Various Questions

Answered by Shaykh Gibril Haddad

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Keywords, Questions

4th Hadith In Imam Nawawi'sEating of the fruitOther Rightly-Guided Caliphs?
72 Virgins in ParadiseFamily Christmas celebrationPornography and the Shariah
A sincere negator?Fasting the Day of Mi`rajPrayers For Driving Away Jinn?
A Student in Need of DirectionFollowing another in matters of faithPraying regularly, Back to
A'isha and Ahl al-BaytFragrant presence due to good deedsProof that the moon split in two?
Abrogation in the Quran?Giving away giftsProphet's Superiority
Accusations reg. Imam al-HakimHope & Fear Perfect FaithProphets Protected From Error & Sin
Ahmadi Proposal to MuslimaHow to counsel those in needRepeating sins: I feel ashamed
Allah helps those who seekHow to respond to insulting behavior Replies Reg. Hinduism
Allah's Essence & AttributesHusband's spiritual depressionResurrected with the one you love
Allowed to be a VegetarianImam al-Nawawi & t Spiritual PathReward for worship
Aqida From 4 Imams?Jihad al-Nafs: Spiritual StrivingRules of War: Non-Combatants
Banu Qurayza Mosaic PenaltyLanguage .Veneration Noble CompanionsRumi 'misguided'?
Belief in Descent of `Isa (Jesus)Leaving prayer - disbelieverSaving someone else's life
Biography of the ProphetMarital adviceStudying Hadith under a 'Salafi'
Christian friend believes God speaksMarital DutiesSuperficial demonization of Islam
Daydreaming HaramMenstruationSuspicion toward daughter
Death: the shore of safetyMuslim becomes non-believerTakfir - Anathematizing
Demonization of IslamMuslim woman in love with non-MuslimThe Origin of Sin and Death
Depression and RepentanceNo original sin in IslamThe Problem of Suffering
Deviancy from Ahl al-SunnaNo Spiritual Path Without Shari`aUmar's Marriage w/ Umm Kulthum
Difference Non-believer & DisbelieverWives Of Believers In Paradise

 





How Are The Prophets Protected From Error And Sin?  

I come from a Christian background and so I was raised to think of the prophets (except for Jesus) as capable of sin. And I actually don't think that it would be so terrible if occasionally some of the prophets said "Do as I say, not as I do". But I think my real difficulty with the issue is that it seems like I've often heard the claim that there is agreement (ijma) that all the prophets are protected from sin to some degree but 1) I'm not sure of what the limits are of that protection. And I'm not sure where this principle is found in the Quran and sunnah. Can you please clarify?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam,

Ibn al-Juwayni (Imam al-Haramayn) said in al-Irshad (p. 298-299):

"As for sins that are considered small, according to specificity as we shall explain, the minds do not deny them [as possible for Prophets]. I did not come upon a categorically explicit transmitted proof either negating them or asserting them [as possible]. For explicitly categorical proofs come either from explicit texts (nusus) or from consensus (ijma') and there is no consensus [either], since the ulema differ over the possibility of small sins for Prophets. The explicit, unambiguous or un-interpretable texts that would categorically establish the principles pertaining to this issue are simply not found. So if it is said that since the matter is conjectural, what is the strongest conjecture in the matter in your opinion? We say: Our strongest conjecture is that they are possible. The stories of the Prophets in many a verse of the Book of Allah Most High bear witness to that [conjecture]. But Allah knows best what is right."

Imam al-Ghazzali said the same in substance in al-Mankhul (p. 223), a youthful work consisting of his class-notes from Imam al-Haramayn.

But Imam Taj al-Din al-Subki said in his Qasida Nuniyya:
"They said Allah precludes small sins from Prophets and in our [Ash'ari] School are two positions.
"Preclusion is narrated from the Master(*) and al-Qadi `Iyad, and it is the strongest position.
"It is the position I take and was that of my father [cf. Taqi al-Din al-Subki, al-Ibhaj 2:263], exempting their rank from any defect.
"Al-Ash'ari is our Imam but in this we differ with him one and all.
"And we say that we are on his path but his companions are split in two parties over the matter.
"Some Ash'aris even said Prophets are completely free of forgetfulness.
"Yet all are considered al-Ash'ari's followers. This dissent does not expel them from that status." (*) The Master = Abu Mansur `Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi, author of Usul al-Din, al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq, and other important works of doctrine.

Source: Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (3:387-388).

So the conjecture of Imam al-Haramayn (d. 478) and his student Hujjat al-Islam (d. 505) was NOT retained by later Ash'aris nor earlier ones other than al-Ash'ari himself. Instead, the majority of the ulema including the Imams of the Four Schools of Law followed what they considered to be the stronger position, namely that Prophets are protected even from small sins.

Thus al-Amidi said in al-Ihkam (1:171) that all but the Khawarij concur Prophets are protected from the minor sins if the latter bear on their character. If, however, it comes to a rare word spoken out of anger, then the majority of the Ash'aris and Mu'tazilis allow it.

Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa' said that the Jumhur of the Jurists from the schools of Malik, al-Shafi`i, and Abu Hanifa, agree that the Prophets are protected from all minor sins because one is required to follow them in the minutest matters. It is even reported from Malik that this is obligatory to believe.

Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini's (d. 418) position was that no sin great or small issues from Prophets whether deliberately or by mistake and this is also our position." (Taj al-Din al-Subki Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Wusta as cited in the Kubra (4:260)).

Imam al-Zarqani said in his monumental commentary on al-Qastallani’s al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya (5:361) [Al-Qastallani’s original text is in parentheses):

(And among his Mu'jizaat [stunning miracles] is that he is immune from sins) before Prophethood and after it (both great and small, both by deliberate commission and by mistake) according to the soundest view, outwardly and inwardly, in secret and in public, in earnest and in jest, in contentment and in anger. And how not, when the Companions were unanimous in following him and faithfully imitating him in all his acts? (As were the Prophets) Al-Subki said: "The Umma concurs on the true immunity ('isma) of Prophets, in what pertains to conveyance and other, from grave and small, contemptible sins as well as persistence in small sins but there is disagreement over small sins that do not detract from their rank. The Mu'tazila and many others allow them. The preferred view is that they are precluded because we have been ordered to follow them in what issues from them; how then could something inappropriate occur on their part? As for those that deemed it possible, they did not do so on the basis of any textual stipulation or proof." That is, they only clang to externalities which, if they followed their logical conclusions, would lead them to violate consensus and take positions no Muslim takes, as expounded by `Iyad [in al-Shifa'].

They concurred that a necessary attribute of Prophets is absolute trustworthiness (amana):

"And essential for them [Prophets] is absolute trustworthiness"

(Jawharat al-Tawhid, verse 59)

which necessitates true immunity ('isma) or from haram, makruh, and inappropriate acts, speech, or thoughts (khilaf al-awla) (and even some of the mubah or indifferently permitted) except for a necessity of legislating a law, because Allah Most High made them our qidwa - obligatory paradigmatic model to follow without exception - and He does not want us to follow any haram, makruh, and inappropriate acts, speech, or thoughts.

{Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the last Day, and remembereth Allah much} (33:21).

Further, Allah Most High praised and literally exalted the Prophet’s character in no uncertain terms:

{And lo! thou art of a tremendous nature} (68:4).

The apparent counter-examples found in the Qur’an all without exception have interpretations that confirm the over-riding principles derived from the above verses and the conclusions of the majority of scholars (jumhur) I have just documented. For example, our liege-lord Adam’s “disobedience” (upon him peace) meant forgetfulness, or he was given Prophethood after he was forgiven. The consensus is that Prophets were sinless but were not necessarily created so nor made so from the very beginning of their Prophetic mission.

Yet such verses are a mercy from Allah Most High and His confirmation of other verses to the effect that the Holy Prophet is one of mankind, not an angel, and so were previous Prophets, so that mankind will have no excuse such as the claim that he and they were impossible to imitate or understand etc. - and Allah Most High knows best.

As for the question whether protection ('isma) from sin is the absence of volition, i.e. that the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, "could not" rather than "would not" sin and that he was devoid of free will in this regard, this is incorrect. We may describe isma in terms of Wilaya, Nubuwwa, Wahi, Tawfiq, Hifz, and others but not as absence of free will. And Allah knows best.

The closest text to this issue is probably the following explanation of the hadith of the removal of the black clot from the heart of the Prophet, upon him peace. I came across this beautiful passage in Ibn al-Subki's Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al- Kubra (10:266-267):

"I heard my father - Allah have mercy on him - say, when he was asked about the black clot that was removed / from the heart of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him – in his childhood, at the time of the splitting of his breast, and the statement of the angel to him, 'This is Satan's lot from you (hâdhâ hazhzh al-shaytâni minka)':

This clot Allah created in the hearts of human beings as naturally fit (qâbilatan) for whatever Satan casts into it and it was removed from his heart - Allah bless and greet him - so that no place remained in it fit for anything Satan could cast. This is the meaning of the hadith. There was no lot for Satan in the Prophet whatsoever. What the angel threw out was only a matter present in all human constitutions. That capacity was removed but its presence did not [in the first place] necessitate that anything had been cast into the heart. If you asked, "Why was that capacity created in that noble person when it was possible to create it without it?" I say, Because it is part of the human constituents. So its creation is part of the completion of human creation and is indispensable, while its removal is a Divine command that took place later on.

"I saw in the hand-writing of my brother, our Shaykh the Imam Abu Hâmid Ahmad, Allah save him, that he saw my father in dream on top of a high mountain lush with magnificent gardens. In my brother's hand was a lantern by the light of which he was reading to my father the text of the above discussion. He then thought that the lantern had gone out and began to repeat to my father, 'The lantern is out', several times. My father raised his head and told him, 'No'. My brother looked and saw that it was as my father said; 'But,' he said, 'there were lights on my father many times stronger than the light of the lantern and this is why I had thought it went out. In my sleep it came to my heart that those lights were because of the blessings of this research.'" End of the text from Ibn al-Subki.

The writer of these lines heard another moving explanation of the “black clot removal” related from the great Imam Ahmad Rida Khan, namely, that the clot consisted in the portion of the disbelievers at whose eternal doom, had it not been removed, the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) would have felt unbearable mercy on the Day of Judgment because he was created and sent as a mercy for the universes. Even so, the Prophet shall include them in his intercession at the time all creatures stand in wait under the sun for the Judgment to begin! So Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions until the end of time and for all eternity.

The purification of the heart of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, as a young boy is also a proof that he received `Isma even before his Nubuwwa, and Allah knows best.

See on this topic, in addition to the above sources:

- Al-Razi, `Ismat al-Anbiya' (`Ilmiyya p. 28, top)
- Al-Laqani, Jawharat al-Tawhid verse 59.
- Al-Laqani, Ithaf al-Murid (p. 179-180).
- Al-Bajuri, Sharh al-Jawhara.
- Al-Sawi, Sharh al-Jawhara (p. 280).
- Al-Rifa`i, al-Ma`rifa (p. 77-78).
- Al-Hashimi, Miftah al-Janna (p. 204)
- Nuh `Ali Salman, Sharh al-Jawhara (p. 124-125).
- Al-Maliki, Muhammad (sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Sallam) al-Insanu al-Kamil
- Siraj al-Din, Sayyiduna Muhammad (sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Sallam), etc.

See also al-Shatibi's Muwafaqat (3:265).

And Allah knows best.

As a general note unrelated to this particular question, it is advisable not to approach the status of Prophethood with enquiries except with the highest good manners. Prophets are the elect of the Creator and like or above the angels in rank. We should take care, also, to focus on what is vital to our salvation and relinquish pursuits that are not only irrelevant but actually damaging to faith and works.

Hajj Gibril


Umar's Marriage with Umm Kulthum bint Ali
(Allah be well-pleased with them)



Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

The Marriage of `Umar ibn al-Khattab with Umm Kulthum bint `Ali Allah be well-pleased with all of them.

The marriage of `Umar with Umm Kulthum al-Hashimiyya (6-49) the daughter of `Ali and Fatima took place on the year 17 of the Hijra. `Ali gave her away to `Umar upon his request although he was afraid at first that `Umar might not accept her due to her youth and because he wished her to marry one of her cousins among the sons of Ja`far ibn Abi Talib. But `Umar said, ‘Marry her to me for I swear I have toward her more dedication to excellent companionship than any man on the face of the earth.’

`Umar gave her a dowry of 40,000 dirhams in honor of her lineage to the Messenger of Allah, upon him blessings and peace.

He came to the Muhajirun among the Companions as they sat between the Grave and the Pulpit ‘their usual place for meeting `Umar to discuss news: ‘Felicitate this newlywed!’ Then he told them he had married `Ali’s daughter Umm Kulthum and said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah say, upon him blessings and peace: ‘Every lineage and means will be severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage and my means.’ I have kept company with him and wished to add this also.’ Later he again said, on the pulpit: ‘Do not disparage me [for marrying a young girl], for I heard the Prophet say, upon him blessings and peace: ‘On the Judgment Day every means will be cut off and every lineage severed except my lineage.’’

It is well-known that our liege-lord `Umar ibn al-Khattab, Allah be well-pleased with him, had a particular veneration for the Prophetic Household (Ahl al-Bayt) as illustrated by the following additional reports:
a. Ibn Sa`d narrated from al-Sha`bi and al-Hasan that al-`Abbas had some need of `Umar one day and said to him:

"Commander of the Believers, suppose the uncle of Musa, upon him peace, came to you as a Muslim, how would you treat him?" He replied, "I swear by Allah that I would treat him well!" Al-`Abbas said, "Well, I am the uncle of Muhammad the Prophet - upon him and his House blessings and peace!" `Umar said, "Abu al-Fadl, and what do you suppose? By Allah, your father [`Abd al-Muttalib] is certainly dearer to me than my own father!" He said, "By Allah?" `Umar said, "By Allah, yes! Because I know that he [`Abd al-Muttalib] is dearer to the Messenger of Allah than my own father, therefore I prefer the love of the
Messenger of Allah to my love."
b. A man disparaged `Ali ibn Abi Talib in the presence of `Umar whereupon the latter said: "Do you know the dweller of this grave? He is Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Muttalib. And `Ali is the son of Abu Talib ibn `Abd al-Muttalib. Therefore, do not mention `Ali except in a good way for if you dislike him you will harm this one in his grave." Narrated by Ahmad with a good chain in Fada'il al-Sahaba (2: 641 #1089).
 
c. After `Umar saw al-Husayn ibn `Ali ibn Abi Talib waiting at his door he said to him: "You are more deserving of permission to enter than [my son] `Abd Allah ibn `Umar! You see the goodness that was placed on our head; [therefore] first Allah then you [the Prophetic Household]" and he placed his hand on his head as he spoke. Narrated by Ibn Sa`d, Ibn Rahuyah, and al-Khatib.
 
d. `Umar distributed garments to the Companions but found nothing appropriate for al-Hasan and al-Husayn so he sent a message to Yemen and had a kiswa sent, which he offered them. Then he said, ‘Now I am content.’ Narrated by Ibn al-Jawzi in Manaqib `Umar (p. 97).

Umm Kulthum bore `Umar Zayd al-Akbar, known as Ibn al-Khalifatayn (= ‘Son of the Two Caliphs’ i.e. `Umar and `Ali) who became renowned for his great beauty, and a daughter, Ruqayya.

After `Umar died she remarried, upon `Ali's order, with `Awn ibn Ja`far ibn Abi Talib. When `Awn died `Ali remarried her with `Awn's brother Muhammad ibn Ja`far. Ibn Sa`d and al-Daraqutni claim that when the latter also died young, she remarried with his brother `Abd Allah ibn Ja`far who was widowed of her sister Zaynab bint `Ali ‘an anachronism since Zaynab outlived Umm Kulthum and was present at Karbala’ where her two sons from `Abd Allah, Muhammad and `Awn [both named after their uncles], were killed.

Zayd al-Akbar died a young man, childless, from a stone throw in the time of Mu`awiya. Umm Kulthum died at the same time and Sa`id ibn al-`As ibn Sa`id or Ibn `Umar prayed over them, Allah have mercy on them.

Sources:

Ibn al-Jarud, al-Muntaqa [an entirely sahih book] (p. 142);
al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar, al-Muntakhab min Azwaj al-Nabi SallAllahu `alayhi wa-Sallam (p. 30-31);
al-Dulabi, al-Dhurriyat al-Tahira (p. 62);
Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat (8:337-340=8:463-464);
al-Siyar wal-Maghazi (p. 248);
Tarikh al-Ya`qubi (2:260);
Ibn Shabba's Tarikh al-Madina (2:654);
Nasab Quraysh (p. 352);
`Abd al-Razzaq, Musannaf (3:465);
al-Nasa'i, Sunan (4:71) and Sunan Kubra (1:641);
al-Bukhari, Tarikh al-Saghir (1:102);
Ibn Qutayba, Ma`arif (p. 107, 122);
al-Tabari, Tarikh (4:199 and 5:335);
al-Daraqutni, Sunan (2:79);
al-Bayhaqi, Sunan Kubra (4:33);
Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Isti`ab (4:490-491);
al-Nawawi, Tahdhib al-Asma' wal-Lughat (2:267 #1219);
al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' (Dar al-Fikr ed. 5:22-24) and Tarikh al-Islam (4:58-59, 4:137-139, 4:227, 5:21);
al-Dimyati, Nisa’ al-Rasul (p. 128);
Ibn Hajar, Isaba (4:492 #1481);
Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghaba (7:387-388) and al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh (3:54, 4:12);
al-Suyuti, al-Hawi lil-Fatawa (2:179); etc.

 

The following is a reply to various claims and inaccuracies posted at the following site as of March 1, 2004:

http://www26.brinkster.com/sdolshah1/umtu.htm

Sayyida A'isha and Ahl al-Bayt

In Mishkat Shareef, it is reported that when Abubakr and Umar asked the holy Prophet [saww] for his daughter, Lady Fatima [sa]'s hand the Prophet [saww] replied she is too young to marry. If this is correct then think rationally over the fact that, Umme Kulthum [sa] whose mother was too young to marry these people, marries these same personalities, does this make sense?

Observe in the above lines the jump from the hadith "she is too young to marry" to the spin that she "was too young to marry these people".

Rather, as Sharh al-Mishkaat states (Dar al-Fikr ed. 10:476-477), she had been asked at an early time and the Prophet waited, upon him blessings and peace, for specific heavenly revelation concerning Fatima, period.

This is confirmed by the other version of the proposal of the Two Shaykhs of Islam - Allah be well-pleased with them - Abu Bakr and `Umar, in which the Prophet replies, upon him and his Family and Companions blessings and peace: "The qada' [concerning this decision] has not been revealed yet."

Secondly, Umer's daughter, Hafsa was a wife of Prophet Muhammad. This makes Hafsa the Step-mother of Hz Fatima and the Step-Grandmother of Umme Kalthum, the daughter of Ali and Fatima. Do you know what this means? It makes Umer the Step-Great Grandfather of Umme Kalthum. The sunnis claim the daughter of Ali married her Great Grandfather? Is such sort of marriage allowed in Islam, please prove from the Quran

It also makes Hadrat Umar - Allah be well-pleased with him - the step-grandfather of Fatima whom he did ask in marriage and the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, did not reply "This is not allowed in Islam"!

The reason is, this sort of marriage is definitely allowed in Islam and this *is* proven from the Qur'an. Read again the verses defining who is mahram from who is not in Surat al-Nisa'!

Umm Kulthum was the daughter of Ali Ibne Abi Talib. Sunni Historical evidence shows that the marriage of Umm Kulthum and Umar took place in the year 17 Hijri when Umm Kulthum was 5 or 4 years of age. This would put her date of birth to 12 or 13 Hijri. History of Abul Fida, vol I p 171 - al Farooq by Shibli Numani, vol II p 539

The above is a deceptive way of quoting because the sources only mention the date of the marriage as the year 17. They do not say Umm Kulthum was 5 or 4 that year nor anything about her date of birth. This is your own claim inserted as an historical premise, followed by your own conjecture.

Besides, the "History of Abul-Fida" is by the king of Hama, Isma`il ibn `Ali ibn Mahmud (d. 732) and Nu`mani is a contemporary. Surely, they must have an earlier transmitted basis for whatever they supposedly say. However, they did not say anything other than the date of marriage as the year 17.

Ibn Kathir's Tarikh states the year 16 for the marriage of `Umar with Umm Kulthum; so she was between 10 and 12 since her date of birth is mentioned by al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' as around the 6th year after the Hijra. Allah knows best from where the claim that she "was 5 or 4" comes from.

