Why Am I So Concerned About My Imperfections?

Question:
Why am I so concerned about my imperfections?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Perfection 
For us regular Muslims, there is no such thing as “perfection.” Allah did not make us infallible. We all commit sins and we make mistakes. However, this does not mean that we are not mean for the highest degrees of Paradise.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “All of the children of Adam are sinners, and the best sinners are those who repent.” [Tirmidhi]
If we repent, we will be raised in our degrees and reach our potential heights.
Deserving Paradise
“None of you will enter Paradise due to your deeds.” They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet said, “Not even me unless Allah envelops me in His mercy.
Know that the most beloved deed to Allah is that which is done regularly, even if it is small.” [Bukhari]
This hadith shows us that Paradise is not something we deserve, but it is granted by Allah’s bounty and grace, not by our perfection or us deserving it.
Uniting with Loved Ones
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A person will be with whom they love.” [Bukhari]
The person who loves another will be with them in Paradise and united. They may not receive the same honor and exact rewards, but they will be together and spend joyous times in each other’s company. This gives Muslims great hope in uniting with Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) in Paradise.
So have hope and strive to be among the righteous but do not despair of their company on the issue of your deeds not being “perfect in every aspect of our lives.”
May Allah honor us and grant us the company of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his companions and the righteous.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can I Live with the Prophet at the Highest Level of Jannah?

Question:
Can I live with the Prophet at the highest level of Jannah?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Thank you for this important question. The most important is that we can never be jealous of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Love for the Prophet 
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “None of you believes until I am more beloved to you than your parents, your children, and all of humanity.” [Bukhari]
 “The Messenger of God (Allah bless him and grant him peace) also said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities has tasted the sweetness of faith: the one for whom Allah and His Messenger are dearer than anything else, [one] who loves a person and he loves him solely for Allah’s sake, and [one] who hates to revert to a state of disbelief as he hates to be thrown into the fire.” [Bukhari]
We prefer and love Allah and His messenger even more than ourselves in all that we desire. One of the poets said, “Loving is to prefer the beloved above yourself [in all matters].”
Lovers Are United 
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “A person is whom they love.” [Bukhari]
The famous companion who relates this hadith, Anas bin Malek said, “This hadith gives the most hope (to those who love him).”
A person is with the one whom they love. However, how does this exactly fit into the details of how it will occur? Allah knows best.
What is relevant and important to us is that we will be with him if we love him.
Notice a subtle point here; it is not about the pleasures of Paradise that are of concern to the lovers; it is about the company.
 A’siyah- the wife of Pharaoh- when she makes dua or supplication, she says and quoting here the Quranic reference, “My Lord, build for me, with you, a house in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his works, and save me from the wrongdoing people.” [Qur’an 66:11]
Paradise and Its Description 
“Allah, the Exalted, has said: “I have prepared for My righteous Slaves [in Paradise] what no eyes have ever seen, no ears have ever heard of, and what has never come to the mind or heart of a human being.” Recite, if you wish “No soul knows what eye’s delight awaits them—a reward for what they used to do.” [Qur’an 32:17]  [Bukhari and Muslim]
This is the eternal abode and reward of those who believed and performed good deeds and ultimately achieved true success. Do not imagine in this realm the details of it, but strive to enter it.
May Allah grant us all this gift and blessing.
Allah knows best.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Why Did the Prophet Interpret a Black Woman That He Saw in a Dream as a Plague?

Question:

Why did the Prophet interpret a black woman that he saw in a dream as a plague?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

The hadith is in Sahih al-Bukhari and reads:

In a dream I saw a black woman with unkempt hair leaving Medina and going to Mahya’ah (Juhfah). I interpreted it as a plague that was to beset Medina but then was moved to [Mahya’ah].

Al-Qastallani explains this saying:

The logic in this interpretation is that black (sawda’) is sounds like two words, namely evil (su’) and sickness (da’). Thus he interpreted it as an [evil sickness] because the word combined these two words. He interpreted unkempt (tha’ir) to mean that which kindles (yuthir) evil in Medina. (Irshad al-Sari, Al-Qastallani)

So the interpretation is based on the sounding of the words, and not on their meanings, and it is by no means a racial comment. Islam is not racist, and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was not racist. Please also see:
https://lamppostedu.org/the-negro

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Is Sitting On the Floor While Eating Sunna?

Question: Has Allah asked us to sit on the floor while we are eating, or it is just a cultural thing?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Sayyidna Anas (Allah be pleased with him) said that in all the time he spent with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), never did he see him eat at a table or on anything raised. [Bukhari]

In explanation of this, Imam al Ghazali says:

The third measure that one should take when eating is to eat on a mat on the floor, since this is closer to the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) than put it on a table … It is said that four innovations occurred after the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace): eating at tables, sieves, soap, and eating one’s fill.

Note that even if we hold that eating on the a mat on the floor is better, we do not hold that eating at a table is either offensive or forbidden because there is no prohibition concerning it. It should not be argued that [it is forbidden] merely because it was inaugurated after the [time of] the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), since not every innovation is forbidden, only those that contravene an established religious practice (sunna) or remove revelatory legislation that still ought be applied (maa baqa illatihi).

Furthermore, innovation is sometimes obligatory, given certain situation changes. All eating at a table consists of is put food higher up to make it easier to eat, and there is nothing offensive in the likes of such an action…Eating on table is simply a means to make eating easier, which itself is permissible, as long as it is not done out of arrogance or pride. [Ihya Ulum al Din, Ghazali]

To summarise, it is not merely cultural to eat on the floor on a mat but religiously recommended. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with eating at a table.

It is also recommended (sunna) when eating to sit on one’s haunches or to sit with one’s right let up and left underneath one, which is easier to do sitting on the floor. [Fath al-Muin, Millibari]

Sitting on the floor is also more humble and expresses the humbled awe one feels at being given the grace of one’s daily bread. As the saying goes, the mere habits of the best are the best of habits.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

How Do I Forgive Someone When I Still Feel Resentful?

Question:  In Islam, we are encouraged to forgive those who have wronged us. However, as humans, what if we still feel resentful towards those who have wronged you or your family multiple times.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. There is no question that this dunya (this world) is not perfect and that everyone will inevitably cross paths with obnoxious and difficult people. Islam teaches us to forgive and forget while being vigilant and not accepting abuse.

 

Abuse

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” [Ibn Majah] This means that one must not harm others, but one must also never accept harm or abuse. Every Muslim’s property, integrity, reputation, and life should be preserved and treated inviolably.

If one is suffering at the hands of an abuser or troublemaker, one should take steps to avoid the person, ask them to stop, and distance oneself from them, such as restricting themselves to merely giving them salams, as is their right as a Muslim. Most importantly, one should see that Allah has sent the problematic person, and He, Most High, awaits a correct reaction from you. The person in question is just an instrument that Allah is using.

 

The Heart

Now the above being said, one may not harbor grudges or ill feelings towards other Muslims, but only toward their actions. We, as Muslims, do not hate each other, but we hate actions that Allah hates. This means that if such-and-such troublemaker becomes pious and repentant one day, one will gladly keep their company as their actions have changed and one never hates the person anyway.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not harbor a grudge against one another, nor jealousy, nor enmity, and do not show your backs to one another, and become as fellow brothers and slaves of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to avoid speaking with his brother beyond three days.“ [Bukhari & Muslim]

 

Forgiveness

Be avid to forgive, because this is one of the means through which Allah elevates his servant. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.“ [Muslim]

One should practice forgetting and forgiving as a way to purify one’s heart, as Allah refers to those who are successful on the Day of Judgment as the purified ones. One should also do it to teach this great quality to one’s children. Being petty and resentful shows that the believer is lacking in refined character, which is the heaviest thing on the Day of Judgment. How can one expect Allah to forgive one if one cannot forgive others?

 

Resources

Please see these excellent answers and follow the tips therein:
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/grudges/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/how-do-i-get-rid-of-bad-feelings-toward-someone/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-do-we-maintain-family-ties-with-bloodthirsty-relatives/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/a-reader-on-patience-and-reliance-on-allah/

May Allah reward you with every good in this world and the next and allow us all to meet Him with our hearts purified.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

How Can I Overcome Excessive Waswasa?

new Zealand massacre
Question: Hi, I have been suffering from excessive waswasa lately, and it has reached a point where I am spending so much time in the bathroom washing and washing myself. I am not sure if I am urinating or not. For example, I would find drips on my pants, but I am not sure if it is urine or water. However, I am sure I cleaned myself, but then I think it is urine because of a urine infection. Furthermore, if I sit on a bed  and it makes a noise, I think that  I have passed wind. It is causing me so much stress, and I just keep repeating my wudu. I really need help because I do not have proper concentration in my prayer. 
Answer:

I trust that this correspondence reaches you in the best of health and iman:

To continue:

 

Quranic Verse Concerning Whisperings

Allah provides us with a simple and very effective way of dealing with whisperings of the devil in the following verse:
وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللّهِ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ Qur’an 7:200

“And if a false imputation from the Shaytan afflicts you, seek refuge in Allah; surely He is Hearing, Knowing.”

Al-Raghib and Ibn Atiyyah have restricted the word “nazghun” to apply to inserting one thing into another in order to corrupt it. The devil thus seeks to infuse you with doubts and misgivings about the validity of your prayer, attempting to corrupt your prayer and acts of worship with his insinuations. These insinuations are nothing but baseless doubts which do not affect the certainty of your condition, and thus these doubts should be dealt with clinically and removed from your mind and heart. These doubts appear like looming darkness, but they are quick to dissipate when you apply the rule found below.

 

Principle:

اليقين لا يزول بالشك

Certainty is not removed or dispensed of based on doubt.

To return to the verse quoted above, the devil attempted this with our beloved master Muhammad, and he was commanded to seek refuge in Allah. I heard Shaykh Sha’rawi mention that whenever you are beset with these type of imputations from the devil, even during the course of your prayer, you should say:

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

The only addition that I could advise in the initial stages of resolving these imputations from the devil would be to use other forms of the isti’adhah. Here is one such form that you may use in addition to the one cited above:

أللهم إني أعوذبك من الشيطان الرجيم من همزه ونفخه ونفثه

In conclusion, unless you are absolutely certain that it is urine particles that you can clearly see (since urine particles that cannot be seen with the naked eye are overlooked) or flatulence (that you can smell and discernably experience its emission), you simply need to seek refuge in Allah, dispel these misgivings, and carry on.

May Allah enable you to conquer this insidious enemy and allow you to bask in the light of certainty and resolve.

All the very best.

PS: The above has been empirically proven to work.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

When Did The Prophethood of Allah’s Messenger Commence?

Question: Do we believe that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a Prophet before receiving a revelation around the age of 40? What types of knowledge did Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)? Did he have access to all knowledge including that of future events?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum
Thank you for your question.

When did the Prophethood of Allah’s Messenger commence

Imams Ahmad and Hakim narrated from the companion, Irbad ibn Sariya, that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I was by Allah in the umm al-kitab the seal of Prophets while (Prophet) Adam was still laying on soil (meaning his body was not yet formed).”

In other narrations, he (Allah bless him and give him peace) was asked, when was your Prophethood confirmed? And he (Allah bless him and give him peace) responded, “When (Prophet) Adam was between his body and soul”, meaning that his soul was not yet placed in his body.

In another narration, he (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I was the first Prophet created, and the last to be sent.”

Imam Subki when commenting on these narrations confirmed that his Prophethood (Allah bless him and give him peace) was confirmed and established at that time, while he (Allah bless him and give him peace) only existed in the form of his soul [Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad].

The knowledge of Allah’s Messenger

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) spoke of the knowledge that Allah favoured him with, in many narrations. Consider the following:

Muadh ibn Jabal (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that once, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was late for the Fajr prayer. He then arrived and after leading the prayer, he said, “Indeed, I shall inform you what caused my delay today. I stood in prayer at night and did so for as long as Allah wished. During prayer, I felt tired and when I awoke, I was present before my Lord in the best manner. Allah said, “O Muhammad, do you know what the closest angels are arguing about? I said, O my Lord, I do not know. I then saw that Allah placed His hand (of mercy) between my shoulders until I felt its coolness in my chest. Then, everything became clear for me and I knew it” [Musnad Ahmad]. In another narration, he said (Allah bless him and give him peace), “I then knew everything in the heavens and earth.”

Hudhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Allah be please with him) stood amongst us. He spoke and he did not leave out any occurrence till the day of judgment. Whoever remembered it, remembered it and whoever forgot it, forgot it. Whenever I would see something about which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) had mentioned that I may have forgotten, I would recall what he said upon seeing it happen [Bukhari].

Based on these narrations, our teacher, Sayyidi al-Habib Umar would often say that only Allah knows the true extent of the knowledge of His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace).

And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Deducting Debts When Calculating Zakat

Question: I received an interest-free student loan from the government, which I have to pay back in 2024, and I also owe money to my relatives, which I am currently paying back in installments. Some people say it is permissible to deduct your debts. Others say it is only permissible to deduct your monthly installments of the Zakah year. What is correct?

Answer: 

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

I pray you are well.

You Can’t Deduct Deferred Loans

When it comes to loans and the calculation of zakat, you may deduct the loans which people are asking for or expecting immediate repayment of. For example, your student loan is not due until 2024, so you would not deduct it from this year’s zakat. Unless, however, you are paying installments on it now, in which case you may deduct the next twelve months’ installment value from your assets.

Non-Deferred Loans Can Be Deducted

However, if you owe someone money that is expected to be paid back as soon as possible, or within the coming year, you can deduct that from your assets (Kasani, Badai’ al Sanai’).

Repay Debts As Soon As Possible

It’s a good practice to try to pay off one’s debts as soon as possible. You don’t want to pass away owing someone money. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah forgives all the sins of the shahid – except debt” (Muslim). This doesn’t mean that loans are sins; rather it shows that even when sins are pardoned debts won’t be as they are connected to the rights of others.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

 A Moment of Silence

Is Religion Relevant in the 21st Century

Question: Is it permissible to observe a moment of silence to remember an event or the death of certain individuals?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Observing a moment of silence has no basis in the Sunna of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). That said, it is also not a religious ritual, but rather a convention (adah) so it does not count as an accretion to the religion (bida) and would be permissible to do.

It would however be better to avoid unless there is overwhelming pressure to do it.

So, if you are part of a large organization in which your own actions are less noticeable, it would be better not to do observe the moment of silence.

However, if you are part of a smaller unit, such as a family or small business, in which one’s own individual actions would make or break one’s relationship with the others, one should observe the moment of silence. This is especially the case when the event has great emotional or political weight.

Now, this is obviously on the proviso that one is not showing this respect to a person of sin out of reverence for his sin, or a disbeliever out of reverence for his disbelief.

For example, having a moment of silence for Abu Jahl out of respect for his practicing his freedom of religion, or having a moment of silence to remember some famous brewer’s contribution to the science of brewing beer. These of course would be sinful.

In such a case, you would have to either take a very clear and calculated stance and convey to others why exactly you feel it is morally wrong to observe a moment of silence for such a person or avoid the situation completely in an allusive manner.

In general, we as Muslims need to be more clear and communicative, not loud and angry. We need to be sensitive and have hearts, but at the same time have our own identities and moral values.

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/clarifying-innovations-in-islam/
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/evaluating-innovations-debunking-ten-bidah-myths/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/the-concept-and-classification-of-bida-in-islam/

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Beard Grooming

Question: Is it permissible to shave the hair on the cheeks?

Answer: 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

In short, it is permissible for you to shave the hair on your cheeks.  See the following for the detailed answer.

The Beard (Lihya)

The hair that grows on the cheek is not considered a beard linguistically speaking. For this reason, it is allowed for you to shave it [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar].

Ibn Abidin – one of the great authorities in the Hanafi school – quotes from an earlier work saying, “There is no harm (bas) in taking from the eyebrows and the hair of the face as long as it doesn’t lead to resembling effeminate men” [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar citing the Mudmarat].

Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences