THE LAST SERMON

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

           

The Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Last Sermon

This sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H. in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat’ (in Mecca).

 

After praising, and thanking Allah he said:

 

“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.

 

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn ‘Abd’al Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…

 

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

 

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

 

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

 

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

 

Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

 

O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.

 

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people”.

 

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Pagans as Patriots: Freedom vs. Prejudice

The U.S. Air Force recently released new data indicating that Pagans (sometimes called Wiccans) have nearly 1,000 registered members, more than Muslims or Jews. Of course they should have their own chaplain in the military since there are Pagan adherents serving their country. Pagans are as entitled to having their religious needs met as are Southern Baptists. Religious freedom is religious freedom is religious freedom. That cannot be said too frequently today.

Paganism is very poorly understood. It is sometimes called “the Old Religion” as it claims to be a revival of indigenous religious traditions violently suppressed by Christianity as it spread throughout Europe. Contemporary Pagans or Wiccans celebrate diversity and put a high premium on personal responsibility and not doing harm. Feminists such as Feminists have been prominent in contemporary Wicca or Paganism and emphasize the repressed Goddess traditions and the spirituality of women as expressed in witchcraft.

Paganism has an important role to play in American religious culture as it explicitly regards women as capable of embodying the sacred. It has been my personal experience that conservative Christianity in particular regards all women, regardless of their faith, as vaguely Pagan. Christian conservatives do not value women’s religious leadership as highly as that of males. Women are called the “weaker vessel” and considered less capable of embodying the sacred. This is why women are not ordained by Catholics and conservative Protestants. Women are deemed incapable of “imagining Christ” despite the fact that Genesis 1:27 clearly states that both female and male are created in the image of God. Continue reading “Pagans as Patriots: Freedom vs. Prejudice”

Muslims challenge Christians’ use of Cordoba mosque

 

Europe Features

By Sinikka Tarvainen Jan 3, 2007, 8:29 GMT

‘; var PageContent= ‘Cordoba/Madrid – Few buildings are as emblematic of Europe\’s Muslim past as the Great Mosque in Cordoba.

\nThe southern Spanish city was once the capital of Moorish Spain, where the mosque was promoted as the third Islamic pilgrimage site after the Kaaba of Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

\nDeclared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984, the stunning mosque pays tribute to the architectural and artistic achievements of Muslim Spain, which also shone as a beacon of science and scholarship in 10th-century Europe.

\nCordoba residents still often call the building \’mezquita\’ (mosque), though it has in fact been used as a cathedral since the 13th century when Christian troops conquered the city from the Moors.

\nA mysterious dim light typical of Catholic churches now surrounds the forest of pillars ending in red-and-white-striped arches, which has been compared to a Muslim tent in the desert.

\nA Catholic altar, a choir stall and chapels have been erected inside, mingling with Islamic features such as the mihrab or prayer niche.

\nSo who does the building, with a prayer hall measuring 23,400 square metres, belong to?

\nIs it the heritage of Arab-Berber-Spanish Moors, who ruled large parts of Spain for some 800 years and for whom emir Abd ar-Rahman I started building it in the 8th century?

\nOr does it belong to Christians, who completed their Reconquest of Spain from the Moors in 1492 and whose King Charles V financed the mosque\’s definitive conversion into a cathedral in the 16th century?

\nUntil recently, few Spaniards questioned the Catholic Church\’s exclusive use of the building, but the arrival of some 800,000 mainly Moroccan Muslim immigrants over the recent years has raised new questions about the sanctuary.

\nThousands of Spaniards have also reclaimed their Muslim roots, converting to Islam in cities such as Granada, once a Moorish stronghold.

\nMansur Escudero, a convert who heads Spain\’s Islamic Board, prayed in front of the mosque recently to claim Muslims\’ right to use it for prayer.

\nThe board has written to Pope Benedict XVI, proposing that the mosque be turned into an ecumenic temple where Christians, Muslims and representatives of other religions could pray together and \’bury past confrontations.\’

\nIt has sent a similar letter to Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

\nSpain\’s Islamic organizations have distanced themselves from Osama bin Laden\’s call on Muslims to \’reclaim Al-Andalus,\’ the traditional name for Moorish Spain.

