O Traveller to the Haram! Part I

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship (2:185)

Makkah Rihaal
The Rihal on the motorway, which indicates you have entered Makkah

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:

  1. Much patience is required because people desire & think differently.
  2. 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.
  3. We should be ready to serve the rest.
  4. We should abstain from petty complaints.
  5. 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.

duasMy 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)

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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.

FullSizeRender-2Preparations

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:

IMG-20160702-WA0019

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)

Vaccination certificates

Ticket copies

Diarrhoea medication

Painkillers

Paracetamol/Ibuprofen

Tissues/toilet roll

Converted Riyals

Umrah Belt

Locks

Carrier bags for laundry

Energy Tablets

Snacks (crisps, biscuits, etc)

Alarm clock

Radox foot soak

How to play Salah on plane/travelling

https://nawadir.org/2017/05/03/repeating-the-salah-performed-on-the-plane-seat/

https://nawadir.org/2017/07/30/salah-for-a-travelling-female-in-her-menses/

https://nawadir.org/2006/03/16/salah-whilst-travelling/

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Recite Talbiyah as much as possible in the state of Ihramtalbiyyah.jpg

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)

Tawaf/Ka’bah

Sayyiduna Abu Umamah (Radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah ﷺ said: ‘The doors of the sky open and du’as are accepted on four occasions;

  1. a) When the armies clash in war
  2. b) When rain falls
  3. c) At the time of iqamah [for salah]
  4. 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.green-light-tawaf-indicator

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)

  1. 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)

kabah 3Etiquette of the Masjid/Haram

Avoid sin

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?

Answer:

Assalamu Alaikum,

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/

IMG_9148Many 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).

Zamzam 2

 

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.

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

15 Shawwal 1439

 

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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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Ramadhan the month of…

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Many people associate and remember Ramadhan with different things.
Some with fasting and others with feasting.
Some with sleeping and others with awakening the night.
Some women just fill their fridges and spend time in the kitchen.
Whilst some men spend the whole month debating the problems of the Ummah (but never aim to resolve those problems).
It’s the 20th night, as I sit here pondering how I’ve spent 2/3 of Ramadhan, I wonder how the last third will go…. I remember the Hadith of the Prophet SAW, “Whoever fasts in Ramadhan with faith and hope for reward his previous sins will be forgiven.” Bukhari.
The keyword in the Hadith is “forgiven”. Now THAT’S what Ramadhan is all about brothers and sisters – forgiveness. If you pass this month and DON’T get forgiven, such a person is cursed in another Hadith.
This is the same forgiveness Adam AS used to cry for, the Saliheen of the past cried for the forgiveness. Because they were intelligent people; they weren’t foolish. They knew the more they cry before Allah, He will like it and forgive them.
Forgiveness is the greatest bounty in this world. Do not think there is anything greater than Allah’s pardoning.
Why?
Once your matter is settled with Allah, everything else is settled. On the day of Qiyamah you will say to your friends, “Come! Here, read my book of deeds!” Surah Haaqqah(69:19)
So let the end of this month be better than the beginning. Soon Eid will be here! Before that, let your sins fall like leaves off a tree. Beg and cry in front of Allah. Forgive people too and seek forgiveness from those who you’ve harmed.
Parents should forgive their children, husbands should forgive their wives (vice versa).
Let this Ramadhan be a turning point in your life, in sha Allah.
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Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).
20th Ramadhan 1438

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.

When is Eid?

eid

This is a question on the tongues of many Muslims and in the minds of many already, as we near to the end of the holy month. Eid is a day of happiness and bliss. A festival ordained by Allah SWT, so much so, it is Haram to fast on the days of Eid (1st Shawwal, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th Dhul Hijjah). But the question still remains brothers and sisters, “When is Eid?”

The answer to that is not one word or one day. One of the Salaf said, “My Eid is the day in which I do not commit a sin.” Further to this, I recently listened to a talk by his eminence, the honourable, Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (Hafidhahullah) of Leicester, UK. He explained when the ‘true’ Eid is, it really changed my perspective on Eid and this temporary life we are passing through. Below are a few things I happened to remember:

We do not know when we will depart from this transient and fleeting world, neither you know neither I know. Life and death are not guaranteed, perhaps this is the last advice of mine you will hear (because I no longer remain or you don’t). I plead to you sincerely with advice, cut off from your life of sins. Leave the television, music, lustful glances at Haram, the love of wealth, following your desires, all of this will be left behind (once you die). We have all fasted the month of Ramadhan, Alhumdu Lillah! Don’t you feel proud of yourself? Of course you do! This is the difference between sins and obedience. When you sin, the happiness is temporary, just five or ten minutes. But in obedience it is long lasting e.g. 20 years later you will remember these fasts, the Qur’an you read, the one Subhan Allah you said in the Masjid. And you will feel joy in your heart, this joy is forever and ever.

