Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to Seek Laylat-ul-Qadr

Laylat ul-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.
Praying Qiyaam

It is recommended to make a long Qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadeeths, such as the following:
Abu Tharr (radhiallahu `anhu) relates:
"We fasted with Allah's Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) in Ramadaan. He did not lead us (in qiyaam) at all until there were seven (nights of Ramadaan) left. Then he stood with us (that night - in prayer) until one third of the night had passed. He did not pray with us on the sixth. On the fifth night, he prayed with us until half of the night had passed. So we said, 'Allah's Messenger! Wouldn't you pray with us the whole night?' He replied:
'Whoever stands in prayer with the imaam until he (the imaam) concludes the prayer, it is recorded for him that he prayed the whole night.'…" [Recorded by Ibn Abi Shaybah, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmithi (who authenticated it), an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, at-Tahawi (in Sharhu Ma`an il-Athar, Ibn Nasr, al-Faryabi, and al-Bayhaqi. Their isnad is authentic.]
[Point of benefit: Abu Dawud mentioned: "I heard Ahmad being asked, 'Do you like for a man to pray with the people or by himself during Ramadan?' He replied, 'Pray with the people.' I also heard him say, 'I would prefer for one to pray (qiyaam) with the imaam and to pray witr with him as well, for the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "When a man prays with the imaam until he concludes, it is recorded that he prayed the rest of that night." [Masaa'il]]
Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu `anhu) narrated that the Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylat ul-Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah's reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; the addition "and it is facilitated for him" is recorded by Ahmad from the report of `Ubaadah Bin as-Samit; it means that he is permitted to be among the sincere worshippers during that blessed night.]

Making Supplications

It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. `A'ishah (radhiallahu `anha) reported that she asked Allah's Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), "O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?" And he instructed her to say:
"Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuh.ibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee - O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me." [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmithi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani]

Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship
It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah.
`A'ishah (radhiallahu `anha) reported:
"When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer), and wake up his family." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
And she said:
"Allah's Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights." [Muslim]

Monday, August 30, 2010

BBC cancels plan for Raja Petra interview on Hardtalk

PETALING JAYA: The BBC has cancelled its plan to have fugitive Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin on its Hardtalk programme on Wednesday.
According to a statement posted on the Malaysia Today website, BBC's Bridget Orborne had called Raja Petra to inform him of the decision.
Osborne said BBC's lawyers had advised them not to proceed with the programme as it would upset the Malaysian government and even expose the BBC to legal action.
She said the questions they would delve into would be very sensitive in nature and critical of the government, and this would run foul of the Malaysian government.
The fact that the programme would be accessible in Malaysia, she added, made it a problem for the BBC.
The programme was originally scheduled for 3pm on Wednesday.

tunku : at last BBC had some brain left in them.that crook raja petra is a wanted by police in Malaysia and bbc was trying to interview him on their programme.pity raja petra,he must be crying upside down and will now accuse Najib or Rosmah for the cancellation.now he will have more fairy tales to tell to the fools.

Laylat al-Qadr: The Night of Power

Let's analyze the significance of Laylat al-Qadr with commentary, (tafseer) on chapter 97 of Al-Qur'an, Al-Qadr (the Night of Power).
This chapter (surah) was revealed in Makkah, and its basic theme is honoring the revelation of this blessed book, the Holy Qur`an. The Night of Power or honor is a special gift only to the community (Ummah) of Islam. The night is one which even the angels in the heavens see as worthy of witnessing. The night is so rich with holiness, as the night when good deeds are returned, and is equal to a thousand months in the sight of Allah.
Occasion Of Revelation
In a report by Abi Hatim and Al-Wahidi, by way of Mujahid, the Messenger (saas) mentioned that there was a man among the Israelites who devoted his life to the cause of Allah for a thousand months. The companions were amazed and impressed, but were saddened because they knew there would be no way that they could reach this status of devotion. So Allah (SWT) revealed this surah to inform them that He had just blessed this Ummah with the Night of Honor, which is equal to a thousand months.
"We have indeed revealed it, (Al-Qur`an) in the Night of Power." (Al-Qur`an 97:1)
There are several points pertaining to the meaning of this verse:
The meaning and the use of the pronoun "We" is a style in Al-Qur`an that when the Creator (SWT) is mentioned as a pronoun, He is referred to by "We" or "I," as is evidenced in this surah. Elsewhere He said, "Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: `I will create a vicegerent..." (Al-Qur`an, 2:30). There is no problem when Allah uses the pronoun "I" to refer to His Exalted Self, but when he uses "We" the explanation becomes warranted because it cannot be perceived to indicate plural. There is unanimity among the scholars that "We" indicates respect and exaltation for the Creator and Cherisher of all the worlds, whose greatness is incomprehensibly vast and beyond our imagination.
Or, it is referring to Allah (SWT) and the angels who carry out his words to one all, in every level of His dominion. It cannot mean plural, or more than One Allah, for that would necessitate dropping in ranks, the absoluteness, and the powers of each competing deity. If each is capable of being absolute, each would have been independent from the other and the idea that each deity can be independent from the other, is evidence that none is absolute. This is inconceivable of Allah (SWT) therefore, "We" cannot mean anything but respect and exaltation of the One and Only.
"...Have Indeed Revealed It In the Night of Power" (Al-Qur`an 97:1)
There is again unanimity among the commentators that "it" refers to Al-Qur'an, meaning "We revealed" Al-Qur'an in the Night of Power. He (SWT) did not mention Al-Qur'an explicitly because to refer to Al-Qur'an by the pronoun implies a certain divine uniqueness of this book, as well as greatness and honor that may not be attained if the word Al-Qur'an was used instead. First, it ascribed the revelation of Al-Qur'an to Himself, and not to anyone else. Second, referring to Al-Qur'an by pronoun is an indication that the revelation of this book was not a secret that no one knew about. Its revelation was an event widely known to all during the time of Muhammad (saas) and after, guarding against anyone who may like to challenge it or claim any honor of teaching Muhammad (saas) Al-Qur'an. Third, the statement also meant to honor and memorialize the time period in which Al-Qur'an was revealed.
By revealing Al-Qur'an in the Night of Power, Allah (SWT) inaugurated or started its revelation for the beginning of the prophethood ('Bi'ethah), and the Prophet's mission of Al-Islam began in the month of Ramadan on that Night. Al-Qur'an was not revealed in one night; it was revealed over the course of 23 years. Ibn Abbas (raa) said: The whole Qur'an was revealed to the lower heavens from the protective slate (Lawhul Mahfuz) on the Night of Power, then from there to the earth in the course of 23 years.
The word power, Al-Qadr, has several implications and meaning, but we cover only those implications which are relevant to the issues here.
Qadr implies having power over something, as in the case of the Creator over the creation. Allah's (SWT) excellence is Al-Qadr, capable, omnipotent, almighty, all powerful. It also implies excellence and high esteem, and as for this Night of Power, it is highly esteemed and regarded. For this night is equal to over 80 years in the sight of Allah (SWT).
It also implies to maintain, appoint, assign or decree an order. Thus, in the Night of Power, Allah (SWT) proclaims to the angels His commands and orders in regards to the affairs of the universe. From this meaning is derived the concept of Al-Qada Wa Qadar, the fifth article of faith, that Allah has decreed or preordained or, in other words, has full knowledge of all that the human being will do with his free will. A man's decision to act freely in good conscience or bad conscience is all known to Allah (SWT), past, present and future.
Qadr also implies measurement, that is all the events of the year will occur in accordance to the exact measurement of what is in the knowledge of Allah, Who states: "Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure." (Al-Qur`an, 54:49)
Why the name, the Night of Power?
As mentioned above, it is the night of Taqdeer, meaning the one in which Allah (SWT) announces to the angels His already decreed commands, rules, events, etc., for the coming calendar year, from the present Night of Power to the next Night of Power. Allah (SWT) states:
"We sent it down during a blessed night; We forever wish to warn (against evil). In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom." (Al-Qur`an, 44:3-4)
It should be known that most scholars believe Allah's commands and rules are not made on that night. It has already been decreed in the eternity what is known to Allah, but that knowledge is not known to anyone, including the angels, until He announces it to the angels on that night so that they will record it on the protective slate.
This is also the night of honor and prestige which may be awarded to the servant who devotes himself to special deeds, or to the deeds themselves for the higher value they contain on that night.
The Night Is Concealed
Allah (SWT) in His mercy, has concealed the Night of Power from us for the following reasons: The problems pertaining to an exact night on which the honors are attained are not unique with this Night. It seems that Allah conceals many things. He conceals his pleasure from us in all our good deeds so that we will strive in all of them. He conceals His wrath from us in all of the sins we commit so that we will avoid them. He conceals His most beloved servants ('awliya) so that we will respect all the believers. He has concealed the time of His acceptance of our supplications so that we will strive in all our supplications. He concealed his greatest name, so that we mention all His names. He has concealed the time of death so that we will be conscious of Him and our deeds all the time.
He has concealed the exact date of the Night of Power so that we would double our the efforts in the whole month of Ramadan, or at least the last ten days. He has concealed it also to test the serious and the non-serious. The seriously interested person will search for the night late and in the early hours until he or she attains it, regardless of the hardship.
Where Is The Night?
The majority of the scholars who agreed that the night occurs in the month of Ramadan, disagreed on the exact night. Some said it comes on the first day of Ramadan. Others said it is on the seventh; while others say its on the 19th night. All these opinions are not built on sound proof. There is evidence that the night comes on the last ten days of Ramadan, specifically on the odd numbered nights. In a report by Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Seek it on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan."
In a hadith by Ibn Umar (raa), some men among the companions saw the night in a dream occurring in the last seven nights. Responding to this, the Messenger of Allah (saas) told them, "I see your dreams coincide on the last seven, whoever wants to seek it should do so in the last seven." (Agreed upon)
In Muslim's report, the Prophet (saas) said, "Seek the night in the last ten days, and if any of you is weak, or can't observe it, he should not miss the remaining seven days." In Hadith by Ubayy bin Ka'ab (raa), he said: "By Allah, I know which night it is. It is the night the Messenger commanded us to observe, the night of the 27th." (Ahmed/Tirmidhi)
Analyzing all these citations indicates still no one knows for sure which night is the Night of Power, at least in a given year. It seems that the night shifts and rotates to different nights from one year to another. It may occur on the 27th in one year, while the next year it will be on the 25th, while on the following year it will be occurring on the 29th, etc. There is an indication to this in hadith by Bukhari, when the Messenger of Allah (saas) states: "Seek it on the twenty-ninth; it may be on the twenty-seventh, or on the twenty-fifth." Imam Ibn Hajr, in his book, "Fathul Bari", in the commentary of the Book of Bukhari, said: ``I accept the ruling that the night occurs on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, namely the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh and or twenty-ninth.''
Seeking The Night
It is recommended to seek the night and spend it diligently in devotion, including night Sunnah prayers (Tahajjud), recitation of Al-Qur'an and supplications. In a hadith related by Abu Hurairah (raa), the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "He who spends the night in prayer on the Night of Power, as a sign of His faith, and seeking rewards from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari/Muslim) This citation indicates that regardless of whether a person knows the night or not, Allah will grant him forgiveness for previous shortcomings.
" And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is?; The Night of Power is better than a thousand months." (Al-Qur`an 97:2-3)
Allah (SWT) is emphasizing by putting the second verse in question form. The answer being no one knows, or comprehends, the awesomeness and the depth of honor of the night. As if to say whatever merits Allah informs you about the night is just nothing compared to the things you have no idea about. Nonetheless, He mentions three honors in the credit of the night: 1."The Night is better than a thousand months. 2. "Therein, come down the angels..." and 3. "Peace!"
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. This indicates that acts of worship such as prayer, charity, and recitation done on this night are better in reward than the same act done on other nights. The rewards (thawaab) are being multiplied several-fold.
Imam Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas) was shown the long life span of people of previous nations, so the Prophet bemoaned the shortness of the life span of the Ummah, fearing that they might not be able to save many good deeds for the Hereafter. Therefore, Allah gave him the Night of Power to compensate for their lack of longevity. Hence, the devoted believer has as chance of adding 80 something years of worship to his life on the Night of Power. You see, for instance, if you worship Allah on this night every year for 65 years, by multiplying 65 by 80, you would have lived for 5,200 years, or achieved the reward of a person who lived that long.
You can see why the devotions were highly encouraged by the Prophet. Indeed, you can achieve the honor of the Night of Power if you so wish by spending the odd nights of the last ten days in acts of worship.
"Therein, come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand." (Al-Qur`an 97:4)
This is far from the earlier cry of the angels who, when Allah told them, "...I will create a vicegerent on earth," they said, "Will you place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?..." (Al-Qur`an, 2:30)
You see, when the angels first looked at our spirit with its traits of mischief, vanity and desires, and the rages of anger, they, the embodiment of all that is good, did not like us at all. That explains their response in the above verse. So is the case with parents, when they first conceptualize the shape of the offspring, semen and congealed blood; they do not like it. They will even wash their hands, clothes and everything that this substance touches, a gruesome thing. They may even think about aborting the baby in the beginning.
But after the baby is being fashioned in the most beautiful shape and they feel the movement of life, they change from dislike to caring love.
That is seemingly what happened to the angels. When they saw in us this beautiful spirit of knowing the Creator, and worshipping Allah alone, they changed from dislike to complete love, and cannot wait for another Night of Power to come down so they can pray for us. Allah states: "...And they implore forgiveness for those who believe..." (Al-Qur`an, 40:7)
He used the form (tanazzal) "They come", to indicate that the angels descend on the Night of Power, group after group; some coming down to earth while others ascend into the heaven. This heavenly, angelic organized traffic of good will continues until the break of dawn.
As for the reasons why they come, there are several explanations including: (1) they descend to witness how we worship and obey Allah, and (2) to show their deep love for the believers. This is why they seek permission from Allah to come and meet us. This is a once-a-year opportunity they do not like to miss. (3) Allah promised the believers that in the hereafter, angels will approach on them with greetings: "...And the angels shall enter into them from every gate (with the salutation): Peace be unto you for that you persevered in patience..." (Al-Qur`an, 13:23-24)
Now, if you preoccupy yourself with worship of Allah, the angels will descend on you with salutations. (4) Allah (SWT) singles out this night with honors on the earth so the angels can come down and increase their rewards, and as a means to encourage the human race to worship. (5) Realization that the angels are around is encouragement for the servants to devote more time to good deeds as a man will work harder when a foreman is present.
"...And the Spirit..." (Al-Qur`an 97:4)
There are several explanations for the meaning of the Spirit: (1) The Spirit is comprised of groups of special angels who are seen only on the Night of Power; (2) it is referring to Al-Qur`an, as Allah (SWT) stated: "And thus have We, by Our command sent inspiration (spirit) to thee..." (Al-Qur`an 42:52), (3) This is a reference to Angel Jibreel, as this is a special honor to Jibreel who has been mentioned twice Surah 42 first with another angel, and separately as the spirit of Allah (SWT) as the Qur`an says: "Verily this is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. With it came down the spirit of faith and truth." (Al-Qur`an, 26:192-193) Thus the correct explanation of the spirit, Ruuh, is Jibreel in this verse to indicate the angels on one side and Jibreel on the other, while they were descending.
"...By Allah`s permission..."
This indicates the angels extend a request to come to meet the believers; and to underscore the fact that angels are infallible; that they do not make a move without explicit permission from their Lord. Allah (SWT) states: "They speak not before He speaks, and they act (in all things) by His command." (Al-Qur`an, 21:27) "(The angels say) We descend not but by command of thy Lord..." (Al-Qur`an 19:64)
"(Their) Lord." It indicates honor for the angels. It is as if Allah (SWT) is saying ``They are for Me and I am for them''. Similarly, Allah (SWT) said regarding us: "Verily your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six days..." (Al-Qur`an, 10:3) And regarding Prophet Muhammad (saas) Allah said: "Behold, your Lord said to the angels..." (Al-Qur'an, 2:30)
It has been reported that when Prophet David was terminally ill, he asked Allah to be for his son Solomon, as He was for him. Allah (SWT) replied, saying: "Tell Solomon to be for Me as you are for Me. (Al-Qur`an 2:30)
"...On every errand..."
This indicates the angels and the Spirit descend for different purposes: some come down for prostration, some for bowing, and others for supplications for the believers and salutations. Or they come down carrying with them the proclamations of the coming year.
"Peace!..." (Al-Qur`an 97:5)
There are several explanations to this verse: (1) The whole Night of Power, from sunset to the break of dawn, will be spent by the angeles in salutation. (2) The purpose is to describe the night with peace because of the salutation from the angels. That is very important, because when seven angels visited Prophet Ibrahim (saas) and saluted him, he was very happy, and when Nimrod threw him in the fire, it turned ice-cold when the angels saluted him. (3) This is a wish of safety and peace from all evil and harmful things, or the angels will only bring on this night, good things!
"...Until the rise of morn." (Al-Qur`an 97:5)
All the honor, blessings and peace of the Night of Power will continue in every second of the night until Fajr. Allah (SWT) is the Best Knower.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fasting According to the Quran

Believers! Fasting is enjoined upon you, as it was enjoined upon those before you, that you become God fearing. Quran 2:183
Fasting is for a fixed number of days, and if one of you be sick, or if one of you be on a journey, you will fast the same number of other days later on. For those who are capable of fasting (but still do not fast) there is a redemption: feeding a needy man for each day missed. Whoever, voluntarily, does more good than is required, will find it is better for him; and that you should fast is better for you, if you only know. Quran 2:184
During the month of Ramadan the Qur'an was sent down as a guidance to the people with clear signs of the true guidance, and as the Criterion (between right and wrong). So those of you who live to see that month should fast it, and whoever is sick or on a journey should fast the same number of other days instead. Allah wants ease and not hardship for you so that you may complete the number of days required, magnify Allah for what He has guided you to, and give thanks to Him. Quran 2:185

1. Like most other injunctions of Islam those relating to fasting were revealed gradually. In the beginning the Prophet SAW had instructed the Muslims to fast three days in every month, though this was not obligatory. When the injunction in the present verse was later revealed in 2 A.H., a degree of relaxation was introduced: it was stipulated that those who did not fast despite their capacity to endure it were obliged to feed one poor person as an expiation for each day of obligatory fasting missed (see verse 184). Another injunction was revealed later (see verse 185) and here the relaxation in respect of able-bodied persons was revoked. However, for the sick, the traveler, the pregnant, the breast-feeding women and the aged who could not endure fasting, the relaxation was retained.

(See Bukhari, `Tafsir al-Qur'an', 25; Tirmidhi, 'Sawm', 21; Nasa'i, `Siyam', 51, 62, 64; Ibn Majah, `Siyam', 12; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 104; vol. 4, pp. 347 and 418; vol. 5, p. 29 - Ed.)

2. This act of extra merit could either be feeding more than the one person required or both fasting and feeding the poor.

3. Here ends the early injunction with regard to fasting which was revealed in 2 A.H. prior to the Battle of Badr. The verses that follow were revealed about one year later and are linked with the preceding verses since they deal with the same subject.

4. Whether a person should or should not fast while on a journey is left to individual discretion. We find that among the Companions who accompanied the Prophet on journeys some fasted whereas others did not; none objected to the conduct of another. The Prophet himself did not always fast when traveling. On one journey a person was so overwhelmed by hunger that he collapsed; the Prophet disapproved when he learned that the man had been fasting. During wars the Prophet used to prevent people from fasting so that they would not lack energy for the fight. It has been reported by 'Umar that two military expeditions took place in the month of Ramadan. The first was the Battle of Badr and the second the conquest of Makka. On both occasions the Companions abstained from fasting, and, according to Ibn 'Umar, on the occasion of the conquest of Makka the Prophet proclaimed that people should not fast since it was a day of fighting. In other Traditions the Prophet is reported to have said that people should not fast when they had drawn close. to the enemy, since abstention from fasting would lead to greater strength.

(See Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 329, and vol. 5, pp. 205 and 209; Darimi, `Sawm', 41; Muslim, `Siyam', 92; Nasa'i, `Siyam', 47; Bukhari, `Maghazi', 71; Muslim, `Siyam', 102; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, pp. 21, 35, .46; Tirmidhi, 'Sawm', 18; Nasa'i, `Siyam', 52; Bukhari, `Jihad', 29; Muslim, `Siyam', 98; Abu Da'ud, 'Sawm', 42; Muslim, `Siyam', 102, 103, 105; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, 99; Tirmidhi, 'Sawm', 19 - Ed.)

The duration of a journey for which it becomes permissible for a person to abstain from fasting is not absolutely clear from any statement of the Prophet.

(cf. relevant Traditions Abu Da'ud, 'Sawm', 46, 47; Nasa'i, `Siyam', 54, 55; Malik, Muwatta', `Siyam', 21, 27 - Ed.)

In addition the practice of the Companions was not uniform. It would seem that any journey which is commonly regarded as such, and which is attended by the circumstances generally associated with traveling, should be deemed sufficient justification for not fasting.

Jurists agree that one does not have to fast on the day of commencing a journey; one may eat either at the point of departure or after the actual journey has commenced. Either course is sanctioned by the practice of the Companions. Jurists, however, are not agreed as to whether or not the residents of a city under attack may abstain from fasting even though they are not actually traveling. Ibn Taymiyah favors the permissibility of abstention from fasting and supports his view with very forceful arguments.

5. This indicates that fasting need not be confined, exclusively, to Ramadan. For those who fail to fast during that month owing to some legitimate reason God has kept the door of compensation open during other months of the year so that they need not be deprived of the opportunity to express their gratitude to Him for His great bounty in revealing the Qur'an.

It should be noted here that fasting in Ramadan has not only been declared an act of worship and devotion and a means to nourish piety but has also been characterized as an act of gratefulness to God for His great bounty of true guidance in the form of the Qur'an. In fact, the best way of expressing gratitude for someone's bounty or benevolence is to prepare oneself, to the best of one's ability, to achieve the purpose for which that bounty has been bestowed. The Qur'an has been revealed so that we may know the way that leads to God's good pleasure, follow that way ourselves and direct the world along it. Fasting is an excellent means by which to prepare ourselves for shouldering this task. Hence fasting during the month of the revelation of the Qur'an is more than an act of worship and more than an excellent course of moral training; it is also an appropriate form for the expression of our thankfulness to God for the bounty of the Qur'an.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Muslims Worship Kaaba :: Misconception about Islam

This is especially for the non Muslim as they had the misconseption that Muslim worship Kaabah.

Kaaba is the Qibla i.e. the direction Muslims face during their prayers. It is important to note that though Muslims face the Kaaba during prayers, they do not worship the Kaaba. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah. It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah: “We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction.”

1. Islam believes in fostering unity [Al-Qur'an 2:144] For instance, if Muslims want to offer Salaah (Prayer), it is possible that some may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south. In order to unite Muslims in their worship of the One True God, Muslims, wherever they may be, are asked to face in only one direction i.e. towards the Kaaba. If some Muslims live towards the west of the Kaaba they face the east. Similarly if they live towards the east of the Kaaba they face the west.

2. Kaaba is at the Centre of the World Map The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They drew the map with the south facing upwards and north downwards. The Kaaba was at the centre. Later, western cartographers drew the map upside down with the north facing upwards and south downwards. Yet, Alhamdullilah the Kaaba is at the centre of the world map.

3. Tawaf around Kaaba for indicating one God When the Muslims go to Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, they perform tawaf or circumambulation round the Kaaba. This act symbolizes the belief and worship of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so also there is only one Allah (swt) worthy of worship.

4. Hadith of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) Regarding the black stone, hajr-e-aswad, there is a hadith (tradition), attributed to the illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). According to Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, book of Hajj, chapter 56, H.No. 675. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (pbuh) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you”.

5. People stood on Kaaba and gave the adhaan At the time of the Prophet, people even stood on the Kaaba and gave the ‘adhaan’ or the call to prayer. One may ask those who allege that Muslims worship the Kaaba; which idol worshipper stands on the idol he worships?


Thursday, August 26, 2010

PAS can't implement hudud laws on its own: Zaid

KOTA BARU: PAS will never realise its dreams of implementing hudud laws because it does not have enough seats to do so on its own, said PKR strategic coordinator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
PAS, he said, would need cooperation from other opposition parties before it could implement the Islamic law, but PKR and DAP did not share similar aspirations.
However, Zaid, who is also the Federal Territory PKR chairman, said everything was possible if the opposition alliance managed to wrest power from Barisan Nasional.
If that happened, he said, Pakatan Rakyat member parties could come up with a reasonable compromise on the matter.
"This matter has to be thrashed out to find an amicable solution. But in the end, it is the people who would decide what sort of system they would want the Government to adopt.
"As far as I am concerned, the Federal Constitution is very important to decide on the political landscape," Zaid told reporters Thursday after handing RM200 to 150 poor people in Pengkalan Chepa, here.
Pakatan, he said, has to control the Government before it could even think of changing the Federal Constitution, and even then it would not be easy.
"What am I trying to emphasise is that Pakatan has to win in the next general election first and we will take it from there," he added.

tunku : another joke by zaid with his stupid statement.first he tries to please the non Muslims by saying that pkr and dap will not support hudud but then he tries to please the pas members by saying that thing can happen later.so what is the actual stand here? stop fooling the people zaid especially during ramadhan.

Important Lessons from Ramadhan

Allah -The Most High - said: "The month of Ramadhan in which the Qur’aan was revealed, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance of the Criterion between right and wrong. So whosoever of you sights the crescent for the month of Ramadhan, he must fast that month." [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:185].
Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Islam is built upon five: Testifying that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and the Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the Prayer, giving the Zakaah performing Hajj to the House, and lasting in Ramadhan." [1]
He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said:
"There has come to you Ramadhan, a blessed month, in which Allah has made it obligatory to fast. During it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained. In it is a night (Laylatul-Qadr) which is better than a thousand months. He who is deprived of its good has truly been deprived."[2]
From the many important lessons to be learnt from fasting are:
Fasting has been legislated in order that we may gain taqwaa as Allah - the Most High - said: "O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed upon those before you in order that you may attain taqwaa." [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:183].
Talq ibn Habeeb (d.100H) - rahimahullaah - said:
"When fitnah (trial and tribulation) appears then extinguish it with taqwaa." So he was asked as to what taqwaa was, so he replied: "Taqwaa is to act in obedience to Allah, upon a light (i.e. eemaan, faith) from Allah, hoping in the Mercy of Allah. And taqwaa is leaving acts of disobedience to Allah, upon a light from Allah, due to the fear of Allah."[3]
"This is one of the best definitions of taqwaa. For every action must have both a stating point and a goal. And an action will not be considered as an act of obedience, or newness to Allah unless it sluts from pure eemaan (faith in Allah). Thus, it is pure eemaan - and not habits, desires, nor seeking praise or fame, nor its flee - that should be what initiates an action. And the preparation showed, to earn the reward of Allah and to seek His good pleasure."[4] So Fasting is a means of attaining taqwaa, since it helps prevent a person from many sins that one is prone to. Due to this, the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "Fasting is a shield with which the servant protects himself from the Fire."[5] So we should ask ourselves, after each day of fasting: Has this lasting made us more fearful and obedient to Allah? Has it aided us in distancing ourselves from sins and disobedience?

