If you wronged someone, how do you apologize?
49. If someone has wronged you, how do you want she/he to apologize to you?
50. How much time passes before you can forgive someone?
51. How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?
52. Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?
53. Do your friends use foul language?
54. Does your family use foul language?
55. How do you express anger?
56. How do you expect your spouse to express anger?
57. What do you do when you are angry?
58. When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?
59. When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise, how should the
conflict get resolved?
60. Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
61. What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?
62. Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?
63. Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?
64. Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?
65. What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?
66. How do you support your own health and nutrition?
67. What is you definition of wealth?
68. How do you spend money?
69. How do you save money?
70. How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?
71. Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?
72. Do you use credit cards?
73. Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?
74. What are you expecting from your spouse financially?
75. What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?
76. Do you support the idea of a working wife?
77. If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?
78. Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?
79. Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?
80. Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?
81. Do you want to have children? If not, why?
82. To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?
83. Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?
84. Do you believe in abortion?
85. Do you have children now?
86. What is your relationship with your children now?
87. What is your relationship with their other parent?
88. What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?
89. What is the best method(s) of raising children?
90. What is the best method(s) of disciplining children?
91. How were you raised?
92. How were you disciplined?
93. Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?
94. Do you believe in public school for your children?
95. Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?
96. Do you believe in home schooling for your children?
97. What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?
98. Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?
99. What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?
100. If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?
I will also add the istikhara dua, to pray after two rak’at nafl salah:
Where the words “Hathal amr” appear twice (underlined) think of the matter you are asking for.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Zainab bint Younus, Canada
MARITAL ADVICE LISTS are common to find in Muslim literature and lectures, yet the information is almost always targeted towards women. However, we all know that it takes two to tango – and so here is a list aimed at Muslim husbands in the hopes that they, too, will benefit and be able to improve their relationships.
1. Have taqwa and iḥsân
Know that you are responsible for your end of the marriage, regardless of how the other party treats you. Fulfill your wife’s rights without demanding yours first, and know that you seek Allah’s Pleasure over anyone else’s. Do your job with excellence, and don’t make it conditional. Iḥsân is not merely to worship in the ritual sense, but to conduct oneself in general with an awareness that Allah is Al-Raqîb (the Ever-Watchful), and to fulfill one’s duties in the best of manners.
Then he (Jibrîl) said, “Inform me about iḥsân.” He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, “It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet (know that) He sees you.” (Muslim)
2. Respect her
Remember that Allah describes marriage as a bond of love and mercy – love ebbs and flows, but mercy and respect must always be there, even – especially – in times of conflict. Unfortunately, we tend to present respect as a quality that men need (“men need respect, women need affection”). The truth is, however, that one can love someone without respecting them… and this is very, very dangerous. To have mercy and respect one’s wife is to never assume that she exists merely as an extension of you or to serve your needs. To respect her is to honor her, to defend her from harm and others’ accusations, and to have husn al-ẓann of her.
In cases of disagreement, this respect translates as not forcing your own opinion upon her when there is Islamically acceptable room for differences of opinion.
It should go without saying, but unfortunately it bears repeating nonetheless – respecting your wife means never, ever, abusing her, physically or otherwise.
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Sûrat Al-Rûm, 30:21]
Even in times of conflict, Allah tells us to behave in the most respectful and gracious of manners:
And do not forget graciousness between you. [Sûrat Al-Baqarah, 2:237]
Abû Mûsa Al-Ashʿari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I asked the Messenger of Allah: “Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, “One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.” 
3. Be emotionally intelligent
Empathy, being attuned to the other person’s preferences, learning to understand their personality and responding appropriately without expecting to change them into something they’re not… supporting and respecting each other as both individuals and as a team. The Prophet ﷺ was an emotionally intelligent husband, who knew the differences in his wives’ personalities and interacted with them in a manner best suited to each woman. He comforted Ṣufiyyah when she wept; he had spirited discussions with ʿÂishah (May Allah be pleased with her) and he encouraged Ḥafṣah’s (May Allah be pleased with her) for knowledge.
In a famous narration known as the Hadith of Abu Zarʿ(May Allah be pleased with him)  ʿAishah told the Prophet ﷺ the story of eleven women who sat together and described their husbands’ qualities and behaviours. The eleventh woman, Umm Zarʿ, described Abû Zarʿas a man who was extremely generous to his wife, showering her with gifts; who went out of his way to please her; who never rebuked her or verbally abused her; who made sure that she was comfortable and satisfied. To Umm Zarʿ, there was no greater husband than Abû Zarʿ- and the Prophet ﷺ himself told ʿÂishah, I am to you as Abû Zarʿwas to Umm Zarʿ, except that I will never divorce you.
