Alhamdulillah that it is well known, these DEVIANTS, astray & taking others astray, are easy to identifiy by their attacking comments on social media. They are EASY to refute & they have been refuted profoundly throughout the Muslim world.
There are some “Muslims” in our times who follow a recent new movement (19th-20th century) which rejects hadiths, hence, deviating from the path of mainstream Islam. They pose and comment on many issues related to Islam from their viewpoint and reject many fundamental aspects of our religion. Worst of all, they try to present their views as the mainstream opinion. It should be made clear that they do not represent mainstream Islam or Muslims in any way or form. The ummah (nation) of Muhammad (pbuh) accepts the Qur’an and hadiths as legitimate forms of sources for deriving Islamic laws. We, the mainstream Muslims, acknowledge that both, the Qur’an and hadiths, are a guidance from Allah.
During the colonial period, when most of the Muslim world came under the subjugation of the West, some “scholars” arose in places like Egypt (Taha Hussein), India (Abdullah Chakralawi and Ghulam Ahmed Pervaiz), and Turkey (Zia Gogelup), who began questioning the authenticity and relevance of hadith. It was not that some genius had found flaws in the hadith study that had eluded the entire ummah for thirteen centuries. It was simply that the pressures from the dominant Western civilization to conform were too strong for them to withstand. They buckled. Prophetic teachings and life example — Hadith — was the obstacle in this process and so it became the target.
About Their Movement
It is a movement that holds the Qur’an to be the most authentic criterion in Islam. Quranists (a common name for them) generally reject the religious authority of Hadith (cataloged narratives of what the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said and done), as they consider it inconsistent with the Qur’an. This in contrast to the Sunni, Shia and Ibadi doctrines which consider hadiths essential for the Islamic faith.
However, we the mainstream Muslims (whose ideology has existed since the time of the Prophet) believe that hadiths are necessary and are a legitimate form of extraction for divine guidance. We believe that Qur’an and hadiths go hand in hand and one explains the other. The Qur’an is general and the sunnah is specific and detailed. Hadiths are the interpretation of the Qur’an by the Prophet (pbuh). The Quranists’ rejection of hadiths have led them to turn the Qur’an into a toy which they interpret based on their own intellect and desires. The hadiths, the mainstream Muslims say, preserve the meaning of the Qur’an. This is why Allah tells us in the Qur’an [meaning of which is]:
And We revealed to you [O Muhammad] the message [Qur’an] that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. [Qur’an 16:44]
His HADITHS are that clarification!
There are also numerous verses in the Qur’an where Allah specifically commands the Muslims to obey the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), for example:
And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah.[Qur’an 4:64]
But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission. [Qur’an 4:65]
He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away – We have not sent you over them as a guardian. [Qur’an 4:80]
And when it is said to them, “Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger,” you see the hypocrites turning away from you in aversion. [Qur’an 4:61]
Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know. [Qur’an 2:151]
The above verses show that the Messenger (pbuh) plays a big role in addition to the Qur’an. This is how the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) understood the religion as well. They understood that not everything is in the Qur’an. For example, it is narrated from Abdullah bin Khalid that he said to Abdullah bin Umar, a companion of Muhammad (pbuh) and the son of the second caliph of Islam:
“We find (mention of) the prayer of the resident and the prayer in a state of fear in the Qur’an, but we do not find any mention of the prayer of the traveler. Abdullah said to him: ‘Allah sent Muhammad (pbuh) to us, and we did not know anything, rather we do what we saw Muhammad (pbuh) doing.” (Reported by Ibn Majah, Ibn Qayyim said it is authentic)
The prophet (pbuh) warned us against them in a hadith which they of course deny:
“Soon there will come a time that a man will be reclining on his pillow, and when one of my hadiths is narrated he will say: ‘The Book of Allah is (sufficient) between us and you. Whatever it states is permissible, we will take as permissible, and whatever it states is forbidden, we will take as forbidden.’ Verily, whatever the Messenger of Allah has forbidden is like that which Allah has forbidden.”(Reported by Ahmad, Abu Daawood, Ibn Maajah and at-Tirmidhee, who declared it hasan. Al-Albaanee declared it saheeh in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no.8186))
Now, in my discussion with some of them, they will acknowledge that yes even the companions of Muhammad (pbuh), who saw, lived, learned, and met the last prophet himself, did not reject hadiths as a whole (they may differ on or doubt individual hadiths) but rather followed them and derived rulings from them. So what’s the problem? Their response: “Brother, they were just human beings and made mistakes. We shouldn’t accept it just because they did it.” Just think about that for a moment. The very people who were extremely involved with the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on a daily basis and learned directly from him were somehow collectively mistaken on the issue of following hadiths. I mean we have direct quotes from them acknowledging the sunnah and their strong desire to follow it to the best of their ability for God’s sake! Wouldn’t the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have clarified to them to follow the Qur’an alone and not his hadiths? But somehow they were all wrong and this newly formed sect from the colonial period figured it all out. Completely absurd.
These hadith rejectors will criticize the sunnis for relying on hadiths while it was these same sunnis who preserved the Qur’an generation after generation! For some reason, they have trouble understanding the fact that if they do not trust our preservation methods when it comes to hadiths, then why do they trust our preservation method when it comes to the Qur’an?! An ignorant among them once responded to me with: “because the Qur’an was compiled during the time of the Prophet (pbuh).” This is completely false! It was compiled after the time of the Prophet by the same people who today call themselves Ahlu Sunnah wal Jama’ah (a.k.a SUNNI)! The ironic thing is if one were to ask them about the history of the Qur’an, they would have to go to hadiths else there is no other way. The Qur’an itself does not give its own history. Hence, they will go to hadiths when it suits their agenda and ideology.
The reality is that there are numerous verses which cannot be understood without hadiths, for example:
Why [is it that] when a disaster struck you, although you had struck with one twice as great, you said, “From where is this?” Say, “It is from yourselves.” Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.[Qur’an 3:165]
When did this verse come down? What disaster is this verse talking about? What was struck twice as great?
And what struck you on the day the two armies met was by permission of Allah that He might make evident the [true] believers.[Qur’an 3:166]
What two armies? And on what day? What happened that day exactly? Where is this information in the Qur’an? It isn’t there but it is in hadiths.
Allah has already given you victory in many regions and [even] on the day of Hunayn, when your great number pleased you, but it did not avail you at all, and the earth was confining for you with its vastness; then you turned back, fleeing. [Qur’an 9:25]
What is Allah speaking about here? What is the Day of Hunayn and its victory? What exactly happened on that day? You cannot provide any of these details from the Qur’an.
If you do not aid the Prophet – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.”[Qur’an 9:40]
Those who disbelieved had driven him out of where? What cave were they in and how did they get there? Who was his companion in the cave? None of this information is provided in the Qur’an but is available in hadiths!
There are so many other examples where you need hadiths to derive even the context of verses so you can know what is being talked about. Sometimes whole pages need to be properly contextualized to understand what is going on!
Do you know how Quranists respond to such verses? They make claims such as, “Brother, what benefit will these details bring me today? How do they help me as a Muslim? I do not need details of such information.” So on the one hand, they claim that the Qur’an is clear by itself and does not need hadiths but when you point to them verses that cannot be explained without hadiths, they resort to such red herring fallacies. In addition, to accept this response, it would mean that there are dozens of pages in the Qur’an which bring no benefit and are a complete waste. No God-fearing Muslim would ever hold such a repulsive belief.
“How can it be said that the Qur’an is clear when it needs to be elucidated by the Sunna? The answer is that the clarity of the Qur’an is universal and not partial, general and not detailed, and the Sunna fleshes out the details of the generality of the Qur’an. The knowledge of the particular is only achieved through the Messenger.” (pg. 373)
Refutations Against Them
Alhamdulillah, they have been refuted profoundly throughout the Muslim world. Following is a list of some refutations against them:
Studies in Early Hadith Literature – This is an excellent work that refutes many of their claims. It was such a slap in the face of the hadith deniers that it was actually translated into Arabic. This is really rare in Islamic scholarship because usually Arabic works are translated into English.
And there is so much more stuff out there!
This article originally appeared on Think Muslim’s WebSite, August 28th 2013.
Ruling on praying with gaps in the rows for fear of catching coronavirus (Covid-19)
What is the ruling on spacing between worshipers in congregational prayers because of the coronavirus epidemic?
Summary of answer
What appears to be the case is that it is permissible to offer prayers in congregation in the mosques with gaps between worshippers in the row for fear of spreading contagion and sickness, and that is better than closing the mosques. Not forming tight rows in this case is for a valid reason, and there are similar cases in Islamic teachings with regard to the obligatory parts, conditions and essential parts of the prayer that may be waived when there is a reason to do so, even when they are more important than the issue under discussion here. But it may be noted that this applies in the case when there is no instruction from the appropriate authorities to refrain from praying in congregation in the mosque and to close the mosques temporarily until the pandemic is over, as has happened in many Muslim countries during this coronavirus [Covid-19] pandemic. In that case, it is obligatory to comply with these instructions until the pandemic is over and people are told to resume normal life, in accordance with what is in the public interest.
Praise be to Allah.
The instruction in the Sunnah is to perform the prayer with the rows tight and close together, to fill the gaps, and to complete the first row, then the next and the next.
Ahmad (12352), Abu Dawood (671) and an-Nasaa’i (818) narrated from Anas that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Complete the first row, then the next, and if there is to be any shortcoming, let it be in the last row.”
The version narrated by Abu Dawood says: “Complete the front row, then the next, and if there is to be any shortcoming, let it be in the last row.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
It was narrated by Ahmad (5724) and Abu Dawood (666) from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Straighten your rows, make your shoulders level, fill the gaps, be gentle in the hands of your brothers, and do not leave any space for the Shaytaan. Whoever completes a row, Allah will grant him His mercy, and whoever makes a gap in a row, Allah will cut him off (from His mercy).” This hadith was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Abu Dawood (667) and an-Nasaa’i (815) narrated from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Form tight rows and make them close together, and make your necks in line with one another.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
What is meant by forming tight rows is:
As-Sindi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The words “Form tight rows” refer to standing close to one another in straight rows. “Make them close together” means: make the space between rows small, so that the rows are close to one another. End quote.
Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allah have mercy on him) said: ‘Ali narrated that Abu ‘Ubayd said: al-Kisaa’i said: Forming tight rows (at-taraass) means that the people stand very close to one another, so that there are no gaps between them. One example of a word from the same root may be seen in the verse in which Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “as though they are a [single] structure joined firmly [bunyaan marsoos]” [as-Saff 61:4].
End quote from al-Awsat by Ibn al-Mundhir (4/19-20).
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What is meant by straightening the rows is completing the first row, then the next, filling the gaps, and standing in line with one another, so that no person’s chest sticks out in relation to the one next to him. The second row should not be started until the first row is complete, and no one should stand in a row [by himself] until the row in front of it is complete.
End quote from al-Majmoo‘ by an-Nawawi (4/123).
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: Straightening the row means standing in a straight line, so that no one is ahead of anyone else. But is what matters the front of the feet?
Answer: What matters is the shoulders at the top of the body, and the heels at the bottom of the body…
Moreover, the straightening of the rows concerning which there is a warning against not doing it refers to straightening the row by being next to and in line with others…
There is another meaning of taswiyah as-saff (translated here as straightening the row) which is perfection or making the row perfect; this is like when Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And when he attained his full strength and was [mentally] mature [astawa]” [al-Qasas 28:14], that is, he attained perfection. If we refer to straightening the row in the sense of making it perfect, that is not limited to the worshippers being in a straight line only; rather it includes a number of things:
Being in a straight line, which according to the correct view is obligatory, as mentioned above.
Forming tight rows. This is part of making the rows perfect. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to enjoin that, and recommend his ummah to make their rows like the rows of the angels before their Lord, as they form tight rows and complete the first row, then the next. But what is meant by forming tight rows is not leaving gaps for the devils; it does not mean jostling one another and pushing and shoving, because there is a difference between forming tight rows and jostling one another…
End quote from ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘ (3/10).
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Our companions and others are agreed that it is mustahabb (recommended) and encouraged to be in the first row. There are many hadiths in as-Saheeh which speak of that. It is also recommended to be on the right of the imam, to fill gaps in the rows, to complete the first row, then the next, until the last row, and not to start a new row until the row in front of it is complete.
End quote from al-Majmoo‘ (4/301).