The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Allah said: Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to me with anything more beloved to me than the obligatory duties that I have placed upon him. My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with optional deeds so that I shall love him."[6]
The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whosoever reaches the month of Ramadhan and does not have his sins forgiven, and so enters the Fire, then may Allah distance him."[7]
So drawing closer to Allah - the Most Perfect - in this blessed month, can be achieved by fulfilling one's obligatory duties; and also reciting the Qur’aan and reflecting upon its meanings, increasing in kindness and in giving charity, in making du‘aa (supplication) to Allah, attending the Taraaweeh Prayer, seeking out Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power and Pre-Decree), a night which is better than a thousand months, attending gatherings of knowledge, and striving in those actions that will cause the heart to draw closer to its lard and to gain His forgiveness. Our level of striving in this blessed month should be greater than our striving to worship Allah in any other month, due to the excellence and rewards that Allah has placed in it. Likewise from the great means of seeking nearness to Allah in this month is making I‘tikaaf (seclusion in the mosque in order to worship Allah) - for whoever is able.
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751H) - rahimahullaah - said:
"Allah also prescribed i’tikaaf for them, the objective being that the heart becomes fully preoccupied with Allah - the Most High - concentrated upon Him alone, and cut-off from being preoccupied with the creation. Rather, the heart is only engrossed with Allah - the Most Perfect - such that loving Him, remembering Him, and turning to Him takes the place of all the heart's anxieties and worries, so that he is able to overcome them. Thus all his concerns are for Allah, and his thoughts are all directed towards remembering Him and thinking of how to attain His Pleasure and what will cause nearness to him which leads him to feel contented with Allah instead of people. This, in turn prepares him for being at peace with Allah alone, on the day of loneliness in the grave, when there will be no one else to give comfort, nor anyone to grant solace, except Him. So this is the greater goal of I‘tikaaf." [8]

Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) - rahimahullaah - said:
"Allah has mentioned sabr (patience) in over ninety places in His Book." [9]
The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
"The month of Patience, and the three days of every month, are times for fasting." [10]
Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr (d.464H) - rahimahullaah - said:
"What is meant by the month of Patience is the month of Ramadhan ... So fasting is called patience because it restrains the soul from eating, drinking, conjugal relations and sexual desires." [11]
He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
"O youths! Whoever amongst you is able to marry then let him do so; for it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts. But whoever is unable, then let him fast, because it will be a shield for him." [12]
So fasting is a means of learning self-restraint and patience. With patience we are able to strengthen our resolve to worship Allah alone, with sincerity, and also cope with life's ups and downs. So - for example - with patience we are able to perform our Prayers calmly and correctly, without being hasty, and without merely pecking the ground several times! With patience we are able to restrain our souls from greed and stinginess and thus give part of our surplus wealth in Zakaah (obligatory charity). With patience we are able to subdue the soul's ill temperament, and thus endure the ordeal and hardships of Hajj, without losing tempers and behaving badly. Likewise, with patience we are able to stand firm and fight Jihaad against the disbelievers, hypocrites and heretics - withstanding their constant onslaught, without wavering and buckling, without despairing or being complacent and without becoming hasty and impatient at the first signs of hardship. Allah - the Most High - said:
"O Prophet, urge the Believers to fight ... So if there are one hundred who are patient, they shall overcome two hundred; and if there be one thousand, they shall overcome two thousand, by the permission of Allah. And Allah is with the patient ones." [Soorah al-Anfaal 8:65-66].
Thus, without knowledge and patience, nothing remains, except zeal and uncontrolled emotions, shouts and hollow slogans, speech that does not strengthen, but rather weakens, and actions that do not build, but rather destroy! So in this month, we should strive to develop a firm resolve for doing acts of obedience, and to adorn ourselves with patience - having certainty in the saying of our Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): "And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and case with hardship." [13]

The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whosoever does not abandon falsehood in speech and action, then Allah the Mighty and Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and drink." [14]
He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said:
"Fasting is not merely abstaining from eating and drinking. Rather, it is also abstaining from ignorant and indecent speech. So if anyone abuses or behaves ignorantly with you, then say: I am fasting, I am fasting." [15]
These narrations point towards the importance of truthfulness and good manners. Thus, this blessed month teaches us not only to abstain from food and drink, but to also abstain from such statements and actions that may be the cause of harming people and violating their rights - since the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said whilst describing the true Believer: "A Muslim is one from whom other Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand." [16] Thus it is upon us as individuals, to examine the shortcomings in our character, and to then seek to improve them - modeling ourselves upon the character of the last of the Prophets and Messengers, and their leader, Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) - aspiring also for the excellence which he mentioned in his saying: "I am a guarantor for a house on the outskirts of Paradise (or whosoever leaves off arguing, even if he is in the right; and a house in the centre of Paradise (or whosoever abandons falsehood, even when joking; and a house in the upper-most part of Paradise for whosoever makes his character good."[17] So by shunning oppression, shamelessness, harbouring hatred towards Muslims, back-biting, slandering, tale-carrying, and other types of falsehood, we can be saved from nullifying the rewards of our fasting - as Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "It may be that a fasting person, receives nothing from his fast, except hunger and thirst." [18]

The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Fast when they fast, and break your fast when they break their fast, and sacrifice the day they sacrifice." [19]
Imaam at-Tirmidthee (d.275H) - rahimahullaah - said:
"Some of the People of Knowledge explained this hadeeth by saying: Its meaning is to fast and break the fast along with the Jamaa’ah and the majority of people." [10]
Thus, in this blessed month we can sense an increased feeling of unity and of being a single Ummah due to our fasting and breaking our fast collectively. We also feel an increased awareness about the state of affairs of the Muslims and of the hardships that they endure, because: "During the fast a Muslim feels and experiences what his needy and hungry brothers and sisters feel, who are forced to go without food and drink for many days - as occurs today to many of the Muslims in Africa." [21] Indeed, the unity of the Muslims - and their aiding and assisting one another - is one of the great fundamentals upon which the Religion of Islaam is built, as Allah - the Most High -said: "And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allah and do not be divided." [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:103]. Allah - the Most High - also said: "The Believers - men and women - and friends and protectors to one another." [Soorah at-Tawbah 9:44].
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728) - rahimahullaah - said:
"The welfare of people will not be complete - neither in this world, nor in the Hereafter - except with ijtimaa‘ (collectiveness), ta‘aawun (mutual cooperation), and tanaasur (mutual help); mutual cooperation in order to secure benefits, and mutual help in order to ward off harm. It is for this reason that man is said to be social and civil by nature." [22]
Thus we see that Islaam lays great importance in bringing hearts together and encouraging ijtimaa‘ (collectiveness). This is not only reflected in the month of Ramadhan, but also in the other acts of worship as well. So, for example, we have been ordered by the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to pray the five daily Prayers in congregation, and that it has been made twenty-seven times more rewarding than praying it individually. [23] Likewise, this similar collective spirit is demonstrated in the act of Hajj (Pilgrimage). Even in learning knowledge and studying it, blessings have been placed in collectiveness, as Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "No people gather together in a house from the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it amongst themselves, except that tranquility descends upon them, mercy envelops them, the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them to those that are with Him." [24] Likewise, even in our everyday actions such as eating, Islam teaches us collectiveness. Thus, when some of the Companions of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him: O Messenger of Allah, we eat but do not become satisfied. He replied: "Perhaps you eat individually?" They replied, Yes! So he said: "Eat collectively and mention the name of Allah. There will then be blessings for you in it." [25] Indeed, even in the etiquette’s of sitting the spirit of collectiveness ' is demonstrated. So, one day the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came across the Companions who were sitting in separate circles, so he said to them: "Why do I see you sitting separately!" [26] Similarly, Aboo Tha‘labah al-Khushanee (radiyAllahu ‘anhu) said: Whenever the people used to encamp, they used to split-up into the mountain passes and valleys. So Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "Indeed your being split-up in these mountain passes and valleys is from Shaytaan." Thereafter, whenever they used to encamp, they used to keep very close together, to such an extent that it was said: If a cloth were to be spread over them, it would cover them all. [27]
Thus, Ramadhan is a time to increase our sense of unity and brotherhood, and our commitment to Allah and His Religion. And there is no doubt that this sense of unity necessitates that: "We all work together as required by Islam as sincere brothers - not due to hizbiyyah (bigoted party spirit), nor sectarianism - in order to realize that which is of benefit to the Islaamic Ummah and to establish the Islamic society that every Muslim aspires for so that the Sharee‘ah (Prescribed Law) of Allah is applied upon His earth" [28] So we must examine ourselves during the month of Ramadhan and ask: What is my role? - and each of us has a role - in helping this precious Ummah to regain its honour, and return to the Ummah its comprehensive unity and strength, and victory that has been promised to it? Likewise, we should reflect upon our own character and actions and ask: Are they aiding the process of unity and brotherhood, or are they a harm and a hindrance to it?
So we ask Allah to grant us the ability to change ourselves for the better, during this blessed month, and not to be of those who are prevented from His Mercy and forgiveness. Indeed He is the One who Hears and He is the One to Respond.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Neglecting Fasting in Ramadan