4. Be a True Qawwâm
Know that being a qawwâm is a matter of being a good leader – not authoritarian or a dictator, but someone who inspires love and respect, who treats others with dignity and respect… The popular book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great resource for understanding what good leadership is. There are several excellent Islamic resources discussing leadership lessons from the life of the Prophet ﷺ.   Strive to embody the Sunnah in your character, not just in how many rakʿahs a day you pray.
ʿÂishah RA described the Prophet thus: “His character was the Quran.”  Be the type of husband that a wife describes in such a manner.
Remember that as a qawwâm, you are responsible and accountable for the well-being of your household and those under your care.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amîr (ruler) who is over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock…” 
5. Be friends before you become spouses
That might sound odd (or not) – but we often put so much pressure on ourselves to fulfill a role (husband/wife), that we forget to get to know each other as friends first. Every marriage will go through ups and downs, intimately and otherwise… and you’ll be surprised to realize how much having a solid, sincere friendship can pull you through the hard times.
One example of RasûlAllah’s “friendship” with his wives is his relationship with Sawdah bint Zamʿah RA. She was the first woman whom he married after the death of Khadijah, and although she was considered to be elderly and not as beautiful as the other women whom he would later marry, their relationship was one of camaraderie, confidence, and laughter. 
6. Don’t be embarrassed or ignorant of female biology
Learn about it – from menstruation to female sexuality to pregnancy and everything else. You need to know this stuff – it will impact your life significantly, intimately and otherwise. Don’t laugh it off or act as though it’s not worth your time and attention. Women’s health is sorely misunderstood, and having a disinterested (or worse, disgusted) husband can make things even more difficult for women.
The Prophet ﷺ did not shy away from these matters, either as a husband or as a Messenger of Allah. Instead, he constantly enjoined men to be aware of and sensitive to their wives’ needs – just as he was with his wives.
Narrated Umm Salamah RA:
While I was laying with the Prophet ﷺ under a single woolen sheet, I got the menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses. He said, “Have you got “nifâs” (menses)?” I replied, “Yes.” He then called me and made me lie with him under the same sheet. 
7. Be responsible
Being “a good Muslim husband” doesn’t just mean fulfilling the basic rights as a husband and leaving it at that. Being a good Muslim husband means that you are on the ball as a responsible adult – whether it’s paying the bills, taking out the trash, cleaning a mess in the house, or being an engaged father (not ‘babysitting’). Doing these things is not a “kindness to the wife,” or “helping out at home.” It’s not “extra credit” and deserving of lavish praise. It is part and parcel of being a grown man responsible for his surroundings, his family, and himself. Do these things out of mindfulness that Allah will never waste your efforts for His Sake.
Narrated Al-Aswad RA:
I asked ʿÂishah what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied. “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer.” (Bukhâri)
ʿÂishah RA reported:
I was asked, “What did the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, do in his house?” I said, “The Prophet was a man among men. He would remove fleas from his clothes, milk his sheep, and serve himself.” (Musnad Ahmad 25662)
8. Don’t pursue your nawâfil at the expense of your wife’s farâ’iḍ
One issue that many men fall into is that in their zeal to engage more in ʿibâda, they end up burdening their wives even more – to the extent that she is barely able to pray her five ṣalawât with khushûʿ. Both spouses should encourage and facilitate opportunities for each other to strengthen as Muslims, but mothers of young children especially need their husbands to step up so that they can have the necessary time they need to reconnect with Allah and flourish spiritually. (And no, that doesn’t just mean five minutes here and there.)
Ramadan is a time when this becomes more obvious than ever – for example, many men will go to Ṣalat Al-Ṭarâwîḥ while leaving their wives to deal with the children, in addition to having cooked ifṭâr beforehand. On a daily basis, though, go out of your way to facilitate your wife’s ʿibâda and spiritual connection.
Narrated Abû Juḥaifah RA:
The Prophet ﷺ made a bond of brotherhood between Salmân Al-Fârisi RA and Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA. Salmân RA paid a visit to Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA and found Umm Al-Dardâ’ RA dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied, “Your brother Abû Al-Dardâ’ R is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world.”
In the meantime Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA came and prepared a meal for Salmân RA. Salmân RA requested Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA to eat (with him), but Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA said, “I am fasting.” Salmân RA said, “I am not going to eat unless you eat.”
So, Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA ate (with Salmân). When it was night and (a part of the night had passed), Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salmân RA told him to sleep and Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA slept.
After sometime Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA again got up but Salmân RA told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salmân RA told him to get up then, and both of them offered the prayer.
Salmân RA told Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA, “Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who has a right on you.”
Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA came to the Prophet ﷺ and narrated the whole story. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Salmân RA has spoken the truth.” 
