Islam and friendship (Companions)

Islam and friendship (Companions)

Introduction:

Humans are social creatures by nature; they’re always in need of friends and companions. Most of our lives depend on interaction with others. Strong individuals are the core of a strong community, something that Muslims should always strive for.

We all know that Allah the Most High has brought us to life in order to test us. Thus we are here for a relatively short period of time and that we shall meet Allah one Day, so we need to use our present life for what is best for us in the hereafter. Once we know our purpose and our goal in life, we should seek ways to achieve them so as to benefit our own selves.

The Prophet (saas) said: (A person follows the Deen (way of life) of his close friend; therefore let each of you look carefully at whom he chooses for friends).[1]

This is because friends have a strong influence on people and that their environment will affect the strength of their relationship with Allah (swt).

Rasul Allah (saas) who has the most noble character and dealings with fellow humans gave us a very clear and simple message and advice in regard to friendship.

How should we choose our friends?

We should choose the friend that believes and abide by our religion (Islam) and gives great respect to what Allah and Rasul Allah (saas) has ordered us. And we should stay away from that who is not well mannered and gives no attention to what Islam is about or what pleases or displeases Allah, for he’ll surely affect us negatively. There is no good in the companion drowns us in sins and displeasing Allah.

It has also been narrated that our friends in the Dunya (world) will be our friends in the Akhira (afterlife). It is therefore vital for a Muslim to choose good friends.

The bases for the actions of those who follow the evil ways are corrupt; their actions are built upon misguidance and deviation. Their deeds are worthless to them as Allah said: (And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shall render them to scattered floating dust)[2].

Their actions, even if we see them as righteous and noble are of no value to them, so how can they be useful to us?

Good friends are those who share their companions both happiness and sadness. If we share our feelings with the wrong-doers whose actions are worthless and based on corruption, then we are following the same ways and standards as they are, and we’ll end up being as corrupted as they are, and then we’re in a big trouble, how can we face Allah’s dissatisfaction and displeasure?!

Instead of making friends with the misguided ones we should befriend the righteous, yet treat the rest in a gracious and just manner. Staying at sufficient distance is necessary; yet treating everybody in a noble and kind manner is required.
In another Hadith, Rasul Allah (saas) said: (The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him).

When choosing our friends we should ask ourselves first:

Are they going to help us achieve the purpose for which we were brought to life? Or will they take us away from it?

Will they desire for us Allah’s pleasure or is that completely irrelevant to them and not their concern at all?

Are they leading us to Paradise or to the Hell?

Allah says in the Qur’an: (O you who believe! Take care of your own selves. If you follow the right guidance and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The return of you all is to Allah, then He will inform you about (all) that which you used to do).[3]

Friendship has rules in Islam unlike in the West; to visit them especially when they are ill, to inquire about their family, feeding them when they are hungry, attending to their needs, keeping their private affairs to yourself and sharing your wealth with them without hesitation. It is related that Ibn Umar (raa) was looking about from right to left in the presence of the Prophet (saas), who asked the reason for doing so. Ibn Umar replied, “There is someone dear to me and I am searching for him, but do not see him”. The Prophet (saas) then explained to him that if you love someone you should ask his name, his father’s name and where he lives as well as visit him when he is sick and help him if he was busy.

Umar bin Al-Khattab (raa) said, “Encountering your brothers lifts all grief. If Gods blesses you with good relations with another Muslim, then, hold fast to it”.

Abu Bakr’s companionship with the Prophet

It has to be mentioned right from the beginning that both Prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr Assiddeeq had similar temperaments. Both were kind, lenient, merciful truthful and honest. Both found comfort in solitude and abstained from drinking alcohol, even before Islam was established. Abu Bakr’s complexion was fair, and he was rather slim. He was tender, wise and solemn and seldom joined in the polytheistic celebrations of his countrymen.

After the Prophet had married Khadeejah, the wealthy, 40-year-old landlady from Mecca, his lodging was very close to that of Abu Bakr. According to `Aishah, Abu Bakr’s daughter and the prophet’s wife after the death of Khadeejah, her father was frequently visited by the Prophet, with whom he developed a strong friendship.

When God’s message was revealed to Muhammad, the first man to believe in him was Abu Bakr. In fact, Abu Bakr had always doubted the validity of idolatry and had very little enthusiasm for worshipping idols. So when he accepted Islam he did his best to attract other people to it. Soon `Othman bin Affan, Abdul-Rahman bin Awf, Talhah bin Obaydillah, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, Al-Zubayr bin Al-‘Awwam and Abu Obaydah bin AI-Jarrah all flocked to join Muhammad (saas). The Prophet once said: ”`Abu Bakr was the only person who accepted Islam immediately, without suspicion.

Abu Bakr’s occupation was drapery. Adraper, in order to be successful in his trade should not go against his customers’ wishes. Nevertheless, he preached the new religion ardently without considering how it might affect his business. When the infidels started torturing their poor Muslim slaves, Abu Bakr intervened. As he was unable to release them by force, he paid their masters money and set them free. Bilal bin Rabah was one of those who were tortured in the sun, by being brutally whipped and covered with heavy rocks while lying on the burning sand in the summer heat. When Islam started, Abu Bakr had 40,000 dirhems but by the time he emigrated to Madina he had only 5,000 left.

When the Prophet spoke with contempt of the disbelievers’ gods, the infidels got very irritated and attacked him violently when he was on his way to the Ka’ba. Had it not been for Abu Bakr’s intervention, something bad might have happened to him.

As the Qurayshites rejected the Prophet’s message, he started to look for another tribe, which would give him refuge .He was accompanied on this search by Abu Bakr. The only shelter which they could find was in Yathreb, or Madina, which was then inhabited by two warring tribes, the Aws and Khazraj. Later, through the Prophet’s good offices, the two tribes became united and were given the name of “Ansar” or “Helpers”.

Abu Bakr was known as “Assiddeeq’ after the incident on the Prophet’s midnight journey to Jerusalem. The Qurayshites, being experienced merchants knew that such a journey, if it ever happened, would take two months by camel. When Muhammad told them he had accomplished his round trip to Jerusalem in one night, they scoffed at him and began to doubt his sanity. As for Abu Bakr, when he first heard of it he thought that they were telling a tale; he then said, “I have always believed his words about heavenly revelation how can I disbelieve him about such a secondary wordly matter?”

Because of the ruthless torturing of the Prophet’s followers, many of them emigrated to Abyssinia. Yet Abu Bakr would not leave. He preferred to stay with the Prophet to support him in his time of need and help the new converts. When many Muslims emigrated to Madina, Abu Bakr asked the Prophet’s permission to follow suit. He was told to wait because the Prophet himself might leave with him. So he got two camels ready and waited anxiously A few days later, while the Prophet’s house was besieged by a group of swordsmen from all the tribes of Mecca, who had plotted together to kill him, he left his cousin, `Ali bin Abi Talib, in his bed, slipped unnoticed from the house, and departed with Abu Bakr in the early hours of the morning. Their journey from Mecca to Madina was full of romance and adventure. As soon as the besieging swordsmen discovered that they were tricked, they went in search of the two men. A public prize of a hundred camels was offered to anyone who might find them. However, it happened that when they hid in a cave named Thawr, a spider spun its web at the opening of the cave, and a pigeon built its nest there. The swordsmen followed their tracks until they reached their hiding place, but, seeing the web and the early hours of the morning. Their journey from Mecca to Madina was full of romance and adventure. As soon as the besieging nest, they went home, telling everyone that further pursuit was fruitless.

Later when the battle of Badr took place between Muslims and non-Muslims, and the latter out numbered the former by three to one, some sort of canopy was erected for the Prophet at the battle lines. Abu Bakr alone was entrusted with his safety. This shows the very close relationship between the two; and when the Prophet’s mantle fell from his shoulders during his earnest prayer to God, his intimate companion put it courteously back.

In the battle of Ohod, which took place the following year after Badr, the disbelievers won the battle because the archers left their places on the top of the mountain. Only a dozen people stayed with the Prophet on this occasion, one of whom was the staunch71 believer Abu Bakr.

This loyalty was evident in all the campaigns which the Prophet led, especially those waged against the Jews of Banu Nadier and Banu Qaynoqa’, and against the Jews of Fadak, Tayma’ and Khaybar, not to mention the heroic battle of the Trench. In fact, from the very start of the Islamic era he was playing the role of vizier advising and supporting the Prophet.

In the year 6 A.H. the Muslims attempted to take Mecca itself, the stronghold of polytheism. When they reached the Hodaybiya Valley, Quraysh sent negotiators to persuade them not to attack the city and agreed to let them in for pilgrimage the following year. The Prophet agreed, but some of his followers refused. They were determined to conquer Mecca immediately. Abu Bakr stood firmly by the side of the Prophet; but it was only when a full Qur’anic chapter entitled “Fath or “Conquest” was revealed that they were finally convinced.

When Mecca was at last subdued, all the tribes of Arabia were convinced that Muhammad was a true apostle sent to them by God. They stopped resisting and sent delegates to Madina proclaiming their allegiance to him. While he was busy receiving delegates, he let Abu Bakr preside over the 300 pilgrims. This incident proved of vital importance later when a caliph was chosen after the death of the Prophet.

The 10th year A.H. was called “the valediction year”, because the Prophet, with 100,000 followers, including Abu Bakr and all the Prophet’s household, performed his last pilgrimage and from the top of `Arafat mountain gave his everlasting speech in which he summarized the numerous commandments of Islam.
After his return to Madina the Prophet became ill and could not lead the prayers in the Grand Mosque. He gave instructions to ‘Aishah’ to tell her father to lead the prayers. She pointed out that Abu Bakr’s voice was rather low and the worshippers might not hear his recitation of the Qur’an. She also said that he often wept while praying, and suggested Omar bin al-Khattab as being fitter for the task. The Prophet became extremely angry, and gave emphatic orders that Abu Bakr should lead the prayers. This was taken by the Muslims as another sign to choose Abu Bakr to be their caliph after the Prophet’s death.

Islamic Sayings on Friendship

(1)            (The believer is like a mirror to other believers (in truthfulness)). Like a mirror, your friend gives you an honest image. He forgives your mistakes, but does not hide or exaggerate your strengths and weaknesses.

(2)            (What person can be the best friend? He who helps you remember Allah (SWT), and reminds you when you forget Him).

(3)            (Who is the best among people? He who, when you look at him, you remember Allah).

(4)            (The poor is one who does not have any friend).

(5)            (Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company ‘friendship’).

(6)            (Friendship transfers a stranger in to a relative).

(7)            (Do not choose as your friend the enemy of your friend).

(8)             (Verily, there are three (types of) friends for a Muslim,

  • The friend who says: I am with you whether you are alive or dead’, and this is his deed.
  • The friend who says: I am with you unto the threshold of your grave and then I will leave you’, and this is his children.
  • The friend who says: I will be with you until when you die’, and this is his wealth which will belong to the inheritors when he dies).

The Bear and the Two Friends :

Two friends were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When the Bear was quite gone, the other friend descended from the tree, and jokingly inquired of his friend what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. “He gave me this advice,” his companion replied. “Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger.”

 


[1] [Tirmidhi]

[2] Qur’an (25:23)

[3] Qur’an (5:105)

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What is Islam?

 

What is Islam?

Dr.; Jamal Badawi

 

 

 

Taking the term “Islam,” it is important to emphasize that it is not derived from the name of any particular person, race, or locality. A Muslim considers the term used by some writers, “Mohammedanism,” to be an offensive violation of the very spirit of Islamic teaching. 

§  1. The meaning of “Islam”

§  2. Islamic Monotheism

§  3. What are the basic attributes of Allah?

§  4. Nature of Human

§  5. Allah Humankind Relationship

§  6. The Special Role of Mohammad

§  7. Accountability and Salvation

§  8. The Applied Aspect

§  9. Muslim/Non-Muslim Relations

§  10. Who are Muslims?

§  11. What are the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam?

§  12. Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?

§  13. How does Islam guarantee human rights?

 

 

1.   THE MEANING OF “ISLAM”

Taking the term “Islam,” it is important to emphasize that it is not derived from the name of any particular person, race, or locality. A Muslim considers the term used by some writers, “Mohammedanism,” to be an offensive violation of the very spirit of Islamic teaching. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is not worshipped, nor is he regarded as either the founder of Islam or the author of its Holy Book, the Qur’an. The term “Islam” is given in more than one place in the Qur’an itself. It is derived from the Arabic root (SLM) which connotes “peace” or “submission.” Indeed, the proper meaning of “Islam” is the attainment of peace, both inner and outer peace, by submission of oneself to the will of Allah. And when we say submit, we are talking about conscious, loving and trusting submission to the will of Allah, the acceptance of His grace and the following of His path. In that sense the Muslim regards the term Islam, not as an innovation that came in the 7th Century, Christian era, with the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, but as the basic mission of all the prophets throughout history. That universal mission was finally culminated and perfected in the last of these prophets, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them all.