In fact, the apparent meaning of the command to straighten the rows and the Prophet’s emphatic enjoining to do that indicates that it is obligatory, as is the apparent meaning of the words of Imam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) when he said:
Prayer in congregation (jamaa‘ah) is so called because the Muslims come together (ijtimaa‘) in time and place to do this action. … In fact they are enjoined to form rows, and in fact the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) instructed them to straighten the rows, with everyone standing in a straight line, to form tight rows, to fill gaps, and to complete the first row, then the next, by way of striving to make their gathering in the best manner possible. Were it not that forming straight rows is obligatory, it would be permissible for people to stand behind one another, and so on. This is something that is common knowledge, that that is not how the Muslims pray. If that were something permissible, the Muslims would have done it at least once.… According to the teachings of Islam, it is obligatory to form rows.
Hence the correct view is that it is obligatory to straighten the row, and that if the congregation does not straighten the rows, then they are sinning. This is the apparent meaning of the words of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him). But if they do not comply and do not make their rows straight, does the prayer become invalid because they fail to do something that is obligatory?
Answer: there is that possibility. It may be said that the prayer is invalidated because they failed to do something that is obligatory [waajib], but the possibility that their prayer is not invalidated, although they are still sinning, is more likely, because straightening the row is obligatory for the prayer but it is not obligatory in the prayer. In other words, it is not part of performing the prayer. What is obligatory [waajib] for the prayer leads to the person sinning if he omits it, but his prayer is not rendered invalid thereby. One example is the adhaan (call to prayer): it is obligatory for the prayer, but the prayer is not rendered invalid if it is omitted.
End quote from ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘ (3/10).
With regard to the validity of the prayer, it is valid, even according to the Hanbalis who regard as invalid the prayer of one who prays on his own in the last row.
It says in Mataalib Ooli an-Nuha Sharh Ghaayat al-Muntaha (1/695):
The prayer is not invalidated if there is a gap in the row, regardless of where the row is, whether it is behind the imam or to his right, unless the row is to his left – that is, to the left of the imam – if the one who is standing by himself is standing at a distance of three men. In that case, his prayer is rendered invalid. This was stated by Ibn Haamid, and he stated that it is the correct view in ar-Ri‘aayah al-Kubra. … That also applies to one who drifts away from the row, even though he is in line with it, and the distance between him and it is the same, that is the distance of three men between him and others; his prayer is rendered invalid.
This is not quite sound, because as we noted above, there is nothing wrong with interrupting the row behind the imam or to his right. That applies whether there is one person or a group of people. End quote.
Al-‘Allaamah ‘Uthmaan an-Najdi said, in his commentary on Sharh al-Muntaha (1/318):
With regard to interrupting the row by leaving a gap, sometimes the gap may be the size of three men or more, and sometimes it may be less than that. The one who leaves a gap may sometimes be one person, or sometimes there may be several people. With regard to this matter, there are twelve scenarios, ten of which are valid, and in two of which the prayer of the one who leaves the gap is rendered invalid. These two scenarios are: when the gap is in a row that is to the left of the imam and the gap is the size of three men or more. In this case, the prayer of the one who leaves the gap is rendered invalid, whether that is one person or more. The author referred to all of these scenarios.
The two scenarios in which the prayer is rendered invalid, according to the Hanbalis, are:
When the members of the congregation are standing to the left of the imam, and their row has a gap the size of three men or more, and the one who left a gap is just one person.
When the members of the congregation are standing to the left of the imam, and their row has the size of three men or more, and those who left the gap in the row are more than one person.
But if they are standing behind the imam or to his right and there is a gap, even if it is the size of three men or more, then it does not render their prayer invalid. They did not regard that is coming under the heading of standing on one’s own behind the row, because there are others standing in the same row as the worshipper, even if they are at a distance. This is contrary to the view of al-‘Allaamah Mur‘i in al-Ghaayah, which was refuted by ar-Ruhaybaani in al-Mataalib, as noted above.
As for the majority of scholars, they regard the prayer of one who is on his own behind the row as being valid, even though this is disliked (makrooh), if there is no excuse for that, so it is more appropriate that his prayer should be valid if he stands in the row but leaves a gap.
In al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (23/183) it says: The basic principle with regard to prayer in congregation is that those who are praying behind the imam should form tight rows, as explained above. Hence it is makrooh (disliked) for one person to pray on his own behind the rows with no excuse, and his prayer is valid although it is makrooh. It is not regarded as makrooh if he has an excuse, according to what will be explained below.
This is according to the majority of fuqaha’ – the Hanafis, Maalikis and Shaafa‘is. The basis for that is the report narrated by al-Bukhaari from Abu Bakrah, according to which he came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) when he was bowing, so he bowed before he reached the row. He mentioned that to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and he said: “May Allah increase you in keenness; Do not do it again.”
The fuqaha’ said: From this it may be understood that it is not required to repeat the prayer, and that the instruction that was mentioned in the hadith of Waabisah ibn Ma‘bad – which was narrated by at-Tirmidhi and says that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw a man who was praying behind the row, so he instructed him to repeat the prayer – was only by way of recommendation, so as to reconcile between the two reports.
According to the Hanbalis, the prayer of one who prays an entire rak‘ah on his own behind the row, with no excuse, is rendered invalid, because of the hadith of Waabisah ibn Ma‘bad, according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw a man praying on his own behind the row, so he instructed him to repeat his prayer.
It was narrated from ‘Ali ibn Shaybaan that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) led them in prayer, then he finished. There was a man who prayed on his own behind the row, so the Prophet of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) noticed him when he finished, and said: “Repeat your prayer, for there is no prayer for the one who stands behind the row [on his own].” [Narrated by Ibn Maajah] With regard to the hadith of Abu Bakrah, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) told him: “Do not do that again.” This prohibition implies that the prayer was invalid, but he could be excused for what he had done because he was unaware of the prohibition, and not knowing has an impact in that the action may be overlooked and forgiven. End quote.
According to the view that the prayer of one who prays on his own behind the row is invalid, is the prayer valid for one who did not find someone to stand with him in the row? Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If someone prays behind the row on his own, because the row in front of him is full, there is no blame on him and his prayer is valid, and he will be rewarded because Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can” [at-Taghaabun 64:16]. But if the row was not complete, then he must repeat his prayer, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “…for there is no prayer for the one who stands behind the row [on his own].” Moreover, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw a man praying behind the row on his own, so he instructed him to repeat the prayer. What we have stated here is the most likely view, that the prayer of one who prays on his own behind the row is valid, if the row in front of him was full.
And he (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The correct view is that prayer offered by a person on his own behind the row is not valid, unless it was not possible for him to stand in the row, as the row was full, so he prays on his own behind the row, following the imam. In that case, he is excused, for nothing is to be regarded as obligatory when one is not able to do it, as the scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) said. Moreover, the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) made a woman stand behind the row, away from the men, for a legitimate reason according to Islamic teachings, which is that she cannot stand with the men. If there is a physical reason (for not standing in the row), then the obligation to stand in the row is waived.
End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-‘Uthaymeen (15/193).
The issue of a woman (not standing in the same row as the men) indicates two things. It indicates that if there is no one to stand with a person behind the row, and it is not possible for him to insert himself in the row, he may pray standing on his own (behind the row) because he has no other choice. This is by way of analogy, because obligatory acts may be waived when there is a valid reason for not doing them. The instruction that he should stand in line with others is one of the obligatory parts of the prayer, but if it is not possible, then it is waived because there is a reason, as in the case of other obligatory parts of the prayer which may be waived if there is a reason. For example, the fear prayer [and the way in which it is performed], for the purpose of maintaining the prayer in congregation. That may also be applied to the case when it is not possible to pray with the congregation unless one stands ahead of the imam, in which case he may do that, because there is a reason for it. This is the view of a number of scholars, and it is one of two views in the madhhab of Ahmad, although those who follow him do not regard it is permissible to stand ahead of the imam if it is possible to avoid doing that. To sum up, standing in the row is not more obligatory than other issues (in the prayer). As other matters may be waived if there is a reason to do so when praying in congregation, it is more appropriate that this [standing in the row] should be waived. One of the general principles [in Islam] is that what one is unable to do of Islamic teachings is no longer obligatory, and that what one is compelled to do, without sinful intent, is not prohibited. For Allah does not make obligatory on a person that which he is not able to do, and He does not forbid to a person that which he is compelled to do.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (20/559).
And he (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Similar to that is the case where someone cannot find anywhere to stand except behind the row [on his own], which is an issue concerning which there is disagreement between those who regard as invalid the prayer of one who stands on his own [behind the row] and the more correct view, which is that his prayer is still valid in this situation, because all the obligatory parts of the prayer may be waived when one is unable to do them. Another such example is regarding as valid the prayer of one who stands ahead of the imam for a reason, as suggested by a group of scholars, and it is one of the views in the madhhab of Ahmad.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (23/396).
Therefore the correct view is that there is no blame on the one who prays behind the row on his own because the row is full, and his prayer is valid.
What appears to be the case is that prayer in congregation is valid even though there are gaps between the worshippers, if that is something that will help to protect them from contagion and limit the transmission and spread of the epidemic, by Allah’s leave. But with regard to the view of the majority of scholars, who say that filling the gaps is recommended but not obligatory, the matter is clear.
However, according to the view that filling the gaps is obligatory, the prayer is still valid and the ruling is not different. That is for several reasons:
Forming tight rows is obligatory, according to Imam Ibn Taymiyah, and the prayer is not valid without it. Nevertheless, he regarded the prayer of one who stands on his own behind the row as valid, if there is no space in the row, and he regarded this as better than not joining the congregation at all. Our issue may be discussed by analogy with this view; in fact that ruling is more appropriate in our case.
If there is no one with whom he can stand in a row, and he does not pull someone back to pray next to him, then he may pray on his own behind the row, and not forsake the congregation. This is like the case of the woman who does not find another woman to stand with her; she should stand on her own behind the row, according to the consensus of leading scholars. That is because the instruction to stand in rows only applies when doing so is possible, not when it is not possible to stand in a row with others.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (23/406).
It may be compared to all the other obligatory parts, conditions and essential parts of the prayer, which may be waived when it is not possible to do them, such as purification, facing towards the qiblah, covering the ‘awrah, and so on. All of these things are more obligatory than forming tight rows. Imam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If standing, reciting Qur’an, bowing properly, prostrating properly, purifying oneself with water and other matters may all be waived when one is not able to do them, then the same applies to standing in rows and not standing ahead of the imam. That also applies to other issues having to do with forming rows, such as the issue of one who prays and cannot see the imam or the row immediately behind the imam, but is able to hear the takbeer and so on.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (23/396).
All issues having to do with forming rows are waived when it is not possible to do that, as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah explained in the text quoted above. One of the issues having to do with forming rows is forming tight rows; in fact that is less serious than standing on one’s own behind the row, because with regard to the latter, there are two hadiths which state that the prayer is rendered invalid in that case, in contrast to the former, concerning which there is nothing except an instruction only. Hence Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen favoured the view that the prayer is valid even if there are gaps between the worshippers – although he favoured the view that it is obligatory to make the rows tight – and the prayer is rendered invalid if one prays on his own behind the row. His words are quoted above. This indicates that not forming tight rows is less serious than praying on one’s own behind the row.
The issue may be compared to the issue of it being permissible to pray when standing ahead of the imam. This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah. So all those who stood ahead of the imam will have stood in a place where it is not permissible to stand when there is the option of not doing that. He (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The point here is that the congregation acts according to what is possible. So if the worshipper cannot follow the imam except by standing ahead of him, the most that can be said is that he did not stand (where he should have) for the purpose of catching up with the congregation. This is less serious than other matters.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (23/406).
The scholars stated that if the worshipper is sick, if he prays with the congregation he should pray sitting, and if he prays on his own at home, he should pray standing. The Hanbalis gave him the choice, because in either case he will be omitting something obligatory.
The second view is that he should pray at home, because the obligation of standing [in the prayer] is more important.
The third view is that to which Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was inclined, which is that he must attend the prayer in congregation in the mosque, and pray sitting if he is not able to stand.
Our issue is like that, if not more so, because we are not speaking about just one worshiper, for the prayer in the mosque will not be affected (by his absence). Rather we are talking about the closure of the mosques and their not being used. Undoubtedly prayer in the mosque in which there is something lacking due to a valid excuse is better than not praying in congregation at all.
The Sunnah is to put two prayers together when there is rain. The reason for that is to avoid suspension of prayers in congregation in the mosque, because it is possible for each man to pray in congregation at home with his family, but establishing the congregational prayer in the mosque is something very important in Islamic teachings. Therefore putting the prayers together so that they may both be offered in the mosque is better than offering the prayers on time whilst leaving the mosques empty and closed.