9. Learn conflict resolution skills
One big reason that couples end up going to Shuyûkh for counseling is because they simply haven’t learned how to communicate and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. It’s not even about one specific issue or another; it’s about learning how to deal with whatever issues arise, in the most respectful and appropriate manner possible. 
The Quran and Sunnah urge positive reconciliation between believers, and especially between husbands and wives.
“And live with them honourably. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” [Sûrat Al-Nisâ’, 4:19]
“And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah – then indeed Allah is ever with what you do, Acquainted.” [Sûrat Al-Nisâ’, 4:128]
10. Love your wife for who she is
Not because she’s the person who cooks for you or does your laundry. Not because she’s the mother of your child(ren). Not because you’ve settled into routine and you feel comfortable having her around and she knows how to work the coffee maker and where the family’s paperwork is filed. Love her for her. Her personality traits, her talents, her hobbies, the things about her that make her unique.
Notice them, appreciate them, compliment them. Let her know that you don’t just see her as wife or mother, but as an individual on her own. Know that long before she married you, indeed long before she was born to her own parents, she was created as a separate soul – a human being whose primary identity is as a slave of Allah.
And most importantly – let her know that you love her, with all the pride and openness that RasûlAllah ﷺ demonstrated when he was asked, “Who do you love most?” and he responded, simply and beautifully, “ʿÂishah.” 
There are of course numerous other pieces of advice that can be dispensed on the topic – everything from giving gifts to resolving in-law issues to arranging date-nights and so on. However, more important than specific behaviours are the principles behind them – and it these principles which have been highlighted.
In short, Muslim men should strive to match the standards set by RasûlAllah ﷺ when he said:
“The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.” 
 Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Mâjah, 1977; classed as saḥîḥ by al-Albaani in Saḥîḥ al-Tirmidhi
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship (2:185)
Alhumdu Lillah, I have just returned from my trip to Umrah for the month of Ramadhan. As always an amazing, joyous, marvellous and memorable experience! I thought I would pen down some of my thoughts and recollect my memories and experiences as guidance and advice for the benefit of the Ummah, in sha Allah. Many of the pieces of advice can be used for Hajj as well, as you will read in sha Allah. A wise man once said, “The best gift you can present to someone is good advice.” Feel free to add comments below and make any corrections, I am no expert of Hajj/Umrah or of the Haramayn. This is not a guide to Hajj/Umrah, it is just advice which I feel will help you and lighten your burden hopefully. And there is some fiqh/masail, because I feel knowledge is extremely important especially in Hajj and Umrah.
Travelling and Hardship
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ السَّفَرُ قِطْعَةٌ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ يَمْنَعُ أَحَدَكُمْ نَوْمَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ فَإِذَا قَضَى أَحَدُكُمْ نَهْمَتَهُ مِنْ
وَجْهِهِ فَلْيُعَجِّلْ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ
From Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Travelling is a portion of the torment. It denies you your sleep, food, and drink. When you have accomplished your purpose, you should hurry back to your family.” (Muwatta Malik).
Normally, we are in our daily routine, we do the same thing every day. We do not realise things about ourselves, our habits and temperaments etc. When we travel on a journey, especially with others these habits come out. Like we can see from the above Hadith, travelling deprives us of our food, sleep and drink etc. We all know what happens when we take a man’s sleep or food away. The quote of Umar (Allah be pleased with him) is famous, how you truly know a person once you have travelled with him.
Umar (Allah be pleased with him) asked about a man who had given testimony, wanting to find out whether anyone could vouch for him. A man said to him: “I will vouch for him, O’ Ameer al-Mumineen, ‘Umar asked, “Are you his neighbour?” He said, “No.” He then” asked, “Did you mix with him for a day and come to know his character?” He said, “No.” He asked next: “Did you travel with him, for travelling and being away from home reveal a man’s true essence?” He said, “No.” ‘Umar said, “Perhaps you saw him in the-mosque, standing, sitting and praying?” He said, “Yes.” ‘Umar said, Go away, for you do not know him.”
Source: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab His life and times (‘Umar ibn al-Khattab shakhsiyatuhu wa ‘asruhu), Volume 1, page 272-273 Written by Dr. ‘Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi, Translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab
A very profound saying, when travelling with others especially in a group, our true colours are revealed through our conduct as:
- Much patience is required because people desire & think differently.
- Whilst we should neither keep others waiting nor impose our views on the rest, we should be prepared to be delayed by others as that is part of group travel.
- We should be ready to serve the rest.
- We should abstain from petty complaints.
- We must be considerate of others esp. the weak, elderly & children.
Pray the Travel/Safar Duas and memorise them for the plane and coaches etc.