2.   ISLAMIC MONOTHEISM

The next essential concept that needs to be clarified is the term “Allah” What does it mean? It should be emphasized first that the term “Allah” has no connotation at all of a tribal god, an Arabian or even a Muslim god. The term ” Allah’ in Arabic simply means the One and Only True, Universal God of all. To think that Allah is different from God, with a capital ‘G’ is no more valid than saying the French Christians worship a different god because they call him “Dieu”.

3.   What are the basic attributes of Allah?

The Qur’an mentions the “most beautiful names” (or attributes) of Allah. Instead of enumerating them all, let’s examine a few. Some attributes emphasize the transcendence of Allah. The Qur’an repeatedly makes it clear that Allah is beyond our limited perception. (There is nothing whatever comparable unto Him).[1] (No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision)[2].

A Muslim never thinks of God as having any particular image, whether physical, human, material or otherwise. Such attributes as “The Perfectly-Knowing,” “The Eternal,” “The Omnipotent,” “The Omnipresent,” “The Just,” and “The Sovereign” also emphasize transcendence. But this does not mean in any way that for the Muslim Allah is a mere philosophical concept or a deity far removed. Indeed, alongside this emphasis on the transcendence of Allah, the Qur’an also talks about Allah as” personal” God who is close, easily approachable, Loving, Forgiving and Merciful. The very first passage in the Qur’an, which is repeated dozens of times, is -In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . .’ The Qur’an tells us that when Allah created the first human (He breathed into him something of His spirit)[3], and that “Allah is closer to the human than his jugular vein.” In another beautiful and moving passage we are told, (When my servants ask you (O Muhammad) concerning me, then surely I am near to them. I listen to every suppliant who calls on Me. Let them respond to My call and obey My command that they may be led aright).

4.   NATURE OF THE HUMAN

We have talked about Allah. What about you and me? Who is the human being? Who are you and I? And why are we here on earth? The Qur’an teaches that we humans are created of three components. We are created from clay, representing the material or carnal element. We are endowed with intellect that is Allah-given to be used, not to be put on the shelf. Reason may be insufficient but it is not the antithesis of faith, either. And thirdly, we are endowed with the spirit of Allah, which was breathed into us[4].

The Muslim does not see human existence here on earth as punishment for eating from the forbidden tree. That event is regarded as an experiential lesson for Adam and Eve before they came to earth.

The Qur’an teaches that even before the creation of the first human it was Allah’s plan to establish human life and civilization on earth[5]. Thus, the Muslim does not view the human as all evil, nor as all good, but rather as responsible. It is stated in several places in the Qur’an that Allah created the human to be His (khalifah), His trustee or vice-regent on earth. Humankind’s basic trust, our responsibility, is to worship Allah. Worship for the Muslim is not only engaging in formal rituals, but it is any activity in accordance with the will of Allah for the benefit of oneself and of humanity at large. 

Thus the Muslim views the earth, its resources and ecology as a gift from Allah to humans to harness and use in fulfillment of the trust for which we shall all be held responsible. That is why the Qur’an speaks highly of learning. The first word revealed of the Qur’an was, “Recite,” or “read.” As long as they were true to their faith and to Qur’anic injunctions about learning, Muslims established a civilization that saw great advances in science and in the humanities. Not only did they preserve earlier scientific heritage but they also added to it and paved the way for European renaissance. When Muslims again become true to their faith such history is bound to repeat itself.

5.   ALLAH-HUMANKIND RELATIONSHIP

We talked of Allah and of humankind. Now we must ask what is their basic relationship? The Qur’an teaches us that the human race is given an innate pure nature called “fitrah.” Knowledge of Allah and innate spirituality are inherent in human existence, but this spirituality can betray us if it is not led in the right direction. To depend on a merely human feeling of the guiding Spirit is dangerous. Many groups, even cults, claim to be guided by the spirit or by God or by revelation, yet these groups hold divergent, even contradictory, beliefs.

We find people behaving in contradictory ways who claim nonetheless that each is doing the will of God. “I feel,” they say, “that the spirit guides and directs me.’

A credible source of revelation is imperative. Throughout history Allah has selected particular individuals to convey His message, to receive His revelation and to exemplify it for mankind. For some of these prophets, holy books or scriptures were given revealing Allah’s commands and guidance. For most of you the names of these prophets found in the Qur’an will sound familiar: Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, and, finally, the last prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon them all. These prophets carried the same basic message: (Not an apostle did We send before you without this inspiration sent by Us to him: that there is no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me)[6].

Further, the Qur’an insists on calling all those prophets Muslims, because a Muslim is one who submits to the will of Allah. Their followers are called Muslims as well. Thus it is an article of faith for a Muslim to believe in all these prophets. Indeed, Muslims are warned that anyone who accepts some prophets and rejects others, in fact rejects them all. For a Muslim, to believe in Moses while rejecting Jesus or Muhammad is against the very teaching of Moses. And to believe in Jesus but reject Moses or Muhammad is to violate what Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad stood for. For a Muslim to believe in Muhammad and reject either Moses or Jesus is to violate his own Holy Book. Recognition of all prophets is an article of faith, not a mere social courtesy or diplomatic statement.

6.   THE SPECIAL ROLE OF MUHAMMAD

But why do Muslims in their testimony of faith say, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger? Does that mean that they in fact reject other prophets? Indeed, the special role played by Muhammad as the seal and last of all the prophets puts the Muslim in the position whereby honoring Muhammad implies honoring those who came before him as well. Muslims are warned not to make fanatical or parochial distinctions between prophets[7]. But the Qur’an also says that Allah has favored some prophets with more significant gifts or roles than others[8]. All are brothers, although the only prophet with the universal mission to all humankind is Muhammad, peace be upon him[9]. The Muslim believes not only that Muhammad is a brother to Jesus, Moses, Abraham and other prophets, but the Qur’an states in clear terms that the advent of Muhammad was foretold by previous prophets, including Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them[10]. Even the Bible in its present form foretells the advent of the Prophet Muhammad[11].  For the Muslim, the Qur’an contains the words of Allah directly and verbatim revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Many confuse the Qur’an with the ‘Hadith,’ or sayings, of the Prophet. The Hadith is quite separate from the Qur’an. The latter was dictated to Muhammad word for word through the Angel Gabriel and immediately memorized and put down in writing. It is important to emphasize that the Qur’an was neither written nor composed by Muhammad, peace be upon him. To hold such a view would contradict what the Qur’an says of itself and of Muhammad; that the prophet is not speaking on his own but only transmitting the revelation dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel. To suggest that the Qur’an borrowed from or copied from previous revelations, be it the Bible or otherwise, is, for a Muslim, an accusation of ‘prophetic plagiarism,” a contradiction in terms. The fact that there are similarities between the Qur’an and previous scriptures is simply explained by the fact that He Who spoke through those earlier prophets is He Who revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad, the one and only true God, Allah.

