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The Adhan: Why We Are Missing Out On Great Benefits, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made a tremendous promise to those who respond upon hearing the adhan – “My intercession will be granted to them on the Day of Resurrection…”

However, many of us don’t know or don’t remember the sunnas of doing the adhan and hearing the call to prayer (adhan). This is particularly the case in lands where the adhan is not publicly given. It is as if we don’t believe in what the Prophet ﷺ has promised. It could be the key to Paradise for us. May Allah make it so!

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a step by step list of things to do.

Photo by Md. Mafizul Hasan Hawlader.

The Adhan: A Source of Often Neglected Great Benefits, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

On Mosques, Companionship, & Knowledge: Zackary King in conversation

When Zackary King decided to become Muslim after three long years of contemplation, he did it alone in his room. The time that followed, he compared to being at a track meet. There was a general sense of belonging, yet a very deep, painful sense of individuality, to the point of loneliness.

However, after a longtime friend admitted to him that he had also become Muslim, Zackary decided to visit a mosque. There, during a short conversation with a fellow Muslim, he got all his questions answered…and realized the importance of companionship and community.

“It’s not just one person plus one person equals two. As you add each person, it has its own spirit. The group has a spirit all of its own. And for me, that’s one the of key aspects of Islam.”

He also learned a lot about the importance of knowledge. “If you’ve ever done any sort of procedure, knowing how to do it yourself gives you a sense of security and confidence that nothing else really can.”

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We are thankful to Safina Society for this recording.

Side Entrance: Why Mosques Are Still Getting It Wrong, by Mona Rahman

Mona Rahman on the consequences of entering mosques through a side entrance and disappearing from sight, especially if you’ve got boys in tow.

I’m going to just come out and say this. En route home from a soccer festival we stopped at a masjid. Alhamdulillah the masjid was open. We went to pray, my dad, my sons and I. I went through the Sisters’ side entrance and up the stairs to the prayer area.  My sons and father went ahead to the “main” entrance to the prayer area.  I could see them but they could not see me. I could not pray with them in jama’a (congregation) so prayed by myself. We like to pray in jama’a as a family.  I went out and waited a while for them to come.  The first thing my son said was, “Mommy, where were you?”
Let me tell you where I’m coming from. I grew up in a community without a masjid but with a strong community Alhamdulillah. When we were able to build a masjid I was 25 and my brother was 7. We were taught how the Prophet’s masjid was, what the Sunnah is and how brothers and sisters are partners to each other. Our community board has an official women’s representative to ensure that the sisters are always heard, and always had. However in addition to the women’s rep we have always had sisters in executive positions on the Board, Alhamdulillah.  We used to have youth and MSA reps until we became too large for it to be practical (and there were other issues) but we developed a forum so that they still have a voice. This was the mentality of our founding families. As such when the masjid was built it was done so with a common main entrance and with symmetry so that brothers and sisters had the same facilities. Yes there are alternate entrances but no one is designated as brothers only or sisters only. There are separate entrances to the musallah but they led to a simple open prayer area with sisters at the back and brothers at the front just as was described for the first masjid of the Prophet ﷺ.

People Aren’t The Same Anymore

Do some people not like it? Every once in a while someone new will come and say this is haram. But you know what? This is closest to the Sunnah. Oh people are not as at the time of the Prophet ﷺ. Really? From my understanding, men used to go to the back rows at the time of the Prophet ﷺ and try to see the women through their legs when in prostration. That is when the Prophet ﷺ said that the best lines for men are at the front and the best lines for women are at the back. He didn’t say to build a wall or stick the women on another floor. The Quran says to lower your gaze and guard your modesty. Lower your gaze is stated first. You are responsible for your own actions. These are principles taught 1400+ years ago but which we have been practicing since, Insha Allah.
Are people uncomfortable with this? Of course there are women who are uncomfortable praying in there same room as men as it is foreign to them, so in order to make everyone comfortable and not infringe on the rights of any of the women, when we expanded the sisters area we expanded sideways in order to create a space with more privacy for those sisters who do not want to be in the same visible space as the men but still keeping the structure of the main prayer hall. Note, it wasn’t done in response to the men who complained. A mere bookshelf separates the area so there is free flow from the private part to the main sisters area. That is their preference and everyone is free to worship in the main area or in the more private areas, which is also very useful if nursing.

Communities and Families Partitioned

Let’s go back to today’s experience. I know what the Prophet ﷺ taught. I have also lived in a different community where there were areas partitioned by walls but they evolved with the community, with greater understanding. From my experience there though, I will say it is difficult to concentrate on prayer and it is sometimes difficult if one arrives late. However, I will pray in your masjid without making a fuss as that is the climate of your community.  I have prayed in the smelly closet by myself. I have prayed in the mezzanine unable to communicate with my sons.
As a mother of boys, who tends to be alone with the boys at the masjid, you have to understand the difficulty we are put in.  If I visit with my sons you are asking me to let them go alone without supervision into a place where they don’t know anyone. They can’t look back to ensure I’m there. They can’t find me if they need help.  They do not feel like I am part of the jama’a. They will not come with me to the women’s area as they are 7 and 10 and once they are 7, they were taught they should go to the brothers section as they are now big boys.
Is this the type of community our Prophet ﷺ built? He was the man who would shorten his prayers if he heard a child cry so as to not cause any more distress to the mother. He was the man who asked the men in his community to wait a bit so that the sisters could leave the masjid without discomfort. He was the one who gently turned the head of his young companion when he couldn’t help but stare at the beautiful woman. He taught haya so that we could be true partners in community. This is a haya which is independent of what others are wearing or how they act.

