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How Can Love Be a Sin Even if It Is Between Two People of the Same Gender?

Question: I have a question regarding homosexuality. I am just wondering how can love (of any kind) be a sin? I read that some Islamic scholars nowadays are trying to find in the Quran if there are some signs that it is only the homosexual lust that is punishable, not the homosexual love. Could that possibly be true? If not, please explain to me how love can be a sin, as we can see many people in the world are in love with the same sex.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. That which you ask about are two different things in my mind.

True Love

There is nothing in and of itself impermissible about love. As a matter of fact, my teachers taught me that the heart craves love, and man will spend all his life trying ways to fill the heart with different things, but really only the love of Allah can fill it, as that is what it was created for. Please read this answer about true, intense love by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/ten-steps-to-allah-step-4-love-allah/

Types of love

Loving another falls into many categories; a few among them are: A) Loving someone that you can be with, such as a spouse, or B) loving someone that you can’t be with, such as a non-mahram or person of the same gender, usually termed lust. C) Loving the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace and his family and companions for their rank with Allah and for teaching us our religions. These are just a few, but the important difference between these is that we distinguish which love brings us benefit.
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/love-for-lady-fatima-habib-umar/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophet-muhammad/allow-your-emotions-to-be-elevated-habib-umar/

Actions and feelings

Because the shari`ah governs actions and not feelings, one should pay the most heed to one’s actions, which will help make the feelings gradually fade. One must be careful to guide one’s heart to refrain and withdraw from what might lead one to the impermissible and allow its love to flourish in what is permissible. If one was to allow one’s lustful feelings to grow unchecked and not consider that they could overpower one and turn into action, one has been deluded by the Devil. If this were to occur, the doors of mercy would still be open to one through repentance.

Homosexuality

I haven’t heard anything about what you described in your question about love and lust from the Qur’an, but the rulings are clear. A person would do well to push away his desires, whether for the same gender or in an illicit heterosexual relationship, with help and support if necessary to fulfill Allah’s commands. As such, love is not sinful, but rather one’s acting on it illicitly would be. One’s reward would be infinite, and one’s pain and suffering would not be lost on Allah. Please see this link for more info:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/tackling-homosexual-feelings-supplication-repentance-and-going-cold-turkey/

Allah, Most High, says, “If you avoid the major sins forbidden to you, We will absolve you of your ˹lesser˺ misdeeds and admit you into a place of honor.“ [Qur’an, 4:31]

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and grant you a love after which you will want for nothing else.

[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 Master’s 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.

The Three Degrees of Fasting – Imam al Ghazali

This is a translation of the passage on the three degrees of fasting from the Ihya of Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad al Ghazali. Translation by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

It should be known that there are three degrees of fasting: ordinary, extraordinary, and perfect.

Ordinary fasting means abstaining from food, drink, and sexual satisfaction.

Extraordinary Fasting means keeping one’s ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet – and all other organs – free from sin.

Perfect Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is He. This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world.

Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.

To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true saints, and the intimates of Allah. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its true nature is better revealed in action. It consists of utmost dedication to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than Allah, Exalted is He.

It is bound up with the significance of His words:

قُلِ اللَّـهُ ۖ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Say: “Allah,” then leave them to their vain play. (Qur’an 6:91)

Inward Requirements

As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one’s organs free from sin and six things are required for its accomplishment.

See Not What Displeases Allah

A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be Allah’s curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of Allah will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.”

Jabir relates from Anas that Allah’s Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “Five things break a man’s Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.”

Speak Not What Displeases Allah

Guarding one’s tongue against idle chatter, lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing, and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with the remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and with the recitation of Qur’an. This is the fasting of the tongue.

Said Sufyan: “Backbiting annuls the Fast.” Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: “Two habits annul Fasting: backbiting and telling lies.”

The Prophet, on him be peace, said: “Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: ‘I am Fasting, I am Fasting!’”

According to Tradition: “Two women were Fasting during the time of Allah’s Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him. They were so fatigued towards the end of the day, from hunger and thirst, that they were on the verge of collapsing.