However, the Qur’an is the last revealed Holy Book, which supersedes previous scriptures and the only one still available in the exact words and language uttered by Prophet Muhammad.

7.   ACCOUNTABILITY AND SALVATION

We have talked about Allah, about the human and about the relationship between them. What about accountability? How can we humans, from the Islamic perspective, overcome “sin”? The Qur’an teaches that life is a test, that earthly life is temporary[12]. The Muslim believes that there is reward and punishment, that there is life hereafter and that reward or punishment do not necessarily wait until the day of Judgment, but start immediately after burial. The Muslim believes in resurrection, accountability, and the day of judgment.

For a Muslim, to demand perfection in order to gain salvation is not practical. Islam teaches a person to be humble and to learn that we cannot achieve salvation by our own righteousness. The reconciliation of the “sinful” human with Allah is contingent on three elements: the most important is the Grace, Mercy, and Generosity of Allah. Then there are good deeds and correct belief. Correct belief and good deeds are prerequisites for God’s Grace and Forgiveness and for rising above our common shortcomings. How can sin be washed away? The Qur’an gives the prescription: ‘If anyone does evil or wrongs his own soul, but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”[13]. Another moving passage reads, “Those things that are good remove evil deeds.”[14] Islam teaches repentance, stopping evil ways, feeling sorry for what one has done, and determining to follow the path of Allah as much as humanly possible. The Muslim does not believe in the necessity of the shedding of blood, much less innocent blood, to wash away sins. He believes that Allah is not interested in blood or sacrifice, but in sincere repentance.

The Qur’an puts it clearly: “But My Mercy extends to all things.”[15]

8.   THE APPLIED ASPECT

How about the application? Are we just talking theology? Since the human is Allah’s trustee, it would be inconsistent for a Muslim to separate the various aspects of life, the spiritual and the material, state and religion. We hear a lot about the “five pillars of Islam,” but they are often presented as the whole of Islam, many times in a shallow way. They are not the whole of Islam any more than one can claim to have a functional house composed exclusively of five concrete pillars. You also need the ceiling, walls, tables, windows and other things. As the mathematicians put it, it is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. The five pillars of Islam (the testimony of faith, the five daily prayers, fasting, charity, pilgrimage) are presented by most writers as matters of formal ritual. Even the pillar that is liable to appear ritualistic, daily prayers, is a purely spiritual act involving much more than simply getting up and down. It has social and political lessons to teach the Muslim. What may appear as separate compartments of life simply does not exist for the Muslim. A Muslim does not say, ‘This is business and this is moral.” Moral, spiritual, economic, social and governmental are inter-related, because everything, including Caesar, belongs to Allah and to Allah alone.

9.   MUSLIM/NON-MUSLIM RELATIONS

Another question may be: what is the implication for the Muslims in their attitudes toward non-Muslims? The Muslim is taught to be tolerant toward others. Indeed, the Qur’an not only prohibits compulsion in religion, but it prohibits aggression as well, although it allows self defense: (Fight it, the cause of Allah those who fight you, but commit no aggression; for Allah loves not transgressors)[16].

In addition, we find that within this broad rule of dealing with non-Muslims “the People of the Book” is a special term accorded to Jews and Christians in the Qur’an. Even though a Muslim might point out areas of theological difference, we still believe in the divine origin of those revelations in their “original” forms.

How should a Muslim treat these “People of the Book”? Says the Qur’an: (Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for [your] Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just)[17].

In the world today all believers in Allah are facing common dangers: materialism, violence, and moral decay. We must work together. Allah says in the Qur’an: (… If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single People, but His Plan is to test you in what He has given you. So strive as in a race in all virtues. The return of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which you dispute)[18].

10.                Who are the Muslims?

One billion people from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe, from the southern Philippines to Nigeria, are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world’s largest Muslim community is in Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe. Examples of the Prophet’s sayings[19]:

‘God has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others.’

‘None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.’

‘He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer. ‘

‘The truthful and trusty businessman is associated with the prophets the saints, and the martyrs.’

‘Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.’

‘God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.’

‘A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action.’ The Prophet was asked: ‘Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?’ He said, ‘There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.’

11.                What are the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam?

They are the framework of the Muslim life: faith, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

(1) Al-SHAHADA (DECLARATION OF FAITH)

There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger. This declaration of faith is called the Shahadah, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce.

(2) PRAYER

Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God.

There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one’s own language.

Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. A person who knows that he/she are about to meet God in a few hours will be more God-conscious and less likely to stray far away into wrongdoing. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.

(3) CHARITY (Zakat)

One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one’s capital.

A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as ‘voluntary charity’ it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said ‘even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.’

The Prophet said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim. ‘He was asked: ‘What if a person has nothing?’ The Prophet replied: ‘He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.’ The Companions asked: ‘What if he is not able to work?’ The Prophet said: ‘He should help poor and needy persons.’

The Companions further asked ‘What if he cannot do even that?’ The Prophet said ‘He should urge others to do good.’ The Companions said ‘What if he lacks that also?’ The Prophet said ‘He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.’

(4) THE FAST

Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as growth in one’s spiritual life.

(5) PILGRIMAGE (Hajj)

The annual pilgrimage to Makkah – the Hajj – is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.

The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka’ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment.

The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslim calendar.

(12)    Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?

The Quran says: (God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just).[20]

It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.

Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.

When the caliph Omar took Jerusalem from the Byzantines, he insisted on entering the city with only a small number of his companions. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places.

The Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but he preferred to pray outside its gates, saying that if he accepted, later generations of Muslims might use his action as an excuse to turn it into a mosque.

According to Islam, man is not born in ‘original sin’. He is God’s vicegerent on earth. Every child is born with the fitra, an innate disposition towards virtue, knowledge, and beauty. Islam considers itself to be the ‘primordial religion’, din al-hanif, it seeks to return man to his original, true nature in which he is in harmony with creation, inspired to do good, and confirming the Oneness of God.

13.How does Islam guarantee human rights?

Freedom of conscience is laid down by the Quran itself: ‘There is no compulsion in religion’[21].

The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not.

Racism is incomprehensible to Muslims, for the Quran speaks of human equality in the following terms:

(O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All Aware)[22].

