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The Month of Safar

The Month of Safar

Safar is the second month of the Islamic calendar. Safar literally means “to turn yellow” or “to become vacant.” This is because the month was named in autumn, which is when the leaves turn yellow or when the Arabs vacated their homes to go to the battlefield.

Many people believe that the month of Safar is evil and that it brings misfortune. Such beliefs are absolutely incorrect. In fact, the month is also called Safar-ul-Muzaffar or Safar-ul-Khayr, which means successful, good fortune, and prosperous.

During Ayyaam-ul-Jahiliyyah (the Days of Ignorance), there were several ridiculously false beliefs amongst the Arabs regarding Safar. For instance, the Arabs believed that Safar was a snake that lived in people’s stomachs and bit them when it was hungry. Others said that the cause of what we now know as jaundice, an illness in which a person’s skin becomes yellow, was worms in the liver and ribs called Safar. This is the explanation they gave for the uneasiness caused by hunger pangs. Some believed that the month of Safar was full of tragedies and bad luck.

Alhamdulillah, Allah (SWT) sent our Beloved Nabi (SAWS) into the world to wipe away the dark beliefs of the Days of Ignorance through the radiant teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith.

Allah (SWT) says in the Glorious Qur’an: “No calamity befalls (one), but with the leave of Allah” (Surah at-Taghabun, ayah 11).

The irrationality of these beliefs is mentioned in the following Ahaadith as well:

“There is no superstitious owl, bird, no star-promising rain, no bad omen in the month of Safar” (Sahih Muslim).

“There is no bad omen in the month of Safar and no Ghouls (evil spirits)” (Sahih Muslim).

“There is no evil omen, no superstitious owl, bird and no bad omen in the month of Safar” (Sahih al-Bukhari).
Additionally, Hazrat Jabir (R) has said that, “I have heard Rasulullah (SAWS) saying, the descending of illness and evil superstition befalling in the month of Safar is untrue” (Sahih Muslim).

It is evident from these Ahaadith that any beliefs about Safar being a month of evil or misfortune are incorrect. However, it is quite unfortunate that there are still several false beliefs regarding this blessed month present in our ummah today. People still believe Safar to be plagued by misfortune and calamities. In fact, some people avoiding performing nikah in Safar thinking that if they do, their marriage will be unsuccessful. On the contrary, Hazrat Ali (R) married our Beloved Nabi’s (SAWS) daughter, Hazrat Fatima (R) in the latter days of Safar 2 A.H. How, then, can someone deem a marriage in this month to be unsuccessful?

Other modern incorrect beliefs about Safar include:

  • Starting anything important, such as a business, in this Safar will bring misfortune.
  • The first to thirteenth of Safar is evil and brings ill luck.
  • If one distributes money or food on the 13th of Safar, he will be saved from the month’s supposed misfortune.
  • People celebrate the last Wednesday of Safar, considering it a holiday.

Every believer should remember that a truly “misfortunate” person is the one who disobeys Allah (SWT). Rasulullah (SAWS) said: “Pray, O Allah! Cause not anyone of us to be a wretched destitute.” He then asked: “Do you know who is a wretched destitute?” Upon the request of the Sahabah (R) He replied, “A wretched destitute is he who neglects his salaat.”

Additionally, a true believer recognizes that any good or evil that befalls us is from Allah (SWT), as a result of our actions. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an: “Whatever hardship befalls you is because of what your own hands have committed, while He overlooks many (of your faults)” (Surah ash-Shuraa, ayah 30).

May Allah (SWT) allow the ummah to eradicate these incorrect beliefs, may He open our eyes to the truth, and may He allow us to firmly adhere to all the principles of the Qur’an and Hadith. Ameen.

Further Reading:

http://jamiat.org.za/blog/the-month-of-safar/

http://www.islamiccentre.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140:2nd-month-in-the-islamic-calendar–safar&catid=19:islamic-calendar&Itemid=42

 

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Muharram

Muharram

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Occurrence of Significance:

  1. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam (‘Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise.
  2. Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod.
  3. Allah granted deliverance to Sayyidina Moosa (Alayhis Salaam) and the Bani Israel from the tyranny of Fir’oun.
  4. After the floods, the ark of Sayyidina Nooh (Alayhis Salaam) settled on Mount Judi.
  5. Sayyidina Ayyub (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy)
  6. Sayyidina Yusuf (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (‘Alaihis-Salaam)
  7. Sayyidina Yunus (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish
  8. Ashura is also the day when Sayyidina Dawud (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was forgiven
  9. the kingdom of Sulaiman (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored
  10. Sayyidina Isa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah
  11. Sayyidina al-Husayn (Radiyallahu ‘anh) (the Holy Prophet’s, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.

These are mentioned as what scholars have determined as the specialties of that day

in Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani.