\nThey condemned the 2004 Madrid train bombings, staged mainly by Moroccan Islamists, which killed 191 people.

\nThe mosque, a building with an \’enormous symbolic power,\’ could show the way for a \’universal spirituality,\’ Audalla Conget, secretary of the Islamic Board, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in a telephone interview.

\n\’Spain could be the key that opens the door to peace,\’ he says, recalling the Moorish period when Christians, Muslims and Jews lived in a relative harmony.

\nAfter the Reconquest, however, Spanish identity was largely based on a militant brand of Catholicism as a sign of differentiation from Islam.

\nIt is only recently that Spaniards have begun toning down traditions which could be offensive to Muslims, for instance removing a statue of Saint James \’the Moorslayer\’ from Santiago de Compostela cathedral.

\nSome villages have modified traditional plays or spectacles in which \’Christians\’ kill \’Moors.\’

\nRicardo Blazquez, the head of Spain\’s Episcopal Conference, initially showed sympathy towards the idea of Muslims praying at the Cordoba mosque, but the conference quickly issued a statement saying he had not authorized any Islamic prayers at the cathedral.

\nCordoba bishop Juan Jose Asenjo rejected the Islamic Board\’s request, saying joint use of the temple would confuse believers and promote religious indifference.

\nThe Vatican has rejected earlier petitions by Muslims to pray at the Cordoba mosque, but Conget was hopeful that Benedict XVI would have a more favourable attitude.

\nThe Cordoba bishop\’s negative answer contrasts with \’interesting gestures\’ by the pope, such as praying at an Istanbul mosque, he said.

\nA spokeswoman at the Cordoba bishop\’s office declined to comment, saying the office had \’nothing to add\’ to what the bishop said earlier.

\n© 2007 dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur‘; PrintArticle();//–>

Cordoba/Madrid – Few buildings are as emblematic of Europe’s Muslim past as the Great Mosque in Cordoba.

The southern Spanish city was once the capital of Moorish Spain, where the mosque was promoted as the third Islamic pilgrimage site after the Kaaba of Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Declared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984, the stunning mosque pays tribute to the architectural and artistic achievements of Muslim Spain, which also shone as a beacon of science and scholarship in 10th-century Europe.

Cordoba residents still often call the building ‘mezquita’ (mosque), though it has in fact been used as a cathedral since the 13th century when Christian troops conquered the city from the Moors.

A mysterious dim light typical of Catholic churches now surrounds the forest of pillars ending in red-and-white-striped arches, which has been compared to a Muslim tent in the desert.

A Catholic altar, a choir stall and chapels have been erected inside, mingling with Islamic features such as the mihrab or prayer niche. Continue reading “Muslims challenge Christians’ use of Cordoba mosque”

Muslims in Spain

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Written by http://www.euro-islam.info
Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Demographics

 

Spain’s interaction with the Muslim world extends back to the 9th century and Islamic expansion into Europe. Most Muslims were expelled in 1492, although there is strong evidence that some did remain behind and publicly proclaimed Catholicism but privately practiced Islam. This tendency faded over time, and the Muslim presence in Spain disappeared until the 1960s.

 

 

 

Initially, many Moroccans entered the tourist industry on the Mediterranean coast. They were primarily undocumented and transient, often attempting to get into France. The profile of these Moroccans began to shift, and they began to come from the Spanish protectorate area in northern Morocco, and settle in Catalonia.

 

As countries further north of Spain began controlling immigration more tightly, many immigrants began settling in Spain so that by the late 1970s it is estimated there were 100,000 Moroccans in Barcelona.

 

Since the 1980s most of the growth of the Muslim population has been due to family reunification. Current estimates put the Muslim population of Spain at 500,000, predominantly Moroccan.

 

Other points of origin include Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq whose citizens came as students and entrepreneurs. By 1977 these numbers expanded to include Palestinian refugees, and in 1979 Iranian refugees. While socially important, demographically their impact is minimal.