 

 

 

 


[1]  (al-Shura; 42:11)

[2] (al-An’Zim; 6:103)

[3] (al- Sajdah; 32:9)

[4] (al-Sajdah; 32:7, al Baqarah; 2:31, al-Hijr; 15:29)

[5] (al-Baqarah; 2:30)

[6] (al Anbiya; 21:25)

[7] (al-Baqarah; 2:285)

[8] (Al-Isra’; 17:55)

[9] (al- Furqaan; 25:11)

[10] (al-Araf; 7:157, al-Saff; 61:6)

[11] (e.g. Genesis 21:13, 18, Deuteronomy 18:18 and 33:1-3, Isaiah 11:1-4, 21:13-17, 42:1-13 and others)

[12] (al-Mulk; 67:2)

[13] (al-Nisa’; 4:110)

[14] (Hud; 11:114)

[15] (al-A’raf; 7:156)

[16] (al-Baqarah; 2:190)

[17] (al-Mumtahanah; 60:8-9).

[18] (al-Ma’idah; 5:51).

[19] From the hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi

[20]  (Quran, 60:8)

[21] (2:256)

[22] (49:13)

Religious as well as scientific principles for raising teenagers

Religious as well as scientific  

Principles for Raising Teenagers

1ST. Principle:

The problem of raising teenagers is one of the most important problems that concern the Religious as well as the specialists in this field. Sons usually stay under the control of their parents till a certain age. After that age, sons leave the control of their parents, whether by marriage, migration or study. Later, some parents regret it.

So it’s very important for Muslims’ parents:

1.      To give this subject plenty of time and attention.

2.      To Know that a righteous son would be like a (Sadaqah Jariyah = an everlasting charity), which would benefit them after death!

3.      To Use properly their control over their sons during this specific period of time.

2ND. Principle:

Every human being has two structures:

·         A bodily structure, and

·         A psychological structure.

Just as there is a moving body, there is a growing sprit.

So when we pay attention to the bodily growth of our sons, we have to pay attention to their spirits and their growth.

This growth reaches its peak, integration, or low point in the age of adolescence.

3RD. Principle:

There are certain factors that influence the growing teenager and his behavior:

·         Internal factors: like,

          Hereditary characteristics

          Mental structure.

          Others.  

It is well known that these factors vary from one member of a family to another. This doesn’t mean that these factors enforce and determine Human behaviors. It does not imply fatalism in determining human behavior.

·         Environmental factors: like,

          Parents’ behavior.

          Corrupt relatives’ behavior.

          Friends,

          Scholastic environment,

          Different media that have often become devilish tools to corrupt our sons.

4TH. Principle:

In many cases we notice that internal factors for sons are healthy and perfect. So, what are the factors that would produce different defects in the sons’ behavior? The most important factors that would produce these defects in the personality of sons are the behavior of the parents within the family; like,

·         Disputes and conflicts,

·         Disobeying religious rules,

·         Neglecting their sons,

·         Being preoccupied with their own affairs.

In this case, parents are the ones to be held responsible in the Hereafter.

5TH. Principle:

All of us know that parents are the ones who outline their sons’ behavior. But some parents, as we can see, do not know some important facts about their sons, like:

·         Who their sons’ friends are,

·         What orientations and inclinations their sons have.

What is the significance of such information?

Dear brothers & sisters in Islam, we have often seen parents giving all their efforts, psychological and intellectual, to raise their son on good manners till the age of eighteen. But one red night, one trip to suspicious places, or one corrupt company turns this son upside down, and what a great loss!

For this reason, dear brothers & sisters in Islam, it is necessary to start strict and full monitoring over the sons, as long as this can keep them from evils. And this is only achieved by watching:

·         Whom they accompany?

·         Where they go?

·         What they do?

 

6TH. Principle:

As we can see the school nowadays form a large part of the youths’ life.

Nowadays, dear brothers & sisters, schools form a large part of the youths’ life. So the scholastic environment represents one of the most important environmental influences on the behavior of our teenagers.

But as we notice, for certain reasons, like; financial reasons, local nearness or the like, some parents do not pay attention to what school they would choose for their kids; schools may be either corrupt ones or not; schools known to have improper breeding environments for kids or not, and so on.

In reality, financial spending in this matter is an assured investment, and it’s much more beneficial than spending money on life’s luxuries.

7TH. Principle:

One practical recommendation in this matter is constructive dialogue.

1.      Youth nowadays have:

·         Wide knowledge

·         Awareness,

·         Good analytical abilities in:

          Politics,

          Economy,

          Culture, and,

          So forth.

 

2.      Our social sphere is full of:

·         Imported thoughts,

·         Cultural corruptions,

·         Mercurial concepts that can be missed.

 

3.      Our youth live in a kind of intellectual confusion, output of this intellectual freedom.

In such a case, it is (and it is only) our duty to help our youth primarily by:

·         Open minded discussion,

·         No clashing,

·         No cursing with corruption,

·         No cursing with unbelief.

Imam Ali (raa) had stated something close to this: “Never raise your sons the way you were raised, because they were created for a different time than yours”.

8TH. Principle:

Another practical recommendation for the parents is:

·         To establish a friendship with their sons,

·         To avoid the roughness that is widespread in our societies.

This friendship would encourage the son to discuss his problems and concern with his parents, the ones who know what is good for him, instead of strangers. The father should himself select the most suitable group of friends for his son like those who come frequently to the mosque, before the son would choose bad ones.

9TH. Principle:

Another important recommendation for the parents is:

·         To show their love, affection and satisfaction with their sons,

·         To keep away from accusation and mistrust which will make them lose their self-confidence.

The father who notices any good sign of this son should:

·         Take advantage of this chance,

·         Try to encourage him,

·         Praise him,

·         Reward him.

It is well known that reward is a motivator even for adults, a fact that is considered also in urging recommendable actions by the Divine Law.

10TH. Principle:

All of us know that Moses and Haroon (S) were ordered by Almighty God to speak with soft words to the Pharaoh. So, we should certainly speak to our sons with soft words! why?

·         They are our subjects,

·         They are our satisfaction,

·         They are our (Sadaqah Jariyah) everlasting charity.

Isn’t that fulfilling what the Almighty called for in His saying: (Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way), and (There is no compulsion in religion). So let us ask Almighty God for help, and pray to him saying (Our Lord! give us joy and comfort of our spouses and our offspring), so that Rasul Allah (saas) can be proud of such offspring in front of other nations in the Hereafter.

Raising our children in Islam

Raising our Children in Islam

Allah (swt) has entrusted us with children. Also, He has chosen for us (al-Islam) as a complete way of life. So, we bear the responsibility to raise our children according to the teachings and rules of Islam. But how can we achieve this goal? In bringing up our children, whether in the US or anywhere else, our goal should be to help them get the best in this world and the best in the hereafter:  success and happiness in this life and salvation and paradise in the hereafter. To raise our children three things are essential: (1) A successful parent role. (2) A persistent Mosque activity. (3) An organized, united and dynamic Muslim community. This khut’bah we will look at the first factor in a little more detail.