My advice first and foremost is to select your companions carefully and wisely. He/she should be smart, decisive and sharp. The journey is a blessed one but not an easy one, I like to give a true picture and not make it sound like a walk in the park. At times you have to make difficult decisions on the spot, a good companion will help at such times. People reading this blog will be from different spheres of life, some may never have travelled abroad before. Or they have travelled, but not to Haramayn Shareefayn. It is not like a visit to the local mosque, where you have 200-300 people praying. Brace yourself! You can get pushed in Salah, knocked about in Tawaf, it can be extremely hot, things go missing and your possessions can get stolen, which I will elaborate on later. Going to such a beautiful and holy place with the wrong companions can sometimes make the whole journey a tedious and terrible one. This is why I have inserted the quote of Umar (Allah be pleased with him) above. Even if they are family members or relatives or old friends, travelling brings out a lot of “true” qualities in a person, Hajj and Umrah expose people to another level, be warned!
Allah tests us in different ways, the greater the trial the greater the reward. It was narrated from Mus’ab bin Sa’d RA that his father, Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas RA, said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, which people are most severely tested?’ He said: ‘The Prophets ﷺ, then the next best and the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him walking on the earth with no sin on him.’” (Ibn Majah)
Hadhrat Sahl Bin Sa’d (Radi Allahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “Calmness in affairs is from Allah and haste in affairs is from shaytan.” (Tirmidhi)
No matter what happens, do NOT panic. There is always one “panic button” in the group, who makes a mountain of a molehill for every bit of drama. My advice when things go wrong is, “What is the worse that can happen?” Always analyse the situation, don’t overreact. Remember, you are the guests of Allah, He SWT is the host, He SWT will not let you down. You are in a different country, there are thousands of people, the heat can get extreme at times as well. If problems arise or you fall ill, bear in mind your reward is with Allah. The more pain, the more reward.
Be ready, mentally, physically, spiritually…
Makkah is the best place on earth and the most beloved to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. At-Tirmidhi authentically reports in his Sunan (3925) from `Abdullah Ibn `Adiyy (Radi Allahu Anhu) that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said whilst addressing Makkah: “By Allah! You are the best of the lands of Allah, and the best land of Allah to Allah! And were it not for the fact that I was expelled from you, I would never have left you.”
Rectify your intentions, you are going to Hajj/Umrah to please Allah and fulfil an obligation. Not to show off, therefore try staying off social media and taking pictures at every juncture. This leads to Riyaa (showing off) which is Haraam in Islam and spoils the whole journey. I will talk about photography later on.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “What I fear for you the most is the minor shirk, that is al-Riya (showing off). Allah will say on the Day of Judgement when He is rewarding the people for their actions: Go to those for whom you did Riya for in the world then see if you find the reward with them.” [Related by Ahmad (5/428, 429) and al-Baghawi in Sharh as-Sunnah (4135) from the hadith of Mahmud bin Lubayd, Radi Allahu Anhu, with an authentic chain upon the conditions of Muslim]
Repent from all sins, major and minor. Make a firm intention, when I return I will NEVER sin again. Pray your Qadha Salah or fulfil Qadha fasts beforehand. Remember, Huqooqul Ibaad (rights of servants) and Huqooqullah (rights of Allah). So the rights of servants are fulfilling debts, asking for forgiveness from people who you have hurt and offended etc. Do not merely say sorry, rather make it genuine and have a firm resolution never to hurt anyone again
Look for a reliable tour operator, don’t just ask one or two people. Do thorough research, check online and look at reviews etc. Find out exactly how far the hotels are from the Haram, rather than believe the standard “5 minutes.” See if you can get pictures of inside the hotel online, Mr Google is more useful than some of us can imagine. Ask what sort of food is served. On such a strenuous journey you need to eat well.
As Hajj/Umrah consist of a LOT of walking, whether it is Tawaf or walking to the Haram it is good to be prepared beforehand. Try walking a mile or two daily before you go for Hajj in sha Allah. You will see the benefits, especially for those who don’t exercise regularly.
I was given a list of things to take when I went to Hajj in 2012, Alhumdu Lillah – I have passed the same list to many friends and family over the years who have added and edited the list:
In addition to those above:
Small Qur’an (13 lines are not available in Haram)
Take spare dua books if you can (a few times in tawaf I was asked for books from other Hajis)
Carrier bags for laundry
Snacks (crisps, biscuits, etc)
Radox foot soak
How to play Salah on plane/travelling
Recite Talbiyah as much as possible in the state of Ihram
On the way to Makkah keep reciting first kalimah (tayyibah), at least 1,000 times.
