Ten Ways to Benefit for Menstruating Women in Ramadan

Dread your period during the blessed month of Ramadan? Feel like you’re missing out on all the worship? Nour Merza gives women ten practical ways to spiritually benefit from this blessed month.

Every Ramadan, most women will have about a week in which they are unable to join in the major religious practices of the holy month: fasting and praying. When their menstrual period begins many women find that their level of engagement with the high spiritual atmosphere of the month drops. The same goes for those whose postnatal bleeding coincides with Ramadan. For many of these women, frustration and a sense of lacking spirituality sets in. This, however, shouldn’t be the case.

Menstruation, postnatal bleeding, and other uniquely feminine concerns are all part of Allah’s creation, which He created in perfect wisdom. They are not a punishment for women wanting to draw near their Lord. They are just part of the special package of blessings, opportunities, and challenges that Allaj has given uniquely to women. To refrain from ritual prayer (the salat) and ritual fasting (the sawm) during this time is actually considered a form of worship, and, if done with the intention of obeying Allah, it earns women good deeds.

In order to take full advantage of the blessed month of Ramadan, however, menstruating women and those with postnatal bleeding can do more than refraining from ritual prayer and ritual fasting to draw near Allah. Below are ten ways that women unable to fast can boost their spirituality during this special month.

1. Increase the Remembrance of Allah

In the Hanafi school, it is recommended for menstruating women to make wudu, wear their prayer clothes, and sit on their prayer mat while doing dhikr during the time they would normally be praying. This would be especially good to do in Ramadan, a time of special focus on worship. In addition to the adhkar that are well-known sunnas – such as subhan Allah, alhamdulliLlah and Allahu akbar. If you have a litany from a shaykh and are allowed to repeat it more than once a day, try to do it twice or three times for increased blessings. Dhikr has a special way of touching the heart, and by invoking Allah’s names whenever you can during this unique month you create the space, insha Allah, for beautiful spiritual openings. See: The Effects of Various Dhikr – Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

2. Increase Supplication 

Supplication (dua) is something we do very little of these days, but speaking directly to your Lord is one of the most intimate ways to connect with Him. The beauty of supplication is that you can make it in any place or time. Take this opportunity to ask your Lord for all that you need in your life, and to draw near Him through either repeating the beautiful supplications of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, or reaching out to Allah with your own unique words. See: Ten Powerful Duas That Will Change Your Life

3. Feed Others

Whether it be your family, neighbors, community members, or the poor, use the time you are not fasting to make meals that fill the stomachs and souls of those around you. Recite the peace and blessings  (salawat) on the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, while making the food, as this imbues the food with spiritual benefit as well. Consider sponsoring iftar at your local mosque one evening with some other women who are in your situation, or volunteering at a local soup kitchen. 

4. Gain Islamic Knowledge

Use the extra time and energy you have from not fasting and praying to increase your knowledge of the faith. Listen to scholars discussing timely issues on our SeekersGuidance podcasts, form a small circle of non-fasting women who can commit to reading a book on Islam and discuss it together, or take some time to read articles on the religion from trusted online sources, such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s blog or Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad’s article collection at masud.co.uk. See also: Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge.

5. Increase your Charity

We are surrounded by countless blessings, so make sure to spread those blessings in the month of Ramadan. Give money to a good cause, such as supporting Syrian refugees, helping a local poor family with school fees, or supporting students of Islamic knowledge through SeekersGuidance. In a very busy world, we may have little opportunity to give our time to help others in charity – giving money takes minimal time, but brings great benefit. See: Eligible Zakat Recipients, Giving Locally vs. Abroad, Charity to a Mosque, and Proper Handling of Donations.

6. Make Your Responsibilities a Form of Worship

Sometimes, women are overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the home and young children, and cannot make time to do things like study or sponsor an iftar. In these circumstances, renew your intention regarding your role as a mother and a wife. See these demanding and time-consuming roles for what they are: responsibilities that you are fulfilling to please Allah, which makes them a type of worship. Ask Allah to accept all your work as worship, and approach all that you do in this way. This will make even the most mundane of tasks, such as changing another diaper, cleaning up another spilled cup of apple juice, or making yet another dinner a way for you to gain the pleasure of your Lord. See: Balancing Worship and Caring for a New Child.

7. Listen to the Quran

Although the Hanafi school holds that women cannot touch the mushaf or recite the Qur’an while experiencing menses or postpartum bleeding, they are able to listen to the recitation of the Qur’an. Doing so offers much benefit in a month that has such a heavy emphasis on reciting the book. You can take special time out of your day to listen to it, such as while children are napping, or you can listen to it while in the midst of cooking or cleaning the house. See also: Listening to Qur’an While Occupied With Other Tasks

8. Increase Repentance

Ramadan is an excellent time to increase repentance to Allah. Use moments when others are praying or breaking their fast to ask Allah to forgive you and your loved ones and to keep you from returning to sin. All we have is a gift from Allah, so even forgetting that for a moment is a deed worth asking forgiveness from. Know that Allah is the Forgiving, and trust that, as our scholars have said, the moment you ask for forgiveness you are truly forgiven. See also: Damaged Inner State? Imam Ghazali on Repentance

9. Babysit to Help Mothers Worship

Mothers with young children often find it difficult to go to the mosque because they worry that their kids will disturb others who are praying. Since you don’t need to be at the mosque, volunteer a night or two (or more) to babysit the children of a young mother who would love to go pray tarawih. If you have young children of your own, you can tell the mother to bring her kids to your house before the prayer. By helping this woman worship, you will gain the same good deeds she gets from going to that prayer. See: I Love Being A Woman.

10. Spread Love and Light

Use the extra time and energy you have to share the joys of Ramadan and Eid with your non-Muslim friends, peers, and neighbors. Invite a work colleague for an iftar, make a special Ramadan dish and give it to a neighbor, or take time to make special cookies or gift bags for peers at the office or in school to hand out during Eid. By sharing these happy moments with friends and colleagues in the non-Muslim community, you counter the negative narratives about Islam in the media. More than that, however, you become someone who creates bonds in an increasingly isolated world, reflecting the beauty of the Prophetic light to all those around you. See: How Can Muslims Become More Effective Community Members?

 

Prayer on the Fifteenth Night of Shaban – Muwasala

* Courtesy of Muwasala.org

It is the practice of many of the pious people of the Ummah to recite Surah Ya Sin three times on the 15th night of Sha`ban.

The first time they read it with the intention of being blessed with a long life spent in obedience to Allah, the second time with the intention that calamities are diverted and the third time with the intention of not being in need of people and being blessed with a good ending.