The Role of the Family in Raising the Children

The Role of the Family in Raising the Children is the first factor, which influence the behavior of the children in their early childhood. Rasul Allah (saas) told us that, “Every newborn is born in the natural state of goodness (the pure nature) (the Fitrah, which is Islam), and his parents would either make him a Jew, a Christian, or a fire worshipper.” (B. & M.). So, the first influence on the children is the parents, then the older siblings. This is a reality, which we can not escape. This influence starts in the early life of the child.

The Role of the Family in Raising the Children is a responsibility and the family will be accountable for it. Rasul Allah (saas) said: “Each and every one of you is responsible and accountable for his responsibility. So the man is responsible in his house and accountable for his family, the woman is responsible in her husband’s house and accountable for her husband’s family” (B. & M.). Rasul Allah (saas) did not relieve anyone from responsibility and everyone will be accountable for it in this life and in the Hereafter.

By performing this role we will be blessed in this life and in the Hereafter, and if we don’t, we will get bad and harmful result during our life and in the Hereafter. Allah (swt) says in Surat a-Tah’reem, (verse 6), which is translated as, “O believers! Protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.”

Raising Children based on Islam is one of the greatest duties of the Muslim family.

Any family will not be considered a Muslim family until it does this task properly. Does raising children based on Islam occur with wishful thinking? Does raising children based on Islam occur with sincerity? Does raising children based on Islam occur with the will only? Does raising children based on Islam occur through advice from the parents to their children that they should be holding onto Islam and good morals? Raising children based on Islam will occur only when the family conducts all its affairs according to the teachings of Islam and when it manifests the Islamic values in the way it conducts these affairs. It is a must that we have to present the good practical example in our life.

Due to the importance of the good practical example, Rasul Allah (saas) was a practical example for their followers; they demonstrated in their lives what they called for. Rasul Allah (saas) was the best practical example for the Muslims to follow.

Allah (swt) says in Surat al-Ah’Zab, (verse 21), what can be translated as, “Indeed in Rasul Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” Rasul Allah (saas) always demonstrated the Islam that he called for, and the Qur’an that he delivered. So, he was a living example of the Qur’an that walks on earth and lives amongst the people. About this, A’ishah (raa) replied to the one who asked about the morals of the Rasul Allah (saas): “His morals were the Qur’an”(Reported by Muslim). So, the good practical example is necessary to make the upbringing process successful. In this day and time just saying to a child “just do it” is not enough. Having a strong family unit is vital to teaching children the important lessons of life. There are three things you can do to help your children and your family grow close together. (1) Set a good example (2) Set a good example (3) Set a good example.

A Famous child psychiatrist used to say to groups of parents: “Get out your paper and pencils. I am going to tell you the three most important things you will ever need to know about raising children.” The parents would wait breathlessly for his words of wisdom. Then he would say, “Example, example, example.” Similarly, a family counselor and author about parenting, has often said: “The only way to raise a decent human being is by being one.” These two observers are correct: what children become probably has most of all to do with the example set by those who raise them: “Monkey see, monkey do.” “Do as I say, not as I do.”

These sayings describe two ways of teaching: by example and by preaching. Young children usually learn by the “monkey see, monkey do” method. In case you doubt the importance of teaching by example, think about your own childhood. How were you most influenced to become the person you now are; for better or for worse? Was it mostly what you learned in school? Was it mostly your grade-school and high-school and adult friends? Was it mostly movies or television? Chances are that the person you have become was influenced mostly by the example set by your parents and other people who were close to you when you were young.

The parents are the first ones that give the good practical example to their children when they order them to do good and refrain from evil. They are the ones that also give the poor and contradictory example for their children when they advise them to do good but they themselves do not do good, and advise them to refrain from doing evil, but they themselves do evil. When the parents offer the contradictory example, they undermine all what they advised and taught to their children. This is because the children will think that what their parents are calling for is nothing but ideals that can not be implemented in life. So, to all the fathers and mothers out there, when you order your children to do good and refrain from doing evil, you yourselves should practice what you are preaching, and show your children that what you are calling for are not ideals and that you are already implementing that. Otherwise, you will lose the creditability and affect of your words. For example: When you order your children to pray when they are seven like Rasul Allah (saas) told us, show them that you are promptly praying five times a day. Also, show them the importance of Salah through your deeds. Otherwise, what is the benefit to order them to pray if the children see their parents slacking off their Salah? To the Muslim father and mother, if you want your children to keep away from the bad company and stick with the good company, you yourselves should do that first, and help them and encourage them to find the good one. If you want your children to refrain from lying and to be truthful, then you yourselves should be that way. If you want you children to stay away from prohibitions, you should be away from them first. There are many examples. This is only a few.

Briefly speaking, we must present to our children a good practical example so that they can follow. Raising them any other way will not work because the good example is the only way to implant the values and virtues in the individual’s life.

What is the ruling on watching television?

Televisions and its like, such as screens of computers, that display numerous programs are not haram in themselves, but what is haram is showing programs that go against the shari`ah, such as showing women who are dressed and undressed, the drinking of alcohol, relations of love and intimacy that are against the shari`ah, and singing that is accompanied by haram music. Showing all of these things is haram and so is looking at them.

As for programs that don’t contain any of these forbidden things, it is not haram to show them, nor to look at that them, especially if there is religious benefit in it, such as lessons from the sirah and the like. Or even if there is worldly benefit such as programs about culture and thought that have a purpose. It is best for a Muslim to act with wisdom as much as he can to keep his children from being attached to the television, because it is obvious that its evil is widespread and its corruption is far worse than its benefits and that most of it is not free of the haram.

What could be worse for Muslims and their homes than television? For the limits of its evil are not just showing morally depraved pictures, but rather it carries something very dangerous for the youth and others which cultivates blameworthy character and belittles the gravity of disobedience by way of showing things like television series [s. such as sitcoms, soap operas and reality shows] and western and eastern movies. And Allah is the helper and only through Him is success for the best of states, Glorious is He.