Practices To Be Observed On The Day of Aashura.

Abu Qatada (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

  1. 1.     To fast on the 9th and 10th or the 10th and 11th of Muharram. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
    1. This is a nafl fast.
    2. The act of fasting is sunnah.
    3. To spend freely on one’s family.

Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “He who will be generous on his family on the day of Aashura, Allah Ta’ala will be generous on him for the entire year. [Tabrani, Baihaqi].

Rewards For Fasting On The Day Of Aashura.

Abu Qatada (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

All minor sins of the past year will be forgiven. The major sins are forgiven only when sincere Tawbah is made.

 

To Refrain From The Following In Muharram And The Day Of Aashura:

  1. To incur debts so as to spend on one’s family.
  2. To be wasteful and extravagant in one’s spending.
  3. To make Taziah. (Religious processions).
  4. To read Mirthiya and Shahadat Nama (obituary on the martyrdom of Husain (radhiyallahu anhu). Or to cry, tear one’s clothes etc.
  5. To make sweet drinks with the belief that it would quench the thirst of those martyred in Karbala.
  6. To prepare khitchra (food cooked with lentils) with erroneous beliefs.
  7. To light fireworks.
  8. To believe that a child born in the month of Muharram is prone to misfortune and likewise to believe a marriage in this month will bring ill-fortune is not in accordance with Islamic beliefs.

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Online Alim Course

Online Alim Course

Islamic knowlwedge is becoming more popular, and people around the world are seeking to learn more about it. More and more people are having a deeper zeal to seek more about its sciences. Fortunately, there are now options available, and one of the most popular modern options is taking an online Alim course.

Learning Arabic

Arabic was the world’s most important language for hundreds of years, and knowing how to read Arabic was crucial for those curious in science, medicine, mathematics or philosophy. While Latin and English are now considered the dominant languages, knowing Arabic opens doors to a broad selection of reading material. More importantly for those learning about Islam, Arabic is the language of the Quran and almost all other Islamic texts. Those who are interested in learning about Islam should view Arabic as a requirement for furthering their learning. An online Alim course will help prepare students for their journeys.

Understanding the Quran

Much of the Quran is easy to understand in modern times, but some of its content requires context to truly know what is being said. In addition, much of the content is easier to understand knowing the history surrounding specific events. When studying the deep sciences behind these passsages, students will be able to understand these passages. Reading the Quran is an enriching experience, but understanding the details of it will provide a much fuller education.

Memorizing the Quran

A key element of Islam is not just reading the Quran but memorizing it, and dedicated Muslims will spend the time necessary to memorize the Quran and understand its meaning. An Alim course provides a number of different options for students to consider, and the memorization techniques developed are based on centuries of theory.

Islam is one of the world’s richest religions, and learning about it is a rewarding experience. Whether one is looking to get in touch with their Islamic past or simply curious about the religion, an online Alim course is a great tool.

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The Month of Dhul-Hijjah

Dhul Hijjah is the final month of the Islamic calendar. Hazrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri (RA) relates that Rasool Allah (SAW) said: “The month of all the months is Ramadan and the month with the most honors is Dhul-Hijjah.
The month gets its name from the fact that the blessed pilgrimage of Hajj occurs in this month and because the Hijjah (Islamic word for year) ends with this month as well. The fifth pillar of Islam, Hajj, is performed in this sacred month.

Al-Masjid al-Nabawi N. M via Compfight

Significance of First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah
Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: Wal Fajar. Wa Layaalin ‘ashr. Suratul Fajr, Verses 1 and 2 translation: By the dawn; By the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hîjjah).
Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA) narrates that Rasoolullah (sallahu alayhi wassalaam) said:
“On no days is the worship of Allah desired more than in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. The fast of each of these days is equal to the fast of a whole year, and the Ibaadat of each of these nights is equal to the Ibaadat of Laylatul Qadr.”(Tirmidhi and Ibn-e- Maajah)

Day of Arafat (9th Day of Dhul Hijjah)
Sayyiduna Qatada (radhiyallahu anhu) reports from Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wassalaam):
“A person that fasts on the Day of Arafat, Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) says he has great hope that this would be a compensation for the person’s past and future sins.” (Muslim)
By past and future sins are meant minor sins. Therefore, it is extremely important that one fast on this day.
Rasoolullah (sallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: “The most acceptable dua is that which is made on the day of Arafat, and the best dua which the Prophets before me and I have said is:
لا الہ الا اللہ وحدہ لا شریک لہ لہ الملک و لہ الحمد و ہو علی کل شئی قدیر