Virtues of Makkah
From the places of virtue that Allah has extolled and mentioned their excellence to the exclusion of others is the city of Makkah: the place of safety, security, the place where revelation to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ began, and from where he was appointed as the Messenger to mankind. It is the city which Allah swears by in the Qur’an:
لَا أُقْسِمُ بِهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ “I swear by this city, Makkah”
وَأَنتَ حِلٌّ بِهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ “And you, [O Muhammad], are free of restriction in this city.” (Al-Balad: 1-2)
Imam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) said: This is an oath of Allah (the Most High) by Makkah “Umm al-Quraa” (the mother of all towns), due to the fact that living in it puts one in a state that indicates the greatness of the city itself wherein the people are in a state of Ihraam, living in a sanctity. Allah stated:
وَهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ الْأَمِين “And by this city of security (Makkah).” (At-Teen: 3)
Within Makkah is the Ancient House (Al-Bayt Al-`Ateeq) for the worship of Allah alone. It was the first place of monotheistic worship built for mankind. Allah stated:
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ “Verily, the first House of worship appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for all of creation.” (Aale `Imran: 96)
It the place from where Allah took His Prophet into the Heavens on the night of the Journey. Allah (Most High) said:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
“Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him who took His slave for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haraam (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him of Our signs. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Al-Israa: 1)
“There is no city on earth to which all the prophets, the angels, the holy messengers and all the pious servants of Allah, who reside in the heavens and on earth, including the jinn, flocked to, except Makkah.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
“Around the Ka’bah lies the graves of three hundred prophets.” (Sahih Muslim/Bayhaqi)
“Anyone who falls ill in Makkah for one day, Allah renders his body and his flesh haram (forbidden) from the fire of Jahannam.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Sayyiduna Abu Umamah (Radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah ﷺ said: ‘The doors of the sky open and du’as are accepted on four occasions;
- a) When the armies clash in war
- b) When rain falls
- c) At the time of iqamah [for salah]
- d) When looking at the Ka’bah.’
(Al-Mu’jamul Kabir, Hadith: 7713 & 7719 & Sunanul Kubra of Bayhaqi, vol.3 pg.360 with a weak chain. Also see: Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.10 pg.155, Nataijul Afkar, vol.1 pg.383-384, Al-Futuhatur Rabbaniyyah, vol.4 pg.369 & footnotes on Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 19861) https://hadithanswers.com/duas-accepted-upon-seeng-the-kabah/
From this Hadith Ulama deduce when your first sight falls on the Ka’bah your Duas are accepted. Try and find a good spot to sit/stand for a long time so you can make a lengthy Dua (please pray for me too). When walking in Masjid Haram for the first time keep your gaze low so it doesn’t fall on the Ka’bah, once you find a spot sit and make Dua.
Make dua seriously, not half heartedly. There is a story of Hajjaj ibn Yusuf RH who saw a blind man making Dua in front of the Ka’bah, but he wasn’t paying attention in dua. Hajjaj said to him, “I am going for Tawaf, after seven rounds if your eye sight is not returned I will kill you!” The man panicked and started making Dua passionately and fervently like a man who is drowning! Before Hajjaj finished, the man’s eyesight was returned. Subhan’Allah!
Try to make sure your Ihram is tightly fastened, use safety pins if necessary. Try not to let the bottom piece drag too low as people tend to step on it (which may lead to embarrassment!). Same for sisters, which is a bit more difficult as women tend to wear more loose clothing and it drags along the floor. But if someone steps on your abayah it can cause a lot of inconvenience especially if you wear the long abayahs from head to toe! All I can say is be careful, because in Tawaf you are very close together especially in the Mataf (area around the Ka’bah). Men should also, use a belt if necessary. Very handy to keep your money in as well.
I love a man with Gheerah/Ghayrat! But we also need common sense with Gheerah (protective jealousy), many men do Tawaf with their wife (ves)! And they form a ring around their womenfolk, which is all good and well, but you can’t do Tawaf right next to the Ka’bah and not expect anybody to push or touch your womenfolk (accidentally), it is sure to happen in those areas. Then some men go one step ahead and push and shove anyone who comes close to their wife/daughter. It is ridiculous! Like I said, I admire their Ghayrat, but these couples need to do Tawaf on the outskirts of mataf or on the upper floors, where it is less busy! The Mother of Believers, ‘Ā’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) used to do ṭawāf in an area away from the men, and she did not touch the Black Stone or the Yemeni Corner if there was crowding. It was narrated that ‘Ata’ said:
‘Ā’ishah used to do ṭawāf far away from the men, not mixing with them.” A woman said: “O Mother of the Believers, let us go and touch the Black Stone!” She said: “Go yourself,” and she refused to go.
In my opinion, the best place for women to do ṭawāf is on the roof of the Masjid. Now it may seem like a big distance from far, but I promise you, all it takes is an hour and 10 minutes, to be precise, to complete a ṭawāf, walking at an average pace. Now the Shayṭān may play with your mind and make it seem like a lot. But then ask yourself this…don’t you easily, easily, walk an hour ten minutes in the shopping mall?
