Archive for October, 2007

The following is an excerpt from the book entitled “The Message of Mohammad”, by Athar Husain- http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/prophet/prophetdescription.html

“By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you” (translation of Qur’an 3:159)

About himself the prophet (pbuh) said

“Allah has sent me as an apostle so that I may demonstrate perfection of character, refinement of manners and loftiness of deportment.” (Malik, Mawatta; Ahmed, Musnad; Mishkat)

By nature he was gentle and kind hearted, always inclined to be gracious and to overlook the faults of others. Politeness and courtesy, compassion and tenderness, simplicity and humility, sympathy and sincerity were some of the keynotes of his character. In the cause of right and justice he could be resolute and severe but more often than not, his severity was tempered with generosity. He had charming manners which won him the affection of his followers and secured their devotion. Though virtual king of Arabia and an apostle of Allah, he never assumed an air of superiority. Not that he had to conceal any such vein by practice and artifice: with fear of Allah, sincere humility was ingrained in his heart. He used to say,

“I am a Prophet of Allah but I do not know what will be my end.” (Bukhari, Sahih Bukhari, Chapter “Al-Janaiz”)

In one of his sermons calculated to instill the fear of Allah and the day of reckoning in the hearts of men, he said,

“O people of Quraish be prepared for the hereafter, I cannot save you from the punishment of Allah; O Bani Abd Manaf, I cannot save you from Allah; O Abbas, son of Abdul Mutalib, I cannot protect you either; O Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, even you I cannot save.” (Sahahin)

He used to pray,

“O Allah! I am but a man. If I hurt any one in any manner, then forgive me and do not punish me.” (Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 6 pg. 103)

He always received people with courtesy and showed respect to older people and stated:

“To honor an old man is to show respect to Allah.”

He would not deny courtesy even to wicked persons. It is stated that a person came to his house and asked permission for admission. The prophet (pbuh) remarked that he was not a good person but might be admitted. When he came in and while he remained in the house, he was shown full courtesy. When he left Aiysha (ra) said,

“You did not think well of this man, but you treated him so well.”

The prophet (pbuh) replied,

“He is a bad person in the sight of Allah who does not behave courteously and people shun his company bacause of his bad manners.” (Bukhari, Sahih Bukhari)

He was always the first to greet another and would not withdraw his hand from a handshake till the other man withdrew his. If one wanted to say something in his ears, he would not turn away till one had finished (Abu Dawud, Tirmizi). He did not like people to get up for him and used to say,

“Let him who likes people to stand up in his honour, he should seek a place in hell.” (Abu Dawud, Kitabul Adab, Muhammadi Press, Delhi).

He would himself, however, stand up when any dignitary came to him. He had stood up to receive the wet nurse who had reared him in infancy and had spread his own sheet for her. His foster brother was given similar treatment. He avoided sitting at a prominent place in a gathering, so much so that people coming in had difficulty in spotting him and had to ask which was the Prophet (pbuh). Quite frequently uncouth bedouins accosted him in their own gruff and impolite manner but he never took offence. (Abu Dawud Kitabul Atama).He used to visit the poorest of ailing persons and exhorted all muslims to do likewise (Bukhari, Sahih Bukhari, Chapter “Attendance on ailing persons”). He would sit with the humblest of persons saying that righteousness alone was the criterion of one’s superiority over another. He invariably invited people be they slaves, servants or the poorest believers, to partake with him of his scanty meals (Tirmizi, Sunan Tirmizi).

Whenever he visited a person he would first greet him and then take his permission to enter the house. He advised the people to follow this etiquette and not to get annoyed if anyone declined to give permission, for it was quite likely the person concerned was busy otherwise and did not mean any disrespect (Ibid).

There was no type of household work too low or too undignified for him. Aiysha (ra) has stated,

“He always joined in household work and would at times mend his clothes, repair his shoes and sweep the floor. He would milk, tether, and feed his animals and do the household shopping.” (Qazi Iyaz: Shifa; Bukhari, Sahih Bukhari, Chapter: Kitabul Adab)

He would not hesitate to do the menial work of others, particularly of orphans and widows (Nasi, Darmi). Once when there was no male member in the house of the companion Kabab Bin Arat who had gone to the battlefield, he used to go to his house daily and milk his cattle for the inhabitants (Ibn Saad Vol. 6, p 213).


Read Full Post »

Anti-Terrorism on Trial

Why the Government Loses Funding Cases

fyi: this article was published in the Op-Ed section of todays Washington Post.  Inshallah Professor Cole will be speaking at the ADAMS Center(www.adamscenter.org) on November 3rd (see post directly below this one for information about the event).

By David Cole

Wednesday, October 24, 2007; Page A19

Nearly six years ago, the U.S. government shut down the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, froze its assets and made it a crime for anyone to engage in transactions with it. The administration claimed that the foundation, the largest Muslim charity in the United States, was financing terrorism.

The government never publicly produced evidence to support that charge. Under an executive order that President Bush issued shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, the government did not have to. It closed the charity without a hearing or trial or even a statement of reasons. When the foundation sued, a federal court in the District of Columbia refused to consider any evidence that the foundation submitted in its defense, relied on secret evidence that the government presented behind closed doors and rejected the foundation’s assertion that taking its property on the basis of evidence that the charity had no opportunity to see or rebut was a violation of due process.

Monday brought a different result. In a criminal trial in Dallas in which federal prosecutors accused the Holy Land Foundation and its directors of 197 criminal violations related to funding terrorism, a jury issued not a single conviction. It acquitted one defendant on all but one charge and failed to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the other counts. The difference in outcomes could not have been more stark. In the first, one-sided proceeding, the government, not surprisingly, prevailed. In the second, when required to share its evidence and convince a jury, the government could not do so.

This failure wasn’t the government’s first. In 2005, a Tampa jury acquitted Sami al-Arian, a University of South Florida professor, of the most serious counts against him, involving alleged fundraising for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad; it voted 10 to 2 in favor of acquittal on the rest. This year a jury in Chicago acquitted two men of charges that they had financed Hamas. Thus far, the government has shut down and frozen the assets of seven Muslim charities in this country, but it has not obtained a conviction for financing terrorism against anyone involved in any of these charities.

Why is the government losing these cases? It is not because the laws are too narrow or the standards of proof too demanding. “Material support” laws make it a crime to give anything of value, including humanitarian aid or one’s own volunteer services, to an organization the government has labeled a “terrorist” group. The government claims that it is no defense that the supporter had no intent to further any terrorist conduct or even that the support in fact furthered no terrorism. For all practical purposes, the law imposes guilt by association.

Yet federal prosecutors have sought to stretch liability even further. In the Holy Land case, for example, the government offered no evidence that the foundation had funded Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. Prosecutors claimed instead that the foundation had supported humanitarian aid “zakat committees” in various West Bank towns and that these committees were fronts for or were associated with Hamas. But the law authorizes the government to designate front groups, and it does so regularly. To this day, the government has not designated any of the zakat committees. Yet it sought to hold Holy Land criminally responsible for providing humanitarian aid to groups that the government itself had never said were off-limits.

The government’s failure in the Holy Land case suggests that the administrative processes for designating groups as terrorist organizations are flawed. The president has asserted the power to designate any organization or individual he chooses, here or abroad, without formal charges, a trial or hearing of any kind; without a statement of reasons; and on the basis of secret evidence. While full-scale criminal protections are not necessary, surely groups should be afforded a meaningful opportunity to defend themselves before they are shut down.

We’ve seen this kind of regime before. In the McCarthy era, the government, working behind closed doors, created lists of “subversive organizations” and then held individuals responsible for any association with such groups, often using secret evidence to support its charges. Such actions invited abuse, harmed innocents and infringed on the very rights the government claimed to be protecting. As the Supreme Court said in a 1967 decision belatedly declaring unconstitutional the “guilt by association” tactics of the McCarthy period: “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties — the freedom of association — which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.” The administration seems to have forgotten that lesson; American juries, thankfully, still remember.

David Cole is a law professor at Georgetown University and co-author of “Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror.”