السؤال :ما حكم مشاهدة التلفاز؟ الجواب : التلفزيون ونحوه من أقراص الكمبيوتر التي يُعرض فيها شتى البرامج غيرُ حرام بذاته، وإنما المحرمُ منه عرضُ البرامج المخالفة للأحكام الشرعية كعرض صور النساء الكاسيات العاريات وشُرب الخمور وأمور العشق والعلاقات غير الشرعية والغناء المصحوب بالموسيقى المحرمة ، فعرضُ هذا حرام والنظر إليه كذلك . أما البرامجُ الخاليةُ عن تلك المحظورات فلا يحرم عرضُها ولا النظرُ إليها خصوصاً إن كان فيه منافعُ دينية كدروس في السيرة ونحوها ، أو منافعُ دنيوية كبرامج ثقافية وفكرية هادفة ، والأولى بالمسلم أن يسعى بالحكمة قدرَ طاقته لصرف أولاده عن التعلق بالتلفاز لما لا يخفى من أن شرَّه مستطيرٌ ومفاسده أعظم بكثير من منافعه وأن غالبه لا يخلو من الحرام ، وما أفسد كثيراً من بيوت المسلمين وغيرهم إلا التلفاز ، مع أن شرَّه لا يقتصر على عرض الصور الخليعة فحسب بل فيه من زرع الأخلاق الذميمة والتهوين من المعاصي الشيءُ الكثيرُ الخطيرُ على الناشئة وغيرهم من خلال ما يُعرض فيه مما يسمى بالمسلسلات والأفلام العربية والغربية ، والله المستعان وبه وحده التوفيقُ لأحسن الأحوال سبحانه

 

Duties of Muslims in the West

Friday Sermon; May, 9th. 2008 Imam of Duncanville Islamic Center

Duties of Muslims in the US

(1) For Muslims to know their obligations, their responsibilities and their accountabilities as citizens living in the US, they need to return to the source and root of the Muslim Ummah, they need to return to the way of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–>). All scholars agree on this concept. Imam Malik (one of the great early scholars of Islam) mentioned that this Ummah would never be reformed except with what reformed its first part, its beginning part. So Muslims need to look at the teachings of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) to understand their obligations and duties as citizens living in the US.

(2) Every Muslim has to know what is meant and what the implication of his saying that Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) is the best of creation (khairu khalqih). When Muslims say that Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) is the best of creation, they must realize and believe that none of the creation of Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’aala<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[2]<!–[endif]–>) can be better than Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) in any aspect of life.

(3) When the Muslim community started out in Makkah they were a minority, much like the Muslims are a minority in this country today. The number of Muslims present in this Masjid every Friday is more than the number of Muslims that took part in the battle of Badr, it was more than the number of Muslims that pledged their oath of allegiance to Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) at Aqabah (a place close to Madinah), it was more than the number of Muslims that Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) had a consultation with before the battle of Uhud. It has to be clear in our mind that being a minority doesn’t mean that you have to be weak and incapable of accomplishing great feats. When the Muslims started out, they were a minority, but in a few decades of time after following the teachings of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam), they were able to bring about a revolution that spanned almost the entire globe. The companions of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) responded to the challenges that they were face with.

(4) How did Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) guide the early community of Muslims?

There were three important pillars that Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) directed the early community of Muslims with:

(A) The community’s relationship with their Creator, Allah (sub’hanahu wa Ta’aala):

As Muslims we have to ponder upon our relationship with Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’aala). We have to realize that just because we are few in numbers doesn’t mean that we are weak. The belief that an individual has in Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’aala) changes this weak individual into a powerful human being. That’s why Sayiddina Bilal (ra’diya Allahu an’hu<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[3]<!–[endif]–>) (another great companion of Rasul Allah) endured the punishment and torture of the Quraysh. He was dragged on hot burning sand with a heavy rock on his chest and the manifestation of his Iman (faith in Allah) was his uttering the words “Ahad, Ahad.” (God is One, God is One). His belief in Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’aala) was so strong that he would not give into the demands of the Quraysh no matter how harshly they tortured him.

(B) Individual interaction within the community:

As Muslims are we truly brothers and sisters? Can we live this statement in our lives. When the companions of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) left Makkah for Madinah, they left everything in Makkah, the Ansars (Muslims living in Madinah who were permanent residents) received them in Madinah. Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) appointed a specific family with a specific family, a specific individual with a specific individual. The Ansar divided whatever they had and shared their belongings with the companions who had migrated.

As Muslims we should not think of what others are doing, we should look at what we are doing individually, we need to show respect and love even to those Muslims who treat us badly. Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) would have never hated anyone who had said La Ilaha Illa Allah Muhammad Rasul Allah. The Prophet never distinguished amongst the sahabah in the way he treated them.

There were thousands of sahabah. Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) would treat each one of the Sahabah<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[4]<!–[endif]–> in such a manner that made each particular sahabi think that he was the most favourite companion of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam). Muslims today can and should adopt the same attitude and we can start in our own homes. Parents should treat each child such that they say I’m the most favourite son or daughter of my father/mother. Each sibling should say I’m the favourite brother of my sister, sister of my brother.

(C) The Muslims communities’ view of the rest of the humanity:

The way of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) was to treat the Non-Muslims with kindness, love and mercy. Time and time again he did it. A beautiful story was mentioned about how Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) treated a particular elderly Non-Muslim woman in Makkah! Everyday, before Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) left his house to go to the Ka’bah, this elderly woman would throw trash in front of the path of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) out of disrespect and because she didn’t like the message that Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) was preaching. One day, Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) was leaving his house and he didn’t notice any garbage in his path and so he thought that maybe the old lady was sick, and that is why she was unable to throw her garbage this particular day, and so he went and visited her.

When this elderly lady first saw Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) she was scared, because she knew what she had been doing. She asked why he had come. Rasul Allah(salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) responded by saying that he knew that everyday she would throw garbage in his path, and today he didn’t find any garbage in his path, so he thought she might’ve been sick and that’s why he came to visit her. This response of Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) softened the heart of this Non-Muslim lady and she was convinced that Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) is truly a messenger of Allah, and she uttered the shahadah.

What is the Muslim communities’ view of the rest of humanity? How do we think of our Non-Muslim neighbours, co-workers, and friends? The way we think about them would determine the way we treat them.

If we see them as a Non-Muslim, that’s how we will deal with them but if we look to them as potential Muslims we would treat them in a special way. Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) would treat every Non-Muslim as a potential Muslim.

Some important concepts that would form the cornerstone for a plan of action for Muslims living in the US:

(1) We need to be men and women of spirituality. We must reflect spirituality in our outlook, character and personality. Let’s spread Iman and Taqwa. Muslim cannot be someone who spreads hatred for everyone. Spirituality is what this society needs and this is what we can offer them.

(2) Education is extremely important for all Muslims. As a community we need to be educated.

It is very unfortunate to read the annual UNESCO report from UN about rate of illiteracy in the world. Most of the countries with the highest rates of illiteracy are all Muslim countries. How can the Muslims let this be when Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alia’hi wa sallam) elevated the acquisition of knowledge to being an act of worship of Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’aala). If we don’t reclaim this prophetic heritage, we can’t expect to make any significant change in this world. All aspects of education, for all Muslims should be considered to give us strength in Deen<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[5]<!–[endif]–> and Dunya<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[6]<!–[endif]–>.