After each reading of Surah Ya Sin they read the following supplication:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين

اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد و آله و صحبه و سلم

اللهم يا ذا المَنِّ ولا يُمَنُّ عَلَيْهِ يا ذا الجَلالِ والإكْرام ياذا الطَوْلِ والإنْعام لا إلهَ إلا أَنْتَ ظَهْرَ اللاَّجِينَ وجَارَ المُسْتَجِيرينَ وأَمَانَ الخائِفِينَ

اللهم إِنْ كُنْتَ كَتَبْتَنَا عِنْدَكَ أَشْقِياءَ أَوْ مَحْرومينَ أَوْ مَطْرودِينَ أَوْ مُقَتَّراً عَلَيْنَا في الرِّزْقِ فَامْحُ اللهم بِفَضْلِكَ شِقَاوَتَنا وحِرْمَانَنا وطَرْدَنا

وإِقْتَارَ أَرْزَاقَنَا وأَثْبِتْنَا عِنْدَكَ في أُمِّ الكِتابِ سُعَداءَ مَرْزوقينَ مُوَفَّقِينَ لِلْخَيْراتِ

فَإِنَّكَ قُلْتَ وقَوْلُكَ الحَقُّ في كِتابِكَ المُنْزَل على لِسَانِ نَبِيِّكَ المُرْسَل (يَمْحُو اللهُ ما يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الكِتَابِ)

إلهَي بِالتَّجَلِّي الأَعْظَمِ في لَيْلَةِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعَبانَ المُكَرَّمِ الَّتي يُفْرَقُ فِيها كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ وَيُبْرَمُ نَسَأَلُكَ أَنْ تَكْشِفَ عَنَّا مِنَ البَلاءِ ما نَعْلَمُ

وما لا نَعْلَمُ وما أَنْتَ بِهِ أَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الأَعَزُّ الأَكْرَمُ

وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم

Translation:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate.All praise is due to Allah Lord of the Worlds.

O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions.

O Allah, the Bestower of favours. No one has favour over You. O Possessor of Majesty and Nobility, the One Who constantly bestows His bounties. There is no god but You, the One who grants safety and refuge to those that seek it and to those in fear.

O Allah, if You have recorded us as being wretched, deprived, cast out or if You have recorded that our provision be restricted then erase this by Your bounty. Instead record us in “the Mother of the Book” as being felicitous, as having plentiful provision and grant us the ability to do good works. Truly You have said, and Your word is true, in Your revealed Book, on the tongue of Your Prophet: Allah erases and confirms what He wishes and with Him is the Mother of the Book.1

O Allah, through Your most mighty manifestation on the fifteenth night of Sha`ban the Ennobled, in which every decreed affair becomes distinct and unchangeable, we ask You to remove all tribulations, those that we know and those that we do not know and those about which You know more, truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous.

O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions.

Resources for Seekers:
The Fifteenth Night of Shaban – Muwasala
Merits of Sha’ban – Muwasala
The Blessings of the Night of Mid-Sha’ban | Nur Sacred Sciences
It is Recommended to Perform Extra Worship on the Night of the 15th of Sha’ban?

The Night Journey & Ascension – Layla al-Isra wa al-Mi’raj – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Allah Guides to His Light Whom He Wills [Quran, 24:35] 

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Beneficent 

“He certainly saw of the Greatest of Signs of His Lord.” [Quran, 53:18]

In describing what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw on the Night of Ascension, Allah (Most High) says that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw the “Greatest of Signs”!  

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw beyond everything to the Light of Allah Most High; whilst Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) had only seen the mountain!

“The heart did not lie [about] what it saw.”  [Quran, 53,11]

Speaking about the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), Allah (Most High) calls Him ‘Fuad’ or ‘Heart’; and in describing His experience on the Night of Ascension, Allah Most High said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) did not lie in what He saw. 

Normally, we would say that ‘he did not lie in what he said’, thus describing for us that what was seen cannot even be described by words or even comprehended by us. 

“The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve…” [Quran, 53:17]

On that night, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) did not even blink upon seeing what He saw, but Syedina Musa (Peace be upon him) collapsed upon seeing what he saw!

 The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw the Greatest of the Signs (ayat) of Allah (Most High) – Al Kubra. 

Hell is a sign, Paradise is a sign, the Throne is a sign, but if you see the Greatest of Signs, the rest becomes nothing; when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw Gabriel (peace be upon him) from where he had ascended, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) described him as a small bird, and then as a worn and tattered cloth. 

In what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw there is a secret: He did not tell all that He saw, and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw what He saw as it is – He saw the reality of it!  the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw with his heart, and He saw reality and how it works.

For us, the baraka (blessing) we take from the journey of Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), and what he saw is that when he came back and after seeing the Greatest of Signs, Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) cried when the young baby died. Then, he carried stones to build his masjid, he asked about the black woman who used to clean the masjid and he was told: “you claim to be a Prophet!”

And all this despite having seen the greatest of signs.

Hence, for us, if the Greatest of Creation after seeing the Greatest of Signs humbled himself to come back and be with us, to whom else should we look! 

“…Follow Me and Allah will love you…”  [Quran, 3:31]

Allahumma salli alaa Nur.

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

 

Courses Offered by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Your Faith in Challenging Times: Turning to Allah in all One’s States

Articles, Podcasts, and Answers from Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

 


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Sign up for an on-demand course, or engage in a structured live course.

Browse relevant articles, discover answers to your questions or listen to podcasts anywhere and anytime on inspirational and useful topics.

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Raising a Believing Generation by Habib Umar bin Hafiz: Intentions and Supplications

(Four) Intentions and Supplications

Shaykh Amin Buxton

Children are a trust (amanah) that Allah most High has gifted us with. Raising believing children is a huge challenge and every pious parent passionately prays that they will be able to do so. We are blessed to have such guidance from one of the most illuminated scholars of our time; Habib Umar bin Hafiz. We will explore insights from Habib Umar bin Hafiz on how to raise the next generation of believers.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz is a master of the science of tarbiyah – nurturing of the human soul in the pursuit of perfection. Here, he turns his attention to tarbiyah as it applies to raising the next generation of strong believers.

Exploring Abdullah Nasih Ulwan’s work “Child Education in Islam”, he gives important insights and principles that any parent, carer, or educator can make good use of. The journey starts with considerations to be taken before embarking on the journey of parenthood and even marriage itself.

Intentions have a huge impact on our actions and have consequences both in this life and for eternity. We examine the effect intentions have when it comes to having children and what we intend and wish for our children. We look at the supplications which God’s pious servants make either to be blessed with children or to bless the children they already had.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Marry a woman who will bear many children and one who will be a loving wife because your number will be a source of pride to me in front of the other nations on the Day of Judgement.” [Abu Dawud]

 This hadith teaches us that one of our intentions in getting married should be to have children who will be a source of pride and joy for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). We know that the pleasure of God and the pleasure of the Prophet are one and the same, so if you please the Prophet you please God Himself. This makes us realize the greatness and significance of having children.

Podcast Series based on the same topic – Believing Future

Sayyidah Hanna’s Intention

God tells us about the intention of Sayyidah Hanna – the mother of Maryam (may Allah be pleased with her). Sayyidah Hanna dedicated the child in her womb to the service of God and her words are recorded in the Quran: “Lord, I have vowed to You, in dedication, what is in my womb for Your service. So accept this of me, for You hear and know all things” [Qur’an, 3:35].

Assuming that it would be a male child, she dedicated it to the service of the scholars and worshippers in the Temple in Jerusalem. She did not want the child to bring her any worldly benefit, to bring in an income, or to support her. She wanted its only role to be one of service.

When she ended up giving birth to a female child she wondered how a young woman could serve in the Temple, having to come and go amongst the men who taught and worshipped there.

But Allah accepted her intention due to its sincerity and caused her to be remembered in the Qur’an until the end of time. She said: ‘I name her Mary and I commend her and her offspring to Your protection from the accursed Satan.” Her Lord graciously accepted her and made her grow in goodness’ [Qur’an, 3:36-37]. 

But Maryam is not the only fruit of her dedication: from Maryam comes Prophet Jesus and all the blessings which he brings. In fact, it is he who will save this nation from the Antichrist at the end of time. Thus the very fate of not just the Children of Israel but also the nation of Muhammad is tied up in that one intention.

  

The Prayer of Zakariya

Allah then tells us how He entrusts Maryam to the charge of the Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him). Zakariya witnesses the miracle of this young girl receiving provision directly from God. Upon witnessing this, he prays then and there that he be blessed with a child:

‘Lord, from Your grace grant me virtuous offspring: You hear every prayer .’ [Qur’an, 3:38]

This is a prayer which we should use to call upon God with repeatedly, not just if we wish to have children, but also if we already have them, in the hope that they are pure and virtuous. It shows us that the desire of God’s chosen servants is for good, pure, and virtuous children. Unfortunately, this purity is not a concern for many Muslims whose main concern is for their children to be successful in a worldly sense. 

 

The Supplication of God’s Chosen Servants

Another important supplication that should be often on our tongues comes at the end of Surat al-Furqan where we find a beautiful description of God’s chosen servants. The final quality mentioned is that they say repeatedly:

“Our Lord, let our spouses and children be the delight of our eyes. Make us good examples to the pious” [Qur’an, 25:74].

The request of the people that God loves is that their spouses and their children be a source of joy to them in this life and the next. We know from how they are described in the previous verses that they would not take delight in anything worldly regarding their children.

Their joy is in the piety and uprightness of their children which will allow them to be reunited in Paradise. They do not only want them to be a joy to their eyes but also to the eyes of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the pious. 

 This is not to say that good intentions are sufficient on their own. Parents must also fulfill their responsibilities in raising their children for which they will be accountable: “Allah will certainly ask every person about what was placed in their care – did they take care of it or did they neglect it. He will ask a man about his household” (Ibn Hibban).

But when the parents have good intentions when having children and are prepared to give children the best upbringing, the children are a source of great blessings.

 


About the Author

Shaykh Amin Buxton was born in London. He converted to Islam in 1999 and read Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London. He also studied the Islamic sciences in a traditional setting in both Syria and Yemen. He has edited and translated a number of books which include Imam al-Haddad’s ‘Beneficial Counsels’ and Umar al-Khatib’s ‘Prophetic Guidance’. Since 2017 he has resided with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is involved in several educational and social initiatives including New to Islam Edinburgh and Rafah International. Shaykh Amin Buxton is producing a podcast for SeekersGuidance and is one of our esteemed internal scholars

 


Continue Your Journey for Knowledge

All SeekersGuidance offerings are free. Convenient and reliable knowledge taught by trained and reliable scholars, delivered over a decade.

Sign up for an on-demand course, or engage in a structured live course.

Browse relevant articles, discover answers to your questions or listen to podcasts anywhere and anytime on inspirational and useful topics.

Visit seekersguidance.org for more.

Help Preserve the Spread of Beneficial Knowledge and Guidance

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Our Character: Living Faith – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Living Faith (Lesson Two)

This article series is based on the course delivered by Ustadh Amr Hashim – Our Character.

Refining the self, improving one’s character, and beautifying one’s practice of Islam are quite daunting tasks for the average person. However, there is no need to strive on this path alone, when one can benefit from a great work that will explain all of this and more.

Our Character is a text by Habib Umar bin Hafiz. In this class, Ustadh Amr Hashim will explain and summarize this text and the practical implementation of it in one’s day-to-day life.

 

Wakefulness

Has not the time come for us to awaken from our sleep? Has the time not arrived for us to arise

from our heedless state?

It’s upon us as servants of God to realize what it means to stand beneath the banner of: “There is no deity but God” for by God, it is not mere words uttered on the tongue – rather it is a pledge between us and our Lord. 

Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an:

“And fulfill the covenant. Surely, the covenant shall be asked about (on the Day of Reckoning).” [Qur’an, 17:34]

Meanings and Words

When you and I read a book, when we speak, when we listen to people speak around us; we don’t seek out the empty words. Rather, we seek out the meanings behind those words. When we read a book on the virtue of reflecting on the Qur’an, we don’t blankly read the words whilst ignoring the meanings, rather, we seek meanings through the means; words.

In the same way, when we remember God through our remembrance (dhikr), we should be focusing on the meanings and not just the words themselves. Words are for conveying meanings, when we say “al-hamdu lillah” (all praise is God’s), we should mean the meanings and not just say it out of habit.

The Banner of ‘No Deity except God’

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) struggled earnestly for many years for the sake of conveying this very meaning; “verily there is no deity whatsoever except God,” only for his people to openly refuse to utter it! 

If it were just a simple sentence that they had to utter, they would have done so, and the matter would have reached a swift conclusion. 

However, his people realized the true extent of its meaning and the reality and visionary intent such that it became difficult for them to say and acknowledge it – even though they didn’t believe our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to be a liar!

Indeed this statement means submitting and surrendering to the true One God in everything that he commanded and warned us against. 

Yes O, Muslims! Understand properly what you profess for verily in “La ilaha ila Allah,”  “there is no deity but God,” lies hidden the secret behind our strength! Lies hidden the life force of our greatness! 

Verily it is perfect freedom from any type of submission and surrender to any other than Allah, the Independent. And who else has any ability free of dependence? What a beautiful surrender is the surrender of a believer to Allah!

Allah Most High tells us in a hadith qudsi, “‘there is no deity but God’ is my fortress, so whoever says ‘there is no deity but God’ has indeed entered my fortress. And whoever enters my fortress is rendered safe from My chastisement.” 

Giving Victory in the Qur’an

“La ilaha ila Allah” – “there is no deity but God” calls us to give victory to it and to give victory to its meanings in ourselves.

Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an:

“(They are) the ones who were expelled from their homes without any just reason, except that they say “Our Lord is Allah.” Had Allah not been repelling some people by means of some others, the monasteries, the churches, the synagogues and the mosques where Allah’s name is abundantly recited would have been demolished. Allah will definitely help those who help Him (by defending the religion prescribed by Him.) Surely Allah is Powerful, Mighty.” [Qur’an, 22:40]

“O you who believe, if you will help (the religion prescribed by) Allah, He will help you, and will stabilize your footings.” [Qur’an, 47:7]

Allah Most High tells us of the virtue in our supporting his way and religion. Of course, none of these verses (ayat) indicate God needing our help, God is exalted above all creation! How could the creator be in need of creation?

Giving Victory to Allah’s Religion

Contained within this banner is the meaning of the entirety of religion and what it entails. But we need to ponder and delve deep into understanding its meanings.

When we uphold the meanings of this banner, we give victory to the religion of Allah Most High and his Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and it means to give victory to the way (sunna) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

How do we give victory to the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)? We stand firm on his teachings and character traits and we don’t do that which contradicts the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This is the way of true victory.

Togetherness with the Prophet

Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an:

“Muhammad(ﷺ) is the messenger of Allah, and those who are with him…” [Qur’an, 48:29]

How many of us are willing to give ourselves and our entireties to be of those that are described by Allah Most High in the Qur’an as “Those who are with him”? With him in this life and with him in the afterlife.

The verse (ayah) continues, “…those who are with him are firm on the disbelievers, compassionate among themselves” [Qur’an, 48:29]

“Firm in the sense that they do not compromise their beliefs and values for trivial things that will displease their beloved. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was of the most merciful of people to others.

What Have We Done in the Name of this Banner? 

When people around us are immersed in all forms of wrong, we should rally to the standard. If we are invited to places where there are sinful acts, we politely decline.

This firmness allows us to be entrenched in our standards. These standards and values enable our ability to be better human beings; these standards make us dignified, these standards ensure our honor and ultimately, they make us acceptable to our Creator and Lord, Allah. What could be better than that?

These standards and guidelines were placed by our Lord, the Wise. His telling us of what is good and bad and what is dignified and what is not supersedes all other imaginations of what is good and bad. We may not understand the wisdom, but we do know that Allah is the All-Knowing, he knows that which we don’t! He is the Creator of us and this world, how could the Creator – exalted is He, not know what is better for you and I, his creation?

Ibn Ata illah al-Sakandari (Allah have mercy on him) said, “He’s made it obligatory for you to serve him but in reality, he didn’t make anything obligatory for you except to enter his paradise.”

He’s given us these guidelines so that we know any obligation that is given to us has a reality. Its reality is his pleasure and paradise (jannah). And on the contrary, the reality of engaging in any of the prohibitions and wrongdoings is Allah’s Most High displeasure. 

We should witness this meaning whenever we stand up to pray; the reality of that prayer is paradise (jannah)! How? Because you understand that doing these obligations is the manifestation of our reward to come.

 

The Way of the Best of Creation

The way (sunnah) and character (khuluq) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has wisdom behind it, wisdom that we may not perceive. But it is the pinnacle of truth and superiority. Its superiority is due to the fact that it came with him, the best of all creation (peace and blessings be upon him) and due to the fact that he was sent by our Lord, Allah.

We should have absolute confidence in the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and we should love it. To the people of Allah, there can be no affirmation or support to any word of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). No amount of research changes or surprises the people of Allah – He is the pinnacle of truth.

“O you who believe, what is wrong with you that when it is said to you, “Come out in the way of Allah,” you turn heavy (and cling) to the ground. Have you become happy with the worldly life instead of the Hereafter? So, (remember that) the enjoyment of the worldly life is but trivial in (comparison with) the Hereafter.” [Qur’an, 9:38]

 

Ustadh Amr Hashim is a student of Islamic law who currently studies at Dar al-Mustafa in Tarim. He has been studying the islamic sciences full time for several years, both in Canada and now in Yemen.

Continue Your Journey for Knowledge

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Modesty in Islam: A SeekersGuidance Reader

An Islamic Guide to Modesty

SeekersGuidance Readers provide the seeker with a purposely curated list of articles, answers, podcasts, and courses from SeekersGuidance, on a particular topic. These guides serve as a gateway to knowledge and guidance.

“O children of Adam! We have sent down for you clothing to cover your nakedness and as an adornment. But, the best of clothing is mindfulness of Allah. This is one of Allah’s Signs, so that you may take heed.” [Quran, 7:26]

Our dress—and the conduct we adorn ourselves with—protects us from harm; beautifies us; and is a means of mindfulness of Allah, and serves for us to be reminded of God and our relationship with God.

This is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is more deserving of modesty than people are.” [Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

This comprehensive guide covers commonly asked questions on modesty in Islam.  Our trained and reliable scholars at SeekersGuidance provide clarity and guidance on this important topic.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Questions and Answers 

Requirements of Hijab

Shaykh Jamir Meah explains the meaning of hijab and the manner in which a female Muslim must correctly dress in public and for worship.

Sunnah Clothing

Can a Muslim Woman Wear Tight Jeans

Can a Muslim be a Fashion Model

The Awra (private area) of a Man

Young Muslims in Co-ed Schools

Removing the Hijab

Is Dressing Immodestly a Sin?

Wearing Hijab in Hot Weather

Hijab in the Workplace

Parents’ Disapproval of Hijab

Posting Pictures Online

Socializing with People Who Swear

Ethical Pricing of Goods

Are Mixed Gatherings Permissible?

Is it Haraam to Like One’s Beauty?

 

Articles 

Properties of a Muslim’s Clothing

Allah Most High says, “The garment of God-consciousness is the best of all garments” [Quran, 7:26]. In this article, Ustadh Tabraze Azam outlines the Islamic rulings on men and women’s attire. Dressing modestly is a religious obligation and guards our private parts against sinful behavior.

The Blessing of Being a Woman

Hijab is Not an Oppression to Women

The Properties of Speech

Personal Arrogance Checklist

Imam Ghazali’s the Importance of Character

Good Character is Not Becoming Angry

Raising a Muslim with Manners

Difference Between Self-respect and Arrogance

Prophetic Guidance on Humility and Being Gentle with Believers

Balancing Confidence and Humility

 

Videos and Podcasts Relating to Modesty

Praiseworthy Traits of a Muslim

Content of Character

Dress and Adornment by Sheikh Yusuf Weltch

“True beauty lies in the state of the heart and the actions that come forth” Shaykh Yusuf Weltch. In this lecture series for youth, Sheikh explains that beauty is not only based on the outward appearance but inward qualities. Humility and care form part of good character.

Beyond Hijab Part Three

 

Courses on Modesty

Purification of the Heart for Youth

 In this course, Imam Yama Niazi provides our younger generation with essential knowledge concerning the spiritual maladies of the heart and soul. It serves as a road map in achieving a sound and purified heart.

The Pursuit of Noble Character: Essential Hadiths on Adab and Akhlaq for Youth

 

Continue Your Journey for Knowledge

All SeekersGuidance offerings are free. Convenient and reliable knowledge taught by trained and reliable scholars, delivered over a decade.

Sign up for an on-demand course, or engage in a structured live course.

Browse relevant articles, discover answers to your questions or listen to podcasts anywhere and anytime on inspirational and useful topics.

Visit seekersguidance.org for more.

Help Preserve the Spread of Beneficial Knowledge and Guidance

Through the efforts of our generous supporters, we have spread beneficial knowledge and guidance to thousands. Join the community of supporters and gift generously to preserve and transmit Islamic Scholarship – donate now by clicking here

 

Filial Piety: Being Dutiful Towards One’s Parents: A SeekersGuidance Reader

Filial Piety: A Collection of Trusted Resources on Being Dutiful to Your Parents

SeekersGuidance Readers provide the seeker with a purposely curated list of articles, answers, podcasts, and courses from SeekersGuidance on a particular topic. These guides serve as a gateway to knowledge and guidance. 

My Father Was Smarter Than I Though – By Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

It is a central Islamic virtue to be thankful to one’s parents, for everything they have done and continue to do for us. Allah Most High says,

“And We have charged man concerning his parents — his mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning was in two years — Be thankful to Me, and to thy parents; to Me is the homecoming.” (Qur’an, 31:14)

Thankfulness arises from recognizing another’s favor upon one. Allah emphasizes in the above verse that, like Allah’s favor, the favor of one’s parents simply cannot be repaid. After all, they were the reason for our existence and took care of us when we were helpless.

This recognition of parental favor entails both being thankful for what our parents did for us and also learning from their positive points. It isn’t easy being a parent in these rushed times — where so many matters vie for our precious hours and minutes.

But few matters are more important than our precious children and their proper upbringing. There are invariably positive lessons we can learn from in how our parents raised us.

Read the full article here: My Father Was Smarter Than I Thought – Faraz Rabbani

Articles

Parents Matter More Than Peers – Shaykh Hamza Karamali

Parents – Your Door to Allah’s Acceptance, by Ustadh Uthman Bally

Serve Your Parents Now Before It’s Too Late, by Ustadh Salman Younas

Prepare Yourself for Your Parents Old Age – Advice from Imam Tahir Anwar

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (15) Call to the Highest Virtues, Excellence with Parents, Human Honour, and Keeping the Best of Company

Supplication of Excellence to Parents – Du`a’ Birr al-Walidayn

The passing of Habib ‘Umar’s mother

Reconnecting With Family–Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil 

Can I Pay for the Hajj of My Parents? 

“To Mothers” – Moving Poem by Baraka Blue

The Passing of the Father and Grandfather of Ustadh Salman Younas

 

Questions and Answers

On Marriage

A sampling of some of the answers to questions about issues with parents in regards to spouses.  For more information about this subject please see our  Guide to Marriage: SeekersGuidance Reader.

The Virtues of Parents

Supplication of Excellence to Parents – Du`a’ Birr al-Walidayn 

The Noble Intention of Parents

Parents – Your Door to Allah’s Acceptance, by Ustadh Uthman Bally

Highest Virtues, Excellence with Parents

10 – Umm Ayman – The Prophet’s Mother After His Mother

Prayer of a Concerned Father, Surat al-Baqarah (verses 127-128)

How Can I Guide My Parents to the Right Path?

The Close Proximity of Single Mothers to the Prophet 

Authenticity of Hadith Stating That Paradise Lies Beneath the Feet of Your Mother

Navigating Common Problems

Dealing With a Dysfunctional Relationship With Parents 

How Can I Deal With My Difficult Mother in a Respectful Way

I Have Bad Dreams About My Late Father. What Can I Do?

How Should I Deal With a Mentally Ill Mother?

My Mother Is Not Muslim. How Can I Help Her?

My Mother Makes Supplications Against Me. Will Her Duas Be Accepted?

Can I Give My Zakat to My Father?

To What Extent Should I Obey My Mother? 

Should I Listen to My Husband or My Mother?

How Can I Advise My Mother to Come Back to Islam? 

How Can I Deal With My Elderly Mother Who Refuses Assistance

My Mother Does Not Want Me to Read up on Death and Judgement

How Can My Husband and I Should Split Time Between His Parents and Mine?

Can a Man Prevent His Wife From Visiting Her Parents?

My Father Is Emotionally Blackmailing Me to Get Married. What Do I Do?

What to Do When My Parents Reject My Choice of Spouse Because of Cultural Reasons?

How Can I Convince My Parents That I Am Not Ready For Marriage?

Why Did My Parents Reject My Potential Suitor?

 

Difficult Relationships With Parents

Am I Wrong to Not Want to Speak with My Parents?

How Do I Deal With My Toxic Parents Who Give Me Constant Stress?

My Parents Emotionally and Physically Abuse Me. Can You Help Me?

To What Extent of a Boundary Can I Have with Dysfunctional Parents?

My Parents Are Angry with Me and Hit Me What Do I Do?

My Parents Are Always Fighting. What Do I Do?

Do I Have to Obey My Parents If They Stop Me From Listening to Religious Talks?

 

General Questions On Excellence Towards Parents

Am I Sinful For Always Making Mistakes That Displease My Parents?

Can I Treat My Adopted Parents As My Real Parents?

Which Child Takes Care Of the Parents?

How Can I Take Care Of My Parents?

How Do I Obey My Parents If They Follow a Different Madhab?

Should I Wear the Hijab? – My Parents Don’t Agree

Rights of Parents

Promise to one’s parents

I Am a Convert and Live With My Adopted Parents. What Are My Obligations to Them?

Do I Have to Live with My Parents?

When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

 

Continue Your Journey for Knowledge

All SeekersGuidance offerings are free. Convenient and reliable knowledge taught by trained and reliable scholars, delivered over a decade.

Sign up for an on-demand course, or engage in a structured live course.

Browse relevant articles, discover answers to your questions or listen to podcasts anywhere and anytime on inspirational and useful topics.

Visit seekersguidance.org for more.

Help Preserve the Spread of Beneficial Knowledge and Guidance

Through the efforts of our generous supporters, we have spread beneficial knowledge and guidance to thousands. Join the community of supporters and gift generously to preserve and transmit Islamic Scholarship – donate now by clicking here. 

Science or Hadith?: A Critical Discussion of Contradictory Hadiths

Understanding and Reconciling Conflicts Between Hadith and Science

Shaykh Farid Dingle discusses how hadiths that may contradict modern science are understood and resolved. The example used is the hadith whereby the gender of a child is determined by whoever reaches climax first.

Summary

Everything the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said was true. That said, not everything that is narrated from him is completely accurate, and not every interpretation of the language used is completely accurate.

If we find a hadith that is at odds with known and established science, we must first ascertain whether the hadith is authentic (sahih) or not; next, we must look at the various interpretive possibilities, taking a particularly hard look at the various wordings of the hadith.

If after this there is still really no way to marry the hadith with known and established science, then we can safely say that the hadith is a mistake, and the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) never said it. It is doubtful that such a hadith actually exists.

 

Science vs. Scientism

In an age of great and well-appreciated scientific and technological advancement, it is very easy to put science on a pedestal and give it absolute credence. This emotional and philosophic leap pulls us away from healthy scientific study to trying to solve problems that science simply cannot solve. This is scientism.

To reject everything in religious literature that cannot be proved empirically leads very decidedly to disbelief. There is, of course, no empirical evidence of Paradise, Hell, miracles, or of the scientific possibility of corporeal resurrection. Indeed, Muslim scholars will even define miracles as unscientific (khariq lil ada).

How then has the Islamic tradition dealt with the alleged conflict between science and religion?

 

Fact, Strong Evidence, and Stories

The scholars of Islam very carefully organized Islamic epistemology: the way we know how we can know things, and how we distinguish between knowledge (ilm) and mere confidence (dhann).

When dealing with science, we are told that the five senses can be used to ascertain objective knowledge of scientific facts. We can observe fire burning and state objectively that the fire just burnt something. Our inferences from that, however, may not be objective.

For example, we cannot infer that fire will necessarily burn again. This is where Islamic epistemology would differ from scientism, and thus allow room for miracles.

The inferences and judgments based on empirical fact may then be categorical or probabilistic.

The former would give us further objective knowledge of the world around us (e.g. the process of combustion, and reduced energy levels), while the latter would give us mere confidence about the world around us (e.g. carbon dating, prescribing certain medicines, and other such processes that are based on various reasonable assumptions).

Thus when Muslim scholars refer to scientific fact, they are much more conservative than some of us might be today, and a lot of what we deem scientific fact is most likely probabilistic. Now that doesn’t mean it is irrelevant, it just means it is not fact.

A similar dissection of fact and fiction is made for historical information (akhbar). This is particularly important to Muslim scholars because the final revelation was over a millennium ago so critiquing the historic recording of this revelation was and is of utmost importance.

 

Mass Narration 

Factual information based on the five senses (i.e. not opinions) can either be reported to us through mass narration (khabar mutawatir) or by a limited number of individuals (khabar ahad).

The first is the fact that Muhammad ibn Abdullah existed over 1,400 years ago in Saudi Arabia, claimed prophethood and established a faith, that he told people to pray five times a day, that he recited a book called the Qur’an, and that, for example, the book began with a chapter called al Fatiha, and ended with a chapter called al Nas.

Such information, given that its sources are so varied and independent, cannot possibly be false and gives us objective knowledge (ilm).

Whether or not he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was actually a Prophet cannot be claimed to be proven by mass narration (khabar mutawatir), because it is an inference and not sensory data per se. Its proof is a logical one.

 

Reports Through Hadith

The second is factual information (not opinions and judgments) that reaches us through limited sources, for example, most hadiths.

Such reports give us great confidence and not a certainty.

Now, this great confidence is contingent upon a number of factors, primarily the reliability of the sources, and the subsequent chain of sources (sanad) that conveys the quote or event to us. Hence the science of hadith criticism.

When a hadith passes the test of hadith criticism and is deemed “authentic” (sahih), we have great confidence that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did indeed say these words or did this deed, and we have very little reason to doubt it.

That said, it is not fair or true to say that we know as an objective fact that he said or did whatever has been reported from him. Only a mass narrated report can do that.

For example, the hadith ‘Actions are only by intentions.’ has been narrated with a sound chain of transmission and is therefore “authentic” (sahih). We can say that we believe with great confidence that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did indeed say these words, but can’t say that we know that he said these words.

By contrast, the hadith, ‘Whosoever intentionally lies about me should take his seat in the Hell-Fire.’ has reached us from many, many independent sources, and is as such mass (mutawatir) [al Azhar al Mutanathira, Suyuti]. We can say that we know objectively that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) did indeed say these words.

With an authentic (sahih) hadith, we may reject the report based on stronger information. With a mass narrated hadith, there is no question of rejecting the report because it is a fact. The only room for investigation is what the hadith means, and what may be extrapolated from it.

The Case of Contagion

There is a hadith in Sahih al Bukhari that says that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that there was no such thing as a contagion, that is to say, that diseases are never contagious and do not spread from one carrier to another. This is clearly at odds with well-known and established science.

What is interesting about this hadith is that the Prophetic Companions themselves noticed this apparent conflict between science and religion. When they objected to what seemed blatantly wrong, Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied, ‘Well who made the first one sick?’ (Bukhari)

What this means is that the initially apparent meaning that we all assumed when we first heard the hadith was not what was actually intended. There is no real conflict between science and religion in this hadith. Rather, what was being said was that Allah is the ultimate cause of every effect we see, and so subsequent effects (contagion) are also caused by Allah, and not by the sick person or animal.

The methodological lesson we take from this is that when we read a hadith that seems to go against science, we have to be willing to investigate other possible interpretations of the words we are reading. This is why the scholars of legal theory (usul al fiqh) spend so much time on hermeneutics (mabahith al alfadh).

Critiquing Hadith Based on History

Sometimes we find hadiths that do not make historical sense. In Sahih al Bukhari there is a hadith that quotes the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) saying, ‘Indeed the righteous slave (mamluk) has two rewards. And I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, were it not for fighting in Allah’s way, performing Hajj, and serving my mother, I would love to die as a slave (mamluk).’

Now when we read this hadith at face value, we understand that there is a two-fold reward for someone who is owned by someone else and is righteous and that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would have loved to die in bondage were it not that being a slave would prevent him from fighting in Jihad and from having the time to serve his mother.

But despite the beauty and truth of the message, there is a historical anachronism. We all know very well that his mother passed away when he was very young, so this hadith doesn’t make historical sense.

Commentating on this, Imam al Suyuti said, ‘The words ‘And I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul …’ are obviously the words of [the sub-narrator] Abu Hurayra because it is inconceivable that he (Allah bless him and give him peace) could wish to die in bondage…because his mother wasn’t even alive.’ (Tadrib al Rawi, Suyuti)

So this tells us that the great confidence we have in the content of a sound hadith could be called into question when it conflicts with something that we know as an historical fact.

(Critiquing it based on a mere alternative historical possibility is another kettle of fish. Please see: Re: Hadith – Content: Answers)

This not an issue of religion vs history, rather of weighing up two historical accounts against each other in view of their respective strength.

Critiquing Hadith Based on Archeology

Because a merely authentic hadith (sahih) that is not mass narrated (mutawatir) only gives us great confidence (dhann), and not objective knowledge (ilm), it is also valid to critique a hadith based on factual archeological evidence.

One example of this can be seen by the way that Ibn Hajar al Asqalani, 15th-century traditional hadith scholar, critiqued a hadith referring to Prophet Adam’s gigantic form.

In Sahih al Bukhari there is a hadith that quotes the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) saying, ‘When Adam was created he was sixty cubits tall… and people (khalq) have continued to shrink until now.’

After confirming the meaning of the hadith, and that words of the hadith did indeed indicate that Prophet Adam (upon whom be peace) was about 90 ft tall, Ibn Hajar adds the following:

‘What is problematic here is what is observable today of the archeological remains of previous nations, such as those of Thamud, since the size of their houses does not give the impression that they were exceptionally tall, as this would imply.

Furthermore, it is obvious that they lived a long, long time ago, and the time between them and Adam was less than the time between them and those at the beginning of this nation. To date, I have not been able to explain this problem.’ (Fath al-Bari, Ibn Hajar al Asqalani)

So Ibn Hajar is basically saying that archeology of 500 hundred years ago does not seem to add up with a giant human race that is proposed by the hadith. And at the same time, he is not willing to completely write off the hadith as a fabrication.

We learn from this that there is room to critique an authentic (sahih) hadith if there is evidence that is stronger than it. Whether we agree with Ibn Hajar’s conclusion, or whether his use of archeology was valid, is irrelevant.

The point is that in our Islamic heritage, we have the openness and the philosophical apparatus to tackle such problems, and we do not have to throw the baby out with the bathwater as most post-Darwinian Western thinkers did with the Bible.

 

The Gender of the Child Hadith

Let us now turn to the hadith in question, armed as we are now with a methodology with which we can meaningfully tackle the problem.

To my knowledge, there are three separate hadiths on this issue.

The first is in Sahih al Bukhari and mentions that a convert from Judaism asked the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) about three issues to verify whether or not he was a true prophet. In it mentions that ‘as for which parent the child will resemble, when a man sleeps with a woman and his water/sperm comes before her[s], then the [child] will resemble him, and if her water/sexual fluid comes first, then the [child] will resemble her.’

Another version of the same hadith in Tabarani mentions ‘overcoming (ghalaba)’ in place of ‘coming first [sabaqa].

The second hadith is in Musnad al-Bazzar and is related by Ibn Abbas and states, ‘The resemblance goes to whichever of them overcomes (ghalaba) the other. If they join (ijtama’a), [the resemblance] will be from both.

The third hadith is in Sahih Muslim and mentions that Umm Sulaim asked about women having wet dreams and it mentions the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) saying, ‘Men’s water/semen is thick and white, and women’s water/sexual fluid is thin and pale/yellow/black. Whichever of them comes over, or precedes the other, that will determine the resemblance.’

 

An Analysis of the Hadith

So we now need to critique these hadiths in the way explained above.

First, we need to ask whether hadiths are mass transmitted (mutawatir), or merely authentic (sahih); then we need to look at the scientific facts that they seem to be at odds with, and see if they are actual facts, or merely likelihoods.

To answer the first question, we see that the hadiths are narrated in Bukhari and Muslim and are therefore authentic, but are definitely not mass narrated. This means that we are very confident that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said these words, but we are not 100% certain.

Regarding the science, I think we can say quite categorically that we know that female sexual fluid/ejaculate has nothing to do with the resultant gene makeup of the child, and women’s sexual fluid/ejaculate is definitely not black. It may, however, be yellow.

Now looking at the words used, the real conflict here is the issue of which of the two reaches climax. When looking at the different wordings of the hadiths (‘overcoming’ and ‘preceding’),

I think it not far-fetched at all that the narrations reflect the general meaning of dominance, and it wouldn’t be wrong to argue that ‘overcome’ was the actual wording while ‘preceding’ was just a paraphrasing by on of the sub-narrators.

The question then remains of the water. What is most apparent when reading the hadith is that water means semen or sexual excretion. That said, although far-fetched in itself, I don’t think it impossible that it has more than a general sense of any sexual contribution to the fertilization process.

 

Outcome of Analysis

So now we can come to one of a number of conclusions:

The first possibility is that we have simply misread the hadith, and there is no conflict whatsoever. This assumes that ‘water’ doesn’t mean semen or sexual excretion, is not impossible, but arguably far-fetched.

The second is that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) never said these words to begin and was just misquoted. This assumes the narrators, who were all very accurate and bonafide hadith scholars, made a mistake. This is also not impossible, but also far-fetched.

The third is that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said these words, to begin with, and was correctly interpreted and he himself made a mistake.

This would mean that he was not a Prophet. This is an invalid conclusion because we are saying that he definitely said something that is definitely false, and as we have already said we do not know that he definitely said these words because they are not mass narrated (mutawatir).

What remains is to weigh up which of the first two possibilities is most likely, which can be handled by senior scholars.

Conclusion

Any non-mass transmitted hadith (sahih) can be called into question when it contradicts other authentic hadiths, verses of the Qur’an, or clear and unquestionable historical and scientific facts. The scholars of Islam have always recognized that and built a solid methodology with which to critique hadiths.

The hadiths in question elicit things that are not completely irreconcilable with well-known and established science and are not mass-narrated, to begin with.

The issue at hand then is the proper criticism and understanding of the hadiths, and there is absolutely no reason to question one’s faith when reading hadiths of this nature.

 

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

 

Continue Your Journey for Knowledge

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Sign up for an on-demand course, or engage in a structured live course.

Browse relevant articles, discover answers to your questions or listen to podcasts anywhere and anytime on inspirational and useful topics.

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The Path to Piety: The Virtues of Taqwa in the Qur’an

Tariqa Muhammadiyya (One): The Virtues of Taqwa in the Qur’an

Taqwa is the concern within one to refrain from what is displeasing to Allah and preserve what is pleasing to Him. It manifests itself upon our limbs, but it begins from the heart.

This article series—based upon Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s course The Path of Muhammad: Birgivi’s Manual of Taqwa Explained—provides an overview of what Muslims must concern themselves when seeking the attainment of taqwa. This article will focus on the verses of the Qur’an which relate to the virtues of taqwa. 

There are over one hundred fifty verses of the Qur’an that relate to taqwa and over forty verses that have explicit commands that call to taqwa. This article will cover ten of these verses, arranged thematically by Imam Birgivi. Some of these verses are accompanied with a brief commentary and advice for you to follow.

 

One.

Allah Most High says in the Holy Qur’an: 

“The most noble of you in the sight of Allah [in station, closeness, reward, and virtue] are the most mindful.” (Qur’an 49:13)

“And Allah is the Guarding Friend [and Patron, and Supporter, and Carer] of the mindful.” (Qur’an 45:19)

“Do not [falsely] deem yourself good, for it is Allah alone Who truly knows who is mindful [of Him].” (Qur’an 53:32)

Look inward, for taqwa can only be found in your heart! Always question the sincerity of your actions and ask yourself, “Am I truly mindful of Allah when I do good acts?” Perhaps it is a facade you put up when other people are around, and once they leave, your good action goes with them.

Two.

“And the mindful people will certainly have a good return.” (Qur’an 38:49)

Remind yourself that there is something after the insanity of this world—something to yearn for and look forward to.

Three.

“And rush towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden vaster than the heavens and the earth, prepared for those mindful [of Allah].” (Qur’an 3:133)

Allah has invited you, so come! If you miss this opportunity—despite constant spiritual and existential reminders—you are the one who declined the invitation. You’d have nobody to blame but yourself, for paradise is already prepared and waiting for you.

Four.

“And those who were mindful of their caring Lord will be taken to paradise in groups until they arrive at its [already] open gates. And the guardians of the gate greet them with “Peace be upon you! You have done so well, so come in, to stay forever.” (Qur’an 39:73) 

True taqwa is not merely doing ritual action because you’re “supposed to”, because this would entail being mindful of a worldly thing (your action), but not to Whom it’s for.

True taqwa is recognizing the Omnipotence, Mercy, Care, Beauty, and Awesomeness of your Lord! It is having careful restraint in this world because you’re perpetually aware of your Creator and Sustainer. 

The reason it is mentioned that we enter Paradise “in groups” is because this is an emphasis on the importance of keeping good company. Cultivate taqwa by spending time with, emulating, and serving righteous people. 

Five.

“And truly the [eternal] abode is far better for those who are mindful [of Allah]. Will you not then understand?” (Qur’an 12:102)

Which do you prefer: a fleeting, whimsical pleasure or an eternal abode of ease? Pause and reflect that your desires are fleeting and refraining from them has eternal consequences. Be clear about the reality of this world.

The honored servant of Allah is one who considered the consequences of matters. If a person doesn’t pause to reflect, they’re no different than an animal.

Six.

“…And Allah shielded them (the people of taqwa) from the punishment of Hellfire—As a complete bounty from your lord. That is [truly] the ultimate triumph.” (Qur’an 44:51–57)

The word shield has the same Arabic root as the word taqwa. You are shielded from Hell in the afterlife because you shielded yourself from the displeasure of Allah in this world.

Seven.

…And be mindful of me, O people of reason!” (Qur’an 2:197)

Reflect and reason with yourself: Allah is telling us that He is the One Who created everything from nothingness. You didn’t have to exist! The fact that He took you out of absolute nothingness into existence is a gift.

Someone remaining in Hell is better than non-existence in the first place (in an existential sense)! The One Who took you out from nothing and then sustained you, is calling and warning you. So reflect O you who have a reason! 

Eight.

“The best garment is mindfulness.” (Qur’an 7:26) 

In a time when many are worried about their appearances and outfits, we forget that we’re meant to be cloaked with the garment of taqwa. The garment of taqwa is the best and there is no goodness outside of its protection. If you beautify yourself with the garment of something outside the standard of taqwa, you won’t find any good in it. 

Nine.

“Whoever venerates the distinguishing signs of Allah, that is indeed from mindfulness that is in hearts.” (Qur’an 22:32)

Respect for any symbol of our religion is respect for Allah due to its relationship with Him. Scholars have the guidance of Allah. The Prophet is the emissary of Allah. The Qur’an is the book of Allah. The Ka’ba is the house of Allah. Increase and cultivate your mindfulness of Allah through the veneration of these symbols.

Ten.

“My Mercy encompasses all things… 

All of creation is an expression of Divine Mercy. Our mere existence is mercy, life is mercy, being human is mercy, and every moment we live in is a mercy. And there’s the potential for attaining even more mercy. How do we get it? The remainder of the verse tells us.

…And I shall write it for those who remain mindful.” (Qur’an 7:156)

Make mindful choices, even in the seemingly trivial things. And even if you mess up, Allah’s mercy encompasses it if you respond with mindfulness. From sin, repent. From temptation, turn away. From heedlessness, return to consciousness. From whims, refrain. From folly, desist.

The Path to Piety: Birgivi’s Tariqa Muhammadiya

 

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Our Character: Signs and Importance – Habib Umar Bin Hafiz

The Importance of Good Character

This article series is based on the course delivered by Ustadh Amr Hashim – Our Character.

Refining the self, improving one’s character, and beautifying one’s practice of Islam are quite daunting tasks for the average person. However, there is no need to strive on this path alone, when one can benefit from a great work that will explain all of this and more.

Our Character is a text by Habib Umar bin Hafiz. In this class, Ustadh Amr Hashim will explain and summarize this text and the practical implementation of it in one’s day to day life.

This class is an ideal weekly check-in as to one’s state of the heart, and the state of one’s progress in becoming a better believer from week to week. You can access all lessons here. 

The Author – Habib Umar bin Hafiz 

The author of the book being covered is Habib Umar bin Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz.

He grew up during the period of the communist government in Southern Yemen, which meant it was very difficult to seek knowledge. Many scholars were kidnapped and tortured, the students would have to seek knowledge secretly. 

This did not deter Habib Umar from seeking knowledge, even after his father was kidnapped when he was just nine years old.

Many people thought that he would not be able to study and be like his father or the scholars of his family.

His upbringing revolved around him growing up as a scholar, his parents and forefathers were all scholars. But none of this prevented him from his study of religion. 

Habib Umar traveled to Bayda’ around age 19 to study under Habib Muhammad al-Haddar and this is when the author wrote this book.

The Goal of This Book

This book sparks our interest and desire in seeking out good character. The author wrote this work at his young age during difficult times; politically and personally as an orphan. 

This work reminds us to live with good character, in the good times and the bad times, in the times of ease and in the times of difficulty; in all states. 

We see this through the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), even when people tried to inflict distress and hurt on him; he did not let their actions impact how he treated them in return.

The Signs of Good Character

Of the most manifest and clear signs in following the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is having excellent character traits and qualities. 

This is because character is of our inward garments.

Our inward garments are unlike our outward garments such that when we pass from this world we take our inward garments with us and leave our outward garments in this world.

If the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has come for our next worldly salvation, then he is preparing us inwardly to be in high stations, and this is done by being inwardly sound.

Thus having good character traits; those are our inward garments that last forever and go with us into our graves. 

And so their consequences is that if our inward garments are beautiful and pure, then our next worldly result will be beautiful and pure.

If our inward garments are filthy and dirty, then what can one expect in their next worldly result?

The Importance of Good Character

Imam Haddad would nurture and teach his students one character trait at a time over several years. He would wait patiently, why? Because instilling good character traits in oneself is worth the work and struggle; it brings change to one’s actions and lifestyle.

Why is instilling character traits important? We possess positive traits that are easy to implement and negative traits that we cannot easily implement.. 

We selectively implement traits when it is simple, convenient, or easy.

For example, a person may only give charity when life is going well but may forget when they enter financial strain.

Or a person may give some time to worship when they feel “spiritual” or when they feel bored, but they forget when they have something entertaining to do.

Would anyone consider the person who gave charity when it was easy to be “generous” in of themselves? Is that the reality of generosity? 

Instilling good character traits means we go above and beyond what is merely convenient and go towards what is more pleasing to our Lord most high. As we learn from the author’s own example; he forgave the people who killed his father just as our noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forgave those who killed members of his family and followers.

When one has a character trait instilled in them, it has become their nature. It is not a periodical or occasional trait.

One of Imam Malik’s students sat at his feet for twenty years. He spent eighteen of those twenty years learning good character traits from Imam Malik, and the last two years learning law (fiqh) after which Imam Malik passed from this world.

After his passing, the student said “I wished I spent all twenty years learning good character from Imam Malik.”

The special nature of learning good character at the feet of our teachers, we observe and learn from their example. The goal is to have these traits embedded and imprinted into our hearts.

One of the objectives of sending the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to us was for his purifying us and to teach us how to act. 

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Our Lord! Raise from among them a messenger who will recite to them Your revelations, teach them the Book and wisdom, and purify them.” (Quran, 2:129)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “I have only been sent to complete the virtues of character.” [Bukhari, al-Adab al-Mufrad and Bayhaqi, Shu’b al-Iman]

If we are the followers of the Prophet, and he calls us to follow his character; should we not follow him?

The sign of true love for one’s beloved is to do whatever they say and to try to be like them. 

Points of Self-Reflection

Where is our character in regards to who he was (peace and blessings be upon him)? Did we try to embody his traits? Did we try to carry ourselves like him? Did we try to be patient, kind, and generous as he was? Where should we be? 

When was the last time we gave in the way of God when it was hard to? When did we control our anger when we wanted to explode? 

And this is one of the greater areas of inheritance from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and one that is open to all of us!

May Allah grant us the strength to seek his character (peace and blessings be upon him) and act upon it.

 

Continue Your Journey for Knowledge

All SeekersGuidance offerings are free. Convenient and reliable knowledge taught by trained and reliable scholars, delivered over a decade.

Sign up for an on-demand course, or engage in a structured live course.

Browse relevant articles, discover answers to your questions or listen to podcasts anywhere and anytime on inspirational and useful topics.

Visit seekersguidance.org for more.

Help Preserve the Spread of Beneficial Knowledge and Guidance

Through the efforts of our generous supporters, we have spread beneficial knowledge and guidance to thousands. Join the community of supporters and gift generously to preserve and transmit Islamic Scholarship – donate now by clicking here.