Read Full Post »

Flier for 11/3 EventAsalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatahu,

On November 3rd, the All Dulles Area Muslims Society (ADAMS) Center of Northern Virginia will be hosting a critical event for all Muslims that live in or around the DC metropolitan area. The events title is: The engaged citizen: how american muslims can protect and defend civil rights for all (see details below). All of the major area masaajids have agreed to assist in promoting/helping out with this event in some way. Shaykh Safi Khan from Darus Salaam will be giving the khutbah at ADAMS on that friday, Imam Zia from Mustafa Masjid will be opening the Saturday event with a Quran Recitation, and Imam Shaker Elsayed from Dar Al Hijrah will be one of the main speakers that night. By holding this event in conjunction with so many of the area masajids, ADAMS is showing how we can come together and work for a common cause, particularly that of civil rights.

Many muslims living in this area have become victim of a overzealous domestic security policy and have had their homes raided, been detained without charges, and are finding themselves in very difficult situations. As a community it is our job to assist our fellow brethren when in need, and we shouldnt shy away from donating to their legal defense and assisting their families however we can. I pray that Allah accepts from those involved with the organizing of this event and that Allah Assists in making the event a successful one in which awareness is raised. Ameen.


Saturday, November 3rd at 5:30pm

The Engaged Citizen:
How American Muslims
Can Protect and Defend Civil Rights for All

David Cole
Professor of Law, Georgetown University
Winner of American Book Award
Author of the New Book:

“Less Safe, Less Free:
Why America is Losing the War on Terror”

Imam Shaker ElSayed
Executive Director, Dar al Hijrah

Br. Shad Imam
ADAMS Board Member

*Tickets are 3 dollars
** Event includes dinner
***Copies of Professor Cole’s new book will be on sale for 15 dollars – a 40% discount off the cover price


Read Full Post »

Remaining Steadfast After Ramadhan
by  Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan  
Original link:http://www.jannah.org/ramadan/32.html
Ahadeeth us-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adab

Sufyaan ibn `Abdillaah radhiallahu `anhu said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islaam, which I cannot ask anyone else besides you.” He said: “Say: ‘I believe in Allah’ and then be steadfast (upon that).” [Saheeh Muslim (38)]

The hadeeth is proof that the servant is obligated, after having eemaan in Allah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying Him by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion without drifting away from it, to the right or to the left.

If the Muslim lives through Ramadhaan and spent his days in fasting and his nights in prayer and he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allah at all times. This is the true state of the slave, for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever watchful and witnessing over his servants at all times.

Indeed, steadfastness after Ramadhaan and the rectification of one’s statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadhaan and striven in obedience. They are tokens of reception and signs of success.

Furthermore, the deeds of a servant do not come to an end with the end of a month and the beginning of another, rather they continue and extend until he reaches death. Allah says:

“And worship your Lord until the certainty (death) comes to you.” [al-Hijr: 99]

If the fasting of Ramadhaan comes to an end, then indeed the voluntary fasting is still prescribed throughout the entire year. If standing in prayer at night during Ramadhan comes to an end, then indeed, the entire year is a time for performing the night prayer. And if the Zakaat-ul-Fitr comes to an end, then there is still the Zakaah that is obligatory as well as the voluntary charity that lasts the whole year. This goes the same for reciting the Qur’aan and pondering over its meaning as well as every other righteous deed that is sought, for they can be done at all times. From the many bounties that Allah has bestowed upon his servants is that He has placed for them many different types of righteous acts and provided many means for doing good deeds. Therefore, the ardor and zeal of the Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in the service of his Lord.

It is unfortunate to find that some people perform worship by doing different types of righteous deeds during Ramadhaan. They guard strictly upon their five daily prayers in the masjid, they recite the Qur’aan a lot and they give in charity from their wealth. But when Ramadhaan comes to an end, they grow lazy in their worship Rather, sometimes they even abandon the obligations, both generally, such as praying in congregation, and specifically, such as praying the fajr prayer.

And they commit forbidden acts such as sleeping over the time of prayers, indulging in places of foolishness and entertainment, and mingling in parks, especially on the day of `Eed. Obtaining help from these evils is only through the grace of Allah. Thus, they demolish what they have constructed and destroy what they have established. This is an indication of deprivation and a sign of perdition. We ask Allah for His safeguarding and protection.