This is only when you obey Allah SWT, then every hour and every minute is Eid for you.

The moment you die, then your soul is content and happy, ready to return to Allah SWT, this will be Eid for you.

The angels will descend to welcome you, this will be Eid for you.

The moment you are lowered into your grave, like a garden of Jannah, this will be Eid for you.

On the day of judgement, Allah will give you shade under His throne, this will be Eid for you.

When you are given your books of deeds in the right hand, this will be Eid for you.

Crossing the bridge of sirat at the speed of lightning, this will be Eid for you.

Then, your final abode, Jannah! Allah’s angels will great you, “Salam! Salam!” This will be Eid for you.

Just imagine the angels doing Salam, the ecstatic feeling in your heart…

“The Messenger of Allah recited this Verse: ‘For those who have done good is the best reward and even more.’

 Then he said: ‘When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, and the people of the Fire enter the Fire, a caller will cry out: “O people of Paradise! You have a covenant with Allah and He wants to fulfil it.” They will say: “What is it?” Has Allah not made the Balance (of our good deeds) heavy, and made our faces bright, and admitted us to Paradise and saved us from Hell?” Then the Veil will be lifted and they will look upon Him, and by Allah, Allah will not give them anything that is more beloved to them or delightful, than looking upon Him.'” (Ibn Majah)

This will be Eid!

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah will say to the people of Paradise, “O the people of Paradise!” They will say, ‘Labbaik, O our Lord, and Sa`daik, and all the good is in Your Hands!’ Allah will say, “Are you satisfied?’ They will say, ‘Why shouldn’t we be satisfied, O our Lord as You have given us what You have not given to any of Your created beings?’ He will say, ‘Shall I not give you something better than that?’ They will say, ‘O our Lord! What else could be better than that?’ He will say, ‘I bestow My Pleasure on you and will never be angry with you after that.’ “ (Bukhari)

This will be Eid!

The Eids in the world will come and go, that happiness will come and go. A new child is born it is temporary happiness, you children’s wedding, the happiness is temporary. But the real happiness is the happiness of obeying Allah, pleasing Allah, having the love of Allah and feeling His benevolence. This is when every day is Eid, every night is Eid, every hour is Eid, in hardship you will feel it is Eid and in ease you will find it is Eid.

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O Allah! Accept from us our Fasting, Tilawah, Sadaqah, Zakah, Qiyam and Taraweeh.

O Allah! Make this Ramadhan such, that I become a Wali of yours.

O Allah! Free our necks from the fire of Hell and grant us Jannah.

O Allah! Make this Ramadhan a turning point in our lives, so we become closer to You.

O Allah! Make this Eid a true Eid for us, one in which we abstain from disobedience and keep us all steadfast.

Ameen.

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

27th Ramadhan 1437

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They think it’s all over!

vanda-teixeira-632984-unsplash.jpgAs Ramadhan draws to an end, in these last ten days we will see Masajid all over the UK complete their Qur’an in Taraweeh. 1000s of Qur’an will be completed all over the UK. Aside from that, most of us who do our personal reading will also complete our tilawah in our homes, along with our womenfolk and children! It’s the 23rd night tonight and a thought came to my mind.  Where I come from we have forty Masajid (Blackburn), Alhumdu Lillah – 40 in such a small town. Many Masajid have 2 or even 3 Taraweeh! It can safely be said, in this ONE town over *100 Quran* will be completed in Taraweeh! Not forgetting those who lead Taraweeh in their homes – Subhan Allah!
Brothers and Sisters, this is all from the sheer mercy of Allah SWT. Without His help, nothing, and I mean NOTHING is possible. What provoked me to share this message was a lecture delivered by our guest from South Africa, Mufti Abdul Kader Hoosen saheb. He is currently in Jaame Masjid delivering talks daily. He gave a Khutbah last Friday in Masjid Sajedeen and mentioned he had been to South America recently. He pointed out that what we have in Blackburn ALONE is not available in certain countries, especially those in South America. Some don’t have a *single* masjid, only 3 Musalla in one of those countries. They don’t have many Ulama or Hafidh. A recent count in Blackburn totalled almost 300 Ulama – Allah make them like the companions of Badr which were also just over 300. We must have double that number of Hafidh, in Blackburn.
But let us not be complacent – the tables can turn. There are countries which had far, far more than us… but there today, Muslims remain just by name- Allah protect us.
To conclude, let us keep our spirits up after Ramadhan and for the rest of our lives, in sha Allah. Preserve the future generations to come. And pray for a good leader in the UK.
(Dua for a fair and just leader)
اللهم لا تسلط علينا من لا يخافك فينا
ولا يرحمنا
Allahumma laa tusallit alaynaa mal laa ya khaafuka feenaa walaa yarhamunaa
O Allah! Do not give authority (to a leader) over us who doesn’t fear you and who doesn’t have mercy upon us.
These nights are the best nights of the year and there are moments of acceptance hidden in them; don’t miss out!
Ismail Satia,
Blackburn
23rd Ramadhan.