They, therefore, sent a message to Allah’s Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, requesting permission to break their Fast. In response, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, sent them a bowl and said: “Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten.”

One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished. Then the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “These two women have been Fasting from what God made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what God, Exalted is He, made unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!”

Hear Not What Displeases Allah

Closing one’s ears to everything reprehensible, for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why Allah, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer. In His words, Exalted is He:

سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ أَكَّالُونَ لِلسُّحْتِ

Listeners to falsehood, consumers of illicit gain. (Qur’an 5:42)

Allah, Great and Glorious is He, also said:

لَوْلَا يَنْهَاهُمُ الرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الْإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ

Why do their rabbis and priests not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit? (Qur’an 5:63)

Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. God, Exalted is He, said:

إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِّثْلُهُمْ

You are then just like them. (Qur’an 4:140)

That is why the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “The backbiter and his listener are partners in sin.”

Guarding the Limbs

Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for breaking Fast. It is meaningless to Fast – to abstain from lawful food – only to break one’s Fast on what is unlawful.

A man who fasts like this may be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food is injurious in quantity not in quality. Fasting is to reduce the former. A person might well give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison.

The unlawful is a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial in small doses but harmful in excess. The object of Fasting is to induce moderation.

Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “How many of those who Fast get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!” This has been taken to mean those who break their Fast on unlawful food. Some say it refers to those who abstain from lawful food, but break their Fast on human flesh through backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who do not guard their organs from sin.

Avoid Overeating

Not to over-indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking Fast, to the point of stuffing one’s belly. There is no receptacle more odious to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food.

Of what use is the Fast as a means of conquering Allah’s enemy and abating appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of extra foods?

It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all kinds of foodstuffs so that more is consumed during that time than in the course of several other months put together. It is well known that the object of Fasting is to experience hunger and to check desire, in order to reinforce the soul in piety.

If the stomach is starved from early morning till evening so that its appetite is aroused and its craving intensified, and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.

The Secret Nature of Fasting

The spirit and secret nature of Fasting is to weaken the forces which are Satan’s means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut down one’s intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not Fasting.

No benefit is derived from the Fast if one consumes as much as one would usually take during the day and night combined. Moreover, one of the properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one feels the hunger and thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one’s powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.

One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night, making it easier to perform the (tahajjud) and to recite the praises (awrad). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one’s heart, and that one will behold the Kingdom of Heaven.

Layla al-Qadr

The Night of Destiny represents the night on which something of this Kingdom is revealed. This is what is meant by the words of God, Exalted is He:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

We surely revealed it on the Night of Power. (Qur’an 97:1)

Anyone who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes blind to this revelation. Nor is keeping the stomach empty sufficient to remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is He.

That is the entire matter, and the starting point of it all is cutting down on food.

Look To God With Fear And Hope

After the Fast has been broken, the heart should swing like a pendulum between fear and hope. For one does not know if one’s Fast will be accepted so that one will find favor with God, or whether it will be rejected, leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.

It is related of Al-Hasan ibn Abi al-Hasan al-Basri, that he once passed by a group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: “Allah, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors, and failure the wasters. By Allah, if the veil were lifted off, the doer of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.”

Rather it is the one whose fast is accepted who should be too full of joy to indulge in idle sport, while one who has suffered rejection laughter should be precluded by remorse.

Of Al-Ahnaf ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: “You are an aged elder. Fasting would enfeeble you.” But he replied: “By this I am making ready for a long journey. Obedience to Allah, Glorified is He, is easier to endure than His punishment.”


Ten Steps to Allah. Step 4: Love of Allah

As we get closer to Ramadan, focusing on what we are seeking through our devotions is ever more crucial. The ultimate aim of any Muslim is to gain the closeness of Allah Most High. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives us clear guidelines with 10 key steps on the path to Allah Most High elucidating for us how to get closer to Allah.