 

An important group of Muslims in the country is composed not of migrants, but of converts. In the 1970s there seems to have been a marked increase in the number of Spaniards accepting Islam. Various theories have been put forward as to why this might be the case, including the need to recover an authentic Spanish identity by look back at the period of Muslim rule. The result has been that in the mid-1990s converts had founded over half the Muslim groups. Current estimates place their numbers at 6,000 individuals.

 

Labor Market

 

Muslim immigrants tend to be employed in the lower sectors of the economy, such as service and labor.

 

Education

 

The OECD collects data on education from various statistical agencies within the country, the majority of which comes from census data from the year 2000. The OECD classifies educational achievement using the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED): ISCED 0/1/2: Less than upper secondary; ISCED 3/4: Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary; ISCED 5A: “Academic” tertiary; ISCED 5B: “Vocational” tertiary; ISCED 6: Advanced research programs. 0-2 are considered low, 3-4 as medium, and 5 and above are considered high. This data is not reported by religion, but does have country of origin as reported by the respondent. It is thus possible to construct an approximate picture of the educational achievement of the population in the country with ancestry from predominately Muslim countries. One significant problem is that some countries, such as India and Nigeria, have large Muslim populations but the immigrant population cannot be readily classified as predominately Muslim or non-Muslim. As such, the educational data is split by predominately Muslim origin, predominately non-Muslim origin, and a separate category for those whom classification would not seem justified. Proportions are for all reported data, individuals with no reported ancestry or education are excluded.

 

High

Medium

Low

Muslim

11%

13%

76%

Non-Muslim

20%

17%

63%

Indeterminate

17%

20%

63%

 


 

State and Church

 

In Spain, although special treatment of any religious organization is considered illegal, the state does have agreements with the Vatican that give the Catholic Church unique rights. Some, but not all, have been extended to Islam and other faiths, although these religions do not receive state funding through the tax system. Despite the legal status of Islam, recognized in 1992, there have been di Continue reading “Muslims in Spain”

Islam’s Claim on Spain

The white minaret of the new Great Mosque of Granada doesn’t overshadow a nearby church but is nonetheless a testament to Spanish Muslims’ pride in their history in “Al Andalus,” the region of southern Spain now known as Andalusia

GRANADA, Spain – Across a valley of fragrant cedars and orange trees, worshipers at the pristine Great Mosque of Granada look out at the Alhambra, the 700-year-old citadel and monument to the heyday of Islamic glory.

Granada’s Muslims chose the hilltop location precisely with the view, and its unmistakable symbolism, in mind.

It took them more than 20 years to build the mosque, the first erected here in half a millennium, after they conquered the objections of city leaders and agreed, ultimately, to keep the minaret shorter than the steeple on the Catholic Iglesia de San Nicolas next door.

Cloistered nuns on the other side of the mosque added a few feet to the wall enclosing their convent, as if to say they wanted neither to be seen nor to see.

Many of Spain’s Muslims long for an Islamic revival to reclaim their legendary history, and inaugurating the Great Mosque last year was the most visible gesture. But horrific bombings by Muslim extremists that killed nearly 200 people in Madrid on March 11 have forced Spain’s Muslims and non-Muslims to reassess their relationship, and turned historical assumptions on their head.

“We are a people trying to return to our roots,” said Anwar Gonzalez, 34, a Granada native who converted to Islam 17 years ago. “But it’s a bad time to be a Muslim.”

Spain has a long, rich and complex history interwoven with the Muslim and Arab world, from its position as the center of Islamic Europe in the last millennium to today’s confrontation with a vast influx of Muslim immigrants. Continue reading “Islam’s Claim on Spain”

Tasawwuf & Tazkiyya – Sufism & Reformation

 

A recent comment on my blog propelled me to writing a short description on Tasawwuf and Tazkiya; its meaning, methods, purpose and reality in Islam.

Tasawwuf and Tazkiya are regarded, by some, as a completely separate section, department and form of worship in Islam. It is regarded as a path that one ‘specialises’ in. However, in reality every part, section and action in Islam contains the essence of Tasawwuf and requires its presence.