Indeed, this type of people take the example of turning in repentance and ceasing from committing evil deeds as something specific and restricted to the month of Ramadhaan. And they stop doing these (good) acts when the month stops. Thus, it is as if they have abandoned sinning for the sake of Ramadhaan, and not out of fear of Allah. How terrible is the state of these people, who do not know Allah, except in Ramadhaan!

Truly, the success that Allah grants His servant lies in the fasting of Ramadhaan. His assisting him to do that is a great favor, thus the calls for the servant to be grateful to his Lord. This understanding can be found in the statement of Allah after completing the favor of the month of fasting:

“(He wants that you) must complete the same number of days,
and that you must magnify Allah (by saying Allahu Akbar) for having guided you,
so that you may be grateful to Him.” [2:185]

The one who is grateful for having fasted, will remain upon that condition and continue to perform righteous deeds.

Verily, the true way of the Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for giving him the ability to fast and make qiyaam. His condition after Ramadhaan is better than it was before Ramadhaan. He is more receptive to obey, desiring to do good deeds and quick to enforce the obligatory acts. This is because he has gained benefit form this prominent institute of learning. It is that of one who fears for having his fast not accepted, for indeed Allah only accepts from those who fear Him.

The righteous predecessors would struggle to complete and perfect their deeds, hoping afterwards, that it would be accepted and fearing that it would be rejected. From the reports of `Alee, “Be more concerned with having your deeds accepted than the deed itself. Did you not hear Allah say: ‘Verily Allah, only accepts those from those who fear Him. (i.e. possess taqwaa).’ [5:27] “[Lataa’if ul Ma`aarif, p. 246]

`Aa’ishah said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah concerning the ayah: ‘And the one who are given what they are given and their hearts tremble with fear.’ Are they the ones who drink alcohol and steal?” He said: “No, O daughter of as-Siddeeq. Rather, they are the ones who fast and pray and give in charity yet fear that it won’t be accepted from them. They are the ones who rush to do good deeds and they are the first to do them.” [Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee 3/79-80]

So be warned and again be warned of turning backward after having attained guidance of going astray after persevering. And ask Allah to provide you with duration in doing righteous deeds and continuity in performing good acts. And ask Allah that He grant you a good end, so that He may accept our Ramadhaan from us.

Read Full Post »

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

  1. Verily, We sent it down in the night of al-Qadr.
  2. And what will make you know what the night of al-Qadr is?
  3. The night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.
  4. Therein descend the angels and the Spirit by their Lord’s permission with all Decrees.
  5. Peace! Until the appearance of dawn.

Allah, Most High informs us that He sent down the Qur’aan in the night of Al-Qadr, and it is the blessed night referred to in the Words of Him, Almighty, All-Powerful:

Verily, We sent it down in the night of Al-Qadr.

The night of Al-Qadr occurs in the month of Ramadhaan, as Allah says: The month of Ramadhaan in which the Qur’aan was sent down. (Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:185). Ibn `Abbaas, amongst others, explains that the complete Qur’aan was sent down from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet) in the night of Al-Qadr to Bait Al-`Izzah (the House of Glory) in the lowest heaven, from whence it was revealed piecemeal to the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam according to events which took place during his life over a period of twenty-three years. Then, Allah says, in order to make clear the greatness of the matter of the night of Al-Qadr, which He has chosen for sending down of the Noble Qur’aan:

And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.

It is narrated on the authority of Mujaahid that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa salam mentioned a man from Bani Israa’eel who carried his sword in the Way of Allah for a thousand months; the Muslims were amazed at this until Allah revealed: Verily, We sent it down in the night of Al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.” (i.e. the thousand months during which the man carried his sword in the Way of Allah). (Narrated by Ibn Abi Haatim)
Ibn Jareer narrates, on the authority of Mujaahid that there was a man from Bani Israa’eel who used to spend the night in prayer then in the morning he would fight the enemy in the Way of Allah during the day, until the evening and he did this for a thousand months and so Allah revealed the Soorah: Verily, We sent it down in the night of Al-Qadr until the verse: The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. That is, standing in prayer on that night is better than the actions of that man. Sufyaan ath-Thawree reports, on the authority of Mujaahid (also), that the night of Al-Qadr being better than a thousand months means that the good deeds performed on it, fasting on it and standing in prayer on it are better than a thousand months’ good deeds, prayers and fasting. (Narrated by Ibn Jareer)
Ibn Abi Haatim relates, on the authority of Mujaahid that it means: The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months without the night of Al-Qadr. This was also said by Qataadah ibn Da’aamah and Ash-Shaafi’i and others, including Ibn Jareer, and it is the correct interpretation and it is like the saying of the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam: “To spend the night in the Way of Allah is better than a thousand nights not spent in worship.” (Narrated by Ahmad)