Among the Shi`i sources that narrate the fact of this marriage from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir with the statement "Umm Kulthum bint `Ali ibn Abi Talib died at the same time as her son Zayd ibn `Umar ibn al-Khattab" and the narration from Muhammad ibn al-Hasan that "`Umar ibn al-Khattab married Umm Kulthum bint `Ali `alayhi al-Salam with a dowry of 40,000 dirhams":
1. Agha Burzug al-Tahrani's al-Dhari`a (5:184).
2. `Ali ibn Muhammad al-`Alawi's al-Mujdi fi Ansab al-Talibiyyin (p. 17).
3. Al-Fadil al-Hindi's Kashf al-Litham (2:312).
4. Al-Hurr al-`Amili's Wasa'il al-Shi`a Al al-Bayt (15:19, 17:594, 21:263, 26:314).
5. Muhammad ibn Habib al-Baghdadi's al-Munammaq fi Akhbar Quraysh (p. 301).
6. Al-Muhaqqiq al-Ardabili's Majma` al-Fa'ida (11:530).
7. Al-Muhaqqiq al-Naraqi's Mustanad al-Shi`a (19:452).
8. Al-Muhaqqiq al-Sabzawari's Kifayat al-Ahkam (p. 307).
9. Al-Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Rawhani's Fiqh al-Sadiq (24:496).
10. Al-Shahid al-Thani's Masalik al-Afham (13:270).
11. Al-Shaykh al-Amini's al-Ghadir (6:136-137).
12. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi's al-Mabsut (4:272)
13. and Tahdhib al-Ahkam (9:362-363).
14. Al-Shaykh al-Jawahiri's Jawahir al-Kalam (39:308).

Historical evidences show that Hazrat Fatima (May Allah bless her) passed away 6 month after the demise of his father, Her father -- Allah bless him and greet him and thus her date of death was in the year 11 Hijri, and that Umm Kulthum, daughter of Ali was born in the year 9 Hijri. Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English Version, Tradition 5.546 - Anwarul Hussania, v3, p39

The above reference to al-Bukhari contains nothing about Umm Kulthum. Rather, al-Bukhari narrates in his Tarikh al-Saghir (1:102) – like everyone else - that Umm Kulthum had married `Umar. As for her date of birth it is 6 Hijri as cited above.

Then how is it possible for Umm Kulthum to be born after the death of Hazrat Fatima (as) if the Sunnis claim that she was married to Omar in the year 17 Hijri at an age of 4 or 5 years, that would put the date of birth as 12 or 13 Hijri, which is long after the death of her mother?!

The Sunnis do not claim that she was 4 or 5 in the year 17 but 11 or 12.

Sunni historical evidence shows that Umm Kulthum (the so-called wife of Umar) died before 50 Hijri, since Imam Hasan (as), Abdullah ibn Umar and Sa'ad bin Abi Waqas offered the funeral prayers.

Not Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas but Sa`id ibn al-`As (2-59) and he was the imam as the (universally respected) governor of Madina who had dearly wished to marry Umm Kulthum but desisted when he learnt of al-Husayn’s disapproval. It is also possible that he let Ibn `Umar be the imam. In the congregation there was also Abu Qatada (d. 54). This is agreed upon in BOTH the Sunni sources and the 14 Shi`i sources cited above. Some narrations in Ibn Sa`d, al-Bukhari, and al-Bayhaqi state that al-Hasan (d. 49) was part of the congregation, which brings the terminus ante quem for Umm Kulthum’s death to 49.

Also it is worthy to note that Imam Hasan (as) was martyred in the year 50 Hijri. [Sources deleted] Or 49. But then other references show that Hazrat Umm Kulthum ( Blessings on her, the daughter of Imam Ali and Fatima Az Zahra ) were present in Kerballa during the year 61 Hijri.

ONLY SOME non-Sunni sources that stand out for their unreliability, such as Muruj al-Dahab by the Mu`tazili chronicler (akhbaari) al-Mas`udi (d. 345); Sharh al-Akhbar fi Fada'il al-A'immat al-At-har (3:198) by the ex-Maliki apostate (murtadd cf. Siyar, Fikr ed. 12:284), al-Qadi al-Nu`man ibn Muhammad ibn Mansur al-Maghribi (d. 363); Muthir al-Ahzan by Ibn Nama al-Hilli (d. 645); and Bihar al-Anwar by Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi (d. 1111) among other similarly unscrupulous sources.

However, that claim is not found in the 14 Shi`i sources cited earlier nor in the Sunni sources.

The Siyar (Fikr ed. 4:418) among other Sunni sources only name the following Ahl al-Bayt women as present at Karbala' and taken prisoner:
- Zaynab and Fatima the daughters of `Ali;
- Fatima and Sukayna the daughters of al-Husayn;
- al-Rabab al-Kalbiyya the wife of al-Husayn and mother of Sukayna;
- Umm Muhammad the daughter of al-Hasan ibn `Ali.

Sukayna is the one that spoke the famous words to Yazid, "Have you taken prisoner the daughters of the Messenger of Allah??" which words are spuriously attributed to Umm Kulthum bint `Ali in some of the non-Sunni accounts such as al-Raghib al-Asfahani's Maqatil al-Talibiyyin (p. 79) and the above-cited sources.

The only Umm Kulthum present in the whole episode of Karbala' was Yazid's own wife, Umm Kulthum bint `Abd Allah ibn `Amir.

Long after the incident of Kerballa Hazrat Zaineb binte Ali ( blessings on her ) died, then it was that Hazrat Abdullah bin Jafer Tayyar were married to Hazrat Umm Kulthum binte Ali (blessings on her ). It is more likely that `Abd Allah ibn Ja`far (d. 80), unlike his two brothers `Awn and Muhammad [he also named his sons thus], was never married to Umm Kulthum (d. 49) at all but only to her sister Zaynab (d. 61). There is no contradiction to the fact that before Umm Kulthum binte Ali (blessings on her), Hazrat Zaineb (blessings on her) were married to Abdullah bin Jafer (blessings on him)

The marriage of Zaynab to `Abd Allah ibn Ja`far is unquestioned.

Also it is true that till the year 61 Hijri (incident of Kerballa ) Hazrat Zaineb were alive, and that Umm Kulthum binte Ali were married after the year 61 Hijri to Hazrat Abdullah bin Jafer

Incorrect: Zaynab was at Karbala? But Umm Kulthum had died before 49.

But where does the contradiction lie? With respect to the first references, the lady married to Omar by the name Umm Kulthum died in the year before 50 Hijri, as Imam Hasan ( as ) had offered her funeral prayers. This leaves us to believe that the Umm Kulthum married to Omar were in fact some other lady and NOT the daughter of Imam Ali (as). Roza tul Ihbab Volume 3 page 585 - Al Bidayah wa al-Nihayah – Tareekhe Khamees Volume 3 page 318

This nonsense is definitely not in the latter two references nor even in the 14 Shi`i sources other than the few discrepant sources I've identified.

The Sunni scholar Ibn Qutaybah in his book "al Maarif " mentioned that all the daughters of Imam Ali(as) were married to the sons of Aqeel and Abbas with a few exceptions, but he did NOT mention the claim that Umm Kulthum (May Allah bless her) were married to Omar. The exceptions were for Ummul Hasan binte Saeed and Fatima. al-Maarif, Ibn Qutaybah, p 80

Wrong.

Ibn Qutayba said in al-Ma`arif (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 1987) p. 122:

"THE DAUGHTERS OF `ALI IBN ABI TALIB: As for Zaynab the elder daughter of Fatima, she was [married] with `Abd Allah ibn Ja`far and gave him children whom we already named. As for Umm Kulthum the elder, also the daughter of Fatima, she was [married] with `Umar ibn al-Khattab and gave him children we also already named. When `Umar was killed Muhammad ibn Ja`far ibn Abi Talib married her. He died before her then `Awn ibn Ja`far ibn Abi Talib married her and she died before him. The rest of `Ali's daughters were married off to the sons of `Aqil and the sons of al-`Abbas except Umm al-Hasan – she was married to Ja`da ibn Hubayra al-Makhzumi -- and except Fatima -- she was married to Sa`id ibn al-Aswad of Banu al-Harith ibn Asad."

The same Ibn Qutayba also says in the same book (p. 107):

"THE CHILDREN OF `UMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB FROM HIS BLOOD AND THEIR DESCENDENTS: .... also Fatima and Zayd, their mother being Umm Kulthum the daughter of `Ali ibn Abi Talib from his union with Fatima the daughter of the Messenger of Allah upon him blessings and peace. It is also said that Umm Kulthum's daughter from `Umar was named Ruqayya...."

For those who claim that such marriage happened; kindly answer the following questions. What was the age for Omar at the time of the marriage?

Approximately forty-seven. Umm Kulthum was between 10 and 12.

When Omar died what was the age of Umm Kulthum?

Between 17 and 19. `Umar was fifty-four or five.

Could you briefly state the names of the wives of Omar?
1. `Atika bint Zayd ibn `Amr al-`Adawiyya.
2. Fukayha who gave him offspring. [Mulk al-yamin]
3. Luhayya al-Yamaniyya who gave him `Abd al-Rahman al-Asghar or al-Awsat, the latter known as Abu Shahma whom `Umar whipped for drunkenness. [May have been mulk al-yamin]
4. Mulayka bint Abi Umayya al-Khuza`iyya who may have given him `Ubayd Allah.
5. Qariba bint Abi Umayya al-Makhzumiyya [in Jahiliyya].
6. Subay`a bint al-Harith al-Aslamiyya.
7. Umm `Asim Jamila bint Thabit al-Awsiyya who gave him `Asim.
8. Umm Hakim bint al-Harith al-Makhzumiyya who gave him Fatima.
9. Umm Kulthum bint `Ali al-Hashimiyya who gave him Ruqayya and Zayd al-Akbar but Ibn Qutayba in the Ma`arif names them Fatima and Zayd.
10. Umm Kulthum bint (`Amr ibn) Jarwal al-Khuza`iyya who gave him Zayd al-Asghar and `Ubayd Allah [in Jahiliyya] and whom al-Waqidi also calls Mulayka bint Jarwal, followed in this by Ibn Qutayba, Ibn Kathir, and Ibn al-Athir.
11. Zaynab bint Maz`un al-Jumahi who gave him `Abd Allah, Hafsa, and `Abd al-Rahman al-Akbar [in Jahiliyya and Islam].

Could you assert to the truthfulness of the character of the person who narrated this story?

There are so many that it is mutawatir (mass-transmitted) including from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt such as Ja`far al-Sadiq, from his father.

( I am talking about Zubair bin Bakar )?

He is "thiqa thabt" (extremely trustworthy) according to al-Baghawi and al-Khatib while al-Daraqutni, al-Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar and others simply grade him thiqa, which is the highest grade of reliability.

Do you know how many children were born of Umm Kulthum with the marriage to Omar?

Two: a boy and a girl.

Who was this Umm Kulthum then?

The daughter of `Ali and Fatima, raghima anfuk.

It would be appropriate to mention the other wives of Omar at this juncture, not only during his pagan days but also after embracing Islam. His first wife was Zainab sister of Uthman b. Mazun. His second wife was Qariba, daughter of Ibn Umait ul Makzami, and sister of the Holy Prophet's ( saw ) wife Umm Salma (May Allah be pleased with her). She was divorced in 6 A.H after the conclusion of the Truce of Hudaibiya. His third wife was Malaika, daughter of Jarul al Khuzai, who was also called Umm Kulthum, also she did not embrace Islam and was divorced in 6 A.H. On arrival at Medinah he married Jamila, daughter of Asim b. Thabit who was high placed Ansari and had fought at Badr. Jamila first name was Asia which the Holy Prophet (saw) changed to Jamila on her conversion to Islam. Omar divorced her also for some unknown reason. Omar also had other wives namely, Umm Hakim, daughter of al Harith b. Hisham al Makhzumi, Fukhia Yamania and Atika, daughter of Zaid b. Amr b. Nafil. Al Faruq - Volume II by Shibli Numani English Translation

See the list I gave.

... There was another Umm Kulthum who had been his wife but Historians make a clear distinction between the two...

.... Yes, and they assert that he married both....

Now I would like to pose the following questions: Who is this other Umm Kulthum that has been mentioned in the historical references? Is she the same Umm Kulthum that was divorced (Malaika the third wife) in 6 A.H?

According to al-Waqidi, yes.

We also know that there were ' two ' Umm Kulthum's as Shibli Numani writes above, correct?

Definitely.

Or is she the same Umm Kulthum that is the daughter of Abu Bakr? If yes then why doesn't the author point out so? What is the clear distinction then?

The distinction is clear as day, they were two different persons. Move on.

There were at least nine Companions named Umm Kulthum. Add the Umm Kulthums of Jahiliyya and those of the Tabi`in. The fact that it was a popular proper noun might be confusing to some.

Here is the answer by from the historical documents: After the death of Abu Bakr a daughter was born to him that was named Umm Kulthum. Please refer to the following Sunni references to confirm this fact. [deleted]

This fact is undoubted and irrelevant.

Please also do bear in mind that Abu Bakr died in the year 13 A.H as mentioned in the following Sunni book of reference. [deleted]

Ditto.

This would imply that the original claim made by the first references I gave for the age of Umm Kulthum at the time of marriage of 4 or 5 years would stand correct.

Actually, you gave no references to that effect but conjectured the age yourself, which we established was completely inaccurate. However, Umm Kulthum bint Abi Bakr al-Siddiq might well have been 3 or 4 at the time.

Since for Umm Kulthum binte Abu Bakr to be born in 13 A.H and married in 17 A.H would give her an age of 4 years. Since Aisha was the elder sister of Umm Kulthum binte Abu Bakr, for this reason Omar had sent for Umm Kulthum hand's to Aisha, and Aisha had accepted this. Tareekhe Khamees Volume 2 page 267 - Tareekhe Kamil Volume 3 page 21 - Al Istiab by Ibn Abdul Barr Volume 2 page 795

Except that the same sources state that Umm Kulthum bint Abi Bakr *adamantly rejected* `Umar's proposal, after which `A'isha supposedly consulted `Amr ibn al-`As who supposedly dissuaded `Umar from pursuing the matter and supposedly persuaded him to ask for `Ali's daughter instead.

However, the same sources all agree with the remainder of the sources to the fact that `Umar ibn al-Khattab married the daughter of `Ali and Fatima, Allah be well-pleased with all of them, as referenced above.

Nor is there any contradiction between the two incidents supposing the proposal to Abu Bakr’s daughter actually took place and fell through.

This leaves us no doubt to believe that Umm Kulthum who was the daughter of Abu Bakr was married to Omar and NOT Umm Kulthum the daughter of Imam Ali (AS) !!!

I have not seen this incoherent claim earlier than in the pages of al-Anwar al-`Alawiyya wal-Asrar al-Murtadawiyya (p. 436) by an ignoramus named al-Shaykh Ja`far al-Naqdi (d. 1370) who had the gall to introduce this fantasy with the words: "I say, I saw in a book whose title I do not remember at the moment, that of the Imams of guidance said, upon them peace....." A lie, no transmission chain, and no source -- Shi`ism in a nutshell.

Rather, as all of the above Sunni and Shi`i sources already showed, there is no doubt that the wife of `Umar was Umm Kulthum the daughter of `Ali.

In addition:

When `Ali was struck down by Ibn Muljam, Umm Kulthum said: "Ma li wali-Salat al-ghadat, qutila zawji Amir al-mu'minin salata al-ghadah, wa-qutila abi Salata al-ghadah! - What does the morning prayer want with me? My husband the Commander of the believers was killed at the morning prayer and my father was killed at the morning prayer!"

Narrated from al-Asbagh al-Hanzali by Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (42:555) cf. al-Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam (3:648-649) and Ibn Kathir, Bidaya (8:14).

Perhaps it was another `Ali, another Ibn Muljam, another Umm Kulthum, another Commander of the believers? Like they come up with another Tabari, another Ibn Qutayba......

Khateeb in his Tar'eekh even mentions that she tells her father that he called me, kissed me and then grabbed my ankle and said, "tell you father that I am pleased!

Yes, at the time `Ali himself had sent her to `Umar, and that report does state that he had dressed her up. `Abd al-Razzaq's version of the same report in his Musannaf (6:163 #10353) specifies that `Ali had previously told `Umar: "I shall send her to you and, if you agree, then she is your wife and I have married her to you."

Narrated in al-Khatib's Tarikh Baghdad (6:182), entry on Ibrahim ibn Mihran ibn Rustum al-Marwazi, with a fair chain according to Dr. Khaldun al-Ahdab in his book Zawa'id Tarikh Baghdad (5:209-214 #901).

Allah knows best.
Hajj Gibril


Sayyida A'isha and Ahl al-Bayt


The Ummaahatul Momineen rizwanullah anhunna ajmaeen are part of Nabi Sallalho Alahi wasslam AhlayBait or not? What the Ulama of Ahlesunna wal jama say about that?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

Yes, the Mothers of the Believers are definitely part of the Ahl al- Bayt of the Prophet, upon him and them blessings and peace, as indicated by the sayings of Allah Most High in His Book according to the understanding of the Ulema of Tafsir.

Regarding the primary evidence of the Book of Allah addressing the wives of the Prophet (MHMD) (Sura 33) as "Ahl al-Bayt":

28. O Prophet! Say unto THY WIVES: If ye desire the world's life and its adornment, come! I will content you and will release you with a fair release;

29. But if ye desire Allah and His messenger and the abode of the Hereafter, then lo! Allah hath prepared for the good among you an immense reward.

30. O ye WIVES OF THE PROPHET! Whosoever of you committeth manifest lewdness, the punishment for her will be doubled, and that is easy for Allah.

31. And whosoever of you is submissive unto Allah and His messenger and doeth right, We shall give her reward twice over, and We have prepared for her a rich provision.

32. O ye WIVES OF THE PROPHET! Ye are not like any other women. If ye Keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft of speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease aspire (to you), but utter customary speech.

33. And stay in your [F] houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the Bedizenment of the Time of ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you [M/F], O FOLK OF THE HOUSEHOLD, and cleanse you [M/F] with a thorough cleansing.

34. And bear in mind that which is recited in your [F] houses of the revelations of Allah and wisdom. Lo! Allah is Subtile, Aware.

It is clear that a switch from feminine to masculine with reference to The address to Ahl al-Bayt means

(1) the grammatical value of Ahl is Masculine and/or

(2) at least one man is included with the feminine group being addressed. The latter group would thus consist in the wives of the Prophet (MHMD) *together* with the Mantle (`Itra): `Ali, Fatima, and their Children.

This is confirmed by the majority of the scholars of Qur'anic commentary.

In addition, it includes the zakât-forbidden Muttalibi families of `Ali, `Aqil, Ja`far, and `Abbas; while Haqqi in Ruh al-Bayan added Salman al-Farisi according to the explicit hadith "Salmanu minnâ Ahl al-Bayt" as a proof that the freedman is part of a man's household, while Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi in his Futuhat (2:126-127) explained Ahl al-Bayt in the Salman hadith as referring to each Muslim that acquires the attributes of his Master i.e. the Prophet (MHMD). The latter sense is confirmed by the narrations stating: "Do not come to me with your lineages on the Day of Resurrection! My Family is every Godwary believer" and "Every Prophet has a Family and carriage; my Family and carriage are the Believer" (âlî wa `iddatî al-mu'min).

In conclusion, Ahl al-Bayt has many meanings according to context, and The context of 33:33 is: first the wives of the Prophet (MHMD), then the Wives together with the noble `Itra, and Allah knows best.

Al-Razi, al-Tafsir al-Kabir (6:615): "Allah Most High quit using the feminine pronoun in his address and turned to the masculine by saying {liyudhhiba `ankum al-rijsa = to remove uncleanness far from you [masculine plural]}, so as to include both the women of his [i.e. the Prophet's] house and the men. Explanations have differed concerning the 'Ahl al-Bayt' but the most appropriate and correct is to say they are his children and wives; al-Hasan and al-Husayn being among them and `Ali being among them... due to his cohabitation with the daughter of the Prophet (MHMD) and his close companionship with the Prophet (MHMD)."

Al-Baghawi, Ma`alim al-Tanzil (2:393): "In this verse [Hud 73] there is a proof that wives are part of Ahl al-Bayt. ... (3:428) He means by Ahl al-Bayt [in 33:33] the wives of the Prophet (MHMD) because they are in his house and this is the narration of Sa`id ibn Jubayr from Ibn `Abbas."

Al-Baydawi, Anwar al-Tanzil (4:374): "The Shi`a's claim that verse 33:33 Is specific to Fatima, `Ali, and their two sons - Allah be well-pleased with them - ... and their adducing it as proof of their immunity from sin (`ismat) and of the probative character of their consensus, is weak, Because restricting the meaning to them is not consistent with what precedes the verse and what follows it. The thread of speech means that they are part of the Ahl al-Bayt, not that others are not part of it also."

Al-Khazin, Lubab al-Ta'wil fi Ma`ani al-Tanzil (3:490): "They [Ahl al-Bayt] are the wives of the Prophet (MHMD) because they are in his house." Then he mentions the other two explanations, namely, that they are the `Itra or that they are the families of `Ali, `Aqil, Ja`far, and al-`Abbas.

