Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why is there so much concern with 'manner's (adab) in Islam?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that, "I was only sent to perfect noble character." [ Muwatta' and Musnad of Ahmad]

He also said (peace and blessings be upon him), "The best of you are those best in character." [Bukhari]
And, "Among the most perfect of believers are those best in character." [Tirmidhi and Hakim]

And he also said, "Among the most beloved of you to me and the closest to me in sitting on the Day of Judgment are the best of you in character." [Tirmidhi]
The Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was asked, 'O Messenger of Allah, who are the most beloved of the servants of Allah to Allah?' He said, "The best of them in character." [Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad , Ibn Hibban, Hakim, and Tabarani]

And he told us (peace and blessings be upon him) that, "Righteousness ( birr) is good character." [Muslim, and Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad]
And, "There is nothing heavier on the Scales than good character." [Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, who declared it rigorously authenticated (sahih), and Ibn Hibban]
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about what things enter people in Paradise. He said (Allah bless him and give him peace), "God-fearing (taqwa) and good character." [Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban, both of whom declared it rigorously authenticated, and Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad]
This is why the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) explained the general principles and important particulars of dealing with others: social harmony and conduct has great spiritual implications.
The scholars explain that the basis of good character in one's dealings with others is, above all to avoid harming, annoying or inconveniencing them.

The Light of Guidance, our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) explained that, "The [true] Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe." [Bukhari and Muslim]

Thus, any act that harms, annoys, or inconveniences others, without sound justification, is a manifestation of bad character, and contrary to the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). When we understand the manners prescribed by the Prophet whom Allah Most High Himself described as being, "Of tremendous character," and whose example was praised as, "The most beautiful of examples" in the Qur'an, we see that their basis is to promote the social good, and spread love and mercy between humanity.
Allah tells us:
025.063 The (faithful) slaves of the Beneficent are they who walk upon the earth modestly, and when the foolish ones address them answer: Peace;

025.064 And who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing,

025.065 And who say: Our Lord! Avert from us the doom of hell; lo! the doom thereof is anguish;

025.066 Lo! it is wretched as abode and station;

025.067 And those who, when they spend, are neither prodigal nor grudging; and
there is ever a firm station between the two; And Allah alone gives success.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Duties of the Month of Muharram

1. It is the best of months for general voluntary fasts, after Ramadan.

2. It is especially recommended to fast the 10th of Muharram (known as the Day of `Ashura’), with a day before it or after it. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Kasani’s al-Bada’i`]

3. It is also virtuous to give in charity on this day.

Extracts from Ibn Rajab’s Lata’if al-Ma`arif, regarding the month of Muharram:

The Virtues of Fasting in the Month of Muharram and Its First Ten Days

Muslim reported from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said , “The best of fasts after the month of Ramadan are in the Month of Allah, which you call Muharram. And the best of prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer.” [Muslim, 1163]

This refers to general voluntary fasts according to Imam Ibn Rajab (Allah have mercy on him): These are best in the month of Muharram, just as the best general voluntary prayer is night prayer.

The virtue and honor of this month can be attested to by the fact that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) called it, ‘the Month of Allah.’ (Shahr Allah) Such ascription is only made by Allah to the most special of His creation, such as the ascription of the Prophets Muhammad, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ya`qub, and others to his slavehood (Allah’s peace and blessings be on them all), and His ascription of the House (Ka`ba) and the camel to himself.
Given that Allah ascribed fasting, between all spiritual works, to Himself [saying, “It is Mine,”] it was suitable that this month, which is also ascribed to Allah, be selected for this particular form of worship.

Fasting is a secret between the servant and his Lord. This is why Allah Mighty and Exalted says, [in the divine hadith (hadith qudsi)], “ Every action of the son of Adam is his, except for fasting. It is Mine, and it is I who reward it.” [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “The fasting person has two joys: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord.”[Muslim]

Night Prayer

As for voluntary night prayer (qiyam al-layl), it is superior to voluntary prayer during the day because it is closer to secrecy, and nearer to sincerity (ikhlas).

Allah Most High said, “Lo! the vigil of the night is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain.” [Qur’an, 73.9]

This is because the time of the night vigil (tahajjud) is the best of times for voluntary prayer, and the closest a servant gets to his Lord. It is a time when the doors of the skies are opened, supplications answered, and needs fulfilled.

Allah Most High has praised those who wake up at night in His remembrance, supplication, seeking forgiveness, and intimate entreating (munajat), saying, “Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.”[Qur’an, 32.16-17]

And, “Or he who pays adoration in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, bewaring of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only those of understanding will pay heed.” [Qur’an, 39.9]

And He said to His Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), “And some part of the night awake for it, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17.79]

It has been said that those who worship at night will enter Paradise without reckoning, and that standing in night prayer shortens the length of one’s Standing on the Day of Judgment.
This is why the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Stick to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you. Night prayer is a means of closeness to Allah Most High, of expiating for bad deeds, avoiding sins, and keeping away illness from one’s body.” [Tirmidhi (3543], Bayhaqi, and others; it is a sound (hasan) hadith]

Similarly, it has been related that fasting is a means for good health. The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, “Fast, and you shall have good health.” [Ahmad, from Abu Hurayra]

Lovers have no time more joyous than when they are alone in entreating their Beloved. This is the healing for their hearts, and the great thing that they could long for.

This is why Abu Sulayman al-Darani would say, “The people of the night find more joy than the people of distraction (lahw) in their distractions. Were it not for the night, I would not like to remain living.”

The Day of `Ashura’: The Tenth of Muharram

It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him and his father) that he was asked about fasting the Day of `Ashura’ [10th of Muharram]. He said, “I did not see the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fast a day while more avid to seek its virtue than this day,” meaning the Day of `Ashura’.” [Bukhari (2006), and Muslim (1132)].

The Day of `Ashura’ has great virtue, and tremendous sanctity (hurma). The virtue of fasting it was known among the Prophets (peace be upon them all). Both Prophet Nuh and Prophet Musa (peace be upon them both) fasted it.

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to fast this day even in Mecca, though he had not yet ordered others to do so, as mentioned in both Bukhari and Muslim. [Bukhari (2002), Muslim (1125)]

When he migrated to Medina, and found the People of the Book fasting this day and venerating it, he ordered the Muslims to fast it, and encouraged it so much that even the children would fast it.

It has been reported in both Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), that, “When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) reached Medina, he found the Jews fasting the Day of `Ashura’, so he asked them, ‘What is this day you are fasting?’ They said, ‘This is a tremendous day. Allah saved Musa and his people on this day and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Musa fasted it out of thanks, so we fast it too.’ The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘And we are more deserving of Musa than you are.’ So he fasted this day, and ordered that it be fasted.” [Bukhari (2004) and Muslim (1130)]
At the end of his life, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) made the determination not to fast this day alone, but with another day [f: either before or after it], in order to be different from the People of the Book.

It has been reported in the Sahih of Imam Muslim (Allah have mercy on him), also from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that, “When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fasted the Day of `Ashura’ and ordered his companions to fast it, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! This is a day that the Jews and Christians venerate.’ So the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘When next year comes – if Allah wills – we will fast the Ninth [of Muharram with it].’ But the next year did not come before the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) passed away.” [Muslim (1134), Abu Dawud (2445)]
And it is reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him), from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Fast the Day of `Ashura’ and be different from the Jews by fasting a day before it or a day after it.” [Ahmad]

Giving in Charity on the Day of `Ashura’

It has been reported from Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah be pleased with him), that “Whoever fasts `Ashura’ it is as if he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity this day it is like the charity of an entire year.”

Mourning on the 10th of Muharram is an Innovation

As for the mourning and grieving of the Shiah on this day because of the martyrdom of Sayyiduna Husayn ibn Ali (Allah be pleased with him and his father), this is of the actions of those whose actions in this life are misguided while they think that they are doing well. Neither Allah Most High nor His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace) commanded us to mourn on the days of the tribulations of the Prophets, or their deaths, let alone anyone else.