It’s not about “free mixing”

If I as a grown woman who is strong in my Muslim identity (Masha Allah) feel uncomfortable and uncertain when I go to a masjid, afraid of offending because of my gender or going through the wrong door, then how would one who may be wobbling, especially our young Muslim sisters, feel? How about the sister who goes for the first time? If you don’t teach your youth (or adults) how to behave with each other at the masjid with their brothers and sisters, how do you expect them to know how to behave when in the wider community with their peers? How do you think our sons feel when their mom has to go somewhere else?
It’s not about “free mixing”. That is not what I’m saying. It is possible to pray in a musallah without barriers and still be separate. It is possible to go to school and work without compromising your haya. It’s about proper manners. It’s about truly learning what the Sunnah is and practising it without crutches. It’s about separating the cultural norms of back home from what Allah Most High taught us through His Messenger ﷺ through the Qur’an and Sunnah. It requires us to not just accept what we grew up )especially if it was from a land where most are Muslim) but understanding the why. It’s about learning about our religion from reliable sources, not just relying on what our forefathers told us.
My mother argued with her grandfather who felt there was no need for girls to be educated past grade 6. Masha Allah he was a pious man and ensured an Islamic education and it was this which also taught her the importance of education. So she argued with truth in her words and continued her education, Masha Allah. Sometimes we need to question the status quo to ensure we are on the Straight Path.
Anything good is from Allah swt; all else is from my own deficiencies. I beg Allah’s forgiveness if I have erred or misled.

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What To Do After Hearing The Adhan – The Prophet’s ﷺ Promise

The Prophet ﷺ made a tremendous promise to those who respond upon hearing the adhan – “My intercession will be granted to them on the Day of Resurrection…”

However, many of us don’t know or don’t remember the sunnahs of doing the adhan and hearing the adhan. This is particularly the case in lands where the adhan is not publicly given. It is as if we don’t believe in what the Prophet ﷺ has promised. It could be the key to Paradise for us. May Allah make it so!

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a step by step list of things to do.

Photo by Md. Mafizul Hasan Hawlader.

Sunnahs for a Healthy Community

Is your community torn apart by petty jealousies, conflicts and apathy? Do you feel like you don’t belong, or have nowhere to turn to for spiritual fulfillment?

Our friends from SeekersHub Perth Point composed a list from the One Body Study Circle, where Ustadh Amjad Tarsin offered from practical tips of how to rejuvenate those community bonds and nurture healthy communities.

The greatest crime: Apathy of good people & spiritual cannibalism

  • The greatest crime is not the evil of evil people, it is the apathy of good people.
  • One of the great scholars (ulema) of our times, Murabit Al Hajj, could never handle backbiting. When it occurred, he would stop it, or walk away.
  • The Prophet said, whoever relieves a tribulation or difficulty for a believer, Allah will remove a calamity from them on the Day of Judgement. We have a degree of duty of mercy to all of humanity and all of creation.
  • Whoever veils the faults of another Muslim, Allah will veil their faults in this world and the hereafter, and whoever exposes the fault of another Muslim, Allah will expose their faults.
  • A lot of people commit sins, then they feel like they can never get close to Allah. That is from the devil (Shaitaan), not from our faith.
  • Backbiting is like spiritual cannibalism, and it’s very easy to fall into.

Prevention of harm…or establishing the good?

  • A principle of sharia is the prevention of harm is of a higher priority than the establishment of benefit. The Prophet ﷺ, said at the end of times there would be a lot of bloodshed. He gave us advice: to keep our tongue and keep our hands away from evil. This means not to incite not to incite things verbally, and to not actually engage in the harm of others.
  • The Prophet ﷺ said to assist your brother whether he is the oppressor or the one being oppressed. Assisting an oppressor means to stop them.

I was sick and you did not visit Me…

  • Visiting the sick builds love, and the Prophet ﷺ said the one who does not show compassion to the elderly is not one of us.
  • Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, “O son of Adam, I was sick and you did not visit Me.” The person will say, “O my Lord, how can I visit you when you are the Lord of the Worlds, You are unlike your creation, You are free of any possibility of even having something like this.” Allah will say, “Did you not know my servant was sick and you did not visit them?” If you had visited that person you would have found Me with them.”

Watering the tree of love…not macho enough?

  • Imam Al Haddad said brotherhood and sisterhood is like a tree; you water that tree by visiting each other from time to time.
  • According to hadith, a man was walking on a path for the sake of Allah to visit a brother. An angel appeared before him and asked, “Where are you going?” The man said, “I’m visiting someone who is beloved to me.” The angel asked, “Is there something you need from him, like a favour?” The man said, “No, I’m just doing it for Allah. “The angel said, “I bring you glad tidings from Allah, that Allah loves you for you going to visit your brother.”
  • The Prophet ﷺ said that if you love someone you should tell them. Nowadays, people feel too macho to tell each other that they love them.
  • Another thing that cultivates love is giving gifts; gifts that they would like.
  • Nowadays people give nicknames that are offensive or silly. Give people nicknames that are beautiful.
  • Defend the honour of people even if they don’t know about it, and make duaa for people in their absence. Make duaa without them even asking you.
  • Make excuses for people, look for their good qualities. It’s easy to look for the bad qualities of any human, however, we should be searching for their good qualities.
  • Reconciling between people is very important, as people are able to hold a lot of grudges against each other. It’s so important that it’s even permissible to lie to reconcile between people.
  • Habib Ali Jifri mentioned that a good way to know your place in another’s heart, is look inside yourself and see how much you love them.
  • A teacher’s love for their students is far greater than the students love for them. The teacher may not express it in words however their love and concern is greater.
  • Cornell West said that he has seen a lot of people who are successful in life because they were supported by someone who gave them a lot of love. In contrast, many people who have difficulty in life were not shown much love. That’s why the Prophet ﷺ said, “You will not enter paradise until your faith is complete and your faith is not complete until you love one another. Should I tell you what will build love between each other? Spread the Salaam (greetings of peace) between each other.
Feature photo by IIOC Masjid Omar AlFarouk.

 

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Open Our Hearts, Before We Open Our Mosques

As mosques around the United Kingdom open their doors for a national ‘Mosque Open Day’, Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said questions whether we have opened our hearts enough to truly receive those who walk through our open doors. Do we see all of humanity as Allah’s creation, to whom He sent the Prophet Muhammad “as a mercy”?

Shaykh Faid SaidShaykh Faid Mohammed Said is a jewel in the crown of traditional Islamic scholarship in the United Kingdom and we at SeekersHub are ever grateful for his friendship, guidance and support. He was born in Asmara, Eritrea, where he studied the holy Qur’an and its sciences, Arabic grammar and fiqh under the guidance of the Grand Judge of the Islamic Court in Asmara, Shaykh Abdul Kader Hamid and also under the Grand Mufti of Eritrea. He later went to study at Madinah University, from which he graduated with a first class honours degree. In Madinah, his teachers included Shaykh Atia Salem, Shaykh Mohamed Ayub (ex-imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, peace be upon him), Professor AbdulRaheem, Professor Yaqub Turkestani, Shaykh Dr Awad Sahli, Dr Aa’edh Al Harthy and many other great scholars. Shaykh Faid has ijaza in a number of disciplines including hadith, and a British higher education teaching qualification. He is currently the scholar in residence and head of education at Harrow Central Mosque, United Kingdom. Read his articles on the SeekersGuidance blog.

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The Masjid and Its Etiquettes

Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar offers a detailed explanation of the etiquettes of attending the masjid, entering and interacting in the masjid, common mistakes and an in-depth discussion on masjid life.

 

Feeling unmosqued, demosqued and no-thank-you-mosqued?


Are you a Muslim woman who feels unmosqued, demosqued and no-thank-you-mosqued? You’re not alone but you must be part of the change. Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray has some excellent advice on how to move forward, with healing and positivity, in this video for Muslimah Media.

Can I Own a Mosque?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have a question regarding ownership of a masjid. Is it permissible to have a masjid as your own private property?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

A mosque is an endowment (waqf) and not the private party of any single individual.

As an endowment, the default ruling is that it is not permitted for the person who originally built a mosque to sell it, take it back, move it, or have one’s family inherit it. The endowed land will maintain the status of a mosque even if people no longer utilize it for prayer, or the actual mosque becomes dilapidated. This is the position of Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf.

According to Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, if a mosque is no longer in use, it would return to the private ownership of the individual who built it or his inheritors. However, while it is in use, it would remain an endowment.

[Kasani, Bada`i al-Sana`i (6:219); Ibn Humam, Fath al-Qadir (5:446)]

Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Missing the Prayer in Congregation When the Masjid is Far Away

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I read that it is sinful to habitually miss prayers in congregation. But what if I live far from a masjid: will it in this case be permissible to make a habit of praying fard prayers myself in my home? Or will I have to seek out some other congregation, e.g. by gathering neighbours, in order to avoid sin?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

Being far from the mosque would be considered a sufficient excuse to lift the blameworthiness of missing the congregation.

However, the basis for men’s prayer is that it is performed in congregation. Hence you should take the means to establish a congregation, if reasonably possible, within your locality. This would also assist others in fulfilling their duty in the most complete manner.

Though at the very least, you should pray at home with your family, striving to uphold this Prophetic practice the best you can.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

See also: Am I a Hypocrite for Not Praying Fajr and Isha in the Masjid?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam

Tabraze Azam