Al-Nasafi, Madarik al-Tanzil wa Haqa'iq al-Ta'wil (3:490): "There is in it [verse 33:33] a proof that his wives are part of the Folk of his Household (min ahli baytihi). He said 'from you [M] (`ankum)' because what is meant are both the men and women of his family (âl) as indicated by {wa yutahhirakum tathîran = and cleanse you [M/F] with a thorough cleansing} from the filth of sins."

Al-Tabari, Tafsir (22:7) [after citing reports explaining Ahl al-Bayt to mean the `Itra] and al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul (p. 299 #734): From `Ikrima concerning 33:33: "It is not as they claim, but the verse was revealed concerning the wives of the Prophet (MHMD)."

Al-Zamakhshari, Tafsir al-Kashshaf (2:212): "In this [33:33] there is an explicit proof that the wives of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - are among the People of his House (min Ahli Baytihi)."

Al-Shawkani, Fath al-Qadir (4:278-280) and al-Mubarakfuri, Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (9:48-49): "Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrima, `Ata', al-Kalbi, Muqatil, and Sa`id ibn Jubayr said the wives of the Prophet (MHMD) are specifically meant [in 33:33], and by house are meant the houses of his wives as mentioned before in the verses. While Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, Mujahid, and Qatada - it is also related from al-Kalbi - said that those meant are specifically `Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn. They adduced the fact that the pronouns are in the masculine, but this was refuted by the fact that the noun Ahl is masculine and therefore necessitates a masculine gender as in the verse [Hud 73].... A third group stands midway between the two and includes both [the wives and the `Itra]... A number of the verifying authorities consider this the most correct explanation, among them al-Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir, and others."

Al-Jalalayn: "Ahl al-Bayt [in 33:33] i.e. the wives of the Prophet (MHMD)."

Al-Sawi, Hashiyat al-Jalalayn: "It was said the verse [33:33] is comprehensive (`âmma) to mean the People of his House in the sense of his dwelling and these are his wives, and the People of his House in the sense of his lineage and these are his offspring."

Al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur (6:603): [after citing the narrations of the `Itra] Ibn Sa`d narrated from `Urwa that he said: "Ahl al-Bayt [in 33:33] means the wives of the Prophet (MHMD) and it was revealed in the house of `A'isha."

Ibn al-Jawzi, Zad al-Masir fi `Ilm al-Tafsir (6:378): "Then He showed their superiority over all women when He said: {You [feminine] are not like anyone [masculine] of the women} (33:32). Al-Zajjaj [the philologist] said: 'He did not say, "like any other woman" in the feminine, because the masculine form denotes a general exclusion of both male and female [human beings], one and all.'"

Al-Bukhari, Sahih: Hadith from Anas: The Prophet (MHMD) visited `A'isha and, upon entering her house, said: "As-Salâmu `alaykum Ahl al-Bayt! wa rahmatullah." Whereupon she responded: "Wa `alayka as-Salam wa rahmatullah, how did you find your wives [ahlak]? May Allah bless you." Then he went around to see all of his wives and said to them exactly what he had said to `A'isha.

Al-Wahidi, al-Wajiz fi Tafsir al-Kitab al-`Aziz (2:865): "Ahl al-Bayt [in 33:33] meaning, the wives of the Prophet (MHMD) and the men [and women] of the People of his House."

Al-Tha`alibi, Jawahir al-Hisan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an (2:212): "This verse [Hud 73] shows that the wife of a man is part of the People of his House (min Ahli Baytihi)... and 'the House' in Surat al-Ahzab [33:33] refers to the dwelling quarters [i.e. of the wives]."

Ibn Kathir, Tafsir (3:532) and al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul (p. 299 #733): From Ibn `Abbas: "This verse [33:33] was revealed concerning the wives of the Prophet (MHMD)."

Ibn Jama`a, Ghurar al-Tibyan fi Ma lam Yusamma fi al-Qur'an (p. 421 #1201) and al-Suyuti in Mufhamat al-Aqran fi Mubhamat al-Qur'an: "Ahl al-Bayt in verse 33 are the Prophet and his wives. It was also said they are `Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, and it was also said they are those for whom sadaqa is unlawful [i.e. Âl `Aqil, Âl `Ali, Âl Ja`far, and Âl al-`Abbas]."

Al-Zarkashi, al-Burhan fi `Ulum al-Qur'an (2:197): "The phrasing of the Qur'an [in Surat al-Ahzab] shows that the wives are meant, that the verses were revealed concerning them, and that it is impossible to exclude them from the meaning of the verse. However, since others were to be included with them it was said with the masculine gender: {Allah desires to remove uncleanness far from you [masculine plural], O Folk of the Household}. It is then known that this desire comprises all the Folk of the Household - both male and female - as opposed to His saying {O wives of the Prophet} and it shows that `Ali and Fatima are more [specifically] deserving of this description ["Ahl al-Bayt"] than the wives."

Al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur'an (4:378-379): "It [the verse Hud 73] shows that the wives of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - are of the People of his House (min Ahli Baytihi) because the angels names Ibrahim's wife as being of the People of his House, and so has Allah Most High said when addressing the wives of the Prophet - Alah bless and greet him - when He said:... [33:33]. His wives are part of those meant because the beginning of the address concerns them."

Abu al-Su`ud, Irshad al-`Aql al-Salim ila Mazaya al-Qur'an al-Karim (7:103):

"This [33:33], as you see, is an explicit verse and a radiant proof that the wives of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - are among the People of his House (min Ahli Baytihi), ruling once and for all the invalidity of the opinion of the Shi`is who narrow it to mean only Fatima, `Ali, and their two sons - Allah be well-pleased with them. As for what they claim as their proof [hadith of the Mantle], it only shows that they [the Four] are part of Ahl al-Bayt, not that other than them are excluded."

WAllahu a`lam.

Hajj Gibril


What Is The Difference Between a Non-believer And A Disbeliever?  

"Further, it is wrong to attribute to Islam the teaching that the non-believer will abide in hell forever. Rather, the disbeliever will; while the non-believer is given another chance until he either believes or disbelieves." (From a previous answer). I'm not sure what the above means.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam, May Allah reward you for your work.

This is the reply:

Imam al-Suyuti said in his Fatwa titled "Methods of Those With Pure Belief Concerning the Parents of the Prophet upon him blessings and

Peace" (Masalik al-Hunafa' fi Walidayy al-Mustafa) in al-Hawi lil-Fatawa:

Ahmad, Ibn Rahawayh, Ibn Marduyah, and al-Bayhaqi in al-I`tiqad `ala Madhhab al-Salaf Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama`a who said it is sahih through Aswad ibn Sari` narrated that the Prophet said, upon him blessings and peace: Four will present excuses on the Day of Resurrection: The deaf one, the idiot, the senile old man, and the one who died in Fatra (the time between Prophets). The first will say, I didn't hear anything; the second, Islam came and street-children were throwing dung at me; the third, Islam came and I did not have my wits about me, and the fourth: my Lord, no Messenger came to me. Allah will Himself take their covenant to obey Him. They will be told to enter the fire (as a test). Those who obey will find it cool and safe, while those who refuse will be dragged to it. (Aswad, Abu Hurayra)

Al-Bazzar and al-Tirmidhi who graded it hasan narrated that the Prophet said, upon him blessings and peace: The one who died in Fatra, the retard, and the infant will say respectively: No Book or Messenger reached me; You gave me no mind wherewith to understand good or evil; I did not have a chance to do anything. A fire will be presented to them and they will be told to enter it. Those who would have done well in life will obey and enter it (temporarily) while those who would have disobeyed in life will refuse. Allah will tell them: You disobey Me (seeing Me), so how could you obey My Messengers in My absence? (Abu Sa`id al-Khudri)

Al-Bazzar and Abu Ya`la narrated tha same as b) with the addition of the senile old man. Those who obey and enter the fire will go across it speedily. (Anas)

`Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Hatim, with an authentic chain that meets the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Prophet said, upon him blessings and peace: The one who died in Fatra, the idiot, the deaf, the mute, and the senile will be sent a messenger (at that time) who will say: Enter the fire. They will argue and say: How can it be when no messenger reached us? But woe to them! If they had entered it they would have found it cool and safe. Whoever accepts and obeys will enter it. Abu Hurayra added: Read, We never punish until We send a messenger? (17:15).

Al-Bazzar and al-Hakim, who graded it sahih by the criteria of Bukhari and Muslim narrated that the Prophet said, upon him blessings and peace: The people of Jahiliyya will come on the Day of Judgment carrying their idols on their backs. Allah will question them and they will say: Our Lord, You did not send us a Messenger and nothing from You reached us. If you had sent us one, we would have been your most obedient servants. Allah will say: Shall I test your obedience? And He will tell them to enter the fire and stay in it. They will enter it and return again, in fear of its fury and exhalations, and they will say: Our Lord, protect us from it. He will say: Didn't you promise to obey Me if I ordered you something? They will pledge again and enter it, only to come back and plead again. The Prophet said: Had they stayed in it the first time, they would have found it cool and safe. (Thawban)

Al-Tabarani and Abu Nu`aym narrated that the Prophet said, upon him blessings and peace: The retard will come on the Day of Judgment together with the one who died in fatra and the infant etc. (same as(e)) They will keep coming back although the fire would not have hurt them, and Allah will say: I knew your actions from afore, so take them (O Fire).

Al-Tabari commented: Know that Ahl al-Sunna have one and all agreed on the fact that THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE OF RULINGS EXCEPT ON THE BASIS OF REVEALED LAW AS OPPOSED TO THE PRODUCTIONS OF THE MIND, while opponents of the truth such as the Rafidah [Rejecters of the legitimacy of the first three Caliphs], the Karramiyyah [anthropomorphists], the Mu`tazila [rationalists] and others consider that the derivation of rulings have different bases, some revealed, some based on pure reasoning. As for us [Ahl al-Sunna], we say that NOTHING IS RULED AS OBLIGATORY BEFORE THE COMING OF A PROPHET.?

Imam Fakhr al-Din Razi said in the Mahsul: TO BE THANKFUL TO THE ONE CREATOR IS NOT A MIND-BASED OBLIGATION, CONTRARY TO WHAT THE MU`TAZILAbSAY. IF IT WERE, THOSE WHO LEAVE THAT ACTION BEFORE A PROPHET IS SENT TO THEM WOULD BE PUNISHED, WHICH IS NOT THE CASE [citing 17:15].

Similarly those of his school [i.e. kalam] as well as Baydawi and Taj al-Din Subki said: WE BELIEVE THAT THOSE WHOM DA`WA DID NOT REACH DIE SAVED, AND THAT WHILE ALIVE THEY ARE NOT FOUGHT AGAINST UNTIL THEY REJECT A CLEAR CALL, AND THAT THEY ENJOY PROTECTION IN THEIR LIFE AND POSSESSIONS, etc.

Now this method of ruling (exemption from punishment), does it apply to all the people of the Jahiliyya? No, rather it applies specifically to those who have never been reached by the call of a previous Prophet. As for those who have been reached and who have rejected that previous Prophet, no one disputes that they are definitely (ruled to be) in the fire.

End of al-Suyuti's words, Allah be well-pleased with him, have mercy on him, and continue to benefit us through him, Amin.

Hajj Gibril

Related Questions
Fate of Non-Muslims in the Afterlife



Replies To Questions On Hinduism 

During a talk on Hinduism, the speaker raised these questions. Could you please reply to them?

1. Hinduism does not recommend a person to follow any book whether its 1400 or 2000 years old, instead it allows man to attain the supreme conscious within himself.

2. Hinduism has pluralism and tolerance, whereas Islam lacks tolerance and pluralism

3. Hinduism allows the man to attain the supreme good through the process of a multifaceted theory of truth (i.e. One in many realities) whereas Islam speaks of only one dimensional truth (i.e. ones of reality).

4. Hinduism offers no eternal hell whereas in Islam a non-believer will abide in hell for eternity.

5. Islam claims it only has ultimate truth and salvation is achieved only through it, while Hinduism acknowledges that everyone has the truth and anyone can achieve salvation.

6. Why should a person follow the dogmas and rigid doctrines of Islam?

7. Why should a person obey the Islamic God, who will barbecue the non-believer in hell for Eternity?

8. Theory of Karma frees man from the fear of the Jealous God of the Abrahamic faiths

9. The absolute monotheism of Islam is the root cause of intolerance whereas absolute monism (i.e. the Vedanta Philosophy of Shankara) is accommodating and accepts diversity



In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

A man-made philosophy can never match an iota of the goodness of the Divinely-revealed true Religion much less be superior to it, and all the sadhus (Hindu ascetics) and gurus (Hindu spiritual guides) of humankind put together cannot match an iota of the goodness of a single Divinely-appointed prophet.

Further, of all the historical dispensations of the true Religion, Islam alone holds true until the end of time while all others are abrogated and no longer efficacious as spiritual paths, nor incorrupt as Divine Self-disclosures. Hence the Prophet Muhammad, upon him blessings and peace, alone is to be followed until the end of time while all the others came and went; and he alone is to be universally followed while they came only for their own people including Jesus who came only for the Israelites.

Hence Judaism, Christianity, Vedantism (a sect of Hinduism), any and all other purported paths of enlightenment and religious laws can no longer help the spiritual wayfarer to reach the supreme good – which is knowledge of God – except insofar as a terminally-stationary plane can help the traveller fly to his destination: he is inside the plane, the plane is thought by those in it to be fuelled and ready, but it no longer takes off and never will again.

In reply to the above points:

1. Hinduism does not recommend a person to follow any book whether its 1400 or 2000 years old, instead it allows man to attain the supreme conscious within himself.

In the pursuit of the supreme good “The Book” is not followed because of itself nor is it worshipped nor is its worth defined by its antiquity but rather by its quality as the uncreated Divine Speech from cover to cover, unlike any other book on the face of the earth. If any volume contains a recipe for attaining supreme consciousness it is the Discourse of its Maker Himself. Nor can “the supreme conscious within himself” be other than knowledge of God because there is no higher consciousness for creatures. However, inferior stations might be reached through self-denial and meditation which might be erroneously thought to be the supreme conscious by those that possess an incomplete knowledge.

2. Hinduism has pluralism and tolerance, whereas Islam lacks tolerance and pluralism

Islam certainly has more tolerance and pluralism than Hinduism or any other state belief can prove, as shown by the brilliant lives of the non-Muslim citizenry of Muslim states such as Andalusia and Mughal India.

3. Hinduism allows man to attain the supreme good through the process of a multifaceted theory of truth (i.e. One in many realities) whereas Islam speaks of only one dimensional truth (i.e. ones of reality).

To claim that Islam lacks a “multifaceted theory of truth (i.e. One in many realities)” and “speaks of only one dimensional truth” only shows ignorance of the ninety-nine Names of God in Islam and the relationship of the Divine Attributes to creation.

4. Hinduism offers no eternal hell whereas in Islam a non-believer will abide in hell for eternity.

Hinduism certainly teaches belief in eternal hell in the possibility of enduring bad karma for evil people. Further, it is wrong to attribute to Islam the teaching that the non-believer will abide in hell forever. Rather, the disbeliever will; while the non-believer is given another chance until he either believes or disbelieves.

5. Islam claims it only has ultimate truth and salvation is achieved only through it, while Hinduism acknowledges that everyone has the truth and anyone can achieve salvation.

So then, both Islam and Hinduism agree that Islam has the truth and achieves salvation. Why are you still not Muslim?

6. Why should a person follow the dogmas and rigid doctrines of Islam?

Because in Islam dogmas and what you call rigid doctrines are enlightened and rational and lift up the human condition. Islam is easy in comparison to man-made rituals, such as the Hindu daubing of one’s living quarters with cow-dung or the awful and iniquitous caste system, or the hellish karma cycle that condemns man to a perpetual abyss short of superhuman near-infallibility.

7. Why should a person obey the Islamic God, who will barbecue the non-believer in hell for Eternity?

Because our God commands nothing but what a sane conscience recognizes as pure goodness and truth, to deny which is enough in itself, regardless of any other-worldly hell, to roast that conscience in the unbearable fire of remorse and on the barbed spits of self-betrayal.

8. The Theory of Karma frees man from the fear of the “Jealous God” of the Abrahamic faiths

See replies 4 and 6.

9. The absolute monotheism of Islam is the root cause of intolerance whereas absolute monism (i.e. the Vedanta Philosophy of Shankara) is accommodating and accepts diversity

Accommodation and diversity are nice accidents, not the goal of the pursuit of truth. However, if they are goals in Hinduism then they should lead every sincere Hindu to Islam eventually. As for the Muslim tradition, we already replied (paragraph 2) if you mean by them pluralism and tolerance. Otherwise, the retrospective gaze of the accomplished ego-less spiritual seeker is all-accepting and all-loving because it realizes or experiences that everything Allah does is good without exception and He knows best.

Hajj Gibril


Language of veneration is obligatory when talking about the Noble Companions of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)


Answer One:

Muslim friend and brother:

Regarding your question about some Ommayad Companions and Tabi`in, the terms of which I will not repeat, and which you titled "Wrong Silsila?" for a reason Allah knows and judges best.

What is the purpose of your question? I ask because it violates one of the fundamentals of Islamic Belief as you may read in Imam Abu Hanifa's Fiqh al-Akbar and Imam al-Tahawi's `Aqida:

"WE DO NOT MENTION THE COMPANIONS EXCEPT IN GOOD TERMS."

Learn it, practice it. Emblazon it in your heart with a gold frame and frequent festive, expensive fireworks.

That means we do not even say of them: So and so used to be a mushrik before Islam, So and so used to drink wine etc. because the truth of such statements is marred by a noticeable stench of disparagement. So much that it avails nothing to say RADYALLAHU `ANH and then mention such things in the same breath!

If you truly mean taraddi then know that Allah has no rida for contemnors of His Prophet's Companions whether the first or the last of them.

As Ibn al-Mubarak said - Allah have mercy on him and thank him:

"The dust in the nostrils of Mu`awiya's horse is better than `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz!"

Meaning, better than the fifth of the Khulafa' Rashidin, as Imam al-Shafi`i named `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz - Allah be well-pleased with them.

This is the language of TA`ZIM among Ahl al-Sunna. It is FARD because it is part of the Ta`zim of Allah Most High and His Prophet, upon him blessings and peace as well as upon his Family and ALL his Companions.

Abu `Urwa al-Zubayri said:

"We were with Malik ibn Anas when they mentioned a man who found fault with the Companions of the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Alihi wa-Sahbihi wa-Sallam. When he heard this, Malik recited the verse:

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. You (O Muhammad) see them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah; and their likeness in the Gospel is like as sown corn that sends forth its shoot and strengthens it and rises firm upon its stalk, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the disbelievers with (the sight of) them. (48:29)!

"Then Malik said (after the mention of the kuffar in the verse): 'Whoever among the people has become one who harbors spite towards any of the Companions of the Prophet, this verse has hit him.'"

Narrated by Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya (6:327) and al-Khallal in al-Sunna (2:478) cf. `Iyad, al-Shifa (Fikr ed. 1:54).

 

My Second Question is regarding these ahadith Ahle Bayt is like Noah's Ark , Whosoever embarks it will succeed and whosoever is left behind has failed... Kindly tell me the source of this hadith and how sound it is...

[1] ‘Lo! Truly, the people of my House are, among you, similar to Nuh's ark. Whoever boards it is saved and whoever remains away from it perishes.’

Narrated from Abu Dharr by al-Hakim with a weak chain according to al-Suyuti in al-Jami` al-Saghir and by al-Tabarani in al-Awsat (5:306) and al-Tabari.

Another version states: ‘and whoever remains away from it drowns.’

Narrated from `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr by al-Bazzar with a fair chain cf. al-Suyuti in al-Jami` al-Saghir because of Ibn Lahi`a [cf. Ibn Hajar, Mukhtasar Zawa'id Musnad al-Bazzar (2:333 §1965)]; from Ibn `Abbas by al-Quda`i in Musnad al-Shihab (2:273), Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya (1985 ed. 4:306), al-Bazzar and al-Tabarani with a very weak chain as indicated by al-Haythami in the Majma` (9:168) and his colleague Ibn Hajar in his Mukhtasar (2:334 §1967); and from Abu Dharr by Ahmad in Fada'il al-Sahaba (2:785), al-Hakim (3:151=1990 ed. 2:373, 3:163), al-Quda`i in Musnad al-Shihab (2:274), all with a similar weak chain according to al-Dhahabi, also by al-Tabarani, Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya (1985 ed. 4:306), and others.

[3] Another version adds to the latter: ‘And whoever fights against us at the end of time is like those who shall fight on the side of the Antichrist (Dajjal).’

Narrated from Abu Dharr by al-Bazzar and al-Tabarani, both with very weak chains as stated by al-Haythami (9:168) and Ibn Hajar in his Mukhtasar (2:333-334 §1966). Al-Quda`i in Musnad al-Shihab (2:273) narrates it with a similar chain.

[4] Another version adds instead: ‘And like the gate of Repentance (bab hitta) for the Israelites.’

