miercuri, 4 mai 2011

Bilaal Ibn Rabaah

Bilaal Ibn Rabaah
Sneering at Horror!

Whenever Umar Ibn Al Khattaab mentioned Abu Bakr he would say, " Abu Bakr is our master and the emancipator of our master." That is to say, Bilaal.

Indeed, the man whom Umar would give the agnomen " Our Master" must be a great and fortunate man. However, this man - who was very dark in complexion, slender, very tall, thick- haired and with a sparse beard, as described by the narrators - would hardly hear words of praise and commendation directed at him and bestowed bountifully upon him without bending his head, lowering his eyelids and saying with tears flowing down his two cheeks, " Indeed, I am an Abyssinian . Yesterday I was only a slave!"

So who is this Abyssinian who was yesterday only a slave? He is Bilaal Ibn Rabaah, the announcer of the time of Muslim prayer and the troublemaker to the idols. He was one of the miracles of faith and truthfulness, one of Islam's great miracles. For out of every ten Muslims, from the beginning of Islam until today and until Alah wills, we will meet seven , at least, who know Bilaal. That is, there are hundreds of millions of people throughout the centuries and generations who know the two greatest Caliphs in Islam, Abu Bakr and Umar!

Even if you ask a child who is still in his first years of primary school in Egypt, Pakistan, Malaysia, or China, in the two Americas, Europe, or Russia, in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran or Sudan, in Tunis, Algeria, or Morroco, in the depth of Africa and in the mountains of Asia, in every place on the earth where Muslims reside, you can ask any Muslim child, " Who is Bilaah, child?" He will answer you, " He was a muezzin of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blesssing of Allah be upon him, and he was the slave whose master used to torture him with hot burning stones to make him apostatize. But instead he said: 'One, One.'

Whenever you consider this enduring fame that Islam bestowed upon Bilaal, you should know that before Islam this Bilaal was no more than a slave who tended herds of camels for his master for a handful of dates. Had it not been for Islam, it would have been his fate to remain slave, wandering among the crowd until death brought an end to his life and caused him to perish in the profoundest depths of forgetfulness.

However, his faith proved to be true, and the magnificence of the religion which he believed in gave him, during his lifetime and in history, an elevated place among the great and holy men in Islam. Indeed, many human beings of distinction, prestige , or wealth have not obtained even one -tenth of the immortality which Bilaah the Abyssinian slave gained. Indeed, many historical figures were not conferred even a portion of the fame which has been bestowed upon Bilaal.

Indeed, the black color of his complexion, his modest contemptible position among people as a slave did not deprive him, when he chose to embrace Islam, of occupying the high place which his truthfulness, certainty, purity, and self-sacrifice qualified him for. For him, all this would nat have been on scale of estimation and honor except as an astonishing occurence when greatness is found where it could not possibly be.

People thought that a slave like Bilaal- who descended from strange roots, who had neither kinfolk nor power, who did not possess any control over his life but was himself a possession of his master who had bought him with his money, who came and went amid the sheep, camels, and other livestock of his master - they thought that such a human creature would neither have power over anything, nor become anything. But he went beyond all expectations and possessed great faith that no one like him could possess! He was the first muezzin of the Messenger and of Islam, a position which was aspired to by all the masters and nobles of the Quraish who embraced Islam and followed the Messenger of Allah,peace and blesssing of Allah be upon him . Yes, Bilaal Ibn Rabaah.
Oh, what valor and greatness are expressed by these three words- Bilaal Ibn Rabaah!

He was an Abyssinian from the black race. His destiny made him a slave of some people of the tribe of Jumah in Makkah, where his mother was one of their slave girls. He led the life of a slave whose bleak days were alike and who had no right over his day and no hope for his tomorrow.

The news of Muhammad's, PBUH, call began and reached his ears when people in Makkah began to talk about it and when he began listening to the discussions of his master and his guests, especially of the Bani Jumah, of which Bilaal was one of the slaves. How often did he hear Umayah talking to his friends for some time and some persons of his tribe. Many times they talked about the Messenger with words that were overflowing with anxiety, rage and malice!

Bilaal, on the other hand, was receiving between those words of insane fury and rage the attributes of this new religion. He began to feel that they were new qualities for the environment which he lived in. He was also able to receive during their threatening, thunderous talks their acknowledgement of Muhammad's nobility, truthfulness and loyalty. Yes, indeed he heard them wondering and amazed at what Muhammad came with. They said to one another, "Muhammad was never a liar, magician, or mad, but we have to describe him this way until we turn away from him those who rush to his religion."

He heard them talking about his honesty and loyalty, about his manliness and nobility, and about his purity and composure of his intelligence. He heard them whispering about the reasons which caused them to challenge and antagonize him: first, their allegiance to the religion of their fathers; second, their fear over the glory of the Quraish which was bestowed upon them because of their religious status as a center of idol worship and resort in the whole of the Arabian Peninsula; third, the envy of the tribe of Bani Haashim that anyone from them should claim to be a prophet or a messenger.

One day Bilaal Ibn Rbaah recognized the light of Allah and heard His resonance in the depths of his good soul. So he went to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and converted to Islam. It did not take long before the news of his embracing Islam was spread. It was a shock to the chiefs of the Bani Jumah, who were very proud and conceited. The devils of the earth sat couched over the breast of Umayah Ibn Khalaf, who considered the acceptance of Islam by one of his slaves a blow that overwhelmed them with shame and disgrace.