Tasawwuf and Tazkiya are usually translated in the English language as Sufism or Reformation of the Self and its master is regarded as a Sheikh or a Sufi, whilst the followers of the masters are regarded as Mureeds. Continue reading “Tasawwuf & Tazkiyya – Sufism & Reformation”

TRUE SALAF-E-SALIHEEN

It is quite easy to come across the term “salaf-e-saliheen” or pious predecessors when the history and golden age of Islam is discussed or when the lives of the great luminaries of this ummah are discussed. However, the extent to which these terms are understood is very limited. This short article is an attempt to explain who the pious predecessors were and their contribution to the progress and propagation of Islam, without delving into any terminology or unnecessary differences of opinion, simply shedding light on a few important aspects regarding this topic and at the same time, making the reader aware of the relevance of the “salaf-e-saliheen” to the Muslims of today.

Character of the Messenger of Allah

It cannot be hidden from anyone who has been given understanding or applies himself to thinking that the Messenger of Allah was endowed with the most excellent qualities and virtues beyond number. Any attempt to do justice to his status would fail miserably, though tongues may dry out and pens dry in trying to praise him. Thus, when the Messenger of Allah was made the most perfect example and bestowed with perfection of character and attributes, it was natural that the hearts of people were captivated by his noble person and that in the midst of the prevailing injustice and ignorance, they accepted him as their guide, following him and abiding by his noble teachings. Continue reading “TRUE SALAF-E-SALIHEEN”

MIDDLE EAST: PAKISTAN HAS KEY ROLE IN SAUDI-SPONSORED ‘SUNNI-BLOCK’

MIDDLE EAST: PAKISTAN HAS KEY ROLE IN SAUDI-SPONSORED ‘SUNNI-BLOCK’


Karachi, 16 Feb. (AKI) – (Syed Saleem Shahzad) – Pakistan will play a pivotal role in a Saudi-devised strategy to build a strong Sunni block to counter the perceived growing influence in the Middle East of Shiites led by Iran, diplomatic sources in Islamabad have told Adnkronos International (AKI). The strategy includes the creation of a multinational Muslim peacekeeping force comprising troops from core Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) member states, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonimity. Also central to the initiative is a policy of rapprochement with Israel aiming to resolve the Palestinian issue, through United States mediation.

Foreign ministers from the core OIC nations – Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and Malaysia – will meet in Islamabad next month to agree on a plan aimed at the peaceful and speedy resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the sources told AKI. Continue reading “MIDDLE EAST: PAKISTAN HAS KEY ROLE IN SAUDI-SPONSORED ‘SUNNI-BLOCK’”

Life After Death

 

By World Assembly of Muslim Youth1

How Do Muslims View Death?

Muslims believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed and wrapped in a clean, white cloth (usually by a family member) and buried after a special prayer, preferably the same day. Muslims consider this a final service that they can do for their relatives and an opportunity to remember that their own existence here on earth is brief.

The question of whether there is life after death does not fall under the jurisdiction of science, as science is concerned only with classification and analysis of sense data. Moreover, man has been busy with scientific inquiries and research, in the modern sense of the term, only for the last few centuries, while he has been familiar with the concept of life after death since time immemorial.
All the Prophets of God called their people to worship God and to believe in life after death. They laid so much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt in it meant denying God and made all other beliefs meaningless.

The very fact that all the Prophets of God have dealt with this metaphysical question of life after death so confidently and so uniformly – the gap between their ages in some cases, being thousands of years – goes to prove that the source of their knowledge of life after death as proclaimed by them all, was the same, i.e. Divine revelation.

We also know that these Prophets of God were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life after death, as their people thought it impossible. But in spite of opposition, the Prophets won many sincere followers.

The question arises: what made those followers forsake the established beliefs, traditions and customs of their forefathers, notwithstanding the risk of being totally alienated from their own community? The simple answer is: they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and realized the truth. Continue reading “Life After Death”

Do you remember?

Do you remember?

from http://www.ilmfruits.com 

January 20, 2007 on 2:57 pm | In Tazkiyyah, Aqeeda
1 Comment | By Taymullah

Why are we on this earth? This time, this place. People, make the use of the situation based on a cycle. The EAT-WORK-SLEEP cycle, which I believe turns out to be boring. Monday work starts, lasts till friday. Then again the same old weekend, were some claim to enjoy.