Increase the Rememberance (Zikr) of Allah (SWT) During First 10 days of Dhul Hijjah
Sayyidina Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) relates fromRasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam):
There are no greater days of Ibaadat and actions besides the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah according to Allah Ta’ala. Therefore engage yourself during these days with remembering Allah by doing
tasbeeh, tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed.
So increase the recitation of these 4 things:
Tasbeeh: سبحان اللہ Tahleel: لا إله إلا الله Takbeer: الله أكبر Tahmeed: الحمد لله
The Days of Tashreek

9th of Dhul Hijjah (Fajr time) until 13th of Dhul Hijjah (Asr time)
اللھ اکبراللھ اکبر لا الھ الا اللھ و اللھ اکبر اللھ اکبر و للھ الحمد
The above takbeer is known as Takbiraat of Tashreek.
It is waajib for every adult Muslim (male and female) to recite the Takbiraaat of Tashreek after every fardh salaah during this period. Males should recite it loudly and females should recite it softly.

Sunnats of Eid-ul-Adha
• Wake up earlier than usual
• Brush the teeth with miswaak
• Have a Ghusal (bath)
• Be well dressed in an Islamic manner
• Dress in one’s best clothes, not necessarily new
• Use Itr
• Avoid eating before Eid Salaat — it is best on Eid ul Adha that the first thing eaten should be the animal that that person has slaughtered. However, if slaughtering is not being done at home, then one should just wait until after the Eid Salaah to eat anything in order to get the reward of the Sunnah Insha Allah.
• Perform Eid Salaat at the Eidgaah (men)
• Go to the place of Salaat early
• Walk to the place of Eid salaat (if possible)
• Recite the Takbeeraat (of Tashreeq) aloud on the way to the place of Eid Salaat
• Use different routes to and from the place of Eid Salaat

~*~*~ On a side note we would like to add that once the moon is sighted for the month of Dhul Hijjah until the sacrifice is done of the animal (whether that be on the 10th, 11th or 12th) it is MAKROOH for the one on whom it is obligatory to sacrifice an animal to either cut nails or hair — by any means. So girls this means manicures, pedicures, waxing, shaving, plucking etc. And for the men it includes cutting nails, shaving etc. It comes in a Hadith of Saheeh Muslim narrated by Umme Salmah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) has said: “When the 1st – 10th days of Dhul Hijjah start, one who intends to offer a sacrifice (of an animal) should not have his/ her hair/ nails trimmed until he/ she has offered his/ her sacrifice”…

And Allah knows best! ~*~*~

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Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Quran with an Alim Course

Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Quran with an Alim Course

In order to gain an in-depth understanding of any religious text, it’s important to be able to relate to the text in its original language. Part of the reason comes from meanings that get lost in translation and ignorance of the cultural significance of idioms and everyday language. Having a broad understanding is especially true for the Quran, because the daily practice of Islam involves reciting from the Book in Arabic and memorization of prayers and supplication called Duas, also in Arabic. The Tarteel, which dictates the rhythm and tempo used to recite the Quran is vital to having a respectful practice of Islam, so taking an Alim course is the best way to feel more connected to the text than ever.

The course doesn’t just center around the text of the Quran, it gives students a comprehensive view of the theology and Islamic law (fiqh), knowing that the two things combined can answer many of the questions about Islam’s role in society today. If you’ve been thinking about taking your study of Islam one step further and grounding yourself in true Islam, committing to an Alim course will help you gain faith (iman), practice, and excellence (ihsan.) But, more than that, you’ll learn the origins or these ideas and be able to, one day, pass this knowledge on to a new generation.

The Structure Of An Alim Course

  • The basic outline of an effective Alim course begins with an introduction to Arabic grammar, writing, and pronunciation. Some institutes reinforce speaking by providing a phonetic breakdown of the language to make speaking more accessible.
  • Students are now ready to learn the basic beliefs of Islam and the life (seerah) of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم
  • Students are then familiarized with the Hadith and Fiqh, a set of do’s and don’ts for every follower of Islam. The science of Hadith is extremely important when bridging the gap for everyday practice.
  • To be able to defend and explain their beliefs, students also take courses in expository writing and persuasive speech, both of which serves to strengthen their knowledge of the religion and reinforce their faith.

Taking that final step to enroll in a course is something that would give any student of Islam a source of pride. And, completing it is the best way to make sure your knowledge is as strong as your faith. Register today to join our Alim course.

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Ramadhan

Ramadaan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

Literal Meaning:
Ramadaan means to burn. The fasts burn away the sins.

Virtues of Ramadaan:

Salman (RA) reports: “On the last day of the Sha’baan, Rasoolullah (SAWS) addressed us and said: “O people, there comes upon you now a great month, a most blessed month, in which lies a night greater in worth than one thousand months. It is a month in which Allah Ta’ala has made compulsory fasting which should be observed by day; and He has made the Taraweeh by night a Sunnah. Who so ever tries drawing nearer to Allah Ta’ala by performing any virtuous deeds in this month for his shall be such reward as if he had performed a fardh (obligatory observance) in any other time of the year. And whoever performs a fardh, for him shall be the reward of seventy fardh in any other time of the year. This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward of true patience is Jannah (paradise); it is a month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen; it is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq (provisions) is increased. Whosoever feeds a fasting person in order to break the fast (at sunset), for him there shall be forgiveness of his sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell) and for him shall be the same reward as for him (whom he fed), without that person’s reward being diminished in the least.”

Thereupon we said : “O Messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can provide enough a fasting person to break his fast.” The Messenger of Allah replied : “Allah grants this same reward to him who gives a fasting person a single date or a drink of water or a sip of milk to break the fast. This is a month, the first part of which brings Allah’s mercy, the middle of which brings his forgiveness and the last part of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (Hell). Whosoever lessons the burden of his servants (bondsmen) in this month, Allah Ta’ala will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam.”
“And whoever gave a person, who fasted water to drink; Allah Ta’ala shall grant him a drink from my fountain such a drink whereafter he shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah.” (Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih).

Where Allah Ta’ala has admonished and threatened evil-doers with punishments and misfortune, he has also opened the doors of mercy and reward for those who repent and seek forgiveness. This blessed month of Ramadhaanul Mubarak is the season of harvesting Allah’s blessings, wherein the doors of the skies, Jannah and abundant mercies are opened, and the sinful are favoured by being pardoned and rewarded. The Saum should be observed with all its importance and Aadaab. Muslims should come to the Masjid and enlighten their hearts through the means of Taraweeh, Tahajjud and the recital of the Qur’aan-e-Kareem. It is a time to wash away the dirt of all sins by Istighfaar and Taubah. If one has the right due to another, one should fulfill it. Care should be taken of the poor, the needy and the lonely. Treat subordinates with kindness. How wonderful would it be, if it is so happens that the Ummah makes this vow in this month that they will at least abstain from sinning and execute fully all the rights due to Allah Ta’ala and his creations, then there is hope that Allah Ta’ala may change our fate.
Hazrat Ubaadah bin Saamit (RA) reports that Rasoolullah (SAWS) said one day when Ramadhaan had drawn near, “The month of Ramadhaan, the month of blessing has come to you, wherein Allah Ta’ala turns towards you and sends down to you His special Mercy, forgives your faults, accepts prayers, appreciates your competition for the greatest good and boasts to the angels about you. So show to Allah you righteousness, for verily, the most pitiable and unfortune one is he who is deprived of Allah’s Mercy in this month” (Tabrani).
Hazrat Kaab bin Ujrah (RA) relates: Rasoolullah (SAWS) said: “Come near to the pulpit, and we came near the pulpit. When he ascended the first step of the pulpit he said: “Ameen”. When he ascended the second step he said: “Ameen”. When he ascended the third step he said: “Ameen”. When he descended, we said: ‘O Rasool of Allah (SAWS) we have heard from you today something which we never heard before.’ He said, “When I ascended the first step Jibra’eel appeared before me and said: “Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadhaan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.” Upon that I said: “Ameen”. When I ascended the second step, he said, “Woe to him before whom they name is mentioned then he does not recite Darood (invoke Allah’s blessings) on you”. I replied “Ameen”. When I ascended the third step, he said: “Woe unto him in whose presence his parents or either one of them attains old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter “Jannah”. I said “Ameen”. (Fazaail-e-Ramadhaan).

Guard your fast

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) relates that Rasoolullah (SAWS) said: “Many who fast, attaining nothing by such fasting except hunger, and many who perform Salaah at night attaining nothing by it, except the discomfort of staying awake at night.” With regard of this Hadeeth, the Ulamah have mentioned three different interpretations: Firstly this Hadeeth may refer to those who fast during the day and then make iftaar with such food which is haram. All the reward receiced as a result of fasting is destroyed because of this sin of eating haraam. Secondly Rasoolullah (SAWS) may have meant those who fasted properly, but during fasting kept themselves busy with backbiting and slandering. Thirdly, the person referred to, may be him who while fasting, did not stay away from evil and sins. Here all forms of sins are included. Likewise, in the case of a person performing Salaat at night but because of backbiting or any other sinful acts (ex., allowing Fajr Salaat to pass by), his noble act is rendered futile.

This is the month in which a believer should earn his aakhirat. Allah Ta’ala multiplies all actions that are done during the month of Ramadhaan. Every nafl act gains the reward of a Fardh act, and every Fardh act’s reward is multiplied 70 times.

To be saved from the curse of Jibra’eel (A.S) upon the Aameen of Rasoolullah (SAWS), hereunder follows some guidelines as to how a person can derive the maximum benefit during this blessed moth of Ramadhaan.

1. One should not miss the takbeer-e-ula of Maghrib due to one’s iftaar.
2. After the Maghrib Salaat, one should engage in Nawaafil Salaat i.e. Salaatul Awwabeen (mimimum of 6 rakaats and a maximum of 20 rakaats)
3. When having meals. One should not eat beyond one’s capacity.
4. It is advisable to read Ahadeeth concerning the virtues of Ramadhaan with the family for at least 5 minutes after the meal.
5. One should perform Esha Salaat with jamaat and thereafter perform the Taraweeh Salaat (all 20 rakaats) [males in the Masjid and females in the confines of their homes].
6. It is sunnat-e-muakkadah to perform the 20 rakaats of Taraweeh Salaah.

The Taraweeh Salaah

1. While performing Taraweeh, to sit between each set of four rakaats and engage in Tasbeeh silently.
2. One should make an effort that at least one Qur’aan’s recital should be heard in the Taraweeh Salaah for the month of Ramadhaan.
3. One should participate in gatherings of taalim that takes place in the Masaajid.
4. It is better to engage oneself in ibaadat after the Taraweeh Salaah and if this is not possible then one should retire to bed immediately.

Actions to engage in

1. Increase charity
2. Increase the tilaawat of the Qur’aan more than is normally done.
3. To lengthen the rakaats of Nawaafil Salaat.
4. To perform I’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadhaan.
5. To remain awake during the night of ibaadat.
6. Feed fasting people.
7. To make the effort of Deen and striving in the path of Allah Ta’ala.
8. Remember to utilize all one’s free time in doing good deeds.

Actions to abstain from so as not to erode the reward of one’s ibaadaat.

1. One should not indulge in any sinful acts.
2. Fasting of the tongue I s refraining from:
a. Backbiting
b. Arguing or quarreling
c. Slandering
d. Spending one’s time in futile activities e.g. discussions even if one is not participating in the discussion, one should not even listen to such conversations
e. Talking unnecessarily to non-mahram females/males.
3. Fasting of the ear is staying away from:
a. Music
b. Listening to non-beneficial talks and discussions (radio or otherwise).
c. Listening to gossip
4. Fasting of the eyes is to protect oneself from:
a. Gazing at non-mahram males/females.
b. Watching television programmes.
5. Visiting places to pass time. One should avoid such places, as the month of Ramadhaan is a month of ibaadat.
6. One should control one’s temper.
7. Neglecting and missing Salaat should be avoided at all costs.
8. Abstain from participating in watching sporting events.

Virtues of Laylatul Qadr

Hazrat Anas (RA) reports: “Once when Ramaadhan commenced, the messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: a month has verily dawned over you where in lies a night better than a thousand months. Whoever misses such a night has been deprived of all that is good; and none is deprived of it, except he who is really unfortunate.”

I’tikaaf (seclusion in the masjid)
The meaning of “I’tikaaf” is to seclude oneself in the msjid, with the express intention (NIyah) of I’tikaaf. According to the Hanafi school of thought, there are three types of I’tikaaf:

a) Waajib I’tikaaf (Obligatory I’tikaaf )
I’tikaaf becomes compulsory when a person makes it obligatory upon himself. For example, when a person makes a vow to Allah Ta’ala that if Allah fulfils a certain wish of his, he shall perform so many days I’tikaaf becomes compulsory. Or a person may just make an unconditional vow, whereby he makes I’tikaaf waajib upon himself for a certain of days.; this becomes obligatory for him from that moment onwards.

b) Sunnat I’tkaaf
This was the general practice of Rasoolullah (SAWS). It means to seclude onself inside the masjid for the lat ten days of Ramadhaan.

c) Nafl I’tkaaf
For the third category i.e. Nafl I’tkaaf, no special time and no specific number of days are fixed. A person may make a niyyah (intention) for any number of days at any time, even for his whole life. While Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A) states that I’tikaaf must be for not less than a full day, Imaam Muhammad states that there is no limit as to the minimum period of time. The “Fatwa” confirms this latter view. Therefore it is desirable for any one entering a masjid to make the “Niyyah” (intention) of I’tikaaf for the period that he will remain in the masjid, so that, while he is in Ibaadah, he also earns the reward of I’tikaaf.

Objects of I’tikaaf and its advantages

In view of the above, it is advisable that everyone entering the masjid to join the congregational prayer should, on entering the Masjid, make the niyyah for I’tikaaf, in that case it means that as long as one remains busy with salaat, zikr listening to lectures or sermons he also receives the reward for the I’tikaaf. This reward for I’tikaaf is great as indicated by the fact that Rasoolullah (SAWS) always performed I’tikaaf. This example of him who resides in the masjid in I’tikaaf is that of a person who, having gone to certain place to appeal for something, remains there until it is granted. It is similar to a person who comes begging at our door and then refuses to leave until he has been granted his request. I am sure that even the person with the hardest heart amongst us will eventually give in to his request. How much more Merciful is Allah Ta’ala, and when someone persistently sits at His door, what doubt can there be in the fulfillment of his wishes. Allaama ibn Qayyim, in explaining the significance of I’tikaaf writes that the actual aim is to divert the heart away from everything except Allah Ta’ala, and to draw it near to Allah Ta’ala, thereby forming a complete spiritual connection with the Creator. All worldly connections are thus cut off, for the sake of gaining Allah Ta’ala’s attention and all thoughts, desires, love and devotion become centred around Him. As a result, an attachment to Allah Ta’ala is attained – a love and friendship that will be the only support in the loneliness of the grave. One can possibly imagine the great ecstasy with which that time in the grave will be spent.

In ‘Maraqiul Falaah’, the author writes that I’tikaaf, when properly and sincerely performed, is among the most virtuous deeds. One cannot possibly enumerate all the great advantages and benefits in it. What takes place in I’tikaaf is that the heart is drawn away from everything else except the Creator, while the soul is laid at His door step. All the time, one remains in a state of Ibaadah, even when one is asleep, one is still in His worship striving for nearness to Him. And Allah Ta’ala says (according to a hadeeth):

“Whoever draws near to me (the length of) one hand, then I draw nearer to him (the length) of two hands, and whoever draws near to Me by walking, I draw nearer to him by running.”

Moreover, in I’tikaaf one seeks refuge in the house of Allah Ta’ala, and is safe therein from all enemies.

Where to perform I’tikaaf?
The best of places for I’tikaaf is the Masjidul Haram in Makkah Mukarramah. The next best is the Masjidun-Nabawi in Madeenah Munawwarah, and the next best in Baitul Muqadas.

Thereafter, comes the Jumu’ah Masjid in one’s own town, and last but not least, the masjid nearest to one’s home. Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A) stipulates that the masjid should be one wherein the five daily prayers are regularly performed, while Imaam Abu Yousaf and Imaam Muhammad agree that any Masjid acceptable to the shariah can be entered for I’tikaaf.

The above applies to the males. As for the females, they should perform I’tikaaf in the prayer room (masjid aside in their homes). Where no such demarcated place exists, any room or part of the house should be set aside for this purpose. Thus, I’tikaaf is in fact an easier task for women. The domestic duties can be performed by daughters or servants under her supervision and the woman in I’tikaaf, while remaining in a section in her own house, is spiritually rewarded for it. It is so very unfortunate that, in spite of this relative ease, our women-folk still remain deprived of the blessings of I’tikaaf.

Hadeeth:

Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri (RA) reports that Rasoolullah (SAWS) once performed I’tikaaf in a rent (inside the masjid) for the first ten days of Ramadhaan. Thereafter, he extended it to the middle ten days. Thereafter, he put his head out of the tent and said: “Verily in search of Laylatul Qadr did I perform I’tikaaf for the first ten days and extended it to the next ten days for the same purpose; then I was told that this night is in the last ten days; so those with me should also continue the I’tikaaf. I had indeed been shown that night and then made to forget which one it shall be. And verily did I see myself prostrating to Allah with my forehead in mud on the morning after that night. Therefore, seek Laylatul Qadr among the last ten nights of Ramadhaan; seek it among the odd ones”.

Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri (R.A) says: “That same night it rained. The roof of the masjid leaked, and I saw Rasoolullah (SAWS) performing ‘sujood’ (prostration) in muddy clay, and that was the morning of the 21st night.”

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Shabaan

Sha’baan

Sha’baan is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar.

 

Literal Meaning:

Sha’baan means to spread and distribute. During this month blessings descend and  the provisions and sustenance of man is distributed.

 

Upon the arrival of the Sha’baan moon

It is the beginning of innumerous blessings being showered upon us. Just as the start  of rainfall begins with ‘pitter patter’, and ends in a mighty down pour, such blessings             reach us in the same manner and fashion (i.e. starting slowly then gradually increasing).

 

Beginning of Sha’baan

 

Blessings are initiated and progressively escalate so that by mid Sha’baan the blessings have reached a considerable amount and finally these blessings reach their peak by the end of Ramadhaan.

 

What is Sha’baan?

 

Sha’baan is the month that comes between Rajab and Ramadhaan. There are many  virtuous days with which Allah Ta’ala has blessed His Nabi’s (sallallahu alayhi wa             sallam) Ummah. He has promised us great reward for each and every virtuous deed,  even if it be as small as removing something from a pathway that may trouble others.

Yet, look at the ignorance of the Muslims. We let things slip through our fingers not realizing that time is lost forever! Each breath of man is a stop nearer to his death,             nearer to the time of reckoning before His Creator, on the Day of Resurrection.

 

Everyday Allah Ta’ala through His love and mercy has allocated a specific time in which those call unto Him are answered. He has set aside certain days in which mercy has no limits, to those who plead for it.

 

From amongst the special times and days is the month of Sha’baan, in which each  deed, acted upon, is rewarded more generously by Allah Ta’ala than compared to any other day.

 

Why is Sha’baan important?

 

In a Hadeeth Sayyidina Usaama Rasoolullah (radhi allahu anhu) reports that  Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “There is a month between Rajab and             Ramadhaan called Sha’baan, people are very ignorant towards this month, even  though the reward of each deed is greater within it, and the deeds are presented to  Allah Ta’ala” (Imam Bayhaqi reports this Hadeeth in his kitaab Shuab-ul-Iman).

 

It has been narrated by Sayyidina Anas (radhi allahu anhu) that upon the arrival of Rajab, Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to recite:

اللھم بارک لنا فی رجب و شعبان و بلغنا الی رمضان

            “O Allah! Bless us abundantly in Rajab and Sha’baan and deliver us safely into Ramadhaan.”

It has also been stated in the kitaab “Daylami’ that Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) proclaimed, “Sha’baan is my month.” In another Hadeeth Sayyiditna  Ayesha (radhi allahu anha) narrates that Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) preferred to observe the fasts of Sha’baan thus uniting them with the fasts of  Ramadhaan. From the above Hadeeth we learn the significance of Sha’baan and  Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam’s) attachment to this blessed month.

This  month should be spent preparing for Ramadhaan, not in the heart of the city  center shopping but by doing virtuous acts, so that in Ramadhan we undertake even             more virtuous deeds. By then hopefully our religious duties would become habitual.

 

 

Events of Sha’baan

 

  1. ‘Laila-tul-Baraa’at’ (Night of forgiveness) the fifteenth night of Sha’baan.
  2. “Qibla’, the direction to face in salaat, was once again revered to the Ka’bah in Makkah (after facing Bait-ul-Muqaddas in Jerusalem for a short period of time). This took place two years after Hijrah on the 15th of Sha’baan.
  3. Fasting in the blessed month of Ramadhaan was made compulsory two years after Hijrah on the 25th of Sha’baan.

 

What to do on Laylatul Baraa’ah

(15th night  of Sha’baan)

As much time as possible should be spent in nafl salaah and reciting of the Qur’aan.

It is reported that Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to Sayyiditina Ayesha (radhi allahu anha), “On this night read this dua and teach it to others too, for Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) has taught this dua to me”

 

اللھم انی اٰعوذ بعفوک من عقابک و اعوذ برضاک من سخطک

و اعوذ بک منک سبحانک لا احصی ثناء علیک انت کما اثنیت علی نفسک  

 

“I seek protection in Your forgiveness from Your wrath, and I seek shelter in Your   pleasure from  your displeasure, and I seek safety with You from You. Glory be to You. I cannot fully praise You, as You have praised Yourself.”

 

Virtue of the 15th night of Sha’baan

 

Allah Ta’ala descends to the lower heaven and turns with special mercy and forgiveness towards those who repent and seek forgiveness. Unlike any other night,  wherein  Allah Ta’ala descends during the latter part of the night, on the 15th night of  Sha’baan, Allah Ta’ala descends to the lower heaven from sunset onwards.

 

 

Authencity

Allamah ibn Taymiyyah, a prominent scholar dedicated to refute innovations, states “So many Ahadeeth and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of sha’baan, that one is compelled to except that this night does possess some virtue”

 

Unfortunate people

It is understood for the Ahadeeth that even on this night, some servants of Allah Ta’ala are deprived of his of His forgiveness.

They are as follows:

1) Idolaters

2) Consumers of alcohol

3) Those who disobey their parents

4) Those who commit adultery and murderers

5) Those who sever family ties

6) Those who harbour enmity against others

7) Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis etc. below their ankles.

 

We can thus gauge the severity of these sins and the need to abstain from them as they are so grave that even on an occasion when Allah Ta’ala’s mercy comes to the fore, they still poise an obstacle to our forgiveness.

 

 

 

         

 

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Rajab

Rajab

Jumadal Ula is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar.

 

 

 

The meaning of Rajab:

The word Rajab means to “respect.” The Arabs respected this month tremendously  and it was named Rajab. Rajab is a name of a river in Jannah. Its water is whiter than   milk and extremely sweet. Those who fast in this month will be honored to drink from it.

 

 

Tawheed:    Israa’ and Mi’raaj

 

Israa’ literally means a journey by night and Mir’aaj literally means an elevator, i.e. an  instrument which lifts something up. But, in Islam, Israa’ refers to a miraculous night  journey made the last Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) from Makkah to Jerusalem  and Mi’raaj refers to the jou8rney of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) form  Jerusalem, up and out of the universe, through the seven heavens, and into the direct  presence of Allah Ta’ala.

 

Mi’raaj

 

It took place approximately 1 year before Hijri. Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) approached  and awoke Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) while he was sleeping.

 

Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was taken to Haram, to the Ka’bah and was  prepared for a journey, unique and remarkable in the history of the world.

 

In the Hateem, Jibra’eel and Mika’eel (alaihis salaam) slit Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam’s) chest, removed and cleansed his heart with the pure waters of Zam   Zam, poured Hikmah (wisdom) and Imaan (faith) from a golden vessel into it,  repositioned it, leaving Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) strengthened and    equipped for the commencing journey.

 

Awaiting then at the edge of the mosque was the majestic Al-Buraq, a white winged  beast, larger than a donkey, smaller than a mule. The Buraq was to transport Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to the seven heavens.

With each stride stretched as far as the eye can see, Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa  sallam) mounted Al-Buraq, sped northwards with Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) to Al Aqsa Mosque.

 

On reaching, Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) dismounted, tied the Buraq to             a hitching post used previously by all Prophets, and entered the mosque. On Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam’s) indication led the congregation of all the Ambiyaa             (alayhimus salaam), among whom were Ibrahim, Moosa, and Isa (alayhimus salaam).             This, by the order of Allah Ta’ala was a means of proving that Rasoolullah (sallallahu             alayhi wa sallam) was the leader.

 

Then Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) brought Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) three vessels, containing wine, milk, and honey. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)   looked at them and chose the milk. Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) said, “Praise be to Allah, who has guided you to the Fitrah natural disposition).”

From there Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) led Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to  the first Heaven, and knocked on the gate and the gatekeeper asked, “who is it?’  After receiving Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam’s) reply he asked, “Who is accompanying  you?”

Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) answered, “It is Muhammed (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).” To  which he further questioned, “Has he been invited?” Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) said,  yes.” He said, “Then welcome to him, welcome.” The inhabitants of Heaven welcomed him joyfully.

 

At first they saw a man sitting with a multitude of people. The people on his right  caused laughter, and on his left caused grief.

The man said, “Welcome to the righteous Prophet and the righteous son.”   Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) returned the greeting and asked, “Who is  this?” Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) answered, “This is Adam, and the multitudes on his  right are the souls of his descendents who are people of paradise, and on his left are  those people of hell.” These groups were such whom were the cause of his laughing             and weeping.

 

They then reached the second Heaven; the gatekeeper asked the same questions.  Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) met Isa and Yahya (alaihis salaam). Similarly             the same occurred on each of the Heavens. On the third he met Yusuf (alaihis             salaam), on the fourth, Idris (alaihis salaam), on the fifth, Haroon (alaihis salaam), the sixth, Moosa (alaihis salaam) and climbing a ladder to get to each Heaven higher up.

On the sixth Heaven Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) made his way higher,   Moosa (alaihis salaam) wept. In reply to Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam’s)             concern, he said, “I weep because of a young man sent after me, whose Ummah will  enter Paradise in greater numbers than mine.”

 

It must be kept in mind that Moosa (alaihis salaam) did not weep out of envy, Allah  forbid, but out of sorrow for those from amongst his Ummah who were disobedient.

 

Onwards form there, they made their way to the seventh Heaven and met Ibrahim  (alaihis salaam) who was leaning on Bait-ul-Ma’moor (the much frequented house); a             building parallel with the Ka’bah and directly above it in the Heavens. Rasoolullah             (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) inquired about it and Jibra’eel informed him of the 70,000  angels who pray and perform Tawaf by it daily, then make way for another 70,000             angels and not one form any of them is given the chance to return till the day of  Qiyamah.

Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was taken to see Paradise and Hell. He  viewed Paradise’s bounties whose domes were pearls and earth pungent musk, and             Jahannam’s severities. He also reached the point where he heard the ‘Pen of   Predicament’ writing away.

Then Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was taken to the Lote tree (Sidratul  Muntaha).

This is the place where anything which comes up from earth stops there and is taken from there, anything which comes down from the regions stops there.

It was at this point that Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) appeared manifest in his original form before Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).

Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) remained alongside and guided Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) till the Lote tree beyond which none may pass, or go further.

Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “You’re telling me now to go forth alone

when you’ve remained with me form the Hateem till the 7th Heaven, even till the Sidratul Muntaha (the Lote tree), so why are you leaving me now?”

Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) said, “Oh Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), if I move from  this but even as much as one wing, because of the radiance of Allah noor (light) all my             600 wings will burn and wither away. This is your excellence and great merit that you             are going ahead.”

So Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) went forth, Allah Ta’ala blessed him with   his nearness until he was very close.

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