Their Abyssinian slave converted to Islam and followed Muhammad. Umaah said to himself, " It does no matter. Indeed the sun this day shall not set but with the Islam of this stray slave." However, the sun never did set with the Islam of Bilaal, but it set one day with all the idols of the Quraish and the patrons of paganism among them.

As for Bilaal, he adopted an attitude that would honor not only Islam, even though Islam was more worthy of it, but also all humanity. He resisted the harshest kind of torture like all pious great men. Allah made him an example of the fact that blackness of skin and bondage would not decry the greatness of the soul if it found its faith, adhered to its Creator, and clung to its right.

Bilaal gave a profound lesson to those of his age and every age, for those of his religion and every religion, a lesson which embraced the idea that freedom and supremacy of conscience could not be bartered either for gold or punishment, even if it filled the earth. He was stripped naked and laid on hot coals to make him renounce his religion, but he refused.

The Messenger (PBUH) and Islammade this weak Abyssinian slave a teacher to all humanity in the art of respecting conscience and defending its freedom and supremacy. They used to take him out in the midday heat when the desert turned to a fatal hell. Then they would throw him naked on its scorching rocks and bring a burnng hor rock, which took several men to lift from its place, and throw it onto his body and chest. This savage torture was repeated every day until the hearts of some executioners took pity on him. Finally, they agreed to set him free on condition that he would speak well of their gods, even with only one word that would allow them to keep their pride so that the Quraish would not say they had been defeated and humiliated by the resistence of their persevering slave.

But even this one word , which he could eject from outside his heart and with it buy his life and soul without losing his faith or abandoning his conviction, Bilaal refused to say. Yes, he refused to say it and began to repeat his lasting chant instead: "One...One!"

His torturers shouted at him, imploring him, " Mention the name of Al Laat and Al Uzzaa." But he answered, " Ahadun Ahad! (One, One)". They said to him, " Say as we say." But he answered them with remarkable mockery and caustic irony, "Indeed my tongue is not good at that."

So Bilaal remained in the melting heat and under the weight of the heavy rock, and by sunset they raised him up and put a rope around his neck. Then they ordered their boys to take him around the mountains and streets of Makkah. And Bilaal's tongue did not mention anything other than his holy chant, " One....One."

When the night overtook them, they began bargaining with him, "Tomorrow, speak well of our gods, say, 'My lord is Al Laat and Al Uzzaa', and we'll leave you alone. We are tired of torturing you as if we are the tortured ones." But he shook his head and said, " One...One." So, Umayah Ibn Khalaf kicked him and exploded with exasperating fury, and shouted, "What bad luck has thrown you upon us, O, slave of evil? By Al Laat and Al Uzzaa, I'll make you an example for slaves and masters." But Bilaal answered with the holy greatness and certainty of a believer, "One...One." And he who was assigned to play the role of a sympathizer returned to talking and bargaining. He said: " Take it easy, Umayah. By Al Laat, he will not be totured again. Indeed Bilaal is one of us, his mother is our slave girl. He will not be pleased to talk about and ridicule us because of his Islam." But Bilaal gazed at their lying cunning faces, and his mouth slackened like the light of dawn. He said with calmness that shook them violently, " One...One."

It was the next day and midday approached. Bilaal was taken to the sun-baked ground. He was patient, brave, firm, and expecting the reward in the Hereafter.

Abu Bakr As Siddiiq went to them while they were torturing him and shouted at them, "Are you killing a man because he says, 'Allah is my Lord?' Then he shouted at Umayah Ibn Khalaf, " Take more than his price and set him free." It was as if Umayah were drowning and had caught a lifeboat. It was to his liking and he was very much pleased when he heard Abu Bakr offering the price of his freedom, since they had despaired of subjugating Bilaal.Ans as they were merchants, they realized that selling him was more profitable to them than his death.

They sold him to Abu Bakr, and then he emancipated him immediately, and Bilaal took his place among free men. When As Siddiiq put his arm round Bilaal, rushing with him to freedom, Umayah said to him, " Take him, for by Al Laat ana Al Uzzaa if you had refused to buy him except for one ounce of gold, I would have sold him to you." Abu Bakr realised the bitterness of despair and disappointment hidden in these words. It was appropriate not to answer, but because they viloated the dignity of this man who had become his brother and his equal, he answered Umayah saying, "By Allah, if you had refused to sell him except for a hundred ounces, I would paid it." He departed with his companion to the Messenger of Alah, (PBUH), giving him news of his liberation, and there was a great celebration.

After the Hijrah of the Messenger (PBUH) and the Muslims to Al Madinah and their settling there, the Messenger instituted the Adhaan. So who would become the muezzin five times a day? Who would call across distant lands, "Allah is the Greatest" and "There is no god but Allah"?

It was Bilaal, who had shouted thirteen years before while the torture was destrying him, " Allah is One....One." He was chosen by the Messenger that day to be the first muezzin in Islam. With his melodious soul-stirring voice, he filled the hearts with faith and the ears with awe when he called:

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Come to Prayer, Come to Prayer

Come to Succes, Come to Succes

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest

There is no god but Allah.

Fighting broke out between the Muslims and the army of the Quraish who came to invade Al Madiinah. The war raged fiercely and terribly while Bilaal was there attacking and moving about in the first battle. Islam was plunged into the Battle of Badr, whose motto the Messenger (PBUH= ordered to be, "One....One."

In this battle , the Quraish sacrificed their youth and all their noblemen to their destruction. Umayah Ibn Khalaf, who had been Bilaal's master and who used to torture him with deadly brutality was about to retreat from fighting. But his friend Uqbah Ibn Abu Mu'iit went to him when he heard the news of his withdrawal, carrying a censer in his right hand. He threw the censer between his hands and said to him, " O, Abu Aliy, use this. You are one of the women." But Umayah shouted at him saying, " May Allah make you and what you came with ugly!" And he did not find a way out , so he went out to fight.

What other secrets does destiny conceal and unfold? Uqbah had been the greatest suporter of Umayah in the torture of Bilaal and other weak muslims. And on that day, he himself was the one who urged him to go to the Battle of Badr where he would die, just as it would be the place where Uqbah would die! Umayah had been one of the shirkers from war. Had it not been for what Uqbah did to him, he would not have gone out fighting.

But Allah executes His command. So let Umayah go out, because there was an old account between him and one of the slaves of Allah. It was time to settle it. The Judge never dies. As you owe, you shall be owed to.

Indeed destiny would be very much pleased to mock the tyrants.Uqbah, whose provocations Umayah used to listen to and follow his desire to torture the innocent believers, was the same person who would lead Umayah to his death. By the hand of whom? By the hand of Bilaal himself and Bilal alone! he same hands that Umayah used to chain and whose owner he beat and tortured. Those very hands were on that day, in the Battle of Badr, on a rendezvous that destiny had set the best time for, with the torture of the Quraish who had humiliated the believers unjustly and aggresively. That is what really happend.

When the fighting began between the two sides, and the side of the Muslims shouted the motto,"One....One!", the heart of Umayah was stratled, and a warning came to him. The word which his slave used to repeat yesterday under the torture and horror became today the motto of a whole religion and of a whole new nation.

"One...One" Is it so? With this quickness? And with this rapid growth?

The swords clashed in the battle and the fighting became severe. As the battle neared its end, Umayah Ibn Khalaf noticed Abd Ar Rahman Ibn Awf, the Companion of the Messenger of Allah. He sought refuge with him and asked to be his captive, hoping to save his life. Abd Ar Rahman accepted his supplication and granted him refuge. Then he took him and walked with him amidst the battle to the place where captives were held.

On the way Bilaal noticed him and shouted, " The head of kufr (disbeliever), Umayah Ibn Khalaf! May I not saved if he is saved!" He lifted up his sword to cut off the head which was all the time full of pride and arrogance. But Abd Ar Rahman shouted at him, " O, Bilaal, he is my captive!" A captive while the war was still raging? A captive while his sword was still dripping blood because of what he had been doing just moments before to the bodies of the Muslims? No! In Bilaal's opinion, there was an irony and abuse of the mind, and Umaa had scoffed and abused the mind enough. He scoffed until there was no irony remaining for such a day, such a dilemma, and such a fate!

Bilaal realized that he would not be able alone to storm the sanctuary of his brother in faith, Abd Ar Rahman Ibn Awf. So he shouted at the top of his voice to the Muslims, " O, helpers of Allah! The head of kufr, Umayah Ibn Khalaf! May I not be saved if he is saved!" A band of muslims approached with swords dripping blood. They surrounded Umayah and his son, who was fighting with the Quraish. Abd Ar Rahman could not do anything. He could not even protect his armor which the crowd removed. Bilaal gazed long at the body of Umayah, who fell beneath the smashing swords. Then he hstened away from him shouting: " One....One."

I do not think it is our right to examine the virtue of leniency in Bilaal on this occasion. If the meeting between Bilaal and Umayah had taken place in other circumstances, we would have been allowed to ask Bilaal for leniency, and a man like him in faith and piety would not have withheld it. But the meeting which took place between them was in a war, where each party came to destroy his enemy.

The days went by and Makkah was conquered. The Messenger (PBUH) entered it, thankful and saying:" Allah is the Greatest", at the head of 10,000 Muslims. He headed for the Kabah immediately, this holy place which the Quraish had crowded with idols amounting to the number of days of the year. " The truth has come and falsehood has vanished."

Ever since that day, there has been no Uzzaa, no Laat and no Hubal (idols). Man will not bow to a rock or idol after today. People will worship no one with all his conscience but Allah, Who has no likeness, the One, Most Great, Most High. The Messenger entered the Ka'bah accompanied by Bilaal. He had hardly entered it when he faced a carved idol representing Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH) prophesying with sticks.

The Messenger (PBUH) was angry and said: " May Allah kill them. Our ancestor never did prophesy with sticks. Ibraahiim was not a Jew or Christian, but he was a true Muslim and was never a polytheist. " Then ordered Bilaal to ascend to the top of the masjid (mosque) and call to Prayer, and Bilaal called the Adhaan. How magnificent was the time , place and occasion!

Life came to a standstill in Makkah, and thousands of Muslims stood like motionless air, repeating in submissiveness and whispering the words of the Adhaan after Bilaal while the polytheists were in their homes hardly believing what was happening.

Is this Muhammad (PBUH) and his poor followers who were expelled yesterday from their homes? Is this really he, with 10,000 of his believers? Is this really he whom we chased away, fought and killed his most beloved kin and relations? Is this really he who was speaking to us a few minutes ago while our necks were at his mercy, saying, " Go, you are free!" ?

But three nobles of the Quraish were sitting in the open space in front of the Ka'bah, as if they were touched by the scene of Bilaal treading their idols with his feet and sending above its heaped wreckage his voice with the Adhaan, spreading to all the horizons of Makkah, like a passing spring. These three were Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb, who had embraced Islam only few hours ago, and Attaab Ibn Usaid and Al Haarith Ibn Hisham , who had not yet embraced Islam.

Attaab, with his eyes on Bilaal crying out the Adhaan, said," Allah has honores Usaid in that he did not hear this, or else he would have heard what would infuriate him." Al Haarith said " By Allah, if I were sure that Muhammad is telling the truth, I would follow him. " Abu Sufyan, the old fox, commented on their speech saying, "I am not saying a word , for if I do, these stones will inform him about me."

When the Prophet (PBUH) left the Ka'bah he saw them, read their faces instantly, and said with his eyes shining with the Light of Allah and the joy of victory, " I know what you've said," and he told them what they said.

Al Haarith and Attaab shouted, "We bear witness tht you are the Messenger of Allah. By Allah, no one heard us , so we can't say somebody informed you!"

And they welcomed Bilaal with new hearts, which enclosed the echo of the words which they had heard in the Messenger's speech just after he entered Makkah. "O, people of Quraish, Allah has removed from you the arrogance of preislamic paganism, and its boasting about forefathers. People are descended from Adam, and Adam was from dust."

Bilaal lived with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), witnessing all the battles with him, calling to Prayer and observing the rites of this great religion that took him out of darkness to light and from servitude to freedom. The stature of Islam along with the stature of Muslims was elevated. Every day Bilaal was getting closer to the heart of the Messenger of Allah, who used to describe him as one " of the inhabitants of Paradise."

But Bilaal remained just as he was, noble and humble, always considering himself " the Abyssinian who only yesterday was a slave." One day he was proposing to two girls for himself and his brother, so he said to their father, "I am Bilaal and this is my brother, two slaves from Abyssinia. We were astray and Allah guided us. Wew were two slaves and Allah emancipated us. If you agree on us marrying your daughters, all praise is to Allah; if u refuse, then Allah is the Greatest."


* *

The Messenger passed away to Allah, well pleased and well pleasing, and Abu Bakr As Siddiiq took the command of the Muslims after him. Bilaal went to the caliph (successor) of the Messenger of Allah and said to him, " O Caliph of the Messenger of Allah, I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say, 'The best deed of a believer is jihaad in the cause of Allah.'

Abu Bakr said to him, 'So what do you want, Bilaal?' He said: 'I want to defend in the cause of Allah until I die.' Abu Bakr said, "And who will call the Adhan for us?" Bilaal said, with his eyes overflowing with tears, "I will not call the Adhaan for anyone after the Messenger of Allah." Abu Bakr said, "Stay and call to Prayer for us, Bilaal." Bilaal said, "If u emancipated me to be for u, I will do what u want, but if u emancipated me for Allah, leave me to Whom I was emancipated for." Abu Bakr said, " I emancipated u for Allah, Bilaal."

His melodious , welcoming, awe-inspiring voice did not call the Adhaan any moore, because whenever he uttered in his Adhan, " I bear witness that Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of Allah!, memories would stir him, and his voice would vanish under his sadness while the tears cried out the words.

Bilaal died in Syria, fighting in the cause of Allah just as he had wanted. Beneath the dust of Damascus, today there lies the body of one of the greatest human kind in standing up for the creed of Islam with conviction.

-to be continue, inshaAllah-

miercuri, 2 februarie 2011

Dangers in home part III

# Getting used to having servants has created dependency and negative character traits

Some women may include having a servant as a condition in their marriage contract; others may plan on bringing their family's servant with them when they get married. Thus our daughters have lost ability to deal independently with anything in the home, no matter how small it is.

When women brought servants into their homes, they start to have alot of free time and do not know what to do with it. So some women begin to sleep a lot, and some are never home because they are always going to gatherings where they gossip and backbite and waste their time. The result will be regret on The Day of Resurrection.

#Harm comes to the members of the family n different ways, for example:

* Witchcraft and magic, which can cause separation of husband and wife, or cause physical harm.

* Damage to the family's reputation. How many decent homes have been turned into dens of immorality and corruption in the absence of their owners. You must surely have heard of female servants who receive men when the homeowners are absent.

# The freedom of men ( those who fear Allah) within their own homes is restricted,

* As is also the case for those who try to call their families to put things in order.

# Women end up being alone with drivers

* In the house or car, and women do not refrain from going out wearing adornments and perfume in front of their drivers. They act as if he is one of their mahrams or even closer, and because they go out with them so often and talk to them so much, the psychological barrier is broken down and so forbidden things are done. The frequency of such incidents in our society demonstrates to those who have the eyes to see just how serious the matter is.

# Bringing servants and drivers from all sorts of kafir nations clearly goes against the Prophets specific orders that kuffar (disbelievers) should not be allowed into the Arabian Peninsula.

* There is absolutely no need to do this, as it is possible to bring Muslims in if there is a need to workers. Added to this is the fact that employing kafirs strengthens the economies of kafir nations, as the employees transfer their salaries to their homelands, whereas Muslims should have priority in this matter. By mixing so much with these kuffar, Muslims can no longer see the difference, which gradually destroys the concept of alwala' wa'l-bara (loyalty and alegiance vs. enmity and disavowal) in their minds. Added to this is the ugly role played by some agency owners who have no fear of Allah, who will tell you that there are no Muslims employees. Or they may engage in deceit and trickery, so that after a driver or the maid servant described as a Muslim in official papers, arrive, the head of the household discovers that this is a lie, or the new employee may be playing a role that started in his country of origin, where the agency taught him a few Islamic words so that he can pose as a Muslim in front of the family that employs him.

sâmbătă, 22 ianuarie 2011


Praise be to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own selves and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides cannot be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray cannot be guided. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

Putting things right in the home is a great trust and huge responsability which every Muslim man and woman should undertake as Allah commands. They should run the affairs of their homes in accordance with the rules set out by Allah. One of the ways of achieving this is by ridding the home of evil things. The following cautions aims to highlight some evil things that actually happen in some homes and that have become tools of destruction for the nests in which the future generations of the Muslim Ummah are being raised.

This brief paper highlights some of these evil things , explaining about some haram - unlawful, forbbiden - things in order to warn about them. It is a gift to every seeker of truth who is looking for methods of change and reform, so that he or she can implement the command of the Messenger of Allah, salallahu aleihi wa salam:

"Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by taking action), and if he cannot, then with his tongue ( by speaking out), and if he cannot, then with his heart ( by feeling that it is wrong) and that is the weakest of faith." (Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh, 1/69)

Allah is the Guide to the Straight Path.


ADVICE: Beware of allowing non-mahram relatives to meet the wife in the home when husband is absent

Some homes are not free of the presence of relatives of the husband who are not mahram for the wife, who may be living in his home with him because of some social circumstances, such as his brothers who may be students or single. These relatives enter the home without anyone raising an eyebrow, because they are known in the neighbourhood as being relatives of the head of the household, his brothers or nephews or uncles. This relaxed attitude could generate a lot of evil which will earn the wrath of Allah if is not controlled and brought within the limits set by Allah. The basic principle in this matter is the hadith of the Prophet, salallahu aleihi wa salam,
"Beware of entering house of (non mahram)* women. A man from among the Ansar said, "O, Messenger of Allah, what do you think about the brother-in-law (husband`s brother) ?" He said: " The brother-in-law (of the wife) is death! **

*Mahram means relatives with whom marriage is forbidden. A relationship by marriage or close blood ties that permanently prohibits marriage between two people.

** Fath al-Bari, 9/330.

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: " What is reffered to in this hadith is the husband`s relatives apart from his father and his sons , because those are mahrams for his wife and can be alone with her, so they are not described as death. What is reffered to here is his brother, nephew, uncle and cousin, and others who she would be permitted to marry if she were not already married. Usually people take the matter lightly with regard to these relatives, so a brother may be alone with his brother`s wife. Thus he is likened to death, when he should be prevented from being alone with her more than a stranger should." ***

The phrase "brother-in-law is death", has a number of meanings , such as:

# That being alone with the brother-in-law may lead to spiritual destruction if sin is commited;

# It may lead to death if adultery is commited and the punishment of stoning is carried out on her;

# It may lead to the woman`s destruction if her husband leaves her because his jealousy leads him to divorce her;

# It may mean, beware of being alone with a non-mahram woman just as you are beware of death;

# It may mean that being alone with a nonmahram woman is as bad as death;

# It is said that it means , let the brother-in-law die rather than be alone with a non-mahram woman.

All of this stem from the concern of Islam to preserve families and households, and to prevent the tools of destruction reaching them in the first place. Having learned what the Prophet, salallahu aleihi wa salam, said,

"What do you think now of those husbands who tell their wives, If my brother comes and I am not here, let him into the sitting room, or a wife who tells a guest, Go into the sitting room , when there is no one else present in the house?"

To those who raise the issue of trust as an excuse, saying I trust my wife, and I trust my brother, or my cousin, we say: your trust is all well and good, and you should not be suspicious when you have no cause to do so, but you should know that the hadith of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa salam,

"No man is alone with non-mahram woman, but the Shaytan- Satan- is the third one present with them." (Reported by Tirmidhi, 1171)

-includes the most pious of people as well as the most corrupt. Islam does not exempt anyone from such rulings.


Whilst writing these few lines, we heard about a problematic situation in which, to cut a long story short, a man married a woman and brought her to live in his family home, where she lived happily with him. Then his younger brother began to meet her when her husband was absent, and talk to her in a romantic manner. This resulted in two things: firstly, she began to dislike her husband intensely, and secondly, she fell in love with his brother. But she was not able to divorce her husband, nor was she able to do what she wanted with the other man. This is the grievous penalty. This story illustrates one level of corruption, beyond which there are many more which culminate in the immoral action ( zina/ adultery, fornication) and the birth of illegitimate children.

Advice: Segregating men and women in family visits

Man is naturally gregarious and sociable; he needs friends and friendships entail visiting one another.

When there are visits between families, we should block the path of evil by not mixing. One of the indications that mixing is haram - unlawful - is the ayah - verse:

"...And when you ask his wives for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts..." (Qur`an 33:53)

If we were to look for the evil results of mixing during family visits, we would find many objectionable things, such as:

1. In most cases the hijab -veil, covering - of women in these mixed gatherings is non-existent or is no proper, so a woman may display her beauty before someone in front of whom it is not permisible for her to uncover any part of her body. Allah says:
"And not to show off their adornment..."
(Qur`an 24:31)

- It may happen that a woman adorns herself for strangers in a mixed gathering in a way that she never does for her husband.

2. Men seeing women in mixed gathering may lead to moral and religious corruption and sensual provocations.

3. The spouses may argue and ignore one another in an alarming fashion, when one looks at or winks at another man`s wife, or laughs and jokes with her, and she with him. After a couple returns home, the settling of scores begins:

Man: Why did u laugh at what so and so said, when he did not say anything funny?

Woman: Ad why did you wink at so and so?

Man: When he spoke, you understood him quickly, but you do not understand what I say at all!

Thus they trade accusations and the matter ends in enmity and even divorce.

4. Some men and women may regret their luck in marriage, when a man compares his wife to his friend`s wife, or a woman compares her husband to her friend`s husband. A man may say to himself: So and so talks and answers questions she is well educated and my wife is ignorant, she has no education and a woman may say to herself, So and so is so lucky! Her husband is smart and eloquent, and my husband is so boring and speaks without thinking. This spoils the marital relationship or leads to bad treatament.

5. Some people may show off to one another by pretending to have things that they don`t really have. So a man may issue instructions to his wife in front of other men and pretend that he has a strong personality, but when he is alone with her at home he is like a tame pussycat. A woman may borrow gold and wear it so that the other people may see that she has such and such. But the Prophet, peca and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

"The one who shows off with something that does not belong to him is like one who wears a garment of falsehood." (Fath al-Bari, 9/317)

6. These late-night mixed gatherings result in wasting time , sins of the tongue, and leaving small children home alone (so that they do not disturb the evening with their cries!)

7. These late-night mixed gatherings may even develop to the extent of involving many kinds of major sins, such as drinking wine and gambling, especially among so-called upper classes or posh society. One of the major sins that occur during these gatherings is following the kuffar - non-believers - and imitating them in fashions and various customs. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, said, "Whosoever imitates a people is one of them."

ADVICE: Beware of the dangers of having (male) drivers and (female) servants in the home

# Striving to ward off evil is a religious duty, and closing the doors of evil and fitnah (temptations) is one of the priorities of shari`ah.

A lot of fitna and sin has come to us through servants and drivers, but many people do not pay attention to this, and if they do notice it, they do not take it seriously. A person may be stung repeatedly from the same place, but he does not feel the pain, or he may hear of a disaster that happened near his own home, but he does not learn from it. This stems from weak faith and the failure to feel that Allah is near, failings that affect the hearts of many people in the modern age. We will briefly explain the bad effects or having servants and drivers in the home, so that it will be a reminder to the one who has the eyes to see or who wants to follow the right path in his own home.

Having female servants in the home presents men, especially young ones, with fitnah and temptations, through their adornment and being alone with them. We hear so many stories, one after another, of some youth being led astray, and the reason for this is that the servant met a young man, or a young man took advantage of the fact that no one else was home and met the servant. Some young men have told their families frankly about what happened, and the families did not respond; in other cases the family may have discovered something, but their response was bereft of any sesnse of honour or jealousy.

"O, Yusuf! Turn away from this! [O, woman!]Ask forgiveness for your sin. Verily, you were of the sinful."

(Qur`an, 12:29)

So the fire remains close to the fuel, and the situation is left as it is, with no changes being made. It has also happened that maid servants have taught misbehaviour to the daughtersof the household.

* The lady of the house neglects her duties and forgets her responsabilities, and becomes accustomed to being lazy, then when the servants travels things are very hard indeed for her.

* The children receive a bad upbringing. Following examples represent some:

* The children learn the beliefs of kufr -disbelief - from kafir -disbeliever - maid servants, Christians and Buddhists. There have been children who make the sign of the cross on their heads and two sides of their chests, as they have seen a Christian woman doing when she prays, and she tells them, This is something sweet from Christ. Or a child may see a servant praying to a statue of Buddha or so, or other celebrating her people`s festivals and conveying to our children her feelings of joy, so they get used to taking part in festivals of kufr.

* The children are deprived of their mother`s love and care, which is an essential part of their upbringing and psychological stability. A servant cannot make up this lack for a child who is not hers.

# Some heads of households feel the financial strain of paying salaries fro drivers and maid servants

Then there are the family disputes that arise over who should pay these salaries, especially in cases where the wife is employed. If the wife would stay at home instead of working outside the home, she would spare herself a lot of trouble.

The fact of the matter is that in many cases we create truble for ourselves, then we demand solution, and often the solution we come up with is far from decisive.

- to be continued, inshaAllah -

miercuri, 17 noiembrie 2010

The Compilation of the Quran

The Compilation of the Quran


  The Quran is held by Muslims to have been revealed to the Prophet of Islam over a period of twenty three years, the length of his prophetic mission. The process by which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, however, has been an area of debate by some questioning the authenticity of the Quran as they claim it isprone to human error. Those holding these doubts also believe that much of the Quran was "lost" along the way. This argument and more are summarized below.  

 During the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, the Quran was never compiled in a single bound volume as we have today. Rather , the compilation of the Quran took place over two distinct stages:

1. The first phase was under the Caliphate of Abu Bakr who began the compilation of the Quran but in a method that was later rejected by his followers;

2. The second phase was under the Caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan , who compiled the whole Quran adding things that where left out in the first phase among which were:

a. The placing of dots on the various Arabic letters. (Before  this time, Arabic was written without dots, making similar letters look alike).

b. The placing of diacritical marks signifying  vowels on all the letters.

c. The placing of the different signs for pauses, short and long, throughout the Quran.

d. The placing of circles around all the verse numbers.

These two phases contain much human error making it quite probable that additionns and substractions to verses and chapters were made.


The question of the authenticity of the Quran is a fairly new one and has be virtually non-existent in the past. Certainly in Muslim circles, the question of the Quran being authentic or not is not really an issue at all since from the creedal standpoint, the Quran is the ternal Word of Allah (God) revealed from the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfudh) to the Prophet of Islam. Accordingly, Muslims view the Quran as containing the literal Words of Allah, words and verses that are eternal, preserved and protected from fabrication. 

As for the historical context through which the Quran came to be, it must be remembered that the Arabs of pre-islamic Arabia were an oral people. Their primary method of holding on to important facts was composing them into poetry and commiting the verses to memory. In essence, their mastery of language and ability to memorize things by rote were the greatest legacies the Arabs before Islam had. The fact that the Quran was not "written" in one complete volume before the Caliphate of Uthman does not mean that the Arabs before them were not able to preserve the Quran in its entirety. Memory was the method of preserving facts and documents so much to the point that memory was relid on more than written material.  This tradition was maintained  by Islam and the memorizing of texts was always a pre-requisite to the scholarly life.

The Quran `s  Arabic , while not exactly poetry, is rich and sophisticated; it easily captivated the attention of the Arabs. In fact, it was precisely the Quran that caused so much of a stir in Arabia , as it challenged the status quo and out did the best poetry the Arabs composed which posed a direct threat to the ruling elite and their established ways.

There were two main factors, which assisted the early Muslims to memorize the Quran as it was revealed:

1. The Quran was revealed piecemeal, and not all at once. This allowed the meaning of the Quran to permeate the minds and the souls of the followers and allowed them to understand the message step by step, internalizing it first then teaching it to others.

2. The structure of the Quran and the manner in which it is recite create a harmony that is attractive to the ears of an Arabic  speaker. The structure of the verses creates an intricate pattern of similar sounding words and tones. The Quran was never just read , but it was always recited according to the rules of tajwid (Quranic Recitation), allowing these patterns to be accentuated. For example, chapter one hundred of the Quran:

(1) By the (Steeds) that run, with panting (breath),

(2) And strike sparks of fire,

(3) And push home the charge in the morning,

(4) And raise the dust in clouds the while,

(5) And penetrate forthwith into the midst (of the foe) en masse;

(6) Truly, man is ungrateful to his Lord;

(7) And to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds);

(8) And violent is he in his love of wealth.

(9) Does he not know, when that which is in  the graves is scattered abroad?

(10) And that which is (locked up) in (human) breasts is made manifest?

(11) That their Lord had been Well-Acquainted with them  (even to) that Day?

This short chapter has eleven verses and the endings of each verse can be classified into four categories: The first group includes the first three verses, in which verse ends in a hard H (ha) ; dabha, qadha and subha. The second group includes the fourth and fifth verses each ending with an `ayn (`aa); naq`aa and jam`aa. The third group includes verses six throught eight, in which each verse ends with the letter dal (d); lakanud, lashahee and lashadeed. The last group includes the remaining verses, i.e. nine through eleven, in which each verse ends with the letter ra` (r); al-qobur, al-sodur and lakhabeer.

Furthermore, we see that verses six through eleven all end in elongated vowels; either ya or waw. The combination of the ending letters with the elongated vowels form a rhythmic pattern found almost everywhere in the Quran. 

There are two other factors that make this chapter easy to memorise. First , the chapter itself is no only short but also so to its verses. These verses consist of two words, the first three verses, three words, the fourth and fifth verses, and four words, verses six through eight. The verses employ few words to maximize meaning at the same time minimizing the amount of words needed to convey that meaning which is exactly what eloquence or fasahah in the arabic language stands for. The second factor is the coupling of meaning throughout the chapter. For example, the first three verses swear by the running steeds in battle and verses four and five provide detailed information about these steeds in battle. Thus, the first five verses revolve around one topic. Then verse six proclaims that man is ungrateful towards his Lord. Verse seven confirms this ungratefulness , and verse eight shows disgust at man`s love of wordlythings, a cause of his ungratefulness. Finally, the last three verses of the chapter serve as a warning for man to get out of this heedless state. This progression and coupling of meaning , combined with the short nature of the chapter and its verses added to the rhyming verses endings, allserve to facilitate memorization, which means that the meaning of the chapter is always kept at heart. The same can be said of the other chapters in the Quran. 

The early Muslims, and Muslims of all generations, became familiar with the Quran by memorizing it. The message of the Quran from the beginning was sonarol meaning it was transmitted by listening and internalizing it. This pattern was mimicked and passed on to others, orraly, who in turn memorized it and passed it on until the current age. Anyone who memorizes the Quran with a licnsed teacher receives a certificate with a chain of transmitters (isnad), connecting the student to the Prophet of Islam, pbuh, displaying the men and women who memorized and passed on the Quran preserving it each generation. 

Upon receiving revelations, the Prophet of Islam, pbuh, would order some of his companions to write down the new verses. Many companions undertook this task of writing down the different verses on various parchments. During the life of the Prophet, pbuh, then, there were two methods by which the Quran was documented and preserved. The first  was rote memorization, and the second was the written documentation of which there were several concurrent copies. However, the arabs, being a primarily oral people, relied on memorization. The Prophet, pbuh, was considered the foremost authority as, according to Islamic historiography, he would  review  the Quran with Archangel Gabriel once a year and twice in the year he died. From the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, many companions were able to memorize the Quran. There were those who memorized parts of the Quran and ther were those who memorized the entire Quran. Of the companions who memorized the entire Quran, seven were considered the authorities of the Quran after the Prophet, pbuh.  Their memorization was authorized by the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, thus giving them thepermission (ijazah) to teach and transmit the Quran to others. By the time that Caliphs Abu Bakr and Uthman sought to compile the Quran into one volume, these seven were consulted and their knowledge of the Quran guided the entire project. 