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
Any Muslim who neglects fasting in Ramadhan, without a reason accepted by the Shari'a, commits a major sin and should first repent to Allah because he has violated Ramadhan which is a pillar of Islam.
Narrated Abu Dawood, Al Tirmizi and Ibn Majah from Abu Huraira that the Prophet said: "Whoever leaves fasting a day in Ramadhan without an excuse, that Allah has set out for him, will not be able to make up for it even if he fasts for the whole eternity. "
Imam Al Dhahbi said: "It is established among all Muslims that whoever gives up fasting in Ramadhan, without a legal excuse such as an illness or a travel, is worse than the alcoholic, the adulterer and the fornicator. They even doubt his true belief and suspect him of infidelity and decadence. Moreover, he should make up for any days he missed to fast. The evidence for this is the order given by the Prophet to the man who had sexual intercourse with his wife in the day of Ramadhan. He ordered him saying: "Fast a day instead of it" (Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah).
So since it is obligatory on sick people and travelers, who are legally excused, to make up for the days they missed to fast, it is at least obligatory on those who did not fast although they were fit and not traveling, to make up for the days they neglected to fast. On the other hand, one is not obliged to make up for the days he missed on a consecutive basis unless the number of days he is supposed to fast and the number of days remaining before the coming Ramadhan are the same. In this situation one must fast successive days for the Hadeeth narrated by Aisha she said:" Sometimes I missed some days of Ramadan, but could not fast in lieu of them except in the month of Sha'ban." Said Yahya, a sub-narrator, "She used to be busy serving the Prophet." Albukhari "Delaying to make up for the missing days without a legal reason until the coming Ramadhan is not allowed. But if one happens to do so he should then make up for the missed days and feed a Miskeen 'poor' for each missed day as an expiation. This is narrated from Ibn Omar, Ibn Abbass and Abu Huraira.
In addition, if one has sexual intercourse during daytime in Ramadhan he should make an expiation for that as described below: Freeing a slave exempt from defects, if he can not do so he should fast two consecutive months. If he can not do so he should feed sixty poor/needy people as narrated by Abu Huraira in the following Hadeeth: "A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "I am ruined." The Prophet asked, "What do you mean?" He said, "I had a sexual intercourse with my wife during Ramadan (while fasting)." The Prophet asked him, "Can you manumit a slave?" He replied in the negative. He then asked him, "Can you fast for two successive months continuously" He replied in the negative. The Prophet then asked him, "Can you feed sixty poor persons?" He replied in the negative. In the meantime an Ansari came with a basket full of dates. The Prophet said to the man, "Take it and give it in charity (as an expiation of your sin)." The man said "Should I give it to some people who are poorer than we O Allah's Apostle? By Him Who has sent you with the truth, there is no family between Medina's two mountains poorer than we." Allah's Apostle told him to take it and provide his family with it.
Allah knows best.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Would You Do if You Knew This Was Your Last Ramadan? A Reminder for Us!!

We have 30 days of Ramadan each year. Some of us look forward it because of its bountiful benefits to our spiritual self. It makes us stronger inwardly and this helps us face another new year.
But sometimes, even though we know of its many benefits, we still feel weary and tired of fasting and keeping up with our many spiritual obligations from praying to reading and studying the Quran daily, and even watching how we speak and interact with people. No one ever said that fasting would be easy - it is not simply abstaining from food and water from daybreak to sunset. It is a whole lot more. Most of us know this.
And yet, being human, we start consciously or unconsciously slacking off, be it from duties such as praying or reading the Quran. Instead, we spend our day sleeping, might eating and talking instead of prayer and relection. If we feel guilty, then we tell ourselves that we will fast "properly" the next day. In some cases, when a bad cycle begins, it can be difficult to break it. And before we know it, Ramadan has ended. We celebrate Eid and another year begins. Well, maybe next year, we'll do it "properly".
But what if we do not get another chance to fast "properly" so that God forgives all of our sins? We may be healthy and fit right now, but what is the guarantee that we will remain healthy and fit tomorrow? If you knew that this was your last Ramadan, that something might prevent you from ever experiencing Ramadan again, would you not want to observe it the right way today, the best you can? So that you can reap of its benefits while you are still able to?
One of our writers' relative suffered a small stroke while fasting recently. The stroke was not fatal, nor will it be permanently damaging. But it was serious enough that she is not expected to be able to fast the rest of the month. Perhaps since she is of advanced age, she might not be able to fast any more for the rest of her life.
But that should give us all pause. We do not know what the future holds. We may be young and healthy, and have all of bodily and mental functions intact. But that can change in an instant. It is only when we think of our own mortality that we know how limiting we as human beings actually are. And how precious time is.
Do not waste your time. Use it well. And make this Ramadan count because we do not know what the future holds, if we are lucky enough to observe another one.
"Man does not weary of asking for good (things), but if ill touches him, he gives up all hope (and) is lost in despair."
When we give him a taste of some Mercy from Ourselves, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say, "This is due to my (merit): I think not that the Hour (of Judgment) will (ever) be established; but if I am brought back to my Lord, I have (much) good (stored) in His sight!" But We will show the Unbelievers the truth of all that they did, and We shall give them the taste of a severe Penalty.
When We bestow favours on man, he turns away, and gets himself remote on his side (instead of coming to Us); and when evil seizes him, (he comes) full of prolonged prayer!"
(Quran, 41:49-51)
If we were to step back a moment and realize that this is the last Ramadan we will see in our lifetime, how would we spend it? Death we know can come to us at any time, yet we still remain so ignorant of the time now given to us to be utilized by Allah the Almighty.
I pray Allah gives, first of all me, and all Muslims the ability to utilize the month of Ramadan..May this Ramadan be our best so far, for we know not if we will witness the next, Aameen..
Jazaak Allah Khairan for reading.
Author: Unknown (If you know the author name, please write it on the comment section)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tun Mahathir against Langkawi Bridge project

LANGKAWI: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is against the proposed Langkawi bridge project saying that it will erode the island's unique features.
"Langkawi must remain an island and is unsuitable to be turned into a land mass," he told reporters after presenting chocolates and cash to 120 orphans and special children at Masjid Istiqamah in Kuala Teriang here Sunday night.
Two companies based in Perlis had proposed building a 48km bridge linking Langkawi to Kuala Perlis on the mainland.
Juruelit Sdn Bhd executive chairman Kamarudin Husin said on Friday the company had enough funds to build the project that includes a monorail bridge.
On another note, Tun Mahathir said he was disappointed that Muslims had become enemies just because they had different views.
He added as fellow Muslims they should not turn bitter enemies as it would divide and weaken them.
The former premier cautioned that this could result in Muslims losing power in their own land.
Tun Mahathir and wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali later joined 500 Muslims for buka puasa, maghrib, isyak dan tarawih prayers. - Bernama

tunku : i am sure that not Tun Mahathir alone is against it, majority of the people against this idea too especially the people of Langkawi.Langkawi will lose its charm if a bridge is build to link it to mainland.there will be to many vehicles in Langkawi which will bring serious pollution to the island.we hope that Juruelit Sdn Bhd which claimed has enough fund should build a bridge to replace the Johor causeway.it will be cheaper instead.do not pollute Langkawi,please.

Ramadhan: the Month of Qur'an

By Br. Abu Dharr, Based on Ibn Rajab's "Lata'if al-Ma'arif"
Ramadan has a special relationship with the Qur'an, of course:
"The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur'an was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion; so whoever amongst you witnesses this month, let him fast it." (cf. Surah al-Baqarah 2:185)
The word 'so' (fa) in this ayah leads to the following paraphrase of one aspect of its meaning:
"Fast this month because it is the one in which the Qur'an was sent down."
Ibn 'Abbas narrates that "the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was the most generous person, and he would be at his most generous in Ramadan because Jibril would come to him every night and he would rehearse the Qur'an with him." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Eng. trans. 6/486)
This hadith contains recommendation of the following:
* Studying the Qur'an in Ramadan;
* Coming together for this purpose;
* Checking (one's memory/knowledge of) the Qur'an with someone who has preserved it better;
* Increasing recitation of the Qur'an in Ramadan;
* That the night time is the best time to recite, when other preoccupations decrease and it is easier to concentrate, as in Surah al-Muzzammil 73:6.
Further, Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated from her father (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who told her that Jibril would rehearse the Qur'an with him (in Ramadan) once every year, and he did so twice in the year of his death. (Bukhari 6/485)
After mentioning the above aspects of the Sunnah, Ibn Rajab talks about the situation of the Salaf (the early Muslims) during Ramadan:
"... Some of the Salaf would complete reciting the whole Qur'an during the night prayer of Ramadan every 3 days, others every 7 days e.g. Qataadah, others in 10 days e.g. Abu Rajaa' al-Atardi. The Salaf would recite Qur'an in Ramadan in Prayer as well as outside it. Al-Aswad would finish the Qur'an every 2 nights in Ramadan; Ibrahim an-Nakh would do likewise in the last 10 nights specifically, & every 3 nights during the rest of the month. Qataadah would regularly finish the Qur'an in 7 days, but in 3 days during Ramadan, when he would study the Qur'an especially, and every night during its last 10 days. Al-Zuhri would say when Ramadan began, 'It is recitation of the Qur'an and feeding of people.'

When Ramadan began, Imam Malik would cease narrating Hadith and sitting with the people of knowledge, and stick to reciting the Qur'an from its pages, while Sufyan al-Thawri would leave other acts of worship and stick to reciting the Qur'an. 'Aishah would recite from the pages of the Qur'an at the beginning of the day in Ramadan (i.e. after Dawn), until when the sun had risen, she would sleep. Zayd al-Yaami would bring copies of the Qur'an when Ramadan began and gather his companions around him. ..."
Ibn Rajab later continues,
"The forbiddance of completing recitation of the Qur'an in less than 3 days applies to this being made a regular practice, but as for favoured times such as Ramadan, esp. the nights in which Laylat al-Qadr is sought, or favoured places such as Makkah for the visitor, it is recommended to increase reciting the Qur'an to avail the time and place. This is the view of Ahmad, Ishaq and other Imams, and the practice of others indicates this too."
The purpose here is not to discuss whether or not the latter view is correct or not, since that is purely academic for most of us, as we do not get anywhere near reciting the whole Qur'an in three days! However, the practice of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), his Companions, and those who followed their path, should be clear enough. As a further example, Bukhari (3/79) quotes from the noble Companion Zaid bin Thabit who answered the question, "How much time was there between the pre-dawn meal and the Dawn Prayer?" by saying, "Enough time to recite fifty ayat." Since the practice of the Arabs was to measure time in terms of everyday actions, this shows that the Sahabah were preoccupied with the Qur'an, especially in Ramadan.
Compare all this with our sad state, when we talk so much about establishing Islam, implementing the Qur'an, etc. and yet have such little contact with it, maybe not completing its recitation ever at all since childhood, or perhaps never! Hence we become unbalanced in our understanding of Islam, because there are ayat which we rarely or never hear or think about; we repeat only certain selected ayat over and over again; we lost the context of the verses, the overall flow, argument and balance of the Qur'an, all of which is beautiful & miraculous. Because of this ignorance we go astray from the Straight Path, split up into sects, lose the blessings of Allah...
"We took a covenant from those who said: we are Christians, but they forgot part of the message with which they had been reminded, so we ingrained amongst them enmity and hatred until the Day of Judgment..." (Surah al-Ma'idah 5:14)
In Sahih Bukhari (6/521), there is an amazing piece of advice from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): "Recite the Qur'an as long as your hearts agree on it; if you disagree about it, stop reciting it (for the time being)." Studying the Qur'an should bring people together!
In Surah al-Mu'minoon (23:53), there is mention of the people before us (in whose footsteps we would follow), who broke up their Deen into sects (zuburan), each party rejoicing in what it had. One understanding of this, from the word zuburan meaning literally 'books', is that each sect left the Book of Allah and concentrated solely on the books of its own sect, so "they split their deen up into books"!
The most twisted, ridiculous, shallow ideas, innovations and superstitions are propagated amongst Muslims when they are away from the Qur'an, because any little knowledge of the Qur'an would be enough to dispel them.
Hence, O servant of Allah, leave aside secondary books and concentrate on studying the blessed Book of Allah in this blessed month (use a good translation/commentary if needed), for it is the source of all knowledge in other books, and keep away from wasting time, especially in futile discussions and arguments which lead nowhere, for that is a sure sign of being misguided, as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "Whenever a people went astray after they had been on guidance, they were given to argumentation (jadl)." (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah - Sahih al-Jami' al-Saghir, no. 5633)
Finally, remember that the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) will complain to Allah on the Day of Judgment that his people neglected the Qur'an (Surah al-Furqan 25:30). Neglect of the Qur'an is of different levels, as Ibn al-Qayyim writes:
Not reciting or listening to it;
Not studying and understanding it;
Not conveying its message;
Not judging by it in personal and communal matters, at all levels of society;
Not believing in it.
All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Government Urged To Ban Pornography To Combat Social Ills

PETALING JAYA, Aug 21 (Bernama) -- The government must ban pornography on the internet to tackle social ills among youth.
4B Youth Movement chairman Badrul Hisham Badruddin said pornography ruined the mind of teenagers and must be eradicated.
Following the increase in baby dumping cases among the youth, the movement carried out various awareness programmes on the issue, he told Bernama here Saturday.
He said the programmes focused on youth aged below 35, as this group was mostly involved in such incidents.
Earlier, Badrul Hisham launched a fund collection drive for Pakistani flood victims and handed out the movement's bubur lambuk (rice porridge) to motorists on the New Pantai Expressway in PJS 2 here today.

tunku : i don't understand why the government is not banning the porno websites.please, we the public urge to the government to ban all porno website.let our country be porno free country,at least in the internet as it is the most easiest way to get one. BAN IT.

Nik Aziz declines comment on Friday sermon issue

KOTA BAHARU: PAS Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat declined to comment on the issue of the alleged use of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's name in the prayer during the Friday sermon in several mosques in Penang.
He said it was a personal issue and did not wish to comment on such matter.
He said that when approached by reporters at his house in Kampung Pulau Melaka here Saturday.
Nik Aziz said he did not know much about the issue and it was not a political issue, and as such did not want to comment.
The Penang Umno Liaison Committee had alleged that Lim's name was switched with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's in the prayer during the Friday sermon at several mosques in the Tasik Gelugor, Permatang Pauh and Jelutong areas, but the Penang government had denied the allegation. Bernama

tunku : a true ulama will definitely will give his comment on the above issue as it is a serious issue.nik aziz is not ulama, he is just a politician, furthermore you are asking him about khalifah lim guan eng, for sure he will shut his mouth.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Family in Ramadan

Praise be to Allah.
It is one of the blessings of Allah to the Muslim that He enables him to fast in Ramadaan and to spend its nights in prayer. It is a month in which good deeds are multiplied and people are raised in status, when Allah frees some people from the Fire. So the Muslim should strive to make the most of this month and the goodness it brings; he should hasten to spend his life in worship. How many people have been deprived of this month because of sickness, death or misguidance.
The Muslim must make the most of his time during this month; he has an unavoidable duty towards his children, to raise them well and bring them up properly, to urge them to do all kinds of goodness and make them get used to that – because the child will grow up in the manner to which his parents makes him get accustomed.
During these blessed days, the father and mother have a role to play in making the most of this time, and we can offer parents the following advice:

1 – Checking on the children’s fasting and encouraging those who fall short in this regard.

2 – Reminding them about the real nature of fasting, and that it is not just giving up food and drink, but it is a means of attaining taqwa (piety), and that it is an opportunity for sins to be forgiven and expiated.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ascended the minbar and said: “Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.” It was said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, why did you do that?” He said, “Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person who Ramadaan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Ameen.’”
Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah, 1888; al-Tirmidhi, 3545; Ahmad, 7444; Ibn Hibbaan, 908. See Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3501.

3 – Teaching them the etiquette and rulings on eating, such as eating with the right hand from what is directly in front of them; reminding them that extravagance is haraam and is harmful to the body.

4 – Not letting them spend too long on eating iftaar so that they miss praying Maghrib in congregation.

5 – Reminding them about the situation of the poor and destitute who cannot find even a mouthful of food to quench the fires of hunger; reminding them of the situation of those who have migrated or are fighting in jihad for the sake of Allah in all places.

6 – These gatherings offer an opportunity to bring relatives together and uphold the ties of kinship. This custom still exists in some countries, and it is an opportunity to reconcile and mend broken ties between relatives.

7 – Helping the mother to prepare the food, and to clean up and keep the food fit for eating.

8 – Reminding them to pray qiyaam (taraweeh) and to prepare for it by not eating too much and to get ready in time to perform the prayer in the mosque.

9 – With regard to suhoor, the parents should remind the family of the barakah (blessing) of suhoor and that it gives a person the strength to fast.

10 – Allowing enough time before Fajr prayer so that those who have not prayed Witr may do so, and so that those who have delayed their prayer until the end of the night may pray, and so that each person may make du’aa’ to his Lord as he wishes.

11 – Paying attention to praying Fajr on time in congregation in the mosque, for those who are required to do so. We have seen many people who wake up at the end of the night to eat, then they go back to bed and neglect Fajr prayer.

12 – It was the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the last ten days of Ramadaan to stay up at night and wake his family. This indicates that the family should pay attention to making the most of this blessed time in doing things that are pleasing to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. So the husband should wake his wife and children to do that which will bring them closer to their Lord.

13 – There may be small children in the house who need to be encouraged to fast, so the father should urge them to get up for suhoor, and encourage them to fast by praising them and giving a reward to the one who fasts the whole month or half of it, and so on.
It was narrated that al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh said: On the morning of ‘Ashoora’ the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent word to the villages of the Ansaar saying, “Whoever started out not fasting, let him not eat for the rest of the day, and whoever started the day fasting, let him fast.” She said: We used to fast and make our children fast, [and take them to the mosques] and make toys for them out of wool, then if one of them cried for food we would give him that toy until iftaar.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1859; Muslim, 1136 – the words in square brackets were narrated by Muslim.
Al-Nawawi said:
This hadeeth shows that we should train children to do acts of worship and get them used to that, but they are not accountable. Al-Qaadi said: It was narrated from ‘Urwah that when they are able to fast it becomes obligatory upon them. This is a mistake which is disproven by the saheeh hadeeth, “The Pen is lifted from three: from the child until he reaches adolescence…” And Allah knows best.
Sharh Muslim, 8/14

14 – If possible, the father and mother should take the family for ‘Umrah in Ramadaan, and that is something that will benefit them in the Hereafter, themselves and their family, for ‘Umrah during Ramadaan has the same reward as Hajj. It is better to go at the beginning of Ramadaan so as to avoid the crowds.