Narrated from Abu Dharr by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir. Al-Suyuti cites it in Ihya' al-Mayt (p. 74 §26).

[5] Another version adds: ‘Whoever enters it is forgiven.’

Narrated from Abu Sa`id by al-Tabarani in al-Saghir and Awsat with weak chains containing several unknown narrators as stated by al-Haythami (9:168). Al-Suyuti cites it in Ihya' al-Mayt (p. 76 §27).

[6] `Ali said - Allah be well-pleased with him and ennoble his countenance: ‘Our similitude (i.e. the Family of the Prophet upon him and them blessings and peace) in this Community is none other than that of Nuh's ark and the Gate of Repentance for the Israelites.’

Narrated from `Abd Allah ibn al-Harith by Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf (6:372) and from Abu Dharr by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Bazzar in his Musnad with a very weak chain as indicated by al-Haytham (9:168).

Imam Malik spoke of the Sunna in similar terms as narrated from Ibn Wahb by al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad (7:336) and al-Suyuti in Miftah al-Janna fil-I`tisam bil-Sunna (p. 162 §391).

Hajj Gibril



Jihad al-Nafs: Spiritual Striving


I have read that if you miss your salah you will receive 15 punishments...some people say that this is made up, is this true?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

There is no such specific evidence, but its gist can be inferred from a variety of evidences.

another thing is that there's a hadtih regarding jihad an nafs: "The best type of jihaad is the jihaad of the one who strives against his own self (jihaad al-nafs) for the sake of Allaah." it doesn't state which hadith it is from. But some people also  say that this is fabricated? Is this correct???

Allah Most High said:

{And whosoever STRIVES (JAAHADA), STRIVES (YUJAAHIDU) only for himself} (29:6). {As for those who STRIVE (JAHADU) in Us (the cause of Allah), We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good doers.} (29:69) This is a Meccan Sura and the two verses refer to Jihad al-Nafs.

There was no military jihad then. Without jihad of the nafs, fighting leads to Hellfire.

Allah Most High said:

{WA NAFSIN WA MAA SAWAAHA, FA-ALHAMAHA FUJURAHA WA TAQWAHA. QAD AFLAHA MAN ZAKAAHA WA QAD KHAABA MAN DAS-SAAHA}

"By the nafs and the proportion and order given to it, and its inspiration as to its wrong and its right; Truly he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it" (91:7-10). This is also a Meccan Sura.

Without purification, the nafs remains a "soul that enjoins evil" (al-nafs al-ammara bil-su') until it surrenders itself in total obedience to the call of animal passions and shaytan.

Allah Most High said:

{Have you seen the one who chooses for his god his own lust?} (25:43). {He followed his own lust. Therefore his likeness is as the likeness of a dog; if you attack him he pants with his tongue out and if you leave him he pants with his tongue out} (7:176). These are both also Meccan Suras.

About the person who controlled the passion of his ego Allah says: {But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained his soul from lust, Lo! The garden will be his home} (79:40-41). This is also a Meccan Sura.

The above are among the many Meccan verses and Suras enjoining jihad al-nafs. One that denies that there was/is such a Divine command commits kufr. Such a command cannot mean military jihad, as there was no permission - much less an order - for such a jihad until the Madinan period.

Further, the Prophet said, upon him peace:

1. The mujahid is he who makes jihad against his nafs (ego) for the sake of obeying Allah.

- Ibn Hibban (#1624, 2519): Authentic;

- Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut (Commentary on Ibn Hibban): authentic;

- al-Hakim: sahih;

- `Iraqi confirms him;

- it is also in Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and Tabarani;

- Albani included it in the "Sahiha".

2. "`A'isha, Allah be well-pleased with her, asked:

'Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn't we join it?'  He replied, 'But the best jihad is a perfect Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #2784)

3. On another occasion, a man asked: "Should I join the jihad?" The Prophet asked, upon him peace, "Do you have parents?" The man said yes. The Prophet said: "Then do jihad by serving them!"  (Sahih Al-Bukhari #5972)

4. Another man asked: "What kind of jihad is better?" The Prophet replied, upon him peace: "A word of truth spoken in front of an oppressive ruler."  (Sunan Al-Nasa'i #4209)

5. The Prophet also said, upon him peace: The strong one is not the one who overcomes people, the strong one is he who overcomes his nafs ego].

Al-Haythami declared it authentic in Majma` al-Zawa'id.

6. The Prophet, upon him peace, said to Abu Sa`id al-Khudri:

"Even if one strikes unbelievers and idolaters with his sword until it breaks, and he is *completely* dyed with their blood, the Rememberers of Allah are above him one degree."

The above authentic hadiths provide additional explicit evidence - especially 1 and 5 - refuting the lie that "all the evidence for jihad al-nafs is fabricated or weak."

Further:

Allah Most High is Tayyibun and accepts only the Tayyib. He declares in the Qur'an that He accepts acts of worship only if they are based on:

- purification of the self (qad aflaha man zakkaha)

- soundness of the heart (illa man ata Allaha bi-qalbin salim)

- an humble spirit (wa-innaha lakabiratun illa `alal khashi`in)

Purification of the Intention is the general heading for these. That is why the Imams (e.g. Bukhari, Shafi`i, Nawawi) always began their books of fiqh with the hadith of intention: "Actions count only according to intention."

An act outwardly considered worship but performed without pure intention is not considered worship, even fighting and dying in defense of Muslims. The Prophet, upon him peace, explicitly said of one such fighter that he was bound for the fire.

In fact, purification of intention is needed for all five pillars of Islam. Such purification is a fard `ayn and is required of all.

Thus those that claim there is no jihad al-nafs in Islam have imperiled their Islam and might make their shahada, salat, zakat, sawm, hajj, AND jihad worthless. Allah is our refuge from this.

Hajj Gibril


Is there any proof that the moon split in two for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?

I would like to know if there are any proofs on Moon splitting in two halves? Currently I hear Muslim scholar explains splitting of the moon as "ploughing of moon by Man" (as Arabic translated refers). How correct is it?


Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The Qur'an mentions it in Surat al-Qamar.

Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir and al-Kattani in Nazm al-Mutanathir (#264) include it among the mass-narrated narrations. The scholars said this miracle took place at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy Prophet's hijra to Madinah.

See also http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/4482/moon.htm

Qadi Abu Bakr al-Baqillani relates in one of his books a visit to one of the Christian courts in his time in which this topic was discussed. He said,

"On Sunday, the emperor sent for me saying, 'Part of what the emissary does is to attend the meal, and we would like you to reply come to our food and not to disparage all of our customs. I told his messenger, 'I am one of the Muslim scholars and I am not like the emissaries of the army and others. Those do not know what is obliged of them in these situations. The king knows that scholars have no excuse when they enter into these things knowingly. I fear that there will be pork on his table and things which Allah and His Messenger have forbidden the Muslims.' So the translator left and then came back and said, 'The king says to you, '"On my table and in my food there is nothing you would dislike. I have recommended what you will be brought. We do not consider you like other emissaries, you are greater. The pork you dislike will not be in your presence."' So I went and sat. Food was presented and I stretched out my hand but I suspected the food and did not eat any of it although I did not see on the table anything disliked. When the food was finished, the assembly was fumigated and perfumed.

"Then the Emperor asked, "What is your position about your claim of your Prophet's miracle in splitting of the moon?' I replied, 'It is sound in our view. The moon was split in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so that people saw it. Those who were present and looked or happened to look saw in that state.' The emperor asked, 'How is it that all people did not see it? I replied, 'Because people were not prepared and told that it would be split and that that would occur.' He said, 'There is a relationship and kinship between you and it in any case. The Greeks and other people do not know it. Only you saw it.' I said, 'There is a special relationship between you and this table [which was sent down to 'Isa and the Apostles]. You believe it rather than the Jews, Magians, Brahmans, and atheists, especially your neighbours. All of them deny this. You believe it rather than others.' The king was confused and said in his own language, 'Glory be to God!' So he ordered that a certain priest be summoned to speak to me.

"They brought a man who resembled a wolf and had straight fair hair. He sat and was told what the question was. He said, 'That which the Muslim says is necessary. It is the truth. I do not know of any other answer to it except what he said.' I asked him, 'Do you say that when there is an eclipse, all of the people of the earth see or only the people of the area where it occurs.' He replied, 'Only those in the area see it.' I said, 'So why do you deny the splitting of the moon when it occurs in one place where only the people of the area and those who are prepared to look at it see it? As for the one who turns from it, even if he is in the places where the moon is not seen, will not see it.' He said, 'It is as you said. No one will debate it. The discussion is about those who transmitted it. As for the attack by another aspect, it is not sound.'

"The emperor asked, 'How are the transmitters attacked?' The Christian said, 'If signs like these are true, then they must be transmitted by a large number to a large number so that knowledge of it would have reached us. If it had happened, we would necessarily have had knowledge of it. We do not have knowledge of it, and so that indicates that the report transmitted is false.' So the emperor turned to me and said, 'Your reply?' I said, 'What he holds about the descent of the table is what I hold about the splitting of the moon. It could be said, "If it were true that the table had been sent down, then it would be necessary that a large number transmit it, and there would be no Jew, Christian or pagan who did not know this by necessity. Since they do not know that by necessity, then the report is a lie.' The Christian, emperor and those present were speechless. The people dispersed on that."

- Hajj Gibril.

 




How Many Wives Will The Believers Have In Paradise?   

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

The stronger hadiths indicate that the Believers shall have two wives, in Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurayra, from the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace: “Each man among them shall have two wives, the marrow of each of the two wives' shanks will be seen glimmering under the flesh, and there is not in all Paradise a single unmarried man.” They will have up to a hundred concubines in Paradise while the Shuhada’ shall have seventy-two wives, numbers indicating abundance rather than an exact quantity, and Allah knows best.

Some texts:

1. Al-Miqdam ibn Ma`dikarb said, Allah be well-pleased with him: The Messenger of Allah said, upon him blessings and peace:

“For the Shahid in the Divine presence there will be six qualities: [1] he will be forgiven from the first moment his blood is spilled; [2] he shall see his seat in Paradise and be protected against the punishment of the grave; [3] he shall be safe from the Greatest Terror [the rising of the dead]; [4] he shall be crowned with the diadem of dignity, one ruby of which is worth more than the entire world and its contents; [5] he shall be coupled with seventy-two spouses from the wide-eyed maidens of Paradise; and [6] he shall be granted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.” Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi narrated it and the latter said: “This is a fair, sound, single-chained hadith” (hasan sahih gharib).

2. Anas said, Allah be well-pleased with him: The Messenger of Allah said, upon him blessings and peace:

“The servant in Paradise shall be married with seventy wives.” Someone said, “Messenger of Allah, can he bear it?” He said: “He will be given strength for a hundred.” Abu Nu`aym in Sifat al-Janna, al-`Uqayli in the Du`afa’, and al-Bazzar in his Musnad.

2a. From Zayd ibn Arqam, Allah be well-pleased with him, when an incredulous Jew or Christian asked the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, “Are you claiming that a man will eat and drink in Paradise??” He replied: “Yes, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, and each of them will be given the strength of a hundred men in his eating, drinking, coitus, and pleasure.” Ahmad, al-Nasa’i in the Sunan al-Kubra, Ibn Abi Shayba, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim who declared it sahih.

Note that the Jews succeeded in “disappearing” all notion of a next life from their religion while the Christians succeeded in making it an ethereal abstraction. The Mu`tazila and other minority sects went that path also as do those who deny the reality of the punishment and reward of the grave, Hellfire, the Prophet’s Basin, the Bridge, the Balance, the Vision of Allah Most High etc.

3. Abu Sa`id al-Khudri said, Allah be well-pleased with him: The Messenger of Allah said, upon him blessings and peace:

“The humblest of the People of Paradise shall have eighty thousand servants and seventy-two wives. A palace of pearl and peridot(a: A pale green variety of chrysolite; used as a gemstone) and sapphire shall be erected for him as wide as the distance between al-Jabiya [a valley about 70 kms. East of Makka] and San`a’ [in Yemen].” Al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad narrated it.

4. Abu Hurayra said, Allah be well-pleased with him: The Messenger of Allah said, upon him blessings and peace:

“The humblest of the People of Paradise in rank shall have seven levels and as he will be on the sixth, below the seventh, he will have three hundred servants, every morning and evening three hundred dishes of gold shall be brought before him, every dish carrying something the other does not. He will taste pleasure as sharply with the first dish as he will with the last. He shall say, ‘My Lord! If you gave me permission, I would feed all the people of Paradise and water them from what I have and nothing should go missing from it.’ He will most certainly have seventy-two wives from the wide-eyed maidens of Paradise, the couch of only one of whom is as wide as a square mile on earth.” Ahmad narrated it in the Musnad.

5. Abu Umama said, Allah be well-pleased with him: The Messenger of Allah said, upon him blessings and peace:

“None is made to enter Paradise by Allah Most High except Allah Most High shall marry him to seventy-two wives, two of them from the wide-eyed maidens of Paradise and seventy of them his inheritance from the People of Hellfire, not one of them but her attraction never lags nor his arousal ever wanes.” Narrated by Ibn Majah, Ibn `Adi in the Kamil, and al-Bayhaqi in al-Ba`th wal-Nushur. Al-Suyuti marked its chain as “fair” (hasan) in al-Jami` al-Saghir (§7989).

6. Ibn Abi Awfa said, Allah be well-pleased with him: The Messenger of Allah said, upon him blessings and peace:

“Every man from the People of Paradise shall be married off to four thousand virgins, eight thousand slave-girls, and one hundred wide-eyed maidens of Paradise. They shall all meet him within every seven days. They shall say with their exquisite voices no creature has ever heard the like before: ‘We are the everlasting women, we never grow old, we are the refined women, we never grow sour, we are the ever-pleased women, we never anger, we are the sedentary ones, we never travel away, blessings to him who is for us and we are for him!’” Abu al-Shaykh in al-`Azama and al-Bayhaqi in al-Ba`th wal-Nushur.

7. Hatib ibn Abi Balta`a said, Allah be well-pleased with him: I heard the Messenger of Allah say, upon him blessings and peace:

“The believer in Paradise shall be married off to seventy-two women, seventy women of the hereafter and two women of the women of this world.” Narrated by Ibn al-Sakan in Ma`rifat al-Sahaba and Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq.

8. Abu Hurayra said, Allah be well-pleased with him:

It was asked, “Messenger of Allah, do we reach our women in Paradise?” He replied, “A man will reach in a single day one hundred virgins.” Al-Tabarani in al-Saghir and al-Awsat, Abu Nu`aym in Sifat al-Janna, and al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad. Abu Dya’ al-Maqdisi declared it sahih according to Ibn al-Qayyim in Hadi al-Arwah and Ibn Kathir in al-Fitan wal-Malahim and so did Khaldun al-Ahdab in Zawa’id Tarikh Baghdad (§100).

9. Ibn `Abbas narrated something similar. Abu Ya`la in his Musnad with a good chain as indicated by al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id.

10. Jabir said, Allah be well-pleased with him: I heard the Messenger of Allah say, upon him blessings and peace:

“I entered Paradise and saw that most of its dwellers were women.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in al-Ba`th wal-Nushur and Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq.

May Allah grant the highest levels in Paradise to this mercied Umma for the sake of the Most Honored Being in the Divine Presence, our liege-lord Muhammad, upon him and his Family and Companions blessings and peace.

Hajj Gibril


Takfir - Anathematizing  

Does any person (be it a regular person or a an 'alim) have the right to put any other person (who claims to be Muslim), out of faith?... if yes, is there anything in the the Quran or Sunnah that would prove it? and if no, then isn't this very act of calling a "Muslim claimee" out of faith, haram/sinful?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

This reply is in two parts, the first are some primary texts and the second some Hanafi fatwas on the issue.

Imam Abu al-Qasim ibn `Asakir narrates in Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (p. 373-) with his chains:

1. From Khaddash ibn `Iyash:

We were sitting in a circle in al-Kufa when a man among us said: "We were sitting with Abu Hurayra whereupon a young man passed by. A man sitting with us said: 'This is a Kafir from among the people of the Fire.' Abu Hurayra rose and went to speak with the young man, asking him: 'Who are you?' He replied: 'Son-and-so, son of So-and-so.' Abu Hurayra said: 'Allah have mercy on your father!' The young man was looking around, so he asked him: 'What are you looking for?' He replied: 'I have not prayed yet.' Abu Hurayra said: 'So you pray?' The young man replied: 'Subhan Allah!' Abu Hurayra: 'And you say Subhan Allah?' He said: 'La Ilaha illAllah!!' Abu Hurayra: 'And you say La Ilaha illAllah?' The young man said: 'I would prefer not to leave Salat even if I were given all there is on the face of the earth.' Abu Hurayra said: 'Allah have mercy on you. Allah have mercy on you. Allah have mercy on you.' Then he came back to his seat in the circle and said: 'I heard the Messenger of Allah say: "Whoever bears testimony against a Muslim of which the latter is not deserving, let him prepare for his seat in the Fire."'"

2. From `Ubayd Allah ibn `Umar, from Nafi`:

A man said to Ibn `Umar: "I have a neighbor who bears witness against me that I commit shirk." He replied: "Say: 'La Ilaha illAllah,' you will make him a liar."

3. From Sawwar ibn Shabib al-A`raji:

I was sitting in Ibn `Umar's house when a man came and said: "O Ibn `Umar! There are groups of people bearing witness against us and attributing to us kufr and shirk." Ibn `Umar replied: "Woe to you! Did you not say: 'La Ilaha IllAllah'?!" Whereupon the entire household began to say La Ilaha IllAllah until the house was shaking.

4. From al-A`mash, from Abu Sufyan:

We came to see Jabir ibn `Abd Allah who lived in Makkah and resided with the Banu Fihr. A man asked him: "Did you [the Companions] use to call anyone from the People of the Qibla [i.e. Muslims], 'Mushrik'?" He replied: "I seek refuge in Allah." The man continued: "Did you call anyone from them 'Kafir'?" He said: "No."

Fatwas...

as-salaam `alaykum,

Forwarded message:
----

The Fatwas: Look at the strictness with which we are warned not to pronounce someone a Kaafir. Hadrat Ibn Abideen says in his Radd al-Muhtar: "The Fatwa of Kufr is not given to a Muslim when his words have the possibility of being interpreted in better (Hasan) manner (not amounting to Kufr)".(vol 3/p.283)

But yet we should not shy away from the Fatwas; as Hazrat Junayd al-Baghdadi did in case of Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj (NafaHaat - Hazrat Jami) and Izz Abd as-Salaam in case of Shaykh Muhiyuddeen ibn al-Arabi Qaddasallahu Asraarahum wa Nafa'na bihim wal Muslimeen. "And it is mentioned in some other place 'I have heard that Izz ad-Deen Abd as-Salaam disapproved (YuT'yinu) of Hazrat Ibn 'Arabi, and he called him a Zindeeq. Another day, one of his disciples told him, that he wished to see a Qutub [a grade of Waliyah]. He [Izz ad-Deen Abd as-Salaam] pointed towards Hazrat Ibn 'Arabi. The disciple [was perplexed] said, "but you disapprove of him", he replied "THAT is the ruling according to Sharia' (Dhahir) or something like that...." (Radd al-Muhtar vol.3/p.294)

And there is consensus that the slanderer of the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam is a Murtadd. "The ibarat of Shifa is as follows: Abu Bakr ibn al-Mundhir held that the consensus of the scholars on the matter that the slanderer of the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam should be executed (killed). And others who said so are Malik ibn Anas, Layth, Ahmed ibn Is-Haaq and so is the Madh-hab of Shafiyi and it is also the ruling of Hazrat Abu Bakr RaDiyallahu 'Anhu, and neither is his Tawba (repentance) accepted. Others who said so are Abu Hanifa and his followers (AS-Haab) and Thawri and the Scholars of Kufa and Awzayee....." (Radd al-Muhtar vol.3/p.294)

"And the summary of all this is that there is Ijma'a (consensus) that he who insults the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam is a Kafir." (Radd al-Muhtar vol.3/p.294)

Elsewhere he (Ibn Aabideen) says: "I say, and I have seen it in Kitaabul Kharaaj by Imam Yousuf that if a Muslim slanders the Messenger Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam or belies him (kadhdhaba) or finds fault ('aaba) or degrades (tanaqqasahu) be it known that he has disbelieved in Allah Ta'aalah and his wife goes out of his Nikah.. (Baanat minhu imra-atahu)" (Radd al-Muhtar vol.3/p.291)

"It is clear from this that those who slander the Angels or any of the Prophets (Alayhimus Salaam), he is declared a Kafir. And this is that type of Kufr where he is left off if he does Tawba, else he is executed (killed)." (Radd al-Muhtar vol.3/p.292)

"It is said in Bazzaziyyah from Khulasa that a Rafidi if he slanders the Shaykhayn [Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat Umar RaDiyallahu 'Anhuma] and damns them (swears at them) he is a Kafir. If he only holds Hadrat Ali (RaDiyallahu 'Anhu) superior to him he is a heretic (Mubtadiy)." (Radd al-Muhtar vol.3/p.293)

And Ibn Abideen goes on explaining and debating at length about this and other such statements whether the slanderer of Sahaba is Kafir or not. If he is declared a Murtadd; is he executed or left off after Tawba; whether his Tawba is accepted or not and so forth. He also gives a reference to a book by Mullah Ali Qari who is reported to have opposed the position held as quoted from Khulasa above in it.

Ibn Aabideen says, that even Khariji's are not considered as Kaafirs: "It is mentioned in Fath al-Qadeer that the Khawarij who hold that it is permissible to kill Muslims and take away their belongings (loot their maal) and call as Kafirs to the Sahaba, the ruling regarding them among majority of the scholars (Jamhoor) and the people of Hadeeth is that they are considered as rebels (Hukm of Bughat)" (Radd al-Muhtar vol.3/p.293)

But yet Hadrat Ibn Abideen gives HIS verdict on page 294, vol.3: "Yes, there is no doubt in the kufr of he who caluminates (Qadhafa) Hadrat Aayisha RaDiyallahu Anha by accusing her of inchastity or refuses to believe that Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq was a Sahabi or believes in the deification (Uluuhiyyah) of Hadrat Ali RaDiyallahu Anhu or in that that Hadrat Jabrayeel Alayhis Salaam did a mistake in bringing the Wahy or the like, it is open KUFR obviously (Min al-Kufris SareeH) for it (such beliefs) opposes the Qur-aan." further he says: "And the Rafidi who slanders the Shaykhayn RaDiyallahu Anhuma but yet DOES NOT calumniate Hadrat Aayisha RaDiyallahu Anha by accusing her of inchastity (Qadhf) NOR disbelieves that Hadrat Siddiq RaDiyallahu Anhu was a Sahabi etc., then it is not kufr and nor is it without Tawba but it is Heresy and Innovation (Dalal, Bid-ah) and the rest of the matter shall be discussed in the first part on rebels, Insha Allah (Bab al-Bigha)"

Note here that Ibn Aabideen, is debating on the slander of Sahaba not the denial of the Khilafat of the Shaykhayn RaDiyallahu Anhuma.

He says on page 310/ vol.3 - Bab al-Baghi:"It is clear from Kitab al-Musaayirah by consensus on the Takfeer (Ruling that someone is Kafir) of he who opposes the Basics of Religion (Usuul al-Deen) and the Obligatory matters [Matters which are obligatory to be believed in ] (Darooriyyat). For example that the universe ('Aalam) is from eternity (Qadeem) [without a beginning] or in the refusal of the belief that people will be brought forth with their bodies on Judgement Day. (Hashr al-Ajsaad)"

But then, we also have fatwas from other luminaries many of which I quote on the authority of Imam Ahmed Rida. (These can be found in the tenth volume of Fataawa ar-RiDawiyyah: pages 516-527 / Vol.10)

It is said by Shaykh Barjandi in Sharah Niqaayah: "He who refuses to accept the Imamah of Hadrat Abu Bakr as-Siddiq RaDiyallahu 'Anhu is a Kafir. Some opine that he is a Mubtadiy (a heretic) and not a Kafir but the truth of the matter is (As-SaH) that he is a Kafir. And so also is the case of he who refuses to accept the Khilafah of Hadrat Umar RaDiyallahu 'Anhu. And this is the most correct ruling."

Fataawa Bazzaziyyah states: "It is Wajib to rule someone as a Kafir (Yajibu Ikfaarihim) who calls Hadrat Uthman, Ali, TalHa, Zubayr and Sayyidah Aayisha RaDiyallahu 'Anhum Ajama'een"

It is stated in Bahr ar-Raayiq (page.131) : "It is the most correct ruling (in this matter; As-SaH) that it is KUFR to refuse to accept/deny the Imamah of Hadrat Abu Bakr RaDiyallahu 'Anhu and so also is the case in the refusal (of the Khilafah) of Hadrat Umar RaDiyallahu 'Anhu"

It is stated in Majma' al-Anhur: "The RafiDi if he just holds Hadrat Ali RaDiyallahu 'Anhu superior to Hadrat Abu Bakr (FaDDala) RaDiyallahu 'Anhu, he is a heretic; and if he denies / refuses the Khilafah of Hadrat Siddiq RaDiyallahu 'Anhu, he is a Kafir"

It is said in Tahtaawi 'ala Maraaqil FalaaH : "If one denies in the Khilafat of Hadrat Abu Bakr RaDiyallahu 'Anhu he is declared as a Kafir. But the truth of the matter is that this applies to (those who deny the Khilafah of) Hadrat Umar and Uthman too (RaDiyallahu 'Anhuma)."

Shaykh Allamah ibn Wahbaan said in his NaDHm al-Faraaid :

Wa Man La'ana ash-Shaykhayni Aw Sabba Kaafirun Wa Man Qaala Fil Aydee al-Jawaarihi Akfaru! Wa SaHHaHa Bi Nakri Khilaafat il--- al-Ateeqi Wa Fil Farooqi Dhaalika ADH-haru!

He who damns the Shaykhayn - Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat Umar RaDiyallahu 'Anhuma - or slanders/insults them, he is a Kaafir; And he who said that (the meaning of) Hands (as mentioned in the Qur-aan: Yadullaha..) means physical hands (Jawaarihi; attributing Jism, body to Allah SubHanahu Ta'aalah) he is a bigger Kaafir! And it is also true that the refusal to accept the Khilafah of HaDrat Ateeq (Abu Bakr) and Hadrat Farooq (HaDrat Umar) RaDiyallahu 'Anhuma is also a Kaafir as is obvious. (Mistakes of I'yraab if any are mine)

It is stated in Sharah Aqaayid an-Nasafiyyah and Tareeqah al-Muhammadiyyah and Hadeeqah an-Nadiyyah that : "And to say that a Wali (saint/imam) is superior (AfDal) to a Nabi (prophet) is (manifest) Kufr."

Last but not least Ibn Aabideen himself says in his Uquud ad-Durriyyah (vol.1/page.92) when asked "what is the ruling (fatwa) regarding the RafiDis?" replies : "They are Kaafirs for they have collected (Jama'uu) different kinds of Kufr (in their beliefs) and he who withholds (tawaqqafa) pronouncing the ruling that they are Kaafirs is himself a Kaafir" Qadi Iyad says in his Shifa:

"Wa lihaadha nukaffiru man lam Yukaffiru man kaana bighayri millatil Muslimeena minal milal aw waqafa feehim aw shakka aw SaHHaHa madh-habihim wa in ADH-hara ma'a dhaalika al-Islamu wa Iytiqaaduhu, wa'ataqada ibTilaali kullu madh-habin siwaahu fahuwa Kaafirun bi-IDH-hari maa A-DH-hara min Khilafin dhaalik"

And therefore we term him a Kafir who does not consider them khuffar who are not in the Millah (creed) of Islam; or deliberated in saying so or doubted in this or said 'true/right' about their Madhhab even though such a person may believe in all Islamic beliefs and the falsehood of all other beliefs, yet he is a Kaafir for the fact that he did the opposite (of what he believed).

It is said in Fataawa Bazzaziyyah, Durar wa Ghurar, Fataawa Khayriyyah, Durr al-Mukhtar and Majma' al-Anhur : "He who doubted in such a person (he, whose Kufr is obvious) and the fact that such a person would be tormented (Adhaabihi) has committed Kufr."
--
Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad


Belief in the Descent of `Isa (Jesus)

I have learned that Hazrat Ees’a (as) will return from the heavens before Yaum’al-Qyamat [...] but I know a Muslim who will not believe in it. In Ahadith we find several which say that ibn Maryam (as) will return. This friend of mine interprets a verse from the Holy Quran kind of special. This verse is "Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say to wit `Worship Allah my Lord and your Lord'; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up thou wast the Watcher over them and Thou art a Witness to all things."5:117 She says that this verse means that Jesus (as) will not know that the Christians believe in him as God’s son (nauzubillah). She continues and accuses me for shirk, and calls me kafir because I tell her that there is very many Muslims who think that ibn Maryam (as) will return. In Yusuf Ali’s interpretation notes I read that he wrote: “There is difference of opinion as to the exact interpretation of this verse. The words are: The Jews did not kill Jesus, but Allah raised him up (rafa'u) to himself. One school holds that Jesus did not die the usual human death, but still lives in the body in the heaven, which is the generally accepted Muslim view.” How can I as her Muslim brother explain her that she can’t accuse other Muslims for being kafir, because I said: “ibn Maryam (as) will insha’Allah return”? [...] She says that a Muslim does not believe that ibn Maryam (as) will return.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

A Muslim of pure belief believes that Isa ibn Maryam, upon our Prophet and upon both of them peace, will certainly return. The proofs for this are mutawatir - mass-transmitted - and to reject them is the mark of misguidance and worse. In addition there are allusive proofs of his return in the Qur'an, among them:

{And He (the son of Mary) shall most certainly be a sign of the Last Hour. Have no doubt about it!} (43:61).

{There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them} (4:159).

Your friend is a person of foul innovation. In addition, she commits kufr in accusing a Muslim of kufr for believing something which does not justify such a charge but rather is the truth in which she herself is obliged to believe. If she is prone to commit such a major sin and will not repent, on top of holding deviant views, then it is best to get far away from such an evil friend even if she pleases you.

The reasoning that `Isa, upon him peace, did not know that Christians would commit polytheism after him is unrelated to his descent from heaven at the end of times. Muslims believe that Allah Most High spares His Prophets knowledge of the kufr of their followers after they leave this life, even as He may make them aware of all their other states. The good and bad deeds of this Umma are shown to the Prophet, upon him peace, in Barzakh, but not the apostasy of individuals so as not to harm him.

The difference of opinion whether `Isa died or was raised to the heaven alive and in the body, is also unrelated to his descent at the end of time.

Regardless of everything else Jesus WILL descend from the heaven. He will destroy the cross and kill the swine. The sincere among the Jews and Christians will enter Islam at his hand while the insincere will deny him and join the Dajjal - the Arch-Liar. He will renew the Shari`a of our Prophet Muhammad and kill the Dajjal. He will marry and have children and die together with the last band of believers left on earth, after which the Hour will rise. This is our Sunni faith and whoever wishes to disbelieve let them disbelieve.

Pure Muslim belief in relation to deviant pseudo-Muslim belief in the time we live in, is dearer and rarer than Islam itself in relation to other creeds. Cling to the faith of the pious predecessors and leave all the rest as so much smoke and whisperings.

Hajj Gibril


Pornography and the Shariah: Why must things be banned in society?


Dear Sir, I'm a South African working in London and have the pleasure of working with a Muslim colleague. We've been discussing various issues about religion and Islam. My view is that people should be free to choose their own way of life, the only condition being that they do not hurt or offend anyone else.

In our discussion, the topic of pornography came up and my colleague says ideally pornography should be banned. I personally find all porn repulsive but nonetheless feel that people should be allowed to make their own decisions and suffer their own consequences. If people choose to watch porn is it not their decision to make? How does it affect anyone else, as no one is forcing porn actors to do it, they choose to defile themselves. By banning things does this not remove a persons freedom of choice? I believe religion should be an individual choice and that no law or society should `police' people's lives. According to my colleague, Shariah law says pornography should be banned, and as I've said this prevents people making their own choice. Surely faith should be strong enough that things need not be banned but because people choose not to indulge in them because faith makes them strong enough to resist. I am not very religious but choose to have nothing to do with porn because I find it revolting. By having to resort to banning things is Islam not implying that it's lost the battle of hearts and therefore has to resort to policing in order to help society?

In addition, should Shariah law apply to everybody (not just with respect to porn, but also with things such as alcohol consumption, female dress code, etc.) including non-Muslims like myself?



Dear Sir,

Muslims and the Shari`a agree with you that "people should be allowed to make their own decisions and suffer their own consequences." This is, after all, the basis of freewill + accountability pre-conditional to our moral system together with that of the other two Abrahamic dispensations. And yet the West rightly does not allow individuals to make their own decisions regarding the life and death of oneself and others. Suicide and murder are illegal because they are deemed unacceptable infringements upon the rights of others even if they can be conceived as (misguided) exercises of individual rights. As Aristotle said in the beginning of his book of Ethics, knowing how to commit a crime well is not considered a science at all.

Islam possesses the most heightened sense of this balance between the rights of the individual and those of the society. Thus the domain in which the individual roams free and is accountable, does not encroach upon the domain of the societal mores with its own criteria of decency, order, beauty, mental health, and so forth. So if it is good for one or more individuals to cut down trees and  build tall cement structures, malls, and parking lots, for example, society also has the right to demand green space, playgrounds, and  healthy building material for people to live in, even if it curtails those individuals' right to profit or, as you eloquently said, "the only condition being that they do not hurt or offend anyone else."

It is the same with the control of the high-profit industries whose sole benefit is to indulge the lusts: alcohol and tobacco, drugs, gambling and prostitution, pornography. We may notice that (i) they all go together and (ii) are run mostly by the criminal element of  society known as "organized crime" families. With regard to tobacco,  Muslim authorities and societies have by and large thrown in the  towel. It is truly a pandemic running amok in the Muslim world  despite the valiant efforts of some of the Ulema to prohibit it.  With regard to alcohol, drugs and gambling the prohibition is much stronger as it has the word of the Qur'an as its basis.

With regard to prostitution it is widespread but kept out of sight except in certain Gulf mini-States whose rulers fear not Allah nor the Day of Judgment, and whose subjects are like cattle or dumber.

With regard to pornography it is an on-going battle in the Muslim world slavishly panting after its "Sexual Revolution" beginnings  in the West in the Sixties, which culminated with the Supreme Court decisions in the US in the Nineties first banning, then giving up  on banning pornography in the name of individual liberties - and damning the liberties of society and the family to hell.

We may call the nature of control a lid of public decency. As  long as these activities remain clandestine they remain shameful but if they are allowed to mix with broad daylight all shame is lost. For example, the Sultanate of Brunei has the words "Death for all drug traffickers under Brunei Law" written on every immigration landing form but turns a blind eye to cross-dressing on the street corners of its capital at night, as I was stupefied to find out during a late night drive through Bandar Seri Begawan.

The battle is not without hope in the Islamic world because there is still a deep-seated sense of shame and decency in individuals and their societies. There is also a deep-seated sense in most those countries if not all of them, that Religion is not a matter of individual choice and practice but a lifestyle that englobes the collective in all possible senses of the word: psychologically, historically, culturally, politically, legally. It is, to say the least, difficult for a Westerner to understand this unless he has lived in the East for a while and drunk in those values that  otherwise remain an anachronism if he is kind, and an affront to  his modernity if he were, like his modernity, born yesterday.

As to the important Question, "should Sharia law apply to everybody (not just with respect to porn, but also with things such as alcohol consumption, female dress code, etc.) including non-Muslims like  myself," as a theoretical Question the answer is yes, the Shari`a is ideally quite Spartan with respect to those issues, somewhat like Singapore or Switzerland with respect to public cleanliness, traffic, and other issues of societal rights. However, in practice, these things are treated with leeway in all Muslim countries including the most puritanical, as long as one indulges them out of sight and does not undress, imbibe, or fornicate ostensively.

Otherwise, it is really not an infringement on individual liberty nor a defeat of the battle for hearts to expect the man in the street to respect the public norms of decency in every culture. As you said, "people should be free to choose their own way of life, the only  condition being that they do not hurt or offend anyone else." The hubris of globalization is to try by all means to violate those norms in the name of "freedom" when we know that the real reason is money.

Hajj Gibril


Why Can't I Take Aqida And Tasawwuf From The Four Imams?    

In a previous answer it says: "The way of Sunni Islam is to take the branch of Islam from living jurists who follow one of the four Sunni schools of fiqh: the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali schools; the branch of Iman from living scholars belonging to one of the two Sunni schools of 'aqida: the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools; and the branch of Ihsan from living masters of one of the many Sufi orders that have emerged over the centuries, such as the Qadiri, Naqshbandi, Shadhili, Chishti, and Rifa'i tariqas."

Why should I take the branch of Islam only from the four Madhhabs of Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali? Why should not I take the branches "Iman" and "Ihsan" from them? Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi'i, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (May Allah's Mercy Be on Them All) were the Four Great Scholars of their time, were they weak in the scholarships of the branches of Iman and Ihsan or were they not reliable? Did they ever teach about Iman and Ihsan to their students or did they just keep quite throughout their lives about these two very important categories of our Faith?



In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Most or all of the great authorities named above touched on all three types of knowledge; however, the classification you are quoting refers to specialization. The specialty of the Four Imams is Fiqh and this is what they are known for the most, although they are accomplished in Iman and Ihsan as well; the specialty of Ash'ari and Maturidi was doctrine and most or rather all the extant narrations we have from them relate to that science although they show complete mastery of the branches of fiqh in their respective Madhhabs and familiarity with the ethics of ihsan; and the specialty of the Imams of tasawwuf was the purification of the soul and ihsan, even if many of them were also bright luminaries in fiqh and doctrine. It also stands to reason to follow certain well-tended and proven paths that countless Believers have taken before us successfully rather than question them without good reason, even if, in reality, “the paths to Allah are as numerous as the breaths of creatures.”

Wassalam

Hajj Gibril


Wiping the slate clean? Getting back to praying regularly 
 

If someone I know used to pray regularly 5-times a day, but then over a period of time, started to get less and less motivated about salat to the point where they seldom pray, what practical advice could I give them that would help them pray regularly again? They get discouraged when they actually sit down and write down which salats they have to make up because the list gets so long. So what practical steps could this person take to start praying regularly again?

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim:

It is good to "count one's blessings" when one feels discouraged. Oftentimes the discouragement is not warranted and is lifted through certain mental habits that shoulder spiritual effects by permission of Allah.

Among these habits is to give thanks to Allah for creating us; to give thanks for creating us as a human being of sound mind and body; to give thanks for creating us as part of the last and best Umma; to give thanks to Him for cherishing and sustaining us at all times, even - or especially - in the depth of distress from which we call to Him.

Then to remember that this Religion is ease and good tidings. In difficulty, make istighfar and in ease give thanks. In other words, remember Allah at all times. The Qur'an calls the Torah and the sun a Diya', while it calls the Qur'an and the moon a Nur. The Ulema said, this is because the Diya' is a light that burns while the Nur is a gentle light. The Torah had harsh rulings while those of Islam are gentle and easy.

Another habit is to remember that a time may come when one's salat and fast will become physically difficult or impossible, through sickness or old age or "man-made" preventions; and that one's salat might be the last one, followed by death. What is the excuse for someone able, young, and strong who is offered millions of opportunities for success and happiness but insists on missing them all? We should strive not to be remiss then remiss then remiss before we face the grave. If we saw someone dear in such a situation we would shake them up by the boot-straps.

It is advisable to make istighfar so as to clear one's mind of worldly ties. 100x Astaghfirullah daily. Give sadaqa to the intention of lifting difficulties. Invoke blessings on the Prophet. These devotions will facilitate the above mental dispositions insha Allah.

We should also examine our daily routines for acts or habits that are unadvisable to someone who is trying to change. We should put those away and try and stay away from the people, places, and/or times associated with them, for example: smoking; staying up late at night; spending hours on the phone chatting; working endless hours; anything vacuous done to mindless excess.

In fact, one should seek excellent spiritual company at all times but at least once every week or month, to remember Allah together with others whom one meets for no other purpose. Such gatherings are an essential part of recharging one's spiritual batteries. The loner is an easy prey but the wolf keeps away from the group.

It is advisable to remember also that one is never the only person thus apparently afflicted. Tedium *) is a common and perhaps universal and necessary test. The Sufis use the terms "straitening and expansion" (al-qabd wal-bast) to refer to different states in one's spiritual wayfaring to the Lord of all lords. Highs and lows are part of life for everyone so keep travelling. The Prophet would say, upon him peace: "O Allah, I seek refuge in you from helplessness and laziness." "Whoever dies on the way is written among those who have arrived," said Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi. The important thing is to keep moving, not to give up.

We should think also of the wisdom of difficulty and distress. They bring us nearer to our Lord by reminding us of our weakness. This is the illustration of the saying that "whoever knows himself" to be truly weak "knows his Lord" to be truly exalted and all-giving. Such are good times to turn to him and repent, even if this reaches seventy times a day. "Allah does not grow bored of giving, rather you grow bored of asking."

It is advisable to not approach the Salat as a burden but as a new chance for gain, improvement, victory over the mediocre alternatives of the self - depression, distraction, despair. It is a connection to the everlasting world, the communication with the Creator, companionship with the angels and the best of human beings such as Prophets. This is true of Qada' (makeup prayers) also, as every prayer is a fresh start. A contrite heart in Qada' may be better than a proud heart in Ada'.