-to be continue, inshaAllah-

luni, 15 noiembrie 2010

Chapter One Misconceptions Regarding the Quran

Chapter One Misconceptions Regarding the Quran


The Quran is the heart of Islam; the fabric of both the scholarly and spiritual life. It is the foundation of belief, the starting point of all forms of knowledge, the inspiration for the arts and the Book to which turn believing men and women, young and old. It is studied, memorized and analyzed by students of sacred knowledge, who have dedicated their lives to its service. One  cannot discuss anything  in Islam  without Quran being part and parcel of the conversation. The discussion of religion in the modern period is very much interested in the Holy Books of all major religious traditions, Islam included. This has caused modern thinkers to question the authenticity of what is considered by many to be revelation- casting doubt on many aspects of religion. In this chapter, we will look at some of the common conceptions in regards to the Quran, then offer answers and responses to these conceptions.

-to be continued, inshaAllah-

The Truth of Islam and Misconceptions about Islam

The Truth of Islam and Misconceptions about Islam

Darkness is the absence  of light. It is a field of ignorance surrounded by ignorance leading to ignorance. In darkness , one is left to grope helplessly amidst a sea of darkness hoping, by chance, light will emerge.This hope, however, is only for those who are cognizant of their ignorance, for those who have seen light before and know the difference between it and darkness.  There are those who have never seen light and are born into darkness and ignorance, which is further compounded by their ignorance of their own ignorance. The only way that this  predicament can be halted and reversed is by way of knoledge that leads to truth and serves the cause of truth and truth alone; knowledge that is unadulterated that does not respond to any corporation, any CEO or any political party. In many ways, our world is a world of darkness and ignorance since, as a human race, we have continued to demonstrate intolerance towards one another and we have quite consistently continued to suffer from age old problems rather then be the generation or the age to solve them. There are those few, however, who have remained steadfast in their pursuit of peace and justice for all. They have stood up against the current to speak the words of truth no matter how bitter they may be; a reminder of the Prophet of Islam s statement that ``THE GREATEST JIHAD IS THE WORD OF TRUTH IN THE FACE OF A TYRANT.``

In hopes of following the footsteps of those few, this present work is offered for the English speaking world. This book represents the efforts of a group of scholars of Al Azhar University, one of the oldest centers of Islamic learning in the world. It is a humble attempt to bring light upon the darkness of ignorance. Its aim is to offer honest orthodox responses to many conceptions that are currently held toward Islam. There is no doubt that Islam is closer now to the west than ever before and that relationship between Islam and the West has been for better and for worse. The Muslim world and the Western world can no longer afford to be ignorant of one another. As mentioned in the introduction of chapter 5, our world still suffers, in one way or another, from the  naivite that you are either with us or against us. It is time for cooler heads to prevail and true knowledge to flow east to west and west to east as we find in chapter 4.

vineri, 22 octombrie 2010

Kitab Ar Rooh- The Book of The Soul

In The Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful,

Kitab Ar Rooh- The Book of The Soul


The examples on this case and its evidences are greater than to be counted except by Allah (The Exalted). The sense and the reality are of the justiest of the witnesses in it. That the souls of the living and the dead meet as the souls of the living meet. And He (The Exalted) had said: ” Allah that takes the souls of men at death and those that die not be taken during their sleep: Those to whom He has passed the decree of death. He keeps back from returning to life, but the rest He sends to their bodies for a term appointed, verily in this are signs for those who reflect.” (39:42)

Abu Abdullah bin Minda said: On the autority of the son of Abbas, in this verse, he said: It reached me that the souls of the living and the dead meet in the dream. They ask amongst them, and Allah (The Exalted) grasps the souls of the dead people, and He sends the souls of the living to its bodies.

The son of Abu Hatem said in his interpretation: On the authority of As-Sadi, in His saying (The Exalted): „ And those that die not he takes during their sleep.” He said: He comes to it in the dream, and the soul of the living meet with the soul of the dead and they confer and acquaint. He said: Then the soul of the living comes to his body in the world to the remaining fate, and the soul of the dead intends to return to its body and it is imprisoned.

And this is one of the two saying in the verse. It is that the holding is that which died at the very beginning, and the sent is that which died at the death of the sleep. The meaning as to this saying is that one makes the soul of the dead to die, and he grasps it, and not to send it to its body before the Judgement Day, and He (The Exalted) makes the soul of the sleeping to die and sends it to its body till the remaining of its fate, and makes it die the other death.

And the second saying in the verse that the held and the sent in the verse, both of them died, the sleep death. That which completed its fate, he holds it with him, and doesnot return it in to its body, and that which didnot complete its fate, he returns it to its body, to complete it. The Sheikh of Islam had chosen this saying. He said: The Quran and Tradition had denoted on it. He said: He, Glory be to Him, had mentioned the holding, which the death had judged in, of these souls which he made to die the sleep death. But that which he made die at its death, is that which he didnot describe with holding or with a sent, but it is a third part.

That which overweights is the first saying, because He, Glory be to Him, knows better about the two deaths. A major death, and it is the death dying, and a minor death, which is the sleep death. And He divided the souls into two parts: A part which He judged in, with the death and He held it with Him, and it is which He made to die the death dying, and a part for it the remaining fate, and He made it return to its body to complete its fate. And He, Glory be to Him, had made the holding and the sending as two judgement for the two mentioned deaths. First, it is holding, and it is sent. And He told that which didnot die is that which He made to die in its sleep. That if He were to divide the sleep death into two parts, a death dying and a sleep dying, He would not have said: ”And those that die not He takes during their sleep.” It is dead from time it is grasped, and He says after that: ”Those on whom he has passed the decree of death.”

-to be continued, inshaAllah-