[F: The fuqaha have mentioned that it is an innovation to consider Muharram a month of mourning. It is not disliked to marry in this month. It is a highly reprehensible innovation to participate in the rituals of the Shiah in mourning the death of Husayn (Allah be pleased with him).]

Some of the Virtues of the Day of `Ashura’

It is a day in which Allah forgave an entire people. Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to a man, “If you want to fast a month after Ramadan, then fast Muharram, for it has a day in which Allah forgave an entire people, and He turns to others in repentance in.” [Tirmidhi (841)]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz RabbaniAmman, Jordan

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Smile is Charity

As-salamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah

I received an email from a friend today which I felt reflected the hadith well "(Even) a smile is charity." We should always remember that moods are contagious and if we want this world to be a brighter, more cheerful and happy place then it must start with each of us. So keep on smiling and represent well this shining gem of Islam! Tawfiq, insha'Allah

My friend wrote:

Okay, althought mashaAllah most of all of the people I sent this to are very
bubbly and smiley in public, it's a good reminder (especially as
Muslimeen--since especially with hijab most everyone knows we are Muslim)
for us to always be positive, happy, and nice to people----especially
non-Muslims! I was at a store today, and this lady came up to me and said,
"You know, I don't mean to be rude or anything, but I've never come across
one of 'you guys' before." What she meant was, 'hijabis.' So anyways, she
asked me about Islam and the meaning of hijab, and she left content. I'm no
saint, but trust me, when we don't smile in public to other people, they
think we're oppressed and miserable. So show everyone how happy and proud you are to be a Muslim!!! Well, enjoy the story! Peace...

Keep me in your du'as!

P.S. The story is right at the bottom, just scroll down. It's titled
"change." I think it's a true story, well it has to be, because everyone
encounters situations like this daily. Enjoy!


Not long ago I was in Nashville, Tennessee and I went into a convenience
store to get a newspaper and a pack a gum.

The young women at the check-out counter said, "That 'll be five dollars
please," and as I reached into my wallet, the thought occurred to me that a
newspaper and gum didn't quite make it to five dollars.

When I looked up to get a "re-quote", she had a big smile on her face and
said, "Gotcha! I got to get my tip in there somehow!"

I laughed when I knew I'd been had. She then glanced down at the paper I was
buying and said, "I'm sick and tired of all this negative stuff on the front
pages. I want to read some good news for a change."

She then said, "In fact, I think someone should just publish a Good News
newspaper - a paper with wonderful, inspiring stories about people
overcoming adversity and doing good things for others. I'd buy one

She then thanked me for coming in and said, "Maybe we'll get lucky tomorrow;
maybe we'll get some good news," and she laughed. She made my day.

The following day, after my business appointments, I dropped by the same
store again to pick up a bottled water, but a different young lady was
behind the counter.

As I checked out I said, "Good afternoon," and handed her my money for the
water. She said nothing - not a word, not a smile...nothing. She just
handed me my change and in a negative tone ordered...."Next!"

It hit me right between the eyes: Two people, same age; one made me feel
great, and the other, well, made me feel that I had inconvenienced her by
showing up.

By the choices we make, by the attitudes we exhibit, we are influencing
lives every day in positive or negative ways...our family, our peers, our
friends, and even strangers we've never met before and will never meet

So when you brush your teeth every morning, look in the mirror and ask
yourself..."Are there things I'd like to change?" How will you choose to
live your "the grouch" or as "the good news girl?"

Your answer will go a long way toward determining the joy and happiness that
you will experience in your life.

Monday, January 15, 2007

What's Wrong With A Lustful Gaze?

Many of us who are used to watching Sinbad or Temptation Island, or are addicted to Bollywood or Hollywood movies, or enjoy the company of people of opposite gender, may wonder what's wrong with lustfully staring at the attractive features of the opposite gender? Perhaps one saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sums it all:

"The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Shaytan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for the fear of Allah, will receive from Him (Great and Gracious is He) a faith, the sweetness of which he will find within his heart." (al-Haakim.)

Therefore, a secret lustful look at a person of opposite gender has been compared by the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) to an arrow from Shaytan that:

1. poisons our hearts
2. ruins our intentions
3. gives rise to false hopes and desires
4. distorts our perception of 'reality'
5. deprives us from enjoying and concentrating in Prayers
6. gives rise to constant feeling of guilt and depression
7. sometimes leads to sleepless nights
8. renders our heart weak for continuous Shaytanic attacks
9. promotes hypocrisy
10. weakens our memory
11. eventually leads to Zina (adultery)
12. above all, diminishes our love for and fear of Allah

Allah commands us: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them..." [24:30.] In the verse following this one, Allah commands "the believing women" in the similar manner.

17 Ways To Survive In Temptation Island!
Yes, it¹s hard, especially when you're constantly bombarded with obscene images: that hot, scantily clad guy or gal in the magazine luring you; or the persistent emphasis on sex in the movies (even Toy Story or Spider Man!); or the pervasive links to pornography while you may simply be checking your e-mail. How can you protect yourself from all of this?

1. Don't forget the power of Allah¹s Remembrance (Dhikr)! It is the most powerful of all the defenses. Regular reading of prescribed Du'as will develop your Taqwa (consciousness) and keep you mindful of what thoughts you entertain.

2. Remember your Accountability to Allah. In Islam, you're fully accountable as soon as you understand and feel such temptations. Your eyes will testify about what you looked at on the Day of Judgment.

3. Always walk with your gaze lowered. But make sure not to bump into a hydro post! Lowering the gaze does not mean that you cannot have any eye contact as you walk or during a conversation. It means that you keep your eyes under control.

4. Take the Right Seat! In a public place (e.g. café), choose a seat that minimizes your view-frame and avoid mixed-crowds. It is precisely about such comfortable gazing at the attractive features of the passers-by that the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) advised 'Ali ibn Abi Talib: "Ali, do not let a second look follow the first. The first look is allowed to you but not the second.''(Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi.)

5. Hangout with those known for noble character and modesty. When you are around good people, they can remind you to abstain from that which Allah dislikes. As the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "A person is likely to follow the faith of his friends, so be careful about who you make your friend." (Ahmad.)

6. Avoid friends that are into immoral movies, music, dirty jokes etc. Such activities are the tools of Shaytan that promote the idea of love based on looks or love at first sight. Such friends would take you into an artificial world of fantasies and false hopes, away from reality, before it¹s too late! Therefore, either you help your friends change through gentle advice, or abandon frequent contact with them. As Allah warns us: "If anyone withdraws himself from Allah's remembrance, Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one to be his intimate companion." [43: 36.]

7. Avoid visiting malls and parks alone. Always try to go out with a family member or a good friend, whose company may help you avert your eyes from the objectionable billboards and inappropriately clothed people. In summer, step out only when you have to.

8. Never have 'nothing to do'! Shaytan loves 'bored and idle' people. If you are feeling bored, do the dishes, or take out the garbage, or read some book. Allah says, "Do not throw yourself into destruction with your own hands." [2: 195.]

9. Volunteer for Islamic Organizations. Your Jihad against immorality in the society is one reason for you to join Muslim youth groups in your community. Your involvement with such activities, along with the love of helpful brothers or sisters struggling for a good cause, will keep your mind, energies, and thoughts focused away from the Haram.

10. Read, Read, and Read! Yes, read as many Islamic books and articles as possible. Reading keeps your mind and eyes busy! It keeps you motivated to live your Islam and strengthens your relationship with Allah.

11. Always remember that the beauty of this world is temporary and the life hereafter is everlasting.

12. Observe voluntary fast to strengthen your willpower and to cool your passions. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) strongly recommended the youth to make it a habit.

13. If you are able and responsible then get married for the sake of Allah. It may be one of the most effective, yet challenging, defense mechanisms against such temptations.

14. For Brothers, remember your Mom and Sister. Disgusting right? Exactly! No sane person would look at his mom or sister the way many of us examine the girls on TV shows or stare at our Muslim sisters in social gatherings. This thought should sicken you enough to stop, Insha-Allah.

15. Remind yourself of the Death and Hereafter often. "Remember often the terminator (or destroyer) of all the pleasures [i.e. death]," the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) once reminded us. (at-Tirmidhi.)

16. Increase your Good Actions. Try following the advice of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam): "Remain conscious of Allah and fear Him wherever you are. And follow a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards people." (at-Tirmidhi.)

17. Repent and Return to Allah. Allah is All-forgiving and loves those who return to Him, promising not to repeat their sins."Ask forgiveness from your Lord, then turn towards Him in repentance; He will loosen the sky over you in abundance, and He will add strength unto your strength." [11: 52].

-Author Unknown
Sheikh Muzaffar Ozak says:

What is absolutely certain is the truth that spiritual love is incomparably higher in degree than material love.

[Unveiling of Love ]

Sleeping on the right-Side

Assalaamalaykum to all,
I found this article to be very interesting. It will, Insha Allah, increase and strengthen our Iman as we learn more about our Din and the Modern Science.
-Peace + Love

Copyright © 2003 Yemen Times:
Yemen's most widely read English newspaper |


Sleeping on the right-Side

Dr.Mohammad Nezar Al- Deker

When lying on the abdomen, as Dr. Attar says, a person will feel after a while short of breath as the backbones’ mass prevents the chest from contracting and then relaxing during inhalation and exhalation. Moreover this position leads to an obligatory bending in the neck vertebras. The resulting respiratory crisis results in brain and heart fatigue as well.

An Australian researcher noticed the increase in the likelihood of babies’ sudden death when they sleep on their stomach compared to those who sleep on one of the sides. It is inimitable that these modern studies agree with what our prophet said as narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him): “When the prophet (peace be upon him) saw a man lying on his front, He said (Allah and his prophet dislike this position in lying)” (Reported by Al-Tirmdhi)

Another Hadith is the one narrated by Abu Umama (May Allah be pleased with him) he said: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed a man sleeping on his front in the mosque he said: wake up and sit as this is a diabolic sleep”

Lying on the back, on the other hand, causes the respiration to be through the mouth. Dr. Attar sees that the mouth opens up when lying on back as the inferior jaw relaxes.

However, the nose is the one prepared for respiration, as it contains hairs and mucous that act to purify the air entering during inspiration and as it has dense blood vessels that make the entering air warmer. Respiration through the mouth then makes the person prone to colds, especially in the winter, and also to gum dryness and its resulting inflammation. As well as it evokes potential situations of dissemble excess or gumic hugely. So these positions the jaw and uvula oppose the wideness of nose and prevents current of breath. So snoring will increase. Moreover, in this case, the person wakes up with an abnormal white layer covering his tongue and an undesirable mouth odour.

Sleeping on the left side is not favoured either, as the heart would be then under the pressure of the right lung, the biggest of the two lungs, and this would affect its contraction especially if the person is old. The full stomach which itself is under the pressure of the heaviest organ in the digestive tract, the liver, which delays its emptying, would also impose a pressure on the heart.

A group of experiments done by Galteh and Butseh found that the passage of food from the stomach to the intestines takes from 2.5 to 4.5 hours if a person is sleeping on the right side whereas its takes 5 to 8 hours if he is sleeping on the left side. Thus, sleeping on the right side is the correct position as the left lung is smaller than the right one and the pressure on the heart would therefore be less, the liver would not be suspended, and the stomach would be on it and so emptying its contents would be quicker. Moreover sleeping on the right side is one of the best medical interventions to facilitate the excretion of the mucous secretions of the left respiratory bronchioles.

That is what was said by Dr. Al Rawi who added that the reason for the expansion of the airways in the left lung and not the ones in the right one is that the right lung’s bronchioles are laterally positioned to a certain extent, whereas the ones in the left lung are vertical and so it is harder to push the secretions upwards to be excreted. This leads to their accumulation in the inferior segment, leading to the expansion.The symptoms at this stage is excessive phlegm discharge in the morning which may exacerbate and lead to serious illnesses such as lungs’ apse and urinary disease, and one of the most modern treatments for those cases is sleeping on the right side.