Archive for July, 2016

Cheating and Deception in Islam

Cheating and deception are despicable characteristics that are beneath a decent person. Intentionally distorting the truth in order to mislead others contradicts the values of honesty, which requires an attitude of sincerity, straightforwardness, and fairness that leaves no room for cheating, lying, trickery, or deceit. There are many texts from the Quran and the Sunnah conveying the meaning that cheating, whether the target be Muslims or non-Muslims, is forbidden.

Accepting the guidance of Islam leads a person to truthfulness, which means a person completely avoids cheating, cheating, and back-stabbing. The Prophet of Islam said:

“Whoever bears arms against us is not one of us, and whoever cheats us is not one of us.” (Saheeh Muslim)

According to another report, the Prophet passed by a pile of food in the market. He put his hand inside it and felt dampness, although the surface was dry. He said:

“O owner of the food, what is this?’

The man said, ‘It was damaged by rain, O Messenger of God.’

He said, ‘Why did you not put the rain-damaged food on top so that people could see it! Whoever cheats us is not one of us.” (Saheeh Muslim)

Muslim society is based on purity of feeling, love, sincerity towards every Muslim, and fulfillment of promises to every member of society. Its members are endowed with piety, truthfulness, and faithfulness. Cheating and deception are alien characters in contrast to the noble character of a true Muslim. There is no room in it for swindlers, double crossers, tricksters, or traitors.

Islam views cheating and deception as heinous sins, a source of shame to the one guilty of committing them, both in this world and the next. The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, did not merely denounce them by excluding them from the Muslim community in this world, he also announced that on the Day of Judgment every traitor would be raised carrying the flag of his betrayal. A caller will cry out from the vast arena of judgment, pointing to him, drawing attention to him:

“Every traitor will have a banner on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said: This is the betrayer of so-and-so.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

The shame of traitors – men and women – will be immense. Those who thought that their betrayal had been forgotten will find it right there, exposed for the whole world to see on banners raised high held by their own hands!

Their shame will increase even more when they meet with the Prophet of Mercy, the advocate of the sinners on that terrifying and horrible Day. Their crime is of such enormity that it will deprive them of divine mercy and the Prophet’s intercession. The Prophet of Islam said:

“God said: There are three whom I will oppose on the Day of Resurrection: a man who gave his word and then betrayed it; a man who sold a free man into slavery and kept the money; and a man who hired someone, benefited from his labor, then did not pay his wages.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

One should steer clear of all the various forms of deceit and deception present in today’s society. Cheating is common in examinations, business transactions, and even between spouses and loved ones. Placing a label on domestically-made products to make it seem that it is imported is a kind of fraud. Some people give wrong advice when their council is sought and thus deceive the person who believes he is getting good advice. An employee should do the job for what he is paid for without any deception or cheating. Rulers rig the ballot to win elections and cheat the whole nation. Cheating between spouses and having extra-marital affairs is widespread in modern society. A Muslim should value himself too highly to be among those who cheat or deceive perchance one might fall in the category of hypocrites about whom the Prophet said:

“There are four characteristics, whoever has all of them is a true hypocrite, and whoever has one of them has one of the qualities of a hypocrite until he gives it up: when he is trusted, he betrays; when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he disputes, he resorts to slander.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

Therefore, a Muslim who has true Islamic sensitivities avoids deceit, cheating, treachery, and lying no matter what benefits or profits such activities might bring him, because Islam considers those guilty of such deeds to be hypocrites.

Eid ul-Fitr

Courtesy of Abdul Hamid www.darulihsan.com

O Ummatul Muslimeen! The celebration of Eid ul-Fitr culminates a month of fasting wherein the faithful have spent their time praying and beseeching Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala for forgiveness and mercy. For many, the most glorious month of Ramadan was not just an abstention from food and drink. Rather, it was an exercise in patience and discipline. Eid-ul-Fitr is the celebration for those who fasted and obeyed Almighty Allah’s rules and teachings. It is for those who spent the most wonderful and month of caring and sharing, the month of patience and the month of of constant Ibadah in complete devotion to Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala’meen. Eid is a time when the entire Muslim community comes together to share in each others joys and blessings and also to lessen the burden of those who are suffering.