Likewise, it is narrated that whoever goes to Friday prayers neatly-dressed, with a pure intention, it will be written for him the reward of a year’s good deeds, as if he had fasted on it and spent its nights in prayer and in other acts of worship.

It is reported from Abu Hurairah that he said: “When the month of Ramadhaan came, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “The month of Ramadhaan has come, a blessed month in which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast; in it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained. In it is a night better than a thousand months, whoever loses the benefit of it has lost something irreplaceable.” (Narrated by Imaam Ahmad. This was also narrated by An-Nasaa’i).
It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever stood in prayer on the night of Al-Qadr, in faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, he will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

Therein descend the angels and the Spirit

That is, innumerable angels descend with uncounted blessings and mercy, as they descend when the Qur’aan is recited and they surround those sitting in circles in remembrance of Allah and they lower their wings in the presence of the sincere seeker of knowledge in honour of him. As for the Spirit, it has been said that what is meant by it is the angel Jibreel `alayhis salaam and that he is mentioned thus to distinguish him from the other angels. It was also said that it means a group of angels, and Allah knows best. (see the Tafseer of Soorah An-Naba’, verse 38)

With all decrees

Sa’eed ibn Mansoor narrates, on the authority of Mujaahid, that it means the night is safe from the machinations of the devils, that they cannot commit evil or harm on it. Qataadah and others said it means that the Divine Decrees are issued at that night, the appointed time of everything is fixed and the blessings are apportioned, as in the words of Allah: Therein [that night] is decreed every matter of ordainments (Soorah ad-Dukhaan 44:4)

Peace! Until the appearance of dawn

Sa’eed ibn Mansoor narrates, on the authority of Ash-Sha’bi, that it means the angels send their salutations of peace upon those who are occupied in prayer in the mosques until the dawn. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “It is the night of twenty-seventh or the twenty-ninth and verily, the angels on that night are innumerable.” Al-A`amash says, on the authority of Abu Lailaa that the verse means that the whole night is goodness, therein is no evil – until the appearance of the dawn. This is supported by a narration on the authority of `Ubaadah ibn As-Saamit that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “The night of Al-Qadr is to be found in the last ten (nights of Ramadhaan), whoever stood in prayer during these nights, wishing for the reward of them will have his sins forgiven by Allah, both the earlier and the later; and it is the night of witr. (an uneven number). Nine, seven, five, three or the last night of it.” (Narrated by Imaam Ahmad).
It is narrated on the authority of Ibn `Abbaas radhiallahu `anhu that Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “It is a night of magnanimity and joy, neither very hot, nor very cold; and the sun of the morning following it is weak and red-coloured.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood At-Tayaalisi).
It is reported on the authority of Jaabir ibn `Abdillaah, that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Verily, I saw the night of Al-Qadr and then I was made to forget it, but it is (to be looked for) in the last ten nights, the night is clear and fine, neither hot nor cold as if there were a full moon and on this night, the devils do not go forth until the light of dawn.” (Narrated by Ibn Abi Haatim) Scholars have differed as to whether the night of Al-Qadr was extant for the communities which preceded that of Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam or whether it was specially designated for them. There are two schools of thought on this subject: Abu Mus’ab Ahmad ibn Abi Bakr az-Zuhri (d.42H) said that Maalik informed him that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam was shown the generations of old from mankind and it was as if the lifespans of his community were shorter, and so it was not possible to accomplish the same amount of deeds as those communities of old, who lived longer lives and so Allah gave him the night of Al-Qadr which is better than a thousand months. According to Maalik, this necessarily means that this community (of Muslims) has been specially favoured with the night of Al-Qadr. One of the Shaafi’i scholars said that it is the view of the majority of scholars of fiqh, and Allah knows best. The second view on this subject says that the night of Al-Qadr was given to the previous peoples as it was given to this community and the proof of this is the hadeeth which says that. (Ibn Katheer has not mentioned the hadeeth, however).
It is narrated that Abu Zarr radhiallahu `anhu asked the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam: “Oh, Messenger of Allah! Tell me about the night of Al-Qadr, is it in Ramadhaan, or another month?” He sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam replied: “No, it is in Ramadhaan.” (Narrated by Imaam Ahmad). He sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam also said: “…it is until they Day of Resurrection.” And, “Look for it in the last seven days of Ramadhaan and do not ask me any more about it.” (Narrated by An-Nasaa’i) – This hadeeth proves that the night of Al-Qadr is only to be looked for in the month of Ramadhaan and not, as has been attributed to Ibn Mas`ood radhiallahu `anhu by the scholars of Koofa, that it is to be looked for throughout the whole year without any distinction. In line with this, Abu Dawood wrote in his Sunan: “Chapter: – Evidence that the night of Al-Qadr is in every Ramadhaan.” He then went on to narrate on the authority of Ibn `Umar radhiallahu `anhu that he heard the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam being asked about the night of Al-Qadr; he replied: “It is in every Ramadhaan.” And all of the men in this sanad are thiqaat. (trustworthy) except that Abu Dawood said that the narration is mawqoof.