It is possible to compare this issue with the wording of Shaykh al-Islam, because he regarded it as more likely that standing in rows is more important than filling gaps, as it says in al-Ikhtiyaaraat:
If two people come to pray, and there is one gap in the row, which is better: for them to stand together in a separate row, or for one of them to fill the gap and the other to stand on his own? Abu’l-‘Abbaas regarded it as better for them to stand together in one row and leave a gap, because filling the gap is recommended, whereas standing in a row with someone else is obligatory.
Ibn Taymiyah regarded it as permissible to leave gaps for the purpose of forming a row, even though he regarded it as permissible for someone to pray on his own behind the row when there is a reason for that. This indicates that leaving a gap is less serious, in his view. Our issue is akin to leaving a gap, so it is permissible when there is a need or a reason for doing it.
What appears to be the case is that it is permissible to offer prayers in congregation in the mosques with gaps between worshippers in the rows for fear of spreading contagion and sickness, and that is better than closing the mosques. Not forming tight rows in this case is for a valid reason, and there are similar cases in Islamic teachings with regard to the obligatory parts, conditions and essential parts of the prayer that may be waived when there is a reason to do so, even when they are more important than the issue under discussion here.
Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allah preserve him) was asked:
When we pray in congregation at home, we leave gaps between the rows for fear of spreading contagion and coronavirus among ourselves. Is that permissible?
, and blessings and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad. To proceed:
It is permissible to leave gaps between the rows when offering prayers in congregation if there is a reason for that, because making the rows close together is not obligatory. In fact, what is required is to make the rows straight and tight. But if there is the fear that making them tight may lead to the spread of disease in this case, then there is nothing wrong with not doing that, in sha Allah. And Allah knows best.
[Dictated by ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Naasir al-Barraak, 21 Sha‘ban 1441 AH].
But it may be noted that this applies in the case when there is no instruction from the health authorities to refrain from praying in congregation in the mosque and to close the mosques temporarily until the pandemic is over, as has happened in many Muslim countries during this coronavirus [Covid-19] pandemic. In that case, it is obligatory to comply with these instructions until the pandemic is over and people are told to resume normal life, in accordance with what is in the public interest.
And Allah knows best.
Please give generously to Masjid Bilal ibn Rabah. Click on the image of the Ka’aaba to donate – May Allah Bless You
It is not permissible to forsake a Muslim because of differences in points of view
I know that it is only permissible for a Muslim to be mad at a fellow brother for 3 days at most، and the one who is better is who talks first. However، if I only see a certain brother once a week or so، is it permissible for me to turn away 3 times that I see him، or do I have stick with the 3 day limit. If I do، then he will never know my displeasure with him. I know this isn’t a good attitude to have، but sometimes a brother may do something and I would like to let him know that I do not approve of it.
Praise be to Allah.
It is not permissible to forsake a Muslim, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5727; Muslim, 2560). This applies especially if the believer is a relative, such as a brother, nephew, uncle or cousin, because in such cases forsaking is an even worse sin.
This applies unless the person is committing a sin and there is an interest to be served by forsaking him, i.e., that it will make him give up the sin. In that case there is nothing wrong with it, because this comes under the heading of removing evil. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; if he cannot then with his heart [by hating it and feeling that it is wrong], and that is the weakest of faith.”
(Narrated by Muslim, 49).
The basic principle is that it is haraam for a Muslim to forsake his fellow-Muslim, unless there is a reason to allow it.
See Fataawa Manaar al-Islam, by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 3, p. 732.
Wali al-Deen al-‘Iraaqi said:
This prohibition applies in cases where the forsaking is caused by anger with regard to something permissible that has nothing to do with religion. With regard to forsaking someone for a religious reason, such as his committing sin or bid’ah, there is no prohibition on that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded (his companions) to forsake Ka’b ibn Maalik, Hilaal ibn Umayyah and Maraarah ibn al-Rabee’ (may Allaah be pleased with them). Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: This hadeeth of Ka’b indicates that it is permissible for a man to forsake his brother if he commits some act of bid’ah or immorality, in the hope that forsaking him may discipline him and serve as a rebuke to him. Abu’l-‘Abbaas al-Qurtubi said: With regard to forsaking a person because of sin or bid’ah, it should be continued until he repents from that and does not go back to it. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr also said: The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, unless there is the fear that speaking to him and keeping in touch with him will affect one’s religious commitment or have some harmful effect on one’s spiritual and worldly interests. If that is the case, it is permissible to avoid him, because peaceful avoidance is better than harmful mixing.
Tarh al-Tathreeb, 8/99
What you should do, if your brother has done something haraam, is to advise him and explain that this thing is haraam and is not permitted, and remind him of Allaah. If you see that he is persisting in his sin and you think that forsaking him will serve a purpose, then it is permissible to do so, as stated above. But if he has simply done something that you do not agree with, or it is the matter of different points of view, then you should explain to him that you do not agree with what he has done, or with his mistaken point of view. But if you make forsaking him the sign of your disagreeing with him, this may lead to him rejecting your view completely, let alone the fact that this is not a legitimate shar’i justification for forsaking him for more than three days. We have seen above in the fatwa of Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen that the basic principle is that it is haraam for a Muslim to forsake his fellow-Muslim, unless there is a reason to allow it.
The Muslim must be forbearing and sincere towards his brothers, he must be tolerant towards them and overlook their mistakes. He should not hasten to adopt a solution that may cause division and haraam kinds of forsaking. May Allaah help us all to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. May Allaah send blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad.
Ramadhan represents a time where the benefits are so vast, collecting all the bounty Allah has for you this Blessed Month takes a little ‘know-how’. Here is a list, from various AUTHENTIC SOURCES I have collected over the years. This represents a VAST amount of information – enjoy & and please ask Allah to forgive the one who posted this (me). Ramadan Facts & Questions.
“Fasting in Ramadan develops in a person the real spirit of social
belonging, of unity and brotherhood, and of equality before God. This
spirit is the natural product of the fact that when people fast they
feel that they are joining the whole Muslim society (which makes up more
than one fifth of world’s population) in observing the same duty, in
the same manner, at the same time, for the same motives, and for the
same end. No sociologist or historian can say that there has been at any
period of history anything comparable to this powerful institution of
Islam: Fasting in the month of Ramadan. People have been crying
throughout the ages for acceptable ‘belonging’, for unity, for
brotherhood, for equality, but how echoless their voices have been, and
how very little success they have met…” says Hammudah Abdalati, in Islam
“What is fasting?” “How does the fasting of Muslims in Ramadan differ
from the fasting of other faiths?” “Why should one ‘torture’ one’s body
in the first place?” “What do you really gain from fasting in the
end?”…These are a few questions that a number of non-Muslim friends and
colleagues often ask us, usually out of fascination with this
spiritually-uplifting practice of Islamic faith, and at times out of
pity and sympathy for us, thinking, why should anyone suffer from hunger
and thirst like Muslims? I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us shared
the same negative perception of Fasting.
It is important to note that Fasting in Arabic is called, “Sawm”,
which literally means ‘to be at rest’. Fasting in the month of Ramadan
(the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar) is one of the Five Pillars
upon which the “house” of Islam is built. During this month, every
able-bodied Muslim, is required to fast, everyday from dawn until dusk
12 Reasons To Fast!
1. Fasting is an institution for the improvement of moral and spiritual
character of human being. The purpose of the fast is to help develop
self-restraint, self-purification, God-consciousness, compassion, the
spirit of caring and sharing, the love of humanity and the love of God.
Fasting is a universal custom and is advocated by all the religions of
the world, with more restrictions in some than in others. The Islamic
Fast, as opposed to mere starvation or self-denial, is an act of worship
and obedience to God, thanksgiving, forgiveness, spiritual training,
2. Ramadan gives us a break and provides us with a rare opportunity
to think about our own selves, our future, and our families. It is a
time to give our selves a mental break and to temporarily forget about
the hundreds of worries and stresses we are constantly bombarded with.
In hectic times, such as ours, and in places like the West, this
valuable time to think about our lives, on individual basis, is a luxury
and is desperately needed! It is a unique month of self-analysis, and
of taking stock of one’s moral and spiritual ‘assets and liabilities’.
3. Fasting indoctrinates us in patience, unselfishness, and
gratitude. When we fast we feel the pains of deprivation and hunger, and
learn how to endure it patiently. The meaning of this powerful
experience in a social and humanitarian context is that we are much
quicker than anybody else in sympathizing with the oppressed and needy
around the world, and responding to their needs. “It is the month to
visit the poor, the sick, and the needy to share their sorrows. It is
the month where the food, sustenance and the earnings of a believing
Muslim increases and they are blessed,” says the Final Prophet of God,
Muhammad (peace be upon him), a man who was known for his noble
humanitarian causes, for social justice, and for being the first to
respond to other’s needs, despite the fact that he himself lived a very
simple and humble life. It is only during such a trying time as Ramadan
that we can reflect on the condition of those in this world who may not
be as fortunate as us.
4. Fasting in Ramadan enables us to master the art of mature
adaptability and Time-Management. We can easily understand this point
when we realize that fasting makes people change the entire course of
their daily life. When they make the change, they naturally adapt
themselves to a new system and schedule, and move along to satisfy the
rules. This, in the long run, develops in them a wise sense of
adaptability and self-created power to overcome the unpredictable
hardships of life! A person who values constructive adaptability,
time-management, and courage will appreciate the effects of Fasting in
this respect as well.
5. It cultivates in us the principle of sincere Love, because when we
observe Fasting, we do it out of deep love for God. And a person, who
loves God, truly is a person who knows what love is and why everyone on
this Earth should be loved and treated justly, for the sake of God.
6. Fasting elevates the human spirit and increases our awareness of
God. It strengthens our will-power as we learn to rise above our lower
desires. The institution of fasting is both unique and a shared
experience in human history. From the very beginning of time, humans
have struggled to master their physical and psychological selves: their
bodies and their emotions. Hunger is one the most powerful urges that we
experience. Many, through over- or under-eating or consumption of
unhealthy foods, abuse this urge. Thus, when a person purposefully
denies something to their own self that it craves, they are elevating
their mind above their body, and their reason and will above their
carnal passions. “A fasting person empties his stomach of all the
material things: to fill his soul with peace and blessings, to fill his
heart with love and sympathy, to fill his spirit with piety and Faith,
to fill his mind with wisdom and resolution,” says H. Abdalati in Islam
in Focus. The person who can rule their desires and make them work, as
they like, has attained true moral excellence.
7. With the clarity of mind and absence of distractions, also comes a
greater focus. As students, the period of fasting, especially early
during the day, serves as a tool to focus our minds on our academics. In
the month of Ramadan, many Muslims try to avoid watching TV, listening
to music, and some other leisure activities, which spares them more time
and energy to be spent on more productive activities such as academics,
intense study of Islam, voluntary prayers, social and humanitarian
causes, and a quality time with the family, to name a few. It is a
reminder of our duty to God, our purpose and higher values in life, as
God Himself describes the purpose of fasting as follows, “O you who
Believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for
those before you, so that you may develop consciousness of God” (Quran
8. Fasting has numerous, scientifically proven, benefits for our
physical health and mental well-being. The time, length and nature of
the Islamic Fast all contribute to its overall positive effect. One of
the medical benefits is a much-needed rest to the digestive system. The
reduced food intake during the day allows the body to concentrate on
getting rid of harmful dietary toxins accumulated as natural by-products
of food digestion throughout the year. The length of the Islamic Fast
itself (around 12-14 hours) is in sync with the ‘transit time’ of food
from the mouth to the colon of the large intestine, ensuring that no
stimulus reaches the stomach or digestive system while it remains in
homeostasis. Therefore, for the vast majority of healthy individuals
fasting poses no medical risks but in fact provides many health
benefits, such as: an increase in serum Magnesium, essential for
cardio-vascular health and prevention of heart complications;
improvement in the quality and depth of sleep; improvement in memory and
slower skin aging over time; increased production of growth hormone,
etc. Also, as a general note, it has been observed that underfed animals
live longer than their heavily fed counterparts and suffer fewer
illnesses during their lives.