Ramadān

A Golden Opportunity to Become a Muttaqī

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Events and occasions give us an opportunity to track the passing of time; otherwise days, months and years would pass by without us realising. Whenever we look towards the future, it seems very distant; however, upon reflection over the past we realise how quickly time has elapsed. To understand the longevity of our future we have to evaluate it on our experience of the past.

As usual, the current Ramadān will also feel very long and the end will seem a long way away, but the reality of these days can be understood by the many Ramadāns we have experienced in the past; how short they were and how quickly they passed, and how after each Ramadān we felt that if only there were a few more days so that some beneficial action could be carried out. In order to save ourselves from such regret once again, it is of the utmost importance that we realise the great opportunity Ramadān is offering us and make the most of it.

The Objective of Ramadān

First and foremost we need to understand that Allāh ta‘ālā has granted us this great gift of Ramadān so that we may become muttaqīn – the people of taqwā.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you, so that you may become people of taqwā. [2:183] 

My late Shaykh, Hadrat Hājī Fārūq rahimahullāh taught me the following supplication:O Allāh! You have given us this month so that we become people of taqwā; so make us from the people of taqwā.

What is Taqwā?

Now, the question arises what is taqwā? Once ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu asked Ka‘b Al-Ahbār radhiyallāhu ‘anhu the meaning of taqwā. In reply, Ka‘b radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, asked ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu if he had ever walked on a thorny path and if yes how he had passed through it. ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu explained that he gathered his clothes and ensured that his clothes didn’t get caught by the thorns. Ka‘b radhiyallāhu ‘anhu said, “That is taqwā.” The explanation of Ka‘b’s statement is that we too should pass through this world very carefully, ensuring we do not fall prey to nafs and Shaytān and commit a sin; be it minor or major.

Taqwā is a nūr (light) which enlightens and spiritually strengthens the heart to such an extent that the person finds a natural dislike for sinful activities. This becomes a barrier between him and the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. This nūr of taqwā is acquired by forcing oneself to carry out the commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and stay away from His disobedience no matter what sacrifice one has to give. This sacrifice is called mujāhadah, and every time this is carried out a special nūr is created in the heart. The more the obedience the stronger the nūr, until eventually the heart is enlightened to such an extent that it will not tolerate the filth of any sin.

The similitude of this can be likened to a person who abhors dirt. If he needs to walk through a dirty path way, he will have a natural aversion for the dirt and will instinctively gather his clothes to ensure his clothes don’t get soiled. Similarly, once the heart has become filled with the nūr of taqwā, it will abhor sinful activities and places of evil and will develop an aversion to them, leading one to automatically safeguard himself.

On the other hand when a person disobeys Allāh ta‘ālā, the nūr of taqwā in the heart diminishes. The more sins a person commits, the more darkness engulfs the heart until a point comes when the heart becomes inclined towards disbelief. This very fact has been narrated in a hadīth of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

Virtues of Taqwā

We can understand from the above that taqwā is one of the greatest favours Allāh ta‘ālā has granted us as it guarantees us success of both worlds. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Whoever fears the disobedience to Allāh, Allāh will create for him a way out (from difficulties), and provide him (with whatever he needs) from where he does not even imagine. [65:3] 

And whoever fears the disobedience to Allāh, Allāh will bring about ease for him in his affair. [65:6] 

Race with one another towards Forgiveness from your Lord and towards a Paradise the width of which spans the heavens and the earth. It has been prepared for the Muttaqīn. [3:133]

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated:

Verily the closest to me from the people are the Muttaqīn; wherever they may be and whoever they may be. (Ahmad)

Allāh ta‘ālā through His mercy, love and kindness has granted us this month of Ramadān which is full of blessings making it easy for us to carry out the commands of Allāh plus other spiritual deeds.

Ramadān and Taqwā

From the ahādīth and verses of the Qur’ān we can list some of the special blessings and virtues of Ramadān.

1.  This is the month in which the Qur’ān was revealed.

2.  This is the month in which the doors of Jannah are opened and the doors of Jahannam are closed.

3.  The shayātīn are chained.

4.  There is a night in this month which is better than a thousand months.

5.  Allāh ta‘ālā calls out: ‘O desirer of good hasten forward and O the searcher of evil, stop.’

6.  Allāh emancipates people from Jahannam in thousands.

7.  The first ten days of this month are of mercy, the middle ten days are of forgiveness and the last ten days are for emancipating servants from Jahannam.