The fourth step in getting closer to Allah is love for Allah. This love is a constant inclination with a heart overcome. Shaykh Faraz explains what this constant inclination refers to and how it affects and permeates our lives and relationships.

Step 4: Love of Allah

One of the most powerful meanings in our relationship with Allah is the meaning of having intense love for Allah. Allah Most High tells us in the noble Qur’an, “And those who believe are most intense in their love for Allah.” [Qur’an, 2:165]

The governing meaning in what distinguishes a believer from anyone else is not just having love for Allah but the intensity of love for Allah. Love is not just a mild feeling. Love is a constant inclination with a heart overcome. The intense love for Allah is to love Allah Himself over all else and also to love all else out of this intensity of love for Allah. You love your parents not just a little but intensely, out of your intense love for Allah. You love your teachers, your family, your friends, all for the sake of Allah because this is the creation of Allah and everything that is from the beloved is beloved to the one who loves.

A man came to Ibn Mashish and asked him for advice regarding things he could do. Ibn Mashish said that the ways of good are known, the acts of good are clear, the spiritual routines are evident. He said that if he were to give you one piece of advice, then it would be to hold fast to the love of Allah for the love of Allah is the axis around which all good revolves. 

One of the supplications of our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) was: “O Allah, I ask you for Your love, and the love of those whom You love and the love of acts that will make me attain to Your love.”

May Allah grant us this true love because as Hamdoon said, “Lovers take with them all honor in this life and the next.”

The episode can be found on this link Ramadan 2020 Reminders | Episode 23: Ten Steps to Allah – 04 – Love of Allah | Shaykh Faraz Rabbani – YouTube

About the Author

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age.

He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

 

How Should I Deal With a Haram Relationship?

Question: As-salamu alaykum, I am a young girl, and I fell in love with a guy. I know its haram to have a relationship before marriage, but alhamdulillah, we did not do anything except for exchanging texts. Can you please guide me on what to do?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your question. May Allah bless you in your noble intention to follow that which is halal.
Baraka comes with things done purely for the sake of Allah.
Each person has a unique situation but generally, I recommend the following.
If he is interested in marriage with you, then he can propose to you.
Make sure that your parents will be happy with this decision. When a person is  young,
they may not always see the bigger picture in life-the long-term consequences of one’s decisions.
Sometimes at the moment, you may believe that your decision is the best, but as you get older, that may change.
Pray istikhara, and ask Allah to guide your decision.
Here is a link with a guide on how to do that properly.
You did mention that he is righteous or God-fearing, this is excellent and the first step towards success.
Remember to be patient until it is the right time, “ Allah is with the patient.” [Quran 2:153]
Further readings may help widen your scope on a similar related matter.
May Allah bless you and guide your affairs.
Imam Yama Niazi

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Get Over a Man Who is With Someone Else?

Question: I have no strength left in me. There is a guy at work that I am in love with. He is with someone else and it is getting so hard for me trying to get over him. I make dua for him like a woman would for a man’s well-being. I feel so stupid for continuing to do so. I want to get over him. What should I do?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Unrequited love is very difficult to endure but certainly better than being in an illegitimate relationship with someone. I feel that Allah has saved you from this sin by putting him with someone else. Trust me. You will get over this, trust in Allah’s mercy, and take it one day at a time.

 

Resources

The best advice that I can give you is in these links, please read them all:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-to-get-over-unrequited-love/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/i-want-to-marry-someone-who-only-sees-me-as-a-friend-what-do-i-do/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/love-someone-not-love/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/any-advice-for-detaching-my-heart-from-someone/

 

Steps

Please distance yourself from him, channel your thoughts into du’a and dhikr, and ask Allah to change your state. Take up a new hobby, spend time with friends, exercise in the fresh air, and be consistent with your prayers and worship. Lower your gaze from him and do not let the Shaytan get into your head, dismiss all thoughts about him. Whenever you think of him, bless the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and eventually the thoughts and feelings will slow down and better with positive thoughts taking over. You must take this by the reins and conquer it.

May Allah give you the best in this world and the next and bless your union with the right man for you.

[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.

Dr Umar Faruq Abdullah: A Quest for Truth

 

Dr. Umar F. Abd-Allah Wymann-Landgraf, author of Malik and Medina, beautifully weaves a story in the podcast Diffused Congruence, spanning several decades and countless nations including Spain, Morocco, Pakistan, Canada and Saudi Arabia, inspiring both laughter and spiritual aspiration. Along the way he builds an essential reading list for any seeker of truth and knowledge.  The interview is part an intellectual biography, part social commentary on the later 20th century and part lessons learned over a life spent in seeking knowledge and service to others. We cannot recall a finer personal, oral narrative and warn you that you may not be able to listen only once.

The Seeker:

Dr. Umar begins with his early childhood upbringing in Columbus, Nebraska, near the Platte River. By all means a quintessential all American boy, growing up on a farm, and tending to the needs of country living, he describes how much of the values and character traits he learned during this formative period informs much of the person he is today. Dr. Umar also describes in much detail his early religious upbringing, being christened a Protestant in the Congregationalist, Presbyterian and Lutheran traditions.

As a very young teenager and in the most unexpected of circumstances, Dr. Umar’s belief in the doctrine of the Trinity, is shaken.

The Learner:

Dr. Umar goes on to describe his quest for truth and meaning, particularly during his time at university while at Cornell. His exposer to African-American literature by the likes of W. E. B. DuBois, Jean Toomer, ultimately led him to the autobiography of  Malcolm X who Dr. Umar credits with bringing him to Islam. It was in this period that Dr. Umar gained an emphasis, integrity, beauty, and an assertion of the humanity of Black people during the Civil Rights era. We also learn of how Dr. Umar dabbled with left wing revolutionary politics during the Vietnam War by being a conscientious objector.

The Teacher; perpetual student:

Dr. Umar, “our tradition is a beautiful tradition, one of the richest in the history of human kind, that has all the treasures and wealth in it that is necessary to make sense of the modern/ post-modern world”

Dr. Umar ends by sharing his love for reading and teaching, for in teaching he sees in himself the perpetual student, one that is always learning from his students. Dr. Umar describes that his current work is centred on theology, with respect to studying, researching and understanding modernism, post-modernism, the truth and fallacies of scientism, and in finding the solid ground of first principles, so that it can be properly incorporated into Islamic theology, towards bringing tradition back to life once again – “theology is the foundation of our world view”.

Dr. Umar’s works, especially those published through the Nawawi foundation, are a must read for academics, activists, students of history and seekers of Sacred Knowledge alike. His scholarship focuses on indigenizing Islam and contemporary muslims into the fabric of American history and culture, towards muslims making a first effective settlement.

Above all, in this interview, Dr. Umar is an example of a life lived through conviction, a love for the Scholars (some older, but many younger than him), a love for ordinary Muslims, and a love for the Truth in all its glory.

Based on Diffused Congruence Podcast

Is It Permissible for a Muslim Woman to Marry Without Parental Consent?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim girl to marry without parental consent if she fears to commit fornication (Zina)?

Answer: In The Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah bless you for your question and we ask Allah to ease your difficulty

It Being Valid Doesn’t Make It Right

If one fears committing fornication and is certain that there is no way to refrain from it except through marriage it is then obligatory for such a person to marry. (al-Durr al-Mukhtar) However, you should not take the matter into your own hands and get married without parental approval. Even though the marriage of a mature free Muslim woman without consent from her guardian is valid [al-Durr al-Mukhtar], it is not advisable.

In such a situation, you need to be very candid with your parents. Explain to them the difficulty which you find yourself in and your need to get married.

Lack of Familial Support

Even though you may see quickly getting married as a solution to your difficulty, marrying without parental consent may have life long repercussions that you may regret later. Marriage is not just a union between two individuals, rather it is a union of families. To have familial support throughout your marriage is central to having a happy household; this is especially true when children are involved.

The Prayer of Need

Whenever we find our selves in difficulty, we should train ourselves to turn to Allah, Most High for help. The prayer of need is a prayer that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us. See the below link for the details.

https: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?

Prevention

In the meantime, you should try to find and refrain from anything or situation which will increase any sexual desires. Refrain from places that exacerbate your feelings. Try to keep away from looking at anything that will increase your desires. If you find using the computer or the phone stirs up your desires then you should limit their usage and only use them in public spheres. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever seeks chastity, Allah will grant it to them.” [al-Bukhari]

Speak to your parents and beseech Allah to help you. We pray that Allah blesses you with a righteous spouse and eases all your difficulties.

Ameen

Allah A’alam

[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.

What Is The Difference Between God’s Will And His Love And Mercy?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: What Is The Difference Between God’s Will And His Love And Mercy?

Answer: Dear questioner,

Thank you kindly for your question, and may Allah increase you in light, knowledge and ambition.

Short answer:

Allah’s will is what we term one of Allah’s attributes [sifat], and its role is to specify how and when things come into existence. This is an attribute of His essence, and which He does not acquire by using it. He has always had a will.

His love and mercy, in technical terms, are simply a combination of His will and power when they result in something describable as loving or merciful from the slave’s point of view.

Fuller answer:

The use of theology (Ilm al Kalam)

Theology developed to clearly define exactly what we believe as Muslims, and to defend those beliefs. Because it is based on debate, it is purely academic, and puts aside much of the spiritual side of the Qur’an and its rhetoric. This is necessarily so because when things are not spelt out very pedantically, it defeats of the object of the science, which is precisely being very clear and pedantic.

This kind of approach is excellent when engaging in debate with a trinitarian, materialist, or agnostic, etc. : both sides define their terms, and work with some logical reasoning, and actually get somewhere. This is what Islamic theology does.

As such, the science of theology does not help us understand the nature of Allah’s love and mercy vis-a-vis our experience of it, because it is not the subject that it deals with.

Contextualising theology (Ilm al Kalam)

Since Islamic theology is just one among many traditional Islamic sciences, it is not necessary the only way to talk about Allah, nor it necessarily the more direct way to get to know Him in all His glory.

Reading the Quran and applying its teachings in one’s life — come weal or come woe — would probably be more helpful. (That’s not to say that there is anything un-Qur’anic about Islamic theology.) So too, losing a child, and working on one’s contentment with Allah’s will would teach things about Allah that no theologian could either put a definition to. Getting to know Allah on a spiritual level, is completely different knowing how to say certain very exacting things about Him in a technical way.

Islamic theology, like many other sciences such as grammar, hadith criticism, inheritance law, has a certain function in the preservation of the whole religion, and is not so useful outside of that function.

Dissecting the unfathomable

To make things very clear, the Muslim theologians breakdown Allah’s attributes into categories — with full knowledge that no one could ever understand His true reality.

They say that He has attributes that are eternal and that He never acquired. These describe His being. They are:

His existence
His beginninglessness
His endlessness
His oneness
His self-substistance (not needing anything, place, time, or determiner)
His utter dissimilarity to other beings
His power
His will
His knowledge
His hearing
His seeing
His speech
His life
(Jawharat al Tawhid, Laqqani)

Every other attribute or name of Allah can be categorised, technically speaking, into one or two of these attributes. So, for example, when we say and acknowledge tha Allah is forgiving: His forgiveness can be reduced to three attributes: knowledge, will, and power. He knew that the slave sinned, repented, and will enter Paradise; He willed that the slave sinned, repented, and will enter Paradise; and created the slave and his actions (the sin and the repentance) and entered him, by His omnipotent power, into Paradise.

Such attributes really describe what Allah does, and not what attributes He has. For this reason, they are called attributes of action.

So no one is claiming, or ever claimed, that Allah was not merciful or not loving, but it just served certain academic goals to reduce everything to the simplest level for our own human understanding.

Allah’s names and how He shows himself

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an, ‘And Allah’s are the most beautiful of names, so call on Him by them.’ (Qur’an, 7:180)

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Verily Allah has ninety-nine names. Whoever grasps them, will enter Paradise.’ (Bukhari and Muslim) Hakim narrates the same hadith with two different chains that mention the ninety-nine names that we are all familiar with. For more detail, please see: Understanding the Most Beautiful Names: The 99 Names of Allah Explained in Detail

Contemplating upon these beautiful names, calling upon Him by them, and seeing and feeling them in one’s life, this is the really way to know Allah.

When you get you your paycheck, for example, and you thank Allah for providing you with a livelihood, He is showing you how he is al-Razzaq [the Ever-Providing]; when you see someone who does not worship Allah, He is showing you His names al-Khafid and al-Mani [the Abaser and the Withholder].

The more you recognise His names, the stronger this sense becomes, and you see that He is al-Qarib [the Close]. Even though you were not aware of Him, He was never unaware of you, and you feel the meaning of His name al-Wadud [the Loving-One].

‘Grasping’ Allah’s names has been explain by Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi his book on supplications to mean one of four things:

1. to recount the names so that one calls upon Him by each name.

2. to master them so that you ‘keep them in mind, and keep to their limits.’ meaning that one, for example calls upon Allah by His name al-Rahman [the Merciful One] bearing in mind that He is actually merciful, hoping for His mercy, and never giving up hope of his forgiveness.

3. to comprehend them and take them as a firm belief.

4. to recites the whole Qur’an thereby reading out each of Allah names. (Shan al-Dua, Khattabi)

All in all, the comprehension and internalisation of His beautiful names is not an academic process, but rather a journey of putting them into practice, and deeping one’s appreciation of who and what He is.

Allah the Loving

In his book, Khattabi explained what Allah’s name al-Wadud means. He said that is derived from al-wudd [love], and has been understood in two ways:

The first is that is that has the sense of the passive participle, in that Allah is ‘the object of love of those who are close to Him by dint of their unceasing receipt of kindness and benefits from Him.’

The second acceptation is that it has the sense of the active participle in that ‘He loves His righteous slaves, in as much as He is content with them and accepts their deeds.’ (Shan al-Dua, Khattabi)

Raghib in his work on Qur’anic vocabulary adds another side to His love: His care and nurture of them. He quotes unknown hadith qudsi in which Allah says to Musa (upon whom be peace), ‘Never am I heedless of the small just because they are small, nor am I heedless of the elderly because they are elderly: I am the Loving [al-Wadud] and the Appreciative.’ (Mufradat Alfadh al-Quran, Raghib)

Conclusion

Although we do not technically count Allah’s love and mercy as one of His attributes, both stem from His names, and He is most definitely Merciful and Loving.

Our experience and appreciation of the names grows by learning about them, and keeping to their practical and spiritual implications.

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 crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Zakat & Eid al Fitr – Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin

In this video, Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin  speaks about the blessings of the day of Eid, and what etiquettes we should practice on that day.

Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin encourages us to take advantage of the blessed day of Eid al-Fitr, which is a day of celebration and thanksgiving after the completion of the month of Ramadan. We should all come out to celebrate Eid with our families, and we should ensure that no one is left at home. He calls on the men to not leave female family members at home, but support them in coming out and celebrating.eid al-fitr

In addition, we should ensure that we are fulfilling all of our duties and responsibilities on this day. We should ensure that we have paid the Zakat al-Fitr, the charity that all Muslims are required to make before the day of Eid, or on that day. In addition, we should make sure that no one is left out on the day, making the effort to visit or invite the ones who might not have anyone to celebrate with. We should also try to meet new people and reconnect with old friends, and make sure we do not harbour a grudge against anyone.


 

Is the Night of the 27th of Ramadan Special? – Ustadha Shehnaz Karim

* Originally Published on 30/06/2016

Ustadha Shehnaz answers the important question of whether or not the night of the 27th of Ramadan is special. She speaks of the meanings behind seeking out the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) .