15 – The husband should not overburden his wife with more than she can bear of having to prepare food and sweets. Many people take this month to prepare fancy foods and drinks, and they go extremes in that. This detracts from the sweetness of this month and goes against the reason for fasting, which is to attain piety.

16 – The month of Ramadaan is the month of the Qur’aan, so we suggest that each family gets together to read Qur’aan. The father should teach his family to recite Qur’aan and help them to understand the meanings of the verses. In the same gathering they may also read a book about the rulings and etiquette of fasting. Allah has enabled many scholars and seekers of knowledge to write books which can be used for preaching and teaching during Ramadaan; the books are divided into thirty parts, so one topic can be read each day, and this will benefit everyone.

17 – They should be encouraged to spend and check on their neighbours and the needy.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous during Ramadaan when Jibreel met him. He would meet him each night and revise the Qur’aan with him. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was more generous than the blowing wind.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6; Muslim, 2308.

18 – The parents should prevent their families and children from staying up late at night and wasting their time in things that are of no benefit, let alone things that are haraam. For the devils among mankind are more active in this month in promoting evil things and acts of immorality to those who are fasting, during the nights of Ramadaan and during the days.

19 – They should remember the family’s meeting in Allah’s Paradise in the Hereafter, and the great joy of meeting there under the shade of His throne. These blessed gatherings in this world and coming together to obey Allah by seeking knowledge, fasting and praying are only the means that lead to attaining that happiness.

Friday, August 20, 2010

14 Gifts to Those Who Fast

by Shaykh `Aa'id Abdullah al-Qarnee
At this stage I cannot find a better gift or greater masterpiece than to present to those who fast gifts from the Prophet of guidance sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam. They are those practical hadiths that have been mentioned in connection with rewards and blessings. Behold! They are the hadiths that lead to the doors of happiness and the paths of goodness in this world and the Hereafter.
O you who fast! Record these hadiths and implement them:

1. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said: "Whoever says at daybreak: 'There is no God save Allah alone, He has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion and the praise and He has power over all things;'... ten good deeds will be written for him, ten misdeeds will be erased, and he will be elevated ten levels. He will be protected from Satan until evening, and if he says it in the evening, he would have the same rewards until morning." (Ahmad, Abu Daud, Ibn Majah - sahih).

2. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam also said: "Whoever says in the morning or in the evening: 'O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no God beside You. You created me and I am Your slave and I have taken a covenant to You and promised You what I am able to do. I seek refuge with You from the evil of what I have done, I acknowledge Your favour upon me and I acknowledge my sin. Forgive me because none forgives sins except You.' If a servant died during the day or night after having said this prayer, he will enter Paradise." (Ahmad, Abu Daud, Al Nisa'e, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Al Hakim - sahih; Al Bukhari transmits another version of this hadith).

3. Again the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said: "Whoever says at morning or evening: 'Glory and praise be Allah the Great' one hundred times, no one will come forward on the Day of Judgement with better than he; except if someone said the same as him and added to it." (Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daud, Al Tirmidhi).

4. "Whoever said: 'Glory and praise be to Allah the Great', a date tree will be planted for him in the Paradise." (Al Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban, Al Hakim - sahih).

5. "Whoever says: "Glory and praise be to Allah" one hundred times in a single day his sins would be erased even if they were like the waves of the sea." (Bukhari and Muslim).

6. "Whoever implements ten verses of the Quran will not be included among the negligent. Whoever implements one hundred verses will be considered among the obedient. And, whoever implements one thousand verses will be among he extremely rich." (Abu Daud, Ibn Hibban - sahih).

7. "Whoever says in the evening: 'In the name of Allah with whose name there can be no harm in the earth or in the heavens and He is the Hearer the Knower,' three times, he will not be afflicted with a sudden calamity before morning. And whoever says it in the morning three times will not be afflicted with a sudden calamity before evening." (Abu Daud, Ibn Hibban, Al Hakim - sahih).

8. "Whoever says: 'I seek refuge with the perfect words of Allah from the evil that He created' three times in the evening will not be harmed by the bite of a serpent during that night." (Al Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban, Al Hakim - sahih).

9. "Whoever says upon leaving his house: 'In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah, there is no movement and no power except with Allah', it would be said to him: 'You have been contented and you took precaution,' and Satan will turn away from him." (Al Tirmidhi, Abu Daud, Ibn Hibban, Ibn al Sunni - sahih).

10. "Whoever says when he hears the caller to prayer: 'And I bear witness that there is no God save Allah, He is alone and has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. I am pleased with Allah as Lord, Muhammad as Prophet and Islam as religion,' all his sins will be forgiven." (Muslim and the other five).

11. "Whoever recites the Surah al Ikhlas ten times, Allah will build for him a house in the Paradise." (Ahmad - sahih).

12. "Whoever recites the Surah al Kahf on a Friday, a light will be created for him until the next Friday." (Al Hakim and Al Bayhaqi - sahih).

13. "Whoever recites Aayat al-Kursi (the Verse of the Throne) after every compulsory prayer will not be forbidden entrance to Paradise." (Ibn Hibban and Al Nisa'e - sahih).

14. "Whoever recites Surah al Ikhlas it is as if he read one-third of the Quran." (Ahmad, Al Nisa'e, Al Tirmidhi - sahih).

This bouquet from Muhammad sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam we grant to all those who fast.
O Allah! Help us to remember You, thank You and worship You in the best way. Ameen.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sodomy 2- Consensual or non consensual.

Sodomy II: Federal Court reserves decision on Anwar's appeal to get witness statements

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court reserved its decision on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's appeal against the Court of Appeal and High Court's decisions which dismissed his application to obtain the witness statements, including that of star witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in the Opposition leader's second sodomy case.
Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria deferred the judgment after hearing the submissions of Anwar's counsel Karpal Singh, and Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, who is leading the prosecution in the sodomy trial.
In Thursday's proceedings, Arifin headed the three-men bench with two other Federal Court judges, Tan Sri James Foong and Datuk Seri Md Raus Shariff.
In his submission, Karpal said the defence should be given access to Mohd Saiful's cautioned statement, saying the defence had a "hunch" that he might have told police that the alleged sexual act was consensual, and that he, therefore, contradicted himself at the trial by testifying in court that it was non-consensual.
"We need his statement in order to impeach him and we if we succeed, that's the end of the matter and it would be pointless for the prosecution even if they produce a million witnesses to proof a case against Anwar," Karpal Singh said.
Karpal said the Court of Appeal was wrong when it ruled that the court had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal, and in concluding that the appeal was an interlocutory appeal and occurred during the trial.
On June 25, Court of Appeal judges, Justices Datuk Sulong Matjeraie, Datuk Ramly Ali and Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim held, that they did not have the jurisdiction to hear and entertain the appeal because the High Court's ruling on that matter was not a final order which had the effect of finally determining the rights of the party.
The three-man bench dismissed Anwar's appeal and upheld the High Court's decision delivered on May 12, this year, which denied him access to Mohd Saiful's police statement.
The 63-year-old Permatang Pauh MP claimed that Mohd Saiful had testified that the alleged sodomy took place without his consent, but he (Anwar) was charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code with consensual sexual intercourse.
Karpal also wanted the Apex Court to rule on what constituted a final order within the definition of "decision" in Section 3 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.
Meanwhile, Mohd Yusof submitted that the Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear the matter because whatever ruling made by the High Court during the trial was not a final order and that parties could still appeal at the end of the trial.
Yusof also reiterated that the Attorney-General had the power to decide in which section it could charge a person.
In Anwar's case, he said, it was not really an issue whether the charge was under Section 377B or 377C, saying it was more for the prosecution to establish that carnal intercourse had taken place.
Earlier, Karpal insisted that the Court of Appeal had yet to hand down the proper grounds for its dismissal of Anwar's appeal, saying what the court had were just broad reasons.
Yusof said the grounds of judgment were stated in the "broad reasons" and that there was no necessity for another judgement.
"It's just matter of terminology used and we are saying that the grounds of judgment are already here and the court should go on with the appeal proceedings," added Yusof.
After a brief stand down, Arifin said the bench agreed with Yusof and ordered both parties to submit on the merit of the appeal. - Bernama

tunku : it looks like karpal admitted indirectly that the sodomy did take place but right now he just want to know if saiful had said in his statement whether its consensual or non consensual.they are just trying to get out from this case on technical ground like the Sodomy 1.

What is the virtue of Taraaweeh prayers?

Praise be to Allah.

Taraaweeh prayer is Sunnah mustahabbah (i.e., recommended) according to scholarly consensus, and comes under the heading of qiyaam al-layl (night prayers). It is supported by the evidence of the Qur’aan and Sunnah which encourages qiyaam al-layl and describes its virtues.

Praying qiyaam in Ramadaan is one of the greatest acts of worship by means of which a person can draw closer to his Lord in this month. Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab said: Note that in the month of Ramadaan the believer engages in jihad al-nafs on two fronts: during the day by fasting and during the night by praying qiyaam. Whoever combines these two types of jihad will be given reward without limit.
There are some ahaadeeth which speak specifically about praying qiyaam in Ramadaan and describe the virtue of so doing. For example:
Al-Bukhaari (37) and Muslim (759) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
“Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan” means spends its nights in prayer.
“Out of faith” means, believing in Allah’s promise of reward.
"And in the hope of reward” means, seeking the reward and with no other intention such as showing off etc.
“Will be forgiven his previous sins”:
Ibn al-Mundhir was certain that this includes both minor and major sins, but al-Nawawi said: What is known among the fuqaha’ is that this applies only to forgiveness of minor sins, not major sins. Some of them said: It may mean that the burden of major sins is reduced, so long as so long as there are no minor sins.
From Fath al-Baari.

The believer should be keen to strive in worship in the last ten nights of Ramadaan more than at other times, because in these ten nights is Laylat al-Qadr, of which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months”
[al-Qadr 97:3]
Concerning the reward of qiyaam on this night, it is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1768; Muslim, 1268.
Hence the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to strive hard in worship in the last ten nights as he did not do at other times.
Narrated by Muslim, 1175.
Al-Bukhaari (2024) and Muslim (1174) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “When the last ten days began, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would tie his lower garment (izaar) tight and stay up at night, and wake his family.”
“The last ten days” means the last ten days of Ramadaan.
“tie his lower garment (izaar) tight” - it was said that this is a metaphor for striving hard in worship, or for keeping away from his wives, and it may be that it includes both meanings.
“stay up at night” means staying up and praying and doing other acts of worship.
“and wake his family” means, he would wake them up to pray at night.
Al-Nawawi said:
This hadeeth indicates that it is mustahabb to do more acts of worship during the last ten nights of Ramadaan, and to stay up at night to worship.

We should be keen to pray qiyaam al-layl in Ramadaan in congregation, and to stay with the imam until he finishes praying. In this way the worshipper will attain the reward for praying the whole night, even if he only spends a short part of the night in prayer. And Allah is the Owner of great bounty.
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The scholars are agreed that it is mustahabb to pray Taraaweeh, but they differed as to whether it is better for a person to pray on his own at home or in congregation in the mosque. Al-Shaafa’i and most of his companions, Abu Haneefah, Ahmad and some of the Maalikis and others said that it is better to pray it in congregation, as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab and the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) did and as the Muslims continued to do.
Al-Tirmidhi (806) narrated that Abu Dharr said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and b blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, will be recorded as having spent the whole night in prayer.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
And Allah knows best.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ramadan - An opportunity to know your inner self

by Irshaad Hussain
Fasting (Sawm) carries a two-fold meaning - two seemingly opposing definitions combined into a single word. And sawm, as described in the Qur'an and the hadith, simultaneously fulfills both of these definitions. The primary meaning is to hold back, to refrain from, to abstain - the further meaning is to rise beyond, to move past former limits.
The month of Ramadan is a time in which we hold our bodily compulsions and instincts under strict control, together with our thoughts and our mental states, our moods and desires. We submit ourselves (our nafs) and our accustomed patterns of life to a higher template, one that fosters a regimen of self-restraint within the body and mind and correspondingly seeks an intensification of the life of the spirit. The body is ordered to fast from what it needs, from what is normally allowed to it, from what it desires, from what it craves, from what it may seek on a whim, and from what it habitually seeks - from all that leads to an intensification of the activities of the nafs.
During the interval of daylight, halal (the allowed) transforms into haram (the forbidden) and whatever nourishes the physical body becomes haram. As for the nafs, it undertakes a psychic fast from anger, backbiting, gossip, harshness towards others, from reaching in any manner through any of the senses towards that which is disallowed. All those inclinations which strengthen the nafs, which allow it to inject itself with vigor and attachment into the flux of worldly life are proscribed and denied expression.
The nafs continuously asserts itself through it's ties with the body and according to a complex and ever-shifting world of attraction and desire, knowledge and ignorance that endlessly churns within it. Through its movements and motions, it seeks what it needs and wants and can become, depending on circumstances, complacent or cavalier, disdainful or self-assured, arrogant or fearful, callous or ambitious, lethargic or craving - endlessly acting and reacting within the confines of its limited knowledge. What it does not know it is ignorant of, and what it does not know is infinitely more vast in extent than what it knows. So it's knowledge is forever outweighed by it's ignorance and it's pursuits and actions are indicators of which of these (knowledge or ignorance) it acts upon.
The nafs is in continuous restless motion, but it is a motion that circumambulates around a center of manifold physical and chemical interactions that give rise to need, wants, pleasures, habits, moods, impulsions, compulsions, and desires. The complex system of body and mind are in an incessant state of movement (that ceases only with death), switching continually from one mode to the other, pouring forth a torrent of thoughts and internal impulses that turn the mind's focus endlessly from one locus to another. There is perpetual movement and motion but within tightly constrained boundaries - pivoting around the locus of the nafs and what it seeks.
And so the qur'anic command is issued - "...fast until the night...." (Qur'an 2:187) Fast from what the nafs needs and desires. Let the nafs know that there is a truer aspect of yourself, a center capable of overseeing and stabilizing all the intersecting mental systems of the mind and all the material/chemical/habitual/hormonal systems of the body. Proclaim to it that there is a guardian and owner and ruler over the nafs and over the physical form with which it is integrally co-mingled. Let it know that the form and the stirrings of need and desire within the nafs have to submit to this guardian in seeking their satisfaction. The wants, needs, and desires that spring from the material form must submit to the governance and tutelage of a higher form - to the spiritual form indicated by the hadith that states: "God created Adam in His own form...." (hadith)
This is not the material form driven by chemical interactions but the spiritual substance which is the subtle, essential form of a human being - one that is masked by the ceaseless activity of an unconstrained nafs (nafs al-amarra).
The material form and its impulses (manifested through the nafs) are reigned in during fasting. All the things which give strength, vigor, and life to the body and nafs are terminated - the attachment is reduced, denuded, weakened. We cease to consume and are no longer able to enjoy what feeds our physical form and with that cessation we begin to unhook the clamps which bind us to the most basic goods of this world. We undo the shackles which tie us through our physicality to the world. By penetrating to the very root of our attachment, to the most fundamental layer, to the very seat of our creaturely connection to the world - food, water, sex (the three cardinal symbols of life) we overturn their dominion and arrive at a position where we, for a time, subdue them.
We deny creaturely externals, we let the creaturely demands and impulses remain unanswered - over the course of the days of fasting we let them subside and wane. We let them grow silent so we have a chance to hear what we otherwise would not hear, to perceive what we otherwise could not perceive. We subdue our physical form and when its clamoring grows silent we perhaps become aware of a spiritual form that resides subtly within us.
The vigil of denial and regulation of the physical form and the nafs is maintained until the spirit and mind's ascendancy becomes clear. "Fast until the night...." (Qur'an 2:187) The night approaches and the day's fast ends with the former hierarchy reversed - what was first (physically and psychically generated needs, wants, and desires) comes last and what was last comes first, and with this new ordering of spirit and body in place, the fast is completed. Over the course of the month of Ramadan, as the days merge into the nights, this drama of reversal is repeated and intensified till the person fasting (the person who undertakes the fast with complete sincerity and profound intensity) approaches a state of spiritual readiness.
Until in the watch (the vigil) of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan, there arrives the possibility of a profound inner remaking, an unfolding of the potential to witness the laylatul qadr. "And what can convey to you what laylatul qadr is? That night is better than a thousand months...." (Qur'an 97:2-3) During the day we break ourselves down, we fast from what sustains our existence - we submit our clay form to be unmade, to be kneaded and worked over - we remove ourselves from our material subsistence and turn to prayer and spiritual subsistence from God - we prepare ourselves to be reshaped. The onset of the darkness of night is representative of pure potential waiting to emerge into existence - waiting for the command and decree which will give it form. "The angels and the spirit (ruh) descend in it, by the command of their Lord with every decree...." (Qur'an 97:4) We turn ourselves into malleable clay awating the shaping command of that night - anticipating the profound and weighty descents that accompany laylatul qadr. "(That night is) Peace till the breaking of the dawn." (Qur'an 97:5)
So sawm (fasting) fulfills its meanings - to hold back from, to abstain, pertains to the restraint engendered through the fast - to rise beyond pertains to the results that God bestows upon those who seek the fast with sincerity and knowledge. So the fast is at once a holding back and a lifting up. The body and it's appetites are held back and through this holding back an elusive and subtle but profound awakening begins. We are provided the means by which to alter our reality, to shape what we ourselves are. By holding back the nafs from its activity and its sustenance, moments of stillness, of silence, are obtained - moments in which self-perception sharpens and deepens and spirit awakens and the (spiritual) form with which God created man begins to unfold itself. "And in yourselves - what do you not see?" (Qur'an 51:21)