9. The month of Ramadan provides us with a sort of “Boot camp.” It is
a month of intense moral training. Since we know that Fasting is a
special duty prescribed by God, we learn that any sins may spoil our
record of fasting with God, so we go through great lengths making sure
we are on our best behavior. Many people who experience fasting in this
month, feel the impact that this intense training has on their habits,
and realize the power of this transformative tool designed to make us
better human beings- the ultimate goal of any spiritual exercise. The
entire Ramadan atmosphere provides the driving force for this positive
10. It makes us realize the reality of life and death. Fasting makes
us realize how dependant our lives are on things that we often take for
granted, such as food and water. It makes us think about our dependence
on God and God’s mercy and justice. Moreover, it reminds us of the life
after death, which itself has a great impact on our character and our
11. Ramadan is a blessed month for a special reason: It is actually
the month in which God first revealed His final message and guidance for
mankind to our beloved Prophet Muhammad. This message has been
perfectly preserved both orally and textually in the form of a Book,
called the Qur’an (The Reading/Recital). Therefore, Muslims try to do an
intense study of the Quran in this month especially, and evaluate their
lives according to the standards and guidance contained in it.
12. After the month of Ramadan is over, Muslims celebrate one of the
two most important holidays in the Islamic year: EID-UL-FITR, or the
Festival of the Fast Breaking. It is a day to thank God for the blessing
and training that He provides us with throughout the month of Ramadan.
EID-UL-FITR is marked by praying in a huge congregation at an Islamic
center or mosque, and by giving a small donation to the poor in the
community. The adults give the donation on behalf of their children as
well. Dinner parties, family outings, fairs, carnivals, and great joyous
celebrations follow the prayer and charity.
In a nutshell, even though the real purpose of the dynamic
institution of Fasting is to discipline our soul and moral behavior, and
to develop sympathy for the less fortunate, it is a multi-functional
and a comprehensive tool of change in various spheres of our lives,
including: social and economic, intellectual and humanitarian, spiritual
and physical, private and public, personal and common, inner and outer
—all in one!
Tremendous admonition & reminder of the benefits of the upcoming Ramadhan. Abu ‘Uwais (rahimahullah), a well known Muslim-American speaker, delivers a powerful message & drives home the essence of the Blessed Month. We need a Ramadhaan – now more than ever perhaps…
Transcript of The Khutbah
Ramadhaan is a month of Forgiveness.
Ramadhaan is a month of Rahmah.
Ramadhaan is the month of generosity.
Ramadhaan, the month that Allaah
subhaanahu wa ta’ala accepts the Tawbah of the servants, and the month
that Allaah blesses His servants.
We are in need of Ramadhaan to correct ourselves, for we have forgotten Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala for the majority of the year.
To correct ourselves for we have been neglectful.
To correct ourselves for we are not upon the remembrance of Allaah.
To correct ourselves because our hearts
have gotten hard, some hearts are dead, some hearts are sick, some
hearts are stone-cold, some hearts are black, getting no benefit
whatsoever. Some hearts are so bad, and so ill that they see a good as a
Munkar, (as an evil), and they see an evil as a good. These are not as
they should be.
We need a Ramadhaan. We need a Ramadhaan because our connection with Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala is not correct.
We need a Ramadhaan because we do not have any Khushoo or devotion in our Salaah.
We need a Ramadhaan because our Qura’an has dust and is sitting on a shelf.
We need a Ramadhaan because we never read the books of Sunnah.
We need a Ramadhaan because we don’t
fast, and if we fast physically without food or drink, we don’t fast
with our eyes by lowering them and our tongue by not slandering and our
tongue by not lying and back-biting. We need a Ramadhaan to get
ourselves back in order, to work for the Hereafter, to connect ourselves
to Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.
We need a Ramadhaan because relationships brother to brother and sister to sister is in a miserable condition.
We need a Ramadhaan because we have bad thoughts about one another.
We need a Ramadhaan because of dhulm, injustice to one another.
We need a Ramadhaan because there is backbiting, there is envy, there is jealousy, and there is slander.
We need a Ramadhaan because we are despicable, because we are sick, because we are ill. (All these are diseases of the heart)
We need a Ramadhaan because we don’t believe in the promise of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala, or if we do, we do not implement it.
We need a Ramadhaan because it is time for us to change and become something better then we are now.
We need a Ramadhaan because that is the only thing that is going to get us together…
We need a Ramadhaan because we don’t have unity, there’s no brotherhood
We need a Ramadhaan because there’s no respect for elders
We need a Ramadhaan because there’s no real love between us
We need a Ramadhaan, full of love and the Mercy of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.
A Ramadhaan like we come in, like in a
clinic or a hospital, trying to solve our illnesses, trying to come out
of there without the disease we came with, trying to be better than we
went in with.
We need a Ramadhaan. Look around you,
look to your right, look to your left, look in front of you and look
behind you and you’ll say, “We need a Ramadhaan”.
The sisters aren’t covering properly, we
need a Ramadhaan. Brothers and sisters are mixing. We need a Ramadhaan.
Talking on phones and on the internet, we need a Ramadhaan. This is a
mess, we are in a fix, we are in a bind, and this is a problem… We need a
Ramadhaan. We need a Ramadhaan to get ourselves together.
We need a Ramadhaan, that we come in the
Masjid and we face the Qiblah and we say “Allaahu Akbar” and we stand in
qiyaamah a long time until those diseases, that filth, that sickness,
that hardness the heart goes away.
We need a Ramadhaan that reminds us of
the Hell-fire. We need a Ramadhaan that tells us that we haven’t been
given a certificate that we are people of Jannah.
We need a Ramadhaan that lets us known that we are servants of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.
And if we were to spend our whole life,
from the time we were born until Yawm al Qiyaamah in Sajdaah, it would
not be enough to thank Allaah for His Mercy, His Grace and His
We need a Ramadhaan and it is clear. If
there is any fear of Allaah left in the hearts of ours and if there is
any hope of Jannaah left in us, and if there is any desire to change and
to be better and to be righteous and to come to the level of Ihsaan, to
come to the level of a Mumim, to have taqwa, to fear Allaah … we need a
We need a Ramadhaan, a month of Tawbaah.
We need a Ramadhaan, a month of Maghfira.
We need a Ramadhaan to correct our
behaviour, to correct the differences & the difficulties and the
envy / jealousies in our relationship between one another.
We need a Ramadhaan to understand that we
have been committing injustice to one another. And as the Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said : ‘Az-Zulm (injustice) – “Zulumaat
yawmal Qiyaamah” –we’ll be changed physically into darkness on the Day
We need a Ramadhaan to understand the
Hadith : to fear the duaa of the one to whom we have done injustice.
For there is not between Allaah and the person making the invocation,
the person making that supplication of the person to whom injustice has
been done, there is no veil between that person and Allaah. That duaa is
The oppressor is the one for whom things
are not going right; He is tripping into this and falling into that;
He is Slipping there and sliding here. Why I can’t get ahead? Why I
can’t progress in my Deen? Why I can’t memorize this ayah? Why I can’t
understand this hadeeth? We may be living under the invocation, the
answer for invocation for someone whom we abused or stepped over. You
know you need a Ramadhaan. I know I need a Ramadhaan. We know we need a
Ramadhaan. We need to get ourselves together. We’ve been running around
in filth, we have been having our hearts around the low matters; We need
our hearts to be around the thrones of Allaah; We need to think about
the high matters, high goals; We need to think about Jannah; We need a
hope for al-Jannah.
You’re planning for marriage, you’re
planning for education, you’re planning for a job, but we need to plan
for the Jannah. We need to prepare for the Jannah during the month of
“‘Nahnu be haajathin Ma’aasa fir Ramadhaan.”
We are in severe need for Ramadhaan, so
that we come into Ramdhaan with repentance, we come into it with regret,
we come into it realizing that we are weak, that we need Allaah tabarak
wa ta’ala to correct us, realizing that we are wrong and that we need
Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala to place upon us that which is right, realizing
that we are weak and that we need Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala to grant us
strength. We need a Ramadhaan. Oh Yes !! We need a Ramadhaan.
We needs nights of Qiyaam, we need dua
and sujood, we need nights of Ramadhaan to do thilawaah of Qura’an. We
need to listen to Husri, or Sudays or Shurain, or Hudhaifi. We need a
Ramadhaan to listen to the Qura’an. When was the last time that we
listened to the Qura’an?? When was the last time we recited Qura’an? We
need a Ramadhaan to study Qura’an, to implement the Qura’an, and this
Ramadhaan may be our final Ramadhaan. As one brother spoke, I believe
it is Abu Thasleem Hafidahullaah, where is the guarantee that this is
not our final Ramadhaan? What is the guarantee that it is not our final
Ramadhaan? We have to come into it seriously. And we want to come out of
it much better than we came into it. We want to come out of Ramadhaan
with Taqwa, because that was the main reason that it was legislated.
Taqwa is fear of Allaah. If we had taqwa, our condition will be better than it is now. If we had taqwa our relationships would be smoother, if we had taqwa …father to son who is a Muslim, sister to brother who is Muslim, uncle, aunt, niece and nephew who is Muslim, husband and wife who are Muslims.. the relationships would be better if they are based upon Taqwa. And we can achieve Taqwa during the month of Ramadhaan. I don’t believe that our hearts are that hard, I don’t believe that we can’t change, I don’t believe that some of us who hold hatred for the last 10 years cannot learn to love, and because we have been taught deceit and deception now we can’t learn to trust.
I don’t believe that those brothers who
have left circumstances physically but have the teachings and the
behaviours that they had while they were up there, that they can’t
change. The sisters who remove their bodies from the fitnah and
physically remove their bodies from a mistake, physically remove their
bodies from foolishness but their hearts have to follow. Be iznillaahi
tha’aalah ! Their hearts have to follow.
We need a Ramadhaan to be as the Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was. That he was the most generous, he was
generous in general and he was most generous in Ramadhaan. Like a wind …
spending, giving to his right, giving to his left, giving in front of
him, giving behind him, giving to anyone who came. He gave without them
We need a Ramadhaan to inculcate these
qualities. We need to control our desires. We need to control our
tongue. We need to control our limbs. We need to learn self-discipline.
We need to control our anger. We must do things in Ramadhaan not out of
habit, something that is just tradition., that we are more despicable
when we went in. We have to change our condition. We have to change our
connection with Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala. For how light is the view of
Allaah when they disobey Him. This is what was said by one of the
sahabas when he had the crown of the Persian King in his hand.
And the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam) said, ‘that he had been sent before the hour. And my provision
has been provided for me under the shade of my spear and humiliation has
been written against anyone who goes against my orders. Humiliation has
been written upon anyone who goes against my orders. If we want to
continue in the position of humiliation that we are in, then do not take
the grand opportunity act like it doesn’t exist, neglect and forget and
be hard headed, be obstinate, follow your desires like you have been
doing for the last 11 months and don’t benefit from Ramadhaan. And when
our circumstances doesn’t change, when the Kuffar don’t remove their
spears from our necks, when our women are consistently raped and they
are now these days in many parts of the world, when all of that happens,
don’t say “Why?” You know why. For we need a Ramadhaan and we have to
correct ourselves in this Ramadhaan. And that you are a part of this
Ummah and if you have an illness, and if you are a member of this ummah
with a sickness, with filth, with crime, this affects the rest of the
Ummah. It is like your body when you have an illness. It is like when
you have hurt your finger or your toe, it affects the rest of the body.
And it doesn’t have to be said to you that the Prophet (sallallahu
alayhi wa sallam) said, “the believers are like one body”. If we want
to correct the position of the Ummah, then we must first start by
correcting ourselves. Don’t worry about Ubyaid, Hassan and Musa, but
worry about yourself. Be selfish this Ramadhaan. Not regarding giving
sadaqa but where you are going to focus your rectification or how to
rectify yourself. Your focus is going to be on yourself. Not worrying
about this person and that person’s manhaj. Are you on the correct
Manhaj?? Not worrying about whether a particular brother is on the
bidah or the Sunnah. Are you upon the Sunnah? Have those brothers
stopped committing their sins — have you stopped committing that sin?
Has the brother made tawbah —- Have you made tawbah?? Has the brother
corrected a situation —– have you corrected your situation? Worry about
yourself. Worry about yourself this Ramadhaan.
Any other Ramadhaan do what you will. But
my sincere advice to you is, this Ramadhaan worry about yourself. Am I
backbiting? Am I slandering? Am I committing fahishah? Am I committing
gheebah? Am I committing Nameemah (tale-carrying)? Do I have ‘hasad’? Do
I have pride (Kibr) ? Am I arrogant? Am I too harsh? Am I unkind? Am I
not gentle enough? Am I gentle enough? Question yourself. Was my
intention when I said what I said or did what I did for the pleasure of
Allaah or to be noticed? When I spoke what I spoke was it for the
pleasure of Allaah or to be seen or heard? Was I doing it “Haarisa min
Qalbi’— sincerely from my heart or I did it to be known? ‘Khutbath
Duroor’ — Loving to be known breaks it.
Be Mukhlis. Be sincere. Be like that
servant of Allaah like the Hadith that has been related in the Kitaab
al tawheed of the soldier whose head is disheveled, who is bare-footed
and dirty.. but he is sincere to Allaah. If he was placed at the rear of
the army, he is pleased with that. And if he is placed in the front of
the army he is displeased with that. His goal is Allaah tabarak wa
ta’ala. Not where I sit. Not us and them, Not you and I but his brothers
and sisters ..its the servants of Allaah, it is the believers, it is
the Muslim, the salafiyoon, it is Ahlul –athar, it is Ahlus-Sunnah, it
is Ahlul-Hadith. No one’ bigger and no one is smaller . No one wants
to step on anyone nor desire that. All of us should be working for the
pleasure of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala. And if we don’t we have an
illness which is Riyaah — doing things to be seen or Sum’aah — doing
things to be heard and we need a Ramadhaan to correct that behaviour.
If we find that we talk to the sisters or
brothers too much, we need a Ramadhaan to learn to stop talking to
those who are not halaal for us to talk to. And if we find that we are
mixing too much, we need a Ramadhaan to start mixing with those whom
you are not supposed to mix with. We find that we have jealousy in our
hearts, vengeance in our hearts, distrust in our hearts for other
Muslims based upon nothing but Shaitaan whispers to us, we need a
We get all the good in front of us when
we have the Book of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala and the Sunnaah of the
Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the fahmas Salafus Saalih
and the connection to the inheritors of the Prophet alaihissalaam – the
Ulamaa – we got all the good in front of us but we are like that
individual who has a disease and he has the prescription for the
medicine in front of him but he refuses to open the package – let alone
read it —– let alone take it.
We need a Ramadhaan, Our condition won’t change. We’ll continue to complain.
We need a Ramadhaan or we’ll forever be in pain. We need a Ramadhaan or we’ll go insane.
We need a Ramadhaan, you and I. Why can’t
we lift up, roll up our sleeves? Why do we have to beat the hands of
one another? Why do we have to step on somebody to get somewhere? Why
do we have to step on our brother – he wants to go to the same place
where you want to go? The Jannah. Why can’t we do it together? Why can’t
we be side by side? You roll up your sleeves and I’ll roll up my
sleeves, we’ll get busy and we’ll get help and support one another.
Why can’t we make excuses? Why can’t we
forgive? Why can’t we forget? Why can’t we let things go? Upon clarity,
upon Haqq, knowing the Sunnah, knowing the Deen, connected to the
scholars, not preceding them in any statement or action and if they make
a statement, we make their statement (not add our own), This is
important. We need a Ramadhaan.
This blessed month where you can go in as
the most despicable devil and come out like an angel. That blessed
month when you can go in as a miser and come out as the generous … that
blessed month where you can be one of those hard-hearted brothers –
(everybody usually gives you a smile but you don’t give anybody a smile)
– and if you do it right, you’ll come out of Ramadhaan giving smiles to
those brothers , not in the faces of the sisters but the faces of your
We need a Ramadhaan to correct our
condition : we are slow, we are lazy, we don’t have any incentive
towards the deen and the Aakhiraah, the Hereafter . Our incentives are
towards the Dunya and if the opposite of this was true most of the
neighbourhood around here would be Muslims. Many would enter Islaam in
folds, as Sheikh Ubaid Madkhali Hafidaallaah says in his explanation of
‘Usool as thalaathah’, that Islaam is a Mahaasin – the beauty of it is
explained. Islaam he said is a Mu’jizaa minal Mu’jizaath’ — Islaam is a
miracle of the Mircales. Ayah minal Ayaahs. It is that, when it is
presented to the hearts, when it is presented to the people, and it is
done in the right way, what happens? They enter Islaam ‘Afwaajan’ – in
He said that if one of them has a
business and we want to advertise, very few who wouldn’t advertise at
all would say that “I have a business but I am going to be silent.”
Business won’t be successful and no one will benefit, he will loose.
Generally a good business person gets a good advertisement – he may use
the print media, he may use the radio, the audio media, to get his
advertisement — his dawa’ah , he’ll call out so that people will come
and he mixes in the most beautiful way and has the most beautiful
response. This is what he does. The Sheikh said, ‘if we were to do that
with Islaam, show its beauty, explain its Mahasin –its beauty, it is the
natural fitrah of the person (unless his fitrah has been polluted) that
he wants to know Islaam. He wants to know why he walks upon the earth.
He wants to know his prayer. He wants to have his connection with his
Creator. He wants to know the purpose of his existence. But who will
explain it to him or her? Who will tell them? Who will open up those
hearts? It is supposed to be ‘us’.
Those of us who cannot express ourselves,
what about our actions? If the person sees you are truthful , why you
are truthful? Because Islaam teaches you truthfulness and you must be
truthful and there is high martaba being truthful and minas-Siddeeqi is
the only martaba — level after the Prophets… It is the first level
after the Prophets, rather. Closest to the prophet’s stations are those
who are Siddiqeen, the most truthful. So you be truthful because of
that. You keep your word because of that. You are gentle, you are nice,
you have good behaviour, you have good etiquette, you have good
deportment, so when it comes to Islaam it is Afwaajan. So if you don’t
see them doing it, we are doing what we are not supposed to be doing. If
we were doing what we are supposed to be doing, we would probably have
to have this type of fundraising at one of the football stadiums. If we
are doing what we are supposed to be doing, people will be hearing
Islaam from the radio, they will see articles written in the papers
regularly, they would see good behaviour, they would see kindness and
gentleness, patience and forbearance. They would see the qualities and
characteristics of Mustapha sallallahu alaihi wassallam. i.e if we were
doing our job. But we are not. Not the male or the female. Not father
or mother or child. We are not upon what we should be upon, we are not
doing what we are supposed to be doing.
We need a Ramadhaan to clarify our
situation. We need a Ramadhaan to put us in position. We need a
Ramadhaan to give this Ummah a rebirth, air .. we have to understand
that we are global. Whoever follows the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of
the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Manhaj of the Salafus
Saalih, then they are our closest brothers. And those who are upon
ignorance, innovation, not mukaffarah, they are still brothers from a
distant but from within this Ummah. So it affects all of us. And we are
connected in that way.
If you sit there saying, ‘I don’t care
what they do to the Muslims in India doesn’t concern me; I don’t care if
they bomb Afghanistan up the planet… I don’t care…. it has nothing to
do with me …then you are a racist, a nationalist, you are not a Salafi.
Because a Salafi concerns himself about this Ummah. Salafi at night
thinks about this Ummah. Salafi cries in his salaah about the condition
of this Ummah, he cries about all locally, he cries about their
condition internationally. We need a Ramadhaan so that we can realize
the Islaamic brotherhood again.
We need a Ramadhaan because some of them
never practiced brotherhood ever in their lives and may have been
Muslims 50 years. We need a Ramadhaan so that the sisters learn
We need a Ramadhaan so that we can focus
on the Aakhirah — Hereafter and we give Naseehah and advice to one
another that is of benefit and that our talking and our mixing is just
not about the Dunya, and what you want to do in the Dunya and how you
are gonna be in this Dunya.
We need a Ramadhaan so that people learn
to inculcate in their children to be like Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Umar
al-Khattab, Sa’ad abi Ibn Waqqas and like this. We need a Ramadhaan so
that they can study knowledge. This Ummah needs another Bin Baaz, this
Ummah needs another Al-Albani, this Ummah needs another Muqbil, this
Ummah needs another Ibn Taimiyyah, this Ummah needs all of these and
more. You are gonna tell me that none of them can come or no one like
them can from our families? None of them can come from us? Not everyone
who comes from us have to be Goofi. Can’t our children speak the Arabic
language at a young age? Can’t we put in the hands of our children books
that will benefit the Ummah.. the same love the Kaafir have for Harry
Potter and their imaginary books? Our hope is low. Our desire is low. We
are supposed to be having high goals. We should be looking at our kids
Abdullaah and Abdurrahman and saying : You might be Sheikh Naasir for
this Ummah. We should be saying when listening to Sudaisi and Shuraim
that it could be you leading the salaah in haram. We are supposed to be
having high goals. But until we brush off the dust, the foolishness of
the jaahiliyyah , the hastiness of the youth, the bad characteristics
that we have, we have to get rid of them , we have to change our
condition, we need aRamadhaan.
We need our Qiyaam at night, we need
recitation of Qura’an, we need to sit together and talk together only
about the deen, not about the Dunya, we need to worry about our status
in the Aakhirah, in the Hereafter. We need to wake up from our sleep.
Wake up Oh Sleepy one. !! our slumber has been too long. You got to
wake up, take wudoo, get within the caravan of Mohamed Ibn Abdullah, Abu
Bakr As-Siddeeq, Umar al-Khattab, Ibn Taimiyyah – you have to get with
it. How long are we going to stay sick? How long are we going to be
unsettled? How long are we going to have our problems? We need a
Ramadhaan. And let this Ramadhaan be the one where you come out of it
better, come out of it committed, come out of it devoted, you come out
of it with your head held high. You are from the Ummah of the Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and don’t you forget it!!
Walhamdulillaahi rabbil aalameen.
May Allaah reward the sister who Transcribed from the Audio
With the pandemic in full swing, many questions have been asked of the ‘Ulema (Major Scholars). The following was asked of Shaykh Muhammad Saalih Al- Munajjid recently concerning the virus & deaths caused by it:
What should the Muslim do during these difficult times in which the coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading? Is the one whom Allah decrees should die because of the coronavirus that is spreading at present a martyr (shaheed)? May Allah bless you and protect us and you from this pandemic.
Praise be to Allah.
We have previously discussed what the Muslim should do during this time. Please see the answer to question no. 334353.
We have previously explained the types of martyrs and the definition of a martyr in the answers to questions no. 226242 and 129214. Whoever dies because of the coronavirus, there is the hope that he will attain martyrdom in two ways:
If the coronavirus (Covid-19) causes damage to a person’s lungs, and that is the cause of his death, then there is the hope that he will be a martyr (shaheed), because he comes under the same heading as one who dies of tuberculosis, and in fact this is a worse disease, because tuberculosis causes small lesions or nodules (tubercles) in the lungs. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Tuberculosis is martyrdom.” Narrated by at-Tabaraani from Salmaan, and by Abu’sh-Shaykh from ‘Ubaadah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘. It was also attributed to Ahmad, from the hadith of Raashid ibn Hubaysh, as noted by al-Haafiz in al-Fath.
Al-Haafiz said: There is corroborating evidence in the hadith of Raashid ibn Hubaysh, in which it mentions tuberculosis.
End quote from Fath al-Baari (6/43).
The hadith of Raashid ibn Hubaysh which was narrated by Ahmad (15998) says that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to visit ‘Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit when he was sick. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do you know who among my ummah is a martyr (shaheed)?” The people fell silent, and ‘Ubaadah said: Sit me up. So they sat him up, then he said: O Messenger of Allah, the one who is patient and seeks reward with Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “In that case, the martyrs among my ummah would be few. Rather being killed in Allah’s cause is martyrdom; dying of the plague is martyrdom; drowning is martyrdom; dying of a stomach disease [batn] is martyrdom; and if a woman dies in childbirth, her child will pull her with his umbilical cord to Paradise.” He said: And Abu’l-‘Awwaam, the custodian of Bayt al-Maqdis, added: “and being burned to death, and as-sayl [flash flood].”
Al-Minnaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: As-sayl [flash flood] refers to drowning in water. This is how the author defined it in his handwriting, which I have seen with my own eyes. What appears in many manuscripts, suggesting that it is as-sill (tuberculosis) is a mistake on the part of the scribes.
End quote from Fayd al-Qadeer (4/533).
The annotators of al-Musnad (25/380) said: With regard to the word as-sayl, this is how it appears in all copies, and in Ghaayat al-Maqsad, and it refers to drowning. But in al-Fath (6/43), al-Haafiz wrote it as as-sill (tuberculosis), referring to the well-known sickness. Perhaps at that time it was included with those who died of the plague. End quote.
And we have seen above the hadith which says “Tuberculosis is martyrdom.”
Al-Minnaawi said in Fayd al-Qadeer (4/145): “Tuberculosis is martyrdom” – this refers to the nodules in the lungs, accompanied by severe fever.
If the sickness leads to damage of the liver or kidney, and the person dies as a result of that, then he is described as mabtoon (one who dies of a stomach disease). The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The martyrs are five: the one who dies of the plague, the one who dies of a stomach disease, the one who drowns, the one who is crushed beneath a falling wall, and the martyr who is killed for the sake of Allah.”
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim: As for the mabtoon, who is the one who dies of a stomach disease, that refers to diarrhoea. Al-Qaadi said: And it was said that it refers to the one who suffers from oedema (swelling) and whose stomach becomes swollen; or to the one who has a stomach complaint; or the one who dies of any stomach disease in general. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: In the hadith it says that the mabtoon (the one who dies of a stomach disease) is a martyr. What is meant by mabtoon, and does it include one who dies of cirrhosis of the liver?
He replied: The scholars said that the mabtoon is the one who dies of a stomach disease, and what appears to be the case is that it also includes the one who dies of appendicitis, because the appendix is regarded as connected to the stomach. That may also include the one who dies of cirrhosis of the liver, because the liver is also regarded as connected to the stomach. End quote.
Conclusion: For the one who dies of this virus, there is the hope that he will attain martyrdom.
We should point out that this does not come under the same heading as the plague, as has been explained previously in the answer to question no. 333763.
We ask Allah to relieve us of this calamity and pandemic, and to grant well-being to us and to all the Muslims.
A Lecture delivered by Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq ibn Abdul-Muhsin al-Abbaad
By Nerd of Islam
All praise is due to Allaah. We praise Him, we seek His aid, we ask for His forgiveness and we repent to Him. We seek Allaah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and the evil consequences of our actions. Whomsoever Allaah guides, then none can misguide him and whomsoever Allaah misguides, then none can guide him. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, Alone, having no partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His Slave and His Messenger. May Allaah extol and send blessings of peace upon him, upon his true followers and upon all of his Companions. To proceed: My noble brothers, this lecture, upon the topic of seeking al- Istigfaar – asking for forgiveness for ones sins – deals with one of the most important topics to which the Muslim should give attention in his life and for which he should have the utmost concern. Included in it is the explanation of a tremendous way of seeking forgiveness, from amongst the various forms of seeking forgiveness that occur in the sunnah of the Prophet . We ask Allaah that it should be beneficial to us and a blessing for us. There are many texts to be found in the Book of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, and in the sunnah of His Messenger ! that encourage one to seek forgiveness: texts commanding it, showing its excellence, showing the excellence of its people and of those who are constant in it. In fact, there are so many of these texts that it would be very difficult to enumerate them. From them is the saying of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High:
“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed greatly against themselves through sins! Do not despair of the Mercy of Allaah. Indeed Allaah forgives all sins to those who repent. Indeed He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” Soorah az-Zumar (39):54
Some of the Salaf have said that this aayah from the Book of Allaah, is the one that gives the most hope to the one who seeks forgiveness. Moreover, Allaah, the Most High, in encouragement of seeking forgiveness, and in making clear its excellence and its fruits both in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, refer to what Nooh ” said:
“He says: “I said to them, ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, indeed He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance and He will give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and rivers.” Soorah Nooh (71):10-12
This tremendous aayah promises numerous benefits and offers important lessons for those who seek forgiveness and for those who constantly ask forgiveness for their sins. It is related that a man came to al-Hasan al-Basree, the noble Taabi’ee, and complained to him of poverty. So he said to him, ‘Ask forgiveness of Allaah.’ Another man came to him complaining that he did not have any children. So he said to him, ‘Ask forgiveness of Allaah.’ A third man came to him complaining of the barrenness of his garden. So he said to him, ‘Ask forgiveness of Allaah.’ He then recited to them the saying of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High:
“I said to them, ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, indeed He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance and He will give you increase in wealth and children and bestow on you gardens and rivers.” Soorah Nooh (71):10-12
These then are some of the fruits of seeking forgiveness and some of its benefits in the worldly life. As for the Hereafter, then the benefits of seeking forgiveness are very great and tremendous. With regard to the Sunnah, there are many texts from the Prophet encouraging the seeking of forgiveness and making clear its excellence. From them is the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik that is reported by, amongst others, at-Tirmidhee in his Sunan. He said, “Allaah’s Messenger ! said: ‘Allaah, the Most High, said, ‘O son of Aadam! As long as you supplicate to Me, and hope in Me, I will forgive you what you have done and I do not care. O son of Aadam! If your sins were to reach the lofty regions of the sky, then you asked Me for forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Aadam! If you were to come to Me with enough sins to fill the earth, but you met Me not associating anything with Me – I would bring you the like of it of forgiveness.”
So the proof in this hadeeth qudsee for the excellence of seeking forgiveness is in the second sentence. That is the saying of Allaah, the Most High, ‘O son of Aadam! If your sins were to reach the lofty regions (‘anaan) of the sky …’ as for the “anaan’ of the sky, then it is said, ‘It means the clouds …,’ it is also said, ‘It is the extent of the sky that is reached by ones eyesight.’ So, even if the sins were so many, so various and so monstrous, Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, would forgive the servant if he asked Him for forgiveness. Also from the ahaadeeth reported on the subject of seeking forgiveness is that of Aboo Hurairah, reported by al-Bukhaaree’ that the Prophet said, “By the One in whose Hand is my soul, I certainly ask forgiveness of Allaah and repent to him more than seventy times each day.” The Prophet was such that Allaah had forgiven his earlier and later sins, yet he still used to ask Allaah’s forgiveness more than a hundred times each day. Indeed, as Ibn ‘Umar said, “We used to count that in a single gathering he would say, ‘I ask Allaah’s forgiveness and I repent to Him, more than seventy times.” Thus he ! would continuously ask for forgiveness and give it great importance. Also from the ahaadeeth showing the excellence and great importance of seeking forgiveness is that reported by Muslim in his Saheeh from Aboo Hurairah from the Prophet that he said, “By Allaah! If you did not commit sins, Allaah would have taken you away and brought a people who seek Allaah’s forgiveness, and He would forgive them.” He would have taken you away and He would have brought a people who seek Allaah’s forgiveness, and He would forgive them – this shows the extent to which Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, loves the seeking of forgiveness and that He loves those who ask for His forgiveness. Amongst the perfect Names of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, is Al-‘Afuww – ‘He who pardons,’ and Al-Ghafoor – ‘He who forgives,’ and Al-Ghaffaar – ‘The Oft-Forgiving.’ Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, loves that we call upon Him by His names and that we worship Him by that which His names demand. As He Himself said:
“And Allaah has the most excellent and perfect names, so worship and invoke Him by them” Soorah al-A’raaf (7):180.
Also, the Prophet said in a hadeeth reported in the two Saheehs’ from Aboo Hurairah, “Allaah has ninety-nine names, a hundred except one. Whoever memorises and is mindful of them (ahsaahaa) will enter Paradise.” However, ‘… memorising and being mindful of them …’ (ihsaa), is not merely to take these names upon a piece of paper and to recite them – as some people do. In fact, the scholars have explained that ihsaa of the names comprises three levels. The first of these is to memorise the names. The second is to understand their meanings. And the third is to call upon Allaah by these names and to act as they demand.
As an example of this, we may take from the names of Allaah that of (say), At-Tawwaab. We then understand that its meaning, ‘He who guides His servants to repent and accepts their repentance,’ is telling us that Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, accepts His servant’s repentance, guides them to repent and grants that to them. We also understand that He, the Most High, is the only One to grant forgiveness. Having understood all this, we act as the name demands by repenting to Allaah from all our sins. This is the manner in which we must memorise and understand all the perfect names of Allaah. However, it is important that our understanding of them should be correct and far removed from such corrupt methodologies as ta’weel, which attempts to explain away the meanings of Allaah’s attributes by deviated and twisted understandings, or ta’teel, which denies both the attributes and that which they indicate – that which Allaah and His Messnger ! intended. No, our understanding is based upon the methodology of the Salaf of the Ummah. Allaah is Al-Ghafoor – ‘The One who forgives,’ and He is Al- Ghaffaar – ‘The Oft-Forgiving,’ and He is Al-‘Afuww – ‘The One who pardons.’ These, from the perfect names of Allaah, demand that we constantly seek forgiveness, that we frequently repent and that we turn in repentance to Allaah, the Most High. Yes, Allaah is indeed the Cane who forgives. As He, the Most High, said in the Noble Qur’aan:
“And I am your Lord, therefore worship Me alone‘
So just as their is no Lord for you besides Me, then there is none for you to worship besides Me.’ Allaah, the Most High says:
“Allaah does not forgive that anything is associated in worship with Him, but He forgives whatever is lesser than shirk to whomever He pleases.” Soorah an-Nisaa (4): 48
However, in addition to deserving and seeking forgiveness, there are other conditions that must be fulfilled by the one who seeks it. From those sayings of Allaah the Most High, that most comprehensively lay down the conditions for attaining forgiveness of sins, is this aayah from Soorah Taa Haa:
“Indeed I am forgiving to the one who repents, truly believes, does righteous and correct deeds, and then remains constant upon right guidance” Soorah Taa Haa (20):82.
So, “Indeed I am forgiving …” and who is he who receives forgiveness from Allaah, the Majestic and Most High? It is the one who fulfills Allaah’s conditions. Firstly, it is he who repents. Repentance – at-Tawbah – is the only action that will cause all sins to be forgiven. It is reported, “Repentance erases what came before it.” It wipes away the previous sins. Allaah forgives the sins of the repentant even if they are as many as the foam of the ocean. As Allaah has said: “Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed greatly against themselves through sins! Do not despair of the Mercy of Allaah. Indeed Allaah forgives all sins to those who repent. Indeed He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” “Do not despair …” means here, ‘Repent to Allaah,’ because He is, indeed, the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. Secondly, the one who fulfils Allaah’s conditions for repentance is he who, “… truly believes …,” he truly believes in Allaah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers. He believes in the fundamentals of Eemaan. The third condition for the one who is seeking Allaah’s forgiveness is that he, “… does righteous and correct deeds …,” he does these after repenting. Devoting himself to worship, to Prayer, to remembrance of Allaah, to fearing Him and to being mindful of Him. By devoting himself to these deeds of the heart and limbs, he turns to Allaah. Fourthly, “… he remains constant upon right guidance …” He remains upright upon that, he does not break it nor turn back from it. He remains upon it until he dies. Whoever is like that, Allaah forgives his sins and conceals his faults. He is one of those who attain the forgiveness of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High. O my brothers, I mentioned at the beginning of this lecture that it included the explanation of a tremendous way of seeking forgiveness. It is a form of seeking forgiveness that the scholars have mentioned as being the most excellent and most complete Therefore, we should give great importance to memorising the wording, to understanding it correctly and to acting upon it. So from Shaddaad ibn Aws from the Prophet that he said, “The noblest and most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness is that the servant says: ‘O Allaah, You are my Lord. None has the right to be wrshipped except You. You created me, and I am Your slave/worshipper. And I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as far as I am able. I seek Your refuge from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge before You all the favours that You have bestowed upon me. And I confess all my sins to You. So forgive me, since none can forgive sins except You.’
The Prophet said, “Whoever says it in the day, with firm conviction in it, and dies in that day before evening – then he is from the people of Paradise. Whoever says it in the night, with firm conviction in it, and he dies before the Morning – then he is from the people of Paradise.” The scholars count this hadeeth as one of the narrations both for the night and for the day – one of the dhikrs that should be said in early morning (sabaah), between dawn and sunrise, and at the start of the evening (masaa). Whoever says it and dies in that day, before evening, will enter Paradise. Similarly, whoever says it at night, and then dies before morning, will enter Paradise. Paradise is guaranteed for him. This tremendous hadeeth of Shaddaad ibn Aws is reported by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh in the Book of Supplications, under the title: ‘Chapter: The most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness.’ He also quotes it in a second place in the same Book under the title: ‘Chapter: What to say when one gets up in the (early) morning.’ This shows that Imaam al-Bukhaaree (rahimahullah) holds that, in the saying of the Prophet , “The most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness …” to the end of the hadeeth, there is proof that this is indeed the best wording for seeking forgiveness and the wording that is most complete. When we study and reflect upon these words and what they contain with regard to all aspects of supplication: humble submission, humility, ones abject poverty and need before Allaah, acknowledgement of His favour and blessings, and the fact that none forgives sins except Him-when we consider this, then it becomes clear to us that the wording of this hadeeth is very great and that it indeed deserves its description by the Prophet as, “The noblest/most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness.”
Furthermore, this is the only hadeeth of the noble Companion, Shaddaad ibn Aws that is reported by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh and it is a noteworthy fact that he reports it twice. This is a point of benefit for the science of hadeeth and, although Muslim excludes it, it is also reported by some of the compilers of the Sunan, such as an-Nasaa’ee and at-Tirmidhee with wordings that also show the importance of learning this manner of seeking forgiveness. In a narration of at-Tirmidhee the Prophet said: “Shall I not guide you to the most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness?” And, in a narration of an-Nasaa’ee he ! said, “Learn the most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness.” This shows that learning this wording for seeking forgiveness from Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, was encouraged by the Prophet. The hadeeth is reported with other wordings close to this form, the hadeeth of Aboo Hurairah, also Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn Mas’ood, Ibn Abzaa and Buraydah (#). However, the wordings of Shaddaad ibn Aws, is that which al-Bukhaaree reports in his Saheeh, so it is befitting, O my brothers, that we give precedent to memorisation of this supplication which the Prophet described as the most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness. Regarding the meaning of this hadeeth, some of the people of knowledge say that, because it is comprehensive, covering as it does all the meanings of repentance (tawbah), it is entitled to be considered the noblest and most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness. This is why al-Bukhaaree gave it this heading in his Saheeh: ‘The best/most excellent (Afdal) manner of seeking forgiveness.’ Furthermore, the wording, in the saying of the Prophet !, “Sayyidul-Istighfaar … (literally: the Chief of Seeking Forgiveness)” confirms its being the most excellent form of words. It follows, therefore, that this wording, “The most excellent form of seeking forgiveness…” is that which will bring the great benefit. Prophet ! at the start of the supplication, “That the Servant says …” the word, “Allaahumma …” means by agreement, “( Allaah!” (Yaa Allaah) and it is a word whose meaning occur frequently both in the Book of Allaah and in the Sunnah of the Prophet Ibn al-Qayylm (rahimahullah) said: “There is no about the fact that the word, ‘Allaahumma’ means, ‘O Allaah!’ Therefore it is not used except when requesting. One does not say ‘Allaahumma ghafoorun raheem,’ – ‘O Allaah! Forgiving, Merciful.’ Rather one should say: ‘O Allaah! Forgive me and have mercy upon me.” The scholars have explained that the tawheed we have been commanded to realize and perfect , to apply and complete , falls in two categories: (i) Tawheed with regard to that which one must know and affirm. (ii) Tawheed with regard to ones intentions and worship (Tawheedul-Iraadah wat-Talab). The saying of the Prophet !: “O Allaah! You are my Lord. None has the right to be worshipped except You. You created me and I am Your slave and worshipper …” combines both of these aspects. The first of them, Tawheedul-Ma’rifah wal-Ithbaat (tawheed with regard to that which one must know and affirm), comprises Tawheedur-Ruboobiyyah (Tawheed of Allaah’s Lordship) and Tawheedul-Asmaa was-Sifaat (Tawheed of Allaah’s names and attributes). Tawheedur-Ruboobiyyah affirms that Allaah is the Creator, the Providor, the One who grants all blessings, the One who alone is in control of all the affairs of His creation. Tawheedul-Asmaa was-Sifaat affirms His names and attributes, as mentioned in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet !. These aspects of tawheed relate to matters that require knowledge and affirmation. One must know that Allaah is the Creator, the Providor, the One who grants all blessings, the One in control of all affairs. One must know His names and attributes as mentioned in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet ! and one must acknowledge and affirm all this. This is illustrated by his saying, “O Allaah! You are my Lord, You created me …” which affirms Allaah’s Lordship and that He alone is the Creator. The second aspect, Tawheedul-Iraadah wat-Tatab, is the Tawheed of worship and this demands that all worship is performed purely and sincerely for Allaah alone. The saying, “You created me and I am Your slave and worshipper…” is a proof for the Tawheed of worship as mentioned by the scholars. If acknowledges that there is no creator except Allaah, then it is binding upon him to worship nothing except Allaah. The meaning occurs frequently in the Qur’aan where Allaah Lordship, His creating, His granting permission, His granting life and death are given as proofs for worship being made solely for Him:
“And I am your Lord, therefore worship Me alone‘ Soorah al-Anbiyaa (21):92 So just as their is no Lord for you besides Me, then there is none for you to worship besides Me.’ Allaah, the Most High says:
“O mankind! Single out your Lord with all worship – He who created you and all those who came before you, that you may be of those who seek to avoid Allaah’s punishment and anger, those whom Allaah is pleased with. He who has made the earth a resting place for you, and has made the sky a canopy, and Who sends down rain from the clouds, and who brought out with crops and fruits from the earth as provision for you. So do not set up rivals for Allaah in your worship when you know that there is no Lord besides Him” Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 21-22
“…worship when you know …” is addressed to those who did set up such rivals. This is why Allaah addressed them in this manner. As to what these people ‘knew,’ Ibn ‘Abbaas # and others said, ‘So do not set up partners with Allaah in your worship when you know that you have no Creator other than Allaah,’ and this defines the meaning of the saying of the Prophet !, “You created me and I am Your slave and worshipper.” There is no Creator besides Allaah, therefore none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah. We do not submit and humble ourselves; we do not invoke and supplicate; we do not call for deliverance except to Allaah alone-the One Who brought us into existence after we were nothing. So, since there is no Creator besides Allaah, we do not direct any worship to anyone but Him. The use of Tawheed of Allaah’s Lordship is a proof of Tawheed of worship. Therefore, a person who supplicates to other than Allaah and invokes other than Allaah is to be rebuked. He is not only rebuked for invoking those who can neither benefit nor harm him, but also for forsaking the Creator, the Provider, the One who benefits and harms, the One who grants all blessings, He Who controls all the affairs of His creation. So, when one considers – and this is the sad situation – some of those who in these times attribute themselves to Islaam, it is apparent that although they acknowledge that there is no Creator except Allaah, although they indeed say, ‘Laa ilaahaa illallaah,’ they are still to be found at shrines and tombs: the tomb of al-Badawee, the graves of Zaynab and Nafeesah and so on. They make vows and sacrifices to them. They call upon them foe deliverance. They make request for things. They debase and humble themselves. They direct all these acts worship to tombs that can neither harm nor benefit anyone:
“Say, O Muhammad, to those who worship others besides Allaah, ‘Call upon those you claim are deserving of worship besides Allaah. They do not have the power to remove any harm from you at all, nor even to move it away to someone else.” Soorah al-Israa (17):56.
“Say, ‘Call upon those who you claim are deserving of worship besides Allaah. They do not possess or control an atoms weight of good or evil, harm or benefit in the heavens and the earth. Nor do they even possess a share in any of that. Nor is there any helper for Allaah from amongst them. Nor does any intercession benefit with Him except for him whom Allaah grants permission.” Soorah Saba (34):22-23
Therefore, the One to whom supplication is to be made; the One from whom deliverance is to be sought; the One who is to be relied upon and worshipped is Allaah alone, the Creator. This is an excellent point, a tremendous and noble matter that is illustrated in this great hadeeth. Likewise, his saying, “None has the right to be worshipped except You …” is acknowledgement and affirmation of Allaah’s Divinity and right to be worshipped. It is a statement of the Shahaadah ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’ – none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah.
Thus, this tremendous declaration, that comes at the beginning of this hadeeth, states the purpose of the whole of creation; that for which the heavens and the earth were established and for which the Paradise and the Fire were created; the reason why the people became divided into two groups, the fortunate and the wretched-the people of Paradise and the people of the Fire. Those who affirm this saying are the people of Paradise and those who reject it are the people of the Fire. Then the scholars have clarified the fact that this saying will not be of benefit to the one who says it unless he fulfills its conditions, and these are mentioned in the Book of Allaah and in the Sunnah of His Prophet !. These conditions have been rendered into verse as follows: ‘And it is qualified by seven conditions That are truly reported in the texts of the Revelation. So one who says it will not be benefitted By saying it unless he fulfils them. Knowledge, certainty, acceptance And compliance-realise what I say And truthfulness, sincerity and love of it. May Allaah guide you to that which He loves.” Here, the poet has stated seven very great conditions for, ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah,’ and these are supported by many proofs in the Book of Allaah and in the Sunnah of His Prophet !. Next, his saying in the hadeeth, “And I am Your slave /worshipper (‘abduka) …” is an affirmation of Allaah’s right to be worshipped and that the creation are Allaah’s slaves (‘Ibaad). The servitude (‘Uboodiyyah) of the creation is of two types: servitude to His Lordship and servitude in worship of Him. The servitude to the Lordship of Allaah means that the whole of creation have been brought into existence by Allaah alone; that He created them; that He provides for them; that He gives them life and that He causes them to die. None shares with Him in this. For these reasons, nothing in creation can escape this servitude to Allaah’s Lordship.
“All (Angels) in the heavens, and all (men and Jinn) upon the earth will come to the Most Merciful on the Day of judgement as submissive slaves.” Soorah Maryam (19):93.
Whereas servitude in worship of Him is something that He has granted to some of His creation in particular-those who He has guided and upon whom He has bestowed eemaan; those who He has guided to obedience to the Most Merciful. So these are slaves who worship Him. They submit to Him, obey Him, comply with what He has legislated, carry out His orders and obey His Messengers – the Prophets and those follow them. Therefore Allaah, the Most High, ascribed them to Himself in the like of His saying:
“And the slaves of the Most Merciful …’ Soorah al-Furqaan (25):63
So these are part of Allaah’s creation; those who are rightly guided – guided by Allaah; those who devote themselves to the worship of Allaah, to obedience to Him and to submission to what He, the Perfect and Most High, has legislated.
As far as I understand, what is meant in this hadeeth by the saying of the Prophet, “I am Your slave and worshipper…” is the servitude that is the worship of Allaah, since servitude to His Lordship has already been indicated in his saying, “You created me…” and in his saying, “O Allaah! You are my Lord.” So his saying, “… and I am Your slave and worshipper…” means, ‘I am a worshipper of You, obedient to You, one who carries out Your commands and one who complies with what You have legislated.’ Thus, the hadeeth commences with these great and comprehensive matters, which, as has been previously stated, pertain to Tawheed. To discuss these matters fully would be very time-consuming, so what has previously been mentioned in this respect will have to suffice. As for his saying, “And I am faithful to my covenant (to You) and my promise (to You)-as far as I am able…” the people of knowledge mention various meanings for it. Some scholars say that what it means is, ‘I am faithful to the covenant I have given and the promise I have made to You, that I will have Eemaan in You and that I will be purely and sincerely obedient to You, as far as I am able.’ Thus the servant agrees and promises that he will truly believe. The servant who says, “I am Your slave and worshipper…” means, ‘I will adhere to worshipping You.’ He has made a covenant with Allaah and has promised that he will remain upright upon obedience to Allaah. Therefore the servant, in every Prayer -indeed in every rak’ah – makes the promise to Allaah that he will worship Him and not worship anything else besides Him; that he will call for His aid and not call for that of anyone besides Him, purely and sincerely for Allaah:
“You alone do we worship, and Your aid alone do we seek.”
Thus, in the hadeeth, when the servant says, “And I am faithful to my covenant and my promise to You as far as I am able …” he means, ‘I have agreed to the covenant and promised that I will persist upon Eemaan, worship and compliance with your commands, so I remain faithful to this …’ (knowing that) Allaah does not place a burden on my soul that is greater than it can bear. Other scholars say it is possible that the meaning is, ‘I am faithful to the covenant that You made binding upon me. To whatever commands You have enjoined upon me and I will keep to that so far as I am able.’ So Allaah made a binding covenant (‘ahida) upon us that we should remain upon Eemaan. He commanded us with that and He called us to it. So the servant says in his supplication, ‘O Allaah! I shall keep to the covenant that You have made binding upon me with regard to Eemaan. I shall faithfully keep to it and comply with it as far as I am able.’
The saying of the Prophet !: “As for as I Allah’s Messenger ! able…” is a qualification for all of this, making it dependent upon ability and this is from the Mercy of Allaah to the Ummah. Some of the people of knowledge say that this saying of the Prophet ! lays down the condition of ability and that it is an acknowledgement of one’s weakness and deficiency whose meaning is, ‘I am not able to fully complete Eemaan nor to attain its highest level and most perfect form. I acknowledge my weakness and shortcoming. I am not able-so do not hold me to account for my weakness, deficiency and falling short.’ Allaah, the Most High, has said in the Noble Qur’aan:
“Allaah does place a burden on any soul greater than it can bear.” Soorah al-Baqarah (2):286
And there occurs in a hadeeth that Allah, the Most High said: “I have done (granted) it.” 16 It is also reported from the Prophet, ! in the authentic hadeeth that he said, “If I command you with something then do as much of it as you can, and whatever I forbid you then leave it (altogether).” 17 So here, the point is explained by the scholars that when he mentioned the command (al-Amr), he made it dependent upon ability, since there may be some commands that a person may not be able to carry out, or which he may not be able to carry out fully. So the performance of the command is made dependent upon ability. Thus, his saying, “… as far as I am able …” contains a message for the Ummah that no one will be able to carry out every obligation that he has to Allaah, nor to completely fulfill the obedience and thanks that is due from him for the favors bestowed upon him. So Allaah had compassion upon the Ummah and did not require from them in that regard except what they were able to do: to strive and carry out acts of obedience to Allaah; to give thanks for His favors and to implement eemaan as far as one is able. Allaah knows each glare of the eye And that which the hearts conceal. However, when the Prophet mentioned the forbiddance he said, “… and what I have forbidden you from, then leave it (altogether).” He did not say “… as far as you are able,” and, as the scholars say, forbiddance means that one has to refrain from doing something. This is within the ability of everybody. Everyone is capable of refraining from fornication, theft, murder and all matters that Allaah has forbidden. No one may say, ‘I am unable to leave anything from these affairs.’ No one will say that except a person who is corrupt and whose desire is to commit sins, and Allaah’s refuge is sought. Therefore, leaving forbidden things was not made conditional upon ability. Next, the saying of the Prophet “I acknowledge before You all the favors you have bestowed upon me, and I confess all my sins to You,” is both an affirmation and a confession. “I acknowledge…” means, ‘I acknowledge and affirm,’ and this wording appears in another narration of the hadeeth. It is an affirmation of Allaah’s favors, ‘I affirm Your favors upon me.’ If we examine and consider the hadeeth we find that the affirmation is not restricted to any specific favor. Rather, the Prophet left it unrestricted. So, “I acknowledge Your favors upon me …” means, ‘I acknowledge and affirm every favour with which You have blessed me.’
“Whatever blessings you have are from Allaah.”
In the supplication, the saying of the servant, ‘I acknowledge Your favours upon me …’ is an acknowledgement of all of Allaah’s favours: the blessing of eemaan; the blessing of health and children; the blessing of crops; the blessing of a house-every blessing is from Allaah. He, the Perfect and Most High, is the One who grants and bestows them. Having acknowledged these blessings, it is necessary for the servant to give thanks for them to Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. As He, the Majestic and Most High has said:
“And remember when Your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you give thanks will give you increase in blessings, but if you deny the favours and are thankless, then I shall punish you severely.” Soorah Ibraheem (14): 7
So the servant must give thanks to Allaah for His favours with his heart, his tongue and his actions. He praises and gives thanks for the blessing and he expresses his thanks by obedience to Allaah. With respect to the saying of the Prophet “I admit my sin…” the people of knowledge mention two meanings. The first of these is, ‘I admit my sin in not fully giving thanks for Your favors,’ and since, ‘I admit my sin …’ immediately follows the sentence, “I acknowledge Your favors upon me …” it means, ‘My sin in falling short …’-‘I admit that I fall short in giving thanks for Your favors.’ The other explanation is that his saying, ‘I confess my sin…’ may mean, ‘I confess all my sins,’ unrestrictedly, that is, all my acts of disobedience and every sin that I have committed. By this admission that he has sinned, the servant acknowledges that he has fallen short with regard to Allaah’s rights upon him; that he has not performed Allaah’s rights as he should. It is this acknowledgement that is the beginning of the road to repentance. However, if he commits acts of disobedience and falls into destructive sins, yet does not feel that he is a sinner, then repentance is something far away from him unless he is guided to its causes and granted the success of being put upon its path. So there are two meanings of his saying, “I confess my sins …” and perhaps the more correct of the two, and Allaah knows best, is the second. The servant’s admission of having sinned and fallen short; having erred and been deficient should lead to his seeking forgiveness and this is the core meaning of the hadeeth. Then, his saying, “I acknowledge Your favours upon me and I confess my sins …” contains an indication of a matter that is mentioned by the people of knowledge. It is that the servant, in this life, continually passes back and forth throughout the day and the night between two affairs. These are either a blessing newly granted to him by Allaah, and all blessings are from Allaah, and this requires that he gives thanks. Alternatively, he falls into a sin and this requires him to repent and to seek forgiveness. Therefore some of the Salaf used to say, ‘I enter the morning in between blessings and sins, so I want to put forth thanks for the blessings and to seek forgiveness for the sins.
A further point of great benefit to be taken from the hadeeth is that, whatever sin the servant has committed, if he acknowledges the fact that he has sinned and then truly repents-Allaah accepts his repentance, whatever the sin, and forgives him. This meaning is clearly stated in another hadeeth, the long hadeeth of the doubt (al-Ifk)’, and the evidence here is the saying of the Prophet , “If the servant acknowledges his sin and repents, then Allaah accepts his repentance.” Then his saying at the end of the hadeeth of Shaddaad ibn Aws #, “None forgives sins except You,” is an acknowledgement that Allaah alone is the One who forgives sins, and that He is the One who accepts repentance from His servants. Therefore the servant turns – in repentance, obedience, seeking forgiveness and pardon – to Allaah alone, since none forgives sins except Him. Amongst the benefits to be obtained from the explanation and clarification of this hadeeth is that it makes apparent to us the fact that it contains two affairs: Tawheed and at-Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness). These two are the greatest and most important of affairs and they are similarly combined in many texts of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet . From these texts is the saying of Allaah, the Most High:
“Then know that none deserves nor has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, and ask for forgiveness for your sins and also for believing men and believing women, for Allaah knows well your actions whilst awake and whilst in your places of sleep.
Likewise Allaah mentions what Dhun-Noon 22 said, calling out through the depths of the darkness:
“None has the right to be worshipped but You, far removed are You from imperfection! I have been one of those who have wronged themselves!”
There is also the Saying of Allaah, the Most High:
“So make your worship purely for Allaah and seek His forgiveness for your sins.
So, in these aayaat, the Tawheed of Allaah and the seeking of His forgiveness for sin are mentioned together and there are many texts like these that combine the two matters, as they are combined in this tremendous hadeeth – the hadeeth of the most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness.
So to summarize briefly, this tremendous hadeeth comprises:
(i) Acknowledgement of Allaah’s Divinity and sole right to be worshipped (ii) Acknowledgement that He is the Creator (iii) Acknowledgement of the Covenant that Allaah has taken from His servants (iv) The hope for that which He has promised them (v) Seeking refuge from having transgressed against ones soul (vi) Attribution of all blessings to the One who gave and granted them, and that is Allaah alone (vii) Attribution of sins and commission of mistakes to ones own self (viii) And it contains the servant’s desire for forgiveness and his acknowledgement that none can forgive except Allaah, the One free of all imperfections. In conclusion, O my brothers – may Allaah guide me and you to every good and grant us success in attaining it – we say of this mighty hadeeth, that comprises all these very great matters and all these excellent, comprehensive and beneficial meanings, that it fully deserves to bear the title, “The most excellent manner o f seeking forgiveness.” It is therefore befitting that we give it the importance and attention that it deserves – that we memorise its wording and make it one of our adhkaar in the morning, after the Fajr prayer and in the evening, either before or after sunset. I repeat its wording for the sake of memorisation of it, and with its repetition I complete this lecture and I ask Allaah that he may make it beneficial … The most excellent manner of seeking forgiveness is that the servant says:
“O Allaah, You are my Lord. None has the right to be wrshipped except You. You created me, and I am Your slave/worshipper. And I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as far as I am able. I seek Your refuge from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge before You all the favours that You have bestowed upon me. And I confess all my sins to You. So forgive me, since none can forgive sins except You.”
I ask Allaah, the Noble and Generous, the Lord of the tremendous Throne, by His perfect Names and by His lofty and sublime attributes, that He provides us with His aid in establishing this and every dhikr and every act of obedience to Him. Allaah knows best, and may He extol and send blessings of peace and security, and bless the slave of Allaah and His Messenger-our Prophet Muhammmad. Our final call is that all praise is for Allaah, the Lord of all creation.
Remember the man who stood up in front of a huge crowd and accused
you of stealing from your own people when you were alive? His name was
Hurgoos ibn Zuhair? When he stormed out of the mosque you said,
“From this man will come people who recite the Quran but
they will not understand Islam. They will apostate due to their random
killing of people. If I were to live, I would fight them.”
As you prophesized, those people have emerged and they are wreaking
havoc all over the world. You would be so hurt if you could see how
Islam has been misrepresented and how many innocent lives have been lost
as a result.
It all started when these people we call terrorists, killed Uthman,
your third successor just 24 years after your death. They then killed
his successor, Ali, shortly thereafter. They’ve been popping up and
shedding innocent blood for hundreds of years now. Every time they
appear they have a new name but the agenda is the same; kill as many
people as possible who don’t follow their molested version of Islam.
They’ve forgotten how you lived and frankly they don’t care. They
disregard the fact that you never once ordered the murder of a
politician or a secret kidnapping when you and your companions were
tortured in Mecca for thirteen years. They ignore that you were hit,
kicked, spat on and even assaulted by your uncle Abu Lahab, who hated
Islam and you did nothing in return. They don’t mention that you said,
“Towards the end of time, if someone breaks into your
home and wants to take your property be like Able, the better of the two
sons of Adam.”
I cry for Islam today Muhammad, because these evil people have
misunderstood the Quran altogether. They claim that Allah ordered you to
kill the ‘People of the Book’ but they don’t understand that you
weren’t ordered to kill Jews and Christians at all. You taught us that
those verses of war were ordering you to defend yourself against your
own pagan Arab tribe at that time. These evil people discount the fact
that you did business with Jews and Christians and had relationships
These terrorists try and suppress the humanity and forbearance you
demonstrated. Remember when you were chased out of the land of Taaif and
stoned bloody and took no revenge? Remember when the pagan Arabs used
to dump animal carcasses on your doorstep and even on your back while
you prayed, and you would clean up without saying a word?
Just last week I debated a man who claimed that Islam and democracy
are diametrically opposed to one another. I reminded him of the period
you entered Medina and wrote a constitution allowing Jews and Christians
the right to practice their faith openly, choose their own leaders,
keep their own property and engage in business as they pleased. You even
insisted that people of other faith-practices should settle their
differences using their own laws. The man had no idea this was true.
There are even some small-minded men who attempt to follow the letter
of 7th century Islamic Law, rather than the spirit of it. They don’t
realize that Islam can be practiced in the 21st century with
contemporary conditions taken into consideration. They want the entire
world to continue to ride camels.
Since you’ve been gone, women have become the scorn of many patriarchal Muslim tribes even after you said,
“Be kind to women.”
These so-called Muslims execute women who seek an education and if a
woman is raped, she is blamed. You viewed women as an equal counterpart
to men and you encouraged future fathers saying,
“Whoever has two daughters, educates them and takes care of them until adulthood will receive Paradise.”
Considering the ascetic lifestyle you encouraged us to lead you’d be
shocked at the number of corrupt Muslim leaders there are. Many Muslims
have migrated from the Middle East to western lands because the leaders
have stolen all of the wealth for themselves. Millions of young adults
are illiterate, and with no functional economy to work for, they travel
to the west seeking education and employment. Can you blame them?
I don’t want to make it seem as if you weren’t successful in your
message. There was a golden era of a few hundred years where Muslims
followed the true teachings of the Quran. We were prosperous, and lived
in peace with others. We were the pinnacle of civilization with our
inventions and scientific discoveries. We entertained guests from all
over the world who came to take knowledge from us in places like
Timbuktu, Spain, Morocco, and even Baghdad. But today, it seems the
further we move away from the true message of Islam; which is peaceful
submission to God and service to mankind, the more we become confused.
Those of us who are trying to hold on to the true teachings of Islam
are having a difficult time in the west. People suspect us of being
secretly in cahoots with the terrorists. College students, professionals
and even school-aged Muslims have a pervading suspicion of guilt
hanging above their heads no matter where they go. All of this is caused
by the terrorists because now the average non-Muslim doesn’t know what
Islam really teaches us.
I pray that we can do what you advised us to do when you said,
“Make things easy for the people and do not make them difficult.”