Or lets look at life as a whole. A person is born, goes to school, goes to university/ college, gets a job. marries, buys a house and he/ she starts a new person’s cycle (their kids).
The same old story again and again.
So again what are we doing here? When Allah created us he sent us down with something, can you remember?

Ibn Abbas (ضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) related that,
“When Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) created Adam (عليه سلام), He took a covenant from him in a place called Na’man on the day of Arafah. Then He extracted from him all of descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ and they all replied, ‘Yes, we testify to it.’ Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, ‘That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely we were unaware of all this. We had no idea that You, Allah , were our God. No one told us that we were supposed to worship You alone.” Allah went on to explain that it was also in case some people would say: ‘It was our ancestors who made partners (with Allah) and we are only their descendants; will you then destroy us for what those liars did?’ (Collected by Ahmed, Classified sahih, see Silsilah al-Albani’s al-Ahadith as-Sahihah)

Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said this in an explanation of the verses (interpretation of the meaning): And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily, we have been unaware of this.” Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers afortime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?” (Tafsir At-Tabari). (Qur’an 7: 172-173)
The explanation and the ayah’s are clear proof for people, that the reason we are on earth is not for any other than recognizing Allah as our Lord, and worship Him.

Now it can be seen that MUSLIMS are so much into the EAT-WORK-SLEEP cycle. And they go on and on, with the same old reasons, a good house, a good car (which are mostly mortgage based). So lets remember ( and I advive myself first) why we are here, because if we do, and abide by it, then the rewards we will receive will be infinite , unlike the perceived rewards of this world, which are limited and fragile.

References

Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. The Fundamentals of Tawheed. 2nd ed. Riyadh: IIPH, 2005. 61-62.

Ahead of Iraq Deployment, 37 Korean Troops Convert to Islam

Ahead of Iraq Deployment, 37 Korean Troops Convert to Islam
“I became a Muslim because I felt Islam was more humanistic and peaceful than other religions. And if you can religiously connect with the locals, I think it could be a big help in carrying out our peace reconstruction mission.” So said on Friday those Korean soldiers who converted to Islam ahead of their late July deployment to the Kurdish city of Irbil in northern Iraq. At noon Friday, 37 members of the Iraq-bound “Zaitun Unit,” including Lieutenant Son Hyeon-ju of the Special Forces 11th Brigade, made their way to a mosque in Hannam-dong, Seoul and held a conversion ceremony.

Captain Son Jin-gu from Zaitoon Unit recites an oath at ceremony to mark his conversion to Islam at a mosque in Hannam-dong, Seoul on Friday. /Yonhap


The soldiers, who cleansed their entire bodies in accordance with Islamic tradition, made their conversion during the Friday group prayers at the mosque, with the assistance of the “imam,” or prayer leader.

With the exception of the imam, all the Muslims and the Korean soldiers stood in a straight line to symbolize how all are equal before God and took a profession on faith.

They had memorized the Arabic confession, ” Ashadu an La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah,” which means, “I testify that there is no god but God (Arabic: Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”

Soldiers from Zaitoon Unit pray after conversion ceremony at a mosque in Hannam-dong, Seoul on Friday./Yonhap


Moreover, as the faithful face the “Kaaba,” the Islamic holy place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, all Muslims confirm that they are brothers.

For those Korean soldiers who entered the Islamic faith, recent chances provided by the Zaitun Unit to come into contact with Islam proved decisive.

Taking into consideration the fact that most of the inhabitants of Irbil are Muslims, the unit sent its unreligious members to the Hannam-dong mosque so that they could come to understand Islam. Some of those who participated in the program were entranced by Islam and decided to convert.

A unit official said the soldiers were inspired by how important religious homogeneity was considered in the Muslim World; if you share religion, you are treated not as a foreigner, but as a local, and Muslims do not attack Muslim women even in war.

Zaitun Unit Corporal Paek Seong-uk (22) of the Army’s 11th Division said, “I majored in Arabic in college and upon coming across the Quran, I had much interest in Islam, and I made up my mind to become a Muslim during this religious experience period [provided by the Zaitun Unit].”

He expressed his aspirations. “If we are sent to Iraq, I want to participate in religious ceremonies with the locals so that they can feel brotherly love and convince them that the Korean troops are not an army of occupation but a force deployed to provide humanitarian support.”

(englishnews@chosun.com )

The war for Islam

Osama bin Laden may go down in history not only as the murderous criminal who declared holy war on the United States, but also as a radical figure in what has come to be called the Islamic Reformation–the epic struggle to define the faith of over a billion people

Osama bin Laden (left). At right, Cairo's revered Al-Azhar mosque, the traditional center of Islamic scholarship.
Osama bin Laden (left). At right, Cairo’s revered Al-Azhar mosque, the traditional center of Islamic scholarship. (AFP File Photo at left)

ON JULY 6TH, 2005, in an unprecedented display of intersectarian collaboration, 170 of the world’s leading Muslim clerics and scholars gathered in Amman, Jordan, to issue a joint fatwa, or legal ruling, denouncing all acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam.

This belated attempt by the traditional clerical institutions to assert some measure of influence and authority over the world’s Muslims was surely one of the most interesting developments in what has become an epic battle to define the faith and practice of over a billion people. Never before in the history of Islam had representatives of every major sect and school of law assembled as a single body, much less come to terms on issues of mutual concern.

Yet what made the Amman declaration so remarkable was not its condemnation of terrorism-since Sept. 11, 2001, similar statements have been issued by countless Muslim organizations throughout the world, despite perceptions to the contrary in the West. Rather, it was the inclusion of an all-encompassing fatwa reminding Muslims that only those who have dedicated a lifetime of study to the traditional Islamic sciences-in other words, the clerics themselves-could issue a fatwa in the first place.

This statement was a deliberate attempt to strip Islamic militants like Osama bin Laden of their self-proclaimed authority to speak for the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims. Continue reading “The war for Islam”

“Whoever prays Fajr will be under the protection of Allaah”

Meaning of the hadeeth: “Whoever prays Fajr will be under the protection of Allaah”

Question:
What is the meaning of the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation will be under the protection of Allaah”? How can I be under the protection of Allaah?
If a man prays at home in congregation with his wife, is it the same as the prayer in congregation that is mentioned in the hadeeth?.

Answer:
Praise be to Allaah.

Muslim (657) narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allaah, so do not fall short with regard to the rights of Allaah, for anyone who does that, Allaah will seize him and will throw him on his face into the Fire of Hell.”

Al-Teebi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The reason why Fajr prayer is singled out for mention here is because of the hardship that it entails, and performing it is a sign of a man’s sincerity and faith, and whoever is a sincere believer is under the protection of Allaah. Sharh Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh by al-Teebi (2/184).

There are two scholarly views on the meaning of the hadeeth:

1 – The hadeeth indicates that it is forbidden to harm any Muslim who prays Fajr, for the one who prays Fajr is under the care and protection of Allaah, and it is not permissible for anyone to harm the one whom Allaah has protected. If anyone harms him, he has transgressed and violated the protection of Allaah, so he deserves the punishment of Allaah for having transgressed His protection and for harming the one who is under His protection. See Fayd al-Qadeer by al-Manaawi (6/164).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen (1/591):

This indicates that it is obligatory to respect the Muslims who affirm their Islam by praying Fajr, because no one offers Fajr prayer but a believer. And it is not permissible for anyone to transgress against them. End quote.

This is also indicated by the report narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Awsat (4/5) with his isnaad. Al-Albaani said in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1/110): it is saheeh because of corroborating reports.

It was narrated that al-A’mash said: Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar was sitting with al-Hajjaaj and al-Hajjaaj said to him: Get up and strike this person’s neck. Saalim picked up the sword and took hold of the man, and headed towards the gate of the palace. Then his father looked at him when he was taking this man out and said: Is he really going to do it? He repeated it two or three times, and when he took him out, Saalim said to him: Did you pray Fajr? He said: Yes. He said: Then take whichever path you want. Then he came and threw down the sword and al-Hajjaaj said to him: Did you strike his neck? He said: No. He said: Why not? He said: I heard my father say: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allaah until evening comes.”

2 – What is meant by the hadeeth is a warning against abandoning or neglecting Fajr prayer, because abandoning it is a transgression of the covenant between a person and his Lord. This covenant is prayer and regular performance of prayer.

Al-Baydaawi said: It may be that what is meant by protection is that prayer brings security (from the punishment of Allaah), so what is meant is: Do not abandon Fajr prayer, and do not be heedless about it, lest you break the covenant that exists between you and your Lord, and Allaah seizes you, for whomever He seizes He will throw on his face into the Fire. That is because Fajr prayer is somewhat difficult and burdensome. So performing it is a sign of the believer’s sincerity, and the one who is sincere is under the protection of Allaah. End quote from Fayd al-Qadeer (6/164).

Some scholars are of the view that the virtue of entering the protection of Allaah that is mentioned in this hadeeth applies only to the one who prays Fajr in congregation. Hence al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) gave it the title, in his editing of Saheeh Muslim, of “Chapter on the virtue of praying ‘Isha’ and Fajr in congregation.” He was preceded in that by al-Mundhiri (may Allaah have mercy on him), who quoted the hadeeth in his book al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb under the heading “Encouragement to pray Fajr and ‘Isha’, in particular, in congregation, and a warning against staying away from them.”

This apparently is what Imam Muslim did, as he narrated nearly twenty ahaadeeth before this hadeeth, and umpteen ahaadeeth after it, all of them speaking about prayer in congregation and related matters.

Hence al-Haafiz ‘Abd al-Haqq al-Ishbeeli narrated it in his compilation of al-Saheehayn, in a chapter entitled “Prayer in congregation” (923).

Al-Mubaarakfoori quoted the same hadeeth in Sharh al-Tirmidhi, where he said: “The one who prays Fajr” in congregation. End quote.

Ibn ‘Allaan said in Daleel al-Faaliheen (3/550): i.e., prayer in congregation, as mentioned in the other report.

This is supported further by the hadeeth of Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation will be under the protection of Allaah …” al-Haythami (may Allaah have mercy on him) said (2/92): Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, and its men are the men of saheeh. Al-Mundhiri said in al-Targheeb: the men of its isnaad are the men of saheeh. Al-Albaani said: It is saheeh because of corroborating evidence. See: Saheeh al-Targheeb, no. 461.

Note: This additional material was quoted by al-Manaawi also, and he attributed it to Muslim, but this is a mistake on his part. The additional word “in congregation” is not found in Muslim, or in any of the six books.

And it was said that the virtue is attained by everyone who prays Fajr on time, even if he does not pray with the congregation, because no such limitation is mentioned in the report of Muslim or any other author of the six books.

This appears to be the meaning understood by Ibn Maajah (may Allaah be pleased with him) as he included this hadeeth in his Sunan in a chapter entitled “The Muslims are under the protection of Allaah,” in Kitaab al-Fitan.

This was also suggested by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (6/36): “Chapter affirming the protection of Allaah for the one who prays Fajr.” This applies to all those who pray.

3 – The prescribed prayer in congregation that is enjoined and brings the reward is prayer in congregation in the mosque, and not any other congregation. This has been explained in detail in questions no. 8918, 49947 and 72398.

There are several reports that speak of the virtue of offering Fajr prayer in congregation:

In Tafseer al-Tabari (3/270), in the commentary on the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “and those who pray and beg Allaah’s Pardon in the last hours of the night” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:17], it is narrated that Zayd ibn Aslam said: They are the ones who attend Fajr in congregation.

In their commentary on the verse “Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope” [al-Sajdah 32:16], Abu’l-Darda’ and al-Dahhaak said: ‘Isha’ and Fajr prayer in congregation.

See: Zaad al-Maseer (6/339)

In Saheeh Muslim (656) it is narrated from ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays ‘Isha’ in congregation, it is as if he spent half the night in prayer, and whoever prays Fajr in congregation, it is as if he spent the whole night in prayer.”

Al-Bukhaari (615) and Muslim (437) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If they knew what there is (of reward) in ‘Isha’ and Fajr prayer, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.”

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: To attend Fajr prayer in congregation is dearer to me than spending the night in prayer. Al-Istidhkaar (2/147).

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And Allaah knows best.