Tawaf starts from the area in line with Hajr Aswad (black stone), opposite the black stone there is a green light which can also be used to indicate where the Tawaf starts. In previous time there was a thin piece of marble which went all the way down the Mataf, this also indicated the start of Tawaf as it is good to be precise.
As far as I know, wheelchairs are not allowed in the Mataf for Tawaf. Apparently, now there are scooters available for Tawaf on certain floors.
You can read any form of Dhikr/Dua looking in a book or off by heart in Tawaf or even Qur’an and Surahs you know off by heart. If you are reading from a book, it is safer to do Tawaf on the outside, as reading books slow people down. Which doesn’t help people behind you.
When people are on the last Tawaf (seventh one) they struggle to get out of the Tawaf congregation because it is choc a block, especially if you like to do Tawaf close to the Ka’bah. A good tip for you is, as you do the seventh Tawaf start walking out slowly i.e. do the seventh Tawaf on the outskirts of the Mataf. So as soon as you finish, kiss the Hajre Aswad then you can leave the Mataf and pray your two Rak’ahs for Tawaf. Also, stick out your hand as a gesture that you are leaving, not barge your way through as some people do.
Also, the correct method of kissing the Hajre Aswad is to kiss your palms not your fingers as people tend to do. (Women’s guide to Hajj and Umrah – Mufti Faruq Saheb)
The multazam (place of clinging) is the part of the Ka’bah that is between the Black Stone and the door of the Ka’bah. What is meant by iltizam (clinging) is when the supplicant (person making du’aa’) places his chest, face, forearms and palms against it and calls upon Allah saying whatever du’aa’ he wishes. Try not to push and hurt others, leave room for women too at the Multazam.
There is no specific du’aa’ that the Muslim should say in that place. He can cling to the Multazam when he enters the Ka’bah (if it is easy for him to enter) or he may do that before performing the Farewell tawaaf (tawaaf al-wadaa’), or he may do it at any time he wants. He should not cause difficulty for other people by offering a lengthy du’aa’. Similarly it is not permissible to crowd other people or annoy them in order to cling there. If he sees a space then he should say du’aa’. Otherwise it is sufficient for him to say du’aa’ whilst circumambulating and when prostrating in prayer.
It was narrated that ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Safwaan (Allah be pleased with him) said: “When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ conquered Makkah, I said: I will put on my garments, as my house was on the road, and I will wait and see what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) does. So I went and I saw that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had come out of the Ka’bah, he and his companions, and they were touching the House from the Door to the Black Stone. They had placed their cheeks against the House and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was in the midst of them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1898; Ahmad, 15124.
Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that he heard Rasulullah ﷺ say: “The Multazam is a place where duas are accepted. Whenever a person prays to Allah, at this spot, Allah grants his prayer”.[Al-Hisnul-Haseen, Musalsalaat, Virtues of Haj – page 111]
Multazam is that part which is situated between the black stone and the door of Ka’bah. Multazam comes from the Arabic word ‘Iltizaam’ which means ‘to cling on to something’ or ‘to be attached to something’. It is so called because a person should touch his body to this section and make dua.
Imam Abu Dawood reports that Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu) would stand up straight here with chest and face against the Ka’bah, arms stretched out above the head, leaning against the Ka’bah. He then said: “I saw Rasulullah ﷺ doing this”.
Shaykh Zakariyya (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) writes: “It was a common experience of every Ustadh of the above Hadith, from my teacher (Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri Rahmatullahi Alayhi) to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam that they said: “I prayed at the Multazam in the above manner and my prayer was granted”. Shaykh RH writes: “This has also been my person experience”.
Note: This dua at Multazam should not be made during the Tawaf, otherwise Tawaf will be affected. It is to be made after completion of Tawaf and preferably after praying two rakats Tahiyyatut-Tawaf.
Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) wrote a letter to the people of Makkah Mukarramah informing them that there are fifteen places in the vicinity of Haram Shareef where duas are accepted (Mustajaab Places)
- During Tawaf
2. At the Multazam
3. Under the Meezabur-Rahmah (the water sprout in Hateem, from where the rain water drops off from the roof of Ka’bah).
4. Inside Ka’bah Shareef
5. At the well of ZamZam (after drinking ZamZam)
6. On Safa
7. On Marwa
8. While walking between Safa & Marwa
9. At Maqaame Ibraheem
10. On the plain of Arafaat
11. At Muzdalifa
12. At Mina
13. 14. 15. At the time of pelting the three Shayaateens in Mina.
[Narrated in Al-Hisnul-Haseen]
Shaykh Zakariyya (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) writes: “Some Ulama have added a few more e.g.”
