Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Do u drink tea?" :: On memorizing the Holy Qur'an

If you see anyone drinking tea, and you ask him what he is drinking, he will tell you "tea." There is sugar in the tea, but he will not mention the sugar, no one ever says he is drinking tea-and-sugar. No doubt the sweetness of the sugar fills the tea, but the person drinks and says nothing about it.

The long standing tradition of Qur'anic memorization is analogous to the sugar, doing its work in secret. In a child who embarks on the journey of memorizing Qur'an we see that the hands, nose, ears, eyes, and tongue are dynamic, but no one can see what the soul is accomplishing. Their ears come across as listening, and their tongues seems to be reciting. But no matter what it may seem to be, it is not only the tongue that recites. And in spite of form, it is not only the ears that hear. That which speaks and hears is the invisible soul within. The effect of the long standing tradition of Qur'anic memorization on a child is similarly invisible.

And this is what happens to a child when he memorizes the words of Allah, the Exalted. We might think they are just memorizing words. But in actuality, every letter they say, every sound they make, makes an imprint in their hearts and minds which enables them to take the imitated step of converting his oral recognition of Qur'anic language into a physical act.

The best education we can give our children is the memorization of the Holy Qur'an. As Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "No group of people gathers in one of the houses of Allah to recite the Book of Allah and study it together, but tranquility descends upon them, the angels surround them, mercy comes down upon them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him." (Muslim).

The vessels for preservation of Islam are in our children's hearts. Allah says: "Nay, but they, the clear ayat, are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge…" [Qur'an 29:49]

It is our duty to plant these seeds in our children for we must equip them for what lay ahead of them. There is no better time to preserve our heritage than today, in these critical times.

As there are numerous schools and institutions available that teach hifz, it is time that we as parents invest our children's time memorizing the Qur'an and join the ranks of thousands who seek to earn the pleasure of Allah (azza wajal) and preserve the very foundation of our Islamic identity.

Buraydah (radhiyallahu anhu) said: "I was sitting with the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and I heard him say: ..The Qur'an will meet its companion on the Day of Resurrection when his grave is opened for him, looking like a pale man, and it will say to him, 'Do you know who I am?' He will say, I do not know you.' It will say to him, 'Do you know who I am?' He will say, I do not know you.' It will say, 'I am your companion the Qur'an, who made you thirsty on hot days and kept you awake at night. Every merchant will benefit from his trade, and today you will benefit too.' He will be given power in his right hand and immortality in his left, and on his head will be placed a crown of dignity. His parents will be given two garments the like of which could never be made by the people of this world and they will say, 'How did we earn these?' It will be said, 'Because your child learned the Qur'an.' Then it will be said to him, 'Read and go up through the levels and rooms of Paradise. He will keep on ascending as long as he reads or recites.'" (Ahmad).

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah (Radhiallahu anhu) stated that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said :Whosoever read the Qur'aan, learnt it and acted upon it, his parents will be made to wear a crown which will glitter like the light of the sun and they will be made to wear such clothing which is more rich than the garments of the entire world. They will then inquire as to why they are being so adorned. They will be informed that their son memorised the Qur'aan Kareem. (Narrated by Hakeem : Reliable on the conditions of Muslim.)

Sayyidina Anas (Radhiallahu anhu) says that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:"Oh people, there are some special servants of Allaah Ta'aala. We inquired :"Who are these Oh! Rasulullaah? He said:"Those who memorise the Qur'aan Kareem are the special servants and friends of Allaah. (Narrated by Nisai, Ibne Maja, Hakeem.)

Sayyidina Uthmaan bin Afaan (Radhiallahu anhu) narrates that the Merciful Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "The best person from you is that person who learns the Noble Qur'aan and teaches it to others." (Narrated by Ahmed and companions in six reliable books.).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Sacred Month of Rajab

Assalamualaykum wa Rahmatullah

We are nearing the end of the first week of the blessed month of Rajab. This is the month in which we should start preparing ourselves and our deeds for the coming of the blessed month of Ramadan, insha'Allah.

According to Mufti Taqi Usmani (db):

Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ashhur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, because Ramadan follows it after the intervening month of Sha'ban. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:

"O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha'ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings)."

Yet no specific way of worship has been prescribed by the Shari'ah in this month...However, being a prologue to the month of Ramadan, it should be availed of for preparing oneself for Ramadan and one should pray Allah to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.

For Muftis full article, please see:

Some additional information:
  • Rajab is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quran (the four months are : Rajab, Dhul Qi'da, Dhul Hijjah, and Muharram):
{إن عدة الشهور عند الله اثنا عشر شهرا في كتاب الله يوم خلق السموت والارض منها اربعة حرم}
(التوبة: 36)
{The number of months is twelve according to God, in the decree of God, on the day God created the heavens and the earth; and four of them are sacred} (9:36)

  • Muslims should remember the important events that took place in the history of Islam during this month, such as the Night Journey and Ascension, the Battle of Tabuk, and the liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the crusaders at the hands of Salah Ad-Din Al-Ayubi (AH 538).
  • Some scholars say: Rajab is the month of repentance (istighfar), and Sha'aban is the month of sending peace and mercy (salawat/durood shareef) upon the Prophet, and Ramadan is the month of Quran.

  • Observing voluntary fasting in the sacred months, including Rajab, is recommended. In this regard, Abu Dawud reported on the authority of Mujibah Al-Bahilyyah that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to her father or uncle, "Observe fasting for some days in the sacred months and leave fasting for other days." He (peace and blessings be upon him) said this three times, folding three fingers of him and then unfolding them each time. The Prophet's using three fingers here is meant to assert his recommendation of fasting during these months, and not to indicate the number of the days to observe fasting therein.

    Hence, doing good deeds, including fasting, in Rajab is generally praiseworthy like doing so in the rest of the sacred months. According to Ibn Hajar, there is no hadith, whether authentic or good, reported to the effect that observing fasting in Rajab entails a special reward.
    • Thus, fasting is permissible and recommended in Rajab as long as one believes that there is no extra reward for fasting in this month.
"اللهم اغفر لي وارحمني وتب عليَّ"
Transliteration: "Allahuma ighfir li wa Arhamni wa tub 'alayya."
Translation: (Oh Allah forgive me, have mercy upon me, and grant me repentance)

اللهم أنت ربي، لا اله الا أنت خلقتني وأنا عبدك، وأنا على عهدك ووعدك ما استطعت، أعوذ بك من شر ما صنعت، أبوء لك بنعمتك عليَّ وأبوء يذنبي فاغفر لي فإنه لا يغفر الذنوب الا أنت
Allahuma anta rabi la ilaha illa ant, khalaqtani wa ana 'abduk, wa ana 'ala 'ahdika wa wa'adika ma astata'at, 'authu bika min shar ma san'at, abu'u laka bi ni'matika 'allaya wa abu'u bi dhanbi, faqhfir li fa'innahu la yaghfir al-dhunub ila anta.
(O Allah, you are my Lord, and there is no god but you. You created me and I am your servant, and I am upon the convenant to the best of my ability. I seek refuge in you from the evil I have brought upon myself. I admit all the blessings you have given me and I admit my sins, so forgive me, for no one can forgive sins save You)

So, my dear friend, put forth a great effort in the month of Rajab in preparing for Ramadan, may Allah have mercy on you. It is the season of great profits, so take advantage of your time.