It is preceded by people shopping and looking around for gifts for their near and dear ones. It is a time when the bright lights from homes and shops illuminates our life. We use this day and the following days to spread happiness and social harmony by visiting our friends and relatives and offering our Duahs to all those who have departed from the Doonya. Gifts are exchanged during Eid by young and old alike. We also visit the elderly and the sick. Eid is a time where all kinds or festivities prevail. Many of us gormandize to make up for “lost food” during the month of Ramadan.

However, with all the going around we some times forget our lesser privileged brethren. We forget that there are many out there who have nothing to celebrate. There are those among our brothers and sisters for whom Eid day is just another ordinary day. There are those who open their cupboards on Eid day and find them bare. There are those in hospitals who will go through a bleak and lonely day with no one visiting them. Friendless, deprived of company, they will have no one to offer solace or comfort. Let us therefore see to it that our deprived brethren welcome the day of Eid-ul-Fitr with warmth and hope. This, after all, is a day of caring and sharing and bringing joy and happiness to those who are less fortunate. This is the essence and message of this most wonderful day of reward.

O People of Imaan! As we buy gifts and clothes for our children, let us earmark a special sum for those who cannot afford to buy. We should also instill in our children a sense of compassion so that when they buy something they will also think of their unfortunate brethren. Let us teach them the art of giving, the art of caring and sharing. The desire of wishing for others what we would wish for ourselves. We should let them know that there are millions of children in war torn areas of Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosova, the Philippines and the Caucasus region, the poor and downtrodden areas of Africa, Asia and South America, and even in the forgotten ghettos of Europe and North America who do not have the basic necessities to make this day a different day – a day of joy and happiness, a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving.

Ayyuhal Muslimoon! This is a day for praying and remembering our unfortunate brothers and sisters who are victims of drought, famine and other natural disasters as well as those who had survived the devastating earthquake in Pakistan and Kashmir and the recent floods in parts of Africa and Bangladesh. They need our urgent help and as true Muslims we must do whatever is necessary to assist them in rebuilding their lives. We cannot divest ourselves from the misery of others. We cannot shrug it off saying that it does not concern us. To do this would be an injustice to humanity and to our Imaan. The Most Holy and Glorious Quran reminds us in verse 8 of Surah Al Ma’idah:

“Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah for
Allah is well acquainted with all that you do.”

Many of us donate money to charity and fulfill our religious duty. However, if we actually meet the recipients of our charity the perception of charity changes. There is a feeling of belonging when the recipients and givers meet. Islamic ideology teaches us to be kind and compassionate. Our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said: “I and the provider of the orphan will be together.” And what greater prize is there for anyone of us than to be around our beloved Nabee – Rahmatul Liel Ala’meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam? All we need for that is Muhabbat, compassion, sincerity and a feeling of brotherhood and understanding. And that will decide the quality of our life on earth and the hereafter.

From the first moment that the light of Allah-wariness shines into the heart of a human being possessing faith, he or she becomes conscious of its worth and significance. Humility, modesty and kindness are proper only before Almighty Allah, Who created all the existents and the world of being with His Will, and human beings are His real servants. Basically, humility in front of the Most Exalted Creator of the heavens and the earth is itself the greatest source of human honour and dignity.

As Muslims we must remember that the vital force that lies within a pious person keeps him or her aware of the realities of life and he or she never gets swallowed up by the deep and shoreless sea of mundane things for the sake of enjoying life. That is because our intellect and souls are infused with the Truths of the Din of Haqq and we view everything in the perspective of an Islamic world view. Islam attaches so much value to the affairs of the faithful that their station of honour is mentioned along with the Majesty of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala and His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam in [part of] verse 8 of Surah Al Munafiqun:

“But honour belongs to Allah and His
Messenger and to the Believers.”

O Ummatul Muslimeen! May Almighty Allah Most Merciful grant us all the good fortune to revive the Islamic values in our midst and to cherish them with all our heart: to bow and bend only before Him and to fear no one besides Him, and be loyal to His Din, and proud of His Message! We beseech Him from the depths of our hearts to confer this great wealth upon us for He is indeed, Able to do all things. This is the humble Message of Eid to you, the believers of the Din of Haqq. Cure the ills of the world with the panacea you possess. The world will then know that this radical cure is possible only with the elixir still preserved in its pristine purity by the Ummah of Almighty Allah’s Beloved – Nabee Muhammed al-Mustapha Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. This is the essence and message of Eid-ul-Fitr – the day the Mala’eeka in heaven call it the Day of Youm-ul-Ja’iza – the day of Great Reward.

And Almighty Allah knows best.

Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa-sal Allaahu wa-Sallam ‘alaa
Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.

Was Salamualaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu.

Easy ways to remember Allah.

What is light on the tongue but heavy on the Scale? Dhikr, the remembrance of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He).

“O You who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance” [33:41].

During the hustle and bustle of our frantic lives, the day seems to go by so quickly that it is not until a rare quiet moment late at night that we may realize we have not remembered Allah throughout the day. Apart from the five daily prayers (which themselves are forever threatened to be rushed through or forgotten), did we take a single moment from our day amongst the creation to remember the Creator? A flimsy “Alhamdulillah” may slip from our tongues but little reflection may go with it. The lack of dhikr, or remembrance in Allah, can be blamed on mismanaging time or forgetfulness; but the truth is, we may not truly understand the weight on these short words or phases on our hearts and souls. And the rewards! The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) describes the incentives to remembering Allah throughout or day. Basically, if you remember Allah in this life, He will remember you (and grant you wonderful things) in this life and the next.

The Prophet said,

“Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running” [Sahih Bukhari].

Below is a short list of some remembrances that you can incorporate in your day. The goal is to make these beautiful praises of the Creator come up from your heart and roll off of your tongue with ease.

1. Quran: Ultimately, the best dhikr is reading the Quran.

Reward:

You will be rewarded 10 rewards for every letter read. This prize basically illustrates the weight of the Quran in terms of where it should be in your life.

2. SubhanAllah or SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi (“I praise Allah (or All praise if to Allah) above all attributes that do not suit His Majesty.”)

Reward:

A tree will be planted for you in Paradise. Nice! Start growing your own forest right now! Another hadith relates that whoever says this 100 times a day, his/her sins will be forgiven even if they were as much as the foam of the sea [Bukhari].

3. Alhamdulillah (“All praise is for Allah.”)

Reward:

Your scales will be tipped on the Day of Judgment, full of rewards!

4. SubhanAllah wal hamdulillah, wa la ilahaillAllah wa Allahu akbar “I praise Allah (or All Praise if to Allah) above all attributes that do not suit His Majesty. All praise is for Allah. This is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah. Allah is Great.”

Reward:

This combination of dhikr is the one most beloved by Allah, subhana wa ta’ala. When you say them, sins fall off of you like leaves off of trees.

5. La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (“There is no power or might except (by) Allah.”)

Reward:

You will enter through a special door in Paradise for those who oft use this remembrance.

6. SubhanAllah (x33), Alhamdulillah (x33), Allahu akbar (x34). Can be recited after salat and before you go to bed/sleep. (“I praise Allah (or All praise if to Allah) above all attributes that do not suit His Majesty. All praise is to Allah. Allah is Great.”)

Reward:

We know that this dhikr is said after each salah, but when Fatima raḍyAllāhu ‘anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) the daughter of the Prophet came to her father requesting a servant to help with the household, the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) told her to repeat the dhikr before her sleep and the results would be better than having a servant.

7. Astaghfirullah (“I seek Allah’s forgiveness.”)

Reward:

You will get protection from Allah’s punishment. In Surah Nuh, ayah 10-12, Allah relates the story of Prophet Nuh and how he instructed his people to seek Allah’s forgiveness. If they would just say “astagfirullah,” Allah would sent them rain in abundance, and increase their wealth and children, and give them gardens and rivers in Paradise.

8. Ayahtul-Kursi [2:255].

Reward:

When you recite this verse before you go to sleep, Allah sends a guardian to you and no shaytan will come to you until morning. Those who read this after each salah shall enter Paradise.

Sunnah of the Prophet for Friday Prayer

1. To take a bath.
2. To wear nice and clean clothes.
3. To proceed early to the Masjid.
4. To go to the Masjid on foot.
5. To try to sit as close as possible to the Imaam.
6. If the Saffs (rows) are already filled, one should not jump over the shoulders of the musallies (worshipers) in order to get to the front.
7. One should not do any futile action eg. one should not fiddle with one’s clothes or fingers.
8. To listen to the Khutba (sermon) attentively.
9. The person who recites Surah Kahaf on Friday will be bestowed with a Noor (Spiritual light) from under the Arsh (The Throne of Allah Ta’ala) which will extend from the earth till the sky and will benefit him in the darkness of the Day of Qiyaamah. All his (minor) sins which he had committed from the previous Jumu’ah up to this Jumu’ah will be forgiven.
10. Rasulullah () is reported to have said, “Recite Durood upon me in abundance on the day of Jumua’h since they are presented to me.”
11. On the day of Jumua’h it is sunnah to apply oil to the hair and to use it or any other sweet smelling fragrance.

Description of Paradise

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

Ibn al-Qayyim said, in regards to the description of the Paradise and the delights that it contains said the following:
“And if you ask about its ground and its soil, then it is of musk and saffron.
And if you ask about its roof, then it is the Throne of the Most Merciful.
And if you ask about its rocks, then they are pearls and jewels.
And if you ask about its buildings, then they are made of bricks of gold and silver.
And if you ask about its trees, then it does not contain a single tree except that its trunk is made
of gold and silver.
And if you ask about its fruits, then they are softer than butter and sweeter than honey.
And if you ask about its leaves, then they are softer than the softest cloth.
And if you ask about its rivers, then there are rivers of milk who’s taste does not change, and rivers of wine that is delicious to those who drink it, and rivers of honey that is pure, and rivers of water that is fresh.
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And if you ask about their food, then it is fruits from whatever they will choose, and the meat of whatever birds they desire.
And if you ask about their drink, then it is Tasneem, ginger, and Kaafoor.
And if you ask about their drinking cups, then they are crystal-clear and made of gold and silver.
And if you ask about its shade, then a fast rider would ride in the shade of one of its trees for a hundred years and not escape it.
And if you ask about its vastness, then the lowest of its people would have within his kingdom and walls and palaces and gardens the distance that would be travelled in a thousand years.
And if you ask about its tents and encampments, then one tent is like a concealed pearl that is sixty miles long.
And if you ask about its towers, then they are rooms above rooms in buildings that have rivers running underneath them.
And if you ask about how far it reaches into the sky, then look at the shining star that is visible, as well as those that are far in the heavens that the eyesight cannot possibly reach.
And if you ask about the clothing of its inhabitants, then they are of silk and gold.
And if you ask about its beds, then its blankets are of the finest silk laid out in the highest of its levels.
And if you ask about the faces of its inhabitants and their beauty, then they are like the image of the Moon.
And if you ask about their age, then they are young ones of 33 years in the image of Adam, the father of humanity.
And if you ask about what they will be hearing, then it is the singing of their wives from among the Hoor al-’Ayn, and better than that are the voices of the Angels and the Prophets, and better than that is the Speech of the Lord of the Worlds.
And if you ask about their servants, then they are young boys of everlasting youth who resemble scattered pearls.
And if you ask about their brides and wives, then they are young and full-breasted and have had the liquid of youth flow through their limbs; the Sun runs along the beauty of her face if she shows it, light shines from between her teeth if she smiles; if you meet her love, then say whatever you want regarding the joining of two lights; he sees his face in the roundness of her cheek as if he is looking into a polished mirror, and he sees the brightness from behind her muscles and bones; if she were to be unleashed upon the World, she would fill what is between the Heavens and the Earth with a beautiful wind, and the mouths of the creation would glorifiy, praise, and exclaim greatness, and everything between the East and the West would be adorned for her, and every eye would be shut from everthing but her, and the light of the Sun would be outshone just as the light of the Sun outshines the light of the stars, and everyone on the face of the Earth would believe in the Ever-Living, the One who Sustains and Protects all the exists.
And the covering on her head is better than the World and all that is in it, and she does not increase with age except in beauty; free from an umbilical cord, childbirth and menses, and pure of mucous, saliva, urine and other filthy things; her youth never fades, her clothing is never worn out, no garment can be created that matches her beauty, and no one who is with her can ever become bored; her attention is restricted to her husband, so she desires none but him, just as his attention is restricted to her so she is the sole object of his desire, and he is with her in utmost safety and security, as none has touched her before of either humans or Jinn.
And if you ask about the Day of Increase (in reward) and the visit of the all-Mighty, all-Wise, and the sight of His Face – free from any resemblance or likeness to anything – as you see the Sun in the middle of the day and the full Moon on a cloudless night, then listen on the day that the caller will call: ‘O People of Paradise! Your Lord – Blessed and Exalted – requests you to visit Him, so come to visit Him!’ So they will say: ‘We hear and obey!’
Until, when they finally reach the wide valley where they will all meet – and none of them will turn down the request of the caller – the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will order His Chair to be brought there. Then, pulpits of light will emerge, as well as pulpits of pearls, gemstone, gold, and silver. The lowest of them in rank will sit on sheets of musk, and will not see what those who are on the chairs above them are given. When they are comfortable where they are sitting and are secure in their places, and the caller calls: ‘O People of Paradise! You have an appointment with Allaah in which He wishes to reward you!’ So they will say: ‘And what is that reward? Has He not already made our faces bright, made our scales heavy, entered us into Paradise, and pushed us away from the Fire?’
And when they are like that, all of a sudden a light shines that encompasses all of Paradise. So, they raise their heads, and, behold: the Compeller – Exalted is He, and Holy are His Names – has come to them from above them and majestified them and said: ‘O People of Paradise! Peace be upon you!’ So, this greeting will not be responded to with anything better than: ‘O Allaah! You are Peace, and from You is Peace! Blessed are You, O possessor of Majesty and Honor!’ So the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will laugh to them and say: ‘O People of Paradise! Where are those who used to obey Me without having ever seen Me? This is the Day of Increase!’
So, they will all give the same response: ‘We are pleased, so be pleased with us!’ So, He will say: ‘O People of Paradise! If I were not pleased with you, I would not have made you inhabitants of My Paradise! So, ask of Me!’ So, they will all give the same response: ‘Show us your Face so that we may look at it!’ So, the Lord – Mighty and Majestic – will remove his covering and will majesty them and will cover them with His Light, which, if Allaah – the Exalted – had not Willed not to burn them, would have burned them.
And there will not remain a single person in this gathering except that his Lord – the Exalted – will speak to him and say: ‘Do you remember the day that you did this and that?’ and He will remind him of some of his bad deeds in the Worldy life, so he will say: ‘O Lord! Will you not forgive me?’ So, He will say: ‘Of course! You have not reached this position of yours (in Paradise) except by my forgiveness.’
So, how sweet is this speech to the ears, and how cooled are the righteous eyes by the glance at His Noble Face in the Afterlife…