– Inside the Mataaf (where Tawaf is made)
– When one’s sight falls on the Ka’bah (especially the first time)
– Inside the Hateem (the semi-circle around Ka’bah)
– Between Rukne Yamami & Hujare Aswad
[Virtues of Hajj – Page 112]
Great precaution needs to be taken when going to kiss the Hajre Aswad, it is a great Sunnah but saving yourself from harming others is Fardh. The same applies to making Dua at the Multazam and going into the Hateeem. Brothers need to be fair to the women in these areas. We can’t just block them out. I wouldn’t advise women to try and kiss the Hajre Aswad in busy periods I saw one woman trying to kiss it in Ramadhan and her Hijab came off or got pulled off… Astaghfirullah! “Prevention is better than cure.” The Multazam area is between the door of the Ka’bah and Hajre Aswad. There is enough room for men AND women if we can be considerate, the same applies in the Hateem to pray Salah and make dua.
“For verily, anyone who touches the Hajre Aswad is cleansed of his sins just as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Musnad lmam Ahmad)
It helps to wear thin socks when doing Nafl Tawaf (not in Umrah) as it can help your heels, or the leather ankle ones available to buy in Makkah.
Thursday night, the Tawaf usually gets busier than normal. As local people come for Tawaf because of Jumuah
Women should not be praying loud in Tawaf. This year I saw a lady lead her group praying loud, whilst her group repeats after her. Women cannot be Imams! “Be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire.” (Surah Al-Ahzab Ayah 32) Second is the Hadith found in “Sahih Bukhari” Narrated Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him)
‘The Prophet ﷺ said, “The saying ‘Subhan Allah’ is for men and clapping is for women.” (If something happens in the prayer, the men can invite the attention of the Imam by saying “Subhan Allah”. And women, by clapping their hands). Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol #2, Book #22, Hadith #295.
Support for this can be found in the book of Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani “Bulugh Al-Maram” in the tafseer of this Hadith it mentions the clapping is for woman because the men should not hear the woman’s voice. (Bulugh Al-Maram : Arabic/English Page # 81 Hadith # 174)
Etiquette of the Masjid/Haram
The companions Umar (Allah be pleased with him) and Abdullah Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) would say, “I would prefer to commit seventy sins in Rukyah (a place outside Makkah) than commit a single sin in Makkah.” (Kanzul Ummal)
The evidence of Shari`ah (Islamic Law) indicates that good deeds are multiplied in honourable times, such as Ramadhan, and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and places like the Two Sacred Masjids (Mosques). They are highly rewarded in Makkah and Al-Madinah, as it is reported in the authentic Hadith that the Prophet ﷺ said: “One Salah (Prayer) in my Masjid (mosque) [i.e. Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah)] is better than thousand Salahs in any other Masjid, except Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah). And one Salah in Al-Masjid Al-Haram is better than hundred thousand Salahs in my Masjid.” (Related by Ahmad and Ibn Hibban through an authentic Isnad [chain of transmission])
Many people tend to leave things in the saff/rows for Salah to reserve their place. This is incorrect. Please see fatwa below:
Question: What is the ruling regarding reserving one’s position in the front saff between 2 Salahs with one’s scarf, hat or any other item?
The Masjid is the house of Allah and is open to all Muslims who come for Salaah. Whoever comes first and sits in a certain place, then he is deserving of that spot. The Fuqaha (jurist) have written that is Makrooh (reprehensible) for one to reserve a place for himself in the Masjid to perform Salaah on that spot. (Kitabul Fatawa vol. 3 pg. 115 – Al Fatawa Al Hindiya vol. 1 pg. 108).
Based on these explanations, it will not be proper (in fact, it will be reprehensible) for one to fix a spot in the first Saff by putting a scarf, hat etc. to reserve it for his own self. It should also be noted that it is Makrooh (reprehensible) for a person to ask another one to get up from his place (in the Masjid) and sit in that place. Abdullah Bin Umar (R.A) narrated that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) prohibited that one should make another get up from his place and then sit on it.
With respect to if a person was sitting on a spot and then left to attend to a need (to return) when he returns he will be more deserving of that spot. In this regard, Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) said, ‘If anyone gets up from his place of sitting and then returns to that spot, then he is more deserving of that spot.” (Abu Dawood – Kitabul Fatawa vol. 3 pg. 113)
And Allah Knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan https://darululoomtt.net/reserving-seat-masjid/
Many women like to pray Salah next to men or directly behind them:
The Messenger ﷺ in which he said: “The best rows for men are the front ones and the worst are the back ones, and the best rows for women are the back ones and the worst are the front ones.”