(3) Muslim families need to be strong. Our families must be a reflection of what Islam teaches. There are many Muslim families that are in disarray. There are many examples of children leaving homes, problems between husband and wife in the Muslim community. How can this be when Islam puts a great emphasis on a good family life! Each and every member of us has to have some program with his family every day. A Muslim family should try to pray together; pray with your spouse and your children. A Muslim family should always eat together. A family that prays together and eats together stays together. Many of Muslims don’t do that. We are too caught up with other things, and we are always telling our spouses/children that we are busy. And the consequence of the neglect of family rights is the straining of the relationship between husband and wife, between parents and children.

Many children tell their parents that they love them, but they tell them this when it is too late. They only care to do this at their parent’s funeral, when they truly realize how important a role their parents had played in their lives.

Why don’t children tell that to their parents when they are alive and the parents can hear them?

Wouldn’t it make the parents happy to hear something like that?

(4) Public awareness; the Muslim community should be publicly aware of what is happening around us. Muslims should not live in a vacuum in society. We need to overcome our cultural/linguistic barriers. After deciding to choose USA to be our home, then we should treat it as if it is our home. Too many Muslims think of back home. If we think that the US is our home, we will behave in a way to make it our home, to make its atmosphere Islamic. But if we think somewhere else is back home, then we will live like strangers in this land and we will die as strangers in this land.

A famous Islamic poet said, “If you cannot add anything to society, you are a liability on society.” We as Muslims cannot be a liability we must be an asset to society. We must be an asset to ourselves, our spouse, our children, our Muslim community and the wider Non-Muslim community, must be an asset to everyone. The nature of the Iman of a Muslim should be like the scent of a perfume. A person who puts on a perfume or cologne, cannot say that this is my cologne/perfume and only I will smell it. Any other person who comes into contact with this individual will also smell the scent. Such should be the nature of Iman. If we live the true nature of Iman, anyone that we come in contact with should be touched by our Iman.

That is our obligation and responsibility as Muslims living in the US.

 

 

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Imam Nawawi’s Collection of 40 Hadith (Hadith 31-42) End

Commentaries on Imam Nawawi’s Forty Hadith

The collection of Forty Hadith by al-Imam al-Nawawi (or Imam Nawawi) has been known, accepted and appreciated by Muslim scholars for the last seven centuries.

Its significance lay in the fact that these selected forty hadiths comprise the main essential and fundamental concepts of Islam which, in turn, construct the minimum level of required revealed knowledge for every single Muslim. Since having good knowledge of the various fundamental aspects of the religion is key to a Muslim’s practice and application of Islam, this web site attempts to provide simple and practical commentaries to the collection of Imam Nawawi’s Forty Hadith. Various principles are contained in these hadiths, such as belief, Muslim ethics and fiqh. As such, it is very important to have a good understanding of these hadiths based on scholarly interpretations. In addition, these commentaries also try to offer discussions on related contemporary issues pertaining to certain concepts mentioned in these hadiths.

Hadith # 31 The concept of Al-Zuhd (asceticism) in Islam DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 32 Not causing harm DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 33 The plaintiff and the defendant DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 34 The concept of enjoining what is good and discouraging what is evil

DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 35 Evil acts that spoil brotherhood DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 36 The significance of fulfilling the needs of a Muslim DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 37 How deeds are recorded DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 38 The concept of Wilayah (the closer servants of Allah) DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 39 What is pardoned for this ummah DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 40 The Muslim’s attitude towards the worldly life DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 41 Desires to be subservient to Revelation DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 42 Seeking Allah’s Forgiveness DOWNLOAD

Imam Nawawi’s Collection of 40 Hadith (1-10)


Commentaries on Imam Nawawi’s Forty Hadith

The collection of Forty Hadith by al-Imam al-Nawawi (or Imam Nawawi) has been known, accepted and appreciated by Muslim scholars for the last seven centuries.

Its significance lay in the fact that these selected forty hadiths comprise the main essential and fundamental concepts of Islam which, in turn, construct the minimum level of required revealed knowledge for every single Muslim. Since having good knowledge of the various fundamental aspects of the religion is key to a Muslim’s practice and application of Islam, this web site attempts to provide simple and practical commentaries to the collection of Imam Nawawi’s Forty Hadith.

Various principles are contained in these hadiths, such as belief, Muslim ethics and fiqh. As such, it is very important to have a good understanding of these hadiths based on scholarly interpretations.

In addition, these commentaries also try to offer discussions on related contemporary issues pertaining to certain concepts mentioned in these hadiths.

Hadith # 1 Actions are judged by intentions DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 2 Islam, Iman, Ihsan, Qadar DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 3 The five pillars of Islam DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 4 Creation of human being; Al-Qadar DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 5 Ibadah & Bida’ah (Innovation) DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 6 Purification of the heart DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 7 Nasihah DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 8 The concept of Jihad DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 9 How are obligations to be fulfilled? DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 10 Being pure (at-Tayyib) DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 11 Avoiding doubtful acts DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 12 Being concerned with beneficial matters DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 13 The obligation of loving all Muslims DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 14 The value of human life DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 15 Good manners in speech; behaviour of Muslims towards neighbours/guests

DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 16 Restraining oneself from anger DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 17 The concept of Ihsan DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 18 The concept of Taqwa DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 19 Allah’s Protection DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 20 The concept of Al-Haya’ (modesty) DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 21 The concept of Istiqamah DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 22 Deeds that lead to Paradise DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 23 How to free oneself DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 24 Prohibition of injustice and oppression; seeking Allah’s Guidance

DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 25 Charitable acts I DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 26 Charitable acts II DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 27 Internal Controlling System DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 28 Adhering to the Sunnah DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 29 Deeds that lead to Paradise II DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 30 Transgressing the limits DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 31 The concept of Al-Zuhd (asceticism) in Islam DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 32 Not causing harm DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 33 The plaintiff and the defendant DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 34 The concept of enjoining what is good and discouraging what is evil

DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 35 Evil acts that spoil brotherhood DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 36 The significance of fulfilling the needs of a Muslim DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 37 How deeds are recorded DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 38 The concept of Wilayah (the closer servants of Allah) DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 39 What is pardoned for this ummah DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 40 The Muslim’s attitude towards the worldly life DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 41 Desires to be subservient to Revelation DOWNLOAD

Hadith # 42 Seeking Allah’s Forgiveness DOWNLOAD