The Salat is not a chore but the soul's nourishment and the weapon of the spirit. Do not deprive your heart and soul of its daily lights. Conversely, do not allow the enemies to roam at leisure by letting rust the practices that keep their harm in check. Imam al-Ghazzali said:

"The forms of the Salat which entail one bowing, two prostrations, specific numbers [of supplications], and specific Qur'anic utterances that are recited, at various lengths and times upon sunrise, noon, and sunset, have a specific effect in stilling the dragon (al-tinnin) that nestles in the human breast and breeds many-headed snakes [like a hydra] - equal to the number of one's [bad] traits - biting and snapping at him in the grave. … Its harm extends to the soul, as indicated by the Prophet's saying - upon him blessings and peace: 'A dragon with ninety-nine heads is empowered over the disbeliever in the latter's grave, doing such and-such etc.' There are many such dragons in the human make-up, and nothing subdues them except Divinely-prescribed obligations."

It is advisable to make the Salat brief so as to concentrate better and not think of anything else. A sahih narration from `Ammar ibn Yasir and Abu al-Yasar Ka`b ibn `Amr by Abu Dawud, Imam Ahmad, al-Nasa'i in al- Sunan al-Kubra, and others, states that `Ammar ibn Yasir prayed two rak`as and made them brief [deliberately]. `Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Harith said to him: "Abu al-Yaqzan, I see that you made them brief?" He replied: "I overtook Satan's whispering with these two rak`as. Verily, I heard the Messenger of Allah say - upon him peace: 'Verily, a man prays and it may be that nothing of his salat is recorded to his credit except one tenth, or one-ninth, or one-eighth, or one-seventh,' and so forth until he reached the last figure." No wonder many of the pious make their Salat - as imams and otherwise - brief.

It is advisable to pray at the very beginning of the time so that the rest of the time be blessed with the baraka of having discharged one's duty. Being in the clear as much as one can is part of gaining strength in the Divine good pleasure and a way to feel the blessing of time since time becomes a friend rather than a judge. It defuses the burden of guilt that becomes unbearable under a heavy debt and which it is not the Divine design for us to suffer.

This is some advice that comes to mind from your sinful brother.

Was-Salam
Hajj Gibril


The Problem of Suffering 


I was walking home one day, when a man approached me. He knew I was a Muslim by looking at the hat I was wearing. Nevertheless, he kindly asked me a question that I could not answer. The question goes as follow:
"If your lord is the most beneficent the most kind, why has he killed so many innocent people in Bam? I was wondering if you would be able to answer his question."


You should be able to answer this question very easily because it is the most childish trap by which Satan tries to turn people into atheists.

The reply is the same as why did the Lord create death in the first place? Why not endless life filled with pleasures and bowls of roses? Why did he take away our Prophet Muhammad whose death is a worse disaster than Bam?

Because this life is not the purpose of existence but only a brief moment in the endless time promised human beings (hence Satan is enraged with envy against them), and these cataclysms are tests of faith as well as purifications for the believers as are all sufferings and indeed all joys on this earth.

For our Prophet said, upon him and his Family blessings and peace, that even a mosquito bite erases the sins and raises the degrees of a Believer; non-believers, on the other hand, are unable to see other than suffering and are stuck with "Ouch" instead of remembrance of their Lord. And yet! On their death-beds even *they* cry out My God, my God.

Hajj Gibril


Related Questions



Does leaving prayer make one a disbeliever? 


Can you please elaborate on actions not being directly related to belief – given that many hadiths and words of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and early Muslims indicate that someone who leaves prayer falls into disbelief…

 


As-Salamu `alaykum:

The one who does not pray and the quitter of prayer in those reports must be understood as those that do not consider prayer an obligation upon them. There is no disagreement among the scholars of Ahl al-Sunna that such are disbelievers (kafirs) and Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril


 

Faraz notes:

As for those who leave prayer out of laziness or lack of motivation, they are believers who have fallen into major sin. They must repent to their Lord and change their ways. It is our duty to call them to the truth, in the best and most appealing of ways.

The hadiths about leaving prayer entailing disbelief are considered to apply to them insofar as:

a) they have fallen into heedlessness only befitting disbelievers;

b) without prayer, their faith is likely to continue to weaken and fade until—it is feared—they may even fall into actual denial and disbelief.

May Allah protect us, our families, communities, and the Ummah of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), and make us of those who establish the prayer in the way most beloved to Him.




A Prophetic Narration About The Fate of Fornicators 


I read somewhere that the Prophet (MHMD) said he passed people eating raw meat on the miraj, and Jibril (as) said they were the ones who performed zina. Is that based on any hadith, is it to be trusted?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

Yes, the Prophet, upon him peace, saw a tablespread in which there were pieces of good meat which no one approached, and another tablespread in which were pieces of rotten meat which stank, surrounded by people who were eating it. He asked: O Gibril, who are these?? He replied: These are those of your Community who abandon what is lawful and proceed to what is unlawful.

Another version says: The Prophet saw a great deal of people gathered around a tablespread in which was set grilled meat of the best kind one had ever seen. Near the table there was some carrion decaying. The people were coming to the carrion to eat from it, and they were leaving the grilled meat untouched. The Prophet asked: Who are they, O Gibril?? He replied: The adulterers (al-zunaat): they make lawful what Allah Most High has made unlawful, and they abandon what Allah has made lawful for them.

This segment is narrated by Ahmad, al-Tabarani, and Abu Nu`aym. The Hafiz of Damascus Dya' al-Din al-Maqdisi retained it in his book al-Ahadith al-Mukhtara, in which he said he retained only the sound (sahih) narrations.

Cf. Shaykh Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki, Wa-Huwa bil-Ufuqi al-A`la (p. 278).

Hajj Gibril


Repeating sins: I feel ashamed asking Allah Most High for forgiveness 


I’m nearly 21 & alhamdulillah I’ve got a beard and I’m trying to practice my deen whatever little it may be. But the problem is that I keep on committing very bad sins and once I commit them I feel bad and I do ask the Merciful for forgiveness & in my prayer I would ask Him (subhana wa ta'ala) to forgive me & I promise I would never do it again but the problem is that I always end up doing it again and sometimes I’ll do it straight after I’ve asked for forgiveness. It’s getting really bad now and I feel ashamed asking Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) for forgiveness because I don't seem to be stopping and I fear hypocrisy within. Ya shaikh, please help me if you can & your reward would be with the most Merciful.

Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

Reform of one's patterns begins with improvements in the way we fill our time such as the company we keep. A suggestion toward the latter is to find a Murshid and spend time with him and his company. The nafs or ego is full of wrong suggestions but Allah Most High told us to seek the company of truthful people. Also, it is very important to ensure one's food is clean and good, from licit and lawful income. This is another reason to seek the company of righteous friends.

Time is so precious and at the same time so deceptive. Allah gave you so much guidance to know Him and be conscious of Him, even to the point of accusing yourself of the worst evil because of fear of displeasing Him. We are weak, however, we must move past weakness. In any case, seeking forgiveness never stops even if we feel ashamed; we must accept the fact that the ego is an evil dictator and treat it as our hypocritical, rebellious enemy which we can overcome with the help of Allah Most High; and His help is very near.

Our Master `Umar ibn al-Khattab, Allah be well-pleased with him, was approached one day by some people who complained, "We have an imam who, after praying the `asr prayer with us, begins to sing!" `Umar went with them and asked the man to recite to him what he sang to them. He said:

My heart, every time I scold it, returns to pleasures that fatigue me. I never see it occupied except with empty pastimes all the time, harming me. My evil companion, what childishness is this? Life has passed and you still play? My youth has gone and left me before I ever put it to its right use! My soul! You and your lusts are nothing. Fear Allah. Fear Him. Fear Him!

`Umar repeated the last verse over and over, weeping. Then he said, "Whoever among you must sing, let him sing such things."

Narrated by the hafiz Ibn al-Sam`ani as cited in Kanz al-`Ummal (§8944).

Was-Salam,

Hajj Gibril


One will be resurrected with the one they love

I once heard someone say that if you really love someone and that person really loves you, but both people had to marry someone else in this world, that these two will be able to be with one another in the Hereafter (this is taking into account that these two people are married to others, but are not disrespecting or not ignoring the rights of their husband/wife in this world)? I would appreciate it if you could let me know if this is true?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

I don't know the answer to the above other than by the general hadith that "One will be resurrected with the one s/he loves."

However, there is a hadith narrated from the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, that "a woman will be [in the next world] with the best of her [worldly] husbands" if she had more than one. This can be harmonized with the hadiths in the Umm Darda' posting if we understand that Allah Most High will reunite a widow with her last husband in Paradise except if a previous husband is preferable to her for having been a better person and Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril


Mawlana Jalal al-Din ar-Rumi ‘misguided’? 

A group of people distributed a pamphlet as usual at the local masjid. However in this issue there was one thing that was intriguing and I would like to seek some clarifications. Under the section "Those who have gone astray in the history of Islam" they name Jalaal-ud-Deen Ar-Rumi. They say that: "being a sufi, he is from among those who have gone astray in the history of Islam. He is the author of the book Al-Mathnawi. He invited people to the Aqeedah of Wahdat-ul-Wujoud and to the Aqeedah of the oneness/unity of all religions and it is because of these that the kuffaar present him as a Hero of Islam."

The pamphlet continued by citing examples in his book where they say he invited to this false Aqeedah and at the end of the article the salafi explain the Aqeedah of Wahdat-ul-Wujoud. They say: “it is the most false, disgusting and corrupt Aqeedah that may have ever existed. It is the conception that only the existence of Allah Ta'alah is true, everything else is non-existent, i.e. everything that exists is Allah and Allah is everything that is existing. A corrupt and false Aqeedah that is propagated by the sufis.”

Now I would like to have some clarifications on these issues; who is Jalaal-ud-Deen Ar-Rumi, what is the Aqeedah of Wahdat-ul-Wujoud, is what they claim true or wrong?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

Mawlana Jalal al-Din al-Rumi (d. 672) was the son, father, and grandfather of great Sunni Hanafi Jurists, teachers, and qadis, originating from Balkh or Kabul and settled in and around Istanbul. Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani in al-Durar al-Kamina (1:352) cites him as "Mawlana" in the vibrant notice on his son Baha' al-Din Ahmad, known as Sultan ibn Mawlana, "one of the Imams of the Hanafi Masters, the brilliant, ascetic, pious Faqih, Usuli, and grammarian who trod the path of his father in leaving the world behind."

Mawlana's full name is Muhammad ibn Muhammad (ibn Muhammad) ibn al-Hasan ibn Ahmad ibn Qasim ibn Habib ibn `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al-Siddiq al-Hashimi. Hajji Khalifa said in Kashf al-Zunun (1:367): "He was a thoroughly knowledgeable Imam in Fiqh according to the School of Abu Hanifa - Allah be well-pleased with him - and he was knowledgeable in the science of juridical differences, then he devoted himself to worship exclusively. Miraculous gifts (karaamaat) are mass-transmitted from him. Allah have mercy on him."

He is known in the West as a "mystical" poet, mostly because of the translation of his large Persian book of poetry of singular beauty, the Mathnawi.

As for the claim that "He invited people to the Aqeedah of Wahdat-ul-Wujoud and to the Aqeedah of the oneness/unity of all religions", then Allah Most High said, {Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful} and He said, {O you who believe! If an evil liver bring you tidings, verify it, lest you smite some folk in ignorance and afterward repent of what you did}.

As for the statement "being a sufi, he is from among those who have gone astray in the history of Islam" it would be fair to say that this statement constitutes kufr because it attributes misguidance to the massive majority of the elite of this Umma.

It is a sign of the Divine power that Allah makes many purported disbelievers love and respect this Friend of Allah -- Jalal al-Din Rumi -- over seven centuries after his death while He makes some purported Muslims attack him and reveal themselves as corrupt enviers and friends of Shaytan. 

Hajj Gibril


What actions/beliefs cause a Muslim to become a non-believer and be considered outside the fold of Islam? 

Denial of an obligatorily known article of belief such as qadar or the angels, or denial of the binding nature of a pillar among the five pillars of Islam, or of the binding nature of an obligatorily known injunction or prohibition, such as denial of the fact that something haram is haram, or denial of something that is literally mass-transmitted in the Umma such as a word from the Qur'an or the fact that the grave of our Prophet Muhammad, upon him and his family blessings and peace, is really in the well-known spot people say it is, in Madina.

Hajj Gibril

Related Questions



Fragrant presence due to good deeds 

My sister lost her husband 2 months ago and now needs to know if her husband can see her and her son, and do the spirits really come down. If not, then why does she smell flowers all around her . Please explain.

Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

Spirits are not "up" so they do not "come down" but are in the graves until the Day of Resurrection. However, it is mentioned that the spirits of the believers are free to come and go with the permission of Allah.

The fragrant smell may be because of her own steadfastness (sabr) and good deeds after the death of her loved one (who is no longer her husband because death dissolves the marriage), and Allah knows best. Rahimahullah.

Hajj Gibril


How to counsel those in need… 


I have just met someone who was having problems with his understanding of Islam. He seemed to think that at every step he wasn't following Islam (praying, fasting etc), and thought he was in state of shirk. I explained to him that to my knowledge this wasn’t the case, he was simply in a state of heedlessness. He agreed with this and now wishes to find some advice on what the next step should be. I advised looking for a good local scholar and learning from him, maybe from the basics upwards. He had read a lot of deep sufi stuff. Please give him some more advice and if I am wrong in anything I am saying please council me as well so if I have given incorrect advice, I know for next time.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

You gave him the right advice. Being alone is being prey to shaytan, who stays farther away from the group.

Was-Salam,
Hajj Gibril


Related Questions

Advice on how to protect oneself from the Shaitan
http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/qa00003259.aspx___DEFECT LINK
On How to Advise those not very Practicing  
http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/qa00001327.aspx___DEFECT LINK
Why learn from a teacher?  
http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/qa00002075.aspx___DEFECT LINK


Death: the shore of safety where real life begins… dealing with loss of a parent

I have a friend who is a girl I respect as a sister. Her father has recently passed away and she is very confused on a lot of things ... to a certain extent she is questioning faith. I was just wondering if you could give any advice for her to keep her mind at ease and be able to accept the death of her father. Any advice will be much appreciated.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

Allah Most High created us and takes us back to Him where He desires to give us real life which is unending and complete, unlike this life.

He is most cherishing and knows we hate death but He also desires for us to meet Him and death is the necessary passage to that most desirable meeting-- the shore of safety where real life begins.

So death is only one of the tests of this life in which our link to our Beloved Lord, our love of Him, is tested. If we truly love our parents we would want for them and for us to pass this test and gain possession of a blessed reward no eye has seen nor any mind can imagine.

So, patience and strength in such tests are our opportunity for us to try and reap that immense reward. Keep a good opinion of our Creator Who is more merciful to us than many fathers and mothers put together.

May Allah guide you and us to what He loves and commands for us which is for our own good and our salvation.

Was-Salam,
Hajj Gibril

For more information please see the following links:

Related Questions
Dealing with Death
http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/QA00000641.aspx___DEFECT LINK

On Death and Dying
http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/QA00000688.aspx___DEFECT LINK

My mother died, can I do anything for her?
http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/QA00000684.aspx___DEFECT LINK



Superficial demonization of Islam


Why do Muslims fail to do anything about the terror that extremist Muslims are creating against the West? ... Sadly, in the media, it appears that Muslims across the world tend to acquiesce and generally accept terror without doing anything to prevent it. Essentially, Islam in general is failing to stop the atrocities of terror across the world.


Thank you for your questions:

Muslims by far do live in peace and harmony, hate extremism, and practice an understanding of Islam that condemns terrorism vehemently. The problem is that they do not dispose of means of publicity and other media to make that fact clear to the West. Hence the current demonization of Islam fueled by the acts of extremists and swaying even reasonable minds to conclude that Islam and Muslims must be very, very bad after all even if common sense tells you that such a sweeping generalization is hardly accurate.

The style of the questions above shows that the enemies of Islam are successful enough at their work because the questioner first admits that his view is based solely on a media construct then proceeds to inflate that construct into an essential reality.

Hajj Gibril


Deviancy from Ahl al-Sunna


What is the ruling for a person who believes that, "all of the Ahlul Bayt are above the Sahaba" and does not therefore believe that Sayyidina Abu Bakr (radhi Allahu ''anhu) is higher in rank than Sayyidina ''Ali (karam Allah wajhu)? Is such a person out of Ahlus Sunnah?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

Such a person is Shi`i-leaning (mutashayyi`) or Shi`i and has contradicted the Consensus of Ahl al-Sunna that Abu Bakr and `Umar are the best of human beings after Prophets and Messengers as stated or indicated in the books of `Aqida early and late. Anyway, Abu Bakr is considered to be from Ahl al-Bayt and so are the wives of the Prophet, upon him and them blessings and peace.

(2) What is the ruling for a person who says, '' I do not accept this hadith because it is against the status of the Prophet/Ahlul Bayt/Sahaba'' even though that hadith is classified as being ''sahih'' by the scholars of hadith such as al Bukhari and al Muslim etc?

To reject a hadith that is in al-Bukhari and Muslim and claim that it is inauthentic is the mark of deviancy and innovation because it also contradicts the consensus of Ahl al-Sunna that everything attributed to the Prophet, upon him peace, in the Sahihayn is unquestionably authentic; and this is in fact tantamount to tawatur or mass transmission.

(3) Does denying the validity of a sahih hadith take one out of Islam?

Not in itself. One would have to deny one of the things that bring one INTO Islam in order to come out of it.

Hajj Gibril


Muslim woman in love with a non-Muslim interested in converting


I am a Muslim woman and have fallen in love with a non-Muslim man. I have opened his eyes to this great religion and he is learning and wants to convert. Since my parents will not be happy with my situation, we need some guidance as to how we should go about his conversion. Also do we need a witness or documentation as proof?

It is Allah and not we that opens hearts and minds to the truth. Further, your parents will be happy with the help of Allah, if His good pleasure is pursued. How? Through their own good pleasure. As He has ordered in His Book: {wabil-walidayni ihsana} – Treat your father and mother with the utmost highest manner. This is key.

Hence, from the viewpoint of the Religion of those concerned it is advisable that the will of the Muslim parents be respected and that such an important step as someone's conversion, redoubled in gravity by the prospect of marrying them, NOT be built on the betrayal of the gratitude and trust owed to parents which is an abominable act and an enormity. Rather, it behooves the Muslim woman to give advice to the non-Muslim man and for the latter to do what it takes on his own; including seeking practical counsel from a qualified male Muslim that might get to know him, vouch for his character, accompany him or witness for him etc. Then he should approach the parents himself. This is the mature and responsible manner that every culture stands to recognize and approve. As for Islam, parents are the precondition sine qua non of blessing in the matter of a prospective relationship regardless of the matter of conversion. Through our pleasing them, Allah will put light and blessing in everything else of ours in sha'Allah.

From a purely logistical and administrative viewpoint it will be most useful to make the conversion as public and official as possible because its proof might serve later on for marriage, inheritance etc. This is in fact obligatory in Muslim countries or those countries that take Islamic Law into account such as Lebanon. The body in charge would be Dar al-Ifta' and/or an Islamic court or any authoritative branch of a department or ministry of religious affairs. Short of this, papers issued and witnessed by the imam of a mosque or Islamic association – such as a Muslim Student Association - could suffice.

Hajj Gibril


No original sin in Islam


A Christian said that Muslims accept a form of original sin because of a hadith that states that shaytan touches every child except Mary (ra) and Isa (ra). I know Muslims don’t believe in original sin but what is the understanding of this hadith?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

That Shaytan "touches every child" is an allusion to the inclination, innate to every human being, to respond to the suggestion of sin by shaytan; not to the actual presence of sin. This inclination is later removed in those whom Allah Most High elects as His Prophets and Messengers. In the case of our Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, it was removed in his childhood in the first instance of the splitting of his chest and washing of his heart. In the case of Maryam and `Isa, upon them peace, it was removed before their birth as per the vow and supplication of Maryam's mother the wife of `Imran (Hannah) which Allah Most High accepted. A further proof that these aspects are far removed from the claim of an original sin is that those that forward the notion of original sin refuse entry into Paradise to anyone that is not "baptised so as to wash away original sin," even children, while the Messenger of Allah, upon him and his House blessings and peace, taught us that the stillborn and the child that dies before the age of reason enter Paradise, including the children of the disbelievers according to the prevailing narrations, and Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril


Studying Hadith under a "Salafi"


Regardless of affiliation one should seek teachers whose character is purified, not only for knowledge. We should flee anyone with whom one stands to lose more than what one stands to gain. Only look at the products and graduates of that group in that science to know what I mean. I would have somewhat less reservations toward a Salafi teacher of Tafsir because the latter science carries more protection in the abovementioned sense but Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril


Imam al-Nawawi and the Spiritual Path


I have heard that Imam Nawawi was a scholar of the Ashari school and the Shafi school. Preserving both the tenets of faith and the shafi fiqh. But I am wondering his history in tasawwuf, what did Nawawi mention or write regarding ilm al-tasawwuf? Did Nawawi belong to a tariqa? Who were his main teachers that he learnt religious sciences from?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam

Imam al-Nawawi authored in Tasawwuf a slim book of singular beauty titled Bustan al-`Arifin ("Grove of the Knowers of Allah"). He did not belong to a Tariqa to my knowledge nor did his student Ibn al-`Attar nor Imam al-Sakhawi in his expansion on the latter's biography mention that he took tasawwuf from anyone although he was an accomplished Sufi and "the Qutb of the noble Awliya" in the words of Imam al-Sakhawi at the beginning of _al-Ihtimam bi-Tarjamat al- Imam al-Nawawi Shaykh al-Islam_. In this respect (being a Sufi with no formal affiliation) Imam al-Nawawi stands alone among the later figures of Islam in that he was more like a 2nd or 3rd century Muslim in almost every aspect, especially asceticism, which makes him truly exceptional.