The hadeeth quoted is saheeh, but according to the scholars it is to be interpreted in this manner, which is when there is no barrier between the men and women. But if they are screened from the men, then the best rows are the front ones and the worst ones are the back ones, just as is the case with men, and they have to complete the front rows first, then the next and so on, and close the gaps, just like men, because of the general meaning of the proven hadeeth from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) concerning that. May Allah help us all to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.
Walking in front of someone praying Salah
If you are in Tawaf it is okay to walk in front of someone praying Salah, other than that the ruling is the same i.e. you are not allowed to walk in front of someone praying Salah. I understand at time it can be difficult to get out, but we must still walk with precaution. As both the Masjids in the Haram are large Masjids, you can leave two rows in front of the one praying and cross over. But never walk directly in front of someone praying Salah if they are praying alone; Sunnah/Nafl.
This hadeeth – i.e., the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhari (487) and Muslim (505) from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (Radiyallahu Anhu) says “If any one of you is praying, he should not let anyone pass in front of him. Let him push him away as much as he can, and if he insists then let him fight him, for he is nothing but a shaytan (devil)” – indicates that it is makrooh to pass in front of a person who is praying if he is praying on his own and without a sutrah. The same ruling applies to the imam if he is praying without a sutrah. But with regard to the person who is praying behind the imam, it does not matter what passes in front of him, just as it does not matter what passes in front of the imam or person praying alone if it passes behind the sutrah. The sutrah of the imam is also the sutrah of those who are praying behind him.
We say this concerning the imam and the person who prays alone, because the Prophet ﷺ said, “If any one of you is praying…” According to the scholars, this means praying on his own, because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu). Hence we say that the person who is praying behind the imaam does not have to push away the person who passes in front of him, because Ibn ‘Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu) said: “I came along riding on a female donkey one day when I had just reached the age of puberty. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was leading the people in prayer in Mina, without any kind of wall in front of him. I passed in front of part of the row, then I got down and sent the donkey to graze, and joined the row, and no one rebuked me for that.” (al-Tamheed, 4/187)
Drink Zamzam and drink to your full, remember duas are accepted when drinking Zamzam so make dua EVERY time for yourself and for others (and please remember me). For further info on Zamzam click this.
Prophet ﷺ said: “The water of Zamzam is for whatever purpose it is drunk for.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2/1018; see Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah by al-Sakhaawi, p. 359).
Photography is totally forbidden in the Masjid. Scholars have given a fatwa permitting video and photography for da’wah purposes and others have said digital images are okay. But the stronger and preferable view will always be to abstain from such things, as it can be a reason for a lack of sincerity and showing off on social media. Most of these actions lead to showing off, the Prophet warned us about this:
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Shall I not inform you of what I fear for you more than the Masih ad-Dajjal? It is the hidden shirk. It is when a man stands up for prayer, then beautifies his prayer for another to look at.” [Related by Ibn Majah (2604) from the hadith of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, radiallahu ‘anhu. The hadith is hasan]
Are you going to Hajj for Allah or for Facebook friends?!
I was really strict this Ramadhan and I actually stood in the way of people taking photos (my Jihad against selfies!) because I received a talk from a scholar of Pakistan, Mufti MahmoodulHassan Shah Mas’oodi Saheb who said:
“Shaykh Abdul Rehman al-Huzayfi (hafdihahullah) – Imam of Masjid Nabwi SAW- gave a Khutbah after Dhuhr Salah (normally there are no Khutbahs after Salah, apart from Jumuah), he told the people to stop taking photographs in the Haram as this causes takleef/inconvenience to Allah SWT and his Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), you hurt the angels! Do you want to be cursed? I stand for Salah as the imam, you take your mobile phones out! The muaddhin gives adhan, you take your phone out! People were crying, it was a long Khutbah. After Asr Salah someone explained to us the reason for the Khutbah. He had a dream of the Imam of the Prophets, The beloved of Allah, The leader of creation ﷺ blessed me with his presence in a dream and informed me, “Tell people to stop taking photographs as it hurts me, it breaks my heart.”
Mufti Mahmood saheb explains, the enemies of Islam hurt the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), but how can we as the Ummah of the Prophet ﷺ hurt him or cause him pain?
I was once with Dr Abdul Salam Saheb, who is my Shaykh form Pakistan. We were together in Madinah, we came out of the Masjid. Once we had walked a fair distance, an alim who was residing in Madinah said to my beloved Shaykh, “This place is blessed, beloved, very virtuous and lofty in status. But, many people come here then leave and their Iman leaves with them. Because of the sins they do and takleef they cause people.” Allah shows his pious servants and His friends such things through the eyes of the heart!
Now, ask yourself is social media and photography that important? It is like iphone is the new Qibla and Snapchat is the new Qur’an. People tend to look at them more, sadly. Please avoid taking a smartphone if there is no need.
Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)
15 Shawwal 1439
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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