It was also said that the night of Al-Qadr is on the first night of Ramadhaan, and that it is on the seventeenth of Ramadhaan – this was a saying attributed to Ash-Shaafi’i and Abu Dawood narrated a hadeeth on the authority of Ibn Mas`ood radhiallahu `anhu and said that it was marfoo`, while Al-Hasan Al-Basree said that it is the night of the Battle of Badr, and it was said: The night of the nineteenth – this was attributed to `Ali and Ibn Mas`ood (may Allah be pleased with them both), and it was said: the twenty-first, according to the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri radhiallahu `anhu in which he said: “The Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam made his I`tikaaf in the first ten days of Ramadhaan and we made I’tikaaf with him, then Jibreel `alayhis salaam came to him and said: “That which you are in quest of is still ahead of you.” Then the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam addressed the people saying: “Whoever has made I`tikaaf with me, let him return, for I have seen the night of Al-Qadr and then was made to forget it; but verily, it is in the last ten days and on the odd days, and I saw myself as if I were prostrating in mud and water.” – the roof of the Prophet’s mosque was made from palm leaves and we could not see anything on the sky, but clouds came and it rained on us and the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam led us in prayer, until I could see the marks of rain and mud upon his forehead – a proof of what he had seen in his vision.” Another version has it that it occurred on the morning after the twenty-first; this is narrated by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim, and according to Ash-Shaafi`i, it is the most authentic narration. He (Ash-Shaafi`i) says, concerning these apparently contradictory reports: “The Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam when asked: “Should we search for it on such-and-such night?” would reply: “Yes.” (In order to encourage them to pray on the all last ten nights), but the night of Al-Qadr is a fixed night and does not change.” However, according to Ahmad, Ath-Thawri, Ibn Khuzaimah and others, it can occur any time on the uneven nights during the last ten days of Ramadhaan and this is closer to the truth, and Allah knows best.
Muslim reports that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam instructed `Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) to supplicate Allah saying: “Oh, Allah! You are Forgiving, You love forgiveness and so forgive me.” (Allahumma innaka `Afuwwun, tuhibbul `afwa, fa`fu `annee) At-Tirmizi, An-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah narrated the same thing. According to Maalik, one should look for the night of Al-Qadr throught the last ten days of Ramadhaan and one should try not to identify which is the night of Al-Qadr, but should intensify one’s devotions throughout. And the most preferred action is to increase one’s supplications during the whole month of Ramadhaan, more in the last ten days, more still on the odd days, and especially in the aforementioned words to `Aa’ishah by Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam.
It is narrated that Ka`b said: “Verily, whoever fasted the month of Ramadhaan resolving not to disobey Allah when he breaks his fast, will enter Paradise without reckoning or questioning.”

This is the end of the tafseer of Surah Al-Qadr, all praise is due to Allah, and from Him proceeds all Grace.

Read Full Post »

Bismillah AlRahman AlRaheem.


The Prophet, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam said, “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” (Tirmidhi)


One of the Sunnah we hope to see revived in our times by Muslim men and women is that of the I’tikaf which was a well-known practice of the Prophet, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam. Here in the west alhamdullillah many of the massajid have adequate room for men and women to make I’tikaf is a safe and proper way and so there is definitely a chance to enjoy this sweet act of worship.


I’tikaf is a Sunnah that takes devotion and time and it is something to help us progress from doing the obligatory acts of worship into the mustahabaat (recommended acts of worship) and we should always seek to do more and be like those righteous Muslims who do more in their worship.


The great taabi‘ (student of the Companions) Imam Al-Hasan al-Basri said, “Whoever competes with you in the Deen then try to surpass him (compete with him), and whoever competes with you in the matters of this life then throw it back at him (ignore him).


I`tikaf means to remain with something or to stick to something, whether good or bad, and to block out everything else.


Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Anbiya verse 52:


مَا هَذِهِ التَّمَاثِيلُ الَّتِي أَنتُمْ لَهَا عَاكِفُونَ


“What then are idols that you pay devotion (akifun from I’tikaf) to them?” — that is, what they devoted themselves to in worship.


This is the aiyah Ali ibn Abi Talib radhi ullahu anhu once reminded a group of people he saw engaged in a chess game.


What is meant here is the seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of becoming closer to Allah.


Even though it is an act, which is done to get closer to Allah, there is no sound hadith

concerning its merits. Imam Abu Dawood states: “I said to Ahmad, ‘Are you aware of anything concerning the virtues of I`tikaf?’ He answered: ‘No, except for some weak (reports).'”


Narrated Abdullah bin Umar: “Allah’s Messenger used to practise I’tikaf in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan.” (AlBukhari)


I’tikaf is a great practice when one can sit in the masjid and focus on their worship – they can make prayers, read Quraan, make dhikrullah, call the adhaan for the prayer and so on.


As the Prophet, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam said, “The closest a person is to His Lord is when he is in prostration (sujood ).” (Muslim)


The best act to do in I’tikaf is praying except in Masjid Al-Haram in which tawaf would be the most noble act of worship to engage in. Allah subhanu wa ta ala says in Surah AlBaqarah verse 125,


أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ


“purify My House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it (tawaf), or staying ( I’tikaf), or bowing (ruku ) or prostrating (sujood) themselves (there, in prayer).”



I’tikaf is a time when one can be sure to engage only in positive and beneficial speech and try to avoid any vain or evil speech or any sinful conversations because the Muslim male or female in I’tikaf will remember that our Prophet, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam told us, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day then let him speak only good or remain silent.” (AlBukhari)


Narrated ‘Aisha (the wife of the Prophet and the mother of the believers): “The Prophet used to practice i’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he died and his wives used to practice i’tikaf after him.” (AlBukhari)


Ibn Al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’ad that the I’tikaf of the Prophet, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam was “moderate and not harsh”.


Narrated Abu Huraira: “The Prophet used to perform I’tikaf every year in the month of Ramadan for ten days, and when it was the year of his death, he stayed in I’tikaf for twenty days.” (AlBukhari)


Some scholars say he did twenty days because he knew his death was near and he wanted to increase in good deeds and some say it may have been because he traveled much the year before and was unable to do more I’tikaf the previous year. In any case, it is confirmed that the Prophet, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam did twenty days the year before his death.


Some of the people in these times may feel that I’tikaf is too much. There are so many other Sunnan we can observe and so many other deeds for us to do that are easier and that may be true but this is a virtuous act   and they should consider the words of Allah subhanu wa ta ala


إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدْخِلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤاً وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ


“Indeed Allaah will enter those who believe and do righteous and correct actions into Paradise, beneath which rivers flow. Wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments will be made of silk.” (Surah al-Hajj 22:23)


And the best example for us to follow when considering our worship is that of Rasulillah and his companions, and the scholars and righteous Muslims throughout the ages.


Fatima, the wife of the `Umar ibn `Abdil-Aziz said, “I have never seen a person offering a salah or fasting more than he did, or a person fearing the Lord more than him. After offering the Isha prayer, he would sit down and cry until he becomes sleepy, then he would wake up again and continue crying until sleep overtakes him.”


It was said by Abul-Mawahib ibn Sarsari said concerning the great Maliki scholar, Imam Abul-Qasim ibn Asakir , “I have never seen the like of him, and none had encompassed as many good characteristics as he did concerning his adherence to one way for forty years, making salah in the first row unless he had an excuse, i`tikaf during Ramadan and the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and the lack of desire to accumulate properties and build houses, as he forbade himself these.   He turned away any position of imam or speaker, though they were offered to him, and he devoted himself to enjoin good and forbid evil, and he would not fear anyone in that.”


Ustadh Muhammad Alshareef explained in his fiqh ul-ibadah class regarding I’tikaf: “The Prophet, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam would make I’tikaf in a tent which Aisha radhi ullahu anha would setup for him and he would not leave the masjid except to go relieve himself in his home which was right next to the masjid.”


Most of the massajid nowadays usually have proper bathrooms right next to the masjid and so one would not have to leave to go home most probably and most people do not have a home as close to the masjid as Rasulillah’s was.


Ustadh Muhammad continues, “In the modern day, one should not leave I’tikaf to go to an iftar party or to a corner store to buy groceries and so on. I’tikaf is only to be made in the masjid for both men and women (this will be discussed more in a following post). The one making I’tikaf should make prayers, or tawaf if he is in the masjid al-Haram , and rukoo and sujood as Allah says in the Quran, and dhikr and so on. The person should seek layla tul-Qadar, especially in the last ten nights of Ramadan from the nineteenth onwards. I’tikaf is not a slumber party or a time when people should engage in excessive talking or socializing or become tempted even by the people who visit the masjid.”


Ibn AlQayyim said, “When he was in i’tikaf, the Prophet, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam did not (even) visit the sick or attend funerals. This was so that he could concentrate fully on conversing with Allah and achieving the purpose of i’tikaf, which is to cut oneself off from people and turn to Allah.”



‘Aisha said: The Sunnah is for the person in i’tikaf not to visit the sick or attend

funerals, or to be intimate with his wife. But there is nothing wrong with his going out for

essential needs. (Abu Dawood)


“…or to be intimate with his wife” means intercourse. This was stated by al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar.


So if the person in I’tikaf is not to engage in some of the acts that are ordinarily halal and even recommended such as visiting the sick, attending funerals and being intimate with your own wife, the imagine the position towards engaging in vain and wasteful acts such as idle talk, gossip, joking, and leaving to attend things which are not essential or necessary.


Shaykh A’id Al-Qarni says in Thirty Lessons for those who Fast, “Among his practices also was that of retreat and seclusion during the last ten days of Ramadan. The Prophet did this in order to attune his heart ever more with Allah and to free his mind from the concerns of the world. The gaze of his heart thus became entirely focused in the heavens.”


The worshipped becomes free from the concerns of the world and his focus and engagement is fully upon his worship and seeking the hereafter!


Shaykh A’id continues, “During this time, he limited his contacts with people and intensified his supplication and prayers to Allah, the Lord of all Majesty and Glory. His heart, therefore, indulged purely in the contemplation of Allah’s attributes and qualities.”


Ibn Al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’ad: “All of this (which Rasulillah did in I’tikaf) to achieve the spirit and purpose of i’tikaaf, and is the opposite of what the ignorant do, whereby the place of i’tikaaf becomes a place of gathering and meeting with people and chatting to them. This is one thing, and i’tikaaf as observed by the Prophet salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam is something else.


The best example is that of the Prophet Muhammad, salallahu alaihee wa aalihee wa salam and we hope to experience and revive his blessed Sunnah for following his Sunnah is the only way to achieving true success.


Written and Prepared By: Irtiza Hasan

Read Full Post »