Was-Salam,

Hajj Gibril


“Hope AND Fear make Perfect Faith”


I wake up for Fajr, in the morning tired and drowsy, pray to my Lord, and do it 4 more times in the day. Then I am told I must Fear Allah always and remember death. I spend long hours contemplating death and the fire and the punishments in the grave. I have always heard Islam called the "easy religion". It doesn't feel easy to me, other than the prayers which are the religious duty, the other times in the day if I fear Allah and renounce the world and think about the grave, I just feel depressed. I'm not saying I don't want to fear Allah, Allah told us to do it, and I'll do it. I'm just asking you oh Scholar, is it okay for us during the day to like the world, and do worldly things, and NOT think of death and things of the sort because it just brings me down? Or is it a sin to stop thinking of death and to not think about how you fear Allah (bearing in mind I fear him, but not to dwell on it).


Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

You have been told wrong, you must not always fear Allah; rather, you must always fear Him AND always trust in His encompassing love and mercy since He said of Himself that His love and mercy encompass His wrath. Therefore we must strive to acquire a sense of His love and we do so through love of His human messengers because they are of our species; otherwise it would be an unattainable proposition. After Prophets, their inheritors.

Hence love of saintly friends in our life makes it worth living, otherwise we remain automatons stuck with automatons. As the Prophet said, upon him blessings and peace, "A person follows the religion of his friend so let him take good care who he befriends." May Allah inspire you and us to ask Him earnestly for the way to such a good friend who will light our way to His love, after which everything is easy for His sake, was-Salam

Hajj Gibril


Is one allowed to be a Vegetarian because he/she thinks it's cruelty to animals?

One is allowed to hold certain mistaken opinions about meat-eating and slaughter but not to question the fact the Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace, is more merciful than all the vegetarians past, present and future put together; and he ate meat.

Hajj Gibril


A Student in Need of Direction 


Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

Dear Muslim student:

You are in need of a Murshid or spiritual director that will help you after knowing your states and abilities. A direct encounter and relationship with such a person, by the Tawfiq of Allah Most High, will help alleviate your burden in sha' Allah and give you much needed direction to the right path and away from waswasa (misgivings) and sin.

Such direction can hardly be provided over the internet although my advice to you is yes, pray every time you experience such trial and ask for Allah to guide you to one of His beloved servants for your own good. Allah is quick to facilitate the way to Him and full of mercy.

Was-Salam,

Hajj Gibril


See also

What is the famous dhikr against depression?




Other Rightly-Guided Caliphs?

In reference to the hadith that commands us to follow the sunnah of the prophet (saw) and the sunnah of the rightly-guided caliphs, how did the Muslim scholars come to the conclusion that this only refers to Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali (with the possible addition of Umar ibn Abdul Aziz). Since the hadith didn't name specific caliphs, isn't there a possibility that the sunnah of pious caliphs in later times should be followed as well? In the history of the caliphate, aren't there at least a few caliphs after the first four that can be said to have been rightly guided?

The above questions provide a good illustration why the Qur'an and the Sunna are not read in a vacuum or without context. Rather, we understand them, especially the foundational verses and reports with regard to jurisprudential first principles, by paying the utmost attention to all the other evidence that brings to bear on the issue including other verses, other hadiths, and then ONLY in the understanding of the Umma, i.e. the qualified Ulema, especially when history confirms all of the above as it does in this specific issue. Very briefly, that the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, DID name the first four specifically, especially the first two; that he also named very few others besides them, such as Ibn Mas`ud; that he specifically recommended "his own qarn (century or generation), then the one that follows it, then the one after that" and then disrecommended whatever follows; that he confined the rightly-guided caliphate to the Prophetic model that was to follow him directly without lasting much, until its return at the end of time etc.

And Allah knows best.

Was-Salam

Hajj Gibril


Superiority of the Prophet, upon him peace


I feel that our Prophet IS superior but I wonder about this hadith, also there is an ayat in the Quran I believe in Surah Baqara re choosing one Prophet over another or something to that extent.

HADITH OF THE DAY: THE PROPHETS ARE EQUALS

Once when two people, one Muslim and the other Jewish, quarreled over the relative status of the Prophets Moses and Muhammad (peace be upon them both), Prophet Muhammad told them: "Do not give one prophet superiority over another."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 595



Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

Ibn Kathir said there are many explanations, among them: (1) That the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, said this before he was informed that some were superior to others; (2) He spoke out of humbleness; (3) He meant do not make comparisons of superiority part of your arguments; (4) He meant do not fuel partisanship with such comparisons; (5) He meant that such comparison belongs to Allah alone.

There is no verse in the Qur'an that states that Prophets are equal. Rather, the penultimate verse of Surat al-Baqara and other verses state that we should not make any differences in our belief in the Prophets but believe in all of them without excluding any. As for the superiority of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him blessings and peace, over all others then no Muslim denies it and it is a matter of mass transmission.

Hajj Gibril


Fasting the Day of Mi`raj


My family holds the belief that fasting on the day of Mi'raj is equivalent to 40,000 fasts. Are the merits of fasting on this day based on any ahadith or are these false beliefs which have been brought in over time?

As-Salamu `alaykum:

I have no knowledge of nor could find that specific stipulation anywhere.

1. General Basis of and Ruling on Supererogatory Acts for the 24 hours of Mi`raj

The hadith Master Muhammad ibn Ja`far al-Kattani said in his monograph Mi`raj al-Nabi Salla Allahu `alayhi wa-Sallam: " Nothing was transmitted concerning the preferability (arjahiyya) of a particular act of worship on the anniversaries (naza'ir) of the night of Isra' nor of its day: not a single verse of Qur'an nor a single Prophetic report (khabar) -- not a sahih one nor a hasan nor a da`if one -- nor even a non-Prophetic report (athar), except that it ought to be said that good deeds in those 24 hours are more [encouraged] than in other unspecific (mutlaq) nights and days, as one ought to categorically affirm in the present discussion." He goes to state that the proof for this is that if Musa, upon him peace, celebrated the day he was saved from Pharaoh and the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, reiterated the need for this celebration, then surely we should celebrate the night in which the Prophet, upon him peace, saw and spoke with his Lord and was granted the Salat.

2. Actual Date of Isra' and Mi`raj

What is authentically related is that the Isra' and Mi`raj took place on the 27th of Rabi` al-Awwal as narrated from Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Harbi by Ibn Dihya in his monograph al-Ibtihaj fi Ahadith al-Mi`raj; al-Nawawi in his Fatawa; al-Suyuti in his epistle al-Ayat al-Kubra fi Sharh Qissat al-Isra; al-Alusi in Tafsir Ruh al-Ma`ani (4:469); as well as the 17th of Rabi` al-Awwal, both positions being related by al-Kattani in his monograph.

Imam Ibn Rajab said in `Awarif al-Lata'if (p. 233): "It is narrated with an unsound chain from al-Qasim ibn Muhammad that the Isra' of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) was on the 27th of Rajab. Ibrahim al-Harbi and others denied that." Ibn Hajar in his monograph on the reports that concern Rajab confirmed its inauthenticity.

3. The hadiths in the Ghunya that mention that fasting the day of 27 Rajab equal the reward of 60 or 100 years are forged according to Ibn Hajar and others.

And Allah knows best. 

Hajj Gibril




The Origin of Sin and Death


I have had a hard time understanding where sin and death came from in Islam’s explanation of God and man. Where do people who have a neutral nature get the tendency to commit haram (sin)? Where did sin come from?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

This is a classic quandary in Christianity and one of its fundamental discussions is in the 5th-century CE Carthaginian [Tunisian] "Doctor of the Church" Augustine of Hippo's masterpiece "Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans" (De civitate Dei contra paganos) where he concludes that sin and death do not have a positive reality but are the absence of something and nothing more, namely, the absence of goodness and life. His argument is philosophical and poetic but the question remained unanswered and "the problem of evil" continued to haunt Christian theology for centuries down to the 20th, you will find it as a title for many a book.

The reply of Islam is deceptively simple, namely, that there is nothing but is the creation of God including all the acts of human beings; at the same time we believe not only that countless moral choices constantly present themselves to human beings but that human beings make those choices freely and are accountable for them. The moment they make each choice, God creates in them the capacity to effect those choices and so they are accountable (and rewardable) for them in full while God creates their acts in full.

Similarly God created both death and life as a test, real life being the life of the hereafter and death being the necessary gate to that life. Islam is far from considering death a Satanic creation as Manicheans and Christians do. Rather, Satan is unable to create even the wing of a gnat; moreover, a believer in his Most Kind Lord welcomes the time of death because he longs to meet Him. In this respect it is a remarkable fact that a 13th-century son of an Italian merchant, Francis of Assisi, wrote a famous poem beginning "Brother Sun and Sister Moon" in which he calls Death "sister" and considers it a creation of God along with everything else. This is against the Augustinian perspective of the Catholic Church to which Francis purportedly belonged but is a Muslim belief. (Note that he had travelled to North Africa and had come in contact with the Sufis.)

May Allah Most High guide every sincere, thinking person to His ways.

Hajj Gibril


Husband's spiritual depression


Her very practicing husband has suddenly dropped in his level of practice. He is prone to depression, and has, of late, begun to forget his prayers, saying that his level of worship "is between him and Allah." He does, however, admit to having a problem, and has told her that he is currently undergoing a real spiritual ''low'' period. She was wondering what, in this circumstance, would be the best thing she could do for him.

She is right to remind him as {Man is in a state of loss except those that believe and do good deeds} which is first and foremost the Prayer {and exhort one another to truth} which is what she has been doing, {and exhort one another to patience}. She is not "keeping tabs" on him but on herself and her own duty to herself and him. Prayer remains an outward, practical obligation even if it has countless hidden dimensions including conscience. Islam differs from the ego-managed lair of privacy into which Christians and Jews have corralled their religion so they can be free to worship the world.

What we euphemize as depression is a sickness of the heart that stems from lack of faith or a successful attack on one's faith. This can be caused for example by allowing one's worship to fall into an emotionless routine from which the heart is absent or otherwise engrossed. Or by hidden regrets for not possessing something that we observe someone else enjoying. The ego forever pines in ways which may sicken the soul unless it is fed with large doses of light and spiritual energy. The shortcut to these foods for the spirit is to visit gatherings of righteous persons whose pleasure lies in remembering Allah and doing good. If the sick person is prone to reading then the lives of the righteous is recommended, such as Attar's _Memorial of the Saints_. Make sure that any spiritually harmful activities or frequentations be kept at bay.

His wife should always recite "Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim" abundantly over her cooking and turn to Allah Most High with sincere du`as and abundant invocations of blessings and peace on the Prophet and his Family. She may do so and recite other devotions, principally the Fatiha, in her heart before and while giving advice to him.

The Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, warned that each of us had periods of highs and lows in our spiritual practices. May our highs and lows always remain with the Divine good pleasure and may Allah forgive us.

Hajj Gibril


Suspicion toward daughter

If a parent has definite reasons to believe that their child is having a secret relationship with a non-Muslim male, and has asked the girl who persists in denying it, can the parent go into the girl's e-mail and read it, and look at who has called her on her cell phone? I want to prevent her from committing fornication, etc.. I know that we are not supposed to spy on others, but this is my child, and I am sick with worry over her drastic change in behavior, deterioration of her hijab, secrecy, etc..

Spying on your daughter will not provide help to face the negative changes in her life whether it confirms or does not confirm your suspicions.

A parent's du`a is answered and the Divine support is there for the long duration, but are we availing ourselves of that powerful protection? The behavior of children will most probably be patterned after the habits they formed at home and, to a lesser extent, at school with the company they keep. If these have not been constantly filled and re-filled with the light of guidance and best choices from the start, then what can we do at the end, when the children become teen-agers and rebel?

It is best not to antagonize her or go behind her back or try and control her; rather, sit with her and regain her confidence by trying to show her that her best interests have always been at the center of your concerns and that you are right to be worried if you believe she is playing with fire. At the same time repent to Allah Most High in your own right and turn to Him with sincere pleas that He guide your daughter in the ways He loves and approves.

Was-Salam

Hajj Gibril


A sincere negator?


Is it correct, that if someone has the sincerest of intentions, with no pride and arrogance, and does something Haram or does not abide by the commands of Shari'a, he will not be responsible for his actions or lack of them because he was sincere? To give an extreme and hypothetical example to clarify the question, I would say someone sincerely believes after reading many many books that five daily prayers are not Fard. He believes this sincerely, despite knowing all other positions of the scholar. Who and when is someone qualified to do something like that? 

Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

The description given applies to most reasonable educated non-Muslims: they have read many many books and sincerely believe that five daily prayers are not fard, indeed that Shahada is not the way of truth and reality.

It may not be out of pride nor arrogance as much as studied ignorance, and it might be out of pride and arrogance pretending not to be pride and arrogance. In any case, such people are misguided. The wrong ways are many and the result is all falsehood, from which we pray to be saved.

Hajj Gibril


Marital advice


I know someone who used to masturbate alot before she got married, and did stop after marriage but has not consummated the marriage because she find it’s too painful and difficult, she is starting to think maybe it’s a punishment for what she used to do before the marriage. What should one advice in this situation and how should she repent?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wabarakatuh:

Intercourse between spouses should be pleasurable and comfortable but it may well be a husband acts in a painful or difficult way out of inexperience for example. Also, a wife may ask for exactly what she likes and caution her husband to be gentle and so forth. Make your intention to please and obey the Almighty Creator so that the difficulty be lifted in sha Allah.

Hajj Gibril


Recommended Biography of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) 


Is there a biography that is generally accepted as most accurate on Mustafa (Saw)'s life?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

I recommend Dr. Sa`id al-Buti's "Jurisprudence of the Prophetic Biography" published by Dar al-Fikr,
see: http://www.fikr.com/cgi-bin/e_showcard.cgi?id=1113 

Was-Salam,

Hajj Gibril


How can there be abrogation in the Quran?


I have heard from many sources, one of them is not Muslim, who say that what is revealed in the later sura's in the Qur'an supersede the earlier surahs. When I heard this I was extremely skeptical, however I thought I would ask you sidi just to confirm this...


Among the verses in the Quran containing orders or laws there are verses that abrogate verses previously revealed and acted upon. These abrogating verse are called _nasikh_ and those whose validity they terminate are called _mansukh_.

The common notion of abrogation, that is, canceling of one law or code by another, is based on the idea that a new law is needed because of a mistake or shortcoming in the previous one. It is clearly inappropriate to ascribe a mistake in law-making to God, Who is perfect, and whose creation admit of no flaws.

However, in the Quran, the abrogating verses mark the end of the validity of the abrogated verses because their heed and effect was of a temporary or limited nature. In time the new law appears and announces the end of the validity of the earlier law. Considering that Quran was revealed over a period of twenty-three years in ever-changing circumstances, it is not difficult to imagine the necessity of such laws.

It is in this light that we should regard the wisdom of abrogation within the Quran:

"And when we put a revelation in place of (another) revelation and Allah knows best what He reveals -- they say: you are just inventing it. Most of them do not know. Say: The Holy Spirit (Gibril) has revealed it from your hand with truth and as a guidance and good news for those who have surrendered (to God)" [16:101-102]

It is a science on its own in Islam to know the Nasikh and Mansukh.

Hajj Gibril


The relevancy of rulings on menstruation and the reward for worship


I don't understand why women can't enter the masjid while they are menstruating. I understand that during the Prophet's (SAW) time, there wasn't proper protection. Today, there is proper protection in order to ensure that one doesn't "leak". At my masjid, the women who can't pray sit in a dark, cold corner, where the kids all talk and cry. I don't see it as being fair, especially during the odd nights in Ramadan. I would also like to engage in worship, make dua, read the Qur'an, and listen to lectures....why should I not be blessed and not do ibadah just because I'm on my period? There is no proper arrangement in my masjid for women to sit and listen, everywhere you go there are kids screaming and crying except in the main prayer hall. Allah knows my intention, and I am there to worship him on a night which could be better than a thousand other nights. Please explain this to me.


As-Salamu `alaykum:

There was protection even in the time of the Prophet, upon him peace, and menstruating women did not go around "leaking" whether at home or outside it, so the Law that was good for them is good for us also. Yes, you are right that it is not fair that women should sit in a dark, cold corner or stuck with pesky tots day in and day out but this is irrespective of their physical state and the rulings pertaining thereto. More importantly, one is blessed and doing `ibada regardless of one's physical state because worship is not founded upon the acts of the body but upon intention as the Prophet said, upon him peace:

"Actions count only according to intention."

Therefore, your intention to worship Allah Most High is fulfilled regardless of the state of your body, and your reward may thus be just as great if not greater in the fact that you follow His guidelines and submit to His Decree as applies to your condition and your responsibilities as a family caretaker, than it would be if you were praying in the heart of the Ka`ba on Laylat al-Qadr without the least attachment to the dunya.

See answers below.

Hajj Gibril

What kind of worship can one do if menstruating? Especially these last days of Ramadan?
Menstruating women coming to classes in a masjid http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/QA00002857
Menstruating women coming to classes in a masjid
http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/QA00002350.aspx___DEFECT LINK



How to respond to insulting behavior

I was provoked by a man who stuck his fingers up at me whilst doing this in the mosque and made offensive remarks to my father and friends. I in turn lost my temper and replied by sticking my fingers up at him and calling him a *****. I deeply regret doing this as it was a moment where I lost my cool because tempers were running high. What is the punishment for this and in what way should I repent for this awful sin? People are now gossiping around town calling me a kaffir and a munafiq, are they correct to do so?


Offer this man a gift and seek his forgiveness.

Allah Most High tells us,

“Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.” (Qur’an, 41:34)

Pay no attention to what people say of you but consider what Allah and His Prophet think of you.  

Hajj Gibril


I have heard certain Christians say that the eating of the fruit and the manifestation of nakedness represents adolescence…  

I have heard certain Christians say that the eating of the fruit and the manifestation of nakedness represents adolescence. The fact that before eating the fruit they were "innocent and non-sexual", and after that they were "conscious and sexual". They also suggested that the "manifestation" was really the clear insight into "good and evil". In the bible, it says,

"And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely shall not die!

For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

What does Islam say to this idea?



Qur’an (7:20-22):

{Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals. And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you. Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden...}

Hajj Gibril


Clarification Of The Fourth Hadith In Imam Nawawi's Collection

We are studying the fourth hadith in Imam Nawawi's collection of 40 Hadith. According to the commentary that accompanies it, there is some dispute regarding this hadith. I included the link (http://fortyhadith.iiu.edu.my/hadith04.htm) to the info to which I am referring. I am wondering what the benefit is in learning/memorizing a hadith that is so controversial (in terms of authenticity). We wonder if there is an explanation as to why it would be included in this collection that we are not aware of yet.


Wa alaykum as-Salam,

The hadith in question says:

Abu 'Abd al-Rahman 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, radiyallahu 'anhu, reported: The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, the most truthful, the most trusted, told us:

"Verily the creation of any one of you takes place when he is assembled in his mother's womb; for forty days he is as a drop of fluid, then it becomes a clot for a similar period. Thereafter, it is a lump looking like it has been chewed for a similar period. Then an angel is sent to him, who breathes the spirit (ruh) into him. This Angel is commanded to write four decrees: that he writes down his provision (rizq), his life span, his deeds, and whether he will be among the wretched or the blessed.

"I swear by Allah - there is no God but He - one of you may perform the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is naught but an arm's length between him and it, when that which has been written will outstrip him so that he performs the deeds of the people of the Hellfire; one of you may perform the deeds of the people of the Hellfire, till there is naught but an arm's length between him and it, when that which has been written will overtake him so that he performs the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters therein."

[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

The site you referenced claims:

Some Scholars say that the last section of the hadith (i.e. "By Allah…) is not part of the text of the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, but the words of 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud.

This statement is incorrect for many reasons:

1- Yes, there is one obscure version that has "By the One in Whose hand lies Ibn Mas`ud's soul..." but the authoritative commentators on this hadith concluded that the version in al-Bukhari and Muslim (i.e. al-Nawawi's version) are the words of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, among them Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari and al-Nawawi himself in Sharh Sahih Muslim as well as al-`Ayni in `Umdat al-Qari. What scholars said otherwise?

2- If these are the words of Ibn Mas`ud then how come the same words are also authentically reported by eight other Companions from the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace), namely (a) Abu Hurayra in Sahih Muslim and the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal; (b) Sahl ibn Sa`d in al-Bukhari and Muslim; (c) A'isha in Ahmad; (d) Ibn `Umar and (e) al-`Urs ibn `Amira al-Kindi in al-Bazzar's Musnad; (f) `Amr ibn al-`As and (g) Aktham ibn Abi al-Jun in al-Tabarani; and (h) Anas as listed by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari?

Hence the words of the website are inappropriate and false, they give the wrong impression about the unquestionable authenticity of the entire narration being a Prophetic hadith from beginning to end, and ought to be removed.

NOTE 1: Also, the Arabic text of the hadith in the above-referenced site is defective. The site has the words "fayasbiqu ilayhi al-kitab" (that which has been written will outstrip him) whereas the correct words are "fayasbiqu `alayhi al-kitab." All success is from Allah Most High.

NOTE 2: See our brief study of this hadith at livingislam.org:

http://www.abc.se/~m9783/n/hfhl_e.html, in the section titled "Respiration and Ensoulment."

Hajj Gibril


Christian friend believes God speaks directly to him  

While discussing Islam with a Christian colleague, he informed me that he believes that God speaks to him often and asked me whether God speaks to me. I said that Allah (Subhana Wa Ta'ala) does not speak to me directly, but that I do have something that guides me. I have read that every person has an angel to guide them and a shaytan that tries to misguide them. I have also read that the heart guides to truth. Is this correct? I explained that when we want to know what Allah says about an issue, we turn to the Qur'an and Sunnah. He asked whether in Islam we believe that Allah (Subhana Wa Ta'ala) can speak to us directly, e.g. during prayer. I said I did not know and that I would get back to him with an answer. This was not an important part of the discussion, but I would be grateful if you could clarify this for me.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

As the Qur'an teaches us, Allah Most does not literally speak directly to human beings except through an angel or from behind a veil or when He makes certain specific exceptions such as for "the Interlocutor of Allah" (kalimullah) our liege-lord the Prophet Musa, upon him peace, and the Prophet Muhammad, upon him blessings and peace; otherwise, Allah Most High speaks to the angels in charge of receiving His commands or transmitting them.

However, Allah Most High does address us directly with the Qur'an itself, saying: O Believers! O people of sound hearts! in the Book which the pious predecessors liked to call the letter of our Lord to us.

Furthermore, Allah Most High addresses us indirectly through right inspiration (ilham), true insight and premonition (firasa), and truthful dream-visions (ru'ya) which the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, called "one-fortysixth part of Prophethood." When Imam Malik was asked: "Can anyone interprete dreams?" he became angry and said, "Are they toying with Prophethood?"

As for a non-Muslim claiming that Allah is addressing him directly, then if that person is sincere we should be happy for him or her because they will eventually become Muslim even if he uses words inappropriately and does not really understand the Attributes of Allah nor His transcendence. (Similarly do most non-Muslims routinely give inappropriate attributes to the angels, which are in fact glorified servants made of light and busy with the splendor of their Lord, not anthropomorphic entities sexually attracted to human beings or involved in mundane concerns as in certain Hollywood movies or writings on angels.)

Otherwise, countless are the droves of the misguided that claimed Allah was addressing them when it was in fact only a vulgar devil or the discourse of their own deluded ego. The 19th century French writer Gustave Flaubert in his fascinating short story "The temptation of Saint Anthony" made an endless catalogue of the early (pre-Islamic) Christian sects that were rife with illumined heretics that made exactly such claims. Guidance is from Allah Most High!

Hajj Gibril


Ahmadi Proposal to Muslima


I am a sunni Muslim, the problem is that I like a ahamdi boy, [...] he likes me and wants to marry me, I don’t know what to do. I have done isthakhara namaz so many times but had no dreams regarding this. I would also like to know why they are considered non-Muslims.

As-Salamu `alaykum:

Ahmadis are considered non-Muslim and it is required that this boy first declare his Islamic belief before Sunni witnesses and abandon Ahmadi beliefs, after which the marriage can proceed. Otherwise, no. This should appear clearly to you through istikhara.

Ahmadis are considered non-believers because they reject one of the obligatory articles of the Religion of Islam (daruriyyat), namely, the fact that the Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet and that there is no new Prophet after him whatsoever, upon him blessings and peace, which constitutes belying the Qur'an (takdhib al-Qur'an) according to the Consensus of the Muslim Umma.

They also profess to follow a person from Qadyan as their leader who was declared an apostate (murtadd).

So to love an Ahmadi and be loved by him is like saying: You question the truthfulness of my Lord; and/or you corrupt the Book of my Lord away from its meaning; and/or you divest my Prophet of his attribute; but I love you and you love me.....??

Ya Salaam. May Allah protect you and have mercy on your soul.

Hajj Gibril


Following another in matters of faith (Taqlid in Aqidah)


As Sunni Muslims we adopt Taqlid in matters of Fiqh & Sharia by adhering to one of the four traditional schools. Would the same apply in matters of Aqidah - namely adopting Taqlid in it? Certain people hold it haram to adopt Taqlid in Aqidah matters due to the incumbency for every Muslim to know Allah Most High on an individual level. In summary they disparage the schools of Imam al-Ashari and Imam Maturidi because "they delved into the unclear verses" when Allah Most High forbid it (according to Surah al-Imran - "Only the disbelievers delve into the unclear verses")

Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

The question contains two different issues. The first is the claim of taqlid in belief, the second is the charge that the two Sunni Schools mentioned "delved into the unclear verses."

First, the claim of taqlid in belief. There is no taqlid in belief. An adult Muslim that enquires or learns about the tenets of belief is not committing taqlid in belief - which is not acceptable – but rather [1] learning something basic which he or she did not know about the Divine Attributes but must believe and/or [2] formulating and clarifying what he or she already believes.

The end of Imam Abu Hanifa's foundational doctrinal text titled al-Fiqh al-Akbar (The Supreme Knowledge) states that when a person is boggled by something which they must resolve on pains of losing their faith, they must immediately ask a learned source to clarify it for them. An example: a person knows that Allah forgives all sins except shirk, and remembers that at one time in their life they committed that horrible sin, then starts wondering: "but can Allah forgive me then? Does He not say that He forgives all except that?" Such a person risks kufr by not immediately asking someone knowledgeable who will tell him that Yes, Allah forgives shirk for the repentant sinner and that the gates of repentance are open until the last moments of death. This is not taqlid but necessary `ilm and ta`lim.

As for the second question: The Sunni Schools of the Ash`aris and Maturidis addressed need. They did not "delve". That is an expression that connotes something superfluous, unnecessary, more dangerous than useful, and all the other trappings of heresy that characterized the way of philosophers and the non-Sunni sects that are keen to discuss whether Allah "can" put the universes inside an egg or how many angels can stand on the head of a needle. See, to this effect, the fatwas of the great Ash`ari Masters on the necessity of speaking out in matters of `Aqida in certain cases and the sin incurred by not doing so, such as al-Qushayri, Ibn `Asakir, al-Bayhaqi, al-Subki, and others which I have all quoted in full in the chapter on Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in my forthcoming book The Four Imams -- Allah have mercy on them and continue to benefit us with them.

Was-Salam,
Hajj Gibril


Does Allah not give help to those who seek it?


I pray for help, to keep me on the straight path, yet I receive no help? Does Allah not give help to those who seek it?


Allah Most certainly gives help to those that seek it and He gives it abundantly and said {little do ye give thanks} and {if ye but give thanks We shall increase you}. One gives thanks by abandoning disobedience and rebellion. Further, the Prophet said, upon him blessings and peace, that there is *no du`a* that benefits the Believer except Allah Most High fulfills it in this world or saves it for the next as long as the servant does not show act hastily. They asked, and what is acting hastily? He replied: "It is to say: Why does Allah not respond to me?"

Was-Salam.

Hajj Gibril


Depression and Repentance


I have been committing a sin which is really grave in its nature and very destructive for the past two years. I have sought forgiveness but I relapse on many occasion that I feel my heart has gone too black that I need too drastically change my life and my attitude towards my deen or I will destroy more then just myself. ... I am also a university medical student in my first year but I am failing badly. I have no care anymore as I feel I am gonna be doomed. I want to leave the course and study something else, and work and earn enough money to go on a pilgrimage so that I can draw a very thick line under it. ... What shall I do? I ask you to answer me urgently plz, as I feel I have not much time left. I am so ashamed of myself and so hopeless.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

A condition of true repentance is sincere contrition, therefore rely on Allah Who has given you in this state a sign of His acceptance of your repentance. Despair of oneself is a good sign, but we never despair of Allah nor of His forgiveness. You must insure that you keep your five daily prayers and that you seek a spiritual guide or murshid to help you, even if it takes traveling to one. Regarding your studies you should make istikhara and perhaps consider something besides school and more involved in physical work such as learning a craft for example. In the meantime recite the following devotion morning and evening to the intention of healing and guidance:

1. Repeat shahada three times
2. Astaghfirullah 70x
3. Fatiha 1x
4. Last two verses of Surat al-Baqara (Amana ar-Rasul)
5. Surat Inshirah (Alam nashrah laka sadrak) 7x
6. Surat Ikhlas (Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad) 11x
7. Surat Falaq 1x
8. Surat Nas 1x
9. La ilaha illallah 10x
10. Darud (Allahumma Salli `ala Muhammadin wa`ala Ali Muhammadin wa Sallim) 10x
11. Fatiha 1x gifted to the Prophet and his Family and all Awliya
12. Blow to your right and left as well as on your person.
13. Make du`a of tawassul through the Prophet, which is:

"O Allah, I am turning to you by means of your Prophet Muhammad for the fulfillment of my need. O Muhammad, I am turning by means of you to my Lord. O Allah, pair me with him."

Allahumma inni atawassalu ilayka bi-Nabiyyika Muhammad li-qada'i haajati. Ya Muhammad, tawassaltu bika ila Rabbi. Allahumma shaffi`hu fiyya.

Then you mention your need(s).

Was-Salam,

Hajj Gibril


If someone dies saving someone else's life, Muslim or non-Muslim, what is his reward?  


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

He would get the benefit of someone who saved all of humanity as promised by the Creator of all, Who does not lose anyone’s reward and is more generous than all the most generous kings of creation put together.

Hajj Gibril


Is It True That Daydreaming Is Haram?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam,

Heedlessness and everything that is away from the remembrance of Allah is cursed and carries no blessing in it. It is a sign of the displeasure of Allah Most High to be distracted away from Him. As Mawlana Jalal-Din Rumi wrote in his Mathnawi: “Sweet dreams, Pharaoh!” Hence in His Book Allah Most High commands us to remember Him humbly and with awe within ourselves morning and evening, and forbids us heedlessness (7:205).

Our Beloved Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, advised us in this respect that it is enough to read 10 verses of Qur’an a day and we shall not be counted among the heedless, as mentioned in the Adhkar of Imam al-Nawawi, Allah have mercy on him.

Allah Most High in His mercy also said in Surat al-An`am, verse 33 that our entire worldly lives were nothing but play and amusement, in discussing which Imam al-Qurtubi cited these lines of poetry:

Is not, in truth, this world like a dreamer’s dreams?

What is the good of a life that is not everlasting?

Consider well when you enjoyed some pleasure yesterday

Then exhausted it, are you anything but a dreamer?

Hajj Gibril


Are There Any Prayers For Driving Away Jinn?  

Wa `alaykum as-Salam,

Imam al-Nawawi in al-Adhkar mentioned that Ibn al-Sunni narrated that a man came to the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace and said that his brother suffered from a kind of jinn possession. The Prophet told him to bring him to him then recited upon him the following:

- Sura al-Fatiha
- The first four verses of al-Baqara
- two verses from the middle (163-64)
- Ayat al-Kursi
- the last three verses of al-Baqara
- The first verse of Al `Imran
- Verse 18 of Al `Imran
- Verse 54 of al-A`raf
- Verse 116 of al-Mu’minun
- Verse 3 of al-Jinn
- The first 10 verses of al-Saaffaat
- The last 3 verses of al-Hashr
- The last three Suras of the Qur’an.

As for the letter supposedly dictated by the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, to our liege-lord `Ali for the protection of Abu Dujana, known as the hirz of Abu Dujana: it is a forgery according to Ibn al-Jawzi in the Mawdu`at, al-Dhahabi in Mizan al-I`tidal, Ibn Hajar in the Isaba, and al-Suyuti in al-La’ali’ al-Masnu`a, and Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril


Can one give gifts that one has received due to lack of need, dislike, or lack of funds to afford anything else for others?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

On the contrary, the Prophetic Sunna shows our Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, regularly giving away gifts he had just received for himself, as he always did if he received a gift while staying with one of his wives, or the famous hadith of the Ramadan fast-violator who could not afford anything as expiation, whereupon the Prophet gave him a quantity of dates he had just received for himself. It is also related from several Companions that one should share any gift received when sitting with company. Here is a marvelous narration that characterizes the exalted Prophetic character in this respect:

The Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, received a black khameesa – a silk or wool wrap bearing markings – and said, “Who do you think we should vest with this khameesa?” No-one spoke. Then he said, “Bring me Umm Khalid [bint Khalid ibn Sa`id ibn al-`As al-Umawiyya] – she had just re?turned from Abyssinia – and he vested it upon her say?ing: “Wear it out in good health (abli wa-akhliqi)!” Then he looked at yellow or red markings on the wrap and said: “Sanah, Umm Khalid, sanah!” which means “nice” in Abys?sinian. Al-Bukhari narrated it.

Note the gracious manner pervading every detail of this “gift-away of the gift” down to the witty use of a foreign language by the Prophet who never kept anything for himself even when in need, upon him and his Family and Companions blessings and peace.

Hajj Gibril


There have been accusations that Imam al-Hakim was "Shia" or "Rafidi", while Imam Subki states that he is an Ash'ari. What is the truth?   

Wa `alaykum as-Salam,

Please see the following links in answer to your question:

http://www.abc.se/~m9783/n/6sch_e.html 

or

http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/al_hakim_al_naysaburi.htm 

Hajj Gibril


Sufis' Marital Duties

What is Sufism? Does Sufism teach a married to think and love for Allah only? How about his wife and family - in terms of his affections (love) and duties to his wife and family? Should he neglect them? I was quoted "Your first love must be for Allah". Where does a wife stands? Didn't Allah made marriage for a man and woman? Where does Sufism stands in the relationship of a husband and wife? I am in need of help here.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam

The idea that a married Sufi should neglect duties to wife and family is not from Islam in the least and is a gross error. On the contrary, a Sufi spouse is more strictly bound to love and respect his dependents, and observe fully the rights he owes them, as should in fact any Muslim according to the Shari`a, but even more so if one claims a connection to the paths of self-purification and perfecting of the soul.

As for the saying that one's first love should be for Allah, it never cancels out but rather goes together with the saying of the Prophet, upon him peace: "The best of you are those that treat their spouses best, and I treat my spouses best." In fact it is for the sake of Allah that we should be even more careful, as Sufis, to love and treat dearly those among all humanity He places in our care, beginning with dependents.

Hajj Gibril


Family Christmas celebration
   

Is it Permissible to go to ones family’s house on Christmas if one is Muslim and they are Christian, if ones intention is not to celebrate Christmas but to have a family get together? Is it permissible to give them gifts at this time out of love for them? Is it permissible to eat of their food there also so long as it is permissible food and Halal, meaning no meat or pork? And is it permissible to Fast on this day (Christmas) and do a lot of dhikr in memory of Isa (Alayhi Salam)?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

Keeping family ties is an obligation on every Muslim, i.e. with one's parents. If wine is served then such meals or gatherings are devoid of blessing and one should neither condone nor participate in them except for the minimum presence that filial respect demands.

As for fasting on Christmas and doing a lot of dhikr in memory of `Isa, then no, one should rather observe all the well-known Sunna fasts such as every Monday and Thursday, the three "white days" in the middle of the month, or every other day; and one should do a lot of salawat on the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, and convey the reward of dhikr and acts of worship and good deeds to him; and then, from him, to all other Prophets and Awliya including `Isa, upon him peace.

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril


Banu Qurayza Mosaic Penalty
   

How do we explain the incident of the massacre of the Banu Qurayzah tribe to non-Muslims? I know a non-Muslim who seems to be interested in Islam but has a big problem with the massacre that is supposed to have occurred and says himself that it seems out of character for the Prophet (saw).


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

The Banu Qurayza committed high treason by breaking their oath of alliance with the Muslims and turning against them in time of war. When the battle against them was over, the Prophet, upon him peace, searched for an arbiter known and accepted to both sides who would rule concerning their penalty. The arbiter chosen was Sa`d ibn Mu`adh, who had been mortally wounded and died shortly afterwards. Sa`d said: "I will judge them according to the Law of Musa." He was of the tribe of Aws, who were the allies of the Jewish Banu Qurayza, the men who were executed. They assented to whatever verdict he would give as a leader from Aws.

Ibn Kathir in al-Bidaya mentions that the number of the men executed after the 25-day siege were 400, and that another version says 700. Someone said that the decision was probably taken by Sa`d ibn Mu`adh in light of Deuteronomy 20:12-14.

Hajj Gibril


72 Virgins in Paradise
   

Very often I hear from non-Muslims negative remarks regarding 72 virgins in paradise for shuhada. Can you teach me a good answer about that issue, or guide me to some article about it.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

Tell them that the perfection of Islam dictates that it have a motivation for every type of person including those that are not motivated except through sensory reward, which is the common lot whether Christians deny it or not, and that the principle of Paradise as reward for martyrs is also very much present in their doctrine. However, Paradise in Islam also describes a higher level called ridwan i.e. the lavishing of Divine good pleasure, to which we pray that Allah guide us.

Hajj Gibril


Rules of War: Non-Combatants

I have a question regarding the war in Iraq. I heard that the Iraqis beheaded an American civilian , What does the Sharia say about these certain acts?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

The Shari`a has the most humane rules of war imaginable regarding non-fighting personnel and strenuously prohibits any act of violence against their persons.

Hajj Gibril


No Spiritual Path (tariqa) without Shari`a
   

I have some naqshbandi friends who tell me that there is haqiqa without sharia and that the sharia doesn’t apply to walis and majdhoubs. They relate that the story of Khidr shows he was above sharia and that the Awliya are at the same level as Khidr. Are the Awliya at the same level and was Sayyinduna Khidr above Sharia?


Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

They are not Naqshbandis but are standing outside the door of the beginning level or else they would know - as any Muslim knows, let alone sufi novices - that any contravention of the shari`a is either kufr or zandaqa i.e. disbelief and heresy. This was made very clear by Shah Naqshband who said "Our path is the path of the Companions." As for al-Khidr, upon him peace, the majority of the scholars - and Allah knows best - consider him a Prophet, therefore he is better than all the Awliya put together as the Tahawiyya states. Even if he was a wali, he would never be above the Shari`a. How could anyone be above the Shari`a when the Prophet Muhammad himself never placed himself above it, nor will the Prophet `Isa - upon both of them peace - be following other than the Shari`a when he comes down from the heaven.

Hajj Gibril


Question on Allah's Essence and Attributes 


Wa `alayum as-Salam:

The question is how "God's Attributes are neither identical with nor different from His Essence."

The reply is that if they were identical it would divest them of meaning and if they were different it would follow that there are a multiplicity of pre-eternal entities, neither of which is true. There is no difference between Ash`aris and Maturidis on this.

This has nothing to do with the Christian methodology concerning Trinitarian doctrine, on the contrary, it is the strictest yet simplest tawhid ever spelled out for humankind. Nor does it contradict reason but rather it takes it to witness and calls upon it to put to rest the quandary of "if not this, then that" when it comes to its Creator.

To put it bluntly, don't try to pin Him down by agitating the specters of "blind faith" and heresy. Try, rather, to follow Shaykh `Abd al- Qadir al-Gilani's advice to al-Suhrawardi that to delve in kalam and usul al-din is not a good preparation for the grave. Al-Suhrawardi narrates that he ignored this advice at first and found himself in difficulty later. Finally he got the message. May Allah be well-pleased with them! (This was related by al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' who, incidentally, followed the Suhrawardi Tariqa as he himself stated in the same work.)

As for the question whether it is possible for reason and revelation to contradict each other, it is the excuse of rationalism -- a man-made religion. However, the Glorious Qur'an does not leave the shadow of a doubt that reason is conducive to faith and illustrates revelation.

May Allah bless you and us to see this through worship and repentance.   

Hajj Gibril


notes on words:

Tedium: dullness, boredom, listlessness, melancholy, sadness, spiritlessness, weariness, yawn [ up back to text]



 

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2005-02-20
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