8.  Allāh ta‘ālā readily accepts du‘ā in this month.

Allāh through His kindness has granted us these great blessings which boosts our efforts towards the path of taqwā.  Let us therefore value this blessed month and resolve to carry out the following:

1.  Taqwā and tawbah: Carry out all the commands of Allāh and abstain from all disobedience. Sincerely repent and seek forgiveness for all past negligence with a firm resolution never to return to it again.

2.  Tilāwah: The month of Ramadān has a strong connection with the Qur’ān. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

The month of Ramadān is the one in which the Qur’ān was revealed as guidance for mankind, and as clear signs that show the right way and distinguish between right and wrong…[2:185]  

     Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would revise the Qur’ān with Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām during this month. The pious people gave much importance to reciting the Qur’ān in this month. The following few examples will suffice to make us realise how much effort we should exert.

•   Imām Abū Hanīfah rahimahullāh would recite one Qur’ān in the day and one Qur’ān in the night daily.

•   Imām Shāfi‘ī rahimahullāh would recite one Qur’ān in the day and one at night daily in salāh.

•   Imām Bukhārī rahimahullāh would recite forty one Qur’āns during the month of Ramadān.

•   Hadrat Shaykh, Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh would recite one Qur’ān daily.

3.  Abundance of Kalimah Tayyibah and Istighfār: In one hadith, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has directed us towards four things we should do in abundance during the blessed month: recitation of Kalimah Tayyibah, asking for forgiveness, asking for Jannah and seeking refuge from Jahannam. My late father taught me a du‘ā to be read in Ramadān when I was a child:

    

     Lā ilāha illallāh, astaghfirullāh, as’alukal jannah, wa a’ūdhubika minannār.

     There is no diety except Allāh, I seek forgiveness from Allāh, I ask from You (O Allāh) Jannah, and I seek Your refuge from the fire.

     It was only when I grew up and became a student of Dīn that I realised that this simple formula of du‘a was actually a way of practicing upon the instruction of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

4.  Du‘ā: There is much significance of making du‘ā in the month of Ramadān. Allāh ta‘ālā has discussed du‘ā in between discussing the rulings related to fasting in the month of Ramadān.

When My servants ask you about Me, then (tell them that) I am near. I respond to the call of one when he prays to Me. [2:186]

     In the hadīth of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam we find that du‘ā at the time of iftār is readily accepted. Similarly, at the time of suhūr du‘ās are readily accepted. We find in the hadith of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam that Allāh ta‘ālā descends in the last portion of the night and calls out to His servants saying,

‘Is there anyone who will make du‘ā to Me so that I may accept it? Is there anyone who will ask of Me so that I may fulfil his request? Is there anyone who will ask My forgiveness so that I may forgive him. (Al-Bukhārī)

5.  Spending in the Path of Allāh ta‘ālā: The month of Ramadān is also a month of charity. It is narrated that the generosity of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would increase in this month. Spending in the path of Allāh ta‘ālā holds much virtue; just giving someone a sip of water or a mere date grants a person the reward of the fasting person. Therefore, one should make an effort to spend as much as possible. Zakāt is to be given on its appointed time whether in Ramadān or outside of Ramadān. The important matter is that one should try and endeavour to spend in charitable causes as much as possible. It should also be noted that when spending in the Path of Allāh ta‘ālā, a person should endeavour to find the most fruitful places for his Hereafter. A person should not give away his charity to the first person who knocks at his door; rather one should make an effort to spend in the most opportune of places. It should be remembered that spending is our need and not the need of the recipient; it is we who are in need of the reward of charity and therefore it should be our effort to find places to spend.

6.  I‘tikāf: A special significance is given to i‘tikāf in the month of Ramadān. The fuqahā have stipulated that i‘tikāf of the last ten days in the month of Ramadān is Sunnah muakkadah ‘alal-kifāyah. Hence, if the people of a locality leave this sunnah then the whole locality will be liable. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam carried out i‘tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān throughout his life to the extent that he performed i‘tikāf of twenty days in the Ramadān before his demise. This was to compensate the i‘tikāf missed the previous year due to a reason and also to increase his devotion before departing from this world. I‘tikāf will go a long way in establishing taqwā and connecting one to Allāh ta‘ālā.

7.  Remembering Allāh ta‘ālā and doing good: Spend time in doing good as much as possible. Whilst standing, sitting and lying down – in every circumstance, keep the tongue moist with the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā.  

My dear readers! Occupy yourself in doing good and value every moment of this blessed month. Life is very short and this golden opportunity of Ramadān will very quickly slip away. If we pay heed then Inshā’allāh this Ramadān will become a golden Ramadān for us in which we will become people of taqwā, thus acquiring success in both worlds. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah